Thursday, February 26, 2015

Many Americans Still Struggling In Dismal Obama Economy

Townhall.com ^ | February 25, 2015 | Donald Lambro 

WASHINGTON -- The new Republican Congress is just getting started, and the American people are waiting to see how lawmakers deal with the issues they care about most.
Anyone who's followed the polls over the course of the Obama administration knows that the economy and jobs have been among our strongest concerns.
The Gallup Poll reinforces this in its latest survey, asking people what they think are the biggest problems facing our country. "Economic problems" was, not surprisingly, their top concern -- mentioned by nearly 40 percent, followed by unemployment/jobs generally, the budget deficits and the federal debt, in that order.
Despite the network news telling us the Obama economy is doing great and the job market is just getting better and better, the real story on that score isn't good.
This week, Gallup's daily tracking polls put the jobless rate at nearly 7 percent, and the "underemployment rate" -- those who said they need full-time work but were forced to take part-time jobs -- at 16 percent.
And what about the economy that the news media tell us is in the midst of a job "boom" and a strong recovery?
Consider this grim headline over a new survey Gallup announced on Tuesday: "U.S. Economic Confidence Index Back in Negative Territory."
"The Economic Confidence Index fell five points from the week prior, the largest drop since July," Gallup said.
The index, Gallup explains, "is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions, and whether they say the economy is getting better or getting worse. Last week, both components dropped from the prior week."
The index showed that the economy is underperforming, wages are flat for most workers, and that a good-paying, full-time job is still hard to find.
Obama's Commerce Department provided the strongest evidence of this a few weeks ago when it reported that the economic growth rate slowed in the last three months of 2014 to a dismal 2.6 percent.
Worse, the economy barely grew at a 2.4 percent rate for all of last year -- roughly its level of performance over the past five years. Compare that to quarterly economic growth rates in 1984 that ranged from 8.5 percent to 5.8 percent under President Reagan, after a severe recession.
The New York Times reported that the plunge in GDP growth in the last quarter was in part due to a slowdown in business investment. "Many economists expect business spending to be lackluster in the coming months," said the Times. Many economists say they now see future growth in the 2.5 percent range.
One of the hallmarks of the tax cut-driven recovery in the 1980s was a boom in capital investment in new startup businesses.
But economists say this is not the case under President Obama's anti-investment policies, which have raised capital gains tax rates, the chief source of risk investment in new startups that in turn create new jobs.
Recent economic research found that the rate of new business formation sharply declined by 31 percent during the recession and has been weak ever since.
"I think there are things to be worried about, and the state of entrepreneurship is one of those things," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.
"Unless this changes, unless we do see more entrepreneurship," stronger economic growth "will not continue," Zandi said.
We are seeing additional evidence elsewhere of how much the economy is weakening, amid dire warnings that lackluster economic growth will likely remain the hallmark of Obama's presidency in his last two years.
This week the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales plunged in January to their lowest rate in nine months. Sales fell 4.9 percent and were down in every region of the country.
This followed last week's report that mortgage interest rates increased for the second consecutive week to their highest level this year, as home loan applications declined 13.2 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.
While some blame the weather, others pointed to rising home prices. "It's the price point, not the temperature, that is chilling builders," said Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin.
It was yet another manifestation of a lower-income jobs economy, according to Leonard Kiefer, chief economist at Freddie Mac, in an ominous report titled "Job Outlook Casts Shadow on Homeownership Rate."
"What we find is that many of America's fastest-growing careers (in terms of numbers of workers) have average or below average homeownership rates. At the same time, the professions with higher homeownership rates are generally headed for average or subpar growth," Kiefer writes.
"Unless there is a significant change in the job market or wages for the fastest-growing professions, the current jobs outlook does not suggest a major uptick in domestic home-buying power going into the next decade," he said.
Perhaps one of the most chilling developments in the Obama economy was the news this week that the number of property foreclosures was up by 5 percent in January -- fueled by a 15-month high in bank repossessions.
Realty Trac reports that nearly 120,000 properties were at some stage of foreclosure.
But perhaps the strongest sign of how many Americans are struggling was a little-noticed report earlier this month that said consumer spending barely rose in January. Retail sales barely budged, too, as workers tightened their belts, while nonfarm productivity fell 1.8 percent.
One final bit of bad news. Heading into last year, the typical household had only $111,000 in retirement savings, as workers dipped into their accounts to make ends meet.
Brace yourself. For the next two years, our economy is in for a bumpy ride.

Will the Clintons’ Greed Do Them In?

powerlineblog.com ^ | Feb. 25, 2015 | John Hinderaker 

It has long been remarked that a certain Dogpatch air hangs over Bill and Hillary Clinton. They have, apparently, led separate lives for quite a few years, but one quality that they share is greed. Indeed, they seem unable to restrain that grasping instinct even when it undermines their presumably more important goals–as, for example, when Hillary extracts $300,000 from universities for 45 minutes of platitudes.

Tomorrow’s Washington Post reports that while Hillary was Secretary of State, “[t]he Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments.” How many millions? Weirdly, the Post doesn’t say. It does tell us that as of 2008–before Hillary became Secretary of State–”Saudi Arabia had given between $10 million and $25 million.”

Accepting donations to a family foundation from foreign governments while serving as Secretary of State represents extraordinarily bad judgment. Sure, most of the money went to bona fide charitable causes. But there are any number of ways to donate to, say, earthquake or flood relief. Does anyone seriously think that a foreign government would choose the Clinton Foundation as its preferred charitable vehicle unless it sought to curry favor with a) a former president and still leading figure in the Democratic Party, b) the Secretary of State, and c) a possible future president? How dumb do the Clintons think we are?
Moreover, there is reason to suspect that the Clinton Foundation has served as a slush fund to finance the Clintons’ private enjoyments. The New York Post reported in 2013 that the Clinton Foundation had spent more than $50 million on travel expenses since 2003. Think about that: $50 million! That would cover a lot of the globe-trotting for which the Clintons are famous.

Presumably when Bill rode the Lolita Express, the bills were paid by his convicted sex offender pal Jeffrey Epstein. But who knows what discreditable episodes may have been funded by the Clinton Foundation and its overseas donors, if any journalist took the trouble to check?

The Clintons’ problem is that they are, in fact, greedy. They are bound together by their lust for money. It isn’t a stretch for the average voter to understand that when Hillary extracts $300,000 per speech from public institutions–a laundered campaign contribution that would otherwise be illegal–and the family foundation rakes in millions from foreign governments while Hillary serves as Secretary of State, the Clintons are more interested in cashing on on their position and their notoriety than in serving the American people. You could compare them to the Kardashians, except that the Kardashians don’t pretend to be pursuing some higher goal.

Poll: 54% of Republicans say that, "deep down," Obama is a Muslim

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/25/8108005/obama-muslim-poll ^ 

Over half of Republicans answered "Muslim" when asked which religion describes President Obama's "deep down" beliefs, according to a newly released poll by Alex Theodoridis of the University of California at Merced.
Theodoridis, who released the results on Wednesday on the Washington Post political science blog Monkey Cage, asked Americans this question: "Which of these do you think most likely describes what Obama believes deep down? Muslim, Christian, atheist, spiritual, or I don't know." The poll was conducted in the fall of 2014.
(Excerpt) Read more at vox.com ...

Millions spent illegally on Obama amnesty plan; so who is going to prison?

The Washington Times ^ | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | By Ernest Istook 

Some bureaucrats could end up in prison for implementing President Obama’s amnesty plan for illegal aliens. Even if they don’t violate the brand-new court injunction, they are accountable under a special federal statute.
It’s illegal to spend federal money on purposes never approved by Congress. Yet Mr. Obama has bureaucrats going full-speed ahead to create the mechanism that would process amnesty for millions, even while a court injunction requires that actual processing cannot yet begin.
Preparations are proceeding “full-throttle,” according to Judicial Watch, which works to make government accountable. The group has uncovered details about some of the tens of millions of dollars already being spent to launch Mr. Obama’s amnesty plan and called for a full investigation. Billions more in tax dollars are also on the line.
However, there is personal risk for all who do Mr. Obama’s bidding rather than obey the laws that govern federal payments.
Each person who violates what’s called the Anti-Deficiency Act (31 U.S. Code Sec. 1341) could be fined $5,000, sent to prison for two years, lose their job, or all of these. That law makes no exceptions for those who claim they merely obeyed orders from superiors, including the president.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Morale Down

1rvqf7.jpg

Brain-Dead Liberal

qsFOXuK.jpg

You're too stupid!

2q34vaa.jpg

LYING DOGS!

KYVoKCA.jpg

Here we go again!

Clintons-Again-NRD-600.jpg

Training!

aqF1a9m.png

I Love You...but!

Love-America-600-LI.jpg

Seems Reasonable?

aw2o7AN.jpg

College Degree Debate

B-GboT9CcAEY7Rd.png

Net Neutrality

4gpxts.gif

Poverty

1zxximo.jpg

Magic Trees

magic-trees.jpg

Getting a head!

160283_600.jpg

Cause and Effect

isSumFs.jpg

Jobs for ISIS

160275_600.jpg

HARF

e93OX82.jpg

Obama's Plan

YfDGHLk.jpg

Warn him?

Facepalm-NRD-600.jpg

He had a job!

unCUkaZ.png