Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Free kibbles

Record drop in home prices. I have a plan to stabilize home prices: adopt the FairTax. When Americans can keep 100 percent of their paychecks, they can save their money without penalty, and they are not rewarded for assuming debt, far more Americans will be able to buy homes. How hard is that to figure out?

Governments force ISS astronauts and cosmonauts to use national toilets and eat national food. This should be a reminder to any wide-eyed idealists that the petty men who like to lord power over others who always rise to the top of government will push their petty human natures into space, and that we can never allow an enemy to gain the strategic advantage of weaponizing space first.

If you ever needed proof that the war on drugs is a horrible, tyrannical, destructive policy, Iran joining the US in fighting the drug war in Afghanistan should make it clear. When our policies align with the mad Mullahs', something is wrong with us.

The G-20 summit in London prompted the biggest security operation Britain has ever seen. Maybe Britain should take a clue and recognize they're doing something wrong if they have to turn their capital city into a fortress to guarantee the safety of the attendees. This is what you would expect in a police state... hmmm.

The Pakistan Taliban threaten a terrorist attack in Washington D.C. That would be stupid. Right now, the Taliban aren't a threat to the US, and they would smart to stay that way. Attacking us would lead to them being bombed into oblivion.

Netanyahu takes power in Israel.

I fully agree with Richman's Law: "No matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom that remains."

The role mathmatics played in Wall Street's failure to quantify risk. As the Austrians love to point out, because our eocnomy so complex, mathmatics has no chance of making predictions about the future.

Sec. Geithner has repeated the theme of the entire Obama team: don't let a good crisis go to waste - grab all the power you can as fast as you can.

Congressman Murtha basically admits his corruption and makes excuses for it.

Government's idea of tax amnesty is reducing the penalties on money coming back from overseas, not the tax rate or the interest. Why would anybody fall for that?

Republican congressman says he would have voted against the AIG bonus punishment tax if he had know it was unconstitutional. I just don't know what to say.

Yet another Obama nominee busted for not paying taxes. I've lost count of how many this is.

Boortz reminds us that Rahm Emanuel pocketed $320,000 when he was on the board of corrupt Freddie Mac.

Mitt Romney's socialized medicine program in Massachusetts is drowning in red ink and rationing care. And this is the guy most "real" conservatives wanted instead of John McCain. Romney ranks right up there with Hillary Clinton on his support for freedom and limited government.

Brazil's President blames the financial crisis on blue eyed white people. Blaming everything on the Jews has been done.

The UN jumped all over the idea of one world currency because it makes the most unaccountable and corrupt aristocrats in the world all tingly for one world government.

Swiss banks ban their executives from traveling out of the country for fear they will be detained over bank secrecy practices. We like to pretend we're free, but really we live in a world where governments can and do detain anybody they want for any reason they want, and we need to wake up and take our freedom back and re-institute the rule of law. As the AIG fiasco showed, unaccountable aristocrats in Washington can and will pass a law in an instant targeting anybody for anything even though that's expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

Government is effectively paying people not to farm because it keeps carbon in the ground. It's hard to imagine how people as stupid as us created the greatest country in the world. That's not fair. America's pioneers made America great. It's the people who want to change that who are stupid.

In liberals ongoing attack on private charity, Congress will debate expanding a government community service program, putting more people on the tax payer dole and shutting down more charities.

No 5' tall 50 year old woman should be able to pin a 6'2" 28 year old knife wielding man to a wall for 10 minutes, unless a big old doorman assists. Still, that was pretty brave on her part.

You know it's time to leave Afghanistan when the president we support signs a law allowing husbands to rape their wives and the wives are forced to ask permission to leave the house. But Obama is determined to turn Afghanistan into a modern Vietnam, except unlike Vietnam, Afghanistan really is unwinnable if you define winning as creating a successful state.

A super-pill for every person on the planet to cut the risk of heart disease?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Free kibbles

President Obama is on TV again today dictating terms to yet another segment of our economy - auto makers. Barack Obama is living his lifelong dream of being dictator of the US, and I hope every American is as sick of it as I am. Let bankruptcy run its course. Get out of my life, Obama. I'll buy whatever car I want, and I don't want you or anybody else in government dictating what kind of cars are available for me to buy. That's for free people working together in a voluntary market to determine. Making the GM chairman a scapegoat won't fix the broken system of government domination of our economy.

I've never heard of the radical 1980 London based market reforms from called the Big Bang, but I find it hard to believe that any financial system founded on the communist institutions of central banks (a government monopoly on the means of production of a good is a decent definition of communism) could possibly be mistaken for unfettered capitalism. Naturally the competition unleashed by the Big Bang is the source of today's financial problems. This sounds like the same old tired tripe from central planners to me. You would think the WSJ would know better, but I guess it's a statist organ like any other.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dear AIG, I Quit

Open resignation letter copied from the New York Times Op-ed.

The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

You and I have never met or spoken to each other, so I’d like to tell you about myself. I was raised by schoolteachers working multiple jobs in a world of closing steel mills. My hard work earned me acceptance to M.I.T., and the institute’s generous financial aid enabled me to attend. I had fulfilled my American dream.

I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers.

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand. That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees.

That may be why you decided to accelerate by three months more than a quarter of the amounts due under the contracts. That action signified to us your support, and was hardly something that one would do if he truly found the contracts “distasteful.”

That may also be why you authorized the balance of the payments on March 13.

At no time during the past six months that you have been leading A.I.G. did you ask us to revise, renegotiate or break these contracts — until several hours before your appearance last week before Congress.

I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.

Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps. I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”


Jake DeSantis

Free kibbles

"From France to Poland, from the Czech Republic to China, many nations are rebuffing the president and offering little wiggle room for him to negotiate economic and security policies." But it's not just foreign leaders. American liberals are having the same reaction. '[O]ne of [Vanity Fair's] writers, media writer Michael Wolff, took an axe to the president, in a posting beginning “Sheesh, the guy is Jimmy Carter,” ending “This guy is leaden and this show is in trouble,” and titled “Barack Obama is a Terrible Bore."' Yet another shocker. That's because Obama appears incompetent, but really he's following his plan, just like Bush wasn't very bright, but he knew exactly what he wanted. Obama's going to regret following his Marxist dogma.

Hillary Clinton is right that the US bears significant responsibility for the drug violence in Mexico. Too bad she can't see the obvious solution - end the war on drugs - and advocates the exact wrong solution - escalating the war.

Geithner says he's open to China's suggestion of one world currency. Fortunately, Obama previously panned the idea, but we got another peak behind the curtain at the ideals of the Obama adminstration. Geithner also says the market can't solve our financial problems. Only a genius like him using the government's power of force can. I guess since bankruptcy requires the government, he's trivially right, but that's not what he means. These excepts are scary because Geithner seems to have no clue what really created this crisis, and his conceit that a handful of people can solve this problem using government force is religious, not rational.

Congress puts 2 million acres off limits for oil and gas drilling. That's going to bite us very shortly.

The Post Office isn't looking for a bailout. It's looking for a shortened work week. Why don't GM and Chrysler try that?

Unions and big government are crushing California, and this is the model Obama wants to force on the entire country.

FedEx is so concerned about the costs of being forced to unionize, it placed an order for 30 Boeing planes on hold. This is how creating overpriced union jobs costs more jobs elsewhere.

Green Senator Feinstein proves once again that the modern green movement is predominantly a Marxist movement that resists all human advancement by blocking solar and wind farms in California.

How does President Obama address the teleprompter criticism? By repositioning the teleprompter out of the camera view. That's the kind of window dressing change we can expect from Obama.

This resignation letter shows the kind of damage that happens to people when government starts dictating terms to companies.

Obama says he won't send US troops into Pakistan. I don't think I'd make that promise even if I never intended to put troops in there. Presidents should never take options off the table.

Now Obama wants us to believe he knows more about running an auto maker than the people who've been doing it their entire careers. There are so many classic lessons in this fiasco. The problems caused by big, bad government, in this case empowering labor unions to use force to build their numbers and loose monetary policy, always lead to bigger, worse government. This is classic central planning - dictating sacrifices to everybody - and a classic example of the fatal conceit of believing that 1 person or a handful of people can run the economy better by using government force than hundreds of millions of people running it through voluntarily transactions. To Obama and his cronies, it's just so easy and the management of the companies and unions is just too dumb to figure it out on their own.

Obama forces GM chairman to resign. I'm sure many people will say Obama's doing the right thing here. That may or may not be true, but even if it is true, then this should and would have happened long ago if government hadn't gotten involved and propped up these zombie car companies. The Chairman could have been long gone if GM had declared bankruptcy months ago. The contracts could have been renegotiated, factories sold off or closed and GM reorganized and on its way to profitability if government had stayed out of it and let the process work. We have a bankruptcy process for a reason, and it should have been allowed to work.

Reason's analysis of Geithner's TARP II toxic asset purchase program shows that taxpayers assume 93 percent of the risk while private investors assume only 7 percent. This will lead investors to overpay for the assets, artificially inflating them long enough for banks to fix their balance sheets, then the taxpayers can eat the losses on many of them. Thanks, government. It's just another flavor of corporate welfare. All the aristocrats are in a hurry to spend trillions of dollars we don't have, but the studies of the mark-to-market accounting rule won't be finished for months. I have a better solution: change the mark-to-market accounting rule, that's what triggered this entire mess, we'll examine the consequences and call it a study, and stop putting us trillions more in debt.

Regulators plan to relax the mark-to-market accounting rule in April. April? Why not today? Why not last April when we saw the damage? The problem with applying the mark-to-market account rule to these toxic assets is that the toxic assets are a mix of slices of bad mortgages and good mortgages. The good mortgages are still worth something, but because of the way the mortgages are sliced and bundled, with slices of good and bad mortgages bundled together, nobody can tell how to price the assets. Therefore nobody will buy them, and the mark-to-market accounting rule forces banks to value them at effectively zero. You watch. After trillions have been allocated by the government and the Fed in an attempt to free up the credit markets, changing this mark-to-market accounting rule will make all the difference, and that will end up being all that ever needed to be done from the very beginning.

George Will reports that TARP is unconstitutional because Congress cannot pass its responsibility to allocate funds to the executive branch. It seems to me this same argument applies to the FCC, the FDA and probably 100 other federal agencies.

The resurgence of nuclear power.

Ralph Peters nails it when he says Obama's Afghanistan policy sounds a lot like LBJ's Vietnam policy.
Want a truly fresh strategy that would work? End all support of any kind to Pakistan. Close our embassy. Do what makes military sense and reduce our forces in Afghanistan to a level that can be supplied by air. And concentrate on destroying al Qaeda, not on "owning" village X. (Obama's approach just stinks of Vietnam.)

Well said.

Speaking of NATO, Pat Buchanan says the US is stuck to the carcass of a dead policy. One of America's historic great strengths was our ability to adapt to fast changing situations. Our government has taken that strength from us along with many others.

House Republicans blow an opportunity to grab the initiative in the budget debate because of internal squabling. How long will Americans continue to empower these 2 failed parties?

Just back from knee surgery, Tiger Woods comes back from 5 strokes down to win. He shames every other golfer on the planet.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Free kibbles

US President Barack Obama has vowed to wipe out terrorists from Pakistani safe havens, warning that al-Qaida is plotting catastrophic new attacks.

If George Bush had said that, liberals would have gone nuts and accused him of fearmongering and using the War on Terror for political gain. Funny how silent they are when Obama says the same thing.

Instead of fixing their own onerous tax codes to stop citizens and companies from putting their money in tax havens, the G-20 is going after tax havens. Switzerland, Austria, Belgium already caved to pressure so the G-20 wouldn't consider them tax havens.

Researchers discover huge Chinese-based internet spy operation that has infiltrated the computer networks of 103 governments.

Mises scholar rips Krugman's babysitting economy analogy.

5 truths lost in today's discussions. I disagree with savings being a requirement for the division of labor, but that's a trivial quibble. The rest is dead on.

Yet another Obama nominee withdraws. This is just astounding.

Marxist revolutionary tide is rising as radicals attack bank CEOs home in Britain. Obama's ACORN partners are taking note. Obama and his Marxist buddies are stoking this violence, and they're taking us closer to a French Revolution while fantasizing of a workers paradise.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Free kibbles

Warning about the dangers of extreme solar weather to electrical systems on Earth. Since we have no idea of how often these occur, it's awful tough to plan for.

Obama doubles down on troop and financial commitments to Afghanistan. That's more blood treasure the US will lose in that rat hole. Using aid to influence development in Pakistan and Afghanistan makes sense, but expanding this war does not. I also think a little, well targeted aid goes a long way, while a lot of aid feeds corruption.

Zimbabwe opposition PM says he'll arrest Mugabe's land thieves. This is not going to end well.

South Park pries open the back rooms of Washington to expose how they determine how to deal with crises.

Daniel Hannan for British Prime Minister! Too bad we don't have as eloquent a champion in the US government to stand up to the socialists of both parties.

But that's not surprising. It's ludicrous to expect that a professional politician would stand up for the private sector. That's like expecting lizards to stand up for the good of mammals. The aristocrats make their livings off the backs of the taxpayers. It's not in their interest or the interests of their families for any professional politician at any level of government to empower the private sector. It's in their personal interest to expand the power of government at the expense of the private sector. The inevitable result is big government, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, corporatism, fascism, and socialism all working for the elites at the expense of the people.

The solution is simple - stop electing professional politicians and return to a government of citizen-representatives. Any person who wants to spend their lives lording power over others has a mental defect that should disqualify them from elected office. These people don't want to lead productive lives, creating wealth that improves the quality of life for every American. They want to siphon the wealth out of the private sector, lowering the quality of life for every American to enrich and empower themselves. We need term limits to force politicians to work in the private sector, not as a lawyer, government contractor, lobbyist or any other government powered job, but in a real wealth creating job far away from the influence of government.

Obama makes uneasy truce with bankers. That's like saying arsonist makes uneasy truce with buildings. How do you think that's going to end?

NATO negotiator meets with Iranian ambassador. Have I mentioned NATO is obsolete and is little more than a welfare program for Europe?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free kibbles

Somebody please tell President Obama to shut up. He thinks he needs to be on TV every day. I guess with this plans spinning out of control and the country rising up against him, that's to be expected, but I'm sick of seeing him.

Paul Krugman unleashes his anti-freedom views on readers.

The Executive Vice-President of AIG's financial products division, who was working for a salary of $1, resigned because his CEO is dancing for the government aristocrat lynch mob. He'll donate his bonus to charity instead of giving it back to the aristocrats. I don't know if this guy was in charge when AIG was making all its mistakes, but I like to see this guy standing up to principle. This is another tiny example of Atlas shrugging. Our ruling aristocrats are driving the best and the brightest from the wealth producing parts of our society.

Czech Prime Minister calls Obama's stimulus boondoggle the "road to hell", also saying it undermines international financial stability. The Czechs know first hand how devastating socialism is. I think every liberal should have to live in a socialist country for 5 years. Those that like being poorer and less free can stay.

Lots of graphs and charts nailing Bush, Republicans and conservatives on 8 years of irresponsible spending. When I read or hear some pundit talking about conservatives being for fiscal responsibility, I almost spit all over my keyboard.

The left hates private charity because liberals in general aren't nearly as compassionate as they pretend to be, preferring to take money from others by force to support their causes instead of reaching in their own pockets and voluntarily giving their own time and money. They also want to control everything, so Obama is trying to crush private charity and socialize it completely.

Cute graphic of how much money government has taken from taxpayers and allocated and delivered to financial institutions. This corporate welfare on a scale the world has never seen or imagined.

How the same policies Obama and Bernanke are undertaking today was the last straw that caused the collapse of Yugoslavia.
If it were true that government can merely use its brute force to create a successful economy than all the totalitarian countries throughout history would have been prosperous paradises!

Thank you.

Chris Dodd's wife was director of a company owned by AIG. Shocker. This is just typical of how these aristocrats work. They're all corrupt.

Obama's stoking up hatred of the private sector on purpose. He stoked up anger at AIG on purpose. That anger is the anger of Marxist revolution, and that's Obama's goal.

The Heritage Foundation breaks down Obama's welfare programs that he pretends are tax cuts, but they aren't, and shows this is just a mechanism for Obama to spread the wealth around.

10 mostly really bad ideas for government grabbing AIG bonuses. I like the first one and last one though.

Bloomberg illustrates why punishing the rich with higher taxes is a bad thing.

Government is force, and it can only be force, so it's not surprising that in an attempt to address the failure of government schools, government would open a school in conjunction with Marines. That's the best way to insure that government school kids grow up to work for and fight wars on behalf of the kids of the aristocrats who are going to private schools and who will rule the government school kids.

Yet another Democrat aristocrat caught cheating on his taxes. The funny thing is, these Democrats want us to believe that raising taxes doesn't change people's behavior - it doesn't push jobs overseas, it doesn't make people work less, it doesn't cost Americans anything - but it sure turns Democrats into tax cheats.

Michelle Malkin has a funny parody of the presidential seal for the teleprompter president.

Mother of girl who killed herself after sending naked pictures to her boyfriend who forwarded them all over Cincinnati blames others for her daughter's suicide and is calling for laws. I have a better idea. Teach your kids not to send naked pictures of themselves over the phones or internet. If you aren't a responsible enough parent to do that, don't let your kids have camera phones or internet cameras. (I've never understood why parents allow their kids to have these phones anyway - get a phone that only you can program and give it to them.) And if you're not responsible enough to do either, don't use the consequences of your failure to take away my freedom.

Tim Geithner calls for unprecedented government power to not only regulate, but to control and seize financial firms. Who said Obama wasn't a socialist? How many times have we talked about an unprecedented power grab since Obama took office just over 2 months ago? Geithner doesn't think this idea is radical. He thinks it prudent because out system is too fragile. That begs 2 questions: is it really fragile, and if it is, why is it? Government interference in our economy like termites infesting a home makes our economy weaker. More termites is not the solution. If Geithner really wanted to limit risk, he'd extract the government from our economy, putting an end to the moral hazard that powers extraordinary risk and enabling free competition that would provide a break on risk taking. Remember it was the Fed, which is a regulator, and the regulators Fannie and Freddie and the CRA that caused this crisis.

Obama preaches to the converted in online town hall to keep the money flowing in for his 2012 run. The power of incombency is overwhelming.

It was a bad idea when George Bush nominated active military personnel to head the NSA and the CIA, undermining the division between the civilian leadership of the country and the military, and continuing his role of playng George Bush on steroids, Obama names an acting general to be ambassador to Afghanistan.

My Republican representative thought it was a good thing to put a 90 percent tax on TARP executive bonuses. Put him on the list that have buried the Constitution.

House Democrats yank global warming provisions from Obama's budget so they will be subject to Republican debate. They're still protecting the health care provisions from debate though.

Barack Obama's budget would give the US a higher percentage deficit than Cuba. Democrats respond with cheers because they want turn America into Cuba.

Zogby reports Obama's approval rating has plummeted to 50 percent. It's going to keep dropping like a rock. I never heard liberals complain about Zogby when his polls gave them absurdly high numbers.

This is a pretty effective ad showing that Obama is governing far different than he promised.

Obama flip-flops on armed pilot plan, deciding to expand it. That's a good thing.

Chicago is privatizing police. You have to be kidding me. That's one of the few legitimate powers of government. Chicago has everything backwards.

Bill would allow newspapers to become non-profit companies.

Man convicted of drunk driving even though he didn't drive his car. He just started it.

How many plane crash stories begin by talking about how wealthy the victims were?

Every day I walk my dog, I look at literally tons of heavy equipment sitting idle. Since Dayton is building or repairing 8 bridges at once, fixing I-75 through downtown, building a new bus terminal downtown, and I live at the intersection of I-75 and the river across the river from downtown, I see many of these construction projects every day. Big earth movers, bulldozers, cranes all sit idle at 4 building sites nearly every day. When I see the other bridges, the equipment is typically sitting idle. The equipment sitting next to our bridge to nowhere hasn't been touched in weeks. That's government waste, and we're paying for every dime of it.

Cato describes how and why each government policy since the financial crisis hit drove down stocks, and explains that the recent stock rally had nothing to do with Geithner's bank plan, contrary to what the press is telling us, but was sparked by good news in the housing market. There's even a sensible comment from Bernanke about regulation causing problems in this essay. Too bad Bernanke, like all central planners, thinks the only problem with central planning is he isn't in charge of all of it.

The price of oil is about to skyrocket again. I bet this is already built into the price of oil futures though.

Ann Coulter provides the numbers and explodes the myth that Wall Street support Republicans. In fact, Wall Street pays much more money to Democrats than Republicans. I've long known this, but she's right that the media very successfully cover it up and make it appear otherwise.

California just gets stupider every day. Now they're planning to ban black and dark cars to fight global warming.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free kibbles

Geithner to ask for unprecedented new powers to seize financial firms and insurers. Just say no. He also wants the power to limit how much risk a company can take on. This is another big-government non-solution to a big government created problem. Big government creates moral hazard, privatizing profits and socializing losses, empowering companies to take excessive risks. Then big government tries to limit the risk, which in some cases won't work and in other cases will stifle business. That's no solution. The solution is to stop creating moral hazard.

Get the government out of our economy so Americans can fix all the damage government caused.

One of the things Geithner is pushing is that only certain people or companies will be able to participate in this corporate welfare, once again showing that socialism always benefits the elite at the expense of the people.

Congratulations to big, oppressive, dangerous government for inciting a lynch mob and credibly threatening to destroy AIG executives, coercing them to return their legal, contractually agreed upon bonuses. The rule of law and the sanctity of contracts means nothing to aristocrats. It would be easy to say this is government at its worse, but what this illustrates is government can and will get much worse.

Mises scholar predicted the call for one world currency, which China has now called for. Russia calls for it too. As if the US central bank hasn't created enough problems, imagine how much a one world government central bank would cause.

Obama writes letter to Jacques Chirac, saying he wants to work with him in the future. Unfortunately for Obama, Jacques Chirac hasn't been president of France for some time. Obama is a dunce.

Where's the outrage over retentions bonuses for Fannie and Freddie? Politician must be a synonym for hypocrite.

Moderate Senate Democrats organize to oppose Obama's radical agenda. Thank goodness.

Some unknown Obama official named Clinton says insatiable appetite for drugs in US to blame for Mexican violence, but she fails to point out the obvious solution. And it isn't just the appetite for drugs in the US. Every human has it. Americans just have more money because historically we've been freer to make more money.

The AP's fact check of Obama's speech, a mainstream media organ, however lamely questions Obama's facts.

The comparison that Keynesian economists think the economy is a perpetual motion machine slowed by saving should help non-economist scientists and engineers see through the big government smokescreen. This idea may seem right, if you were willing to live in a static (statist) economy. At first glance it would seem there would be no change and 100 percent employment would be achieved. But that wouldn't last long because the capital we depend on to make products would degrade. Tractors can't last forever. Factories can't last forever. Somebody has to maintain the capital we use just for us to break even, and that maintance cost goes up each year. Without ever more resources devoted to capital maintanence, we'd soon be back to the stone age. But worse yet, economic growth depends on innovation and therefore depends new capital, and savings funds both new capital and capital maintanence. Sorry Keynesians. You lose again.

Bizarre yet moving song sung by Mises's students and collegues as he fled from Austria to avoid German troops. It's impossible for us to imagine today the kind of desperation that those people felt, especially champions of freedom in the face of overwhelming tyranny and evil, and the kind of comradere it produced.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Malou Innocent responds

Dear Lostinwilderness,
For something like this, there simply won't be a document or quote definitively establishing the culpability of high officials like Cheney. Such people are usully too sly to incriminate themselves like that.
Hitler didn’t sign anything calling for the extermination of the Jews, either. Almost everyone (except Holocaust deniers) knows Hitler was one of the primary engineers of the Holocaust, though. (Cheney doesn’t compare to Hitler, of course, but the principle is similar in kind, not in degree.) That’s because a lot of other indications link Hitler to the crime.

Likewise, a lot of indications point to Cheney’s involvement in the abuses during interrogation. For example: Cheney, Others OK'd Harsh Interrogations and Cheney Defends Use of Harsh Interrogations.

The CNN interview that sparked my piece: “In a wide-ranging interview with CNN's ‘State of the Union,’ Cheney said the harsh interrogations of suspects and the use of warrantless electronic surveillance were ‘absolutely essential’ to get information to prevent more attacks like the 2001 suicide hijackings that targeted New York and Washington.”

Are we really supposed to believe Cheney was completely supportive of “harsh interrogations” in public and pushed behind closed doors for them to be used, but that he had no idea of and has no responsibility for the extremes to which interrogators were going?

Lastly, Cheney has endorsed waterboarding. Waterboarding has historically been considered torture, including by our own government after World War II.

So we have Cheney on the record supporting torture. It doesn’t shock the conscience as it should because of the detached, antiseptic way the media covers it, so our government officials feel safe discussing their culpability.

But still, there is Cheney supporting torture. From the interview quoted on the Al Jazeera page:

Asked if he thought, in hindsight, any of the tactics went too far, Cheney said, "I don't."

"I was aware of the programme, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do," Cheney said.

Let me repeat: When asked if he thought “any of the tactics went too far,” Cheney replied, “I don’t.”

I hope this helps clear the air!

Color and errors are hers. I don't have time to respond to her right now, but invoking Hitler in this context shows that she's not being rational in her analysis. I think we should believe the information we have - Cheney was instumental in designing the harsh interogation techniques the government does sanction, including waterboarding. But she has no reason to go beyond that and accuse Cheney of supporting other techniques that the US does not endorse.

Free kibbles

Treasury unveils toxic asset purchase program - more corporate welfare. I don't see the point of this. Why is taxpayer money being used to buy these assets when private sector money could buy them without taxpayer money? It looks to me like private buyers and sellers have just been sitting on their hands since the government got involved in this back in Sept., waiting for government to sweeten the pot with taxpayer money for both of them. Now that taxpayers are assuming the risk, the stock market is happy. That theory is born out by the sharp rise in stocks. Of course when companies get taxpayer money, their stock goes up, lifting the market. But the reality is government interference has crippled this recovery for 6 months. Obama and Congress will figure out a way to do the maximum harm to the American people with this plan like they do everything else.

If I'm not mistaken, this is exactly the plan Paulson outlined before TARP was passed. That's more of the same from Obama we can believe in.

Stocks are up 497. Wall Street loves 'em some big time corporate welfare.

Geithner explains his bank plan in a WSJ op-ed. Paul Krugman says it won't work.

Here's more newspeak from Obama. He says energy independence in his budget is not subject to wheeling and dealing. But his budget doesn't promote energy independence. It harms domestic energy development and makes us more dependent on foreign sources of energy. We get nearly half our energy from coal, and the rest from oil, nuclear and natural gas. Obama's energy plan attacks every one of those domestic sources of energy, and we'll have no choice but to rely on foreign sources because of it.

Mises blogger highlights an onerous tax law worthy of Democrats but passed in 2004 when Republicans controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress. This tax law punishes any Americans who expatriate the country. This law is a thinly disguised attempt to trap taxpayers, or at least their money, in the US for government aristocrats to use as they wish. If today's Congress considered this law right now, Republicans and conservatives would feign outrage, but 4 years ago, those same people considered it good policy.

ACORN sends stooges to AIG executive's homes to protest bonuses. But they love their partner in crime, Obama.

The Congressional Budget Office says Obama's budget will increase the deficit by $9 trillion over 10 years. But that's Obama's plan. His plan is to crush the American people under the weight of government in order to foment Marxist revolution. He knows his budget would destroy the country as we know it. We better start figuring that out, because information like this won't change his behavior, it just reinforces it. The Heritage Foundation reminds us Obama promised a net spending cut during the campaign. Anybody who bought that lie and voted for Obama should never be allowed to vote again. Obviously that's a joke, but Obama is not funny.

And congratulation to the Heritage Foundation for pointing out Obama is doubling down on Bush's failed policies. It's about time a powerful conservative voice finally took on Bush and tied Obama to him. Hope for America is growing. If more conservatives join the Heritage Foundation recognizing Obama is just following Bush's destructive lead, but bigger and faster, and are willing to criticize both, we can turn this thing around.

Great parody of the Teleprompter Messiah. I nominate this guy for poet laureate.

Even the mainstream media recognizes that America is swiftly turning on President Obama.

Pasting this logo on Obama's economic package is worse that putting lipstick on a pig.

First Paul Krugman ripped Obama's bank bailout plan, now Frank Rich thinks Obama is stuck in a Katrina moment. Obama's staunchest supporters are already turning on him.

Essay on Obama's lies about cutting taxes focuses on cap and trade but also quotes this gem of a lie from Obama,"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

South Caroline Governor Mark Sanford makes an eloquent argument for rejecting the discretionary parts of Obama's stimulus spending.

Cato explains that the European style train systems Obama plans are used only by tourists and the elite and wasteful compared to highways.

Cato advocates the US join a mission to put a no-fly zone over Sudan. I'm sure Obama will follow whatever lead the UN tells him to. On the face of it, a no fly zone over Sudan sounds like a great, humanitarian idea, but you know that government would somehow pervert it into something bad.

No, it would not be legit for Congress to target the AIG bonuses. That's why the House legislation targets all bonuses for all time for executives of companies receiving TARP funds with a household income over $250,000. I don't know why these writers keep setting up this straw man. Congress did not just target AIG.

It should go without saying that government should stay out of the news business, can you say Pravda?, but I'm glad reason said it.

Because our government is stupid, the best and the brightest immigrants who created wealth for all of us are heading back to their native countries.

Obama is anything but a regular guy. Enjoying basketball is not what makes a regular guy. Regular guys don't spend their entire adult lives seeking out and surrounding themselves with Marxists, partnering with anti-American pastors and domestic terrorists, and trying to foment Marxist revolution in America. I wish I had archived all the articles I saw saying Obama was a regular guy so I could pull them back out later and thrash the authors.

"I voted for Barack Obama largely on the basis of his temperament, which I thought superior." Are you kidding me? That's how you chose to pick a president? This author is not a serious person, or else he's making fun of himself and I didn't get it.

When explaining how Democrats have fallen behind Republicans in the generic polls, Michael Barone writes, "I think what we are seeing is more disillusionment toward Democrats than any positive feeling toward Republicans." Tell me about it.

Obama threw Chris Dodd under the bus on the bonus legislation in Obama's stimulus boondoggle.
The alternative to pinning the blame on [Dodd] would have been to be straight from the beginning—meaning to admit that it was Geithner, presumably with Obama's blessing, who championed the provision that paved the way for the AIG bonuses. But to do that would have meant sacrificing Geithner, whose two-month tenure has already been marred by controversy and limited public confidence.
But at a personal level, Obama's willingness to abet the scapegoating of Dodd is as cold as cold gets.

During the campaign we learned Obama had no compassion or compunction to do the right thing (remember his Kenyan brother living on $100 per year and Obama never lifted a finger to help him even after meeting him?). Anybody who thought Obama would be honest and take a hit for the actions of his administration when he could use one of his cronies as a political shield did not do their homework on Obama. How can people be so blind to something so obvious?

"The Middle East may be on the verge of a nuclear arms race triggered by the inability of the West to stop Iran's quest for a bomb." And apparently representatives of every Middle Eastern government are visiting recently freed A.Q. Khan on Pakistan to solicit his help. How much you want to bet Hugo Chavez is talking to him too? If liberals hadn't torpedoed Bush's attempt to credibly threaten Iran with bombing its nuclear program, this most likely wouldn't have happened. Liberals' inability to either understand or acknowledge, I don't know which it is, the consequences of their policies and actions might kill us all. Obama should rally US allies, including the Arab nations, and make that credible threat ASAP, because it will soon be too late.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Free kibbles

It looks like card check is going to fail, even Democrats understand it's a job killer, so why would these comes propose a compromise?

Henry Hazlitt on Marx and wealth envy.

Chicago columnist reports that Chicago-style politics have taken over Washington. Ya think?

You know Obama's plan for banks and the financial markets is bad when Paul Krugman rips it. Obama is playing another round of privatize profits and socialize losses. It's worked so well so far.
In effect, Treasury will be creating — deliberately! — the functional equivalent of Texas S&Ls in the 1980s: financial operations with very little capital but lots of government-guaranteed liabilities. For the private investors, this is an open invitation to play heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose. So sure, these investors will be ready to pay high prices for toxic waste. After all, the stuff might be worth something; and if it isn’t, that’s someone else’s problem.

As narcissistic and dumb as Obama is, surely his advisers have told him this is a bad idea, but he's going to try to force it down our throats anyway.

It's good to see conservatives suddenly waking up to the true nature of government. I could have written these paragraphs.

Everybody makes mistakes, and I made a beaut the other day. I was wrong to call members of Congress blow-hards and buffoons and declare them worse than useless.

I was too kind.

I should have said our representatives are gangsters in pinstripes and pearls. They are petty tyrants and the more power they grab, the more at risk we are. Homeland Security should flash Code Red any time this Congress is in session.

We've needed conservatives to think this way for 8 years, but better late than never. They need to understand the anger felt by the great mainstream of America has been building under Bush, and is just now boiling over because Obama is like Bush on steroids. If conservative voices like this guy carry this to the next step and realize that Bush and his Republicans were nearly as bad and that government itself is the problem, we have some hope for the future.

The problem is the author limits his criticism to this Congress. Granted, this Congress is easily the worst I've ever seen, but the last 4 or 5 have been almost this bad, and Congress has been controlled by petty power-hungry tyrants for 100 years. Still, this essay provides a glimmer of hope.

AIG is not the problem, Obama and the Congress are the problems. Contrary to what the crooks running our government want us to think, the AIG bonuses were no secret.

"A November SEC filing by the company details $469 million in 'retention payments' to keep prized employees."

In January, two House members urged the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to block such bonuses. Last month, the Senate passed an amendment outlawing such payments by companies getting federal bailout funds -- and then dropped it.

The White House was also in the loop. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) says that the administration asked him to attach a provision to the stimulus bill that authorized such bonuses. Dodd protests that he only agreed because he didn't understand what the measure would do.

Maybe other people who voted for it in the Senate and House didn't either. Maybe Dodd and the rest ought to read legislation before they approve it.

It turns out I was right about those bonuses being used to keep top talent from fleeing the sinking ship. Let's redirect the pitchforks where they belong - the White House and the Capitol. I still think this all a smoke screen for a far broader tax that will pass constitutional muster and never be applied to the AIG employees.

This double standard burns me up. Here's a conservative calling for the end of corporate welfare, which wonderful position, but he blames all the corporate welfare on Democrats. Give me a break. Do you think he's had a lobotomy making him forget that Bush and bipartisan effort from Republicans and Democrats started this mess? The author mentions Paulson, but you'd never know he was a Republican, and the article never mentions Bush. Did his lobotomy make him forget that both Republicans as well as Democrats have supported corporate welfare for decades? For America to recover, conservatives need to get over this partisan crap and start acknowledging the governments of both parties are the problem, both parties are destroying America, and it's just that Democrats are doing it more quickly than Republicans.

Police seizing money despite no crime being committed.

Though the processes may differ with each case and whether it’s handled by federal or state prosecutors, people who typically have money seized must file a claim if they want it back. They have to show how they got the money and that it was procured legally.

This is insane. Citizens should not have to account to policemen for how much money they have, no matter how much it is. Apparently cops and prosecutors have never heard the term burden of proof. Why hasn't the Supreme Court put an end to this? The Constitution is spinning in its grave.

Depending on the subtleties of the case and what court is involved, the money usually ends up divided among prosecutors and the police agency or agencies responsible for seizing the money.

Hello? This is supposed to be a America. This is just theft pure and simple. "Hey, wer'e running a little short on cash." "Don't worry, we'll just go sieze some today." Naturally the article doesn't mention under what authority the police do this.

Hot girls don't have to worry about jobs in the recession. They can always do porn.

I don't have a problem with allowing the Taliban to form a political party in Afghanistan. That's for the Afghans to decide, not us. I have a problem with continuing to try to build a state in Afghanistan that is doomed to fail. If the Afghans want to embrace the Taliban, that's their choice. Our concern in Afghanistan should only be US security.

Democrats in Chicago are so corrupt they even manage to screw up privatizing parking meters. Because of the high rates, Chicago residents aren't parking on downtown streets anymore. Chicago, California, Michigan, Ohio and other are all suffering from self-inflicted pain from big government.

Moody's list of 283 troubled companies.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Free kibbles

The supreme ruler of Iran says Obama hasn't appeased him enough yet and demands the US change policy to suit Iran. I'm sure Obama will oblige. The Iranians are playing Obama like a violin.

AG Holder puts an end to federal raids on medical marijuana distributors. That's a tiny step in the right direction for the nation, but huge for the victims of these raids.

It just struck me that the Kelo decision is a gross extension of welfare. Instead of just taking part of people's income to give to others in general, it takes houses and land from people and gives it to specific individuals or companies.

Email to Malou Innocent from Cato regarding her accusations that Dick Cheney supports torture:
Can you produce a quote from Cheney or a document signed by Cheney where he endorses "electric shock, near-asphyxiation, prisoners putting the urine and feces of other people on themselves, mock executions, and other forms of humiliating and degrading treatment"? If Cheney had ever endorsed those techniques, you can bet it would have been front page news for years, and I've never seen such a document or quote.

If you can't produce such a thing, you should publish a tremendous apology to Cheney and all of America. We have so much to criticize Bush and Cheney for including, as you correctly point out, invading Iraq, especially before finishing the job in Afghanistan, and for holding criminals as enemy combatants and subjecting them to harsh interrogation techniques, but irresponsibly inaccurate accusations that Cheney or anybody else in the Bush administration supported the techniques you mention above, especially by a politically independent scholar, is damaging to the country by providing ammunition for the terrorists to use against us.

I hope she responds.

It turns out that corrupt Democrat tax cheat Charlie Rangel has close ties with AIG, and before sponsoring legislation to tax AIG's bonuses, argued against such a tax. Rangel's reversal lends credence to the theory that Democrats are using the AIG bonuses to mask their real agenda - taxing income above $250,000 at 90 percent. Shocker.

I think Boortz is off base with the bill of attainder argument regarding the AIG bonuses. If the bill had named AIG, I think he would have an argument. But this is a general tax on any bonuses for people who earned over $250,000 working for companies that received TARP funds. The bill goes a lot further than a simple attack on AIG employees. I suspect the ex post facto clause of the Constitution will win out, and this tax will only apply to bonuses paid after the bill becomes law, if it becomes law. The Senate is supposed to be the more deliberate body to offset the intemperate actions of the House. It might well work out that way on this issue. A $7,500 tax credit would might make hybrids much more popular, but that's another redistribution of wealth. I don't want to pay for somebody else to buy a hybrid.

Walmart pays out $2 billion in bonuses, benefits and profit sharing to hourly employees. Walmart is so evil. Union workers are bankrupting their companies, driving themselves out of jobs, but Walmart keeps growing and sharing its profits with employees. Naturally Democrats prefer having more unions drive more companies out of business because it gives them an excuse to expand welfare and government power.

13 firms receiving bailout money owe back taxes, but the tax-cheating Democrats can't make an issue of it.

Anybody who watched the campaign new Obama was a poor communicator. He's fine reader, but it's not the same thing.

Mises scholar explains the fundamental flaw of socialized medicine is that medical equipment is always a financial loss because it can never be used to bring in money. Therefore socialized medicine systems don't buy enough equipment. That's why Natasha Richardson had to be flown from Montreal to New York for treatment. That's why places with socialized medicine look like antique health care centers. Without price signals, managers can't manage their health care systems.

According to a guy on the Wall Street Journal Report, AIG shareholders are beginning to think they would have been better off in bankruptcy. The silver lining of all this government mismanagement of companies is no sane company will ever ask for a federal bailout again. Anything's better than having Washington aristocrats having that much power over your lives.

National standards for schools would become just another way for government aristocrats to dumb down our already failing education system.

Reason interviews John Stossel. He has interesting comments on media bias.

Obama's Audacity of Hope, revised. Funny.

Reason says that the attack on tax havens signals an end to financial privacy. This is chilling. It's also an attack on national soverienty. We will all be sorry the Swiss caved.
However, basic economic theory tells us that if a country wants to reduce tax avoidance and evasion, all it has to do is lower its own tax rates and simplify its tax code. These are far more effective tools for thwarting tax evasion and reducing capital flight than tax harmonization across a number of countries. European governments should give tax reform a try instead of trying to force other nations to adopt a single, uniform system.

Like that's going to happen.

Reason defends short selling. Artificially inflated markets will fall with or without short sellers, but short selling is one of the great regulating forces of the market that limits artificially inflated markets in the first place.

Michael Barone says card check is good for unions bad for America.

This guys says the tax code mustn't be used as a weapon. What does he think a progress income tax is? At what tax rate does a progress income tax become weapon against the wealthy? What does he think a regressive payroll taxes are? Why should some people pay the tax on all their income but not others? The only tax that isn't a weapon is a tax that's exactly same for everybody. Like the FairTax.

The UN wants the US (mostly) to fund a $750 billion green new deal. Obama will probably jump all over this way to spend money we don't have.

Illegal immigrant raids lead to higher employment and wages for American workers. Duh.

Supposed photo of then KGB agent Vladimir Putin posing as tourist with Ronald Reagan.

I wouldn't have expected the world's oldest dog to be a dachsund.

Chavez grabs more power by having military seize Venezuelan air and sea ports.

Obama's steps up his attacks on business and prosperity by proposing federal caps on executive pay for all banks and Wall Street firms, and possibly more firms. Obama may be dumb, but his advisers know this will drive the top talent away from these firms, weakening our financial industry, and therefore weakening the US. And they have certainly explained this to Obama. We've had terrible presidents like FDR and Carter who seriously damaged the country, but Obama is the first president I'm aware of who intentionally is harming America. Thanks to Bush's incompetence and liberals, we've elected an amoral president who wants to do us harm and is succeeding at it. Even Democrats are going to turn on Obama quickly.

The executives of all the companies receiving TARP funds criticize limits on bonuses. What a shocker. If those bonuses didn't affect them, you can bet they wouldn't say a word. I'm against the bonus restrictions because they hurt the companies and the country, not because I'm getting one. The financial companies are attacking back because they know this kind of thing will destroy their companies. Imagine what they'll say when Obama announces his salary caps. This is getting ugly and getting ugly fast.
Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.

As long as the liberals in both parties were slowly destroying the country, the American people slept through it. They're not sleeping through Obama's blitzkrieg to destroy it. This is significantly different than McCarthyism. The Soviet spies were real and McCarthy was trying to help the country by ferreting them out. Obama is trying to destroy America.

Dollar posts largest weekly drop since 1985. Inflation is here. Growth is nowhere in sight. Thanks Bernanke. It's interesting to see that our socialists in charge are dumber than Norway's socialists in charge.

EU resists US calls for more government spending. The EU socialists are smarter than our socialists too.

You can't help but ask if this is the end of the US as we know it, but I still hold hope the great libertarian mainstream of America will wake up and force government to get off our backs.
The AIG bonus firestorm is a diversion from real issues , but it puts the ghastly political classes who make U.S. law on display for what they are: ageing self-serving demagogues who have spent decades warping the U.S. political system for their own ends. We see the system up close, law-making that is riddled with slapdash, incompetence and gamesmanship.

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Reform of health care, environmental policy, education, energy, banking, regulation — every nook and cranny of the U.S. economy has been put on alert for major change. Expansion of government spending, plunging the U.S. into unprecedented deficits, is without parallel. In economic policy, through regulation and control of energy output, financial services and monetary expansion, the U.S. government has embarked on a fundamental reshaping of America. It is designed, in short, to bring on the end of America.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who recognizes the leaders in Washington are intentionally destroying America.

14 year old boy didn't want to do his health homework assignment which was to go buy condoms, bring them to school, then compete in a race to place one on a wooden penis. This is what liberals have school children do when government runs schools.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Free kibbles

Russia confirms contract to sell Iran surface to air missiles.

How can you ban a chaplain from using the words "God" and "Lord". What do they think a chaplain is?

US budget deficit revised up to $1.8 trillion, but it's going to go a lot higher than that. CBO says Obama's budge would create a deficit averaging $1 trillion for 10 years. Obama is certifiable. I hope everybody who voted for him is willing to pay the extra for the rest of us who didn't.

Obama seeks new beginning with Iran. I have an idea for a new beginning. How about Iran apologize for seizing our embassy and for threatening to destroy Israel. It appears Obama will be the greatest terrorist appeaser in history. Anybody want to bet how that works out for us? Maybe Obama's hoping for a terrorist attack to give him a second term after he destroys our economy.

Writing back to me about my opposition to card check, Ohio Senator Brown wrote, "More than half of U.S. workers – nearly 60 million – say they want to join a union." That's not true. I recently posted a link reporting that only 9 percent of non-union workers want to join a union. Where is Sherrod Brown coming up with that absurd claim? I wonder if it comes from the 47 percent of union workers who think other workers want to a union.

Ben Bernanke is not satisfied with the amount of power he has to destroy our economy, which he's doing a great job at. He wants more regulations on banks so he can do even more damage.

I know getting stuff into space is dangerous, complicated and expensive, but taking 10 years to finally get the space station up to full power is astronomically slow. It took less time for NASA to send multiple manned missions to the moon. NASA has become just another gigantic, inefficient government bureaucracy. Space development would go much faster if NASA got out of the way.

Fermilab discovered a new, untheorized particle. Theoretical physicists don't know as much as they think they know.

Great essay explains that the ongoing circus of government aristocrats over their clumsy attempts to centrally plan our economy should remind us why the Constitution grants only very specific, severely limited power to government and we should never give bozos like Bush, Obama, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, Bernanke, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd and Frank any power over our lives or our economy.
These days, every politician assumes that because he has a driver's license and an ATM card, he must have all the necessary skills to run an automaker and operate a bank.

Are we sure any of them drive themselves or even use ATMs?
Politicians were shocked when Northern Trust hosted a client event featuring the band Earth, Wind and Fire. House Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank and 17 other Democrats demanded that it "immediately return to the federal government the equivalent of what Northern Trust frittered away on these lavish events."

But Northern Trust didn't ask for federal help—it was conscripted into the bailout. It happens to be managing its money well enough to be making a profit and repaying the taxpayers.

And did anyone notice that after Earth, Wind and Fire did the Northern Trust gig, it performed at a White House dinner? Why is it OK for President Barack Obama to host "lavish events" that are financed by taxpayers but outrageous for a bank to use mostly private funds to entertain valued customers?

Don't Earth, Wind and Fire contribute to the economy?
Congress' approach [to AIG bonuses] brings to mind the sardonic workplace sign: "The floggings will continue until morale improves."

Government is force. It can never be anything but force.

Larry Kudlow thinks Democrats may be using this AIG bonus fiasco to further their agenda by permanently imposing punishing taxes on the wealthy. He thinks it isn't an accident that the $250,000 number is identical to the number Obama campaigned on. Apparently Sec. Geithner of all people has proposed a far simpler and less destructive alternative to recouping these bonuses for taxpayers, but Congress wants it 90 percent tax rate back.

Charles Krauthammer can't seem grasp that there's nothing trivial about incompetent, corrupt government. It's not all about dollar figures. It's about whatever government disaster wakes the American people up. Let's hope Geithner and Dodd are both forced to resign over this. Let's hope AIG is allowed to go bankrupt because of this. Let's hope government will never interfere in our economy again because of this.

Maybe Dodd will finally pay the piper in 2010.

Mark Levin writes Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. I'm looking forward to reading this. I think I'll look for it at the library instead of lining Levin's pockets. ;) It'll be interesting to see if Levin rejects the tremendous failures of Republicans over the last 8 years, and if so, why did he wait to write this book now instead of while Bush was in office? It's twisted that no leading conservative other than Pat Buchanan had the guts to stand up to Bush.

Cato previews a study from the Journal of School Choice that reviews all the studies comparing government schools to private and free market schools, and the results overwhelmingly show that free market schools perform the highest, followed closely by private schools, trailed abysmally by government schools.

I love to read about US heroes.

Russian planes buzzing US ships.

This story about girls using animal drugs to induce abortions sounds like a legend to me. This is all second hand information.

AG Holder says Obama may release some Guantanamo detainees into the US. Every American who risked his or her life to fight terrorists should stand up and demand that Obama resign. I hope there's a firestorm of outrage over this, but our military is too disciplined to complain. But if this happens, look for significant numbers of military personal to change careers. It would be hard to field a military after that.

Charles Manson looks as insane as ever.

British government ignores D-day anniversary and refuses to pay for veterans to return there.

Interactive map of Mexican drug war.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free kibbles

Obama is planning a power grab to nationalize companies. I'm sure all the liberals who have railed against executive power grabs for the last 8 years will condemn Obama just as they stridently as they condemned George Bush.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man conservatives want to change the Constitution for so he can run for president, is one of Obama's biggest allies. And he's done a fabulous job running California. Transcript of joint town hall included.

House passes bill to retroactively tax the people who received bonuses from AIG. Maybe our representatives don't know what "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed" means.

Obama supposedly "stunned" by AIG bonuses. Obama is either ignorant or a liar or both. But I'm sure Leno's audience will eat this up.

Barney Frank threatens to subpoena the names of AIG employees who received bonuses. On what grounds? There's nothing illegal or even shady going on here. Frank is turning his committee into a kangaroo court.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preparing to pay out bonuses. Either Congress will stop this in advance (maybe that's the real target of the bonus tax legislation) or the press will be silent.

I look at this story with skepticism. Obviously anybody not involved in a war would condemn a sniper shooting a mother and her children. But I'm skeptical of the stories from supposedly "unnamed soldiers", but in the fog of war mistakes like this happen. On another note from the article, I take issue with the idea that Israeli soldiers should place comparable value on the lives of Palestinian as they would Israeli civilians. That's ridiculous. Of course Palestinian lives are far less valuable than Israeli lives to Israeli soldiers. Every government and every soldier has the responsibility to protect himself, his fellow soldiers and the citizens of his country at any cost of citizens of the enemy country.

CBS publishes surprisingly honest and accurate review of Meltdown, clearly stating the premise and why the theory makes sense compared to the popular theories that don't.

Recovery.gov is a typical government project - subpar and not transparent.

I find it hard to believe nobody knows who sent US soldiers into Alabama town. Maybe the reporter should ask the commander.

Obama plans to use a parliamentary trick to pass his radical leftist agenda including socialized medicine, cap and trade further federalization of our government schools inside his budget without fear of filibuster. Remember when evil Republicans considered bypassing the filibuster for judges? I'm sure liberals will be just as outraged at Obama for trying to bypass the filibuster on these far more serious issues. But senate Democrats have already begun pressuring Obama to remove cap and trade from the budget so it will subject to normal rules.

The people have already shot down Obama's plan to make veterans use their own health care insurance to pay for health care.

Even the politico is seeing through Obama, posting 5 myths that most of us already know, but liberals refuse to believe.

Since the Community Reinvestment Act played such a significant role in creating our economic crisis, Democrats want to expand it to credit unions. Credit unions, unlike the banks that were subject to the CRA, are currently financially stable. Democrats want to ruin them too.
“In recent months, we have seen the catastrophic effects that unsound loans can have on families and communities,” Johnson said. “Today, we take another step toward ensuring that financial institutions lend responsibly while continuing to encourage them to invest in all the communities in which they operate.”

The CRA forced banks to make those unsound loans. What a bunch of double-speak.

Obama has been lying to us about cap and trade too. White House admits its cap and trade tax will actually cost between $1.3 trillion and $1.9 trillion, the biggest tax increase in history and two to three times what Obama claimed it would cost. But what about Obama's pledge he would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans and never raise them? Everybody who believed that lie and voted for Obama should pay all of Obama's tax increases on the rest of us. Sometimes I forget to mention this bill will have an immeasurably small impact on climate. It's not about climate change. It's about destroying capitalism.

Obama's health care plan is going to cost about $1.5 trillion too, over twice as much as Obama has told us so far. A trillion here. A trillion there. Do you think Obama ever stopped to think that if Americans had trillions and trillions of dollars to spare, we wouldn't be in a recession? I bet he did. He just doesn't care.

This should be the final nail in George Bush's legacy coffin - showing that Bush is a socialist just like Obama, and that Obama is just continuing the nation destroying policies of Bush, Bush says he wants Obama to succeed. Let's never again pretend George Bush supports free markets or the American people, or that he's anything but a Democrat and always has been. Bush is LBJ without the charisma.

I didn't get the gist of this story yesterday. Obama is so dumb and dependent on the teleprompter, he read the Irish Prime Minister's speech, including thanking himself at the end of it. This story, like other Obama gaffes, is being covered up by the press.
Update: 10:30 am PST: Still no video released. This is the third Obama gaffe with no video. First the wrong door incident at the White House, then the helicopter head bump and now this. A dangerous precedent is being set here. If any other politician made this kind of blunder it would be everywhere.

This self-censorship of Obama's gaffes is frightening.