Bull Market in Gold Far From Over:
New Commodity Report by Top Financial Newsletter, Profit Confidential
If China is to back its currency, the yuan, it won't use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to do it, but rather gold bullion, according to Michael Lombardi, lead contributor to Profit Confidential.
New York, NY (PRWEB) May 07, 2012
If China is to back its currency, the yuan, it won't use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to do it, but rather gold bullion, according to Michael Lombardi, lead contributor to Profit Confidential.
Lombardi calculates that the demise of the gold bullion market is greatly exaggerated, as the demand for physical gold by China and other large investors will continue for some time.
Demand for Gold ETF's falling, not Gold bullion
NEW YORK(Commodity Online): The demand for gold ETF is falling while serious gold bullion investors look for physical gold coins and gold bullion, says Michael Lombardi, leading contributor for financial newsletter Profit Confidential.
Lombardi investigated the notion that the demand for gold bullion has fallen. "That statement is false," says Lombardi. "Demand for gold ETFs is clearly falling; however, the demand for actual physical gold coins and gold bullion has increased significantly."
In the article, 'Is the Bull Market in Gold Over?' Lombardi observes if China is back to Yuan, its currency, it won't use gold ETF's, but rather go for gold bullions..
Why Civilized People Buy Gold and Silver
BY RYAN JORDAN - FinancialSense.com
I often feel that just making lists of things helps to combat the misinformation all of us confront from those trying to craft and abuse public opinion. Many are by now familiar with Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet's sidekick) and his comment that gold is not for "civilized" people. I want to list the reasons gold (and silver) are, in fact, for civilized people. Although it is hard to paint with a broad brush, many of us feel that the current financial system, epitomized by Wall Street, doesn't quite cut it at times when it comes to civility.
Warren Who? Gold Bugs Still Think They Have Right Idea
By: Jeff Cox - CNBC.com
It's not everyday you can find people to take the opposite side of a trade from Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, but then gold is not your average trade.
Gold bugs are known as some of the most passionate investors, so not even high-level slams from the Oracle of Omaha and the founder of Microsoft can cool their fire.
"Absolutely I would take the other side of that trade," says Michael Pento, founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies in Holmdel, N.J. "The stock market has gone nowhere in nominal terms in 12 years. It makes sense as a default under the current conditions of negative real interest rates to own something that keeps you afloat, that preserves your purchasing power."
The Munger Games
Editorial of The New York Sun
One would think that a man as wealthy, as smart, and as old as Charles Munger would have known better than to suggest that people who buy gold are uncivilized. "Gold is a great thing to sew into your garments if you're a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939," Mr. Munger told Rebecca Quick of CNBC, "but I think civilized people don't buy gold, they invest in productive businesses." The fact is that people who bought gold a decade ago were far better positioned than those who put their money in Mr. Munger's company, Berkshire Hathaway. For the value of a share of Berkshire Hathaway has collapsed over the past decade to barely more than 74 ounces of gold from the 238 ounces it was worth a decade ago.
Russia to sell 50% less Palladium in 2012
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Russian Palladium sales are expected to drop by 50% this year, says Thomson Reuters GFMS. Russia is the largest Palladium supplier in the world with almost half of the world's supply in the soviet nation.
In a Presentation in London, Bloomberg quotes GFMS' Philip Klapwijk as stating that Russian sales of palladium from its inventories could drop to 400,000 ounces in 2012 compared to 800,000 ounces in 2011. The total global palladium stockpiles in the world currently comes to 11.5 million ounces, he added.
The Federal Reserve Turns Left
William Greider - TheNation.com [progressive/liberal source]
Washington is lost in a snarl of confusion, cowardice and wrongheaded ideological assumptions that threaten to keep the economy in a ditch for a long time. That prospect is not much discussed in the halls of Congress or the White House. It's as though the crisis has been put on hold until after the presidential election.
As almost everyone understands, nothing substantial will be accomplished this year. President Obama is campaigning on warmed-over optimism and paper-thin policy proposals. Republicans propose to make things worse by drastically shrinking government spending, when the opposite is needed to foster a real recovery. The president, like the GOP, embraces large-scale deficit reduction. In these circumstances, it's just as well that the two parties cannot reach agreement. After the election they may make a deal that splits the difference between bad and worse. In the worst case, they might inadvertently tip the economy back into recession.
Ron Paul Takes on the Federal Reserve … Again
By Tim Iacono - IaconoResearch.com
From MarketWatch comes this report about Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who, fresh off of a Bloomberg debate with Paul Krugman and a scathing op-ed on central bankers in the Financial Times, will host a gathering of elected officials in Washington next week to debate the future of the Federal Reserve, that is, if it has one.
Among other things, they'll be discussing Paul's Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act which, from the sound of the title, you'd think they should consider first as it may save the committee a whole bunch of time debating various measures aimed at reforming the Fed.
Study exonerates Federal Reserve's crisis-era bailouts
By Jonathan Spicer
(Reuters) - A study by economists at one of the regional Federal Reserve banks has found that the U.S. central bank didn't break any laws in its handling of the 2007-09 U.S. financial crisis, and that, in fact, it handled that crisis better than the savings and loan collapse of the 1980s.
The Federal Reserve had attracted scorn when it loaned hundreds of billions of dollars to troubled banks during the 2007-09 crisis, with some critics suggesting the bailout broke the law.
The Emperor is Naked: David Stockman Interview
The Gold Report: David, you have talked and written about the effect of government-funded, debt-fueled spending on the stock market. What will be the real impact of quantitative easing?
David Stockman: We are in the last innings of a very bad ball game. We are coping with the crash of a 30-year–long debt super-cycle and the aftermath of an unsustainable bubble.
Quantitative easing is making it worse by facilitating more public-sector borrowing and preventing debt liquidation in the private sector—both erroneous steps in my view. The federal government is not getting its financial house in order. We are on the edge of a crisis in the bond markets. It has already happened in Europe and will be coming to our neighborhood soon.
The Fraud & Theft Will Continue Until Morale Improves
BY JAMES QUINN - FinancialSense.com
The BEA reported the latest figures for personal income, personal consumption expenditures and the savings rate last week. The government mouthpieces in the mainstream media obediently reported that personal income and expenditures reached an all-time high in March. The chart below shows the ever increasing level of expenditures by consumers since this supposed economic recovery began in the 4th quarter of 2009. All good Keynesian economists know that consumer spending is always good for America, no matter how it is achieved. We must be in a recovery if income and spending are reaching new highs, right? That is the fraudulent storyline being propagandized to the non-questioning lapdog public. A false storyline and data that has been massaged harder than a Secret Service agent by a Columbian hooker will not lead to a happy ending. Some critical thinking, a calculator, and some common sense reveal the depth of the fraud and expose the theft being committed by the avaricious governing elite at the expense of the prudent working middle class.
The Treasury Bubble in One Graph
Playing dice with the devil
By John Aziz - ZeroHedge.com
What are the classic signs of an asset bubble? People piling into an asset class to such an extent that it becomes unprofitable to do so.
Treasury bonds are so overbought that they are now producing negative real yields (yield minus inflation): [see chart]
That's right, after taking into account inflation, many investors in treasuries are standing over a drain and pouring their money down it.
And so America's creditors are now getting slapped quite heavily in the mouth by the Fed's easy money inflationist policies.
No Recovery: This is Just the Eye of the Storm
In a nutshell, the U.S. economy remains weak
By Craig Steiner - Townhall.com
Over the last six months the economy, our debt problem, and the problems in Europe have largely taken a backseat to the presidential race. Though things have often appeared calm, the truth is that nothing has changed.
Greece is still in trouble, as is Europe. Our debt situation has been ignored for yet another year. The Federal Reserve is still standing by with QE3. And our fiscal trajectory is still on a course for economic collapse.
It's Official: Economy Heading Down
By Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com
There has been so much bad economic news out, recently, I do not see how anyone with half a frontal lobe could say the economy is not in trouble. Friday, new unemployment figures were announced, and a weak 119,000 jobs were created. The rate fell to 8.1%, but only because more discouraged workers stopped looking for work and disappeared from the government's data base. In Friday's report, economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com summed it all up by saying, "The headline U.3 unemployment rate dropped a statistically insignificant notch to 8.1% in April, from 8.2% in March, but the "good" news was anything but good. The declining pace of headline unemployment reflected an accelerating increase in the number of the headline unemployed giving up looking for work, because there were no jobs to be had. . . . The SGS-Alternate Unemployment Measure, accordingly, notched higher in April to 22.3%, from 22.2% in March." (Click here to go to the free section of Shawowstats.com.) So, unemployment in the real world actually went up—not down. According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned job cuts rose 7.1% in April, and more than 40,000 more workers are going to be laid off.
The Governments They Deserve
By ROSS KAMINSKY - The American Spectator.org
On Sunday, elections were held in France and in Greece. And although the French, who have a large economy, elected a Socialist, the real -- and most dangerous -- news of the day came from the Greek election in which voters gave strong support, though not a majority, to parties of the extreme left and extreme right, at the expense of the long-ruling parties which had supported recent austerity measures and other efforts to get international bailouts.
The Greek election could be deeply unstabilizing for Europe, not because Greece is in itself a big economic problem for those outside of Greece, even if it defaulted on its debt. Instead, the problem is that it will harm the courage of other nation's leaders -- such as in Portugal, Spain, and Ireland -- to make the difficult decisions necessary to get their budgets under control.
Spain moves reluctantly to save major bank
By Katell Abiven | AFP - CA.News.Yahoo.com
Spain will swoop in with public money this week to clean up huge bad loans at the nation's fourth-biggest listed bank, Bankia, the government said Monday.
As news emerged of the impending rescue of Bankia, created in 2010 from a merger of seven savings banks, its executive chairman Rodrigo Rato announced his resignation.
Voter Anger Sweeps Europe
Sarkozy Out as Socialist Hollande Wins France
By DAVID GAUTHIER-VILLARS - WSJ.com
PARIS—French voters elected Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as president Sunday, choosing a national leader who has pledged to shift the burden of economic hardship onto the rich and to resolve the protracted euro sovereign-debt crisis by softening the current prescription of austerity.
With his victory over conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the second and final round of voting, Mr. Hollande—France's first Socialist president in 17 years—won a mandate to challenge German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has imposed spending cuts as the main remedy to repair the public finances of heavily indebted European countries.
Europe's Right in Disarray
Nicolas Sarkozy's demise is the least of its problems.
By SAMUEL GREGG - The American Spectator.org
Much can change in five years. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, a man who forged his reputation as a dynamic no-nonsense Interior Minister, was viewed by many as France's best chance in a generation to break away from the country's hyper-interventionist economic policies and the left's suffocating monopoly of French cultural life. Now, however, Sarkozy has been discarded by France's electorate in favor of one of the driest socialist career-politician apparatchiks ever to ascend to high office in Europe.
IS THIS THE END OF '1 EUROPE'?
continuing ascendancy of 'tribalism, radicalism and socialism'
By Pat Buchanan - WND.com
How Europe's crisis resolves itself as yet remains unknown.
But with Sunday's returns from France and Greece, the mega-trends on the Old Continent are unmistakable. And for the European Union, they are ominous.
Nationalism – be it economic nationalism or ethnic nationalism – is ascendant. Transnationalism and multiculturalism are in headlong if not irreversible retreat. The European project is itself imperiled.
The Resurgence of the European Left
Francois Hollande, who won the French presidential election this weekend, is part of a broader European movement against the EU and austerity.
By Heather Horn - TheAtlantic.com
On Sunday, French voters struck back at President Nicolas Sarkozy's "anglo-saxonisme" policies of British-style austerity and free-market economics by electing socialist François Hollande to replace him. Ironically, in doing so, they are following a similar political path as those Anglo-Saxons across the English Channel. Hollande's win is also part of a larger European revival of left-wing politics, a reaction against the European Union's struggles.
[Progressive] Bernie Sanders
Brings the Anti-Austerity Fight to America
John Nichols on TheNation.com
Bernie Sanders is as focused as any member of Congress could be on the struggles of the state he represents, and more generally on the challenges facing working people across the United States.
But that does not mean that the independent senator from Vermont fails to recognize when things are kicking up around the world—especially when those developments have meaning for the fights he is waging in Washington.
76 PROGRESSIVE Caucus Members in Congress
Lest we forget the progressives/socialists who represent' or 'oppose' your wishes in Congress.
European 'Austerity' Flames Out with Elections
By Rick Ackerman - ZeroHedge.com
Europe's doomed experiment with the politics of austerity went down in flames over the weekend as voters across the region veered sharply to the left in savaging incumbents. Elections in six European nations on Sunday promised to end any pretense of fiscal sanity. However, it remains to be seen how quickly and drastically the new leaders will act to further unbalance their nations' books, ostensibly in the name of economic growth. Whatever they decide, there's a Catch-22 that could make any promises of budget-busting relief for pensioners and public workers impossible to keep. Recall that even the socialists in Greece's parliament were forced to support austerity measures a few months ago, because without such measures the country would have been unable to borrow enough cash to meet payroll.
Francois Hollande has ten weeks to avert a French bond crisis
There will be no speculative attack against French bonds on Monday morning because François Hollande has been elected president, the first socialist to take the Élysée since the Mitterrand debacle of 1981.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The phantom army waiting to pounce is the cynical invention of the Sarkozy campaign. Any fears of a Leftist lurch have been in the price for weeks.
What is true is that the CAC-40 index of French stocks has underperformed Germany's DAX by 20pc since last August, an ominous divergence for two countries yoked so tightly together. The yield spread of German 10-year Bunds over French OAT bonds has jumped 90 basis points.
Greek, French voters reject German-led austerity
By Noah Barkin
(Reuters) - Greek voters dealt a serious blow on Sunday to the fragile political consensus that has kept Europe's currency bloc intact through more than two years of crisis, rejecting the austerity-for-aid policies that have shielded the country from bankruptcy and a euro exit.
Greece's vote, combined with the victory of Socialist Francois Hollande over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a French presidential election, will raise pressure on Europe's paymaster Germany to pursue a more growth-oriented approach to the crisis.
The Banks' Nightmare Is Coming True:
Greek Left Calls For Anti-Bailout Coalition
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
The only saving grace of the earlier horrendous Greek parliamentary vote was that, based on very preliminary results New Democracy and Pasok would be able to form a coalition government with precisely 151 seats needed in parliament to give them status quo powers. However, according to a more recent re-rack of the votes (New Democracy 18.9%, 108 seats, Pasok 13.4%, 41 seats, Syrizia: 16.6%, 51 seats, and all others), this assumption is now in jeopardy as the two pro-bailout parties will have just 149 seats in the new parliament, or not even a full majority. Why is this problematic? Because virtually every other party in the new parliament, and there may be up to 10 there including the New Dawn, have voiced their opposition to the bailout of Greece, which as everyone knows is merely a bailout of Europe's insolvent banks using Greek taxpayer funds as a conduit. And, adding insult to injury, Reuters now reports that "Greek leftist leader calls for anti-bailout coalition." It appears that finally, after many years of delays, the anti "bailout" genie is finally out of bottle...
Greek Leftist Comes Into His Own
By Matina Stevis - WSJ.com
Young and charismatic, Alexis Tsipras may be the man to watch on the Greek political scene.
The 37-year-old, who's an engineer by training, heads the Coalition of the Radical Left — or Syriza — an umbrella left-wing party that brings together various leftist strands ranging from Communist to Social-democrat and environmentalist groups.
His party has seen its polling figures rise in recent weeks, ahead of the May 6 elections. The last polls—before a two week blackout period imposed ahead of Sunday's vote–showed Syriza poised to become the third largest party for the first time in its history, garnering on average above 10% of the popular vote. If this materializes on Sunday, it will be a significant boost from the party's showing in the 2009 elections when it was fifth party with 4.6%.
Greece at new risk of being pushed off euro
By Michael Birnbaum - WashingtonPost.com
ATHENS — It took months for international finance officials to piece together a bailout that was acceptable to Greek leaders. But it took voters just 12 hours at the polls to deal it a hard blow, leaving Greece on Monday at renewed risk of being pushed off the euro currency once and for all.
Infuriated by demands for harsh spending cuts that could exacerbate a crippling recession,Greek voters on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected politicians who had supported the $171 billion bailout that is keeping the country from bankruptcy. After just hours of trying to form a coalition government Monday, Antonis Samaras, head of the top-vote-getting New Democracy party, gave up, giving an anti-bailout party a stab at it.
Germany's new strength has a foreign accent
Markets emerge for luxury goods
By Patrice Hill-The Washington Times
BERLIN — Germany has leveraged its economic strength to take the leading role in addressing Europe's debt crisis, but ironically it owes much of that success recently to the appeal of German products in emerging countries such as China and Russia — far outside its traditional markets in Europe.
German companies' unusual success in selling pricey, top-quality goods including luxury cars and new kitchens around the world has given citizens here rising confidence that their characteristic thrift, perfectionism and hard work can make their country a role model for the rest of Europe — and indeed the world — as governments from Athens to Washington struggle to get their fiscal houses in order.
Look Who's Pushing Homeowners Off the Foreclosure Cliff
By the Editors - Bloomberg.com
One of the more confounding aspects of the U.S. housing crisis has been the reluctance of lenders to do more to assist troubled borrowers. After all, when homes go into foreclosure, banks lose money.
Now it turns out some lenders haven't merely been unhelpful; their actions have pushed some borrowers over the foreclosure cliff. Lenders have been imposing exorbitant insurance policies on homeowners whose regular coverage lapses or is deemed insufficient. The policies, standard homeowner's insurance or extra coverage for wind damage, say, for Florida residents, typically cost five to 10 times what owners were previously paying, tipping many into foreclosure.
REO-to-Rental Pilot Details
Presented to Congressional Committee
FHFA plan to convert owned real estate (REO) to rental property; Sales targeted - not deeply discounted.
BY JANN SWANSON - MortgageNewsDaily.com
Members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises were told details Monday of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) plan to convert owned real estate (REO) to rental property. Meg Burns, FHFA's Senior Associate Director for Housing and Regulatory Policy, told committee members that the program is aimed at some of the 180,000 REO properties owned by the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Have Insurance Companies
Forgotten the Meaning of Insurance?
Liberty Mutual was born to protect ordinary workers. Today, by funneling money from regular families into the hands of executives, it has inverted its very reason to exist. Sadly, this case is not unique.
By Yoni Appelbaum - TheAtlantic.com
A hundred years ago, the factories and shop floors of the United States were home to appalling violence. Machines and tools severed digits, mangled limbs, and, with horrifying regularity, killed their operators. Under the liability laws of the day, only one victim in fifteen received reasonable compensation from his employers. That injustice exacerbated already tense labor relations. In Massachusetts, organized laborpressed hard to establish a new, state-sponsored mutual insurer; the Chamber of Commerce agreed. In 1911, the legislature overhauled workers' compensation, chartering the Massachusetts Employers Insurance Association to mitigate the hazards faced by ordinary workers.
* * * * * It's about TAXES, stupid! * * * * *
The Health-Care Mandate
Is Clearly a Tax—and Therefore Constitutional
The mandate fits the textbook definition of a tax: it raises revenue, serves the general welfare, and it is not a criminal penalty in disguise. So why won't Obama call it that?
By Jack M. Balkin - TheAtlantic.com
Throughout the constitutional debate over the Affordable Care Act, most observers have assumed that the key question would be whether the individual mandate is a proper exercise of Congress's powers to regulate interstate commerce. But there has always been a second argument, largely neglected -- Congress has the power to pass the individual mandate as a tax. And that argument offers an easy way to uphold the Affordable Care Act without delving into the metaphysics of broccoli.
In fact, the individual mandate is a tax. The mandate is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code, and it is calculated based on a percentage of adjusted gross income or a fixed amount, whichever is larger. Starting in 2014, it will be collected on your form 1040 just like your other taxes.
Romney Support Among Senior Citizens
Transcends Medicare Stance
By John McCormick - Bloomberg.com
The master-gardener meeting, the bridge tournament, and a heated match of seven-card draw poker leave little time for politics at the Via Linda senior citizens' center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Yet ask about President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and it doesn't take long to determine the preferred candidate.
"He has some very socialistic leanings and believes in big government," Lu Ittner, 86, a retired surgical nurse, said of Obama. "He is destroying our economy with his policies."
Romney rejects Ron Paul-style austerity
By Seth McLaughlin - WashingtonTimes.com
You can almost hear the collective gasp from Ron Paul's loyal band of supporters.
Speaking Monday at a town hall style-meeting event in Cleveland, presumptive GOP presidential Mitt Romney plunged a fork into the idea that he could come around to embracing Mr. Paul's call for deep cuts in federal spending.
"My job is to get America back on track to have a balanced budget. Now I'm not going to cut $1 trillion in the first year," he said, distancing himself from Mr. Paul's plan to slice more than a quarter of the estimated $3.8 trillion being spent by the the federal government.
Keynes' Legacy: 24% Unemployment
BY NED W SCHMIDT CFA - FinancialSense.com
In "'Lost generation' to suffer years of unemployment", Financial Times, 3 May, the legacy of Keynes was summed up by comments on Spanish youth, "More than half of those under 25 are without work and face a bleak future. . ."
Some may never have a future after the Keynesian led collapse of their economy. Per that article Spanish unemployment is 24.1%. Greece is much better, only 21.7%. After decades of Keynesian debt financed consumption the verdict is in on Keynesianism. It is a complete and total failure!
A welcome-home gift for veterans: Jobs
Keeping Veterans off the unemployment rolls
By Mike Mullen and Steven A. Cohen - WashingtonPost.com
Adm. Mike Mullen served from 2007 to 2011 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Steven A. Cohen is founder of S.A.C. Capital Advisors. They are co-chairs of the Robin Hood Foundation's veterans advisory board.
Our nation is finally emerging from one of the worst recessions in American history, yet for our military veterans there is no recovery in sight. The nation's unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. But the unemployment rate of our youngest military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan hovers at a stunning 29 percent.
Consider that: Nearly one in three Americans who fought to defend us in distant lands cannot find a job here at home.
State bans bake sales...
State's junk food ban could take bite out of school fundraisers
By Laurel J. Sweet and Chris Cassidy - BostonHerald.com
Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.
At a minimum, the nosh clampdown targets so-called "competitive" foods — those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement. But state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.
Unemployment Rate in Europe Hits 15-year High:
Is this Where America Is Headed?
By Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential
The unemployment rate in the eurozone reached a 15-year high in March at 10.9%, up from the previous record set just a month earlier at 10.8% (source: The Guardian, May 2, 2012). This is the highest unemployment rate since the inception of the eurozone.
March 2012 marks the 11th month in a row that the unemployment rate has increased among the 17 nations that make up the eurozone.
THE CRUMBLING MORAL INFRASTRUCTURE
If 99% of us were like Occupy mobs,
we wouldn't have a country
By Thomas Sowell - WND.com
The "Occupy" movement, which the Obama administration and much of the media have embraced, has implications that reach far beyond the passing sensation it has created.
The unwillingness of authorities to put a stop to their organized disruptions of other people's lives, their trespassing, vandalism and violence is a de facto suspension, if not repeal, of the 14th Amendment's requirement that the government provide "equal protection of the laws" to all its citizens.
Social(ist) bleeding-heart progressive/liberal solutions;
let someone else pay...
End Student Debt!
Total debt now exceeds $1 trillion. We should write off existing debt and make public college free.
Social(ist) bleeding heart liberal solutions
The Editors - TheNation.com
The student loan crisis finally reached center stage in Washington after the House GOP budget called for letting interest rates double on government-subsidized loans (and for deep cuts in Pell grants and other student support). If it passes, students who borrow the maximum will end up paying as much as $1,000 a year in added interest. President Obama sensibly called for extending the lower rate, stumping at colleges and on talk-shows to enlist students and others in the cause.
Republican leaders quickly realized the perils of angering young voters. In another flip-flop, Mitt Romney decided to support extending the lower rate, while the House GOP passed an extension but taunted the president by stipulating that it be paid for with money taken from the preventive health fund created by the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats propose paying for it by closing a loophole that doctors, lawyers and small businesses use to avoid payroll taxes.
Soros' special interests... buying the election...
Liberals Steer Outside Money to Grass-Roots Organizing
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE - NYTimes.com
After months on the sidelines, major liberal donors including the financier George Soros are preparing to inject up to $100 million into independent groups to aid Democrats' chances this fall. But instead of going head to head with the conservative "super PACs" and outside groups that have flooded the presidential and Congressional campaigns with negative advertising, the donors are focusing on grass-roots organizing, voter registration and Democratic turnout.
White House Again Threatens SCOTUS on Obamacare
The Obama administration attempts to bully the Court with a brazen lie about Medicare.
By DAVID CATRON - The American Spectator.org
Last month, having watched in frustration as his Solicitor General got his clock cleaned during the Supreme Court's Obamacare hearings, the President made matters worse by publicly braying about how "unprecedented" it would be for an "unelected group of people" to overturn a law passed by a "strong majority" in Congress. This idiotic assertion provoked a tsunami of scorn from constitutional experts of all stripes, and angered the judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals so much that they humiliated the lawyers of the Justice Department by giving them a homework assignment on judicial review. If, however, you thought that embarrassing episode was enough to stop the Obama administration from trying to bully the Court, you were mistaken.
Colorado civil unions bill
gains more Republican support, will clear final committee
By Lynn Bartels - The Denver Post
An Evergreen Republican says she will vote for a civil unions bill next week when it gets to her committee, paving the way for it to be heard by the entire House.
Rep. Cheri Gerou said she committed at the start of the session to supporting Senate Bill 2, which allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
Two House committees, Judiciary and Finance, this week voted for the measure, each time with a lone Republican joining Democrats in support.
Republican to revive lightbulb war
By Andrew Restuccia - TheHill.com
A House Republican is planning in the coming weeks to revive the GOP offensive against federal lightbulb efficiency standards.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) will offer an amendment to Energy Department spending legislation that would block funding for implementation of the standards, the lawmaker's office told The Hill. The standards have come under fire from conservatives in recent years.
Republicans won the inclusion of a similar provision in an omnibus spending compromise that House and Senate lawmakers agreed to in December. The provision blocked funding for implementation of the law for fiscal year 2012. Burgess' amendment would apply to fiscal year 2013.
Web War II: What a future cyberwar will look like
By Michael Gallagher - BBC World Service
How might the blitzkrieg of the future arrive? By air strike? An invading army? In a terrorist's suitcase? In fact it could be coming down the line to a computer near you.
Operation Locked Shields, an international military exercise held last month, was not exactly your usual game of soldiers. It involves no loud bangs or bullets, no tanks, aircraft or camouflage face-paint. Its troops rarely even left their control room, deep within a high security military base in Estonia.
These people represent a new kind of combatant - the cyber warrior.
Survivor of Tucson shooting rampage
presses Issa for stronger gun laws
By Jordy Yager - TheHill.com
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is getting pressured by a survivor of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting to strengthen the country's gun laws.
A survivor of the shooting that wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed six others, wrote Issa a letter pressing him to devote his powerful committee resources towards revamping firearms statutes when he is done investigating a botched gun-tracking operation, known as "Fast and Furious."
New Threats for Old
BY JR NYQUIST - FinancialSense.com
Once upon a time the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation helped to maintain a certain focus. America and its European allies were supposedly upholding capitalism and freedom against Soviet Communism. Then the Soviet Union broke apart and we got our hands on the "peace dividend." Money could be diverted from weapons to social programs. The West was free to pursue its own socialism – leading to bankruptcy.
In 1990 a Soviet dissident named Sergei Grigoryants, who was twice imprisoned by the KGB, gave a speech in which he warned of the deceptive reality behind of the collapse of Communism. According to Grigoryants, "Perestroika was a giant project undertaken by the KGB and the Soviet leadership for over 15 years." Such a project, undertaken by a totalitarian power, could not result in something good. Real democracy was not a Communist goal. Instead, Grigoryants suggested, Russia would be treated to a new type of totalitarianism.
Muddle in the Middle Kingdom
By Sol Sanders - Special to The Washington Times
Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai represent the two poles of the Chinese political spectrum. Mr. Chen is a blind, self-taught lawyer and provincial activist for human rights who finds himself in a life-and-death struggle to reinterpret the system.Mr. Bo is a pampered scion of a famous Communist family, until recently a successful party apparatchik taking full advantage of systemic corruption but who is now facing censure.
Still, there are similarities between the two men. Both now likely face obscurity: Mr. Bo as a cashiered bureaucrat caught in the toils of his wife's "business" deals, which apparently included murdering a foreign businessman. Mr. Chen, by following dozens of other human rights heroes exiled to the West where, like them, he henceforth will exert little influence on events inside the Middle Kingdom.
In India, Hillary Clinton urges an end to oil imports from Iran
New Delhi must avoid the "devastating" effect of an Iranian atomic bomb on the world. During an official visit, the US secretary of state says India's slowness in reducing trade with Iran is unacceptable. Iran supplies 12 per cent of India's oil needs.
Kolkata (AsiaNews/Agencies) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India to do more to reduce Iranian oil imports, saying that it could be "devastating" for the world if Tehran developed a nuclear bomb. She arrived in Kolkata (West Bengal) yesterday on a three-day visit and in the capital New Delhi, where she spoke again about the embargo on Iranian oil.
Clinton hopes for deal over Iran and oil during India visit
US secretary of state aims to re-energise relations between Delhi and Washington which have cooled in recent times
By Jason Burke in Delhi - Guardian.co.uk
Hillary Clinton has arrived in India hoping to press the south Asian power to cut back its consumption of Iranian oil and to reinvigorate relations which, after many years of rapid improvement, have flagged.
Clinton arrived from Bangladesh where she spoke out in support of Mohamed Yunus, the founder of the microcredit pioneer Grameen Bank, who has been under pressure from the government.
She also called for the release of a senior opposition leader who is thought to be held by security services and for an investigation into the death of a trade unionist last month.
Al Qaeda Bomb Plot Against US-Bound Jet Reportedly Foiled
By MATT APUZZO - AP - HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned.
The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.
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