Thursday, March 31, 2016

Were Voter's Denied A Vote On The Minimum Wage In California?

Before it was announced that Governor Brown and the California State legislators had come to an agreement with labor unions to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, there was already a ballot initiative set for this Fall to raise the wage to $15 by 2021.  So this begs the question;  is delaying the $15 wage by one year a victory for businesses?  Not hardly.

In my opinion, the agreement between the labor unions and California's liberal Democrat Governor and its liberal state legislators, only makes sure that the ballot initiative is not defeated  by the voters. Thus insuring that the labor union's wish for the highest minimum wage in the nation, and in the world would be guaranteed.

But, why would the labor unions even care about the minimum wage since no union pay scale pays anything near it?  The simple fact is that most union contracts and their embedded pay scales in those contracts are linked to the minimum wage as either some percentage over it, or by hiking union wages equal to the amount of the increase.

So the bottom line is that the Democrats want to maintain their symbiotic relationship with the unions by insuring that they too, get a wage hike when the minimum wage is increased.  In return, Democrats get votes from the union membership; money for their campaigns; and get-out-the-vote activities that only benefit Democrats. It has nothing to do with what they call a living wage. As a result there will be lost jobs through automation; more unemployment; higher costs that affect those, like seniors and others not subject to minimum wage legislation, that won't see their incomes rise; and fewer new businesses due to higher startup costs.


California "Fair Wage Act of 2016" $15 Minimum Wage Initiative (2016):$15_Minimum_Wage_Initiative_%282016%29

California raises minimum wage to $15 an hour:

Why Unions Want a Higher Minimum Wage - Wall Street Journal: 


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Climate Scientist Wanting Skeptics Jailed, May Have Racketeered Himself

By definition, racketeering is when one or more individuals engage in a dishonest and fraudulent business activity.

So, it's almost laughable that the lead climate scientist, Jagadish Shukla, among 20 scientists who sent Barack Obama and his Justice Department a letter recommending that climate deniers be jailed under federal racketeering laws, is now under investigation for possible fraudulent overcharging of the National Science Foundation for supposedly non-profit climate change work.

Since 2001, he and his wife charged that agency for work, and personally profited $5.6 million from grants to the organization that he founded and that he and his wife head. In addition, he was receiving other moneys from other climate change activities he is involved with. The inspector general for the National Science Foundation has declared that amount to be excessive.   Shukla is also a well-paid Distinguished Professor at George Mason University, earning at least $314,000 a year (assuming he hasn't had a raise in the last 2 years).  That, along with his $5.6 million bonus work certainly qualifies him for entry into the IRS' one percent-er club.

No wonder he wants climate deniers jailed.  He surely wouldn't want this cozy little gravy-train of his to be interfered with, now would he?


Energy News Science Agency Eyes Climate Change Professor’s Use of Millions From Taxpayers:

Jagadish Shukla:

George Mason University Salaries for 2014:

The top 1% and what they pay - Apr. 4, 2014 - CNN Money:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hey Ted Cruz, The Lawyer! Carpet Bombing is a War Crime.

Ted Cruz, the former Texas Solicitor General, has repeatedly said that he would "carpet bomb" ISIS into oblivion.

The major problem with that insanity is that carpet bombing is imprecise and would kill thousands of civilians because the battles that ISIS is fighting in both Syria and Iraq are over the control of various cities and urban areas within those two countries.

This is why, in 1977, the United States, and others agreeing to the modification of the Geneva Conventions, defined carpet bombing as a war crime.


Ted Cruz doubles down on vow to 'carpet-bomb' ISIS:

Carpet bombing of cities, towns, villages, or other areas containing a concentration of civilians is considered a war crime[6] as of the 1977 Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Belgium Terror Attack Exposes Major Weak Spot

Every time there is a successful terror attack, we learn about weak spots that may exist in this country as well as the rest of the world.  In the case of Belgium, we learned that a suicide bomber can take a cab to the airport; unload luggage filled with explosives; walk   up to the check-in counter; and detonate bombs killing and seriously injuring hundreds of innocent people.

The real weakness here is that no one would think twice about one, two, or three guys having heavy bags at a crowded check-in counter. Almost everyone has similar luggage,  and check in counters are positioned well before any security screening. A scenario that exists in every airport around the world.

Of course now, there are those who are advocating pre-check-in security screening.  But, what would that accomplish?  There will still be hundreds of people in lines waiting to be screened and subject to a massive bomb blast.

The only real solution to the world's terrorism problem is to be more aggressive towards the terrorists themselves.  Let's dump the political correctness.  If we have to step on some Muslim toes to sort out who's who, then so be it.  Because, if we don't, these events will become increasingly frequent, and free societies will become even more disrupted than they are now.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Is Merrick Garland a Political Pawn of Obama?

By all accounts, Barack Obama is the most liberal President of modern times. Proof of this, is in the fact that his record of defending his policies in the Supreme Court have placed him dead last among all Presidents since 1946.

So, when it came to replacing Justice Scalia on the nation's high court, it was expected that he would attempt to tilt it decidedly left with another very liberal Justice nomination.  But, no. Instead, he nominated a moderate: Merrick Garland.

So what gives?

Well, this is just another way for the President to embarrass the Republican-led Senate and the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  In other words, it's politics.  By nominating an eminently qualified moderate, he can now sell the concept that McConnell and the rest of the GOP are being unreasonable if they fail to give Garland a hearing and a up and down vote.   Should they go through the motions of having a hearing, but reject Garland's appointment with a down vote, he can still continue to claim that the Republicans are being unreasonable.

In my opinion, I don't think Garland is the kind of jurist that Obama really wanted.   I'm sure that he wanted someone younger and one who would support more extreme liberal policies far into the future.  But Garland -- in an election year -- provides him with a unique political opportunity to attempt to return the control of the Senate to the Democrats.  If so, this would benefit the next President; should that President be a Democrat.  Similarly, if the next President is a Republican, a Democrat-led Senate would derail anything he might need done.  Obama sees this as a win-win for at least four more years after he leaves office.


Obama has struggled at the Supreme Court:

McConnell says Obama's Supreme Court nominee won't even have a vote after the election:

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has a record of restraint, not activism:

Merrick Garland Is A 'Qualified' Supreme Court Nominee:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is Obama Leading From Behind?


The Obama doctrine: Leading from behind - Washington Post:

Source of Image: Obama criticized for doing tango 2 days after bombings in Brussels:

Enough with the Bernie/Hillary Jabs at Wall Street

Throughout their political campaigns, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have laid blame for the 2008 financial crisis on Wall Street; as if the six 'too-big-to-fail' banks that had to be bailed out were somehow representative of thousands of companies who have allowed their stocks to be publicly traded.

Hillary says she's not going to allow "Wall Street to bring down Main Street" ever again. Bernie wants to tax Wall Street; breakup the big banks; and reinstate Glass-Steagall which prevented banks from investment activities on Wall Street.

First of all, both these people act as if nothing was done following the financial crisis.  They seem to forget that, in 2010, both Houses of Congress -- both controlled by Democrats -- and Barack Obama passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law to, supposedly, stop the 2008 crisis from ever happening again.  So, why is this an issue all over, again?

Also understand, Wall Street IS Main Street. According to Gallup polling, 55% of those surveyed said they were invested in the stock market.  While down from 62% before the financial crisis, that 55% is climbing back from a low of 52% in 2013.  So, I suppose that 55% of this country's households aren't "Main Street" enough for Hillary Clinton.  Or, for Bernie, the lie that only millionaires and billionaires -- of which there are only a little over 10 million in a country of 320 million -- only benefit from Wall Street.

Lastly, the financial crisis that followed the housing bubble was primarily a result of two things.  

  • The first was the expanded use and enforcement of the Jimmy Carter passed law known as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) by Bill Clinton while he was President. Basically, that Democrat-written law forced banks to lower their lending requirements and increase the number of mortgages for otherwise non-eligible, low-income borrowers.  Thus, banks did get involved with forms of predatory lending in order to comply with the law. In hearings following the financial crisis, the CEO of Bank America said that, while CRA loans only made up 7% of that bank's mortgage portfolio, they resulted in 29% of their losses during the housing meltdown.  Another CEO of a mid-sized bank said that about 20% of all his CRA loans would be in arrears in the first year and 7% would fall into foreclosure.  Democrats have always tried to shift blame away from the CRA because they were responsible for it.  Thus, Wall Street and big banks have become their diversionary targets for those who are uniformed.
  • In addition, Glass-Steagall, which Bernie Sanders wants to reinstate, was repealed by none other than Bill Clinton when he signed the Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act which allowed banks to participate in investment banking in the stock market.
The reality is that Bernie and Hillary, as Democrats, should be looking in the mirror when they talk about blaming someone for the financial crisis.   And, by the way.  The best analysis of the financial meltdown is given by two writers from the liberal New York Times titled "Reckless Endangerment".  See below for an excellent video summation of that book by Rush Limbaugh.


Bernie Sanders on Financial Regulation:

Community Reinvestment Act: 

Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:

Little Change in Percentage of Americans Who Own Stocks:

More millionaires than ever are living in the US:

Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Video: Subprime Disaster - President Clinton Takes Credit for Community Reinvestment Act Loans:

Video:  Rush Limbaugh on 'Reckless Endangerment':

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

First France Then Belgium. Is Germany Next?

All together, there are 14 million Muslims in Europe.

However, in France, Germany, and Belgium, three countries in close proximity to one another, there are 10.2 million or 73% of all the Muslims in Europe.  There have been 2 significant terror attacks, one in France and one in Belgium, in just a span of months.  But, be aware that it is Germany that has the highest Muslim population of all three, at 4.8 million or 38% of all Muslims in Europe.  That is significantly higher than the U.S. whose Muslim population of 3.3 million is in a country with a population 4 times greater than Germany's.

What we know is that radicals within Islam are somewhat proportional to the size of the Muslim population and not necessarily size dependent on the social environment they live in.  One study believes, that modestly, 1% of Muslims in Europe are radicalized. Therefore, in Germany, there could be as many as 53,000 radicals who would be either willing to die for their cause or carry out some type of terrorist attack.

So, this begs the question.  Is Germany the next to be significantly hit in Europe?


5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe:

How many Muslim extremists are there? Just the facts, please:

German airports on high alert after Brussels explosions:

Terrorism in Germany: 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Average Senior Lives on Less than the Minimum Wage

For months now, we have been told by the "raise-the-minimum-wage activists" and by both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is not adequate for the 1.3 million Americans earning that amount.  Many arguing that an increase to $15 an hour is much needed.

But tell that to more than half of our nation's 55 million seniors living on Social Security and existing on less than $7 an hour.

Right now, the average monthly Social Security check is $1180 with nearly half getting less than that. Mathematically, that is the equivalent of only $6.86 an hour; and, for 23% of married and 46% of single social security recipients, that  check constitutes almost all of their income.

Maybe we should be talking about $15 an hour for the nation's seniors so, that 12% of  women and 7% of men aren't living in poverty anymore?  You know, a living wage.  Of course then, Social Security would go bankrupt.  Though, I suppose its alright to bankrupt struggling businesses with a $12 or $15 wage. 


The Tightwire Act of Living Only on Social Security:

Poverty Among Seniors:

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: Among those paid by the hour, 1.3 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour:

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bernie Sanders' Phony Free College Claims

Whether it's during a debate with Hillary Clinton or at a campaign appearance on the road, Bernie Sanders continues to hype his plan for tuition-free college by arguing that "countries all over the world" provide this benefit to their students.  Usually, he mentions socialist Sweden as his shining example.

The problem with Sanders' "all over the world" comment, is that only 9 countries in a world of nearly 200 have tuition-free college: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey.  That is not the impression he leaves you with when he says "countries all over the world". Also understand, that when he uses the term "tuition-free" many seem to think that all the costs of going to college will be paid for; just as in Sweden.

Now here's the truth:

College graduates in Sweden enter the workforce with the highest ratio of college debt-to-income in the world, because in order to pay for all the "free stuff" they get, the worker taxation rate is about 60%.  Whereas, in the U.S. the average worker pays 31% in taxes.  And, yes, they do have college debt, which Bernie implies doesn't exist. In fact, 85% of Swedish college graduates have debt equaling $19,000; when, in the U.S., only 50% of students have any debt. When they do, it averages $24,800. Also understand, that free tuition doesn't include fees, course materials, room, board, and transportation costs; and these are typically the highest costs for those not living at home. Also, because of the high debt-to-income ratio and high costs of living and taxation, Swedish graduates take years longer to pay off that supposedly smaller debt.

Sadly, Bernie Sanders is distorting the issue of tuition-free college for pure political gain.  Once again "the grass isn't always greener on the other side".


Sanders said, "Making public colleges and universities tuition free, that exists in countries all over the world, used to exist in the United States.":

The High Price of a Free College Education in Sweden:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Stop the 'Stop Trump' Silly Talk

First, let me say, I am not of fan of Donald Trump.  But, I do think that his ego is so big, he would do everything possible to try and become the greatest President he possibly could.  Whether or not that would be as a conservative or as a liberal, I don't know.  And, quite frankly, I'm not sure anyone knows what a Trump presidency would actually look like when it was all said and done.  It's because of the latter that the mainstream establishment Republicans are trying to stop him with their various 'Stop Trump' movements.

However, what really bothers me about the 'Stop Trump' movement, is all the silly talk that some establishment members engage in when contemplating Trump being the actual nominee.  Some say they will just sit out the election.  Others, like Romney, say they will vote, but write in another person's name on their ballot. Even more extreme, others say they would actually vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders instead.  Really?

All these people call themselves conservatives.  Yet, by not voting; or writing in another choice; or voting for an opposing liberal, is not conservatism.  It's insanity!  Doing any of these things would surely put Hillary or Bernie in the White House.   Is this what conservatism is now all about?


A Look Inside Four 'Stop Trump' Efforts Against the GOP Front-Runner:

Romney Write In Vote Against Trump:

Bret Baier: Some Republicans Could Back Clinton Over Trump:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Obama Dangles Money Saving Carrot By Closing Gitmo

When President Obama recently announced his plan to close Gitmo, he said it would save between $65 and $85 million a year.  This from a guy who, when leaving office next year, will have almost doubled our national debt to nearly $20 trillion dollars, and who will leave the next President 1/2 trillion dollars a year in continuing debt.  So much debt, that for the the first time in our history, Moody's had to downgrade our nation's credit worthiness. So, saving a mere $85 million is laughable. 

Saving any money by closing Gitmo is most likely a fallacy.  Obama has a long history of getting things wrong whenever he and money are involved.  Remember how ObamaCare was going to save the average American family $2500 a year for their health insurance?  Still waiting on that one while premiums have nearly doubled that amount. Or, the stimulus plan that was supposed to keep unemployment under 8% and take it down to 5% by early 2013.  Instead, it went to 10% and didn't hit 5% until late last year.  This resulted in more than 1/2 trillion dollars being spent in extended unemployment benefits.  Or, how about all those green energy projects where $2.2 billion was wasted by his Energy Department on failing startup companies.  In fact, one solar project at Ivanpah was so badly designed that it now needs another $540 billion dollars for a bailout after Obama had already given that project a $1.6 billion loan.   These dollars aren't even in the $2.2 billion previously mentioned because that tally was done before the Ivanpah project was finished in 2014.

Yes, Barack Obama is a real money saving machine.  The reality is that saving $85 million is comparable to swatting a gnat on an elephant's behind.


Obama gives Congress plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison:

History of the United States public debt:

Historical Federal Receipt and Outlay [and Deficit] Summary:

Obama Promised Healthcare Premiums Would Fall $2,500:

Unemployment benefits cost: $520 billion:

Obama clean energy loans leave taxpayers in $2.2 billion hole:

A renewable energy company touted publicly by President Barack Obama which lists Google as an investor is requesting a $539 million federal grant to help pay off part of a $1.6 billion federal loan it received to build a solar plant in the Mojave desert:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Kasich is Dead Wrong on Small Business Job Creation

Time and time again, when I listen to John Kasich, he is simply factually incorrect.  For example, in a recent stump speech, he said small businesses creates most of the jobs in this country (see lengthy video link below). The problem is that was only true when I took economics in the 1970's.  Ever since then, large businesses such as Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. have been the primary job creators in America; often at the expense of many small businesses. For example, the following chart prepared from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that most of the job creation and employment had come from large companies over the 21-year period from 1990 to 2011.

When someone starts a small business, generally only a few jobs are created.  For example, if someone starts a Karate instruction school or a tanning salon, usually, the owner is the only employee. Even if the business grows over time, maybe only one or two instructors or salon employees will be added over time. However, when Wal-Mart opens a super-center, more than 300 people are instantly employed.  A single McDonalds would add more than 60 workers.

There is another problem with small businesses:  The rate of failure.  In the first year, one in every four new businesses fail.  By year four, 50% of new businesses will have been kicked to the curb, and by the end of 10 years, only 29% of new businesses will be left standing.  In other words, 71% of the jobs created by small businesses will be gone at the end of 10 years.

The biggest reason for failure (49%) is incompetence;  with an additional 30%  due to the lack of managerial experience. With this in mind, I would really like to know what steps Kasich could take to somehow legislate human failings out of existence and minimize job losses at the small business level.

The reality, is that the focus of job creation should be providing a better environment for large corporations.  Lower our world's highest corporate tax rate.  Minimize or eliminate international trade barriers.  Allow corporations to return the more than $2 trillion in overseas profits that are just parked there to avoid paying additional U.S. taxes.  This way, instead of using that money to build their businesses in other countries, those profits would be a major cash infusion into our own economy.  Lastly, we have to improve our educational system so that we don't have to import millions of workers to fill high-paying, science-technology-engineering-math (STEM) jobs through the work visa programs. 


Video: Kasich:

Chart Source: Getting Straight on Small Business Job Creation: Firms vs. Establishments:

Startup Business Failure Statistics:

Big U.S. firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes:

37 percent of Silicon Valley foreign-born:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Chicago Alderman Incited Violence at Trump Rally

There were all kinds of anti-Trump activities prior to his appearance at a rally in Chicago.  The left-wing was at the heart of it by circulating a petition.  So was the group "People for Bernie" who support Sanders.  But, most ashamedly, Chicago politicians, too, fomented the violence that took place in Chicago last Friday night.

One in particular was 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez who said this just days before the planned protests at a televised news conference.
"When Mr. Trump arrives in Chicago, we'll be the first to welcome him, to greet him and then to send him back on his merry way..."
What did he think that the words "send him back" suggests.  To many who attended that protest, it implies sanctioned violence from a city official in a city that is well know for its out-of-control reactions.

I understand that many, on both the political left and the right, don't like Trump and his all-too-often controversial rhetoric.  I am one of those. But, in this country, he has a right to speak his mind and people have a right to a peaceful objection without stepping on each others right to speak. However, for an elected official to stir up what was to be an obviously large crowd and foment the potential for violence is beyond the pale.

Finally, because all too many Trump supporters now know that Bernie Sanders' supporters were at the heart of this protest, I am afraid that they may retaliate at some Sanders' event in the future, setting this whole political process spinning out of control. 


Student Petition Aims to Cancel Trump Rally in Chicago, Protests Planned:

Far-Left Anarchists With MoveOn.Org and Bernie Sanders Take Credit For Chicago Political Mayhem:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Trump, Cruz, and a 45% Tariff

On CNN's March 10th Republican debate, Ted Cruz said that Donald Trump wants to impose a 45% import tax on foreign goods.

First of all, Trump never said he would impose a 45% tax on all foreign goods.  What he did say before the Michigan primary is that he would punish, specifically Ford, with a 35% (not 45%) importation tax for moving a manufacturing facility from Detroit to Mexico.  But, the real stupidity in the sparring following Cruz's 45% remark, is that Trump started to defend the 45% tax as if that's what he had actually proposed (see video referenced below).

Putting that aside, this Trump war being waged against Ford by a supposedly astute businessman completely belies the complexities of the decision to build a new plant in Mexico.  Ford's decision is one of either move it or lose it.

Right now, because of low gasoline prices, people are moving back to buying crossover SUV's rather than more fuel efficient sedans.  On top of that, because the automobile companies have become more profitable again, the United Auto Workers union was able to negotiate an expensive wage and benefits package after years of concessions following the bankruptcy of GM and the potential bankruptcy of Chrysler; had Fiat not agreed to buy Chrysler.  So, its either move the less profitable sedan manufacturing, or otherwise, shut them down and discontinue existing sedan nameplates that have already become less competitive on the world stage.  This is why all three U.S. manufacturers of automobiles are producing cars in Mexico; not only Ford.

Also understand, the current union contract requires Ford to replace any discontinued manufacturing with new operations so that union jobs are protected. So, what Ford will do, is replace the sedan production that went to Mexico with new, expanded SUV production in any vacated plants. Thus, the belief that Ford is sending jobs to Mexico is just plain wrong.

The issue here is simple.  Ford is making changes now, so as to avoid becoming another GM-style bailout. But, Trump, who himself has declared bankruptcy 4 times, either doesn't seem to understand this or is just fine with it.


Trump: ‘45% Tax Is a Threat, It Was Not a Tax, It Was a Threat’:

Trump Targets Ford [with 35% tax] Ahead of Michigan Primary:

Why Ford and Fiat Chrysler are Giving Up on Making (Most) Cars in America:

Why Ford Is Planning to Make More Cars in Mexico:

TRUMPED: The Donald Has Filed For Bankruptcy Multiple Times. What's His Strategy, and What Can It Teach You?:


Friday, March 11, 2016

To CNN: It's the Economy, Stupid!

In 1992, Bill Clinton was able to shorten George H. W. Bush's Presidency to just one term  by coining the slogan: "It's the economy stupid!".  I think today, its still appropriate, because the liberal political class and the liberal media just don't get it.

In a discussion following Bernie Sander's unexpected win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan, the host of a CNN news and opinion show -- whose name I don't know because I was just listening to the audio - expressed her amazement that the number one issue in exit polling was the economy and jobs.  Then, she went on to state that the economy is good.  Unemployment is the lowest its been in 8 years.  The stock market is still doing well, and that gasoline prices are 68 cents lower than last year.  So, I guess in her mind all is well, and there is nothing to complain about economically.

What she apparently doesn't understand is that people outside of her own gilded life are hurting.  If the economy is so good, why do we have a record number of people living in poverty?  Why is the real median household income sitting at a level that hasn't been seen since 1986?  Why did the average weekly wage fall by $6 in February for America's more than 157 million workers?  Why more than 6000 stores for major retailers closed last year, and why another 2500 stores are set to close this year?  Apparently, CNN's hosts don't read CNN's own Money news division's commentaries about how bad things really are. (see links below).

I think show producers should get their facts straight before airing falsehoods to a national audience.  Just one of the reasons that I rarely watch CNN.


Exit poll: Both parties’ voters worry about economy, disdain federal government:

It's the economy stupid!:'s_the_economy,_stupid

Record 46.7 Million Americans Live In Poverty; Household Income Back To 1989 Levels:

Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores:

2016 Store Closures:

The cracks in America's economy are growing - CNN Money:

U.S. economy grinds to near halt at end of 2015 - CNN Money:

Sears announces it's closing at least 50 stores - Feb. 9, 2016:

Walmart will close 269 stores this year, affecting 16,000 Jobs:

Sports Authority is bankrupt and closing 140 stores - CNN Money:

Macy's closings could leave a trail of dead malls - CNN Money:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Obama's False Claim About The Economy

During a recent press conference, and in an effort to deflect GOP candidates' comments regarding how bad the economy is, President Obama made the claim that America has the "strongest, most durable economy in the world".  Well, tell that to the retailers who are feeling like canaries in a coal mine.

By May of last year, the major retail chains -- those with 10 or more stores -- announced the closing of more than 6,000 across the  United States.  By the end of the year, the number of closings was much higher than 6,000. Leading the pack was 1800 Radio Shack stores that closed due to bankruptcy.  McDonalds announced 700.  God only knows how many retailers with less than 10 stores shut their doors.

This year, by February 9th, more than 2500 stores have announced closures for 2016 and beyond.  This includes the just announced 140 for Sports Authority closing due to bankruptcy, and the 154 Walmart stores that were previously announced.

Now, understand, most all of these closures are for stores that previously weathered the Great Recession.  Yet, now, when we are supposedly not in recession, we are experiencing all these closures.  The simple answer for this lies in the following chart:
Growth in retail sales has been steadily declining since 2011 with 2015's (excluding autos) already being lower that 2008; when we were at the height of the recession.  The simple conclusion is that people have increasingly less money to spend; indicating fewer good paying jobs. Thus, if both retail sales dip below the "zero" line this year, we are probably in recession.  Just as we were in the years of 2008 and 2009.

Once again, the President tells us what he thinks we want to hear and not the truth.  Because the truth, in this election year, might hurt his party's chances in the fall.


Obama: US Has Strongest, Most Durable Economy in World:

Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores:

2015 Retail Store Closures: Sorted Largest First:

2016 Retail Store Closures: Sorted Largest First:

Retail Sales in U.S. Decrease to End Weakest Year Since 2009:

Sports Authority is bankrupt and closing 140 stores:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Flint Debate: Hillary Lies Again About Gun Trade Immunity From Lawsuits

In the Flint debate, Hillary Clinton repeated the claim that the gun manufacturers and gun dealers have "immunity" [from any lawsuits] when she said this:
I believe so strongly that giving immunity to gun makers and sellers was a terrible mistake. It removed any accountability from the makers and the sellers.
What she is referring to is a 2005 common sense federal law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that was passed to put an end to an ever increasing number of lawsuits against gun manufacturers and gun dealers for the actions of a third party who bought their guns. The sole intent of most of these lawsuits is to bankrupt the gun industry out of existence and achieve something that legislatively couldn't be achieved under our Constitution.  Also, be aware that she, being a dutiful lawyer, voted against that law and Bernie Sanders voted for it.

But, here's the flat-out lie in the above statement: "It removed any accountability".  Something that PolitiFact said was completely false back in October when she first aired a similar comment.  As Wikipedia so aptly notes in its reference material on that law:
"both manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S. based manufacturer of consumer products are held responsible"
The above is just common sense.  You can't hold a gun manufacturer or dealer responsible for a criminal act that an eventual buyer may commit.  Just as you can't make an automobile manufacturer liable for someone who drinks, drives, and kills someone.

Perhaps, saying "sue the industry" is good political theater.  But the reality is that it isn't going to happen. To do so, would open all kinds of avenues that would destroy businesses that produce a product that some may find harmful.  Such as sugary drinks, or alcohol, or fattening foods.

On this issue, and so many others, Hillary is again, politically motivated and unwise.


Best Lines of the Democratic Debate in Flint, Michigan (see gun control section):

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act :

PolitiFact: Hillary Clinton: The gun industry is "the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

On Flint's Water Crisis, There's Plenty of Blame To Go Around

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, tried to lay blame on Michigan's Republican Governor, Rick Snyder, for Flint's lead contaminated drinking water problem. She said this:
"It isn't right that the kids I met in Flint on Sunday were poisoned because their governor wanted to save money."
But, as you will see, Hillary's words are once again, simply political spin on what is a very complex problem.

Flint's water problems started decades ago. Prior to 1986, communities throughout the United States, including Flint, used cheap lead pipes in order to save money. Then, in 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act banned the use of the very lead pipes that are now poisoning Flint's citizens; especially its children. While the Safe Drinking Water Act banned these pipes, it did not mandate the replacement of them. Thus, Flint was a ticking time bomb, and this mostly Democrat-run city had to have known it all along.

Then, in 2011, Flint fell into receivership due to the amount of debt it had accumulated with years of Democratic overspending on salaries and pensions in a city that was declining both in wealth, population, and tax revenues.  As a result, Gov. Snyder took the advice of a State panel and put Flint under the control of a State Emergency Manager in order to find ways to make Flint solvent again.

At the same time, Flint was getting its water from the City of Detroit.  Another bankrupted city run by Democrats.  Detroit, in its attempt to become solvent again, began jacking up the prices it charged Flint for its water supply.  Prices that Flint and its citizens could no longer afford to pay.  The only real alternative to Detroit was to get water from Lake Huron, but it would take years to construct a viable pipeline.  So, in the short term, Flint's Democrat Mayor and Democrat City Council voted 7-1 in 2013 to reactivate their own water treatment system and access the City's water supply from the Flint River.  This would only take one year to complete and would save the City between one and two million dollars a year.  The Snyder appointed Emergency Manager reviewed the proposal and approved the Mayor and Council's request to source water from the polluted Flint River.

Then, in 2014, Flint went operational with its own water supply.  In order to assure that water from the foul smelling and polluted Flint River was safe to drink, the Mayor stated that it be tested for safety and then routinely tested for further assurance.  However, missing in the operational state of the Flint water treatment plant was the use of an anti-corrosive additive that would have prevented lead from leaching out of the old underground pipes throughout the city.

Even as constant testing was supposedly being conducted by the City, people began complaining about the discoloration, the odor, and the taste of their drinking water.  Then, in October 2014, the residents of Flint were advised to boil all their drinking water due to contamination.  Also, in just a few months past the switch over, a General Motors plant was forced to stop using Flint's water because it was corroding parts.  At nearly the same time, a local university and a local hospital saw corrosion problems, and were forced to began filtering their own water.  But, the City managers ignored these issues.

It wasn't until early 2015 that the sampling of the water by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) found unacceptable high levels of lead.  A similar finding was determined by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just about a month later.  However, the announcement of the problem didn't come until months later in the fall of 2015.  Clearly a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act which requires that residents be notified no later than 30 days upon finding unacceptable levels of any harmful contaminants.  Also, an EPA review found the lead testing procedure to be flawed and that it understated the actual amount of lead toxicity.  This should not have been the case since all water testing procedures are to be certified by the EPA.

Finally, why it took nearly four months for both Governor Snyder and President Obama to declare Flint to be in an official state of emergency, thereby making state and federal funding relief available, is beyond me.  But, one thing is sure, Flint would have never had a need to switch the source of their water if it, and the other Democrat-controlled city, Detroit, hadn't experienced deep financial mismanagement.  Something that Hillary is trying to divert attention from by placing all the blame on the Republican Rick Snyder.  Also, Hillary should explain why she, as Senator in 2005, voted against the banning of a fuel additive in gasoline that was polluting our lakes, rivers, and ground water.  Some believe she didn't because her reelection was being heavily funded by too many companies that would benefit from her "no" vote.

Simply, once again, Hillary finds it impossible to "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth".


Who's to blame for the Flint water crisis?:

As Water Problems Grew, Officials Belittled Complaints From Flint:

Michigan Truth Squad: Who approved switch to Flint River? State's answers draw fouls:

Flint Michigan:,_Michigan#First_financial_emergency:_2002.E2.80.932004

The Democrats’ Filthy Flint Water Dirty politics lead to dirty water:

Obama administration and Democrats skip responsibility for Flint water crisis:

50 years later: Ghosts of corruption still linger along old path of failed Flint water pipeline:

Hillary Clinton, Before Spotlighting Crisis In Flint, Michigan, Voted Against Measure To Prevent Groundwater Pollution:

Flint water crisis:

Safe Drinking Water Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Monday, March 7, 2016

DiCaprio, The Hypocrite, Grandstands Climate Change at the Oscars

Alright, Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar for his leading role in the movie Revenant.  But, instead of just accepting the award, he, like many others at that event, felt compelled to give us a lecture. His was about climate change; calling it "the most urgent threat facing our entire species."  Of course, days earlier he had given another speech at the Paris Climate Change Summit where he stated that climate action ‘requires all of us to make real changes in the way we live our lives’'.

The problem with DiCaprio is that he never practices what he preaches.  You see, Mother Nature must have given him a special dispensation when it comes to polluting the world with CO2.  That's because this climate change lecturer flits around the world in a his own private jet.  In one 6 week period he took that toy, back and forth to New York six times. Often, he uses a charter helicopter to avoid all that city traffic. He also blasts thousands of pounds of CO2 into the air keeping his 5 mansions cooled and heated year round.  Then, when he vacations, there is no limit to the number of island retreats that his private jet will take him.  Once there, there is always a CO2 spewing mega yacht at his beck and call; including David Geffen's 454 footer where he relaxes by playing basketball on the deck in Cannes.

Ah, yes.  We all should do whatever is necessary to fight climate change.  You save the species. Save the world. Of course, if climate action demands real changes in our lives as DiCaprio tells us, then I can only imagine how restrictive Leonardo's life has become now with "only" one private jet, megayachts, helicopters, and 5 mansions.  It reminds me of President Obama dragging Air Force One to Hawaii for vacation(s) along with the back up Air Force one and three massive Cargo Jets holding dozens of escort vehicles.  At least Jimmy Carter had the sense to wear a sweater after he told Americans to save energy by turning down their thermostats. 


DiCaprio's Oscar speech cringe-worthy for some advocates of climate-change action:

Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio tells UN Summit: Climate action ‘requires all of us to make real changes in the way we live our lives’:

Rich climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio has a fancy gas-guzzling yacht, and that's (mostly) fine:

Solo sailor! Leonardo DiCaprio cuts a lonesome figure as he mills about aboard his 450ft superyacht in Cannes:

Source of SuperYacht Picture:

Travelling light, Obama-style: 20-vehicle convoy, SWAT team, Air Force One and nuclear codes accompany him on holiday:

Eco-Tips: Jimmy Carter's Sweater : TreeHugger: asked us all to take a simple step to save energy: turn down the thermostat, and put on a sweater

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hillary's 'Security Review' Just Got Criminal

For weeks, Hillary Clinton, her staff, and her supporters have been claiming that the FBI is merely doing a 'security review' of her private email server and not an investigation into the legality of her using that server to send and receive classified documents. As reported by Fox, Steve Pomerantz, a former assistant director of the FBI, said that the agency doesn't do security reviews as Hillary claims.

Well, if there was any question about what the FBI is doing with regard to her emails, it was certainly cleared up when, on Wednesday, the person who set up Hillary's private server was given immunity from prosecution so he could squeal like a pig to put someone, other than himself, in jail.  That someone or someones being either Hillary or one of her staff or, maybe, a bunch of people.

Once again, Hillary is caught in  another falsehood by trying to claim she isn't being criminally investigated by the FBI.  Or, as she claims, just being 'reviewed'.  When is the lying ever going to stop with this woman?


Hillary misleading about email probe during debate, former FBI agents say:

Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hillary: 'America Never Stopped Being Great'

In an attempt to blunt Donald Trump's slogan 'Make America Great Again', Hillary Clinton has rolled out her own slogan: 'America has never stopped being great'.

Unfortunately, all Hillary ever talks about in her stump speeches is how bad this country is.  How everyone is a victim.  Women. Blacks. Hispanics. Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders. How healthcare costs are too high.  Even though ObamaCare was supposed to fix that.  How illegal immigrants go to bed at night in fear that their doors will be broken down and their families separated by deportation.  How people struggle to afford a college education.  How the wealth of this country is in the hands of too few millionaires and billionaires.  How bad our schools are, and how she would provide a "world class" education for every zip code in America, and so many other issues such as  the lack of good paying jobs. Guns out of control.  If you listen to her you'd think we were living in a third world country.

In fact Hillary's long list of problems only makes Trump's 'Make America Great Again' slogan resonate even more.  Trump is doing well because, unlike Hillary, people believe him when says he will make 'America Great Again'.  As usual, Hillary's biggest problem is a lack of trust.


Clinton takes on Trump: 'America never stopped being great':

Hillary on the Issues:

Hillary Clinton's trust problem | Fox Business Video:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bernie, Hillary.....Have You Hugged Enough Black People Today?

Politicians have always been known to garner votes by kissing babies.  But, not this year.
 Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been chasing down black voters in order to catch them in a photo-op; proving, of course, that they are truly simpatico with the needs of black Americans. Even though 7 years of Barack Obama has done nothing for them (see referenced links below).

When Bernie met with Al Sharpton, he got this nationally published photo-op:

Hillary, not to be outdone, had to have her own Sharpton moment:

Making sure that she was as close as possible to Al.

You see, lacking the blackness of Obama, both Hillary and Bernie know they can't win the primaries or the general election without a large turnout of the black vote.

Damn, if they both don't wish they were really black!  Of course, this is not to imply that both Bernie and Hillary are using blacks for political gain.  God knows that would never happen!


Source: Sanders/Sharpton Photo:

Source: Hillary/Sharpton Photo:

The Racial Wealth Gap: Why A Typical White Household Has 16 Times The Wealth Of A Black One:

Under Obama, Blacks Are Worse Off -- Far Worse:

NAACP president: Black people worse off under Obama: 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Another Reason Obama Should Not Appoint the Next Supreme Court Justice

President Obama has been a flagrant abuser of his office. He has used executive orders and other mechanisms that have been found to be in violation of the law and the Constitution.  As a result, his Justice Department comes in dead last when it comes to the win column in the Supreme Court:

As a serial abuser of the law and the Constitution, I think Obama has forfeited his right to appoint Justice Scalia's replacement.  For sure, he will try to appoint someone that he thinks would have best served his own recklessness; and that, in itself, would be an injustice to this country.

Reference: Source of Chart: