Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Spreading the Wealth...

Hey all, just a reminder that I am still blogging over at Say here and here.

After all, it is the Age of Obama...still...unfortunately.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why the Tea Party Is Skeptical - We've Been Burned Before

Hey, I'm a Tea Partying kinda guy but I am also politically savvy, I know how the game is played, so I am with Krauthammer - the Tea Party has to play the long game and the House caucus needs to get behind Boehner...but but but...Boehner would have a ton more credibility if his bills didn't get scored so awfully by the CBO.

I mean, is it so much to ask for a conservative leader of the brand spanking new conservative movement in government to propose a spending-cutting bill that actually gets scored as cutting the amount of spending that he's promising? I mean really, the total numbers aren't that important, we just want to know that the spending cuts are real. How much confidence can we have in Boehner when he throws up a bill with a putative $1 trillion dollar of cuts that is really a $850 billion bill? This shit should be easy - cut what you say you're gonna fucking cut and let it be done. Negotiating with the asshat Democrats is one thing, but get your own fucking bills right. What the Tea Party is most vigilant against is typical Washington bullshit, i.e. a $1 trillion dollar cut that courtesy of DC gimmicks is nothing of the sort. We're not extremists, we just want Washington to act like normal Americans - a cut should be a cut, a trillion should equal a trillion - instead of feeding us this typical elitist bullshit. How hard should it be for Boehner to propose a spending cut that is an actual, real, believable dollar for dollar spending cut? I'm all for compromising given political realities but how fucking hard should it be?

Like I Said in 2008...Pig In A Poke

Now that President Obama is tied in the polls with Ron Paul, barely beating Thaddeus McCotter, and losing to a non-running Rudy Guiliani, let me remind you, dear readers, that on 11/19/08 I said - not in disgust, but as an actual prediction - that we bought ourselves a "pig in a poke." I said he was already failing as he picked his cabinet and I pinpointed the start of his meltdown in February of 2009. It has had it's ups and downs but that was a great call, because the overall trajectory has been one-way since then.

And all this talk of Obama needing a primary opponent. Made that call too.

What's my point? If you want to be way ahead of the curve, read NBfPB...and if you want your friends to be same, tell them about NBfPB.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New York vs. Pennsylvania

We know that the WSJ Op-ed page is a secret admirer of NBfPB, which is cool. Today they pick up a meme I've been working over in a Tale of Two Shale States. The main point is that New York is leaving alot on the table that they can ill afford to do so, but what the editorial fails to get across is that even if New York eventually acts, it could be too late, Pennsylvania may have secured the lion's share of the economic development benefits.

Health Insurance Cos. Look to Drop Clients

As a small businessperson, I have often shared my trials and tribulations with healthcare with you all. Aside from brilliant analyses based on the economics of healthcare, I've tried to give my readers a window into the real world of how government meddling in healthcare actually turns out. First, I let you know just how bad it is here in New York where we've test driven the concepts that are now enshrined nationally via ObamaCare. Next it was what happened to my insurance premiums on the heels of ObamaCare's passage.

The latest is that my insurance company is looking for an excuse to cancel our policy. I kid you not, on the same day that I read in the WSJ that insurance companies are looking to shed small employer plans, I get this email:

Starting with September 1, 2011 bills, small groups (2-50) will not be eligible for reinstatement if they are terminated for non-payment of their monthly premium bill.

This means if Empire does not receive the premium payment due by the 30th day after the due date shown on your group bill, the policy will be automatically terminated with no reinstatement rights. To be clear, Empire will no longer grant discretionary reinstatement if we do not receive payment in full by the 30th day of the group's grace period.

If you are so much as one day late with your payment, they can cancel you. Not that this is a major injustice, but it clearly is a way for insurance companies to start culling their rolls and woe betide the small business makes that mistake - they'll likely not be able to find replacement insurance at even close to similar rates. This is a first small step in the devolution of the private insurance market that ObamaCare was designed to bring about. Hope and Change. Enjoy America.

Obama's Base?

Well, Drudge is headlining this AM that Obama's base has crumbled. This is, obviously, a severe problem, but one that I have noted could happen as Democratic party poobahs contemplate just how much damage to the party they will stand for at hands of The One. I also noted that the "coalition" was long gone - Obama could hang on to his base and still lose re-election because he needs a coalition akin to 2008. But a weak base is almost a sure sign that he is cooked. So, still think the base will rally Peter Beinart?

Friday, July 22, 2011

JP Morgan Steals My Stuff

Did I say a "paradigm shift" was coming/is here? Why, yes I did!

"Who do you think is a safer bet - the US government or the company that makes Tide, or Tylenol, or the leading brand of toothpaste?"

JP Morgan agrees with me it seems.

“Corporates are the new “sovereigns”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gang of Six Plan = Dog Poop

I've been waiting on Keith Hennessey's analysis of the Gang of Six plan, as I consider him the best budget analyst for our side (at least the best who blogs). Well, Keith has weighed in. Verdict: the Go6 plan is dog poop. I am disappointed, becauseI am predisposed to like anything that Tom Coburn puts his name to, as I believe he is one of the truly great public servants we have, but KH's analysis is pretty definitive for me. It'll be interesting how this affects the debate as KH is pretty influential. I can't handicap where we go from here. This is a tough one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ObamaCare Stopped Job Creation Dead In Its Tracks

I told you ObamaCare would crush job creation. Now a new report is saying, yeah, private sector job creation pretty much fell off a cliff after ObamaCare became law. I pretty much nailed it and then I went on to explain that layering Dodd-Frank on top of that meant pretty much no recovery. I think I nailed that one too. Enjoy.

Cash-on-the-Barrel Healthcare

I told you that the future of healthcare in this country would be "Visa, Mastercard, or American Express." I forgot about "cash" (maybe I had just read something about the Ben Bernanke at the time!). Mark Perry highlights this cash only practice.

Unfortunately what we've done through our obsessive tinkering in the healthcare market is create the beginnings of a bifurcated market where the rich will get the best care and the rest of you will get what you can get.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Remember the Poor

Well, it's that time of year again when poverty statistics come out and we learn that we don't really have poverty here in America when judged by global standards. We have income inequality, which is an entirely different animal than poverty as it is understood throughout the world.

So what we learn from these official statistics is that the truly poor around the globe would give their eye teeth to be poor in America, because our poor are relatively very well off. Remember, the defining social characteristics of our poor here in America is that as a group they are overweight and watch too much TV. A poor person sleeping on the streets of Delhi, Dhaka or Lagos can only dream of being this poor.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Steve Wynn Tells It Like It Is

Steve Wynn says everything I've been saying on this blog for two years: business is frightened to death of this President, this economic shit show is ALL on him and it ain't getting better until he does a 180 or we vote him out. He's toxic to business and toxic to the economy. Go read the whole rant.

New Movie Celebrates Musical Icons of the Early 1990s

I just might have to see Friends With, not because of Mila Kunis...because of Chris Kelly and Chris Smith (weird, they sound like two Irish guys, but they ain't...).

I am the D-A-Double D-Y-M-A-C man! The Daddy makes you J-U-M-P!!!

This Would Be Really Bad for the Baseball Household...

Bryan Preston has just called on Dear Leader to root for the Yankees, the Giants and OU.

Good God Man, have you no mercy!?!? No heart?!?! No compassion?!?! No decency?!?!

Make it complete why don't you...stick the knife all the way in...

(Duke is OK however...)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is Dan Savage the Perfect Liberal??

I don't know who Dan Savage is but from what little I've picked up by pure happenstance this weekend trolling, he appears to be. Let's review:
1) Illiberal - in his case it's misogyny, fairly common. Might not be all, but that's what we have on the table.
2) Hate-filled - a requirement.
3) Activist - aren't they all?
4) Can't Hold his Booze - One drink? Really, Dan? Pussy.

(Number four obviously is crucial.) Four bullets isn't enough, but I'm sure he idolizes Mao or Lenin or some such utopian butcher and failed economics in college. Anyway, we'll wait for more evidence and crown him "perfect" in the event.

Paul McCartney Rocks and, Like Most Artists, Has Terrible Political Judgement

Great Paul McCartney concert on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. It was, alas, the first and likely the only time I will have seen any remnant of The Beatles live in concert, and Sir Paul was fantastic and full of stamina. How can a guy that old rock for three hours? The only sour note was a ridiculous song/paean to Dear Leader complete with lightshow-generated visage of The Man Who Never Held a Real Job But Is Somehow Expected to Lead the Economic Recovery, and made worse by Sir Paul's intro commentary that this petulant child of a radical, America-hating, socialist is somehow "saving the nation from conflagration." Huh??????

Anyway, a small price to pay to see the genius at work. In fact this was probably better than a Beatles concert would have been because we got the Wings stuff thrown in.

Tea Party Budgeting

Via Instapundit:

“Scrap the Department of Education, a failed Carter-era experiment that had its roots in president Dwight Eisenhower’s desire to imbue the education system with Cold War thinking, and out goes a US$77-billion annual expense. Likewise, scrap all or parts of the Department of Energy, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Transit Authority, Federal Highway Administration, Housing and Urban Development and other federal areas that intrude on state and local responsibilities. Apart from the dollar savings from eliminating duplication and cancelling perverse projects, the quality of public services is likely to rise when the former federal functions move closer to home in state or local government, or become privatized and are delivered in the private sector.”

Great, but who was saying exactly this, oh, like, five years ago...?? Ahead of my time, again, as usual.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can Our Ethanol Policy Get Any Crazier? Yes!

Many moons ago, George W. Bush gave a SOTU speech where he dropped a ridiculous sop our silly and destructive "bio-fuels" policy. I said at the time, "Ethanol from Wood Chips and Switchgrass...God Help Us."

Well, there has been no sign of any divine intervention, but there has been a miracle of sorts...the EPA has discovered unicorns, evidenced by their imposition of fees on said unicorns.

Obama's Latest Incredibly Stupid Idea: Kill the LIFO Rule

Ed Morrissey highlights President Obama's baffling focus on "LIFO" accounting rules in the debt ceiling debate. Definitely RTWT, but Ed thinks there is some snazzy commentary from his readers regarding LIFO. I've read the comments and I didn't see any intelligent commentary, so let me take it from here.

First, let me state that the President is ridiculous to focus on this in the context of our fiscal problems, this "small ball" of the most pathetic kind, like the corporate jet obsession. Second, for the President to say that the LIFO rule is "arcane" is about what you'd expect from a guy who never had a real job and has proven himself to be a total boob when it comes to finance. The truth is that the LIFO rule is as relevant as ever, right this very moment. Why? I'm gonna tell you.

Essentially, the LIFO rule protects corporations from having to pay taxes on phantom profits. In times of inflation, corporations can record nominal profits that aren't really profits, although they look like a profit in a strict book accounting sense. Let's say a company buys inventory every couple of months and it buys its inventory today at $50 per unit. After a few months, inflation drives those units up in price by 3%. Assuming the corporation can sell those units at it's planned profit margin and pass through the inflation in the short term, it'll get that margin plus the 3% inflation, but that 3% isn't really profit, it's getting more nominal dollars but dollars that are worth less. In practice however corporations usually can't pass through inflation in the short term, so they charge the pre-inflation price resulting in their planned profits margins getting eroded by the 3% inflation. Without the LIFO rule they are taxed as if inflation didn't have any effect - they'd be taxed on 3% of additional profits that are not really profits but phantom profits or they'd be taxed on their full nominal profits even though inflation has rendered a percentage of those profits worthless. LIFO protects against being taxed on phantom profits. It is a fundamentally fair policy, and it's incredibly practical - any government that forced companies to pay taxes on profits that weren't real would insure capital flight and chronic economic under-performance.

Finally, guess what? Inflation is on it's way back. I've chronicled that before. So the LIFO rule is as relevant today as it's ever been. That's why the corporations are fighting this tooth and nail, not for some idealogical anti-Obama reason or sinister corpo-fascist gambit. Federal Reserve policy would essentially be dictating their tax rates and history teaches that inflation can easily shoot upward uncontrollably. They're afraid, with inflation picking up and, by many accounts, set to rage, that they'll get hit with a massive, and potentially unstoppable, upward tax hike.

Obama may pass this off as an arcane issue over accounting jargon, (and yes, people can play minor games with LIFO) but this is a critical piece of rational tax policy. Obama's attack on LIFO is one of his stupider, economy-killing ideas - and that is saying alot as he's had plenty of doozies.

ABBO Going Mainstream ??

Mark Tapscott steals my "ABBO" theme. He claims the Examiner called it right after Dear Leader's inauguration...

As Ben Affleck's character in Good Will Hunting says "Yahr suspect!" I called it before inauguration!!

Ford UAW Showdown

Also, remember I said that Ford and the UAW are headed for a showdown and that the two parties are, after the bailout/takeover of GM, incompatible?? Well, it's coming...

Nobel Economist Confirms Everything I've Been Saying

Can I just say that nearly everything that Henninger tells us that Nobel laureate Robert Lucas says, readers of NBfPB have heard me say before...

Henninger: "What discomfits [Lucas] is the similarities in the policy choices that accompanied both delayed recoveries. By 1934, the Depression's banking crisis had been resolved, "yet full recovery was still seven years away," he said in the Milliman lecture. GDP stayed more than 10% below trend. "Why?" The answer, he says, was growth-suppressing policies, such as the Smoot-Hawley tariff, cartelization, unionization and, "most important but hardest to measure, FDR's demonization of business."

Baseball: "How many times have I said we are making the same mistakes of the Great Depression, the same policy mistakes - protectionism, raising taxes on nearly every type of business activity, regulating massive swaths of the economy??? How many times. Well now the similarities are getting just downright eerie as well as scary. It is as if the Democrats are reading the history of the Great Depression and doing every single thing that deepened the Great Depression again, on purpose."

Henninger: "[Lucas] credits the current Federal Reserve with avoiding the mistakes of the Depression, properly acting this time as the lender of last resort. With the financial side essentially in order and the recovery stalled, Prof. Lucas sees public-policy analogies to the 1930s: "The likelihood of much higher taxes, focused on 'the rich'; medical legislation that promises a large increase in the role of government; financial legislation that assigns vast, poorly defined responsibilities to the Fed and others."

Baseball: "Government can crater the system again through its vendetta of regulation. ObamaCare is today's NRA. We have small trade wars smoldering, threatening to burst wide open. Taxes are on their way up to highly distortive levels. And now we are on a campaign to destroy our best capital markets institutions."


"We have, fortunately thanks to Ben Bernanke, passed the first test - we have not contracted the money supply bringing on defaltion."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Evidence "Smart As a Whip" is Really "Dumb as a Post"

In this post I gave eight pieces of evidence that the "smart-as-a-whip" meme is just a fabricated chimera with no basis in fact, and that rather than possessing a towering intellect, Barack Obama displays a rather overt cluelessness indicative of a complete lack of basic sense and understanding. Sense and understanding, to my mind, are the foundation of higher cognitive pursuits - or "intellectualism" if you will. Without the foundation of common sense and basic understanding, any intellectual pretensions are are suspect. This, of course, is summed up in the Reagan quote about liberals.

Well, today we add evidentiary exhibit number 9: "Don't call my bluff." John Hinderaker explains.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Obama Last Guy in American that Thinks Stimulus Worked

Obama thinks the stimulus worked. He even said that "the vast majority of economists are convinced, that the steps we took in the Recovery Act saved millions of people their jobs."

Oh yeah? If it was so wonderful why did Summers, Romer, Orszag, Bernstein and Goolsbee - stimulus advocates all - quit rather than bask in the success of their policy creation? Also, what of the five prominent economists noted here that have already publicly stated that the stimulus was a waste of money?

In fact very few economists believe that the stimulus worked. Most acknowledge that the stimulus was largely transfer payments to states who used the money to temporarily plug the holes in what are widely seen as unsustainably large deficit budgets. So yes, the stimulus kept the government employee gravy train motoring down the tracks awhile longer, but nobody equates this with fostering the long term health of the economy.

In my view, even if the stimulus could have possibly worked (which I believe it couldn't have), it was neutered by the damaging rhetoric and policy agenda of this President and the Pelosicrats as I have noted here. What the stimulus offered with one hand, the poisonous anti-business stance of Washington DC caused to be withdrawn by the other hand. For all their purported expertise in Keynesian economics, they were ignorant of what Keynes dubbed the "animal spirits" of the economy, which they have succeeded in thoroughly and relentlessly crushing. Obama's economics is all wet here. Perhaps because there's nobody left on the economic roster at the White House.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eat Your Own F**king Peas

It's my money we're talking about and you've piled up bushels of peas for me and mine to eat for generations to come. So why don't you scarf down a couple trillion helpings of smaller government, fewer Utopian social experiments and restrained power over my life, asshat.

UPDATE: The Instapundit readership is, obviously, much more witty than I. IMHO, with Carter the wit was merited as he was clearly an amiable dunce. There's nothing amiable about Dear Leader, thus more bile and less wit directed at him.

UPPDATE: And there is this PR disaster. Translation: "I'd rather be dealing in trivialities that do not tax my meager abilities." Or as Stephen Green would say "Being President is hard!" Yeah, and I'd rather be sunning myself on the Ligurian coast but, you see, I signed up for something harder - being a breadwinner for a family of five. Anyway, a decent consolation that Obama keeps writing the GOP attack ads for them...

Once again inexperienced mediocrity proving himself inexperienced and mediocre should come as no surprise. The fault lies not so much with Obama as with us.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Once Again a Crazy DB Early Call Moves Slowly Toward Mainstream Thinking

I don't know who Conor Friedersdorf is but he makes the case for primarying Obama, which means, maybe, that the theme is now "out there" in the mainstreamosphere (unless Friedersdorf is a total nobody). How controversial, how iconoclastic, how out-of-the-boxish. And look who is in the picture!! There are three people, but who is the only one who can actually primary Obama (Boehner could, I guess, if you want to be technical and nitpicky but I somehow don't see him changing parties)??? Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!!

You wanna talk "out of the box"? Guess who made that prediction back in January???

Rick Perry Must Really Scare Dear Leader's People

Who says that lefties don't believe in pre-emptive war? It appears that it is all MSM hands on deck to preemptively attack Rick Perry. The other day it was the New York Times and today it is Bloomberg News's turn. Clearly Perry, if he runs, is going to attack Dear Leader on his lamentable economic record and contrast that with his own admirable record in Texas. So obviously, the MSM is working on the theme that Texas's economic record is all a bunch of hooey. They're already on it - hey, found another one - so watch this theme emerge and get refined and eventually shouted incessantly from the rooftops if Perry wades in.

This tells my that Obama's people are the most scared of Perry.

Crappy Jobs Report About the Easiest Prediction I Ever Made

Well, the jobs report is out and you don't need me to report the news, the crappy results are all over. These numbers don't surprise me in the least, after all, I predicted way back in early 2009 that Dear Leader would deliver us to the Land of 10% Unemployment and $4 Gas (here and here and here). I have gone through each and every assault on capital and the free market system that Obama has employed in his war on private enterprise - from Chrysler and GM, to the credit card industry, to the disastrous stimulus, to raping the banking industry, to crazy tax policy, to an out-of-control EPA, to ObamaCare, to Dodd-Frank, to record-setting deficits as far as the eye can see, to clamping down on the energy industry, to damaging remarks on everything from trips to Vegas to corporate jets, to cap-and-trade, to card check. Basically, just scaring the shit out of anybody who wants to make a buck in this country without the government having a say in the matter. The list is long and everything on it has had a direct effect on bringing us to where we are today. It wasn't hard to see. I saw it. A mile away. This one was easy. If we re-elect this guy, America, man o' man do we deserve what we get.

Also, although BO has screwed up almost everything, the Ben Bernanke hasn't helped his cause.

UPDATE: Oh goody, he's going to "roll up his shirt sleeves" much the same way he "pivoted" or "focus(ed) like a laser" on the economy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ruth Marcus Not Quite Understanding the Famous Ray Donovan Quote...

Ruth Marcus asks: "Where does the old married guy who gets hummers from young hotel maids go to get his reputation back?"

C'mon Ruth, you're not showing your truly progressive, post-imperialist, anti-patriarchal bona fides on this. Let's restate the question "Where does the old, married, powerful, white guy who gets hummers from young, brown, powerless hotel maids go to get his reputation back?"

Surprise: New York Times Writes Daft Article About Republicans

The New York Times has an exceedingly stupid piece (linked to by Drudge) today illuminating the cool relations between former President George W. Bush and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry, both Texans. The motivation behind this is pretty transparent and the device only slightly less so. The Times is going after Perry as it appears Perry will run for, and stands a good chance of winning, the Republican nomination.

So what does the NYT want it's readers to know? If you're skimming it wants you to know that Rick Perry is George W. Bush, so that the very mention of our 43rd President in the same breath as Rick Perry will have the intended dog whistle effect on liberals the world over (George W. Bush being the apotheosis of all that is evil, wrong and to be hated on this Earth in the liberal canon). If you're actually reading the article, the NYT wants you to know that Rick Perry is GWB only more so, even more BushHitlerian than the original article. They broke from each other, the NYT helpfully tells us, because Perry thinks Bush 2 is a squish, a loser, one of these unpure "compassionate conservatives". So if you thought George W. Bush was bad...wink wink.

From a lefty's point of view, this is a plausible case. This is not what renders the article so silly. What makes this article so daft is the NYT's logical progression from 1) Bush and Perry don't get along, to 2) Bush will impede and thwart Perry's chances via his considerable control of the Republican Party.

Balderdash all of it. The logical mistake emanates from the NYT's caricatured notion of the "inside baseball" of Republican Party politics. We don't expect the NYT to understand rank and file Republican attitudes and we certainly don't expect the fading paper of record to know the dark inner secrets of elite Republican strategery. This is, after all, the paper that relishes giving away the nation's secrets to the world, there is no chance they are in possession of any meaningful understanding of the GOP's inner workings.

In reality, Bush has almost zero interest in being a GOP kingmaker and relatively little power to be such. What Bush does have is broad and deep connections and resources that he can add to a Perry campaign or not add. Bush can augment Perry's arsenal but not really detract from it. Finally, what the NYT suspects, but has no real appreciation of due to its limited worldview, is that Barack Obama has united all the various petty fiefdoms within the Republican spectrum. There is no greater mission right now than to defeat this clown and everybody understands it quite well. When push comes to shove, when the chances of defeating Barack Obama look more and more like a reality, Bush will allow any and all resources he commands to be put into the fight in assistance to a Perry campaign.

Self Back-Pat

It was be no means a stretch, but when I get one right I have to toot my own horn a little. I said that Mitt Romney would have an easy time of it raising money.