Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is what I wrote in October of 2010:

Peter Beinart - who, while not very compelling a thinker/writer, is no run-of-the-mill lefty twit - thinks Obama is a lock for a second term. He gives three reasons: 1) the base will rally, 2) the economy will rebound, 3) the GOP will screw it up. Only one of these is at all convincing to me and that is #3. Yes the GOP could screw it up, although one thing is clear to me, if they screw it up they will screw it up less than last time. So will the voters reject a GOP that is learning its lessons, albeit imperfectly, for four more years of Obama? Maybe, but doubtful. As to #1, I can't (nor would I want) to crawl inside the head of anyone typical of Obama's "base" but I have posited that the Obama coalition is dead. Fine, the base may rally but Obama needed a coalition last time and he'll need it again, but it is gone forever. "The base" isn't enough. (Oh, and let's not forget the other side's "base", if you think the Tea Party crowd will be satisfied with what they achieve in November, you've got another thing coming. Small-gov conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Partiers all understand that this is a two cycle fight at a minimum and that the really important pink slip that they need to issue is...Obama's.) Finally, IMHO the economy will stumble along, but even if the economy does do OK it won't feel like it to the average voter - lackluster growth won't create enough jobs to absorb workforce growth, $4 gas will dampen consumer spending, ObamaCare fallout will continue to plague businesses, and we will continue to look like laggards relative to the rest of the world. Furthermore, and this is a point that Beinart completely ignores, the world will look a mess and/or Obama's foreign policy ineptitude will shine through in a particularly visible and ugly way. The world's bad guys have already sized Obama up and will do what they want, and the world's good guys realize that Obama doesn't much care or even think about things in terms of good/bad, so no net positive on the global scene is forthcoming.

My take is that Obama's troubles are only beginning. One of the structural flaws that he had coming in to his Presidency was a shallow political base. As a newby, he didn't have the deep networks and connections to draw the top talent to his side; he only had the ability to draw party loyalists who do what they do for the party, not for him. As he proves damaging to the party, these folks will not sign up to resurrect the great Obama experiment, which is a major problem for him. He is going to need top class talent to resurrect his presidency. Where is he going to find these people? Where are the All-stars going to come from? Answer: He's not gonna get them. Is he really going to turn things around dramatically in 20 months with a bunch of B-teamers? Doubtful.

Holds up pretty well if you ask me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Did Republicans Hand Obama Some Rope?

When Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl pulled out of the debt ceiling negotiations they made a big deal out of stating that the negotiations between congressional level players was going nowhere and that Presidential involvement was now necessary, thus inviting Obama into the fray. I didn't quite understand this negotiating tactic. Standard negotiating strategy would dictate that you don't actively call for you opponents big gun to get involved, you walk away and make the opponent's top dog bear the responsibility to initiate leadership and/or provide the fresh start to negotiations.

Alas, I forgot my Sun Tzu and I now see it. While the Republicans have a modestly winning hand (say, pair of tens or maybe Ace/10 suited), more importantly, the Democrats have a decidedly bad hand (say, 10/3 unsuited). The Republican strategy is to stick Obama with that bad hand. Who cares if you run circles around Harry Reid at this point, right? Make Dear Leader play the hand. However, that is the strategy for the end-game, but that is not nearly all. The early and mid-game, or secondary, strategy is to give Obama a chance to be Obama on a big issue.

Obviously the effectiveness of this strategy - primary and secondary - will play out in the coming weeks, the early returns are encouraging, notably that secondary focus. Today Obama gave a press conference to kick off his involvement in the debt ceiling talks, and the Republicans calculated right, Obama played true to expectations. He was the demagogic slickster that they had assumed he'd be, trotting out polarizing, class war chestnuts such as "kids' safety vs. corporate jets." As this guy said, it was all false choices and audacious whoppers of cognitive dissonance.

As we get into the early stages of the 2012 campaign, I am shocked to see the Republicans doing something smart, they are giving Obama every chance they can to show Americans that 'Hope and Change' was a con job and that the Obama experiment was just that, an experiment. The obvious message as the campaign wears on..."the experiment didn't work out, let's clean it up and get back to what we know works."

Al Hunt & Co. Go For "Shock and Awe" ??

I told you that as the 2012 campaign starts Al Hunt & Co. over at Bloomberg News would kick it into gear attacking any and all opponents of the President and the Democrats. I didn't think it would get going this early, but Al & Co. out of first gear, shifting into second. Today's target it Paul Ryan's budget plan. It earns the attention of not one, but two attacks - 1) it won't save much, and it goes too easy on the wealthy, and 2) (they're really bringing out the big guns here) it hurts women.

Frankly, I'm a little befuddled by this last attack. The Ryan plan hasn't exactly caused a groundswell, it's support is tepid at best and yet the MSM/Democrat complex is leveling the charge of charges, the bazooka of all right-bashing criticisms - the charge that something hurts women. It would seem that they are laying it on too thick, trying to swat the fly with a sledgehammer. This tells me that the Ryan plan actually has more support inside the Beltway than the media are letting on, or that Al Hunt & Co. have adopted a "shock and awe' approach to their 2012 supporting bombing campaign. If it is the later, I predict Al & Co. will break their record of 7/14/05 during this cycle.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WRM Echoes NBfPB

Check out this from Walter Russell Mead (HT Instapundit):

The global green treaty movement to outlaw climate change is the most egregious folly to seize the world’s imagination since the Kellog-Briand Pact outlawed war in the late 1920s. The idea that the nations of the earth could agree on an enforceable treaty mandating deep cuts in their output of all greenhouse gasses is absurd. A global treaty to meet Mr. Gore’s policy goals isn’t a treaty: the changes such a treaty requires are so broad and so sweeping that a GGCT is less a treaty than a constitution for global government. Worse, it is a constitution for a global welfare state with trillions of dollars ultimately sent by the taxpayers of rich countries to governments (however feckless, inept, corrupt or tyrannical) in poor ones.

For this treaty to work, China, India, Nigeria and Brazil and scores of other developing countries must in effect accept limits on their economic growth. The United States must commit through treaty to policies that cannot get simple majorities in Congress — like sending billions of dollars in climate aid to countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan, even as we adopt intrusive and expensive energy controls here at home.

Sounds alot like "Climate Change vs. National Greatness" if you ask me...

Monday, June 27, 2011

This Is What They Think of You

Hey Kansasans and Missourians (and no doubt many others as this, I'm sure, was just a proxy for all mid-westerners): this is what they think of you. It need not even be said who their guy in 2012? Wanna make their heads explode in a delicious rebuttal? ABBO, baby! ABBO.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Not Too Smart Dan-O

A couple weeks back I chronicled how Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy was approaching the Nutmeg State's budget gap. It was all about "shared sacrifice" supposedly. He raised taxes and left the other side of the sacrificing - union concessions - as a TBD item. I was skeptical:

Someone somewhere, I'm sure, thinks that "shared sacrifice" indeed means just that, but to conservatives it is merely code for "tax hikes." We could be forgiven for thinking such thoughts based on union behavior. It is a reasonable conclusion that to unions and big government types "shared sacrifice" is a ruse strategy meaning "tax hikes and then dig in like the dickens to protect our goodies at all costs, and only as a last resort throw our newest members under the bus."

Well, as it turns out, I was dead on. The union workers have rejected Malloy's proposals and as a result Malloy will lay off 15% of the workforce. Frankly, I don't know how Malloy didn't see this coming. The 85% aren't going to vote themselves less goodies to save the bottom 15%, although that was his second mistake, the first one being to secure the tax hikes before he secured an accepted offer from the unions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

China Still Not Going to Retrict Its GHG Emissions

On this blog, I have distilled, down to the very essence, the reason why there will not be a comprehensive global climate change initiative along the lines of the Kyoto Protocol. Quite simply - national greatness.

The one country whose national aspirations pose the biggest barriers to any fossil fuel restrictions is, of course, China. That much is obvious, but sometimes it helps to see it visually. So, check out this neat little graphic showing Chinese energy consumption. This, of course, is why China has no intention whatsoever to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which most informed and sensible people understand and which I have explained. The best China promises is to try its very damn hardest to be more efficient.

Yet the die-hard global warmist pundits and China fan-boys persist in denying this reality.

It's Official: I Made the Greatest Prediction Ever

Just a reminder, I made the greatest prediction ever.

I said - on May 28, 2009 - that Obama would tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help mitigate rising fuel costs which would be a contributing factor in his declining polls.

It is a virtual certainty that oil prices will rise by 2011, potenitally substantially. Here though is my less certain prediction (20% probability): gasoline prices over $4 during the heart of the election cycle will weigh on Obama in the polls and he will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to mitigate high prices (e.g. save his ass).

Nailed it.

Geithner Made Me Do It

I think she's got it right...I've been paying my plumber and a few other folks in cash their request. I blame Geithner and Rangel for fostering the subversion of the system.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Harrisburg Mayor Prays Her Way Out of Bankruptcy

I am quite certain that they told Glenn Reynolds that if he voted for John McCain, Christianist hicks would inject unscientific superstition into the affairs of government. And they were right!!

American Business Can See the Light at the End of the Obama Tunnel

We haven't heard from Mort Zuckerman, the Democrat who has been highly critical of Obama's economic policy for quite awhile, in a long time. Mort is back to tell us that the economy is still bad.

I have maintained, and I believe my position is stronger than ever, that Obama has lost the business community lock, stock, and barrel, Democrats and Republicans alike. Some businesses, aside from making the rational decision not to hire and create jobs, have even actively avoided hiring so as not to given Obama and the Pelosicrats any credit for for anything.

The US economy simply can't recover with Obama in office - he has solidified his reputation as a Chicago-style economic bully and he is still at this point actively sticking it to business while he makes phony gestures at enhancing US competitiveness. Business no longer has any confidence or interest in "doing business" with the Obama administration.

The finish line, however, is nearly in sight. This Bloomberg poll shows Obama in trouble. American business has taken the approach to wait the Obama years out and they can see the light at the end of the tunnel, they are not going to screw it up by changing the game plan now by making big moves in the next year and a half, and I also suspect that this dip in the polls will get the corporate cash flowing into the Republican candidates' coffers. Nothing greases the skids like an incumbent's vulnerability.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2012 and the Money Game

Over at Say Anything I talk (rant) a bit about financing the 2012 campaign. What needs be done, must be done.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Keynesians Are "Lost"

A while back I said that Keynesian economics had really taken it on the chin and the supply-siders were winning the arguments - on "stimulus" and inflation. Well, Brian Wesbury comes out today with a great video declaring that Keynesians are indeed "lost". They're staggering around, flummoxed by that blow to the chin. Check out the video, in it Brian discusses the single most important economic metric that anyone could possible focus on - government spending as a % of GDP - and makes the case for a bullish outlook. I am less bullish on the macro environment because I think further financial shocks are in the offing as political solutions are not forthcoming so markets will take things into their own hands, and when they do they tend to be quick and ruthless. But Brian is not a man to bet against, you at least have to be aware of his case to be properly informed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OMFG, We're In Big Trouble

We're f**ked. If our President really thinks like this then we are so f**ked. Think of all those field hands we could be employing if it weren't for those damn combine harvesters! Man, we're so screwed. Oh wait, we're already screwed....

And My Pages Aren't Pink Either

Doesn't "Global Order Fractures As American Power Declines" sound alot like...
"American Weakness Begets Chaos"

Why, yes. Yes, it does. You heard it here first.

The S Word

Upon analyzing today's economic data, Ed Morrissey agrees that you're gonna start hearing the "S word" - stagflation - alot more.

Ah, um...Ed?? Check the date on that one partner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Not "Uncertainty", but Just Plain 'Ole Crappy Policy

Hedge fund manager Cliff Asness takes to the pages of the WSJ to say pretty much what I've been saying for over two years now - it's the policy, the regulation and the rhetoric that is keeping our economy shackled in mediocrity and torpor.

Told Ya' So

In the "You Heard It Here First" department...New York has gone from the City that Never Sleeps to the City that Never Stops Nannying You. Now, others are noticing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Obama's Jobs Summit II: Yeah, Shovel Ready Was Bulls**t

As Obama plans on spending hundreds of millions of donor dollars (and millions of taxpayer dollars as well) to finely craft and present his message to the electorate for the 2012 election, he is creating message content for Republicans nearly free of charge. This will find it's way into a Republican campaign ad sometime soon I imagine...

Again, the Problem Is Us

Bryan Preston is dead on right, but like many things over at PJ's Tatler blog, several months behind NBfPB - the problem is not Obama, it is us.

When you place a stigma on making judgements, you lose the ability to make judgements, and then you make bad judgements. I am sincerely hoping that this was of the "brain fart" ilk and not the permanent impairment of judgement making ability ilk. We'll see.

Easy Prediction Coming True

I said that recently promulgated fuel standard rules would distort the truck sales market by causing a rush to acquire pre-regulation technology. Via Mark Perry we learn that the rush has already started. I will report back in 2014 when truck sales fall off a cliff.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Feldstein: Yeah, It's Bad Out There

Martin Feldstein is a notable and respected economist. For me though, I've always seen him as kind of a hemmer and hawwer - one who hems and haws - never really getting down to brass tacks and stating a bold, clear path. Today, however, in the WSJ Prof. Feldstein neither hems nor haws.

On Goolsbee

An avid NBfPB reader who also contributes over at SayAnything (as do I) has a great post up on the departure of Austan Goolsbee from the Obama White House economic team. As Bat One notes, it is obvious poppycock that Goolsbee is leaving to preserve his tenure at U of Chicago. You don't take a job knowing you have leave nine months later. Goolsbee is abandoning the sinking ship.

Aside: is it just me or is even the Obama administration's bullshit amateurishly incompetent??

Pawlenty Scores

I just read Tim Pawlenty's economic policy speech at U of Chicago. This is the type of speech that voters ought to be reading many of in an effort to educate themselves (as opposed to watching YouTube videos of chicks claiming to have a crush on a certain political candidate). All I can say is that it reads very much like it was crafted with close attention paid to economic analyses put forth over the years on an obscure blog with a baseball player's name in the title. I think the speech, as a policy program, was very good.

Young People Choking On Their Political Uniformity

No sympathy for the younglings (OK maybe a little) from me. Obamamania was rampant among this age group and the under 25 crowd is a near monolithic, diversity-free zone (politically). Congratulations for being a decisive factor in the victories of the Pelosicrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008. Your prize for rocking the indeterminate period of living at home with mom and dad while searching in vain for a job. Enjoy it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...welcome to reality kiddies.

Shocker: Big Oil Company Is Allowed to Drill, Finds Alot of Oil

Truly a shocking development announced today - ExxonMobil has discovered a large 700 million barrel (this estimate will increase as well) oil find. This shocking, naturally, because we all know that there is no more oil out there left to find. Of course in addition, we all know that even what little oil is left to find is located in such remote, difficult and sensitive areas that it is not worth exploring for and developing; and sure enough Exxon's big find is in a very remote body of water known by locals as the Gulf of Mexico, not far from an obscure outpost town known as New Orleans.

Another interesting tidbit about this large oil discovery, it was Exxon's first post-moratorium drilled well and comes just weeks after permitting was finally allowed again after the Obama administration suffered several legal drubbings and cracked under intense economic pressure. In other words, without Obama's terrible, misguided anti-drilling policy we could have been celebrating this discovery over a year ago.

UPDATE: We sure could have used that year...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Goolsbee Gone

No doubt other economists will greet this departure like they've greeted other departures from Washington DC (Christy Romer's comes to mind)...noting how brilliant such and such economist is thus how "unfortunate" their tenure in DC was. Well, here at NBfPB we are not so collegial. Romer was a disaster and Goolsbee was not much better. Here, Ed Morrissey hints that Goolsbee was pushing for a more private sector approach, but I find that hard to swallow given his performance spouting administration gibberish. The administration has been full stream ahead with an overt and aggressive anti-private sector approach from day one with no let up. If Goolsbee was somehow hoping for something else, he his hopelessly naive. I can assure you that Goolsbee would be basking the glow of success had the economic data been better. He gambled and now finds himself on a sinking ship, so he's out.

Peru Markets Tank on Mini-Chavez Win

Markets have seen what Chavismo brings and, more importantly, they have seen the lies that mini-Chavezes have used to get elected throughout South America. Ollanta Humala's win in Peru came after intense "Trust me, I won't be like Chavez" campaigning even though everybody knows that Humala is a mini-Chavez pupa just waiting to emerge transformed into a full-blown Chavista president. Markets aren't buying any of the spin, Peru's stock market has been tanking and the country's debt is trading now like junk. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want any of my money tied up in Peru right now. Humala will bring Chavismo, wreck the Peruvian economy, and Peruvians won't be able to get rid of him. Elections have consequences. Enjoy your return to poverty, Peruvians.

Monday, June 06, 2011

What Is Carville Up To?

Hmmm. Is this a sinister Clintonite gambit the likes of which I have predicted before? Very strange. The MSM is casting about for a way, any way, to portray Obama's economic leadership in a positive light (i.e. the auto bailouts were awesome!!) and here comes Clintonite media messenger par excellence saying that things are so bad that people will be rioting in the streets? D'oh!

Or is it something else...? Is he saying to go out and buy a gun? That's usually what "civil unrest" prognosticators tend to achieve, purposefully or not. I'm starting to get confused.

Tea Party is ABBO

Come Hell or High Romney...Music to my ears...the Tea Party is all ABBO, all the time, baby. Suck it, MSM.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Memo to GOP: Relax and Let Palin Do Her Thing

To: Republican Party Officials

From: Donny Baseball, Member in Good Standing, Conservo-Libertarian-Tea Partyish Political Movement that is Perennially Disappointed and Frustrated with Republican Party Officialdom

In Re: Sarah Palin


Let her do her thing. It's all good.

Thank You.

Hate to Say "I Told Ya' So"

Even Salon Says Everything You Know About Energy Is Wrong

This article buy Michael Lind, at Salon no less, is a good and informative read and consistent with everything I've been saying about wondrous, glorious hydrocarbons for quite some time now. This revelation by Lind though is really old news, the worm has already turned and nations that have taken a serious and sober look at the future have already committed and started preparing for our glorious hydrocarbon-based future. If you look closely this realization is already embedded in most of the major economic action around the world. Here is just a short list of countries that matter that are placing big bets - tens of billions worth of bets - on hydrocarbons: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Australia. And here is a list of countries that matter less and are making smaller bets, but on their scale these bets are essentially "all in" bets: Iraq, Angola, Uganda, Ghana, Madagascar, Israel. And here is a list of countries where it is either hydrocarbons or death (literally the death of their country): Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Norway, UAE, Kuwait, Nigeria, Mexico.

Hydrocarbons are for some survival and for some the road to national greatness. Leftists in Europe and the USA may still harbor delusional beliefs over the coming ascendence of alternative "renewable" energy sources, but leftists elsewhere are instead getting giant oil fields named after them. Our dalliance with renewables, while not "over" is more or less stalling out and will fade under the weight of economic reality in coming years.

Breaking: MSM Still Delusional, Expecting Miracles


From Bloomberg:

"U.S. employers in May added the fewest number of workers in eight months and unemployment unexpectedly rose to 9.1 percent, underscoring Federal Reserve concerns the expansion is failing to boost the labor market."
From CNN:

"In yet another alarm bell of a weakening U.S. economy, the job market took a disappointing turn in May."
...a "disappointing turn"??? Really? Just when recently, pre-"turn", was the job market not-disappointing...?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Great White Prosperous North

I have highlighted Canada's awesome job-creating performance before (and I was just up there - in beautiful Calgary, Alberta) and noted all the things that they are doing right economically. I knew they doing a good job with fiscal policy, but little did I know how aggressive they've been over a fairly good stretch of time in reducing government spending. They are reaping the benefits now. The "crowding out" theory is real and Canada is a lesson for us here.

Note: Canada is doing so much better than us economically that they are able to STEAL OUR HOCKEY TEAMS !!!!

WashExaminer: Obama To Blame for Bad Economy

I've been saying that literally since day one and often ever since (too many posts to link to but sample this one). Glad someone is catching on. More here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Wasserman-Schultz Delivers

I said that Republicans should welcome the appointment of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as DNC Chairperson on the military logic that sometimes the greatest asset a fighting force can have is an incompetent general(s) commanding the opposing side. DWS clearly qualifies and her strategic value to conservatives is already starting to accrue.

DWS has let loose a whole string of idiocies, verbal boners, gaffes, and untruths (untruths so bald that even the WaPo can't let it slide) in such a short period of time it is simply astounding. Welcome, but astounding. I was searching for just the right way to describe DWS after all these pronouncements..."gift that keeps on giving" came to mind but that is so hackneyed; but sure enough, leave it to John at Powerline to nail it: DWS "promises to be the Joe Biden of the House of Representatives."

New York Successfully Keeping Jobs At Bay

New York's laughable mediocrity of an Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is working hard to keep jobs out of New York state. He's suing the feds because, he feels, they aren't doing enough to squash the natural gas exploration technology known as hydraulic fracturing. Trust me the EPA is doing plenty behind the scenes to restrict "fracking" but they can't do what they want, which is ban it, because there is no evidence that it poses severe environmental risks. EPA head Lisa Jackson has admitted that there is no evidence of water contamination caused by fracking. But people see fraudulent movies like Gasland by lying activist Josh Fox and believe this stuff, so there is a political constituency for railing against fracking, and it has grown into the latest trend in environmental activism. Naturally, you can count on politicians like Schneiderman to cotton on in due course.

Meanwhile Pennsylvania, West Virginia (and North Carolina soon) are establishing early footholds in the fracking-reliant natural gas exploration industry while New York declares themselves out of the game. Pennsylvania is already garnering the jobs and tax revenue that naturally flows from openness to energy development.

Here is my prediction, several years from now, New York will cease this silliness and declare that it is open to fracking and two things will happen. One, some companies will say, "No thanks, we have all the work we can handle here in PA and WV." Two, other companies will say OK and send in their PA-based crews and buy supplies from PA-based vendors to work NY wells, delivering only marginal economic gains to NY. Northeastern politicians don't seem to get the energy business. Oil and gas people travel. They're used to it. The industry doesn't setup shop in your state unless you are really friendly, otherwise they just travel in and out. New York is letting PA own the footprint of the industry and will have to be satisfied with the scraps when/if they come around.