First, some facts about the American presidency. Once upon a time, there was an informal rule that presidents would only run twice. George Washington himself started this off, and the principle was only broken once. That was in the singular case of Franklin D Roosevelt, who was so popular he enjoyed no fewer than four terms of office, although he died after his final run.
Then came term limitations with the 22nd amendment to the constitution, setting out two terms as law. For historical interest, Congress enacted the amendment on 21 March 1947 and the required number of states (36) ratified it on 27 February 1951. The key passage of the text declares:
"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."
So how does Porter Stansberry get to his conclusion that Obama will get more than two terms? Does he think that Congress and the states will reverse themselves, somehow repealing the 22nd amendment in time for 2016? Or is he still in Armageddon with his emergency supplies? Does the end of America mean a coup?
Well, step one, you need to forget about the 2010 predictions. What Mr Stansberry now proposes is the reverse. Far from seeing an economic and social meltdown to make Pearl Harbor look like an eighth grade swimming contest, the United States instead was headed for success on a previously unthinkable scale. Now in late 2012, he tells us:
"Even as I write these words, an enormous economic force is building. It is a force that rivals the scope of every single American boom in our history – from the 1880s steel and railroad boom, to the 1920s automobile boom, to the baby boom of the 1960s and the computer boom of the '80s and '90s…"
Steel, railroads, automobiles, babies, computers? And not just separately, but:
According to the prediction from Mr Stansberry, and his Stansberry & Associates research company, this "new economic force" will change everything about the way the American economy works, and reshape world "monetary flows" for at least the next 50 years. He says it will make "millions of Americans vastly wealthier" and raise living standards "across our entire nation".
So, whatever happened to China? And the Brics economies? Global structural change, and all that? In 2012, Porter Stansberry was singing a different song the one he sang just two years before.
Stansberry Research on the future of democracy
In the Stansberry prediction for Obama's third term, he first takes readers on a leisurely journey, much as he did two years earlier. Oil is booming. Gas is booming. In fact, everything is booming. Times are good. On the way, he introduces various of his own products you can purchase, while you search for the Obama Explanation.
But then you get to the end, and you find it's not there. You've been teased for thousands of words, for nothing. He had promised a rationale for the end of democracy, but doesn't follow it through with the goods. So you go back to near the start, for some smattering of explanation for what got you reading his mammoth document at all.
"This new economic force will change everything about the way our country's economy works. It will also reshape the world's monetary flows… for at least the next 50 years.
"It will make millions of Americans vastly wealthier… and improve the standard of living across our entire nation.
"But, in the process, I believe it will also make an idol of Mr. Obama…
"It will give him an unprecedented public mandate. He will use this power to reshape our country… and to redraw the rules that govern the presidency. He will seek unlimited power."
And that's it. There is no account - for obviously there couldn't be - for the president to serve three terms. Like the end of America, the claim just evaporates, after walloping hundreds of thousands across the net.