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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The week to come

Given the disconnect between the many polls showing the public dead set against the healthcare bills and the headlong rush in the Senate to obtain passage, it will be interesting to see if the Thanksgiving recess has had any effect on those wavering Democrats who a crucial to the passage of the bill. Will Blanche Lincoln, up for reelection in November of 2010, decide that she cannot support the bill after listening to constituents complain for a week? Will Mary Landrieu vote for the bill just to get the 300 million bribe that was put into the bill to get her vote so that it could make it to the floor? Will Senator Nelson of Nebraska decide that he has to vote the way his state wants? Indeed, will some other senator announce that after reflection he or she has decided to vote no?

It would be a triumph of democracy if this were to be the case. Still the most likely vote is that the obamacrats fashion some monstrosity that is just a little less monstrous than the current version and pass it. The only good thing about the games the Obamacrats have played is that by 2012 when Obama himself is up for a vote again, we would have had 2 years of additional taxes and restrictions which come from the bill but none of the supposed benefits. In other words, all pain and no gain -- assuming there ever will be any gain. The negative impact on the economy will have been felt, albeit not fully. The push of higher premiums would have hit. Indeed, even though they have not had any input into the bill at all, the Republicans could not have designed a more anti-Democrat bill in my opinion.

Maybe the best thing for the country would be to have the Obamacrats pass the bill and then get thrown out decisively in 2012 so that the new Republican Administration and Congress could then repeal it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

dubai dubai du

The news of the potential default by Dubai World has roiled markets all over the world. Strangely, one of the side effects has been a plunge in the price of oil -- thereby making the situation for the oil rich area worse. It will be a real test of the world markets to see if the drop is a temporary one or if it presages the start of a longer term decline based upon financial fears. We will soon see if upset in the Gulf is sufficient for nervous traders to dump positions and then to dump more around the world.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving note

I just want to take a moment today to express my thinks for the many blessings in my life. There is something noble and wonderful about our precious national holiday that is aimed at people giving thanks for what they have and not just seeking more. Let's remember that before all of the myriad of crises that we are constantly barraged with by the media (the healthcare crisis, global wrming, the economic crisis, etc), our founding fathers realized that those who lived here were truly blessed and gave thanks for this. I agree with them!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Health care myths

Obamacare (the Senate version) supposedly is designed to bring the total number of Americans with insurance coverage up to 94% of the total. Right now, there are supposed to be about 31 million uninsured Americans (not including illegal immigrants). This means that the bill will result in insurance for something in the area of 14 million more people. And the cost for this gain will be something like a trillion dollars over the first ten years and much more after that. Still, these figures for costs and results are a sham.

In the first place, the uninsured include about 7-8 million people who simply choose not to buy insurance. Most of these folks are in their 20's and they have decided that they would rather not have the insurance. The Obamacrat bill in the Senate requires these people to buy their own insurance. Thus, they get coverage, but this cost is not included in the cost figures for the bill. That means that there will only be a net pick up of 6-7 million insured people for the trillions spent in the bill.

But there is more! There are supposedly another 3-4 million people who already qualify for government assistance in obtaining insurance who do not take part in these programs. Just by locating these folks and enrolling them in existing programs, we could get the number insured up by another 3 million or so. That means that the number to be insured by the Obamacrats Senate bill is really an additional 3-4 million. If the cost is one trillion dollars (and we ignore the second decade of the program), it means that for 4 million people we will be spending $250,000 per person to get these additional 4 million people insured for 5 years ($50,000 per year). A cost of $50,000 per year for insurance in absolutely ridiculous in any world other than Washington.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The biggest dope of them all

Today's prize to the biggest dope of them all goes to Wisconsin Democrat David Obey. In a week dominated by the healthcare debate and Obama's futile trip to China, Obey wins for his remarks on Afghanistan. This morning Obey opined that the USA was "being asked to get involved in a civil war [in Afghanistan] just like in Vietnam, and, also like in Vietnam we do not have a reliable partner" in the Afghan government.

Where to start? Obey says that we are bing asked to get involved? How dumb is that. Last time I looked, the USA has been involved in the Afghan war since 2001 when we entered the country to drive out those who facilitated the attacks of 9-11. So Obey is off by 8 years in his timing. Then Obey claims it is a civil war. Again, this is nonsense. The US involvement is part of the global war on terrorism that the Obamacrats want to rename into something like "the foreign contingency action that has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism". Nevertheless, the US is not taking part in a civil war, but a global one. That is why we have drones attacking in Pakistan. Indeed, it is futile to try to list all of the fronts of this war.

Then Obey pulls out the Vietnam reference which seems to be the beginning and end of his understanding of foreign policy. All wars are Vietnam to Obey. Look, any idiot is allowed to have his view, but the troubling thing is that Obey is an important part of the Obamacrat hierarchy that will decide policy in Afghanistan.

I fear for the republic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama still does not get it

The news today is that President Obama used his interview with Fox News as a platform to cricize Israel for going ahead with plans to build a few apartment buildings in Jerusalem. This act allows the Israelis to have housing for a few hundred families in their capital city.

It is no wonder that Obama criticizes this act. Just imagine! there will be a few hundred more Jews in Jerusalem. think of it in American terms. Today, Washington D.C. has a majority of black residents. African Americans control the local government. Just imagine the outcry if the D.C. government issued building permits to allow construction of more housing for blacks on land in currently white neighborhoods. My guess is that no one would say anything, and I am quite sure that I am correct.

This is a close parallel to the issue in Israel. There are certain neighborhoods that the Palestinian Authority wants to claim for itself in a future state, although there is no particular basis for this claim besides the fact that the area was administered by Jordan fifty years ago. It has been under Israeli control for nearly 50 years and has been officially part of the state of Israel for close to that length of time. Residents in the area are Israeli citizens whether they are Arabs, Jews or others.

Why is it that Obama repeatedly criticizes Israel for not allowing the Palestinian complaints to act as a bar to Jewish habitation of certain areas. In Obama's view, if the PA complains, all the Jews have to move out of an area. That is true even if the area is a neighborhood of Israel's capital city.

We have heard speech after speech after speech after speech from the man who believes himself to be the greates orator in world history. Usually, Obama tells us about himself; after all, how can that tale not lead to world peace? We have heard points that could best be described as uneducated or naive. At worst, one could call them meaningless garbage that serves no purpose whatsoever. Still, Obama goes on and on and on and on and on with his speeches and complaints.

Interesting enough, however, is one salient fact: by blaming the Jews for all the problems in the area, Obama has finally found a problem which is not the sole cause of the USA.

The man just does not get it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

what happened to us?

Last night I was watching the excellant documentary on the History Channel, "World War 2 in HD" (poor name but good film). While showing film clips of the invasion of Tarawa by the marines, they explained that the marines were coming to the beaches in landing craft that needed four feet of water, but that the coral reef around the island had only three feet of water above it. As a result, the 5000 marines had to jump into the water and wade over 700 yards to the shore while carrying their equipment and being sprayed with machine gun fire from Japanese pill boxes on the shore. By the end of the day, 30% of the marines were dead or wounded. Nevertheless, more marines were landed on the second day, and they went on to take the island from the Japanese defenders.

The idea that men would brave intolerable conditions under fire and go on to victory is a testament to the bravery and grit of the marines. It made me wonder, however, what happened to us as a country. I believe that the marines could still carry out an operation like this, but I doubt that our political leaders could even imagine such an event. Right now, Obama is dithering about whether or not to send additional troops to Afghanistan, all the while leaving those already there is ever increasing danger. Since the delay seems to be politically motivated, on has to wonder if the president is even remotely concerned about our brave men and women in that country. Similarly, the obamacrats are in the process of conveying constitutional rights on the terrorists who killed thousands on 9-11 as part of their war on us. This recipe for disaster is likely to result in the release of these monsters (which will no doubt be praised by the Obamacrats as a victory for the constitution). It will be interesting to see how they explain away the deaths of more Americans as these monsters go back to the old jobs as jihadists.

When did we lose our way? When did the crazies start running the country? How could those who are at best delusional end up in control? Sad questions to ponder indeed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bob Herbert and reality

In the New York Times, the ever-left Bob Herbert is lamenting that the "recovery" has not included those who voted Obama into office, namely the victim list of Democratic politics: blacks, single women, union/blue collar workers, etc. Instead, according to Herbert, it is the financial elites who have proclaimed the "recovery" and who are feeling no pain as they watch their investment portfolios soar. After reading Herbert's views, one would fairly ask if Herbert is somehow living in an alternate reality.

First, the so-called "recovery" is not being claimed by financial elites; rather, it is the Obama Administration that never misses an opportunity to tell us all how we have turned the corner and things are getting better (and how it is all due to those jobs that were created or "saved" due to the stimulus.) Indeed, after listening to Robert Gibbs speaking non-stop about all the great economic news, you expect him to suddenly burst inito a chorus of "Happy Days are here Again"! Most of the financial firms are talking about signs that things are not getting as bad as quickly as they were a few months ago. There is also discussion of the fact that the GDP increase in the last quarter for the first time in quite a while (although there is a question how much of this increase is just activity pulled forward from later quarters due to cash for clunkers and housing tax credits.) In fact, those whose economic position Herbert laments are basically the unemployed and underemployed. According to the latest government figures, over 16% of the working population falls into this category. Obama's stimulus was passed with the express promise from Obama himself that the program would keep unemployment under 8%. After the program was passed, the unemployment rate sailed way past that figure and is still rising. We may soon see the highest rate since the Depression.

Strangely, Herbert does not ask why so many jobs are being destroyed and so few created. He just puts forth his usual class warfare harrangue and leaves it there. The truth is that Obama and the Obamacrats have injected a great deal of uncertainty into the economy on top of the recession itself. Will employers have to give health insurance to all workers? Will the required health insurance be more expensive than the plans now offered? Will energy costs soar once cap and trade is passed? Will state and local governments now living off of stimulus funds be forced to lay off thousands with the resulting contraction of the economy pushed out into the future? Will tax rates on capital investments go up so that one needs a surer and bigger return to make job creating investments profitable? Will an Obama appointed Czar come into more industries to set pay levels? Will card check pass so that many more industries will be forced to unionize on the strength of the appearance of union thugs? Herbert seems oblivious to all of this, but the truth is that these concerns have frozen investment in business, particularly in small business which generates most of the new jobs in this country.

On top of this, Obama and the Obama crats have spent the USA into enormous debts, all but unthinkable in 2008. The government is now borrowing nearly 50% of what it is spending. Will this debt at some point soak up all the capital available for investment? Will China and India and other nations stop buying dollar denominated bonds from the Treasury, thereby driving up interest rates and choking off investment? Will the sinking dollar, fear of inflation (resulting from the deficits) and uncertainty as to the economic future drive people into investin in hard assets like gold and other commodities -- thereby taking away funds which could otherwise be used for investment in the economy?

The problem with all of these question is that they relate to problems created by Obama and his team together with the Pelosi-Reid democrat team in the Congress. In truth, this dream team is a nightmare.

Herbert should open his eyes, recognize the extraordinary damage that Obama and the Obamacrats have done and then state this clearly.

I am not going to hold my breath, however, waiting for him to do so.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Jury trial in New York

Today, Obama announced that terrorists including the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks will be give trial in federal court in New York City. As the Church lady on SNL used to say, "Isn't that special!"

Givng these terrorists jury trials and the full rights which come with a trial in federal court is a rather crazy response by the White House to the terrorist attack at Fort Hood. Surely, the Obamacrats will deny any linkage between the two events, but one owuld need to be deaf, dumb and blind to miss the connection. First, Obama dithers for nearly a year on what to do with the folks in Gitmo. Then, last week, we have the first terrorist attack in the USA since 9-11. Obama's reaction was a non-reaction. First he went on with his speech to an Indian group and only stuck in a reference to the terror attack in the middle of his remarks. (looks like he is truly lost without his teleprompter). Then, after it became clear that Major Hassan was an Islamic terrorist, Obama still failed to condemn the attack as an act of war by a terrorist. Despite the uproar in the country about his silence, Obama left for Asia still failing to call this a terror attack.

My initital view regarding Obama's behavior was that he did not want to offend the Muslim community worldwide by calling this terror. Now, with the announcement of the full criminal trials in New York, Obama has confirmed that this, indeed was his naive outlook. Actually, to call it naive does not do it justice. It is closer to delusional than naive. Obama apprently thinks that by giving jury trials to the terrorists, he will be able to convince the remaining terror organizations that we mean them no harm. Surely, the Taliban and Al Qaeda will lay down their arms and make peace now that they know that their compatriots will have full legal rights in their trials.

It is hard for me to imgine that the President of the United States could actually hold this view, but there is no other choice. Obama and his advisors think that the War on Terror (sorry for using the proper name), is more like a high school debate than a war. It will be won by speeches and gestures and not by bullets and bombs. Guess again guys! All you have succeeded in doing by giving these terrorists trial in New York is to give them a great media stage from which they can spew their propaganda. Some victory. Who knows how many other Major Hassans are out there in the USA just waiting to be radicalized by what they hear from these ridiculous trials?

I just hope that the administration does not end up releasing these terrorists since they cannot give up all of the confidential evidence that has been gathered about these folks. Truly, if that is the result, Obama should be impeached or, at least, voted out of office promptly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Decisions about Afghanistan

We are approaching 120 days since the commanding general in Afghanistan requested 40,000 more troops for that war. the request was made with the agreement and support of the commander of the theater (General Petreus). The request came from General McChrystal who was hand picked by Obama as an expert in counter - terrorism. The request came with regard to the War of Necessity that Obama said he supported whole-heartedly.

Obama's response has spoken volumes about the administration and who Obama really is. Thus far, the response has been delay, delay and more delay. That means that the US forces are proceeding with fewer troops than necessary, but with no change in strategy. The net effect of this is to put those troops who are in Afghanistan at greater peril of injury or death.

While it is safe to say that there are those who would oppose a decision by Obama to increase the troop levels and those who would oppose a reduction in troop levels or a complete pull out, there has been essentially no one who argues that we should continue with the current strategy but with no more troops. given the plethora of self proclaimed experts on military strategy who appear with regularity on the various news outlets, one would think that there would be some support for keeping the strategy but not sending more troops if this course made any sense. the only conclusion possible is that the USA either needs to increase its troops or reduce troops and change the mission.

Why can't Obama come to a conclusion that keeps more troops safe. Well first, he wanted to wait until after his healthcare bill was passed. In other words, domestic politics was more important to the president than the lives of US servicemen. Then, when the healthcare bill was delayed, he wanted to wait until after the elections. Well the elections have now passed. Where is the decision?

It is outrageous that Obama cannot decide what to do on this matter. Obama was able to outsource the stimulus bill to Congress and to do the same with healthcare. He also tried with cap and trade to avoid making the final decisions. On matters of war and peace, however, the president has to actually make decisions. Not give speeches, but make decisions! Obama should be ashamed of his lack of decision making.

the truth, however, is that the USA is less safe since we do not have a commander in chief, but rather a delayer in chief. Sometimes, you actually have to make a decision!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not the times for Himes

Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) held a so-called telephone town hall regarding health care. The main goal of the call seemed to be to allow Himes to speak and answer pre-screened questions. In that way, Himes could appear to be responding to the public without actually having to do so. Amazingly, Himes began by calling the opponents of the health care bill "liars". I had to laugh to hear Himes criticize his opponlents as liars while he was busy hiding from both the public and the truth.

Connecticut deserves better.

Hood - winked

The massacre at Fort Hood last week has spawned a plethora of articles in the main stream press about the traumas that poor Major Hassan suffered and how they led to his attack on his fellow soldiers. Huh? Where are the articles on the people he murdered? How about the articles on those he wounded? How about the articles on the foolishness of PC mandated overlooking of Hassan's internet rantings on the merits of suicide bombings? Why does this get coverage in only a few outlets?

We have just seen what appears to be the first major terrorist attack in the US since 9-11 and the media seems unwilling to recognize this. Similarly, the Obama administration seems likewise blind. We can survive another bout of media myopia. Blindness in the government, however, is just what led to 9-11 in the first place. At least Bill Clinton recognized the attack on the Cole as terrorism, not just the expression of mental illness due to the collective trauma suffered by the bombers.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Unemployment and incompetence

The unemployment numbers released this week were terrible, but they do not tell the whole story. The truth is that the numbers are much worse than they should have been and are very much worse than what came before. Right now, the number of unemployed is still rising continuing a trend that has lasted for 22 months. The overwhelming bulk of this rise in the unemployed has come since Obama had his so-called stimulus bill passed as an emergency measure. If one looks at the effect this bill had on unemployment (rather than on the fantasy of jobs "saved" which is used by the White House since it is unverifiable), one sees that the numbers of unemployed are much higher than the Obama administration predicted for peak unemployment WITHOUT the stimulus. It sems that the stimulus has had the opposite effect from the one that Obama promised -- namely, unemployment is worse than it otherwise would have been. And this was done all at a cost of a little less than a trillion dollars. What a bargain!

There have been ten other recessions since World War 2. The current one now has the highest number of jobs lost. Indeed, in 7 out of the ten previous recessions, job growth had kicked in well before 22 months and had already brought total employment higher than at the start of the recession. This even includes the recesson during the Truman Administration which was feared to be the start of another depression.

In short, by mismanaging the economy, Obama has managed to make the job losses much more severe and to delay the recovery! Now that is change we can all believe in!

What has happened is that Obama has injected so much uncertainty into the business system that companies are afraid to hire or invest. After all, will there soon be new energy costs under cap and trade? Will there be massive tax increases for owners who use Sub S or LLC structures? Will health costs for business get pushed so high that new employees do not make sense? Overarching these specifics is the concern whether or not all of the new debt from Washington will drive inflation or interest rates much higher. And every single one of these problems can be laid at the door of Obama. The Administration is destroying business growth and raisiing unemployment all in the name of progress and fairness. My guess is that in 2012 Obama will abandon "Yes we can" and switch to "We did! and misery loves company!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Virginia and New Jersey

Today's results from Virginia are startling in the extent of the swing towards the Republicans in Va. Clearly, a GOP victory is not a surprise there, but the size of the margin is awesome. Much is being made on cable networks like MSNBC that 56% of voters said in exit polls that their votes were not meant to send a message to Washington. That means that 44% of the vote was intended to instruct Washington, again and extraordinarily large group. Clearly, Democrats in congress from red states like VA need to worry that they may be next to be defeated if they go along with the more radical policies of the Obama Administration.

The results in New Jersey, are even more startling than those in Va. The garden State is about as blue a state as can be, and the incumbent governor (who spent a gadzillion dollars on his campaign) has just been thrown out by the voters. that means that Democrats in even Blue districts need to worry about their re-election in 2010.

My guess is that the Obamacare plan just lost a fair number of votes.

It will be interesting to see just how the legislatures in Va and NJ end up. If there is a strong GOP tide in those bodies, it will be an extra sign that the Dems are in trouble.

Elections matter

For the last year, we have been repeatedly treated to justifications from Democrats that they had won in 2008 and therefore could carry out policies which had not even been mentioned during that election campaign. Now that the Republicans have swept the important races in Virginia and New Jersey, does that mean that the government has to do what the Republicans say?

Monday, November 2, 2009

NY -23 take 2

with the republican candidate in NY-23 not only withdrawing from the race, but also endorsing the Democrat, it becomes clear that she was a RINO (republican in name only). There is no point to having a republican party if it is just the democrat party with a different face. There are true philosophical differences between the parties and the Scuzz did not fall on the correct side of the divide to qualify to be a Republican candidate in my opinion. aparently, the voters in NY-23 agreed, since her poll numbers collapsed once the voters learned her views.