Friday, January 23, 2009
You have to wonder how a liberal Democrat winds up picking a woman who has some pretty decent-sounding Blue Dog creds to take the place of a liberal Democrat US Senator. I suppose it's another case of Democrats running as conservatives to get (s)elected?
Now if we can just get the Republicans to try it....
President Obama paid a surprise visit to members of the White House press corps Thursday evening when he walked through their working area of the West Wing, but he quickly became agitated when he was confronted with a question by one of the journalists.
According to reports, when the Politico's Jonathan Martin asked the president about his nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, Obama refused to answer, saying he was not there to take questions.
Welcome to the kitchen. Hot enough for you? If it isn't, just do this a few more times and it will be.
The Big O seems to forget two things. First is that the media was in the tank for him and they're convinced that it was they who got him elected. From their viewpoint, he owes them and they want to collect. Second is that as President of the United States, you're always on duty, and you're fair game for questions any time they can shout one in your general direction.
I guess he's never noticed that all Presidents look about 20 years older when they leave office. You can account for 4 or 8 years of that easily, but that other decade is just wear and tear from the job. Get used to it, Messianic One.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
While you should read the entire thing, let me give you a few of the money shots:
Still, everyone wants Obama to succeed. His mother and grandmother, looking down from heaven. His relatives in Kenya. His party. His country. The entire world. Even we hardened cynics here at The Daily Reckoning wish him well.
But we weren't born yesterdayAnd neither was the stock market. The man who got the warmest welcome ever from the press and the public got the rudest brush off from Wall Street. It was the worst sell-off for an Inauguration Day in history. The Dow fell 332 points.
That fall equated to 4.something percent (I don't remember the exact figure.) Yesterday, it got back 3.something percent, and today it gave up 1.28%. The Dow is still off it's low for the week, but as Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow...is another day!"
U.S. banks are "effectively insolvent," says Nouriel Roubini. He figures losses in the United States might rise to $3.6 trillion - most of it in banks and broker-dealers. Which leaves the sector a little short. The banking system in the United States only has $1.4 trillion in capital.
Ahem. Got Gold?
"Creeping nationalization," is how Bloomberg describes the process. In Britain, the Royal Bank of Scotland will serve as a 'guinea pig.' It's lost 3/4 of its share value in the last two days. The government will keep it alive…but it will become a 'zombie' - more dead than alive…more ward of the state than independent financial institution.
I can see it...shambling bankers, Armani suits in disarray...shuffling toward Washington...beating and clawing at the doors of the Capital Building, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury...croaking "Bailouts...more Bailouts!" We all know that to kill a zombie, you must destroy the head. That will work on the zombie bankers, but how the heck to you kill a zombie bank?
Like I said, this one is worth reading. Don't miss the letter from Gregory J. Knox, the president of Knox Machinery in Franklin, Ohio. His prescrition for the auto industry will shock the automakers, but it makes perfect sense to this Austrian.
Israel's war against Hamas was launched, in large part, to send a message to its adversaries: Be afraid. Any attacks on the Jewish state will be met with overwhelming, even brutal, force. Traditionally off-limits sites, like Mosques and hospitals, won't serve as hiding places. Enemy leaders will be hunted down and killed -- even if they're surrounded by their children and wives.
If you choose to hide behind the robes of your clerics, the skirts of your women or the toys of your children, then it's you that put them in danger and you who bears the moral responsibility if your actions lead to their deaths. Self-defense is a human right, and Israel has decided to defend itself with a well-justified vengeance.
However, the part I found most interesting was this:
"The Arab view is now that Israel is a crazed animal, locked in a cage, fuming to get out all the time," a senior Foreign Ministry official tells Danger Room, approvingly. "Now, it's the responsibility of the Arab leadership to keep the animal in the cage, by not provoking it."
It'll be interesting to see how this works out for Israel. I'm betting it works better than their previous efforts.
It would seem that I was correct in that assessment. Even after being trashed one last time by his opponents, the man took a positive attitude and refused to lash out, even though it would have been justified.
Those who served under him, however, are having their say on things. Marc Thiessen notes that there have been 2,668 days without a terrorist attack on American soil. Karl Rove notes that Bush was right when it mattered most.
As for myself, I'll just say that George W. Bush will probably be judged by history as a better-than-average president. A man unafraid to take unpopular positions, he stood head and shoulders above his rivals in both elections. He did what he felt was right for the country, not what looked good in the polls or what was good for his party.
Think about it--isn't that what a President is supposed to do--what's best for the country?
President Bush, thank you for your service.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Stocks clawed their way back from a midday rout as banks surged and investors relaxed after Congress stopped grilling Tim Geithner and the hearing for his nomination as Treasury Secretary ended.
In what bizarre alternate reality is the grilling of a tax cheat who is nominated for the position of Secretary of the Treasury a bad thing? (For that matter, what idiot would nominate him? Oh yeah...right--Capt. Barack "Is my inexperience showing?" Obama.) CNBC, you're embarrassing yourselves.
The real story was Apple and IBM earnings and the financials, although the financial gains are also a bit foolish. Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis bought $1.2 million worth of his banks stock, and if the news of that is all it takes to move an entire sector, well, God help us. Please tell me there was more.
GM also helped out a bit, due to, wait for it...bailout rumors. I don't believe that any or all of this is enough to merit a 3.5% increase in the Dow.
I'm sticking with cash. Markets like this are for suckers.
Here's a video that you'll want to watch, then bookmark. It's going to come in handy very soon.
We're going to forgive him for the assertion that fully automatic weapons can only be owned by law enforcement and the military. It's a common misconception, and goes to show that the laws regarding firearms are so arcane that even police officers of long experience don't necessarily understand them. As we all know, fully automatic weapons manufactured before 1986 and registered with the government can be legally owned in many areas, if one follow the proper procedures and pays the right taxes.
It's worth noting that no legally owned fully auto weapon has ever been used in the commission of a crime.
Well, the Obama-thon is over (at least for its most overt phase), so let's look at some of the stories relating to it.
A monument to George H. W. Bush was defaced in Houston. Apparently the pony-tailed perp doesn't know the difference between father and son. Or maybe he's just a bit behind the curve on current events.
FOXNews was the only network to cover George W. Bush's return to Texas. After the national media fell into the tank for the Obamessiah, I'm a little shocked that anyone covered it.
Many of the faithful were unable to witness the coronation. Boy, you have to hate it when history passes you by.
Boxing promoter Don King thinks that Obama is the Joshua to Martin Luther King's Moses. I think someone needs to up the dosage on their medication.
Peggy Noonan has apparently joined the Kool-Aid Drinkers. Peggy, there is a 12 step program that can help you.
Rahm Emanuel was photographed greeting the US Constitution.
Michelle Obama's hairstylist is apparently going to star in a reality TV show. When I first read that, i thought it said her hair was going to star. Oops.
Feel free to add your Obama moments in the comments.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Wall Street ushered in the Barack Obama presidency with a record Inauguration Day slide Tuesday amid fresh signs the global bank crisis was far from over.
An index of bank stocks lost 19.7 percent on fears of more losses. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 332.13 points, or 4.01 percent, to end unofficially at 7,949.09. The S&P 500 Index slid 44.90 points, or 5.28 percent, to finish unofficially at 805.22.
The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 88.47 points, or 5.78 percent, to close unofficially at 1,440.86.It seems that the markets do not approve so far of Mr. Obama. Much more of his kind of Change and we're going to be in deep do-do.
And now, for a Public Service Announcement...
Dear Hope-and-Change-oids: Today, as your anointed savior assumes the mantle of the Presidency of the United States, you might want to temper your Hope for Change, because the Change your going to get isn't the one you Hoped for.
End of Public Service Announcement
I see several possible courses for our future, none of them pleasant, yet one of them sure to happen. At the end of them, we will surely find ourselves in a new country. It may have the same name, but it will be as different from the United States that we know as winter is from summer. Whether we like that country can not be seen from our current vantage point.
We are setting forth into an uncharted, untracked, unknown and unknowable area of history. Pray to such God or gods as you may have, lay in your stores as you are able, keep a weather eye on the horizon and watch for the signs.
The particular sign I'm looking for looks something like this:
Not that I expect many people to pay any attention to it. Run and play, Obamanauts.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
It has a happy ending. Jury nullification works.
The coronation of the Big O is some 2 days away and he's doing a traveling road show on his way to the event. Unfortunately the ticket price is a bit expensive, so a lot of people will have to sit it out on the sidelines. Bad economy, you know.
The blathering idiots who called the price tag of George Bush's last inauguration excessive in a bad economy are preparing for a 4 day party that will cost 3 times as much during an economy that is far worse. This is from the liberal playbook, where Play 6A is to accuse your opponents of doing what you want to do.
Hillary Clinton, the incoming Secretary of State has already developed a case of "foot in mouth" disease. Either that or she's telegraphing the new administration's position toward Afghanistan, which would be an even worse case.
On the personal hygiene side, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says the the Big O could use a bath. I guess he didn't have time to shower after his last gym visit.
But hey, the Big O just says that if we would just get organized, things would be better.
On the bright side, rhetoric from Team Big O, aimed at toning down expectations of our new Leader must working well. Even Russian President Vladamir Putin is warning folks that the "big expectations" they have of the Big O may not be fully met.
And we still have 2 days to go until he's actually the President.
Bet you never thought you'd look back on the Carter presidency with nostalgia, did ya?