Video: Juggalos vs. the FBI: Why Insane Clown Posse Fans are Not a Gang

“Juggalos vs. the FBI: Why Insane Clown Posse Fans are Not a
Gang,” is the latest from Reason TV. Watch above or click on the
link below for video, full text, supporting links, downloadable
versions, and more Reason TV clips.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Goldman Lowers Its February NFP Forecast To Only 125K

Today’s economic data has been absolutely abysmal. We know, we know, snow. However, first the atrocious ADP number, and then the abysmal Services ISM employment index plunging at an unseen pace, should give some pause for thought. It appears to have done so with Goldman’s chief economist, the same guy who a month ago was expecting 3.0% GDP growth in Q1, and who just cut his February NFP forecast for this Friday from 145K to 125K.

From Goldman:

BOTTOM LINE: The ISM nonmanufacturing index was weaker than expected in February. Some survey respondents cited adverse weather conditions as a cause of slower activity.




1. The ISM nonmanufacturing index fell to 51.6 in February (vs. consensus 53.5) from 54.0 in January. By component, business activity (-1.7pt to 54.6) and employment (-8.9pt to 47.5) fell, while new orders (+0.4pt to 51.3) rose a touch. The inventory index?which is not seasonally adjusted?was unchanged at 50.5 on an n.s.a. basis but seems to have declined substantially on an s.a. basis. Some survey respondents, in particular those in the wholesale trade and construction sectors, cited adverse weather conditions as a cause of slower activity. February’s decline leaves the ISM nonmanufacturing index at its lowest level since February 2010.


2. The ISM composite index?including both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing surveys?fell 1.9pt to 51.8 in February. The composite index places considerably more weight on the nonmanufacturing survey.


3. As a result of the sharp decline in the employment component of the nonmanufacturing index, we have reduced our payrolls forecast to 125k and our private payrolls forecast to 130k

Don’t worry though: it’s the snow.

Snow which can practically slam a $17 trillion economy dead in its tracks.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Is An FTC Retweet An Endorsement? Herbalife Shareholders Are Dying To Know

Retweets are not endorsements… but they really usually are. Which is the reason some are wondering just why did the FTC show a specific appreciation of this particular tweet sent out yesterday by a user who appears to have a bone to pick with Herbalife, Nu Skin and other alleged pyramid schemes:

Seen here in the FTC’s twitter stream, where incidentally there are virtually no other retweets:


So which is it: is the FTC proud of its lack of action on alleged pyramid schemes and decided to call attention to this tweet, or is it a hint that something bigger is coming in the stock that otherwise is quite irrelevant, if it weren’t for the epic billionaire pissing match between Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman, which we be resolved either when HLF is LBOed and Ackman’s biggest loss of all time gets even bigger, or when Icahn faces a loss of a few hundred million, which to him is nothing, but losing face to Ackman – everything?

Or was it merely a fat finger by the intern manning the FTC twitter account?

h/t Randy


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Russia Proposes Confiscating US, European Assets If Sanctions Adopted

Following warnings from US and European nations over economic (and travel) sanctions against Russia, the upper house of Russia’s parliament has struck back. As RIA reports, Russia is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted. Layers are studying the costitutionality of the ‘confiscation’ but cite Europe’s standards (i.e. Cyprus) as precedent. This is further to the threat to “dump US goverment bonds” issued earlier in the week.


Via RIA,

The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine.


The bill’s author, Federation Council constitutional legislation committee head Andrei Klishas, said Wednesday that lawyers are currently studying whether the proposed confiscations would be constitutional.


“But we have no doubts that it clearly corresponds to European standards,” Klishas told RIA Novosti. “The recent events in Cyprus spring to mind, where the confiscation of assets was the main demand made by the European Union in return for economic aid.”


An adviser to President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds if Russian companies and individuals were targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine.

Perhaps that is why the UK backed away from sanctions so quickly?


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Gay Marriage Opponents Think Most Americans Dislike Equality As Much As They Do

Opponents of marriage equality may think they
have God on their side, but it seems what they’ve really got
working for them is delusion. A new survey from the Public Religion
Research Institute finds that
despite their now-minority status, most U.S. opponents of same-sex
 think that the bulk of their fellow Americans
stand with them.

These days, only 41 percent of Americans oppose same-sex
marriage. Yet two-thirds of this vocal minority erroneously believe
that most Americans oppose same-sex marriage. And only 20
percent realize that the majority of Americans now support it.

Wait—aren’t opponents of marriage equality (and gay rights in
general) always crowing about how they’re being oppressed? Are
religious conservatives a beleaguered minority (war on Christmas,

SB 1062
, etc.) or the stalwart voice of a silent majority? I
guess it depends on which persona is politically convenient at the

Of course, public opinion in general tends to skew inaccurate.
Heck, one
in ten Americans think HTML
 is a sexually-transmitted
disease. And 35 percent think
that at least a quarter of people are homosexual
Interestingly, even same-sex marriage supporters seem to perceive
less support for it than actually exists. Only 34 percent of
Americans overall said that the majority of their peers support gay

Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingraham notes
, “this is at least partly
a function of how rapidly public opinion has shifted. Ten years
ago, only 32 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage,
compared to 53 percent in favor today—a 21-point shift.” But
there’s also probably some epistemic closure at work. Though
Ingraham cites it as the prerogative of religious conservatives and
Mitt Romney 2012 supporters, epistemic closure (or “confirmation
bias,” or the “false consensus effect,” or whatever you want to
call it) infects people of all ideological stripes.

In the case of same-sex marriage, however, religious folks were
especially likely to fall victim. Regular churchgoers tended to
overestimate fellow congregants’ opposition to marriage equality by
20 percentage points or more. About 59 percent of white mainline
Protestants said most of their fellow churchgoers oppose gays
marrying, though a majority (57 percent) actually support it. And
nearly three-quarters of Catholics think most people at their
church oppose marriage equality, while about half are actually in

from Hit & Run

ISM Services Collapse To Lowest In 4 Years; Employment Worst Since Lehman

ISM Services headline index collapsed to 51.6 (missing expectations of 53.5) to its lowest since February of 2010. We are sure many will proclaim this as “weather-related” but remember the strong performance of the Manufacturing print. Respondents worried about weather, Obamacare, and oil prices… as the employment sub-index crashed from 56.4 (highest since Nov 2010) to 47.5 (lowest since Mar 2010) – the biggest drop since Lehman!


Big miss and lowest print in 4 years…


ISM Services Employment craters…


And before you blame the weather, the Manufacturing and Services data do not converge on that opinion…



Respondents worried about weather, Obamacare, and oil prices…

  • “Steady — trending slightly lower.” (Finance & Insurance)
  • “Economy still plugging along, but at a very slow rate of growth.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • “The Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial uncertainty to healthcare organizations. With little warning, the negative impact on revenue has been unprecedented.” (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • “Passage of the federal budget and subsequent funding appropriations are allowing government agencies to start spending funds on planned new projects.” (Public Administration)
  • “Oil prices continue creeping upwards along with chemicals.” (Utilities)
  • “Cold winter weather has had a major affect on us when compared to year-over-year.” (Wholesale Trade)
  • “Winter weather is slowing down our projects; it should only be until April.” (Construction)


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

“Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coalition” – A Stunning New Leak Released

The last time a leaked phone call out of Ukraine was released about a month ago ostensibly by the Russian NSA equivalent, one between US assistant sec state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, it was revealed that the real puppet masters behind the Maidan movement, and the true instigators of the Ukraine “revolution” were none other than the “developed” world superpowers, lead by the US. Also revealed were tensions between the US and EU strategies on how to overthrow the current government, culminating with the infamous “Fuck the EU.” Needless to say the US, which implicitly confirmed the recording, was angry at Russia and accused it of using dirty tricks.

That’s ironic, because when it comes to “dirty tricks” what is about to be presented, blows the top off anything Russia may or has done to date.

Earlier today an even more shocking recording has been “leaked” this time one between the always concerned about human rights EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet, in which it is revealed on tape that all those photos of horrifying deaths of Ukrainians by snipers during the last days of the Median stand off, were in fact caused not by Snipers controlled by Yanukovich, but that the snipers shot at both protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders!

Here is the key exchange, just after 8 minutes into the conversation :

Paet: “All the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides. … Some photos that showed it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it is really disturbing that now the new coalition they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Ashton: “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.”

Paet: “It already discreditates (sic) this new coalition.”

So first US orchestrates the Kiev overthrow, and now the new “leaders” of Ukraine are allegedly found to have fired against their own people – the same provocation they subsequently used to run Yanukovich out of the country and install a pro-Western puppet government. Of course, said pro-Western coalition has not been discreditated (sic) because Ms. Ashton has sternly refused to investigate, knowing quite well how horribly this would reflect on the new Ukraine “leadership” –  a government which shot its own people to fabricate the pretext under which it rose to power.

Is it any wonder then that Russia has responded the way it has?

As for at least one of the affected parties, Estonia, it has just confirmed the authenticity of the recording, and the ministry of foreign affairs has organized a press conference to answer media questions today at 5 pm. From the Valisministeerium:

No. 84-E Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton uploaded to the Internet today, a phone call is authentic.


Paet and Ashton conversation took place on 26 February, following Estonia’s Foreign Minister’s visit to Ukraine, and immediately after the end of the street violence.


Foreign Minister Paet communicate what he had said about the meetings held in Kiev last day and expressed concern about the situation.


It is extremely regrettable that such an interception is occurring at all”“said Paet., Including its call for today’s photos are not random,” he added.

Yes, it is truly regrettable that the people know the truth.

Full leaked recording below:


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

5 Things to Know About President Obama’s Budget Proposal

The most important thing to know about President
Obama’s budget proposal is that it won’t go anywhere. It’s not
intended to, and the White House isn’t even bothering to pretend

Instead, it’s an election-year wish list—or, if you prefer the
White House’s gentler spin, a statement of values. “Our budget is
about choices, it’s about values,” President Obama
earlier this week. Here are a few of the choices his
budget would have the nation make.

Annual spending would rise. Outlays would
from $3.9 trillion in 2015 to $5.91 trillion in 2024. In theory,
the growth would be roughly commensurate with growth in the
economy, ticking up just slightly from 21.4 percent of GDP to 21.5
percent over the course of a decade. But the White House has been

coy with details about its assumptions
regarding the projected
growth rate of the economy, so it’s hard to assess this beyond face

Tax revenues would rise as a percentage of the
Obama’s budget would raise revenue levels closer
to spending levels in order to sustain the spending while reducing
annual deficits. Revenues would rise from $3.34 trillion, or 18.3
percent of the economy, in 2015 up to $5.48 trillion, or 19.9
percent of the economy, in 2024. That would be one of the highest

annual levels
in the nation’s history. 

The national debt would become even bigger.
Annual deficits would decrease, according to administration
projections, dropping down to 1.6 percent of the economy, thanks in
large part to increased tax revenue levels that partially close the
gap between collections and spending. But even smaller annual
deficits still add to the federal tab. Over the next decade, the
president’s budget plan would leave us with a debt that’s $8.3
trillion higher than it is now.

Growing debt would lead to bigger interest
This year, we’d spend $223 billion on debt
service. By 2024, the president’s proposal projects interest
payments of about $812 billion.

The budget would never, ever balance. The White
House even seems to have given up its old
about getting the budget into “primary balance”—a
technical annual balance that ignores the cost of carrying a heavy
debt load. (According to the Congressional Budget Office, the old
never reached primary balance either

from Hit & Run

A. Barton Hinkle on Loving v. Virginia and Gay Marriage

The arguments for laws banning gay
marriage and the arguments for laws banning interracial marriage
are nearly identical: Tradition. States’ rights. Government’s
presumed interest in the ordering of private relationships for the
sake of an ostensible public good. But as A. Barton Hinkle
observes, those arguments did not hold up in 1967, when the Supreme
Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v.
, and they don’t hold up now in the expanding legal
battle over same-sex unions.

View this article.

from Hit & Run