March 31, 2009

Oh C'mon Now!

This has traversed in to the realm of pure absurdity, Kathleen Sebelius has apparently recently made corrections to three years of tax returns and paid over $7,000 in back taxes.  Another tax cheat in the Obama administration nomination boondoggle.  If this were a movie series like Friday the 13th, people would be saying 'enough already!'

As it turns out it's worse than a horror movie, it's a horror reality.

Based on the true stories of Geithner, Solis, Sebelius and Daschle.

After the Obasm

So typically what appears to happen during an Obasm is that you get a tingle running down your leg. How wonderful.

However afterwards, fatigue seems to slowly set in and perhaps a bit of crankiness.


Succinct Synopsis:

This is good.

Succinct Synopsis - alternate version:

This may be too little, too late.

March 30, 2009

Sustainable Recovery?

Is the DJIA bounce the beginning of a sustainable recovery? I wouldn't bet on it just yet. Not if the administration keeps opening its mouth or keeps trying to OWN industries.

So far, it still looks dicey, despite the last few weeks. Not only for the markets, but for freedom.

Two Dangerous Precedents

The reaction from the right has been appropriately visceral. It has been as strong as to be expected. So far though, it's been self contained. In other words there is not yet a groundswell of opposition to the Presidential over-reach in forcing GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign. There have not been million man marches protesting this lunacy.

What this amounts to is one dangerous precedent for America. The United States is supposed to be a democracy. It is supposed to be a free market-based system. It is beelining away from that very, very quickly - on both counts. The government should not be dictating operating conditions to companies. That's called fascism.

Wikipedia contains the following definition of fascism;

Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a
single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity
and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the
collective interest
of the nation or race. Fascist movements promote violence
between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and
militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and
positive part of evolution.

He may eschew the violent portion of this definition but certainly the ACORNs of the world prove there's an adherence to the class warfare side of the definition as well. Socialist goals, fascist methodologies. Sounds like some bad egg historical figure.

The government does not own GM (not yet anyway), the provided bailout money to GM. They have a right to tie conditions to the bailout money as far as things like re-payment schedules, and changing the conditions to the current environment that led to the problem. Doing that as part of the conditions to the opening of purse strings, is reasonable. So is the company choosing to forgo the bailout money. And so is the company being left to it's own devices to meet the agreed upon conditions.

Otherwise the government is by proxy, assuming ownership of a private company. Do I think the US government can run an automobile company better than the private sector? Of course not - they couldn't run a lemonade stand as well as a village idiot.

The point is that this is meddlesome, it is autocratic and it treads on ground that is anathema to free markets, individualism and freedom itself. Some may feel that Wagoner was not the right man for the job. Some may feel that the conditions imposed for further bailout money are justifiably harsh and Wagoner is paying the price because he wasn't strict enough. Regardless, would you want the government coming into your business and telling you to resign? Or into your place of work and telling them to fire you?

It's just not right. What's worse, is it's going unopposed. Which brings us to dangerous precedent number two. Why did Wagoner acquiesce?

If I were Wagoner I think I would have called the administration's bluff. That power to intimidate and coerce did not exist before yesterday. If Wagoner had said no, then what?

GM would have been denied bailout money. And they would have had to file for bankruptcy protection and then the union would be forced to capitulate on it's positions. And that flies in the face of the Obama constituency. Then you would have seen the Obama administration either really ramp up it's bullying or else, more likely capitulate themselves.

They have already deemed GM too important to fail. And then they tried to blackmail the CEO into quitting for pure political reasons they would have had to back down and paid GM anyway.

It's a messed up situation no matter how it played out, but by standing firm, Wagoner could have exposed the administration for what it really is - bullies and/or acting without thinking and not really in control of that which they claim to be in control. That would have been a news day worth seeing.

Obama thugs out Wagoner.

Politico: The first paragraph says it all:

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General
Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

This is not America.

True, Wagoner left a lot to be desired. But the government should NEVER be in the business of telling companies who to hire and fire. That decision belongs in the hands of the shareholders. Just as the shares do not belong in the hands of the government.

Obama can claim he is simply following Paulson's lead where Paulson had asked for the head of AIG CEO Robert Willumstad as part of that bailout. But if Paulson had decided to jump off a bridge... In a sense that is exactly what is happening here - they've decided to jump of the bridge of capitalism into the frozen waters of socialism.

Yesterday, I called it bizarre. Today, I'm calling it frightening.

March 29, 2009

Is this bizarro world?

The United States, drifting ever leftward as if the ballast on the ship is all on the port side, is in danger of hitting the European vessel as it is drifting right/starboard either in reality or just by comparison to the US ship. Bizarre.

Think back to the late 1970's and imagine telling people that the United States in 30 years would be considering nationalizing the banks, and potentially the insurance industry and a myriad of other industries. And in the process telling industries it does not nationalize how much it can pay it's employees. Bizarre.

Imagine telling people that the United States would have a multi-trillion dollar deficit and would be nationalizing the health care system, making it difficult to vote against unionization (card check), getting ready to negotiate with Iran, blaming Americans for gang violence in Mexico, and even seriously debating amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Bizarre.

And to make the situation even more strange, the Labor leader prime minister of Great Britain is arguing for worldwide tax cuts, and the conservative chancellor of Germany says no because she's against increased deficits. The Czech leader of the European Union is saying that the American President's stimulus efforts are too socialistic. Russia and China are arguing to replace the American dollar as the standard currency reserve for the world and the Chinese are admonishing America for spending too much. How Bizarre? How Bizarre?

China: GhostNet spying threat

The Times is reporting further about the GhostNet cyber-spying effort and that it is being run out of China.
A cyber spy network operated from China hacked into classified documents on government and private computers in 103 countries, internet researchers have

The spy system, which investigators dubbed GhostNet, compromised 1,295 machines at Nato and in foreign affairs ministries, embassies, banks and news organisations across the world, as well as computers used by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles.

The work of Information Warfare Monitor (IWM) investigators focused initially on allegations of Chinese cyber espionage against the Tibetan exile community but led to a much wider network of compromised machines.

IWM said that, while its analysis pointed to China as the main source of the network, it had not been able conclusively to identify the hackers. The IWM is composed of researchers from an Ottawa-based think tank, SecDev Group, and the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.
Espionage is going on all the time but typically without proof. This is a smoking gun that China is spying on over 1200 computers in 103 countries. The spying was done using traditional malware techniques, and with an ever spreading number of computers being infected. But the implications of what could be done were far stronger -it even went beyond removing classified documents.

"Almost certainly, documents are being removed without the targets’ knowledge,
keystrokes logged, web cameras are being silently triggered, and audio inputs surreptitiously activated."
This sort of activity requires a strong response from the United States and from Western countries in general. Unfortunately with President Obama trying to shill to the Chinese to buy more American debt securities, the amount being in the trillions, a strongly worded rebuke is likely not forthcoming. Instead of sanction, about the strongest wording we can expect from the administration is something along the lines of 'concern about the reports if they are indeed true.'

That's not what the free world needs from its leadership.


Thought for the day;

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.

~2 Corinthians 8:21

March 28, 2009

Earth Hour: A message to tree huggers.

Yes, and I'm posting on the Internet, which means I'm on my computer. Which means I'm an Earth Hour heretic.


It would seem Google is still up and running. And MSN, and Yahoo. And the Television networks are still broadcasting. Restaurants and gas stations and stores are still open. At least where I am.

Maybe you, who turned off the Internet and everything electrical or just happen to live in a cave already, were Earth Hour compliant, BUT I refuse to be.

There is no global warming as it's being told to you. There is climate change, but it's happened for millions of years and our footprint as a species is infinitesimal, you self-important fools. The earth is not in crisis.

Electricity could be much cheaper and yes, cleaner, if you'd just accept clean, potentially abundant nuclear energy.

There is nothing you can do sitting at home and turning off your electricity that will help ensure the water is cleaner.

Beyond recycling, landfills have always been part of humanity. For example, the notion that the Native Indians used 100% of everything they hunted, fished or foraged is silly. They didn't use or recycle 100% and neither can we. Do you really think the Native Indians never had anything they didn't need or couldn't use? If you do, then you are extremely naive. Besides, everything man made came originally from natural resources. Even plastic will eventually bio-degrade, we've just lengthened the cycle. Given time, the earth will recycle everything. If not, the universe will. We are relatively inconsequential in the big scheme of global impact.

Most importantly, I'm not ignoring Earth Hour as a sort of right wing protest, I'm ignoring it because I'm not ready to go back to living in a log cabin, grinding flour in a grist mill powered by the local stream, using a cotton loom to make my shirts and hunt and grow my own food. I'm not interested in using candles for lighting and a bow and arrow to fend off roaming grizzly bears.

I like my car (it's domestic by the way, not a Japanese hybrid), I like the Internet, I like television. I enjoy central heating and having working defibrillators at hospitals. I like that I can fly to Aruba (okay, I can't afford it right now, but I like that I have the option available to me). I like that antibiotics exist. I like that the police have guns and that the military is equipped to defend not only the United States but the entire Western World. I like having durable shoes when I go outside of my house. I don't care if they are made from leather, rubber, plastic or steel. As long as I don't cut my foot because I'm walking around in moccasins.

By the way, I love eating meat, especially red meat. I don't do it all the time because it can get unhealthy. But I'm not about to restrict myself to a vegan diet because I love all the fluffy cows or I can't eat sea-kittens. I like animals, but I also like to eat some of them. I have nothing against cows, pigs or chickens. I would not be mean to one I saw say, standing on a street corner. But they taste great. Either God made them that way on purpose or else they evolved with a major, major flaw - tastiness. Take your pick.

Here's a suggestion for those of you who disagree with me on this - go try to live the Cro-Magnon lives you espouse and see how quickly you are shocked back into reality and come running back to civilization.

PS - Notice how Al Gore and Al Qaida both start with Al? Coincidence???

Earth Hour - A Reminder to Conservatives

Tonight at 8:30 - 9:30 p.m., it's Earth Hour. I'm not sure which network it's going to be broadcast on. Just a reminder to conservatives - this is farcical. Conservatives, heck everyone - Don't be fooled, don't get suckered in to the panic about the environment.

I'll be posting at 8:45. I encourage you to fire up your PCs (using candle power if you are a tree hugger) and read my Earth Hour entry. It won't be a live-blogging entry per se, but it will shed some light on the proceedings (and it won't be candle powered light either).

Way off topic - Just chilling

For no particular reason, and way off topic, an instrumental version of the Peter Gabriel song, Digging in the Dirt.

Fallen Heroes

The officers slain by the thug Lovelle Mixon are true heroes for having put themselves in the line of fire every day.

The funeral service for Sgts. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, Erv Romans, 43, of Danville, Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley, and motorcycle Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord, was attended by the state's highest elected officials and at least 10,000 police officers, and came at the end of perhaps the saddest week in Oakland Police Department history.

It's as wonderful to see the local, statewide and national support for these men as it was revolting to see people out protesting the Oakland PD in support(?) of Mixon.

Irony - Thy Name is Obama

If you're far on the left, your Obama swoon has to be sputtering a bit more today. Reuters is reporting today that not only is Obama ramping up efforts in Afghanistan but he's saying that Al Qaida there is plotting new attacks on the United States.

Fear monger! He's using a non-threat to justify this hostile foreign activity.

He said the U.S. military in Afghanistan would shift the emphasis of its mission to training and expanding the Afghan army so that it could take the lead in counter-insurgency operations and allow U.S. troops to eventually return home.

Well that could take years! Where's the exit strategy? This is Iraq all over again!

Obama said his new strategy had a "clear and focused goal" -- to disrupt, dismantle and eventually defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Oh, that is so different than what President Bush wanted to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly he has a better plan.

"To me it looks like very much the Bush strategy for Iraq in 2006, which focused on kinetic operations to try to kill or capture al Qaeda and handing responsibility to Iraqi security forces, and that ended up with a fiasco," said Christopher Schnaubelt, an analyst at NATO Defense College in Rome.

"It's going to take a lot longer to train up the Afghan army and police than the administration would recognize. They are already having trouble getting volunteers now. How they get new recruits, I don't think they've figured out yet."

Obama set no timetable for the strategy, but he said the United States would not "blindly stay the course" and would set benchmarks for the Afghan government to crack down on corruption and ensure it used foreign aid to help its people.

It will take decades. He has no timetable for defeat, er, withdrawal! This is no different than President Bush!

While I agree with a surge in Afghanistan, thereby having to grudgingly put one solitary check mark in the O column, it still stands against about 60 x's in the bad idea column for him. And I am tickled pink that those on the left who assailed the Bush efforts are now seeing the same strategies being put in play by their own hero, President Obama. It must be driving them crazy.

And then there's Code Pink. Oh, wait, they're too busy condemning Israel to bother with Obama, whom they must still ADORE. I guess, given that he's going to solve every ill in the world, Code Pink has had to go look elsewhere for it's villains;

That is, when they aren't calling the US Marines war criminals. Truly heinous, ladies, you should be ashamed of yourselves. If you stuck to your original principles you'd have the stones to treat President Obama with the same disrespect and contempt you showed President Bush.

As much as Cindy Sheehan is a tool, at least she is standing by her principles - the rest of you on the left, for refusing to condemn the actions you so virulently condemned mere months ago, are hypocrites. You are so blinded by partisanship you cannot see the truth for what it is: A WAR ON TERROR. Not an Overseas Contingency Operation. Don't be obtuse. And either Bush was right, or Obama is now wrong. You can't have it both ways.


Musical Conservatism

Stick with me on this, even if you disagree with the song selections used for examples - there are some real lessons associated with this tangent.

When you start complaining about modern music, how its all just noise and how it used to be so much better x number of years ago a couple of things usually happen. Firstly, you suddenly realize that you are getting older and how much you are starting to sound like your father or mother.

The other thing that typically happens is that the person you are complaining to quite likely starts to see you in the same way - old, not cool, a technological Luddite and definitely not relevant in the modern age. Their eyes roll as if you are an idiot of the highest order. You are behind the times, man.

You kids keep off my lawn!

Despite the perception, there is reason to take issue with today's music and there's a lesson for conservatism associated with it. Don't tune me out as being a moralist, because that's not where I am going with this. Yes, lyrics are often more vulgar, more violent and cynical than they used to be. But that's another discussion.

At the risk of sounding like a social fossil, my point is that today's music is predominantly inferior to that of yesteryear. Most of it sucks. Not because it is a different style from the 1970's or 1990's or whenever.

How and why

The problem with today's music is that it has become too simple, too cookie-cutter and despite the number of supposed super-producers like P Diddy, not well produced. In small doses, a Britney Spears is listenable. In large doses it becomes apparent that despite the potentially catchy beats, it is largely redundant and unimaginative. Put any Pussycat Dolls song up against The Supremes or even the Go Go's and you see a drop off in inventiveness and originality. The Pussycat Dolls sound like Britney or any number of other groups and singers. But more importantly, for their sound or many others, where are the saxophones that David Bowie had? Where are the xylophones, cowbells, trumpets, strings, and other instruments that are so often overlooked today?
Where are the interesting melodies that dance around the beat in enough different directions to keep the songs from sounding ultra-repetitive like Van Morrison used to do? Where are the interesting vocal harmonies like Three Dog Night used to manage? Where are the guitar solo's that are reminiscent of Dire Strait's Sultans of Swing rather than 'speed metal'?

For that matter where are today's symphonies like Mozart or Strauss? Or even a song with different movements like Paul McCartney's Band on the Run? It's really not asking for too much.

There are some musicians out there today who don't deserve to be lumped in with my complaint - don't let me paint everything with the same brush. But they are a distinct minority. How did music degenerate to the point its at now? A number of reasons. One is volume and demand. More people demand more music and in today's instant gratification age, they demand it in bigger doses and delivered faster or with more frequency. When you deliver more you need more 'supplier' you are therefore diluting the talent level by increasing the pool.
Another reason for the decline is that the homogeneous product being offered up is what sells. The reason it sells is that it distills what some consider superfluous fluff and concentrates on the beat. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - originality is replaced for what sells and gets the artist, producer and recording company rich quick. In other words short term payback is valued over building a longer term quality product. Music becomes disposable. No Justin Timberlake song will ever be played 70 years from now with the frequency and appreciation of a Rolling Stones Satisfaction or even a Waiting on a Friend.
Or a Handel Symphony. In the process the public (demand side) and recording industry (supply side) are succeeding in dumbing-down the music listening public's appreciation and understanding of music. And therein lies the two lessons for conservatives.

(1) Music is analogous to the education system in that lowering the bar to the lowest common denominator instead of elevating everyone to the bar at a higher level is antithetical to real progress. Ebonics for example, is not progressive but regressive - it keeps a segment of the population from real learning.

(2) Shortsightedness in profit seeking and in problem solving leads to deeper consequences down the road. It is the lesson of General Motors, the lesson of the housing bubble, the financial crisis and the lesson of political vote buying, pork barrel spending and of massive deficit spending. Not enough people, many of ourselves as conservatives included, do not take enough of a long view.

It hurts ourselves, our families, the economy and the United States of America.

March 27, 2009

Is The Global Currency Reserve A Done Deal?

A U.N. panel of economists is attempting to steer the world away from using the American dollar and towards a global currency reserve. The plan is supposedly designed to help jump start the economies of prosperous nations and prevent future global economic crises. Fools.

Whether the international currency reserve changes or not will not have an impact on future crises. Let me explain something to these economists. Crises have occurred throughout history. No matter what action is taken now, at some point future economic downturns, and yes crises, WILL occur. Why?

As the saying in Ecclesiastes 3:1 goes, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."

In other words, there are bulls and there are bears, there are periods of prosperity and periods of poverty. There are times of war and times of peace. Thinking that some new economic plan can change the ebb and flow is ridiculous. You can't stop the tide. As economists you should no better than to make such a foolish statement.

When I was younger, I saw Star Wars with my father, a civil engineer. We watched Luke Skywalker speeding through the desert in his hovering vehicle (apologies to all Star Wars geeks - I loved the series but I don't recall what the vehicle was called). My father casually observed, "a vehicle floating like that is impossible". I had to admonish my father - I told him as an engineer he should know better than to make a statement like that. Nothing is impossible. Something might not be technically feasible currently, but that doesn't mean some day it wouldn't become a reality. Look at flight, space flight, computers, lasers, and even television. 200 years ago all would have been considered impossible.

My point is that making such blanket statements is foolish. No matter what economic 'solutions' these economists bring to the table, economic hardship has always occurred. For the foreseeable future, it always will occur. [Avoided falling into my own trap there.]

Getting back to the dollar, is dumping it a good idea? There are pros and cons to America in doing so. But the reality is, even after Geithner's silly stumble, he was reasonably quick to correct himself and state that for the foreseeable future, the dollar would be the international standard currency reserve. So is the global currency reserve or the basket currency China had been suggesting a done deal? Hardly. Is it something likely to be argued at the upcoming G20 meeting? For sure. But at this point I don't see the change coming. Perhaps things would have been different if the Dow had continued to fall and was below 5000, and similar struggles were snowballing in other countries at the rates they were back in Q4 2008. But my gut feeling is that the talks about changing the currency, regardless of what Russia, China and France might say, will not gather any momentum. I could be wrong, but I don't see this as being Bretton Woods redux.

Just Shut Up, Will You?

President Obama speaks on The Tonight Show and he insults the developmentally challenged, Tim Geithner speaks and the dollar plummets, Hillary Clinton speaks and she blames America for Mexico's drug deaths, Chase Freeman speaks and he blasts Israel, Joe Biden speaks and entertains everyone with, well, his intellectual challenges. Robert Gibbs speaks and sinks even deeper over his head.

People - the best thing you can do for the country is to keep your mouths shut.

That is all.

March 26, 2009

Mentioned on Conservative Grapevine

John Hawkins put this site as site of the day on Conservative Grapevine. I'm flattered/stunned/excited!

Wow, I wasn't expecting this - I would have prepared a speech or at least a few more interesting posts that I'd been working on.

I'd like to thank the Academy for giving us loads of liberal Hollywood types to goof on. I'd like to thank the Obama administration for goofing up everything they touch and again, giving conservative bloggers a boat load of material to work with.

Seriously though, thanks to John Hawkins for putting my site as site of the day on Conservative Grapevine. You'll notice on the blog roll on the left, that Right Wing News is something I consider essential reading.

Thanks John!

Oh, and Obama is lying to you, Global Warming is a sham, and he is less than 3 degrees of separation from Saul Alinsky (the communist) and DON'T FALL for nationalized health care - it sucks!!!!

Sinkers and Floaters

Pardon the foray into to guttural Jon Stewart-ism, but there's an interesting analogy worth pointing out. There was a Japanese game show a few years back that got picked up by Spike TV and 'translated' with a humorous slant. The show was called Most Extreme Challenge. One of the physical challenges was called Sinkers and Floaters and it clearly had a double-entendre.

The challenge was to successfully run/walk all the way across a pond via a bunch of stones, some of which floated when you stepped on them and some that would sink.

There's a parallel with the Obama administration in that it seems like a lot of people in the administration are sinking under the weight of their responsibilities. Not to mention the rating of the job they are doing as far as the secondary interpretation of sinkers and floaters goes. With respect to the latter, I'm not sure there are any floaters at this point aside from Obama's approval rating still being above the water mark.

In terms of sinking and floating, here's a partial breakdown so far.


John Deutch (somebody who has to get sunk)
Chas Freeman
Tom Daschle
Nancy Killefer
Bill Richardson
H. Rodgin Cohen
Annette Nazareth
Caroline Atkinson
Judd Gregg (although a floater as far as the GOP is concerned)
Hilda Solis (although she apparently floated back up from the bottom - who knew?)
Jon Cannon (NEW)
The remaining unappointed Treasury positions

Floaters (*including those in the process of sinking):

Barack Obama (*)
Joe Biden (always sinking but floating back up)
Rahm Emmanuel
Tim Geithner (*)
Robert Gibbs (*)
Janet Napolitano (*)
Arne Duncan
Tom Vilsack
Ken Salazar
Leon Panetta (should have sank)

Quite the track record; it sort of makes you wish it really were a Japanese game show.

Daniel Hannan for Congress.

Wouldn't you just love to see this English fellow in the U.S. Congress? He's great. Daniel Hannan. He gets it.

(Hat tip to Russ Logan on Twitter).

A different take on the banking crisis

A thought occurred to me yesterday regarding the AIG bonus kerfuffle, if I may be so bold as to call it a kerfuffle. What the Democrats are doing regarding taxing back the 'talent' at AIG is in a weird way, analogous to allowing the bankruptcies to happen.

True, the bailouts are spreading the pain from those stupid enough to make bad decisions to the taxpayers as a whole. Bankruptcy would allow the taxpayers to escape the financial impact because only those invested in the specific at risk institution(s) would be impacted. However, looking at it from a personnel perspective, the result may end up being the same as a bankruptcy.

In the case of a bankruptcy the 'brain trust' of the banking institutions would be out of work. In the case of the bailouts, you'd assume the same people would still be working. However, given that the claw back of 90% of the agreed upon bonuses is occurring, many of these people while not yet out of work, are most likely looking for alternative work. And by alternative, I mean outside of the financial services industry, which apparently is subject to imperial whim at this point.

So the net effect of either approach is that there will likely be a talent drain away from the financial services sector, given that at least some of the talent has skills transferable across other industries (project management, mergers, acquisitions, legal, marketing are some examples).

This may be a good thing for the economy. If the true talent shoe horns it's way into manufacturing or technology industries, then that can only be a boon to those industries, and potentially for American manufacturing. There's no guarantee of that happening of course. But while the financial sector is key to a prosperous economy, manufacturing is still arguably the backbone of any nation.

On the other hand, it may speed the nationalization of the banking industry. This would definitely start a downward spiral of American economic power, and start the thought process of "what else can we nationalize?" Both of those things are bad, and both can be brought on by the same symptom - exodus of talent from the industry.

Conversely perhaps Democrats believe that these people are trapped - their skills are too specific to change industries and they are too American to go work in Hong Kong or London. If that's the case their cynicism and antipathy towards those affected is pretty harsh.

Overall, losing executive talent in the financial industry nets out as a bad thing. While creating a climate where executive resources are self-diverted to manufacturing, creating American jobs in the process would be a good thing, it's not being done that way, and there are just too many down sides to letting or causing it to happen.

Dick Morris was on Sean Hannity's show this week arguing that the Obama administration, by offering a hand to the industry and then using the same hand to slap the people in the industry, is complicit in trying to drive the failure of the banking industry precisely so that it can be socialized. At first I thought Dick Morris was being over the top to help flog his latest book, but on reflection, there may be some truisms in his points.

March 25, 2009

Capitalism is DEAD.

According to former CNN reporter turned progressive radio nut job, Mike Malloy, capitalism is dead. Apparently it had been killed and run into the ground by the "Limbaugh-types" that "ran" capitalism.

If ever there was a lack of understanding of capitalism it's this wagon wheel. Mike - buy a vowel; the hippies all died off or went to live in caves. The modern day socialist kook not yet in the Obama administration has no place in society. Buh bye.

That someone can get on the radio and spout this garbage, while sickening, should steel your conservative resolve that 2010 is a must in for conservatives. Progressives believe that socialism is the end-point for the Obama administration.

Some of the take-aways from this; CNN clearly has no liberal slant and has done due diligence in hiring this avowed socialist/Marxist *sarcasm*. Obama is steering us towards socialism if the socialists are to be believed (or, he's hoodwinked them too), and vitriol on the left is alive and well.

Oh, and capitalism is not dead you idiot.

A couple of other quick footnotes about Malloy;

-he worked at CNN as a news writer from 1984 to 1987 and was on CNN's Talkback Live
-he's an avowed atheist
-let go from WSB in Atlanta, left WLS in Chicago, fired by Air America before it went bankrupt
-his "show" is currently clinging to self-syndication life support.

Obama Is Lying To You

The President at his news conference last night indicated that the Republicans haven't proposed any alternative approach but only sniped at his. There's no easy way to put this, but your President is lying to you.

Here's one alternative;

Here's another;

And another;

And more;

Not Republican, but yet another;

Even John McCain got into the act;

The Creep Factor - Democrats

When it comes to politics, there's something that describes one possible way that things change called the creep factor. You might have thought, based on the title that this post was going to be about Rahm Emmanuel. In a way you would be right. The creep factor I'm referring to, is the idea that the unhealthy specter of socialism in America can be advanced in many way, one of which involves the slow creep of incremental progress.

This is something that involves taking control of the media over time so that you have the biggest and most megaphones to blast your message over top of, and eventually to the exclusion of a conservative counterpart. It involves taking over the educational institutions so that you can teach the young your doctrines. It involves implementing things like Card Check, and the Fairness Doctrine and naturalizing illegal immigrants. These are big things but they are developed and achieved over time, in small incremental steps. For example, the current spate of everything on the table - Fairness, Card Check, Health Care, etc. represents an all topics approach to the achieving of a socialist agenda. But is it really, what the Obama administration is going after?

First Rahm's take on how to advance the 'cause';

and Obama's take;

Do they expect to win every battle because of the crisis situation? Probably not, but if they put 7 agenda items on the table and 6 of them fail, they still get one victory. It's a creep further down the path towards socialism. Republicans can claim 6 of 7 victories in defeating the other ideas, but at the end of the score sheet, there's 0 steps towards free market capitalism and individual liberty and 1 step towards something more socialist. I'm not sure how you keep score, but in my books those 6 victories amount to a loss.

Many conservatives, especially when it comes to voting, tend to swing for the fences. If it's not a home run, then I'm not interested. You saw that in a depressed turnout for John McCain in 2008. Yes, he didn't hold enough conservative values to energize conservatives, consequently he had no chance of winning. Granted at best he would have been a mediocre President from a conservative viewpoint, but did anyone really want the alternative they got?

The point is the return towards conservatism in the United States will be a slow road. The gains made between 1994 and 2004 were unfortunately wasted. President Bush swung for the fences on Social Security reform, and struck out. Conservatives abandoned their principles in favor of pork and re-election. Things, just went awry.

People on the right though often expect that instant success when in reality, smaller gains are probably the better way to go. That is not to suggest abandoning our principles to achieve power. Far from it. Abandoning the principles is the last thing conservatives need to do. They represent the ideals we need to work towards.

However, we need to look at making gains where we can, and take the long view. The goal is conservatism, but the path there is made up of base hit singles, not home runs. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were singles. As conservatives we should be aware that pitching and fundamentals win ball games, not flash, not long balls.

There are things working in favor of conservatives in this regard, we do tend to play well on defense. If we can prevent 6 of the 7 (that's a made up number by the way, it's probably 67 items on the Obama wish list) things from happening, we can always make up that deficit in our half of the inning (come 2012).

And an even bigger factor in our favor is that, despite the potential slow march approach socialist often take, President Obama may in fact be swinging for the fences himself (instead of taking the slow creep approach), and in that case, the possibility of a strikeout is very, very real. And even if he's trying to propose 6 things so he can get 1 through, we can still work towards winning things back starting in 2010. I for one am not one to believe that once a program is put in place it irrefutably cannot be undone. True, it ain't easy, but let's just look at it in terms of baby steps.

Finally, I apologize for mixing in a baseball metaphor with a creeping doom of socialism metaphor. That's what happens when you blog in stream-of-consciousness mode.

March 24, 2009

Obama slide

The Obama graph, from Rasmussen sure looks like a popularity slide to me.
At what point do you expect to see convergence?

Dictator Watch - Mar 24, 2009

Kim Jong Il edition

Dictator Watch for March 24, 2009. According to Brietbart,

North Korea warned the United States, Japan and their allies not to interfere with its plan to launch a satellite into space next month, saying Tuesday any intervention could doom already stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has declared its intention to send a communications satellite into space between April 4 and 8. Regional powers suspect the North will use the launch to test its long-range missile technology, and has warned Pyongyang the launch would trigger international sanctions.

A 2006 U.N. Security Council resolution prohibits North Korea from engaging in ballistic activity, which Washington and its allies say includes firing a long-range missile or using a rocket to send a satellite into space.

On Tuesday, the North's Foreign Ministry reasserted its right to peaceful development of its space program.

"The countries which find fault with (North Korea's) satellite launch including the U.S. and Japan launched satellites before it," said the statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. The stance proves their "their hostility toward us," it said.

Now why would a dictatorial communist regime, intent on keeping it's citizenry in the dark about everything both internally and with respect to the outside world, need to launch a communications satellite? Clearly this is a ballistics test and the cover story could not have been more ill conceived if they were saying they were trying a moon shot.

What's going to prove to be interesting is the reactions of others to the launch. Will Japan, Korea and the United States manage an attempt to shoot down the missile and if so, how will Russia and more so China react? It's probably a moot point. The Obama administration, bent on mending fences that probably should be left untended, will try to let it slip quietly by, hopefully with the aid of a compliant press.

Next stop for the Obama ballistics-for-all road show; Iran.

Is Gallup the Outlier Poll?

Scanning through the polling on Obama job approval, there's some interesting results;

  • Rasmussen - March 24 - 56% Approval, 43% Disapproval
  • Zogby - according to the Boston Herald, Zogby will release a poll today showing results at or near 50/50 for approval/disapproval
  • Quinnipiac
  • American Research Group - March 20 - 56% Approval 37% Disapproval (on economy it's 49/44)
  • CNN and CBS both have Obama's approval in the low 60's but the results are 8-10 days old
And what does Gallup currently show? Obama's approval at 65% and his disapproval 26%. Gallup's results, unlike CBS or CNN's are within the last 2 days. And unlike CNN or CBS, you'd expect Gallup to be impartial. But they've consistently shown better results for President Obama than Rasmussen, ARG and other polls. Why the discrepancy?

The difference with Rasmussen is likely explainable by the target of the polls. Rasmussen polls likely voters and Gallup is polling adults. The latter is less accurate come election time, but arguably a better indicator of the mood of the nation. Still, it appears the Gallup numbers are skewed in favor of President Obama.

There is in recent polls a definite slide in support and an even more definite growth in disapproval of the President. This has come predominantly, as you'd expect from Republicans and disaffected independents. While Gallup has shown a slide from nearly 70% approval to the mid-60's, the polling has remained flat since early February. This is at odds with other major polls.

Is Gallup polling incorrectly, are they biased, are their results just an outlier versus other polls? No one can be certain as to which, but the fact is that their results are indeed different from others. As a result of that, their polling should be taken with a grain or two of salt.

March 23, 2009

The Teleprompter was out of town

President Obama went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, while the Teleprompter had the night off and was out of town. Foolishness ensued.

It's not 100 days yet and keeping up with the mistakes is already getting tiring.

Geithner speaks with a forked tongue

Remember the commercial that had the catch phrase When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen."? People were listening for good advice according to the commercial. But when Turbo Tax Tim Geithner talks, people are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The Treasury Department is still 17 of 18 names short of it's slate of appointments from the administration. But don't worry, we've got Geithner, and when he talks...eventually he'll actually say something won't he? He's got his plan posted in an Op Ed at the Wall Street Journal. So he HAS said something, but what does it amount to besides rhetoric?

In the introduction to his plan, Geithner states that too much credit has been used. a nation we borrowed too much and let our financial system take on irresponsible levels of risk.

Taking exception to the term 'let', how about 'required'? That aside, thank you for the news flash Mr. Geithner - so what's your plan to fix it? Besides re-capping what has already been announced or done?

Many banks, still burdened by bad lending decisions, are holding back on providing credit. Market prices for many assets held by financial institutions -- so-called legacy assets -- are either uncertain or depressed. With these pressures at work on bank balance sheets, credit remains a scarce commodity, and credit that is available carries a high cost for borrowers.

And without re-capping the current problem?

Today, we are announcing another critical piece of our plan to increase the flow of credit and expand liquidity. Our new Public-Private Investment Program will set up funds to provide a market for the legacy loans and securities that currently burden the financial system.

The Public-Private Investment Program will purchase real-estate related loans from banks and securities from the broader markets. Banks will have the ability to sell pools of loans to dedicated funds, and investors will compete to have the ability to participate in those funds and take advantage of the financing provided by the government.

Your objective to solve the problem of over-use of credit is to get the credit flowing again. At previously flowing rates no doubt. Nice. Punt. You want to push the problem further down the road by getting things back to 'normal'. A normal that your boss and you both say was the root of the problem. Granted you are trying to solve a difficult problem with few options available to you, but by not addressing the root of the problem, this is a politics and business as usual solution. It's not "change we can believe in", because it's not change. Where's the bold effort to transition the economy back to more manufacturing? Where's the jobs? Where's the turn away from the credit economy to a real, more solid economy?

Not your job? Above your pay grade? Well alright. Let's just focus on the specifics of your plan, which you treated like a homework assignment and turned in a month late.

The new Public-Private Investment Program will initially provide financing for $500 billion with the potential to expand up to $1 trillion over time, which is a substantial share of real-estate related assets originated before the recession that are now clogging our financial system. Over time, by providing a market for these assets that does not now exist, this program will help improve asset values, increase lending capacity by banks, and reduce uncertainty about the scale of losses on bank balance sheets. The ability to sell assets to this fund will make it easier for banks to raise private capital, which will accelerate their ability to replace the capital investments provided by the Treasury.

So you're going to be dishing out another $500 billion to $1 trillion dollars. No problem. We know how concerned you were about the $165 (now apparently $220) million dollars. So we know that you'll be careful with the 1,000,000 million dollars (yes, a million million) you expect need for this, on top of all the money your boss just spent. Yeah, we trust you.

Especially since what were previously considered toxic assets are going to be prettied up, put in lovely packaging to be sold off as investment tools for those foolish enough to fall for such a ploy. Rubes I believe they're called.

And all this in an effort to re-inflate the bubble. Banks played under what the game was, they will play under what the game is. The more you try to do, the more evidence compiles for the argument to let the recession play itself out without your help. It appears, no surprise, the toxicity is inherent in the government's touch.

As for your essay, filled with flowery rhetoric but nothing you couldn't have handed in a month ago with an equal lack of actual content, I'm inclined to give you an F.

March 22, 2009

Bank Bailouts - HANDS OFF!!

To the Democrats: You chose to bail them out, which means you chose to allow them to act in what they believe is their own best interest. If you reward failure then failure will continue.

However, government bailouts should not come with strings. Either you believe lending money to financial institutions will help them to stabilize or you don't. The government does not run AIG, Citi or Chase. Nor should they. Leave the banks alone to manage their bailout funds or don't lend them the money. You don't own them and America is not a Soviet system. At least not yet. Government intervention does not solve everything, in fact it usually makes things worse.

To the banks: If you don't want the strings attached with the money, follow the examples of Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal - just say no. Don't whine. Everybody just man up.

Orlando Tea Party - critical mass

March 21st: The Orlando Tea Party drew 4000 people according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Way to go Orlando. Has this reached a critical mass? Not yet. But it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Forbes List 2009 Best Countries For Business

Forbes has released its 2009 list of Top Countries for Business.  The good news - the United States climbed 2 spots to #2.  The bad news -  in the following segment they discuss the riskiest countries to business in, they mention the United States as one.  Certainly not on the level of a Russia, but they cite the risk of anti-manufacturing winds associated with cap and trade policies, and a Democratic congress that could have some very anti-business stances.

The list:

1.  Denmark (1)
2.  United States (4)
3.  Canada (7)
4.  Singapore
5.  New Zealand
6.  United Kingdom
7.  Sweden
8.  Australia
9.  Hong Kong
10. Norway

Other notables, Russia dropped 17 spots to number 103

The Epic Failures of Barney Frank

Barney Frank has assaulted AIG over it's handling of it's finances, given the bailout money provided the federal government to combat the financial crisis. To be sure AIG, granted billions by the federal government with apparently very little in the way of oversight, doesn't seem to feel like it needs to be held accountable to generations of American taxpayers. It's a scandal. Or perhaps it just feels like it is meeting contractual obligations. Nevertheless, at least optically it looks bad.

Upon closer inspection, what looks worse are the failures of Barney Frank in his responsibilities to the American taxpayers. While his actions have not been directly responsible for the poor allocations of billions of taxpayer dollars...wait, they have been.

Example 1: The Housing Bubble and Credit Crisis news video

Example 2: Spend, spend, spend (on CNBC business segment)

Example 3: Decriminalizing Marijuana

Just a sample of the Barney Frank train wreck. Why this guy is not run out of office is beyond understanding.

March 21, 2009

United States Constitution: 2nd Ammendment

United States Constitution: 2nd Amendment.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Let's keep this simple, instead of arguing over what the first half of the sentence means, focus on the right the Amendment imparts. Whether the purpose of the Amendment was for the purposes of a militia or not is immaterial - the right is explicitly stated.
The reason: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state".
The right: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Simple - the right is stated. No other amendment is subject to the requirement that the rationale for it's inclusion is justifiable. Even so, the rationale is stated - freedom. That is rationale enough, one would think. Likely the reason the right was second in the Bill of Rights was because of it's importance.

Perhaps it is for the express purpose that it was a little more controversial, even then, that a rationale was provided. However, the right is written in the Bill of Rights portion of the Constitution. The argument for weapons bans should be a tough road to travel and inevitably should not be successful.

The right to acquire arms however is another story. The rationale for background checks is reasonable, especially since 9/11. Certain people, those who pose a potential risk to the life and liberty of others, should not find it a simple task to obtain weapons. And where they are a proven threat, it should be impossible. Then, there's everyone else.

Top 10 Obama Quotes

The Top 10 Barack Obama Quotes caught on video.

[Note to Feed subscribers - please visit the site for videos]

#10 My Uncle Liberated Auschwitz: Was your uncle a Russian?

#9 Clinging To Guns and Religion: The TelePrompter is the real brains of the operation.

#8 57 States: Isn't that supposed to be Heinz 57 Varieties Steak Sauce?

#7 Health Care For Veterans: Dumber than soup.

#6 Spread the Wealth: You get what you vote for.

#5 Selma Marches: Faulty Memory or prenatal memory?

#4 On AIG, pre-election: All over the place except specifics

#3 Various Babblings: Just slow down and catch your breath.

#2 Fallen Heroes in the Audience: Obama Sees Dead People

#1 Bank of China Credit Card: Brutal hypocrisy.

What's a JournoList to do?

On Tuesday, Politico reported that there was a secret cabal of liberal journalists holding secret electronic discussion board 'meetings'. "Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy?" Politico asked. Despite denials it is proof that if there's no conspiracy, there's at least an unintended commonality that will inevitably get filtered out into the mainstream media out of sheer laziness of idea generation if nothing else.

Is it a big deal? Not really. Conservatives know that the left has a bigger microphone, and we knew that there was a co-ordination of daily talking points. Whether it's deliberate or accidental is of no consequence. The fact that it's happening comes as a surprise to no one. The fact that they are doing it, while sneaky or lazy, is perfectly legal. There's no reason they can't act unethically like this. And conservatives don't expect them to honor the independent and unbiased thinking expected of journalists.
What really matters is that the left has a way to co-ordinate and plan their talking points and the right seems to be behind on that account. If the gloves are off as far as journalistic independence so be it, the right would rather have it that way, and at least now it's out in the open.
Oh it's on baby...

March 20, 2009

Newspaper Bailouts vs. Fairness Doctrine

Let me get this straight, the same party that wants to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine as backdoor way of silencing the voices of the right, are also the ones who want to look into the anti-trust laws in order to help save left leaning newspapers?

Michael Calderone at Politico quotes Attorney General Eric Holder as saying;

"I think it's important for this nation to maintain a healthy newspaper industry. So to the extent that we have to look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that that industry faces, that's something that I'm going to be willing to do," Holder said.

Some struggling newspapers in multiple-newspaper cities have limited antitrust immunity under the 1970 Newspaper Preservation Act, allowing them to combine business activities while maintaining separate news operations.

Gee, I think the AG's new nickname should be "Place". It should come as no surprise that the hypocrisy involved is second only to the hubris. The problem with this is that the print media as well as the majority of television media will play along with this because it in the case of print, it's in their self interest to do so, and in the case of both print and television, it's in their ideological interest to do so.

And the stunning pretzel-twist flexibility with which they will try to rationalize this will exceed even this transparent non sequitur;

It's okay to save failing liberal newspapers in the name of public discourse, but right wing talk radio needs to be killed the same way pornography needs to be killed?

How people fall for this in this day and age is mind-boggling. Please, please, please, if you have any liberal or politically independent friends or family, make them aware of this hypocrisy.

Pelosi - enforcing the law is un-American

Nancy Pelosi doesn't want immigration law enforced. If kicking in doors of illegals in the middle of the night is the only way to catch illegal immigrants, then it should remain an option for the INS or the FBI or local police forces.

And the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is cracking down on the crackdowns. Isn't that wonderful?

This is the precursor to an amnesty bill, Fox News has it right. And it's one more decision that's going to skate through without proper debate in the Senate. At least we still have Tom Tancredo fighting on this one.

Obama, AIG, and contributions

Just an FYI. From Open Secrets Obama's top contributors;

2008 : Contributor //Total

University of California //$1,392,675
Goldman Sachs //$1,035,095
Harvard University //$831,110
Microsoft Corp //$809,799
Google Inc //$796,564
JPMorgan Chase & Co //$700,808
Citigroup Inc //$681,318
Sidley Austin LLP //$604,938
University of Chicago//$599,089
Stanford University //$584,904
Skadden, Arps et al //$564,345
Time Warner //$540,051
UBS AG //$529,869
IBM Corp //$525,857
WilmerHale //$525,792
Morgan Stanley //$513,623
Columbia University //$507,316
National Amusements Inc //$506,751
Kirkland & Ellis //$501,335
US Government //$482,956

2006 Contributor //Total

University of Chicago //$156,054
Kirkland & Ellis //$143,138
Henry Crown & Co //$79,500
Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal //$74,950
Northwestern University //$72,930
Exelon Corp //$71,850
Sidley, Austin et al //$71,432
Mayer Brown //$69,960
Jenner & Block //$62,710
Soros Fund Management //$61,605
Goldman Sachs //$61,500
Clifford Law Offices //$59,550
Simmons Cooper LLC //$58,500
Tejas Securities //$57,250
JP Morgan Chase & Co //$56,600
Ariel Capital Management //$55,650
Skadden, Arps et al //$54,071
Winston & Strawn //$52,450
Piper Rudnick LLP //$45,600
Holland Capital Management //$43,350

There's a lot of financial institutions in those contributor lists. I'm just saying...

Keep Hope Alive

With all the body hits the American economy is taking; with the impending advent of a socialist utopia brought on by an idealist and ultra-liberal President and a myopic, lazy, emotionally invested press; with the spread of radical fundamentalist Islamic jihad around the world; with the growing swagger of tinpot socialists like Chavez and dictatorial autocrats like Putin; with the growing threat of Chinese imperialism; and with all the other threats to liberty both internal and external to the United States, it's important to remember a few things.

The United States is bigger than one man - even if that man is the President. And it's bigger than a Democrat steamroller trying to push every conceivable liberal notion down the collective throats of Americans. You can always defeat these ideas if you really want to do so. You need to keep the pressure up on those in power. You need to go to Tea Parties. You need to talk to those who are still star-struck by this reckless President.

And most importantly, you need to keep hope alive. Yes, that's co-opting the words of Jesse Jackson, but hope knows no boundaries, so deal with it liberals.

March 19, 2009

Bailout FI's owe back taxes

And the stupidity continues to compound itself. Yahoo is reporting today that 13 companies receiving TARP money owe a combined total of $220 million in back taxes.


But save your anger. Or more appropriately, direct it in the right direction - these companies, while apparently bereft of common sense, in the real world would be cut loose to sink or swim on their own. Thanks to bailouts they can continue to behave foolishly and in fact are rewarded for it.

The real culprits here are the politicians and bureaucrats from Paulson, and Bush to Obama, Geithner, Pelosi and Reid who have been barrelling forward with bailouts and legislation without taking the time to even read their own plans and doing due diligence on their own decisions.

Government is not meant to run at high speed because you run the risk of making stupid, stupid, stupid decisions. It's meant to be a deliberative body. It's especially true of the Senate, Mr. Reid...

The lack of oversight and the lack of transparency and the lack of planning at the governmental is (or should be) criminal. Hang the rich? No, imprison the politicians (no inciting riots here). These people have no business being in charge of business, or of the government. Not unless they start acting like responsible officials instead of a bunch of reactionary, partisan unthinking hacks.


Okay rant over - breathe.

Dodd - blood in the water

I had started writing a blog post entitled "Dodd-ering denial" yesterday with the line:

"Senator Chris Dodd; deny, deny, deny. When you talk Senator, you keep digging the hole."

I didn't finish the post and thought I'd pick up on it today. Little did I realize I'd have to re-write the entire post except for that line. It's relevant because the Senator has backtracked and is now openly admitting that he added a bonus provision. Even CNN went so far as to call Senator Dodd a liar. CNN. Now they took down the video but it's available on Youtube (H/T Hot Air)

His answers were long and torturous to listen to, probably partly because he's a windbag and partly because he's trying to obfuscate.

Previously I would have viewed this as an Obama administration distraction but there's blood in the water and the sharks need to consume this piece of chum. Dodd himself is trying to blame the administration for forcing the issue. He needs to be pressed on it and pressed HARD. Either he's at fault, the administration is at fault or both are. In either case those who have the means to ask have the responsibility to find out where the fault lies. If Dodd is made out to be the fall guy, my suspicion is he will try to save his own skin and let loose on Geithner.

And if the dirt starts to fly, there will be casualties. As there should be. This may be a distraction tactic, or turned into one- particularly if they try to lay all of the blame at the feet of Dodd. But for conservatives even if Dodd is the only casualty, it's a big win. But it seems to me this would be a foothold to go after more - Barney Frank comes to mind, along with Geithner. Perhaps the trail will be strong enough to lead back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Not to mention the idea of bills being passed by Congress and signed into law with undue haste being a black mark on Democrats and the administration. Perhaps it can put the brakes on all the "change" without deliberation.

They stopped President Bush's social security reform, we can stop a health care boondoggle (again).
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