Archive for August, 2010

Obama to Bush: Hey, your combat troops fell into my nation-building force!

August 31st, 2010 9:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Blowback, Commentary, Foreign Policy, Humor, Maven Commentary, Obama, Ron Paul, terrorism, War  |  1

To paraphrase what I heard in Barack Obama’s speech earlier tonight…

- We’re bringing our combat troops home from Iraq…  and sending them to risk death in other no-win wars.

- But we’re gonna keep about 50,000 troops in Iraq to… do what they’ve already been doing since around 2005… nation-building.

- Sometime in 2011 we will remove all U.S. military troops from Iraq (yeah right) but we will leave behind a private “force” to continue our nation-building there.

- Though George W. Bush was a patriot and we may have disagreed on a bit of foreign policy minutia we are in large agreement that we must continue breeding hatred for all things America by shifting our focus toward different faux-monsters to destroy in far away lands.

- Yes, like George W. Bush, I have trouble going to sleep at night because there are terrorist monsters under America’s bed. I don’t care if you can’t see them when you turn on the light and look. They are there! I swear!

- We spent far too much money on the Iraq War so we must bring it home and spend it on entitlement programs then borrow perhaps another trillion or so to copy our Iraq effort in Afghanistan and who knows maybe we’ll do the same in Iran or Pakistan a bit later. This will be sure to help our economy here at home.

- Our troops are great.

- The Military-industrial complex will remain intact as long as I’m around!

- God Bless America because we need all the help we can get with me as your president.

- You should have all voted for Ron Paul. Let’s hope you get another chance in 2012.

—————–

That about sums up what I heard from President Barack Obama tonight. The non-paraphrased version is available too. I assure you there is not much different than my condensed version except for maybe that last Ron Paul bit.

Big Government Turns Cops into Robbers

August 30th, 2010 9:47 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, Drugs, Education, Liberty, Politics  |  Comments Off

The “civil asset forfeiture” laws are inherently corrupt. They empower law enforcement officers to take and keep your property, even if they haven’t charged you with a crime.

It gets worse.

It’s your property that’s actually charged with a crime, and your property is considered guilty until proven innocent. This makes it virtually impossible for you to regain your possessions once they’re seized.

But it gets even worse . . .

This scheme of legalized theft actually fosters additional corruption, as demonstrated in the sample letter below. Please use the new evidence we provide to send Congress another letter arguing that . . .

Civil asset forfeiture laws should be made illegal.

You can send your letter using our Educate the Powerful System:

You may borrow from or copy this sample letter . . .

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Obama Supporters Knock On Doors For Jack Conway In Kentucky

August 30th, 2010 3:42 pm  |  by  |  Published in Election, Health Care, Politics, Rand Paul  |  2 Responses

President Obama’s hardcore supporters aren’t wasting any time trying to get the Obama administration another vote for their radical left-wing agenda. In Kentucky, they have started an intense door-to-door campaign urging voters to support “Obama-friendly” candidates like Jack Conway.

Louisville WHAS 11′s political reporter Joe Arnold has the scoop:

Supporters of the policies of President Barack Obama knocked on doors in Louisville and Lexington over the weekend, as part of the “Moving America Forward” canvass to “support Democratic allies for President Obama.”

Presumably, that includes candidates for federal office, Jack Conway and John Yarmuth.

According to a release from Organizing for America-Kentucky (OFA-KY), volunteers are reaching out “to 2008 first time voters, sporadic voters, and newly registered voters to talk to them about the importance of electing Democratic allies for President Obama who will keep the country moving in the right direction.”

As President Obama has made clear in recent weeks, this election represents a choice between Democrats who have worked tirelessly to move the country forward or a return to the failed Republican policies that set the country in the wrong direction. Since taking office, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have passed historic reforms to the health insurance industry and Wall Street, and pulled the American economy back from the brink of depression.

Jack Conway was named by Senator Robert Menendez, leader of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as “the next Obama.”

Voters should question why Jack Conway used his support for ObamaCare in the primary to defeat the conservative Democratic candidate Daniel Mongiardo – Jack also pandered to the left on the Bush tax cuts against Mongiardo, only to pander back after the primary (the media did not report it) – but, now, Conway does not campaign on his support for the extreme Obama lead takeover of the health care industry.

Last week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched this ad in Kentucky pointing out Jack Conway’s support for the Obama lead legislation.

But the similarities don’t stop with ObamaCare, several of Jack Conway’s limited issues listed on his campaign website resemble Barack Obama campaign pledges; especially, Jack Conway’s “jobs plan.”

Is Jack Conway the next Obama? Or was Barack Obama’s platform a one-hit wonder?

Jack Conway faces Dr. Rand Paul in Kentucky for the senate seat being vacated by retiring United States Senator Jim Bunning.

Flying Blind

August 30th, 2010 9:48 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt, Taxes  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of the new best-selling economic fable, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

Watching economists and media analysts react to breaking economic news is a bit like looking at a flock of pigeons flying over the New York skyline. A true wonder of the urban landscape, the flocks can include hundreds of individuals who show an uncanny ability to stay in tight formation as the group quickly zig-zags between buildings. What may be even more remarkable than their ability to randomly fly while maintaining cohesion is the flock’s refusal to stick to any particular direction for very long, and their determination to fly feverishly without actually going anywhere. Sound familiar?

Today’s weak GDP numbers have finally caused the mass of economists to revise downward their formerly optimistic recovery forecasts, with many finally entertaining the possibility of a “double dip” recession. It should be obvious by now that these economists only have the capacity to describe where the economy is moving in the short-term…they have no ability to explain the reasons behind the macro trends or make predictions that go beyond the next data release. But economics is not dart throwing. It can be understood and properly forecast.

The major mental block is that most economists believe that an economy grows as a result of spending. Any policy that encourages spending and discourages savings and investment is considered beneficial. Unfortunately, these policies, which only succeed in growing debt and government, act more as an economic sedative than a stimulant.

On the subject of the “recovery,” I’d like to highlight some of my past predictions, and those of my colleague Michael Pento. With the benefit of hindsight, you can see that although these thoughts were widely dismissed as chronic pessimism at the time of their publication, the current situation supports our conclusions. Although some of our predictions, like for higher bond yield, have yet to materialize.

Michael and I may be birds of a feather, but we don’t blindly follow the flock. We believe economics is a scientific discipline with established laws, and that applying those laws will yield fairly accurate predictions over time. Most other economists say what they need to say to appease their employers (whether on Wall Street or in Washington) and maintain the respect of their peers.

Selections from my past commentaries:

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The Fed’s Biggest Bubble

August 29th, 2010 10:44 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist of Euro Pacific Capital

I’ve made a living out of exposing economic fallacies, but there’s one whale that I can’t seem to harpoon. Even top-flight Wall Street analysts seem to believe that the Fed’s doubling of the monetary base after the credit crunch has not had an inflationary impact on our economy. Their logic can be summed up like so: “The money the Fed created and dropped from helicopters has all been caught in the trees.” In other words, the Fed is creating money, but it is just being held as excess reserves by the banking system instead of being loaned to the public. Therefore, the money supply hasn’t truly increased, there is no money multiplier effect, and aggregate price levels are behaving themselves.

But this is only a half-truth. Yes, most of the money created by the Fed has been kept by commercial banks as excess reserves. However, the Fed doesn’t conjure reserves by magic. It first creates an electronic credit by fiat, then purchases an asset held by a financial institution. Those primary dealers then deposit that Federal Reserve check into their reserves. The act of creating money from nothing and buying an asset — be it a Treasury bond or Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) — drives up the price of that asset in the open market. Those price distortions send erroneous signals to private buyers and sellers, eventually creating gross economic imbalances.

Therefore, the inflation created by the Fed first gets concentrated in whatever asset it has chosen to purchase – before spreading throughout the economy.

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A healthcare bureaucrat makes tyrannical statements

August 29th, 2010 4:51 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Health Care, Liberty, Obama, Politics  |  Comments Off

Quote of the Day: “If the government can provide affordable, quality medical coverage for all Americans, let them prove it by providing it to our veterans.” – Unknown

In this message . . .

* How I lost my doctor
* Terrifying statements from the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
* Plus, a special offer from NullifyNow.com

The Democrats promised us lots of things about their healthcare bill (just like the Republicans promised us lots of things about Iraq). For instance . . .

* If you have insurance you like, it won’t change
* If you have a doctor you like, you’ll be able to continue seeing him or her

Well, how are those promises working out for you?

Personally, my insurance hasn’t changed, YET, but my doctor has.

My “liberal Democratic” doctor probably cheers most of the Social-Fascist policies proposed by his favored political party, except that the healthcare bill happened to gore his personal ox. The result is that he has stopped . . .

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Carts and Horses

August 29th, 2010 4:35 pm  |  by  |  Published in Debt, Economics, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, Peter Schiff  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of the new best-selling economic fable, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

In a CNBC debate last week, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich presented a set of contradictory beliefs that unfortunately reflect the conventional wisdom of modern economists. In a discussion with Wall Street Journal columnist Stephen Moore, Reich correctly and comprehensively listed the reasons why American consumers could spend so lavishly before the crash of 2008 and why they can no longer keep up the pace. But instead of making the logical conclusion that former levels of spending were unsustainable and that spending should now reflect current conditions, he advocated that government take on additional debt so that tapped out consumers can spend like they used to.

To achieve this, Reich called for lowering taxes on working Americans and raising taxes on the rich. He argued that middle-income Americans are more likely to spend additional dollars while the rich are more likely to save and invest. As a “demand-side” economist, Reich made clear that spending is superior to savings and investing as a catalyst for growth.

To put it simply: Reich believes that the cart pushes the horse. In his worldview, businesses produce goods and services simply because consumers spend. Therefore, anything that increases spending fuels growth. Unfortunately, he fails to see what should be strikingly obvious: capital formation must precede production, which then allows for consumption.

In a complex society like ours, those relationships are hard to see. However, if we break it down to a simpler level, it becomes more obvious (as I try to accomplish in my new book: How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes). For example, let’s take a look at a simple barter-based economy consisting of only three people: a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker.

If the candlestick maker wants cake, he can’t simply demand that the baker hand it over. The cake needs to be produced, and the baker has to expend labor and material to produce it. Unless the candlestick maker offers the baker something of value in exchange, the cakes won’t get baked. The ability of the candlestick maker to demand cake from the baker is a function of his ability to supply candles to trade. Without production, consumption can’t occur.

What if the candlestick maker gets sick and produces no candles? As the baker would be unwilling to give his cakes away, he would likely stop baking cakes for the candlestick maker. Economic activity would naturally contract until the candlestick maker recovers.

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Tea Party Godfather Ron Paul outlines its foreign policy

August 28th, 2010 1:01 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Foreign Policy, Ron Paul, War  |  1

Yesterday, in a short article, Ron Paul outlines what a Tea Party Foreign Policy should look like:

As one who is opposed to centralization, I am wary of attempts to turn a grassroots movement against big government like the Tea Party into an adjunct of the Republican Party. I find it even more worrisome when I see those who willingly participated in the most egregious excesses of the most recent Republican Congress push their way into leadership roles of this movement without batting an eye — or changing their policies!

As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.

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Ron Paul talks Ground Zero Mosque “side show” on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN

August 24th, 2010 12:58 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Free Market, Liberty, Rand Paul, Ron Paul  |  17 Responses

Ron Paul appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 last night to discuss his own position on the building of a mosque near ground zero. The interview gets interesting when the host delves into the differences between Ron Paul’s views and his son Rand’s views on the building of the mosque.

Ron Paul’s views could not be more in line with my own and represent the most purely consistent view on the matter.

“…the side show, which is what I call this..”  – Ron Paul on the ground zero mosque

(Thanks to Minnesota Chris for the video)

Take Your Pick: Sinking US or Soaring BRIC

August 21st, 2010 3:11 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Money, national debt  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

Since March 2009, the S&P 500 has surged by nearly 60% and US Treasuries have continued to surge, pushing yields close to all-time lows. This has elicited sighs of relief from professional investors, who see the strength as sure signs of recovery. Yet, these investors are ignoring – willfully or otherwise — the very thin trading volume upon which this rally is built. Retail investors remain scarred by the ’08 collapse and have steered clear of the stock market altogether. Instead, they have parked cash in the Treasury market (hence the low yields).

Still, financial gurus are flush with tales of deep value that await investors who have the fortitude to wade into the market. This past week, with significant fanfare, Warren Buffett reduced his position in Proctor & Gamble while increasing his holdings of Johnson & Johnson. Perhaps Buffett is growing increasingly distrustful of a consumer revival, but feels that government support will keep health care from feeling the pinch? While parsing the nuance of Buffet’s stance, most American investors are missing the big picture.

For want of a better cliché, reallocating US stock positions is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It would be far wiser to seek passage on a sturdier ship that is sailing with the tide, rather than against it.

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