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>Stocks Aren’t Cheap Enough Yet

>By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Investment Director
Money Morning/The Money Map Report
For many investors, a low Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio is a sign of value.
But don’t you bet on it – at least, not yet.
According to Michael T. Darda, chief economist for MKM Partners LLC, analysts have overestimated earnings by an average of 30% to 35% in the last three recessions. For millions of investors who use low P/E ratios as a litmus test for selecting their investments, that’s going to be a rather unpleasant shock.
If Darda is right, and our research seems to suggest he is, so-called “cheap stocks” may not be all that cheap. For proof, we can turn to some plain-old high school math. P/E ratios are calculated by taking the price of a stock (the numerator, or the “P”) and dividing it by earnings

>How Many Houses Does Cindy McCain Own?

>Orlando, FL–Apparently John McCain hasn’t seen all of the residences his wife, Cindy, owns. Or he doesn’t care. To him, all they are is condominiums where he has a bed to get a good night’s sleep before charging off to another state rally.

Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press must be a raving liberal Democrat trying to lend a hand to Obama. Most of those fellas are. He said McCain may have created somewhat of a “housing crisis because Mac reportedly told Rick Warren he didn’t know how many houses he had. Actually he doesn’t own them, they belong to his rich wife, Cindy.

A working man like McCain could care less. Neither is he interested in studying how much money it takes a “rich” man to make to be called “rich.”
That’s just so much garbage with McCain, but Obama’s campaign people are anxious to find something–even if it’s really nothing–on which to pounce on McCain.

Sufferin’ suffocats! Is that all the Obama crowd has to talk about? It speaks to the quality of their campaign. They’re scratching for anything. To be so hard up for real “meaty” news is actually revealing. They will do anything to try to get a bounce in the polls, but that kind of self-righteousness will get you nowhere with McCain.

What Gangsta Tony Rezko’s neighbor from Chicago really needs is to tell us which church his esteemed eminence has joined and how he is spending his Saturdays and Sundays. May I suggest if he’s truly a Christian that he take up serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the homeless of Florida in the soup kitchens near Melbourne, Coco Beach, and Flagler Beach where Hurricane Fay dumped up to 2 feet of water in a 36-hour time span, flooding homes and causing residents to flee to higher ground and find shelter in government buildings. Maybe he should sleep over with those people on the hard gymnasium floor. Then he could truly tell them “he feels their pine.”

Where are you on that one, Barak? Be a man, fly to Florida–actually you were in Orlando a few days ago getting face time with all the networks while speaking before the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention, and you gave no discernible heart-felt thought to the plight of flood victims. I watched your speech on TV and your arrogance is going to lose you this race.

But someone cares, your campaign coffers are full. Why don’t you hop right down here again and bring your photographers and devote one whole day serving mankind. Then tell us the name of your new Christian Church and what position they’ve given you in it–what they have you doing to keep your spiritual side in tune with the Lord.

You don’t have to be bashful about that. Good old Christian service will atone for all the lying you’ve done lately in all of your political issue super-flip-flops. But before you can truly repent of something, you have to be contrite. That means humble, accepting the fact that you have made some, shall we call them, mistakes? But we simpletons will still remember what a manipulator you have become–you’re so bad you’d steal gumdrops from a kid if it would enhance your image.

Your campaign people are too busy seizing on the infantile, the brazen, the politically fleeting, and the just totally stupid to pitch in and help you be seen doing something with any lasting and redeeming value.

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I know you have tired to turn McCain’s gaffe into one of those symbolic moments that stick in voters’ minds, with the video and all. In doing so, you are really reaching. You know, you and Mac aren’t on equal footing before the electorate. McCain has already established himself as a straight-shooter John Wayne persona. Barak Obama, you have a long ways to go to tarnish his impeccable character.

While both sides are trying cast the other as too rich to understand the needs of the working class, it’s all about image. In modern politics, presidential candidates don’t struggle to pay the mortgage. They don’t often stand in line at the grocery store or frequent tamale stands either — unless accompanied by hoards of traveling reporters.

The truth is, neither candidate is hurting for money.

McCain’s tax returns showed a total income of $405,409 in 2007. According to her 2006 tax returns, Cindy McCain had a total income of $6 million. Her wealth is estimated by some at $100 million, based on her late father’s Arizona beer distributorship. She has not released her 2007 returns, which she files separately from her husband. The interesting thing about Mrs. Obama’s wealth and yearly income is that once Obama became a U.S. Senator, it rose dramatically at the university where she works. Were there political favors in that, too?

Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported making $4.2 million in 2007.

In the 2004 campaign, Republicans mentioned the wealth issue against Kerry even though President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were multimillionaires themselves. In 2005, Kerry reported a net worth between $165 million and $235 million, most of it controlled by his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Likewise, the reader will find McCain, himself, is not a millionaire, except in the inflated value of a couple of residences. Everyone knows what a Senator makes per year and it’s nothing like $5 million a year.

Underscoring how seriously the McCain campaign takes the house controversy, the Republican National Committee responded with a Web site highlighting Obama’s ties to Chicago businessman Antonin “Tony” Rezko, a friend and contributor who was convicted in June on more than a dozen felonies in a corruption scandal.

Obama and his wife bought their home in Chicago in 2005 for $1.6 million after getting advice from Rezko. The AP said the corruption case had no connection to Obama, and Obama has said it was a mistake to work with Rezko on buying the house, but to be truthful, the AP should withhold judgment. Ethics charges have been filed against Obama and there will be some court proceedings that Obama will be required to attend to before the year is out. He very well could have violated some Federal Crime statutes regarding the “good deal” he got on his land deal.

“Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?” McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers asked. “Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people ‘cling’ to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?

On the Net:

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Obama campaign: