Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Eugene Robinson, Fool

It is well established that Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post is a typical MSM columnist, a highly credentialed and articulate fool. To wit, he asks:

"Why Does Mitt Romney Want to be President?"

Where to begin? Number one, because $1 trillion plus deficits as far as the eye can see is the recipe for certain financial collapse. Number two, several noteworthy unconstitutional assaults on Americans' freedoms have been enacted into law, one in particular comes to mind, and need to be rolled back if America is to retain a level of freedom that is its tradition, proper state, and the fervent desire of its populace. Number three, the American economy is gummed up by countless Lilliputian snares and ligatures, impeding the long march of ever higher standards of living achieved through robust free enterprise. Number four, feckless American foreign policy has emboldened bad actors and regimes antithetical to peace and stability making the world more dangerous by orders of magnitude; and, the same has sewed doubt among our friends who would be reformers and supporters for democracy, human rights and free enterprise.

That's the big stuff. Numbers five through two hundred and twenty-seven include things like having a First Lady that won't nanny us about how we feed our kids or having advisers that don't admire Mao Tse-tung or not having the FCC take over the Internet or not wanting to gut the military or actually respecting religious freedom, etc. Or how about having a President that won't be gaffetastic and refer to Georgia as Russia? And a million other reasons.

Did Mean Gene ever think that that's why Mitt Romney wants to be President?

You may Not Like the Catholic Church, But Would You Bet Against It?

Here is my alternative headline to this: "Two thousand year old institution that has seen nations come and go tells unpopular leader in power only three years to pound sand."

War, plagues, disasters, schisms, persecutions, war, Communism, war, fascism, Naziism, war and more war - the Catholic Church has seen it all and it is still here, with over a billion members. Obama had 69.5 million people vote for him three years ago, 7.7 million of which likely regret doing so. He has lost control of one half of a bicameral legislature and his signature achievement is scheduled for judicial review. So, who do you think is going to win this little scrape?

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Come to This

If you were running for 5th grade class president and you wanted to be sure you'd get elected, you'd get up in front of the class and promise that if elected you would provide free ice cream every Friday during lunch. Naturally, that approach wouldn't work for the highest executive office of a complex society of adults living in the most advanced nation in history...right?

Volcker Rule Screwing Up Entire World

First it was the Japanese, now the Europeans are complaining about the Volcker Rule. Not content just to screw up our capital markets, US politicians that voted for Dodd-Frank have succeeded in messing up overseas markets. But this time they've really messed up; don't they know that you don't screw with the political class's ability to feed ever-growing government with debt?? That's a no-no. You don't mess with the Vote Pump.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So All This "Draft Hillary" Stuff Isn't Analogous?

Apparently a third of Republicans want another candidate to jump in the race. Big deal! The obvious point is that two thirds are satisfied with the choices they have, but more importantly, I bet the number is much higher for Democrats. Haven't we been hearing non-stop for awhile now that Hillary ought to step into the race? It seems like every other week we read of a major Democratic poo-bah or pundit calling for Hillary (or even Bill). Democrats are putting on a good face about all this, they know Obama has damaged the party for years and they know the White House is at risk along with the Senate, but he's their best shot to retain the at least one branch of government. You'd be lucky to get two out of three Democrats saying they want no one other than Obama to compete for their nomination. In fact, I bet you the comparable number for Democrats is over 50%, only very few true believers of Hopenchange are left.

Holy Moley!

Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan (that is his new official title and the traditional method of reference) is eloquent and yet minces no words on how he feels about how ObamaCare's mandates conflict with religious principles. Some choice tidbits:

Now we have learned that those loud and strong appeals were ignored. On Friday, the administration reaffirmed the mandate, and offered only a one-year delay in enforcement in some cases—as if we might suddenly be more willing to violate our consciences 12 months from now.
The rule forces insurance companies to provide these services without a co-pay, suggesting they are "free"—but it is naïve to believe that. There is no free lunch, and you can be sure there's no free abortion, sterilization or contraception. There will be a source of funding: you.
By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease.
When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead.
Ouch. Count Catholics among the various voting blocks that will exhibit diminished enthusiasm for the Lightworker in 2012 relative to 2008, which is likely to include cops, Jews, the armed forces, unemployed recent college grads, the business community, Iranian-Americans, doctors, and, investors of all types. (Also, college professors??)


Rob over at say anything pithily captures the insanity of all this "Romney is rich" angst.

So the guy made alot of money, and because of that we want to stick with the guy who never had a real job to fix the economy??? Huh???

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Economy Still A Massive Anchor for Obama. Stay Focused People! ABBO!

David Goldman keeps it pithy, substituting graphs for words, but he says essentially what I've been saying - the economy may get slightly better but it won't feel better, and therefore will not only not help Obama, but stands to hurt him irreparably. His only chance is a Republican fumble, which may well happen, but not if we put it all behind us and turn out and vote ABBO. Romney, Gingrich, whoever. Doesn't matter. ABBO.

UPDATE: Just got my copy of the latest American Rifleman, and let's just say that they are rallying their base big time around ABBO. The cover story is a call to arms about the election - and they've taken a tip from Justin Tuck and the G-Men - we need to be "All In." Who's All In?

Will Lefties Now Love Fracking After Obama Blesses It?

The American energy industry is letting out a collective "Is he f**king kidding?" this morning after hearing Obama's taking credit for and ballyhooing progress in hydrocarbon development last night in the SOTU. There has been no US administration more hostile to the exploitation of our domestic hydrocarbon-based energy resources than that of Barack Obama. (Mark Perry has more on this.) So what to make of this:

President Barack Obama, in a State of the Union address delivered 11 months before election day, pushed drilling for natural gas in shale formations as a potential boost to the economy.

Hydraulic fracturing, which injects a mix of water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, according to a White House document released before Obama’s speech. The process, called fracking, is among a list of energy policies Obama said would fuel economic growth.

First option of what to make of it is obvious - he's lying. The current Democratic Party has a few sacrosanct principles, one of which is that all hydrocarbon energy is bad. He could be using this as a talking point about jobs for campaign purposes but have no intention whatsoever to be amenable to fracking.

Second option, it is now an officially acceptable tenet of progressive orthodoxy to embrace the natural gas revolution brought about by the technology of hydraulic fracturing.

What's your guess?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Face It, Who Is More Evil Than the Norwegians?

Those notorious Gaia-hating, environment despoiling Norwegians! They're fast-tracking significant oil development projects!! Not only do they want to boil the planet, they want to do it quickly!! Oh the HUMANITY! How can these blond, fish-eating monsters be stopped?!?! They'll kill us all if left to persist.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Friday gave the green light to the plan for development and operation (PDO) of Skuld, a fast-track development tied in to the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea.

Skuld is Statoil's fifth approved fast-track PDO, and the largest fast-track development so far. All of these fields are scheduled to come on stream by year-end 2012/early 2013.

War criminals, I say! Trials! We need trials for these war criminals!

Crazy Insane Got No Brain!

Shell is going to spend $1 billion looking for oil offshore Nova Scotia, where there could be 8 billions barrels of the stuff. Man, I sure hope they find some, we could sure use some of it here. We'll just build a pipeline or something...bring the oil right here rather than have it shipped in via tanker...

...or we could go insane.

Why Are We "Pre-Revolutionary" Again?

Let's tick off a few things:
- An official of the Department of Justice, the cabinet-level agency charged with unearthing wrongdoing and enforcing our laws, is pleading the fifth so as to be able to not reveal truths to Congressional investigators;
- ObamaCare is now forcing you and I to pay for free contraception for our fellow citizens;
- more idiocy and taxpayer funded waste at bankrupt Solyndra;
- Feds shut down file-sharing website with no apparent due process
- Coast Guard indefinitely detains seafarers over suspected pollution
- Some in Congress are proposing a "Reasonable Profits Board"
- The national debt - at least the official, understated, national debt - was, at last count, over $15 trillion;
- Our President has just shut down a major infrastructure project that would provide tens of thousands of jobs and increase our energy supplies from a friendly neighbor rather than from extremist, America-hating dictatorships;

That's just today and after just five minutes of perusing. No wonder Pat Caddell has found Americans to be in a "pre-revolutionary" mood.

I'm a Better "Tax Avoider" Than Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney didn't avoid ANY US taxes by virtue of participating in Cayman Island-domiciled investment partnerships.


Why the hell not? When you read things like this and we have Solyndra and California's High Speed Rail idiocy and the zillions of other laugh/cry examples of expensive government idiocy - all of which are paid for by you and me by coercion - how can you NOT want to resist getting fleeced for this stuff and attempt to avoid a little taxes? I do and you can too. Why didn't Romney? Is he a piker or did he perhaps know that he would be running for POTUS one day and our media are a bunch of lefty apparatchik hacks?? Ponying up every last dollar possible to fund these dimwits' blithering nonsense is pure pikerism if you ask me.

Lefties Are OK With Indefinite Detention When It's For Their Crimes

This is an amazing(ly depressing) story. I thought indefinite detention was a bad thing. That's what liberals told me when we detained people who wanted to kill us in what they perceive as a war for domination. Pikers. Alas, there is no sin like environmental sin and no usurpation of liberty is too great for that. (Note: from paid site)

A US judge has forced local authorities to negotiate with Evalend Shipping after the ‘indefinite detention of crew’ in an investigation of magic-pipe allegations.

US authorities are treating seafarers “like enemy combatants”, says a US federal judge in Houston, who has strongly criticised the indefinite detention of crew members in pollution investigations.

Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) federal court has taken the unusual step of putting court pressure on the the US Coast Guard (USCG) and Department of Justice (DoJ) in their negotiations with owner and crew in a pollution investigation.

In the midst of an investigation of magic-pipe allegations involving Greece’s Evalend Shipping and the 15-man crew of its 5,700-dwt products tanker Mediator (built 2008), Gilmore has forced the USCG and DoJ authorities to negotiate with defence lawyers and reduce bonds and limit terms of confinement under a “security agreement” with the USCG.

In a set of personal and, at times, colourful remarks from the bench, the judge repeatedly made it clear that she is concerned about her country’s respect for seafarers’ civil rights.

According to a 52-page transcript of a 5 January hearing in the ongoing case, Gilmore told prosecutors and lawyers for the owner: “That is the thing that is really the most troubling to me of this entire deal, not the money so much, but just the indefinite detention of people, just saying, ‘You’re stuck here and we don’t have to tell you anything. You’re like enemy combatants. We don’t have to tell you when you’re going to get let go.’”

Simply lawless.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Warren Buffett Pays Down 0.000000327% of America's Debt

Awesome news. Now, all we need is 306,122,449 to cut checks for $49,000 as well (oh, and not run any more deficits) and we're home free. I'll ask my 4, 7, and 10 year old kids when I go home tonight what they are good for. They did get some money for Christmas after all.

Shocker: Bloomberg Distorts Election Non-Issue Issue

This headline annoys the crap out of me. No surprise it comes from Al Hunt & Co. at Bloomberg News, which is the new JournoList focused on re-electing Barack Obama.

Romney Gets Break for Taxes Less Wage-Earner

Romney does NOT get a "tax break." He pays the statutory (meaning passed by Congress) tax rate on investment income. Since he has no job currently, he does not earn any meaningful amount in wages, on which he would pay the statutory tax rate on wages. The man is living off of the investments he has accumulated over a lifetime of working, which is what we all do whether it is from the family home or other properties or stock or bonds. He is, in other words, doing nothing different from what most all retired people do. Furthermore, the taxation of investment income versus the taxation of wage income is different for a number of reasons grounded in sound economic logic. You may disagree for whatever reason - philosophical, economic or otherwise - but your beef is not with Mitt Romney, it is with the law and your elected representatives that passed and maintain current taxation policy.

This is the same dumb argument that Warren Buffett makes - he too makes most of his money from investments and he laments the fairness of his taxation rate versus that of his secretary. He never says why his rate is lower and he never makes a forceful argument against the well-established policy of taxing investment income differently from wage income. If you don't like the situation, fine, make a rational argument for equalizing the two, but don't lie and distort about who is getting breaks and all that garbage.

UPDATE: This is all to say nothing of the fact that Romney's 15% tax rate is too high, as Jimmy P. rightly points out. And John Cochrane puts a little extra meat on the bone.

America the Flakey

Bloomberg is reporting that Obama will reject the Keystone XL pipeline. This is a disaster for America in strategic, economic, and diplomatic terms. It has real-world damaging affects but also it is, to my mind, the sine qua non of what I have talked about before - flakiness. This is a flakey policy. America is now flakey, and this is perhaps one of the worst outcomes of electing a man such as Barack Obama - we can't make sensible decisions and close deals that our allies and us have worked on for years.

Just But One Small Example

Methanex, a Canadian chemical company with operations all over the world, is relocating one of its methanol plants (yes, it is literally taking a giant plant that looks like this and putting it on boats and reassembling it in Louisiana) to the US to take advantage of the "shale gas boom".
Methanex Corporation...announced today that it has secured land in Geismar, Louisiana, and is planning to move one of its idle methanol plants in Chile to this location. Site-specific engineering has begun and the plant is expected to be operational in the second half of 2014.
The company estimates 1000 jobs associated with the plant construction and 100-200 permanent jobs at the facility long term. More investment and jobs for America and yet our government is actively trying to thwart the development of shale gas...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Super Bowl Prediction Still Alive

While we still have a ways to go, my Super Bowl prediction is still alive and well, at least for a week. Probably more than can be said for most. I bet 85% of all SB predictions were felled by the disappearance of the Packers, Saints and Steelers.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Simple Answer

Great article by Kevin Williamson here and great question:
Obama: Incompetent or Evil?
The answer, of course, is YES.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romney's Cash: Good Sign

This is just the beginning. I have predicted it, Mitt is going to raise boatloads of cash from businesses big and small, who've felt beleaguered and assaulted by Barack Obama's administration and his Democratic Party for years now. The American Business community has long since completely given up on Obama. Romney doesn't have to be the conservative rock-star that some think he has to be. His basic, sensible, business-friendly, non-Obamaness is going to draw money into his coffers like flies to pies. And then he is going to use that money to pound away at 1) what a crappy economic policy Obama has unleashed and 2) what a thinly-disguised, Constitution-hating tyrant he is. Pound. Pound. Pound.

And he will maintain the persona of a not-so-scary Republican that independents and disaffected moderate (Reagan) Democrats can reasonably consider. And he will be good enough for right wing ABBO nut jobs like me. That's the formula: Money/Moderate/Not Obama.
I think it's a pretty decent strategy. It could do the trick. So let's quit all the kvetching and "git ur done."

UPDATE: Ahem, what did I say about Obama and the business community?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Even With Good Intentions...

Guess what? When the government is the only entity that can buy pharmaceuticals and said government is an irretrievable deadbeat, nobody gets pharmaceuticals.

For patients and pharmacists in financially stricken Greece, even finding aspirin has turned into a headache.

Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.

“When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening day by day.”

The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines. Even when drugs are available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.

Actually, it is not complex at all - people demand compensation for the things that they produce. If you can't pay the compensation, you don't get the things.
Strained government finances only make matters worse. Wholesalers and pharmacists say the system suffers from a lack of liquidity, as public insurers delay payments to pharmacies, which in turn can’t pay suppliers on time.

“Wholesalers simply do not have the money anymore to play bank to the pharmacies,” Heinz Kobelt, secretary general of the European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, said in a telephone interview.

Public insurers owe pharmacists some 330 million euros ($422.1 million) for drugs bought since April, Dimitris Karageorgiou, vice-chairman of the pharmacists’ association, said in an interview last month. Payment can take three months to up to a year, pharmacists said. Some are turning to patients to pay up front.
Throw in price controls for good measure and you get shortages.
One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs, Greece has mandated lower drug prices in the past year. That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.
There are many lessons to unpack here, but the best one might be to view all this through the lens of compassion. Leftists are constantly telling us that government run healthcare is compassionate. What is compassionate about a system that breaks down catastrophically with no incentives to get people what they need? Take out the central-planning of the Greek healthcare system you might have a chance to get treatments to patients, albeit at higher costs. What is more compassionate, meeting patients' needs at higher cost or having them go without needed medicines altogether?

Note also, as a sidebar, that if the Greek system currently prevailed in Illinois, Illini would be similarly deprived of medicines as the state of Illinois cannot pay its bills on time.

So let's put a little addendum onto Gerry Ford's quote, "A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have....". I would add, "whether it intends to or not." Governments can deprive you by being tyrannical or by melting down and ceasing to function - the end results is the same.

A Shame

How did Newt Gingrich go from a jewel to a disgrace in less than six weeks? I guess when you are a creature of the 24-hour news cycle...

Then Do Something About It

Coming in 2014? The Venezuelan Missile Crisis?

So just the other day, in criticizing our Demilitarizer-in-Chief, I asked what will we do when Iran parks a nuclear warhead in the jungles of Venezuela?


Monday, January 09, 2012

Daley Out

Daley stepping down. The media will make nothing of it, as opposed to the deeply disturbing meaning of, let's say, Andy Card leaving the Bush White House. That said, no administration wants the headache and/or disruption of a major change of personnel in the White House, certainly not in an election year where things have to appear to be going smoothly. Still, Obama clearly doesn't display any desire for the White House to function this year anyway - his legislative agenda is dead and he's fighting his battles against the economy at the regulatory agency level. He's in campaign mode so who cares who runs the WH anyway, right? Mostly right, but still it is an opening for opponents to say, 'Hey look, things are discombobulated, there's tumult, uncertainty...yadayada.' So how could they let Daley leave right now? What's another eleven months?

Well, if you think the Clintonites are hanging the Lightworker out to dry...this can be seen in a different light. Will there be any Clintonites left as we get into the general election campaign?

Oh, and let me ask you, dear reader, one question: What are the chances that while Daley gets out, Hillary is getting in? Yup.

More Pigovian Nonsense

More Pigovian nonsense from the otherwise sensible Greg Mankiw. Alternative titles could be:
- "Taxing People for Leaving Their Homes, Saves Lives" or
- "Taxes Forcibly Alter People's Preference Functions to Conform to Other People's Preferences."

Friday, January 06, 2012

No Way. ObamaCare Pads Insurance Cos. Profits.

ObamaCare has increased healthcare costs precipitously for you and me, and is keeping businesses from hiring, but hey, at least it's padding insurance companies' profits!!

Hope. Change. Enjoy!

History's Pound Foolishness

The WSJ weighs in today on Obama's proposed gutting of America's military capabilities and they get it exactly right - this is history's pound foolishness. It's easy to see this as a budget issue and glaze over wot with all that green eye shade, but history transcends fiscal accounting periods and proceeds in tidal movements over decades. Obama's proposal is of a magnitude that it counts as one of history's "big ideas." Big, but neither a new or good idea.

Throughout history, great powers have voluntarily disarmed and the results have never been good. The reasons are always the same as well: 1) war is yucky, 2) we currently have no formidable adversaries, 3) we can spend the money on goodies for ourselves. Unfortunately, those that make the decisions are never around to reap the bitter fruits, it always falls upon later generations to to deal with, as the WSJ puts it, "history's next surprise." The entitlement state always wins out until there are battleships off your coasts and in your harbors.

Sure, we may enjoy free healthcare or lavish retirement benefits now, but what are we going to do thirty years from now when a Chinese carrier group sails into San Francisco Bay or, to slake their thirst for oil, China invades British Columbia (China population = 1.4 billion, Canada population = 34 million)? Or, what will we do when Iran parks several nuclear warheads in the jungles of Venezuela (more like five years from now)? Peaceniks, liberals and America-haters may scoff, but these are the scenarios that history bears out: humans are aggressive, power fills a vacuum, today's decisions set the stage for the world decades hence, and threats are ignored until they are right in front of your face.

The America-hating world will rejoice at our self-debasement but here, too, history offers scant comfort. The world is combustible and placid geographies can turn into killing fields in an instant. Europe was an abattoir for nearly all of the early half of the 20th century. After the US joined the fight and ensured ongoing security, the Europeans lived out the last half of the century in relative peace and prosperity (false, debt-fueled, entitlement-rich prosperity as it turns out). When the killing fields return to the heart of Europe and the US is militarily atrophied, how will the America-haters in Euroland feel just then? With Vladimir Putin III's army bearing down on the citizens of Berlin, after having raped and killed their way through Poland, just what will be the headline in Der Spiegel - "Thank God Obama Shrunk the US military by a Third!" ??

Laugh all you want at my hypotheticals, but show me where in history man's benevolent nature has undergirded long stretches of peace and prosperity. When was the golden age of nations living side by side in peace, the world safe from aggression of arms?

Obama opponents joke that he would turn us into France. It's no joke. He is. Here comes our transformation to the martial prowess of France. All that's left is to have not enough work to go around, so that we have to share the work with others in a 35 hour work week...oh wait...

Enjoy America. This is Hope and Change. You asked for it, you got it.

UPDATE: Another, more learned, take here. Just a quick point on this line: "Obama’s been trying to reassure Americans all this won’t endanger our national security or our strategic interests. Everyone in or out of uniform who’s free to speak knows better". You want proof? Just look at Odierno's face in this picture, it says it all.

Oh, and there is this:
Fortunately, some of the Republican presidential candidates have seen the danger coming. Mitt Romney has urged keeping the defense budget at 4 percent of GDP — it’s currently less than 3 percent — and wants to expand the Navy’s desperately endangered shipbuilding program.
Abortion flip-flops, RomneyCare, yadayada...who bloody cares? Now is the time to get the BIG things correct. So you do you still want to bitch and moan about how uninspiring Mitt Romney is?

UPDATE: While the subject is deadly serious, on a more wayward note, look at Panetta's face in that picture. What's with the ear-to-ear grin? Could he be unleashing the Clintonite Final Solution to the Era of Obama? Well, Panetta is a Clintonite and this surely will get every current and former US serviceman to the polls in November. I'm starting to think there really is something to my little conspiracy theory. All that remains is for some Clintonite to push Obama into formally declaring all individually owned firearms illegal before the election...although, based on my latest issue of American Rifleman, gun owners are already pretty fired up to vote in 2012...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Will the Economy Help Obama? A Closer Look.

Byron Wien is also fond of making predictions like yours truly (H/T Mark Perry). Here's one of his:
4. The recovering economy and the declining unemployment rate help President Obama convince the voters that he didn't do such a bad job in his first term after all. He is viewed as a good speaker but a poor leader who is running against Mitt Romney, viewed as uninspired and whose positions on many issues are unclear. Democrats take back the House of Representatives but lose the Senate in an anti-incumbent wave.
It's plausible but I would go the other way. The economy is recovering but not enough and in such a way that it won't help Obama. The jobs picture may improve but it will still be pretty bad for reasons that I have discussed at length, but here is the nub:
The economy is recovering but not fast enough to add the number of jobs needed to help Obama politically. Jobs creators are justifiably cautious and the only shift has been in Obama's rhetoric; the nasty, job-killing stuff he has foisted on the economy is still fully operational down in the inner workings of the economy. Even if unemployment moderates a bit, it is a virtual certainty that it will be higher than when he took office. Not good.
Also, while the numbers may start to look better, the economy will still feel crappy, and that matters come election time. If voters don't feel times are better, they won't vote like it regardless of what the numbers say. Ask George Herbert Walker Bush about that one.

Finally, and most importantly, there is the little matter of what happened in November 2010. Republicans can make a plausible case that to whatever extent the economy is doing better, it is because Americans rose up on November 3, 2010 and effectively stopped the Obama agenda dead in its tracks, at least legislatively. Remember what we were staring down the barrel of during the first two years of the Obama administration: 1) ObamaCare, 2) Card Check 3) Cap & Trade. This represented a triple-barrel threat to the economy. We got ObamaCare (and businesses are nearly universally saying that it is a job-killer) but we avoided Card Check and Cap & Trade legislation by virtue of electing a bunch of Republicans to the Congress.

Avoiding the devastation of those two last pillars of the original Obama agenda caused a huge sigh of relief in the business world and the economy surely benefited knowing these ideas were dead in the water. Republicans can and will make this very plausible argument. Furthermore, economic progress is not uniformly spread around the country. Some states are doing much better than others, and let's not forget that in November 2010 voters put some Republicans into Governor's mansions across the country. Let me ask you, do you think that Michiganders are going to credit the meager economic bright spots solely to Obama or perhaps give Rick Snyder some kudos? Are Pennsylvanians going to give all the credit to Obama or to Tom Corbett, who embraced the fracking boom to PA? Scott Walker sure is polarizing, but does anybody think that Walker can't plausibly be credited for whatever economic progress has been made in Wisconsin? Same with Kasich in Ohio. Florida is perking up under Rick Scott, but Illinois is mired in the dumps under Pat Quinn. How's California faring?

The Obama-as-economic-miracle-worker theme is one damn thin reed. The MSM will go into overdrive to spout it, but Republicans can counter it effectively and my guess is that voters won't be buying it - four years was a long time to get very little out of Obama in terms of the economy.

UPDATE: check this out. UPPDATE: more evidence?

Constitutional Crisis? I'll Say.

So Mark Levin says we have a constitutional crisis on our hands in re Obama's recent "recess" appointments. I say, add it to the list.

Me on 7/20/10: "Watch this space, this is going to get alot worse before it gets better. I see this as another area, in addition to healthcare, where we could have another constitutional crisis."

Me on 1/26/11: "And something like 10 states are now dredging up an 18th century doctrine called nullification to combat ObamaCare as if plain old lawsuits weren't good enough, which more than half the states are pursuing. If that isn't the early innings of a full-blown constitutional crisis, I don't know what is."

Me on 2/23/10: "So Democrats get sent to oblivion and we don't have to actually live with the bill. Pretty good trade. Although, the constitutional crisis that we will see by virtue of #1 won't be milk and cookies."

Me (at my subtlest) on 2/11/10: "Constitutional crisis here we come."

And finally, me on 12/31/2009: "ObamaCare passes and Texas responds w/federalist driven anti-ObamaCare bill sparking constitutional crisis"

This wasn't hard to see coming folks, the guy was a walking talking constitutional crisis time bomb from the get-go.

What Can an Oklahoma Teenager Teach European Officials Overseeing the Global Trading System?

Does the story of that Oklahoma mother have lessons for high-powered international policymakers? Um, yeah. (note: likely sub. needed).
The foreign affairs select committee applauded Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent u-turn on the use of armed security teams on board UK-flagged vessels, but said guidelines on the legal use of force “lack critical detail”.

"The government's guidance on the use of force, particularly lethal force, is very limited and there is little to help a ship's master make a judgement on where force can be used,” committee chairman, Conservative MP Richard Ottaway, said.

"The question anyone would ask is that if a private armed guard on board a UK-flagged vessel sees an armed skiff approaching at high speed, can the guard open fire?

“The government must provide clearer direction on what is permissible and what is not."

How about "When malicious intent is reasonably established and further delay poses mortal risk to oneself, go ahead and shoot." Pretty simple. An 18-year old gal from Okie knows that. Do European policymakers???

And here is a shocker: "Pirates have yet to successfully hijack a vessel carrying armed guards."

Note: all my coverage of piracy is here.

Get 'Em While They're Hot - 2012 Predictions !!!

Well, it's time to make my predictions for 2012. I've done pretty well on my predictions the last few years. In 2011, I nailed alot of them "directionally" if not a precise score. In making my predictions, note that I try to steer away from the obvious and make out-of-the-box prognostications that are at least plausible - they may be grounded in the obvious reality, but I try to take them further. No need to be conventional, you get that from the MSM. I'm not trying to be right as many times as I can, I'm trying to be right with a high degree of difficulty. I list them from most interesting/confident to least interesting/confident, so here goes.

- Romney/Tea Party, A Marriage Made in...Well, Just Made: Mitt Romney (who is FINE btw) chooses a VP nominee that solidifies his support with true conservatives just enough to complete his primary electoral strategy of 1) be the "non-scary" Republican that independents and moderate Dems can feel comfortable voting for and 2) be good enough for conservatives and libertarians to turn out like they need to turn out to defeat the constitutional democracy/individual liberty disaster that is Barack Obama. Likely choices are Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, Jim DeMint, or Paul Ryan. I say it's Romney/Ryan because we need this one badly and Ryan adds tremendously to the ticket (Republican poo-bahs move Heaven and Earth to get Ryan to sign up).

- 2012 Election is Close Until Sep-Oct When Obama Blows It ala McCain in 2008: Obama's political skills are awesome, but his political instincts are terrible. He will do quite egregious things to please his base (wow! as if on cue). He will run neck and neck with Romney/Ryan until he blows it with a policy gaffe that conspicuously reminds voters what an amateur and/or liberal fascist he is. The gaffe could even be a Clintonite engineered self-destruction conspiracy. (Wow! I could be early on this one!)

- ClimateGate email hacker is caught and it turns out he/she/them works essentially for the Russian government.

- Something Deep, Deep Underground in Iran Blows Up: Above-ground things are blowing up left and right and we are constantly told that the Big Bad Nuke Stuff is way underground where we can't bomb it. Well, maybe not with airplanes. We/they/whoever scores a big one with a KABOOM underneath the feet of the mullahs.

- SCOTUS Shoots Down Individual Mandate, Keeps Rest of ObamaCare Intact: Chief Justice Roberts garners the five votes needed to shoot down the mandate as a bridge too far in restricting the liberties of Americans. Although never revealed, the decision is an attempt to re-establish the Court's credibility as a bastion of protection of the citizenry's liberties after the disastrous Kelo decision.

- Global Warming, Er Sorry, Climate Change Officially Dies: Canada got the ball rolling so now the flood gates are open, three more major countries opt out of the Kyoto Protocol and the global warming movement is officially laid to rest.

- The Hopes and Dreams of the "Arab Spring" Actually Take Root...in Syria: Assad is killed or leaves and Syrians actually setup the relatively liberal democracy that people thought would prevail in Egypt. The new Syrian regime makes peace with Israel and allies with the West. But not before alot of people get killed.

- Al Qaeda Makes a Big Comeback, Targets China Too: Plenty of new places to regroup - Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq. They get the band back together, and they add to the list of Great Satans.

- Vladimir Putin Escapes An Assassination Attempt: Grudge-harboring Chechen is emboldened by Putin's political weakness, but, alas, fails.

- In a Rematch of Super Bowl 35, the New York Giants Defeat the Ravens of Baltimore in Super Bowl 46 by a score of 27-17. MVP is Victor Cruz.

Maybe This Is Why America Is Bankrupt?

Bankrupt individuals running our public finances...? Could that be why our cities, states and federal government are functionally bankrupt?

Check this out. This woman can't handle her own finances but she thinks she is still qualified to legislate and wield influence/power over Westchester County's $1.8 billion budget.
Citing unmanageable debt, Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez, D-Yonkers, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Perez filed her legal papers in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains on Dec. 28, claiming that she has $476,976 in liabilities and $120,561 in assets. Her court papers also stated that she has been unemployed for different periods in each of the past three years.

“This is not going to affect my ability to represent the people of southwest Yonkers,” said Perez, 32, who was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators in November after defeating 10-year incumbent Legislator Jose Alvarado in the Democratic primary in September.
No, surprise there that Perez hails from the cesspool of Yonkers. Also, as a matter of prudence should we have deadbeats in public roles, aren't such people more vulnerable/prone to corruption?

A Bowl Game Win and Now This!

After six long years of out migration, Michigan has finally stopped the bleeding. Hey, maybe even ex-Gov Jenny Granholm will come back at some point, although doubtful.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"One Term Rally" Update

I have said it before, many times, and here comes confirmation from a very successful, market savvy Democrat. Right there at 00:50, DK says it...the country is leaning Republican and it is good for the economy and the market. (Note: DK doesn't actually predict Obama to lose, but it's a bird of a feather...)

Only A Little While Longer To Indulge in the Romney Kvetching

Debbie Whatshername Schultz may think the Dems had a big night last night, but this is fundraising gold for the likes of Mitt Romney, very much in keeping with how I imagine it will go.

On that note, there still appears to be alot of moaning (#5) about how Mitt Romney fared last night (did he do good or bad? I can't tell). And here. So let me reiterate things again for those who are not following along - it's fine. Romney is FINE. By any objective standard he is exactly the type of man with exactly the type of temperament, experience, and broad and deep connections to experts in policy and American life (precisely what Obama lacked when we put him in the White House) that we have elected more often than not in our nation's history. By any standard, Mitt Romney is the most typically "presidential" candidate to run for the Presidency since George Herbert Walker Bush. So relax and focus.

And remember, if you are a rabid small-government/right-wingish/libertarian/crony-capitalism hating/Tea Party/conservative loon like me, the real fight is over the Congress. The White House would be nice, but the Congress is essential. Our strategy should be 1) Hold the House, Take the Senate, 2) Replace Obama with just about anybody, and I mean ANYBODY.

So get all your Romney-Angst out of your system now and get ready to get your butt and the butts of several relatives, friends and associates to the polls in November to pull the lever for Mitt.

Plus, you're gonna like Mitt alot more when he has a war chest of $700 million dollars (that Newt Santorum could only dream of raising) and someone like Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, Jim DeMint or Marco Rubio on his ticket as VP nominee. (Or, if you like out-of-the-box scenarios...Rand Paul...)

Party of Ideas???

Andy Cuomo goes back in time for one of the worst economic development ideas of the last decade or so - convention centers. (in Queens no less...sorry Mom)

Taxing the rich and building multi-hundred million dollar boondoggles...? And this guy is the next great hope for the Democratic party...?

Will the gay-marriage sainthood shield him from the inevitable results of running the Democrats' 30 year-old economic game plan? We'll see, but I doubt it.

UPDATE: While I didn't merit an "Instalanche" I claim credit for bringing this to the Good Professor's attention, and I think he covers it with the usual pithiness and perspicaciousness.