Saturday, May 30, 2015

Climate Disasters are a Result of Global Warming?

Almost everyday, we are told that some natural disaster is a result of global warming and its associated climate change.  Last year, 2014 was declared to be the hottest year ever.  California's drought is supposed to be a direct result of hotter and drier conditions.  When Katrina hit New Orleans, it was all because of global warming.

Logically, if all of the above were true, a place like Los Angeles (almost ground zero for the drought) would be seeing temperature records falling like rocks as the earth continued to warm.  To that point, I present this chart of historical averages and record lows and highs for Los Angeles from Intellicast, who maintains a massive database of historical weather data for many cities in the country:

click on image to enlarge
Contrary to supposed belief, there hasn't been a single-day's temperature record broken for any given month since 1990 when the city's all time high of 112 was established for June.  So, for 25 years, no records have been broken.  Also, the month of December's record high of 92 has stood for 77 years and the hottest 4th of July occurred way back in 1907.

Then, there's New Orleans;  ground zero for hurricane Katrina in 2005:

For this city, there hasn't been a record temperature broken since 1993; and the record for any day in February has stood since 1899.

Neither of these two cities has seen a high temperature record broken since the early 1990's. Either they have been exempt from global warming or, maybe it isn't as worrisome as we have been led to believe.   If 2014 was truly the hottest year on record, then, why were no records broken in any month for these two cities in that year?

It's a little hard to believe that rest of the world was hot while we remained cool in 2014.


Climate Change Has Arrived in California (Op-Ed):

Hurricane Katrina and global warming:

Intellicast: Los Angeles:

One for the Record Books: 2014 Officially Hottest Year:


Friday, May 29, 2015

A 2016 Challenge For Both Political Parties. Especially Republicans!

There are a lot of right leaning media types who believe, like Senator Ted Cruz, that the next Republican nominee for president should be solidly conservative and not center right;  otherwise they will lose in 2016.  In support of that argument, they point to the past losses by moderates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney.  But, this chart from Gallup says that the country is becoming more and more moderate:

Since the late 80's,  Republican party affiliation has fallen from 34% to just 25% in 2013.  The Democrats, too, have lost members; falling from 36% to 31%, but that is only a fraction of the Republican losses.  The big class winner in all of this has been the people who now call themselves Independents; rising from 34% to today's 42%.   Obviously, moderate Democrats and Republicans are leaving their respective parties and, in doing so, they are saying that they reject some of their party's ideals and platforms.

The chart above represents the averages for each given year.  What Gallup found by taking 2013 in isolation follows in this remarkable chart:

In just one year, nearly half of all American voters have identified themselves as moderates.  At the same time, this means that the remaining membership of both parties have become more extreme in their ideologies; having lost the moderates.

Because of this, each party will have to appeal to the middle in 2016.  While, at the same time, not offend its remaining base which may not come out to vote if the party platform is too moderate. That's quite the challenge for any politician.

The worst thing that Republicans could do is to try to appeal to their ever marginalized and more extreme base while ignoring the growing number of Independents.  For that reason, I think the conservative media types are wrong with their assessment that the next nominee for the Republican party should be staunchly conservative. 


Gallup: Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents:

Ted Cruz in South Carolina: Nominate a conservative in 2016, or Democrats will win:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bernie Sanders' 90% Tax on the Wealthy

In a recent interview with the cable business network, CNBC, presidential candidate and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders said he had no problem with taxing the wealthy at 90%.  What he's really saying is that he wants to wipe out rich people in this country.  For example, if you live in California where the top tax rate is 13.3% and you make more than a million dollars, your combined state and federal rate would be 103%.  In other words, you would owe more money than you earn.  This doesn't even include other taxes you pay on your gross income, such as payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare or real estate tax on perhaps one or more multimillion dollar homes.

So, what happens then?

We will see the biggest relocation we've ever seen of talented people, businesses, and corporations to countries with lower tax rates.  With taxes  that high, well-paid actors, who make millions per movie are going to leave; and the studios will follow in order to protect their own CEO's from having their incomes literally eradicated.  The result will be lost jobs and less tax revenues; primarily in the middle class.  In fact, we will probably hear that infamous giant sucking sound once more, as jobs and wealth start flooding into Canada with its low tax rate and commonality of language. 

What this idiot, Sanders, doesn't seem to understand is that high income taxes create high rates of poverty, unemployment, reduced revenues, and slow economic growth.  A fact that was clearly proven when President Kennedy proposed a substantial lowering of taxes  for the top 91%.  When implemented in 1964, the rate on the rich was lowered to 70%.  In less than 4 years, tax revenues grew 68%.  Poverty was reduced by 34%.  Unemployment was lower and, economic growth was higher than anytime prior to that date, past or present, since World War II.


Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent:

California Income Tax Rates:

Top State Income Tax Rates For All 50 States:

What J.F.K. Knew About Economics And What Most Democrats Today Don't:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Obama and the Left's Misuse of the Term 'Tax Loopholes'

Starting with his presidential run in 2008, and for the last 7 years, President Obama has been talking about closing tax loopholes for businesses.  However, his use of the word "loopholes" is incorrect.  What he should be referring to is "tax incentives" that corporations get for certain business activities. Using the word loopholes makes tax breaks and incentives sound nefarious or even criminal.  The reality is that most of the "loopholes" that the President is talking about are legal tax breaks that the IRS or Congress ruled on as incentives for jobs, or to provide our corporations with international competitiveness.

The biggest tax incentives (or, in his vernacular, loopholes) that the President wants to eliminate are those for buying and operating corporate jets. Along with high CEO salaries, they gall him more than anything else because they are a symbol of wealth. I'm sure he feels that corporate jets shouldn't exist because it's unfair that the average person can't have one too.

Today, if a corporation buys a jet, the cost enjoys accelerated depreciation for tax purposes, of just 5 years under the law.  That's 2 years shorter than the depreciation on commercial jet liners.  Thus, in just 5 years a company can offset nearly all of the cost of buying a jet -- less inflation -- by lowering its taxes.  There is nothing abnormal about this. Corporations have always been allowed to depreciate "high ticket" capital expense items such as replacement roofs, buildings, phone systems, cars, trucks, manufacturing equipment, etc.  At the same time, the operation of a jet and all associated costs are deductible as business expenses in the same way office supplies are deductible under the law, again to lower the tax burden.  Now, to be fair, the use of a corporate jet did have a "tax loophole" in that the corporation could also deduct the cost of using the jet for non-business entertainment uses, but that was identified in 2007 and was finally closed in 2012 by the IRS.

The primary reason that the corporate jet tax breaks exist is to keep over 1.2 million jobs intact.  That's how many workers are directly or indirectly employed in making them and their parts; flying them as pilots and co-pilots; maintaining and servicing them; and, working in the airports they use throughout the country.

Similar tax incentives that Obama believes are loopholes are those that allow oil drillers to depreciate drilling equipment, trucks, and cars.  The expense of drilling the well is also deductible. However, in this case, it is not about fairness but global warming.  Anything he can do to slow down oil exploration and raise the price of oil is his main objective but, like corporate jets, slowing down oil exploration and production will only cost Americans their jobs.  Something we can ill afford in an already slow economy.

Make no mistake about it. Obama has created his own "loopholes".  He has created tax deductions for buying electric cars and solar and wind power systems that only benefit the rich who can afford to buy them.

I think that  -- instead of attacking loopholes that create jobs -- President Obama should think about all the policies that he has implemented that retard job growth.


2015 State of the Union Address:  Obama attacks 'loopholes' for wealthy, business:

New Dogfight Between Obama and Private Jet Industry:

Obama budget would slash oil tax breaks while boosting renewables:

 IRS Lays Out New Rules on Corporate Jet Use:

Under Obama:  Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Price Deflation: Why We Should Be Worried

There hasn't been much talk about the fact that, in three of the first four months of 2015, inflation was a negative.  In the latest report, annualized inflation was pegged at a negative 2-tenths of a percent. Deflation, even as small as this, is quite rare.  The only other time we have seen it in the last 35 years (see below) was from March to October 2009 in the wake of the Great Recession.  This can only happen when businesses sense a widespread slowdown in the buying of goods and services and, as a result, they either hold prices or lower them. Retailers, especially, will tend to reduce prices by running sales to attract more customers. Some will even use loss leaders -- products marked down below cost -- to attract more foot traffic to their stores. 

If this is truly indicative of a national slowdown in sales, then it could be an indicator that we are in some form of recession. We already know that, in the first quarter, the economy  only grew by two tenths of a percent.  Quite frankly, I am surprised that we haven't had another recession since 2009.  Wages today, when adjusted for inflation, are the lowest they've been since 1995.

The average American has seen 20 years of improvements in their buying power completely erased; and, there is no indication that wages will increase to previous highs until after  many years of slow growth.  Thus, without wage growth there will be reduced buying to the extent that inflation will turn negative and a recession could ensue.


US Inflation by Year:

St. Louis Federal Reserve: Real Median Household Income:

US economy stalled in Q1; Fed expected to pause on rate:

March job gains 126,000; miss 248,000 forecast - USA Today:,d.cGU

Monday, May 25, 2015

Is Fox News Trying To Cannabilize Its Own Audience to Save Fox Business?

When Fox News launched its sister network, the Fox Business Network (FBN) in 2007, many thought this new foray would destroy NBC's business network, CNBC, in the same way the FNC rose to dominate cable news.  Now, 8 years later, FBN, on a good day,  gets about a third of the audience CNBC does, and only about 11-12% of CNBC's nighttime audience of nearly a half million viewers.

Recently, FBN announced that 'Imus in the Morning' would finally be replaced. It reminded me why -- as an investor -- I never took FBN seriously as a business network.  Don Imus -- an entertainment radio talk show host -- is not my go to source for business information prior to the opening bell.  This was a joke, and one reason I could never take FBN seriously. Maria Bartiromo is taking the spot. The fact that, now, after 8 years, they just figured this out is amazing.

For months now, Fox News has been trying to save FBN.  Wherever possible, they will raise a topic where one of the FBN hosts is invited in to comment.  Then, at the end of the segment, they make sure you know that if you want hear more from whoever the analyst  was, you can tune into FBN at such and such a time and, if you don't know where FBN is on your system, you can always go to "".  Really? People aren't watching FBN because they can't find it?

Basically, I don't think Fox Business is long for this world.  The Imus move is a dollar short and more than 2500 days late.  Also, they're lucky to have as much traffic as they already have.  On most cable and satellite systems, they are an upper tier channel.  Thus, they have less potential viewers than CNBC which is part of the basic package for most cable and satellite systems.  For FBN, 'Taps' is long overdue and Fox has to be losing money everyday this network remains broadcasting.

Lastly, Fox Business should never have tried to go head-to-head with CNBC.   What they should have done is focus on being a market investing education channel with hourly tips and teaching segments.  That, in itself, would have naturally attracted more viewers.  Just my opinion.


Cable News Ratings:

Fox Business Network New Lineup: Don Imus Replaced by Maria Bartiromo:

Fox Business Network:

Channel Finder - See Where You Can Watch Fox Business:



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Obama Calls Cliimate Change An Immediate National Security Risk

Recently, President Obama told the graduating class of Coast Guard cadets that climate change and global warming are immediate risks to our national security.  Well, if that is true, and they truly endanger the security of the U.S., why aren't we at war with India and China over their massive increases in carbon output?
The fact is that, no matter how much we do to control our CO2 output, China and India will easily offset our lowered  levels.

And, I only made that "war" comment to show how ridiculous the President's "national security" argument is. Of course, if he truly believes what he is saying, then maybe we should be at war against the polluters.


Obama: Climate Change an 'Immediate Risk' to National Security:

Global CO2 Emissions: Increases Dwarf Recent U.S. Reductions:

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Reductions Outpace Rest of World:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hillary Impeaches Herself With Her Second Secret Email Address

Hillary Clinton is a former-practicing lawyer and, as such, she had to have known that she impeached herself under the law by lying when she replied to a formal request from the Benghazi Committee Chairman, Trey Gowdy, earlier this year.  In a written letter, she acknowledged the existence of a second but secret email address, but claimed it was never used while she was Secretary of State.

This was a lie.  The New York Times investigated this secret address and found that it was exclusively used by Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal throughout her tenure as Secretary of State.

This latest revelation brings into question everything she's said in the past about Benghazi and the email server.   Its also strange why Blumenthal couldn't use her official address on that same private server that was apparently good enough to commingle both State Department business and personal communications with her family and others.  On top of that, Blumenthal was using access to Hillary Clinton for personal gains as a consultant to the Constellation Group who was seeking State Department approvals for business dealings with the Libyan government.

Off the books secrecy; deception; backdoor deals; and lying.  Are these the qualities we  want in a President?  All this strongly reinforces what I had written in my blog entry of last year: Hillary Clinton's Tall Tales, Fish Stories, and Outright Lies.


What’s Impeachment of a Witness?:

Hillary had second secret email address:

Hillary Clinton downplays Sidney Blumenthal's influence:

Hillary Clinton's Tall Tales, Fish Stories, and Outright Lies:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Climate Change, Obama Talks the Talk But Does Otherwise

On this year's Earth Day, President Obama celebrated by taking Air Force One on a short trip from Washington D.C. to the Florida Everglades.  As some have noted, that short jaunt  burned the equivalent of a year's worth of fuel for 17 automobiles.

When the President goes anywhere, there is an entourage of at least 4 planes; not just Air Force One.  There is also a backup Air Force One; and at least 2 heavy-lift cargo jets that burn fuel faster than Air Force One. These are needed to carry all the automobiles and helicopters necessary for the trip.  International excursions usually add another cargo jet and another passenger jet to carry additional aides and extra reporters.  Also required, are at least two fully-armed fighter jets to escort the President's plane. Then, of course,  an advanced security team must be flown in to make sure that he is fully protected.  When on the ground, the motorcade causes thousands of cars to be backed up in traffic jams; all the while those cars sit idling and wasting gas and spewing unnecessary CO2.

I guess what bothers me most about Barack Obama and his continual complaining about our carbon footprint and climate change, is that he is one of the nation's single biggest polluters of CO2.

Already he's our most traveled President. His trip to India in 2010, cost the earth an estimated 19 million tons of carbon dioxide.  A trip that also involved 40 aircraft and 34 warships that were brought into the region.  Last year, he and 900 people descended on Brussels for a 24-hour trip.  That involved 3 cargo jets and a motorcade of 45 vehicles and protection by 350 motorcycle police.

Then, there are all his vacations, golfing, and fund raising trips.  In fact, early in his first year in office, he took Michelle on a one-evening date to New York City.  And, then all those one-day trips all over the country to pitch an agenda item in front of some crowd of affected and disaffected workers, or other small group of Americans.  One estimate has the President's personal annual carbon footprint at 41,000 tons while the average American only spews out 19.8. 

Then we have Hillary Clinton who, under Obama's direction, was the most traveled Secretary of State.  A record that her replacement, John Kerry, is on track to break. Of course we have to add all the First Lady's "good will" trips she's taken on her own.

The simple fact is that if President Obama truly cared about Climate Change and carbon footprints, he would lead by example. But, like so many on the left, he could never once consider himself part of the problem.


Obama’s Earth Day Flight Emits More CO2 Than 17 Cars Would In A Year:

Study: Obama Most Traveled President, With 31 Costly Trips Abroad:

Flashback: How Big Is Obama’s “Carbon Footprint”?:

Obama India Trip: 40 Aircraft, 34 Warships, 3,000 Entourage, Entire Taj Mahal Booked, Coconut Removal, Bomb-Proof Tunnel Construction, 19 Million Pounds Of CO2 @ $200 Million Per Day?:

Are you watching Vladimir? Obama lands in Belgium with entourage of 900 and 45 armored vehicles for ONE night only costing THEM $10.4 million in security:

Hillary Clinton breaks travel record - Associated Press:

5 Facts You May Not Know About How Much Obama’s Travel Costs You:

First Family Vacations:

Obama's Miami visit on immigration sparks mixed reactions:

Obama touts immigration plan in his third visit to Las Vegas:

President Obama tours to call for minimum wage rise:

Obama trip mends a broken heart:

Google Search on Obama's Visits Over Minimum Wage:

Kerry did not set out to break Hillary Clinton’s mileage record, but that may become one measure of his ultimate success:

Obama frames global warming as national security threat:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hillary's Silence Is Like Pleading The 5th

Under the Constitution, our criminal justice system allows a person to avoid answering a question under oath by pleading the 5th Amendment.  This, on the grounds that answering may somehow incriminate them. Most people, when hearing someone plead the 5th amendment, logically conclude that someone is hiding something that may point to their guilt.

For weeks, now, Hillary Clinton has been ducking reporters and hasn't had one interview with anyone in the media.  When questions are shouted from behind the barricades, she ignores them as if she was deaf.  Recently, her security team was seen driving at 95 mph in an attempt to escape pursuing journalists.

All this avoidance looks a lot like someone pleading the 5th to avoid incriminating themselves.  Her emails? Benghazi? The 'Clinton Cash' book claims? Now, Sydney Blumenthal?  Her position on Free Trade? And, a whole host of questions about issues that concern both her and her husband.

Some are saying this is a smart strategy because she is running unopposed and doesn't need to be interviewed.  I think it makes her appear guilty of something.


[VIDEO] Hillary Walks Off When Reporters Question Her About Bribery Allegations:

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary hides from reporters with SECOND secret party of the day as her security forces race across Iowa at 95 MPH to dodge pursuing journalists:

Hillary Avoids Press Question By Talking to Herself?:

Fifth Amendment:

Hillary Clinton Sets Record, Longest Presidential Candidate To Dodge National Press In Modern History:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Big Lie: Obamacare Has Reduced Healthcare Inflation

As I have often stated, you can always find selected statistics to support any lie.  One lie that I keep hearing from President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and a whole bunch of Democrat strategists is that ObamaCare has produced the lowest cost increase for healthcare in the last 50 years.  The source was a speech that the President gave in November 2014 where he said: 
"Health care inflation has gone down every single year since the law [the Affordable Care Act] passed, so that we now have the lowest increase in health care costs in 50 years–which is saving us about $180 billion in reduced overall costs to the federal government and in the Medicare program."
In making that statement, he is apparently referencing this little-seen, per-capita spending chart for Medicare and Medicaid services:

As I pointed out, this chart has been little seen by the average American. This is because it shows that the reduction in spending started long before ObamaCare was even signed into law in 2010.  Essentially, the drop in per-capita spending began in the Bush Administration in 2003; a full 6 years before Barack Obama was even in office and 7 years before ObamaCare became law.  Also, note that 2013 has a uptick.  So, the comment  of "Health care inflation has gone down every year since the law passed" also doesn't hold water.

Disingenuously, Obama is trying to portray the Affordable Care Act as a inflation fighter when, in fact, this chart only shows that Medicare and Medicaid recipients aren't accessing the healthcare system as much as they were in 2003.  In reality, healthcare inflation has not slowed one iota, as this chart of consumer prices for medical care from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data clearly shows:

It amazes me that this lie continues to this very day despite the fact that the Washington Post gave 3 Pinocchios to Obama for telling it in the first place.   But, then, ObamaCare has always been a pack of lies from the President, his Administration, and the Democrats.


Fact Checker: Obama’s claim that Obamacare has reduced health-care inflation ‘every single year’ since it was passed:

Graph: Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Medical Care:,

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bureaucratic Finger Pointing Over the Amtrak Crash

Even before the dead had been moved to the morgue, the Congressional Democrats were "ghoulishly" blaming Republicans for the the Amtrak crash.  They fault the GOP because they claim that funding delays were created when they didn't approve President' Obama's $300 billion infrastructure bill. They cite it as a direct cause of the accident.  But, in typical Democrat fashion, this was all a lie.

The first thing that disproved the infrastructure argument was when it was revealed that  the train engineer took that fatal turn at twice the speed recommended for that stretch of track.   Then, the Democrats shifted the argument by saying that, if the infrastructure spending bill had been approved,  a Positive Train Control (speed control) would have been installed on that train and the tragedy would have been avoided.


The truth is that the speed system was installed but not turned on.  Apparently, the blame for failing to activate it falls on the shoulders of Obama's Federal Communication Commission (FCC) who was dragging its heels at deciding which frequency the train control system could use.  But, the FCC is saying they already approved the frequency usage and the fault lies with Amtrak for not turning the system on.  Somehow, George W. Bush has avoided the blame on this one. At least for now.

Lying and CYA (covering Your a*s) seems to be alive and well in Washington D.C.  Does anyone really care about the lives that were lost and the people who were injured, or are we just taking advantage of another political opportunity?


Speed Control Was Installed, Not On at Time of Amtrak Crash:

Are Republicans really to blame for fatal Amtrak crash? :

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Is Fox News' Liberal Kirsten Powers Becoming A Conservative?

Kirsten Powers, a liberal commentator on Fox News and long-time Democrat insider, might just be morphing into a conservative in real time.  I first sensed this when she had to publicly admit that ObamaCare resulted in her losing her health insurance and that the replacement was substantially higher in cost; not lower.

Then, she wrote and released a book titled "The Silencing--How the Left is Killing Free Speech".  Just recently she penned an article called  "How Liberals Ruined College".

Now, I am sure that, in her mind, she thinks she is just lecturing liberals so they see the errors of their ways.  But, in my opinion, she is on the pathway to becoming a conservative Republican.  I know this because, at one time in my life, I was a JFK, LBJ, RFK, Democrat before I too saw the light.  Of course, I don't know how much working for Fox News has rubbed off on Kirsten but, I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.

Anyway, it's nice to see a butterfly conservative rising from a once-liberal cocoon.  One more for the Gipper!  That is, President Ronald Reagan who also, was once a Democrat.


Kirsten Powers:

Kirsten Powers On Losing Her Health-Insurance:

Inside the Beltway: Kirsten Powers book says liberals kill free speech and demonize conservatives:

How Liberals Ruined College:

Reagan began his political career as a Democrat:

Friday, May 15, 2015

NAFTA and Why Democrats are Gun-Shy on Free Trade Agreements

In 1992, the then-independent candidate for the presidency, Ross Perot, made a now famous comment on the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by saying that if it was passed, "there will be a giant sucking sound [of money] going south..."   Despite Perot's warning, President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA into law in 1994.

In that year, the United States had a net positive trade imbalance of $1.9 billion with Mexico; meaning that we exported more goods to them than they were able to import into the U.S.  But, by 2000, just 5 years after NAFTA realistically went into effect, our trade imbalance with Mexico became a net negative $24.6 billion dollars and Ross Perot was clearly proven correct.  In 2014, the negative imbalance more than doubled since 2000 at $53.8 billion.

The primary reason that Perot was correct is that, when free trade is allowed, previously protective tariffs and duties on imported products are removed between each of the agreeing countries.  So, for the U.S., that means that Mexico no longer had to pay tariffs on anyone of the 12,000 product-specific imports that we previously had in effect.  Thus, thousand of made-in-Mexico products just got a lot cheaper; and, a flood of that merchandise became much more attractive to American buyers on the basis of cost.  As a result, many Americans lost their jobs. The inverse is not necessarily true -- especially with lower wage countries like Mexico -- because even with the lifting of tariffs and duties, American made products are still too expensive for the average Mexican to buy.

Now, in an odder than odd-couple moment, Obama and the Republicans joined together to push a Trans-Pacific free trade agreement that covers trade between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.  Like NAFTA, there are just too many poor countries in this agreement,       (Chile, Peru, Vietnam), who could also bring back another roar of "sucking sounds" like that of Mexico. Our trade imbalance will only get greater and people will lose more jobs.

This is basically why, not a single Democrat will approve the agreement, and for once, I have to say that I'm with them on this one.


Giant Sucking Sound:

Why almost everyone hates the trade deal Obama’s negotiating in Japan:

Obama: Elizabeth Warren Is 'Wrong' On Trade:

25 American Products That Rely On Huge Protective Tariffs To Survive:

Foreign Trade With Mexico:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Obama's Waste-of-Time 3-Day Summit on Poverty

President Obama -- apparently following Pope Francis' lead -- held a 3-day summit at Georgetown University which included various Christian groups in order to address poverty in the U.S.  In my opinion, if the President wants to understand why we experienced  a 50-year record high poverty level last year, he need only put his Big-D (Democrat) hat on and look in the mirror.

Over the last 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty, this country has spent $22 trillion on the problem in largely Democrat-led welfare programs.  Yet, poverty is more widespread today than ever. 45 million (14.5%) of our citizens are living in poverty.  Obviously throwing money at the problem isn't working.

You don't need a 3-day summit to understand its root cause.  Poverty is a direct result of a failed education system.  According to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Education, 19% of high school graduates cannot read at a 4th grade level.   If you can't read, you can't write.  And, if you can't read or write, the only jobs available to you are low level, low paying, unskilled jobs such as janitorial work.

The fact that we have 19% of our high school graduates unable to read or write points to the fact that we have too many teachers and too many schools who just hustle people out the door not caring that they are illiterate and what that means to our society.  Statistically, two thirds of those who can't read proficiently at the end of the 4th grade are destined for either prison or welfare; two major problems in this country.

But, Democrats like Obama would never go after teachers as a means of reducing poverty.  After all, the teacher's unions have a very close and symbiotic relationship with Democrats.  In fact, the President, in his first year in office, shut down the Washington D.C. voucher system which gave 1,700 low income students access to non-public and non-union schools.He did this in order to demonstrate his appreciation to the teacher's unions for their efforts in getting him elected.  This, even though the voucher system had demonstrated improvements in the test scores of those who participated.

Simply, the key to fixing our poverty and crime problems is to better educate our citizens and help people to understand why education is important.  Of course, this will have to be done at the state and local levels with strong direction and support from the President of the United States.  But, not this President.  Quite frankly, Obama and a lot Democrats would prefer the poor to stay poor. This ultimately insures that they remain a positive voting block because of their dependency on all types of social programs promoted by the Democrat Party.


Pope Francis’ Poverty Agenda Draws President Obama:

That's rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record:

U.S. Department of Education Illiteracy Statistics:

Literacy Project:

Literacy Statistics:

Obama's Education Outrage - WSJ:

Obama's War on Black Education:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Are People Really Working Longer Hours?

In a recent article in the 'Business Insider' titled "The 40-hour workweek is on its way out", the author detailed the findings of a poll of 9,700 workers in 9 countries regarding hours worked. Here are some of the key findings pertaining to the U.S.:
  • 58% of U.S. managers -- the second worst of all countrys surveyed -- said they worked more than 40 hours a week; and, 40% of those said their hours have increased over the last 5 years.
  • Higher percentages of parents complained of having to work longer hours than non-parents.
  • One-third said its gotten harder to balance family and job over the last 5 years.
  • 10% said flex-hours may have cost them things like promotions.
  • Two-thirds said they would consider quitting if flex-hours were eliminated.
The problems with this study are many:
  • The survey group is relatively small. Less than 1100 people per country. As such, we are then supposed to believe these findings can be generally applied to the more than 116 million businesses employing 157 million workers in this country. Also, the sample of opinions is even smaller when you consider that those being sampled are managers, supervisors, salaried non-supervisors, and hourly workers.
  • The entire survey is emotionally based on what people "said" and not fact based on actual hours worked.
  • The quality of management is not being assessed. Many managers don't utilize their time wisely by being paper shufflers and subsequently work longer hours because of it. All too often managers who work very long hours have a habit of picking up a piece of paper and, instead of acting on it, set it aside to mull it over again at a later time, repeating this process many times. 
  • Are we really supposed to believe that parents are being forced to work longer hours than non-parent?
However, the biggest problem with the survey is that it flies in the face of the facts.  Workers in the U.S. have seen their hours steadily drop from a high of 36.9 hours/week or 1918 hour/year in 1951, as this graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve's database clearly shows:

Support of a lower than 40 hour week also comes from the monthly employment report.  Referencing Table B, in March, the average work week was only 34.5 hours. Also understand, that 34.5 is an average. So, it is safe to say that some number of workers are working longer than 34.5 hours and others are working less.

Sadly, as flawed as this report is, it is being hyped all over news and business stations.  As such, the seed is being planted in a lot of people's heads, that they are being taken advantage of by their employers.  When, in fact, the average worker in America is working less than his or her counterpart of 65 years ago.


The 40-hour workweek is on its way out:

St. Louis Fed: Hours Worked Per Year:

USA Quick Facts:

March 2015 Employment Report:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Illinois' Blue State Blues on Unfunded Union Pension Liabilities

For decades, the mostly Democrat-controlled (blue) state governments have caved to their state union worker's demands for earlier retirement ages and increased pension amounts and benefits.  All to curry votes. Never once paying any real attention to the fact that Americans are living longer and that many rust-belt states are seeing declines in their taxable populations and increases in their poverty rates.  This is the problem facing the State of Illinois today.

Illinois has a massive unfunded pension liability problem that they may not get themselves out of until bankruptcy.  A problem so bad that the then-Governor Pat Quinn signed a 67% tax increase into law in 2011.  Then, in December 2013, that same governor signed some modest reforms that should have slowed the growth of the impending pension crisis.  But, the unions fought back; claiming that the State had a contractual obligation to pay pensions and that the amounts can never be changed. On May 8th, the Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously sided with that union argument. So, the pension crisis continues on unabated.

How big is the pension problem anyway?

The numbers are staggering, As of 2014, if you are a taxpayer and potentially on the hook to come up with the cash to pay all those retired state workers.  The unfunded pension amount, in all categories of programs, is $104 billion and growing by the day.  This is a state of nearly 13 million residents of which only half are actively working and able to pay income taxes that could help cover that huge debt.   But, if you do the math, that is a per-worker liability amount of nearly $16 thousand, and growing exponentially every year.  For, example, in 2000, the total pension liability was $15.6 billion or nearly one-seventh of what it is today.

What makes it even worse it that the Illinois' tax base is shrinking as taxpayers flee the state's already high taxes (income, real estate, sales, etc.).  I know I did. My wife and I escaped to Las Vegas for that very reason (along with the weather).  In Illinois, we were paying property taxes that were 2-1/2 times higher for a house that was 32% smaller and on a lot that was 1/3 the size of what we have now.  Also, thanks the Casinos, we pay no state  tax. The simple fact is that, based on a study of tax date in 2010, Illinois lost almost 50,000 taxpayers and their dependents in that year alone, along with almost $2 billion dollars in tax revenues.  This of course, was before the State raised its income tax by 67% in 2011; which probably only exacerbated the exodus.

There is one more problem that is putting Illinois on a path to bankruptcy.  Rising poverty.  Since the recession of 2007, the number of people in poverty has risen an average of 3.1% per year with "officially" only 2 million people or 14.1% in poverty.  But, that official rate assumes that even if you make a dollar more that the designated poverty income level per year, you're rolling in cash.  The Heartland Alliance says that 33% of Illinois residents are "at" or "near" poverty.  This is especially troubling for the pension crisis because people in poverty don't pay any taxes and people near poverty pay very little; and at the same time, sap the State treasury with welfare assistance.

Personally, I can't see how Illinois can avoid bankruptcy.  The unions won't concede on pension benefits.  The tax base is shrinking.  The workforce is shrinking while poverty is rising.  Essentially this is an all encompassing recipe for fiscal failure.  Of course, if the State is taken down by its pension shortfalls, those retired union personnel may just see much of their pension decimated.  They should have accepted the modest reforms and not taken the case to the State's Supreme Court.


Definition: Blue States:

Illinois Supreme Court rules landmark pension law unconstitutional:

Census Bureau Quick Facts: Illinois:

Illinois workforce smaller than at any time during the recession:

Outrageous Public Pensions Could Bankrupt These States:

Report: Illinois poverty remains stubbornly high:

IRS data show more taxpayers fleeing Illinois:

Illinois' 33%: A Report on Poverty:

Illinois’ temporary tax hike: $18 billion later:

The victims of Illinois' failure on pensions - Chicago Tribune:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Really? The Baltimore Cops are the Problem?

When it comes to crime, the Baltimore police have their hands full.  Baltimore is a city of just 623,000 people.  Yet, every year, they have more than 40,000 crimes. That's one crime for every 15-1/2 residents. Theoretically, that means that each resident will experience one crime every 15 years.  That 1-in-15-1/2 also creates  a helluva lot of suspects within that population; and may be why so many residents think they're being harassed by the cops. 

Based on the murder rate per 1,000 people, Baltimore's is 9-1/4 times higher than the national average.  The rape rate is twice that of the nation as a whole.  The robbery rate stands at 6 times higher, and assault is almost 3 times the norm. All together, the violent crime rate per 1000 residents is nearly 4 times higher than the U.S. average. 

According to the U.S. Attorney General and the Baltimore Mayor, the city has a civil rights problem within its police force.

To that, I say that the city -- which is 63% black and has a police force that is nearly half black -- has a civility problem.  Not a civil rights problem.  Police don't cause crime. They enforce the law and protect against it.  When you have 438 crimes per square mile each year, something is seriously wrong and it isn't the police.  They are simply being scapegoated for other more politically relevant problems; such as a 24% poverty rate and very high unemployment. Just 42% of the working-age adults in Freddie Gray's neighborhood have a job. Overall, young black men have a 37% unemployment rate in that city.  Also, 36% of Baltimore's adult population are functionally illiterate and can't read at even a basic level. High poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy have all been linked to higher crime rates. Baltimore has them all.


After Freddie Gray death, U.S. starts civil rights probe of Baltimore police:

Baltimore Quick Facts:

Baltimore Police Department:

Just 42 percent of the residents in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood are employed:

Baltimore's economy in black and white:

The Relationship between Crime and Unemployment:

Poverty and Crime | National Dialogue Network:

Baltimore Literacy Rate:

Two-Thirds of Students Who Can't Read by the Fourth Grade Will Either Wind Up in Jail or on Welfare:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Jobs Report: 400,000 Retirees Can't Retire

In the April jobs report, we were told that 223,000 jobs were created, if you can believe that number.  Remember that we were also told that 126,000 jobs were created in March.  Now, in the April report, March's horrible number has only gotten uglier as it was revised to 85,000, but no one in the media seems to want to report this.

While the March revision is quite disturbing, another and even more upsetting fact is that those in the workforce that are 65 and older rose by 400,000 in one year's time--from 7.4 million to 7.8 million:
Click on image to enlarge
So, in essence, more than 1000 seniors a day are either coming out of retirement or working past the age of 65.  In either case, these are jobs that younger persons should be taking but aren't.  It is  symptomatic of an aging population that needs to work into their retirement years because their retirement incomes are too low to support them.  It is also a growing problem.  A year ago last April, the over 65 workforce only grew by 300,000; making this year's growth a 33% increase.  How sad that nearly 1-in-6 of the nearly 45 million seniors find themselves having to work in order to survive their "golden" years.


April 2015 Jobs Report:

March job gains 126,000; miss 248,000 forecast - USA Today:

April 2014 Jobs Report:

USA Quick Facts Population and Percent over 65:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Why the "Draw Muhammad" Event May Not Be Protected Freedom Of Speech

When the "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas resulted in an attack by two would-be terrorists, its organizer, Pam Gellar, claimed that her right to hold the contest was protected by the first amendment. Ever since, talk show hosts and TV legal analysts have been hotly debating the issue.  Those who believe she had that legal right often cite the Supreme Court's decision in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church, which allowed them to continue to spew hate speech against Jews, gays, and others, and to picket funerals of anyone that offends them or their brand of religion.

However, we need to understand that constitutionally protected speech is not all encompassing.  Anytime speech can cause harm to people and/or property, it is no longer protected.   Citing a classic example, you can't yell fire in a crowd theater because the resulting stampede could cause bodily harm.  Sedition, or the written or verbal advocacy of a revolt or the overthrow of any authority or government, is punishable under federal law.  Calling in a bomb threat, even if false, is a felony punishable by fines and imprisonment.  Defamation (libel or slander) is also legally subject to civil lawsuits in all 50 states.

In my opinion, the law that applies to Pam Gellar and her organized event and which overrides her right to freedom of speech is  "Inciting a Riot".  Here is the definition from the website
Under federal law, a riot is a public disturbance involving an act of violence by one or more persons assembled in a group of at least three people. Inciting a riot applies to a person who organizes, encourages, or participates in a riot. It can apply to one who urges or instigates others to riot. According to 18 USCS § 2102 "to incite a riot", or "to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot", includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.”
Technically, the two shooters were not part of the assembled group at the event, but the courts might rule otherwise because their intent was to join the group with the intent to commit murder and violence. 

Pam Gellar knew full well that she would most likely incite violence, otherwise, she wouldn't have contracted such heavy security. All those people at "Draw Muhammad" are fortunate that there weren't more shooters and more deaths that day.


Watch: FNC's MacCallum, Pamela Geller Battle over Freedom Of Speech:

Shouting fire in a crowded theater:

Westboro Baptist Church:

Inciting a Riot Law and Legal Definition:

Bomb Threat:

Sedition: Legal Definition:

Defamation Law Made Simple:

Boosted Security Prevent Higher Body Counts at Garland Shooting:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Elizabeth Warren's $22 Minimum Wage Pitch?

Whether or not Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Senator from Massachusetts, will jump into the race for the Democratic nomination is anyone's guess.  But, if she does, expect to hear a wide range of far left and progressive ideas during her campaign. I can say that with certainty since she has already demonstrated this with such comments like the following in her attempt to justify higher debilitating taxes on businesses:
"Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
Of course, that comment completely ignores the primary and "underlying social contract" for  businesses -- if there is such a thing -- which is to create jobs for most Americans so they can feed themselves and not depend on government handouts. 

However, the most far left idea she has presented to date, is the belief that the minimum wage shouldn't just be $10.10 or even $15 an hour.  Instead, it should be $22 an hour based on the assumption that, by now, it should have been indexed to productivity gains.  In arguing that point, she presented this chart sourced from a progressive think tank known as the Center for Economic Policy and Research:

Graphic Shown Without Seeking Author's Approval On The Basis of Fair Use For Commentary and Criticism
What the above graphic fails to explain is "why," starting in 1968, the minimum wage and, for that matter, all wages, started to diverge from productivity increases.  Oddly enough, the simple answer to that is actually World War II, which ended more than two decades earlier.

At the end of the war, many of today's industrial powers such as Japan, Germany, England and France suffered devastating damage to their industrial infrastructure.  Unemployment was high, wages were low; and, their currencies were weak.  Only by the 1960's did their industrial activity recover enough to start exporting products.  Because of this, the United States businesses found themselves unable to compete with cheaper imported goods.  Cheaper because of lower wages in Europe and Japan and because our currency was stronger than many others. As a result, the U.S., starting in the late 1960's, went from being a net positive exporter to a net negative importer of foreign goods (see the balance of trade report referenced below).

In order to compete, businesses had to find ways to lower costs. This entailed eliminating jobs by increasing the productivity levels through automation and, in many cases, moving their manufacturing operations overseas.  And, it has been the fear of losing more jobs that has, in the past, kept politicians from raising the minimum wage in the face of increasing productivity.  Yet, politicians like Warren are willing to tempt fate by pushing it even higher.  A fact that could result in increasing job losses through automation in the form of artificially intelligent robotics.  Already, experts are predicting that 30% of American jobs could be replaced by robots within 10 years.


Elizabeth Warren: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own":

Elizabeth Warren: Minimum Wage Would Be $22 An Hour If It Had Kept Up With Productivity:

Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Is Still Far From What It Should Be:

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is an economic policy think-tank that was founded in 1999 by economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot. It has been described as both progressive and left-leaning:

Trade Balances:

Experts predict robots will take over 30% of our jobs by 2025 — and white-collar jobs aren't immune:

The 'Fair Use' Rule: When Use of Copyrighted Material is Acceptable: 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hero Mom Of Baltimore Is The Sad Face Of Too Many Black Mothers

When the black, unwed and unemployed mother of six was videoed disciplining her son who was attempting to riot in the streets of Baltimore, she was literally hailed by many as the "mother of the year".  Then, a day later, she was demonized for abusing her child.  In my opinion, she is the face of a major problem for black women in this country: Unwed motherhood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 73% of all black children are born to women absent a husband (this based on 2010 data published in 2012), and it is a problem that is only getting worse.  In 1960, the black unwed motherhood rate was only 22%. By 2006, 46 years later, it was slightly more than double the 1960 rate at 56%.  Just 4 years later, it exploded to 73%?  This means that out of nearly 635,000 births in 2013, at least a half million are without a father figure or without the social structure of a family.  Of course, this assumes that the 73% has held since 2010, but if the past is any predictor, it is probably safe to assume that it is even higher. For all we know, it could now be be well above 80%.

Obviously, there must be reason that so many in the black community reject the normal family structure so important to raising children.  One would think that, if you grew up in a poor single-parent family, you wouldn't want the same for your children. Apparently not. The reason is most likely because of the expansive welfare system that allows poor single mothers to survive without a husband, no matter how many children she has.  The woman in the video, despite being unemployed with 6 kids, was well dressed and so was her son.

Following the 1996 welfare reforms signed into law by Bill Clinton, black poverty in this country fell to its lowest rate in history.  The belief by Democrats that the poor would be dying in the streets never materialized.  Since President Obama took office, he has made every attempt to dismantle those 1996 reforms, and now we have record numbers in poverty and an explosion in the rate of black children born to unwed mothers.  If this isn't proof that Democrat-backed social programs aren't safety nets but, rather, programs that institutionalize poverty and destroy the family unit, I don't know what is.


Mom of the year? Baltimore woman isn't a hero to all:

Politifact:  CNN's Don Lemon says more than 72 percent of African-American births are out of wedlock:

Number of Births by Race in 2013:

How Obama has gutted welfare reform:

2003: The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform:

That's rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record:

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Stupidity of Leadership and the Rioting In Baltimore

For more than two weeks, the media had been incessantly replaying a single video showing 3 white police officers dragging Freddie Gray to police transport; all the time Freddie was screaming in pain.  Once again, like Ferguson and Staten Island, we are led to believe that another black man has died at the hands of white police.

But, when the charges leveled, we find out that 3 black officers were also involved; with the black transport officer actually charged with "second-degree depraved heart murder".

This leaves one to wonder if the rioting could have been avoided or, at least minimized, if the Mayor or the State's Attorney General had simply told the world that 3 black and 3 white police officers were being investigated over the death of Freddie Gray.  Didn't any of those people stop to think that much of the tensions were being fed by the belief that this is just another case of a racially motivated killing by white police?


Arrest to death: What happened to Freddie Gray:

Freddie Gray Arrest Video:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

What J.F.K. Knew About Economics And What Most Democrats Today Don't

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy -- a Democrat -- was entering his second year in office and was enjoying robust economic growth.  Faster than that of either of his two predecessors.  Even so, he declared that "the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth."  What he was referring to was the fact that, despite good GDP numbers, nearly 1-in-5 Americans (+38 million) were in poverty and the unemployment rate was still high at 6%; although down from 7% before he took office.

Thus, to fix the poverty and unemployment problems, Kennedy proposed across the board cuts in income taxes and a reduction of the corporate tax rate; including reducing taxes on the rich from a rate of 91% to just 65%.  In doing so, he offered no offsetting spending cuts to pay for the reductions.  His argument for not cutting spending was simply his belief that"a rising tide lifts all boats".  Or, in other words,  lowering taxes would create jobs for those who were unemployed and in poverty and, as such, revenues would increase so much so that his proposed tax cuts would naturally be offset.  That is as long as spending was controlled. Sadly, Kennedy was assassinated before he could see his tax reductions passed into law.

Then, in 1964 and just three months after Kennedy's death, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Kennedy tax cuts in what is now known as the Revenue Act of 1964.  All of Kennedy's assumptions were proven correct.  As such, Johnson had the lowest average unemployment rate of any President since World War II.  Revenues grew 68% from when Kennedy took office.  The most astonishing fact was that, in just four years, the number of Americans in poverty fell from more than 38 million in 1964 to just over 25 million by the end of 1968.  A 34% reduction.

Today, Democrats like President Obama want to punish the rich and corporations with higher taxes.  In wanting to do so, they always point to President Clinton who, despite raising taxes, enjoyed strong economic growth.  However, what those same Democrats fail to recognize is that during Clinton's time, it was mostly due to the dot-com business and wealth boom of the 1990's.

Kennedy's economic prowess -- with economic growth faster for both him and Johnson than Clinton -- is anathema to most Democrats because, if they were to praise Kennedy for cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, this would be to deny themselves of their victimization strategy in order to get votes.  After all, corporations and the rich are supposedly at the heart of everything that is evil and wrong in this country and the rest of the world.  Kennedy was rich and he never tried to hide it; unlike Hillary Clinton who is also rich.  She would prefer that you think that she and Bill were dead broke when they left the White House; and, would like you to think they still are.   Of course, it's really hard to bash the rich when you're one of them.


Kennedy Presidential Library: JFK on the Economy and Taxes:

Economic Growth By President:

The Revenue Act of 1964:

U.S. Unemployment Statistics by President:

Historical Lesson of Lowered Tax Rates:

Census Bureau: Poverty from 1959 to 1968:

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Complete Failure of the Obama Doctrine

On the Sunday following President Obama's announced nuke deal with Iran, Thomas Friedman -- liberal op-ed columnist  and pseudo intellectual for the New York Times -- sat down with the President to discuss the deal.  As part of the interview, Friedman gave props to  Obama for "knocking down walls" that have existed for years in the countries of Burma, Cuba, and now, Iran.  Friedman called the President's actions towards these countries the "Obama Doctrine" which is to engage rather than isolate adversaries with sanctions.  The only problem with this so-called Doctrine is that it is inconsistently applied.

For, example, the President claimed sanctions haven't worked for 60 years in dealing with Cuba.  They also haven't deterred Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.  Yet, we still apply sanctions against North Korea, and most recently, Obama applied sanctions against Russia over Crimea and the Ukraine.  If sanctions don't work, why apply them to Russia, and why keep them against more than two dozen other countries?

Then, there's the inconsistencies against Libya, Syria, the Ukraine, and Crimea.  In Libya, we led from behind by forming a coalition to overthrow Gaddafi.  And, Gaddafi was overthrown.  But, in the case of Syria, we did nothing to help the free-Syria rebels oust the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.  Similarly, in the case of Crimea and the Ukraine, we did nothing to assist those who were fighting the Russian-backed rebels.

Also, where there has been engagement, how has that worked?

Engagement with Russia obviously didn't work.   In 2009, Obama (vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton) "reset" relations with Russia.  We even sweetened the relationship by scraping our European missile defense system that had been seen as a threat to Russia's ability to launch an attack on Europe.  So, what did all this "honey" buy us.  Nothing.  Russia has used our less-aggressive green light to retake Crimea and, eventually, all of the Ukraine. Then, too, Russia has been busy hacking our White House and State Department computers. Things between our two countries haven't been this cold since the war.  And, now, Russia is out to protect Iran from any attack over it's nuke program, by installing a sophisticated ground-to-air missile defense system.

In Libya, we and our coalition overthrew Gaddafi, but, since then we've had to high-tail-it out of the country because the people we freed weren't really our friends.  Then, in Egypt, Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood.  Unfortunately, the entire country didn't and the Muslim Brotherhood officials that won elections were ousted by a military coup to protect the nation.  It seems like the Obama Doctrine is all about betting on the wrong horse.

Given the past spoiled fruits of the Obama Doctrine, it is hard to believe that our relationship with Cuba and Iran will turn out any better. Already, Cuba is demanding (not asking) for the return of Guantanamo Bay and financial reparations for the last 60 years of sanctions. The "or else" on that demand is anyone's guess.  Then, too, besides just recently calling for "Death to America", the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran is demanding immediate removal of all U.N. sanctions or their is no deal.  So, now, the Obama Doctrine might be faced with "no engagement" on that one. At the same time, while we are feeding the hand of Iran over a nuke deal, they are busily overthrowing any remnants of the government of Yemen which the President claimed was our best ally against radical Islam.

Essentially, in the wake of the Obama Doctrine, there has been nothing but failure after failure.  The fact that the Middle East is on the precipice of an all-out Shia versus Sunni war is an example of how a carrot-only-without-a-stick philosophy is not only wrong but just plain stupid.  However, media types on the left like Friedman just can't see it.  Simply, the world will not be a better place until Obama and the Obama Doctrine leave the world stage in 2016.


Friedman:  Iran and the Obama Doctrine:

Obama Doctrine: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know:

U.S. Sanctions Programs:

How the Russian 'Reset' Explains Obama's Foreign Policy:

Obama scraps Bush missile-defense plan - ABC News:

White House hacking reports highlight digital cold war between US, Russia:

Russia to supply Iran with missile defence system:

US shuts down Tripoli embassy and evacuates staff in Libya:

New York Times:  Working With the Muslim Brotherhood:

Army Ousts Egypt's President; Morsi Is Taken Into Military Custody:

Obama Tonight: Yemen and Somalia Are Models of Success: