Sunday, July 31, 2011

Syria: Dozens Dead As Assad Troops Launch Major Tank Offensive

Hmmmm, wonder why one brutal murdeous dictator (ie Assad) worthy of administration praise is preferable to another brutal murderous dicator (ie. Quadaffi) worthy of military ouster..
On one of the bloodiest days of retribution since protests against the Syrian leader erupted in March, up to 95 people were killed in Hama alone. Dozens more were feared dead in other restive cities.

For nearly a month the security forces had laid siege to Hama, sealing off access roads into the central Syrian city in an attempt to isolate its fractious inhabitants from the rest of the country.

But with perhaps half of the city's 700,000-strong population regularly taking to the streets to demand the regime's downfall, the security forces chose to resort once more to bloodshed. Just before dawn, tanks and armoured vehicles crossed the Orontes River and advanced into the centre of the city, leaving crushed barricades and corpses in their wake. As day broke, the city's skyline seemed almost entirely shrouded with smoke.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), March 20, 2006

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies...

Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better". Thanks to JR at FR.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Economic growth tepid as spending flat

Has this administration EVER revised a figure positively?
The U.S. economy came perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter and grew at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June period as consumer spending barely rose.

The Commerce Department data on Friday also showed the current lull in the economy began earlier than had been thought, with the growth losing steam late last year.

That could raise questions on the long held view by both Federal Reserve officials and independent economists that the slowdown in growth as the year started was largely the result of transitory factors.

Growth in gross domestic product -- a measure of all goods and services produced within U.S. borders - rose at a 1.3 percent annual rate. First-quarter output was sharply revised down to a 0.4 percent pace from a 1.9 percent increase.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hold In Global Warming Alarmism

Why do we need science when we have emotion.
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA's Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

U.S. durable-goods orders fall 2.1% in June

At least it wasn't "unexpected".....Errrr, wait
It was the second large drop in the past three months for durable-goods orders, raising fears that manufacturing is running out of steam after leading a tepid recovery over the past two years. Without a strong manufacturing sector, it is hard to see how forecasts of a strong second-half recovery can be realized.

The decline in orders in June followed a revised 1.9% rise in May and a 2.5% drop in April.

The decline was a surprise to the closest observers. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been forecasting a flat reading.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Tale of Two States

Now who can answer why this is the case, Bueller, Bueller, anyone?

New polls confirm Obama's Democratic base crumbles

Shocker of the week.....NOT.
Strong support among liberal Democrats for Obama's jobs record has plummeted 22 points from 53% down below a third. African Americans who believe the president's measures helped the economy has plunged from 77% to barely half.

Obama's overall job approval on the economy has slid below 40% for the first time, with 57% disapproving. And strong disapprovers outnumber approvers by better than two-to-one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Budget Deals on the Table

Table provided by Zero Hedge. BTW, be wary of the comments in the "short description" column. The author casts the "Gang of Six" plan as containing "meaningful cuts" and thats just plain BS.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Funny

Thanks RR.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rasmussen: By 2 to 1, voters fear deal will raise taxes too much, cut spending too little

And 10-1 they're right.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters are worried more that Congress and President Obama will raise taxes too much rather than too little in any deal to end the debt ceiling debate. Just 26% fear they’ll raise taxes too little. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, 56% worry that Congress and the president will cut spending too little in the final debt ceiling deal, while only 25% are concerned that they will cut spending too much. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two-thirds of Americans support House Cut Cap and Balance Plan

I find the extent of support welcome but a bit surprising.
CNN just released a poll of 1,000 Americans showing overwhelming support for the House Republican approach to the debt limit crisis. Specifically, 66 percent of Americans favor a deal where both houses of Congresses pass a balance budget amendment, and substantial cuts and caps on future spending, in exchange for a debt limit hike.

As a stand alone measure 74 percent of Americans favor a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. And 60 percent of Americans believe a balanced budget amendment is necessary to get federal deficits under control.

The poll is not all bad news for President Obama. Sixty-six percent of Americans do support a plan to cut four trillion dollars in government spending and raise taxes as part of a debt limit hike.

Jobless Claims Rise Again

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 410,000. The prior week's figure was revised up to 408,000 from the previously reported 405,000.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reports: US drone shot down over Iran nuke site

Hmmmmm.
A U.S. drone was shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to reports in the Iranian media. Iran's Fars news agency reported that lawmaker Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, a member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, had confirmed the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when it was brought down by Revolutionary Guard soldiers.

It did not say when the alleged incident happened.

Dafsari told Fars that the drone was trying to gather information about the nuclear facility for the CIA. Fars also said Iranian military officials had claimed to have shot down "several enemy drones" in January.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

Adolf Hitler in "Mein Kampf": for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”Bring anyone to mind?

Jesse White gives raises while other Illinois agencies freeze pay

This after a 64% increase in the Illinois income tax, parasites.
At a time when pay raises are a distant memory and unpaid leave a reality for many area government workers, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has handed out pay hikes exceeding 6% to his entire executive staff.

According to payroll data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Better Government Assn., Mr. White in the 12-month period ended May 31 gave 4% and then 2% raises to roughly 250 non-union administrative personnel, almost all of them policymakers, supervisors or their clerical assistants.

The hikes collectively are costing taxpayers an extra $78,000 a month.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Funny

From RR.

Is Tiger Woods running out of money?

The two most celebrated black men in our culture are going down. Not because of racism but rather their own pi$$ poor behavior.
FORTUNE -- When news broke a few weeks ago that Tiger Woods had signed an endorsement deal to hawk a heat rub in Japan, it was hard not to think of Lost in Translation, or of the Entourage episode when Vincent Chase goes to China to do an energy drink commercial because he's out of money.

Although Woods was likely paid in the single-digit millions for the spot -- in which he takes a swing, rubs his back, and says, "Go Vantelin!" -- it's a far cry from campaigns for PepsiCo (PEP), Gillette, and Accenture (ACN). The last time Woods showed up in Japanese TV ads was in 1997, when he promoted Asahi Wonda coffee, back before he became a phenomenon. So the deal with Kowa (maker of the rub) seems more like a moment of desperation than a return to form.

It's no secret that Woods, once king of the sports world, has suffered financially since his fall from grace. His endorsement list shrank and his marriage ended in a divorce settlement reportedly worth $100 million. But now he may actually be hurting for funds. At the very least, there are signs that he isn't generating enough to comfortably cover his costs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Entertainment Break

Taking a break from politics, the deficit and unemployment. For oldsters and youngsters, one of the greatest songs written and performed ever.

HERE

Some disagree and say Lena Horne's signature song was superior, you decide.

Comedian on Bachmann: I would **** her angrily

Leftist flagbearer.
The era of civility was on full display during Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

In the midst of a conversation about Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus Bachmann’s Christian counseling clinic (recently underfire for attempting to turn gays straight through prayer), comedian Marc Maron spoke about how he thinks about “angrily ****ing” the Republican presidential candidate.

“I don’t want to be crass, but I just hope that Marcus Bachmann takes all that, ya know, that rage that comes from repression and denial and brings it into the bedroom with her,” Maron said. “I hope he **** her angrily, because that’s how I would. And I’ve thought about it.”
Disgusting puke.

Looks like the White House went after Fox News in 2009 after all

Was there ever any doubt.
Emails that surfaced last week, however, through a public records request by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, suggest otherwise.

"We'd prefer if you skip Fox please," a White House broadcast media staffer advised a Treasury Department public affairs secretary ahead of the interview. In other emails during the same time frame, deputy White House communications director Jennifer Psaki called Fox News anchor Bret Baier "a lunatic" and boasted that "I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby--just cause." In yet another email, another White House press officer wrote: "We've demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews …"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jackson Lee: Congress complicating debt ceiling because Obama is black

So Barack Hussein Obama “disrespected” President Bush in 2006 by opposing an increase to the debt ceiling because he was white? These race hustling pimps have cried wolf so many times it's hard to believe anyone believes a word they say.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Friday strongly suggested that members of Congress are making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because of his race.

"I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president,” said Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”

Earlier in her speech, Jackson Lee said Obama has been targeted unlike any other president.

"I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one," said Jackson Lee from the House floor.

July consumer sentiment at worst since March 2009

NEW YORK — Consumer sentiment deteriorated in early July to the lowest level since March 2009 on increasing pessimism over falling income and rising unemployment, a survey released on Friday showed.

Confidence in government economic policies also curdled, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed. U.S. lawmakers are wrangling over a budget deal that would allow the government to raise the debt ceiling -- needed so the United States can fund its obligations next month.

The preliminary reading for the consumer sentiment index dropped to 63.8 in July from 71.5 the month before, falling far short of expectations of an increase to 72.5, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions fell to 76.3, the lowest since November 2009, from 82.0. The gauge of consumer expectations was also at its lowest since March 2009, tumbling to 55.8 from 64.8.
Why under any conceivable analysis would they be "expecting" an increase?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Views of U.S., Obama Drop Sharply Across Arab World

Appears that Obama's worldwide "love initiative" isn't working out so well.
President Obama has failed to live up to the expectations he created in the Arab world, according to a new poll released by Zogby International and the Arab American Institute Foundation. The poll also noted that most Arab countries view the U.S. less favorably today than they did during the last year of the Bush administration.

“President Obama did not create the problems, but he created the expectation that the problems would be solved,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. “He sent a number of signals early on that U.S. policy would change: in his inauguration speech, in his al-Arabiya interview, and in his appointment of [former Senate Majority Leader] George Mitchell as special envoy,” said Zogby. “By the time of his speech in Cairo, the favorable ratings of the U.S. were at their highest ever.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Census: Share of Children in U.S. at Record Low

Sobering.
Children now make up less of America's population than ever before, even with a boost from immigrant families.

And when this generation grows up, it will become a shrinking work force that will have to support the nation's expanding elderly population — even as the government strains to cut spending for health care, pensions and much else.

The latest 2010 census data show that children of immigrants make up one in four people under 18, and are now the fastest-growing segment of the nation's youth, an indication that both legal and illegal immigrants as well as minority births are lifting the nation's population.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Election 2012: Generic Presidential Ballot

Better but by no means conclusive.A generic Republican candidate earns the highest level of support yet against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that the generic Republican picks 48% of the vote, while the president gets 43% support. Three percent (3%) favor some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

Last week, the incumbent and the generic Republcian candidate were tied, each earning 44% support. The GOP candidate has now outpolled the president in seven-of-10surveys conducted weekly since early May. Prior to this survey, the Republican has earned 43% to 46% of the vote, while support for the president has ranged from 42% to 45%.

Ron Paul won't seek congressional term in 2012

As far as I'm concerned it's one less nutburger in Congress.
LAKE JACKSON — After serving almost 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul told The Facts this morning he will not be seeking another term for the District 14 seat.

Paul, 75, will instead focus on his quest for the presidency in 2012.

“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul said. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Jersey: Christie Veto of Planned Parenthood Tax-Funds Upheld

This ought to generate some post 4th of July fireworks.
Democrats in the New Jersey legislature were unable to override a veto pro-life Gov. Chris Christie issued to prevent taxpayers in the Garden State from having to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The bid to override Governor Christie’s line-item veto of the $7.453 million appropriation for women’s health and family planning services, with much of the money going to the pro-abortion giant, failed in the state house this morning. The votes were roughly split down party lines and democrats could only muster 24 of the 27 votes needed to override and three Republican state senators chose not to vote: Allen, Bateman, and Beck.

Quote of the Day

After Obama's speech today one astute poster coined him as "The Fresh Prince of Hot Air."

Well done young man.

Graph of the Day

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Holder Launches Witch Hunt Against Biased Banks

It's hard to believe that this imbecile doesn't realize that this is what got us into trouble to begin with.
In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.

Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist.

Friday, July 08, 2011

US Needs To Generate 254,000 Jobs/Month For 65 Months To Get To Pre-Depression Levels By 2016


Every time we update the projection chart of how many jobs have to be created by the end of Obama's now improbable second term, the number goes up. First it was 245,500 in April, then 250,000 in June, now it is 254,000: it seems to increase by 5,000 each month. As a reminder this chart looks for the breakeven number that has be attained to restore (not surpass) the jobs that the US economy had back in December 2007 as the Depression started, when accounting for the natural increase of 90,000 people/month in the labor force. Needless to say, there is no way in hell the US economy can create a quarter million jobs per month from now for the next 65 months, as long as the president continues to pander to Wall Street's "wealth creation" via asset returns instead of directing capital into actual economically viable projects that focus on wealth creation through labor.
Scary, really dam% scary.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Unemployment rose to 9.2 percent as hiring stalls

Can't wait to hear the White House try and spin this. WASHINGTON -
Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month. Employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent.

The Labor Department says the economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June. And the number of jobs added in May was revised down to 25,000.

High gas prices and supply-chain disruptions stemming from the Japan crisis and the weak housing market have slowed the economy. Average hourly wages declined last month. After-tax incomes, adjusted for inflation, have been flat this year.

Businesses added the fewest jobs in more than a year. Governments cut 39,000 jobs.

ATF Director Says Holder Obstructing 'Fast and Furious' Probe

This thing's got legs...
The Justice Department is obstructing the congressional investigation of a U.S. law enforcement operation intended to crack down on major weapons traffickers on the Southwest border, according to the embattled leader of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ken Melson, the acting director of the ATF, lobbed the accusation when he sneaked in for an interview with congressional investigators on July 4, two days ahead of his scheduled interview with the inspector general about the operation known as "Fast and Furious," Fox News has learned.

"If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand," Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder. "That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation."

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wednesday Funny

Probe finds widespread cheating in Atlanta schools

Stunning but not unexpected.
ATLANTA — Educators at nearly four dozen Atlanta elementary and middle schools cheated on standardized tests by either helping students or changing the answers once exams were handed in, according to the results of a yearlong state investigation released Tuesday.

The report said that 178 teachers and principals cheated, though only 82 educators actually confessed to misconduct dating as far back as 2001 and affecting thousands of school children, according to a synopsis handed out by Gov. Nathan Deal's office. More than half of the district's 100 schools were examined, and 44 of those had cheating, the synopsis said.

The investigators also found a "culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation" in the school district over the cheating allegations, which lead to educators lying about the cheating or destroying documents to cover it up, according to the synopsis. School officials had "warnings" as early as 2005 that there was cheating on standardized tests, but those signals "were ignored," according to the synopsis.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Oil Prices Climb Back to Pre-Reserve Release Levels

Well, you could knock me over with a feather.
Crude raced higher Tuesday as energy bulls pushed Nymex oil back toward the $100-a-barrel mark, prices last seen before world governments said they would release crude from their reserves last month.

West Texas Intermediate jumped 2.1 percent to $96.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, decidedly above the $94.45 close of June 22, the day before the announcement on the release of 60 million barrels from reserves.

Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange finished $2.25 higher at $113.63 a barrel, and just below the June 22 high of $114.21. Brent touched $114.44 Tuesday.

"I think we could probably test that $100 mark again. I also think for it to be sustained up there, you'd have to have something a little more going on, like geopolitical problems or some demand pickup," said Anthony Grisanti, president of GRZ Energy.

Companies Are Leaving California in Record Numbers, and It Might Get Worse

The exact same thing is happening in Illinois and for exactly the same reason.
The state of California is becoming legendary for creating the most anti-business climate in the country because of its high taxes, excessive regulations, forced unionism, and bloated public sector. For the second year in a row, a large group of America’s CEOs recently rated California as the worst state in the country to do business in an annual survey conducted by Chief Executive Magazine. California currently ranks No. 49 among U.S. states for “business tax climate” according to the Tax Foundation’s 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, and it ranks No. 48 for “economic freedom” according to a recent study by the Mercatus Center.

It shouldn’t be any surprise then that companies are leaving the “Golden State” in record numbers this year (see chart below) for “golder pastures” and more business-friendly climates in other states. In just the last two years, the number of companies leaving California has accelerated more than five-fold, from one per week in 2009 to 5.4 per week this year, according to California relocation expert Joe Vranich.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Movie 1776

Just watched the 1972 movie production of "1776". Personally I thought the movie was VERY entertaining. I'm not much into musicals and I thought for the most part the songs were forgetable.

That being said, the acting was top shelf and the story, well, is, inspiring. I'm no historian, but I believe it was reasonably historically accurate.

There were points in the movie when I was really moved... and when they signed the document of declaration at the end as the bell tolled, I got a tear in my eye.

Your thoughts?

Happy Independence Day

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job

This is certainly no surprise to anyone that's been paying attention.
When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt.

The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Minnesota Shuts Down

This is only the beginning.
Minnesota’s governor and Republican legislators failed to reach an agreement on the state budget, forcing a broad government shutdown Friday, while lawmakers across the nation wrapped up last-minute wrangling in order to meet state budget deadlines.

Minnesota's state government began a broad shutdown on Friday going into the July 4th holiday, after Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to reach a budget deal.

Parts of the government had already begun to shut down on Thursday ahead of the midnight budget deadline, including some websites and dozens of highway rest stops on one of the biggest travel days of the year.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

Consumer Sentiment Worsens in June as Outlook Sours

At least it wasn't too much worse than expected.
U.S. consumer sentiment worsened in June on jitters about the economic outlook and spending is likely to remain lackluster in the long-term, a survey released Friday showed.

Falling gasoline prices stabilized consumers' view of their current economic conditions, but expectations remained gloomy, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed.

The final reading for the consumer sentiment index came in at 71.5, down from 74.3 the month before. It was a hair below the preliminary June figure of 71.8 and shy of the median forecast for 71.9 among economists polled by Reuters.