Site for Free Markets and Free People

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NYTimes: Obama and Democrats to Get Iraq Victory

The NYTimes incredulously says that Obama and the Democrats have a chance to bring victory to Iraq as well as end the war.

If you think that no American could possibly be stupid enough to believe that Obama and the Democrats, after doing everything possible to lose and surrender in Iraq, might secure a victory, just remember this: almost 75% of Americans believed that Obama was the candidate to lower taxes and McCain was the candidate to raise taxes.

Yes, I guarantee that a good part of the media and public will go along with yet another great soon-to-be lie - that the white flag waivers actually are the ones responsible for the Iraq success.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Real First Thanksgiving

Rush Limbaugh reminds us of the story of the real first Thanksgiving, much of which is very different from that taught in schoolbooks.

"The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store,' when they got here, 'and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well.

"They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. ... [William] Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism,' and it had failed" miserably because when every put things in the common store, some people didn't have to put things in for there to be, people that didn't produce anything were taking things out, and it caused resentment just as it does today.

So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?"

Here's what Bradford wrote, the governor of the Massachusetts colony. "'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he?" or an Obamaite, if I can update it.

So the early supply siders - the Pilgrims - found out very quickly what today's socialists still refuse to believe - that collectivism fails and capitalism succeeds.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pelosi: Drilling is a Hoax

Nancy Pelosi apparently believes that drilling is a hoax and has nothing to do with energy prices. Ok... And remember their proposal to allow for drilling in certain areas offshore? Ain't gonna happen.

The Democrats have gotten lucky - with the economic recession, gas prices have dropped dramatically, allowing them to revert to their longstanding opposition to more energy. And the next time gas prices top $5/gallon, we'll have to hear that "it will take 5-10 years for more supplies to come online." And again, Democrats will not take blame for their mistakes.

Permanent, Pervasive and Predictable says John Taylor, the should-be Nobel laureate, in the WSJ about the best way to promote real economic stimulus, rather than the non-stimulating stimulus proposed by Obama. Remember that stimulus in mid-2008 that ballooned our deficit by $150 billion? The nearby chart shows how much benefit that did (read: nothing).

The top line shows a blip in disposable personal income when certain taxpayers and non-taxpayers alike received a check. The bottom line shows that it had zero impact on personal consumption.

Taylor is perplexed by this renewed belief that Keynesian economics (the government taxes you in order to spend the way it sees fit) is actually efficient or useful.

These results may seem surprising, but they are not. They correspond very closely to what basic economic theory tells us. According to the permanent-income theory of Milton Friedman, or the life-cycle theory of Franco Modigliani, temporary increases in income will not lead to significant increases in consumption. However, if increases are longer-term, as in the case of permanent tax cut, then consumption is increased, and by a significant amount.

...Why did that consensus seem to break down during the public debates about the fiscal stimulus early this year? One reason may have been the apparent success of the rebate payments in 2001. However, those rebate payments were the first installment of more permanent, multiyear tax cuts passed that same year. Hence, they were not temporary.

Once again, Taylor reminds us that students of economics would be wise to read the WSJ while students of liberalism should just continue reading the NYTimes or Washington Post.

Robert Rubin: Profile of a Failed Board Member

The WSJ asks a very good question: why in the world is Robert Rubin still allowed to be a director of Citigroup? Rubin has been a director for over a decade, during which time the company has almost failed a couple of times, was suspended from making acquisitions in 2005 due to regulatory and ethical failures and now needs a government rescue. Oh, and Rubin once tried to use his political influence to prop up Enron, an important Citigroup client.

Mr. Rubin asked a Treasury official to lean on credit-rating agencies to maintain a more positive rating than Enron deserved. What signal will President-elect Barack Obama send if his Administration, populated with Mr. Rubin's protégés, allows this uberfixer to continue flying hither and yon on the corporate jet while taxpayers foot the bill?

Of course, that is a rhetorical question. To the Leftists in Democratland, Rubin and all of his disciples in the new Obama administration are to be revered - not questioned.

Vaclav Klaus to Assume EU Presidency

It's a new dawn in Europe (at least symbolically), as Vaclav Klaus, the anti-communist, anti-global warming, free market disciple of Milton Friedman, assumes the EU presidency.

This should be fun to watch, as most left-wing intellectuals, including Dan Bilefsky, who wrote this article about Klaus in the IHT, generally hold Klaus in contempt. But it will be nice to hear some common sense from the other side of the pond again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama to "Create or Save" 2.5 Million Jobs

First, it was that Obama was to "create" 2.5 million new jobs next year. And all he has to do is spend somewhere around $1 trillion to do it.

But now he will only "create or save" 2.5 million jobs, meaning that it will be impossible for him to fail even if we lose jobs.

Stealing Minnesota: Franken Supporters "Volunteer"

Big surprise. Supporters who worked on the Franken campaign in Minnesota are now working as "volunteers" to help with the recount. This MN election has become a banana republic, courtesy of those who would rather compromise democracy than accept defeat.

Obama's Planned Non-Stimulus "Stimulus"

Just when you think the government couldn't screw things up any worse (ok, we didn't really think that), the Democrat-led Congress says they are ready to send him a $500-700 billion "stimulus" bill on Inauguration Day.

As most modern-day economists know, a stimulus plan that merely takes money from the private sector and redistributes it according to government wishes is absolutely meaningless. Congress says it will include "tax cuts," but I think we all know that they really mean rebate checks for those they choose (read: welfare payments).

If $500 billion is such a great stimulus, why not make it a trillion? Or ten trillion? The truth is that government spending requires private money to fund it now or in the future, which does the opposite of what the government intends, which is to increase private spending. We should all understand this now after we have seen clearly the effects of the New Deal on the Depression. But then again, our elected officials have all failed their civics tests.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elected Officials Fail US History Test

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute conducted a test of 33 multiple choice history/civics questions and U.S. elected officials had an average failing grade of just 44 - worse than the population at large. And fewer than 1% of the takers received an A.

This is scary. Most troubling to me is that only 10% of officials answered correctly why free market economies produce greater wealth than centrally planned economies. And in another ominous sign in this economic downturn, only 22% answered correctly what the expected reaction of government is during recessions. I believe this quiz is further evidence of how clueless governments are with respect to history, including how governments can make recessions much worse (i.e. the New Deal). But it's worse than that - elected officials seem clueless about basic tenets of the Constitution and American principles.

The quiz is here if you want to test your knowledge. And the overall results by question are here. There are a couple of questions that make you think, but generally they aren't too tricky. I did get two wrong myself.

Maybe we should make the test a requirement for members of Congress and publish the results. I don't think that's too much to ask for a group of people who create the laws of our country.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Debate on Mark-to-Market Rages On

Regulators are still debating whether or not to alter mark-to-market accounting changes that require financial institutions to discount assets to "fair value,"whatever that means based on short-term movements in asset prices.

This accounting rule is a joke and should be drastically changed. For a financial institution to write off a portion of a loan simply because the interest rate on it is now below "market norms" if it were underwritten today, even if the loan is current and expected to pay off in full, is absurd.

If the rule isn't changed, there may not be a single financial institution that is able to get through the crisis as of December 31, when they will have to take their quarterly mark-downs.

What Top 3 Unemployment States Have in Common

The WSJ shows the unemployment rates by state across the country. (Note that the online interactive map shows changes in unemployment rates while the print edition has the actual unemployment rates.)

The three states with the highest unemployment rates are Michigan (9.3%), Rhode Island (9.3%) and California (8.2%). I don't think it's a coincidence that all three have terrible records on rates of taxation (and all voted overwhelmingly Obama), with California and Rhode Island in the Top 10 most burdensome states on taxes. While Michigan isn't in the Top 10, it is quickly getting there, with Dem. Governor Granholm (now an Obama advisor) raising taxes during her tenure.

The states with the lowest unemployment rates? Nebraska, the Dakotas, Utah and Wyoming (all voting McCain), which are all in the middle to lower on the list of burdensome tax rates. And we're supposed to believe that raising taxes is somehow supposed to help the economy?

Public Schools Not Good Enough for Obamas

The Obamas love public schooling. They oppose any ability for inner city residents to send children to schools of their own choosing. Public schools are the only way to go and the Obamas are big advocates.

But public schools aren't good enough for the Obama girls - they're going to the ritzy, very expensive, Sidwell Friends private school.

(Hmm, I sense a regular pattern here - don't liberals lecture us about saving energy also but fly around in the largest jets they can find?)

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Change??

Obama seems to proving that his "change" mantra is the biggest joke of his campaign. It looks like two more Clintonistas are going to be key members of his Cabinet - Bill Richardson as Secretary of Commerce and Hillary herself at State.

So I think that makes about 95% of his appointments so far that are Clintonistas.

Examples of Questioned Ballots in MN

This is pretty funny - or sad, depending on how you view it. Some of the examples of contested ballots in the MN Senate race.

Corzine: States Need Discipline, But Not Right Now

On CNBC this morning, John Corzine inadvertantly summarized very well what is wrong with governments across all levels. I don't have the transcript, but Corzine agreed with the CNBC anchor that states have been very undisciplined with regard to spending during the boom years.

But Corzine then said that "now is not the time" for states to cut back. Instead, he said that the federal government needs to give the states a handout so the states don't make the economy worse. Only when times are better, should states start enforcing some sense of discipline.

Follow the logic? States have no discipline during good years. They should never cut back during the bad years. But hopefully it will change during the next good years...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Revisiting the Depression: Parallels

Revisiting the work of two UCLA economists who studied FDR's policies to "fix" the Depression is useful in examining today's economic crisis. Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian concluded that FDR's policies prolonged the Depression, which otherwise would have ended in 1936, to 1943.

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

(Perhaps like "stimulus" checks that don't stimulate the economy or forcing industries to become green?) What they found is that the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was the most damaging piece of legislation. The Act helped companies avoid anti-trust violations if they agreed to collective bargaining, i.e. they were "persuaded" to become union-friendly companies. The result was that wages were roughly 25% higher than they otherwise would have been - and in turn, unemployment increased to 25%.

Sound familiar yet? Today Obama's economic advisors need to be asking themselves how not to turn a recession into a depression. And unfortunately, the market is anything but convinced Obama will be willing to do so. He owes the unions. He owes the green lobby. He owes the bar association and his friends at ACORN. Obama's policies will damage the economy and, based on the recent market action, they will damage it pretty badly.

Worst Post-Election Market Performance Ever Continues

Obama wanted change - we've got it. Within 2 weeks of being elected, the stock markets are now down 20-25%. This indeed is a change from past elections, when the market usually rallies on the removal of uncertainty. We are now in a complete freefall, having lost about $5 trillion in market value in 2 weeks.

Emmanuel: "You Never Want a Serious Crisis to Go to Waste"

Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead on climate change, even if it worsens the economy already in recession. That's the Obama viewpoint, confirmed by top aides. From the WSJ:

Mr. Obama, in a video for a climate-change summit Tuesday, pledged to pursue energy policies that would reduce greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80% by 2050. Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, speaking to a Wall Street Journal conclave of business leaders Tuesday, said the economic crisis facing the country is "an opportunity to do things you could not do before."

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Mr. Emanuel said.

Obama insists on everything "going green," regardless of cost. In fact, getting federal funds (ie. the auto industry) will require that industries use the money for "green" purposes. So expect some of the funds that Paulson insisted on going to the rescue of the financial system to instead be diverted into "green projects."

Asked if this was the industrial policy of the incoming Obama administration, he [David Bonior] replied: "The answer is yes."

Mortgage Processor: Loan Mods Don't Work

According to Lender Processing Services, which processes mortgage payments and tracks roughly 80% of all outstanding mortgages, loan modifications very often do not work.

"Industry evidence indicates that in a majority of instances loan modifications simply delay the timeline from default to foreclosure but don't prevent them from taking place," Nathaniel Otis and William Clark, analysts at KBW, wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.

Some companies, including IndyMac, are finding out that even well-intentioned modifications simply do not work. This would be (and will be) more money down the toilet.

FT points out that the plan would likely have the perverse consequence of increasing foreclosures by convincing current loans to go delinquent.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Market Shows Lack of Confidence in Obama

While some may argue otherwise, I don't believe it's a coincidence that the stock market is down nearly 20% in just two weeks since Obama was elected president.

As a discounting mechanism of future results, the market has no idea of what the economy might do under Obama's policies, but it clearly isn't optimistic. Think about what has changed since the election - not much. LIBOR spreads have more or less improved to a normalized level, but the stock market has tanked. The severity of a potential recession has been in the headlines for months, so the one key item that has changed is leadership - Obama and the Democrat majority in Congress. And the market is giving them a big vote of no confidence.

National Review: Eric Holder Worst Possible Choice for AG

The National Review makes a compelling argument that Eric Holder is not only an "uninspired" choice to be Obama's Attorney General, but the "worst possible choice" in today's age of terrorism. Holder is significantly more serious abut enforcing laws on affirmative action, racial profiling and gender rights than he is about terrorism and national security.

Dems Want to Steal Kentucky House Seat

Democrats are trying to steal a House seat in Kentucky by proposing to throw out all of the 1,000+ votes in a district that went strongly for the Republican.

Why stop there? Why count any votes that went for Republicans nationwide?

Big 3 Autos = Sierra Club for Democrats

The WSJ points out that the root causes of the Big 3's troubles are by the Democrats' own making (sound familiar, Fannie Mae?) and the easiest way to help them is to ease the environmental restrictions that Democrats placed on them.

If Congress wants to ease the immediate burden on Detroit, it could also ease the onerous fleet-mileage standards (CAFE rules) that force the companies to make cars domestically that are unprofitable. A mere tweak would help a lot -- for example, simply allow Detroit to meet CAFE standards by counting the cars it makes at home and abroad. This alone might save Chrysler from bankruptcy. But Congress won't budge on that simple change.

...All of this shows that Democrats don't merely want to save jobs. They want an entirely different American auto industry that serves goals other than selling cars to consumers. The green lobbies have disliked Detroit for decades -- for resisting fleet mileage standards and having the audacity to make SUVs, trucks and other vehicles that people have wanted to buy but that violate modern environmental pieties. For the greens, the bailout is their main chance to remake Detroit according to their dictates.

Of course, why bother correcting the root of the problem when you can throw more free money around? (Free to the people that want to spend it, anyway.)

Mitt Romney says that we need to let the companies go through bankruptcy in order to save them.

$400 B Blank TARP Check for Obama?

The only thing worse than seeing Paulson & Treasury spend the remaining $400B+ in TARP funds is seeing that they won't do it in order to reserve the money for the Obama Administration.

First, we are told that we need the $700B immediately...or else we will face a Depression. Once it's passed by the House (with another $100B for pet projects to get everyone on board), the plans change dramatically. And now the Treasury wants to give the blank check to Obama for use at his discretion? That is nearly a guarantee that it will be used for some ineffective purpose like FDIC Sheila Bair's crazy proposal to bail out all underwater mortgages. Or worse, to provide universal health care, a bailout for the UAW or another Democratic pet project.

The plan was never great to begin with, but now it has become a gigantic waste. If there is no plan to use the funds, withdraw the remaining amount and eliminate the carte blanche. Otherwise Obama's New Deal will be as disastrous as FDR's.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kudlow: Stop the TARP

Larry Kudlow again offers words of wisdom to the government: let's stop with the spending and talk about promoting incentives to work, invest and grow.

The new congressional Keynesians believe government can spend us into prosperity. They’re wrong. Everything we have learned in the last four decades tells us that governments don’t create permanent new jobs or capital investment. In fact, the more we spend, the more we’ll have to raise tax rates. And that depresses growth. Europe went down this road and failed. So did Latin America and parts of Asia before they wised up.

And for some reason no one in Washington is talking about cutting tax rates, which would strengthen incentives to work, invest, and take new business risks. We should be making it pay more after tax for entrepreneurial activity of all kinds. How about this: Let’s get back on the path of free-market capitalism.

Even at the G-20 meeting in Washington this past weekend, all one heard was “global fiscal stimulus” — or more spending on a worldwide scale to fight recession. It won’t work. It never has. Hundreds of academic studies over the past 25 years show clearly that countries that spend more, grow less; but that nations that tax less, grow more.

At this point, I couldn't agree more. The financial markets have stabilized but all the talk about spending is making people realize that taxes are going to skyrocket to pay for it.

GW a Lameduck? Think Again.

After the Dems won Congress in 2006, everyone talked about the lameduck presidency and how GW's term was effectively "over."

Let's see what he has done:
1. He has won Iraq ON HIS OWN. Yep - let's think back to December 2006, when the Iraq Study Group was recommending an immediate pull-out of Iraq. Few Republicans and almost no Democrats would back GW. Fast forward to today. Violence is down 85% and Al Qaeda is virtually destroyed. And all this has happened amidst no media coverage and completely under the radar. If in 10 years, Iraq manages to make progress and make the transformation to a democratic country, say similar to Jordan, there is only one man to thank (NOT BARACK OBAMA). If it doesn't, hey at least GW gave democracy in the mid-east a chance, when no one else would.

2. He's fighting against the auto bail out. Yes - the messiah (BO) has put 100% support behind another $50 Billion to the automakers, after they've already received $25 Billion in loans a few months ago. GW, in fairness, was against both the $25B and $50B. He later caved into Democratic demands to give the original $25B, but now against widespread Democratic demands, he's hanging tough.

3. Anyone remember the shales? GW just opened up 2 million acres to explore shale development in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Sure, Dems are against it, but they're also afraid to go against GW as oil prices are pretty sensitive these days. Again, this has happened with almost no press coverage.

Lameduck GW? Hardly. Interestingly, Dems have not done much in the past 2 yrs. Anyone remember them passing anything they promised in their 100 Hour Plan? Think hard on this one.

MN Senate Seat Still Up for Grabs

Al Franken and Co. are still trying to steal the MN Senate election. Worried that a recount might not give them enough votes, they now want the Election Board to divine intent of voters (meaning that if they voted for Obama, they must have wanted to vote for Franken also).

It hasn't garnered much national media attention, so the Dems are still ok with Franken's attempted steal, but pretty soon even Democrats might have to pull the plug and admit defeat.

No Governmentt Recession in NYC

The WSJ editorial page points out today that, in a time of financial crisis and economic turmoil, the payroll of New York City's government ballooned.

New York City did witness a reduction in public employment in 2002 and 2003, during the last period of slower economic growth. But the city quickly resumed its habit of ever-growing payrolls, and they have kept growing rapidly in the years since -- to an estimated record this June 30 of 313,965 employees on the public dime, according to the Mayor's office. That's an increase of more than 40,000 public workers in a year when Wall Street has been enduring historic losses and laying off tens of thousands of people.

Unfortunately, this is what happened in state, local and federal government across the United States. And now
supposedly the only way out is to raise our taxes? Welcome to the world of liberalism.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Earth Cooling; NASA Makes Up Temp Data

For the second straight year, the Earth is cooling. To compensate for this contra-"global warming" evidence, NASA's James Hansen seems to have taken the liberty to fudge October's temperature data.

Clinton's Defense Lawyer Named Counsel for Obama

Greg Craig, an attorney most known for his defense of President Clinton during his impeachment scandal and the meaning of the word 'is,' was named Obama's White House Counsel. A couple of his other notable cases were his defense of Kofi Annan during the corrupt Oil for Food scandal and his representation of Elian Gonzales' father to send his son back to the Cuban dictatorship.

Obama really does love Clinton - maybe Hillary will wind up in the White House after way of a coup.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lobbyists to Run Obama's Transition Team

Obama sounded high and mighty when he dubiously claimed during the campaign that he did not accept contributions from lobbyists.

But he has no problems with having lobbyists run his transition team. Even the Washington Post agrees.

It is amusing to see all of the campaign promises unwind so quickly...up next...about those, uh, tax cuts....

UAW President: No Concessions

The leader of the UAW said that his workers will make "no more concessions" to help turn around the Big 3 automakers. Instead, he wants the federal government to throw money around to rescue their cushy pensions and benefits.

The truth is that a bankruptcy might be best for the industry in the long run. It will help make the union realize that maintaining pay and benefits well above its competitors at Toyota, Honda and others is not the way to regain market share.

Unfortunately, a bailout is exactly what Democrats want to give their union friends. I just hope President Bush has the good sense to veto the bill and let the Dems take full responsibility once Obama is sworn in.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NY Governor: Cut Spending; Don't Increase Taxes

NY Democratic Gov. David Paterson is speaking out about his state's coming budget deficit. And to my surprise, he is advocating strong spending cuts and no increase in tax rates, which he says would hurt his state.

I wish Obama would follow the Governor's lead and say the same thing.

Egyptian Scholar: More Iraqis Died in Clinton Administration

From Gateway Pundit. An Egyptian scholar said that more Iraqis actually died under the Clinton Administration than during the Bush Administration.

I'm guessing that if you exclude the militants who died trying to kill Americans, the numbers would be even more lopsided.

Stop Fascism! (ie Michael Bloomberg)

Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg is at best a creep, at worst a fascist. While New Yorkers voted FOR term limits in both 1993 and 1996 (limiting mayors to 2 terms), Bloomberg himself is against it. But instead of risking defeat by putting it to a referendum, he just signed it into law himself. I call this fascism.

Americans like term limits. George Washington liked it 225 years ago. Americans in 2008 local elections voted for it in overwhelming numbers as well.

Then why is Bloomberg doing this? First, because the bill would have been defeated had he not done it. I suspect his ulterior motive is that he's a power hungry politician, eager to force his agenda onto New York City, and ultimately his motive is probably to do the same by seeking the US Presidency from his mayoral platform. Yep - scary - because he actually believes people will vote him in.

Hey, let's stomp out all future politics for Bloomberg right here and now. Let's get his dictatorial law overturned - some are trying to do this as we speak. But if this cannot be done, then do the following:


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's Transition Team: All Clintonistas

Obama has announced three transition teams - to the Treasury, State and Defense Departments. Each one of the six formerly worked with the Clinton Administration.

Change? Or Clinton Part III with a Liberal leader?

California's Budget Troubles

Read the AP article on California's woes. What's wrong with this statement?

California's budget deficit will grow to $28 billion through June 2010 unless lawmakers take bold action, possibly including a hike in the state income tax, the Legislature's nonpartisan analyst said Tuesday.

Is it really bold to raise income tax rates? Of course not. What would really be bold is for the Governor to say that, due to a 45% increase in the state budget over the past four years, he is proposing to decrease spending by 20-25% to revert to a more normalized expense growth rate.

What's wrong with this statement?

...Another option is to boost the licensing fee on vehicles, which Schwarzenegger cut when he took office in 2003. That action cost the state about $6 billion a year.

Why does the government assume as a base line that everything belongs to them? It didn't "cost" the state anything; it allowed people to keep what was theirs. What "costs" the state money are expenses: welfare, universal health care for illegal aliens, increased bureaucracy, pay raises, etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FDIC Chair Bair Wants Bailout of All Mortgages

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, rumored to be vying for an appointment to Treasury Secretary in an Obama Administration, seems to be vying for the job based on her statements about mortgage bailouts.

Bair has criticized the latest efforts by Fannie and Freddie to restructure hundreds of thousands of mortgages as "insufficient." What is sufficient, you might ask? It appears that Bair would like to see the federal government bail out every underwater mortgage owner in the country.

Hey, let's give everyone $1 million cash while we're at it.

AP Now Polling People on Obama Expectations

This is new for the AP. Forget about approval ratings - now the AP asks Americans whether they think Obama "will fix" the economy. Supposedly 72% believe Obama will fix it.

My only question is this: If Obama is so great for the economy, why has the stock market (which discounts future economic performance) tanked nearly every day since Obama was elected?

Democrats PayGo? Nevermind...

The key policy that Democrats used to explain why they are "fiscally conservative," PayGo, is now officially under the bus with Jeremiah Wright.

Apparently they don't want to put a President in a "budget straitjacket." (Read: PayGo wouldn't allow us to spend the massive amounts we want to...)

Another Obama Leak?

According to Drudge, top Obama aides have diregarded previous protocol of private conversations and leaked details to the press.

Election Fraud Still Ongoing in MN

MN Democrat Al Franken has magically gained ground every day since the election, all despite the fact that the recount hasn't even started yet.

Gingrich vs. Steele for RNC Chair

Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich are apparently both interested in assuming the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

Newt all the way - he is a powerhouse in terms of intellect and (conservative) ideas. While I like Steele, I don't think he has the same level of intensity or organization - and coming from Maryland, is already a bit tarnished by trying to be Democrat-lite on many issues.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Gets Security Briefing; NYTimes has New Story on Secret Ops

The NYTimes yesterday published a story about highly classified secret ops taking place in Pakistan, Syria and other countries. Coincidentally, Obama and his team just recently had their first security briefings from the White House. Hmm...

Gorelick as Obama's AG?

It certainly would be fun if Obama named Jamie Gorelick as attorney general, which is rumored to be the case (and as I mentioned here in the past). Gorelick was Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae during its accounting fraud scandal (she made about $25 million for it). She also helped create the "intelligence wall" that was a big factor in the 9/11 attacks (though she forgot to mention this when she was appointed to the 911 Commission). She defended Duke University when three lacrosse students were falsely charged with rape. And she helped screw up the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. She was #2 in the Clinton Justice Department.

No hope, no change, but would still be fun to watch.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

AP: Obama's Crisis Similar to FDR, Lincoln

The Associated Press says that the crisis Obama is facing is comparable to what Lincoln and FDR faced. This analogy is laughable, but it attempts to lay the groundwork for a failure, so that it will be impossible to blame Obama for his policies.

FDR faced a 25% unemployment rate and a huge contraction of GDP; Obama faces a 6.5% unemployment rate and a 0.1% contraction. Lincoln faced a civil war where hundreds of thousands of people died and countries seceded. Obama faces people who disagree with the liberal Obama policies (but I haven't heard of any secession threats yet)...

A foolish comparison by any standards.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Franken Getting Closer To Stealing MN Election

In an outrageous attempt to literally steal the MN Senate seat from Norm Coleman, Democrats keep "finding" more ballots that were left unsecured and supposedly were never counted. Just like the Washington governor's election a few years ago, Dems will stop producing "new uncounted" ballots once Franken goes ahead in the vote count. And unfortunately for Coleman, MN's Secretary of State was backed by ACORN, so we all know the cards are already stacked.

Powerline has the

Climate Change Driven by Sun?

New evidence suggests that global climate change is driven by cosmic rays associated with fluctuations in the sun's electromagnetic field.

Meanwhile, the Obama government is busy coming up with an economy-killing trillion dollar cap-and-trade system that attempts to combat "global warming."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Takes Shot at Nancy Reagan in Debut

Classy Obama takes a shot at Nancy Reagan for her seances in his first appearance as president-elect.

What a uniter!

Dems Very Close to Stealing Senate Seat in MN

It appears that the Dems are selectively recounting ballots in certain areas to "find" more votes for Dem. Al Franken. The lead continues to shrink after each new day of more "found votes" for Franken. Powerline has more - it looks like election fraud is continuing.

If the GOP doesn't stand up and fight for Coleman's election victory, they will soon find that the Dems just stole another seat.

Granholm to Join Obama's Economic Advisors

Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan and author of the worst recession in the U.S., is going to advise Obama on the economy.

So Granholm destroyed Michigan's economy with higher taxes and now she gets a shot at the U.S. economy. Great.

Obama's Chief of Staff Helped Cause Financial Crisis

By now, everyone understands that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the eye of the financial crisis for fraudulent accounting and lapses in judgment for guaranteeing loans that would never be repaid.

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's new Chief of Staff, was a director at Freddie Mac and helped (fail to) oversee the fraud. If Emanuel were a Republican, he would already be forced to resign. If Freddie Mac were just a regular company, he might actually face jail time.

Change? I don't think so...

Obama's "Inheritance"

Expect to hear about this every day for the next year, because it has already begun. Obama has inherited a horrible economy and y'know, it's not his fault because like I said, he "inherited" a horrible economy, which was none of his doing. Forget the fact that he has been the top democratic Senator over the past four years. Also forget that he has always championed banks making loans to the poor, which is the source of the banks' problems. Further forget that 2 of Obama's top advisors were CEO and President of Fannie Mae. Lastly, please forget that Obama is the number 1 recipient of donations from Fannie Mae. He cannot be held accountable.

If we go back 8 years to the economy that GW Bush inherited. Also pretty bad. The worst since the 1970's. Obama's equally the worst since the 1970's. So the media has given them both a free pass, right? Wrong. Do this for me:

Google this: BUSH INHERIT BAD ECONOMY 2001. 78,700 references. Now google: OBAMA INHERIT BAD ECONOMY 2008: number of hits?: 344,000. Yes almost 5x as many, and Obama has only been president for 2 days. Bush accumulated all those references over an entire year, or arguably over 8 years!

The press is already giving Obama a free ride for the poor economy. Should they? Yes and no. He alone is not responsible for the economy. I agree with this. But he was also the top democratic senator for 4 years. He shouldn't be held blameless especially because of his relationship with Fannie Mae execs. Bush, on the other hand, was assigned blame by about 95% of the media for the 1996-2000 internet bubble and its after-effects while he entered the Presidency in 2001. I suppose life isn't fair (unless you're a democrat).

My point: GET USED TO IT. The press is prepared to give Obama a free pass, probably for all of 2009.

Florida to Provide Health Coverage Up to Age 30

The state of Florida now requires health insurers to cover "dependent children" up to age 30.

I'm all for covering real dependents, but I wouldn't put 30 year-old adults into this category. Obviously, it's really just a way for states to get to universal health care coverage, which will further raise health costs for everyone else.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Iran Congratulates Obama

Hmm...I wonder why Iran would congratulate Obama on his victory.

Number Crunching Bias

The people who are supposedly crunching numbers to figure out the total voter turnout can't add. There were not more voters this year than in '04.

Obama: Change; What Change?

Some of Obama's early posts have been given to hyper-partisan politicians. Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff and Podesta as the man in charge of transition signal that Obama is done with his post-partisan ruse. He's now back to the fiery liberal he always was. Even the AP seems stunned.

Obama Stock Market Drop - Day 2

Well, the market is apparently not too happy with Obama as president. This makes it almost 1,000 Dow points in the 2 days since he won the election. What, businesses don't like to "spread the wealth?"

The media is afraid to say it, but the truth is that Wall Street is discounting an Obama presidency and it's not going to be pretty for the economy.

Democrat Bloomberg Proposes Huge Tax Hikes

I wouldn't want to live in New York City. Mike Bloomberg has proposed an income tax hike of 7.5% to 15% that this "fiscally conservative DEMOCRAT" is proposing .

But it doesn't end there. Beginning in January property taxes will increase by 7%, and the once-promised $400 property tax rebate? Well let's just say that that promise will be broken.

Some Democrats will undoubtedly look at this election and say big government is back. They may test the waters with tax increases.

I feel for all of you in New York City who are trying to make ends meet, while your billionaire mayor imposes huge taxes on you. But if I know New Yorkers, they're not going to take this sitting down. One piece of advice to my conservative NYC friends: THROW DA BUM OUT!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Obama Stock Dip

While the AP frames the massive Wall Street selloff today as "looking past Obama's victory" towards recession fears, I think the more accurate statement is that the market is beginning to discount Obama's potentially disastrous economic policies. As a result, the Dow was down about 500 points in the first day after his election.

What Happened to the GOP "Moderates?"

The GOP was supposed to be able to win seats by being "moderate." ie. liberal-light. Let's see how that worked. Not a single House or Senate member left in New England apart from Collins and Snowe from Maine.

Just goes to show you that there is no way a moderate can out-liberal a liberal. Conversely, Democrats won many seats over the past two elections by running conservatives in close races. So once again, conservative ideas still win. (Yes, including the Presidency. Any observer of the debates will tell you that it was impossible to tell who was the conservative and who was the liberal.)

More Observations Post Election

It had to have been the most boring election in history, with a moderate Democrat (McCain) against a hard-left Democrat. But as RR says below, it's not all bad news. Just a few observations:

1. Will Smith and Jay-Z can no longer come to London and say that "Everyone knows a black man cannot make it in America."

2. The world can no longer claim the US is racist. I've met with hundreds of British companies but I've never met one black president of a British company, let alone leader of their country. The same goes for women. Europe is no different. Even in Latin America, where race is not an issue, people would never elect a darker skinned Mexican over a lighter skinned one. Wouldn't happen. This truly could not have happened anywhere else but the USA.

3. Has Barack Obama peaked? He is loved by 95% of the media, 97% of African-Americans, and 80% of Europe. These are pretty close to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jung approval ratings. In four years time, his ratings will not be anywhere close to where it is on Nov 5, 2008. Guaranteed.

4. Europe no longer will not have anyone to blame. Europeans typically blame Americans for attacking itself on 9/11, warmer weather, colder weather, windy weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, lack of jobs in Southern France, and whatever tickles their fancy. This was 100% acceptable under GW Bush. Will they have to take some accountability finally?

5. African-Americans will not have anyone to blame. Thanks to the Jesse Jacksons and Jeremiah Wrights of the world, many African-Americans have been fed a victim mentality about themselves. So if they can't find jobs, it's due to racism (or something). If they cannot find jobs in 4 years, or cannot make their mortgage or car payments, I see a falling out with Mr. Obama. If dems ever lose half the black vote, I can't see how they can ever win another election again. Could this happen? Yes - in tough economic times it could.

6. Democrats can now officially only blame themselves. They control everything.

7. The graciousness of McCain and Bush speak volumes. Both congratulated and threw their support behind Obama without hesitation after he had won. Contrast this with Gore's or Kerry's treatment of GW Bush. Even contrast this with Bill Clinton's and especially Jimmy Carters's hatred toward republicans. It's nice to see someone take the high road once in a while. I doubt dems would have done the same if Obama had lost, but it's what's best for the USA.

8. Barack Obama will unite the USA. Mark my words. But maybe not in the way that he hopes. I predict that sometime over the next 4 years, he will unite Republicans and moderate democrats alike against him - that's if he goes for hard left radical economic policies.

9. I wish Obama luck and hope he does a good job for the sake of the country. I see myself disagreeing with him a lot in years to come, but hopefully he governs in a more pragmatic way than he speaks.

The Good News...

Congratulations to Obama, the first affirmative action president in the history of the U.S. There is a little bit of good news. For example:

1) There will never be another election where Liberals are allowed to complain about rich people "buying elections." That issue is gone after Obama spent $650 million, from both here and from foreign sources and spending 4x as much as McCain and as much as Bush-Kerry combined.

2) The GOP no longer has a liberal/moderate as its standard bearer. McCain would have been responsible for passing several bad policies, so at least now Obama will be credited for destroying what was once the strongest economy in the world.

3) Israel can now take care of the Iranian problem. They will not wait for Obama to be sworn in to leave the job to him.

4) The media has shown the world that there is no such thing as objective journalism; they are merely cheerleaders.

5) The media reminded Republicans that you can try as hard as you want to be well-liked, but at the end of the day, the GOP cannot out-liberal a liberal.

6) Conservatism is still more popular than liberalism. Obama campaigned as a tax-cutting conservative, which is why most Americans were convinced that he is more likely than McCain to cut taxes. As is usual, conservative ideas win out.

7) It could be worse - you could be a member of the military that has to wake up and salute a man who has spent the last few decades of his life hating and condemning everything you represent.

That probably does it for the good news - if I missed anything, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

112 Thousand OH/FL/GA Voters Registered in 2 States

Through a collaborative effort, it has been found that there are 112,000 voters who are registered to vote in at least 2 states in OH, FL and GA.

Voter fraud seems to have gotten very easy and there has been almost zero effort to prevent it. Another repeat of 1960 Chicago?

Black Panthers Intimidating White Voters

There are many reports of Black Panthers armed with clubs in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, including this report from Fox News.

I wonder if anyone would mind if a group of cloaked KKK members dressed up and stood outside polling places. I'm sure the media would just chalk it up to a tight race where people are actively supporting their candidates, right?

Moran: People With Wealth Should Not be Able to Keep it

Socialist/Marxist congressman, Jim Moran (D-VA) said today that the Bush Administration has been guided by the "simplistic notion that people with wealth are entitled to keep it" and they "have antipathy towards" redistributing wealth. Damn right!

From The Weekly Standard.

The radical socialist takeover of the country by Democrats is getting louder and louder.

Dem VA Offcial Will Not Count Military Ballots

A Democratic election official in Virginia refuses to count any military ballot that was received late, even if it was because the Pentagon did not send out the ballots on time.

McCain is trying to get them to count, but if Dems have their way, the military votes will NOT count. And then they expect the servicemen to salute an Obama president??

Obama's Understatement of Day to Press

Obama thanked the "gracious" press today.

"It's been a good long ride with all of you. Whatever happens tomorrow (Tuesday) it's going to be extraordinary and you guys have shared this process with us."

No kidding; the press was more important than the candidate.

Voter Fraud

This is going to be a common theme today. It's been widely reported that most of ACORN's registrations are illegal. Philly already kicked Republicans out of polling places. And now Ohio is having a problem with felons voting from prison.

To keep it simple, we should just assume that massive voter fraud is taking place in every swing state in the country. That way, no one will be surprised when it's finally reported.

Liberal Judge Removes GOP Poll Watchers in Philly

Some polls seem like a 3rd world banana republic this morning. A liberal judge in Philadelphia has allowed for the removal of court-appointed Republican poll watchers simply because of their "minority" status. It appears that there is pandemonium there (and probably tons of ballot stuffing.)

Could you imagine the media outrage if Republicans banned all Democrats just because they were Democrats?

We already know from the past few days that Obama staffers are voting in multiple swing states, so McCain has an uphill climb. But we also know that polls tend to overestimate Dems votes by about 5%, so who knows.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Voting Reminder

Just a reminder in case you weren't aware: Voting Day is tomorrow November 4th for all Republicans and Wednesday November 5th for all Democrats. Vote early and often.

And for those of you who are dispirited: just keep in mind that Carter was supposedly tied with Reagan 48 hours before the 1980 election and Kerry was supposedly ahead of Bush by 5 points a day before the 2004 election.

Obama Gives McCain Finger During Speech

At a speech today in Florida, Obama shows his true colors by giving McCain the finger as he said he was congratulating him. Obama did this same thing to Hillary during similar circumstances.

Way to keep it classy, Obama. What a uniter!

Still No Coverage of Obama's Skyrocketing Electricity Prices

Despite the release of audio from earlier this year where Obama said that under his plan, electricity prices would "necessarily skyrocket," there is still no American news outlet picking this up.

You have to go to Canada Free Press or bloggers to find any story about it.

Lacker: Government Response May Have Worsened Crisis

Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker says that the government response to the financial crisis may have worsened the situation.

Just like all panics, the government typically provides the wrong medicine at the wrong time. I have a feeling the next few years are going to see a dramatic increase in government involvement in every part of the economy, which is never a good thing.

Dem Congressman Nadler: "Let Russia Invade Georgia"

Dem Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY was frank about his views towards Russia's hostile foreign policy and about his view of freedom altogether. From Weekly Standard:

So let 'em invade Georgia. It's right next to them. Would we tolerate a foreign--a Russian army in Mexico? Which is more important to us Georgia or Israel, frankly?"

I think this is the honest view of most Dems in Congress - I wish more Democrats would speak their minds about what they really felt. If they did, the GOP would sweep to power in a landslide.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dems Want Investigation into Illegal Aunt Leak

Never mind that Dems couldn't care less about how Aunt Zeituni was allowed to live on government housing for years despite being an illegal alien. Never mind that they couldn't care less about government spying on Joe the Plumber.

Yes, the more important thing is a federal investigation into how Obama's Aunt Zeituni's illegal status was leaked to the press.

Duplicate Voters in Indiana and Florida

No surprise. I recently mentioned that Obama staffers have been caught voting in more than one state. Now it appears that thousands of Indiana voters are also registered to vote in Florida.

This election was already stolen. Just like Kennedy in 1960, this is the way Chicagoans win elections.

Obama: I Will Bankrupt the Coal Industry

I'm still shocked that anyone would believe in Obama's energy policy, which is a guarantee to dramatically increase electric bills and gas prices. In a January 2008 interview that is just now coming to light (but still not among the media Leftists), Obama said the following:

Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.

...So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It's just that it will bankrupt them.

You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

From the Messiah: he will bankrupt the coal industry. I don't think that is going to help increase our energy supplies and will obviously raise prices since 23% of electricity in the U.S. comes from coal and that is after exporting 50% of our coal production.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Peggy Noonan Now a Full-Fledged Liberal

As most people say, if you hang around Washington long enough, you start to enjoy the cocktail parties and your desire to be liked overcome any desire to stick to your principles. So it is with Peggy Noonan, who for the past couple of years has enjoyed appearing on shows with uber-Leftists like Chris Matthews. Today in the WSJ she attempts to make a case for a Barack Obama presidency.

The article was, unfortunately, incomplete and absurd. She doesn't look at any Obama policies, any of his radical associations or his voting record, but instead judges him solely on a few throw-away lines he uttered during the campaign and his desire for "change." She thinks that by accelerating the hated massive spending policies of Bush is "change" and that this somehow will heal the country.

I'm not sure if Peggy Noonan was ever really a conservative, although she has always been quick to say that she was a speechwriter in the Reagan Administration. But there is no longer any question - trying to argue that Obama is acceptable to "conservatives" is completely laughable. And so is she. Good riddance - with conservatives like that, who needs 'em?

Obama Staffers Voting in Multiple States

According to Palestra, Obama staffers are voting in important swing states even if they have no intention of ever living there and even if they were California Democratic delegates just a month ago! They are definitely leaving nothing to chance. Heck, even if they were to be prosecuted, which is highly improbable, they probably figure that the new Prez will make sure Justice stops any investigations in their tracks.

Obama's Aunt Zeituni is an Illegal Immigrant's now clear why we haven't heard much about Obama's Aunt Zeituni, who has been living in public housing in Boston for the past five years. She is apparently living here illegally, after having been denied a request for asylum. This after a Boston housing bureaucrat said that she has been an "exemplary" resident.

I wonder if Obama will return her $260 in (illegal) campaign contributions...

Obama just threw her under the same bus he threw Jeremiah Wright. And she's silenced until after the election. Come on, does anyone seriously believe that he didn't know she was living here illegally? Just add it to his whoppers that the media is all too willing to believe.

Is Ted Kennedy OK with Ayers' Dedication to Sirhan?

In 1974, Obama's friend Bill Ayers dedicated his book to Sirhan Sirhan (yes, that one, who killed Robert F. Kennedy). I wonder if Teddy was aware of this and is OK with it.