Wall Street High – On Hopium

Remember the many articles we wrote about Barack Obama and the “Age of Fake“? It’s not just penny ante flim flam con men that spin fakery like so many spiders spinning silken webs.

Totalitarians, like cheap Chicago street hustlers, are always spinning webs too and doing the ol’ okey doke. Did you watch this past Sunday’s “60 Minutes”? It was about the Age of Fake totalitarian style:



Incredible video isn’t it? Entire cities in China – fake. Potemkin villages like in the ol’ Soviet. Totalitarian tricks.

Of course 60 Minutes is a Potemkin village itself. 60 Minutes regularly conducts powder-puff “interviews” with their liege Barack Obama (the latest an interview scheduled by Barack Obama himself with Hillary Clinton beside him. No doubt that was Obama paying off – in his own mind – a campaign debt to Bill Clinton before the war between Barack and Hillary resumes.) But 60 Minutes cannot bring itself to do the same type of tough reportage about Barack Obama as in that very good China fakery report.

It would be great if 60 Minutes would focus its CBS eye on the flim-flams of Barack Obama. We’re not holding our breaths waiting. But with 60 Minutes failing to do its duty the surprise today is a remarkable editorial from USAToday:

“Dow Jones high on Fed steroids: Our view

Like all good things, the performance-enhancing policies must come to an end.

Four years after the stock market hit bottom, it is flirting with an all-time high. On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average enjoyed its second highest close ever and was just 37 points away from a new record — more than double its level during the dark days of March 2009.

The turnabout is testament to healthy corporate profits and the resilience of America’s free enterprise system. And it’s a huge relief to workers whose 401(k) plans are tied to equities. But the risky little secret of the rebound is that it is powered in significant part by the easy-money policies of the Federal Reserve, which must one day end.

To combat the Great Recession, the Fed has bought trillions of dollars of mortgage bonds and U.S. Treasuries to juice the housing market and the economy in general. [snip]

The Federal Reserve’s purchases have driven interest rates to near zero. This has stimulated the economy but not without cost. Savers, particularly older ones trying to live on income from their investments, are starved for safe options. They’ve been forced into stocks, which is one reason the market has been acting as if it’s on steroids. Further, with borrowing costs low, Congress and the White House have less incentive to rein in the national debt. Rock-bottom interest rates have also distorted markets.

The best indication that the Fed’s bond-buying purchases are pushing stocks up artificially is that investors run for cover whenever there is a hint that the Fed might change course, as happened recently. On Monday, billionaire superinvestor Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett told CNBC that markets are on a “hair trigger” waiting for signs of change from the Fed. The market is “hooked on the drug” of easy money, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told Reuters.”

The USAToday editorial notes that the FED portfolio is now at $3 trillion and on its way to $4 trillion. The editorial further warns about the perils of how to “unload such staggering sums.”

The line from the editorial that resonated with us is the one about how people who played by the rules and built up a little nest egg are “starved for safe options.” Read that sentence then watch the video about China again. The sight of money from investors in China buying brick and air in the empty cities built by their totalitarian overloads will be familiar.

There is no doubt Barack Obama and the FED are creating the Potemkin Wall Street market surge. Jim Cramer, a defender of the FEDs activities of late said on February 19 “You’re fighting the Fed if you’re selling stocks right now.”

It was in late December 2012 that the FED stomped its collective feet yet again to force stocks to rise:

“In an unprecedented and surprising move, the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it will keep interest rates near zero and will purchase $85 billion in bonds every month until unemployment falls from its present 7.7% to 6.5%.

The new plan will maintain the $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed bond buying it began in September while adding another $45 billion in Treasuries. [snip]

The new round of so-called “stimulus” is meant to replace the soon to expire “Operation Twist” program that shoveled $45 billion a month into long-term Treasuries funded by the sale of short-term debt. Since that effort failed to create economic growth, and the Fed has no more short-term securities left to sell, the Wall Street Journal says the Fed will “effectively print more money” out of thin air to fund the scheme.

According to Obama and the Sequester Doomsday Preppers the economy cannot live through an $85 billion reduction even if the figure for this year is closer to $44 billion. But the FED pumps out $85 billion a month to pump air into the Potemkin Wall Street! However the question is, “Why is the FED doing what the FED is doing?”:

“Officially, the Federal Reserve isn’t supposed to worry about keeping stock prices flying high. [snip]

As stocks flirt with the record highs reached just before the global financial crash of 2008, memories of that catastrophe loom large. Many Americans have abandoned equities since the crash, terrified of living through another one.

Yet the Fed’s efforts to keep the economy growing may not work unless the stock market keeps moving in one direction from here: higher.

“Too big to fail,” the label derisively given to the nation’s biggest banks, now could also be applied to stocks’ 4-year-old bull market.

The Fed and the other central banks cannot afford to see a massive decline in equity prices,” said Mohamed El-Erian, who oversees $2 trillion as chief executive of money manager Pimco in Newport Beach.

Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA in New York, puts it another way: If the stock market were to fall drastically, “You would have every economist screaming ‘Depression!’”

The author of the article, Tom Petruno of the Los Angeles Times writes that a market slide would trigger from corporate executives “severe job cuts to protect their rich profit margins” as happened in 2008. A bear market with a drop of 20 percent or more “could be too big a shock for the economy to handle” he quotes some analysts.

According to Petruno the criticism is alive and well that “policymakers have become blatant market manipulators — a de facto “plunge protection team,” a term coined after the 1987 stock market crash.” Don’t understand any of this? Watch that video about the Potemkin villages of China again.

ZeroHedge quotes the quotable Jim Cramer along with some numbers:

we all know it’s going to end badly, but in the meantime we can make some money” – ZH translation: “just make sure to sell ahead of everyone else.

“Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5

Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73

GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%

Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million

Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million

Size of Fed’s Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion

US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%

US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion

Total US Debt Oustanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion

US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion

Labor Force Particpation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%

Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6

S&P Rating of the US: Then AAA; Now AA+

VIX: Then 17.5%; Now 14%

10 Year Treasury Yield: Then 4.64%; Now 1.89%

EURUSD: Then 1.4145; Now 1.3050

Gold: Then $748; Now $1583

NYSE Average LTM Volume (per day): Then 1.3 billion shares; Now 545 million shares”

Today Wall Street will almost surely close at a new high. Too bad it’s a Hopium high.

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124 thoughts on “Wall Street High – On Hopium

  1. Flim-flams followed by flim-flams:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/5/email-tells-feds-make-sequester-painful-promised/

    Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised

    The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.

    In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.

    He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”

    “This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican. [snip]

    But even amid the cuts, APHIS is still hiring new employees and interns.

    Since Sunday the agency has posted 24 help-wanted ads including 22 student internships, one ad seeking a clerk in a New York office, and one ad seeking three “insect production workers” to grow bollworms in Phoenix.

  2. No doubt about it admin. I think Bernake will bear a good deal of responsibilty for what ultimately happens here. But like Greenspan, he will not be held accountable. In the meantime, it appears that Jeb Bush is positioning himself to run for president in 2016. Amazing. But in a society which has no collective memory anything is possible. If he does decide to run, then Rubio will step aside. He could run as vice president on the Bush ticket I suppose. In that case, we could have a Hillary Bayh ticket on the other side. But it will be a different country by then, and I wonder what will happen. I do think that the hard left will oppose Hillary for the very reason you state, namely that they will not want her to be the beneficiary of the Obama revolution, and her involvement in his regime will not be a plus to many who might be predisposed to vote against her. I was speaking to a friend who was a strong Hillary supporter yesterday, and swore she would never vote for her after Benhazi. Will, never is a long time. She told me that if Bush runs, she will have to vote for Hillary. My problem is not just Benghazi, but the fact that the very people who are undermining this nation–like Matthews are now declaring their support for Hillary, and to me that is deeply worrisome. I take it as true the article I posted yesterday that neither the Democrat cabal or the establishment Republicans are on the side of the American People and in fact are squandering the future of the American People, and this Obama roadshow is simply bread and circuses for the unsuspecting masses. I would love to be wrong, obviously, but to me at least all signals point in that direction. The things which the elites are doing right now fortell a disaster which lies ahead, whereas with prudent management we could have avoided this dead end. Interestingly, Rick Moran says that 2012 was a critical loss, but 2016 is the Alamo for the Republican Party. It is a terrible thing that in a country which has as many decent and talented people as we have that it would come down to this. Here is the piece on Jeb:
    ———————————–

    Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of presidents, was in the news on Monday, appearing on NBC’s Today show to hawk his new book on immigration reform.

    But given the perpetual nature of our presidential campaigns, the conversation inevitably turned to the question of whether Governor Bush would run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. In response, Bush said:

    [T]hat’s way off in the future. I have a voice. I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative moment and the Republican Party can regain its footing, because we’ve lost our way.

    Pressed by host Matt Lauer on whether he would not rule out a run for president in 2016, Bush answered “I won’t. But I won’t declare it today either.”

    The speculation isn’t idle. In addition to promoting his book Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution — publication of which was moved up several months in order to have an impact on the debate over immigration reform — Bush travels later this week to Coral Gables to pow-wow with GOP kingmakers at the party’s quarterly finance committee meeting. And then next week, Bush is scheduled to speak at CPAC, an event he claims to have reluctantly agreed to attend. When asked why he was going, he said:

    “That’s a good question,” he says, shooting an exaggerated glare in the direction of some aides. “It’s because a lot of people urged me to do it.” He downplays expectations for the speech — “I’m going to be exhausted” — and praises other Republicans who are considering presidential runs, including fellow Floridian Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Yes, it’s usually not useful trying to read the tea leaves nearly four years away from another brutal round of primaries. But in this case, we may want to make an exception. As important as the 2012 election was to the country and the Republican Party, 2016 is going to be the Alamo Election for the GOP. The party is already in the tall grass of American politics, blundering toward the wilderness, and another loss in 2016 — the 5th in the last seven presidential contests — would make the aftermath of the 2012 election look like a Hari Krishna convention. The bloodletting and splintering would have impossible-to-predict results, except that the national party would end up being even weaker and more disorganized than it is now — if that’s possible.

    So it is important to us even at this early date to discover what Jeb Bush is thinking. That’s because he could win. He is a hugely talented politician who could raise a boatload of cash and have his pick of the top strategists in the party to develop a nationwide organization.

    He also possesses a name that, at least today, is poison to the American people. More importantly, his harsh criticisms of Republicans over the last year has angered many key factions of the party. At the very least, he will have some serious fence-mending to do if he wants to compete in those primaries that will be decided by the conservative base.

    Bush’s anger at the base of the GOP wouldn’t be so surprising if he didn’t echo the same criticism of the party made by Democrats. One year ago in Dallas, Bush made this comment in answer to a question:

    “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and. … I don’t think I’ve changed,” Bush said during an appearance Thursday, according to reports.

    “But it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion,” he said, “rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are.”

  3. the very people who are undermining this nation–like Matthews are now declaring their support for Hillary, and to me that is deeply worrisome.
    ——————
    Admin: I know you covered this contingency before, and predicted that whatever they may say now, leftists elitists like Matthews will reverse course when they get their instructions from on high. You may be right about that. Certainly it has happened before. I suspect that when the time comes I will be supporting Hillary—if that time does come.

  4. Now I’m really depressed…

    A work friend went to China last year, the taxi driver agreed to take the couple a little outside of the visible, beautiful city they were in…not more than two blocks behind the city, were the people that lived there that the government forbid foreigners to see…major poverty, just like on 60 minutes where the people were trying to salvage bricks from their knocked down homes.

    Like there and here, Greed and Corruption rule.

  5. admin

    March 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Flim-flams followed by flim-flams:
    ———————-
    I agree that he will have to move in this direction, which is to say making the sequester as painful as possible for the American People, hoping that he can shift the blame to the other party. The alternative is to look weak, and that is something he cannot countenance. And he can say that the Republicans lied to the country when they said this would not be painful. But assuming he does that, and I do make that assumption, then he has undertaken a major gamble. First, after the Woodward dust-up, followed by other journalists stepping forward with the same charge, the press as a whole may be reluctant to carry his water, now that the cat is out of the bag. Second, if the Republicans are on the ball, they can show examples of the waste fraud abuse and cronyism that escaped the axe thus warranting the inference that his objective is not presidential, but punitive, and intentionally destructive. How this all plays into the upcoming dead ceiling negotations where as we know McConnell is predisposed to give Obama anything he wants, but must face an election in 2014, and Boehners feet are being held to the fire by conservatives in his own party is an imponderable. It is hard to predict, but if the Republicans do their job they will win this one. And if not then not.

  6. “The new plan will maintain the $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed bond buying it began in September while adding another $45 billion in Treasuries.”
    ********
    It is interesting that no one is following the money. The scam is that people in the know bought MBSs for pennies on the dollar and then/now are selling them to the FED for face value. (This the same scam that Jon Corsine tried to play using Euro backed MBSs but the EU wouldn’t buy the junk bonds at face value and poor Jon and Global went belly up) Leon Black/Apollo group made billions in profits with the first FED buy of junk MBS during Bush’s TARP. Just went to look for the amount of money the Black made and as best I can tell, the previously available info has been scrubbed.

  7. The 60 minutes video is an eye opener because Spain went developed the same kind of bubble that burst with the 2008 crash. Developers borrowed money galore, built empty cities for the affluent all over the countryside and Costa Brava, then people stopped buying the condos and the developers went bust. Then the whole country went bust.

    If the bubble bursts in China, the whole world is in deep shit because China is driving the world economy right now.

    I used to think the Chinese government was pretty smart, or crafty, for growing the economy by controlled capitalism, I guess I was dead wrong. It’s a major fuck-up for a government-controlled operation. But at this point, what does it matter? The only way the bubble can be kept from bursting is by more strict government intervention, moving industries and businesses into the new cities, or simply shutting down the whole operation – according to the video, it is the latter course of action that has been adopted.

  8. Admin says:

    But 60 Minutes cannot bring itself to do the same type of tough reportage about Barack Obama as in that very good China fakery report.

    It would be great if 60 Minutes would focus its CBS eye on the flim-flams of Barack Obama. We’re not holding our breaths waiting. But with 60 Minutes failing to do its duty the surprise today is a remarkable editorial from USAToday:

    *****************************************************

    the problem is not only is the MSM in the cult worship pocket of O BUT…

    also, as we have openly seen recently…there is a fear…of O, chicago style vengence AND protecting the interests of the people O and his crew serve…

    Woodward essentially ‘hinted’ about it last week when he mentioned the younger reporters would be intimadated by the stern hand of the WH and not write the important investigative stories…

    Woodward was putting it mildly and the heavy hand came out to snuff him out…and he is a well regarded reporter with clout…

    …the MSM has been silenced and is afraid to break stories that go against the power structure…and anyone that does is forced to pull back and marginalize the truth of their reporting…or suffer the rath…

  9. admin

    Our latest tweet…
    —–
    Love that you post your tweets here so I don’t have to dig up my dusty password to catch your funny one-liners.

    Rock on admin!!

  10. White House goes silent on Dow record high — not always so quiet on stock market

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to weigh in on the Dow hitting an all-time high on Tuesday, a development clashing with President Obama’s assertion that across-the-board spending cuts would imperil the economy.

    “I don’t comment on markets,” Carney insisted on Tuesday.

    Just two months ago, however, Carney cited the stock market as proof that Republicans were harming the economy.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-goes-silent-on-dow-record-high-not-always-so-quiet-on-stock-market/article/2523300

  11. Drudge links pile up…

    WAR DRUMS: KERRY WARNS IRAN ON BRINK…

    ‘Challenging moment with great risks’…

    Obama ‘not bluffing’ over military threat…

    Netanyahu: ‘Red line’…

    TOP GENERAL: Nuclear Iran will trigger arms race in Middle East…

    Kissinger: Nuke crisis close…

  12. And on the opposite side of the spectrum from Chinese “Potemkin” Cities are the cage cities where millions live in metal cubes stacked one atop another.

  13. Meantime, NYC shatters previous homelessness records.

    Some on Wall Street may be celebrating the Dow hitting a record high on Tuesday, but a new report says New York City now has a record 50,000 people a night sleeping in the city’s homeless shelters.

    The Coalition for the Homeless says that, in January, an unprecedented 21,000 children—1% of the city’s youth—slept each night in a homeless shelter, a 22% increase over last year.

    “New York is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression,” says President of the Coalition for the Homeless Mary Brosnahan.

    The report says homelessness among families is also on the rise. From 2011 to 2012, family homelessness increased 1.4% nationally. In Boston, family homelessness is up 7.8%. And in “boomtown” Washington, D.C., the nation’s richest city, the number of families without a home has skyrocketed 18%.

    The report’s findings offer a stark contrast between the gains made on Wall Street from the Federal Reserve’s $2.5 trillion in so-called stimulus versus the harsh reality America’s jobless recovery.

    Indeed, even as today’s Dow rally marks the third-best stock-market leap in the post-World War II era, Americans now find themselves struggling in the worst labor-market recovery since World War II.

    Breitbart

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/05/NYC-Smashes-Homelessness-Record

  14. Amazing how totalitarians make money while “serving” the public isn’t it?

    http://newsfromvenezuela.tumblr.com/post/867542155/analyst-estimates-chavezs-family-fortune-at-around-2

    Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), a risk assessment and global analysis firm in Miami, estimated in a recent report that the Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has “amassed a fortune” similar to that of the Castro brothers in Cuba.

    According to Jerry Brewer, president of CJIA, “the personal fortune of the Castro brothers has been estimated at a combined value of around $2 billion.”

    “The Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has amassed a fortune of a similar scale since the arrival of Chávez to the presidency in 1999,” said Brewer in an analysis published in their website.

  15. #SequesterThis
    Meat inspectors have to go, but fine wines are still on the USDA menu..
    Article Video Comments (36) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
    smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare.1EmailPrintSave ↓ More .
    .
    smaller Larger
    In its bid to make the sequester as painful as possible, the White House announced Tuesday that it is canceling all visitor tours of the White House “during the popular Spring touring season.” This fits President Obama’s political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping “exceptional local wines” and sampling “tasty dishes” prepared by “special guest chefs.”

    Related Video.
    Columnist Kim Strassel on how the world did and will not end because of sequester.
    .
    Yes, even as the White House warns that the modest automatic spending cuts will force the furlough of meat inspectors, two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week.

    The event will feature USDA speakers, field trips, a banquet and a tasting reception, according to the conference website. Conference organizers promise the tasting will be a “mouthwatering event” featuring “fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies.” How can we sign up?

    Enlarge Image

    Close
    Reuters

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn
    .In April, the penny-pinchers at the USDA will also sponsor the Priester National Health Extension Conference in Corvallis, Oregon. The pressing object of this four-day event will be to “provide resource support to professionals and community leaders working to improve community health,” although attendees will sneak in their own wine tasting. We recommend the state’s pinots.

    Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn noted in a Tuesday letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that while these conferences may be “fun,” or “even educational,” they reveal an agency unable to set priorities that serve taxpayers as opposed to its own bureaucratic interests. The agency fans public fear about salmonella outbreaks even as its public servants serve themselves haute cuisine.

    Mr. Coburn and others are providing Americans with a window on this and other fiscal contradictions at #SequesterThis on Twitter, and we recommend that readers take a look. Then decide if the federal government is so wonderfully efficient that it can only cut spending that most hurts the public.

  16. wbboei 11:06 watch this
    ————–
    Couldn’t. Too much hollering. Know there’s something very important in there so will try later.
    —————–
    Love how the Victims Of Racism euphemize lying, and this seems to say stand your ground being folded into trial:
    Teenage witness in Trayvon Martin case admits she ‘misrepresented’ herself, prosecution says Fox 3/6/13
    …”The state did what it was supposed to do and let us know there was a problem with their witness. We now know it and have an opportunity to talk to her,” he said. “Credibility is always an issue with any witness. And if it rises to the level where it is evidentiary, then we’ll go from there. And if it doesn’t rise to that level, we deal with it.”
    O’Mara also said he won’t need the two weeks a judge previously set aside for an immunity hearing under the state’s controversial self-defense law, though the issue could be folded into the trial.
    O’Mara previously stated that he hopes to wrap the “stand your ground” hearing into Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, scheduled for June 10. He said that could still possibly happen and the judge has said she is open to it.
    A judge would have sole discretion in an immunity hearing to decide if Zimmerman is exempt from culpability in the shooting. A jury would make the determination in the murder trial. O’Mara said after Tuesday’s hearing that no decision about when he might file a motion for an immunity hearing is set in stone, though.
    “I haven’t made that decision yet. The real focus is going to be on getting ready for a jury trial,” he said. “As you know, I’ve been counting. We’re only at 96 days right now. So that only that only gives us time to really get ready for one hearing. And that’s going to be a jury trial where he gets acquitted. So that’s my plan.”
    “If we’re going all the way through a jury trial, I look forward to a jury verdict.”
    Lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda declined comment on any specifics of the case, but did say he was “bewildered” about whether or not the defense intended to have a “stand your ground” hearing.
    “My job is to try the case in the court,” he said. “We’ll let the witnesses speak when they tell the truth, under oath in a courtroom and let the evidence speak for itself.”
    Zimmerman, a 29-year-old former neighborhood watch leader, maintains he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense only after they got into a fight in February 2012.
    Prosecutors contend that he followed Martin and may have racially profiled the black teenager. Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty.
    O’Mara said their options are still very fluid right now regarding the potential immunity hearing, but the defense team is putting its energy into trial because of finite funds and the judge is holding firm to the June trial date.
    He said he thinks a jury verdict might also be more calming to the intense fervor around this case.
    “We decided to focus on the idea that George wants to have a jury of his peers decide his case. And it’s gonna be, I think, a more accepted result for everyone who has to accept the result — that he gets an acquittal at trial,” O’Mara said. “More so than an immunity hearing given by a judge.”
    The judge also decided to allow the defense to see copies of Florida Department of Law Enforcement biographical profiles which were done on multiple witnesses, including Martin and Zimmerman. Some confidential information, including addresses, social security numbers, and origin of some criminal records will be redacted, however.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/06/teenage-witness-in-trayvon-martin-case-admits-misrepresented-herself/

  17. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/white-house-recalibrates-sequester-messaging-88484.html?hp=t2_3

    Now Dems worry: Did Obama cry wolf?

    President Barack Obama hopes to spark a pitchfork revolt against Republicans over sequester-induced budget cuts — but many Democrats fret that he’s undermined that effort with an early strategy marred by hype, poor planning and muddled messaging. [snip]

    “I think they probably went over the top in terms of saying that the consequences were going to be horrible, especially because it’s happened and the lines in the airports aren’t long, the world hasn’t changed overnight,” says former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, an on-again, off-again Obama critic who supports the broad outlines of Obama’s $4 trillion “grand bargain” proposal. [snip]

    One top Democratic Congressional aide offered this bit of advice to Obama: “Don’t accentuate a fight you don’t intend to wage [and] can’t win. … They spent two weeks building up sequester as a horror show and then got fact-checked a dozen times and were forced to back off their own claims of it being a disaster once they were forced to acquiesce to the cuts happening.” [snip]

    The administration’s attempts to quantify the impact of the cuts have, at times, created more confusion than clarity. [snip]

    Obama’s team likes to cite polls showing three-quarters of respondents backing his hybrid of cuts and tax hikes, and they tout the president’s solid personal approval ratings, still in the 50s despite recent signs of slippage.

    But the long-term impact of the fight remains ambiguous. A CBS poll released on Monday found that 38 percent of those polled blame the sequester stalemate on congressional Republicans. But 33 percent blame Obama, a gap wide enough to preserve the president’s public standing, but probably not big enough to create the tidal wave of public opinion needed to drive the GOP back to the bargaining table.

    One senior Republican aide joked that Obama’s hope that constituents will force congressional conservatives to act is doomed because “our approval rating is already like 8 percent on a good day. … He’s going to drive it down to 6? Big deal.” [snip]

    Senior administration officials told reporters immediately after the fiscal cliff deal was reached that the president had plenty of tax-raising options left over to buy down the sequester, including, hundreds of billions in loophole closures that Boehner himself had identified.

  18. admin – fingers crossed. Here tv runs same horrific examples but prefaces with “If sequester continues.” Mind games.

  19. Leanora March 6, 2013 at 7:45 am
    ————
    The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) is a group of prominent figures from the African American community against gun control legislation currently being considered on Capitol Hill.

    Thank heaven the group is AA. Should be very effective. Otherwise would have been hell to pay with images such as are included. Surely WH and Al Sharpton will have nothing to say. Jesse maybe too busy helping son adjust to and minimize the life he so richly earned.

  20. Another poll has Obama trending down:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-usa-fiscal-poll-idUSBRE92507S20130306

    Election bump over, Obama approval drops to 43 percent: Reuters/IPSOS poll

    (Reuters) – Less than two months into his second term, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped and Americans blame him and his fellow Democrats almost as much as his Republican opponents for a fiscal mess.

    A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.

    Most of that steep drop came in the week to February 26 when it was becoming clear that Washington was going to be unable to put aside partisan differences and agree to halt automatic budget cuts which started last Friday.

    Confounding the White House’s efforts to blame Republicans for the cuts, most respondents in the online survey hold both Democrats and Republicans responsible.

    Obama shot out of the gate in January at the start of his second four years in the White House, promising gun control and immigration legislation as well as efforts to tackle climate change and expand gay rights.

    But Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the survey shows Obama’s honeymoon is now over, partly due to the “sequestration” cuts which will likely curtail public services like air traffic control and national parks as well as funding for the Pentagon.

    “People are seeing things are back to business as usual in Washington,” she said. “They are reading about the immense fallout this is going to have in terms of how it’s going to affect the military and individuals.” [snip]

    Obama is now facing questions over whether he and fellow Democrats miscalculated the budget showdown and especially their messaging strategy of making frequent graphic warnings that public services were about to be decimated by cuts.

    The strategy seemed aimed at having the public put pressure on Republican lawmakers to cede to White House demands to include tax increases as part of a solution to halt sequestration.

  21. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/obama-once-used-walmart-ties-as-a-wedge-issue

    President Barack Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, a one-time Clinton deputy-OMB director and current president of Walmart’s charitable arm the Walmart Foundation, to be his next budget chief Monday.

    But it was not long ago Obama was using ties to Walmart as a wedge issue attacking Hillary Clinton’s service on the board of directors of the world’s largest retailer.

    “While I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Walmart,” then-Senator Obama said to Hillary Clinton in a 2008 debate.

    Bill Clinton defended his wife’s service at Walmart saying it was “it was the right thing for her to do.”

    The Obama campaign responded through spokesman Bill Burton by saying, “if they want to defend her service to one of the least environmentally-friendly, least labor-union friendly companies in the country, they’re welcome to do that.”

    While attacking Clinton for her ties to Walmart, the Obama campaign went further, posting a Clinton “fact check” page on their website with links to stories saying Clinton was silent on labor issues while on Walmart’s board, that she did not improve the experience of female employees, that Walmart resisted unionization when she was a director, and that she did not “rock the boat on labor or gender issues while at Walmart.”

    During the 2008 campaign Michelle Obama quit the board of a Wal-Mart supplier eight days after her husband told an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, NJ, “I won’t shop there” while discussing the retail chain according to the Chicago Sun Times.

  22. admin
    March 6, 2013 at 10:02 am
    ——————

    So the cowards and footlickers dredge it up now when it is all safe. and their MO is more than well understood now when they say “she did not “rock the boat on labor or gender issues while at Walmart.”” When you hear that sentence, non-Hillarites do wonder, what exactly did she do in Walmart to make it better — it all sounds fair. They were defining Hillary then just as they defined Romney in the 2012 election. There is no good answer to their strategy unless a fair arbiter talks about the hypocrisy of their attack. Obama people won two elections this way. But the stupid people who voted for him don’t understand the difference between words and deeds.

  23. There is no good answer to their strategy unless a fair arbiter talks about the hypocrisy of their attack.

    And Hillary did have a good comeback for that in the debate when she brought up Obama sucking up to slum lord Rezko at the same period. But then again the fair arbiters who needed to highlight the hypocrisy were AWOL.

  24. Admin, she, you and people like us, — looking back it feels like we were all trying to scream, like we try to scream in our nightmares. A wasted opportunity and the country is worse off for it.

    This is a comment seen elsewhere, and fits right into who Obama truly is and the second anonymous there is me and I think Hillary said what I refer to there, in the same SC debate:

    AnonymousFebruary 16, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I think the newly emerging conservative critique of O is the correct one. Namely, that we are all making a continuing mistake of trying to understand his competencies and achievements (good or ill) by the standards of fellow priority-driven executives. He is not an executive, and not a wonk. Rather he is a vain and fragile man who thrives by setting himself above the straw men of his rhetoric.

    We viewed O as another Carter, or worse, and anticipated with relish his corresponding downfall. But Carter erred in that he actually tried to carry out his flawed agenda, and was eventually held to account. O has no intention of carrying out his agenda, and therefore will never be held to account because he will never achieve anything. We mistook this for incompetency and laughed at it, but the joke is on us–it is uber-competency from the standpoint of a hollow man who craves adulation above all else.

    In this sense, we have more of a third world autocrat in the White House rather than a European plutocrat. What would Don Castro be without fifty years of tilting at the American windmill to justify his people’s misery? What would have become of Arafat had he actually made peace with Israel? Not only would Palestine no longer have need of the pervy old terrorist, but he have been judged by his peers on the results of the deal, which is ultimately why he walked away from the Wye River talks even though (or rather, particularly because) they offered him most of what he demanded.

    I suspect that Obama himself will find a way to put a shank into Obamacare before the end. Not because of economic reality, but because it is his nature. Better to see it go down and spend the rest of his life complaining to sympathetic audiences that it would have been great had only the racists not opposed him. Letting it stand risks hanging real world results hang around his neck, and the one thing he cannot bear is true self-reflection.

    So we cannot beat Obama, not because he is better than we but because he refuses to take to the field. We can only outlast him. Fight a rearguard action in the other two branches of government and wait for Jan 2017.

    Sorry for the length. I needed to get that out, and I certainly cannot say it at work.

    ACCO
    Reply
    Replies

    AnonymousFebruary 16, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Your observation that he is more like a third world autocrat is an astute one. He lies like a man without conscience and takes no responsibility for his words or actions. Hillary said this perfectly in a debate in the primary 2008 campaign. Her words (paraphrasing) were how we can’t pin him down to anything because he says one thing and when confronted says he never said such a thing. He does not take responsibility and we have seen that time again. The man voted present 130 times in Illinois senate — what more proof did people want. We just have to wait for this scourge to go away after these 4 years but I am not sure it will. The Democrats and their politics have been corrupted beyond repair and so are the media.

  25. President Obama loves to rail against the ‘rich’. He has become a master of manipulation in using class warfare to divide the American people. Today, his fear mongering surrounding the sequester continued with the announcement that tours of the White House, which are conducted by volunteers and attended by every day Americans, will end. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) asked a great question. Will Obama’s celebrity friends like Jay-Z and Beyonce continue to get personal tours? Something tells me the answer to that question is YES! 🙄

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/05/congressman-will-jay-z-and-beyonce-still-get-white-house-tours/

  26. This piece is likely above my understanding but it may have promise for others here:

    Trusting Obama’s Liberal Rhetoric Just Doesn’t Make Sense Anymore Eric Zuesse, Contributor|Mar. 6, 2013,
    “…Something is very wrong with the way that the public (with the assistance of both Republican and Democratic media) views the Obama Presidency. The “Barack Obama” that comes through from our President’s liberal rhetoric (and from cooperative major news-media of both the right and the left) has simply not been borne out by his actions as President, and it is time for us to recognize this fact.

    This is going to be a long article, because its purpose is to replace that garbage with a credible understanding of Barack Obama. Trusting his liberal rhetoric just doesn’t make sense any more – not this late in his Presidency….”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-obamas-political-endgame-2013-3

  27. God I love to watch Hillary in that debate, the first part, when the community organizer, narcissist is calling Hillary and Bill liars…slandering them on public tv to her face, and Hillary has a tiny hint of a mocking smile starting to form as she tilts her head a little…

    Instead of talking over his words, (as most idiot dims do today), she listens carefully, getting all the facts lined up for her slash to his jugular.

  28. God, I love that debate…watching the rumble, Hillary says, “We’re just getting started.”

    She calls him out on all the things he promises and asks him, “…HOW WILL YOU PAY FOR IT?”

    He makes a comment about something Bill said, she said, “I am here, he isn’t…” Barry says, I don’t know who I am running against in this race.

    The Queen takes the pawn in this debate.

  29. Released Benghazi Documents Show that Government Was Warned Days Before Attack
    —Ace
    Then there is this…

    Sharyl Attkisson @SharylAttkisson

    One source who viewed the docs says someone in a federal agency “press shop” was involved in changing the talking points to remove al Qaeda

  30. The Bieb disappointed:
    O2 apologises for Justin Bieber’s lateness but gave no reason for the delay
    Singer didn’t arrive on stage until 10.23pm – just before he was due to finish
    Hundreds of schoolchildren were left heartbroken after being forced to leave
    Some young fans even ‘fell fast asleep’ as they waited for the show

    Parents are ‘furious’ with Baby star and call him a ‘jerk’ and ‘disrespectful’
    Hundreds of fans stranded as late running caused them to miss last trains
    Refunds will be ‘dealt with on a case-by-case basis dependent on the credibility of the claim’
    Justin, with 35million Twitter followers, has partied all weekend in London
    Teen idol apologised to fans via Twitter, and insisted there would be no repeat at his remaining London gigs
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2288167/Justin-Bieber-2-hours-late-concert-forcing-parents-children-home-seeing-idol.html

    There’s a picture of him (?) there that you might want to see. Guess I’ve only noticed his hair until now and that’s weird enough.

  31. There’s a picture of him (?) there that you might want to see. Guess I’ve only noticed his hair until now and that’s weird enough.

    —-
    Looks like he has a fitted dress on over white tights or pants. The gold gloves and weirdo hair…hmmmm.

  32. Just heard Judge Napolitanohen say on FOX, that when Gibbs was confronted on not only the killing of an American born citizen by a drone, but his 16 y/o son and his friend, he stated, “he should have picked a better father”

    How can this be acceptable in America. When something like this doesn’t appall the American people, there is NOTHING to stop them.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/how-team-obama-justifies-the-killing-of-a-16-year-old-american/264028/

  33. This Justin Bieber insanity, is just that. Another making of a Michael Jackson, another wrapped and destroyed life… Messiah bot like.

    Don’t see the point

  34. pm317
    March 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm
    Admin, she, you and people like us, — looking back it feels like we were all trying to scream, like we try to scream in our nightmares. A wasted opportunity and the country is worse off for it.
    ***************************************************

    pm317…I was going to make a comment yesterday re: when O’s admin is finally over it will be regarded as such a missed opportunity and the most shallow administration in history…

    …the most superficial and shallow administration in history…

    …and as you so rightly say…a wasted opportunity and the country is worse off for it…

    maybe when the MSM is free from him they will be free to tell the real story…

    ***************************************************************

    on another note…did anyone catch that clip of Kerry yesterday when he was being asked by I think, the reporter Rosen, about when are we going to get to speak to the survivors of Benghazi that are evidently in the hospital…

    …all i can say that I have never seen Kerry so stumped and speechless…and so pale…the man looks like his face has actually grown longer and he is so, so pale…

  35. left a comment that seems to have gone into the abyss

    essentially agreeing with pm317…the O admin will go down as the biggest wasted opportunity at such a crucial time …the O admin will go down as the most superficial and shallow admin in history…

    ******************************

    also mentioned if anyone had a chance to see Kerry in the interview with Rosen yesterday…Rosen asked him when anyone would get the opportunity to talk to any of the survivors from Benghazi that are in the hospital…and when we would find out who they are

    Kerry was left dumbfounded and speechless and then tried to deflect…
    He is so pale…he actually looks like his face has grown longer…seriously…and he is so so pale white….

  36. Considering the use of drones on American’s in America.

    How silent will the Obama pixy dusted unicorns be when the first drone hits the hood?

    When the first black man is the target and his family is blown to bits by the drone?

    Are they going to target rich Republican men, white people, Hillary supporters, Jews that support Bibi????

    Which folks are okay to kill in silence?

    What happens then the geeks come out with a hack that makes the drones change direction?

  37. Our latest tweet:

    @cenkuygur Ron Wyden is the last liberal, joins Rand Paul against unitary executive killers – Sanders Warren Brown DailyKooks are hypocrites

  38. http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-filibusters-john-brennan-2013-3

    With the Senate prepared to confirm John Brennan as the next CIA Director, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul is filibustering the vote, citing concerns about the Obama administration’s drone program.

    “I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said. “I cannot sit quietly and let [the President] shred the Constitution.”

    Paul began speaking just before noon, becoming the first Senator to use the “talking filibuster” in more than two years. He was joined several of his Senate colleagues around the three-hour mark, and the group had grown to eight by the sixth hour of the filibuster.

    Paul’s marathon remarks have focused on violations of civil liberties under the Obama administration, and particularly on a letter sent by Attorney General Eric Holder this week, which claimed that the President has the legal authority to use military force against American citizens on U.S. soil.

    “When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding an unequivocal, ‘No,” Paul said Wednesday. “The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.” [snip]

    After more than three hours at podium, Paul was relieved by Utah Republican Mike Lee and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

    “You’re standing here like a modern-day ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,'” Cruz told Paul admiringly. “You must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile.

    The Tea Party trio was joined soon after by Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, chairman of the NRSC, and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, a vocal opponent of Obama’s drone program.

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another GOP darling, joined the filibuster briefly around the fifth-hour mark.

    Taking the floor, Rubio joked to Paul: “Let me give you some advice — keep some water nearby.”

    Watch the filibuster live: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

  39. Taking the floor, Rubio joked to Paul: “Let me give you some advice — keep some water nearby.”

    ——-
    Great. He is not letting this go and making fun of the idiots that tried discredit him with this. Keep it up Marco.

    A lesson I wish Mitt had learned, do not ignore the haters…make fun of them, over and over.

  40. Where is the outrage about ‘droning’ Americans on American soil? Does the dumb majority who voted for Obama even know what it means? It is like having military tanks on the street and shooting at people. Now do they get it?

  41. pm317
    March 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Where is the outrage about ‘droning’ Americans on American soil? Does the dumb majority who voted for Obama even know what it means? It is like having military tanks on the street and shooting at people. Now do they get it?
    *****************************************************

    pm317 and hill friends…

    the low info O voters and his media cult followers are so damn stupid and hypocritical that they could end up being collateral damage from a drone stike and they would still be praising O…

    the hypocrisy of the totalitarian left is mind boggling…where is randi rhodes, stephanie miller, matthews, arianna and her big HUFF PUFF POST and the rest of his cult…anyone heard anything from any of them?

    if this were hillary, bill, mccain or any bush this would the lead on every cable show from morning to night and the headlines on every blog and newspaper…

    …and then the second lead story would be ‘the selling of the WH by O and his crew’ and that would take up the whole day from morning to night…

    sickening…

  42. Current Article

    Rand Paul, Principled Libertarian/Conservative

    By Larry Johnson

    on March 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM in Current Affairs

    God bless Rand Paul. He is doing his country a service by starting a filibuster to hold Obama’s feet to the fire over the issue of using drones in the United States and using drones to kill American citizens. This is an important, vital issue. The good news, there are some Democrats of principle–Ron Wyden in particular–who are speaking out in support of Paul and his position.

    Sadly, most Democrats are playing deaf and dumb. Doing a pretty good imitation of Helen Keller. Back when Bush presided over Abu Ghraib and the internment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo without any due process, Democrats were fit to be tied over the abuse of human rights. I shared their outrage. I spoke out against the war in Iraq. I spoke in support of my CIA colleague, Valerie Plame Wilson. In speaking out, I was not professing support of Democrats. I was speaking out about truth and right and wrong. I did not check party affiliation first.

    I have been affiliated with the Republican Party for most of my life. So, imagine my surprise when I was pilloried by so-called conservatives and accused of being a liberal activist. But, I believe that the principles of limited government and personal freedom are not subordinate to party affiliation.

    And now we have the shameful spectacle of Barack Obama and his Democrat sycophants.

    Here is Clinton loyalist, Howard Wolfson, making up excuses for the inexcusable:

    Allahpundit over at Hot Air captures my disgust with these hypocrites:

    What’s newsworthy about this clip isn’t Wolfson’s gauge of public opinion, it’s his dismissive disdain for a guy like Paul who’s making precisely the sort of constitutional objections that would have made him a hero to the left during the Bush era. There is a way to pay lip service to liberal counterterrorism concerns circa 2006 while also doing your Democratic duty as a mindless partisan in defending Obama. He could say that Paul’s points are well taken, that he’s certainly right that we can’t ignore due process just to make things a bit easier for the president, but that in an age of terror the commander-in-chief must have the power to blah blah blah etc. You don’t get any of that here even though Wolfson’s on MSNBC, ground zero for Democratic civil-libertarian posturing during the Bush years. He feels perfectly comfortable telling a lefty audience flat out that Rand Paul’s a crank for worrying about the Constitution when everyone knows that the public trusts the guy who commands the military to do the right thing on assassinating citizens. Good work, guys.

    The divergence between what Obama promised and what he is doing in practice is galling. Yet, his own party turns its head away, closes its eyes and muzzles its voice. Why? They prefer power over honor. They embrace wrong and evil in the name of staying in power, where they can feed and reward cronies.

    Good on Rand Paul. He will have my vote and my money come next election.

  43. HUFF PUFF POST – HEADLINE: 13th hour McConnel joins

    only ONE DEMOCRAT – Wyden remains true to himself and his ethics

    almost 39,000 comments

    WATCH: Paul’s filibuster live on CSPAN-2.

    Updates will appear below:

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined the filibuster just before 3 p.m., giving Paul a break after more than three hours of speaking.

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) then took over for Lee just after 3:10 p.m. “You must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile,” he said.

    Paul resumed speaking around 3:45 p.m, and the filibuster went bipartisan just before 4:00 pm, when Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined in.

    Wyden said he intended to vote for Brennan’s confirmation, but added that the nomination provided an opportunity to seek more information on the Obama administration’s legal documentation for targeted killings. He said the Senate Intelligence Committee had gotten that information.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came to the Senate floor to ask a question of Paul just before 4:20 p.m. Rubio did not criticize the administration’s targeted-killings policy per se, but he defended the Senate’s right to ask questions of presidential appointment nominees.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) joined the filibuster just before 4:40 p.m. The Georgia senator, who is retiring in 2014, said that he thought the administration should be capturing and interrogating more suspected militants, rather than launching drone strikes at them. He said that he did not support the nomination of John Brennan.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the floor at about 4:45 p.m. to try to invoke cloture on the Brennan nomination to allow the vote to happen Wednesday night.

    Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) said he would be happy to vote, but that he hasn’t gotten the answer he wanted, and therefore objected to holding the vote.

    The filibuster showed no signs of stopping as it entered its eighth hour Wednesday evening. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) read aloud supportive tweets.

    “I think the technical term for what the Twitterverse is doing right now is called ‘blowing up,'” he said.

    Meanwhile, Obama and several Republican senators were dining at the Jefferson Hotel, meeting in an attempt to find a replacement plan for the automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1.

    Just after 9:15 p.m., Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) joined the filibuster as it neared 10 hours.

  44. amazing to view some of those comments on the so called liberal site – HUFF PUFF POST

    they are so locked in to O that they go against their own beliefs and safety…

    …take O out of the equation and the very same people would be screaming against having a drone allowed to kill them without warning or cause on the land in the USA…

    what idiots

  45. Telling comment by one of the great thinkers of our time, Nial Ferguson:

    The third driver of change — nearly always overlooked by political scientists — is the tendency of even the best systems to degenerate as rent-seeking special interests grow on the body politic like barnacles on a ship’s hull, and civic virtue yields to human frailty. Westerners are justly proud of their various democratic systems, and Americans in particular regard their Constitution as the world’s best. Yet every comparative study of institutional quality — from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators — tells the same depressing story. In many Western countries there has been a perceptible decline in the rule of law. Among the worst cases are South European “cradles of democracy,” Greece and Italy, which receive shockingly bad scores from the World Economic Forum. In the United States, meanwhile, the World Bank reports marked declines since 2000 in the control of corruption, regulatory quality, accountability and government effectiveness.

    This “great degeneration” helps explain the slowdown in growth and productivity we have witnessed in the West in the past decade. We cannot blame it solely on the financial crisis, nor on the fact that (as the economist Robert Gordon recently argued) the information technology revolution has delivered much less than its own hype led us to expect. The world is changing not just because the Rest have got better, but also because — quite independently — the West has got worse. Indeed, much of the developed world today reminds me of what Adam Smith said about China in “The Wealth of Nations”: It has reached a “stationary” state in which growth is near zero and prosperity is enjoyed only by a corrupt bureaucratic elite

  46. In many Western countries there has been a perceptible decline in the rule of law.

    I made this very point on another forum concerning the drone debate. America got to where it is because it could define the gray areas better than most other countries with its focus on rule of law. When ‘rule of law’ gets politicized and replaced with corrupt power it no longer serves the majority and certainly not the ordinary citizens.

  47. We’re going to start tweeting our latest tweet as often as necessary to get the message out. Our latest tweet is a response to John Cusack who wrote:

    https://twitter.com/johncusack/status/309440059222917120

    dems ? Do U have any thoughts on Obama’s transition from a progressive academic humanist 2 a regressive corporate warlord?

    Our latest post that we intend to tweet tweet tweet?: https://twitter.com/HillaryIs44

    @johncusack Our mantra: “Obama cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted by friend nor foe. Obama simply cannot be trusted.

  48. gonzotx, Rubio was winging it and he was shallow and could not hold his own last night. OTH Ted Cruz was quite impressive with his oratory and provided the legal argument and support for Paul all through. I was surprised by Rubio’s performance.

  49. Rubio was winging it and he was shallow and could not hold his own last night. OTH Ted Cruz was quite impressive with his oratory and provided the legal argument and support for Paul all through. I was surprised by Rubio’s performance.

  50. Admin, another suggestion for your tweets: “Democrats are hypocrites, where were the anti-war people last night?” They are OK with all the drones abroad and here.

    What about all the Dems who rail against military industrial complex?

  51. Interestingly, Samira is a Hitler-quoting anti-Semite who says she wants to see America burn.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    Well she is their hero. 🙄

  52. S

    March 7, 2013 at 12:07 am

    amazing to view some of those comments on the so called liberal site – HUFF PUFF POST

    they are so locked in to O that they go against their own beliefs and safety…

    …take O out of the equation and the very same people would be screaming against having a drone allowed to kill them without warning or cause on the land in the USA…

    what idiots
    —————-
    The tendency is to dismiss them as hypocrites. In fact, it goes further than that. They quote principles the same way the devil quotes scripture, but in the end, the sole determinant of what they say and do is power, in the Orwellian sense of the word.

  53. Nanticoke corrections officer killed by inmate By citizensvoice.com – Bob Kalinowski and James Halpin Published: 02/27/2013

    PENNSYLVANIA – A corrections officer from Nanticoke was killed by an inmate at a federal prison in Wayne County on Monday night[2/25/13] in what officials say was a highly unusual murder targeting a guard, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Officials say Eric Williams, 34, was killed by an inmate who used a homemade weapon at the U.S. Penitentiary at Canaan, a high-security prison for men. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m.
    “This is clearly the darkest day in our institution’s short history, and we are in shock over this senseless loss of a colleague and friend,” Warden David Ebbert said in a statement.
    Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the prison, which opened in 2005, remained in lockdown Monday and that the FBI is investigating the attack. He deferred comment on potential charges to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
    Williams was working alone in a unit housing about 130 inmates and was preparing to lock them into their cells for a nightly head-count when he was attacked, said Philip Glover, the northeast regional vice president for the guards’ union, the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals.
    http://www.corrections.com/news/article/32699-nanticoke-corrections-officer-killed-by-inmate

    Yesterday the local tee vee station I watch early AM repeated what it has said for the last 9 days “Perp has been moved but authorities have not released the name; no charges have been filed.
    Today anchors did not mention anything. I cannot blame them.
    The local jackass Senator Casey had stations read a press release that as of Eric WIlliams’ death guards are now allowed to carry pepper spray. But he offered no further info on the crime. He is the only elected official for whom tee vee channels read press releases.
    Whole thing very maddening. Am guessing perp is Muslim which would make it another #FtHood.
    Eric WIlliams was buried last Saturday. I mourn the fact they had to go through that knowing the murderer was being protected.

  54. Yay .. Woodward’s not done!
    Bob Woodward calls out Rahm Emanuel on ‘hyper-partisanship’ in D.C.
    BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter/mdudek@suntimes.com March 6, 2013 11:51PM
    Updated: March 7, 2013 5:36AM
    Legendary journalist Bob Woodward spoke of Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a mix of fondness and distaste on Wednesday night while addressing a crowded ballroom in the Loop.
    “We miss you in Washington, but you’ve left a legacy, and it’s not all your fault, but there is a hyper-partisanship that is so off the charts, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Woodward, who was the keynote speaker of an event sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
    There is so little focus on what’s real, what’s true,” said the Washington Post associate editor whose investigation into the Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon to resign.
    Last week, Woodward drew national attention when he revealed that senior White House official Gene Sperling told him via email he would “regret” questioning the White House’s account on the origins of sequestration.
    Before Woodward took the stage, Emanuel stood at the same podium and joked: “Bob, if you thought Gene Sperling’s email was a political threat, to quote a line from the ‘Untouchables,’ ‘You’re not from Chicago.’ ”
    Emanuel added: “I am a little hurt that you actually thought Gene Sperling was a little more threatening than I am.”
    In chatting about the now-famous exchange with Sperling, Woodward told Politico last week: “I’ve tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this.’ You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.”
    Wednesday’s dinner at the Hyatt recognized the humanitarian efforts of billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, Johnson Publishing Company Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and Chicago Board Options Exchange Chairman William Brodsky.
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/18684729-761/bob-woodward-calls-out-rahm-emanuel-on-hyper-partisanship-in-dc.html

  55. GonzoTx, the spam filter is targeting your comments today. We received a notification that there are some moderation problems which we are trying to repair rapidly. These “moderation problems” might target everybody soon however we are on the job trying to stop these difficulties from becoming more annoying than they already are. Apologies.

  56. Draft Hillary group hires Clinton’s former attorney

    Ready for Hillary, a super-PAC formed by Hillary Clinton supporters to convince her to run for president, has brought in her former attorney Jim Lamb as their general counsel.

    The hire is significant — Lamb is the latest from Clinton’s greater circle of supporters to join the group, and he had a more senior role in her campaigns than others involved with the group. Lamb was one of Clinton’s primary attorney on her 2000 Senate election and currently counts the Democratic Governors Association among his clients.

    His departure to work for then-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s (D) 2007 presidential campaign is a sign, however, that he may not still be close with Clinton’s inner circle.

    Ready for Hillary spokesman Seth Bringman told The Hill of the hire.

    The move also shows the group is serious about doing some heavy campaign activity without running afoul of the Federal Election Commission — and that it plans on raising significant resources since it’s likely the high-powered attorney’s retainer matches his level of prestige. The organization aims to lay the groundwork for a potential 2016 campaign by building grassroots networks across the country in case she decides to run.

    The group is run by Allida Black and Judy Beck, two longtime Clinton supporters who were on Clinton’s Virginia Women’s Steering Committee in 2008 and helped her raise more than $100,000. The two also were behind Women Count, a political action committee that ran ads pushing back against calls for Clinton to drop out early from the 2008 presidential race.

    Also on board is Adam Parkhomenko, who worked for Clinton’s campaign committees from 2003 through the 2008 election. Bringman is a veteran of the 2008 Clinton campaign who has extensive campaign experience.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/286597-hillary-clinton-draft-effort-hires-her-former-attorney

  57. Leanora
    March 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Same answer however, they will use the drones and you and I have NO constitutional rights.

    Welcome to 1984

  58. White House, Holder respond to Rand Paul: ‘The answer is no’

    Attorney General Eric Holder wrote Sen. Rand Paul,R-Ky., to confirm that President Obama does not have the authority to kill an American on U.S. soil in a non-combat situation, Obama’s spokesman announced today.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney quoted from the letter that Holder sent to Paul today. “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on an American soil?” Holder wrote, per Carney. “The answer is no.”

    Paul said that was good enough for him. “I’m quite happy with the answer,” he said during a CNN interview. “I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it, but we did get the answer.”

    Carney added that, “if the United States were under attack, there were an imminent threat,” the president has the authority to protect the country from that assault.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-holder-respond-to-rand-paul-the-answer-is-no/article/2523555

  59. …it seems to me that the drone thing is beyond just if they can kill us citizens on american soil…i saw some articles re: I think it is Homeland Security can use the drones to track people and spy on them…can track gun owners by their cell phones, etc

    soon they will be coming right into our living room, bedroom and voyerism will be fine…as I recall there were problems with abuse during Bush with agents listening in on private conversations…that was during the time when the left was very vocal and outraged that such a thing could happen…

    on and on…privacy seems nonexistent…people need to understand that administrations…and agendas and motives CHANGE…however once OUR POWER, if any even exists anymore…under the constitution…even exists…then NOW is the time to put the brakes on and be heard and pull in the reins…

    someone mentioned on Jon Cusack that O is more dangerous because he pretends…or appears to care…

    the danger is O can get away with more than any repub because there is no one pushing back…oh forgive me, yes Ron Wyden decided to take a stand…

    …just like the people are now kicked out of the WH to even visit as a tourist…we mean nothing to the power brokers…we are incidental and collateral…

  60. Drones very scary. Ordinary ppl buying & using them now. Maybe not all the capabilities but can easily spy on us.
    On a lighter trek, found similar top headlines at FoxNews and Drudge:
    GOP Old Guard at Odds With Rand vs OLD BULLS BUCK RAND STAND

  61. well said…(and reinforces what I am saying…O is more dangerous than a repub because with a repub in office the left, at least, pushes back…with O…they rationalize justifying the same behavior)

    http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/obama-not-a-people-person/

    Obama not a people person

    Posted on March 7, 2013 by riverdaughter

    Digby speculates on whether Washington establishment types are just being peevish or whether Obama really doesn’t think he personally needs to interact with politicians.

    There is a third possibility. He was hired for his looks. Yep. He’s got the right credentials for his employers. The right pedigree, the right insane ambition, the lack of any partisanship whatsoever. But the fact that he was an attractive African American candidate made him seem unbeatable to the scouts. He didn’t need to be a gifted politician. In the political skills department, he has about as much as George W. Bush has. He just needed some clever speechwriter to craft some aspirational shit that liberals would eat up about being a transcendent figure who would unite the country.

    It doesn’t really matter what he does now that he’s in office. He’s just a figurehead. His employers bought off the right people and they’re the ones who are actually running the show. He doesn’t have to be nice to people or shake hands and it’s not really important that he crafts policy or anything like that.

    Obama could decide to take the rest of the term off and the executive branch would continue to function just fine. The policies that are going to be implemented could happen whether or not he shows up or takes the day off and golfs with Tiger Woods. His meteoric rise to instant stardom didn’t require him to assemble a coalition of political friends and assets nor did it require him to do any heavy lifting in the policy department. He was protected zealously in the campaign arena and the only person to challenge him was Hillary Clinton. After that, he decided to run against Sarah Palin. Piece of cake.

    So, if he’s not a people person, does it matter?

    I thought the Bush years were long but with as much damage as the last 5 years have inflicted on me personally, the Obama years just seem interminable

  62. Obama dined Wednesday night with moderate and blue state Senate Republicans and today will host House budget boss Paul Ryan for a White House luncheon. The senators said Obama sounded hopeful about the chances for a deal to get past the era of fiscal cliff diving in Washington.

    We will no doubt hear something similar from Ryan after his lunch with Obama and ranking House Budget Committee Democrat Chris Van Hollen.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/07/obama-pushed-to-point-pleasantry/#ixzz2MtIVUgNP

  63. foxyladi14 March 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm
    ————————
    Foxy you as usual are spot on. I am wondering how much Obama and media are willing to “pay” before they expect to be able to initiate the screwing.

  64. ACE

    Shocker: Michelle Obama & John Kerry Set to Honor Rabid Ant-Semite Who Celebrates 9/11 Like It’s Christmas;
    The Anti-Semite & 9/11 Enthusiast Claims She was #Hacked, and Our Lying State Department Claims That’s True
    —Ace

    This would be a strange sort of #hacking — apparently the #hackers would occasional #hack her Twitter account to send out anti-semitic, pro-Hilter, and pro-9/11 tweets, then cede control back to her, and then re-#hack her account, all without her realizing it, until now.

    Here are the Tweets. Enjoy.

    On Twitter, Ibrahim is quite blunt regarding her views. On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”
    Ibrahim frequently uses Twitter to air her anti-Semitic views. Last August 4, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews.” Seventeen days later she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”

    Ibrahim holds other repellent views as well. As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.” Possibly fearing the consequences of her tweet, she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.

  65. Thumbs down for PepBoys…

    Designer Vivienne Westwood does not approve of first lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, she told The New York Times:

    Q. You must love our first lady, who is famous for recycling her clothes.

    A. Don’t talk about her. It’s dreadful what she wears.

    Q. What?

    A. I don’t want to talk about it. Really, I can’t. She’s a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her. Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.

    😆

  66. admin
    March 6, 2013 at 9:32 am
    Another poll has Obama trending down:

    Election bump over, Obama approval drops to 43 percent: Reuters/IPSOS poll
    &&&&&&&

    That didn’t take long…

  67. admin
    March 7, 2013 at 1:15 am
    We’re going to start tweeting our latest tweet as often as necessary to get the message out. Our latest tweet is a response to John Cusack who wrote:

    dems ? Do U have any thoughts on Obama’s transition from a progressive academic humanist 2 a regressive corporate warlord?
    &&&&&&&&&&

    Yes, I have a thought on that…

    There was no transition. He started out a regressive corporate warlord.

    Any perception of Obama being “a progressive academic humanist” was a) marketing by the nice people that brought the world The Obama Product, b) uncritical thinkers who bought into the fake marketing scam.

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