Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wall Street Wants It's Freedom Back
Friday, August 20, 2010
What DID You Expect Pelosi To Say
Campus Speech Codes = Hey Anybody Not Towing the Campus Lefty Line, Shut Up
Fairness Doctrine = Hey Talk Radio, Shut Up
McCain-Feingold = Hey Self-Funded Candidates, Shut Up
Disclose Act = Hey Corporations, Shut Up
Suing Arizona = Hey Border States, Shut Up
Gulf Drilling Moratorium = Hey Oil Industry, Shut Up
Journolist Pushes Tagging Barnes, Limbaugh et al. as racists = Hey Obama Opponents, Shut Up
Obama Saying "I Won." = Hey Republicans, Shut Up
"We have to pass this bill to see what's in it." = Hey, You People Interested In Deliberating Over Major Legislation, Shut Up
and now we have Hey Ground Zero Mosque Opponents, Shut Up!
So, what is new and/or shocking about this??
Thursday, August 19, 2010
All Together Now...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
A Boy Named Stagflation
UPDATE: David Branchflower agrees, tax cuts are our best chance right now.
Bill Gross Is Losing His Mind
“To suggest that there’s a large place for private financing in the future of housing finance is unrealistic,” Gross said today at a U.S. Treasury Department conference in Washington. “Government is part of our future. We need a government balance sheet. To suggest that the private market come back in is simply impractical. It won’t work.”
This is pure bonkers. Lending to credit-worthy homebuyers was a safe and profitable business for US banks for over a hundred years before the government got involved (that whole "credit-worthy" thing was the problem). It can be again, easily, we just have to get the government completely out.
I'm Still Self-Back Patting...But I Have a Serious Point
I don't have the time to make some penetrating social commentary about how a society where people get married and divorced within months chooses its leaders, but I don't even think that is the proper analysis. OK, maybe a little. I mean, sure, we should be more discerning when giving out the tremendously powerful office of President, but I think it was just a brain fart. Hopefully, as the world grows more dangerous, our prosperity languishes, and we start to tangibly lose our liberties, we'll learn a lesson or two and start to be more discerning with our votes and more circumspect in choosing our leaders. It's hard to say at this point, but if four years of Obama heightens our seriousness as a nation and raises our collective decision-making, enduring it may turn out to be worth it in the long run.
While the US Idles...Finding Energy Aplenty Abroad
Lightworker Steps In Poop...Again
UPDATE: Numbers 1, 4, 5, 6 and 10 here about sum up Obama for me. Number 6 is worth a cut and paste:
6. It's good for Muslims to build the GZM in New York, but not for Jews to build apartments in Jerusalem. Go figure.
UPPDATE: OK, Glenn Reynolds said what I really meant to say..."I’m actually still waiting for the evidence of that whole smart-as-a-whip thing." Yeah, me too.
Monday, August 16, 2010
...But Don't Call Them Death Panels
Stocks Are Bound Up In Politics
Remember what I said: Obama & Pelosicrats down = stocks up, Obama & Pelosicrats up = stocks down. Stocks are grinding upward in the face of lackluster economic data. What could be driving them higher? Maybe it the spike in Intrade's odds that the Republicans will take the House of Representatives in November. Like Mark Perry, I have no idea why the spike, but I believe it is highly relevant to stock prices.
On another note, Brian Wesbury points out the head fake that GDP might be giving us - robust consumer spending on imports actually makes GDP look worse, although the robust spending can hardly be negative. It is worth remembering that onerous compliance and regulatory burdens are a true cost, and when we layer on too many of these costs, imports of identical goods become more competitive instantly. If we cause compliance costs to rise more than the cost of transporting the imported substitute, then we hand the substitute an advantage. The foreign currency exchange rate doesn't have to change at all to tip the balance of competitive advantage in favor of imports over domestically produced goods. Add in an adverse foreign currency exchange rate move and it's a double whammy against US-made goods. That's what the Pelosicrats and Dear Leader are giving us - 4,000 pages of new regulations and a sinking dollar as the world gets hip to our fiscal recklessness - so we can expect imports to play an increasing role. The good news is that this obscures the good news in the economy providing a buying opportunity for those who can envision a new era of economic policy launching within the next few years.
Gates Makes It Official
NOAA Fakes Temperature Data
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Who Woulda Thunk It?
Friday, August 13, 2010
Speculating on the Economic Cavalry
Follow me here. Obamanomics has put the economy into a stall and a ditch. As I have said, there is nothing that can revitalize this economy save unabashedly pro-growth policies and this President will not deliver them. It is up to the next President. Who will that be? Well, I believe that the essence of American voters' desires come campaign time will hue more or less to this: "doesn't have to be a rock star, we just need somebody that knows what the f**k they are doing." The overwhelming concern will remain the economy and jobs. Who, out of the current prospective field will have the greatest claim to credibility on the economy? I've told you who and there is some evidence that things are looking up. Who served as a Romney advisor during the last campaign? Hubbard. Obamacare is also a sore spot with Americans and intelligent reform of this beast will be both an attractive campaign focus as well as a high legislative priority. Who wrote a book outlining a comprehensive vision for healthcare reform based on free-market principles? Hubbard. Who is ambitious and was palpably miffed when Ben Bernanke got the job he wanted? Hubbard. Conclusion: in a Romney White House it is virtually a lock that Hubbard would be offered either CEA Chairman or Treasury Secretary. If this happens and a Romney administration can implement a "shock and awe" economic revitalization successfully, he'll get a second term in 2016 and Hubbard can stay as long as he likes, do what he wants and have eight years to place his stamp on US economic policy. That is alot of influence.
Another economist to watch is John Taylor. Paul Ryan's star is on the rise and his fiscal roadmap stands a good chance of becoming the congressional Republicans' defining policy stance. Who has jumped in to defend it in the face of the inevitable attacks from the left? Taylor. Who knows a thing or two about monetary policy? Um, yeah. Who has served in the government before and is civic-minded enough to do it again? Talyor. Look for Taylor to take over for Bernanke in a Romney administration.
Get Me Charlie Rangel On the Horn!!
Kudos to Some Compadres
In honor of them I will note that the Bakken rig count is approaching its all-time high. They are drilling in North Dakota, baby!! Wow, bringing the nation much needed alternative media and much needed glorious hydrocarbon energy supplies!! Great folks up there in ND.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Anti-War Zealotry Becomes Foreign Policy Malfeasance
Iraq: Iran Provides Rebuilding Assistance
August 12, 2010
The Iraqi Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran’s new ambassador to Baghdad pledging support for rebuilding Iraq, AKnews reported on Aug. 12. Iran will assist Iraq in building roads, bridges and housing complexes and will encourage its companies to invest in Iraq, minister Bayan Diayi said. Iran will also hold advanced training courses for Iraqi engineers and experts. He said trade and economic ties will be strengthened and memorandums of understanding were signed with several major Iranian companies.
Didn't like the war? Great. Bully for you. But it's over now and Iraq is an emergent democracy and a vital country in a volatile part of the world. The United States of America ought to be their best damn friend in the world. Short of that, they'll just meld on in with the other sh*t shows in the region and become part of the typical scenery. Anti-war zealotry has become foreign policy malfeasance.
The Backlash Grows
Texas Defends Its Economic Interests
Fool Us Once, Shame On Us
Ajami gets it. As I have said many many times, the big story of our day (and the question that historians will struggle with) is not that Obama has failed and will ultimately fail, but that we expected anything less. Fool us once, well, you can see the result all around us. Fool us twice, well, that is a much much more serious problem...
UPDATE: and on a semi-related note, there is more class and decency on display here than the current occupant of the White House can ever hope to have. I agree with the sentiment expressed in the post's title.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Bernanke Drives Nail into Obama's Coffin
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Talking Head vs. Nobelist??
After Rats Leave, the Ship Still Likely to Sink
Monday, August 09, 2010
How To Avoid Printing Money
I have my doubts that we can do it, but it would look like this:
1) First, on discretionary spending, do this.
2) On revenue, allow unrestricted drilling for oil and gas in US waters and impose competitive royalties.
3) Sell all, non-essential federally-owned land.
4) On entitlements, means test out the richest citizens, say over $5 million in net worth. Allow the middle class to completely opt out, a) from Social Security in exchange for complete capital gains tax forgiveness on IRA and 401K distributions, and b) from Medicare in exchange for expanded Health Savings Accounts.
That's it. It is actaully relatively easy from a numbers perspective, but next to impossible from a political perspective.
Get Used to 10%+ Unemployment
Unless government decides to pull back - seriously pull back - from the beach head it has established in the economy over the last four years, then unemployment is going nowhere. Headline of 10% but underlying of 15%+ for years. That is a national tragedy, and it didn't have to be.
UPDATE: Via Instapundit, I see that the folks at Vanity Fair have adopted the 'Gulliver-tied-down-by-Lilliputian-strings' motif to describe Obama's failures. And the folks at Reason rightly use this to point out the disconnected cluelessness of the elites. Of course it is not Obama that has been tied down. Obama has operated unfettered and as a result the economy has been lashed down into stagnancy. But you knew this, because you are a normal sensible person and not a clueless elite and because the most brilliant blogger operating in the blogosphere brought you this analysis complete with Swiftian analogy this time last year. But the folks in the Conde Nast Tower, predictably, do not.
UPPDATE: CEOs pessimistic too.