Sunday, March 29, 2009
The market will not solve this...
Really? The market has done a good job of solving it in the past. Let the losers go under. The winners will pick up the slack. Governmental action only extended the Great Depression.
Seriously, I thought Geithner was a smart guy.
There is also money to be made:
Let’s be honest, folks like Nobel laureate Al Gore have their reputations and their very fortunes on the line here, so we should all expect a great deal of hysterical media coverage in the near future — especially after the hurricane season begins in May.
For Leftys. Come to think of it, funny how it's ok for Leftys to make money unethically (Gore, Frank, Dodd immediately come to mind), but not ok for the Right to make money ethically (think "evil big business" and "soak the rich").
Saturday, March 28, 2009
McCain-Feingold is, without a doubt unconstitutional.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If anyone sees some way in which McCain-Feingold is compatible with this inconvenient little clause in the Constitution, please feel free ot let me know.
The Bicycle: While the rides remain fairly short, I'm continuing to make progress. Yesterday, about 1/3 of my course was wet and cold from earlier rain. But I have the proper clothing and use proper care. The next several days appear to be unrideble. Cold and snowy.
Tom Hayden still lives in the 1960's. Because he opposes any war, he has no credibility here.
I don't know that I completely support President Obama's plans for Afghanistan, but I can tell you for certain that I don't support Hayden's. None of these items should be particularly negotiable:
...the American military and civilian presence in the Arab Peninsula.
As long as the free world relies on oil and there are people out there who would deny it, there should be no negotiation on this policy. To do so is economic suicide.
...the unqualified US support for Israel.
I would argue that US support for Israel is not "unqualified" any more than the Muslim world has an "unqualified" hatred of the existence of Israel. I believe in Israel's right to exist. I don't believe they are the bad guy. Historically, Jordan was supposed to be the Palestinian homeland (see Churchill's writings-sir Winston, not that moron Ward). Historically and Biblically, Israel has occupied that land. Biblically, if Israel had done what God told them to do, we may not be in this mess in the first place. As decendents of the Judeo, and hence Judeo-Christian ethic, we have an obligation to defend their existence.
...US support for states that oppress Muslims (China, India, Russia).
Here Hayden suggests we should work diplomatically with people sworn to wipe us from the face of the Earth, but spurn our friends/trading partners? I'd argue for working diplomatically to ensure human rights in countries with ICBM's, rather than fight with them. Further, what is Hayden's advice for dealing with them otherwise?
...US exploitation of Muslim oil and suppression of its price.
What is the evidence of US suppression of the price of Muslim oil? $140/barrel oil last summer? OPEC's decisions to raise or lower production as price fluctuates? News flash, Tom: the US is not the only consumer of oil. Oil is a global commodity, subject to supply and demand, not the whims of this country. Maybe it occurred in the past, I don't believe it is occurring now.
I am fairly confident that Islamofacists would attack regardless of US position. Their hatred is based on power and history. Hatred of the US and the West in general is the only unifying doctrine of the Muslim world. Are there "sins of the past" to be dealt with? Sure. But this is not Vietnam (though Hayden would love to think so).
Is this the absolute correct approach for the Administration? Probably not. But policy can be altered along the way as conditions on the ground warrant. Hayden's advice would be much more difficult and dangerous from which to recover.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Op-Ed is a stinging indictment of government and especially this administration and the NYT is so in the tank over this, that is their headline? Cuomo and Blumenthal, Frank and Dodd, Obama and Liddy all deserve the Karma that is coming for them. The way Spitzer got his.
"No one comes close to detaining the amount of people that the United States does," she said. "I don't know of another country that detains hundreds of thousands of people as a normal policy every year."
According to the report, there were about 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States as of January 2007. The top five countries of origin were Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines and China.
Maybe if we SECURED THE BORDER or something silly like that, we wouldn't be detaining so many.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's a religion now, not a science. I don't see how we stop this from killing our economy.
Monday, March 23, 2009
What an ass. His pompus self-righteousness is nauseating, whether it's Fannie/Freddie or AIG.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
"We think $165 million could be used in a more appropriate way to keep people in their homes, create more jobs and health care," said Emeline Bravo-Blackport, a gardener.
How is her comment any less greed than what she despises in the AIG bonuses? Greed and envy.
Slogans like, "Money for the needy, not for the greedy!" are nothing more than an expression of greed and envy as well. I'd suggest these "activists" (they're actually a form of terrorist, trying to intimidate others into doing what the terrorist wants) go bother a lottery winner instead.
The larger issue here is where are these going to go, if not in the desert. So much land is required for even a token amount to energy, that vast amounts of acreage will be covered with solar panels. The amount of sunshine received in a desert environment makes it a perfect setting for solar arrays.
As an advocate of nuclear power and someone who spent many years in the business, I've followed the Luddites who believe anything disrupting nature is just plain bad. There has to be a balance somewhere. I saw this coming 30 years ago. Solar panels take up too much habitat. Windmills are an eyesore or kill migratory bird and bats. I wish they would make up their minds.
The Bicycle: Pressed for time yesterday, I put in 20 miles, but I plan to go for 30-40 today. I added 20 lbs. over the winter and it's time to quickly shed that extra tonnage.
The VRWC: This is concerning. I'm shocked it would get this far. Of course, I'm shocked the Supremes haven't ruled McCain-Feingold unconstitutional yet. It seems to me this is a simple matter of political speech, whether it's an campaign ad or a documentary.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Above is arguably the most important statement in the Constitution of the United States. McCain-Feingold clearly abridges the First Amendment, whether the courts recognize it or not. While I think Michael Moore is a lying dirtbag, I support his right to make movies like Fahrenheit 9-11, Roger and Me and Bowling for Columbine.
It's a true slippery slope when the government limits speech.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"I agreed reluctantly," Dodd said. "I was changing the amendment because others were insistent." Then why the denial?
"We didn't draft these contracts. We've got a lot on our plate. But it is appropriate when you're in charge to make sure stuff doesn't happen like this," he said. "So we're going to do everything that we can to fix it." Once again, it's amateur hour at the White House. The President of the United States doesn't make excuses. The Buck Stops. A lot on the plate? Really? I'm sure nobody expected that would come with the job.
The arrogance of power:
Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the hearing's chairman, responded to Liddy's statement by arguing that AIG should have refused to pay all the bonuses -- regardless of its contractual obligations with the bonus recipients.
"Let them sue us," said Kanjorski, a Democrat.
So the sanctity of a contract means nothing to this guy?
Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, on Tuesday introduced a plan that would impose a hefty tax on retention bonuses paid to executives of companies that received federal bailout money or in which the United States has an equity interest. This looks like Ex-Post Facto Law. "But", you say, "ex-post facto only applies to crimes". True enough, but hasn't the administration called these bonuses "criminal"?
And where's the outrage over the Fannie Mae bonuses? Oh, right...big Democrat contributor.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The Russians are remarkably paranoid. Who wouldn't be after Napoleon, the Russo-Japanese War and Hitler? They also know the value of negotiating from a position of strength. They also know our current political and economic weakness. This is a particularly good opportunity for the Bear to re-establish hegemony over Eastern Europe.
Some analysts believe the Obama administration is backing away from policies that angered Moscow under the presidency of George W. Bush.
Those policies included strong US support for expanding the NATO alliance to include the ex-Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine and a plan to build US missile defence facilities in Eastern Europe.
It is a mistake to back away from these policies. It indicates weakness. Weakness didn't work in negotiating with the Soviets, it won't work here.
Note the gratuitous Bush-blaming here. It's not about Bush anymore. This is TCO's legacy now.
Electric cars do little, if anything to help reduce pollution. The electricity has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is generally a coal-fired power plant. Your average conventional power plant is about 35% efficient on a perfect day. Generally, it's much less than that, but I'll be generous here. An electric car is not 100% efficient, either. Now add losses in the electrical distribution system and you have a car that, in full cycle is likely no more efficient that one which is gasoline powered. No net production in pollution. Further, we already have an electrical grid stressed to breaking at peak use. We're going to add transportation to it? And how many new power plants are we planning to build here?
In 2001, 113 Billion gallons of gasoline-equivalent (GEG) were used to run automobiles. I'm not going to run the math here, but believe me, that will translate to the need for many new power plants. But the administration plans to bankrupt coal and they have closed Yucca Mountain, effectively killing nuclear. So....natural gas and oil? If you say renewables, you haven't been reading this blog.
I can point out more of how this is largely folly, but I'm sure you either "get it" or you don't.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Bicycle: Early season rides are often the worst. Weight gain and fitness loss from the off-season, coupled with "cooler near the Lake" can make for an unpleasant experience.
The VRWC: Can this administration just shut up for once? The market was up nearly 150 points yesterday. The the President started ripping AIG. Market ended down slightly. Coincidence? Maybe. But multiple coincidences mark a trend.
Speaking of AIG, I'd like to know who got bonuses and for what. If the bonuses are legitimate for people who performed well in the money-making part of the business, they should be paid.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
How much different might Bush’s final years in office have been if he had pushed back against the press’s practically immoral “there’s no problem with Social Security” campaign, and if he had aggressively challenged the disingenuous attacks concerning the White House’s “poor response” to Hurricane Katrina?
Arguably, the most important tool available to the President is the "bully pulpit". No Republican has used it effectively since Reagan.
NewsFlash to Republican Conservatives: The Left and the media don't like you. They never will, no matter how much you do, no matter how often you make that deal-with-the-devil. If you don't get in the game and get your message out, you will be in the minority forever.
Most "green" energies are phantom. Wind and solar don't (and can't) work. Unless you want to cover an area the size of Arizona with windmills and solar panels. The President has made clear that he intends to bankrupt coal-using electric utilities. Cap-and-trade will certainly bankrupt consumers. We saw the result of biofuels last summer with the incredible increase in the cost of food. (Using the food supply to fill our fuel tanks might be the worst idea ever.) Chu has effectively killed expansion of nuclear by closing Yucca Mountain.
Maybe I do understand. Chu is showing himself less a scientist than politician, doing his masters' bidding.
Shouting "socialism" didn't work, so now they're yelling "overload" and "lack of focus."
I think he's referring to the Right, but it's his Eugene's media buddies saying (and perpetuating) the statement. And even if it is just Conservatives, the shoe fits. This President is the guy "too tired" to do much more than a photo op with one of our stauchest allies. He left the writing of the stimulus bill to Pelosi and Reid. First he was telling us the economy was the worst since the Great Depression. A couple weeks later, it's "not so bad".
Looks like lack of focus to me.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Anyone who thought differently isn't paying attention. The market has been looking for anything positive. It was found in the Administration's remarks over the past week, but that doesn't change the dismal fundamentals.
If you work in manufacturing, you know what I mean.
Falling enrollment should result in fewer teachers, not more. Less money available should result in fewer teachers, not more. Fifty years ago, 30 students to a class was not unusual. We learned better than todays' children do. And did it in old buildings.
California education will survive. Really.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We can't imagine the sacrifice these people make on our behalf.
Here are some items that are supposed to make us feel better about it:
Among the many earmarks are $485,000 for a boarding school for at-risk native students in western Alaska and $1.2 million for Helen Keller International so the nonprofit can provide eyeglasses to students with poor vision.
The $410 billion bill includes significant increases in food aid for the poor, energy research and other programs.
There are bills these should be placed in, not the budget.
Let's see the less "warm and fuzzy" stuff.
According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, there is $7.7 billion in earmarks. A number of them are given as examples here.
I don't particularly care whose earmark it is. It's pork and it needs to go. Put it in a bill where it can be debated on its' merits.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Months before make-or-break climate negotiations, a conclave of scientists warned Tuesday that the impact of global warming was accelerating beyond a forecast made by UN experts two years ago.
Jack up the fear for the uninformed masses. This is all conjecture. I thought the White House was going to put science back into the debate. Oh, wait...there is no debate, so science doesn't matter.
And there's no sense in reporting on opposing views.
I don't know if that is entirely true - one can get pretty close with a lot of effort - but I'm happy about this. Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows that I'm a skeptic. A "denier" (as if it's the Holocaust), if you will.
If one doesn't know how much is produced:
But since such carbon markets are unregulated in the United States, it is difficult to prove their environmental benefits. And it is also difficult to know whether the House accurately calculated the amount of carbon it produces. (emphasis mine)
Then how can this be true:
Still, the initiative reduced the House's carbon emissions by 74 percent by the end of 2008.
Maybe the House can't do math? After all, "Math is hard".
Maybe they'll rethink "cap and trade"? Nah.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Bicycle: This is just embarrassing. "Consciousness raising" through "street theater" is all this is and most of the people will be there for the party, not the Party, if ya know what I mean. I'm just surprised they are waiting until June for the Northern Hemisphere. I mean, if it were really that important, wouldn't doing it in the cold make a greater statement?
The VRWC: This came across my email. It may come to this at some point.
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way. Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes. We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them). We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood. You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security. We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U. N. but we will no longer be paying the bill. We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World. We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag. Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.
John J. Wall, Law Student and an American
P. S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you.
Energy is National Security. These clowns have been talking out of both sides of their mouths for decades. They claim they want clean (carbon-free) energy, but kill the largest source.
Spent nuclear fuel can be safely reprocessed. Japan and (surprise) France have been doing it for years. The US had a completed reprocessing plant ready for operation in 1980 and then-President Jimmy Carter, in his infinite wisdom, closed it by executive order. "Nookyer Periferation" (and they said Bush sounded like an idiot). Very little of the fuel is actually used in a fuel assembly. Not only that, but other fissile isotopes are created (the feared and evil Plutonium main among them). By reprocessing, the longest lived (and less hazardous) isotopes are taken from the waste stream, while the shorter are allowed to decay away. Relatively little remains for disposal.
This is an end-run to prevent licensing of new reactors currently before NRC. While the Left thought they saw insidiousness in the Bush administration, this is what it really looks like. Destroy the wealth, destroy energy security, destroy the nation.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Let's get back to the genesis of this economic mess we are in. The meltdown didn't come overnight. And there are many players. But none as prominent as Barney Frank.
Pot? Meet Kettle.
Can you imagine the response in the MSM if Condi Rice had done this? First, the button? Unprofessional. This is something you do at a convention. Not in international relations. Second, you really can't find someone to get this right? Anyone?
We haven't seen such foolishness since Andrew Jackson.
The Bicycle: I got home early enough to take the Madone out for 20 miles. I can tell it's been a while, but it was nice to get back out. I'm a little saddle sore and have some muscles that are a little concerned about the recent activity (considering how slothful I've been all winter), but otherwise it went well. Looks to be at least a couple weeks before I can go again. And yes, it's much "cooler near the Lake". I'd forgotten how painful it can be to have exposed fingers at 39 degrees.
The VRWC: For those of you who think this economy belongs to Bush, think again. The most telling statement is this:
“It’s the Obama bear market,” said Dan Veru, who helps oversee $2.8 billion at Palisade Capital Management in Fort Lee, New Jersey. “We don’t know what the rules are in so many different areas the government is touching.” (emphasis mine)
The markets abhor uncertainty. Further tax policy influences what people do with their money. If capital gains are going to increase, why would anyone want to put money in an uncertain stock market?
“Obama should be listening to the stock market more than talking to it,” said Kenneth Fisher, the billionaire chairman of Woodside, California-based Fisher Investments Inc., which oversees $22 billion. “He hasn’t gotten out of the gate well.”
It should be clear by now that every time someone from this administration speaks, the market tanks. You can argue, "they're the rich, they got us into this and they deserve it" and that may be partly true. But there are legions of others who are innocent of wrongdoing and are losing everything they have.
This belongs to TCO and the Democrats may pay dearly come election time. There is no indication things are going to improve in the next 2-4 years. I base this on conversations with people I know in manufacturing for equipment with very long lead times. Orders have been cancelled with a complete loss of any down payment and the buyer didn't bat an eye. The recession is so broad-based, it's even hitting lawyers (you laugh-I've never see a recession hit the law profession).
And Geithner...oh, that's for another post.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I find a lot to not like here:
- Two-thirds feel hopeful about his leadership and six in 10 approve of the job he's doing in the White House. This doesn't really surprise me. Every President has a honeymoon period and this one is no exception. The rubber will meet the road here soon, though. OTOH, there are a large number of TCO supporters who will never criticize him or his policies. But the policies put forth thus far, especially on the foreign policy front are nothing short of amateurish and the spending is nothing short of Socialist.
- By comparison, the Republican Party — which resisted Obama's recently passed stimulus plan and has criticized the spending in his budget — finds its favorability at an all-time low. It also receives most of the blame for the current partisanship in Washington and trails the Democrats by nearly 30 percentage points on the question of which party could best lead the nation out of recession. This is just crazy. Is the public not listening? Anybody recall, "I won"? How about the cursory consultation with the Republicans to tell them what TCO's stimulus package was and they should vote for it. No compromise, no input. In addition, a combined 56 percent say the previous Bush administration deserved "almost all" of the blame or a "major part" of the blame for the partisanship in Washington, and a combined 41 percent say the same of congressional Republicans.
By contrast, only 24 percent say that of congressional Democrats and just 11 percent say that of the Obama administration. This is clear evidence that the propaganda campaign has worked. Does no one recall the Democrats blocking the Bush administration at every turn? It didn't matter what it was, whether policies, appointments or budgets. Didn't matter if it was good or bad.
- Also, the public overwhelmingly believes the GOP's opposition to Obama's policies and programs is based on politics: 56 percent say they're trying to gain political advantage, versus 30 percent who say they're standing up for their principles. Unfortunately, the Republicans brought this on themselves. They didn't find religion on spending until the stimulus package. Before that, they spent like drunken Democrats. I think the Republicans are taking a principled stand here, but they have no credibility.
- What's more, 61 percent say they're more concerned that the federal government will spend too much money and will increase the size of the deficit, than they are concerned that the government will spend too little money in trying to get out of the recession. This is the Achilles' Heel for the Democrats. If the Republicans can make hay out of this one, they can get back in the game. Americans are not in favor of Big Anything, but especially Big Government. Again, Republicans have a credibility problem.
The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy of the Democrat Party, their fellow travelers and the media have successfully propagandized the public. Children have been indoctrinated by a Leftist agenda in the schools and we are bombarded by the Leftist message daily.
Maybe it's too late.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Some things apparently never change...like Democrats and taxes. We told you the Obama (heretofore referred to as "The Chosen One" or TCO) administration would bring about more taxes and draconian AGW regulation. You didn't believe us. Do you think your energy bills are high? You ain't seen nothin' yet. The claim that tax breaks will offset the increase in energy costs rings hollow. Not only does the "carbon tax" raise your energy bill, but as we saw last summer, it raises the cost of everything. It will also increase your employers' cost of doing buisiness. Add in the "tax on the rich" and you can say good-bye to a raise again next year. Unless you work for the government.
We'll see if the Democrats in Congress are really serious about "misgivings" or if they are a rubber stamp for this administration.
Monday, March 2, 2009
The best thing the President could have done was lower the tax burden and talk about better days ahead. He did the opposite. Don't expect this economic mess to end soon.
Hansen is clearly out of his mind. "Death Trains"? "High crimes against humanity and nature"? What must he think about chemical companies?
Soros appears to making a business decision. But if he really believed all the lefty eco-whacko stuff he's funding, he'd be in the "green energy" business. Could it be that Soros knows solar, wind and biofuels are losers? I'm not buying the green propaganda on the ConocoPhillips website, either. If they really believed this tripe, they would stop drilling and refining today.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The (alleged) stimulus bill has clearly taken the country on a giant leap to the left. Far-Left leaning cabinet appointees and "czars" and the consolidation of power in the White House are both deeply concerning. Excessive taxation will destroy the economy of this country.
That said, are we putting too much concern into the Civilian National Security Force? Or the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009? Or the idea that the Left is organizing violence against those of us on the right? What about the Fairness Doctrine? There are other issues as well. Nationalized Healthcare, mandatory pre-K.....
My point here is that we should be looking closely at what has happened and what is clearly on the horizon and worry less about bills that have not been introduced or bills that have no sponsors. We can only cover so much gound. Let's not get bogged down in the what-if's.
"Just the facts, ma'am".