As evidenced in his speech yesterday, President Obama continues to blame the upcoming “sequester” cuts on Republicans, while warning of dire consequences:
Surrounding himself with a group of emergency responders whose jobs he said are on the line, Obama said the looming “sequester” of $85 billion would weaken national defense, disaster response, health care, education, energy development, medical research, border security, FBI investigations, federal prosecutions, air traffic control and airport security.
The cuts are “not smart,” “not fair,” and “people will lose their jobs,” Obama said.
However, the sequester was not only partly the White House’s idea, but last year President Obama threatened to veto any efforts to undo the cuts. But don’t take my word for it:
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced plans for 800,000 civilian layoffs due to the sequester that President Obama blames Republicans for but President Obama demanded remain in the spending bill. Nobody in our illustrious press corps seems to be asking Obama why he signed the bill if the sequester is so horrible. I guess the MSM’s too busy getting the scoop on Tiger (breaking: Obama’s got an “amazing touch” on the golf course).
The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.
The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.
The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy’s ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.
Let me get this straight… in September of 2012, the Federal Reserve launched QE3 in order to “rev up the economy.” In the 4th quarter the economy posted a “stunning drop,” and in reaction the first thing the Fed is talking about is doing another round of “quantitative easing”?
In a blog post on the New York Times website, columnist Paul Krugman says no to serving as treasury secretary. Which is clarifying, even though he was never offered the job anyway.
“Yes, I’ve heard about the notion that I should be nominated as Treasury Secretary. I’m flattered, but it really is a bad idea,” writes Krugman.
The first reason Krugman lists is, he admits, that he’s “indeed the World’s Worst Administrator — and that does matter.”
The second reason: “Oh, and there’s not a chance that I would be confirmed.”
But the foremost reason, according to the guy who was never offered the job in the first place, “is that it would mean taking me out of a quasi-official job that I believe I’m good at and putting me into one I’d be bad at.”
I’ll bet the real reason is that Krugman wouldn’t want to be directly accountable when his pet theories that work in New York Times articles and in academia go down in flames after being applied to the real world — the ones that haven’t already, that is.
The push to draft Krugman for Treasury Secretary is that of Danny Glover and MoveOn.org, and nothing screams “great idea” like a proposal from those two.
One thing I’ll give Krugman here: it’s unlikely he would have done a worse job than Turbo Tim.
I couldn’t believe this story wasn’t from the United States, but I’m sure it’ll arrive soon — if it hasn’t already.
A man in Sweden is reportedly getting state disability benefits due to a crippling addiction to heavy metal:
According to the Global Post, 42-year-old Roger Tullgren said he consulted three psychologists to testify his addiction to the Devil’s Rock, which led to him attending over 300 concerts last year, leaving him seemingly unable to hold down a job.
“I have been trying for 10 years to get this classified as a handicap,” he told Swedish newspaper The Local. “I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against.”
According to the report, he now has a part-time job as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Hassleholm, which will be supplemented by disability benefits. Tullgren’s new boss has agreed to let him rock out to Slayer as loud as he wants while scrubbing dishes, so long as it doesn’t disturb guests. He has even agreed to grant Tullgren time off to go to gigs.
I’ve heard there’s treatment available for this addiction in the Yngwie Malmsteen wing of the Betty Fjord clinic in Goteborg, but that won’t happen as long as the Swedish government keeps enabling him.
Sometimes people are diagnosed with the opposite problem — a life completely devoid of heavy metal — and the disorder is usually discovered after a doctor notices the patient’s blood work shows an Iron Maiden deficiency. Sorry…
Tullgren, pictured above, has promised to get medical help with his addiction — unless Sabbath, Pantera, Motorhead or Judas Priest are touring
The Federal Reserve will spend $45 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low. And it set a goal of keeping a key short-term rate near zero until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent.
The policies are intended to help an economy that the Fed says is growing only modestly with 7.7 percent unemployment in November.
The Fed said in a statement issued Wednesday that it will direct the money into long-term Treasurys to replace an expiring bond-purchase program. The new purchases will expand its investment portfolio, which has reached nearly $3 trillion.
If this were to go on a year, that’s $540 billion worth of QE — or “money printing” as we used to say. That’s over $4,000 per household in the United States. And in the end we’ll be back right where we are (or worse)… with some inflation added for flavor.
During the campaign, Joe Biden said that Republicans had voted for a $500 trillion tax cut. Not to be outdone, here’s Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-umb) on how much extra cash was in the public coffers when tax rates were higher during the Clinton administration:
“Remember, we had a $5.6 trillion surplus in 2000 – 2001 from the Clinton administration,” Jackson said in the interview while discussing fiscal cliff negotiations.
However, according to CNN Money, the “Treasury Department reported a budget surplus… of $127 billion” for fiscal year 2001 and a $237 billion surplus for fiscal year 2000.
Jackson Lee is obviously confusing surplus with the national debt, which was $5.6 trillion when Bubba left office. Only in the mind of a lib nutburger can a multi-trillion dollar debt be mistaken for a surplus:
The Pentagon’s budget is getting cut, but that hasn’t hindered the Obama administration’s ability to wage class warfare:
With lawmakers scheduled to return to work on Monday to begin intense discussions before a looming fiscal deadline, Mr. Obama’s aides are trying to harness the passions that returned him to the White House, hoping to pressure Republicans in Congress to accept tax increases on the wealthy. The president’s strategists are turning first to the millions of e-mail addresses assembled by the campaign and the White House.
Already, supporters are being asked to record YouTube videos of themselves talking about the importance of raising taxes on the rich. Aides said those videos would be shared on Facebook and Twitter and would be forwarded to centrist Democrats, as well as to mainstream Republicans, who they hope will break with their Tea Party colleagues.
Obama’s re-election is a clear signal that enough Americans who have been convinced that they are better off if somebody else is made to pay higher taxes. To me this is like being stuck in quicksand and recording a video about how much better off you’ll be if somebody else is pushed in with you. Misery loves company, and the people who capitalize on misery love idiots.
The unions tried to disrupt things, but it looks like that effort will fail big time:
After opening earlier than in previous Thanksgiving weekends, Wal-Mart reported its “best ever Black Friday” sales, including bigger crowds than last year, the company said Friday.
The retailer rolled out deals starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. From 8 p.m. to midnight, Wal-Mart processed nearly 10 million register transactions, handling 5,000 items a second, the company said. Mmore than 22 million shopped in Wal-Mart’s stores during the four-hour period.
Last year, the chain opened at 10 p.m.
More than 1.3 million employees are staffing the holiday weekend, Wal-Mart U.S. chief executive Bill Simon said in a statement.
Protesters made an effort though. I can’t help but wonder if the union sent those protesters out to picket in favor of a “living wage” while paying them minimum wage and offering zero benefits. They’ve been known to do that. Look for the union irony label.
I guess one thing Big Labor can consider a resounding success is this: Nobody was able to buy Twinkies at Wal-Mart today. That’ll teach ’em!
Because he’s worked such wonders with the U.S. economy. By now Obama’s probably convinced the leadership in Myanmar to sink a few billion into “clean energy” factories that will end up serving as stimulus for Burmese bankruptcy attorneys.
Obama was welcomed into the country by a hideous mural. I believe this piece is titled “Ear Leader”:
Update: If Bush did this it would be the top story on the nightly newscasts tonight highlighting how he’s embarrassing us overseas, but with Obama it’ll barely warrant a mention.