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  • Sept. Retail Sales: +1.1% vs. +0.7% expected, +1.3% prior (revised from +0.9%). Ex-autos +1.1% vs. +0.5% expected, +0.1% prior. [View news story]
    Retail sales rose by $4.6 billion in September. The major drivers were:

    •Gasoline – $1.2 billion
    •Auto sales – $0.9 billion
    •On-line sales – $0.7 billion
    •Electronic stores – $0.4 billion
    •Grocery stores – $0.5 billion

    So a full 26% of the increase in retail sales was due to you having to pay more to fill up your SUV. Another 20% was due to morons shelling out $500 for the iPhone 5 and putting it on their credit card. Another 20% was created by ALLY FINANCIAL and the rest of the Wall Street shysters doling out 0% loans for 60 months to subprime borrowers. How exactly does a finance company make a profit by offering 0% loans for five years. Inquiring minds want to know. Lastly, food inflation is responsible for the increase in grocery sales. Maybe when food prices hit new highs next year, people can eat their iPhones.

    But please don’t think. Just accept the conventional propaganda of recovery you are hearing from the MSM.

    Retail sales and consumer credit are at all-time highs. It must be a recovery.
    Oct 15, 2012. 02:18 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Do you know what the loss would be on a 30-year Treasury if it went back ... just to the yield in force in 2011?" asks Jeff Gundlach, incredulous anybody would buy one (answer: 37%). If you need safety and yield, he says, buy Campbell Soup (CPB) instead. Listen to why the hot-shots at his firm would rather day-trade Facebook than divine the Treasury market. [View news story]
    Those non-viable investments of gold and silver are up 40% and 70% over the same time frame, trouncing stocks.
    Sep 16, 2012. 03:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RON PAUL - OUR LAST HOPE [View instapost]
    Anyone hated by the GOP establishment and the Democratic establishment must be doing something right. Ron Paul is the one.

    To see the videos referenced below, go here:

    Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies
    The benefits of his candidacy are widely ignored, as are the Democrats’ own evils
    By Glenn Greenwald

    The signature of Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is shown on the cover of an “Obama Countdown Calendar” during a campaign stop at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic, Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Credit: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    (updated below)

    As I’ve written about before, America’s election season degrades mainstream political discourse even beyond its usual lowly state. The worst attributes of our political culture — obsession with trivialities, the dominance of horserace “reporting,” and mindless partisan loyalties — become more pronounced than ever. Meanwhile, the actually consequential acts of the U.S. Government and the permanent power factions that control it — covert endless wars, consolidation of unchecked power, the rapid growth of the Surveillance State and the secrecy regime, massive inequalities in the legal system, continuous transfers of wealth from the disappearing middle class to large corporate conglomerates — drone on with even less attention paid than usual.

    Because most of those policies are fully bipartisan in nature, the election season — in which only issues that bestow partisan advantage receive attention — places them even further outside the realm of mainstream debate and scrutiny. For that reason, America’s elections ironically serve to obsfuscate political reality even more than it usually is.

    This would all be bad enough if “election season” were confined to a few months the way it is in most civilized countries. But in America, the fixation on presidential elections takes hold at least eighteen months before the actual election occurs, which means that more than 1/3 of a President’s term is conducted in the midst of (and is obscured by) the petty circus distractions of The Campaign. Thus, an unauthorized, potentially devastating covert war — both hot and cold — against Iran can be waged with virtually no debate, just as government control over the Internet can be inexorably advanced, because TV political shows are busy chattering away about Michele Bachmann’s latest gaffe and minute changes in Rick Perry’s polling numbers.

    Then there’s the full-scale sacrifice of intellectual honesty and political independence at the altar of tongue-wagging partisan loyalty. The very same people who in 2004 wildly cheered John Kerry — husband of the billionaire heiress-widow Teresa Heinz Kerry — spent all of 2008 mocking John McCain’s wealthy life courtesy of his millionaire heiress wife and will spend 2012 depicting Mitt Romney’s wealth as proof of his insularity; conversely, the same people who relentlessly mocked Kerry in 2004 as a kept girly-man and gigolo for living off his wife’s wealth spent 2008 venerating McCain as the Paragon of Manly Honor.

    That combat experience is an important presidential trait was insisted upon in 2004 by the very same people who vehemently denied it in 2008, and vice-versa. Long-time associations with controversial figures and inflammatory statements from decades ago either matter or they don’t depending on whom it hurts, etc. etc. During election season, even the pretense of consistency is proudly dispensed with; listening to these empty electioneering screeching matches for any period of time can generate the desire to jump off the nearest bridge to escape it.

    Then there’s the inability and/or refusal to recognize that a political discussion might exist independent of the Red v. Blue Cage Match. Thus, any critique of the President’s exercise of vast power (an adversarial check on which our political system depends) immediately prompts bafflement (I don’t understand the point: would Rick Perry be any better?) or grievance (you’re helping Mitt Romney by talking about this!!). The premise takes hold for a full 18 months — increasing each day in intensity until Election Day — that every discussion of the President’s actions must be driven solely by one’s preference for election outcomes (if you support the President’s re-election, then why criticize him?).

    Worse still is the embrace of George W. Bush’s with-us-or-against-us mentality as the prism through which all political discussions are filtered. It’s literally impossible to discuss any of the candidates’ positions without having the simple-minded — who see all political issues exclusively as a Manichean struggle between the Big Bad Democrats and Good Kind Republicans or vice-versa — misapprehend “I agree with Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I support Candidate X for President” or “I disagree with Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any discrete praise for the Enemy as a general endorsement.

    So potent is this poison that no inoculation against it exists. No matter how expressly you repudiate the distortions in advance, they will freely flow. Hence: I’m about to discuss the candidacies of Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and no matter how many times I say that I am not “endorsing” or expressing support for anyone’s candidacy, the simple-minded Manicheans and the lying partisan enforcers will claim the opposite. But since it’s always inadvisable to refrain from expressing ideas in deference to the confusion and deceit of the lowest elements, I’m going to proceed to make a couple of important points about both candidacies even knowing in advance how wildly they will be distorted.

    * * * * *

    The Ron Paul candidacy, for so many reasons, spawns pervasive political confusion — both unintended and deliberate. Yesterday, The Nation‘s long-time liberal publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, wrote this on Twitter:

    That’s fairly remarkable: here’s the Publisher of The Nation praising Ron Paul not on ancillary political topics but central ones (“ending preemptive wars & challenging bipartisan elite consensus” on foreign policy), and going even further and expressing general happiness that he’s in the presidential race. Despite this observation, Katrina vanden Heuvel — needless to say — does not support and will never vote for Ron Paul (indeed, in subsequent tweets, she condemned his newsletters as “despicable”). But the point that she’s making is important, if not too subtle for the with-us-or-against-us ethos that dominates the protracted presidential campaign: even though I don’t support him for President, Ron Paul is the only major candidate from either party advocating crucial views on vital issues that need to be heard, and so his candidacy generates important benefits.

    Whatever else one wants to say, it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial. The converse is equally true: the candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil.

    As Matt Stoller argued in a genuinely brilliant essay on the history of progressivism and the Democratic Party which I cannot recommend highly enough: “the anger [Paul] inspires comes not from his positions, but from the tensions that modern American liberals bear within their own worldview.” Ron Paul’s candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America’s Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it’s one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception.

    The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

    The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations with drones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

    He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.

    Most of all, America’s National Security State, its Surveillance State, and its posture of endless war is more robust than ever before. The nation suffers from what National Journal‘s Michael Hirsh just christened “Obama’s Romance with the CIA.” He has created what The Washington Post just dubbed “a vast drone/killing operation,” all behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy and without a shred of oversight. Obama’s steadfast devotion to what Dana Priest and William Arkin called “Top Secret America” has severe domestic repercussions as well, building up vast debt and deficits in the name of militarism that create the pretext for the “austerity” measures which the Washington class (including Obama) is plotting to impose on America’s middle and lower classes.

    The simple fact is that progressives are supporting a candidate for President who has done all of that — things liberalism has long held to be pernicious. I know it’s annoying and miserable to hear. Progressives like to think of themselves as the faction that stands for peace, opposes wars, believes in due process and civil liberties, distrusts the military-industrial complex, supports candidates who are devoted to individual rights, transparency and economic equality. All of these facts — like the history laid out by Stoller in that essay — negate that desired self-perception. These facts demonstrate that the leader progressives have empowered and will empower again has worked in direct opposition to those values and engaged in conduct that is nothing short of horrific. So there is an eagerness to avoid hearing about them, to pretend they don’t exist. And there’s a corresponding hostility toward those who point them out, who insist that they not be ignored.

    The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views.

    Progressives would feel much better about themselves, their Party and their candidate if they only had to oppose, say, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. That’s because the standard GOP candidate agrees with Obama on many of these issues and is even worse on these others, so progressives can feel good about themselves for supporting Obama: his right-wing opponent is a warmonger, a servant to Wall Street, a neocon, a devotee of harsh and racist criminal justice policies, etc. etc. Paul scrambles the comfortable ideological and partisan categories and forces progressives to confront and account for the policies they are working to protect. His nomination would mean that it is the Republican candidate — not the Democrat — who would be the anti-war, pro-due-process, pro-transparency, anti-Fed, anti-Wall-Street-bailout, anti-Drug-War advocate (which is why some neocons are expressly arguing they’d vote for Obama over Paul). Is it really hard to see why Democrats hate his candidacy and anyone who touts its benefits?

    It’s perfectly rational and reasonable for progressives to decide that the evils of their candidate are outweighed by the evils of the GOP candidate, whether Ron Paul or anyone else. An honest line of reasoning in this regard would go as follows:

    Yes, I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered by covert drones and cluster bombs, and America’s minorities imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands for no good reason, and the CIA able to run rampant with no checks or transparency, and privacy eroded further by the unchecked Surveillance State, and American citizens targeted by the President for assassination with no due process, and whistleblowers threatened with life imprisonment for “espionage,” and the Fed able to dole out trillions to bankers in secret, and a substantially higher risk of war with Iran (fought by the U.S. or by Israel with U.S. support) in exchange for less severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, the preservation of the Education and Energy Departments, more stringent environmental regulations, broader health care coverage, defense of reproductive rights for women, stronger enforcement of civil rights for America’s minorities, a President with no associations with racist views in a newsletter, and a more progressive Supreme Court.

    Without my adopting it, that is at least an honest, candid, and rational way to defend one’s choice. It is the classic lesser-of-two-evils rationale, the key being that it explicitly recognizes that both sides are “evil”: meaning it is not a Good v. Evil contest but a More Evil v. Less Evil contest. But that is not the discussion that takes place because few progressives want to acknowledge that the candidate they are supporting — again — is someone who will continue to do these evil things with their blessing. Instead, we hear only a dishonest one-sided argument that emphasizes Paul’s evils while ignoring Obama’s (progressives frequently ask: how can any progressive consider an anti-choice candidate but don’t ask themselves: how can any progressive support a child-killing, secrecy-obsessed, whistleblower-persecuting Drug Warrior?).

    Paul’s candidacy forces those truths about the Democratic Party to be confronted. More important — way more important — is that, as vanden Heuvel pointed out, he forces into the mainstream political discourse vital ideas that are otherwise completely excluded given that they are at odds with the bipartisan consensus.

    There are very few political priorities, if there are any, more imperative than having an actual debate on issues of America’s imperialism; the suffocating secrecy of its government; the destruction of civil liberties which uniquely targets Muslims, including American Muslims; the corrupt role of the Fed; corporate control of government institutions by the nation’s oligarchs; its destructive blind support for Israel, and its failed and sadistic Drug War. More than anything, it’s crucial that choice be given to the electorate by subverting the two parties’ full-scale embrace of these hideous programs.

    I wish there were someone who did not have Ron Paul’s substantial baggage to achieve this. Before Paul announced his candidacy, I expressed hope in an Out Magazine profile that Gary Johnson would run for President and be the standard-bearer for these views, in the process scrambling bipartisan stasis on these questions. I did that not because I was endorsing his candidacy (as some low-level Democratic Party operative dishonestly tried to claim), but because, as a popular two-term Governor of New Mexico free of Paul’s disturbing history and associations, he seemed to me well-suited to force these debates to be had. But alas, Paul decided to run again, and Johnson — for reasons still very unclear — was forcibly excluded from media debates and rendered a non-person. Since then, Paul’s handling of the very legitimate questions surrounding those rancid newsletters has been disappointing in the extreme, and that has only served to obscure these vital debates and severely dilute the discourse-enhancing benefits of his candidacy.

    * * * * *

    Still, for better or worse, Paul — alone among the national figures in both parties — is able and willing to advocate views that Americans urgently need to hear. That he is doing so within the Republican Party makes it all the more significant. This is why Paul has been the chosen ally of key liberal House members such as Alan Grayson (on Fed transparency and corruption), Barney Frank (to arrest the excesses of the Drug War) and Dennis Kucinich (on a wide array of foreign policy and civil liberties issues). Just judge for yourself: consider some of what Ron Paul is advocating on vital issues — not secondary issues, but ones progressives have long insisted are paramount — and ask how else these debates will be had and who else will advocate these views:

    Endless War and Terrorism

    This entire four-minute Cenk Uygur discussion from last week about Paul’s candidacy is worthwhile, but if nothing else, watch the amazing ad about American wars and Terrorism from Ron Paul’s campaign which Cenk features at the 2:50 mark:

    Due Process

    Here’s Paul condemning the due-process-free assassination of American citizens:

    The Drug War


    Drone assaults

    From Politico, yesterday:

    Surveillance State: Opposing Patriot Act extension

    U.S. policy toward Israel:


    LA Times, yesterday:

    * * * * *
    Can anyone deny that (a) those views desperately need to be heard and (b) they are not advocated or even supported by the Democratic Party and President Obama? There are, as I indicated, all sorts of legitimate reasons for progressives to oppose Ron Paul’s candidacy on the whole. But if your only posture in the 2012 election is to demand lockstep marching behind Barack Obama and unqualified scorn for every other single candidate, then you are contributing to the continuation of these policies that liberalism has long claimed to detest, and bolstering the exclusion of these questions from mainstream debate.

    If you’re someone who is content with the Obama presidency and the numerous actions listed above; if you’re someone who believes that things like Endless War, the Surveillance State, the Drug War, the sprawling secrecy regime, and the vast power of the Fed are merely minor, side issues that don’t merit much concern (sure, like a stopped clock, Paul is right about a couple things); if you’re someone who believes that the primary need for American politics is just to have some more Democrats in power, then lock-step marching behind Barack Obama for the next full year makes sense.

    But if you don’t believe those things, then you’re going to be searching for ways to change mainstream political discourse and to disrupt the bipartisan consensus which shields these policies from all debate, let alone challenge. As imperfect a vehicle as it is, Ron Paul’s candidacy — his success within a Republican primary even as he unapologetically challenges these orthodoxies — is one of the few games in town for achieving any of that (now that Johnson has left the GOP and will [likely] run as the Libertarian Party candidate, perhaps he can accomplish that as well). As Conor Friedersdorf put it in his excellent, and appropriately agonizing, analysis of the Paul candidacy and his newsletters:

    What I want Paul detractors to confront is that he alone, among viable candidates, favors reforming certain atrocious policies, including policies that explicitly target ethnic and religious minorities. And that, appalling as it is, every candidate in 2012 who has polled above 10 percent is complicit in some heinous policy or action or association. Paul’s association with racist newsletters is a serious moral failing, and even so, it doesn’t save us from making a fraught moral judgment about whether or not to support his candidacy, even if we’re judging by the single metric of protecting racial or ethnic minority groups, because when it comes to America’s most racist or racially fraught policies, Paul is arguably on the right side of all of them.

    His opponents are often on the wrong side, at least if you’re someone who thinks that it’s wrong to lock people up without due process or kill them in drone strikes or destabilize their countries by forcing a war on drug cartels even as American consumers ensure the strength of those cartels.

    It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize Paul harshly and point out the horrible aspects of his belief system and past actions. But that’s worthwhile only if it’s accompanied by a similarly candid assessment of all the candidates, including the sitting President.

    UPDATE: Also, President Obama today signed the NDAA and its indefinite detention provisions into law (a law which Paul vehemently opposed); the ACLU statement — explaining that “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law” and “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today” – is here.

    Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.More Glenn Greenwald
    Jan 2, 2012. 06:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RON PAUL - OUR LAST HOPE [View instapost]
    How about a little truth to offset the MSM lies and misinformation about Ron Paul’s foreign policy views? Turn off Fox News and do some research. Don’t be spoon fed by the corporate media machine supporting the establishment.

    The Real Ron Paul Stands Up
    Katie Kieffer
    May I have your attention please? Will the real Ron Paul please stand up? I repeat, will the real Ron Paul please stand up?

    I keep hearing the same three rumors about Paul: He blames America for 9/11, he’s anti-Israel and he’s pro-Iran. So, who is the real Ron Paul?

    Does he blame America for 9/11?

    No, he’s very patriotic. Bob Schieffer recently interviewed Paul on CBS Face the Nation: “I wanna ask you some questions … and I wanna start with foreign policy because your statements over the years … suggest that you believe that 9/11 happened because of actions that the United States took. Is that correct?”

    Paul answered: “Well, I think there is an influence. And that’s exactly what, you know, the 9/11 Commission said, that’s what the DOD has said and that’s also what the CIA has said and that’s what a lot of researchers have said. … America is you and I and we didn’t cause it, the average American didn’t cause it. … I’m saying [American foreign] policies have an affect but that’s a far cry from blaming America.”

    Chalmers Johnson, CIA consultant from 1967–1973, concurs with Paul: ‘The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001, did not “attack America,” as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy.’

    Johnson says the CIA coined the term “blowback” as “a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people.”

    You might ask: Blowback? For what? Isn’t America “a beacon for freedom” as President George W. Bush said immediately after the 9/11 attacks? Certainly our Constitution is a beacon for freedom. Paul simply maintains that the unintended consequences of our current foreign policy are that we provoke violent retaliation while we accrue substantial debt and lose precious American lives.

    The final 9/11 Commission Report validates Paul’s concern about blowback: ‘Defense Secretary William Cohen told us Bin Ladin’s training camps were primitive, built with “rope ladders”; General Shelton called them “jungle gym” camps. Neither thought them worthwhile targets for very expensive missiles. President Clinton and Berger also worried about the Economist’s point—that attacks that missed Bin Ladin could enhance his stature and win him new recruits. After the United States launched air attacks against Iraq at the end of 1998 and against Serbia in 1999, in each case provoking worldwide criticism, Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg added the argument that attacks in Afghanistan offered “little benefit, lots of blowback against [a] bomb-happy U.S.”’

    Moreover, if Paul’s foreign policy is anti-America, why has he outpaced McCain, Romney and Gingrich in individual active military contributions? Timothy Egan writes in The New York Times: “Not even a full 1 percent of Americans are active-duty military. … Yet, these soldiers, sailors, air men and women, and assorted boots on the ground know the cost … of going to war far more than the 99 percent not currently serving. Where they put their money in a campaign … says a great deal.”

    Is he anti-Israel?

    Hardly. Paul wants to improve America’s foreign policy to suit Israel’s best interest.

    Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar advised Paul on foreign policy during his 2008 campaign. He recently wrote in Israel’s news source Haaretz that Paul: “has a profound knowledge of Jewish history, admires Israel and follows its political and economic developments with great interest.”

    Paul told NewsMax: ‘Stop and consider America’s policy: We give $3 billion a year to Israel in loans; and we give $12 billion or more in assistance to Israel’s self-declared enemies. Some of these are countries that say they will drive Israel into the sea. … Foreign aid does not help Israel. It is a net disadvantage. I say to them that “the borrower is servant to the lender” and America should never be the master of Israel and its fate. We should be her friend.’

    He added: “In October, 1981, most of the world and most of the Congress voiced outrage over Israel’s attack on Iraq and their nuclear development. I was one of the few who defended her right to make her own decisions on foreign policy and to act in her own self-interest.”

    Says Michael Scheuer, the former CIA chief who led the unit tracking Osama bin Laden: “until we accept that our support of the Saudi police state, our military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and Yemen, our support for the Israelis – until we understand that those policies are the main recruitment tools for the enemy, we will never get a grip on the size, the durability and the potential of that enemy.”

    Paul’s foreign policy positions and his call for neutrality toward Israel stem from his awareness of analyses from America’s most experienced terrorism-fighters like Scheuer. Ultimately, I believe Paul sees neutrality as the best route to prioritize America’s economic and security interests, prevent global “blowback” and respect Israel’s sovereignty.

    Is he pro-Iran?

    No. He is concerned that current U.S. foreign policies may aggravate Iran toward asymmetric vengeance, yielding blowback rather than security for America.

    Paul’s preference for leveraging amicable neutrality and aggressive diplomacy tactics toward Iran is often construed as supporting Iran. He simply questions how realistic a nuclear bomb threat is from Iran. He told CBS, “Iran doesn’t have a bomb; there’s no proof, there’s no new information regardless of this recent [U.N.] report.”

    Indeed, the U.N.’s report only relayed vague suspicions regarding Iran’s nuclear projects and an unclassified “Report on Military Power of Iran” from our own Department of Defense dated April 2010 conveys that Iran’s nuclear goals are defensive rather than aggressive in nature: “Iran’s principles of military strategy include deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation and attrition warfare. Iran’s nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy.”

    Paul also believes that “sanctions are the initial step to war” and we risk blowback by levying heavy sanctions on Iran based on our fear of their nuclear projects. Indeed, no sooner had the Obama administration prepared harsh economic sanctions than Iran retaliated by vowing to close the gateway for nearly one fifth of the world’s oil supply—the Strait of Hormuz.

    Misconstruing Paul’s foreign policy views and leveling him with ad-hominem attacks is intellectually intolerant and nonstrategic if we want to defeat Obama’s socialist policies in 2012. For, the GOP nominee (whoever they are) will need the support of the independent voters who embrace Paul’s philosophy. Let’s follow Reagan’s example by setting rumors aside, focusing on our goal, and ceasing groundless attacks on one of our own. Now, will the real Ron Paul please stand up?
    Jan 2, 2012. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NATIONAL DEBT BY YEAR [View instapost]
    Sorry matt

    The country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

    FY2000 Revenue $2.2 trillion; Spending $2.2 trillion

    FY2011 Revenue $2.2 trillion; Spending $3.7 trillion
    Dec 2, 2011. 07:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NATIONAL DEBT BY YEAR [View instapost]
    No computation necessary. The US Treasury provides the National Debt figures on a daily basis. I feel sorry for your students.
    Nov 30, 2011. 09:07 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Upcoming End to QE2 = Much Ado About Nothing [View article]
    Since August 2010

    Unleaded gas prices are up 45%.
    Heating oil prices are up 46%.
    Corn prices are up 71%.
    Soybean prices are up 26%.
    Rice prices are up 13%.
    Pork prices are up 31%.
    Beef prices are up 25%.
    Coffee prices are up 38%.
    Sugar prices are up 48%.
    Cotton prices are up 13%.
    Gold prices are up 42%.
    Silver prices are up 115%.
    Copper prices are up 23%.

    Sep 2, 2011. 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Upcoming End to QE2 = Much Ado About Nothing [View article]
    Your belief in government reported numbers is so touching. Try thinking once in awhile.

    I bet you believe the BLS Birth Death Model is highly accurate.

    Sep 2, 2011. 10:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Upcoming End to QE2 = Much Ado About Nothing [View article]
    PPI up 7.2% in last year
    CPI up 4% YTD

    Real CPI running abopve 7%

    Sep 1, 2011. 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Upcoming End to QE2 = Much Ado About Nothing [View article]
    S&P 500 on April 28 1,360
    S&P 500 Today 1,218

    I think that is a negative 11.5% return.

    NASDAQ also down 11%

    Next question.
    Sep 1, 2011. 10:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment

    Buffett is a shill and a two bit hack talking his book and writing Op-Ed pieces to make people think he's a decent guy. If he wants to pay more taxes he can write a $1 billion check to the US Treasury. I'm guessing he won't.
    Aug 19, 2011. 08:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fears Worse Than Fundamental Conditions [View article]
    Paulson and Berkowitz slaughtered.

    Bank of America - the can't miss stock buy of all time.
    Aug 11, 2011. 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fears Worse Than Fundamental Conditions [View article]


    It always works.
    Aug 11, 2011. 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fears Worse Than Fundamental Conditions [View article]

    Could you have been more wrong?

    Bonds and gold went up dramatically and stocks plunged.

    Sages abound on SL.
    Aug 11, 2011. 12:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fears Worse Than Fundamental Conditions [View article]

    Since the July 21 top, the S&P 500 is down 15% and Hussman is up 4%.

    Only 25% more to go until fair value.

    I'm sure the wise investment sages on this thread all went short a few weeks ago. I love those stories.
    Aug 11, 2011. 10:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment