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 on: April 24, 2014, 07:20:18 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 24, 2014, 02:04:18 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
This thread includes in its subject heading "the stock market".  We here have been predicting disaster as the DOW and the NAZ have more than doubled.  That is one helluva a move to have missed-- and if armaggedon (sp?) does not come, some of us are going to have a hard time explaining that.  If it does come, that does not mean it was good investing strategy to have sat on the sidelines in wait of proof of our prophecies.

Agree 100%.  

Wesbury has been right in hindsight on his conclusion to stay invested in equities over this period.  Also true is that he spins some of his words and picks the economic observations that back his conclusions.  Also true is that he did not see the last collapse.  So he is good on the upside, not good on the downside.  And the naysayers have missed the entire upside.

My interest is the economy more than the stock market; Wesbury and the thread cover both.  The markets have performed well since the last trough, no doubt.  The economy is in a plowhorse 1st gear, under-performing its historic growth line by tens of trillions of dollars of income and tens of millions of workers not employed or under-employed.  Wesbury would agree with this but glosses over the negatives IMHO. When people say stock market, the greatest interest is in where it will go from here as much as what did it do last year, last 5 years etc.  On the future from right here, we don't know if Wesbury or the naysayers are right.  

Alan Greenspan famously suggested “Irrational exuberance” more than 50 months before the tech stock crash of March 2000 and more than 7 years before the DOW bottom of 2002-2003.  Was he right voicing his concerns or was he wrong?  Certainly his timing was lousy.  People made and then lost a lot of money during that period.  While riding the market up, awareness of the vulnerabilities in hindsight was probably a good thing.

Greenspan:  "Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We can see that in the inverse relationship exhibited by price/earnings ratios and the rate of inflation in the past. But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?"
— "The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society", 1996-12-05

 on: April 24, 2014, 11:45:08 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Second post:

New Orders for Durable Goods Increased 2.6% in March
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Bob Stein, CFA - Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 4/24/2014

New orders for durable goods increased 2.6% in March (2.5% including revisions to prior months), beating the consensus expected gain of 2.0%. Orders excluding transportation increased 2.0% in March, beating the consensus expected gain of 0.6%. Orders are up 9.1% from a year ago while orders excluding transportation are up 5.1%

The gain in overall orders was led by civilian aircraft and computers & electronic products, but every major category of orders increased.

The government calculates business investment for GDP purposes by using shipments of non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft. That measure increased 1.0% in March and was up at a 1.7% annual rate in Q1 versus the Q4 average.

Unfilled orders increased 0.6% in March and are up 7.5% from last year.

Implications: A very solid, well-rounded report on durable goods today. New orders for durable goods rose 2.6%, beating consensus expectations and the largest gain since November. Once again the transportation sector led the way, particularly orders for civilian aircraft. But, unlike last month, there was broad strength outside the transportation sector. Orders excluding transportation increased 2% in March, the largest gain since January 2013. The best news in today’s report was that shipments of “core” capital goods, which exclude defense and aircraft, increased 1% in March. Plugging these data into our GDP models suggests businesses increased “real” (inflation-adjusted) equipment investment at about a 5% annual rate in Q1. Business investment should accelerate over the next couple of years. Consumer purchasing power is growing and debt ratios are low, leaving room for an upswing in appliances. Meanwhile, businesses have record profits and balance sheet cash at the same time that capacity utilization is above long-term norms, leaving more room (and need) for business investment. Signaling future gains, unfilled orders for “core” capital goods rose 0.6% in March, hitting a new record high, and are up 10% from a year ago. In other news this morning, initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 24,000 last week to 329,000. Continuing claims declined 61,000 to 2.68 million. Plugging these figures into our payroll models suggests an April gain of roughly 210,000, both nonfarm and private. This forecast may change over the next week as we get more data, but it looks like another solid month for job growth.

 on: April 24, 2014, 11:28:58 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government." --George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

 on: April 24, 2014, 10:40:32 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Have we had such an obvious racist on the Supreme Court besides Justice Taney?:

 on: April 24, 2014, 10:16:45 AM 
Started by Quijote - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 24, 2014, 09:51:01 AM 
Started by Dog Dave - Last post by objectivist1
Reza Aslan: Idea of resurrection “absolutely has no basis in 5,000 years of Jewish history, scripture or thought”

Robert Spencer    Apr 23, 2014

In today’s politically correct culture, marching in the establishment lockstep, not ability, is what gets you ahead. The mainstream media lionizes people not because of their particular acumen, talents or intelligence, but because they parrot the establishment line that the media wants the public to adopt: contempt for America, hatred for Israel, disdain for Christianity and the Judeo-Christian tradition, and endless justification for Islamic supremacists and jihadists.

A prime example of this is our old friend Reza Aslan, the arrogant, foul-mouthed media darling who keeps revealing his abysmal ignorance in interview after interview, making howling errors of fact and then, when caught out, dismissing them as “typos.” The latest “typo” from Aslan is his statement, in yet another of an endless series of fawning interviews by besotted Leftists (this time in Salon), that the idea of resurrection “simply doesn’t exist in Judaism. The idea of an individual dying and rising from the dead absolutely has no basis in five thousand years of Jewish history, scripture or thought. So, that’s the thing: No matter what you think about the resurrection, the thing that’s kind of fascinating from an historical perspective is that there is simply no Jewish context for it.”

Well, let’s see. The first thing that sprang to mind when I read this was the famous Dry Bones passage in Ezekiel, which begins: “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, thou knowest.’ Again he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:1-6) For individual resurrection, there is the passage that has always loomed large in Christian exegesis: “For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.” (Psalm 16:10)

There are many other passages (here are two, courtesy of Jihad Watch reader “Rod Serling”): “Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades thou wilt let it fall.” (Isaiah 26:19) “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

This is by no means Aslan’s first “typo.” In another interview, he referred to “the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about” — and later claimed that one was a “typo.” In yet another howler he later insisted was a “typo,” he claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long — which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long. Interviewed at the BBC about Obama’s meeting with Pope Francis, Aslan claimed that the “founding philosophy of the Jesuits” was “the preferential option for the poor.” In reality, the Jesuits were founded in 1534. According to the California Catholic Conference, “the popular term ‘preferential option for the poor’ is relatively new. Its first use in a Church document is in 1968 from a meeting of the Conference of Latin American Bishops held in Medellin, Columbia.” So Aslan was only 434 years off — recalling when he called Turkey the second most populous Muslim country, which was only about 100 million people off.

Reza Aslan is such an intellectually formidable scholar that he writes “than” for “then”; apparently thinks the Latin word “et” is an abbreviation; and writes “clown’s” for “clowns.” Aslan is less a “religious scholar” than he is a marginally literate, unevenly educated charlatan with a talent for telling the mainstream media what it wants to hear. His big secret is that he is really not all that bright, and is in way over his head, asked to comment all the time on matters that are way beyond his competence — and he knows it, which is why he lashes out so ferociously against anyone who dares to challenge him.

This matters because this clown is given such adoring treatment in the mainstream media as he propagates these falsehoods, and because his agenda his insidious: he is a Board member of a lobbying group for the bloodthirsty and genocidally antisemitic Iranian regime. Aslan tried to pass off Iran’s genocidally-minded former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer and has called on the U.S. Government to negotiate with Ahmadinejad himself, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas. Aslan has even praised the jihad terror group Hizballah as “the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon,” and has also praised the anti-Semitic, misogynist, Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Aslan wrote: “The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing.” Millions of Egyptians obviously disagree. He has also applauded and called for the forcible shutdown of the free speech of those who hates — a quintessentially fascist impulse.

“‘You want people like that to hate you’: Reza Aslan on Glenn Beck, that Fox News interview, and who gets to speak for Jesus,” by Michael Schulson, Salon, April 20:

…As you note in the book, much about this portrait is pretty typical: There were a lot of messianic preachers wandering around first-century Palestine, Jesus among them. You argue that it’s the story of resurrection that really set Jesus apart. What made resurrection such a novel idea?

Well, it simply doesn’t exist in Judaism. The idea of an individual dying and rising from the dead absolutely has no basis in five thousand years of Jewish history, scripture or thought.

So, that’s the thing: No matter what you think about the resurrection, the thing that’s kind of fascinating from an historical perspective is that there is simply no Jewish context for it. The resurrection was one the earliest credo statements in this new movement. They wholeheartedly believed that Jesus rose from the dead very, very early on, and to be perfectly honest, historians who will admit as much don’t know what to do with that statement.

We can’t just ignore it. In other words, we can’t just simply say, “Oh, it was just some mass delusion,” or “It was all just some big scam.” I don’t think those answers are sufficient in explaining the experience [of believing in the resurrection] and how that experience transformed this, as I say, small ethno-nationalistic movement into the largest religion in the world….

I feel like you’ve given us a Jesus for the era of income inequality and Occupy Wall Street.

I think that’s a good way of putting it.

So should Congress raise the minimum wage to celebrate Easter?

I think that would a perfect way of celebrating what Jesus actually stood for. This is a man who was not about income equality; this is a man who was about the reversal of the social order….

On your Twitter feed, the background picture is of Glenn Beck looking distressed. I have to ask: Do you enjoy being the bane of these right-wing media personalities?

Am I allowed to say yes? I mean, look, when someone like Glenn Beck puts you on his chalkboard of crazy, I think it’s a moment to be proud of. When designated hate-group leaders like Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller spend all of their days Googling you and writing articles about things you’ve said or written, I think you should be proud of that, because these guys are clowns. They are racist, bigoted individuals, and you want people like that to hate you.

So, listen, I’m guilty of baiting these guys sometimes; it’s not a professional thing to do, I’m not proud of it, to be honest with you. At the same time, there is something to be proud of when Glenn Beck and Pamela Gellar [sic] and Robert Spencer and magazines like First Things hate you.

Thanks for the shout-out, Reza. Good to know we are on your mind, and that despite your shilling for Islamic supremacism and the Iranian mullahs you have enough of a conscience left to know that accusing us of murder and sending me vile adolescent emails full of gay slurs is “not a professional thing to do.” But I am afraid you flatter yourself: I have never Googled your name even once. People send me your nonsense on a more or less regular basis; it’s low-hanging fruit.

Anyway, he says Pamela Geller and I are “designated hate-group leaders,” without mentioning that the designator is the far-Left cash machine known as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which smears numerous conservative groups with this label, and has never seen an Islamic supremacist group it didn’t like. He adds that we are “racist, bigoted individuals”; what race is the jihad mass murder of innocent civilians again? I keep forgetting.

Meanwhile, so fawning is this interview that I am surprised that Michael Schulson didn’t start kissing Aslan’s feet, or perhaps anointing them with oil and drying them with his hair, before it was over. He even likens Aslan to the four Gospel writers: “Aslan may be the world’s most famous living biographer of Jesus (the most famous dead biographers, of course, go by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).” “The world’s most famous living biographer of Jesus” is Reza Aslan? Yet another illustration of the utter intellectual poverty of our age.

 on: April 24, 2014, 09:11:29 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp

 on: April 24, 2014, 09:09:13 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp

By Scott Conroy - April 23, 2014

A new round of polls released on Wednesday offered generally upbeat news for Democrats in four U.S. Senate contests in Southern states considered key to the party's hopes of retaining its majority in November.  

According to the New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation surveys, vulnerable incumbent Democrats are holding on to leads in Louisiana and Arkansas and effectively tied in North Carolina. Upstart challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, meanwhile, is trailing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by just a single point in Kentucky.

All four races are critical to Republicans’ hopes of netting the six seats they need to regain control of the upper chamber.

Though he narrowly lost North Carolina in 2012, President Obama was blown out by margins ranging from 17 to 24 percentage points in the other three states, suggesting that the Democratic Senate candidates are running strong campaigns in a region that has grown increasingly hostile to their party in federal elections.  

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis -- the frontrunner in the Republican primary -- 42 percent to 40 percent, according to the new poll.

In Louisiana’s still largely unsettled contest, in which there are no primaries, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu leads the Republican frontrunner, Rep. Bill Cassidy, by a 42 percent to 18 percent margin, with 20 percent of respondents having no opinion.

The most surprising result of the new surveys comes in Arkansas, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor enjoys a 10-point advantage over Republican Rep. Tom Cotton. Pryor has long been considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this November, but he leads Cotton by 2.2 percentage points in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average.  

National Democratic operatives moved quickly to highlight the Arkansas poll, in particular, on Wednesday morning. “DC convention wisdom is flat out wrong in Arkansas and there’s mounting evidence of Mark Pryor’s strength,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky said in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, Republicans were eager to cast doubt on the polls’ methodology, noting, among other concerns, that the head-to-head surveys measured support among registered voters rather than likely voters. They also questioned the validity of the samplings.

The Weekly Standard noted that the percentage of respondents in each of the four Southern states who said they had voted for Obama was much higher than the actual 2012 results.

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

Read more:
Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

 on: April 24, 2014, 08:35:48 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
This thread includes in its subject heading "the stock market".  We here have been predicting disaster as the DOW and the NAZ have more than doubled.  That is one helluva a move to have missed-- and if armaggedon (sp?) does not come, some of us are going to have a hard time explaining that.  If it does come, that does not mean it was good investing strategy to have sat on the sidelines in wait of proof of our prophecies.


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