Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lest We Forget What Appeasement Yields

Sunshine may be the best disinfectant, but that's not the concept that South Korea's previous government, a liberal government, was thinking of when it launched its "Sunshine Policy" toward North Korea. They meant "sunshine" in terms of Happy Happy Love Love - economic assistance, cooperation, engagement, etc. In the English-speaking West, our word for this is "appeasement." Of course, any warmed over appeasement strategy is good for a Nobel Peace Prize and that was just what Kim Dae Jung got. As for the nation of South Korea, it is clear now what they got while ex-President Kim is at home polishing his Nobel - they got a naval boat sunk, few missiles lobbed onto their soil, and about 50 of their countrymen killed. So it is up to the adults in the current South Korean government to clean up the mess and avoid a war. Another command performance by squishy lefties and the abominable Nobel Peace prize committee.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obama Buys 1 in 4 Hybrids

The government has bought 25% of all Ford and GM hybrids sold since he took office. Just add this to the billions in subsidies to consumers to buy this terrible technology, hundreds of millions in grants to companies to produce this technology, as well as the lost efficiency in striking crony deals to get corporations to support this technology. I have alot more to say on this, but fankly am too depressed and exhausted...after all, while the North Koreans are trying to start a war, our government is negotiating (and paying) an Afghani imposter. (Does anybody else have the same visions of Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting..."You're suspect! Yeah, you! I don't know what your reputation is in this town, but after the shit you tried to pull today you can bet I'll be looking into you. Now the business we have, heretofore, you can speak with my aforementioned attorney. Good day, gentlemen; and until that day comes, keep your ear to the grindstone.")

Mind-bogglingly Smart President Fuels Theme That His Defenders Work Overtime to Refute

I think there is a credible case to be made that Obama is a socialist as a matter of pure political idealogy. That is not to say that he is/was/will govern as a socialist in practical reality, just that theoretically, if given the ability to govern as he sees fit without restraints, we would see doctrinaire socialist policies from him (as opposed to the quasi-socialist policies we currently see from him). Yet the left goes into apoplexy when you posit this. They rush out fevered dismissals and typically arrogant "listen to the rubes again with their crazy theories" defenses of the Lightworker. Why? Because being a socialist is still - broadly speaking - a damaging political label to wear in America. So let me ask you this. If your opponents are attempting to make a damaging politcal label stick on you, and your advocates devoutly claim it isn't true and go to great lengths to portray the attacks as emanating from the fever swamps, why would you, even jokingly, fuel the fire with references to affection and/or interest in one of the world most visible and controversial socialists? This is as if Bush would make off hand remarks that oil extraction from Iraq isn't going as fast as would have envisioned post invasion. Pure, distilled stupidity.

Again, still waiting for the evidence...and waiting...

Best Snark of the Day

"Smart Diplomacy Meets Fake Taliban" OK, when will liberals just dump the arrogance and the pretense that they are smarter than us all?

Also, I might note that it is especially depressing to note that just as the Korean peninsula hots up with artillery fire our diplomatic efforts on a major foreign policy front are revealed to be not just amateurish but laughable...downright and undeniably laughable. (Not inconsistent with their approach to Israel and the Palestinians. Or their debut foreign policy crisis handling in Honduras. Or Iran. Or Poland/Russia.)

Please note for future reference that I have laid down two analytical themes recently: 1) Presidents whose domestic agenda is dead or stalled turn to foreign policy, 2) the world for the next few years at least will look a mess due to calculations and plans laid in the last few, so trouble is baked in the cake. Conclusion, foreign policy is Obama's final opportunity to pass the "job interview" for re-election having failed the first - the economy. So despite what Ray Fair has to say, Obama faces an uphill struggle, his inherent inexperience and instincts to grab the wrong levers will handicap his performance in this aspect of the job interview. With a poor record on economic policy and foreign policy, Obama stands very little chance of re-election.

GOP: Boehlert All Wet, Stay Very Skeptical

Nominally Republican former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert hits the op-ed pages of the Wash Post to lecture fellow Republicans about not being sufficiently convinced of climate change. He says that facts are facts and Republicans need to get on board. Let me offer a rebuttal:
Hogwash. Poppycock. Bollocks. And all the rest. Just because Boehlert sat in Congress for a few years and heard every entrenched, pro-government argument for action on climate change, doesn't mean that this is "science that we can't ignore." Boehlert has been a victim of selection bias. Sitting in the government, you are mostly only going to hear the devout climate change, pro-government stance. Skeptics don't get a hearing in Congress or in the establishment science institutions. The truth is there is no scientific consensus on climate change, attested to by the 31,000 scientists that have signed the Oregon Petition. Furthermore, the revelations last year about the dubious scientific methods practiced by the CRU at East Anglia ought to instill even deeper skepticism. But even more so, what is never discussed in the debate is the full extent of the theory of global warming and the scientific basis for each element of the theory. If measured temperatures were definitively increasing, this alone is not justification for drastic corrective policy reaction. Embedded in the theory are really five questions that science needs to answer definitively to justify the unprecendented actions being proposed. The five questions are:
1) Is the planet warming? 2) Did we cause it? 3) Will this have catastrophic effects? 4) Can we reverse the damage? 5) Can we do so without creating other serious problems?

I would argue that science hasn't even given us proof of "yes" on question number 1, but I will concede that point to get on to the more important point that science hasn't even come near addressing questions 2-5. The "yes" to number 2 rests on a very shaky theory and "yes" on 3 and 4 is the rankest speculation. On 5, we also have no idea, but there is very little reason to believe in a "yes". So when you talk about the theory of global warming and the science, you have to talk about the whole theory and the state of the science as it pertains to each question. Viewed comprehensively, the science really is nowhere, it ought to barely register. Until they can delve much deeper and start delivering some concrete answers on 2-5, we ought to give global warming policy initiatives very short shrift indeed.

Told Ya'

I said Obama would hit the 30s and now a mainstream polling firm has confirmed my prediction. This is not the first poll to confirm this, but Zogby is a biggie.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Media Starts to Cover for Warmist Agenda Crater

I predicted that the upcoming global warming confab in Cancun would be a bust (just like I predicted Copenhagen would be a bust), and now the media is providing the reality obscuring cover stories to spare the embarrassment. The jist of this Bloomberg story is that Cancun is just one step in a long process, contrary to the hype preceding Copenhagen, where that confab was our last hope, that the urgency couldn't be higher. Now that success (by their definition, mind you) will not be forthcoming, the urgency meme is out the window.

Obama Turns to Foreign Policy

Last week I noted the well-established historical pattern that when a US President's domestic agenda craters, he tuns to foreign policy to make his mark and demonstrate authority. President Obama is no different in this regard, and he is turning to foreign policy, I am sure to carry out his own policy desires, but clearly also to score a much-needed 'win'. He needs a win and the Wash Post of all places reveals how elusive such a win might be. But Obama is desperate. Thus the cynical bribe to get Netanyahu to preserve the "peace talks" for even just three months and the one-sided treaty with Russia that gives them the store and treats them like an equal partner on the world stage. I am sure that the MSM will portray Obama's foreign policy moves as a brilliant program vying with the harsh realities of a tough and often nonsensical world, but the truth is anything but. The world makes alot of sense most of the time and now is no different: nations pursue their interests; strength seeks to take advantage of weakness; chaos exploits a vacuum when order or leadership breaks down or sleeps. However as with the economy, Obama is showing his inability to make the world bend to his will, largely because he has his hands on the wrong levers. Every nation that has had difficulty pursuing its interests that conflict with US aims has seen an opening in the coming of Obama and they are making hay as the sun shines. Russia particularly sees a limited (but glorious) window of time where it can punch above its weight and secure normally unlikely gains by exploiting US flakiness. It is unlikely that Obama can secure a true foreign policy win in this environment. The only "wins" are likely to be giveaways that can be spun as wins for MSM consumption, which are not wins at all for the interests of the US. One can only hope that the desperation only goes so far or that the potemkin foreign policy victories are only so damaging.

UPDATE: The Fed is wrong about many things, so President Obama better hope it is wrong about this.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun: More Government A-holes Run Amok!!

I don't know if this story is just another garden variety "government a-holes run amok" story or whether it is something slightly different and, well, slightly delicious. Since firefighters are big big union folks who programatically support big government liberals who institute bigger government that increasingly intrudes on people's lives and liberties, you could title this story "Big government liberalism, pushed and pushed by unionized public employees, bites unionized public employees in the ass." Although not being able to have a chili cook-off is a small price to pay for $1 million+ retirement and healthcare benefits and loophole-laden system that allows double dipping at public expense. I guess I don't blame them for making that kind of a trade. Still, the audacity of wanting to rape the taxpaying public and expecting their chili cook-offs!!

Two Blunders With a Common Thread

Our "true intellectual" President, our steady, rational executive, our Lightworker has let his cabinet ministers plunge his administration too deep into a morass yet again. After tripling down on the destructive drilling moratorium which has cost several thousand jobs and will send gas prices much higher in the coming months, the smartest President ever has allowed Janet Napolitano to unleash a furious publish backlash against a government taking its role to extremes of adsurdity. Both examples show one, glaring flaw in decision-making that ought to, again, expose the lie that these people are smart (in fact the mistake is so elementary as to militate for the opposite conclusion, they these people are irretrievably stupid): inviting enormous costs for negligible gains. The drilling moratorium, as I have outlined, was a terrible trade, sacrificing thousands of jobs, economic activity, and putting gas prices on an upward path for almost zero gain in safety. Now Big Sis Napolitano is enraging the populace and discouraging air travel for what has to be almost a zero gain in security. Furthermore, in the midst of this fundamentally bad trade, of course, our government just wouldn't be our government without lacing the story with a thread of the mendacious or tragicomic. In the case of the drilling moratorium, the White House doctored a report to suppress the scientific conclusion that a moratorium was imprudent and unjustified. In the TSA case, our government defiantly stands by its ridiculous policy towards nearly all of us and yet can't bring itself to say that it emphatically won't give Muslim women wearing an hijab a pass. Compounding a fundamentally bad decision with a dose of the farcical - your government at work.

This Just In !!

China is opening its markets only temporarily in order to steal technology and know-how. I'm shocked. Shocked!!! And here I thought these Communists who need to export to feed billions of people were genuinely committed to their customer relationships with more advanced economies!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Gratuitous Self-Back Pat

Again, you heard it here first folks. The Ben Bernank's easy money is going overseas.

Buffett In "No-bama" Dis? NBFPB Readers Know the Answer.

The WSJ finds it very interesting that Warren Buffett's open "thank you" letter to Uncle Sam did not mention President Obama. Readers of NBfPB (all 25 of you) will not find it that shocking. I have chronicled Buffett's subtle public disapprovals Obama's economic policy here, here, and here and extrapolated that Buffett feels his credibility has been abusively co-opted by Obama for the purposes of getting elected. This view is supported by the fact that the exact same thing appears to have happened to Paul Volcker, who seems, like Buffett, none too pleased and unafraid to lay out the clues for us. (A less charitable analysis is that Warren Buffett has terrible political instincts - and is understandably reluctant to admit it - a view supported by the fact that Charlie Munger all but comes out and says that from time to time.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One More Country Not Interested in Climate Change Deal

Colombia is investing $80 billion over the next 10 years to develop hydrocarbons. Add Colombia to the list of countries that will block anything that inhibits long term demand for hydrocarbons, e.g. a global climate change treaty.

They're Baaaaaccccckkkkkk...

I have talked about the role of the "job market vigilantes" but I have said that we need them as well as the "bond market vigilantes" to really put a brake on destructive government policy. Well, according to Scott Grannis, about as astute an observer that I am aware of, the bond market vigilantes are now officially back in action. I was wrong to focus on profligate spending, or creditworthiness, as the factor that would awaken the BMVs. It is inflation that gets them stirring or maybe the combination of the two. In any event, the BMVs are now calling the shots.

The Rot of Collectivism

Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek hones in on exactly the same Michael Lewis passage that I did a few months ago to make, essentially, the same point. It's unlikely Russ would have ever encountered my post or been ungracious enough to crib without attribution if he did, so I can only assume that great minds think alike and I am in good company here.

Unappreciated Problem Starting to Get Pretty Darned Appreciated

I have chronicled the mounting list of problems - mostly of their own making - that the Obama administration faces: a persistently stagnant economy, increasingly independent Congressional Democrats (and alot less of them!), a less and less fawningly loyal MSM, and a crumbling electoral coalition among them. One aspect that I have made mention of as an underappreciated problem for the Obama administration is the goings-on throughout the the world. The bad guys have been emboldened, the good guys discouraged and the opportunities for friendship and productive cooperation squandered. Quite predictably, the world looks a mess and the ugliness promises only to get more ugly now that Obama has had two years to entrench the view that he is either a pushover or doesn't care. Bret Stephens illuminates this state of affairs in his column today, "Obama's Air Guitar" (great analogy!). So world affairs could be one more impediment to the era of Hopeandchange as we move into Act II of our great experiment in mismatching qualities and qualifications to the requirements of the most important office in the land. Or it could be nothing, as Presidents who lose control of their domestic agenda invariably turn to foreign policy to get things done and demonstrate leadership and grasp. Obama clearly now is turning to foreign policy to show that he is relevant and perhaps he can address the growing global instability born of multipolarity. Or perhaps, like with the US economy, he will prove to be either not up to the task or extremely productive at pulling the wrong levers. On present course it does not look good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Once Again, You Heard It Here First

Friday, November 12, 2010

Those of Us Who Saw Clearly

Well well well. People of the left are starting to claim that they saw it all coming regarding our laughable Commander in Chief. Maybe some of them did, but clearly not enough of them and they were awful mum for the past two and a half years. Anyway, no doubting that we saw it all and went on receord to boot - November 2008..."pig in a poke."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Democrats' Insanity Writes Itself; Henninger Writes It Artfully

Dan Henninger's Thursday column today is a shining piece of clarity and insight as to why the Democrats find themselves in the situation they are in, and relatedly why we find ourselves in the situation we are in. Readers may not find it very original - I'm not too humble to say that you could've cobbled together this Henninger column with bits and pieces of numerous NBfPB posts throughout recent years - but reading what we all know to be true is still worthwhile when crafted by the pen of a Pulitzer-winning columnist.

I've dubbed the progressive Democrats that have lead us these past few years without a care or thought about the private sector the "Pelosicrats" and while you all know what I mean, this is rather an inelegant formulation as it relies on the personal. Henninger tags these progressives with their own sheer stupidity and disconnectedness and labels them, artfully, the "1099 Democrats" after that stunningly clueless, irresponsible and destructive provision of the ObamaCare bill. (Exhibit B for Henninger, is something you've read about here too, the drilling moratorium.) I've stated that, at the onset of the financial panic induced recession, American business needed a hand up but what it got was a boot on the throat. Henninger says that these 1099 Dems have been lobbing Molotov Cocktails at business. Though the point is the same, I like his imagery. I've told you that in reaction to Obama and the Pelosicrats war on business, businesses have been a) moving work and money overseas, b) using their cash to buy back shares, also known as shrinking, c) hiring only temp workers where there is room to hire in the US, and d) generally cowering in fear and hoping for the day that these jokers are gone from the halls of power. Henninger cuts to the quick - those "rich" put the great American job-creating machine in idle, give money to Karl Rove, and take the Progressive Destructors head on. That's what the class warfare gambit gets you, people who actually fight back and untold hours and dollars sucked up into a political fight rather than toward productive ends that just might get us out of this mess.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boehner & Co. Best Be Focusin' On Energy...

Is the insanely stupid, idealogically driven drilling moratorium starting to bite? Last week was a bad week for gas prices, up 2.1% nationally, just under a third of the total rise from a year ago. Who knows where to lay the blame, Ben Bernanke sure isn't helping, but my feeling is that both Obama's moratorium and Bernanke's QE2 are starting to bite. It's a wonder gas prices have only increased this much, which tells me that more is coming, as we've discussed - no secret here. Cold weather could bite too as heating oil stocks appear to be inadequate.

While much of this is out of his control, Obama has baked himself a turd pie with what portion is within his control. Republicans ought to be careful too, when energy costs start to bite, people are just going to get angrier. News that the deficit commission is thinking about a new gas tax is a huge political backfire for the political class of all stripes. If I were John Boehner, I'd be doing anything I could to get energy flowing again - removing regulatory hurdles, gumming up anything that Obama's EPA wants to do, even going so far as to propose reduced taxes anywhere possible on the chain from drill bit to gas pump. The new Republican house majority shouldn't want to be caught on the wrong side of rising consumer energy prices, so better get some ideas flowing and votes teed up PDQ. Inaction will be quite costly.

Interesting Tidbit in GM's Quarterly Report

"GM has reduced U.S. hourly labor costs to an estimated $5 billion this year, from $16 billion in 2005, Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said in the roadshow presentation. " (Full article here.) An $11 billion dollar swing in labor costs...that's how much the UAW chiselled out of shareholders' hides annually before they went on to get the taxpayers to bailout their pensions.

Obama's Green Radicals Trample on the Science

I knew that Carol Browner was behind Obama's super-dumb decision to impose a drilling moratorium in the wake of the BP/Deepwater Horizon spill. What was that about "facts and science and argument"? Yet another bald-faced lie behind the Obama administration.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Checking In On the Austere

Just in case you were wondering...austerity still not killing UK economy. Sorry Keynesian lefties.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Neophyte's Curse

I have been saying it and saying it, Obama's critical flaw - for him politically, not for us as citizens as those are too many to list - is the utter lack of broad or deep networks on which to draw support, expertise, and, as is needed now, patience. As a newcomer and as inexperienced as he was, he did not have a life's worth of connections, friendships, and associations on which to draw to sustain his administration. I oversimplified it thusly: Obama doesn't own the Democratic Party, he's only renting it. As a rising star out of nowhere, everything was borrowed, from Warren Buffett's and Paul Volcker's credibility to his vast Clintonite advisory team. Everything was borrowed and thus he, and his Presidency, was on borrowed time. Keep performing and the loans won't be called, stumble and it all gets yanked back. I have analyzed the debate that has to be raging now within the party, and today Politico weighs in on the subject with a stark assessment.

By the Left's Standards...

We Should All Fear the Words "Bond Buyers' Strike"

I've commented to friends and readers alike that I think our political system cannot handle our fiscal problems, that the solution will be imposed on us by the bond market. (I now update that thesis in light of Chris Christie in NJ and Jerry Brown in California. I've softened a little bit. I now believe that, in the typical case, where the political system can't fix itself, the bond market will do it for them.) Fortunately, this will play out in Europe first so that we might have a nice sneak peak and the opportunity to draw an object lesson. Witness Ireland. As bond buyers balk, the options start to narrow and the situation looks more intractable. This will be a virus (not in the sense that it is bad, but in the sense that it can spread quickly). If it is happening in Ireland now, it can happen in California starting now.

Awe-Inspiringly Intelligent President Shocked to Learn that VERY Unpopular Legislation Carried Large Political Cost

Same awe-inspiringly intelligent President who was shocked to find that government can be inefficient and slow.

Let's Spread That Game Ball Wealth...

Boy-o-boy, I am really at a loss. How do you give out a game ball when your team plays a complete game, when everything is firing on all cylinders? Decisions, decisions. The defense played great, but Seattle is no offensive powerhouse and yet again Perry Fewell's hurt squad faced a down roster QB (although they didn't knock the starter out this time). (BTW, Perry Fewell is emerging as a rising star among coordinators in the NFL. We had a top defensive unit under Steve Spagnuolo, a laughable one just year later under Bill Sheridan, and we're back in top form under Fewell. Um, think coaching might matter?) Anyway, the G-men put up 41 points so the offense ought to get the game ball, right? The combination of Manning to Nicks is simply wreaking havoc on opposing defenses this season and yesterday was no exception, but both players have had their spot next to the Trenton Thunder already this season. I even recognized the O-line within recent weeks. I gotta look to spread the wealth around a bit, we are, after all, still in the age of Obama. So, well deserved #10 and #88 (and the O-line that makes it all happen), but at some point, haven't you earned enough game balls? Thus we are going a little off the reservation with this pick, but it is not undeserved at all...quite the contrary. Given we've racked up two 40+ point games in a row we ought to recognize the coaches, so without further ado...Kevin Gilbride, offensive coordinator, enjoy your spot next to the Guv.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Michigan Voters: We're Sick of Being France

Check this out. It is simply amazing what has happened in many states. What a stark example in Michigan. I guess they were tired of being France. More here.

The Moderate Democrat - Can They Rebuild Him?

Scouring the press and the blogoshpere for lefty Monday Morning quarterbacking, I am thrilled to see that the left is misdiagnosing their problems and learning the wrong lessons. When the Republicans lost their majority in 2006 and were banished to the wilderness in 2008 there was a bit of a tug of war between interpretations. There was the "Bush killed us" school of thought competing against the "We got corrupted, we went native (in DC)" school of thought. While there was some truth to the former, the latter was the real reason and the proper conclusion of any introspection and the side that Republicans ultimately came down on (so far). Thus began the process of rebuilding what can be dubbed "the Real Republican." But the "Bush killed us" justification was clearly the easier route to take and probably would have won the day causing them years of focusing on the wrong problem making this week's win highly unlikely. How did Republicans avoid this pitfall and self-diagnose correctly? Answer: the party faithful beat them over the head and linked with other swaths of society to send the message. Trust me, the Republicans weren't smart enough to get it right on their own, but years of people sending back fundraising mailers with "STOP SPENDING!!!!" in thick black magic marker, the "not one more dime" movement, the Porkbusters movement, the Club for Growth, and ultimately the Tea Party movement, finally seemed to do the trick. People concerned about the direction of the Republican Party chose to reform it from within, to forcibly yank it back from oblivion. Republican faithful told their leaders, "it is most definitely is the policies - medicaid expansion, TSA creation, earmarks, spending, Harriet Myers, the Bush/Pelosi stimulus, and TARP. It took alot of effort, but the Republicans have pulled out of the nose dive in just four years.

Now, granted I am not in on the progressive scene, but I see none of this happening on the left. There doesn't appear to be any tug of war, there is only one theme - voters are dumb and Obama didn't communicate his awesomeness properly. Nobody is saying, "we ought to rethink our policy agenda." And I am thrilled to see it. This guarantees years of wasted time and futile efforts. Obama can redouble his communication efforts all he wants and it won't do a lick of good, it might even add to the damage that the Democrats have suffered. There is no demand for what he and the Pelosicrats are selling and what they stand for. The sooner they realize this, the sooner they'll be competitive again. Don't hold your breath, the Blue Dogs have been wiped out and the Democrat caucus is as far left as ever. The Moderate Democrat will have to be built up again from scratch, marketed and sold along totally different lines. That will take time, but first it must take desire.

The Panic of 2008 Is Over

The lead page one story in the WSJ highlights the return of the stock market to pre-crisis levels.

This recovery is almost exactly on time and as expected if you saw the financial crisis as predominantly a financial panic of the 1907 ilk and not as a classic 20th century cyclical recession. Some of us did and the difference was making your money back (and then some, hopefully), versus staying wiped out or halved or wahtever. Obviously nobody from 1907 is still around and almost nobody understands the dynamics of the panics of old, we are steeped in modern age of business cycle recessions, so it took an intellectual leap to adhere to the "financial panic" paradigm and make your investment calls based on that. It would've been nice if our policy makers understood the nature of the crisis in order to make the appropriate policy remedies and avoid inappropriate policy remedies, but it's too late for that.

AP Spins It Wrong

The AP is keen to spin the meme that Michelle Bachmann is viewed as a liability by incoming House Speaker John Boehner because of all that Tea Party taint. Not true. Bachmann is up against Jeb Hensarling, who is a long time stalwart of fiscal conservatism in the House. Hensarling is in the mold of Coburn, Pence, Shadegg and he has served his time, working in the trenches. If Boehner is cool to Bachmann it is only because he wants the deserving Hensarling in that post.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's a Comin'

Here's crude oil futures, folks:

Remember, between Ben Bernanke and the drilling moratorium, this is just the beginning. i don't need to remind you what $4 gas and 10% unemployment means, do I...
President. Fork. Stick. Done.

Shedding Political Immaturity in the Digital Age

They say everything happens alot faster these days, right? True indeed. It used to take ten, fifteen, twenty years before most starry-eyed, wet behind the ears younglings evolved into hard working tax targets navigating the undecipherable tax code created by our benevolent, caring, and highly intelligent government. Now, that happens alot quicker... “A lot of them are between 18 and 21 and are multimillionaires,” said Johnston. “They all get irritated that they have to pay all these taxes. Yeah, well, welcome to the real world.”

Stupidest Lefty Post-Election Navel Gazing of the Day

It's a tie.

Tied for first - Obama saved capitalism, but lost anyway. I am a crypto-capitalist. I all but have a shrine to Milton Friedman in my basement. And I can say, authoritatively, Obama did not save capitalism. In fact he has pressed his foot hard down on the windpipe of capitalism since the day he took office.

Tied With - Democrats talked over our heads, so we didn't get it. This is dumb on the face of it, but even dumber in that this is a persistent delusion of liberals that has existed since the beginning of time and that any reasonable, reflective adult ought to have jettisoned long ago. Anyway, I could go on about the coarse "punish your enemies" rhetoric or the facile "driving the car" analogies or the tired racialist appeals, but let me leave it to Don Boudreaux for the, of course, more elegant take down.

UPDATE: A loyal reader makes a great point...Obama's economic team (although still trying to talk over our heads - or hide their message - with nice-sounding, academically-tinged language) basically told us, "We don't know a damned thing that would help." That's talking over our heads? Obama's top economist saying "I don't know."??? Yes, quite a penetrating, hard-to-unravel message that.

UPPDATE: Wait folks, we may have a last minute entry that could contend for the top spot. The front page, 300 point red font headline over at the Puffington Host posits that five, count 'em...five, Dems that stood for re-election having voted not to extend unemployment benefits past the already unprecedented 99 weeks, lost because of that stance. Really? Well, we all know, from constant say-so by the leftosphere and the MSM, that people who vote Republican are too stupid to get down into the policy weeds - down below healthcare, the economy, the deficits, the black guy in the White House - to focus in on something like unemployment benefits. Thus it must've been Democrats that honed in on this particular issue. So, are we to believe that in their anguish over limiting the government cheese to only 99 weeks, typical Democratic voters were driven into the arms of Republicans? That's a stretch in my book. Maybe this is a better analysis. Or maybe not, who knows really but we need to blame somebody...I know, let's blame it on the gays!

Will Libertarians Stay In the Tent Now?

Prof. Glenn has a VERY interesting comment from a reader here that I will cut and paste. Voila:
"I was a three term Republican Precinct Chairman from George W’s first run for Governor until I retired from active politics due to my health. I say this because I have a certain amount of experience in working politics.
During those three terms I noticed who did what. The Country Club Republicans put up most of the money and provided meeting places. Important.
The religeous right provided a lot of work. It was they that walked precincts and they that worked phone banks. Very important.
The libertarians talked. The libertarians also complained. They were always too busy taking and complaining to do any work.
Perhaps things are different now, I don’t know. I have been retired for twelve years. Yet from what I have read, it’s still the same, the RR folks working, the CC folks contributing and the libertarians talking about how the other two groups are RUINING EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
I would like to say that this has changed for I have a pretty big “leave me alone” streak when it comes to politics. I got involved through my work with a shooting club, the 2A is my big issue. Yet I see no trace of a change. The libertarian wing will suck the hind tit until y’all stop talking and start working."

Although I don't see myself as part of either group, I would also add another virtue of the Country Club Republicans and the Religious Right is that they don't easily get bamboozled by slick politicians. Obama got elected because core traditional Republicans stayed home AND (nobody talks about this) what I call the Great Libertarian Flake Out.

Caution on Alaska Senate Seat

Do not assume that the 41% to 34% lead that "write-in" has over Republican Party nominee Joe Miller is a sure thing for Lisa Murkowski. I'm betting that there are a fair amount of votes for "Heywood Jablowme", "John Meoff", "Oliver Klozoff" and "Hugh Jass" and others in there...

It's Official

Liberalism in a nutshell is official. Like I said after visiting SF in September, you can literally engage in S&M in the streets, but you can't have a Happy Meal.

Gimme the Kosher Chicken!!

Holman Jenkins cites a finance professional who thinks that the Supreme Court will save us from ObamaCare. Jenkins labels this a deus ex machina strategy. Maybe, but I see it as the second coming of the Kosher Chicken!!

Does Anybody Believe His Crap Anymore?

The guys at Say Anything translate Obama's election post-mortem press conference for you in case you aren't quite adept yet at understanding Dear Leader's pronouncements. One thing he said was this: "That’s why I’m eager to hear good ideas where ever they come from, whoever proposes them." Um, sorry, you've tried that one before (fifth paragraph) right before you launched all of that "back of the bus", "you can't have the keys" rhetoric.

This Won't Help An Already Bad Situation

Why does an American President with an approval rating in the 40s, and who just lost his party's majority in the House, continue to act like a modern day Pharaoh? Does he think that by excessive shows of the perogatives his office he will convince people that he is worthy of the office? Odd logic.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

More Waking Up

As I said, regardless of what happens broadly, I would've been edified simply by an Allen West win and a Phil Hare loss. I am indeed edified.

Cogitating over yesterday's electoral results, I come to the exact same conclusion that I came to already once, so I will link to this again. It is still the correct analysis.


How long before smug liberals realize that they have another conservative woman whose hairdo they can make fun of...? One, two, three...

CA: Oblivion Is Good Enough for Government Work

OMG, Jerry Brown actually just said in his acceptance speech that "it's good enough for government work." Now, I've heard that expression all my life and it means one thing - that government is half-assed and fucked-up. So, the new Governor of California just said, you just voted for fucked-up and half-assed. Simply amazing. Prediction: California goes bankrupt within three years.

New York voters, as well, opted for the same, old corrupt Albany retreads that have been cratering the state for years. Just like California, New York is an utter disaster and voters don't seem to be phased, they voted for more of the same. Illinois too, it seems, kept the status-quo. As far as the states go, it seems that the worse your problems, the less the voters seem to care.
NY and CA deserve what they get.

It's Not Him, It's Us

BTW, Bret Stephens's column today is great...and, it also sounds a helluva' lot like this

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hoping I Have Plenty To Drink To...

Tonight I will be drunkblogging the election returns without the blogging part...

Here's what I'm looking at. While there are so many important races, I've boiled it down to a few key ones. The first, here on the east coast, is the Barney Frank v. Sean Bielat race and Allen West's race in FL. If Barney goes down, it looks like the party could get ragin' early and may well get out of hand. (A Barney loss and an Allen West win and I'll be passed out on the floor by 10:30.) If Barney holds on, it could still be a great night, but we'll have to turn our focus to the midwest, where the defeat of Phil Hare in IL and Jim Oberstar in MN could re-energize the flow of adult beverages. The grand finale, though, is obviously the West where I'll be watching rocket scientist Ruth McClung's race against La Raza scumbag Raul Grijalva, Dino Rossi v. Patti Murray, and, of course, Joy Behar's Bane Sharron Angle's ultimate underdog bid in Nevada where she's got to win and exceed the margin of fraud.

Just as the Iraqis sported their purple fingers to signal how they relished their democratic franchise, I will be sporting a purple body part - my tongue, since I have selected a few bold, inky, young Cabernets to enjoy - to relish the spectacle of American democracy at work. My hope is that this exercise will result in a few edifying outcomes: 1) that we can and will rebuke those who disrespect, disdain, and ignore the constitutionality of our republic, 2) that we can indeed recognize and choose the most honorable and upstanding among us to be our representatives, and finally, 3) that the profoundly creepy creepy creepy cult of personality that has grown up, so implausibly, around a shockingly unqualified, inconsequential, and amateurish man will largely be behind us. I'll definitely drink to all that!

UPDATE: Barney holds on, looks good for Allen West and bad for Phil Hare. Going OK.

UPPDATE: Amazing factoid, which stuns me...300,000 people in South Carolina actually voted for Alvin Greene.

UPPPDATE: Members of what I would call the "Jackass Caucus" who've gone down in flames - Grayson, Etheridge, Hare, Baron Hill, Kanjorski, Pomeroy, Shea-Porter, (and I include Charlie Crist as an honorary member of the JAC)...maybe more

UPPPPDATE: "Obama's favorite Republican" Joe Cao looks like he's going down...

UPPPPPDATE: California is bloody hopeless, so also is Connecticut, but not as hopeless as California, which is truly hopeless...Jerry F**king Brown, are you kidding me!!!!!! This is so true...

UPPPPPPDATE: Wow, a five seat gain for the GOP in my home (but not native) state of New York...crazy.

Colombian Tale of Beauty

While we await results of the day's electoral contests, here is a story to set your hearts aflutter...I must admit, I'm a little verklempt it is

Defeated commies and oil production

UPDATE: Actually similar things, kind of, going on in ... North Dakota

Watching and Waiting

The stock market of the last few years has been as volatile as it's ever been, and yet today it's as calm as a lily pond, do you think it's waiting for something...??

Nobody Washes a Rented Political Party

Via Powerline, I see that the estimable Peter Wehner agrees with me, that Dear Leader is going to have big problems within his own party. Let's remember, Barack Obama doesn't own the Democratic Party, he's only renting it. With neither broad or deep connections as he was catapulted to prominence, he was forced to borrow the loyalties of those whose ultimate allegiance lies elsewhere. Those allegiances will revert as the Obama experiment craters. Just as nobody washes a rented car, Obama didn't wash his rented party, he just enjoyed the joyride. The owners are about to take back their car, wash it and move on.

UPDATE: ...and more stories like this won't help. The guy just doesn't have a clue and/or his megalomania is out of control. Let's review...after just getting severely rebuked at the polls, in large measure due to citizens' concerns over government profligacy, you take a wildly, out-of-all-proportions expensive trip that is not a critical meeting over some pressing global issue but merely a goodwill tour...??
Like I said folks, still waiting for the evidence...

Restore Sanity...And While You're At It...

how about some basic knowledge and awareness...

The Time Has Come

Monday, November 01, 2010

I Hope, At Least, the Weather is Nice in Cancun

Did I say that Brazil found another 8 billion barrel monster? Forgive me, I was wrong, it may be up to 15 billion barrels, bigger than all the other finds - the finds that prompted the "God Brazilian" stuff - combined. Life is full of uncertainties but you can be assured of one thing, Brazil will oppose anything that dampens the long term global demand for hydrocarbons. Still, global climate change poobahs are talking an optimistic game ahead of the next big confab in Cancun, Mexico. Keep dreaming fellas.

Barone Charitably, and Mistakenly, Exonerates Summers and Romer

Michael Barone takes an admirable stab at the Obama administration's misreading of the economy. He thinks that the very smart economic team of Summers and Romer missed the difference between a classic business cycle recession and a financial panic-induced recession. This is a highly perceptive shot at it, as I myself have talked about this interpretation as all the difference in formulating investment decisions, but I think that Barone is off the mark. First, I don't think that Romer and Summers are all that smart - and when I say "not smart" I am not denying that these people are highly intelligent, I am saying that they were unsuited to the task. These were highly intelligent people unable to see what was going on a) because of their disciplinary biases, b) their perch in a top-down Democratic administration, and c) their disconnectedness from basic economic activity. They had multiple disadvantages that impeded their perception that they could not see , and that is why I think that they cannot be considered smart. Numerous people sussed out the essence of the financial crisis and the impending recession, and even offered advice, but the administration's economic team was blind to it all. Blindness is not a characteristic of smart operating. For example, here the administration wagered its future on the stimulus and the pumping of a trillion dollars into the economy and yet the putative geniuses Summers and Romer let the POTUS traverse the country spouting the rankest anti-business rhetoric we've heard since the days of "malefactors of great wealth." So a trillion dollars got flushed out into the economy (to dead people and bridges to fat pensions) while a trillion dollars of potentially productive capex got hoarded - a wash. A complete and utter wash and nobody told Obama, "Stop" or "Cool it." Not smart. Very dumb, actually. I won't even talk about ObamaCare. There is no way that Romer and Summers could have thought this would help, and yet they remained silent. If they didn't know the uncertainty itself, let alone the dead weight loss of compliance costs, would weigh heavy on the tenuous economy, they could hardly be considered smart. I could go on, but the point is made, the Obama administration didn't misread the economy, they didn't care. Yes, they had some Keynesian, old liberal hands who were predisposed to see the economy through a demand side lens and who overestimated the importance of the role of government, but they made fundamental mistakes which indicate that they weren't basing their program on sound economics.. They were ignoring reality and steamrolling over economic prudence in order to enact a once in a generation progressive policy dream. "Focusing like a laser on jobs" therefore can be considered one of the many great lies of the Obama presidency. They were never focused on jobs, never. The only focus was on their desires, their role in the change that they've been dreaming about for decades. Barone tries mightily, but I imagine even he is too much of an insider and a gentleman to call this what it is - a great big lie. A miss it is not, for if it was an innocent miss, Summers and Romer are guilty of malpractice.

UPDATE: Just to add, this is why I think savvier Obama supporters, like Mort Zuckerman, left the reservation alot sooner and did so voluntarily. He saw what was going on and he has his reputation in the private sector to worry about.