Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
From: Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org Political Action <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 4:32 PM
Subject: People need you
To: "Christopher D. Osborn"
Barack and Michelle Obama have a request for us: Spend this coming Monday—Martin Luther King Day—volunteering to serve the urgent needs in our communities.
In this economic crisis, food banks are struggling to keep up. Homeowners need help weatherizing to keep out the cold. Schools are crumbling.
Some folks have been hit harder by the recession than others, but we're all in it together. We've all got to roll up our sleeves and help each other out. And volunteering is always a great experience—in just a few hours, you can help make a huge difference in the lives of others.
Can you answer Obama's call to service this Monday? Click here to find out how you can help near Vineyard Haven:
On Tuesday, Barack will officially start the massive job of restoring our country. As president, he plans to expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and to create new service organizations1, including:
- a Classroom Corps to help underserved schools;
- a Health Corps to serve in the nation's clinics and hospitals;
- a Clean Energy Corps to achieve the goal of energy independence; and
- a Veterans Corps to support the Americans who serve in harm's way.
But on Monday, Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia will still be ordinary citizens, volunteering to help their new neighbors in Washington, D.C. Can you join them by volunteering near Vineyard Haven? Click here to sign up on Obama's website:
Many of us have the day off for Dr. King's birthday, so it's a perfect time to volunteer. And with millions of Americans energized about Obama's inauguration, it will be a great day to spend with neighbors!
Hope you can make it. And thanks for all you do.
–Noah, Karin, Matt, Ilyse and the rest of the team
P.S. If you're in D.C. on Monday, join others from around the country to assemble care packages for troops in Iraq at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (inside a heated tent):
1. "America Serves," Change.gov
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to Christopher D. Osborn on January 16, 2009. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.
Quote of the Day: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." - Rahm Emmanuel, Barack Obama's Chief of Staff
Subject: The politician who loves the crisis
Rahm Emmanuel loves the financial crisis. He sees it as an opportunity. His admission of this fact, which we've used as our quote of the day, is breathtaking.
Mr. Emmanuel tried to moderate his enthusiasm for exploiting the crisis by claiming that his desire wasn't for big government, but for good government. But has Mr. Emmanuel ever acted as if good government was consistent with smaller government? We doubt it.
Mr. Emmanuel isn't alone in seeing crisis as an opportunity to make government "gooder" by making it bigger. Donald Rumsfeld famously wanted to exploit the 9-11 attack by "roping in everything," including Iraq. And that is what they did.
One "crisis" event was used to create another crisis. Now it's happening again.
Consider what this means: What do the politicians think of you? They think you aren't wise enough to accept their grand plans for remaking the world, so you have to be scared into doing the right thing. Their grand plans require crisis to be implemented. This way of thinking also implies that only the politicians know what the right thing is.
Your plans and my plans, and all the individual plans of 300 million Americans, must be superseded by the plans of the politicians and their court intellectuals. But what's the likelihood that such a small group of people really knows how 300 million individuals should live -- how their affairs should be regulated and their money spent?
And what happens when they're wrong? If you and I make mistakes in our small plans for our own lives, the consequences effect only ourselves and maybe a few people around us. But when the politicians' grand plans go wrong, millions, perhaps everyone, is harmed in a grand way.
But isn't this very nearly the definition of a crisis -- something that harms everyone?
If politicians have the power to help everyone, then they also have the power to harm everyone. But what they can never have is enough knowledge to predict the full consequences of their grand, universal "do-gooder" plans.
Knowledge is decentralized. All of us have pieces of the puzzle. This is why small, decentralized plans tend to work, creating massive progress from the bottom-up. It's also why grand plans, from the top-down, blow-up.
Here at DownsizeDC.org we think we need to have a few, bottom-up plans of our own. We need to figure out how to stop the politicians from creating and exploiting crises. But, unlike the politicians, our plans must not be grand and universal. They should be humble and flexible, capable of being implemented in small increments.
We can't pretend to know, in advance, all the steps needed to curtail the politicians' power to create and exploit crises. No one one bill, by itself, will stop political opportunism and meddling. But we can know the rough dimensions of what our plan must achieve. Above all, we can be fairly certain of the need to make our ideas heard at the same volume as the grand claims of the crisis exploiters.
Some would attempt to accomplish this from the top-down, by finding a few large donors, and then buying lots of advertising with their donations. But large donors can change their minds or even pass on, and any plan based on them risks a large collapse at almost any moment -- kind of like the plans the politicians prefer. We take the opposite approach . . .
* We want to fund our plan from the bottom-up, with lots of small and average donations, especially monthly pledges.
* We'll then use our success in building this base of monthly pledgers to attract larger donors who will be the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself.
Our ability to attract a stable base of monthly pledgers is what earned us the support of the major donors who gave us the financial lever we needed to pre-fund all of our basic operations for all of 2009.
We're now in a position to spend nearly all the additional money we raise in 2009 to do outreach and recruitment. No other organization I'm aware of is in such a position. Think of what this means to you . . .
Nearly every additional dollar we raise will fund outreach that will recruit new people who will exert more pressure on Congress and fund still more outreach to recruit still more people. We're now at the point where we can create an ever growing spiral of outreach, education, recruitment, and direct pressure on Congress.
Already this month, we've added a couple of new pledgers and raised more than $1,200. This money is accumulating, and will soon amount to something that can accomplish something. Here's what we need to move forward EACH MONTH this year:
* Just $6,000 a month (beyond reoccurring pledges)
* Just 20 new monthly pledgers each month -- less than one a day
This message is going out to more than 24,000 people. These targets seem quite doable.
We'll be presenting the first phase of our outreach plan to you in just a few weeks. We anticipate investing $50-60,000 throughout this year -- eight to ten times what we've spent on direct outreach in our four year history. Could you help make this happen by making . . .
a) a generous one-time contribution or,
b) becoming a monthly pledger
The size and impact DC Downsizers can have is a matter of funds. The growth of the army depends on you.
P.S. This afternoon (Friday) Jim Babka is scheduled to be on Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes on the Accent Radio Network. Details are available in this October DownsizeDC.org blog post.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009
So, there we have it. I imagine Sen. Kennedey did not write this, as last I heard he was, while still working to some extent, is rather ill. Becides, even if he was perfectly fine I doubt he has the time to respond to my emails. However, it was nice of a staff member to respond in his name.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Why Gold Could Fall 50% from
By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
January 13, 2008
Who's bearish on gold?
I dare you... Name one analyst who thinks gold could crash now.
What, you don't know any? That's what scares me... Everyone I know is bullish on gold... Everyone but my friend Jack Crooks.
I've mentioned Jack once or twice in DailyWealth as a true, successful contrarian. Over the summer, Jack was the only man I knew who was bullish on the U.S. dollar. He essentially said everything keeps getting worse, but the dollar has stopped going down, so it's bottomed. He nailed it. The Dollar Index soared from 72 when he wrote that to a peak around 88 a few months later.
He's at it again, this time on gold... with similar reasoning. Yesterday, he pointed out several circumstances that should cause gold to go up... but haven't lately:
How much more stimulus is possible to pump out and cheapen paper currency the world over? How much closer can we get to all out war in the Middle East? How much more dangerous can the Pakistan-India on-going quagmire become?
This is nasty stuff...Yet the supposed supreme safe haven – gold – continues to fade [fall] on all this stuff.
Jack says gold investors have gotten the exact circumstances they want for higher gold prices... and yet gold keeps falling. This is not a good sign.
Here's another ominous sign: Gold is breaking down.
In worse news for gold prices, gold broke below its key long-term moving averages. Jack points out that the recent highs have been lower and lower – another bad sign.
You may not put much faith in technical indicators like these. But some actually work...
I ran the numbers today. I use a 45-week moving average as a signal of general uptrends or downtrends (above the moving-average line is a bull market, below is a bear market).
Since late 1970, gold has risen at about 6% a year, compounded. But amazingly, when the price of gold is above its moving average, it compounds at a double-digit annualized rate. And when it is below the moving average, you lose money. That is a huge difference.
We at DailyWealth do believe gold is in a long-run bull market. But the near term could be difficult...
Gold jumped from $35 to $850 from January 1970 to January 1980. That sounds like a rip-roaring bear market. But did you know, from March 1974 to September 1975, the price of gold fell by half? We could see that again. We're already down about 20% from the highs... and nobody is even particularly worried yet.
Look, my friend Jack Crooks is good at what he does. Between Jack and the current downtrend, I wouldn't make big bets buying gold right at this moment.In short... own gold for the long run. But don't take big risks speculating on it in the short run – it could cost you.
P.S. I've known Jack since we worked 15 feet away from each other at a firm specializing in international investing. That was more than a decade ago. I can tell you Jack is a smart, uncompromising currency trader who knows his financial history and knows the markets. You can click here to learn more about his work.
Editor's note: Dr. Steve Sjuggerud writes True Wealth, one of the top five financial newsletters in the world. Steve's investment philosophy is simple: Buy assets of great value when no one else wants them, and sell them when others will pay any price.
Recently, Steve uncovered a "glitch" in his favorite gold investment¦ This anomaly allows investors to make up to 665% after gold prices rise. Click here to learn more.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Quote of the Day: "The permanent income hypothesis (PIH) is a theory of consumption that was developed by the American economist Milton Friedman. In its simplest form, PIH states that the choices made by consumers regarding their consumption patterns are determined not by current income but by their longer-term income expectations." -- from Wikipedia
Subject: How to stimulate the economy
The President-elect wants the proposed stimulus bill to be 40% tax cuts. That's good. But he wants those cuts to be one-time reductions. That's bad.
The politicians want to prop up businesses by stimulating consumer spending. One-time tax cuts will not accomplish this.
Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize for showing that consumers don't spend based on short terms gains, but only on expectations of what their long-term income will be. This fact was validated yet again by the fate of the recent "stimulus" checks the government mailed to everyone. Most people did not spend this money, they saved it or used it to pay down debt.
If the politicians really want to stimulate spending they should passpermanent tax reductions.
The politicians claim this would add too much to the deficit. They could solve this problem by cutting spending -- by Downsizing DC. But the politicians claim we need increased government spending to substitute for reduced consumer spending. Several recent studies indicate that there's little evidence to support this theory.
The politicians promise that this stimulus program will be different. They're going to focus on building productive new infrastructure that will aid economic growth. But how do politicians know what will be productive and what will not? And why should we believe that this massive spending won't be junked up with pork and corporate welfare?
Daniel J Mitchell of Cato Institute makes the following points . . .
* The jobs the stimulus package is supposed to create will cost about $280,000 each, assuming the jobs materialize (this is according to the calculations of Greg Mankiw at Harvard)
* The true cost of these jobs will be even higher because we must also include the "opportunity costs" of what could have been done with the money instead
* To the extent the new jobs are government jobs the cost could be even higher. The Bureau of Economic Analysis calculates that federal employees earn nearly twice as much as private sector workers.
In addition, the money for the stimulus package must be borrowed, which will add long-term interest costs.
All of these concerns disappear if the government doesn't spend the money, and instead leaves it in the private sector.
The politicians could stimulate businesses to use this money to create new goods and services, and consumers to feel confident about being able to afford these goods and services, by cutting regressive forms of taxation permanently. The politicians should immediately eliminate the . . .
* Capital gains tax (which discourages investment),
* Corporate tax (which is merely passed on to consumers),
* And reduce the regressive payroll tax, which does not need to be so high in order to pay for current entitlement expenses
Permanent tax reductions would . . .
* Make new investments and businesses profitable
* Convince consumers that their incomes will be higher for the long run
* Increase investment, job creation, and consumer confidence
Please send Congress the following messages . . .
Ask them to oppose so-called stimulus spending. Use your personal comments to point out the lack of evidence that government spending stimulates the economy.
Then, please also ask for permanent tax reductions. Use your personal comments to point out Milton Friedman's findings that only permanent changes in income stimulate consumer spending. Ask Congress to repeal the capital gains tax and the corporate tax in order to boost employment, and to reduce the payroll tax so as to increase consumer confidence.
After you've sent these messages please think of at least two people who would really like and agree with this message. Forward it to them, one at a time (instead of to your entire address book), with a personal note telling them why you thought of them when you read this message. Encourage each of them to join you in sending a message to their representatives in Congress. If everyone reading this list did that, we could wake up to find our Downsize DC army doubled in size!
Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.
P.S. Not all new office holders have Internet contact pages yet. We are updating our system as the new contact pages come on line. Your message will go through to any of your representatives that remain the same, or for which we've received new information. Don't let this transition slow you down. Your message will get through to someone. It will make a difference. Take action!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I want to know, is Sen. Thompson newly educated, or is he just acting? If it's not just acting, I would love to see him join Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, or perhaps donate to Downsize D.C.