Choice Administration Jobs, Contracts, Meetings for Obama’s Megadonors

One of President Barack Obama’s first campaign promises during the 2008 election was that he would work to eliminate the influence of moneyed political players, who had “turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.” Yet some of the President’s biggest campaign donors have since landed choice jobs, contracts and private meetings with the Obama Administration.

An iWatch News investigation into the White House’s campaign contributors revealed “nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events,” according to a POLITICO article.

“In filling these posts, the administration looks for the most qualified candidates who represent Americans from all walks of life,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told POLITICO. “Being a donor does not get you a job in this administration, nor does it preclude you from getting one.”

However, the investigation found that “nearly 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took ‘key administration posts,’ as defined by the White House. More than half the 24 ambassador nominees… raised $500,000.”

These donors are known as “bundlers,” pooling donations from fundraising networks to avoid the Federal individual contribution limits of $2,500.

“Public Citizen found in 2008 that President George W. Bush had appointed about 200 bundlers to administration posts over his eight years in office. That is roughly the same number Obama has appointed in a little more than two years,” the article read.

The Lucky Seven

You had a better night than I did Monday night. It’s not that watching the Republican candidates try to convince a crowd of New Hampshire voters of their bona fides isn’t a worthwhile endeavor, but Presidential debates are inherently flawed. Any single-party debate is going to lack a certain honesty, because each candidate wants to exemplify the party’s ideals. In this case, it was a race to see who was the most Republican Republican.

But it’s my job to examine those aspirants to the highest office in the land, vet them carefully and then make cheap jokes at their expense. Barring a surprise entry by a hitherto undeclared juggernaut of a candidate, the next President of the United States was onstage in Manchester Monday night. So it was a hot night of debate-watching for Ben. Luckily for me, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is seriously easy to look at. She’s attractive enough that I’m surprised Ed Schultz hasn’t called her a “slut” yet.

Meanwhile, John King was there with the hard-hitting questions. Otherwise, I would have no idea where former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stands on chicken wings. I know I could never offer my precious ballot to some mild-wing-eating pantywaist. Despite King’s insightful questions, a few surprises popped up in the process. Among them: The GOP candidates are evidently playing nice — for now. None of the attendees took a shot at their fellow Oval Office seekers.

King even tried to force the issue, challenging for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on his “Obamneycare” remark from Sunday morning. Sorry, John, nothing doing. Granted, with President Barack Obama and his liberal accomplices offering reams of material, there’s no time left to attack each other.

And they are clearly cognizant of the conservative movement’s strength. Even Romney blew kisses to the Tea Party. When abortion rights popped up, the candidates engaged in a rhetorical brawl to out-pro-life each other. At one point, I thought Bachmann might come out for the rights of unconceived fetuses.

All the candidates recognize the need to pry the fingers of government regulation off the throats of economic progress. The National Labor Relations Board’s efforts to stop the Boeing plant in South Carolina as payback to the Democrats’ union thug cronies were execrable. I have to admit I missed which candidate called for the end of the NLRB. I was in the kitchen, distracted by a Krispy Kreme Cookies-and-Kreme™ doughnut. I’m not apologizing (it was cookies and awesome!), but whoever said it got cookies-and-awesome applause from me.

With Obama and the Democrats doing everything for illegal aliens but handing them a fruit basket when they reach Laredo, Texas, all of the candidates agreed immigration reform is an absolute necessity. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the most reasoned response, including a jocular-yet-logical plan for the Department of Homeland Security.

As for foreign policy, all of the candidates offered solid stances for a strong American global image. Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania offered an especially strong opinion on Obama, the world citizen: “He has embraced our enemies.” Well, he might not have embraced them, but I do think they are past passing notes in study hall.

Businessman Herman Cain faltered when King asked him about his comments regarding hiring Muslims, but he righted the ship when he noted that Faisal Shahzad — aka “The Times Square Bomber” — admitted he lied when he took the citizenship oath.

Meanwhile, Representative Ron Paul of Texas stood firm on his borderline isolationist beliefs. Paul boasts an academic understanding of geopolitics. However, his professorial demeanor needs work.

As far as each of the debaters is concerned, Obamacare is just waiting in line for its seat in front of the death panel. The only candidate who had real vulnerability on the issue was Romney, who played it off fairly well with his Obama-should-have-called-me;-I-could-have-told-him-what-doesn’t-work excuse.

I thought Gingrich probably turned in the best performance. But I still think his campaign’s personnel troubles, combined with his inexplicable “right-wing social engineering” smear of the budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, may have slashed his tires before he left the parking lot.

As I mentioned earlier, debates are hardly the best candidate showcases. But if Monday’s show in Manchester taught me anything, it’s that Obama and his minions should probably have stepped away from their millionaire non-fundraising fundraisers at the White House. Had they done so, they might have discovered that Obama is in serious trouble.

Has The TSA Become An Occupying Army?

On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), along with Federal, State and local agencies, conducted a scheduled security exercise designed to increase security in the Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia area.

“The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide detection and response capabilities,” read an article on The Marietta Timeswebsite.

“The exercise not only enhances security throughout the region; it gives TSA and our security partners the opportunity to work cooperatively,” TSA Columbus Federal Security Director Donald Barker told the paper. “This work increases our preparedness to respond in case of an emergency.”

It remains unclear as to whether the exercises represent an ability of the TSA to Federalize local law enforcement.

Researchers Discover Possible New Method For Obesity Treatment

Researchers discover possible new method for obesity treatmentMammals have two types of fat: calorie-storing white fat that turns up as flab, and beneficial calorie-burning brown fat that lies deeper in the body and in lower quantity.

A team of researchers at Harvard University Medical School recently found that brown fat can be grown in a lab, providing hope for a new treatment for obesity.

“We demonstrated that brown fat burns up a substantial number of calories,” said lead author Aaron Cypess. “We have an organ in our body whose job it is to generate heat and burn calories.”

Previously, the medical community believed that brown fat was present in only infants and small mammals, but then researchers discovered that adults have deposits of the substance at the front of the neck and the chest as well as marbled throughout other regions of the body. They found that the exact location of brown fat varies from person to person.

While the authors noted that increasing an individual’s amount of brown fat may help the person burn more calories, people who are overweight or obese would likely still need to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise in order to reach a healthy weight.

Can Cops In Your State Conduct A Warrantless Search Of Your Cell Phone?

Police officers across the United States are testing the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment, routinely conducting warrantless searches of arrestees’ cell phones. Despite public outcry against it, many State courts are upholding the practice.

For example, CNN reported that in January, the California Supreme Court decided it is legal for officers to search the cell phones of arrested persons for incriminating evidence, without court approval. Similar decisions have been recently made by courts in Florida and Georgia. However, the Ohio Supreme Court barred warrantless cell phone searches.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil rights advocacy group, is fighting the California decision, and has filed an amicus brief in the Oregon case of James Tyler Nix.

“Forty minutes after the arrest, without a warrant, an investigator fished through the suspect’s cell phone looking for evidence related to his alleged crime. Law enforcement officials claim they didn’t need a warrant because the search was ‘incident to arrest’ — an exception to the warrant requirement intended to allow officers to perform a search for weapons or to prevent evidence from being destroyed in exigent circumstances,” the article read.

“This is an empty excuse from the police — the suspect was in custody and unable to destroy evidence on his cell phone,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann told CNN.

The article claimed police are often taking the initiative to conduct warrantless cell phone searches, leaving the legality of the practice to be later upheld or overturned by appellate courts.

Is Switzerland A Role Model For Democracy?

The world economy is in a very fragile state, despite the fact that world gross domestic product is growing at a rate of about 4.3 percent this year. Most of the growth comes from emerging markets like China, Brazil and India.

While these emerging nations have a lot of economic potential for the coming decades, most of them will have to deal with their own specific problems in the years ahead. What differentiates these nations from the West is they typically have much lower levels of debt; most of them have accumulated large savings surpluses. This is in sharp contrast to the West, especially Europe and the United States, where governments have accumulated large deficits by chronic overspending on social security, all sorts of subsidies and/or military and defense costs.

This is a very dangerous trend that can’t go on forever. Actually, I think we are witnessing the turning point right now and that coming years will bring huge changes to these economies. This will most likely result in a severe devaluation of their currencies and socioeconomic tensions. Remember, the euro and the U.S. dollar make up almost 80 percent of the world’s currency reserves, a percentage that will have to drop significantly in coming years.

In a world of ideal economics, these nations would address their problems by making structural adjustments to their economies, making investments that tend to increase true economic value and cutting spending on things that don’t make sense and only destroy value. However, this might be wishful thinking. One does not need to be a genius to see that the sovereign debt problem will, at least partially, be solved by a forced currency devaluation, meaning that the central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the European Central bank in Europe, will continue their very expansionary monetary policies.

Despite the many advantages of democracy, there is tendency for politicians to overpromise, overspend and underdeliver in the long term. This results in huge deficits that must eventually be paid, either through higher taxes or significantly devaluing currency. In a democracy, governments eventually become too big and too powerful and spend too much money. Therefore, more and more people become directly or indirectly dependent on the government. That’s when a nation becomes a welfare state. The larger and more centralized a government becomes, the higher the risk that it will lead to a real disaster in the long run.

It is absolutely crucial that a democratic system maintain self-correcting mechanisms by keeping government size and control at reasonable levels. However, people must also be realistic about what they can expect from a government.

This is a long-term trend that can be observed in many Western countries with far-reaching consequences for people. From an investment-management point of view, currency diversification should be the key focus in coming years. It will be an almost ideal environment for precious metals and hard currencies.

In a previous article, I compared the performance of various foreign currencies against each other and against the two major currencies, the U.S. dollar and the euro. Many people say they do not understand currency markets. Keep it simple and look at foreign currencies like stock prices. The prices of currencies measure the performance of countries, just as the prices of stocks measure the performance of companies.

Looking at currency markets, especially their short-term volatility, people tend to forget about the main forces driving currencies. The chart below shows how the most common foreign currencies have performed in recent years. The best and most stable currency in the world has been the Swiss franc.

 

World Currency Comparisons

With a lot of money-printing going on in the world, it is not a surprise that the Swiss franc has kept outperforming all major currencies. The Swiss franc is, in my opinion, the strongest of all currencies. The chart below shows how much the U.S. dollar lost against the Swiss franc in the past 40 years.

 

In order to understand why the Swiss franc is such a strong currency, many factors need to be considered and understood.

Typically known for its famous chocolate, cheese and for being one of the world’s largest banking centers, Switzerland has much more to offer. Switzerland is a small country with a size of only 16,000 square miles. That’s only about one-quarter the size of Florida. With a population of about 8 million, it is also among the least-populated countries in Europe.

Despite being located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is one of the very few European countries that have not become a member of the European Union. Because of that, the Swiss franc — not the euro — is Switzerland’s currency. Also, the Swiss National Bank is completely independent.

In order to understand why Switzerland has never joined the European Union, one needs to understand the culture and mentality of its people. Switzerland consists of 26 individual states called “cantons.” All of these cantons have a relatively high degree of independence, as do the smaller communities within each canton.

The roots of the country go back to 1291, when most of today’s territory was controlled by the Habsburg dynasty. Many people suffered under the Habsburg regime, since they didn’t have many rights and had to pay high taxes, usually in the form of agriculture goods, to their rulers. In 1291, three cantons started the Old Swiss Confederacy and began to fight for the freedom of its people and an end to the dark days of tyranny. More and more cantons joined the Confederacy.

In 1815, Switzerland’s independence was recognized by most other European countries. While the need for some centralized government was understood, Swiss people have always remained critical toward large, centralized governments. Democracy in the Swiss understanding means citizens and communities should act responsibly and take care of their own affairs.

Switzerland has also remained neutral during the world wars and kept a very large army for most of the past century. Today, about 100,000 soldiers serve in the army, which is still large, given the relatively small size of the country. The Swiss army is not and has never been a professional army; it is mandatory for Swiss men to join the army and serve the country.

I remember my days in the army. I was only 20 years old, and at that time I didn’t really like it or understand the sense of it. Only later did I start to realize what a great school of life my time in the army was, and how much it taught me about freedom and responsibility.

The events of recent years, especially the events in Europe, such as the war in former Yugoslavia or the increasing tensions among European countries, have made me realize things are a lot less stable than we would like. I think the strong sense for neutrality and freedom has remained one of the reasons Switzerland has always been so stable.

Another important factor is the kind of democratic system we have. The Swiss Parliament consists of two chambers, the Council of States and the National Council. The Federal Council, the “Bundesrat,” consists of seven members, each elected for a term of four years. What is unique about this direct democracy is that people can challenge any decision or law with a referendum — all it takes is for 100,000 people to sign such a referendum. This is a very important corrective mechanism in a democracy.

Switzerland was able to stay out of the two world wars by remaining independent. Despite the relatively large size of the Swiss army at that time, it would have been difficult to stop an enemy in case of an attack, especially from Nazi Germany. However, the Germans knew they would need to pay a very high price if they attacked Switzerland. Switzerland’s army was and is well-trained to fight and defend the country — especially in the mountains, which have hundreds of bunker systems, some so large that they look like little villages inside of mountains.

The fact that Switzerland’s infrastructure wasn’t destroyed in any of the world wars also meant the country had a competitive advantage during the rebuilding period after the war. Many large corporations established their international headquarters in Switzerland, and many have stayed here ever since. Today, the main advantages for corporations are the almost-perfect geographical location, a business-friendly tax system and the high level of internationalization in the economy. The tax system for corporations and residents is attractive no matter its level of profit or income. The European Union has called Switzerland’s low tax rates unfair, since taxes are much lower than in the European Union. How can a tax system, which encourages competition and ensures efficient use of taxpayers’ money be unfair?

This conflict with the European Union shows the fundamentally different approach Switzerland has taken. It is a country in which each canton and each community has a high degree of fiscal responsibility. It’s where people make the government, not vice versa.

I think many countries, especially large Western nations, can learn a lot from the Swiss system of democracy. Many Western nations are finding themselves in a difficult position today. The chronic overspending and wasting of tax money has resulted in a very heavy debt burden, which has become almost unbearable. Governments should always work in the best interest of their people and act diligently and responsibly when spending tax money. Governments should be lean and efficient, working for their people and not against them.

While it is in the best interest of any nation to have a social-security system that provides help to people who really need it, overextending welfare will give the wrong incentive to people who should never depend on a government to help them.

Bipartisan Congressional Group Sues Obama Over Libyan War

Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) led a bipartisan group of 10 Congressional lawmakers filing a suit in Federal court against President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, challenging the commitment of the United States to war in Libya without the Constitutionally required approval of Congress.

The suit “seeks injunctive and declaratory relief to protect the Plaintiffs and the country from the violation of the War Powers Resolution resulting from the Obama Administration’s established policy that the President does not require congressional authorization to use military force in wars like the one in Libya,” according to a copy of the filed complaint.

Other plaintiffs in the suit include Representatives Howard Coble (R-N.C.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), John Conyers (D-Mich.) Ron Paul (R-Texas), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.).

The complaint maintains that “the term ‘Libyan War’ means U.S. involvement in combat operations in Libya. Although the Administration has insisted that these operations do not amount to a war, the Plaintiffs assert that the U.S. is engaged in war under domestic and international definitions of war.”

Media Parrot Obama Error

When the White House announced President Barack Obama’s trip to Puerto Rico, it mistakenly claimed he would be the first President to visit the territory since John F. Kennedy. In fact, two Presidents had visited Puerto Rico since JFK — President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Gerald Ford, respectively.

The error, which could have easily been corrected by a White House staffer, was reported by the mainstream media as fact.

“CNN, NPR and others accepted (the error) as fact and began reporting it. Without checking the White House’s spin, many media organizations highlighted Obama’s visit and failed to find that the White House was wrong,” read a column on the Huffington Post.

“The mistake could have been chalked up to one big error if ‘the best political team on television’ wasn’t so Johnny on the spot with fact-checking Palin, Boehner, Bush, Romney, Ryan, Gingrich, etc.”

The column also reported that, when confronted with the error by bloggers, both NPR and CNN failed to correct it.

“It’s… troubling to see media outlets like NPR and CNN not only fail to fact-check, but ignore the truth when confronted with it,” the column read.

Speaker Boehner Gives Obama Until Friday To Justify Actions In Libya

John Boehner recently sent a letter to the President regarding Libya.House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned President Barack Obama that he might end up being in violation of the Constitution for the military actions in Libya.

Boehner said that Obama may end up violating the War Powers Resolution for the military deployment, which has not been approved by Congress, reports The Washington Times. The Congressman gave the President until Friday to justify his commitment of troops to the North African nation.

“The Constitution requires the president to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation,” Boehner said in the letter, reports the news source.

Sunday will be the 90th day since Obama committed troops to Libya, according to the news provider.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said that the Obama Administration was in the process of preparing information for both the House and the Senate.

Vietor said that the information will include “our legal analysis with regard to the War Powers Resolution,” reports USA Today.

Perry Criticizes Administration’s Stance On Abortion, Stem Cells

The Governor of Texas was critical of Obama's abortion stance.Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, recently criticized the Barack Obama Administration for its stance on abortion and stem cell research.

In Los Angeles on June 12, Perry addressed a mostly Hispanic crowd of about 5,000 and railed against the President’s stance on reproductive decisions, according to The Associated Press.

The Governor said that the Obama Administration’s handling of stem cell research was “turning the remains of unborn children into nothing more than raw material.”

Obama has slightly bypassed a 1996 law that prevents the government from spending money on work that damages embryos by allowing the harvesting of stem cells to be done with private money and then using money from taxpayers to fund work on the cells, reports the news source.

Reuters reports that Perry also said that since Roe v. Wade, “50 million children have lost their chance at life — a tragic legacy of judicial activism and a stark reminder that our culture and our country are still in peril.”

The AP reports that Perry had earlier dismissed talk about his potential run for the White House but has also said that he was going to “think about it.”

An Annual Patriotic Tradition

On June 14, 1777, Congress passed a resolution that read: “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The colors used in the flag were the same as those used in the Great Seal, the creation of which Congress authorized on July 4, 1776. In reporting to Congress about the Great Seal, Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, said: “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valor, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

In 1877, Congress passed another resolution, urging that U.S. flags be flown on all public buildings annually on June 14 to mark the flag’s birthday.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed “that throughout the nation and if possible in every community “ June 14 should be observed as Flag Day. And on Flag Day in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill adding the phrase “under God” to the pledge of allegiance.

Flag Day was yesterday.  I hope you remembered to fly the Stars and Stripes at your home and place of business. If not, make a note to do so next year, would you?

–Chip Wood

New York Edges Closer To Legalizing Gay Marriage

Lawmakers in New York say they are close to legalizing gay marriage. Such a law would make New York the largest state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The movement to make such a law gained momentum when four lawmakers, who had previously voted against gay marriage, announced Monday they would now vote in favor of it. The group includes one Republican, State Senator Jim Alesi, a 63-year-old retired businessman who represents the suburbs of Rochester.

“I’m not only voting for the bill, I’m encouraging others who feel like they can to do it as well,” Alesi said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “Social justice should apply to all Americans.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said he would advance a same-sex marriage bill shortly after the four lawmakers made their announcement.

“This is a very significant development… I believe the votes will be there for marriage equality,” Gov. Cuomo said, according to the article. “We’re moving toward the goal line, but we’re not there yet.”

Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in five states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont.

“With a population of 19 million, New York would be the sixth and by far the most populous state with gay marriage,” the article read. “If the bill passes, the number of Americans living in states where gay marriage is permitted would more than double.”

Obesity Vaccine Shows Promise

Obesity vaccine shows promiseA hormone called ghrelin is present in the gut and has the unfortunate effect of increasing the appetite while also slowing energy levels.

A team of researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal have found that suppressing this hormone may have the same effect as that of gastric bypass surgery, without having the risks of the invasive operation.

“This suggests that there is a hormonal mechanism underlying the weight loss attained by the surgical procedures,” said lead investigator Mariana Monteiro, M.D., Ph.D.

In a study of mice, the scientists showed that a vaccine containing a noninfectious virus that carried ghrelin was effective in decreasing the rodents’ food intake. After one day, the vaccinated mice ate 18 percent less than a control group, and after two months they ate only half as much as their counterparts.

The researchers reported no toxic effects after the two-month study, which equates to about four years in humans.

Results of this study were presented at the Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

Who Shot The Dollar?

Who killed the U.S. dollar? This question will be debated by future historians. Already, more people are asking that question than tuned in to find out who shot J.R. on Dallas. The lineup of suspects is long, but it ends with Barack Obama, the triggerman who killed the buck.

The first wound came from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who expanded the Federal government’s influence far beyond what the writers of the Constitution ever imagined. He devalued the price of gold and made it impossible for ordinary Americans to convert currency to bullion. But FDR was also crucial during America’s World War II victory, a pivotal event that set the stage for America to become the world’s largest creditor and greatest superpower.

LBJ Chooses Guns And Butter

Another suspect is Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. When I was in college studying economics, our professor made us read history. This seemed counterintuitive until we read about the guns-and-butter policies of the Johnson Administration.

And while Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama make Johnson look like a penny-pincher, Johnson was the first to take a shot at the dollar.

Johnson pressed forward his vision with major spending programs for education, medical care, crime and transportation. He wanted to transform America the way FDR had. And he had a war to fight in Vietnam.

Gold demand rose, creating a drawdown on America’s gold reserves. The root of it all was a growing trade deficit that the United States owed to the rest of the world.

The Administration of John F. Kennedy knew America’s gold standard was in trouble. In January 1961, Kennedy’s Undersecretary of the Treasury, Robert Roosa, suggested the U.S. and Europe pool their gold to prevent a private marketplace for gold in which the price would exceed the mandated price of $35 per ounce. French President Charles de Gaulle reneged on the deal and began to redeem dollars for gold instead of U.S. Treasuries. The drain on U.S. gold became severe.

The 1960s marked a gigantic increase in Federal spending. Johnson’s two-front war was being fought at a prohibitive cost. In 1968, for the first time since 1893, the United States ran a deficit in its balance of trade. Federal debt began to soar. By the end of the 1960s, the U.S. faced the stark choice of eliminating trade deficits or devaluing the dollar.

Gold On Nixon’s Enemies List

On Aug. 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon cut the final link between gold and the dollar. Other nations could no longer redeem rapidly depreciating greenbacks for bullion.

In February 1973, the world’s currencies “floated.” By the end of 1974, the price of gold had soared from $35 to $195 an ounce. The U.S. could suddenly pump dollars without constraint. It was a period during which red flags were being raised for paper investors, few of whom paid any notice.

The majority of investors would pay a steep price for their ignorance. Over the next decade, they suffered through the worst bear market in stocks since the Great Depression and the worst bond market of the 20th century.

A Democrat Gives The Dollar A Reprieve

It is ironic that another Democrat would breathe life into the buck, but that is what President Bill Clinton did.

During the Clinton Administration — with the help of innovative accounting — the dollar stormed back. The disgrace Clinton brought to the Oval Office over the Monica Lewinsky affair seems almost forgivable since his Administration presided over a growing economy and what underpinned it, a strong dollar. More than a decade ago, the world had confidence in the U.S. dollar.

If you do not believe me, check the chart below.

 

Trade Weighted Exchange Index

As you can see, the greenback has been experiencing an unprecedented decline since 2001. No doubt much of the weakness in the dollar was caused by another guns-and-butter President: George W. Bush.

Just 2½ years into office, Obama is pushing the value of the dollar even lower. It’s so low that the value of the U.S. dollar now threatens to undermine our future and our children’s future.

Obama had an opportunity to restore the U.S. dollar and the United States. In that task he has failed miserably.

The London Telegraph details Obama’s murder of the dollar. A few weeks ago, the newspaper wrote: “If President Obama is to be believed, ‘speculators’ are responsible for the rise in oil prices that threatens the global recovery. However, for the real drivers of the oil price, the President needs to look closer to home.”

The U.S. has continued to devalue its currency by allowing the Federal Reserve to print dollars like they are going out of fashion. This has boosted the price of all commodities — and the trend is likely to continue for the rest of this year.

“Commodities such as oil are priced in dollars. When the dollar falls, these commodities — be they copper, wheat, or oil — become cheaper in other currencies. This prompts “speculators” to buy. Prices of raw materials have therefore risen on a sea of dollar liquidity — fueled by cheap money and quantitative easing.”

Obama has been pumping money the way Saudi Arabia once pumped oil. His spending has gotten America close to Third World status.

China alone holds nearly $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury obligations. Still, we have a President who is bent on blaming Wall Street. And he does so after having spent more than $1 trillion in bailouts and pushing the Federal deficit past $14 trillion!

Tale of Two Presidents

The Administration of President Jimmy Carter dealt President Ronald Reagan a bad hand. The world was losing confidence in the once-almighty dollar. Commodity prices were soaring. Reagan did the right thing for America. He bit the bullet. Interest rates soared under the discipline of Reagan and then-Federal Reserve Chief Paul Volcker. The result was a rolling recession that hurt a lot of Americans and could have cost Reagan a second term.

Obama has not shown that courage. Rather than batten down the hatches, Obama has opened the spigots — to the tune of trillions in new dollars. The result is a world in which other nations no longer want the greenback as the world’s reserve currency.

History will show that a lot of Presidents injured the U.S. dollar. But the one who gave the greenback the coup de grâce was Obama.

Action to take: Obama’s re-election is paramount to him. He doesn’t care whether the dollar dies. As a result, you should continue to get out of dollar investments and into real assets. The U.S. dollar and Big Board stocks are heading for a collapse. Real assets offer you your only chance of financial survival.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

President Obama Campaigns In Attempt To Save Job

President Obama is trying to convince the country that he should be re-elected.While a wave of enthusiasm swept Barack Obama into the White House in 2008, the President is reportedly facing much bleaker prospects in certain States as he attempts to get re-elected.

According to The Associated Press, in 2008 Obama was the first Democrat to win North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976, but he barely did so, besting Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) by fewer than 15,000 votes. Such an upset could be much less likely in 2012 as the President’s polling numbers remain low in large part because of the weak economy.

The news source reports that interviews it conducted throughout the Tar Heel State, which has the nation’s 10th highest unemployment rate, showed that many who were vocal supporters of Obama in 2008 have lost some of their excitement.

“I don’t think that enthusiasm is quite as broad as it was,” Shirley Tate, a 66-year-old former teacher, told the news source.

The AP reports that there are a number of other States in similar situations as North Carolina in regard to Obama supporters, such as Virginia and Florida.

Fox News reports that Obama recently visited North Carolina to try to sell the State on the 2009 stimulus.

According to the AP, a large majority of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.

Hacking, And The Truth About The Cyberwar

Hackers are getting a lot of press lately for using their skills to effect change (or wreak havoc) on a global scale. High-profile cyberattacks on Sony, Nintendo, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Google, the United States Senate and the International Monetary Fund (to name a few) have started a cybersecurity panic. Governments across the globe are calling for international Internet-control measures.

“While some civil liberties campaigners fear giving governments greater control of the Internet would undermine privacy, others say that same privacy is already being undermined by both criminal and state-linked hackers,” read a FoxNews.com article.

But not all hackers are alike.

Anonymous, perhaps the most well-known hacktivist collective, spends most of its time engaging in international cyberwarfare with governments. For example, on Friday Anonymous announced that it had successfully taken down several government websites in Turkey in retaliation for that government’s plans to institute an Internet browsing filter. Anonymous despises censorship.

Anonymous has also helped foment rebellion in the Middle East by spreading the word about government corruption and providing safe havens for rebels online. The group is reportedly planning an operation against Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime. One could argue that Anonymous’ support of WikiLeaks has kept the site going, and its editor in chief, Julian Assange, is a hacker himself.

The Federal government says these are the bad guys, by the way.

It’s true not all hacker groups are trying to save the world. LulzSec, for example, has claimed responsibility for the Sony, Nintendo, PBS and Senate hacks mentioned above, among others. And Russia and China are both reportedly at the forefront of military-led cyberwarfare.

“In the view of Mike McConnell, a former spy chief, the effects of full-blown cyberwar are much like nuclear attack. Cyberwar has already started, he says, ‘and we are losing it,’” read an article in The Economist.

And there’s the key. Governments across the world are all telling their citizens the same thing: “We are losing the cyberwar.” To what end?

“The Western power elites have three main thrusts in our humble view to pursue. 1. They have an evident urgent need to continue their lunge toward world government. 2. They have to create war and chaos to do so. (Out of chaos, order.) 3. And finally, they have to ameliorate the damage that is being done to their plans by the Internet,” read an article on LewRockwell.com.

“An Internet false flag within this context would be a kind of masterstroke.”

Has the Internet suddenly become a much scarier place? Or do governments across the globe want us to think the Internet is scary, in an attempt to gain further control over its content? Or is it much, much worse?

The Pentagon will treat cyberattacks from foreign nations as acts of war and may choose to respond, not in cyberspace, but in a coordinated military strike.

With one attack, hacktivists can deprive you of your Internet service. With one attack, the Pentagon can start World War III.

And who are the bad guys?

Republican Candidates Face Off

On Monday night, CNN hosted a debate in New Hampshire between seven potential Republican Presidential candidates.

Businessman Herman Cain, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) spent much of the debate slamming President Barack Obama, with few criticisms directed at each other.

Moderated by CNN anchor John King, the debate included questions from journalists, audience members and gatherers at town hall meetings across New Hampshire.

The Presidential hopefuls sounded off on several hot-button topics, including healthcare, abortion, gay marriage and military service, and whether any of them could successfully integrate Tea Party activism into the Presidency without angering mainstream Republicans.

Bachmann stopped just short of formally announcing her candidacy at the event, saying she had filed the necessary papers to enter the race that day. Regardless of whether she would gain the Republican nod, Bachmann said she was confident of a GOP win in November 2012.

“Make no mistake about it. President Obama is a one-term president,” Bachmann said.

Supposed front-runner Romney expressed more self-confidence, saying he “can’t wait to debate” Obama.

CNN analysts said Romney and Bachmann were clear winners in the debate, along with Gingrich, who “remained in the race,” according to an article on CNN.com.

Pawlenty was viewed Monday night’s clear loser, because “he could not back up what he has said (about Romneycare)… when he was standing on the stage with Romney. He looked tentative and he looked weak,” the article read.

CNN.com contributed to this article.

 

Obama Says ‘There Are Days When I Say One Term Is Enough’

Even as he begins his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama may be tacitly acknowledging the chance of defeat.

“I’m sure there are days where I say that one term is enough,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News that aired Tuesday morning on Today.

He also said that if the first lady “didn’t think that what we’re doing is worthwhile in moving the country forward, I think she’d be the first one to say do something else less stressful.”

The President said his daughters have responded well to being members of the first family. “The girls seem to be thriving,’’ he said. “They continue to surprise me with how poised, well-mannered (and) kind they are turning out, even in the hothouse environment of the White House.’’

However, “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ they’d be fine,” Obama said. “They’re not invested in Daddy being president or my husband being president.”

 

 

You’re A Grand Old Flag: Patriotic Americans Observe Flag Day

Americans celebrate Old Glory on Flag Day.On Flag Day, Americans celebrate their country’s most-recognized symbol: Old Glory.

On June 14, 1777, our Founding Fathers in the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which established the design and colors of the American flag. While the number of stars has changed over the past 234 years, the message that the flag sends is still the same — something that North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple recognized when he recently called on his constituents to celebrate Flag Day and observe National Flag Week.

“Since its adoption in 1777, the American flag has symbolized freedom and opportunity for generations of Americans, embodying our nation’s highest ideals of equality and justice for all,” Dalrymple said. “As we look upon the flag, we are reminded of the great sacrifices that have been made, and continue to be made, by our brave men and women in uniform, who throughout our history, have defended the flag and the liberties for which it stands.”

Other people are looking to honor the flag by protecting it from desecration. The Citizen’s Flag Alliance, a nationwide nonprofit, nonpartisan group, is seeking a Constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to prevent the flag from being dishonored in ways such as burning it in protest, reports the Green Valley News and Sun.

GOP Primary Debate Focuses On Obamacare, Economy

Seven Republicans recently took part in a primary debate.Seven hopefuls for the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential election recently squared off in a debate in New Hampshire and set their sights on attacking the record of President Barack Obama.

According to The Associated Press, much of the debate focused on Obama and his overhaul of the healthcare system and his struggles with the economy.

“When 14 million Americans are out of work, we need a new President to end the Obama Depression,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) was specific about what he thought was wrong with the economy, blaming the recession on the Federal Reserve, reports the news source.

Still, much of the criticism during the debate was saved for the President.

Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor of Minnesota, said that Obama was a “declinist” who thinks of the United States “as one of equals around the world,” rather than an exceptional country.

While many ideas and opinions were shared during the second Republican primary debate, perhaps the biggest bit of news to emerge from the debate was the announcement by Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) that she would officially join the race for the White House.

Bachmann Files Paperwork To Enter GOP Primary

Michele Bachmann said she would run for President.While much was discussed during the recent Republican primary debate, the biggest news story to emerge was the announcement by Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) that on Monday she had filed the necessary papers to enter the GOP race.

Fox News reports that during the debate, which featured six other GOP hopefuls, Bachmann said that she filed the paperwork to enter the primary race and that she would make a formal announcement in the near future.

“Our country needs a leader who understands the hardships that people across America have been facing over the past few years, and who will do what it takes to renew the American dream. We must become a strong and proud America again, and I see clearly a better path to a brighter future,” the Congresswoman said in a statement.

Bachmann is embraced in many sectors because of her willingness to speak her mind and refusal to back down on a range of topics that many other candidates might shy away from.

NPR reports that Bachmann did more than just announce her candidacy during the debate in New Hampshire. She was heavily critical of President Barack Obama, particularly his handling of the situation in Libya.

Giving Peace No Chance

In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the annual Nobel Peace Prize to newly minted President Barack Obama. In its press release, the Committee noted “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Democrats hailed the announcement as a validation of their faith in the erstwhile junior Senator from Illinois. Conservatives acknowledged the most-recent addition to the untested former community organizer’s collection of accolades as proof that the Nobel Prize — which had gained considerable tarnish after being handed to Al Gore for science fiction — was rapidly becoming as precious as those fancy breath mints they have in a dish at the Chicago-area restaurants where Oprah Winfrey dines. The conservative skepticism was confirmed after it became apparent the Norwegian Nobel Committee voted to hand the medal to Obama only nine days into his occupation of the Oval Office.

But Obama is a Nobel laureate. He successfully campaigned on his opposition to war, proudly touting his stance against further combat in Iraq and promising a swift withdrawal from that conflict. With Obama in the White House, not only were we all going to be better people, but we were going to live in a more peaceful world. Obama was demonstrating “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation.”

So, more than two years later, how’s that working out for everyone?

The War in Iraq continues, although the corporate media have developed an apparent aversion to reporting on it. The War in Afghanistan has gotten more — not less — violent, although the corporate media have evidently forgotten how to find Afghanistan on a map. The Middle East has erupted in a revolutionary frenzy which seems inspiring, until closer examination of the various conflicts reveals what may well be some sort of intramural Islamofascist squabble. Instead of delivering harmonious peace to the planet, Obama has increased U.S. military obligations from two wars to four. And he has done so at a time when the U.S. economy is wheezing like Ed Schultz chasing after a date (thanks to Obama’s ham-fisted economic stewardship).

You read that correctly. In addition to the continuing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama has committed us to the dubiously progressing effort to oust Moammar Gadhafi from Libya. And thanks to a report which will probably cost The New York Times a spot on the plane the next time Michelle Obama takes a few dozen of her closest friends to a five-star foreign resort, it has been revealed the U.S. military is now conducting a “secret” — and growing — conflict in Yemen. “Cooperation between peoples” is fairly simple when one side of those “peoples” is pushing up palm trees.

To be honest, I have no issue with justifiable war. Terrorists, among others, need to die; and the U.S. military has consistently demonstrated it is second to none at killing terrorists. Plus, war looks much cooler on television than the corporate media excusing Representative Anthony Weiner’s contact with high school girls. Of course, I didn’t run for President of the United States on an anti-war platform, nor did I win the Nobel Peace Prize on spec. The Obama global doctrine appears to involve some sort of diplomatic board game: “All right, Mr. President, you rolled a five and a three. You have to go to…Yemen… with a cruise missile!”

I am, therefore, perplexed by the ability of rank-and-file liberals to rectify their beloved Obama’s anti-war promises with his decidedly belligerent (or scattershot) performances.

The whole of human history has been marked by war. Indeed, the number of war-free years since the first Neolithic tribesmen began scribbling depictions of dead other Neolithic tribesmen is, counting 2011, effectively zero. Ever since Thok figured out he could have the best cows and women by splitting Unk’s skull with a rock, we’ve been at it. In fact, there may well be only one thing that has defined man’s attempts to assert his own dominance over the world: lying.

–Ben Crystal

One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Poison

Many millions of people have digestion problems, and some do all their lives.

How do I know? Just walk up and down the aisle of your local pharmacy or convenience store. There must be thousands of synthetic high-profit products that reach out for your stomach.

They are beautifully packaged, but most of them are worse than worthless. They are downright harmful, especially if they mask the symptoms of digestive problems.

Digestive distress is a strong signal that something is wrong. Either you are low on stomach acid or you have food allergies.

The truth is that some foods just don’t like us. But when most foods don’t, we need to be concerned. It is not something to fool around with.

A doctor offered me Prevacid® a few years ago with the straightest face. Not to worry. This is what American medical schools are turning out.

Prevacid® is one of a family of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Doctors prescribe them to people suffering from “excess” stomach acid. But most people who think they have excess acid actually have too little… at least of the good stomach acid, hydrochloric acid (HCl).

With too little HCl, foods don’t digest properly. Instead, foods putrify in the stomach. Taking PPIs only compounds the problem of having too little stomach acid. To eliminate problems like acid reflux, you should increase the HCl in your stomach. Apple cider vinegar or sea salt mixed with water will do.

Taking PPIs impairs the digestive process and leaves foods to rot in the stomach, which leads to cancer.

Well, just so long as we know.

It is not the good whole foods that our stomachs don’t like. It is processed foods that give the trouble. And you know what, most folks don’t know the difference!

Gluten sensitivity is a well-known stomach problem for many unfortunate souls. Lectins are to blame. They accumulate until they translate into headaches, skin problems, stomach cramps, bloating, weight gain, daily fatigue, mucus buildup, joint stiffness, inflammation, belching and flatulence. These are the symptoms of the saturation of lectin in our digestive system.

Dr. Joseph Mercola writes: “Lectin is a defense mechanism for the wheat plant, designed to ward of (sic) its natural enemies such as fungi and insects. Unfortunately, this protein is also very resistant to breakdown by living systems, and it easily accumulates in tissues where it interferes with normal biological processes and acts as an anti-nutrient.

“Typically, sprouting, fermenting or digestion can help to negate some of the harmful effects of such anti-nutrients (as in the case of fermenting soy, which removes many of its anti-nutrient properties). However, lectins are resistant to these types of processes.”