Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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Obama: Lead or Get Out of the Way Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, August 28 2014
More than at any previous time in his presidency, Obama’s penchant for uncertainty and inaction is leaving the American people exposed to danger.

Were Barack Obama gliding into a typical presidential dénouement — his last years in office spent primarily on ceremonial duties and trying to cement a legacy — all of the frustration about his perpetually declining work ethic — the serial rounds of golf, the fund-raising excursions, the leisurely dinners — would perhaps be moot. In ordinary times, there’s a lot to be said for a languid president, especially given the limited role envisioned for the office by the Constitution.

These, however, are no ordinary times.

In fact, Obama’s final years in office may prove to be his most tumultuous — which, given his track record, is saying something. The first six years of his tenure have seen domestic strife, a reeling economy, compounding scandal and partisanship at high dudgeon. That’s nothing compared to today, however, when the entire infrastructure of global security is rapidly eroding.

Normally, these are the kinds of moments when presidents shine. It’s no accident that the synonym we usually employ to refer to the head of the executive branch is Commander-in-Chief, the title associated with his leadership of the armed forces.

The Founding Fathers’ vision of the presidency gave the office a highly constrained role in domestic affairs. It was primarily foreign policy where presidential leadership was supposed to be let off the leash.

The problem for President Obama is that he doesn’t much care for the division of labor set up by the Constitution. On domestic policy, he’s chafed at the limits of his office, using unilateral (and likely unconstitutional) action on everything from health care to immigration to recess appointments. On foreign policy, he has been — and this is putting it gently — a model of diffidence.

There have been costs associated with this approach, to be sure. According to a recent Gallup poll, approval for the president’s handling of foreign policy has now dropped to 39 percent, only one percentage point higher than the low reached by George W. Bush during his second term.

The only thing that has kept Obama from cratering outright is that most of the issues he has bolloxed thus far — securing a status of forces agreement in Iraq, enforcing the red line against Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria, rolling back Russian aggression in Ukraine — have not had tangible domestic implications.

In none of these instances were the daily lives of ordinary Americans threatened by the president’s incompetence. The rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, however, present a far different set of circumstances.

That fact was driven home to Americans last week, when one of our own, journalist James Foley, was beheaded by an ISIS member on camera, with promises of more killings to come. This in and of itself should have been enough to rouse the nation to decisive action. If the president wants to ensure the safety of Americans abroad, there’s no more surefire formula than guaranteeing that any harm to an American citizen is met with deadly and disproportionate force.

The stakes are even higher, however, given that ISIS has vowed to strike the United States — a threat that, given their manpower, their resources and their surplus of members holding Western passports, can’t be considered idle.

It’s not paranoia to be alarmed at a photo posted on Twitter in which an ISIS sympathist photographed the White House with the terror group’s flag in front of it and a message reading, “We are in your state. We are in your cities. We are in your streets. You are our goals everywhere.” The irrational reaction would be to be unperturbed by it.

For all the signs of danger, however, Obama has remained relatively placid. Yes, he’s taken important steps, such as authorizing the air strikes that pried Iraq’s Mosul Dam out of ISIS’s hand — but his broader response has been remarkably passive.

In remarks after Foley’s death, the President, for instance, said people like ISIS “ultimately fail. Because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.” Well, not really. Evil — particularly evil of the expansionist variety — is not self-extinguishing. If such monsters have ultimately failed in the past, it’s because forces with both the will and resources to stop them stood in their way. Absent that kind of commitment, the president is living in a dream world.

As of this writing, it is still unclear exactly how sweeping the Obama Administration’s response will be.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has defined the threat from ISIS as “beyond anything that we’ve seen.” Secretary of State John Kerry has said the group “must be destroyed” (he neglected to mention by whom).

As for the president? He recommended “a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.” What does that mean? His only explication of the principle was that “there has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies.” Sure, but that’s sort of beside the point. Rejecting a murderer’s ideology won’t keep him from your throat. The use of a sufficient level of force will.

More than at any previous time in his presidency, Obama’s penchant for uncertainty and inaction is leaving the American people exposed to danger. These are the kinds of moments in which a president’s mettle is tested — in which decisive executive leadership is needed.

It’s time for Obama to dig deep and find the resolve of a Commander-in-Chief. If he can’t, he’d be better off taking the early retirement for which he seems to pine. America can no longer afford a half-hearted president.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is waging a ferocious, global propaganda campaign designed to deflect blame for the origin and spread of the COVID-19 outbreak from Wuhan, China. Moreover, Beijing is trying to take advantage of the pandemic to increase its global standing and influence. ...If Beijing escapes blame for its failure to curb the coronavirus pandemic, its lies, and its attempts to cover…[more]
—Michael Auslin, Hoover Institution Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow and Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow
— Michael Auslin, Hoover Institution Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow and Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?