Archive for the ‘coal’ Category

Gregg Goes From Bipartisan Symbol to Top Obama Critic

March 28, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg, who was President Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

Fox News
At first, the relationship between President Obama and Sen. Judd Gregg looked like love at first sight, proof that opposites do attract.

Obama is a 47-year-old left-leaning Democrat who believes in the power of government to solve people’s problems. Gregg is a 61-year-old New Hampshire Republican who advocated limited government and made millions through business investments.

Their unlikely partnership seemed destined to transcend partisan lines and symbolize the change that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

But Gregg, who was Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

He warned on Monday that Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal will lead to unsustainable debt levels and send the country on a fiscal path resembling that of a “banana republic.”

Gregg kept up his attacks on Obama’s budget request Saturday in the weekly Republican radio address, saying the path to prosperity is not the excessive spending proposed by the president but limited spending that holds down the growth of government, taxes and debt.

The senator said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He said Obama “is not trying to hide this; in fact, he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

Like most relationships, this one began with mutual admiration, respect and trust, with flowery compliments flowing between each other.

At their first public appearance together a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day, Obama called Gregg “a master of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He will be an astounding addition, a trusted voice in my Cabinet and an able and competent ambassador … I can think of no finer steward for our nation’s commerce.”

In turn, Gregg praised Obama’s economic stimulus proposal to stabilize the economic slide and pull the country out of recession as an “extraordinarily bold, aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100d
ays/2009/03/28/gregg-goes-bipartisan-sy
mbol-obama-critic/

In his radio address Saturday, Gregg countered each of Obama’s policy principles:

— “It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

— “We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

My Hope Doesn’t Allow Me To Swallow Obama The Way the Media Has…

March 16, 2009

There is just too much on the plate here to swallow.

As Andrew Malcolm wrote in the L.A. Times today:

Listen for more such positive tweaks in coming days. It’s bad. But we’re strong. If we can go to the moon, we can automate all medical records and cover everyone with health insurance and reform the country’s education system and stop foreclosures and expand the war in Afghanistan and create a federal deficit with more zeroes than most civilian calculators contain and then cut the deficit in half by giving 95% of Americans tax cuts and sticking it to a few rich people. And the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

That and, perhaps, China calling in all its loans at once.

Oh, and cure cancer, solve global warming (if it is the disaster Al Gore claims) and rid ourselves of oil, gas and coal.

Frankly, my dear, I do give a damn.

And I give a damn about working on jobs, banks and the economy first: without fixing the “cisis” we cannot afford to fix the rest of the country and the world…..

And the swallow Obama media can’t be too smart: many of the newspapers that got behind Obama early and without criticism are now going out of business.  Even consevative talk radio guys that haven’t had the impact of the “Obama boost” inthe form of Rahm Emanuael’s orchestrated attacks, like Rush Limbaugh, are failing.

So here is the recipe for future success:

Mitch McConnell and other Republicans need to fight the Obama plan, slow down all non essential legislation, and get people to listen.

Then need to set down principles the way Newt did in the “Contract with America” and they need to stick to them the way Ron Silver did even when Hollywood wouldn’t hire him.

It’s the economy, stupid.

Principles, sticking to principles and getting the word out will work.  It worked before.

Republicans: If You Can’t Agree On Core Values Now, Commit Harakiri

March 13, 2009

Arch liberal Bush hater Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was on the conservative Fox News Channel today to say, “Our country is being looted.”

If he can get this: so can all Republicans.

This is time for Republicans to stand united or die trying.  And for some that are on the fence like Maine’s Snowe and Collins and Arlen Specter of the Keystone state: we say adieu or seppuku.

Health care?  Good luck: but try to stand united.

Schools should be federalized and the White House is writing the legislation?  No brainer.

Spending at the rate of $1 billion an hour?  Unsustainable generational theft.  Even China is worried.

Energy: are you with Al Gore or against him?

Foreign policy?  Do you believe Iran, China, North Korea and the Taliban will play nice?

Terrorism: a word Obama has removed from the lexicon, is still maybe a threat?  What say you.

Corruption: Republicans want an end of corruption and total truth and honesty in government.  Right?

Time to ressurect the Newt style contract with what’s remaining of America before it is too late guys and gals….

****************

Daniel Flynn writes in today’s American Spectator, “If fiscal restraint, individual responsibility, the protection of human life, support for the 2nd Amendment and a robust military, and an abiding believe in American exceptionalism, are unpalatable to the likes of Frum, the left will certainly welcome him as the latest intellectual quisling, and exploit him for their own political designs.”

http://spectator.org/archives/200
9/03/13/frum-right-to-wrong

**************************

Related:

 China’s Economic Might, Arrogance Should Cause Caution in the West

Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Falling to Earth

 Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

Obama’s mythical mystique of government and science and their inherent moral benevolence

Culture of Corruption: Many Americans Losing Trust in Government?

Obama’s mythical mystique of government and science and their inherent moral benevolence

March 13, 2009

Presiden Obama is now on track to federalize schools, health care, some aspects of the media, science and just about every aspect of your American life.

Alarmist?

Maybe.  You judge for yourself.

The point is: some people do not believe that federal government rules for our schools will lead to better education across the board.

Some people do not believe that government control of health care will really mean better “care.”

Some people do not believe it is time to tax coal and gas and oil companies while we harvest the wind….There might still be too much hot air in the energy/climate change discussion….

Some people no longer beliive our national intelligence system: they said there were weapons of mass destruction is Iraq, they missed the fall of the Soviet Union, they now say what about Iran and nukes and the president wanted an anti-Isreal and pro-China guy named Freeman for a key intelligence job. Politicized?  Maybe.

Some people do believe that the spending, taxing and socialist trends we are now seeing will lead to a bankrupt America with the social life the Netherlands or Sweden.

And some people suspect that when the White House Chief of Staff engineers an assault on a private American citizen speaking his mind (Rush Limbaugh) and some folks talk about  ……  free speech will be curtailed before long.

I no longer believe in the benevolence of government.  And I surely suspect trouble in the promised benevolence of science, government and stem cell research….

And I just don’t believe in the promises of Barack Obama: the post-partisan, post-racial hope-filled future was a lie….

*****************

By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
March 13, 2009

Last week, the White House invited me to a signing ceremony overturning the Bush (43) executive order on stem cell research. I assume this was because I have long argued in these columns and during my five years on the President’s Council on Bioethics that, contrary to the Bush policy, federal funding should be extended to research on embryonic stem cell lines derived from discarded embryos in fertility clinics.

I declined to attend. Once you show your face at these things you become a tacit endorser of whatever they spring. My caution was vindicated.

Preident Bush had restricted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to cells derived from embryos that had already been destroyed (as of his speech of Aug. 9, 2001). While I favor moving that moral line to additionally permit the use of spare fertility clinic embryos, President Obama replaced it with no line at all. He pointedly left open the creation of cloned — and noncloned sperm-and-egg-derived — human embryos solely for the purpose of dismemberment and use for parts.
I am not religious. I do not believe that personhood is conferred upon conception. But I also do not believe that a human embryo is the moral equivalent of a hangnail and deserves no more respect than an appendix. Moreover, given the protean power of embryonic manipulation, the temptation it presents to science and the well-recorded human propensity for evil even in the pursuit of good, lines must be drawn. I suggested the bright line prohibiting the deliberate creation of human embryos solely for the instrumental purpose of research — a clear violation of the categorical imperative not to make a human life (even if only a potential human life) a means rather than an end.

On this, Obama has nothing to say. He leaves it entirely to the scientists. This is more than moral abdication. It is acquiescence to the mystique of “science” and its inherent moral benevolence. How anyone as sophisticated as Obama can believe this within living memory of Mengele and Tuskegee and the fake (and coercive) South Korean stem cell research is hard to fathom.

That part of the ceremony, watched from the safe distance of my office, made me uneasy. The other part — the ostentatious issuance of a memorandum on “restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making” — would have made me walk out.

Restoring? The implication, of course, is that while Obama is guided solely by science, Bush was driven by dogma, ideology and politics.

What an outrage. Bush’s nationally televised stem cell speech was the most morally serious address on medical ethics ever given by an American president. It was so scrupulous in presenting the best case for both his view and the contrary view that until the last few …

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy
n/content/article/2009/03/12/AR20
09031202764.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/12/laughingstock-president-doom-
does-a-180-cancels-fear-mongering/

Obama’s Hope, Post-Partisan, Post-Racial Promises Were All BS

Never Wrong? U.S. Intelligence Says Iran Does Not Nave Any Highly Enriched Uranium
.
http://johnbrodigan.com/2009/03/12/epi
sode-v-the-republicans-strike-back/

Republicans: If You Can’t Agree On Core Values Now, Commit Harakiri

Card Check, Earmarks, Nancy’s Air Travel Cloud Giant That Could Eat Obama, Ruin America: The Economy

March 12, 2009

Stupid games like card check are not good for the economy: so why are we playing them now?
.
Time to end stupid games and business as usual.  It’s the economy, stupid.

Pork?  Slash it.  Nancy’s aircraft: wanton waste of taxpayer money.  Don’t let them eat cake: fly commercial, bitch!


Dumb and Dumber: I’m starting to think this is Obama and Geithner

“It is time for President Obama to focus his considerable leadership and communication skills on the financial crisis – to speak candidly with the people about the magnitude of the problem, to embrace a solution commensurate with the problem, and to do whatever it takes to persuade Congress and the people to accept it,” wrote William Galston, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, in The New Republic.

Barack Obama should forget about spending billions of dollars on education and everything else and read a little recent history.  Recent economic, political and world history.

Money is power.  It’s the economy, stupid.

That phrase, coined by James Carville, got Bill Clinton into the White House.

The “we can have it all” thought process of Barack Obama might not get us what we want.  Be careful what you wish for.

I’ll join the team of Warren Buffett who suggests that the president needs to go to war to save the economy and deal with health care, education, climate change, energy and the rest later.

Just today, Thursday, March 12, 2009:

—The number of initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week, while the total number of people continuing to receive benefits set a record high, the government said Thursday.

— Foreclosure filings in the U.S. climbed 30 percent in February from a year earlier as the worsening economy thwarted efforts by the government and lenders to prevent homeowners from losing property.

—The net worth of American households fell by the largest amount in more than a half-century of record keeping during the fourth quarter of last year.The Federal Reserve said Thursday that household net worth dropped by a record 9 percent from the level in the third quarter.

Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach 10 percent by the end of this year, from its current level of 8.1 percent.

And our unemployment measures don’t see relatively highly skilled and highly paid workers now cleaning toilets….

The stock market may be up today but we all know it is down hugely since last fall.

Except on education the president should read a little history.  LBJ tried to do it all while the economy was shakey and he lost everything. 

The casino Barack Obama is spending our money in is the world and China, which holds much of the U.S. debt, and China could break his legs…..

But before China bearks Obama’s legs something else happens: because China sees an economically weak America and a President it perceives as weak, America and Obama will be tested.  Again and again.

And not just by China.

Related:
China Making It Clear: Won’t Roll Over, Do Tricks for Barack, Hillary
.
 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

Obama Reelection Effort Begins

Obama: Playing not to lose

See:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2
0090312/ap_on_bi_ge/economy

http://www.bloomberg.com/ap
ps/news?pid=20601206&sid=a
qtJdtiZTJtk

http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/12/threat-of-card-check-legi
slation-sends-wal-mart-stock-down/

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

March 12, 2009

Economists, politicians, and the public alike are questioning the viability of the massive $787 billion stimulus signed into law. In response, Congressman Rob Bishop (R–UT) and Senator David Vitter (R–LA) recently introduced legislation that would create an estimated 2 million jobs, increase gross domestic product $10 trillion over the next 30 years, and lower energy costs—all without a huge expense to the taxpayer.

The No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 would do this by expanding domestic energy supply and streamlining burdensome, unnecessary environmental review processes that have placed a stranglehold on access to reliable U.S. energy sources for decades.

Read the rest:
http://www.heritage.org/Research/
EnergyandEnvironment/wm2336.cfm

Why the No Cost Stimulus Act ?

Nancy Pelosi is already saying the nation will need another stimulus bill before we get out of this recession….

The $787 billion economic-stimulus plan was followed by today’s omnibus for $410 billion….

The interest payment on the debt from the stimulus and the omnibus will be about $500 billion…..And has anyone seen the economy start to rev up?
Obama Spending $1 Billion an Hour of Borrowed Money in First 50 Days
.
What are others doing?  Russia has energy but no jobs.  China has money but needs energy….
Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”
.
Related:
President may Ask For “Global Bailout”
Obama, Geithner: recession requires global action 

Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. is kissed on the cheek by one ...

Pelosi

Obama Doesn’t Understand What Many Americans Are Thinking

March 8, 2009

“First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”

Words from Barack Obama?  Hardly.  Those are words from Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address.

See:
http://historymatters.gmu.e
du/d/5057/

I am disappointed in my president, our president.

He has changed some really great rhetoric like FDR’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” into this:

“I don’t think that people should be fearful about our future.  I don’t think that people should suddenly mistrust all of our financial institutions.”

“I don’t think” indicates an Obama-centric view of the financial turmoil of Americans — not a “people centric” view.

And by guessing at what Americans really do fear, “financial institution,” Obama is saying it is these evil “financial institutions” that many of us do fear.

Well, maybe in Obama World and Obama’s White House, people fear financial institutions because they have no understanding of capitalism, business, the stock market and the American dream.

I am afraid that President Obama has no clue….That’s my fear.  And I resent Him telling me what I think.

I believe generally that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and I also believe in JFK’s famous challenge: “Ask not, what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”

I also believe in Ronald Reagan’s exoration: “Government is not the solution.  Government is the problem.”

I am afraid now because President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and a lot of other well meaning folks think the government is the solution.

America’s founders wrote down the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the other parts of our national fabric because they were living in fear of a far off all knowing and uncaring English Government.

And their spirit lives today in the saying, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  Many of us fear such naive, ignorant hubris.

I am starting to fear Washington.  Obama’s Washington.  A far off, all knowing and uncaring government about five miles from my house, which is surrounded by other foreclosed houses.

I really do fear that Obama and many Democrat’s don’t get it.

Just last week, on Tuesday, President Obama, while speaking about the economy and the stock market, mentioned the “profit to earnings ratio.”

And I thought he went to Harvard.  There is no “profit earnings ratio.”  There is a “price to earnings ratio” or PE.  Investors care more about their return on the dollar, reflected in the price they paid and the earnings that resulted.

Tom Petruno wrote in the Los Angeles Times on March 7, “He didn’t get the lingo right, assuming he meant to say ‘price-to-earnings ratios,’ a measure of stock prices relative to earnings per share. That flub caused snickering among market pros.”

See:
Obama, Socialism, Fear, Lack of Confidence: Tanking Stocks, Skyrocketing Debt, Recovery Doomed This Year

I was even more disappointed when the president repeated this ignorant flub in a New York Times interview late in the week.  That meant to me that nobody in the White House was smart enough to straighten out the president by holding a little school call on him.  Or maybe they just don’t know; and don’t read.  They certainly don’t listen.

But they’re thinking about curing all my education and health care problems, undoutedly….

So Obama’s lack of stock market lingo doesn’t mean to me that he slept through high school: it means he has no idea what drives capitalism because he was reading socialist doctrine instead of paying attention to America, as he himself indicates in his books.  Maybe he never invested in anything but himself.

*****

What is wrong with America?  Everything, in Obama World:

“Look, I wish I had the luxury of just dealing with a modest recession or just dealing with health care or just dealing with energy or just dealing with Iraq or just dealing with Afghanistan,” Obama said. “I don’t have that luxury, and I don’t think the American people do, either.”

Related:
From CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/03/07/obama.interview/index.html

Related:
 NYT Interviews Obama; No Economic Recovery This Year
.
NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Related:
Obama: Crisis is time of ‘great opportunity’

 President Pelosi?

 Obama, Socialism, Fear, Lack of Confidence: Tanking Stocks, Skyrocketing Debt, Recovery Doomed This Year
.
Can Democracy Fail With Obama’s Socialist Help?

*****

It seems to us that the attacks on Rush Limbaugh fromTeam Obama are an effort to tell Americans what to think and what not to think.  This kind of arrogance often manifests itself in unusal ways: Limbaugh’s radio show ratings doubled.

So I really do fear that President Obama and his guys don’t get it….

Democratic Attacks On Limbaugh Boost His Ratings — But He’s Not The Problem

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I fear that the president doesn’t understand that many of us don’t want to pay more taxes, however they are hidden or veiled and whatever thay are for, many of us DO MIND paying for por, even though Chick Schumer thinks we don’t, and many of DO want to further understanding of the good news/bad news behind such huge spending on health care and other Obama projects.  And I certainly DO WANT to understand how all this government debt will degrade American growth and quality of life in the future.  I don’t like sending money for oil to Saudi Arabia and I don’t like sending debt/interst payments to China eaither….

****************

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama offered his domestic-policy proposals as a “break from a troubled past.” But the economic outlook now is more troubled than it was even in January, despite Obama’s bold rhetoric and commitment of more trillions of dollars.

And while his personal popularity remains high, some economists and lawmakers are beginning to question whether Obama’s agenda of increased government activism is helping, or hurting, by sowing uncertainty among businesses, investors and consumers that could prolong the recession.

Although the administration likes to say it “inherited” the recession and trillion-dollar deficits, the economic wreckage has worsened on Obama’s still-young watch.

Every day, the economy is becoming more and more an Obama economy.

More than 4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007 — roughly half in the past three months.

Stocks have tumbled to levels not seen since 1997. They are down more than 50 percent from their 2007 highs and 20 percent since Obama’s inauguration.

The president’s suggestion that it was a good time for investors with “a long-term perspective” to buy stocks may have been intended to help lift battered markets. But a big sell-off followed.

Presidents usually don’t talk about the stock market. But the dynamics are different now.

A higher percentage of people have more direct exposure to stocks — including through 401(k) and other retirement plans — than ever.

So a tumbling stock market is adding to the national angst as households see the value of their investments and homes plunge as job losses keep rising.

Some once mighty companies such as General Motors and Citigroup are little more than penny stocks.

Many health care stocks are down because of fears of new government restrictions and mandates as part a health care overhaul. Private student loan providers were pounded because of the increased government lending role proposed by Obama. Industries that use oil and other carbon-based fuels are being shunned, apparently in part because of Obama’s proposal for fees on greenhouse-gas polluters.

Makers of heavy road-building and other construction equipment have taken a hit, partly because of expectations of fewer public works jobs here and globally than first anticipated.

“We’ve got a lot of scared investors and business people. I think the uncertainty is a real killer here,” said Chris Edwards, director of fiscal policy for the libertarian Cato Institute.

Some Democrats, worried over where Obama is headed, are suggesting he has yet to match his call for “bold action and big ideas” with deeds.

In particular, they point to bumpy efforts to fix the financial system under Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Obama may have contributed to the national anxiety by first warning of “catastrophe” if his stimulus plan was not passed and in setting high expectations for Geithner. Instead, Geithner’s public performance has been halting and he’s been challenged by lawmakers of both parties.

Republicans and even some top Democrats, including Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have questioned the wisdom of Obama’s proposal to limit tax deductions for higher-income people on mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Charities have strongly protested, saying times already are tough enough for them. The administration suggests it might back off that one.

Even White House claims that its policies will “create” or “save” 3.5 million jobs have been questioned by Democratic supporters.

“You created a situation where you cannot be wrong,” the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, told Geithner last week.

“If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would’ve lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs,” Baucus said. “You’ve given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct.”

Republicans assert that Obama’s proposals, including the “cap and trade” fees on polluters to combat global warming, would raise taxes during a recession that could touch everyone. “Herbert Hoover tried it, and we all know where that led,” says House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio.

The administration argues its tax increases for the households earning over $250,000 a year and fees on carbon polluters contained in its budget won’t kick in until 2011-2012, when it forecasts the economy will have fully recovered.

But even those assumptions are challenged as too rosy by many private forecasters and some Democratic lawmakers.

Many deficit hawks also worry that the trillions of federal dollars being doled out by the administration, Congress and the Federal Reserve could sow the seeds of inflation down the road, whether the measures succeed in taming the recession or not. The money includes Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget and the $837 billion stimulus package he signed last month.

Polls show that Obama’s personal approval ratings, generally holding in the high 60s, remain greater than support for his specific policies.

“He still has a fair amount of political capital, so the public is willing to cut him some slack and go along with him for a while,” said pollster Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. “But the public will have to get some sense that the kinds of things he’s proposing are going to work, or are showing some signs that they are working.”

Allan Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics, a Boston-area consulting firm, said the complexity and enormity of the crisis make it hard to solve.

“There’s no way to get it all right, regardless of which president is making policy,” Sinai said. “The problem is the sickness got too far. The actions taken, medicine applied, were mainly the wrong actions. So it’s just worse, and it gets harder to deal with. At this stage, there is no easy answer, no easy way out. It’s a question of how we fumble through.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/07/tea-part
y-on-taxpayer-revolts-in-green-bay-lafayette-olat
he-and-harrisburg/

Obama, Socialism, Fear, Lack of Confidence: Tanking Stocks, Skyrocketing Debt, Recovery Doomed This Year

March 7, 2009
This has the feel of a full scale assault on capitalism….

Some investors and pundits blame Obama for the market’s dismal performance. He inherited a mess, but his rhetoric isn’t helping.
.
Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Tom Petruno, Market Beat
Los Angeles Times
March 7, 2009
The stock market is supposed to be a bet on the future.

The market’s verdict so far this year: There is no future.

The continuing meltdown in share prices, the worst since the Great Depression, now has become Exhibit A in the political battle between the Obama administration and its harshest critics.

Conservative pundits including Rush Limbaugh and CNBC-TV’s Larry Kudlow assert that the president is waging war against capitalism itself, with his tax-hike proposals, social programs and banker-bashing rhetoric. That has sent disillusioned investors fleeing, they contend.

Well, something has. After diving 38% last year, share prices are down 24% just since Jan. 1, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 big-name issues.

Despite a slight uptick on Friday, stocks plummeted 7% this week alone.

An outside view of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall street. ...

The decline from the market’s peak in October 2007 now is 56.3% — the steepest drop since the plunge of 1938 to 1942, when no less than the future of democracy was at stake.

“I think everybody is afraid of Obama,” said Todd Leone, a veteran stock trader at Cowen & Co. in New York. “They’re afraid he’s a socialist.”

Yes, the S-word.

Others say the market is more upset with the administration’s failure to stabilize the ravaged banking system — a Herculean task that Wall Street had hoped would be the first major challenge the White House tackled.

“Every time Obama talks about something like healthcare, the market’s reaction is — ‘No, the banking crisis!’ ” said Jeffrey Schappe, investment chief at BB&T Asset Management in Raleigh, N.C.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner still hasn’t provided specifics on his plan to get rotting loans off the balance sheets of major banks, a step seen as crucial to jump-starting new lending.

For his part, the president this week advised investors to look beyond what he called “day-to-day gyrations” in share prices.

He then ventured into territory where few other presidents have gone. Perhaps taking a cue from fellow Democrat Warren E. Buffett, Obama offered an opinion on whether stocks were bargains.

“What you’re now seeing is profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal, if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it,” he said Tuesday.

He didn’t get the lingo right, assuming he meant to say “price-to-earnings ratios,” a measure of stock prices relative to earnings per share. That flub caused snickering among market pros.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-
fi-petruno7-2009mar07,0,869176.column

Related:
 Can Democracy Fail With Obama’s Socialist Help?

George W. Obama?

Related:
 Venezuela’s Chavez Urges Obama, U.S. Down Socialist Path

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Obama’s First Weeks: Economic Disaster, Socialist Agenda,

Can Democracy Fail With Obama’s Socialist Help?

March 7, 2009

We heard Mike Huckabee mention French philospher Jean-Francois Revel on TV recently.  Ravel believed that in a democracy, people could vote themselves so many benefits that the nation-state would collapse in debt.

We mention this as President Obama plans to borrow money and create debt to reform health care; bailout all homehowners with difficult mortgages; bailout AIG, Ford, GM, Citi, and a host of others; pay unemplyment insurance; reform our energy industry to eliminate oil, gas and coal, and more….And he has promised 98% of Americans a tax cut while proposing to increase taxes on those that create the most jobs (and wealth).

Whoopi doesn’t like getting taxed out the wazoo.  And neither does anyone else….

Well, maybe Oprah doesn’t mind more taxes for her pal Barack….

Oprah talks about President-elect Barack Obama.
Oprah won but I’m losing hope…

[Commentary]
Martin Kozlowski, WSJ

Ravel:

“… anarchy leads to despotism … despotism leads to anarchy …”

“Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”

“It is unlikely that we will ever be capable of building a world that is qualitatively better than we ourselves are.”

Democracy against Itself

“Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and ‘fascist,’ while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up.” From Europe’s Anti-American Obsession. A similar statement can be found in his book Anti-Americanism, Encounter Books, 2004, p. 156 (paperback).

“A human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than to an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence”

**************

By Albert Mohler

“Democracy may, after all, turn out to have been a historical accident, a brief parenthesis that is closing before our eyes.” With those words, French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel sounded an alarm as the ramparts of democratic conviction were under attack by the political left. Revel, one of the most important conservative thinkers in France, saw European intellectuals and the political left in America undermining the very foundations of democracy.

“Democracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them,” explained Revel. “It awakens only when the danger becomes deadly, imminent, evident. By then, either there is too little time left for it to save itself, or the price of survival has become crushingly high.”

To any insightful observer of the European scene in the early 1980s, Revel’s analysis was prophetic. Leftist intellectuals were pointing to the United States as the source of all oppression in the world, while praising the Soviet Union as the liberator of human kind. In How Democracies Perish, Revel aimed his sights at the self-destructive hypocrisies of liberal thought. As he knew, the very intellectuals who should have been supporting the United States were instead hoping for its downfall. “What we end up with in what is conventionally called Western society is a topsy-turvy situation in which those seeking to destroy democracy appear to be fighting for legitimate aims, while its defenders are pictured as repressive reactionaries.”

As Revel lamented, at times the democracies seemed to find strange comfort in calls for their own destruction. As he observed, “Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another is power is working to destroy it.” Were democracies doomed to self-destruct?

Jean-Francois Revel is well known as a shining light of reason in the French academy. Long a columnist, editor, and director of L’Express, Revel is also the author of a multi-volume history of philosophy. He sprang to Western attention with the publication of his controversial book, Without Marx or Jesus. Revel’s later volumes would include The Totalitarian Temptation and Democracy Against Itself.

Throughout his career, Revel has been known as a stalwart defender of democracy. He does not take this matter lightly, for he understands all too well that the basic structure of government determines the achievement or loss of human freedom within a society. In Democracy Against Itself, Revel argued that “every society which has worked more or less well, which achieved any sort of viability, and which produced civilizations men found tolerable, have been–or are–societies that in some sense are democratic.”

Of course, the alarm sounded by Revel in How Democracies Perish was overtaken by history with the fall of the Soviet Union and the remarkable events of 1989 and 1990. As Revel later reflected, the good news revealed in the fall of the Soviet Union was the fact that its internal weaknesses were even greater than the self-hatred of the secular left in Western democracies.

Now, twenty years after How Democracies Perish, Revel looks to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks and asks the fundamental question: Why do so many Europeans hate America?

This is not a question of merely academic interest. Revel senses that something fundamental is revealed in the way the European Left has responded to America’s status as the world’s only super power.

Revel is blunt. The ascendancy of the United States, set over against the relative decline of Europe, has given birth to an intense hatred in some European corridors. Most particularly, Revel locates the root of this poisonous anti-Americanism in France. As he comments, “It is in France that this loss–real or imaginary–of great-power status engenders the most bitterness.”

The virulent anti-Americanism that erupted on the streets of Europe in the aftermath of America’s military action in Afghanistan and Iraq did not emerge from a vacuum. Revel’s interest in anti-Americanism is rooted in his own experience as an French intellectual who actually visited the United States. When Revel first visited America in 1969, he discovered a land very different from what he expected. Having planned to write a book on the problems of the United States, Revel instead wrote a treatise criticizing the irrational anti-Americanism of the European Left. Now, he has done it again–and this new book may be even more important.

In Anti-Americanism, just released by Encounter Books, Revel considers this toxic pattern of European hatred towards the United States. He identifies one core issue as a sense of European loss. Revel cites Hubert Vedrine, the French minister of foreign affairs, who rejected the word “superpower”, and instead substituted a term of his own invention: “hyperpower.”

As Revel notes, since the Greek prefix “hyper” has exactly the same meaning as the Latin “super,” Mr. Vedrine is merely seeking to score political capital in his own nation and in the larger European neighborhood. As Vedrine stated, “We cannot except a politically unipolar and culturally homogenized world, any more than the unilateralism of the single hyperpower.” Exactly what Mr. Vedrine meant by this, no one seems to know. Nevertheless, it is an example of French hyperventilation posing as foreign policy.

Revel sees the problem as much worse than hyperbole. If America is dominant, Revel asks, then why is this so? He will not allow Europeans off the hook. “Europeans in particular should force themselves to examine how they have contributed to that preponderance. It was they, after all, who made the twenty century the darkest in history; it was they who brought about the two unprecedented cataclysms of the World Wars; and it was they who invented and put into place the two most criminal regimes ever inflicted on the human race–pinnacles of evil and imbecility achieved in a space of less than thirty years.”

The United States is far from perfect, Revel acknowledges. Nevertheless, he suggests that any criticisms should be directed at real problems, and should not take the form of irrational rantings.

According to Revel, the European Left enjoys its fantasy of America as “the worst society that ever was.” According to this cartoon of reality, America is a society that is entirely under the control of money-grubbing plutocrats. Everything is for sale and the entire culture has been commodified. The problem is not just George W. Bush, for the European Left is convinced that every recent American president “has been in the pockets of the oil companies, the military-industrial complex, the agricultural lobby or the financial manipulators of Wall Street.” But, in the French view, George W. Bush is just the worst of the lot–at least as yet.

The European Left is also convinced that America is primarily marked by poverty. As Revel describes the Leftist fantasy: “Hordes of famished indigents are everywhere, while luxurious chauffeured limousines with darkened windows glide through the urban wilderness.” These same thinkers are convinced that violence reigns throughout the United States, and that gunshots commonly ring through even the most peaceable neighborhoods. As Revel acknowledges, European rants about America’s lax gun laws would have more credibility if the same weapons were not easily available for purchase through the black market in virtually every European city.

If this picture of America is true, the pattern of immigration from Europe to the United States throughout the twentieth century was absolutely irrational. “If the picture of American society drawn everyday by the European press is accurate, then we must believe that those tens of millions of immigrants from all parts of the world, and especially those who came from Europe between 1850 and 1924, were all deluded fools. Otherwise, why did they insist on staying in the American capitalist jungle with all its evils and not return to the lands of peace, plenty, and liberty they came from? Lost in a hellish cultural wasteland, why at least didn’t they write to their families and relations basking in the paradises of Ukraine, Calabria and Greece warning them not to come to America?” Clearly, Revel does not mince words.

This virulent anti-Americanism is not a matter of mere sociological interest. As Revel understands, this explains why the United Nations Security Council has become so ineffectual and why the United States has been forced to act unilaterally. As he explains, “Europeans’ voluntary blindness with regard to these radical changes renders any American attempts at dialogue fruitless; as a result, America has no other option but to make unilateral decisions. How can you discuss a problem with people who deny its very existence?”

Jean-Francois Revel is a brave man who has lived through some of the most tumultuous decades of human history. Though a realist, he is not without hope. He has sounded the alarm more than once, only to have the Left ignore his cries. Anti-Americanism is Revel’s latest attempt to call the trendsetting intellectuals of Europe back to sanity. Good luck, Professor Revel. This is no easy task.

Revel’s prescient warning to the European Left should also serve to educate thoughtful Americans about the challenge we face in Europe, which may be as daunting a challenge as that posed by Islamic terrorism. Something sick lies at the heart of Western civilization. The democracies that will surely perish will be those who cannot tell the difference between good and evil, survival and ruin, freedom and tyranny. Or, perhaps more to the point, the greatest danger faced by democracy are those who deny that there is any real difference after all.

Ravel from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-
Fran%C3%A7ois_Revel

Ravel’s book:
“How Democracies Perish”
http://www.amazon.com/How-Democracies-
Perish-Jean-Francois-Revel/dp/0060970111

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That brings us to the first weeks of the Obama administration, set against the background of a scary and steadily deepening global economic crisis. Last month, in his first address to Congress, Obama warned the country that fixing the huge problems in the financial markets and housing and auto industries would require a historic effort. “None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy,” he said. “But this is America. We don’t do what’s easy. We do what is necessary to move this country forward.”

Minutes later, Obama spelled out what he proposes this to mean for 98 percent of Americans: “You will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut . . . and these checks are on the way.”

So much for summoning the country to sacrifice. Obama has been no more willing to ask average Americans to pitch in, even once the recession is over, than Bush.

See:
George W. Obama?

Related:
 Venezuela’s Chavez Urges Obama, U.S. Down Socialist Path

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Obama’s First Weeks: Economic Disaster, Socialist Agenda, Congressional Pork, Limbaugh Attacked, and “We Won”

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/06/the-going-galt-phenom-spreads/

Oprah’s Literary Liars Club: Who Is Responsible?

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/330
01_Chavez_to_Obama-_Ally_With_Us_on
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Obama’s Economic Strategy Akin To LBJ’s Vietnam Fiasco: “Pour In More”

March 6, 2009

With America embroiled in its biggest disaster of the 20th Century, the Vietnam War, the President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, decided that he himslef should micro-manage the entire war effort, after his heavy reliance upon Defense Secretary Robert McNamera.

McNamera and his top advisors were called “Whiz Kids;” and they embraced a new thinking called systems analysis.

McNamera’s charts and graphs were never wrong: until Communists overwhelmed Vietnam in 1975.

The Team LBJ startegy for a time in Vietnam could easily have been called “Pour in More.”

LBJ also decided, despite the costs of the war in Vietnam, he could still execute his vast social reforms in the “Great Society.”

He was wrong.

Robert McNamara
McNamera pours in more troops…..

President Obama, a man not short of brainpower and hubris, might be falling into the LBJ trap.

Obama is currently relying upon economic advisors and economic advice that could possibly be totally wrong for the nation.  Keynesian economics, as many say, is an unproven theory: and far from a certain fix.

And “Pour in More” doen’t seem to be working just yet.

Worse still: those that predict economic recovery, like businesses in a position to hire and those able to express confidence in economic growth by investing, are not pouring in anything.  They are bailing out.

As Warren E. Buffett has said: “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”  He said this about the young lions of  economic thinking around just now, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

He could have said the same thing about Robert McNamera.

And Obama’s move to execute a broad social agenda including health care reform, energy use overhaul and other spending efforts, might just remind some of the LBJ dilemma.  Obama is waging a war to revive the economy; yet he insists upon also setting America upon a totally new direction that will cost unknown trillions — even as he allows business as usual pork spending and waste to be executed in Congress.

Related:
Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

Stock Markets: When Will the Bull Return?

http://throwingstones.wordpress.com/20
09/03/05/moderates-uneasy-with-obam
a-plan-manu-raju-politicocom/

 Unemployment Highest Since 1983; Business Leaders Have No Confidence in Obama Economic Plan, Team

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/06/cube-s
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Venezuela’s Chavez Urges Obama, U.S. Down Socialist Path

Treasury island: Geithner’s lost crew 

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”