Saturday, April 30, 2011

Or Maybe He Wanted to Hang With Some Serious Babes..

Rosario Dawson? Eva Longoria? Looks like he took a perennially intractable issue where he has very little leverage and made it into an opportunity to hang with some hotties. Lemons into lemonade if you ask me.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mulally for Brig. General in the "2012 Economic Cavalry Brigade"

I was right about Alan Mulally. Good management counts. You know, a smart presidential candidate looking to burnish his/her Tea Party cred could conspicuously invite Mulally into a high-profile economic role in a potential administration. Who better than the CEO of what amounts to Tea Party Motors as opposed to, well, you know...? Just sayin'.

When Will Obvious Book Idea Become Actual Book?

So, when is the Good Professor going to release the blockbuster, best seller They Told Me If I Voted Republican...? I mean why not, right? He must have like 937 of these in the vaults already, the appetite for exposure of MSM hypocrisy is high, and the sequel potential is huge as this stuff writes itself. I'd say the money is just there for the taking. C'mon, expand the InstaEmpire!

Krugman Is Really Funny

This is pure, spun, $1541 an ounce gold. You can thoroughly expect the outcome but the instantaneous rise and crescendo of the laughter is just stupendous. What is even more subtly beautiful is the look on the guy's face (if you can focus on it), he doesn't get the joke, which shows you the echo chamber bubble that this guy lives in. Reality based.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today's headlines summed up in one word: stagflation.

Couple random tidbits...
Hamas has taken over Fatah, but they are calling it a "merger of equals" the same way they do in the corporate world as a sop to the egos of the acquired. War is coming, as predicted here and by others many times.

Kevin Durant just rocks.

India, suddenly looks like it ain't our BFF no more. It won't consider buying our fighter planes and our ambassador there just resigned (to spend more time with his family... yeah). Wait, didn't someone just go there to sure up ties???

Qaddafi shopping for beachfront property and a new, Latin-flavored nursing staff?

Even Obama partisans know that the bench is pretty thin, like I said moons ago. Just more Clintonite caretaking of the final two years so Obama can do the only thing he knows how to do - campaign.

UPDATE: Missed this one...economist John Cochrane takes to the WSJ Op-Ed pages to tell us that politics might not solve our problems before the "bond market" solves them for us, perhaps not so tenderly. Where have I heard that before?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Inflation, Overt and Covert, Rages

One of the curiousest (no that's not a word, I'm feeling kinda malapropy) debates on the economic/financial scene these days is how the Fed and accomplished geniuses like the Ben S. Bernanke are working overtime because they see deflation as a significant threat, yet many others see inflation, either in the offing, mildly with us now or in fact raging like a tornado. As for me, I know all the textbook economic mumbo-jumbo and I have my opinions, but I always defer to what I see with my own lyin' eyes. I buy alot of milk. Looking at milk, it's a "yup" on inflation. I just finished a 1,600 mile round-trip family vacation road trip (where ironically I drove on the Ben Bernanke Interchange). Obviously gas is a big "yup". Got a little one? Diapers are a "yup" (potty train, potty train, potty train!!! I recommend hosing them down post diaper removal, trust me, they'll get on that potty before too long). I could go on, but a more subtle form of inflation that you don't see if you are not paying close attention is the gyppiness and/or crappifying that is going on with goods and services. Getting less, in quality and/or quantity, for the same old price is every bit as inflationary as nominally rising prices, and it is rampant. As an example, the Baseball tykes love a good outing to the California Pizza Kitchen and mom and dad don't mind it either as the food is pretty tasty for the price. So we hit the CPK often and for the last few times, inherent inflation in the crappifying of the food has been glaring. Nobody can convince me that the bean counters at CPK HQ haven't sent out highly calibrated instructions on how to lower food costs by marginally skimping on ingredients (literally "bean counters" as my last Chipolte Chicken pizza had almost a laughably reduced number of black beans on top along with a proportionate reduction in almost everything else). We know that the foodservice industry is struggling with rising input costs. The first line of defense on holding price points is always the "gyp" or the "crappify" maneuver, so I've been on the lookout. I have many data points on this's happening big time and has been for six months to a year. Sorry to tell you folks but nominal prices are next. So many of the visible things that we buy that have heretofore held constant in nominal dollars are going to break the dam soon and the flood of inflationary data will be undeniable as will the flood of inflationary angst as Jeff Lord notes in the linked post. And as Lord explains, Dear Leader will get the blame. He's not the guilty party on this one (most people have no clue who or what the Ben Bernanke is anyway) but so what. Not that there isn't some cosmic justice in Dear Leader taking in on the chin for things mostly out of his control, there is plenty within his control that he's screwed up anyway, no sense cutting too fine.

...and what is a NBfPB post without a good "You Heard It Here First"...

UPDATE: And here is a little color...

Imitation, Flattery, YadaYadaYada

Ridiculousness of "sustainability": The Good Prof. says worry about the paper cups later. Similar to when I said, ameliorate just a modicum of the human misery first...

Roger Simon goes ABO, which is just to avoid being accused off wholesale ripping DB off.

Will Collier is getting alot of play for his laying of blame for high oil prices at the feet of Dear Leader. Welcome to the party Will, been raging for awhile now.

Parenthetical note; Why am I scooping and/or out-prognosticating the gang at PJ consistently, but have not gotten the call to contribute...?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Financing the War

It started with the shafting of the Chrysler and GM bondholders, moved onto "Pay Czars", "permitoriums" and continues apace with the Boeing/South Carolina sandbagging and now this. The kindest thing you can say about these are that they are undesirable injections of cronyism into the American capitalist system, but you would be sugar-coating to the point of getting it wrong. These are offensive maneuvers in an ongoing war on business (which was predicted along with its consequences).

I told you that American Business had buyer's remorse. CEO after CEO has essentially confirmed this. I told you capital would flee. I told you companies would hoard cash. I told you that hiring, if any, would be in temporary workers. And, the end result, I also told you, would be to get used to 10%+ unemployment. The only way out, the only way to restore economic health, i said, would be fight back and win. I said, Obama would not buckle and stand down. Victory is the only option. Finally, after long last, it seems that many others have come to this dire conclusion. Check out this stunning graph. These are heavy hitters playing to win - most all are making large one-way bets. The last time around these guys bet on the likely winning horse, but hedged bets. This time around there is very little hedging, the nature of the problem is too severe and the stakes are too high - American business and the US economy can't weather the prospect of Obama through 2016 - thus the shift is drastic. I told you that campaign fundraising would be very easy for pro-business candidates.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back and Rested

Well, I'm back from vacation in beautiful South Cackalacky. Not much to say at this point, but I did make note of some items and I am going to chalk them up in the "You Heard It Here First (all 25 of you)" column. First, I've been cold showering the conventional wisdom on Obama's reelection for some time and, of course, I have predicted the path of his presidency right from the starting gates. Well, this piece from Eric Alterman (hardly a crazed right wing nutter) reads almost exactly like what I've been saying.

Second item that I saw was the moaning of prominent environmentalists about the failure of their grand project, of which this piece is an example. I won't tackle too much here, but I will be a tad cheeky and wonder if the environmentalists did indeed fail. Did they fail? As Mark Perry notes, the air is a helluva lot cleaner. Ditto our water. So why do they consider themselves failures. Of course the answer lies in the fact that environmentalism is not about the environment. They consider themselves failures because none of their grand schemes have taken hold, that their apocalyptic message remains unpersuasive to most, and that they are not at the controls running things with the power that they seek. Obviously this is a debatable point, and I am sure that many environmentalists actually see an improved environment as their goal, unsullied by baser motives. Still, there is much to be said about the disastrous strategic approach of the environmental movement (for a primer on their strategic boobishness, go here). What strikes me however is that the movement itself apparently see the basic reality of the strategic landscape, they didn't know what they were up against. Their next go around will have to be more modest and more in line with basic realities or else that too will be a dead before they are even out of the gates. We'll see.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finns: Let the Portugese Go Bust

Portugal: Finland May Block Eurozone Aid - Ministry Adviser April 14, 2011 There is a possibility that Finland may block eurozone aid to Portugal, Finnish finance ministry adviser Martti Salmi said, Reuters reported April 14. Polls showed 48 percent for the European Financial Stability Facility and 52 percent against, Salmi said. He said the Social Democratic Party could get about 18 percent of the vote, and was saying that Portugal should restructure its debt with private investor involvement. Salmi said he found that in 14 cities in recent weeks that people are unwilling to debate the issue, instead saying that Portugal and Greece should go into bankruptcy........(argh! where are my line breaks!!!) Of course, I said we shoulda let Greece fail, but that was then, it would've been more effective then, now the pickle has just grown larger.

Pelosi In Safe House?

My left-field prediction for 2011 was that Nancy Pelosi would challenge Obama in the primary for the 2012 nomination. It is a long shot but it makes intuitive sense - hard core progressives are somewhat disillusioned and might peel off if they perceive Obama as moderating/selling out progressive policies merely to hold onto office (as opposed to lying to the country that one is a moderate and enacting a progressive agenda, which is what progressives understood well and thoroughly accepted the first time around). This would create an opening for a hard progressive politician with a national profile and a developed fundraising apparatus. All that is needed is the gumption (arrogance?) to do it. Nancy Pelosi is all of that, and I speculated that her arrogance and inability to countenance her demoted status would drive her to run to the left of Obama. Well, there is an alternate explanation - that she's been put in a safe house by the Clintonites now in charge of the Obama presidency (note Gene Sperling's role here). But her marginalization at the hands of hte Clintonites (versus the voters) and my hypothesis are not mutually exclusive, in fact they are self-reinforcing. Her power-mad arrogance, coupled with her marginalization could prompt her to run all the more. Very interesting to see how this develops.

Time to Update the "Official List of Orwellian Bulls##t"

Newest entry: "Spending reductions in the tax code" Add it to the list. ...and it still seems like they think it is their money and they are doing you a favor by letting you keep it...that they are spending it on you

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hitting Back at Steinhardt

Good to see another financial heavyweight take Michael Steinhardt to task, I only wish Cooperman had been more direct. I hate it when people say "inappropriate" when they mean "wrong", "stupid" or some such. Warren Buffett craps bigger than Steinhardt, but that'll never be aired on CNBC. Copperman's rebuttal will have to do.

Trust Us

Hot on the heels of Richard Goldstone admitting that his UN-sponsored report was, like, totally wrong, the UN says that the Palestinian Authority could, like, totally run a good government. Come to think of it, by UN standards of efficiency and good governance, they're probably right.

Is Pennsylvania the New Saudi Arabia?

Mark Perry, Steve Hayward and Rich Kalgaard have had pieces recently on the bounty of natural gas from shale formations that offers incredible potential for abundant, clean(er), and affordable domestic energy to power our homes, businesses and vehicles not to mention offer tens of thousands of jobs. Most talked about in energy discussions is the Marcellus shale. By all accounts the Marcellus is a monster deposit of energy. But could it be just a piker compared to what lies right next to it...?? These things usually come in multiples (Tupi in Brazil is merely a giant in a neighborhood of giants) so it wouldn't be outlandish to discover that Marcellus lies just next to equally large deposits. The economic benefits should be obvious but the geopolitical implications are much larger. If we exploited these resources to their fullest potential we could make a monstrous dent in the geopolitical standing of the petro-jackassauri in Iran, Saudi, Venezuela. Ah, a boy can dream!

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

I thought two weeks ago was a bad one for us all in terms of gas prices. Well, it was "Thank you Sir, may I have another" as last week us gas consumers took yet another beating, this time almost 11 cents nationally. The poor sods in the Midwest took it on the chin for 12 cents.

Fundamental Flaw of United Europe Exposed in Finns v. Portugese

I said the Germans are likely casting about for a Chris Christie type politician or a Tea Party type movement of their own as anger for having to bail out dead-beat losers like the Greeks and the Portugese. They probably are and if European fiscal rectitude is to have any legs it will have to have a strong German component, but that doesn't mean the vanguard has to be German. I should have called this, because there are even more strait-laced, impeccably fiscally prudent folks out there than the Germans...the Scandinavians. Finland, notably, has been caterwauling about having to pony up cash for the EU bailout mechanism, and now it looks like Finnish politics is going to lead the way. Makes sense, just as they are located on the extreme opposite ends of Europe, you couldn't imagine a people and culture more different despite being lumped under the same umbrella - Europeans - as the Finnish and the Portugese. Alas, that has always been the fatal flaw of European Union and now that flaw is unavoidably exposed.

Why the Recovery Sucks, Part 37

Lovely. From the front page of the WSJ today... "At times, officials have resorted to coin flips and turn-taking games to settle which agency will get jurisdiction. "There have been negotiations, trades, bargains, coin tosses, possession arrows, arbitration, mediation," William Kovacic, an FTC commissioner, said in an interview. "Tried them all." This is what business has to deal with. No wonder capital is flowing overseas and hiring is thin on the ground here at home. Regulation was never a dream but with the two mega-disasters of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, the regulatory appartus has become such a clusterfark, business simply cannot get done. Enjoy your European levels of growth and unemployment America - this is what you asked for.

Shocker. Budget Deal Actually Pretty Lame

Surprise surprise. As with all things bipartisan, when you look under the hood we see the phoniness of it all. The the devilish details of the budget deal look lame. Like I said, don't sell that TBT yet, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial may still be open, but the US of A's finances are still headed for the cliff ala Thelma & Louise at 90 mph. Actually, with fools like Eugene Robinson actually reinforcing the falsehood that these miniscule cuts were "painful", you might want to grab a little more TBT. The official MSM line is that even these phony, paltry, meaningless cuts will eviserate America as we know it. It will take fortitude and courage of a never-before-seen variety to actaully get America's finances in order and the Republicans don't have that kind of mojo, never have, never will. The Bond Market Vigilantes, however? Mojo comin' outta their ears.

Monday, April 11, 2011

More Canaries

Bob Samuelson is no right wing nutter. He is, in fact, probably the most sane voice on matters fiscal in the Lamestream Media. So how can it be that today he pens a "We're Doomed" column? How doomed are we? Well, if Paul Ryan's Path to Armageddon Which Turns America into 17th Century Afghanistan does not quite address the problem, perhaps then it's a pretty damn big problem. Not a millimeter of column inches (that quaint measurement) is wasted in laying it all out. But no matter, Samuelson gets to the outcome right in the first paragraph - politics won't solve this, the bond market will, and the bond market's tender mercies will be gruesome. Gee, where have I heard that before? Notably, here, here, and here. Remember, this is a bet on human nature, not on the numbers - do you believe modern Western man drives his world into the abyss or does he pull back? On current evidence - Portugal as merely the latest exhibit submitted (Jerry Brown being the penultimate evidence du jour) - a one-way bet against abyss avoidance is a solid speculation. UPDATE: Bill Gross is short US debt. No surprise there.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Polls Bear DB Out

Didn't I say that the frisson of electing the first black President would wear off and younglings - after languishing un or underemployed for four years due to Obamanomics - would lose that idealistic Obamabot reflexivity pretty durned quick? Why yes I did. It's happening.

Lightworker Steps In Poop Again...

I have said (again and again and again) that $4 gas would be a problem for Obama, but I was thinking in terms of the economic know, consumer purchasing power, producer input costs, yadayadayada. Little did I know that part of the problem for him would be his inability to conceal that he is a ginormous jackassaurus. As his presidency continues to crater (which, also, I have been predicting since the day he took office), the man will grow more and more frustrated and we will see more and more of his true self and his true feelings, like this episode, come out. Why his political handlers don't keep him far away from unscripted moments such as this is beyond me.

Public Debate Jujitsu

In this editorial, the WSJ editors seem unable to detect any rational strategy in the Republicans' negotiations over the funding of the government. No? It appears plain as day to me - drag it out so that you can elicit nuggets of total idiocy from the usual quarters on the left. Sure enough, this mornign Drudge is littered with the cheap inanities that usually emanate from the usual suspects - Pelosi calls it a "war on women," Jesse Jackson says it's like the Civil War (really? over 600,000 people will die unnecessary and mostly quite horrible deaths...??), Eleanor Holmes Norton says it's like dropping actual munitions, which kill and maim, on people. And, of course, Dingy Harry has sussed out the real reason behind all the tumult - it's all a sinister plot to keep women from getting cancer screenings. These people are stupid and ridiculous, and any opportunity to get them to display these qualities for public consumption is welcome. The Democrats' strategy is to depict the Republicans as heartless, soulless fanatics, and the best way for Republicans to counter this strategy is to simply let those making such accusations reveal themselves as moronic laughingstocks. And so it goes. The best argument against the charge is the people making it. In such serious times as we are in now, this sort of typical, cheap hyperbolizing turns Americans off and let's us sort out the serious from the supersilious. (Seriously, do people do anything other than spit out their drinks and laugh when they hear this stuff?) All the better. I say drag it out for a tad longer, just long enough to get a few Holocaust, slavery, or ethnic cleansing comparisons from the nutters out into the public discourse.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Blogger Bleg

Can anybody tell me why all of a sudden, line breaks are not appearing in posts when I publish...???

China: We're Gonna Drill Like Crazy Offshore

Someone tell Tom Friedman... China: Marine Economy Should Be Explored, Developed - Wen April 1, 2011 China should investigate and use ocean resources scientifically and expedite the development of its marine economy, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said April 1, Xinhua reported. Doing so would help transform China’s economic growth pattern and boost economic development in the country’s eastern regions, Wen said. The premier’s remarks came after he heard a report based on research by the Chinese Academy of Engineering on the development of coastal areas and islands in China’s Zhejiang Province.

Portugal Succumbs


Awesomely intriguing story from yesterday that I didn't get a chance to post...apparently, in the city of Port Sudan (in...Sudan) a mysterious plane just flew on in and bombed a car with two men in it. Why is this intriguing? Well, it may seem obvious, but you have to ask yourself what kind of a plane can drop a bomb on a car? What kind of a plane can do that undetected? Um, duh, a fighter plane with precision-guided missiles. So did some drug gang or organized crime element acquire a fighter plane? Doubtful. This was the doing of a nation and clearly a very important mission given the risk of airspace violation, etc and so forth. Naturally, the first candidate to come to mind is Israel. Who has a need to hunt down bad guys that oftentimes hide out in lawless and/or corrupt nations? Israel. Who has the capability to fly in, deposit a munition precisely on a bad dude's melon, and get out of dodge lickety split? Israel. So if it is all so obvious, why is it intriguing? Because something covert is going on. It's spy stuff which is awesome by definition. And Sudan is a newcomer to the "getting bombed" club, so it brings in new possibilities and angles to the world-wide great game of covert warfare - a new front or at least something slightly juicier than your typical Gaza-based Hamas operative's whacking. Sudan's atypical profile along with its corrupt regime along with its geographic placement might even suggest that we have something related to a larger threat to Israel going on here. I'm thinking Raid on the Sun type intrigue. Could Israel have dispatched some folks who were somehow cogs in Iran's nuclear weapons development? Let's review: Corrupt regime basically owned by the Chinese who act as a protector of Iran, shipping port on the Red Sea, threats swirling to open the floodgates at the Egyptian/Gaza border... Nah, probably totally innocent. UPDATE: Stratfor says it was just a senior Hamas military commander. Run of the mill, nothing funky.

The Hits (To Your Wallet) Just Keep On Comin'

Ouch. Last week was a bad one for us on the gas price front. Nationally, we took it on the chin for almost 9 cents per gallon, the midwest got whalloped for 13 cents. You heard it here first. Here is a question. What will the tens of thousands - and it will be tens of thousands - of bulldozers, front-end loaders and dump trucks that will be clearing the debris of entire Japanese cities that were washed away in the tsunami run on for the tens of millions of engine hours - and it will be tens of millions - during the clean up? Gas. Or diesel to be more specific. Can this spike in demand be met without prices for gas going up dramatically here in the US? Doubtful. Can this spike in demand be met without gas prices going up with most of our Gulf Coast oil industry idle? Not a chance. This is just the beginning. Gas is going up.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Everyone But Michael Steinhardt Is Dumb or Sinister

Michael Steinhardt is shooting his mouth off again, big time. This time around it seems that Warren Buffett is a con-man and gave his money away "thoughtlessly". Also, when Steinhardt was doing the hedge fund thing it was hard, but now apparently it is easy. My take, sitting here running a hedge fund (and knowing a bit about Steinhardt), is that Steinhardt is, well, (let's put this nicely) off the mark. No doubt Steinhardt is a smart and accomplished man, but he is known to lob facile charges of rampant idiocy in the world outside of Michael Steinhardt. When we first checked in with him, Bush era economic advisors were all a bunch of idiots. Well, presumably we've gotten the type caliber of folks that Steinhardt approves of these last couple of years - we don't know, Steinhardt won't say - but I'm not sure the millions of folks out of work, underemployed or struggling with stagnant wages/rising costs would express pleasure at the newfound caliber of economic policy thinkers. But these latest charges smack of something other than deep, albeit contrarian, analytical insights. Could be age-induced crankiness, could be a man long out of the arena lashing out because he is not in the arena, could just be Steinhardt's over-inflated reputation for genius meeting reality, who knows. Let me suggest to you, the audience a few possibilities: a) Warren Buffett gave his money away wisely to an enduring and well-run foundation, 2) Warren Buffett made no attempts to manipulate the press, but that giving away a maga-fortune makes news whereas not giving away large sums makes no news, 3) Bush era economic advisors were no worse than Obama era advisors perhaps even better, 4) running a hedge fund is just as hard today as running one 20 years ago, 5) Michael Steinhardt is full of gas, but because he has lots of dough can get on TV and say just about anything.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Smart as a Whip Looks Alot Like Dumb as a Post

Let us endeavor here to catalogue the basic evidence against the "whip smart" thesis and compile the examples of low level knowledge that most of us know through either first hand experience or routine study of our world but that eludes our President, the putative smartest, most geniusest, intellectual giant of a philosopher Lightowrker to ever occupy the Oval Office: 1) "If you talk constantly, people give your words less weight." Well catalogued. After he took office, he ramped up the talking, appearing, commenting, and discoursing just as he needed to be his most effective. He hurt his own cause by unfathomably ignoring this basic truth of human relations. 2) "Around the world, 'face', and the saving of it, is still a dominant cultural imperative." Our Presdient was supposed to have been the most worldly and culturally astute occupant of the office...well, ever. Whoops. He doesn't get a motivation that impels most of the world, and certainly men in power for decades. 3) "Perception is often reality." Substance should never take a back seat to style, but if you are conveying an important substantive message, make the "optics" conform. Hint: a message of "sacrifice" does not comport with ostentation. 4) "You Can Undo Untold Effort in an Instant." If people are working all out to achieve a goal, be careful not to undermine their efforts with seemingly small counterpoints." 5) "Don't Say Something Doesn't Work and Insist on Doing It Again." This is expecially the case when additional large costs will be borne by others, who have just absorbed needless costs and resent it. 6) "To Avoid 'Open-Ended' War, Win It." Sheesh. This weekend we get two additional entries for the list: 7) "No one can know everything. In fact the most knowledgable of us know very little." I give you Beldar describing Obama's arrival via the turnip truck. 8) "You cannot take half-measures against bullies." Thomas Sowell with the basic streetwise knowledge that the CIC lacks. However, Obama need not have grown up in Harlem to know such an elemental nugget, most of us know this through almost any combination of study/experience of human relations.


I predicted all of this... all stems from the one inherent flaw that all the analysts and pundits have failed to pick up on.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ford CEO Makes $26 Million

...and he's worth every penny. Frankly, I think he got stiffed.

You Too Can Stiff the Government Just Like GE !

Wow! The patented Donny Baseball Obama Era Tax Avoidance Plan has gone mainstream! Ostensibly GE is the angle for the story. "Pshaww!" I say. The WSJ cribs my work all the time.

History's Greatest Mystery Easily Explained

Given Obama's standing as the archetype anti-war global political leader (leader as in someone who occupies an office that denotes leadership, not someone who actually can and does "lead"), his history of pandering to Muslim sensibilities, and his overt disdain for American power, pundits and citizens alike are scratching their heads over how events in Libya could have come to pass. How could the anti-Bush, who promised to lead us to the milk and honey land of Anti-Bushism, just up and start bombing a Muslim, oil-producing country with not much of a plan? It is simple. Obama is a foreign policy President now and he's got to go where the action is. His domestic agenda is dead and as all leaders, who's domestic agenda has died, do, he's turning to foreign policy. (Case in point, what was the very first thing he did after getting "shellacked" last November? Gin up some half-baked treaty with a two-bit world power.) Otherwise, you're just the guy flying Air Force One to fundraisers. Now the action happens to be in the Middle East. Great, historical events are happening and a man who fancies himself a great historical event simply cannot shy away. So, why not lead a diplomatic effort the likes of which the world has never seen? Well, when the Ivory Coast has already told you mind your own damn business, you've got to make a bit more of splash. Tomahawk missiles make a splash. Like the Kings and Queens of old, Obama feels he must wage war to be at the center of events and demonstrate to his subjects his continual relevance. There you have it folks - mystery solved. You may not think this analysis is terribly sophisticated, but what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for by being 110% correct.

The Energy Problem Remains Ever So Complex

Good story on Brazil's amazing energy success. "Brazil has gone from importing 77% of its oil from foreign sources in 1980 to importing no oil by 2009. A great success story in conservation and alternative energy? Not really. Total Brazilian oil consumption still more than doubled. The biggest factor is that Brazil increased its domestic oil production over the last two decades by 876% (not a typo). Most of that production has come from offshore exploration." In other words: They looked for, and found, a shitload of oil. India's doing it. China's doing it. Africa is doing it. Canada is doing it. Australia is doing it. Hell, even the biggest eco-poseurs in the world, the Europeans, are doing it. Nearly everyone is doing it. Except us. H/T Instapundit.

I Know Scary Racists When I See 'Em, and Man Are Those Teabaggers Scary!

Just look a the screen shot! That Tea Party scares me! Seriously, just look at those Neanderthal, racist, teabagging losers...