Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eagleburger on Obama

Eagleburger has served both sides in a diplomatic capacity and is well worth a listen.  We have enough troubles in the Middle East without trying to incite more.  There is another scenario that the childish behavior our Brat in Chief exhibited could produce: an Israeli attack on Iran.  Netanyahu could conclude that there's no help coming from our churlish boy President that will keep the Mullahs from getting a, the only solution, is to go it alone:
The prime minister knows the calculus well. First, he thinks, will be the salvo of Jericho III missiles. EMP from their nuclear warheads will destroy Iran’s electrical power grid, communications, television, radio, air defenses, and most of the industrial infrastructure. At noon the flashes will not even be noticed, so high there is no blast or radiation on the ground. Then cruise missiles from submarines for high value targets. They should save one for Ahmadinejad’s presidential palace. With chaos in the dark streets, maybe our commandos have time to open that Evin prison hellhole and let out the political prisoners. Those kids, that ‘Green’ opposition—they can deal with the mullahs if they like. And the best part, with the radar and air defenses inoperative, our air force can overfly Iran. They will finish the job with none of my boys lost, God willing. And when no parts for American aircraft come, there are always Russian aircraft. Avigdor will love it—like he loves being Foreign Minister. If the Russians tell him to get lost like last time, I’ll send him to China. They sell anything to anyone, especially if it annoys Washington.

Read the rest here.  Hat tip DB.

Either way, when you bow and scrape to the Saudi king, laughingly take anti-American screeds from thugs like Chavez, and keep "reaching out" to Achmadinijad of Iran while simultaneously insulting your strongest ally, you are truly playing with fire.  Amateur hour is over, Mr. President, time to grow up and join the real world.

Praying to Obama?

OK, these kooks are getting really weird:

How is it that atheists will believe in anything but a real God?

Oh the Profundity!

What a nice walk down memory lane! And they want to say that those of us on the right are mean.

Hat tip St. Mike

Monday, March 29, 2010

Boiling Frogs

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Democrats have us in the pot now and are turning up the water...dangit if some of those obnoxious, no good "companies" that actually create jobs went out and started talking about something called "write downs:"

The Democratic political calculation with ObamaCare is the proverbial boiling frog: Gradually introduce a health-care entitlement by hiding the true costs, hook the middle class on new subsidies until they become unrepealable, but try to delay the adverse consequences and major new tax hikes so voters don't make the connection between their policy and the economic wreckage. But their bill was such a shoddy, jerry-rigged piece of work that the damage is coming sooner than even some critics expected.
So what does the preliminary damage look like?
On top of AT&T's $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks.
So much for all the wonderful unicorn savings we were all going to get when we got to read the bill!  Oh well, not to worry...Ol' Henry Waxman is going to haul those company chieftains in for a dressing down in late April.  How dare you actually do what the bill mandates you to do!!  This is just the beginning folks, just the beginning.  The question you have to answer for yourself is, how do you like being in the pot? 

Read the full article here.

The Trouble With Sarah

Norman Podhoretz has a fine piece in the Wall Street Journal defending Sarah Palin this morning.  It is comforting to see some mainline conservatives come out on Sarah's side...especially when they site our blogging pal, Iowahawk for the famed T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, the gold standard of dissitude for our country-club-let's-just-all-get alon- he's-so smart-Olympia-Snow-Republican-types. To that set, I have one question for you one year and a few months in: "how's that hopey-change thing workin' for ya?" (Said in Palin tones).

Sarah never deserved the annihilation she received in the mainstream press, but McCain's people did a horrible job of preparing her.  Why, oh why, was she in Arizona over the weekend campaigning for old Ironbottom?  But it is a weak argument to say that Sarah reminds one of Ronald Reagan:

It's hard to imagine now, but 31 years ago, when I first announced that I was supporting Reagan in his bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, I was routinely asked by friends on the right how I could possibly associate myself with this "airhead," this B movie star, who was not only stupid but incompetent. They readily acknowledged that his political views were on the whole close to ours, but the embarrassing primitivism with which he expressed them only served, they said, to undermine their credibility.
What Reagan had that Sarah lacks is stature.  He was a known quantity that had clearly stated his philosophy on numerous occasions quite elegantly - the "airhead" label is a standard tactic used by the left when they can't overcome the clarity of conservative logic - ad hominem, destroy the messenger, attack, attack, attack.  Sound familiar?  But Sarah came out of nowhere and was a bit of a shock to the electoral system of the country.  What she had going for her, charisma, executive experience (a WHOLE lot more that BHO), and a down home aw shucks realism that you either loved or hated.  What she lacked was experience, experience and experience.  And she still does.  Now I know I am violating Ronoldus Reaganus Maximus's guiding wisdom about not attacking our friends, and Sarah is a friend to our side, but here are a couple of observations:

1. When questioned, her answers seem rote...almost memorized and I am always afraid that if you dig a little deeper there is not much there there.  RR the Great, we knew and others later learned, had a deep understanding of the American character and a rock solid philosophical core that was unbeatable in a debate.  Sarah is not there yet.

2. The family situation seems to always be one step away from full blown train wreck that the left would exploit in howling tones.  

I hope we keep Sarah in our camp, stumping and fund-raising.  But to those of you out there that think she is the next Ronald Reagan, I strongly suggest you look elsewhere.  Maybe if she returns to Alaska and runs for the Senate to get more experience, she can get that gravity I am looking for.  For those of you now shouting at your screens and me and saying "she's got more on the ball than Obama!!!" I feel your pain.  The fact that the other side got a charismatic incompetent elected should not encourage those of us on the right to try to do the same.

Friday, March 26, 2010

60% Increase in Capital Gains!!

From Bloomberg:
Obama’s budget proposes to allow the existing 15 percent tax rate on dividends and capital gains to rise to 20 percent in 2011 for the same high-earners. Layering a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on top of that would mean a new top rate on dividends and capital gains of 23.8 percent. The top tax rates on interest and rental income would rise to as high as about 44 percent, assuming other Obama tax increases on high-earners are enacted.

Taking capital gains from 15% to 23.8% represents a 58.7% INCREASE.  How's that hopey change thing workin' for ya now?  Would someone please remind these socialist income redistributors that they create no wealth whatsoever.  All they do is redistribute the hard work.

How The Derivatives Got Rated

It's What We Do - We're Americans

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Side Trip into Sexism



Any questions?

Hat tip LCD

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We Got Stupaked

Kathleen Parker has a devastating column over at the Chicago Tribune this morning about the latest figure in Washington to earn a verb with his name: Bart Stupak.  Comparing his stand to that of William Wallace at Stirling, she then likens him to the Scottish nobles who abandoned Wallace at Falkirk. Killer lines:

After the Sunday vote, a group of Democrats, including Stupak, gathered in a pub to celebrate. In a biblical moment, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was spotted planting a big kiss on Stupak's cheek.
To a Catholic man well versed in the Gospel, this is not a comforting gesture.

This could prove to be one of the great victories for the pro-abortion lobby in America.  All it will take now is for NARAL or ACLU or some-such organization to march a pregnant young woman into a clinic and demand an abortion.  When the young woman is refused, because of Obama's Executive Order, they will sue and the Supreme Court will have to uphold the Constitutional principal that Federal Law trumps Executive Orders on policy.  The protections of the Hyde Amendment will be gone forever.

Mind you, I never thought Stupak would hold anyway.  Some of the radio wags have played the clip from last October of him saying he would fold like a lawn chair and vote for the bill even if anti-abortion language was excluded.  He simply milked it as long as he possibly could, enjoying his "I'm Really Important" Andy Warhol moment.  The did what every good Democrat in Washington does now, voted for the party above morality, principle, loyalty or basic decency.

Missing the Point on Healthcare

Two perspectives to share with you this morning on the healthcare debacle.  First sit back and learn you some from Charles Krauthammer's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor last night:

Krauthammer's key points:
1. This thing will cost a WHOLE lot more than advertised...and everyone knows it.
2. The "Deficit Reduction Commission" will report after the election and they will recommend a Value Added Tax - a national sales tax.
3. The insurance companies have BECOME the public option.  

That ties in with Holman Jenkins' piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning.  Essentially, Obamacare "doubles down" on a bad bet that has been made with the government and corporations: tax policy that allows corporations to get a subsidy for rewarding employees with generous health insurance plans:

Health insurers, and indeed Corporate America as a whole, are like monkeys who are caught by staking a glass jar to the ground with a shiny trinket inside. They won't let go so they can't get their hands out of the jar. That trinket is the ruinous and regressive $250 billion-a-year tax benefit for employer-provided insurance.
Corporate America isn't brave enough to argue against a direct subsidy to its employment costs, no matter how perverse its impact in insulating consumers from the true cost of their health care choices. Insurers are not brave enough to say: Give us a tax code that lets us go back to being insurers rather than a tax laundromat for the middle class's health-care spending.
Almost any bill would have been worth having that fundamentally fixed this tax distortion, regardless of its other elements.
We say this because any bill, including the one signed by the president yesterday, will be revisited many times in the future. Millions of pages of rules will be written by regulators before we see how it really works. Congress itself will return in predictable ways: It will reverse the proposed Medicare cuts that created ObamaCare's illusion of fiscal probity. It will tighten the mandate that requires insurers to cover the sick at favorable prices. It will not tighten the requirement that the young and healthy buy insurance at prices that subsidize the old and unhealthy.
More and more tax money will have to be found to keep the jalopy on the road. More and more administrative controls on medicine will attempt vainly to keep the jalopy from bankrupting the nation.

This is proof positive of the distortions in the marketplace that occur when the Federal Government tries to legislate social behavior.  The same is true of the housing market.  There is a direct line between the mortgage interest income tax deduction to the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie.  Unfortunately, the end of the line is in Greece or Argentina:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Deficit Reduction

Obama is off touting again today that this monstrosity of a bill is going to reduce our deficit $1 the way, have you noticed that the number goes up every time he opens his mouth?...this video points out why it won't:

The Government Can!

Economic Failure

We've discussed this subject elsewhere on this blog and over at Red State Rumblings, but to see a poll that registers a whopping 79% is a little shocking.  That's right - 79% of Americans now believe the economy could fail.  And that's across the board politically - 70% of Dems think it could.  There is no faith in government's ability to fix the problem either.  Most Americans believe the government is too big...just got a lot bigger.  There's no good news in this for Republicans either - only 16% believe that they can fix things...lower than the 20% that think Pelosi and her gang can.

What this does show is disturbing news for Obama and his statist team though - it illustrates that the American people are not stupid!  That's damned disconcerting for them - they rely on our complacency to exact their statist vision.

Look, Greece is tottering due to a bloated public sector (just like California)...Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the Greek crisis could boil over and affect financial stability everywhere; Argentina collapsed once already...the history is clear, you cannot keep spending money you don't have and spending more so that you are "saving," doesn't work either.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Observation of the Day

From Victor Davis Hanson:

Do Democrats realize that we really have crossed the Rubicon? In the future when the Republicans gain majorities (and they will), the liberal modus operandi will be the model—bare 51% majorities, reconciliation, the nuclear option, talk of deem and pass, not a single Democrat vote—all ends justifying the means in order to radically restructure vast swaths of American economic and social life. Is someone unhinged at the DNC? They just blew up any shred of bipartisan consensus when their President polls below 50%, the Democratically-controlled Congress below 20%, and health care reform less than 50%. Usually unpopular leaders and their unpopular ideas seek the shelter of minority rights and prerogatives. What will they do when they are in the minority—since they’ve entered the arena, boasted “let the games begin” and shouted “by any means necessary”?

The good professor is spot on.  The only problem is that, as always, the dems will have a compliant sycophantic media trumpeting their cause.  But this is truly a blow to good, measured statesmanship.  We descend into outright thuggery.

The Aftermath

If history is a guide, the Persian Wars can be viewed as an allegory for the battle between conservatives and statists.  The Battle of Marathon when the badly outnumbered Athenians defeated the Persians under Darius in 490 BC would be analogous to the Clintons' attempt at taking over health care...the Persians landed at Marathon and were promptly whupped.  Yesterday was, in my opinion, analogous to Thermopylae...and in a lot of ways.  The good guys (those that love freedom) were ultimately defeated, but they put up a spirited defense.  Remember, the way the Persians finally defeated the Spartans was when a Greek traitor, Ephialtes (Stupak?), told the Persians about a goat path that led behind the Spartan line...READ MORE

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness

One thing is certain in America - if there is more than one opinion about something, it will end up in Court.  Such is the fate of this fiscal fiasco, that our communi..err, socialist pals in the Democratic party are trying to foist on the American people.  Landmark Legal Foundation, already has the suit ready to go if the Dems insist on using this inane "deem and pass" rule.  

The whole thing makes me ill.  No one wants this - new poll out yesterday said 55% of Americans oppose it.  Rasmussen has a poll out that says 50% are more likely to vote against their Congressman if they vote "yes."  Hell, the majority of the Democratic representatives don't want this thing...they are being told to "take one for the team and save Obama's presidency."  Hmmm, they really should think twice about that - it could well be, as Bill Clinton learned in 1996, that a "no" vote might save a second term.

Either way, if you thought politics was polarized before, you ain't seen nothing yet.  This will poison the waters of Congress for decades to come.  When the Republicans regain control, and they will regain control, they will feel righteous in using the same measures.  Of course, they won't have a lapdog press to help them rape the Constitution, but they will do it anyway...and Nancy Pelosi will be right there huffing and puffing indignantly.  The law of unintended consequences writ large.  And will it be worth it?  To "pass" a piece of legislation that will end up a) being bogged in the Courts for years and b) will most likely get rolled back anyway?

True leadership would take pause and say "you know what, we have pushed too hard...let's start over."  But ideologues rarely make good leaders.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Hockey Sticks

Our good friends over at Casey Research continue to provide visual evidence of the danger we are in...this chart came into the Rumbler Blackberry yesterday afternoon:

Enough with the jibber jabber from the left about how this is all Bush's fault.  This is the single largest expansion of government spending in the history of mankind.  Now, explain to me again why we need to expand the role of government into even more areas like say, umm, healthcare?

We are precariously close to losing our AAA bond rating - when you are in a hole...stop digging!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Devoured by Debt

Investor's  Business Daily has a great piece this morning...midway through is this chart:

This is really a sequel to what I wrote about in yesterday's post, "We Can't Afford It!"  

From the IBD article:
Just last year, U.S. public debt totaled $7.5 trillion — a sum equal to all the indebtedness accumulated from our 225 years in existence as a nation. But by 2020, total U.S. public debt will be $20.3 trillion — an increase of 171% in just 10 years.
By itself, such a sum wouldn't matter. But it's the weight it will place on the economy that's important. Last year, debt as a share of GDP — the recognized measure for how indebted a country is — stood at 53%. By 2020, it will be over 90%.
And that's not including the hundreds of billions of debts run up by Social Security and Medicare, which, technically, the government says it "owes to itself."
Read it all here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Can't Afford It!

What do the images below have in common?

Well, let's see...crowds of people, lots of signs, a little polizei dust-up...what are you getting at?  Let me 'splain it to you.  The first image is of California students protesting the dramatic cuts in programs coupled with large increases in tuition.  The second and third images are out of Greece over the last few days.  The Greeks are not happy because of the "austerity" measures being imposed by their government...which is broke.  Greek debt is running over 14% of their GDP...the United States is at 12% and rising very fast.

In all things there is a tipping point where suddenly things change cannot hold, the bottom falls out etc. It happened in Argentina from 1999-2002, it is unfolding before our very eyes in Greece and we are on track to do the same here.  Take a look at the following graph from Casey Research:

Can you say "trend line?"  This past February, we broke the record!  We're talking about layering on another $1.6 TRILLION in debt before the end of the year.  And what are our "leaders" arguing about?  A new, unfunded, Federally mandated entitlement program.  The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. household net worth rose by 1.3% in the last quarter, and that's a good thing.  What's not a good thing is how it happened: foreclosures and defaults as strapped families shed debt in a very unpleasant way.  Yet even as we de-lever on the home front, the Feds are slathering on a 22.7% increased debt burden, meaning we netted out up 3.4% with no end in sight.

I have heard this mantra from several friends over the past few weeks, on both sides: "we need adult leadership!"  Someone that understands that just because there are more checks in the check book does not mean there is any money in the bank.  The day is not far off that the collective buyers of our government debt (China, Japan, Arab states) don't show up for the Fed auctions.  Then the Fed can start printing money even faster:

This little baby is a 10 BILLION Mark 1923 it bought you 3 eggs in Weimar.  Folks say it couldn't happen here!  Really?  Take a look at the following graph:

That's Weimar trying to sell T-Bills to keep their economy alive.  Look familiar?  The spending has to stop folks...period.

Climategate: The "Pentagon Papers" of Global Warming

(Hat tip Weekly Standard for pic)
The polar bears aren't the only ones laughing at Al Gore now.  Pretty much everyone is.  Steven Hayward offers up a wonderful summary of how this hoax is coming unravelled over here.  Money line:
It is increasingly clear that the leak of the internal emails and documents of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in November has done for the climate change debate what the Pentagon Papers did for the Vietnam war debate 40 years ago — changed the narrative decisively. Additional revelations of unethical behavior, errors, and serial exaggeration in climate science are rolling out on an almost daily basis, and there is good reason to expect more.
Later on, the global warming hoax is compared to Esperanto...worth the read.  Companion piece is in today's Wall Street Journal which features an interview with Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Climate Minister.  Mary Kissel's "Climate Change Quagmire" reiterates an argument I made with a global warming evangelical a few weeks ago who was wringing his hands about the Himalayan glaciers, namely if you were the country most likely to be affected by this, wouldn't you be doing back-flips to fix the problem?  The Indians are not suicidal are they?  Of course not, they just haven't bought into the hype and apparently aren't plugged into the goody-machine that Al Gore and his pals are trying to generate - from Hayward's article:
But (Rajendra) Pachauri’s days as IPCC chairman are likely numbered; there are mounting calls from within the IPCC for Pachauri to resign, amid charges of potential conflicts of interest (like Gore, Pachauri is closely involved with commercial energy schemes that benefit from greenhouse gas regulation) but also in part because Pachauri chose this delicate moment to publish a soft-core pornographic novel. (The main character is an aging environmentalist and engineer engaged in a “spiritual journey” that includes meeting Shirley MacLaine, detailed explorations of the Kama Sutra, and group sex.)

Good lord, psychic-enviro-karma-sex...oh yeah, this guy's stable.  We need to give all these kooks the James Earl Jones treatment from "Field of Dreams:"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reagan vs. Obama

This is classic!  I heard part of it last night on the Mark Levin show as I was driving home, but it is absolutely brilliant:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Less Respected

Well, another myth falls by the wayside...remember back in the dreamy days of 2008 when the sea levels were going to fall and the world was going to be made anew?  Remember when our young prophet spoke from the oracle in Denver and told us that if we only elected him that all would be right with the world, that Americans would be respected and loved around the world?  Ahh yes, how with a little bit of love the North Koreans, Iranians, Cubanos and Chavesistas would set aside their evil thoughts and embrace our new leader singing a stirring chorus of the "Ode to Joy" with full symphonic accompaniment....or at least a verse or two of "Kumbaya" with a Hawaiian ukelele? Boy reality does suck, doesn't it?

Here are the latest results from a poll conducted by Democracy Corps  (pronounced "corpse"):

The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin -- 51 percent to 41 percent -- Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama's presidency.
"This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office," said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.

Fortunately, for the anointed one, there are still true believers that are working hard to do their part to heal the's one such entrepreneurial venture:

Hey, this little tyke is a full 20" high!  You can put him on your dining room table as a centerpiece, hold hands and chant "hope, change, hope, change" till you pass out!  Gotta love that slogan on the t-shirt too: "The Birth of Hope, January 20, 2009."  Sad fact is that there are actually people who believe that.

Perhaps, if America learns a collective lesson, it is this: governance is serious business best left to adults. We can also remind ourselves that rhetoric devoid of substance is a cruel gruel to swallow when facts intervene.  I take solace in my faith in the goodness of the American people and trust in them not the lunatics we elect.  I think the lesson is already sinking in...take a look at this sinking ship:

Now the little blip upwards from a week ago is a little disturbing as it shows that Obama can still fake a telegenic appearance and look "leaderly."  The quick snap back to the double digit disapproval index however shows we are collectively wising up to the act.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Selling Watermelons

Heard part of this on Rush earlier today, but he didn't have the whole it is:

The part Rush didn't have was "even if you gave him a state trooper to flag down traffic."  Of course, Ol Tingly Legs was jumping all over Danny Boy to try to make him stop...and lost in this is the callousness that Danno believes this is what Republicans will say about the 'Bamster...but it sure if fun watching the Pashas of Political Correctness fall on their collective own swords!

"Naked as a Jay Bird"

What would Rahm Emmanuel do for a vote?  Just ask outgoing (maybe) Congressman Eric Massa.  This is weird stuff to listen to, but it is indicative of the desperation - do anything to win - attitude that is coming out of this White House right now.

This is just wrong on so many levels. First and foremost, the American people DON'T want this monstrosity (Rasmussen has it 53% opposed to 42% "for;" Gallup says 50%-47% that it's not the Federal government's job to guarantee healthcare.   There are  a number of polls that say the healthcare system needs to be reformed, but across the board, the same polls say that what is being proposed right now is NOT reform.  So why the rush?

You can subscribe to the O'Reilly notion that the White House simply has a "tin ear," or that the staff "doesn't get it." But if you apply Ockham's Razor to the set of facts before you, you can only conclude that this administration is full of ideologues, and the ideologue-in-chief is Obama.  They want this to get their foot in the door and no matter how deeply flawed the system they create is, or what if ultimately costs, they will have achieved the statist's holy grail: control of your life.  For a government that provides you with healthcare, can just as swiftly NOT provide.  You will have become wards of the state, forced to vote for the ones who give you the most benefit and you will be terrified that to do other than their bidding will lead to excommunication from their secular church.

Wake up America, freedom is fading.  These tools in DC know that the masses ARE waking up and they are in a desperate struggle to get this thing into the end zone before we catch up.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Only 36,000 - that's "really good."

Changing wingtips, old Harry Reid congratulates the newly jobless.  Way to go America, you ONLY lost 36,000 jobs...and that's before they adjust the number due to heavy snowfall.  9.7% unemployment - over 16% if you factor the underemployed and those that have quit looking, is NOT good, Senator...and your policies and pursuit of socialist nirvana are only making it worse.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who IS Paying the Taxes??

Ouch!  Next time one of your bleeding heart progressive chums tells you how greedy you are and that you should be taxed them this.  How is this "fair?"

Demonizing the Robber Barons

Dan Henninger has an excellent column over at the Wall Street Journal this morning: "Bring Back the Robber Barons."  As a proud graduate of Vanderbilt University, a school endowed by one of the great robber barons, Cornelius "the public be damned" Vanderbilt, I couldn't agree more.  In this strange parallel universe we have morphed into, only government is allowed to be heroic...everyone else, like the hypnotize sequence in Zoolander is BAAAAAAD!!!  Insurance companies? BAAAAD!  Oil companies? BAAAAD!  Aww heck, watch the video:

In our world only the government is GOOOOD.  Create jobs?  Government GOOOOD!  Health care? Government GOOOOD!  The progressive liberal left has been preaching this gospel since the turn of the last century and it needs to stop. Not only have they crowded out the economic space with massive levels of unsustainable debt and the assumption of responsibilities far beyond their capacity or constitutionality, they've crowded out the intellectual space with massive infusions of untruths sustained by a corrupt and creaking public education system.  Combined, they are crowding out the entrepreneurial space that built this nation.  Per Henninger:
 We need new mass markets, really big markets of the sort Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie created. Great employment markets are discoverable only by people who create opportunities or see them in the cracks of what already exists—a Federal Express or Wal-Mart. Either you believe that the philosopher kings of the Obama administration can figure out this sort of thing, or you don't. I don't.

I have been involved with some infrastructure explorations of late and the news is disturbing.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our nation's infrastructure gets a "D" grade.  Just to maintain the "D" we need to spend $2.2 TRILLION...that's so bridges don't fall down, water systems don't crumble etc.  Now since we are already at an unsustainable level of spending at the Federal and state levels - heck, California makes Greece look solvent...does it not make sense to allow the real job creation to begin with privatization?  Great infrastructure projects prior to the Roosevelt administration were done by private enterprise - Eerie Canal, transcontinental railroad, Eads Bridge, the network of pikes and tollroads that dot the land - all done privately.  Couple the current financial condition of state and local governments with declining property values (lower property taxes) and high joblessness (lower income taxes) and the picture is not good.  The government could help with entitlement if necessary, but otherwise, perhaps it should just get out of the way.  For example, there's a lot of talk in some municipalities about "light rail."  If the government gets its way, we will end up with clunker systems that lose Amtrak.  How about cutting some entrepreneurs loose and coming up with a system like this:

Creative, lower cost systems designed by entrepreneurs.  To quote Henninger again:
We live in a world of rising competitors—foreign robber barons—who don't much care about our endless quest for health-care justice. The U.S. on its current path to a stage-managed economy floating in a lake of taxes will keep down the greatest population of intellectual and managerial firepower the world has seen. The rest of the world admits that, with the recent exception of the Chinese, who think we're ready to be taken. We have young people impatient for the chance to do what Carnegie, Rockefeller and Hill did. Let them.
Yes, let them.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crisis in Turkey

Not much...OK nothing, is being said about what is happening in Turkey right now, but the implications for the Middle Eastern world are significant.  Turkey has long been a bastion of secularism in the Islamic world and if you accept the prognostication of George Friedman's book, "The Next 100 Years," it stands to figure large in the geopolitics of this century.  The country over the last several election cycles has been drifting away from the secular roots laid down by Mustafa Ataturk in the 1920's and headed down the dark hallway of theocracy from which little good emerges.  Last week, the government, now headed by the Islamic AKP, arrested 67 officers including the former heads of the Air Force and Navy.  Considering it has been the military that has prevented the country from sliding into theocratic hell several times before, this is particularly ominous.  Read more about this disturbing piece of news here.