The Polar Vortex Is Back… In The Middle Of July

While every single economist and “straight to CNBC” pundit was quick to blast the atrocious economic performance in Q1 as solely due to the “harsh weather”, what has emerged in various retail earnings reports so far in Q2 is that, drumroll, they lied. In fact, as one after another “stunned” retailer admits, the depressed spending observed during Q1 continued, if not deteriorated even further, in the second quarter. Which means only one thing, the same thing we said back in January: as a result of Obamacare, the declining credit impulse resulting from the Fed’s tapering, and a ongoing contraction in global trade as the world slides back into recession, the US economy is on the verge of stalling and may well enter into a tailspin if one or more exogenous events take place in a centrally-planned world that is priced to perfection.

To be sure, one of the potential scapegoats we highlighted previously was the replacement of the polar vortex with what we dubbed the “solar vortex“, ala El Nino, which as we further reported, has already been blamed in advance by the Bank of Japan for a spending collapse set to take place in the second half of 2014, the year when the Japanese economy now almost certainly re-enters recession.

But just to make sure that the abysmal Q1 GDP which has now spilled over into Q2 and will likely see the US economy growing in the mid-2% range, has a sufficiently broad “excuse” in the third quarter of the year, here comes – in the middle of July the polar vortex 2.0.  As WaPo reports, “However you choose to refer to the looming weather pattern, unseasonably chilly air is headed for parts of the northern and northeastern U.S at the height of summer early next week.”

(, adapted by CWG)

Bearing a haunting resemblance to January’s brutally cold weather pattern, a deep pool of cool air from the Gulf of Alaska will plunge into the Great Lakes early next week and then ooze towards the East Coast.

6-10 day outlook from National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

The atmospheric impact will not be nearly as dramatic, but still temperatures are forecast to be roughly 10 to as much as 30 degrees below average.

Temperature anomalies (or difference from normal) Tuesday midday from European model (

This means that in parts of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest getting dealt the chilliest air, highs in this region could well get stuck in the 50s and 60s – especially where there is considerable cloud cover.

GFS model forecast highs Tuesday (


And focusing on next week specifically, “Wednesday morning’s lows may drop into the  40s over a large part of the central U.S.”

 GFS model forecast lows Wednesday morning (


Highs may struggle to reach 80 in D.C. next Tuesday and Wednesday with widespread lows in the 50s (even 40s in the mountains).

GFS model 7-day forecast (

More from WaPo:

What’s behind this unusual winter weather pattern primed for the dog days of summer?  A lot of it is simply chance (randomness), but Weather Underground’s meteorologist Jeff Masters says Japan’s typhoon Neoguri is playing a role in the pattern’s evolving configuration:

….the large and powerful nature of this storm has set in motion a chain-reaction set of events that will dramatically alter the path of the jet stream and affect weather patterns across the entire Northern Hemisphere next week. Neoguri will cause an acceleration of the North Pacific jet stream, causing a large amount of warm, moist tropical air to push over the North Pacific. This will amplify a trough low pressure over Alaska, causing a ripple effect in the jet stream over western North America, where a strong ridge of high pressure will develop, and over the Midwestern U.S., where a strong trough of low pressure will form.

What amazes me most about the pattern is not so much the forecast temperatures, but the uncanny similarities in the weather patterns over North America seen in both the heart of winter and heart of summer. All of the same features (refer to the map at the top of this post)  apparent in January are on the map in mid-July: low pressure over the Aleutians (blue shading), a large hot ridge (yellow and red shading) over the western U.S., the huge cold low or vortex over the Great Lakes (blue and green shading), and then the ridge over northeast Canada (yellow and red shading).


It’s not at all clear what this means or what, if anything, it portends.  Weather patterns cycling through a certain circulation regime can repeat (and we’ve seen this pattern multiple times since November-December), but with El Nino forecast to develop, the global configuration of weather systems is likely to change.

So the question is: just how profound of an adverse impact on Q3 GDP (because remember: weather anomalies are never additive to GDP; only wars can do that in a Keynesian world) will the second, summertime coming of polar vortex have on the US economy? Judging by the laughable farce that the economic profession has devolved to, desperately seeking to “explain away” any deviation from a priced to perfection growth rate, if only that of the Fed’s balance sheet, not to mention why its forecasts are always wrong we are likely to find out very soon.

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Liberty.Me: Trying to Create a “Culture of Praxis” in a Word-Filled Libertarian Movement

Those wanting to keep up on the latest in communication,
practice, and argument in the “liberty movement” writ large might
want to check out the new-ish site Liberty.Me, the latest brainchild of
hyperoptimistic liberty lover Jeffrey Tucker. (See
here for an older Reason.TV segment
on Tucker. To me, Tucker
will always be the man who taught me
that shaving cream was a lie
, saving me double-digits in
Barbasol bills over the years.)

I chatted with Tucker about what he’s trying to accomplish on
the site a couple of weeks back by phone. “The
Internet is our frontier, exactly like the west was in
th century,” Tucker says. “There’s always
migration to free spaces as old spaces are corrupted by
government.” So he wanted to create a “community-based one or two
way or one-million way conversation, a living arrangement for
people who love liberty of all sorts.”

The costs of creating this sort of “multiblogging
multisite” have finally fallen to within the domain of the
possible, Tucker says, so he saw an entrepreneurial space that’s
more limited in its ideological scope but wider in its uses than
most current social spaces on the internet where libertarians might
be trying to communicate.

It’s what Tucker calls a “hybrid” model, subscription based but
with “more free content than most. This is outreach on one
hand, an attempt to get ideas of liberty into the mainstream, but
on the other hand there is a huge private space where everybody has
skin in the game, differences between public kinds of engagement
and private are really the difference between a dinner party and a
day in the park” and he hopes to create a space where communication
will be both more open and less negative and trollish with
a core civility to engagement that comes with
ownership.  Everyone has a mutual interest in enhancing the
value of overall communication” on the site, like a self-selected
subdivision for publication and engagement in the vast wild

Though it is ultimately a web site where people post words and
images, in essence, Tucker hopes it becomes an engine of
“a culture of praxis” in the libertarian movement, “so
we are focused on doing liberty, not just theorizing about it. An
attempt to take it to stage two of building real institutions. To
my mind this is how liberty is being won in the world; not through
big public protests—politics has amounted to so little” but to
“innovate, get creative, find ways around the system, find a flaw
in the system and exploit it to make your life freer.” This is why
he’s a big promoter of “Bitcoin and Uber and AirBnB.

“I feel like a beautiful model for liberty minded activism
is to empower people in their own lives, work on making their own
lives freer…rather than narrowly limiting the scope of
imagination to attacking the system that is.”

It’s a combination of an old Karl Hess “living liberty”
vision and some Richard Cornuelle “we have to show the world how a
libertarian polity would work” ideas and its worth applauding.
Available on the site, amongst many interesting discussion boards
and personally produced content, and sets of “Liberty Guides” on
practical matters ranging from Bitcoin to dealing with police, from
gun purchasing to rhetoric, from job hunting to peer-to-peer
lending to “digital couponing.” It has an interesting groovy
counterculture feel that tries to root itself not just in
talking—as interesting as talking is—but to

Tucker says they were at 3,000 paid users a couple of weeks ago,
a virtual “city that is both public and also brilliantly private in
actual mechanics and operations.”

Check it out yourself to
see if it’s worth your time. 30 day free trials are available for
the pay parts.

“Everything I’ve ever done has taught me three things
are amazing in the world,” Tucker says. “Commerce, technology, and
crowdsourced information. Those are three things I think are the
driving force of history. What I tried to do with is put
all three in one piece of digital real estate.”

from Hit & Run

Millennials Want to Be Entrepreneurs; Like Business, Profit, and Competition

Download the PDFReason-Rupe has a new survey and report
out on millennials—find the report

Reason-Rupe’s latest poll of millennials
 finds a majority
(55%) hopes to start their own business one day, while 43 percent
don’t have this desire. More generally, millennials have a positive
view of business, entrepreneurship, competition and profit.

A plurality (47%) say that the “strength of this country today
is mostly based on the success of American business,” while 33
percent say “American business gets more credit than it deserves
for keeping the country strong.” A fifth aren’t sure what to think
about American business.

There are predictable differences across political ideology,
particularly driven by white liberals. Sixty-one percent of
conservatives agree U. S. strength depends on business success, as
do 50 percent of moderates. Only 38 percent of liberals agree,
while a plurality (41%) says business gets more than its due

Millennials aren’t too concerned about business making too much
money or paying too little in taxes either. Less than half of
millennials say American companies make too much in profits (44%)
and the same amount says companies pay too little in taxes (44%).
Instead, a majority (54%) says business profits are either the
“right amount” (42%) or too little (12%). Similarly, a majority
(55%) says companies’ taxes are either the “right amount” (37%) or
too high (18%).

Partisan differences exist, as more millennial Democrats than
Republicans say companies are making too much in profits (54 to 31
percent) and paying too little in taxes (56 to 27 percent). The
partisan differences appear partly driven by white Democrats, while
non-white Democrats are more favorable toward business.

While millennials are pro-business, they still believe
government regulation is necessary to protect the public interest.
A plurality (46%) believe, “government regulation of business is
necessary to protect the public interest, ” while 37 percent say
“government regulation of business usually does more harm than
good. ” Another 18 percent don’t know what to think about business
regulation. Nevertheless, 63
percent are still concerned that regulators prioritize special
interest over the public

Millennials Like Profit and Competition

“People Not Profit” signs may be popular at Occupy Wall Street
rallies, but hostility toward profit is not representative of the
average millennial. Instead, young Americans are favorable toward
the concepts and values that undergird business and
entrepreneurship, including profit and competition.

Seventy percent agree that competition “stimulates people to
work hard and develop new ideas. ” (Nearly a third have a highly
favorable view and 40 percent have a somewhat favorable view). A
quarter generally has an unfavorable perception of competition,
because it is “primarily harmful” and brings out “the worst in
people. ”

Sixty-four percent are favorable toward profit because it
“encourages businesses to provide valued products to attract
customers. ” (More than a quarter has a strongly favorable view and
37 percent have a somewhat favorable opinion). A quarter has a
primarily unfavorable perception of profit, because it “encourages
businesses to take advantage of their customers and employees.

Less Expensive Imports Trump American-Made

When it comes to buying products at competitive prices or
products made in America, millennials are divided. Fifty-two
percent say they’d prefer to purchase a lower-priced product of
equal quality made in another country, but 45 percent would prefer
to purchase a higher-priced product of equal quality made in the
United States.

Despite Republicans’ rhetorical support for free markets,
country loyalty may come first. A slim majority (51%) would rather
purchase a higher-priced product made in America while 43 percent
would choose a less-expensive product of equal quality made in
another country. Nearly the inverse is true of millennial
Democrats. Fifty-four percent Democrats opt for the lower-priced
product made abroad and 44 percent would rather the more expensive
American-made product. Independents are nearly identical to
Democrats on this issue.

learn more about millennials, check
out Reason-Rupe’s new report.

from Hit & Run

Time For Regime Change At The Eccles Building: Interest Rate Pegging Is Destroying Capitalism

Submitted by David Stockman of Contra Corner blog,

The S&P500 jerked higher yesterday afternoon when the Fed minutes revealed no new information on the dreaded day when interest rates begin to rise. In other words, the stock market is one sick puppy—utterly addicted to the Fed’s baleful regime of ZIRP.

And it is a regime. We are now in month 68 of essentially zero interest rates in the money markets. There is nothing like it in post-war history.

The argument for the dangerous absurdity of providing zero cost funding to carry-traders and speculators is that the US economy was smacked by a 100-year flood type event during the 2008 financial crisis and, therefore,”extraordinary monetary accommodation” is required to heal the damage.  But that is a bogus rationalization.

The financial crisis was caused by the Fed, and then became an excuse for extending and intensifying an interest rate pegging regime that has been in place for 27 years—essentially since the Greenspan Fed panicked after the Black Monday stock market meltdown in October 1987. Indeed, Bernanke didn’t gum about the “zero-bound” inadvertently; it was, in fact, the end game of the Greenspan Fed’s core premise: Namely, that the business cycle can be flattened (if not eliminated) and macro-economic performance improved by pegging prices in the money markets; and that there will be no untoward effects from supplanting market price signals and allocations with a regime of administered money.

In truth, the Fed’s quarter century march to yesterday’s pathetic rerun of yet another episode of “lower for longer” has produced virtually the opposite of the Greenspan Fed’s premise. That is, macro-economic performance has worsened, while the negative side-effects—serial financial bubbles and massive extension of debt and leverage in all sectors of the US economy—have been monumental.

As to the macro-economic effects, you can’t find any discussion of them in the Fed’s minutes because they are essentially a short-term economic weather report. But the ticks in the U-3 unemployment rate or blips in the monthly rate of gross capital spending tell almost nothing about the trend performance and health of the national economy. Janet Yellen was perhaps unintentionally correct in her “noise” comment, but simply neglected to note that this characterization applies not just to last month’s CPI, but to the entirely of the “incoming data” which the Fed obsesses about.

At the end of the day, there are two core indicators of the trend in macroeconomic performance and health that are never noted by the monetary central planners in the Eccles Building: Namely, the rate of net capital investment growth— because that establishes the foundation for future productivity and real wealth gains; and full-time bread-winner jobs— because that measures the gains in main street living standards. In particular, part-time jobs in bars and restaurants generating annualized pay rates of less than $20k are cyclical noise, not indications of sustainable economic growth.

After a temporary but unsustainable spurt in CapEx during the  Greenspan tech bubble, net investment after allowance for capital consumption in the current reporting period has been dismal for 17-years. And the relevant figure is net investment, not the Keynesian measure of gross capital spending embodied in the GDP equation and endlessly jabbered about on bubblevision. The truth is, during the last 15 years, the highs in real domestic net investment have been getting lower and the lows have also been posting lower. Indeed, after 68 months of ZIRP real net business investment is 20% lower than it was at the turn of the century.

Real Business Investment - Click to enlarge

Real Business Investment – Click to enlarge

Likewise, not withstanding last Friday’s swell jobs report headlines, the level of full-time, family supporting “breadwinner” jobs in the US economy is still 4.4 % below the 2007 peak; and the  ballyhooed June number was actually 4 million below the level attained way back in early 2001.  The irony of this dismal condition of jobs in construction, manufacturing, the white collar professions, distribution and transportation, FIRE, business management and core government employment is that more “jobs” has been the ultimate and incessant justification for interest rate pegging and ZIRP.

Breadwinner Economy Jobs - Click to enlarge

Breadwinner Economy Jobs – Click to enlarge

So there is just no way to argue that the Fed’s long march to ZIRP has enhanced the foundational performance of the macro-economy. And that means, in turn, that the Fed is up to something altogether different. In effect, it is involved in a giant and futile game of tilting at short-run cyclical windmills on the implicit theory that the American economy is a fragile flower that will tumble into recession the minute the Fed loosens its grip on the money market dials.

This is patent nonsense. The mild recession cycle of 2001-2002 and the deep but brief plunge of 2008-2009 represented the liquidation of bloated inventories, jobs and marginal output that had built-up during the Fed enabled dotcom and housing/credit bubbles, respectively. During the so-called “recovery” period of 4-5 years after each of these cycles, it was not interest rate pegging and its ultimate manifestation in ZIRP that did the trick.

In fact, the above graphs make absolutely clear that low interest rates did not stimulate capital spending or real job creation. What pick-up in activity that did occur under these foundational headings represented the ordinary workings of the capitalist economy. Not withstanding the cyclical windmill tilting in the Eccles Building, and the massive diversion of capital resources and financial activity to the Wall Street casino that is the inexorable result of free money to the carry-trade gamblers, the natural forces of capitalist regeneration did propel the US economy sluggishly forward during the so-called recoveries.

In short, the 27 year regime of interest rate pegging has done nothing to flatten the business cycle, but, instead, has actually intensified it by fueling malinvestment-riven financial bubbles that inevitably need to be liquidated.  On an all-in basis, therefore, administered prices in the money markets have increased cyclical instability and detracted from trend performance of the fundamentals.

As defective as it is, even the real GDP measure doesn’t lie. During the last 14 years, real GDP growth has averaged only 1.8 percent annually or barely half of the trend during the prior 50-years.

At the same time, interest rate-pegging and ZIRP have destroyed the most important price in all of capitalism—namely, the cost of short-term money used to fund speculation in the financial markets—whether through old-fashioned margin credit or other leverage or through more sophisticated forms of options and structured finance trades.

In any event, honest price discovery throughout the whole range of financial assets has been destroyed because Fed enabled and subsidized speculation has caused cap rates to be artificially repressed and asset prices to be vastly inflated by one-way trading in the Wall Street casino.

So maybe its time for a new version of the old regime at the Fed. That is, for the Eccles Building to eschew interest rate-pegging and ZIRP entirely, and thereby allow financial markets to once again engage in honest price discovery and two-way trading; and to allow the natural business cycle to meander along its own capitalist path as determined not by the 12 members of the monetary politburo, but the 317 million consumers, producers, investors, entrepreneurs and even speculators who comprise the real main street economy.

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

With No Limit in Sight, Federal Debt Creeps Ever-Upward. Seriously, There’s No Limit.

Last October, I pointed out that the feds gave themselves an
unlimited credit card and
public debt outstanding jumped $328 billion, from $16.747 trillion
to $17.076 trillion literally overnight
. Yowza! That’s a
shopping spree. The suspension of the debt limit was extended
through February 7, 2014.

“On February 8, the limit will be reset to reflect cumulative
borrowing through February 7,” the Congressional Budget Office
helpfully pointed
. “The amount of outstanding debt subject to limit is now
around $17.1 trillion.”

Well, “now” was November 20 of last year. Outstanding debt is no
longer $17.1 trillion. Now, it’s closer to $17.6 trillion.

And, if you didn’t already know, the debt limit was suspended
—this time through March 15, 2015.

National debt on July 9, 2014

Well, OK. That not-quite $17.6 trillion is up just a
from April—and actually down a smidgeon from
earlier this month. It’s also projected by the CBO to continue to grow with
“serious and negative consequences.”

But why obsess about the ten trillion dollar rise in that debt
over a decade? It’s only money. We can
always make more
. Right?

from Hit & Run

Barack Obama: “Don’t Get Cynical, Get Hopey”

Today, Obama did more of what he has been born to do: preach from a teleprompter, this time at the Paramount Theater in Austin. Here are the choice excerpts from the speech transcript. They hardly need commentary:

* * *

Sometimes people say thank you for something I’ve done or a position I’ve taken, and some people say, “You’re an idiot.” (Laughter.) And that’s how I know that I’m getting a good representative sampling because — (laughter) — half the letters are less than impressed with me.

* * *

The crisis in 2008 hurt us all badly — worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But you think about the progress we’ve made. Today, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months. (Applause.) Our housing is rebounding. Our auto industry is booming. Manufacturing is adding more jobs than any time since the 1990s. The unemployment rate is the lowest point it’s been since September of 2008. (Applause.) … some of it had to do with decisions we made to build our economy on a new foundation. And those decisions are paying off. We’re more energy independent. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from abroad. (Applause.) The world’s largest oil and gas producer isn’t Russia; it’s not Saudi Arabia — it’s the United States of America. (Applause.)

In education, our high school graduation rate is at a record high; the Latino dropout rate has been cut in half since 2000. (Applause.) More young people are graduating from college than ever before.

OBAMA: Si se puede. (Laughter.)

* * *

So when folks say they’re frustrated with Congress, let’s be clear about what the problem is. (Applause.) I’m just telling the truth now. I don’t have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip. (Applause.) And I want to assure you, I’m really not that partisan of a guy. My favorite President is the first Republican President, a guy named Abraham Lincoln. You look at our history, and we had great Republican Presidents who — like Teddy Roosevelt started the National Park System, and Dwight Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System, and Richard Nixon started the EPA.

The statement I’m making is not a partisan statement, it is a statement of fact. (Applause.) So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class. They have said no —


OBAMA: Don’t boo now, because what I want you to do is vote. (Applause.)

They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage. They’ve said no to fair pay. They said no to unemployment insurance for hardworking folks like Kinsey’s parents who have paid taxes all their lives and never depended on anything and just needed a little help to get over a hump. They said no to fixing our broken immigration system that we know would strengthen our borders and our businesses and help families. (Applause.)

* * *

And what it does, is it just feeds people’s cynicism about Washington. It just makes people think, well, nothing can happen, and people start feeling hopeless. And we have to understand, in the face of all evidence to the contrary in Washington, we can do better than we’re doing right now. (Applause.) We can do better than what we’re doing right now.

We know from our history, our economy does not grow from the top down, it grows from the middle up. It grows from a rising, thriving middle class. It grows when we got ladders of opportunity for everybody, and every young person in America is feeling hopeful and has a chance to do what they can with the God-given talents that they have. That’s what we’re fighting for. That is what you should be fighting for. (Applause.)

And that’s the reason — that’s the reason why my administration has taken more than 40 different actions just this year to help working Americans — because Congress won’t.

* * *

As long as Congress will not increase wages for workers, I will go and talk to every business in America if I have to. (Applause.) There’s no denying a simple truth: America deserves a raise, and if you work full-time in this country, you shouldn’t live in poverty. That’s something that we all believe. (Applause.)

* * * 

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. There are a number of Republicans, including a number in the Texas delegation, who are mad at me for taking these actions. They actually plan to sue me. (Laughter.) Now, I don’t know which things they find most offensive — me helping to create jobs, or me raising wages, or me easing the student loan burdens, or me making sure women can find out whether they’re getting paid the same as men for doing the same job. I don’t know which of these actions really bug them. (Laughter.)

The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. (Applause.) Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figure out. (Laughter.) You hear some of them — “sue him,” “impeach him.” Really? (Laughter.) Really? For what? (Applause.) You’re going to sue me for doing my job? Okay. (Applause.)

I mean, think about that. You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job — (laughter) — while you don’t do your job. (Applause.)

* * *

So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers’ money, I’ve got a better idea: Do something. (Applause.) If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up. Let’s pass some bills. Let’s help America together. (Applause.)

It is lonely, me just doing stuff. I’d love if the Republicans did stuff, too. (Laughter.) On immigration issues, we’ve got — and to their credit, there are some Republicans in the Senate who actually worked with Democrats, passed a bill, would strengthen the borders, would help make the system more fair and more just. But the House Republicans, they haven’t even called the bill. They won’t even take a vote on the bill. They don’t have enough energy or organization or I don’t know what to just even vote no on the bill. (Laughter.) And then they’re made at me for trying to do some things to make the immigration system work better. So it doesn’t make sense.

OBAMA: I’m sorry, what are you yelling about now? Sit down, guys. I’m almost done. Come on, sit down. I’ll talk to you afterwards, I promise. I’ll bring you back. I’m wrapping things up here.
OBAMA: I understand. See, everybody is going to start — I’m on your side, man. Sit down, guys, we’ll talk about it later, I promise.

So, look, here’s what we could do. We could do so much more — you don’t have to escort them out. They’ll sit down. I promise, I’ll talk to you afterwards.

* * *

Let’s rally around a patriotism that says we’re stronger as a nation when we cultivate the ingenuity and talent of every American, and give every 4-year-old in America access to high-quality education — good-quality preschool. (Applause.) Let’s redesign our high schools to make them more relevant to the 21st century economy. Let’s make college more affordable. Let’s make sure every worker, if you lose your job, you can get a good job training that gives you an even better job. (Applause.)

Let’s embrace the patriotism that says it’s a good thing when our fellow citizens have health care. It’s not a bad thing. (Applause.) That’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing when women earn what men do for the same work. That’s an all-American principle. (Applause.) Everybody has got a mom out there or a wife out there or a daughter out there. They don’t want them to not get treated fairly. Why would you be against that?

* * *

There are plenty of people who count on you getting cynical and count on you not getting involved so that you don’t vote, so you give up. And you can’t give into that. America is making progress, despite what the cynics say. (Applause.) Despite unyielding opposition and a Congress that can’t seem to do anything, there are workers with jobs who didn’t have them before; there are families with health insurance who didn’t have them before; there are students in college who couldn’t afford it before; there are troops who served tour after tour who are home with their families today. (Applause.)

Cynicism is popular. Cynicism is popular these days. It’s what passes off as wisdom. But cynics didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynics never won a war. Cynics didn’t cure a disease, or start a business, or feed a young mind. Cynicism didn’t bring about the right for women to vote, or the right for African Americans to be full citizens. Cynicism is a choice.
Hope is a better choice. Hope is what gave young soldiers the courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gave young people the strength to march for women’s rights and civil rights and voting rights and gay rights and immigrant rights. (Applause.)
Hope is what compelled Kinsey to sit down and pick up a pen, and ask “what can I do,” and actually think maybe the President might read that story and it might make a difference. (Applause.) And her voice rang out here in the Paramount Theatre. And it’s her voice and your voice that’s going to change this country. That’s how we’re going to make sure that we remain the greatest nation on Earth — not by asking what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for each other and what we can do for our country.

And so, as President, I’m going to keep a promise that I made when I first ran: Every day, I will keep asking the same question, and that is, how can I help you? And I’ll keep treating your cares and your concerns as my own. And I will keep fighting to restore the American Dream for everybody who’s willing to work for it.

And I am going to need you to be right there with me. (Applause.) Do not get cynical. Hope is the better choice.

Thank you, Texas. Thank you, Austin. God bless you. (Applause.) 


* * *

Or, all the above, summarized in one sentence: it’s the Republicans fault, and ban cynicism. (with a gratuitous JFK paraphrase thrown in for good measure)

Full transcript word cloud:

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

No Charges in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Single Mother in Washington, D.C.

shots firedMore gun violence of the state-sanctioned kind.
No one will face charges in the killing of Miriam Carey, who was
fatally shot by an officer from the Capitol Hill police and one
from the Secret Service who between them shot at her car 18 times,
hitting her five. Afterward they found her child in the car. Cops
say they didn’t see the girl. Carey was allegedly driving toward a
Capitol Hill police officer and had previously tried to breach a
checkpoint at the White House, which is how the pursuit started.
Via the Stamford, Ct.
Daily Voice

There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil
rights or local charges against officers involved in the fatal
shooting of Miriam Carey of Stamford last fall just blocks from the
U.S. Capitol, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of
Columbia announced Thursday.

The U.S. attorney’s office and the Metropolitan Police
Department conducted the investigation into the shooting of death
Carey on Oct. 3, 2013, involving the U.S. Secret Service and U.S.
Capitol Police. 

The review included interviews of more than 60 witnesses and
review of all crime scene evidence, ballistics reports, video
footage, photographs, the autopsy report, and more. 

The U.S. attorney’s office then concluded the evidence was
insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers
used excessive force or possessed the requisite criminal intent at
the time of the events.

And nothing else happened.

from Hit & Run

Las Vegas Is More “Screwed”; Drought Drains Lake Mead To Lowest Since Hoover Dam Built

Two weeks ago we highlighted just how "screwed" Las Vegas is due to the catastrophic drought that is occurring (combined with almost total ignorance that this is a problem). As Bloomberg's James Nash reports, about 55% of Nevada, already the nation’s driest state, is under “extreme’’ or “exceptional’’ drought conditions, the worst grades on the U.S. Drought Monitor; but recently the situation has got even worse. Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that supplies 90 percent of the water for 2 million people in the Las Vegas area, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937, according to the federal government who explained "It concerns us all very much," as it is a resource used by 3 states. Simply put, The shortfall is endangering water supplies to the residents and 43 million annual visitors to the driest metropolitan area in the country.



We discussed in detail just how dire the water situation is in Las Vegas here, but as Bloomberg reports, things are deteriorating fast…

Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that supplies 90 percent of the water for 2 million people in the Las Vegas area, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937, according to the federal government.


The lake, now at 39 percent of capacity, has been dropping since 2012, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data, as much of the western U.S. has suffered the most serious drought in decades. The shortfall is endangering water supplies to the residents and 43 million annual visitors to the driest metropolitan area in the country.


Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam in 1936 and 1937, holds mountain snowmelt from the Colorado River for farms, homes and businesses predominately in southern Nevada, southern California and most of Arizona. No metropolitan area depends on the lake more than Las Vegas, which lacks groundwater or other local sources.


“This is significant because it’s a resource used by three states,’’ said Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the bureau. “We all have to keep an eye on it because it’s the major water source for three areas. It concerns us all very much.’’


The lake’s surface, which reached a record high of 1,225 feet above sea level in July 1983, is now at about 1,083 feet, according to the bureau. If the level drops below 1,050 feet, one of the two intakes that feed water to Las Vegas will become inoperable. At 50 feet lower, the other would fail. Since 2008, contractors have been boring through rock to create a third conduit to draw water from as low as 860 feet.


About 55 percent of Nevada, already the nation’s driest state, is under “extreme’’ or “exceptional’’ drought conditions, the worst grades on the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website. Portions of California, New Mexico and Colorado also are in the “exceptional’’ category, according to the monitor.


Nevadans have cut back on water use since the magnitude of the drought became clear, according to data from the Southern Nevada Water Authority.


The region reduced daily usage 4.6 percent per person, to 124 gallons in 2013, from 130 gallons in 2012, authority spokeswoman Nicole Lise said by e-mail. In Los Angeles, personal consumption in 2013 was 129 gallons, according to the Department of Water and Power.

*  *  *

As we concluded 2 weeks ago, the bottom line – get there now, watch the fountains, drink the water, swim in the lake… (and sell your house)

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Calls Colorado a “Rural and Roadless” Backwater for Challenging his Gun Control Agenda

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 3.16.13 PMI’ve noticed a bizarre trend this year. Northeast establishment politicians attacking the state of Colorado for its own internal decisions. In many ways this makes sense. Having lived in New York City most of my life, I know full well it is not the liberal haven it claims to be. Rather, over the past decade or so it has become a statist, oligarch-coddling, bankster hideout. My adopted state of Colorado is a libertarian paradise by comparison.

There may be a bit of envy or fear at play here, considering that a so-called “flyover” state has led the nation in the civil rights issue of marijuana legalization. While the coasts love to think of themselves as superior, they continue to foolishly imprison people for puffing on a benign plant. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie  characterized this backwards, ignorant attitude earlier this year perfectly when he foolishly criticized Colorado’s “quality of life,” which is without question amongst the best in the nation. I tore him apart in my piece: How Marijuana Legalization in America is Destroying Mexican Drug Cartel Business.

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from Liberty Blitzkrieg