Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Surge in New Home Sales Is Erroneously Seen as a Stronger Economy

In April, new home sales surged to the highest level since 2008.

Quickly, economists jumped on that fact as a sign that the economy is getting stronger.  Well, maybe.

However, it can also mean that all the talk of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve is causing people to get off the proverbial fence and buy at the current lower rates.  It could also be a result of Obama pushing home sales with dangerously low down-payment rates of just 3% from a norm of 20%. If the latter is true, with increasing home sales, we could be seeing the start of another housing bubble crisis which previously resulted in the Great Recession.

References:

New-Home Sales Surge to Post-Recession High: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/05/25/new-home-sales-surge-post-recession-high

Why higher interest rates could actually be good for the housing market: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/toll-brothers-fed-interest-rates-good-housing-stocks-160759168.html 

3% down payments lure first-time homebuyers - USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/02/15/3-down-payments-lure-first-time-homebuyers/23424759/

President Obama Explains How FHA's 3%-Down Mortgages Are Great for America: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-08/president-obama-explains-how-fhas-3-down-mortgages-are-great-america-live-feed

Obama 3% Down Plan Setting Up Next Mortgage Meltdown: http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/when-once-is-not-enough-obama-3-down-plan-setting-up-next-mortgage-meltdown/

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Hillary Lies About "Common Sense" Gun Control

In January on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton said this about gun control:
More than 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. It’s time to act. As President, I'll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers, and other violent criminals—including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.
Of course, to the average person this all sounds very reasonable. That is...until you understand that Hillary Clinton believes that the Supreme Court got it wrong when it found a ridiculous firearm law in Washington, D.C. unconstitutional.

That case, generally referred to as "Heller", overturned the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which was passed by the Washington, D.C. city council.  The unreasonableness of this law was widespread; it basically left people defenseless in their own homes.

The law banned any civilian ownership of handguns, automatic weapons, and high-capacity semi-automatic weapons made on or after 1976. In addition, a homeowner must secure a weapon in the home by first unloading it, and then by either disassembling it, or by securing it with a trigger lock.  This is what Hillary thinks is common sense gun control.  In essence, under that law, the only weapons you could own after 1975 were bolt-action rifles and non-repeating shotguns. Further, in order to defend yourself in your own home, you would have to reassemble it, or unlock it, and then load it.   Try asking a home intruder or rapist to wait while you reassemble and reload your gun.  If its a shotgun, you'd better hope there is no more than one or two assailants and that you're a very good shot.

Simply, Hillary's belief that "Heller" was a travesty proves that she doesn't believe in the second amendment, and that so-called common-sense gun control could take all your guns away; including handguns.

Further, she also believes that victims of firearm violence and their families should be able to sue gun manufacturers and dealers out of existence.  If that isn't taking guns away in a backdoor fashion then I don't know what is.  Maybe, when a drunk driver kills someone while driving a Ford, we should sue both Ford and the dealership that sold the car. After all, the logic is the same.

Only an idiot lawyer like Hillary Clinton would think her proposals are common sense gun control.

References:

Hillary on Gun Control: https://www.google.com/search?q=hillary+clinton+gun+control&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#eob=m.0d06m5//short

Hillary Clinton Opposes Heller Gun Rights Ruling, Adviser Says: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-20/hillary-clinton-believes-pivotal-gun-rights-ruling-was-wrong-adviser-says

District of Columbia v. Heller: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller

Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_Control_Regulations_Act_of_1975

Hillary Clinton wants gun firms liable for shootings - BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34447239

Why Hillary Clinton is wrong on gun liability - CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/26/opinions/keane-gun-liability-hillary-clinton/

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Politics, Not Justice, on Display in Baltimore

For the Black Lives Matter crowd, Monday's acquittal of all charges against Officer Nero was, in their minds, a travesty of justice.  How is it even possible that a black judge in a bench trial could have found a white cop innocent in the death of Freddie Gray?

But,  rather than succumbing to the politics surrounding the issue of black men dying at the hands of cops, the Judge did the right thing.  Something that he may wind up getting death threats for.

From the onset, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the arrest of 6 officers more about politics and less about justice.  As many legal analysts have noted, attempting to prove  there was an"intent to kill" in this case, is a pretty high hurdle to jump. Instead, Gray's death may have just been a horrible accident.  So far, two trials seem to have proven this. In the first, there was a hung jury; evidently some juror or jurors found the murder charge impossible to buy into.  And now, a fair judge has proven that point again by finding Officer Nero innocent of all charges.

My guess is that, going forward, the remaining defendants will also request a bench trial rather than trusting a potentially biased jury. This may ultimately result in none of the cops being found guilty of murder. If that turns out to be true, where is justice for these police officers? Condemned for risking their lives everyday trying to protect the predominately black residents of that city?  Will they ever be able to work in Baltimore again?

References:

Justice In Baltimore: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435759/freddie-gray-verdict-just-marilyn-mosby-conduct-shameful

May 2015: Law Professor: Baltimore Officers Were Overcharged, Charges Will Likely Be Dismissed: http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/01/law-professor-baltimore-officers-were-overcharged-charges-will-likely-be-dismissed/

May 2015: Baltimore: Why Marilyn Mosby may not be able to convict police on murder charges in Freddie Gray's death | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/05/01/baltimore-why-state-attorney-mosby-may-not-be-able-to-convict-police-on-murder.html

Video: "On Tuesday night's The Kelly File, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz says Baltimore's state's attorney Marilyn Mosby, the Freddie Gray prosecutor, acted irresponsibly, politically": http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/05/25/alan_dershowitz_black_lives_matter_is_endangering_the_fairness_of_our_legal_system.html

Judge Barry Williams:  https://www.google.com/search?q=Judge+Barry+Williams&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Hung jury in Freddie Gray case: What's next? - CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/17/us/baltimore-police-trial-freddie-gray/


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Misogynist's Hatred of Hillary Clinton?

A recent link from the Drudge Report, brought us to a writer/cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee, Jack Ohman, who wrote this:
"In this year of political rage, one aspect that baffles me somewhat is the absolute, electrified, apoplectic, blurred-vision hatred of Hillary Clinton...I can only ascribe this Rage Against the Clinton Machine to misogyny."
Apparently, any hatred of Hillary Clinton by a male, is all because she is a women.  My guess is that we will continue to hear a lot of this same type of reasoning going into the Fall elections.

First, let me say that I'm no fan of Donald Trump.  But, I'm also no fan of Hillary and I have had decades to form that opinion.  So, I am an equal opportunity hater. My dislike of Hillary has nothing to do with her sex.  If a man lied and exaggerated on as many issues as many times as she has, I would harbor the same distaste for him.  Simply, Hillary has no record of accomplishments, and has clearly proven her incompetence.  Her failed HillaryCare healthcare reform in the 1990's is a perfect example.  For sure, our being in Benghazi without the adequate security of a U.S. Marine detail is another sign of incompetence.  And, the fact that we remained in that country after the International Red Cross and the Brits left over security fears is just another example. A failure that needlessly cost the life of an Ambassador and 3 others.

But, the real measure of the hatred directed towards Secretary Clinton is displayed in the poll numbers.  While Trump, admittedly, has high disapproval ratings with women,  Hillary, too, has high disapproval from those of her own sex.  In a recent poll by the National Review, 58% of women disliked Hillary.  So, what word shall we use to replace misogyny if women, too, hate Hillary?

References:

Why all the Hillary haters?: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article79165287.html#fmp

Hillary’s Woman Problem: Most Women Don’t Like Her: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433596/hillary-clintons-low-ratings-among-women

8 major warnings before Benghazi terrorist attacks | Sharyl Attkisson: https://sharylattkisson.com/8-major-warnings-before-benghazi-terrorist-attacks/

Colonel: Hillary Made Decision Not to Post Marines at Benghazi:  http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2012/09/14/colonel-says-hillary-clinton-made-decision-to-have-no-marines-at-benghazi/

‘Hillarycare’ Failed, but Hillary Clinton Reminds Voters She Tried: http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/23/hillarycare-failed-but-hillary-clinton-reminds-voters-she-tried
/?_r=0

Why 'HillaryCare' Failed and 'ObamaCare' Succeeded: http://www.americanhealthline.com/analysis-and-insight/features/why-hillarycare-failed-and-obamacare-succeeded

Mary Anastasia O'Grady: Hillary's Half-Baked Haiti Project - WSJ: https://www.google.com/search?q=Mary+Anastasia+O%27Grady%3A+Hillary%27s+Half-Baked+Haiti+Project+-+WSJ&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Hillary's Bungled 'Reset' Button - CNS News: http://cnsnews.com/commentary/ken-blackwell/hillarys-bungled-reset-button

Feminist Camille Paglia: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Soulless, Incompetent’: http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/18/feminist-camille-pagila-i-think-hillary-clinton-is-soulless-incompetent/

Hillary Struggles To List Accomplishments At State - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWZeLqwllY


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article79165287.html#fmp#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article79165287.html#fmp#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Confounding Mr. Trump

The fact that Donald Trump is now the presumptive winner of the Republican nomination has confounded political experts and political junkies for weeks.  Even the prognosticator extraordinaire, Nate Silver, has had to admit he underestimated "The Donald".  Even so, no one believed that Trump would ever stand a chance at beating Hillary.  After all, the polling was always in her favor against the supposed Muslim-Mexican-women-hating businessman.

However, once again, Trump is defying gravity.  In two separate polls, just days apart,  Rasmussen and Fox News found he is beating Hillary Clinton nationally.  By 5 points in the Rasmussen poll; and by 3 points in the Fox poll. Now, the latest ABC/Washington Post has him 2 points ahead. Thus, Trump now leads in 3 of the last 5 polls.

Click on Image to Enlarge

The real question then becomes: Is Trump's lead more about the acceptance of Trump or more about the weakness of Hillary?  Given Bernie Sanders' good performances in the primaries against her, I think the latter is probably true. Simply, she was a weak
candidate against Obama; and, now looks to be weakening against Trump. Don't ever underestimate Hillary's ability to lose.

References:

Nate Silver: How I Acted Like A Pundit And Screwed Up On Donald Trump: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-i-acted-like-a-pundit-and-screwed-up-on-donald-trump/?ex_cid=538twitter

NATE SILVER: Screwed up on Donald Trump - Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/nate-silver-pundit-donald-trump-2016-5

Rasmussen Reports: White House Watch: Trump 42%, Clinton 37%: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/white_house_watch

Fox News Poll: Trump tops Clinton, both seen as deeply flawed candidates: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/18/fox-news-poll-trump-tops-clinton-both-seen-as-deeply-flawed-candidates.html

Polls: Clinton vs. Trump: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html

RealClearPolitics - Election 2016 — Democratic Delegate Count: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/democratic_delegate_count.html

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Adverse Affects Of Obama's Salaried Overtime Rule

Set to go into effect on December 1 of this year, the Obama Administration announced a new wage ceiling for the salaried overtime rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Under the new ruling, salaried workers making $47,476, who work more than 40 hours in any week, are eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay. And, the Department of Labor estimates that this will result in 4.2 million workers getting a raise;  or, that's how the media is reporting it.

The reality, is that this new overtime rule will do more damage to jobs and wages than benefit more than 4 million workers.

First of all, like raising the minimum wage, this ruling makes it more expensive to start a business in this country.  It is already extremely difficult for startup businesses to survive. 25% of all new startups fail in the first year and 50% fail in the first four years.

Secondly, applicable workers might find themselves simply reclassified as hourly and will then find themselves punching a time clock.  As a result, they will lose any bonus pay and surely lose work hour flexibility that they may have enjoyed as a salaried employee.  For example, as any hourly worker, they could be docked for coming in late, or for taking a longer lunch hour in order to get other things done.

In addition, people at or near the new ceiling may see their incomes raised to slightly above the ceiling so that companies can avoid the overtime rule.

Some may see their jobs converted to outsourced, freelance positions. A disturbing trend as employers try to sidestep regulations like this and ObamaCare.  And, those close to the ceiling may get a little bump in pay in order to avoid the overtime rule all together.  Currently, 53 million workers are contract laborers; up from just 10 million a decade ago.

However, the biggest losers will be the those making more than $47,476 a year.  The money that will be paid for more overtime will reduce the amount of money for wage increases for those working above the overtime pay ceiling.

Lastly, no one who makes $47,476 should think they will automatically be eligible for overtime pay.  This is because, under FLSA overtime rules, there are a number of exemptions.  For example, it does not apply to outside personnel such as sales persons.  Nor, does it apply to someone who:
  1. regularly supervises two or more other employees, and also
  2. has management as the primary duty of the position, and also,
  3. has some genuine input into the job status of other employees (such as hiring, firing, promotions, or assignments).
Once again, the tampering with the workforce by the Obama Administration will result in the continued weakening of the middle class by focusing in on lower level wages.  A country cannot be strong without a strong middle class.  

Also understand that the President fears fallout from this change.  That is the reason for the odd implementation date of December 1.  It insures that it is after the November elections but, still close enough to have positive electoral impact.   A more normal effective date would have been January 1, 2017.

References: 

Millions more Americans to be eligible for overtime pay: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/05/17/overtime-pay-eligible-employees-workers/84504890/ 

Exempt and not Exempt Workers: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): http://www.flsa.com/coverage.html 

53 million Americans are freelancing, new survey finds: https://www.google.com/search?q=53+million+freelancers&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 

Paying Bonuses Instead of Salary Increases: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/paying-bonuses-instead-salary-increases-34786.html 

Startup Business Failure Rate By Industry – Statistic Brain: http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/


Friday, May 20, 2016

Hillary Is Playing a Whole Deck of Women's Cards

In another attempt to garner the women's vote, Hillary recently announced another multi-billion dollar program.  This time to make child care affordable by capping its cost at just 10% of a family's income.  Since the average cost of child care is $11,666/year, the program could wind up being quite expensive; especially when you consider that it could be applied to multiple children in some low income families.  For example, a family with an income of $30,000 a year would only pay $300/year for childcare.  The taxpayers would pick up the remaining $11,366. 

At the same time, she would raise the wages for child care workers; making the current average of $11,666 much higher thus making the cost of the program even more expensive.  In addition, she would have the taxpayers pay for social worker visits during pregnancies.

If you go through Hillary's "Issues" page, much of her existing agenda is aimed at women voters.

Her promise to cure Alzheimer's by 2025 is primarily a women's health issue because women are often the caregiver to a husband or mother with Alzheimer's. She also promises to end campus sexual assaults.  In addition, she would have universal, federally paid, pre-K education for 3 to 5 year olds.  Essentially, this would be another form of childcare.  She would "Protect women’s access to reproductive health care, including contraception and safe, legal abortion" and insure continued funding of Planned Parenthood."  Then there's paid family leave that would primarily pay women for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy leave.  And, I'm sure not finally, she would erase the supposed gender pay gap, even, though the 1963 Equal Pay Act makes it a federal crime to intentionally underpay women; solely on the basis of their sex.

In my opinion, all this shows desperation in her attempt to get the women's vote.  In recent polling, 58% of women had an unfavorable view of Hillary.  This is certainly better than Trump's 68% disapproval in the same group; yet, you would think that the chance to elect the first woman president would automatically give her a stronger advantage than she's showing.  Her favorability among women is not as strong as it should be, and she knows it.  That's why she's playing one woman's card after another trying to shore up her weak showing.

References:

Clinton to propose plan to cap child care costs at 10% of family income: http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/10/pf/hillary-clinton-child-care-costs/

Hillary on the Issues: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

Average Cost of Child Care: https://www.google.com/search?q=average+cost+of+childcare&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Why Alzheimer's disease is a women's health issue: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9240002

April 4, 2016: Hillary’s Woman Problem: Most Women Don’t Like Her: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433596/hillary-clintons-low-ratings-among-women

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