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In a moment, perhaps, of unintended clarity, potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “You have to govern in a way that is different than the way you campaign.”
Huckabee amplified his response to Fox News host Bill Hemmer on Friday that Ronald Reagan would have a tough time getting nominated by the Republican Party for 2012. When Hemmer asked why, Huckabee responded:
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Writers Carl Hulse and Jackie Calmes, in the New York Times, could scarcely contain their delight that House Republicans have decided to put any proposed changes to Medicare on the shelf for the time being. Recognizing that Medicare modifications are a critical component of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “Road Map,” the pair ascribed the Republicans’ backing off to “the difficulties and political perils of addressing the nation’s long-term fiscal problems.” Translation: Democrat control of the Senate assures that any attempt to modify Medicare at present will
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Last Wednesday Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) verbally polished his “fiscal conservative” spectacles for the benefit of non-believers in Utah who are threatening to support opposition to his run for re-election to his seventh term in 2012. He told the Senate Finance Committee that if fiscal reforms “fall prey to gimmicks, are waived or otherwise undermined…my sense is that the people will come to this Capitol with pitchforks and torches they will be so upset. And they’d be right to do so.”
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As a quiet example of how privatizing Social Security works in the real world, Chile’s 30-year experiment is succeeding beyond expectations. Instead of running huge deficits to fund the old “PayGo” system, private savings now exceed 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Prior to May 1, 1981, the Chilean system required contributions from workers and was clearly in grave financial trouble. Instead of nibbling around the edges to shore up the program for another few years, José Piñera, Secretary of Labor and Pensions under Augusto Pinochet, decided to do a major overhaul of the system:
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Within hours of the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate on April 27, questions about its authenticity started to arise. By 10 p.m. that day, the first question arose about the certificate’s registration number: it was preceded by certificate registration numbers assigned to twin girls born after Obama.
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Although questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as President were initially raised by Jim Geraghty of National Review Online in June, 2008, it wasn’t until Donald Trump gave voice to what was by then being referred to by the mainstream media as the “birther movement” following an anonymous telephone poll last fall in New Hampshire, that the movement began to gain momentum.
As both Trump’s potential candidacy for President in 2012 and the “birther’ issue began to get significant serious national attention, Trump more and more frequently appeared on national TV shows as a guest. On March 30, Trump appeared on Fox News’ The Factor where he stated:
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Establishment economists and other economic cheerleaders were disappointed to learn that, despite the government’s best efforts to revive the economy through Keynesian interventions and stimuli, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the first quarter of 2011 was half the rate of growth in the last quarter of 2010.
As noted by the Wall Street Journal,
The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states’ contributions to pay for those promises is widening.
According to Pew, the shortfall is at least $1.26 trillion (with a t), but could approach $5 trillion depending upon rate of return assumptions. Because of the precipitous decline in revenues in 2009, states were able to pay only
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“I’m sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”
One could scarcely call it an “uptick,” with gasoline prices up by $.70 a gallon since the first of the year, and approaching $4 a gallon. The American Automobile Association said at that level consumers “will have to start cutting back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there.”
Super Contrails as the 767 flies through cloud… (Photo credit: AvgeekJoe)
Last Thursday, speaking in Reno, Nevada, President Obama announced that the Department of Justice was going to examine the role of “traders and speculators in the gasoline and oil markets,” and how they contribute to high gas prices.
The Attorney General [is] putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators. We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain.
What do speculators do? Here is a cogent explanation by Victor Niederhoffer, a well-known speculator and author of The Education of a Speculator:
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