"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it." Sadly, that appears to be the approach that the Obama administration and the mainstream media are taking with the U.S. economy. They seem to believe that if they just keep telling the American people over and over that things are getting better, eventually the American people will believe that it is actually true. And of course the reality of the matter is that we should have seen some sort of an economic recovery by now. Those running our system have literally been mortgaging the future in a desperate attempt to try to pump up our economic numbers. The federal government has been on the greatest debt binge in U.S. history and the Federal Reserve has been printing money like crazed lunatics. All of that "stimulus" should have had some positive short-term effects on the economy. Sadly, all of those "emergency measures" do not appear to have done much at all.
As the President loses his Millennial voting base, despite "fixing" Obamacare, his populist push for a raise to the minimum wage (who wouldn't want more money than 'market rates' for doing the same shit) and class-warfare-inspiring inequality speech may be his party's last best hope. However, in the meantime, if US citizens can tear themselves away from X-Factor for 30 seconds, the following clear concise chart shows how easy it is to create 140,000 jobs... Our question... why not raise the minimum wage to $100?
Pres Obama urges young people to spread the ObamaCare message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter using #getcovered.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 4, 2013
The House Judiciary Committee is about to discuss what it calls “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” focusing on the Obamacare delays, enforcement of immigration laws, and more. As Mediaite notes, the question of whether the president can take unilateral action to cease enforcing laws stretches back at least to last summer, when President Barack Obama said he would stop deporting young undocumented immigrants, an end-run around congressional refusal to pass the DREAM Act. Executive orders have played a part in everything from the non-enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act to the administration’s “fix” two weeks ago allowing insurance providers to renew policies cancelled after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It seems the constitutional lawyers want to have their say in the "most transparent" administration ever.
While it is not a surprise, and had been reported previously, there is a certain dose of humor in Reuters reminding us that Jeffrey Zients, who is currently tasked with fixing Obamacare.gov Healthcare.gov (and which crashed yesterday for CNN when it experiment with the upgraded website), will soon be leaving his post and replace Gene Sperling as Obama's top economic advisor. Surely if anyone can fix the economy, it is the man who has hired every private sector sysadmin genius and managed to expand the 500 million lines of code website to accomodate a few more thousand simultaneous requests.... before it crashes again.
If CNN was doing its best this morning to prove that the second coming of healthcare.gov is fixed, it... failed.
Many believe that government and its partner the Federal Reserve are wise and strong enough to avoid this crash. If printing money and spending money were a solution, there would be no poverty anywhere in the world. Even the poorest country has a government and can afford a printing press. Thus far there has been no collapse. However, that is equivalent to the man who jumps off the Empire State building and is heard to say as he flashes by the fortieth floor: “So far, so good.” His fate was sealed when he jumped. Similarly, so is our economy’s. Economics has its own gravity. A complete cleansing of the mal-investments, distorted incentives and regulatory burdens must occur before a true recovery can take place.
Iran's Rouhani: "We Are Not Dismantling Our Nuclear Facilities; Iran Will Maintain Its Uranium Enrichment Programme"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2013 16:27 -0500
In case there was any confusion just how "historic" last week's agreement with Iran, loudly trumpeted by the Obama administration as the most "historic" since Syria in a, well, long time, truly was in terms of curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, here is the explanation straight from the horse's mouth i.e., Iran president Hassan Rouhani who spoke today in an interview with the FT. "Mr Rouhani struck a tough line on Iran’s expectations over a comprehensive nuclear deal to be negotiated following last weekend’s landmark interim pact. “One hundred per cent [no],” he said when asked about dismantling nuclear facilities." So ixnay on the ismantleday. What about halting Uranium enrichment - that other pillar of Obama (and Hollande's of course) historic agreement? "[Rouhani] made clear that Tehran was determined to maintain a uranium enrichment programme for peaceful purposes." In other words, Iran will continue doing what it said it did before, only this time it will get billions of implicit subsidies as various embargoes are lifted.
What does the true earnings picture of companies tell us about the market? Simple: it is overvalued relative to historical averages on every single basis, and not just the much discussed recently 10 year average used in the Shiller PE which has the market now at a 25x multiple. In short: the trailing EPS of 18x GAAP and 16.3x Non-GAAP is higher than the comparable GAAP and non-GAAP multiple for the long term, 1910-2013 average (15.8x and 14.5x), and while in line with the GAAP average for the 1960-2013 period, it is overvalued relative to the 15.9x non-GAAP average. However, if one excludes the 1997-2000 tech bubble, the historical average multiples drop even more to 17.7 and 15.2.
"It’s time to put that power back where it belongs," explains Jonathan Zimmerman in today's Washington Post, "Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves." The 22nd Amendment, limiting the Presidential term, according to Zimmerman, reflected "a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people." Of course, in the increasingly 'entitled' America, it would only cost a few hundred million to bribe all the newly downgraded Middle-to-Lower class Americans with Obamaphones in order to finally get a "dictatorial democracy" by indirectly funding the lower common denominator with $400 in free money every election cycle.
Economics should not not try to effect human behavior, but to explain it. It does, however understand how incentives and disincentives affect behavior. All political visions involve the improvement of man and/or society by changing the nature of man. Social planners want to “improve” and “perfect” matters according to their ideas of what these terms imply. Little commonality exists regarding utopian visions. One commonality between these utopian ideas does exist — the universal failure of all such schemes. There is no better way to understand the wisdom “the perfect is the enemy of the good” than to study the historical wreckage that has resulted from trying to “perfect” society.
It might have been the Republican shutdown (according to one person at the White House, at least). It might have been the fault of the Syrian leader Bachar Al-Assad gassing his people with chemical weapons.
More than 100,000 protesters congregated at Democracy Monument in Bangkok yesterday to protest Thai PM Yingluck Shiniwatra’s consideration of an amnesty bill to pardon her banned brother Thaksin Shiniwatra, the former Thai PM ousted from the country in a 2006 coup.
When Barack Obama, floundering in the endless humiliation from the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, gave the country's insurance companies the "put option" to reject the one-year "cancellation" extension fix stemming from the whole "if you like your plan, you can keep it, period" fiasco, he committed a cardinal sin - he lost control of the situation, because from that point onward the decision was no longer in his court. Furthermore, due to the syndicate nature of insurance companies and state insurance commissioners implementing Obamacare, suddenly the decision was subject to game theoretical facets including cooperation and defection, or rather just defection since at this point the biggest spoils would go to whoever had the initial leverage or rather, defiance of the president. Sure enough, California just flopped on Obama's most recent flip when the state, moments ago, rejected Obama's proposed fix to allow legacy plans to survive for one additional year. Welcome to socialist central planning 101 - where everything that can go wrong, sooner or later does.
"The Senate was established to make sure that minorities are protected."
-Senator Harry Reid 12/8/06
This gridlock [filibusters] has consequences. Terrible consequences. It is not only bad for President Obama and bad for the United States Senate; it’s bad for our country. -Senator Reid, 11/ 21/13