If you were looking to put a label on a good chunk of the news stories out there about how congress is behaving (or misbehaving, depending on your view) and the what the public is reaction, the words ‘rebel’ or ‘revolt’ would certainly be one while ‘socialism’ might well be the other.
A few examples under each heading? Starting with the ‘r’ words:
- Missouri congressman Russ Carnahan had a coffin (peacefully) placed outside his home in Missouri Wednesday night.
- Or, as CBS puts it “Coffin on lawmaker’s lawn, other reports of actions surface“
- Then there’s the Virginia representative Eric Cantor who said his Richmond, VA campaign office has been short at and he’s had threatening mail.
One reason people are upset? Economic impacts of all the ‘change’ under the headline “The Silent Entitlements Monster: Social Security, Medicare And Interest On The Debt Will Gobble Up Every Single Tax Dollar By 2020.“ Pay it no mind, I’m sure I’m nothing more than a worry-wart.
Then over on the ‘socialism side we read how:
- “MSNBC Host: Time for “Socialism” in Talk Radio”
- On the Chinese People’s Daily website, we read how “Health reform success for Obama, says Fidel Castro.“ Takes one to know one and a third to catch it and turn it into a headline?
- And mainstream press, like the New Jersey Star-Ledger as asking in an editorial: “American’s warm to health care reform: Are we a nation of socialists?“
The Heritage Foundation says the tax hiking isn’t over yet as the “Reconciliation Bill adds even More Taxes..“ Gee…look surprised, would you?
Saving a Few
Meantime, the White House is set to outline a plan later today which will expand somewhat on its foreclosure-prevention efforts by reducing balances owed by some borrowers.
And where will the money for this gem come from? Another $14 billion out of the TARP program.
Seems to me what’s really going on is an effort to take people who are already upside down in their payments, and write the notes down to about the break-even point so people will stop walking away from their debts…but whether that works, and where the housing decline is over, that’s like putting a dollar on the progress slots and hoping, near as I can figure.
But marketing, marketing, marketing, eh?
Newest numbers to munch – not necessarily believe – just munch:
“Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 5.9 percent (see “Revisions” on page 3).
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from private inventory investment, exports, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), and nonresidential fixed investment.
Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The acceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected an acceleration in private inventory investment, an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, an acceleration in exports, and a deceleration in imports that were partly offset by decelerations in PCE and in federal government spending.
Motor vehicle output added 0.45 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after adding 1.45 percentage points to the third-quarter change. Final sales of computers added 0.01 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.08 percentage point from the third-quarter change.
Toss in deal on Greece, and optimism that the market may be soaring toward the 11,000 level on the Dow and you’ve got the makings for an end-of-quarter blow off rally today that could be a marvel. Remember, though, Q1 ends next week and then’s maybe a time to sober up and rethink things a bit and lock in those long-term gains.
“Sell in May and Go Away” is not too far off now…
The Middle East Mistake?
There’s a report today that the Iranian foreign minister is urging the Muslim countries (Organization of Islamic Countries) foreign ministers to meet to take a stand and action on the latest Israeli expansion of the settlements.
The J-Post reports that “Netanyahu convenes inner cabinet” to discuss Washington be mightily displeased about the settlements, but do I expect any change of course? Not hardly. You kidding?
Still, keep an eye on things as “Arab League summit to focus on Jerusalem.”
Oh, and a “Russian oil major pulls out of Iran“….wonder if they know something we don’t – yet? What if the topic for Netanyahu’s inner circle has nothing to do with Jerusalem? And the Israeli Post Office has the gas masks out, remember that from last fall’s headlines?
You might want to read up on the latest on the shooting sites as “Military Cartridge Brass Destruction 2010 -Round 2″ is getting underway.
I haven’t been watching this too closely, I’ll admit, but funny to me how hard caps on banks and speculators for energy seems to be a good thing while caps on copper and the PM’s are somehow bad?
Help me here, by telling me again why the conference call blanked out while GATA president Bill Murphy was about to comment??? WTF’s up with that?
Say, you don’t suppose that it was because GATA has a whistleblower who is willing to testify that he was invited by a Big Bank to take part in a precious metals price suppression scheme, do you? Something the CFTC seems to have gone deaf, dumb, and blind on?
You will want to read for sure: “Whistleblower exposes JP Morgan’s Silver Manipulation Scheme” over at zerohedge.
Too much work? Well, Pappy also taught me that rising copper prices either meant an economic boom — or war — is just ahead and gosh, for the life of me I can’t picture a boom…
Redundant Observance Department
While millions of people around the world will be taking part in “Earth Hour” this weekend by turning off their lights, you don’t really need to do anything, since near as I can figure, the economy, much higher taxes, and rising utility rates will make participation in ‘lights out’ for mandatory for millions more over the next year or two, anyway for those who don’t voluntarily do so this weekend… But hey! I’m the guy who’s been advocating voluntary lifestyle reductions for how long?
But we continue to see power wielded by a certain 767-flying member of congress which I see as just a grand version of “Do as we say, not as we do…”