Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Disturbing Economy and No Real Bright Spots

The United States of America is skating on thinner ice than any global warming analyst can depict, which is pretty darn thin according to the hype. And this looming catastrophe has nothing to do with temperature trends.

Instead, it’s all about our financial situation and what we’re doing – or not doing – about it. Our unemployment seems stuck at or above the 9.5% mark, which, incidentally, doesn’t include any and all of the poor college kiddies who graduated with big dreams last year that are still waiting tables... if they’re lucky.

So sure, the markets might be emulating a drunken frat boy in its celebration that applications for jobless benefits fell again – the third time in four weeks – but investors may want to take off their beer goggles. Because another economic report released today begins this way:

“U.S. economic growth tailed off sharply in the spring and probably isn’t faring any better now.

“Gross domestic product – the broadest measure of the economy’s health – expanded at a feeble 1.7% annual rate in the April-June quarter, The Commerce Department reported Thursday.

“That’s a notch higher than the 1.6% growth rate the government estimated a month ago (My note: Can they ever
get it right?). The slight change was mostly due to a little more spending by consumers than first estimated. Still, that’s not enough to have a major impact on the economy.”

Personally, I’m surprised that consumer spending went up at all. But then again, I also don’t think much of Obama’s promises of hope and change either. So clearly, I’m cynical.

Incidentally, that same tendency to think the worst about blatantly disturbing situations is also why I’m posting the next article in full…

Don’t worry; it isn’t long. But it is very important to understand.

China Owns the U.S. Economy. Lucky Them.

Written by Antonio Oprita, a web producer for CNBC.com, “U.S. Is ‘Practically Owned’ by China: Analyst” might sound dull, but the full – and hopefully obvious – implications are anything but.

Oprita writes:

"The US supremacy as the top world economy will end sooner than
many people believe, so gold is a better investment than the dollar despite it
hitting a new record, Tom Winnifrith, CEO at financial services firm
Rivington Street Holdings, told CNBC.com Monday.

"Gold hit a new record high Monday and silver rose to another 30-year
peak as investors were worried about the dollar weakening further after the
Federal Reserve hinted at more quantitative easing last week.

"The US trade deficit and debt continue to grow and the authorities are
reluctant to address the problem, preferring to print money, Winnifrith said.

"'America is practically owned by China,' he said.

"He reminded of the fact that in 1900, sterling was the world's reserve
currency but by 1948, that was no longer the case as the British Empire
collapsed.

"'America is doing what Britain did,' Winnifrith said. 'America spends much
more than it can afford and it's not addressing the issue.'

"In 1832, China and India were the world's two largest economies and by
2032, they will regain that status, he predicted.

"'The 200 years when Britain and the US were the top two economies were
an aberration and that will change,' Winnifrith said.

"'The decline of empires has happened much faster than folks think. I
believe that gold will be a far better bet in 20 years than the dollar,' he
added."


And yet what are our politicians thinking about? Certainly not passing a feasible budget that takes the country’s economic defeat in mind. Instead, all they care about is getting re-elected so they can continue the same insane, dishonest, irresponsible policies they’ve been pushing for too long already.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More People Severely Lacking in Intelligence

Why do some people love President Obama still?

Apparently because they don’t listen to a single word he says.

Remember all of the House Minority Leader John Boehner bashing Obama has done recently? If not, you’re not the only one. It seems that a full half of people don’t even know who he is according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, much less that the president has used him as a whipping boy for the last few weeks.

So Obama can criticize his largely – for now – toothless opponent all he wants to crowds such as the one that enthusiastically gathered to see him at the University of Wisconsin this week. It probably won’t do any good anyway…

If the picture provided with that article is any indication, the gathered mass seemed to be comprised of mostly college students, who are apparently too brainwashed to realize that his economic agenda is killing their chances of getting a job outside of McDonalds come graduation.

So when the president flat-out admits that so far, he has done nothing (I’d argue that he’s done worse than nothing, but that’s just me.), saying: “I am promising you Wisconsin, change is going to come. You got to stick with me. You can’t lose hope.” They just cheer like they’re a bunch of crazed tweens at a Justin Bieber concert.

And do you really think that people that blind are going to remember to vote in the fast-approaching elections? For that matter, do you think they’ll prioritize it above sleeping in as late as possible after partying the night before? (Thirsty Mondays anyone?)

My guess is not.

They’re probably much more likely to be the future parents of such children as the 12-year old brat who got himself shot, though not killed, by a 68-year old woman who’s house he was busy throwing bricks at. Maybe they even were those kids back in the day.

Regardless, they clearly have no real concept – or care – of what is going on in the world outside of their own sweet little bubbles.

And when that’s your voter base, you’re in trouble.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama Accuses the American People of Being Lazy Whiners

The typical liberal agenda involves the government providing for everything – except actual revenue or satisfaction, of course – from healthcare to housing, Medicare to Medicaid, education to jobs and, well, everything else.

Or so it always seemed, considering all of the sectors the liberally driven government has encroached on, if not taken over. Apparently though, the government can’t do everything all by itself, which, I know, is outright shocking considering how well they’ve performed in the past.

But Obama needs us all the same, or at least, he needs those of us who are Democrats and still stupid enough to vote for the man and his policies. Sorry to be harsh, but I can’t see it any other way. It’s bad enough voting for a man when you don’t know – or intentionally ignore – his track record, stances and agenda. But it’s much worse to vote for the same line of thinking after you’ve seen how badly it plays out.

Of course, that isn’t how Obama sees it. Instead, he sees it as a matter of people being lazy and whiny. With all due respect Mr. President, but aren’t those two of the main results of your economic and social policies?

He doesn’t seem to see the irony though, as he calls for “people… to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up… If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

Our fearless leader – quite the whiner himself considering how he can’t let go of his “Look at the mess I inherited (i.e. Poor me! Waaah, waaah, waah!)” shtick – went on to say, “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election.”

Well, let’s see why many of them are showing signs of doing just that…

U.S. CEO’s now have a darker opinion of the American economy than they did earlier this year, the first real decline in five quarters. Could it have something to do with the Bush tax cuts expiring? Or maybe they’re realizing that Obama is only friendly to cronies’ businesses and those he knows he can take direct advantage of, like the banks, the car companies and unions.

Or possibly, it’s as Ivan G. Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon and the chairman of the Business Roundtable – an organization that used to back President Obama 100% not that long ago – said recently, that the current administration is creating an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.”

And despite what liberals like to portray, corporate America – while hardly perfect – is largely responsible for our paychecks, our livelihoods, the money we have to spend on shelter, food, education and the occasional shopping spree at Ross.

So when businesses aren’t happy, neither are the workers who rely on them for their paychecks.

Looked at in that very rational light, it’s no wonder that a CNBC poll found last week that 90% of Americans are either very or somewhat worried about the economy.

That also explains why liberals have to stoop as low as using nudity to encourage their exhausted voter base… for all the good it will do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It’s Transparent He’s Incompetent

Apparently when Obama spoke about transparency during his campaign, he wasn’t talking about the government’s need to open up more to the American people. He was talking about us sharing more of our intimate lives with the government.

To explain what I mean, let me quote one of the Star Tribune’s online articles on a new proposal from the Obama administration that is making the rounds this morning:

“Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications – including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer-to-peer’ messaging such as Skype – to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.”

I first heard about this during my morning commute to work while I was flipping around radio stations. And I’ll admit that, as they didn’t report the entire story, I flipped out a bit.

Just goes to show you that it’s important to get the real details before you make final decisions. Now that I understand such spying can only be done by going through the proper channels, much like a warrant, I feel a bit better about it.

With that said though, I do find the government’s reasoning behind this particular expansion of power interesting: It wants to combat terrorism.

This coming from an administration giving detained terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay ice cream.

Literally.

Though, I suppose, that shouldn’t come as any surprise from a regime so completely clueless about anybodies outside of itself, that it hangs its international guests’ flag upside down during an Obama-hosted meeting with the Philippine President, among others.

And they say Bush is dumb.

Forget Out There… Is There Intelligent Life Down Here?

Even with that embarrassing faux pas, however, Obama can still hold his head up around the U.N., which has just created the most pointless and wasteful position possible. It is now establishing a Space Ambassador.

Not kidding, unfortunately. In fact, 58-year old Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, the top pick for the job – I use this term very loosely – is already in charge of a very similar division of the U.N…. the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

A few questions about this organization and the new position:
  • How much money does it/will it get?
  • Since we haven’t actually run into any proven alien life yet – and no, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t count. I think. – what do they does the staff/will the staff do with their time all day?
  • How many violent conflicts and victims of natural disasters – two main purposes that the U.N. supposedly exists for – could be taken care of with the money that goes to diplomatic relations with beings not yet proven?
  • And for the global warming crowd, how much more energy is being used up by creating either the Space Ambassador opening or the UNOOSA?
Even if we do find life out there on planets other than our own – which I highly doubt it, as we haven’t found much more than possible proof of water on outside worlds so far – hopefully those other creatures will be intelligent enough to bypass a world filled with people so carelessly intent on destroying themselves through a sorry mix of pride, willful stupidity and greed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Idiots Run Amok

It may almost be the weekend, but idiots here and abroad are certainly not slacking off, as evidenced by the fascinating headlines we’re greeted with on this lovely Friday.

Take oppressive Iranian dictator, “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who spouted his normal insanities yesterday at the U.N. meeting. Why either the U.S. or the U.N. tolerates him at all is beyond me; maybe they both have a death wish or possibly they just genuinely enjoy having their time wasted.

Either way, at least the U.S. delegation did walk out during his psychotic ramblings about 9/11, which he theorized might have been an inside job “to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.”

In the racist, sexist, delusional tyrant’s defense, he also did throw out that it could have been the work of a “powerful and complex terrorist group,” though even that, he said, could have been “supported” by the American government, which “took advantage of the situation.”

Funny how he’s accusing us of supporting terrorism when he was so busy killing off his own people last year.

Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You

Then there’s Netflix CEO and founder Reed Hastings, who, in typical leftist fashion, publicly insulted his own country members while abroad. Shades of Dixie Chicks anybody?

While up in our northerly neighbor for the Canadian launch of his business, Reed addressed the issue of price discrepancy between the two countries (Netflix will cost $7.99 a month up there but $8.99 a month down here.):

“How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.”

Don’t worry. We think the same about you babe. Or maybe we don’t, considering that you so graciously took back your original unkind words:

“My big American Foot is in my mouth. Yesterday, I made an awkward joke with a reporter in Toronto about Americans (like me) being self-absorbed relative to Netflix pricing in Canada. I was wrong to have made the joke, and I do not believe that one of the most philanthropically-minded nations in the world (America) is self-absorbed or full of self-absorbed people.”

Oh! It was a joke? Of course! Ha ha ha.

I’m sure Queen Elizabeth II was joking too when she asked for £60 million worth of energy-saving grants meant for low-income families. At least, I really do hope she was joking.

That Isn’t Politic!

Over on the directly domestic political stage, we have our very own – admittedly – sometimes amusing comedian, Stephen Colbert, who is testifying at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing today about his experience with farm work usually left to immigrants. And he’s doing it “in the form of his fictional character, an anchorman also named Stephen Colbert, whose stated goal is to get at the ‘truthiness’ of the news.”

For those of you unfamiliar with his program, he pretends to be a conservative in order to mock conservatives. He has every right to do so – after all, this is a free country – but why are our tax dollars being wasted on giving our representatives a comedy show?

As Representative Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah) tweeted, “What a joke. All the serious issues, and we have Colbert as an ‘expert witness.’”

So true, though I might also add that it’s another joke that liberals believe are so well aware that they can’t win these November elections based on their past record and future goals that they’re not even focusing on defending themselves at all. Instead, they’re trying to prove that house minority leader John Boehner is having or did have an affair with lobbyist Lisbeth Lyons.

If he is, then shame on him. But that doesn’t make the liberal agenda any more palatable. Sorry.

Further proof that few intelligent people approve of Obama is how big names within his own administration keep jumping ship. Along with Larry Summers, Christina Romer, possibly Rahm Emmanuel and a host of others, David Axelrod is reportedly leaving the White House at the end of 2010.

His excuse is that he’s going to begin working on Obama’s re-election campaign, and boy, but is the sitting president going to need it at this rate.

Let Them Eat Cake

Michelle Obama was accused not that long ago of sharing certain unflattering similarities with Marie Antoinette, but she has major competition in Warren Buffett these days…

After refuting the National Bureau of Economic Research’s conclusion that the recession ended mid last year, Mr. Buffett, the second richest man in the U.S. – and a Democrat along with many other millionaire and billionaires such as Bill Gates, John Kerry (the richest man in Congress), Oprah Winfrey, much of the New England hoity toities and almost all of the Hollywood elite (makes ya think, huh?) – had this to say to his fellow Americans:

“Sentiment has turned very sour in the last three or four or five months. I hope we get over it pretty soon, because it’s not productive. We will come back regardless of how people feel about Washington, but it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington.”

Real easy for somebody with his kind of money to say. While recognizing him as an investing genius, I’m going to have to easily include him in the idiot list for today.

Because despite our past successes, the American dream and the superiority of the American spirit, we are history if we don’t get our act together. We might “come back” for a short time if we cool down towards Washington. But that will be a temporary situation and then the U.S. as we know it will be gone. Completely and totally.

That’s why our unhappiness with Washington is actually very helpful. We’re going to use it to kick the greedy, self-motivated, elitist bums out and replace them with not people at least a little less corrupted.

We’re doing everything we can to take back out country from the brink of fiscal, economic and moral bankruptcy. And personally, I’d call that productive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What the New Healthcare Law Really Does

While certain measures of the “Healthcare” Law went into place right away, more of it is kicking in now that half a year has flown by.

According to the AP, those provisions include:
  • “Forcing insurers to meet new requirements”
  • Guaranteed “coverage for children with pre-existing conditions”
  • The elimination of lifetime dollar caps
  • The removal of insurers’ ability to “cancel policies retroactively for frivolous reasons when people get very sick”
But perhaps more telling than those so-called positive elements the article ticks off is the title: “Some families win under new health care provisions.”

“Some families?” Really? Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees something desperately wrong with that.

Weren’t we promised that the liberal version of healthcare reform would save the poor, the downcast, the huddled masses, reduce both the debt and deficit, save the economy and turn frowns upside down?

And yet now, we’re only told that “some families win” out from a law that even Time magazine admits few people really approve of?

The Time Version of the Healthcare Law: Do They Want Some Cheese with that Whine?

Admittedly, Time does a much better job of advertising the partisan piece of nonsense than the AP with the title, “The New Health Care Rules: What They Will and Won’t Do.”

Yet even that publication starts out whining how, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When Democrats front-loaded the Affordable Care Act with consumer protections set to kick in six weeks before Election Day, they never imagined health care reform itself would stay so unpopular. The newest reliable poll on public opinion on the new law, sponsored by the Associated Press, shows that 40% of Americans oppose the new law, with 30% saying they have no opinion and just 30% favoring it.”

Go cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.

Yeah, I went there.

But, of course, it doesn’t. Instead, writer Kate (Lemming) Pickert goes on to spout the same tired misinformation that the liberal left has been spouting for the last two years. Allow me to paraphrase…

The American people just don’t understand all of the wonderful things the law contains. It really will bring down the federal deficit. If we didn’t pass it, adults would have to actually grow up and learn how to take care of themselves properly (i.e. coverage for “children” 25 and under on their parents’ plans).

That’s one interpretation of the story, but the Washington Examiner has a very different version…

What’s Not to Like About So-Called Healthcare Reform… Just About Everything

If you’re a liberal reading this blog, go ahead and laugh it up that I’m quoting the “right wing” press about anything, much less healthcare. Then try – just try – to really think about how more federal spending will bring down the deficit.

And keep in mind that even the AP admitted that, “The nation’s health care tab will go up – not down – as a result of President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul.”

If, after really trying to think about it, you’re still convinced that you’re right and “nah-na-nah-na-poo-poo” to anybody who thinks differently, well then, feel free to check yourself into a mental ward. Or Greece. I’m sure you’ll fit right in there with the depressingly broke country that is married to such ideas.

If you actually know how to think for yourself instead of a) parroting back what the liberal left says, b) sticking your head in the sand, c) following the crowd right off the cliff or d) some intricate combination of all three (I have no idea how anybody could stick their head in the sand while simultaneously walking off a cliff, but I wouldn’t put it past the left to find a way), then keep reading…

The Washington Examiner lists off eight specific reasons why not to like the healthcare law, and I would recommend reading the article in full. But here are the three that stood out to me the most in order of what I find most disturbing:
  1. “As written, Obamacare covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama's promise that it wouldn't. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view as immoral. Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may not survive the court challenge.”
  2. “Obamacare won't decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare's actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.”
  3. “Obamacare allows the IRS to confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure Americans stay in line.”

Welcome to the new America. Unless we start standing up for it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What’s Wrong with the Right (Warning: Sarcasm Used Liberally)

So the left lost out yesterday in the controversial venues of immigration and gay rights. While three Democrats added their dissenting voices, it was the Senate Republicans, of course, who destroyed the hope and change captured in the F(iscal)Y(ear) 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which – for some idiot reason – included the DREAM Act and a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Those mean and nasty Republicans! How dare they?

I am personally shocked and horrified that they would object to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s shameless attempt to hijack a bill meant to protect and uphold our troops for his own leftist agenda.

And for shame that the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that lobbies for gay rights, published disparaging remarks against Reid for his “partisan arrogance” in refusing to compromise with the opposition party.

The fact that even Republican-In-Name-Only (RINO) senators Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown and George Voinovich – who were largely expected to vote in favor of the measure – backed out, claiming that Reid’s decision to block Republican amendments was unfair and a deal-breaker, just goes to show that there is no hope for a party so stuck in archaic, party-toeing practices.

After all, the Republicans are the party of “No,” and therefore don’t deserve fair consideration. Everybody knows that.

As for John McCain’s argument that the chiefs of the Army, Navy Marines and Air Force oppose the repeal, that just goes to show how out of touch he is with what this country really needs. After all, as The Hill reports, a new CNN poll shows that 78% of Americans think that “people who are openly gay or homosexual” should be able to serve in the armed forces.”

For any crazy, right wing fundies out there who think that taking a CNN poll on the gay rights is less of a scientific inquiry than asking Fox News whether Obama is an idiot, who asked you? Despite what you’d like to think, there is no media conspiracy against the right. Just ask Chris Matthews and the thrill that goes up his leg when Obama speaks.

Immigration, Immigration, Immigration…

Now onto the lives Republicans ruined by voting against illegal immigrants’ children.

In order to demonstrate how mean-spirited and bigoted the right is in voting down the entire bill over this issue, let me quote from the Morning Bell by the Heritage Foundation, itself a hotbed of conservative thought:

“Why is Reid doing this? One only need look at the RealClearPolitics aggregate polling data: he is in a dead-heat reelection battle with State Rep. Sharon Angle (R). That is why Reid bypassed usual Senate procedure and included “the DREAM Act” in the defense bill. The DREAM Act creates a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, have lived here for 5 years, and either serve in the military or attend college. But the bill also prohibits the government from deporting anyone who has even filed an application for the program. This essentially gives amnesty to anyone who applies regardless of whether they actually qualify for the act’s protections. Worse, the program would also allow applicants to sponsor their immediate family members for a green card. While current law prohibits sponsorship of illegal immigrants living in the United States, this leaves open the possibility that they could fraudulently, through falsified documents or other means, sponsor their parents who are in the U.S. illegally – creating an even larger amnesty.

“By itself
the DREAM Act is terrible public policy. It would reward illegal aliens for violating federal immigration laws. It would encourage more illegal immigration by sending the message that the United States does not take its immigration laws seriously. And in an additional slap in the face to law-abiding Americans, it offers in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants, while legal students in the rest of the country would have to pay out-of-state tuition rates. But forcing this measure into the defense authorization bill is just shameful.

“Unfortunately this is not the first time Reid has pulled this stunt. Last year’s defense bill, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, expanded federal hate crime laws to include crimes motivated by a victim’s “
actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.” What did that have to do with national security? And this year the leftist Senate majority is also considering adding language to the bill that would repeal the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. This despite the fact that each of the four Service Chiefs (General Conway (USMC), General Conway (USMC), Admiral Roughead (USN), and General Schwartz (USAF)) have submitted letters stressing that any action by Congress should only be taken after the Pentagon finishes its review the policy. And Sen. Roland Burris (D–IL) has sponsored an amendment that would allow the use of military facilities around the world for “pre-paid” abortions.”

See what I mean? What kind of a shoddy argument is that? The same applies, for that matter, to blogger Jeannette Di Louie’s points against why the U.S. should take a firm stand against illegal immigration… including how it costs taxpayers $113 billion a year.

Those crazy right-wingers. When will they ever learn that it isn’t about facts; it’s about agendas!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Recession is What? The Economy is Huh?

Yesterday, the American people got further proof that media personnel aren’t just in the tank for Obama; they’re drowning in it…

If you didn’t hear the news, the U.S. has officially been out of a recession – that incidentally began, they claim, in December 2007 – since June 2009.

Convenient, huh? That means that it’s all Bush’ fault and that Obama led us out of what the National Bureau of Economic Research, which produced and published the good news, calls our longest recession since World War II.

Thanks Obama!

Now back to reality…

A Few Dodgy Figures and a Disturbing Array of Stark Economic Facts

Christmas sales definitely did decline both in 2007 and 2008. I remember the reports and the worries.

So I’m not saying that it isn’t possible that the recession started way back when under the evil mastermind and idiotic dictator (Oh, the many reported sides of our last president!) known as George W. Bush (though admittedly, I am still skeptical of such supposed facts). What I don’t see any proof of, however, is that our beloved, benevolent and beatific messiah, also known as President Obama, has really led us out of said recession.

Why not?

Well, my personal spending may have gone up since Barack Hussein Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm) ascended to the throne, but that isn’t really any thanks to him. I blame my newly acquired spendthrift (the bad definition) ways on my discovery of Ross. Suddenly, I don’t care if I don’t need it or if I wouldn’t spend so much on clothing elsewhere. It’s at Ross and therefore I must have it!

The place is addictive. But moving on…

Most of my fellow Americans can’t make such claims (clearly, because they haven’t discovered Ross yet). Just check out the stats below:
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2010 – According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Schiller 20-city index, housing slumped 0.5% from February 2010 to March.
  • Friday, September 3, 2010 – The U.S. government announced that unemployment ticked up 9.6% in August, though it hailed this as good news since more people are evidently looking for a job again. Good luck trying to find one.
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2010 – According to the Federal Reserve and as reported by the AP, consumer borrowing fell in July “as households cut back on their credit card use for a 23rd consecutive month, adding more drag on an economy struggling to mount a sustained rebound.” Incidentally, that doesn’t take us back to December of 2007, though it does easily encompass Obama’s entire presidency… plus three to four months of Bush’s when he was enacting those ridiculous bailout plans.
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2010 – For a third consecutive month, economists in a Reuters poll “scaled back expectations for gross domestic product in the second half.”
  • Sunday, September 19, 2010 – Even the New York Times has to admit that “Wall Street’s Profit Engines [Are Slowing] Down.”
Is it just me or do any of those reports sound like they shouldn’t be making news during a recovery?

More Economic Woes

Need I go on? Because I certainly can…

How about the chairman of the Business Roundtable – an association of top corporate executives that used to be part of the Obama groupie scene – accusing the administration of making an “increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.”

That doesn’t sound like something people say during a recovery.

Neither, for that matter, does the CNBC poll that just showed 90% of Americans as “very” or “somewhat” worried about the economy.

And if we want to go back to October 2009, when the recession had supposedly been over for a full quarter, why did the New York Times run an article reporting (if I can use that word in the same sentence as the New York Times):

“In the retail business, it is never too early to think about Christmas. So a lot of people are thinking about it, and taking surveys to test the mood of the American consumer, and deciding that this Christmas will be as bad as last – which is to say, one of the worst on record.

“Retailers are relieved to hear that prediction. Flat sales this holiday season would at least mean that things had stopped getting worse.”


The Washington Times went on to report a few months later that:

“Retail sales fell in December [2009] as demand for autos, clothing and appliances all slipped, a disappointing finish to a year in which sales had the largest drop on record.

“The weakness in consumer demand highlighted the formidable hurdles facing the economy as it struggles to recover from the deepest recession in seven decades.

“The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales declined 0.3 percent in December compared with November, much weaker than the 0.5 percent rise that economists expected. Excluding autos, sales dropped by 0.2 percent, also weaker than the 0.3 percent rise analysts forecast.

“For the year, sales fell 6.2%, the biggest decline on records that go back to 1992.”


Maybe that’s Obama’s definition of a recovery – or even a movement in the “right direction” – but it certainly isn’t mine.

Just sayin’.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama Didn’t Go Golfing on Sunday (Morning)!!!!!

At the risk of stooping to what Colin Powell calls “nonsense attacks,” I think it’s rather telling when the President of the United States attending church makes the news.

Why do we need to know that he’s attending church in the first place?

Is it because he almost never goes – choosing to play golf instead – and therefore this really is a historic event (like seemingly so many other happenings in the Obama presidency, as the press likes to tell us all the time)? Or is it because the media is so in the tank for Obama that it will print any non-news item to prove that he is acceptable and even beneficial to the American people?

If it’s the latter, the news corpse (intentional spelling) might want to rethink its strategy. Sometimes, no attention is good attention, and this might be one of those times, as evidenced by some of the comments the story generated:

“And this is news? I guess he will do anything to try and trick the gullible people on the left....so sad that we can not trust this man's motives. So sad” – Raisinsawdust

“Did anyone ever think the Bush's going to church was newsworthy? The fact that this is "news" tells me how unusual it is. Maybe now folks will think before they vote..” – Dave

“What a phoney.” – J

The American people are not stupid – at least not the majority of us, as evidenced by Obama’s approval rating and confidence in our present course – regardless of what the press appears to think.

Fortunately, we’re going to prove just that in only a few short weeks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

And They Say the Media is Biased

After a rather longish day, I have to admit that I was completely uninspired by the news. Writing about politics was the last thing I wanted to do and besides, nothing really jumped out at me and screamed for my attention.

I mean, who really cares that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are mocking the Glenn Beck rally? I’m yawning right now even as I type.

And yeah, sure, Palin went to Iowa. As much as I respect the woman overall, I just can’t get caught up in yet another speculative news story about whether she’s going to run for president or not.

As for the alleged plot against the Pope? I’ll deal with that on Monday after all of the details come out. Right now, I’m not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

So what does that leave me with? Well, today, it leaves me with newly crowned, Delaware GOP Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell. Or, at least it leaves me with the way the media is treating her.

Now, in all honesty, I don’t know anything about Christine O’Donnell except that she’s the Tea Party candidate who just beat out nine-term Mike Castle, who I understand is quite liberal. So who needs him anyway?

Whether we need her is still left to be seen. Like I said, I have no real idea of who she is. And since I have no hand in voting for her, I can’t say I’m hard-pressed to find out either just at the moment.

What I think is blatantly obvious, however, is the media’s liberal bias.

Does it seem like I completely switched topics? Maybe my transition wouldn’t work in a formal piece of writing, but for this rambling commentary, it fits just fine if you just keep reading…

Media Bias or Hard Hitting News?

If you check out one of the latest AP stories on O’Donnell, you’ll find some interesting choice language. Read the whole article if you’d like, but here are some telling snippets for the more time conscience or flat-out lazy:

“The Tea Party’s latest darling, Delaware GOP Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell…”

“It wasn’t clear whether she was talking about the tea party or the conservative movement or both. But it didn’t seem to matter…”

“’The conservative movement was told to curl up in a fetal position and just stay there for the next eight years, thank you very much,’ O’Donnell told her audience – and then added coyly: ‘Well, how things have changed.’”

“She made scant – if any – references to the Republican Party or the tea party coalition. And only in passing did she acknowledge divisions within the conservative movement, saying there is not always agreement on strategy, endorsements and campaigns but ‘we’re loud, we’re rowdy, we’re passionate.’”

“O’Donnell trails Democrat Chris Coons, the New Castle County executive, in a state where Democratic voters far outnumber Republicans. Republicans and Democrats alike say it will be difficult for a conservative like O’Donnell to win the seat Vice President Joe Biden had held for decades.”

And then it ends with these two paragraphs…

“Since her GOP nomination victory, opponents have unearthed unflattering age-old TV clips, including one in 1996 in which she equated masturbation with adultery. She said then: ‘The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can’t masturbate without lust.’

“On Thursday, O’Donnell dismissed her previous comments and stressed that the Constitution – not her personal beliefs – will guide her votes on legislation.”

Such a Predictable Media

Maybe I’m reading into things, which I’ll admit I have been known to do before, but to me, the article starts out snarky right from the get-go with the word “darling.” The word might have pleasant connotations, but you can’t say the same about all of its denotations.

In fact, the word “darling” rather conveys one of three things: condescension (as when you pat a child on the head and call her “darling”), vapidity (as in, “oh, that purse is just darling, darling!”) or snobbery (as in why would anybody really want to use that word unless they were trying to set themselves apart from the masses in the first place?).

Personally, I’m going to guess that AP writer Liz Sidoti meant it in the condescending way. Though judging by her later use of the word “coyly,” she might have been intending to paint O’Donnell in a vapid light instead. Or maybe she was going for both.

Regardless, I’m not impressed anymore than I am with her dredging up old “dirt” to end the article with.

Of course, if O’Donnell said what she did about what she did, then it’s fair game for the media to pick up and do with as they like.

I just wish the mainstream press would show such due diligence in ferreting out every candidate’s dirt… instead of picking and choosing out of political spite and obvious agenda.

Because really, right now, I’m getting bored with their antics. No wonder the American public doesn’t trust the media. They’re pathetic and they don’t care to hide that unflattering fact up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If You Make Bush Look Liberal, That’s Probably a Good Thing… No Matter What Bill Clinton Says

I’m not trying to slam Former President George Bush. In many ways, I respect the man and I don’t regret that I cast my first presidential vote for him in the 2004 elections.

I think I made the wise choice then, and not just because Kerry was an idiot... which he proved quite well during the televised presidential debates. I remember going to the Student Union with fear and trepidation, knowing Bush’s alleged tendency to sound less than eloquent. But it only took a few minutes of listening to Kerry’s responses to figure out that he was going down.

Say what you will about Bush, but Kerry stayed true to his party’s symbol that night.

I deeply appreciate the commitment that George Bush showed – and still shows – to our military, and the fact that he kept us safe from terrorist attacks after 9/11… a track record that Obama certainly can’t claim with four distinct incidents occurring well before he’d completed his second year.

But when it comes to spending, I have to disagree vehemently with him. I understand the military defense budget, but that’s not the only reason why our debt and deficit went up so high. It was due to the “compassionate” part of his so-called compassionate conservatism.

And as evidenced by the financial crisis – which, admittedly, wasn’t just his doing. Past administrations have to take equal responsibility, as do the idiot American people who followed like so many blind mice – that compassion got us pretty far... down the hole.

I’m all for helping out the less fortunate when possible, but I also believe that we need to use common sense when we do that. And since the government is too seldom known for exhibiting such a trait, they should leave that kind of charity to individual and collective groups of citizens.

That’s something that the liberals either don’t get, don’t want to get or conveniently use to gain more control over the American people. And unfortunately, too many so-called conservatives fall into the same exact trap, whether accidentally or on purpose.

Regardless, it has the same effect: chaos and eventual disaster for the United States of America.

So when somebody like Bill Clinton looks at the results of the most recent round of state primaries and says of the GOP results, “A lot of their candidates today, they make [George Bush] look like a liberal”…

Well, that’s a good thing.

We’ve tried liberal spending for decades off and (usually) on now and the results are in. If we continue to treat our debts and deficits as irresponsibly as we have, we’re in for a whole world of hurt.

If you need proof, just read the news. Yahoo Finance might be a great place to start.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Women – Like Ines Sainz – Drive Me Nuts Sometimes

Although I’m quite sure that the National Organization of Women wouldn’t allow me to darken the door of their headquarters, much less apply for membership – Do you apply for membership? And if not, how does that go exactly anyway? – I consider myself a conservative feminist.

Sound like an oxymoron? Well, it shouldn’t be, but let me explain all the same...

As a conservative, I understand the obvious: That men and women are physically created differently, no matter how PC we force our language and laws to be. However, as a feminist, I expect and deserve respect from the men I come into contact with just as much as the women.

As a conservative, I’m not going to make a fuss and scream “sexism” if I don’t qualify for a job that requires me to lift 100-pound boxes. (Not to say that some women can’t. I’m just not one of them and I know my limitations.) As a feminist, I understand that there is sexism in the world. Some of it, I can do something about and some of it, I can’t. And knowing the difference between the two isn’t always easy.

But as an intelligent person – both a conservative and a feminist – I also understand that it isn’t just men that give women a bad name. Sometimes, it’s much of our own doing…

They Call It Provocative for a Reason

Before somebody mistakes me, I am not one of those idiots who thinks that sometimes rape victims deserve what they get. Far from it. In fact, a man who can’t control himself appropriately around a woman isn’t really a man at all. He’s a spoiled, entitled little brat who deserves – in my humble opinion – the death penalty.

Sound harsh? So is rape.

But with that said, there are things that women can do to avoid negative attention. And we women largely know that. We know very well how to dress to impress, what to wear to garner respect, and what outfits cross the line into inappropriate.

I’m not going to say I don’t ever cross that line on purpose. But when I do, I also understand that I’m going to attract less than savory attention.

(Again, two clarifications:
  • Just because I’m wearing something stupid doesn’t give guys the right to act stupid. I’m responsible for my dumb decisions just like they are for theirs.

  • Sometimes, men are just pigs. Come on girls, you know what I mean… You’re wearing something perfectly respectable, browsing through cards to bring to the baby shower you’re headed to, and some moron looks you up and down like you’re wearing a bikini and trying to give him a lap dance.
But those aside...)

Men are wired differently. They react much more viscerally to visual stimulation. So when a hot girl in exceedingly tight jeans – as in the case of Ines Sainz – walks into the Jets locker room to do an interview, she shouldn’t expect them to treat her like a dainty southern belle.

Maybe that would happen in a perfect world, but we certainly don’t live in one.

“I Feel Uncomfortable!”

So Ines Sainz goes into the Jets’ locker room on Saturday and tweets: “I feel very uncomfortable! I’m at the lockers of the Jets waiting for Mark Sanchez while trying not to look anywhere!!”

(Since then, she has changed her statements a few times over, but let's just focus on the original tweet.)

At the risk of disparaging my gender, let me start out with a simple question: What did she expect in a guys changing room? Mr. Darcy? Why not ask to do the interview outside like a sensible person?

OK, that was three questions, but still. They’re all valid.

And I’m not trying to disparage her for having an amazing backside. She can’t help that at all. But she didn’t have to wear skintight jeans – and yes, I saw the picture. They were skintight, though you can judge for yourself – that accentuated her behind all the more.

It’s called common sense!

It’s this kind of behavior that gives too many men just one more excuse to treat women as if we’re – excuse me – just one more piece of ass. If you scroll down past the picture to read some of the comments guys wrote, some of them are less than respectful. In fact, some of them are downright offensive.

It’s frustrating that there are so many women out there determined to blatantly and repeatedly accentuate only their sexuality and nothing more in order to get ahead in life.

And it’s a darn nuisance for those of us who want to be accepted for the whole package… not just our backsides.

If You Like Being Treated Like a Grownup, Vote Conservative

If you’re in one of the states holding primaries today, like Maryland, then here’s a very good reason to vote conservative: Conservatives typically don’t interfere with your menu choices the way that nanny state toting, holier-and-smarter-than-thou elitists like Michelle Obama do.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t always eat healthy.

Friendly’s triple scoop sundae with extra peanut butter and chocolate sauce (and maybe an extra peanut butter cup while you’re at it)? I’ve definitely gone there before.

Two thirds of a tub of chocolate chip cookies? Done that too.

An entire slice of Cheesecake Factory Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake with its decadent 1,326 calories? Bought the t-shirt.

Of course, I don’t do that all the time; those are for special occasions (And yes, Friday nights sometimes count as such when it comes to soft-baked chocolate chip cookies. So do bad days at work for that matter.). But even if I did chose to shove my face into a bowl of lard three times a day, that should still be my personal choice, albeit a stupid – and really revolting – one.

First Lady Michelle Obama disagrees however. In her war on obesity, she thinks that government pressure will solve everything.

Clearly, she has history on her side there. I mean, look at Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty. That’s going really well.

Or how about George Bush’s War on Stupidity (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind). The brainchild of the Clinton administration, it has failed worse than the children it seeks to help. Just ask any teacher.

But undaunted by such past failures, the first lady is betting that the government can get it right this time.

(Don’t) Eat Up Like A Good Boy

Michelle Obama cites specifically how:

“Our kids are spending less time outside and more time on the couch in front of the TV, video games, the Internet. At school, gym classes, recess, they’ve been eliminated or shortened. Portion sizes in this country have ballooned.


“In some areas, families are having a tougher time getting regular access to fresh produce. And kids these days are consuming more calories and eating more fat and sugar than ever before.”

All true. And like the war on poverty and No Child Left Behind, she may very well have good reasons in pushing her nationwide, “Let’s Move” campaign.

Good intentions don’t always make for good outcomes however. She takes it way too far by not only pushing the government – and therefore taxpayer money – to get involved in her agenda, but also insisting that private companies that don’t accept government help participate as well:

“Even if we give parents all the information they need and we improve school meals and build brand new supermarkets on every corner, none of that matters if when families step into a restaurant, they can’t make a healthy choice.”

Apparently, she believes that even after all of that training, the American people are still too stupid to do the correct thing. And for that matter, what is the correct thing?

Eating out all the time more than likely isn’t. But probably abstaining from treats 24-7 isn’t either. Life is all about healthy balances.

It’s also about discovering your own unique abilities and shortcomings, the things that you can and cannot and should and should not do.

And even beyond that, everybody is built differently, so while one person can eat copious amounts without gaining any weight, another has to watch their caloric intake much more strictly in order to remain healthy. One woman of average height might weigh 150 pounds but wear size 6 pants, while another woman of similar proportions might weigh 135.

In other words, we might choose to not always make the most healthy decisions, but at least we know what we need and what we don’t. The government doesn’t know us nearly so intimately, so it should do the polite thing and stay out of our personal lives.