Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Headline-RNC Accuses Bush Of Going Socialist

I've been doing that for weeks!
'Bout time they caught up.

Now, let's see them adhere to and defend small government, free market policies.

Then I'll be impressed.

Right now I'm only cautiously optimistic. More cautious than optimistic. Okay, right now I'm only cautious.

Grey Matter Revisted

Each time I read a Paul Krugman opinion piece, I feel like my brain shrinks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let Nothing You Dismay

Caroline Kennedy is probably a liar.

She claimed to be "dismayed" by her rather spotty voting record.

What, was she not aware that she didn't vote?

I'll bet she's happy that someone has brought this to her attention.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Loving Obama

Despite the global jubilation at the election of Barack Obama, there are some in this world who are not so enamored of him.

The following people do not love Barack Obama:

Vladimir Putin,
Hugo Chavez,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Whoever is running China,
And me.

Foreign Policy will not be so easy as sucking up to the French.

When was that ever a good idea?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Unless you're one those humorless liberal types always trying to get Christmas trees and Nativity scenes banned.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Headline-Scientists Warn Christmas Lights Harm The Planet

Bollocks.(Per my wife).

Next year I'll be sure my house looks like Chevy Chase's in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Joe Biden Speaks

I see they have dusted off and trotted out Joe Biden.

The purpose?

To complain about the economy.

How necessary is this guy?

Smartest Thing I Read All Year

Ronald Reagan had a vision of America. Barack Obama has a vision of Barack Obama. - Thomas Sowell.

Of Free Markets & Saviors

A couple of columnists have wondered recently if Barack Obama can save the free market system.

Memo to them and him: the free market system does not need a savior; it needs an advocate.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Most Dumbest Thing I Read All Year

"The economy that Roosevelt saved..." - Harold Meyerson

The competition was fierce this year, what with Kathleen Parker attacking God and Sarah Palin, and George W Bush defending the free-market system.
But Mr Meyerson edged them all out.

Oh, well, there's always next year.

Embracing His Inner Oogedy Boogedy

Barack Obama has invited super-evangelist Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the upcoming inaugural.

Isn't there some rule prohibiting the mixing of religion and socialism?

Well, there should be.

Ah, but let the pandering begin!

Genius At Work

Infrastructure? Infrastructure!?

Barack Obama was elected president because he was so eloquent, and intelligent, and was going to solve America's problems by using his unusually large brain.

So, what has he come up with?

Building roads and bridges.

That's right, roads and bridges.

We already have roads and bridges.
Lots of them.

Nowhere in his stimulus plan does he mention robots, or a secret economics, or automobiles fueled by spit.
Just road and bridges.

And I'm not even sure what road and bridges have to do with subprime mortgages and credit default swaps.

Maybe he's going to use his big brain to convince the rest of the world to like us again.

By building them roads and bridges!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorite Christmas Reading

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

The Homecoming - Earl Hamner Jr

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus - Francis Phacellus Church

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Defending Sarah Palin

For the record, I was not then, nor am I now, a big fan of Ms Palin.
Nor was I big fan of John McCain.
To my political tastes, they simply weren't sufficiently conservative or libertarian.

But that is quite a different complaint from the one proffered most by the Conservative Elite, namely, Kathleen Parker, the blonde chick, and Christian hater. (I hope I'm not overstating her positions).

No, the underlying problem Ms Parker and her ilk have with Ms Palin is that she is an idiot, unable to form and convey a cogent thought.

I would advise Ms Parker to read some of her own columns.
It is nigh impossible to follow her train of thought. She meanders, before taking a switchback, before taking an abrupt turn, before finally arriving at a stupid conclusion.

As evidence of Ms Palin's idiocy, Ms Parker laments that Ms Palin told a child that, as Vice President, she would be in charge of the Senate.
As if the sin of getting it partially wrong is magnified if you tell it to a child.

Ms Parker seems to conveniently forget that Joe Biden couldn't find his own job duties in the Constitution.

Nor did the serious, erudite life-long genius know that FDR wasn't the president in 1929, and did not appear on television -which had not yet been invented- to solve the Great Depression, which he never got around to actually doing.

And Sarah Palin is the idiot?

If Kathleen Parker expects to be taken seriously, she'll have to be more...well, serious, in the future.

But let's assume Ms Parker is right, that Sarah Palin is a complete and utter dunce.

Should we prefer Barack Obama's opaque brand of socialism simply because he doesn't drop his g's and sounds really eloquent when he lays out his plans for wealth redistribution?

Should we prefer Barack Obama's aggressive diplomacy even as our enemies have stressed in no uncertain terms that the only negotiable point is not if we die, but how quickly we get about it?

I'll take Ms Palin's instincts over Mr Obama's learned Collectivism any day.

And let's not forget, it was precisely because of a bunch of over-educated eggheads that we find
ourselves in the position we are today.

Any true small-government conservative would agree with me, and not with Kathleen Parker, nor anyone of her ilk.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Favorite Christmas Viewing

It's A Wonderful Life

The Polar Express

The Homecoming

The Railway Children

The Ticking Clock

As George W Bush gives away more of our money (see under: loans to bankrupt car companies), and, with it, a big chunk of belief and trust in free markets, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for him to go.

"The tribe has, indeed, spoken."

Besides, the sooner we get the clock ticking on Obama's 4 years, the better.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Comparing Kathleen Parker To A Zebra. And By Zebra I Mean Idiot

If Kathleen Parker gets any more dumb, she'll be qualified to write Marie Cocco's column.

It seems Ms Parker cannot pen a column lately without either flippantly disparaging Social Conservatives or explaining to the rest of us -for the umpteenth time!- that Sarah Palin is an idiot.

In her latest bout with inanity, she attempts a contrast & comparison of Ms Palin and Caroline Kennedy...but not really.
For, quite predictably by now, her unstated purpose is to explain to the rest of us -for the umpteenth time!- that Sarah Palin is an idiot.

To abuse Frau Parker's own words, this is a bit of the apple calling the zebra an orange.
(I have no idea what that means, but I think it sounds like a really witty insult).
Because, quite predictably by now, it is Herr Parker who is the idiot.

And, quite predictably by now, she gets everything wrong.

And this time she gets it wrong on important stuff, like the Constitution.

She says "No" might be a "reasonable response" as to whether Caroline Kennedy is "qualified" for the Senate.
Well, it might be a "reasonable response," but only for those inclined to see the Constitution and "opinion" as essentially the same.
Kennedy, regrettably, meets all the Constitutional requirements for serving in the Senate.

Ms Parker then tells us that the vapid Kennedy kid is "relatively erudite," because she's authored a couple of books.
Erudite? Really? Even, relatively?
Yeah, okay. Listen, when she can explain the properties of the flux capacitor to me, I'll be willing to slap the "erudite" label on her prominent forehead.
Until then, I'll assume she's about as bright as Princess Di was.

And because she's authored a couple of books?
Isn't this the same rationalization Christopher Buckley offered for his Obama treason?
What is it with these Conservative Elites and their obsession with politicians who author books?
And let's dispense with the pretentiousness of using the word "author" when "write" will suffice.
Polysyllabic words only impress me when I have to look them up in my word book(dictionary).

Now, onto the obligatory attack on Palin.

Apparently, Ms Parker believes it's okay for Ms Kennedy to be a Senator, but not for Ms Palin to be Vice-President because Ms Palin would have been "a heartbeat away from the Button" and a "nuclear-enabled leader of the free world."

Oh, come on.
Does anyone really buy this as a legitimate, adult argument?
This is childish nonsense. And Ms Parker excels at it.

But, I guess she feels safer with that nutcase Joe Biden being only "a heartbeat away from the button."

Here's hoping Ms Parker spends the rest of her life in her bomb shelter!


If Caroline Kennedy is appointed, we'll have two brain-dead Kennedys in the Senate.

I told myself that during this Christmas season I wasn't going to engage in name-calling or just generally being mean.

But I guess I just don't have it in me.

Hazlitt 101

Yale professor Robert Shiller works so close to where I work that I should walk over to his office and kick his ass.
Or, at least, give him a copy of Henry Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson."

Mr Shiller would instruct the incoming president to propose creating more than the 2.5 million jobs he's already promised to create.

"All that is fine, but does not represent a commitment to full employment," advises/complains this elitist know-it-all.

Henry Hazlitt had the following to say about The Fetish Of Full Employment.
"The whole economic progress of mankind has consisted in getting more production with the same labor.
Our real objective is to maximize production.
Production is the end, employment merely the means.
We can very easily have full employment without the full production.
Nothing is easier to achieve than full employment, once it is divorced from the goal of full production.
Wages and employment are discussed as if they had no relation to productivity and output.
When we had our WPA, it was considered a mark of genius for the administrators to think of projects that employed the largest number of men in relation to the value of the work performed-in other words, in which labor was least efficient.
The progress of civilization has meant the reduction of employment, not its increase."

I am heartened that Yale's endowment has taken a 25% hit.

I'm Not Laughing

I respect Nicole Gelinas, so maybe the following is nit picking.

Ms Gelinas, in offering her viewpoint on Obama's proposed infrastructure plan said, " Look to Boston’s Big Dig. Yes, the project took way too long and cost too much, and became a national joke. But the long-term joke is on the rest of the country."

Well, if it took too long, and cost way too much, then I'm not sure where the humor is in that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


George W Bush's dimwitted formulation of his own peculiar brand of "free market socialism."

Today's explanation: "I'm a free market guy, but I'm not going to let this economy crater to preserve the free market system."

Again, imagine Barack Obama had uttered these same words.

He Said, I Heard

When Barack Obama says the government has been "asleep at the switch," and Americans are "feeling frustrated that there's been not a lot of adult supervision" when it comes to the nation's financial system, does anyone else hear, "You had no reason-none-to believe that I would not be a socialist."?

Or is it just me?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...Louisiana?

No, I'm not referring to the recent snow in New Orleans.

I'm referring to the new face of the Republican Party.

Governor Jindal is of Indian extraction.

Newly minted Congressman Anh Cao is Vietnamese.

And, yes, two people constitute a trend.

Hopefully, they will act like conservatives.

Will Obama Be The Old Bush?

President Bush told CNN, "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system."

Makes me want to throw a shoe at him.

Now, imagine Barack Obama had uttered this same statement.

The problem is, Mr Obama truly believes that socialism can correct the "defects" of the free market.
But I guess Mr Bush does too.

They are both wrong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How NOT To Make A Sandwich

You would think a company whose job it is to make sandwiches would be able to...well, make sandwiches.
But you'd be wrong.

I complain of Subway.

Now, it's not like they never knew how to make a sandwich.
Years ago they got it right.

They took the breadloaf, cut a wedge from the middle, laid in the meat, then everything else on top of the meat.

That's how you make a sandwich.

Well, not anymore.

Now, they cut the bread loaf in half lengthwise, lay it open, place the meat on what is the top bun, then lay in everything else.

So, the sandwich is upside down!

As my friend so correctly put it, "The meat is foundation of the sandwich."

It most certainly is.

Which is why I get my subs from Jersey Mikes.

Headline-IRS To Help Homeowners To Refinance Or Sell Homes

I'm not sure exactly how having your home confiscated will help you sell or refinance it, but, as the saying goes, "They're from the government; they're here to help."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Camelot Redux?

I don't know much about aspiring New York senate candidate, Caroline Kennedy.

I do have a vague recollection of seeing her being interview by Larry King, some few years ago, and thinking, "Hmm, she's not that bright."

But maybe Larry King just doesn't bring out the genius in his guests.

The Great Shoe Incident

A Tale of Two Shoes

It was the shoe of their discontent.

The Shoes of Wrath

There's No Business Like...Shoe Business!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ducking Shoes, Not Questions

President Bush, in Iraq for a surprise and farewell vist, had not one, but two shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist.

The video of the President dodging those shoes is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while.

The President has moves!

Burnin' Down The House...Of The Lord

Apparently Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's church was targeted by an arsonist.

Makes you wonder where Kathleen Parker is vacationing.

Meyerson, The Fourth Idiot

When I posted earlier about the Big Three Idiots Writing For The Washington Post Writers Group, I wasn't aware of Harold Meyerson.
I am now aware of Harold Meyerson.
There are Four Big Idiots Writing For The Washington Post Writers Group.

This dishonor belongs to each of them on a rotating basis.

With Gods That Failed, Mr Meyerson takes his turn.

In attempting to assign blame for the current Financial Panic, and suffering from a bout of bombastic arrogance, delivered in the form of ignorance, Mr Meyerson lectures, "Today, conservative intellectuals might want to consider writing a tome on the failure of their own beloved deity, unregulated capitalism. Admit that the Reagan-Thatcher faith in unregulated capitalism, to which every GOP presidential candidate was pledging allegiance just last winter, has collapsed."

Okay, I missed out on two things, 1) all this unregulated capitalism, and 2) every GOP presidential candidate pledging allegiance to it.

True to form, Mr Meyerson complains of unregulation, or deregulation, without ever being specific.
He ignores the govrenment intervention of the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and presidents Clinton and Bush II pushing "affordable housing" goals.
How convenient.

Additionally, he seems to have missed the GOP candidate, John McCain, offering to buy up all those bad mortgages.

But, not content to get it wrong once, Mr Meyerson takes a limp swat at laissez faire economics.
"The doctrine of laissez faire has been so dominant, so pervasive over the past three decades...
Today's ideological crisis isn't confined merely to the doctrine of laissez faire."

Let's review:
Laissez Faire is a French term which, like all French terms, means, "We surrender, you'll find warm baugettes in the oven. Make yourselves at home."

Fortunately, it has an English definition, "Butt out! When I need your help, I'll vote Democratic."

Exactly how a Federal Reserve Bank, the dictates of the CRA, the criminal activities of Fannie Mae & Freddie, etc. equate to a laissez faire system in the big head of Mr Meyerson is a mystery.

Moreover,what he fails to realize is that conservatives and libertarians don't "worship at the altar of a laissez faire" system.

To endorse laissez faire is to reject the idea that a tiny collection of numbnuts-Congress, the White House-can adequately accomplish what a free people can.

So, Mr Meyerson gets it wrong, and manages to park himself nowhere near the truth.

Exploiting The Workers?

Re:The Big 3 bailout:

If the workers are doing just fine, but the company is going under, then just who has exploited whom?

Dubya's Third Term

Does George W Bush not realize that he didn't run for a third term?
Does he not realize he did not win Michigan when he didn't run for a third term?
Does he not realize he doesn't owe the UAW for the votes he didn't get from them when he didn't win Michigan when he didn't run for a third term?

No, he doesn't seem to realize any of the above.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Favorite Television Shows Of The Year

The Chef Jeff Project
Kitchen Nightmares
Hell's Kitchen
(Before we learned that Gordon Ramsey was, according to my wife, "an adulterous liar")
The Next Food Network Star(The winner rarely turns out to actually be the Next Food Network Star)
Top Chef
The Biggest Loser(For which, I offer no apology)

But, Maybe I Was Wrong...On A Different Matter

In an earlier post I called Joseph Stiglitz a nitwit because of an article he wrote for Vanity Fair blaming Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan for the current financial crisis.

But now I read that he favors a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for the Big 3.

Maybe he's a only a nitwit half the time.

Or maybe I should have read the Vanity Fair article a little closer...

So I did.

Nowhere does Mr Stiglitz call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve Bank.

So I was right, he's a nitwit...but only half the time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Or, Maybe I Was Right

No sooner had Senate Republicans gotten it right by ensuring the defeat of the bailout of the Big 3, than G.W. Bush promised to show them exactly how to get it wrong.
Well, at least he leads by stupid example.

Here's a bit of the White House Department Of Central Planning Propaganda : "Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms."

Uh, yeah.
Here's the thing, these are normal economic conditions, and the market is determining the ultimate fate of private firms.

So butt out, and leave it alone!

I Was Wrong

I posted earlier that Republicans wouldn't stand against the bailout of the American auto makers.

They have, albeit with a few exceptions.

Those who stood against it are to be commended.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grey Matter

Each time I read an article at Mises I feel like my brain gets bigger.

Is Barack Obama The Anti-Christ?

Hey, somebody has to be the Anti-Christ, so why not him!

But is he?

I don't think so.


Because he's a smoker.
And I just can't envisage the Anti-Christ dominating the world and being all evil, then needing to take time out for a smoke break...and having to smoke outside.

So, no, Barack Obama is not the Anti-Christ.

But he is a Democrat!

Word Of The Year

Briskly: the speed at which Christopher Buckley's resignation is accepted by National Review.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What A Bore

Christopher Buckley, when he's not endorsing Barack Obama's brain, or blaming Sarah Palin for whatever it is he holds her accountable, is, really, quite boring.

I Agree. No, Wait, DIE! No, Wait, I Agree.

Sometimes I find myself in complete agreement with Christopher Hitchens.

Then he writes he something, and I wish he would die.

Then I find myself in complete agreement with him again, and am glad he didn't die.

But then...well, you get the idea.

What Have Unions Ever Done For Us!?

Does everyone writing for the Washington Post Writers Group have an advanced degree in Nonsense?
Because it sure seems that way.

And Marie Cocco, taking her turn at being The Biggest Idiot Writing For The Washington Post Writers Group, with her column, Unions Are The Solution, serves a heaping portion of said nonsense.

Naturally, she's got a complaint.
She's tired of the union bashing, and imperiously instructs us to, "Note well that we did not hear any such tirades when vastly larger sums of taxpayer money -- with fewer strings attached -- were lavished upon the banks and financial industry wizards who created the credit crisis."

Now, in that one sentence Ms Cocco is disingenuous once and wrong twice.

First, to her disingenuousness: She throws out "taxpayer money" as if she believes that taxpayer money is just that, money belonging it to the taxpayer.
She doesn't.
She just wants "taxpayer money" for national healthcare.

As for being wrong: When you get something wrong it can be for only 1 of 2 reasons, 1) you are ignorant, or 2) you are a liar.
Now I believe that Ms Cocco is too bright and resourceful a person to be ignorant. Therefore, she's a liar.

As to her first lie: there certainly were tirades -in abundance- when those "vastly larger sums of taxpayer money -- with fewer strings attached -- were lavished upon the banks and financial industry wizards."
Those wizards were not merely upbraided, but were made to kneel and grovel in both Congressional hearings and in the media. They were publicly humiliated.
You'd have to be Marie Cocco to have missed it.

Which leads us to her second lie: that those wizards created the credit crisis.
How clever to omit the contributing factors of the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, unqualified buyers and the government policies which got this whole crisis ball rolling.

Now she gets to her defense of the unions, stating, "No one should be allowed to cast blame on workers who want nothing more than to maintain a middle-class life."
Thankfully, my right to blame anybody for anything is protected by the Constitution. You know, just like Ms Cocco's.

Realizing that that's a pretty lame defense, Ms Cocco avers, "Unions aren't the problem. They are the solution. Creating a viable middle class has been the goal of organized labor since labor first became organized."
Oh, how noble.
And laughable.
And wrong.
If unions are the solution, then why isn't everyone in a union? Seems they'd be much more popular than, say, George W Bush. But with his approval rating in the 20's and union membership at only 7%, it appears that the man everyone loves to blame is more popular than the solution.

Besides, organized labor's only intent has ever been to increase wages, no matter the cost.
Pun intended...if it's a pun.

Thankfully, Ms Cocco doesn't try to make her case without some form of evidence. And she serves up that evidence in the form of nonsense and fallacies.
To wit, "Unionized workers make about $200 more per week than do nonunion workers."
No doubt they do.

But they do so at their own expense, the community's expense, and even their employer's expense.
Accepting that wages are prices, and thus costs, any rise in wages will result in a rise in the cost of the product being produced, thus reducing purchasing power(wages) for all.
(This excludes an increase in hourly productivity. Because there was none at the Big 3 for a long time).
Employers are disadvantaged by union-workers as they must compete against non-union workers who have not artificially inflated the price of the product.
The perfect illustration of this is the very one playing out right now, which Ms Cocco chooses to ignore, namely, that unionized American car makers are going bust, while their non-unionized foreign competitors are not.
Again, you'd have to be Marie Cocco to miss this.

But Ms Cocco continues, "The great expansion of the American middle class and an unprecedented rise in living standards occurred between the end of World War II and the 1970s -- when unions were far more common and powerful than they are today."
Again, laughable.
Again, wrong.

Wages are determined by labor productivity.
Increased wages should be the result of increased labor productivity, not union demands.
The rise in wages during the period cited by Ms Cocco is attributable to increased capital investment and technological advances which led to increased labor productivity, which led to increased wages.
Ms Cocco fails to see this coincidence.
And, again, you'd have to Ms Cocco to have missed it.

Wow, there are so many things she didn't, as he instructs, "Note well."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Audacity Of Publishing

Timothy Egan, feeling the need to vent his under paid & under appreciated spleen, unleashed in his column a diatribe against...anybody?...anybody?...Buellor?...Sarah Palin. No, not really. Against Joe The Plumber.
Joe The Plumber's newest sin? Why, having the temerity to write a book.
Mr Egan, he will have you know, takes professional exception at this.

The relevant invective is as follows:
-"I don't want you writing books."
-"Most writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty [I guess he doesn't know Stephen King], tyring to say one thing well and true. Day in , day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush's dog getting a book deal."
-"The idea that someone who stumbled into a soundbite can be published, and charge $24.95 for said words, makes so many real writers think the world is unfair.
-"Stop soaking up precious advance money."

Then he takes a swipe at Sarah Palin.

Now, all this phlegm and fury is meant not only to belittle Joe The Plumber, but to accuse him of wrongfully appropriating what by right should belong to Mr Egan, and those of his calling.


Because he's an anti-capitalist, that's why.

Ludwig von Mises:
The Resentment of the Intellectuals:
"It is the same with many lawyers and teachers, artists and actors, writers and journalists, architects and scientific research workers, engineers and chemists. They, too, feel frustrated because they are vexed by the ascendancy of their more successful colleagues, their former school fellows and cronies. Their resentment is deepened by precisely those codes of professional conduct and ethics that throw a veil of comradeship and colleagueship over the reality of competition.
To understand the intellectual's abhorrence of capitalism one must realize that in his mind this system is incarnated in a definite number of compeers whose success he resents and whom he makes responsible for the frustration of his own farflung ambitions. His passionate dislike of capitalism is a mere blind for his hatred of some successful "colleagues."

In other words, Get over it!

Gotta love those Austrian economists.

Not Worth The Glossy Paper It's Printed On

I guess it's never too early to begin with the revisionist history.

Writing in Vanity Fair, Joesph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning nitwit, has the following to say about the causes of our current financial panic, "...a debate over the causes of our current situation. The battle for the past will determine the battle for the present. So it's crucial to get the history straight."

In short,
he blames:
Ronald Reagan
"free-market zealot" Ayn Rand
the Bush tax cuts

he exonerates:
the Community Reinvestment Act
Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac

There are a few more details, but you get his drift.

I can't wait to get my Nobel prize in economics!

Scandals We Can Belive In

Finally, it's the Democrats!

Charles Rangel
Rod Blagojevich

Now, if someone would just get on the Chris Dodd case, we'd have a nice trifecta.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yet Another Bold Prediction

Paul Krugman, know-it-all Nobel winner, who is usually wrong, is wrong again.
He says not one of the Big 3 auto makers will survive.

I say:
Ford will survive.
GM might survive.
Chrsyler will not survive.

I guess hedging my bets isn't so bold, but I'd rather be partially right than be Paul Krugman.

A Republican Yells, "Stop!" Yay!

Richard Shelby, Senator from Alabama, and top Republican on the Banking Committe, understands that any bailout of the Big 3 auto makers would be "a bridge loan to nowhere. These companies have basically failied."

Yes, it's that simple.

Mr Shelby just got himself on Santa's "Good" list.

Not To Be Sexist

but if social conservatives are evicted from the Republican Party, it'll be because of the blonde chick.

There's Off, Then There's Off

At the bottom of Bill Kristol's column in the New York Times today is the editor's note: Paul Krugman is off today.

But isn't Paul Krugman off every day?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

No Justice For The Juice

They really threw the book at O.J.

I mean, it's not like he killed anybody, or anything.

Is Chris Matthews Stalking Barack Obama?

That Chris Matthews, a biased talking pinhead at MSNBC, has some sort of political man-crush on the President-Elect seems indisputable.

Submitted for your consideration:
Matthews, commenting on a speech Mr Obama had just given, "I got this thrill up my leg."
He wrote, "It was the best speech I've ever heard...I'm tearing up."

Then, having, I guess, decided that his mere temporal love was inadequate, Mr Matthews began with the deification and worship of his beloved immortal, saying, "Obama comes along and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament."

Now it's being reported that Matthews is quiting his job to embark upon a run for the Senate...to be nearer Mr Obama.


Barney Frank Is Criminally Wrong...Again

When reform efforts were afoot to set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back to their proper course, Barney Frank, ranking Communist from Taxachusettes, infamously said, "These two entities -Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac promptly crashed and burned, and remain smoldering even now.

Barney Frank was either stupid or complicit.
In either case, he was wrong.

Alas, he's still around.

Now, with the Big 3 auto makers crashing and burning, Mr Frank is insisting that they be allowed to smolder forever, and at taxpayer expense.
Discussing throwing good money after bad, in the form of a bailout for the Big 3, Mr Frank said, "For us to do nothing would be a disaster."

He's as wrong in reverse as he is going forward.

Stinkin' Liar

Headline-Barack Obama Says Things Are Going To Get Worse.

Thanks a lot, jerk.
You told us you'd make everything better.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Jesus Freak Quiz

There's a lot of chatter among the Conservative Elite concerning the pernicious effect social conservatives in general and evangelicals in particular are having on the Republican Party.
Which got me to thinking about Jesus Freaks.
So, a quiz:
Which Jesus Freak made all the following statments?

“The Bible runs through all U.S. life, whether people know if or not. It’s the founding book. The founding fathers’ book anyway. People can’t get away from it. you can’t get away from it wherever you go. Those ideas were true then and they’re true now. They’re scriptural, spiritual laws. I guess people can read into that what they want. But if you’re familiar with those concepts they’ll probably find enough of them in my stuff. Because I always get back to that.”

"God will stay with America as long as America stays with God. A lot of people maybe even the President, maybe a lot of senators, you hear them speak and they'll speak of the attributes of God. But none of them are speaking about being a disciple of Christ".

"Hmmm. Pretty rude bunch tonight, huh? You all know how to be real rude. You know about the spirit of the Anti-Christ? Does anyone here know about that? Ah, the spirit of the Anti-Christ is loose right now ... You talk to your teachers about what I said. I'm sure you're paying a lot of money for your education, so you'd better get one."

“One thing led to another ... until I had this feeling, this vision and feeling. I truly had a born-again experience, if you want to call it that. It’s an over-used term, but it’s something that people can relate to.”

“All that exists is spirit, before, now and forever more . . . Messiah will rule. He is, was and will be about God, doing God's business. Drought, famine, war, murder, theft, earthquake and all the evil things will be no more . . . God is coming."

“Christ didn't preach religion. He preached the Truth, the Way and the Life. He said He'd come to give life and life more abundantly. He talked about life, not necessarily religion.”
“There's gonna be war. There's always war and rumors of war. And The Bible talks about a war coming up which will be a war to end all wars ... ... The spirit of the atheist will not prevail, I can tell you that much, It's a deceiving spirit.”
“Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up".

"Sure I believe in it. I believe that ever since Adam and Eve got thrown out of the garden that the whole nature of the planet has been heading in one direction - towards apocalypse. It's all there in the Book of Revelations, but it's difficult talking about these things to most people because most people don't know what you're talking about, or don't want to listen.”
"Being born again is a hard thing ... We don't like to lose those old attitudes and hang-ups. Conversion takes time because you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. You have to learn to drink milk before you can eat meat. You're reborn, but like a baby. A baby doesn't know anything about this world, and that's what it's like when you're reborn. You're a stranger. You have to learn all over again."

That's right. It was Bob Dylan.

I think he's a Jew again now, though.

Favorite Christmas Tunes

Hark The Herald Angels Sing-Frank Sinatra.
Some people are legends because they deserve to be legends.

The First Noel-Aaron Neville.
He's big, he's scary looking, and he sings like an angel.

Winter Wonderland-Eurythmics
Notice I didn't write, "The" Eurythmics, because there's no "The" in Eurythmics. Which makes Eurythmics a lot like Ukraine...without the danger of being invaded by Russia, of course.

Baby, It's Cold Outside-Dean Martin
Dean Martin was cool. And this is a cool song.

Ave Maria-Chris Cornell
Makes me wanna convert to Catholicism.

Jingle Bells-Sammy Davis Jr
When Sammy ad libs, "And may I say," well, that's just classic Sammy.

Fairytale of New York-The Pogues
Knowing Shane McGowan, this was most likely just one of his Christmas Eves.

The Stupid Gift That Keeps On Giving - Washington Post Columnists

Kathleen Parker wrote another column.

I guess it was her turn to be the Biggest Idiot Writing For The Washington Post.

Oh, Come On!

So, Merrill Lynch & Co. has contradicted me in predicting that oil will go as low as $25 per barrel, eh?

Well, Bah! And, Humbug!

National Endowment For The Arts

Yeah, it's still around.
I checked.

Here in Connecticut the Goodspeed Opera House received a $30,000 grant to put on the musical James And The Giant Peach.
Now, I've been to the Goodspeed. We saw Seven Brides For Seven Brothers there. They do a fine job.
But isn't James And The Giant Peach a children's tale? Children don't go the Goodspeed!
Besides, hasn't it already been adapted into a movie? Can't people just rent it on DVD?
Because, I mean, if we're just gonna spend money on children's entertainment, then I'd rather use it to buy candy and comic books.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Edwards Not Sufficiently Depraved

According to news reports Barack Obama will not be able to find a place for John Edwards in his administration.

What, there's no Department of Lying, Cheating Scumbags?

Workin' For The Big Three

In a new CNN poll, 60% of Americans are not in favor of a bailout for the auto industry.

Which means, 40% of all Americans work for the auto industry.

Wow, it really is too big to fail.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


You should be.

Barack Obama plans on patterning his presidency on that of FDR.
And that ain't no good for none of us.

But, if this sounds like a good idea to you, it's because your Joe Biden and you have fond memories of FDR murdering Herbert Hoover and installing himself as Dictator-In-Chief in 1929.

And you remember FDR forming this Manhattan Project type research team, and instructing it to invent the television.

And you remember FDR solving the depression by appearing on said television and magically pulling high paying jobs out of his ass.

History is funny...if you're Joe Biden.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bankruptcy - A Republican Opportunity

Republicans have an opportunity to redeem themselves.
They won't.

The Big 3 are back in town, having driven themselves this time, to grovel at the feet of Reid, Pelosi, etal, for more taxpayer money.
What they don't realize, or are willing to ignore in order to guarantee the funds, is that the self flagellation and humiliation is not necessary.
Congress is going to give them the money.
Selling the corporate jets, having a "plan," is all just a dog-and-pony show, complete symbolism, having no basis in financial relevancy.
The Democrats are not going to say no. They were never going to say no.
They are indebted, not to the car companies, but to big labor; and the cool $25 billion is a thank you for the votes.
A wink and a nod for years of reciprocal back-scratching.

"U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes the federal government will step in to aid domestic automakers because bankruptcy is “not an option.”
“I believe that an intervention will happen,” Pelosi said at a briefing in Washington. “It’s pretty clear that bankruptcy is not an option. Everybody is disadvantaged by bankruptcy, including our economy.”

There ya go.

But, "not an option?"
NOT an option!?
It should be the only option! What other option is there!? Bankruptcy is the necessary culling of the herd.
We have bankruptcy laws! Bankruptcy is real.
Bailouts are just made up. We didn't even have bailouts until a few months ago. (I'm ignoring subsidies and protective tariffs). Then we, well, Henry "(Like a) Chicken (running around with his head cut off) Little" Paulson and an only too eager Democratic congress started throwing money around like it was a bumper crop on harvest day in the money fields, and suddenly bankruptcy is no longer an option...for anybody.
Well, not anybody. Only those "too big to fail."
"Too big to fail?" Listen, if something is "too big to fail" in this country, then the first thing it needs to do is fail. Because is has too much power.
But there is no company "too big to fail." This is just a myth wrapped in a fable served up by a liar.
Then why do politicians keep repeating this mantra? What does it mean?
I'll tell you what it means. It means one of two things: 1) these politicians have no understanding of basic economics, or 2) ...I can't think of what else it might mean. So, it means these politicians are ignorant of basic economics. Let's go with that.
"Too Big To Fail" for the economically challenged: If we allow this company -company, not an entire industry, which is okay too, but just this company- to fail, i.e. go out of business because their revenues are not sufficient to pay their bills, X number of workers will be thrown out of work, as will workers in related, dependent industries, and will have no income, thus no purchasing power, thus causing a ripple effect throughout the entire economy, until everybody is unemployed and broke, and America looks like an episode of Survior and Jeff Probst is our god.
This assumes these now unemployed workers will never again find work, won't receive unemployment compensation(another bailout, I forgot that one), and that more efficient companies won't buy up the assets and fill the production void caused by the inefficient company's insolvency.
Hogwash and tommyrot!

It's even possible, if these companies were allowed the option of bankruptcy, they might be able to restructure themselves in a way that allows them to be leaner and meaner in the future.
And we need to know if that can happen. That's the basic knowledge we need, can they survive on their own? And bankruptcy is the perfect mechanism for discerning this knowledge.

And so...now is the perfect opportunity for Republicans to explain and defend their conservative fiscal philosophy. Namely, that companies, like able individuals, must be responsible, self reliant citizens. That bad decision making, and even the march of time, has consequences. That sometimes these consequences are painful, but never without cessation. That the free market is by far the best tool we have for sorting out these situations. That sometimes the best thing the government can do is to do nothing at all. That we shouldn't artificially, at the expense of the American taxpayer, prop up these failing companies. That by doing so we are not only prolonging the process but costing, in real dollars, ourselves more over time.

Will Republicans do it?
Of course not.

We still have the Department of Education; a minimum wage law; a failed Social Security system; No Child Left Behind, a prescription drug entitlement; a costly, and mostly ineffective, War on Drugs, etc.

If Republicans won't stand up, then they should stand down.

And one more thing about Pelosi. She says, "Everybody is disadvantaged by bankruptcy, even our economy."
Then let's do away with it...for everybody.

The Big Three...Idiots At The Washington Post

If it weren't for Marie Cocco(for how stupid Ms Cocco is, visit Shout First) and Kathleen Parker, E.J. Dionne would be the biggest idiot writing for the Washington Post.
Oh, what the hell, let's just assign the title on a rotating basis.
Today, E.J. Dionne is the biggest idiot writing for the Washington Post.

Mr Dionne writes, in his column, Bailout Must Focus On Auto Workers, "There is a paradox at the heart of the proposed bailout of the auto industry. The rescue would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three's unionized work force. Yet you can't turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living."

Firstly, there's absolutely nothing paradoxical about that. Nothing.
You know, it would be a really good idea if people who are paid to write for a living actually knew the definitions of the words they use.

Secondly, as for trashing "autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living"...give me a break!
Autoworkers are paid well. Very well. They are paid more than you.
They are paid so much, they'll probably hire you to count their money.
The lowest figure I can find, and this from someone defending these division-of-laborists, is, including benefits, $38 an hour.
That's $79,000 a year.
Without benefits, the average UAW thief makes $58,000 a year.
Toss another wage earner into the household, and hey, you're talking about decent money.
So, spare me the "trying to earn a decent living" populism, Mr Dionne.

Besides, we know you're in favor of these false wages because, as you write, "Long-term economic growth depends upon a well-paid middle class."
Well, no it doesn't.
If it were that simple, then all employers should just raise everybody's wages. Oh, but wait, then prices would rise and we'd be right back where we started.
Long-term economic growth -or, continued prosperity, if you will- depends upon allowing the free market to determine prices. And that's exactly what wages are. Wages are a price.
But when you allow union bullies to distort that process, well, you end up with companies that can no longer afford those prices.

And please don't tell us, as you do, that "if the Big Three had designed better cars, they would not have lost as much market share to Toyota, Nissan and other competitors."
Market share, while diminished for the Big Three, is not the issue.
If GM loses money selling 6.6 million cars, as they have done through September of this year, then they would, if they became a smaller company, lose a correspondingly proportionate amount if they were to sell only 3 million, or 1 million cars. You know, like Ford and Chrysler.
If market share were the sole determining factor, then Toyota would be going broke too, as their market share is roughly equal to that of GM.
Market share is only a problem insofar as legacy costs have to be paid. (I'm assuming each of these companies earns enough to pay their suppliers, meet their payrolls, and keep the lights on. Because if they can't even meet those costs, then there's nothing worth discussing here. Not only should they not get a bailout, but congress should pass legislation shutting their doors immediately). But legacy costs don't have to be paid. So, the Big Three should simply stop paying them. Let the UAW strike, then replace them with people willing to work for wages determined by the free market.
Legacy costs are simply future costs predicated on present conditions(the good times), with the assumption that the present conditions, market share, will remain, at least, static, or expand in perpetuity.
The Big 3 made these cradle-to-grave promises when times were good; now times are bad and they are not able to honor those deals.
Since their market share contracted, the only solution, short of not paying the legacy costs, is to raise the price of their cars. And be undersold by the competition.
Which is exactly what is already happening. Only they're not raising the price of their cars. which would cut their sales even more. Hence the fact that they're broke.
Will the recipients of these legacy costs make any sacrifices?

The cause of that loss of market share is not, as Mr Dionne states, the design of American cars.
Toyota, I can aver without fear of serious contradiction, has the most boring line-up of cars on the road.
People aren't buying the Camry because it's sexy.
No, the loss of market share is attributable to one factor: quality.
And whom do I blame for that? The guy who put the car together.

I hope the 3 Big Chiefs make a better case for their cause than you, Mr Dionne.

On the upside, you won't be the biggest idiot writing for the Washington Post tomorrow.

Another Bold Prediction

Oil, trading now at about $50 per barrel, will not go much lower.
$45 at the lowest.
You heard it here first.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Whatever Happened To The AIDS Epidemic?

Today is World AIDS Day.

So, why don't you have AIDS?

Peter Duesberg knows.

If you're old enough, you remember how we were all going to die of AIDS. All of us. AIDS was going to be the epidemic to end all epidemics, and mankind to boot. It was going to jump from its risk groups, male homosexuals and intravenous drug users, and devastate the non-drug using heterosexual population as well. It was going to equal in its lethality the bubonic plague. It was going to kill everybody everywhere.
Think I'm misremembering, like Hillary Clinton misremembered the sniper fire on her Bosnian vacation?
The following is the lead paragraph of John Langone's January 30th 1989 article for Time magazine.
"The barrage of scary rhetoric and hyperbole began not long after young homosexual men started dying by the thousands in the early 1980's. Dire warnings of an AIDS apocalypse came not only from headline writers but also, uncharacteristically, from scientists and health specialists. Declared one: "We have not seen anything of this magnitude that we can't control except nuclear bombs." In 1987 Otis Bowen, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, said AIDS would make black death --the bubonic plague that wiped out as much as a third of Europe's population in the Middle Ages-- "pale by comparison."
(Bring to mind the current Man-made Global Warming scam? But I don't want to go off on a tangent).

So, a funny thing happened on the way to the modern "Bring-Out-Your-Dead" scene.

We didn't start dying in indiscriminate droves.
Well, Graham Chapman died, but not as a result of AIDS.

And AIDS remained confined to its original risk groups.


Peter Duesberg has, and has had for a long time, a theory: HIV does not cause AIDS. Drug use causes AIDS.

One night, years ago in the late 20th century, I was clicking through the channels when I came upon a chat show on CNBC.
The interviewer whose name I don't recall, was talking to Peter Duesberg, and Peter Duesberg was saying that HIV does not cause AIDS.
I was fascinated.

So, who is this crackpot?
He is a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley.
Since working at Berkeley is no guarantee that you're not a crackpot, I'll proceed.
He isolated the first cancer gene in 1970 through his work on retroviruses, of which HIV is one.
He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986.
Also, in 1986, he was awarded Outstanding Investigator Award by the National Institutes of Health.

He has written a book, Inventing The AIDS Virus, laying out and defending his case.
He maintains a website, www.duesberg.com, where you will find not only his arguments, but his answers to common questions about his theory, and links to almost all related articles and scientific papers.

I've read his book and kept up with the website.
And, although I'm only a layman, I tend to believe him.
He answers all doubters, and hasn't wavered from his position since first publishing it in 1987.

But what I really like about him can be summed up in the following paragraph from the June 2008 Discover magazine article on him:
"Weinberg, who first met Duesberg in the 1970's calls him a contrarian with a corrosive and acidic wit. He is like man who is shipwrecked on an island, struggles onto the beach, looks around and says, "Is there a government here? If so, I'm against it."

God love a contrarian.

Of course, Peter Duesberg may be wrong.

But would you be harmed in thinking outside the box, even for a moment?

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I love Christmas.
Everything about Christmas.

I love the lights, the trees, the stockings, the gifts, the giving, the receiving, the shopping (yes, even the shopping), the colors red & green, the movies, the music, the stories, the television shows (even those awful ones on the Hallmark Channel; the common theme of which is children trying to find a perfect match for their single parent), the Christmas themed dinnerware, everything.

It is, ironically, however, when I'm at my most secular.

But I am mindful every day of the year not just that Jesus lived and died, but why he did so.

So, as Tiny Tim says, "God bless us, everyone!"