The Economy


Labor of Love: The economic and employment situation must be dire indeed when the financial markets embrace, then rise on, an ADP report stating that 217,000 jobs were added in February over the 180,000 that were predicted. My math informs me that this represents an annual increment of 444,000 jobs. That works out to less than one-half of one percent of the total working population. If this news is somehow titillating to investors…and cause for an 8.78 point rise in the Dow, then things have become so irrational that my mattress or a hole in the woods is looking better and better as a place to park my 401k balance.

Belaboring Their Position: The protesters in Madison, WI have definitely wrung out their 15 minutes of fame. If I may speak for the average citizen (in whose class I am firmly entrenched), you have made your point, spoken your piece and worn out your welcome. The carnival that now exists in Madison, under the guise of decrying Draconian union “rights” truncation, has now become a forum for socialists and insurrectionists. Perhaps the teachers and union supporters are unwitting “useful idiots,” or perhaps they just don’t care. But I think there is some kind of mutually-beneficial arrangement between the unions and the socialists — their mission statements are essentially the same and their main aims (collectivization) are complementary.

Eric Holder — Attorney General for Blacks?: A recent comment by US Attorney General Eric Holder makes me wonder if he is really the legal defender of all Americans. In response to congressional questioning regarding the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute the Black panther’s case in Philadelphia, Holder replied:

“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.[emphasis added]

I don’t think that I have to remind Mr. Holder that his people are the American people. In his position, there cannot be any divisions based on race, class, ethnicity or sexual orientation. He is (supposed) to be the bulwark of the Constitution…and if we cannot trust his impartiality or neutral application of the law, then who can we trust. I cannot help but think if those same comments were made yesterday by a white Attorney General, that he/she would be a former Attorney General today.

Crisis, Crisis and Gas Prices: Where is the outrage regarding the ever escalating gasoline prices at the pump? Oil futures are now trading at over $100 per barrel and pump prices are now exceeding $3.30 nationwide. In our present weak economy, these increases, like those seen in the spring and summer of 2008, can be a deal breaker for our fragile recovery. Certainly the reasons for the price increases can be found in the recent insurrections and instabilities in the Middle East. But there is also the 900 lb. gorilla in the room when it comes to the gasoline prices that Americans pay now and will pay in the future. This is the reluctance of the Obama administration to endorse and allow oil exploration and drilling on American soil or in American waters. It appears that Obama has been successfully indoctrinated by the greenies and global warmists…and it also appears that there will be no new meaningful oil exploration until the next GOP president takes control of the White House. Until that time (hopefully in 2012) we will be at the mercy and caprice of Middle eastern potentates and strongmen…and subjected to the vagaries of a quickly changing world political arena. As such, expect that gasoline prices might top out at $5.00 a gallon, and that your plans to lead a “normal” life might be placed on hold, accordingly.

Cowards at Home and Abroad: The fourteen still-AWOL Wisconsin senators should be dealt with harshly by the government of Wisconsin. As of today, the remaining GOP legislators have passed a resolution that fines these cowards $100 per day, after a two day continuance absence from the senate, that is set to start on Friday. This weak punitive measure follows the withholding of their pay and certain senatorial benefits like photocopying privileges. But these “punishments” to date have done nothing to loosen the intractability of the absent legislators. Something powerful and financially painful needs to be done to let these cowards know that they were elected to do all the people’s business, and not that of their favored unions special interests. Unfortunately, there are criminal cowards abroad who have murdered two US servicemen on board an airport bus in Germany. The gunman was reported to have cried “Allahu Akbar” or “Jihad, jihad” when he opened fire on the bus marked “US Air Force.” The gunman, identified as an ethnic Albanian, was subdued after his gun jammed. I guess cowards come in all forms, their cowardice manifests itself in all forms, and they exist in great abundance both here and abroad.

In the run up to the State of the Union (SOTU) address, and the kickoff to his 2012 re-election bid, President Obama is going to hit the ground running as the Optimist-In-Chief. Everything he purports to have accomplished, or didn’t, is going to be touted by the POTUS as the best thing to happen to America since sliced bread. Hopefully, this week kicks off the last half of his term as president. (We can hope for change, can’t we?!?!) But how well Obama is able to frame the benefits of his agenda so far versus the extreme damage that they’ve done to our nation is going to set the stage for his re-election chances. He is going to have to put the most positive spins on the Stimulus (aka Porkulis), Obamacare, the financial sector bailouts and the takeover of GM and present them in the best possible light. In conjunction with his adoring MSM, Obama must accentuate the positive in any way he can. This is already happening as Obama has clearly pivoted (as opposed to the triangulation of Bill Clinton) from the fundamental change president to the jobs president. He is moving towards the center; a move that may be more uncomfortable for his radid progressive supporters than it is for him. And there are already paeans and love odes about his first half-term that are appearing in the MSM to aid in his movement.

Obama clearly has no deeply held feelings about capitalism. In fact, by all indications he’s a progressive socialist. So rather than an ideological epiphany, his centrist move is less about substance and more about re-election calculus. So, as he tacks towards the political center, one has to wonder how many of his Progressive ideological soul mates he will drag with him. Were the passage of Obamacare, his restricting homeland oil exploration and the onerous regulatory actions actions of his czars (so far) enough to mollify the crazies on the extreme left? Time will tell, but it’s hard to get into the skulls of the true believers. Reading the tea leaves of the Cloward-Piven crowd is tough, particularly since they measure their progress towards achieving their agenda in inches and not miles. The moonbat lefto’s may lionize Obama for his passage of Obamacare…which sets up a controlling structure for the government forevermore. Who knows?

But I think we can count on this. Obama is all about Obama. He will throw his fellow “Democrats” and Progressives under the political bus if it means political longevity for himself. Be prepared for the man to say anything in order to couch what has occurred in the first half of his term in a positive light. This SOTU will be Obama in full rose-colored glasses mode. He is going to re-iterate his “inheritance” of two wars and a “lousy” economy…and try to convince us that he is an extraordinary turn-around artist.

But with inflation just beginning to rear its ugly head, gasoline and heating oil prices increasing on a daily basis and unemployment still in the vicinity of 10%, he has a tough row to hoe. Perhaps his supporters will give him a break and give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he and the TOTUS are tremendous “speechifiers.” But I think as time goes by more and more Americans are recognizing his agenda for what it it…the greatest governmental spending spree in the history of the world and the greatest assault on individual American’s rights and liberties since the Roosevelt administration.

In his SOTU address, Obama will begin his precipitous move towards the political center. If you’ve been a keen observer of his past politics, he and the political center are strange bedfellows indeed! But move towards the center (and presumed moderation) he must. However every American should be wary of his words and mindful of his actions, both past and future. He might get the privilege of speaking out of both sides of his mouth during the SOTU address, but it will be the Obama who speaks from his one mouth after his national self-adulation during the SOTU that we must have great concern about.

Obama cannot change his stripes, nor can he gain new ones. He is who he is, and we are going to have to understand this fact and deal with its consequences. Over the next 23 months we are going to witness an Obama as POTUS who is going to do everything humanly possible to derail the plans of the Republican majority in the House while portraying himself as “Mr. Goody Two-Shoes” and a moderate’s moderate. He will preach “bipartisanship” and civility, but employ his usual cut-throat Chicago-style political tactics and antics. Americans, don’t be so dumb, gullible or ignorant to buy the “stuff” that he is selling. America has a long way to go to pull ourselves out of the social, economic and governmental mess that was foist upon us in the first Obama half-term. We are going to need a strong leader who recommends strong medicine to get us out of our morass. This will include major cuts to social entitlements and a reduction of the size of government — something we are never, ever going to see from an Obama administration.

By his actions and his words in his completed half-term…when the REAL Barack Hussein Obama held sway…Obama is not nearly half the man to guide us towards a better future. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, the majority knows that this is true. So PLEASE, don’t be fooled by the repackaged, new-and-improved Obama and the utter propaganda and sloganeering that you will hear from him from now on.

It was all at once amusing and infuriating to watch my congressman, Jim McGovern (D-Havana), bloviating on the House floor or in conference over the past few days. Yesterday, Mr. McGovern raised hypocrisy to a sacrament when he was challenging the new House rules for considering the GOP-proposed Obamacare repeal bill. McGovern was challenging the claims of transparency by the House GOP regarding their rules.

Well, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black! If we put on our time travel suits and turn the clock back to last year just before Christmas, we will find that Obamacare passed because of the twisting, no shredding, of the House rules by then House Rules Chair Jim McGovern. Imagine that. The same guy who engineered the Christmas eve vote using “special” rules and the same man who invoked the “nuclear option” and twisted reconciliation more than once now is crying foul now that he is on the outside and warming the back bench.

Today, the shameless McGovern took to the House well to decry the GOP’s one page Obamacare repeal bill, which he called “the most expensive piece of one page legislation in history.”

What?

So, a two-thousand plus page piece of legislation that violates our constitutional rights, assumes control over 1/6th of our economy and spends enough money to cover 30+ million new insured isn’t expensive? Not according to the CBO, crows Pelosi, McGovern and the Dem choir. But if one scratches the surface of the very flawed CBO estimates on the “savings” that are claimed for Obamacare, one will see the vast deceit and obfuscation that was used to seed the CBO’s initial assumptions (by the House Dems.) The Dems claim that over the next 10 years that Obamacare will save over $800 billion. But a more accurate (and honest) analysis by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) reveals that Obamacare will actually cost $701 billion. [Breaking news: A new, honest and accurate estimate from the CBO just released finds that the repeal of Obamacare will actually save $540 billion and eliminate $770 billion in new taxes!] Double counting savings and omitting costs allowed the Dems to fabricate their favorable savings figure — which provided them the ammunition that they required to bolster support for its passage.

But average Americans still reject Obamacare; according to Rasmussen 60% of those polled favor repeal. So Jim McGovern, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their capo de tutti capi Obama can crow about the benefits of Obamacare, and decry the GOP for their repeal efforts. But they are on the wrong side of both public opinion and economics. Sorry Jim…hypocrisy may be a powerful political tool for you, but in this instance it is a loser!

The Democrats, Obama and their ilk go off the tracks when it comes to dealing with commerce. The Constitution (you know that tired old document that’s at least 100 years old and quite difficult to read — at least according to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post) gives the Congress power to regulate commerce between the various *states*.

But is does not give the Congress the power to regulate individuals, industries or businesses. When Congress assumed this power, and the Supreme Court codified this with past landmark decisions in favor of this congressional assumption, they did so in direct conflict with and violation of the Constitution. Since that time in the 1930′s, there has been little push back by the states, businesses or citizens to limit this congressional power and authority.

However, by regulating and legislating to such a granularity, rather than at the interstate level as the Founders intended, Congress (and the enabled government) actually dictates, limits and restricts commerce and not encourages it. We are not truly free when our government takes control of and then dictates our behaviors — because commerce is the means by which we (are supposed to) freely make our livings and seek our fortunes.

The power that the Founders provided the Congress was to level the commercial playing field between states in the Union, such that one state could not gain onerous competitive advantage over another through anti-competitive laws, levies and regulations.

The powers the Congress has assumed have not only changed the rules of the commerce game, it has shrunk the playing field, has hamstrung the players and has limited the number of players in the game. Instead of a fair play game, we now live under a system where the game is dominated by the referees…and the scores are rigged by their calls. Hell, the government is even fielding teams for itself (GMC, for example.)

It’s well beyond high time that we put the Congress and the government back in their place with regards to their role in the process of commerce. Then we citizens can play the game of commerce unimpeded as the Constitution allows, and be able to seek our fortunes and prosper limited only by our individual drive and initiative.

On January 20, 1999 the newly-minted President Obama entered his office with enthusiasm and gusto. He was going to change the US, and perhaps change the world. He was going to implement his promised change as sweeping social and economic “reforms” that would be overwhelmingly embraced by the American people. Historians would look back and mark that mid-winter day as the beginning of a new American Renaissance.

However, reality met with Mr. Obama when he made his first trip to the Oval Office. After the first time he sat behind the “Resolute” desk, he discovered that although he was now a very powerful man, he had few controls directly available to him in order to make meaningful changes.

Regarding the economy, Obama found that there were exactly two controls that he could use: The first is a gearshift with three positions labeled ‘spend’, ‘tax’ and ‘cut;’ and the second control was a large brake pedal labeled ‘regulation.’ To his dismay, he could not find a steering wheel or an accelerator pedal. And furthermore he discovered that the cut position had been duct taped-over so that the gearshift lever could under no circumstances enter this position. It must have been an awful shock for a man with such lofty visions of grandeur to find that there was no accelerator pedal or steering wheel, and that otherwise he had such precious little control over the economy at his disposal.

However, any student of economics and government understands that there are only four actions that the government can take in order to affect the economy: It can spend, cut, tax, and regulate. And these same apt students of economics should conclude that our Driver-In-Chief is guilty of ‘reckless driving’ through his insistent use of the gearshift and brake pedal at his disposal. President Obama began and continues to drive only using his tax and spend gearshift positions and his big regulation brake: His profligate bailout and Stimulus spending as well as instituting onerous regulations on industry are two sure-fire means of stunting economic growth. It sure appears that he’s trying to accelerate by riding the brake!

The price that we pay for the president’s overuse of the tax/spend gearshift and the regulate pedal is uncertainty in the commercial marketplace. Businesses of all sizes are reluctant to add jobs to grow their market share because of the ever-increasing unpredictability of the regulations being rolled out by this administration. Also, the mounting national debt and the uncertainty of near-term and future interest rates make for jittery board rooms as well. What corporate leader wants to throw good money after bad? What corporation wants to gamble with their shareholder’s investments? It’s no wonder corporate America is sitting on the economic sidelines with their cash.

But even with mountains of evidence to the contrary, President Obama obstinately insists on placing the gearshift in the spend position again and again – he recently proposed a $50 billion plan to renovate infrastructure. Critics of this plan say that this additional “stimulus” will do little to create short-term jobs and will only add to our growing debt, which is described by Hillary Clinton as “a matter of national security not only…a matter of economics.”

Still more troublingly, Obama still refuses to rein in the alphabet soup list of government regulatory agencies, and the red tape forced upon businesses by them, over which he has direct control. Similarly, we cannot underestimate the disastrous economic effects of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi alliance that enacted so many business-unfriendly legislative initiatives. If one needs an example, one only has to go as far as Obamacare for a breathtaking reminder.

Well, can you smell the burning brakes of our slowing economy? Can you feel the economic deceleration yet? Do you see the skid marks from our economy coming to an abrupt stop from counterproductive policies?

The actions taken by Mr. Obama to date demonstrate that he has no idea where to find the accelerator for our economic activity. But if you ask any American business man or woman, they will almost immediately tell you that the accelerator resides with the American people, and subsequently in small business and corporate America. The accelerator is pushed when government gets the heck out of the way and lets free trade occur among American citizens and businesses with the barest minimum amount of regulation and restrictions.

Remarkably, no gearshift lever needs to be moved or brake pedal requires depressing. When it comes to the government’s role in economic activity, the term laissez faire should be carefully observed watch words.

Regrettably, the concept of unfettering commercial and economic activity from the federal government is both foreign and repugnant to Mr. Obama and his statist advisers. In their minds federal control equates to guaranteed fairness, as well as to power, regardless of any negative consequences that may be encountered. So, America will continue to have a President who insists on driving recklessly with his actions and his agenda, at least until he can be convinced otherwise. That might take some doing, even with the specter of an incoming Republican Congress to prod him to that conclusion.

If only our president would recognize the true titanic potential of the American people, and the American economy, by just stepping back – if he could just let go of the gearshift, take his feet off the brake pedal, and perhaps even remove the duct tape from the gearshift’s “cut” position, and then give that position a long overdue try.

Unhindered by government meddling, we would feel economic acceleration like never before. We would experience an economic revitalization only dreamed about by socialists and statists. And we would see the fulfillment of the vast potential of our capitalist system and welcome a new dawn in American prosperity.

I guess I dream too big…

You can chalk up the catchy phrase “Summer of Recovery” up there with “Mission Accomplished” with regards to its political damage and its inaccuracy.

The jobless numbers released today are as vivid a warning as a flaming tomahawk in a movie settler’s door. The increase in jobless claims by half a million is a cold water in the face, kick in the groin indication that the economy is in decline once again.

Let’s be clear…there is no recovery. There will be NO recovery until the insane agenda and the inane policies of this administration are trimmed back significantly. This agenda and these policies create unbelievable uncertainty in the business community, and one doesn’t need a PhD in economics to make the connection between the continued joblessness and the actions (and inactions) of this administration. And if we add in the impending sun-setting of the Bush tax cuts, then the business climate goes from toxic to downright radioactive.

It is a common trait of politicians to possess the inability to admit when they’re wrong. Mr. Obama, give Americans a refreshing look at US politics (one which, by the way you promised on your way in the door) and declare your policies wrong…and acquiesce to the obvious logic of extending the Bush tax cuts until the economy is on steadier feet. Any act of goodwill towards the business community will be a welcome sign. It might be the catalyst necessary to help spur some confidence and some much-needed new business activity.

However, continued and future hostility towards business and capitalism will surely guarantee us jobless numbers like those released today for the foreseeable future.

The ball is and will be in your court. Let’s see if you can recognize and prescribe the medicine we need as a nation to get us moving forward once again.

  • The Rather Imperfect Ms. Sherrod. Shirley Sherrod has unwittingly become the new Joan d’Arc of race relations. Suddenly, this once more than casually racist (if you listen closely to her own words) woman had an epiphany and just as suddenly her past sins were, POOF, forgiven and she has been cast in a new light. This new light is the aggrieved and tragically maligned speaker whose words of redemption were taken out of context. Where we had calls for her resignation just mere days ago from the White House on down, including the NAACP, we now hear cries for canonizing this woman. And my God, let the apologies begin! Two things bother me about the who Sherrod situation: first is that as she spoke of her “transformation” from someone who provided a farmer with a lawyer of “his own kind”, the visible audience nodded their heads in agreement…and laughed heartily when she spoke of her past racism. This made me go hmmmmm… . And the second thing was that if you listen real closely, at the time starting at 23:40 of the NAACP-released video you can hear Ms. Sherrod, in her capacity as a Federal USDA employee, disparage the Bush administration and the “Republicans” for racism as it relates to their stand on health care “reform:”

    You know, I haven’t seen such a mean-spirited people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn’t it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bush’s and we didn’t do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.

    Maybe it’s just me, but Ms. Sherrod’s words are apparently in violation of the Hatch Act, which state that “a restricted employee may not (among other things) use an official title or position while engaged in political activity).” Well, she spoke as Shirley Sherrod, USDA representative, and her speech was highly political and inflammatory. Where are the consequences?

  • “Cap and Tax” Takes a Holiday. It was announced today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate Democrats would no longer pursue “comprehensive” energy legislation — aka “Cap and Tax.” In place of this effort, the Dems will focus on the further beating up of BP for their accidental oil spill and increasing efficiency (whatever the hell THAT means!) I couldn’t be happier that this legislation and the effort to get it passed was abandoned. It is an economy buster, and we should oppose it in its various piecemeal incarnations that will be proposed in the future. But those of you who support this onerous pig of a bill there is still hope. Yup, there will be plenty of 2,000+ page pieces of legislation that will be floated between now and the time that the Democrats again become the minority party in both houses of Congress. And plenty of opportunities to tuck harmful, phoney-baloney amendments into, say a bill for education reform. Dear Lord, all that change, and so little time left!
  • A Day That Will Live In Infamy. On January 1, 2011 we Americans will be subjected, across the board, to the largest tax increase in the nation’s history. On that date, the un-extended Bush tax cuts are scheduled to end. Contrary to the Democrats and their minion punditry are telling the masses, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts affect every segment of the taxpaying spectrum. The effects will be chilling and toxic to an already straining economy.  To give you an idea of the damage that will be done to our personal finances, it is expected that $2.6 trillion new tax dollars will be collected by the government. I just wonder what the dunderheads in Congress will do this this new windfall? Pay the debt down? Reduce the deficit? Unfortunately, these actions are highly unlikely. Don’t be surprised when they start spending these new taxes to cultivate a whole new co-dependent constituency. It makes me crazy to think that they will get all these new monies that will only perpetuate the present corruption and bad behavior. And one last thought — Isn’t it “funny” that tax cuts have a definite expiry, but entitlements and social programs have no expiration date — they just go on and on forever??
  • Ship Ahoy! SOS!! If there wasn’t so much hubris and duplicity involved, I’d probably have a little more empathy for the Obama administration. Because the wheels are coming off that wagon in a big way, or nautically speaking, the good ship Obama has run aground. Between his sinking in opinion polls, the mutiny in the Democrat ranks and the once lock-step, fawning, liberal media starting to turn on him, Obama and his minions are in serious political trouble. Although the future of our country is affected by all this, it is definitely a well-deserved comeuppance for this man who believes — truly believes — he is a demigod. I’m finally on the HOPE and CHANGE bandwagon: I hope that the Republicans can take both the House and the Senate and bring Obama’s contrarian agenda to a grinding halt. There has been no president in history so deserving of the term “lame duck” as our, hopefully, Commander-In-Brief.
  • Useful Idiots. Yesterday’s declaration by the NAACP that the Tea Parties are racist (or at least have significant racist elements) is the opening shot in the official 2010 election season. The resorting to ad hominem attacks and making unsubstantiated, specious accusations are the hallmark and chief tool in the Democrat toolkit. It’s apparent that the Democrat powers-that-be see a potential advantage by scatter-casting the racist tag on their Republican opponents, and that the NAACP is just a group of useful idiots in achieving this end. However, I think that the average American voter is seething angry, and furthermore they see clean through the desperation tactics of the Democrats. The Democrats are going to have to live with the consequences of their past legislative actions (like the Porkulis, Obamacare, etc.) and resorting to distractions just ain’t gonna work.
  • A Stranger In These Parts. I’ve finally figured out why Obama has such a tough time relating to the average American citizen. He’s not one of us! To put it kindly, his upbringing was way outside the mainstream. He might have been born and partially raised in Hawaii, but he spent his formative years as a Muslim — in a predominantly Muslim country. while the rest of use were being imbued and inculcated in everything American, young Barry Soetoro was subjected to a culture that is tens of thousands of miles and hundreds of years separated from that of a “mainstream” American. As a result, he’s having a tough time relating to his country, even though he went to college and graduate school here. He is essentially a stranger in a strange country. By the way, a country that he somehow became the leader of. I take little comfort in the fact that I understand him as little as he understands me and my cohort.  Hopefully, this accidental president won’t be allowed to do much harm during his tenure, and hopefully we’ll pick our presidents more carefully in the future. (More on this topic to come!)
  • Whither Europe and the Euro?? Things have become awfully quiet on the financial front in Europe. The problems with the PIIGS and the Euro have suddenly become back-burner news over the span of four short weeks. Could it be a case of the calm before the storm? Or could it be an example of a tree falling in the woods with nobody to hear it? Whatever the case, if Europe does fall, it will take us with it. Because with all the spending like a drunken sailor (the Congress’ spending gives drunken sailors a bad name!) and the intergalactic-sized deficits here, our economy and our government’s finances are tottering at the edge of the abyss. I wish I could blame hyperbole on my feelings, but I’m too grounded in reality to become hyperbolic at such a grave and serious time in our history.
  • Clueless In California. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) recently became the poster boy for cluelessness. In a recent town hall meeting with his constituents, he claimed that he had not heard about the recent brouhaha regarding voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia during the 2008 elections. Please, Mr. Sherman — do us all a favor. You are obviously not very engaged in the goings on in our country, so call it a day — retire — ride off into the sunset with whatever scrap of credibility or dignity that you can.  Otherwise, I beg the voters of the California 27th to retire Mr. Sherman for your and his own good.
  • The Revenge of Obamacare, Part CCXVII! It seems like a week doesn’t go by when some new, and deleterious provision of Obamacare comes to light. And the newest affront to our sensibilities doesn’t even have to do with healthcare! No, it seems that a hidden and formerly obscure (until it’s passage) provision of Obamacare is the requirement for businesses to provide 1099 to vendors with whom they do more than $600 of business. My immediate question is: What the hell does this have to do with healthcare? It doesn’t, and it was one of the manifold ways that the desperate Democrats were trying to squeeze every penny that they could out of us citizens in order to pay for this monstrosity, and give them a favorable CBO report on “savings.” well, we now know those claims of savings to be a sham, but here we are left to deal with the collateral damage. As a small business owner, this new requirement is not only a nuisance, but it is a damper on my business. I will make damn sure that I just don’t procure more than $600 of anything with a single supplier. It will force me to keep track of my purchases and to spread my purchasing around. Because I will not be doing make work tasks, that prevent me from conducting real business, if I don’t have to.

It’s official! Our Dear Leader and his cast of congressional Democrat minions are certifiably crazy. With the full court press conducted yesterday with the release of the “favorable” analysis of the Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT) cap-and-tax legislation…followed by the 17 minute droning by our Dear Leader (of course punctuated by the grand push for cap-and-tax legislation), one can only come to that inescapable conclusion.

Obama’s speech, although it contained words, phrases and sentences that addressed BP and the Gulf oil leak situation, was NOT about the Gulf oil leak. Not by a country mile! The leak and spill were merely tools of political rhetoric — devices he tried to use to drill home (pun intended!!) his Quixote-esque quest for the next jewel in the crown of statist societal control, a universal energy tax. But I think even the most marbled-in-the-lean liberals, like Matthews and Olbermann at MSDNC, oops, MSNBC weren’t suitably impressed with the leadership acumen or vision put on display last night by the Dear One. No, last night’s lecture was just the opening round in Obama’s full court press on cap-and-tax –  a desperation move by a desperate man way over his political head. Rather than take a temperate approach to this crisis and work just on solving the leak and the effects of the spill on the Gulf Coast, he chose to go “all in” politically. And he’s going to do it while blowing the political equivalent of a vuvuzela all the while.

Listen, Obama might think that he is the Entrepreneur-In-Chief, but I assure you that he doesn’t have a single capitalistic idea floating around in his socialist/statist skull. Perhaps with the exception of buying lunch on his various forays among the suffering hoi polloi at the oil-stained Gulf Coast. His insistence that viable alternatives to fossil fuels are just around the corner if we burn enough time/effort/wishes looking for them is, well, crazy talk. Real crazy talk. In order for there to be an alternatives, there have to be an underlying theories or materials that prove themselves viable (given the proper money/time/effort/wishes): there could have been no Manhattan Project if the theories undergirding nuclear fission and fusion were not established to some confidence level. No amount of research would have resulted in a man-made nuclear fireball without the solid background theory in place.

No such situation exists for replacing fossil fuels. Sure, we have “alternative” and “green” solutions to supplying some of our energy needs. But these are transient, secondary sources of power that are incapable of replacing the steady primary power sources (that is they’re always ON even at night or when the wind doesn’t blow!) provided by fossil fuels. Of course, then there is nuclear power. This is a viable alternative as a primary power source for our electricity needs, but the science-illiterate American public fears nuclear power for its destructive power (Three Mile Island and Chernobyl had a lot to do with this) than it appreciates this power source for its usefulness. Unfortunately, NIMBY rules the day when it comes to siting anything nuclear, so there is a lot of public push back when this discussion arises.

And, beyond petroleum for transportation and electricity generation, we have the myriad uses of petrochemicals in our daily lives. How can we replace the chemicals and compounds that we depend upon on a daily basis (think plastics, medicines, detergents, etc.) that are extracted from oil along with gasoline and heating oil? Simply put we cannot or, I propose, it would have been done already!

Poor misguided President Obama and his power cronies in the Congress need to step back and away from their single-minded quest to make fossil fuels so expensive as to change the fabric of our society, for the worse, forever. If they wish to cheer lead for their schemes, and try to influence American citizens to adopt alternative energy usage voluntarily, then I suggest that they go for it. But to try to jam another complicated and unintended consequence-filled piece of legislation down our throats by partisan fiat at a time when the US economy is both stagnant and fragile is foolhardy and CRAZY.

But we all know now that the die is cast…that there is going to be the incessant push for this cap-and-tax legislation because it’s “good for us.” The same way that all other socialist schemes, like Obamacare, are “good for us.” Until they aren’t. Obama has let the proverbial cat out of the bag starting last evening — he’s now put his dog in the fight and he has too much to lose politically if he caves in on this. I suspect, though, that Obama may have to go this alone or with token support as there are many shell-shocked Dems who will be facing the equivalent of locked cage death matches come November for re-election. They simply don’t have the stomach to follow their Anointed One off the cliff in the same manner that they did with Obamacare. Most are still wiping the political blow-back off them from that fiasco! They might be ideological fellow travelers with Obama, but they’re also craven vote whores first and foremost, so in that light,  they’re not crazy enough to touch this political third-rail just yet. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think so!

Obama on the other hand has nothing to lose…his foray into insanity last night only costs him political capital (just wander over to Rasmussen if you need to be convinced). He’s got two and a half years to possibly regain his footing, so what the heck. See, for a true believer like Obama, the totems of his ideology (like spreadin’ the wealth, etc.) are more valuable than reality or moderation or compromise. He sees himself as righteous — exploiting this oil leak/spill crisis — by proposing his means to an end. Unfortunately it means the end of prosperity and American exceptionalism. Still, Obama sees himself the Changer-In-Chief iconoclast: particularly when it comes to capitalism. He thinks himself the knight in shining armor saving us from greedy oil companies and greedy, hostile Middle Eastern emirs and potentates.

Unfortunately for him, the rest of us see him as just plain CRAZY…

  • The EU is in serious fiscal and financial trouble, and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to countries that are faltering or in grave economic danger. For about 60 years, since the US liberated Europe from Nazi oppression, many counties in the EU have been living the large life, and treating themselves rather nicely. It’s as though they’ve been living on financial room service and ignoring the check…or forwarding it to the good old USA. Well, the check has come due, and as the premiere example of the harm of this great excess, the Greeks will have to learn to live as mere mortals rather than as citizens of a socialist Utopia — a situation they’re finding particularly hard to accept. Unfortunately, there will be many more EU nations that will have to suffer swallowing this bitter pill, and begin to embrace reasonable “entitlements,” more modest social benefits and more Draconian fiscal expenditures. You know, social concepts like you’ve had to work and pay into the system before you can get benefit from it and, oh yeah, only to the level of your former contribution. In the end, this is a good thing that will help insure a stable future for these troubled countries. And perhaps our proto-Marxist/socialist administration and Congress will witness firsthand and learn something from the unraveling of practicing national systems based on theoretical egalitarian principles and socialist doctrine rather than on good old-fashioned hard work and frugal living.
  • The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is going to become the largest excuse for the government spanking the oil producing industry since the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. But, unfortunately, only half of the culpable parties involved will be punished or savaged. Unfortunately, the real villains in this most recent act in the Theater of the Unintended Consequence, the Congress, will get off scot-fee as always. To be sure, BP will be keel-hauled and excoriated for their role in this mess, and rightly so. They should have seen this disaster coming — what with drilling and recovering oil from over a mile beneath the ocean this situation couldn’t have been imagined by a simple risk assessment? But Congress shares the blame in this fiasco because their Draconian drilling regulations and leases forces oil exploration into deeper-and-deeper waters (ostensibly due to “environmental” concerns), and into the jaws of untenable situations like we presently have in the Gulf. If the laws regarding oil and gas exploration had been drafted with common sense in mind rather than for political gainsay and gotchas, then we might not be in the dire circumstance we are in right now. Because it seems clear to me that it is infinitely easier to cap a leaking oil well in several hundred feet of water than it is at bone-crushing depths where only submersibles can operate.
  • The “immigration” demonstrations yesterday (on May Day) didn’t have the turnout that were portended by the mainstream media. But that didn’t stop the media from hyping the number of mostly ILLEGAL ALIENS who took to OUR streets in opposition of a law that they never read the provisions of. Listen, we law abiding citizens can’t argue with the flawed logic being used by the illegals and their vociferous supporters. Regardless of what they call themselves, or what a sympathetic government administration and mainstream media choose to call them, in the end they are present on our soil ILLEGALLY. Meaning that they chose to break our laws — our social compact with each-other that assures each and every one of us that we will not fall into a state of anarchy from doing whatever each of us wants to do. We can only trust we can rely on the laws of our land to handle this completely out of control situation, but past practices and actions by the federal government have shown that we cannot. So the government of Arizona has acted out of self-preservation and self-interest to protect its citizens from the hordes of invaders and criminals that enter the state on a daily basis. They have taken the fist, faltering step in assuring us that the inmates do not run our national asylum — even though emboldened illegal trespassers at May Day rallies would have us think otherwise.
  • President Obama made an off-script comment at a recent political pep rally in Quincy, Illinois: “We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.” I added the emphasis because now our chief Marxist wants to become the Salary Coordinator-In-Chief. This coming from a man who “earned” more than $5 million last year! As US citizens, it’s none of our damn business how much our neighbor makes as a result of an honest, hard day’s work. Whether it’s fair to us or not, the achievements and rewards of our neighbors are theirs and theirs alone and not ours (even though the government has insinuated themselves in this process by redistributing the fruits of their labors to the rest of us via “progressive” taxes.) No matter how hard the gods and goddesses of the presidential teleprompter would have him stay strictly on script, his ad-libbed forays into streams of consciousness cause him to “step in it” on a consistent basis. The teleprompter text is just so much hot air and political psycho-babble…BUT those small “gaffes” are a peek inside a president’s true nature and feelings. He’s apparently a president who embraces an alternate view of the American dream than the vast majority of the citizens and common folk.
  • The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano has showcased the recent, palpable lack of climate change and global warming talk on the worldwide political stage. The “Climategate” scandal and the subsequent revelation of “inaccuracies” in the most recent IPCC report on climate (Details? We don’t need no stinking details!) have made this topic a political hot potato.Then comes along Eyjafjallajokull which, aside from being the world’s most difficult word to pronounce, dumped more stuff into our atmosphere in a weeks time than man has for about a decade. It’s kind of humbling when God and Nature remind us of our true, insignificant place in the scope of things. Man may conjure up the hubris to declare that he may influence “big things,” such as the climate on our planet. God obviously has other ideas on that topic…

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