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Quite often you can see things otherwise invisible when you look at a big picture.. For example if you were flying from San Fran to Bangor, ME, no one in your interactions along the way would be able to tell you what was happening across the entire route in real time.  You simply trust that and hope all will end well.

But if you are at a console watching air traffic control across the entire United States, and noticing how suddenly those little plane shapes disappear whenever they cross the Mississippi anywhere between Memphis and Cedar Rapids, you know from that anomaly that something must be wrong… You don’t know what, but only you see it from looking at the macro picture, a hole developing into which those entering, never return.

Which is why some of us like to look at macro math.  Basically it is stuff that no one else thinks is important and for most of daily living, they are correct.  But if you are used to looking at the same picture every day and one day it is different, a person familiar would notice that.  No one else would.  Imagine waking up one morning and walking through your house and quickly looking up from your footsteps, seeing that portrait you have hanging on the wall has its subject facing left, instead of right… You would be unnerved, right?  Yet a visitor to your place, would not notice.

Here is where we are. We are already in a free-fall towards another financial crises which if not addressed quickly, will repeat 2008-9 and possibly be bigger. It is strongly possible that this summer quarter’s financial reports leaking out in October, will cause a crash similar to what happened 8 years ago….

I’m sure this is a surprise to you as it was me. I sure you are as skeptical of my telling of it, as you would be my insisting I saw my portrait whose image had been flipped during the night..  Main stream’s financial media and both political parties are still asleep and dreaming of the promise that the economy is buoyed and is roaring back.  Just like how we all get surprised when acquaintances of ours, actively healthy people, suddenly confide they’ve been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  That is the cruel side of life. Sometimes the outside does not properly show the hidden condition on the inside.

What has not been shown in all our financial reports, is the massive amount of quantitative easing buoying these glowing results.  QE for short, is where government prints money costing nothing, and then spends it on something. They could loan it.  They could donate it.  They can buy stock with it. They can do anything with printed money that can be done with circulated money… And in a recession, this policy works… (which is why we do it)… Businesses get loans and stay afloat; banks get loans and keep their doors open. But the last recession was 8 years ago, and across the world’s financial markets, certain actors still are doing it…

So in our newscasts we appear to have a great recovery just before the elections. Our stock market is high, our unemployment is quite low, and our corporate profits continue to rise.  Is their any other way to measure it?

But does it make a difference to you if the reason the stock market is high because many of the stocks are now owned by government entities involved in quantitative easing, bought at low times to boost prices keeping plummeting crashes from continuing?  Does it make a difference that corporate profits are continuing because of massive increases in corporate debt primarily taken on to avoid showing a negatively balanced profit sheet, debt often owed to government entities which bought them up when no one else would to help keep their prices high… Does it make a difference if I told you that despite all the newly minted private sector jobs now being generated at reduced wage levels from skeletons of the older jobs now gone, the entire total income now being generated by all those working, is less per person than was before the great recession of 2008-9?  But you knew all this, right?

When put all together, the bottom line is that our economy is actually in a recession if measured by “real” corporate profits being down,  by “total amount of generated wages” impacting the economy being down,  by corporate “revenue streams” across our business world, being down,  by our “stock market minus QE infused purchases” being down,… but the supports provided by QE hide these facts from us all.  And it is not just here in the US. It is even a bigger global problem. There is the EU who prints money for every Southern European economic crises.  There is Japan who prints money to prop up everything. There is the ongoing problem in China. There is Britain who is now pumping to keep Brexit from collapsing its economy. Globally in just one quarter, we witnessed QE soar to never-before-seen levels. and it hasn’t stopped climbing.

Have you noticed how even with bad economic news, stocks go up?  That should not be — a reality which is obvious to grasp when parsed this way….

“Uh-oh, looks like you are going to lose a lot of money/  Oh! No problem, I’ll just buy more stocks at a higher price then..”  Time in and time out, this is exactly what happens.

QE is buying those stocks… and we’ve reached the level where there are so many, there is no one there to sell them too… Bond yields are negative and yet they keep buying.

“We are therefore in uncharted waters and it is impossible to predict the unintended consequences of very low interest rates, with some 30% of global government debt at negative yields, combined with quantitative easing on a massive scale” —Chairman Lord Jacob Rothschild of Rothschild Investment Trust

Asset Purchases Global
Notice how across the globe, governments are now buying up $180 billion a month or $30 billion per month higher than all the QE in the world at the peak of the Recession (2009).

Now jump to the crux of the problem.

Negative Interest

Did you notice the climb of negative yield debt just in the past 8 months. Aren’t negative yields dangerous?

Can be. Already one third of all sovereign debt yields negative interest rates. That means that investors are effectively paying borrowers to lend to them. The Bank of Ireland and Royal Bank of Scotland already charge depositors interest, as opposed to paying depositors interest.   That’s bizarre. Not to mention unsustainable.

At the current rate of decline, the entire global market will be in subzero land by the end of the year.

 

Around 45% of the global “fixed income” market is now “compromised” by central bank buying.” 

This is compounded by the new fact that nearly half of the bond buyers in the world don’t care about price because they print money out of nothing.   So what does this look like? Take Japan, for example.

Japan’s biggest banks are running out of room to sell their government bond holdings, pushing the central bank closer to the limits of its record monetary easing.   Finding willing sellers is a headache for Governor Haruhiko Kuroda as the central bank prepares to review policy at next month’s board meeting, amid growing concern among economists that he has few tools left to revive the economy. Record bond buying has already saddled the Bank of Japan with more than a third of outstanding sovereign notes, draining liquidity from the market and making it more volatile.

As proof of this trend, on August 9th, the Bank of England couldn’t find enough bonds to buy.

In plain terms it is as if you were now living solely off borrowed money and constantly getting new loans just to make the payments on your past due old loans and then suddenly, not being able to get any new loans anymore……

As we can see from the first chart above, Japan’s “need” is near $90 billion a month, which means once the loans potential dries up… there is an $90 billion dollar hole into which everything collapses…

Don’t underestimate what is happening here, the BoJ is buying a lot more than just sovereign bonds.

The Bank of Japan’s controversial march to the top of shareholder rankings in the world’s third-largest equity market is picking up pace.  Already a top-five owner of 81 companies in Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average, the BOJ is on course to become the No. 1 shareholder in 55 of those firms by the end of next year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg from the central bank’s exchange-traded fund holdings.

 

Japan may be the extreme example, but they are hardly alone.  

The balance sheet assets of the world’s six major central banks hit a new all-time record, increasing to $16.9 trillion from $4.9 trillion 10 years ago, a 239 percent increase.  All the major global central banks are buying up financial assets to the point that global liquidity is drying up. In other words, the central banks are becoming the markets.  Markets have become so distorted by central bank activity that they are no longer transmitting very useful information about the economy at all.”

Bad as this may sound, this is still not the real problem  Here is the REAL scary problem. These low negative rates in safe bonds are sending buyers out in droves to the unsafe markets to find any yield, even small ones of 5%.  In these markets the risk looms so large for so small a payoff, that one day’s trade can wipe a years of yield right off the books.

Volume in emerging markets have soared double their previous record in volume sold since March.

emerging markets 2016

But that is just one example

Junk Spike

Junk bonds, rallied 48% this year, even while junk bond defaults have hit five year highs.

Corporate debt.
Debt Corporate

Corporations are issuing record amounts of debt, and investors and QE are gobbling it up.

Companies worldwide are poised to raise more than $100 billion so far this month, the most for the period in Bloomberg data going back to 1999…. The average yield on sterling-denominated corporate bonds has fallen to a record-low 2.19 percent, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. Globally, the average is near the lowest ever at 2.3 percent, the data show.

More than $2.3tn of dollar-denominated debt has already been issued by companies and banks since the year began, including three of the ten largest corporate bond sales on record, Dealogic data show.   Which makes perfect sense…until you factor in that corporations are defaulting on debts at a near crisis level.

corporate defaults

The year is half over and we are already at the 60% level of 2009……….

According to a new report from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, corporate debt around the world is massively on the rise and could skyrocket to $75 trillion from the $51 trillion it’s at now…. What’s more – S&P estimates that two out of five corporations are highly leveraged (meaning they’ve taken on too much debt). About 43% to 47% of corporations globally are at a financial risk level.

Debt to EBITDA

EBITDA = (Earnings Before Interest,Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization)
Far, far above the 2009 recession levels…

But why are corporations the world over, all taking on debt at the same time (we are just finding out now because reports are filtering out from June 2016)?….

Because operating cash flow doesn’t cover it.

 

In Q2, companies generated $425 billion in operating cash flows. Only $151 billion was invested in fixed assets. The lack of investment is the bane of the US economy. And:

 $110 billion went into dividend payments.    

$61 billion was used for takeovers (OK, that’s down from last year)    

$137 billion was blown on financially engineering their earnings via share buybacks.

So operating cash flows were $35 billion short. That happened quarter after quarter. Hence debt ballooned to 32% of total assets at non-financial firms, the highest since 2008, another propitious year.

As you can see in order not to disappoint shareholders, corporate entities are taking on low interest debt simply to keep their profits looking pretty for the short term.  As seen above one could easily avoid debt by

  • a) cutting dividend payments,
  • b) stop taking over other businesses, or
  • c) stop buying back your stock to increase earnings/share…..

No, but none of these superfluous options got cut back, debt was taken on to cover them…

(As an aside, if anyone is wondering what is still wrong with the American economy, the number of whopping total of $61 billion applied to takeovers compared to an anemic $151 billion into capital investment, says it all… )

You must be wondering!  With all this bad news, why is the stock market climbing so precipitously?  Who would put money into a struggling company laden with debt (32% of assets) which cannot meet profit targets without taking on even more debt?  Let me guess. You? You are going to go out and buy some debt laden stock right now, correct?  Of course, you’ll put your whole retirement plan on it, correct?

Well, yes. If you have anyone minding your money, a mutual fund perhaps, I’m sorry, but this has already happened to you.  For in the short term, it has become the only way to get any yield at all.

Yield Comparison

Today’s precarious stock market scenario only makes sense when compared to negative bond yields… From the comparison chart above, you can see that this is a new phenomenon.  Accounting for the negative bond yields, today, you make 70% more in stocks than you do in bonds…

With a bubble stretched this thin, and with ample covering up so much bad financial news, the danger becomes very real that a tiny pinprick from somewhere, whether coming from student loans, junk bonds, emerging market bonds, corporate bonds, equities, or sub-prime car loan bonds, causes negative losses more than the ability of one to pay……

When disaster finally happens there will be another rush for the exits everywhere, and that is where the fatal flaw in the system will be exposed: there is no liquidity in the markets….

The World Bank estimates the ratio of non-performing loans to total gross loans in 2015 reached 4.3 percent. Before the 2009 global financial crisis, they stood at 4.2 percent.     If anything, the problem is starker now than then: There are more than $3 trillion in stressed loan assets worldwide, compared to the roughly $1 trillion of U.S. subprime loans that triggered the 2009 crisis….

Mr. Businessman calls up his bank… I need a loan right now, quick!   ….. Sorry says the bank. We’re out of money…..

The one solution?  Pretty painful.. Raise interest rates,.  which will result in downward pressure globally on all portfolios, dropping overinflated stock like its hot, but… will dothe necessary job of stopping corporate debt-load from continuing to grow and return us to more accurate reporting. Raising the interest rates act like chemo therapy to the economy, providing long-term healing by actually killing off parts of the living body to keep a malignancy from spreading to healthy tissues… When given the choice, very few of us choose to die forthright, instead resign to taking the chemo.  As we struggle with the decision, at the end of our thought process we all succumb to choosing that option at the end, coming to the realization that either way, we die, and at least therapy provides us the option of more time….

These implications hitting in October are anyone’s guess to their impact on this election year.

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Some days nothing happens.  Many for that matter. Or it’s the drip drip drip of attrition of small events one tries to blow up as huge cataclysms… as in portraying it as the Earthquake of the year…

THEN, there are days everything changes.

Right now, we have the WEIC bills shuffled into a different committee in the Senate, creating speculation they may be shelved, never to see the light of day.  They passed the House. This is important for all of Wilmington.  I was telling some school kids what it was about, and their eyes got HUGE!  (They had no idea)…   But it is the first change in New Castle’s School Districts boundaries since the famous Court desegregation settlement.  It has great impact on property values in Christina District… Woo Hoo!  No more thugs! That becomes the place to raise your kids. Red Clay’s housing prices begin their grand longterm slide… Pike Creek is a great neighborhood, but we now got thugs from Wilmington in our schools.

Secondly, we have the Democratic sit-in for common sense gun legislation… Going on 24 hours, this is amazing stuff.  We’ve had sit ins before, and the same outrages being social media’d regarding Paul Ryan, also took place when it was Republicans protesting and Democrats controlled the House… The Democrats even turned off the lights; the Republicans have not gone so far yet…. But this is destroying the Republican Party… Seriously, it is a wonder if it will be around November 11th.  We have Democrats demanding a vote on gun laws that will save lives… They may not win the vote, (there are a lot of Republicans) but they are demanding a vote… Obviously the Republicans don’t want a vote which will cause them to get attacked by both sides… I mean,… who wants to be attacked by both sides?

But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pay attention to either of these… Today (yesterday) was the Brexit Vote.  Most of you don’t know what that is or what any implications of that might be…  Let us say:  global economic collapse.  Remember it was the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, one single firm, that triggered the Depression (falsely called a Recession) of 2008.

If that was a rogue wave, this is a tidal wave… While you slept, Britain lost 120 billion pounds sterling of net worth. most of it in a minute.  Their banks are down on the stock markets by 25%… You may wake up to the resignation of their Prime Minister.  Housing rentals stocks are now down 40%… Overall at this writing, the FTSE  is down 5%.. The German exchange is down 5%.. American futures are down 5%…

No one knows how it will end.  It could be the end and wipe out all wealth which means we are in for a long bitter and hopeless recovery.  Or we may, pull a save and people will relax. The answer depends on where the fear line lies, and that is something no one can know…. That is the line over which if collapse passes, emotions take over decision making and a free for all occurs…

So before you go in to work today, pour yourself a glass and raise it to “Yesterday”:  a normal day that may be the last normal day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Cheers. 🙂

 

The causes of poverty are complex and varied:

Yet the list of solutions is strikingly short. Other than picking a kid’s parents, it amounts to giving all children access to a high-quality education.

Here’s the catch-22. While the only long-term solution to poverty might be a good education, a good education is seldom available to children living in poverty…..

Philadelphia has really screwed up a lot of kids. So has Milwaukee,  And Chicago.. And DC….  all places where education reform has bulldozed down the existing public school structure, allowed for charters, then walked away of all accountability…. It is about to happen here in Wilmington, as well.

It starts with the Chamber of Commerce.  Then the Newspaper and media jump on.  Then a mysterious foundation materializes and begins issuing communiques that miraculously always land on the front page or the editorial pages of the most read journals…  The theme is the same.  Our public system is failing and we have to go private…

And the question never gets asked… who is making money off of this?  For when it does and the trail gets followed, it ends at the Chamber of Commerce… types, I should add.  In this case, the Longwood Foundation stands to get (if all tenants come on line)  at bargain rates, $1.6 million per month in rent….

Remember the entire building was donated to them.  Remember the state is paying for the capital improvements (which is fine if only Delawarean out-of-work laborers are hired to do the renovations) and the foundation of which the head of the Republican Party, Charlie Copeland, is the treasurer, gets to collect $1.6 million each month….  $19.2 million per year.  Free money

Even I would be in favor of such a system if it worked.  But as we can see from studying the effects upon those who left Pencader Charter School, on those who will be leaving Moyer Charter School, on those who are to be leaving REACH Charter School… not only does that concept not work, it actually plays with people’s lives towards the negative….  It’s bad. And the public systems already in place are systemically better….

The Southern Education Foundation reveals that nearly half of all U.S. public school students live in poverty.   Secondly, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, reveals that poverty — not race, ethnicity, national origin or where you attend school — is the best predictor of college attendance and completion.

Delaware has 51.9% of its students classified as low income….  To gain some perspective, ride the elevator up to the Morris and James office in the WSFS tower.  Step out of their copper colored elevators and look south, then draw an imaginary line straight south as far as you can see.  Everyone on the left is affluent, and everyone on the right is in poverty… New Castle, Delaware City are affluent.  Middletown, Newark, Glasgow are in poverty… THAT… is the reality we are dealing with…  THAT… is about as bad as the stories I’ve heard about the Great Depression….

But we’re not in a Depression! And some districts like Christina School District, have 61.7% of its students low income!!   That is over 6 out of every 10 students!  Is this really America?  Why does the News Journal fail to report this most significant factor in Delaware’s entire being?

Because they are in bed and loyal to the Chamber of Commerce types.  Who never deal so never care about those of low income levels… Certainly not enough to pay a penny or two extra on the dollar to help a brother or sister out….  Actually they are very generous to causes they patronize… so this is not an ad hominen or anti-wealthy attack..  It is just a push to show all that our priorities are in the wrong spot….

The donations and lip service are indeed well intended, and in their small way, certainly appreciated…  but the problem has grown beyond receiving free cases  plug-ins and Febreez to spritz up the room.   it is time to figure how we are going to get the elephant and all it’s dung, through a door that is now too little for it to pass…..

We need to take out a wall, pull out the elephant, clean out the dung, rebuild the wall, and then, use the Febreez and plug-ins to make it smell nice…

That elephant is poverty.  The only way that 51.9% of Delaware’s children EVEN HAVE A SHOT OF ESCAPING POVERTY!!!!  is through a good public school education……

Yet every year with Charter Schools, we are taking tons of money out and away from public education….

We are closing the door on half of Delaware’s children…  SLAM, Lock, throw away the key…..

We need to start working on that elephant problem now!

It amazes me how quickly we forget. Our lives are so busy… Things blur by, pass in a moment to be replaced with a long line of new things to take their place… Did you know today was the 10th anniversary of Johnny’s passing?

I was curious an looked it up over the summer because my memory too had faded and I couldn’t remember which year it was. He passed September 12, 2003... The official cause was diabetes; however those who knew him, all knew he’d been in a hurry for some time to join June, who passed 4 months earlier….

As one watches the video, those of you old enough see an America we all knew as a child. Even if we weren’t country music fans at the time. That America is long gone, but one very similar has replaced it… full of economic hardships, angst, and self pursuit at the expense of inner peace. His music is more relevant today, perhaps than when we knew him.

I am surprised by the number of younger generation who live his songs, and know them, far better than those of the Beatles, Who, or Stones… His lyrics are simple, direct, and reach out to grasp that humanity that sometimes escapes us all.

it is ironical we were all talking about the VMA’s last week. For ten years ago, Johnny Cash was nominated and actually won, the VMA award for best cinematography for this video posted…

They called his name… And the winner is………………………………… Johnny Cash……….
All waited for his speech, but no one came up… Uncomfortable chatter as everyone looked around… After minutes someone came out from the back stage and said, Johnny is in hospital tonight and needs all of your prayers…. This award will be sent to him…..

Those prayers were answered just 15 days later…. He was in June’s arms before the night was over…..

It had been a long haul.  Unemployment rates were finally at the lowest levels of the current President’s term.   Manufacturing, after being down for years, had finally surged past it zenith prior to the collapse.  The Stock Market was again, after 5 years, finally back in record territory.

The economic downslide appeared to be over.  Consumer confidence was high. The bad economic times were behind us.

It was time to cut the deficit that had swollen during the bad years. The nation could not keep pace with the growth of interest.  Now with good times finally approaching, it was time to whittle that problem away….

Big cuts were made across the board to  cut back government spending…..

But wait.  We are discussing 1937!

1937?  But I thought the Great Depression started in 1930 and lasted up until the war, 1941,  That’s what we were always taught in school….

Ah.  You didn’t let me finish…

One year later, the stock market would be at 50% of it’s value.  Unemployment shot up from 14% back to 19%.  Manufacturing slipped 37% down from the previous year.  We were once again, indeed in the middle of  the Great Depression.

It came because we tried to force austerity way too soon.  The economy was only just rebounding,  We were imposing the economic equivalent for a quadruple bypass surgery patient,  a week after the operation, to be running in a marathon….

Exactly. Look what happened.  As the government contracted suddenly, the shock wave rippled through every person who had gone through it at least once before.  This time, they knew what to do.  Get out of the market immediately. Stop spending immediately. Cut to depression staff levels immediately.  They weren’t getting burned like the last time…..

Although it is impossible to say today is the exact parallel to the man-made continuation of the Great Depression, there are startling similarities.

What is most striking, is that we never heard about this bubble of good economic data in our history books.  The result of  misapplied austerity simply continued the Great Depression, so that those  few good months just like we experienced, became quickly forgotten and swallowed up in the new upcoming crises.

Todays sequester and major cuts to spending, are our version of the austerity imposed upon the economy back in 1937…..

Stock Market 1937
Chart Courtesy of Minyanville


Courtesy of Wikipedia

Manufacturing 1937
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Money Supply 1937

Courtesy of Wall St. Pit

Fix the Deficit Yourself With This Handy Dandy Deficit Fixer Upper
Courtesy of New York Times

Here is the sight where you can fix the deficit yourself... Let me know how long it took and what you found to be your biggest surprise?

Indirect link:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=012vn5qj

The largest reason Greece defaults are so big, is that that were hidden until it became too big to hide…

The problem if noticed earlier, could have been corrected by now, without letting the debt balloon into the crises we have now.

Republicans want to use the same scoring method used by the Greeks to hide our their proposed deficits.

Remember, Newt Gingrich’s deficit is $7 trillion higher than Obamas. Santorum’s deficit is $6 Trillion higher than Obamas. Romney’s deficit is $2 Trillion higher than the deficit…..

So, the idea is that if you “pretend” that growth will be “off the charts”,  because you cut taxes “too low”, then all that “growth” will generate tons of revenue that will magically appear….

Before we jump into this, has this ever been tried before?

Yes… as mentioned, it was done in Greece…  Look how that turned out.

Yes, ..Bush W… taxes were cut too low… and instead of growth,  we got this Depression…….

Yes,..Ronald Reagan. 86.  taxes were cut too low, and instead of growth, we got a Massive Recession in 89.. Had Clinton not been elected it would have continued on into a Depression.

Yes,  The 1920’s… Taxes were cut too low, and instead of growth, we got “the” Great Depression…….

And now they want to do it again, with dynamic scoring….

Because they have a problem.  That problem is the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) by law is required to cost out budgets to see where they end up.  They’ve gotten pretty accurate lately. So when a Republican puts up a budget, it like the candidates listed above, look pretty bad…  So, Republicans want to change the formula.

The reason they want to use it is obvious.   Their idea that cutting taxes increases both jobs and revenue, is a fairy tale.. If it was true, it would have worked the four examples I gave above….

Cutting taxes leads to lower revenue and larger budget deficits. There are no two ways about this…

Republicans think this is not true.  Just like they think global warming is not true.  Just like they think the separation of Church and state is not in the Constitution. Just like they think birth control is too important a topic to let women decide how it should be used…..

Republicans are wrong on all counts.

And so, if we get a Republican Congress in 2012, we will then get dynamic scoring to deny how much their policies are costing us, as we too, will wind up bankrupt……

So if you don’t want America to turn into Greece ( who would?)…… it is imperative that no Republicans make it into Congress this next time….

Their steadfast belief in nothing but psuedo-science, will be their undoing…..


Photo Courtesy of the horse’s mouth

Closing remarks of FDR’s declaration of war:

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. .

Again, lifted from Der Spiegal

The current favorite? He’s a political dinosaur, dishonored and discredited. Or so we thought. Yet just because he studied history and speaks in more complex sentences than his rivals, the US media now reflexively hails him as a “Man of Ideas” (The Washington Post) — even though most of these ideas are lousy if not downright offensive, such as firing unionized school janitors, so poor children could do their jobs.

Pompous and blustering, Gingrich gets away with this humdinger as well as with selling himself as a Washington outsider — despite having made millions of dollars as a lobbyist in Washington. At least the man’s got chutzpah.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end here. Gingrich claims moral authority on issues such as the “sanctity of marriage,” yet he’s been divorced twice. He sprang the divorce on his first wife while she was sick with cancer. (His supporters’ excuse: It’s been 31 years, and she’s still alive.) He cheated on his second wife just as he was pressing ahead with Bill Clinton’s impeachment during the Monica Lewinsky affair, unaware of the irony. The woman he cheated with, by the way, was one of his House aides and 23 years his junior — and is now his perpetually smiling third wife.

Americans have a short memory. They forget, too, that Gingrich was driven out of Congress in disgrace, the first speaker of the house to be disciplined for ethical wrongdoing. Or that he consistently flirts with racism when he speaks of Barack Obama. Or that he enjoyed a $500,000 credit line at Tiffany’s just as his campaign was financially in the toilet and he ranted about the national debt. Chutzpah, indeed.

Yet the US media rewards him with a daily kowtow. And the Republicans reward him too, by having put him on top in the latest polls. Mr. Hypocrisy, the bearer of his party’s hope.

“I think he’s doing well just because he’s thinking,” former President Clinton told the conservative online magazine NewsMax. “People are hungry for ideas that make some sense.” Sense? Apparently it’s not just the Republicans who have lost their minds here.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……