Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gold and Silver to DB!

OK, score one for DB.  My little conspiracy theory is now one hair's width shy of official mainstream conventional wisdom.  Check out Hannity and Dick Morris running with it.

I've been saying this directly since summer of 2011 and I posited the germ of it in October 2010.

Greatest call ever?  No, this was.  So, the Bubba thing is second best.  Gold and Silver to DB!

Pampered Elites vs. Working Poor

I've talked about New York state's awful anti-fracking stance before.  Check out this video of a new documentary highlighting the divide between rich, anti-development residents (often new residents enjoying a bucolic retirement) and hard-pressed locals.  Especially relish the what an arrogant sh*t this James Northrup is.  Parts one and three here plus much more.  I highly recommend these videos.

I have alot of sympathy for the pro-gas folks here, but ultimately you get what you vote for.  If you want change, you have to tackle the NY legislature in Albany and you've got to win the war versus the urban elites.  So long as the elites' politicians run the show, these poor people are cooked.  If they can't take back control, the only alternative is to leave and start over somewhere else.  You get the government you deserve.

H/T Mark Perry

Monday, July 30, 2012

"One Term Rally" Update

Did someone say "one term rally" for the stock market?  Uh, yeah, more than once actually.
Secondarily, I think this is good for the stock market. The economy will muddle through for the remainder of this year and into next, but the further Obama slides and the lower his chances at reelection get, I think we will see an inversely proportional growth in economic optimism. The more it looks like Obama is a goner, the more American business leaders will feel like a giant weight is being lifted, the more entrepreneurs will feel like the sky is clearing. I predict a rough inverse correlation from here on in between Obama's poll numbers and the stock market - call it the "one term rally."
Not quite "ca-ching", but folks are coming around to my idea here.
With just 100 days left until the U.S. presidential election, investors are beginning to make bigger bets on which candidate will carry the day.
 One analysis concludes that last week's sharp three-day market surge can only mean that Wall Street is banking on a victory from Republican Mitt Romney.
 The conclusion Parker draws is that investors are betting that Romney will unseat President Obama and bring a more business-friendly environment to the White House.

Old White Male In Women's Bidnis...Outrage Absent

Hey, where are all the "keep your laws off my body" crowd?

Bubba In Control

President Obama can't afford any defection out of the normally loyal monolithic (and unthinking IMHO) Jewish vote.  So what does it say that a key Israel policy advisor with super-close ties to the Clintons is sitting the 2012 campaign out?  It says that the Clinton crowd is...well, you know the theory.

On that note, if I were the Obama camp I wouldn't sleep easy knowing Bubba will play a bigger role.  Note to Axelrod and Plouffe: Bubba has got you right where he wants you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Gun Salesman

Mayor Bloomberg continues to be an embarrassment for New York (in many aspects - can you hear them up there in Massachusets, "Like we give ah fok what May-yah Bloomberg thinks.").  Bloomy apparently has never heard of the saying "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away" which is the colloquialism that embodies the ingrained wisdom that most Americans understand, that the police can't protect them despite even the best intentions and most effective application of law enforcement expertise.  This is a BIG reason why Americans buy guns.  So, Bloomy, genius that he is, calls for the police to go on strike:
"I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, we’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe..."
Brilliant.  So let's update the condensed wisdom of our little maxim:  "when seconds count, the police are just...wait, they ain't coming at all."  You don't need a PhD. in logic to see that Bloomy has advocated a situation that exacerbates people's concerns/fears over the inability of the police to provide immediate and effective protection against violent crime.  Doesn't this doofus Bloomberg know that it is precisely this type of unhinged and illogical statement by people in power, to say nothing of the authoritarian impulses that they exhibit from time to time, that drive Americans to go out and buy more and more guns?  I guess not. 

In gun circles, the running joke is that Barack Obama is the greatest gun salesman the world has ever known.  Is Bloomy vying for the title?

In Praise of Boring White Guys

My first choice response would have been:
"And what the f**k is so wrong with boring white guys?  Ya' know, some boring white guys have done pretty darn right by this country over its history.  We could've done alot worse over our 200+ years than some of the boring white guys who've led us in many aspects of our national life.  Why is it so bloody necessary to talk disparagingly about boring white guys?"
...which is why, I guess, I'll never be President.  But my second choice would have been this.  Well played Guv'ner.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scandal: Romney Stumbles Over Name of Horrid Minor UK Politician

Wait a second...people are on Mitt Romney's case for almost forgetting the name of this joker???  Sure, maybe somebody should have been there to whisper in Romney's ear, but why commit actual brain cells...?

File Under: "You Can't Make This Sh*t Up"

Truly you can't.

The Palestinian Authority is against the moment of silence at the Olympics to commemorate the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972. According to the headline in the official PA daily, "Sports are meant for peace, not for racism."
Sports are meant for peace...which is why we murdered those 11 Israeli athletes in 1972...

Bloomberg Thinks You Care What He Thinks...Again

Wow.  This was one of my first blog posts waaaaaayyyyy back when:

Bloomberg FINALLY speaks up on Roberts

Whew. Finally Michael Bloomberg has spoken up and declared that he is unsupportive of Judge Roberts's nomination to the SCOTUS. Thank God, because, as we know, the Mayor of New York City has an important constitutional role to play in the appointment process of SCOTUS justices.

In that spirit, I, Donny Baseball, a capital markets/economics blogger, hereby declare that, after having read six news stories and done a small amount if research on the web, see no credible basis to support the charges leveled against Lance Armstrong for using banned performance enhancing substances during the 1999 Tour de France. There. I knew the world was waiting.
So here we are seven years later and Nan Bloomberg is still opining on things nobody gives a sh*t what he thinks by endorsing Scott Brown in his race against Sitting Bullsh*t Warren for the People's Seat.  Here's the thing, I like the outcome - I want Scott Brown in the US Senate rather than that Fauxcahontas twit, but I have to be honest here...this is comical because we all know that Massachusettsians (??  I don't know what to call them other than "massholes") really really care what New Yorkers think...

Update On My Prediction

Just to update readers...remember I said this:
While I predicted that Obama would meltdown almost on the day that he took office, we sit on the cusp of his re-election battle and he has stubbornly hung on to stay in contention, at least superficially.  So I am making another prediction, actually more of an update, I guess, to my original meltdown trajectory.  So here goes.  The Obama presidency/campaign/phenomenon will shortly implode.  Yes, "implode", as in spectacularly fail and wind up in ruins.
Well, I made that prediction a few days before John Roberts called the mandate a tax and rewrote ObamaCare so it could stand.  So, it looked like my prediction was wrong right out of the gates as there was a sudden MSM boomlet of wishful thinking that this was all the Lightworker needed to regain his awesome mojo and slay that mean, awful white racist devil Mitt Romney.

Of course, I've always maintained that Dear Leader has awful instincts and when allowed to freelance he does himself enormous damage.  Alas, he put my prediction back into contention with his "You Didn't Build That" schtick.  So now, with Rasmussen and Gallup having Romney in a slight lead and the Lightworker pathetically tugging at the faithful's heart strings ("this might be my last birthday as President" sniffle sniffle), I'm back to even and feeling as good about my prediction as when I made it.  Now, all we need is another Clintonite slash at the veins of Lightworkism and I'll be in Charlie Sheenland - winning.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Noted "Reformer" Bombs the Crap Out of His Country's Largest City

Reforms coming out of the sky.

Syrian warplanes bombed the nation’s largest city Tuesday, activists said, a dramatic escalation in the 16-month uprising and a stark sign of the government’s growing desperation as it tries to reverse the recent momentum of rebel forces. 
Aleppo, like Damascus, the Syrian capital, had long been seen as a stronghold of support for President Bashar al-Assad. But the unrest has spread to the city, Syria’s commercial capital, in recent days, adding to a sense that the regime is losing control after the assassinations last week of four of its top security officials in a bombing.

Liberals Heads To Explode?

Is this the lesson that Americans are taking away from these mass shootings:  "Crap, there are some crazy MFs out there, better get a gun"  ???

Quite possibly.

Pick your favorite lefty/progressive jerk-wad.  His/Her head is probably exploding at the very thought...

"Yes We Can", Unless We Don't F**king Want To

Twice in the last five years, rising food prices triggered global waves of social unrest. With drought baking U.S. crops, another round of soaring, society-straining price spikes may happen in coming months.
“The drought is clearly going to kick prices up. It already has. What happens when you have speculators is that it goes through the roof,” said NECSI president Yaneer Bar-Yam. “We’ve created an unstable system. Globally, we are very vulnerable.”
“In the short run, USDA needs to figure out a way to remove the mandate on ethanol use from corn,” said Timmer. “If we could free up 20 to 30 percent of the U.S. crop, reduced as it is, it would bring corn prices down very quickly.”
Wait.  A certain someone can issue Executive Orders gutting welfare reform and ignoring our immigration laws and  can issue recess appointments when the Senate isn't actually in recess, but we can't just f**king suspend the idiotic ethanol mandate???????

Romney Has Mojo. Really.

I've said for a long time that Romney would surprise on the upside in terms of defending the free market system and Regeanite vision of America.  John Hinderaker thinks he's doing pretty good.

I can see how these themes get started, people just don't pay attention or that pigeon-hole a candidate.  It is lost down the memory hole by now, but do you know who was labelled a squish and not a true enough conservative while he was running for office (and faced a stiff challenge from a third party candidate from the right)?  Chris Christie.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"They Do That All the Time"

This interview with Ice-T (New Jersey born) is a solid, no nonsense presentation of basic anti-gun control arguments in the face of typically snide Euro disapproval.  My favorite rebuttal is when Ice answers the 'guns make killing more efficient' theme:  "You can strap explosives on your body; they do that all the time."

Yes they do.  Or fly planes into buildings, or blow up discoteques...

The awkward silence from Ice's interlocutor is brief but palpable.

Spain Is In Deep Doodoo

Spain has been on the ropes here and there, but recent days' action in its bonds signal that the end might be nigh.  The danger zone for Spain's long term bonds is widely believed to be 7% and its 10-yr notes have flirted with the 7% level for the last several weeks.  However, in the last few days, the 10-yrs have raced through that barrier on their way to 7.5% and the 5-yr are almost converging on them at 7.32%.  Even the 2-yrs are a mess, tripling from just four months ago to 6.46%.  What the market is saying is '2, 5 or 10 years, who cares?', there is no distinguishing between time frames, the risk is beyond temporal distinctions, meaning that time can't heal these wounds.  This is what happened to Greece, once their irredeemable insolvency was understood, the term structure broke down and the market wouldn't lend to Greece at any price for any period.  Spain is closer now to that outcome than they are to a positive outcome, which seemed possible just a few months ago.

Who To Blame for Economy?

Up until now we've been seeing the MSM tout polls that show that a majority of Americans blame the bad economy on George W. Bush.  This has always struck me as implausible.  I talk to alot of people about the economy and nobody ever says it is GWB's fault.  I get alot of different answers but hardly ever, GWB.  So, I've known that the blame, in people's minds, lies elsewhere, so I've just been waiting for the MSM to report it.  I assumed that they never would, given that we are in the runup to the election and they must save their Lightworker President.

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.
It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.
The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.
Granted The Hill is not the MSM, but it is a start.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Really Shocks Us About Aurora...Really?

Hey folks, just a reminder that only 4 more people died in that movie theatre in Aurora than died in the last 10 days in Camden, NJ.  At that rate, the death toll in Camden will match the Aurora massacre by Tuesday of next week.

Not to belittle the tragedy but let's be brutally honest about what is so shocking about Aurora:
- Sheer number of dead and wounded in one location
- White killer
- White victims

Don't get all outraged on me.  If I told you that 12 people died in Camden, you'd shrug.  What gets us worked up about this and what makes it a national story and a 24-hour gnashing of teeth is not the guns, not the deaths, but that it is so outside of our expectations of who kills, who dies and where.

Obama: Hit Mute Button On My Challenger

Obama doesn't want you to hear all sides of the debate, just his...

...because, you know, you probably can't discern things for yourself.

That's a winning message...Don't Listen to the Other Guy!

Uplifting.  Inspiring.  Makes me think better days are right around the corner...

The World's Greatest Orator and Smartest President Ever shouldn't have to ask for a competing message to be drowned out, right?  A Lightworker only needs to work the light, right?  His brilliance ought to be self-evident, no?

Brian Ross, Biased, Bad Reporter And Jackass Too

Brian Ross is pretty much saying, "Holy Cow, there is more than one guy named Jim Holmes.  Can you believe?"

That spiraling noise you hear - that sounds exactly like the spiraling noise you've been hearing for years - is the sound of the MSM's credibility sinking further down the toilet.

UPDATE:  No wonder!  Brian Ross is a registered sex offender!

Columbia Economists Embody National Debate

I have talked about Glenn Hubbard here and how, in the event of a Romney win in November, he could become the most important economist in America, and perhaps set an economic policy course that leads America out of the Obama wilderness.  Two maybes.  Today, Bloomberg has a nice little "clash of visions" type story contrasting Hubbard and his role in the Romney campaign with Columbia colleague and catch-all-liberal-go-to-Nobelist-who-is-not-Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz.

The article isn't earth-shattering, just more campaign fodder with a different twist, but it gives me the opportunity to mention once again that blame for the failed $800 billion stimulus of 2009 ought to be, but isn't, placed on the head of one Joe Stiglitz.  Christy Romer, Larry Summers and others take the heat (when any heat is apply, which it rarely is) for the disastrous at best/ineffective at worst stimulus, but more than anybody the stimulus was a reflection of Stiglitz's thinking.  He was Mr. Aid to States.  He went around during 2008 and 2009 talking about how we desperately needed to give massive federal aid to states to spur the economy.  And we did.  And it did nothing.  States pocketed the money and kept doing what they were doing.  Essentially, we federalized states' profligacy.  Has that enabled California to pull out of its fiscal nose dive, allowed Illinois to get a handle on its fiscal nightmare or obviated the need for the pain reforms that states are now making?  No.  None of it.  And it did nothing for economic growth.  The states that were booming are still booming and the states that were languishing are still languishing. 

So what the article should say, if it were to be really informative, is that we've had Stiglitzian economic policy for years now under Obama.  Despite that Nobel prize, it's yielded pretty miserable results.  Maybe we ought to give an alternate approach, Hubbard's approach, a chance.  We just may.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Campaign 2012 Miscellany

Let's check in on the Clintonite conspiracy to take down the Lightworker and keep Bubba Big Dog the only two term Democrat since FDR...Mort Zuckerman takes to his column to tell you that the economy still sucks.

Also, let's got to the NBfPB videotape - all the way back to February - to see what I said about how this campaign might play out:
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.
Not dead-on and not quite a bulls-eye, but damn close (DAMN close) if this latest "You didn't build it" rant gets the traction that the Romney campaign is working hard for it to get.

And then there is this from the NBfPB videotape of a more recent vintage:
While I predicted that Obama would meltdown almost on the day that he took office, we sit on the cusp of his re-election battle and he has stubbornly hung on to stay in contention, at least superficially.  So I am making another prediction, actually more of an update, I guess, to my original meltdown trajectory.  So here goes.  The Obama presidency/campaign/phenomenon will shortly implode.  Yes, "implode", as in spectacularly fail and wind up in ruins.
I'm not claiming "nailed it" on that one yet, we have potential - the economy is still a mess, that gaffe, and the world looks like a bloody mess.

UPDATE:  Ha!  Wouldn't you know it...trudging through the archives I stumble upon this, which has some Zuckerman and some DB prognostication all rolled into one...

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Anti-Neil Cavuto

Fox Business is gearing up to take on CNBC and knock it off its perch as the leading business network.  They'll never make if they keep employing utter morons and argumentative doofuses like this guy interviewing Dick Bove (don't know his name).  For some reason I can't embed the video, but it's a doozy.

UPDATE:  Connell McShane is his name.  Wow, is he terrible.

Good for Canada. For Us, We Get What We Vote For.

I'm sure for Barack Obama, this is a feature not a bug.
For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American, according to a report cited in Toronto's Globe and Mail.
And not just by a little. Currently, the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household. The net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, compared to around $320,000 for Americans.
Good for Canada, they've gotten it right while we've gotten it mostly wrong.  They chose wisely and we chose poorly.  That's life baby.  Reap, Sow, All That...

Everything You Know About Energy Is Wrong, Installment 173

Next time you hear that Republicans are in the pockets of Big Oil...
The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday said it was 'disappointed' by actions of the U.S. Senators to oppose ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty.  An API spokesperson said that the treaty would have provided the certainty and predictability provided by the treaty "to commit the billions of dollars of resources needed to develop some of our vast offshore resources."
"It could also cause companies to be ineligible to compete for resources around the global in areas that are party to the treaty," the spokesperson said.  The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) – which also supported the treaty due to the enhanced certainty and assurance it provided for frontier oil and gas exploration in areas under U.S. protection – hopes the Senate will continue its dialogue on the treaty and efforts for ratification.
"While areas addressed by the Treaty will be technically accessible in the near future, the fact remains that our current national policy prohibits oil and gas exploration in approximately 85 percent of our outer continental shelf, preventing us from knowing precisely how many resources may lie in wait in these vast areas," the NOIA spokesperson told Rigzone in an email.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Monday declared victory for U.S. sovereignty after gathering support from 35 U.S. senators to oppose ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, which will ultimately impact boundaries in regions such as the Arctic and future oil and gas exploration and production activity worldwide. With Senate ratification of a treaty requiring 67 votes in favor, the Law of the Sea Treaty will not be ratified.
Republicans killed the LOTS Treaty, rightly so.

Oh, and remember that war we fought for all that oil somewhere...um, er, can't remember.
HALFAYA, Iraq - China National Petroleum Corp. or CNPC, the largest Chinese oil producing company, has so far invested $3.3 billion in developing oil projects in Iraq, the firm's vice president said Wednesday.
CNPC and its subsidiary PetroChina Co Ltd. are developing three large oil fields, CNPC Vice President Wang Dongjing said during the start of output at an Iraqi oil field developed by the company.  CNPC is developing along with BP PLC Iraq's largest oil field, Rumaila, in the southern Basra province where production is currently hitting 1.35 million barrels a day.

Two Words for the Lightworker: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Well, since the Lightworker is reprising ole' High Cheek Bones Warren's "you didn't build that" schtick, it's time to reprise my rebuttal that they don't know their damn history.  In rapidly industrializing America, the private sector did build the roads and many of the schools, or at least they created whole towns, funded by their profits so that bureaucrats essentially in their hire would do those things.  Like I said:

Elizabeth Warren Has Never Heard of Pittsburgh, PA

Before you read my analysis, check out some far better ones, here...

My friends at Say Anything capture this newbie lefty icon Elizabeth Warren getting it all wrong and spouting gibberish about people getting wealthy on the backs of "us" or something. Check it out.

Of course, she's completely ignorant and dead wrong, both on the details and the theory. Naturally, the foundational principle of this country is that it all - all resources - belongs to us as individuals in a society and we give over what we choose to the government, which we have instituted, to steward it for us according to how we want it stewarded and for as long as we want it stewarded until we change our minds, at which time we can make new arrangements as we see fit because the government is our servant. The government is instituted by us and serves our priorities. We don't owe the government the fruits of our toil so that it can build roads, we see the need for a road and we task government with the job and we give it some money to do so. We may just as well decided to build that road in some other fashion, with or without government involvement, it is up to us.

That said, Warren doesn't know her history. She apparently has never heard of "one company towns" or doesn't seem to know why Pittsburgh, PA exists or why we have the Ambassador Bridge. She apparently has never asked herself, which came first "the chicken or the egg?" Well, let me tell you honey, it was the chicken. Warren seems to think that America had all these paved roads, police forces and educated children before these horrible businesses descended on us to free ride off of these resources. She is wrong.

Our early businesses set up shop and built the necessary infrastructure themselves or demanded that government, funded by the taxes that it paid and its workers paid, do it for them. Pullman, Illinois, part of Chicago is an example of one of those towns built almost entirely by that factory owner that Warren talks about. Bethlehem, PA is almost entirely the product of the activity and investment of the Bethlehem Steel Company. There are tens of thousands of these towns across America that were built by private industry and their legacy has been ceded over to the public sector over time as this nation grew to say nothing of industries that built whole regions. The country was a series of unconnected economic zones until the privately funded railroads started connecting them. Roads came later, and mostly at the urging (and aggressive persuasion shall we say) of the burgeoning automobile and oil industries. Remember, the oil industry was originally built around kerosene for home illumination, the auto industry was a lucky second birth for oil, and the auto/oil partnership generated enormous growth and thus wages and taxes for beholden politicians to spend in order to help their friends and benefactors in industry.

Warren is felony clueless if she thinks that it all got started by the hand of government. Business got the ball rolling and handed things off. Government services came next because business was focused on business and didn't feel like devoting management talent on things like roads and schools. I'm sorry to burst Warren's bubble, but business handed this stuff off to government because it was mundane and felt that mundane people should do mundane things. If something was important that wasn't getting done, business would basically buy/direct their friends in government to do what they wanted. Otherwise, they just employed the folks and told them to bitch to their politicians to get what they wanted out of their taxes which were hived off from their wages.

For the first part of this country's history, business built America and government just filled out the paperwork. After that an experienced and emerging civil servant class used the wealth of the exploding economy to take on grander projects. It has since gotten out of control and business is now setting up shop in far flung places and building their roads and schools. People in America today can get rich because they stand on the shoulders of giants, but those giants were not government bureaucrats. People can get rich today because of they were bequeathed a legacy of infrastructure inspired and funded by the pioneering and visionary efforts of mostly private individuals.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Again Are We "Pre-Revolutionary"?

Remember how I noted that prominent Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said Americans are "pre-revolutionary" in their mood as it relates to how they are governed.  Gee, I wonder why that could be...?
LAWS, LIKE TAXES, ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Deval Patrick: Herald ‘not entitled’ to parking records.
Gov. Deval Patrick — adamant that taxpayers have no business knowing what hours top state officials keep — again refused to release electronic State House parking lot records, daring the Herald to conduct its own surveillance.
“First of all, you’re not entitled to them,” Patrick said about the parking records yesterday when asked why he was denying the Herald’s public records request.
Asked to explain, a petulant Patrick said: “Because you’re not.”
That’s the caliber of legal analysis we’ve come to expect from our lawyer-in-chief. Apparently, it’s spreading. This seems to be the actual reason: “The logs could show not only when state officials are at the State House, but whether lawmakers are honestly reporting their per diem travel reimbursements for trips into Boston — which range from $10 to $100 a day. The log lockdown triggered a firestorm from Herald readers yesterday.”

Friday, July 13, 2012

Call the NLRB, Anti-Union Corporation Runs Wild...

Stop the presses!  Call Obama!  Get the National Labor Relations Board to stand up for the working class!

Seattle-based, corporate behemoth is opening up a manufacturing plant in a southern "right-to-work" state.  No doubt there are unfair labor practices going on here!  You know they're just running away from their unionized labor force don't you?!?!


While Nanny Bloomberg whines and tries to pressure other states over their gun laws, his cops are selling NYPD guns on the street.
"An NYPD cop was busted last night on charges of breaking into his colleagues’ lockers in their station house and stealing guns that were sold on the street, The Post has learned."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quiet Rebellion

Jerry Bowyer provides an update and some insight into the quiet rebellion that I have encouraged for some time now, i.e. pay your plumber in cash.  His point is the same, we inherently know where and how the Leviathan feeds off us and we refuse to nourish it.  We just need to keep it up and do a bit more of it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let's Call A Liberal Institution A Liberal Institution

Let's argue from elementary principals even though the argument will never be accepted on elementary principals; it'll be horned into Lakoff's phony theory of mean conservatives versus nurturing liberals.

So let's go.  ObamaCare is a massive income redistribution mechanism, so says Max Baucus in a moment of candor.  Blacks will be the overwhelming beneficiaries of this income redistribution that we call ObamaCare.  So when Romney says that he wishes to repeal ObamaCare, he says that he wishes to halt a massive income redistribution scheme towards blacks.  Is there any wonder they, the NAACP - a fervently pro-income redistribution group - would boo this policy proposal?  Of course not.

What is left unreported and unanalyzed is how unemployment, the result of poor economic growth - affects the black community.  One could argue that what they will gain from ObamaCare is easily negated by what they lose due to unemployment and low wages resulting from a lack of economic growth.  Romney tried to convey this message, but you can be 100% sure that it didn't register and that the media won't report the nuance.

Am I saying that the NAACP is incapable of parsing this nuanced message? Yes, I am.  Notice I am not saying that black Americans are not capable of parsing this message.  Not at all.  Just the NAACP.

It was good that Romney spoke to the NAACP, but let's face it...it was a waste of time.

Early VP Announce? Where Did I Hear That?

Contemplating the Republican ticket, this is what I said many moons ago (although I had a particular VP candidate in mind):
The typical paradigm of US presidential campaigns - a candidate announces and the gravitational pull of possible success draws partners, endorsers, and supporters into the campaign over time - needs to be abandoned. Despite falling to Earth, no one is going to beat Obama on gravitational pull. Even if Obama is incredibly weak, the individual centric model should not be repeated as it is a reminder of Obama's victory in 2008. The Republicans need to break from the paradigm and adopt the team approach. Romney and ____ need to get together early, before everything, and unite as a pre-packaged ticket.
Word is that Romney is set to pick his VP running mate early.  I think that is wise.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Said Doctors Would Quit, and They Are

Let's fire up the wayback machine to when Obamacare was just a glimmer in Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama's eyes.  I asked readers to engage in a little thought experiment
Here is a thought experiment. You are a 55 year old vascular surgeon and you've been practicing medicine for 25 years. You went to medical school, did years of internships, studied and passed the boards. You have done hundreds if not thousands of carotid endarterectomies, bypass surgeries, and stent implantations. Over the years you've made alot of money as this is complex and critical stuff this vascular surgery (cardio-vascular disease is one of the five diseases that account for 75% of healthcare spending). You've raised kids and now have grandkids. For the near miracle of a carotid endarterectomy, which can add years onto someone's life, you used to get paid a couple thousand dollars. As Medicare has tried to put a lid on costs, that figure has gone down to less than a thousand bucks, say $900. The success rate of such surgery has gone up, so it should be more valuable, as should your own value since you've performed so many of them, but nonetheless you are earning less for this surgery. Now ObamaCare passes and in order to "bend the cost curve" reimbursement for carotid endarterectomies falls further - either through direct mandate Medicare lowers its reimbursement rate or the "comparative effectiveness" folks determine that this is a costly procedure based on some "quality of life adjusted years" formula. Let's say it falls to $600. What do you do? Here are some options:
1) Keep practicing this highly complex and special skill you have for the price a plumber would charge to install a sink (call this the "suck it up" or the "public spiritedness" option);
2) Retire to spend time with the grandkids, or do just about anything else given that you have more than enough money to retire (call this the "live your life" or "Go Galt" option;
3) Refuse any patients in need of a carotid endarterectomy that can't pay you in cash an amount more reflective of the free market price for the procedure, say $2500 (call this the "demand fair payment for your services" option);
4) Refuse to perform any carotid endarterectomies at any price and solely perform elective cosmetic vascular surgeries like repairing middle-aged women's vericose veins, where you make more money? (call this the "Half Galt" option)
5) Sue the government, maintaining that forcing you to perform carotid endarterectomies for $600 represents a "taking" of your private property, your expertise and training (call this the "fight City Hall" option).
Hmmm.  Now we learn that 83% of doctors considered quitting practice in the wake of ObamaCare.
Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.
And here is a representative letter to the editor in today's WSJ:
I retired earlier than necessary because of the inadequate pay for government programs and too much government paperwork. People don't get the care and time they deserve, and physicians don't get the satisfactions that made medicine a noble profession, even when we worked for free. I opted out and I suspect others will, too, as the program continues to intrude.

Firth S. Spiegel, M.D.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Romney Should Talk This Up

Back in January I said this:
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?
Well, check this out...and why don't we try it on a national scale???

Friday, July 06, 2012

Expensive New Camo Made Soldiers Easier to See, Shoot

Here's a fun item to throw into the "government is awesome" file.  Even within our armed forces, probably the only government institution that still garners some public respect, there can still be...well, I'll just spill the beans.
“Over the next year, America’s largest fighting force is swapping its camouflage pattern. The move is a quiet admission that the last uniform — a pixelated design that debuted in 2004 at a cost of $5 billion — was a colossal mistake,” reports thedaily.com. Turns out the Army’s universal camouflage pattern (UCP) is actually easier to spot than Lady Gaga in a monastery. Which kinda defeats the purpose, no? “Soldiers have roundly criticized the gray-green uniform for standing out almost everywhere it’s been worn. Industry insiders have called the financial mess surrounding the pattern a ‘fiasco.’”
and the reason makes it worse...
 Apparently, Army commanders were “envious” of the dust-colored pixelated camouflage being developed for the Marine Corps, and rushed to demand a similar pattern in their own colors, instead of playing it safe with the classic cloudy globs traditionally used for Army camouflage. Things went haywire when officials insisted on using the Army’s traditional grey-green color scheme, which, when paired with the pixels — not to mention darker gear — turned soldiers into walking targets. “Brand identity trumped camouflage utility,” says military journalist Eric Graves. “That’s what this really comes down to.”

Was Today's Jobs Report Inflated With Phony Numbers?

For those of you not familiar with the vast pitfalls of economic data reporting there is something that you ought to know - many of the numbers that get reported by our statistical agencies are a mixture of counting and guessing.  The guessing is highly educated guessing, which goes by the term of art "modeling" but it is guessing nonetheless because it is not actually counting of things that can be counted.  Many of these guessing techniques are not outright controversial, but they do add a tinge of phoniness to certain reported numbers relative to others.  My favorite phony factor is something that goes into CPI inflation called "Owners Equivalent Rent" which is why I (and others) don't really believe in reported CPI.

Another famous guessing factor relates to the very jobs numbers we got today.  It's called the "birth-death model" and it tries to figure out how many jobs were created by brand new businesses that can't be counted and it nets this out with jobs lost by failed businesses that also can't be counted.  Well, Bryan Preston catches something that I didn't catch...oops.
CNBC drilled down into the June jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here is the shocking truth about the figure of 80,000 jobs supposedly created.
The birth-death model, which approximates the amount of jobs gained through new businesses created too recently to be counted in the formal survey, added 124,000 positions, meaning that without the estimation the total count would have been a loss of 44,000.
Watch for the July jobs report period in a few weeks. That’s when we’re likely to see that June’s numbers get revised down, as has been the trend during the Obama era. June may get revised into negative job growth.
So, that already not so great jobs report looks alot more shaky than at first blush. Look for the MSM to bury the revision.

Leadership: Campaign Plants and Turning Off Fox News...

So with our economy strangled and stagnating, the Obama machine is pulling shit like this...

Repulsive, but worse...dangerous.

Oh, and getting Fox News turned off...truly sad leadership and a small window into this man's respect for free speech...

Bloomberg Embarasses Stumping for Obama...Again

Once again, Bloomberg News entirely misses the point about what markets are saying about Obama's economic policy leadership.  They've done this before (see here and here) because it's all part of the mission to re-elect the Lightworker.  Here's the latest gibberish:
Mitt Romney has suggested that President Barack Obama has done a worse job managing the economy than Jimmy Carter. Investors disagree.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of stock prices has surged 70 percent under Obama, more than three times the 19 percent increase seen during President Carter’s first 3-1/2 years in office starting in 1977. The corporate and government bond markets also have outperformed, with yields falling rather than rising. And the dollar has fared better, dropping about 4 percent against major currencies since Obama took over, compared with an almost 20 percent decline under Carter at a similar time in his tenure.
Let's take these in order.  First the stock market is up by virtue of recovering from a once-in-a-couple-decades financial panic.  Furthermore the stock market has been up almost in direct inverse proportion to Obama's approval ratings tanking and his power eroded by virtue of the November 2010 elections.  Second, the government bond market is doing well because of two factors, Europe is falling apart and there is almost no expectation of healthy growth here in the U.S.  Corporate bonds have done well because companies are hoarding cash due to the uncertainty and hostile environment that prevail today by virtue of Obama's rhetorical and regulatory assaults, thus balance sheets are in great shape.  So, it has been pessimism that has driven bonds higher in the era of Obama.  Finally, the dollar.  Is Bloomberg serious?  The greenback is at an all-time low in terms of purchasing power, a major leg down coming since 2009.

Finally, these are just markets and markets are not the same thing as the economy.  The real economy is in pretty miserable shape, especially for small business and most of the responsibility lies at the feet of the Obamacrats for putting a boot on the throat of business coming out of the panic of 2007/08.  Today's job numbers emphasize the anemia that has gripped the Obama economy.  (In my opinion this dissatisfaction is showing up in the form of campaign fundraising prowess of the blah, unimpressive, uninspiring yadayada Mitt Romney.  Ask yourself, if the guy is such a nothing, why is his campaign raking it in?) Bloomberg is all wet in interpreting markets' political preferences.

UPDATE:  Wow, as I write this, they're doing it again.
"If investors expect President Barack Obama’s health-care reform law to freeze the American economy, they’re not showing it in the stock market."
More gibberish.  The three day rally of which Bloomberg refers to is universally attributed to this.  I don't know anyone in this business who would claim otherwise, except Al Hunt & Co. (but they really aren't in this business, they are MSM scribblers from central casting).

UPPDATE:  Here's a tidbit from today's jobs report:
"About one-third of the jobs gained in June were in temporary services."
Um, did someone say something about the Robert Half Economy?  Um, yes someone did (and did again).  This data about temporary employment in the context of my analysis does not reflect well upon the state of our economy and its economic leadership.

UPPPDATE:  This says it all doesn't it:

More workers joined the federal government's disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation's jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.
The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.
The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama's economic recovery. While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.
Or maybe this says it all...jeez!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Money Game, Cont.

Remember that I said Romney's fundraising would be formidable waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy before anybody thought he'd be able to compete.  Well, it looks like the initial fundraising results from his securing the nomination was not a fluke, June was a blowout.

If you accept the conventional wisdom that Romney is blah or an otherwise uninspiring candidate (which I don't), then this flood of money can only be interpreted as indicative of deep and severe dissatisfaction with Obama.  That such large sums are lining up behind a putatively mediocre Republican candidate can only reveal that those donors are willing to overlook Romney's supposed shortcomings in order to defeat Obama.  This is not surprising to me.  The depth of the attack on American business, large and small, and the damage done to the economy that has occurred over the last three years is not well understood.  Likely thousands of businesses won't survive another four years of Obama, and I assume Romney's fundraising reflect that.

Eternal Mystery

I love this blog.  I, in fact, think it is arguably the best blog out there.  And this is a fine example of its content, and yet I find it remarkable that this parody could be written by an Obama-voting registered Democrat.  As smart as WRM is, is he not self-aware?  What next Professor, moaning about high taxes and over-burdensome regulation?

Bloomberg Resorts to "Hidden Hunger" To Bash "Austerity"

Remember I said that the media would be all over the cruel and savage "austerity" that they will claim is plunging European governments back into recession.  I said the UK would come in for particularly brutal criticism by virtue of having a Conservative government.  Well, Bloomberg News lends a helping hand to the meme today with a heart-string tugging attack on austerity in Britain that is suspiciously without any data or perspective, and adds a nice touch with something called "hidden hunger."  Yep, it's hidden so you can't see it, but trust us...

Why no numbers?  Because if they gave you the numbers, you'd see that austerity is a myth, not just in Britain but all across Europe.  The Euros have put the spending binge in neutral and have maintained spending at ridiculously profligate levels, only reining in the growth of government largesse.  And this is what all the lefty caterwauling is about, the lack of more and more government spending.  So all the sob stories you here are of people suffering because the government isn't giving them more of what they've been getting for years, money that the governments have never had.

Goolsbee's Daft Obamacare Apologia

I have always warned on this blog of academic economists commenting on developments in markets and business, because the results are usually pretty awful (see here, here and here).  Today is no exception as former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee takes to the pages of the WSJ with a positively daft analysis of markets in the wake of John Robert's switched vote on Obamacare.  Here is Goolsbee's main point and the big laugher:
Of all the public reactions to last Thursday's surprise ruling from the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, one of the most interesting came from the markets: Nothing happened.
That probably disappointed those who spent the past two years saying that the costs from increased regulation and fear of the health plan explain why U.S. companies have not hired faster and have accumulated huge amounts of cash on their balance sheets. If that were so, the court ruling should have had a big impact on expected future profits. Stocks should have tumbled.
Um, no.  This is typical of how academic economists have no clue how markets and business work.  ObamaCare was the law of the land on Wednesday June 27th and on Thursday June 28th, after Roberts announced his 4-4-1 decision, Obamacare was...the law of the land.  With no material change in the policy environment, one would expect markets to do precisely nothing. 

Goolsbee goes on with a lame attempt to say that damaging effects of Obamacare are non-existent because there is no data saying companies with more than 50 employees are doing worse than companies with less than 50 employees. Huh?  The law isn't fully implemented yet, so there is no ability to make these distinctions now.  Goolsbee's argument is a chimera.  What is real however is the numerous and constant criticism of the law and description of its chilling effects by businesses and business groups. And I (along with Nobel-prize winning economists) have laid it all out for my readers as to why the recovery is non-existent. 

I have discussed here many times how businesses are hoarding cash and shrinking rather than expanding.  I know because 1) I am not an academic economist who believes crazy sh*t that isn't remotely sensible and 2) I actually talk to business leaders all the time.  Goolsbee mentions briefly that businesses have been hoarding cash, glossing over how integral this effective boycott has been to the anemia of the recovery, and dismisses this as a factor because it's been happening for a long time.
What about the companies that have hoarded so much cash? It turns out that the hoarding began years before the Obama administration even took office. Researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research have documented a major rise in cash holdings as a share of assets beginning in the 1990s.
Yes, cash accumulation has been going on since the 1990s, mostly because of terrible tax policy that incentivizes companies to keep cash from foreign profits parked abroad.  However the cash hoarding in the wake of ObamaCare and the many other policy depredations of the Obama administration has been pronounced and well-documented as stemming from the uncertainty at best and hostility at worst coming out of the White House.   Furthermore, much of the cash hoarding has come in the form of balance sheet shrinking that wouldn't show up in Goolsbee's cited data.  I doubt Goolsbee talks much to CEOs and businessmen and women, which is probably why he doesn't know what is actually happening on the ground. Hell, even Democrat businessmen have been decrying Obama's terrible economic policy.

The rest of the article is not worth fisking because there is nothing substantial or even sensible offered.  Goolsbee says that everybody hoards cash, George Bush was bad and something about Cass Sunstein.  That's it.  This guy is putatively a rising star in the academic economics world.  I've never understood why and this effort makes my see it even less.

The truth is had John Roberts stuck with his original, law-based, opinion and ObamaCare was struck down, the stock market would have rocketed up.  As it is, the events of June 28th have changed nothing and markets yawned because there was no reason to get excited, so they put their gaze back on Europe for a few months before they focus on the main event for the future of the US economy, the November election.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

NY Times: Corporate-Made Food Is OK, But Not Too Much

Alternate title:  Pope Says It's OK to Sin.  OK, I tease.  His Eminence Pope Benedict XI said no such thing, but the secular equivalent happened all the same.  The NYTimes has declared that corporate-made food is OK, once in a while.  Seriously.

You buy your sunflower shoots, summer cherries and free-range chicken at the farmers’ market. You stuff your canvas tote bag with organic and artisanal goodies: a sticky jar of raw wildflower honey, a wedge of pungent cheese from a rustic dairy, a loaf of whole-grain bread that’s so dense and bumpy with seeds and nuts that it resembles a block of macadam. 
Hauling this nourishment home makes you feel noble and healthy. You’re supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs. You’re in touch with the earth.  So then why is it, you wonder, that when you get home from work one evening, drained and famished, you find yourself layering slices of American cheese onto a bed of mass-produced white bread, frying it up in butter whose provenance you know only as “the supermarket,” and dunking the crispy melting result into a lake of Heinz ketchup?   Why? Well, because it’s delicious, for one thing. 
But there are other reasons, too, and they’re worth considering as the Fourth of July rolls around. Because let’s be frank: As much as we dutifully internalize the wise teachings ofAlice Waters and Michael Pollan, there are plenty of unlocal, unartisanal and unapologetically corporate products that we continue to crave and cook with.

There you have it.  Imagine the Catholic church saying, "Hey it's OK to covet your neighbor's wife.  We all do it, it can be fun, and if she's a hottie, well, it's just hard to resist, no?"  Ignore that scripture stuff, those writings, you can sway, no worries.  It's come down from on high New Yorkers, dip that Frito in some ketchup.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Selective Lefty Outrage, Case No. 117846

Hey, just a heads-up...Islamists are destroying world heritage sites again.  You might recall when the Taliban shelled the ancient statues at Bamiyan, we heard alot about it because George W. Bush was in office and it was all his fault, nothing to do with the barbarity of Islamists, no sir.  Anyway, I'm sure you've heard all about this stuff in Mali now that the Lightworker has reached out to Muslims, speechified in Cairo and healed all the world's wounds. 
What?  No?  OK then, file under "selective leftist outrage"... if you have any more room in that file that is.

Dick Cheney Living Large Off of Iraqi Oil Money

Wait.  Whoops.  Got the story wrong.  Iraq is building out its electrical grid and feeding the Iraqi people with that oil money.
Increased oil revenues have allowed Iraq to add around $9 billion to its 2012 budget bringing the total budget for the year to above $110 billion, a government spokesman said Tuesday.
Ali Al Dabbagh said in a statement the cabinet approved a budget increase of 10.875 trillion Iraqi dinars during a meeting held Tuesday in Baghdad.
Of the newly added money, some IQD2 trillion would go to badly needed power projects, IQD1.4 trillion would be allocated for foodstuffs that come within the food ration basket distributed by the government to Iraqis, IQD1 trillion for the ministry of defense and IQD830 billion as compensation to Kuwait for the Iraq war in 1990, Mr. Dabbagh said.
My bad.  I had heard so often that Cheney was single-handed stealing Iraqi oil money that I just believed it was all stuffed into the floor boards in his cottage in Wyoming...

Shocker: Man Taking Advantage of Obama's Weakness Wants Four More Years of Obama

I have laid out the case before - Obama is about the best thing that bad actors around the globe could hope for.  Of course, four more years of the Lightworker prostrating America before penny-ante powers and systematically reducing American influence is great for penny-ante powers who want reduced American influence.  So it is no surprise that a major bad actor who wants four more years of absolutely feckless American give-a-shit bumbling is kind of stumping for Obama and against Romney.  The Russians don't have numerous chess grand masters for nothing, they are a nation of calculating, devious minds.

When Will These Hollywood Bozos Stop Saying Moronic Things?

Perhaps never.  Sigh.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Economist All But Calls Obama Economic Illiterate

Economist Michael Boskin says Obama should read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, which is assigned in nearly every introductory economics course in the land and possibly the world.  Which is to say that Boskin is saying Obama is in need of introductory instruction in economics.  In the article Boskin doesn't pull many punches either.
Perhaps we should not have expected more from the eloquent apostle of hope and change. Mr. Obama had little experience in or respect for the "for profit" part of the economy. Of his one brief sojourn in the business world, he says in his autobiography he felt "like a spy behind enemy lines."
He now says that Mr. Romney's business career—which former President Clinton describes as "sterling"—is not a qualification to be president. How would he know? Before becoming president, he had no executive experience of any kind—private or public.
Mr. Obama's most recent statements reveal a strange disconnect from basic economic reality. In a press conference on June 8 he said, "The private sector is doing fine," adding that we needed more federal spending subsidizing state and local government jobs, where he claims the jobs problem is centered. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 11 unemployed private-sector workers for every unemployed government worker.
Ouch.  Boskin is basically saying Obama is an economics illiterate.  Frankly, I think the charge is justified.