Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thomas Sowell: Clear Thinking Post Mortem

Bailout Politics
By Thomas Sowell

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more"
to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously.

But the magic words "affordable housing" and the ugly word "redlining" led to politicians directing where loans and investments should go, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and various other coercions and threats.

The roots of this problem go back many years, but since the crisis to which all this led happened on George W. Bush's watch, that is enough for those who think in terms of talking points, without wanting to be confused by the facts.

In reality, President Bush tried unsuccessfully, years ago, to get Congress to create some regulatory agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

N. Gregory Mankiw, his Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, warned in February 2004 that expecting a government bailout if things go wrong "creates an incentive for a company to take on risk and enjoy the associated increase in return."

Since risky investments usually pay more than safer investments, the incentive is for a government-supported enterprise to take bigger risks, since they get more profit if the risks pay off and the taxpayers get stuck with the losses if not.

The government does not guarantee Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but the widespread assumption has been that the government would step in with a bailout to prevent chaos in financial markets.

Alan Greenspan, then head of the Federal Reserve System, made the same point in testifying before Congress in February 2004. He said: "The Federal Reserve is concerned" that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were using this implicit reliance on a government bailout in a crisis to take more risks, in order to "multiply the profitability of subsidized debt."

Chairman Greenspan added his voice to those urging Congress to create a "regulator with authority on a par with that of banking regulators" to reduce the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a riskiness ultimately borne by the taxpayers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not deserve to be bailed out, but neither do workers, families and businesses deserve to be put through the economic wringer by a collapse of credit markets, such as occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Neither do the voters deserve to be deceived on the eve of an election by the notion that this is a failure of free markets that should be replaced by political micro-managing.

If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out.

It would be better if no such government-supported enterprises had been created in the first place and mortgages were in fact left to the free market. This bailout creates the expectation of future bailouts.

Phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would make much more sense than letting politicians play politics with them again, with the risk and expense being again loaded onto the taxpayers.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New (Old) Kind Of Capitalism...Updated

The bail-out deal finally got done got killed. The bailout was ushering in a new era of government-private enterprise matched only by our friends in China. The lessons of how this crisis was created will be forgotten before the votes are counted on Monday. The first new lesson will be that Chinese style capitalism can be very profitable for our government and nothing excites congress like new money to project in out years. Our government has discovered the benefits of "buying low" and the promise of "selling high."

How high?
The proposed legislation also calls for the financial sector to help make up the difference if the government does not recoup its investment in five years, the official said, but details were unclear.Also, the government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share in financial companies' future profits.

The Chinese have figured out that government operated capitalist enterprises are more efficient. You get to provide your own oversight, and you can change the rules as necessary. Other considerations such as worker rights and environmental protections are preserved by bureaucratic whimsy and not by rule of law.

And that's why this bailout scares me far more than a precipitous drop in the S&P 500. Our government is now acting without boundaries. The federal government created conditions that would forseeably cause this crisis, then they sifted the ashes to find the valuables left behind.

I understand that as these institutions fail, their assets are sold in bulk leading to distressed prices approaching zero. And that in turn brings the barely solvent banks assets down to the new market prices, prompting cash calls they simply don't have. And yes, for a time there will be reductions of already-scarce equity for everyone. I agree that the government needs to help establish a market for the debt, so these banks can re-establish credit with each other, but invovling the Federal government in stock warrants and other instruments will only encourage more nanny-state experimentations like those that got us here in the first place.

The second lesson our government has learned is that Roman fire sales work. Instead of throwing fire bombs, the government created a phony market of loans (sub-prime) that would never have existed if the lending institutions were left alone to make decisions of credit-worthiness based on a persons ability to pay it back. Instead, the Feds demanded socially conscience loan making. The ability to pay the loan back was secondary. And from this small fire, created with the 1995 changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, a bonfire was created that ONLY the Feds could put out. Like the old Roman trick of having the fire-fighters "standing-by" until a deal for the contents is agreed to, the Feds watched this problem burn until this become profitable for them to fix.

The only lesson NOT learned is that this new style of capitalism comes with some really unintended consequences. The rule of law will now be whatever congress says it means. Liberty will mean freedom from and not freedom to as we live through a never-ending cycle of these manufactured crises.

Updated: Melamine: It's What's For Breakfast AND Dessert AND Just About Any Other Damn Thing Remotely Associated With China

Melamine is a compound that when combined with formaldehyde produces a very durable plastic so you know it is probably not a healthy food additive. Leave it to those inventive Chinese to use Melamine to boost the "protein" values for watered down food products. That lead to the pet food crisis of 2007 and helped reduce the carbon footprint of the western hemisphere. For reals.

Reports coming out of China indicate that they figured out a backup plan for all of that melamine they can no longer ship to us in dog food: baby formula. Once ingested by infants, melamine can cause kidney stones and chronic or frequent ingestion leads to kidney failure and death. Don't let it be said the Chinese don't take global warming seriously.

With 53,000 reported cases of poisoning and the likely total much, much higher; the Chinese have shown the rest of the world that poison and kill is MUCH more effective than cap and trade.


Singapore said Sunday (AP) that it had found traces of melamine in another Chinese-made dairy product, milk-based White Rabbit brand candy.

I didn't know that the Chinese had such a taste for irony. Well played.

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Update: Kraft, Mars Investigating Claims of Tainted (with Melamine) Oreos, M&Ms...mostly in Asia. But still...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crimson Tide Make Big Move In Poll:

The AP Top 25 released tody has the Tide rising from #8 to #2 after they pounded the Bulldogs on Saturday.

1. Oklahoma (43) 4-0 1,599
2. Alabama (21) 5-0 1,565
3. LSU 4-0 1,466
4. Missouri (1) 4-0 1,453
5. Texas 4-0 1,362
6. Penn State 5-0 1,252
7. Texas Tech 4-0 1,105
8. Brigham Young 4-0 1,098
9. USC 2-1 1,087
10. South Florida 5-0 1,035
11. Georgia 4-1 1,018
12. Florida 3-1 914
13. Auburn 4-1 860
14. Ohio State 4-1 829
15. Utah 5-0 713
16. Kansas 3-1 650
17. Boise State 3-0 549
18. Wisconsin 3-1 520
19. Vanderbilt 4-0 459
20. Virginia Tech 4-1 290
21. Oklahoma State 4-0 277
22. Fresno State 3-1 232
23. Oregon 4-1 199
24. Connecticut 5-0 126
25. Wake Forest 3-1 107

Updated: Truth Squads: We Don't Want You To Get Distracted By Words That Would Diminish Your Love For The One

The Governor of Missouri blasts the truth squads:
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”


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The truth squad is a group of law enforcement officials form Missouri (prosecutors, sheriffs) who will be on the lookout for negative comments during the rest of the campaign.

Here's the vid.

Truth squads. They have the same type of groups in Muslim countries. They are on the lookout for things like guys walking dogs and women without the required amount of head cover.

Why not pass out canes so we can whip the shit out of anyone not using the proper deference when speaking of our "beloved leader."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let's Kill Your Mom, I Need New Tits

The following story highlights the problem of the desperately small breasted uninsured. There are thousands if not millions of women in the same condition and all we can talk about is the stupid bail out plan for Wall Street.

A Colorado teenager hired men to kill his mother so he could use her money to get breast implants for his girlfriend, police said.

Nikita Weis, 18, offered to pay two men a total of $7,000 to break into his home, kill his mother and dispose of her body, said Fountain Deputy Police Chief Mike Barnett.

Weis planned to sell her car and drain her bank accounts, using some of the money to buy breast implants for his girlfriend, 21-year-old Sophia Alsept, Barnett said.

The plan unraveled during a botched home invasion about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Weis' mother, Hyun Weis, 42, was cooking dinner for her son when a man dressed in black barged into her home in the 7100 block of Yampa River Heights and assaulted her with a miniature baseball bat, Barnett said.

"I'd describe it as a souvenir baseball bat, but certainly capable of causing serious bodily injury or death," he said.

The woman used the "panic button" on her car keys to set off her alarm, spooking the intruder. She ran next door and alerted a neighbor, who phoned police.

At the time of the assault, Nikita Weis was at home and his girlfriend was waiting outside, Barnett said.

Hyun Weis, who was struck in the head, was being kept Friday for observation at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, but she was expected to be OK, police said.

After eight years of Bush, it's clear we've been neglecting the boobs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cheerleaders Ditch Skimpy Uniforms After Complaints...Yeah Right

AP headline - Cheerleaders Ditch Skimpy Uniforms After Complaints From Fans.

The headline seemed like bullshit because there were no references to "Christians" or conservative parent groups. AP just doesn't publish a story like this unless they can do a little conservative bashing along the way. You know, the payoff.
Less than a month into the football season, the Idaho Vandals are undergoing another makeover after spectators complained that cheerleaders' uniforms were flashing a little more than school spirit.

After the football team dumped the school logo from the buttocks of their new pants, the university in Moscow got complaints that new two-piece cheerleader uniforms were too skimpy.

When reading this a little closer, I think we see what happened.
The previous uniforms didn't flatter every member of the team, and some girls said their outfits were uncomfortable, Robson said.

"Girls are just bigger these days, not everybody's a size zero," Robson said. "We're not being a bunch of prudes."

So it was the "bigger girls" on the squad who complained. Of course you know when someone starts talking about big girls, I'm going to break off into a Jame Gumb riff.


And this is what everyone was complaining about? I guess it sort of warms the heart that we can get a cheerleading uni story without any references to church-goers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Really Appreciated It When Abe Lincoln Went On TV And Explained The Missouri Compromise

YES, Marines in Iraq Issued Laser Weapons

I'll admit when I saw the headline I was expecting something more like this.


NO, they call this thing the "dazzler"...because it bedazzles the eyes...temporarily.

"Dazzlers," as they're called, shoot green beams designed to "warn or temporarily incapacitate individuals," according to a Defense Science Board report extensively quoted in the Post's story.

The Geneva Conventions ban weapons meant to cause permanent blindness, but a Pentagon spokesman explained two years ago that "Dazzlers" didn't fall into that category.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Hannah Montana: She Hates Miley Cyrus And Wants That Girl Out Of Her Body ASAP

TMZ reports that Miley Cyrus has been trying to get fired and while her fractured persona has decided she likes the limelight...or something like that.
Our spies on the set tell us Miley has bragged that she will get fired, making it clear she wants to focus on singing and not the show. For his part, Billy Ray has also made it clear that there is more money in singing than a Disney cable show. As a result, the father-daughter team has been showing up to the set ridiculously late, stalling production and infuriating cast and crew.

Emily Osment, who plays Lilly Truscott, used to be extremely tight with Miley. Now we're told Emily is so bitter she literally turns away from Miley after each scene. We're told Emily's dad got in a screaming match with Billy Ray, complaining he and Miley were unprofessional.


This girl needs to call Webster, because the "outside of Disney" career for this mildly talented girl is limited. Don't worry kids, Wal Mart will intervene and get this shit settled double quick.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cocky Wacko Update

It was Charlie Rangel's turn to call Sarah Palin crazy.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., already in trouble for tax problems, called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled" on Friday"

Charlie was chosen because he is going down anyhow for tax evasion and bribery.

Charlie, you inspire me.

Well Lookey Here: The Bailed Out Investment Banks Knew Where To Blow Their Campaign Cash



Source: Opensecrets.org

Remember Now, You Are Racist If You Don't Vote Obama

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama

(Associated with Democrats Press) — Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles.

According to the AP, not all whiteys are all bad.
Not all whites are prejudiced. Indeed, more whites say good things about blacks than say bad things, the poll shows. And many whites who see blacks in a negative light are still willing or even eager to vote for Obama.

However...
Still, the effects of whites' racial views are apparent in the polling. Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama's support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.

And for the payoff... "We still don't like black people," said John Clouse, 57, reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio.

Here is how they did their fine work.
Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word "violent" strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with "boastful," 29 percent "complaining," 13 percent "lazy" and 11 percent "irresponsible." When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

NOT a single fucking reference to the 93%-96% of blacks that will vote for Obama or the negative views blacks may hold of whites. The authors of this study are irresponsible political hacks.

Here is your white guilt in graphic form.

Conservative Cuties: Election Palate Cleansing Edition


Heidi Montag.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hedge Fund America


The stock market jumped at the thought of the US taxpayer relieving the upside down investment banks of their crappy mortgage derivatives. Only problem, we, U.S. becomes the biggest hedge fund in the world once we assume all of those bonds. This could work out well if the assets are stabilized and sold later on at a reasonable price, AND IF commercial banks start loaning money again.

Theoretically, the AIG deal is already a good trade when looking at it after today's jump.

The risk of this Resolution Trust Corporation type solution is still unknown until we get some details. Bernanke camping out on Capitol Hill tonight.

Expect failure, higher costs, and endless "bailouts" and stimulus.

Josh Howard Vid and Mark Cuban

Josh Howard, while mugging for a cell phone camera while the Star Bangled Banner is playing, that he is "black and doesn't celebrate that shit Obama 08." Offensive, eh not really. Offensive was losing that 2-0 lead to the Miami Heat. Offensive is coming up short at his damn job.



Mark Cuban, his boss, was actually much more offensive with his lousy movie Redacted, portraying US soldiers as murdering rapists.

While not as offensive as the trade for an old and broke Jason Kidd, the movie is just little more than loosely held together stereotypes of what this war looks like.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Now We Know: David Kernell

I decided to give him the Jill Greenberg treatment.



And suuu-prise, suuu-prise...his daddy is a Democrat wheel in TN.

Michelle Malkin has more here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Only The Feds Would Give Somebody 85 Billion For A Biz Worth 6 Billion

The 85 Billion dollar bailout of AIG is hard to figure. Even after the announcement, the total market value of AIG is only about 6 billion dollars...see the market cap at Yahoo Finance.

So who is helped by heaping 85 billion into a company worth 6 billion? The taxpayer? Not really. Our little accounts are mostly FDIC insured. The big retirement accounts like CALPERS? No. Those guys have ridden AIG stock down all the way from $70 per share to the $2 a share it is today. So for them it's already a total loss. This entire bailout is about protecting legacy interests: those people and companies that feed our elected officials need for campaign cash.

We need to stop supporting companies that have already failed by throwing money into a building that is already on fire.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let It Burn

It's time for the government to step back and let a few of these financial companies burn. Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG are on fire and no amount of our money can fix years of bad decisions, 30 to 1 asset to cash ratios, and a lack or moral hazard. No more good money after bad.

While it is true that politicians helped create this mess by creating the subprime market, no one forced Lehman or any other firm to leverage their companies to subprime bonds and other instruments like Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. These guys saw easy money and did not want to get left behind.

Companies that make this many bad decisions are bad companies and they should go away.



Check out this story from late 2006.

Lehman Brothers said it would pay its average member of staff $335,441 (£170,933) this year as it reported a record fourth-quarter profit of $1.0 billion, capping its most profitable year ever.

The US investment bank is paying its 25,936 staff a total of $8.7 billion in salary, bonuses and other benefits for 2006 on the back of a 23 per cent rise in net income to a record $4.0 billion.

And it was not just Lehman.
On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs announced that it would pay its 26,400 staff an average of $622,000 in compensation this year as it announced a 70 per cent rise in profits to $9.5 billion for 2006.

I'm not against investors making money. But when an invester turns into an inveterate gambler, this is always the result.

At the end of every bubble, I am reminded of the tulip bulb mania of 1636 and 1637. Bulb prices rose so fast that everyone wanted to buy in to take advantage of the easy money. Prices got so hot that the bulb economy seemed to have it's own gravity - or ability to defy it.



Every government is tempted to protect big investors from the inevitable crash, because these big investors are usually involved in government in a big way. The Dutch government could not have printed enough guilders to buy enough tulip bulbs to protect the special investors and neither should we.

Space 1999: A Chinese Production

WaPo has an article today suggesting that the Chinese are going to beat us back to the moon. The stilted comments from the NASA guy (Griffin) sounded just like they were uttered from Commander John Koenig - from the classic series, Space: 1999.

Here's a sample from Griffin:

"Whether this is cost-cutting across the board or if some people in OMB just don't like NASA, we don't know," the official said. "But the result is that our budget always seems to be less than it's supposed to be. The bare fact of this accomplishment will have an enormous, and not fully predictable, effect on global perceptions of U.S. leadership in the world," Griffin wrote at one point. OMB deleted it.

And now Commander Koenig:
We've had a lot of success so far. We know what dangers to expect out there from black suns, neutron storms, radiation and the like, but if we think we know everything that goes on out there, we're making a terrible mistake!

The best part of 1999 was that it came at the height of the anti-nuke era. TV shows and movies from the mid-1970's were filled with every conceivable nuclear disaster, including blowing the moon across the universe with a bunch of bad actors (excluding the slumming Martin Landau).

Griffin is worried the Chinese will get back to the moon before we do. So what? Are they going to mess with our stuff up there? NASA went all-in with the space station and I remember the arguments against another moonshot were based on the amount we could learn from a single mission vs. permanent inhabitation of a space station. Let the Chinese stay 40 years behind us, we need to think bigger - like Mars (cue Arnold Maaahhhhs). Unless we are concerned the Chicoms will stay up there...and stare at us...with their unblinking little eyes...



I forgot how cool those Eagles were.

I remember Dad making some comments about Barbara Bain. She was a granny to me in 1975, but now I see what he means. Damn.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Epic Hypocrisy, The Democrat Platform On The Role Of Liberal Women

Buttery rich hypocrisy straight from the DNC Platform.

Opportunity for Women
We, the Democratic Party, are the party that has produced more women Governors, Senators, and Members of Congress than any other. We have produced first woman Secretary of State, the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first woman in American history to win presidential primaries in our nation. We believe that our daughters should have the same opportunities as our sons; our party is proud that we have put 18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling. We know that when America extends its promise to women, the result is increased opportunity for families, communities, and aspiring people everywhere.

We will work to combat violence against women. (Unless they are conservative)

We believe that standing up for our country means standing up against sexism and all intolerance. Demeaning portrayals of women cheapen our debates, dampen the dreams of our daughters, and deny us the contributions of too many. Responsibility lies with us all.

Thanks Lincoln...For Reminding Us That Losing You Reminds Us That It's Not Always About Winning



From Townhall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pontius Pilate More Like Obama

Speaking of Pilate, he too suffered a bit of a thin record before rising to Prefect of Judea. In fact, Mark, famously portrays Pilate as reluctant to execute Jesus, eventually arresting Jesus for not paying taxes. Hmmm.

Jesus was eventually brought before Pilate where they accused him of sedition against Rome by opposing the payment of taxes.

So let's see. Pilate, thin record, and tax raiser. Jesus, a supply sider with a clear record of preferring low taxes.

Looks like the MSM narrative is wrong again.

Who Gives A Shit About Lipstick?

First, "libstick-gate" has a palpable jumping the shark vibe about it. Rush seemed to play it right, with the rimshot comedy routine sound effects. Hannity is playing it into the ground - as usual, with his Lennie Small routine.

The shame is that it overshadows some really awful commentary from elected officials that would probably have more impact on the mind and mood of the electorate.

Who doesn't think that South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler isn't glad all of the attention is on liptick instead of her unbalanced rant? After saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion,” she issued a half-assed apology that no one heard either.

And the "Obama is Jesus, and Palin is Pontius Pilate" comparisons are far more offensive. Probably more with the Democrats who profess a disdain for Christianity than to any of the religious types who probably would not vote for Obama anyway.

Democrat Steve Cohen in the House.



Hey Steve, I submit to you that your hair is fucked up and you sound like a nutjob.

Lest we think that this was an isolated delusion by the honorable TN politician. Check out Donna (Boys from) Brazile. Damn I just couldn't help myself.

The Bible says to whom much is given much is required and it comes out of that tradition. So it was insulting to see both, you know, the governor as well as Mayor Giuliani criticize people. There’s some on the Internet now that Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor. And perhaps they should understand the role of a community organizer, do help people in distress.


I would caution Republicans to not overplay the "stop picking on Sarah" whine. The McCain campaign needs to make fun of these rants lest it looks like Ms Palin can't stand the heat.

Lipstick, Polls, Uh, I Need A Mental Break

video

Ahhhhh. Much better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Behind The Poll Numbers, McCain Is Winning The Independents

Here's the money shot. Note how the independents didn't move during the Dem convention. From Gallup.



The MSM created the "Maverick" brand and no matter how much Obama spends, that is the impression people have of John McCain.

Salon.com: Palin, The Worst Person Ever

Here is my version of their hit piece. I've taken out the sentence structure and boiled it down to just the descriptive smears.

Palin is a: fundamentalist, christianist, theocrat, extremeist, creationist, climate change doubting, intolerant, book banning, Hamas-like, atrocity loving, Tunisian/Turkish style, impulsive reactionary, intolerant, bigoted, candidate who has the right to hold these views.

We hardly knew that the good people at Salon held such negative views of our Muslim friends. For years, I thought Bush was the gold standard of dispicible behavior.

Gary Sheffield: Two Milestone Homers In One Night

He hit two milestone home runs last night. According to the AP, he hit number 250,000 in major league history. Good for him.

He also helped the Tigers win a game with his other home run. Notable for being one of the most meaningless in major league history. Sheffield has hit .225 this year and helped suck the enthusiasm out of a once interesting Tiger team. While it's certainly not all his fault, his late season surge of power is like a fresh slap in the face for fans and is remarkable as a contrast for all of those RISPs he has littered about in the first 3/4 of the season.

Finally, his spat of meaningless homers has brought the cost per home run to something under a million per...as long as you don't count the social and emotional costs incurred by Detroit fans during this most disappointing season.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Negative Externality, The Spanish Prisoner, and "The Plan" Part 2

T Boone's plan. Shut down the natural gas power plants. Convert cars to compressed natural gas (CNG) and replace the 22% of electricity we get from natural gas with wind power from the plains. In plain terms this is a confidence scam in which some people (investors in wind power and conversion specialists) will become very rich by filling in the hidden costs with massive taxpayer support.

Negative externality is a term used to describe the costs not paid by the producer or consumer of goods. Wind energy is the definition of negative externality. I know, most people say that oil is the definition because of the environmental costs...but bear with me.

Wind power on this scale is only viable with massive government subsidies that force (encourage) the producer and consumer to use something they would not otherwise choose. Some people will lose jobs. Others will become very rich. No matter what, an entire industry would be created that never knows what it really costs to produce it's product or what to charge customers to make it a stand-alone enterprise. This disconnect has never worked before because the government is controlling prices. I have heard the "plasma TV" argument and it's total garbage. There was a free market competing to lower prices. For wind energy, this plan lets the government choose winners and losers.

So how is this whole plan like the Spanish Prisoner confidence trick?

The United States plays the role of the wealthy prisoner held hostage by nefarious oil barons.

The confidence trickster (Pickens) has offered us a way to release the US from these barons, IF we supply some of the money to build his scheme. Of course there is a promise that we will be rewarded generously when the prisoner returns. However, once the victims (taxpayers) have turned over our money, we will learn that further difficulties have arisen, requiring more money, and then the trickster continues attempting to get more money until the victim is cleaned out and the process ends, presumably with the victim realizing he has been robbed and that there is neither free electricity, nor any easy rewards.


And what are these difficulties?

1. The natural gas power plants were built where the electricity was needed. The transmission and distribution lines are short and the total system costs are contained within a measurable unit called a utility. So how do we get the power generated in the plains to where it is needed in the big cities that are thousands of miles away? Who pays for this negative externality? What happens to the billions spent on these natural gas plants - many of which are very early in their life cycle? The answer is we do, we do, we do. Billions upon billions in transmission and distribution paid for by the taxpayer while perfectly good natural gas power plants rot in place.

2. Our cars. According to our friends at Car Talk, converting cars to CNG will cost $3,000 to $5,000 dollars. New cars with the CNG upgrade are an extra $3,500 to $7,000. So in this plan, guess who pays for the upgrades. That's right, a magic fairy comes and *poof* free money drops in from the government.

3. While CNG is currently cheaper than gas, only a Marxist would forget that massive adoption of CNG would change the market. And what about the other transmission and distribution market...gas stations? That doesn't currently exist either.

4. Finally, the trickster has us chasing a moving target. Twenty two percent of our electricity is a real number that grows every single year as our economy and population expand. There will never be enough windmills to catch up.

T Boone is a smart man and he has built a coalition of people looking to get rich in a hurry. This scheme is brilliant and plays on so many fears. I think he might just pull it off.

Amazing Footage of Ike Hitting Cuba



From the look of the waves, one could conclude that God hates commies. Or maybe that God wants to punish smoking. I don't know...let's ask Mikey Moore.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Confusing The Difference Between Energy and Electricity, T Boone Pickens is Damned Liar*, and Other Good Intentions Gone Bad

The difference seems simple enough, but I hear a lot of people including politicians and cable news anchors (read Papa Bear) screw this up most of the time. Not understanding the difference when discussing energy policy can lead to huge mistakes.

For instance, O'Reilly and T Boone Pickens like to quote that we use roughly 25% of the worlds energy but only have 3% of the population. True enough, but they never mention that we (US) generate roughly 26% of the worlds GDP. Obama made the same uninformed statement back in May, which sent me into spasms - Eat Tu Obama.

The issue they are trying to highlight is usually our consumption of petroleum based energy - primarily used for transportation. And that's a conversation worth having. But T. Boone, Obama, and O'Reilly always want to lump total domestic energy consumption, including electricity, with our transportation consumption. The anti-capitalists love this confusion. It allows them to demonize all generation and use of energy as a symptom of a gluttonous society while prosecuting their fight to limit the expansion of energy production, even as the population of this country continues to grow. See California in the Gray Davis days for prime examples.

It seems that the politicians and bureaucrats in Europe have the same problem discerning between total energy and electricity.

A former chief scientific adviser to the government has said that EU renewable-energy quotas will cause widespread fuel poverty. Sir David King believes that European heads of state, in agreeing the targets, may have mistaken electricity usage for total energy consumption - leading to overly ambitious and expensive goals being set.

"If we overdo wind we are going to put up the price of electricity and that means more people will fall into the fuel poverty trap," said Sir David, speaking to the BBC.

King believes that the EU heads of state may only have meant to sign up to 20 per cent of electricity being renewable, not 20 per cent of all energy used.

"I think there was some degree of confusion at the heads of states meeting dealing with this," he told the BBC.

"If they had said 20 per cent renewables on the electricity grids across the European Union by 2020, we would have had a realistic target... saying 20 per cent of all energy, I actually wonder whether that wasn't a mistake. I was rather surprised when I heard what the decision was."

Based on the constant confusion between the two here in the US, I would bet the wind farm that we are heading into the same swamp of good intentions and unintended consequences.

*Using statistics to tell untruths.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Conservative Cuties

Gutsy. Beautiful. Conservative. Rosario Dawson.

Bill Maher: The slimiest fuck in TV

Bill Maher has a long history of being an asshole. But what kind of black-hearted little man mocks a down syndrome kid?
[Palin's child] has Down syndrome. She had it when she was 43 years old. And it looks a lot like John Edwards.

Hardy fucking har har har. Hey Maher, you hear the one about the kids with cancer...? You got some material on HIV babies?

But why stop there? He referred to Palin's 17 year old daughter as a bitch in a fake campaign sign.

This sneering hatred is way more than a character flaw, this guy has a mental condition. Since Maher never sees a flaw in anyone with a D after their name, I guess he could be a modern day, cock-tucking, Tokyo Rose. Worthless shrimp fuck.

The kid looks like Edwards comment is at the end...if you want to skip the moonbattery.


Newsmax has a blurb.

And here is the long-winded rant about Palins "knocked-up" daughter and the bullshit about the baby actually being from the daughter. Maher calls them all LIARS. People he knows nothing about.

Here is a transcript via Newsbusters.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: We're not talking about MSNBC or Fox, which are separate cases. But I don't think most of the news media -- the major news networks, CNN -- are biased in favor of one party or the other. There are certain kinds of stories we like. Say, you know, pregnant people. But we don't, I don't think there is a lot of sort of bias in favor of one party or the other.

BILL MAHER: Well, I'm glad you brought that up, tawdry as it is, because I'm not that convinced that that's her baby.

TOOBIN: You know, I'm willing to take their word for it on that, take their word for it that that is her baby.

[Audience laughter]

MAHER: It could be her baby, but it is a little suspicious -- if what I read in US magazine has any weight. I mean-

TOOBIN: I am actually convinced it is her baby.

MAHER: -the daughter -- who we know is fertile because she's knocked up again, or maybe for the first time–

TOOBIN: Yeah, I think for the first time.

MAHER: Okay, but she did like take a five-month leave from high school because she had [uses fingers to make quote marks] “mononucleosis” right around the time the baby was being born. And the mother, the so-called, you know, okay, maybe it is the mother, but, you know, she was back to work three days later. You don't smell something?

TOOBIN: You know what, I don't. I have to say I'm willing to take their word for it on that part of the story. And frankly, I have never been involved in a journalism story where someone who claimed to have a baby, that was ever in dispute. I mean, that's just sort of something we usually take people's word for and I think that's appropriate in this case.

MAHER: Yeah, but look who we're talking about.

[laughter and applause]

TOOBIN: That may be.

MAHER: I mean, but it's not like they're not willing to lie about everything else. You know, this is the party of character.

TOOBIN: Put me down as a believer

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sarah Palin gets 40 million viewers....Preemtive war still a good strategy

I love what Palin has done to a boring election cycle.

First on the revised viewership numbers.
Barack Obama apparently isn't the only "rock star" in presidential politics this year. After days of intense media coverage about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's qualifications, more than 40 million Americans tuned in Wednesday to see for themselves what they thought of her. The huge audience for Palin's acceptance speech rivaled that for Obama's address at the Democratic National Convention six days earlier.

For some context. That's double what Biden got. And according to Rasmussen the American public really liked what they saw. (Note: the link is to subscription Rasmussen data...it should be released in a bit.)

From the US Weekly smear to a series of sneering New York Times editorials, the attacks show that democrats really do appreciate a good preemptive war strategy...as long as it's against people they don't like. By the way, the US Weekly rag is owned by Jan Wenner...a huge Obama donator and a man who will take that cock and put it right in his mouth. Look for more political support in Jan's (pronounced Yan, as in the sound one makes when they have a cock in their mouth) other mag - Rolling Stone.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Asshat of the Day

"Judge" Andrew Napolitano appeared on the John Gibson show today and donned an all time asshat.

First Napolitano claimed that Palin "mocked" the constitution by sneering at the "rights" bestowed on GITMO terrorists by judges. So anytime we disagree with a judge we mock the constitution? This fucker went to law school?

After Gibson challenged him, Napolitano claimed that her speech was "closer to Mussolini than to Jefferson."

Not satisfied with a fascist slur, Napolitano said, "the speech was about safety and security. There was security in Hitlers Nazi Germany, there was security in Stalinist Russia."

Megyn Makes a Tabloid Worm Squirm



Megyn. "You're lying."

Doofus: "You're missing the point. Everybody was talking about it, so it's OK."

It's getting pretty bad when you can't live up to the standards set by the National Enquirer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Star Is Born

Wow. Just. Wow.

Sarah Palin is the real deal. I have seen political stars burst on the scene before with great speeches at conventions...and this was another.

Ten minutes in and we knew Fox would gush. Twenty minutes later and she had CNN blown away. And by the end, even MSNBC was giving her respect.

The great quotes:

"I guess being a small town mayor is like being a community organizer (from Chicago), only you have real responsibilities."

"The difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom...lipstick."

"After Obama has those styrofoam Greek columns taken back to a Hollywood set, what does he really intend to do?"

"He (Obama) has taken the time to write two memoirs, but hasn't found the time to author a single important piece of legislation."

"I guess small town people don't know what to make of a politician who heaps praise on us one day and talks about us being bitter when he thinks we are not listening. We would rather have a candidate who doesn't say one thing to people in Scranton and the opposite to people in San Francisco."

"Some politicians use change to advance their careers, others use their careers to advance change."

"Here's a little news flash (for the MSM), I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinions..."

Weekend At Bernies The RNC

You would think McCain was hanging on by his fingernails given the talk of the MSM the last couple of days. The pricks in the MSM can't stop talking about the "untimely" death of McCain when trying to initiate an attack on Sarah Palin.

As far as I know, McCain is still alive and HE is the one running against Obama.

Why isn't anyone talking about what the potential death of Joe Biden does to Obama's readiness to be president?

The MSM Is Not Trying to Help Obama

They are now full fledged members of his campaign.

From the coverage, you would think the convention was a scene from Weekend at Bernies and McCain was already at room fucking temperature. Check out Andrea Mitchell.



The Republicans would have been better off broadcasting this convention on Al Jazeera and it's sad when we get better convention coverage from Lindsay Lohan's personal blog.

I've been watching the news all morning, like everyone else — and (I) keep hearing about the issues related to `teen pregnancy.' ... Well, I think the real problem comes from the fact that we are taking the focus off of getting to know Sarah Palin and her political views, and what she can do to make our country a less destructive place," Lohan wrote.

OK, that's all the excuse I needed.