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Wall Street Strategies has been providing independent stock market research since 1991 to individual, retail and institutional clients through a balanced approach to investing and trading. Charles Payne, our founder and chief analyst, is routinely sought after for his stock market, political,... More
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    Alas, regardless of their doom,
    The little victims play!
    No sense have they of ills to come,
    Nor care beyond today

    "Ode On A Distant Prospect of Eton College"
    Thomas Gray

    Thomas Gray lamented in his poem "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" that young carefree students at the prestigious school had no idea of harsh reality that would greet them despite their lot in life and great education. Life isn't carefree for any of us beyond a certain day and for some that could be the date of their birth. Nonetheless, this thing called life has its ups and downs so maybe frolicking on the Eton campus is better than thinking of doom ahead. As adults, ways are found to play with little regard to a current status of victim.

    Ills of life in such circumstances are often muted with sympathy, hope and charity. But this witch's brew can also mean getting stuck in a permanent state of doom. In those cases people find a way to play anyway.

    Rahm Emanuel - Racist

    Scores of states have voter identification laws and more are putting them on the books. In a world of increased security it's an idea whose time has come. Not only does it deter cheating but adds to the sanctity of voting, perhaps the most important of all our rights. Despite this legal and commonsense approach to protecting election outcomes there has been spin that these laws are racist. Most recently the Justice Department of the United States has gone after a number of states including Texas because of the audacity to establish their own rules on voting including identification requirements.

    Eric Holder says Texas' voting requirements, which apply to all citizens of the state, are specifically aimed at harming blacks, Hispanics and the elderly.

    There are cries that it's unreasonable to think blacks, Hispanics and the elderly would have automobiles to get to places where they could obtain a valid form of Identification. It presupposes that every person at the mall drove in their own cars or trucks. It's the flimsiest of cop outs, and yet the Attorney General of the United States is using this logic as the crux of his argument that states are violating the Voting Rights Act, 14th and 15th Amendments. It would seem to me those accused of lacking resourcefulness and resolve should actually be offended but they're being coddled in the process so accept the world's view of them as victims.

    Taxing Blacks, Hispanics and the Elderly

    President Obama is fond of saying he will not correct the nation's economic problems "on the backs of the poor" and yet he wanted to hike the federal tax on cigarettes by $0.94 to raise $78.0 billion over ten years. This on top of a previous tax hike (this was the very first tax increased under the current administration). Now his former right hand man, Rahm Emanuel, is preparing to hike cigarette taxes in the city of Chicago by $0.75 bringing total taxes to $7.42 a pack! Recently Cook County hiked taxes by $1.00 claiming it wasn't economic but to curb smoking. Talk about corporal punishment!

    The mayor is saying he needs to raise $100.0 million to pay for safety at schools and parks. Here's the rub, a large swath of Chicagoans already head to Wisconsin or Indiana to evade paying the extraordinary tax on cigarettes. They simply hop in their cars and pick up a few packs. Wait a minute... what if they don't have cars?

    According to Reynolds America the median household income for smokers is $27,700 versus $45,761 (2011) for non-smokers. According to the CDC 29% of smokers live under the poverty line.

    The less education, the more likely one is to smoke, drop out of the job market and be unemployed. More than a third of high school dropouts smoke and two thirds aren't even in the job market. Conversely, only five percent of postgraduates are smokers.

    Taking Black Crumbs for Greater Good

    Getting off cigarettes by raising taxes is somewhat a dubious claim as I suspect greater knowledge of damage from long term smoking has been the largest deterrent to lighting up. On that know most effective cessation programs cost up to $22 day or $660 a month, and that's obviously out of the reach of poor people. It's clear hiking taxes on cigarettes is an attack on the poor.

    In a piece in the Chicago Reporter titled "Second City or Dead Last? Income Apartheid in Chicago" it's pointed out the average white person in Chicago earns $63,635 annually compared to just $28,725 for the average black person, or 45% less. According to the author of the piece this is the second worst disparity in the country falling only behind Dallas - see table.
    (Note all these are progressive cities and most have high taxes, unemployment and crime rates.)

    Here's the Rub

    If it's racist to expect blacks and others to find a ride to motor vehicle once every three years then it's certainly racist to expect blacks and others to get a ride out of Chicago into Wisconsin or Indiana every other day for a few packs of cigarettes.

    At the end of the day whining about having to get voter ID's is a giant cop out while quietly accepting another blow to your limited income is inconceivable. The taxes collected from poor smokers in Chicago after Rahm gets his way adds up big time. A two pack a day parent will dish out $162,751 ($97,231 for taxes) over eighteen years. That's the kind of money that sends kids to school and changes the trajectory of a family. It gets future generations off the plantation and into the game of life. Of course this presumes people didn't smoke. But even for those that do, taxes alone seal their fate and limits options of their children.

    Alas, regardless of their doom
    The little victims play

    Oct 23 10:11 AM | Link | Comment!
  • THIS ISN'T A BAD PENNY - By Charles Payne

    Much has been made about winners and losers in the government shutdown battle that ended in a whimper for Republicans. Tea Partiers are backing their man Ted Cruz to the hilt but in the process making the argument from other parts of the party - they may be tone deaf about the masses. Of course the party needs bite and a backbone but is splintered and they can kiss the big prize away.

    Of course President Obama's victory is the kind that destroys empires as it was costly for his party and gave Americans another glimpse into just how bloated government is... if the debt ceiling issue was months away the public would have seen more of the light. On that note the White house escaped blame for pettiness like keeping parks closed and withholding vet benefits.

    But yesterday underscored the real reason the administration might wish this thing lingered longer- no more cover for the fiasco that is Obamacare. President Obama tried his best huckster impression trying to get the registers ringing at healthcare exchanges where people are swooning from sticker shock. He cited one report that said costs had come down, which is a lot different than the thousands of climate control scientists that say man is killing the planet. The fact is costs are soaring for men and women as are part time jobs in place of full time employment and people are losing their doctors.

    So, back to the original question: who won the shutdown battle?

    Truth Justice Freedom

    Combined, the brouhaha over slimmer government coupled with yet another hiking of the debt ceiling and continued money printing by central banks around the world, and people rediscovered Bitcoin. Around 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto (probably not real name) pushed the idea of a peer to peer currency that wouldn't be regulated by central banks, held back by international borders or overprinted to enable reckless government spending and debt. The idea caught on quickly. Coins are mined through mathematical equations that become more difficult, limiting output while increasing value.

    There's real consideration behind Bitcoin, and it seems all areas are covered but no physical coin to sell.

    My Blessing?

    After initial hype and a spurt that lifted its value quickly, Bitcoin was written off as an odd fad. More recently Silk Road, an online drug site that only accepted Bitcoin, was shuttered by the Feds. Yet yesterday Bitcoin soared to its second best close ever at $191.30. In April Bitcoin peaked at $230.94 then promptly plunged to $68.49. I haven't endorsed Bitcoin yet but I love the concept and think the US dollar is doomed to the dustbin of history because of our poor stewardship.

    Note; this isn't going to happen overnight- in fact it could take a couple of decades.

    I also think Bitcoin benefited from that gigantic fine on JP Morgan by the Federal government even after the company played a pivotal role during the meltdown crisis (that was a real crisis by the way). Back in the day the real JP Morgan actually came to the rescue of the nation on two occasions. His reward was government harassment and a legacy as a Robber Barron. Fast forward to 2009 and Warren Buffett comes to the rescue by buying dirt cheap positions in companies like Goldman Sachs. An Obama crony, he will not face the scrutiny and disdain that Jamie Dimon is facing.

    Bitcoin is accepted more and more each day by larger websites including (amazing the Chinese giant is ahead of its US counterparts on this) and making its mark. In some ways Bitcoin is the new gold which has been corrupted with all those ETFs which mitigate true value and demand. I'm closer to being a believer but not just yet.

    (click to enlarge)

    Oct 22 10:38 AM | Link | 1 Comment

    She is the stupidest ... self-indulging tart.
    Laurence Olivier

    The last couple of weeks have seen yet another manufactured crisis designed to drive wedges in society and create victims and animosity. The outrage over the name of Washington's football team is designed, purposely timed and completely phony.

    When the President of the United States jumps in on the faux debate, it's supposed to give it more gravitas but underscores how quickly the left can rally a topic into prominence even when it's dormant and victimless.

    The Redskins have represented the District of Columbia since moving from Boston in 1937. In Boston the team was initially called the Brave. Throughout all of those years there was rarely a peep about the name being offensive and polls of native and non-native Americans never hinted an outrage.

    Now, the name is an obvious racial slur, except I don't see where it's so obvious.

    When Blacks were Exploited

    When liberals come to the rescue of so-called minorities, it always means making those minorities feel lesser about themselves. I witnessed this growing up and hearing but not understanding that a surge in black-made movies in the early 1970s were somehow an improper portrayal and actually exploited the entire race. I was too young to know what the argument was, but of course the notion that blacks were exploited angered me. Yet, as I got a chance to see the movies that were so awful that liberals had to join in with venerable black organizations to ban them, I loved them.

    What did the NAACP, SCLU, and National Urban League not like about movies in which black men were handsome, intelligent, brave, not poor, and not cowering in fear?

    Are you serious? These guys fought corrupt politicians, the mob, and local drug dealers. They broke down doors for real not pleading for handouts but to rescue the damsel in distress. These guys made love to women on screen. (Will Smith and Denzell Washington seem like eunuchs no matter how macho their roles.) Still, blacks were told these movies were bad and exploitative and finally the community agreed they shouldn't be made.

    Before these movies popped up most black men on the silver screen were too afraid of the dark to fetch a bottle of wine from the cellar. Little Shirley Temple chuckled at the frightful nature of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. After blaxploitation movies were banned, the nation kept itself amused with black sitcoms of families that were always giddy despite living in junkyards or housing projects without heat.

    They were no longer super men (and women - Pam Grier) just goofballs that saw the most desperate situation in life as dynamite.

    Of course these days Hollywood nor the NAACP, SCLU or Urban League see any problems with Quentin Tarantino making blaxploitation movies where the "n" word is tossed around more than 100 times. (A Tea Party event where one person out of three thousand has a confederate flag makes everyone at the event a racist). The fact is black people; particularly young black men were pimped back in the 1970s by the left that worked overtime to keep us under the spell of victimization. It had its perks like being able to act a fool and blame society or cash-in responsibilities of manhood for taxpayer funded benefits.

    Talk about exploitation, talk about a Faustian deal, talk about a sham.

    Now, I see the same script being used with Native Americans.


    Marilyn Monroe is considered a universal icon of beauty, yet there are some that see her as an airhead, lazy, talentless, and self absorbed (Leo Mckinstry), but nobody suggests she's a divisive symbol. There are no television analysts questioning why Monroe is used over and over again as a positive symbol for women. There is no movement to stop her photos and famous figure from being used to sell products (her estate made $27.0 million in 2011) and the President has not weighed in on the topic yet.

    I've seen several articles that point out a natural linage from Monroe to Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and others, but still she is seen as a positive role model for young girls. Monroe committed suicide, but she is more often than not portrayed as a happy person. Her image survives while that of strong black men like Shaft were buried because the left knew it might have embolden kids heretofore told everyone hated them and there was no hope outside government help and liberal politicians.

    I think of Monroe in a positive way, but in reality putting her on a pedestal should ruffle the feathers of those so busy telling Native Americans they are victims of the name and image of a football team.

    Indian Role Models

    Often when I get in my Jaguar, I can hear the music from the opening scene of Superfly, and I smile. I grew up playing in the rubble of abandoned buildings that were in several scenes of that movie and others including "Live and Let Die" where James Bond found himself in the hood.

    Back then I wanted to be brave, strong and make money. I saw these strong brothers as role models. For young Indians where are the strong symbols? If the team name is changed and logo altered what comes next?

    Maybe the lefties in Hollywood will come up with a television series of unemployed Native Americans dealing with alcoholism and witha 60% dropout rate but always in a great mood. In fact, they should have the lead character have a catch phrase, something like ..."Dynamite!!!!"

    Oct 21 3:02 PM | Link | Comment!
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