Saturday, May 5, 2012

Free Ice Cream

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year...

The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest.
I decided we would have an election for a class president.

We would choose our nominees.. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.
To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members.

We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have.

We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.

The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids.

I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support.

I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches.

Jamie went first.

He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better
Place. He ended by promising to do his very best.
Everyone applauded and he sat down.
Now is was Olivia's turn to speak.

Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream. She sat down.

The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."

She surely would say more. She did not have to.

A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. But no one pursued that question. They took her at her word.

Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it...She didn't know.

The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream...

Jamie was forgotten.. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and 51.4 % of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream.

The other 48.6% percent know they're going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess."

Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone that they have not first taken away from someone else.

Did you vote for the ice cream?
The real question is will he be elected again on the promise of free ice cream?

Figures: Obama Kicks Off Campaign on Birthday of Karl Marx!

Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 5-5-2012 | MOTUS

Butt did you know that today is also Karl Marx’s 194th birthday? That’s right, we’re officially kicking off the WTF campaign on the birthday of the original Redistributor-in-Chief!

You might say that Uncle Karl was the godfather of “compression” too since he invented the concept of taking a whole bunch of stuff from society’s producers and compressing it into a much smaller bunch of stuff. That compressed stuff can then be redistributed to the dear leaders of the Occupiers and the rest of the little people as the leaders see fit.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Americans renounced their citizenship in record numbers in 2011

If you think residing in America is taxing, just talk to one of the many expatriates who is contributing to a shocking statistic recently discovered: across the globe, people are renouncing their US citizenship in record numbers.

At least 1,788 Americans officially threw away their US citizenship in 2011, exceeding the totals from 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined. The Internal Revenue Service has been keeping a tally of US citizens driven to renouncing that title since only 1998, but last year’s number has officially raised the bar when it comes to calling America quits. What’s more, experts say, is that more and more Americans will soon be saying 'sayonara' to Uncle Sam if the federal government keeps up its trend of heavily taxing US citizens abroad.

Out of the 34 countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States is the only nation that taxes its citizens no matter where they reside on Earth. As long as a person maintains citizen status, they are expected to send the United States government pennies on every dollar earned no matter where they live, under current law. With the US enacting stricter guidelines in recent years that demand wealthy Americans abroad paying the IRS even more, citizens are voluntarily refusing the perks and protection of the United States in numbers unmatched in recent memory.
“The complexity of international tax law, combined with the administrative burden placed on these taxpayers, creates an environment where taxpayers who are trying their best to comply simply cannot,” explains the IRS in a report published in 2011. “For some, this means paying more US tax than is legally required, while others may be subject to steep civil and criminal penalties. For some US taxpayers abroad, the tax requirements are so confusing and the compliance burden so great that they give up their US citizenship.”
Following up on the trend, Reuters reveals that in recent years more and more millionaires and billionaires have voluntarily removed themselves from the American Empire in order to hold onto their earnings.
“Every dollar you save, you lose to the US tax man,” tax lawyer Matthew Ledvina explains to Bloomberg News. “That’s one reason why people give up citizenship.”
The US attorney, who now works for Anaford AG in Zurich, adds that more and more non-US banks are being pressured by the government to give away their clients’ cash. As a result, fewer banks are willing work with US citizens, even if they have millions or billions to install in their institutions.
“It started with the fallout from UBS and non-US banks feeling it’s too risky to deal with Americans abroad,” he adds. “It will increase because Fatca will require banks to track down people, some of whom will make voluntary disclosures before renouncing their citizenship.”
Facta, or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, was amended in 2010 with harsher penalties for US citizens living abroad. Under that update, banks are required to take 30 percent from “certain US-connected payments” from those who don’t give the IRS enough information about their income, no matter how or where they earn it.
“There is incredible frustration at the audacity and imperial overreach of this law,” David Kuenzi of Thun Financial Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin tells Bloomberg of Facta. Brent Lipschultz, an accountant at New York’s EisnerAmper firm, adds that the whole thing is very “big brother” of America.
This year alone, around 6.3 million US citizens living abroad are expected to oblige to America’s tricky tax laws, lest they want to risk heftier penalties. Given the recent trend, however, that number is looking to only shrink. 

Obama to get do-over on Keystone pipeline!

By Stephen Dinan

The Canadian company seeking to build the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. reapplied for a permit on Friday, pushing the politically sensitive issue back onto President Obama's plate six months before the election.
TransCanada announced it has asked for permits to build the pipeline into Nebraska, and will eventually submit a new route skirting environmentally sensitive lands in Nebraska — the sticking point that caused the Obama administration to reject its previous application.
In a statement, TransCanada President Russ Girling made it clear he was appealing to Mr. Obama's own stated goals of boosting American energy supplies. He also said the thousands of pages of environmental reviews already completed for the earlier application should convince the president to speed this new permit along.
"The multibillion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and support job growth by putting thousands of Americans to work," Mr. Girling said.
But the Obama administration, facing intense pressure from congressional Republicans and leading business groups to approve the plan, has already signaled it would likely delay a decision until next year.
The State Department last year tried to put off a decision about TransCanada's first application until after the election, arguing it needed more time to study the issue. That move delighted the president's environmental allies who fear a future catastrophe, but angered many of his labor union supporters, who say the pipeline will produce jobs.
Congress then passed a bill requiring the president to expedite his decision, and faced with the tighter deadline the State Department ruled against the application.
Now, Republicans said Mr. Obama has a do-over.
"Today there is just one person standing in the way of tens of thousands of new American jobs: President Obama," said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. "After nearly four years of review, delay and politics, he is out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer. Every state along the proposed route supports the pipeline, and its builder has jumped through every bureaucratic hoop."
Nebraska officials were split on the earlier pipeline route, but have reportedly come to an understanding over a new route to the east of the sensitive Ogalallah Aquifer.
The State Department, which has a role in the approval process because the pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canada border, said in a statement that it had received the application and would put it through "a rigorous, transparent and thorough review."
The planned pipeline would carry oil from Canada's tar sands into the U.S. for refining and shipment.
Mr. Obama earlier this year said he would try to speed some parts of a pipeline that runs from Oklahoma to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. That move could help reduce a glut of oil awaiting refining in the center of the country, but would not bring new supplies onto the market, energy analysts said. Those analysts also said Mr. Obama's move wouldn't actually speed up that process, since that portion of the pipeline was scheduled to begin construction this summer already.

© Copyright 2012 The Washington Times, LLC

Dems: On Second Thought, Maybe N.C. Was a Mistake!

Roll Call ^ | April 30, 2012 | Stuart Rothenberg

If national Democratic strategists chose Charlotte, N.C., for the party’s national convention because they liked the facilities, the hotel accommodations or the weather in early September, then I guess I can’t yet quibble with the choice.

But if David Axelrod and the president’s other political advisers picked the Tar Heel State to make some broader political point, then they goofed.

Simply put: North Carolina looks like a mess for Democrats.

The state’s Democratic governor, Beverly Perdue, is so unpopular — her job approval has been fluctuating from 30 percent to 40 percent for months — that she wisely decided not to seek re-election this year. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm, showed only 60 percent of Democrats approve of the job the governor is doing.

A handful of Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination, including former Rep. Bob Etheridge and the state’s sitting lieutenant governor, Walter Dalton, but virtually everyone expects former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R), who lost to Perdue narrowly four years ago, to win the state’s top office in November.
The last Republican to win the governorship was Jim Martin, in 1988, and only two Republicans, Martin and Jim Holshouser, have been elected governor since Reconstruction.
Democrats will lose three or four Congressional seats in November, victims of Republican redistricting made possible by the national GOP wave of 2010, which gave both chambers of the state Legislature to Republicans. (In an ironic twist, the governor of North Carolina had no role in the redistricting process.)
But it gets worse.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina’s preliminary unemployment rate for March stood at 9.7 percent, lower than only three states (California, Rhode Island and Nevada) and the District of Columbia. Apparently, the Obama administration’s jobs recovery has not shifted into high gear in the Tar Heel State.
Of course, if the state’s economy is a mess, it’s still in better shape than the North Carolina Democratic Party.
Two weeks ago, the state party’s executive director, Jay Parmley, resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment. North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman David Parker, who accepted Parmley’s resignation but seemed to defend him, has also come under fire. Some Democratic activists are now demanding his resignation.
Finally, the president will accept his party’s nomination — and presumably beat up on corporate America and the wealthy — at Bank of America Stadium (after a couple of days at Time Warner Cable Arena). Expect the press to point out the irony, which could put President Barack Obama’s campaign on the defensive more than a few times.
Of course, all of these problems will seem insignificant if the president carries North Carolina in the fall.
For months, I’ve been including the Tar Heel State in my list of swing territory. I think I’ve been wrong to do so, no matter what current polling shows.
Unless the president wins re-election nationally by 7 or 8 points (or about what he did in 2008), his chances of carrying the state are not very good. And if he wins nationally by a large margin, he won’t need North Carolina.
Obama won North Carolina by three-tenths of a point four years ago — almost 7 points worse than his national margin of 7.2 points.
In each of the two previous presidential elections, 2004 and 2000, Republican George W. Bush carried the state by more than 12 points. In 2004, Bush’s showing in the Tar Heel State was 10 points ahead of his national margin, and in 2000, his showing in the state was more than 13 points better than his national showing.
Obama won the state by about 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast, while Bush’s margins were about 370,000 in 2000 and 435,000 in 2004.
Yes, North Carolina isn’t your typical Deep South state. Republicans performed better in the state than in other Southern states before the state realigned in the 1960s and early 1970s. It almost went for Dwight Eisenhower (R) in 1956, for example. But while much of the South went for Barry Goldwater (R) in 1964, North Carolina stuck with Lyndon Johnson (D).
Since the South’s realignment, Democrats have repeatedly held up North Carolina as an example of a state Democrats can win, citing the growth of the Research Triangle, the in-state migration of Northerners and the state’s more moderate style.
But no Democratic presidential nominee has won a majority of the total vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976, and the Democratic base in the state, at least for federal elections, appears to be about 44 percent, a few points less than the GOP base.
The state’s African-Americans and upscale, white liberals vote Democratic, as do many of the students at the state’s colleges and universities. Turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds was very strong in the state in 2008, and those voters went overwhelmingly for Obama.
But while there are more white Democratic voters in North Carolina (and Virginia) than in Mississippi or Alabama, there just aren’t enough to allow a Democratic presidential nominee to carry the state unless he or she is running comfortably ahead nationally.
Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) lost North Carolina in 2008 because voters wanted a change from George W. Bush, and Obama was a blank slate and offered voters an alternative to the Republican status quo. According to exit poll data on CNN’s website, McCain ran almost 10 points behind Bush’s 2004 showing among whites, a significant drop-off.
The president isn’t likely to run as well as he did four years ago nationally or in North Carolina, and any drop-off (in younger voter turnout or in support from whites) is likely to cost him the state’s 15 electoral votes given the closeness of the 2008 outcome. That’s undoubtedly why Obama held a “noncampaign” rally at the University of North Carolina last week.
Right now, North Carolina doesn’t look particularly hospitable to Obama’s re-election or to Democrats in general.
Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. 

People Not In Labor Force Soar By 522,000, Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since 1981 ^ | Tyler Durden

It is just getting sad now. In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. This is the highest on record. The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%.
Labor force participation Rate:

People not in labor force:

Pelosi Calls for End to Raids on Marijuana Producers and Distributors!

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 5 May 2012 | John Semmens

Taking an uncharacteristic stand in favor of “states’ rights,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) beseeched President Obama to put an end to federal efforts to impede the production, distribution, and use of marijuana in states where it is legal.

“I know how important it is to the President to establish the absolute supremacy of the federal government in all matters,” Pelosi conceded. “I share that goal. Nevertheless, we can’t allow ourselves to lose sight of the fact that marijuana users are a prime constituency of the Democratic Party. So, while I’d normally say ‘screw states’ rights,’ in this case I think we have a rationale for making an exception that can work in our favor.”

California voters legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in a 1996 initiative. Since then users abiding by state law have still been exposed to criminal sanctions under federal law. The Obama Administration has continued federal action to suppress marijuana use in California and other states despite a 2008 pre-election promise to end this practice. Attorney General Eric Holder explained that “those who want us to look the other way know what they’ve got to do. So far, they just haven’t held up their side of the bargain.”

If you missed any of this week's other semi-news posts you can find them at...

Obama Launches Campaign in Empty Arena

Barack Obama launched his campaign in unspectacular fashion today at Ohio State University, the largest college in the crucial swing state. A photo posted to twitter by Mitt Romney's campaign spokesman Ryan Williams reveals that the event was poorly attended. The above image, according to Williams, was taken during the President's first official campaign speech.

During the speech, Obama ripped into the presumptive GOP nominee and discussed nation building at home, but the most newsworthy item of the day was not the talking points Obama delivered: it was the crowd... or lack thereof. According to ABC News, the Obama campaign had expected an "overflow" of people. Instead, the arena was half-empty. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Obama organizers even had people move from the seats to the floor of the gym in order to project a larger crowd on television.
According to the Toledo Blade, the venue for Obama's rally seats 20,000 but "there were a lot of empty seats." Comparatively, Obama drew a crowd of 35,000 at Ohio State when he campaigned for former Governor Ted Strickland in 2010.
The official Barack Obama Tumblr boasts a figure from ThinkProgress that 14,000 attended the event--70% of the stadium's seating capacity.
To hold a campaign event in a room that you can't fill is a mistake; to promise the media a more-than-capacity crowd then fall this far short of that promise is an act of utter incompetence. In 2008, Obama ran a near-flawless campaign, buoyed by enthusiasm and effective organizing. But it's not 2008 any more, and on day one of the 2012 campaign, Team Obama has already made an embarrassing blunder.

Abbott and Costello Do Unemployment

Lou Costello, Bud Abbott
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible times. It’s 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…
COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
ABBOTT: Absolutely.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
OSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.

9/11 trial begins at Guantanamo with protest by defendants

Los Angeles Times ^ | May 5, 2012, 10:14 a.m. | Richard A. Serrano

The arraignment of accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four top Al Qaeda lieutenants opened Saturday in a heavily guarded island courtroom with the so-called “Gitmo 5” launching a silent protest, refusing to cooperate, listen to translations or even answer fundamental questions about a process that could end their lives.

The long-awaited trial began with defense lawyers speaking for the alleged terrorists and arguing that the protest was over their clients’ anger about alleged CIA torture and mistreatment at the prison on the southern rim of Cuba. …

(Updated at 10:14 a.m., May 5:) Three hours into the hearing, one defendant wore down and angrily waved his finger at the judge. “Maybe you aren’t going to see me anymore,” warned Ramzi Binalshibh, who allegedly oversaw the terror cell for three of the Sept. 11 pilots. “It’s about the treatment we have received at the camps. You want to kill us.” …

The fact that the trial is now underway encouraged backers of a military tribunal—finally, some form of legal process has begun.

But for President Obama, who in 2008 promised to close the detainee prison and hold the trials in the U.S. yet did neither, the trial starkly reminds his supporters of his failure to change the system. …

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama's Julia : How more desperate will he get?

Obama2012 vision ^ | 5/5/2012 | sickoflibs

Jeeze, Obama is getting desperate.

If the economy gets any worse he will be accusing Republicans of wanting to round up women because they don't have voter IDs and putting them into baby farm concentration camps.

Check this one out:

Four Years of Obama Undoes Eight Years of Reagan

Ricochet ^ | May 4, 2012 | Tommy De Seno

The Labor Force Participation Rate shows what percentage of people are working, looking for a job and not looking for a job. It is a better yardstick to measure the workforce in America than is the usually cited "unemployment rate" which doesn't count people who are so frustrated they stopped looking for a job.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TV future planned for video slamming Obama’s credit-grab on bin Laden kill

By Neil Munro - The Daily Caller 

Veterans for a Strong America is looking for a place to run its hit online video — on television.
The ad praises the quiet heroism of the military personnel who killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, and portrays President Barack Obama as a glory-hound eager to hog the credit.

With dramatic background images and a banner reading “Heroes don’t seek credit,” the ad shows a catalog of Obama’s statements describing his own responsibility for the mission: “I can report … I directed Leon Panetta … I was briefed … I met repeatedly … At my direction …”

“We’re at a point where we have no choice but to run that ad on TV,” Veterans for a Strong America director Joel Arends told The Daily Caller.

“We have an obligation to start educating and information the rest of America.”

The public’s response “has been incredible … it evoked very powerful feedback” both among veterans and swing-voters, Arends said. The online video attracted 700,000 viewers on Youtube during its first four days, and generated 3,500 emails.

Veterans for a Strong America, he said, does not have support from GOP-affiliated groups.
The video got a lot of attention from veterans “who are upset about their comrades actions being used in President Obama’s campaign,” he explained.
“I think we will start see those coming out and speaking in the election, [and] I think other veterans groups will come and speak out,” he said.
Swing voters “want a commander-in-chief who is going to make a decision about whether or not to send men and women into harms way, not on a political calculus, but based on the best interests of the nation,” Arends told TheDC.
“President Obama himself made this an issue,” he insisted.
“He said he would bring people together. Instead … he’s using [the bin Laden killing] in a divisive way as part of his campaign.”

Watch the video:

Read more:

If you Own These Stocks, Then Get Out NOW

Street Authority ^ | 05/05/2012 | David Sterman

With European economies slumping anew, investors have been figuring out ways to trim their exposure to that region. Business conditions are weak and could spiral even lower in coming quarters before an eventual rebound. That's why I wrote this article, which says that you should revaluate holding shares of U.S. companies that derive more than one-third of their revenue from Europe, as it may see sales fall below forecasts in coming quarters.
Yet Europe isn't the only concern. In roughly eight months, another major source of revenue may experience real trouble. Of course, I'm talking about the U.S. government, which is on the cusp of a major pullback in spending so that it can get the federal budget into balance.

Defense contractors will feel the pain
If legislators fail to hammer out more agreements on when and where to cut, then automatic cuts will begin. For example, the Department of Defense is scrambling to adapt to the possibility that a cumulative $492 billion in spending cuts will take place through 2021. Lawmakers may decide to instill less draconian cost-cutting, but it's increasingly clear that defense contractors will probably be chasing a smaller pie of revenue. These defense contractors have been scrambling to line up foreign customers, but have only made moderate headway: Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), SAIC (NYSE: SAI), Northrup Grumman (NYSE: NOC), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) all derive more than 80% of their revenue from Uncle Sam.
Meanwhile, investors have poured back into defense stocks, figuring they are inexpensive based on 2012 sales and profit forecasts. But with zero or even negative growth prospects, they aren't a bargain at any price.
As of now, the Department of Defense looks set to shrink 3% to 4% in each of the next five years. This doesn't even include spending drops associated with the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Whether these cuts are more focused on personnel or equipment remains to be seen, but the leading defense contractors are vulnerable because they are counting on expensive plane and ship programs that may get the budget ax.

Health care spending will plunge
It's not just defense stocks that will feel the pain of reduced government spending. As of now, Uncle Sam will make an equivalent $492 billion in cuts in other parts of government as well. Again, lawmakers may manage to come to an agreement, averting these massive cuts, but investors should expect at least some degree of spending cuts.
At least 40% of the currently planned $984 billion of cumulative spending cuts through 2021 will be borne by the health care industry. Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the issue of President Obama's health care plan, spending cuts are coming.
A decade of rising costs has been great for drug companies, insurers, hospital operators, software supplier and many other players in the industry. The coming decade should represent a reversal of fortune for them as pricey drugs, six-figure surgical procedures, diagnostic testing services and extended patient stays within facilities are just some of the areas slated for cutting.
Companies at risk: Insurer Humana (NYSE: HUM) derives roughly 75% of revenue from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement; Dialysis services firm DaVita (NYSE: DVA) gets 66% of revenue from the government, while this figure stands between 40% and 50% for Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) and United Healthcare (NYSE: UNH).
And there's more...
The for-profit education sector is hugely vulnerable in light of the growing debate of whether these institutions are delivering a sufficiently robust education for the tuition they charge. Some lawmakers hope to see reduced government support for student loans, which would lead to drops in enrollment for these institutions. DeVry (NYSE: NYSE: DV), for example, has 80% of its revenue base tied to government-sponsored student loans. This figure is more than 30% for the Washington Post (NYSE: WPO), which runs the Kaplan Education services division.
Lastly, companies that sell products to government research labs are quite vulnerable to a spending drop as well. These include Life Technologies (Nasdaq: LIFE), Thermo-Fisher (NYSE: TMO) and Sigma Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL).
Risks to Consider: As an upside risk, government cuts won't be nearly as severe if lawmakers instead decide to largely focus on tax increases to close the budget gap, which looks awfully unlikely.
Action to Take --> Many of these companies lack visibility into the long-term ramifications of a smaller government, and instead are relaying what business conditions look like right now. Investors would be wise to exit any government-focused stocks before the topic becomes more widely discussed in investment circles and share prices plunge.

‘Bow Tie’N White Boy’

‘Bow Tie’N White Boy’: Democrat Strategist Hurls Racial Slur at Tucker Carlson

A racist comment may have ripple effects after airing on the Fox News Channel this afternoon. Democrat strategist Jehmu Greene and the Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show America Live, when Greene went after Carlson personally. Twitter lit up immediately:

After a commercial break, Kelly reappeared and said that she had consulted with producers to find out if she heard Greene say “what she thought she heard.” Kelly then apologized to Carlson on behalf of herself and the Fox News Channel for Greene’s insult.
What remains to be seen is if there will be any additional fallout for Jehmu Greene. NBC will not have to creatively edit it to make it sound racist. Her comment, reversed in any way, would have created an instant firestorm on the left. Media Matters would have republished its entire dossier on Carlson, and may in fact do that in an effort to defend Jehmu Greene. As of this writing, Greene has not apologized for her comment.

Update: Here is the video of Democrat stragist Jehmu Greene’s obviously racist comment:

Carlson and Greene were debating Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, the competence of her campaign and her history of using minority status to gain employment advantage, which Warren denies. It was during this debate that things got heated and Greene unleashed on Carlson.
CARLSON: It was unfair when it happened under segregation, it’s unfair now. Indeed, it’s indefensible and that’s why she doesn’t want to talk about this, because she did gain material advantage by lying about her ethnic background. And no one should gain advantage because of his ethnic background, period.
GREENE: Tucker! Tucker! Elizabeth Warren has been very clear that she has not gained advantage…
CARLSON: No she has not been clear.
GREENE: And at the end of the day, she won the teaching award at Harvard two years in a row, she won teaching awards at the University of Pennsylvania, at the University of Michigan, at the University of Houston. To question this woman on her qualifications is going to be something that does appeal to…folks like you, voters like you, bow tie’n white boys, but at the end of the day it is going to backfire…
Carlson calls Greene out for name calling, and Greene immediately responds “I didn’t call you a name.”
It should be noted that Tucker Carlson was not wearing a bow tie during the segment.

If Obama wins, what would he do in a second term?

Washington Post ^ | May 4, 2012 | Ezra Klein

"In a second term," Mitt Romney darkly warned in a speech to the National Rifle Association last month, President Obama "would be unrestrained by the demands of reelection."
...His only specific prediction was that Obama would "remake" the Supreme Court.

At the end of 2012, we'll face what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls "the fiscal cliff": The Bush tax cuts are set to expire, the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts initiated when the deficit "supercommittee" failed to reach a deal are set to begin, we're expected to hit the debt ceiling again, and many other programs and tax credits will come up for renewal. Around the Hill, they refer to this as "taxmageddon."

Beyond the deficit, Obama's advisers see two big unfinished pieces of business from the first term: climate change and immigration reform.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

“We are Preparing for Massive Civil War,” Says DHS Informant


In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.

“Folks, we’re getting ready for one massive economic collapse,” Hagmann told TruNews host Rick Wiles.

“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”

Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.
Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis.

Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria.
“The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued. “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look, what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.”
“There’s no hyperbole here,” he added, echoing Trends Research Institute’s Founder Gerald Celente’s forecast of last year. Celente expects a collapse of the U.S. dollar and riots in America some time this year.
Since Celente’s ‘Civil War’ prediction of last year, executive orders NDAA and National Defense Resources Preparedness were signed into law by President Obama, which are both politically damaging actions taken by a sitting president.
And most recently, requests made by the DHS for the procurement of 450 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition only fuels speculation of an upcoming tragic event expected on American soil.
These major events, as shocking to the American people as they are, have taken place during an election year.
Escalating preparatory activities by the executive branch and DHS throughout the last decade—from the Patriot Act, to countless executive orders drafted to suspend (or strip) American civil liberties “are just the beginning” of the nightmare to come, Hagmann said.
He added, “It’s going to get so much worse toward the election, and I’m not even sure we’re going to have an election in this country. It’s going to be that bad, and this, as well, is coming from my sources. But one source in particular said, ‘look, you don’t understand how bad it is.’ This stuff is real; these people, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are ready to fight the American people.”
TruNews Wiles asked Hagmann: who does the DHS expect to fight, in particular? Another North versus South, the Yankees against the Confederates? Hagmann stated the situation is far worse than a struggle between any two factions within the U.S.; it’s an anticipated nationwide emergency event centered on the nation’s currency.
“What they [DHS] are expecting, and again, this is according to my sources, what they’re expecting is the un-sustainability of the American dollar,” Hagmann said. “And we know for a fact that we can no longer service our debt. There’s going to be a period of hyperinflation . . . the dollar will be worthless . . . The economic collapse will be so severe, people won’t be ready for this.” Sign-up for my 100% FREE Alerts
Source: Full TruNews interview, May 2, 2012.

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Obama Autobiography Revealed to Be Mostly Fictitious!

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 4 May 2012 | John Semmens

President Obama's putative autobiography—Dreams from My Father—is apparently mostly “made up stuff.” Nonexistent characters and imaginary events comprise the bulk of the content. The only verified content seems to be that the President was alive during the years depicted and that he must, therefore, have had a father—even though precisely who that might have been hasn't been confirmed.

Press Secretary Jay Carney rebuffed criticism that the President's book is a work of fiction. “Look, the title says it all,” Carney defensively asserted. “It's pretty tame compared to my dreams. It has no space aliens, no naked clowns, and no spankings. It could've been a lot more lurid. I think we ought to give the President credit for being a lot more modest liar than most of us would be under similar circumstances.”
In other circles, the autobiography's lack of connection to reality is being hailed as another sign of Obama's genius. “Most people would be hard pressed to write a factual account of their own lives,” declared MSNBC's Chris Matthews. “Yet, here we have a man that was able to create an alternate reality using only the power of his own mind. Reelecting him for another four year term would fall far short of what we ought to be doing. We ought to be begging him to stay on for life to rule over us like one of Plato's philosopher kings.”

If you missed any of this week's other semi-news posts you can find them at...

Democrats: a political party that is verging into Jimmy Carter territory! ^ | May 5, 2012 | John Ransom

When a U.S. Senator and a sitting governor from your own party won’t say if they support the reelection bid of the incumbent president from their party, well, that’s a political party that is verging into Jimmy Carter territory. Then add in criticism from the publisher of one of the leading liberal websites, and an op-ed from a Democrat US Senate veteran, and decorated war hero, and you are way past Carter territory.

Party-wise that is.

Carter faced an insurgent bid from Hubert Humphrey progressives in his own party while vying for a second term as president. The result was a nasty primary contest that spilled into the Democrat National Convention in 1980.

And while the roles this time are reversed with incumbent Obama playing the part of insurgent progressive against the rest of us, the fissures in the Democrat party are still real enough, even absent a primary threat.
In fact, don’t expect the outcome to be much different than 1980.
Scores of Democrats running for reelection will defect from Obama before the campaign is done. And scores of Democrat voters will reject him too.
Why? The same reason voters will likely vote to kick Obama out of the White House: self-interest, if not outright self-defense.
Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia has announced that he isn’t sure that he will be supporting Barack Obama for reelection.
“Tomblin said in statement released by his campaign that he was a ‘loyal member of the Democratic Party’ but was concerned by fellow Democrat Obama's ‘misguided policies,” reports the Charleston Daily Mail.
This wasn’t an off the cuff remark, or a canned press release supporting National Candlemakers’ Day. Campaigns put a great deal of thought into even routine statements. They layer nuance on nuance until they get it right.
And when they say “misguided policies,” they are just being polite.
West Virginia’s newest Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin has been a little more direct about his distaste for Obama.
“If that means I have to break with my party to do what's best for the country,” wrote Manchin in an op-ed in the Gazette-Mail, “I will. If it means I take on a sitting president to protect West Virginia interests, I have and I will.”
Manchin’s bow-shot on SS Obama was returned by advisor David Axlerod on CNN’s State of the Union: "I think he was very candid there,” reported the National Journal. “His concern is about his own political well being. He's running for the Senate in that state. We didn't win the state the last time. It's going to be a tough state for us again, and he's making a political judgment about himself."
And Manchin is also grading Obama.
At interest of course is the $3.5 billion in coal revenues dug out of the West Virginia ground every year.
Even before he became president Obama declared war on the coal industry.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant,” said candidate Obama, “they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.”
Obama has taken very real steps to make good on the threat.
The EPA has already regulated out of existence any new coal fired plants- the cheapest and most abundant energy resource the U.S. has- has forced the shutdown of other coal plants; and it’s clear they would do much more to hurt coal interests if they could get the fiat power to force change.
While the administration is busy crucifying oil and gas, coal has died upon the cross.
In its place, Obama has offered nothing; nothing for the 30,000 workers who are directly employed in coal mining in West Virginia; nothing to replace the 50 percent of electricity that is currently generated for an electric-hungry country; nothing to replace the dollars that consumers, especially the working poor, will pay for higher electricity rates.
Plunder the rich? Yeah, and then go rape the poor.
Obama has offered us no policy but plunder, pillage, rape and Solyndra.
Then, this week two other Democrats weighed-in against Obama's use of the bin Laden raid to prop up his ailing campaign. As our own Bob Beauprez explains:
Barack Obama's bragging about taking out Osama bin Laden has blown up in his face. The recently released campaign video that includes a lengthy adulation of the President by Bill Clinton for choosing "the harder and more honorable path" – and suggesting Mitt Romney wouldn't have made the call - has drawn heavy criticism even from die-hard liberals.

Arianna Huffington told CBS the "campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do."
Then in an op-ed in the New York Daily News, current Democrat US Senate candidate, Bob Kerrey, a decorated war hero who lost a leg in Vietnam, and who previously served in the Senate in addition to four years as governor of Nebraska, chided Obama for releasing details of the bin Laden raid.
Writes Kerrey:

I believe the President made a serious mistake by announcing many details of the operation a year ago. And he compounded the error by enlisting former President Bill Clinton to record a political advertisement suggesting that Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, might not have made the same decision.

This was and is one of those situations where the less said by the President, the better.
Come on. Asking Obama to say less? About anything other than a budget? Paleeeease.
And if David Axelrod doesn’t get the dynamic that has Democrats breaking with their own party, then let me spell it out for him.
We are all creatures of our own self-interest, generally speaking.
If we won’t think about what is best for ourselves, who is going to do that for us?
Axelrod, Obama?
The “trust us” plan worked out great for the union workers who lost out on the Keystone pipeline jobs. It worked out great for Hispanics, who have been pandered to and used as house servants for the Obama administration. It worked out great for people who were concerned about more foreign entanglements in wars and rumors of war. It worked out great for the troops who are being misused and abused in Afghanistan.
And it’s working great for the people of West Virginia, who Obama likely considers just Electoral College chump change who cling to their coal and their guns and their religion.
Self interest, as our Founding Fathers knew, is a great motive power that is harnessed into lots of other selfs: self-government, self-improvement and, when necessary, self-defense against the selfish who would put themselves above the country.    

10 Things That Would Be Happening Today If Obama's Policies Were Working ^ | May 5, 2012 | John Hawkins

Barack Obama has "already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected president since Richard Nixon combined." Yet, despite the fact that he has been campaigning almost non-stop since the 2010 election, aside from trying to steal credit from the SEALs for killing Osama Bin Laden, you very seldom hear Obama talk about his record. This is especially noteworthy because like him or hate him, Obama has passed a lot of legislation. So, if Barack Obama has such an extensive record, why is it that Republicans are the ones that are always talking about it while Obama tries to steer the conversation to anything else? Simple: Obama is a failed President. His policies haven't worked. If Obama had actually produced results, the country would look very different today.

1) Obama touts General Motors as a success story. If that were true, General Motors would have made a profit without taxpayers losing 14 billion dollars on the deal while GM received a special 45 billion dollar tax break.

2) Obama spent hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to promote the Chevy Volt and said he had a goal of seeing a million electric cars in the U.S. by 2015. If that was going to happen, Volts would be flying off the showroom floor as opposed to the meager 7,700 that were sold last year -- before production was halted this year.

3) Judging by the number of times Barack Obama attacked George W. Bush for high gas prices and Obama's insistence that alternative fuels are a viable alternative to gasoline, you'd expect plentiful, cheap gas at under $2.00 a gallon as opposed to more than a doubling of the price of gas to $3.80 per gallon.

4) If Obama's decision to set a timetable in Afghanistan and ignore the recommendations from the generals about how many troops to send made sense, we'd be winning, not losing in Afghanistan.

5) Mexican criminals are supposed to be in jail today because of Operation Fast and Furious. Instead, the Obama Administration ended up putting guns that were used to kill more than two hundred Mexicans and an American citizen in the hands of Mexican cartels while Eric Holder may be about to face contempt charges because he refuses to cooperate with the congressional investigation.

6) Hillary Clinton famously pressed the "reset" (overcharge) button with the Russians. Had that worked, Russia wouldn't be helping Iran build nuclear weapons and threatening to make pre-emptive attacks on our missile defense sites.

7) Obama spent more than 75 billion dollars of taxpayer money to directly address the mortgage crisis outside of the hundreds of billions that he (along with Bush) injected into the system via TARP. So, is it handled? Is the housing market back? Have "too big to fail" Freddie and Fannie been forced to dramatically reduce the number of mortgages they hold to help prevent a future crisis? No, on all counts. Although the mortgage crisis was the decisive factor that helped Obama permanently pull ahead of McCain in the end, Obama has done very little of significance to help most homeowners over the long term or to prevent a future housing crisis.

8) Obamacare was supposed to reduce the deficit, give almost universal coverage, and everyone was supposed to be able to keep his own health care plan if he wants it. Yet, according to the CBO "it will add 700 billion dollars to the deficit over its first 10 years, 3-5 million people will lose their health care, and 30 million people still won’t have health coverage."

9) When he was running for office, Obama said, "I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control." So, our AAA rating should still be in place, the deficit should be significantly lower than in the Bush years, and we should be closing in on a balanced budget by now.

10) The unemployment rate has been mired above 8% for more than 3 years now. However, according to the Obama Administration's own projections, the unemployment rate should be all the way down to 5.5% by now because of the nearly trillion dollar stimulus it pushed through with no Republican votes in the House and only three Republican votes in the Senate.

The President's Private War ^ | May 5, 2012 | Judge Andrew Napolitano

Did you know that the United States government is using drones to kill innocent people in Pakistan? Did you know that the Pakistani government has asked President Obama to stop it and he won't? Did you know that Pakistan is a sovereign country that has nuclear weapons and is an American ally?

Last week, the Obama administration not only acknowledged the use of the drones; it also revealed that it has plans to increase the frequency and ferocity of the attacks. White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan argued that these attacks are "in full accordance with the law" and are not likely to be stopped anytime soon.

Brennan declined to say how many people were killed or just where the killings took place or who is doing it. But we know that Obama has a morbid fascination with his plastic killing machines, and we know that these machines are among the favored tools of the CIA. We also know that if the president had been using the military to do this, he'd be legally compelled to reveal it to Congress and eventually to seek permission.

We know about the need to tell Congress and ask for permission because of the War Powers Act. This law, enacted in 1973 over President Nixon's veto, permits the president to use the military for 90 days before telling Congress and for 180 days before he needs congressional authorization. Obama must believe that he can bypass this law by using civilian CIA agents, rather than uniformed military, to do his killing.
The Constitution limits the presidential use of war powers to those necessary for an immediate defense of the United States or those exercised pursuant to a valid congressional declaration of war. In this case of Pakistan, the president has neither. And international law prohibits entering a sovereign country without its consent. But Brennan argued that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which Congress enacted in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11 to enable President Bush to pursue the perpetrators of 9/11, is essentially carte blanche for any president to kill whomever he wants, and that the use of drones, rather than the military or rather than arresting those the government believes have conspired to harm us, is a "surgical" technique that safeguards the innocent.
Attorney General Eric Holder made a similar unconstitutional argument a few months ago when he stated in defense of the president's using drones to kill Americans in Yemen that the AUMF, plus the careful consideration that the White House gives to the dimensions of each killing and the culpability of each person killed, somehow satisfied the Constitution's requirements for due process.
What monstrous nonsense all this is. These killings 10,000 miles from here hardly constitute self-defense and are not in pursuit of a declaration of war. So, what has Congress done about this? Nothing. And what have the courts done about this? Nothing.
Prior to the president's ordering the killing of the New Mexico-born and unindicted and uncharged Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Awlaki's American father sued the president in federal district court and asked a judge to prevent the president from murdering his son in Yemen. After the judge dismissed the case, a CIA-fired drone killed al-Awlaki and his American companion and his 16-year-old American son.
In his three-plus years in office, Obama has launched 254 drones toward persons in Pakistan, and they collectively have killed 1,277 persons there. The New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that monitors the presidential use of drones in Pakistan, estimates that between 11 and 17 percent of the drone victims are innocent Pakistani civilians. So much for Brennan's surgical strikes. So much for Holder's due process.
The president is waging a private war against private persons -- even Americans -- whose deaths he obviously believes will keep America safe. But he is doing so without congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution, and in a manner that jeopardizes our freedom.
Who will keep us safe from a president who wants to use drones here? How long will it be before local American governments -- 313 of which already possess drones -- use them to kill here because they are surgical and a substitute for due process? Can you imagine the outcry if Cuba or China launched drones at their dissidents in Florida or California and used Obama's behavior in Pakistan as a justification?
How long will it be before even the semblance of our Constitution is gone?