Gold rises as Congress passes budget deal
By Wallace Witkowski and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch.com
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold and other metals futures rose on Wednesday, as investors bought commodities and stocks after Congress passed budget legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
Gold for February delivery settled up $13, or 0.8%, at $1,688.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching an earlier session high of $1,695.40.
Ten Things You Should Know About the Cliff Deal (So Far)
By Paula Dwyer - Bloomberg.com
It was a nail-biter, but almost no one expected otherwise. Congress on Jan. 1 finally voted to avoid most of the $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that threatened to send theU.S. economy into the Dumpster. Technically, the U.S. went over the fiscal cliff. But, like in the Road Runner cartoons (an apt metaphor in more ways than one), lawmakers stopped the anvil from crushing us in mid fall.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly From The Fiscal Cliff Deal
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
The fiscal cliff deal contains more bad news than it does good news. Yes, the tax increases on the middle class could have been much worse, and we should be thankful that Congress at least did something for the middle class. Unfortunately, they didn't do enough. Every American worker is going to pay higher taxes next year as a result of this deal. The fiscal cliff deal represents the biggest tax increase in 20 years, and it is also projected to increase the U.S. national debt by an additional 4 trillion dollars over the next decade. In the final analysis, U.S. government finances are still wildly out of control and we are all going to be paying higher taxes. Not a whole lot to be excited about, and nothing has really been fixed for the long-term. Our politicians have kicked the can down the road once again, but someday they will run out of road and all of this debt will absolutely crush us. And of course a lot of our politicians didn't even really know what they were voting for. The fiscal cliff bill was more than 150 pages long, and our Senators got the bill into their hands just 3 minutes before they voted on it. So none of them actually read the bill. But that is the way things work in America today. The blind are leading the blind and everyone is mindlessly hoping that everything will turn out okay somehow.
Tax Cuts and Duplicity
The next Republican middle class tax cut is in the works,
come hell or high fiscal cliff.
By PETER FERRARA - Spectator.org
Neither President Obama nor any other Democrat ever proposed any middle class tax cut in the fiscal cliff negotiations. All that was ever discussed is continuation of the same middle class income tax rates that have been in effect for 12 years now.
Those income tax rates reflect a middle class tax cut that was adopted by a Republican Congress and a Republican President 12 years ago, which virtually all Congressional Democrats voted against at the time. That is why they are called the Bush tax cuts. President Obama told us when he was running s office that the Republicans only cut taxes for the rich. But now all we have heard is about how we can't let the Bush tax cuts for the middle class expire.
Small-Business Tax Incentives Survive the Deal
By ROBB MANDELBAUM - NYTimes.com
Most of the discussion about the last-minute legislation to avert sharp tax increases for 2013 has concentrated on the Bush tax cuts — their permanent extension for most Americans and their expiration for a very few. But the bill also renews dozens of other income-tax provisions for individuals and businesses through a series of provisions that the legislating class calls "extenders." And though advocates for small businesses were concerned that legislators might overlook their interests in the high-pressure negotiations, it turns out that their pessimism was unfounded. Nearly all of the most important provisions won a reprieve through at least this year. (It just goes to show that an old temporary tax credit almost never dies, it just becomes an extender.)
Congress Passes Cliff Deal
Hard-Fought Bill Averts Broad Tax Hikes,
Spending Cuts, but Puts Off Major Issues
By JANET HOOK, COREY BOLES and SIOBHAN HUGHES - WSJ.com
Congress broke a rancorous stalemate Tuesday to pass legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But the compromise bill, which blocked most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts largely by raising taxes on upper-income Americans, left a host of issues unresolved and guaranteed continued budget clashes between the parties.
U.S. stocks vaulted higher on the first day of the new year, joining a global equity rally after Congress's last-minute agreement on the deficit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 235 points, or 1.8%, to 13338, for a second consecutive day of triple-digit gains.
House Vote on Fiscal Cliff Bill
Breaks GOP 3-Day Pledge to Read the Bill
By Matt Cover - CNSNews.com
(CNSNews.com) – When the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a Senate bill to avoid the fiscal cliff around 10:45 PM on Tuesday, it violated its pledge to allow three days for the public to read the legislation, a promise House Republicans made to voters before the 2010 elections.
The House passed the bill with a vote of 257-167 in evening on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the Senate had drafted and passed the bill close to 2:00 AM Tuesday morning.
Fiscal Cliff Deal Averts the Crisis… But Now What?
BY KEITH FITZ-GERALD - MoneyMorning.com
Here's the scoop on the fiscal cliff deal:
• The Bush-era income tax cuts become permanent for the majority of workers while they expire for so-called "top" earners. The break is at $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. That's approximately double Obama's campaign level and 80% more than his preferred "married couples rate" according to various sources. Dividend tax rates and capital gains rates for top earners will rise to 23.8% while personal exemptions and itemized deductions that are presently in force expire for individuals earning more than $250,000 and married couples earning more than $300,000. The alternative minimum tax is now fixed to avoid snagging still more middle class households.
• Expanded unemployment benefits will continue.
• Automatic spending cuts are deferred for two months.
• A two percent payroll tax cut expires.
• Estate taxes will get an inflation indexed exemption of $5 million or more and taxes will top out at 40%.
3 Budget Battles Ahead for White House, Congress
Liked the fiscal cliff? You'll love these coming attractions
By Robert Schroeder - MarketWatch.com
So, the fiscal cliff brawl is finished. Washington is breathing easy, right?
Wrong. Three more budget-related battles are looming just over the horizon, meaning lawmakers and the White House – not to mention the markets — are already buckling up for the next bumpy ride.
First off, the U.S. debt ceiling. The government reached its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit on Monday, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has begun taking what he calls extraordinary measures to delay further borrowing. But he can only do that until late February or early March.
The Winners and Losers in the Fiscal-Cliff Deal
Surprise! The rich and the elderly win again.
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to undo the majority of the so-called "fiscal cliff" by extending most of the Bush tax cuts while levying Clinton-era rates on households with more than $450,000 in income. The sequester cuts agreed to as part of the 2011 deal on the debt ceiling will be delayed for two months and perhaps ultimately replaced by some other package. But the details packed into this deal reveal the real winners and losers:
Rich people: Raising the threshold for higher taxes from $250,000 to $450,000 is a big tax cut for all kinds of rich people, not just those with adjusted gross incomes between the two figures. That's because taxes are assessed on marginal income, meaning that even if you make $600,000 or even $1 million a year you still have a very large share of your income that's taxed at a lower rate thanks to this deal.
How will economic history judge Bernanke?
James Pethokoukis - AEI
Odds are Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke almost certainly won't seek to be appointed to another four-year term in 2014. So 2013 represents his final lap around the track.
How will economic historians judge his tenure running the central bank? To some degree that verdict depends on whether the Fed can exit its low-interest rate policy and reduce its ginormous balance sheet in a way that prevents rising inflation or a sharp economic slowdown.
Congressmen Confirm That Boehner
Will Either Resign Speakership Or Be Forced Out
By Ron Meyer - CNSNews.com
I have confirmed with a group of Congressmen that House Speaker John Boehner will not be reelected Speaker tomorrow.
He will either resign or be forced out tomorrow.
ENOUGH REPUBLICANS WILLING TO UNSEAT SPEAKER BOEHNER
by MATTHEW BOYLE - Breitbart.com
American Majority Action spokesman Ron Meyer told Breitbart News late Tuesday that enough House Republicans have banded together in an effort to unseat House Speaker John Boehner from his position--they just need a leader to take up the mantle.
"At least 20 House Republican members have gotten together, discussed this and want to unseat Speaker Boehner--and are willing to do what it takes to do it," Meyer said. "That's more than enough to get the job done, but the one problem these guys face is they need a leader to coalesce behind."
Despite 'Cliff' Deal's Cuts, Your Taxes Are Going Up
AP - CNBC.com
While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.
That's because the legislation did nothing to prevent a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. In 2012, that 2-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year.
The Fiscal Cliff Deal: It's Better Than It Looks
By E.J. Dionne, Jr. - Truthdig.com
WASHINGTON—To be deemed a serious analyst at the moment seems to require a lot of hand-wringing and sneering over how awful Congress looked over the last few days as it rushed a fiscal cliff deal into law.
So permit me to burn my membership card in the League of Commentators and Pundits.
Of course, there was much wrong about how Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, dealt with the best-known deadline in recent political history. A better deal was available weeks ago. But in the end, some very important and positive things happened.
Dollar turns up on 'cliff' deal
By Deborah Levine and Michael Kitchen, MarketWatch.com
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The dollar turned up against the euro and stayed higher versus the Japanese yen on Wednesday after Congress passed a bill to avoid much of the fiscal-cliff tax increases and delayed spending cuts threatening U.S. economic growth.
The dollar moved much lower in Asian and European trading after U.S. lawmakers passed a bipartisan deal to stave off tax increases for most Americans, which sent equities up sharply.
Congress Deal Averting Tax Increase Curbs Risk to States
By William Selway - Bloomberg.com
The agreement passed by Congress to keep taxes from increasing on most U.S. workers in 2013 eases a threat to states and cities only now emerging from the fiscal crisis brought on by the eighteen-month recession.
A day after the income-tax rate increases kicked in, the House of Representatives approved a Senate bill to block higher levies on everyone earning less than $400,000 and delay automatic budget cuts. State and local government officials had said inaction would deal a setback to the economy, hammering revenue and undermining a newfound financial stability.
Bipartisan House Backs Tax Deal Vote as Next Fight Looms
By Richard Rubin, Roxana Tiron & James Rowley - Bloomberg.com
The U.S. House passed a bill undoing income tax increases for more than 99 percent of households, giving a victory to President Barack Obama even as Republicans vowed to fight him in coming weeks for spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
The 257-167 vote just after 11 p.m. yesterday capped a tension-filled final push as Republicans balked at a bipartisan Senate bill. House Speaker John Boehner ordered a vote even though 151 of 236 Republicans, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, ultimately voted no. Obama said he'd sign it into law.
Why the Obama Tax Hikes Have Only Just Begun
By James Pethokoukis, AEI
When an economy is booming and jobs are plentiful, a "do no harm" approach to public policy will suffice. If GDP were expanding at a 4% annual rate, the unemployment rate were at 5%, and the national debt were low, then the fiscal cliff deal might be tolerable rather than terrible. While it won't create any jobs or add to growth — just the opposite in fact — and it will only cut the national debt by a rounding-error amount, passage does avoid an across-the-board income tax hike and probable recession.
So that's something. But good enough? Not really. Avoiding major unforced errors is necessary but insufficient when you're way behind in the game.
Academic Economists React: Shortfalls of Fiscal Cliff Deal
By Phil Izzo - WSJ.com
Economists from academia and think tanks weigh in on the deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
–The deal appears to offer no entitlement reforms, no tax reform, and higher marginal tax rates. After all the public discussion over the past couple years of what a good fiscal reform would like, it is hard to imagine a deal that would be less responsive to the ideas of bipartisan policy wonks. –Greg Mankiw, Harvard University
The Next Fiscal Cliff
Don't celebrate yet—
the next budget crisis is just two months away.
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
The fiscal cliff is dead—but the era of semi-permanent fiscal policy crisis is still with us. Indeed, if anything, the resolution of the cliff has simply served to set up a quantitatively smaller but qualitatively much more terrifying cliff two months from now. That's when the country once again reaches a crisis over the lapsing of the Treasury Department's authority to borrow money.
Lawmakers clash over federal debt ceiling
By Zachary A. Goldfarb - WashingtonPost.com
Only hours after Congress adopted a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts, lawmakers on Wednesday began to clash over the limit on federal borrowing, inaugurating the next phase of Washington's permanent fiscal war.
Republicans said they will press their demand that spending be reduced dramatically in exchange for allowing any more U.S. borrowing. But President Obama and top Democrats insisted that their goal of raising the $16.4 trillion federal debt ceiling is non-negotiable.
When the Deficit Will Be Fixed
By BRUCE BARTLETT - NYTimes.com
The Holy Grail for budget hawks is the "grand bargain" – some combination of tax increases and entitlement reforms that will get the deficit on a sustainable track, permanently. On paper, it always looks simple – relatively small adjustments to the growth path of revenues or big spending programs like Medicare or Social Security compound over time into big savings.
The problem, of course, is getting Congress to act, because of what economists call a time-inconsistency problem. The Congress that raises taxes and cuts benefits will suffer politically, while the benefits of lower deficits will accrue to future Congresses.
Moody's: More action needed to avoid credit rating downgrade
By Peter Schroeder - TheHill.com
Moody's Investors Service announced Thursday that a compromise to avoid the "fiscal cliff" is not enough to protect the nation's AAA rating, calling for further action from policymakers.
It said a deal over raising the debt limit, which could include new spending cuts, tax hikes and entitlement reforms, could determine whether the nation's credit rating is downgraded.
When Governing Means Lurching Between Phony Crises
By Clive Crook - Bloomberg.com
The vote last night in the House of Representatives brought to a close the latest Washington master class in dereliction of duty. After a few days of arguing about who won or lost, we can move on to the next manufactured crisis.
In itself, not much of a surprise, the fiscal-cliff deal avoids most of the tax increases and postpones almost all of the spending cuts that were about to be triggered. Throughout this farce, financial markets had refused to believe that the U.S. government would inflict a recession rather than strike a budget agreement, especially because they knew that, all posturing aside, the distance between the two parties was small. Markets wobbled but didn't collapse.
Despite Cliff Deal: 'Nothing Really Has Been Fixed'
AP - CNBC.com
An emergency deal reached after weeks of rancorous negotiations will keep the U.S. from driving off the "fiscal cliff," but higher taxes and continued political bickering in Washington threaten to shake the fragile economy well into 2013.
A bill passed by Congress late Tuesday averts widespread tax increases and delays spending cuts that had threatened to take a bite out of the economy.
Cliff Resolved - Deficit Set To Explode
BY LANCE ROBERTS - FinancialSense.com
In a stunning turn of events the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed the Senate's bill to raise taxes with no cuts to spending. In my post earlier today I detailed the various tax increases, and few spending cuts, that was passed by the Senate. I also stated that:
"There are two big issues with the current bill that will keep it from passing in the House without substantial amendments:
• The cuts to spending are too small ($15 billion) relative to $620 billion in tax hikes over the next decade, and;
• There are no measures to control future spending.
Panetta: 'Cloud of sequestration' remains
By Jeremy Herb - TheHill.com
Congress prevented the worst possible outcome for the Pentagon with its "fiscal cliff" deal by delaying across-the-board spending cuts, but the "cloud of sequestration remains," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
Panetta issued a statement Wednesday urging Congress to eliminate the threat of sequestration by passing balanced deficit reduction, after the fiscal-cliff deal delayed the across-the-board spending cuts to the Pentagon for two months.
U.S. economy to row against austerity tide in 2013
By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON | Wed Jan 2, 2013 4:52pm EST
(Reuters) - Washington has steered clear of severe austerity measures for now, reducing the risk ofrecession, but a clutch of U.S. tax hikes will nevertheless be a drag on economic growth this year.
The U.S. Congress approved a deal late on Tuesday to scale back some $600 billion in scheduled tax hikes and government spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."
Europe's Next Great Mistake
by Harold James - Project-Syndcate.org
PRINCETON – In constructing Europe's monetary union, political leaders did not think through all of the implications, which led to major design flaws. Worse, they do not appear to have learned from that experience, for they are about to take the same approach to the monetary union's political analogue.
The logic of the financial crisis is driving Europeans toward greater integration, which implies new mechanisms for political expression. Well before the crisis, the European Union was widely perceived to be suffering from a "democratic deficit." Now, with many Europeans blaming the EU for painful austerity measures, that complaint has grown more powerful – and Europe's political leaders believe that they must act now to address it.
The Dangerous Blindspots of Clueless Keynesians
BY CHARLES HUGH SMITH - FinancialSense.com
The Keynesian model is a Cargo Cult, mired in a distant, romanticized past where Central Planning, intervention and manipulation were solutions rather than the root of the economy's fatal disease.
If we want to trace today's policy failures back to the source, we find ourselves at Richard Nixon's famous statement that "We are all Keynesians now." The fundamental Keynesian project is that the Central State and Central Bank should manage market forces whenever the market turns down.
IRS Looks to Force Obamacare on Employers Who Cut Staff
Employers Must Offer Family Care, Affordable or Not
By ROBERT PEAR - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — In a long-awaited interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to any penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers.
The requirement for employers to provide health benefits to employees is a cornerstone of the new law, but the new rules proposed by the Internal Revenue Service said that employers' obligation was to provide affordable insurance to cover their full-time employees. The rules offer no guarantee of affordable insurance for a worker's children or spouse. To avoid a possible tax penalty, the government said, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer affordable coverage to those employees. But, it said, the meaning of "affordable" depends entirely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for "self-only coverage."
The fiscal cliff cuts $1.9 billion from Obamacare. Here's how.
by Sarah Kliff - WashingtonPost.com
The fiscal cliff deal is, obviously, mostly about preventing the fiscal cliff and stopping a wave of huge spending cuts. At the same time, legislators did find ways to make some relatively important health policy changes too. They include everything from raising Medicare doctor's pay, repealing a part of the Obamacare and cutting over a billion from the law's funding. Let's get right to it.
Obamacare loses $1.7 billion in funding.
50 Predictions For 2013
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Are you ready for a wild 2013? It should be a very interesting year. When the calendar flips over each January, lots of people make lots of lists. They make lists of "resolutions", but most people never follow through on them. They make lists of "predictions", but most of those predictions always seem to end up failing. Well, I have decided to put out my own list of predictions for 2013. I openly admit that I won't get all of these predictions right, and that is okay. Hopefully I will at least be more accurate than most of the other armchair prognosticators out there. It is important to look ahead and try to get a handle on what is coming, because I believe that the rest of this decade is going to be extraordinarily chaotic for the U.S. economy. The false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity that we are enjoying right now is not going to last much longer. When it comes to an end, the "adjustment" is going to be extremely painful. Those that understand what is happening and have prepared for it will have the best chance of surviving what is about to hit us. I honestly don't know what everybody else is going to do. Many of the people that don't see the coming collapse approaching will be totally blindsided by it and will totally give in to despair when they realize what has happened. But there is no excuse for not seeing what is coming - the signs are everywhere.
How the Fiscal-Cliff Deal Endangers U.S. Entitlements
Democrats maneuvered themselves into making the Bush tax cuts permanent, putting Medicare and Social Security at risk in the long run
By James Kwak - TheAtlantic.com
Decades from now, January 1, 2013 will be remembered sealed the fate of Medicare--as well as Medicaid, food stamps, and perhaps even Social Security.
The tax bill passed by Congress this weekend rolls back the Bush tax cuts for income above $450,000 for households but makes them permanent below that threshold. Somewhere, George W. Bush is smiling ... if he realizes that he won.
'Fiscal cliff' deal repeals part of 'Obamacare'
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
Tucked inside the "fiscal cliff" deal is a provision repealing the CLASS Act, a giant unfunded mandate that was part of President Obama's health care law.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and was designed to create a program for long-term care for the functionally disabled.
Budget Deal Will Push Up Unemployment
By: Peter Morici - CNBC.com
Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 155,000 jobs in December—substantially less than is needed to pull unemployment down to acceptable levels.
The tax and spending package passedby the Senate and House provides little prospects of improvement, as the U.S. economy continues to suffer from insufficient demand and will continue growing at a subpar 2 percent a year.
Civil servants put on paid administrative leave
can get stuck in an ill-defined limbo
By Lisa Rein - WashingtonPost.com
Paul Brachfeld, the inspector general for the National Archives, planned to ring in the new year with his wife with a relaxed visit to their vacation home near Bethany Beach, Del. In October, the couple took a cruise to Puerto Rico. Brachfeld runs every morning in Silver Spring, hikes with Spree, his Jack Russell terrier, in the woods most afternoons and catches up with his adult daughters in the evening. All while collecting his $186,000 government salary.
Missouri Company Wins Its Battle
Against Obama HHS Mandate
by Joe Ortwerth, Steven Ertelt - LifeNews.com
A second business owner in the state of Missouri has won its battle against the Obama HHS mandate as a federal court granted it a reprieve from the Obama Administration's contraceptive and abortion drug mandate.
The U.S. District Court for Western Missouri issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the law against American Pulverizer Company of St. Louis. The firm is owned by Paul and Henry Griesedieck and members of the family are pro-life Christians who don't want to be forced to pay for drugs for their employees that may cause abortions.
Fracking Activities Enter Urban Areas
By James Burgess - OilPrice.com
Fracking in many ways has been the saviour of the US. It has created a boom in natural gas production, and also allowed oil production to increase massively. As a result it is a fairly popular amongst the US population, especially those in areas which are benefitting the most such as Texas and North Dakota. However it will be interesting to see just how long that popularity lasts now that fracking activities are moving from remote countryside locations to urban areas, close to people's homes.
Colorado's gender-gap reversal defies 'war on women'
By Valerie Richardson-The Washington Times
DENVER — Colorado's Debbie Brown, a savvy former Republican campaign operative, made it her mission in 2012 to disarm the biggest guns in the Democrats' "war on women" strategy.
Even though President Obama won the state, Mrs. Brown's efforts made Colorado the only swing state where Republican challenger Mitt Romney reversed the gender gap and won more support from women than men — an effort Mrs. Brown said should be a template for Republicans in future elections.
Can the Bakken Reach 1 Million Barrels a Day?
BY KEITH SCHAEFER - FinancialSense.com
Can the Bakken produce one million barrels a day of oil?
If so, it would join an elite group of oil fields able to produce at that rate. Only six other fields, including Saudi Arabia's famed Ghawar field, have ever topped 1 million barrels per day–they are Burgan (Kuwait), Cantarell (Mexico), Daqing (China) and Samotlor (Russia) and Kirkuk (Iraq).
The Founding Fathers of Participatory Fascism
Mises Daily: by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
One of the themes of Murray Rothbard's writings on the nature of the state is that state power ultimately depends on the perpetuation of a body of beliefs and superstitions about the benevolence and necessity of the state, and the alleged evils of private property, free enterprise, individual liberty, and the civil society. Because the citizens always outnumber any ruling class by many orders of magnitude, they must somehow be made to acquiesce in the ruling class's plundering of their society in the name of "progress," "nationalism," "the greater good," "socialism," or whatever.
Beatings, imprisonment, torture, and mass murder are time-tested tools of the state, but they can be very costly and can instigate a revolution. Therefore, relentless propaganda is often relied upon instead to secure the power and privileges of the state and statists.
2013: The Tenther Movement Hits its Stride
by Michael Boldin - TenthAmendmentCenter.com
When Department of Justice attorney John Walsh recently referred to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State as attempts to nullify federal law – yes, he used the word nullify – I thought something amazing had just happened.
After 17 years of states resisting federal laws on weed, the DOJ is now recognizing these efforts for what they are. Nullification.
I wonder who's going to be next in DC. Maybe the Department of Homeland Security?
Email from JQ:
[excerpts: If you're concerned about what is happening in D.C. Then I would suggest you start building a fire under your State politicos… The States have the right to tell D.C. to take a flying leap... Congress has totally abandoned it's duty to reign in Executive Branch power grabs (on steroids) for over a decade. It will fall on the States to draw a line in the sand...]
The Federal Government is out of control. They have allowed us to fall into third world levels of corruption. Where our laws are selectively enforced, i.e. Naked Shorting, FraudClosure, SIV's / CDO's , High Frequency Trading, etc. We might as well be in England during the last days of the Roman Empire. The emperor has us over extended in every address space and he's writing checks that he can't cash. It will be up to the States to instill some sanity and justice to counter balance the madness that permeates D.C. May, I suggest that AZ study the feasibility of a AZ State Bank. N.D. appears to be doing very well. Plus, AZ should also be ready to stand by it's X Amendment rights in the event of more oligarchic Federal edicts... I'm sending a copy of this to everyone I know.
JQ [full name removed for privacy]
Cave Creek, AZ
Where's the outrage???
NEW YORK TIMES:
THROW OFF BONDAGE OF 'EVIL' CONSTITUTION
by KEN KLUKOWSKI - Breitbart.com
The biggest liberal newspaper in the country has printed a column from a top progressive scholar calling on the American people to ignore the Constitution with its "evil provisions," revealing the far-left agenda for what it is and making sense of several major actions of the Obama administration.
Those who love liberty and our Constitution need to speak up and be heard. The Constitution is the cornerstone of the United States of America as a nation. It holds us together, gives us our national identity, and is the surest safeguard against an all-powerful government.
FDR: Advice to Young Progressives
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
It is interesting to compare Franklin Roosevelt's advice to the Young Democrats of his day, to the actions and politicies of the present Democratic President.
"From the beginning, democracy has meant progress and its battle ever since Jefferson's time has been a steady conflict with the forces of reaction and special favors. Every time the policies involving greater opportunities for the common man have triumphed, our political enemies have sought to minimize those policies and to neutralize the decisions of the people. Today is no exception to that classical course of events.
TD Hale's Dreams Tell the Future of America
BY JAMES BAILEY - z3News.com
The following is a transcript of an interview with Pastor TD Hale fromCalvary Christian Center in Galipolis, Ohio. In the interview, Pastor Hale describes the details of two dreams that he received from the Lord. The first dream was on December 28, 2011. The second dream was the very next night.
TD Hale's NEW Interview with Rick Wiles - Jan 2, 2013
Global Crystal Ball:
What's Going to Happen Around the World in 2013?
Some appropriately less-than-confident conjecture
about what the new year might have in store
By Armin Rosen - TheAtlantic.com
If you want a sense of just how hopeless it is to attempt to forecast major international events, consider this February 4, 2011 news report of a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, where a high-ranking CIA official was asked about the Agency's anticipation of the uprising in Egypt, which had started just a few days earlier. From the report, it's unclear whether even the President of the United States understood the potential for Hosni Mubarak's ouster, even after massive popular protests had seized much of the country. Even the most earth-shattering global events are difficult and sometimes impossible for the ostensibly most well-informed of governments and organizations to anticipate--indeed, they are difficult to anticipateas they are happening.
HEZBOLLAH JOINING CARTELS IN MEXICO'S WAR
by BRANDON DARBY - Breitbart.com
The Mexican Drug War has killed an estimated 60,000 people since 2006, but the violence has stayed out of the minds of most US citizens. That is about to change as Islamic extremist groups setting up shop in Mexico.
The House Committee on Homeland Security released a November 2012 report that reveals Islamic terror organizations and networks are indeed exploiting profits from narcotics, and the ease of weapons attainment, and the vast technological abilities of Mexican and other southern cartels that are thriving in Mexico's lawlessness, along with other southern regions. The report, titled A Line In The Sand: Countering Crime, Violence, and Terror at the Southwest Border, details the growing involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in Mexico and other countries south of the southern US border.
Netanyahu the Palestinian
By Alex Joffe - Project-Syndicate.org
PHILADELPHIA – In January, Israeli voters will go to the polls for an election that promises to hand Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a renewed mandate. Few prospects are more loathsome to the Israeli left, US President Barack Obama's administration, most European leaders, or many American Jews.
But no one regards the prospect of another Netanyahu government with more anguish than the Palestinians. In the Arab-Israeli conflict's long, tortured history, they have reviled no Israeli prime minister – with the possible exception of Ariel Sharon – more than Netanyahu. The reason is simple: he is one of them.
U.S. Allies Ignore Washington's Iran Sanctions
By John Daly - OilPrice.com
Since the U.S. began its "global war on terror" in late 2001 in the wake of al Qaeda's U.S. attacks, two of its most stalwart Muslim allies have been Turkey and Pakistan. Since then Turkey has provided the Pentagon access to its massive aerial facility in Incirlik, a crucial component in both Iraq and Afghanistan, along with providing troops to the NATO led and U.S. commanded International Assistance Security Force currently battling the Taliban in the latter.
Pakistan has also provided crucial infrastructure logistical assistance to ISAF forces.
But there are now policy divergences between Washington, Ankara and Islamabad over Iran's civilian nuclear program, which both the U.S. and Israel maintain masks a covert program to develop nuclear weapons, a charge that Tehran strongly denies.
The Imperial Dream of the Muslim Brotherhood
By Felix Imonti - OilPrice.com
The end will justify the means to unite the Islamic peoples into a world of virtue and prosperity to where the Muslim Brotherhood says that it will bring them. Egypt is their launching platform. The entire Islamic world is their objective.
If they were running for office in the United States or any European country on their economic platform of job creation, the sanctity of private property, and a social safety net, they will likely win. It all sounds perfect. Then, you learn that you have just voted for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran warns foreign planes near Strait of Hormuz
AP Foreign - Guardian.co.uk
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's navy issued dozens of warnings to foreign planes and warships that approached its forces during a five-day sea maneuver near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a semi-official news agency reported Tuesday.
Mehr quoted Adm. Amir Rastgari, spokesman for the exercise, as saying that naval and air defense forces on 30 occasions warned off reconnaissance planes, drones and warships belonging to "extraregional forces" that approached the drill, using a term that the Islamic Republic commonly employs to refer to the militaries of the U.S. and its allies.
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