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Protestants not Christian?

February 23, 2012 3 comments

“We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.” – Rick Santorum

So Santorum thinks mainline Protestants are so sinful they are no longer Christian?

This will rightfully alienate a vast number of Christians voters.

78.4% of adult Americans are Christian.
51.3% of adult Americans are Protestant.
(link)

Even people who are not Protestants would find this condescending and extreme.

The Democrats will make commercials featuring this Protestant-hostile statement. Santorum wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning the election after this exposure of his personal beliefs. No wonder they call him Senator Sanctimonium.

I personally do not support Santorum because he is an authoritarian masquerading as a conservative. He has voiced his opposition to the Tea Party, and he wants to regulate the internet.

Having big government enforcing a right wing agenda is not much better than big government forcing a left wing agenda. His condescending views toward Protestantism are the last straw for the viability his candidacy. As you may have noticed, not all Christians are for freedom of speech or the honest capitalism of free markets. He, like some religious “conservatives” sell out our freedom for the advancement of his personal religious views.

Here is another relevant quote:

They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.

That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

Apparently Rick Santorum thinks that the government should get “involved in the bedroom”. Apparently having what goes on in your bedroom be your own business is “radical individualism”. Whether you agree with him or not, that kind of intrusion will not fly with the electorate. He cannot win.

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Who is on the Dole: The Geography of Government Benefits

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Kermit found this very elucidating interactive graphic at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html?ref=us

It allows you to see a US map of where the total government benefits have been going. Furthermore, you can select Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Income Support, Veterans Benefits and Unemployment Insurance to see where those have been going.

It also allows you to see how it changes over time from 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009.

Separate counties can be scrolled over to reveal a graph of their government benefits over time for that county.

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6 Trillion in Counterfeit US Bonds

February 17, 2012 1 comment

Apparently there were 6 trillion in counterfeit US bonds which were transported to Switzerland in 2007. It is interesting that the bonds came from Hong Kong…

There was something similar in 2009, with Japanese citizens involved.

With the dollar as precarious as it is, this sort of thing may be more effective than usual in damaging the dollar as reserve currency.

Both articles are excerpted and appended below:

Italy confiscates $6 trillion in fake US bonds

February 17, 2012 http://www.usnews.com/news/offbeat/articles/2012/02/17/italy-confiscates-6-trillion-in-fake-us-bonds

MILAN (AP) — Authorities in Switzerland have confiscated $6 trillion in counterfeit U.S. bonds at the request of Italian prosecutors, authorities said Friday.

In Italy, eight people were arrested across the country and placed under investigation for fraud and other crimes.

The bonds, carrying the false date of issue of 1934, had been transported in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich, where they were transferred to a Swiss trust, according to prosecutors in the southern Italian city of Potenza.

Authorities said that U.S. officials had confirmed the bonds were counterfeit.

Prosecutors said the fraud had not been completed, but that it appeared that the suspects intended to try to sell the fake bonds to a developing nation, directly or through an intermediary bank.

Recently, Carabinieri carrying out a routine search at a highway rest stop found a briefcase containing $20 billion in fake bonds.

And then this one from 2009:

Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge: William Pesek

Commentary by William Pesek – June 16, 2009 15:00 EDT
: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a62_boqkurbI

June 17 (Bloomberg) — It’s a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel.

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit?

The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.

The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren’t losing faith in the U.S.’s ability to control the dollar.

The dollar is, for better or worse, the core of our world economy and it’s best to keep it stable. News that’s more fitting for international spy novels than the financial pages won’t help that effort. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Treasury to get to the bottom of this tale and keep markets informed.

GDP Carriers

Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan’s Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoffwho?

These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.

This tale has gotten little attention in markets, perhaps because of the absurdity of our times. The last year has been a decidedly disorienting one for capitalists who once knew up from down, red from black and risk from reward. It almost fits with the surreal nature of today that a couple of travelers have more U.S. debt than Brazil in a suitcase and, well, that’s life.

Clancy Bestseller

You can almost picture Tom Clancy sitting in his study thinking: “Damn! Why didn’t I think of this yarn and novelize it years ago?” He could have sprinkled in a Chinese angle, a pinch of Russian intrigue, a dose of Pyongyang and a bit of Taiwan-Strait tension into the mix. Presto, a sure bestseller.

Daniel Craig may be thinking this is a great story on which to base the next James Bond flick. Perhaps Don Johnson could buy the rights to this tale. In 2002, the “Miami Vice” star was stopped by German customs officers as he was traveling in a car carrying credit notes and other securities worth as much as $8 billion. Now he could claim it was all, uh, research.

When I first heard of the $134 billion story, I was tempted to glance at my calendar to make sure it didn’t read April 1.

Let’s assume for a moment that these U.S. bonds are real. That would make a mockery of Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano’s “absolutely unshakable” confidence in the credibility of the U.S. dollar. Yosano would have some explaining to do about Japan’s $686 billion of U.S. debt if more of these suitcase capers come to light.

‘Kennedy Bonds’

Counterfeit $100 bills are one thing; two guys with undeclared bonds including 249 certificates worth $500 million and 10 “Kennedy bonds” of $1 billion each is quite another.

It would be terrible news for the White House. Other than the U.S., China or Japan, no other nation could theoretically move those amounts. In the absence of clear explanations coming from the Treasury, conspiracy theories are filling the void.

On his blog, the Market Ticker, Karl Denninger wonders if the Treasury “has been surreptitiously issuing bonds to, say, Japan, as a means of financing deficits that someone didn’t want reported over the last, oh, say 10 or 20 years.” Adds Denninger: “Let’s hope we get those answers, and this isn’t one of those ‘funny things’ that just disappears into the night.”

This is still a story with far more questions than answers. It’s odd, though, that it’s not garnering more media attention. Interest is likely to grow. The last thing Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke need right now is tens of billions more of U.S. bonds — or even high-quality fake ones — suddenly popping up around the globe.

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Manufacturing of Energy in America

February 16, 2012 1 comment

Excerpted from http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/How-the-US-Shale-Boom-Will-Change-the-World.html :

A funny thing is happening on the way to the clean energy future–reality is setting in. There is ‘incontrovertible evidence’ about the economic growth and job creating effects of America’s unconventional oil and gas production boom – more than 600,000 jobs directly attributable to shale gas development. …

Total US recoverable natural gas resources (includes conventional, unconventional in lower 48, Alaska and offshore) totals 4.244 quadrillion cubic feet according to the Institute for Energy Research:

• Enough natural gas to meet US electricity demand for 575 years at current fuel demand for generation levels
• Enough natural gas to fuel homes heated by natural gas in the United States for 857 years
• More natural gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan combined. …

The US has Three Times the Proven Reserves of Saudi Arabia in Shale Oil. Global oil shale resources exceed 10 trillion barrels. More than 1.8 trillion barrels of oil are trapped in shale in Federal lands in the western United States in the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, of which 800 billion is considered recoverable–three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. The INTEK assessment for EIA found 23.9 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources in the onshore Lower 48 States. The Southern California Monterey/Santos play is the largest shale oil formation estimated to hold 15.4 billion barrels or 64 percent of the total shale oil resources followed by Bakken and Eagle Ford with approximately 3.6 billion barrels and 3.4 billion barrels of oil, respectively.

Here are some other interesting graphs from “Thackney” at Free Republic:

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Humor from IMAO to ease the election stress:

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Some Common Sense Posted by Basil at 6:38 am at www.imao.us :

It’s over.

Mitt Romney has wrapped it up. He won Florida yesterday, and that means there’s no chance for anyone else in the GOP race.

Newt Gingrich supporters? Hate to break it to you, but it’s time to pack it in.

Rick Santorum followers? The writing’s on the wall.

Ron Paul supporters? The nurse will be by shortly with your medications. And a fresh supply of tin foil.

The 2012 Republican primary season is done. There’s no way anyone can catch Mitt Romney. Just look:

Graph from The New York Times

See?

After the big win in Florida, Mitt Romney has 71 delegates. He only needs … let’s see, 1,144 to win, minus 71 already won, leaves 1,073 … Oh. My. Goodness. He only needs 1,073 more delegates to win.

Let’s look at the upcoming primary calendar, do the math, and see where things stand.

If Romney wins every delegate in every race, he would surpass the magic number of 1,144 as early as April 3.

What about Gingrich? If he were to somehow win every delegate in every state from here on out, he wouldn’t reach 1,144 until April 3.

Rick Santorum? Heck, if he won every delegate in every upcoming race, he wouldn’t hit 1,144 until April 3.

Ron Paul? Well, if he went on a winning streak and won every delegate in every primary and caucus, he wouldn’t pass 1,144 until April 3.

So, there you have it.

Romney can mathematically wrap this thing up in just over two months, on April 3, 2012. That’s a done deal.

Meanwhile, none of the the other three could lock it up until April 3, 2012. And that’s an impossible task.

Hey, don’t get angry with me. Numbers don’t lie.

Newscasters and party establishment will, but numbers won’t.

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Rockefeller-Style Crass and Tacky Capitalism Does Not Win Elections:

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Mitt Romney: “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” “Fresh off his big win in Florida Tuesday night, Mitt Romney made the most stunningly stupid remark of his campaign.”….

Romney, who has a personal fortune estimated at some $270 million, came under fire earlier in the campaign for saying that he liked to fire people, although those comments were taken out of context. continued

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BY THE COMPANY THEY KEEP

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

BY THE COMPANY THEY KEEP

Exclusive: Joseph Farah contrasts the endorsements of Newt with those of Mitt

by JOSEPH FARAH
I believe you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep.

This is especially true of politicians. Whom they solicit and receive support from really tell the story of who they are in most cases.

With that theory in mind, let’s look at who is supporting the two leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. I can do this as an impartial observer – not a supporter of either candidate.

Here are a few of the folks supporting Newt Gingrich:

  • J.C. Watts
  • Fred Thompson
  • Dan Burton
  • Mark Levin
  • Michael Reagan
  • Sarah Palin
  • Chuck Norris
  • Art Laffer
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Herman Cain
  • Hundreds of tea-party organizations across the country

Now let’s look at the list of notables endorsing Mitt Romney:

  • Karl Rove
  • John McCain
  • Bob Dole
  • Chris Christie
  • Ann Coulter of GOProud

I have to tell you, this is a very stark contrast. It tells you about all you need to know, as far as I’m concerned, about who the lesser of two evils is. I have my problems with Newt Gingrich, and they are legion. But Mitt Romney is simply not an acceptable choice for Republicans in 2012. And these lists illustrate why.

Romney is the establishment Republican candidate in the race. He’s there representing what we once called the “Rockefeller wing” of the party. Nothing has changed much from those days. His Dad was part of that crowd, and Mitt has fit right in – continuing the tradition for another generation.

I would think having the endorsement of Karl Rove and John McCain would be like having an albatross around your neck as a Republican candidate for president. Yet Romney seems perfectly comfortable with both of them. If I were Mitt Romney, and Ann Coulter were carrying on about me like a schoolgirl with a crush, I’d ask her to pipe down. Instead, Coulter, who now represents the GOProud wing of the party, is actually used by Romney to bolster his conservative credentials. Amazing! Conservatives are running from Ann Coulter like liberals once did.

I don’t understand grass-roots Republicans who are supporting Romney. Don’t they understand that nominating him ensures a rerun of the 2008 campaign, except Romney was not a war hero? Both McCain and Romney are known for despising conservatives. Do grass-roots conservatives not understand this?

Romney is not the antidote we need to save us from a lethal dose of four years of Barack Obama. Would he be better? Sure! Who wouldn’t be? But he will not stop American from going off a cliff – not with his business-as-usual support for Big Bank bailouts and TARP-like agreements.

Have the grass roots heard what Rush Limbaugh has to say about Romney? He said this week – accurately, I might add – that Romneycare and Obamacare are “identical.” He said it repeatedly. Do Republicans really want to march into November with a nominee who gave Obama the idea for his signature piece of legislation that violates the Constitution – the No. 1 issue to get Republicans to the polls on Election Day?

Rush is the modern-day living voice of the conservative movement. He’s the Big Kahuna. The party better not make the same mistake it made in 2008 – nominating a Republican presidential candidate that sickens Rush Limbaugh. It would be a tragic mistake. Rush’s audience is the biggest audience of conservatives found anywhere.

Perhaps our best hope now is a brokered convention.

Ron Paul will stay in it until the end. And I think Newt understands this is his last chance for the presidency. I hope Rick Santorum doesn’t sell out early for a deal to get a vice presidential spot as rumored. I only realized recently he actually supported Romney in 2008! Unbelievable.

Maybe it’s time for an ABR, or Anybody-But-Romney, coalition.

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