WaPo’s Modest Proposal: Dictator Obama

“It’s time to put that power back where it belongs,” explains Jonathan Zimmerman in today’s Washington Post, “Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.” The 22nd Amendment, limiting the Presidential term, according to Zimmerman, reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people.” Of course, in the increasingly ‘entitled’ America, it would only cost a few hundred million to bribe all the newly downgraded Middle-to-Lower class Americans with Obamaphones in order to finally get a “dictatorial democracy” by indirectly funding the lower common denominator with $400 in free money every election cycle.

 

End Presidential Term Limits (Jonathan Zimmerman),

Via WaPo,

I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.

 

 

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

 

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.

 

Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?

 

 

the GOP moved to codify it in the Constitution in 1947, when a large Republican majority took over Congress. Ratified by the states in 1951, the 22nd Amendment was an “undisguised slap at the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” wrote Clinton Rossiter, one of the era’s leading political scientists. It also reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people,” Rossiter said.

 

 

“I think our people are to be safely trusted with their own destiny,” Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) argued in 1947. “We do not need to protect the American people with a prohibition against a president whom they do not wish to elect; and if they wanted to elect him, have we the right to deny them the power?

 

It’s time to put that power back where it belongs. When Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, some Republicans briefly floated the idea of removing term limits so he could run again. The effort went nowhere, but it was right on principle. Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.

It was only yesterday that we highlighted what happens when the entitled elect themselves… a brutal hangover,” and the dismal waste of the Obamaphone program (among many others) suggests we are well down that route:

As Heritage reports, free cell phones for low-income Americans, one of the fastest growing welfare programs in the United States, is—by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) own admission—rife with “waste, fraud and abuse.” And who is paying for these free Obamaphones? If you have a phone subscription, you are.

 

 

According to figures supplied by the FCC to The Wall Street Journal, 41 percent of subscribers were unable to prove their eligibility for the program.

 

Indifference to abuse of the program is appalling.

 

 

Lifeline has mutated from a program designed to help the needy into a glorified corporate subsidy. Abuse of the program will continue while the FCC scrambles to fix it.

 

An all-expense-paid cell phone, courtesy of those who actually pay for their own service, is not a human right; it’s an insult to struggling families who are reminded every month that their money is lost in yet another sloppy government slush fund.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/-vE5BDtvxCs/story01.htm Tyler Durden

WaPo's Modest Proposal: Dictator Obama

“It’s time to put that power back where it belongs,” explains Jonathan Zimmerman in today’s Washington Post, “Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.” The 22nd Amendment, limiting the Presidential term, according to Zimmerman, reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people.” Of course, in the increasingly ‘entitled’ America, it would only cost a few hundred million to bribe all the newly downgraded Middle-to-Lower class Americans with Obamaphones in order to finally get a “dictatorial democracy” by indirectly funding the lower common denominator with $400 in free money every election cycle.

 

End Presidential Term Limits (Jonathan Zimmerman),

Via WaPo,

I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.

 

 

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

 

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.

 

Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?

 

 

the GOP moved to codify it in the Constitution in 1947, when a large Republican majority took over Congress. Ratified by the states in 1951, the 22nd Amendment was an “undisguised slap at the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” wrote Clinton Rossiter, one of the era’s leading political scientists. It also reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people,” Rossiter said.

 

 

“I think our people are to be safely trusted with their own destiny,” Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) argued in 1947. “We do not need to protect the American people with a prohibition against a president whom they do not wish to elect; and if they wanted to elect him, have we the right to deny them the power?

 

It’s time to put that power back where it belongs. When Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, some Republicans briefly floated the idea of removing term limits so he could run again. The effort went nowhere, but it was right on principle. Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.

It was only yesterday that we highlighted what happens when the entitled elect themselves… a brutal hangover,” and the dismal waste of the Obamaphone program (among many others) suggests we are well down that route:

As Heritage reports, free cell phones for low-income Americans, one of the fastest growing welfare programs in the United States, is—by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) own admission—rife with “waste, fraud and abuse.” And who is paying for these free Obamaphones? If you have a phone subscription, you are.

 

 

According to figures supplied by the FCC to The Wall Street Journal, 41 percent of subscribers were unable to prove their eligibility for the program.

 

Indifference to abuse of the program is appalling.

 

 

Lifeline has mutated from a program designed to help the needy into a glorified corporate subsidy. Abuse of the program will continue while the FCC scrambles to fix it.

 

An all-expense-paid cell phone, courtesy of those who actually pay for their own service, is not a human right; it’s an insult to struggling families who are reminded every month that their money is lost in yet another sloppy government slush fund.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/-vE5BDtvxCs/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Anti-Vaxxers Take Note: Vaccines Have Prevented 100 Million Serious Childhood Diseases In U.S. Since 1888

VaccinationPublicly launched earlier this
week, Project Tycho has
assembled data on contagious disease rates in the United States
since 1888. The non-profit effort is named after astronomer Tycho
Brahe whose careful observations enabled Johannes Kepler to figure
out the orbits of planets in our solar system. Based on the data, a
new
report
in The New England Journal of Medicine
estimates that over 100 million cases of serious childhood
illnesses have been prevented in the U.S. since 1924 by vaccination
programs against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A,
diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

The Washington Post
reported
:

What emerges is a detailed picture of how 56 infectious diseases
have affected the American landscape since the late 19th century —
and what interventions have proved most effective in stopping them.
By comparing reported outbreaks of polio, smallpox and other
diseases with the dates when vaccines for each came into use,
researchers were able to document the life-saving role those drugs
played.

“We saw these very abrupt declines of incidence rates across the
country,” said lead author Willem G. van Panhuis, assistant
professor of epidemiology at the university’s Graduate School of
Public Health, known as Pitt Public Health. Ultimately, he and his
co-authors estimated that the introduction of vaccines had helped
prevent 100 million cases of serious childhood diseases, a
figure they said is worth remembering during a time when critics
have raised questions about the necessity of vaccines.

“We really hope this will ignite debate about the use of
vaccinations, and that it will provide a new piece of evidence,”
van Panhuis said. “We hope this will give this whole discussion a
new dimension.”

Although the NEJM article did not estimate the number
of deaths avoided through vaccination, the New York Times

noted
:

Dr. Donald S. Burke, the dean of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of
public health and an author of the medical journal article, said
that a reasonable projection of prevented deaths based on known
mortality rates in the disease categories would be three million to
four million.

The scientists said their research should help inform the debate
on the risks and benefits of vaccinating American children.

Pointing to the research results, Dr. Burke said, “If you’re
anti-vaccine, that’s the price you pay.”

For more background on the relative safety of vaccines see my
post, “For
Pete’s Sake, Go Get Your Kids Vaccinated Already!
” And until
you can control your own infectious disease vectors so that they
don’t harm anyone else, don’t bother asserting that it’s your
“right” to endanger others. See also, Harm
Principle
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/29/anti-vaxxers-take-note-vaccines-have-pre
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Steven Greenhut: San Francisco ‘Values’ Pricing Poor Out of the City

With the area economy
rebounding, San Francisco is in the midst of a housing crisis as
many residents are evicted from their apartments. With rents
strictly regulated, an increasing number of San Francisco owners
are getting out of the rental business and cashing out their
properties to turn them into co-ops. Steven Greenhut argues that
rent control actually forces prices upward, especially over the
long term, by diminishing the supply of available rental
housing.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/29/steven-greenhut-san-francisco-values-pri
via IFTTT

Steven Greenhut: San Francisco 'Values' Pricing Poor Out of the City

With the area economy
rebounding, San Francisco is in the midst of a housing crisis as
many residents are evicted from their apartments. With rents
strictly regulated, an increasing number of San Francisco owners
are getting out of the rental business and cashing out their
properties to turn them into co-ops. Steven Greenhut argues that
rent control actually forces prices upward, especially over the
long term, by diminishing the supply of available rental
housing.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/29/steven-greenhut-san-francisco-values-pri
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How The FDA is Killing Molecular Medicine: Q/A w Peter Huber

When the FDA is shutting down personal genetic services such as
23andMe, it’s blocking the next great era in medical
innovation.

Click above to hear Peter Huber talk about his new book, The
Cure in the Code, and what needs to happen to create truly
personalized drugs.

Originally released on November 20, 2013. Here’s the full
writeup:

“The
search for one-dimensional, very simple correlations – one drug,
one clinical effect in all patients – is horrendously obsolete,”
says Peter
Huber
, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the
author, most recently, of The
Cure in the Code: How 20th Century Law is Undermining 21st Century
Medicine
.

Pharmaceuticals, Huber says, offer amazing and important ways of
improving our health and quality of life and today’s scientists and
doctors have the ability to tailor drugs to patients’ unique
genetic codes. It’s nothing less than an outrage, argues Huber,
that innovation is being blocked by the Federal Drug
Administration, which clings to an outdated one-size-fits-all drug
approval model.

Huber sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie to discuss the
future of “molecular medicine,” the FDA drug-approval process, and
how AIDS activism in the 1980s and ’90s provides a model for
disrupting the government’s refusal to allow experimentation and
innovation.

About 10 minutes.

For more of Reason‘s coverage on the FDA,
go here.

Camera by Jim Epstein and Anthony Fisher. Edited by Joshua
Swain.


Go here for more links, resources, etc.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/29/how-the-fda-is-killing-molecular-medicin
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The Magic Of Forward P/E Multiples In One Chart

As readers may or may not recall, one of the main arguments the bulls had in early 2008, a month after the recession had already begun (according to the NBER’s retrospective conclusion over a year later) to justify that the S&P 500, which had recently hit all time highs of 1546, was not in a bubble is that the projected EPS for the following year, 2009, were 120, which meant the multiple was an oh so very cheap 12x. The same analysis with the even nearer, 2008, S&P EPS which at that point were expected to print just below 100, suggested the S&P at around 1500 was a “healthy” 15x multiple. Unfortunately as the events of 2008 showed, not only did the financial system nearly implode, but earnings, both actual and projected, cratered. The result is that the 2009 EPS which was initially forecast to be $120 ultimately ended up being half of that, or $60 (see chart below), which also meant that the forward multiple of a “very cheap” 12x or so ended up being, drumroll, just a tad bubbly 24x!

Which is why we urge anyone using the naive argument that stocks now are cheap based on forward multiples to observe the following chart, which shows that S&P 500 2013 EPS, projected to be just below 110, are now just above what the S&P was supposed to earn in early 2008 and well below the then projected 2009 EPS. Where it gets more amusing is that the current estimate for 2014 EPS is precisely where 2009 EPS were supposed to land…. before those particular earnings ended up being crushed in half.

Finally as we will show in a subsequent post, 2013 EPS on a GAAP basis are currently precisely $100 with another $10.25 coming from adjustments and other write-offs. Which means that on a recurring Net Income basis, assuming Q4 earnings are roughly in line with expectations, the S&P 500 is currently trading at over 18x GAAP earnings, or as the same people who in 2008 said “the market is not in a bubble” would call it, “cheap.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/TJIdVcSMMr8/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Oil Supplies in Storage Passing 400 Million Threshold Soon

By EconMatters  

 

Trend is to Store more Oil 

 

A year ago oil in storage stood at 274 million barrels, and with another robust year of domestic production, and despite curtailed imports, the US Oil Inventory stands at 391 million barrels and climbing. 

 

We are still technically in the building season for oil supplies which peaked in late May just shy of 400 Million Barrels, before the drawing season kicked off with the exporting of gasoline through increased refinery utilization led by the gulf coast refiners with their increased capacity to take advantage of the spread differential and cheaper operational energy in natural gas to export refined products more competitively than peer nations.

 

New Records Coming Soon

 

The domestic need for refined products was stagnant at best, the real demand was in the export market, without a robust export market for refined products, oil supplies would have crushed the 400 Million Barrier this summer, and prices at the pump would have been much cheaper here stateside. 

 

So the drawing season accounted for roughly a 40 million barrel retracement in US supplies, and we are not even close to the  middle of the building season, which even by conservative estimates should continue until mid-March of 2014. 

 

We might have some year-end selling of US inventories due to tax reasons, especially in Texas, but after all is said and done, if we go by the recent historical barometer of last year where we added roughly 25 million barrels of oil supplies to inventories, this puts supplies around the 416 Million Barrels of Oil level in the heart of the building season.

 

If domestic production continues ahead of pace and imports are not properly managed then maybe 425 Million Barrels in storage is possible, all modern records at this point in the data.

 

Fundamentals & Price: A Path Less Traveled in Recent Years

 

What effect this has on Oil prices is an entirely different matter as the Oil market is one of the most manipulated markets in the trading world, just look at the Brent-WTI Spread Trade this year for proof of that, and over the last 4 years for that matter.  

 

All markets are pretty bad these days when it comes to market shenanigans, and when the Federal Reserve has basically gotten into the business of artificially created wealth through artificially pushing up asset prices all bets are off when it comes to predicting price adhering to fundamentals in the marketplace. 

 

Fundamentals have become irrelevant in most markets these days. But some of us analyst types like to do fundamental analysis just for old time`s sake, who knows it might become a useful tool again sometime in the future once markets lose this unprecedented liquidity injection phenomenon.  

 

Domestic Production

 

In looking at Domestic production, the US produces over 8 million barrels per day compared with 6.8 million this time last year, quite a significant jump year on year, and ahead of where my most optimistic forecast was for this metric earlier in the year in March of 2013. This increase in Domestic production is being offset by a reduction in Oil imports with the US importing 7.7 Million barrels per day versus over 8.1 million barrels this time last year.

 


Managing Imports

 

So the goal is to control supplies through managing imports to align with the substantial increases in Domestic production over the last several years, and this trend continues to play out at present. How far this strategy can go before world oil prices start reacting with considerable downward pressure is anybody`s guess but definitely something to keep track of in 2014. 

 

 

But the last several months have had several weeks where Domestic production is more than Imports, and this milestone is quite an achievement for an ‘Outsourcer’ Nation with its core economic strategy of the last 30 years for goods and services. 

 

2014 & Oil Metrics

 

Thus if we go by recent historical trends is the 9 million barrels per day of Domestic Oil production really possible for 2014? Can the US hit the 9.5 Million Barrel per day mark? And if so what does this mean for Global Oil prices? 

 

All these dynamics will be worth watching in 2014, to be sure there are other factors revolving around China, Iran and Venezuela not to mention Saudi Arabia`s strategy in regard to Oil production, but nonetheless 2014 ought to be an interesting one for the Oil Market.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/sxHtF3EuHnA/story01.htm EconMatters