Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Draws A Graph Showing How Much Obama Sucks

Red is where we are. Green is where we should be.

Obama is the worst president since he's been born.

h/t James Pethokoukis

Rush Limbaugh Thinks The Pope Is Totally Wrong, Biting The Hand That Makes The Church Rich


[T]his pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth. ...

If it weren't for capitalism, I don't know where the Catholic Church would be. ... I have been numerous times to the Vatican.  It wouldn't exist without tons of money. ...

This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.  Unfettered capitalism?  That doesn't exist anywhere.  Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States. ... 

[R]eading what the pope's written about this is really befuddling because he's totally wrong -- I mean, dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong. ...

The Catholic Church, the American Catholic Church has an annual budget of $170 billion.  I think that's more than General Electric earns every year.  And the Catholic Church of America is the largest landholder in Manhattan.  I mean, they have a lot of money.  They raise a lot of money.  They wouldn't be able to reach out the way they do without a lot of money.


Larry Kudlow Says Pope Francis' Anti-Capitalism Is Wrong

Just now on his radio program at wabcradio.com, calling socialism and communism "godless".

Way to go, Larry.

The Moneybags Behind The American Conservative Comes Out For Higher Minimum Wage In California!

Proving once again that the word conservative often has little to do with free markets, the moneybags behind The American Conservative until March of this year has seen Governor Jerry Brown's California minimum wage of $10 and raised him $2!

The New York Times reports here:

The Massachusetts State Senate approved a measure last week that would increase that state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour, far more than the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum. Hoping to reduce low-wage workers’ dependence on government aid, a conservative billionaire in California, Ronald Unz, is backing a referendum to raise his state’s minimum wage to $12 — even more than the $10 minimum that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September. And on Tuesday, officials in Washington State announced that voters in SeaTac, a Seattle suburb, had approved a referendum to establish a $15-an-hour minimum wage for the 6,500 workers at the international airport there. Also this week in Maryland, the Montgomery and Prince George’s county councils voted to raise the minimum to $11.50 an hour by 2017.

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Moonbeams everywhere.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dear President Obama


You're At Risk On Healthcare.gov, ObamaCare Website Should Be Scrapped, Say Hacker Experts

"When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn't appear to have happened this time. It's really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn't built into it. We're talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself ... everything from hacking someone's computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names--first name, last name--locations. When you look at the site itself, it could be really good. It could do really well. They're just not building the security into the site itself. Putting your information on there is definitely a risk."

-- David Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec

"There's not a plan to fix this that meets the sniff test of being reasonable."

-- Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations

For the full story, go here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crony Socialism: Fed Profits On College Student Loans Rank Third Behind Exxon-Mobil And Apple!

Or is that socialist cronyism?

Anyway, those thirsty blood suckers in the federal government made $41.3 billion off the nation's college student loan program in fiscal 2013, according to the Detroit Free Press, here:

It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.










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That's not quite right, however.

In 2012 the profits thrown off from massive numbers of government bonds and mortgage backed securities "purchased" by the Federal Reserve and returned to the Treasury by the Fed were more than double that, as reported here last January:

The Federal Reserve sent a record $88.9 billion in profits to the Treasury Department in 2012 as it reaped gains from the unconventional programs it launched to spur economic growth.

Last year's remittance to Treasury topped the previous record of $79.3 billion in 2010, Fed records show.

Friday, November 22, 2013

September 2013 Road Miles-Traveled Report: Still Depressed At 2004-2005 Levels

Mobility by car on the nation's roads remains in depression. We're driving like it's still 2004/05.

Miles-traveled are flat and have been flat since the economy ran out of gas after 2007, still the peak year for road travel. The long trend of steady growth in mobility ended that year.

The report is here.

Democrat Leader In Senate Makes Unprecedented Change To Centuries-Old Filibuster Rule

Senate majority leader Democrat Harry Reid has just thrown out the rule book for filibusters in the Senate.

Story here:

By a vote of 52-48, the Senate invoked the so-called “nuclear option” to change the historic filibuster rules of the upper chamber. As a result, the minority party will be prevented from filibustering any nominations other than those to the Supreme Court.

"It's time to change the Senate before the institution becomes obsolete,” Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday morning on the Senate floor ahead of the unprecedented alteration to centuries-old rules regarding the power of the minority party to contest Senate business.

“The need for change is so, so very obvious,” he said. “It’s manifest [that] we have to do something to change things.”

... lawmakers lamented that if the party in power can change the rules, then rules are meaningless. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obama Approval Tanks With ObamaCare

Poll here.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this website!

Representative Lamar Smith (TX-21), here:

"Given the distressing testimony we heard at the Science Committee’s hearing about Healthcare.gov, there is only one reasonable course of action. Mr. President, take down this website."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ritholtz doing The Mussolini


5 Million Get Insurance Canceled, Obama Claims Over 100 Million Sign-Ups In First Month!

The red diaper doper baby in chief strikes again, in a conference call to supporters, quoted here:

Boasting of his administration's skill in encouraging taxpayers to buy health insurance policies through public marketplaces, he claimed that 'in the first month alone, we've seen more than 100 million Americans already successfully enroll in the new insurance plans.' ...

It's likely Obama meant to initially take credit for 100,000 success stories, rather than 100 million. But his mangling of the statistics put him off-track by a factor of 1,000.

And even the smaller number relies on a flexible definition of what counts, and what doesn't, as an Obamacare subscriber.

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Off by a factor of 1,000, which pretty much sums up everything about the last 5 years.

This is what you get when you put the son of Cheech and Chong in charge of the country. You know, intercontinental railroads, military corpse-men and three proud words ("made in the USA"). 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Justin Amash Isn't A Conservative, Just An Ambitious Climber

People keep calling Rep. Justin Amash, Republican (MI-3), a conservative, but he isn't. What he mostly is is ambitious, like most politicians, despite what his own campaign website continues to say.

Conservatism is a tool in the hands of this tool peddler's son, which he has used to advance his career in elections but has set aside when it comes to votes on say abortion, energy and the budget where he has made the good the enemy of the perfect. This is surprising from someone who claims to be a moderate.

By his own admission to George Will last April, when the prospect of throwing his hat in the ring to vie for the seat of retiring Democrat Senator Carl Levin was still tantalizingly real, Justin Amash demonstrated that his conservatism is merely part of his calculated "mix of positions", not the center of who he is:

“Tell me how a Democrat is going to attack me on the social issues.” Republicans, however, might take up that task. Nevertheless, he thinks that he could win a Republican primary and that “my mix of positions is best for winning the general.”

“Because I do not fit neatly in the Republican box, some establishment Republicans and pundits think I am extreme,” but “I am a moderate” because “the point of the Constitution is to moderate the government.”

Republicans take note.

Justin Amash doesn't moderate his positions for the sake of Republican votes, but for the sake of Democrat ones. But God help you if your positions as a Republican don't toe his libertarian line, then he won't budge an inch.

A clearer picture of the practical meaning of libertarianism you will hardly find: They are Democrats in disguise.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"The only way ObamaCare pain stops for Democrats is if they repeal it."

So says John McIntyre of Real Clear Politics, just now on the Larry Kudlow Radio Show.

The NY Sun Reminds Yellen Congress Regulates The Value Of Money, Not The Fed

The wimps in the Senate are rolled yet again, but The Sun shineth, here:

What needs to be confronted is the scandal of Federal Reserve independence. Where in the Constitution does it say that monetary policy is supposed — or permitted — to be independent of politics? If the Founders of America had wanted the monetary power to be given to a body independent of politics, they could have given it to the Army or the Navy or the Supreme Court. But they sat down in Philadelphia and gave the power to “coin money and regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin” to, in the Congress, the single most political institution in the entire constitutional system.

Vanguard's VTSMX Posts Record High Of 45.46 Yesterday, The 44th New High In 2013

This fund, Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index, has posted new all time highs in every month this year save June: one in January, six in February, six in March, three in April, NINE in May, six in July, two in August, two in September and six in October. They really bought in May and went away, but only for a month.

Yesterday's new high is the third in November.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Most Investors Will Hold All The Way Down"

John Hussman, here, last Tuesday:

'While we can make our case on the basis of fact, theory, data, history, and sometimes just basic arithmetic, what we can’t do – and haven’t done well – is to disabuse perceptions. Beliefs are what they are, and are only as malleable as the minds that hold them. Like the nearly religious belief in the technology bubble, the dot-com boom, the housing bubble, and countless other bubbles across history, people are going to believe what they believe here until reality catches up in the most unpleasant way. The resilience of the market late in a bubble is part of the reason investors keep holding and hoping all the way down. In this market cycle, as in all market cycles, few investors will be able to unload their holdings to the last of the greater fools just after the market’s peak. Instead, most investors will hold all the way down, because even the initial decline will provoke the question “how much lower could it go?” It has always been that way.'

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"The Harrisburg Patriot and Union" Newspaper Was Right The First Time About The Gettysburg Addresses

Stories here and here:

"But the Secretary of State is a man of note. He it was who first fulminated the doctrine of the irrepressible conflict; and on the battle field and burial ground of Gettysburg he did not hesitate to re-open the bleeding wound, and proclaim anew the fearful doctrine that we are fighting all these bloody  battles, which have drenched our land in gore, to upset the Constitution, emancipate the negro and bind the white man in the chains of despotism."

-- Tuesday November 24, 1863

CHRONICLES' Roman Catholic Tom Fleming Goes All-In For Obedience To The Tyranny

When you hitch your wagon to the grandmothers of Bolshevism, you always end up in the ditch:

Not content with telling wives to obey husbands, slave to obey masters, subjects to obey the rulers, Paul makes obedience a general rule: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive unto themselves damnation."  So much for the right of revolution, civil disobedience, and, I might add, the myth of the Underground Railroad. ... In everyday political terms, then, we have to perform our duties as subjects or citizens.  "Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; [TAX RESISTERS NEED NOT APPLY], custom to whom custom [SORRY, PAUL IS NO FREE-TRADER], fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.  By the way, the word for honor is good old Greek word time, that implies that different men have a worth or price that must be paid in terms of respect.

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None of that good ole' Protestant "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" stuff for Tom Fleming, no siree.

It's nice to see that after all these years our disagreements about politics always end up being theological at their root.

Conservatives take note. The Roman Catholics now in control of most of the conservative movement are the reason America grows less and less free than it used to be. They will do nothing but continue to bow, but patriots will stand with the father of their country and refuse to kneel. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

ObamaCare: Gun To The Head Charity Designed To Shrink The Middle Class

The income redistributionist m/o of ObamaCare, which will execute the middle class, not the upper class, dawns on a New York Times op-ed writer, here, from which this excerpt about how she lost her plan, got a much more restrictive one in its place, and had to pay an extra $5,400 for it:

“Obamacare or Kafkacare?” I posted on Facebook as soon as I hung up with Anthem. I vented about the call and wrote that the president should be protecting the middle class, not making our lives substantially harder. For extra sympathy, I may have thrown in the fact that I’m a single mom. (O.K., I did.) ...

[President Obama] keeps apologizing while maintaining that it’s for the good of the country, a vast improvement “over all.”

And the “over all” might agree. But the self-employed middle class is being sacrificed at the altar of politically correct rhetoric, with nobody helping to ensure our health, fiscal or otherwise, because it’s trendy to cheer for the underdog. Embracing the noble cause is all very well — as long as yours isn’t the “fortunate” family that loses its access to comprehensive, affordable health care while the rest of the nation gets it.

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When it comes to spreading the wealth around, they mean the middle class' wealth, not the wealth of the rich.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Liars gonna lie

"Obama denies he made a promise that was videotaped two dozen times."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Feckless Obama Does Nothing About The Now 5.75 Year Long Employment Recession

Unemployment has ticked up to 7.3% in October as another 720,000 people bailed out of the labor force. 

An astounding 91.5 million could be in the labor force but are not. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, over 12 million people have left it, 11.7 million of which left it AFTER the recession ended in June 2009. 

You have to go back to 1979 to get a labor force participation rate as low as 62.9 like we have today. At 58.3 the civilian employment population ratio was last this bad back in 1983.

Job growth increased again to average 190,000 added per month in the last year as up-revisions to previous monthly reports were taken into account. At this rate it would take over five years to put everyone who left the labor force back into it, assuming you didn't also have to accommodate all the new entrees into the labor force from population growth. Many of those who left will simply never re-enter because they will reach retirement eligibility before they'll find a job.

The broadest measure of unemployment included 11.3 million out of work, 8.1 million working part-time for economic reasons (peak was in excess of 9.2 million), and 2.3 million marginally attached to the workforce, or 21.7 million total.

CalculatedRiskBlog's famous graph of this longest and deepest employment recession in the post-war now extends the streak to 69 months, or 5.75 years.

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may be found here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

GDP For Q3 2013 At 2.8% Annualized In The First Estimate, Released Today

click to enlarge
The report in pdf from the Bureau of Economic Analysis may be found here.

The average report of GDP in 2013 now stands at 2.13% (1.1%, 2.5% and 2.8%), while growth measured in the 3rd quarter on an annualized basis is running at 2.8%.

Assuming GDP in the third and fourth quarters finishes sufficiently strongly enough to lift the year to a growth rate of 2.8% overall when next year's final estimate of GDP for Q4 2013 is complete, Obama's five year record will be an average report of 1.4%, still the lowest in the post-war behind George W. Bush's 2.1%.

But that assumption may be too rosy.

The GDP range for 2013 projected by the Federal Reserve in its June report is just 2.3% to 2.6%, so it remains very possible that 2013 GDP will finish the year at something less than the current 2.8%, especially as the ObamaCare Tax, in the form of higher health insurance premiums and other taxes, whacks the only people with the spending money in this economy.

Kathleen Sebelius Does The Mussolini During Senate Testimony

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bill Kristol Says Cuccinelli Ran Better In Virginia Than Romney

This morning on the Laura Ingraham Show.

He's right.

Romney lost to Obama in Virginia by 149,000 votes, less than 4% of the total cast, with just 60,000 votes going to third party candidates, not enough to have made a difference.

But Cuccinelli lost to the Democrat in Virginia by 55,000 votes, only 2.5% of the total cast, with 146,000 votes going to the Libertarian, more than enough to have made the difference.

As a social and economic conservative, Cuccinelli more vividly drew the distinction between himself and liberalism's fellow travelers, including those in the Republican Establishment who turned their backs on Cuccinelli after September, as did also Chris Christie, who couldn't find the time to stump for a fellow Republican in a close race in a nearby state.

But there Christie was, protesting his conservatism on election day, here:

The GOP governor, who's seriously considering a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also distanced himself from his moderate label.

"I'm a conservative," Christie said. "I've governed as a conservative in this state, and I think that's led to some people disagreeing with me in our state, because it's generally a left-of-center, blue state."

Cuccinelli was the real deal. Chris Christie is not. 



Libertarians Spoil Another One For Republicans In Virginia Gubernatorial Race

click to enlarge
When are Republicans going to wake up and get rid of their fifth column?

The 5.5% spread between the Democrat and the Republican represents just 55,000 votes and only 38% of the total garnered by the Libertarian whom Ron Paul basically denounced at the last minute.

But if Ron Paul really meant it, wouldn't he have said so a little earlier?

More here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vanguard's VTSMX Now The World's Biggest Mutual Fund, Edging Out PIMCO Total Return

From the story here:

For the year, the Pimco Total Return Fund has had outflows of about $33.2 billion. The fund, which is managed by Pimco co-founder and co-chief investment officer Bill Gross, is still the world's largest bond fund [at $248 billion], Morningstar said.

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now holds the title of world's largest mutual fund with $251.1 billion, according to Morningstar.

Federal Reserve GDP Projections For 2013 From June 2011, 2012, 2013


In June 2011 the Fed's forecast for 2013 GDP was for between 3.5% and 4.2%.

In June 2012 the forecast was reduced to between  2.2% and 2.8%.

And in June 2013 the forecast has narrowed to between 2.3% and 2.6%.

Quarters one and two in 2013 have reported annualized GDP at 1.1% and 2.5% respectively.

Quarter three reports on Thursday for the first time, delayed from late October due to the government shutdown.

The comprehensive revision of GDP going back decades which came out this last summer reported average annual real GDP at 3.3% between 1929 and 2012, and at 3.4% from 1959 to 2002.

Current GDP of 2.5% is therefore running about 24% below the long term trend.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Justin Amash Is Consistently Pro-Life . . . Except For The First Three Days Of It

When Amash was asked about the appropriate time frame limit [to] abortion rights, he said, “I think that where we have it now is not correct. It should be closer to the point of conception, and whether it’s instantly or the first three days, I think that’s more sensible. That’s what I think would be correct.” (March 2013, here)


To Representative Justin Amash, Abortion Is OK Only When You're Just A Little Bit Pregnant

Sometimes you can't hide it when you gotta go.
Seen here (source here):

When Amash was asked about the appropriate time frame limit [to] abortion rights, he said, “I think that where we have it now is not correct. It should be closer to the point of conception, and whether it’s instantly or the first three days, I think that’s more sensible. That’s what I think would be correct.”

So much for libertarian consistency, the hobgoblin of little minds.

Like most libertarians, the schizophrenia gives way either as you mature, or when you're thinking about running for Senate in a liberal state, revealing the beating heart of a liberal underneath.

The phenomenon works in reverse, too: John McCain ran as a conservative in Arizona to keep his Senate seat ("President Obama is on a left-wing crusade to bankrupt America"), and then promptly went right back to being the turd in the Republican punchbowl.

Friday, November 1, 2013

When We Said Both America And China Had Fascist Economies, It Didn't Make News Like Tom Easton Made Wednesday

2nd generation type 094 missile boats can now threaten US
OK, call us early (here and here).

Tom Easton, American Finance editor for The Economist, here:

... [H]e declared that he had recently moved to the U.S. from China, but “didn’t leave a state-run economy. ... Everyone talks about how all-pervasive the Chinese economy and government is inside of it,” he says. The Chinese government “directs capital, controls the banking system and the ‘highlands’ of important industries. I’m still in China when I came back to America.”

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The next war will be like the last war, a clash between iterations of socialism, but there won't be a more or less free market economy around afterwards, as there was last time, to pick up the pieces.



The Number Of Wage Earners Is In The 5th Year Of Depression, Still 1.95 Million Fewer In 2012 Than In 2007

The jobs depression is now 5.67 years in length.
The number of wage earners counted by the Social Security Administration reached a peak in 2007 at 155.57 million, and the long-awaited number for 2012 is just out here in the last couple of days: 153.63 million.

2012 marks the fifth consecutive year we have fallen under the 2007 record high for the number of employees earning income subject to Social Security taxation.

The 2012 figure is just under the 2006 figure of 153.85 million wage earners, so you might say things were closer to 2005 levels in 2012 than to 2006.