Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Good Are US Troops In Europe?

The US has some 66,000 troops in Europe with another 1.5 million EU troops from various EU countries.

It is generally assumed that there would be no military response by Europe -- even if Putin invaded the Ukraine.  I can understand that no one wants war, but what good are the troops if their use is ruled-out in response to even non-EU military aggression??  Russian troops only number about 770,000 (with many more reservists).

For that matter, why are there 50,000 troops in Japan?   For what possible deterrence?  And at what cost?

Why We Have to Endure Obama's Staggering Incompetence

With Obama, Liberals got their dream candidate into the White House.  But, like most Liberal dreams, it has become a nightmare.  How did this happen and why do we have to endure this? 

First, he's black and electing him supports the pervasive but incorrect Liberal narrative that black Americans are intellectually equal to whites.  I wish it were true but it's not.  As for Obama being "brilliant," it's highly unlikely.  Statistics say that a brilliant black person is extremely rare.

Second, a black man would reliably attract some 95% of black votes -- regardless of the candidate's record, qualifications (or lack thereof) -- even those with a criminal record.  (Black people will vote "their man" even if he or she is a drug addict, a criminal or a proven incompetent.)  Blacks can also be counted on to buy-into Liberal myths, their populist stands and their incorrect ideas about economics and public policies. The Democrats stand now for permanent dependency to guarantee their own permanent position of power.  Blacks (and others) buy into this hook, line and sinker regardless of the decay of their social structure(s).

Third, Obama benefited mightily from Liberal affirmative action programs. We elected Obama whose only qualifications were diplomas from elitist institutions of Columbia and Harvard.  But don't ask for records of class attendance or transcripts!!  Obama almost certainly got into top schools because of Liberal affirmative action programs who advanced him regardless of merit (without affirmative action programs, there would be essentially no black students admitted to any of the top professional schools).  Then, the newly elected President was lauded by Nobel committee for essentially nothing except being a somewhat intelligent black man who campaigned well (helped by that gift of gab).   He is a smooth-talker -- a trait that I've noticed about black men over the decades.  It's a gift that comes about by liars and cheaters who have to constantly talk their way out of problems that they themselves create.  Obama has this.

Of no big surprise, Obama turns out to be one of the most incompetent Presidents ever.  Not only are his skills drastically inadequate, but his intellectual capabilities are obviously limited as he has shown himself unable to learn anything.  In fact, he would have done the nation (and world) a big favor by staying in Chicago and continuing his community organizing.  But we're stuck with him due to decades of Liberal mythology, false narratives about key policy ideas and race -- all of these wrong ideas perpetuated by Liberal media, liberal school boards and liberal Hollywood.  See Liberalism Imposed By Tricks, Lies; Doesn't Work.  The nation and world has to pay the price of this orchestrated mythology and for liberal's incorrect ideas.

Obama's record is nothing but failures; in both foreign and domestic arenas.  Worse, we have to endure nothing but lies, twisted truths, twisted logic, and the blaming of others for his failures.  If he really believes his various excuses and explanations, then his brain is defective.  I really do believe that his brain doesn't work correctly.  I've seen it many times before in both black men and women over the decades.  Obama shows me that he is one of them.

Speaking of failures, take his recent trip to Japan and Asia.  The trip was originally planned in order to sign a Trans-Pacific trade deal with Japan that would have marked his (nonexistent) "pivot" to Asia.  There was no deal and there is region-wide distrust of Washington's commitment to the region -- a region where there are rising tensions among nations, and where China is making outrageous claims to territories in the South China Sea -- strong-arming all the nations bordering the S. China Sea.  How can  a "pivot to Asia" be trusted when his administration announces plans to diminish our naval and military strength while China is increasing theirs?  This kind of incoherence is the hallmark of this intellectually inept administration.  Oh, for good measure,  Obama also drew more red lines in Japan and Korea in his trip.

There is region-wide distrust of Obama's "leadership" in the Middle East too.  Not surprisingly, the administration's attempts to restart the Palestinian-Israel peace talk has fallen apart in the past two weeks, and he fails to correctly blame the Muslims for the problems.  The PLO's reconciliation with the terrorist group Hamas was the major impediment.   Also, asking Israel to attend talks with predetermined territorial concessions is another lame-brained idea from Obama that torpedoed the engagement before it started.  (Only when US and EU financial support is removed and the Palestinians are forced to admit the reality of their complete and utter defeat will there ever be peace.)

Obama is pathologically incapable of seeing that Islam itself is the most murderous force in the world today with thousands of deaths per year due to "Jihadi" attacks world-wide.  Because of his intellectual blindness, he unsurprisingly let's the Iranians 'off the hook' by reversing some of the highly-effective sanctions giving the Mullahs in Tehran more money for advancing their terrorist activities

Obama has been WRONG on Iran, wrong about Islam, wrong on Putin (Romney was correct), wrong about the missiles in Poland, wrong to bring a war against coal (and coal miners), wrong about the supposed demise of Al Qaeda, wrong about Solyndra, wrong about Keystone, wrong about climate change, wrong about gun crimes (the majority are committed by young black men), wrong about the oil/gas industry, wrong to denigrate businessmen, wrong on minimum wage, wrong about ObamaCare, wrong about Syria, wrong about Libya, wrong about Egypt, and wrong about Israel and Palestinians.  He will be outplayed again by Putin in the Ukraine.   I'll stop right there because Obama is wrong about most everything.  Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine says it best:
It’s not simply that Mr. Obama has fallen short of what he promised; it’s that he has been, in so many respects, a failure. Choose your metrics. Better yet, choose Mr. Obama’s metrics: Job creation. Economic growth. Improving our health-care system. Reducing the debt. Reducing poverty. Reducing income inequality. Slowing the rise of the oceans. Healing the planet. Repairing the world. The Russian “reset.” Peace in the Middle East. Red lines in Syria. Renewed focus on Afghanistan. A new beginning with the Arab world. Better relations with our allies. Depolarizing our politics. Putting an end to the type of politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” Working with the other party. Transparency. No lobbyists working in his administration. His commitment to seek
public financing in the general election. The list goes on and on.

By now, nearly five and a half years into the Obama presidency, objective people can draw reasonable conclusions, among which are these: Barack Obama was among the least prepared men to ever serve as presidency. It shows. He has been overmatched by events right from the start.
So, the USA and World has to groan under the dead-weight and obvious incompetence of the current group in the White House -- thanks to phony Liberal narratives, wrong liberal ideas that the complicit Liberal media promotes and "white guilt." 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Nigger Nation: DOJ Robs Bank of America for $13 Billion

Obama and Eric Holder continue taking America toward a 'banana republic' status by robbing Bank of America for $13 billion. It was just a few months ago where our duly-elected Communists stole $13 billion from JP Morgan bank -- for the sins of companies that JP Morgan acquired during the financial crisis (Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual).

Remember that JP Morgan acquired these companies in a "shot-gun" marriage orchestrated by the Federal Government itself in a crisis caused by the government itself (and the Federal Reserve)! They did it to "help" the government.  Proving that all good deeds must be punished, JP Morgan was richly rewarded by the thieving Obama administration by the stealing of an additional $13 Billion.

The extorted "fines" against Bank of America were done in the name of "consumer protection." The DOJ didn't even bother to elaborate on the nature of the extorted amount.  Rest assured that the $13 billion taken from JP Morgan and another $13 billion from Bank of America WON'T be lent to businesses or individuals.

Now, Obama and Holder have raised extortion to a much higher and official level by stealing billions. 

There is a long history of extortion by black leaders like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others in the "grievance industry." Jackson made a career out of extorting pay-offs from companies who he accused of racism. Racism is easy to allege and no proof ever needs to be provided. The problem, that even after 40 years of desegregation and affirmative action, African Americans continue to perform poorly in academics and continue to represent an extremely limited pool of top talent for our nation's companies.

Worse, and thanks in part to government "help," the African American "culture" is in outright collapse. Their so-called "culture" is mired in stupidity, ignorance, crime, drug abuse, drop-outs, family collapse, misogyny, incompetence, STDs, lies, fraud, cheating and failure.

Speaking of failure, it's a sad day for America when even our elected black leaders like Obama and the head of the Department of JUSTICE are all about stealing other people's money by any means (legal and otherwise), ignore the rule of law and disrespect private property.   It's a sad day for America when our government is so desperate for money that they steal money from as many people as they can to spend on their failed government giveaway programs. And it's a sad day when the IRS go after our citizens who happen to disagree with this corrupt and incompetent administration.

African American leaders have been, and still are, actively trying to ruin America. Remember, these people welcomed Fidel Castro with thunderous applause in the early 90s. They are communist sympathizers who love the likes of Chavez and Castro. They know nothing of economics and history and would bring ruin to this country just like Chavez, Castro and countless tyrants in Africa.  The black community follow their leaders and embrace the ruinous and tyrannical because they can't handle freedom.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where Are The Challenges To Putin's Aggression??

Putin is challenging the post-Cold War status quo nearly unopposed.  He's claimed the outrageous right to intervene in other country's business if the people happen to speak Russian!!  Naturally most of the freed Soviet states speak Russian!!  He's claimed that Kiev is the one creating problems in the Ukraine, but it's Russians who are there fomenting trouble.  He's even denied that there are Russian forces in Crimea!!   It's like we're back to Stalinist Russia complete with the outrageous lies! 

Putin is a Stalinist, a dictator and a murderer.  He clearly wants to re-draw borders and bring back the "glory" of the Soviet Union, despite the fact that all of the breakaway countries desperately want to get as far away from Russia as possible.  Putin is the closest thing to a Hitler in the West.  (Kim Jong Un is the Hitler of the East).

And like Hitler, if he is stopped early than we can avoid a larger conflict -- even avoid a war.  But we're seeing weak-kneed leaders everywhere including Obama and the Europeans.  All have ruled-out force to stop Putin's militarism. Putin will be emboldened by this.  Europe, the bloodiest place in human history during the past 100 years, still hasn't learned the lessons of the cost of appeasing dictators!  The US could move troops, ships and military assets into Eastern Europe and Ukraine in a few days if they wanted to.  Assets could be deployed to secure the Baltic states.  Instead, we have Obama stuck in his typical bureaucratic paralysis and indecision. Obama has a problem dealing with reality: it keeps hitting him on the head but he just doesn't get it!   This goes for all of his thinking and ideas -- he's wrong about everything but never learns anything.  It amounts to a mental illness.

The US military assets dwarf Russia's on the international stage.  The US controls international banking and has led successful economic embargoes against Iran by shutting down bank's access to international transactions and money transfers.  These are formidable weapons. What we don't have is leaders with courage, intelligence and knowledge of history.

Where are the speeches by Obama or Merkel publicly challenging the outrageous claim that Russia has a right to "protect" Russian speakers everywhere??   It MUST be challenged by a unified West.   Obama had better get off his ass and get "real" about Putin's intentions instead of standing around like a deer in the headlights.  If not, expect some kind of low grade war, more trouble-making in Eastern Europe and possibly outright war.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Solar Power Suddenly Cheaper and Economically Justified

Don't look now, but solar photovoltaic power installations have become much cheaper since 2010 and, even though the sun only shines about 4.5 hours per day on average in the US, these installations are now reasonably justified in the economic sense, especially taking into account tax subsidies from the government.

From Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at Telegragh,
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory says scientists can now capture 31.1pc of the sun's energy with a 111-V Solar Cell, a world record but soon to be beaten again no doubt. This will find its way briskly into routine use. Wind cannot keep pace. It is static by comparison, a regional niche at best.
A McKinsey study said the average cost of installed solar power in the US across all sectors has dropped to $2.59 from more than $6 a watt in 2010. It expects this fall to $2.30 by next year and $1.60 by 2020. This will put solar within "striking distance" of coal and gas, it said.
Solar cell prices have already collapsed so far that other "soft costs" now make up 64pc of residential solar installation in the US. Germany has shown that this too can be slashed, partly by sheer scale.
For example, consider a 3 kW solar panel installation at a residence.  At $2.59 per watt, that installation would cost $7,770 (using the above figure).   At 4.5 hours of sun per day, this installation would give the owner some 4,928 kW-hours of electrical power per year.   At an average cost of power of $0.11 per kW-hr, the owner would save $542 per year or make about 6.9% rate of return on his investment.

I went to the Solar City company's website and they indicate a cost of $30,000 for a 4 kW system or $7.50 per installed watt or about 3 times the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory's figure.  Therefore, the rate of return would be 3 times less or a 2.3% rate of return.  This is about the same as a government bond.   But in the US and Europe, there are tax incentives for solar installations bringing the installed costs down by about 30% or more, so the return is somewhere between 2.3% and 6.9% per annum -- probably close to 3% rate of return (based on Solar City info).  Homeowners using local firms and doing some of the installation work themselves will probably get returns closer to the 6% return figure.

Also, the cost of electricity is gradually rising which means that solar power will be increasingly attractive as years go by.  Home owners are well advised to factor-in the inflation hedge into their financial considerations.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Obamanation: Our Lousy Economic Recovery

In the chart below (from Doug Short), can you see the difference between the current "recovery" versus all of the other post-war recoveries??    Employment still hasn't recovered after 4 years of the Obama administration.   This despite the "pissing-away" of debt-financed money on "non-stimulus" stimulus (costing $400,000 per job "saved"), HARP, TARP,  ZIRP, Trillions of money printing and $6 trillion of new Federal debt.  What if these programs hurt the normal recovery process? 

Notice that all of post-War recoveries were much quicker even when the downturn was severe.  See the 1948 and 1957 recoveries for example.

Also note that the recoveries of 1990 and 2001 took noticeably longer.  But the current (2007) recession is far worse in duration than all of the others.  There is a trend of worse recoveries.  I wonder what the "recovery curve" for the next recession will look like?? 

The past two recessions were caused by burst financial bubbles and the next one will be too. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Stock Market Peaking at Same Valuations as 2007?

I wrote a blog a few days ago titled The Stock Market Is Probably Peaking.  I lay out a few arguments that the stock market is probably in the process of peaking.  Tops and bottoms are processes -- not a single day event.  Today the momentum names, the NASDAQ and small caps are all down 2 to 10%:  a big selloff on a Friday.  It feels bad this Friday afternoon, but things could look a lot different on Monday.   I added about 5% of equities to my portfolio:  I added Solar City (SCTY), Micron (MU) and a Solar ETF (TAN). 

At the start of the day today,  I only held about 12% equities comprised of 5 to 6% yielding MLP funds, infrastructure ETF fund (UTF), and some utility and telephone stocks.  The balance of the accounts are 35% in cash, 8% commodities (long and short) and alternative investments, and 45% in a mix of very short-term bank loan funds, other very short-term high yield instruments and a significant amount of longer term closed-end bond funds yielding up about 7 to 8%.

With a hat tip to Zero Hedge, the following chart shows that the stock market today is exactly at the same high valuation as the peak in October 2007.  The Market peaked in March 2000 at even higher valuations.  Valuations don't mark a market top but high valuations with technical deterioration do.  The number of stocks participating in recent highs has been declining for several months now.  Now momentum stocks and biotech shares are cratering -- many in bear markets in just a few weeks time.  A deluge of questionable IPOs is another bad sign.

Here's the chart:

Be careful out there! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Health Insurance Premiums Rose Faster Last Year Than 8 Prior Years COMBINED

According to eHealthinsurance, healthcare premiums have risen 39 percent during the past year.  That compares to premium rises of 31 percent during the entire 8 year prior period (2005 to 2013).  Thanks Democrats!!  With friends like that, who needs enemies?  From Daily Caller,
Between 2005 and 2013, average premiums for individual plans increased 37 percent and average family premiums were upped 31 percent. So they have risen faster under Obamacare than in the previous eight years.
From Forbes using data from HHS, the graphs below show the average increase in premiums for 27 and 40 year old persons by State.  The increases are substantial.  The HHS didn't give data for older Americans, so the premium increases must be even higher and politically "inconvenient."   After all, we have an HHS as a part of the Ministry of Propaganda.

Premium Increases for Recent Year:  Data for 27 year old men and women

Premium Increases for Recent Year:  Data for 40 year old men and women


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For This We Blew Up Our Healthcare Insurance Industry??

The new ACA law creates 68 grant programs, 47 bureaucratic entities, 29 demonstration or pilot programs, 6 regulatory systems, 6 compliance standards and 2 entitlements.  The Federal government will have drastically expanded with this law -- and such expansion is permanent because nothing is ever "fixed" by our incompetent and dishonest government.  See the chart below.

The ACA law has nearly doubled medical insurance premiums in this past year alone for most of Americans.  My individual insurance premiums have gone up 5 fold since Obama's inauguration. 

The law has put a cloud over business due to cost and regulation uncertainty.  It has hurt the biggest driver of new employment which is small business (and small business formations).   No wonder the country still has 4 million fewer jobs than in 2008 after 5 years of "recovery."   Millions are languishing in un-employment or under-employment due to this law. 

For all of this, we have managed to insure only 1.4% of the uninsured or about 1/2 million of the 35 million uninsured??  See my blog regarding the exaggeration of ACA's "success."  I'm sure 90% or more of the newly insured will be expecting subsidies from the Federal gov't.  But it would have been infinitely less disruptive to send vouchers to uninsured persons to buy their own policies!

But the 1/2 million newly insured paid a huge price premium but are getting care that is eerily similar to the substandard care that you'd expect from Medicaid.  They are facing limited numbers of doctors, drugs and hospitals -- meaning that they probably won't be able to keep their doctor.  The best healthcare facilities are not covered by ACA.   For this we blew up our healthcare insurance system?

Lies About ObamaCare "Success" Continue

The lies and spin continue to be spewed from the White House about the so-called success of ObamaCare.   These people are incredibly desperate to put lipstick, rouge, eyeliner and everything else on that pig.   Obama himself is liar-in-chief and has been so for a long time.  See here.  Add Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to the serial liar club too.  And of course our lap-dog media outlets dutifully regurgitate anything the WH says with little or no critical analysis.

Numbers from Democratics touting Obamacare' enrollment numbers are a case in point.  They claim some 6 million people have signed up to the "program" and they have met their goals. Mission accomplished!  Isn't that wonderful??  Sorry, not so wonderful.  The numbers are vastly exaggerated and misleading.  First, 3 million signed-up for the "free" and sub-standard coverage of Medicaid. After all, it's easy to give people free stuff!  The expansion of Medicaid didn't need to be done as part of a re-organization (and blowing up) of the Health Insurance market!  So, 3 million is not to included in the same breath as paying customers.

Out of the remaining 3 million, the simply reality is that only about 500,000 of those people were previously uninsured.  The balance of "sign-ups" were previously insured but their policies were cancelled by the law itself.   That means that only 1/2 million people out of 35 million uninsured have gotten new insurance or about 1.5% of the total uninsured.   This is an extremely meager result -- hardly a success.  One-half million is nowhere near 6 million as the lying administration claims.  For this we disrupted the entire medical insurance industry and drastically drove up insurance premiums making healthcare insurance costs an even larger burden to every American??   Those who were kicked out of their previous policies had to pay about double for the high deductible policies of Obamacare.

It would have been infinity cheaper, more effective and far less damaging to the country if the administration would have sent vouchers to the uninsured to buy policies. 

ObamaCare Lies Aplenty

The White House keeps touting how some 6 million people have signed up for the inferior and over-priced ObamaCare policies.  This is a gross exaggeration. 

First, some  23% of the people who "signed-up" or indicated a "selection"on the ObamaCare  exchanges have not paid for their policies.  Calling those who ticked a box on the website a "sign-up" is an exaggeration.  Counting those who have not paid as "enrolled" is another exaggeration.

The third layer of exaggeration is that only 19% of the "sign-ups" were previously uninsured or only about a 500,000 uninsured people got insurance. .

So, after all the damage done to business confidence, the damage of rocketing medical insurance costs for our nation's population and the damage to the economy in general, only about 1.4% of the uninsured are newly covered.  From Forbes,
Only 19 percent of those who have paid a premium were previously uninsured. Among those that the administration is touting as sign-ups, only 14 percent are previously uninsured enrollees: approximately 472,000 people as of February 1.
The damage will continue too.  Insurers are warned that double-digit increases in costs for 2015 are in the offing.   Those increases will affect every American too. 

ObamaCare Burdens

It's obvious to anyone even remotely informed that ObamaCare is a disaster in every way.  The law and it's effect on inflating medical costs has put a cloud and a burden on the American people,  the country and our economy for 5 years now.

I've indicated in my blog that, since Obama's first term in office, that my medical insurance costs have risen 400% in those 5 years.  I am a healthy 56 year old who has had individual high deductible policies that have risen in price from about $100 per month in 2008 to nearly $500 per month for this year's ACA compatible policy.   That's medical cost inflation of about 40% per annum.  So don't believe the administration's inflation numbers either.

Not only have medical insurance costs rocketed higher for everyone, but the US economic recovery has remained stunted with US employment still not back to pre-recession levels while population continues to rise. Obamacare cost uncertainty has been a major part of problem.  Small business formations and lack of investment by business have remained depressed due to the uncertainty about taxes, medical costs, insurance costs, ObamaCare impacts and a variety of regulations and threats of more regulations from this administration.  In short, this administration has been a wrecking ball for our economy.

America, you got what you deserve by re-electing this idiotic administration.  You got a wrecking ball and a bunch of liars to boot.