Monday, April 30, 2012

How Come This Dan Savage Guy Is Always Saying Stupid, Hateful Things?

We shouldn't have any "Czars" in the government, but let's take reality as it is and 1) accept that meaningless governmental posts are needed to combat perceived and actual social problems that we'd like to mitigate, 2) assume that "bullying" is fixable and worthy of said government attention and resources.  So who would make a good "Anti-Bullying Czar"?  One candidate might be a malcontented homosexual who says stupid and hateful things because a) he can't hold his liquor and/or b) is simply a malcontented homosexual who has a thinly veiled left-liberal agenda.  Another candidate would be a world famous freaky deaky entertainer who actually cares about anti-bullying.  Who would you choose?  Of course, we know who Obama - he of the Atrocities Prevention Board - chose.

Three Years of Sitting Obama Out

Victor Davis Hanson gives eloquent expression to the notions that I have put forth on this blog since the very first days of the Obama administration in this essay titled Sitting Obama Out.  The first notion is the "Job Market Vigilantes" and the second is a "Capital Strike".  The two are cousins of the same economic principle - incentives matter.

Indeed, I have used the actual words to describe how business leaders have largely approached the existence of the Obama administration - wait him out.  They have waited him out, hiring abroad, hoarding cash, shrinking their balance sheets, and now the light at the end of the tunnel is faintly visible.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Real Political Party of Genius

I think I have chronicled the particular genius of the modern day Democrats (Obamacrats, Pelosicrats, whatever you want to call them, but you know who they are...they are the crazy lefties that are slaughtering the moderates in their party):  having successfully bamboozled the American public at large that they are for "the people" and against "corporate greed" (whatever that means) and thus gained power, they go on to deliver an economy that is anemic and counter-productive to the living standards of the average citizen, while corporate profits are soaring. 

Today's evidence adds to the picture, a stagflationary 2.2% GDP growth number that hardly helps people get jobs or advance in life, but corporate earnings are pretty darned good.

U.S. stocks gained, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index toward the biggest weekly advance in a month, after better-than-estimated earnings overshadowed data showing the economy expanded less than forecast.
We salute you Real Political Party of Genius.  You've even one-upped the giant taco salad inventor.  Crack open an ice cold Bud Light.

N.B.  I almost titled this post the "The Obamacrats' Taco Salad Economy".  Is that giant taco salad healthy?  Of course it is, it's a salad.  Is Obama's economy good for average Americans?  Of course it is, he's Obama.

UPDATE:  I kid you not, this just hit...the slow economy is good for America... I guess that's right, whatever Obama gives us has to be good for us, right...he's a Lightworker!

We Have Stagflation, Just No Billy Beer

Growth is below inflation

The earliest instance of the word "stagflation" on this blog was April 30, 2010.  And many more since.

Just to let you know I told you so.  We know who is responsible for the stag and who is responsible for the flation, but we can only fire one of them.

Reap. Sow. YadaYada.

The Moocher Vote

The Peggy Josephs will be back at the polls apparently...

Will you let them carry the day? 

How To Deal With Schmucks (in the White House)

I wasn't planning on giving anything but a token donation to Romney's campaign.  But now I will give something meaningful, for sure.  This is all part of my philosophy of dealing with schmucks.  I hope the individuals Strassel mentions ramp it up and give more in the face of Obama's low, shameful bullshit.

Andy Cuomo Copies Obama's Discredited "Stimulus"

Hot on the heels of his last super-duper economic policy initiative - a swank new convention center to serve the dying convention biz in a part of New York that nobody wants to go to - inexplicable rock star New York Governor and Great Hope for 2016, Andrew Cuomo has another spasm of economic genius - retrofit government buildings to be more green.  As if all the green jobs baloney and weather-proofing hooey dished out by the federal government these last few years wasn't self-evidently wasteful and pointless enough.  And it'll only cost us $800 million!!  No worries there, because the lovely Empire State is notoriously solvent in addition to having an estimable record for efficiency and honesty in the provision of public services.

OK, enough with the snark. You know what this is, or at least what it is supposed to be?  It is back door slush money to keep municipalities from feeling the pain of Cuomo's half-assed attempts to stop the ratchet of government growth that is eating the state alive.  Cuomo passed a 2% tax cap for school districts but continues to resist a significant movement for "mandate relief," which is relief from costs that local governments must pay because Albany says so.  So Albany has mandated costs that are growing and yet capped revenues that localities can raise without much to-do.  Many towns are in a sticky situation and are laying off workers and cutting back significantly.  This is not good for local pols.  So Cuomo has to do something to make up for the pickle he's put them in by holding himself out as a reformer that hasn't actually reformed anything because he's too timid.  Cuomo is hoping to coast to re-election on his gay-marriage sainthood but he's got to keep the economic balls in the air.  Thus the need to sprinkle $800 million of funny money around the state.  See Andy juggle.  Juggle, Andy.  Juggle!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Italy: The Sclerosis Is Too Deep, They're Cooked

Little known fact.  In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, several countries placed moratoriums on offshore oil drilling.  One of those countries was, believe it or not, Italy.  Why Italy?  Who knows, I guess any self-respecting leftist Euro-weenie government thought this was a non-pass-upable chance to stick it to some oil companies.  But Italy wasn't run by a leftist Euro-weenie, it was run by the King of Bunga-Bunga himself.  Like I said, who knows?  Anyway, what's important for our purposes here it to note that two years later, Italy still hasn't lifted their moratorium.  This is a country that is staring into the economic abyss and needs jobs, economic growth and cold hard cash more as a matter of survival, but they can't seem to get small easy policy calls right.  Oil drilling won't get Italy to the fiscal promised land, but robust economic growth is the only thing that will and they can ill afford stagnation by a thousand cuts, of which this is one example.  The whole world has moved on, even if some have been forced to kicking and screaming, but not Italy.

So what's the lesson?  That a political ideology and the structure that flows from it, cannot be easily and painlessly undone.  Leftism, the European social model, whatever you want to call it, is not a policy direction that can simply be reversed, it is a political carcinogen that has been ingested in too large of a quantity and must be somehow excised or expelled from the body.  This never happens quickly or painlessly.  European problems are only beginning.  I pray that they only stay in Europe - Europe has a way a f**king things up for the entire world.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Context and intent make all the difference."

Hardly shocking.  Absolutely right they do.  Here is my context: I haven't read the Crimes in years, my kids won't see a copy of the Crimes around the house until they have their own money and the desire to buy their own damn copy.  My intent is to act in a way such that free market forces act upon the Crimes to drive it into insolvency and irrelevance at some future date, the sooner the better, for its brand of journalistic mendacity ill serves the world.  How's that for context and intent?!?!


The NBA doesn't need Ron Artest one iota, why the hell is this mofo still playing in the league?

Romney Shocks With Actual Mojo...?

So Romney's speech was pretty darn good.  You should check it out.  Couple things.  This vindicates, I think, Spengler's impressions, and to some extent mine because Romney never made me kvetch like so many other conservatives who temporarily came down with a liberalesque whining virus.  Principally, however, I said that conservatives and libertarians are gonna like Romney alot more once he raises a campaign kitty that will be able to take on Billion Dollar Barack (or even Not Quite a Billion Dollar Barack).  The money is important, but enthusiasm is important too.  So, it's nice to see actual evidence that Romney might find some actual, inspiring mojo.

I very much like the three-pronged approach: 1) the presidential, above the fray air (because the guy is actually presidential); 2) the Reaganite Hope/Optimistic Themes ("dust off those 'Help Wanted' signs" sounds alot like Morning In America but with specificity on jobs); and 3) the dismissiveness of the Lightworker as a bit of a joke, b/c, well, he is.

One final thought.  Yesterday, I got my fifth consecutive issue of American Rifleman in which nearly every printed editorial word was a call to arms to defeat Obama this November.  The NRA estimates that there are 20 million gun owners that aren't registered to vote.  That is amazing to me, but who am I to question that.  If the NRA is successful at whipping up a decent chunk of those folks, and by all accounts they are trying mightily, and driving them to the polls, then Obama is toast.  Gun sales figures would indicate that the NRA's GOTV efforts could be successful.  People are already voting with their dollars, it's not a stretch to imagine that they will vote with their votes too.

UPDATE:  I have chronicled well the sharp criticism of Obama's economic policy leveled by Democrat businessman and media mogul, Mort Zuckerman.  My friend at SayAnythingBlog, Bat One, takes up the duty again today.  Remember how we saw, putatively exhausted/angered with Bush, the emergence of "Obamicans" in the 2008 election?  So, an interesting question:  Will Zuckerman lead a vanguard of business-minded 'Romneycrats'?  Hmmm....

UPPDATE:  Almost forgot this one - on the day after Romney comes out swinging and makes the case that we have to move on from Obama's "false promises and weak leadership", the man who I have said will be Treasury Secretary under a President Romney takes to the pages of the WSJ Op-Ed pages to say that Obama's budget math is screwy and disastrous.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Evidence of Global Warming's Death

Two seemingly unrelated developments that are very much related.  First, another poor African country has declared that it will actively seek to develop its petroleum resources to promote economic development and lift its people out of poverty.  Second, environmental alarmist James Lovelock comes out and admits that he was an environmental alarmist like many of the other environmental alarmists.

How are these related?  Global Warming is Over, that's how.  First because of national greatness, and second because even the scientists are standing down.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Clintonite Knife In Obama's Back

This is curious.  Bill Daley is the source for yet another major MSM piece that puts Dear Lightworker in a bad light.  Recall the first one was the WaPo's piece on how Obama cratered the fiscal grand bargain with Boehner.  This one hints at authoritarian impulses on the part of our President, or at least provides obvious fodder for someone like, say, Matt Drudge to run with the authoritarian impulses meme.

Why would Daley be doing this?

Barack Kirchner

Awhile back I said that we'd be lucky if Pelosi/Reid/Obama only turned us into France, that more likely they'd turn us into Argentina.  Well, econ/finance blogger extraordinaire, Scott Grannis, knows wherefore he speaks in re Argentina and is currently in Argentina, and the verdict seems to be that there are more similarities between Queen Christina Kirchner and Dear Leader Obama than differences.  (We haven't stolen any companies outright yet, but we did run roughshod over GM and Chrysler bondholder in order to transfer large stakes in those automakers to the unions.)  Also, I said that the Obamacrats would like to take a page out of the Kirchner playbook and tap into Americans' retirement savings to help it pay back its atrocious debts. Well looky what I read over the weekend...

It's coming baby.  Four more years and we may be looking alot more like Argentina.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Romney Money Flood Just Kicking In

So, Romney's fundraising is kicking in as I told you it would.  I predict that next month's report on fundraising will show continued improvement.  He's picked up his game of late, but I don't think that's the deciding factor in the fundraising game.  The nomination was the hurdle and being close in the polls is the catalyst.  I always felt that if he locked up the nomination and polls showed he was within striking distance of the Lightworker, then the money would pour in.  Well, he's the guy, he's close, and the money is starting to flow.

And trust me, Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians are all going to like Romney alot more when he's loaded with cash and boils it down to this - "It's me or your basic freedoms, so what will it be?"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Argentina Just Made Themselves China's Bitch

After screwing Spain-based Repsol and chasing away even the remote possibility of cooperation by any international oil company by seizing YPF, the Argentinians have only one place to turn now - China.

Changing ownership of an oil company doesn't change the elemental fact that it takes money and know-how (and increasingly sophisticated and specialized know-how) to pull oil out of the ground. So, Argentina will need money and connections if they are ever to get any more oil out of the ground now that they've made YPF radioactive. The only potential partner willing to provide either or both will be China, but the ChiComs know this and they will ask for and get very favorable terms. Argentina will find itself playing by Chinese rules in short order.

The Evidence Is In, Crap On Business and They Won't Hire

Right from the get-go, I assessed Barack Obama's policies as essentially at war with American business. I predicted capital would flee and jobs that otherwise would be created in the US and that were needed to help our economy recover would instead be created abroad. And I cited early examples and more recent examples.

Now the broader evidence is trickling in that shows I was right and illuminates the devastating effect of the Lightworker's rank anti-business agenda has had on job creation.

U.S.-based multinational companies increased their work forces at home by 0.1% in 2010 while expanding overseas employment by 1.5%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The modest expansion of the global companies' employment in the U.S. came in a year when the private sector as a whole shed 0.6% of its U.S. workers.

So, in a critical year of recovery where the private sector was shrinking and we needed jobs from strong multinationals, who were able to hire, badly, those companies created nearly all the precious few jobs they could muster overseas. And I don't blame them. The United States government was crapping all over American businesses, why should they expose themselves to abuse and risks when other countries were rolling out the red carpets for their investment dollars?

Hope and change, baby!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Obama's Oil Plan Is Silly...But More Importantly, Fishy

Obama's "plan" to get tough on speculators putatively driving up the price of gas is a waste of everybody's time, it won't achieve lower gas prices. That we know. But what is extra special fishy is the $52 billion price tag reported in the press. Seriously, $52 billion? That is nearly twice the size of the entire Department of Energy's 2011 budget request and 168x larger than the 2012 budget request of the CFTC, the agency that is tasked with carrying out Obama's "plan."

Again...seriously? Did anybody in the press catch this ridiculously out-of-whack number and ask a single question about it, or did they just regurgitate the White House talking points? Seriously, Obama is going to spend twice the entire Energy Department's budget on policing a few oil traders??

We know the plan is phony, a political ploy to make Obama seem like he's doing something, but you'd think the White House would be smarter than to tack an outrageously phony number on the plan that would instantly discredit it. Or perhaps not. Perhaps these guys are such lunatic lefties that no amount of money attached to any problem whatsoever seems out-of-whack. Or perhaps they are so confident in the complicity of press to show not a whiff of curiousness or investigative instinct, that they didn't fear using the $52 billion number. Or perhaps...both. Yikes. November can't come soon enough.

UPDATE: Scratch this whole comes down to CNBC's innumeracy. The number is $52 million, which, for instance, Bloomberg gets right. My bad for assuming that CNBC, the leading financial news network, could keep it's billions and millions straight.

Obama Can't Even Pull a Bushism

Remember when George W. Bush said "Burma" instead of "Myanmar" and the sophisticated set went bonkers? They weren't sophisticated enough to realize that Bush was deliberately supporting the good guys and slapping the bad guys with the finely nuanced choice of words. Obama tried (maybe) to pull a similar nuanced moved, but totally flubbed the geography. In the case of Bush, our MSM jumped to their typical conclusion - Bush is stupid. With Obama...crickets...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Forget the Economy and Gas Prices, Lightworker Working His Light...on Golf Clubs

Funny, I can't find for the life of me one single reference to Ginny Rometty actually wanting to be a member at Augusta National, but the Lightworker sure is concerned. The woman runs what was once the quintessential "boy's club" corporation, what the hell does she care if she gets asked to join a golf club or not? I guess this is part of that "war on women" theme that the Dems are flogging, because nowhere else except at this location in Augusta, GA can a woman get a round of golf in.

Actually, Rometty should be invited to join, but not because she is a woman. She should be extended the same privileges and honors extended to all her predecessors at IBM.

Hey Coke: No Cojones, No Business

I can't say that the Baseball family will boycott Coca-Cola products now that they have caved to lefty pressure tactics, but we will definitely ratchet down our consumption of Coke products. We don't like to patronize companies that hand over their free speech rights like a bunch of sissies. I hope others will do the same. What a dumb business decision.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

It's Official, Geithner Is Batty

Wanna hear the latest economic wisdom from the guy who said that the Obama administration doesn't have a fiscal rescue plan, but they know they don't like the Republicans' plan? Of course you do.

Take it away TurboTax Timmy:
"There is no economic or financial case for using the fear of future deficits to cut as deeply into core functions of the government, to weaken the safety net or fundamentally alter Medicare benefits as do the Republican proposals," Geithner said."
Read it again and understand that this statement comes after three years of $1.3 trillion deficits, which has become the standard Obama run rate. Boiled down to its essence TTT is saying there is no economic or financial logic against spending more money than you have. TTT is saying that a Greece can't happen. Who in their right mind would buy a US Treasury bill after hearing that?

WTF: Treasury Given ONE DAY to Review Solyndra Loan !!

The Obama Administration's response to the appallingly colossal waste of money on the green energy fantasy company connected to his donors and cronies, Solyndra, seems to be "you can't win 'em all." Well, let's forget for a moment the certainty that green energy will fail based on the physics, and assume that these projects pass science muster and must be evaluated on an economic basis. Who in government would do that? Treasury maybe?
The U.S. Treasury Department was given one day to review Solyndra LLC’s $535 million U.S. loan guarantee after learning the Energy Department was ready to announce the award publicly, according to a Treasury audit.

For taxpayers, it appears we won't win any of 'em.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fun Game...

When and How will the Lightworker snub Texas in the aftermath of the destructive storms that hit the Dallas area today?

No disaster funds for sure. No visit probably. But my money is on an overt insult, a gratuitous stick in the eye of the state that embodies everything Dear Leader can't stand. It's coming. Wait for it. Taking bets...

Obama's America = Risky Counter-Party

What Harper is saying in diplo-trade-speak is that Canada has come to realize that it needs to pay attention to "counter-party risk" and minimize that risk. Minimizing "counter-party risk" is the nice way of saying 'don't do business with flakes or deadbeats.' Obama has certainly made America the former, of which Canada is now quite aware, and quite possibly the latter.

How To Encourage a Nation of Tax Cheats

I was going to post on this because it is my beat, but my friends at Say Anything have jumped in while I drop the ball. This is one of the grossest revenue grabs that government has come up with in awhile. Gift cards, while a less than wonderful store of value, are still a mechanism to store value rather than hold cash. The arrogance and presumptuousness on display here to claim citizens' assets (and they are no less assets than your house, stocks, bonds, or other valuables) is astonishing if not surprising. This is like the government saying if you don't live in your house for 6 months, they can take it away from you because houses are for living in. This sort of usurpation signifies an "end game" taxation impulse - government officials no longer think in terms of what revenue ought to be raised, but what is there for the taking - if it is takeable, then it is theirs. This is how you arrive at Greek or Argentine levels of tax cheating - when citizens have to cheat to feed, cloth, and house themselves, they will cheat. Once they cheat, they'll cheat not just on food, shelter, and clothing, but everything else.

Is Housing Hot?

Did I say that housing would be a great investment round about 2012?

Why, yes I did. I didn't get the path exactly right but I nailed the call pretty good.

Awesome Headline Writes Itself

Hectoring people about sustainability is not sustainable.

I love it.

Did I tell you that social investing was silly? Yes, I did.

The Constitutional Law Professor Who Don't Know Jack?

I was reading the Lightworker's warning yesterday to the Supreme Court and I said to myself, "Self, for a constitutional law professor, this guy sure don't know jack about the Constitution or the Court." Sure enough the WSJ hits the theme today and they pretty much say it too, although they know he knows what he's doing, it's just that the community organizer wins out over the legal scholar.

And, he clearly is delusional about who and how the ACA was passed. Just some fun tidbits from the ethically bereft episode at the time: "Slaughter Rule"; "deem and pass"; "Cornhusker Kickback"; "Louisiana Purchase"; "Bart Stupak's cave"

...and remember this little bit of Calvinball?

...and, of course, there is Alcee "There are no rules (plus, I am a crook!)" Hastings.

Yes, it was the very essence of people power that brought us ObamaCare!