Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Obama Is Causing The Double Dip Recession
By DICK MORRIS / Published on DickMorris.com
 

Now that the economy is officially contracting, it's a good time to look back and list the various Obama policies that are causing it.  We do this not in the spirit of blame but rather to point to the corrective steps he needs to take to head off a new recession.  After several quarters of optimistic but rigged data showing the economy growing at a 2 percent clip, the truth is emerging: We are on the verge of a double dip recession).

Here's why:

•  Our exports to China are artificially depressed because of Beijing’s deliberate weakening of its currency to underprice its goods in the US market and overprice ours' in theirs'.   Correction: Demand that China stops manipulating its currency and impose taxes on currency exchanges if they don't.

•  Stop insisting on tax increases which fall on small businesses.  Cut spending instead.  The negative multiplier effect of a tax increase is much less than that of a spending cut.

•  Be far more aggressive in expanding oil and gas production.  Our huge oil import bill - about $40 billion a year - is dragging our economy down.

•  The current contraction is before the tax increases Obama just passed have hit.  These tax hikes on upper income people will take $50 billion of demand out of the economy and his 2 percent increase in the payroll tax will take out over $100 billion more.  These tax increases go directly toward cutting demand and employment. Correction: Cut spending instead.

•  The rising cost of health insurance due to Obamcare and increased costs of government - particularly EPA - regulation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics - aka the B.S. - will doubtless show unemployment steady at some ridiculously low number like 7.8%.  But University of Maryland economist Peter Morici says that "labor force participation is lower today than when President Obama took office...factoring in discouraged adults and others working part-time that would prefer full time work, the unemployment rate is 14.4%.

And, around the corner is a likely reduction in the US credit rating by Moody's.

People ask: How can the Republican Party come back?  Because of the impact of Obama's economic policies which will soon be evident even to the most optimistic and obtuse.

Israeli jets bomb Syrian military target to stop weapons bound for Hizballah jihadists

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


"Among Israeli officials' chief fears is that Assad will pass chemical weapons or sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah."

"Syria confirms Israeli jets bombed military site," by Ben Hubbard for the Associated Press, January 30:
BEIRUT (AP) — Israel conducted a rare airstrike on a military target inside Syria, foreign officials and Syrian state TV said Wednesday, amid fears President Bashar Assad's regime is providing weapons to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah. 
A statement from the Syrian military read aloud on state TV confirmed the strike, saying the jets bombed a military research center in the area of Jamraya, northwest of the capital, Damascus.
The statement said the center was responsible for "raising the level of resistance and self-defense" of Syria's military. It said the strike destroyed the center and a nearby building, killing two workers and wounding five others.
U.S. and regional security officials reported the strike earlier Wednesday but did not say exactly where it took place.
Regional security officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a shipment of weapons bound for Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful military force. Among Israeli officials' chief fears is that Assad will pass chemical weapons or sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah — something that could change the balance of power in the region and greatly hinder Israel's ability to conduct air sorties in Lebanon.
The regional officials said the shipment Israel was planning to strike included Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically "game-changing" in the hands of Hezbollah by enabling the group to carry out fiercer attacks on Israel and shoot down Israeli jets, helicopters and surveillance drones.
Hezbollah has committed to Israel's destruction and has gone to war against the Jewish state in the past.
A U.S. official confirmed the strike, saying it hit a convoy of trucks....

The Spending Sequester Will Grow the Private Economy -- Don’t Back Off

Yesterday's report of a 0.1 percent GDP decline for the fourth quarter came as a surprise to most forecasters. But it actually masks considerable strength in the private economy. Namely, housing investment in the fourth quarter jumped 15.3 percent annually, business equipment and software spiked 12.4 percent, and real private final sales rose 2.6 percent. All in, the domestic private sector of the economy increased 3.4 percent annually -- a very respectable gain.

And here’s one for the record books: Working ahead of year-end tax hikes, individuals shifted so much money to the fourth quarter at the 35 percent top rate that personal income grew by 7.9 percent annually -- a huge number. And there’s more: In order to beat the taxman, dividend income rose 85.2 percent annually. You think tax incentives don’t matter? Guess again.

Now, all this private-sector strength occurred despite the fact that government spending -- namely military spending -- dropped 6.6 percent. Inventories also lost ground and the trade deficit widened.

But here’s a key point: Military spending has now fallen virtually to its lower sequester-spending-cut baseline. It did so in one quarter by about $40 billion. So the brunt of the impact over the coming years has already been felt. (Normally, as of recent years, military spending has been virtually flat.)

Which leads me to another key point: Even with the fourth-quarter contraction, the latest GDP report shows that falling government spending can coexist with rising private economic activity. This is an important point in terms of the upcoming spending sequester. Lower federal spending, limited government, and a smaller spending-to-GDP ratio will be good for growth. The military spending plunge will not likely be repeated. But by keeping resources in private hands, rather than transferring them to the inefficient government sector, the spending sequester is actually pro-growth.

Big-government Keynesians think big spending provides big growth. They are wrong. This has been a 2 percent recovery -- the worst in modern times -- dating back to 1947. So let’s try something different. Let’s shrink government. Let’s let the private sector breathe and generate entrepreneurship and risk-taking.

Spending is the true tax measure of the economy, according to Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and others. Even a modest sequester spending cut of maybe $60 billion in 2013, and perhaps more than $1 trillion over ten years (most of which will come from a slower spending growth rate, not real reductions), will be the best thing to inspire business and market confidence as well as international credibility. And it maybe even shave a point or two off the spending share of GDP.

On March 1 the spending sequester is supposed to kick in by law. If Congress wants to help the U.S. economy, the best thing it can do right now is implement this sequester. Then it can round out an even larger growth package, including large- and small-business tax reform and adjustments to stop entitlements from going bankrupt.

History Lesson: Under Fascist Bush, Democrats Feared Tyranny

History Lesson: Under Fascist Bush, Democrats Feared Tyranny


Once upon a time, a group of people known as the "Democrats" expressed great fear of tyranny by government.This was a time long, long ago, when a man from a place called Texas, representing a people known as the Republicans, occupied the White House. Leaders of the Democrats feared tyranny by the Republicans and called the man from Texas racist, oppressive and tyrannical.

To refresh your recollection, we offer a few examples from the distant past:

Billionaire Democratic contributor George Soros. He said the George W. Bush White House displayed the "supremacist ideology of Nazi Germany" and that Bush's administration used rhetoric that echoed his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,'" Soros said, "it reminds me of the Germans." Soros later said: "The Bush administration and the Nazi and communist regimes all engaged in the politics of fear. ... Indeed, the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and communist propaganda machines."

Former Vice President Al Gore. He said: "(George W. Bush's) executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations, from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. ... And every day, they unleash squadrons of digital brown shirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President."

Former two-time Democratic presidential candidate and civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson. After Congress passed new anti-terrorism laws following 9/11, he said: "We are in danger. The extreme right wing has seized the government. Tonight, (John) Ashcroft and the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security and the IRS can work together. So look out, because without a definition of who is a terrorist, anyone can be. ... Martin Luther King could have been. ... The right-wing media, the FBI -- they are targeting our leadership."
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He said: "What we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup or not. ... (President Bush) is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an emperor -- to create Empire America." An Iraq War opponent, McDermott said, "The President of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who sits on four Senate committees, including Armed Services and Commerce. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she said, "George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Entertainer and liberal activist Harry Belafonte. When asked whether the number and prominence of blacks in the Bush administration suggested a lack of racism on Bush's part, Belafonte said, "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, former presidential candidate. He characterized the contest between Democrats and Republicans as "a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

Shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks, Dean actually mused about an "interesting theory" he'd heard -- that G.W. Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11 yet took no action to stop it!

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 2003, Albright said she thought Bush had already captured Osama bin Laden -- but that Bush was not going to reveal this until just before the 2004 election to get maximum political benefit! She later claimed she was joking, but Morton Kondracke, who overheard the comment, said, "She was not smiling when she said this," and that others in the room heard it, too, "and they didn't think it was a joke."

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., sitting member of all six subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He compared the newly conservative-controlled Republican House of Representatives to "the Duma and the Reichstag" -- referring to the legislature set up by Czar Nicholas II of Russia and the parliament of the German Weimar Republic that brought Hitler to power.

An anti-gun New York newspaper published a report and interactive map with the names and addresses of gun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Shortly after this, an anti-gun columnist for a prominent New Jersey paper said: "(I got) a nasty note from one of my most progressive friends who says ... 'You're a fool because when the right wing takes over the government, we're gonna need guns. ... And then there won't be guns to fight them back."

"Words matter," Obama once said.

During the Bush years, Democrats feared, or at least claimed to fear, the possibility of tyranny -- precisely the purpose of the Second Amendment. If these Democrats were even remotely sincere, why wouldn't any self-respecting patriot want the right to keep and bear arms to protect against thugs like that? Indeed, why not mandatory gun ownership -- at least when Republicans control the White House?

You warned us. We believe you. The threat of tyranny is ever-present.
Op-ed: 
'Don't mess with a soldier's mail, his money, 
or his chow'
By: Diane Sori

I'm floored...NO other way to say it as yesterday a friend asked me if I knew that some of our troops in Afghanistan are NO longer being served a cooked breakfast.

Sadly, I didn't know but I sure made it a point to educate myself post haste, and what I found made me angry beyond anything mere words could express. Yes, it's true...some of our brave men and women in uniform, the very ones who lay their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe and free, are now in certain areas of Afghanistan being denied a cooked breakfast, including those heading out on patrol.

There is something very wrong with this picture and grrrrrrrr...is the only polite thing I can say.

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, this miserable excuse of a Commander-in-Chief, the man who gives away billions of dollars, F16's, and Abrams tanks to Egypt, a now Muslim Brotherhood controlled country, won't feed our American troops three squares a day.

Gee, I wonder just how many hot breakfasts for our troops equals one of Obama's Hawaiian jaunts...how many troop breakfasts could be had instead of spending money on Michelle's ballgowns and endless vacations...how many troops breakfasts could be had for the 100+ golf forays he's had...how many troop breakfasts could be had instead of wasting monies on satisfying campaign contributors' pet pork projects...and how many troop breakfasts could be had with all the monies Obama funnels into those freebies and handouts he gives to the ILLEGALS and especially to the 'sponges' of our society, including the welfare food stamp recipients, to buy their votes and allegiance...NO, instead of cutting all this nonsense he chooses instead to stop feeding our troops hot meals because his vacations and allegiance buying is more important than those fighting for our country.

And while some will say it's NOT Obama directly who's ordered this I say, bull, because as Commander-in-Chief and president he could have stopped this just by saying 'NO way...cutting meals for our troops is NOT an option and will NOT happen on my watch'. But a man who sides with our enemies and apologizes for our troop's actions every chance he gets could care less what our troops are fed.

And so the Pentagon, with NO opposition from Obama, decided to cut cooked breakfast for some troops in Afghanistan by claiming it was because of the troop withdrawal schedule. Currently, 17 bases have suspended serving troops cooked breakfast and more bases will stop on February 1st. I guess they figure if the troops are eventually coming home, and with the draw down in progress, why spend the money to feed them even though we've all always been taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that would be especially so for troops on the front lines.

And while these meal cuts have a lot to do with morale more than with hunger per se, the MREs being offered as a replacement are NO substitute for a hot meal, especially for those who might at a moments notice be called to fight...for those who might come home without arms or legs...or even worse...in a body bag.

Adding to this is the simple fact that this cut is way out of line if for NO other reason than that as long as any of our people are in harms way the least we can do is feed them as these bureaucrats would feed themselves...as in three squares a day.

And guess what...in preparation for sweeping budget cuts across all military programs scheduled to begin as early as next month, more cuts for our troops were recently announced, including laundry and recreation, again using the excuse that it has to with the final troop pull-out, which by the way won't happen until 2014 so why cut meals or anything now...or ever.

It has gotten so bad that one soldier wrote to the Home Post Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/homepost?sk=wall) :
I am currently in Paktika Provence and we do not have breakfast or midnight meal. We are down to 2 hot meals a day (lunch and dinner) or guys who run missions at night and work night shift only get one hot meal a day. The Battle Space owner out here instructed the Contractor who is in charge if the chow halls out here to cancel the meals. What they did not consider is that there a lot of units that are still out here and will be here for quite some time to come (my unit). I don't know why the DOD is not owning up to the facts. It appears to me they are trying to cover up the fact that we are not being fed.
Another soldier, 'Disappointed in Afghanistan' wrote:
I am here and its breakfast time and the dining facility is CLOSED. There were a box of MREs out at dinnertime last night for the taking, but no one seemed to be taking them (no surprise)...so, I surmise, most, like myself, are simply skipping the most important meal of the day. Bad decision by someone. Hot chow in the morning is not only good, its good for morale. Probably why on missions or exercises when MREs are necessary, they are offered for the LUNCHTIME meal, with hot breakfast and dinners. Why do Soldiers here have two hot meals back-back w/in three hours of one another, and then go without for 18 hours? Doesn't make sense. All leaders know (or at least should know), there are three things you don't mess with: A Soldier's mail, his money, or his chow. Hopefully common sense will eventually prevail.
NO cooked breakfasts...so unfair and so wrong, and some of the troops have began writing home to their families to please send them breakfast care packages, and some of those families in Iowa contacted their Congressman, Representative Bruce Braley who issued this statement:

I am troubled that the Army would deny any deployed troops three meals per day, regardless of force size,” Braley wrote. “These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the very freedoms we cherish. The exhaustive mental and physical labor that is required by soldiers to fight in harsh and unforgiving conditions is tremendous. We shouldn’t deny our troops something as fundamental as a proper meal. I am positive that with the logistical mastery the Army has exhibited in combat operations around the world, you can logistically administer the procedure of serving breakfast every day.”

Oh how right he is as this cut is beyond wrong...it goes all the way to a deliberate slap in the face to those serving...but then what can you expect from an administration, and especially from a president who sides with those who hate America (just like he does) every chance he gets.