Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bank Failure Wednesday

Bank of Jackson County, Graceville, Florida, is bank failure number 23 in 2013, costing the FDIC $5.1 million.

FDIC insured institutions now number 6,940.

Obama Lied About His Own Mother's Insurance History, So Why Be Surprised He's Lied To You?

Byron York, back in 2011, here:

Dunham unquestionably had health coverage. "Ann's compensation for her job in Jakarta had included health insurance, which covered most of the costs of her medical treatment," [Janny] Scott writes. "Once she was back in Hawaii, the hospital billed her insurance company directly, leaving Ann to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses, which, she said, came to several hundred dollars a month." ... the story Obama told, Scott writes, was "abbreviated" -- the abbreviation was to leave out the fact that Ann Dunham had health insurance that paid for her treatment. "Though he often suggested that she was denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition," Scott writes, "it appears from her correspondence that she was only denied disability coverage."

Former Rep. Barney Frank's Favorite Guaranteed Benefit In Obamacare

Free mammograms, even for "men"!

The Anger Will Spread: 80 Million Won't Be Able To Keep Their Employer-Based Insurance, Either

The hubbub over the loss of health insurance coverage in the individual market, affecting some 13 million, will grow into quite a wail when 80 million additional people lose their employer-based healthcare plans, which is why Obama delayed the employer mandate, dummy. Better to let the country get used to the idea by screwing the few, the proud, the responsible, you know, the ranks where the Tea Party comes from, first. But the rest of you are going to get it in the shorts later, no question about it.

From Avik Roy at Forbes, here:

Obamacare’s disruption of the existing health insurance market—a disruption codified in law, and known to the administration—is only just beginning. And it’s far broader than recent media coverage has implied. ...

60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market [80 million of 156 million Americans] plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) [13 million of 25 million Americans] amounts to 93 million Americans.

President Obama’s famous promise that “you could keep your plan” was not some na├»ve error or accident. He, and his allies, knew that previous Democratic attempts at health reform had failed because Americans were happy with the coverage they had, and opposed efforts to change the existing system. ...

Obamacare forces insurers to offer services that most Americans don’t need, don’t want, and won’t use, for a higher price. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Mechanism That Ended The Crisis"

John Hussman, here:

Rather, the crisis ended – and in hindsight, ended precisely – on March 16, 2009, when the Financial Accounting Standards Board abandoned mark-to-market rules, in response to Congressional pressure by the House Committee on Financial Services on March 12, 2009. The decision by the FASB gave banks “substantial discretion” in the values that they assigned to assets. With that discretion, banks could use cash-flow models (“mark-to-model”) or other methods (“mark-to-unicorn”). ... The misattribution of cause and effect in 2009 created the Grand Superstition of our time – the belief that Federal Reserve policy was responsible for ending the financial crisis and sending the stock market higher. By 2010, this narrative was so fully accepted that the Fed’s announcement of further “quantitative easing” was met by equally great enthusiasm by investors.


The People Who Most Need ObamaCare

The people who most need ObamaCare are the designers of it, who will now be able to (and should) get their heads examined under it for making sure people who are almost 60 pay four times the cost of their old plans and get maternity coverage and pediatric dental care in the bargain.

Monday, October 28, 2013

So-Called Conservative Supporters Of Illegal Alien Amnesty To Meet Tonight In DC

Bloomberg has the story, here, naming the following so-called conservatives and right of center groups in attendance to launch a lobbying bomb on Washington for an illegal immigration amnesty bill from the Senate which is dead in the US House:

US Chamber of Commerce
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson
News Corp's Rupert Murdoch
Southern Baptist Convention
American Conservative Union
Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist.

You have met the enemy, and it ain't us.

NBC News Suddenly Discovers Obama Has Known For Three Years He's Been Lying

NBC isn't fooling anybody who's been paying attention to its long record of shilling for Obama, but now that he's safely in place for his second term what are people going to do about bad news for the president, impeach him? NBC has already moved on to 2016. 

For what it's worth, from the top:

[M]illions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.” ...

[T]he administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” 

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"Tea Party" never comes up in this story. That's who's being targeted in the individual market under ObamaCare, the responsibles who buy their own coverage. Just think of it as IRS intimidation, but in a different form.

Article The First, The Never-Adopted First Amendment, Sought To Increase Federal Representation Naturally

Your Congressman doesn't even know your name? Maybe there aren't enough of them, which is to say he or she represents too many people to represent you, so that we have representation without representation.

The first first amendment, Article I., sought to prevent this:

"After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand persons."

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Ratified by many states but never adopted, the constitution ended up with different, open-ended language, which a later act of the Congress of the United States interfered with in the 1920s, fixing representation instead of letting it continue to grow with population:

"The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand . . .."

On this language we should have 10,490 representatives, not a fixed 435 (one for every seven hundred twenty-three Thousand at present). But on the language of Article the First, we might have had only 6,294 representatives.

The anti-federalists, however, who insisted on a bill of rights, couldn't imagine such numbers to be at all adequate to represent the people, and some of them called for one for every fifteen Thousand, which would have meant an astounding 20,979 federal representatives today.

Contrast such levels of representation with actual total representation in state legislatures in the US today (as of March 2013): 5,411, which represents a ratio of one for every fifty-eight Thousand. Clearly state government representation today, taken overall, most clearly approximates the levels of representation called for by the un-adopted Article the First for federal representation.

That said, residents of New Hampshire, with 400 representatives, are the best represented in the nation, at a ratio of one for every 3,302!

And Californians are among the worst represented with just 80 representatives to the state legislature, a ratio of one for every 475,518.

Libertarian Freaks In Virginia Hate Cuccinelli's Social Conservatism, Funded By Former Cato Institute President

Tim Carney reports, here:

Purple PAC, a political action committee headed by Libertarian Ed Crane, former president of the Cato Institute, announced Oct. 25 it would spend $300,000 to back Sarvis. And many Beltway politicos with libertarian leanings are backing Sarvis and expressing disgust for Cuccinelli.

Why are libertarians working so hard against Cuccinelli, who is probably the most libertarian statewide official in Virginia in recent history?

I suspect identity politics plays a role.

I asked Sarvis why a libertarian should oppose Cuccinelli, and the first words out of his mouth were “social issues.” Crane’s only critique of Cuccinelli when announcing the $300,000 buy for Sarvis: “Ken Cuccinelli is a socially intolerant, hard-right conservative with little respect for civil liberties.”

Cuccinelli is undoubtedly conservative. He’s an observant Catholic with seven children and a home-schooling wife. He’s a hero to the pro-life cause and an opponent of gay marriage.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Healthcare.gov is down in Michigan tonight if you want to apply for coverage online

Looks like ObamaCare is still experiencing delays different from the ones the president has imposed on his own law.

Deb Saunders Helpfully Assembles The Blame-Republicans-For-ObamaCare Charges Made By Democrats

Here, concluding:

Now, I won't deny that two decades ago, some conservative think tank swell came up with the term "individual mandate" -- which allowed other wonks to try to pin the tail on the elephant. But if liberals have to fish for a 1989 Heritage Foundation policy paper that had no Republican support in 2008, 2009 or 2012 to establish Republican paternity for the Affordable Care Act, that tells you one thing: They think Obamacare won't work.

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That's right. If it works it's a Democrat idea.

Robert B. Reichhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-a Pretends ObamaCare Was Rammed Through On A Completely Partisan Vote In 2010 . . . By Republicans

Robert B. Reich pals around with conservative sell-out
In HuffPo, here, where he makes a great case for blaming Republicans for the idea of ObamaCare in the first place, but fails to mention the inconvenient truth that not a single Republican voted for it and that it was Democrats who rammed it down our throats on a completely partisan vote under the most extreme circumstances of procedure in the Congress:

There's a deep irony to all this. Had Democrats stuck to the original Democratic vision and built comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare, it would have been cheaper, simpler, and more widely accepted by the public. And Republicans would be hollering anyway.

LA Times Floats ObamaCare Weasel Word Excuse: We Only Meant SOME Could Keep Their Insurance


Still, many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.

"All we've been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it," said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. "I'm infuriated because I was lied to."

Supporters of the healthcare law say Obama was referring to people who are insured through their employers or through government programs such as Medicare. Still, they acknowledge the confusion and anger from individual policyholders who are being forced to change.

-------------------------------------------------------

The fact is, the 40 million who have private insurance acquired either individually or through their own small businesses are being thrown under the bus first for political reasons. They are not an afterthought, but the key target.

To really understand why, however, one must realize that the oft-stated goal of providing health insurance through ObamaCare to benefit the 30 million uninsured is just a smokescreen, as if sacrificing the one group for the other roughly represents a fair trade. The reality is that ObamaCare is specifically designed to benefit women, a key fact about the law which shows its political meaning in the context of what the Democrats name the Republican war on women and doesn't get enough attention even among conservative opponents of the law.

Employer plans will have to conform to ObamaCare guidelines later, it is true. But since they represent a much larger constituency, Obama has unilaterally and unlawfully delayed key provisions of his own law which affect them in an attempt to phase in the draconian changes to health insurance slowly until after it's too late. The last thing Obama wanted as the poorly crafted law took effect was everyone up in arms at once. Better to boil the frogs slowly, and start with the most important opposition first, which is the Tea Party, which has been the most sensitive group to Obama-inspired federal interventions in American life, beginning with opposition to the mortgage forgiveness schemes in February 2009 which gave birth to the Tea Party and culminating in mobilization efforts to oppose health insurance reform schemes in the House and Senate late that same year. When ObamaCare became a fait accompli in March 2010, all the energy went in to retributive political action, which reached its crescendo with the history-making Republican take-over of the US House in November 2010.

Since then the effete who still constitute the majority in the Republican Party have done nothing to challenge the incremental imperial assaults of the president against the powers reserved to the Congress by the constitution. Looking back at them all now, one might even say that Obama's many transgressions against the separation of powers were all calculated to inure the people to the fact of them in order to smooth the way for more of the same when he needed it the most with respect to ObamaCare. Some older Republicans like Larry Kudlow, instinctively if not self-consciously, have recoiled from this, laughably calling for all provisions of ObamaCare to take effect as scheduled in the law, in the hope that the political consequences would be so profound that Republicans would win in 2014 and be able with large majorities to overturn a presidential veto of a law scrapping ObamaCare.

Seeing more acutely the threat to their very existence, however, the Tea Party has wanted the funds to ObamaCare cut off NOW. But neither camp has exerted enough influence among Republicans as a whole even as Obama methodically racked up that impressive record of tyrannical offenses against Congressional prerogatives, from the Libyan intervention without Congressional consultation to recess appointments when Congress wasn't in recess. In the face of all that the most contemptible members of the Republican establishment like David Frum instead have gone to war against these voices within their own party, in effect helping Democrats turn up the heat on the frog pot.

In political terms, ObamaCare is a key element in the larger class war being phased in first on the constituency which primarily makes up the Tea Party, the independent-minded traditionalist Americans who fend for themselves and support themselves without help from the nanny state or from a nanny employer, people who are more likely to start businesses, get married, and pay their own way and raise their own children. In a word, what has historically been the Republican base. All the rhetoric from Democrats over the period has been aimed at the these people by design, for a political reason, in order to freeze, personalize, and polarize them, painting them in the most horrific terms as the party of violence (January 2011 Giffords shooting), racism (March 2010 protests in DC), and terrorism (government shutdown in October 2013), among other things. As usual, the complete opposite of what they are, in keeping with what we used to call liberal projection syndrome and which still shows up in inaptly named government programs like the Affordable Care Act, which will not be affordable, will provide insurance but not care, and which was passed more as a partisan assault than a traditional act of Congress.

Health insurance reform under ObamaCare, by contrast, primarily benefits women as a class, whose health care costs are by nature higher and constitute the most obvious first inequality which shows up under health insurance. ObamaCare seeks to alienate women further from their natural condition by simply decreeing that this reality no longer exists. ObamaCare first and foremost puts their premiums on an equal footing with men's, craftily supplanting men as providers of health coverage to their wives through their employer plans and masking the costs women would otherwise have to absorb by themselves if they were paying for them. And then ObamaCare does much more, paying for their maternity care, and without coverage caps, their mammograms, their birth control and abortions, their lactation services and breast pumps, and letting baby mamas everywhere keep their kids on their plans until they reach the age of 26 (their kids reach 26, not the baby mamas). In effect ObamaCare seeks to solidify women as a natural Democrat Party constituency as dependent on the Democrats who provided it as the poor are who support them now because of massively expanded social welfare transfer payments.

If ever there was a public program designed to drive a stake through the heart of the traditional family, ObamaCare is it. That's why it is striking first at the people most likely in our society to take responsibility for themselves and where the idea of the traditional family is strongest. And to the extent that many within the Republican Party sympathize more with the transformational idealisms of female equality than with the realistic conceptions taught by history and nature explains better than anything why we are where we are.

The political party the Tea Party decided to support, unfortunately, hasn't proved itself worthy of them. There's still a little time left for Republicans to prove otherwise, but it is fast running out.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Average Hourly Earnings Up For Everyone 7% Since ObamaCare Passed

If ObamaCare has been cutting earnings for the workforce in sectors which have witnessed a trend toward part time work, it's not showing up overall. Average weekly earnings for all employees are up 7% since March 2010, when the bill was rammed down our throats in a completely partisan vote. The sectors impacted, like retail and fast food, simply aren't big enough to drag down the overall picture.

Average Weekly Hours For Everyone Up 1.5% Since ObamaCare Passed

If ObamaCare has been cutting hours for the workforce in sectors, it's not showing up overall. Average weekly hours for all employees are up 1.5% since March 2010, when the bill was rammed down our throats in a completely partisan vote. The sectors impacted, like retail and fast food, simply aren't big enough to drag down the overall picture.

Looks Like A Libertarian Is About To Spoil Another Race For The Republicans

In the Virginia race for governor the Libertarian's support is the margin of difference between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Moochelle's 1985 Princeton Classmate An Executive At Firm Which Designed Failed Healthcare.gov

From the story here:

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

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Of four bids submitted, only the one from the firm of Moochelle's classmate was considered by the Obama regime.

Foreclosed New Jersey Homeowners Staying In Their Homes Rent-Free For YEARS!

From the story here:

"Its happening all over new jersey with Hudson & Cape May ranking the highest, 80% of people remaining in the home for years during foreclosure."

Kathleen Sebelius Should Forget About Resigning, She Should Be Fired: She Thinks She Doesn't Work For Us!

The arrogant bitch, quoted here:

“My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”

Obama, healthcare Liar In Chief in 2009: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are involuntarily losing their healthcare plans as we speak and being forced to sign up for ObamaCare on a website which doesn't work.

From the story here:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans who purchase their own health insurance have received cancellation notices since August because the plans do not meet Obamacare’s requirements.

The number of cancellation notices greatly exceed the number of Obamacare enrollees.

Insurance carrier Florida Blue sent out 300,000 cancellation notices, or 80 percent of the entire state’s individual coverage policies, Kaiser Health News reports. California’s Kaiser Permanente canceled 160,000 plans — half of its insurance plans in the state — while Blue Shield of California sent 119,000 notices in mid-September alone.

The Obama Regime Shut Out Private Online Healthcare Brokers For Over 3 Years

The Obama regime shut out help from private online health insurance brokerage firms for over three years, and it wasn't until July 31 that it finally relented and entered into partnerships with private online health insurance brokerages like ehealthinsurance.com, which routinely handles online traffic in a range up to 20 million, to facilitate ObamaCare's online presence.

CNBC reported the breakthrough here and the story was widely disseminated at the time.

But USA Today here featured a story earlier that month which highlighted the frustration of such brokerages over the way the regime had shut them out until the very last minute, when it was already way too late:

So far, none of the government exchanges being run by the federal government, individual states, or federal-state partnerships has given ehealthinsurance.com and other for-profit Web markets the green light to enroll uninsured individuals under the Affordable Care Act's subsidized coverage scheme.

"I'm just totally mystified, puzzled, flummoxed as to why the administration isn't using somebody like me to help," said eHealth CEO Gary Lauer, whose company is a leading industry player among a dozen or more Web-based markets that have sought to partner with various government exchanges.

Lauer noted that he had been an enthusiastic supporter of the new health law championed by President Barack Obama. But the stone-walling, foot-dragging and other inexplicable hurdles that he says his company has faced in offering subsidized insurance under that law has made him increasingly skeptical of the plan. ...

But Lauer and others think the delay on allowing participation by Web marketplaces may be a canary-in-the-coalmine indication of overall problems with the exchanges being ready for business by October.

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No one in America should have been surprised to see the rollout of Healthcare.gov fail spectacularly like it did when it made its appearance at the beginning of this month.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hypocrite Hillary Tells Heckler The Future Doesn't Include Yelling

Here, even though her past sure did, and even her very recent past.


"We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want, which doesn't include yelling. It includes sitting down and talking with one another," Clinton said in response to the heckler to huge applause from the audience.

2003: 

HILLARY 2003 (screeching): I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, "WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!"

Early 2013:

What difference does it make?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Doyle McManus Discovers That The Middle Class Is Becoming The Underclass

Here in the Los Angeles Times article "Poof Goes The Middle Class", in which the liberal Doyle McManus relies on a libertarian prognosis for the future where efficiency and economy is all:

. . . middle-class American jobs being eliminated by automation and outsourcing, downward pressure on wages for all but the most skilled, growing inequality between the wealthy and everyone else, and elected officials who don't seem capable of slowing those trends, let alone stopping them. … If people have decent low-cost housing, food and healthcare, they might even be happier in a middle-classless future, [libertarian economist Tyler Cowen] speculates.



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In other words, an impoverished, stratified society based on free trade which Marx welcomed because it would finally lead to the social revolution of the many have-nots against the few haves after eliminating the rung on the ladder between them, the middle class:

"Generally speaking, the protectionist system today is conservative, whereas the Free Trade system has a destructive effect. It destroys the former nationalities and renders the contrast between proletariat and bourgeoisie more acute. In a word, the Free Trade system is precipitating the social revolution. And only in this revolutionary sense do I vote for Free Trade."

-- Karl Marx, 1847

Funny how contemporary libertarianism is completely oblivious to its role in this preparation for revolution and the impetus given to it under America's first Marxist president, while liberalism lies prostrate before it asking, New ideas, anyone?

Libertarians don't just spoil elections for Republicans in favor of Democrats, they ruin conservative republics on behalf of communism no less than liberals do.


Chinese Bad Bank Debt Write-Offs Explode 188% Year Over Year

From the story here:

China's five major banks have written off 22.1 billion yuan ($3.65 billion) of debt in the first six months of the year that couldn't be collected, compared to 7.65 billion yuan a year earlier, according to the news agency [Bloomberg]. The report added that the move is more than likely a cleaning-up process ahead of what may be a fresh wave of defaults in the world's second-largest economy.

Republican Gov. John Kasich Pulls An Obama, Suspends Ohio Medicaid Law That Displeases Him

No doubt that will please Ann Coulter, who loves it when governors act like dictators.

The Wall Street Journal reports, here:

Mr. Kasich simply decided to cut out Ohio's elected representatives and expand Medicaid by himself. This week he appealed to an obscure seven-member state panel called the Controlling Board, which oversees certain state capital expenditures and can receive or make grants. Because the feds are paying for 100% of new enrollees for the next three years, Mr. Kasich asked the panel to approve $2.56 billion in federal funding, and then he'll lift eligibility levels via executive fiat. It's a gambit worthy of President Obama, who also asserts unilateral powers to suspend laws that displease him and bypass Congress. The Controlling Board, which Mr. Kasich and his allies in the GOP leadership stacked with pro-expansion appointees, approved the request 5-2 on Monday. Mr. Kasich's action is all the more flagrant considering the state legislature did not merely refuse to appropriate or authorize spending the federal money. The GOP majority passed a budget with specific language prohibiting the Governor from expanding Medicaid without its consent. Mr. Kasich used a line-item veto to remove that provision, but he's still violating the spirit of the law.

Since ObamaCare Passed In 2010, Involuntary Part-Time Has Slowly Declined

Since ObamaCare passed in 2010, peak levels of involuntary part-time work have slowly but actually declined from in excess of 9.2 million in 2010 to 9.1 million in 2011, to 8.6 million in 2012, to 8.2 million in 2013.

These levels remain extraordinarily high, but are an after effect of the depression of 2008-2009 and cannot be blamed on ObamaCare. You can blame Obama for not doing anything about it, but you can't really point to ObamaCare as the cause of high levels of part-time employment because those levels have actually declined about 10% since the law was passed. Things might be different had Obama not unilaterally and unlawfully delayed the employer mandate in ObamaCare, but it is what it is, and until the law takes full effect it is not possible to say much more.

There appears to be a lower bound at 7.6 million below which involuntary part-time has so far been unable to fall. If the metric doesn't break that barrier this winter, all it will tell you is that the lingering after effects of the depression are still with us, not that ObamaCare is part-timing the work force.

A real recovery in jobs would put this measure back in the 4 million range where it was before the crisis of 2008 hit, on the assumption that the roughly 4 million extra people in this category who work part-time would be the first to be elevated to full-time when employment conditions improve.

Usually Full-Time Work Has Steadily Increased Despite The Passage Of ObamaCare In 2010

Usually full-time work has steadily increased despite the passage of ObamaCare in March 2010. Although full-time work has not completely recovered to its level reached when Obama was first elected in November 2008, which is a pathetic performance taken by itself for which Obama deserves all the criticism he gets (but not on television), full-time has nevertheless steadily recovered in a rising pattern which peaks in the summers and falls in the winters, which is just what was shown by the most recent data in the delayed release of the September employment situation report. Only a fall of full-time below the 114 million mark this winter would break the pattern and suggest ObamaCare might be at work destroying full time employment in this country.  

Usually Part-Time Workers No More Numerous Now Than Before ObamaCare Passed In 2010

Usually part-time ebbs in summers, flows in winters, but is not up abnormally due to ObamaCare.
Usually part-time workers are no more numerous now than before ObamaCare passed in March 2010. Claims that ObamaCare is part-timing the workforce are so far unsubstantiated for the workforce as a whole.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The US Dollar Currency Index Low Was 71.58, Reached In April 2008

71.58 on the US Dollar Currency Index in April 2008 represented a decline of the dollar in excess of 40% from the 120 level which prevailed before the closing of the gold window in 1971.

Since 1967 The US Dollar Currency Index Average Is 97.76, But 120 Remains The Gold Standard Benchmark

The US Dollar Currency Index benchmark is really 120 since that is the level which prevailed before the closing of the gold window in 1971, after which the index declined to average 97.76 to date.

September Unemployment Falls To 7.2%, The Broadest Measure To 13.6%

Obama: Making this time different than all the rest
The BLS employment situation report is late, here, due to the government shutdown.

The number of unemployed remains high at 11.3 million, accounted for in the headline rate of 7.2%. The U6 measure at 13.6% includes those, plus the part-time for economic reasons and the marginally attached workers, which all together still number 21.5 million, unchanged from August.

Just 148,000 jobs are said to have been added in September, but the average number of jobs added monthly over the last year now comes in at 185,000, or 2.22 million. In August the figure was 184,000 and two months prior to that 182,000, so there has been very minor progress in job growth.

Average hours worked remains unchanged at 34.5 hours for private non-farm employment, and average hourly earnings are up 2.1% in the last year, or 49 cents, to $24.09/hour.

Don't spend it all in one place.

Obama's employment recession, already easily the very worst and deepest in the post-war, is now 1.75 years longer than Bush's at 5.67 years and counting. And unless things improve dramatically on the jobs front, it looks to me like it's going to take almost another year for Obama's red line in the graph to get back to zero.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Vindictive CNSNews.com blames Speaker Boehner for $3 trillion jump in total public debt



Thus, all spending and borrowing by the federal government are the de facto and de jure—n.b. constitutional—responsibility of the House of Representatives that John Boehner leads.


Well, yeah, and the Bible says "Judas went and hanged himself" and "go and do thou likewise".


The author of the posting, Terence Jeffrey, never once places the spending and borrowing in their broader historical context of the economic depression which ensued in 2007, long before John Boehner took the reigns as Speaker of the House in 2011.

Never once does Mr. Jeffrey mention the revenue side, which dried up like an old prune in consequence of the panic which saw home prices crash and a record 29.5 million people file first time claims for unemployment in 2009. Nor does he bother to mention the deliberate, bi-partisan decision taken to reduce revenues to relieve the American people in this situation by temporarily cutting their Social Security taxes by 33% for back to back years in 2011 and 2012 when nothing else seemed to be working to revivify the economy. Revenues constrained by declining tax receipts due to depression-like conditions all over the economy coupled with these tax cuts, after peaking in fiscal 2007 at $2.568 trillion, for the next five fiscal years never once got above that level after reaching their low in 2009 at $2.105 trillion. What did Mr. Jeffrey expect to happen given that, the debt to decline?

One suspects Mr. Jeffrey isn't interested, however, in any of the facts and their context, only in slamming John Boehner. Otherwise he'd have mentioned them, and that Boehner's predecessor Democrat Nancy Pelosi increased the debt at a rate 63% faster in 2009 and 2010 than Boehner has in his nearly three years as Speaker.

Really bad form, old boy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

If profit margins were historically normal, the Shiller p/e would be about 29 here, not 24

So writes John Hussman, here, on Tuesday last:


Meanwhile, the current Shiller P/E (S&P 500 divided by the 10-year average of inflation-adjusted earnings) of 24.2 is closer to 65% above its pre-bubble median. Despite the 10-year averaging, Shiller earnings – the denominator of the Shiller P/E – are currently 6.4% of S&P 500 revenues, compared to a pre-bubble norm of only about 5.4%. So contrary to the assertion that Shiller earnings are somehow understated due to the brief plunge in earnings during the credit crisis, the opposite is actually true. If anything, Shiller earnings have benefited from recently elevated margins, and the Shiller P/E presently understates the extent of market overvaluation. On historically normal profit margins, the Shiller P/E would be about 29 here. In any event, on the basis of valuation measures that are actually well-correlated with subsequent market returns, current valuations are now at or beyond the most extreme points in a century of market history, save for the final approach to the 2000 peak.

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You have been warned.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hey Mark Levin! Who Got The Bush Tax Cuts Made Permanent Under A Democrat President?

John Boehner, you ingrate.

George Bush couldn't do that even with control of the House and Senate.

Total Public Debt Owed Jumps $328 Billion After Debt Ceiling Extended

click to enlarge

The August Miles-Traveled Report Is Out, And It's Not Good.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
Miles traveled on all roads in August 2013, using the 12-month moving average, are actually down from August 2012, according to the latest report here.

And miles traveled remain stuck at levels first achieved in the US sometime between 2004 and 2005, despite population increase.

Travel remains severely depressed in America.

Rush Limbaugh Reaches Conclusion Reached Three Years Ago By Michael Savage: We've Been Taken Over

Here's Michael Savage back in April 2010:

"a takeover by the Red Diaper Doper Babies"
OBAMA DID SAY TODAY THAT THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO MORE STATES IS AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO GLOBAL SECURITY. AND YET THIS INSANE TREATY INCREASES THAT RISK. OBAMA ALSO SAID TODAY THAT WHILE THE TREATY WAS A GOOD FIRST STEP FORWARD, IT’S THE FIRST IN A LONG WAY FORWARD. “IT WILL SET THE STAGE FOR FURTHER CUTS.” FURTHER CUTS. OBAMA DOESN’T JUST WANT TO REDUCE OUR ARSENAL. HE WANTS TO ELIMINATE IT COMPLETELY. HE IS OUR DESTROYER-IN-CHIEF. AND THE ONE REMAINING CHANCE TO END HIS AGENDA OF APPEASEMENT IS THE U.S. SENATE, WHICH MUST RATIFY THE TREATY BY A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY. HE COULD BE STOPPED THERE, BUT WHERE IS THE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION? EACH DAY, MORE AND MORE, IT’S AS IF A HOSTILE FOREIGN POWER HAS TAKEN OVER THE COUNTRY.


Here's Rush Limbaugh on October 15th:

You know what's happened here? You know what this feels like, folks? I'll tell you exactly what it feels like to me. You tell me if this isn't close. It feels like we've lost a war to a communist country. It's almost like there's been a coup. There's been a peaceful coup. The media has led this coup, and the Democrats have taken over with popular support. We're getting policies and implementations and things that were never, ever part of this country's design and founding. ... It feels like we've lost the country. In some estimations it's almost like we lost a battle for the country. Some outside force has actually come in and taken over, and they did it without firing a shot, 'cause there wasn't really a war going on that anybody saw. Sort of like a peaceful coup. It happens gradually and then all of a sudden everybody wakes up, "Gee, what in the name of Sam Hill's happened here?" I understand it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lefty Peter Beinart Calls Republican Surrender A Victory



If this is Republican surrender, I hope I never see Republican victory. ... Let’s pause for a moment to underscore the point. In early September, a “clean” CR—including sequester cuts—that funded the government into 2014 was considered a Republican victory by both the Republican House Majority Leader and Washington’s most prominent Democratic think tank. Now, just over a month later, the media is describing the exact same deal as Republican “surrender.”

Ted Cruz And Mike Lee Aren't Heroes. They Hung John Boehner Out To Dry.

During his non-filibuster filibuster, Sen. Ted Cruz had called defunding ObamaCare a matter of life and death: 


“In a football game we all cheer for our respective teams. I cheer for the Houston Texans. It’s a good thing to cheer for your team…This isn’t a team sport. This is life and death. There is a fundamental divide between the government and the people."


Presumably a matter of life and death means you'd do anything to stop ObamaCare, including block the raising of the debt ceiling to accomplish that.

That's what could have happened yesterday afternoon if Cruz, or Lee, or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio or any of the other senators opposed to ObamaCare in the Senate had moved to delay, which any of them easily could have. Then the deadline set by the US Treasury would have come and gone, and all hell would have broken loose.

Yes, within a day or two the bill in the Senate still would have been passed and sent to Speaker Boehner, who, being perhaps another man by that time, might have refused to bring the bill up for a vote in the US House, throwing down the gauntlet once and for all.

We'll never know, but no Republican in the Senate gave Mr. Boehner any political cover to take such a courageous stand and desperate action to stop the single biggest assault by government against free enterprise in this country in its history.

Speaker Boehner for his part received a standing ovation from the Republicans for his leadership in this affair because he went to the mat for members with whose views he personally disagreed, views they shared with Cruz and Lee. Too bad Ted Cruz and Mike Lee didn't go to the mat for him.

The Far Left Also Realizes Boehner Won. Too Bad Republicans Don't.

The Nation, here:


Because the deal only includes minor concessions, the Beltway consensus is that it represents a resounding defeat for Republicans, who “surrendered” their original demands to defund or delay Obamacare. In the skirmish of opinion polls, that may be true, for now. But in the war of ideas, the Senate deal is but a stalemate, one made almost entirely on conservative terms. The GOP now goes into budget talks with sequestration as the new baseline, primed to demand longer-term cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And they still hold the gun of a US default to the nation’s head in the next debt ceiling showdown.

---------------------------

Boehner, last August, who got exactly this, despite having to try the so-called Tea Party gambit of defunding ObamaCare, which failed because of all the RINOs in the Senate, and was destined to fail from the beginning for that very reason, if only people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee had bothered to check their voting records:


“When we return, our intent is to move quickly on a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said on a conference call with GOP lawmakers, according to a person on the call.


“Our message will remain clear,” Boehner said. “Until the president agrees to better cuts and reforms that help grow the economy and put us on path to a balanced budget, his sequester — the sequester he himself proposed, insisted on and signed into law — stays in place.”


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Boehner Actually Wins Again Despite Himself: His Position From August 22nd Was A Clean CR Keeping The Sequester, And That's What The Senate Compromise Is Going To Provide

The Washington Post reported, here, at the time:


House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that he plans to avert a government shutdown at the end of September by passing a “short-term” budget bill that maintains sharp automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.


“When we return, our intent is to move quickly on a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said on a conference call with GOP lawmakers, according to a person on the call.


“Our message will remain clear,” Boehner said. “Until the president agrees to better cuts and reforms that help grow the economy and put us on path to a balanced budget, his sequester — the sequester he himself proposed, insisted on and signed into law — stays in place.”

-------------------------------------------------------------

Well, that's what we're getting from the Senate at the very last minute after a two-week government shutdown: a short term continuing resolution which keeps the sequester cuts for that term.

It was libertarian Republicans who found this unacceptable and forced Boehner to try the shutdown gambit, which was incredibly stupid given the optics of the government running out of funding on September 30th and ObamaCare launching on October 1st. Clearly no one in Boehner's opposition was watching the news stories predicting problems with the internet exchanges, nor reflecting on what powerful weapons they were putting into Obama's hands when they've had five years' worth of examples of Obama usurping powers, acting unconstitutionally, and generally acting "out of character" for a president.

The president continues to go outside the experience of his enemy, but the enemy still hasn't figured that out. Now that they know how far Obama's willing to go, his enemies need to be more careful next time.




Boehner Knew The Political Danger Of A Shutdown. Republicans Should Have Listened To Him.

As always, Republican disunity becomes the Democrat opening, but Boehner deserves blame for not insisting on his preference and for letting someone else set the agenda, which unfortunately is his habit. The speaker of the House must assert the co-equality of it.

Politico, here:

Boehner allies strongly reject the idea that the speaker could be damaged by this latest debacle. After all, it was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who was setting the terms of this debate, not Boehner. The Ohio Republican wanted to pass a clean government-funding bill more than a month ago, while organizing a tidy negotiating process around the debt ceiling. Instead, everything became one big mess, where House Republicans were unsure what they were asking for, what they should be seeking, and for what price.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Janet Yellen's Crystal Ball Utterly Failed Her In May 2007: She Never Saw The Crisis Coming

(as always, click on the image to enlarge)




“Taking a longer view, I anticipate real GDP growth over the next two and a half years [2008 & 2009] of about 2.6 percent, just a bit below my assessment of potential. My forecasts of both actual and potential growth are a tenth or two stronger than the Greenbook forecasts; but the basic story is very similar, and the underlying assumptions, including the path for the nominal funds rate, are essentially the same. I view the stance of monetary policy as remaining somewhat restrictive throughout the entire forecast period. The key factors shaping the longer-term outlook include continued fallout from the housing sector, with housing wealth projected to be roughly flat through 2008. Given the reduced impetus from housing wealth, household spending should advance at a more moderate pace going forward than over the past few years.” (Quoted here)

Obama Keeps Michelle's Website, letsmove.gov, Up During The Shutdown, But Not bea.gov

letsmove.gov is open for business during the shutdown
bea.gov is not

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How Rep. Paul Ryan Is Just Like Sen. Ted Cruz

Here in The Wall Street Journal on October 8th, Rep. Paul Ryan says he is willing to swap sequester cuts for cuts to mandatory spending:


If Mr. Obama decides to talk, he'll find that we actually agree on some things. For example, most of us agree that gradual, structural reforms are better than sudden, arbitrary cuts. For my Democratic colleagues, the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act are a major concern. And the truth is, there's a better way to cut spending. We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs.

And the reason is there's more to be gained over the long haul from cuts to the mandatory side, which is 60% of annual outlays anyway:


These reforms are vital. Over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office predicts discretionary spending—that is, everything except entitlement programs and debt payments—will grow by $202 billion, or roughly 17%. Meanwhile, mandatory spending—which mostly consists of funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—will grow by $1.6 trillion, or roughly 79%. The 2011 Budget Control Act largely ignored entitlement spending. But that is the nation's biggest challenge.

But just why Republicans like Paul Ryan expect us to believe they can negotiate cuts to mandatory programs from Democrats who have just rammed a new one called ObamaCare down our throats is quite beyond me. It's as unrealistic as Senator Ted Cruz thinking libertarian Republicans could get Obama to defund that program without unity in the party on the subject in the first place. Cynics quickly decided Cruz was just fundraising for 2016. And Rep. Ryan could just as plausibly be trying to re-establish some street cred with conservatives after his involvement with the Facebook-financed immigration amnesty debacle.

There's plenty of unrealism to go around in the Republican Party, which still hasn't figured out that Obama and the Democrats are the enemy, which is surprising since that's how he views them. But that seems to be a particularly libertarian penchant, expressed as it is in interminable losing electoral challenges throughout the country which do nothing but help elect Democrats. Maybe Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz are just libertarian spoilers on the national stage, for whom success is keeping Republicans from succeeding.

Figuring out how to proceed when your country has been taken over by a hostile foreign power without having fired a shot remains the central problem for an opposition which doesn't realize it is one, especially when your own ranks have been infiltrated by an enemy.

Where are the non-libertarian economic conservatives? 


Today's Average Price for Gas in GR is $3.35/gallon

The cheapest price for gas is at Sam's Club for $3.19/gallon at this hour.

The average inflation adjusted price for gasoline going back a hundred years is $2.60/gallon in June 2013 dollars, so gasoline remains about 29% too expensive by historical standards.

Without Issuing New Treasury Securities, Something Would Have To Give After Just 22 Days

How long can the government pay all its bills without selling any additional Treasury bills, notes or bonds? The answer is really about only 22 days.

The suggestion that the answer is indefinitely is completely wrong. The Sean Hannitys of the world who otherwise protest incessantly that we borrow 40 cents of every dollar that we spend are in denial about this.

Consider revenues in the last fiscal year: $2.712 trillion, or $226 billion per month.

Then consider outlays in the last fiscal year: $3.6849 trillion, or $307 billion per month, or $10.233 billion per day. So revenues will last about only 22 days, after which we'll need to find another $81 billion somewhere, or not pay some bills.

The monthly shortfall of $81 billion adds up to $972 billion over a year, or 26.4% of all outlays in the last fiscal year.

Discretionary spending in the Obama 2012 budget request was $1.510 trillion. Slashing that $972 billion across the board represents a 64.4% cut to discretionary spending.

By agency that means, for example, defense spending would have to be cut by $429 billion and Homeland Security by $35 billion, and the EPA by $5.9 billion and Agriculture by $17 billion.

That's why just about everyone in both parties wants to see the debt limit increased: no one can stand it that they'd have to take such a huge hit to live within our means. It's really all about that, not about "default" per se. Interest on the debt runs to only $34 billion to $35 billion per month. There's plenty of income to allocate to that. So we won't default, but spending cuts would of necessity be nothing short of draconian.

The squealing of the pigs continues.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

CNBC Exaggerates That The Debt Party Is Back On

Debt is expanding year over year at a rate 33% faster than compared to the previous period, but even so, CNBC's Jeff Cox here is exaggerating the significance:


"Whether it's corporate loans, all quality levels of bonds or simple consumer credit, the debt party is back on in the U.S., whether it's in the boardroom or the living room."


Debt expansion between April 2012 and April 2013 is up at a rate of only 3.5% compared to the period a year earlier when total credit market debt outstanding (TCMDO) expanded at a 2.6% rate.

TCMDO increased from $55.592 trillion in April 2012 to $57.563 trillion in April 2013, the latest date for which figures are available. In April 2011, TCMDO stood at $54.150 trillion.

As welcome as the present higher rate of debt expansion might be from a monetarist perspective, it's still a far cry from the historic post-war pattern which has witnessed TCMDO double every 6-11 years, with an average doubling time of 8 years.

A doubling time of 11 years implies an annual rate of debt expansion of about 6.5%, not quite double the actual rate in the last year. At the present rate, it will take TCMDO 20 years to double, an unprecedented slowdown in the pattern since the end of World War II.

The United States remains severely hampered when it comes to its traditional post-war debt-based economy.

Larry Kudlow Says He Believes In Abraham Lincoln's Idea Of Political Persuasion

You mean like this, Larry?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Snowden Shmowden and Up Yours America: FISA Court Re-Authorizes NSA Collection Of All US Phone Calls

The announcement was unusual, but buried in the Friday night data dump, which is actually pretty thin because of the shutdown.

TheHill.com reports, here:


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has granted the National Security Agency (NSA) permission to continue its collection of records on all U.S. phone calls.


The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced the court's approval in a statement late Friday. The court authorizes the program for only limited time periods and requires that the government submit new requests every several months for re-authorization.


The existence of the bulk phone data collection was one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden. 




Obama Purges Nuke Commanders Back To Back: "To Preserve A Tyranny Take Off Those Who Will Not Submit"

As reported here yesterday:



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The deputy commander of U.S. nuclear forces, Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was notified Wednesday that he has been relieved of duty amid a military investigation of allegations that he used counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino, the Navy said.


The move is exceedingly rare and perhaps unprecedented in the history of U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for all American nuclear warfighting forces, including nuclear-armed submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.

And here today:


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force is firing the two-star general in charge of all of its nuclear missiles in response to an investigation into alleged personal misbehavior, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey is being removed from command of the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for three wings of intercontinental ballistic missiles - a total of 450 missiles at three bases across the country, the officials said.

The officials disclosed the matter to the AP on condition of anonymity because it had not been publicly announced.



h/t Michael Savage

JFK, The So-Called Anti-Communist: "I'd Rather My Children Be Red Than Dead"


Quoted here:

At one point, after leaving the room to take another urgent phone call, he came back shaking his head and said to me, “I’d rather my children be red than dead.” It wasn’t a political statement or an attempt at levity. These were the words of a father who adored his children and couldn’t bear them being hurt.

Rush Says There's Nothing New, You Know, Like In The Book Of Genesis


"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."

-- Ecclesiastes 1:9

Methodists these days.

Ann Coulter Should Just Shut Up And Stand There (and dance maybe)


John McCain Proves Yet Again Why We Who Supported Him In 2008 Were On A Fool's Errand

"It was pretty obvious that we were not going to defund ObamaCare."


Republicans' commitment to compromise means they are always defeated before they even begin.

ObamaCare Website Roll Out Fails Horribly, Despite Spending $500 Million

The conservative estimate of the cost of the website to date is $500 million, but in its first week just 51,000 nationwide are claimed to have completed applications successfully.


DigitalTrends.com:

[F]or the sake of putting the monstrous amount of money into perspective, here are a few figures to chew on: Facebook, which received its first investment in June 2004, operated for a full six years before surpassing the $500 million mark in June 2010. Twitter, created in 2006, managed to get by with only $360.17 million in total funding until a $400 million boost in 2011. Instagram ginned up just $57.5 million in funding before Facebook bought it for (a staggering) $1 billion last year. And LinkedIn and Spotify, meanwhile, have only raised, respectively, $200 million and $288 million.

The UK Daily Mail:


Just 51,000 people completed Obamacare applications during the first week the Healthcare.gov website was online, according to two sources inside the Department of Health and Human Services who gave MailOnline an exclusive look at the earliest enrollment numbers.