MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Barack Obama's Economic Train On A One-Way, Dead-End Track

Runaway Train of Thought by Tzod Earf. Image Credit: toonpool

Barack Obama's Economic Train On A One-Way, Dead-End Track

We are nearing the second quarter of 2010, ending 17 months of a disastrous economic policy that has not delivered jobs and has increased government debt to one-trillion dollars, four times larger than at anytime in our history as a country.

The $787 Billion dollar (revised upward to $865 Billion dollars), stimulus spending package has not delivered on its promise to hold unemployment down to only 8% (currently hovering around 10%) and the "shovel ready" projects that local and state governments had in the wings and were often cited as to where the money would be spent only amounted to about 10% of the spending. Most of the spending has been absorbed by the extensive network of bureaucracies that paid for studies performed by people who were already employed in education and research organizations ... organizations that do not add to the Gross Domestic Product of goods and services that grow an economy and build an economy.

The recognition of the one-way government spending track that dead-ends when the money runs out - because printing money without the goods & services to back up the amount of dollars flowing in the economy, devalues the economy and leads to inflation - even has liberal observers at Mainstream Media outlets (MSM) up in arms in frustration.

This excerpted and edited from the New York Times -

Wrong Track Distress
By BOB HERBERT, Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times - Published: June 28, 2010

It’s getting harder and harder for most Americans, looking honestly at the state of the nation, to see the glass as half full. And that’s why the public opinion polls contain nothing but bad news for Barack Obama and the Democrats.
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Mr. Obama and the Democrats have wasted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them in the 2008 election. They did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission, and they did not call on Americans to join in a bold national effort (which would have required a great deal of shared sacrifice) to solve a wide range of very serious problems, from our over-reliance on fossil fuels to the sorry state of public education to the need to rebuild the nation’s rotting infrastructure.
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Mr. Obama had campaigned on the mantra of change, and that would have been the kind of change that working people could have gotten behind. But it never happened. Job creation was the trump card in the hand held by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but they never played it. And now we’re paying a fearful price.

Fifteen million Americans are unemployed, according to the official count, which wildly understates the reality. Assuming no future economic setbacks and job creation at a rate of 200,000 or so a month, it would take more than a decade to get us back to where we were when the Great Recession began in December 2007. But we’re nowhere near that kind of sustained job growth. Last month, a measly 41,000 private-sector jobs were created.

We are in deep, deep gumbo.

The Obama administration feels it should get a great deal of credit for its economic stimulus efforts, its health care initiative, its financial reform legislation, its vastly increased aid to education and so forth. And maybe if we were grading papers, there would be a fair number of decent marks to be handed out.
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There is a widespread feeling that only the rich and well-placed can count on Washington’s help, and that toxic sentiment is spreading like the oil stain in the gulf, with ominous implications for President Obama and his party. It’s in this atmosphere that support for the president and his agenda is sinking like a stone.

Employment is the No. 1 issue for most ordinary Americans. Their anxiety on this front only grows as they watch teachers, firefighters and police officers lining up to walk the unemployment plank as state and local governments wrestle with horrendous budget deficits.
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By nearly 2 to 1, respondents to the most recent New York Times/CBS News poll believed the United States is on the wrong track. Despite the yelping and destructive machinations of the deficit hawks, employment and the economy are by far the public’s biggest concern. Mr. Obama is paying dearly for his tin ear on this topic. Fifty-four percent of respondents believed he does not have a clear plan for creating jobs. Only 45 percent approved of his overall handling of the economy, compared with 48 percent who disapproved.

It’s not too late for the president to turn things around, but there is no indication that he has any plan or strategy for doing it. And the political environment right now, with confidence in the administration waning and budgetary fears unnecessarily heightened by the deficit hawks, is not good.

It would take an extraordinary exercise in leadership to rally the country behind a full-bore jobs-creation campaign — nothing short of large-scale nation-building on the home front. Maybe that’s impossible in the current environment. But that’s what the country needs.
Reference Here>>

These words above were written by an op-ed opinion columnist for the New York Times who has always been a champion of progressive politics and liberal causes and happens to be African-American ... a tough, but honest assessment.

But the track analogy does not end there ...

This excerpted and edited from the Los Angeles Times -

With federal stimulus funds running out, economic worries grow
Much of the $787-billion stimulus [adjusted up to $865-billion] has been spent, creating jobs and extending jobless benefits. But with lawmakers reluctant to approve more funding, concerns are rising about staving off another recession.
By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times - June 30, 2010


With home sales sliding, employers reluctant to hire and world stock markets gyrating wildly, the U.S. economy is in danger of stalling. Now one of its only reliable sources of fuel is running out: federal stimulus spending.
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Jitters about a global slowdown pounded world markets Tuesday after an index forecasting Chinese economic activity was revised downward and Greek workers walked off the job to protest government budget cuts. In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 268 points on news from the Conference Board that consumer confidence fell in June after three straight months of gains.

Economists worry that the weak labor market will spook U.S. consumers, whose spending fuels the economy. Dwindling federal stimulus funds are only heightening those fears.
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been contentious since Congress approved it in February 2009 to aid an economy mired in a deep recession. Republicans have been particularly critical of the program and its price tag.
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But seventeen months later, those stimulus jobs, along with temporary government positions created for the 2010 census, are among the few bright spots in a dismal employment market. The nation's unemployment rate is 9.7% and companies have shown little willingness to hire. Private-sector employers added just 41,000 jobs in May, out of a total of 431,000 jobs created.

The government has few levers left to pull to produce quick growth. Interest rates are already at rock-bottom levels. Concerns about swelling U.S. deficits have many on Capitol Hill opposed to the idea of another stimulus. That has some economists worried.

"There's an uncomfortably high probability that we slip back into recession," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "If we slip back, there's no policy response. We won't have the resources to respond."

To be sure, there are still thousands of ongoing stimulus projects and billions of dollars to be spent. The Obama administration is calling this "Recovery Summer" and will spotlight dozens of stimulus projects in the coming weeks. But many important programs are losing funding.
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Efforts to extend those provisions are stalled in Congress. The National Employment Law Project estimates that 1.63 million workers will exhaust their benefits by the end of this week, and at least 140,000 workers will lose COBRA coverage.

In California, which has the nation's third-highest unemployment rate at 12.4%, the Employment Development Department estimates that 205,000 unemployed workers will not receive further benefits without congressional action. About 2 million Californians are unemployed; nearly half of them have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

"There's nothing out there," said Jennifer Tilt, a 52-year-old resident of Bloomington, a town in San Bernardino County, whose unemployment benefits will expire soon. Tilt, who has a bachelor's degree, said she's applied for jobs at fast-food restaurants to no avail. She's dependent on her two grown children and her mother's Social Security check to pay the bills.
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"The human impact of requiring us to find another $1.8 billion in spending cuts to replace federal funding that was designed to help states avoid deep cuts … is both cruel and counterproductive," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote to the state congressional delegation earlier this month.

Republicans say extending benefits and other provisions of the stimulus bill will add to the country's trillion-dollar deficit. "Here's another idea Democrats should consider, one that Americans have been proposing loudly and clearly: Stop spending money you don't have," Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said last week on the Senate floor.

But Democrats — and some economists — say that spending money now to create jobs and fund unemployment benefits is the only way to stave off another recession.

"What worries me the most is this idea that austerity is going to be helpful," said Michael Reich, a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, who said that ending unemployment benefits could drive more people to file for disability and hamper long-term growth. "When you make an economy shrink, it makes it harder to pay back debt in the future."

The nation's construction industry provides a window into the tough choices facing lawmakers. Federal tax credits have helped drive home sales while stimulus spending on infrastructure has put laborers back to work. Such subsidies are unsustainable in the long run. But when to pull the plug?

New-home sales dropped 33% in May as home-buyer tax credits ended. Construction employment declined in 25 states that same month, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
Reference Here>>

Stop Spending, Stop Spending, Stop Spending money that does not exist.

It is time to implement what worked after the disastrous economy handed to us by the 39th presidency of Jimmy Carter. It is time to kill off the experiment of social engineering that caused this recession in the first place with the creation of sub-prime junk mortgages instigated through the quasi governmental organizations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cut taxed and regulation requirements imposed by the government which restrict businesses ability to invest and grow the goods and services they produce to meet the needs of our consumer-based economy. It is time to re-embrace American Exceptional-ism!

It is time to visualize becoming a winning team once again, here in Carter's Second Term.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

1st Quarter 2010 Gross Domestic Product Revised Downward 15.6% By Obama's Commerce Department

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Spain's Finance Minister Elena Salgado, Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choong-soo, South Korea's Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun and France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. Image Credit: Reuters

1st Quarter 2010 Gross Domestic Product Revised Downward 15.6% By Obama's Commerce Department


The Obama Administration was wrong in its initial estimate of the growth in our economy during the first quarter (January through March 2010) of this second year of the 44th Presidency.

The first estimates released to the public by the Commerce Department placed the growth in the GDP, which measures consumer spending, at an anemic but sustainable 3.2%. This growth would have shown some positive effect of the nearly one-trillion dollar Stimulus Government Spending legislation that was passed into law over one year ago ... if it were true, but this initial estimate was a fabrication.

Today, the Obama Administration released a second revised figure which set the level of growth downward to only 2.7%. This growth represents a negative growth because it does not keep up with the expansion in our population and shows how little Government spending can do to spur the economy in creating wealth through economic growth.

This excerpted and edited from the Wall Street Journal -

Economists React: ‘Not an Encouraging Mix’ in GDP Report

By Phil Izzo, Wall Street Journal - June 25, 2010, 10:42 AM ET

Economists and others weigh in on the downwardly revised 2.7% advance in first-quarter GDP.


–The revision was a result of a downward adjustment to consumer spending and higher than originally reported imports, which were only partly offset by upward revisions to exports and inventories.
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The biggest debate is over the path of the labor market recovery and hence the ability of consumers to help drive real growth.
–Joshua Shapiro, MFR Inc.


–The economy is still vulnerable to a double dip scenario. The downward revision from 3.2% in the advanced report to 3% in first revision and now just 2.7% shows that as the Obama/Bernanke stimulus wears off so does the upward momentum in the economy. With the banking and consumer sector still struggling with weak balance sheets , exogenous events like the European Sovereign Debt crisis are more likely to have lasting negative effects on the recovery.

–Steven Ricchiuto, Mizuho Securities


–The 2.7% first quarter GDP gain is below the Fed’s 2010 central tendency of 3.2% to 3.7%. Growth would have to average between 3.3% and 4.0% the rest of the year to hit the Fed’s forecast.
–Jonathan Basile, Credit Suisse
Reference Here>>

Do not look for any grand leadership that has our country looking to make growth our primary agenda.

This also excerpted and edited from the Wall Street Journal -

Our Agenda for the G-20

Countries should work to stabilize debt levels, enact new financial regulation, and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

By TIMOTHY GEITHNER And LAWRENCE SUMMERS - WSJ Opinion Journal - JUNE 23, 2010


While the U.S. was the major source of demand for the world economic growth before the crisis, global demand must rest on many pillars going forward. That is why the G-20 must support Europe's reform program and the financing that Europe and the IMF will provide to countries facing acute fiscal challenges.

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To maintain the momentum of the U.S. recovery, we need strong, balanced and sustainable global growth. Global growth will help double U.S. exports over the next five years, supporting several million American jobs, a key goal of the president's export initiative.
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In this new era, when emerging markets account for two-thirds of global growth, concerted action by the G-20 is the only effective way to confront the challenges that lie ahead.
Reference Here>>

Now ... doesn't that make one feel confident about the economic leadership and growth here in this era of Carter's Second Term!

We need a new coach - we can not play the "World's Game" with a leadership that doesn't care that the team has as a goal ... to win the league! ... every other team on the field has that as the goal.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Obama Administration as Hugo Chavez - Governance through "Rule Of Edict"

The Obama Administration's U.S. Labor Secretary, Hilda L. Solis; Congressman John Larson (D-CT); and Capital Workforce Partners, Tom Phillips, discuss the importance of Summer Youth Employment Programs and developing our future workforce. (l-r) AFL-CIO, John Olsen, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Congressman John Larson, CWP Tom Phillips, and CWP Board Chair, Rich Cohen. Image Credit: Capitalworkforce.org

The Obama Administration as Hugo Chavez - Governance through "Rule Of Edict"

It was leaked to the Associated Press today that the Obama Administration plans on making and enforcing law without involving the actual body that is the only Governmental body to create law ... the Congress.

This is a disturbing precedent, for if a President and his Administration is allowed to over reach its authority in the making and application of law in this way our country becomes a dictatorship where laws are the purview of the "Strongman" and his staff as opposed to a country that is ruled through the processes and rule of law.

This excerpted and edited from the Associated Press -

AP sources: Gay workers to get family leave
By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jun 21, 8:00 pm ET

The Labor Department intends to issue regulations this week ordering businesses to give gay employees equal treatment under a law permitting workers unpaid time off to care for newborns or loved ones.
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The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to take care of loved ones or themselves. The 1993 law, which also allows employees to take time off for adoptions, has previously only been applied to heterosexual couples.

The Labor Department planned to extend those rights based on a new interpretation of the law, the officials said. There was no plan to ask Congress to change the law.
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Earlier this month, Obama issued orders for government agencies to extend child care services and expanded family leave to their workers. Obama's order for federal employees, though, covers only benefits that can be extended under existing law, without congressional action. Legislative action would be required for a full range of health care and other benefits.
Reference Here>>

If a non-lawmaking authority is able to interpret the procedure-based properly made law to EXTEND rights spelled out in the law ... the same bastard process could TAKE AWAY rights without the proper application of the rule of law.

With the way this 44th Presidency is allowed to make decisions ... it makes one believe they think, "HELL, why do we even have a Constitution, a Bill of Rights, and a separation of powers through three branches of Government?"

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Observations Poke Finger Of Reality In The Eye Of Global Warming Protectionists

Pacific islands not drowning but growing against all AGW predictions. Image Credit: George Steinmetz/Corbis

Observations Poke Finger Of Reality In The Eye Of Global Warming Protectionists

This week, the United Nations concludes a two-week meeting in Bonn, Germany on environmental climate and Global Warming issues looking for a binding agreement on greenhouse gases.

Progress toward reaching a comprehensive global climate deal among industrial nations ... read this as a Cap & Trade money gathering scheme ... has been elusive to craft ever since information was revealed that statistical information upon which climate projections were based was tainted and fraudulently crafted by scientists working at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. This data was then used as the core data upon which the three other main sources used as proof the AGW exists thus placing all of their conclusions as tainted or based on fraud.

During the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change sponsored Bonn meetings which are being attended by delegates from 185 nations, the first full-fledged climate negotiations since the disappointing December summit in Copenhagen which came up only with a nonbinding political declaration ... additional information was published that helps to throw the whole "Oceans Rise", "the sky is falling" fear scenario, out of the window.

Maps of the Pacific from the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission Image Credit: SOPAC

This excerpted and edited from the New Scientist -

Shape-shifting islands defy sea-level rise
By Wendy Zukerman, New Scientist/Environment - 02 June 2010

AGAINST all the odds, a number of shape-shifting islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are standing up to the effects of climate change.

For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet - island states that barely rise out of the ocean - face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown.

Paul Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Arthur Webb at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji used historical aerial photos and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land surface of 27 Pacific islands over the last 60 years. During that time, local sea levels have risen by 120 millimetres, or 2 millimetres per year on average.

Despite this, Kench and Webb found that just four islands have diminished in size since the 1950s. The area of the remaining 23 has either stayed the same or grown (Global and Planetary Change, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.05.003).
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All this means the islands respond to changing weather and climate. For instance, when hurricane Bebe hit Tuvalu in 1972 it deposited 140 hectares of sedimentary debris onto the eastern reef, increasing the area of the main island by 10 per cent.
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It's been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown. But they won't
Reference Here>>

But, of course, we mustn't leave the recent ability of human analysis of the Earth's climate and the presumed effects the activities on this climate ... however fraudulently crafted, alone. The United Nations will not let the pesky observed truth in the processes of this planet or besmirched information from studies that the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change had paid for from the CRU over the last 15 years, get in the way of the advancement of progressive politics.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change logo. Image Credit: UNFCCC

This excerpted and edited from Yahoo/AP -

New climate chief: 'no option' but to take action
By VERENA SCHMITT-ROSCHMANN, Associated Press Writer - Wed Jun 9, 2:47 pm ET

World nations have no choice but to join forces to stop global warming, but achieving a legally binding treaty this year should not be the only focus, the new U.N. climate chief said Wednesday.

Christiana Figueres [Costa Rica] said that "governments will meet this challenge, for the simple reason that humanity must meet this challenge."

"We just don't have another option," said Figueres, who replaces Yvo de Boer next month as head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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The Bonn meeting is to pave the way to the next U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year which some countries hope will provide a breakthrough.
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Even if a treaty is agreed on, "I don't believe that we will ever have a final agreement on climate, certainly not in my lifetime."

Her predecessor de Boer, who had struck a pessimistic note on Monday saying in his final speech to Bonn delegates that he had given up on ambitious short-term climate goals, said he was hopeful for the long term.

"We are on a long journey to address climate change," de Boer said.
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"I am confident that in Cancun you will not only try but succeed" in setting up a structure for the fight against climate change, he said.

Scientists [what scientists? ... the one's who are being paid to create studies to prove AGW no matter what?] say industrial countries need to cut their emissions by 25-40 percent as compared to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. So far, pledges to cut greenhouse gases only add up to about 13-14 percent by 2020.
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Alden Meyer, of the U.S.-based group Union of Concerned Scientists, said expectations of Figueres were high.
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The upcoming Cancun summit will be the "time for delivery" on these promises, she said. "I am convinced that Cancun is going to be very productive, that it is going to be successful."
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Experts were discussing a rough draft of a document that could become the core of the climate treaty. For now, it still leaves all of the major issues open — particularly questions about which countries should have to cut emissions and by what amount, and how to generate funds to help poor nations fight climate change.

"We are still looking for breakthroughs" before the talks end Friday, Boeve said.
Reference Here>>

We, at MAXINE, have always believed that this effort is not so much about helping to protect the Earth and live cleanly ... but it is all about controlling human activity in the name of the progressive political agenda of creating a central governance and punish groups of humans that believe in GOD granted personal freedoms. This type of agenda leads to mass slavery through taxation, and human activity control through Communism.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Al Gore's World ... Cools

The Gores e-mailed their friends to tell them of the separation. They called it "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration," in the e-mail, which was obtained by the Associated Press. Image Credit: CultureMap Houston

Al Gore's World ... Cools

In a report that even has political insiders surprised ... Tipper and Al Gore are getting separated from their marriage union of forty (40) years.

The funny thing about the timing of this announcement is that it comes just about nine months after the revelation that all of the core information from the University of East Anglia in England that the Oscar Award winning movie (some insist that it was a documentary) was trumped up, fixed, fitted, and distorted in order to prove the theory of AGW ... or human caused climate change.

Nine months just happens to be the gestation period for humans to create a baby. In this case, given the announcement itself now that the Gore family has two multi-million dollar mansions, one has to ask ... does this prove that the world is actually cooling and not warming?

What is next, will the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences be asking for their statue back?

Will carbon credits end up having to be refunded? ... Probably, but not until after Tipper Gore gets her share of the presumed profits from the Gore Family fortune!

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