Obama’s Women

I wrote this headline to get your attention. The truth is that President Barack Obama is nothing like President John F. Kennedy. He isn’t even like President Bill Clinton, who pretended to be Kennedy by chasing young interns around the Oval Office instead of sleeping with Hollywood starlets or mob bosses’ girlfriends.

Instead, Obama has a much more complex relationship with women who put the Nation in greater jeopardy than any women who were friends of Kennedy or Clinton. (Fair warning: If you are a women’s rights activist, please stop reading. Otherwise, I will have to wade through all your hate email.)

Obama is no cad; he is, as Arnold Schwarzenegger might say, “a girly man.” He is not strong enough to take a leadership role as President, but instead lets two women run his life and the country. In this way, the President is a weakling reminiscent of King Edward VIII, the man who doted on Wallis Simpson’s every wish. He is not like President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had a dalliance with his driver, Capt. Kay Summersby, while he was the Supreme Allied Commander.

I have nothing against women as leaders. I would prefer Hillary Clinton as President to Obama. What I don’t like is a man with responsibility who hides behind the designer dresses of women. And, my friends, this is the man and President that Obama is.

Exhibit A: Valerie Jarrett

Late last year, Richard Minter, a New York Times bestselling writer, released his newest book, Leading From Behind.

The book jacket tells much:

Leading from Behind reveals a president who is indecisive, moody, and often paralyzed by competing political considerations. Many victories–as well as significant failures–during the Obama presidency are revealed to be the work of strong women, who led when the president did not: then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser and an Obama family confidante, whose unusual degree of influence has been a source of conflict with veteran political insiders.

Minter focuses on Jarrett, saying she has a “Rasputin-like” hold over Obama. According to Minter, Jarrett is the kingpin in the Obama Administration and she has misused “her extraordinary access” to the President. Upon further research, I discovered she has full-time Secret Service protection and a staff of nearly three dozen.

Born to American parents and raised for the first five years of her life in Iran, Jarrett shares many of the same principles Obama has regarding the future and diminished role for the United States.

Jarrett is an African-American intellectual who launched the careers of both the first lady and the President beginning in the early 1990s. She influences foreign and domestic policies of the President, from Obamacare to his staunch anti-Israel position.

They are reportedly kindred spirits and, while Jarrett has managed to stay under the liberal media’s radar, Minter’s book has flushed out the truth about this woman:

Jarrett’s White House role is unprecedented. She meets privately with the president at least twice a day with no one else present. Her influence is enormous and wide-ranging. She wields informal power, like a first lady; scheduling power, like a chief of staff; and power over policy, like a special envoy.  She has the unusual freedom to put herself in any meeting she chooses and to set the priorities as she sees fit. When The New York Times’s Robert Draper asked Obama if he “runs every decision past her,” the president answered immediately: “Yep. Absolutely.”

Every decision?

Yes, Jarrett’s scope is as unlimited as it sounds. She has “wide latitude over how she spends her day” and that makes her “close to omniscient.”

Exhibit B: Michelle Obama

This comes from People magazine. (I admit that while my wife buys it, I do read it — or at least look at the pictures.) People recently published its special year-end edition which included a long interview in which Obama seems fixated about his wife and daughters. Included among the many photos of the President and the first lady is one with this cutline: “’ANGLE, ANGLE!’ Mrs. Obama (with the President in the Palm Room Dec. 6) tried to position her husband just so. ‘He has only one good side.’”

On May 14, Obama was speaking to graduates of Bernard College: “You can be stylish and powerful, too. That’s Michelle’s advice.”

The first lady’s hands-on style may be far more ambitious than just passing on advice.

Last month, actor Samuel L. Jackson came out as a supporter of Michelle Obama as a Presidential candidate. Jackson, an outspoken liberal who favors greater government involvement in poor urban areas, told Newsweek that the first lady is a “Superwoman” who could hold any office she wants.

If Michelle Obama were to run for the highest office, her campaign would likely be orchestrated by the person who mentored her in Chicago, Jarrett.

Newsweek reported that James Clyburn, a high ranking African-American member of the House, also can see Michelle Obama in office.

“She’s honest and straightforward, which is not what you see in Washington much. She is exactly what we need around here,” he said.

So far, Michelle Obama has denied any political ambitions; but, then again, Hillary Clinton made similar claims.

Most first ladies have considerable influence over their husbands. Nancy Reagan was perhaps President Ronald Reagan’s only close personal friend. And while Nancy Reagan was protective of her husband and even had some top advisers fired, she stayed on the periphery of the Presidency, using her influence to help people “just say no” to drugs.

I am not claiming that the first lady should not be the first and strongest backer of her husband. What I am saying is that we do not cast our vote for the first lady; we cast it for her husband.

My question: Just when you think the end is in sight (regrettably, that will be four years from now), is it possible for the Obama family to remain in the White House for another eight years beyond the end of Barack Obama’s Presidency? It is conceivable that there is enough support for Michelle Obama to make a run at the White House in the 2016 election. Her odds may be slim, but the potential exists to stretch the Obamas’ reign to the year 2024.

I wonder whether either the Clintons or the Obamas have found the loophole around the 22nd Amendment. Passed on March 21, 1947, and ratified by the States in 1951, it limited a President to two four-year terms. It was a different era; I doubt anyone gave consideration to the idea that Bess Truman would extend the Truman Presidency another eight years.

Regardless of what may happen four years from now, we are stuck with Barack Obama, a President who, according to friends and critics, is unusually closeted and who is influenced too much by two women in his White House. Who would think that when it came to Presidential politics we would miss Marilyn Monroe?

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

The Obama Car: Unaffordable, Unreliable And Ultimately Dirty

Four more years with Barack Obama as our President, and we are likely to see many green schemes whose time has not come. Who can doubt that the idiocy of the electric car is just coming into fruition? It will mark only more than a century of engineering on a project that shows little spark and even less hope.

Never fear, electric lovers; Obama has chipped in $5 billion in taxpayer money behind his goal of having 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.

Never mind that GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney said it was money wasted on “losers.” It is such a feel-good idea that people couldn’t help but embrace it. Then again, people have never been all that smart when it comes to electric cars.

When I moved to Spokane, Wash., in 1981 with my new wife and our baby I still had the last remnant of my bachelorhood. It was my 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, fire-engine red with a screaming chicken on the hood that covered the 400-cubic-inch engine. It also had a shaker hood that rattled when the V-8 was just idling noisily as the exhaust moved through the Hollywood mufflers.

Because it was bought in Canada, it also had a block heater on the engine. A block heater is nothing more than a coil that you plug in to an electric socket at night to keep the engine warm so a car will start during subzero-temperature winter nights in Canada.

A middle-aged man in a nice suit saw my muscle car idling at a stop sign in Spokane and noticed the electric plug that came out from the front to power the small electric heater.

“Is that one of them new electric cars?”

I explained it wasn’t and gave it some gas to prove it when the light turned green. Yet the truth was that what I was driving was much more practical than any electric car built during that era.

I know this because my dad — an oil man, of all things — was pretty sure that gasoline costs were going to soar. In the late 1970s, he almost bought a pure electric car from American Motors Corporation: the Electron. The car was extremely expensive. As I recall, it cost more than $20,000, which is $60,000 in today’s dollars. Worst of all, round trip from where my dad lived to his office in downtown Spokane was 30 miles. The extended range on the Electron was about 30 miles. My dad didn’t have to be a genius to know that he would have to push his car home some nights.

More than four decades later, the public is still a long way from embracing the electric car, despite how many tax credits Obama throws at it. Electric-vehicle sales since 2011 totaled fewer than 50,000 through last fall, only 5 percent of Obama’s target.

Bloomberg reported: “The reality is: that business model isn’t there yet,” said Brett Smith, co-director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “It isn’t there yet for volume. It isn’t there yet for reaching the mass consumer. And it probably isn’t going to be there for a while.”

Yet Tesla Motors, Inc. is pushing its electric car upon the American people with the help of the President.

In November, Reuters reported:

The re-election of President Barack Obama will likely mean a continuation of the U.S. government’s policy promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc , said on Monday.

“I think that we can expect at least that things will continue as they have,” Musk told reporters at an event in New York. “I wouldn’t expect it to get any worse for electric vehicles, hopefully it will get a little better.”

That certainly was not the conclusion of a new study released at the end of 2012 by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. It cast doubt on the Obama Administration’s goal of putting 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“The perceived drawbacks of electric vehicles outweigh the advantages for most consumers,” the study said.

Stated a press release from the university: “Consumers are somewhat more interested in buying hybrid electric vehicles, with a gasoline-powered backup engine, than electric-only vehicles. This suggests there may be better market potential for hybrids like the Chevy Volt, Toyota Plug-In Prius and Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In.”

Indiana University researchers surveyed more than 2,300 adult drivers in 21 large U.S. cities and found car buyers in Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; San Antonio; Indianapolis; Detroit; and Nashville, Tenn., show very little interest in electric cars.

Edmunds Inside Line concluded on Dec. 27: “As quickly as battery technology is advancing, pure electric vehicles still present too many compromises for the average consumer in terms of range and cost.”

One last thought: What if Obama and his green backers ever got their way and produced not 1 million but tens of millions of electric cars? What would juice up all those wall sockets that would charge those cars? After all, electricity isn’t free. Just ask any person who has to pay an electric bill. And a car is going to suck a lot more electricity than this computer I am typing on.

Businessman and economist Grady Means may have explained it best in The Washington Times:

Since the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Energy has “invested” more than $1 trillion in “alternative energy” schemes. I say “schemes” because after all of these investments, solar power, the darling of the White House and its friends and the recipient of massive grants and subsidies, results in one ten-thousandth of the electrical production in America. Wind power, after scarring a huge amount of America’s most beautiful scenery, amounts to a whopping 3 percent of electricity production. If these dials have barely moved after 40 years and $1 trillion, they are not going to move much in the next half-century. If electric cars ever roll, they will be powered by electricity from coal (nearly 50 percent of all electricity production), nuclear (20 percent), natural gas (20 percent) and hydro (most of the rest). In other words, expensive “electric cars” are actually, largely, “coal cars” — welcome to the 19th century.

Yes, my friends, expensive, unreliable cars with poor performance may not be so clean after all.

Obama went back on vacation last week to Hawaii. I think this future transportation infrastructure that he has dreamed up works great when he rolls his Presidential golf carts across the rolling green countryside on the Island. But it isn’t very practical when it comes to making America clean or competitive.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

Cliffs: Fiscal And Real

It seems our elected representatives in Washington celebrate the English tradition of Boxing Day. That would explain why Congress took off Dec. 26 before coming back last Thursday, even though the Nation is facing an economic catastrophe.

Like most of you, I was working on Boxing Day and read that President Barack Obama cut short his Hawaii Christmas break to get back to Washington to deal with the impending fiscal cliff.

Monday was the deadline for $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts.

Economists predict these tax increases and spending cuts could send the U.S. economy back into a recession by the end of next year. Americans will see their January paychecks shrinking as they pay higher taxes that automatically engage unless the George W. Bush tax cuts are extended.

It is expected that the average middle class family will see its tax bill go up by about $2,000 a year.

Regardless of whether Congress was able to cut the mustard before yesterday, a second economic shoe may have already dropped. The United States may have already fallen into a renewed recession. This would make Congress and the President a day late and a trillion dollars short by the time something meaningful is done.

It is already being reported that U.S. holiday retail sales this year were the weakest since 2008. That was the Christmas the Nation was in its deepest recession since the Great Depression.

There is already a litany of excuses as to why retail sales were weak this past Christmas, including bad weather (as if the United States always has good weather in December).

In the final analysis, millions of Americans didn’t spend what they typically do this time of year because they fear that the wheels on the American economy have already slipped over the edge of a very steep precipice.

The Log Jam Of 1983

My Dad, Vern, had a tradition to cut lumber off his acreage at the start of the new year. So it was on Jan. 1, 1983. My best friend, Dave, and I were riding on the wheel covers of Dad’s red Massey Ferguson 35-horsepower tractor, which had a front-end bucket to load logs on after they were cut down with a chain saw.

Men of my generation like to golf or ski, but Dad had been through the Depression and, regardless of any financial success he earned, he was determined to be self-reliant even through his later years. That meant growing a large garden in the summer, canning vegetables in the fall and cutting wood in the winter. He kept a potbellied woodstove in the kitchen and functional fireplace in the living room.

He had 80 acres of land near Chattaroy, Wash. Half of it was on a plateau; that’s where he grew Northwest poplar trees and had a corral for his two horses. The other 40 acres was on a steep slope facing north; it was full of wild ponderosa pine trees.

While he loved the outdoors, my father’s mind typically wandered as he thought about where the economy was headed and, therefore, where his subscribers should invest their money. You can imagine that in cases with machinery and gravity, this could be a hazardous combination.

Besides the gears, the Massey had a high drive and a low drive. We were only in second gear as Dad pointed the tractor toward the steep slope. While I was not nearly as experienced with machinery as Dad was, I had grown up around tractors and I knew we were in high drive as we headed down the steep trail that twisted and turned between the 50-foot high pines.

“Dad,” I shouted over the engine, “we’re going too fast!”

He must have had his mind on the markets. On what was a grade of more than 10 percent, he made a critical error. He forgot the tractor didn’t have a synchromesh transmission. You couldn’t gear it down like it was a sports car. So when he put his left foot on the clutch and tried to shift to low, the 2-ton tractor began to freewheel.

Immediately, we were going dangerously fast, perhaps 20 mph, with Dave and me holding on for our lives.

Dad had the presence of mind to hit the brakes — specifically, the left brake. The Massey had a single brake for each back wheel. That allowed the operator to pivot it. In case of an emergency stop, both brakes should be applied by landing your foot squarely on both of them.

The left rear wheel bit hard, but the right rear wheel continued to spin. The tractor did a sharp pivot. For a moment, I thought it was going to roll.

We got lucky that day. The tractor came to a complete stop. Dad put the gearshift into low, and we slowly continued down the trail to the fallen pines that needed to be culled. A few hours later, the firebox outside the house was full and the fireplace was ablaze.

No Such Happy Ending For America

It would be one thing if America had to endure the fiscal cliff that was presented Monday. But the Nation is so deeply in debt that we face a continuous series of cliffs. The President and Congress are either unable or unwilling to see that the Nation safely navigates this trail. Sooner or later, that means the odds are going to catch up with America, and there is going to be a wreck. In this case, it won’t be just three people; it will be 300 million.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Three Gs In Unlucky ’13

With less than a week before the New Year, I wanted to share with you three pitfalls we face in 2013.

But first let me brag: I am batting 1,000 as a prognosticator regarding the end of the world.

Two years ago this week, I wrote What Would You Resolve To Do If The World Were To End In 2012?.

In it, I said: “I don’t give a whole lot of weight to the Mayans and their calendar, even if they did build a great empire. If they really had a crystal ball you would think they would have been forewarned that the Spaniards were bringing smallpox to the Yucatán in the 16th Century and they wouldn’t have let themselves be enslaved to relatively few soldiers wearing funny hats and riding strange animals.”

I felt the odds were on my side since people have been predicting the end of the world long before Michel de Nostradamus started writing his prophecies in 1550. Besides, if I was wrong and the world had ended last week, who would be left to give me a hard time? It was a good bet.

As for my three predictions regarding what is going to happen in 2013, I think they are almost as assured.

No. 1: Gridlock

The Nation seems as divided today as it was during the Vietnam War.

This was hit upon two weeks ago by retiring Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who used his final Senate floor speech to urge Congress to put partisan rancor aside to break Washington’s gridlock.

“It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” said the Democrat-turned-independent, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”

After 24 years in the Senate, Lieberman said he wished Washington could erase gridlock because it stands as “the greatest obstacle” to finding compromises to the Nation’s problems.

Lieberman might has well have said that he wishes there really were a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny.

Just ask the editors of Newsday who ran an opinion piece last month titled “How Barack Obama benefits from gridlock in Washington,” which stated:” Every lobbyist in Washington knows that whoever can advocate that the government do nothing or defer a matter until later has the advantage.”

The fight in Washington next year will be about money. It is a war of attrition, much as World War I was. Neither sides of the aisle are going to do anything other than hang on until a real transformative President is elected (hopefully from the GOP). That means there will be scant compromise by the people we have elected who are supposed to oversee what is best for the Nation and not what is best for them.

No. 2: Greed

The investment scams being orchestrated by Wall Street institutions, especially investment banks, are of the magnitude of which the robber baron industrialists of a century ago could not have dreamed.

Washington is so afraid to let the other shoe drop in the ongoing recession that they have given big banks carte blanche permission for them to continue their reckless lending and investment practices regardless of the long-term consequences to the Nation.

Last week, The Economic Times put the following headline on a story by The Associated Press: “Too big to jail? HSBC executives avoid money laundering charges.”

The AP reported:

When the Justice Department announced its record $1.9 billion settlement against British bank HSBC last week, prosecutors called it a powerful blow to a dysfunctional institution accused of laundering money for Iran, Libya and Mexico’s murderous drug cartels.

But to some former federal prosecutors, it was only the latest case of the government stopping short of bringing criminal money laundering charges against a big bank or its executives, at least in part on the rationale that such prosecutions could be devastating enough to cause such banks to fail.

They say it sounds a lot like the “too big to fail” meme that kept big but sickly banks alive with the support of taxpayer-funded bailouts. In these cases, they call it, “Too big to jail.”

The AP reported that Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder following the HSBC settlement, in which he wrote that the government “appears to have firmly set the precedent that no bank, bank employee, or bank executive can be prosecuted even for serious criminal actions if that bank is a large, systemically important financial institution.”

This stems from the Federal government’s dread of ruffling any feathers of big banks for fear that there will be a Wall Street sell-off of the banks’ stocks, which would lead to a domino of failures such as happened in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. Washington knows it does not have the financial wherewithal to initiate another massive bank bailout.

No. 3: Guns

In the wake of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, supporters of the 2nd Amendment are being asked: “Do you want to see this kind of violence continue?”

It is ridiculous presumption, but it is being made every day.

Last week, in TownHall.com, Susan Brown wrote:

Before Americans were able to corporately exhale upon hearing the news about the Connecticut shooting, liberals hopped on the gun control bandwagon. One of MSNBC’s many loose cannons, Ed Schultz, went on a rant saying, “Hiding behind the Second Amendment doesn’t cut it anymore,” and described our founders as slave-owning bigots. It’s real hard to wrap your hands around the hypocrisy of those who cry giant crocodile tears over the loss of these 20 precious children (and they should), but care little about millions of children who will never see the light of day due to abortion.

And here we go again; Progressives are manipulating the Sandy Hook massacre as a way to strike down the Second Amendment. Truth is, gun control is like putting a bandage on a gaping wound.

Brown hit the nail square on. In 2013, we can expect a lot more urging from the liberal media and Democrats in 2013 to limit our 2nd Amendment right.

The good news is that the world won’t end in 2013, and America will carry forward.

I want to leave you with these words from one of the greatest men of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill: “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

We must be patient while our opposition exhausts wrong-minded policies.

Wishing you all the best in the coming New Year,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

The NFL Needs Its Head Examined Before It Advocates Gun Control

December has been a tough month in the National Football League and not just because of the hard-fought games that were played by teams racing to the playoff finish line. The NFL was rocked by a gun crime, and now some around the league are advocating tougher gun laws.

According to Kansas City police, on Dec. 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot Kasandra Perkins, his girlfriend and the mother of his 3-month old daughter, after waiting outside the house that he and Perkins shared. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he encountered Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli.

“I’m sorry, Scott,” he said. “I’ve done a bad thing to my girlfriend already. I want to talk with (linebackers coach Gary) Gibbs and (head coach) Romeo (Crennel).”

Belcher thanked them for all they had done for him. He then fatally shot himself in the head.

Belcher was a fourth-year player from West Babylon, N.Y., who played college ball at the University of Maine. In March, he signed a $1.9 million contract with the Chiefs worth.

The day after the Belcher murder-suicide was NFL Sunday. During halftime of the “Sunday Night Football” game, renowned sports commentator Bob Costas gave an on-air statement: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Commentators at FOX News agreed that the halftime preaching 24 hours after the murder-suicide was the wrong time and place to speak out against guns.

An opinion piece on FOX News took Costas to task:

Even if no weapon existed, the strength differential is so large that Belcher could have easily killed Perkins in any number of ways. The same is true, sadly, about suicide. There are so many ways that Belcher could have killed himself, including crashing his car at a high rate of speed into a wall or even another car as he drove to Arrowhead Stadium.

That set off liberals who want to use this tragedy as a good reason to weaken the 2nd Amendment.

Two days after the murder, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart opened “The Daily Show” with the controversy surrounding the Belcher murder-suicide by attacking supporters of the 2nd Amendment who, Stewart insisted, are the real ones who always discuss gun control at inappropriate times. (Keep in mind it was Costas’ anti-gun comments that got the whole thing going.) Stewart even mocked FOX News host Laura Ingraham.
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Battered Brains

Remember the ad with the egg in the frying pan? “This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs.”

They could do another. “This is your brain. This is football. This is your brain on football.”

With regard to collision sports, I have numerous years of experience as a player and a coach. I was a mediocre football player in high school. In my early 30s, I took up boxing and was abysmal. Today, I have aches and pains and, sometimes, I still get jaw pain and headaches which I believe come from the few concussions I received.

Fortunately, I wasn’t good enough to hang around long enough to have serious head trauma issues. But I got to witness plenty of people who had boxed or played football long after they should have retired.

My two sons also got off lucky. My eldest was a runner-up in the U.S. Junior Nationals in boxing and later had a five-year college scholarship in football. While he is a fierce defender of those sports, he admits he got lucky because he was only “dinged” here and there during his playing days. (Being dinged means taking a mild hit to the head — mild being blurred vision, nausea, headaches.)

As a teenager, my younger son trained at a professional wrestling gym, B.J.’s, in Calgary, Canada. That gym was a starting point for many famous professional wrestlers, including Bret “Hit Man” Hart and his brothers — all of whom had illustrious and lucrative careers in WWE.

When it comes to professional wrestling, don’t let the acting and showmanship fool you; wrestlers take terrible punishment, equal to what boxers or football players endure.

These sports gave my sons confidence and lifelong friendships. But if I had known what I know now about collision sports, I wouldn’t have let my sons step on a football field, climb through boxing ring ropes or walk onto a wrestling mat. I have seen too many of these athletes kill themselves and others — often without using a gun. And the notion that these athletes’ brains have not been traumatized and that they are killing simply because they have easy access to guns is ludicrous.

Such is the case with Chris Benoit, a former WWE champion who in 2007 at the age of 40 committed one of the most heinous crimes ever. He did it without using a gun.

Over the course of three days at their large home, Benoit first strangled his wife, Nancy, after binding her. He then strangled to death his 7-year-old son, Daniel, before killing himself beneath a weight lifting machine.

The Fifth Estate, a TV news program in Canada, did an investigation into the Benoit crime and the link between brain damage and violence. The program reported:

The hunt for clues linking damage Benoit had done to his brain in the ring, and his last, ghastly acts, began with a phone call from the former wrestler and Harvard graduate, Chris Nowinski, to Mike Benoit for the brain of his dead son. Nowinski had a theory about the cumulative effects of years of concussions on the brains of athletes like Chris Benoit.

Nowinski had himself taken enough hits in the ring and on the football field to appreciate the long-term damage of concussions.

The Benoit murder-suicide struck Nowinski as being uncannily similar to the former football players who committed suicide after displaying increasingly erratic behaviour.

  • Former Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Long died at the age of 45 in June, 2005 after drinking antifreeze.
  • Ex-Pittsburgh lineman Justin Strzelczyk drove his car into oncoming traffic on September 30, 2004, crashing into a tanker truck, losing his life in the explosion. He was 36 years old.
  • Former Philadelphia Eagle and father of three, Andre Waters, died of self-inflicted wounds when he took a shotgun to his head in November, 2006. He was 44.

Analysis of their brain tissue revealed the presence of a protein usually seen in the brains of elderly people with dementia, but almost never in normal middle-aged men.

Doctor Julian Bailes at the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, at the University of North Carolina, studied the after-effects of concussions among 3,000 former NFL players in their retirement years.

“What really surprised us was the amount of mental and cognitive problems that they were having, and also depression,” says Dr. Bailes.

An updated list should include Junior Seau, an NFL linebacker named to 12 Pro Bowls. It has been suggested that his decision to die from a gunshot wound to the chest rather than the head was so scientists could study his brain. That would be consistent with the 2011 suicide of former NFL player Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest and left a suicide note requesting that his brain be studied for trauma.

It seems simple. Guns don’t kill. People whose brains are damaged playing extremely violent sports over many years sometimes kill. Boxing, professional wrestling and especially the NFL should make it their focus to protect their athletes rather than spout off about guns.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Hypocrisy Served With Rice

There is no limit to the hypocrisy of the Administration of President Barack Obama. The latest example is the “green” President’s candidate for secretary of state, Susan Rice.

The Democrats have been hypercritical of many Republicans for lining up against a black woman who is Obama’s choice to replace Hilary Clinton to oversee the U.S. Department of State. The race card has once again been tossed into the ring.

Congress’ top-ranking black lawmaker says he suspects Republicans are pillorying Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, because she is black.

Criticism of Rice began after her Sept. 16 comments regarding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Rice said the attack began as a “spontaneous reaction” to an anti-Islamic video widely watched in the Muslim world that had also set off protests elsewhere.

Later, we learned that simply was not the truth. According to the State Department, the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was not some spontaneous outburst but a well-executed attack organized and launched by a terrorist cell of al-Qaida.

Many right-thinking Americans were outraged by Rice’s characterization of the Libyan attack, including Representative Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., who penned a letter to President Barack Obama saying Rice’s public comments after the Benghazi attack “caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”

According to the letter, which was signed by 96 other Congressmen, Rice “either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter.”

It said replacing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Rice as “the face of U.S. foreign policy” in Obama’s second term “would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people.”

Democrats Play The Race Card

Representative James Clyburn, D-S.C., along with other black Democrats, say upset Republicans continually use variations of the word “incompetent” to describe Rice, a Rhodes Scholar and former senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Clyburn, who is the third-ranking House Democrat, told The Washington Post that the Republicans’ choice to be critical of Rice’s remarks is one thing, but calling her incompetent amounts to using racial “code words.”

“We in the South know what that means,” he said. “I take offense when people use those words. I have a problem with them. They are going to disagree with Rice’s politics, but if they do, just say she’s wrong,” Clyburn told The Post. “When you apply the word ‘incompetent,’ that personalizes this thing, it goes beyond politics, because it’s about who and what she is — it’s character assassination.”

If you accept Clyburn’s logic, you can’t say a black person is incompetent. If you do, you are making a racist remark.

And Clyburn isn’t alone in his beliefs. Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge suggested Rice was targeted by the GOP because of her race as well as her sex. (The Democratic Representative from Ohio must have forgotten that the GOP nominated Sarah Palin for Vice President four years ago while a black woman, Condoleezza Rice, was George W. Bush’s Secretary of State.)

Last Wednesday, The Baltimore Sun weighed in the Republican challenge of Rice:

Approval of nominees to cabinet positions is by law the prerogative of the Senate. Certainly the president is entitled to his opinion as to who the nominee should be, but at the same time the Senate is required to state that he has made a mistake.

The president is not omnipotent; he is human in his choices which may involve political considerations and even bias. The Republican Party not only has the right but the duty to question his judgment on any of his cabinet selections, much less one that helps establish our foreign policy.

The Real And Very Rich Susan Rice

Before anybody starts feeling too sorry for Rice, it is important to understand what is really going on with the Democratic Party.

It is politics as usual for the Democrats to portray Obama, a former community organizer on the mean streets of Chicago, and the first lady as people who want nothing more than to help the downtrodden. This fairy tale ignores Michelle Obama’s J. Mendel cap-sleeve jacket that cost $6,800, her $540 Lanvin sneakers or the fact the first family vacations in the ultra-exclusive Martha’s Vineyard.

But the secretary of state, the Nation’s core representative to the world, should exclude politics. And the facts indicate that not only may Rice be incompetent but the Democrats are not being honest about her ability to be an honest broker — especially when it comes to the Mideast, which is in as much or more turmoil right now than it has ever been.

Rice would be the envy of anyone in the oil patch that I have ever met. This poor black woman holds tens of millions of dollars of petroleum stocks locked into a portfolio that makes her look a lot more like J.D. Rockefeller than Rosa Parks.

If this hypocrisy weren’t enough, much of Rice’s money is betting on the future of Canada’s oil sands.

On Earth reports that one-third of Rice’s personal wealth is invested in Canadian energy interests, much of it in Canada’s oil sands industry.

This seems a major conflict for Rice, who has royally screwed the pooch when it comes to reporting honestly about the Mideast.

As her confirmation looms, it is important to remember Arab sands sit atop two-thirds of the world’s conventional oil reserves. Ensuring security in that region won’t be a financial concern for Rice. She has most of her money locked up safely in 12 Canadian oil sands companies — companies that will benefit greatly from a Mideast meltdown.

Planes, Trains And Pipelines

A wonderful movie to watch during the holidays is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” In a classic scene the uptight character Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, turns around while sitting on the freeway beside his newfound and troublesome companion Del Griffith, played by the late John Candy. The car that Page believes Griffith rented with his own money is on fire.

“You finally did it to yourself,” says Page laughing.*

In the case of Rice, the Democrats may have finally done it to themselves. Rice’s personal fortune is backing Canada’s oil sands, an industry that is of vital importance to the United States. And while African-Americans in the Democratic Party are enthusiastic to champion her as the future secretary of state, the Greens are not — and for good reason. Huffington Post reports:

(Rice) would oversee the Keystone XL pipeline proposal if appointed to lead the State Department. But the pipeline review isn’t the only environmental issue the next secretary of state will have to handle.

Clinton said earlier this year that energy is a top issue and that the U.S. is reshaping its foreign policy to reflect that. She created a new office within the State Department to deal with energy issues and launched an initiative to attack “short-lived climate pollutants.”

In a recent report, E&E’s Lisa Friedman called Rice’s climate change record “thin,” pointing out that she has done little to fight global warming (this woman can’t be all bad). Friedman quoted Frank Loy, who served as undersecretary of state for global affairs in the Administration of President Bill Clinton, as saying: “She doesn’t have much of a record on climate change issues because they haven’t been really the issues she felt were her job to promote.”

So if Rice is confirmed, there could be silver lining in a dark cloud, if only because she is one of the few Democrats who understand that the Mideast is not a trustworthy supplier of crude oil. Then again, she might be every bit as incompetent as some Republicans say. With the situation in the Mideast the way it is now, that is the last thing that America can endure.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

* Note: It is fun to remember that in the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” Steve Martin’s character only thought that John Candy’s character had rented the car. It turned out that Candy’s character used Martin’s character’s credit card to rent it.

America’s Economy Is Stuck

Upon his re-election, President Barack Obama pledged to get America’s economy moving again. It is troubling that the President made this same promise four years ago, yet America’s economy is still stuck.

The Federal government and the Federal Reserve have injected trillions of dollars into the economy and reduced interest rates to their lowest levels in history, yet America’s economy is still stuck. And reckless attempts by Obama and the Fed to drag it forward will eventually destroy it.

I grew up in the country, and I saw a lot of things get stuck in snow and mud: trucks, tractors, even a snowmobile. What I remember most clearly is that when I was 10, my dad’s 1966 Lincoln became immobile. It was a white, four-door Continental with the signature rear suicide doors (they opened backward, making it an easy car to jump from if you were in the back).

In the mid-1960s, my father built a log cabin beside Lake McGregor in Southern Alberta. The lake runs along a thin valley he lived above as a boy in the early 1900s, when his parents were homesteaders.

The equipment that built the cabin had come and gone, as had the permafrost. When he took our family to see the finished cabin, the spring thaw was in full force. We drove beside the lake on a cow trail — not a road.

It didn’t take long for the big Ford to sink right up to its fenders. Loaded down with building materials and people, not even the Lincoln’s massive 460 cubic inch engine could pull us free, despite my dad’s heavy-footed attempts to get it rolling.  It turned out to be a car that could pass anything except a gas station or a mud trail.

Eventually, two big tractors towed the car onto dry land. Unfortunately, the car’s transmission remained in the mud and muck. That beautiful car was a write-off.

That car was built during the high-level mark for Detroit. In 1966, U.S. auto companies were building one out of every two cars sold in the world.

A decade after that Lincoln slipped deep into the mud, Detroit was also slipping toward failure. In the 1970s came the Chrysler bailout. In the late 1980s, President George H.W. Bush instituted protectionism for all U.S. automakers. And just four years ago this month, President George W. Bush kept America’s auto industry afloat by giving a $17.4 billion bailout to General Motors Co. and Chrysler.

Just like my dad did that day on the cow trail, the Federal government and the Fed keep flooring the gas pedal. Rather than pumping gasoline into an immovable vehicle they are pumping money into an immovable economy.

Policymakers simply will not accept that the U.S. economy is permanently stuck.

It hasn’t always been that way. Starting with Lincoln (the President, not the car), U.S. gross domestic product grew by more than 3 percent per year. The growth continued until I was a kid. That was 100 years of consistent growth, a record untouched by any nation in history.

But America’s economic growth rates have fallen significantly in the past two decades. America is getting weaker, not stronger.

Reported GMO Quarterly Letter last month: “Going forward, GDP growth (conventionally measured) for the U.S. is likely to be about only 1.4% a year, and adjusted growth about 0.9%.”

Today, American manufacturing contributes 9 percent of GDP. In 1966, manufacturing made up more than 20 percent of GDP. GMO Quarterly Letter predicts that by 2040 manufacturing will make up only 5 percent of GDP.

Another High Level Mark In 1966

The first year the Dow Jones industrial average reached 1,000 was 1966. Today, it trades around 13,000. You might think that if your parents had left you a share in the DJIA, you would be 13 times richer. That isn’t so. What a dollar would buy you in 1966 now costs more than $7. In today’s money, the 1966 DJIA was priced at 7,000. Those numbers are given to us by the Federal government and do not reflect the true decline of the dollar’s purchasing power.

If you bought a share of the Dow 46 years ago and held it (not accounting for dividends), you haven’t even doubled your money.

The Federal government has a lot of people fooled into thinking we can pull out of the economic morass simply by printing more money. Money in itself isn’t more wealth; it is just more money.

It is no different than owning 100 shares of a stock at $100 per share. The board of that company decides to do a two-for-one stock split. One morning, you have twice as many shares. But now they are priced at $50 per share — not $100.

The commentary by Ben Inker in November’s GMO Quarterly Letter sums up how priming the monetary pump isn’t going to be helpful and may, in fact, be harmful:

According to the Fed, an important goal of current monetary policy is to drive asset prices higher, generating a wealth effect that will lead to more spending and economic growth. There is a significant problem with this policy from a theoretical standpoint, though. The problem boils down to this: while Fed policy actually can cause rational investors to bid up the prices of assets, it probably can’t cause a wealth effect if investors truly are rational. Because the truth is that for the majority of investors, current Fed policy is taking them backwards, despite higher asset prices. The slightly odd corollary to this fact is that the less effective current Fed policy is at boosting the economy, the longer it is likely to persist, leaving rational investors in the position of hoping the damn thing works so that it will end, but unwilling to participate in the actions that would lead to success.

Real wealth comes down to real jobs, and the United States simply is not creating them at the pace it once did. The wealth you read about in the stock market is all smoke, and it can dissipate just as quickly.

Action to take: The trading wheels on Wall Street may be spinning just as fast as the double-ply tires on that Lincoln did. But I must tell you: That car didn’t move an inch forward and neither will the U.S. economy. This truth is going to surface early in the New Year when even investors finally see it. When that happens, there will be a rush to the doors. Make sure you beat that calamity and sell any stocks you own as soon as you can. Keep some gold as insurance and put cash into three-month T-bills or physical cash in a secure place like a good home safe or a bank safety deposit box.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

The Repudiation Of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s defeat may mark the neoconservatives’ last chance to win the U.S. Presidency. The re-election of Barack Obama, arguably one of the worst Presidents in decades, underscores how bad a candidate the GOP nominee was. The way in which conservatives have disavowed Romney in the past couple of weeks highlights the scorn for him and the neocon policies he wanted to implement in a world rife with war.

Perhaps Romney’s candidacy was doomed all along. What we are left to do in the next four years will be a test of America’s global influence.

Obama needs to avert a war and perhaps even a social uprising within the Nation’s boundaries. And in four years, the Republican Party needs to nominate a leader that will revitalize the United States.

As Conservatives, We Must Find Our Roots

Romney was big on what he was going to do his first day in the Oval Office had he been elected President. It would have turned out to be a very long day, because the Nation has a long list of things that must be done. And as bad as Obama has been, America decided that Romney was not the one to revive the Nation.

On Aug. 28, 2010, during Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial, Sarah Palin addressed the crowd. She spoke out against Obama’s expressed desire to be a “transformational” President.

“I must assume that you too know that we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor,” Palin said.

In New York Times bestseller Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, Conservative Patrick J. Buchanan writes of Palin’s message: “It is a contention of this book that America has been changed in our lifetimes, that a revolution has taken place, that though we appear to the world as the same country, we are a different nation on a course far off the one our fathers set.”

Buchanan’s book was written before Romney won the GOP nomination. Yet he speaks out against the very policies of U.S. imperialism that Romney embraced. Most important, warns Buchanan, is that America is further down the road to bankruptcy because of an ongoing expansionism that persists in Washington despite the cold truth that the Cold War is over. The Federal government has spent $1 trillion over the past dozen years in two wars. Yet instead of winning over enemies, we have created more of them.

Buchanan compares the United States to another superpower that imploded two decades ago: the Soviet Union. In his introduction he lays out his comparison:

“Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?” was the title of a 1970 essay by Russian dissident Andrei Amalrik. Forced into exile, Amalrik died in a car crash in Spain in 1980. Few had taken him seriously. Yet, nine years after his death, the Soviet Empire had collapsed and the Soviet Union disintegrated.

What has this to do with us? More than we might imagine.

As did the Soviet Union, America commands an empire of allies, bases, and troops. America, too, is engaged in a seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. America, too, is an ideological nation. America, too, is a land of many races, tribes, cultures, creeds and languages. America, too, has reached imperial overstretch.

These are not the words of an anti-war liberal. They come from a staunch conservative. When words like these are not the rhetoric of the likes of Senator John Kerry, D-Mass, they are difficult to ignore.

Yet that is precisely what Romney was advocating: American involvement in Syria and other nations in the Mideast. It is getting harder and harder for America to be the world’s beat cop, especially with debts of $16 trillion. We are in effect borrowing money (by selling Treasury debts) from China to protect Taiwan from China, borrowing money from Japan to protect South Korea from North Korea and borrowing money from Russia to protect European nations from Russia.

Still, Romney announced that he planned to spend more to extend the global reach of America’s military, which is, by any estimation, huge. Defense spending took up $711 billion of the annual budget in 2011, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. In fact, the United States “spent more on defense in 2011 than did the countries with the next 13 highest defense budgets combined.” Yet Romney wanted to add $2 trillion to the Pentagon budget over the next decade.

Many Republicans were not partial to Romney and his geopolitical ambitions. Romney should have brushed up on history. Fredrick the Great said: “He who defends everything defends nothing.”

This has been proven true for every empire from the Romans to the Soviet Union.

That Obama was able to defeat Romney underscores the problems within the Republican Party. Conservatives must repudiate not only Romney but also the neoconservatives in the GOP. President George W. Bush and the neocons in his inner sanctum cultivated America’s strategy in the Mideast and lead us nowhere but closer to a global war.

We have seen a decade-long abandonment of foreign policies of containment put down by Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Those were sound policies. The Republican Party and the United States must return to that strategy. We can only hope that four years from now won’t be too late and that we will have a better candidate than Romney. Otherwise, another Clinton may be President.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

First Obamacare, Now Obamagreen

Over the next four years, President Barack Obama will try to implement more sweeping changes in America, this time under the pretense of saving the Earth.

In 2009, the President slammed Obamacare down America’s throat. In 2013, it will be Obamagreen — with all the pitfalls of higher taxation, a repressed economy and greater power in the hands of Washington.

This is what the President himself said the evening of his victory:

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet [emphasis added].

It seems the President has determined that America and the world must face the immediate and paralyzing shock from manmade global warming. During his second term, the President will take expensive steps to remedy the problem.

Superstorm Sandy was a perfect storm for Obama. Its occurrence stripped the momentum of the Romney campaign; it also gave the President and New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie (aka Brutus) a chance to pal around as if they were lifelong friends as they walked among the destruction across the Governor’s home state.

“I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state,” Christie said.

Perhaps Christie saw the writing on the wall and wanted to swing over to the winning side, the Green side. Perhaps the influence of the Green Environmental Machine has begun to influence even good Republicans. The only thing that seems certain is that the environmental movement is almost a religion with its own mantras and even high priests like Al Gore and Obama.

Robert Nisbet, one of the 20th century’s great conservative minds, wrote:

“It is entirely possible that when the history of the twentieth century is finally written, the single most important social movement of the period will be judged to be environmentalism. …  Environmentalism is now well on its way to becoming the third great wave of redemptive struggle in Western history, the first being Christianity, the second modern socialism.”

The President is part of this wave. He launched his re-election campaign in December 2011 by announcing $4 billion in energy conserving upgrades to Federal buildings throughout the country and finalizing efforts to create an ecosystem task force.

Obama has also mandated the first fuel and emissions standards for commercial vehicles and is applying those rules to vehicles built between 2014 and 2018.

The President has also committed $21 billion in taxpayer money to solar and wind energy companies. One of those companies was Solyndra, which received more than $500 million in Federal money only to default on it.

According to Canada’s CTV News, Obama’s re-election has made climate change a “hot topic” in Washington and may lead to a new carbon tax. A carbon tax would force people to pay more for using fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which the Greens claim is producing heat-trapping carbon dioxide and creating storms like Sandy.

As blogged on Washingtonpost.com, Sandy has put global warming back into focus for millions of Americans as well as Congress.

Global warming was also a type of wicked problem that led to gridlock and dissension in the nation’s capital, as nobody could quite formulate the link between public policy and extreme weather events.

That is, until Sandy. After being a non-factor until the last week of the presidential campaign, suddenly people want to talk about global warming.

The Post compares global warming as a crisis as great as the Federal government’s “fiscal cliff.” Really?

First, global warming — if it even exists and if it is truly manmade — is a global problem (I have more to say shortly).

Second, the fiscal crisis is all American, and it is a problem created by two Presidents and 12 years of Congress members who were negligent and would probably be found legally culpable if they were working in the private sector.

We know the Federal government is headed for bankruptcy. Social programs are grievously underfunded, defense spending is out of control and, most likely, tax revenues are going to decline. (Higher tax rates won’t mean more money to Washington; they will mean less money because the economy is most likely to implode.) But we don’t know that global warming is a certainty.

The same day The Post published its article, The Wall Street Journal ran a column signed by 16 scientists of note titled “No Need to Panic about Global Warming.”

This is part of what scientists signed off on in the column:

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

I got my first writing job three decades ago. All these years later, I am not sure if my publisher was teasing the day I started when he said: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” The Greens have made that an axiom. Every time there is a hurricane or a superstorm like Sandy, they jump up on the highest soapbox and yell: “Global warming!”

If Obama bases new tax and energy policies on Sandy, that storm may be destructive for many years after the rains and wind ceased and power was restored.

There is one more inconvenient truth that the Greens I talk to can’t answer, even if I give them two contingencies that they can’t prove (that there is global warming and that it is manmade): How is the United States going to change this?

According to GrabStats, there are more than 2,000 coal plants in China and one new plant goes into operation every four to seven days.

In 2008, Wired Science reported that if China’s carbon usage keeps pace with its economic growth, the country’s carbon dioxide emissions will reach 8 gigatons a year by 2030. That will equal the entire world’s carbon dioxide production.

This has implications for the United States because what it means is that if Obama pursues Obamagreen the way he did Obamacare, then it will simply be a continuation of making the United States less competitive.

If Obama wins and gets his way with Green energy, do you know what is going to happen? The United States will develop state-of-the-art technologies that still won’t be as competitive as fossil fuels. Then we will sell the blueprints of those technologies to the Chinese, who will manufacture and sell them back to us, using coal to power the factories that produce these products. There is logic in that.

I don’t understand Obama. He either doesn’t follow this logic because he isn’t very smart or, more likely, he does understand it thoroughly but is still giving the green light to Green energy without regard to the cost and competitive consequences to the Nation which he has sworn to protect.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Sour Grapes Or Grapes Of Wrath?

The day after the re-election of President Barack Obama, the stock market tanked with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 300 points in the first two hours of trading and closing the day below 13,000 for the first time since Aug. 2. Oil prices also fell, losing almost $4 per barrel to less than $85 per barrel. Prices of every asset other than gold (which rose by $5 per ounce) also declined when the markets woke up to Obama’s second term. It is called deflation, and it is only going to get worse.

The markets are pure. They don’t have prejudices or preferences other than to make money in bull markets and retain money in bear markets. The day after the election, the markets voted — or, more to the point, stampeded — in a massive sale that saw every single stock in the Dow fall sharply in the first couple of hours of trading.

Democrats were quick to point out how the Dow almost doubled during Obama’s first term. The reason for that was an unprecedented amount of money injected into the capital markets and the policies of the Federal Reserve, which has effectively lowered interest rates to less than zero (yield on short-term Treasury bills pays less than the rate of inflation).

I expect more funds moving into Treasury bills despite their paltry rates of return. Investors, especially large mutual funds and even sovereign nations, are more worried about a return of their capital than the return on their capital.

For four years and with the Federal government now holding $16 trillion in debts, Obama has been playing for time with spending sprees that the Roman Emperor Nero could not have imagined.

In comparison to Obama, this information on Nero is interesting:

On July 18, 64 A.D. disaster struck, Rome was ravaged by a great fire that burned over three fourths of the city. Amid this disaster however Nero saw the opportunity to rebuild Rome greater than it had been before. His first task was the construction of a huge elegant palace. Some people believed that Nero started the fire so that he would have a place for his palace to be built. Nero saw himself losing favor with the public so he decided to blame the fire on the Christians.

Substitute Republicans for Christians and Obama’s insistence on blaming them for all of America’s ills, and you can see the parallel.

Yet while Nero’s taxes rebuilt Rome (until it was overrun by barbarians), the upcoming taxes from Obama — set to kick in Jan. 1 — will dismantle today’s modern empire, the United States.

There is growing pessimism over the prospects of Congress finding any common ground in order to stop a string of tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect at the end of the year. Investors worry the so-called fiscal cliff scenario would send the economy back into a deep recession.

I don’t think that is going to happen. I believe the pyramid of money created during Obama’s first term plus the onslaught of taxes (his redistribution of wealth) and finally his insistence on green energy that is neither affordable nor practical are going to precipitate another depression.

Renowned 20th Century economist John Kenneth Galbraith warned that economic meltdowns inevitably reoccur after the collective living memory of the society has forgotten the errors of greed and avarice that lead to every panic and crash. It has been 80 years since the last financial implosion. The people who are directing the wealth of the Nation see the Great Depression just as they see the Roman Empire — something that had to be studied in order to pass history.

Even worse is the likelihood that Obama will victimize the United States because of his own personal ambitions and successes that have translated into giving him the Presidency for another four years. The difference between being a bad President, like Jimmy Carter, and a disastrous President will come down to those additional 48 months.

In the bestseller Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, Patrick J. Buchanan writes:

Obama is caught is a dilemma from which there appears no escape. Democrats are the Party of Government. They feed it and it feeds them. The larger government becomes, the more agencies established, the more bureaucrats hired, the more citizens receiving benefits or checks, the more deeply entrench the Party of Government.

For 80 years, this has been the Democratic formula for success. “Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect,” was the pithy depiction of that policy attributed to FDR aide Harry Hopkins. And herein lies Obama’s dilemma. How does the leader of the Party of Government preside over an era of austerity, in which federal employees and federal benefits are radically reduced, to avert a default on the national debt?

The answer is Obama cannot do this. More to the point, he won’t even try. We have plenty of evidence of that from his first term which was terrible for the middle class that the President says he so strongly supports. The real winner is the government itself.

USA Today reported:

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.

The United States used to be the economic dynamo that powered the world. Over the past decade, America could not even power itself. More and more, we rely on borrowing ever greater sums from nations like China and Germany. Yet the strength for those two economic powers is also in decline. Last week, Bloomberg reported that the European Commission is predicting the eurozone economy will virtually grind to a halt next year as the debt crisis ravages southern Europe and gnaws at the economic performance of export-driven Germany.

The commission estimates that “the 17-nation euro economy will expand 0.1 percent in 2013, down from a May forecast of 1 percent. It cut the estimate for Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to 0.8 percent from 1.7 percent.” Meanwhile, China, whose economy has grown at double-digit rates for the past 25 years, has seen economic growth slow to just more than 7 percent.

This plus non-existent job growth in the United States, the onset of higher taxes, soaring debts and a severely devalued dollar tell me that the Obama Depression is fait accompli.

In high school, I had to read The Grapes of Wrath, a novel by John Steinbeck. I found it depressing, but I was affected more when I reread it a decade ago. Steinbeck’s plot could play out today. With the re-election of Obama, I believe it will play out over the next few years.

Action to take: Sell all stocks and bonds, including resource stocks such as petroleum and coal. (I wouldn’t be surprised to see oil below $60 per barrel in the next 18 months and the Dow at less than 8,000.) Convert small amounts of money into cold, hard cash stored in a safe place. I wouldn’t trust large amounts of money to banks, so consider putting anything over $10,000 into three- or six-month Treasury bills. You won’t make money, but you won’t lose your principal. Keep some physical gold on hand if you can afford it. I think bullion might retreat over the short-term, but some gold tucked away is always an insurance policy. If things get extremely bad, only gold prices will rise. As for silver and platinum, I would be an outright seller of both.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report