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Daily Archives: August 13, 2013


Economic Statistics for 13 Aug 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.6 points to 94.1 in July.

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales were down -0.2% last week, and up 2.6% from last Year, Redbook’s reading shows a 3.7% year-over-year increase.

Retail sales for July rose 0.2% overall, and were up 0.5% ex-autos, and 0.4% ex-autos and -gas.

US export prices fell -0.1% in July, while import prices rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices are up 0.4%, while import prices are up 1.0%.

Business inventories were unchanged for June, as was the stock-to-sales ratio, at 1.29.

~
Dale Franks
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Assessing the administration’s foreign policy

You know, the folks who promised us engagement … “reset”, etc.  The one’s who told us how bad the other guy and his terrible foreign policy were.  You remember.  Well, here’s a CNN columnist’s view:

America’s foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage.

Hey, if even CNN can’t spin this mess positively who can, and this lady doesn’t even try (well, she tries, but not very hard and certainly not very convincingly).  In fact, she hits upon a very concise description of our foreign policy’s state.  In fact, they’d like to have the state of foreign affairs George Bush left them.

For instance, recently in The Washington Post recently said, concerning our “reset” relationship with Russia:

U.S. relations with Russia officially settled into a trough this week when President Obama canceled a summit planned for next month with Vladimir Putin, familiar surroundings for two countries that regularly approach each other only to turn away in disappointment.

The White House decision to call off the summit, announced Wednesday, marked the end of Obama’s attempt to revive a relationship that by 2008 had reached its lowest point since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union!? … and some say before its fall.  Quite a “reset” – back 30 years.  Does anyone wonder why Russia felt froggy enough to keep Snowden?  See “weak and confused on the global stage”.

And then there’s this to ponder:

A headline in a major Egyptian state newspaper this week referred to the proposed U.S. envoy to Egypt as the “Ambassador of Death.” Posters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a center of pro-government rallies, depict President Barack Obama with a beard and turban, exclaiming his “support for terrorism.”

Another large Egyptian newspaper alleged Sen. John McCain, who traveled to Cairo this week in an effort to break a deadlock between the government and its Islamist rivals, has chosen sides by employing Muslim Brotherhood staffers in his office.

[...]

The moves highlight the depth of public distrust of U.S. policies, and draw from a “reservoir of anti-Americanism and conspiratorial theories,” said Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a former senior Obama administration adviser.

America, he says, has few fans in the country after the 2011 overthrow of U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak and last month’s military ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi. “We’re caught in a situation of having to essentially try to find a balance between our values and our interests. It satisfies nobody,” Mr. Nasr said. “The Mubarak people are unhappy with the way he was shoved off without a thank you. The military thinks we coddled the Brotherhood and didn’t intervene to control them. And the Brotherhood thinks that we never supported them when they needed support, and then gave the green light to the military.”

Or said another way, this administration screwed the pooch about every way it can be done.  And that’s after that fabulous Cairo speech too.  Go figure?

Then there’s Benghazi, al Qaeda setting our open and closed times on Middle Eastern embassies, spying on Europe and giving Israel the cold shoulder … not to mention the apology tour.

Yes, it’s an unmitigated disaster.

But don’t worry – when Hillary finally runs for president, my guess she’ll still be haled as the greatest Secretary of State evah!

Just hide and watch.

~McQ

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