No Solutions in Washington — But No Partial Credit, Either

Aug 16, 2012, 2:27 pm EDT

Josh Brown wrote a great and cutting post the other day about how taxpayers and investors live in a world of zero fiscal solutions — we can’t raise taxes or cut spending because the economy is reeling, and if we do nothing, we remain on an unsustainable spending path.

I concede there is no solution to this issue. But I wholly disagree with the notion that we just have to suck it up and deal.

Frankly, seeking a “solution” is misguided. You’d sooner find a solution to the question of why Kate Upton is so hot, whether LeBron is reeeaaally better than Jordan, or whether Chinese moms know best. Read 

Band to Romney: Stop Playing Our Song

Aug 16, 2012, 1:10 pm EDT
Band to Romney: Stop Playing Our Song

The Romney campaign joined the likes of Ronald Reagan, Michelle Bachmann, and John McCain when a Los Angeles-based rock band asked them to stop playing one of their songs at campaign events.

Silversun Pickups made the request after discovering their 2009 song “Panic Switch” was played during set-up for an event in North Carolina, and they were less than pleased. In a release from lead singer Brian Aubert, he said the following about the incident:

“We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.” Read 

Gallup: No Bounce After Ryan Pick

Aug 16, 2012, 11:34 am EDT

Despite enthusiasm among the Republican base for Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, a poll taken by Gallup shows that the selection has done little to boost support for the GOP candidate.

In the four days before the Ryan announcement, Romney was supported by 46% of those polled, with 45% supporting Obama. Four days after the announcement, Romney gained just one percentage point, up to 47% support. Even considering the possibility that Ryan’s bounce might be delayed — Gallup figures showed Romney’s polling improved slightly over the last two days of the polling period — it doesn’t look like Ryan will boost the Romney’s campaigns fortunes as much as they might have liked.

In fact, Ryan is the worst polling vice presidential nominee since Dan Quayle in 1988. Only 39% of those polled said Ryan was an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential candidate, while 42% said he was “fair” or a “poor” choice. Quayle had 52% say he was a “fair” or “poor” choice. Read 

Ryan Helps Romney Bring in Big Bucks

Aug 15, 2012, 1:33 pm EDT
Ryan Helps Romney Bring in Big Bucks

Just 72 hours after Mitt Romney announced he had selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Republican ticket has already began reaping the benefits. In the three days following Romney’s decision, the campaign has raised $7.4 million in online donations.

Nearly as soon as Romney brought Ryan out and made his vice president pick publicly known, the GOP campaign started sending out fundraising pitches on behalf of the Romney/Ryan team. More than 101,000 donations came in during those 72 hours, meaning the average donation per person was over $70.

It’s more good news for the fundraising arm of Romney’s campaign, which is coming off its third straight month of raising more than Barack Obama’s campaign. The campaign currently has $185.9 million socked away, but much of that cannot be spent until Romney is officially named the Republican candidate for president at the end of the month, during the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla. Read 

USDA to Buy $170M Meat to Help Drought-Stricken Farmers

Aug 14, 2012, 10:02 am EDT
USDA to Buy $170M Meat to Help Drought-Stricken Farmers

This summer’s drought has been absolutely brutal on American farmers. Nearly every state has felt the impact of low rain falls, particularly in the Midwest, where drought has been the most extreme and where most U.S. farming occurs. Earlier this month, agriculture experts predicted the U.S. corn yield would be the lowest in a decade.

This will almost certainly raise prices on a wide variety of goods, from cornflakes to soda to ethanol. One of the most drastic impacts the drought has already been having is on livestock farmers. Increases in corn costs mean an increase in the cost of feed, which has forced many of them to prematurely slaughter or sell their animals.

The United States Department of Agriculture is looking to step in and help, though. The USDA announced it will be buying up to $170 million in meat from farmers affected by the drought. Read 

Paul Ryan’s Portfolio Is the Envy of Wall Street

Aug 14, 2012, 7:30 am EDT
Paul Ryan’s Portfolio Is the Envy of Wall Street

As Mitt Romney’s new running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, Paul Ryan is going to have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to jobs policy and federal spending plans.

But one thing that may not get much attention — at least in the mainstream media catering to typical voters — is Paul Ryan’s strategy on investing.

According to Ryan’s 2011 financial disclosure statements released by The Center for Responsive Politics, the Wisconsin legislator has a portfolio that most of us retail investors can relate to: a diversified group of large cap stocks. Read 

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