by Charles Gasparina at the New York Post
“Some of the best minds on Wall Street are obsessing about the theoretical chance that the country might default on its debt if Congress and the president somehow fail to reach an agreement and raise the so-called debt ceiling.
Now, there’s plenty to worry about when it comes to the economy — from rising gas prices and the threat of inflation to the ever-looming possibility that the anemic recovery might peter out.
Make no mistake, default would be terrible. It wouldn’t just make us a basket case like Greece or Portugal; it would probably lead to a global financial collapse that would make the 2008 crisis seem trivial.
But no serious politician in either party is talking about letting the country default on its debt — even if they don’t reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling by mid-May, when our borrowing will hit the current limit.
Yes, even if Republicans play hardball and refuse to let the country borrow more unless President Obama agrees to more budget cuts, things don’t go boom. A combination of tax revenues on hand, savings from furloughing government workers and a few other measures would certainly allow the richest country in the world to meet its obligations.
So we ain’t Greece just yet.
Yet much of Wall Street is treating imminent default as a serious threat to the country’s, if not the world’s, financial well being. In recent weeks, firms like megabank JPMorgan have been scrambling to issue reports predicting apocalypse unless Congress allows the country to borrow ourselves into oblivion.
Somehow, we’re supposed to see unbridled spending as the responsible course. In fact, raising the debt cap to borrow new money to pay off old debt without making other cuts is exactly what led Greece, Portugal and maybe soon Spain and Italy into financial meltdown — as it did to New York City in the 1970s.
Yet reports like the House of Morgan’s ominously titled “The Domino Effect of a US Treasury Technical Default” are being taken seriously among financial analysts and in the financial media — without a necessary discussion of the big banks’ huge vested interest in the Washington status quo.
Start with the politics. Morgan boss Jamie Dimon is a committed Democrat. After haggling with the administration over financial reform, he’s now back in the president’s good graces and has even been invited back to the White House for a briefing. He’s also a pal of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who’s leading Obama’s efforts to get the debt ceiling raised without any of the spending cuts Republicans have demanded.
Oh, and Morgan’s former chief lobbyist, Bill Daley, is now Obama’s chief of staff.
Over at Goldman Sachs, CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn are also well known progressives and past supporters of the president — and Goldman’s economists may even surpass Morgan’s in their advocacy of Obamanomics.
Just recently, Goldman economists told us that if Republicans forced the president to accept a mere $61 billion in budget cuts, the country might slip back into recession.
As one long-time Wall Street economist recently told me, “Goldman is the worst,” but every major firm’s economic department now overtly “supports government spending stimulus and Fed pump-priming” as the path to economic nirvana.
Which gets us closer to the real conflict: The free money the Federal Reserve has printed and the massive government spending under Obama have been very, very good to Wall Street.
The Fed’s policy of printing money and keeping interest rates at rock bottom give the banks access to borrow cheaply to support their operations, even if they don’t lend that cash to Main Street. And Wall Street firms are making real money underwriting bonds, thanks to the stimulus, not to mention the various “green” spending programs that are at the heart of Obamanomics.
Notice that Wall Street is telling us much more about the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling than it is about how two-plus years of super-low interest rates are finally starting to fuel inflation, as seen in the recent spike in commodity prices.
Wall Street surely will give us more doomsday talk as the debt-ceiling debate rages on, but consider the source. After all, some of these same guys not long ago were making huge bets that housing prices would keep rising forever.”
Charles Gasparino is a Fox Business Network senior correspondent and the author of “Bought and Paid For.”
Detroit jury finds Terry Jones guilty of breach of
peace for attempted protest outside Islamic center
The following video is a visual testimony to American Justice, Dearborn style, year 2011, protecting the chorus of peace loving, peaceful, innocent, tolerant Islamists and friends expressing, Dearborn Islam-style their rights of free speech. Dearborn police and a Dearborn court imprisoned Reverend Terry Jones after finding him and a fellow Islamist critic guilty of ‘breach of peace at the Most Holy Sacred Shrine of the Islamist Center of something or another in Dearborn. Please view the peace hummings and chants of Islamists and friends below:
“He wanted to protest outside the Islamic center in Dearborn but the city refused him a permit, fearful that some local Muslim might go nuts as a result. So they put him on trial, with the jury asked to determine what they thought his intent would be in holding the protest. If they thought his aim was peaceful, he’d be found not guilty; if they thought he meant to incite violence, then guilty as charged. Verdict: Guilty. Which means not only was this guy convicted of a speech crime he hadn’t yet committed (a.k.a. prior restraint), but it was only a crime in the first place because of the expected reaction from his opponents. In other words, it’s a de facto codification of the heckler’s veto.
The judge, likely recognizing the problems with the verdict, set Jones’s “peace bond” at all of $1. Jones refused to pay it on principle and was summarily carted off to jail. And now here we are:
The jury had been debating since 3:30 p.m .Thursday. The main issue of the trial was whether or not Jones’ main purpose was to say or do something that would incite violence. They came back with their verdict shortly after 6:30 p.m…
At the start of the trial, prosecutors presented their arguments before the jury. They argue that a protest outside the mosque in Dearborn would pose a significant safety issue. They argued that there is concern from authorities that someone may get hurt…
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad also took the stand to testify in the case. Chief Haddad denied the permit request that would allow the protest to take place outside of the mosque. He testified that there were concerns over safety. Terry Jones also questioned Chief Haddad. He referred to a conversation he had with the Chief and asked him what his impression was after they had met. Chief Haddad responded that Jones was cordial and did not appear to be violent in nature.
In case you’re unclear on whom they expected violence from, a little clarity:
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad testified today that there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters, arguing that his protest could lead to violence if allowed…
Speaking at a McDonald’s restaurant down the street from the courthouse, Jones — who’s defending himself — said he thought the proceedings are going well. And he said the government’s case was weak.
As he spoke, someone drove down Michigan Avenue yelling “Get out of Dearborn, you terrorist!”
I’m dying to hear constitutional lawyers weigh in on this, especially given the case’s superficial resemblance to the famous Skokie ruling. A state can criminalize speech that incites a riot, but those laws typically apply to incidents where a speaker is urging people on his own side to engage in violence. In order to convict him, you need to prove that he intended violence — which was what the Detroit jury looked at here — and also that violence, based on the circumstances, was imminent and likely. But even if you can prove both elements, prosecutors are typically limited to trying people after the protest has actually happened; finding a breach of the peace before the protest has occurred is a totally new one on me.
The other constitutional doctrine at play here, which I’ve written about before, is the “fighting words” exception to the First Amendment, which is an utter travesty and which has been used by the Supreme Court only sparingly over the years precisely because it’s so susceptible to abuse. The money quote from the famous Chaplinsky opinion:
There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.
It’s the heckler’s veto, in other words. If you say something that’s so offensive to someone that, gosh darn it, they just can’t help but be violent in response, you can go to prison for it. Again, though: Typically you have to say something before you can be charged. Jones didn’t get a chance here, thanks to the state’s utter panic in shutting him down before one of the locals could run amok in outrage at whatever he had planned.
And so it came to be that this guy, a bona fide book-burner, is well on his way to free-speech martyrdom thanks to a state judicial system that’s (a) too stupid to realize that it’s brightening his spotlight by trying to silence him and (b) sufficiently concerned about Muslim violence itself that it ends up supporting part of his message. Wouldn’t surprise me if being sent to jail for trying to protest here was his goal all along.
Update: Semi-related: Remember the New Jersey transit worker whom Chris Christie fired for burning a Koran? He’s got his job back, along with $25,000 for his trouble. Quote: “This is the very essence of the First Amendment.”
You can view the video a second time by clicking below, for you may have forgotten who was breaching the peace in Dearborn………a peace unknown until peaceful, peaceloving Islamists arrived:
………but Good for Gays, Dennis Prager notes.
Very, very good for gays, I would say….for now the LEFTY Courts can judge complete and total Marxist equality of two male partners, or two female partners, to that strange and bigotted human institution almost since the “Naked Ape” coiled upright, marriage acknowledging the union of a human male and human female as nature’s ideal basis for a human family. Yes, yes there used to be a lot of group stuff 8,000 plus years ago, but give me a break, folks, that disappeared until the druggy-hippy- bombies of the anti War screwballs returned to the bushes with anyone or everyone.
Lefty Americans don’t seem to give a damn about American children anyway…….only Marxism counts.
Please read the following regarding Defense of Marriage Act defense in court. Obama and his fellow Marxist-Progressive Eric Holder, the chief lawman of the land, refuse to defend in court in their effort to ‘cement’ the Gay, Lesbian, and Trigender and Poligamist vote in the coming 2012 presidential contest. Bigamists too are thrilled with the advances of the Obama-Holder subtrefuge.
Law firm backs out of DOMA defense, partner resigns
After the White House abandoned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the House of Representatives under Speaker John Boehner decided to defend the law and hired an Atlanta law firm, King & Spalding, to represent the government in the appeals. Activists opposed to DOMA vehemently protested the law firm’s decision to take the case, and today King & Spalding dropped the case:
The Atlanta law firm King & Spalding on Monday filed a motion to withdraw from its participation in defending the Defense of Marriage Act, prompting the immediate resignation of high-profile partner Paul Clement.
The law firm had come under fire from gay rights groups when partner Clement agreed to defend the law for Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. The act defines marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.
“Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal,” Robert D. Hays Jr., the firm’s chairman said. “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”
Clement, the head of King & Spalding’s national appellate practice, was to be paid $520 an hour for his representation. He once served as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush. The Obama administration has said it will no longer defend the law in court.
As noted, Clement resigned from the firm after the decision, and he wasn’t quiet at all about why he left:
“Efforts to delegitimize any representation for one side of a legal controversy are a profound threat to the rule of law,” Clement continues. “Much has been said about being on the wrong side of history. But being on the right or wrong side on the merits is a question for clients. When it comes to the lawyers, the surest way to be on the wrong side of history is to abandon a client in the face of hostile criticism.”
In his resignation letter, Clement also takes a direct shot at Hays, the firm’s chairman, who earlier today said through a spokesman that “the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate” — that is, that King & Spalding had not sufficiently looked into the issue before taking the case. “I would never have undertaken this matter unless I believed I had the full backing of the firm,” Clement writes. “I recognized from the outset that this statute [DOMA] implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides.”
“If there were problems with the firms’ vetting process,” Clement says, “we should fix the vetting process, not drop the representation.”
When attorneys represent clients who murder, molest children, or embezzle billions, those who criticize the lawyers usually get lectured on the right to representation for clients and how that serves a higher purpose. Of course, those are criminal defendants at risk of their lives or a substantial chunk thereof from the government. However, the same defense routinely gets applied to personal-injury attorneys and class-action warriors. The same Left that chased King & Spalding, for instance, also helped put John Edwards on the Democratic ticket in 2004 and nearly did it again in 2008.
I have no trouble with criticizing the choice of attorneys in defending the creeps in specific cases, as well as having no trouble with the general defenses of those decisions. Attorneys get hired to represent clients in court, and while individual attorneys are open to criticism for the cases they take, the real issue is usually the cases themselves rather than the attorneys involved. The usual “vetting process” is whether the client can pay the bill, and the House had agreed to a fee of $520 an hour. I’m no lawyer, but that sounds like pretty good money to me, and it’s curious that K&S has suddenly discovered a vetting problem with a client like the House of Representatives and a fee that solid. It sounds a lot more like intimidation than a process-oriented decision.
Plenty of other attorneys and firms will be happy to take the case and the money, and to show just a wee bit more testicular fortitude than Robert D. Hays, Jr.”
“Syria’s army has advanced into the southern city of Deraa, using tanks to support troops amid an intensified effort to curb popular protests.
One activist was quoted as saying that security forces were “firing in all directions”, and at least five people were reportedly killed.
Witnesses also said security forces had opened fire in a suburb of Damascus.
A prominent human rights campaigner said President Bashar al-Assad had launched a “savage war” on protesters.
In the US, the Obama administration is considering imposing sanctions on senior Syrian officials to pressure the regime to stop its violent crackdown, Reuters news agency quoted a government official as saying.
The official said steps taken could include a freeze on assets and a ban on business dealings in the US, but gave no time-scale for the measures.
According to a UN Security Council diplomat, the UK and other European states are circulating a draft statement condemning the violence in Syria.
There have been numerous reports of crackdowns and arrests around Syria over recent days, despite the lifting of an emergency law last week.
Deraa is the city in which protesters, many of whom are now demanding that President Assad step down, began calling for political reforms last month.
It is just a few miles from the border with Jordan, which has been closed by the Syrians, according to Jordan’s information minister.
Opposition activists said Monday morning’s raid on Deraa involved as many as 5,000 soldiers and seven T-55 tanks.
This is a big move by the government, an attempt to sort this out once and for all I think. We’ll now have to see if the protesters are going to be forced back into their homes, or whether they will remain defiant despite what’s happened.
Syria is a one-party state and it has been extremely repressive in the past. The last time this happened was 1982 when there was an insurgency in just one town, Hama. The father of the current president sent in troops and they killed possibly 10,000 people and razed a whole quarter.
That is the history of this government. We may not be seeing anything on that scale but we are seeing something of that character, with troops being moved in to make sure the government remains the government.
The US has suggested that sanctions may be imposed on Syrian regime officials in response to the crackdown, but I don’t think many people in Syria think targeted sanctions will make a difference in a situation like this.
Tanks surrounded the Omari mosque in the old city with snipers firing from rooftops, anonymous opposition sources said. The opposition reported than more than 25 people were killed, and their bodies could not be reached because of the fierce gunfire. This claim could not be independently verified.
One activist, Abdullah al-Harriri, told AFP: “The men are firing in all directions and advancing behind the armour which is protecting them.”
“Electricity is cut off and telephone communications are virtually impossible.”
While there are reports of growing strife among Syrian army officers on different levels – with suggestions that some soldiers have changed sides and are now fighting with the people of Deraa – foreign journalists have been prevented from entering the country, making information hard to verify.
But the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones, in neighbouring Lebanon, says the use of tanks has not been reported elsewhere in Syria, and would mark a scaling up in the government’s response to protests.
It appears from the latest reports that the government is absolutely determined to use force to suppress the protest movement, he says.
A leading Syrian campaigner, Suhair al-Atassi, said authorities had launched “a savage war designed to annihilate Syria’s democrats”.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay denounced the escalation of the crackdown.
“The violence and ongoing repression of activists… indicates that either the government is not serious about those reforms or it is unable to control its own security forces,” she said.
“WAVE OF ARRESTS”
Opposition activists have in recent days been describing Deraa as liberated territory, and two members of parliament and a local religious official resigned on Saturday to protest against the killing of demonstrators there.
In the Damascus suburb of Douma, where there have also been big demonstrations, witnesses said authorities had raided the neighbourhood, firing and making sweeping arrests.
On Sunday, at least 13 people were reported to have been killed in the north-western city of Jabla, while dozens of protesters died on Friday.
The unrest in Jabla on Sunday came after security forces moved into the Sunni old city following a protest there the previous day.
Witnesses said they were still patrolling the streets on Monday morning.
Many in the north-western town of 80,000 are members of the same Alawite minority as President Assad, and they have generally avoided joining protests until now.
The authorities have reacted erratically to demonstrations – sometimes promising to allow more democracy and freedoms, and other times opening fire on demonstrators.
At least 95 people were reported killed across Syria on Friday and a further 12 on Saturday, as mourners came under fire.
In total, more than 350 people have been killed since demonstrations started in March, activists say.
I say: “Since the Vietnam War, a war America became engaged in by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and for very good reasons for America and the Free World at the time, Republicans have been held to a much higher standard of morality, intelligence, accomplishment, looks, speech, honesty, sexual adjustment, competence, preparedness, college grades, general information, biography, heritage, and so on and so on than Democrats……..by the press, the racists, the Marxists, the professors and clerics of the smushy American world of education and Biblical teachings. Evidence is overwhelming……..and just a glance at the dishonest, disingenuous present president’s background will give one enough the evidence to make any and all comparisons embarrassing.
Mr. Obama was completely an incompetent, a pretender, a liar, an isolate, an American hater by education, church affiliation, and training, and that is just a beginning. Worse, he wasn’t brought up through the rigors of growing up through the American maturing systems. He was a political tool who was not black, nor white, but white black, and not black white, who had a black’s gift of tongue and deceit, not uncommon among members of disenfranchised groups or groups who preach disenfranchisement and ‘poor me’ politics. All of the above ‘gifts’ made Mr. Obama a supremely qualified Democrat of our day……the Marxist kind. That he was empty on most qualities of good character didn’t seem to matter.
I am proud Republican conservatives are held to a higher cloud……..and more than a cloud for most……but not all.
The mystery to me and therefore, perhaps, to America is where Donald Trump belongs between Obama and the cloud.
I am thrilled, as I have written previously, at the Trump candidacy…..Unlike my tv hero Charles Kratuhammer, I felt that his announcement to run for president was for real from the very beginning. Occasionally, there is brilliance associated with a certain amount of ignorance in life which might have been my advantage on this one.
But Trump is a Milky Way of American experience compared to this conartist from Chicago, the student of Bill Ayers and Saul Alinsky, and ‘son’ of Jeremiah “Goddamn America” Wright.
Donald Trump MAY…….just MAY become… Margaret Thatcher in pants. Can anyone doubt he is fully, unabashedly, an American? And that his temper rising when he describes America in its present state, is phony like Obama when he talks American? And he is a convert to conservatism, either there as a newby, or on his way…..and there is no greater devotee for good American values than a CONVERT!
Unfortunately, he’s not gay or lesbian, black or Native American or Latino and not even a transgender women voters can feel sorry for……or related to the Kennedys , greasy John Kerry, or part owner of the New York Times or CBS. A Leftwing Jew still might be good for a Democrat, but too many American Christians these days are devoted to Israel to let this blood line pass for a GOP presidential track runner. With new kid Donald playing on our block, who knows?
So here is an article found at RealClearPolitics in the Des Moines Register this morning…..about our Donald and Iowa:
“Donald Trump faces a great deal of skepticism from Republicans in Iowa, who are not yet convinced he’s White House material, according to interviews with more than 20 party leaders from the 10 counties that turned out the most Republican caucusgoers in 2008.
“The consensus is, he’s a little on the joke side,” said Cory Adams, 34, chairman of the Story County Republicans, after a meeting last week with 30 Republicans. No one at the meeting responded to Adams’ invitation to speak on Trump’s behalf.
Suzan Stewart, 59, who was on the Woodbury County GOP central committee until January, said: “I think everyone thinks he’s on a publicity scheme. I don’t think he’s proven his conservative credentials at all.”
Stewart, a corporate lawyer in Sioux City, added: “I’m looking for someone who’s more than a TV star and a casino owner to be my president.”
It’s tradition for Iowa’s county party chairmen to say that all potential presidential candidates are welcome and will get a good listen – and almost all said that about Trump. But just two from the 10 counties did so without voicing reservations.
Still, several are going to Trump’s speech at a GOP fundraising dinner in Des Moines in June – his first visit to Iowa as a potential presidential candidate. They said their perceptions may change after that.
Trump, a flamboyant real estate mogul, expects to move past the caricatures of himself and win over Iowans, he said in a telephone interview last week with The Des Moines Register.
“I will make Iowa a major focus of my campaign,” he said, then quickly added: “If I run.”
When Trumps talks, it sounds like a foregone conclusion he intends to dive into the presidential fray. He said he’ll announce his next step shortly after the May 22 finale of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” a TV program where contestants work to raise money for charities.
Trump also said he intends to spend a lot of time in Iowa, to explain that he’s opposed to the federal health care reform law, to same-sex marriage and to abortion except under limited circumstances, and that he has ideas for reviving the economy.
“Iowa is very, very important to me,” he said. “I love what Iowa represents. It represents to me a work ethic that a lot of other places don’t have. And I think I’ll do well in Iowa because, you know, my ethic is very much like the people of Iowa.”
The skepticism among Iowa GOP county activists mirrors Republicans’ sentiments nationwide.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll found 35 percent of Republican voters nationally view Trump favorably and 32 percent unfavorably, but about 60 percent don’t believe he’s a serious candidate. Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney, whom Republicans said they were most enthusiastic about, had a 42 percent favorability rating.
About polling in general, Trump said: “I spoke to one of the pollsters, who I don’t know. He said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump, if you ever announce that you’re running, your poll numbers are going to go way up. … They think you’re just having a good time, and they think you’re P.T. Barnum,’ he said. ‘And they don’t want to waste their polling vote on you.’ “
While there is undoubtedly some starry-eyed buzz about Trump among the general public in Iowa, die-hard caucusgoers deft at stripping the bark off candidates are coolly analyzing his stances and personal history – the flip-flops (on universal health care, abortion, gay marriage), the divorces (Ivana Trump, Marla Maples), the bankruptcies (Taj Mahal casino, Trump Plaza Hotel, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Trump Entertainment Resorts), the casinos (three in Atlantic City) and the political contributions to big Democrats (Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and others).
Trump, who is now in his sixth year of marriage to Melania, owns a portfolio of skyscrapers, golf courses and beauty pageants, and has made plenty of generous contributions to Republicans, too.
He told the Register his philosophies have changed over the years and now “I’m a very conservative person. Extremely conservative.”
Ames resident A.J. Spiker, 31, a real estate agent and a former chairman of the Story County Republicans, will take some convincing of that.
“It’s not just one piece of baggage with him, it’s a whole lot,” he said. “I don’t see him as a viable candidate.”
Can the billionaire overcome the skepticism? Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia is doubtful.
“He would need a less arrogant, boastful personality and a different political history with far less party and issue flip-flopping,” he said. “To the best of my knowledge, neither is possible with current technology.”
That doesn’t mean Trump, a father of five with two grandchildren and one on the way, couldn’t make some progress in Iowa.
“It just means he’d have to devote days on end to intensely personal Iowa campaigning,” Sabato said.
The top two finishers in the 2008 Republican caucuses, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won, and Romney, who came in second, each spent more than 70 days campaigning in the state.
Trump within the past few months has focused his attention – and money – on one Iowa city: Newton. In October, Trump saw CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” piece about the town, where hundreds of people lost their jobs in 2007 when Whirlpool Corp. bought Maytag and closed the appliance factory there. Trump shelled out cash to help a few hard-hit residents.
“That whole Maytag situation, it’s a disgrace,” he told the Register.
Karen Balderston, president of the Linn County Republican Women, predicts Trump will make a hard push to woo Iowans – sit in living rooms and coffee shops, do the pork-sandwich circuit at the Iowa State Fair and roam rural communities.
“I think I could see him doing that for a time, at least to try to change people’s minds about him,” said Balderston, 62, a farmer in rural Alburnett. “I just don’t know that that would be enough.”
In the modern history of the Iowa caucuses, which dates to 1972, celebrity has failed to persuade voters. No nonpolitician celebrities – defined as people who have become famous through the mass media of TV, film, music and magazines – have won in that era, but a couple have finished in the top three, Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford pointed out.
Religious conservative Pat Robertson, who rose to fame on the televised “700 Club,” captured 24.6 percent support in 1988, but his second-place finish was far behind Bob Dole’s 37.4 percent. Eventual nominee George H.W. Bush, vice president at the time, wound up with 18.6 percent.
Steve Forbes, a celebrity thanks to his wealth and Forbes magazine, took second in 2000 with 30.5 percent to George W. Bush’s 41 percent.
Support for candidates can remain highly fluid until caucus night. Before the Iowa caucuses in January 2008, the Register’s Iowa Poll in October 2007 had Romney leading the Republican field, with Fred Thompson second and Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani fighting for third. By December, Huckabee led, with Romney second and Giuliani third – but more than 50 percent of likely caucusgoers said they could still change their mind about which candidate to support. On caucus night, Huckabee and Romney finished first and second. Giuliani, who spent comparatively little time campaigning in Iowa, fell to sixth.”
A PS Comment: I forgot to mention that I suspect Donald is a good saleman…….a very effective salesman……a salesman who know what he wants!
Go D O N A L D……that’s a D O N A L D! Shake them all up!
And if I were advisor to Donald, I’d tell him to contact Paul Ryan asap, and secure him at whatever cost it Might take to be his running mate……a great, great choice for veep.
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by John Hinderaker at PowerLine:
“In the Telegraph, Liam Halligan, chief economist at Prosperity Capital Management, writes:
America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?
There is now, according to S&P, “at least a one in three chance” that American debt will be downgraded from its top-notch status over the next two years – which would be a first in modern times.
A New York Times/CBS News opinion poll has also suggested the US public is now more economically pessimistic than at any time since President Barack Obama’s first two months in office in early 2009 – when the country was still caught in the “Great Recession”.
Which means the public is catching on. Halligan doesn’t think the country’s mountain of debt is being portrayed accurately:
Total debts matter even more than annual deficits and on that score America is almost uniquely “in the hole” – with liabilities, including Medicare, Medicaid and social security obligations, amounting to around $75,000bn (£45,000bn), or a stunning five times annual GDP.
It is a testament to the delusion – and plain dishonesty – which surrounds America’s fiscal debate that this figure is not more widely cited. Almost all US politicians and pundits spout the official line that sovereign debts are 59pc of national income, rather than 500pc.
I disagree with that assessment. Entitlement commitments are not debts. Congress can wipe them out simply by repealing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Treasury bonds are debts; entitlement promises are not.
That is what the current debate is largely about. The Ryan plan seeks to preserve entitlement programs by reforming them. Democrats oppose any change and pretend to believe that those programs can continue intact; but no one who can add and subtract actually believes that. If entitlement programs are not reformed so that they become sustainable, they must inevitably be repealed. That is the choice: reform or repeal.
Personally, I would be satisfied with repeal. Medicaid would survive in a more limited form, and Medicare would be folded into Medicaid so that it would be available only to the indigent. Social Security, likewise, would either be eliminated altogether or means tested, in which case it is just another welfare program. It is not clear why it would make sense for a federal welfare program for the elderly to exist alongside existing state and local welfare programs, so complete repeal probably makes more sense.
You may or may not agree that this scenario is optimal, but it is the only alternative to serious reforms of the sort that Paul Ryan and others have proposed.”
Comment: Obama folks will pretend it is a GOP plot to take over the White House. GOP guys and the gal or two will be two gutless to educate the American voter how serious the crisis is.