From the point last year when Lord Obama became a mortal lock to be our next president through today the markets have lost about half of their value. Markets discount the future. Here's a taste of what they were telling us.
DeAngelo Mack smacks the 1st HR in Carolina Stadium
A respite from the insanity that is our ObamaNation is needed.
Saturday the boys of summer, um spring, er WINTER played the first game at their brand new ballpark. It was a sunny afternoon for baseball and one of those typical February days here where you could wear shorts if you weren't sitting in the shade. Of course, in the shade you wanted a blanket, but hey, it's FEBRUARY BASEBALL! It'll be 90 degrees out soon enough-- AKA April.
1st pitch in Carolina Stadium
USC won 13-0 over Duquesne. A few Duquesne fans at the new Carolina Stadium report that their school is in Pittsburgh, PA. We'll take their word for it-- why would anyone lie about something like that? They thought Carolina was in Chapel Hill, NC and that USC was in Californiaso we all learned something at the ol' ballpark. Despite the drubbing they got from the Gamecocks they vowed to show up for today's game as well as Monday's. Good sports, those Duquesne lads!
The SRO crowd was in excess of 8,000. Bobby Richardson, former USC coach and New York Yankees star threw out the first pitch and Darius Rucker sang the anthem.
Now isn't that better than thinking about Lord O for a few hours?
The State has the story and the pictures we used here.
“All you need to do is grant visas to two million Indians, Chinese, and Koreans. We will buy up all the subprime homes. We will work 18 hours a day to pay for them. We will immediately improve your savings rate — no Indian bank today has more than 2 percent nonperforming loans because not paying your mortgage is considered shameful here. And we will start new companies to create our own jobs and jobs for more Americans.”
-Shekhar Gupta, Editor The Indian Express
It's a lot cheaper than trillions of dollars worth of bailouts, welfare, and endless spending plans!
The gigantic Obama/Pelosi/Reid spending plan that they priced out at $800B but smarter folks say will cost us over $3Trillion would have died in the Senate if there weren't 60 votes for cloture. Reid and his gang had 59 votes-- 56 from the D caucus and 3 RINOS. Teddy the K had made an appearance earlier but wasn't available for the big vote. Sad Sack Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio was going to be MIA because his mother died and he was back in Ohio. So Harry was stuck at 59 votes. By now you know that Obama flew Brown back and forth between Youngstown and DC at great taxpayer expense to make sure his 60th vote was there. Holy carbon footprint, Barry!
One of those 60 votes was newly appointed Senator Burris from Illinois. (There's no evidence yet that he sought a payment from Obama for his vote.) But, now that the vote is done Burris is expendable. Former Mayor Harold Washington used to be fond of trotting out the old saw, "Politics ain't beanbag!" whenever the nasty side of The Chicago Machine was visible to the public. Burris was a pal of the late Mayor Washington. He's finding out these days that what The Machine giveth, The Machine can taketh away.
The indispensable Kass has the details. After just a month do you you think Americans are already getting tired of Chicago-style politics on the national stage?
Nobody here at Monkeydarts Plantation ever reads Newsday. If it disappeared tomorrow we wouldn't know the difference, although I guess that whiny Ray Barone guy would be out of a job. But, we did see an article today because the good fellas at Maggie's linked to it. It's about Hillary's replacement in the US Senate and the fact that she's a Dem who owns guns. This is of no concern to us but reading the article is a reminder of just how different we are from our fellow citizens in the Northeast. I mean, the idea of an elected official in our state owning firearms wouldn't even make the paper let alone the "debate" it unleashes amongst constituents.
The funniest part though is the poll in the article.
Do you feel comfortable with Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand owning rifles?
A) I have no problem with it
B) I don't care but how does her husband feel?
C) Why does she need guns?
D) It's insensitive to gun violence victims
Now that's fall down, hold your sides hilarious. "Feel comfortable"?!?!?
There is no good answer, of course. "A" presumes there's something wrong with owning firearms. "Feelings" rule answer "B" while "D" seems to say that defending yourself against thugs with guns is insensitive to those who have already been preyed upon because they were unable to defend themselves. Our fave is "C" though. We can hear it with the same whiney Long Island accent of the aforementioned Barone, "Why does sheee neeeeeeed gunnnnns?"
The correct answer is, E) Why only two rifles? Doesn't she at least have a weapon for her purse? Is she committed to 2nd Amendment rights?
-Stocks have plummeted more than 40% since Obama sewed up the Democratic nomination in June.
-Capital is on strike. And why wouldn’t it be? Private capital has no idea what future holds in terms of taxes, regulation, trade, deficits and the value of the dollar. None whatsoever.
This idea of borrowing trillions of dollars to pay for crazy spending schemes isn't exactly new. Well, the trillion part kinda is, but others have borrowed way beyond their means to have nice shiny things. It doesn't ever end well. HOPE and CHANGE aren't new, they're just the same old far left Shinola.
The Prowler reports that Lord Obama's handlers are worried about their guy's communication skills. He got to be president by ably reading the product of their wordsmithing off of a teleprompter but as president he sometimes is required to say something they didn't write for him. The big first press conference last week caused much cringing in Omamaland apparently since now they are thinking about building a Presidential podium with a flat panel built in so he can look down "at his notes" and get cues for what to say next. Hey, if you look real close you can see the strings hanging down from David Axelrod's hands as he hangs in the rigging above our young president.
Prowler's "Screening Obama" excerpt:
"It looked scripted beyond the scripted part, the speech," says one former communications adviser, who has been feeding notes and suggestions to the White House team and worked with them on the inauguration. "Every president has gone into one of these things knowing that there were some pre-arranged questions or journalists to be called on, but this one was pretty ham-handed."
To that end, he says, the White House is looking to install a small video or computer screen into the podium used by the president for press conferences and events in the White House. "It would make it easier for the comms (communications) guys to pass along information without being obvious about it," says the adviser. The screen would indicate whom to call on, seat placement for journalists, pass along notes or points to hit, and so forth, says the adviser.
Using a screen is nothing new for Obama; almost nothing he said in supposedly unscripted "townhall" events during the presidential campaign was unscripted, down to many of the questions and the answers to those questions. Teleprompter screens at the events scrolled not only his opening remarks, but also statistics and information he could use to answer questions.
"It would be the same idea with the podium," says the adviser. Obama had a teleprompter set up for his remarks last week, before taking questions, but the White House couldn't use the teleprompter for anything but the remarks, because the journalists were so close to the screens.
All of which prompts a few questions... will Chris Matthews still get leg tingles when he finds out it's Axelrod's mind that he finds so agile? Will the handmaiden press ever cover this story? Who will write a book about Axelrod called: "Obama's Brain" ? And, when they finally are able to write out everything the guy says will they throw in a few hundred verbal pauses: "um", "er", "uh", "ah", "ya know", "I mean" every ten minutes just to throw us off?
Last year on President's Day we posted our own small tribute to one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, Calvin Coolidge. The headline was Keep Cool in 2008. That was a total failure-- unless you're one of the folks who thought a sleek young man who had never accomplished anything except "acting" cool should be POTUS. There's "cool" and then there's pretend and we are 100% in the land of make-believe now.
So, let's try again:
On the masthead here at Monkeydarts we brandish a pithy quote from one of the two greatest Presidents of the United States in the 20th Century. It's been there since the beginning of our site many decades... er, weeks ago.
In honor of President's Day here are a few more wise words from Calvin Coolidge--
On persistence: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'press-on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
The party that will most likely be in control of the legislative and executive branches next year favors the largest tax increase in US history. Calvin was a supply-sider before people used the term. Coolidge understood the "Laffer Curve" before Art Laffer was on this earth. Along those lines: "The method of raising revenue ought not to impede the transaction of business; it ought to encourage it. I am opposed to extremely high rates, because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong... The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful."
As we see the ugly rise of anti-trade, hate-the-successful, nitwit populism in American politics once again, try this from the The Cool One: "Government cannot relieve from toil. The normal must take care of themselves. Self-government means self-support. Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing. History reveals no civilized people among whom there was not a highly educated class and large aggregations of wealth. Large profits mean large payrolls."
In this election year, a bit of wisdom about our political class: "The people who start to elect a man to get what he can for his district will probably find they have elected a man who will get what he can for himself."
Coolidge presided over an amazing period of peace and prosperity. When he chose not to run again his popularity was such that he clearly would have won in a landslide. Instead he said, "We draw our Presidents from the people. It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people. I came from them. I wish to be one of them again."
I can hope that a Coolidge or Reagan will stride upon the stage and save us from the socialist fascism we are now plunging head first into but I fear we don't deserve saving yet.
President Obama today repeated the claim... that Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., "said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off." Caterpillar announced 22,000 layoffs last month. But after the president left the event, Owens said the exact opposite. Asked if the stimulus package would be able to stop the 22,000 layoffs or not, Owens said, "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again" "It is going to take some time before that stimulus bill" means re-hiring, he said.
Personnel decisions have been a disaster. Policy has been turned over to San Fran Nan Pelosi and her 9% national approval rating. The one-two punch of the Obama presser and the Geithner speech sent markets into freefall. The one thing they still got right was what got him elected: theatrics.
But now they can't even get their photo-op PR junk right.
In September 2007 the Israelis took out a nearly completed nuclear reactor in Syria-- a plutonium factory on the Euphrates River built by the North Koreans. Syria is a state sponsor of world-wide terrorism. When Saddam was in power in Iraq Syria was his lifeline around sanctions. Syria has never had to answer how much of Iraq's WMD they took in during the period in early 2003 when the coalition massed for the long-telegraphed invasion of Iraq. In the dark days before we prevailed in Operation Iraqi Freedom the Syrian border served as a major transit point for terrorists determined to kill American and coalition forces. The Syrian dictator Assad is neck-high in blood.
So, how will Lord Obama deal with the murderous Assad regime?
The question comes a little late. Within the first two weeks of the Obama administration the Commerce Department agreed to trade deals with the terror regime. Claudia Rosett has the details, and tons of them, here. Yes, we are already holding out an olive branch to the thugs who want us and our allies dead.
Yesterday was an amazing day in the markets. The new Secretary of the Treasury, a man so indispensable to the nation that Lord Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate overlooked his personal tax mess to put him in the job, was to address the nation as our economic savior. Expectations were already high but got even higher when Obama demurred on an economic policy query saying he didn't want to steal Tim's "thunder."
The markets were selling a bit all day as the dismal press conference from the night before showed a new president not quite up to the job, to put it gently. But when Secretary Timmy's remarks hit the screens in trading rooms all over the nation the result was dramatic. Stocks plunged 5%.
That's a loud vote of "no confidence" in the Obama administration from the investor class. But why?
First, the buildup was huge and the offering was puny-- lots more borrowed money-- but not much of an idea what would happen with it all. But there's something more at work I think. People expect bankers to look a certain way. They expect a treasury secretary to look more like Paulson than like a guy who needs to shave but once a week. Confidence is all important in the financial world-- especially when you have a fiat currency and no standard, gold or otherwise. So, a youthful appearance is not an advantage. Is it fair. Of course not. So what? Tim can overcome that with great work, but on first blush it isn't good.
But wait, there's more, he doesn't look you in the eye. This guy is coming to the American people saying he's going to borrow trillions of dollars from our unborn grandchildren and he seems unable to square up his shoulders, look us in the eye, and deliver the message. So it wasn't just what he said, it was the look: fear?, sneakiness?, arrogance?, duplicity? It might not be fair but most of us are aware that visual cues, sometimes almost unnoticeable, play into how we perceive a message. Throw in that the first time most people heard anything about him was his tax problem and I must say that Obama/ Geithner is off to a very bad start.
But all is not lost, Tim. Come out tomorrow and say you're suspending mark-to-market accounting and the 5% lost yesterday will come back in a heartbeat. I won't even send you the bill for that advice Mr. Secretary... because I would never do business with somebody who always looks sideways at me.
During the endless campaign years of 2007 and 2008 I had a hard time sitting still to listen to Senator Obama. I heard people go on and on about his oratoricaql skill but to my ears it was ehdless, empty platitudes and gassy nothingness. It wasn't very hard to figure out he was a far left guy packaged to be palatable to 50% plus 1 of the electorate.
But, I must admit, listening to the HOPEful Obama was preferable to the new Scary Barry. Everything with this guy is disaster, calamity, the worst (insert challenge here) since the Great Depression... WWII... Lincoln's bipolarism... whatever. When I see him walk across the yard to climb aboard Marine One I can't help thinking, "there's a guy pretending to be President of the United States." And then he bumps his head and I think, "More Ford than Lincoln it would appear."
So, given my difficulty stomaching Scary Barry's rhetoric, coupled with the fact I love dogs, I didn't watch Lord O's big press conference last night. Instead I was tuned to The Westminster Dog Show. It was time for The Hound group while Lordy O was yakkin' after all. I didn't see O, I didn't hear O, and I slept like a beautiful American Foxhound after a long day chasing Mr. Fox.
Needing 60 votes for cloture the Democrats had Teddy the K fly in from a warmer climate today. As it turned out his vote was the meaningless 61st. Teddy, however, was proud to go to such great length to stick the taxpayers with an unprecedented extra $1,300,000,000,000.00 in spending on top of the out-of-control monstrosity that is the federal budget.
I'm not an advocate for the use of anabolic steroids in sports. However, I'm not one to have ever been horrified by the use of steroids in baseball. I've always felt it was pretty amazing that baseball became the focus of the sportswriters' and politicians' crusades against performance enhancement chemicals when anyone with eyes can see that they've been used in that most popular of American sport leagues, the NFL, for a long time. Compare the size of the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers dynasty teams to any current O line. Heck, compare them to the O Line of an SEC team for that matter.
This weekend it was leaked that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for "steroids" in 2003. Most people seemed to jump on A-Rod immediately for this alleged transgression. My position was somewhat different. I wondered how they would even know since the Major League Baseball Player's Association agreed to testing in 2003 only if it was anonymous. The idea in 2003 was that MLB and the MLBPA needed to get an accurate idea of how big a problem steroid use was in baseball. You have to remember that the MLBPA runs baseball. The owners don't run the game, Bud Selig doesn't run the game, the MLBPA runs the game. So they reluctantly agreed to testing under threats from the federal government and pressure from Selig only because none of the players could ever be fingered for a positive test.
The 2003 testing was done and it was announced that 104 players tested positive. This was deemed a sufficient "problem", so we got congressional show trials and eventually a testing and enforcement process in the game. Fast forward to 2009 and one name gets leaked to the press from the 104 positive, anonymous and confidential tests. How? And why?
Here, apparently, is the "how." Gene Orza, COO of MLBPA, thought the tests were flawed-- not that many players could be users. He wanted to challenge the results and so he hung on to the documents. Bad move. Along came the BALCO scandal and the feds were now involved. They demanded documents from everyone around baseball and, apparently, one key document they got from the MLBPA was the 2003 list. The union representing the players agreed on their behalf to testing but only if it was anonymous. But the federal government agreed to nothing of the sort and the MLBPA couldn't refuse to give up the docs-- at least that's the way it looks from my quiet perch here by the lake.
But why would only ARod's name get leaked by the feds? Maybe because the feds didn't leak it.
Who, right now, is battling the feds in court over the steroids issue?
Who would, for his defense, be allowed to see all evidence the prosecution has against him?
Who broke all of the home run records, got booed outside of SF for doing so, and had to listen to everybody say that one day it will be "ok" again because Maris and Aaron's records will be broken by someone "clean", someone named Alex?
My guess is that the leak came from someone in the Barry Bonds defense camp and the rationale is, "Why are you going after my guy when everybody, even your golden boy Alex, was doing it?"
Democrats are in a tough spot even before all the confetti has been swept up from January's ObamaStock Festival in DC. In the House they passed a breathtakingly huge spending bill without a single Republican vote. In fact, it was so disgusting that nearly a dozen Democrats defied SanFranNan Pelosi and voted "Nay!"
Now, in the Senate, they will get this monstrosity over to the White House by flying in Teddy the K from his sick bed and getting a couple of sad Rinos to go along. Rinos who balk at $890Billion but say "A-OK" to $840Billion are the problem, not the solution to what ails the "R" brand in America today. So, if D's thought that would give them cover with the voters, they're mistaken. I'm sure the Rinos will be celebrated as "mavericks" by the handmaiden media and the President. The voters still won't be fooled when inflation roars and a stagnant economy grinds along for months on end.
Democrats, facing this, needed to be bucked up a bit. And hey, who better to do that brain-dead cheerleading than Joe Biden? Slow Joe outdid himself this time as he told a couple hundred scared Dems the following:
“But when we do [approve it], I’m sure you’re going to be nailed in ads, ‘Well they voted on that’ 30 second ads. I promise you as [a colleague] once said to me, ‘I’ll come campaign for you or against you, whichever will help you the most in your district.’ And so will the president because, again, we’re all in this together.”
“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong.”
“The only thing we can get wrong is not reaching a consensus among ourselves…and demonstrating to the American people that we’re thinking small and politically—you have not, you’ve thought big.”
“The slope is pretty steep. The opportunities are great. There were very few decisions that were made [back in some mythical earlier time] that were popular. That’s the bad news folks.”
“This is about all of us, we’re in this together. When it works, as I’m absolutely convinced it will, I’m absolutely convinced, that our best days are ahead of us. I’m not just saying that, I really believe that with every fiber in my being that this is an opportunity.”
Note to Congressional Dems, when Slow Joe repeats "absolutely convinced" and says he's "not just saying that" and that he "believes" this crap "with every fiber in (his) being"-- he's worried sick and you should be too. Think about it, have you ever been part of something indisputably good and a leader said, "Hey gang, we're all in this together!" Sorry, Dems, your Captain is saying, "lower the lifeboats, please don't panic, there should be a seat and innertube for everyone, maybe."
You have just hitched your career to a calamity and Lord O hasn't even been in office a whole month. Good work.
There's been a lot of behind-the-scenes complaining about the White House press office under Lord Obama. Some of the complaints have been about plain ineptitude and disorganization. Other complaints have been focused more on the attitude given off by the people charged with dealing with the press. Team Obama was used to glowing coverage from the Democrat handmaiden media during the campaign. No tough questions asked meant no need to deal with hard answers.
But, slowly, things are changing now that he's secured the office. ABC's Jake Tapper tried to ask a couple of questions yesterday that WH press secretary Gibbs didn't want to address. He blew off one and ignored the other. Watch here.
Can you even imagine how these people would deal with a genuinely hostile press? Thin skin seems to be contagious at The White House. Did they really think everyone was going to throw rose petals and bow down before Lord O? I think that, yeah, they did.
Here's an example of the President, at a time when he's desperately trying to pick off just a couple of Republican votes in the Senate for his massive spending bill, going off on Republicans while praising the biggest thorn in his side: Nancy Pelosi.
Back in 1993 the Clinton presidency got off to a famously horrible start, but in just a few weeks Lord O's crew has topped Bubba's mess. Totally FUBAR.
“A liberal is arrogant enough to think he can do you a half-assed favor. He is superior enough to think he can give you something that you don’t deserve. A liberal will cut off your leg so he can hand you a crutch.”
-Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Fame RB for the Cleveland Browns
During the interminable 2008 campaign for president one of the things I found darkly amusing was that when Senator Obama told the masses he was an outsider who would reform Washington they lapped it up without asking a single question. Nobody ever seemed to point out the obvious: he's a politician from the Chicago Democrat Machine!
I guess it just shows how gullible many folks are. For those of us who have taken a walk around the block once or twice it can be a shock to see so much naivete-- especially if you've lived in the Chicago area and watched this corruption up close.
So now BHO is President of the United States and in just the first two weeks a few people are starting to see what "The Chicago Way" means by "reform." His approval numbers are falling quickly. Rasmussen Reports showed his approval index number at +15 on 2/3/2009, down dramatically from +30 on January 22nd in the afterglow of the inauguration. Their polling also shows that the key reasons for this slide are the use of taxpayer money to promote abortion worldwide, the closing of Gitmo, and the corruption problems of his nominees.
Back during the week of the triumphant DC festivities John Kass wrote a column in the Chicago Tribune about Ray LaHood, Obama's Secretary of Transportation and a former Republican congressman from Peoria, IL. It's an interesting look at the culture in DC. Hard to remember now but there was a Republican Senator from Illinois before Obama. Peter Fitzgerald didn't play ball with business-as-usual and LaHood and his big money supporters turned on him. He chose not to run for a second term and the seat went to Obama, becoming the launchpad for all of our HOPE and CHANGE. LaHood might one day be a problem for Obama if they ever get a chance to dole out all of your hard-earned money for those "shovel-ready" asphalt and concrete plans in the states. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, at the Washington Examiner, the feeling is that The Chicago Way won't work in DC. Maybe. But that doesn't mean that Rahm and his gang won't keep trying-- it's the only way they know.
From an NBC program called TODAY comes this exchange:
LAUER: The ones that seem to be less of a threat. But if one of those people that's released goes back and takes part in the planning of, or carrying out of, an attack against U.S. interests, you're gonna have a Willie Horton times 100 situation, on your hands. How are you gonna deal with that?
OBAMA: Of course I'm worried about it. Look the, the, you know I have to make the very best judgments I can make in terms of what's gonna keep the American people safe. And is what, what's gonna uphold our Constitution and our traditions of due process. If we don't uphold our Constitution and our values, that over time, that will make us less safe. And that will be a recruitment tool for organizations like al-Qaeda. That's what I've got do keep my eye on.
This is interesting on two levels. First, the interviewer's concern is the political cost to Lord Obama, not the death and destruction of Americans and American interests. Secondly, Lord O clearly thinks that appeasing his far left base and going into repose against Islamic terror is more important than his primary duty as President: the safety of Americans. But, don't worry, he'll keep his eye on all those terrorists we let go.
Gitmo detention and military tribunals for enemy combatants make us less safe while letting terrorists go free makes us safer. Got it, O. Great.
Over the past few months I've met quite a few new people. Well, they aren't really new, they're just new to me. Sitting around talking to these folks it usually comes out that I've lived in 9 states including about 18 years in California-- pretty evenly split between Contra Costa County in the Bay Area and Ventura County between LA and Santa Barbara.
Then the question always comes up, "Why did you leave California?" I have no problem coming up with a long list of answers despite the fact that I love the place, but now I think I'll just hand them this column from VDH.
Fully 22.5 million people in America today have government jobs. They are all paid in money extracted from taxpayers whether they are in national, state, or local government jobs. Across American private enterprise there have been massive productivity gains, especially in the post-microchip years. So, how about government workers... more efficient?... more productive?
Not so much. Right after World War II there were 26 American citizens per government bureaucrat. Today there are only 13.5 people for every government worker. Government work is steadily less efficient and becoming less productive at the exact same time that the private sector is driving more efficiency and higher productivity. On its own that's an unsustainable trend but add it to the exponential growth in the major entitlement programs-- social security, medicare, medicaid-- and it gets even more unsustainable.
So, what's Lord Obama's answer to this? More government jobs and sustained high tax rates on those Americans who can create private sector jobs. It won't work.
During the transition much was made in the handmaiden press about how thorough the vetting process was for Lord Obama's administration. This weekend, as yet another dirty O pick was revealed, a close associate reminded us of that intrusive questionnaire that prospective members of the Obama team were required to fill out. The question was asked, "Whatever happened to those forms?" The answer could be: Nobody read them. Or it could be: Everybody lied on them and nobody really cared.
Don Suber points out who was in charge of vetting. It just happens to be the woman to whom Lord Obama wanted Blago to give his old US Senate seat.
"The vetting of these people was done by Valerie Jarrett, who Obama wanted to take his seat in the Senate. Let’s see, she is CEO of Habitat Co., which operates housing projects.After 5 years of her management, one 504-unit scored an 11 out of 100 in a federal inspection."