FT220: “The legacy of the Obama Administration will not be the scandals but the complicit and corrupt media.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 2nd, 2014

Fundamental Truth

Free Speech can be an Instrument of Change

Before there was a Nazi Germany there was a German republic.  The Weimar Republic.  Where people were free to say anything they wanted to.  In fact, it was that freedom of speech that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power.  Who then took that freedom of speech he used away from everyone else.  Pumped out state propaganda (i.e., lies).  And did horrible things to people.  Including to his fellow Germans who dared to speak freely.

Free speech can be an instrument of change.  Hitler knew that.  And used it.  But knowing what an instrument of change speaking freely can be he banned free speech after he effected change with it.  And then started the lying.  Joseph Goebbels, the head of state propaganda, lied and he lied big.  Saying that if the people heard a lie enough they would believe it.  Especially a big lie.

Germans are not evil people.  But they did vote for members of the Nazi Party.  Of course, when they were voting for members of the Nazi Party it wasn’t the Nazi Party of the Holocaust.  No.  It was a much kinder and gentler Nazi Party.  A party for the workers.  And the people.  For the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  It was nothing more than big government taking care of the people.  At least, that was the lie.  And the people fell for it.  Giving us one of the darkest chapters in world history.

The Natural State of Life for people throughout History has been one of Oppression

As Nazi power expanded free speech withered and died.  The free press became an arm of the state.  Telling the people only what the state wanted the people to hear.  Not what the people wanted to know.  The truth.  No.  Instead, all the people got were lies.  To advance the state’s agenda.  And to squelch any discontent of the state.  For the few who dared to speak up or criticize the state the Gestapo (the state police) was there to arrest, torture, imprison or kill them.

This is why truth is so important to a free people.  And why it’s such a threat to an oppressive state.  For the governed far exceed those who govern.  So the only way a minority power can rise to a dictatorship is by cowing the people through fear and intimidation.  Keeping them blissfully ignorant of the truth.  And feeding them nothing but lies via the state propaganda machine.  Something a free press makes difficult to do.  Which is why a dictatorship shuts down free speech.

This is something as old as time.  For the natural state of life for people throughout history has been one of oppression.  Something our Founding Fathers were very aware of being gentlemen of the Enlightenment.  And students of history.  Which is why they gave us the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And a big part of the First Amendment is protection of the truth by the guardians of the truth.  A free press.

The Complicit and Corrupt Media supports a Political Agenda instead of being Guardians of the Truth

The free press brought Watergate to the attention of the American people.  And caused President Nixon to resign.  Because of the cover-up.  Not the crime.  When Oliver North traded arms for hostages during the Reagan administration the free press was all over that.  Irangate.  A play on Watergate.  And when news surfaced that the Bush family pressured the military to improve President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service record during the 2004 presidential campaign they were all over that, too.  But it turned out that this was a lie.  And we now know this as Memogate.  For the documents that CBS said proved this were obvious forgeries.

In other words, the media lied during the 2004 presidential campaign.  To harm President Bush’s reelection chances.  Making the media less of a free press and more an arm of the Democrat Party.  A propaganda machine.  For the mainstream media these days is less about the truth and more about Democrat propaganda.  As the Obama administration has had a flurry of scandals that gets scant coverage in the free press.  The IRS targeting of conservatives.  Benghazi.  Spying on the Associated Press.  Accusing journalist James Rosen of being a criminal for reporting unflattering news leaked to him (referred to as Rosengate).  Fast and Furious.  The lies, misinformation and backroom deals to pass Obamacare into law.  Etc.

The legacy of the Obama administration will not be the scandals.  But the complicit and corrupt media.  A media that was derelict in its duty to safeguard the truth.  Instead choosing to disseminate lies.  And ignoring news that is unfavorable to the Obama administration.  Should this nation stop being exceptional.  And become ordinary.  Like the history before us where the natural state of life was one of oppression.  It won’t be the emerging dictatorship to blame.  It will be the complicit and corrupt media that allowed it to happen.  By choosing lies over truth.  And supporting a political agenda instead of being guardians of the truth.

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Not Everyone signing up for Obamacare is paying for Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

The big question in the Obamacare signups recently released by the Obama administration is this.  How many people have actually sent a payment into their insurance company?  For signing up for health insurance doesn’t mean you have health insurance.  You have to pay for it first.  With ‘first’ being key.  As anyone who has paid a health insurance premium knows.  You pay for next month’s health insurance this month.  That is, it’s cash before delivery.  As the insurance companies need the cash before they can pay any benefits.  This is the way all insurance has worked since the dawn of insurance.  First money goes into an insurance pool.  Then said insurance pool pays insurance claims.  The money must come first.  There’s just no other way for it to work.

So, is the money coming first with Obamacare?  As it turns out, the majority of it is.  At least, according to a leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans (see Blue Cross group sees Obamacare premium payments at 80-85 percent by David Morgan posted 4/2/2014 on Reuters).

A leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans said on Wednesday that it is receiving premium payments from 80 to 85 percent of its new Obamacare health insurance customers.

The estimate, released by the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, reflects enrollment activity among 35 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 47 of the 50 states, including plans sold by WellPoint Inc, from October 1 through February 1…

If the Blue Cross Blue Shield payment rates held true for enrollment across the board, between 5.7 million and 6 million of the 7.1 million would actually be enrolled in coverage.

So that means the Obama administration is overstating the enrollment numbers from 18.3% to 24.6%.  And between 1.1 million and 1.4 million haven’t paid for the Obamacare they signed up for.  Of course, that’s assuming that the 7.1 million were all new Obamacare enrollees into private health insurance plans.  And not those who signed up for Medicaid who will never write a check for their coverage.  Which will not help the insurance companies pay for the expanded benefits mandated by Obamacare.

So the Obama administration’s numbers are suspect to say the least.  As is the continued existence of the private insurers.  For if they don’t get 7+ million signing up for Obamacare (with a heavy concentration of the young and healthy who will file few claims) the cost of caring for the old and sick will bankrupt them.  Of course if this was the plan all along the Obama administration could at least claim something in Obamacare was working according to plan.

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The changing of the Benghazi Talking Points for Political Reasons was not Political according to CIA

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 5th, 2014

Week in Review

Susan Rice said it.  Hillary Clinton said it.  And President Obama said it.  Over and over again.  The attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was due to a YouTube video that incited a spontaneous protest that resulted with an attack on the mission with assault weapons and pre-sighted mortars.  Highly improbable but that’s what they said.  Over and over again.  It wasn’t a terrorist attack.  Because President Obama killed Osama bin Laden and won the War on Terror.  The 2012 campaign slogan was Osama bin Laden is dead.  General Motors is alive.  And al Qaeda is on the ropes.  On the run.  No longer a threat to the United States.  That’s why we had to reelect President Obama.  For he sure couldn’t point to any successes when it came to the economy.

Of course beefing up security in Benghazi would have harmed that narrative.  So while the British were pulling out of Benghazi because a resurgent al Qaeda was making it too dangerous the U.S. State Department denied Ambassador Steven’s request for additional security.  Because a resurgent al Qaeda was making it very dangerous in Benghazi.  But the American people didn’t hear that.  No.  All they heard was that Osama bin Laden is dead.  General Motors is alive.  And al Qaeda is on the ropes.  On the run.  No longer a threat to the United States.  Of course the murder of four Americans in Benghazi said otherwise (see Former CIA official: No politics in Benghazi memo by DONNA CASSATA, AP, posted 4/2/2014 on Yahoo! News).

The CIA’s former deputy director said Wednesday he deleted references to terrorism warnings from widely disputed talking points on the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack to avoid the spy agency’s gloating at the expense of the State Department…

Morell, a 33-year veteran of the agency who has served six Republican and Democratic presidents, insisted that politics had no bearing on the revisions to the talking points and said he was under no pressure to protect either President Barack Obama or then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

The White House, wrapped up in a fierce presidential campaign, made only minor editorial changes to the talking points, according to the onetime CIA official.

The intelligence community’s talking points, compiled for members of Congress, suggested the Sept. 11 attack stemmed from protests in Cairo and elsewhere over an anti-Islamic video rather than an assault by extremists.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of trying to mislead the American people about an act of terrorism in the final weeks before the November election.

Morell deleted references to extremist threats linked to al-Qaida in versions of the talking points that were used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in a series of Sunday talk show appearances. Morell said his actions were driven by the information provided by intelligence community analysts and the Defense Department.

The deleted references to terrorism in the talking points were not political?  His revisions to the talking points were not to protect either President Barack Obama or then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton?  Funny.  As that’s exactly what they did.  They protected President Obama and helped him win reelection.  And they protected Hillary Clinton.  Who is now the Democrat frontrunner for 2016.  Well, so far, at least.

The left is still trying to blame 9/11 (the first one in 2001) on President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.  For missing the signs that al Qaeda was a threat.  And that something big was coming.  Can you imagine the fury over Benghazi had it happened under President Bush’s watch?  While they were in a campaign season?  There would be no talking point revisions.  They would have lambasted President Bush and Condoleezza Rice.  The press would have torn into this story like a pack of hyenas tearing into a gazelle.  The media would have crapped all over the Bush administration.  But the Obama administration?  When the president, Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice all lied about a YouTube video?  Over and over again?  When the CIA revised the talking points so it didn’t sound like there was a problem with terrorism anymore?  All lies.  And a huge cover-up.  But we hear nothing but the sound of crickets from the media.

Sure, they can say it wasn’t political.  But the result of those revisions was very political.  It helped President Obama win reelection.  Because he had al Qaeda on the run.  Which he didn’t.  In fact, his foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place.  For al Qaeda is resurgent everywhere.  In Egypt.  Libya.  Syria.  Iraq.  Afghanistan.  Yemen.  And elsewhere.  Oh, and Iran is working on a nuclear bomb.  And Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea to Russia.  Because he could.  This stuff is happening in part because people voted for President Obama believing the lie that al Qaeda was on the run.  When it wasn’t.  And because we reelected President Obama his failed foreign policy continues.  As the bad people of the world stand up and take notice.

The United States of America under President Obama is weak.  It may talk the talk but it sure doesn’t walk the walk.  So the bad guys are getting bolder.  Knowing the time is right to push the United States around.  For we are a sleeping bear that just can’t be wakened.  Apparently.

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Why the Stock Market is so Good when the Economy is so Bad

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 31st, 2014

Economics 101

No One is going to get Rich by Buying and Selling only one Share of Stock

It takes money to make money.  I’m sure we all heard that before.  If you want to ‘flip’ a house you need money for a down payment to get a mortgage first.  If you want to start a business you need to save up some money first.  Or borrow it from a family member.  And if you want to get rich by playing the stock market you need money.  A lot of money.  Because you only make money by selling stocks.  And before you can sell them you have to buy them.

Stock prices may go up and down a lot.  But over a period of time the average stock price may only increase a little bit.  So if you bought one share of stock at, say, $35 and sold it later at, say, $37.50 that’s a gain of 7.14%.  Which is pretty impressive.  Just try to earn that with a savings account at a bank.  Of course, you only made a whopping $2.50.  So no one is going to get rich by buying and selling only one share of stock.

However, if you bought 10,000 shares of a stock at $35/share and then sold it later at $37.50 that’s a whole other story.  Your initial stock purchase will cost you $350,000.  And that stock will sell for $375,000 at $37.50/share.  Giving you a gain of $25,000.  Let’s say you make 6 buys and sells in a year like this with the same money.  You buy some stock, hold it a month or so and then sell it.  Then you use that money to buy some more stock, hold it for a month or so and then sell it.  Assuming you replicate the same 7.14% stock gain through all of these transactions the total gain will come to $150,000.  And if you used no more than your original investment of $350,000 during that year that $350,000 will have given you a return on investment of 42.9%.  This is why the rich get richer.  Because they have the money to make money.  Of course, if stock prices move the other way investors can have losses as big as these gains.

Rich Investors benefit most from the Fed’s Quantitative Easing that gives us Near-Zero Interest Rates

Rich investors can make an even higher return on investment by borrowing from a brokerage house.  He or she can open a margin account.  Deposit something of value in it (money, stocks, option, etc.) and use that value as collateral.  This isn’t exactly how it works but it will serve as an illustration.  In our example an investor could open a margin account with a value of $175,000.  So instead of spending $350,000 the investor can borrow $175,000 from the broker and add it to his or her $175,000.  Bringing the total stock investment to $350,000.  Earning that $25,000 by risking half of the previous amount.  Bringing the return on investment to 116.7%.  But these big returns come with even bigger risks.  For if your stock loses value it can make your losses as big as those gains.

Some investors borrow money entirely to make money.  Such as carry trades.  Where an investor will borrow a currency from a low-interest rate country to invest in the currency of a higher-interest rate country.  For example, they could borrow a foreign currency at a near zero interest rate (like the Japanese yen).  Convert that money into U.S. dollars.  And then use that money to buy an American treasury bond paying, say, 2%.  So they basically borrow money for free to invest.  Making a return on investment without using any of his or her money.  However, these carry trades can be very risky.  For if the yen gains value against the U.S. dollar the investor will have to pay back more yen than they borrowed.  Wiping out any gain they made.  Perhaps even turning that gain into a loss.  And a small swing in the exchange rate can create a huge loss.

So there is big money to make in the stock market.  Making money with money.  And investors can make even more money when they borrow money.  Making money with other people’s money.  Something rich investors like doing.  Something rich investors can do because they are rich.  For having money means you don’t have to use your money to make money.  Because having money gives you collateral.  The ability to use other people’s money.  At very attractive interest rates.  In fact, it’s these rich investors that benefit most from the Fed’s quantitative easing that is giving us near-zero interest rates.

People on Wall Street are having the Time of their Lives during the Obama Administration

We are in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.  Yet the stock market is doing very well.  Investors are making a lot of money.  At a time when businesses are not hiring.  The labor force participation rate has fallen to levels not seen since the Seventies.  People can’t find full-time jobs.  Some are working a part-time job because that’s all they can find.  Some are working 2 part-time jobs.  Or more.  Others have just given up trying to find a full-time job.  People the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) no longer counts when calculating the unemployment rate.

This is the only reason why the unemployment rate has fallen.  If you add the number of people who have left the labor force since President Obama took office to the number the BLS reports as unemployed it would bring the unemployment rate up to 13.7% ((10,459,000 + 10,854,000)/155,724,000) at the end of February.  So the economy is still horrible.  No secret to those struggling in it.  And the median family who has seen their income fall.  So why is the stock market doing so well when businesses are not?  When profitable businesses operations typically drive the stock market?  For when businesses do well they grow and hire more people.  But businesses aren’t growing and hiring more people.  So if it’s not profitable businesses operations raising stock prices what is?  Just how are the rich getting richer when the economy as a whole is stuck in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression?

Because of near zero interest rates.  The Fed has lowered interest rates to near zero to purportedly stimulate the economy.  Which it hasn’t.  When they could lower interest rates no more they started their quantitative easing.  Printing money to buy bonds on the open market.  Flooding the economy with cheap money.  But people aren’t borrowing it.  Because the employment picture is so poor that they just aren’t spending money.  Either because they don’t have a job.  Only have a part time job.  Or are terrified they may lose their job.  And if they do lose their job the last thing they want when unemployed is a lot of debt they can’t service.  And then there’s Obamacare.  Forcing people to buy costly insurance.  Leaving them less to spend on other things.  And increasing the cost of doing business.  Another reason not to hire people.

So the economy is going nowhere.  And because of the bad economy businesses have no intentions of spending or expanding.  So they don’t need any of that cheap money.  So where is it going?  Wall Street.  The only people who are borrowing and spending money.  They’re taking that super cheap money and they’re using it to buy and sell stocks.  They’re buying and selling like never before.  Making huge profits.  Thanks to other people’s money.  This is what is raising stock prices.  Not profitable businesses operations.  But investors bidding up stock prices with borrowed money.  The people on Wall Street are having the time of their lives during the Obama administration.  Because the Obama administration’s policies favor the rich on Wall Street.  Whose only worry these days is if the Fed stops printing money.  Which will raise interest rates.  And end the drunken orgy on Wall Street.  Which is why whenever it appears the Fed will taper (i.e., print less money each month) their quantitative easing because the economy is ‘showing signs of improvement’ investors panic and start selling.  In a rush to lock in their earnings before the stock prices they inflated come crashing down to reality.  For without that ‘free’ money from the Fed the orgy of buying will come to an end.  And no one wants to be the one holding on to those inflated stocks when the bubble bursts.  When there will be no more buyers.  At least, when there will be no more buyers willing to buy at those inflated stock prices.  Which is why investors today hate good economic news.  For there is nothing worse for an investor in the Obama economy than a good economy.

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When it comes to Foreign Policy we need more Team America and Less President Obama

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 20th, 2014

Politics 101

Thanks to President Obama the United States is now the Rodney Dangerfield of Superpowers

The American public is consumed with the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  They can’t get enough of the news coverage that is anything but news.  With cable news delivering 24/7 coverage of nothing but speculation.  Even the networks are giving the speculation expansive coverage.  They’d never give Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS targeting conservative groups, etc., this kind of coverage.  But they will give Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 this kind of coverage.  For apart from the insufferable despair of the families who lost their loved ones it’s a great mystery people want to see unfold.  And be the one to solve it.  But while that is going on the world is becoming a less safe place.  Thanks to Vladimir Putin.

President Obama’s ‘please like us’ foreign policy has failed.  The reset with Russia has not improved our relations.  In fact, they are about as bad as they were during the Cold War.  With Putin doing some Cold War chess playing.  Completely unimpressed with President Obama he’s making bold moves.  And when he does all he gets from the United States is talk.  He annexed Crimea without any real opposition from the Western Powers.  Especially the United States.  And he is probably looking at the Baltic States now.  Seeing no reason yet to stop in his quest to put the Soviet Union back together.  This is what the American people are missing.  For the networks are barely covering it.  And the people are blissfully ignorant of how the United States is now the Rodney Dangerfield of superpowers.  We get no respect from our enemies.  So our enemies make bold moves.  Because that’s who they are.  The creators of South Park made a movie called Team America: World Police (2004).  This followed 9/11 and the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  When the United States began its fight in the global war on terror.  Though a comedy the writers seem to have a better grasp on the real world than the Obama administration or the mainstream media.  Who think in the 21st century that war no longer exists because world leaders now discuss their differences like rational and civilized adults according to international law.  And honor their agreements.  But what they don’t understand is something that’s been true since the dawn of civilization.  There are three types of people in the world.  As a drunk in Team America: World Police explains crudely but succinctly.  (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only.  For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)

If you’ve watched the video you’ll understand what the three types are.  We’ll call them D, P and A (both singular and plural).  In the context of this movie America was a D.  And Kim Jong Il was an A.  As were the Islamist terrorists.  While the leftist ‘give peace a chance’ Hollywood liberals in the movie (who belonged to the Film Actors’ Guild) were P.  As was the United Nations who sent Hans Blix to inspect Kim Jong Il’s regime to make sure he didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  —SPOILER ALERT—  Team America, the world police, go tear-assing around the world, blowing up parts of countries as they hunt and kill terrorists.  Making the world a safer place.  While Kim Jong Il plots to set off WMDs, using the Islamist terrorists to plant his WMDs.  The F.A.G. actors publicly denounce Team America for their wanton destruction and call corporations the real enemy.  Even going to North Korea to attend a peace conference that Kim Jong Il was hosting.  Believing Kim Jong Il was a man of peace.  And were willing to kill Team America to help Kim Jong Il go forward with his peace plans.  Which was actually blowing up countries all around the world into third-world status.

Hitler promised the Naïve Chamberlain that the Sudetenland would be his last Territorial Acquisition

The movie showed the futility of diplomacy when you’re dealing with A.  Because they will lie and say anything you want to hear to shut you up and make you go away.  And when you do they’re just going to crap all over you and the world.  Because that’s what A do.  The P don’t understand that.  They think they can negotiate and arrive at an agreement with people who lie.  History is full of treaties that A have broken.  Because they don’t respect anything but strength.  And if all you got are words an A just isn’t going to respect you.  And will crap on you the first chance he gets.  Especially if you’re a P.  The Russian people understand this.  During the Sochi Olympics the Daily Show‘s Jason Jones interviewed Russians during the Sochi Games.  And a woman told him they have a saying in Russia.  Don’t be a P.  Which is why they love Vladimir Putin.  He’s not a P.  He’s an A.

Communists are A.  They just want to crap all over everyone.  During the Korean War every time they were losing on the battlefield they called for a ceasefire to negotiate a peace treaty.  Using the cessation in hostilities to reinforce their weakened positions.  Proving you just cannot trust an A.  Or negotiate with an A.  Yet the leftist ‘give peace a chance’ liberals think you can.  And that all George W. Bush did by being an A was make the world hate the United States.  Even though Muammar Gaddafi, who was a first class A, respected George W. Bush when he invaded Iraq.  Saw that strength.  Respected that strength.  And did not want to get his ass kicked by that strength.  So he gave up his WMDs willingly.  And joined the Americans in the fight against al Qaeda (Libya is a far less safe place today than it was under Muammar Gaddafi after the Iraqi invasion).  This is what A understand.  Strength.  It’s the one thing that makes them act.  Not words.  As this funny scene in Team America: World Police illustrates so poignantly.  (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only.  For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)

We ended the war in Iraq with a ceasefire.  Part of the terms that Saddam Hussein agreed to was to destroy his WMDs and document their destruction.  He never did.  In part because he didn’t have them anymore.  Having sent them over the border into Syria (most likely) on trucks and in two converted Iraqi Airways Boeings before the invasion.  Adolf Hitler promised the naïve Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland would be his last territorial acquisition.  Chamberlain returned to Britain with a treaty signed by Herr Hitler promising “peace in our time.”  Shortly thereafter Hitler launched World War II (the bloodiest and costliest war of all time) and removed Poland from the map.  Because Hitler was an A.  And you just can’t negotiate with an A.  Especially if you’re a P who believes we can settle all our differences if we only communicate with each other.  No.  An A sees anyone who wants to ‘open a dialogue’ as a P.  And they will laugh at how gullible they are.  Getting a lot of concessions by making promises they have no intention of keeping.  A love P.  Because they are so easy to crap all over.

The Russians like President Obama in Office because he is the Anti-Ronald Reagan

The Obama administration confuses being liked with being respected.  They think if people like America they will respect America.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  People respect people they hate.  At least, if they fear people they hate.  A key distinction.  For Vladimir Putin has no love for President Obama.  Who looks at him as a P.  Which Russians just don’t respect.  They even have a saying.  Don’t be a P.  So Putin has no respect whatsoever for President Obama.  Because he does not fear President Obama.  The recent sanctions President Obama issued by executive order only amused the Russians.  They thought they were nothing more than a joke.  Even replied with in-kind sanctions of their own.  Oh they had a good laugh at President Obama trying to act tough.  But they just don’t respect him.  But you know who they did respect?  Ronald Reagan.

During a radio check President Reagan was testing the sound levels before a radio address.  And he made a joke.  He said into the microphone, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.”  This joke leaked out.  And made it to the Soviet Union.  And what do you think they did?  Did they have a good laugh like they did when President Obama tried to act tough?  No.  They didn’t.  They put their Soviet Far East Army on alert.  For they did not like Ronald Reagan.  But they sure as hell respected that crazy son of a bitch.  And feared him.  As well as the awesome military power of the United States.  Which they knew President Reagan had no problem using.  Unlike the current occupant of the White House.  Who wants to shrink the size of the military to pre-World War I levels.  Something only a P would do in the eyes of an A like Vladimir Putin.  No.  President Obama is more of an apologetic president for America’s greatness.  While President Reagan made no apologies.  He believed in American Exceptionalism.  And was damn proud of it.  The shiny city on the hill.  The beacon of liberty.  Defender of freedom.  And he would broadcast the Team America theme song proudly at our enemies.  Unlike the apologist now occupying the White House (WARNING: The following video is for mature audiences only.  For it’s pretty rude and crude and completely inappropriate for the workplace.)

America may have its faults but it is still the best country in the world.  Proven by the flow of immigrants (legal and illegal) to our shores.  We may be arrogant but that’s only because we have a right to be.  Because we are the best m-f’ing country in the world.  F*** yeah.  We’ve made the world a better place.  And the world knows this.  Which is why our enemies love having our country run by people who are ashamed of America’s greatness.  Because they can crap all over the world and get away with it.  Like Putin did by annexing Crimea.  Because they know there is no crazy son of a bitch in the White House that will use the awesome power of the United States to stop them.  Just a bunch of leftist ‘give peace a chance’ liberals who will wag their finger at them.  And if they don’t quake with fear they will wag their finger at them again.  Or write a letter.  The Russians couldn’t be happier.  And lament that if there were only people like the current administration running the United States in the Eighties the Soviets never would have lost the Cold War.  But now Vladimir Putin, former KGB officer in the Soviet Union, sees his chance.  He can put the Soviet Union together again.  As they have the anti-Ronald Reagan in office now.  And can do whatever the hell they want to.  Because they aren’t P.  They’re A.

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Peace through Strength

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 6th, 2014

Politics 101

Bad Guys won’t open their Can of Whoop-Ass if there is a Chance they’ll get their Ass Kicked

Bullies generally pick on smaller and weaker people.  Smaller and weaker people don’t pick on tough guys.  They don’t walk up to a bully and give him a wedgie.  They’d like to.  But they don’t.  Why?  Because if a small and weak person did they’d get their ass kicked.  That’s why.  And people don’t like getting their ass kicked.  But sometimes it’s the tough guys that save the day.

In the opening scene of V for Vendetta Evey was about to get raped by some government thugs.  Then tough guy V came along and kicked their asses.  Saving Eve from a brutal rape.  In Die Hard the evil Hans Gruber was going to kill everyone in that building until tough guy John McClane happened on the scene.  And started killing the bad guys.  Saving the day.  In the movie Patton everyone wanted him thrown out of the Army after he slapped that crying soldier.  But when the Allies’ drive stalled in the Normandy hedgerow country who did they turn to?  That’s right.  Tough guy General Patton.  Who started kicking Nazi ass big time.  Breaking through their lines and advancing in every compass direction while British General Bernard Montgomery was still struggling o take his D-Day objective.  Caen.

People don’t like getting their ass kicked.  But if they are in danger of a good ass-kicking they’d want someone on their side who can kick ass as good as the next guy.  For even bad guys don’t want to get their ass kicked.  And if there is a chance of that happening they’re going to think long and hard before opening their can of whoop-ass.  Especially when someone else’s can of whoop-ass is bigger.

Only the Military Might of the United States could contain Soviet Expansion

The Roman Empire had one mighty can of whoop-ass.  Something her potential enemies understood.  And feared.  So they didn’t cause any trouble.  Because they didn’t want to get their ass kicked.  Which is why from approximately 27 BC to 180 AD there was relative peace in the world.  Pax Romana.  For the Romans had the mightiest military force in the world.  And if you went up against them you were most likely going to lose.  So they didn’t.  Instead, choosing to live in peace.

The British Empire was even larger than the Roman Empire.  And had an even larger can of whoop-ass.  Not only did they have armies throughout their empire which was so large that the sun never set on it.  The Royal Navy ruled the seas.  Which meant if you caused any trouble in the world you could expect an ass-kicking.  Either from her mighty military power.  Or her aid to a smaller and weaker country under threat from an aggressive neighbor.  The bad guys learned.  It wasn’t worth it.  If you tried to break the peace you were going to get your ass kicked.  Which is why from 1815 through 1914 when the British Empire ruled the world there was relative peace.  Pax Britannica.

The United States of America had come of age during the 20th century.  Growing even bigger and stronger than the empire that sired her.  The British Empire.  Who went into decline during the 20th century.  But just as Pax Britannica drew to a close and the world became a more dangerous place the United States stepped in.  Allowing the Allies to defeat Nazi Germany.  And Imperial Japan.  She grew to have the biggest can of whoop-ass in history.  And became the world’s policeman.  Pushing back against Soviet expansion.  In Europe.  The Balkans.  The Middle East.  And Southeast Asia.  The Soviets wanted to conquer the world.  And would have if not for America’s mighty military to counter their threat.  Leading to a period of relative peace following World War II.  Pax Americana.  As only the military might of the United States could contain Soviet expansion.

Vladimir Putin feels that he can put the old Soviet Union back together during the Obama Administration

During a sound check before a radio address President Reagan made a joke.  He said, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.”  Reagan had a sense of humor and those present laughed.  The joke leaked.  The Soviets heard it.  And they put their Soviet Far East Army on alert.  You see, they had great respect for the awesome military power of the United States.  And they respected Reagan.  They did not like him.  But they respected him.  And if he said he was going to open a can of whoop-ass on them they got nervous.  For President Reagan may have spoken softly.  But he was not afraid to kick ass.

The Soviets had no such respect for Reagan’s predecessor.  Jimmy Carter.  In fact, they had so little respect for him that they developed a nuclear first-strike plan.  For Carter was gutting the military.  And wasn’t a tough guy when it came to foreign policy.  He was a president who wanted to focus on domestic policy.  A sign of weakness the Soviets could smell.   Anyone who gutted the military to pay for more domestic spending would never pull the nuclear trigger.  At least that’s what the Soviets thought.  Which is why they prepared a nuclear first-strike plan during the Carter administration.  Sure they could win a nuclear war against him.  The Soviets thought no such thing during the Reagan administration.  So instead of a nuclear war (which may have happened in a Carter second term) we had peace.  Because of our strength.

Peace through strength.  If you’re a bad-ass people will leave you alone.  Because no one wants to get their ass kicked.  If you’re hell-bent on beating the crap out of your neighbor so you can take her resources and there is a bad-ass in the world that can bring a world of hurt down on you it will make you think.  And pause.  This is why there was a Pax Romana.  A Pax Britannica.  And a Pax Americana.  Because people respect a bad-ass.  And will not incite it.  They may hate the bad-ass.  But they will respect it.  And not piss it off.

President Obama has a strong domestic agenda.  Like Jimmy Carter.  He doesn’t want to deal with foreign policy.  Like Jimmy Carter.  And he is not respected or feared by the world’s bad guys.  Like Jimmy Carter.  Who is far more inclined to make a speech and threaten action.  But is far less likely to open a can of whoop-ass.  Like Ronald Reagan.  Which is why Vladimir Putin feels that he can put the old Soviet Union back together during the Obama administration.  Because he doesn’t fear the wrath of President Obama.  As no one does.  For he is all bark and no bite.  At least, so far.  Apart from killing a bunch of people that can’t fight back.  Drone strikes.  Bombing Libya (that was no threat to American interests).  And killing Osama bin Laden with a SEAL team.  More of an imperial use of force than acting as the world’s policeman to safeguard liberty and democracy.  So Vladimir Putin has little to worry about during an Obama presidency.  Unlike conservatives in America.

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Guns, Butter and Abortion

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 24th, 2014

Economics 101

Democrats will cut Defense but not Entitlements because fewer People in Defense vote Democrat

A cornerstone of the Obama presidency is social justice.  Primarily through redistribution of wealth.  Raising taxes to fund a growing welfare state.  To help those not lucky enough to have won life’s lottery.  Such as expanding the food stamp program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  Which has grown over 70% under President Obama.

Of course, this costs money.  A lot of it.  Added on top of an already costly welfare state.  Driven by entitlement spending.  Social Security.  And Medicare.  The biggest portions of federal spending.  And it only keeps growing.  Making the welfare state unsustainable without entitlement reform.  But the politicians won’t touch entitlements.  The third rail of politics.  Because they’re afraid of losing votes in the next election.  So they’d rather the country implode instead of reforming entitlements.  And hope that implosion comes after they’re dead and buried.  For as long as they get to enjoy their lives they could give a rat’s behind about future generations.

But they will touch defense spending.  And often do when they are looking for more money for the welfare state.  Even now.  The Obama administration is proposing spending cuts in defense spending.  That will shrink the size of the military.  And cut pay and benefits for some of the lowest paid people in the country.  The people who go in harm’s way for their country.  They won’t touch entitlement spending because it may hurt people that typically vote Democrat.  But they have no problem doing just that to those who wear a uniform to serve their country.  Who don’t always vote Democrat.  Just so they can have a generous welfare state like the European social democracies they so admire have.  Who can have them because they don’t have large defense budgets.  For the United States has been protecting them since World War II.

People can’t pay Taxes to fund a Welfare State without a Job that Provides an Income to Tax

If you watch television you’ve probably heard New York State’s commercials to attract new businesses to New York.  Where the state is promising that businesses will be “100% tax-free for 10 years.  No income tax, business, corporate, state or local taxes, sales and property taxes, or franchise fees.”  Which is a clear admission from the state with the second highest tax burden in the country that high taxes hurt business.

The tax burden is so great in New York that some businesses have moved their operations out of state.  And people with vacation homes in New York who only visit them a couple of weeks out of the year are selling them.  As the state is taxing their incomes as if they are permanent New York residents.  But despite these high taxes New York has suffered great budget deficits.

New York City is a Democrat city.  Their high taxes pay for a large welfare state.  A large public sector.  And the enormous costs of their public sector benefits.  In particular, health care and pension costs.  But their high tax rates have shrunk the tax base.  Because people can pack up and move out of state.  Just as businesses can.  Which is why they are doing a 180-degree turn on taxes.  In a desperate attempt to get businesses to come to New York.  For even if these businesses aren’t paying taxes their employees will.  Income taxes.  Sales taxes.  Property taxes.  Liquor taxes.  Cigarette taxes.  Etc.  None of which they can pay if there are no jobs to give them an income the state can tax.

The Number of Abortions is having a Direct Impact on the Economy and Tax Revenue

New York City released its SUMMARY OF VITAL STATISTICS 2012 THE CITY OF NEW YORK PREGNANCY OUTCOMES this month.  In it you can find why New York City, New York State and the federal government are having such a difficult time paying for their welfare states.  It’s because of liberal Democrat policies.  Not on the spending side of the equation.  But on the revenue side of the equation.

In 2012 there were 73,815 abortions.  Which are future taxpayers that weren’t allowed to be born.  That’s right, before anyone pays the high tax rates of a welfare state they have to be born first.  And when they are not born that’s future tax revenue the government cannot collect.  If we look at a 20 year period (about a generation) and assume 73,815 abortions each of those 20 years that’s 1,476,300 people that never will pay taxes.  If they earned on average $30,000 each that’s $44,289,000,000 of economic activity they never created.  And at a New York State tax rate of 11.7% that’s $5,181,813,000 in lost tax revenue for the state.

But it gets worse.  If you divide this number by two you get the total number of couples (a man and a woman) that could have started a family.  If each couple had 3 children this lost generation could have brought in another 2,214,450 taxpayers into New York City.  Adding them to their parent’s generation and assuming a median family income of $53,046 (an older generation established in their career earning more and a younger generation just starting their career earning less) brings the total lost economic activity for these two generations of possible New Yorkers to $195,779,524,500.  And lost tax revenue for the state of $22,906,204,367.  So the number of abortions is having a direct impact on the economy.  And tax revenue.  Making it necessary to cut guns to pay for more butter.  Whereas if these taxpayers were born we could have both our guns and butter.  And live in a world made safe by the most powerful military in the world.  Peace through strength.  The Ronald Reagan way.  And not a world where our enemies are constantly testing our resolve.  The Jimmy Carter and President Obama way.

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Obama Job Approval has Fallen over the Last Year

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 23rd, 2014

Politics 101

Ten Different Obama Job Approval Polls show Higher Disapproves than Approves

President Obama did not have a good 2013.  Especially near the end.  Because of the Obamacare rollout.  With the website being a disaster.  The enrollment numbers weren’t as projected.  Or needed.  And then all the cancellations in the individual market.  As people learned they couldn’t keep the policies and doctors they liked.  Which gave President Obama the recognition for being the best in at least one thing.  As PolitiFact named “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as the lie of the year.

The bad news continued into 2014.  The Obamacare enrollee numbers didn’t improve.  Most of the enrollees are the old and sick.  Not the young and healthy the Obama administration told the health insurers would be enrolling.  Which is breaking the economic model.  Guaranteeing not only that health insurance premiums will rise.  But some health care providers are actually requiring payment up front before providing services.  As they are not sure what the insurers will pay.  Making Obamacare an even bigger disaster.  Which is a big factor in driving President Obama’s job approval rating down (see President Obama Job Approval posted on Real Clear Politics).

President Obama Job Approval R1

The ten polls included in the RCP Average all share one thing in common.  They all have larger disapproval numbers than approval numbers.  With the average disapproval number being 8.4 points greater than the average approval number.  However you look at these numbers they are not good for President Obama.  For they say President Obama has not been good for the United States.

People don’t Trust President Obama and are beginning to Doubt his Past Claims of Accomplishment

Growing numbers of people don’t trust the president anymore.  Including those who were Obama supporters.  Who because of the ‘lie of the year’ don’t look at those other scandals as opposition propaganda anymore.  These scandals (Benghazi, IRS targeting conservatives, spying on journalists, spying on Americans, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, ‘recess’ appointments, executive orders to bypass the will of the people/Congress, etc.) are now just other things not to trust the president about.  The president has been less than honest to get what he wants (power).  While the American people don’t get what they want (jobs, affordable health care, etc.).  And it’s because of this that his job approval has entered a steady decline.

President Obama Job Approval Graph R1

Following a bump during the 2012 election Obama’s job approval has trended down.  The Obama administration lied about what happened in Benghazi to help their reelection chances.  Where the campaign message was that al Qaeda was on the run.  Which is apparently why the State Department under Secretary Clinton denied Ambassador Steven’s request for additional security to combat the resurgent al Qaeda in Libya.  As the recent bipartisan Senate report stated that the killing of four Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 could have been prevented.

Benghazi, the NSA spying on us, the ‘lie of the year’ and the other scandals have had their affect on the American people.  And after the Target point-of-sale credit card hack people are very suspect of the Obamacare website.  Especially when a security consulting firm says there is no security on the Obamacare website yet the Obama administration keeps telling us to trust them.  They’ll keep our data safe.  Even though Target couldn’t.  And they have functioning security systems in place.  Unlike Obamacare.  That has none.  So people don’t trust President Obama.  And they’re beginning to doubt his past claims of accomplishment.  As well as those rosy jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Lie of the Year appears to have Broken the Spell Obama held over some of his Admirers

The Democrat’s Keynesian economic policies created yet another housing bubble.  By keeping interest rates artificially low and relaxing credit standards they stimulated the housing market.  And housing prices soared.  But buyers didn’t seem to care.  Because they were borrowing the money to buy these overpriced houses.  Because of those low interest rates.  Even people who couldn’t afford to buy a house were buying a house. Thanks to subprime lending like the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).  But when interest rates rose so did those monthly payments on those ARMs.  People couldn’t afford their mortgage payments anymore.  And defaulted.  Giving us the subprime mortgage crisis.  Which turned into the Great Recession.

The Democrats blamed the banks for the Great Recession.  Not their Keynesian policies.  Or President Clinton’s heavy hand on lenders to qualify the unqualified for mortgages (see Bill Clinton created the Subprime Mortgage Crisis with his Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending posted 11/6/2011 on PITHOCRATES).  Not only did they deflect blame for the crisis they used the crisis to implement further Keynesian policies.  A near-trillion dollar stimulus bill.  Much of which went to Obama’s ‘friends’ in the green energy industry.  And to their friends in unions.  The government spent a lot of money.  They kept interest rates artificially low.  And when that didn’t work they used quantitative easing.  Basically printing money.  The Obama administration said their policies were working.  And declared the summer of 2010 ‘Recovery Summer’.  The recession was over.  Since then they highlighted the new jobs created with every jobs report.  While ignoring the number of people who have left the labor force.  Greatly skewing the numbers.  And grossly understating the real unemployment rate (see Wall Street adviser: Actual unemployment is 37.2%, ‘misery index’ worst in 40 years by Paul Bedard posted 1/21/2014 on the Washington Examiner).

Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud…

…the Misery Index, which is a calculation based in inflation and unemployment, both numbers the duo say are underscored by the government. He said that the Index doesn’t properly calculate how Uncle Sam is propping up the economy with bond purchases and other actions.

“These tricks, along with a host of other dubious accounting schemes, underreport inflation by about 3 percent,” they wrote, adding that the official inflation rate is just 1.24 percent.

“Today, the Misery Index would be 7.54 using official numbers,” they wrote. But if calculations tabulating the full national unemployment including discouraged workers, which is 10.2 percent, and the historical method of calculating inflation, which is now 4.5 percent, ‘the current misery index is closer to 14.7, worse even than during the Ford administration.”

The 1970s were the heyday of Keynesian economics.  With spending out of control Richard Nixon did something that Keynesians longed for.  He decoupled the dollar from gold.  Allowing the Fed to print money like there was no tomorrow.  Igniting inflation.  And when the inflation rate was added to the unemployment rate it gave us a record Misery Index.  Until now, that is.  If you use the real data.  And not the ‘massaged’ data that makes their Keynesian policies appear to be working.  Telling us the recession ended in 2010.  When many feel the Great Recession has never ended.  Which is yet another reason not to trust the Obama administration.  Or not approve of the job President Obama is doing.  As the polls have been showing this past year.  And it’s not just because of Obamacare.  But the ‘lie of the year’ appears to have broken the spell he held over some of his admirers.  Who can now see the king is wearing no clothes.  No matter what his administration and those in the mainstream media say.

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Benghazigate versus Bridgegate

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 16th, 2014

Politics 101

Even though Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi the Press is more Interested in Bridgegate

The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi.  Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, actually more of a stating of the obvious, at least for those without their heads up their backsides in blind adoration of President Obama, those who can find no fault with him or his administration no matter how many scandals and lies we catch them in, as their heads are up their aforementioned backsides, the report does not agree with the Obama administration version of what caused this tragedy (see Senate report: Attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi could have been prevented by Adam Goldman and Anne Gearan posted 1/15/2014 on The Washington Post).

A long-delayed Senate Intelligence Committee report released Wednesday faulted both the State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in 2012.

The bipartisan report laid out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on a diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the city. It said the State Department failed to increase security at its mission despite warnings, and blamed intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military…

The document contains only one mention of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice all stated publically that the attack in Benghazi was caused by a spontaneous protest over an obscure YouTube video.  They didn’t say it once.  They said it again and again.  It was the YouTube video.  Period.  Which can’t be true if the State Department could have prevented this attack.  For the only way that could have happened was if there were in fact identified security issues that were promptly ignored by the Obama administration.  Not an unknown and unexpected spontaneous protest out of nowhere one day.  So they all lied.  It was planned and coordinated.  And had nothing to do with that obscure YouTube video.

And yet they only mentioned Secretary Clinton once in their report.  Odd considering she failed to do everything she could to protect her people and then lied about it.  You’d think that would warrant more than one mention.  This is big news.  At least you’d think it would be.  But other than a few newspapers and Fox News the media isn’t talking about how Secretary Clinton lied.  Instead they are more interested if another politician lied.  A governor.  In New Jersey.  Who the polls show is the greatest threat against a Hillary Clinton presidency.  They want to know what Chris Christie knew.  When he knew it.  And if he lied about knowing it.

Hillary Clinton’s Incompetence and Indifference to Americans dying doesn’t Interest the Press

They call it Bridgegate.  A play on Watergate.  Something a young Hillary Clinton went after Richard Nixon like a hyena tearing away at the entrails of a fallen prey.  Because Nixon lied.  He knew about a rank amateur burglary after the fact.  And then used the power of the executive branch to try and cover it up.  Much like the Obama administration has done often.  Only Nixon didn’t have a complicit press that would do whatever they could for their dear leader.  But I digress.

Apparently the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., didn’t endorse Governor Christie in his reelection campaign.  And as payback a couple of Christie’s staffers closed some traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge to cause the mother of all traffic backups in Fort Lee.  No one died like in Benghazi.  But this is what the press and the Democrats (even the Democrats outside of the press) want to know about.  And some are even using the ‘I’ word.  Impeachment (see Subpoenas Expected for Chris Christie Aides Over Bridge Scandal by GILLIAN MOHNEY posted 1/12/2014 on ABC News).

Legislative subpoenas could be served to the aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as early as Monday sources told ABC News today.

Christie has been under intense political scrutiny after it was revealed that some of his top political aides shut down key traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge — the busiest bridge in the world — in September for what appear to be politically motivated reasons…

Some Democratic lawmakers are saying that Christie could face impeachment hearings if it turns out he knew about the lane closures and authorized them.

Wow.  Completely different from the approach in getting answers from Secretary Clinton.  Where when she finally appeared before Congress the Democrats spent more time puckering up and kissing her backside.  And when she said “what difference does it make” if it was her incompetence and indifference to Americans dying or if it was some spontaneous protest where average ordinary Muslims pulled rocket propelled grenades and mortars out of their wallets and purses to storm the American mission in a military assault they applauded her moxy.  Saying, “You go, girl.”  Figuratively, of course.

Without an Independent and Free Press you can’t keep Government Honest

It’s not so much a double standard as it is a biased press.  Much of the mainstream media today is more an extension of the Democrat Party than a free press.  Who spend more time writing propaganda for the left.  Democrats.  Elitists who think like they think.  And know as they know that they are better, wiser and more enlightened than the ignorant masses.  This is why they are foaming at the mouth over Bridgegate.  And ignore Secretary Clinton’s incompetence and indifference over the attack in Benghazi.  She who criticized candidate Barack Obama and his lack of experience.  Saying he wouldn’t know what to do if he got that 3 AM call like she would.  “There’s trouble brewing in Benghazi as we approach the anniversary of 9/11?  Well, what do you want me to do about it?”  Or, perhaps, it was something more like this.  “Tell it to someone who gives a damn.”  Of course it should be noted that this trouble did not start with a 3 AM telephone call.  It was a gradual buildup of trouble that she responded to with incompetence and indifference.

It’s sad what the American press has come to.  Even Britain with her socialist tendencies following World War II at least still has a fierce free press.  That will speak truth to power.  Put their country first instead of puckering up and kissing the backsides of those in the political party they favor.  Ignoring their lies, crimes and misdemeanors.  Such as letting Americans die so as not to spoil the campaign narrative.  Al Qaeda was reeling and in retreat.  And they couldn’t allow security concerns in Libya to upset that message.  So they abandoned the Americans in Benghazi.  And hoped the resurgence of al Qaeda in Libya wouldn’t hurt President Obama’s reelection chances.  And counted on their friends in the media not to question and disseminate the lie about the YouTube video causing a spontaneous protest that caused average Muslims to pull out rocket propelled grenades and mortars from their wallets and purses to wage war.  Now contrast the sycophant American press to the British press (see David Cameron says British Press plays ‘vital’ role in democracy by Matthew Holehouse posted 1/17/2014 on The Telegraph).

“At its best, the British Press, the political Press, have a vital role to play in our country.

“Yes: rowdy, tenacious, sceptical, uncontrollable, often uncomfortable for our politicians. But British political reporting is deservedly respected around the world, for the way it probes, it inquires, it scrutinises, and these things are linchpins of our democracy…”

Mr Cameron spoke movingly of a trip he made, accompanied by political reporters including from the Daily Telegraph, to a newspaper office in northern Sri Lanka, where journalists had been murdered after criticising the government.

“It was an incredibly powerful moment. It was a reminder of just how fortunate we are in this country to have a Press that is free, that is open, that is able to stand up to the powerful.”

Without an independent and free press how do you keep government honest?  How do you protect the American people from the lies, crimes and misdemeanors of government?  You can’t.  Instead you get propaganda that helps the powerful grow more powerful.  And it eventually gets to the point that politicians no longer debate in the arena of ideas.  They just look for opportunities to destroy their enemies.  Challengers to their power.  Like Chris Christie.  Who polls better against Hillary Clinton than any other potential Republican candidate.  So they attack Christies over Bridgegate.  To destroy him.  And they circle the wagons around Hillary Clinton to protect her from her incompetence and indifference over Benghazigate.  While never worrying what their helping the powerful to become more powerful could do one day.

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The BLS Employment Situation Summary for December 2013

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 13th, 2014

Economics 101

The Labor Force Participation Rate has Fallen Steadily since President Obama became President

Ever since the recovery summer of 2010 the Obama administration has told us the recession was over.  And his policies were creating one heck of an economic recovery.  Backed up by all those glowing monthly jobs reports. Like the December 2013 jobs report (see Employment Situation Summary posted 1/10/2014 on the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The unemployment rate declined from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent in December, while total nonfarm payroll employment edged up (+74,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The unemployment rate is down.  And new jobs were created.  Again.  Jobs report after jobs report it’s the same thing.  The administration touts the falling unemployment rate and new job creation as confirmation that their economic policies are working.  Even though it’s been 5 years.  And the economy is still in the toilet.  Despite that falling unemployment rate.  For there is a reason why the unemployment rate is falling.  And it has nothing to do with an economic activity.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in December… The labor force participation rate declined by 0.8 percentage point over the year…

In fact, the labor force participation rate has fallen steadily since President Obama became president.  This is not good.  In fact, it’s very bad.  Because it means that under President Obama’s economic policies more people have left the labor force than entered or remained in it.  Meaning that his economic policies have caused a net loss of jobs throughout his presidency.

The U-6 Unemployment Rate is Closer to the Bitter Sentiment of Job Seekers in the Current Economic Climate

In January of 2009 when President Obama began his presidency there were 80,507,000 people not in the labor force.  At the end of December 2013 that number grew to 91,808,000.  Subtracting one from the other and you get 11,301,000 people that have left the labor force since President Obama entered office.  Because his policies destroyed 11,301,000 jobs.  And because these people couldn’t find new jobs they just gave up looking.  Which is why the unemployment rate keeps falling.

So you can talk of new jobs created.  And a falling unemployment rate.  But those numbers don’t reflect the 11,301,000 jobs President Obama destroyed with his policies.  Which comes to 260,200 jobs lost per year.  Or 188,350 each month.  Which is a lot more than the 74,000 new jobs.  In fact, if you look at the change in the number of people not in the labor force from November to December of 2013 you’ll see that 525,000 people left the labor force.  So the December jobs lost is about 2.8 times the average jobs lost during the Obama presidency.  And giving a ratio of about 7 jobs lost for every new job created in December.  Making December a horrible month for jobs.  Much worse than the 6.7% unemployment rate would have us believe.

The funny thing about the official unemployment rate is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t count people who quit looking for a job.  Or who are working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job.  If we want an alternative measure of labor underutilization (that counts more people who can’t find a full-time job) we should look at the U-6 unemployment rate.  We can find this number in the same BLS jobs report (in Table A-15).  Which was 13.1% for December 2013.  An unemployment rate much closer to the bitter sentiment of job seekers in the current economic climate.

We will have to Wait through many more Bad Jobs Reports before we can Enjoy a Healthy Economy Again

The Employment Situation Summary confirms the horrible economy.  Though misleading with these falling unemployment rates the real economic picture is still in these reports.  All you have to do is look for them.  And understand what they mean.  For example:

In December, job gains occurred in retail trade and wholesale trade…

Employment in retail trade rose by 55,000 in December. Within the industry, job gains occurred in food and beverage stores (+12,000), clothing and accessories stores (+12,000), general merchandise stores (+8,000), and motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000)…

In December, wholesale trade added 15,000 jobs. Most of the job growth occurred in electronic markets and agents and brokers (+9,000).

Note that of the 74,000 new jobs 70,000 (94.6%) of them were in retail and wholesale trade.  Which is not surprising when you consider what’s in December.  Christmas.  (While near-zero interest rates sold cars to people who would otherwise not buy them.)  The final sprint of retailers for the year.  And when many of them go firmly into the black.  But while the Christmas surge on employment was underway other sectors did not fare as well.

Within the [professional and business services] industry, temporary help services added 40,000 jobs in December, while employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined by 25,000.

Businesses add temporary workers when they have a surge in sales they believe won’t last.  And don’t want to have more permanent workers on their payroll when that surge in sales ends.  For it is easier to let temps go than full-time workers.  And less costly.  Accounting and bookkeeping services aren’t the most glamorous of services.  When the economy is growing businesses have more accounting and bookkeeping work.  But when the economy is contracting businesses have less accounting and bookkeeping work.  So a decline here could indicate an economic contraction.

The December 2013 jobs report is bleak.  Just as the oncoming winter looks in December.  Knowing we’ll have to wait through a long and cold winter before we can enjoy the warmth of summer again.  Just as we know we will have to wait through many more bad jobs reports before we can enjoy a healthy economy again.  Thanks to the horrific economic policies of the Obama administration that have failed to work these past 5 years.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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