Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The EPA: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas From America and the Coal Industry

Last Wednesday, just days before Christmas, Carol Browner, Obama's radical Climate Czar, announced new EPA restrictions for mercury, arsenic, and other toxic substances being outputted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants. Compliance is required before 2014. Hailed as a victory by environmentalists, it is expected that it could mean the demise of nearly 60 existing coal-fired power plants with upwards of 22 million customers being affected; mostly in the already beaten up and declining cities and states in what is known as the Rust Belt. Some communities could see their power bills rise by as much as 30%. Most of the country may see rates go up by 10% as this nation's nearly 600 coal-fired power producing facilities are retrofitted with expensive new or modified smokestack "scrubbers" that will be needed to drastically reduce these types of emissions.

Of course, Obama and his EPA could care less about the impact on energy prices and the fact that thousands may lose their jobs in what is already a slow economy. Instead, they claim that their actions are all about saving lives and preventing illness. The "straw man" that they want us to believe in is that their new coal regulations will prevent illnesses like asthma and the effects of mercury and arsenic poisoning and any resulting deaths. Yes, it is true that the number of asthma cases in the U.S. has risen significantly over the years and The EPA would have you believe that those numbers can be reduced by the new regulations. But, in direct contradiction to this, our dependence on coal-fired power production has been steadily declining for two decades since a modified version of the Clean Air Act went into effect in 1990 to reduce acid rain emissions from any coal burning activities.

At one time, almost all electricity in this country was being produced from coal. Today, coal is only responsible for about 49% of this nation's electrical power. The reason is simple. It is too time consuming and costly to maintain any existing coal-fired power plants and to build new ones. For the existing base, the cost to keep up with ever-changing EPA rules and regulations is just too punitive. For any new power generating facilities, there are too many months needed to get EPA licensing. Then, if a power company does manage to get a "go-ahead" from the EPA, there's usually years of court battles with environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and/or Greenpeace. For most power companies, natural gas has become the clear choice over coal. It's easier to get licensing and it typically avoids lengthy environmental court action. More importantly, natural gas, through efficiencies and new finds, has become more competitively priced to what had been previously unbeatable coal prices.

So, with the power companies, themselves, already policing coal out of business, why this new ruling and why now? Why an unreasonable two year compliance mandate? I'm quite sure that the EPA didn't just, all of a sudden, connect the dots on the health risks of burning coal. And, if there truly is a deadly health risk, why did it take 3 years into the Obama Administration before the EPA decided to act on saving lives?

To me, the purpose, the timing, and the compliance requirements of this EPA ruling have "politics" written all over it. First of all, the new regulations conveniently appeal to Obama's environmental voting base in what is the beginning of an election year. Secondly, the decision comes just a little over 10 months away from the next Presidential election. As a consequence, the negative impact on jobs and energy prices are being held off, presumably, until Obama has been reelected. After all, if the EPA had implemented these new regulations in Obama's first year in office, higher electricity rates and job losses would have already been apparent; jeopardizing Obama's reelection bid. Also, the 2-year, forced compliance to the new emissions standard insures that there won't be enough time for the power industry to retrofit all of it's existing coal plants; forcing them to take many of those plants out of service. This also insures that the power industry won't have the needed time to replace those lost plants with any new and compliant facilities. Two years isn't enough time to get EPA approvals let alone have the needed 3 to 5 years to build a new power plant. Thus, brownouts can be expected. In turn, angry customers and public utility commissions will force the power companies to replace the lost power with expensive wind and solar facilities which you can expect to sail through the EPA approval process and, which, can be built in substantially less time than any brick-and-mortar, natural gas power plant.

Back in 2008, when a, then-Senator, Barack Obama was running for the presidency, he unabashedly said that it was his intent to "bankrupt" the coal industry and, in so doing, necessarily cause electricity prices to "skyrocket." That's why this EPA action is no surprise. The truly sad thing about this is that countless numbers of poorer Americans will suffer by forcing them to make "dire" choices between paying their energy bills or paying for their housing, food, clothing, and health care. All of this so Obama can get reelected by appealing to his own radical environmental political base.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Obama Showing Restraint

During last week's 60 Minutes interview, President Barack Obama placed himself in fourth place against the legislative accomplishments of all other Presidents in American history. In fact, "he sees himself" just behind Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. For an "I-me-my" narcissist like Obama, this shows amazing and, I'm quite sure, mentally torturing restraint. For sure, he really wanted to say that he was "Numero Uno" but, instead, decided to "try and be humble" and seem a little less "audacious" by only pronouncing himself as history's fourth greatest President. Of course, in his mind, there's no doubt that all the Presidential historians, both now and going forward, will see him in that top slot; anyway. And, if you don't think so...just ask him!

The $40 Per Pay Check Deception and Chicanery

For weeks now, Obama and the Democrats have told us that 160 million workers will lose, on average, $1000 a year in their paychecks if the payroll tax cut is not extended. If you do the math, that's about $19.23 a week; or $2.75 a day. But, you see, that $1000 is actually taxable income subject to an average tax rate of approximately 25%. Therefore, at best, the average worker will see about $750 in additional annual take-home pay; resulting in a $14/week or $2/day benefit. Of course, this is hardly enough to buy a single $2.14 non-frapp, standard-brewed and standard-sized coffee at Starbucks (sales tax not included).

Now, all of the sudden, Obama and the Democrats have decided to claim that the average worker's pay check will see a loss of $40 if the tax cut isn't extended. Conveniently, the Dems have attempted to make the amount of this benefit seem larger than it actually is by assuming the average worker is being paid on a bi-weekly basis. But in America, the most common pay period is weekly; especially for the trades and service workers. Management is typically paid monthly or bi-weekly. But, still, the reality is that the true, after-tax benefit will only be about $2/day.

Effectively, this amount is literally "peanuts" when compared to the inflation that the average worker and his family has seen in gasoline, food, energy, and clothing prices over the last three years. And, that's why this payroll tax cut has done very little to stimulate the economy. It is simply a political tool for the Democrats and Obama to run on against the Republicans and get reelected.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Forget the Polls: Political Website Traffic Tells A Bigger Story

Readers of the conservative website, The Daily Caller, probably enjoyed reading this morning's lead piece: "As political season heats up, Politico’s Web traffic cools down".

In essence, this article uses available web traffic data to show that there has been a dramatic shift of traffic away from left-leaning political websites and an even more dramatic rise in traffic towards conservative sites. It appears that liberal sites like Politico, Media Matters, Talking Points Memo, the Daily Kos, Wonkette, and Salon have all suffered double-digit losses in their number of unique visitors. At the same time, political right-wing sites such as The Daily Caller, The Blaze, and Newsmax have all had extraordinary increases in traffic.

These statistics may tell a bigger story. A story that says Americans are seriously rejecting the progressive policies of Obama and the Democrats. And, more than any polling data, this may well be a better predictor of a conservative win in the 2012 elections. Not just for Congress but, also, for the presidency.

Lastly, on a related topic, The Blaze is reporting that the leftest of the left-wing websites, MoveOn.org, may go belly up on January 1st if it doesn't get an immediate cash infusion of $400,000 dollars. Many believe that George Soros will come to the rescue. He probably will. Even so, it is just another example of how liberal sites are losing at the hands of the extremist policies of Obama and the Democrats.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reuters: Housing starts hit 1-1/2 year high in November?

Because of this morning's Reuters headline, American home building rose to a 1-1/2 year high; most readers think that the housing market is on the rebound. Not so fast. The so-called "high" was totally due to the fact that multifamily homes were being built (i.e. condos and rental properties) at an increased rate of 32.2% in November. Single family home building only rose by 2.3% for the month. For the year, single family homes are still tracking at a negative 1.5% as compared to the prior year's activity.

The problem with building multifamily homes is that those kinds of homes will easily take sales away from the huge inventory of already foreclosed on and otherwise empty single-family units. As a result, don't expect single-family home prices to rebound for a very long time. Then, too, when the true home market starts to rebound again, there will be a massive glut of multifamily homes; leading to vacancies and, possibly, a number of run down neighborhoods and eye-sores.

The housing situation in this country has become a horrible mess. It should never have been allowed to get to this point in the first place. George Bush and, then, Barack Obama should have immediately addressed housing in each of their respective terms. We should have never allowed extremely easy, pre-recession mortgage lending to be turned into today's extremely tight credit and, now, almost non-existent mortgage lending. Instead, a middle ground policy on credit standards would have easily produced a moderate pace of home sales; eventually leading to a more robust sales as the economy recovered. Instead, we have one huge inventory of homes that will ultimately lead to another new and huge inventory of rental properties and condos in the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stockholm Syndrome: Tears For Kim Jong IL

A now-viral video shows a North Korean TV newscaster deeply and emotionally disturbed by the death of her country's dictator, Kim Jong IL In tears, it seems as if she can barely finish the story. Then, too, there are some other leaked videos that seem to show the whole country in deep mourning.

If these pictures and videos are not being staged, we may be seeing an extreme example of the Stockholm Syndrome whereby the captives have positive feelings towards their captor; no matter how evil or hurtful they may be. In this case, we had a cruel dictator who, for nearly two decades, tortured, starved, and killed an unknown toll of possibly thousands upon thousands of his own people. Literally, he created a closed society of slaves to both himself and the state of North Korea. Yet, we now see all this outpouring of sorrow and tears. Sorrow because they know no better. Kim Jong IL spent his life preventing his people from knowing no other life than the ones they have. Maybe someday, this imprisonment of an entire country will end. But, certainly, it will not end as long as another "Kim Jong" despot remains in power and people are being held in darkness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Obama's No Champion of the Middle Class

In last week's Osawatomie, Kansas speech on "Income Inequality," Barack Obama attempted to channel Teddy Roosevelt by claiming that he, like Roosevelt, was a champion of the middle class against the evils and ravages of the rich, Wall Street, and big business. But, you see, that's a phoney argument. In fact, it is Obama who has done everything possible to destroy the middle class since being in office. And, here's why.

In less than 3 years, Obama has raised the federal debt by more than 30% through massive spending programs that he had claimed would rejuvenate the economy. Instead, unemployment continued to rise and the economy has only limped along over that last two years; prompting some to even predict a double dip recession.

But, any of the economic benefits that were supposed to be created by all that spending were more than offset by the fact that the U.S. dollar was being devalued in the process. This, in turn, meant that Americans would pay higher prices for many imported goods. At the same time, the weakened dollar caused world oil prices to more than double because, world-wide, oil is only traded in U.S. dollars. Then, too, Obama's war on carbon fuels and his green energy policies are forcing Americans to pay more and more for all their energy needs.

Overall, the average American family is spending more for all of those essential goods and services in their daily lives. This includes food, clothing, fuel, and energy. Effectively, the middle class has had their spending power reduced along with their standards of living -- thanks to Obama. People on fixed incomes are hurt even more. In a nutshell, that's why Obama is no champion of the middle class.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Obama Administration's Gun "Walking" to Push Gun Control

It's no secret that Obama and most Democrats wish they could overturn the 2nd Amendment- right to bear arms. Therefore, it's also no wonder that we are now finding out that Obama's own Justice Department may have used a program called "Fast and Furious" to "walk" legally purchased assault rifles over the border of Mexico and into the hands of the drug cartels in a "staged" attempt to make a case for strict gun controls. (Click here to read the CBS News report: "Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations")

Right now, Attorney General Eric Holder is on the hot seat. Congressional hearings are trying to determine just how high up. in the Justice Department. the "Fast and Furious" program received its authorization. Increasingly, it's looking like Holder was well aware of it -- if not actually authorizing it. At the same time, one has to wonder if Obama, himself, was somewhat involved. I say this because the President, nearly 2-1/2 years ago, used a phoney statistic in an attempt to pump up support for an assault weapons ban. In his April 2009 press conference with Mexico's President Calderone, Obama and Calderone both stated that 90% of the weapons being used by the Mexican drug cartel's came from the U.S.

But this was a statistic that was both taken out of context and embellished. In 2008, Mexico had confiscated more than 30,000 firearms from captured and killed criminals and drug cartel members. Of that, approximately 7200 of those weapons were suspected to have come into Mexico from the United States and they were returned to law enforcement officials in this country in order to determine their true country of origin. Of those 7200, only 4000 had enough of their serial numbers left in tact so that they could actually be traced. Consequently, of that 4000, only 3480 of them or 87% of the 4000 were traceable back to the U.S. Now, for what has to be political convenience, officials in this country have rounded that 87% to 90%. However, that still left more than 26,500 of the original 30,000 that didn't come into Mexico from this country. In reality, only about 12% were from the U.S. Not 90%. (Click here to read this report from the prestigious Stratfor Global Intelligence group: "Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth")

Now, I ask you: If a President is willing to lie about a number in an attempt to gain support for gun control, what else would he be willing to do?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Jobless Claims are Always Lower

This morning, the initial unemployment insurance claims report (aka the Jobless Claims Report) for the last week fell "unexpectedly" below 400,000 to 381,000. Reuters news wrote this in response: "The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low last week, suggesting the labor market's recovery was gaining momentum."

Well, here's the thing. The claims numbers are always lower in the weeks that constitute the Holiday season -- starting with the week before Thanksgiving and ending in mid-January when seasonally hired workers are let go. It's a simple fact that retailers hire during the holidays; causing a lowering in unemployment and claims. It's also human nature. You see, most employers aren't the heartless, greedy ogres that Obama and the Democrats would have you believe. The last thing that any employer wants to do is throw a worker out on the street during the holidays.

But, the news media always jumps on these "seasonal" drops as some "sign" that the economy is getting better. Just last year, CNN reported on the noticeable slowdown in claims with this December 16th headline: "Unemployment claims drift lower." Inside that report, economist Stuart Hoffman of PNC Financial Services was quoted as saying: "...the current downward trajectory is 'very encouraging.'" However, as we now know, that downward trend evaporated after the holidays and the claims numbers started going back up in 2011.

Then, on December 30, CNN wrote an even more ecstatic report on the falling jobless claims under this this headline: "Jobless claims drop below 400,000 mark." They went on to write: "For the first time in more than two years, the number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 last week -- a ray of hope in one of the longest job droughts in U.S. history." Of course, that "longest drought" has continued on with millions of Americans still out of work and still losing jobs.

To me, it seems like the "left-wing media" always has convenient memory loss around this time of the year. But, if you're a liberal news operation and your favored President is floundering at his job, it's a good way to make lemonade out of lemons. This has happened time after time since Obama has been in office. Nearly every week the jobless insurance claims are report as "falling unexpectedly". Then, the following week, the previously reported claims number is bumped up again so the newly reported claims number can be, again, shown as a drop. Yet, the claims remain high at above the 400,000 level. If they had truly fallen as many times as they have been reported to have done so -- in the last three years -- nobody should be out of work.

But, Obama is not a job's president. This, despite how hard the press tries to make him look like one. From his spending and energy policies to his healthcare and financial service mandates, this President and his administration have done absolutely nothing to correct the high unemployment situation in this country. That is not just me saying this. It's a simple, statistical fact.

The Hypocrisy Of The Year's Climate Change Summit

Right now, there are about 10,000 attendees at this year's climate change summit being held in Durban, South Africa. Those showing up at this "not-so-little save-the-planet-soiree" include representatives from 194 countries, climate scientists, interested environmentalists, global warming activists, a sprinkling of protestors, and, of course, hundreds of media personnel. All there to stop mankind from pumping millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Then, too, how much CO2 was spewed into the air by having 10,000 attendees, from all over the world, fly into such a remote location as South Africa. You would think that a group that is so protective of our environment would be a lot more judicious with their own carbon footprints. But, no. And, the reason? $100 billion in wealth redistribution from the bad polluting countries to those countries who can least afford to combat global warming. You see, the underdeveloped countries will need everything from food assistance, to equipment used to measure their own climate changes. This is despite the fact that none of the dire predictions of the last Climate Treaty, Kyoto, have come to pass. This is not climate science. This is all political science and, more and more, the people are waking up to that fact. For 15 years there has been no increase in world temperatures. Yet, carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise at record rates during that very same time period. To quote the famous utterance of the "Lost in Space" robot: "That does no compute!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Chevy Volt: A Rolling Crematorium?

Running nearly the entire length of the "hump" between the driver and passenger seats and, then, forming a "T" that runs along the back seat of the Chevy Volt is an extremely large and toxic lithium ion battery. It's the very same battery type that is used to power your laptops or cell phones.

The problem with lithium ion batteries is that under certain "stress" conditions, like extreme overcharging, they have a tendency to catch fire. Just five days ago, on a regional flight in Australia, an Apple iPhone burst into flames. A couple of days later, in Brazil, another iPhone caught fire. The fact is that the lithium battery has a history of either burning people's skin from the high heat that's generated or just plain catching fire.

Now, we have the Electric Vehicles being powered by lithium batteries thousands of times larger than any you would find in a cell phone or laptop. To my knowledge there have already been 3 fires associated with the Volt. The first occurred back in April of this year when a Connecticut couple lost their entire garage to what is suspected to be a Volt fire. Then, just a few weeks ago, a Volt that was undergoing a crash test had its battery burst into flames. Finally, another set of batteries, used in another crash test, caught fire after having been removed from the car.

After the first crash test fire, General Motors (GM) announced that they would provide rental cars to anyone concerned about their Volts until such time as they were able to assure the safety of these cars. Then, following the next fire, GM announced that it was willing to buy back any Volts from owners fearful of the hazard. That, to me, was a clear admission that GM has a serious problem. With that, sales of the Volt are starting to falter as the buying public smells a rat.

I don't know about you but, I, for one, would not want to sit in a car that had even the remotest possibility of being a mobile crematorium. I'm not sure that the world is quite ready for the electric car revolution. Thanks to the Obama Administration and the leverage they exerted with the bailout, GM was pushed into a rush delivery of the first electric car. Fortunately, only about 8,000 of these might be sold this year. But, if they are a real fire risk, even one Volt on the road is one Volt too many. I really think the future of the electric car has been put into question just because Obama wanted to please his eco-left, climate change, activist voting base by rushing an unproven electric car to market.

Monday, December 5, 2011

U.S. Postal Service: Stupid Is As Stupid Does!

The United States Post Office blames the Internet for its deficit woes? So, in order to solve their problem, they plan to eliminate hundreds of sorting facilities and slow down first class mail delivery by an average of one day. In essence, forcing even more of their business to the Internet. How stupid is this?

Income Disparity: Social Injustice or Socialist Jealously?

On a recent MSNBC "Morning Joe" program, former President Carter's National Security Adviser, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, claimed that the United States is one of the most socially unjust nations in the world (Click here to See the Story and The Video). To prove this, he pointed to our ranking in something called the GINI coefficient where we were clustered at the top of the most "unjust" country's list along with countries like Brazil, Mexico, India, and China. Simply speaking, the "Gini" is a measurement of the disparity between the rich and the poor in any given country. It was developed by a socialist, for socialist propaganda, and the results are generally skewed to make socialism look better than capitalism because it favors countries that have little or no individual exceptionalism and countries where the government dictates salaries. Lastly, Brzezinski claimed that Europeans are more upwardly mobile than Americans.

There's a reason that Jimmy Carter wears the "worst President ever" crown. He basically hired idiot socialists like Brzezinski.

Once again, we have a another leftist -- in concert with Obama -- playing class warfare. People like Brzezinski seem to think that income disparity is the only measurement of a society that counts. But, what they ignore is that fact that Americans enjoy one of the highest standards of living; including our supposed 30 million poor. Many of the so-called poor of this country enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle than the poor of hundreds of other countries. According to a study conducted by our own Department of Energy on energy consumption by social class, 99.7% of those defined as poor have refrigerators and 95% have stoves and ovens. Nearly 98% have TV's. Most have cars and nearly 75% have home air conditioning. In Europe, even some of the most posh apartments don't have air conditioning because energy prices are too high. That's why over 5000 people died in 2003 in France when they had several days of 100 degree heat.

I'm not saying that people aren't hurting in America but, we have several safety nets to help those people survive who have little or no income. 1.2 million of our poor live in some form of low rent or rent-free public housing. 40 million receive food stamps. 57 million Americans receive health care support through Medicaid. We have free school lunch programs in support of the poor. Additionally, people, having low incomes can actually file an income tax return, pay no taxes, and get paid in the process through something called the Earned Income Tax Credit. And, list goes on.

When it comes to income disparity, the only thing that comes to my mind is social jealousy and not the lack of social justice. Does it really matter if Jay Leno has a warehouse full of expensive rare cars? Does his having those cars prevent anyone else from having a car? Not hardly. What really matters is that almost all Americans who "need" a car have one.

It also amazes me that Brzezinski used Europe as an example of a more upwardly mobile society to live in than the U.S. Aside from Germany, Europe is in a mess and either partly or wholly teetering on collapse. The social unrest is unbelievable. Brzezinski is just totally off his nut. Again, it all comes down to standards of living and the purchasing power of Americans versus Europeans. The average new home being built in the U.K., for example, is just under 800 square feet; the worst in Europe (Click here to See Story). In the U.S., that number is over 2300 square feet. Even in the more affluent country of Denmark, the average new home size is still nearly half that of the U.S. The average American household owns 2.3 automobiles. In Europe, the statistic is half that and Europeans depend heavily on public transportation. But, there's a reason for this and it all has to do with the fact that Europeans have less disposable income than Americans. That's why the average age of an automobile in Europe is 13 years compared to only 9 years in the U.S.

Over and over again, liberals love to hate America. If Brzezinski thinks Europe is such a great place, then move there and take his daughter, Mika (Joe Scarborough's Co-Host on "Morning Joe"), with him. If the "Gini" is so important, he should think about moving to a country like Botswana, where there is such "low" disparity of income. A place, where so many people get to enjoy all the amenities of a one or two-room, dirt-floor house or hut that has no running water, no electricity and, certainly, no air conditioning. Yes sir, that "Gini" is fine way of measuring social justice.

Friday, December 2, 2011

This Morning's Jobs Report Just Screams Fraud!

Most all of this morning's economic news headlines read like this one from Bloomberg news: U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6%.

So, supposedly, we added enough jobs to lower the unemployment rate by four-tenths of one percent from last month's rate of 9%. To put this into perspective, we currently have a labor force of about 154 million workers. To achieve a four-tenths lowering of the unemployment rate, we needed to add over 600,000 new jobs. Now, according to the report, itself, we only added 120,000 jobs in November. Then, going back to October's data, that previously reported number was revised upwards by 20,000. Therefore, overall, only 140,000 jobs were supposedly created in this reporting period. Certainly, well short of the needed 600,000. What's worse, the report also states that the workforce shrank by 315,000 workers because those unemployed workers grudgingly gave up looking for work. Therefore, the net of this report is that our economy actually "lost" 175,000 jobs. Yet the unemployment rate fell dramatically.

The reality is that this report doesn't jive with its own internal facts. It also doesn't jive with the last Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report which had been revised downwards to a mere 2% economic growth in the last quarter. Most economists would tell you that you would need a minimum of 2.5% GDP growth before there would be any "real" job creation and a "true" lowering of the unemployment rate. Lastly, this report certainly doesn't match up with the fact that the jobless claims numbers have consistently stayed near or above the 400,000 level. Simply speaking, this morning's report is either an incompetent handling of the data or, what's worse, a blatant political deception.

Already, this morning, key Democrats and the liberal media are falling all over themselves in jubilation of the lowered unemployment rate. All are singing praises to Obama's economic policies. Even Obama hit the microphones to lay claim to "his" creation of 120,000 jobs in November. But, as I have shown, that claim ignores the realities in order to "politically" deceive the public. The fact is that we need to grow the labor force by a minimum of 166,000 jobs, each month,in order to keep up with simple population growth. Obama is a fraud. Throughout his term in office, there has never been a month where there has been any true job creation. And, that's the truth that Obama continues to hide, month after month, in an attempt to prove that his economic policies are working and that he should be reelected.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Obama Wrestling The "Worst Ever" Crown From Carter

There's still 11 months to go to before we officially find out whether Obama has become the reigning one-term, "worst ever" President. Right now, that title still comfortably sits with the one-term wonder: Jimmy Carter.

But, based on recent polling data from the Gallup organization, Obama is proving that Carter's title isn't as implacable as many would have thought. According to Gallup, Obama's overall approval rating -- for this point in his Presidency -- is 8 points below the approval rating of Carter and certainly below the ratings of all other modern Presidents (Click here to See Story: Obama's Approval Plunges Below Worst-Ever President Carter).

This was no small feat on the part of our current Chief Executive. After all, he had to really go out of his way to prove that he was a weaker leader and a more do-nothing President than ole Jimmy. Further, he had to prove, like Carter, that he could actually make things worse since taking office. My hat's off to the man. Veni. Vidi. Vici!