Site for Free Markets and Free People

Friday, July 31, 2009

Media Desperate To Convince Public of Recovery

It is amusing reading and listening to the media describe this Obamanomics disaster. Consider just this one example entitled, "US Economy Appears to Start Growing Again," in which AP's Jeannine Aversa does everything possible to put a positive spin on the economic numbers.

The economy dipped only slightly in the second quarter of this year — falling at a 1 percent annual pace, better than expected. And many analysts think the economy is starting to grow again in the current quarter, setting up a long-awaited recovery.

OK, forget about the fact that GDP was revised downward to 6.4% in Q1 and the trillion dollars in wasted spending has done nothing to promote growth and reduce unemployment, as Democrats promised.

Economists say they are hopeful that consumers, aided by the "cash for clunkers" program to boost car sales, eventually will nudge up spending. Over time, that would help stem a still-heavy wave of job losses and stimulate hiring.

OK, so it's this "cash for clunkers" program, which the government almost had to cancel after four days due to incompetence that is going to save us. Sure.

Obama's stimulus package of tax cuts and increased government spending provided some support to the economy in the second quarter. But it will have more impact in the second half of this year as it extends its reach, economists said.

There it is - it was Obama's useless "stimulus package" that saved us. I can't think of a single way that any of this spending has benefited Americans. I recall in 2003 (through 2007) when the economy was humming at a 5.0%+ rate that the media was complaining that there weren't enough jobs - and then that the new jobs created "weren't paying as much" as existing jobs. (It didn't even matter that Greenspan debunked that line as ludicrous.) It seems clear that Obama will be an early lame duck by 2010 if the media doesn't create the facade of a recovering economy - and the media are desperate to prevent that from happening.

House Votes To Restrict Bonuses for Financial Companies

The House passed a bill that would restrict bonuses for bonuses and allow Pelosi & Co. to review broadly the strategies and compensation plans for all financial industry executives.

As they say, never let a crisis go to waste...

Richest 1% Shouldering Largest Tax Burden in History

Just another set of facts that point out the Democrat lies when they say the wealthiest Americans aren't paying their "fair share."

Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the "rich" are not paying their fair share of taxes.

Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.

Oh, and we have the "most progressive" tax system in the world. But to Democrats, it is simply not enough.

"F*** Whitey's Christmas"

That is one of the many disturbing messages on the New Black Panther Party Myspace page. And yes, this is the group for which Obama's Justice Department just dropped the charges for white voter intimidation in Philadelphia.

No need to look - nothing racist here. Sgt. Crowley is the racist one...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NY Times: Manny and Ortiz Tested Positive

The NY Times is reporting that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for steroids in 2003.

My question is this: if only a handful of people had knowledge of these test results and they were supposed to remain anonymous, what luck does any American have in keeping their private health care records private once the government gets involved?

Pelosi: Insurance Companies "Are Villains"

We know the Democrat view towards capitalism, and Pelosi reminds us by referring to the villain du jour:

"It's almost immoral what they are doing," Pelosi said to reporters, referring to insurance companies. "Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure," she said, adding, "They are the villains."

If they really are villains, why not make all health insurance illegal? And why not give up her own privately-run plan?

The Most Beautiful on Capitol Hill? Come On...

The Hill newspaper lists its most beautiful people on Capitol Hill. In a display of just how idiotic the journalism industry has become, there is one person on this top 10 list that clearly does not belong (I suppose the others are at least justifiable). Anyone want to venture a guess?

Obama Appointed Justice Official Dropped Black Panther Charges

Just as the Justice Department was about to file charges against Black Panthers who wielded nightsticks and tried to prevent white people from voting through intimidation last November, Obama-appointed officials, including Assistant AG for civil rights Loretta King, forced Justice to drop the case. From the Washington Times.

I don't think this would happen if white people threatened black people as they entered polling places. Not surprising from a president whose best friends are racists.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barney Frank to Banks: Stop Foreclosures Or Else...

Democrat Barney Frank is back to his old tricks of threatening banks. First, it was his and other Democrat threats that caused this financial mess by forcing banks to lend to unworthy customers.

Now, Frank says that banks better stop foreclosures or Democrats will make them stop. Hmm...nothing like trying to re-destroy the U.S. economy by invalidating contracts and the rule of law...

Stock Market Congressional Recess Effect

As Congress is set to take their summer "recess" (interesting how only schoolkids and Congress use that term), Mark Hulbert reminds us how much investors despise Congress when it is in session. In summary, an academic study completed several years ago shows that 90% of capital gains occur when Congress is "on recess." He sums it up this way:

Maybe Will Roger got it right. The professors quote from a famous speech of his in 1930: "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when a baby gets hold of the hammer. It's just a question of how much damage he can do with it before we take it away from him."

I think Will Roger nailed the baby analogy - especially when dealing with Pelosi, Reid and Obama.

Obama Completes $100 Million Budget Cut

Maybe Obama can use this as a promise delivered. After proposing to increase government spending by trillions of dollars, several key agencies succeeded in Obama's "challenge" of $100 million in savings - or 0.006% of the budget deficit.

Three months ago, President Barack Obama ordered his cabinet secretaries to find $100 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year to emphasize the point that he, too, was serious about belt-tightening. They responded with $102 million. That is 0.006% of the estimated federal deficit.

The list of 77 spending cuts, which the White House is calling "the $100 million savings challenge," reflects the vastness of government -- and its vast inefficiency...

The Air Force has proposed replacing its specially formulated jet fuel with commercial aviation fuel, which it will top up with some military additives. That will save nearly $52 million next year, when the program begins.

The Office of Thrift Supervision, a division of the Treasury, identified unused phone lines costing $320,000.

By increasing the number of soldiers traveling on each airplane chartered for rest-and-relaxation leave, the Army will save $18 million in the next few months. The Navy will save $5 million a year by deleting inactive Internet accounts to configure their computer networks more cheaply.

The Justice Department estimates it can save $573,000 through fiscal 2010 by setting up its printers and copiers to use both sides of the paper. By emailing some documents instead of printing them out, the Department of Homeland Security will save $318,000.

Both Homeland Security and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have pledged to take the same step that has sent the newspaper industry into a tailspin: They will start getting their news online free, rather than renew their subscriptions. Homeland Security will save $47,160, or 0.0000026% of the deficit.

The Coast Guard realized that maintenance schedules for its 1,800 small boats assumed they were for recreational use such as water-skiing or bass-fishing. By adjusting maintenance schedules to reflect what the Coast Guard actually does, the agency discovered it can save $2 million a year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is going to save $3.8 million by refurbishing and reusing or selling its emergency trailers -- like the ones provided to people displaced by hurricanes -- instead of ditching them.

Congratulations - great job, Obama. You are the cost cutting president, indeed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama Student Loan Nationalization To Save Less Than Estimated

Obama's student loan plan was sold as saving $87 billion over 10 years. But as with all of Obama's projections, the CBO says it is garbage. Instead, the CBO reduced projected savings by almost half to $47 billion over ten years.

Let's take the savings at face value. One might ask, isn't any savings better than nothing? But this question ignores a key point:

The government will take on huge risks by putting $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars at risk. If the default rates are slightly higher than projected, the savings will suddenly turn into losses. The only way the government is "saving money" is by taking away industry profits, which are necessary to justify the risk. The same "savings" argument could be made for nationalizing clothing stores, fast food restaurants or any other private business.

Credibility on cash flow projections? Obama and Pelosi have none.

U.S. Revokes Honduran Visas; Marxist Zelaya Supported by FARC

The U.S. government revoked the visas of four Honduran officials, in support of Obama's view not to recognize the Honduras government that replaced his Marxist pal, per orders of the Honduras Supreme Court and legislature.

Meanwhile, the ousted Marxist Zelaya is being funded by the terrorist group FARC and supported by Chavez, Castro, Ortega, Morales, and.......Obama.

The Communist Health Care Bill Summary

Protein Wisdom posts a good summary of everything you need to know in 60 seconds about the proposed health care takeover.

I just wonder how many additional government employees will be needed to audit the records of all employees and employers in the U.S.

Gates Has a Tax Problem Too

The Inkwell Foundation, founded by Henry Louis Gates to support black literature and history, has tax issues. Oh, and the foundation seems to be little more than a way for Gates to give money to those closest to him, including his fiancee.

Does Obama have a friend without a tax problem?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Conrad, Dodd, Knew of Special VIP Countrywide Loans

Democrat Senators Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd are lying about the special Countrywide loans they received. What else is new?

Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Conyers: No Point in Reading Health Care Bill

These guys are a farce. John Conyers, Democrat Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the following on the government-run health care proposal:

“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

And You Thought Obama's Approval Rating Was Low?

Check out Obama buddie, MA Governor Deval Patrick, if you want to see a guy in free fall. Overall, only 35% of MA residents approve, while 56% disapprove. What's interesting is the consistency and the universality of his disapproval ratings. 57% of males disapprove. 56% of females. 68% of independents . 83% of Republicans. 56% of whites. 56% of African-americans. Scroll down to page 21 for the breakdowns.

Foreshadowing for Obama?

Sweden Moving Away From Welfare State

Sweden, long the example of generous government welfare programs, is changing course to a more market oriented, less government controlled plan. It is even reducing taxes. Courtesy of Red State:

Anders Borg[*] has a message for those who look to government to take over health care, rescue the financial system and run troubled corporations: I have seen the future–and it doesn’t work.

As the finance minister of Sweden, Borg is the chief financial officer of a country long known as a walking billboard for a social welfare state. In Borg’s view, the 1970s and 1980s were lost decades for Sweden. Left-leaning politicians pushed government spending, excluding investment outlays, from 22% of gross domestic product in 1970 to 30% in 1980 [even a smaller change that Obama is suggesting]. Real growth fell from an average of 4.4% annually in the 1960s to 2.4% in the 1970s and remained low for the next two decades.

Borg is pushing Sweden in the opposite direction, encouraging the legislature to cut taxes, cap spending and privatize parts of health care.

His government has slashed the tax rate on low incomes from 30.7% to 17.1%. The combined tax take (national and local; income and other) has fallen by 2.5 percentage points in three years to 46.6% of gross domestic product.

Someone give the Democrats the message: their plan has already been tried. It failed. Ask Sweden (or any other European country that tried it...).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

-11 And Falling Fast...

Obama's net approval ratings at -11 in the latest Rasmussen poll. The facade of Obama has been unveiled and Americans don't like what they see.

I think this is why he wants to ram through his agenda now before he becomes the most despised man in America.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Obama and Gates Are Such Good Friends

In 1994, Henry Louis Gates had a conversation in which he stated how happy he and his mother were when then first heard Malcolm X talking about the white man being the devil. And he said that his mother "hated white people" (like mother like son). From Gateway Pundit.

It's no wonder Gates and Obama and such good friends. Does anyone still believe that Obama really didn't hear Jeremiah Wright preaching racial warfare for 20 years?

CNN's Sanchez: Hispanics At Fox News Are Sellouts

CNN's Rick Sanchez says that Hispanics who work for Fox News are all "sellouts." I guess if you're Hispanic, you have to be a radical, Obama loving stenographer.

Now, which party continues to focus solely on race?

Friday, July 24, 2009

44 Democrats Arrested in NY, NJ

Name that party - Police arrested 44 Democrats for corruption and money laundering in NY and NJ today. Democrat culture of corruption continues...

Obama's Post Racial Society

The Wall Street Journal makes a great point in today's editorial regarding Obama's comment about the Cambridge Police/Professor Gates incident.

Mr. Gates lives in a city with a black mayor, a state with a black governor and a country with a black President. The dispute was arguably about town-gown relations rather than race. If this is a teaching moment, one lesson is that it’s usually better to cooperate during encounters with law enforcement so that matters don’t escalate needlessly. And if a cop asks you to step out on the porch, or away from your car, it’s probably because he’s concerned for his own safety.

Yet racial incidents still "haunt" us, as Obama did not hesitate to remind.

Minimum Wage Hike Effective Today

In lesser announced news, the federal minimum wage hike to $7.25 takes effect today. My guess is that the government won't track how many jobs are lost because of this.

Sinking Like the Titanic...

Obama's approval numbers, that is...

From Drudge.

Cosby "Shocked" at Obama's Statements

Bill Cosby said he was "shocked" at Obama's statements about the police incident in Cambridge and playing the race card before even knowing the facts.

Looks like Obama and his press need to drag Cosby through the mud again for daring to speak out against The One.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Missing Police Report in "Stupid" Cambridge Police Case

Barack Obama responded to a question last night involving Harvard's african-american professor Henry Gates. Obama explained that the man, a black man, was arrested in his home and had done absolutely nothing wrong. He then called the Cambridge police stupid and said that black and latino men are regularly pulled over and arrested more often than they should be. Obama's exact words were: "it's a fact" and he said that racism continues to haunt the country.

This case will likely be a "he said he said" case, but the Cambridge police report tells a completely different story than the open and closed book case Obama presented last night. The Boston Globe had previously published it, and then pulled it, perhaps because it put Professor Gates in a pretty bad light. Here's the police report.

Obama Strong-Arming CBO

If the CBO produces numbers you don't like, strong-arm them into doctoring their results. The WSJ explains:

The Washington Post recently ran a story quoting Democrats as bragging that President Obama has deliberately patterned his legislative strategy after LBJ’s, circa 1965.This may explain the treatment of Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the supposedly nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office who last week told Congress that you can’t “save” money on health care by having government insure everyone.

For that bit of truth-telling, he was first excoriated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Then he was summoned, er, invited to the White House for an extraordinary and inappropriate meeting Monday with President Obama and a phalanx of economic and health-care advisers.

...On second thought, perhaps we’re being unfair to LBJ, whose method was a combination of muscle and flattery. Mr. Obama learned his methods in Chicago.

The CBO, of course, was designed for Congress, a separate branch of government. Obama wants to take it over and govern by diktat.

Boston Globe Jokes About Palin's Thinning Hair

What for this time? Ask Beth Teitell. Here's what she says:

It was the hair that launched a thousand quips - and now it’s thinning. At least that was the word from Wasilla, Alaska, where Sarah Palin is so stressed that she appears “underweight’’ to friends, and the up-do known around the world has thinned “to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser,’’ the New York Times reported.

Way to kick someone when she's down. And this is real news! Great stuff from the Boston Globe! Also just a little catty in my opinion.

I also wonder what would be said if Beth had written that Michelle Obama has wide hips and had gained weight because of stress? My guess is that the NAACP and Al Sharpton would have already boycotted the Globe. But if it's Palin, anything goes.

Obama's Speech: A Summary

Here are three things I liked about Obama's healthcare speech:

1. The blue pill/red pill analogy. That was awesome! I agree whole-heartedly that if there is a red pill that is as good as a blue pill but only costs half as much, that we should therefore use that red pill. Wow! Did he go to Harvard or something? Great way of dumbing down the argument so we can all climb aboard the healthcare express.

2. His use of the word inheritance. I only counted about 5 references. Usually in one hour he will mention the word 15 or 20 times. I suggest he double the usage in his next speech. People aren't yet pickin' up what he's throwin' down.

3. He truly is the first non-racial president. It's truly a gift how he can describe how racism by white americans of blacks and latinos continues to haunt our great nation. One day may we be as tolerant as France, Japan, or Zimbabwe! This man can truly inspire a nation!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"You're Going to Destroy My Presidency"

That was Barack Obama's response to a Democrat Congressman who told the president that changes needed to be made to the health care takeover bill if he wanted it to pass.

Destroy his vision of his presidency, perhaps, but save the country...

Obama's Top Secret Service Agent Fired

Obama's top secret service agent fired.

A Secret Service Agent, responsible for protecting President Obama, was fired today under questionable reasons, according to top aides. The Agent was reportedly tired of overhearing personal gripes by the Obama Family about certain demograhics in the United States. The Agent, who has not been identified as of today, brought his concerns staright to the President Obama, who later had him removed from his current assignment. More to come as story unfolds.

Hmm...I wonder what demographic the Obamas could have been griping about.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Obama to Honduras: Return Marxist to Power - Or Else...

Obama is threatening Honduras with severe sanctions that could cripple its economy if the Honduran legislature and Supreme Court don't return his Marxist pal Zelaya back to power. It doesn't matter that he was legally removed from power under direct orders from the Supreme Court because of his attempt to appoint himself dictator, ala Hugo Chavez.

No meddling...unless you need to save a Leftist comrade. How about North Korea? Iran? Nope - Obama prefers to destroy democracies like Israel and Honduras instead.

Obama - 3rd Worst President

According to a new poll out, Obama now owns the 3rd worst ratings of any president since World War II. Pretty remarkable, considering he started out as the best. I'll be one to say the economy is not entirely his fault - it's just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However both Reagan and GW Bush were also faced with devastating recessions and somehow they found a way out. My point is: no one can control the cards a President is dealt, but it's all in how they respond to the crisis. Reagan and GW cut taxes to get the economy back on track. Obama is spending like no man has ever done before.

So yes - Obama had a bad hand to start with, but there's 2 reasons why he should be still held accountable for the economy:

1. He was supposedly a top senator while the crisis was going on. What was he saying or proposing while this was happening? No one can seem to remember - partially because his mouth was largely closed and/or he was too busy campaigning for president to even pay attention to the economy.

2. Again - it's the response to the crisis that matters. His response? It'd make Lenin proud.

How long before Obama blames racism for his poor approval ratings? I give him a year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summary Review of Pelosi-Reid Congress

The Pelosi-Reid-led Congress shattered all records for government spending, increasing the size of government debt from $5.8 billion to $8.5 trillion in less than a year, an increase of 46.5%.

Perhaps this is why the S&P 500 Index has gone from 1430.5 to 940 since the Democrats took over control of Congress in 2007 - a decline of 34.3%.

Correction: Joe is right - the above should read $5.8 trillion. They only added $2.7 trillion in debt in the past year.

Quote of the Day: Robert Gibbs

Obama front man Robert Gibbs explains the Obama view towards upwards mobility:

"The bottom line is that I think the president believes that the richest 1% of this country has had a pretty good run of it for many, many, many years."

No longer - now they must pay for their success by handing it over to the state.

Europe, Not U.S., the Lower Tax, Freer Trade Area

The U.S. is falling further behind Europe in terms of taxes and competitiveness, all while Pelosi and Obama are clueless on all things economics. From the WSJ:

On present trends, most of Europe will soon have lower income tax rates than most of America. And now the European Union is stealing another competitive march on Washington, this time on a free trade deal with the world's 13th largest economy, fast-growing South Korea.

Last week Brussels and Seoul finished the outline of a new trade agreement, and the two sides will now write up the technical language to codify it. As for the pending U.S.-Korea trade agreement, Congress has done . . . nothing.

On the EU side, the Commission is vigorously defending the pact against domestic critics, including the European auto industry. EU approval isn't a sure thing, but Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is aiming to finish it by December. Compare that to the U.S., where the FTA with Korea is bogged down in Big Labor politics. Bashing the deal became de rigueur in the Democratic Party primary before last year's Presidential election.

Europe has finally realized that high taxes and high tariffs are a complete disaster. Obama wants to try it out for himself.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indiana Reports $1.3 Billion Under Republican Gov. Daniels

Under Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana recently reported a $1.3 billion surplus, even though state revenue came in $1.2 billion below projections.

It just shows that a little spending restraint can be done without too much effort. Indiana just better hope that the legislature stays in the hands of Republicans or that money will be squandered before you they say Obama.

Obama Official: U.S. Should Pay or China's Carbon EmissionsF

In an amazing statement, Obama's Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said the following:

"It's important that those who consume the products being made all around the world to the benefit of America -- and it's our own consumption activity that's causing the emission of greenhouse gases, then quite frankly Americans need to pay for that."

Yup - if India and China pump out more emissions, America needs to pay for that. The dumbest, most radical Administration of all time.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pelosi Pays Off Dems Before Cap-and-Tax Bill

The night before the big cap-and-tax bill, which barely passed Congress, Pelosi gave out cash payoffs to select candidates' campaign coffers. Let's just say politely that this is slightly unethical. They should all be impeached - including Pelosi.

Friday, July 17, 2009

78% of Americans: Obama is LYING!

78% of Americans believe that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class to fund his new adventure in nationalizing the healthcare system. 56% strongly believe that he will raise taxes on the middle class.

Obama says he will not raise taxes, but as you can see from the numbers, it doesn't matter. No one believes the man. And can anyone blame them?

Obama: Stimulus Bill Wasn't Supposed to Stimulate

As HotAir explains, the new White House spin is that the $787 billion "stimulus" bill was never intended to stimulate the economy, but simply to prevent it from getting less worse. Of course, this is what Obama said as the bill was being considered:

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.

I always assumed the term "boost" implied something positive. Of course, the Democratic apparatchik necessarily has to use data points that can't be measured (ie. "saved or created" jobs) if it wants any chance of persuading the American public that they're not a bunch of idiots who don't understand the economy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CBO: "On an Unstustainable Path"

The CBO tells us what everyone (except for Obama and Pelosi) know: the U.S. is on an unsustainable path, ie. bankruptcy - if Obama continues down this ridiculous path.

Why did Bush ultimately sink in popularity? Too much spending. Obama's penchant for spending is Bush x 100.

Quote of the Day

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase talks about his TARP experience:

Dimon said he sent a letter to Paulson following JPMorgan’s recent payback of the $25 billion, saying, “We hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did,” Dimon told Rotary members.

“I got a very angry complaint from the White House after that,” he said, to laughter.

Better watch your back, Jamie.

Government Officials Still Enjoy Their Junkets

After the government excoriated private companies for holding conferences at posh resorts, approximately 700 Social Security Administration employees spent a nice 3-day weekend at a lavish Arizona resort at a cost to taxpayers of $700,000.

"We received threats against our employees by people who are in the American public," said SSA Regional Commissioner for San Francisco Peter Spencer in defense of the conference. He said "there is a tremendous amount of stress involved in the job that we do."

Uh huh - as opposed to their view of private sector workers, of course.

Chavez: Obama "Biting Off More Than He Can Chew"

Spoken plainly from one Leftist to another.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hoyer: The Tax Increases Don't Hit Small Businesses

In a display of economic ignorance that should not be tolerable to the number two Democrat in the house, Steny Hoyer said that because most small business owners don't pay themselves $280,000 per year, they won't be affected?

Hello?!?!? Someone please explain this these people that Subchapter S corporations are taxed at ordinary income tax rates - we're talking revenue - not profit.

Single Payer Government Health Plans Already Exist

Most Americans are familiar with Medicare, Medicaid and the VA - all notorious for lousy health care services. But many are not familiar with the Indian Health Service, another government run, single payer system designed for Native Americans. Guess what? Service and rationing is absolutely awful. From Hot Air.

Of course, this is all going to change. For the first time in history, the government will be able to run an efficient, cost saving and service improving program beginning now. Trust Obama.

Obama Booed Loudly at All-Star Game

Judging by the fans reaction to Obama at the All-Star game last night, I feel comfortable in saying 60% of Americans already despise the guy. He was booed very loudly when he was announced onto the field.

And he throws like my daughter...or almost as well as her...

Obama and Dems: Much Higher Taxes for Healthcare

More tax increases are being planned. The surtax plan to charge higher-income Americans to pay for Obama's pork-laden healthcare plan is even higher than most could have imagined. A whopping 5.4% on top rates.

Obama wasn't kidding when he said to Joe the Plumber: "We need to spread it around."

And if anyone thinks this will be then end of tax increases under Obama they are sadly mistaken. I think we're going up to 70% at least, that's if Obama gets his way.

The only good thing about all of this is that Obama is a sure-fire, guaranteed one-term president.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Diversity at Oregon

Dan Lawton, a journalism student at the University of Oregon, studied the school's goal of academic diversity. Of the 111 professors in the departments he analyzed that were registered voters, there were 2 Republicans. Read his summary here.

The 70% Tax Rate Cometh

The WSJ points out that the Obama tax increases will likely be well higher than those under even Bill Clinton.

Here's the ugly income-tax math. First, Mr. Obama has promised to let the lower Bush tax rates expire after 2010. This would raise the top personal income tax rate to 39.6% from 35%, and the next rate to 36% from 33%. The Bush expiration would also phase out various tax deductions and exemptions, bringing the top marginal rate to as high as 41%.

Then add the Rangel Surtax of one percentage point, starting at $280,000 ($350,000 for couples), plus another percentage point at $400,000 ($500,000 for couples), rising to three points on more than $800,000 ($1 million) in 2011. But wait, there's more. The surcharge could rise by two more percentage points in 2013 if health-care costs are larger than advertised -- which is a near-certainty.

States have also been raising their income tax rates, so in California and New York City the top rate would be around 58%. The Tax Foundation reports that at least half of all states would have combined state-federal tax rates of more than 50%.

These rates, of course, exclude the Medicare and Social Security payroll tax, another 7.6% from the individual, making the total rates in the 65% range (and that excludes the employer contribution paid on an employee's behalf, which effectively puts the rate in the 73% range). Perhaps Americans will pay attention the next time Democrats campaign on a policy of cutting taxes...

Congress Actually Authorized CIA Program to Kill Al Qaeda

In the "why in the world is this news" column, it appears once again that Democrats have lied about the secret CIA program to kill Al Qaeda members.

Congress originally authorized the CIA to develop the secret counterterrorism program that is now drawing fierce criticism from House Democrats who say they were kept in the dark all along, a former senior intelligence official told FOX News on Monday.

he program, which sources told FOX News was a plan to capture or kill Al Qaeda operatives, also never came close to being operational, the intelligence official said.

"This was not a program. It never began," the former official said. "The authority was given by Congress to develop this idea. ... There was no need to brief it. It wasn't a reality."

This is one of the most absurd "controversies" we have seen - of course, it's really just to provide cover for Pelosi, who is trying to cover herself for her lies about the CIA. You would think they could come up with something better than this...

Monday, July 13, 2009

NY Democrats Get Retroactive Pay Raises

Maybe this is what NY Democrats call stimulus.

Eleven of the state Senate's highest-paid staffers received raises of up to $32,000 when it appeared likely Democrats would lose control of the chamber during the five-week leadership fight.

The combined increases will cost taxpayers $200,000 annually.

Pretty bold - especially making the raises retroactive to January 1, thus giving them a giant lump sum check today.

The CIA "Secret Plan"

According to the WSJ, the CIA had a secret plan to kill or capture certain Al Qaeda leaders. When Leon Panetta found out about it, he canceled the program immediately.

Hmm...what am I missing here? Was this plan really the big CIA controversy?

Obama Rewrites the Cold War

Liz Cheney, writing in the WSJ, explains that Obama prefers revising real history to suit his own notions of American un-exceptionalism. First, Obama on the Cold War ending:

"Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful."

And of course, this is a repeat of what has become Obama's favorite pastime - ripping the U.S.:

In Cairo, he asserted there was some sort of equivalence between American support for the 1953 coup in Iran and the evil that the Iranian mullahs have done in the world since 1979. On an earlier trip to Mexico City, the president listened to an extended anti-American screed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and then let the lies stand by responding only with, "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for the things that occurred when I was 3 months old."

Asked at a NATO meeting in France in April whether he believed in American exceptionalism, the president said, "I believe in American Exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." In other words, not so much.

One of these days, Americans are going to get tired of a President preaching that the U.S. is no better than any other place in the world...or maybe that's his goal.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Obama's War Against the Producers

Victor Davis Hansen lays out what more and more Americans are finding out every day - Obama is engaged in a serious war against the producers in the U.S. in the name of "fairness" for his chosen people:

And the results of the Obama war against them [the Producer class] are threefold: 1) in major key states, the productive minority’s state income taxes will near or exceed 10%; their federal rates will go to 40%; the abolition of caps on FICA will ensure 15% plus of most of their income will go for new Medicare and Social Security bites; and they may well be eligible for a newly proposed punitive health-care surcharge tax of 4-6%.

If one were to add all that up (forget rises in sales taxes, inheritance taxes, luxury taxes, etc.), then one can get to 70% of one’s income.

Yup - 70% marginal rates in Obama's utopia...because they worked so well under Jimmy Carter.

Liberals Coming Around on Flat Tax?

Some liberals are actually slowly changing their minds about the flat tax - or at least realizing that you can't have 1% of your tax base provide 50% of your revenues forever. From the WSJ via Wizbang: many Democrats, including the [California} speaker, are realizing that what they need is a tax base that will provide steady funding for their programs. In other words, they need a tax base that doesn't count on a large slice of revenue from taxes on a relatively small number of wealthy residents who can flee the state or who are themselves vulnerable to losing a substantial portion of income in a recession.

Bloomberg believes the same is true in NYC:

"One percent of the households that file in this city pay something like 50 percent of the taxes. In the city, that's something like 40,000 people. If a handful left, any raise [tax increase] would make it revenue neutral," the billionaire mayor said on his weekly radio show. "The question is what's fair. If 1 percent are paying 50 percent of the taxes, you want to make it even more?

The problem is that I'm not convinced the top 1% will pay much less. I think that less wealthy people will pay a lot more. And at the federal level, forget about it - Obama and Pelosi are so clueless about what drives economic growth that I'm convinced no single tax cut will ever be passed for any class of people (although further "rebates," ie. welfare transfer/redistribution payments for non-taxpayers is definitely possible).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

African Correspondent's Last CNN Appearance

Something tells me CNN African correspondent Nkepile Mabuse won't be asked back on the air anytime soon. This was the dialogue between her and CNN Anchor Don Lemon - from Newsbusters:

DON LEMON, ANCHOR CNN NEWSROOM: Nkepile, I was watching you yesterday on the "Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer when President Obama was arriving, and they were doing the dancing, and all of the people who were running up to him. For a western leader, I know when presidents come over there, they are usually warmly received. But for a western leader, have you ever seen anything like this? Is this unprecedented?

NKEPILE MABUSE, CORRESPONDENT: It's not unprecedented. When President Bush was here, you will remember, in February, there were people who were drumming, there were dances, and President Bush joined some of them. So, it's not unprecedented. This is a truly African welcome that is given to anybody whether they are from Africa or anywhere else in the world, Don.

LEMON: So, they welcome everyone. It doesn't matter. That's just part of how the people do it, right?

MABUSE: Indeed, Don.

Great insights Don.

Stock Market Analysis: Bush vs. Obama Stimulus Plans

Now that 6 months have passed since Obama's "stimulus plan" has passed, I thought it useful to examine the stock market reaction to Obama's plan and compare it to the reaction of President Bush's 2003 stimulus plan.

Bush's plan passed in April 2003 while Obama's passed in February 2009. I chose the S&P 500 Index starting point one month prior to passage because the market typically discounts the information beforehand as the bills work their way through Congress. I chose 6 months-post passage as the ending point because that's all the data we have for Obama's plan so far.

Bush: From March 2003 to October 2003, the S&P 500 went from 835 to 1034 or +23.8%.

Obama: From January 2009 through July 2009, the S&P went from 932 to 879 or -5.2%.

By way of comparison, I also reviewed the market returns a full year prior to these time periods and the results show a very similar situation.

The S&P 500 return under Bush 1-year prior was -26.2%, hurt by the internet bubble collapse, 9/11 and corporate scandals. Trillions of dollars in lost wealth.

The S&P 500 return under Obama 1-year prior was -35.9%, hurt by the housing bubble collapse. Also trillions of dollars in lost wealth.

Both presidents had very similar economic challenges, but the difference in market confidence inspired by the two stimulus plans couldn't be more stark. The market discounted that Bush's plans would return the economy to strong growth, while the market is discounting that Obama's plans will do nothing or even harm the economy's growth. I challenge people to offer an explanation other than what the market has already told us. It's time for Democrats to abandon their tax-and-spend approach and return to a plan that actually rebuilds individual wealth and business confidence.

Of course, Obama has a different view than the market - he says his plan is working great.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Geithner: Obama "Stimulus" Plan on Right Path

Incredibly, Tim Geithner told Congress that Obama's stimulus plan was working as expected and was "on the right path."

Oh really? He must have forgotten his own analysis from just four months ago, when he argued that unemployment would max out at 8.0% if the "stimulus" plan was passed. We're already at 9.5% and climbing. If this is success, I'd hate to see his idea of failure.

Estrada Proves Obama Wrong on Honduras

Miguel Estrada, a Honduran native who was appointed by President Bush to a judgeship and was summarily blocked by Democrats out of fear of a potential conservative Hispanic justice, writes about the canard that Obama has been pushing that Honduras just underwent a coup.

Something clearly has gone awry with the rule of law in Honduras -- but it is not necessarily what you think. Begin with Zelaya's arrest. The Supreme Court of Honduras, as it turns out, had ordered the military to arrest Zelaya two days earlier. A second order (issued on the same day) authorized the military to enter Zelaya's home to execute the arrest. These orders were issued at the urgent request of the country's attorney general. All the relevant legal documents can be accessed (in Spanish) on the Supreme Court's website.

Seems to me pretty clear-cut that Obama was doing nothing more than supporting his Marxist friends around the world.

Boston Has Coldest Summer in 100 Years

When I stepped outside this morning, it felt like an early spring or autumn morning - not the middle of summer. Sure enough, I found this article today.

Boston is experiencing its
coldest summer in 100 years.

It seems like we have been seeing these headlines for the past two years and yet some people are still trying to convince us of global warming and the imminent destruction of mankind if we don't spend $10 trillion to stop it. Meanwhile, the evidence keeps growing that the recent reduction in sunspot activity has created another natural cooling cycle, which typically lasts for between 25 and 50 years. It's time to stop this nonsense about global warming.

Justice Ginsburg Tells Truth on Abortion

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was surprisingly candid about her views on why Democrats have long favored abortion. From The New Ledger.

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.

The statistics clearly show that abortion disproportionately affects blacks and Hispanics. I'm not sure how anyone can interpret her statement to mean anything other than that she believes Democrats supported abortion because they thought this form of ethnic cleansing would be beneficial to society. Definitely an interesting and candid perspective.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rasmussen: -8

I don't like to track daily polls often because there is inherently a lot of variance, but Rasmussen's Obama approval drop is stunning and now stands at -8.

As Tigerhawk points out, the government's desire to take over 35% of the nation's GDP probably wont' help either.

EPA: Cap and Tax Bill Won't Change Climate

The EPA admits that the Democrat Cap-and-Tax Bill will do absolutely nothing to improve the climate. Hmmm - a $5-10 trillion bill that supposedly will save the planet, but the EPA says it won't do a darn thing.... Another brilliant idea from the Washington politburo.

Michelle Obama's $6,000 Purse

Michelle Obama is lucky her name isn't Sarah Palin or she would be massacred by the media for her profligate spending on a $6,000 alligator purse. (Maybe the taxpayers gave it to her as a gift?) I'm surprised we haven't heard any outrage from the PETA folks either.

The White House denies it; says that she only paid $875 for it. Then a VBH company rep said that it was definitely the $6,000 version. Maybe Michelle did only pay $875 as a "Friend of VBH" special, just like Chris Dodd did with his Countrywide loan.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Malia Obama: Just Like Her Hippy Parents

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. And Malia Obama's t-shirt says everything we need to know about the family: a hippy generation, peacenik, hate-America first family who goes around the world apologizing to dictators for our nation's inherent evil.

American Public Getting to Know the Real Obama

....and his approval numbers are tanking as they do. According to Rasmussen, Obama has gone from a +35 rating to a -5 rating in just 6 short months.

Just wait another year when the economy still hasn't recovered, every American is paying much higher tax rates, unemployment is around 11% and our deficits are at $2 trillion+.

Obama: U.S. Did Not Win Cold War

Obama, ever the revisionist, American bashing president, claims that the Cold War was not won by any individual country, but by the whole world (including the Soviet Union) and by both Democrat and Republican presidents.

The only thing missing here is to give more credit to himself. American exceptionalism? There is no such thing in his mind.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Obama Approval Rating Hits Another All-Time Low

Wow - he hasn't been president for 6 months yet, but his approval ratings are plummeting. Rasmussen has his total approval rating at +5 (from +35 in January). And his strong approval/strong disapproval rating is now at -3 (from +30 in January). Just for kicks: how many percentage points in the polls would a -30% in approval ratings indicate? I think it depends on the candidate, but even if a McCain were running against Obama today, my guess is he'd pick up at least 3%. This would put Obama in deep doo-doo.

The mainstream media continues to talk about Sanford and Palin. Fair enough. But I think the fact that Obama continues to lose in the face of negative GOP news has got to be troubling for Obama supporters.

Cadillac Health Coverage For NH State Employees

Sometimes it pays to be a state government employee - one example is New Hampshire's health care coverage for state employees - from gym memberships to nutritional counseling.

Pregnant women pay nothing for prenatal care; alcoholics aren’t billed for short stints in rehab. Seeing a therapist costs just $10, as many as 20 visits a year, and prescription drugs top out at $30 for a three-month mail-order supply. New Hampshire state employees get $450 annually toward gym memberships, if they go regularly, or $200 toward their own treadmill - and there’s a $150 annual reimbursement for yoga classes, diabetes clinics, and nutritional counseling.

If I were a NH taxpayer footing the bill, I would be a bit upset that state employees get better treatment than the taxpayers. And no doubt they would be exempt from Obama's plan to tax private employer health care benefits as well.

Obama: "A Great Power Does Not Show Strength By Dominating"

Obama is up to his usual America bashing in Moscow today. From Gateway Pundit:

Obama told Russian students today that, "A great power does not show strength by dominating or demonizing other countries."

Except of course if that country is Honduras or Israel - In that case it is OK to meddle and treat them like chess pieces.

I'm pretty sure that rogue nations like Libya, which gave up its nuclear program after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, would disagree. The second coming of Jimmy Carter is even more naive - and more destructive - than the first...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

TARP II: Obama's Theft of Retruned Money

Now that TARP recipients are returning the funds to the Treasury and Obama is touting the "profitable" program (it's not hard to be profitable when you force companies to borrow money and then return it with interest), the real theft is about to begin.

Now, Democrats want to take those proceeds and instantly transfer them to their pet welfare programs, to be redistributed to their chosen classes of people instead of to the taxpayers.

TARP was controversial because it cost so much money, but for the most part, everyone knew that the government would get the funds returned over the next couple of years. Now's it going to be stolen forever - courtesy of Obama, Pelosi, Frank and the other Democrats.

Obama Kills Another 467,000 Jobs

Obama continues to destroy jobs - last month Obama killed another 467,000 jobs in the private sector, bringing the unemployment rate to a new 26-year high of 9.5%. Perhaps he should revise that chart that he used to sell his "stimulus" plan that showed unemployment only reaching 8%. I suppose that's what happens when a man who never worked in the private sector tries to forecast economic growth...

And assuming the ObamaCarbon Tax and ObamaCare bills pass, it wouldn't be surprising to see unemployment hit 12%. While big businesses can handle health care premiums, a lot of mom and pop businesses will likely fail, as RedState points out.

BP: Back to Petroleum

BP has finally put to rest its decade long marketing campaign that tried to convince itself it was a company focused on its alternative energy future. The company recently shuttered its alternative energy HQ in Britain and is canceling its marketing campaign. Apparently they're going back to focusing on petroleum until the viability of alternative energy actually makes business sense.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Polar Bear Expert Barred From Global Climate Conference

Mitchell Taylor, an expert observer of polar bears for over 30 years, is not allowed to attend the U.N.'s global conference on climate change because his views "are not helpful" to their cause that man-made climate change is killing the polar bear population. From the UK Telegraph.

Bravo to New Honduran Leader

New Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti deserves praise. In protection of his nation's democracy, he said that only an armed invasion will bring the return of Marxist wannabe dictator Zelaya.

Everyone knows that Obama has no stomach for conflict, so it looks like the legislature, Supreme Court and the rule of law will prevail in Honduras.

Obama is still insisting Honduras return their would-be Marxist dictator to power, over the protests of Honduras' legislature and Supreme Court. I guess you have to help out your friends in their time of need.

This Won't Help the Housing Market

The Democrat Carbon Tax Bill has a provision that forces any home seller to get approval from a new government politbureau to comply with soon-to-be-named "green standards" that are acceptable to Obama. That's right - any home that is going to be sold will have to be retrofitted to be "green" - those standards haven't been named, but they can include anything from energy efficient appliances, lightbulbs, windows, insulation, roofing, solar panels, to envionmentally-friendly carpet, wood, or any other fashion of the day.

I'm sure that's going to do wonders for the struggling home market...

Franken Steals It for Dems

The WSJ sums up the election fraud-turned-circus in the Minnesota Senate race, where Al Franken and his team of Democrat lawyers, successfully changed the rules after Election Day to come up with enough "provisional votes" to steal the Senate seat.

Mr. Franken trailed Mr. Coleman by 725 votes after the initial count on election night, and 215 after the first canvass. The Democrat's strategy from the start was to manipulate the recount in a way that would discover votes that could add to his total. The Franken legal team swarmed the recount, aggressively demanding that votes that had been disqualified be added to his count, while others be denied for Mr. Coleman.

But the team's real goldmine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman's lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.

...Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don't end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.

The Democrats tried to do this in the 2000 Presidential Election and would have been successful if it weren't for a strong-spined Republican in Bush. They succeeded in overturning a vote in the Washington Governor race of 2004. This makes it 2 out of 3 - I think they found a new recipe that works well. Now the Dems have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They own the economy, health care, the job market, national security, taxes and everything else. Better hold onto your wallets...