My Economic Barometer

Empty SuitEvery day seems to bring more dire economic news, but Barack Obama says the recession ended in June 2009.

Data tell us that our household net worth has dropped, one in seven in the U.S. are in poverty, the unemployment rate nears 10%, foreclosures continue to mount. Yesterday a woman at a town hall asked Obama if “the American dream dead for me?”

All of these are valid indicators, but I have my own barometer of the state of the U.S. economy. It doesn’t depend on any government indicators. It isn’t the stock market or the price of gold.

It’s Joseph A. Banks.

I started noticing in 2008 that the previously staid clothier began to offer deals. Business being down, it seemed they needed to encourage shoppers with buy one get one free type offers. A little bit odd for suit buying, but it must have worked because they upped the ante. I noticed it got to buy one get two free. This spring I noted a buy one get five items free. There’s a whiff of desperation in that one.

Since the “summer of recovery” hit, Joseph A. Banks’ deals didn’t stop. June, July and August saw a plethora of deals and increased frequency of their ads. Today advertises a buy one suit, get two free.

Do you think the economy is better? Joseph A. Banks apparently doesn’t.

Pence Stays on Winning Streak

Fresh from his win at the Values Voters Summit, Mike Pence addressed Hillsdale College with another rousing speech.

Clearly, he is interested in running  for President. In fact, the presidency was the topic of this speech delivered at  the conservative college.

“A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse; he will be thrown, and the nation along with him.” Calling for a return to first principles, Pence articulates that the “president sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people.  We are not to be ruled and not to be commanded. A republic is about limitation,” he says.

Today, the presidency “has run off the rails. The president is not our teacher.” His disgust with  Barack Obama comes through when he says that we must “be wary of a president who seems to float upon his own greatness.” And Pence does not think that bowing to a king, as Obama did several times to the Saudi king and Japan’s emperor, fits with the nation’s profile.

Pence goes on to outline the duties of the president from role model to foreign policy strategist to Commander in Chief. He also slams the idea of a living constitution and the attempts to use youth as a propaganda tool in the way  Obama has. He slaps down the Democrat Congress as “legislators who knit laws of such insulting complexity that they are heavier than chains.”

With Reagan like optimism he sees “us like those in Philadelphia in 1776. Danger all around, but a fresh chapter, ready to begin, uncorrupted, with great possibilities.”

Something makes me wonder if he needed a teleprompter for this speech. He probably didn’t have to turn his head side to side as Obama does, as if he’s watching a tennis match rather than giving his heartfelt opinions.  It doesn’t sound like he needed to wag his finger at us, either.

More likely, it came from the heart.

President Pence? The New Reagan?

Mike Pence
Mike Pence at the Values Voters Summit

Is Mike Pence the new Ronald Reagan?

If you listen to him give a speech, such as the one he gave at last week’s Values Voters Summit, you can’t help but think of the Gipper. Like Reagan, his speech had humor, patriotism and a common sense approach to our national problems. Like Reagan, he has an easy and happy manner that sweeps you in and makes you feel that he’s expressing your own thoughts. Reporting on the summit, “The Atlantic” took note of this, too.  Jim DeMint preceded Pence at the event,  “but Pence blew him out of the water an hour later. The audience loved the congressman from Indiana, who’s a member of the House Republican leadership, and Pence knew just how to get them going.” No wonder he was voted top choice for president by the attendees. Continue reading “President Pence? The New Reagan?”

A Don’t Miss Event in 9th District

Charlotte Bergmann
Charlotte Bergmann

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 21, you’ll want to attend the grand opening of the Charlotte Bergmann campaign.

The media has failed to tell us much about her or profile her, so this is an opportunity for interested people in the 9th District to come and meet her in person. The Cohen camp has also refused to debate her, so if you have any questions on her stance on the issues, this is an occasion to question the candidate yourself.

The headquarters is at 925 S. Yates and the event begins at 5:30. It should run til 7.

Sarah Palin’s Iowa Speech: See for Yourself (Video)

The complete Sarah Palin speech at the Iowa Republican Party Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines Friday. (After you see this, check out the video featuring Ronald Reagan’s words posted earlier.)

Part 1 (10 minutes)

Part 2 (10 minutes)

Part 3 (10 minutes)

Part 4 (3:28 minutes)

This Screwy Idea Must Go

Marsha Blackburn
Marsha Blackburn


Marsha Blackburn has seen the light. And always has. The Tennessee Congresswoman has been an opponent of the twirly CFL for a long time. With the closing of the last incadescent bulb factory in the United States, in Winchester, Va., and its loss of 2,000 jobs, Mrs. Blackburn has joined Representatives Joe Barton and Michael Burgess on a new bill.

With H.R.6144, or BULB (Better Use of Light Bulbs”) act, the Republicans are working to repeal Nancy Pelosi’s 2007 bill banning the incandescent in every American home by 2014.

Edison’s bulb, which has worked since 1879,  will be obsolete here if they are not successful. The jobs lost here are  going to China, which now makes virtually every CFL on the market.

At GE gets targeted in particular for this move. “GE is asking consumers and its employees to sign a pledge to ‘go green’ and start purchasing the CFL light bulbs imported from China. The problem is that each pledge leads to the loss of jobs in U.S. lighting plants. GE is actually asking workers in its lighting plants to put themselves out of a job.”

Barton notes, “It’s a debatable proposition whether the energy saved offsets the additional costs. As a result, you may end up with some low income families literally in the dark,” he tells “The Daily Caller.”

Not to mention the potential health hazard from the mercury in the bulbs.

“You have to call a HAZMAT team if you break a bulb,” Barton says. And what if they break in hospital nurseries or nursing homes where residents aren’t mobile and can’t leave?

The congressman says he is not against the CFL bulb, but he wants to see the consumer choose.

“From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to people who work for their own paychecks and earn their own living,” the three write at

Let’s hope they can switch off this unnecessarily dangerous, job killing ban with the BULB act.

Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waist

Cold as Ice

Michelle Obama is so misunderstood! No wonder she told French First Lady Carla Bruni that life in the White House “is Hell! I can’t stand it!”

Just take a look at her talk to the National Restaurant Association members Monday. It’s true that she’s fried by the offerings on their menus. Hamburgers, pancakes, tacos, ice cream; what are these things doing to the crisis of obesity in our country?

The ignorant among us (who they think mostly live in the South) even think she is a hypocrite for visiting ice cream shops at every travel stop they make. Here’s the scoop: critics just don’t understand what she’s doing – taking a licking for the American people.

Look at this schedule in just the past two months alone!

On July 13, Mrs. O got a chocolate hurricane at a stand in Panama City, Florida. Do you think it is really because she loves chocolate ice cream and it is one of her favorites? Hardly. She was inspecting the nutritional content of the region’s food places and boy did she find it troubling. Down to the last spoonful. If she doesn’t work to protect Florida’s children against such evils, who will?

Did you see Laura Bush take the time to visit an ice cream shop on any of her international trips? Didn’t think so. But Michelle couldn’t let her trip to Spain go unchecked. In Granada on August 5 she scored for American international relations by testing Spanish ice cream. Reviews are mixed and she may have to return for another attempt.

On Panama City Beach the whole family churned out to queue at a Bruster’s on August 15. While the Commander in chief chose mint chocolate chip and daughter Sasha picked Oreo, Mrs. O swallowed concerns for her own health and got a hot fudge sundae. Still, you have to draw the line of sacrifice somewhere and Michelle skipped the whipped cream. Talk about an example!

As culturally superior to the rest of the country as Cape Cod is, even there, during their August 20 vacation, the First Lady was first in trying out the new flavor at Mad Martha’s Ice Cream. Called “Barack My World” the ice cream featuring coffee and macadamia nuts was dutifully downed by Michelle who would rather take one for the team then let down a devoted fan. How typical!

Her concern for our nutrition has even rubbed off on the president. He told “People” magazine that he worked at a Baskin Robbins in 1979 in Honolulu as a youth and “now I can’t stand it.” But when visiting the emperor of Japan Obama bucked up and ate the green tea ice cream. And, while everyone on the mainland was interested in the Christmas Day bomber, Obama took time during his family Hawaii vacation to take the girls for shaved ice. He even admits that he lured Michelle on their first date by taking her for chocolate ice cream. Even then, America, they were thinking of you.

Surely these deeds would melt even the strongest critic’s heart, but it’s not likely to sway gorging rednecks from their 31-wonderland. Mrs. Obama has two more years to keep at it.

In 2012, let’s help her out of this “hell” and back in the city of her birth.

Chicago deep dish pizza anyone?