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Florida Primary News: Mitt Romney’s Only Hope to Be President – The Papa Bear Strategy January 27, 2012

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Mitt Romney’s Only Hope to Be President – The Papa Bear Strategy

By Dan Mangru

Another debate is in the can.  As voters watched last night’s GOP Presidential debate in Jacksonville, they saw a different kind of Mitt Romney.  They saw a Mitt Romney on the attack, and a candidate who would not back down.  But is that enough?

Think of Mitt Romney.  Tell me what comes to mind.

For some, an image of a successful executive comes to mind.  Mitt Romney has helped numerous companies turn around including Staples, Brookstone, Domino’s Pizza, Sports Authority, and the 2002 Winter Olympics.  Romney also led an effective conservative government in the most liberal state in America, Massachusetts.

For others, a political flip-flopper comes into view.  Rudy Giuliani recently said on MSNBC that he ran against Romney and didn’t know what he truly believes.  To date, Romney has changed views on abortion, health care, labor, and gay marriage amongst other issues.

But here’s one image that probably won’t come into your mind that should: Papa Bear.

Behind the exterior of the cold, hard, shiny CEO, lies a man who loves being with his kids and grandkids.  He loves being out in nature, and horsing around with the little ones like any good granddad would.

Just look at Mitt’s Christmas card.  He’s got the grandkids on his arm, just enjoying being outdoors and spending time with his family.  Wouldn’t you want that guy to be your granddad, your ‘Papa Bear’?

When Sears introduced their advertising slogan, “Come see the softer side of Sears”, their sales shot up 30 percent.  That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Do you think Mitt Romney could use a 30 percent boost in the polls?

Absolutely.  Mitt Romney has been largely aloof in an overexposed GOP primary.  He has even shied away from interviews with conservatives like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.

The only Romney that we know is that guy in the suit at the debates, making the speeches, collecting the campaign contribution from wealthy donors.

But there is more to that than what meets the eye.  Mitt Romney has kept his private life private and his public life public.  Now is the time for him to let America into his private life.  Here is a man who loves his wife, has a beautiful family, and who seems to be an all-around great guy.

Romney’s campaign has always said that Republican voters have been dating candidates like Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich but in the end they will marry Romney.  If Romney wants to be the candidate conservatives marry, they need to see him as a real person and not someone who is cold, hard, shiny, and plastic.

When George W. Bush was elected president, people felt like he was a guy you could go bowling with and have a beer.  When Barack Obama was elected president, people felt that he was a family man who was in tune with popular culture.  Through popular culture, Americans began to relate to Barack Obama.

Part of the appeal of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is that he’s made mistakes, and has asked for forgiveness.  We’ve all made mistakes and can identify with that.  Part of the Mitt Romney image is that he’s figuratively never made any mistakes or done anything that a working class Floridian or American can identify with, for the most part.

America has not related to Mitt Romney, at least not yet.  Still some 60-75 percent of voters (depending on which poll you read) believe that another candidate not named Mitt Romney is best to lead this nation.  After five years of campaigning, that should speak volumes.

During his tenure as Massachusetts governor, Romney turned around a state that was heavily in debt so much that by the end of his term as governor, he had amassed a rainy day fund of over $2billion.  That’s the record that Romney brings to the table.

Voters know that this election counts.  President Obama has driven America off the cliff with over $15 trillion in debt.  The economy is showing signs of a double dip recession.  Unemployment still remains around 9 percent (although the last figures came in at 8.6 percent for November).

There is a lot on the line for this election, and after 19 debates the GOP still hasn’t decided who their flag bearer will be.

Mitt still has a chance.  As quick as they rise is as fast as they fall.  Mitt can make a major move literally overnight with just one simple strategy: Papa Bear.  Give us a glimpse into Mitt Romney the man, the husband, the granddad, the human being, and America just might give you a glimpse into the Oval Office.

Larry Kudlow Says Don’t Panic – Dan Mangru Market Commentary August 28, 2011

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Larry Kudlow says don’t panic


Posted: August 10, 2011
8:19 pm Eastern

© 2011 WND

Wow! I can’t believe this guy.

People are losing their retirements, their savings, their nest egg. Investors are now starting to realize that the U.S. is built on a deck of debt cards and they are starting to fall.

The United States has a current debt-to-GDP ratio of 100 percent just like the other Third World nations out there. It also has future liabilities in excess of $110 trillion (an amount that no other country can even fathom).

All the while, the U.S. dollar is losing strength and the cost of living and feeding a family continues to go up.

But Larry Kudlow says don’t worry.

See his article here:

While Kudlow points out that lower commodity prices should spur economic development, he misses out on several key factors that are needed to properly evaluate the market.

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First, this isn’t a short-term pullback, this is a market correction. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) went down to 6547.05 on March 9, 2009, we were supposed to retrace the low to roughly 50 percent. What this means is that our stock market should have faced some major resistance to move beyond the 9750 mark on the Dow. Instead by 2010 we had blown by it, and with the slight exception of the May 2010 flash crash, we never looked back. 

Make no mistake, speculation fueled the market. Case in point, look where we are now. When QE2 (Quantitative Easing 2) was implemented by the Fed last December, the Dow was hovering around 11,000. During April the Dow surged to 12,928. Everything seemed great.

Except it wasn’t.

With continual Federal Reserve (Fed) stimulus (low interest rates, and QE2), traders, black box traders in particular, were given cart-blanche to trade financial markets knowing that they would be flush with cheap Fed cash.

Since the cash was always there, traders didn’t care what the economic news was for the day. They were concerned with liquidity and how they could exploit liquidity to make a profit.

That’s why things such as a high debt to GDP ratio, poor housing numbers, and high deficit spending didn’t seem to register on Wall Street’s radar.

However, once the Fed pulled out their cash and ended QE2, traders started to run for the hills. They began to start dumping stocks. In fact, even sophisticated hedge fund managers such as Carl Icahn and George Soros proclaimed that they were disbanding their hedge funds, returning money to investors, and leaving the market at professional managers.

That should tell you something.

Between the top money guys leaving and the Fed pulling out cash, the fix was in. We were all fed the line that once we did the debt deal that financial markets would rally. And they did … for about an hour.

But that’s when reality hit.

Since then financial markets are starting to realize that the United States has no real end in sight to its flagrant spending ways, and astronomical long-term debt. Without Fed easy money to spur buying, investors are treating the U.S. economy for what it currently is … a sell.

Second, Kudlow points to rising corporate profits as being an indicator that the U.S. economy is still healthy. What Kudlow fails to recognize is that corporate profit guidance is being lowered for the second half of this year. Even Goldman Sachs lowered their guidance for the second half of this year.

Large corporations will see that margins are going down and that after enduring a major stock market correction, consumers are not running around the store waving their credit cards dying to spend. Consumers will not consume as much.

Savings rates are going up. The most recent data from the St. Louis Fed shows the U.S. personal savings rate is at 5.4 percent. Compare that with our April 2005 rate of 1 percent, and you can see that Americans are worried that the economy will fall and they will need their money.

That translates to economic slowdown. When individuals do not spend and start to save more, that slows down production and consumption, which in turn slows down the entire economy.

Third, Kudlow believes that there is a big overreaction going on to the problems in Europe. Keep in mind, Kudlow, along with fellow CNBCer Jim Cramer, thought Lehman Brothers was a good buy before it went bankrupt and wiped out investors.

The easiest way to understand the Europe problem is to think of economies of scale. Greece, which in relative terms is very small country, cost over $1 trillion to bail out.

One small country took all of the financial might and muscle of Europe’s top banks and governments to bail out.

Now think of Italy, the newest country on the brink. Italy’s debt crisis is 10 times the size of Greece. I’ll put it to you this way, the European Union cannot afford $10 trillion.

The entire GDP of the European Union is $16 trillion, so $10 trillion is too big to bail out. An additional problem with Italy is that a huge chunk of its debt is due within the next two years. So this isn’t a problem that can be shoved under the rug.

Combine this with a sluggish Euro and a European Union that is dealing with a global economic slowdown and the recipe is not good. With all of the weakness in Europe, the EU’s stronger countries (Germany and France) should start to see some of their strength erode as they are continually forced to bail out smaller players. By the EU charter, the EU guarantees all of the debt of its member nations. Hence, Germany and France will end up paying the bill for Greece, Italy, Spain, and all of the other countries who have overspent and are nearing bankruptcy.

Finally, Kudlow fails to point out several key ticking time bombs in the United States. First is the real estate market. With shadow inventories and foreclosures, home inventories should skyrocket to all-time high levels in the United States.

Second, student debt in America is at an all-time high. Fueled by government loans, universities have been charging students higher rates every year, regardless of what the stock market or the economy is doing. Current student debt in this country is estimated at $1 trillion. Just so you know, that was the amount of money that was needed to bail out our banks.

Third, municipal debt is a major issue. If cities and states start to go bankrupt, all hell could break loose. Remember, less than a year ago, California (the world’s 9th largest economy) could have gone under. The effects of a default of that size would cripple the domestic and global financial economy.

So Mr. Kudlow, in times like these, while panic may not be the right feeling, all is not well. Investors should be very concerned. They should be safeguarding their assets against a major stock market drop and planning for the future.

But then again, maybe that message isn’t one that the talking heads want to hear or give.

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The ins and outs of ‘silver selloff’ explained – New Dan Mangru Financial Commentary May 5, 2011

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MANGRU ON MONEY

The ins and outs of ‘silver selloff’ explained

Exclusive: Dan Mangru reveals why small-timers are crushed and big boys win


Posted: May 04, 2011
8:22 pm Eastern

By Dan Mangru
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

It sounds so harsh. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Almost makes you want to go out and register as a Democrat. That way we can redistribute some of this wealth as our current president would like.

But the current silver market is a classic case of irrational individual investors driving up the price of the market, only to have sophisticated institutions leave them holding the bag.

Well how did this happen and what happens to the silver markets from here?

The silver rally goes back to the bailouts of late 2008. After $700 billion of TARP, billions more to save the auto industry, and the election of Barack Obama, it became very clear that the U.S. was in the mood to print cheap money.

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After reaching a low of $8.79, silver began to slowly rally. First it rallied due to Ben Bernanke almost tripling the monetary base. Then it rallied due to the $860 billion Obama stimulus. Then it continued to rally after Obama became the first president in United States history to rack up a yearly deficit in excess of $1 trillion.

Before we knew it silver was trading in excess of $30 per ounce.

Wow. What a move.

After going up some 400 percent individual investors started to take notice. Then as the U.S. markets started to sputter, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve instituted something called Quantitative Easing 2 or simply QE2.

QE2 has the net effect of placing more U.S. dollars into the financial system and ultimately into circulation.

When more dollars are placed into the market without the necessary demand, inflation happens.

BINGO.

This was the impetus that individual investors needed to get in the game. Silver again started to skyrocket.

Then came news that Bernanke didn’t plan to stop QE2 by this June and planned to take it further.

Blastoff.

We now saw silver hit intraday highs in excess of $49, a sign of major speculation and irrational exuberance.

You see in silver markets, many individual investors are leveraged buyers of the metal. What that means is they take a loan out to buy more silver than the money they have in deposit.

While some individual investors use a smart amount of leverage, many times they are tricked into borrowing anywhere between 4-8 times their money.

Case in point, if you had $10,000 cash in your account, you could buy let’s say $50,000 worth of silver borrowing at 5:1 or five times the amount of money you have in the account, for a total borrowed amount of $40,000.

Utilizing margin is supposed to maximize your profit, but when used unwisely, it maximizes your risk.

If you bought silver between $47-49 with this type of margin, your overall account value would be in the area of $37,000-$39,000 (depending on fees, costs, etc.).

That means that you have lost all of your original $10,000 and you are now liable for the difference between your account value, in this case $37,000-$39,000, and your loan value, which in this example is $40,000.

Had you just bought $10,000 worth of silver, your account would be down to about $7,500-8,000 but you would still have positive equity. With unsafe leverage in our example above, you end up owing between $1,000-$3,000. This is known as a margin call.

From $8k to owing up to $3k. That’s a very big swing.

Now getting back to overall markets. Realizing that leverage and speculation were driving prices higher, the CME Group (which is the owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) hiked margin requirements three times since the beginning of last week.

This caused firms to tighten up their leverage and some firms even made stricter requirements than the CME Group.

The reduction in the amount of leverage that can be used caused selling pressure to increase last week which brought silver down to $45 an ounce after trading higher than $49 per ounce just days before.

Then add on top of this a once in a lifetime event (literally), with the death of Osama bin Laden. This sent silver prices, which rallied back to $48.22, down to $42 per ounce.

However, once the market absorbed the Osama factor, silver prices rose in excess of $47 off its Osama lows.

Institutions know the game. They knew that with margin requirements tightened that if they started selling they could trigger a significant selloff in silver. So they did.

As institutions were selling, individuals who were overleveraged in silver began what the term “margin call” means. As the price went down, it triggered individual investors to sell their positions in order to cover their investment amounts. This drove down the price of silver even further.

Add on top of this hedge fund gurus like George Soros indicating that he will start to liquidate his long gold and silver positions, and the down market can take on a life of its own.

As the market continues to go down further, shaking out most individual investors, we will start to see institutions re-enter the game, buying back in the $30s the same metals that they sold in the $40s.

You see even the institutions that are just getting out now (in the low $40s to high $30s range) aren’t concerned because they’ve been buying silver since it was trading in the $15-20 range.

So to them all they lost was just a couple bucks of profit.

But the opportunity to take silver from $49 to let’s say $36 just to buy it back again and ride it all the way to $50, that’s a score.

For silver buyers out there, key adages provide the proper insight into these markets.

The first adage to follow is to remember history. Historically, gold trades at a 16 times premium to silver. These days that ratio is at 38 (meaning the price of gold is 38 times the price of silver.

Although margin requirements on silver are now more onerous than those on gold, the underlying fundamentals and price ratios for silver make it very attractive.

Secondly, individual investors in silver should be long-term players, not short-term flippers.

Silver is a dangerous metal. It can go up and down as much as 20 percent in just a couple of days. We’ve seen that before. We’ve seen it now. And we will certainly see it again.

If you are a long-term player you can afford to sit out these short-term hiccups and just focus on the long term fundamentals. The U.S. dollar is heading down, emerging markets are consuming more, and the demand for silver (industrial, inflation-hedge, and luxury) is increasing.

Just look at U.S. debt. We have $14 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities, $77 trillion in unfunded Medicare liabilities, and $19 trillion in unfunded prescription drug liabilities.

That’s $110 trillion new dollars that we have to print just to cover our existing liabilities. God forbid that President Obama figures out a new way to start spending even more money.

So when you want to know where the price of silver is going, I’m going to give you the same answer that Steve Forbes gave me today while we talked at Starbucks, “Just follow Ben Bernanke.”

Because as Bernanke gets the orders to print the dollars to pay the bills, silver will go up and up and up.

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Read more: Why small-timers are crushed and big boys win http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=295069#ixzz1LULA2Lab

Thank the Lord. Osama Bin Laden is Dead May 1, 2011

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Thank the Lord, Bin Laden is dead. 

By Dan Mangru

Just as I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard late Sunday night that President Obama was going to address the nation.  Naturally, I thought to myself what could it be.  What couldn’t wait?

Could it be that we got the nuke from Iran?  Could it be that we got Quadaffi?

Nope.  Even better.

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Almost 10 years ago, we all lost a little piece of ourselves.  Some lost family members.  Some lost jobs.  Others lost their livelihoods.  All of us lost a little piece of safety that came along with being an American.

I remember how I felt on that fateful 11th day in September.  Nothing was safe.

The Twin Towers that I grew up with in New York City were brought down.  The center of our national defense, the Pentagon was attacked, and one more plane was ready to attack the White House.

On that day, we lost sons and daughters, moms and dads, heroes and patriots.

Everything that we ever knew as Americans was thought to be in jeopardy.

All of this, the product of the vision of one man… Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization.

And now that man is dead.  Shot down outside of Islamabad, Pakistan as a result of a U.S. covert operation.

Today we are not Democrats, we are not Republicans, we are Americans.  Retrieving Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive, has been our #1 priority for the last 10 years.

And whether you like George W. Bush or Barack Obama, today I pay gratitude to these two Commanders in Chief of our U.S. military.   George W. Bush started out the policy of ‘Dead or Alive’ for Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama and our U.S. military was around to execute it.

Our resolve needed to be steadfast, and our commitment needed to be unwavering.  Even after almost 10 years, we could never give up.

First responders and rescue workers didn’t give up on that September morning.  Those heroes on United Flight 93 didn’t give up.  We owed it to them to do everything we could to bring those responsible for these attacked.

And our brave men and women in the armed forces and the intelligence community, did just that.  This was a multi-faceted, sophisticated, and complex effort.  Thank you to every troop, every covert officer, every volunteer, every American that did their part in helping to bring Bin Laden to justice.

Hopefully, all of those who have lost someone in 9/11 or all of the Americans who lost a little piece of our freedom can find some comfort to know that this man has been brought to justice.

While we can never be the same as we were on September 10, 2001, and cannot bring back those we lost, today can at least take a breath, and breathe a sigh of relief.

This is a great day to be an American.  Thank you and God Bless America.

Lawmakers, Executives Slam Obama for Boosting Brazil’s Offshore Drilling March 23, 2011

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Republican lawmakers and oil industry executives are slamming President Obama for offering to help Brazil expand offshore drilling while U.S. production struggles to get back on its feet in the wake of the BP spill.

The president, on the first leg of his trip to Latin America, said in Brazil over the weekend that his administration wants to assist the Brazilian government “with technology and support” in developing its oil reserves — a black gold mine he said could hold twice as much oil as U.S. deposits.

“And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Obama said.

That message struck some at home as bizarre and misguided, considering the administration has stressed the need to wean the United States off foreign oil and move toward alternative fuels.

With U.S. oil exploration and drilling slowing to a crawl over the past year, they questioned why the president would throw U.S. weight behind Brazil, a country that also received a $2 billion loan for its state-owned oil company from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

“We have abundant energy resources off Louisiana’s coast, but this administration has virtually shut down our offshore industry and instead is using Americans’ tax dollars to support drilling off the coast of Brazil,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said in a statement. “It’s ridiculous to ignore our own resources and continue going hat-in-hand to countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil to beg them to produce more oil.”

Fresh off a three-country visit to the region, Obama is trying to improve relations with the powerhouses of Latin America. Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski agreed it’s better to encourage production in more reliable Brazil than in the “inherently unstable” Middle East.

Still, he called Obama’s announcement “puzzling,” even “humorous.”

“More oil that is not concentrated in the Mideast is good for the world and good for America. It would be a lot better if we had the drilling here,” Petrowski told Fox News. “And it seems a double standard and it seems somewhat hypocritical to a country that desperately needs jobs … that we’re encouraging other countries to create the jobs that we need.”

Furor over drilling, or lack thereof, has returned to Capitol Hill in full force over the past couple months as the price of a gallon of gas nears the $4 mark. Democrats say the rising prices, destabilized in part by the turmoil in several Arab nations, are yet another reminder why the United States needs to pursue alternative sources of energy and improve energy efficiency.

Republicans say the United States needs to develop all resources available, but emphasizes domestic drilling and exploration.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., complained that, with his comments in Brazil, Obama is pushing to deepen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

“He appears to believe the answer is to shift our foreign energy dependence from one part of the world to another,” he said.

But the Obama administration stressed that Brazil’s emerging energy industry makes the country a vital partner. These are boom times for Brazilian energy exploration — recently discovered deepwater deposits of oil buried below thick salt layers are estimated to contain tens of billions of barrels.

Obama adviser Mike Froman told BBC Brasil that the discoveries make the country a “key actor in global energy markets.”

The administration launched what it called a “strategic energy dialogue” with Brazil. According to the White House, the cooperation will entail an upcoming meeting between Brazilian officials and U.S. Department of Interior representatives; a trade mission at the end of May; and workshops starting in the fall on deepwater production and environmental management.

The administration has recently inched forward on approving oil projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement issued the first deepwater drilling permit since the BP spill last spring.

Then the administration announced Monday that it approved a deepwater exploration plan for Shell Offshore Inc., the first such plan since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion last April.

But Shane Guidry, CEO of rig towing company Harvey Gulf International Marine, said that, at a time of economic stress, the U.S. government should concentrate its energy investment inside the United States rather than Brazil.

“If you’re going to do something for one country, why not do it for yours?” he told Fox News.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/23/lawmakers-execs-slam-obama-boosting-brazils-offshore-drilling/#ixzz1HRnaqEeP

 

Japan Turns to Desperate Measures to Cool Nuclear Reactors March 17, 2011

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Japan Turns to Desperate Measures to Cool Nuclear Reactors

VOA News March 17, 2011

This combo of screengrabs taken off Japanese national broadcaster NHK shows a Japanese military twin-rotor cargo helicopter dumping water onto reactor no. 3 (C) at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 17, 2011.

Photo: AFP PHOTO / HO / NHK

Screen grabs from Japanese national broadcaster NHK show a Japanese military cargo helicopter dumping water onto reactor number 3 at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 17, 2011.

The Japanese military is using high-pressure fire hoses to spray water on earthquake-damaged nuclear reactors in a desperate attempt to cool down dangerously-hot fuel rods, as it acknowledges that time is running out.

Earlier Thursday, the government used aerial water drops — after aborting the plan a day earlier because of radiation danger to the helicopter pilots.

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said the government had decided it “could not delay the mission any further.” But televised pictures showed much of the water being blown away from the target and the effort was suspended after four attempts.

 

High radiation levels around the plant 240 kilometers north of Tokyo are making it impossible for workers to stay at the facility for more than a few minutes at a time, and initial radiation readings suggest the first helicopter drops had little effect.

Officials said Thursday they soon hope to restore electricity to the plant, raising hopes that more efficient pumps can be deployed to apply water to the fuel rods at the crippled plant’s six nuclear reactors.

US advises citizens to leave

The United States and other governments have advised their nationals to stay at least 80 kilometers from the plant — a radius much larger than the Japanese exclusion zone — and many governments are evacuating staff from embassies in Tokyo.

U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned Prime Minister Naoto Kan early Thursday in Tokyo to express his admiration for the courage of the Japanese people and renew his offer of assistance, including with the nuclear crisis.

The call came hours after nuclear power officials in Washington said they believe all water has dried up in the cooling tank at Fukushima’s number 4 reactor, leaving the fuel rods exposed to the air. If the rods become hot enough, they can melt or burn through their outer casing, releasing high levels of radiation into the air.

Japanese nuclear officials said Thursday they could not confirm those remarks, made by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko. But they said water levels in the cooling tank at unit 3 are dangerously low.

The prime minister’s office Thursday called on citizens to save electricity as it warned of a “massive power outage” in the area served by the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

MSI Network

What caused damage

Normal cooling systems for the plant were destroyed by last week’s earthquake and tsunami, which knocked out electricity to the plant and damaged emergency backup generators.

Officials say they are close to having electricity restored, but chief government spokesman Yukio Edano warned that even then, much of the original pumping equipment has been damaged by seawater and will have to be replaced.

Three of the plant’s six reactors were operating when the quake struck, while three others were shut down for maintenance. All three of the reactors that were operating have since suffered explosions that destroyed their outer housing. Officials believe that at two of the units, the explosions also ruptured the inner containment chambers which protect against radiation leaks.

Focus on cooling tanks

But current concerns are focused on cooling tanks at all six reactors where used fuel rods are stored. For months, these remain hot enough to catch fire and release lethal radiation unless they can be kept under sufficient amounts of water.

Japan has evacuated more than 200,000 people from a 20-kilometer radius around the plant and advised anyone within 30 kilometers to remain indoors. Many are huddled in makeshift facilities amid frigid temperatures and scarce food supplies.

In his phone call to Kan, Obama said the United States “is determined to do everything possible to support Japan in overcoming the effects” of last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

He expressed his extraordinary admiration for the character and resolve of the Japanese people” and discussed U.S. assistance including “military assets with expertise in nuclear response and consequence management.”

 

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Republican Mega-Conference CPAC Begins Today February 10, 2011

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As the major elected officials, business leaders, and politicos descend on Washington D.C. for the annual CPAC conference, you will hear many stories about the status of the conservative movement, how Republican congressmen can’t seem to implement their agenda, and who’s running for president in 2012.  Lost in the shuffle of all political manuevering that goes on at CPAC and Washington D.C. for that matter, we’ve decided to remind our viewers of the campaign promises and policy changes that many Republicans promised from balanced budgets to spending cuts that have yet to be implemented.  For your viewing pleasure we have Presidential hopeful and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, CPAC headliner Rep. Allen West, Tea Party favorite Rep. Ron Paul, Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist, and conservative leader and former Presidential Candidate Steve Forbes. 

Sen. Rick Santorum – Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania & 2012 Presidential Hopeful

Rep. Allen West – U.S. House of Representatives & CPAC Headliner

Rep. Ron Paul – U.S. House of Representatives & former Presidential Candidate

Grover Norquist – Americans for Tax Reform

Steve Forbes – Chairman & CEO Forbes Inc. and former Presidential Candidate

Related CPAC stories:

Conservatives at CPAC Rally for Border Enforcement

Ron Paul Supporters Heckle Bush Administration at CPAC

Trump to Ron Paul fans at CPAC: C’mon, you know he can’t get elected

Santorum Draws Distinctions at CPAC

Allen West to close CPAC

Dan Mangru on What It Means to Be Free – The Mangru Moment – The Mangru Report on Fox Business February 7, 2011

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At the conclusion of The Mangru Report’s coverage of Freedom Fest, Dan Mangru sits down for an introspective look on what it means to be free and how Americans should be exercising the right that so many gave their lives for.

Bonus:

Steve Forbes FreedomFest Interview:

Pie in the Sky – John Browne Commentary January 27, 2011

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John Browne Headshot

Pie in the Sky

By John Browne

Following the huge gains made by Republicans in the midterm elections, it was widely expected that President Obama would use the State of the Union address to signal a major policy shift toward the center of the political spectrum. On the surface, at least, he appeared to do just that, hinting that he took budget management very seriously and that Americans should be prepared for shared sacrifice. However, as the final applause still echoed in the House chamber, many astute pundits were left trying to make sense of the many contradictory policy prescriptions the President proffered.

Classical political maneuvering dictates that when clouds are grey, politicians must offer good news, tell jokes, and remind us warmly of our childhood (or in Obama’s version, America’s triumph over Russia in the Space Race). Disclosure of specific measures should be avoided at all costs. President Obama followed these tactics closely.

While he did address plans to cut non-defence, discretionary federal spending – a small fraction of the overall budget – the President also announced his intention to increase spending on several existing and new initiatives. The scope of the new initiatives will surely eclipse the modest cuts pledged.

The President was careful to refer to all his spending plans as “investments.” The word is used in order to illicit a pleasant feeling among voters who instinctively favor capitalism over socialism, not because any thinking person expects these resources to be better allocated than they would have been by the market. Governments don’t make investments because they aren’t subject to profit-and-loss feedback. Governments provide public goods for which no profit can be measured or expected – or else we would just have the private sector take care of it. This disingenuous use of the word investment disguises the fact that the President simply intends to borrow even more money to spend on public-sector jobs.

The essential point is that while jobs in the private sector create wealth, public sector jobs actually consume wealth. When I was a Member of the British Parliament, I represented a county that spent the least amount per pupil on education of anywhere in the entire country. Yet, the achievement level of the students was by far the highest. It was vivid proof that it is not the amount of money that is crucial to success, but the quality of the spending. If the President were to lower taxation, cut the number of government regulations, and replace a political atmosphere of uncertainty with one of certainty, he might stand a chance of reviving wealth creation.

More seriously, the President made no mention of the massive debt problems facing US state governments, such as California and Illinois. The potential eruption of these debt and currency problems could well dominate investment strategies for 2011.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office issued a highly embarrassing assessment that the federal deficit for 2011 would rise from the previously projected $1.1 trillion to $1.48 trillion. At a stroke, this nullified the President’s debt reduction plans. The CBO also pointed out that Social Security posted a $45 billion deficit in 2010 and will bleed more than $600 billion over the next ten years. I assume these estimates to be conservative. It is clear that the President, and the rest of Congress for that matter (with the possible exception of Congressman Paul Ryan whose austere recommendations have been ignored by most of his fellow Republicans), are dancing around the bonfire of our sovereign credit and hoping that their twirls will distract us from the conflagration.

Also yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s policy statement claimed that its massive stimulus plans are working, and that it will maintain both QE II and near-zero rates well into 2011. If the economy were indeed improving, as Messrs. Bernanke and Obama claim, why would the Fed and the Treasury need to keep administering life support? Clearly the White House and the Fed have little confidence in their own assertions; so, how should average investors react to more promises which are highly unlikely to be kept?

Rather than buying into Washington’s scripted recovery propaganda, investors should focus on the bottom line. Low interest rates are distorting the value of money and the key investment relationship between risk and reward. One side effect is that investors are being incentivized to favor equities over fixed income. A lack of viable alternatives has likely played an unsung role in supporting the current stock market rally.

Investors would be well-advised to retain a jaundiced view of all political statements, especially those of central bankers and politicians positioning themselves for the next election. In 2011, investors should focus their eyes not on the sky, but at the brick wall our Union is fast approaching.

John Browne is a Senior Market Strategist at Euro-Pacific Capital. He’s been a member of English Parliament, an advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and currently serves as Lead Panelist for The Mangru Report. You can view all of his commentaries by CLICKING HERE NOW.

The Lost Peter Schiff Interview – Freedom Fest 2010 January 18, 2011

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Originally filmed on July 8, 2010, this exclusive Dan Mangru interview with Peter Schiff, conducted at FreedomFest 2010 in Las Vegas, was broadcast on Fox Business but then was thought to be lost forever until now. Now view what former U.S. Senate Candidate and Euro-Pacific Capital President Peter Schiff thinks about freedom and the state of our nation.

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