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Archive 2013

Top News and Analysis


Friday, January 3, 2014
Dow manages a 29 point gain as a major snowstorm hits the Northeast

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Manufacturing data from the U.S. and China pull the Dow to a 135 point loss

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Dow ends the spectacular year with a gain of 72 points at 16,576.66

Monday, December 30, 2013
Dow adds 26 points and attains its 51st new record close this year

The New York Times reopens the controversy regarding what happened in Libya on September 11, 2012: A Deadly Mix in Benghazi

Friday, December 27, 2013
Dow slips 1 point in listless trading as the 10-year Treasury hits 3.01%

The Turkish lira is responsible for the spike of the euro versus the dollar

CNN Money: Unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people will expire tomorrow

U.S. District Judge William Pauley rules that the NSA metadata collection program is lawful and dismisses a suit brought by the ACLU

Truth Revolt: Liberal talk radio will disappear in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2014

New York Times: New York State will soon fall behind Florida in population

                                  
                          Marvin Sapp:  "Never Would've Made It"

Thursday, December 26, 2013
The bulls of Wall Street are in full charge mode: The Dow adds 122 points and reaches its 50th new record high for the year

Treasury prices slipped in today's trading and sent the 10-year yield to the 3.00% milestone in overnight trading

Reuters: The Treasury market is on track to score its second biggest annual loss in 17 years

Gold and silver futures rebound in post-Christmas trade

Nikkei races to a six-year high, marking its best performance since 1972

Egypt's military-backed government declares the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization

As always, the fact that forecasts and analyses are linked here, does   not necessarily mean that I endorse the opinions of the authors.  It means that I believe the opinions are worth considering -- or, in some cases, it means that the opinions are so bad that the author's thoughts should be put on display and the author publicly humiliated

John Schoen: The economy revs up, but leaves millions of Americans waiting in the dust

Mohamed El-Erian: Here are four reasons to be skeptical of the Fed's exit from quantitative easing

Jeff Reeves: Three high-flying stocks in 2013 have room to grow in 2014

David John Marota: Recommends that food, guns and ammo should be at the ready, since there are increasing chances of a collapse of civilized society because of factors like ObamaCare  

Lawrence Lewitinn: China's big warning for the U.S. stock markets

Dennis Gartman: Here is my best trade for 2014 -- shorting the Japanese yen against the English-speaking countries

Paul R. La Monica: Five reasons why stocks will go up in 2014


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

                             Merry Christmas


  It's a white Christmas in California -- in the Sierra Nevada mountains

                                                                       "Emmanuel"
                                                    "Total Praise"
                                                 "Open My Heart"


Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Today's 63 point gain on the Dow means that the record rally continues

Michael Kitchen: The dollar creeps higher in quiet trading. This reality is a far cry from what the right-wing pundits claimed would happen at the onset of the  tapering of quantitative easing

California superior court judge bars voter-approved reduction of city worker pension benefits in San Jose

Monday, December 23, 2013
Dow adds 73 points, and many analysts have now concluded that a Santa Claus rally is underway

Retail sales fall in final week before Christmas

The deadline for signing up for healthcare is extended for one day by the Administration

Market Watch: ObamaCare rule change rattles the insurance companies

Friday, December 20, 2013
Dow adds 42 points to close at a new record high, with the S&P 500 in tow

European markets close higher after the day's rally, and stocks enjoy their best gains in eight months

President Obama tackles a press conference prior to leaving Washington for his holiday vacation in Hawaii

Whoops!!  The biggest corporate blunders of 2013.  These are not so comical if you were the architect or the victim

Military.com: Senate passes a budget deal that will trim military retirement benefits

Text of National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014


The Obama Administration has modified its coverage rules for persons whose insurance plans are set to terminate on December 31st

Wall Street Journal: In our opinion, Obama has repealed ObamaCare

CNN Money: The ObamaCare website went down -- but it is now back up

The use of a health savings account to pay for medical expenses is oftentimes touted by the GOP as a new strategy.  Actually, HSAs are already in existence under IRS tax law provisions and can be used right now under ObamaCare

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Not a skyrocket day of trading on Wall Street, but a winner nevertheless: The Dow adds 11 points; however, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gave up ground

Conference Board: In November, the U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.8% to 98.3%

Freddie Mac: The rate on the 30-year mortgage rises to 4.47%, a marked increase from last year's level of 3.37%

Existing-home sales fell to its lowest level in a year during November

Asian equity markets were mixed overnight following the FOMC action

The Tell: What is the relevance of a shrinking swap spread?

               
If you bought gold within the last three years, then you probably were the victim of a right-wing salesperson who made a persuasive political/financial pitch of doom and gloom under President Obama.

The people who followed the advice of the right-wing pundits with respect  to gold have lost a huge percentage of their invested capital.
There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse -- the value of gold is falling and has been in a downslide for several years. Some people didn't believe this truism, and they eventually paid for their delusion

   Beware of right-wing liars. They are only pretending to be realists
                  


                Congratulations Nina Davuluri -- 2014 Miss America                                                                 Miguel: "Adorn"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Dow soars 293 points following the announcement by Fed Chairman Bernanke that tapering will commence in January by lowering the stimulus bond purchases to $75 billion per month

Mining.com: A $76 billion fall in gold assets leads a record investor exit from commodities

Fox Business: Wall Street surges as Fed maintains an accomodative stance


              

New York Times: The Fed will start unwinding its stimulus next month

CNBC: Fed to taper bond buying by $10 billion per month

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Another day of Taper Watch: The Dow slips 9 points as Wall Street pauses for wait and see

Treasurys hold gains following the auction of $32 billion of 2-year notes

Jim Grant: The stock market's overvaluation due to quantitative easing is a "hall of mirrors"

John Kosar: What a market technician feels would be necessary for a Santa Claus rally

The Federal government wasted at least $30 billion during 2013

Ten surprises (or outrageous predictions) that could rattle the markets

  Why do lottery players think they can defy the odds and actually win $636 million?    Because it's fun.   Is that so hard to understand?


                                           Everybody knows her name
                                                 Beyonce's new album

Monday, December 16, 2013
The Taper Watch is on, but the Dow still manages to jump 129 points on the day's trading


Capitol Report: Forget the third quarter productivity surge -- the longer trend is worrisome

North America may drown in oil due to the opening of foreign investment in Mexico's oil fields

Jesse Solomon: Markets to the Fed -- It's game time, baby!

Alan Fram: Congress targets the pensions of Federal workers for savings on the national budget

New York Times: District of Columbia federal judge rules against the NSA's phone data program

Fox News: Judge deals blow to the NSA phone data program


Sunday, December 15, 2013
Giving to charity in order to avoid the problems regarding the required minimum distribution from an IRA

Ten things the airlines will not tell you -- at least without a struggle


                              Anthony Hamilton: "The Best Of Me"

Saturday, December 14, 2013
China makes history with soft landing of lunar rover Jade Rabbit

      
                                               Ledisi: "I Blame You"
                              

Friday, December 13, 2013
Dow slips 16 points as Wall Street awaits next week's meeting of the FOMC


Reuters: Will the Fed end 2013 with a bang or with a whimper?


Greg Robb: The Fed wants to exit quantitative easing, but, at the same time, the desire is to keep long-term rates low


Military retirees: Congress, you have betrayed us


Money Staff: No, the rich in the United States do not pay all the taxes


Thursday, December 12, 2013
Dow drops 104 points, marking the third straight day of losses, as Wall Street anticipates the advent of tapering


New York Times: House approves a bipartisan bill regarding the budget and defense, and apparently averts the prospect of a government shutdown


Fox News: House overwhelmingly passes a two-year budget plan on a bipartisan vote


Mystery solved?  Washington Post: The FBI agent/guy on vacation missing in Iran since 2007 was actually on a rogue CIA mission


    Rush Limbaugh continues his daily effort to undermine ObamaCare in his sermon to the Pretzeled People.Today's subject: Loss of coverage      I would love to hook this man up to a polygraph in order to determine where the propaganda and political entertainment ends and the clinical delusion begins


       

                                               Leela James: "Say That"


Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Dow falls 130 points following an apparent budget compromise coming out of Washington

New York Times: The minimalist budget deal


Politico: The GOP is split on the budget deal

ObamaCare enrollment quadruples from October to November


    Real Clear Politics: Secretary Sebelius asks for inspector general investigation of her own agency's website


Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Wall Street takes a pause: The Dow falls 52 points as trading on the equity markets appears to await the outcome of next week's Fed meeting

Deutsche Bank: The Wall Street stock party's punch bowl is not running dry

           

  
Manufacturing in China fell marginally in November, but retail sales on the mainland outperformed forecasts


The Volcker Rule has been approved by five Federal regulatory agencies


NetNet: What you should know about the Volcker Rule

                                         

Tapering is key to price of gold and other commodities in 2014


Treasury Department closes the book on the General Motors bailout with a final stock sale


Chinese real estate investors are buying up Detroit at firesale prices


                  


New York Times: Crowds mass in South Africa to bid farewell and honor Madiba Nelson Mandela


Video of President Obama's address at the Nelson Mandela memorial


President Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at the Soweto memorial



Monday, December 9, 2013
Dow adds a 5 point gain during the day's trading, as the market focused on merger activity

Dollar holds firm at ¥103 amid speculation that the Fed may begin to taper next week


American and U.S. Airways will complete their merger today to form the largest U.S. air carrier

The Mumbai Sensex closed Monday at a record high following elections

                
Ansuya Harjani: Forget a slowdown, because China is due to accelerate

Anthony Mirhaydari: Ghosts of the 1929 Crash reappear -- pay attention, but this article is only offered as food for thought

CNBC: Top economists are a bit more optimistic about 2014


Races to watch: What will be the effect of ObamaCare on key 2014 races?

Financial Times: ObamaCare health plans will exclude some top hospitals


High deductibles fuel new worries regarding ObamaCare's affordability

Senator Ted Cruz slams the "lawless" implementation of ObamaCare

New York Post: Obama has created a Medicaid time bomb


ObamaCare could force thousands of volunteer fire departments to close

Zeke Emanuel: If you like your doctor, then you may be able to keep him at a higher price




Friday, December 6, 2013
Dow soars 199 points following the release of a better-that-expected jobs report, in which the unemployment rate fell to 7.0%

      

Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"?
 
          Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus "Atlas Shrugged"

      Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" -- from fiction to fact in 53 years

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 employees as possible -- giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we have experienced over the last six years. 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 Hedgecok and Neal Boortz

Retired union workers are facing unprecedented cuts in their pensions

John Aziz: Try this instead of raising the minimum wage -- a basic income

Robert Powell: How to calculate the true cost of retirement

Thursday, December 5, 2013

  Summary of the life of Nelson Mandela


                                           Humanity pays tribute 
                              As a towering and courageous Realist 
                Passes into the ages and indelibly into World history



                             Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

                       Donny Hathaway: "Someday We'll All Be Free"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

       New York Times:   Inside the race to rescue HealthCare.gov, and the Obama legacy

Fox News: The Administration will release more data on ObamaCare site's progress

 
China's November factory growth clings to an eighteen-month high on firm domestic and foreign demand

Morgan Housel: The economy is much better than you think

Chris Hayes: Iran and talk of appeasement at Munich

Chris Hayes: Discussion of the neocon reaction to the nuclear deal with Tehran


           Chinese J-15 fighter jet takes off from CV16 Liaoning aircraft carrier

Japan questions China's ability to police an air zone in South China Sea


                

                 Teena Marie and Ronnie McNeir: "We've Got To Stop"

                              Gladys Knight: "The Way We Were"

                               Earth, Wind and Fire: "Imagination"


Saturday, November 30, 2013

          
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.

This link is to a lengthy 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 military aircraft and military 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, Californa. 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 they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion in 1977 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

       It's way past time to get real about America's history 


Friday, November 29, 2013
Dow ends flat on Black Friday, registering a loss of 11 points, but the Nasdaq marches higher

Thomas H. Kee: The jobs report may put the Santa Claus rally on hold


                       
                          "Be Ever Wonderful"

                                 ATTENTION
For the fifth time in six years, the Calafia Oak Financial website was hacked by unknown persons who apparently disagree with the website's message

The Home page's text was corrupted for all of 2013 up through Thursday, November 28, 2013

The 2008 - 2012 Archives and all other pages of the site were undamaged by the 2013 attack

The hacked areas were partially reconstructed, although visual images were not replaced and other font and spacing damage persists. However, the text and links are operable and virus free

To the person or persons responsible for this reprehensible action: Thanks for the compliment. Not that I doubted the effectiveness of  this site's message, since Calafia Oak Financial recently crossed the  landmark of four million hits over its existence. I look forward to your  next attempt to stop the message.  Maybe next time you'll get caught

Thursday, November 28, 2013

                 
                             Happy Thanksgiving

                                     Realism is the pathwaySM

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

                  

                                 
                             
Gladys Knight: "The Way We Were"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Nasdaq closes at  4017.75, marking the first close above 4,000 since September, 2000, and the Dow added 0.26 point, for a new record close, despite falling prices down the home stretch of trading


Home building permits hit a five-year high in October, due chiefly to multi-family units

Consumer confidence fell in November for the third straight month


Do-nothing Congress is on track for one of the least productive years in U.S. history


First Thoughts: December has three important deadlines


What is Realism?    Philosophical Realism    Critical Realism
Economic Realism     Scientific Realism

                                    It's time to get realsm

Summary of the Age of Enlightenment, including the dissemination of ideas and historiography
 

    Rush Limbaugh speaks to his Pretzeled People: Obama lets Iran have nuclear weapons


      

In the infamous "47 Percent" address that Governor Romney made on May 17, 2012, in Boca Raton, Florida, there was an exchange between a male donor and Romney in which the presidential candidate made several comments about the effect that his upcoming election would have on the financial markets in September:  

. . . “[I]f it looks like I’m gonna win, the market – markets will be happy. If it looks like the President’s gonna win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends on, of course, which markets you’re talking about. Which types of commodities and so forth. But my own view is that if we – if – if – if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. And we’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without—without actually doing anything, we’ll (laughter) actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what’ll happen. I can’t – I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”

These comments went chiefly unnoticed by the media, except for a measure of derision by a few pundits. These pundits criticized Romney for stating that the economy would get a boost following a Republican victory “without actually doing anything”. The media derided Romney as foolish, since he forecast that an improving economy would automatically occur if the Republicans regain the White House.

The media’s response on this issue was not at all insightful. In fact, these surreptitiously recorded comments by Romney in Boca Raton came within a sentence of revealing the heart of the conservatives’ “Atlas Shrugged” effort, a shrouded campaign that has actively and intentionally damaged the U.S. economy for more than four years.

                       
Conservative business owners and managers are intentionally going slow on hiring and business expansion in the hope of delivering the White House to the Republican Party. This multi-year campaign is obscenely reminiscent of the plotline in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Why are they doing this? The reason why is because a Republican victory greatly increases the possibility of a lower maximum tax rate for the wealthy and less business regulation. It is really just as simple as that. The conservatives have as their first priority the goal of filling their pockets with money. The good of the Nation is a distant, lower priority. 

Consequently, if there had been a Romney victory, there would have been a surge in business activity and hiring that would have boosted the economy as the 
“Atlas Shrugged” crowd starts doing again what they should have been doing all along: namely, business as usual, rather than a diminished level of business activity that has been focused on achieving a political outcome. 

Literally, without actually doing 
anything, the economy would have seen a boost if the Republicans had won the White House. People would have been hired and growth would have escalated, seemingly without the passage of a single new program. What is not so clear, however, is whether the Nation would have realized that for the preceding four years the unemployed and the underemployed were intentionally burned alive by the consevatives in an attempt by the wealthy to get a lower maximum tax rate and less regulation of businesses.
 
What is also not clear, at this point in 2013:  Whether the conservatives will stop pretending that real life is an Ayn Rand movie and, instead, resume working to build their own enterprises and the U.S. economy.  It's time to get real.  After more than four years of self-serving, economic sabotage, it is definitely time to get real




The U.S. sends two B-52 bombers into airspace that is claimed by China without any gesture of provocation by China during or following the test flight by the Air Force






                                        
"Be Ever Wonderful"



Monday, November 25, 2013
Nasdaq hits 4,000 in intraday trading for the first time in thirteen years, and the Dow pushes higher to a new record with a gain of 8 points


If bubbles are out there, these ten sages may give a warning  --  maybe

Jeremy Seigel: The Dow will reach 18,000 in the foreseeable future according to fair value of forward earnings


Lauren Lyster: Want to cut government waste? Then find the $8.5 trillion that the Pentagon can't account for anywhere


The nuclear agreement between Iran and the major powers could lower oil prices worldwide


President Obama delivers remarks on Saturday evening regarding Iran's nuclear program


Washington Post: Iran and the world powers reach a historic agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program's future




Fox News: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaims the deal with Iran to be a historic mistake


The question: What kind of gall does it take to condemn Iran for doing something that the United States and Israel have already done themselves -- namely, develop and deploy nuclear weapons?  

                  The answer: A whole lot of self-righteousness

               It's definitely time to get real about the Middle East

 
 A summary of Israel's development and deployment of nuclear weapons over the course of decades


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

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


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


                                 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


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 


An attack on Iran would 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 


         
                     Israeli American-made F-15 air superiority fighter

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

          
                         
Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

The F-16 is the best fighter-bomber operating in the Middle East. Iran has no aircraft that can match the lethality of the F-16 -- absolutely nothing

New York Times: For years, the Obama Administration moved 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 the land 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 

It is very alarming how frequently officials in the Israeli or U.S. governments, commentators or kingpins will threaten to attack Iran. For example, look at the statements below made by Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson: The United States should fire a nuclear missile targeted to detonate in the Iranian desert, and then, if that does not cause Iran to stop its nuclear program, the U.S. should nuke Tehran

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 

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

  
       Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world

    Nobody attacks anybody. That's the best solution for everybody




     If you ran into Kaley Cuoco this week, she would probably say:
       
                               " Have a Happy Thanksgiving"


          Blue Magic and Margie Joseph: "What's Come Over Me"




Friday, November 22, 2013
Dow continues its advance into record territory with a gain of 55 points


Thursday, November 21, 2013
Dow adds 109 points and closes at the milestone of 16,009.99


David Firestone: The GOP's health care playbook


Paul R. La Monica: The insurance companies are ObamaCare's big winners


Chris Hayes: The only way out is through -- there is no turning back on the Affordable Care Act



    

New York Times: Landmark Senate vote limits filibusters


Fox News: Obama applauds Reid for filibuster overhaul, critics warn move will "damage" the Senate


Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Dow loses 66 points following the release of Fed minutes that indicate tapering is nearer than previously thought


Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Wall Street was unable to find any upward direction in today's trading, and then closes with a 9 point loss on the Dow


Monday, November 18, 2013
Dow spends some time over 16,000, but fails to close above that milestone despite a gain of 14 points


Friday, November 15, 2013
A new record on the Dow after a gain of 85 points, with the S&P 500 also reaching a new record 

House passes Upton bill allowing people to keep their health plans


Three hurdles that an ObamaCare fix must overcome -- this is complicated


Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wall Street's upward march continues as the Dow climbs 55 points


NBC News: President Obama offers a fix for canceled insurance plans


Fox News: President Obama offers an administrative fix for ObamaCare


Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Dow adds 71 points in trading that takes both the Dow and the S&P 500 to new records


ObamaCare's first month: 106,000 enrolled, including 27,000 through HealthCare.gov, according to Health and Human Services


Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Dow slips 32 points from yesterday's record close in lackluster trading


Monday, November 11, 2013 

                                              Veterans Day

Friday, November 8, 2013
Dow soars 168 points and notches a new closing record following a surprisingly upbeat jobs report


The United States added 204,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 7.3%

NBC News: President Obama personally apologizes for Americans losing health coverage


Thursday, November 7, 2013
Dow falls 153 points following the release of a set of lackluster earnings reports, despite a lowering of interest rates by the ECB


Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Dow adds 129 points and closes at a new record high of 15,746.88


Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Wall Street drifts to a loss of 21 points on the Dow as a wait and see attitude prevails
 

Monday, November 4, 2013
An about-face at Blackberry takes center stage, but the Dow manages a 24 point gain


Friday, November 1, 2013
The upward surge regains its footing as the Dow adds 70 points


Thursday, October 31, 2013
Dow slips 73 points as all three major indexes move modestly lower on the last day of October


Bloomberg: U.S. Treasury's tax revenues in fiscal 2013 at the record level of $2.77 trillion


Market Watch: What to do if your health insurance is cancelled


Los Angeles Times: Another ObamaCare horror story debunked



       Jedi Mind Trick: There is no cancellation or cost controversy

Haaretz: Israel makes an aerial attack on a Syrian facility near Latakia


Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Dow loses 62 points despite a lessened prospect of Fed tapering in the near future


Treasury Department: The deficit for fiscal 2013 was $680 billion, the lowest level since 2008


The Federal Reserve has decided to hold its monetary policy steady and to maintain its bond-buying program at current levels


The Federal government has paid $252 billion in unemployment benefits since 2008, according to the House Ways and Means Committee




New York Times: Secretary Sebelius apologizes for the malfunctions of HealthCare.gov


Fox News: Kathleen Sebelius deflects criticism on ObamaCare-linked cancellation notices


  
Los Angeles Times: President Obama's health care promises have returned to haunt him during the rollout

Bloomberg: Major insurance companies oppose the extension of the ObamaCare's initial enrollment period because it would heighten uncertainty regarding their reports to regulatory agencies


Politico: A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts Obama's approval level at 42%, the lowest level ever


Crossroads GPS: A GOP group reports a poll stating that 70% of registered voters favor extending the imposition of the individual mandate



                                       Does anyone recognize this person?

                         Angela Bofill: "This Time I'll Be Sweeter"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Dow surges 111 points despite a fall in consumer confidence, as both the Dow and the S&P 500 close at record levels


Conference Board: The consumer confidence gauge fell to its lowest level in six months in September

Commerce Department: U.S. retail sales fell slightly in September due in large part to falling auto sales


         

The U.S. Treasury has reported a loss of $9.7 billion dollars, so far, on its shares of General Motors acquired in the 2009 bailout


The Reserve Bank of India raised its key lending rate to 7.75% in an attempt to fight rising inflation


Brent Arends: Five signs the market bulls are wrong, and we are experiencing Irrational Exuberance 3.0


 
"All In" with Chris Hayes devoted two large segments of time yesterday to an explanation of the cancellation of health care policies. However, the "All In" segments fail to address in any critical way two important issues that have greatly agitated many Americans. 

Namely, the President said on many occasions that people will be able to keep health plans and doctors they like. Plus, the President also claimed on many occasions that the Affordable Care Act would cut the typical family's health insurance premiums up to $2,500 per year. These two features were key selling points of ObamaCare. 

          Unfortunately, the President's statements were not true. 

The abysmal explanation for this situation is one of the following alternatives: Either the President was lying, or the President and his spokespeople did not understand two extremely important elements of their legislation. Both of these alternatives are very disturbing, and there appears to be no third alternative, other than a pitiful combination of the first two

All In with Chris Hayes: Part One -- Focus on the cancellation of health care policies that do not meet the standards of ObamaCare

All In with Chris Hayes: Part Two -- ObamaCare sticker shock


New York Times: Administrator Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for balky HealthCare.gov rollout


Fox News: Health agency chief refuses to disclose ObamaCare enrollment numbers in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee


CNN Money: A security hole has been found in the ObamaCare website


             There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse

         

                                 Amy Keyes: "Lover's Intuition"

Monday, October 28, 2013
Dow loses 1 point, but the S&P 500 continues on to a new record


Treasury prices edge up following today's auction of 2-year notes


Federal Reserve: Industrial production improved in September by 0.6%


National Association of Realtors: Pending home sales fell 5.6% in September, reflecting higher mortgage rates and home prices


Why the threat of recession keeps Nobel- winning economist Robert Schiller up at night


Jim Cramer: The European Union recovery has put heavily exposed U.S. techs and industrials in an enviable position


M.I.T.'s Simon Johnson: A very expensive Tea Party. What the recent government shutdown cost the Nation


New York Times: How to disarm the debt-limit threat for good


Morgan Whitaker: Rooting for Obama to fail since before he was president


  
Weekly Standard:  White House spokesman admits that some Americans will not be able to keep their present health insurance under ObamaCare

Newsmax: The Obama Administration has known for several years that millions will not be able to keep their present insurance policy


GOP Senator Ron Johnson to introduce a bill entitled "If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act"


Young Americans could get health coverage for under $50 per month



            There are some places on the planet that look as good as California             
 
                                     
Moonrise over the coastline of Greece    
                                                 
                                       
David Peaston: "Can I"


Saturday, October 26, 2013

  
Rush Limbaugh's lesson for today as his part of the wrecking crew trying to destroy ObamaCare:   Here's a way to evade paying the penalty for not enrolling


          

                                            "No More Drama"



                      

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.

This link 
is to a lengthy 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


               It's way past time to get real about America's history

              
Friday, October 25, 2013 
Dow adds 61 points as Wall Street cheers the most recent set of quarterly earnings reports


The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment reading is at its lowest level in almost a year


Durable goods orders rose in September, but there are possible signs that American companies are holding back on investments due to uncertainty over future government spending


Japanese shares fell overnight following the effects of a weak dollar and a report urging caution from Canon


Myra Saefong: The earnings reports of the big mining companies do not bode well for the price of gold and other metals


    
MoneyNews: Gold bulls keep the faith

 Boundless Informant exposed by the Washington Free Beacon  -- an Administration program that spied on 124 billion phone calls in one month


Former CIA Director Michael Hayden: World outrage over snooping by the U.S. is "political theatre"


Al Jazeera: Big business faces an uphill battle against Tea Party interests


Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar: We will boycott all elections until the United States leaves Afghanistan



                                
Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

                           
 "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"



  No time to test: The HealthCare.gov planners really messed up on the website, undoubtedly with help from their government counterparts
 
Jeff Zients, chief White House economic adviser: The HealthCare. gov website will be working smoothly by the end of November


The Obama Administration is interpreting the Affordable Care Act in some extraordinary ways, and two U.S. district courts are taking notice in cases that threaten the functionality of HealthCare.gov


Rep. Frank Pallone's angry comments: The House ObamaCare hearings are a "Monkey Court"




                                                 
Day Is Done

                            In Memory of Leonard H. Kreizenbeck

Thursday, October 24, 2013 
Amazon and Microsoft surge in extended session trading


No time to test: The planners really messed up on the website


Today's installment of earnings reports and positive news regarding production in China inspire the Dow to a gain of 96 points


Commerce Department: U.S. trade gap in August widened by 0.4% to $38.8 billion from a downwardly revised July number of $38.6 billion


Manufacturing data coming out of China shows further improvement


Gold futures climb above $1,340 overnight as the dollar weakens and spurs buying in dollar denominated commodities

                      
                         

New York Times: President Obama urges the House Republicans to act on immigration


                 

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ: The fact that the Fed has kept interest rates so low for so long is distorting the world's financial markets


The Telegraph: Israel clashes with the U.S. as Israel calls for the destruction of Iran's nuclear industry


Wall Street Journal: Obama's credibility is melting. Here and abroad, Obama's partners are concluding they cannot trust him


Darrell Delamaide's Political Capital: Tweeting aide was right -- the White House is a vacuous, failed administration


The Weekly Standard: The U.S. spent $3.7 trillion on welfare and assistance programs for those in poverty over the last five years


 Newsmax:  The White House extends the individual mandate deadline. The really interesting feature of this article is that it points out two details of ObamaCare that have gone ignored by other news sources

First, it takes two weeks to process an insurance application; and, second, policies under ObamaCare always become effective on the first day of the following month. These two factors undercut the legitimacy of a comment that critics of ObamaCare -- Rush Limbaugh, for example -- raise in their effort to dissuade people, and particularly young people, from enrolling immediately in ObamaCare. 


          
Rush Limbaugh -- a purveyor of really bad financial advice

Limbaugh's comment goes like this: If you are in good health, why get insurance? You can always get insurance if you get sick or hurt because you cannot be rejected for a preexisting condition. So, just wait until you actually need the coverage, then get health insurance.

The problem with Limbaugh's advice is the fact that the earliest coverage will take effect is two weeks, and potentially, since coverage does not become effective until the first day of the next following month if eligibility is determined after the 15th of the month, coverage may not become effective until 46 days later. Paying out of pocket for 14 days or as many as 46 days of health care may very well be enough to put the patient into bankruptcy. 

Take the examples of a car accident, a serious disease needing immediate attention, or a broken limb from a slip and fall. Following Limbaugh's advice could easily lead to a financial catastrophe where the patient would be wiped out financially before his or her insurance coverage goes into effect.

In addition, Limbaugh is failing to forewarn his listeners, who might want to follow his misguided advice, that people will only be able to purchase insurance through an exchange during an open enrollment period, which will be between October 1 and December 7 in years after 2013. Since people can only qualify for a health insurance subsidy if they enroll through an exchange, Limbaugh's advice may result in a person, who would otherwise qualify for a subsidy, not receiving a subsidy because they buy insurance outside of the open enrollment period. Whoops -- that's an error


American Journal of Medicine: Getting sick is a factor in 62% of U.S. bankruptcies -- up from 8% in 1981



House Energy and Commerce Committee: The ObamaCare website is nothing short of a disaster


Newt Gingrich: Secretary Sebelius should be fired because of the problems with the health care website


Summary of the usual process for the development of software, such as the software that operates HealthCare.gov


Fox News: Sixty percent of voters think the implementation of ObamaCare "is a joke", and most voters feel someone should be fired


  
Computerworld: October 21, 2011 -- Software development success is still elusive -- many projects get off to rocky starts

      411 for the Obama Administration: There is a young mother who worked for a call center in Florida who was fired for talking to Sean Hannity.  Sean called her work number during the Hannity radio show. This young lady's termination is completely wrong. You should take notice and correct ASAP


               
                 
Filipina Divas: "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Dow loses 54 points as Wall Street focuses on corporate earnings reports, such as a pessimistic forecast from Caterpillar


Asian stock markets turn lower overnight as the South Korean and Malaysian currencies hit multi-month highs against the dollar


Anthony Mirhaydari: Kiss the dollar goodbye thanks to continuing QE

Banks fall in Europe, before the opening of Wall Street, following the release of ECB stress-test results


Bank of England releases minutes confirming its decision to leave rates and quantitative easing unchanged


            
Summary of the theory of quantitative easing

Matthew Lynn's London Eye: The euro zone's next big crisis is deflation


Mail Online: Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with the U.S. over response to the conflict in Syria



Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International challenge U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen as possible war crimes


NBC News: Address by spokesperson for Amnesty International regarding U.S. drone strikes


 
 Wearing the niqab: Why some Muslim women are choosing to wear a veil

  
NBC News: The Obama Administration may adjust the health care penalty deadline for enrollment

Newsmax: President Obama did not know about website problems before the launch, according to Secretary Sebelius
 

Kaiser Health Watch: Thousands of consumers get cancellation notices due to health law changes

New York Times: In order to fix HealthCare.gov, it will be necessary to basically blow the site up and start over


   

Ohio Medicaid expansion will provide health coverage for 270,000 previously uninsured residents



              Another perfect day in the paradise that is San Diego

                         Tamia: "You Put A Move On My Heart"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Dow adds 75 points following the release of the September jobs report because Wall Street does not foresee the Fed tapering soon  

Delayed jobs report shows the U.S. adding only 148,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate fell to 7.2%


                 

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 phenomenon 

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

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 53 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: Any excuse will do -- blame ObamaCare, yea, great idea: Blame ObamaCare, so employers can kill two birds with one stone


More blaming ObamaCare: National Review Online: 100 unintended consequences of ObamaCare.   Sean Hannity recently spent a long block of time on his national radio show highlighting the job losses referred to in this link


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 7.2%. 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?



Reuters: The price of gold jumps following the release of September's weak jobs data


Christian Science Monitor -- DC Decoder: Seven ways you can sign up for ObamaCare, despite the problems with the HealthCare.gov website

The content of this link demonstrates the fact that there is actually very little information in the media telling Americans what they can do in order to sign up and take advantage of the Affordable Care Act. The alternatives available for enrollment right now are very straight forward and totally doable, even though the website is presently filled with glitches. Virtually no one in the media is pointing out the reality
that enrollment can be easily done right now -- just not through the website

In addition to the avenues specified in the Christian Science Monitor - DC Decoder link, there is also the access provided by contacting a certified health insurance broker. Such professionals are available everywhere and are fully competent and eager to walk clients through the process at no additional cost to the premiums available through the website exchanges. 


There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see

Senator Marco Rubio states he will introduce legislation to delay ObamaCare because the website is not performing properly.  Senator Rubio may be ignorant of the fact that there are several other ways to enroll in ObamaCare, or perhaps he just chooses to ignore that fact


MSN Money: The builders of HealthCare.gov saw red flags before the site opened, and they warned the Administration of their concerns


Ezra Klein: These are more than just glitches


Ron Fornier: Five reason's why Obama should be freaked out over the problems with ObamaCare


USA Today: Health and Human Services brings in Verizon to fix the HealthCare.gov website


Washington Post: The White House has enlisted Jeffery Zeints to help fix the troubled website


                                     Does anyone recognize this person?

                           George Benson: "This Masquerade"

Monday, October 21, 2013
Dow closes with a loss of 7 points, but the S&P 500 continues its march into record territory


Marc Faber states that the Fed may increase its quantitative easing program purchases to $1 trillion a month


Transcript of President Obama's speech in the Rose Garden today regarding the problems with HealthCare.gov


John Dickerson of CBS News: The Obama Administration's death spiral regarding the healthcare plan


Mail Online: Consumer Reports advises Americans to stay away from HealthCare.gov for at least another month


CNN Money: The six biggest contractors involved with HealthCare.gov


Saturday, October 19, 2013
This link is to an example of a genre: Namely, the financial world is about to collapse, so quick as a rabbit buy the product being sold here.
 
Over the last several years, this type of "important protection" has become very commonplace in the American marketplace.    This genre of propaganda is destructive to the Nation's well-being, and sales pitches such as this one have probably had a significant and undermining impact on the performance of the Fed's quantitative easing program



                                       Does anyone recognize this person?

                      Average White Band: "A Love Of Your Own"

Friday, October 18, 2013
Dow climbs 28 points, and the S&P 500 gains a new record close, due to positive earnings reports from Google and Morgan Stanley


China's growth picks up to 7.8% in the third quarter, but there are indications that growth has slowed in the fourth quarter

European stock markets trade higher overnight on the wings of reported economic data from China

Washington Times: The U.S. debt rose $328 billion in one day, yesterday, October 17, 2013 -- that's a record


CNBC: The Fed may not taper until the first quarter of 2014, thanks to the shutdown and Congress




Jim Cramer on CNBC: The dollar is now a laughing stock worldwide


Wall Street Journal: The dollar slips in trading as Fed worries continue


Dollar hits an 8-1/2 month low due to worries about the U.S. economy


As U.S. averts a default, China and Japan brace for the next dollar drama


Newsmax Moneynews: Obama's victory was based on deception and demagoguery


William Saletan: How Obama will use the 2013 shutdown as a political weapon


Jacob Weisberg: The radical Republicans remain the party's dominant force, unbowed and irresponsible


********************************************************

Al Jazeera: The war in Iraq claimed 500,000 lives due to violence and the war's impact on the country's health infrastructure




Al Jazeera: Today, there are nearly 30 million people trapped in slavery


           

********************************************************

Fox News: A privacy threat has apparently been found in the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov



ObamaCare woes widen as more than a dozen insurers get erroneous data supplied to them through the HealthCare.gov website


Newsmax: The ObamaCare website cost the taxpayers $634 million, and it faces months of glitches


U.S. News: The ObamaCare website's cost has swelled to $292 million and is glitch prone. The GOP wants Secretary Sebelius fired


Reuters: As ObamaCare tech woes mounted, the payments to the contractor soared


Memory Lane: Remember the $2.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope that was put into orbit with a major, crippling construction defect?  Hubble construction team meet the HealthCare.gov construction team.   Both of you will go down in history as the makers of epic blunders.
 

       
                                                  
                                                  
 "Spell"

Thursday, October 17, 2013 
Dow closes the trading day with a loss of 2 points, but the S&P 500 reaches a record high close of 1,733.15

 
 At midday, Wall Street has moved its focus to corporate earnings reports

Asian markets surge overnight in response to the gains on Wall Street and the agreement in Washington


European bourses return to normalcy following the events in Washington and see some slippage before the opening of Wall Street


Gold futures soar in electronic trading overnight under the theory that the Fed's taper is not in the near future


Standard & Poor's: The government shutdown has stripped $24 billion from the U.S. economy and lowered the Nation's gross domestic product


Chinese rating agency Dagong downgrades U.S. sovereign debt despite the successful Congressional action



President Obama addresses the Nation regarding the way forward after the end of the shutdown


Video of President Obama's formal address from the White House on October 17th


Video of President Obama's brief address made to the Nation after Senate passage of the debt bill on October 16th


   
CNBC conducts interviews with the following regarding budget issues:

Rep. Steve Israel


Senator Angus King


Rep. Chris Van Hollen


Senator Bob Corker and Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Senator Rob Portman


                 
Summary of the Federal budget process

            Kicking the can down the road with continuing resolutions

               It's definitely time to get real about the Nation's future

Federal News Service: Transcript of Senator Cruz's self-serving comments on the Senate's vote to end the budget impasse


    
Rush Limbaugh attempts to explain to his listeners - the Pretzeled People, who are clearly echoes of their ancestors - why what just happened to the United States was a great experience for everybody 



NBC News: The famous - and infamous - faces of the 2013 government shutdown


Which U.S. senators voted against the debt resolution bill?


         
                                                     Melting glacier

Princeton University physicist William Happer advocates for reasoned analysis on the subject of climate change. He has no connections to the petroleum industry or any other commercial interests


BBC News: The slowdown in climate change means that extreme rates of warming are "not as likely" as previously forecast


Al Gore's Academy Award winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" was a tremendous box office success.  Was it radical and irresponsible environmentalist propaganda?

Is the climate change movement leading the Democratic party off a cliff that will haunt the party for a generation?
 

Summary of issues surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline


 National Aeronautics and Space Administration:        Global climate change -- vital signs for the planet

Phil Plait: The Arctic ice death spiral.   There is no denying the fact


Climate Central: Why the globe has not warmed significantly in the last decade

                                                      
Rush Limbaugh frequently claims that climate change is a hoax, and the fact that climate change is a hoax is proven by emails sent by scientists at the University of East Anglia.

 Is the Limbaugh assertion true?


The Economist: Climate science is a sensitive matter


Fox News: The ObamaCare sign-up numbers start to emerge and show a slow start amid website problems at Healthcare.gov



             
           
The strongest defense is always an overwhelming offense

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Congress votes to end the government shutdown and lifts the debt limit with a vote of 285 to 144 in the House and 81 to 18 in the Senate


Dow soars 206 points in anticipation that Congress will reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling this evening

Text of Senate resolution ending the government shutdown and lifting the debt ceiling


Wall Street Journal: Treasury yields fall as budget tensions are resolved



Gold rebounds after the dollar declines and key commodities advance


Compilation of key currency exchange rates, cross rates and instruments


Wall Street enjoys a major rally in early trading as the prospect of a solution in Washington appears to be a near certainty

CNN Politics: Senate reaches bipartisan fiscal deal, and Senator Cruz states that he will not filibuster a vote on the plan

 
Fox News: Speaker Boehner is in a bind -- he has diminishing options on the budget impasse.   The attached photo was the headline on the Drudge Report at noon today

Charles Babington of My Way: Short-term debt deal will not mask the big barriers that are ahead


Washington's impasse spawns an early morning selloff in European equity markets


Asian stock markets are volatile overnight following the lack of a solution in the United States


Gold futures rebound overnight due to the stalled budget talks


  
David Li: Beijing should cut back its lending to the United States

New York Times: The situation at the start of the day -- the debt talks are in disarray


Rex Nutting: Regarding a governmental shutdown, here are five things that are worse than closing national parks


John Schoen: Six dangerous myths regarding the American debt ceiling


********************************************************
  Sarah Palin: If President Obama allows a default on the U.S. debt, then that is an impeachable offense, plus, if the President acts unilaterally to raise the debt limit, then that is also an impeachable offense


District of Columbia protesters wave the Confederate flag and tell Obama to put down the Quran, while rallying at the World War II memorial and in front of the White House


********************************************************


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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Anxiety rises on the Nation's equity markets: Dow drops 133 points 

New York Times: A House vote is cancelled as the deadline nears


Fox News: House panel delays meeting on budget plan 
as GOP leaders struggle to secure votes


Credit rating agency Fitch signals it could downgrade U.S. debt


Wall Street traded down in midday activity under the pressure of indecisiveness from Washington and mixed earnings reports

Treasury pays premium for short-term borrowing of $35 billion through 3-month bills and $30 billion of 6-month bills


Asian stock markets rise overnight on the prospect of a resolution in Washington



Gold falls back in electronic trading while Wall Street sleeps


Matthew Yglesias: Don't just lift the debt ceiling. Get rid of it. The only other country in the world with a statutory debt ceiling is Denmark


Bloomberg News: It would be ridiculous for the United States to join 1933 Nazi Germany in the pantheon of defaults


U.S. debt ceiling breach crisis would start quietly, but then go downhill fast


        The President, if need be, will fly on the wings of Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to prevent a default by the United States.

                    
Relax, everybody. There will be no default

If John Boehner finally collapses amid his own unwillingness to face the reality that the Tea Party has sent him on a fool's errand, the White House will intervene to save the Nation and the world from a ridiculous outcome by applying the President's Constitutional powers to protect the Nation's financial credibility under Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It is such irony, that the Conservatives always claim they are focused on the Constitution, but they will profess that this Constitutional power does not exist, even though it's right there in the Fourteenth Amendment.
  
The GOP will throw a fit and threaten impeachment, while shouting "Imperial Presidency', which only figures because their "leverage" will have just evaporated and the GOP will be left with the realization that they have been following a fantasy inspired by Senator Ted Cruz's manic episode


The following excerpt is from Wikipedia's treatment of the issue of Presidential unilateral action under its discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment: 

   "The debt-ceiling crisis in 2011 raised the question of what powers Section 4 gives to the President, an issue that remains unsettled.[154]Some, such as legal scholar Garrett Epps, fiscal expert Bruce Bartlett and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have argued that a debt ceiling may be unconstitutional and therefore void as long as it interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (that is, Social Security recipients).[155][156]Legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen has argued that Section 4 gives the President unilateral authority to raise or ignore the national debt ceiling, and that if challenged the Supreme Court would likely rule in favor of expanded executive power or dismiss the case altogether for lack of standing.[157]" 

********************************************************
   

Malala Yousafzai tells President Obama at the White House that U.S. drones are fueling terrorism


********************************************************

Fox News: Glitch-filled launch of the ObamaCare website is decried as a trainwreck


Newsmax: ObamaCare website cost $634 million and faces months of glitches

Politico: Tech experts are wary of more ObamaCare glitches


It is obvious that the roll-out of the ObamaCare website has not gone well. Better tech experts are obviously needed in the design and operation ofwww.HealthCare.gov -- get them on the job ASAP

In the meantime, keep in mind that the insurance coverage does not start until January 1, 2014, so wait a few weeks before applying and miss the gaffes. Just get your application in by December 15, 2013. 

What is complete silliness, however, is the assertion by some of the President's critics that ObamaCare's implementation should be delayed for a year because of the website glitches. A couple of weeks of delay -- maybe, but a year -- absolutely not. You don't smash your new car to scrap metal because a tire goes flat -- you just fix the tire

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.

For the business, individual or family looking for information on the nuts and bolts of the law, I suggest "ObamaCare Survival Guide", by Nick J. Tate.  

Despite the advertisements for Mr.Tate's work, which make the book sound like derisive anti-Administration propaganda, the "ObamaCare Survival Guide" is a good-faith effort to present information in an almost cookbook format of simplicity.
 
Although Tate's book is 209 pages long, it is well-organized and allows the reader to focus in on the areas that are of particular concern to him or her -- and skip the rest. It is fair to say that all adults should invest around two hours reading about 40 pages of the "ObamaCare Survival Guide" before accessing HealthCare.gov.



                            
Katharine McPhee - A Star Is Born

Monday, October 14, 2013
Dow adds 64 points as optimism prevails over despair among investors and traders


Dollar is under pressure in worldwide financial markets because of Washington's uncertainty


New York Times: Senators are closer to a deal on the debt ceiling and government shutdown


Fox News: Senate leaders scramble to iron out a new budget deal, and a framework appears to be emerging



China's state media blasts the U.S. government's shutdown and calls for a "de-Americanized" world 
                                   
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

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

          
                             Chante Moore: "Candlelight And You"

                                                "Love Ballad"


Friday, October 11, 2013
  
Dow continues its upward momentum, turning in a gain of 111 points and marking the best two consecutive days of 2013 

Gold suffers a loss of over 2.0% under the pressure of a probable closure to the fiscal impasse


Prices of short-term Treasurys react to budget talks


Fox News: Accusations subside as Congress and the White House quietly work toward a possible resolution


New York Times: GOP Senators see an outline for a deal on the Nation's debt after meeting today with President Obama


Associated Press: There is a new GOP shutdown/debt plan on the table, but no agreement so far


Breitbart: The House GOP has blinked -- the proposed resolution will lift debt, fund ObamaCare and open the government


  According to right-wing favorite, Ben Carson, ObamaCare is the worst thing to happen to the Nation since slavery

David Weigel: Who are the members of the different factions in the Republican Party?


NBC/WSJ poll: Sixty percent say fire every member of Congress


Senator Cruz ramps up his rhetoric during an address at a Value Voters summit in Washington



Market Watch: Completing an application on day one was not possible with attempts made in all states and the District of Columbia. That is no surprise, and the lesson is easy. Namely, the insurance coverage does not start until January 1, 2014, so wait a few weeks before applying and miss the crowds. Just get your application in by December 15, 2013. 

What could be done on the opening day with far less difficulty was price shopping and determining what subsidies and tax advantages would be available to the individual or family. What the wise person should be doing at this point is reading a well-written 30-page summary of what ObamaCare is all about with respect to the laws' rights and responsibilities.    Applying comes later, after the uninformed crowds have dissipated


Thursday, October 10, 2013
New York Times: President Obama rejects Republican offer of short-term debt limit plan, after the close on Wall Street, because the plan did not have provisions to reopen the Federal government


The bulls run on Wall Street ahead of any definite good news about progress in Washington: Dow gains an impressive 323 points  

Fox News: Speaker Boehner takes a stopgap debt-fix plan to a White House meeting with President Obama


Treasurys gain in price following a strong auction of the 30-year bond


   
Gold futures settled below $1,300 at the close of today's trading due to optimism concerning a resolution of the debt impasse

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda: The United States will not default on its obligations


                    Pat Buchanan: Is red state America seceding?



                           
                              
Tierra: "The Old Songs Medley"

                                              "Together"

                                          "I Do Love You"


Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Janet Yellen's nomination as Fed Chair is cited as the reason why the Dow gained 26 points today despite a stagnant situation in Washington


Asian stock markets mostly see gains in overnight trading despite the specter of Washington's impasse


President Obama speaks this week regarding the government shutdown


Rep. Paul Ryan: Here's how we can end this budget stalemate


Rep. Eric Cantor: Divided government requires bipartisan negotiation


Martin Crutsinger: Fed is now unlikely to slow bond buying before 2014




Wall Street Journal: Tensions ratchet up in debt battle


Anthony Mirhaydari: The market is starting to panic after weeks of complacency


Matt Tucker of BlackRock: People will not buy Treasuries in the midst of a U.S. default


New York Times: Janet Yellen's path from liberal theorist to the position of Federal Reserve Chair 




                                 Summary of Janet Yellen's career


                           Summary of the Federal budget process

            
Kicking the can down the road with continuing resolutions

           It's definitely time to get real about the Nation's budget woes

    

                                   John Coltrane: "A Love Supreme"

                             Wes Montgomery: "Bumpin' On Sunset"


Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Dow continues its slide with a loss of 160 points as Washington persists in its discussion of how much either side is willing to negotiate


Fox News: Pentagon freezes death benefits for fallen soldiers' families



                    
Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion



Yield on one-month Treasury bill spikes to its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis


Paul R. La Monica: Wall Street needs to plunge in order for Congress to be prompted to act
 

President Obama says he will negotiate after the GOP ends its threats to damage the Nation




Speaker Boehner: The GOP will not allow an unconditional surrender to the President



Why did the Obama Administration delay the implementation of the employer mandate under ObamaCare in July, 2013?    

Was the reason for the delay of the employer mandate as pitiful as this: The people over at the Treasury Department did not have their rules and regulations ready by the deadline. Not ready -- despite the fact that these guidelines, forms and regulations' completion have been required under the terms of ObamaCare since March 23, 2010.  Just like the C students back in grade school -- their homework was not ready on time. 

Heads should have rolled at Treasury regarding this tardiness. People who do not do their jobs in a situation as serious as the implementation of ObamaCare deserve to be fired ASAP

Monday, October 7, 2013
Today was not a good day on Wall Street: Dow drops 136 points


  

The Chinese government has warned Washington that it is aware that the shutdown and debt ceiling impasse threatens the value of China's dollar investments


CBOE's VIX "Fear Gauge" jumps as impasse lengthens
 

ObamaCare fight vs. the birth of Social Security: Which battle was uglier?


Larry Kudlow: Obama's reckless default fear-mongering is unpatriotic and may push the U.S. into a recession


Matthew Yglesias: Four reasons why a debt ceiling breach will result in a default


U.S. default seen as a catastrophe that would dwarf Lehman's demise


     

New York Times: The special operations raids over the weekend show the limits of U.S. military strikes


Al Qaeda leader seized in Libya was on the FBI's Most Wanted list


Navy SEALs abort mission in Somalia that attempted to capture al-Shabab leader


Friday, October 4, 2013
Dow gains 76 points as the market bounces back from two days of losses



European stocks fall on day 4 of the shutdown in trading before the Wall St
reet open

Video of President Obama being interviewed by CNBC


Is the Obama Administration intentionally making the discomforts from the shutdown as bad as possible?

Dr. Peter Singer, Princeton professor of bioethics: The Founding Fathers are responsible for the shutdown


Actually, the article regarding Dr. Singer's comments would be better titled: " Right-wing gerrymanderings are responsible for the shutdown"

Forbes: The White House did away, in July, 2013, with the employer mandate during 2014.   Why?


Employer mandate delay: Is the Obama Administration favoring big businesses over ordinary Americans?


Small business owner sues Obama over employer mandate delay


Thursday, October 3, 2013
Dow drops 137 points and closes below 15,000 as anxiety over the impasse in Washington simmers


Chris Isidore: Economists fear that the debt ceiling fight may bring on a recession


Today's speech by President Obama concerning the shutdown and debt ceiling


     
                     
"Thank You For The Moment" 

The President, if need be, will fly on the wings of Sec. 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to prevent a default by the United States.


                                           
Relax, everybody.

If John Boehner finally collapses amid his own unwillingness to face the reality that the Tea Party has sent him on a fool's errand, the White House will intervene to save the Nation from a ridiculous outcome by applying the President's Constitutional powers under Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It is such irony, that the Conservatives always claim they are focused on the Constitution..
 
The GOP will throw a fit and threaten impeachment, while shouting "Imperial Presidency"


The following excerpt is from Wikipedia's treatment of the issue under its discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment: 

   "The debt-ceiling crisis in 2011 raised the question of what powers Section 4 gives to the President, an issue that remains unsettled.[154] Some, such as legal scholarGarrett Epps, fiscal expert Bruce Bartlett and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have argued that a debt ceiling may be unconstitutional and therefore void as long as it interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (that is, Social Securityrecipients).[155][156] Legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen has argued that Section 4 gives the President unilateral authority to raise or ignore the national debt ceiling, and that if challenged the Supreme Court would likely rule in favor of expanded executive power or dismiss the case altogether for lack ofstanding.[157]" 


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 when those laws were applied. 

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

U.S.District Court judge slaps down Eric Holder's request for a dismissal of the Fast and Furious lawsuit against his Justice Department




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 of the Obama Administration as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise, since green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure


                
A 2016 Chinese solar powered community

      
You need to learn Mandarin by next year

          Flashback:
 Wednesday, April 30, 2008 
The Fed statement in plain English 
Food price rise could last another two years 
Text of Fed statement
AP analysis of Fed rate cut
ISM Factory index forecast
Bank of Japan lowers forecast 
Analysis of Fed rate cut 
Larry Kudlow says there is no recession 
Chinese banks among the world's largest
Fed cuts rates but leaves uncertainty 
U.S. economy grew at 0.6% pace in 1st quarter 
ADP says U.S. companies boosted payrolls by 10,000 
U.S. stock futures rise after ADP shows unexpected job gain 
CDOs face downgrades as losses prompt Fitch overhaul 
Big investors see recession, Wall Street depression 
Mortgage applications drop to 2008 low 
U.S. could have recession without drop in GDP 
Treasury to auction $21 billion, brings back the one year bill 
Japan holds key interest rate at 0.5% 
British home prices fall for sixth straight month 
You have seven years to learn Mandarin 
Federal Reserve expected to cut key rate today




                 
David Peaston: "God Bless The Child"

                

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Dow suffers a loss of 59 points, but it could have been worse without a late-day recovery that saved the market from triple-digit losses

Midday report: Today's trading is reflecting nervousness among market participants on Wall Street -- but a debt default would be much worse


ECB President Mario Draghi leaves key European interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.5%


ADP: Private sector job growth in September fell short of expectations, with 166,000 jobs created, which is 14,000 short of the forecast figure


                 

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 phenomenon 

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

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 53 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: Any excuse will do -- blame ObamaCare, yea, great idea: Blame ObamaCare, so employers can kill two birds with one stone


More blaming ObamaCare: National Review Online: 100 unintended consequences of ObamaCare.   Sean Hannity spent a long block of time on his national radio show highlighting the job losses referred to in this link


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 7.3%. 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?



                                           Hong Kong skyline

Asian markets advanced calmly overnight, except for Tokyo, apparently following the cue of Wall Street on Tuesday

A surprising jump in crude oil supplies forces the price per barrel down to $101.53 on the futures market


Mark Patterson, former Treasury official: Washington stalemate could trigger a new recession if the debt ceiling is not lifted timely


Five scenarios for ending the Congressional impasse


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: The government shutdown is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services


Washington Post -- Wonkblog: The nine most painful impacts of a government shutdown


Forbes:  We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world.  Warning: These commentators are salesmen

***************************************************************************************************************************
     

Over the last several days, the President's critics have resurrected the cynical image that President Obama's impasse with the Republican House is due to Obama's abject stupidity or because he is intentionally trying to undermine the country's health system -- indeed, the whole economy. 

In fact, this myth has been perpetuated by right-wing media commentators for the past five years, and these allegations are oftentimes "proved" by a statement that Barack Obama made in 2008.  During the 2008 campaign, 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 GOP population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim who is trying to ruin the United States

***************************************************************************************************************************


Market Watch: Completing an application on day one was not possible with attempts made in all states and the District of Columbia. That is no surprise, and the lesson is easy. Namely, the insurance coverage does not start until January 1, 2014, so wait a few weeks before applying and miss the crowds. Just get your application in by December 15, 2013. 

What could be done on the opening day with far less difficulty was price shopping and determining what subsidies and tax advantages would be available to the individual or family. What the wise person should be doing at this point is reading a well-written 30-page summary of what ObamaCare is all about with respect to the laws' rights and responsibilities.    Applying comes later, after the uninformed crowds have dissipated 


                               
Nancy Wilson: "All In Love Is Fair"


Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Equity markets worldwide ignore the U.S. government shutdown, and the Dow adds 62 points in a lackluster day


New York Times: U.S. reckons with the impact of the Federal government shutdown


Fox News: Congressional stalemate rings in government slimdown


NBC News: Obama ramps up pressure on Congress for "Republican shutdown"


   
President Obama addresses the Nation's troops concerning the shutdown

New York Times: Asian stock markets advance in overnight trading despite the events in Washington

European bourses inch higher in trading before the opening of Wall Street


Dollar loses ground overnight as government enters shutdown


Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will unveil a $50 billion stimulus program to offset the country's increase in sales tax


The U.S. government is in partial shutdown -- What affect will this development have on Treasury securities?


    

The price of gold initially moves higher in response to Congress' inaction; however, after several hours the price of gold plunged more than 3.0%
   
      Today --  October 1, 2013 -- will go down in America's history

Federal government's official portal to Obamacare: Healthcare.gov


Covered California: This link is to California's health insurance exchange formed in response to ObamaCare

Time Magazine: Health insurance markets open.  Success to be seen


T.J. Walker: Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler and Jennifer Hudson promote ObamaCare


Pollsters are in overdrive covering the Affordable Care Act


Presidents Obama and Clinton discuss and explain the Affordable Care Act at the Clinton Global Initiative.   That's great, but the problem is simply this: In order for a person to understand ObamaCare, the person needs to read around 30 well-written pages regarding the particulars of the law. ObamaCare is far too complicated to be understood by way of a few spoken words of tips and generalizations

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.

For the business, individual or family looking for information on the nuts and bolts of the law, I suggest "ObamaCare Survival Guide", by Nick J. Tate.   Despite the advertisements for Tate's work, which make the book sound like derisive anti-Administration propaganda, the Survival Guide is a good-faith effort to present information in an almost cookbook format of simplicity. Although Tate's book is 209 pages long, it is well-organized and allows the reader to focus in on the areas that are of particular concern to him or her -- and skip the rest.

Summary of the terms and provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law commonly known as ObamaCare.  This summary is around 30 well-written pages

Forbes: Some labor leaders have come out against ObamaCare because of several potential unintended consequences


The Hill: Are Congressional staffers dodging ObamaCare?

Is the Congressional staffer controversy a jaundiced mischaracterization of employer-paid health insurance, in all respects similar to private plans except that the employer is the U.S. government?

Who's the cutoff employee under ObamaCare?   Number 50 or 51?

  
Amanda Gengler: The health care experiment in Massachusetts

Wall Street Journal: The truth behind the health care premium cost increases in Oregon and California.  Is ObamaCare a bait and switch?



                       The Young Rascals: "It's A Beautiful Morning"

Monday, September 30, 2013
Shut Down: For the first time in 17 years, the Federal government closes following the failure of Congress to pass legislation


Fox News: Congress misses deadline, sending the government into partial shutdown


The tensions created by the threat of shutdown coming out of Washington knock 128 points off the Dow


Prior to the opening of the Wall Street equity market, the dollar falls against the yen, and gold and oil fall


David Weigel: Why the Republicans are willing to take the Nation to a shutdown brink -- and beyond


              
Artist Jon McNaughton's sick, fantasy painting depicts President Obama burning the United States Constitution.   The picture is a favorite of conservatives such as the Tea Party and members of the Republican party

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 39.6%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 39.6% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2013.

My combined tax rate of federal, state and city income taxes exceeded 70% in 1978

 It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist because the Democrats are attempting to improve healthcare; 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 IRS 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. 

The history of progressive taxation in the United States almost demands that there be at least one tax rate higher than 39.6% imposed on the super-wealthy.   Why?   The reason why is not to punish the rich. The reason is because, for at least a few years, the Nation needs to bombard its deficit with dependable revenue, and although faster growth would also produce additional revenue, the country needs all the revenue that the economy can muster in the near-term

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



Artist McNaughton has an infatuation with guns, as do many conservatives
              
          
There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse SM


Sunday, September 29, 2013
Jennifer Steinhauer: Last shutdown is a lesson lost on Capitol Hill.  Perhaps, Ms. Steinhauer, since history does not always repeat itself
 

How a medical device tax stirred the ObamaCare debate


Kaiser Health News: Three out of four uninsured people in the United States do not know that the health insurance exchanges open on Tuesday


                 
                                        You're My Everything

Saturday, September 28, 2013
NBC News: Shutdown nears as House passes funding bill that delays ObamaCare for one year, repeals the medical device tax, and assures that the military's payroll will be met


Fox News: House votes to keep the government open and delay ObamaCare by one year


  
Todd Starnes: Several inaccuracies respecting statements made during the campaign to pass ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010 have not been forgotten or gone unnoticed

Fox News: Fact-checking the claims of Democrats regarding the Affordable Care Act


   


NBC News Shutdown odds spike since the GOP has unveiled a new funding bill


Fox News: House to vote on new Obamacare delay, as well as an end to the ObamaCare provision taxing medical devices, and the White House vows that the President will veto the proposed bill


Market Watch: I have recommended against seeking out quick tips about what's to be done regarding one's responsibilities under ObamaCare. That said, this link provides ten quick tips. Reader beware. I reiterate that a deeper drink is needed, such as Nick Tate's "ObamaCare Survival Guide"


Jen Weiczner: A fifty-state comparison of healthcare premiums under ObamaCare -- yes, premiums will differ from state to state


Market Watch: Why we should fret the debt ceiling, but not the government shutdown, according to historical market charts

Howard Gold: Neither a shutdown or default is in the cards, according to the stock market's level today


Joseph Baratta, head of private equity at the Blackstone Group:  Today, the financial system is in an epic credit bubble


                           The people who laugh last -- laugh best 

                    

                                 The Originals: "Baby, I'm For Real"

                                   Chaka Khan: "Through The Fire"

                                     Peabo Bryson: "Feel The Fire"

                
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey: "When You Believe"

                              The Controllers: "Somebody's Gotta Win"



Friday, September 27, 2013
Dow suffers a loss of 70 points, and the culprit appears to be investors' fear of a government shutdown


Charles Evans, President of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank: Taper may be extended until early 2014

CNBC: What you need to know if D.C.'s fiscal follies deepen


Myra Saefong: Gold, oil and government shutdowns -- the lessons from history may surprise you




New York Times: Today there occurred the first high-level talk between the United States and Iran since 1979


Iranian Press TV: Presidents Rouhani and Obama hold telephone conversation


                             Summary of the history of Iran


Fox News: Senate approves a budget bill that restores funding for ObamaCare, with a final vote of 54-44


New York Times: Budget bill passes the Senate and sends the bill back to the House, as the House weighs its options


Josh Voorhees: Senate passes a clean continuing resolution and passes the hot potato back to the House


                    

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.

This link 
is to a lengthy 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


                 It's time to get real about America's history




                                   Richard Harris: "MacArthur Park"


Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wall Street breaks a five-day losing streak with a 55 point gain on the Dow


U.S. jobless claims fall to a six-year low as the economy shows strength


CNN Money: Debt ceiling cash crunch -- millions would not get paid


Nomura chief economist Richard Koo: The Fed faces the vicious cycle of a quantitative easing trap


********************************************************
   Senator Cruz makes a very bad choice in his use of a children's book during his pseudo-filibuster:  Green Eggs and Ham

Rush Limbaugh makes Pretzel People: Is the regime playing expectations game?

Rush Limbaugh: Ted Cruz is fighting for Americans' freedom


Rush Limbaugh: The crux of Senator Cruz's message is that ObamaCare is a disaster


Sean Hannity: The Unaffordable Care Act


Fox News stokes a myth concerning ObamaCare:   Young people will not enroll because of price


********************************************************

Are employers dumping health benefits because of ObamaCare?

Americans for Tax Reform: Obama admits that he has raised taxes


 
 
Video of President Obama's healthcare speech today in Largo, Maryland


Healthcare.gov: This is the Obama Administration's ObamaCare portal. Take a look at it


AARP: What ObamaCare means for people with moderate incomes


ABC News: ten things to know about the health insurance exchanges

Al Jazeera: Six decades after the Brown v. Topeka decision, U.S. schools are still segregated -- and the world has noticed


             

Syrian rebels reject opposition coalition unless it is based on Islamic leadership



           Oracle completes voyage into history at the America's Cup              

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Dow continues its losing streak, the longest down draft of the year, with a loss of 61 points


HSBC Global Research: The 10-year Treasury yield will drop to 2.1% within the next year from its present level of 2.66%

European bourses traded lower before Wall Street opened under the weight of nervousness regarding America's debt impasse


  
 Senator Ted Cruz of Texas vows to "filibuster" ObamaCare -- "Until I am no longer able to stand"

New York Times: Senator Cruz persists -- longer than 21 hours -- in battling ObamaCare, even though he is irking many members of his own party, the GOP


Presidents Obama and Clinton discuss and explain the Affordable Care Act at the Clinton Global Initiative.   That's great, but the problem is simply this: In order for a person to understand ObamaCare, the person needs to read around 30 well-written pages regarding the particulars of the law. ObamaCare is far too complicated to be understood by way of a few spoken words of tips and generalizations


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.

For the business, individual or family looking for information on the nuts and bolts of the law, I suggest "ObamaCare Survival Guide", by Nick J. Tate.   Despite the advertisements for Tate's work, which make the book sound like derisive anti-Administration propaganda, the Survival Guide is a good-faith effort to present information in an almost cookbook format of simplicity. Although Tate's book is 209 pages long, it is well-organized and allows the reader to focus in on the areas that are of particular concern to him or her -- and skip the rest.

Summary of the terms and provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law commonly known as ObamaCare.  This summary is around 30 well-written pages

Who's the cutoff employee under ObamaCare?   Number 50 or 51?

  Amanda Gengler: The health care experiment in Massachusetts

Wall Street Journal: The truth behind the health care premium cost increases in Oregon and California.  Is ObamaCare a bait and switch?


Covered California: This link is to California's health insurance exchange formed in response to ObamaCare

An example of a fully-operational healthcare exchange is the Massachusetts' Health Connector.  Take a look at what an exchange looks like in full operation


  
Just in case anybody cares about what really happened:  Much has been made of President Obama's statement on August 21, 2012 that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a red line. What has become overlooked, however, is the fact that the President did not say at that time that a chemical weapons attack would necessarily trigger a military response by the United States -- instead, only the "calculus" of President Obama's assessment of the situation would change. It was not until later that pundits, political enemies and supposed allies of the President demanded that the words meant that Obama was forced to attack the Assad regime or suffer a loss of face

Presidents Obama and Rouhani miss each other, diplomatically, at the United Nations -- there was no historic handshake



  The American F-22 Raptor -- the world's baddest operational jet fighter
   With the Raptor, the United States owns the sky in any armed conflict

                      
                        
Aerial dogfights in the future



                        
                        Jaci Velasquez: "Como Se Cura Una Herida"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Dow slips 66 points amid weakening consumer confidence and a looming Washington impasse, which appear to have trumped rising home prices and easing tensions in the Mideast

 President Obama's address today in New York before the United Nations General Assembly


Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly, following later in the day than President Obama   

New York Times: Iran's new President preaches tolerance in first United Nations appearance

Summary of President Rouhani's career and personal life
 

What kind of gall does it take to condemn Iran for doing something that the United States and Israel have already done themselves -- namely, develop nuclear weapons?   The answer: A whole lot of self-righteousness

                                  It's definitely time to get real

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


                                 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 23, 2013
Dow falls for the third straight trading day with a loss of 50 points



                       
Congratulations Nina Davuluri -- 2013 Miss America


Friday, September 20, 2013
About face: the Dow falls 185 points as Wall Street notices that the world is still an uncertain place

Syria has submitted its initial declaration, which meets its first deadline under the chemical weapons agreement


Fox News: House votes to keep government open but defund ObamaCare


Thursday, September 19, 2013
Dow losses 40 points amid the release of mixed U.S. economic data



 Video of President Obama's address to the Business Roundtable on September 18th  The problem with this address is the glaring lack of factual validity on several issues



        
                                                     Melting glacier

Princeton University physicist William Happer advocates for reasoned analysis on the subject of climate change. He has no connections to the petroleum industry or any other commercial interests


BBC News: The slowdown in climate change means that extreme rates of warming are "not as likely" as previously forecast


Al Gore's Academy Award winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" was a tremendous box office success.  Was it just radical and irresponsible environmentalist propaganda?   Is the climate change movement leading the Democratic party off a cliff that will haunt the party for a generation?
 

Summary of issues surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline


 National Aeronautics and Space Administration:        Global climate change -- vital signs for the planet

Phil Plait: The Arctic ice death spiral.   There is no denying the fact


Climate Central: Why the globe has not warmed significantly in the last decade


                                      
Rush Limbaugh frequently claims that climate change is a hoax, and the fact that climate change is a hoax is proven by emails sent by scientists at the University of East Anglia.  Is the Limbaugh assertion true?

The Economist: Climate science is a sensitive matter


Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Dow adds 147 points and reaches a new record high following the Fed's surprise announcement that its stimulus program will continue at its present pace


Dollar index falls to seven-month low against other currencies in reaction to the Federal Reserve's decision


A short history of quantitative easing under Chairman Bernanke


Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Despite the looming taper of the Federal Reserve's stimulus program, the Dow advances 35 points

Monday, September 16, 2013
Dow climbs 119 points, and the move is attributed to the withdrawal of Lawrence Summers from consideration for the Fed chairman position

New York Times: The United Nations confirms the use of rockets loaded with sarin gas in Syria


Friday, September 13, 2013
The bulls rule the day on Wall Street as the Dow adds 75 points






            Congratulations Serena -- 2013 U.S.Tennis Open Champion


Thursday, September 12, 2013
A 26 point loss on the Dow and a 2.4% slide in the price of gold characterize today's trading


CNN Politics: The United States and Russia open talks in Geneva regarding Syria's chemical weapons surrender


President Putin presents his Syria argument to the American people in a New York Times Opinion Pages lecture


William Saletan: The Russian president's lecture about peace in Syria is all hypocrisy and lies
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Dow advances 136 points for a third straight day of triple-digit gains despite a substantial loss for Apple

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Dow's surge continues with a gain of 128 points under the influence of lower tensions regarding the situation in Syria and positive economic data from China


New York Times: The U.S. will work through the United Nations on a Syrian arms proposal


Video of President Obama's address to the Nation on Syria


Monday, September 9, 2013
Dow advances 141 points as the equity markets become more accustomed to the threat of an armed attack on Syria


Friday, September 6, 2013
Dow loses 15 points following a tepid jobs report, a 7.3% unemployment rate and continuing Syria anxiety




      

In the infamous "47 Percent" address that Governor Romney made on May 17, 2012, in Boca Raton, Florida, there was an exchange between a male donor and Romney in which the presidential candidate made several comments about the effect that his upcoming election would have on the financial markets in September:  

. . . “[I]f it looks like I’m gonna win, the market – markets will be happy. If it looks like the President’s gonna win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends on, of course, which markets you’re talking about. Which types of commodities and so forth. But my own view is that if we – if – if – if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. And we’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without—without actually doing anything, we’ll (laughter) actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what’ll happen. I can’t – I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”

These comments went chiefly unnoticed by the media, except for a measure of derision by a few pundits. These pundits criticized Romney for stating that the economy would get a boost following a Republican victory “without actually doing anything”. The media derided Romney as foolish, since he forecast that an improving economy would automatically occur if the Republicans regain the White House.

The media’s response on this issue was not at all insightful. In fact, these surreptitiously recorded comments by Romney in Boca Raton came within a sentence of revealing the heart of the conservatives’ “Atlas Shrugged” effort, a shrouded campaign that has actively and intentionally damaged the U.S. economy for more than four years.

                       
Conservative business owners and managers are intentionally going slow on hiring and business expansion in the hope of delivering the White House to the Republican Party. This multi-year campaign is obscenely reminiscent of the plotline in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Why are they doing this? The reason why is because a Republican victory greatly increases the possibility of a lower maximum tax rate for the wealthy and less business regulation. It is really just as simple as that. The conservatives have as their first priority the goal of filling their pockets with money. The good of the Nation is a distant, lower priority. 

Consequently, if there had been a Romney victory, there would have been a surge in business activity and hiring that would have boosted the economy as the 
“Atlas Shrugged” crowd starts doing again what they should have been doing all along: namely, business as usual, rather than a diminished level of business activity that has been focused on achieving a political outcome. 

Literally, without actually doing 
anything, the economy would have seen a boost if the Republicans had won the White House. People would have been hired and growth would have escalated, seemingly without the passage of a single new program. What is not so clear, however, is whether the Nation would have realized that for the preceding four years the unemployed and the underemployed were intentionally burned alive by the consevatives in an attempt by the wealthy to get a lower maximum tax rate and less regulation of businesses.
 
What is also not clear, at this point in 2013:  Whether the conservatives will stop pretending that real life is an Ayn Rand movie and, instead, resume working to build their own enterprises and the U.S. economy.  It's time to get real.  After more than four years of self-serving, economic sabotage, it is definitely time to get real


Thursday, September 5, 2013
Wall Street moves forward for a third straight day: Dow adds 7 points

New York Times: Brutality of Syrian rebels posing dilemma in West
 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Dow puts in a strong 97 point gain following good economic news and company reports


Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Dow manages a 24 point gain despite the overhang of focus on the situation with Syria


Time World: Syria's Assad regime is taking steps to prepare for an American assault


Friday, August 30, 2013
Dow finishes the month with a loss of 31 points, as Wall Street's performance is typical of markets around the globe during August


New York Times: Obama and Kerry press case for U.S. action in Syria


Transcript of Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks on Syria


Thursday, August 29, 2013
Dow advances 16 points as Wall Street focuses on data indicating an improving economy


U.S. economic growth in the second quarter was stronger than previously reported

What was the stock market's reaction to nine airstrike conflicts in the country's recent past?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 
Dow manages to climb 48 points despite the backdrop of uncertainty


Global markets were in turmoil overnight on Syria strike fears


                                    
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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Rising tensions regarding Syria strip 170 points from the Dow


Oil settles above $109 per barrel, reaching an 18-month high


The price of gold surged 2% following the day's developments in Syria


       

Al Jazeera America: Inside the battle for Assad's heartland


Monday, August 26, 2013
Dow loses 64 points under the weight of escalating events in Syria and apprehension over future actions by the Fed


Friday, August 23, 2013
Dow gains 47 points on the session, however the week was a loser for the third time in a row


Northwestern University: How the Fed can taper without killing the housing market


New home sales slump to lowest rate since October, 2012

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Dow gains 66 points on a day best remembered for the fact that trading on the Nasdaq was halted for several hours because of a technical glitch

                                
                                                 
And Then A Hero Comes Along


Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Fed's lack of clarity regarding its stimulus program is blamed for today's 105 point loss on the Dow


Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Dow continues its slide with a loss of 8 points, but the Nasdaq and S&P 500 see gains on the day


Monday, August 19, 2013
Dow sheds 71 points amid a continuing upward trend with respect to U.S. interest rates


Oil ends its rally at six sessions, but holds its price level above $107


Friday, August 16, 2013
The dog days of August pull the Dow to a 31 point loss as interest rates rise in the bond market


Thursday, August 15, 2013
Dow tumbles 225 points as many market movers head for the sidelines


Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Wall Street appears to have its focus on the Fed as the Dow drops 113 points


Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Dow advances 31 points on the strength of a wave of optimistic sentiment regarding Apple


Forbes: Yet another White House ObamaCare delay: Out-of-pocket caps waived until 2015


Monday, August 12, 2013
Dow meanders through the trading day and closes with a 6 point loss


Friday, August 9, 2013
Dow loses 73 points amid summer doldrums trading


Thursday, August 8, 2013
Dow ends a three-day losing streak with a gain of 28 points

    Today, Rush Limbaugh once again repeated a myth perpetuated by right-wing media commentators for the past five years.  During the 2008 campaign, 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


Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The specter of tapering is blamed for a 48 point drop on the Dow


Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Dow slips 93 points in a day characterized by uneventful trading


Monday, August 5, 2013
Equities meander through the day's trading and close with a 46 point loss on the Dow


Friday, August 2, 2013
Dow adds 30 points following a below-expectations jobs report


Thursday, August 1, 2013
Dow adds 128 points as Wall Street pushes to a new record high


Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Dow loses 21 points on the day, but the month of July was broadly bullish for equities


The Federal Reserve's policy statement does not reveal details regarding the tapering of stimulus activity


Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Wall Street on hold: Dow advances 1 point as the equity markets await Federal Reserve and employment data


Monday, July 29, 2013
Dow falls 37 points at the start of a week that will be filled with central bank policy releases


Friday, July 26, 2013
Wall Street closes a roller coaster day with a 3 point gain on the Dow


Thursday, July 25, 2013
Dow closes with a 13 point gain after a meandering day of trading


Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Dow loses 26 points as the market reacts to mixed earnings reports


Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Dow manages a gain of 22 points despite a negative report on manufacturing from the Richmond Fed


Monday, July 22, 2013
Dow adds 2 points despite a disappointing earnings report from McDonalds
 

Gold surges above $1,300, a 3% gain on the day

Friday, July 19, 2013
Dow loses 5 points on the day, but the week's trading continues the upward climb on Wall Street


U.S. outlook is revised to stable by Moody's Investors Service because of the country's improvement on the deficit front


Thursday, July 18, 2013
Dow adds 78 points as the record upward march continues, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in tow



Detroit files the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history and faces debts totaling in excess of $18 billion


The Philadelphia Fed has reported that its manufacturing index has surged to a two-year high

Paul B. Farrell: Critical warning No 17 - the Dow will drop to 5,000 before it advances to 20,000.      As readers of this column should realize, I do not agree with the theories posed by many of the articles that I post. This link is an example of a school of thought that attempts to talk down the Nation's economy
 


                                        Treasure Cove in Newport Beach
                               We've got it good here in Southern California
                                Sunny     Temperature 73      Humidity 72%
                               Every day is a carbon copy of the day before
                                That's why this place costs so much money

                       Miki Howard: "I'm In Love Under New Management"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Dow adds 19 points following Chairman Bernanke's testimony which indicated that the Fed's stimulative practices will continue


Chairman Bernanke makes his last appearance before the House Committee on Financial Services


Federal Reserve Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress


Dollar falls overnight as investors around the globe await Chairman Bernanke's Congressional testimony this week

Mark Hulbert: The High Low Logic Index is no longer giving a bullish signal.    Is now the time to sell?


Ansuya Harjani: Thanks to quantitative easing, the bubble of 2000 looks like a day at the beach



The capture of Miguel Morales, leader of the Zeta cartel, may signal the start of a better day for Mexico


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

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


                                 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? 



Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Dow falls 32 points amid mixed economic indicators and earnings reports


Asian stock markets advance in overnight trading and were spurred on by the global corporate earnings season

Gas prices surge toward $5.00 at the pump in California


                    

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.

This link 
is to a lengthy 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



Monday, July 15, 2013
Dow presses forward 20 points amid placid earnings and economic data


Jerome Levy: Higher Treasury yields cannot last


Rex Nutting: The U.S. economy has skid dangerously close to contraction


The Administration's plan for arming a segment of the Syrian rebels will probably have slow, limited impact on the civil war in that country



Sunday, July 14, 2013 
New York Times: George Zimmerman is acquitted by the Florida jury in the killing of Trayvon Martin


                               March 29, 2012
MailOnline: Some aspects of Trayvon Martin's background portend problems for prosecutors 

Daily Caller: Release 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 

                                           For two lives lost 
                   
Donny Hathaway: "For All We Know" 

Friday, July 12, 2013
Dow adds 3 points and closes out a bullish week on Wall Street


Thursday, July 11, 2013
Wall Street soars after comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke, as the Dow adds 169 points and reaches a new record high


The U.S. Treasury booked a surplus of $117 billion in the month of June


Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Dow loses 9 points following the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes


Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The surge continues: Dow adds 76 points following the release of Alcoa's earnings


Monday, July 8, 2013
Dow advances by 89 points as optimism continues in advance of corporate earnings season

Friday, July 5, 2013
Dow adds 147 points following a strong jobs report that is viewed as a signal of an improving economy


Thursday, July 4, 2013

               
Lee Greenwood: "God Bless The USA"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Dow adds 56 points despite political instability in Europe, violent clashes in Egypt and rising oil prices


The Egyptian military has ousted President Morsi and suspended that country's constitution


New York Times: Obama's delay of mandated employer health care coverage will not affect many


Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Dow loses 43 points as the mood on Wall Street takes a turn towards caution


Monday, July 1, 2013
Dow gains 65 points, although stocks had traded substantially higher during the day


Friday, June 28, 2013
Dow closes the month with a loss of 115 points for the day's trading


Thursday, June 27, 2013
Dow adds 114 points for a third straight day of gains


Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Dow surges 150 points following the release of an unimpressive GDP report that raises the prospect of a continuation of Fed stimulus


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Reports on housing, durable goods and consumer confidence push Dow to a gain of 101 points


Monday, June 24, 2013
The selling continues on Wall Street: The Dow loses 140 points


Friday, June 21, 2013
Dow rebounds in today's trading for a gain of 41 points, but the average posts its second losing week in a row


Thursday, June 20, 2013
Wall Street takes a beating as the fear of an end to the Fed's stimulus roils the financial markets: Dow loses 354 points


Gold plunges 6.4% to a 2-1/2 year low


Bond yields spike to 2-year highs


Ben Rooney: The dollar is headed to a multi-year rally


Asian markets fall overnight under the weight of the Federal Reserve, as well as reports from China regarding manufacturing and interest rates


Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Dow tumbles to a 207 loss at the close following the Federal Reserve's written and press conference pronouncements


In late trading on Wall Street, the Dow tumbled into triple digit loss territory as Chairman Bernanke addressed the news media

Jeff Cox: The Fed gives no tip-off regarding tapering, and keeps the easing going


Steve Hargreaves: The Federal Reserve will continue stimulus without tapering


Charley Blaine: The Fed says that interest rates will remain low


             
Asian markets are mixed in overnight trading ahead of today's meeting of the Federal Reserve


Greg Robb: Three pitfalls that the Fed faces on the path to tapering


Patti Domm: The Fed may not be able to tame volatile trading


Michael Brush: The reasons why China is buying up U.S. assets


Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Dow adds a 138 point gain following the release of economic data that was construed as bullish on Wall Street


Asian markets suffer small losses overnight as investors tread water ahead of this week's Federal Reserve meeting


Societe Generale: There has been a paradigm shift that will cause the price of gold to fall to $1,200 an ounce by year-end


Michael A. Gayed:  Was that the bottom in bonds?


Why some traders consider tapering to be tantamount to Fed tightening


CNN Money: The rate of increase in health care costs is forecasted to slow in 2014 as a result of ObamaCare


  
It's not as easy as it might appear: The perils of moving to a state that has no income tax

General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee that the agency's surveillance programs have prevented more than 50 terrorist events since 2001
 

New York Times: Security responsibility for all of Afghanistan has been transferred to Afghan government forces



President Obama: You can't fathom the complexities of our policy on Syria "If you haven't been in the Situation Room"


CNN poll: Did senior White House officials order the IRS to target conservative groups?"


  
Who is Hassan Rouhani?

Thousands gather for protests in Brazil's largest cities



                                Chaka Khan: "Through The Fire"

Monday, June 17, 2013
Trading was choppy through the day, but the Dow manages a gain of 110 points by the close


Asian markets traded higher overnight as many Japanese exporters saw gains from a weakening yen

Wallace Witkowski: Global stock market volatility is only due in part to Fed uncertainty. A reversal of the yen carry trade has also upset the markets


Text of Supreme Court opinion: Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona -- interpreting the National Voter Registration Act of 1993


Reuters: Obama and Putin face off over the Syrian civil war at the G-8 meeting in Ireland


Press TV: Hassan Rouhani has won Iran's presidential election


New York Times: The United States seems eager for nuclear talks with the new Iranian leadership


Financial Times: U.S. spy agencies say they checked less than 300 phone accounts in 2012


  
Does the news about the NSA's surveillance program give you the feeling of deja vu? That's probably because USA Today did a series of articles on the subject back in 2006. The public's apathetic response then was very different from the  tumultuous reaction to the same information in 2013.

USA Today 2006: The NSA has a massive database of American's telephone calls


USA Today 2006: President Bush says the NSA's surveillance program protects the country


USA Today 2006: Congress keeps itself and the public in the dark concerning surveillance


USA Today 2006: President Bush once again defends the legality of electronic surveillance programs


  
Huffington Post: Washington IRS supervisor Holly Paz states that she personally scrutinized applications from Tea Party groups

    
    Young Ed Snowden did not like having to do chores around the house

Friday, June 14, 2013
Dow closes the week with a 106 point loss as market participants await next week's Fed pronouncements


U.S. consumer sentiment declined in a preliminary report to 82.7 from 84.5 in the previous month, according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey


A relief rally sparks in overnight trading in Asia, as investors digest Thursday's economic data released in the United States

Rex Nutting: The Fed will not taper as long as inflation is low, and the Fed's inflation targets are farther away now than when QE3 began




CBS News: Al-Assad has crossed the Red Line.  The commentators on this article have crossed the Unhinged Line, as is so oftentimes the case


First Read:  What is the end-game concerning America's involvement in the fighting in Syria?


United Nations: There have been 92,000 deaths in the Syrian conflict


              
                              "If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful"

Thursday, June 13, 2013
The U.S. equity market returns to its bullish ways: Dow adds 181 points, despite big losses overnight in Asia


Nikkei losses 6% in overnight trading, pushing Tokyo into a bear market, as China also has deep losses

Jeff Cox: What Japan can teach the Federal Reserve about an addiction to quantitative easing


Maureen Farrell: The price of gold continues to plunge.  Is a price of $1,150 per ounce in gold's near future?


    
       
              Gold: It always takes a great picture, but investors beware

Diana Olick: As the prices for homes rise, banks are tending to foreclose on delinquent loans more quickly


Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates are now near the notable 4.0% milestone


CNN Money: ObamaCare's Silver Plan in California has a $2,000 deductible. Is a $2,000 deductible an affordable option?

 
 New York Times: The U.S. and its allies have concluded that the Assad regime in Syria has used chemical weapons in that country's civil war

Reuters: Syrian rebels seek "effective" weapons following White House pronouncement concerning chemical weapons


South China Morning Post: Edward Snowden states that the U.S. has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years


  

Foreign Policy: Inside the NSA's ultra-secret China hacking group



                                       The Temptations: "Heavenly"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Dow closes with a 127 point loss after another volatile day of trading on Wall Street


The Nikkei nosedived overnight under the weight of a losing Tuesday on Wall Street and a yen that continues to strengthen


           

Paul B. Farrell: Cites a doomsday poll that predicts with 87% certainty that the financial markets will crash before year-end. Evidently, Mr. Farrell thinks this advice is cogent. I do not agree with the litany of commentators he quotes who have attempted to talk down the economy for years. In opposition, my advice is consistent with wisdom: Always be cautious


Quentin Fottrell: The ten things that economists will not tell you -- Why the future of the economy is as difficult to predict as the weather


George Soros's high upside potential investment picks -- for people who don't think the world is about to end



Mother Jones: The domestic surveillance boom -- from Bush to Obama


The Red Tape Chronicles: How PRISM might work, and why that matters to Congress and to you

Pew Research: A majority of Americans -- 56% -- view NSA phone tracking as an acceptable anti-terror tactic


Canada says it monitors foreign telephone and internet traffic


The Guardian: Russia offers to consider an asylum request according to the facts.
   Snowden has stated that he is concerned that the CIA may eliminate him, and former Congressman Ron Paul has stated that the Obama Administration may kill Snowden with a missile strike. That's crazy talk.  What Snowden should really be worried about is the possibility of being abducted by some entity that will torture all his knowledge out of him -- like an Al Qaeda affiliate would do if they get their hands on him. The U.S. authorities should apprehend this man ASAP, if only to prevent some hostile organization from catching him first.

  
 
          
             
Thank you, Facebook: "Overly Attached Girlfriend"
                        It's always good for a laugh when you need one

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Dow loses 117 points after a volatile day of trading, with a sharp sell-off at the opening, a recovery, followed by another dip leading into the close


Asian stock markets traded lower overnight after the yen was boosted by a policy release by the Bank of Japan



Gold continues its downward slide under the global specter of rising short-term interest rates.  

   The important thing to keep in mind regarding gold is the fact that the falling price of gold is a very strong indication that the global economy is improving.  This is good news to everyone except gold salesmen and the deluded or misguided people who were convinced to invest a lot of their money into gold over the past several years

Welcome Home: The "Made in the USA" label is becoming more common


Time Magazine: The Obama Administration has declassified portions of PRISM and blasted reckless critics and media


                  

Summary of declassified portions of PRISM


According to some commentators, NSA's data center in Bluffdale, Utah is a big, threatening secret.   Judge this parody for yourself


Link to the NSA's actual website -- "hiding" in plain sight and full view


The Guardian: The boundless informant -- the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data


Fox News: Intelligence chief blasts the surveillance leaks


How the United States uses technology to mine more data more quickly

   
         National Security Agency Headquarters, located at Ft. Meade, Maryland

CNN Money: What does the NSA cost taxpayers?  Good question


Reuters: The United Kingdom says that eavesdropping is legal and defends U.S. surveillance efforts


Mother Jones: The Justice Department fought release of judicial opinion finding portions of its surveillance program unconstitutional


Lawmakers: The American people do not know how carefully the government is watching


Michael Savage: The ACLU has turned on Obama


Julian Assange: The U.S. rule of law is suffering a calamitous collapse


France24: A new documentary warns against Obama's "Dirty Wars"



             
One more time, with joy -- Congratulations, Serena!

Monday, June 10, 2013
Dow slips 10 points in lackluster trading


BBC: President Obama and China's President Xi complete a constructive summit in California


New York Times: U.S. and China move closer on North Korea, but cyberespionage remains an unresolved issue


Treasury prices fall ahead of this week's three auctions totaling $66 billion


Gold ends a choppy day of trading with a small gain, under the influence of an end to the Fed's asset purchase program


New York Times: Hong Kong is likely to extradite surveillance leaker Edward J. Snowden if the United States makes such a request


Saturday, June 8, 2013 

                                  Do you recognize this lady?

China's First Lady Peng Liyuan brings rare glamour to the U.S. summit with President Obama

First Lady Peng Liyuan: Leader, scholar, talented singer, wife and mother


Friday, June 7, 2013
Dow skyrockets 208 points, for the second best gain of the year, following the lead of consumer discretionary stocks, financial companies and big industrials, after the release of better-than-expected May jobs numbers

Wall Street equities soar at the opening of trading.   Gold plunges to well below $1,400


Gold's price collapse is global and actually preceded the release of jobs data in the United States

Allan Sloan: Today's ultra-low interest rates are making bonds an unsafe investment.   In fact, for the very reason put forth in this link, bonds have been an unsafe investment for many months


U.S. Department of Labor: The economy produced 175,000 new jobs in May, but the unemployment rate rose to 7.8 %. The U6 unemployment rate is 13.8% The new jobs number exceeded expectations, but equity futures on Wall Street responded slowly as investors and traders digested the news


Portal Seven: Chart of U1 through U6 unemployment rates for the years 2000 through 2013

Market Watch: How much job growth is needed to lower the unemployment rate?  The retirements of the Baby Boomers plays a big role here that oftentimes goes unmentioned in the news media


 
Overview of the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Japanese stock market took a beating overnight under the pressure of a rising yen. The Nikkei has slipped into a bear market loss since May 23


Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan: The Fed should taper now, even if the economy is not ready


CNN Money: China and Europe may be on the brink of a trade war


    NBC News: The National Security Agency and the FBI tap the servers of top internet companies looking for suspicious activity, in a program known as PRISM

President Obama states that the NSA and FBI surveillance programs are legal and limited during a press appearance in California


Yahoo Finance: Internet giants deny granting the government access to its servers under PRISM
 

      

In the infamous "47 Percent" address that Governor Romney made on May 17, 2012, in Boca Raton, Florida, there was an exchange between a male donor and Romney in which the presidential candidate made several comments about the effect that his upcoming election would have on the financial markets in September:

. . . “[I]f it looks like I’m gonna win, the market – markets will be happy. If it looks like the President’s gonna win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends on, of course, which markets you’re talking about. Which types of commodities and so forth. But my own view is that if we – if – if – if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. And we’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without—without actually doing anything, we’ll (laughter) actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what’ll happen. I can’t – I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”

These comments went chiefly unnoticed by the media, except for a measure of derision by a few pundits. These pundits criticized Romney for stating that the economy would get a boost following a Republican victory “without actually doing anything”. The media derided Romney as foolish, since he forecast that an improving economy would automatically occur if the Republicans regain the White House.

The media’s response on this issue was not at all insightful. In fact, these surreptitiously recorded comments by Romney in Boca Raton came within a sentence of revealing the heart of the conservatives’ “Atlas Shrugged” effort, a shrouded campaign that has actively and intentionally damaged the U.S. economy for more than four years.

                       
Conservative business owners and managers are intentionally going slow on hiring and business expansion in the hope of delivering the White House to the Republican Party. This multi-year campaign is obscenely reminiscent of the plotline in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Why are they doing this? The reason why is because a Republican victory greatly increases the possibility of a lower maximum tax rate for the wealthy and less business regulation. It is really just as simple as that. The conservatives have as their first priority the goal of filling their pockets with money. The good of the Nation is a distant, lower priority. 

Consequently, if there had been a Romney victory, there would have been a surge in business activity and hiring that would have boosted the economy as the 
“Atlas Shrugged” crowd starts doing again what they should have been doing all along: namely, business as usual, rather than a diminished level of business activity that has been focused on achieving a political outcome. 

Literally, without actually doing 
anything, the economy would have seen a boost if the Republicans had won the White House. People would have been hired and growth would have escalated, seemingly without the passage of a single new program. What is not so clear, however, is whether the Nation would have realized that for the preceding four years the unemployed and the underemployed were intentionally burned alive by the consevatives in an attempt by the wealthy to get a lower maximum tax rate and less regulation of businesses.
 
What is also not clear, at this point in 2013:  Whether the conservatives will stop pretending that real life is an Ayn Rand movie and, instead, resume working to build their own enterprises and the U.S. economy.  It's time to get real.  After more than four years of self-serving, economic sabotage, it is definitely time to get real




Refresher course: What is quantitative easing?  Will quantitative easing lead to inflation in the United States or globally?  What happens when the Federal Reserve and other central banks begin to taper?     Isn't the effectiveness of quantitative easing diminished when a significant percentage of business owners in the United States are intentionally slow-walking business development and employment in order to achieve a political advantage?    The answer to the final question is undoubtedly in the affirmative: YES  


In fact, the Federal Reserve should acknowledge the reality of the Atlas Shrugged movement among conservatives, and enter that factor into their equation of how to manage the end of quantitative easing. As all within the financial community should be aware: It is impossible to push on a rope. If a significant percentage of the business community want quantitative easing to fail, then it will meet with the degree of limited success that the United States has experienced over the last several years

                 

For example, golfer Phil Mikelson may call it quits because of climbing income tax rates, which total 63% when you add federal, state and city taxes together    Of course, adding the above tax rates ignores the reality that income taxes paid to state and local governments are a deduction from one's income for purposes of calculating federal tax, so, in fact, the 63% figure itself is a fiction, and the real combined rate is always less than the total of the individual tax rates. The combined rate calls for more complicated analysis than the simple addition of the federal, state and local rates

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 39.6%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 39.6% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2013.

My combined tax rate of federal, state and city income taxes exceeded 70% in 1978

 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 IRS 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. 


The history of progressive taxation in the United States almost demands that there be at least one tax rate higher than 39.6% imposed on the super-wealthy.   Why?   The reason why is not to punish the rich. The reason is because, for at least a few years, the Nation needs to bombard its deficit with dependable revenue, and although faster growth would also produce additional revenue, the country needs all the revenue that the economy can muster in the near-term


 
                 
There is no situation so bad that it can't get worseSM



Thursday, June 6, 2013
Wall Street suffers a highly volatile day, but the Dow manages an 80 point gain by the close



  Americans' collective wealth hit a record of $70.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2013, eclipsing the level of wealth before the 2008 recession, before  factoring in the affects of inflation

U.S. Treasurys move higher despite a nervous market ahead of tomorrow's jobs report


European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announces that there will be no immediate euro easing, a move which causes the dollar to nosedive

Jon Markham: The bond market's volatility has a grim message for the financial world


    
Background information on the National Security Agency, a cryptologic intelligence agency of the Department of Defense

New York Times: The Obama Administration is secretly collecting records of Verizon phone calls on millions of Americans under a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act

The Guardian: The Obama Administration defends the collection of Verizon phone records by the National Security Agency


History of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended  in 2001, 2006 and 2007


History of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, which was passed in response to the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington


Ryan Gallagher: Analysis of Obama's acquisition of metadata from Verizon


Fox News: Did NSA officials mislead lawmakers on mass collection of phone records


Washington Times: The author of the Patriot Act says the Verizon surveillance program violates U.S. law


        
Summary of Samantha Power's career

NBC News: The White House announces Samantha Power as the nominee for United Nations ambassador

 
 GOP Congressman Jim Bridenstine calls President Obama unfit for office and states that Vice-President Biden is an embarrassment
  Rush Limbaugh: Implies that President Obama should be impeached, but then asserts that the President will not be removed from office because the Nation would never do that to its first black President 


It's time to get realSM             It's time to get realSM          It's time to get realSM



        
           SR-71A  Blackbird      "SR" means "Strategic Reconnaissance",
                             which is military-talk for "Spy Plane" 


                           
Norman Connors: "You Are My Starship"


Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Dow takes a hit of 217 points and closes below 15,000 amid jittery trading

ADP reports that 135,000 private sector jobs were created in May, a figure notably short of the 165,000 jobs that were forecasted


U.S. factory orders rose less than expected in April, an increase of by 1%, which was not enough to offset the prior month's plunge, despite an upward revision of the March figure


U.S. Commerce Department: Unit labor costs in the first quarter of 2013 fell at quickest pace in four years, and the latest reported loss of 4.3% on an annual basis was a substantial downward revision from the initial estimate of a 0.5% gain


   
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveils major new policies in an attempt to lift the country's long-term growth prospects

Market Watch: Credit Suisse lifts 2013 S&P 500 target to 1,730


Paul B. Farrell: Doomsday poll points to 87% chance of stock crash, worse than 2008, before the end of year


Goldman, Sach's chief economist Jan Hatzius: The Fed may start to taper its $85 billion asset buying program in September


   
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be appointed to the position of National Security Adviser

Congratulations, Ambassador Rice.    Summary of Susan Rice's career


                 

New York Times: The goal of this week's meetings between China's President Xi Jinping and President Obama is personal diplomacy


  
Amanda Gengler: The health care experiment in Massachusetts

Wall Street Journal: The truth behind the health care premium cost increases in Oregon and California.  Is ObamaCare a bait and switch?


Covered California: This link is to California's health insurance exchange formed in response to ObamaCare

An example of a fully-operational healthcare exchange is the Massachusetts' Health Connector.  Take a look at what an exchange looks like in full operation


Jefferson County, Alabama strikes a bankruptcy refinancing deal


        
             Lani Misalucha: "The Ultimate Whitney Houston Medley"
                                          Asia's Nightingale

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Dow loses 76 points as the Super Tuesday streak comes to an end


The Tokyo stock market rebounds overnight to recover some of the previous day's losses


The Department of Energy has approved a second application to export natural gas


The dollar reclaimed the 100 yen level in overnight trading


How the yen's plunge disrupted global markets


The recession ended four years ago:    How far have we come?


Jim Cramer: Bubble-calling is easy, but it gives investors no real perspective, and bubble-calling is oftentimes just a prediction intended to grab headlines and notoriety


Doctor Doom Marc Faber: "Don't bet on new market highs"


  
CNN Politics: Partisan views of the IRS controversy -- was it political conspiracy or overzealous scrutiny?

The Environmental Protection Agency is also charged with having targeted conservative groups, according to information generated through FOIA requests
 

 McClatchy: The U.S. has published details of a missile base that Israel wanted kept secret

            
                                                     Melting glacier
Princeton University physicist William Happer advocates for reasoned analysis on the subject of climate change. He has no connections to the petroleum industry or any other commercial interests


BBC News: The slowdown in climate change means that extreme rates of warming are "not as likely" as previously forecast


Al Gore's Academy Award winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" was a tremendous box office success.  Was it just radical and irresponsible environmentalist propaganda?   Is the climate change movement leading the Democratic party off a cliff that will haunt the party for a generation?
 

Summary of issues surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline


 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration:        Global climate change -- vital signs for the planet

Phil Plait: The Arctic ice death spiral.   There is no denying the fact


Climate Central: Why the globe has not warmed significantly in the last decade


                
Rush Limbaugh frequently claims that climate change is a hoax, and the fact that climate change is a hoax is proven by emails sent by scientists at the University of East Anglia.  Is the Limbaugh assertion true?

The Economist: Climate science is a sensitive matter



                                                  F-22 Raptor                                        
                                     
Aerial dogfights in the future

  
                                    Vanessa Williams: "Dreamin' "
                           
"Save The Best For Last"

Monday, June 3, 2013
Wall Street winning streak continues with a gain on the Dow of 138 points


ISM manufacturing report shows a drop in production in May that is the worst in four years, due to a global slowdown


Treasurys move higher following weak ISM data, as bond investors calculate the impact of the report on Fed monetary policy


New York Times: China is reaping biggest gains from the oil boom in Iraq


CNN Money Steve Hargreaves: Let China pump Iraq's oil


  
The Independent: Israel prepares for war, sparked by Russia's willingness to provide an A300 air defense system to Syria

Iraq warns Israel to not violate Iraqi airspace in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran


Fox News: The GOP is threatening to haul Attorney General Holder back before Congress for further questioning on media surveillance


  
CNBC: Two-thirds of Americans unsure of whether they will insure under ObamaCare

CNS News: Under ObamaCare, the IRS maintains that the cheapest family health insurance policy will cost $20,000


              

Sunday, June 2, 2013 
                           

                                       Enchantment: "Gloria"
                                          
                                          
LTD: "Love Ballad"
                                   
                                    
Switch: "I Call Your Name"

                                 Chuck Jackson: "Any Day Now"

Saturday, June 1, 2013

                  
Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

Setting the record straight: Very soon, midnight hot meals and around-the-clock sandwich bar facilities will end at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. Contrary to the implications of many media commentators, these cutbacks are not the result of sequestration.  Ironically, the move is a reflection of the fact that the U.S. is drawing down the number of its troops in Helmand Province


Friday, May 31, 2013
The month of May was a winner for the investors in equities on Wall Street, but today the Dow lost 209 points following the release of data showing a fall in U.S. consumer spending

U.S. Department of Commerce: Consumer spending in April fell by 0.2%, which matches the largest decline in 11 months


Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren: The only missing ingredient to trigger a tapering of the Fed's asset purchase program is good economic news

               

CNBC: Surprise!  Surprise!  The U.S. economy is looking strong


Julien Timmer: Wall Street is having a "Taper Tantrum"


Pimco's Bill Gross: Fed Chairman Bernanke has lost control of events


Question for Bill Gross: When exactly was it that a Fed chairman was in control of events?    The folks over at Pimcco should get a grip on reality before they lose all of their clients' shirts

 
Market Watch Energy Ticker: OPEC not worried about U.S. oil shale "chit chat"

FX Street.com: Gold loses grip on $1,400 level.    Bloomberg.com: Gold traders are divided on the meaning of the fact that the short-term buying surge in physical gold has slowed
  
    


Jim Rogers: The correction in gold is not over and will get a lot scarier


Seeking Alpha: Gold's dramatic rise and fall in the 1980s -- and why it's important today


A trip down Memory Lane: How the Hunt Brothers nearly lost $1.7 billion on Silver Thursday, March 27, 1980.
    There is a pertinent cautionary tale here for precious metal traders or anyone else who spends a lot of time listening to precious metals salesmen or the whole genre of "own gold/own silver" TV and radio commercials

Los Angeles Times: America's China mistake

   

Los Angeles Times: China's Middle East footprint


           
                                Stevie Wonder: "Isn't She Lovely"
                                          "Ribbon In The Sky"

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Dow manages a 22 point gain despite a sell-off in Japan and disappointing U.S. economic reports on jobless claims and first quarter GDP


Initial jobless claims number is 354,000, a less promising total than what was expected


The first quarter GDP for the U.S. economy is reported at 2.4%, less than the 2.5% that was previously stated by the Commerce Department


Asian stock markets moved lower overnight and were led down by a precipitous fall in late trading in Tokyo


  
Dollar drops back below 101 yen overnight as the Nikkei plunges more than 5% in the last few minutes of trading

Oil falls to a close below $94 in trade overnight, and prices slip under $93 in electronic trading following the API report


   

Gold prices shot higher overnight in the wake of the Nikkei's troubles


Anthony Mirhaydari: Recession and deflation are still possibilities, despite the fact that the equity markets may be heading into a bubble this summer


    Attorney General Eric Holder attempts to arrange an off-the-record meeting with the media regarding his department's surveillance of journalists.  In my opinion, this is exactly the wrong step to take at this point in the Associated Press and James Rosen controversies. However, I am not surprised that Holder has elected this move, since it demonstrates his tendency to make bad decisions on sensitive issues and his unwillingness to stridently defend his positions when faced with dissension in the media or Congress.
 
Under most circumstances, Mr. Holder may be an excellent attorney. However, his performances at press conferences and Congressional committee hearings have clearly demonstrated the fact that he has trouble communicating effectively in a contentious environment. His shortcomings have become unacceptable impediments for a person to continue in the position of Attorney General of the United States.  It's time to get real


  Washington Free Beacon: IRS targeted five pro-Israel groups for audit in 2009 and 2010

USA Today: Tensions rise in Syria as the opposition refuses peace talks and Russian antiaircraft missiles arrive for Assad's forces


                 

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 "Atlas Shrugged" 

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 7.5%.
 
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


Ratings comparison of the major cable news networks shows that Fox is the most widely viewed -- and MSNBC is the least watched



                                 
                         
Phyllis Hyman: "Somewhere In My Lifetime"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Dow falls 107 points under the specter of an end to the Fed's program of quantitative easing


Chinese meat producer Shuanghui International makes an offer to buy Smithfield Foods for about $7.1 billion, which has been accepted by the Smithfield board, making the transaction the largest acquisition ever of a U.S. company by a Chinese entity

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are on track to completely repay the Treasury Department's bailout in the near future


European stock markets slump in the wake of an OECD forecast that cuts the projection for growth in Europe


A record 10,978,040 people in the United States are now receiving disability payments


A record 72,600,000 people in the United States were enrolled in some form of Medicaid during 2012 -- a number that exceeds the population of France or England


Jeff Cox: Why the U.S. dollar is in danger of losing its status as the world's reserve currency

Anthony Migchels: The dying dollar and the rise of a new currency order


Anthony Migchels: Why is gold not rising?


The mechanics of a currency carry trade, such as the $1 trillion staked in the yen carry trade in 2007


The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for growth in China stating that the world's second largest economy must bring its credit problems and income inequality under control

  
                                    This link is not intended to be alarming
                           It's only purpose is that of a constructive suggestion

Start out by doing the math: You now have two years to learn Mandarin

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

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

Matthew Lynn: Four ways that the end of quantitative easing will be a surprise to everyone


Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker: The Fed is trying to do more than it is capable of performing


Blackrock CEO Larry Fink: It's time to take seriously the public's need for saving towards retirement



                                             Miguel: "Adorn"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Dow adds 106 points and reaches a new record high, as Wall Street's streak of Super Tuesdays continues


Oil futures top $95, under the influence of Mideast tensions, ahead of Friday's OPEC meeting

      

Gold is whipsawed throughout the day's trading


New York Times: California has a new problem - the state has too much money


The U.S. dollar rallies across the board as consumer confidence hits a five-year high


Daily Ticker: The five biggest myths about attending college



Dambisa Moyo: The role of China in the growth of African economies


Senator McCain meets with a rebel forces in Syria, after entering the country from Turkey


Israel warns of action over the Russian plan to ship anti-aircraft missiles to Syria's Assad



 Step away from the drama and take a look at reality: Does freedom of the press in the United States actually mean that reporters cannot be placed under government surveillance? The answer to that question is probably not what a visceral reaction be after listening to the uproar over the treatment of James Rosen of Fox News.   Hint: During the Cold War, why didn't all the Soviet spies just get jobs as journalists? Okay, the answer is simple: Freedom of the press guarantees the freedom to publish and distribute information. Freedom of the press does not give reporters a license to gather information in any way they might choose as if they were immune from the Nation's espionage laws

Summary of the Espionage Act of 1917


President Obama is transforming the mission and role of the U.S. military


NBCNews.com: Chinese hackers have stolen the design information with respect to more than two dozen major U.S. weapon systems


 
Covered California: California's health insurance exchange formed in response to ObamaCare

An example of a fully-operational healthcare exchange is the Massachusetts' Health Connector.  Take a look at what an exchange looks like in full operation


Rush Limbaugh: At its best, ObamaCare will only deliver mediocre healthcare, or, at its worst, ObamaCare will destroy healthcare in the United States


Rand Paul is bending over backwards in order to denigrate ObamaCare


 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration:        Global climate change -- vital signs for the planet

Phil Plait: The Arctic ice death spiral.   There is no denying the fact


Climate Central: Why the globe has not warmed significantly in the last decade


The Economist: Climate science is a sensitive matter


        
                 
The Montclairs: "Dreaming's Out Of Season"

Monday, May 27, 2013

                                         Memorial Day 2013
                  

                     Whitney Houston: "The Star Spangled Banner"

Friday, May 24, 2013
Dow closes with a gain of 9 points, but, despite the small gain, it appears that the bullish sentiment of traders and investors has diminished under the prospect of the Fed tapering its asset purchase stimulus program in the near future

Comments by the head of the Bank of Japan incite a roller-coaster ride overnight on the Tokyo exchange 
     

The Japanese yen continued its gain against the U.S. dollar, extending an advance that was spurred in part by a selloff in Japanese bonds


Rise in durable goods orders points to factory resilience


Patti Domm: Watching for signs that the U.S. economy is overheating


Javier David: The fact that the U.S. has become a larger player with respect to oil production means that the traditional relationship between oil prices and the dollar has changed


Paul B. Farrell: A market crash will occur in the near future because Chairman Bernanke will not be reappointed by President Obama and quantitative easing will end


Newsmax Moneynews: Why the Dow will hit 60,000, and the easy way to profit from the bubble-filled market


Maureen Farrell: Doomsday investors are keeping their money in cash because they predict a crash in the equity markets


Emily Brandon: Are you rolling over a 401(k)?   Here are seven problems you may encounter


Sam Hananel: Some unions are now angry over healthcare reform



                 Ashanti and Smokey Robinson: "Ooh Baby Baby"

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wall Street closes with a loss of 13 points after the mood for the day was established overnight in Tokyo. Gold surges $23 an ounce


Hibah Yousuf: Is the air coming out of the bond bubble?


A 7% plunge in the Nikkei overnight ignites a global equities sell-off


        

President Obama gives an address at National Defense University in which he outlined in detail the use of drones, counterterrorism and his continuing desire to close the prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


Video of President Obama's address at the National Defense University



         General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone armed with two Hellfire missiles

Republicans criticize Obama over his call for the repeal of the 2001 use of force law that effectively authorized the war on terror


During the President's address today he was heckled by Medea Benjamin of Code Pink.    What is Code Pink?


Jeff Cox: The housing industry will not drive the U.S. recovery


Sheila Bair and Barney Frank: Beware! the mortgage securities market is at it again
 
   The 
report of the Heritage Foundation or the habitual rants by Rush Limbaugh highlight the projected increasing costs of ObamaCare

ObamaCare facts: Dispelling the myths
  

Huffington Post: ObamaCare will cause the costs of medical claims to jump 32%



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.

For the business, individual or family looking for information on the nuts and bolts of the law, I suggest "ObamaCare Survival Guide", by Nick J. Tate.   Despite the advertisements for Tate's work, which make the book sound like derisive anti-Administration propaganda, the Survival Guide is a good-faith effort to present information in an almost cookbook format of simplicity.

Who's the killer employee under Obamacare?   No. 50 or No. 51?


     
                                        "The Way We Were"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Following Bernanke's appearance before lawmakers, the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee, which indicated dissent regarding the continuation of quantitative easing, nosedives the Dow for an 80 point loss


Wall Street surges at midday as traders interpret Chairman Bernanke's testimony to mean that quantitative easing's end is not a present threat

Gold prices gyrate wildly, and then plunge, as the goldbugs react to the Federal Reserve's ambiguous pronouncements on quantitative easing


CNBC: Gold rallied for years because of misconceptions regarding global economics problems, as well as misunderstandings with respect to the relevancy of quantitative easing


Japanese equities rally overnight to their highest levels in more than five years on the wings of a Bank of Japan optimistic report on the economy


Oil futures fall following an unexpected rise in inventories


  

Daily Beast: Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, has been described by some as apolitical


Weekly Standard: Lois Lerner states that she has done nothing wrong, then invokes her Fifth Amendment right to not answer the House committee's questions


Congressman Issa claims that Lois Lerner has waived her Fifth Amendment rights by making an opening statement at his committee hearing, and she will be recalled before the committee and forced to testify


Mail Online: Evidence has emerged that the IRS's internal probe ended in May, 2012, and the results were hidden from Congress


Fox19 Cincinnati: The claim that the IRS scandal is limited to low level employees is falling apart


The Washington Post: Internal IRS probe cited problems with the Exempt Organizations Division's targeting of conservative groups in May, 2012

 Rush Limbaugh: Obama, the Great Unifier, didn't need to be told that the IRS was targeting conservatives 

  
Rush Limbaugh: Implies that President Obama should be impeached, but then asserts that the President will not be removed from office because the Nation would never do that to the first black President

Fox News: The Department of Justice has seized phone records tied to Fox News lines


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

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? 



Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Dow gains 52 points as the push into higher record territory continues, thanks to the comments of the president of the New York Federal Reserve


European stock markets open marginally lower following multiyear highs in the prior day's trading

The fact that the dollar is rising at the same time that the U.S. equity markets are hitting new highs is a bullish sign for stocks

Apple has avoided billions of dollars in taxes, and pays very little corporate tax to any country in which it does business

Paul R. La Monica: The housing recovery is for real and it is spectacular, and the proof is in the market


MSN Money: Ten things you should know about Medicare


      
             
"Scandal -- Benghazi!!  IRS!!  Freedom of the Press!!"
                                   From the GOP who brought you
                         
"Where's the Birth Certificate?"  "Vacationgate"
                                              "Fast and Furious"
                          Now airing on Fox or a radio station near you
                                        The Trifecta of Scandals
                It's still a free country, right?  Believe what you want to believe

White House official Dan Pfeiffer on Fox News Sunday: It is an "irrelevant fact" where the President was during the Benghazi attacks

It is absolutely amazing to me that Daniel Pfeiffer, Deputy White House Communications Director, went on both Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and CBS News with Bob Schieffer on May 19th, and he was unprepared to give a full answer to any line of questioning regarding President Obama's whereabouts and involvement on the night of the attacks on the U.S. installations in Benghazi.  Instead, he calls the President's whereabouts "irrelevant" -- what irony in view of the fact that the President's adversaries are calling the President's whereabouts and involvement in the decision-making with respect to Benghazi crucial questions that need to be answered with specificity.  Who edited the talking points?  That's also "irrelevant", according to Pfeiffer. Claiming irrelevance, rather than stating the best facts known to date, is the hallmark of a speaker who is unprepared on the facts.

Daniel Pfeiffer was unprepared to do his job last Sunday, and that's inexcusable. 
The Administration should take very seriously Bob Schieffer's admonition that Nixon attempted to minimize the attacks upon him by trying to divert the conversation's focus away from what his opponents considered to be the controversy's central concerns.  Instead, Nixon claimed his administration was focusing on the real important issues facing the country. Notably, Nixon's hand-waving, dismissive strategy of diversion ended very badly for Nixon.
 
The President and all members of his Administration need to step up the level of their preparedness, and think through the ramifications of the information presented, when interacting with the media, which is, ultimately, the explanation to the American people of its policies and events.  Exhibit Number One regarding this ongoing problem: Susan Rice's Sunday talk show appearances on September 16, 2012

Ultimately, the course for the Administration should be clear: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Plus, the Administration, and Hillary Clinton, should immediately present their full story to the American public -- at least the full account of the President's and Clinton's own actions on September 11, 2012. 

                                       It's time to get real

The Daily Beast: Raymond Maxwell, allegedly Clinton's scapegoat with respect to Benghazi, speaks out concerning the State Department's actions


First Read: Are the White House's problems due to scandal or bureaucratic incompetence?


The Weekly Standard: The IRS deliberately chose not to fess up to the scandal until after the election 

Lerner's admission of IRS misconduct was accomplished by pre-planned, staged and planted question during a seminar open to the press


IRS Commissioner: "Actions were not illegal"


Mail Online: Is this still America? Congressional hearing turns into an IRS smackdown

Real Clear Politics: A GOP Congressman gets a standing ovation after he rips the IRS Commissioner

The IRS asked a pro-life group about the contents of their prayers


New York Times: The Republicans expand the IRS inquiry with an eye on the White House


Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri calls for the firing of all involved in IRS targeting scandal


Wall Street Journal: Higher-ups knew of IRS case


ABC News: IRS official in charge of tax exempt organizations now assigned to head the implementation of the Affordable Care Act


The Washington Examiner: The IRS official in charge of tax exempt organizations got $103,000 In bonuses.  Did Obama approve the bonuses?


NBC News: The White House defends its IRS handling, and Senator McConnell asserts there is a "culture of intimidation"

NBC News: There were White House aides who learned of the IRS problem in April, but they did not inform Obama

Mail Online: The Justice Department targeted two Fox News reporters and a producer for talking with government sources



    Get Fox or talk radio for the most entertaining Trifecta coverage!!

The Obama scandals have brought MSNBC ratings to a seven-year low, as Fox soars to its second best week of the year


National Review Online: GOP head Reince Preibus alleges that Obama is creating an atmosphere of "guerilla warfare"


Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, raises the prospect of President Obama's impeachment


Politico: The White House's shifting account of the IRS controversy

                   
                                       
                                   Candice Glover: "I Am Beautiful"

Monday, May 20, 2013
Dow drops 19 points despite a pair of corporate mergers that under ordinary circumstances would have been deemed bullish


A death cross is brewing in the bond market as projections forecast that the 50-day moving average will fall below the 200-day moving average


Mark Koba: The American farming industry is in trouble because of lower earnings, inflated land values and rising costs of farming


Mohamed El-Erian: What gold's collapse shares in common with Apple and Facebook


Gold bounces higher after seven-session losing streak

The most outrageous tax cheats during 2012, according to the IRS


During the Presidential debates in 2012, 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. And the methodology of the smear has proven to be a good warm-up for today's "Trifecta of Scandals" -- Benghazi, IRS and Associated Press -- with a similar method of failing to state the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Instead, talk radio picks among the facts and selects information that will appeal to its audience -- the Pretzeled People who believe only what they chose to believe, a most perverse entitlement spawned by living in a free country 

Another example of a myth/scandal 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


Friday, May 17, 2013
The Consumer confidence number spurs the Dow to another winning week, with a gain of 121 points on the day


Consumer sentiment in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey in May climbed to its highest level in nearly six years

The Tokyo market slips in overnight trading, but Australia and China inch higher in light trading


San Francisco Fed President John Williams: The Federal Reserve can taper quantitative easing as early as this summer if the economy grows in line with his forecasts


Gold falls for the seventh day in a row, marking losses of $109 in the last seven sessions


Jim Rogers: Gold's long-overdue correction is continuing


What type of investments are the world's richest people buying in this economy, and why?


           
                                                     Melting glacier

Princeton University physicist William Happer advocates for reasoned analysis on the subject of climate change. He has no connections to the petroleum industry or any other commercial interests


BBC News: The slowdown in climate change means that extreme rates of warming are "not as likely" as previously forecast


Al Gore's Academy Award winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" was a tremendous box office success.  Was it just radical and irresponsible environmentalist propaganda?   Is the climate change movement leading the Democratic party off a cliff that will haunt the party for a generation?
 
      
      
                          September 11, 2012, Benghazi, Libya

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 fighters 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 CIA's facility. How large was the group of commandos that took part in these raids? I have heard a number as high as 400 men. If that figure is accurate, then that indicates the installation would still have been overrun even if there had been a significant security detail guarding Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans.
 
In reality, a larger security detail may only have resulted in a greater number of U.S casualties. That may have been the only difference a security detail - or jet fighters roaring overhead - or four special ops forces - or two ex-Navy SEALs - would have made: more Americans dead or wounded. 

        This is real life, not an episode of "24".  It's time to get real. 

                      Lee Greenwood: "God Bless The U.S.A."


        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


Thursday, May 16, 2013
Dow slips 42 points from yesterday's record high following a series of mixed economic reports


Oil futures rise, hovering around $95 per barrel, and at the same time the price of natural gas is falling


Jeanne Sahadi; The Treasury will soon start the next edition of a debt ceiling juggling act


CNN Money: Are you retiring at 55? You will need at least $372,000 for healthcare expenses alone

Amanda Marcotte: I hereby attempt to explain to my conservative relatives that the IRS is not trying to take away their healthcare


John Dickerson: Where is the Benghazi cover-up that the GOP promised? The emails do not deliver the GOP's wished for scandal


J.B. Williams NewsWithViews.com: In order to have a serious conversation about Benghazi you must have the input of General Ham and Admiral Gaouette


                  

Golfer Phil Mikelson may call it quits because of climbing income tax rates, which total 63% when you add federal, state and city taxes together    Of course, adding the above tax rates ignores the reality that income taxes paid to state and local governments are a deduction from one's income for purposes of calculating federal tax, so, in fact, the 63% figure itself is a fiction, and the real combined rate is always less than the total of the individual tax rates. The combined rate calls for more complicated analysis than the simple addition of the federal, state and local rates

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 39.6%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 39.6% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2013.

My combined tax rate of federal, state and city income taxes exceeded 70% in 1978

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 IRS 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. 



                                  Congratulations Candice!!  
          
                     Earth, Wind and Fire: "
Be Ever Wonderful"
              Candice Glover and Jennifer Hudson: "Inseparable"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Dow continues its bull charge and adds 60 points, as both the Dow and the S&P 500 reach new record highs


The dollar remains broadly higher against a basket of currencies on the strength of strong U.S. economic reports

Gold futures drop for the fifth day in a row, now trading below $1,400 per ounce

GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz: I am not willing to take the impeachment of President Obama off the table regarding the Benghazi attacks


                    

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audit of IRS abuses


NBC News: IRS internal report slams lax management at different levels of the IRS, as the Department of Justice opens a criminal probe


CNN: Two rouge IRS agents targeted conservative groups


Politico: The IRS wants you to share everything


National Organization for Marriage: The Obama campaign co-chair attacked Romney with leaked IRS information during the 2012 campaign


USA Today: The IRS quickly approved liberal applicants while Tea Party groups were held in limbo and unfairly scrutinized


Summary of IRS political profiling controversies dating back to the 1930s


Weekly Standard: Press spokesman Jay Carney is an incompetent dunce on virtually any subject, at any time


Mail Online: Attorney General Holder points finger at his deputy as the person responsible for the surveillance of the Associated Press


 Step away from the drama and take a look at reality: Does freedom of the press in the United States actually mean that reporters cannot be placed under government surveillance? The answer to that question is probably not what a visceral reaction would suspect.   Hint: During the Cold War, why didn't all the Soviet spies just get jobs as journalists?
                                      

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dow gains 123 points on the wings of optimism regarding the U.S. economy


U.S. import prices declined by 0.5% in April


Is the falling Australian dollar the canary in the coal mine with respect to Wall Street?


Breitbart: ProPublica says the IRS gave it confidential information on conservative groups


Ryan Gallagher: The U.S. government spies on reporters all too frequently


A timely trip down Memory Lane: The Fast and Furious Story
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 IssaTime Swampland, and eventually 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 in Fast and furious was 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 - even after Sandy Hook, 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 GOP leaders ponder that point while stuck in the tar, Rep. Issa is not to be deterred in his quest to not know the truth about Fast and Furious.   Plus, now there are Benghazi, the IRS, Associated Press, HHS, EPA . . . and maybe even more crusades to passionately chase the prevarications and fantasies in which some people would prefer to believe.

However, the Fast and Furious story is presented as a cautionary tale. There was no culpable substance against the Obama Administration in Fast and Furious, so the deception eventually burnt itself out - except among the most deluded of critics. The present crises are different. There are bitter realities and truths to be confronted, analyzed and explained by the White House. These realities will not simply burn themselves out with the passage of time, and truth will not become any less a bitter pill with the passage of time.

              Wisdom dictates that the time to confront the truth is now.  
                    The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

                                     
It's time to get real


                     
 Some things in life are self-evident

Monday, May 13, 2013
Dow slips 27 points following a Wall Street Journal article forecasting the end of quantitative easing

Time Magazine: President Obama makes his counterattack on the Benghazi controversy during a press conference with Britain's  Prime Minister Cameron


Fox News: IRS scrutiny went beyond the Tea Party - other conservative groups were also targeted

In April and May, 2012, the Justice Department secretly monitored Associated Press phone lines


Friday, May 10, 2013
The rally continues: Dow adds 36 points as the three week winning streak remains intact 

U.S. Treasury reports $113 billion surplus in April, marking the best month in five years


Unclassified version of the Accountability Review Board's report on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi


Stephen Hayes: The Benghazi scandal grows


********************************************************
The Republican fervor regarding their effort to showcase the loss of life in Benghazi is based in large part on the premise that the information on the attacks has been kept from the public. True, many details are only now becoming public, but the truthful outline of this incident, and the White House's position, have been widely-discussed, public information since September of last year. If the Administration's actions were meant to be a cover-up of Benghazi, then it was a really lousy one.     .
                        
Friday, September 28, 2012
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


                                     Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "I am responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts"

*******************************************************


                                A star is born on American Idol
                                Candice Glover: "Somewhere"                                      
                                      
"Don't Make Me Over"

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Dow closes with a 23 point loss on a lackluster day, despite jobless claims sinking to a five-year low


Speaker Boehner calls for the release of emails regarding Benghazi


Stephen Hayes: The Benghazi talking points, and how they were changed to obscure the truth


Fox News: The liberal media is spinning the Benghazi scandal in order to protect the Obama Administration


ABC News: Benghazi talking points underwent 12 revisions and deleted references to terror groups
 

New York Times: Diplomat testifies that his questions over Benghazi led to his State Department demotion


                   

Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a box office sensationThis 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


Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Dow gains 49 points as corporate earnings reports continue to buoy the financial markets


An example of the kind of things salesmen say: The reason the price of gold has fallen is because the people who own futures and ETFs are selling, but the demand for physical gold is still bullish



C-Span: Video of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the 2012 attacks on  U.S.installations in Benghazi

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Dow 15,056: The day's 87 point gain eclipses the 15,000 milestone


U.S. budget's current deficit plunges 32% over the first seven months of the fiscal year



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

It has been very clear for many months 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. There is huge irony in the fact that Benghazi was an incident that was not caused by the Nakoula video, even though it occurred during a time period when there were dozens of fiery uprisings by Muslims around the world that were definitely caused by the Nakoula 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, and Rush Limbaugh tells his audience on a regular basis that Nakoula is unjustly jailed.

Monday, May 6, 2013
Dow slips 5 points on a day when the S&P 500 moves modestly higher


Friday, May 3, 2013
Dow adds 142 points and tops 15,000 intraday following a better than expected jobs report that drops the unemployment rate to 7.5%


              
                             Susanne Sundfor: "Oblivion"

 

Thursday, May 2, 2013
Dow rebounds 131 points following a good report on jobless claims and an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank


Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Dow loses 139 points to kick off the month of May, with traders apparently worried that a pullback is imminent


The Federal Reserve announces the continuation of its quantitative easing policy
 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dow closes the day with a 21 point gain, and all three major Wall Street equity indexes benefit from a positive April


President Obama's White House press conference


Monday, April 29, 2013
Technology companies spark a rally that pushes the Dow up 106 points and sets a new record high on the S&P 500


                    

It's time to laugh: The President's comedy routine at the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner


Friday, April 26, 2013
Despite a weak report on the U.S. gross domestic product, the Dow manages a 12 point gain

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Dow edges 25 points higher following today's earnings reports and better than expected jobless claims


Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Dow loses 43 points under the weight of mixed earnings reports and a weak number regarding orders of durable goods


Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Dow closes with a gain of 152 points despite an intraday plunge caused by a false rumor stemming from the Associated Press


Monday, April 22, 2013
Dow gains 20 points on the strength of technology and energy stocks despite a weak housing report


Jeanne Sahadi: Deficits are falling from the perspective of their percentage of the GDP


Boston Marathon suspect is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and receives his Miranda warning


Friday, April 19, 2013
Dow manages a 10 point gain for the day, but the week's market action has been the worst of 2013


The Boston region is gripped by a massive and unprecedented manhunt


Thursday, April 18, 2013
Losses in the technology and financial sectors drag the Dow down 81 points


FBI releases photographs of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing case


Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Dow loses 138 points following the release of new corporate earnings reports

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Dow rebounds 158 points thanks to upbeat corporate earnings and economics reports


Monday, April 15, 2013
Explosions at the Boston Marathon accelerate a big slide on Wall Street: Dow loses 266 points


    


Gold suffers its biggest one-day loss since February 1983, closing with the June contract at $1.361.10


Friday, April 12, 2013
Dow closes with a small loss despite several economic reports that came in more negative than expected


Is the gold rush over?  Gold has fallen below $1,500 an ounce


Thursday, April 11, 2013
Dow climbs 62 points despite losses in the technology sector


Why have disability claims skyrocketed?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Dow surges 129 points following the release of Fed minutes that indicated a continuation of quantitative easing


Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Dow pushes through a new record high with today's gain of 60 points


Jeanne Sahadi: President Obama's budget deficit reduction scorecard


Monday, April 8, 2013
The market fights its way back from early day losses to close with a 48 point gain on the Dow


Friday, April 5, 2013
Dow settles at a 41 point loss following a disappointing March jobs report


The U.S. economy created only 88,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment level fell to 7.6%


Office of Management and Budget: Proposed budget for fiscal year 2013


President Obama's budget is attacked by both the GOP and Democrats


Thursday, April 4, 2013
Dow advances 56 points under the influence of a mixed bag of reports and ahead of the latest jobs numbers


Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Economic reports, North Korean tensions and Fed comments put the equity markets into a tailspin, and the Dow loses 112 points


Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Dow reaches a new record high with a gain of 89 points after a surge in health care companies


Monday, April 1, 2013
Dow loses 6 points following a disappointing manufacturing report from the Institute for Supply Management


Richard Engel and Robert Windrem: How the U.S. oil and gas boom may transform the global order regarding energy


Federal Reserve study: Quantitative easing has weakened the dollar


Friday, March 29, 2013
Yesterday's record on the S&P 500 may test Wall Street's momentum next week.  Is it time to take the money and run?


The market is ignoring a looming bust in Treasurys


Thursday, March 28, 2013
Dow adds 53 points and the S&P 500 hits a record high to close out the historic first quarter


Matthew Lynn: After Cyprus, the Eurozone will slip into depression


Manufacturing pay in China has nearly tripled over the last decade



The New York Times: The United States has made B-2 stealth bomber practice bombing runs over the Korean Peninsula


Summary of modern-era conflicts on the Korean Peninsula


Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Dow loses 33 points as investors continue to follow the situation in Cyprus


Cypriot banks will open tomorrow at 3 AM Eastern Time.    Fireworks are expected, and security guards will be in place

The expected price of insurance claims under the Affordable Care Act is projected to rise in many states


Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Strong economic reports and an easing of concerns over Cyprus raise the Dow 112 points

Gold settles at $1,595.70 for a third straight session loss following a better-than-expected durable goods report


See you in court: The Russians may sue over their losses in Cyprus banks


Paul B. Farrell: New Critical Warning as 2013 shocker looms before Chairman Bernanke's term ends


Monday, March 25, 2013
Dow loses 64 points under the pressure of renewed worries concerning the Eurozone


Friday, March 22, 2013
Hopes of a resolution to the Cyprus issue push the Dow to a 91 point gain


Thursday, March 21, 2013
Technology companies pull the market lower and the Dow loses 90 points


Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Dow adds 56 points thanks to Fed assurances of a continuation of accomodative monetary pollcy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Dow manages a 4 point gain as positive housing news outweighs events in Cyprus


Monday, March 18, 2013
Dow slips 62 points under the pressure of a controversial bailout and bank tax in Cyprus that has reminded the world of unresolved financial problems in Europe


Holly Ellyat: An analysis of the events in Cyprus


Friday, March 15, 2013
The loss of 25 points on the Dow snaps the longest winning streak since 1996 under the weight of today's mixed economic reports


Thursday, March 14, 2013
The rally continues with a gain of 84 Dow points, marking ten straight trading days and matching the 1996 record


                    

Summary of the career of China's Xi Jinping



House of Representatives Committee on the Budget: Information on the fiscal year 2013 budget, the  "Blueprint for American Renewal"


Senate Budget Committee: Information on the fiscal year 2014 budget, the "Foundation for Growth"

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Information on the fiscal year 2013 budget, the "Budget for All"


Census reveals that one in three counties in the U.S. are dying


Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The winning streak continues for a ninth day as the Dow adds 5 points


Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Dow ekes out a meager 3 point gain, allowing the Wall Street winning streak to continue its push into record highs


Monday, March 11, 2013
Dow adds 50 points to close at a fifth straight record high as optimism concerning a budget deal grows

Friday, March 8, 2013
The Labor Department's report of a fall in the rate of unemployment to 7.7% pushes the Dow to a 68 point gain


Thursday, March 7, 2013
Dow adds 33 points for a fifth straight day of gains in anticipation of a solid jobs report before tomorrow's market opening


Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Dow continues its upward climb with the addition of 42 more points following an upbeat ADP report


Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Dow adds 126 points to close at an all-time record high as investors take an optimistic view of global conditions


Charley Blaine: The Dow has doubled since 2009


Michael Santolli: The Dow's new high is a gently cheered win for the defense in the world of finnace


New Dow high: Rally point or new ceiling?


Milestones in the history of the Dow industrials


Monday, March 4, 2013
Wall Street ignores the sequester, and the Dow adds 38 points as optimism grows during the course of the trading day


Friday, March 1, 2013
Dow gains 35 points following a positive report on manufacturing activity



Thursday, February 28, 2013

The two-day rally on Wall Street ends with a 21 point loss on the Dow


Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Dow rallies for a gain of 175 points and reaches a new five-year high

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Dow rebounds 116 points after Fed Chairman Bernanke reassures the markets that the Fed's involvement will continue


Monday, February 25, 2013
Wall Street has its worst day so far this year: Dow loses 216 points


Friday, February 22, 2013
Dow gains 120 points as better than expected earnings rekindles the large capitalization stocks


The Federal Reserve's string of profitable years may be ending soon


Moody's has stripped the United Kingdom of its AAA rating


Thursday, February 21, 2013
Dow loses 47 points under the pressure of European troubles, weak economic reports and a warning from Wal-Mart


Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Dow drops 108 points after the release of the minutes from the Fed's January meeting, and the minutes indicated that the Fed's bond buying program may end earlier than generally expected


Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Dow adds 54 points in a day when all three premier indices advance


Friday, February 15, 2013
Dow ekes out an 8 point gain on the day and the S&P 500 continues its advance, despite a very bearish report from Walmart


Gold settles sharply lower on the day's trading, and the precious metal is down 3.0% for the week


George Soros dumps his gold holdings as the price falls


The delay in the confirmation vote regarding Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel is the latest evolution in the 45-year filibuster tradition


Thursday, February 14, 2013
European woes force the Dow to give up 10 points, despite two M&A mega-deals and a strong jobs report


Jeff Cox: Is the dollar dying?   Why the U.S. currency is in danger


Report of falling GDP in the Eurozone raises prospects of cuts in interest rates by the European Central Bank


Raising the minimum wage to $9.00 alone will not get workers out of poverty


Summary of minimum wage laws in the United States


Annalyn Kurtz: A comparison of the buying power of the minimum wage since 1938


                  

Here's something to do when you have a little extra time and you're bored. All you need:  1. Three people    2. A video camera   3. A Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet, like the one pictured above


Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Dow falls 36 points following a small increase in retail sales and upbeat earnings reports


Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Dow adds a 47 point gain to once again close above 14,000, and  finish within striking distance of its all-time high reached in October, 2007

The U.S. government ran a budget surplus of $3 billion in January due to the increase in payroll taxes


David Weidner: TARP has been depicted as a success. Look again; an assessment regarding the success of the program is complicated


Terry Connelly: Sequestration, like the debt ceiling, is a weapon of mass destruction


    

Nigam Arora: Gold is at a critical juncture


Marc Faber gives one man's opinion: Stocks are set for a possible repeat of 1987.     As usual, everything is gloom and doom with him


China speaks softly to avoid alienating a nuclear-armed North Korea at the time of its third nuclear detonation



                President Obama presents the State of the Union
                "Together we have cleared away the rubble of crisis"

Video of tonight's Presidential address to Congress and the Nation


Text of President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address


New York Times: President Obama focuses on building a thriving middle class with government help


Fox News: Fact checking the President's speech


San Francisco Chronicle: Fact checking the President's speech


Washington Post: Fact checking the President's speech


Breitbart: Fact checking the President's speech


   
Senator Marco Rubio gave the Republican Party's reply, and he thereby makes a very clear statement of his stature within today's GOP.     It probably went better at rehearsal 

Politico: Fact checking Senator Rubio's response


Marco Rubio: I'll drink to that

    
No one seems to understand why Senator Rand Paul also made a Republican reply, but he did it anyway


                   The Delfonics: "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time"

Monday, February 11, 2013
Dow dips 22 points in a lackluster day devoid of any significant economic or corporate news


Gold price takes a big hit, as traders are apparently anxious over the position taken by G-7 officials with respect to currency values


Jeff Macke: The war for hoards of corporate cash has begun


Justin Menza: Are the emerging markets the big story of 2013?


                            

Marco Rubio on the cover of Time Magazine   Summary of the career of the GOP's answer to today's Democrats

                    
                                                      Any questions?
      Beyonce sings the National Anthem a cappella at a recent press conference

Saturday, February 9, 2013

               

                                                    Beauty is self-evident
                          Tom Brock: "Have A Nice Weekend, Baby"

Friday, February 8, 2013
Dow climbs 49 points on the back of positive earnings reports


Commerce Department: The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in two years during December, indicating the fourth quarter GDP may have been better than initially reported


Most Asian stock markets were positive in overnight trading, however, Japan fell under the spectre of poor earnings reports from Sony and other frontline companies


Congressional Budget Office: Fewer people will have employer-provided health insurance under the Affordable Care Act than previously projected


Jeff Macke gives one man's opinion: Three factors that indicate the equity markets are not in a bubble


Jen Weiczner: The ten things the post office will not tell you


Virtually every day, Sean Hannity claims on his radio show that Mohamed Morsi, the President of Egypt, has stated that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs. Did Morsi really make such a statement?  Yes, he did.  Does Morsi actually believe that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs?   No, he does not. The insult was leveled in response to the Jews' animal-like conquest and subjugation of the Palestinians since 1948.  Read Morsi's life summary before forming an opinion regarding the man or the incendiary insult

Summary of the 1947- 49 Palestinian exodus, known in Arabic as Nakba, a period of time that included the infamous Deir Yassin massacre


Summary of the April, 1948 Der Yassin massacre


Interested in history?  On the subject of the treatment of North African people, read about the Setif and Guelma massacre


    
                       America the beautiful - Niagara Falls on a summer evening
                              Earth, Wind and Fire: "Imagination"

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Dow slips 42 points lower as a continued focus on the Eurozone's problems weighs on the enthusiasm of Wall Street's traders


Labor Department: U.S. productivity falls 2.0% as an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012


Matt Clinch: The upcoming currency war will be in the style of the 1930s


Chuck Jaffe: Could the market be headed for a correction?


CIA nominee John Brennan defends the Administration's policies on the use of drones in his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence


Is it time to get real? Politico: Dick Cheney's revenge Or to restate a question that has been raised in the past: Why is half-drowning someone so bad and completely unacceptable, if that same person and anyone near them can be incinerated by a drone strike, and that's no problem?


Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the subjects of Benghazi and sequestration



The 5th Dimension: "One Less Bell to Answer"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Dow gains 7 points in trading that implies many investors have become more cautious in their outlook regarding the future


The value of the euro has fallen after a poll reports that former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi's political coalition is gaining ground

John Nyaradi: Is this the biggest triple top ever, at levels that will mark a major turning point in U.S. stock market history?


Stephen Gandel: How the Standard & Poor's rating agency burned down the house


The five myths of the 2008 Great Financial Meltdown


Congressional Budget Office: The new healthcare law will not cover as many uninsured people as the Obama Administration initially projected


Rush Limbaugh: The truth regarding healthcare is trickling out. The Pretzelmaker spins the CBO report on healthcare



A summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation has opened in Cairo at a time of tension following the Arab Spring


The Drudge Report took the occasion of the Islamic Summit to headline on its website: "Iran is already a nuclear state", complete with a picture of a nuclear bomb exploding in a city. Following Drudge's lead, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity referred to a nuclear Iran during their radio shows, impling that Iran admitted that it has built a nuclear weapon.In fact, the Haaretz article linked by the Drudge Report only repeats a statement made many times previously by Iranian officials; namely, Iran has an operable nuclear reactor - there is no claim by the Iranians of having, or attempting to make, a nuclear bomb

Iranian Press TV has posted several stories regarding the Islamic Summit, such as: Iran will not stop its support of Palestine and Iran and Egypt can counter Western domination in the Middle East It is notable, however, that Press TV has made no response to the characterization given by a large segment of the right-wing media in the United States to the "nuclear Iran" statements issued following the meeting between Presidents Ahmadinejad and Morsi. This failure to respond is another example of how poorly the Iranians deal with the information circulated in the American media regarding their country. The primary example of Iran's failure to assert itself against propaganda is the prevalence in the American media of the fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Wall Street's rally confirms its staying power: Dow closes with a gain of 99 points and flirts with the 14,000 level through most of the day


Asian stock markets fall overnight in response to the problems in Europe generally, and specifically in Italy and Spain

Andy Xie: The consequences of a strong dollar at home and abroad


Treasurys decline on release of European purchasing manager data that was interpreted by many as a reason to leave the safe-haven investment


Matthew Lynn: The real euro crisis is just starting, and unemployment is nearing the European nations' breaking points


Jim Rogers: In spite of the crowded investment marketplace, 4,200% returns are still possible


Bank of America: There is severe danger looming for investors in corporate bonds



A Justice Department memorandum concludes that it is legal to use drone strikes abroad to kill American citizens with suspected ties to al-Qaeda

Summary of known U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004


Washington Post: The nomination of John Brennan exposes targeted killings and a previously secret drone base in Saudi Arabia


New York Times: The secrets of the U.S. clandestine drone strikes comes under public scrutiny


The Guardian: At least 54 countries offered covert support to the CIA's extraordinary rendition program


The Justice Department has filed a civil lawsuit against Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings related to the 2008 financial crisis



This link is not intended to be alarming
It's only intent is to be a constructive suggestion

Start out by doing the math: You now have two years to learn Mandarin

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

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

Allan Sloan: Why a record month in January for inflows to mutual funds and ETFs makes me nervous


A lesson for enterprises everywhere: Why huge success can be a company's worst enemy

Monday, February 4, 2013
Dow slips 130 points as anxieties flowing out of Europe once again take center stage on Wall Street


Commerce Department: U.S. factory orders rose by 1.8% in December


Political jitters in Spain and Italy take a toll on European equity markets


President Obama makes a Super Bowl press for an end to the carried-interest tax break

The Pentagon is bracing for budget cut hardships scheduled to begin on March 1st with reductions of 9.4%, totalling $490 billion over the next decade

Sequestration 101 : Summary of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Beyonce's 2013 Super Bowl performance
If she was the reason why the Superdome's circuits were blown-out,
then, obviously, the circuits should have been modernized before the performance

Friday, February 1, 2013
Dow rallies, following the release of strong economic data, with a 149 point gain for the first close above 14,000 since October, 2007


Charley Blaine: After Dow 14,000 - what happens next?


Labor Department: The U.S. economy added another 157,000 jobs in January, as the unemployment rate ticks up to 7.9%




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 7.9%. 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



Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber


Analysis: Israel's airstrike on Syria is likely to complicate the crisis


U.S. embassy compound in Turkey is hit by a terrorist attack



Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Dow closes the month of January with a 50 point loss on the day


Pimco's Bill Gross: "Be very afraid of the markets", because of the threat of inflation and the flood of cheap money


Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee press nominee Hagel with respect to Israel, Iran, Iraq and the nuclear arsenal

Summary of the career of Charles Timothy "Chuck" Hagel, nominee for Secretary of Defense



Jaci Velasquez: "Como Se Cura Una Herida"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Dow loses 44 points after the Commerce Department's report on the GDP's contraction and the Fed's pronouncement of further stimulus

Commerce Department: The U.S. GDP contracted 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, marking the first contraction since the second quarter of 2009, amid the Great Recession


The Federal Reserve announces its plans to continue stimulus due to the weak economy


Yahoo Finance: The economy was led lower by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in inventories


The Wall Street Journal: The U.S. economy contracted unexpectedly in the fourth quarter


Jeff Cox: This is the best looking GDP contraction that you will ever see


MarketWatch: Five reasons why the GDP contraction is not as bad as it might appear


Rush Limbaugh speaks to his audience, the Pretzeled People, regarding the GDP contraction: Stunning drop . . . incredibly serious . . . we're back into a recession . . . the economy collapsed in the fourth quarter . . . 

Stock markets in Asia saw gains overnight as earnings reports seemed to please investors


Senate votes to confirm John Kerry as the Nation's new Secretary of State Summary of John Kerry's career

President Obama urges speedy passage of immigration reform, but the GOP demands secure borders as a prerequisite component to any bill

Daily Ticker: Paul Krugman says the U.S. must fix the debt problem eventually, but not right now


Paul Krugman: The United States is still suffering depression conditions


Marc Faber: A correction in U.S. equities may be near


Douglas Kass: The market is overpriced and ready for a fall


Todd Harrison: Are we at a market top? The bull-bear debate


The smartphone market's radical shakeup -- Is Research in Motion back with its Blackberry 10? What role will Google's Android continue to play?


Four ways in which the stock market could really surprise the world's investor -- The morale to this story: Never take your eye off the ball


The long-term unemployed -- What percentage of the long-term unemployed are actually uninterested in finding a new job as long as unemployment benefits keep landing in their mailbox? Unfortunately, this link does not answer that very real aspect to the Nation's current woes



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, January 29, 2013
Dow finishes trading with a gain of 72 points, moving in step with the upwardly mobile S&P 500


Asian equity markets were mostly up overnight, but Hong Kong did not participate in the gains

Paul B. Farrell: The banks may once again crash the economy. Perhaps, this should be called "Critical Warning Number 7"

BBC News: Egypt's army chief warns of an imminent collapse of the goverment amid the current crisis


Monday, January 28, 2013
Dow slips 14 points on the day and the S&P 500 falls for the first time in two weeks, ending the longest S&P 500 winning streak in eight years


Commerce Department: Durable goods orders rise following the mometum of a surge in spending


Conference Board: The December leading indicators gained 0.5% to 93.9


Toyota reclaims global auto sales title from General Motors


Brent Arends: Why the company's true value indicates that now is the time to buy Apple


Melody Juge: Wondering when to start taking Social Security? Here are some answers




Friday, January 25, 2013
The rally continues: Dow pushes forward by 71 points and the S&P 500 closes above 1,500 for the first time since 2007

Hibah Yousuf: Beware the 2013 bursting bubble in the bond market


Pimco managing director Bill Gross: Beware holding a position in long-term bonds, because at some point the Fed's money printing will cause inflation and rising interest rates


Jeanne Sahadi: How realistic is a balanced budget in ten short years?

The balance sheet of the Federal Reserve has topped $3 trillion for the first time in history, due to the Fed's programs of quantitative easing


Laszlo Birinyi: The bull market in stocks has reached its final "exuberance" stage
where the fireworks begin

Myra P. Saefong: If China likes silver, then everybody should like silver


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the so-called recess appointments of members to the NLRB was unconstitutional


Whoops Obama Administration!! I told you not to go there!!

Exxon Mobil regains the crown from Apple as the world's largest company on the basis of market capitalization


Thursday, January 24, 2013
Dow closes with a 46 point gain as the S&P 500 closes with its seventh consecutive winning day
 

Apple shares suffer their worst decline since late 2008, and the slump's impact is widespread in the technology sector




Paul R. La Monica: Gold bugs dancing on the debt ceiling 

Charles Babington: Congress has charted a new collision course over the deficit as taxes and spending cut adherents dig in their heels



Teena Marie: "Casanova Brown"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Dow adds 67 points as the rally continues for another day following another segment of positive earnings reports


Gold futures settle below $1,690 under the pressure of a strengthening dollar


Matthew Lynn: How to profit from the coming currency wars


Golfer Phil Mikelson may call it quits because of climbing income tax rates, which total 63% when you add federal, state and city taxes together Of course, adding the above tax rates ignores the reality that income taxes paid to state and local governments are a deduction from one's income for purposes of calculating federal tax, so, in fact, the 63% figure itself is a fiction, and the real combined rate is always less than the total of the individual tax rates. The combined rate calls for more complicated analysis than the simple addition of the federal, state and local rates

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 39.6%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 39.6% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012.

My combined tax rate of federal, state and city income taxes exceeded 70% in 1978

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. 


House passes a bill designed to defuse the debt ceiling



Hillary Clinton accepts responsibility for failures surrounding the attack on the Benghazi consulate; however, she does not shrink from a debate on the facts and implications argued by Republican senators


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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 reach new five-year highs, as the Dow adds 63 points


Bank of Japan adopts a firm target of 2% inflation rate

The U.S. dollar weakened against the yen and other major currencies as the Bank of Japan announced a quantitative easing program


Summary of the concept referred to as "carried interest"


The federal government has not had a budget for several years. Is that a problem? Yes, on several different important issues

Monday, January 21, 2013

President Obama's second Inauguration takes place in Washington, D.C before a huge audience worldwide


Video of the entire Inauguration ceremony


The stars - Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder - performed personalized tributes to the First Couple during the evening's Inaugural balls at several venues around the District



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 

Richard Smallwood: "Total Praise"

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Dow adds 85 points to close near a five-year high following optimistic reports on the economy

List of executive orders signed by President Obama regarding anti-gun violence plan


Republican Senator Ted Cruz: Obama is high on his power


Rush Limbaugh: Obama is the worst ever, blah blah blah . . . .



Happy Birthday Champ
"No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger"


The U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was precipitated by the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Was the depiction of events made by the Johnson Administration regarding events in the Gulf of Tonkin actually untrue?

The fact that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a gross mischaracterization was confirmed by the Pentagon Papers that were released by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 and published worldwide after the courts ruled to allow publication

It is an interesting fact that Daniel Ellsberg, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Walter Lewis all went to the same high school, Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Dow slips 24 points under the shadow of a pessimistic forecast concerning the global economy in 2013


President Obama unveils proposals for strengthening the Nation's laws regarding firearms, including 23 executive orders and a proposed ban on assault weapons

Video of the President's address today on gun control


Gun sales continue to surge under the light of the Administration's focus on gun legislation


Rush Limbaugh: Obama provokes the American people. The pretzel-maker continues to twist and scorch the ground in front and behind him


The Fast and Furious gun-running situation was raised by Mitt Romney during the presidential debates. 

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 IssaTime Swampland, and eventually 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 - even after Sandy Hook, 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

Most Asian equity markets lost ground in overnight trading as the yen moved upwards against the dollar


Jeff Cox: The Japanese have fired their most recent shots in a looming global currency war that will have countries continuing to devalue their currency


Federal Reserve Statistical Release: A presentation of the Fed's current balance sheet



Is quantitative easing any more legitimate as a monetary policy than minting and depositing a trillion dollar coin at the Federal Reserve?

The White House has informed Rep. Paul Ryan that it will once again not meet the deadline for submitting a budget to Congress


Brett Arends: Actually we need to push delusion aside. The present-day United States may very well be a nation of deadbeats, despite the rhetoric used by President Obama during his recent press conference



The Weekly Standard: Federal welfare spending is projected to rise 80% in the next decade



Keith Koffler: Long-term unemployment is at its worst levels since WWII


Donald Trump: "If the GOP doesn't hold firm, the country will go to hell"



The FAA has grounded all Boeing 787 Dreamliners for safety checks




Elsa Benitez - 100% azucar morena pura 

Tierra: "The Old Songs Medley"


Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Companies in the retail sector rally and push the Dow to a 28 point gain



Tami Luhby: Who benefits in an Entitlement America?



Germany's Bundesbank intends to repatriate gold held in offshore banks



Michael Feroli: Fear of balance sheet losses is prompting caution on the part of the Federal Reserve



Politico: The White House is contemplating 19 executive orders on the subject of gun control and related issues

Senator Rand Paul slams "King Obama" over possible assertion of executive orders



Rush Limbaugh: Executive orders explained for low-information voters



Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman: "I will file articles of impeachment if Obama tries to institute gun control measures with an executive order"



Compilation of President Obama's executive orders that were promulgated during 2012


What is the Constitutional basis for a President to issue executive orders?



Does the President have the authority under the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt ceiling question?



France pledges to send more troops to Mali as the French continue to fly airstrikes within the country




PressTV: Iran condemns deaths of civilians in Mali during France's intervention



Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a box office sensationThis 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


Monday, January 14, 2013
Dow gains 19 points as the major averages diverge, and Apple briefly dips below $500


President Obama hosts the last press conference of his first term


Jim Kuhnhenn: Hitting the debt limit: What bills would be paid?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke: Get rid of the debt ceiling


U.S. Treasury: The United States Treasury will not mint a $1 trillion coin, plus the Federal Reserve would never accept it at its stated value In other words, Congressman Jerry Nadler and Paul Krugman really need to take a few refresher courses in banking and finance before they make any more policy statements on this subject


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

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? 

Friday, January 11, 2013
Investors push the Dow up 17 points following the release of encouraging economic data

The price of oil jumps 10% in the last month under the pressure of a production cut in Saudi Arabia


U.S. budget deficit falls to $260 million in December, a 9% decrease from a year ago, and the best December performance in five years



Summary of Jack Lew's career 

Obama accelerates transition of security to Afghan forces



Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Dow finishes with an 81 point gain as the S&P 500 hits a five year high


Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Dow closes with a gain of 62 points on the wings of a surge in the shares of Boeing, despite problems with the 787 Dreamliner aircraft


The board of AIG declines to join in a shareholder suit attacking the 2008 bailout


Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Dow loses 55 points on the trading day marking the official start of earnings season


Monday, January 7, 2013
Investors appear to have moved their focus onto the upcoming earnings season as the Dow loses 51 points


The world's worst cases of hyperinflation: Imagine prices doubling every 15.6 hours as in Hungary in 1946 Why not just mint a few $1,000,000,000,000 coins?Paul Krugman thinks such a coin would have a benign impact on the economyAn idiot's guide to the trillion dollar coin proposition On the other hand, trillion dollar coins may be the doorway to hyperinflation - which would be a big whoops for Paul Krugman

Friday, January 4, 2013
Dow closes with a 47 point gain following today's report of 155,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 7.8%


Thursday, January 3, 2013
Dow slips 21 points following the release of the latest Fed meeting minutes


Dollar strengthens after the Fed announces the end of quantitative easing



Gold ends its short rally as investors notice that the dollar is strengthening


Washington Examiner: How did those corporate tax credits get in the fiscal cliff deal?


The Weekly Standard: Plenty of pork in the proposed Sandy relief bill


John Boehner is reelected Speaker of the House despite dissenting votes among Republicans


Justin Peters: The AR-15 rifle is touted by the NRA as being useful for hunting and home defense. Is that true? Not exactly


FBI annual crime statistics: More people are killed each year in the U.S. by assailants wielding hammers and clubs than firing rifles
 Fortunately, in 1934 Americans had enough sense to not allow statistics, such as in this FBI report, to justify ordinary citizens owning machine guns

All the right-wingers want to know: What is the cost to the taxpayers of the Obamas' Christmas vacation in Hawaii?
 The right-wingers love to embelish the myth that President Obama is spending a lot of time and taxpayer money on vacations

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



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