Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Barack Obama Commits to a U.S. Transitional Force in Iraq -

BO naturally doesn't say anything positive about Bush, but he really doesn't have to -- his actions are speaking louder than words.

Though the headlines from the President's speech mostly focused on his promise to end all U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 31, 2010 -- and withdraw U.S. forces fully by the end of the following year -- there was considerably more to it than that. For starters, Mr. Obama again acknowledged that our forces in Iraq had "succeeded beyond any expectation," not least his own.

Everyone loved it when BO said "I made a mistake" relative to the appointment of the tax cheating lobbyist Tom Daschle -- but of course he never stated WHAT that "mistake" was, nor did the media see it as worthy to ask.

Based on his direction now, it was CLEARLY a mistake of the highest order to oppose the Surge -- but one that the media is willing to give him a pass on like everything else!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The End of Growth

Economic Scene - Obama’s Budget Plan Sweeps Away Reagan Ideas -

Remember the 70's? If not, no matter, you are going to get to live at least that level of want again, if not the 30's. Why? Because ideas are important, but reality is even more important. The "genie" that improves all lives is GROWTH, and "income" is just one small part of that improvement. There are lies, damn lies and statistics, and while statistics are a useful tool, they ought to be looked at as being as dangerous as firearms. Guns are fine, but if someone is explicitly using one to do harm, they are very bad indeed. That is pretty much what this article is doing with statistics.

As a result, the average post-tax income of the top 1 percent of
households has jumped by roughly $1 million since 1979, adjusted for
inflation, to $1.4 million. Pay for most families has risen only
slightly faster than inflation.

Before becoming Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers
liked to tell a hypothetical story to distill the trend. The increase
in inequality, Mr. Summers would say, meant that each family in the
bottom 80 percent of the income distribution was effectively sending a
$10,000 check, every year, to the top 1 percent of earners.

This kind of thinking from an economist who is now a top economic adviser is like having his top medical advisor announce that evil spirits cause disease. This is envy incarnate and frightenly wrong! The bottom 80% didn't send ANY check, in fact, the bottom 50% paid nearly NOTHING in income taxes! The income of BOTH groups went up because of GROWTH!!!

Mr Summers HAS to realize that, so his story is a bold faced lie of the most obnoxious kind. What kinds of "income growth" does he expect in a country that is CONTRACTING at 6% a quarter??? Well, he better expect NONE -- in fact, the top will fall faster than 6% and the bottom will approximate the 6% decline, so yes, it reduces "income inequality", but at the expense of everyone having FAR less.

In the past 30 years, neither Europe or Japan has achieved "income growth slightly faster than inflation" for the bulk of it's population. The fact that a country of 300 Million has been able to do is AMAZING!!

This has to rank on my new list of the scariest things I've read in the "past month". To not understand that is has been growth that has driven all the good things of the last 30 years for this country and we have now turned to naked redistibution and forgotten the advantages of growth is extremely sad for all Americans.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Picture Is No Illusion

Barack Obama's Expensive Domestic Agenda Will Cost America's Middle Class -

The picture of BO's broad smile and Joe and Nancy sharing a moment of triumph is very real -- all of BO's tax and balance the budget claims are pure sham.

One of the big dings on Bush and the Republicans is that they were "arrogant" -- I don't think they even got started compared to one address to congress of BO. Nancy and Joe alone would get whistled in the NFL for an "unsportsmanlike end zone display"!!!

That nothing BO proposes as any chance of working really goes without saying. It is my contention that he has no intention of it working! He is seeking failure, the destruction of the US systems, and totalitarian takeover.

Or, he is such a complete clueless buffoon that he simply has no idea of anything at all.

BO Is A Strong 2nd Amendment Supporter

ABC News: Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

Uh, and he believes in campaign finance funding controls. He is going to close Gitmo the first day in office. He isn't going to put lobbyists on his cabinent ... oh well, the list goes on.

Welcome to Amerika ... Comrade!

Waking Up To Radical BO

RealClearPolitics - Articles - A Radical Presidency

I wish my predictions weren't so correct.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's postspeech reply did not come close to recognizing the gauntlet Mr. Obama has thrown down to the opposition. Unless the GOP can discover a radical message of its own to distinguish it from the president's, it should prepare to live under Mr. Obama's radicalism for at least a generation.

I'd argue that in terms of what America was supposed to be, Reagan wasn't "radical" at all -- he was a mild return to a TINY bit of our roots. He CONTINUED to prop up the corrupt Ponzi scheme called FICA that makes it perfectly common and acceptable for people to live their entire lives saving nothing and often live BETTER in retirement than they did during their working years. Thus we get a savings rate less than zero vs China where people have FAR less and save 30% privately, 50% when national savings are added in.

Living beyond our means and shirking responsibility for our own lives has become "the American way".

BO feels that our tiny feint back toward just a SMALL bit of realization that "delaying gratification / making good decisions in life" can have significant differences in income and overall life results. BO wants to change that and punish those that are successful and reward the failures. The markets are already responding. Why invest and get yourself over the level of government help? All that risk and work for no reward? Why?

Barack Obama is proposing that the U.S. alter the relationship
between the national government and private sector that was put in place by Ronald Reagan and largely continued by the presidencies of Bill Clinton and the Bushes. Then, the private sector led the economy. Now Washington will chart its course.

Mr. Obama was clear about his intention. "Our economy did not fall into this decline overnight," he said. Instead, an "era" has "failed"to think about the nation's long-term future. With the urgency of a prophet, he says the "day of reckoning has arrived." The president said his purpose is not to "only revive this economy."

There we have it. Unless by some MIRACLE some political voice can rise from the right and get a movement going again in a HUGE hurry, we are lost for at least a decade and probably two.

Day of Reckoning

William Kristol - Republicans' Day of Reckoning -

Well, I think we already had that --November 3, 2008. We failed as a nation, miserably. Now the issue is just "how deep the damage", and so far the answer is "very deep indeed".

I think the big question is really "can it be survived" at least with anything like even the horribly damaged post New Deal / Post Great Society America that looks nothing like what the founders intended, nor nothing like what is needed to compete in the ever more sophisticated technocratic world.

But it is a good article. BO is indeed "the anti-Reagan". I hope we don't find he is "The Anti-America" as well:

Obama's speech reminds of Ronald Reagan's in 1981 in its intention to
reshape the American political landscape. But of course Obama wishes to
undo the Reagan agenda. "For decades," he claimed, we haven't addressed
the challenges of energy, health care and education. We have lived
through "an era where too often short-term gains were prized over
long-term prosperity." Difficult decisions were put off. But now "that
day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future
is here." The phrase "day of reckoning" may seem a little ominous
coming from a candidate of hope and change. But it's appropriate,
because it's certainly a day of reckoning for conservatives and

Gitmo Carts and Horses

AG Holder says closing Guantanamo won't be easy

"It's going to take us a good portion of that time to look at all of the files that we have to examine, until we get our hands around what Guantanamo is, and also what Guantanamo was," he said.

Uh? A press that wasn't a complete lapdog might point out that doing that kind of analysis might be worthy BEFORE you decide to close the facility!

This paragraph could have been written by Cheney without the foolish "but I'm closing it anyway".

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Guantanamo detention center is a well-run, professional facility that will be difficult to close — but he's still going to do it. Holder visited the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Monday and spoke to reporters about his trip during a news conference Wednesday.

A more truthful statement would be:

 "The Bush Administration created a well-run, proffessional facility that will be difficult to close and is needed for our nations defense , but because my boss said a bunch of stupid things to get elected, we are going to waste a few billion dollars and the time of a bunch of people that could be better spent elsewhere to close it so BO doesn't look stupid.

We are thankful to have a liberal press. This would look really bad if we didn't"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

State of Survival

Power Line - He is my shepherd

Power Line does a good job of capturing my thinking on the BO speech last night. It was the first time I've sat through one of his speeches, and it will likely be the last. He is still campaigning -- reality has no appeal for BO, although it is my guess that he actually is intelligent and aware, and his true goal is the destruction of America so he can "re-build" it as sort of a Pagan, Communist, Tribal "thing" that nobody would even recognize as what used to be America.

My wife had decided over the weekend that things are iffy enough that we ought to lay in a bunch of bulk staples for survival if it all breaks down, and we got them all unloaded last night. So I sat and watched BO charm the sheep with a big rubbermaid roller container of rice, beans, flour, oil, powdered milk, sugar, etc in front of me. It seemed very symbolically correct.

My God, Joe Biden watching "every dollar" to be sure "none is wasted"! That is like putting the biggest weasel in charge of watching the henhouse, Slick Willie in charge teaching "morality for young women", or having Teddy Kennedy as secretarial combination driving/swiming instructor!! It would be extremely funny if it were not so horribly sad.

Safe Computing

New scareware sends you to fake reviews | The Download Blog -

I spent a few hours over the weekend nursing a virus/spyware ridden relatives PC back to health. I'm probably one of the few Techie Geeks that actually finds this sort of thing kind of like a "puzzle challenge", so the time spent is better for me than most. A few observations:

  • The linked article points out that the Viruses are getting more sophisticated, including messing with your links, hosts, etc so you actually end up going to a fake site to supposedly download software to help you!
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware was one of the tools that I found I needed to use to remove "Antivirus XP 2009" from the machine.
  • The other took that I really needed was The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows" (UBCD4W). The box would not run, and most of what was needed to be done could not be done from Safe Mode, at least not in the machines state of infection.
  • One of the things that I was surprised had happened to the machine (I assume a virus did it) is that the ability to get to the Task Manager via Ctl-Alt-Del was disabled. Here is a link to the Registry entry to fix.
  • I ended up running SpyBot Search and Destroy under the UBCD4W boot from CD then booting and finding out I couldn't get to Task Mgr, so did the registry hack to get that fixed, and then started finding bad tasks running. One thing nice about the net is that as long as you have another working machine (and it is hard for me to even IMAGINE only having one computer!! ;-) ) you can just Google things that "look wrong" and if they are, you go out and do a Registry / Disk Search and try to get rid of any remaining ones. My guess is that for most folks it might be easier to just try another free download of something that you trust rather than the manual approach. Since I "mixed", I can't be SURE that if I'd found Anti-Malware earlier, that might have just done the whole trick rather than me mixing in some hacking around.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Epistemological Modesty

Op-Ed Columnist - The Big Test -

David Brooks was a big BO supporter, but apparently now he is starting to see where his "hope went wrong".

These experiences drove me toward the crooked timber school of public philosophy: Michael Oakeshott, Isaiah Berlin, Edward Banfield, Reinhold Niebuhr, Friedrich Hayek, Clinton Rossiter and George Orwell. These writers — some left, some right — had a sense of epistemological modesty. They knew how little we can know. They understood that we are strangers to ourselves and society is an immeasurably complex organism. They tended to be skeptical of technocratic, rationalist planning and suspicious of schemes to reorganize society from the top down.

"They knew how little we can know"! There we have it, the crux of the problem! Liberals were always saying that "Bush was arrogant". Why? Well, because he looked like he smirked, and they thought he was too stupid to be President. Did he think that he (or any human) could address ALL of them? No, in no way.

Compare that with this quote from BO:

“We cannot successfully address any of our problems without addressing all of them.”

Uh, hello? Like that would meant that in the SHORT run we are all DEAD!!

It is too bad the following aren't nearly the only possibilities:

All in all, I can see why the markets are nervous and dropping. And it’s also clear that we’re on the cusp of the biggest political experiment of our lifetimes. If Obama is mostly successful, then the epistemological skepticism natural to conservatives will have been discredited. We will know that highly trained government experts are capable of quickly designing and executing top-down transformational change. If they mostly fail, then liberalism will suffer a grievous blow, and conservatives will be called upon to restore order and sanity.

It’ll be interesting to see who’s right. But I can’t even root for my own vindication. The costs are too high. I have to go to the keyboard each morning hoping Barack Obama is going to prove me wrong.

Among the other obvious ones -- we don't recover, we sink into being some sort of "fallen nation" status like many liberals liked to predict would happen after Reagan. BO and company turn us into a totalitarian socialist gulag. Terrorists attack us with smallpox or some other worse bio weapon and the vast majority of Americans die -- who knows what comes out the other side.

The Benefit of Crisis

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Obama's Schadenfreude

In the world that BO, community organizers, and liberals pretty much live in, this is how "wealth" is looked at:
In those worlds, wealth isn't created; it's seen as a fixed pie, and some slice is taken from those who have and given to those who haven't.
It is hard to believe that BO and company would really be so stupid as to do many of the things they are doing now, and I don't believe they are stupid. They are leftists that believe that the country needs to be "destroyed so it can be saved" -- they see the basic American fabric as so corrupt that it has to be "purged" in order to get a "new America" that BO and even his wife can be "proud of".

Here it is from Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" -- the bible for community organizers like BO:
"There's another reason for working inside the system... Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people.They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution."
Push more and more into the system, allow the system to break miserably, blame the engine of the system (capitalism/business) rather than the massive overload of the system that broke the "frame" ( FICA, Medicare, regulation, taxes, more and more federal programs, etc). When the people are hungry and the wrong side is fully blamed, then the left can complete their takeover and make it impossible for freedom to ever return--control the media, collect the guns, round up the "non supporters" and we can have a great "unified system".

 Everyone supporting the "same thing"! Wonderful!

May 7, 1997

Recession Worry Seizes the Day and Dow -

The Democrats "way back machine" has erased all the market wealth creation since '97, a full 12 years worth of investor time. One of the bad things about "spreading the wealth" is that there is always so much less of it to spread once you begin.

But, as Lenin said on the way to communism -- "The Worse the Better". The right always has the problem that we want civilization to be preserved. The left is just fine with it all falling down and starting over -- and you know, they are pretty darned good at destroying things!

Monday, February 23, 2009

You Have to Love Polls

Poll: Politicians trusted more than business leaders on economy -

Here we have a HEADLINE poll on CNN tonight that sounds really good for congress and BO. Funny, on the way home this evening, even NPR was pointing out that BOs numbers were DOWN 9 points in 2 weeks, and lamenting that almost ALL of that slip was among Republicans. ONLY 39% of REPUBLICANS now said they supported him, as opposed to something like 50% that hadn't figured out that he was a socialist prior to him ramming his package though with no input from Republicans.

NPR was pretty sad that ONLY 39% of Republicans liked BO. Strangely, I've been listening to them for the last 8 years, and there was nothing at all "partisan" about greater than 9 out of 10 Democrats being against Bush. In fact, PARTISAN meant basically Bush only handing over 80-90% of the reins of Government to Reid and Pelosi. Strange how things seem different now.

I'd say it is a good indicator of exactly how much trouble BO is already in when his friends at CNN go out of their way to gin up a misleading poll and put it as a headline to make it seem like their guy isn't sinking like a stone in the polls.

If Bush had lost 9pts in 2 weeks, the headlines EVERYWHERE would read "Bush Sinks 9 Points in Two Weeks". or "Bush Crashes with Market", "Bush Already In Poll Trouble" ... etc ... in fact we already saw that, and that was just the kind of headlines that the media put out!

Ten Conservative Principles

Link to the full text

There is more detail around each one and it is worth following the link to read it all. How important it is to read such things in the current world!

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire.

Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription. Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time.

Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems.

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created.

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all.

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions. Politically speaking, power is the ability to do as one likes, regardless of the wills of one’s fellows.

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society. The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world.

Best to just ponder with no extra comment from this quarter -- if you have extra time, go read the rest.

Did He Say How?

Obama pledges to halve budget deficit in 4 years | Reuters

BO seems to be out on the campaign trail again trying to shore up his already sagging approval ratings (-9 in two weeks). Campaigning is the only thing that he knows how to do, so I suppose he might as well do it. Unfortunately, he tends to make a lot of promises when he campaigns, and here is another one by a guy that apparently has no idea what he is saying.

So we JUST decided to spend $800 Billion, and we will be VERY lucky if next years deficit isn't in excess of $2 Trillion, rather than the $1.2 Trillion that BO is quick to point out that he "inherited". Interesting how the role of congress drops to zilch when it is a Democrat congress isn't it?

So, spending at the rates of Trillions of dollars a year is "pressing on the gas" for the economy about as hard as we possibly can. While I disagree with how much and where, the idea that the gas must be pressed in a recession seems sound.

Now we have "halve the deficit in 4 years???". Say what? How pray tell would one do that? Drastic cut in spending coupled with tax increases? Uh, but that is stepping on the BRAKES!!! Why drive with one foot hard on the gas and the other hard on the brakes? Isn't that about the most STUPID way possible one can drive???

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sensor Drift

Well, there was a solid NSIDC prediction that in 2008, the North Pole would be ice free! Only the evil "disbelievers" had an doubt at all. OOPS, small problem, the sensors were off and it didn't melt -- and now the ice in 2009 is tracking ahead of 2005-2008. Hmmm.
"The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has been at the forefront of predicting doom in the arctic as ice melts due to global warming. In May, 2008 they went so far as to predict that the North Pole would be ice-free during the 2008 'melt season,' leading to a lively Slashdot discussion. Today, however, they say that they have been the victims of 'sensor drift' that led to an underestimation of Arctic ice extent by as much as 500,000 square kilometers. The problem was discovered after they received emails from puzzled readers, asking why obviously sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as ice-free, open ocean. It turns out that the NSIDC relies on an older, less-reliable method of tracking sea ice extent called SSM/I that does not agree with a newer method called AMSR-E. So why doesn't NSIDC use the newer AMSR-E data? 'We do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data.' Turns out that the AMSR-E data only goes back to 2002, which is probably not long enough for the NSIDC to make sweeping conclusions about melting. The AMSR-E data is updated daily and is available to the public. Thus far, sea ice extent in 2009 is tracking ahead of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, so the predictions of an ice-free north pole might be premature."

Free Speech Lefty Style

NAACP calls for firing of N.Y. Post cartoonist -

BO's own book is full of "how he would like to get the white blood out of his system" and the "World in need run by White Man's greed" actual line and thinking.

His new AG says that we are "a Nation of racial cowards".

I suppose we ought to be thankful -- they aren't rioting in the streets and killing folks like the Muslims did over a cartoon.

Yes, yes, white folks are bad, black folks are good. In fact, they are so good, that if they just FEEL offended, people ought to lose their jobs over it. What kind of "freedom of the press" does one have in that sort of a world?

Oh, that's right, NONE -- the whole idea of Campaign Finance, Fairness Doctine, etc is the unilateral disarmament of "speech that the left doesn't like".

That is how we get "unified".

Why The Market Sinks Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- Is It Any Wonder The Market Continues To Sink?

Most of this has been covered in the Blog, but a good summary list. The picture is worth a thousand words.

Markets care very little about the past, it is the future that people (used) to invest in. The Palin nomination / McCain uptick gave them a ray of hope, but that hope is long gone now.

We desperately need some hope that is "old and real" -- responsibility, paying personal and national bills, the people that earn the money keeping the money, real risk and real rewards -- simple things like that. We are back to the 70's -- now the questions are how long, and must we REALLY go all the way back to the 30's or an even worse place before we realize the basic truth.

There never has and never will be a free lunch!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Rant For the Ages

Rick Santelli's mortgage rant - THE WEEK

Somebody had to say it, said the Colorado Springs Gazette in an editorial. The government is sending the message that people who bought houses they couldn't afford win, and those who live within their means foot the bill. Santelli's rant was one "for the ages, full of wisdom and truth," by a man who "understands the danger of a country that rewards failure, by taxing all success."

Finally, at least SOME people are starting to awake to the disaster that we have brought upon ourselves with 2 years and running of "change"! The core of Democrat change is always "Punish those that do good, and Reward those that do evil!"

BTW, the Republican version of that is not "the opposite", but rather "Man is a poor judge of good and evil -- seek God, markets and other higher powers".

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey, It is Possible to Fail on All Fronts!

RealClearPolitics - Articles - 'Kick Me' Diplomacy

The left found it very unimpressive that post 9-11 we didn't have a single attack on US soil, and until a year after the Democrats took over Congress, we generally had markets that were rising.

Well, now are markets are in the tank and the world is treating us like a weak skinny kid with big ears and broken glasses. Of course, our MSM is unwilling to even acknowledge the vote of "no confidence" from the markets, but they are completely silent on the decline in the American position abroad.

Sorry folks, it is VERY possible to be broke AND be attacked by foreign powers. One just needs to vote in a clueless and generally unsuccessful community organizer from Chicago as president, and the outcome is all too predictable.

BO Agrees with ... Bush???

Obama administration keeps Bush view on Afghanistan detainees -

Wow, What is up with this?? Here we have Bush, the "worst President in US History", and BO, the "greatest US president ever" -- and what? The best agrees with the worst on a critical issue relative to the War On Terror??

How surprising!

Democrats For Truth!

The Case for a Truth Commission - TIME

Patrick Leahy leading the charge for "truth and non-partisanship" is like Teddy Kennedy leading the charge for "temperance and respect for women" (or maybe teaching young women to swim, at night, out of a car under water).

How can you be more reasonable than this?

One path to that goal is to appoint a truth-finding panel. We could develop and authorize a person or group of people universally recognized as fair-minded and without an ax to grind. Their straightforward mission would be to find the truth. People would be invited to come forward and share their knowledge and experiences, not for purposes of constructing criminal indictments but to assemble the facts. If needed, such a process could involve subpoena powers and even the authority to obtain immunity from prosecution in order to get to the whole truth.

First, you get "fair minded folks" (like Pat I suppose) that have "no axe to grind". Simple! Their only "straightforward mission" would be to "find the truth"!! How could anyone be against this? Why, couldn't Pat just lead it up himself? He certainly seems like a "fair minded guy, with no axe to grind, only interested in the truth"? Isn't that what ALL Democrats really are?? I mean NONE of them are partisan in any way, right?

During the past several years, the U.S. has been deeply divided. This has made our government less productive and our society less civil. President Obama is right in saying that we cannot afford extreme partisanship and debilitating divisions. As we commemorate the Lincoln bicentennial, there is a need, again, "to bind up the nation's wounds." Rather than vengeance, we need an impartial pursuit of what actually happened and a shared understanding of the failures of the recent past.

Now, there is a real news item -- "during thelast several years". What would "several" be? The past two years when we have had a Democrat Congress and a Republican in the White House? The previous 4 when we had very slim Republican majorities in Congress and a Republican in the White House? Maybe from 2001-2002 when we had Democrats with a one seat majority in the Senate and the rest Republican? Golly it just isn't stated. I wonder why that is?

It seems like there really couldn't be much better than a good old "truth commission" to help bring this nation of ourse together!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dems to New Orleans, Drop Dead

Power Line - That Was Then, This Is Now

Anybody that doubts that the whole idea of some "Katrina Debacle" caused by supposed incompetence and insensitivity in the Bush administration can be certain it was only politics now. In the first major spending bill by our first Black President, after YEARS of howling of the "inadequacy of spending for New Orleans" -- on dikes, repair, etc, how much is there for New Orleans in the greatest Porkfest in history? Not one thin dime.

Katrina and New Orleans served their purpose, and then some. Now they can drop dead for all the Democrats care. Time to pay off some new constituencies!

Dukes of Moral Hazzard

I love the title. One of the things that was very clear from both Buffet's and Greenspan's books was the extreme danger in the "loss of moral hazard" -- in other words, what happens if people and businesses no longer suffer the losses of poor luck, decisions, lack of work, etc and conversely if they are unable to realize the gains of good luck, good decisions, solid work, etc. They both discussed it, and realized that previous government actions (which they both generally supported) were "pushing the envelope" on the topic.

Any doubts that we are well over the edge now? I find this paragraph captures it well:
Let's focus on the plan's effect on the individual borrower. Anyone with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to refinance to lower rates if his mortgage is between 80% and 105% of the value of the home. This is a sweet deal that is not available, for example, to many renters looking to buy homes now. Sadly for those who deferred the gratification of homeownership, the 20% down payment has now become industry standard. But at least their taxes will allow other people to stay in homes they can't afford.
Prior to Reagan, there really was some sense that folks that went to college trying to "get ahead" were kind of "chumps". I remember more than one high school or other person explaining it to me. It went something like this:

"By wasting 4 years of your life in school PAYING good money, while I went out and got a good union job, I got a great head-start on you college boys. All the "stuff" just keeps going up in value (houses, cars, toys, etc), and our union makes sure that our salaries do as well. When you get out of school, you will start at a lot lower pay level and everything you buy will be way more expensive. Going to college is for losers!"

At the time I started my career, my salary was $15,500 in 1978 with 2 weeks vacation, which was a good salary, and a GM Union Autoworker in Janesville was starting out at $25K with a month off and a lot better benefits. A 25+ year veteran, still on the line was making over $50K with 6 weeks+ off and retirement at 30 years at something like 75% of base pay. Had the Democrats remained in power, they would have likely been right on the foolishness of college.

It looks like "we have returned". Education, savings, prudence, etc now appear to be for chumps, and the rewards are for those that "live for today" -- the chumps are going to be required to bail out the folks that ought to be going through bankruptcy.

In a "rational world", the guy that forgoes pleasure today, saves, and in the future buys a home, has the advantage of being able to pick up the foreclosed McMansion for 50 cents or less on the dollar, while the guy that purchased too much home ends up in a flea bitten appt.

In the BO world, the spendthrift stays in the McMansion and the saver sits in the flea bitten appartment and subsidises the spendthrifts habits -- or so BO hopes. As Ayn Rand pointed out long ago, that isn't a very motivational structure, and the worker bees tend to stop working.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Welcome to Ruin

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Slow Drip of Financial Ruin

Couldn't have said it better myself -- put a bunch of Democrats in charge and the MSM cheering them on, and you have a recipe for ruin, and that is what we have!

Senator after Democratic senator stood to disgorge this dishonest rhetoric during floor debate, repeatedly proclaiming the lie that Republican opponents had nothing of their own to offer. But you didn't have to search far to find examples of GOP solutions, such as the one on House Minority Leader John Boehner's Web site. You don't have to agree with his more moderate and targeted package of immediate tax relief for working families, more help for the small business sector (the nation's biggest job producer), no tax increases to pay for spending, jobless assistance and home price stabilization.

However, simple honesty should compel the Reids and Pelosis to refrain from saying the opposition has no plan. Democrats, of course, were able to get away with this slander because few in the media challenged it or bothered to report it. The media also have failed to challenge the economic methodologies that are the basis for claims that the stimulus will produce millions of jobs.

Reason is the facility of the mind used to intelligently form judgments, make decisions and solve problems. Emotions are feelings, desires, fears, hates and passionate drives—all of which are the tools that Obama deployed to sell the stimulus package to a gullible public. Endeavor to go through all 1,100 pages of this stuffed piggy and you'll find little rational connection between the nation's problems and its solutions—other than if we throw enough money out there, some of it will stick to the wall.



Nice little article ... the leadoff:

The results are clear. The market hates Obama’s stimulus package and just about everything related to Obamanomics. Or shall we call it Obeynomics? (I'll explain in a minute.) Stocks are down 27% since the Nov. 4th election. Stocks have plummeted more than 40% since Obama sewed up the Democratic nomination in June.

Capital is on strike. And why wouldn’t it be? Private capital has no idea what the future holds in terms of taxes, regulation, trade, deficits and the value of the dollar. None whatsoever.

Capital has figured out one thing, however. The politicians in Washington most hostile to private investment are running the show. Example: David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. From Wikipedia: “Obey is one of the most liberal members of the House; he considers himself a progressive in the tradition of Robert La Follette.”

So the people that have a choice of "invest or not" seem to think that a political regime that is anti-business, anti-investment, and has an unknown economic plan makes for the wrong environment in which to sink a lot of capitol into things you expect to make money on?

Ya suppose?

Headless Body, Gutless Press

The caption on this picture was "happier times" -- meaning before good old Muzzammil beheaded his wife. In the "truth is stranger than fiction" camp, he founded "Bridges TV" 5 years ago to combat "the negative image of Muslims". Go figure.

The reason that our media provides very little coverage of this story -- say as opposed to some nowhere Southern ministers wife that kills her hubby with a shotgun, or some preacher that has an affair of some sort, is because they are "unbiased and like to avoid sensational stories".

Hmm, MIGHT there be another reason?

Havard Killed Wall Street

There is an interesting hypothesis here that bears some thought -- especially with a proud Havard Grad as President. I love books, I love book knowledge -- but I also grew up on a farm, fish, hunt, shoot and have engaged in real business and investing. Bottom line; reality isn't in a book or a computer model.

A lot of what has been loosed on our nation is the idea that we are in a "post common sense world". Reaganomics was pretty much just "common sense" -- set people free to create and take risks, allow them to keep (and lose) the results of that freedom, and "on balance", things will be better.

No longer. Those simple ideas are now "incompetent" we have PHD Nobel Prize winners like Paul Krugman making pronouncements of what MUST be done and what WILL happen after it is done. Maybe. I've seen a lot of very smart and well educated people be wrong, and a lot of not so well educated but much more humble folks be right.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's The People Stupid!

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Deconstructing Krugman

When Slick Willie was running against Bush Sr, the mantra was "it's the economy, stupid!" -- the media loved it, calling Republicans stupid is always good sport. Perhaps we have a turn about here -- BO and his economic advisors are "doing it by the numbers", but people don't always behave "by the numbers".

But why is the economy performing below capacity in the first place?
Many reasons, too many to list here. And why won't it simply recover on
its own, as it has many times in the past? Here things get a bit more
interesting. Like many economists, Krugman points to Keynes's "paradox
of thrift": in uncertain times, ordinary people defer consumption and
businesses postpone investments. The economy shrinks below capacity,
because of people's desire to save money.

It's hard to escape the sense that the best economists and the
President of the United States are blaming ordinary people for the
economic crisis. If only we'd spend our money instead of save it, we
wouldn't be in such a big mess.

This is where devotion to mathematics gets the better of those who
would do better to try to understand people. Krugman is very concerned
that the liquidity trap we're arguably in will degenerate into a sticky
and persistent deflationary spiral, with far lower output for years to
come (an American "lost decade").

People feel uncertain about the future -- and the government spending Trillions of dollars of their future money at a time that every bone in their body tells them to save makes them even MORE uncertain! So they spend even less.

The economic wizards are so intent on following their models and
ignoring the people, that they will waste tremendous resources trying
to postpone a reckoning that is fated to come. What we really should be
talking about is mortgage finance. We have to figure out how to reduce
the burden of mortgage debt on millions of people (including people
that can perfectly well afford their payments, but are unaware of the
creeping effects of deflation on their purchasing power).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Illusion Agreement

Op-Ed Columnist - Paul Krugman - Decade at Bernie’s -

It isn't often I find something to agree about with Krugman, but I think he is right about the "illusion of wealth", he is just really wrong about the time period.

First of all, in this world, wealth is ALWAYS an illusion -- that has been known since the Bible came out. Is it a special illusion "the last 10 years"? Maybe, but he has the trend right -- wealth has been even ore illusionary than normal since FDR signed FICA into law. That is when we as a people started signing up for belief in a false Ponzi scheme that makes Madoff look as honest as Abe Lincoln. We has a nation have been on the path of taking money now and transferring debt to future generations since we bought into that scheme.

Once we are all in a "group scheme", the little schemes just pile on. Sub-prime loans and Fannie and Freddie are another example -- if the Government is PUSHING and taking part in serious mortgauge irregularities and "wink, wink, nod, nod" insuring them, well, then why not have some other folks making even MORE money off "the deal"??

At one level this should come as no surprise. For most of the last
decade America was a nation of borrowers and spenders, not savers. The
personal savings rate dropped from 9 percent in the 1980s to 5 percent
in the 1990s, to just 0.6 percent from 2005 to 2007, and household debt
grew much faster than personal income. Why should we have expected our
net worth to go up?

Golly, who was President in the '80s? I bet it wasn't someone that Krugman liked, but at least savings (and most everything else) was better than. What Krugman doesn't quote is that the home credit binge took off from '90 - 2007 ... $2.5 Tillion in '90 to $10.5 Trillion in credit backed by homes by 2007.

So Krugman finally decides that unless we have another WWII level of spending, it will be a "long painful slump". Lovely -- Krugman hates the idea that conservatives are optimistic when Republicans are in power, but I guess the fact is that the left is ALWAYS pessimistic, even when all their folks are pulling the levers!

Since nothing like that is on the table, or seems likely to get on the
table any time soon, it will take years for families and firms to work
off the debt they ran up so blithely. The odds are that the legacy of
our time of illusion — our decade at Bernie’s — will be a long, painful

Whither Growth?

RealClearPolitics - Articles - A Lost Decade Ahead?

The article compares the current US situation with the Japanese situation circa '90, and I think does a reasonable job. The answer is pretty much in the last couple paragraphs, and I think is also correct. We can argue all we want about "stimulus / no stiumulus / socialism / etc", but the real question is "what is the engine of growth"? I'd quibble with Samuelson that the Internet, high tech and finance itself were strong engines for US growth as well as consumerism, but there is no doubt that consumption based on rising asset values was a major part of our growth strategy. Where do we grow now??

Still, the operative word is "temporarily." Hannity is correct in
that serial stimulus plans become self-defeating. The required debt is
unsustainable. At some point, the economy must generate strong growth
on its own. Japan's hasn't. Will ours?

Since the early 1980s, American economic growth has depended on a
steady rise in consumer spending supported by more debt and increasing
asset prices (stocks, homes). Just as the mid-1980s signaled the end of
Japan's export-led growth, the present U.S. slump signals the end of
upbeat consumption-led growth. But its legacy is an overbuilt and
overemployed consumption sector, from car dealers to malls. The
question is whether our system is adaptive enough to create new sources
of growth to fill the void left by retreating shoppers.

Courage Still Lives!

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - IL Republican: Obama only arm-twisted in public « - Blogs from

WOW, a few more people like this, and someday we may yet see "Hope for Change" to something like having people take responsibility for their lives and expect to gain a better future for them and their children by trusting in something more than Government and in their own ability and hard work!

There is hope! Slim mind you, but slim is much better than none!

“I like the President. He’s a very good guy . . . I want him to be successful. I want to vote for a stimulus bill. I appreciated his hospitality in bringing me along on the trip. . . . But at the end of the day my responsibility is to the people who gave me this job – my constituents,” the 27-year-old said.

President Obama “could not have been more cordial” onboard Air Force One, Schock said. “He waited for the hard sell, if you will, in front of the national media. That’s when I really got both of my arms twisted there in front of hundreds of my constituents and the national media when he had me stand up and basically ask my constituents to put the pressure on me.”

Like some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, Schock also took issue with the legislative process that resulted in the massive stimulus bill.

“Bipartisanship is not one party writes the bill and we all vote for it. Bipartisanship means you truly meld together both sides ideas and come up with a compromise bill,” Schock told King. “That didn’t happen in this case and ultimately, that’s why I voted against it.”

See, "Bipartisanship" is another one of those things that the MSM thinks differently about depending who is in power. If Republicans are in power, one is "bipartisan" when the DEMOCRATS get full involvement and are happy with all outcomes. When Democrats are in power "Bipartisan" is when they completely get their way and some Republicans "get it" and vote along with them. Simple!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mysterious Ways of the Lord

Got this in an e-mail, it is pretty cute.

I never thought I would enjoy watching the news about an "airplane crash." But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and with a sense of humor!

First: No one died!

Second: The passengers standing on the wing appeared to be walking on water!

Third: It removed Obama from the headlines for 24 hours!

Fourth: No one in the government could take credit for the miracle!

and Fifth: It wasn't George Bush's fault!


(well, I bet after the MSM looks into it deeply, there was SOME proposal for SOME sort of bird warning, bird scaring, or something that would have been hugely expensive and rarely effective, but was turned down by the Bush FAA -- so it may STILL be his fault!)

BO Reads

Here is a site with BO reading from his own book. One thing about BO, he really SOUNDS Presidential!!

I normally avoid profanity, but we are talking the greatest president in US history here, so it must be the right thing to do! I wonder if he can single handily bring back the "N word"? I mean if we have a President saying it, then it has gotta be OK doesn't it?

Some more very presidential reading here. 

Real Trumps Imaginary

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Apocalypse Now? Highly Unlikely

I well remember the global cooling crisis of the mid 70's -- it was much more academic then political as global warming has been, but anyone with any brains KNEW that we were on the verge of an ice age. "Shortage" was also the major watchword -- we were "out" of oil, metal, food -- you name it. "The end was near" -- unless of course we turned to the brilliant leadership of more Democrats. I remember the Carter drumbeat on campus -- one which I listened to and proudly went out and cast my first ever Presidential vote for that great reformer from Plains!

This is especially true:
Montaigne's axiom: "Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."

The areas that I know the very most about are areas where I have very little to no "belief" -- I know both what I know, and what I don't know. The set of what I don't know is always painfully larger than the set of what I do, but that is the price of knowing -- it much increases dealing in probability and reduces dealing in certainty. Such is the shape of the real world.

Because of today's economy, another law -- call it the Law of Clarifying Calamities -- is being (redundantly) confirmed. On graphs tracking public opinion, two lines are moving in tandem and inversely: The sharply rising line charts public concern about the economy, the plunging line follows concern about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center poll asked which of 20 issues should be the government's top priorities. Climate change ranked 20th.

Real calamities take our minds off hypothetical ones. Besides, according to the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare.


Friday, February 13, 2009

The Feeling of What Happens

I like to read about the human brain, and especially the subject of consciousness, so this book by Antonio Damasio was interesting TO ME -- but probably not to "normal humans".

It provides essentially a lot of detail on the theory that there are two types of consciousness -- "core consciousness" and "extended consciousness". He considers core to be an artifact of the body reflecting "current state" into some key low level brain stem regions that he calls the "proto self", or the mental image of the living body. There is a lot of discussion of how one "becomes awake" -- at least which regions of the brain have to be operating and maybe what is happening in them.

"Extended consciousness" takes our whole brain -- long term memory, our "life's story". While our "core" pretty much operates in "1 min short term memory bursts", the "extended" keeps track of all we have been and our hopes of all we will be -- even the core is clearly "human" in that it is more than animal, but it is the extended consciousness that is what we see as the "highest form or life on the planet".

There are lots of detailed long names for parts of the brain that nobody but a practicioner is likely to completely remember and keep straight, and there are a lot of very interesting stories about what happens when certain parts of the brain are damaged by some sort of disease or injuury. These are often interesting as well as scary.

I liked the book, but unless one has a true interest in quite a bit of depth on the neurological underpinnings of consciousness, it will be a slog.

A Moderate Gets Worried

Op-Ed Columnist - The Worst-Case Scenario -

David Brooks is the NYT "token conservative" -- he is essentially "just to the left of Olympia Snow and Susan Collins". I don't know if he ever actually came out for BO, but he was close.

Here is a bottom line that I think he essentially gets right:
The crisis was labeled an economic crisis, but it was really a
psychological crisis. It was caused by a mood of fear and uncertainty,
which led consumers to not spend, bankers to not lend and entrepreneurs
to not risk. No amount of federal spending could change this psychology
because uncertainty about the future remained acute.

Essentially, Americans had migrated from one society to another — from
a society of high trust to a society of low trust, from a society of
optimism to a society of foreboding, from a society in which certain
financial habits applied to a society in which they did not. In the new
world, investors had no basis from which to calculate risk. Families
slowly deleveraged. Bankers had no way to measure the future value of

People indeed have a lot of brain cells, but at the bottom, our emotional repertoire is likely not much different from the family pet, with fear being by far the easiest lever to pull even unwittingly. Our cognitive / rational fore-brain only gets to play when our emotional low to mid-brain is satisfied that "the crisis is over".

The lefties were constantly in accusation mode that the Bush team "played on people's fears" relative to terrorism -- as if the worst foreign attack on US soil since the revolution wasn't something that was going to engender a legitimate fear response that was best dealt with by taking action to remove as much of the potential for future attack as possible.

When the new President gets up and tells us that if we don't throw $800 Billion + of pork fat to the beauracrats in DC, "the recession will turn into something we can't recover from", and then his Treasury Secretary gets up and says he is going to throw $1.2 Trillion around with no plan and all, while the President's appointees are dropping or backing out like Mormons at a Gay Bar, the scent of fear overcomes even the scent of BO.

The Rubicon has been crossed, the die has been cast -- at some deep level, even BO seems to now realize that he doesn't know what he and his troops are doing and that we may in fact head to some place that is "not recoverable". I'd argue that as long as he doesn't start down the path of the "Fairness Doctrine", and radical gun control, America WILL recover -- but it could be a very long time with an awful lot of pain.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Deja Vu

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Runaway Stimulus

As Will points out, we have been here before -- many times. How far will we fall and how fast? Nobody knows that. Will we recover? Nobody really knows that either. Unless our descent is total and "complete" -- say terrorist attack with Smallpox that takes out 70% of the population or so, there will likely be some sort of "tomorrow" that some living today will be around to recognize, but from this vantage, it is looking to me like the likely aftermath of this "change" may exceed any pain in the history of the US.

Lincoln is good for magnitude -- but maybe consider Jefferson Davis, or what would have ensued if Lincoln had LOST the Civil War? Think of the Post BO US as maybe Atlanta after Sherman.

Forget FDR, think Hitler. The  blind cheering crowds for "Change", "Hope", "Yes We Can" and the speed of the drive to the politicization of all while claiming "all is beyond politics" is so reminiscent of the Third Reich that one has to be willfully ignorant of history to fail to see the parallel. Think Berlin after WWII.

Will points out one that I would not have come up with:

Not yet a third of the way through the president's "first 100 days," he
and we should remember that it was not FDR's initial burst of activity
in 1933 that put the phrase "100 days" into the Western lexicon. It was
Napoleon's frenetic trajectory in 1815 that began with his escape from
Elba and ended near the Belgian village of Waterloo.

This last quote makes the same point I've made a number of times -- the parallel to the period of '65 to '82. My current prayer is that we can sneak by somehow with ONLY that level of despair and destruction -- my reason tells me that we may likely end up wishing for something as "mild" as the '30s or even the Civil War. BO as Lincoln indeed.

In December 1965, John Maynard Keynes, although 19 years dead, was,
as today, enjoying one of his recurring resurrections as vindicator of
government management of the economy by manipulating "aggregate
demand." Keynes' visage was on Time magazine's cover and the
accompanying story said that happy days were here again and here to

President Lyndon Johnson was embarked on building the Great
Society, assisted by policymakers who, wrote Time, "have used Keynesian
principles" to smooth the moderate business cycles and achieve price
stability: "Washington's economic managers scaled these heights by
their adherence to Keynes' central theme" that a modern economy can
operate at "top efficiency" only with government "intervention and
influence." So, "economists have descended in force from their ivory
towers and now sit confidently at the elbow of almost every important
leader in government and business, where they are increasingly called
upon to forecast, plan and decide." Ten years later, the "misery index"
-- the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate -- was 19.9, heading
for 22 percent in 1980.

Not Likely

Commentary: Obama should have told us the whole sad truth -

The concepts of "Democrat" and "Truth" are pretty much like "Prostitute" and "Fidelity" -- they make for odd sentences.

To be to the left means that "you are special" -- not only you individually, but your party, your group, your race, your "whatever". You have carefully achieved being "in the mainstream" -- from 1865-1965, that meant "Jim Crowe, overt racism against blacks, big corrupt unions, ties with the mafia, etc". Things changed SOME since, now all Democrats LOVE all minorities -- except for actual practicing Christians of course, but much is the same.

"Democrat truth" is how they "see/feel" about whatever they are talking about TODAY!!! They have NO "truth that lasts". So maybe he OUGHT to have been truthful, but that is an expectation that one really never ought have about a Democrat, let alone BO.

Over The Ledge

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Obama Stimulates Fear, Doom & Gloom

NPR was in full chortle mode this AM as they discussed the huge victory for BO, a COMPROMISE PACKAGE brought about by those 3 courageous Republicans -- the RINO Twins (Collins and Snowe), and the "Spectre" -- of destriction, despair and death.

When the Republicans were in charge, they NEVER had more than 54 Senators, so they ALWAYS had to get 6 votes in the Senate -- yet when they would pass legislation, it was "partisan politics" and "party lines" -- with Harry Reid able to point out how "The Bush Administration and Republicans refused all the attempts of the wonderful Democrats to make this bill better" -- and meantime, 6 of them voted to avoid filibuster and no doubt got more than their pound of flesh, of which we will never know.

Why is that important? Because even this AM, while seemingly giving strong thanks to the 3 Republicans that broke ranks, the seeds were being sold of "how much worse they made the bill". David Obey of WI hedged the bets sniff of "it isn't big enough". As is always the case with the MSM and Democrats, they lack the conviction of what they do, since they have no firm conviction of anything -- freedom, the abilites of the American people, the rightness of the Constitution, or a faith in God for that matter.

So they "hedge" -- and they would STILL hedge if they had all seats in both houses of congress, because the essence of liberalism is NEVER taking responsibility and NEVER staking yourself to a consistent position. Every business person and investor, not to mention soldier on the line, knows that it is ONLY putting yourself in a spot where you can succeed, fail and KNOW THE DIFFERENCE do you even begin to really exist. All else is a form of self negation -- by never taking responsibility for who you are, what you do, or the outcomes of same, you have effectively denied your own existence. Your life isn't even a life -- typically, it is only a "complaint".

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

800+ Billion Other Ways

Commentary: Republican strategy of deny, delay and do nothing -

Begala and James Carvelle were Slick Willie's combination spinmeisters and attack dogs. It seems that they have come back to town to help shore up BO. Here Begala picks up a thread from BO himself prior to the press conference. It is a good study in how the sheep are fleeced.

The core is to act much like a magician with misdirection -- BO insinuated that it was either "His way or NOTHING" relative to the "stimulous". A slightly better mathamatician may point out right away that just numerically alone there are over $800 Billion answers between his and "nothing".

While not a direct lie (I'm sure there is SOME Republican, SOMEWHERE that wants to do NOTHING), it awfully hard to find the space to call it "misleading". I think that any fair minded person would realize that if it was Bush making the claim, it would be called "A LIE!!!!" by Begala himself and most all of the MSM. So BO's statement is mathamatically false by $800 Billion+, and rhetorically as close to out and out lying as one can get even with a massive benefit of the doubt.

Do some Republicans think that there should be some thought put in before $800+ Billion is spent? Well, yes indeed -- I guess that is "delay", but if one thinks about it for more than one hyperpartisan second, I think most of us would at least give some passing thought before we plunked down $800 Billion -- especially on what won't be spent until 2010 and 2011 -- exactly where IS the fire on that? Oh, yes -- it is of course $800 Billion that we don't have. I guess he is "honest" on "Delay", but is that not potentially a GOOD thing?

"Deny". I think most folks in business, fianance and the markets feel that the constant "this is another depression", "capitalism has failed", "this is the worst economy since the depression", etc is not, shall we say, "helpful". In much the same vein as "$800 Billion or nothing", there are some finer points between a GDP boom of 6% and absolute economic zero -- 100% unemployment and 0 output, everyone starves. Although firmly in charge of both houses of congress and busily spinning economic woes from those posts for two years prior to the election, Democrats (and the MSM) felt that the economy needed to be strongly talked down. I must admit, they did one heck of a job and folks are pretty well demoralized. Good job!

I'm thinking though, that one fine day they may wake up and realize that those reins of power are ALL firmly in their hands. They only need a couple Republican RINO votes to get around the filibuster rule, and they need no others. The only reason that they need "Bi-partisanship" is political cover -- as BO so succinctly put it, "they won". At some point, I suspect that Americans will tire of "the failed policies" rhetoric and ask the question "what have you Democrats done for us lately?". Something tells me that "Deny" will be raised to a whole new level!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dow Votes No on Porkulous

Senate Passes $838 Billion Economic Stimulus Bill -

Well, BO managed to get the gigantic $838 hunk of lard through Congress, and the Republicans managed to hold together well enough so only 3 RINOs supported it.

The Dow cast it's vote with a 4% 382 point drop.

Hope to Doomsday

I mostly expected the hot air to stay in the BO balloon for a bit longer, but the descent to the abyss has been rapid. The inexperience of BO along with the natural anger and morose nature of Democrats, it isn't surprising that they would have a bit of the "dog that caught the car problem". They have had Congress for two years, now they have the whole enchilada -- all of sudden, they "caught what they wanted". Now they have no idea of what to do with it!

The way things are going, we can expect to wake up one morning to find the president of the United States wandering the streets of Washington in sack cloth with a placard predicting, well, the end.

He’s already given us everything but the exact date on which the world will end as he leads a chorus of his supporters demanding that Congress adopt his every nostrum lest our economic crisis transform itself into a “catastrophe,” as Mr. Obama put it, or “absolute collapse,” as Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) warned, or even “Armageddon,” in the words of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.).

Eat The Rich

DealBook Column - Up Next for Big-Shot Bankers - A Public Flogging -

Oft times we read about what horrid people are in banking, finance, big business, etc. They are rapacious, greedy, selfish disgusting folks, and someone needs to put them in their place.

“I want groveling,” wrote Patt Morrison, an op-ed writer at The Los Angeles Times, over the weekend, echoing a chorus of others. “I want show-trial sweating and stammering. I want their nine-figure bonus checks endorsed over to the rest of us. I want my 401(k) money back. I want blood; I’m a vegetarian, but I’d make an exception for a smoking plate of C.E.O. en brochette.”

The whole column is worth reading as a study in "liberal nature", but you get the main point. I'm so reminded of "The Unforgiven" when we introduced to "English Bob", and taught quickly to hate him. When the town sheriff, "Little Bill" beats him unmercifully, we are glad, but at least for some of us, we start to "wonder" --- if only because we know that in the end Clint Eastwood has to be some sort of "hero".

Clint does indeed "prevail", but at least I was struck in an almost spiritual way about how litte we know about how to "judge", and why the Sovereign Lord explicitly tells us that we are not able to judge. How easy it is for man to call for the darkness while thinking they are calling the light. There is no "calling" for the light -- salvation is always there, it isn't our "call" that brings it, it is our willingness to cease our "just refusal" of salvation, because to do so seems to be "unjust" to our human soul.

WE, must "work hard" to be "better than others", and thus "deserving". We strongly need to see "others as worse", and it is only "right" to see those that are worse be punished on this earth, and in the after life as well. Each of us though, unless living in Christ, is CERTAIN that we are "diserving", but others are not.

So, they "want to see them grovel"! They want what is THEIRS!!! Their "justly earned through a growing market 401K"!!! But wait, were they for the policies that let the economy, business and that 401K grow? Or were they for the policies that would "share the wealth", much of which was in that market and a lot of folks decided was better OUTSIDE it before the "sharing" (at gunpoint) began.

How do they think they will get their 401K back if they eat the rich?

Humans, Markets, Governments, Words

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Random Thoughts

Thomas Sowell on how bad things really are. The point of this to me is that we have a "race" -- can BO and company remove rights, control the media, shift the blame and take total control to the level that freedom is gone before the bulk of voters figure it out? The race is on!!
Human beings are going to make mistakes, whether in the market or in
the government. The difference is that survival in the market requires
recognizing mistakes and changing course before you go bankrupt. But
survival in politics requires denying mistakes and sticking with the
policies you advocated, while blaming others for the bad results.
More frightening to me than any policy or politician is the ease with
which the public is played for fools with words. The latest example is
the "Employee Freedom of Choice Act," a bill that will do away with
secret ballot elections among workers voting on whether to be
represented by a union. It is an open invitation to intimidation--
which is to say, loss of freedom of choice.

The Rich are Worried

Wealth Matters - It’s Not Just the Money, It’s the Mind-Set -

We have had downturns before, but people feel this one is different. Are they right? I don't know, I have money in BOTH the market and the "mattress", and plenty of firearms and ammo as well.

“This feels absolutely different because it’s so widespread,” said Eric
Dammann, a Manhattan psychoanalyst, in comparing this crash to 2001 and
1987. “It feels like everything is imploding at the same time as well
as this sense that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Strange behavior is not limited to Wall Street. Brad Klontz, a
financial psychologist in Hawaii and partner in Klontz Kahler, a
financial therapy and planning firm, said someone he worked with had
liquidated his portfolio, put the money into gold and silver and bought
a safe to store the bullion. This person, he says, is considering
buying an assault rifle to protect his wealth. “If it really got down
to that point it would be total anarchy, and there would be nothing you
could do,” Mr. Klontz said. “And this is a really smart guy.”

Rapacity of Audacity

American Thinker: The Rapacity of Odacity

Looks like the BO blew out of Washington and went back on the campaign trail after less than a month in office. This time, he was selling pork by the Trillion, with just a hint of lipstick. I love the "trio" of the now "heroic" bipartisan Republican Senators -- Collins, Snowe, and Specter. RINOs all, but oh how much more lovely these 3 are to the MSM than poor old Joe Liberman!

Couple of great paragraphs from this article. "The Road to Serfdom" covered this prior to the rise of the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany, so it is old news, but news that mankind needs to learn over and over. When you attack those that bake the pie, you end up with less pie for all.

Read it all, here is a teaser.
Socialism is rapaciously greedy -- that's what endless envy warfare comes down to. The Left likes to preen itself with the word ‘progressive,' when it is actually the most regressive political strategy in history. The key political move is to seek out the most rapacious people -- not hungry for food but power -- and use them to mobilize an attack on the productive sector, the milk cows of society. It is the most primitive political strategy ever. It goes back to the Romans and long before. Karl Marx merely reinvented a very old and decrepit wheel.
That is why today, in his first month in office, President Obama needs to go after executives who earn more than 500 thousand dollars per year. Marxism has become the politics of universal envy and rapacity, as long as there is a victim group hungry enough to be led into battle against the ever-shifting enemy. That is why racial politics has not been left behind by the Democrats; on the contrary. The United States is more racially sliced and diced than it has been since the Dixiecrats lost their power.

Audacity is voracious because there's never enough free pie. It's the pie supply that grinds to a halt if the bakery is coerced into working without compensation -- a condition that used to be called "slavery." Without suitable incentives, producers can only be forced to work by the threat of punishment. And with full media control, our socialists make sure the baker gets the blame for any sudden pie shortage. We've watched it happen with Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Coal, and on and on -- but never with Big Media or Big Government. It's easy to tell who the demagogues are -- their names are never on the hit list.

As the bitter old Soviet joke went, "Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the opposite." Only the apparatchiks, the new ruling class, win.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Gun Rights Under Attack

American Thinker Blog: More Gun Control Introduced in Congress

Remember all the howling in the MSM about how your rights were being trampled by the evil Bush Administration? "Looking in bedroom windows", "listening to your phone calls", "People afraid to speak" -- although there seemed to be no shortage of lefties speaking all sorts of things that were negative and had no connection to any reality.

Well, Bush is gone. How worried is the MSM about "rights" now? Well, they are worried about the GOVERNMENT'S rights to take every last dollar from current and future Americans and to take the guns from the citizens to make sure that nobody responds!

Oh, didn't BO say he was "strongly in favor of the 2nd amendment"? Was that like "I don't hire lobbyists?" ... prior to bringing in Mr "I make 2.5 million a year lobbying, and I don't bother to pay my taxes" Daschle?

Get a LICENSE from the Attorney General of the US to have guns -- with him having a nice list of where to come to collect them anytime they want. They don't even have to let you know they are coming! Since you want to make use of your 2nd amendment right, you forfeit your right to privacy! Isn't THAT a nice way to go!

BO = Fascism!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

So Much for Hope Over Fear

RealClearPolitics - Articles - So Much For Hope Over Fear

Charles just has it right. BO is into trying to scare the American people with rants of economic disaster if his porky package is not passed. He didn't get his $2.5 million dollar a year lobbyist friend Daschle through, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

So, we were supposed to BELIEVE in the guy that said he was going to take public financing, and spent the most ever spent on a presidential campaign by a wide margin? Pleeeze!

The Daschle affair was more serious because his offense involved
more than taxes. As Michael Kinsley once observed, in Washington the
real scandal isn't what's illegal, but what's legal. Not paying taxes
is one thing. But what made this case intolerable was the perfectly
legal dealings that amassed Daschle $5.2 million in just two years.

He'd been getting $1 million per year from a law firm. But he's not
a lawyer, nor a registered lobbyist. You don't get paid this kind of
money to instruct partners on the Senate markup process. You get it for
picking up the phone and peddling influence.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Naked BO

Obama's 'Naked' Moment -

Worthy read. One might have thought that it would take a bit longer than a couple of weeks for BOs feet of clay to be exposed, but the facts are the facts. We have a President with no leadership experience and it shows.

Worst Since 1974

January job loss: Worst in 34 years - Feb. 6, 2009

For those that don't remember the 70's, it looks like we have gotten our time machine out and done the "way back" to beautiful '74, the wonderful year of my graduation from HS. What a wonderful time THAT was! To be young and living in a country in decline.

So will we be able to get back to the '30's? The middle ages? Caves? Who knows, we seem to have decided that the economics that have been proven to work, don't, and those that have been proven to fail are now going to work.

Heil BO comrade!

Missed The BO Love?

Clinton calls Kyrgyzstan base-closure decision 'regrettable' -

I suppose that Kyrgyzstan missed the "everyone loves BO" news? Well that goodness we have BO now, and Hill-Billy too. No doubt she will have a short chat with them and soon they will be "feeling the love". I imagine that this whole misunderstanding is simply a carry over from the horrible incompetence of the evil Bush years, and this will be easily handled!

I await the good news.

Class War, All Can Play

Commentary: Congress clueless about retreats -

Do I like Congress and the media sniping about how "lavish" the corporate or Wall Street lifestyle is? No, so why would like I like the media sniping about how lavish the Congressional lifestyle is? Well, I'd like it a little because I'm human -- we all have a nature that makes us have some enjoyment of "the other side getting theirs".

Bad problem is, I'm a Christian, and we USED to be "a Christian Nation". One of the big reasons that a lot of the world is a good simulation of hell is simply that: "Human Nature". Our natural instinct is that "we and ours" are "special" -- and "others" aren't. Therefore, it can often be easier just to tear down others than to build up ourselves, and in the absence of any higher values, that is what we do.

One can argue that nobody "needs" to be doing anything but sitting around a trash fire in some rags roasting a rat for dinner, and if you don't have a rat or a fire, you might figure that the "rich guy" that does needs to be whacked with a rock so that luxury can be yours -- which is better (to you) than it being his. Christianity tells you to NOT whack the guy with the rat, it tells the guy with the rat to share, and it tells you to sit down and see if you can work together to get a rabbit tomorrow. From there the world gets better. A "virtuous cycle".

Democrats have argued for at least the past 30 years that wealth doesn't "trickle down". I wonder about poverty? The only thing that redistribution of wealth can ever provide is poverty. It is CREATION of wealth by GROWTH that moves one from rats to rabbits to pheasant to steak.

When the valueless and the clueless take charge, the descent to dining on rats can be swift. Resources are always limited, envy has no limits at all. The magic of capitalism is that it harnessed part of mans nature (greed) to drive the creation of wealth. Not perfectly or equitably, because we live in a world that is not perfect or equitable. Socialism encourages envy for political power, but doesn't recognize a need to motive production, and worse, it doesn't actually channel the envy (nor the greed for that matter, unless it is greed for more handouts).

"The Change" is here, and a whole bunch of easily led are thinking "Yes We Can"!!! Yes we can, what? Well, we can complain! We can limit others! We can pass a lot of laws! We can spend a lot of money we don't have!

Then what? Remember to horde some good hot sauce for that rat!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hooray For Class Warfare

Boo Hoo in the Boardroom - Timothy Egan Blog -

"Main-street" is happy to see BO slam CEOs that take bailout money with a $500K compensation maxium. Class warfare is back in town and the drums of war are beating in a festive mood -- rubbing the hands together with glee, "and now those evil CEOs get the shaft like we have all been getting". Even inside the big corporation, there are plenty of folks ready to see anyone sufficiently wealthier than them "get it".

Ah, human nature. True enough that greed is ramptant, but clearly so is envy. One thing about humans, we will never ever have a vice shortage. Kindness, mercy, thrift, intelligence, foresight, money, food, love -- all things good are often very limited, but of vices? Our cup overfloweth.

Funny thing about war. Oft times it turns out a whole lot less fun than the beginning. The old Klingon proverb; "Revenge is a dish best served cold"?

So that joyus task of "going after the undeserving" has begun. Obamanation indeed.

First they came for the CEOs -- I was happy, because I was not a CEO. Then they came for the wealthy -- I stood by, because I felt that many of them had too much. Then they came for the business owners -- I was glad I didn't own my own business. Then they came for me, and I was surprised.

Don't be surprised.

Religion of Peace for Women

&squo;Mum&squo; had 80 women raped for suicide missions | Herald Sun

We all know that Islam is a wonderful religion, and Christianity is quite oppressive and nasty. Here we have an example of the high minded character of the Muslim mind. One would think that in a religion where guys that blow themselves up get 72 virgins, but women get nothing, it would be harder to recruit woman suicide bombers.

We just don't have the right kind of minds.

In the Muslim world, if a woman gets raped, it is her own fault. So, "easy solution", once they are raped, then they are bound for eternal damnation --- UNLESS ... yup, you guessed it, unless they martyr themselves in jihad! How convenient.

It has sort of a ready made setup -- males due to be suicide bombers can do some rapes first as sort of a "prelude to paradise", and then when they blow themselves up, they will be in "virgin clover".

We all need to be more respectful of other religions.

Can They Turn the Tide?

Power Line - Kill the Bill

I never expected  BO and the Democrats to give the Republicans an opportunity to hand them a major defeat this early, but certainly have. BO let Pelosi run wild in the House, and she served up the biggest glob of partisan pork fat in world history. The House Republicans wisely all voted against it.

Now, enough of the stench has leaked out of the bill to drop public opinion solidly against and BO is in a panic trying to get bipartisan cover for the stench. If this thing could be defeated, it would be the first actual ray of hope for a recovery in a very long time.

Can the weak kneed Republican party that couldn't keep a lid on spending on their own watch now FINALLY stand up to now gigantic threat of a level of big government that would have been unthinkable even 6 months ago? One can hope, even if the odds are against it.

A Leadership Mistake

White House Memo - The Pros and Cons of Admitting a Presidential Error -

Since BO has never held a leadership position, he doesn't know much about being a leader and admitting mistakes. Some things that would be immediately asked of a leader in business, or in a country with an adversarial press for Democrats:

  1. What was the mistake? He has appointed 4 people with problems, Richards also withdrew, Geithner made it but has tax problems. Why was Daschle worthy of being admitted as a personal presidential error, but the others were not? Why admit this "mistake" now?
  2. How does he intend to FIX things so the "mistake" doesn't happen again? Is it a "process issue"? Did he just learn that most Americans actually pay their taxes? Has he just learned that he can't get by with a different standard for his people than for the common people? What?
  3. Is it REALLY "his mistake", or is it a symptom of the selection pool? Is there a problem that MANY Democrats don't follow the rules, so it is really hard for a Democrat President to find qualified people that can both do the job and have a reasonable history relative to personal life, paying taxes, hiring illegal aliens, etc? It kind of seems that way, it seems very unlikely that BOTH the Clinton and BO administrations could have had and be having as many problems as they are when the supposedly completely incompetent Bush administration had no problems with appointees having to drop out due to legal / personal sorts of issues.
  4. Why THIS mistake? Any leader of any reasonable sized task knows that "mistakes are made" every day by both the leader and the people they are leading. When a leader admits a mistake, they reflect on the people that hired them (or elected them), the people they lead, themselves, and the processes / procedures / organization that they lead. So, this is a well that BO can't go to very often, or there is going to be a lot of "buyers remorse" going around.
It seems that BO maybe ought to check out a book or two on leadership for the weekend. He has never held a leadership position, so some book learning might be able to shorten the on the job training by a bit.