Friday, August 12, 2011

Change You Were Dumb To Believe In

"When I said ‘change we can believe in’ I didn‘t say ’change we can believe in tomorrow.’ Not change we can believe in next week. We knew this was going to take time because we’ve got this big, messy, tough democracy.”
-Barack Obama

Even kids know it's wrongt to hide behind fine print.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama Finally Creates Bipartisanship Through Dissapointment

It's expected that over at the Wall Street Journal you will find critiques of president Obama's policies a little more in depth than at left leaning lame stream media outlets. Yesterdays opinion piece by Brett Stephens was notably pointed though well said.

Is Obama Smart?
"I think I'm a better speech writer than my speech writers," he reportedly told an aide in 2008. "I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm . . . a better political director than my political director."

On another occasion—at the 2004 Democratic convention—Mr. Obama explained to a Chicago Tribune reporter that "I'm LeBron, baby. I can play at this level. I got game."
Stuff we have come to expect from our promiser-in chief. But just like he explained last week that he never meant that change would come tomorrow or next week, it appears that many are wondering if he really has 'got game'.
Then there is Mr. Obama as political tactician. He makes predictions that prove false. He makes promises he cannot honor. He raises expectations he cannot meet. He reneges on commitments made in private. He surrenders positions staked in public. He is absent from issues in which he has a duty to be involved. He is overbearing when he ought to be absent.
Again, not surprising coming from the WSJ. But it appears that the sentiment is not purely partisan. Support on the left is becoming shaky. Especially from Hillary supporters who held their nose and voted for Obama anyways.

Hillary Told You So
At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”

“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.

At a luncheon in the members’ dining room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, a 64-year-old African-American from the Bronx was complaining about Obama’s ineffectiveness in dealing with the implacable hostility of congressional Republicans when an 80-year-old lawyer chimed in about the president’s unwillingness to stand up to his opponents. “I want to see blood on the floor,” she said grimly.
"Blood on the floor". Glad to see that the left is staying the course with their appeals for civilty and their discomfort with rehtoric that could be seen as threatening or violent. But we'll save that for a different post. This post is about the left becoming unnerved with the Obama administrations continued dissapointments.
In his New York Times Sunday Review essay “What Happened to Obama?” Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen summed up the president’s lack of experience with devastating succinctness.

“Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he occasionally, as a state senator in Illinois, voted ‘present’ on difficult issues,” wrote Westen, author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.

The presidential scholar Matthew Dickinson went even further with a post under the headline “Run, Hillary, Run!” on the blog Presidential Power. “She did warn you,” Dickinson reminded his readers.

“Remember that 3 a.m. phone call? Remember the warning about the rose-colored petals falling from the sky? Remember about learning on the job? Sure you do. Doesn’t a part of you, deep down, realize she was right?” wrote Dickinson, a political-science professor at Middlebury College. “If I heard it once this last week, I heard it a thousand times: You were duped by Obama’s rhetoric—the whole ‘hopey-changey’ thing. And you wanted to be part of history, too—to help break down the ultimate racial barrier. That’s OK. We were all young once. But now it’s time to elect someone who can play hardball, who understands how to be ruthless, who will be a real ... uh ... tough negotiator in office. There won’t be any debate about Hillary’s, er, ‘man-package.’”
Wow! Is a Hillary run a possibility? During her run for the presidency, at many different points when others pronounced her demise, I never bought in. I always knew, and wrote that Hillary is like Jason from the movie Halloween or a vampire from any vampire flick you want to select. When you think Hillary is dead, DO NOT TURN AROUND AND DROP THE KNIFE, STUMBLING AWAY THINKING THAT YOU HAVE VANQUISHED THE MONSTER!

Until I see a decapitated Hillary, who has been dragged into a church and surrounded by a ring of garlic will I ever count Hillary Clinton 'out'.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Obama: The great Communicator?

Here is Charles Krauthammer's dead on short analysis of Obama's AAA downgrade speech.

“He went out there with the Dow minus 400. After he spoke it went down to minus 600. He looked weak, plaintive, and small: weak and plaintive because he comes out there and he blames the Tea Party, Europe, Japan, Middle East -- probably God because he's the author of earthquakes -- everybody except him.”
-- Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report w/Bret Baier” 8/8/2011
Pretty much sums it up.

My big take away was the mostly "Nothing to see here" message that he pursued. After weeks of posturing, scare tactics, and partisan sniping suddenly the downgrade of the credit rating for the USA is no big deal. It wasn't even a week ago that the democrats were howling about the eminent danger of a downgrade, and so reasoned that the Tea Party should just shut up and raise the debt limit. Obama got what he wanted in exchange for a paltry 1 trillion dollar cut in government spending over ten years, and the USA was still downgraded. Mainly because S&P had already warned the government that it need to see a 4 trillion dollar ut in advance of the deal. The worst case scenario that would mean Armageddon for the US economy happened anyways, even though the debt limit was raised.

Obama Bid to Boost Confidence Falls Short
"Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America," Mr. Obama said. "No matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a triple-A country."
What?!?!?!?  Nothing to see here?!?!?!?

What about the disaster that would occur if we were downgraded?

It is becoming apparent to both the left and the right that this president is over his head. More to come on that.

Obama Gets A Grade: AA+

Sounds pretty good right? Well it's not.

America Gets Downgraded
A spend and tax policy mix always leads to economic decline.
Friday's downgrade by Standard & Poor's of U.S. long-term debt to AA+ from AAA will be the first of many such humiliations if Washington doesn't change its economic and fiscal policies.
Unfortunately Washington doesn't get this. All weekend long democrats have been blaming the Tea Party for the downgrade. Ha! What a hoot! a real ROTFLMAO! Unfortunately there are people who believe this partisan propaganda. In our new upside down world reality the Obama administration can put this talking point out there despite logic and facts, and people will still prefer to believe the lie.

So let's think about the Tea Party's guilt in this national embarrassment. For over a decade Democrats and Republicans have been spending like drunken sailors. Then a third party almost arises, but then loosely aligns themselves with old school spendaholic Republicans so that they might have more than a snowballs chance in hell to win some seats in the House and the Senate. Their stated mission is to reduce Government spending and save the country from the fate we are witnessing in Greece. Ergo, the downgrade is the fault of the Tea Party. Yep! Just like the villian in Saturday morning Scooby-doo cartons used to say "Those meddling kids! I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for them".Yep. Nobody would have figured out that massive runaway deficit spending would eventually collapse like a Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme.
Yet is there anything that S&P said on Friday that everyone else doesn't already know? S&P essentially declared that on present trend the U.S. debt burden is unsustainable, and that the American political system seems unable to reverse that trend.

This is not news.
The very idea that if the Government had just quietly raised the debt ceiling with no debate, then everything would be just fine is laughable! Think about these numbers.
The Bush Presidency and previous GOP Congresses contributed to the current problem by not insisting on domestic cuts to finance the cost of war, and by adding the prescription drug benefit without reforming Medicare. But as recently as 2008 spending was still only 20.7%, and debt held by the public was only 40.3%, of GDP.
Pretty bad huh? I remember the Hate Bush Party (sort of the opposite of the Tea Party) freaking out over this. My own mother lamented with crocodile tears about the horrible debt her grandchildren were going to inherit.
In the name of saving the economy from panic, the White House and the Pelosi Congress then blew out the American government balance sheet. They compounded the problem of excessive private debt by adding unsustainable public debt.

They boosted federal spending to 25% of GDP in 2009, 23.8% in 2010 (as TARP repayments provided a temporary reduction in overall spending), and back nearly to 25% this fiscal year. Meanwhile, debt to GDP climbed to 53.5% in 2009, 62.2% in 2010, and is estimated to hit 72% this year—and to keep rising. These are all figures from Mr. Obama's own budget office.
From 40% to 72% in three short years. If pre 2008 spending drove you to the Hate Bush Party, then why isn't your head exploding today! Where is the seething hate? Even my mother no longer seems to be overly concerned about the debt her grandchildren will inherit despite these eye popping numbers.

But what is even more astonishing is the notion that if it were not for the darn Tea Party, everything would be fine. Standard & Poors would have never taken notice.


Think of it in real world terms. If you get a credit card and you pay your bills your credit score goes up. But, If you keep adding more credit cards and piling up more debt, at some point your score will go down, even if you are paying your bills. Your income to debt ratio makes you suspect in your ability to catch up on your bills. That's what happened to America on Friday. And it's not the Tea Party's fault, it's the fault of all those who would not listen to them. I hate to be the one to say it but "They tried to tell you so".

And as for yesterday's collapse in the stock market, it is my opinion that the correction is due more to the recent announcement that first half GDP number that was less than 2% growth. How could the market claim it is more valuable (11000  in January to 12750 in July) if the GDP is not growing at a similar rate? Hmmmmm... My stocks must be over priced. I'm outa here!

Obama was right about one thing yesterday "It's not rocket science".