TeeJaw Blog

Drill Baby, Drill

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 12: 06 PM

UPDATE Thursday: Maybe the title for this post should have been “Stall Baby, Stall.” After reading the following please see the update at the bottom.

Today, Obama announced plans to lift a 20-year moratorium on oil exploration and development in Atlantic coastal waters running from Virginia to Florida, as well as further activity off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Maybe he understands that $4-a-gallon gasoline could be the final straw.

This is the right thing to do but I’m not jumping on the bandwagon with all the conservatives who are now heaping praise on Obama for doing the right thing, giving credit where credit is due, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Doing the right thing is not praiseworthy. No one deserves praise for merely doing their job, for doing what is expected and required of them, for doing their duty, for finally making a correct decision after 14 months of radical left-wing nuttery. Praise is reserved for excellence, for going beyond the call of duty, for standing up under adversity, for overcoming obstacles, for weathering a storm and coming out on top, for being a hero.

But if he tells his nut-bag base of looney tune lefties to go pound sand when they have a conniption fit over this, maybe he’ll deserve some praise.

So when can we open up Pacific and Alaska drilling?

UPDATE: First reports of opening offshore drilling were so out of character for Obama I should have suspected that the whole thing might be a head fake. It appears that is exactly what is going on, and there is not going to be any actual drilling anytime soon, if ever. All that will be happening in the near term will be a “study” of drilling offshore. When liberals “study” something we know they start with the conclusion they desire and amass whatever evidence supports it while covering up any contrary evidence. If there is no evidence to support their conclusion they just make up whatever they need to get to the answers they want [cf., global warming hoax; hockey stick trick]. Additional areas are being closed for drilling. For the details check out this story at The Institute For Energy Research and Sarah Palin’s take on it at The Corner. At least I was right to withhold immediate praise for our man-child president.

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Three Reasons Public Sector Unions Are Killing The Economy

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 8: 28 AM

It’s not just the economy that public sector unions are killing. They’re distorting politics and killing liberty also.

Read more: New York’s Two-Party System: Public Unions on One Side, Billionaires on the Other Side, by Fred Siegel

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Earth Hour? It’s Earth Lifetime In North Korea

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 2: 39 PM

While the U.S. has a pretty stupid “earth hour” where lefty looney tunes turn off all electricity, this picture shows the dark night in North Korea that is not just for an hour, but for a lifetime.

South Korea is awash in light at night while there is just a little spot of light in North Korea, probably Kim Jong Il’s palace.

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Why Are Corporations Taking Write Downs This year For Costs That Obamacare Will Impose On Them In The Future?

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 9: 51 AM

You have probably heard or read that AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, and other companies are taking write downs in their financial statements for the future cost increases that Obamacare will impose on them. Henry Nostrilitis Waxman (D-Calif.) is on the case and will haul the executives of these companies before Congress next month to make them explain themselves. Why are they trying to hurt this wonderful new government health system that is going to give all Americans absolutely free health care, make us capable of running marathons and live to 120? He has summoned top executives from several companies that have reported the impact of Obamacare on their bottom line to appear before his House Energy and Commerce Committee to answer for their actions. Their actions consist of complying with SEC regulations which set forth mandatory disclosure requirements for public companies.

Here’s how to understand what these companies did in order to comply with Federal rules that define their very existence. Say the state you live in passes a law that will raise your property taxes in future years. If your property taxes are $2,000 this year but will be $2,500 next year you know that if your income remains the same you will have $500 less to spend on other things next year. Now say you own a small business and the same change in your taxes is to occur. Unless you can increase your sales your profits next year will be $500 less.

But whether it is your taxes on your personal residence or on your business this future increase does not affect your current year’s income. The reason it does not is because you likely account for your income and expense on the “cash basis,” i.e., you don’t count an item of income until you actually receive the cash, and you don’t count an item of expense until you actually pay it.

Now consider a large public company such as AT&T, Caterpillar, or John Deere. These companies must prepare financial statements on the “accrual basis” of accounting. This means items of expense are counted as they “accrue,” whether actually paid at that time or not. Same with income. It is counted when it accrues whether it has been received yet or not. Income “accrues” when it is earned, expenses accrue when they are incurred. The time of actual payment or receipt is irrelevant.

A public company must comply with the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Sarbanes-Oxley legislation makes corporate directors of public companies personally liable for misstatements in a company’s financial statements that renders those statements inaccurate or misleading. Traditional GAAP accounting is modified in certain ways by SEC regulations for these “public reporting companies.” Current SEC regulations require public companies to account for known future liabilities in their current financial statements.

When Obamacare passed, a “change” nobody believes in occurred in most public companies’ future liability for the health care they provide to their employees. Since applicable SEC rules require these companies to calculate the “discounted present value” of those known future liabilities and “accrue” that amount as a charge against current income, these companies are required to file what is called a “Form 8-K” with the SEC showing the change that Obamacare wrought in their current financials. Failure to file these required reports with the SEC is a serious matter which can lead to civil fines or even criminal liability.

But Henry Nostrilitis Waxman is not pleased. How dare these companies comply with the law if it makes Obamacare look bad! He’s going to flare his nostrils at these miscreant executives in hearings before his committee, and get to the bottom of this chicanery.

He will probably get to the bottom of something, all right. These companies should get a Joseph Welch-type lawyer to confront Waxman with “At long last Congressman, have you no shame?”

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Don’t Give Your Hard Earned Money to the RNC

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, March 29, 2010, 11: 29 AM

If you want Republicans to take back Congress in November give generously to individual candidates but don’t give one dime to the odious, reprehensible, terrible, disgraceful, execrable, loathsome and, worst of all, totally ineffective RNC. If you’ve ever registered as a Republican you’ll be getting telephone solicitations from the RNC in the coming months. Just tell them you know what I’m about to tell you, and you’re not giving any of your hard-earned money to fund this sort of nonsense. Then you’ll have to hang up because they will try to argue with you endlessly.

Here is what I’m talking about:

From The Daily Caller:

High flyer: RNC Chairman Steele suggested buying private jet with GOP funds

    According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.

    While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings.

Well, I don’t think he’s going to buy that plane now that his high flying expenditures are getting the light of day. But he doesn’t really need an expensive plane to bleed cash like a drunken sailor, it seems:

    Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

    RNC trips to other cities produced bills from a long list of chic and costly hotels such as the Venetian and the M Resort in Las Vegas, and the W (for a total of $19,443) in Washington. A midwinter trip to Hawaii cost the RNC $43,828, not including airfare.

    Steele himself declined numerous interview requests, though his defenders point out that luxurious accommodations are sometimes necessary to attract big-time donors, especially since Republicans remain in the minority in Washington.

    Still, the nature and size of Steele’s expenses are likely to reignite persistent complaints from high-end donors and key party figures that the RNC is bleeding cash in the months before a pivotal midterm election. Several months into Steele’s term as chairman, his spending spurred Republican committeemen to pass a resolution requiring checks to be signed by at least two RNC officers, and contracts over $100,000 to go out to competitive bidding.

So, in addition to suspicions that he’s a RINO, Michael Steele is a wastrel who spends other people’s money like it’s 1999. Isn’t that supposed to be what Democrats do? I guess that’s only after they get elected.

I stopped giving money to the RNC long ago, in fact maybe I never did give anything to the RNC. I’ve always thought they’re a bunch of dummies, but I didn’t know they’re profligate spenders to boot. I don’t get their phone calls anymore because whenever they call I give them an earful for their fecklessness. [remember Dede Scozzafava?] That they leave me alone now is the only thing I can thank them for since I don’t believe they have ever done anything to help the Republican party win a single election.

If Michael Steele would like to do his part to help the effort this November, there is one thing he can do that will definitely help. Immediately resign, and go away.

My apologies to drunken sailors for comparing them to the RNC. At least drunken sailors spend their own money. Besides, they eventually sober up.

[The Politico also ran a story on Michael Steele’s spending spree back on February 23rd]

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No Bounce…

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, March 28, 2010, 9: 43 PM

From passage of socialized medicine:

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Congress to Obama — Grow Up

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, March 28, 2010, 9: 32 AM

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Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both gone public with their contempt for Israel in the last few days. I wrote about Obama’s rude behavior with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu here and here.

Now there is reaction from Congress, in the form of a letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton signed by 327 members of Congress. A similar letter was sent by the Senate signed by 49 Senators. Both letters urge the Obama administration to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship and call for any differences to be resolved amicably as befits longstanding strategic allies.

While the letters are addressed to Mrs. Clinton their message is clearly aimed at the damage done to the American-Israeli relationship by the astonishingly inept behavior of both Clinton and Obama toward Israel in the last few days.

The text of the House letter is here and the Senate letter is here. The signatory of each letter is here and here. Here is the pertinent text of the House letter:

    The United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion. Our two countries are partners in the fight against terrorism and share an important strategic relationship. A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East. We are concerned that the highly publicized tensions in the relationship will not advance the interests the U.S. and Israel share. Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.

    From the moment of Israel’s creation, successive U.S. administrations have appreciated the special bond between the U.S. and Israel. For decades, strong, bipartisan Congressional support for Israel, including security assistance and other important measures, have been eloquent testimony to our commitment to Israel’s security, which remains unswerving. It is the very strength of this relationship that has, in fact, made Arab-Israeli peace agreements possible, both because it convinced those who sought Israel’s destruction to abandon any such hope and because it gave successive Israeli governments the confidence to take calculated risks for peace.

    In its declaration of independence 62 years ago, Israel declared: “We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” In the decades since, despite constantly having to defend itself from attack, Israel has repeatedly made good on that pledge by offering to undertake painful risks to reach peace with its neighbors.

    Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement. As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space.” Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations. We believe, as President Obama said, that “Israel’s security is paramount” in our Middle East policy and that “it is in U.S. national security interests to assure that Israel’s security as an independent Jewish state is maintained.” In that spirit, we look forward to working with you to achieve the common objectives of the U.S. and Israel, especially regional security and peace.

    Sincerely,

    [signatures of 327 House members]

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Predictable Reaction to The Liberal Looting of the New York Times Company

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Sunday, March 28, 2010, 8: 48 AM

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Two weeks ago I wrote about the multi-million dollar bonuses being paid by The New York Times Company to Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger and Janet Robinson while the company has cajoled its union workers in Boston (the company owns the Boston Globe as well as The New York Times) to take pay cuts and has laid off workers in New York. In Liberal Hypocrisy on Display at the Failing New York Times Company, I said:

    So, we have a failing company being looted by the executives while the rank and file are either laid off or take pay cuts. The Times editorial page has been raising hell about this sort of thing for years, but I predict we will see no mention of the Pinch-Robinson caper in their pages.

    It’s a shining example of sanctimonious liberals not following the moral precepts they seek to enforce upon everyone else,…

Predictably, Union members who agreed to take substantial pay cuts have not been silent. The New York Post reports today,

    The Boston Newspaper Guild, which absorbed more than $10 million in pay and benefit cuts to members last year in order to save The Boston Globe, has lashed out at the Sulzberger and Robinson 2009 bonuses and are demanding their lost wages and benefits be restored.

Here is the letter the Union sent to Sulzberger and Robinson:

    “We were astonished to learn that the two of you received more than $10 million in stock awards and options in 2009,” the Guild wrote in an open letter urging its members to send to Sulzberger and Robinson. “During the year for which you were so richly rewarded, the 600 members of the Boston Newspaper Guild gave back almost the same amount in pay and benefit reductions — $10 million to be exact — after you threatened to close our newspaper, lay off hundreds of people, and strip Massachusetts of its largest newspaper.”

    “Now that the Times has shown it can afford to lavish so much on a few top executives, we expect our pay and benefit cuts will be restored in the coming months.”

It’s not whether Sulzberger and Robinson have been forthright with their workers that interests me. These unions are powerful institutions and they can take care of themselves. It’s the liberal cant on display that is the real story here.

No reaction from the New York Times. Of course not.

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Skateboarding Bull Dog

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Saturday, March 27, 2010, 10: 49 AM

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I seem to be finding good dog stuff lately. It makes for a light-hearted break from the dystopian realities our politicians daily foist upon us.

And then there is the dog that ate a police car:

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Reactions to Obama’s Rude Treatment of Bibi Netanyahu

Posted in Culture Rot, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Saturday, March 27, 2010, 10: 03 AM

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In the post just below [Netanyahu Should Tell Obama to go Pound Sand] I talk about Obama’s rudeness when Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was invited to the White House to receive several outrageous demands on Israel, including a demand that Israel abandon plans to build new homes in East Jerusalem, which is sovereign Israeli territory. Obama broke with all protocol to intentionally insult Netanyahu, as has been widely reported.

Today there are some interesting takes on what is really going on. I said below I think it is easy to understand what is going on. Obama hates Israel and quite possibly hates Jews. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit allows as much but adds that it could be a bit more complicated:

    Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really.

    But it’s also possible — I’d say likely — that there’s something else going on. I think Obama expects Israel to strike Iran, and wants to put distance between the United States and Israel in advance of that happening. (Perhaps he even thinks that treating Israel rudely will provoke such a response, saving him the trouble of doing anything about Iran himself, and avoiding the risk that things might go wrong if he does). On the most optimistic level, maybe this whole thing is a sham, and the U.S. is really helping Israel strike Iran, with this as distraction. The question for readers is which of these — not necessarily mutually exclusive — explanations is most plausible.

I’d like to believe that Reynolds is correct, that our president actually has a strategy beyond mere petty behavior. But Occam’s Razor says that if there are two explanations for a phenomenon, one simple and the other complex, the simple explanation is more likely to be correct. The more complex explanation offered by Reynold’s is certainly possible but it goes against other things we know about Obama. That he looks upon the present Iranian regime with favor, that he is utterly unsympathetic to the people’s revolution that is currently underway in Iran, he looks upon despotic regimes in general with affection (Castro, Chavez, the ousted former dictator president of Honduras) while taking cheap shots at our Democratic allies (Great Britain as well as Israel), that he has consistently treated Israel and its people with disdain that appears to be outright hatred at times, and that in other areas he is really just a thug with a lot of dumb luck and not a strategic planner.

That all makes Reynolds otherwise quite appealing alternative explanation very complex indeed. I think his first instincts were correct. So I’m ticking with my original simple conclusion. Obama just hates Israel, and he has a deep anti-semitic disdain bordering on hatred of Jews in general.

William Jacobson today first notes that the reaction to Obama’s rudeness has been strong and disapproving and then has these enlightening remarks which I find to be spot on:

    I think the reaction to Obama’s treatment of Bibi Netanyahu hits home because it was so personal in nature, and because it epitomized how the American people have been treated by Obama and the Democrats, with arrogance and disdain.

    We have seen this attitude since the Inauguration, when Obama and the crowd treated George W. Bush with disrespect, in the smears by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other leading Democrats against health care protesters, in the daily attacks by the left-wing blogs and mainstream media against the Tea Party members, in the treatment of Sarah Palin and Trig Palin, in the bribes and budgetary chicanery used to pass a health care bill opposed by a significant majority of the population, and in the disgusting use of the race card to stifle legitimate political dissent.

    In Bibi Netanyahu we see something we have lost in our leader, an unflinching sense of national destiny, an unapologetic pride in who we are and why we are, and a willingness to stand up to tyrants and neighborhood bullies regardless of the price.

    To see a leader like Bibi Netanyahu treated so shabbily by someone who treats us the same way was too much to bear.

    The story of how Obama treated Bib Netanyahu at the White House was a familiar story, which is why it has caused such a strong reaction.

Well said.

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Netanyahu Should Tell Obama to Go Pound Sand

Posted in Uncategorized by TeeJaw on Friday, March 26, 2010, 10: 08 PM

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Our man-child president takes great pleasure in dissing our allies such as Great Britain and Israel. Most have probably heard or read about him having Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House and giving him an ultimatum on building houses is East Jerusalem, along with a list of other outrageous demands, and then leaving to go have dinner, saying “if anything happens I’ll be around.”

The problem is, Israel has as much right to build houses in East Jerusalem as America has to build houses in Washington D.C. Jerusalem is the four thousand year-old Jewish home, it is not occupied territory. Does anyone today remember that throughout the 19th Century Jews were the majority in Jerusalem, long before Theodor Herzl founded the Zionist movement? Not Obama, and not that he would care.

I don’t think Obama can possibly claim not to be anti-semitic given the manner in which he has treated Israel and its Prime Minister. You can’t hate Israel as much as Obama does and claim you do not hate Jews. Maybe he’s mad because only 78% of American Jews voted for him in 2008.

This is distressing for all who care about Israel and are passionate for its survival as a Jewish state. Israel has faced and triumphed over untold problems and threats in its brief existence as a modern state, and not every American president has been a good friend. But none before has been such an enemy.

Some of the problems this creates are recounted by Noah Pollak at Contentions:

    It should be clear by now that President Obama intends to pursue the “peace process” in the same way that he pursued health care — by ramming it down his opponent’s throat, in this case, Israel’s.

    According to news reports, Obama has presented Bibi with a long list of demands, acquiescence to which would “resolve” the immediate Obama-created crisis and “allow” a move toward proximity talks (never mind that Israel has always been willing to hold direct talks). Obama thus places Bibi on the horns of an impossible dilemma: Both accepting and rejecting the demands carries immense costs.

    Accepting the demands would be humiliating to Bibi. He would have to roll over and — in front of a global audience – expose his stomach to Obama like a defeated dog. This would surely please our thuggish president, but it would carry severe costs for Netanyahu: 1) He would be vilified in Israel and his domestic position imperiled. 2) Even if he wanted to roll, his government may not allow it; one or several of his coalition partners may abandon him. At a moment of critical national-security threats, the government might descend into crisis. Bibi knows that to allow this to happen in the decisive phase of the Iranian nuclear standoff would be supremely dangerous. And 3) Obama’s vindictive and outlandish behavior raises legitimate Israeli suspicions that the “proximity talks” would actually be a trap — and therefore Israel should reject the immediate demands as a way of forestalling the next round of bullying. Let us recall that just four months ago, the administration hailed the settlement freeze as an unprecedented concession; today Obama pretends that he never made the agreement.

    So it appears as though Bibi cannot accept Obama’s demands. He will likely counter-offer by accepting some and offering compromise on others. But Obama, at least when it comes to the Jewish state, is in no mood to be trifled with and may insist on full compliance. And if Israel cannot or will not meet his demands, Obama has important cards to play. The four biggest ones are 1) U.S. support for a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, 2) active U.S. opposition to a strike on Iran, up to and including the Brzezinski threat of shooting down Israeli aircraft, 3) Israel’s diplomatic isolation in the UN and Europe, and 4) an escalating administration campaign to portray Israeli “intransigence” as a threat to the United States’ regional and international security.

    By my reading, Bibi is in a very bad place right now. His options are either 1) total public humiliation and agreement to demands that could topple his government, followed by a diplomatic process that would force potentially lethal concessions on Israel, or 2) the U.S. preventing him from attacking Iran and removing the diplomatic shield that protects Israel from the deranged anti-Semitism of Europe and the Middle East (two increasingly indistinguishable regions).

    There is a third scenario: Israel completely reshuffles the deck by attacking Iran.

It is clear that the United States is now under the control of a bunch of kids who either do not understand the threat that a nuclear Iran poses, or just don’t care. If Iran gets the bomb it will do whatever it can to destroy Israel. And then it will look for other targets. Throughout history non-Jews have failed to appreciate one simple fact. Whoever goes for the Jews does not stop with the Jews.

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Not All Millennials Are Obama Zombies — And Not All Obama Zombies Are Millennials

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, March 26, 2010, 10: 41 AM

Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fla) thinks only a “kook” would allocate taxpayer funds for Native-American child molesters in a health care bill. So why did he vote for that very thing?

I also have a post below about Jason Mattera’s new book, his first book actually, on Obama Zombies. It’s really cool.

Oh, and Mattera’s book is good, too.

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Government of 1/3 of the People, by 1/3 of the People, and for 1/3 of the People

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, March 26, 2010, 8: 44 AM

After signing the government health care monstrosity Obama said it, “proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.” Ah, not quite. Most of “the people” didn’t want it but got it shoved down their throats by the Democrats.

Real Clear Politics’ average of 11 national polls over the 2-week period just before the vote on Sunday was 39.4% in favor, 50.7% opposed. The average of the polls over the previous 11 months showed a slim majority in favor of government health care a couple of times but the all the rest of that time all polls showed a majority of Americans against it. Obama should have said that passage of Obamacare, “proved that this government — a government of one-third of the people and by one-third of the people — still works for one-third of the people.”

For the two weeks running up to passage Rasmussen found 55% of the people opposed. Rasmussen is accused of favoring conservatives, but a CNN poll over the same period found 59% opposed. A current CBS poll shows 62% want Republicans to fight Obamacare.

The numbers of favor and oppose don’t tell the whole story. The intensity is on the side of the opposition. All the polls show high numbers for those who strongly oppose and low numbers for those who strongly favor. The numbers always are in the range of around 45% strongly opposing and only about 16% strongly favoring. That’s nearly half the country strongly against and only about one-sixth strongly in favor.

The bond market doesn’t like Obamacare either.

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Inflation Fears Overblown?

Posted in Economic Theory by TeeJaw on Thursday, March 25, 2010, 11: 34 PM

I’ve worried about future inflation due to the huge Obama deficits predicted forever into the future and the likelihood the Government will simply print money to handle them and pay its creditors. Milton Friedman taught us that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. Inflation is the cruelest tax. It literally confiscates accumulated wealth and it’s not progressive. It gets everybody.

But maybe I don’t need to worry as much as I thought. This chart shows that the growth of M2 has been slowing dramatically.
(Click to Enlarge)

Does this mean that inflation fears are overblown? Here is one money pundit’s assessment:

    As I’ve discussed several times before, slow money growth that comes on the heels of unusually fast money growth typically reflects a decline in the demand for money, not a tightening of monetary policy. This decline in money demand goes hand in hand with a recovery in confidence and with a recovering economy. People tend to accumulate money balances when uncertainty is high, then spend the money as uncertainty is gradually replaced by confidence and eventually optimism. I think this is one of those times.

It has been pointed out by several commentators that the last time the growth of M2 approached zero was in 1995 and a market rally ensued that lasted until 2000. Mark Perry at Carpe Diem says money growth this slow will hold inflation to no more than 3%. That would be terrific.

Robert McTeer says inflation worries are overblown because the growth of money has slowed, there is downward pressure on labor costs, and productivity gains have reduced unit labor costs. He also says interest rates will be going up and that will curb inflation. (Huh? That didn’t work in 1979.) Anyway, higher interest rates will help both borrowers, lenders, and investors. Zero interest rates don’t help you if can’t get a loan or any income on your savings. McTeer was president of the Dallas Fed for 14 years and in my humble opinion is the smartest fed guy since Paul Volcker. I wish he had Ben Bernanke’s job.

Maybe I’ll find something else to worry about for a while. That’ll be easy.

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Ignorant Journalists Make Frivolous Charges Against State AGs

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, March 25, 2010, 3: 48 PM

I may have, once or twice, thought a state Attorney General’s office was making a legal claim that wouldn’t stand up. But I am always cautious about voicing that opinion until, as Davy Crockett always said, “Make damn sure you’re right before you speak.” That’s especially true when you are dealing with a law firm or government office that has legions of young lawyers running around whose most important task is to endlessly research the law to make sure the boss doesn’t make a fool of herself in court.

So I do some double checking before reaching any conclusions about the competency of any Attorney General of any state. They have money, people and time to make sure they’re right. But then, I’m not a journalist. They, at least some of them, have no such compunction. Two of them have made fools of themselves because of that.

Marc Ambinder is the politics editor of The Atlantic. He has covered Washington for ABC News and the Hotline, and he is chief political consultant to CBS News. He has 11,171 followers on Twitter. He wrote the following, apparently based upon a “tweet” he received:

    No Case Citations if Florida Healthcare Lawsuit

    Reading through the complaint filed by 13 state attorneys general, against the health reform legislation, reader @calchala was struck by something that wasn’t there: the lack of any specific case citation to buttress the underlying claim that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to impose on individuals a mandate to buy health care and to punish those who don’t by levying a fine.

Steve Benen, political writer for The Washington Monthly also wrote about the mysterious lack of case citations:

    A FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT.… When it comes to health care reform, it makes sense that Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act would vote against it. It also makes sense that they’d complain about it now that it’s law. If you think voters are gullible rubes, it might even make sense for Republicans to pledge a “full repeal” of the law.

    But filing a lawsuit to challenge the law and invite judicial activism, basically just to make Tea Party extremists happy, is a colossal waste.

    I saw a report the other day that 13 state attorneys general who are challenging the law, questioning the constitutionality of the individual mandate, failed to include “any specific case citations to buttress the underlying claim that it is unconstitutional.”* A.L. took a look at the lawsuit and concluded, “It is beyond frivolous. I can’t believe actual lawyers are willing to sign it.”

There was a time, maybe a hundred years ago, when average citizens who were neither journalists nor lawyers understood some basic facts about the American legal system and the courts. I think the average farmer back then knew that the purpose of a complaint is to start a lawsuit and to put the defendant and the court on notice of the claim being made. That farmer probably knew that lawyers do not cite cases in a complaint because it would not only be unusual, but improper. Complaints are for allegations of fact and the identification of legal claims. The issues are not joined until the complaint is answered. Arguing the supporting law and citing cases to support the arguments comes later, in open court and in written motions and briefs.

This paragraph in one of the state AGs complaint was citied by Ambinder and Benen as “beyond frivilous”. It’s actually a model of proper pleading because it alleges facts, states a claim of unconstitutionality, and specifies which part of the Constitution is alleged to have been violated:

    “The Act represents an unprecedented encroachment on the liberty of individuals living in the Plaintiffs’ respective states, by mandating that all citizens and legal residents of the United States have qualifying healthcare coverage or pay a tax penalty. The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying healthcare coverage. By imposing such a mandate, the Act exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution and violates the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. In addition, the tax penalty required under the Act, which must be paid by uninsured citizens and residents, constitutes an unlawful capitation or direct tax, in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution of the United States.”

Maybe average citizens are too heavily pressed with other matters to be expected to know this but you would think that a political journalist with 11,171 followers on Twitter would have some rudimentary understanding of how our court system works. And the political writer for one of the most prominent magazines in the nation’s capital might also have a clue. You’d think a competent journalist who didn’t know for sure would rely on something more significant that a tweet.

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55% Support Repeal of Obamacare

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, March 25, 2010, 2: 33 PM

A new Rasmussen poll finds that 55% of likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare. 59% of independents favor repeal, 52% say they would vote for a candidate that promises to vote for repeal and against a candidate that is against repeal. 59% of seniors favor repeal.

This comes a day after a CBS Poll (posted below) found that 59% 62% of Americans want the Republicans to continue fighting Obamacare.

The Obamanistas say Republicans will lose big time if they campaign in November on repeal of Obamacare. Obama himself blusters, “Go for it!” I guess they’re wrong.

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Wolf Dog Howls — Baby Likes It

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 8: 56 PM

I needed to get my mind off politics and Obama Zombies for a while and I found this:

I was raised by wolves myself, so I dig it.

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CBS Poll — Should Republicans Continue to Fight Obamacare?

Posted in Government and Politics, Uncategorized by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 8: 26 PM

Democrat Big Wigs and the media sycophants are saying the Republicans should let go of this. Looks like the people don’t agree. I think the Republicans are going to go with the people. It’s a good strategy for contrasting themselves to the Democrats.

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Obama Zombies — How Team Obama Brainwashed A Generation

Posted in Culture, Culture Rot, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 12: 42 PM

obama zombies

Norman Podhoretz in his book Ex Friends tells of a Saturday night soiree in Greenwich Village in 1958 with Beat Generation figures Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, the latter having been a former friend from Columbia. Podhoretz had critically reviewed Ginsberg’s poetry, writing and public exclamations and over a dinner of sorts Ginsberg did all the talking, most of it at high volume. It was on this occasion that Ginsberg made his famous declaration to Podhoretz, “We will get you through your children.”

For a while it seemed that Ginsberg’s prediction was turning out to be true. As the beat generation of the 1950’s morphed itself into the counter-culture of the 1960’s Podhoretz writes that the seductively tantalizing promise of freedom from the responsibilities and constraints of a normal adult life was making its mark on a generation:

    As the 1960’s wore on, I came more and more to see all this as a new kind of plague, and when in the late 1970’s I wrote a book about my break with radicalism, I ended with a lament for the victims it had claimed among the “especially vulnerable” young. They had, I said, been inoculated against almost every one of the physical diseases which in times past had literally made it impossible for so many to reach adulthood. But against a spiritual plague like this one they were entirely helpless.

As for Ginsberg himself, he:

    …went to his death [in 1997] still preaching the same false and pernicious ideas about life in America with which he burst on the scene in the 1950s and which spread “like trench mouth” through American culture in the 1960s.

By 1999, however, Podhoretz was able to write,

    Fortunately, these ideas were not by the time [Ginsberg] died especially fashionable among the middle-class young. And yet there was enough resemblance between the situation at the turn of the century and the cultural climate of the 1960s to fear that his siren song might yet find its insidious way into the ears of yet another generation of restless kids, misleading and corrupting them as it did so many of their forbears in the all-too-recent past.

Podhoretz could not have predicted in 1999 that a new form of plague upon the minds of a new generation, strangely called the “millennials,” was in the making by a member of the generation immediately preceding, and working as a “community organizer” in Chicago. A new epidemic of false knowledge was being prepared for the millennial generation that was not yet old enough to vote. By 2008 they were in their mid-twenties, in college or graduate school, and ready for having their minds bent and twisted by the elixir he was busily preparing for them.

This new seducer is much better organized and effective than the beats and counter-culture drop outs at attracting young followers. It is not sex, drugs and rock and roll that has captured the imagination of the millennials, but rather a slick campaign of falsehoods presented and packaged through the internet and smooth speechifying. It has turned them into zombies. Obama zombies who have been lobotomized by sappy, hyperemotional liberalism.

Author Jason Mattera, himself one of the so-called millennials at age 25, writes in the introduction of his first published book, Obama Zombies — How The Liberal Machine Brain Washed My Generation,

    Young people, in their heart of hearts, actually believed that a scrawny street-agitator turned presidential candidate could save mankind, renew our faith in American politics and restore our faith in government. A message of false inspiration in bureaucracy — not in individual freedom and initiative — that churned out a generation of Zombies. And it was a message that was a heat-seeking missile aimed at otherwise clear-thinking individuals who come from the most coddled, over protected, information-drenched generation in American history. We are the “give me, give me, give me” generation. And team Obama and his marketing mavens knew every button to push to program us, to set us up like an iTunes playlist.

Mattera says, “To the true Obama zealots, this book is an act of heresy. It seeks to shatter the media-created halo that radiates from Obama’s anointed head.” Erik Erickson says Mattera has “a good take on how the liberal machine has lobotomized a generation.”

This millennial generation is not a lost generation if Mr. Mattera is representative of at least some of them. I found it refreshing, informative and well written. It’s a good read for conservatives striving to understand what has happened to these young people, and where it might go from here.

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Dingell’s Freudian Slip — Control The People

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 10: 21 AM
Home Page

Get it? It’s not about health care. It’s about getting legislation that will “control the people.”

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