Week in review

Quote of the week

“Bribery in third world countries goes on under the table, behind closed doors, hidden from nosy journalists. In the US bribery of public officials occurs in broad daylight, paid out as speaker’s fees and advisor’s compensation.” – Eric Janszen

Beware the Neo-Cons on Iran

by Jim Scarantino

“President Obama is handling the Iran situation expertly. I am a frequent critic, but on this one, he’s got it right. US meddling in Iran will not aid the reformers and pro-democracy voices. We are still the Great Satan, even to many of the people marching in the street. One sure way to discredit the dissenters is to connect them to the US. The worst thing we can do is to inject ourselves into an internecine dispute.” more…

Dangers of a Constitutional Convention

by Larry Greenley

“Although attempting to get the federal government back under control by amending the Constitution is very appealing to many conservatives and constitutionalists, it does not address the primary problem. The primary problem is that the three branches of the federal government do not adhere to the Constitution as originally intended by the Founders. Surprisingly, this indifference to the Constitution began with some of the decisions of Chief Justice John Marshall nearly 200 years ago. Over the years this indifference has grown slowly, but with the advent of the Obama presidential administration combined with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, we’re now witnessing almost daily naked displays of raw, unconstitutional usurpations of power by the federal government with regard to states, businesses, and individuals.” more…

BRIC Nations Getting Bolder

by Bill Jenkins

“The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) had a much-ballyhooed meeting to discuss global economics and shake their fists at the U.S. powers that be for crushing their U.S. investments.” more…

In the news…

  • GAO has issued a report on arms trafficking in Mexico. Here’s a bit from the NRA about it.
  • Politicians spar over US response to the events in Iran.
  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy denounces burqas as a symbol of subservience and debasement.
  • Car makers get government loans to turn green.
  • EFF demands public release of FBI surveillance rules.
  • AIG will give the New York Fed two of its life assurance units.
  • Ron Paul and Jim Bunning: Fed trendsetters.
  • The Fed will keep pumping.
  • Fox News identified Mark Sanford as a Democrat in the wake of his announcement, however this is apparently not the first time they have made this type of mistake.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be broadcast in its entirety in Iran, ostensibly to help quell the protests.
  • Billionaires meet to discuss world overpopulation.
  • Eight Republicans have helped confirm an anti-gun zealot to the State Department.
  • China continues to criticize the dollar.
  • And last, but certainly not least. The House of Representatives passed a 1500 page “cap’n trade” bill.

Videos

  • Brookings is wary about the long-term fiscal situation for the United States. The future is now.
  • Barack Obama, he’s come to save the day. This is wayyyyy toooo funny!

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,438.39 (-101.34/-1.19%)
S&P 500 – 918.90 (-2.33/-0.25%)
VIX – 25.93 (-2.06/-7.36%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,128.421 (+48.42/1.57%)
BSE 500 (India) – 5,586.33 (+120.00/2.20%)
MICEX (Russia) – 960.16 (-57.13/-5.62%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 51,485.609 (+111.839/0.22%)
RICI – 2,932.18 (-30.02/-1.01%)
Gold/oz – 941.00 (+4.80/0.51%)
Silver/oz – 14.105 (-0.095/-0.67%)
Copper/lb – 230.90 (+4.75/2.10%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 68.92 (-0.27/-0.39%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 534.25 (-21.00/-3.78%)
Corn/bu – 404.25 (-15.25/-3.64%)
EUR-USD – 1.4056 (+0.0119/0.85%)
USD-JPY – 95.185 (-1.085/-1.13%)
USD-BRL – 1.9364 (-0.0388/-1.96%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.17 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 1.11 (-0.09/-7.50%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.54 (-0.24/-6.35%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.34 (-0.16/-3.56%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,363,514,364,365.19 (-35,744,432,400.90/-0.31%)
U.S. Public Debt (actual est.) – 61,551,629,000,000.00 (+55,344,000,000.00/0.09%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3703.00 (-367.00/-9.02%)

Ugggg. They just won’t slow down in Washington. It’s one thing after another after another. The newest installment in the radical transformation of our country lies with the Carbon Cap and Trade bill that just passed the House of Representatives. It was 1500 pages of legislation. Do you think any of them actually read it? You do? Oh then I  have got a deal for you. You see my cousin, the crowned prince of Nigeria, needs some help getting his inheritance out of the country…

In all seriousness, this monstrous piece of legislation, if it gets through the Senate and Zero signs it, will be very expensive. And Zero said that he wasn’t going to raise taxes. Oh, he was talking about the income tax you say… Oh then it’s okay. My heating bill was only $300/month last year and we kept the thermostat at 68 during the day, and 62 at night. Who cares of the price of natural gas doubles? I always wanted my utility bill to be as much as my rent. Bring it on! Freaking fantastic!

Can you imagine what our country is going to be like three years from now? I mean if Pelosi, Reid, and Zero can do this much in five months. My mind boggles. Were the Republicans this bad when they had both houses and the Presidency? Maybe they were. I do not recall. In any case allowing any single political party to control the legislative branch and the executive branch is a horribly poor idea. Horribly poor.

Gridlock I miss you so much. Please come back to me. I was a fool to want Washington to accomplish anything.

The census will be taken next year. I hear ACORN is going to be involved. You know the one, many of whose employees are facing voter fraud charges in 10 states. Hmmmm…. That this organization has not been throughly investigated is unforgivable. Rather, they may be working on the census, the primary purpose of which is to apportion federal representatives for the next 10 years!

Apparently there will be some really important questions on the census, like how many times you flush your toilet per day. Or so I’ve heard. And the penalty for not answering each question is a $100-$5000 fine. Constitutionally (yes, I know, it’s basically a dead letter) all they are supposed to do is count how many of us there are.

Okay, that’s enough of all of that. I have been pondering a question recently: “what are the ties the bind our country?” Please send me your answers and I’ll write about that next week!

And as always, have a nice weekend.

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