● Citrus Omen: The special election in Florida has scared the crap out of the Democrats. They ran a top tier candidate against a middling Republican in a seat that Obama carried by 8% in 2012. The Republican was dogged by a Libertarian, who would walk away with 4%. And yet the Democrat lost. They lost because the locals were really, really, really upset about the state of Medicare as a result of all that money drifting over to Obamacare. MSNBC tried to claim this election was not a bellwether, but the amount of panic put out by the Democrats suggests that they sure think it is. And even MSNBC couldn't keep up the facade for long, not once Chris Matthews declared through his tears that the Republicans were going to win the Senate. Waaaaaah!
● Now They're Getting It: In the past few days, I have seen Republicans everywhere say, "We need a positive agenda." Then they typically mention things like energy policy, jobs and healthcare. Clearly, this idea has finally taken hold beyond the early adapters. That's a great sign. Let's hope this continues.
● China: Oh oh. A lot of the economic data out of China suggests that China's growth rate is even lower than people think. I'm not surprised. China's economy depends on the American consumer, and the American consumer is not spending. I see this at Amazon where my US sales have been sliding even as my sales in the UK, Canada and Europe have remained perfectly steady. I see it in stores that are closing. I hear it when companies who never advertised before are advertising or even going door to door to drum up business. I see it in the falling home prices and lack of sales. I see it in the total lack of construction and grand openings. We have a sitzkrieg economy right now, where everyone pretends there's economic activity, but nothing new is actually happening.
● Obamacare: Obamacare just keeps getting worse. Ha ha. Try as they might, they simply haven't been able to win over the young. Indeed, all the data suggests that only 27% of policies issued are for the young, even as they estimated they needed 40% to stay afloat. Moreover, it now appears that very few of the uninsured are actually signing up. It turns out that around 80% of the people signing up are people who had insurance last year, but lost it because of Obama. So basically, the program has failed to do the one thing it was supposed to do -- cover the uninsured. And now the insurers are starting to panic. They agreed to some very stupid things on the basis that Uncle Sam would force 40 million more people to buy their tainted products. If the 20% number is correct, they've managed only to get 800,000 new customers, and most of them will cost more than expected. "Waaaaaah! Our attempt to bully consumers blew up on us!"
● Lethargic Legacy: Finally, Obama just signed an order "raising the minimum wage." Well, no. What he did was sign an order stating that Federal government contractors who provide services to Club Fed need to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. It is estimated that this will affect less than half a million workers and even that is a generous estimate... I've frankly never seen anyone paid that little on a Federal contract.
Obama's attempt to expand overtime looks to be equally futile. What he's doing is changing the level at which exempt employees who work more than 40 hours a week are required to be paid overtime. Said differently, when you are salaried (exempt from overtime), but you earn less than a certain amount ($455 per week), your employer needs to pay overtime if you work more than 40 hours a week. Obama is going to raise that $255 dollar amount. We don't know how high yet, but California's level is set to go up to $800 this year. And whatever it is, odds are it won't affect hardly anyone... and it can easily be avoided.
Wow, this Obama guy is really powerful. //sarc off
Thoughts? How's that orange treatin' you?