Thursday, March 7, 2013


Yesterday, white became black, up became down and reason replaced insanity. Rand Paul, I guy who can veer wildly from excellent point to Crazytown, must have taken his meds because he stood up to the President on an issue we all should care about and actually used the Filibuster the way it was supposed to be used in the first place.

The filibuster was created as a way of informing the public of bills that are coming forward that the minority in Congress disagreed with. If enough people sided with the filibuster, through calls, letters and, now, e-mails, the bill could be stalled or even eliminated. Now it is used in ways to kill bills before the even get that far by the mere threat of using one. I applaud Rand Paul for not only standing up to an out of control government policy but for using the rules of Congress as there meant to apply. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

Now, I would like to point out that the White House and the Justice Department have used the old "nuclear ticking time bomb" rule, or the Jack Bauer concept, in their defense of killing American citizens. If you knew that a WMD was about to be used and a drone was the only way to stop it on US soil, that is perfectly acceptable in anyone's book. But it was the way that the slimy Eric Holder, I man I really loathe, responded that got everyone's panties in a bunch. Why hasn't this douche sailed off into the sunset along with a majority of Obama's cabinet?

Holder hummed and hawed and said this:

"It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001."

While I agree with everything he said, how he said it seems to leave a little wiggle room for malfeasance, a fact that Rand Paul did pick up on. After the filibuster ended, Holder released this statement.

"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no."

Maybe he should have said that in the first place. Holder is a terrible speaker with a near constant case of foot in mouth syndrome. In politics, you have to be either crystal clear or wildly vague. Holder walks the line between the two that gets everyone mad. His responses to the Fast and Furious debacle were laughable at best, treasonous at worst. Ever since Bobby Kennedy, we have a near perfect string of lousy AGs, perhaps worried that if they push to hard on anything their will suffer a similar fate. It's that same fear that has given this country the longest line of crap Presidents since its inception. When Bill Clinton is the absolute best candidate we have had in the past forty years, you know things have gone south.

It took thirteen hours to get the response Paul and the rest of us wanted. Way to be on the ball.

As the stock market continues its near certain rise to the breaking point, most economic news not being spun by the government or media is getting worse. This is a rare story from the MSM, USA Today of all publications, exposing the lie:

The Federal Reserve's purchases have driven interest rates to near zero. This has stimulated the economy but not without cost. Savers, particularly older ones trying to live on income from their investments, are starved for safe options. They've been forced into stocks, which is one reason the market has been acting as if it's on steroids. Further, with borrowing costs low, Congress and the White House have less incentive to rein in the national debt. Rock-bottom interest rates have also distorted markets.

The best indication that the Fed's bond-buying purchases are pushing stocks up artificially is that investors run for cover whenever there is a hint that the Fed might change course, as happened recently. On Monday, billionaire superinvestor Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett told CNBC that markets are on a "hair trigger" waiting for signs of change from the Fed. The market is "hooked on the drug" of easy money, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told Reuters.

Fisher's comparison of Fed policies to a drug is apt. Markets might not like the idea of the drug being withdrawn now, when the Fed holds a portfolio of $3 trillion. But the withdrawal symptoms will be a lot worse once the portfolio grows to $4 trillion, or more.

There is also the possibility of a derivative bubble burst that would liquidate the world economy. As the liability factors would be over the quadrillion range, every major bank would go bankrupt should the derivative market crash. This would also take everyone's wealth with them creating a complete state of anarchy as goods and services grind to a halt. Here's the banks liability once again:

JPMorgan Chase
Total Assets: $1,812,837,000,000 (just over 1.8 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $69,238,349,000,000 (more than 69 trillion dollars)

Total Assets: $1,347,841,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $52,150,970,000,000 (more than 52 trillion dollars)

Bank Of America
Total Assets: $1,445,093,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $44,405,372,000,000 (more than 44 trillion dollars)

Goldman Sachs
Total Assets: $114,693,000,000 (a bit more than 114 billion dollars - yes, you read that correctly)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $41,580,395,000,000 (more than 41 trillion dollars)

That means that the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 362 times greater than their total assets

If those banks ho belly up, the world economy nose dives with them. We have created these Frankenstein companies due to deregulation and corporatist ideals that benefit the elites only while the rest of us starve. You know, the Tea Party mantra.  It will be radically different this time when things go bad from 2008. Take a look at the below chart:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5
  • Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73
  • GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
  • Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
  • Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
  • Size of Fed's Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
  • US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
  • US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion
  • Total US Debt Oustanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
  • US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion
  • Labor Force Particpation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%
  • Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6

  • The only thing that has been fixed is the stock market, and I mean that in every way you can use the word "fixed." Things are getting worse as prices rise and salaries fall. Yes, more people are finding work, but the jobs pay a pittance of what they used to make. I know over a dozen people who have lost their job in the past few years. Not one has landed a job that paid anywhere near what they used to. So unemployment may be falling in some areas, but a lot of these people are making even less than unemployment paid them, further destabilizing everything. As these people make less money that pay less in taxes and contribute less to the economy. It's why JC Penny, Sears, Kmart and WalMart are all struggling right now. No one has any money to shop for anything that is not a necessity.

    Here's some other data for you:

    The percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is actually employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006.

    -In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

    -According to one study, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

    -Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 during that time span.

    -At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

    If half the country makes less than $30,000, and declining, there is no hope for us at all. Eventually, the house of cards will all come down, and the poorest of us will be the most affected.

    Here's the chart for corporate profits:

    Corporate Profits After Tax

    Here's wages:

    Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP

    See the correlation? Profits have soared as wages have fallen off the cliff. And our response is to make others make the same crappy pay as the rest of us. The Tea Party bitches and moans that the federal workers make a livable wage and, rather than demanding we get paid the same, they go the opposite track. We can see they have the money but as we have no leverage at all over the overseers, we are left with crumbs. This is a disastrous policy that will destroy this country worse than Communism, radical Islam and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo combined.

    We know there is at least $32 trillion, with possibly as much as $300 trillion stored in off shore accounts. This money is being stolen from us by greedy individuals and corporations and if we don't stand up and demand that the rich stop it immediately, then I hope you like eating dirt because, pretty soon, that's all you'll be able to afford.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment