Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good Feed

This is one of those days where you start to feel like the Spartans at Thermopylae - the bad news has us surrounded:

1. JOBS - the economy shed another 9,000 jobs last week, yet the Obama administration continues to brag about what a great "job" they are doing.  News flash: they are lying to you...blatantly. As this piece from Investors Business Daily points out: "Fudging the Jobs Data."  As the article points out, O and the boys are touting "2.1 million new jobs since they took office..." they conveniently forgot the 4 MILLION lost in the first year they took office AND as the chart at the right demonstrates, even without that figured in, the growth is pathetically anemic and does not keep up with population growth.  Jobs are not being created because of uncertainty over healthcare and taxation costs, overregulation and general - what was the term Jimmy Carter liked - malaise.

We're not there yet.
2. OIL - so we are going to release 30 million barrels of oil out of our strategic petroleum reserve.  That coupled with another 30 million, coming from International Energy Agency stocks, is supposed to stabilize oil prices.  Oil prices that are roiled because of the situation in LIBYA (more on that anon).  That's about 4% of the total in the SPR.  But, what is the purpose of the SPR?  Well the name "strategic" gives us a hint - it's there in the event that we get cut off from the rest of the world.  The country (and most importantly our military) could continue to function till we (the military) got the spigots turned on again.  But all this is silly...we have the oil!  It's in Alaska, it's off our shores, it's in our shale and our coal.  If this situation is so dire, let's get after it and declare our independence from the tinhorns and crackpots at OPEC.  Sadly, that solution is too sane, too simple, to good to ever be considered by this tribe of amateurs residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  They continue to seek Goldilocks solutions to problems that do not involve bears returning home.

3. LIBYA - Speaking of Goldilocks solutions...what on earth are we doing there?  We wouldn't implement the no-fly zone when it could have mattered, we won't commit to win, the alternative to Khadafi  could be a lot worse (aka Al Qaeda)...this is senseless.  Worse, it's un-Constitutional, in my humble opinion, and I didn't need to shop for lawyers to get an answer: "Top Lawyers Lost To Obama On Libya Policy." The language of the War Powers Act is pretty straight forward - Congress is supposed to be notified within 48 hours of the committal of U.S. Forces and they can't remain there for more than 60 days without approval from Congress.  Now we can argue, correctly I think, that the War Powers Act is, in and of itself, unconstitutional...but that is a fight you take up when bullets are not flying.

4. BUDGET DEFICIT - Oy!  The Congressional Budget Office just released it's latest analysis...(remember, the CBO is who we were supposed to trust on Obamacare and they missed that one badly on the low side) says of the budget: "Without Action Debt Will Exceed the Budget by 2021." Lookee at this chart - it represents the percent of the budget that the debt represents...truly scary stuff.

5. AFGHANISTAN - think Goldilocks again.  I have argued on these pages before that once we get got
bin Laden, we should declare victory and GET OUT.  We would leave behind an ominous warning - "mess with us again, and we will send you even further back into the stone age."  The alternative is the Petreus solution - full out surge and defeat the enemy.  That strategy will win the war in the short term, I just don't know how you hold after victory.  Things have not ended up well in Afghanistan for the Soviets or the British before them (throw in Alexander the Great and a few others too).  We are the furthest away from where we are fighting than any of our predecessors.   So last night, Obama goes on the air and delivers a policy campaign speech wherein he is going to bring 30,000 troops (1 troop for every 1,000 barrels of oil from the SPR) home by next summer.  Once again, the Goldilocks solution.

Well, on the good news side, my alma mater stayed alive in the College World Series last night.

That's it for now.

Rumble on!

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