Site for Free Markets and Free People

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skeptical of Obama's Plan to Expand Drilling

The headlines are that Obama plans to expand drilling off of the Mid-Atlantic coast and in selective parts of Alaska. Dig deeper into the story, however, and it at least appears that a lot of his plan is nothing more than a mirage that will punt the real decision years into the future.

The first lease sale off the coast of Virginia could occur as early as next year in a triangular tract 50 miles off the coast that had already been approved for development but was held up by a court challenge and additional Interior Department review, officials said.

But as a result of the Obama decision, the Interior Department will spend several years conducting geologic and environmental studies along the rest of the southern and central Atlantic Seaboard. If a tract is deemed suitable for development, it is listed for sale in a competitive bidding system. The next lease sales — if any are authorized by the Interior Department — would not be held before 2012.

...In many of the newly opened areas, drilling would begin only after the completion of geologic studies, environmental impact statements, court challenges and public lease sales.

I guess this is better than nothing, but don't expect that this is anything more than a fig leaf thrown out to pass his massive trillion dollar cap-and-tax program.

White House: Obamacare Writedowns Are CEO Conspiracy

Only in the minds of Democrats is it a conspiracy to abide by SEC and GAAP requirements even in the event that Obamacare shows the disastrous impact on company financial statements. From the WSJ:

A White House staffer told the American Spectator that "These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general. Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative Web sites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It's BS." (We called the White House for elaboration but got no response.)

In other words, CEOs who must abide by U.S. accounting laws under pain of SEC sanction, and who warned about such writedowns for months, are merely trying to ruin President Obama's moment of glory. Sure.

Presumably the White House is familiar with the Financial Standard Accounting Board's 1990 statement No. 106, which requires businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of their expected future retiree health liabilities. AT&T, Deere & Co., AK Steel, Prudential and Caterpillar, among others, are simply reporting the corporate costs of the Democratic decision to raise taxes on retiree drug benefits to finance ObamaCare.

Yes, these bozos in the White House now direct trillions of dollars in the economy and they are completely clueless about accounting or business in general.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Joe Biden: Redistribution of Wealth = "Being Fair"

Joe Biden says that redistribution of wealth is simply "being fair."

Sort of what Pol Pot and Stalin said when they redistributed wealth.

Obama Supporters Shut Down Rove Book Signing

Crushing dissent, just like good Stalinists - it's the way Obama taught 'em.

Another Brick Through GOP Office Window

Another day, another Left-winger who vandalized a GOP office with a brick through the windoe, this time in Michigan.

Hmm...seems like a Left-wing extremist militia group to me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Right-wing Militia" Group Arrested

The Justice Department arrested several Americans alleged to be part of a "right-wing militia" group. I use the quotes because I am quite skeptical of the government's charges and more skeptical of the timing.

To begin with, I'm not sure when the Far Left began condemning acts of terrorism against the U.S., but it is nice to see if that's what this really was (maybe Obama will even condemn Bill Ayers' past actions of bombing the Pentagon some day.)

Call me a skeptic, but now that Dems have crammed through an illegitimate Obamacare law and have rightly outraged regular citizens (but not to the point of violence), Democrats have gone out of their way to paint all opponents of Obamacare as right-wing radicals. (Remember the non-existing racial slurs and the non-existent spitting on Democrats?)

Secondly, how about the attacks by Obama supporters against Republican offices in the past week, including a death threat against Eric Cantor? Those don't fit the Leftist narrative, so those stories are buried.

But watch Democrats now make the association of this militia group to all opponents of Obamacare - and a lapdog media happy to tell the story. It's called crushing dissent and that's what we have in Democrats these days.

IT Problems Put Census Accuracy At Risk

Once again, the federal government's inability to get its act together with regards to IT systems have put the census' accuracy at risk.

Oh, but don't worry - Obamacare, which will be 100x as large and cumbersome will be just fine. Trust us.

Obama Should Talk to Ernie Els About Healthcare

Golfer Ernie Els has moved from the UK to Florida because he wanted to take advantage of the healthcare and educational opportunities for his son Ben, who has autism.

Of course we wish the very best for Ernie's son and his family, and it's great that Ernie has found a place where his son can be treated with excellent care.

Maybe Obama should investigate why many people with difficult illnesses move to the US every year, why many of these people are moving from places where nationalized healthcare exists. I haven't heard of many who move from the US to the UK though.

Dem Sen. Nelson Aide: People Just Don't Understand Obamacare Yet

FL Dem Bill Nelson's popularity has nosedived with Obama, particularly since Obamacare passed. According to his aide Dan McLaughlin, people just don't understand Obamacare yet.

The only good news for Nelson is that he isn't up for re-election until 2012 so he has a job for two more years.

More Democrat Vandals in VA

While Obama is having the FBI arrest "right wing militia"members in the Midwest, more Democrats are vandalizing GOP offices in Virginia, this time throwing bricks through windows at its headquarters.

I'm guessing this is just freedom of speech or something. After all, they're just "getting in opponents' faces" like Obama asked them to do last year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Massive Corporate Writedowns Over Obamacare

Billions in corporate writedowns coming, thanks to Obamacare, but Democrats want to intimidate companies into ignoring GAAP rules:

Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment "appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs."

...Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment "appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs."

Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don't like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.

On top of AT&T's $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks.

Come on - like Democrats care if Obamacare hurts companies or their shareholders. If you own stock, they hate you anyway - you probably got it by stealing from ACORN, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

"Rebuilding Relationships Abroad?"

Not in the UK, where MPs have finally realized that Obama has no desire to continue the special relationship.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Democrats Threaten Violence

Harry Reid supporters are explicitly calling for violence against tea party supporters.

Hey, all they're doing is following Obama's instructions from last year when he told people to get in opponents' faces. So perhaps O should be arrested for inciting violence.

Obama Appoints Union Radical to NLRB

There was a lot of worry that Obama would bypass the Senate and appoint union radical Craig Becker to head the NLRB. Today Obama made it official. Great for unions - not good for job growth.

Viva la revolucion.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama Appoints Leftist NYTimes Lawyer to General Counsel of the Army

Obama appointed Solomon B. Watson, former counsel for the NY Times, to be general counsel of the Army. The Weekly Standard reminds us:

Near the end of Mr. Watson’s tenure, the paper published a series of stories compromising two highly classified counterterrorism programs. One, in December 2005, offered crucial details of the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, designed to track al Qaeda communications into and out of the United States. Another, in June 2006, disclosed a secret program designed to track the movement of terrorist funds through the Belgian financial clearinghouse known as SWIFT. Top officials in the government, and leading Republicans and Democrats in Congress, bemoaned the serious damage to national security that the paper had inflicted.

During hearings, Watson dodged and ducked questions about his role in the affair, ultimately giving five different excuses.

What can one conclude from all this? If artful dodging of responsibility is a prerequisite for the slot, Mr. Watson will be one of the greatest Army general counsels of all time.

John Edwards' "Two Americas" Alive and Well

John Edwards was right. As the WSJ points out, there really are two Americas - one for private workers, the other for government workers - and the disparity between pay is quite large and growing larger.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers. In the recession year of 2009, with almost no inflation and record budget deficits, more than half the states awarded pay raises to their employees.

...In 2008 almost half of all state and local government expenditures, or an estimated $1.1 trillion, went toward the pay and benefits of public workers. According to the BLS, in 2009 the average state or local public employee received $39.66 in total compensation per hour versus $27.42 for private workers. This means that for every $1 in pay and benefits a private employee earned, a state or local government worker received $1.45.

Something tells me that the reason private employees only make 65% of what a government worker earns is NOT due to job performance.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baucus: Obamacare Addresses "Mal-Distribution of Income"

The truth continues to come out. Dem Sen. Max Baucus says that Obamacare addresses the "mal-distribution of income" in the U.S.

Castro Endorses Obamacare!!

Hooray - The U.S. medical system is going to be on par with Cuba's and Castro loves it. Michael Moore will be pleased.

Petraeus: The Media Got it Way Wrong

I should have known better than to even pay attention to the media reports that suggested Petraeus had blamed Israel for the recent Mideast flare-up and that he had requested to place the area under his command. Of course, Leftists jumped all over it as being in agreement with them, but now they're probably back to calling him "Betray Us." Petraeus says it's all bogus.

Social Security in the Red: 6 Years Ahead of Schedule

In case you really believe what the CBO tells you as gospel. Social Security is officially going to pay out more than it takes in this year - 6 years ahead of expectations.

Obama Threatens Netanyahu To Stop Building in Jerusalem

Obama has told Netanyahu that building any new construction in Jerusalem is strictly off limits and demanded other concessions from Israel to Palestinians.

Wasn't there once a time when Obama said that he would "repair" the U.S. image abroad? Apart from caving to Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, I can't think of a single instance.

US Bond Rates Higher than Several Corporates

Michael Barone has it correct when he says that the U.S. government has officially lost its "safe haven" status, as the bond yields for several companies including Berkshire Hathaway and Proctor & Gamble, is now lower than U.S. government treasuries.

Don't forget this important fact either - forget about the CBO scoring a completely unrealistic Obamacare bill. When bond rates yield, the mammoth deficits are only going to escalate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rep. Dingell: Obama Will "Control the People"

Dem Rep. Dingell says that Obamacare has taken a long time because, frankly, it takes a long time to pass legislation "to control the people."

Hey, he's honest.

Canadian Leftists Shut Down Coulter Speech

Canadian liberals despise free speech so much that they threatened her life and pulled the fire alarm so that Ann Coulter could not give a speech at a university there. It's pretty easy to see who the real fascists are.

Congress to Ban Happy Meal Toys?

Shocker. Some Democrat lawmakers want to micromanage those toys that come with fast food restaurants, such as happy meals.

Now with Obamacare, government bureaucrats can tell you what you can and can't eat, what you can and can't do, how much tv you watch, and anything else that has the remotest impact on health (ie. everything). Welcome to Obamacare - the government owns your life now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Polls: Americans Say Obamacare Has Nothing to Do with Healthcare

Big shocker. Americans realize by a large margin that Obamacare is all about politics and Obama's remaking of the country - and has very little to do with health care.

Sad, but this is the way Hitler and Chavez began increasing their power too. (Yes, they were both elected as well; they simply began shredding the law, as the Democrats just did.)

Democrat Congress Leaders Ratings Lowest in History of U.S.

Congratulations to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for achieving the lowest approval ratings of majority leaders of Congress in the history of the United States.

Harry Reid's favorability sits at a meager 8% while Pelosi pulls in a whopping 11% approval. Great job guys.

Jack Welch: Obamacare "is a Sham"

Former GE CEO Jack Welch spoke the truth on CNBC this morning about Obamacare: it is a total sham.

Too bad his successor Jeff Immelt is a radical Left-wing supporter of it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fraud: Stupak Parties at Bar After Allowing Abortion Funding

Bart Stupak kept his facade alive for quite a while. But the truth came out after he was seen partying at a DC bar with other Dems after he endorsed the federal funding of abortion language in the Senate bill (oh yeah, that will be countered by an executive order...that must be why Planned Parenthood praised him)...

Secret: Stupak Never Considered Voting No

In Stupak's own words, he was always going to vote Yes for Obamacare even if it had abortion language in it, which it does. This was all just political theater.

“If everything I want [is] in the final bill, I like everything in the bill except you have public funding for abortion, and we had a chance to run our amendment and we lost. OK, I voted my conscience, stayed true to my principles, stayed true to the beliefs of this district, could I vote for healthcare? Yes I still could.”

My Final Say on Insurance in General

...ok, maybe not my final say, but...

Since Americans no longer can be turned down for insurance, even if they develop cancer or another serious illness, what about car insurance, life insurance and homeowners insurance?

It just doesn't seem fair that these "big insurance" companies could deny me my rights even under catastrophic scenarios (like if I see my house on fire, I should be able to call and get immediate coverage). It only makes sense.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Stupak Bribe

These earmarks for Bart Stupak were just a coincidence...

House Passes the "Screw You, America" Bill

Obamacare passes the House, albeit illegitimately. But as Powerline points out, there is still some hope out there. Once taxes get jacked next year, it's hard to take any solace.

Regardless, Americans all know that even shredding the Constitution is not off limits to Democrats. Everyone who signed this bill should be impeached.

Figures. Dems Lie About Protestors Using Epithets

A few Democrats yesterday said that the Obamacare protestors used racial and other epithets, but video evidence proves that they were lying. It still didn't stop the media from advancing the lie however.

If a president lies with virtually every word he speaks, we shouldn't be surprised by a few additional lies from a few Dem congressmen.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Obama: New All-time Lows

Obama continues to reach new record lows according to Rasmussen. Hmmm....wonder if it has anything to do with trying to nationalize another 1/6 of the U.S. economy overnight?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dems Say "No Details"

Dems are warning each other not to go into details about the CBO scoring on Obamacare. the fact that it takes 10 years of tax revenue but only 6 years of expenses? They know everything is a complete sham...

Canada is Better Than U.S. At Mortgages

Alex Pollock has an interesting article in the WSJ between the mortgage market of the U.S. and Canada. Despite the implicit guarantee of mortgages (by U.S. taxpayers) with Fannie and Freddie, the ownership rates in the two countries are virtually identical. The major difference is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which created a disaster in the U.S.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obama's Third World America

It's hard to believe, but Obama is not ruling out making laws by diktat, similar to the way third world dictatorships are run. He will not rule out the Slaughter rule, which is completely unconstitutional and allows Congress to pass bills without voting on them - for Obamacare, immigration, or anything else he wants.

Stern: "The Dems Are Communists"

You gotta love it when Howard Stern, a left-leaning radio personality with no love for Republicans, says the the "Dems are communists" and he will never vote for another.


U.S. to Defend Palestinans Against Israel?

It appears that the Obama administration is considering transferring Israel and Palestine to Centcom, which according to Debka, has the following effect:

Debkafile's military sources explain that, if approved, this step would be tantamount to providing the Palestinians with an American military umbrella against Israel.

Does that mean that we would also side with the Palestinian's de facto protectors, ie. Hamas and Hizbollah? With Obama in charge, I suppose anything is possible.

$923 B of $940B in Obamacare Costs Over Decade Come in Last 6 Years

Dems are touting the fact that, after they fed a bunch of bogus assumptions to the CBO, the CBO then reported that Obamacare will cost $940 billion over the next ten years. Unfortunately $923 billion of that amount come in the last 6 years since benefits don't kick in for 4 years.

Oh, and that assumes that Congress really agrees to cut $500 billion in Medicare spending, among other ridiculous assumptions.

Walgreens Won't Take New Medicaid Patients

It has become a money-losing proposition for Walgreens to accept Medicaid patients, so they decided they will not take any more. It's hard to blame them when they know the U.S. government won't be increasing reimbursement rates any time soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama: I Don't Spend A Lot of Time Worrying About Rules

....said like the thuggish Chicago president that he is, Obama is clear about his views on the constitution in regards to lawmaking.

46% of Doctors Would Consider Quittting if Obamacare Passes

A stunning 46% of U.S. doctors would consider quitting their profession if Obamacare passes.

So we add 20-30 million people to the healthcare rolls, give out all the care for free, and have half as many doctors. But it's going to improve healthcare....

Mass. State Treasurer: Obamacare to Bankrupt Country

Massachusetts state treasurer and former Democrat-turned-Independent, Tim Cahill said that Obamacare will bankrupt the country in four years.

Some of this is political posturing because he is running for governor, but he knows damn well just how popular his position is - and he is betting that it will get him into the State House.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama: My "Stimulus" Was Useless

...OK, so those weren't his exact words, but that is what Obama is saying when he tells us now that unemployment will not decrease at all this year.

This, after he said that it would stay below 8% if his $800,000,000,000.00 spending bill passed last year.

Netanyahu: We Will Build in All of Jerusalem

Israeli PM Netanyahu defies Obama:

“Over the past 40 years, no Israeli government has agreed to limit building in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said today in a speech to Parliament, ticking off five sections of the city that were captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and now house tens of thousands of Israelis.

I think the Israelis know what to expect from Obama in terms of help - nothing. And on top of that, Obama wants them to agree with allowing a nuclear Iran. Besides, the stopped building in the Gaza Strip several years ago and look what that's gotten them: a daily barrage of missiles.

Sowell: Obama Would Make Bernie Madoff Proud

Steal hundreds of billions from Medicare. Take 10 years of revenue and 6 years of expenses. Jack taxes by hundreds of billions more.

What we have is Obamacare - and how it magically becomes "deficit neutral." So says Thomas Sowell. Somewhere, Bernie Madoff must be smiling.

Monday, March 15, 2010

JPost: Obama an "Enemy of Israel"

From Carline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, via Gateway Pundit:

Anyone who paid the slightest attention to who Barack [short for Barakeh in Arabic] Obama is before he was elected knew full well that this man is an enemy of Israel. He was a member of an ardently anti-Semitic church for more than two decades. His friends ranged from virulently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish like Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, William Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, Samantha Power and Susan Rice — among others — to radically post-Zionist like Arnie Wolf, Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod not to mention Joe Biden.

Given his pedigree, no one should have been surprised that Obama has chosen to stir up a crisis in his relations with Israel.

Yet, I'm sure the Jewish population will continue to support Obama.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Obamacare to Pass Without Vote?

It's quite disturbing, but it appears the Democrats are preparing to pass Obamacare without a vote in the House. Unconstitutional? Yes. Thuggish? Yes. Cramdown? Yes.

If this really happens, I don't know what differentiates Democrats from fascist dictators anymore. And I really don't know why Americans would bother to be law abiding citizens anymore either.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whitewash: Obama DOJ Quickly Shut Down ACORN Investigation

It's quite telling where Obama's loyalties lie (and they're not to the Constitution or the rule of law) based on the ACORN fraud investigation that was almost immediately shut down after multiple counts of election fraud during the 2008 elections.

Chicago thuggery.

Dem Pollsters: Midterm Elections to Be a Disaster

Democrat pollsters are telling Democrats the obvious: if they continue with this Obamacare boondoggle, November's elections will be a complete disaster.

Interestingly, CNBC's Joe Kiernan read a few quotes from this article and the show's clueless liberal, Carl Quintanilla, got mad and defensive and began shouting at Joe, saying that Dems are doing this to lower premiums a decade from now and not for political purposes. Uggh - CNBC used to be a decent business network in the morning. But with clueless anchors like Quintanilla, one wonders whether they have any more a clue about the economy than Obama.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Change: U.S. Less Respected Under Obama

Not that this is a surprise, but according to a Carville poll, the world respects the U.S. less under Obama than it did when Bush was President.

CBO: Obama Underestimates Budget Deficits

The CBO says that even Obama's scary budget deficit projections are being underestimated by $1.2 trillion. Hmm.

School Civil Rights Chief: "We Are Back in Business"

Our post-racial president is again being singularly focused on one issue: race - this time in the classrooms. Apparently Obama is going to crack down on schools that don't give the same opportunity to both whites and blacks, however he decides to define that.

According to an advance text of the speech, Mr. Duncan is expected to say the department will focus on racial disparities in the availability and quality of high-school college-preparatory classes and on the differences in how students of different races are disciplined in public schools.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Friday, March 05, 2010

How Democrats Ballooned Teen Unemployment

It's hard to understate how damaging the Democrat agenda on minimum wages has been for teen unemployment. It would be nice if Congress could magically wave a wand and make everyone richer by raising wages. Unfortunately, the free market teaches us over and over again that there are terrible consequences when wages are artificially moved.

As the WSJ points out and shows in the graph, the minimum wage increase from $5.15 to 5.85 in 2007 had a minimal effect because overall unemployment was under 5% and the rate hadn't budged in nearly a decade. However, the subsequent increases to $6.55 and then $7.25 under the direction of the great economist Nancy Pelosi has been a disaster. Total teen employment has jumped by over 150% to a 25% rate, while black unemployment is nearly 50%.

This is a tragedy and it's unfortunate and nearly criminal that the people who make laws in this country have no comprehension of how the economy works.

Obama's Pro-Nuclear Facade

Like literally everything Obama says publicly, his pro-nuclear stance over the last two weeks is nothing but a big fat lie. The only reason he even got to claim that lie is that the single nuclear facility currently underway continues to move along - but it started during the George H.W. Bush administration. How else to explain the position that Obama's taking to terminate the Yucca mountain nuclear waste facility, without which, will be impossible for most states to even consider building new nuclear plants. From the WSJ:

Michael Morris, chief executive of American Electric Power Co., said on Thursday that "there has to be a reaction," because Yucca is the only site that's been vetted and deemed capable of storing waste from the nation's 104 operating power reactors. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference, he blasted the "idiocy of Yucca Mountain" being terminated as a repository and said the government will have wasted $10 billion on the project if it doesn't proceed.

The only thing Obama has said is, "there are better options," without of course, naming any other options.

Pentagon Shooter Another Anti-Bush Nutcase

Remember that warning from the Obama Dept of Homeland Security warning us about "right-wing militias?" Well, the shooter at the Pentagon was another anti-Bush lunatic. Seems like Napolitano needs to revise her report to warn us of Marxists and Obama-ites.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Obamacare and JudgeGate

In an incredible coincidence, the brother of an undecided Dem congressman was appointed by Obama to become a federal judge today.

Why beat around the bush? Why not just come out and tell every on-the-fence congressman that he'll pay him or his family members $1 million or more to vote for Obamacare? Who cares - it's not Obama's money anyway.

Obama: Screw You, Americans

That is the message from our Dear Leader today. You don't want Obamacare? Too bad - democracy doesn't exist here anymore.

Obama Land Grab: Wants Feds to Steal 10 Million Acres

Obama wants to control all the energy in this country by forced seizure of lands. From Sen. Jim DeMint's editorial in the Washington Times:

A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that's essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.

President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it.

Many have been complaining about Venezuela's Chavez' recent nationalizations, but frankly, there is no difference between Obama and Chanvez.

John Edwards to be Indicted

Party of crooks. Enough said.

Toyota's Problems Were Not Mechanical

According to Popular Mechanics, Toyota's "accelerator problems" were likely very fundamental: consumers accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

But the possibility that a vehicle could go from idling at a traffic light to terrific, uncalled-for and uncontrollable acceleration because the guy next to you at a traffic light answered his cellphone? Or some ghost in the machine or a hacker caused a software glitch that made your car run away and the brakes suddenly simultaneously fail? Not in the least bit likely. Toyota deserves a better deal than the media and Congress are giving it.

The expensive, multi-billion dollar recall is entirely a PR campaign by Toyota. What was the other alternative as Congress pounded away at the company? To tell the country that there are a few dozen consumers who screwed up and didn't realize that their own stupid errors caused their own crashes? They were basically in a no-win situation.

Obama's Definition of Health Insurance

Obama/Pelosi/Reid's complete and total abuse of power and willful destruction of the U.S. as we know it is based on Obama's view of what insurance is supposed to be. From Holman Jenkins of the WSJ:

Self-evidently idiotic, he [Obama] indicated at the summit, is the idea that health insurance might go back to being "the equivalent of Acme Insurance that I had for my car. . . . It's basically not health insurance. It's house insurance. . . .

"I'm buying that to protect me from some catastrophic situation; otherwise, I'm just paying out of pocket. I don't go to the doctor. I don't get preventive care. There are a whole bunch of things I just do without. But if I get hit by a truck, maybe I don't go bankrupt."

We won't unpack the assumptions in this rant: That the affluent, educated beneficiaries of this tax loophole aren't capable of spending wisely on their own health care.

And health care costs are somehow going to remain low with this view?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

GM Chief: It's Toyota's Fault

GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz sounds a lot like his ultimate boss (Obama) by blaming someone else for his problems. In this case, he says it is the fault of a Toyota supplier.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Fannie Mae's New Mandate: Lose As Much As Possible

Fannie Mae is one of the few companies in the history of the world where it is being mandated by Congress to lose as much money as possible, but that is precisely what Obama's plan is. From the WSJ:

Keep in mind that losing money is now Mr. Williams's job. Fannie and its sibling Freddie Mac became wards of the Treasury in 2008, after years of denying that they posed any financial risk to taxpayers. But rather than wind them down, or at least limit their losses, the Obama Administration has ordered them to modify hundreds of thousands of mortgages in an attempt to avoid foreclosures.

The companies are doing this with gusto, adding to the losses they have on the subprime and "liar loans" they piled up during the housing bubble they did so much to create. According to Fannie's 10K filing with the SEC, the company lost $26.4 billion in 2009 from participating in the Obama Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.

Taxpayers will still pay for this in the end, but Treasury would rather have the losses laundered through Fan and Fred than have Congress vote for new bailout money. So last Christmas Eve, Treasury announced that it was lifting the $400 billion loss cap on the two companies, creating a potentially unlimited liability. And late Friday, Fannie announced that it has asked Treasury for $15.3 billion more to cover its anticipated losses. For those keeping score, that's $76.2 billion so far in taxpayer commitments to Fannie, with much more to go.

...Oh, and we almost forgot: Last week, Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress that Treasury will wait until next year to propose a plan to reform the companies so this catastrophe doesn't happen again. Never mind that Treasury says it's essential to re-regulate the rest of the financial services industry right now, without delay.