Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gas Prices Set Record, Media Remain Silent

ZeroHedge is reporting that average gas prices have quietly set a record high for the 3rd week of August. With just 2 1/2 months before the presidential election, the MSM is remaining mum on the subject. Because the MSM hasn't mentioned the record, the Drudge Report hasn't said anything about it, so conservatives don't realize that they have a new fact with which to use against Obama. Leave it to "kooky" libertarians to enlighten everyone.

Gas Prices Set Record, Media Remain Silent

Friday, August 24, 2012

UPDATE: Drudge Report Picks Up Committed Marine Story, Soldier Released

UPDATE: Drudge Report Picks Up Committed Marine Story, Soldier Released
Conservative media behemoth Drudge Report picked up the Brandon Raub story a couple of days ago (full disclosure: I plugged my blog by sending them a tip), and, under intense public pressure, a federal drudge has ordered the immediate release of the Marine from a VA psychiatric ward. A win for civil libertarians! This is precisely why the Feds want to stifle free speech on the web via the NDAA, CISPA, etc.

Romney Would Definitely Boot Bernanke AND GOP Backs Gold Standard?

Romney Definitely Would Boot Bernanke AND GOP Backs Gold Standard?
After outrage over Romney's top economic adviser Glenn Hubbard's statement that he would likely advise a President Romney to keep Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman, the presumed GOP candidate told Fox Business that he would select a "new person to that chairman position". Romney doesn't exactly have the best track record of standing firm on an issue, but It would be very difficult for him to backtrack after such a statement.

And there's more encouraging news: Drafts of the party platform to be adopted at the Republican National Convention call for an audit of the Fed and a study of a possible return to the gold standard. Is this too good to be true? A return to the gold standard would 1) make it impossible for the Fed to blow bubbles, which would greatly reduce the possibility of future economic depressions, and 2) limit future inflation. The only caveat: it would also severely limit the amount politicians can deficit spend. Is the GOP willing to abandon deficit spending? 

Stay tuned to see if these two extremely important positions make it to the final draft.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CBO Gives Most Dire Warning Yet About Taxmageddon

CBO Gives Most Dire Warning Yet About Taxmageddon
The CBO expanded its forecast for "Taxmageddon", a doomsday scenario that could take place during Q1 2013 if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire AND automatic spending cuts are triggered if Congress can't agree on ways to cut the deficit. The office now sees the economy contracting by nearly 3% in the first half of 2013 and the U-3 unemployment rate rising to 9.1%, which would likely mean the official U-6 rate rising to 18% and the true U-6 rate rising to 20%. Job losses would total more than 2 million. With 4 months left of the clock and the entire House up for election in 3--not to mention a presidential election--, there's no indication of either party making concessions on either the tax cuts or the spending cuts.


Romney's Top Economic Adviser Wants Another Term For His *Friend* Bernanke

Romney's Top Economic Adviser Wants Another Term For His *Friend* BernankeRomney may have gone on record saying he would consider replacing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, but the person who would actually make economic policy decisions, his top econ adviser, Glenn Hubbard, would keep the chief money printer behind the press. Hubbard told Reuters TV today that Bernanke should "get every consideration" to stay on beyond January 2014, when the chairman's current term expires:
Ben is a model technocrat. He gets paid nothing for getting kicked around all the time. I think they ought to pat him on the back.

Marine Veteran *Arrested* For Political Rants On Facebook

Marine Veteran *Arrested* For Political Rants On Facebook
Constitution? What's that? A Marine veteran and Ron Paul supporter was arrested on Aug. 18 after refusing to be committed to a psychiatric ward for posting a series of political rants on Facebook. Richmond, VA resident Brandon Raub was handcuffed and extracted from his home by local police accompanying DHS and FBI agents, but was later charged with resisting arrest when he refused to comply. (Lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.) Raub had been indefinitely committed at a civilian hospital, but has since been transferred to a VA mental health facility. Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal has been posting developments on this story, and Raub's attorneys, who are representing the young man on behalf of the Rutherford Institute, have issued a statement:
The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a former Marine, 26-year-old Brandon Raub, who was arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page. Although the FBI and Chesterfield County police have not charged Brandon Raub, a resident of Chesterfield County, Va., with committing any crime, they arrested Raub on Thursday, August 16, 2012, and transported him to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook (FB) posts were controversial and “terrorist in nature.” In a hearing held at the hospital, government officials disregarded Raub’s explanation that the Facebook posts were being interpreted out of context, sentencing him up to 30 days’ further confinement in a VA psych ward. In coming to Raub’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging Raub’s arrest and forcible detention, as well as the government’s overt Facebook surveillance and violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights.

 “For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”

Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained by FBI agents and police officers at his home in Chesterfield County based upon the nature of content posted to his Facebook page in recent months. Like many Facebook users, Raub uses his FB page to post songs lyrics and air his political opinions, as well as engage in virtual online games with other users. On Thursday, August 16, police and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. They did not provide Raub with a search warrant. Raub was cooperative and agreed to speak with them. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials then handcuffed Raub and transported him first to the police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will. Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube. Law enforcement officials have stated in press reports that Raub was not arrested. However, as attorney John Whitehead points out, if the police have put handcuffs on you and you’re being held against your will, that qualifies as an arrest. In a hearing before a judge on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration. Ignoring Raub’s explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorney’s First Amendment defense, the judge agreed that Raub should be incarcerated at a VA hospital for up to 30 more days. Rutherford Institute attorneys are working to challenge Raub’s detention and the highly unconstitutional nature of the government’s actions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Timetable Of Obamacare’s 18 Economy-Suffocating Tax Hikes

When Obamacare was still a bill, Nancy Pelosi told us the behemoth legislation would "not add one dime to the deficit", and Congress had to "pass the bill to find out what is in it". As it turns out, there were 18 different tax hikes in the the bill to bleed the private sector and reduce federal revenue growth by suffocating economic expansion. The following timetable from the Heritage Foundation's blog shows that the productive economy, which has been languishing since it was beaten down in 2008, will be hit with nearly $700 billion in new taxes over the next 2.5 years. Then, in 2018, it will be hit with another $111 billion.

Timetable Of Obamacare’s 18 Economy-Suffocating Tax Hikes

Monday, August 20, 2012

Velocity, A Good Indicator Of Economic Health, Lower Than Great Depression

The velocity of money, the number of times a dollar is exchanged, isn't a perfect indicator of economic health, as it sometimes correlates with inflation. But it is a good one. You see, in a booming economy, a dollar is exchanged frequently. In a economic depression, a dollar is exchanged infrequently. Thus, it would be of great concern if velocity dropped to Great Depression levels. Well, velocity never stopped declining since the beginning of the Great Recession, and it recently dropped lower than its lowest point during the Great Depression.

Velocity, A Good Indicator Of Economic Health, Lower Than Great Depression

WW II: 44 Months. Iraq: 130 Months And Counting.

WW II: 44 Months. Iraq: 130 Months And Counting.
Bottom 3: military victories. Top 3: military quagmires. God bless neoconservatism.