Saturday, September 25, 2010

War and Deficit As Far As Eyes Can See

The first three links go to the articles by Jason Diz on September 24, 2010 at website:

US Combat Continues in 'Post-Combat' Iraq

...US military spokesman Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan announced today that “our rules of engagement have no changed,” meaning the claims that only “non-combat” troops remains in the nation were even more transparently false than they appeared on the surface.
Pants on fire!

Obama Vows US Troops to Stay in Afghanistan ‘Until the Job Is Done’
...In an interview today with the BBC’s Persian Television channel, President Barack Obama promised that the United States would not end the war in Afghanistan as a result of the July 2011 drawdown date.

Rather Obama insisted the war would continue “until the job is done”and went on to define the job as “to provide Afghans themselves the capacity to secure their own country.” He gave no indications of when he thought this might be.
Pants on fire! I thought the reason of going there was to grab Osama Bin Laden. No?

FBI Launching Mass Raids of Antiwar Activists’ Homes
...The FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of “raids” against the homes of antiwar activists, claiming that they are “seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”

Now, how do they define "material support" and "terrorism"?

Here's Paul Craig Roberts' take:
...Now we know what Homeland Security (sic) secretary Janet Napolitano meant when she said on September 10: "The old view that 'if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won't have to fight them here' is just that--the old view." The new view, Napolitano said, is "to counter violent extremism right here at home."

"Violent extremism" is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning's FBI's foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience, it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with "the material support of terrorism," just as conservatives equated Vietnam era anti-war protesters with giving material support to communism.

"Material support" is another of those undefined police state terms. In this context the term means that Americans who fail to believe their government's lies and instead protest its policies, are supporting their government's declared enemies and, thus, are not exercising their civil liberties but committing treason.

As this initial FBI foray is a softening up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, Kelly will get off this time. But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a "terrorist group" set up by the CIA that will incriminate him. Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared "enemy combatants" and sent off to Egypt, Poland, or some other corrupt American puppet state--Canada perhaps--to be tortured until confession is forthcoming that antiwar protesters and, indeed, every critic of the US government, are on Osama bin Laden's payroll.

Almost every Republican and conservative and, indeed, the majority of Americans will fall for this, only to find, later, that it is subversive to complain that their Social Security was cut in the interest of the war against Iran or some other demonized entity, or that they couldn't have a Medicare operation because the wars in Central Asia and South America required the money.
And the multibillionaire Warren Buffett excoriates us for being angry at the government.

If you add up all the defense related expenditure, it adds up to slightly over $1 trillion. The federal deficit is $1.5 trillion. But "Suck it up" says Warren Buffet.

Will "gullible" Americans suck it up, for the sake of .....what?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Warren Buffet to Taxpayers: Get Over It!


I sincerely, truly hope and pray that the rumor of Buffet becoming the chief of that consumer financial protection bureau within the Federal Reserve was, is, and remains utterly, totally false.

Buffett to taxpayers: Get over your anger (9/24/2010

"Taxpayer anger against President Barack Obama and Congress is counterproductive because policy makers took measures including deficit spending to stimulate the economy, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC.

"“Sentiment has turned very sour in the last three or four or five months,” the chairman and CEO of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said in an interview broadcast Thursday.

"“I hope we get over it pretty soon, because it’s not productive,’’ Buffett said. “We will come back regardless of how people feel about Washington, but it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington.”

"...“The truth is we’re running a federal deficit that’s 9 percent of gross domestic product,” Buffett said. “That’s stimulative as all get out. It’s more stimulative than any policy we’ve followed since World War II.”

"...Buffett said he uses a common sense standard to evaluate the economy. Buffett gets insight into the health of the economy through the performance of Berkshire’s many subsidiaries." [The whole article at the link above.]

So the federal government running deficit of over 9% of GDP is a good thing, according to Buffett. Deficit spending on useless projects and government union workers is a good thing.

And if that's his common sense, then he really, truly has nothing in common with the rest of us. (His father would be very disappointed in him.)

Iranian President Got Applause for his UN Speech on 9/11

and the US delegation walked out.

As a financial blogger, I find it amusing that the US delegation walked out on his 9/11 theory but didn't, on his comment on capitalism being the cause of poverty.

Anyway, neoconservatives are fuming, alongside the US government whose delegation walked out. Here's one of them:

Applause for Ahmadinejad (9/23/2010 Fox News)

"He was greeted by applause when he walked into the United Nations General Assembly, and applauded again, even after questioning 9/11 and claiming that the American government may have been behind the attack.

"That’s right, applauded after questioning the motivation for the terrorist attacks, who was responsible for them, and essentially suggesting they were a U.S. plot.

"...On Tuesday, when Ahmadinejad spoke during the global summit on poverty, the American delegation remained even as he predicted the defeat of capitalism.

"But true to form, he quickly went over the line with his 9/11 remarks and that prompted the U.S. diplomats, and others, to get up and walk out.

"But as Ahmadinejad walked from the podium, he did so rewarded by applause in the august chamber of the world body." [The full article at the link above.]

So what exactly is Ahmadinejad's theories about 9/11? According to AP,

1. That a “powerful and complex terrorist group” penetrated U.S. intelligence and defenses.

2. That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.

3. That the attack was the work of “a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation.

So, the Iranian president proposes that either the US intelligence was compromised, or the US government orchestrated the attack, or the US government was complicit and took advantage of the situation (and introduced the monstrosity like the Patriot Act).

Obama's former Green Czar had the same doubts... Oh wait, he had to resign. Over 80% of Americans thought (probably still think) that the government was hiding something. Oh wait, the non-ruling class is irrelevant. And so-called Tea Partiers of Sara Palin's and her cohort's variety are all for bombing Iran anyway.

I'm sure either the CIA or the State Department recorded which delegation applauded after the speech (all of them?) and will take appropriate retaliatory measures.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Terrorist Attacks May Be Imminent, Warn Officials

Just in time. October surprise, anyone?

Here's from Washington Post on September 22:

"Al-Qaeda and its allies are likely to attempt small-scale, less sophisticated terrorist attacks in the United States, senior Obama administration officials said Wednesday, noting that it's extremely difficult to detect such threats in advance.

""Unlike large-scale, coordinated, catastrophic attacks
, executing smaller-scale attacks requires less planning and fewer pre-operational steps," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "Accordingly, there are fewer opportunities to detect such an attack before it occurs."
[Emphasis is mine. The article continues.]

Ummm, excuse me Ms. Napolitano but the US government claimed it couldn't detect a large-scale, coordinated, catastrophic attack which was 9/11. "Who could have known?" said Condoleezza Rice.

But wait, it may not be Al-Qaeda but domestic terrorists!

ABC News scares us by saying terror threats highest since 9/11, and the terrorists will likely be Americans or Westerners:

"The nation's top counterterrorism officials were blunt. The threat from within---of Americans willing to commit terrorist acts--- is growing. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a congressional hearing today that a spike in recent terrorism cases is direct evidence of the evolving threat.

""Groups affiliated with al Qaeda are now actively targeting the United States and looking to use Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures," Mueller said. "It appears domestic extremism and radicalization appears to have become more pronounced based on the number of disruptions and incidents.""
[Emphasis is mine. The article continues.]

Oh, you mean, like those guys that the FBI practically manufactured so that they could arrest them for doing what they coerced them to do? (The latest example: Wrigley Field "bomber")

Or do you mean those "racist" health care "reform" protesters of last summer, or crazy people demanding the audit of the Federal Reserve, or people who donated $2 million to the GOP candidate in Delaware in two days? Or anyone who oppose the president's policies?

(Oh wait, are these warnings being coordinated with the release of Bob Woodward's book?)

In Heaven, as on Earth, and the Financial Markets (UPDATED)

Today (September 22) is the autumn equinox. Early tomorrow morning, we will have the full moon, the Harvest Moon. We also have some unusual planets accompanying the full moon - Jupiter and Uranus.

These should be enough to cause some unusual events on earth, shouldn't they?

As if as a follow-up the Federal Reserve New York Bank will be conducting another POMO (permanent open market operation) on Friday, buying up Treasuries from the likes of PIMCO which clearly front-runs the Fed as a matter of course.

I will let you know if I figure out this astrological portent.


From Wikipedia:

Jupiter: Astrologically, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune.

Uranus: Astrologically modern interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of genius, individuality, new and unconventional ideas, discoveries, electricity, inventions, and the beginnings of the industrial revolution.

Some august planets to accompany Moon...

Even the NASA weighs in, calling this "Super Harvest Moon", a must-watch celestial event!!

Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall. It's close, but not a perfect match. The Harvest Moon of 2010, however, reaches maximum illumination a mere six hours after the equinox. This has led some astronomers to call it the "Harvestest Moon" or a "Super Harvest Moon." There hasn't been a comparable coincidence since Sept 23, 1991, when the difference was about 10 hours, and it won't happen again until the year 2029.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Read of FOMC Statement - August vs September

from Zero Hedge. I'm reading it right now myself. It looks like Benny and the Inkjets have done what James Bullard, St. Louis Fed President, was pushing: guide the inflation expectation ever so slightly upward with the sheer power of words. More later.

Aug Sept Comparison

84-Year-Old Suffers Broken Neck at the Hand of 26-Year-Old Police Officer

Such an incident arising from what I'd call "police bubble" has become so common but it never ceases to infuriate me.

A drunk and frail (he uses a walker) 84-year-old man was thrown on the asphalt pavement with such a force by a young police officer in Orlando, Florida that his neck broke. Eyewitnesses say the man didn't pose any threat at all. For what? For having parked his car in a wrong spot.

Will Grigg at blog said it all for me. Thank you. Here's the entire blog post, and emphasis is mine.

Orlando Police Prepare to Charge Victim of Police Assault
(William Grigg, 9/20/2010 LRC Blog)

Travis Lamont, the costumed government enforcer who assaulted Daniel Daley outside an Orlando bar on the morning of September 18, is 26 years old. His victim is 84 years old and uses a walker. Lamont, as a member of the state’s enforcement caste, was armed. Daley was not.

Eyewitnesses to the assault insist that the elderly man never harmed or threatened Lamont in any way. His “offense” was to grab the younger male’s shoulders to balance himself when he stumbled. This “assault” supposedly justified a violent attack in which Lamont body-slammed the elderly man head-first into the pavement.

In his report, Lamont claims that Daley “cocked his right hand back as if to throw a punch”; the officer “feared a physical attack was imminent,” to he “directed him [Daley] to the ground with an arm bar technique…. In the process of directing the subject to the ground, the right side/top forehead [of the victim] struck the pavement.” Apparently, Lamont “directed” the old man so forcefully that witnesses on the scene feared that they had just witnessed an act of homicide.

Eyewitness Sean Hill recalls the sickening noise made when Daley’s head collided with the asphalt: “Like a watermelon — pop!”

Daley remains in intensive care following emergency surgery to repair his broken neck. Assuming that he recovers from his ordeal, the police intend to prosecute him for assaulting the tax-devouring goon who attacked him.

“He grabbed the officer, pulled back his arm and said, `I’m not going anywhere until I knock out this cop,’” insists Orlando Police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones, who wasn’t there. Those who were there insist that Daley never uttered anything that could be construed as a threat — assuming, of course, that a decrepit octogenarian could possibly pose a threat to a valiant representative of the Regime’s domestic army.

Sgt. Jones, who like her professional peers has been taught to regard “officer safety” as the highest priority, asserts that Daley was a threat to the two-year veteran of the Orlando P.D.

“Everybody is focusing on the age,” she told local television station WFTV. “I am focusing on the action of this person. People, 84, can kill officers, too, can cold-cock my officer in the face, knock him out and now you’ve got an officer laying [sic] down on the ground with a gun, and everything is completely out of control.”

According to eyewitness Tim Scott, Lamont was all but palsied with terror over the “threat” posed by an 84-year-old man who could barely stand upright.

“I told him [Lamont] `Dude, you’re tougher than that,’” after the officer had assaulted Daley. “He said, `I didn’t know what he was going to do.’”

Any officer who can be laid out by a hobbled 84-year-old man deserves to get his tax-fattened ass handed to him. Any nominal male who can list himself as a “victim” after beating up a crippled 84-year-old — as Lamont did in his official report charging Daley with “battery on a law enforcement officer” — doesn’t deserve to be called a man.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday FOMC: Will They, or Won't They?

All eyes and ears on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting tomorrow. What will Bernanke and the gang (one smartass poster at Yahoo called them Bennie and the Inkjets, a spoof on this famous song of course) say they will do?

The consensus only a few weeks ago was that Benny and the Inkjets would likely announce the QE2 (full version in trillion$) after the September 21 meeting. Then last week the new consensus emerged that the Fed wouldn't announce any new scheme on the September meeting but would wait until the November meeting, after the election.

So what's it going to be? It will be entertaining to the dwindling number of stock market participants. Here's Zero Hedge's take, citing Goldman Sachs. It would be surprising if Ben dared deviate from the scenario...

Welcome To Chez Shalom: Here Is The Menu For Tomorrow's FOMC Lunch (Tyler Durden, 9/20/2010 Zero Hedge)

"Concerned what will happen tomorrow at 2:15pm? You should be: after all the Fed is now in charge of everything, and this (in)decision will impact your life much more than who the fattest person on this season's Biggest Loser is. Here is this year's most prescient economist, Jan Hatzius, once again doing the best summary on the four possible outcomes of tomorrow's FOMC decision. In a nutshell these are: i) No substantive change in the policy statement, ii) Recognition of a weaker economic outlook, but without an explicit signal that renewed unconventional easing is under consideration, iii) An explicit signal that renewed easing is under consideration, and iv) An announcement of renewed easing. Our personal choice is entree #2, although this being Chez Shalom, no matter what, it will always end being an omakase type of affair - fiat prix tres unfixe. (Oddly enough, Chez Shalom still does not have a Zagat's entry. As everyone in America eats (or defecates) there every single day, it is about time our more industrious readers provided their feedback and rating).

"From Goldman's Hatzius and Tilon

"FOMC Preview: Several Options on the Menu

  • The key question at the September 21 FOMC meeting is how far the committee will lean in the direction of renewed policy easing. Will it formally acknowledge a weaker growth outlook, and if it so will it go further by hinting at—or actually implementing—additional easing measures?
  • In our view, the most likely outcome is a more dovish statement that explicitly reflects a dimmer economic growth outlook and nods in the direction of further easing via changes to its forward-looking guidance on policy. Though we ultimately expect the Fed to purchase at least another $1 trillion in Treasury securities, we think it probably will take more time for the FOMC to reach agreement on such a major step.

"The key question at the September 21 FOMC meeting is how far the committee will lean in the direction of renewed policy easing. The tone of the statement will depend principally on how the FOMC describes the economic outlook (the growth outlook in particular), and whether it signals the possibility of (or actually announces) additional balance sheet expansion. The choices along these dimensions yield four basic choices for the statement, ranging from most “hawkish” to the most “dovish”:

1. No substantive change in the policy statement. One option is essentially to repeat the August statement, with only minor changes in wording. The justification would be that the data since the last FOMC meeting on August 10 have been roughly in line with expectations. As shown in Exhibit 1 on page 2 of last Friday’s US Economics Analyst, our US-MAP scoring system of economic indicators–which is largely based on how the economic indicators compare with the Bloomberg consensus as of just before the release—has averaged around zero over this period. Chairman Bernanke suggested in his Jackson Hole speech that further easing could be triggered by an increased threat of deflation and/or a significant weakening in the economic outlook. One might therefore argue that the committee will take the view that these risks have not increased significantly, and that it is therefore inappropriate to change the statement. Indeed, the description of the economy in the August statement—indicating that the recovery “has slowed,” “[h]ousehold spending is increasing gradually,” and “employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls”—remains accurate. This would be the most “hawkish” of the options, and would imply that the Federal Open Market Committee, or at least a significant faction of it, requires more proof to warrant additional quantitative easing (QE).

2. Recognition of a weaker economic outlook, but without an explicit signal that renewed unconventional easing is under consideration.
A somewhat more “dovish” alternative would be for the committee to indicate that the economic outlook has in fact deteriorated since the last meeting. Although the monthly indicators have on average been in line with expectations, those expectations were quite low, and many economists have cut their longer-term growth and employment forecasts over this period. For example, the median forecast for real GDP growth in the second half of 2010 fell from 2.6% (annualized) in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey released on August 10 to 2.1% in the survey released on September 10. It is likely that both the committee and the Fed staff have revised down their forecasts as well, perhaps by a similar amount. If the committee indicates a downward revision of its forecast, this may be viewed as an implicit signal that additional easing has become more likely. The FOMC could acknowledge a weaker forecast via one or more changes to the first paragraph of its statement, perhaps indicating that recent growth is below trend or that resource utilization is not rising materially.

3. An explicit signal that renewed easing is under consideration. This could take the form of an added phrase or sentence in the forward-looking policy discussion. An example would be the following modification of the “extended period” sentence: “The Committee…continues to anticipate that economic conditions…are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period and potentially a further expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet.” Another option would be a bald statement that the committee “is considering” additional unconventional easing.

4. An announcement of renewed easing. Finally, of course, the committee could simply announce that it will ease monetary policy anew. In this case, we would expect an asset purchase program focused on long-term Treasury securities that would ultimately total at least $1 trillion in size, though whether the committee is prepared to state this amount up front or begin with a smaller figure and leave open the possibility of further moves remains an open question.

"How likely is each of these options? We cannot rule any of them out, but we suspect the discussion will focus around options 2 and 3, with a majority of the Committee willing to acknowledge a slightly softer growth outlook but more vigorous debate about the desirability of signaling a possible easing step. In the end, we think the FOMC will give at least a nod in the direction of further easing via changes to its forward-looking guidance on policy but stop short of actually announcing the implementation of a new program."

CNBC Sponsors Town Hall Meeting for Obama

Despite the recent unhappiness of Mr. Immelt, CEO of Government Electric aka General Electric toward the administration he serves as economic advisor, his media subsidiary CNBC dutifully set up a town hall meeting for President Obama this morning so that the Prez can promote himself as the epitome of the "American Dream".

Oh that's rich.

Obama Town Hall: Defending His Record on Economy, Jobs
(9/20/2010 CNBC)

"President Obama spoke Monday to a cross-section of Main Street, Wall Street and Washington gathered at a CNBC-sponsored town hall, with the economy at a crossroads and the nation's precarious political structure hanging in the balance.

"Sharing an hour with a largely friendly crowd that gave him hoots of approval and a standing ovation at the end of the "Investing in America" forum, Obama defended his administration's record toward business while simultaneously deriding his critics as being politically motivated and saying he would work "setting a better tone" in Washington.

""I know how frustrated people. I know in some cases how desperate people are," he said, later adding, "I am confident that if we stay on course that gets us back to old-fashioned values of hard work and responsiblity and looking out for one another, that America will thrive."

"The president spoke just as the National Bureau of Economic Research proclaimed an end to the recession. But Obama acknowledged that times are still tough.

""Obviously for the millions of people still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people struggling to pay their home bills every day, it's still very real for them," Obama said.

"The audience also includes college students and union leaders, small business owners and retirees.

"...."My life, I'm testimony to the American Dream. Everything I've been doing since I came into office is to make sure that American dream continues for future generations," Obama said. "The challenge now is I'm thinking about the next generation and there are a lot of people out there thinking about the next election."" [The article continues.]

A lot of people thinking about the next election? Like yourself, Mr. President?

He claims he's "testimony to the American Dream" which he wants to make sure continues for future generations. So the American Dream these days is to receive endless subsidies and preferred treatments from the government based on anything from race, ethnicity, gender, union membership, income level, what have you, to breeze through top Ivy-league schools without worrying about paying back student loans for decades, and not to work a single day in the real world.

OK, I'm all for it. Sounds good.

How are you going to pay for that, Mr. President? Out of your own multi-million dollar pocket?

The American Dream as I've understood is more like him - "Up by the bootstraps". I guess I'm too old-fashioned.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Ruling Class on the Run

Fun to watch.

Here's Lew Rockwell's take on the hysterical Jacob Weisberg.

Here's Pat Buchanan's take on Karl Rove and GOP establishment.

And here's the thin-skinned Barack Obama's plan for the Tea Party (as if there is a single monolithic party...) to help Democratic candidates. How? By painting them as "extremist". (From Obama's position, anyone else would be "right" and "extremist".)

But it does get Larry Kudlow giddy with renewed hope that this is a revolution that will bring back American entrepreneurship and it is bullish for the economy and the stock market.

Have you read the paper by Angelo Codevilla yet? It's for the rest of us, unless you are a ruling-class wannabe.

And if you want "radical" and "extreme", here's Lew Rockwell's plan for total makeover of the US in 30 days.

Dem's Line of Attack on Boehner May Well Backfire

Democrats are getting frantic by the day as the November election approaches.

From the President on down, the Democratic political and media establishments are getting in gear attacking the GOP Minority Leader John Boehner. They insinuate Boehner gets his tan in a tanning salon, they say he plays golf a lot (uh huh, Mr. President), he spend a lot on vacation (uh huh, Mrs. Obama), that he is a rich elite in the pocket of the lobbyists (uh huh, Mr. President).

Well, they seem to have picked a wrong guy.

John Boehner: the second of 12 kids from Ohio who is Barack Obama's elitist target (9/17/2010 Telegraph UK)

"The White House is attempting to cling on to Democratic control of Washington by portraying an Ohio congressman who grew up in near poverty as an elitist country club Republican controlled by wealthy lobbyists.

"President Barack Obama is doing his best to turn Representative John Boehner, the House minority leader, into Public Enemy Number One. If Republicans win back the House of Representatives in November, as polls indicate, he will replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

"In a recent speech, Mr Obama mentioned Mr Boehner by name nine times. A fundraising email sent out from this week stated that corporate interests and lobbyists “have put all their chips on one man: Congressman John Boehner”.

"Democrats have started a website that claims he spent $1 million on "luxury hotels, exclusive golf resorts and gourmet dining for himself and his fat-cat contributors". On the I-75 freeway outside Cincinnati, a huge poster showing a tanned Mr Boehner playing golf accuses him of teeing off 119 times in a year.

"Yet Mr Boehner's life story is the type of classic up-by-the-bootstraps tale of the American Dream that can put a tear in a voter's eye. As his story becomes better known, the Democrats could even be drawing favourable attention upon him. Right now, most Americans have never heard of Mr Boehner, and fewer still can pronounce his name, which rhymes with Rayner. The alleged elitist country club Republican is an Ohio Congressman who grew up in near poverty.

"... Mr Boehner, 61, is the second of 12 who grew up in a German-Irish family in Reading, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati. All but two of them still live within a few miles of each other. Two are unemployed and most of the others have blue-collar jobs.

"The future Congressman started work as a janitor and took seven years to get his degree – the first in the family to do so – because he had several jobs to pay his way. He joined a plastics and packaging company, rising to president before entering local politics by being elected to the town board.

"The family house on Hill Street initially had two bedrooms with Mr Boehner and three brothers sleeping in one, their sister in another and their parents on a pull-out bed in the living room. Their father Earl later built a three-bedroom extension.

"...Mr Boehner's deep tan is often mocked by Democrats. At a dinner last year, Mr Obama said: "He is a person of colour, although not a colour that appears in the natural world."

"Like Mr Obama, Mr Boehner is a keen golfer and a smoker. His sister sniggered at the suggestion her brother might ever have been on a tanning bed. The "dark hair and olive skin", she said, came from her mother.

"Bob Boehner, 62, the oldest of the 12, who sells real estate and is "looking for work", said: "We were conservative because we had to be. There wasn't the money to spend frivolously on things. We grew our own vegetables up on the hill. We learned early on that if you wanted something you had to go out and work for it." [The article continues.]

"Up by the bootstraps" is exactly the concept that Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee openly scoffed at in the nomination acceptance speech.

I also happen to remember President Obama trying to portray his days in Indonesia as "poor", a blatant misrepresentation as his stepfather was a rich man providing well for his family and enrolling Obama in an upscale private school.

And now he is mocking and attacking a self-made man who rose from near poverty by his own hard work in the real world as an elite with a fake tan?

What a childish line of attack that is. Kindergarten level. Someone at the White House didn't do his/her homework very well.