Monday, November 30, 2009

A New Last Best Hope?

For a few centuries now, the United States of America has been a beacon of liberty to peoples the world over, an inspiring source of hope for the spread of robust constitutional democracy protecting individual rights.  Has that title been passed, get this, Honduras

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All My Readers, All 15 of You!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  No blogging here until Monday.   I, the ravishing Mrs. Baseball and the three adorable Baseball tykes are off to beautiful North Cackalacky in the family roadster, spewing oodles of carbon without a care in the world, to be with family and fry us up a bird and give thanks for the abundance and freedoms afforded us by living in this great nation.  Best to all!!

...and if you are frying up a bird this holiday, remember, the best thing you can do to ensure a safe turkey fry is to measure the exact amount of oil you'll need by doing a "wet run"with water and the actual bird in the pot. Be safe.

SNL Sums It Up Rather Nicely

Unravel Watch

Remember folks, Donny Baseball mapped out the path of Obama's fall back in February '09. I'd say the latest polling numbers indicate we are definitely at the point where putative Obama loyalists prove just how "unsticky" their loyalty is, and Barone thinks it is happening. Hell, if Arianna Puffington is questioning The do the math. Oh, and this. Anyway, remember my prediction, a high level cabinet resignation is coming within 6 months (not a purge, but an actual, I-can't-be-associated-with-this-fiasco resignation).

I have gone from wishing for this (not because I am unpatriotic, or racist or want my country to fail, but because 1) I love my liberty, 2) want to see the capitalist system revived and strengthened so it can continue to deliver unprecedented prosperity...and 3) because I'm heavily invested in the stock market and I believe in this rough correlation: Obama Failure = Stocks Up) to almost feeling sorry for the guy. I mean look at the poor guy...we have a potentially devastating scandal unfolding that could forever label "global warming" a scientific fraud, and on the occasion of the Indian Prime Minister's visit (that would be the same India that told us to go pound sand on this whole climate change thing) Obama is touting progress on a global climate change deal. Simply embarassing.

N.B. Lest anyone want to dismiss Rasmussen's numbers as partisan hackery, as many are wont to do...Rasmussen polling actually underestimated the extent of the electorate's rightward shift in the recently concluded NJ and VA gubernatorial races.

Finally, remember folks what the shocker is here...


Here's is how I view this analysis: Bush was exposed as "incompetent" for being caught flat-footed in the wake of something that happens once every couple of decades if that, but Obama is obliquely similar (although the "incompetent" word is never used) for failure to successfully address the highest priority of nearly every executive and the basic everyday concern of all Americans, the economy. Hmmm.

Obviously, no one who voted for George Bush did so (and very likely no one who didn't vote for him withheld their vote) based on his ability orchestrate an efficient and effective response to a low probability natural disaster (to say nothing of "man-made disasters", natch). On the other hand, many many people voted for Barack Obama on the basis of his putative ability to advocate and institute economic policies that would result in a revival of economic growth (and many many people, myself included, did not vote for Obama based the belief that there was no evidence that he could deal successfully with our economic challenges). But somehow, in the Puffington Host's world, the situations are directly comparable.

NY Times Will Wait on Greatest Scandal Of All Time??

The lid is blowing off global warming science, representing what could be the greatest scandal of our time - the exposure of the greatest fraud of all time - and the NY Times has...wait for it...nothing (CNN, as well, nothing)! (More here and here.) I always said that the anthropogenic global warming theory would meet its Black Swan, I just thought it would be mere inaccuracy, not fraud. But a Black Swan is a Black Swan.

UPDATE: Naturally, it's a full news blackout, except for guess where. I have my biases, but think about this rationally - if this turns out to be a big story (and not reporting on it does mean it is a small story), why on Earth would other news outlets leave the entire playing field for Fox to clean up on? Why willingly cede marketshare? If it is a story that tens of thousands of viewers want to learn about, why not provide information, if you are in fact in the news business? Maybe because some institutions are aren't, in fact, in the news business as we would understand it...? Hmmm.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Someone Cue "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life"...

Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Paul Ryan take to the WSJ Op-Ed pages to tell us exactly what I've been telling the highly select audience of NBfPB for months now like a bloody broken record (like here for example). It is almost as if they've been reading this blog! That, or the conclusions are so self-evident that normal, halfway intelligent people (but just not Democrats) can separately diagnose our economic ills and come to the same conclusion. Even annoying, liberal WSJ reporter Gerry Seib can see the yawning gap that has grown between Washington, the Obama administration and the business community and can figure out that businesses won't hire when they are getting crapped all over and massive uncertainty over damaging legislation hangs in the air. (Although Gerry goes on to draw some silly conclusions such as "Obama crapping on businesses hurts education" and "Obama crapping on business hurts the deficit." Clueless.)

I saw all this and made a prediction about 10% unemployment and I was right. Based on what I have seen the last few months I am upping the ante - employment will hit 12% in Obama's first term. It may even hit 11% by the midterm elections next year. By mid-year next year updates to the deficit picture will make the current horror show look rosy. Americans will be shocked to their core when they see the state of our nation's finances come the second half of 2010. Similarly, one or two large states (New York and California most likely) will have a fiscal crisis that is akin to bankruptcy, although states technically can't really go bankrput. Meanwhile the healthcare bill will have passed amid raging anger among the populace. Afghanistan will remain a stalemate and the KSM trial will be getting underway in NYC. I wish it were otherwise, but I fear Carter-era malaise will arrive in full force this time next year. Forget about the political ramifications, those are small potatoes. I fear social unrest. The clashes at UCLA earlier this week may be just the beginning. Hold on tight America.

N.B. I am a incurable optimist by nature and I have believed, up until now, that we would right our ship using the highly flexible corrective mechanisms of our democracy. I no longer feel that way. Metaphorically, I think we are having another national bout of alcoholism - drunk on unreality - and we'll need to hit rock bottom before we can reverse course. Sorry, folks, but when DB turns pessimistic, it's bad.

Cooking the Climate Books???

I have said that the current conventional wisdom about "global warming' - that the earth is warming due to man's activities and that this will be negative - is almost assuredly going to be proven wrong in time. I have every confidence that when I am a grey, old man, the world will simply not believe the AGW theory anymore and we will view our past obsession as a foolish daliance. News out today makes me that much more confident in my prediction. Question is, how much damage will have wrought between now and then.

Government War on Female Health

First mammograms and now this. Why does the federal government hate women?

But their won't be any "death panels" folks...just panels that won't let you screen for things that can kill you.

This puts me in mind of my predictably doctrinaire liberal neighbor who goes on on about all the great things Barack Obama has/is/will done/doing/do for women. Yeah, this is great for women!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Most Honest Man in America Strikes Again!

There has been no Big Blue gridiron glory worthy of recognition of late, but that doesn't mean we can't continue to honor this season's talisman, The Most Honest Man in America, Doug Elmendorf.

Elmendorf's Congressional Budget Office has exposed the fraudulent claims of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi's budgetary three card monty regarding the costs of the socialist healthcare takeover legislation that they are ramming through.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't Be Fooled

This statement by Obama can best be recast as "I am going to raise your taxes for your own good."

Buyer's Remorse Is The Buyer's Problem, Not the Product's

I will repeat, the shocker is not that he is alienating the public, but that anybody ever thought that he wouldn't alienate the public. If you thought otherwise, you need to reevaluate your political sophistication. The inferior and/or expensive product never regrets being bought. In our case the product is both inferior and expensive.

In So Many Words: Lying About Their Crappy Bill

Dean of Harvard Medical School: 'The Democrats' health bill is a disaster...oh, and they are lying through their teeth about it.' (Here.)

UPDATE: Roger Simon calls it a "haymaker" and it would be if our overlords hadn't already decided on how our lives ought to be based on their utopian vision of the unfortunately one of the most knowledgable and relevant commentators we could possibly hope to hear from will go unheeded. This is your government, America. Enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rolling the Dice With Our Lives...

Hey Guys! No need to have wifey, sis or mom have one of those expensive mammograms! A federal panel says so and, really, just think of what we can do with all that money! WooHoo! Money Money Money MOE-NAY!

No Exemption For Having Good Intentions Kiddies

If having no job and no prospects and having to live at home with Mom & Dad doesn't get the Obama-loving college-age set to rethink their naive "progressivism", maybe a little petty tyranny that hits close to home just may. Perhaps this or this may prompt them to think what their adult lives may look like if they persist believing the naive utopian pap that they spout and keep electing socialists.

UPDATE: Hah! Too perfect.

More Stimulus Propaganda

This is a clear example, not of deep-seated structural imcompetence, but just a mental error. Clearly they meant to say that stimulus spending saved jobs in Arizona's 9th arrondissement!

Green Euro Zealots Unfair to US's Dear Leader

I do alot of bashing of our less than amateur President on this blog, justifiably so in my opinion, but I will come to his defense in this instance. This is deeply unfair to him and a scandalous libel. The Europeans are blaming the failure of the world accepting their climate neuroses on President Obama as a matter of convenience because they cannot accept a) the preposterousness of their own desires, or 2) their own impotency to lead on the issue. The forces arrayed against the global warming (oops, climate change) zealots' desires to control us are too vast, too diffuse and too grounded in basic hard realities to be layed at the feet of Barack Obama. You can read my various analyses here. There is much much much to criticize Obama over, but his failure to make a success of Copenhagen is not a justifiable criticism. Still, I am enjoying the irony of Obama getting bitten by the forces of unreasonable, intolerant environmentalism.

The Job Market Vigilantes Show Their Faces

Here is another big time CEO (in case you missed the first one. Or hell, take your pick of these CEOs) telling us that he ain't hiring in the US anytime soon. It's all about overseas baby. There is a reason for that. I hit this theme as early as last July with my classic post "Job Market Vigilantes."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wow, Who Woulda Thunk It?

Seems as if John Corzine had the most powerful person in the world in his corner before election day. Umm, that's gotta be worth something...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So Depressing You Have No Choice But to Laugh

"All that’s missing by way of red flags at this point is a Bin Laden tattoo on his ass. "

Amateur In Chief

Hey Genius, no war is "open-ended" that is won. It is only the stalemates that...oh, forget it.

Sheesh, this is our Harvard-educated President! Hardly a surprise though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Obama Corporate Relocation Watch

1. Tim Horton's
2. ENSCO International

(and these are only the ones that come across my radar based on what I cover)

N.B. Told ya' so.

Finally...Big Time CEO: Washington Is Killing Jobs

This is EXACTLY what I have been saying for months. It is not about stimulus or interest rates, it is about government with its foot on the throat of American business and pressing down harder every day. Note Farr said they are looking to expand (that means "hire") overseas. Where have I heard that before? This is so patently obvious it is amazing that the press can still waste its time interviewing clueless academic economists who look at aggregates and metrics and yadayadayada. Business confidence drives employment in this country and it is at an all-time low right now because they are being attacked by a powerful, adversarial political class in Washington DC.

...and good for David Farr for speaking out. This, clueless liberals (or "progressives" or whatever the hell else you are calling yourselves these days), is speaking truth to power.

Hey Larry Kudlow (and I know you're reading), here is a suggestion: dispense with the annoying filler debates between Steve Leisman and Michael Pento and book David Farr on your show to reprise this truth-telling for your audience.

EXTRA: Here is a different flavor, an excellent one at that, of the same theme.

UPDATE: I wonder if CEO David Farr will be invited to Obama's "jobs summit" along with those labor unions and non-profits!!!??? I'll say it again, this is what we get and what we deserve having elected a man with no private sector experience to address a serious economic challenge. Why anybody thought Obama had what it takes to address our economic challenges is a bloody mystery of historical proportions.

Thoroughly Predictable News Item of the Day

Time for another "I told ya' so". Two in fact. Today brings news that the big guns brought in to rescue firms for the benefit of the taxpayers who are now on the hook, say that they can't attract anybody to work for them given the government's vindictive and shortsighted pay czar bullcrap. Both Whitacre at GM and Benmosche at AIG point out the problem - no one wants to work hard for less than they are worth elsewhere and no one wants to work where the government is questioning and overruling every little decision.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Distilling the Evidence and Concluding In Plain Language

It is really hard to get away from the creeping realisation based on mounting evidence - the latest being this, added to all this, oh, and THIS and many others - that our President has a towering ego and not just a lack of sensitivity but a programatic desire to avoid sensitivity. In other words, our President is a giant ass.

UPDATE: and now this. Nothing like this just slips out, it was released with the intention of showing what Obama thinks of all this Berlin Wall stuff. Like I said, giant ass.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Big Gas Find in Peru

Add Peru to the growing list of countries that suddenly do not give a shit about global warming.

Pirates Scoff at Civilized World

"A BW Shipping VLCC came under fire on Monday in what naval forces described as 'the longest range of a pirate attack off the Somali coast ever'.

Automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades were fired at the 298,600-dwt BW Lion (built 2004) around 1,000 miles east of Somalia on Monday morning, EU NAVFOR wrote in a statement. "

Good thing that the civilized world got together to lick this problem...which is relatively easy to fix.

UPDATE: and the Chinese want to take over anti-piracy efforts...
China: Beijing Requests Lead Role In Anti-piracy Planning
Stratfor Today »-->November 9, 2009
"China has asked to take a leading role in coordinating international anti-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia, the South China Morning Post reported Nov. 9. Commander John Harbour, spokesman for the EU naval task force off Somalia, said China requested a chance to lead the monthly meetings held in Bahrain known as Shade -- shared awareness and deployments -- to plan and coordinate anti-piracy deployments. Harbour said a decision on the matter will be made at the next Shade meeting in early December."

Unsaid is that they probably think we are a bunch of weenies that don't know how to protect our interests...and they'd be right.

UPPDATE: Finally a decent idea...
EU: Spain Wants Blockade Of Somali Ports
Stratfor Today »-->November 12, 2009
Spain on Nov. 16-17 will call for EU foreign and defense ministers to concentrate naval forces on a blockade of three Somali ports that are used to launch pirate attacks, AFP reported Nov. 11, citing Spanish Defense Minister Carme Chacon.

Where have I heard that before?

Fatal Flaw of ObamaCare So Obvious Even A Harvard Economist Can Figure It Out

Martin Feldstein points out that ObamaCare's fatal flaw is exactly what I discussed recently.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"I Am Ready To Puke."

Great Healthcare Debate Resource

There are only two doctors currently serving in the US Senate.  Every Tuesday and Thursday they answer your questions about healthcare policy.  Check it out here.  This is an unbelievable resource for average citizens, but the YouTube view rates are appalling.  If you are concerned about healthcare in this country, watch these videos and share them with people you know.

Obama's Terrible Day ... and NBfPB Saw It Coming

Wow, President Obama has just had a really bad day...
- We kicked it off this morning with the release of the unemployment figures - 10.2% - which highlights the impotency of the Democrats signature approach to the economy, the "stimulus" (where he did not lead, but gave Pelosi carte blanche)
- Then his crappy reaction to the Fort Hood massacre was branded "frightening insensitivity" by the usually compliant MSM.  In a second attempt to address the situation, he urges Americans to not see what is plain to see before their very eyes by not "jumping to conclusions" (kinda like he did when Sgt. Crowley arrested his buddy Skip Gates).
- The new Congressman from NY-23 that the administration boasted about helping win, is made to look like a scumbag and a Pelosi lap dog in less than a few hours of being shown in.
- China has labeled us "protectionist" which represents the final warning before we are in a trade war, one of the single most damaging things that can happen to our economy right now.
- His "jobs saved or created" talking point continues to be debunked as complete garbage.
- It looks like the vaunted Copenhagen confab on global warming is officially a bust.
- After touting the AMA's endorsement of his healthcare reform plans, the AMA reveals that it is riven with internal debate and may rescind its endorsement.
- His signature issue, healthcare reform (again where he did not lead but gave carte blanche to Pelosi), is sure to be forever associated going forward with the at-the-same-time laughable and horrifyingly outrageous prospect of jail time for citizens that fail to purchase health insurance.
I'm sure I am missing something too, but man-oh-man what a crappy day.

On the flip side, a pretty good day for me.  I've been warning that we were treading dangerously close to potential trade conflict with China.  A year ago, I said that a global consensus on climate change was unachievable.  From the get go, I've said the stimulus would do nothing for the economy and we'd have 10+% unemployment.  I walked my readers through how doctors would assess the current healthcare proposals unfavorably.  I've said to be on the lookout for raw, naked tyranny embedded in the healthcare reform that Democrats will eventually concoct.  Finally, I've more or less said on numerous occasions that, based on character and qualifications, Barack Obama was not only not fit to lead our nation but was patently destructive to our national character.  In foreign policy I said he would be feckless and easily rolled by world leaders big and small.  Given everything, I concluded that, on present course, the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States will go down as an accident of history,  a sort of once-in-a-generation collective national brain fart.
Today, frankly, was about all the vindication I could have asked for.

What Do Honduras and Net Neutrality Have In Common?

Awhile back I mentioned a very large company CEO that got in a tussle with Obama's FCC Chairman who was pressing full ahead with crazy net neutrality rules that would be a job killer for the telecom infrastructure industry but was beloved by Obama Maoist cadres (and Google).  I since got a little more scuttlebutt that the industry went deep into the administration and showed them how nutty this was and got a deal to strip out the really economically stupid stuff and leave just enough so that it looks palatable to the lefty nuts.  Well, here is something that sheds some light on how this is playing out.  It's not outlandish to see a guy like Summers saying 'enough is enough, we're at 10% unemployment, we don't need to poke business in the eye yet again for a bunch of techno nutjobs.'  Sounds about right to me.  Where does Honduras fit in?  See this.

I see a pattern emerging.  Obama lets the Maoists and crazies run wild; at the last minute someone in the administration - after catching a ration of shit from people who actually know what they are talking about - says "Hold it, maybe we ought to think about this"; they stop and think and they eventually backtrack.  We should all be thankful for this, although it would great if we had an administration that didn't have us stepping in Maoist doodoo on every first move.


Empathy?  That's for Supreme Court Justices.  Not for Presidents!

One More Time...Why We Have 10% Unemployment

I am not happy about being right about this (nobody wants a healthy economy more than me).

Our problem isn't the presence, lack of, or size of any stimulus, interest rates, or any such obsessed over aspect of the macro economy.  Our problem, as I've been saying, is fear and uncertainty.  Washington DC and our President are running roughshod over American business like Sherman through the South.  Profit is viewed with hatred.  Businesses are either 1) scared they are going to get taken behind the woodshed like the credit card industry, 2) simply too uncertain about major changes shaping up in Congress, like cap and trade which would raise the cost base of nearly every company in America, or 3) fed up at the attacks and the anti-business rhetoric and standing pat.  American Business is hiding under their desks.  They could be hiring and growing but we elected fools who want to beat them into submission - it is as simple as that.  Enjoy your economy America.

P.S. As a grace note to all this, let me point out that many large companies, Cisco and IBM for example, have announced large increases in their stock buyback programs to the tune of billions of dollars.  This means that there is a higher return to shrinking their capital base than to expanding and hiring.  That is the heart of the structural problem that Washington and Obama have created.  Until that reverses, we won't see any meaningful job creation.

UPDATE:  Here is our President today on the subject.  I'm sad to say he doesn't get it, he is not within 100 miles of getting it.  Finally, this all leads to the irony of ironies - that a President (and his party) who is (are) supposedly the second coming for the working man and the bane of monied interests is pursuing policies that are a disaster for the working man and pretty darned OK for the money class.  By driving businesses and entrepreneurs into the bunker, the DC Dems are choking off job creation in the crib.  Nonetheless, companies have a base level of business and are eager to sell into a global market outside the US that is hungry for growth and economic health, thus earnings are hanging in there and expectations are rising.  This has propelled the stock market.  The working man is SOL but investors are doing OK so far in 2009.  Like I said, irony of ironies.  This a classic manifestation of the maxim (and I will probably butcher it) that it is not that liberals aren't knowledgeable, it's just that what they know is wrong.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

If This Is the Alternative, Give Me Greedy, Overpaid Bankers Any Day

Stop railing on bankers for a bloody second and focus in on where the disaster began and where it still continues apace, sucking in taxpayer dollars by the billions. Current tally: Accounting fraud, $100 billion in losses, $45 billion in tax payer bailouts, and no end in sight.

Without question the undeniable, undisputed, number one villian in this story is...this guy.

Slouching Toward Smoot-Hawley

More trade-war-inviting protectionist stupidity from the Obama administration. We're not fully there yet, but we're close. Sooooo dumb.

Speedreading Nita Lowey Loves Her Some PelosiCare

Attention residents of New York's 18th congressional district, which includes almost all of Westchester County: Your Congresswoman, Nita Lowey, is a superhuman over-achiever par excellence! She's read all 2000+ plus pages of Nancy Pelosi's healthcare bill. It was released only last week on October 29th and by this Saturday, but her office confirmed to me that she will have read the whole thing!!! That's 220+ pages of dense legalistic language she will have read, absorbed, and contemplated per day!!! Seriously, she's that good. Call her office, ask them for yourselves, it's true! (NY office: 914-428-1707; DC office: 202-225-6506) And they're still writing parts of it and adding to it as I write this, so Nita is still having pages piled in front of her. How can one person do it? Amazing!

Actually, I'm understating her awesomeness. Get this. She has still got a few more days to go and she's already decided she's gonna vote in favor of PelosiCare. That means she's already done reading it!!! She's unreal!!! WOW!!

Enough about Nita's superhuman powers of cognition. Get ready for even higher taxes my fellow Westchesterites. We pay the highest property taxes in the country, NY state has the seventh highest income tax rate in the country (and we're still bankrupt), we have that beloved mansion tax on real estate that hits 30% of Westchester homeowners, but Nitro Nita thinks we ought to pay more taxes for an awesome new government healthcare bureaucracy. Bring it on, Nita! What's another few thousand bucks to rich folks like us between good friends?!?!

Make your neighbors proud - forward this link to all of your neighbors so we can all be rightly proud that SuperNita is helping bring higher taxes, more government intrusion into our lives and unconstitutional usurpation of personal liberty!!

Smile Iran, You're On Candid Camera!

Wow, wow, and WOW. This post over at Powerline is not to be missed. Israeli commandos boarded and commandeered a cargo ship bound for Syria that was carrying weapons meant for Hezbollah. The video shows some initial footage of what the commandos found and more extensive footage of the seized weaponry unloaded at an Israeli port. This is the kind of superior chess that the Israelis are capable of playing that I alluded to way back, and it is a powerful message to the Iranians from the Israelis as to who has whose number. The Powerline guys make the right assessment of Obama's most recent statement on Iran in light of Iran getting caught sending illict weapons to a terrorist group. Meanwhile, the WSJ makes a similar assessment of these same words from President Obama in the context of a renewed push by the Iranian democracy movement protesting their regime.

On their own these are each quite an indictment, but taken together they represent a stunning illumination of the bankruptcy of Obama's foreign policy toward Iran. The Powerline guys show that in the context of the "great game", the hardscabble world of real politik and international strategic maneuvering, Obama is a rank amateur, a piker who doesn't even see how the game is played. The WSJ covers the moral dimensions of our approach to Iran, showing Obama to be a moral midget unwilling to take anything but the most laughable stand in favor of the values of democracy, self-determination and human liberty.

As I said...batting .0000.

UPDATE: Even the WaPo is saying that it is "amateur hour."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

27 !

Shocking Economic Cause & Effect of the Day

Democrats continue their assault on credit card companies with regulations and price controls, and...Citibank lays off 100 people in credit card marketing. Yeah, I know, shocker.  UPDATE: and credit shrinks...

Let me say it again, the reason we are not creating jobs is that Washington DC and the socialists in power have their boots pressed down on the neck of American businesses.

A Picture Worth 1,990 Pages Worth of Words

This is fantastic and a brilliant move in terms of contrast. Only problem? It is months late. Many precious months too late.

UPDATE: And it looks like there is alot of steak to go with that beautiful, restrained, modest sizzle.

Good Job Westchester! Now Let's Reload and Aim Big Again.

Political pundits are pointing to the myriad examples of voters rejecting ever-expanding government and the higher taxes that pay for it - obviously Christie in NJ but also in places like Colorado Springs. One important example they are missing is Rob Astorino's win in Westchester County, NY for County Executive. Westchester has the highest property taxes in the country. Political machine boss Andy Spano has increased government spending by $1 billion to $1.8 billion, more spending than 87 countries. Rob had a simple "Stop the Madness" message, and he won. Not just won, he smoked one of the most locally recognizable political names in the country. That Spano is so well known gives me hope that perhaps incumbancy has become an albatross. Sausage Factory Worker Nita Lowey, a Pelosi lap-dog if ever there was one, ought to take notice. You're next Nita!

Last Night Was Not a Wake-Up Call, It Was the Act of Waking Up

The Good Professor has a fairly typical take of the independent-minded, non-hyperpartisan reaction to last night's election results. He says that the Obama magic has faded. That's most likely true, but that is not the big story in my opionion. The big story is that anybody thought for a moment that it wouldn't fade. That anybody expected even the most basic level of governance from Obama, let alone monumental and transformative things, is the story of greatest import here. And it is not that the hope, dreams and expectations placed into the Obama vessel were so grand, it is that the vessel that is Obama is so small. I have said it before - in November of '08 I said we bought ourselves a pig in a poke. Later I said that disappointment and pain is what we deserve given that we elected a man of no consequence and no achievement to the highest office in the land. Why we expected a man with no discernable track record or proven record of leadership to lead and to achieve in the name of this massive and complex society is a story of historical proportions. Did we think that plucking just any man off the street - essentially what we did - to wield enormous power was wise? And a young man to boot. And a man who never held a job at a profit-making organization. Why did we think that the wisdom acquired over a long life and the first hand knowledge of commerce gained by private sector work somehow weren't relevant anymore? Why did we think that - after over 200 years of electing (with a few exceptions) staid, boring, but presumably wise, adults, who could draw to them the counsel and assistance of many more wise, older adults - we needed a rock star of relative adolescence? Why did we think that a man with no knowledge of the private sector would lead a mostly private sector nation out of a severe economic slump? Why did we think that a man who consorted with raving America-haters would inspire a mostly proud and patriotic nation to excellence? Why did we think that a man who views our role in the world as flawed would draw our allies nearer to us? Why did we think these things?

You know my answer. Delusion. We are more susceptible to it now, having lived for decades in a celebrity-soaked, instant gratification society. We've kept the wolves of reality at bay for so long, we are easy prey for delusion - that we can borrow and spend our way to prosperity, that taxing the rich will yield windfalls as if these people are willing and ready to just hand over their money, that reducing our defenses makes us more secure, that using less energy won't hurt our standard of living, that a prohibitive regulation will eliminate an anti-social behavior, that you can love jobs but hate job creators. Delusionary. All of it. Yet, we wallow in it. The culmination of our wallowing in delusion was the building up of a cipher on a cloud of dreamy unreality into some messianic figure. That edifice is now crumbling. From California's budget to Iran's nukes, from high and rising unemployment in the face of a trillion dollars in stimulus to improving healthcare by slashing doctors pay, to "jobs saved or created", the whole phony edifice of delusion we have constructed is starting to crack. It is not all Obama's fault, it is not even mostly his fault; this has been building for years, and he is merely the embodiment of it all.

This election wasn't about sending a message, it was about coming out of a state of delusion, about shedding, slowly, our warm, soft cloak of unreality. As will be the next election, and possibly even the next one after that.

Hanke Agrees With Me

Check this out, where a prominent economist agrees with me that 2007/08 was a panic more akin to 1907 than to the Great Depression. Again, you heard it here first!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ford Needs to Press Their Advantage

I have said it before here a few times - a long term strategic analysis can only lead to the conclusion that Ford and the UAW should part ways. The latest news from the front lines is that the UAW rank and file have rejected labor concessions that would put Ford on an equal footing with GM and Chrysler in terms of labor costs (unlimted government subsidies, well, that is another story). There is a little wrinkle here in that the UAW leadership was actually pushing for the better deal for Ford. I presume that the UAW brass know that if Ford is uncompetitive long term it will 1) not fare well and thus need a GM-style bailout, the public appettite for which is long gone, or 2) come to agree with Donny Baseball's analysis. The rank and file seem not to feel similarly. My guess is that they see Ford as doing OK so why should they give up anything.

My initial reaction is that Ford has an opening here. They can inflict a little pain on the rank and file, and say "See, you should have listened to your leadership" or they can go to the leadership and say "You can't deliver votes, so we're not going to meet you in the middle on your priorities." I don't quite see how Ford can use this situation to make the hyperleap to a UAW-free future, and perhaps Ford isn't even contemplating such a move. Nonetheless, given the opening they now have and the latest chill sent down the spine of organized industrial labor courtesy of Boeing (Alan Mulally is ex-Boeing, keep in mind), Ford is in a good position to take a bigger step in that direction. They ought to do so soon to take advantage of the conditions on the ground.

Monday, November 02, 2009


I have been mentioning how Paul Volcker has been used, abused and run over by Team Obama who stole his credibility. This CNBC interview segment is amazing. It lends credibility to my theory. The economic dream team was yet another fiction of the Obama candidacy.

UPDATE: Here is Maria Bartiromo's take on the whole thing. I find it hard to believe that Volcker would stand for being muzzled. What does he fear? He craps bigger than Obama, on the economy at least.

Sarbox Cynicism

In the early days of this blog, I commented alot on the wrongheadedness of Sarbanes-Oxley. Now, oddly enough, there seems to be an effort underway to get some firms exempted from this onerous and worthless law. But only some firms and not because the law stinks and it is the right thing to so, but because there is some patronage to dole out and votes to be bought. Sad. Our government creates the problems and then rides to the rescue granting exemptions from their laws in order ease burdens, all for a fee of course.

Stop the Madness - Dump Spano

Let start taking our country back one race at a time. Let's jettison the entrenched, the corrupt, and the spendthrift. Fortunately, in Westchester County we can do all three at once by booting the political machine boss that has given us the highest taxes in the country - Andy Spano.

Learn more about Rob here.