Quote of the week
“The extremists in our society are the statists of any political party that ignore our individual liberty while seeking ways to impose their beliefs and opinions on everyone.” – Brandon Barrios
by Political Lipskip
“The problem liberals have is that these folks have never spoken out like they have. They are typically working and taking care of their families but the stakes have gotten higher for doing nothing. We do not want our country to turn socialist European. The policies of this administration is not to our liking and we are sick of the spending. Why would liberals expect us not to speak out for what we believe in? Liberals know that the Tea Party does not stand for racism. But because they lose on the ideas and facts, throwing race into the pot is the only defense they have. It’s pathetic and it’s simply not working.” more…
by Sam Stein
“Over the past few weeks, the news out of Afghanistan and Iraq has been pretty grim. Abstruse and bizarre comments from Afghan President Hamid Karzai troubled America’s diplomatic community; violence followed the election of Iraqi president Iyad Allawi; and a leaked, two-year-old video showing the killing of civilians in New Baghdad raised fundamental questions about U.S. military policy.” more…
by Philip Klein
“There are arguments in favor of gradualism, and those on the right certainly shouldn’t live in a fantasy world detached from what is politically feasible. But the looming fiscal crisis is so severe and approaching so rapidly that conservatives can’t afford to postpone making the case for something on the scale of what Ryan is proposing, if not his specific plan. During this year’s congressional races and the next presidential primaries, any candidate who attacks Obama’s reckless spending should be put to the Ryan test. That is, anybody who expects to be taken seriously as a limited government conservative should endorse specific solutions to tackle the debt. To avoid discussing these issues during an election year means preemptively surrendering to the reality of a leviathan state. To walk away from this fight guarantees that future generations will be forced to live in the wreckage of a collapsed United States. If the conservative movement was built for any reason and exists for any purpose, it is to fight this battle.” more…
by The Economist
“When Parliament decided, in 1709, to create a law that would protect books from piracy, the London-based publishers and booksellers who had been pushing for such protection were overjoyed. When Queen Anne gave her assent on April 10th the following year—300 years ago this week—to “An act for the encouragement of learning” they were less enthused. Parliament had given them rights, but it had set a time limit on them: 21 years for books already in print and 14 years for new ones, with an additional 14 years if the author was still alive when the first term ran out. After that, the material would enter the public domain so that anyone could reproduce it. The lawmakers intended thus to balance the incentive to create with the interest that society has in free access to knowledge and art. The Statute of Anne thus helped nurture and channel the spate of inventiveness that Enlightenment society and its successors have since enjoyed.” more…
by Tim Rutten
“Wherever you come down on the bankruptcy question, it’s clear that anything approaching a genuine resolution of the civic financial troubles will have to involve a thorough overhaul of the pension system. Traditionally, public employment offered generous benefits because wages and salaries were lower than in the private sector for comparable work. More recently, public sector salaries have increased — in part because the governmental workforce is the most significantly unionized in the American economy — at the same time compensation in most of the private sector has been falling. When you narrow the focus of this national trend to labor-friendly L.A., the picture that emerges is fairly stunning.” more…
- The Bain Report: Articles that Affect You and Your Family.
- Eight, count’em eight failed banks this week, making it 50 on the year.
- Financial Sense Editorials – The Tax Window of Opportunity – by Vedran Vuk
- Bill Bonner – Stop Worrying About the Financial Crisis
Politics and such
- Nearly one-half of all households don’t pay any income taxes.
- Congressional Budget Office says US fiscal situation is “unsustainable“.
- US military warns of decreased oil output with possible shortages by 2015.
- Will the feds continue to backstop state budget short falls?
- Google search trends and tax season.
- Poll finds that Ron Paul is only down 1 point in a hypothetical Presidential race against Obama.
- Find out about the corruption that is overseas Congressional travel.
And now the numbers…
DOW Jones Industrials – 11,018.66 (+21.31/0.19%)
S&P 500 – 1,192.13 (-2.24/-0.19%)
VIX – 18.36 (+2.22/13.75%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,356.332 (-22.838/-0.68%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,985.62 (-114.23/-1.61%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,495.08 (-1.80/-0.12%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 69,421.352 (-1,995.921/-2.79%)
RICI – 3,281.54 (+13.60/0.42%)
Gold/oz – 1,136.90 (-25.00/-2.15%)
Silver/oz – 17.675 (-0.676/-3.68%)
Copper/lb – 353.55 (-5.45/-1.52%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 85.99 (+1.16/1.37%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 502.50 (+23.25/4.85%)
Corn/bu – 374.00 (+16.75/4.69%)
EUR-USD – 1.3502 (+0.0002/0.01%)
USD-JPY – 92.173 (-1.005/-1.08%)
USD-BRL – 1.7582 (-0.0058/-0.33%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.95 (-0.11/-10.38%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.76 (-0.12/-3.09%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.67 (-0.07/-1.48%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.31 (+0.01/3.33%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 12,874,618,766,079.30 (+48,587,459,631.40/0.38%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,009.00 (+96.00/3.30%)
I attended the Ann Arbor Tea Party on Thursday. I’ve written a bit about all of that. You can check it out here if you are so inclined.
On a personal note Baby Girl is mobile! She rolled/scooted all the way across the living room and into the hallway last night. I suspect that’s going to create more demand on my parenting skills, but I’m up for it. She has another swimming “lesson” tomorrow. Mom is taking her for the first time, so that’s exciting for her.
School is out in two weeks. Only two more classes to go after that.
Spring has sprung. Flowers are blooming, trees are blossoming. The weather is schizophrenic. It was 80 yesterday and we’ll have a 49 degree day tomorrow. In any case it’s been good enough to commute on the bicycle a bit. Gotta love Ann Arbor’s hills. They give meaning to that “up hill both ways” garbage my mom used to tell me about when I was a kid. Turns out it’s true!
Breakfast at the Classic Cup Cafe on Jackson Road in Ann Arbor tomorrow at 8AM.
Have a great weekend!