Monday, July 4, 2011

Government By Checks and Imbalances! Obama Out Of The Closet!

All's Well That Ends Well!

The matter of why the Savannah News was not publishing my LTE's for the last seven or so months has been resolved. After lengthy discussions with the publisher, Michael Traynor, it was determined, all of a sudden, the paper was not receiving what I had been sending due to an alleged computer glitch. How that came to pass is not known but in the 4th of July issue the paper restarted publishing some of my missives.

Once Michael was aware of the problem he was very responsive as were their IT folks.

I, in turn, informed them I had withdrawn the stick pin from my Tom Barton Doll and wished them and their staff a Happy 4th.

All's Well That End's Well.
Is bribery the basis of Obama's foreign policy. I always thought a nation's foreign policy should rest on principles. Principles can last forever or at least until worthless money bribes run out? (See 1 below.)
Change often comes at a very heavy and even dangerous price and particularly so when that change comes at the hands of a dangerous president.

Government by Checks and Imbalances!(See 2, 2a and 2b below.)
What's happening to the American economy by Martin Feldstein. (See 3 below.)
Obama's rhetoric. Behind the words we find deeper meanings. (See 4 below.)
Jeremy Siegel, a top notch Wharton Professor, has been right more times than wrong and has made some excellent juncture call. He has always been a devotee of dividends paying stocks and reiterates that view. (See 5 below.)
Sent to me by a concerned, learned and well traveled friend and fellow memo reader.

It is about Obama coming out of the Muslim Brotherhood closet and bringing Hillary with him. No doubt Bill, is still in there with a flashnlight looking for those virgins. (See 6 below.)
This is not new. I believe I even posted it months ago but it is worth repeating. (See 7 below.)
1)US bailout for Palestinian economy – only if Abbas drops UN plan

The Palestinian Authority is broke. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who has been credited with performing an economic miracle, appealed to "donors and our Arab brothers" Sunday, June 3, for urgent assistance after being forced to halve civil servants' July wages. Donors have stumped up only $330 of the total of $970 pledged for 2011. "If the crisis continues," said Fayyad, more austerity measures will be necessary - meaning more wage cuts and dismissals in August.

The Palestinian economy is suffering in the backlash from European recessions – donors have dropped out or cut back on aid - and the political unrest in hitherto supportive Arab countries, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Tunisia which has virtually immobilized their economies. The only three countries able to rescue the Palestinian Authority from bankruptcy, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Turkey, are invested elsewhere, unwilling to come forward – or both.

The Saudis are channeling vast amounts of cash to Pakistan and Jordan in support of the league of conservative Sunni Muslim regimes they are fashioning as a bulwark against Iranian expansion and its nuclear threat and as a counter-trend to the Obama administration's sponsorship of the "Arab Spring."

Sunday, July, 3, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz guaranteed to the Hashemite monarch visiting him in Jeddah: "We will stand with all our potential by Jordan to enable it to face all challenges out of the belief that what affects one country reflects on the other."

The Saudis have therefore hauled Jordan back from the brink of bankruptcy and given the neighboring kingdom a financial cushion – estimated at $1 billion for July – with one major string attached: a commitment to line up behind Saudi policies instead of obeying Washington.

To obtain even the smallest crumbs of Saudi largesse, the Ramallah-based Palestinian government would be expected to follow Jordan's lead and break away from America's Middle East orientation. This PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is deeply reluctant to do.
Turkey, which under the rule of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has prospered – its economy registering 11 percent growth in the last quarter – walks in step with US President Barack Obama in the Middle East and will not advance a cent to the Palestinians without White House approval.

On this front, Abbas is also facing a squeeze.
Sources report a secret White House emissary visited Jerusalem and Ramallah last week to inform both governments that Obama will not take no for an answer to his invitation to send delegates to Washington to prepare the opening ceremony for revived Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Abbas was told direct talks with Israel was his only option; he must therefore abandon his plan to have the UN vote to approve an independent Palestinian state within 1967 boundaries at the September General Assembly.

Nothing was said about ongoing US financial assistance.
But Abbas knows perfectly well that if he sticks to his UN initiative, the US Congress will freeze the aid that sustains Palestinian projects on the West Bank, keeps the PA administration solvent and provides jobs. The financial situation in Ramallah will go from bad to worse. He therefore understands that salvation for the Palestinian cause at this stage is financial rather than political and must be sought in Riyadh, Washington or Ankara – not the United Nations.
2)Obama's Inalienables
By Paul Kengor

Each time President Obama ventures to mention America's inalienable rights, I get emails. Last week was no exception. "Did you see Obama left out 'Creator' again?" began this one.

The most recent occasion was a June 17 presidential statement in response to a U.N. resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. Obama stated that "LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights -- and entitled to the same protections -- as all human beings."

I can imagine why Obama and his speechwriters excluded the Creator in this statement: To say that "LGBT persons," meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, had inalienable rights is one thing. After all, in the Declaration of Independence, the poetic and profound political manifesto that lists such rights, Thomas Jefferson affirmed that "all" human beings are endowed with "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

I take the Founders at their word. "All" means "all." And this, wrote Jefferson, with the hearty approval of John Adams, Ben Franklin, and the entirety of the Continental Congress, is a truth that is "self-evident."

No one should argue that "LGBT persons" don't have inalienable rights.

And who endows those rights? The Creator does.

President Obama and his speechwriters and staff surely knew that to bring the Creator into this statement on sexual orientation would generate a firestorm over origins -- from the origins of man and marriage to the origins of sexual orientation, from the ancient words of Genesis to the modern text of the Defense of Marriage Act.

That said, this is far from the first time that President Obama has been selective with inalienable rights and, more tellingly, with their preeminent author. As CNS News reported, this was the third time this year alone that Obama has used the language of "inalienable rights" but omitted the "Creator."

In fact, this tendency by Obama began literally at the very start -- first minutes even -- of his presidency. When delivering his inaugural address, Obama said that that "all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." Here, our new president seemed to borrow from both the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, the latter of which appealed to the slogan of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, and fraternity.

What to make of all of this? It's hard to say, but it's surely no accident.

Presidents have speechwriters. They write speeches with carefully crafted words that the president himself believes and wants to say. Those speeches go through an exhaustive process of editing, reviewing, and approval by key players inside the White House. To say they are vetted is an understatement. Exclusions like "Creator" and "life" from America's sacred inalienable rights (or "unalienable," which was used in the final draft of the Declaration) do not happen causally -- or shouldn't happen casually.

In truth, one cannot separate our Declaration's inalienable rights from their Creator. That would be a significant transgression, whether intentional or not. Jefferson and the Founders understood this, knowing that Americans must realize that these inherent rights come not from man or government but from God. They are the basic "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to which human beings are entitled. Thus, men and governments shouldn't mess with them.

Is Obama's repeated failure to overtly link the two an attempt to separate them in a deeper, metaphorical sense? Or is he simply assuming that they're intertwined, with no need to openly acknowledge God as the source of the rights? I don't think we can assume the latter, especially given Obama's consistent omission of the source, but -- to be fair -- I also can't say for certain.

Nonetheless, something is going on here. And this much I can say:

President Obama and his administration pride themselves as modern progressives. The progressive project, for 100 years and counting, has been about reshaping and redefining the very essence of American political thinking as expressed by our Founders and in our founding documents. The Constitution itself has been the obvious target. Enlightened and anointed progressives eagerly reinterpret the Constitution constantly, declaring it a "living document" subject to their unceasing, always-evolving "changes" and "reform." They have quite literally discovered "rights" that simply are not there. For liberals/progressives, especially those of a secular bent, the newest "brilliant" take on the Constitution is as recent as the latest twaddle at the faculty lounge.

So, given their liberties with the Constitution, why wouldn't progressives dare do the same with the Declaration of Independence?

With Obama's statements, are we witnessing larger symptoms of a progressive push to reshape and redefine the Declaration's inalienable rights and, even more fundamentally, their very source? Bear in mind, that source is a far higher authority than Jefferson. Are we observing an attempt to remake these rights in the progressives' own image, with the Creator the first thing that must go?

Progressivism is nothing more than moral relativism at the political level. Truth is never constant, with no fixed starting point, whether (theologically) in Sacred Scripture or (politically) in sacred political documents like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Truth is determined not by an absolute, single authority but by the individual -- or, here, progressive individuals en masse -- who are always marching and ever-advancing toward evolving truths revealed somewhere down the road. There is no goalpost set in concrete. Progressives themselves cannot tell you their ultimate endgame; they will know when we get there -- maybe. Actually, because they are constantly progressing, there really can be no goalpost or endgame. (Click here for my previous article on this subject.)

Is this an exasperating ideology? Oh, you bet it is. And you don't want it applied to any political system, particularly this splendid republic conceived by our Founders.

What does this mean as America prepares again to mark the Declaration of Independence? Does it mean our "inalienables" -- or, more so, their ultimate source, their fountainhead -- is not so self-evident, or at least subject to reinterpretation?

To some of our citizens of a "progressive" mind, yes, I'm afraid it does. Is our president among them? I fear so.

And I'm even more afraid that few Americans know, understand, or care.

Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism and the newly released Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.

2a)Obama and the Second American Revolution
By Bruce Walker

On July 4th we should remember that our revolution was not a conflict to enshrine human liberty. Britain, not America, promulgated the 1628 Petition of Rights. The British Bill of Rights (1689) preceded our Bill of Rights by a century. British books like Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776) and John Locke's Two Treatises of Government (1689) helped teach us how ordered liberty should work.

On Independence Day it is independence we celebrate. An arrogant government in London had treated us less as countrymen and more as subjects. The defining event came on January 29, 1774, when the great polymath Benjamin Franklin was ridiculed and humiliated before the Privy Council in London as he tried to reason with lesser men whose physical proximity to power meant more than Franklin's genius and goodwill. Geographical concentration of power kills freedom.

Why has America been the world's champion of freedom? It is not because of theoretical rights (the Soviet Constitution was full of explicit rights). Our freedom exists in part because of a heritage of freedom we brought from England, Holland, and Scotland. But our system of sovereign states has been vital to preserving liberty. Why?

State legislators must heed voters because they are so close to the voters and live not in state capitals but throughout the state. Members of the House of Representatives were supposed to be that popular check on federal abuse of citizens, but House members have about 750,000 constituents. They live in Washington; they build war chests; their staff works overtime to do favors for constituents. The net effect is that those federal politicians closest to the people can largely ignore the folks back home and heed the winds of Washington.

Our federal district is the practical home of almost everyone who is anyone in the federal government. It is dramatically more liberal than any state. While conservatives outnumber liberals in every state of the union, according to Gallup, only 18% of those in Washington are conservatives while 41% of Washingtonians are liberals. Survey USA reveals that in New York City, perhaps the heart of non-governmental liberalism, liberals outnumber conservatives by the relatively modest 25% to 20%. Our national capital is wildly farther to the left than anywhere else in the nation. Why? The left loves power and despises any decentralization of power, to people or to states. The "evolution" of the Constitution has been a two-century erosion of state sovereignty to the benefit of a centralized national bureaucracy.

When states have the sovereign power which the Constitution describes then politicians who tax too much or regulate too much or engage in egregious bigotries, then the marketplace of a federal system strips those states of people, creativity, and hard work. The just concluded census revealed, again, that millions of Americans have voted with their feet.

Our nation has reached a pivotal point. Conservatives are fighting a peaceful, political Second American Revolution. Last November Republicans made huge gains in state governments. Rather than wait passively for the central hives of the left to form and then attack, bold Americans like Scott Walker and Chris Christie have waged a policy war against public employee unions. In state after state, Republicans holding fast to their principles are winning legislative battles and showing big labor to be a gluttonous and gutless foe. The nostalgic cries of big bosses ganging up on impoverished unions rings hollow in the ears of most Americans (ignore manufactured polling data to the contrary). Even worse, the NLRB is fighting to prevent Boeing for locating some production operations in more business-friendly South Carolina instead of Washington State. That is, quite simply, fascism.

Conservatives are also fighting hard for the rights of the unborn. This was always, before Roe v. Wade, an issue of state law and never a constitutional issue. The pro-life laws passed these days show the comedy of treating abortion differently from homicide or rape, which are also issues of state law. Arizona has banned racially based abortion; will the left defend prenatal genocide? Nebraska banned abortion after 20 weeks because of fetal pain; will PETA deny that a fetus tortured to death is, at least, an animal? The busybody left wants gruesome warnings on cigarettes obligatory, so how can it but oppose young women being honestly told about abortions?

Arizona now joined by several other states in passing immigration laws to do the job that the federal government is legally obliged to do. A number of states, including Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, South Carolina, and Alabama, have enacted new laws requiring voter identification to vote. Democrats oppose these anti-fraud messages for the usual made-up reasons, but Republicans in states are not backing down.

Twenty-nine states are suing the federal government in a challenge to the constitutionality of ObamaCare. It is likely that after the 2011 off-year election and 2012 election that more states may join this litigation.

What if conservatives took the next logical step in this peaceful revolution? What if state legislatures did what the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures did when the Alien & Sedition Acts were passed and declare federal statutes which violated their reading of the Constitution as void? The federal judiciary, a virtual equivalent of the British nobility in 1776, simply granted itself the right to interpret the Constitution. What if a clear majority of these state legislatures passed resolutions which created a power of the states to nullify any federal action which violated the Tenth Amendment?

The question is not academic. The dull and heavy hand of central power is crushing our nation. The political war of independence is for the independence of the vital check of sovereign states. If we lose that battle, then we have lost the war.

2b)Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job
The stimulus is now causing the economy to shed jobs.

When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt.

The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.

Again, this is the verdict of Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisors, which is about as much of a home-field ruling as anyone could ever ask for. In truth, it’s quite possible that by borrowing an amount greater than the regular defense budget or the annual cost of Medicare, and then spending it mostly on Democratic constituencies rather than in a manner genuinely designed to stimulate the economy, Obama’s “stimulus” has actually undermined the economy’s recovery — while leaving us (thus far) $666 billion deeper in debt.

The actual employment numbers from the administration’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent when the “stimulus” was being debated. It has since risen to 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, the national debt at the end of 2008, when Obama was poised to take office, was $9.986 trillion (see Table S-9). It’s now $14.467 trillion — and counting.

All sides agree on these incriminating numbers — and now they also appear to agree on this important point: The economy would now be generating job growth at a faster rate if the Democrats hadn’t passed the “stimulus.”
3)What’s Happening to the US Economy?
By Martin Feldstein

CAMBRIDGE – The American economy has recently slowed dramatically, and the probability of another economic downturn increases with each new round of data. This is a sharp change from the economic situation at the end of last year – and represents a return to the very weak pace of expansion since the recovery began in the summer of 2009.

Economic growth in the United States during the first three quarters of 2010 was not only slow, but was also dominated by inventory accumulation rather than sales to consumers or other forms of final sales. The last quarter of 2010 brought a welcome change, with consumer spending rising at a 4% annual rate, enough to increase total real GDP by 3.1% from the third quarter to the fourth. The economy seemed to have escaped its dependence on inventory accumulation.

This favorable performance led private forecasters and government officials to predict continued strong growth in 2011, with higher production, employment, and incomes leading to further increases in consumer spending and a self-sustaining recovery. A one-year cut of the payroll tax rate by two percentage points was enacted in order to lock in this favorable outlook.

Unfortunately, the projected recovery in consumer spending didn’t occur. The rise in food and energy prices outpaced the gain in nominal wages, causing real average weekly earnings to decline in January, while the continued fall in home prices reduced wealth for the majority of households. As a result, real personal consumer expenditures rose at an annual rate of just about 1% in January, down from the previous quarter’s 4% increase.

That pattern of rising prices and declining real earnings repeated itself in February and March, with a sharp rise in the consumer price index causing real average weekly earnings to decline at an annual rate of more than 5%. Not surprisingly, survey measures of consumer sentiment fell sharply and consumer spending remained almost flat from month to month.

The fall in house prices pushed down sales of both new and existing homes. That, in turn, caused a dramatic decline in the volume of housing starts and housing construction. That decline is likely to continue, because nearly 30% of homes with mortgages are worth less than the value of the mortgage. This creates a strong incentive to default, because mortgages in the US are effectively non-recourse loans: the creditor may take the property if the borrower doesn’t pay, but cannot take other assets or a portion of wage income. As a result, 10% of mortgages are now in default or foreclosure, creating an overhang of properties that will have to be sold at declining prices.

Businesses have responded negatively to the weakness of household demand, with indices maintained by the Institute of Supply Management falling for both manufacturing and service firms. Although large firms continue to have very substantial cash on their balance sheets, their cash flow from current operations fell in the first quarter. The most recent measure of orders for nondefense capital goods signaled a decline in business investment.

The pattern of weakness accelerated in April and May. The relatively rapid rise in payroll employment that occurred in the first four months of the year came to a halt in May, when only 54,000 new jobs were created, less than one-third of the average for employment growth in the first four months. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 9.1% of the labor force.

The bond market and share prices have responded to all of this bad news in a predictable fashion. The interest rate on 10-year government bonds fell to 3%, and the stock market declined for six weeks in a row, the longest bearish stretch since 2002, with a cumulative fall in share prices of more than 6%. Lower share prices will now have negative effects on consumer spending and business investment.

Monetary and fiscal policies cannot be expected to turn this situation around. The US Federal Reserve will maintain its policy of keeping the overnight interest rate at near zero; but, given a fear of asset-price bubbles, it will not reverse its decision to end its policy of buying Treasury bonds – so-called “quantitative easing” – at the end of June.

Moreover, fiscal policy will actually be contractionary in the months ahead. The fiscal-stimulus program enacted in 2009 is coming to an end, with stimulus spending declining from $400 billion in 2010 to only $137 billion this year. And negotiations are under way to cut spending more and raise taxes in order to reduce further the fiscal deficits projected for 2011 and later years.

So the near-term outlook for the US economy is weak at best. Fundamental policy changes will probably have to wait until after the presidential and congressional elections in November 2012.

Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard, was Chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers and is former President of the National Bureau for Economic Research.
4) Obama's Misleading Vocabulary
By Lurita Doan

Independence Day provides all Americans with an opportunity to celebrate the many freedoms that make our country both great and unique. Our Declaration of Independence was breathtaking in scope and written in precise, plain, unequivocal language. When read in townships across the Colonies, crowds listened in hushed silence and then broke out in applause when the reading was complete. Our Founding Fathers felt no need to dilute or cloak their intentions to form a government.

As you celebrate the 4th, it might be appropriate to contrast the straightforward language of our founders and other great American leaders with the weasel words now emerging from Washington, and all too frequently, from President Obama, who prefers euphemism-laden, convoluted, pixilated flummery.

A quick review of Obama's speeches reveals his most common euphemisms seem to show a pattern of deception, obfuscation and misdirection. In President Obama's lexicon, words have different meanings; to decipher the message and understand what the President is saying requires a special Washington Dictionary. Here are some samples from President Obama’s special dictionary:

• Investment is the president's word for government spending. When he says we need to invest more, he really means he wants to increase spending on some special project. Obama knows that the word “investment” is reassuring to most Americans and implies that at some point in time a good investment will return a decent profit. But, no return is envisioned with Obama's "investments". In fact, to Obama all government spending is an investment.

• Millionaires and Billionaires – Obama often talks about the need to increase taxes on the millionaires and billionaires. Of course, what he really means is higher taxes on any family making more than $250,000. Obama’s math skills must be sufficient to understand that there is a huge mathematical difference between 250,000and a billion, but he chooses to ignore the difference to better stoke class resentment, all while hoping that average Americans are too stupid to understand.

• Working People is invoked to demonstrate commitment to average Americans. Of course, what Obama really means is that he supports the primacy of unions over other American workers. According to Obama’s definition, the vast majority of Americans, including small business owners, are not working people at all, regardless of how many thousands of hours they work. In Obama’s dictionary, only union members are working people and deserving of special preferences and consideration.

• Spending Reductions in the Tax Code means more tax increases. President Obama likes to wear the mantle of spending cuts, but lacks the courage to call a tax increase what it really is.

• Paying Their Fair Share is the president's phrase for wealth redistribution. What Obama really means is that entrepreneurs and other successful business owners are not paying high enough taxes, and that all of the money they earn should be "contributed" to the government for wealth redistribution to those that Obama considers worthy. Of course, Obama’s supporters, the bulk of whom do not seem to pay income tax, are, according to this definition, already paying a fair amount of tax (zero). It is the rest of America that is not paying their “fair share”. Obama offers no criteria to what is fair or not, so that is why he seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to require 20% of American to pay 78% of the taxes and then criticize them for not paying their "fair share".

• Green Jobs and Green Economy these are the jobs that President Obama believes are more important and more valuable than any others, even if creating a "green job" that pays $40,000 actually costs the taxpayers $300,000 to create. Moreover, if creating one magical "green job" results in the loss of 10 or more jobs that were dependent upon cheap, reliable power, that too is of no consequence. A green job has magical properties that do not conform to economic principles.

• Unprecedented. Perhaps Obama's favorite word, which he uses to describe most of his actions. This word has no meaning to Obama, but reflects his belief that he is so special that everything he does or says must be admired. Obama is so, fundamentally, unaware of American history that he thinks that the challenges and issues that he faces are unique. (Move over George Washington!)

Unfortunately, our President seems unaware that the dangers of repeated, euphemistic bastardization of the English language erodes his credibility. Increasingly, Americans know they cannot trust what Obama says.

And so, President Obama is likely to tell Americans:

"In response to an unprecedented challenge we must provide more aid to working people by increasing investments in green jobs. We will implement savings in the tax code that will only impact millionaires and billionaires who are not currently paying their fair share".

And yet what Obama really means is:

My policies have failed. The stimulus was a disaster, and the country is broke. We need more money to keep the Unions, and my special constituents who pay very little or no taxes, happy, so I need everyone else to pay more, otherwise I won't get re-elected.

Americans have a reputation for being straightforward and for plain speaking and are only slowly becoming aware of the vague, expansive, and misleading words in President Obama's unique dictionary. Our Founding Fathers said: "we hold these truths to be self-evident". With Obama, none of his words are self-evident.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5)Wharton School's Siegel: Buy Dividend-Paying Stocks Now
By Julie Crawshaw

In a world of near-zero interest rates, the best place to find yield right now is old-fashioned dividend-paying stocks, says Wharton School's Jeremy Siegel.

Siegel notes pessimists worry the stock market has "gotten ahead of itself."

"If anything, the market is behind itself," Siegel told a Canadian Imperial Band of Canada meeting, The Fiscal Times reports.

According to Siegel, author of “Stocks For The Long Run,” stocks have never been so favorably priced as they are in the current financial environment of ultra-low interest rates.

Siegel demonstrated to his audience that U.S. stocks sorted by high dividends or low price/earnings (P/E) ratios generated outsized returns for investors during the so-called "lost decade" of 2000 to 2010.

While the highest P/E stocks (the worst 20 percent of the S&P 500) would have lost 5.67 percent a year, the lowest P/E quintile of stocks would have returned 9.58 percent.

Similarly, the lowest quintile of dividend-paying stocks lost 2.82 percent while the highest-yielding stocks returned 5.08 percent.
6)The Tipping Point: Embracing the Muslim Brotherhood
By Frank j. gaffney, jr.

The Obama administration chose the eve of the holiday marking our Nation's birth to acknowledge publicly behavior in which it has long been stealthily engaged to the United States' extreme detriment: Its officials now admit that they are embracing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic). That would be the same international Islamist organization that has the destruction of the United States, Israel and all other parts of the Free World as its explicit objective.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to downplay the momentousness of this major policy shift by portraying it during a stopover in Budapest as follows: "The Obama administration is continuing the approach of limited contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood that have existed on and off for about five or six years." In fact, as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy points out in a characteristically brilliant, and scathing, dissection of this announcement, Team Obama's official, open legitimation of the Brotherhood marks a dramatic break from the U.S. government's historical refusal to deal formally with the Ikhwan.

To understand why the Obama administration's embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood is so ominous, consider three insights into the organization's nature and ambitions:

First, here's the MB's creed: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." (Source: Husain Haqqani and Hillel Fradkin, "Islamist Parties: Going Back to the Origins.")

Second, here's the Ikwhan's mission in America:

"A kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, sabotaging its miserable house with their [i.e., Americans'] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." (Source: Muslim Brotherhood's "Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goals of the Group," entered into evidence by the Department of Justice in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-finance trial. Archived at the NEFA Foundation.)

Third, here are excerpts from the Muslim Brotherhood's "phased plan" for accomplishing that mission:

Phase One: Discreet and secret establishment of leadership.

Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities. It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage. It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government.

Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.

Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.

Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united. (Source: Undated Muslim Brotherhood Paper entitled, "Phases of the World Underground Movement Plan." Archived at Shariah: The Threat to America.)

In short, the Muslim Brotherhood is deadly serious about waging what it calls "civilization jihad" against the United States and other freedom-loving nations in order to secure their submission to the Islamic totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine called shariah. The MB's goal in this country is to replace our Constitution with theirs, namely the Koran. And they regard this task as one commanded by none other than Allah. (For more details on the nature, ambitions and modus operandi of the Ikhwan, see the Team B II Report, Shariah: The Threat to America). To this end, as Andy McCarthy notes in the aforementioned essay, the MB's senior official, Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi, has effectively declared war on the United States.

Were there any doubt that legitimacy is what the Ikhwan is taking away from this gambit, consider this assessment from an expert in Islamic groups, Ammar Ali Hassan, cited by Associated Press: "...The Brotherhood will likely try to float ‘conditions' or ‘reservations' on any dialogue to avoid a perception that it is allowing the U.S. to meddle in Egypt's internal affairs. But in the end, the talks will give a boost to the group, he said, by easing worries some in the Brotherhood and the public have of a backlash if the Brotherhood becomes the dominant player in Egypt. ‘Now the Muslim Brotherhood will not have to worry [about] moving forward toward taking over power,' Hassan said."

Unfortunately, the U.S. government's dangerous outreach to the Ikhwan is not confined to Egypt but is systematically practiced inside the United States, as well. For example:

Muslim-American organizations identified in court by the U.S. government - and, in many cases, by the Muslim Brotherhood itself - as MB fronts are routinely cultivated by federal, state and local officials. Representatives of homeland security, Pentagon, intelligence and law enforcement agencies frequently meet with and attend functions sponsored by such groups.

MB-associated individuals are sent as our country's "goodwill ambassadors" to foreign Muslim nations and communities. MB-favored initiatives to insinuate shariah into the United States - notably, the Ground Zero Mosque and shariah-compliant finance, conscientious objector status for Muslim servicemen and stifling of free speech in accordance with shariah "blasphemy" laws - are endorsed and/or enabled by official institutions.

A blind eye is turned to the presence across the country of shariah-adherent mosques that incubate jihadism. A peer-reviewed study published last month in Middle East Quarterly determined that 81% of a random sample of 100 mosques exhibited such qualities - constituting an infrastructure for recruitment, indoctrination and training consistent with the Brotherhood's phased plan.

Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, individuals with family and other ties to the Muslim Brotherhood have actually given senior government positions. The most recent of these to come to light is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin (who also happens to be former Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife).

It seems a safe bet that, as Team Obama legitimates Muslim Brotherhood organizations and groups overseas, it will feel ever less constrained about further empowering their counterparts in the United States. If so, the MB will come to exercise even greater influence over what our government does and does not do about the threat posed by shariah, both abroad and here.

The absolutely predictable effect will be to undermine U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East and further catalyze the Brotherhood's campaign to insinuate shariah in the United States and, ultimately, to supplant the Constitution with Islamic law. Consequently, the Obama administration's efforts to "engage" the Muslim Brotherhood are not just reckless. They are wholly incompatible with the President's oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" and the similar commitment made by his subordinates.

These officials' now-open embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a geo-strategic tipping point, one that must catalyze an urgent national debate on this question: Does such conduct violate their oath of office by endangering the Constitution they have undertaken to uphold?

At a minimum, such a debate would afford a much-needed opportunity to examine alternatives to the administration's present course - as well as the real risks associated with that its intensifying pursuit. For instance, one of the most astute American authorities on the Middle East in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, Dr. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in a posting at The American blog yesterday:

"Rather than embrace the Brotherhood, the Obama administration should be seeking to ensure that the group cannot dominate Egypt. Most analysts agree that the Muslim Brotherhood is by far the best organized group in Egypt, but that it only enjoys perhaps 25 or 30 percent support. The secular opposition remains weak and fractured. If the Obama administration wishes to remain engaged in Egypt's future and shape the best possible outcome for both U.S. national security and the Egyptian people, it should be pushing for electoral reform to change Egypt's dysfunctional system to a proportional representation model in which the secular majority can form a coalition to check a Muslim Brotherhood minority for which true democracy is anathema."

The same goes for the enemy within. Instead of relying upon - let alone hiring - Muslim Brotherhood operatives and associates, the United States government should be shutting down their fronts, shariah-adherent, jihad-incubating "community centers" and insidious influence operations in America. By recognizing these enterprises for what they are, namely vehicles for fulfilling the seditious goals of the MB's civilization jihad, they can and must be treated as prosecutable subversive enterprises, not protected religious ones under the U.S. Constitution.

Let the debate begin.
7).Fast Facts About Dr. Charles Krauthammer, MD

1. Born: March 13,1950
2. Birthplace: New York City, New York
3. Raised in Montreal, Canada
4. Attended Mc Gill University and Harvard Medical School
5. 1972 diving accident left him paralyzed from the neck on down.
6. Directed psychiatric research for the Carter administration
7. Began writing career in 1981 with The New Republic
8. Helped develop the "Reagan Doctrine in the '80's."
9. Appointed to Presidential Council on Bioethics in 2002

Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the Center for the American Experiment.

Summary of his comments:

1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask.The taking down of the Clinton dynasty was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.

2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton. He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!

3. Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can't be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada .

4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada .. God forbid!

5. He has surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can't work in the long run. Obama is not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of revolution . He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left . Again, watch what he DOES, not what he says.

6. Obama doesn't really see himself as President of the United States, but more as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America, as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!

7. He is now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not come due until after he is reelected in 2012. He would like to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist.

8.. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future... We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights .

9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are spending trillions that we don't have. This could lead to hyperinflation, depression or worse . No country has ever spent themselves into prosperity. The Media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a Pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn't work, nor will the stimulus package. These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama's allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for #4 above.

10. The election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed, fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally. Any Dem would have won this election; it was surprising it was as close as it was.

11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it will be a dogfight. It will all be about the economy. I hope this gets you really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress. There is a left-wing revolution going on , according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we're right on most issues and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.

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