Estimated Third Quarter GDP Increased 3.9%

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product-the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes, increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent. There will be one more revision to this number, around this time next month.

CFNAI Moves Down

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to +0.14 in October from +0.29 in September. The index’s three month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) declined to -0.01 in October from +0.12 in September. October’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was near its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

No worries on this number. If you check the chart at you will see that historically, we don’t hit rough water until the index declines to -0.7. Hopefully we will see a rebound in the upcoming months. I believe we will.


From the US Department of Commerce: Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders October 2014….

  • New Orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 0.4 percent, up following two monthly decreases.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods for October, up four of the last five months, increased 0.1 percent.
  • Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in October, up eighteen of the last nineteen months increased 0.4 percent.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in October, up eighteen of the last nineteen months, increased 0.5 percent.

US raw steel output

rose 1.5 percent last week as mills operated at an ACUR of 78.2 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 76.2 percent. Thus far this year mills have operated at an ACUR of 77.1 percent, for the same period last year the ACUR was 76.9 percent.

The Chicago Business Barometer

fell 5.4 points to 60.8 in November from a one year high of 66.2 in October driven by a double digit drop in New Orders. The November decline reversed nearly all of October’s sharp increase. In spite of the slowdown, orders and output continued to expand at a healthy pace. Production, New Orders and the Barometer itself have been running above 60 for four months in a row, suggesting continued firm growth in the US economy.

Chuck Hagel announced Monday that he is stepping down as Secretary of Defense. Ooops…I guess he was fired. I also suspect he is relieved, maybe even happy, to be rid of this dysfunctional administration.

Nuclear Deadline Extended

In what appears to clearly be a stupid move, Iran and six major powers are extending nuclear negotiations with Iran until the end of June. The extension of the talks, the second time the deadline has been extended, is a major blow to hopes of a resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. Talks have already dragged on for 11 years.

Why is this a stupid move? Iran now has thousands of centrifuges in operation to enrich uranium; they are developing ballistic missiles-which are used to deliver nuclear warheads. Does this seem even remotely like their interest is in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes? These are our enemies, the world’s enemy, a nuclear armed Iran is a threat to the freedom everywhere and yet this administration continues to bow to their demands. Makes no sense to me whatsoever.


The House Intelligence Committee had its report on Benghazi declassified last Friday. It debunked several conspiracies regarding the administrations involvement in the attacks of September 11, 2012. The bipartisan team of investigators praised the CIA and military personnel who responded to the attacks, saying their actions saved American lives.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who serves on the committee said the report ought to put an end to GOP claims that the administration isn’t being truthful about how it responded to the attacks. Schiff said the committee’s report “exonerates” President Obama and his team of any malfeasance or political manipulation after the fact.

The California Democrat said on CNN Sunday “I think we’ve had the final word on many of these conspiracy theories, the fact there was no stand down order (though I personally saw military personnel on television say they were told to stand down), there was no political interference (“At this point, what difference does it make?”) and there was no effort to politically spin the talking points. Really?

The talking points were scrubbed several times prior to being used by Susan Rice on the Sunday morning news broadcasts. She was adamant that the attacks were caused by some farfetched video. Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday criticized the bipartisan report. The South Carolina Republican, during an interview on CNN called the House Intelligence Committee “full of crap” and said it would not stop him from continuing to look into Benghazi next year when the GOP assumes control of the Senate.“ I know Benghazi pretty well,” Graham said. “I don’t believe that the report is accurate.”

For some reason, I agree with Senator Graham and hopefully, if the report is not accurate, the truth will be revealed under further investigation. If in fact, there were no cover-ups or attempts to hide the truth, why has it taken over 2 years to get to this point? It is easy to explain the truth with fact…quickly.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family, give thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings we have as Americans.

The Desolate Wilderness

Desolate_WildernessHere beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting place for above eleven years, but they knew they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears.

But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave for many of them.

Being now past the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succor; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? And what multitudes of them they were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

And the Fair Land

Fair_LandAnyone whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours have lately done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many not know it, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.
His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and plenty bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet, they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places-only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler will ask whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is cruel that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere-in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

These editorials have appeared annually in the Wall Street Journal since 1961.


Fast & Furious-providing weapons to criminals leading to a loss of American life. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The loss of 4 American lives at our embassy in Benghazi, Libya. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The IRS targeting conservative political groups for tax-exempt status. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The National Security Administration eavesdropping on the phone calls of American citizens. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The software program created for the Affordable Healthcare Act, at a cost of $1 billion (thus far) and 3 ½ years to “perfect”, has been unusable to the American people. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
Spying on our Allies, specifically Angela Merkel of Germany. No one held accountable. The president was unaware. (Although these things go on knowingly between countries all the time, the fact that our president denies knowledge of this is just another sign of his incompetence as the leader of the most powerful country on the planet).
“If you like your current insurance plan you can keep it. Period” Barack Obama
“If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period” Barack Obama

Have a great weekend and….

Hug your children and grandchildren, tell them you love them.
Buy American made products whenever you can.
Hire a Veteran: they are patriots, honest, hard working, disciplined, loyal…. and …. They need and deserve our support.

God Bless America