Jeffrey Lord says Obama is toast — because of the price of bread. Key bit:
WHAT SEEMS TO HAVE LEFT Obama strategists clueless is the fundamental historical fact that inflation comes slowly. Milk today, celery tomorrow, and gas almost every day. Then, too late, there’s a collective gasp of recognition by Americans walking around the grocery store that it’s no longer just the milk and the celery but the soup, the chicken, the hamburger and perhaps now critically — the Excedrin. Don’t forget the rent, either. The shock of realization dawns that somehow the patient — America — is suddenly in dire economic health and the only way out is a brutally painful form of political surgery.
Lord makes many comparisons between today and 1979, and they’re all apt — especially regarding the two men occupying the Oval Office then and now, and their economic policies.
But let us look ahead a little further.
Ronald Reagan came into office in January, 1981, on a mission to get the economy moving again. The first step was — the first step had to be — to choke off inflation. And in cahoots with Fed Chair Paul Volcker, that’s exactly what he did. Their recipe was simple: Tight money, high interest rates.
According to reports, last month Heydar Moslehi — the former minister of Intelligence — presented an extensive report on Ahmadinejad’s political and economic activities to Khamenei. In addition, the report is said to have contained information on a number of serious violations.
In late January/early February, a group calling itself “a trade association” — all of its members belong to security forces close to Ahmadinejad — traveled to Dubai. The group’s announced intentions were to cozy up to a trade association of Iranians in Dubai, and to reveal a plan to open a special office for their economic activities. However, reports claim that they also held clandestine meetings with two American officials with political and military connections.
The report the minister of Intelligence provided — which cautioned of an especially dangerous outcome to these undertakings — is said to have disturbed Khamenei.
Other reports from inside Iran point to the Obama administration’s continuation of privately approaching the Iranian officials, hoping to get them to return to negotiations on the nuclear issues. Clearly, sanctions have not achieved the goal of stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. This may explain why President Obama kept silent when Green leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi were arrested in February, leading to mass protests across Iran on February 14, February 20, and March 1. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians protested.
Can you say stagflation? The Jimmy Carter years may be repeating themselves as the Obama economy continues to flounder. U.S. economic growth slowed to a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2011, after a 3.1 percent fourth quarter pace last year. Meanwhile, food and gasoline prices have sent the broad measure of inflation rising at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years. To make matters worse, more people sought unemployment benefits last week. This was the second increase in applications for unemployment benefits in three weeks.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke hinted yesterday that such disturbing news was in the offing, at the first scheduled press conference in the Fed’s history. But, no doubt in an effort to calm the markets, he played down the significance of the lower growth and higher inflation figures as transitory.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Silver and gold were within sight of historic highs on Friday and could resume an uptrend as the U.S. dollar held near three-year lows against a basket of currencies on hopes U.S. monetary policy would stay ultra loose, keeping inflationary price pressures high.
A fresh batch of U.S. economic data in the form of rising claims for jobless benefits failed to rescue the dollar, which had dropped to its weakest level since July 2008 against other currencies before recovering slightly.
Silver barely moved, standing at 48.32 an ounce by 0234 GMT (10:34 p.m. ET on Thursday), having rallied to a record at $49.51 an ounce on Thursday. Gold lost $1.10 to $1,533.85 an ounce after hitting a lifetime high around $1,538 an ounce in the previous session.
“If the dollar continues to weaken, then it’s only likely to boost gold as well as silver as the inverse relationship between the two assets persists. I would say that for gold I am still looking for it to hit $1,600 this year,” said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
United Nations diplomats on Wednesday will set aside pressing issues of international peace and security to devote an entire day debating the rights of “Mother Earth.”
A bloc of mostly socialist governments lead by Bolivia have put the issue on the General Assembly agenda to discuss the creation of a U.N. treaty that would grant the same rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Mother Nature.
Treaty supporters want the establishment of legal systems to maintain balance between human rights and what they perceive as the inalienable rights of other members of the Earth community — plants, animals, and terrain.
Communities and environmental activists would be given more legal power to monitor and control industries and development to ensure harmony between humans and nature. Though the United States and other Western governments are supportive of sustainable development, some see the upcoming event, “Harmony with Nature,” as political grandstanding — an attempt to blame environmental degradation and climate change on capitalism.