Monday, October 13, 2014

Political  Calculations Earlier this week, we saw that the number of publicly-traded U.S. companies announcing dividend cuts in the month of September 2014 increased substantially above the total recorded in the previous several months - up to a level that suggests that the U.S. economy might be experiencing some degree of contraction, just as it did in the first quarter of 2014. We wondered if our other near real-time economic health indicators might also be squawking. 
One of our better indicators of the relative health of a national economy is the year-over-year growth rate of the value of goods traded between the United States and China, so we've updated our chart showing those growth rates since January 1986 to see where things stand as of the most recent data available through the month of August 2014. The data in the chart below has been adjusted to account for changes in the currency exchange rates for the U.S. and China over time, so each nation's import growth rate is represented in terms of its own currency.
Year Over Year Growth Rate of U.S.-China Trade, January 1986 - August 2014

In August 2014, we see that the year over year growth rate of the goods that the U.S. imports from China decelerated to the lowest level recorded since February 2014, corresponding to the period of negative economic growth that the U.S. economy experienced in the first quarter of 2014.

But at 1.7%, it's not in negative territory, which suggests that economic growth in the U.S. was only sluggish in August 2014. We won't have the official trade data for September 2014 until the U.S. Census Bureau releases it on 14 November 2014. China's officially reported trade data is generally considered to be unreliable.

Looking at the year-over-year growth rate of the value of the goods that China imports from the United States, we see that China's economy also slowed, but is growing more rapidly than the U.S. economy, reversing the situation that existed earlier in the summer.

American teens are a rich demographic for political investment. Their unassigned stem cells can mature into conservative wisdom or attach permanently to the free radicals that cause liberalism.
 
As an engineer, one of the most valued books in my personal library is How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer. The author briefly uses politics to illustrate his lesson on cognitive dissonance, “Once we identify with a political party, the world is edited so that it fits with our ideology.” Based on Lehrer’s research, advancing an effective appeal to high school age citizens could pay off over 70+ years of voting.

As a long term strategy beginning in the 1960s, the hard-left began seizing public school districts as captured territory. Their systemic routine goes like this: Unionize the teachers, collect dues far beyond what is necessary to cover union salaries, use the excess millions to fund campaigns that elect union sympathizers to the school board, negotiate collective bargaining agreements with the union loyalists on the school board, persuade the cooperative school board to withhold union dues from teachers’ paychecks, establish an isolated “progressive” education culture, rinse and repeat.

Colorado communities began to catch on to this hustle about five years ago as voters stepped up to displace incestuous school districts with community minded parents and business professionals to represent them on the board. The shot heard round the world was fired five years ago in Douglas County by community challengers with a war chest of $120,000. Their purse was matched by the union who eventually lost every seat in the newly awakened neighborhood.

The war spread to battles across Colorado in 2013, with more than $1 million expended by campaigns on each side. Unions brought in reinforcements from the ACLU, the Democratic Party, and Barack Obama’s campaign operatives. And across this brief history, the hard left grip on K12 has sustained tremendous losses at the ballot box and in the Colorado courts.

But the greatest casualty for Colorado’s liberal education establishment was the 2013 loss of majority control within Jefferson County’s school board. The unions cannot blame the Koch Brothers or any other outside influences for losing all three seats up for election last year. The conservative challengers spent less than $10,000 each as voters opted for reform in Colorado’s second largest school district. And the shocking defeat may very well have prompted the most shortsighted overreach since George Custer left his Gatling guns behind to uproot that “small Indian village” on the bank of the Little Bighorn.

Taliban adopts Islamic State terror tactics as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

Another vicious, brutal jihad group empowered by Obama adopting the savage practices of another jihad group that was not only empowered by Obama, but has also humiliated and triumphed over Obama.

U.S. soldiers investigate the scene of an suicide attack in the Torkham, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on June 19. Afghan officials say three Taliban suicide bombers targeted NATO fuel trucks at the border with Pakistan, setting off a gunbattle with police guards. (Associated Press)It’s hard to believe that the Taliban could get more vicious and barbaric, but hey — that’s what they do. And it’s working for them.
Interesting how all these jihad groups from Africa, Asia and beyond are all united in their goals and support  of the caliphate. What is the common thread?
“Taliban adopts Islamic State terror tactics as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan,”  By Rowan Scarborough – The Washington Times, October 12, 2014

U.S. soldiers investigate the scene of an suicide attack in the Torkham...

     

US jihad suicide bomber’s travels in U.S., Middle East went unmonitored

  / Jihad Watch
 
Abusalha“It is extremely difficult for the FBI to identify individuals in the U.S. who have this kind of goal” — especially since they’re forbidden as a matter of policy to study or understand the ideology to which these people adhere.

“American suicide bomber’s travels in U.S., Middle East went unmonitored,” by Adam Goldman and Greg Miller, Washington Post, October 11, 2014:
VERO BEACH, Fla. — There were no U.S. air marshals watching the newly clean-shaven passenger on the transatlantic­ flight, no FBI agents waiting for him as he landed in Newark in May 2013 after returning from Syria’s civil war.
As the 22-year-old Florida native made his way through a U.S. border inspection, officers pulled him aside for additional screening and searched his belongings. They called his mother in Vero Beach to check on his claim that he had merely been visiting relatives in the Middle East. But when she vouched for him, U.S. officials said, Moner Mohammad Abusalha was waved through without any further scrutiny or perceived need to notify the FBI that he was back in the United States.
Earlier this year, after returning to Syria, Abusalha became the first American to carry out a suicide attack in that country, blowing up a restaurant frequented by Syrian soldiers on behalf of an al-Qaeda affiliate. His death May 25 was accompanied by the release of a menacing video. “You think you are safe where you are in America,” he said, threatening his own country and a half-dozen others. “You are not safe.”
It was a warning from someone who had been in position to deliver on that threat. By then, Abusalha­ had made two trips to a conflict zone seen as the largest incubator of Islamist radicalism since Afghanistan in the 1980s. Between those visits he wandered inside the United States for more than six months, U.S. officials said, attracting no attention from authorities after their brief telephone conversation with his mother.
His movements went unmonitored despite a major push by U.S. security and intelligence agencies over the past two years to track the flow of foreign fighters into and out of Syria. At the center of that effort is a task force established by the FBI at a classified complex in Virginia that also involves the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.
Despite that expanding surveillance net and more than a dozen prosecutions in the United States, the outcome for Abusalha depended more on the priorities of his al-Qaeda handlers than U.S. defenses. FBI officials involved in the case said it exposed vulnerabilities that can be reduced but not eliminated.
“It is extremely difficult for the FBI to identify individuals in the U.S. who have this kind of goal,” said George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office, which led the Abusalha investigation. “It requires a loved one or really close friend to note the changes. . . . The family has to intervene.”…
NOT 
Indigenous Peoples Day


Happy Birthday U.S. Navy!


Op-ed: 
Dividing the Party When Unity is Most Needed
By: Diane Sori

Mike Huckabee is wrong...so very wrong.

A smart man deliberately choosing to do the bidding of the left without even realizing he is doing so, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will further divide the party after threatened to remove the 'R' after his name and become an independent if the GOP changes or even vacillates its stance on the gay marriage issue.

Gay marriage...NOT terrorism...NOT ISIS...NOT Ebola or enterovirus...NOT the economy...NOT unemployment...NOT the corrupt and traitorous Obama regime... but gay marriage...that is what concerns Mike Huckabee...gay marriage.

Shame on this man who as a former governor should know better than most that gay marriage...being a social issue...is a state's issue and NOT a federal issue and in NO way should be on the agenda of a federal election. And he should know that the upcoming November mid-term election is primarily concerned with U.S. Senate and House seats...federally held seats.

And again as a former governor, Mike Huckabee should know that if we do NOT retake the Senate and keep and increase our numbers in the House the social issues...such as gay marriage...will forever be lost to discussion or debate as those on the 'other side' will NEVER allow them to be brought to the floor. Remember, if the Senate remains 'blue' Harry Reid remains in control, and we all should know by now what that means for both the social issues and for any issues put forth by the Republicans.

Now we all know that for Huckabee and others who are part of the ubber religious far right, their faith trumps politics and their faith determines their political leanings, which is really quite sad as they cannot see that the two...at this point in time...at this point in our nation's history...need their order of importance reversed for if faith is allowed to trump politics we will NOT only lose the Senate but we will see Hillary Clinton...or another of her ilk...sitting in the White House come January 2017.

And sadly, if either of those two things happen the fault will lie...partially lie...at the feet of those who let their personal religious beliefs override what's in the best interest of our country...and that means what's in the best interest of 'We the People'...the majority of 'We the People' that is.

In the best interest of our country...that is the key to reversing the damage done by the Obama regime to our beloved America over these past almost seven years. And the issues of importance (in NO particular order and in my opinion alone) should be about the threat of another 9/11 happening on our soil courtesy of ISIS or other such islamic terrorist group...should be about our unsecured borders...should be about ILLEGALS and those of the 'you owe me-gimme gimme' mentality raping our welfare and healthcare systems... should be about ObamaCare and all its nefarious ramifications...should be about the dismantling of our military by their very own Commander-in-Chief...should be about our public school system being hijacked by those trying to indoctrinate our children to do the bidding of the left...should be about a 'supposed' economic recovery that is anything but...need I go on as there is so much to choose from.

This election...whether some on our side believe it or NOT...is indeed a referendum on the politics and policies of the traitor who sits in the White House. At least it should be for the last time I looked God was NOT on the ballot.

Now in NO way am I mocking God or those who, like Mike Huckabee, believe like he said last week on the American Family Association’s radio show that,“If the Republicans want to lose guys like me...and a whole bunch of still God-fearing Bible-believing people...go ahead and just abdicate on this issue, and while you’re at it, go ahead and say abortion doesn’t matter, either.” I'm just saying that you can remain a 'God-fearing Bible-believing person' but still be smart enough to know that this election is all about numbers and numbers alone.

“Because at that point, you lose me,” Huckabee continued. “I’m gone. I’ll become an independent. I’ll start finding people that have guts to stand. I’m tired of this.” But what Huckabee is actually saying is if you do NOT hold the same beliefs he does...that if you do NOT hold the same beliefs as those who believe like him...than our country be damned. This misguiding thinking helped to cost us the White House in 2012... remember the Evangelical cry of "Better a muslim we know than a Mormon we don't know"...and will be the reason why we lose the Senate, especially if Huckabee and those who think like him keep spewing out such divisive and judgmental words.

And Huckabee’s threatening words...and these words were indeed issued as a threat...came after the SCOTUS announced last week that they will NOT take up the gay marriage issue, thus clearing the way for same-sex marriages in the states of Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

“I am utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue when, if they continue this direction they guarantee they’re gonna lose every election in the future,” Huckabee said. "Guarantee it,” he added.

Guess what...Mike Huckabee nor anyone else for that matter can guarantee anything especially when it comes to politics. And honestly does it really make a difference in a straight person's life what a 'legal' only piece of paper conferring gay marriage says. The Biblical definition of marriage being between one man and one woman stays... NO one is tampering with or negating the words of the Bible nor is anyone asking straight people or religious people to change their personal beliefs. And the truth is that all gay marriage really is about is committed same sex couples getting the same 'legal' rights afforded to straight couples in regards to insurance, medical issues, legal documents, and such...and do you really care what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms...I know I don't. And gay marriage, as some fear, will NOT bring a wave of pedophilic behavior as most pedophiles are straight men NOT gay men.

So, does it really matter in the scope of things if a gay man introduces his partner as his husband or if a gay woman introduces her partner as her wife...I mean come on it's just words...words that have NO bearing on ones personal religious beliefs. Do I condone the word 'marriage' in regards to gay unions...while I might personally wish another word had been chosen I am NOT going to get bent out of shape because 'marriage' is now the legally mandated word used to describe said unions. And you know what...committed couples of any sex should have the same rights... after all our very own Declaration of Independence states so.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

These 36 words about natural and legal rights are words that give those rights to "all men" (and of course to all women) NOT just to those the ubber religious far right deem worthy of receiving those rights. These are words about human rights... human rights for 'all' Americans as nowhere in these words is it stated that these rights apply only to straight people or only to those who think that their beliefs...especially their religious beliefs ...are the only ones that will be allowed to dictate American law and jurisprudence.

So to Mike Huckabee I say...it's fine to wear your religious beliefs on your sleeve as that is your right to do so, but do you really know and understand the possible ramifications of the words you so hatefully spewed out on the public airwaves...I really don't think you do for if you did you'd realize that your words will just divide our party even more, and are paramount to your condoning third party mentality which will most assuredly help keep the Senate 'blue.'

And all this brouhaha is over an issue that Huckabee very well knows belongs on the state level...over an issue he knows could cost us the election...so it makes me wonder whose side Mike Huckabee really is on...just saying.