Monday, March 31, 2014

The Daily Caller Propagandizes Common Core

Just a reminder, The Daily Caller is pimping for Common Core, by disguising propaganda from its "featured partner", something called the Higher State Standards Partnership, as the hard news/commentary that TDC is known for.

Walter Russell Mead, Again: Obama Totally Unrealistic, Ineffective, But Awesome Nonetheless

I have chronicled my frustrations with Walter Russell Mead before.  His contribution in the weekend WSJ brought about the same frustrations.

If you have to paraphrase the whole piece, it would go something like this:  "Obama is truly awsome.  His policies are completely unrealistic, ineffectively pursued, and the combination is often dangerous, but, man, is he awesome for thinking such good thoughts."

Just a few fisking-type comments.  Mead says:
The president has extremely ambitious goals but is unusually parsimonious when it comes to engagement.
Sounds to me like WRm is describing an airy dreamer who is lazy.  But, hey, that's OK because...
Commendably, President Obama is not satisfied with the global status quo and wants a world fundamentally different than the one we live in. He wants a world in which poverty is on the wane, international law is respected, and the U.S., if it must lead, can do so on the cheap, and from behind.
To get to this world, Mr. Obama wants nuclear proliferation stopped, new arms-control agreements ratified, and the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. He wants a tough global climate treaty that will keep carbon emissions at levels low enough to prevent further global warming. He wants the Arab-Israeli dispute settled and a new relationship with Iran. He wants terrorism to be contained and Afghanistan to be stable when the Americans leave. He wants to reassert U.S. power in the Pacific, and to see China accept the territorial status quo. He wants democracy advanced, human rights protected, poverty reduced, women empowered, and lesbians and gays treated better world-wide. 
But Mead negates all this, rightly claiming it is so much lefty pie in the sky.
Who wouldn't want an easier life in a nicer world?...His appealing vision of an easy, cheap and beautiful world order helps build expectations that no real world president can achieve.
Yeah, don't we all want such things?  Thinking happy thoughts is the mark of a serious leader?  Yet somehow WRM clings to the notion that Obama's rhetoric is sincere, that this is a great man with a great vision, rather than internalizing five years of evidence telling us that Obama employs nice-sounding talk with no basis in reality simply to numb and deaden Americans' senses - or otherwise stated, he's a bullshit artist.  We're shown that conclusion but we're not allowed to make it.  Mead actually thinks there is serious pondering, analyzing, and reevaluating going on within Obama's head and within his policy making apparatus.
Mr. Obama came into office telling voters what they badly wanted to hear, which was that on foreign policy, they could have it all. No risks to be run, no adversarial great powers to oppose, and no boots on the ground. Now he must tell them that he, and they, were wrong, and he must choose. Does he give up on some of his dreams for improving the world, or does he begin to urge the country to pay a higher price and run greater risks to make the world better and safer?
We're not given the obvious choice - that Obama has been winging it and bullshitting his way through five years of foreign policy improvisation - because WRM thinks Obama is, like, totally, going to get it right.

Looks alot like some bitter-clinging to me.

Friday, March 28, 2014

What Is Left Unsaid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gun-control groups are trying to stem the damage as one of the Legislature's most outspoken supporters faces federal gun-trafficking allegations.
Organizers said Thursday that the charges filed this week against Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, cloud the future of two of his gun control bills. One would prohibit devices that allow for swift reloading of military-style assault weapons, the other calls for a study of safe firearm storage methods. 
Advocates and opponents alike say Yee's arrest may slow the Legislature's consideration of gun restrictions this year.
Paraphrased:  "Rank hypocrisy, criminality, and a complete abuse of public trust will hurt our cause..."

Left unsaid:  "...but that won't stop us."

Gee, Who Predicted that ObamaCare Would Be "Have Vs. Have-Not"?

Headline:  "ObamaCare is a "Have and Have-nots" Health System."

Hey, just a reminder, I predicted this (especially here and here) ...not that it was hard, many others did as well.

Just another victory for cold, hard reality over wishful thinking.

Just to Clarify

Here is the headline:
"U.S. Intel Sources: Russian Invasion of Eastern Ukraine Increasingly Likely"
Here is the Actual Reality:
"Russian Invasion of Eastern Ukraine Has Always Been Likely, US Is Increasingly Aware"

America, You've Been Punk'd

Enjoy America.

Headline: "Russia Sends Troops, Obama Admin. Sends Selfie"
Russia sends troops, Obama administration sends a selfie

Is "Noah" Propaganda for the Delta Smelt?

From Joe Morgenstern's review of "Noah"...
Commanded to build an ark, he rises to the challenge. (The film comes up with a beautifully inventive source of lumber, and provides heavy-lifting labor in the form of Watchers, about whom more, unfortunately, will be said below.) And he's fine with the passenger list, as far as it goes. Innocent animals, two by two? This Noah, as written by Mr. Aronofsky and Ari Handel, accepts their innocence and welcomes them aboard. When it comes to humanity, though—to the hordes of desperate humans struggling to save themselves from the flood in a sequence suggestive of Hieronymus Bosch—Noah draws the line, and ruthlessly. Saving the innocent means only the animals: "Men are going to be punished for what they've done to this world."
Morgenstern surveys the criticism...
The movie may well be punished in some quarters for the darkness of this concept; it has already been ridiculed by Glenn Beck as "pro-animal" and "strongly antihuman." 
...but doesn't agree with the assessment.  That's fine, but it sure is in keeping with lefties' behavior in the public policy arena.  To wit, they are driving farmers in California's central valley to the wall, destroying livelihoods, not to mention their ability to grow food for other humans, all for concern over the delta smelt

And, of course, there is the ever-present annoyance of hyper-lefties derogatory reference to "breeders."

So, I'm not so convinced that this criticism can be dismissed, it is consistent with the way they act in the real world.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Not Shortages of Food, Supplies (and Freedom); Venezuela's Unrest Is Caused By...Crossword Puzzles

Have the decrepit Latin Bolshevists who run Venezuela finally lost it?
Crossword puzzles in a local Venezuelan newspaper are calling readers to violent protests with conspiratorial messages, the country’s information minister said today.
Delcy Rodriguez called for an investigation of El Aragueno daily from the industrial town of Maracay, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Caracas for putting “encrypted messages” in its puzzles, she said in a post on her Twitter account. She didn’t give any details. 
Actually, given what we know about Mao, Stalin and assorted other authoritarian sociopaths, the better question is , "Did they ever actually have a grip on reality?"

Aging, Spent Anti-War Politician Defends Iraq War?

OK, maybe not defends, but certainly counters the whole "blood for oil" poppycock...
Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy.  Now, it is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate not just around the world, but in the United States as well.  I participated in that debate and I opposed our military intervention there.  But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system.  We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory.  We did not grab its resources for our own gain.  Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.
 Yeah, Iraq defied numerous UN resolutions.  Remember that?

Holy Projection Batman!

Update on the Leeland Yee arrest and indictment I mentioned here.

Yee is a big gun control pol.  So the FBI nabs him on, of course...arms trafficking!
In a stunning development that almost certainly torpedoes Yee's quest for statewide office, the San Francisco Democrat wound up glum and disoriented in a federal courtroom Wednesday. The politician who introduced anti-gun-violence legislation is now charged with trafficking in firearms and public corruption in an FBI undercover operation that could land him in prison for years.
Check out the fun here.  This would be like all those Democratic politicians crying "War on Women" and yet are serial sexual harassers. It almost as if you should assume their rhetoric is a mask to hide their deep-seated self-awareness of what loathsome characters they are...

UPDATE:  Holy Moley.  Real arms-trafficking to really bad dudes who do really bad things.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Democrats Will Say Absolutely Anything...

Today's installment of this seemingly never-ending series comes from Harry Reid.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to explain the Obama administration's latest decision to extend a key ObamaCare deadline by saying people just "are not educated on how to use the Internet."
Yeah, that's the thing about those "young invincibles", they just don't get the Internet.  Too much time focused on cowboy poetry, I reckon.

How Democrats Roll (the Public)

Pass a "temporary" tax increase, and then, when the inevitable prospect of short term revenue loss comes at expiration, say something like this...
“We cannot stand by and allow savage cuts to our education and to these critical services to unravel the progress that we have made,”
In other words, they designed it this way, they baked it into the cake, they knew exactly what they were yet savage cuts will unravel things.  Yeah, funny how that works.

We Are Governed By the Corrupt and the Inept

Two prominent politicians in one day.  Shocker, I know.

Patrick Cannon, Mayor of Charlotte, NC - bribery and corruption.

Leland Yee, Cailfornia State Senator and candidate for Secretary of State - public corruption.

We are governed by the corrupt and inept.  As long as we see elections as popularity contests, this is what we're gonna get.  Enjoy America!

Criminally Incompetent Government

This is Glenn Reynolds's schtick but I can't resist...

We are in the very best of hands:
The Russian government warned U.S. authorities that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a violent radical Islamist more than a year and a half before the April 2013 bombing, but authorities missed multiple chances to detain Tsarnaev when he was traveling to and from Dagestan for terror training, according to a soon-to-be released Congressional report.
In one instance, according to the report prepared by investigators for the House Homeland Security Committee and copies of documents reviewed by NBC News, Tsarnaev was supposed to be pulled aside for questioning at JFK airport because he was considered potentially armed and dangerous, but he slipped through undetected because someone had misspelled his last name in a security database.
Criminally incompetent.  (Remember, we knew about the 9/11 hijackers too, but we couldn't share info across Jamie Gorelick's wall.)

Mark these words too - Obama's criminally fantastical worldview will result in many more unnecessary deaths before he leaves office.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More of That Evil "Pro-Free Markets" Money

The Koch Brothers have an imitator.
Billionaire TD Ameritrade (AMTD) founder Joe Ricketts built a $25 million political operation aimed at reducing the size of government.
Now his youngest son, Todd, is trying to expand that family business, Ending Spending, to include other wealthy donors.
Father and son are following the activist-investor method of political giving favored by billionaire energy executives Charles and David Koch, who created a network of Republican-leaning groups and convinced like-minded donors to help pay for them. The Ricketts have won one big-name donor: Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino owner who spent about $100 million in the 2012 presidential election, gave Ending Spending about $1 million in 2012, Federal Election Commission records show.
Worthy endeavor.  I wish them well, and I might get out my checkbook.  We'll know they've made it when Harry Reid denounces them on the floor of the US Senate.

TX Dem: Non-Existent Voter Fraud Existed, At Least In My Case

Democrats claim that voter fraud doesn't exist, and yet one, shall we say "off message," Democrat in Texas is claiming he lost due to ... wait for it ... voter fraud.

Democrats Field Test New Campaign Slogan

It's been their sotto voce governing philosophy for some time, but now they're field testing it as a campaign slogan.

Don't these guys know that if we ever get to the tar and feathers stage again, they're first on the list?

Monday, March 24, 2014


Here is the title of an article found on CNBC.

The next Exxon Valdez? Remote Alaskan waters, experts fear
I read the article looking for some description of the risk.  It is nowhere to be found.  The premise of the article is simply this ridiculous, failing syllogism:

a) the Exxon Valdez disaster happened in Alaskan waters
b) there is still oil shipping going on in Alaskan waters, thus
c) another disaster is going to happen in Alaskan waters

As any student of logic will recognize, this is sheer, unadulterated poppyhorsecockshit.  The risk to Alaskan waters is no different than it is in any other navigable waterway on Earth today and it is in no way comparable to the risk of same in 1989.  (In response to the Valdez disaster, nearly 100% of the crude oil tanker fleet is now double-hulled, greatly reducing the risk of a full-scale leakage in the case of a hull breach.)

But hey, gotta fill the news pages and the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster is as good an excuse as any to strike fear in the hearts of the rubes, no?

Whitey Don't Play

Why might this be?

I've already suggested why - it's lose-lose.

Ignore blacks, you're racist. Engage blacks honestly in the public forum, you're racist.

When the rules are stacked against you, you don't play.  When the "conversation" is all one-way, you don't partake.

Thus us the polls you see.

More UGH from DeBlasio

As if we needed more proof that Democrats will say anything...
Suicide prevention starts in preschool . . . or so says Dr. de Blasio.
The mayor on Sunday called the suicide epidemic sweeping city schoolkids “troubling” — and then said he believes his proposed pre-K program could help curb the trend.
“It’s a larger societal phenomenon,” the mayor said, referring to student suicide, which has claimed the lives of 10 public-school kids in the past two months.

Friday, March 21, 2014

This Guy Stole My "Global Warming Is Dead Schtick"

I've said that global warming is dead (many, many times). 

This guy has stolen my schtick.

He says it's dead because 1) we have other, real problems to worry about, 2) the emerging world won't take the hit, and 3) the science isn't credible.

Mostly all in line with my view, which is a tad more nuanced, but that's just ticky-tack stuff.  He's right, we can't afford it, the science isn't credible, and the rest of the world doesn't buy it and/or won't choose to remain poor.

Government Official to Lobbyist Corrupt? Just Change the Name.

Easiest way to avoid the charge of corruption that emanates from the government official to lobbyist career path?  Just come up with some Orwellian bullshit.
The Obama administration is breeding new power players for Washington’s influence industry. Just don’t call them lobbyists.
Five years after President Barack Obama issued an executive order barring appointees from lobbying the executive branch for the rest of his presidency, administration officials are increasingly departing to join the advocacy industry.
The new twist: Many aren’t registering as lobbyists, acting instead as “strategic consultants” and “policy advisers.”
“The influence industry is moving underground,” said Sarah Bryner, research director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group.
The center counts among the officials who have left the executive branch under Obama at least 86 “unlobbyists,” which it defines as people not registered as lobbyists who work for business units devoted to influencing government policy. The list is culled from media reports, press releases and directories and probably understates the number, Bryner said. Another 46 are registered lobbyists.
"Unlobbyists"?  Orwellian bullshit is this crew's hallmark.

The Racial Lose-Lose Situation

I wrote recently about the lose-lose situation that the racialists on the left have setup for white America.
See the dilemma here for white America?  It's a double standard with increasingly brutal consequences.  Frankly we're pretty sick of it.  This annoyance is expressed in multiple ways.  Buying Paula's book in solidarity for instance.  Another is retreating from this ridiculous phony "conversation on race" that the elite racialists keep insisting we have.  The only way to not lose the game is not to play, which is why in multiple subtle ways much of white America has checked out of the discussion.  Concern about race relations and mutual well-being is just not that high on the priority list because the elite opinion-makers have rigged the game.  So don't bitch to me about the lack of progress on race relations in America.  Progress requires willing parties, and the racialists have created a massive unwilling party by setting up lose-lose rules of public discourse.
The WSJ has an important and infuriating editorial up today about the recent racialist attack on Paul Ryan.  Here is the money bit.
So even though Mr. Ryan never mentioned race, liberals attacked his off-the-cuff remarks as racist while the President's moral lecture was hardly noticed. Republicans are accused of racism if they ignore the least fortunate, and now they're racist for taking poverty and its causes seriously. Unless you unreservedly favor the welfare status quo, or used to be a community organizer, the left gets you coming and going.
The attacks on Mr. Ryan are one more example of the politics of personal vilification that typifies the left these days. Its policies were supposed to reduce inequality, but instead the income gap is widening. They were supposed to lift people out of poverty, but poverty has increased.
So the last thing they can tolerate is a conservative like Mr. Ryan who is looking for better solutions and using a moral language of opportunity and upward mobility that could appeal to Americans of all incomes and backgrounds. Liberals have to smear conservatives personally because they know they're losing on the merits.
"Coming and going" is synonymous with the lose-lose I describe.  The racialists are going to have to change these stacked rules of the game or they will find no one wants to play, and the distrust and division will only deepen.  Taken to its logical end, there will literally be the two Americas they so often rhetorically decry as we won't be able to live together at some point.  Based on their tactics, it's almost as if that's what they really want.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Putin Is Making Hay

Victor Davis Hanson asks:  "Why do weak nations like Russia provoke stronger ones like the United States?"

I haven't read the article yet, but, as a renown classicist, I am certain that VDH is familiar with Alexander the Great's strategic wisdom.
"I'd rather fight 100 lions led by sheep than 100 sheep led by a lion."
Obama/Kerry/Clinton/Power/Rice, etc...

Putin is making hay while the sun shines.

Now She Tells Us

After voting for every big government project to come up during her tenure and sitting idly by as Harry Reid's Senate refuses to come up with a budget for years and years, Sen. McCaskill now says that $17 trillion of debt is bad.

Thanks alot, Sen. Shitforbrains.

Bleh. Just Bleh.

Good God, shut up with this tendentious, puerile, weaselly, preening, psuedo-intellectual, and woolly crap.  It hurts my brain to know that someone would even think this, let alone write it for all to see.

#GreenEnergyFail or Maybe #StimulusFail...or Both

Some VA hospital in Minnesota has a $2.5 million wind turbine that doesn't work.  This was your stimulus money.  This is why we are going broke, but you keep electing these socialist, central planning d**kheads.  Enjoy it America.
A 600-kilowatt wind turbine -- some 245 foot tall -- stands on the wintry VA grounds, frozen in time and temperature, essentially inoperable for the past 1 1/2 years. No one is working to fix it, though many attempts were made to repair the turbine, once billed as a model green energy project. 
"The St. Cloud VA is a hospital, and our focus is on our patients and we like to think that we treat our veterans very well here," said Barry Venable, a public affairs officer for the VA in St. Cloud. "We're embarrassed that this turbine does not operate as advertised." 
That's quite the about-face from the buildup in December 2009 over the announcement of the central Minnesota turbine, the lone Department of Veterans Affairs project included in the White House document touting President Obama's executive order for federal agencies to lead the way on renewable energy.
Two pieces of advice.  Stop electing these losers and invest in energy that works.

The Wages of Apathy on the World Stage

With respect to New York City's idiot new mayor, I recently mentioned the phenomenon called the "wages of apathy."

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dan Henninger today takes the same concept to the global stage, in light of Vlad Putin's gambits, describing the wages of fatigue.  RTWT, but choice bit below.
Sometimes world affairs go off the grid. Diplomats may give reasons why it is not in the interests of Mr. Putin or Russia to take this course. Vice President Biden told the Poles in Warsaw Monday that Mr. Putin's seizure of Crimea was "flawed logic." It is difficult for men embedded in a world of rational affairs to come to grips with Mr. Putin's point of view: He doesn't care what they think.
The solitary but thrilling world of Vladimir Putin's mind is the one inhabited by the Assads, Saddams, bin Ladens, Kims, Gadhafis and Khomeinis of the world, and when it really runs out of control, or is allowed to, by a Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. Whether one man's grandiosity will burst across borders is not about normal logic. It is about personal power and forcing the obeisance of other nations.
Vladimir Putin re-proves that sometimes a bad person gains control of the instruments of national power. Their populations do nothing or can't, because they are disarmed by thugs with overwhelming firepower. Or, as on Russian TV now, they are marinated in anti-U.S. propaganda. Today even second-rate megalomaniacs gain access to high-tech weaponry, including missiles and nuclear bombs.
Running alongside these old realities is a new phenomenon, surely noticed by Mr. Putin: The nations of the civilized world have decided their most pressing concern is income inequality. Barack Obama says so, as does the International Monetary Fund. Western Europe amid the Ukraine crisis is a case study of nations redistributing themselves and perhaps NATO into impotence.
Because no modern Democrat can be credible on this, some Republican presidential candidate will have to explain the high price of America's fatigue. Fatigue will allow global disorder to displace 60 years of democratic order. If the U.S. doesn't lead, the strongmen win because for them it's easier. They don't lead people; they coerce them. Ask the millions free for now in the old countries of the Iron Curtain.
Yes, the US is going to have to reassert itself, unlikely for the next three years at least, or all those folks who've hard a small taste of freedom these last few decades are going to have to fight to keep it or resign themselves to the tender mercies of mother Russia yet again as satellites. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Israel and Iran Update

As all 6 long-time readers of NBfPB know, I've been predicting the Israeli bombing of Iran for many years now.

In 2009 for instance:
So, I've upped my probability to 80% that 1H 2010 sees an Israeli attack on Iran. If it happens, Obama will be seen as the guy who not only failed to unclench any fists but got a couple middle fingers thrown in for good measure.
 Now, there is this.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have ordered the army to continue preparing for a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities at a cost of at least 10 billion shekels ($2.89 billion) this year, despite the talks between Iran and the West, according to recent statements by senior military officers."
I believe Israel hand has been forced.  It's 90%.  Three more years of Obama equals three more years for the mullahs.  Israel doesn't have three years.

Hope Is Not a Strategy, Until You Elect a Cipher

Many wise people in my life have counseled me thusly:  "Hope is not a strategy."

Unless, of course, you are Barack Obama.

Let me repeat again...
That anybody expected even the most basic level of governance from Obama, let alone monumental and transformative things, is the story of greatest import here. And it is not that the hope, dreams and expectations placed into the Obama vessel were so grand, it is that the vessel that is Obama is so small. I have said it before - in November of '08 I said we bought ourselves a pig in a poke. Later I said that disappointment and pain is what we deserve given that we elected a man of no consequence and no achievement to the highest office in the land. Why we expected a man with no discernable track record or proven record of leadership to lead and to achieve in the name of this massive and complex society is a story of historical proportions. Did we think that plucking just any man off the street - essentially what we did - to wield enormous power was wise? And a young man to boot. And a man who never held a job at a profit-making organization. Why did we think that the wisdom acquired over a long life and the first hand knowledge of commerce gained by private sector work somehow weren't relevant anymore? Why did we think that - after over 200 years of electing (with a few exceptions) staid, boring, but presumably wise, adults, who could draw to them the counsel and assistance of many more wise, older adults - we needed a rock star of relative adolescence? Why did we think that a man with no knowledge of the private sector would lead a mostly private sector nation out of a severe economic slump? Why did we think that a man who consorted with raving America-haters would inspire a mostly proud and patriotic nation to excellence? Why did we think that a man who views our role in the world as flawed would draw our allies nearer to us? Why did we think these things?
You know my answer.  Brain Fart.

The Illogical Left...Again

It's fun to catalog various logical inconsistencies of American left/liberalism.  Here was my latest effort.  The Powerline guys highlight another great one today (via Cafe Hayek).
Perhaps you’ve made this connection before, but reading all your posts about the minimum wage and global warming this morning, I was struck by the paradox in the proposed remedies for these two problems by politicians. The first problem is income inequality, and the remedy is to set minimum contract terms. The second problem is externalities from carbon [production], and the remedy is to tax output levels. In both cases, the solution is to raise firm costs. The assumption driving the policy prescription for a Pigovian tax on carbon is the idea that higher costs will spur innovation in ways of reducing carbon output. Of course, that private firms subjected to higher costs will innovate in ways to reduce those costs is precisely the problem with minimum wage legislation, as you point out. This is an obvious point, but my mind never made the connection before.

Inflation Update

Just the other day, the ever-ravishing Mrs. Baseball, using her mad PhD. in Homemaker Economics skillz, noted the severe inflation in food prices she was seeing.  As readers know, I have been warning of the coming inflation in its two forms.  First was the stealth inflation of the "crapify".  Then comes simple, raw inflation.  We are past the first and on to the raw stuff.

Others are noting it too.

Grain crop prices ($ZC_F, $ZW_F, $ZS_F)  have gone higher in past years because of rising demand, but also because of drought.  No rain, no grain.  Farmers are planting fencepost to fencepost.  Still, a lot of land is idle because of CRP.  The cost to farm has gone up with the cost of energy.  Successful farmers look at cost/benefit analysis just like a factory.  Innovations like Farmlogs help them manage their cropland better.
Meat ($LC_F) has seen a tremendous upsurge in prices.  Part of that has been scare.  Remember the pink slime scare over a year ago?  Because of it, beef prices have to go up because not using pink slime decreases supply.   The cost of feed has gone up too (drought) so cattle ranchers thinned their herds.   Animal gestation isn’t automatic, and the cost to bring a steer to market hasn’t gone down, so the nation’s cattle herd isn’t being rebuilt on higher prices.
Hogs ($HE_F) have seen an exponential price move higher in recent weeks.  A virus, PEDv hit the nation’s hog herd last May.  At first, it was controlled.   Since the spread, US pig farmers have seen 5,000,000 pigs die, mostly piglets.  The crisis is so severe, the largest hog processing plant in the country, Tarheel in North Carolina, is shutting down a few days during the week because it cannot source enough pork to butcher.  Oh, and yes, the price of bacon is going to skyrocket.

In Response to "Ban Bossy", Read This

With all this talk of banning the word "bossy" and crap like this and all the other assaults on clear, descriptive and honest language in the service of political agendas, it is worth highlighting this work again.

For young people learning the ways of the world and trying to make sense of the forces at play around them, it is arguably the single most important piece of English language writing you will ever read.  Yes.  No equivocating here.  Arguably the most important thing you will ever read.

Ted Kennedy Where Are You?

Is this a joke

It has to be...

...after all, by borking Judge Bork, Ted Kennedy saved the nation from the scourge of back alley, coat hanger abortions, right?

More Terrible Marketing from the ObamaCare Folks

Holy crap the ObamaCare idiots are bad at marketing.  It's been one marketing fail after another.  My recent favorite is marketing to young males by showing male nudity.  Wow, that's some out-of-the-box (and totally ineffective) thinking.

Now comes employing pro athletes to convince athletes to sign up for ObamaCare.  Shane Battier is on board.

Let's just get this straight - no halfway decent sports medicine specialist is going to accept ObamaCare insurance.  And if you are a serious athlete, there is no way you are going to entrust your care to a doctor who does.  High-end sports medicine will operate nearly totally outside the parameters of ObamaCare.

The marketing hook is akin to saying that you'll play b-ball as well as Kevin Durant by drinking Gatorade.  But Gatorade costs a few bucks.  ObamaCare costs a few thousand bucks.

Beyond all this, think of the confused messaging and lack of coherence and integration in the marketing campaign.  Who is the face of ObamaCare, who carries/embodies the message?  Is it Shane Battier, LeBron James, Pajama Boy, Angry Diane Feinstein-looking Mom, a nagging Michelle Obama, Keg Standing Brosurance Dude, Slutty Millennial Gal?  Who?  This is all over the board, totally scattershot.  Good marketing stays on message and pounds the message home with unequivocal imagery. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bad Advice for Girls on the Internet? Yes, Believe It

Yes, the suffragettes died so that you could become a vacuous slut/party girl.

Wait, the suffragettes died...?  I mean, of course they died, because they lived in the 19th century, but all people who lived in the 19th century have died.  Does the author mean "gave their lives" as in "were killed"?  I am not aware of any women in the American women's suffrage movement who were killed for their beliefs. 

Back to partying, gals.

This Time, Don't Vote for the Crook

I made a reference recently to Edwin Edwards, thinking that this was a funny joke about a long since forgotten, sad chapter in American politics.

Whoops.  Little did I know I was commenting on something, unfortunately for us, quite topical.

I wonder if they are gonna bring back the "Vote for the Crook" slogan.

Monday, March 17, 2014

This Is What's Wrong With America

Well, not only this, but I'd say most of America's ills are tied to what this represents...
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still missing under unknown circumstances, yet Congress has already come up with responsive legislation.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) today introduced the Transnational Regulation of Identity of Passports (TRIP) Act of 2014, which would remove countries from the U.S. visa waiver program if they don’t begin checking passports against Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database within five years.
We don't even know what the hell happened and yet Chuck Schumer has legislation to fix it...

What's Up With This Weirdness At The Daily Caller?

Over at The Daily Caller:
1)  An actual person with a byline exposes Common Core with concrete examples.
2)  An indeterminate advocacy organization submits rank propaganda and it is sneakily presented as news.

Local Paper In Heartland of Municipal Worker Fraud Laments Municipal Worker Fraud

A garden variety liberal local paper is going after union negotiated tax fraud within local government.  A sign of where things are headed?

Oh, By The Way...


Did I mention, Bossy?

What? No "Unexpectedly"?

Poor John Kerry.  He truly thought that he singular brand of genius and "finely calibrated diplomacy" would do what hasn't been done by anybody ever.

Alas, no.

Mideast Peace Framework on Life Support as Obama Meets Abbas

This is Bloomberg News, a major devotee of the remarkable genius of all things Obama.  Shouldn't this article have an "unexpectedly" in there somewhere?

Team of Rivals? More Like Team of Nitwits

Powerline's Scott Johnson has this sad collection dead to rights.

There are so many images of the Obama Wrecking Crew that make one cringe (the Mom-Jeans, the helmeted mountain biker, the first-pitch girly toss, etc), but Chuck Hagel's fuscia golf shirt does it for me.

UPDATE:  This is what "flexibility" and "resets" (overcharges, as the case may be) get you.  Lovely.  At the risk of violating political correctness (when has that ever stopped me?), Obama never considered my rule in dealing with Russians - NEVER, EVER trust them.

Oh, just for shits and giggles, see what yours truly wrote about Putin in 2006!

Friday, March 14, 2014

When the Rebellious Comes Full Circle

This is moronic.

Fox News Poll: Tattoos aren’t just for rebels anymore

Tattoos haven't been for "the rebellious" for about the last 10 years.  They have long since, in fact, flipped to the other side - they are a marker of conformity.  It's about as rebellious as moving to New York City and wearing all all the other 8 million people here.

All inked up?  Yawn.

It Should Be Obvious, But...

...for all those younglings out there, lemme give you some advice.

The government doesn't love you.

You're welcome.

The Feeling Is Mutual

Sen. John McCain,
The feeling is mutual.

If Only Obama Could Sell Insurance Like He's Selling Guns

Philip Klein thinks that Obama is the most powerful insurance salesman in the world.  He posits this to advance thesis that Obama has suffered a come down from the typical description of the US President - most powerful man in the world.
President Obama's approval rating is at or near record lows. His foreign policy has been feckless. And his recent budget proposal was virtually ignored because his domestic agenda is going nowhere in Congress. So with 2014 looking like an increasingly grim year for Democrats seeking re-election, the role of the most powerful leader of the free world has been reduced to that of an insurance salesman.

I think this is part right but needs incredibly precise parsing.  Obama is an insurance salesman for sure, and arguably merely that. And he might be the most powerful man to engage in insurance salesmanship, but clearly he is not - given his position, his incessant efforts, and the results - an effective insurance salesman.  To be clear, he is powerful and he is an insurance salesman.  Unlike, gun salesman.  There he has been enormously effective.  Which leads to this...

While it is too early to write the post-mortem on the Obama presidency (sadly, he can do a helluva lot more damage in his remaining three years), some very clear trends are in place to make some beginning assessments and the broad theme is that Obama will have left America much more the opposite of what his supporters presumably intended.

- The post-Obama American citizenry will be massively more armed than pre-Obama;
- A post-Obama America will have a healthcare system far deeper in disarray;
- A post-Obama America will less respected around the world, (considered weak by its enemies and unreliable by its friends);
- A post-Obama America will be more bitterly divided and contentious;
- A post-Obama America will have substantially more income inequality than pre-Obama America

That's a hefty amount of backfire.  Ponder that lefties.

Duke U. Still Terrible at PR

In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse travesty, I proclaimed that future students of leadership and public relations study the moves of Duke President Richard Brodhead as a perfect case study of what not to do and how not to act.  Turns out Brodhead is still the master of disaster in terms of PR.  Granted, Miriam Weeks's activities and skewed worldview is not Brodhead's fault, but how Duke is perceived and represented in the media is under his purview.  And it's not pretty.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Budget Update

This is supposed to be the big year.  Yup, this is supposed to be that milestone year where Obamanomics turns sensible and we don't spend $1 trillion more than we take in.  We're only going to add $500 billion more to our massive stinking $17 trillion pile of insolvency.  This should hardly be a consolation, but in Obamaworld with a criminally corrupt media, it's just ducky.  But wait, how is the math gonna work?  Check this out from today's budget news.
The deficit totaled $377.4 billion in the first five months of fiscal 2014, compared with a $494 billion shortfall from October 2012 through February 2013, according to the report.
The gap this year will narrow to $514 billion, or 3 percent of gross domestic product, from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009, the CBO said on Feb. 4.
We're less than half through the fiscal year, but we've racked up 73% of the projected deficit?  Huh?  Put another way, we have $137 billion of headroom left to meet this new awesome, totally fiscally responsible deficit projection over seven months.  That's $19 billion per month of deficits for each remaining month.  February's deficit was 10x that amount.
Spending exceeded revenue by $193.5 billion last month, compared with a $203.5 billion deficit in February 2013, the Treasury Department said today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 20 economists was for a $195 billion shortfall.
 Oops.  Not a chance in hell we're making that $500 billion number.  I blame George W. Bush.

At Some Point, America, You've Kept the Lights On Too Long

At some point, you've made enough electricity...

Credit: BuzzFeed

Expectant Dads: Hole Up at the Saloon, Wait for the Call Because...Feminism

Ladies, we (happily, I might add) came in from the nearby saloon to be there during child birth.  If you want us back at the watering hole, having a few beers, awaiting the phone call...we'll go back.  It'll be a loss for all involved, I imagine, but hey...feminism.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I dubbed the Lightworker "over" many moons ago.  Downgrading even that status Charles Krauthammer has declared Dear Leader "toxic."  That's definitely worse than being over.


President Barack Obama is struggling to overcome widespread pessimism about the economy and deep frustration with Washington, notching the lowest job-approval ratings of his presidency in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The results suggest Mr. Obama could weigh on fellow Democrats in midterm elections this fall, particularly in the conservative states that will play a large role in deciding whether his party retains its Senate majority.
Mr. Obama's job approval ticked down to 41% in March from 43% in January, marking a new low. 
Oh wait, new poll:  It's a comeback, Baby!
President Barack Obama is rebounding from record-low approval ratings as he remedies the botched rollout of his health-care website and moves past the budget standoffs of the last several years.
Less than eight months before the November midterm elections, Americans are evenly split, with 48 percent approving of Obama’s job performance, up from 42 percent in December -- the biggest positive change of his presidency, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.
The Bloomberg poll doesn't contain alot of good news other than an apparent small reversal of fortunes to "not good" from "terrible," but give Al Hunt & Co. kudos for spinning it well - America's split.  Well, not actually, if you read the details; and, 48% is not a winning margin, but I guess if you round up to 50% you can call it a split.  Does Bloomberg really think that half of all Americans are just ducky with the President?  They're kidding themselves.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Worth Pointing Out Again, and Again, and Again

70% of all spending by the federal government is checks being written to individuals.  That's all we're doing (at least half of us anyway), is mostly writing checks to other people and allowing the government to take their cut for processing it all.

Socialism Is AWESOME!!

Want food?  Get in line and get a free body markings!!

View image on Twitter

Monday, March 10, 2014

Global Debt Tops $100 Trillion

Here is a blast from NBfPB's past...
A wise associate of mine told me during the last financial crisis, "don't worry about this crisis, during this crisis we'll sow the seeds of the next one. That is the one to worry about and prepare for." Of course, the trick to being prepared (and to making a little money) is to figure out how we sowed the seeds and thus what the next crisis will be. I don't think it is any great mystery. In my view the next crisis is the sovereign crisis, more specifically, a US sovereign debt crisis brought about by the prevailing approach of spending gobs of money (and locking in much bigger government, call it the Rahm Emmanuel UnWasted Crisis Effect) to cure what was essentially a monetray panic. We've institutionalized a response that is no longer needed and that we can't afford (we couldn't afford the pre-crisis level, but at least we had breathing room - we've since removed any breathing room). Thus, US debt will get a hefty mark down in the coming years. There is no political solution to this problem, bondholders will have to grab the reins. I think it is coming, soon, so I've been upping the "short Treasuries" piece of my portfolio. The paradigm shift is here.
This is from 2011 and the prediction hasn't gone anywhere really, but, as readers may know, I am more often too early rather than wrong.  I think debt is still the next crisis.  Apropos this, we get this today...
The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.
The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Sad Europeanization of Ireland

I've blogged before about how it fills me with sadness that a growing, prosperous Ireland, the land of my ancestors, is becoming more European and infected with the worst ills of Continentalism - anti-Americanism, fiscal profligacy, welfare statism, anti-religious elitism, and now, the sad raging anger of chic leftist anti-Israel outrage.  Check out this sad display at Legal Insurrection.

A little integration with Europe and how quickly Ireland forgets what it is, or was. Sure Ireland is a little more prosperous, but is it so prosperous that it forgets that it was once a pariah, an outcast, looked on derisively?  Ireland was never a trend chaser, never sought to be chic.  Ireland was the happy loner, forging ahead through life's trevails with a smile on its face if could at all muster it.  Raging intolerance is the last emotion you would associate with the Irish character.  But there it is. 


A Study In Contrasts - Duke Uninversity

Duke U. to porn star:  "What can We Do to Help?"

Duke U. to falsely-accused male lacrosse players:  "Screw You."

Aside:  I'm still trying to grasp this feminism thing.  Objectifying and commoditizing females was apparently bad until they decided to do it themselves.  Then it's OK.

The young Ms. Knox will someday be flabbergasted when she finds out that people she encounters later in life don't take her too seriously.  Then she will be outraged all over again.  The feminism that has let her feel good about turning her body into a consumer product will have clearly failed when she discovers that porn stars aren't considered CEO material.

These Are the End Times

So dumb.  Only a sclerotic (oh no, hard word!) and cocooned educational bureaucracy could come up with such a plan.  As if we didn't have enough soulless corporate jargon devoid of meaning spoken in the world today.
The organization that administers the SAT college entrance exam is adopting some big changes including a new scoring system, an optional essay and getting rid of hard vocabulary.
The College Board, which runs the widely used academic skills test, is changing the scoring system from a 2,400 point max back to the 1,600 points that it once used.
The SAT will continue to test reading, writing and math skills, but the essay portion will be optional. And difficult vocabulary will be replaced with words that students are more likely to use in college or in the workplace.
Great, let's chunk words like perspicacious, tantamount, polyglot, denouement for "cross-functional," "leverageable, " and "optimize." 

I have a great plan for America's future...let's have people who can't express themselves in their own language and a military stacked with fighters who can't do pull-ups!!  Brilliant!

Easy One

I shouldn't blog this because it's one of those ridiculous rich world problems.  It's not like the real problems that most people have, like subsistence problems or, say, having your country be invaded by a guy who promises authoritarian rule and tenuous petro-state economics.

"For Boys, Moving to a Wealthier Neighborhood Is as Traumatic as Going to War."

"Leaving poverty is more complicated than you think," writes Sarah Sloat in The New Republic.
The reason for the disparity between boys and girls isn’t exactly pinned down. [Harvard professor Ronald] Kessler points to various factors — community perception, interpersonal skills — as major points of influence: “We had an anthropologist working with us, and the anthropologist went and talked to and watched the kids in the old neighborhoods and the new neighborhoods, and their perception was that when the boys came into the new neighborhood they were coded as these juvenile delinquents,” says Kessler. “Whereas with the girls, it was exactly the opposite. They were embraced by the community—‘you poor little disadvantaged thing, let me help you.’”
Any who...I'll bet (if it even has to be traumatic going from poorer to nicer digs) that this is because "rich" neighborhoods tend to be populated to a greater extent by the liberal gentry, and that liberal gentry probably is still subsumed with feminist ideology and is focused on making everything magnificent for girls at the expense of boys and feels that typical boy behavior is icky.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Astorino for Governor

Readers here may be familiar with a minor NY politician named Rob Astorino.  As always, you usually hear things first here at NBfPB.

Well, Rob may not be minor much longer.  He a-goin' dragon-slaying.  He's taking on Governor Andrew Cuomo this November.

He's taking on the Governor who watched Pennsylvania right across the border see a boom by developing its energy reserves while the NY economy flounders.  He's taking on a Governor with the lamest economic development ideas evah.  He's taking on a Governor who told pro-lifers and gun-owners to get the hell out.  He's taking on a Governor who, as most NYers know, is a total schmuck.

Cuomo has a mountain of out-of-state, Clintonite machine, power-Dem money in his corner, so Rob is up against it.  But it can be pulled off.  Already, you'll notice how Cuomo is running as fast as he can from DeBlasio, who is the apotheosis of the crazed NYC Commie that upstate voters resent run things in this state.  Shit, Andy is even trying to convince people he's for charter schools.  It's all phony, just like all those ads on TV saying that New York is open for business.  Yeah, tell that to Remington Arms, the entire Pennsylvania energy industry, the critical financial services industry, and just about everybody.

Anyway, meet the Republican's potential dragon-slayer...(and, yes, this is the official Donny Baseball endorsement notice.)

Score Another for the Lightworker

First he gets the "Lie of the Year" and now he gets the "Joke of the Year."

So proud to be an American in the Age of Obama...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Snowflake Generation Has Their Apotheosis

Eighteen year old Rachel from New Jersey doesn't want to live at home anymore but doesn't want to have to pay her own way in this world.
A New Jersey teenager is suing her parents, claiming she was kicked out of her home and thus entitled to money for private-school tuition, transportation, room and board.
I watched a little bit of the hearing.  Such a silly case, not surprisingly, occasions some bad lawyering.  The issue putatively is one of "constructive abandonment." Pshaw.

Little Rachel needs a lesson in life.  Once she turned 18, she's on her own.  Her parents might be totally in the wrong (clearly there is culpability on both sides here), but it's too bad so sad.  She's an adult, nobody owes her anything.  After 18, everything she gets is by the good graces of somebody else or what she provides for herself.

Rachel, get a job, pay rent, save up your pennies if you want to go to college.  Otherwise, move back in with your parents and follow their rules.  Capeesh you little twit?

UPDATE:  The judge hedged due to the preliminary nature of the hearing, but denied all requests for emergency relief (tuition, living expenses).  He engaged in some baby-splitting type family counseling (i.e. it's hard to be a teenager, but it is also hard to be a parent, and we should try to see the other side) but strongly hinted that Rachel is not going to win her claim that she is owed support from her parents.

UPPDATE:  And now sweet, young Rachel is telling the world that her dad is a perv.  Charming.  (But, her friend's dad funding her legal campaign is not "inappropriate?")  I say, let young Rachel try to make her way in the world and learn something before letting her back into what appears to be a normal dysfunctional American home.


Now I know my ABCs, next time, Putin, don't f**k with me...

Embedded image permalink

Hey, Just a Reminder, Part 2

I said this back in 2013:
3) Global Warming Is Dead - From a policy perspective that is.  The climate will do what it does but there ain't gonna be a re-ordering of the global economy cooked up by the warmists.  If you've been scared out of energy investments by the incessant bleating of global warmists, you've got to get back in.  The world needs energy and it can't afford phony energy, so get invested in energy that works.  So don't invest in solar or wind or any of that garbage (if any of it does turn out to actually work, the Exxons of the world will wind up owning it ultimately anyway).  Furthermore, those in thrall to the religion of climate change will wake up; expect Europe to drastically improve its competitiveness by jettisoning decades of wrong-headed warmist policy.
Well, more on that today via Instapundit
Europe’s dogged pursuit of a solar- and wind-powered future has jacked up energy prices for households and industry alike. For families, it has meant higher monthly power bills—a tax felt most keenly by the poor. For businesses, it has even farther-reaching implications. As the EUobserver reports, more than a hundred leaders of European industry are warning that these rising costs are threatening the EU’s economic recovery. . . .
This isn’t just a matter of lower-than-expected GDP growth for EU member states. Europe has staked out a position as a global leader in green initiatives, so for many of these CEOs the recent rise in electricity prices is only the beginning. Overall, the costs of doing business in Europe are edging toward the unworkable. For multinationals, healthier energy and regulatory environments are beckoning. In particular, the shale boom has made the United States an especially attractive home for energy-intensive industry.
Europe is beginning to feel the pains of its policy of placing the environment before the economy. This is a shame, because the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. America is an excellent example of a healthier balance: by embracing shale gas, it has been able to wean itself somewhat off of coal, both reducing emissions and bringing prices down. Europe has plenty of shale itself, if it would only embrace it.

Monday, March 03, 2014

As Obama Thinks Real Hard...

a little analytical advice from Fred Thompson.

Hey, Just a Reminder...

I said this on October 14, 2013:
5)  War Is Coming -  The global financial crisis (which is a combination of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis) has given capitalism and relatively free markets a bad name, resulting in all sorts of socialists of one breed or another taking power throughout the world (most notably in the USA).  After destroying their own countries' economies and with no levers left to pull at home all commie tyrants go to war.  Furthermore, the US has historically kept a lid on expansionist tyrants and plain ole' bad guys.  After eight years of Barack Obama, the lid lies in the dustbin.  Bad actors will have the leeway to be aggressive and aggressive they will be.  Syria is just a minor example.  It is hard to figure out how increased military conflict will affect markets, but give it some thought because it's coming.

Two Easy Ones

Does Vladimir Putin Respect Obama?  No.

Did Putin Read Obama Perfectly?  Yes.

Again, if you've been operating under the assumption that Obama has been faking it every step of the way, you are not surprised.

WaPo: Obama In Fantasy Land

Op-ed title verbatim:

President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

 Well, it is only fitting as the country's electoral judgement of him was based on fantasy as well.

Apple Just Said It's Gonna Waste Your Money on Climate Stuff

I'm a professional investor and my firm has sat on corporate boards.  I think this is a 1) a firing offense, and 2) a giant red flag to stay away.
Tim Cook has shocked some in the US with an impassioned attack on the single-minded pursuit of profit – and a direct appeal to climate-change deniers not to buy shares in his firm.
It is not the CEOs job to lecture shareholders and/or to harangue shareholders.  A CEO should lay out a company's mission, goals, strategy and operating mechanisms and the rationale for each and let shareholders decide for themselves whether they want to invest.  Calling shareholders names ("deniers") is an unacceptable infraction of professionalism. 

And on substance, it appears that Apple is perhaps too far under the influence of Board member Al Gore in viewing global warming as a crusade for which shareholders' money must be put in service of.  Major red flag.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Um, Don't Trust 'Em Guys

At The Other McCain...
On Wednesday evening at McGill University in Montreal, a group of students and community activists assembled to discuss when “yes” doesn’t actually mean yes. The Forum on Consent, which was also open to the public, featured several panel participants who spoke to the question of what we understand as “consent.” The theme was similar to a campaign launched by a Nova Scotia coalition earlier this month — the More Than Yes campaign — which contended that “sexual consent is more than just a yes.” According to that campaign, and echoed by the forum participants at McGill on Wednesday, real consent “must be loud and clear. Sex without enthusiastic consent is not sex at all. It’s sexual assault or rape.” . . .
I doubt the feminists are drawing up sustainable rules here.  I had a buddy in college (this is the late eighties, mind you) who thought he had consent ("I want you to f**k me.  F**k me hard!") but wound up in a sexual harassment morass anyway.

I think they just want to ruin lives and make things untenable for men.  Consent to a feminist is her mood before and after the fact, and no statute of limitations.

OMG. Is Obama F**king Kidding?

Is Obama effing kidding?

Obama to Israel -- Time Is Running Out

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House tomorrow, President Barack Obama will tell him that his country could face a bleak future -- one of international isolation and demographic disaster -- if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians.
After being exposed as hopelessly naive, ill-informed, out-classed and behind in all respects, where does this guy get the idea that he should have any say in world affairs?
Peace?  WTF does this guy know about Peace?  What can he credibly claim to know about advancing peace after he has bumbled and stumbled as the world grows increasingly violent and moves haltingly towards war?

The sheer arrogance of this man, which was hard to take even before recent events in Ukraine (why did Obama feel he had moral authority over Israel from election day 2008 through last week anyway?), is now beyond all imagination.

How can Bloomberg even report this stuff with a straight face?

Obama Voter: Hey, This Obama Guy Is Pretty Bad At This Stuff, No?

That except in the below post is from Walter Russell Mead.  Here's more, with commentary from yours truly.

The big question of course, is what President Obama will take away from this experience. Has he lost confidence in the self-described (and self-deceived) ‘realists’ who led him down the primrose path with their empty happy talk and their beguiling but treacherous illusions? Has he rethought his conviction that geopolitics and strategy are relics of a barbarous past with no further relevance in our own happy day? Is he tired of being humiliated on the international stage? Is it dawning on him that he has actual enemies rather than difficult partners out there, and that they wish him ill and seek to harm him? (Again, we are not talking about the GOP in Congress.) 
Let’s hope so. There are almost three years left in this presidential term, and they could be very long ones if President Obama chooses to stick with the ideas and approaches he’s been using so far.
1) Realists?  Obama isn't under the sway of "realists".  Realists dispel happy talk.  Realists know that sometimes force and/or the threat of it is the best tool.  Obama is a committed "liberal internationalist" and is actively looking to devolve US power.  As such, Obama relies on the type of happy talk that constituted the analysis that led them to believe that Putin would sit on his hands.

2) He will NEVER rethink anything he knows.

3) I doubt he thinks he's being humiliated.  The media isn't saying that he's being humiliated.  Ergo, he's not being humiliated.  That is the way it works in America today - Obama believes what he wants to believe, the MSM repeats it, and thus it is so.  All else is idiocy - see Palin, Sarah and Romney, Mitt.

4) No.  The enemies are still Congressional Republicans, American who don't approve of him, and any and all critics.

Three very dangerous years left.  No shit Sherlock.  Ominous warnings are a little hard to take from Obama voters at this juncture.

Starting Assumptions Are Key

This is a must read.  (h/t Instapundit)

A FAILURE OF INTELLIGENCE: Putin Smashes Washington’s Cocoon:
A Politico report calls it “a crisis that no one anticipated.” The Daily Beast, reporting on Friday’s US intelligence assessment that “Vladimir Putin’s military would not invade Ukraine,” quotes a Senate aide claiming that “no one really saw this kind of thing coming.”
Op-eds from all over the legacy press this week helped explained why. Through the rose tinted lenses of a media community deeply convinced that President Obama and his dovish team are the masters of foreign relations, nothing poor Putin did could possibly derail the stately progress of our genius president. There were, we were told, lots of reasons not to worry about Ukraine. War is too costly for Russia’s weak economy. Trade would suffer, the ruble would take a hit. The 2008 war with Georgia is a bad historical comparison, as Ukraine’s territory, population and military are much larger. Invasion would harm Russia’s international standing. Putin doesn’t want to spoil his upcoming G8 summit, or his good press from Sochi. Putin would rather let the new government in Kiev humiliate itself with incompetence than give it an enemy to rally against. Crimea’s Tartars and other anti-Russian ethnic minorities wouldn’t stand for it. Headlines like “Why Russia Won’t Invade Ukraine,” “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine,” and “5 Reasons for Everyone to Calm Down About Crimea” weren’t hard to find in our most eminent publications.
Nobody, including us, is infallible about the future. Giving the public your best thoughts about where things are headed is all a poor pundit (or government analyst) can do. But this massive intellectual breakdown has a lot to do with a common American mindset that is especially built into our intellectual and chattering classes. Well educated, successful and reasonably liberal minded Americans find it very hard to believe that other people actually see the world in different ways. They can see that Vladimir Putin is not a stupid man and that many of his Russian officials are sophisticated and seasoned observers of the world scene. American experts and academics assume that smart people everywhere must want the same things and reach the same conclusions about the way the world works.
How many times did foolishly confident American experts and officials come out with some variant of the phrase “We all share a common interest in a stable and prosperous Ukraine.” We may think that’s true, but Putin doesn’t.
We blame this in part on the absence of true intellectual and ideological diversity in so much of the academy, the policy world and the mainstream media. Most college kids at good schools today know many more people from different races and cultural groups than their grandparents did, but they are much less exposed to people who think outside the left-liberal box.
Note that both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney got this right, and were called idiots by box-dwellers.
Yes, alot/most of your predictive abilities (or inabilities) will flow (or not flow) from your starting assumptions.  Those of us who have been starting from the assumption that Obama is faking it every step of the way have been right way more often than those who actually think he knows what he is doing.