Monday, March 31, 2014

Putin's Aggression Partly the Result of European Policies

European countries are facing a newly aggressive Russia with few military options and with a Russian "boot" on their collective throats in terms of oil and gas dependence.  Putin is challenging the entire Post-Cold War order with his aggression.  Some 80,000 troops and tanks are poised on the Crimea and Ukraine border as we speak. 

Twice in the past 10 years, Russia has curtailed gas to the Ukraine and in doing so gas to the Western Europe.  This should have been a wake up call to Western European nations.  Although some steps have been taken to by-pass the gas pipeline through the Ukraine, there has been no high priority strategic plan to diversify away from excessive dependence on Russia.  Europe depends on imports for more half of its energy consumption.  Russia provides about 30% of its gas and 35% of its oil.

Liberals in Europe and America may now be reaping the reward of their unwise policies: 1) appeasement of the Russian bear (think of Obama and his ludicrous Russia 'reset') and 2) diminishing of military strength in favor of social spending.  And, although they need more alternative energy supplies, much of Western Europe has banned the perfectly safe "fracking" technology that has brought a windfall to the USA.  How smart is that in light of current events?

Instead Germany and Western Europe has focused on expensive and uneconomic "Green" energy.  I have commented how Germany's electricity costs are 3 times higher than the US average, in part because of solar subsidies.  Germany, at 50 degrees North latitude and, having long and cloudy winters, is ill-suited for expensive solar photovoltaic energy, for example.  And Germany has partially shut-down many of it's nuclear power plants and has vowed to shut down the rest.  Remember, that once a nuclear power plant is built and the capital cost sunk, the cost of power is nearly free! 

There is also a natural tendency of Liberals to shrink the military.  This is as true for Liberals in America and in Europe.  Just the other day, Obama announced that he is reducing our army staffing to 1940 levels and letting our navy shrink through attrition.  (I find that odd since Obama has shown no concern regarding US budget deficits whatsoever.  It appears that he is just systematically weakening America in every way possible.)

Europe is not much better.  As recently as 2010, Robert Gates warned the Europeans of the folly of unwise military spending cuts in a still-dangerous world. From the Guardian in 2010,
Gates told a Washington meeting of Nato officials and security experts "the pacification of Europe" had gone too far.
"The demilitarisation of Europe, where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it, has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st."  He continued "Not only can real or perceived weakness be a temptation to miscalculation and aggression, but … the resulting funding and capability shortfalls make it difficult to operate and fight together to confront shared threats."
Only 4 out of 28 European countries have military budgets greater than 2% of GDP. 

In summary, Europe suddenly finds itself with it's "ass in a ringer" with the 'surprise' aggression from Russia.  Europe has a substantial reliance on energy from Russia, in part due to their emphasis on pie-in-the-sky "green energy" and the pooh-poohing "fracked" energy supplies.  Also there has been a steady movement in W. Europe and America to reduce military expenditures and military preparedness.  America's recoil from it's costly wars and retreat to isolationism is probably another factor.  Finally, there is little doubt that most enemies of the US view Obama as being weak and naive.   All of these trends may have 'encouraged' Russian aggression. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Stock Market Peak is Probably Near

The S&P 500 has made marginal new all-time highs this year, finally exceeding the 1999 peaks.   However, adjusted for inflation, it's still not at a new high.   One could argue that the broad market has gone nowhere in 14 years -- with a paltry 1% annual gain in price (or 3% annual gain if you include dividends).  There is pretty good history that market cycles last about 17 years, so if history is any guide, we have a 2 to 3 years of a struggling market.  Take a look at the chart below.

Secular Stock Market Cycles Average About 17 Years -- Both Bear and Bull Markets -- The Current Bear Market cycle is only 14 years in Duration
Here are some of the many signs of a stock market top:
  • the Russell 2000 small cap index is trading for 49 times reported earnings, compared with a multiple of 39 in March 2000 (the peak of the dot.com bubble).  That's 26% ABOVE the sky-high valuation at the dot.com bubble peak!
  • Stimulus by Central Banks in China and US being removed (until markets crash).  Europe is slipping slowly into recession due to the Euro currency that is hurting the trade competitiveness of most Southern European countries and France. Also, no quantitative easing in Europe expected due to German resistance (until markets crash).
  • The long-term market's price-to-earnings ratio, the Shiller PE (the Cyclically Adjusted PE or CAPE) is 24 which is above the long term average of 16.5.  By this measure, you could say that the S&P 500 is overvalued by about 44%.  
  • The S&P 500 valuation is in the top 10% of valuations in the past 100 years of market history -- and much of those top 10% valuations were during the late 1990s.
  • According to John Hussman (a highly respected money manager and a investor advisor for investment advisors), the projected 10 year return for the S&P 500 is only 2% with expected returns negative for any time frame shorter than 7 years. (His methodology has a 90% statistical confidence level).  Interestingly, his 10 year expected return for bonds is also only 2% which adds up to a grim picture for investors for the next decade.  My advice:  wait for significant pullbacks in the months and years ahead to commit capital in order to take advantage of the declines.
  • Jeremy Grantham, who correctly called the 1999 market peak, agrees with Hussman that expected returns for the market NOW is negative for the next 7 years. See my blog covering Grantham here
  •  A "gold rush" of IPOs has started this year, many of the IPOs with thin investment stories and not many making money (no earnings).  There is a crowded IPO schedule in the months ahead.  This gold rush is one of the more reliable signs of market "froth" and long-term market tops in combination with elevated valuations after a long bull run.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cuba's Stagnation, More Failure of Socialism

If you ever needed evidence of the cumulative failure of decades of Socialism, look no further than Cuba. And don't blame the US. The Castro family, and their devotion to the failed socialist ideology, is responsible.

For example, doctors and nurses in Cuba recently got a big pay raise; some over 100% increase.  Good news, right?  From CNBC,
 At the high end, doctors with two specialties will see their salary go from the equivalent of $26 a month to $67, while an entry-level nurse will make $25, up from $13.
That's right, the best doctors will now make $67 per month! That's progress!!  It's what happens when you obsess about income equality and take it to a totalitarian extreme.

Recently, I highlighted that the failure of Socialism that is bringing the Venezuelan economy to a collapse. Yet, we still have nearly 50% of Americans who directionally still support the US moving toward more Socialism, ie., bigger government and more government control of the economy.   How can people be so blind?    Socialism brings stagnation and ruins societies.

Millions of people are being hurt by the stagnation of Socialism. Remember, it's all being done to equalize wages so that there's no wealth inequality.  The problem is that everyone is being "equalized" at a very low and impoverished level.  

Liberals in America would love to address income inequality by any means necessary, but rest assured that everyone would be worse off.

Friday, March 21, 2014

California and Texas; A Blue v. Red State Comparison

What does a US state look like without a Republican legislature since 1997?  Look no further than the State of California.  Conversely, Texas has been solidly Republican since LBJ. 

I grew up with an "understanding" that the future of America is best divined by looking at trends in California.  As California goes, so goes the entire US.  I hope it's not true as the future will be a story of decline and disappointment.   I hope that Texas is the new model for America's future. Texas is prosperous, growing and financially sound.  California is not.  

California hasn't had a balanced budget in decades.  So-called "progressives" in California have made that state one of the ultimate tax and spend states.  Even with significantly higher taxation, spending has risen faster.  Therefore California has chronic budget deficits.  Texas has had nothing but budget surpluses.  California is losing people as businesses flee.  Texas has an employment boom.  Although California has huge oil and gas reserves, oil and gas production continues it's decline whereas Texas oil production is soaring.

California businesses are fleeing the state due to 1) hyper-regulation especially environmental regulation, 2) threats of more regulation including threats of more disastrous carbon regulation, 3) higher taxes, and 4) high real estate prices due to over-regulated property markets.  Many of these businesses are relocating to Texas.  

See the following comparisons of the two states with the help from KQED News:
  • Even with high taxes, California still has chronic Budget deficits.  The Tax Foundation says that Californians paid an average of $4,935 in state and local taxes in 2010, while Texans paid $3,205.  Even with higher taxes California's 2012 budget is still $15.7 billion in the red. Why? Spending is out of control in California.  Texas has budget surpluses.
  • Taxes are much higher in California compared to Texas.  The Tax Foundation found that California had the fourth highest “tax burden” in the country, at 11.2 percent while Texas came in 45th with 7.9 percent.
  • Unemployment is high in California at 9.8 percent, compared to 6.1 percent in Texas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Even educational results are better now in Texas.  In California, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 23 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficient in math on the National Assessment of Education Progress, compared to 36 percent of Texas eighth graders. For reading, 21 percent of California eighth-graders were at or above proficient compared to 28 percent of Texas eighth graders.
  • Due to over-regulated property markets, property prices are sky-high in California.  The median sales price of a home in California is $452,000, compared to only $144,900 in Texas according to Trulia.com.
Traditionally, California had a thriving oil and gas industry with many major oil/gas companies headquartered there.  California, for decades was one of the nation's biggest oil and gas producers and has large shale gas and oil potential.   Even though California has large potential oil and gas reserves it has eschewed the shale revolution.  Energy production there continues it's steady descent.  In contrast, oil and gas production in Texas has dramatically improved in Texas. 



Nearly all of the major oil companies have fled the state over the years -- mostly to Texas.  From Newgeography
In all but forcing out fossil-fuel firms, California is shedding one of its historic core industries. Not long ago, California was home to a host of top 10 energy firms – ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Oxy and Chevron; in 1970, oil firms constituted the five largest industrial companies in the state. Now, only Chevron, which has been reducing its headcount in Northern California and is clearly shifting its emphasis to Texas, will remain.

These are losses that California can not easily absorb. Despite all the hype about the ill-defined “green jobs” sector, the real growth engine remains fossil fuels, which have added a half-million jobs in the past five years. If you don't believe it, just take a trip to Houston, where Occidental is moving. Houston now has more new office construction, some 9 million square feet, than any region in the country outside New York; Los Angeles barely has 1 million.

 Texas Versus California In Charts






Let's hope the Republicans, with the help of young responsible folks like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, can regain their credentials at the national level for being responsible fiscal administrators and leaders in promoting growth and employment.  The success story in Texas is being replicated in many, if not most, Republican led States. Some 60% of the States have Republican governors -- many also have Republican legislatures.  Success stories abound in these states.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Time to Reign-in the Federal Bureaucracy; EPA Overreach a Prime Example

The EPA, like most federal agencies in accordance with the Constitution, is supposed to concern itself with national and/or interstate issues.   But the EPA is intruding into the smallest local and private property issues -- with the most ridiculous of pretenses.   The worst examples include the EPA intruding itself into issues such as a home-made pond on an individual's property!  If that's not bad enough, they threaten these people with ruinous fines and deny administrative remedies.  The EPA has strayed far away from it's Constitutional role when they step down hard on small private property owners well outside any reasonable interpretation of the laws.

Read what happened to Andy Johnson, a welder in Wyoming and his family.  From Charles Hurt at the Washington Times:
He and his wife built a small pond on their rural property using the stream flowing through it. They stocked the pond with trout so that their three small children could fish. The pond is an oasis for wildlife such as ducks and geese passing through.

It is precisely the sort of industriousness that reasonable people and zealous stewards of the environment applaud. But the EPA is made up of neither reasonable people nor zealous stewards of the environment. 
They are crazed hypocrites greedy for unchecked power and hellbent on destroying the passions that connect people to the nature surrounding them. Like the Food and Drug Administration in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” the EPA has become the face of absolute power in the hands of blind government bureaucrats.

That is why the faceless henchmen of the EPA have come after Mr. Johnson and his family, charging them with violating federal law and threatening to bankrupt them. These EPA thugs ordered the Johnson's to destroy the pond they built and threatened to fine them $75,000 a day for being in violation of the Clean Water Act.
This alone is enough to choke any freedom-loving American and cause tremors for anyone concerned with tyranny of a sprawling, unanswerable federal government. But what makes this all so much worse is the utter hypocrisy of the EPA and its legion of power-drunk bureaucrats.
The lack of true Congressional oversight, and the continual gov't expansion permitted by unlimited gov't spending has resulted in a huge EPA bureaucratic monstrosity stepping on even the smallest people in the most local properties and communities!!  It's outrageous!  It's totally unconstitutional!

Individual rights are being shattered by the most stupid and outrageous claims.  Clearly the EPA's power has now run amok.  

Remember The Sacketts


This is not the first case of the EPA running roughshod and irrationally over individuals.  Remember the case of the Sacketts?   This Idaho couple bought some land worth $25K near a lake but in a developed housing area with sewer lines and other homes.  The EPA arbitrarily said that they violated "wetland" restrictions by building a home on THEIR OWN lot without an EPA permit!   After hugely expensive litigation, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Sacketts that the EPA cannot arbitrarily impose HUGE fines of $75,000 per day without the homeowner being allowed to fight the action in court. The US Supreme Court also said that the EPA probably acted well outside of the Clean Water law's mandate.

Even now, it's still just the beginning for the Sacketts as they still face litigation against the all-powerful, unchecked and over-funded Federal bureaucracy.  How can any individual fight a Federal government that has unlimited financial and other resources that dwarf individual's?

More Examples Of EPA Overreach


The water issue is not the only are where the EPA is seriously out of control.  In my blogs Eco-Imperialism Thriving in Obama Administration and Reverse EPA's Carbon Regulation Power Grab and EPA's Carbon Regulation Power Grab all point to job-killing, counter-productive, unconstitutional and harmful administration action.  State's and Individual's Constitutional rights are being tossed aside with disregard.

Remember that Obama said that he was going to kill the coal business??  He's largely succeeded without any real challeng or checks and balances.  How can one man be allowed such power to kill those jobs and even kill an entire industry even though that industry is vital to the energy security of America??   How can one man hinder oil and gas development on US offshore land?   How can one man be allowed to hinder the nearly complete Keystone pipeline system?   Didn't we have a fight against the arbitrary rule of one man, King George III,  when we won the American Revolution?

We need a new American Revolution by scaling back the all-powerful Federal bureaucracy and blunting the power grabs at the Presidential and Agency levels.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Record March Great Lakes Ice Coverage

Great Lake ice coverage peaked at 92.2% on March 2nd, nearly the highest since records began in the 1970s.  Only one year, 1979, was higher.   As of March 17, 2014, ice coverage is still 82.8%, the highest level in 35 years.

Here's a graphic showing ice coverage on the Great Lakes since mid-February from Wunderground:


The Russian Evil Empire Strikes in Crimea

Politically motivated murders are being reported in the Crimea after dictator Putin seized the region. Human Rights Watch reports that relatives of Reshat Ametov was led away by three men in military jackets, but no insignia, from Lenin Square in Simferopol on March 3, 2014. A few weeks later, his body was found and it was reported as a violent death, likely beaten to death. Note that Russia had already sent his forces into that region at that time, so it's likely that it was committed or condoned by those forces.
“The disappearance and murder of Reshat Ametov illustrates the climate of lawlessness that has been pervasive in Crimea over the last week,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Crimean authorities have a duty to thoroughly investigate this case and punish those responsible, whoever they are.”

Local media reports suggested that the body bore marks of torture and that there was transparent tape wrapped around Ametov’s head and hands. Human Rights Watch was not able to verify these reports, but Ametov’s relative said the local police told him that the death was registered as “violent.” Ametov’s relatives have not yet been able to retrieve either his body or the death certificate from the mortuary. Reshat Ametov was a Crimea Tatar or nominally a Muslim although it is not known if he was a practicing Muslim. There are over 1/2 million Tatars in Crimea and the Russians may be inciting more Jihadist sentiment there and elsewhere.
The incident is not isolated in Crimea after the Russian forces invaded the area. Human Rights Watch reports that
For weeks, armed masked men who refuse to identify themselves have harassed and intimidated people,” Denber said. “Failure to call a halt to this mistreatment and investigate would only embolden the people responsible for the abuse.”
This kind of criminal and lawless thuggery is representative of Putin's Russian "thugocracy."  Putin is an evil man with evil intent.  Murder, coercion, bigotry, and bullying mark Putin's Russia.  We're seeing the return of the "evil empire."

Monday, March 17, 2014

500 Economists Confirm That Increasing Minimum Wage Will Kill Jobs

Five hundred economists have contradicted the President and other economic illiterates in the Democratic party.   Increasing the minimum wage hurts jobs.  It's irrefutable and the CBO agrees.
There's no "free lunch" or something for nothing like the President believes. 

Indeed, the Federal government has no business setting wages in the first place!

From American Enterprise Institute,
More than 500 economists, including three Nobel laureates (Vernon Smith, Eugene Fama and Ed Prescott) have signed this letter arguing that artificially raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour through a government mandate would have adverse effects on the employment opportunities for unskilled and low-skilled workers. The tragedy of this well-intentioned, but misguided legislation is that it would harm and disadvantage the very workers it is intended to help.
Why?  Well, if you increase the cost of something like Labor, the demand for Labor goes down. It's illustrated by a simple diagram from Economics 101 shown below from Mark Perry at AEI.  The horizontal axis is the quantity of low skilled labor and the vertical axis is the unit price of labor.  The graph shows equilibrium between supply and demand at the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. 

If the price for lower skilled workers goes up (with no corresponding increase in skills or productivity), the demand for workers goes down as the supply goes up. The new equilibrium is at the labor quantity E1, down from E0.  The quantity of jobs declines.  Even common sense would tell you as much. 


With an artificial increase in the lowest wage, it will be harder for marginal workers like inner city kids, who are trying to get their first job, to find one.  For many high school dropouts in certain areas, the current $7.25 per hour rate is already too high.  Like I said, the government needs to get out of the wage setting business. 

Russia Ignoring Security Treaty For Ukraine

The Ukraine gave up it's nuclear weapons in 1994 after receiving assurances from the US, Russia, the UK and France to guarantee it's territorial integrity and security.  The security treaty was called the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and was signed on December 4, 1994 by the Ukraine, Russia, USA and UK.   Later France agreed to sign it as well.

The treaty committed the signatories to abstain from the use or threat of force against Ukraine, to support Ukraine where an attempt is made to place pressure on it by economic coercion, and to bring any incident of aggression by a nuclear power before the UN Security Council.

Russia has obviously reneged on this treaty.  One could argue that the US and UK have theoretically honored the agreement by bringing the Russian invasion issue to the UN.  Not surprisingly Russia vetoed the UN draft of the Crimea referendum.  China abstained.

More about the Budapest Memorandum from Wikipedia:
The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is a political agreement signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom and China.  France later gave individual statements of assurance as well.
 The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996.
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Obama 'Did Not Attend'...Again and Again

America, the next time you elect a President, make sure you look at his resume, check his or her credentials and make that he's not a complete slacker.  For example, if academic degrees are the only thing on the resume, don't you think it would be a good idea to know what his or her grade point average was?  Did he or she even bother to attend class?  If you don't do this, you might elect a smooth talking snake-oil salesman. 

There is a pattern of President Obama being completely disengaged from his duties of the office, especially in times of crisis. 

Obama AWOL During Benghazi Attack

 

Obama'a pattern of disengagement has a long history.  In 2012, we find out from Leon Panetta, that Obama was AWOL during the 7 hour Benghazi attack which started at about 3 pm on a Friday, September 11, 2012.  Obama didn't seem interested enough in the situation where 4 Americans were slain, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.  I guess he had another golf outing?

From Washington Times:
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Thursday revealed he personally broke the news to President Obama in a 10 minute meeting that the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack last year — but he and the president didn’t speak the rest of the night as the assault on the compound unfolded.
Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr. Panetta said the president told them to “do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there,” though when it came to specifics the president “left it up to us.”
So, in a critical moment, the President chose to be missing-in-action.  Also the President has missed most of the National Intelligence briefings at the White House in his entire 2nd term, including the run-up to the Benghazi attack.  Could you imagine President Bush missing a single intelligence briefing meeting?  He attended all of them.

Obama was AWOL during the entire crisis and didn't even call Panetta after being informed of the attack.  Then we had a series of lies from the White House for weeks trying to "white-wash" and minimize the nature of the attack when it was known to be a planned terrorist attack right from the beginning.   And of course no one will ever find what was more important at that time for our Slacker-In-Chief.

Obama Skips Meetings After Russia OKs Invasion of Crimea


During another national crisis, Obama skips more briefings.  From Reuters on March 1, 2014 (h/t to Zero Hedge):
 "The president's national security team met today to receive an update on the situation in Ukraine and discuss potential policy options," said a senior administration official.
Obama did not attend the meeting, but he has been briefed about it by his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and his national security team, an official said.
Then fast forward to March 15 after Kerry returned from speaking with the Russian ambassador in London.   From Reuters on March 15, 2014:
President Barack Obama's national security team discussed the Ukraine crisis in a session at the White House on Saturday after Secretary of State John Kerry's return from talks with his Russian counterpart in London.
Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.
Do you see a pattern?   Congratulations America, by re-electing Obama, you brought in to the biggest flim-flam "performance" artist to ever to infect the White House.  Obama is the most un-serious President ever! 

From Zero Hedge,  obviously there are more pressing matters at hand like pitching Obamacare to toddlers, and because there is always time for 18 holes before World War III. And let's not forget, nobody does a better job of explaining to Vladimir Vladimirovich the "costs" of showing the world just how much of a laughing stock US foreign policy has become. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ron Paul: Big Government Failures Are All Around Us

According to a recent Gallup poll, some 72% perceive "big government"as the biggest threat in their lives.  This is not surprising at all. Big government is the biggest threat to your liberty.  Since government is growing dramatically under the past two presidents, then correspondingly, your liberties are being taken away on a daily basis and government abuses are increasing dramatically.  Some of these transgressions are even making news in select media outlets.

In a recent speech, Ron Paul recounted the following: “What do you expect when you target the President?  This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton.  Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations opposed to the current administration’s policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the President’s opponents is part of their job."

In the video interview shown below, Ron Paul also said: "the failure of big government is all around us." “Obamacare is such a transparent failure of big government, foreign policy is such a failure – the intrusion of our liberties and all this spying. It’s all around us, and it’s a failure.” The failure of big government, along with Keynesian economics, and the NSA debacles; that more and more of even the most liberal are realizing just what America has become.

Ron Paul says that it's good news that people are starting to recognize the scope of problem of government bringing failure and loss of freedoms.  He says "there is no way to replace the "status quo"until people give up on what we have."  He sites the grass roots opposition to the bombing of Syria showed how out of touch the politicians of both parties are.

Here's Ron Paul (link to the YouTube video in case it doesn't show in the blog):

video

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ronald Reagan Deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, Not Obama

Well before the recent public "deal" with Iran's Rouhani, Obama was already removing the highly effective sanctions that forced Iran to the bargaining table;  thereby giving the Iranians time and money to finish their nuclear ambitions.  Sadly, I don't believe that they are interested in peaceful nuclear power.  There is a good chance that Obama just helped his Muslim "brothers" build the bomb that could wipe out Israel. 

This comes after Putin thoroughly outsmarted and out-played Obama in Syria leaving Assad in power forever under Russian protection -- and free to continue murdering 100,000s of his own citizens -- and not a chance of it living up to a ludicrous deal to destroy their chemical weapons.  The weapons 'ploy' was all about letting Obama 'save face.' 

Now, the crisis caused by Russia's invasion of the Ukraine adds to the perfect record of foreign policy failures for Obama and his nitwit Secretary of State Kerry.  Obama is batting 0.000 or total and utter failure!  Can this guy even tie his own shoes?  The invasion is a thorough repudiation of his ridiculous Russian "reset" fantasy predicated on the lame-brained thought that "nice talk" with Putin would be just the trick to bring Putin around.  Presidents of the United States who live in a fantasy world are just as dangerous to world peace as murderous dictators.  They just don't know it yet.

Obama will likely never understand Reagan's concept of "peace through strength."  Such a concept appears to be antithetical to Socialists and Liberals.  This despite the fact that "peace through strength' is THE single biggest lesson to be gleaned from the past 70 years of world history.  But I'm confident that the over-educated but still ignorant Obama, would pooh-pooh such concepts from his ivory tower-like perch and ignore how Reagan proved it conclusively by decisively winning the 50+ year Cold War.  Maybe because Liberals are too busy spending other people's money in ill-advised social engineering??

Just a day or two ago, Obama announced that he is reducing our army staffing to 1940 levels and letting our navy shrink through attrition. This while a bellicose China is building a navy.  European socialists have nearly no military strength remaining -- thanks to diverting of spending to social benefits at the expense of defense.  Leftists really don't believe in a strong military nor strength.  Europe is no position to defend itself from an imperial Russia.  The result is incursions into Ukraine for example.

With that said, that Obama won a Nobel Peace prize for essentially nothing is one of the finer examples of idiocy ever seen.  It is Ronald Reagan that is truly worthy of a Nobel Peace prize for winning the Cold War.  But that committee would never give such an acknowledgment to a tough talking conservative politician who really knew how to bring peace in international relations.  You see, all of America's enemies were afraid of Ronald Reagan because he spoke often and strongly with every fiber of his body and soul against tyranny and tyrannous dictators.  Liberals, with their rigid and ideological "impediments' are not grounded in principles and therefore can not be clear or convincingly serious.  Foreign leaders know the difference.

But Obama's perfect record of failures and his immunity to truth and facts reminds me of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in the late 1930s.  Obama may yet be the 2014 equivalent of Chamberlain.  We're already seeing what Obama's unrealistic placating of enemies brings.  The answer is that it usually brings wars and large death tolls.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hey Obama, How's that Russian "Reset" Working Out for Ya?


Sarah Palin warned in 2008 that Russia would invade Ukraine if Obama became President. For this statement, she was pounded by the liberal media as being absurd.  She's looking pretty good and Obama and his liberal media crowd are looking pretty bad. By the way, she was right about death panels in the ACA law too (see here from a Jan 2013 blog).  We need to bring back 'tar and feathers' for the real scoundrels in this country!

Speaking of repudiation, Mitt Romney was ridiculed by Obama when Romney said that "it is RUSSIA who is America's number one geopolitical foe."  Obama, like usual, twisted the truth in his campaigning by incorrectly substituting "enemy" for "geopolitical foe."  Romney was right too.

The recent invasion of parts of Ukraine by Russia makes it clear to even the most ardent Russian apologists the true nature of Putin's Russia:  it's a corrupt and evil regime. These ardent apologists include John Kerry and Barack Obama.  Today Kerry expressed today how "stunned" he is over the "incredible act of aggression" regarding Russia's blatant disregard for international law and sovereignty.   The punishment?  The US might punish Russia by canceling it's attendance at a G-8 meeting!  Oh, I'm so scared!!  He's stunned because he is an idiot.  Liberals like Obama and Kerry are intellectually deficient people who cling to incorrect liberal views because they never seem to learn the correct lessons from political OR economic history -- both in the US and in the world.  Could it be any clearer?

People like Obama inadvertently become evil because they are unable to digest reality and adjust their 'petrified' thinking due to their stubborn adherence to (repeatedly) failed world views.   In short, they can't change because they can't/won't learn.  This usually ends up hurting people -- and might even cause spilt blood.  And if you are you are President of the US and unable to see and adjust to reality, then you are a dangerous person.  Think Fidel Castro or Cristina Kirchner.  Think Hugo Chavez.  Millions are suffering right now due to their failure to change. That's why Kerry is so "stunned" by the turn of events in the Ukraine -- Liberals choose to ignore the lessons of history and fail to clearly see reality due to their petrified thinking.  This is the origin of human evil. 

This blog has frequently warned of the evil intentions of Iran, Russia and fascist Islam and we have complained of the naivete and ignorance of Obama and his liberal supporters.  With regard to Ukraine, I would compare Obama's appeasement of dictatorial leaders like the Mullahs in Iran and Putin in Russia to Neville Chamberlain dating back to the 1930s.  For his efforts, Neville Chamberlain got the invasion of Poland by Hitler and Obama is now rewarded by the invasion of Ukraine by the evil Putin. Could Iran declaring that it has a nuclear weapon be far behind? 

Below are a few quotes from some of my recent blogs that warned of the failings and naivete of this liberal administration in the foreign policy arena -- failures and naivete that (unintentionally) invite aggressive actions by evil dictators in Iran, Russia and elsewhere.  This blog has consistently warned of the dangers of electing (and re-electing) Obama (to no avail):

Obama's 2nd Term Chickens Coming Home to Roost.  September 2013

"In the foreign policy arena, the president is also reaping the rewards of his first term and it's ongoing policy of 1) alienating our traditional allies, 2) cozy-ing up to revolutionaries like Morsi [and Rouhani], 3) instead trying to forge alliances where there are no mutual interests, i.e., in Russia and Iran,  and 4) projecting weakness [by appeasement]" 

"The Russian "reset" is, now more than ever, a complete joke. Obama must be the favorite topic of jokes in the Kremlin. After Obama's stand-down in Syria, Putin is suddenly acting like the leader of free world."

"Remember in his first term when Obama unilaterally cancelled the defensive missiles negotiated by the Bush administration destined for Czech Republic and Poland?  Obama did it without any concessions from Russia.  We gave them away for free when Russia hated those missiles.  Snubs of Obama and America came from Putin came just days later when Putin declared that he wasn't going to support Obama on Iran sanctions."

I'm sure the Polish and the Czech people wish that they had those missiles now that Russia's knocking on the door in nearby Ukraine.


US Foreign Policy Weakness Bears Bitter Fruit.  September 2012

"How about that thug Putin working out more "flexibility" (off microphone) with Obama behind the scenes as he clamps down further on human rights, murders political enemies both in Russia and outside and sees himself as President for life?   Obama tossed Poland and the Czech Republic under the bus to appease Putin.  The result??   A big fat goose egg.  Putin still supports the horrible, murderous Assad and the horrible murderous Mullahs in Iran.  And anyone that disagrees with him can go to jail!   Just ask the "Pussy Riot" girls.  Russia opposes everything that America wants and stands for and has done so for 70 years.


The Next Disaster: Dismantling Sanctions on Iran. November 2013

"So now, after years of Iran lying about their nuclear program (and everything else), the notable silence of our administration in any kind of support of Iranian students during the brutal crack-down and murder of student protests in 2009, the administration has decided to appease the Mullahs giving them more time for the centrifuges to spin.  Just whose side is Obama on? Is he a Muslim collaborator? "

"Just when economic sanctions had that regime 'on the ropes,' the President decides that he's going to let them off the hook. It's the worst timing possible because, for the first time in my adult life, effective sanctions were negotiated and are actually working! So just when you have leverage, Obama removes the very thing that's created the leverage! You know how it's going to work out, right?  Everyone does except Obama."

The ultimate disaster for the world will be an announcement by Iran that they have a nuclear weapon after the foolish appeasement and easing of truly effective sanctions by the Obama administration.  This will be the biggest disaster ever!  It wouldn't surprise me at all. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rick Santelli Reminds Us: The Government IS the Problem!

Thank God for Rick Santelli.  Where would we be without clear-thinking and clear-speaking persons who have a depth of experience to see how our government is ruining America?  The US government is like Jabba the Hut who just eats more and more resources.  

To quote Daniel Henninger at the WSJ, 
To call the U.S. federal government a black hole is a disservice to black holes, which have a neutral majesty. Excepting the military's fighting units, the federal government has become a giant slug, like Jabba the Hutt, inert but dangerous. Like Jabba, the government increasingly survives by issuing authoritarian decrees from this or that agency. Barack Obama, essentially a publicist for Jabba's world of federal fat, euphemized this mess Monday as the American people's "democracy."

On a recent CNBC segment, a panel of guests were debating the economic "recovery" when one blurts out: 
Guest: Where would we be without the government?
Santelli: (begins)… We would be way better off! The problem is the government.They’re not here to help… They’re here to make healthcare more expensive, college more expensive… everything they touch is more expensive
  Here's the exchange on YouTube

video

Government IS the problem.  One example: The US government strong-armed itself into the US banking business during the last crisis by FORCING them to take Federal money and FORCING takeovers of failing institutions.   Most of these entities should have failed--which is the function of capitalism.  Then came hearings to control banker salaries and other complete bullshit...  Now, even 5 years later, the Obama administration is using the big banks as a source of $billion of funds under the "guise" of fines for the "sins" of those acquired entities.  That's what you get for helping the government! 

Worse, the US government tax policies, housing policies under FHA, FNMA and Freddie Mac and the Federal Reserve all CREATED the last financial crisis.  Not only did they create it, but the entire regulatory apparatus of the US government was completely and utterly inept and clueless in the run-up to the mortgage crisis. Then the same idiot bureaucrats claim that the new solution is even MORE regulators and MORE spending.  As if the vast agencies weren't already incompetent enough, let's make them bigger, more incompetent and MORE costly!!  Brilliant!! 

All of that shit needs to end!!  Now would be a good time!!  But nothing ever ends under the Federal umbrella.  The bureaucracy keeps getting bigger and bigger like Jabba the Hut.  Meanwhile, nothing has changed.  There is more debt than ever.  Every "market" is manipulated and polluted with money printing and free money.  The big banks are bigger than ever. Their speculative activities outside of traditional banking are bigger than ever.  There is a 100% chance of bigger and more damaging crises ahead and it will be caused again by the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve.
 
Now the US government is now trying to control and manipulate the entire healthcare market and the healthcare insurers are deeply "in bed" with the government.. These companies will soon learn what the banks learned.   Meanwhile, insurance costs have risen dramatically because of "ObamaCare" and will force more and more people into the arms of the Federal Government for subsidies.  But who's going to pay for all of that??  The administration would be happy if 100% of the population were getting subsidies -- never mind the nation careens to financial disaster.

Ronald Reagan was right, GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM!