Thursday Idiocy: Goldwater Campaign Race-Baiting Plutocrat Tea Party ObamaCare Charles Krauthammer Fred Hiatt and More Day
Adam Bonica and Jenny Shen: The Rich Are Dominating Campaigns. Here’s Why That’s About to Get Worse.

Grand Political Grifters Gotta Grift: Five Examples: Live from The Roasterie CXLI: April 25, 2014

Five grifts, of various dimensions:

  1. Morning Money on how you need to read Peter Schiff's The Real Crash
  2. Ron Paul says: "GOLD!"
  3. The oldie-but-goodie from 1999 and Kevin Hassett
  4. Julia Ager** from the DSCC
  5. All Hope Is Lost! from the DCCC

Read them all? Good. Some remarks:

  1. Note that if you click in order to try to get your free copy of Peter Schiff's The Real Crash, you will be treated to a ten-minute unavoidable slideshow in which the villains are welfare recipients, thugs roaming urban streets, and Washington politicians, chief among whom is--John Boehner. Yes, you got that right. John Boehner has sealed America's economic doom by allowing a "clean" increase in the debt ceiling as part of his conspiracy with Obama. And the only way to avoid it is to pay $50 for the Money Market Survival Report--and I see no signs that the--rather lunatic and grifting--Peter Schiff makes a cent from this. This is a grift aimed at mailing lists comprised of the Republican base, but the strong message is: John Boehner won't save you because he is one of the sekrit conspirators, and the only way to keep yourself secure when thugs roam the streets, asset markets collapse, and the U.S. government stops paying Social Security benefits is to tell you where to put your money to keep it safe.

  2. This is also sent to the Republican base--this is, in fact, the lead item in the right-wing internet newsletter "Red State". Once again, there is no sign that (this time) grifter Ron Paul is in on this grift--like (1), his name is mentioned for its mojo. Try to get your "Free Gold Guide" from the Birch Gold Group... and you get on their list for people to call to get you to buy their overpriced and over-marked-up gold coins. The pitch is that it gets you into the group of "insiders" who understand how to work the system because now you are taking advantage of the "loophole".

  3. This is of the same class, but this appeals not to fear but to greed--and Glassman and Hassett's Dow 36000 was aimed not at a right-wing but at a mainstream audience: the pitch is that you need to invest heavily in stocks now as over the next three-to-five years (i.e. by 2002-2004) the Dow rises to its fair value of 36000: "seize the opportunity... profit from the rise... the case is compelling... 36000 is a fair value... stocks should rise to such heights very quickly... take advantage of a remarkable time in financial history..." Yet, of course, the analytical underpinnings of Dow 36000 are as weak as those of Peter Schiff's The Real Crash: How to Save Yourself and Your Country or, indeed, of the Ron Paul newsletters the advice from which the Birch Gold Group tries to get its marks to think it is in some way implementing.

  4. And now we come to the Democrats. The Republicans don't send me fund-raising emails, perhaps because their computer programs are smart enough to recognize that I haven't responded and their PERL scripts purge me. But I think it more likely that they are not in the business of small-contribution internet solicitations: larger fish in personal meetings seems to be the modus operandi. Rather, it is the noise machine--from Fox News on down--that subsists off of selling mailing lists to grifters who then try to use fear, paranoia, and insecurity to pick the pockets of the Republican base. The Democratic internet mailing lists are not used in the same way--there will be the occasional self-actualization or "how to make yourself happy through eating right" pitch, but those are rare. What does come are things from, well, the official fund-raising arms of the congressional caucus (and from Obama):

    This one asks me to please help the Democratic caucus by clicking on a link to send a message to Republican legislators "demand[ing] Republican pass equal pay legislation". The bill wasn't going to pass. Getting one more--or ten million more--Democrats to click on a link was not going to change a single Republican vote on cloture. But what it would do was make people think that they were helping--that they were exercising their constitutional right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and working for equal pay, and part of a large movement helping the arc of the universe tend toward justice, and so make them more likely to, at the very bottom of the page, below the signature of Julie Ager, DSCC Rapid Response Coordinator, press the "CONTRIBUTE" button.

    Now I think this kind of pitch is ultimately destructive of America's social capital: THE DSCC should not be in the business of lying by implication, of making people think that if Equal Pay does not pass, it is because they did not help and lobby hard enough. The pitch should be: "We have no ability to pass Equal Pay this year because we do not have the seats and the Republicans are not scared enough. We need your money and your shoe-leather as volunteers to elect more Democrats, and to scare moderate Republicans into fearing their future if they keep kowtowing to the wingnuts."

    But the people who work for Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO), head of the DSCC, have decided otherwise: they would rather that people have the illusion that they are helping change the world for the better by clicking to become a "citizen co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act", and so identify themselves with the movement, than tell it straight to the people they hope will fund them.

    One problem with this, of course, is that at some point the DSCC wants to make a serious pitch for resources to those of us who know that the PFA was not going to pass. And each email like this that comes through our mailboxes erodes the DSCC's ability to get us to think that its more serious pitches are more than bullshit.

  5. On the House of Representatives side, the DCCC joins the Republican grifters in pressing the "fear" button--but the fear is not that asset values will collapse, the U.S. government will stop paying Social Security benefits, and negro thugs will roam the streets. Instead, the fear is that the wave of right-wing money from Citizens United will decide the 2014 election, and that unless the DCCC "hit[s] our $175,000 goal by midnight tonight" then "all hope of winning a Democratic [House] majority in November [is] lost."

    Now this is only a small lie. There is little hope of winning a Democratic House majority in November whether or not the DCCC meets its $175K goal by midnight tonight. But it, once again, treats us potential Democratic campaign contributors like marks to be gulled, rather than as partners in the enterprise. Admittedly, the DCCC and DSCC do not--like the Birch Gold Group, like Kevin Hassett and James Glassman, like the authors of the Money Market Survival Group--want to give us a false picture of the world as a way-station on taking our money for themselves. The DCCC and the DSCCa want a better country, and think a Democratic majority is the way too that. They are not saying: "Oh, by the way, the heads of our party in Washington are among the leaders of the grand government conspiracy". There is a difference in both the end and the means.

    But may I say that I am not fully happy with the DSCC or the DCCC today? And may I say that I am not terribly happy with either Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) or Representative Steven Israel (D-NY) this morning?


RED STATE Morning Briefing: What conservatives read first:

Ron Paul Predicts "Major Crash of the Dollar" ... Here's How to Protect Your Savings

Dollar Demise is imminent, Ron Paul has told us. If your retirement savings are exposed, discover the little-known (but legal) "loophole" in IRS Code that lets you protect your IRA or 401(k) with gold--one of the few things people have trusted for thousands of years (when all else fails). Before it's too late: We have a 16-Page Info Guide ready to send you. All you have to do is get your FREE Gold Guide here (zero cost or obligation)...


Morning Money: Peter Schiff: 2/3 of America to Lose Everything Because of This Crisis: "A record breaking stock market...

...is distorting a frightening reality: The U.S. is being eaten alive by a horrific cancer that will ultimately destroy the economy and impoverish the vast majority of its citizens. That's according to Peter Schiff, the best-selling author and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, who delivered his harsh warning to investors in a recent interview on Fox Business.

I think we are heading for a worse economic crisis than we had in 2007...a collapse in the dollar... a huge spike in interest rates... and our whole economy, which is built on the foundation of cheap money, is going to topple when you pull the rug out from under it.

Schiff says that, despite "phony" signs of an economic recovery, the cancer destroying America stems from a lethal concoction of our $17.2 trillion federal debt and the Fed's never-ending money printing. Currently, Yellen and The Fed are buying $65 billion per month of Treasury and mortgage bonds and will increase or decrease this number as they see fit. According to Schiff, this "exit strategy" is not credible and will unravel. Eventually interest rates will rise... and when they do, Schiff says, stocks will tank and bonds dip to nothing. Massive new tax hikes will be imposed and programs and entitlements will be cut to the bone.

Editor's Note: As a service to our readers, we've arranged a way for you to get a copy of Peter Schiff's best-selling book, The Real Crash: How To Save Yourself And Your Country, for free, including shipping. The book shows in plain language exactly what economic dangers ordinary Americans face right now and how you can protect yourself. Please go here for your free copy. "The crisis is imminent," Schiff said.  "I don't think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems." "We're broke, Schiff added.  "We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out."

Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 17,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security. "It's not that the stock market is gaining value... it's that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency... a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception," he said. "The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he noted. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode." Should American seniors who've been paying taxes their whole lives bear the price of Washington's folly? See the shocking facts by clicking on the video. A noted economist, Schiff has been a fierce critic of the Fed and its policies for years. And his warnings have proven to be prophetic. In August 2006, when the Dow was hitting new highs nearly every day, Schiff said in an interview: "The United States is like the Titanic, and I'm here with the lifeboat trying to get people to leave the ship... I see a real financial crisis coming for the United States." Just over a year later, the meltdown that became the Great Recession began, just as Schiff predicted. He also predicted the subprime mortgage bubble burst, nearly a year before the real estate market fully crashed.

His recent warnings, however, have been even more alarming.  Will they also prove to be true? In his most recent book, The Real Crash: How to Save Yourself and Your Country, Schiff writes that when the "real crash" comes," it will be worse than the Great Depression. Unemployment will skyrocket, credit will dry up, and worse, the dollar will collapse completely, "wiping out all savings and sending consumer prices into the stratosphere." Get a copy of Peter Schiff's new book here, courtesy of Money Morning.  Limited copies available. Click here to get yours.

Schiff estimates this "cancer" could consume a trillion dollars from consumers this year. "Today we're the world's greatest debtor nation. Companies, homeowners and banks are so highly leveraged, rising interest rates will be devastating." According to polls, the average American is indeed sensing danger. A recent survey found that 61% of Americans believe a catastrophe is looming - yet only 15% feel prepared for such a deeply troubling event.

Is Devastation The Ultimate Cure? Despite its bleak outlook, Schiff's book has become a real wake-up call for millions of readers. While Schiff's predictions can be grim, he also offers step-by-step solutions that average Americans can follow to protect their wealth, investments and savings. According to Schiff, "the crash and what follows" can be beneficial. But only for those who understand beforehand what is happening and have time to prepare for the devastation. "All we can do now is prepare for the crash," Schiff said. "If we brace ourselves properly and control the impact, we will survive it."

Editor's Note: This sovereign currency and debt crisis is just a small part of the disease that's attacking America from within. When interest rates rise - and they will rise soon - it could cost Americans $1 trillion this year. But it doesn't have to affect you. For a limited time, Money Morning is supplying readers with a free copy of Peter Schiff's new book "The Real Crash" How to Save Yourself and Your Country.  Learn the steps you can take to prepare your wealth, investments and way of life for this looming catastrophe. Go here to secure a copy.


Kevin Hassett: "The Dow should [i.e., ought logically to]...

...rise to 36000 immediately [that is, in October, 1999]...

[We] believe the rise will take some time, perhaps three to five years...

[S]eize the opportunity now [i.e., in late 1999] to profit from the rise in the Dow to 36000...

[W]e aren't laughing. The case is compelling.... 36000 is a fair value for the Dow today... stocks should rise to such heights very quickly. As you read on, you will... learn to invest in ways that take advantage of a remarkable time in financial history.


Julia Ager: DSSC Rapid Response: "mailto:info@dscc.org...

Add Your Name [Equal Pay] 

This is ridiculous: It’s 2014, and women are paid 23% less than men. That’s simply outrageous.

BEFORE TOMORROW’S VOTE, demand Republicans pass equal pay legislation >>

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act -- crucial legislation that would help close the wage gap. It sounds like a no-brainer, but Republican leaders are doing everything they can to stop this and obstruct basic fairness.

If you support equal pay for equal work, we need you to step up before tomorrow’s vote.

Your Action History
Supporter record: VN96C4XT85
Last petition signed: N/A
Standing up for equal pay: Signature Pending

Will you automatically add your name and become a citizen co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act before tomorrow’s vote?

Let’s make this right.

Thank you,

Julia Ager
DSCC Rapid Response Coordinator

CONTRIBUTE


Subject: all hope is lost

From: Democrats 2014 [mailto:dccc@dccc.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:39 PM
To: Brad DeLong

Brad --

This morning we alerted you that Karl Rove’s group, American Crossroads, brought in $5.2 million last month -- more than they raised all last year. And that’s just one outside group.

We did some digging to find out how much Republican outside groups have spent so far, and the numbers aren’t good:

In total, Republican outside spending against us is over 47 million dollars this year. We’re officially being outspent 2-1. That’s scary.

If we don’t hit our $175,000 goal by midnight tonight, then consider all hope of winning a Democratic majority in November lost.

Name: Brad Delong
Supporter record: xxxx
Suggested Support: $5.00

ALL GIFTS TODAY TRIPLE MATCHED:

If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

EXPRESS DONATE: $5 >>

EXPRESS DONATE: $35 >>

EXPRESS DONATE: $50 >>

EXPRESS DONATE: $100 >>

EXPRESS DONATE: $250 >>

Or click here to donate another amount.

Thanks,

Democrats 2014

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