Friday, September 28, 2012

Shocking New Romney Scandal: He Used Standard Strategy Taught In Every Business School

Sit down.  It is indeed shocking.  Mother Jones has unearthed a video of Mitt Romney talking about employing a strategy that was pioneered by a major US management consulting group and that has been taught as a standard methodology in every business school in the world ever since.  First the shocking revelation:

Mother Jones, the magazine that published a secretly-made tape of Mitt Romney’s May remarks to donors, released another video yesterday that shows the Republican nominee in 1985 characterizing Bain Capital LLC as a partnership created to invest in companies, help manage them and “harvest them at a significant profit.”

Mother Jones said the video was on a 1998 CD-ROM marking the 25th anniversary of Bain & Co., the consulting firm that Romney left to co-found Bain Capital.
What is being described here is a portfolio assessment and strategy model called the BCG Growth/Share Matrix.  Here is a picture of the simplified model.
Learn more here.  The BCG matrix is not just a standard, it is the standard.  It is one of the first things that every business school student learns in how to approach making decisions on a portfolio of businesses. You'll note that the model starts with an assessment and ends with a strategy directive.  So, businesses determined to be "Stars" are slated for investment, "dogs" for divestment.  Notice the strategy implications for "cash cows"?  Fructify.  That is another word for "harvest."  Let's look at another picture of the model.
Notice the arrows?  The goal is to get every viable business into the cash cow quadrant where it can be harvested.  That's the whole point, you build a business by investing in it until it reaches it's logical maturity and then you harvest its cash for reinvestment in the cycle all over again, i.e. to bring the question marks of tomorrow into stars and to build future stars into mature businesses.  The cycle is repetitive, like say, harvesting cash flows from photographic film businesses into digital photography.  Or harvested copper line telephony cash flows to invest in mobile voice and data transmission.

Private equity firms - every private equity firm - get involved in the cycle and seek to move businesses successfully from one quadrant to the next.  This is the business world's equivalent of the cycle of life.  It's the way of the world.  That Romney articulated this as Bain's strategy is no different than saying birds fly, fish swim, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  I can't imagine a less controversial description of Romney's activities at Bain Capital.  Usually I don't ascribe to evil what can easily be explained by stupidity, but this is Mother Jones we're talking here, so I'm call this a shameless hit job.

Brazil: To Screw Or Not To Screw the Int'l Oil Companies...That Is the Question

Here is a fun story that tells you how geo-political and economic forces are shaping the world.  TransOcean, of BP Macondo fame, is drilling a ton of oil down in the waters off Brazil for Petrobras (Brazil's equivalent of the space program).  They wound up spilling a miniscule amount of oil but the authorities want to sting them for $20 billion.  Alas, NASA Petrobras can't afford for TransOcean to get  kicked out so they are scrambling to do some "fixing."

The ban stems from an oil spill last November in a field operated by Chevron at a well drilled with a Transocean rig.
Transocean said it is “vigorously pursuing” the overturn or suspension of the preliminary injunction, including through an appeal to the Superior Court of Justice.
Absent relief from the courts, the US-listed drilling giant will be required to comply with the preliminary injunction.
Barclays Capital says that in the event the injunction stands, Transocean would be in technical breach of contract – resulting in zero dayrate – and would have limited recourse options.
The ban is related to civil lawsuits seeking $20bn in damages from Transocean and Chevron for the Frade field spill in which 3,600 barrels of oil leaked into the sea off Rio de Janeiro.
Transocean has ten rigs under contract for work in Brazil which accounted for about 11% of its revenues in the first half of 2012.
Eight of the Transocean rigs in Brazil work for Petrobras, including seven contracted to the state-led oil company and another subcontracted from BP.
Petrobras chief executive Maria das Gracas Foster has publically backed Transocean in its battle to remain in waters off Brazil.
She recently made it clear that the oil company would explicitly aide Transocean in its fight to overturn the injunction over the Frade field incident.
Brazil is staking its future on deepsea oil, but they can't get to it themselves, they need international oil companies.  But drilling for oil is risky and there are greedy politicians and raging leftists who would love to stick it to an international oil company.   But they can't...rinse, wash, repeat.  I bet reais to doughnuts that TransOcean gets off - you wanna fine us $20 billion, well, we'll just take our 11 rigs that cost $400 million apiece and go home...

Reminds me of Caddy Shack.  "I ain't paying no fifty cents for no Coke.  Well, then you ain't gettin' no Coke."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Question for the "We Are the Change" Generation

Question for all you un- and under-employed college grads who voted for Obama.  Was this the change you were looking for?  Was this the hope you invested yourself in?  Bread and Circuses?

Own it, young ones.

An Army of Peggy Josephs

This is your democracy America.  On this is where your liberty turns.
(If you don't know who Peggy Joseph is see here and here.)

Will the way you live your life and the country you hand to your kids rest on the illiterate underclass of Cleveland, Ohio ??  Will you let it?

Welcome Instapundit readers!  So, what goes on here at Now Batting for Pedro Borbon?  Well, for one thing we like to call major international ministers complete ignoramuses - that's fun.  We make the greatest predictions evah.  We laugh at global warmist weenies.  We tell you what rock musicians have extremely small testicles.  And we fisk the media, especially the business/financial media, because we are all about the economy!  And we always let you know when someone finds a shitload of oil, because we LOVE oil.  And we have always (ALWAYS!!! from the get go) said that Eli Manning is one of the best QBs in the league and would sport many SB rings - we even gave Neon Deion the "you can't spell BELIEVE without ELI line.  Seriously, that was our line.

Is 9/11/12 the NBfPB-Predicted Obama Implosion?

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.
which was really just a corollary to this:
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. 
So, could this be the very implosion that I predicted.
 U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News -- though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it. 
The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a "spontaneous" event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film. 
Big Time Lying?  To Excuse Terrorism?  What the...?  Terrible instincts indeed (and somehow HRC looks to be coming out clean on the other side of this mess).  I just might have nailed this one.  Depends on how low the media sink to shield the Lightworker over this debacle.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Public Service Announcements: Don't Vote If You Are Uninformed And/Or An Idiot

Howard Stern, perversely, has done us all a favor.  He has shone a light on something we probably all knew but get beat out of us by the forces of political correctness to the point that we forget.  He has revealed anew that many among us are not worthy of their citizenship.  Yes, you read that right.  Not worthy.  With rights come responsibilities and the right to vote, to elect your leaders, to watch over the government that secures your liberty is a precious gift that we enjoy, even more so that many the world over lack such a gift.  And yet, far too numerous of our fellow citizens do not take that right seriously.

This is not to say that everybody needs to be a political junkie.  Surely politics is at best boring and at worst repulsive to normal human beings, but we have a responsibility to be minimally informed in order to make responsible decisions at the ballot box.  Now, no one is saying that voters ought to know the inner mechanics of pay-as-you go pension systems such as Social Security and be well versed in realist vs. idealist schools of foreign policy thought, but, as the video makes clear, we aren't talking about that.  These numb-nuts don't even know the basics.  They can't even get the superficial facts right, they are light years away from the requisite level of understanding required to make a responsibly informed vote.

This point fits very well into the theme of the day, which is President Eye Candy's avowed belief, assiduously ignored by the media, in wealth/income redistribution.  As one whose income/wealth is sought after to be redistributed, I must say this - to hell with the attacks surely to come my way - there is a world of difference between people who are otherwise worthy but down on their luck or somehow on the wrong side of the system through no fault of their own and people who have not even made one iota of effort toward being a responsibly informed citizen.  Redistribution is an economically destructive policy but at least morally you can make an argument for redistribution in the case of the former.  In the case of the later, the thought is repulsive.  These people are idiots and/or they don't even show up.  They don't even recognize the teams on the field, how can we really talk baseball?  I won't suffer to hear demands from people for redistribution who can't even be bothered to read the paper and don't even know the parameters of civil society even though they are able.  The tragedy of an able-bodied person who will not work is equal to the tragedy of a mentally competent person who will not inform themselves.  In civic discourse I can countenance just about anything but abject apathy.  If you don't even try, if you can't be bothered, don't ruin it for the rest of us, and certainly don't voice the notion that you deserve a portion of the fruits of my labor.

The redistributionists insist they embody compassion in our society.  Poppycock.  Rewarding and remunerating this level of non-citizenship is destructive, both to those individual souls and to the civic body as a whole.  Howard Stern, in his crude and off-putting way, has reminded us that not every one of us is worthy of our citizenship and not every voice is worth hearing.  Sad, but true.

Again, Very Little Sympathy for the Younglings

Record numbers of recent college grads are living at home with mom and dad.
The Class of 2008, born during the historic bull market that closed the past century, reached a dubious distinction last year: More than a million of the college graduates have gone back home.
The number of 26-year-olds living with parents has jumped almost 46 percent since 2007, according to Census Bureau data compiled by the University of Minnesota Population Center. Last year, the number of 18- to 30-year-olds living with their parents grew to 20.7 million, a 3.9 percent gain from 2010.
The figures underscore the difficulty that millions of young people have had in finding jobs and starting careers in the U.S. following the longest recession since the Great Depression. About a quarter of American adults between the ages of 18 and 30 now live with parents, while intergenerational households have reached the highest level in more than 50 years.
The whipper-snappers can't say they weren't warned.  You get the government you deserve and this is what you get for letting your college professors fill your heads with gibberish.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan Is a Fool

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is a bloody ignoramus. 

We here in the US have the largest sovereign debt in the history of the world and that is just the bonded debt.  Our total actual liabilities are easily five times larger.  We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, one of the most progressive tax regimes, and yet we still can't afford the level of government we have as evidenced by four straight fiscal years of $1 trillion plus deficits.  Our deficits have been running nearly as large as all of Australia's GDP.  We're getting deeper in hock to the tune of one Australia every year.  We're doing this by subsidizing the the retirements and artificial hips of the wealthiest cohort of people to ever walk the planet, allowing teachers to retire at 55 with $2 million annuities, and putting 15% of the nation on food assistance.

And the folks that want to put an end to this are the crazies and the cranks?  You sir, are a fool.

Europe's Bright Coal-Fired Future

Wait.  What?

Yup.  Coal.
European utilities are poised to add more coal-fired power capacity than natural gas in the next four years, boosting emissions just as the era of free carbon permits ends.

Power producers from EON AG to RWE AG (RWE) will open six times more coal-burning plants than gas-fed units by 2015, UBS AG said in a Sept. 5 research note. Profits at coal-fired power stations may more than double by then, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. report published on Sept. 13.
“The economics for coal are near the best we’ve seen in five years,” Laurent Segalen, a director at ECMF, said yesterday in an interview from London. Buying UN credits for 2013, after they plunged almost 80 percent in the past year, is “an amazing bargain,” he said. 
Utilities will add as much as 10,600 megawatts of new coal plants in seven central European countries in the next four years, compared with 1,600 megawatts of new natural-gas capacity .
They're shutting down their nukes and they won't frack, so coal is really all that's left.  There's wind and solar of course, but even the Euros aren't that suicidal - they wouldn't be crazy enough to handicap their economic competitiveness with those fantasies.  Just enough wind and solar to feel superior to everyone else, but no more.  Maybe Mitt Romney should be telling those coal miners in OH, WV and PA that he'd be thrilled to see them mine all the coal the Euros can burn.

Jobless Rate Rises in Swing States

While the MSM is desperate to preempt actual voting and declare Obama the winner already, joblessness is still rising in places throughout America, notably in some "swing states."
The jobless rate rose in August in five of 10 states considered battlegrounds in the U.S. presidential election less than two months before voters head to the polls.
Unemployment climbed in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The rate dropped in Colorado and New Mexico, and was unchanged from July in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. Joblessness in six of the 10 states is below the national average of 8.1 percent.
Three and a half years into Obama's presidency and we still have rising unemployment?  That's pathetic.  It is still inconceivable to me that the Lightworker is leading in the polls - either the crappy economy doesn't mean all that much to people, Romney's gaffes/truth-telling are indeed turning people off, or the polls are just dead wrong.  I don't know.  My hunch is that the lame economic news, the international chaos blowing up in Obama's face and a last-minute barrage of ads from Romney's war chest could put him over the top.  Definitely all is not lost, but Romney should have a commanding lead given Obama's incompetence.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bank of America's Revenge

Bank of America has been a major whipping boy of the Lightworker's administration and Obamacrats in general for the last three and a half years.  Hardly surprising that they'd have a few pink slips to hand out right smack-dab in the middle of the election campaign.

The Ego Knows No Bounds, Part X

Dumb Cultists Volunteering for Slavery?

Just when you thought that Obama's CREEPY cult of personality couldn't get any

Just asking, when you pledge your allegiance to another person, literally, are you still free?  I don't think so.

Zuckerman Unloads on Obama...Again

I've stopped counting how many utterly scathing op-eds that Democrat businessman and publisher Mort Zuckerman has written criticizing the Obama economic program.  I think it's like 10.  Anyway, here is the latest.  Pretty grim, pretty scathing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Annoying (at least to me) Sidenote

The Lightworker was literally across the street from my office last night.  He was hard at work on foreign policy issues attended a fundraiser at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club, which is, as I say, right across the street.  All tenants in our building received requests from the Secret Service to "stay away from the windows" during the Lightworker's visit.  Can you believe?  Why not "just leave" or "bow down and kiss the ground"?

I must say I was tempted to tape up a sign and put it in the window "Colombian Hookers: Good Rates.  9th Floor"

Obama "Violated Every Bankruptcy Principle Known to Man"

I've been meaning to blog this but I have been lax.  Here is my former boss (OK, my former boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss) Harvey Golub, about as influential a business executive as you can find, telling it like it is on how Obama saved General Motors - utter lawlessness.
Harvey Golub, the former chairman of American International Group Inc., said President Barack Obama “violated every bankruptcy principle known to man” in the rescue of General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC.
That's about sums it up. Add in $50 billion of our tax dollars and there you have it.  Rampant disregard for the law and essentially unlimited money and what we have is an enfeebled and mediocre car company that is losing ground in the marketplace every day.  Yes, GM is alive, but it is not leading a life worth living.  By any rational measure the GM rescue was a failure and the law-breaking required to achieve it was more damaging to the broader economy than the benefits of "saving" the company.

Note:  The article says that Golub is a donor to the RNC. This is likely a recent development.  Golub, through his long career, was widely known as a Democrat, perhaps even a life-long registered Democrat, but I am not certain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unsustainable Welfare State Is...Like...Totally Necessary. Huh?

Someone named R.R. Reno responds to the whole 47% kerfuffle in an odd way.  First, is the classic dodge, "it's more complicated than that."  People always deflect basic arguments that get the better of them by saying "it's complicated".  In her quest to illustrate the complexity which will wash away the reality of single-minded, massive redistribution, Reno constructs or describes for us a typical lower/middle class American.

Someone working in a meat processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska makes about $12 per hour. That’s $24,000 per year. Throw in some overtime, and maybe he makes close to $30,000. ...
Okay, now our imaginary American who is working more than 40 hours a week at a physically taxing job has $400 per month that isn’t spoken for.
Fine.  This is reality, we get it - it's not just Steve Jobs vs. Peggy Joseph.  But so what?  On what basis does the government undertake to help this person?  Certainly not a constitutional basis.  It is nowhere spelled out in the constitution that we need to tax more prosperous citizens to assist this citizen with his wants or needs.  Progressives, of course, have read the Constitution, aren't much enamored of it and have moved on - moved on to other arguments, such as compassion?   It is compassionate to tax more prosperous citizens to help this citizen out.  Perhaps.  Sometimes our compassion backfires by creating dependence which destroys lives rather than edifies them.  But not always.  Sometimes compassion is needed and can help.  Now we can unleash the fusillade of questions that ought to be asked:  Who deserves this compassion?  How much?  For how long?  Is the government the best vehicle to deliver that compassionate help? The answers are, of course, debatable and we've been debating them for decades.  So we've also got alot of historical experience to draw on, so the questions come fast and furious again, if people need compassionate assistance desperately now, what did they do in the past?  How did our meatpacking industry employees make it through the misery of a day without all the compassion that we now bestow on them?  Was 1985 a compassionate year as compared to this year?  How will people react if we tell them their compassion is going away in 2018? 

OK, I'll stop, but you get the point.  To declare that people need help is facile and absurd.  The R.R. Renos are the facile and absurd actors in this drama and even admit to it.
 The modern welfare and entitlement state is a mess. It is full of perverse incentives, and it may not be fiscally sustainable. But it’s historically, intellectually, and morally stultifying to imagine that this mess is somehow unnecessary, that it is the result of the laziness or irresponsibility of working people and the wicked plots of collectivist liberals.
Huh?  Ill-conceived schemes that will bankrupt the nation and fail catastrophically wrecking millions of lives in the process is somehow necessary?  That's, I don't know how to candy-cost it, insane.  And why is it historically stultifying (?) to contemplate a world without Medicare, which is largely a creature of the 1960s?  Why is it morally stultifying (again ?) to reassess Social Security now that we live in a world with 3 working age folks for every retiree versus 18 for every one?  Reno doesn't ask and doesn't care, he/she is happy to do the easy part and say that people need help.  We've been hearing from alot of R.R. Renos over the decades and for the most part we've listened to them and that is why we have the teetering structures that we have today, which the Renos of the world are inexplicably comfortable with.  To get admirable policy that contributes to a better society, we need to go much deeper and think alot harder than R.R. Reno.

As for "takers" and "makers", naturally I agree that we do not live in a 50/50 society of takers and makers engaged in an epic arm wrestle.  But let's get with reality, there are raw, unadulterated, unashamed takers in society.  What percent of us they represent, I do not know, but I do know that we can create alot more of them if we wanted to quite easily.  Promise more, give more, create feelings of entitlement.  We could take the numbers way up.  But these have to be paid for by more "makers", which are harder to engineer.  You don't just conjure the next Bessemer process, or iPhone, our automobile or jet engine.  You can hope they come along, I guess.  Or you can do things to create the conditions for them to emerge.  Seems to me there is some deeper understanding of economics, political philosophy, history and human nature that is required to sort this all out.  Yeah, it's complicated alright.

Mitt Is Right

Mark Perry had a post up on this the other day.  Here it is.  Two facts:
1) Nearly half of Americans pay no income tax at all;
2) Nearly 70% of all government spending is just writing checks to people

Perry tells you why it matters.
Our long-term fiscal problems won’t be fixed until we address what might be our nation’s most serious fiscal-related problem: we’re increasingly becoming a European-style “entitlement nation,” with “payments to individuals” increasing both in absolute dollar amounts and as a share of total federal spending, while at the same time the share of Americans who face a zero or negative federal income tax liability is above 40 percent and rising.  In other words, a declining share of American taxpayers is being forced to finance the rising cost of the federal government, which is increasingly being spent on payments to individuals.
Yes, that's how you ring up $16 trillion in debt but it is also how you destroy society.  Go back all the way to Aristotle, to know how long we've understood this basic political reality.
"If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city."
Modern Greece is living this scenario out right now, the state runs economy for the benefit of state workers and favored constituencies...and the state has essentially been destroyed.  Greece is broken.

Finally, remember Peggy Joseph?  What happens when we have too many Peggy Josephs?  We are building a society where nearly half the people have no skin in the game and are placing ever larger demands on those who pay for the system.  This is wrong morally, but simply unsustainable as a practical measure.  The system will break eventually and the break down will be about as UNcompassionate as the compassion-mongers, who egg this on, could ever contemplate.

You Heard It Here First

Hey, people are starting to cotton on to the fact that we have stagflationWelcome to the party everybody!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Unintentionally Funny Columnist: Obama Is Tough, Reagan Was Weak

There is alot of dumbass going around these days in the MSM as they frantically try to save Obama's hide in the wake of his entire mideast policy cratering into a smoldering heap.  My candidate for dumbest is by somebody named Steve Chapman, who attempts to exonerate the Lightworker for foreign policy weakness - not by saying that Dear Leader isn't weak, but by saying criticism over weakness is weak.  He doesn't address the substance of Obama's foreign policy, but rather compares it to a vignette of the Reagan era:

On Aug. 31, 1983, a South Korean airliner flying from New York to Seoul drifted off course and entered Soviet airspace. After tracking the civilian plane for more than two hours, Soviet fighter pilots were told to shoot it down. They did, killing 269 people, including 60 Americans. It was one of the most shocking atrocities of the Cold War. 
It occurred during the first term of perhaps the most staunchly anti-Communist president America has ever had, Ronald Reagan, an advocate of robust military power. And how did Reagan respond? He called it a "crime against humanity," and then, um, postponed some cultural exchanges with the Soviets.
Naturally, this is daft.   Yes, Reagan may have appeared to do nothing militarily in immediate response to the Soviet atrocity, but by 1983 Reagan had already declared that the Soviet Union would be relegated to "the ash heap of history", that Communism was "another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written", and rendered elite opinion verklempt with his characterization of the USSR as "an evil empire".   In response to the KAL bombing Reagan simply continued the economic war of attrition that was a central tactic of his anti-USSR strategy.  Furthermore, he was busy building up arms agreements and placing missiles in Europe, arming/helping the Mujahadeen fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and was undermining Soviet satellite states in Africa, Latin America and Asia.  In 1983, Reagan was also busy invading Grenada and launching the Strategic Defense Initiative.  In other words, Reagan was busy implementing a long term strategy to defeat the Soviet Union, he didn't need to respond with a "fly swat" when his aim was to bring the whole house of cards down.  Within a few years, Reagan would be bombing Soviet-aligned Libya.  Chapman either never learned or conveniently forgot this history.  But now that we've setup the false narrative, Chapman delivers the howler:
Barack Obama has never done anything that could compare to Reagan's limp response to this wanton slaughter of innocents. But conservatives with short memories regard Obama as the most feeble, weak-kneed president since ... well, since Jimmy Carter.
How many times have we heard of Reagan the "war-monger" in the elite liberal telling?  Yet, magically, Steve Chapman has transformed Reagan into a veritable puppy dog on the world stage for the sake of making Obama look tough.

4th Quarter Eli Strikes Again

My favorite classic: Tale of Two Elis


Lest we forget, it was eight years of Bill Clinton either not knowing the nature or misjudging the al Qaeda threat that resulted in 9/11/01.

As I say, I'm inclined to be generous, and put some of this down to the natural torpor and ineptitude of government. But Hillary Clinton and Gen. Martin Dempsey are guilty of something worse, in the secretary of state's weirdly obsessive remarks about an obscure film supposedly disrespectful of Mohammed and the chairman of the joint chiefs' telephone call to a private citizen asking him if he could please ease up on the old Islamophobia. 
Forget the free-speech arguments. In this case, as Secretary Clinton and Dempsey well know, the film has even less to do with anything than did the Danish cartoons or the schoolteacher's teddy bear or any of the other innumerable grievances of Islam. 
The 400-strong assault force in Benghazi showed up with RPGs and mortars: that's not a spontaneous movie protest; that's an act of war, and better planned and executed than the dying superpower's response to it. Clinton and Dempsey are, to put it mildly, misleading the American people when they suggest otherwise.
and this.  The same people that would have you believe that the bin Ladenites somehow got up in arms over George W. Bush's plan to introduce private accounts to Social Security (read it, it's the first policy plank mentioned), planned and executed the 9/11 attacks in roughly eight months, would have you believe that 400 people with RPGs, and who knew where the safe house in Benghazi was and that Amb. Stevens would be there, were ticked off by a YouTube video.
So, after just three years of the Orwellian bullshit of "man-made disasters" and "overseas contingency operations", just what will we face after eight years of this and this?  What will the man or woman who is inaugurated in January of 2016 face some days into their presidency?  
At least the Clinton dereliction was a good time, moderately, economically.  These last three, not so much.  Four more years?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Great Minds Think Alike: Walter Russell Mead Edition

Walter Russell Mead excerpted over at Instapundit:
“Recovery may be underway, but most American families aren’t feeling the love. The recent census report shows that despite (extremely slow) increases in national GDP and employment, inflation-adjusted household income—an indicator with far more impact on the lives of most Americans—has been dropping since 2009. As the New York Times notes, median household income is now 8.1 percent below its level in 2007. Obama has spent the past two years trying to make the case that his policies have made Americans better off. Reports like this one and last month’s abysmal jobs report don’t make that case any easier to make.”
You heard it here first.  This is from October 2010:
Finally, IMHO the economy will stumble along, but even if the economy does do OK it won't feel like it to the average voter - lackluster growth won't create enough jobs to absorb workforce growth, $4 gas will dampen consumer spending, ObamaCare fallout will continue to plague businesses
 and this from March 2011:
Finally, there is the economy. No amount of carping, which I and others have amply done, can express the abysmally malign influence of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama nexus on the US economy. Although stronger than it was during the worst of the panic of 2008 and resultant recession, the economy is far from stronger, and worse, it doesn't feel strong where it counts, to average people.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rich-Poor Gap Is Logical Outcome of Obama/Pelosi Economic Illogic

Bloomberg News notes how the "rich-poor gap" has widene under Obama.
The U.S. Census Bureau figures released yesterday underscored the struggles of American families in a sputtering economic recovery. The report also showed the income gap between rich and poor people grew to the widest in more than 40 years in 2011 as the poverty rate remained at almost a two-decade high.
That may seem odd given that the Lightworker is in office and that the Pelosicrats have been in charge of the House for four of the last six years and the Harry Reid Senate has been the Harry Reid Senate six years and counting. How can those Heroes of the Downtrodden foster a growing rich-poor divide.  Easy.  It's the natural result of their playbook, as I illustrated long ago...
 That's what Washington has created for us, a modest recovery that is accruing to capital and not to labor. How did they achieve this feat? Easy. First we must start with a misdiagnosis of the financial crisis. Politicians blamed it all on the banks and business, when it was largely the creation of government through highly distorted incentives. They further chose to tackle a financial panic, a monetary event, as a traditional business cycle recession and applied traditional counter-cyclical Keynesian "stimulus". Also, coming out of the financial crisis, the politicians ramped up both anti-business rhetoric and an anti-business policy agenda the likes of which this country hasn't see in seventy years. So as the monetary disruptions healed, the government was sucking the oxygen out of the economy by crowding out private capital to borrow and spend on "stimulus" and sending risk-takers to hide under their desks. So as the world beyond our borders recovered, having indulged in less over the top business bashing, US manufacturers have been able to secure alot of business exporting our great products to the world, but have little incentive to hire (ObamaCare) and expand here at home (card-check, EPA, NLRB, etc). Ergo the profits but not too much hiring. So that's how we got an economy that stinks for "workers" but is OK for "owners".

Great Minds Think Alike, Steve Heyward Edition

Last month it was the Paul Rahe edition, this month it is the Steve Hayward edition of "Great Minds Think Alike."  Hayward channels an analysis of recent events through the prism of Nassim Taleb's "Black Swan" and also notes the laughable dangerous ground of PC on which he treads.
Everyone is by now familiar with Nassim Taleb’s idea of low probability, high impact “black swan” events that come seemingly out of nowhere to disrupt the world as we know it.  The events of the last 48 hours look like they might be Obama’s black swan, except that we can’t say “black swan” and “Obama” in the same sentence because that would be, you know. . . racist or something.
Much like I did way back when

Obama is a Black Swan

Gosh I know that will draw howls of racism but I am talking about a Talebian Black Swan. (If you don't get the reference, then get off my website.)
 Although the point I made and that Hayward makes are different.  My point was how many on the world stage forty years ago would have predicted the utter flakiness and feckless that America would sink to, which is manifested in our selection of Barack H. Obama as POTUS.
It is not the deficits. It is not the foreign policy fecklessness. It is not the socialism. It is not the despoliation of creditors' rights (Chrysler!). It is not the invitation to non-taxpaying Maoists into the halls of power. It is...alas...that the US is now...flakey. We are an international airhead. A ditz on the global stage. This is however not "Obama's fault" as in the fault of Barack H. Obama the man. It is however the fault of Obama, the phenomenon. The loss of America's reliability and steadiness on the world stage is culminated in Obama. He's doing it but he is merely our vessel and the fact that he is there, doing this to our nation and our nation's standing is more a reflection on us than on him.
Hayward's point touches on the question of the day (and likely a question for the ages): how can the utter debacle of a fiasco that is the Obama administration not be way way behind in the polls let alone leading them?  It is a mystery for the ages indeed.  Given the destruction he has wrought on the fabric of American economic life, the assaults on the rule of law and to liberty, and the irresponsible fecklessness of his foreign policy, he should be trailing the love child of Donald Duck and Josef Stalin by double digits.  Alas, he isn't. 

Does the world have to be in full-blown conflagration to dent this teflon-clad loser?  Can only a "Black Swan" event sink the Lightworker?  Apparently so, and even then maybe not, but at least we'll get to see as the Middle East erupts in Islam-inspired America Hatred, Chicago's schools remain closed at the hands of their greedy Marxist overpaid subpar teachers, and the economy sputters leaving people out of work and earning less. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

OMG Did Dear Leader Give Romney an Opening!

Is Romney savvy enough to hold a press conference with Netanyahu tomorrow, saying that America stands by its long-standing ally?  It's a coup teed up and just waiting...let's see.

Just a reminder, I said this on January 5, 2012:

- 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!)

I thought "You Didn't Build That" was that quite egregious thing.  Could the Netanyahu snub be that thing, that decisive, revealing fumble???

UPDATE:  Walter Russell Mead says the roof has caved in, although WRM and I differ greatly on how rickety the structure was in the first place. Here's WRM:
While the economy was no great shakes, the President’s stewardship of foreign affairs helped give his administration an air of competence and professionalism.
Really?  Honduras.  Reset buttons.  Bowing.  Giving Putin the promise of flexibility.  Insulting Bibi to Sarkozy.  Copehhagen.  Driving Canada into the arms of China.  I ask again, "Really?"

UPPDATE:  Here is another prediction I made on January 2011, cold-showering the CW that Obama was a lock to win re-election.  Much of that post is looking spot on, but this bit especially:
The world will look a mess, further revealling what a non-entity at best, a provocateur through his weakness at worst, Obama is on the world stage.
Sure looks like a mess to me.

A New Beginning Alright...

Wait, Obama was supposed to restore our place in the world to glory after the Bush years, he even went somewhere to give a speech to that end...where was it again?

UPDATE:  OK, I can't let it lie at just the subtle snark...let's tally up the sticks in the eye here: 1) on 9/11, 2) after we just forgave $1 billion of debt, 3) after Morsi has cozied up to Iran, 4) post opening up the Sinai to attacks on Israel...???  Egypt is such an incredible Obama fuck-up that it has to make one wonder...bug or feature?

UPPDATE and WARNING:  I've turned the profanity filters here at NBfPB off...

What a great day for America, Moody's talks downgrade and a bunch of Muslim fanatics storm our embassy, our VP has gone from harmless buffoon to active dickhead and our POTUS is probably playing golf, wait no, even better.  And this d**khead is leading in the polls.  We are so f**ked!

F**K Joe Biden

Bittersweet ??????????????????

I liked Uncle Joe better when he was just a harmless idiot.  I do not like this new persona - the offensive, insulting, stomach-churning moron. 

Moody's: Um, We Weren't Kidding in 2009

Posted on NBfPB in 2009...
"The Aaa rating of the U.S. is not guaranteed," said Steven Hess, Moody's lead analyst for the United States said in an interview with Reuters Television. "So if they don't get the deficit down in the next 3-4 years to a sustainable level, then the rating will be in jeopardy."
And, right on schedule...
The U.S. may lose its triple-A debt rating if next year's budget negotiations do not produce policies that over time decrease the country's debt, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.
 Of course, it's not even clear that Obama knows what a credit rating agency is...or for that matter neither do the 49% of people who are telling polsters that they'll vote for this bozo again...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's Hackery at Bloomberg News

William D. Cohan is some doofus who has been writing essentially the same column for awhile now for Bloomberg News, decrying two things: 1) that Wall Street executives are paid too much and 2) that Wall Street executives are not in jail.  His latest iteration of this cadaverous equine thrashing is this ridiculous effort lamenting the ability of Wall Street CEOs to avoid accountability for their scandals.  Cohan has zero credibility in writing such an article and yet not even mentioning the name Jon Corzine.  Verdict rendered:  Cohan is a hack.  Meanwhile Charles Gasparino gets it right.

OT:  Bloomberg is back with its famous "unexpectedly" labeling of any and all bad economic news in the Age of the Lightworker.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Obama, the State of Play and Some Self Back-Patting

Well, I haven't patted myself on the back in awhile so let me reiterate that - 2.5 years ago mind you - I said this election season would have 10% unemployment and $4 gas, thus burying the Obama fairy tale under a mountain of economic bad news (and don't gimme no BS about unemployment being only 8%, we all know that it's really 10+%).

I think the two principal barriers to Obama's re-election are going to be energy prices and unemployment. In my opinion, it is a better than 50% chance that the nation will go into the 2012 election cycle with $4+ per gal. gasoline, and 10+% unemployment. This is not mindless Obama=Jimmy Carter reductionism.
I predicted a "one term rally" in the stock market.
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."
Stocks have been hitting a stride as of late, and, of course, the sycophantic pro-Obama media is playing it up and trying to give the Lightworker credit for the rally.  Readers know what I think of that notion.

And finally, I predicted a spectacular implosion of Obama's re-election effort.
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.
That prediction has not come unambiguously true, but the foundation has certainly been laid.  I recently noted these developments:
- Romney out-raises Obama by $60 million over two months and has a cash advantage over Obama
- Tina Brown runs "Hit the Road Barack" on the cover of Newsweek
- It is leaked that Hillary turned down the VP slot AND urged a reluctant Obama to strike bin Laden
- Joe Biden turns the Gaffe-o-meter up to a Spinal Tap-ish 11
- It is leaked that there is turmoil in the Obama Campaign HQ
- The MSM shines a light on Obama's brutally negative campaigning
- The Romney-Ryan ticket is playing to packed venues everywhere it goes
- gas prices are rising again and there are reports of a desperation tapping of the SPR
- a Cook County poll showed Obama's lead slipping in Cook County, IL
- and OF COURSE, on July 13th Obama gave his now infamous "You Didn't Build That" speech
We can add to that list the shockingly inept and revealing DNC platform debacle, the humiliating retreat from the 73,000 seat stadium venue for his nomination acceptance speech, the tepid at best and often highly critical reaction to that speech, and now the terrible jobs report released this morning.  I suspect that all this could lead to some bad poll results in the next couple of days. And bad polls often beget even worse polls.  Throw in the finally unleashed Romney airwaves assault funded by his sizable war chest and you're potentially looking at something very close to yours truly's predicted implosion.

Punching Above Their Weight

I can't believe I hadn't seen this.  Pure gold.  Pure, shiny, gold...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Tonight's Theme?

So what will tonight's theme be?

- "Yes We Can...If Given Eight Years...Maybe"

- "Can I Get a Mulligan?"

- "Mitt Romney, who true conservatives think is a total squish and poseur, is really a Nazi and will take us back to the days of racial beatings and will unleash oppression like you've never seen."

- "If McCain had been elected, conceivably the debt might have risen to $17 trillion, so really I cut the debt!"

- "You didn't build that, but I single-handedly transformed America in such awesome ways I can't even begin to tell you."

- "Vlad Putin wants me to win."

- "bin Laden is dead after Hillary made me and Valerie Jarrett agree to give the order, and GM is alive thanks to $25 billion of your money and after I screwed over their bondholders."

Further suggestions welcome...

Another Liz "Sitting Bullsh*t" Warren Lie?

Has Paul Rahe caught Elizabeth Warren in ANOTHER lie?

Tonight, at a moment when I had finished something that I was working on, I took a moment to look up Warren on Wikipedia, and here is what I found: 
She was born Elizabeth Herring[1] on June 22, 1949,[2] in Oklahoma CityOklahoma, to working classparents  . . . 
At Northwest Classen High School, she was named "Oklahoma's top high-school debater". She received a debate-team scholarship to George Washington University at the age of 16. 
Now, as it happens, I was born almost exactly six months before Fauxcahontas, and, yes, I attended Northwest Classen High School -- from which I graduated in 1967, the year after Elizabeth Warren is said to have graduated (and did so if, indeed, she was awarded a scholarship to George Washington University when she was 16). 
Even more to the point, I was a debater at Northwest Classen, and I went to every meet where we fielded a team when I was a sophomore, a junior, and a senior. 
But I do not remember an Elizabeth Herring -- although I found her in the 1966 year book, where she is listed as vice-president of the National Forensic League. But there is nothing in the yearbook about her being named "Oklahoma's top high-school debater," and it is very odd, indeed, that I remember nothing at all about that. 
I do not remember everything and everyone, but I do remember the debaters. They were the people I hung out with -- especially when I was a sophomore and a junior. Moreover, had one in our number been named "Oklahoma's top high-school debater," I would surely remember the person and the fact. 
Someone should do a bit of investigative work. It is conceivable that Elizabeth Herring was a great star when I was a junior and that I have forgotten her. But I would not be surprised to learn that Ms. Warren has lied about things other than her supposed Cherokee heritage. 
Was she named "Oklahoma's top high-school debater?" And, if so, by whom?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bubba's Revenge Rolls On...?

Well, we know that the Washington Post dropped the story of the Obama/Boehner debt deal collapse a long time ago with the help of key source Bill Daley.  Well, just in case it didn't register the first time, Bob Woodward has a whole book out that covers the episode in detail, and, guess what, snippets are leaking out smack in the middle of the DNC's Abortion Fest in Charlotte.  And look who figure prominently in the story - Larry Summers, Gene Sperling, and some added Rahm Emmanuel tidbits.  All Clintonites.  All making Obama look ridiculous on the eve of his big speech to 73,000 20,000 adulating ObamaBots.

For those newcomers, please review the NBfPB theory of Bubba v. Obama that I have been articulating here for many many months before the MSM even caught a whiff.

Hillary a world away, Bubba holding all his cards close to his vest and distractions and clusterfarks galore.  The dysfunction is almost too much to believe that Obama HQ could stumble that badly (or maybe it isn't), they've been badly outmaneuvered and have lost control via sabotage.

UPDATE:  Holy Moley, what is going on?  Could this be going on?

Monday, September 03, 2012


Yes, even at this late juncture, the depths of Obama's horridness has not fully been revealed to even the most jaded among us.  Roger Kimball catches this one...sit down...
Best of the Web posts a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times in which Obama defines sin, not along traditional Christian or Muslim lines, but along self-referential lines:
Falsani: Do you believe in sin?
Obama: Yes.
Falsani: What is sin?
Obama: Being out of alignment with my values.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

We're Getting Fleeced On Our Infrastructure

Walter Russell Mead highlights something that I highlighted here at NBfPB long ago by comparing the proposed new Tappan Zee bridge here in NY with the Millau Viaduct in France, we're spending WAY too much to build our infrastructure.  Our graft, incompetence and union rent seeking is measured in dollars...staggering amounts of dollars.