Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Government is Making Boeing a Bad Actor

By Howard Rich

Last I year joined a pro-free market chorus in condemning Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — which filed suit against aircraft manufacturer Boeing after the company dared to create new jobs in a Right-to-Work state.

“The Obama administration’s war against Boeing is indeed a war against jobs,” l wrote.

Too bad the company failed to show the same fighting spirit that thousands of limited government advocates demonstrated on its behalf.

Rather than standing up for its free market rights, Boeing instead chose to cut a deal with Obama’s union goons. The company’s surrender not only gave Big Labor the concessions it was seeking with regard to the company’s expansion plans — more importantly it preserved the NLRB’s ability to use such thuggish tactics in the future against other companies (which Obama signaled he was more than happy to do via his unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB).
Why did Boeing cave in the face of such a flagrant violation of its rights?

Perhaps that was the plan from the beginning. Remember Boeing is headquartered in Chicago and its executives gave Obama $197,000 in campaign contributions during his 2008 presidential campaign — five times as much money as the company gave the GOP nominee. Obama also named Boeing CEO Jim McNerney as the head of his Export Council.

In 2010, Boeing received $19.4 billion in government contracts – and in early 2011 it was awarded a $35 billion contract to design and build the Pentagon’s next generation air-refueling tanker. The company has also been cashing in on billions of dollars in subsidies doled out through the U.S. Export-Import Bank (a.k.a. the “Ex-Im Bank”) — a crony capitalist entity that authorizes loans to foreign companies.

Boeing benefited from $8.4 billion in Ex-Im loans in 2009, $6.4 billion in 2010 and $11.4 billion in 2011 — gobbling up the overwhelming majority of the bank’s lending capacity.

Obama and his allies are currently seeking a four-year reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank that would raise its lending capacity from $100 billion to $140 billion.
Get full story here.

Krugman’s ‘private’ sector

By Bill Wilson

The week of April 6, the national average of gasoline prices hit $3.94, according to the Energy Information Agency, with prices continuing to rise nationwide.

But economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman apparently thinks you’re not paying enough at the pump just yet. Or everywhere else for that matter. Whether energy, food, or consumer goods, he wants more inflation, and is encouraging the Federal Reserve to fire up the printing presses to help stoke the embers of even higher prices.
Why would he want to do that?

Writes Krugman, “large parts of the private sector continue to be crippled by the overhang of debt accumulated during the bubble years; this debt burden is arguably the main thing holding private spending back and perpetuating the slump.”

Therefore, he adds, “Modest inflation would, however, reduce that overhang — by eroding the real value of that debt — and help promote the private-sector recovery we need.”

But, non-financial business debt (corporate and non-corporate), while slightly dropping after the financial crisis, grew steadily in 2011 to $11.63 trillion — for the first time it’s higher than its peak 2008 level of $11.41 trillion, according to data released from the Federal Reserve. 

That indicates that any deleveraging in the non-financial private sector has already worked its way through the system, else the total amount of debt owed by private companies would still be decreasing.
So, which “large parts of the private sector” being hurt by debt overhang was Krugman referring to?
Get full story here.

Mama Obama tells kids that if their parents don’t vote for her husband, ‘they’re wrong’

By Rebecca DiFede

Not be overshadowed by her husband as the campaign blazes on, First Lady Michele Obama did some campaigning of her own; upon meeting some kids at an event in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Michele told them that they should tell their parents and grandparents to vote for her husband and that, “You can convince wrong people”.
Gee thanks, Mama Obama.

It seems that the First Lady has missed being at the pulpit and telling people how to live their lives (like she did with her ever-popular “Let’s Move” campaign), and so she found a new way to cause a little ruckus. By being her husband’s version of an over-obsessed fan.

Like that girl at the Poison concert who hasn’t washed her “Don’t need nothing but a good time” t-shirt since Bret Michaels signed it in ’88, and who scoffs at everyone who doesn’t think “Every rose has its thorn” is a classic for the ages, Michele Obama seems to be under the impression that everyone would be better off if they voted for her husband. Even if they’re well below the voting age, she relies on them to convince their elders and recruit more followers for the abomination that is her husband’s presidency.

The most bothersome part of this is that these children barely understand the issues that are being presented to the American people from the candidates, much less the fact that the First Lady is trying to manipulate them for her husband’s benefit. They are too young and innocent to realize her ulterior motives, and only see a famous figure speaking to them about vagueries that they hear in little sound bites from news stations.
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Understanding the Unemployment Rate: March 2012

By Rick Manning

Once again, the unemployment rate dropped in March even though there are 31,000 fewer Americans employed than in the month of February.

This strange phenomenon where the government claims that 120,000 new jobs were created, yet fewer Americans are actually employed in those jobs is the result of the data being collected in two distinctly different surveys, and is just one more reason why the monthly unemployment rate no longer reflects the reality of America’s economic situation.

The truth is that 4.7 million Americans who have dropped out of the nation’s labor force are not being counted as unemployed, according to the government’s own data. If these labor force drop outs were counted in the ranks of the unemployed, the real unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent, instead of the claimed 8.2 percent.

This brief, updated, synopsis of some of the key elements of the true unemployment situation since Obama took office in January 2009 will provide a behind the numbers look at the real state of employment in America.

Each month, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics takes a survey snapshot of the nation’s employment situation in an attempt to determine the unemployment rate for the nation’s non-institutionalized civilian population.

While there are many interesting pieces to the unemployment rate puzzle, I have found the following four numbers most informative and enlightening: the non-institutionalized civilian population, the labor participation rate, the number of Americans who are employed and the number of people who classify themselves as “not in the labor force.”

There are obviously other very important statistics like the number of unemployed, which shows more than 12.7 million people who want a job and can’t find one. The scope of the number of people who are unemployed cannot be underestimated in terms of the human toll being created by Obama’s failed economic policies.

The reason that this number is not one of the four that I focus upon is that the number of unemployed does not include those who have dropped out of the labor force, so it significantly understates the scope of the unemployment problem in America.
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Muslim Brotherhood rejects ex-spy chief’s candidacy

Monday, April 9, 2012
A supporter of Omar Suleiman holds a poster Friday in Cairo that reads:
A supporter of Omar Suleiman holds a poster Friday in Cairo that reads: “Run, run, don’t leave us to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — A Muslim Brotherhood candidate for next month’s presidential elections here lashed out Monday at the 11th-hour entrance into the race by Omar Suleiman, the former spy chief to deposed strongman Hosni Mubarak.

“We are not against the concept of anyone running as long as he has the right legal status, but it’s unacceptable to have one of the symbols of Mubarak’s regime run for president,” Khairat el-Shater told CNN. “The majority of Egyptians will not accept him. His candidacy is an insult to the revolution.”
The only way Suleiman could win would be by forgery, el-Shater said. “If there is a 1% chance of forgery in the elections, and he wins that way, then all the Egyptians — not just the Muslim Brotherhood — will take to the streets.”

Elections are scheduled to start May 23.

El-Shater said the brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, would respect “all signed treaties,” including the 1978 Camp David Accords with Israel. “Regardless of any opinion toward these treaties, they were accepted by decent entities in the country, and it does not mean that changing the political system will affect the treaties.”

But he noted that the accords included a component “about respecting the rights of Palestinians. The Egyptians respected their part of the deal but the Israelis — until now — have not respected the Palestinian rights. The Egyptians complied, but the Israelis did not.”

El-Shater said the timing of a loan from the International Monetary Fund to the Egyptian government could prove problematic. “The timing is the problem because we don’t think this interim government is performing well, so we object that they take this loan and spend it in two months, then the new government worries about paying it back.”

Whatever happens in the election, the top priority for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party is to ease sectarian tensions, which built under Mubarak’s regime, he said. “Mubarak’s former regime really oppressed the Coptics and the Muslims because his system was based on tyranny. We aim to rebuild our nation again.”

Suleiman entered the race just hours before the Sunday deadline, said Hatem Bjato, who heads the election committee.

Suleiman had initially said he would not seek the presidency in the first election for the post since the revolution that led to the toppling of Mubarak. But on Friday, Suleiman did an about-face, saying he felt obliged to supporters.

“I promise you, my brothers and sisters, to complete the goals of the revolution and provide security and stability to the Egyptian people,” he said in a written statement Friday.
The status of another candidate was less certain.

A court ruled that liberal opposition leader Ayman Nour will not be allowed to compete because he was jailed in recent years, the candidate’s son said Saturday. Nour was recently pardoned and plans to appeal, the son said.

That decision could affect the future of al-Shater, since he too was pardoned for his past convictions.
A millionaire businessman who served two prison terms under Mubarak, al-Shater is considered a conservative, though he is also credited as being the driving force behind the Brotherhood’s affirmation that Egypt should continue to honor its international agreements.

Fearful for the future of its candidates, the Muslim Brotherhood nominated Saturday an alternative, Mohammed Morsi, chief of the Freedom and Justice Party. “We are protecting the revolution and all of its goals. … We have decided as the Brotherhood and its party to nominate Mohammed Morsi as our backup candidate for president,” it said in a statement.

The group had pledged repeatedly that it would not field a presidential candidate. But candidates from its political arm won the largest share of seats in Egypt’s parliamentary elections in December. And Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie has said the new Egypt “is under a serious threat” because its current military-led government “has failed to represent the will of the people.”

A military junta took power after Mubarak’s ouster.

Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismael was also disqualified from running in the election because of his mother’s U.S. citizenship, state television reported Saturday.

The deceased mother of Abu Ismael held U.S. citizenship and used her U.S. passport to enter Egypt three times, Egypt’s Interior Ministry has said.

Ismael had said that his mother held a green card residency permit but was not a U.S. citizen. He told a private Egyptian TV program that his sister was married to an American and had obtained U.S. citizenship, but that his mother had not.

More than 450 people registered or announced plans to seek the presidency.
CNN’s Ian Lee and journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

Breaking News: Special Prosecutor Decides Against Grand Jury in Trayvon Martin Case, Will This Help Get Justice For Trayvon?

The glimmer of hope in the ongoing battle for justice in the Trayvon Martin case has been that a grand jury was to be called this week, but the new special prosecutor handling the case has decided against it. A grand jury could have determined that there is enough evidence to arrest George Zimmerman for shooting Martin on February 26, now over forty days ago — as you know Zimmerman remains free and has not yet been arrested.

State Attorney Angela Corey’s office said that her choice not to use a grand jury “should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case,” noting that she and her team of prosectors have the authority to arrest Zimmerman at any time.

This decision has two effects: First, the Martin family has been against the use of a grand jury because the process is often secretive and in spite of the overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing on Zimmerman’s part, a jury of his peers might find that his actions do not require an arrest. This means, then, that the burden of resolving this case rests solely with Florida prosecutors, who have not yet put forth a timetable for action on the case and say that they are still reviewing evidence.

Which leads to the second effect: with the grand jury canceled the case has stalled yet again. People are really starting to need answers, so expect more disappointment, Zimmerman family shady lawyering, and outrage until this case has some movement.

Do you think the exclusion of the grand jury will make justice for Trayvon more likely?