Sunday, June 03, 2012

‘Geopolitical foe.’ Really?

Russia has been engaging in NATO exercises for a while now. I really don't consider than a foe. I really don't.

And then there are the upcoming Olympics and all that.

Dmitry Kozak 

We're convinced that Sochi, and all the transport infrastructure taking shape as we move towards the Sochi 2014 Games, will represent a model of what a barrier-free environment should be.

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti)

The Kaliningrad left (click here) its home base in Baltiisk in Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on Thursday to join over 20 surface ships and some 20 aircraft from NATO countries in a variety of training missions, including anti-submarine warfare, sea rescue and counter-terrorism.
BALTOPS is an annual military exercise held in the Baltic Sea and surrounding regions since 1971. Since 1993 it has been a major contributor to the NATO program Partnership for Peace.
Warships from Russia’s Baltic Fleet previously took part in BALTOPS exercises 19 times.
The Kaliningrad vessel entered service in December 1984 and has carried out a number of training missions in the Baltic, North and Mediterranean seas, as well as in the Atlantic Ocean....

The real problem has been the mortgage market.

The "W" economy was highly dependent on construction. Every bill coming out of the legislature was a jobs bill primarily for the construction industry. And the country shows it. 

This is a graph regarding housing prices from Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall Market (click here). They are projecting recovery to start two years out after a brief recovery over the next 18 months. 

Now, what I like about this assessment is the fact they are looking long term both from before the depressed economy to a full recovery in the future. They are not only showing the recovery of the current margin from the lowest point, but, where it is expected in the future to the point where it was before the crash. 

In some ways, the recovery is best if it is gradual, it will put more people in the market if it occurs that way. They also note this particular market (location, location, location) is seeing double the dynamics of the average of the nation. The recovery here is actually twice as slow. 

And I love this description: This market has typical risks and returns for investors.
The local economy is well diversified. Population growth has been close to the national average. Income is slightly below average. The housing boom was especially severe, with an 88 percent rise in prices followed by a 45 percent drop. The recession was bad, with jobs down 8 percent.

I sincerely believe local economies are the key to a stable and sustainable economy. 

The "W" economy was unrealistic and inflated, not caused by INFLATION, but inflated. The prices of homes rose significantly and average people used their equity to buy boats or second and even third homes. The manipulation of personal financial security during the 
"W" economy was unethical. The social economy lost its anchor and all of a sudden everyone could be a millionaire by using the equity in their homes. It was a faux economy. It shouldn't have happened, but, it did. If the construction industry wasn't so out of control the "W" economy would have been the "W" recession. If anything kicked the can down the road to growing a sustainable economy for the USA it was "W" economy. 

Tax cuts, war spending, inflated egos in the country and faux personal financial security values. Sounds like a shoddy economy, not just shoddy substandard work. Didn't Halliburton have the problem, too?

The recovery as overseen by the Obama Administration is not L-Shaped.

The diagram to the right is an L-Shaped recovery diagram.

Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush stated the current economic recovery was L-Shaped. Flat lined. In other words, there was no recovery. That is not the case. At all.

Below is the recovery of the O-Economy. The O meaning Obama, of course. One might notice it is very V-Shaped and is returning to the same damned trend under "W" Bush. The current worry is the decline from May and whether or not this is a lasting trend that needs to nipped in the bud, so to speak. 

If one looks real close at the graph below, the O Economy has EXCEEDED the "W" economy in this V-Shaped recovery graph. The O Economy hasn't out performed the 
C Economy yet. C representing Clinton. But, the O Economy is sure trying to surpass even the C Economy. That downward plummet in May is definitely tarnishing the aspirations of the President, though. Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if he really surpassed the C Economy after the Second USA Depression absent the Dust Bowl? Would that be like so cool or what? I really want to see him do it. He can, if he didn't have such a CRONY GOP in the House and Senate seeking to hold the citizens of the USA to Wall Street. 

I mean you that is true, right? The GOP is so very, very invested in Wall Street and not the citizen that they actually put their ideology before the well being of the country and the USA. They didn't know if their position would work, they didn't care, they simply wanted to intimidate the electorate. In the face of success by President Obama and the Democratic Congress, the GOP washed their hands of decency and the need to protect the country's economy and improve the lives of our citizens. They did. No one can deny that. They stood in opposition of SUCCESS by the initiatives of the Democrats and President Obama. They not only stood in opposition of success, but, they lied and called it a failure.

I really believe all President Obama needs is a legislature sincerely interested in restructuring the tax structure and growing a sustainable economy that will improve the GDP and bring the national debt into a lower percentile as we begin to pay it down as well. 

Now, about the Ideology of the GOP about economics, not social engineering, but economics.

This diagram is straight out of Wikipedia (click here). I don't want to hear how Wiki is not the best source, because it isn't possible to go that far wrong on basic economic diagrams. This is not rocket science. At all.

At the bottom of the diagram are years and then it breaks down further into fiscal quarters of a year. The diagram is called a V-shaped recession. When I realize the simplicity in naming this diagram it conjurs up recollections of the petroleum industry and their 'junk shot' and 'top hat,' but, hey everyone has a right, ya know?

And this is the kind of recovery the former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush wants to see with the USA. It doesn't matter if he signs pledges or not because he says the same stupid stuff every other Republican says. The scary part, not the real scary part, but only the scary part is that Jeb Bush actually believes what he says. He actually believes if there are continued tax cuts rather than tax reform, lower tax rates for the wealthy and deregulation at every turn this will result. 

The problem is this type of 'design' of economic recovery costs a lot more than Jeb Bush even realizes. An economy where pollution of land and water and the melting of polar caps results causing damaging weather systems, deaths and personal economic ruin of citizens is NOT MORAL. It is an economy of desperation of political puppets bought by Wall Street. We need to change our infrastructure and have sustainable good paying jobs and that won't happen if all is sacrificed. When all is sacrificed Americans get sicker, their longevity wains and they are victims of the GOP economy and not the victors. 

Oh, yeah, the real scary part is that Jeb Bush oversaw the purging of thousands of citizens in Florida in 2008 and the current Governor of Florida is doing the exact same thing today. I mean is the GOP serial offenders or what?

I am sorry, but, this guy hasn't got a clue about life. He just doesn't.

The records also show that Mitt Romney sold off much of his overseas investments in the last year, (click here) including controversial holdings in the Chinese-owned companies Hang Lung and Komatsu Photo: Getty Images

In just one year. One year, he sold off his overseas investments so he could legitimately say he is not invested there. LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ARE ON FIRE! Romney is not an honest guy. He is LOYAL to his spouse, family and church, but, MORAL? Not so much.

The Right Wing Media has been propagandizing the USA Recovery.

This is a picture of kindly Mr. Friedman from the USA Department of Energy (click here).

This is from the "Statement of George H. Friedman, etc. (click here) One of the observations he makes in his memo is the fact there are far larger amounts of money in the Energy Department Budget than usual and there is also added personnel to help with the administration of those funds. The Energy Department will have to return to normal eventually and this is the plan as expressed by Mr. Friedman.

Path Forward
Large portions of the funds allocated to the Recovery Act have yet to be spent. Accordingly, we have ongoing and planned audits and inspections of Recovery Act funds in a number of high-risk areas such as Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Renewable Energy Programs. Additionally, our investigative efforts continue.

We are also in the process of evaluating contingency plans to address problems with transitioning to a post-Recovery Act funding posture. Of the most immediate concern is how the Department plans to deal with a significant downsizing of the contractor workforce.

I have before there was a lag in distribution of Recovery Act funds due to the way the States incorporated them into their budgets and legislation. So, that was expected as far as I was concerned. Of course, the Right Wing media immediately went to work proving the monies were not going to create jobs at all. I don't think the ink was dry on the paper after the President signed it before that started and we all know the Tea Baggers where hard at work before inauguration.  The point is, there has been volumes of propaganda from November 4, 2008 that has never adequately been addressed in a reasonable voice. That is the direct responsibility of the media. So, misguided views of the electorate is due to a lot of that missing voice of reason. Again, the memo by Mr. Friedman was in 2011 and I am sure there are more monies now working in the country.

The oversight was good and still is. This is what I found discouraging; while the President and Congress worked immediately to place dollars in the USA economy to recover it from the crash, the companies are not necessarily trustworthy. In the Energy Assistance Program the federal inspectors found shoddy work and substandard materials. That is not the government's problem, that is a problem of our society. This program has existed since 1970. I find that disappointing and to realize these programs reflect on the good intentions of our legislature and President is not realistic. They cannot be expected to buffer fraud and abuse, but, only police it. What is going on in America today that allows this? 

The REAL reason the job situation is still fluctuating in the USA, not in Europe, is due to the fact ONLY ONE-THIRD of the Recovery monies are in circulation. There is still work to be done and I hope the President's Cabinet is eminently aware of all the monies that still remain in the USA Treasury. I would hope they would either push for their distribution OR Minority Leader Pelosi might review the funds remaining and decide if they are better retained for deficit reduction or redistribution to other uses. I think it is time to evaluate how things are going, even though there has been good oversight, to be sure there aren't changes necessary.

One other things about this Solyndra mess. I realize there are other US Solar companies that have struggled with Solyndra, but, if that never happened we would not have increased surcharges on China at this point. So much for letting China walk all over USA manufacturing. That said, what is the deal with the Solyndra I found on the web? Is it the parent company of the USA company? (click here) Because, if that is the case, then there is really something gone awry. To realize the California facility was not only founded by a genius, but, also had a solar panel model well established already is a sure thing not a gamble. And a successful company to still remain after the USA attempt failed means there is still a viable company to be responsible for the venture gone bad. Maybe it is an old website or it is completely unrelated? Odd. The Logo in California is the same as Europe.

If you have questions about Solyndra products, 
In the U.S:
In Europe:

Poor Record Management Systems from prior administration.

This is from the March 2011 Memoradum referred to by the "Atlanta Journal Constitution Fact Check."  It is dated March 3, 3011 to be exact from Mr. Gregory H. Friedman, Inspector General, Department of Energy. The title of the memo is "Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program for Clean Energy Technologies" (click here)

The records management system in most government institutions is antiquated. The exceptions are more likely to be the military and police. Technology is a priority there. So, when The Recovery Act was passed the department of energy was given funds to update their infrastructure, however, the need to expedite the monies out of their budget took priority as Americans were losing jobs by the hundred thousands. So, the department made due with what they had and later focused on integrating systems that would give them greater capacity. Some of the recordkeeping was not filed. It wasn't as though the assessment of the companies applying for the grants was not done, it was. However, the written record was not necessarily completed once the assessor made a decision, as a result...(see highlighted in bold)

Records Management System
We found that the Program had not developed and implemented a comprehensive records
management system. Although the Program's website referenced Federal requirements for loan documentation, the Program had not adopted a records management system that would have imposed structure, consistency and discipline in the development and retention of loan documentation. Symptomatic of this, Senior Investment Officers responsible for many aspects of the loan guarantee process told us that they were unaware of the Program's policy regarding the types of documentation that needed to be kept and, therefore, did not always record the results of analyses conducted during the due diligence process. As previously noted, while the Department had decided to use a formal electronic information system designed to store important loan records, that system had not been completely populated by Program officials. As a result, it did not provide what was intended to be a centralized, accessible and effective source of critically important Program information.

The assertion by Romney that President Obama simply handed out monies to friends and family is a blatant lie. It is a lie I haven't heard from Murdoch. So, I have to conclude his campaign is not only unreliable in their fact finding, but, down right cut throat to the core no different than Romney's business practices at Bain. 

Do I detect a personality here? Cool, ruthless and simply desperate.

Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen's Opening Statement at Hearing on Crony ...

Before I get started on how the GOP makes "Lies Become the Truth," I thought I'd let Representative Van Hollen begin to set the record straight.

Jeb Bush on Grover Norquist's Tax Pledge

Friday, June 1, 2012

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said (click here)  he supported the government’s efforts to rescue the financial industry in 2008 but was not in favor of the Obama Administration’s aid to U.S. auto companies. Testifying before the House Budget Committee, Mr. Bush also rejected the so-called Norquist pledge, which calls on lawmakers to oppose all tax increases. The hearing, which examines the role of government, also includes testimony from Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry Waxman.

Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, will testify alongside Mr. Bush and will argue that the United States must embrace international competition and overhaul the federal tax code, including reforming business taxes.

Gov. Bush, like Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), is reported to be on Mitt Romney's short list of potential Vice Presidential picks....

Ryan couldn't make a decent argument for his draconian budget proposals, so, he brought Jeb Bush in for backup. Bush made a lot of statements about different 'shaped' recessions, but, none of what he stated applies to this economy. When an economist refers to a 'graph shape' it is a reporting tool, not an instrument to dictate the outcome of a governmental priority. I'll get into that later, but, on with the 'ideology' of the GOP. 

Basically the these four entries from 9PM is an introduction.
The struggle for women's suffrage (click here) in America began in the 1820s with the writings of Fanny Wright. In her book, Course of Popular Lectures (1829) and in the Free Enquirer, Wright not only advocated women being given the vote but the abolition of slavery, free secular education, birth control and more liberal divorce laws....

...In January, 1918Woodrow Wilson announced that women's suffrage was urgently needed as a "war measure". The House of Representatives passed the federal woman suffrage amendment 274 to 136 but it was opposed in the Senate and was defeated in September 1918. Another attempt in February 1919 also ended in failure....

House Failure to Take Up the Paycheck Fairness Act Leaves Working Women Behind (click here)
June 01, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) Today the House held a procedural vote on whether to move forward with the Paycheck Fairness Act. The House voted 233-180 against taking up the bill. In 2011 this bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote and was two votes shy of overcoming a filibuster in the Senate.   
The following is a statement by National Women’s Law Center Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger:
“Today’s failure to move forward on the Paycheck Fairness Act is a blow to millions of working women who continue to earn only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men—a pay gap that translates to more than $10,000 in lost wages per year for the typical woman worker.  Especially now—when so many families are struggling—these lost wages are not some abstract statistic.  They represent child care, food, health insurance and basic necessities.
“For American families, the urgency in passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is clear.  The Act would bar retaliation against workers for discussing salary information and ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination.
“Next week the Senate has an opportunity to finally move forward on this important legislation.  We urge its members to stand up for working women and their families.”...

Romney is lying about the activities of the Obama Administration and their claims of Crony Capitalism.

NATIONAL / WORLD NEWS 7:23 a.m. Saturday, June 2, 2012

FACT CHECK: Romney misses a mark on Solyndra claim (click here)

The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has revived charges about the failed solar company Solyndra as he assails President Barack Obama' green energy policy. But he didn't get the story completely straight when he accused the administration of favoring "cronies."...
...ROMNEY: "An independent inspector general looked at this investment (Solyndra) and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family — to campaign contributors."
THE FACTS: There is no proof — and it appears unlikely — that Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman was talking about Solyndra when he testified in March 2011 about stimulus contracts. Friedman said his office was investigating whether such contracts were steered to friends and family, presumably of government officials in charge of spending stimulus money. Romney cited a Newsweek article that referred to Friedman's testimony...

Mitch McConnell: Top Priority, Make Obama a One Term President

The 10 Worst Moments of Disrespect Towards President Obama (click here)

It's Sunday Night

Frank Sinatra & The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra - 'Imagination'

Frank Sinatra (click here) 

Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (click here)

Imagination Lyrics
Performed by Frank Sinatra 
Writer(s): Van Heusen/Burke 
Imagination is funny 
It makes a cloudy day sunny
It makes a bee think of honey
Just as I think of you

Imagination is crazy
Your whole perspective gets hazy
Starts you asking a daisy
What to do, what to do

Have you ever felt a gentle touch
And then a kiss, and then and then
Find it's only your imagination again

Imagination is silly
You go around willy nilly
For example I go around wanting you
And yet I can't imagine that you want me too

Promising new path for the Eurozone.

Then George Soros speaks people listen. And the distant words of a favorite son is ringing truth in the halls of the sovereign nations of Europe.

The warning.

Published: Sunday, 3 Jun 2012 |
 7:46 AM ET
Euro-zone governments (click here) have around three months to ensure the survival of the single currency, billionaire investor George Soros said in a speech on Saturday.
“We are at an inflection point. After the expiration of the three months’ window, the markets will continue to demand more but the authorities will not be able to meet their demands,” he warned in a speech at the Festival of Economics in Trento, Italy.
The European Union is “like a bubble” – not a financial bubble but a political bubble -- that could pop as a result of the euro -zone crisis, Soros said....

The distant voice.

Last updated: October 13, 2011 10:41 pm

For 30 years, whenever economic crises hit the world, Jean-Claude Trichet (click here) was at the centre of action. As his career draws to a close – his eight-year term as European Central Bank president ends in three weeks – the former French finance official and Banque de France governor is in the midst of his biggest crisis yet. “It is a historical event of the first magnitude, the worst crisis since the second world war,” he exclaims. “It could have produced a great depression had appropriate decisions not been taken at the appropriate time.”
At its epicentre is Europe’s 17-country eurozone. The bloc’s leaders are scrambling to assemble a rescue package that will finally restore the stability of Europe’s 13-year old monetary union. In an interview with the Financial Times, however, Mr Trichet sees the crisis as broader – as a crisis of the west. “All advanced economies are being x-rayed by the present crisis and revealing their skeletons and the weaknesses in their skeletons. It’s true for all of us – for Japan, for 
the US, for Europeans.”...

Money monitor: Jean-Claude Trichet this year. 'There are more reasons now for Europe to unite,' he says

A Brave New Path Forward.

BERLIN/PARIS | Sun Jun 3, 2012 1:45pm EDT

(Reuters) - When Jean-Claude Trichet (click here) called last June for the creation of a European finance ministry with power over national budgets, the idea seemed fanciful, a distant dream that would take years or even decades to realize, if it ever came to be.

One year later, with the euro zone's debt crisis threatening to tear the bloc apart, Germany is pushing its partners for precisely the kind of giant leap forward in fiscal integration that the now-departed European Central Bank president had in mind.

After falling short with her "fiscal compact" on budget discipline, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for much more ambitious measures, including a central authority to manage euro area finances, and major new powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice.
She is also seeking a coordinated European approach to reforming labor markets, social security systems and tax policies, German officials say….

HIV crisis in South Africa.

Insufficient production of Tenofovir, (click here) a crucial antiretroviral drug that is part of the three-drug combination therapy that AIDS patients need to suppress their virus, has left patients in the public sector taking sub-optimal treatment.
Widespread shortages of the antiretroviral drug, Tenofovir, have been reported since October last year. In all of this time, the problem has still not been fully resolved.
"We're hearing reports of shortages of the drug, Tenofovir, both in big urban centres like Johannesburg, but we're also hearing reports of shortages in out-lying and rural areas such as Zithulele Hospital in the Eastern Cape, parts of Mpumalanga, parts of Limpopo. So, clearly, there is a problem. And, clearly, it's a problem that needs to be addressed quickly", says Mark Heywood, an executive member of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
Heywood says the shortage has forced doctors to ration Tenofovir supply to patients and to also switch their treatment and give them a regimen that is not easy to tolerate....

..."Tenofovir is procured by the State through a tender system. That tender was awarded in 2010, December and during the period 2011, January - December 2011, we had supply of Tenofovir in addition to the suppliers on tender from the US government. We had donation stock, as we would call it. The USAID donation was going to terminate in December 2011. So, we met with suppliers in November 2011 to highlight the fact that, firstly, the supplies from the USAID donations was going to come to an end and that the additional stock will then have to come from themselves to alert the suppliers to this so that they could make the necessary preparations to be able to supply this increased volume. Clearly, what happened, though, is that that was not adequate time for them. They could not keep up with the demand", according to the national Health Department's Dr Anban Pillay....