The latest round of Obama pardons broke records yesterday.
- President Obama Pardons the Most Criminals Since Truman
- President Obama Is the Most Controversial Executive Action User in U.S. History - Here's Why
- DON’T BE SO ARROGANT, MR. PRESIDENT
- Is This Obama's "Waterloo"?
- Obama's Latest "Bad Bet' is About to Cost Taxpayers $180 Million
- National Conventions: It's My Party and I'll Lie If I Want To
- Election 2012: Jobs Picture Won’t Brighten Before November
- Election 2012: Battling for the Youth Vote
- How to Fix the U.S. Housing Market
- Debt Ceiling Woes: Four Moves to Make as a Government Shutdown Looms
- Republican Budget Plan Targets Medicare With $4 Trillion in Total Spending Cuts
- Obama Energy Policy Boosts Natural Gas Stocks
- U.S. Weapon Sales to the Middle East: Will Egypt End the "Obama Arms Bazaar?"
- Nobody Wins with President Obama's Proposed U.S. Tax Package
- Obama Tax Deal Sets the Bull Running
- Obama Now Must Rally Democrats to Seal Tax Deal With GOP
President Obama's recent gun control executive order fired a lot of people up. New House Speaker Paul Ryan called Obama's plan "a form of intimidation that undermines liberty."
But many people aren't aware that the controversy doesn't just lie in what the president issues directives on, it's the sly way he goes about doing it.
Empires have come and gone. Some lasted a blink of an eye and some millennia.
The question is, after 9/11, the rise of China and a great financial crisis, where does the U.S. empire stack up to its predecessors?
Well, it seems the one commonality they all have is the point when their might was undermined by sloth and greed. And entitlements: free bread and circuses. For some it took years, others centuries.
Here, in a compelling and unique address, is what Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire, might say to President Obama now about how to keep America great.
Read on and share with family and friends...
President Obama’s administration is trampling civil liberties and engaging in intimidation and harassment—plus they’re getting away with it. Read more...
Talk about clean-energy boondoggles. Here's the latest one from the Obama administration.
Electric hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. is now on the verge of bankruptcy and owes the U.S. government more than $180 million - which would be the biggest waste of taxpayer money since the Solyndra fiasco.
According to PrivCo, a New York-based researcher, Fisker has not produced a car since last summer and has gone through more than $1.3 billion in private investment capital and government loans.
If America's two major political parties have anything in common, it's the ability to fold, twist and mutilate the facts of any given subject.
Almost every speaker at both national conventions did their utmost to uphold this ignoble tradition of American politics.
When the media called several GOP speakers on their political lies, a pollster for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Neil Newhouse, responded with what may have been the most truthful words spoken by any political figure over the past two weeks:
"We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
The Democrats, of course, gleefully pointed this out at their national convention a few days later even while committing transgressions of their own.
Hypocrisy, thy name is politics.
Since the American voter deserves better in Election 2012, here's a more accurate look at some the truth-challenged rhetoric uttered by the people who want us to trust them with running the country:
The president's re-election bid took a blow on Friday when the U.S. Department of Labor reported the U.S. economy added just 80,000 jobs in June. That was far below analyst expectations of 100,000-125,000, and well short of the 125,000 needed to keep pace with population growth.
The disappointing U.S. jobs report came on the heels of other bad economic news, including a contraction in manufacturing activity and a decline in household spending.
"We had confirmation of what all of the other economic indicators have been signaling for some time, and that is a marked deceleration of the U.S. economy," Paul O'Keefe, director of economic research for the consulting firm J.H. Cohn and a former Labor Department official, told The Wall Street Journal. "This is not an outlier month. We've seen a deceleration in job growth since the beginning of the year."
While the headline unemployment rate held steady at 8.2%, the numbers are clearly going in the wrong direction. The Labor Department said 155,000 people joined the workforce in June -- almost double the number of jobs added.
An analysis by Hamilton Place Strategies calculated that the economy would need to add 219,000 jobs per month to get unemployment below 8% by Nov. 6.
Given the recent trend - 68,000 jobs in April, 77,000 in May and now 80,000 in June - it appears more likely the rate stays steady or even inches higher as we approach Election 2012.
Why U.S. Jobs Reports Won't Get BetterUnfortunately for President Obama, hiring won't increase significantly any time soon.
Businesses simply have too many concerns:
Four years ago, voters under 30 formed about 17% of the electorate and cast twice as many ballots for President Obama as for opponent John McCain. This was in stark contrast to voters over 30 where only half supported the Democratic nominee.
It was the biggest generation gap in four decades of modern election polling. The election itself had the largest turnout since 1960 -- when another young, charismatic president made it to the White House.
But Election 2012 may be different.
This year President Obama could find it much more difficult to inspire the youngest voters with his message of hope. It will be hard for under-30, unemployed voters to believe this president is an "instrument of change" and a "visionary" when jobless numbers remain unusually high.
The latest unemployment numbers for 20- to 24-year-olds are 9.3% for college graduates and 12.9% overall. What's worse is the newest voters, aged 18-19, have a depressingly high unemployment rate of 23.5%.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll provided another foreboding statistic for the president: 54% of recent graduates say they think the country is on the wrong track.
But here's what those reports didn't tell you: If the housing market isn't fixed soon, it's going to drag the rest of the economy down into a hellish bottom that will take years, if not decades, to crawl out of.
The housing market is our single-most important generator of gross domestic product (GDP) and, ultimately, national wealth.
It's time we fixed what's broken and implemented new financing and tax strategies to stabilize prices.
Contrary to the naysayers - and in spite of political pandering and procrastination - we can almost immediately execute a simple two-pronged plan to fix mortgage financing and stabilize U.S. housing prices.
I call it a not-so-modest proposal.
The Worst Since the Great DepressionThe facts are frightening: We are in a bad place. The plunge in housing prices we've seen during the current downturn is on par with the horrific freefall the U.S. housing market experienced during the Great Depression.
And without an effective plan to arrest the double-dip in housing, there's no bottom in sight.
Hope Now, an alliance of lenders, investors and non-profits formed at the behest of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, counts 3.45 million homes being foreclosed from 2007 through 2010. Current estimates of pending and potential foreclosures range from another 4 million to as many as 14 million.
According to RealtyTrac, a real-estate data provider, the country's biggest banks and mortgage lenders are sitting on 872,000 repossessed homes. If you add in the rest of the nation's banks, lenders and mortgage-servicers, the true number of these REO (real-estate owned) homes is closer to 1.9 million.
These shocking statistics illustrate just how large the current overhang of bank-owned properties actually is (at current sales levels, REO properties would take three years to unload). And they help us to understand how the staggering number of yet to-be-foreclosed, repossessed, and sold homes will depress U.S. housing market prices for years to come.
I don't know why: The entire debt ceiling concept - as well as the investor fear, political-posturing, self-aggrandizing behavior and government-shutdown debates this budget limit repeatedly spawns - is a joke, albeit it a very bad one.
Unfortunately, the speed at which headlines are crossing my desk suggests that the entire affair will turn into yet another Capitol Hill debacle - this one with additional consequences for an already battered Main Street.
But I've got four recommendations that will help you sidestep the government shutdown/debt ceiling fallout, and perhaps even bolster your retirement holdings along the way.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-WI, prepared the spending outline for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Ryan told Fox News Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama was "punting on the budget and not doing a thing to prevent a debt crisis, which every single economist tells us is coming sooner rather than later in this country."
He said the plan went beyond the recommendations of President Obama's debt commission because they kept spending too high to significantly reduce the deficit.
Ryan's proposal reshapes the Medicare program to tackle its soaring costs. Medicare cost $396.5 billion in 2010 and is projected to rise to $502.8 billion in 2016.
"You have to address the drivers of our debt," Ryan told Fox News Sunday. "We need to engage with the American people on a fact-based budget, on stopping politicians from making empty promises to people and talk to the country about what is necessary to fix these problems."
However, it was the president's comments regarding natural gas that had the biggest impact on energy markets.
The natural gas contract for May delivery gained 9 cents, more than 2%, to $4.356 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange following Obama's speech Wednesday.
Pundits immediately questioned his call. Did President Obama cave to pressure, or did he pull off a sly political coup? Will this decision aid a still-struggling U.S. recovery, or will it add to the mountain of existing U.S. debt and stick future generations with the tab?
Needless to say, the deal has fired up tempers on both sides of the aisle.
What's more is the deal looks as though it could offer a significant impetus for the U.S. economy as we move into 2011.
What has happened in the political arena over the past month has been magnificent theater. I don't believe in coincidences, so we have to try to understand what is being staged.
Consider the following:
Just weeks ago we had the stunning compromise by Irish officials with their new European overlords. Then the Standard & Poor's 500 Index reversed at the well supported 1,175-level and its 50-day average. Then came a positive reaction to a weak jobs report. Then U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went on "60 Minutes" to explain the Fed's monetary program. And finally President Obama went on television to announce his tax compromise.
What's the play? Here's a guess.