Americans Victimized By Etch A Sketch Politics For Too Long

The Republican Presidential primary race is a joke, and Barack Obama will have four more years to continue to radically reshape the United States.

Mitt Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom summed up why Republicans are poised to lose in the fall during an appearance on CNN Wednesday: The guy who will most likely be the GOP’s choice in the general election has the conviction of an Etch A Sketch.

When asked whether Romney’s very conservative rhetoric throughout the primary season would hurt his chances of wooing moderate voters in a campaign against Obama, Fehrnstrom replied: “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch — you shake it all up and start over again.”

The remark — which should certainly come as no surprise to real conservatives, because Romney is essentially Obama-lite — represents one absolute truth: Except for Ron Paul, there is no true conservative running in the GOP primary.

Even if Romney, Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich had a chance to beat Obama, it wouldn’t matter. Look past the phony rhetoric and it is easy to see that Romney, Santorum and Gingrich all represent the same problem for voters. If any one of these men gets the job, nothing is going to change. The destruction of the United States is simply a consequence of other goals shared by the elite within the parties of both establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats.

The shared ambitions between the most powerful people within the two parties are:

  • Lining the pockets of the people at the highest levels within the military-industrial complex, the medical establishment and the Federal government while doing away with individual liberty.
  • And dehumanizing and demoralizing the greater American populace until submission to the will of the elite comes without a fight.

When the goal is accomplished, the United States will have reached the end of the road to tyranny that it has been slowly traveling for more than a century. Elections will no longer be necessary.

The number of people throughout the Nation who see the writing on the wall is growing. They are investing money in precious metals, food and tradable goods in anticipation of the economic collapse that the political elite have orchestrated. They are stocking weapons in anticipation of widespread social disorder and are visiting websites like Personal Liberty Digest™ to learn vital skills and find out about the latest efforts of elitists to control every aspect of their lives while they still can. These are people who demand only the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — things that are becoming foreign ideas to citizens of the United States.

Sadly, there exists a greater number of Americans who remain slave to the false left-right paradigm, many of whom feel the Federal government’s purpose is to make decisions and care for each and every one of its citizens. These people are willing to relinquish the liberty of all Americans for that care.

If there were any hope of the United States returning to its former glory rather than taking its place among the failed empires of history, it would only be the result of a painful process of reigning in spending and dependence on government. It would surely be an uncomfortable process. Paul is the only Presidential candidate who has been willing to admit this, and he is the only one who has provided a plan that would really undo the damage that has been done to the greatest Nation in history. Paul’s plan would cut $1 trillion in Federal spending during his first year in office, give young Americans the ability to opt out of Social Security, provide block grants to States to pay for social welfare programs, reduce the Federal workforce by 10 percent, cut taxes drastically and repeal overreaching Federal regulation. The candidate has also called for an end to unConstitutional military adventurism and restoration of Americans’ liberty.

Is it any wonder the establishment has made every effort to shut Paul up? Even if he were unable to achieve all of his goals, a Paul Presidency would badly damage the elitist agenda. For more than three decades, Paul has warned the Nation about the damage being done at the hands of the political elite with unwavering consistency that is even recognized by his harshest critics. It is time for Americans to reject phony slogans like hope and change, flip-flopping politicians and the top-down destruction of their Nation. This is no time for Etch A Sketch politics.

Hires Fuel Talk Of Biden Bid In 2016

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Several hires by Vice President Joe Biden are causing some Washington insiders to wonder whether he is considering a Presidential bid in 2016.

Former Senator Ted Kaufman, D-Del., who has been a Biden friend, staffer and adviser since the early 1970s, said it’s “premature” to say whether the Vice President was laying the groundwork for a 2016 run but added that his friend would be more than capable of it, POLITICO reported Thursday.

“What I’ve been saying, and what I think he believes also, is that after this election is over, he should seriously think about 2016,” Kaufman said.

Biden, who sought the Democratic Presidential nod in 1988 and 2008, would be 73 in 2016.

Kaufman, appointed to finish Biden’s term when Biden resigned to become Vice President, is part of an informal advisory group that includes Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain and Mike Donilon, a former adviser replaced by Steve Ricchetti, a one-time adviser to President Bill Clinton, POLITICO said.

“If I were him, I’d be thinking about running,” one Obama staffer said. “It would be stupid not to.”

Another person close to Obama told POLITICO he thought 2016 “is in the back of [Biden's] mind and his staff is doing its due diligence. But he’ll have nothing if we don’t win in 2012.”

Still, if he is considering a 2016 bid, Biden would do well to be low-key about it.

“The V.P. should impose a gag order on any 2016 speculation,” said Phil Singer, a former aide to Clinton in 2008. “His 2016 viability hinges directly on his ability to focus on being a good VP and running mate. Angling for 2016 will provoke intense media scrutiny and will likely undo the work he has done.”

LA Council Mulls Condemning On-Air Slurs

LOS ANGELES (UPI) — The Los Angeles City Council is considering a resolution that would condemn certain types of speech on public airwaves.

Council member Jan Perry introduced legislation that would call upon media companies to ensure “on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs” while broadcasting, CBS in Los Angeles reported Wednesday.

The resolution drew attention to uproar over comments by KFI-AM talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou when they called late pop singer Whitney Houston a “crack ho” soon after she died in February. The two were suspended.

The proposal also cited remarks made by conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh in which he called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she testified in Washington about women’s access to contraception.

The proposal said KFI has a “long history of racially offensive comments, as well as deplorable sexist remarks, particularly towards women and black, Latino, and Asian communities” and called on parent company Clear Channel Communications and other broadcasters to hire a more diverse workforce as a way to address the trend.

“It is easy to become desensitized to what other groups find intolerable, which ultimately fosters an environment where negative comments can go unchecked and corporate guidelines and policies are no longer being enforced,” the resolution said.

How To Buy Gasoline For 20 Cents A Gallon

Has the price of gas hit $4 a gallon yet where you live? As I mentioned in last week’s column, several analysts predict that price will seem cheap before the year is out. Are you ready to pay $5 a gallon?

Some neighbors and I were reminiscing recently about how cheap things were back in “the good old days.” I mentioned that the very first credit card I got was for one of the gas-station chains. Back then, gasoline cost less than 25 cents a gallon.

Then I said something that stopped them cold. “Do you know that you can still buy gasoline for about 20 cents a gallon?” They were all positive there was a trick to my question… and there is.

My claim is absolutely, totally, 100 percent true — if you pay with dimes that were minted before 1965.

Back then, dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars were 90 percent pure silver. Today, those coins are commonly referred to as “junk silver.” But believe me, there is nothing junky about them.

These genuine silver coins are typically sold in bags with a face value of $1,000.  If they were all dimes, that would be 10,000 of them. Each bag contains about 712 ounces of silver. A pre-1965 silver dime has about 1/14 of an ounce of silver in it. With silver now around $32 an ounce, one of those “junk silver” dimes is worth about $2.29. Selling two of them would buy you a gallon of gas anywhere in the country.

Remember when a loaf of bread cost 10 cents? Well, one of those silver dimes will still get you one of the fancy fresh-baked loaves in the bakery section of your local grocery store. One of the mass-produced marvels with more air than nutrients will cost half that amount.

My point is simply this: The value of the goods we buy every day hasn’t changed. A loaf of bread is still a loaf of bread — ditto a quart of milk, a gallon of gas or a suit of clothes.

The reason things cost 10 or 20 or 50 times more than they used to isn’t that they are that much more valuable today. It’s that our measuring stick, the U.S. dollar, is worth so much less. Back in our grandparents’ day, the dollar was not only backed by gold, but for most of this country’s existence the U.S. government promised that it could be exchanged for gold at any bank in the Federal system.

The Treasury also produced something called “silver certificates” that operated the same way, except that they could be exchanged for silver. And our government promised to keep enough gold and silver in its reserves to honor all of those commitments.

But that was then. Today, the U.S. dollar is an “I.O.U. nothing,” as a friend of mine likes to put it. Oh, it says it is backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States.” But let me ask you: When you look at the disaster that Washington has made of the budget process and our economy, how much full faith and credit do you have in the people running the show today?

And how much “full faith and credit” do you have in the pieces of fiat currency called the U.S. dollar that they are producing by the trillions? I hope the answer to both of my rhetorical questions is “very little” and “not much.”

Our Founding Fathers knew that gold and silver were real money. That’s why they put into our Constitution that only gold and silver could be used to create our coinage.

Sadly, we’ve allowed the powers that be to create “money” out of thin air, with absolutely nothing to back it. That is why the value of our currency has plummeted more than 95 percent in past 100 years.

But more and more Americans are learning not to put their “full faith and credit” in our politicians or the currency that they manipulate. Want to protect the purchasing power of your savings? Then I’d suggest putting them into things of real value. And for the past 5,000 years, nothing has preserved value better than the Midas metal and its less-expensive sister, silver.

Exchanging dollars for gold and silver could be the best investment you make this year. It certainly has been for the past decade.

Until next time, keep some powder — and some gold and silver — on hand.

–Chip Wood

Geithner: No Plans To Increase IMF Funding

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday there were no plans to increase U.S. aid to the International Monetary Fund.

In a prepared text presented to the House Financial Services Committee, Geithner said the European economy was critical and its troubles had wide-ranging implications.

However, “We have no intention to seek additional U.S. resources for the IMF,” he said.

Geithner praised the IMF and the European Central Bank for steps taken to contain the debt crisis in Europe, but he encouraged Europe to create a bigger “firewall” — a fund meant to protect the financial system of Europe during a downturn.

He also encouraged the European Union to follow through on fiscal discipline measures recently adopted in Belgium.

Geithner said the U.S. economy is in a “much stronger position than the Continent as a whole.” In addition, “When growth slows in Europe, it affects growth around the world,” he said.

However, once its financial crisis is contained, then comes the hard work of restoring competitiveness to European businesses.

“Fiscal reforms are only part of the solution. The harder challenge is to address the erosion in competitiveness and restore reasonable rates of economic growth, a challenge made more difficult by the fact that in a monetary union, the member states do not have their own monetary policies or currencies that can adjust, and in Europe today there is no mechanism for fiscal transfers to help cushion economic shocks,” he said.

 

U.S. Mortgage Rates Move Higher

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates topped 4 percent for the first time in months in the week ending Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

Rates for 30-year contracts rose from 3.92 percent to 4.08 percent with 0.8 point for the week. A year earlier, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.92 percent.

Interest rates for 30-year contracts have hit historic lows in recent months. Rates have not risen above 4 percent since the week ending Oct. 27, Freddie Mac said.

Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate contracts rose from 3.16 percent to 3.3 percent with 0.8 point, Freddie Mac said.

In the same week of 2011, the average rate for 15-year loans stood at 4.04 percent.

Five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.96 percent for the week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s rate of 2.83 percent. A year earlier, five-year adjustable rate contracts averaged 3.62 percent.

One year Treasury-indexed adjustable mortgage rates rose in the week from 2.79 percent to 2.84 percent with 0.6 point. A year ago, rates for these loans averaged 3.17 percent.

“Mortgage rates are catching up with increases in U.S. Treasury bond yield,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Bond yields rose over the past two weeks in part due to an improving assessment of the state of the economy by the Federal Reserve, better than expected results of commercial bank stress tests and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece,” he said.

First-Time Jobless Claims Drop By 5,000

LONDON (UPI) — The U.S. Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell 5,000 in the week ended Saturday to 348,000, pushing the four-week rolling average to 355,000.

Last week’s drop followed a decrease of 14,000 the preceding week.

The four-week rolling average decreased 1,250 from the previous week’s 356,250, Labor said.

The biggest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ended March 10 were in Kentucky (up 742), Puerto Rico (up 643), Alabama (up 475), North Carolina (up 471) and Tennessee (up 457).

The biggest decreases were recorded in New York (down 14,222), California (down 4,696), Illinois (down 1,290), Florida (down 1,215) and Pennsylvania (down 1,129).

The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in February, unchanged from January.

Detroit’s Finances Deemed In Severe Straits

DETROIT (UPI) — A team of financial advisers in Michigan deemed the city of Detroit in serious financial straits but said it would hold off on an outright state takeover.

The state-appointed team reviewing the city’s finances said Detroit was in a “severe financial emergency,” The Detroit News reported Thursday.

Michigan’s laws allow the state to take over a municipality’s finances if it is deemed to be in severe trouble. The review team, however, allowed the Detroit City Council to make one more attempt to forge a budget to put the city back on its feet.

“What’s accomplished is the review team has passed a motion recognizing the city is in severe financial stress,” state Treasurer Andy Dillon said.

The team, however, said it would review the new budget plan put together by Mayor Dave Bing and three city council members and send recommendations to Gov. Rick Snyder by Monday, the News said.

“We’ve made some significant progress, not only between the mayor and the council, but also with the state,” City Council President Charles Pugh said.

“We have been very creative and figured out a way for the state to have input, but not control.”

 

 

California Fines Walmart $2.1 Million

SAN DIEGO (UPI) — A judgment in California concerning scanning errors at Walmart Stores has been extended and revamped, court papers say.

San Diego, Calif., Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton agreed with prosecutors who charged Walmart Stores Inc., with failing to follow through on a 2008 judgment that also involved overcharging customers.

Barton ordered an additional $2.1 million fine be assessed on top of the previous agreement.

The 2008 judgment was an order for Walmart to give customers in California $3 off on items on which they overpaid due to scanning errors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

But Walmart has not complied with the order, which included posting signs about the issue.

Prosecutors said items at stores were still scanning at prices that were higher than the price advertised.

Judge Barton also ordered the $3 refund deal to be continued for an additional year.

“We always strive for 100 percent pricing accuracy and will continue to make improvements to ensure we meet this goal,” said Steve Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Walmart.

“California families can trust Walmart to deliver on our mission to help them save money and live better.”