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Who is this “generic Republican” person?

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

And when can I start volunteering for him?

A generic Republican candidate now holds a four-point lead over President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup. It’s a fifth week in a row that the GOP candidate has been ahead and the widest gap between the candidates to date.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds a generic Republican candidate earns support from 46% of Likely U.S. Voters, while the president picks up 42% of the vote.  Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Last week, the Republican held a 45% to 43% advantage.
All joking aside, it’s still too early to put credence into these polls so far out from the election.  But we are getting closer.
The problem for the GOP is that Mr. Generic Republican is not a real candidate and the current field really isn’t setting the faithful on fire.
Somebody needs to cause a spark soon.

Pope Benedict tweets his first tweet

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Housing market looking for a bottom. Still.

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

No end in sight for the decline in the housing market:

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest drop since November 2009, the group said today in New York. From March to April, prices fell 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the smallest decline since July 2010.

A backlog of foreclosures and falling sales raise the risk that prices will decline further, discouraging builders from taking on new projects. The drop in property values and a jobless rate hovering around 9 percent are holding back consumer sentiment and spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.

“There’s no sign of any real recovery in housing yet,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global Inc. in New York, said before the report. “There won’t be a significant turn until the labor market shows sustained improvement. The level of foreclosures is still high and a lot of people are delinquent on their mortgages.”

Anyone needing to sell their home right now is in a world of hurt.

Socialist Greeks running out of other people’s money, “workers” take to the streets

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Paging Margaret Thatcher:

On the eve of a pivotal austerity vote, Greek “workers” are taking to the streets in a national strike:

Police have fired tear gas in running battles with stone-throwing youths in Athens, where a 48-hour general strike is being held against a parliamentary vote on tough austerity measures.

Thousands of protesters have gathered outside parliament in the capital where public transport has ground to a halt.

PM George Papandreou has said that only his 28bn-euro (£25bn) austerity plan would get Greece back on its feet.

If the package is not approved, Greece could run out of money within weeks.

Without a new plan in place, the EU and IMF say they will withhold 12bn euros of loans which Greece needs to repay debts due in mid-July.

Yes, the problem with socialism is, well…

Meanwhile, those who created this mess insist it’s for the country’s own good:

Mr Papandreou has warned that failure to secure the new loans would mean that national coffers could be empty within days.

The new Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, acknowledged that the cuts were “unfair”, but said they were absolutely necessary.

And yet, the people are taking to the streets, insisting that the government help them some more.   As always, be wary of politicians insisting they create programs for the betterment of society, and we should be taking note of this here in the States.  They just about always end up screwing you in the end.

Greek savers rushing to buy gold

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Worthless paper:

Greek citizens are emptying savings accounts and buying gold as they brace themselves for the possibility of a sovereign default and a run on the banks.

Pledges by socialist prime minister George Papandreou that his government would “save the country” have been widely discounted by the public. However, parliament gave him a vote of confidence late on Tuesday night. The socialists have a six-seat majority in the 300-member house.

Sales of gold coins have soared as savers seek a safer and fungible source of value.

“When the global financial crisis started, our sales of coins to investors overtook bullion for the first time,” said Harry Krinakis, at Sepheriades, a Greek precious metals trader. “Now the sales ratio has reached five to one.”

Tomas, a computer technician, has exchanged his euro savings for gold coins: “I keep them at home just like my grandmother did in the second world war.”

Andreas, a supermarket manager, transferred the family savings to Munich earlier this year: “The Swiss banks aren’t interested unless you’ve got several hundred thousand euros.”

“We can’t trust the politicians to get us out of this mess [and] have to protect our families,” Sakis, a garage owner, said at an anti-austerity protest in Athens’ Syntagma square. “A bank collapse has got to be on the cards.” He added he had withdrawn his savings and placed them in a bank safe deposit box “for security. Who cares about interest right now?”

Somehow the Greeks are not so thrilled with their government’s insistence that everything will be peachy.

Federal Reserve acknowledges QE measures are a bust

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Who would have thought?

The Federal Reserve hoped that its three-year-old economic rescue campaign would reach a climax at the end of June. It hoped that consumers and businesses by now would be spending more and more, and the central bank could start doing less and less.

That peak now looks like a long plateau. The Fed still is expected to announce Wednesday that it will halt the expansion of its aid programs at the end of June, as scheduled, when it completes the purchase of $600 billion in Treasury securities. But growth is sputtering, and economists now expect that the Fed will leave its $2 trillion of bandages, props and crutches untouched until next year.

The pace of economic expansion has repeatedly fallen short of the Fed’s predictions, and the central bank is expected to lower its eyes once again when its releases a new forecast after a two-day meeting of its policy board, the Federal Open Market Committee.

[...]

[A] number of studies have concluded that the Fed’s efforts have had only a modest impact on the economy. Stock prices have climbed. Corporations have rarely been able to borrow money more cheaply. Mortgage loans have seldom been available at such low interest rates. But companies are hiring few new workers, and people are buying few new homes. Almost 25 million Americans cannot find full-time work, a number that is rising again after declining modestly over the last year.

Thanks to the geniuses at the Federal Reserve, the US dollar has the utility value of toilet paper, and our economy is just as bad, maybe even worse, than it was when it first started creating dollars out of thin air.  QE1 and QE2 are failures and the Fed wants to double down on some more.

Awesome.

Huntsman campaign off to a great start

June 21, 2011 Leave a comment

This is hysterically brutal:

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian held a brief conference call just now to welcome “ambassador, governor, Democrat, Republican Jon Huntsman” to the 2012 presidential race.

Huntsman is planning a visit to South Carolina this week and has signaled that the state is a crucial stop in his GOP primary map. That’s good news for him, Harpootlian said, because “we always welcome Obama administration officials in South Carolina.”

The quotable trial lawyer mocked Huntsman as a political “schizophrenic” who’s “very similar to Mitt Romney” in his flexibility on issues such as cap and trade.

“Between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, we have, actually, four candidates rather than two,” said Harpootlian, who also scoffed at the idea that Huntsman can take the “high road” in 2012 and avoid negative campaigning.

That pledge will last “about two seconds” in South Carolina, Harpootlian predicted: “The high road is the road above the fray and you can’t run for political office in South Carolina without getting in the fray.”

The Huntsman campaign is barely 12 hours old, and it’s already seeing turbulence from a key primary state.  Worth noting is that Huntsman is the media’s choice to be the GOP’s nominee, the candidate that the party “should” nominate for 2012.  

Rule of thumb–when the media picks the candidate for the GOP, find someone else.

Bachmann campaign on Palin: “She’s not serious”

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Forget T-Paw vs Mittens, or Cain vs whoever.  Looks like the fireworks in the GOP 2012 fight are between Rollins Bachmann and Palin:

Michele Bachmann’s new top consultant, Ed Rollins, began his tenure with scathing criticism of potential Bachmann rival Sarah Palin.

“Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins told Brian Kilmeade on his radio show, Kilmeade and Friends. “She got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.”

I understand that this is what campaign consultants do, and Ed Rollins is all about Ed Rollins more than Michelle Bachmann.  But but can anyone really disagree with his criticisms of Palin here?  Palin fell out of favor with me after she resigned as governor of Alaska.  She built some decent political capital, had a decent approval rating, etc.   And not for nothing, but she has done a disservice to herself over the past few years and her ugly poll numbers will be tough to overcome.

UPDATE.   The story gets a bit more interesting.

What a month it’s been or, we’re so screwed

June 5, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s amazing.  A month ago, our national pundits were all excited about how POTUS “got” Osama bin Laden and how he would now be unbeatable in 2012.

That buzz lasted slightly over a week.

About four weeks later, the only buzz from Democrats included Weinergate and the indictment of presidential/vice-presidential nominee for the people’s party, John Edwards.

Meanwhile, Obamanomics is continuing to create tons of shovel-ready jobs and we’re on the verge of a real Recovery Summer continues with its stranglehold on the economy. 

With full control of the White House and both chambers of Congress for nearly four years has the housing market in a double dip, a record number of people on federal assistance, about 14 million people looking for work and anemic economic growth.   Behold, the Obama’s McEconomy!

Hey, remember when Obama was elected and how the Democrats were constantly telling us how they would be pulling us back from the precipice of a repeat of the Great Depression?

ADP employment report not so good for the economy

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Obamanomics in action:

Employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest increase since September, from a revised 177,000 in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 175,000 advance for May.

Such gains in employment are insufficient to help the world’s largest economy accelerate after a surge in food and fuel costs earlier this year. Businesses added 207,000 jobs last month after a 268,000 gain in April and the jobless rate dipped to 8.9 percent from 9 percent, economists project a Labor Department report to show in two days.

“It is a warning shot across the bow that job growth is also weakening along with the other high frequency numbers,” Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “The weakness reflects a general slowdown and turn in sentiment that set in with the sharp rise in energy prices, disruptions from Japan, and to a lesser extent risk aversion stemming from the Greek fiasco.”

It’s almost as if the Obama administration has no clue how to deal with the economy or something.

In other news,  Republican presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are wasting time dueling over ethanol subsidies in Iowa.

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