Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bubbles

Derivative Bubble
Trump announces that one of our economic bubbles is about to burst.  I think he is referring to the $300 trillion US Big Bank Derivative Bubble, but he may be referring to other bubbles. Derivatives are bets placed by the big Banks. They are not regulated, but would be bailed out by depositors. 

Stock Market Bubble
Most stock watchers agree that the stock market has a 20% bubble created by the Federal Reserve’s QE printing.  The stock market is already down 10%, but would need to go down another 10% to correct stock prices to reflect real value.  This is based on the global recession that could last for decades.

Inflation Bubble
This was created by the Federal Reserve’s QE printing and it’s 450% increase in the money supply. Alan Greenspan predicts that prices will quadruple when this bubble is unleashed.

Debt Bubble
Most governments are in unsustainable debt as are most consumers. High government spending on mal-investment in public transit, wind, solar and other “green” scams, socialist welfare programs, bad trade agreements, UN Agenda 21 implementation and lack of fiscal responsibility.

Bubble Mitigation
Our bad economy, lower household income and lack of jobs is causing “deflation” and is stalling the inflation bubble.  Consumers simply don’t have the money to absorb higher prices and the dearth of jobs and wage increases will hold consumers back.
In the US, our trade deficit is $736 billion.  If we were able to make these purchases from US based companies, we would have an extra $736 billion for US jobs.  Typically, this is achieved by imposing tariffs on imports, but it would raise the prices of these imports to US consumers.

Stopping excessive immigration will need to happen to increase jobs for US citizens.  Currently we have 100 million working-age US citizens without jobs.  This would result in increases in household income.

Cuts in Federal Spending on unnecessary activities would save $1 trillion a year in wasteful government spending.  This would require closing unconstitutional federal departments, agencies and programs.  It should end UN Agenda 21 implementation and return government to handling basic functions.

All of these actions are overdue, but should be implemented as soon as possible to mitigate the damage these bubbles would cause.


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader 

Wilding Project Push-back

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy arrested by FBI in Oregon, 2/11/16, Fox News

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the father of the jailed militia leader whose followers have occupied a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon for the past 40 days, was arrested by FBI agents in Portland, Ore. late Wednesday as he stepped off a flight from Las Vegas.

Bundy's arrest was confirmed on the website of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, which said he had been taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center.

The Oregonian newspaper reported that Bundy faces charges related to the 2014 standoff between federal agents and militia members on his Nevada ranch. The charges include conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer, the same charge lodged against two of Bundy's sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the ongoing standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The FBI confirmed Cliven Bundy's arrest but declined to provide a reason or other details, saying further information would be released by the U.S. Attorney's office in Las Vegas Thursday.

The Oregonian also reported that Bundy had traveled to Oregon to demonstrate in support of the four remaining holdouts occupying the refuge. The group said earlier Wednesday that they would turn themselves in Thursday morning. 

The Bureau of Land Management said at the time of the 2014 standoff that Bundy owed over $1 million in fees and penalties for trespassing cattle on federal property without a permit over 20 years. Bundy refuses to acknowledge federal authority over public lands.

The standoff began after the BLM impounded Bundy's cattle that were found on federal property. However, federal agents later backed down and allowed Bundy's supporters to turn the cattle loose. 


Comments

The federal government has waged a war on farms, ranches and food processors for years.  Obama accelerated this attack in 2009 to implement UN Agenda 21.  States are now working on ways to take back the land the federal government has unconstitutionally seized over the past 130 years.


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

GA HB 370 Fixed

Fine forgiveness bill gets boost in Senate Ethics, By Chris Joyner, 2/9/16, AJC

A plan a year in the making to relieve local politicians of millions in outstanding ethics fines is taking shape in the General Assembly.

The state ethics commission and the lobbyists for the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia have worked out a compromise to House Bill 370 to wipe the slate clean for thousands of county commissioners, mayors, school board members and other local officials who did not file campaign finance reports from 2010-2014. The catch: To get their fines forgiven, they would still have to file their missing reports.

“The folks who were in that period still had an obligation to file,” said ethics commission executive director Stefan Ritter. “By and large, people did not do that.”

State Rep Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, offered no objection to the Senate committee substitute to his fine-clearing bill.

The problem stems from a period when local officials were required to electronically file their campaign reports directly with the state. Before 2010, city and county politicians could file paper reports with a local clerk — or, commonly, just ask the clerk to do it for them. The change resulted in confusion and a tidal wave of complaints and non-compliance from local officials, many of whom said they were unable to access the state’s often balky and confusing online filing system.

In 2014, lawmakers changed the law back, once again returning the filing of local campaign reports to local filing officers. But by then the ethics commission’s late- and non-filer list had grown exponentially, filed with local politicians who were unable or unwilling to file with the state.

The commission’s database of late filers currently has about 27,000 entries, most of which represent missing local reports.

Under the Senate committee substitute, local officials on the ethics commission’s late list would have until Dec. 31 to get their old reports in. Once received, the ethics commission would remove their names from the delinquent list, but the commission would have a year to review the reports and could return names to the list if the reports were not adequate.

The committee did not vote on the substitute. That’s likely to come when they meet again next week.

Lawmakers, who have heard the complaints from their local politicians for years, are eager to put this issue to bed. To grease the skids, the committee stripped from the bill a controversial plan to regulate political speech by requiring broad disclosure of spending for billboards, mailers, phone banking and other forms of electioneering not already captured by state ethics laws.

Prior to the committee meeting, political activists were preparing for a fight.

One of several emailed warnings sent by activists prior to the Senate Ethics Committee meeting Tuesday.

“Wake up people!” screamed one email notice sent Monday by conservative activist Jack Staver. “Don’t let them kill free speech in Georgia tomorrow!”

Political activists from the tea party and other political subgroups line the halls of the Capitol during the legislative session bending lawmakers’ ears about their concerns. It is disruptive and effective. After the session ends, some of them get involved in primary campaigns against those same lawmakers.

Legislative leaders like House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, have complained that these activists have the run of the Capitol but are not required to disclose how they fund their campaigns.

Ralston proposed the registration requirement in 2014 to howls of protest from activists. Although the Senate committee stripped the language from HB 370 Wednesday, the discussion may not be over.

“So dark money can remain hidden?” Ralson’s spokesman Kaleb McMichen tweeted in response to news about the committee substitute. “Hmmm, appears openness and transparency should only apply to some.”


Comments

The purpose of the reports is to give voters access to the names of campaign contributors prior to elections. They include special interest groups and individual contributors. 

The purpose of our intervention in this case was to remove the parts of the Bill that would remove voters’ free speech rights. This is the same coalition that stopped the T-SPLOST in 2012. 

Taxpayers’ Associations, joined by Tea Party and similar groups since 2010 have been the only groups who have been representing voter and taxpayer interests at the Gold Dome. We continue to lobby the Gold Dome to repeal the Regionalism Laws and other bad laws that limit voter participation and threaten property rights and voter control of all layers of government.


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader. 

Rush Blasts the RNC

Rush flays GOP: They still don't get it 'Republicans clearly have a desire to work with Obama', by Douglas Ernst, 2/10/16, WND

Radio host Rush Limbaugh says the GOP establishment’s reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in New Hampshire Tuesday night is an indicator its leaders are in denial or poorly hiding “abject panic.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus brushed off frustration displayed in exit polls Tuesday night as a symptom of politicians not getting enough work done in the nation’s capital. Roughly 50 percent of Republican voters said they felt betrayed by the Republican Party.

“I think there are a lot of people in both parties who are mad at the parties, mad at the system, mad at Washington that it’s a factional-type government,” Priebus told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “It’s very difficult when you have a split government and people don’t have time for things not getting done. I think it’s pretty normal and I think it’s pretty common and expect that sort of vein is going to play itself out for the next few months and you know we’ll have a unified party when it’s done.”  Priebus’ comments left Limbaugh laughing, but flabbergasted.

“It appears that the chairman of the Republican National Committee does not know, or if he does know, does not want to explain in truth why he knows what he knows. But on the surface here it appears he doesn’t know that most Republican voters are sick and tired of what has gone on in Washington. Everybody harps on the fact that there’s gridlock and nothing’s getting done. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Too much is getting done!” said Limbaugh.

“Witness the most recent budget deal. The Republicans clearly have a desire to work with Obama. They clearly have a desire to work with the Democrats. Mitch McConnell has made it abundantly clear that’s what their intentions and hopes are.”

Limbaugh said so-called Republican thought leaders need to come to terms with the reasons behind Trump’s and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s popularity. The conservative icon said Priebus and his peers should look in the mirror to see who is responsible for the party’s fractured state of affairs.

“Donald Trump has the exact coalition the Republican Party, to a man, has told me they need to win, that they need to thrive,” said Limbaugh. “And now they’re reduced to bashing it by virtue of bashing Trump. And now they’re reduced to bashing it by virtue of bashing Cruz. The two people who are showing the Republican Party all they had to do all these past seven years, but they didn’t. They purposely, strategically, tactically refused to push back, refused to make a spectacle of stopping Obama, and they have themselves to blame for this predicament.”

Trump captured 35.2 percent of Tuesday’s vote. Ohio Gov. John Kasich came in second place with 15.8 percent, followed by Cruz at 11.7 percent.

Exit polls showed 42 percent of Republican primary voters preferred to call themselves independents. New Hampshire Republicans were angrier than their Democrat counterparts, but less conservative than Iowa Republicans, NBC News reported Tuesday.

“If Mr. Priebus actually believes … that you are ticked off at all of the disagreements in Washington preventing things from getting done – meaning you like government, you want more of it … if he really believes that, that’s a shocker,” said Limbaugh.

The radio host then said the Republican Party lost opportunities to win the allegiance of Trump supporters years ago by not pushing back hard against Obama’s agenda or proving itself a legitimate opposition party.

“I mean, you have to emphasize they haven’t even hardly made a pretense of trying to stop any of this,” said Limbaugh. “Clearly the Republican Party’s being rejected. … The Republican establishment I think was still living in fantasy, up until last night. They were still hoping something would happen – that Trump was not going to win this. It was all theoretical. Now hard, cold reality has settled in, and there’s abject panic. They don’t know who to go to!”

Limbaugh went on to say media outlets like the New York Daily News, which featured a front page calling voters “mindless zombies” for supporting Trump, were equally frustrated with the billionaire. He said pieces that lash out at Trump are journalistic tantrums by those who are “unable to control” narratives as they did years ago.

http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/rush-flays-gop-they-still-dont-get-it/


Obama sabotaging Military again

Military preparing to fight ‘climate change’ instead of wars? By Dustin Howard, 2/10/16

When our national focus was still sane, the United States Department of Defense had a singular goal: defending the U.S, while maintaining the capability to wage war on two fronts. What did that look like? If the United States were drawn into a two front war like World War II, we would be able to triumph.

So what happens when you take on so many priorities that the objective actually becomes more elusive? We should ask the Pentagon after they implement Directive E 4715.21, or the directive relating to “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.”

The directive comes as a direct result of Executive Order 13653, Obama’s effort to institutionalize his stance on climate change within the government. The thinking goes, “If the effects of climate change are imminent, shouldn’t we make the appropriate preparations?” What could go wrong?

For starters, what happens when the military procuring weapons based not solely on cost, reliability and effectiveness? Does the introduction of “climate sustainability” disrupt this already cumbersome balancing act? Producing cost effective, functioning technology is already a challenge that the defense establishment grapples with, doesn’t this create more problems than it solves?

This is corroborated by the Daily Caller’s report, which excerpts the report by saying “The way in which DoD acquires its weapons platforms and supplies will also see significant changes. According to the document, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition will overhaul “policies to integrate climate change considerations into mission area analyses and acquisition strategies across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms, and equipment.”

That’s pretty bad, but it gets worse. It also creates “climate boards” that will integrate the new standards into all layers of the services.

Worse still, the military’s tactical aims are being complicated, according to Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, “Sergeants leading a platoon should not be worried about the environmental sensitivity of a rice paddy that needs to be traversed to achieve their mission, while providing the maximum security for the personnel under their command.  Tank commanders should be afforded all the training they need no matter how much fuel is expended in the process.  And Naval Captains should run their ships at the speeds that are necessitated by the immediate needs of the situation. Instead, President Obama would install bureaucratic boards and other second guessers along with real time tactical climate change assessments that would be held over officers’ heads should they choose what was deemed to be a climate change insensitive course of action.”

A three year moratorium on the Obama climate order should be instituted by Congress to assure that the full impacts can be realized before doing great damage to the technical capabilities of our armed forces, as well as damaging our capability to project force. If we want to return to the original mission of our military, which is readiness, Congress itself must be ready to flex its Article I muscles. Our safety may very well depend on it.

Dustin Howard is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

http://netrightdaily.com/2016/02/military-preparing-to-fight-climate-change-instead-of-wars/

Clean Power Plan Paused


The order reads as follows:

The application for a stay submitted to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The Environmental Protection Agency's "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units," 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (October 23, 2015), is stayed pending disposition of the applicants' petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants' petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought. If a writ of certiorari is sought and the Court denies the petition, this order shall terminate automatically. If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment.

The decision suggests that a majority of the court has concerns about the EPA's authority to impose the CPP under the Clean Air Act. The CPP, whatever its policy merits, is based on a fairly aggressive reading of the relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act, most notably Section 111. Even some liberal scholars, such as Harvard's Laurence Tribe, have raised questions about the EPA's authority here. (Tribe is also an attorney on one of the stay applications filed with the court.)

There are serious legal arguments against specific elements of the CPP (such as the consideration of potential emission reductions to be achieved "outside the fence" of regulated facilities) as well as the position that Section 111 of the CAA allows the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants in the first place.

The latter concerns raise the stakes of the case and strengthen the argument for a stay. This is because the question at issue is not merely whether the EPA observed the relevant procedural niceties or properly exercised its authority on the margin. Rather, the question is whether the EPA has the authority to do this at all.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens issued a press release lauding the Supreme Court actionAttorney General Sam Olens offered the following statement regarding today's Supreme Court decision blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its illegal and unprecedented Power Plan until the court challenge concludes. "This is a victory against an out of control Environmental Protection Agency. We will continue to fight this executive overreach which will put Americans out of work and drive up the cost of electricity for consumers."

25 States challenged the EPA's power plan on Oct. 23, 2015, the day it was published. The states argue the EPA exceeded its authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation among other reasons.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols tweeted, "Great News for GA." and "Thanks SCOTUS. You made my day!"

Legislation by State Senator Charlie Bethel (R-Dalton) addressing the Clean Power Plan was
shelved earlier this week by a legislative committee.

Members of the state Senate's Natural Resources & the Environment Committee agreed to set aside the issue for further study rather than move forward with the bill this year.

The Clean Power Plan, which the Environmental Protection Agency issued nearly two years ago, seeks to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants across the nation 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The federal agency set goals for each state.

The proposed Interstate Power Compact would exempt member states from complying with the plan, although they would remain subject to the federal Clean Air Act, Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, the bill's chief sponsor, told the Senate committee Thursday.

Utility executives have warned that complying with the plan would force up the costs of electricity to commercial and residential customers, inflicting major damage on the nation's economy.

"Georgia and other states are looking for any port in a storm," Bethel said. "This interstate compact is such a port."


Source: Georgia Pundit

Pausing the EPA Carbon Scam

Supreme Court puts the brakes on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, By Jonathan H. Adler February 9 at 7:36 PM

Tuesday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay, halting implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan pending the resolution of legal challenges to the program in court. The CPP is arguably the Obama administration’s signature environmental initiative, representing the EPA’s most ambitious effort to control greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Five separate stay applications were filed by more than two dozen states and numerous industry groups. Other states, environmental groups and some energy companies opposed the stay. The order reads as follows:

The application for a stay submitted to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (October 23, 2015), is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought. If a writ of certiorari is sought and the Court denies the petition, this order shall terminate automatically. If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment. Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan would deny the application.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes as a surprise, as it is unusual for the high court to block federal regulations, particularly where (as here) the D.C. Circuit had denied a similar request. What could explain the move? One possibility, suggested by Michael Greve, is that the court was concerned about a replay of Michigan v. EPA, in which the court invalidated another EPA rule to little practical effect. As Greve noted, this point was stressed in the opening of the stay application submitted by 29 states and state agencies seeking a stay:

This Court’s decision last Term in Michigan v. EPA, 135 S. Ct. 2699 (2015), starkly illustrates the need for a stay in this case. The day after this Court ruled in Michigan that EPA had violated the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) in enacting its rule regulating fossil fuel-fired power plants under Section 112 of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7412, EPA boasted in an official blog post that the Court’s decision was effectively a nullity.

Because the rule had not been stayed during the years of litigation, EPA assured its supporters that “the majority of power plants are already in compliance or well on their way to compliance.” Then, in reliance on EPA’s representation that most power plants had already fully complied, the D.C. Circuit responded to this Court’s remand by declining to vacate the rule that this Court had declared unlawful. […] In short, EPA extracted “nearly $10 billion a year” in compliance from power plants before this Court could even review the rule […] and then successfully used that unlawfully-mandated compliance to keep the rule in place even after this Court declared that the agency had violated the law.

The decision also suggests that a majority of the court has concerns about the EPA’s authority to impose the CPP under the Clean Air Act. The CPP, whatever its policy merits, is based on a fairly aggressive reading of the relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act, most notably Section 111.

Even some liberal scholars, such as Harvard’s Laurence Tribe, have raised questions about the EPA’s authority here. (Tribe is also an attorney on one of the stay applications filed with the court.)

There are serious legal arguments against specific elements of the CPP (such as the consideration of potential emission reductions to be achieved “outside the fence” of regulated facilities) as well as the position that Section 111 of the CAA allows the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants in the first place. The latter concerns raise the stakes of the case and strengthen the argument for a stay. This is because the question at issue is not merely whether the EPA observed the relevant procedural niceties or properly exercised its authority on the margin. Rather, the question is whether the EPA has the authority to do this at all.

As a practical matter, this stay means that the EPA may not continue to take any actions to implement or enforce the CPP pending the resolution of the state and industry challenge to the rule. That challenge is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which will hear oral arguments on June 2. In all likelihood, this means a D.C. Circuit decision will not be issued until early fall, at the earliest. Given all that’s at stake, either en banc review on the D.C. Circuit or a petition for certiorari will follow.
For those interested, the Environmental Defense Fund has posted copies of the relevant case documents here.

UPDATE: Some additional thoughts.  Looking back over the various stay applications (linked above), I suspect that the EPA’s arguments against the stay were undermined by the Agency’s own statements about the potentially revolutionary nature of the CPP.  In promoting the plan, the EPA repeatedly emphasized that the CPP represented the most ambitious climate-related undertaking in the agency’s history and crowed that the plan would lead to the complete restructuring of the energy sector. Making these claims may have undermined the EPA’s position, because it made it easier for the stay applicants to argue that a stay was justified.  Put another way, an unprecedented assertion of regulatory authority may itself have justified an unprecedented exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction to stay the agency’s action.
SECOND UPDATE: Here is the White House response to the stay.
THIRD UPDATE: I have a follow-up post that summarizes some of the legal and policy issues surrounding the CPP.