Wednesday Open Thread

“A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones.”

–Lord Chesterfield

121 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad says:


    Townhall.com ^В | May 30, 2012 | Wayne Allyn RootВ 

    Most political predictions are made by biased pollsters, pundits, or prognosticators who are either rooting for Republicans or Democrats. I am neither. I am a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, and a well-known Vegas oddsmaker with one of the most accurate records of predicting political races.

    Neither Obama nor Romney are my horses in the race. I believe both Republicans and Democrats have destroyed the U.S. economy and brought us to the edge of economic disaster. My vote will go to Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson in November, whom I believe has the most fiscally conservative track record of any Governor in modern U.S. political history. Without the bold spending cuts of a Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, I don’t believe it’s possible to turnaround America.

    But as an oddsmaker with a pretty remarkable track record of picking political races, I play no favorites. I simply use common sense to call them as I see them. Back in late December I released my New Years Predictions. I predicted back then- before a single GOP primary had been held, with Romney trailing for months to almost every GOP competitor from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt- that Romney would easily rout his competition to win the GOP nomination by a landslide. I also predicted that the Presidential race between Obama and Romney would be very close until election day. But that on election day Romney would win by a landslide similar to Reagan-Carter in 1980.

    Understanding history, today I am even more convinced of a resounding Romney victory. 32 years ago at this moment in time, Reagan was losing by 9 points to Carter. Romney is right now running even in polls. So why do most pollsters give Obama the edge?

    First, most pollsters are missing one ingredient- common sense. Here is my gut instinct. Not one American who voted for McCain 4 years ago will switch to Obama. Not one in all the land. But many millions of people who voted for an unknown Obama 4 years ago are angry, disillusioned, turned off, or scared about the future. Voters know Obama now- and that is a bad harbinger.

    Now to an analysis of the voting blocks that matter in U.S. politics:

    *Black voters. Obama has nowhere to go but down among this group. His endorsement of gay marriage has alienated many black church-going Christians. He may get 88% of their vote instead of the 96% he got in 2008. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Hispanic voters. Obama has nowhere to go but down among this group. If Romney picks Rubio as his VP running-mate the GOP may pick up an extra 10% to 15% of Hispanic voters (plus lock down Florida). This is not good news for Obama.

    *Jewish voters. Obama has been weak in his support of Israel. Many Jewish voters and big donors are angry and disappointed. I predict Obama’s Jewish support drops from 78% in 2008 to the low 60′s. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Youth voters. Obama’s biggest and most enthusiastic believers from 4 years ago have graduated into a job market from hell. Young people are disillusioned, frightened, and broke- a bad combination. The enthusiasm is long gone. Turnout will be much lower among young voters, as will actual voting percentages. This not good news for Obama.

    *Catholic voters. Obama won a majority of Catholics in 2008. That won’t happen again. Out of desperation to please women, Obama went to war with the Catholic Church over contraception. Now he is being sued by the Catholic Church. Majority lost. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Small Business owners. Because I ran for Vice President last time around, and I’m a small businessman myself, I know literally thousands of small business owners. At least 40% of them in my circle of friends, fans and supporters voted for Obama 4 years ago to “give someone different a chance.” I warned them that he would pursue a war on capitalism and demonize anyone who owned a business…that he’d support unions over the private sector in a big way…that he’d overwhelm the economy with spending and debt. My friends didn’t listen. Four years later, I can’t find one person in my circle of small business owner friends voting for Obama. Not one. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Blue collar working class whites. Do I need to say a thing? White working class voters are about as happy with Obama as Boston Red Sox fans feel about the New York Yankees. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Suburban moms. The issue isn’t contraception…it’s having a job to pay for contraception. Obama’s economy frightens these moms. They are worried about putting food on the table. They fear for their children’s future. This is not good news for Obama.

    *Military Veterans. McCain won this group by 10 points. Romney is winning by 24 points. The more our military vets got to see of Obama, the more they disliked him. This is not good news for Obama.

    Add it up. Is there one major group where Obama has gained since 2008? Will anyone in America wake up on election day saying “I didn’t vote for Obama 4 years ago. But he’s done such a fantastic job, I can’t wait to vote for him today.” Does anyone feel that a vote for Obama makes their job more secure?

    Forget the polls. My gut instincts as a Vegas oddsmaker and common sense small businessman tell me this will be a historic landslide and a world-class repudiation of Obama’s radical and risky socialist agenda. It’s Reagan-Carter all over again.

    But I’ll give Obama credit for one thing- he is living proof that familiarity breeds contempt.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Diary posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:39:34 AM MDT

      Lib’s comment posted:  Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:42:20 AM MDT

      I can just visualize you being at the computer since 5:30, hitting REFRESH over and over until the diary was posted. “I’m not gonna be shut down this time! I’m LIBERTAD THE MIGHTY!”

      As to your comment? TL;DR.

    • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

      “Arpaio’s Obama probe finds ‘national security threat’

      Hawaii found to be bogus birth-certificate factory”

      After determining earlier this year there is probable cause to suspect the document released by the White House as Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said today he believes his Cold Case Posse’s investigation should be advanced to the federal government, based on further information released today at a press conference

      http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/arp

    • Libertad says:

      Miss posted below

      *[new] Obama Super PACs and Chicago team in a spending frenzy

      They have out spent Romney 4:1 according to press reports and 75% of the recent Obama spend has gone to fund the year old “kill Romney” program.

      Spending in a crazed frenzy, some say!

      The caveat commentary I forgot to add above it that Obama and his Super PACs will spend $1 Billion to retain the WH and I still think he pulls it out.

      A billion $ on Ronmey and handout a few more $ Billion to “teachers, firemen, nurses – who are SEIU members of course” В and he keeps 1600 Penn.

      So Mr. Root has points, but he fails to consider the massive Obama Super PAC spend and more stimulus-style pay offs to union bosses who’ll make members walk for barack.

    • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

      Voters know Obama now- and that is a bad harbinger.

      before I found the first disqualifier.

      Forget the polls. My gut instincts as a Vegas oddsmaker and common sense small businessman

      I warned them that he would pursue a war on capitalism and demonize anyone who owned a business…that he’d support unions over the private sector in a big way…that he’d overwhelm the economy with spending and debt.

      surely the comments of a neutral, disinterested odds-maker.

      and you sat at your computer refreshing every 15 seconds so you could post this first?

      Pathetic.

    • parsingreality says:

      (Deep, breathy voice)”Libertad!”

      Libertad, nervously, “Yes, mein overlord?”

      “Oh, my favorite, unquestioning, flying monkey!  Take this bullshit and post it immediately to your assigned blogs!”

      • Libertad says:

        “79% of the $2.1 billion in stimulus grants … went to overseas companies.” –  Senator Chuck Schumer (D)

        • ClubTwitty says:

          Like public land and public mineral leases for oil shale? (France, The Netherlands).  Or maybe rolling back regulations for foreign owned oil and gas companies so they can snatch up more US public treasure (public land, dwindling fossil fuels), like China, Canada, Great Britain, The Netherlands… ?  Perhaps it is hardrock minerals? Where foreign owned mining giants from South Africa or Canada snatch up public lands for $2.50 an acre and pay no royalties back to the American citizen?    

          Do tell Libby.  

          • Sir RobinSir Robin says:

            Canada owns most of the rights to American precious metals. I’m having trouble finding a link to substantiate this assumption. If you have one, CT, I’d love to read it. I’ve heard this from a well informed friend.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      But perhaps we should turn to those facty-thingies again…

      Never-Wrong Pundit Picks Obama to Win in 2012

      Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election, has a belated birthday present for Barack Obama: Rest easy, your re-election is in the bag.

      “Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” says Lichtman, the brains behind The Keys to the White House.

      Lichtman’s prediction helps to explain a quirk in some polling that finds that while Americans disapprove of the president, they still think he will win re-election.

      Working for the president are several of Lichtman’s keys, tops among them incumbency and the scandal-free nature of his administration.Undermining his re-election is a lack of charisma and leadership on key issues, says Lichtman, even including healthcare, Obama’s crowning achievement.

      Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.”The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”

      http://www.usnews.com/news/blo

    • raymond1 says:

      That’s definitely a news flash worth a thousand-word cut-and-paste, yep.

      You’re probably the first person to pay this much attention to Root’s political musings.

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      He was charismatic, I’ll give him that, and the best public speaker among the presidential primary candidates who was not a former officeholder. (Gravel and Barr blew Root out of the water, but they’ve had practice.)

      He was not, however, in any way a detached political observer, even of his own party. His faction actively schemed and cut deals on the convention floor, resulting in a coalition with Barr, the least Libertarian candidate in the field. Root is unprincipled and self-interested. These are not criticisms, but merely observations made by my personal observation of his choices. He is a clever marketer and businessman; I wouldn’t hesitate to take his advice if I wanted to open a Las Vegas based gaming business. However, I would take with a sizable handful of salt any predictions of his about a presidential election. He claims to have a 16-year plan to make a Libertarian president of the United States, and any political involvement by Root is likely related to his blanket distaste for the two-party system and his desire to see a Libertarian president, preferably himself.

  2. Libertad says:

    They have out spent Romney 4:1 according to press reports and 75% of the recent Obama spend has gone to fund the year old “kill Romney” program.

    Spending in a crazed frenzy, some say!

    The caveat commentary I forgot to add above it that Obama and his Super PACs will spend $1 Billion to retain the WH and I still think he pulls it out.

    A billion $ on Ronmey and handout a few more $ Billion to “teachers, firemen, nurses – who are SEIU members of course”  and he keeps 1600 Penn.

    So Mr. Root has points, but he fails to consider the massive Obama Super PAC spend and more stimulus-style pay offs to union bosses who’ll make members walk for barack.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Uh huh. I like the paranoia of this phrase – poor, poor union members. “Forced” to join the union because there’s never any choice involved when it comes to applying for a job. “Forced” to pay union dues – again, because no one working in a union shop had the least bit choice when it came to finding a job. And now… “Forced” to “walk for barack[sic]” because those fat cat union types (who have far less money or influence than corporations, or else they’d be the ones making thousands of times more money than the workers) are little more than modern day slave drivers. It’s sick, I tell you, SICK!!!!

      Unless you’re from an industrialist’s family, I’ll never understand anti-unionism. Not one of you guys has ever offered a cogent reason for your hatred and fear.

    • parsingreality says:

      After all, they are the masters of it, see Citizens’ United.

  3. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    In a way, today’s quote is germaine to Stephen’s life. Stephen had a “big view”. You would never catch him in a snide, partisan  activity.

    He was the John Lennon of life coaching.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

  4. James Doddjadodd says:

    A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to provide a link to material describing Modern Monetary Theory.  At that time, I provided a link to the Modern Monetary Theory Primer at New Economic Prospectives. Several of you complained that I sent you to read an economics text book or maybe three.

    At first, I was incensed.  The most important issue in this election is the economy – actually any election.  Both the political parties – relying on the neoliberal economic theories of Friedman and Greenspan – are getting it wrong to the detriment of the 99%.  It seemed to me that the investment of a few hours to understand how the economy really works on a macro scale would be something that any informed voter – particularly a progressive – would be eager to do.  Then, I calmed down and realized that economists have so mysticized this field that it is pretty daunting to most us at first.  So, I went looking for a reasonably short (< 1000 words) explanation of MMT.  No success.

    Then, Albert started carrying on about the national debt and I just happened to come across an article about debt which also touched upon the major tenets of MMT.  This is intended to whet your whistle in hopes that you might develop an appetite to do more research.  It is not a comprehensive explanation of MMT. Here is the beginning of the article.  Read on if I have peaked you interest.

    What Do You Want For America

    By Thornton Parker

    People who understand how this country’s financial system works know the American dream doesn’t have to die. They know why the federal budget is not like a family’s budget or the budgets of companies and states. They know why the government can’t run out of money, default, or go bankrupt; and why Europe’s financial troubles won’t come here. They know the government can afford to do more to help educate young people, improve everyone’s health, provide income assistance as people age, foster a sound economy with good jobs, modernize the infrastructure, and protect the environment. And they also know that popular myths and deliberate misrepresentations of the system are hurting America.

    http://neweconomicperspectives

    Good reading.

    • parsingreality says:

      ….and to someone who struggles to understand these matters, sounds awefully Orwellian.  ”Up is down,” kind of thing.  

      Not saying it’s not correct, just I’m not convinced, only confused.  

      • James Doddjadodd says:

        OK. Let’s start with the first principle – money. Who makes it? According to our Constituion, the federal government. Therefore, the federal government can never run out of money. It can’t default on any of its obligations because all it has to do is create more money. While debt for families, businesses and states is very real because they don’t have the power to create money. Debt for the federal government is myth that the neoliberals continue to foist upon us to enrich the 1% and enslave the 99%.

        Inflation, I hear you cry. Yes, inflation is an issue but that is for a later discussion, once you understand the basic principles of our monetary system.

        • Albert J. Nock says:

          To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

        • MADCO says:

          ANd deficit spending into a rising GDP and full employment will produce it. Every time.

          A primer nowhere near as longas the sources you posted. (I wasn’t complaining – only counting)

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/

          In an economy like ours deficit spending can be useful. Depending on how much, when and on what.  If we deficit spend just to make pointless transfer payments, or to pursue  phony wars – we will crash our economy.

          If we invest in education and infrastructure – at a reasonable rate – we’re good for more GDP growth.

          ONe trivial trifle with MMT as you’ve been describing ot – in the USA the Federal Reserve controls the money supply and the Federal Reserve is not the federal government (independent shareholder owned, federally chartered, entity. )

           

          • James Doddjadodd says:

            Yes, the Federal Reserve was delegated the right to create money – but this is only one of serveral wrong headed statutes that have been adopted over the years to put our monetary system in the hands of the Banksters to use for their own benefit rather than the public at large. We can take back this authority whenever we have the votes and political will to do so.  Unfortunately, voting for either Udall or Bennet will  not return our sovereign rights in this area to us.

    • Albert J. Nock says:

      MMT is good becasue it argues against Krugman however it is still wrong.

      Read this.

      http://mises.org/daily/5260/Th

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    A Swedish firm has worked out how to make money running free schools

    BIG-STATE, social-democratic Sweden seems an odd place to look for a free-market revolution. Yet that is what is under way in the country’s schools. Reforms that came into force in 1994 allow pretty much anyone who satisfies basic standards to open a new school and take in children at the state’s expense. The local municipality must pay the school what it would have spent educating each child itself-a sum of SKr48,000-70,000 ($8,000-12,000) a year, depending on the child’s age and the school’s location. Children must be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis-there must be no religious requirements or entrance exams. Nothing extra can be charged for, but making a profit is fine.

    The reforms were controversial, especially within the Social Democratic Party, then in one of its rare spells in opposition. They would have been even more controversial had it been realised just how popular they would prove. In just 14 years the share of Swedish children educated privately has risen from a fraction of a percent to more than 10%.

    • parsingreality says:

      If, indeed, they spend $8-12K per child, no wonder we are falling behind.

      Instead, we take school drop-outs or who can’t find jobs and spend the money we should have in war zones.

      OK, ten percent are in charter schools.  But what are the results?  

    • ajb says:

      A number of thing come to mind after reading the article:

      1. The schools maintain profitability by standardizing everything they can. How do you suppose they deal with “misfits”? (per yesterday’s post).

      2. Only scant mention is made of how successful the schools are. Nowhere in the article do they claim to be better than public schools.

      3. In Sweden, the govt provides “benefits” like healthcare. In the U.S., that is provided by the employer. If you were to bring this model to the U.S., the obvious place to maximize profit is through cutting benefits.  

  6. SSG_Dan says:

    Busily posting unresearched and unsourced crap for your evil overlords?

    Sherrod Brown Hugging His Wife In Photo Prompts Conservative Blogger’s Conspiracy Theory

    An eagle-eyed conservative blogger recently spotted a photograph of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) looking cozy with a woman. And not just any woman — a journalist, in fact.

    The blogger, sensing scandal, then contacted the journalist, Connie Schultz, and asked her why she was hugging this elected official she is supposed to cover.

    The only problem in this blogger’s story? Schultz is married to the senator.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

    • Libertad says:

      Quit banging your head against the wall.

      I just doesn’t suit you that well.

      • rocco says:

        Where’s your explanation of the red filibuster of the Democratic introduced extension of the middle class tax cut.

        Quit with your fringe bullshit and explain why the party you’re pimping for is obstructing the nation’s business.

        And why are you addressing SGT Dan before apologizing to him?

        Bedwetters like you should be seen, not read.

        Get me that explanation, “libetad”.

      • SSG_Dan says:

        Did those Czech WoW players use you for dragon fodder again, so that’s why you’re back so soon?

        I will continue to put my virtual foot up your ass every chance I get, until you either 1)step up your game and cite real sources or 2) go back to watching your Game of Thrones marathon.  

  7. rocco says:

    During the last 2 days, the most unproffesional Congress in our nation’s history torpdedoed legislation for a  middle class tax cut extension, failed to ratify The Law of the Seas, and filibusterd the Fair Disclose Act.

    But during this period, the Congressional, Senate, and operator republicans had bigger fish to fry than simply bringing the nation’s business to a grinding halt and ensuring the possibility of  a recovery doesn’t exist.

    John Sununu, Frank Gaffney, Michelle Bachman,and Shooter Cheney signalled the reopening of the vile but effective race baiting Sarah Palin made famous in ’08.

    Don’t kid your self. Sununu IS the republican base. And his comments dog whistle and resonate with that older, mostly white, largely entitled, evangelical, extreme right wing fox news demographic that’s so determined to get “the black guy” out.

    Bachman and Gaffney are today’s Joe McCarthy. The “drudgers” will believe the crazy accustions they’re hurling at SOS Clinton, fox will pick it up, and it will be main stream very soon.

    We’re in it now, up to our eye brows.

    Coupled with the very succssfull 9 state voter suppresion operation the GOP has executed, with full conservative SCOTUS complicity, that could block 5-7 million Democrtic votes, the mobilization of the red base through race baiting will make this a white knuckler.

    I’ve said it before. It doesn’t matter why they are what they are. It only matters that we beat them.

    Don’t assume you’re registered. Make sure.

    gottaregister.com  

  8. Albert J. Nock says:

    I can tell from the timing, most of these posts are from 1 person. Salzman is that you?

    I got better things to do today then argue with 1 person who has several imaginary ally’s.

    Maybe I am wrong; this could simply be the Borg.

    Colorado Pols and the Communism it represents, blows.  

  9. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Tennessee Tea Partiers To GOP Gov: Stop Employing Muslims, Gays, Democrats!

    Conservatives and Tea Party activists in Tennessee have recently pushed several Republican Party county organizations to pass resolutions criticizing the state’s Republican governor for, among other things, employing Muslims, gay people, and Democrats.



    Three county party chairman – from Stewart County, Williamson County, and Humphreys County – confirmed to TPM that the resolutions had passed.

  10. SSG_Dan says:

    CBS News has this take:

    The ad isn’t the first time the Republican presidential candidate has been compared to President Nixon over transparency issues — one of President Obama’s top advisers recently made the comparison himself. The comparison plays into the Democrats’ larger narrative that Romney is a dishonest politician who may be lying about his business record or hiding information about his taxes.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50

  11. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Yeesh, trolls with a sugar high today. Lay off the Captain Crunch!

    • BlueCat says:

      ‘tad and Nock must be sharing a case of Red Bull.  Still not talking about Mitten’s SEC, tax return and now IRA stories. Found an article that does a very good job of explaining the various theories about how one might accumulate 100 mill in an IRA in  such a short time (or at all), despite the contribution limits.

      As Mitt Romney’s refusal to release further tax returns becomes a central issue in the presidential race, a related question first raised in January remains stubbornly unanswered: How did Romney build such a massive individual retirement account?

      “It’s extremely unusual,” said George Yin, a professor of law and taxation at the University of Virginia and former chief of staff of the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation. “The IRA, since its inception, has had very clear limits on the amount that can be contributed each year. And it’s way less than $100 million.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

      Really worthwhile to read the whole thing.  Not too long. The interesting thing is, while there seem to be various explanations for how, the why remains puzzling to the experts. One points out that he can’t use it now and when he starts drawing on it, it’s taxed as ordinary income, a much higher rate than the tax on gain from investments.  Did he think no one would know about the extra 100 million so he wouldn’t look quite so rich while running for the Presidency?  He apparently thought no one would find out about all the offshore money or that he was listed as CEO (and everything else that matters) at Bain on SEC forms during the years he claims he had nothing to do with it or unearth the clip of him explaining how blind trusts are just a ruse because it’s so easy to set rules for them.

      Maybe this is why CEOs make such lousy Presidents. They are so unused to a world in which they can’t function as dictators and easily hide their machinations without offering any public explanations. They don’t get that being President of a nation isn’t the same role with the same rules and goals as CEO of a company or master of a financial empire.

      Maybe Nock, ‘tad and ArapG share Limbaugh’s view that it’s all a Hollywood liberal conspiracy as proved by the fact that the villain in the new Dark Night movie is named Bane while the hero is, well, “Dark”.  

  12. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    Why do Republicans want to suppress the voters in America? That sounds rather totalitarian/communistic to me.

    • MADCO says:

      and Dr. MLK.

      The former kicked King George III’s royal ass.

      The latter made the point that we are all Americans.  At least those of us who are.

      Gotta admit, I can think of a lot of people I would prefer not vote even though they probably can:

      - voters who just vote the way the way their spouse tells them

      - voters who just vote the way the way their priest/minister tells them

      - Ann Coulter

      - anyone who believes black people are inferior

      - and others

  13. MADCO says:

    Until/unless particular posters post original, useful, or thoughtful content: DO NOT REPLY

    http://www.coloradopols.com/di

    I am sure we could all remember posters that  went away at leas t in part because they got no ripple. (JO, Sharon, Sybil, etc)

    And there are two or three now that get my trigger finger itching.

  14. raymond1 says:

    I won’t explain it because you like posts with just unexplained links:

    http://theoffice.wikia.com/wik

    Compared to bitcoins, these sound much cooler — and are just as valuable!

  15. Diogenesdemar says:

    My $.02 cents:  Someone ought to probably be giving our country’s bankers and corporate business leaders an – F – grade for their handling of the economy.

    Banks’ bad behavior may be killing confidence

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48

    It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

    After the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression almost took the global economy over a cliff, tough new regulations and stronger internal controls at the world’s major banks were meant to help restore confidence in the financial system.

    But recent headlines have some top investors and strategists questioning whether there has been any progress at all.

    The horror stories include the deepening scandal that big banks rigged Libor, the benchmark international lending rate; JPMorgan Chase’s mounting losses from disastrous credit bets and a possible cover-up attempt; and the disappearance of customer funds from Iowa futures broker PFGBest, discovered after its founder tried to commit suicide and left a note outlining a 20-year fraud.

    Add in the problems surrounding the botched trading debut by Facebook as well as the insider trading scandal that led to the conviction of hedge fund managers and big name businessmen such as former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta — and the picture isn’t pretty.

    The signs of a falloff in investor confidence are not hard to spot.

    The result — insufficient investment by businesses to move the economy forward at a pace that should be expected if it weren’t for the fact that businesses now all know that they can’t trust one another.

    The evidence?

    Cash balances at major companies remain at very high levels.  Those trends are occurring even though the world’s major central banks, led by the Fed, have found innovative ways to create easy monetary policies in an attempt to get companies and consumers to spend.

    And, who can blame them, really?  (I mean except for the fact that they continue to support the very same deregulation and reduced oversight that got us to this position — where no one can trust anyone else to be acting and reporting honestly.)

    The Republican answer?  End all those pesky, unAmerican, socialist, job-killing regulations.   Sure guys, that’s the ticket . . .  

    • Car 31 says:

      Heard an interview with the Economist this morning. You know, the magazine that champions free enterprise and knows what they’re talking about when it comes to the economy?

      They’re take: America’s economy is reinventing itself and will continue to grow and strengthen over the coming years. Less reliance on consumption and housing and more innovation and exports will bring our economy out of the doldrums.

      The perils that persist: a lack of an educated workforce (education funding/reform), lack of investment in national infrastructure (needed government spending), and the European/China economic woes.

      Summary: two of the three things threatening our economy include the lack of government spending on necessary economic investments.

      And, again, this coming from the magazine that champions free market principles.

      One more thing – the politics surrounding the election year budget debate in DC is THE single biggest factor which threatens our economy.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      The problem is lack of demand. It does no good to build twice as many cars, houses, iPads, etc. if there is no one to buy them. Yes if they all geared up at the same time, then it would work. But we don’t have that type of central control.

      It comes back to the government has to directly increase demand.

      • parsingreality says:

        In the big picture, the consumption will follow.

        Ask Henry Ford.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I want American businesses with more than just good intentions towards spending (that cash they need to hoard to protect themselves against the avarice and misdeeds of themselves and their brethren) . . . I want American businesses who aren’t incompetent (and criminal) in their execution.

        . . . And, I want a really great Reuben sandwich. (I know it’s not just me — why is that so difficult anymore, huh?)

        . . . And, I want a pony.  No, make that accolades.  No, maybe a new windsurfing rig.  No, . . . hell, I don’t know.

        The point is, David, I want lots of things and I’m not getting all of them, . . . and I can’t help but think that you’re a little more than partially to blame.  [stink eye]  

        • bobewegen says:

          And, I want a really great Reuben sandwich.

            Somebody answer me!

        • BlueCat says:

          And I thought I was just being too picky. I don’t when I last had a really top of the line Rueben. In Chicago when I was growing up you you could hardly find a deli with a bad one.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Fresh, quality ingredients; properly and gently cooked and assembled. One pan.

            Bread:  Dark seeded rye. Pan browned (on both sides, don’t be lazy) and crisped in butter.  It should be toasted crisp on both sides, but still soft in the middle.

            Corned beef:  With some fat please; this isn’t a diet sandwich so save that lean, dry crap for your hash, huh?  Lightly fryed in the butter remains and brown bits from toasting the bread.  You don’t need a whole pile of meat — it’s a sandwich, not an attempt to reconstruct the animal it came from.

            Kraut. Fresh. Home-crocked, preferably. Crisp and tangy.  Well drained and wrung out a little in a paper towel.    Saute this in the pan after the meat, don’t overcook, think al dente.  As the kraut cooks there should be just enough liquid released to deglaze the pan and allow allow that fond from the bread and meat steps to be absorbed into the kraut.

            Assemble.  On a warmed plate.  Bread. Thin, I repeat thin, spread of homemade aioli on both pieces of bread (keeps the bread from losing it’s crisp as well as adding another dimension of flavor.)  Warmed meat.  Thin sliced swiss cheese, already at room temperature so that it just begins melting when put between the warm meat and kraut.  Kraut.  Bread.

            Thousand Island on the side please, cause no one ever, I repeat ever, gets the amount right, so don’t even try.

            Serve with a large handful of plain Ruffles potato chips and two crisp, fresh garlic kosher dill spears.

            Come on people, it just isn’t that hard.

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              Anyone who can stand that chemical taste has no business being so demanding about how the sandwich gets made.

              (I’m teasing, but honestly – if you stop eating Ruffles and only eat kettle-cooked chips from small producers for a few months, then grab some Ruffles sometime… they just don’t taste right.)

            • parsingreality says:

              Don’t I wish.  Only stuff in the grocery store deli’s around here are “fat free.”  Boar’s Head brand.  How they do it, I don’t know.

              That Ruffles is nasty stuff.  I don’t know how it can taste so different than the regular Lay’s, I don’t know.  

              • AristotleAristotle says:

                because it’s remarkably easy. (Just get a brisket, rub it with tons of salt and spices, wrap tightly, and keep in the fridge for a week, turning it once a day). However… I’ve only used it for corned beef and cabbage, and would not be sure if it would be good on a reuben. (It’s braised for corned beef and cabbage – maybe it has to be cooked differently for sandwiches?)

        • AristotleAristotle says:

          They used to have a location in old downtown Littleton. Have no idea how much of a reuben snob you might be, so be forewarned that if you don’t like it, I will blame you rather than the staff at Abe’s…

  16. Diogenesdemar says:

    whose vote will count in this Presidential election?  In this year, and this state, you likely do.

    Paul Begala on the Swing Voters Who Will Pick the President

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/n

    I did the math so you won’t have to.  Four percent of the presidential vote in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado is 916,643 people.  That’s it. The American president will be selected by fewer than half the number of people who paid to get into a Houston Astros home game last year-and my beloved Astros sucked last year; they were the worst team in baseball.  Put another way, there are about as many people in San Jose as there are swing voters who will decide this election. That’s not even as many people as attended Puerto Rican cockfights in the past year–although there are obvious similarities.

    And, oh, the lengths we will go to reach those magical 916,643.  The political parties, the campaigns, the super PACs (one of which, the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action, I advise), will spend in excess of $2 billion-mostly just to reach those precious few. That works out to $2,181.87 per voter-or as Mitt Romney might call it, pocket change.

    • Craig says:

      I’m an unaffiliate male, mid-50′s, household makes less than $250,000, both spouses employed full time with advanced degrees in Jefferson County, Colorado.  Frankly, I’d prefer just to get the cash now and not have to receive and watch the crap that’s going to come my way in the next 4 months.  Here’s what I propose to the campaigns, I’ll take half of what you’re going to spend on me and then vote for Gary Johnson.  Saves them a lot of trouble and me a lot of anger and irritation during the next four months.

  17. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Compare the front pages:

    Deaths in Bulgarian airport bus blast

    Three people were killed and more than 20 were injured in a blast at Black Sea airport, the interior ministry said.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/

    7 dead in suicide bombing on Israeli bus in Bulgaria

    At least 20 injured after attack on Israeli tour bus at the Burgas Airport on 18th anniversary of Iran-sponsored bombing of Jewish center in Argentina; Bulgarian FM in touch with Liberman, headed to site.

    Related: PM: All signs point to Iran in Bulgaria attack

    http://www.jpost.com/

    As Bomb Kills 3 Israelis, Netanyahu Blames Iran

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 12:43 PM ET

    A bus carrying Israeli youth in a Bulgarian resort area exploded, and officials said at least three people died.

    http://nytimes.com, just below Syria.

    Israel PM blames Iran for fatal tourist bus bombing.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/, a tiny line in Top Headlines”

    J-School 101: Who, where, when, why, how… (Am I missing anything?)  Al Jazeera fail.

    • sxp151 says:

      One of the stories has a headline which focuses on the people dead, the rest seem to focus primarily on Netenyahu’s posturing and the deaths secondarily. Which one are you complaining about?

    • parsingreality says:

      Explain anything isn’t widely known or understood.  Background.

      I learned those same things in 9th grade journalism, it wasn’t a class; we put out the school paper.

      I have noticed that many current “journalists” never learned what we did.  

  18. Another day, another issue of “why hasn’t Mitt released his tax returns?”

    Today’s speculation, starting over at Slate: Did Mitt Romney Take The 2009 Swiss Bank Account Amnesty?  Was Romney failing to pay income taxes on overseas accounts?  Was he, in effect, a tax cheat?

    This isn’t going to blow over, and each new speculation seems worse than the last.

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