Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: George W. Bush

Fed Confirms Recovery Stalled

People pushing a stalled car out of the street

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When the Federal Open Market Committee announced yesterday that “the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated,” stocks in Europe lost three percent of their value, interest rates on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note dropped startlingly as investors ran to safety, and the dollar hit the lowest level against the Japanese Yen since 1995.

A Japanese bond dealer said, “Investors were unnerved by the Fed’s statement. It just confirmed that the U.S. economic recovery is slowing.”

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Behind Friday’s Jobs Report: The Real Numbers

Confusing numbers

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Buried in Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor Statistics were two key numbers that reflected the slowdown in the economy so long denied by the administration: “private sector employment edged up over the month (+71,000). Thus far this year, [such] employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April.” (Emphasis added.) The other appeared in the final paragraph of that report: “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000, and the change for June was revised [downward] from -125,000 to -221,000.” (Emphasis added.)

Taken together, these two numbers reflect the slowing of the economy that has occurred ever since Vice President Joe Biden predicted back in April that “some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs a month.”

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TARP Criticism Misses the Point

PaulsonHenry

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When TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky criticized the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as being ineffective, he blamed the Treasury Department for not setting clearer goals for that part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Only 390,000 homeowners “have seen their mortgage terms permanently modified since the $50 billion program was announced in March 2009. That is a small fraction of the three to four million borrowers who were supposed to receive assistance under the program.”

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Fixing State Budgets will be Painful

Carly Fiorina (MBA 1980), former CEO of Hewlet...

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Pew Research recently polled Americans about ways to bring state budgets into balance and found that respondents did not like any of the options. In its Congressional Connection poll released June 28, Pew Research asked if a federal bailout of financially troubled states should be considered. Barely one in four said yes. Nearly 60 percent said no, that the states should take care of their problems on their own.

Other options offered by Pew included cutting transportation funding, raising taxes, cutting health services, reducing spending for police and fire departments, and slashing the public school budget. Each of those options was also strongly opposed, often by majorities approaching 70 percent.

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Rush Limbaugh as GOP Kingmaker?

Rush Limbaugh

Cover of Rush Limbaugh

Zev Chafetswriting an op-ed for the New York Times, concluded that radio show host Rush Limbaugh “is the brains and the spirit behind [the conservative] resurgence.”

The writer claimed that “when the Tea Party movement emerged, Mr. Limbaugh welcomed it”:

The movement’s causes—fighting against health care reform, reducing the size and cost of government, opposing the Democrat’s putative desire to remake America in the image of European social democracies—were straight Limbaughism. A very high proportion of Tea Partiers listen to Mr. Limbaugh. Sarah Palin’s biggest current applause line—“Republicans are not just the party of no, but the party of hell no”—came courtesy of Mr. Limbaugh. Glenn Beck…calls Mr. Limbaugh his hero.

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Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Clearly Opaque

days Elena Kagan since 2010

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When President Obama named Elena Kagan as his nominee for justice of the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, he said she “embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law” as did Justice Stevens. Obama said Kagan is “one of the foremost legal minds” in the country, and is “a trailblazing leader.”

As was immediately pointed out by Conservative Action, the words “independence” and “trail-blazing leader” translate into “Liberal Judicial Activist.”  Conservative Action then went on to offer rebuttals to various “talking points” the administration is using to promote her nomination:

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47 Percent Pay No Taxes? Actually, No.

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

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In a recent article here about the VAT (Value-Added Tax) being floated as another way to raise taxes, the author stated that a VAT “would force the 50 percent of people in the poor and middle classes who pay no income taxes at present to start to contribute to the ever-increasing costs of the nanny state.” Fortunately, the New York Times published a correction and a clarification.

According to the Times, which took a closer look at the data from the Tax Policy Center, “The stimulus programs of the last two years [under the Bush and Obama administrations] have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability…but income taxes aren’t the only kind of federal taxes that people pay.”

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Recess Appointments and the Constitution

2009 Five Presidents, President George W. Bush...

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“Side-stepping Senate confirmation,” declared the New York Times. “This is going to make problems worse,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “What this is going to do is cause the election of a lot more Republicans…in November who are determined to come in and provide some checks and balances in Washington to stop the overreaching of the government,” hollered Lamar Alexander, (R-TN).

On Saturday, March 27, President Obama used “recess appointments” to fill 15 administration positions because he couldn’t get them past the Senate’s constitutional requirement to give the appointments its Advice and Consent. Obama said, “The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees.” On that point, the President is exactly correct. Here is the language from the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2:

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Cell Phones, Big Brother and the 4th Amendment

Cell Phone

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The Obama Justice Department is appealing a lower court decision that requires it to provide “probable cause” before it can track cellphone users. The DOJ wants instead to operate under a lower standard for tracking cellphone users, based on a reasonable belief that such information is “relevant to a…criminal investigation.”

Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan wrote: “Where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, intrusion on that right by the Government for investigatory purposes requires that the Government obtain a warrant by demonstrating to the Court that it has probable cause, i.e., that it make a showing of a fair probability of evidence of criminal activity.”

Police have been tapping into the locations of cellphones thousands of times a year.

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Geithner: No Double Dip

Timothy Geithner at the United States Departme...

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When he appeared on ABC News‘s This Week on February 7, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quizzed about the risk of the United States losing its triple-A credit rating, the chances that foreign investors might start shunning US debt, and whether the economy would suffer a double dip recession.

Last week the credit rating agency Moody’s warned that weak economic growth and increasing debt burdens could “put pressure on the country’s triple-A status.”  When asked to respond, Geithner said, “Absolutely not. That will never happen to this country.”  One remembers the speaker’s rule to be very careful about using absolutes, such as “absolutely”, and “never happen.”  History books are filled with examples of events that could “absolutely never happen.”

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What Part of “No” Doesn’t He Understand?

Pelosi Showing Obama Health Care

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This change allegedly reflects the impact the Brown win in Massachusetts last week had on politics in general, but also that it had not been anticipated by Obama or the Democrats.

“The entire political community was caught a little bit unawares on that one,” said David Axelrod, White House senior advisor. The impact of Brown’s win on Obama’s healthcare bill was significant in that it deprived the Democrats of the opportunity to push the bill through the Senate without a Republican vote.

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Weak Dollar Obama’s Fault?

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...

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According to Newsweek, the dollar isn’t weakening, and even if it is, it isn’t Obama’s fault. On Tuesday, Daniel Gross iterated all the reasons that, according to conservatives, the American dollar should weaken. Conservatives, he said, blame the actions of the Federal Reserve with the lowering of interest rates to zero, printing money, and expanding the monetary base. They also blame the Obama administration for running up huge deficits in its efforts to restart the faltering economy.

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Rubio: The First Tea Party Senator?

Photo of Marco Rubio taken on April 14, 2008 i...

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The Republican primary in Florida, which pits Governor Charlie Crist against Marco Rubio, is being watched carefully as a harbinger for the impact the Tea Party may have on the midterm elections. Six months ago Crist was leading all challengers, according to Rasmussen Reports, but now Crist is tied with former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

On social issues, Crist takes traditional conservative positions including support for gun rights and capital punishment, and opposition to elective abortion and same-sex marriage. He supported John McCain’s candidacy for President in 2008, but got in trouble by supporting Obama’s stimulus bill.

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Democrat Retirements a Trend or a Tsunami?

Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator.

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The announcements by Democrat Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.) last week that they will not be running for reelection in 2010 raised both concerns by Democrats and hopes of Republicans.

Senator Dodd’s announcement has been examined thoroughly elsewhere on this site, but Senator Dorgan’s announcement was an unexpected bombshell that followed announcements by Alabama Representative Parker Griffith that he was switching parties from Democrat to Republican, along with the retirement announcements from two Democrats from Tennessee and another one from Kansas. The battles that are currently raging in Nevada for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat and in Pennsylvania for Democrat Senator Arlen Specter’s seat, along with the battles in Illinois and Delaware to fill the Senate seats formerly held by Democrats Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden, indicate more than just a midterm election shift.

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The Fed: Forever Blowing Bubbles

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An article in the New York Times asked that since the Federal Reserve “failed to recognize the last bubble…why should Congress, or anyone else, have faith that future Fed officials will recognize the next [one]?”

The roots of the present Great Recession stretch back to the bursting of the last bubble—the tech bubble—in the late 1990s. As the stock market declined sharply, the Fed under then-chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. The Times succinctly noted in its overview of the credit crisis that “lower interest rates make mortgage payments cheaper, and demand for homes began to rise, sending prices up. In addition, millions of homeowners took advantage of the rate drop to refinance their existing mortgages. As the industry ramped up, the quality of the mortgages went down.”

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Frank Luntz Filters Gun Owners

Frank Luntz

In Monday’s editorial, the New York Times reported the results of a Frank Luntz poll indicating that NRA members are much softer on key issues than the National Rifle Association itself.

Unfortunately, the editorial was rife with filters in the form of hot labels and emotionally-laden words and phrases that immediately impugned the validity of the results of the study.

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Captains of the Economy: The ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ Network is Alive and Well

ABC News Now

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In its attempt to glorify “the 10 who shaped the U.S. economy the most since 2000,” ABC News did a great favor for those interested in the interconnections among the “elite” who are impacting the current world economic and political scene.

Naturally, much was left unsaid about these “captains,” especially regarding their connections to the elite currently in charge. In order, then, here is a brief look at each of these “10 who shaped the U. S. economy”:

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The National Debt: How Soon Before Uncle Sam Cries “Uncle?”

 

Uncle Sam with empty treasury, 1920, by James ...

When Bob Schieffer of NBC News asked the rhetorical question: “…has going a trillion dollars in hock to one country [China] made us more secure?”, he was reminded of Everett Dirksen (Illinois Senator for nearly 20 years) and his famous comment: “…a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money!”.

The current account deficit, at the present moment, is over $12 trillion and climbing. About half of that debt is owned by foreign countries, most notably China (about $800 billion) and India (about $300 billion), with the balance owned by Japan, Germany, and others.

So what’s the big deal?

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann