Monday, November 30, 2009

Expect This Huckabee Story To Blow Up In The Next Few Days

Over the weekend, four cops were executed while eating at a coffee shop in Seattle.

But, the explosive story that will come out of this is the fact that the suspect in these killings, Maurice Simmons, was once serving a 95-year sentence in Arkansas. However, in 2001, the then-Governor, Mike Huckabee, commuted his sentence and granted him clemency after serving 11 years. Apparently, Huckabee's only rationale for releasing Simmons was the fact that Maurice was underage -- age 17 -- when he was given a life sentence. Sadly, from the day that Maurice Simmons was released by Huckabee, he continued his life of crime. At the time of these killings, Simmons was out on a $30,000 bail for raping a child.

(Click to See Full Story: "Huckabee Granted Clemency to Suspected Cop Killer ")

I can guarantee you that this will be troublesome for Huckabee; should he ever decide to run for the Presidency again. If he should win the Republican nomination, this might be the only thing that any Democrat would need to defeat him. If Huckabee had not interfered, Simmons would still be serving time; four people would still be alive; and, a child would have gone unmolested.

On Huckabee's Huck Pac site, the comment is that it was a failed justice "system" that is responsible for Maurice Simmons resulting crime of killing those police officers. I hardly think so. I think Huckabee shoulders much of the blame of those officers deaths by interfering with the justice system.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ClimateGate and Its Parallels To RatherGate

Dan Rather was hell bent on destroying the character and, possibly, any historical legacy of the George W. Bush presidency. So much so, that he was willing to use falsified documents as the basis of his attack. In the RatherGate scandal, Dan Rather aired documents on the 60 Minutes II news program that showed that George W. Bush was being reprimanded by his then-Air National Guard Commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, for his poor performance as a National Guard pilot. Other documents implied that Bush failed to get his annual physical and that Killian had been pressured by Bush Senior to sugarcoat Bush the younger's poor performance. However, good internet-driven detective work ultimately proved that all the documents were concocted years later on a PC and that they were never hand typed on a typewriter; the only text producing mechanism of that era. Yet, to this day, Rather still says he was right about Bush's substandard National Guard service; although he has no valid facts to support his belief. Killian, himself, died long before the airing of the "60 Minutes" piece and conveniently couldn't verify the supposed truth of those documents.

In a similar vein, we now have ClimateGate where thousands of previously secreted emails are showing that a core group of scientists have been manipulating data and suppressing peer review for almost two decades in order to substantiate the alarm over global warming. But, it appears, the science behind global warming is just as flawed as those documents in RatherGate. And, just as in the case of Dan Rather having never denied his actions, the political left is still in denial by saying that anthropogenic global warming is real; regardless of what those emails seem to clearly imply.

Just last Friday, Carol Browner, Obama's Climate Czar, in a Dan Rather-esk moment, said that all those damning e-mails "change little" (Click to See Full Story: "Climate czar says e-mails change little"). She, instead, said she is sticking with the 2500 scientists who believe global warming is caused by mankind. However, Ms. Browner appears to be ignoring the near 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition that rejects the current science over global warming (Click to See "Petition Project" website). It also ignores the 650+ scientists who abandoned the global warming consortium of scientists because it was a "lie" (Click to See this December 2008 Story: "650 to dissent at U.N. climate change conference to abandon global warming “lie”). Many of whom were once part of Browner's 2500. One of the most prophetic dissenting statements of a year ago came from the award winning U.N. IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh -- a very prominent one of Browner's supposed "2500" -- who said: "Warming fears are the...worst scientific scandal in history... When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” Now, we actually have the emails that support his claim.

Science, like journalism, is supposed to be a search for truth and understanding. But, today, it appears that both science and journalism have been hijacked by left-wing ideology. This attitude is firmly reinforced by the fact that the left-wing, main stream media of this country have completely ignored this ClimateGate scandal. The only true news agencies that are even reporting on this are Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dubai: A Desert Paradise Built On Quick Sand

This morning, the world markets were reeling from the realization that the Emirate of Dubai is on the brink of a credit collapse (Click to See Full Story:)"Dubai seeks to assure markets shaken by debt move". More than $80 billion dollars worth of loans against the country are at risk, with the ripple effect being felt worldwide; including the U.S.

For the last decade, Dubai has been the world leader in excess spending. At the heart of the spending was the current sheik, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has spent unlimited amounts of money on the backs of imported slave labor to push his agenda of making Dubai "the" playground for the wealthy in the Middle East. This ABC News expose' from last August will give you a taste of what this has been all about:

Now, it appears that the chickens have come home to roost in Dubai. But, the actual debt of this small Emirate is not really behind the world markets falling. On the grand scale of world debt, $80 billion is hardly anything. We spent nearly $40 billion to bail out AIG in the U.S.. The reason that the markets are so shaken is that this could literally be the canary in the coal mine. The death of Dubai could be representative of the potential collapse of commercial real estate around the world. We've already had the housing bust. Now, commercial properties could be at risk; especially in the U.S.. And, like in Dubai, the collapse of commercial real estate in America could throw at risk state governments, like California, into a similar situation. That is why all of us should seriously worry about this little speck of sand half a world away.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


After posting the blog entry below, I ran into this entertaining video that nicely compliments that same topic. I hope you enjoy it.

The Made-Up Science of Global Warming

Last Sunday, I wrote a posting to this blog that, I think, exposed how inaccurate the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been in projecting temperature changes over the last 17 years. But more than that, I pointed to the fact that it appears the IPCC intentionally ignored climatological data measurements that showed cooler temperatures; and, instead, matched their data with the higher temperature readings from the GIS's (Geographic Information Systems) method of temperature monitoring. That to me is dishonest.

Now it appears that there may have been a lot of dishonesty in the IPCC's work.

In what is quickly becoming known as Climate Gate, numerous hacked-into and stolen emails from IPCC scientists are reflecting the fact that there may have been a concerted effort to distort global warming data for what can only be assumed to be political and not scientific reasons. One of the better opinion pieces on this topic was written by James Delingpole in his article for the U.K. Telegraph: Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?.

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I have been extremely skeptical about the this whole connection of mankind's production of CO2 to global warming. A lot of the science made no sense at all. Much of the work being done by the global warming alarmists was being done on a "cherry picked" basis. They would release information to the world-wide media that showed losses of ice masses in someplace like Greenland; and, then, completely ignore the offsetting expansion of ice in two-thirds of Antarctica. They would point to one geographical region were the polar bear populations are down and then claim that global warming was killing them off. But, this completely ignores the fact that the polar bear populations, world wide, are almost 5 times greater than they were in the 1960's due to conservation of both their populations and their food sources; like the harp seal. As I have pointed out, the loss of rain forests have been more than offset by mankind's greening of the former desert areas of the world like the desert southwest areas of this country and the Middle East and Africa.

Al Gore and those of his ilk have been, at best, exaggerators of global warming. Personally, I believe them to be pure liars who have put political, social, and monetary gains above the good of all mankind. Literally, the political left of the world treats Al Gore as a prophet and one who is steeped in science. But, more than once his use of scientific data is flawed; if not completely idiotic. Take, for example, his most recent distortion of the truth when he appeared with Conan O'Brien:

In the past, Al Gore has argued that global warming will increase the intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Yet, for years now, the hurricane season in the Atlantic has been relatively quiet. He has lied about polar bears becoming extinct; both in his words and in his movie "The Inconvenient Truth". A movie which, now, would be better titled: "The Truth Is Inconvenient for Al Gore".

I think that this latest revelation that data was being fraudulently tampered with may actually sink the whole Climate Change/Global Warming movement. National and international opinion polls are already showing that people are increasing becoming skeptical of global warming. Of course, a decade of global cooling hasn't helped. The only thin ice that Al Gore should be worried about is that which he is now walking on. Al Gore has a lot of financial interests in companies that would benefit heavily if a Cap and Trade bill was passed by the President and our Congress. That, to me, says a lot about how much Gore should be trusted to tell the truth on Global Warming. And, that isn't just my opinion!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stocks Are Moving Against The Dollar

Since March of this year, the stock market has moved markedly higher. This is despite rising unemployment and our struggling economy. The answer as to why the market is moving up actually lies in the weakening of the U.S. dollar and is not necessarily due to some anticipated economic recovery.

If you look at the above chart, you can easily see the correlation between the weakening dollar and the U.S. stock market.

After hitting rock bottom in March, the stock market has climbed steadily. At the same time, the U.S. index has fallen. The rationale behind this is that American made products will be cheaper and more competitive overseas. Consequently, multi-national American companies will be more profitable. At the same time, our stock market is a better deal for overseas investors because they can buy more bang for their Yen and Eurodollars than they could in their own markets. It is primarily because of all of this foreign investment that we are enjoying such a long and sustained rally in our stock markets in the midst of a recession.

We should be concerned that this is creating another bubble. As I have pointed out before (Click to see my October 11 blog entry: What Earnings Are Truly Saying About The Stock Market), the stock market is severely overbought and, stock prices have completely gone beyond the forward earnings capability of our companies.

If we have any signs of a double-dip recession, I can guarantee you that the stock market will tumble hard. At some point, it has to correct itself because, without that event, the bubble is only getting bigger with an increasing potential for a hard fall.

Yesterday, the market went up strongly by almost 180 points at one time. It went up because the dollar was, once again, weakened strongly. That weaker dollar was a direct result of the Health Care Bill being forwarded for debate in the Senate. The world's investment community is dumping dollars and weakening them because they keep seeing unsustainable spending in America. They see spending for a Stimulus Program, Cap and Trade, bailouts, and, now, the high likelihood that a mega-trillion dollar debt will be created by a health care reform package. Clearly, the U.S. dollar is the canary in the coal mine that every American should worry about. If it collapses, we will find ourselves with the debilitating effects of double digit inflation.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Paper Mache Bank Robber

You're probably all aware of the fact that cops, when arresting someone in the field, will empty the contents of that suspect's pockets and/or purse and lay them out on the hood of their police cruiser. Well, based on this video, they might want to rethink that procedure.

Fortunately for the cops and our justice system, this police car had an operating dash cam. Unless this little bank robber can prove that he has to eat paper as part of a high fiber and low calorie diet, I think this guy is going to jail for quite a long time. I'm also sure that "tampering with evidence" will be added to his long list of offenses.

Harry Reid's Medical Device Tax

As a part of Harry Reid's -- kill the health care industry -- health care reform bill, there is a provision to levy a 3.5% tax on the medical device industry. Now, this is not a tax on profits. It is a tax on revenues; like a sales tax. The anticipated annual revenue is about $40 billion. If you average this against every single man, woman, and child in America, it comes to approximately $133 each that all of us, in some fashion, will have to pay.

This tax is stupid. Since it is a pre-income tax on revenues, it will reduce income for the companies that it is applied to. Therefore, that tax will be deductible against any company's Federal Income tax; since double-taxation is unconstitutional. As a consequence, Federal and State income taxes will be reduced accordingly. Literally, Harry's plan is to rob Peter to pay Paul. Except in this case, Peter and Paul are the same Federal Government, with another victim being the State governments that rely on State income taxes for their revenues.

For, those companies who aren't profitable, this levied tax could absolutely be the straw that breaks their backs and puts them completely out of business. Especially if their competition can hold prices. It could also kill startup companies who would logically have little or no profits anyway. Finally, this could also give an edge to foreign manufacturers of medical devices who would not be subject to this tax.

What is more than likely to happen is that many medical device manufacturers will be forced to raise prices in order to preserve profits. This means that all medical insurers, even Medicare and Medicaid, will have to pay higher prices for everything from artificial hip joints, breast implants (for reconstructive surgery), stents, pacemakers, to even things like tongue depressors and syringes. So, the cost of all insurance coverage will have to go up. Further, because Medicaid and Medicare will also be affected, this tax will ultimately come around and punish our own Federal Government with higher payouts for any procedure that utilizes a medical device. There aren't many that don't!

So, when all is said and done, you have to really wonder how effective Harry's tax really will be. The IRS will lose some amount of income tax revenues. Any Federally-run and State-run medical programs will pay higher prices. Americans will have to pay higher insurance costs, and, some number of medical device companies will either lose business to foreign competition or, go out of business completely. That does not make this tax a win-win for our country and health care in America!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Global Warming: "Settled Science" With An Extremely Unsettling Anomaly

Earlier in the week, the Drudge Report linked to a very interesting and almost laughable story -- especially if you are like me and find it hard to believe that mankind's carbon output is truly responsible for global warming.

That story, Stagnating Temperatures - Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out, explains how the world's climatologists are scratching their heads over a decade or more of backtracking on global warming; when, in fact, the world's carbon dioxide levels have been rising even faster than previously predicted.

They're baffled because, in their own arrogance, they can't believe that their "greenhouse theory" could be so wrong. But, theories are just that. They are "proposed explanations" for a given phenomenon and they are still subject to conjecture. Theories will remain theories until somehow they can be proven to be a valid prediction of fact. Until that time, no theory can be truly labeled as settled science. Unfortunately, the "time-out" in global warming is showing that their "CO2/Greenhouse theory" has some serious flaws because it has easily failed the predictability test in real life.

This should be no surprise; even for those "pro-global warming theory" climatologists. In 1990, when the first computer models were released by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), they predicted that, by 2007, the world's temperatures would rise almost 6 tenths of a degree, as noted by the purple line in this chart (Click to view the chart as a popup window) prepared by the University of Colorado to reflect predicted IPCC versus actual temperature in the last 19 years. Then, in 1995, they "revised" their prediction and came up with the ocher line on that chart -- showing that temperatures would only rise by half of what had been previously estimated in 1990. Then, again, in 2001, they predicted that temperatures would rise another 1/2 of one-tenth of a degree higher than they had thought in 1995; but, still 2-1/2 tenths of a degree less than their 1990 prediction.

But, what was even more amazing is the fact that, in 2007, the IPCC came along with the brown line and said that temperatures had risen by almost .4 of a degree in the period of 1990 to 2007; even though 3 out of the 4 temperature monitoring agencies (RSS, UKMet, and UAH) had shown less increases than which the IPCC was stating as fact. Obviously, for what can only be defined as political reasons, they have decided to match their computer model to meet the highest of the actual temperature monitoring agencies and completely ignored the data that was compiled by the other 3.

If you look at that chart again, a lot of what went into the formation of the Kyoto Treaty on the control of carbon output was based on that distinctive blip that was seen in 1998. Literally, people like Al Gore used that anomaly to make the famous "hockey puck" prediction that said that temperatures would rise in almost a vertical fashion if carbon dioxide levels weren't controlled. In reality, temperatures have significantly abated since then. In fact, the world satellite monitoring equipment of the Remote Sensing System (RSS) project is now showing that temperatures have been almost flat since 1990; only up less than one tenth of a degree in 19 years.

I will believe in global warming when the IPCC starts making realistic predictions; and, not just those that seem warped to fit their apparent ideological, world-view of redistribution of wealth and resources.

This entire belief that mankind is so significant -- relative to the massive size of our earth -- is unbelievable. If you assume that, on average, each man, woman, and child -- standing -- takes up less than 2 square feet of the earth's surface (2 feet wide and 1 foot deep), you could theoretically pack about 13 million standing people in a square mile of space (5280 feet squared). While that may seem impossible, there are actually 27 million square feet in a square mile. Divided by 2, you would easily exceed the space needed for 13 million people. That also means that in 1,000 square miles, you literally could jam 27 billion people together. The world only has a population of less than 7 billion people (actually estimated at 6.6 billion in 2007). To further emphasize the insignificance of mankind, one of our smallest states, New Hampshire, has an area of only 9,230 square miles. That's large enough to hold 270 billion people or 40 times the space needed to theoretically hold the world's population. With that much leftover space in New Hampshire, all the world's people could bring their cars with them and still have space left over in this, one of our smallest states.

By contrast, the world's vegetation -- which eats carbon dioxide and coverts it to oxygen -- covers more than 90% of the world's inhabitable areas. Further, water and ice, which covers 71% of the world's surface, holds about 93% of this planet's carbon dioxide. Once again, mankind is dwarfed by the other mechanisms that control CO2 on this earth.

The world's weather system is much more complex than simply projecting CO2 levels. Temperatures are heavily influence by a variety of factors; including solar heating, wind patterns, ocean currents (like El Nino), and natural activities such as forest fires and volcanic activity. The obvious inability of the IPCC to accurately predict temperatures over seventeen years, as shown above), just proves that we aren't advanced enough to predict what will really happen in the future. Don't forget, in the 1970's, the going rage of the scientific community was that we were entering another ice age. To me, the baffling part of the current cooling trend of the earth is how all these climatologists seem to think they are "expert" enough to predict global warming. How egotistical!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Obama Isn't Just Losing Support In the Polls

For the first time since Obama took office, the majority of political polls now show him at a level that is below a 50% favorability rating -- that theoretical level at which any President can still be considered popular.

But, more than polling, Obama is losing popularity with his own political party. There are some serious chinks starting to appear in what had previously been a strong coalition of Democrats from the very onset of his Presidency. Take this clip for example:

In an indirect rebuke of Obama and his policies, there are now calls from both the political left and right in Congress for Tim Geithner, Obama's Teasury Secretary, to step down (Click to See Full Story: "Geithner, under fire, defends AIG bailout"). The Democratic Congressional Black Caucus is especially upset with the Obama and Geithner policies (Click to See Full Story: "Angry Congress lashes out at Obama") because of the high unemployment rate among blacks -- nearly 16% as compared to 10.2% for the nation as a whole.

From Congress to the American people, Obama is losing our trust in his policies. The left is upset with him because he isn't being far left enough. The political right and middle is losing patience with him because his policies are seen as being too far left and, quite frankly, aren't working; especially with the economy. In my opinion, Obama's biggest problem is that he wants to be all things to all people. And, he can't. He can't have everything both ways. You just can't keep making hollow promises and expect that there won't be consequences.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Our Planet Is Now Doomed!

On October 20th, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declared that the world only had 50 days left to save itself from a complete catastrophe if carbon dioxide output and global warming weren't curtailed (Click to See Full Story: Brown: Fifty days to save the world ). In making this "50 day" statement, he was referring to the climate change summit that would be held in Copenhagen in December.

Well, I guess we're all doomed. Last Sunday it was reported that Obama and other world leaders have decided to put saving the planet on the back burner for now (Click to See Full Story: World leaders back delay to final climate deal ).

I think we should all assume a fetal position and just wait for either H1N1, the 2012 end of the world, the recession, or global warming to kill us! I can't remember any time in the history of mankind when our society was so completely in danger of extinction. And, remember, when they're throwing dirt on your coffin -- if there is anyone left to throw dirt on it -- it was Gordon Brown that warned us all! God save the Queen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lindsey Graham Makes A Fool Out Of Eric Holder Over NY/Gitmo Trials

One of the better "gotcha" moments in political history came yesterday during the Senate Judiciary hearings over the Obama Administration's decision to try Gitmo detainees in a Federal criminal court in New York City (Click to See Full Story: "Republican senators, Holder clash over terrorism trials").

As you will see in the video below, Lindsey Graham clearly exposed Eric Holder's lack of consistency in his decision to prosecute someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a criminal court rather than by military tribunal. Further, in the best of the best moments, Graham exposed the fact that this will be the first time in U.S. history that an enemy combatant, caught on the battlefield, will be tried in a criminal court. Senator Graham aptly referred to that fact as "making bad history".

I think it is obvious that Holder's stammering and lack of consistent policy shows an intent that is more political than prudently judicial. One can easily conclude that this trial is simply a show, whose primary purpose is to put the Bush Administration (And America!) on trial.

From that video, it is being implied that someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed won't ever be released; even if he is acquitted in a criminal court. From this, I would ask: Isn't the purpose of these NY-based trials to prove that America is a country that is firmly grounded in justice? So, based on what was said yesterday, all the peoples of the world have now heard that, in our judicial system, some people will be locked up for life; regardless of the results of their trial. Again,this just confirms that these will be show trials.

Lastly, Obama, himself, has predicted convictions in each of the NY-based criminal trials. While I'm not a lawyer, I would think that a statement like that, coming, from the President of the United States is, in itself, prejudicial to these defendants getting a fair trial and could be the grounds for a mistrial. Isn't Obama a lawyer specifically trained in Constitutional law? Again, it seems like we have another careless comment from Obama; just like his "acting stupidly" comment that he made when talking about arrest of his friend by the Cambridge police. I think the President would have been better off saying that we believe we have a solid case and that he wouldn't comment any further.

On Sarah Palin, The Political Left Tells the Right: We're Looking Out For You!

In the last month or so -- ever since Sarah Palin's book reached a pre-sale rank of number one -- almost every left wing pundit and liberal news person in America has managed to come out of the woodwork and either taken to the airways or write an opinion piece to warn America (and, especially the GOP ) that Sarah Palin is just some kind of kook and that she shouldn't be taken seriously. On Monday, David Corn -- as left wing as you can get -- wrote an opinion piece that was titled: Why Sarah Palin Is Bad for the GOP. Apparently, David Corn believes that he, personally, should give the GOP a thump on the head and keep them from walking down the political plank with someone as dumb as Sarah Palin.

Isn't it amazing that the liberals are so worried that the GOP and the political right might do something so stupid as to nominate Palin as their presidential candidate in 2012 or even listen to her form of "down home" political crap. Apparently, we have entered a new era of bipartisanship. An era where one political party is so generously looking out for the other. One could almost believe that the political left wants the GOP to win the White House in 2012 and is absolutely concerned that Sarah Palin might jeopardize that fact.

Oh, yes. Love is truly in the air!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Totally Upside Down On Job Creation

Yesterday, the report on Industrial Production in this country came in at a meager rise of one-tenth of one percent with manufacturing operations actually declining (Click to See Full Story: "Industrial output growth slows"). The only increase was seen in the demand for utilities; such as electricity and natural gas.

This is a worrisome number because it indirectly reflects that consumer spending and business expansion are almost non-existent. We can't recover from this recession without those two factors being in play. This poor showing for Industrial Production is consistent with the reality that Consumer Credit and Spending keeps falling; a fact that I keep reporting on. My latest commentary on Consumer spending issues was on November 7th when I wrote the blog posting: The Bad Econ Report That Nobody's Talking About.

Right now, there is at least one proposal in Congress to provide tax credits to those companies who hire additional people (Click to See Full Story: "US senator unveils tax credit for jobs"). This is pure stupidity. Companies hire people on the basis of increased business activity. Not the other way around. They aren't going to take on any new salary and the associated employee benefits load so they can save one-fifth of that expense by getting a small, 2-year tax credit. That fails first year accounting principals. But, this is so typical from people who don't understand business and who never ran a company or never created a job.

Our President will be having a Jobs Forum with, supposedly, small business leaders and large business CEO's. The goal will be to determine what can be done to create jobs. To me, this forum should have taken place months ago. But, instead, Obama met 22 times with his friend, the leader of the SEIU labor union, to set out his labor-oriented economic plans. Again, Obama's meeting with labor to figure out how to create jobs is just as back-asswards as Senator Feingold's plan of giving a tax credit for hiring new people. That's why unemployment is going through the roof.

A company like Microsoft wasn't created by a bunch of laborers who were just standing around and who needed or wanted jobs. That company grew out of an idea for a product and the "demand" that followed the implementation of that idea resulted in the hiring of thousands of employees. Simply speaking: No demand.. no jobs! My guess is that is what Obama will consistently hear in his little Jobs Forum. And, this isn't hardly some advanced principal of economics. It is inherent in the very cornerstone of economics: The Law of Supply and Demand. But, I'm guessing that Obama never covered that particular topic when he was busy studying constitutional law. Or, was it something that he covered when he was training ACORN personnel how to legally force Banks to give risky low-income earner loans?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Obama And Bernie Madoff Have In Common

Bernie Madoff is a convicted cheat because he falsified rates of investment returns in order to draw more and more people into his ponzi scheme. In the very same vein, when it comes to saved and created jobs, Obama is being just as deceptive.

Increasingly, we are seeing that many of the jobs being claimed as saved and created by Obama's Stimulus package are complete fabrications. This morning, through an ABC News investigation, we are now learning that many of these jobs are in non-existent Congressional Districts. I'm surprised we don't have jobs reporting numbers from the Moon; or, Mars; or, even, the Crab Nebula.

I just wish that more people would see that we are being totally"schemed". Nothing that Obama has promised has been done; especially when it comes to the economy. Madoff went to jail for his lies. Hopefully, Obama will join that long list of one-term Presidents when he's up for reelection in 2012.

One last point -- totally consistent with the above deception. Two weeks ago the Drudge Report claimed that the President would grant an interview with Fox News. This was being reported despite the fact that, previously the White House has said that Fox had an agenda; wasn't really a news operation; and wouldn't get any interviews with Obama. Last week the White House reaffirmed this by flatly denying what Drudge had reported. Now, as of this morning, we find out that Major Garrett of Fox News has been granted an interview for tonight (Click to See Full Story: Major Garrett Among White House Correspondents to Interview Pres. Obama Today).

With Obama, we can't even get the straight story on something as simple as a news interview. Everything is political gaming! How can anyone trust what this White House says or promises?

Confirming My Projection of an 11% Unemployment Rate

On November 6th, I wrote this blog entry: An 11% Unemployment Rate by June?

Now, Nouriel Roubini, writing in an op-ed, is making the same 11% unemployment projection (Click to See Full Story).

If you don't know who Roubini is, he is the economist who accurately predicted the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent recession. He did that in 2005 -- a little more than two years before it actually happened.

Also, consistent with many of my blog entries, he makes the following predictions:

"As a result of these terribly weak labor markets, we can expect weak recovery of consumption and economic growth; larger budget deficits; greater delinquencies in residential and commercial real estate and greater fall in home and commercial real estate prices; greater losses for banks and financial institutions on residential and commercial real estate mortgages, and in credit cards, auto loans and student loans and thus a greater rate of failures of banks; and greater protectionist pressures."

If I were Obama, I would be listening closely to Roubini. Obama would have been wise to have hired this man as part of his economic team; rather than go with that bunch of ideologically-driven, economic hacks that he ultimately went with. And, that's just my opinion.

Why Health Insurance Isn't Like Auto Insurance

The Democrats love to compare auto insurance laws to their planned fines and jail time for not having health insurance under their new Health Care Reform Package. What the Democrats don't seem to understand is that you don't have to have auto insurance if you decide not to drive.

There are plenty of people in this country that don't drive because they can't afford the expense, upkeep, and -- Yes -- the cost of insurance associated with driving a car. Many of these people have been forced to give up driving because the cost of auto insurance is well out of their reach. This is because the rates are excessively high due to the existence of high risk drivers. High risk drivers typically have numerous traffic tickets and auto accidents. So, they walk, bike, or take public transportation. There aren't any similar alternatives to not having health insurance.

Additionally, the fines imposed for not having auto insurance are typically assessed at the time that a driver either gets a ticket or has been in an accident. Even though many states require proof of insurance when someone applies for or renews their driver's license, there are those who only buy insurance just to meet that requirement and cancel it as soon as they have the new or renewed license in hand. That is why most drivers add "uninsured driver coverage" to their auto insurance package. In the world of health insurance, the cost of the uninsured is automatically built into the cost of every medical procedure and service. In turn, our health insurance premiums are upped to reflect it.

People found not to have auto insurance at the time of a ticket or accident, generally lose their license over that very fact and, as a result, they no longer drive. In the case of health care, the government isn't doing the same. Under no circumstances will anyone take someone's access to health care away because they didn't buy health care insurance.

Lastly, there are many high income people in this country who don't need to buy health insurance because they are wealthy enough to be considered "self insured". That's not the same in the case of auto insurance where even the wealthy must have it. So, I guess someone like George Soros or Warren Buffet will just have to buy insurance or be fined or thrown in jail; even though either one of them could literally rent an entire hospital and all of its staff for whatever period they might be sick. In addition, they will be taxed as high income earners with an additional 5% tax to pay for our nation's health care. Nowhere are high income drivers taxed at a higher rate in order to pay for everyone else's auto insurance.

This comparison to auto insurance is as ridiculous as all the other comparisons that have been used by some Democrats in trying to justify their health care reform package. It is as ridiculous as saying a doctor will yank a kid's tonsils our or cut off a diabetic's feet so they can make more money. Sadly, there are some in this country that actually believe these kinds of comparisons. They are either so joined at the hip with the Democrats that they take them verbatim, or they are too stupid to understand how nonsensical these comparisons are.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Madoff's Yachts Go Up For Auction

I don't know if you are aware of it or not but, all three yachts of ponzi cheat Bernie Madoff went up on the auction block as of today (Click to See Full Story: You Too Can Own Bernie Madoff's "Bull").

His biggest yacht is a 55 foot vintage prize that carries the name of "Bull". His two other smaller yachts, "Little Bull" and "Sitting Bull", will also be sold.

Obviously, all three boat's names reflect an owner who was totally "Full of Bull"!

Great Video!

The following video clearly shows how other world leaders have greeted the royal Emperor of Japan, Akihito. Unlike our groveling President, no other world leader was caught nearly grabbing his ankles when greeting him. It appears that a simple handshake was quite enough.

Note: This video was originally linked by the Drudge Report.

A History Of Climate Change Flip Flopping

In a little over 20 days, the climate change disciples of the United Nations will descend on Copenhagen in order to save the planet from extinction due to global warming. This is despite the fact that the world temperatures have been declining over the last 11 years while CO2 levels have continued to rise. In fact, this last October was the 3rd coolest ever in the U.S. in 118 years of record keeping.

Now, because of an unusual quietness of the sun and its sunspots, and the obvious declining world temps, there are scientists who believe that global warming isn't the challenge that the world should worry about. Instead, they believe that global cooling -- another ice age -- may soon be at hand.

It wasn't very long ago -- in fact, in the early 1970's -- when we saw similar concerns over global cooling; as is evidenced by this article that appeared in the science section of Newsweek on April 28, 1978: "The Cooling World". At that time, the scientific community was busy measuring and collecting statistics and the data clearly indicated that an ice age was just around the corner. Just as Al Gore used the frequency and intensity of hurricanes like Katrina and Rita to support his belief in global warming, the scientists of that time felt that the frequency of tornadoes in April of 1978 was a sure sign of an impending ice age.

According to Al Gore, the science over global warming is settled. Somehow, though, that's pretty hard to believe when, just 30 years ago, an ice age was being predicted; then, just 15 years ago, scientists decided that we were in the midst of a global heatwave; and, now, with declining temperatures, there is a sincere scientific concern that we might be entering another ice age. If this is settled science, I'd say a person suffering from manic depression is in more control over his/her daily life than the community of climatologists who can't decide, from one decade to the next, whether or not the world is getting colder or hotter.

My concern is that the world will buy into the current mania over global warming and make changes to society that many of the world's inhabitants will seriously regret in the future. Even though the world's increasing temperatures have abated for over a decade now, the global warming alarmists are acting as if the opposite is happening and are pushing even harder and harder for immediate action to save the world. Some whacks are even trying to blame the current world cooling trend on global warming!

This, to me, shows a disconnect with reality or, perhaps, an agenda that has nothing to do with global warming. It absolutely shows a panic to get something done before the charade is exposed. Sort of like a lot of the things that our own Congress and Obama have been up to lately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To Obama, Everything Is a Rush Except Afganistan

This week, the O-man told the nation that he wasn't going to make a hasty decision on Afghanistan because he is "bent on getting this right" (Click to See Full Story: "Obama: Decision soon on troops for Afghanistan").

Isn't that interesting? What about everything else that has been done by the President this last 10 months? Almost all of which had to be done immediately! And, most of which have had or will have a greater impact on the nation as a whole than Afghanistan. By implication, is he now admitting that he didn't get those other things right?

It appears that Obama has no problems about pushing trillion dollar agendas such as the Stimulus Package, Cap and Trade, and Health Care Reform on a hurried basis. Or, making his left-wing base happy by immediately declaring that Guantanamo Bay will be closed in a year; no ifs, ands, or buts! But, when it comes to a decision that might seriously annoy his left-wing anti-war base, such as the War in Afghanistan, he wants to get it right.

On Afghanistan, Obama really wants to get out. He only made Afghanistan a big issue during the campaign because he wanted to "use it" as a means to minimize G. W. Bush and John McCain over the other war in Iraq. In the campaign, he wanted to make Afghanistan seem like the good war; the war worth winning. But, in reality, he always was, and still is, an anti-war lefty. So, now he is stuck in the middle of a bad campaign promise to win in Afghanistan while he and his supporters have an extreme desire to just get out of Afghanistan and give the country back to the Taliban. When he talks of "getting this right" he is actually talking about making sure that his far-left political support is not jeopardized. It has nothing to do with Afghanistan, our troops, or this country! Otherwise, he would have his decision already!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama Shows His Weakness, Again!

More than anything, this country has attempted to comply with those ever famous words of our own Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal". And, more than anything, Obama, being of Black heritage, knows this is of great importance to any man, woman, or child living here.

Yet, this President, who should be considered by all as the most powerful man in the world and nothing less than an equal, keeps subjugating himself by bowing to certain leaders and quasi-leaders of this world. His latest effort was a full to a complete figure-head, the Emperor of Japan (Click to See Full Story: "How low will he go? Obama gives Japan's Emperor Akihito a wow bow").

I just think he is demonstrating to the whole world that he is weak and that, he, himself, acknowledges his weakness by bowing to others. Looking someone in the eye when meeting them is a show of strength. Bowing is just another way of showing that someone is less than someone else. It is not a form of respect. It is a form of subordination.

As a matter of practice, when two of the world's royals meet each other, they don't bow to each other because they consider themselves to be equals. If they did, they would literally be banging their heads into each other. That's is why Obama should never have bowed.

Please note: The last time Obama bowed, Robert Gibbs, Obama's Press Secretary, flatly denied it was a bow. What now, Robert? Obviously, Barack Obama has managed, once again, to prove Robert Gibbs to be the liar-in-chief for the Obama Administration.

For Obama, KSM Is Simply Collateral To Going After Bush And His Administration

This decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and four other 9/11 suspects in a Federal criminal court in New York is just ridiculous.

These people aren't like bank robbers or typical criminals that would be convicted by a jury trial in America. The manner of evidence collection against these people is completely different than that in a typical CSI-type investigation. Much of what was done was through highly sensitive and secret means and should not be exposed to the light of day in a Federal court. Also, because of the manner of arrest, the chain of custody of evidence, and interrogation techniques, its highly possible that much of the evidence against them could be thrown out of court. KSM's Miranda rights and the violation of them is one glaring example. The issue of when he was allowed to have access to an attorney could play a big part in whether or not any confessions on his part are even admissible. For that reason, there is an extreme risk that a mistrial could be declared, and that all or some of these 9/11 perpetrators could be set free. And, with enough evidence found not to inadmissible, these people could easily be found to be not guilty.

Even our own domestic court system understands that certain cases require specialized treatment. That's why we have criminal cases tried in a criminal court system. The disposition of children is handled in a Family Court environment. We also have Civil, Traffice and Divorce court settings for those specialized types of trials. This is why a specialized environment like a Military Tribunal is more appropriate for the kind of trial involving the 9/11 suspects. These courts have the means to handle the sensitive top secret evidence collection and are not all bound up with issues of civil and criminal issues like Miranda rights.

Like everything else, Obama is playing to his lefty base. He knows that by trying these cases in an open Federal court, the Bush Administration will be under trial. That, to him, is more important than if KSM and his collaborators go free. Obama is the consummate politician who is hell bent on using the power of his office to discredit the opposing political party. He doesn't care if the United States gets marginalized in that process. That is what complete ideologues do!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Down Memory Lane With Obama's Stimulus Package

When Christina Romer, Obama's top economic adviser, proposed the President's Stimulus Package, she summarized five primary objectives. I have extracted those objectives from the "Recovery" plan document (Click to View) and highlighted the key words contained within each:
  1. A package in the range that the President-Elect has discussed is expected to create between three and four million jobs by the end of 2010.
  2. Tax cuts, especially temporary ones, and fiscal relief to the states are likely to create fewer jobs than direct increases in government purchases. However, because there is a limit on how much government investment can be carried out efficiently in a short time frame, and because tax cuts and state relief can be implemented quickly, they are crucial elements of any package aimed at easing economic distress quickly.
  3. Certain industries, such as construction and manufacturing, are likely to experience particularly strong job growth under a recovery package that includes an emphasis on infrastructure, energy, and school repair. But, the more general stimulative measures, such as a middle class tax cuts and fiscal relief to the states, as well as the feedback effects of greater employment in key industries, mean that jobs are likely to be created in all sectors of the economy.
  4. More than 90 percent of the jobs created are likely to be in the private sector. Many of the government jobs are likely to be professionals whose jobs are saved from state and local budget cuts by state fiscal relief.
  5. A package is likely to create jobs paying a range of wages. It is also likely to move many workers from part-time to full-time work.
It doesn't take a lot of knowledge of what is going on in our economy to understand that almost every one of those five objectives has failed; and, failed miserably.

Now, Obama is claiming that he will "save or create" 2.5 to 3 million jobs. So, much for the very definitive objective to "create" 3 to 4 million jobs.

The tax cuts that were ultimately provided by the Stimulus Package were but a scant $13 a week; which hardly produced any growth in our economy.

Infrastructure spending hasn't hardly produced any construction and manufacturing jobs. In every jobs report, these sectors of the job market have been hurt the hardest. That's because 90 percent of the jobs that have been created and saved under the Stimulus Package were in the government sector; especially for police and education. And, this in direct contradiction to the President's promise that he would create 90 percent of the jobs in the private sector.

In terms of objective number 5, not only have full-time jobs been lost but, so have temporary help positions. So, Obama's last objective to move people to full-time positions from temporary ones, hasn't happened at all. In fact just the opposite is true. Workers who have been forced to give up full-time careers have, in some cases, found temporary work to just get by.

Lastly, that very same Stimulus Plan proposal also contains the now infamous chart (Page 5, Figure 1) that shows that the unemployment rate will be held to 8 percent and below if the President's plan gets "immediate" approval:

Well, as many have pointed out, that chart was plain hogwash.

All I know is that if someone in business had done such a poor job of proposing and implementing a similar kind of plan, they'd be out looking for another job. But, in politics, especially in this particular left-wing loving environment, this President is getting, at best, a slap on the wrist for doing such a poor job.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Expose' on the Exaggerations of Saved/Created Jobs

Over the last 4 to 5 weeks, various news groups and agencies have run articles that have exposed the fact that any positive results of the Obama Stimulus Package are being exaggerated. For example there is the supposed claim that 600,000 jobs have been saved or created. Some of the news stories that have targeted the "stimulus lies" have appeared in the following: Associated Press , New York Times, Chicago Tribune , and the Sacramento Bee. Now, the Boston Globe has jumped into the mix with their own expose' . Many of these news media groups are decidedly left-leaning in their reporting, so, I would find it hard to believe that they're being anything but honest. At least this time!

What all these stories do is prove that the Obama Administration's claim of creating and saving 600,000 jobs is blatantly false. And, the problem lies in three camps.

First, Team Obama is willing to accept what they "have to know" as being faulty numbers because it makes them look better. The ridiculousness of some of these claims is that there are more jobs being claimed as either saved or created than the total people that reporting entity actually employs.

Secondly, the reporting entities that are most consistently fudging their numbers could be easily said to be pro-Obama. It is interesting that most of the phony reports are coming out of the education system, and we all know that the vastly liberal educators of this country were big Obama supporters.

Lastly, there are many temporary workers whose jobs are being claimed as "saved".

I find it interesting that we are getting reports like this from the left-leaning media. It shows that there are finally some cracks showing in "The Slobbering Love Affair" (to steal from the title of Bernie Goldberg's best selling book). But, more importantly, it shows that we just can't trust the O-man and what he and his team are pushing out the door in order to keep selling his left-wing agenda. I don't know how there can be any public trust with the false numbers we are getting from this Administration.

Update: After writing this, Obama came out with a new and even more exaggerated number of 1 million jobs saved and created.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Climate Change Week on NBC. What Uuuh surprise?

Apparently, NBC will incorporate "green" propaganda into all of it's prime time shows and their news activities next week (Click to See Full Story: "NBC enlists prime-time programs in green message"). Al Gore will also cameo on the NBC program "30 Rock" alongside other left wingers on that show such as Alec Baldwin and Tina "Trash Palin" Fey.

NBC, of course, has always been the news media's prime cheerleader for Obama and would do absolutely anything to push his left wing agenda; especially on climate change. That's because the parent company of NBC, General Electric, has a lot to gain if Obama is able to get "Cap and Trade" passed through both houses of Congress. Right now, Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of GE, sits on Obama's board of economic advisers. He clearly has the President's ear. So, it is no wonder that GE has gotten such favorable treatment within the details of the "Cap and Trade" legislation that is working its way through Congress. GE makes the wind turbines that are sure to benefit from "Cap and Trade". GE also wants to completely restructure our electric grid with their "Smart Grid" technology. For GE, the benefit could be in the billions of dollars; if not trillion in the next 20 or 30 years. Recently, the Obama mouthpiece, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, complained that Chinese built wind turbines were being bought by recipients of Stimulus Plan money and that restrictions should be imposed to insure that Stimulus funds were only used to buy American wind turbines (Click to See Full Story: "No Stimulus Funds for Chinese Wind Turbines, Says Schumer"). Gee! Who just might benefit from that action? Not gee...GE!

All I know is that if this kind of cozy relationship had existed during the Bush Administration, the New York Times and the Washington Post and others would have run daily front-page smack-downs until it relented. Just think about all the bad press that Cheney got whenever there was the slightest hint that Halliburton was benefiting from anything that the Bush Administration was doing. Yet, for the GE/Obama conflicts of interest, the mainstream media remains totally silent.

The only problem GE and NBC have with their all-out climate change offensive is the fact that NBC has no viewers. And, given their obvious left wing slant, I am quite sure that the only viewers that are remaining already have life size portraits of Obama and Gore on their living room walls. So, in effect, they will be preaching to the choir. But, then, I'm quite sure that Immelt will still score big with the O-man! And, Obama might throw Immelt another few billion dollars worth of bones for being such a good little doggie. Maybe something like forced retrofitting of the American Airline fleet with more fuel efficient jet engines built by -- Guess Who? -- General Electric.

By The Way: Isn't Immelt doing a great job in his role of advising the O-man on the economy? I'm sure glad that Obama picked a person like Immelt who has nothing but America's best interests at heart! This is the same guy that allowed General Electric to sell products to Iran; despite the trade embargo with that terrorist spawning country. And, he continued to sell to Iran; even though there was enough evidence that Iran was shipping weapons to Iraq that were used to kill our soldiers. Apparently, in the world of Immelt, he is "GE" first and American second. Maybe even third! Who knows?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sacrificial Lambs Of Political Correctness

As a country, we have been conditioned by our own legal system to ignore any minority people who might be a potential criminal or terrorist threat. For that, we can thank the ACLU who has actively pursued legal action against any and all types of criminal profiling.

At the same time, our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies keep reminding us to report any suspicious activity that could be a prelude to a terrorist act. So, what is it? Report something suspicious and get sued? Or, just ignore the suspicious activity and possibly let ourselves and others be killed?

To me, this isn't political correctness. This is social and political insanity!

Friday's slaughter of all those military personnel is starting to look a lot like a perfect example where profiling and simple common sense were being ignored for the sake of political correctness. We now know that the CIA and the FBI were aware of possible terrorist communications activity by the Fort Hood shooter. Yet, it also appears that, because he was a Muslim, no one did anything about his potentially terrorist leanings, proselytizing, and communications. So, as a result, lives were sacrificed so that this Muslim could enjoy his privilege of being a protected class minority. The true insanity is in the fact that the "majority" must give up their rights so that a "few" can be free to do whatever they want; even plot to kill.

Over the weekend, members of the Obama Administration -- like Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Army Chief of Staff General George Casey -- were sounding concerns about a Muslim backlash as a result of Friday's shooting. Well, to the clueless Napolitano and Casey, there would be no fear of having a "backlash" against any Muslims if our government personnel had done their jobs in the first place and addressed Hasan's radical beliefs; instead of being so damned politically correct.

For the families of the killed, who are now grieving, I am quite sure that political correctness is of no comfort; either now or in the distant future. Unless this country wakes up, Friday's tragedy will be repeated over and over again. I am a firm believer that only those who have something to hide are the ones who are fighting profiling and other forms of activities that would keep our citizen's safe; such as warrantless wiretapping and eavesdropping. Unless and until we decide that political correctness is putting us all in jeopardy, we will continue to be the sacrificial lambs of this flawed political belief that completely ignores the greater good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another "Squeaker" from the Speaker. And, She Don't Care!

After the dust settled Saturday night, it was only 3 votes that kept Nancy Pelosi from suffering a defeat on the health care reform bill. Given the fact that Nancy has a 40-vote majority in the House of Representatives, this is hardly a proud accomplishment. If anything, it shows how partisan and how minimally accepted the Democrat's take on health care reform actually is.

Sadly, we could possibly have a health care system that was barely passed through Congress. In many cases, what Congress actually passes into law impacts but a small percentage of Americans. But, in this case, every single American will be affected by what was done last Saturday. And, to have it approved by such a scant majority is just frightening. When you really break it down, only 50.6 percent of the House of Representatives actually voted to approve this legislation. Conversely, 49.4% of the House voted against it. To convert that percentage into population terms, it means that 148 million people, out of a total population of 300 million, were not being represented in this process. The same was true with the scant majority the House had when they passed their version of Cap and Trade.

It is possible that they may have passed legislation that might not be acceptable to the majority of people in this country. But this just may be the driving force behind the immediacy to pass all this politically biased legislation. I think that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and numerous Democratic strategists are well aware that, by doing what they are doing, they could suffer substantial losses in 2010 and 2012. But, they also understand that any losses would not be great enough to undo what they have done. That's because to do so, the Republicans would have to have a two-thirds majority in the Senate to override a veto by this President; and, the odds of the Republicans having that kind of majority are historically slim.

So, like it or not, we may be stuck with what Obama and the Democrats are doing. The only thing that could reverse their actions would be a literal sea change in the political affiliations of the U.S. Also, some portions of Health Care Reform and Cap and Trade could be found to be unconstitutional if brought up through the Supreme Court. For sure, the real impact of what has or will be done by this Congress won't be felt until 2020 and beyond that date. Sadly, with America's typical short memory, the Democrats may never be seriously punished for their actions of these first months of Obama's Presidency.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Person Who Has Her Facts Straight About Health Care

One of the better reads about the Health Care Reform Bill that was just passed by the House of Representatives is that from Betsy McCaughey, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York under George Pataki (Click to See Full Story).

In the above referenced article that she wrote for the Wall Street Journal, she clearly outlines those parts of this legislation that would impose the heavy handedness of government on almost every American's life. Some of the important things that I took away from her article -- with my own interpretation added -- were:

  • Even though you might currently have a health care insurance policy that you are quite happy with, the Federal government could decide that it isn't a "qualified plan" and force you or your employer to provide one that meets the new government standard. This could result in you having to pay a higher cost than you are paying right now.
  • 18 months after this Bill becomes law, you will be forced to buy a "qualified" insurance policy if you already don't have insurance. If you're making, say, $44,000 a year; that policy might cost you as much as $7,000 a year. That's $7,000 a year before you pay taxes. So, effectively, if you're a single person and earning $44,000, your new, effective salary will immediately become $37,000. If you have a spouse and kids, I think you can see where the rest of all your money will be going.
  • If, when you file your taxes, you can't prove that you are enrolled in a qualified insurance plan, a substantial penalty (probably greater than the cost of having bought insurance for you and your family) will be applied to your tax bill; thus making the IRS the enforcer for not participating in the nation's health care reform insurance program. This means that many Americans will wind up paying the outrageous penalties that the IRS is well known for. In many cases, this could break the backs of people who were probably struggling and who were unable to buy insurance in the first place.
  • Employers will have to provide health insurance for every one of their employees. Additionally, each employer will have to pay 72.5% of the cost for that insurance. This part of the bill has a lot of far reaching consequences. First and foremost, the cost of almost everything that we buy in this country is bound to go up. That's because smaller companies, who have never offered health insurance before, will be forced to provide it. Furthermore, the majority of companies who do provide insurance for their employees, usually do so on a 50/50 basis. With this new law, their burden will go up from the current 50% sponsorship to 72.5%; a near 50% increase in their cost to provide health insurance. The money to do all this will either come from higher prices for their products and services or from downsizing their workforce in order to pay for it. Either way, it will be a disaster for our economy. Another consequence of this part of the Bill is the fact that spouses will have to get their insurance individually and from their respective employers. Don't expect that a spouse will be able to "opt out" of their employer's program and sign on to their "significant other's" insurance program; which might actually be a better program. There's no allowance for this. Each employer must provide insurance for their workers or suffer an 8% surcharged tax. I also suspect that if a spouse is a "stay at homer", he or she will not be able to ride off their husband or wife's employer-provided insurance policy because the cost to the employer will be just too high. In that case, the non-working spouse will be forced to get his/her own insurance independently. Similarly, an employee might not be able to cover the children with their employer's insurance and, for that reason, the parent may have to source insurance separately. For some families, this could result in a substantially higher cost for their overall insurance coverage.
  • Medicare funding will be slashed by $500 billion dollars through reduced payouts for care. As a consequence, I would expect the trend of doctors refusing to care for Medicare patients will just keep increasing. That means that many Medicare insured patients will be getting their care from "assembly line" health care providers who spend little or no time with their patients. This will not mean better care for many older Americans. For example, hospice patients may no longer get their care from physicians, but solely from physician assistants..
  • The "medical home" provision of the Bill will restrict the manner in which health care is provided; and, in doing so, it will restrict the payout for every kind of medical procedure that is given. Essentially, this provision of the Bill expands this type of HMO practice to every medical procedure. This is particularly interesting, because this limited kind of health care coverage is the very thing that Democrats have hated about HMO's and have held hearing after hearing about in year's past.
  • The payouts for medical care will be limited to the lowest cost of providing similar care throughout the country. So, a doctor in San Francisco -- where the standard of living is quite high and quite expensive -- can only bill as if he or she was living in Little Rock or some other lower cost area of the country. If this won't drive some doctors and other health care providers out of business, I don't know what will.
  • Medicare Advantage patients will suffer reductions in dental and vision coverage as part of reducing Medicare expenses.
Certainly, there are many more problems in this nearly 2000 page and $1.2 trillion legislation that will be uncovered once people can actually figure out what was voted on last night. The above contains enough things that should worry every American; not just Republicans -- as if Republicans are the only ones who would be screwed by this massive destruction of our health care system.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Bad Econ Report That Nobody's Talking About

Yesterday, all the talk was about the unemployment rate hitting 10.2%.

As most economists will tell you, and what the White House made clear, over and over again, yesterday, unemployment is a "lagging" indicator that can take months to improve; even after the economy is roaring again.

But also yesterday, a not-hardly-lagging report was released and it showed that this economy is still in deep trouble. That number, Consumer Credit, fell by almost $15 billion last month (Click to See Full Story: "Consumer borrowing drops $14.8B in September"). Since most economists had predicted a $10 billion dollar shortfall, this latest credit number was 50% worse than expected. A completely horrible number!

As I have said before, the economy isn't going to get rolling again until the consumer starts to buy stuff. What this drop in consumer credit is really saying is that consumers bought fewer items than they did the month before; and, to the tune of $15 billion. In the month before that, they bought $10 billion less stuff than they did in the month prior to that. In fact, on average, Consumer Credit for revolving credit purchases has been accelerating to the downside almost every month this year (Click to See the Monthly Chart from Briefing.Com).

Since 70% of this nation's economy is driven by consumer buying activity, this number only reflects that they aren't willing to take on the kind of credit card debt that is needed to make the purchases that will ultimately put people back to work. Obama's so-called Stimulus Package completely ignored this simple fact and, instead, focused on everything else. His measly $13 a week tax credit was hardly enough to cover the cost of an average family's weekly newspaper and coffee expenses; let alone get them in the stores to buy the things that would really put people back to work. As long as consumer credit continues to falter, so will the unemployment rate continue to rise. It's as simple as that!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Obama's "Oh, By The Way Moment" On The Fort Hood Tragedy

Some complained that last week's "salute" of fallen soldiers arriving at Dover AFB was just a "photo op" by Obama to take some heat off the fact that he hasn't yet made a decision on the requested troop level increases in Afghanistan (Click to See Full Story: "Obama, Dover, and the war dead. Was the president's salute a photo op, or an 'overdue' show of gratitude?).

Well, I think the question of whether or not Dover was just a photo-op was answered yesterday in the face of what had been a horrific massacre of soldiers at Fort Hood. At his attendance of the "Tribal Nations Conference", Obama was expected to comment on the tragedy. But, instead of making those comments "job one" for his time at the podium, he went on to congratulate the event coordinators of that conference. Then, in what could easily be described as some kind of "Oh, by the way moment", he went on to talk about the murders at Fort Hood:

This is just another example of this man's misplaced priorities and crassness.

Note: After having written this blog entry, it was interesting to see that someone else had made note of Obama's shallowness of yesterday: "Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting".

An 11% Unemployment Rate by June?

To many, this morning's unemployment rate of 10.2% was unexpected. But, I have been complaining for a long time now, that each month's numbers were not making sense and were just too low. I was surprised last month when we only came in at 9.8%. I really thought we should have seen 10%. Then, when we saw this month's unemployment jump to 10.2%, it would have made more sense. Instead, because of the appearance of past low-balling, we saw a jump of nearly 1/2 percent in a single month to take us to 10.2%.

This Administration can talk all day about jobs being saved or created. But, 10.2% is the reality. It's the bottom line. This number means that we could easily see a 10-1/2 percent unemployment rate by January's report (reported in early February). Also, it is "not" unreasonable to believe that we hit 11% unemployment with the June's report; assuming that the economy continues to falter and they stop playing games with the numbers.

Let's not forget that Obama promised a ceiling of 8 percent unemployment if his stimulus package was signed into law immediately. Well, he and his lemmings in Congress did exactly that. But, when unemployment easily swept past that 8 percent, he then reneged on his previous promise and said that it "could" hit 10 percent this year. Well, that "8 percent" is long gone and that "we could hit 10 percent" has, too, been left in the dust. Now, that 10 percent prediction is looking like it will easily give way to a reality of 10-1/2 percent by year's end; with an 11 percent or higher rate for next year. Obviously, Obama can't be trusted to predict anything about this economy.

Now, this same President and these same Democrats want us all to believe that their health care reform will do exactly what they are promising. Once again, they are using that same sense of immediacy that was the keynote of their failed stimulus package. I'm just wondering when this country will finally stand up in unison and say enough is enough. All these "trust me" moments are just false promises. All the "hope" that Obama talked about on the campaign trail appears to be the "hope" that we, the American people, won't finally figure out that he is completely full of B.S.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

High Property Taxes Could Be Inhibiting Existing Home Sales

If you're like me, your real estate taxes are about the same as they were two years ago. Yet, the value of your home -- on which those taxes are based -- has probably gone down by as much as 50% in that same time frame.

The local and county governments won't drop the property tax rates because to do so would slash revenues by as much as 50%. This would mean that administrative, school, police, and fire operations would have to literally return to the operational levels of nearly 5 to 8 years ago; when real estate prices were formerly that low.

This fact presents a big problem for existing home sales.

When a new home is built, that home is assessed at its current market value and the tax bill matches that value. But, in the case of an older home -- one that is selling for exactly the same price as a new one -- the tax bill can currently be, in some cases, twice as high as that of the new home. That is why existing home sales are lagging behind new home sales. As long as this disparity in taxes continues, existing home sales will have a hard row to hoe. That will lead to a lot of run-down and vacant homes in many neighborhoods. Further, it only takes a few run-down or minimally maintained vacant homes to sink the value of the other homes in the area.

In order to correct this disparity, there has to be parity in property taxes for old and new homes. That means that one or both of the following things will have to occur: (1) a lowering of the costs for government operations so that the property tax bills can be reduced and (2) a re-adjustment of the tax rate and assessed values so that taxes are the same for all homes of equal value.

For the sake of future home values, we absolutely need to whittle down the massive inventory of vacant, existing homes. Property tax parity is key to making this happen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hey Nancy! Hey Harry! Hey Barack! Did you finally get the message?

For months, congressional Democrats have completely ignored their own tanking poll numbers. They also seem oblivious to Obama's dramatic fall in his own personal polls. Yet, they press on with their left wing agenda.

When respondents to specific poll questions consistently put the economy, jobs, the deficit, and taxes well ahead of health care and global warming, the team of Pelosi, Reid and Obama easily slough that off and blindly continue to press on with their reform of Health Care and the implementation of Cap and Trade. Then, they come up with bogus "created and saved" jobs numbers to try and convince the public that their failed stimulus plan is working. As if this will somehow smooth over the public's concerns that Obama's economic policies aren't working.

On top of all of that, they further ignore the rebellious tea parties and town halls.

Well, maybe. Just maybe. Last night might have finally sent the message they needed to hear to tell them that they aren't doing the people's business.

The shellacking that they got in Virginia and New Jersey should have put the fear of God in the Democrats. It was truly a wake up call for them to reverse their direction and to press on with real solutions to the economic problems of this country and to stop messing around with mega-paged health care reform and punitive Cap and Trade.

In Virginia, the Republican victory wasn't just a little squeaker, it was a trouncing. Bob McDonnell, the new Governor-elect, won by nearly 20 points. And, the secondary and tertiary wins for the Republican Lt. Governor and the Republican Attorney General were also by double digits.

In New Jersey, the win by the Republican, Christie, was even more awesome. In what is typically a blue state, Christie won by 5 percentage points in what, at best, should have only been a 1 or 2 percent win. This was a particular slam on Obama who had campaigned there 6 times to save Corzine's bacon. But, just like the Olympics failure, the star power that Obama seems to think he has just fell completely flat when the final vote came in.

I am sure that there are a lot of Democrats who are feeling quite nervous this morning. They should be. They should be quite nervous about their own jobs. If there had been a lot of trust in Obama's policies and direction of the country, the Democrats would have easily won last night in Virginia and New Jersey. But, there isn't and the results proved that.

I think three things will come out of last night's drubbing by the Republicans. First, I think that Obama's numbers will fall even faster because those who were marginally hanging on to Obama will finally give up. Second, the Blue Dog Democrats and those Democrats who are up for a tough re-election fight in 2010 will give up on Cap and Trade and on Health Care reform legislation. I think both those programs lost a lot of support with last night's losses. Finally, last night's win might presage another sweep by the Republicans in 2010.

One last comment about New York's 23rd District race where the Democrat won. The Democrats will point to this as a significant event because this little area of New York has always been Republican; at least since the Civil War. But, the win last night wasn't so much pro-Democrat as it was anti-Republican and a revolt against the Republican leadership's own stupidity in making Scozzafava their candidate. Even though Hoffman, the Conservative candidate, was more Republican than Scozzafava, the voters, in general, were just not going to vote for a third-party candidate. Additionally, Hoffman isn't nearly the dynamic candidate that was needed for a win. In fact, I heard him laughingly referred to as a timid and geeky bookkeeper; and, if you heard him speak, that image was true to form. All in all, the Republicans just made a mess out of the 23rd District. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Things Are Just Unbelievable

On Halloween eve, the world's largest cruise ship ever, the Oasis Of The Seas, finally left its shipyard home in Turku, Finland; heading to Fort Lauderdale Florida:

To be operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, this 20 stories tall and almost 4 football fields long ship can comfortably -- very comfortably -- house 6,300 passengers:

Truly amazing.

The Most Significant Election 'Was' NY 23

In the run up to today's various elections, there has been a lot of talk about "what" each of these races represents. For the most part, there is a feeling on the right, that each of them represents a referendum on Obama and his policies. While that might be true, especially in New Jersey (should Christie win over the incumbent Democrat Corzine), the real referendum has already taken place in the 23rd District of New York. To me, that "New York 23rd" race has taught the Republicans, not Obama, a lesson. And, in many ways, it was a referendum on all those weak-kneed conservatives who have lost in the last two national elections.

For the last two election cycles, there has been a lot of talk, mostly by the left wing media and pundits, that Republicans can't win by being far right. That's probably true. But, Republicans didn't lose because they were too far right. Instead they lost because they had become too far left; especially in spending.

The Republicans lost because they weren't being true to conservatism. The Congress flipping over to the Democrats was a direct result of Republicans not being conservative and spending just as badly as the Democrats would have. In effect, they gave the voting public no real choice. The Democrats looked like Democrats and the Republicans looked like Democrats. So the voters decided to just go for the real thing.

Now enter the New York 23rd race. For those who don't know it, the 23rd district of New York is pretty red when it comes to its politics. Yet, for whatever reason, the Republican party bosses felt that they had to anoint a social conservative, like Dede Scozzafava, as their candidate to go up against the Democrat. There was no primary. So, in effect, they had nominated a candidate who wasn't really a true Republican but, instead, was a RINO -- Republican In Name Only -- fully thinking that she could win. Maybe this was based on the fact that the country having been so "socially" motivated to put Obama in the White House. But nothing could have been further from the truth and the polls showed it. The voters of the 23rd said no to Scozzafava's backing of the Stimulus Package, the union card check system, abortion, and so many other left-wing beliefs that she held.

What the polls did show is that the voters of the 23rd wanted a true Republican like Doug Hoffman. Hoffman was running as a third-party "Conservative" candidate after the Republican bosses had ignored him and put Scozzafava in as their standard bearer. With little chance of winning, Scozzafava would eventually drop out of the race and, ultimately, show her true colors by asking her supporters to vote for the Democrat.

So the moral here is that Republicans should be Republicans; not some squishy form of Democrat. They can win if they truly stick to their values of conservatism in government size, scope, and spending. That's why I think the results of the 23rd District have already come in and Republicans should take heed of those results.

Monday, November 2, 2009

When The Left Hand Doesn't Talk To The Other Left Hand

Who can forget what Obama said to a joint session of Congress with regard to medical malpractice tort reform:

Well, somebody should tell Nancy Pelosi that tort reform is a good thing and that it could reduce excess medical costs to within a range of $54 billion to $300 billion a year; depending on which study you're looking at. But, once again, what Obama giveth in a speech, Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats taketh away in action. And, don't expect Obama to complain one iota. This Obama-Pelosi-Reid two-step has been the modus operandi from the day Obama got into office.

According to section 2531 of Pelosi's near 2000 page tome on health care reform, states can receive incentive payments for implementing alternatives to medical malpractice suits. However, if those reforms include any reduction of attorney's fees or any caps on malpractice awards, the state will be barred from receiving incentive pay (Click to See Full Story: "Pelosi Health Care Bill Blows a Kiss to Trial Lawyers"). If that isn't deceitful double talk, I don't know what is!

Once again, Obama makes a pledge with his patented "I-don't-really-mean-it-wink" and, then, we get another broken promise when he has his "tools" of Congress (Pelosi and Reid) actually do the dirty work.