March 31, 2009
I don't really need to say this, but I will. The media are a bunch of morons. In their reporting about yesterday's drop in the Dow, they managed to blame it on everything except what actually caused it. The truth of the matter is that the Dow fell because of the actions of the Failed Obama Administration in forcing out the CEO of GM. Whether the guy needed to go or not is irrelevant. The fact is the government forced a business to change management. Investors are scared that they could do this to any company, so they start dumping stock. It's that simple.
The media can't bring itself to say this. If they did, it would be critical of their idol, and they can't have that. I suspect that their secondary motivation is to suck up to the gummint to protect any future media bailouts. It's all about dollars and cents.
Ironically, it is their dishonest reporting that is making times so hard for them. The more they lie, the more their credibility is called into question. When people don't believe them, their circulation/ratings fall. As those numbers fall, their revenue falls. As their revenue falls, they have to resort to sucking up to the gummint. They ramp up their dishonest reporting and the cycle repeats.
Gosh, I wish there was a way to break the cycle. On a whim, they might try reporting the truth. You never know how that will work out.
March 19, 2009
President Barack Obama may try to push through Congress a health-care overhaul, energy proposals and tax increases by using a partisan tactic that would thwart Republican efforts to block the measures.
The administration and congressional Democrats are debating whether to use a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation to advance some of the biggest items on the president’s agenda. The move would allow Democrats to approve plans to raise taxes by $1 trillion, create a cap-and-trade system to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions, and overhaul health care without a single Republican vote.
Nice. He's reaching across the aisle to slap Republican lawmakers silly. When he talked about bipartisanship when he was running for President, it was only lip service. He never intended really caring about what R's thought. He probably thought that he would have a filibuster-proof Senate and he wouldn't have to compromise. Things didn't quite work out that way, did they?
I don't think this will pan out for him. There are too mnay moderate Democrats who won't agree with this tactic. He will need them down the line, so it would be bad to alienate them now. When he starts losing his own party, he is in serious trouble.
To me, this is starting to sound like a guy who doesn't think he will be around very long. He is trying to cram as much left-wing legislation through Congress as fast as he can. Congress is already grumbling that he should slow down. We can only hope that he doesn't hang around too long. I don't know if we can survive his Presidency.
Now that Dems are 'fessing up about their roles in the AIG bonus "problem," I suspect we will hear less and less about it. We won't see Congressmen pounding their fists demanding the money be returned. We won't see administration officials screaming about getting the money back. We won't see Teleprompter Jesus calling these executives every dirty name in the book. TJ took responsibility* just so we can move on. Our long, national nightmare is over.
* As in, "It's not really my fault, but I will take the balme if you will move on and stop looking into the unethical dealings of my administration."
March 16, 2009
In an article about the AIG bonuses, I found this little nugget:
Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, earlier Monday charged that the move to pay bonuses amounted to "rewarding incompetence."
"These people may have a right to their bonuses. They don't have a right to their jobs forever," said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat.
This from a guy who has been in office for 28 years.
One of our U.S. Senators is up for e-election in 2010. This weekend, she held her big re-up kick-off party. Her theme is that she works hard to reach across the aisle and forge bipartisan legislation. I wonder if he giggled a little when she spoke that crap.
Her lifetime rating from the ACU is 19.41. That means that 80.59% of the time, she voted along party lines. I would suspect that, since The One has been in office, her rating would approach zero. I can't recall one vote where she didn't fall in line with Harry Reid. Of our 6 reps/senators, she rated hext-to-last with only the commie who represents our capital's district lower (12.66.)
Of course, the people of this state will re-elect her because the vast majority of them don't pay enough attention to positions and votes to know what she is doing to them.
If 1 vote in 5 is considered "bipartisan," we are screwed.
March 10, 2009
This morning, our statewide daily newspaper published a letter to the editor from a lefty rocket scientist. The sub-moron wrote:
When FDR took office in 1933, unemployment hit 24.9 percent, nearly a quarter of the workforce. It fell to 21.7 percent in 1934 as the New Deal kicked in. By 1935, it was 20.1 percent, and by 1936, it fell to 16.9 percent. Unemployment continued to fall in 1937 to 14.3 percent. If this is not “an appreciable improvement in economic conditions,” then what is? FDR didn’t just manage to win the 1936 election. He won it in a landslide with 523 electoral votes. He carried all but eight electoral votes. It was only after FDR eased back on deficit spending in 1936 when he became overly concerned about balancing the budget that the economy fell back into a recession and unemployment rose to 19 percent in 1938. President Obama’s stimulus bill makes good economic sense and history supports him. Apparently, this idiot doesn’t really understand much about history. The New Deal was not an actual plan to stimulate the economy. It was a massive increase in government spending designed to make life a little better for people. The New Deal didn’t create private sector jobs. It created massive government public works projects that provided jobs for the unemployed. These weren’t real jobs in that they weren’t permanent, and the money used to create them was real. It was debt. They were temporary jobs designed to alleviate hard times for some people. That’s why the unemployment numbers went down. Of course, FDR was popular when it came re-election time. He had put a bunch of people back to work, even if it was temporarily. The average person didn’t know deficit spending from a hole in the wall. They didn’t care that the government would have to pay back the money borrowed to create the jobs. They just knew that their lives were a little better. Also, the writer failed to make the connection between that fact that the government decided to balance the budget and unemployment rose while the economy slipped back in a recession. It was the government money that was propping up the economy not any real economic improvement brought on by the FDR’s programs. Had the New Deal really helped the economy, it would have been able to sustain itself when the government tap was turned off. There are many economists predicting the exact same result from the Obama plan.
When FDR took office in 1933, unemployment hit 24.9 percent, nearly a quarter of the workforce. It fell to 21.7 percent in 1934 as the New Deal kicked in. By 1935, it was 20.1 percent, and by 1936, it fell to 16.9 percent. Unemployment continued to fall in 1937 to 14.3 percent. If this is not “an appreciable improvement in economic conditions,” then what is?
FDR didn’t just manage to win the 1936 election. He won it in a landslide with 523 electoral votes. He carried all but eight electoral votes. It was only after FDR eased back on deficit spending in 1936 when he became overly concerned about balancing the budget that the economy fell back into a recession and unemployment rose to 19 percent in 1938.
President Obama’s stimulus bill makes good economic sense and history supports him.
Apparently, this idiot doesn’t really understand much about history. The New Deal was not an actual plan to stimulate the economy. It was a massive increase in government spending designed to make life a little better for people. The New Deal didn’t create private sector jobs. It created massive government public works projects that provided jobs for the unemployed. These weren’t real jobs in that they weren’t permanent, and the money used to create them was real. It was debt. They were temporary jobs designed to alleviate hard times for some people. That’s why the unemployment numbers went down.
Of course, FDR was popular when it came re-election time. He had put a bunch of people back to work, even if it was temporarily. The average person didn’t know deficit spending from a hole in the wall. They didn’t care that the government would have to pay back the money borrowed to create the jobs. They just knew that their lives were a little better.
Also, the writer failed to make the connection between that fact that the government decided to balance the budget and unemployment rose while the economy slipped back in a recession. It was the government money that was propping up the economy not any real economic improvement brought on by the FDR’s programs. Had the New Deal really helped the economy, it would have been able to sustain itself when the government tap was turned off.
There are many economists predicting the exact same result from the Obama plan.
March 08, 2009
I have to agree with Ace on this one. Michael Steele must go. His war with Rush Limbaugh has become a major distraction. It has created a diversion behind which Obama has hidden the porkulus and Bank Bailout 2.0 (or is it 3.0; I can't keep up) and Hillarycare redux. The media isn't exactly anxious to report on these issues to begin with, so this is perfect for them. They can report on the red-on-red sniping and feel no guilt about doing so.
Ann Coulter needs to shut up as well. Her spat with Keith Olbermann is one of the silliest things I have over seen. Who gives a flying fuck what school anyone graduated from? I know that Olbermann likes to wave Cornell around like a club, bashing those he considers to be inferior, but no one really cares about whether his diploms ia a "real" Cornell diploma or not. Cornell grads can be as full of shit as the next guy. Hell, I graduated from West Point and I can be a flaming asshole any day of the week. Your alma mater has nothing to do with whether you are right or wrong.
I am no fan of either Limbaugh or Coulter. I understand that there are many, many people who hang on their every word. They advocate slash-and-burn, which strikes note in some people. I don't know that they even believe everything they say. I think they spout most of what they do for the publicity it brings them. In this situation, their positions make them look petty and makes the Right look silly.
February 26, 2009
Yesterday, I was browsing the news across the Intertubes and I ran across this article: "Bailed-out bank enjoys concerts, dinners, parties." Naturally, I was curious and potentially angry that a financial organization that the Feds had bailed out was throwing money around. I was not prepared for what I was about to read.
Six paragraphs in, I found this little gem:
(Senior VP) Holt told CNN that as a "healthy" bank, Northern Trust did not seek the $1.6 billion it received from the government as part of the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Program, but that it "agreed to the government's goal of gaining the participation of all major banks in the United States."
What the!? Huh!? They weren't in trouble but the Feds leaned on them to take the money anyway? What kind of operation are we running here?
Between the bank bailout and the spendulus, the Feds have dumped a load of debt on future generations. It's bad enough when they tell us it is necessary, but now we are discovering that most of it was unnecessary. I have a feeling that the villagers will be getting their pitchforks and torches and storming the castle soon.
February 25, 2009
I’ve spent some time thinking about the money being thrown around at this crisis and that crisis. The crisis du jour is, of course, the housing crisis. The Obama administration wants to give money to help people pay their mortgages. While it’s not clear exactly how this plan will work, I’m sure it will be an abject failure. So far, that’s what all the other plans seem to be. I have an alternate plan that I think will accomplish the goals stated by the administration and reduce the risk for the banks.
Instead of handing out money to banks or mortgagees, I propose the government provide tax credits to lenders who refinance mortgages so that they are more affordable. The credit would take the form of a percentage of the total refinanced value. However, the lender could only take the credit if the mortgage was current after one year. This would do two things:
1. The lenders would have the incentive to refinance the loans to more affordable terms. Since they have to wait one year to get the credit, they will want to make sure the mortgagee can pay.
2. The lenders won’t try to refinance risky loans. They won’t want to risk their money not knowing if the loan would be current at the point of the tax credit. This will do much to improve the health of the lending industry.
I can foresee this being extended into new mortgages as well. The benchmark for receiving the credit might be further down the road just to make sure that the loans are good ones. This could have the added effect of encouraging lenders to make a few loans that, on the surface, might seem risky. It might entice them to work out the terms in a way that is beneficial for both the parties.
A final provision would be that, at selected benchmarks, the lender could take other credits. Again, this would encourage lenders to write loans that are affordable for the customer. In fact, the program could be structured so that lenders could ultimately recover a large percentage of any given loan through the tax credits.
This plan isn’t perfect, but I would rather see this type of attempt to revive the industry rather than just throwing wads of money at it.
February 19, 2009
Campbell's Soup has announced that they are reducing the sodium content of their signature T\omato Soup. They boast that they are lowering it by one-third. They are boasting that it is low sodium.
As someone on a low-sodium diet due to end-stage renal disease, I have to laugh. Reducing the sodium content to 480 mg is admirable, but it's not exactly low sodium.
In a typical low sodium diet, you are allowed about 2000 mg of sodium. One bowl of soup would give you almost a fourth of your daily allowance. That's only one-half a can. The figures are for a "serving." There ae 2 servings per can, so an entire can is 960 mg. Also, that doesn't include any sodium in milk, which is typically added to tomato soup when it is cooked.
I am glad more companies are putting out low sodium products. I just wish they were really low sodium.
February 18, 2009
Our daughter is going to start graduate school in the fall. The private school that she will most likely be attending announced that they will be raising tuition next year, which is fairly normal. However, they also announced that much of the money will go into new scholarships. Essentially, low-performing students will now subsidize high-performing students.
I like the idea. It's reverse socialism. The "poor" are helping out the "rich." That's what America's all about.
February 13, 2009
This week, Time magazine has published "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis." In it, they list the 25 people they belive to be most responsible. Not surprisingly among the political players, there are several Republicans and only one Democrat. Bill Clinton is the only Dem mentioned in the piece. While the list isn't any particular order (allegedly,) his name is waaaaaaaaaaay down near the end. Even then, the text accompanying his picture downplays his role. It even ends with:
None of it was an endorsement of permissive lending and risk-taking. But if you believe deregulation is to blame for our troubles, then Clinton earned a share too.
With such powerful statements as that, you can tell this is a fair and balanced piece.
The next closest thing to a Dem on the list was Franklin Raines, but he's just a businessman, isn't he? Where are Franks and Dodd and even our President, Obama? They managed to take fistfuls of money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while claiming that everything was good and blocking attempts at increasing regulation.
Apparently, only R's make any mistakes.
February 10, 2009
As we all know, Arne Duncan is the current Secretary of Education. HIs bio notes:
Prior to his appointment as secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, a position to which he was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, from June 2001 through December 2008, becoming the longest-serving big-city education superintendent in the country.
This is interesting in light of of "'Painful Lessons': Abuse At Chicago Schools." The article reports that since 2003, 818 students in Chicago have reported that they were physically abused by a school employee. An investigation by the school district confirmed that at least 568 of the allegations were true. Additionally, the rport discovered that the vast majority of the attackers only received a slap on the wrist.
Of course, Duncan, when questioned by the TV station on the abuse, said that anyone caught abusing a student would be fired. However, history doesn't seem to uphold that.
Is this the guy we really want running our schools?
January 22, 2009
My mom sent me this:
Economic Stimulus Payment
This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:
Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.
Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.
Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set or a new computer, thus stimulating the economy.
Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.
I think that really sums it up.
January 21, 2009
With Hillary's confimation being held up, I wonder how long it will be until we hear Senate Democrats screaming that the Republicans need to understand that they should be rubber-stamping all the nominees as a show of goodwill to the new President because that's just how it's done.
Of course, the Dems always played that way for the last 8 years, didn't they?
January 19, 2009
During the transition period, I have noticed that the expectations of what The One can accomplish have grown and grown. Just yesterday, I read an article that claimed that over 70% of the people in the U.S. believed that Obama will save America and the world. After digesting the article for a while, I have come to the conclusion that 70% of the people are friggin’ nuts.more...
Jeanne Moos did a piece this morning asking people what the acronym TARP meant. The most accurate answer:
Try And Rip-off the People.
January 13, 2009
I'm starting to understand the Obama Cult.
This morning, I was watching a morning show and a piece came on about the Hopenchangey new advertising campaigns that have been springing up lately. While I was watching the piece, I noticed one thing. The companies mentioned in the ad had one thing in common. Their websites had a place for people to send in what they would do to change the world. That's the key to the Cult.
All of the Obamabots actually believe that The One® cares what they think. They believe that The One® is going to be sitting in the Oval Office wondering what Suzy in Des Moines would like for him to do. I've got bad news for you, Suzy. The One® doesn't give a flying fuck what you think.
He's a politician. All he cares about is what will get him re-elected. All he cares about is what is popular, not what is right or just. Every decision he makes will be driven by polling. Sure, he'll be popular, but he will look as shizophrenic as the American populace is (and that's pretty bad.)
The One® is already starting to become Clinton 2.0. He has all make and manner of sleazy campaign contributors. He's made a bunch of promises to get elected that he is now walking back on. For goodness sakes, he has selected every swinging dick from the Clinton administration to serve in his cabinet. Any day now, I expect him to announce that Betty Currie will be his secretary.
The Obama Cult is in for some serious disillusionment. Just watch. Come 2012, the vaunted youth vote that powered him to victory will evaporate. They'll realize that all their hopes and dreams were dashed by a guy who isn't a leader. Ara Parseghian, the former football coach at Notre Dame, once siad that there is an easy definition of leadership. He said that a leader is a guy who, when being chased down the street by an ugly mob, can make it look like he's leading a parade. Obama is just a guy running.
December 15, 2008
Well, I am now convinced that Global Warming is a scam:
Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government's machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.
The world is cooling, so that's evidence of Global Warming. Got it. Black is white and cold is hot.
December 11, 2008
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