Three Things You Need to Know - November 14, 2017

It's Not Looking Good for Roy Moore

It’s not looking good for Roy Moore.

Senate Republicans really don’t want him to get elected. And neither do at least five women.

Yesterday, Beverly Young Nelson announced at a news conference that Moore attacked her in his car when she was 16-years-old and he was 30.

Nelson said Moore offered to drive her home one night after her waitressing shift was over at a local restaurant. He drove her to the back of the restaurant where she said he groped her, tried to take her shirt off, grabbed her neck and tried to force her head toward his crotch. She said, “I thought that he was going to rape me.”

After she struggled against his advances, she said he dumped her out of the car in the parking lot and sped away.

She also said Moore told her that he was the District Attorney and she was a child, so “no one will ever believe you,” if she tried to report the incident.

Moore still says this is all a witch hunt. But even if just one of the allegations against him is even partially true, he should drop out of the race and check into therapy.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell believes the women and wants Moore to drop out. Now Republicans are brainstorming ways to kick out Moore even if he wins Alabama’s special Senate election on December 12.

One option would be for Republicans to allow him to be seated in the U.S. Senate, then move to expel him. Some are even considering a write-in candidate. That seems unrealistic this close to the election, but then, no Democrat has won a Senate seat from Alabama in 25 years, so maybe it’s not so far-fetched.

This Alabama Senate election is a microcosm of America’s current social and political quagmire: the flood of sexual assault and harassment accusations against powerful men, and the willingness of voters – on the Right and Left – to overlook serious character problems in candidates in order to win.

Some things are more important than winning and we need to rediscover them quickly, because our sons and daughters are watching.

Rand Paul Update

What if I told you Bernie Sanders’ legs were broken by his neighbor when he was outside recycling his RC Cola cans?

What if I told you Elizabeth Warren’s arm was pulled out of her socket by an angry neighbor when she went to pick up her Amazon Prime box of custom presidential buttons?

You would be outraged. Why? Because you’re human and have feelings. No person should be viciously assaulted by another person. At that point, your political opinions don’t mean anything.

But speaking of political views, could you just imagine how crazy the Left would be over one of their own being treated so badly? They would be livid and calling for immediate criminal prosecution.

Why is it that I hear crickets when it comes to Rand Paul’s attack?

In his first interview since he was assaulted by his neighbor, Rand struggled to speak. Six broken ribs and a damaged lung will do that to you. Despite his injuries he tried to explain that there still was no motive that he could imagine. Rand said that his first encounter with this neighbor was when he was attacked. They never had words over anything.

There has been speculation that the neighbor attacked the senator because of his anti-Trump views. Sure, Rand has a record of siding with Trump, but he is by no means the president’s biggest cheerleader.

There was also talk that they had an argument about maintaining yard work where they share a property line, but neighbors have debunked that as a false narrative.

Only time will tell what the real motive actually was.

But we do know one thing for certain: Rand’s neighbor, who was charged with fourth-degree assault, was released on Saturday on $7,500 bail.

It’s time to speak up about one of our fellow humans and make sure this attacker knows that his behavior is never acceptable—not matter what your political bent is.

Citizen Kap

GQ has named their ‘Citizen of The Year’, and his name… is Colin Kaepernick. You know, it kinda makes you wonder what exactly their selection criteria is. I’m having a hard time seeing this one, so let’s take a quick run down memory lane. Back in 2013 Kaepernick was one of the best players in football. A true ‘Citizen of The Year’ would have begun his activism when he was on top, but Colin was mysteriously quiet during this time. Oh he was posing naked in ESPN’s ‘Body Issue’, but activism? He didn’t have time for that. He had a brand to build.

Kaepernick’s meteoric NFL rise was rivaled only with his fall. As his play declined and the magazine covers dried up, suddenly he appeared VERY interested in speaking out. Colin didn’t have to move far to begin taking a knee, his position on the bench made it a quick trip. But GQ apparently doesn’t find this suspicious. They elevated him to the level of Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson, forget the fact that he was NEVER interested in speaking out until it became convenient for him to do so. And when it stopped being convenient - and as his prospects in the NFL ran out - he went silent for an entire year to try and get his job back.

So let’s recap Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ campaign: the winner of GQ’s award went to a man that began a misguided cause for selfish reasons, and who abandoned that misguided cause - again - for selfish reasons. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that he glorifies Che Guevara - a mass murderer and that he admitted that he doesn’t even vote. This qualifies as ‘Citizen of The Year?’

How many people can you think of, JUST OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD, that are more deserving? How about J.J. Watt? He raised over 37 million dollars to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 37 MILLION… completely on his own, with NO outside help, and NO selfish reasons. What about Stephen Willeford? Willeford is the definition of a private citizen exercising his rights - the 2nd Amendment - and, in the process, stopped a mass murderer. What about the police that took down the NYC truck terrorist, the Green Beret’s that died fighting terrorists in Niger, or Collette Sulcer, who sacrificed her own life to save her infant daughter from Hurricane Harvey flood waters.

All of my examples were of heroes committing uncommon acts of selflessness. Can GQ say the same for Colin Kaepernick?

MORE 3 THINGS

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.