Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama Whines About Date Night Politicization

I think this is why people are starting to become disillusioned about Obama.

“If I weren’t president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers,” the president said. “That would please me greatly.” He went on to say: “The notion that I just couldn’t take my wife out on a date without it being a political issue was not something I was happy with.”

Well, if you wanted to catch a shuttle to New York for a show then you should have stayed the junior Senator from Illinois. Then you could have paid for it out of your own pocket and there would have indeed been "no fuss and no muss." Instead you chose to be President of the United States. You can always resign and have Biden take over. Then you can have all the date nights you want.

He should know that the top job is one where expensive date nights and trips to Copenhagen to help your political cronies are seen with a *lot* more scrutiny. I think Obama has not grasped the enormity of his office yet.

His vast responsibilities should preclude date nights, petty rivalries with cable TV, or pimping the George Lopez show or any of that nonsense. There was no one forcing him to run for the Big Chair. I think it is time to put away the campaign posters and airy rhetoric and simply lead this damn country. Go out there and think of a way to get people back to work. This whining and "woe is me" stuff is getting old fast.

Public Option will Have Higher Premiums then Private Insurance?

You have to be kidding me. All this and if you get stuck on the "Amtrack health plan" you might have to pay more then if you were on private insurance?

In one bit of sobering news, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only about 6 million people would sign up and that premiums for the government plan could be higher than for private coverage. The CBO says sicker people with higher costs probably would be attracted to the government plan. By comparison, 162 million people would remain covered through employer plans.

Again the US Government shows they don't know how to run a business. They end up with the sickest people with no healthy people to offset them. So this forces people to pay higher premiums then those that are on private insurance? I think insurance companies have absolutely nothing to fear from these amateurs.

Another messed up thing is that private insurance may get to go up because of taxes on windfall insurance, covering people no matter how sick they are, etc. will be passed on to people on the private plan. In other words they are planning to spend $1.055 trillion over 10 years in order to raise everyone's insurance premiums whether they have "evil insurance company" insurance or they are stuck with the public plan.

About the only thing I think is decent is that you might be able to do is game the subsidy that you are supposed to get from the government by buying cheap bare-bones insurance (if there will be such a thing still after these bills are pushed through.) I can see a lot of younger people doing this in order collect a little extra income at the expensive of their health care.

White House Puts on the Enemies List

It seems that the White House can't let a day go by without looking thin-skinned and petty.

But in addition to Fox News, now The White House is going after highly-respected and influential car site

They're actually using The White House blog to dispute the site's analysis of Cash-For-Clunkers (via Detroit News).

The post is snarkily titled: "Busy Covering Car Sales on Mars, Gets It Wrong (Again) on Cash for Clunkers"

Yes, the official White House blog just accused a site about cars of "being from Mars." I think someone seriously needs to go down there and tell them that they aren't working for DailyKOS or someone. They represent the most powerful office in the land and need to use at least a small dollop of civility toward people that disagree with them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Copenhagen Consensus Center Takes on Gore on Climate Change

I think this may be the most impassioned and greatest rebuttal to the climate change zealots that I have ever read.

There is another way to respond to climate change. Instead of putting arbitrary, expensive caps on carbon emissions, we can and should immediately spend more money on researching and developing alternative energy. This means renewable sources of energy like wind, solar, geothermal, and wave. These are all promising but in their current forms are incredibly inefficient compared with fossil fuels. It also means developing second-generation biofuel from biomass. It also means investing in energy efficiency, fission and fusion, and carbon capture and storage. Unless we make a much bigger investment in these areas right now, fossil fuels are going to maintain their stranglehold on all the economies of the world.

Another Reason Why Obama is Falling in the Polls

I think this article hits the nail on the head on why Obama suddenly fell from his lofty 70%+ approval rating.

After ten months in office a clear pattern has emerged. Instead of hope and change, it's blame and attack. Obama rarely gives a speech about a pressing national problem--the economy, health care, the budget deficit--without blaming Republicans or former president George W. Bush. For many Americans it's getting old. It makes the president look small and petty. Does he want America's respect or its pity?

Yup people voted for hope and change and instead got petty and mean-spirited. I mean you can only blame Bush for so long before people start asking "yeah that other guy is gone so what are you going to do now Mr. President?"

The Afghanistan whining was case in point. Rahm Emanuel and everyone was "it has been screwed up for 8 years already." Yeah that doesn't matter because what you do in the next 8 years is all that matters now. Blaming Bush is getting so old that I immediately change the channel whenever a White House person utters it.

Stimulus Jobs Numbers Fudged

I think they need to just abandon the failed stimulus and get on with an actual jobs creation bill using whatever stimulus money that hasn't been wasted. These shenanigans that they are pulling with "saved" jobs and other nonsense is just not working.

The government's first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, or one in six, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

The idea that they spent $787 billion and only have a measly 30,000 jobs to account for it just shows that the "stimulus" money was flushed down the toilet. Also just about all of these jobs seem to be of the 5 month variety as well so they aren't even very permanent.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is It Time to Sell Out of Bonds? Minyanville Thinks So

According to this article it seems we might be in for a bear market for bonds going forward.

Another opportunity to get short in bonds is upon us. Using technical analysis, it appears that the run up in bonds last December was the head of a giant head-and-shoulders top on the weekly charts. I wouldn't advise anyone to short bond weakness but instead to short failed rallies into resistance. Bonds don’t end their seasonally strongest period until late November, and there seem to be plenty of eager buyers around at auction time. In spite of this fact, I do expect bonds to complete this huge head-and-shoulders top between now and Thanksgiving. The long secular bull market in bonds ended in December 2008 and a new secular bear market in bonds has only just begun.

The article says the go to stock to catch this move downward is the UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury ProShares (TBT) I think I'll reduce my bond exposure going forward since Minyanville tipped me off of the warning signs that led to the Lehman collapse.

Another interesting side not in a sell-off in the bond market is that it will put a crimp on any further insane spending by the White House. So "Failed-Stimulus 2 - Pelosi's Revenge" will not be in the offing anytime soon.

In any case, I have read multiple sources saying that the market is getting ahead of itself and might sell off soon. The severity of the sell off is different with each commentator though so you can't really be sure. I think it is time perhaps to be whittling down positions to get back into cash again.

Poll Shows Double the Amount of Conservatives then Liberals

It seems that America is truly a center-right nation after all according to this article.

First, those Gallup numbers: Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36 percent as moderate, and 20 percent as liberal. “This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group,” Gallup reported of its study based on combining16 surveys for a sample of 16,321.

That seems like it was the first time in a while that conservatives outnumbered moderates. Also the 2-1 margin of conservatives against liberals was quite staggering. You would figure that Obama and the Congress would read these numbers as a call to tack to the center.

I mean candidate Obama seemed like a moderate with a slightly leftist bent. Instead we get Obama the panderer to the far left. I mean how can you sustain your grip on power if you are just trying to please 20 % of the population?Mark my words: If Obama tacks to the center like Clinton did his poll numbers will shoot back up.

Google Mobile to Take Share Away from Garmin and TomTom?

It certainly seems that way according to this article.

Google released a new mobile navigation app today and GPS navigation companies such as Garmin And TomTom saw their shares take a plunge. The announcement shaved $1.2 billion off of Garmin’s market cap alone. Its shares are down more than 16 percent so far today to $31.60. TomTom’s shares are down 21 percent to $8.11.

I haven't used the app but from what I can read from its features it is a serious contender to these two companies. The idea of using your cell to get driving directions and having the speaker phone tell you when to turn is a game changer. Add to this the fact that it is free and we might see the slow death of the GPS stand alone device.

Big Companies Against Public Plan

I wonder if Obama just put these people on the White House Enemies list?

The Business Roundtable, comprised of chief executives at Verizon Communications (VZ.N), JPMorgan (JPM.N), General Electric (GE.N), Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and other companies that together employ more than 12 million people, said the federal government is inefficient and would underpay providers. That would result in providers boosting prices for private insurers and employers, the group said on Wednesday.

I guess one good thing is that White House staffers will no longer be running to Wal-Mart for DVDs the next time a head of state like Gordon Brown visits.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baucus Against Cap and Tax

I'm liking Max Baucus more and more since he actually stands up to the idiots in his own party.

"I have some concerns about the overall direction of the bill," Mr. Baucus (D., Mont.) said at the start of hearings in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "I have serious reservations with the depth of the mid-term reduction target in the bill and the lack of preemption of the Clean Air Act."

I think he understands that knee-capping our economy, that is just recovering from a recession, just to lower the temperature by a negligible amount in a 100 years is asinine. The only thing that will make this mess palatable is if it provided billions for nuclear power and offshore drilling. Even then it is a joke of a bill that will probably cause a double dip recession.

Reid May Not Have to Votes to Cram Public Option down Our Throats

It seems that Reid may have just put the public option back on the table as a sop to liberals in his party. It seems that he isn't close to the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., one of several Democrats unhappy with Reid's proposal, said he may seek changes on the Senate floor, a move likely to be welcomed by moderates. He backs a government role in states where one or two insurers control the market and premiums are high.

While Reid is expected eventually to secure all 60 Democratic votes on the critical first test to bring the bill to the Senate floor, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Evan Bayh of Indiana all declined to say on Tuesday how they would vote.

That is 4 votes he is down. Reid will also will not be able to count on Joe Lieberman as well.

Mr. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who caucuses with the Democrats, told reporters Tuesday that he would vote in favor of a procedural motion allowing debate of the bill. But he said that, unless the bill changes substantially, he would vote with Senate Republicans against a motion to allow a vote on final passage of the bill.

I like Lieberman in his deficit hawk mode. He is also looking out for the big health insurers in his state that would be decimated by the public option. In any case I think this might be Harry Reid's last hurrah. Especially if the message is that health care "reform" was crammed down America's throat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 Ways to Take Advantage of Oil Weakness

Well I have been looking at some ways to hedge against the price of oil reversing due to dollar strength and demand issues came up with a few names.

Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares (ERY)
This one is a 300% short on the
Russell 1000 Energy Index. It seems pretty volatile (it has dropped from $80 to $11.71) but it acts as a short on the entire oil and gas industry.

UltraShort DJ-AIG Crude Oil ProShares (SCO)
This one is a 200% short on the
Dow Jones AIG Crude Oil Sub-Index. This is more of a bet against oil as a commodity. So if we see oil slide from $80 to the $60s on weakening demand this will be the stock to capture that move.

UltraShort Oil & Gas ProShares (DUG)
This one is a 200% short on the
Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas index. This is more of a bet against how badly Schlumberger blew their numbers. There will be a recovery in this space but it might have gotten pushed back into late 2010. The flat natural gas demand also hurts these companies as well.

Want to Get Rich on the Government Dime? Hoard Golf Carts

I love the unintended consequences of the failed stimulus bill. This is due to the tax credit of between $4,200 and $5,500 for people who purchase an electric vehicle. Enter the "road-worthy" electric vehicle AKA the golf cart.

The intent was to get people to replace their existing vehicles with electric-power cars, not golf carts. In this way it is similar to the Cash for Clunkers, except there was no requirement to retire an existing vehicle and no limit on the number or type of vehicles one could claim. Now American taxpayers will pay for road-worthy golf carts, and at least theoretically subsidize entire fleets of them for later resale and profit by hoarders. After all, tax credits are nothing more than subsidies funded by other American taxpayers.

If you want a stock trade to take advantage of this stupidity I offer Textron (TXT) which owns E-Z-Go which is a large manufacturer of golf carts and electric ATVs. Now let the "great golf cart bubble" start to grow!

Obama's War on Coal: Good for Suppliers?

It seems interesting that the EPA is being used as a cudgel against the coal industry by denying mining permits. That heavy-handedness will probably cost him when it comes to Cap-and-Trade since they need those coal state Dems to pass anything.

To get cap-and-trade past a cloture vote, Obama will need Rockefeller and fellow WV Democrat Robert Byrd. That’s not likely as long as the EPA attempts to hamstring the coal industry through heavy-handed regulatory encroachment. But cloture isn’t the real problem. Coal states have elected a number of Democrats, from Indiana to Ohio to Pennsylvania to West Virginia, none of whom will get re-elected if they kneecap their states’ economies by allowing the Obama administration to bankrupt the coal industry — especially through EPA overreach.

I wonder if this will actually help the coal suppliers like CONSOL and Arch Coal? I mean the EPA denying permits will help to constrain supply going forward. You would think that this would end up raising the price of coal and thus the profits of these coal suppliers. It could be an interesting way to play against Obama's EPA anti-coal tactics.

Health Insurers Make Obscene Profits: Yeah Right, they actually rank 35th out of 53 Industries

I love how the rhetoric and the truth are so different on this whole health care debate.

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th of 53 industries on the Fortune 500 list. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That's a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

I think the government needs to form their own network equipment company to "keep Cisco honest." The argument is so bogus that many people see right through it. The more I look at it the more I think the government just wants to control health care for some nefarious purpose. Maybe this all an elaborate plot to get Glenn Beck's medical records in order to "destroy him." After all that is the Chicago Way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

White House Tries to Freeze out Fox News and is Forced to Back Down

It is kind of sad to think that the White House is playing all these partisan games with Fox News when they should be focusing on Afghanistan and getting rid of the "jobless" part of the jobless recovery. Now they are freezing out Fox News from interviewing the "Pay Czar."

Decide for yourself what the most disgraceful aspect of this is. Was it the fact that Gibbs told Jake Tapper explicitly on Monday that the White House wouldn’t try to dictate to the press pool who should and shouldn’t be included — before doing precisely that? Was it Anita Dunn going out of her way to say she respects Major Garrett as a fair reporter — before the administration decided he didn’t deserve a crack here at Feinberg? Or was it the repeated insistence by Dunn and Axelrod that of course the administration will make its officials available to Fox — before pulling the plug today?

This is simply an unwinnable battle that they are waging. There is no way that they would delegitimatize Fox News without the press banning together to protect their own asses from the next time there is a GOP President. All I can think is that the White House somehow links their cratering poll numbers with Fox News or talk radio or something.

Are "Progressive" Cities Too White?

It seems that way according to this article.

This raises troubling questions about these cities. Why is it that progressivism in smaller metros is so often associated with low numbers of African Americans? Can you have a progressive city properly so-called with only a disproportionate handful of African Americans in it? In addition, why has no one called these cities on it?

I think that most "progressives" give lip-service to idea of diversity but do nothing to encourage it in their own affluent neighborhoods. There is no rent control in Portland because these "progressives" are afraid it will knock down their property values.

You would figure that rent control would create an influx of diverse people that would seriously benefit from the top-flight schools in these "progressive" cities. Instead of pouring money down the rathole that is most inner cities what would be wrong with incentivizing these families to move to a "progressive" city like Portland? I mean these minorities would get a crack at prime opportunities and these cities can polish their "progressive" bona fides.

I guess you might have to chalk it up to liberal hypocrisy. You can vote for our "progressive" candidates as long as you don't share their cities or go to their schools. The Dems never have to worry about helping these people gain a better opportunity because there is no cost for taking them for granted.

Pay Czar May Not Have Too Many Execs Left to Rob

It seems that the very idea of the government coming and stealing their pay had people looking for the exits for months already.

At Bank of America, for instance, only 14 of the 25 highly paid executives remained by the time Feinberg announced his decision. Under his plan, compensation for the most highly paid employees at the bank would be a maximum of $9.9 million. The bank had sought permission to pay as much as $21 million, according to Treasury Department documents.

At American International Group, only 13 people of the top 25 were still on hand for Feinberg's decision.

The funny thing about this is that a guy that is paid $21 million will probably be paid that same amount at some foreign firm and the only people hurt are the taxpayers. You figure you want the best people you can get at the helm if we want to see our TARP money again.

Instead we probably will get some unqualified person that will work for substandard pay instead of the best and the brightest. Who would want to work at AIG if some unelected czar will cut your pay at a whim?

Now Moderate Dems Defend Fox News

I really think the White House has miscalculated by going after Fox News.

“It’s a mistake,” said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s beneath the White House to get into a tit for tat with news organizations.”

I think the Dem's really need to think about how to hold on to their majority. If you lose these moderates it is not like there is a western Penn. version of Henry Waxman that will step into this spot. Instead it will be a GOPer and that seat and vote is lost to them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh Oh! Another Oil Spike in the Offing?

It seems that way according to this article.

Today we are hearing all the same fairy tales we heard last year to explain why oil has gone from $33.87 a barrel this past winter to $79.54 as of this writing. Again, the first thing blamed is the weakening American dollar against foreign currencies. But the dollar has only fallen around 15% from its peak earlier this year, while oil has risen by 231%. Shades of 2005-08.

I really believe that all this liquidity sloshing around are going everywhere except into the pockets of small businessmen who will create jobs. So we have people going out of the dollar and treating oil like it is a "store of wealth" like gold. Of course another $140 a barrel oil run and we will have a second double dip recession mark my words.

Wow Now CNN Stands Up For Fox News

Now this is getting to be a trend.

How do you know that the White House's anti-Fox News campaign has gone seriously wrong? When CNN, let alone Anderson Cooper, begins to compare the Obama and Nixon administrations (video embedded below the fold, h/t Mediaite's Colby Hall).

On last night's "360," Cooper stated that "this White House is starting to look like another White House and the comparison is not flattering." He showed a clip of Sen. Lamar Alexander, documented yesterday by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard, offering a "friendly suggestion" to President Obama.

I think CNN and ABC are starting to stick up for Fox News because they are afraid that the next GOP President that comes along will freeze them out in revenge. I think the Obama people need to take a step back and reassess this entire mess.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ABC Stands up for Fox News

It is good to see at least a few people in the liberal news media stand up against the White Houses attacks on Fox News. Too bad this Jake Tapper just got on the Nixonian enemies list.

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

Maybe it comes down the White House not being able to separate opinion from fact. Or they just want to control the media like "their greatest political philosopher Mao did.

Dunn Says her Love of Mao just a Joke

There is nothing funnier then praising a man that murdered 70 million people.

Standup comedian Anita Dunn, who doubles as President Obama's White House communications director, now claims she was only joking when she praised Mao Zedong by calling him “one of the two people that I turn to most,” Glenn Beck revealed on his TV show Monday.

I wonder if these White House people are trading genocide jokes back and forth in the Oval Office? That was funny stuff about Mao. So Anita lets hear the one about Pol Pot and the Killing Fields. That one gets me every time. She needs to go ASAP.

Washington Post Takes "War of Fox" to Task

It is nice to see near total ridicule for how idiotic this "war on Fox news" is getting.

It makes the White House look weak, unable to take Harry Truman’s advice and just deal with the heat. It makes the White House look small, dragged down to the level of Glenn Beck. It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian -- Agnewesque? -- aroma at worst. It is a self-defeating trifecta: it distracts attention from the Obama administration’s substantive message; it serves to help Fox, not punish it, by driving up ratings; and it deprives the White House, to the extent it refuses to provide administration officials to appear on the cable network, of access to an audience that is, in fact, broader than hard-core Obama haters.

It makes the Obama people look like children. Sticking their fingers in their ears whenever someone criticizes them. This will backfire on them like just about everything else.

Monday, October 19, 2009

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn Praises the Greatest Mass Murderer in History

I think it might be time for White House Communications Director Anita Dunn to start getting her resume ready because she needs to be fired ASAP. These statements are perhaps the height of morally repugnant thought.

Though Dunn acknowledged that Chairman Mao and Mother Teresa are “not often coupled together,” she did not preface or qualify her remarks about Mao at all. In the video, Dunn said: “[T]he third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa – not often coupled with each other -- but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is you’re going to make choices, you’re going to challenge, you’re going to say why not. You’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here’s the deal: These are your choices, they are no one else’s.”

Yes, she just said Mao was her "favorite political philosophers." Also does she actually mean "figure out how to do things that have never been done before" refers to the genocide of between 50 and 75 million Chinese?

Is a "Dunn's challenge" the extermination of Chinese ethnic minorities in Tibet, the widespread use of "re-education" camps or the mass starvation of 20-43 million people during the "Great Leap Forward?"

Plus she coupled a genocidal madman with perhaps one of the most selfless people to have ever lived on earth in the form of Mother Teresa. I think that may have been the most sickening moral equivalency argument in history of sickening moral equivalency arguments.

What was even worse is that she said this tripe to high school students. Anita Dunn says: "Reach for the stars kids you too can wipe out tens of millions of your countrymen and be considered the greatest killer in the history of mankind!" After all it is all about "choices."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stimulus Created or Saved 30,000 jobs; Just 233,000 more and We Break Even

Now this is not the kind of thing to be trumpeting about the failed stimulus.

Businesses reported creating or saving more than 30,000 jobs in the first months of President Barack Obama's stimulus program, according to initial data released Thursday by a government oversight board. Military construction led the way, and states in the South and Southwest saw the biggest boost.

I'm not sure what months these jobs were "created or saved" during but for September 2009 we lost another 263,000 jobs. I would really like to know the per job amount that we had to pay for each of these jobs. Also how many of these jobs will be around once we blow the $787 billion "stimulus" on some crap.

Did the Obama Team Sink Rush's Rams Bid?

I was reading the transcript on what Rush said happened the whole "Buying the Rams" debacle and came across this part.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the Players Association is an Obamaite. He's donated to Obama. He is a Washington lobbyist at Patton Boggs, and I think he even served on Obama's transition team. He has no experience in professional sports. The National Football League's agreement, collective bargaining agreement with the players expires soon. Next year, the salary cap -- if they don't get a new deal done, next year the salary cap -- will go away. And after that, there is a fear that the owners -- who think they're giving up too much of the gross in salary, compensation to the players -- might lock them out, a work stoppage. This is something that the Players Association doesn't want, obviously.

That part about being on Obama's transition team jumped out at me. So I checked and sure enough DeMaurice Smith was a member of the Obama Justice and Civil Rights Team. I wonder if it is much of a stretch to say that this guy called up Goodell and Irsay and got them to boot Rush out of the ownership group before they even made a bid?

Rush sees Smith's involvement as part of the gamesmanship between the Ownership Group and the Players Union that may include a lockout of the 2011 season. So Rush thinks this was a warning shot fired by the Players Union across the bow of the owners. Kind of like how Putin attacked Georgia which was actually a warning shot to American meddling in their sphere of influence.

However, the conspiracy angle came out when I was thinking about how many of the NFL owners are pretty staunchly conservative. All together they gave $600,000 to GOP PACs and 527s in 2008. I mean the Woody Johnson the Jets Owner gave $70,000 to the McCain campaign alone.

So this just felt like a White House revenge play pure and simple. Axlerod or someone in the White House called up their pal who is the head of the NFL Players Union and he pressured Goodell to not even consider Rush's money. I mean Rush's involvement with the team would pretty much have been standing around in the owners box with Dave Checketts sharing a few brews during a game. How is that tarnishing the NFL brand?

Now when 2011 rolls around I wonder how many White House cannons will suddenly turn on these "far-right extremist" NFL owners? It is all speculation but after the White House showed how petty and mean-spirited they were when it came to Fox News it isn't a huge stretch to see them going after the right-wing NFL Owners. I am now counting down the days until Jimmy Carter calls Jerry Jones a racist.

Bank of America needs to Pay Back the TARP already

Well, their CEO may have just worked the entire year up until this point for free.

For instance, reports surfaced late Thursday afternoon that the Obama administration's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, cracked the whip on outgoing CEO Ken Lewis, who agreed to not take any salary or bonus in 2009. It was just the latest twist in a long-running saga over Lewis' questionable decisions related to BofA's purchase of Merrill Lynch. He will still leave with a hefty retirement package after more than 40 years at the bank, including 4.7 million shares at the end of 2008.

You read that right. A person that seems to not have been elected to his post has strong armed the CEO of the largest bank in America to not receive pay and bonuses that he was contractually obligated to take. If Ken Lewis was the kind of guy that did not care about bad publicity he should sue for breach of contract.

In any case that TARP money is like a shackle and the government can pretty much dictate who lives or dies. No wonder Goldman tried to pay that money back on the first day that they could. They rightly feared TARP slavery.

Google Smashes Numbers: Beats on Revenue as Well

It seems online advertising spending is making a comeback.

The figures released Thursday were highlighted by a $1.64 billion profit. That's the most money that the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has made during any three-month period in its 11-year history. Google earned $1.29 billion at the same time last year.

I think some of this profit came on the heels of cost cutting and other measures. Any way you slice these numbers they are pretty strong.

Revenue for the three months ending in September climbed 7 percent to $5.94 billion. That's Internet search leaders fastest growth rate so far this year.

This is the number I was looking for. This means that these insane profits numbers came because of ad spending gains and not just because of further cost cutting. This revenue growth may have even beat the whisper number of 5-6% growth as well. I think this Google number will be a big catalyst to extend this rally going forward.

The NFL Double Standard

I think this post puts this whole NFL doesn't want Rush thing in perspective.

OK, Rush may have been right, but rules are rules, and apparently whoever the authoritarians are that run things decided that you cannot express the opinion that the media wants black quarterbacks to do well. Rush got booted out of ESPN for saying that. And apparently there is no such thing as forgiveness in the sports world. Unless...

Unless you electrocute and drown dogs, and slam them to death?

Will someone please explain to me how expressing the opinion that the media wants black quarterbacks to win is worse than such vicious torture?

I think the answer to this question is that the NFL feels that perceived racism even when it is proved to be slanderous lies is far worse then drowning and slamming to death a couple of dogs. I mean there are supposed to be quite a few dog fighting enthusiasts that played in the NFL in the last couple of years. In other words in the world of the NFL animal torture can be forgiven but perceived racism even when it is unfounded is not tolerated in any way shape or form.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Limbaugh Out As Potential Rams Bidder

It seems that a Conservative commentator is not welcome in the NFL ownership ranks.

Checketts, the chairman of SCP Worldwide, announced that Limbaugh had been dumped toward the end of a news release.

"It has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions; endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis," Checketts said. "As such, we have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion."

While jailbird dog fighting promoters like Vick are given a second chance so fast it would make your head spin. I'm not the biggest fan of Rush but he should have at least been able to bid without a bunch of slander directed his way. I mean Olbermann is able to do Football Night in America and he is a misogynist scumbag. I think Rush seriously needs to sue CNN and MSNBC for this slander at the very least.

What Obama Needs to Do at Nobel Prize Speech

If Obama actually did what Noonan asks of him at the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony I will hold him in pretty high regard.

How to redeem this? That is a hard question, but here is one idea. The president will deliver a big speech in Oslo Dec. 10: white tie and tails, a formal, bound statement. The world, as they say, will be watching. He should deflect the limelight. (Can he?) He should make his subject bigger than himself. (Is there a subject bigger than himself?) He has been accused of traveling through the world on an extended apology tour. That isn't fair, but the tag is there. How about an unapologetic address, a speech, with the world's elites leaning forward and listening, about the meaning of America? A speech that shows a grounded and sophisticated love for his country and its great traditions and history. Not a nationalistic speech, not a prideful one, but a loving one.

Instead of apologizing, Obama should turn this into his American Exceptionalism Speech. He should stress the following things:

America hasn't just helped the world, it literally lit the world with its inventions, which are the product of its freedoms. The lights under which the Peace Prize judges read, and rejected, the worthy nominations? Why, those lights were invented by an American. The emails the committee members sent to each other, sharing their banal insights on leadership? They came through the Internet. Who invented the Internet? It was a Norwegian bureaucrat with a long face and hair on his nose and little plastic geometric eyeglasses? Oh wait, it was Americans. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are healthy because they have been inoculated against diseases such as polio. Who invented the polio vaccine, an enfeebled old leftist academic in Oslo? Nah, it was a man named Jonas Salk. He was an American.

Actually the email that the committee members used was also invented by an American named Ray Tomlinson. Americans also invented the O/S software, the email software and protocol they probably used, and even the way the data is transferred through the Internet itself. American ingenuity and scientific prowess is second to none and has been that way for decades.

It would be nice to see Obama accept the award on behalf of all the things that the American people have done for the rest of the world. It would be nice to see our representative to the world talk in glowing terms of his homeland.

If it is just another apologist speech then Obama is truly the hack Chicago lefty politician that his detractors call him. On the other hand if it is a speech worthy of an American representing Americans a al the Reagan's "Tear Down this Wall" speech then he can start to take his place among the great ones.

Climate Change Starting to Fall to Pieces?

It seems that Global Warming is starting to lose its scientific basis slowly but surely.

It has finally happened. We have reached the “tipping point.” 2009 can now be officially declared the year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears. Significant organs of the mainstream media are now officially abandoning one-sided man-made global warming fear promotion and alleged claims that the "debate is over.

I think this so-called Global Cooling is going to kill any chance of hobbling the worlds productive economies with a Carbon Tax anytime in the future. I guess the Red Chinese and the Indians were right all along. I mean Climate Change scientists can't have it both ways.

Is the earth warming due to to much carbon in the atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect or is it cooling because the sun is being blocked out? In any case Al Gore needs to think of another way to make himself a billionaire.

BaucusCare Moves One Republican Closer to Passage

It seems like the other GOP Senator from Maine may be on board for BaucusCare.

"My hope is we that can fix the flaws in the bill and come together with a truly bipartisan bill that could garner widespread support," Collins said in an interview. "I think this bill is far superior to the ones passed by the Senate (health) committee and the three House committees, but it needs substantial additional work."

What they need to do is make sure the public option is off the table even with a so-called "trigger option." Also they need to put in a amendment that will limit medical malpractice awards. That might get more moderate GOP support and actually reduce costs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Even the Nation Is Calling Obama a Whiner-In-Chief

Wow now the leftists are starting in on Obama when it comes to his "war with Fox News."

As for the Obama administration, whether the grumbling is about Republicans on Fox or bloggers in pajamas, there's a word for what the president and his aides are doing. That word is "whining." And nothing -- no attack by Glenn Beck, no blogger busting about Guantanamo -- does more damage to Obama's credibility or authority than the sense that a popular president is becoming the whiner-in-chief.

I would have to agree. A tough man of action that Obama pretends to be should want to drink in the "slanted" coverage of Fox and go right to the source in refuting them. Instead they hide and dodge and snipe from their official blog.

This whole thing makes him look like they are too wimpy to confront Glenn Beck and refute his "lies" right to his face. Instead his surrogates go on and on about "slanted coverage" and "Fox being the organ of the GOP" and other nonsense.

If Obama can't handle Glenn Beck how the hell can he handle Putin or Ahmadinajoke? If he wastes time on a cold war with a US cable channel how does he propose to win a hot war in Afghanistan? If he can't beat Hannity how can he beat Al-Quida? It is kind of sad when a President cares more about a cable channel then he does about sending troops to win what he describes as a "necessary war."

Physicists Thinks Higgs Boson Goes Back in Time to Kill Themselves

Now this is a theory so interesting that it sounds like the basis for a Star Trek episode.

A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

It seems that if the collider keeps breaking then they would have something here. If they switch this thing on in December and there is another major malfunction we might have something here. The theory that there is some kind of force that fights against man getting certain knowledge is pretty nuts. Maybe this "God Particle" is on the list of "Things Man Was Not Meant to Know" right after the answer to the question "Do I look fat in this dress?"

Delaware School Suspends 6 year Old for Having Camping Utensil

Now this is Leftist Schools crapola going into overdrive.

Zachary’s offense? Taking a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary was suspended and now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.

Before you think this was just some kind of one time deal this same school district also suspended and expelled three other kids as well.

“Something has to change,” said Dodi Herbert, whose 13-year old son, Kyle, was suspended in May and ordered to attend the Christina district’s reform school for 45 days after another student dropped a pocket knife in his lap. School officials declined to comment on the case for reasons of privacy.

Yup 45 days at gladiator academy for having a pocket knife dropped into your lap by some other kid. I wonder if that other kid was expelled as well?

The Christina school district attracted similar controversy in 2007 when it expelled a seventh-grade girl who had used a utility knife to cut windows out of a paper house for a class project.

Yup she was kicked out of school for cutting windows out of a paper house with an Exacto-Knife.

The law was introduced after a third-grade girl was expelled for a year because her grandmother had sent a birthday cake to school, along with a knife to cut it. The teacher called the principal — but not before using the knife to cut and serve the cake.

Yup suspended for a year for bringing a knife to school to cut a cake. What makes this so funny is that the reason why these fascist "zero-tolerance" laws are put in place without teacher discretion was because they did not want to be discriminatory.

Education experts say that zero-tolerance policies initially allowed authorities more leeway in punishing students, but were applied in a discriminatory fashion. Many studies indicate that African-Americans were several times more likely to be suspended or expelled than other students for the same offenses.

Welcome to multi-culti Leftist America people. Use an Exacto-Knife to cut windows out of a paper house for school project and get expelled. Add to this Obama's Glorious Socialist Youth Marching Song and we have the new face of our Leftist School System.

No wonder so many more parents are getting their kids the hell out of public school. At least at a private or parochial school you can cut a cake or eat with a camping utensil without being sent to a gladiator academy.

Intel Crushes Numbers: Time for a Tech Rally?

It seems that tech spending is starting to pick back up as Intel just blew numbers away.

Citing the impact of an improving economy, Intel posted sales of $9.4 billion, down $828 million on the same period last year, but above Wall Street's projection of $9.04 billion.

That was a $360 million dollar beat on the top line which is quite an overshoot. The earnings numbers were even better:

The world's largest chipmaker earned 33 cents a share on net income of $1.9 billion, down from 35 cents a share and $2 billion in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated earnings of 28 cents a share.

Most of the growth came from Atom Processors so their profit margin seems to have shrunk from last. In any case this bodes well for the rest of the tech sector. We might see a NASDAQ rally coming down the pike depending on what Google and IBM do.

Nobel Jury Defends the Indefensible

I think these fools need to just slink off into anonymity instead of trying to defend themselves for their blunder.

"We simply disagree that he has done nothing," committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP on Tuesday. "He got the prize for what he has done."

Jagland singled out Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

So he gave a speech and laid down before the mighty Russian bear and he gets an award? The people passed over had to dodge assassination attempts and serve jail time. I guess these Norwegian leftists ignored all the continuation of the Bush era policies.

In other words I think it might be time to take this award away from the Norwegian Leftists and give it to some impartial committee like the other Nobel Prize awards. Hell, I wouldn't even mind having the BCS decide the Nobel Peace prize in the future. At least they use polls and computers and won't not vote on "potential" to win the National Championship.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Is Warner Chilcott Post Buyout of P&Gs Drug Business a Buy?

Well I was reading the transcript of Mad Money and Cramer was talking about Warner Chillcott (WCRX) buying out P&Gs drug division.

Cramer said this deal will be huge for Warner Chillcott, as it's getting the drug assets of Procter for just 5.7 times its earnings. "This is a massive discount," said Cramer, but also one that makes sense for Procter given its restructuring efforts.

Cramer likened the deal to that of the over-the-counter conglomerate of Chattem (CHTT Quote), which made similar acquisitions from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Quote),only to see its shares rise 112% one year later.

The deal is an all cash deal for 3.1 billion that will be financed almost entirely with debt. It will also add nearly $1.55 per share to WCRXs earnings. That seems to be a strait up double Warner Chilcotts earnings for an add on of $3.1 billion in debt added on to the $854 million in debt they already have on their books.

One red flag I see is that P&G's pharmaceuticals arm had sales declines according to this. This quarterly report talks about how sales of Acotonel have been under pressure due to increased competition in the osteoporosis space. That means some of the drugs that they bring on board might not be as big a growth driver as Cramer thinks.

Another issue that I see is P&Gs drugs are a quite a bit different then the drugs that Warner Chilcott currently makes. WCRX mostly makes women's health products like oral contraceptives and pills to treat menopause. They also make drugs that treat psoriasis and acne.

The P&G drugs are to treat osteoporosis, ulcerative colitis, Paget's disease, overactive bladder, and 2 drugs to treat urinary tract infections. So you have to be aware that there could be the potential of integration issues once they complete the deal.

In any case the idea that a company can double its EPS in one deal like this is pretty intriguing. In any case I still need to check what drugs are in the pipeline at both companies before I pull the trigger. WCRX does have a Phase III drug in the pipeline called WC 3016 which is a low dose oral contraceptive. I'm not sure how this drug is different than their two other birth control pills LOESTRIN 24 and FEMCON.

If You Make Fun of Obama Winning the Nobel Prize You are a Terrorist?

Wow the DNC really should hire better people to represent themselves these guys are awful.

“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize – an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride – unless of course you are the Republican Party.

The GOP also threw in their lot with the Huffington Post as well. The funny thing about this statement is I thought we were supposed to trust the Taliban and make peace with them. It is good to see the DNC condemn Hamas as terrorists though.

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize as Well as Finals MVP and Cy Young Award

If there was any doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize was a joke after they gave it to a terrorist like Arafat, now we have Obama winning the award for potentially, maybe, more then likely achieving peace somewhere at some undetermined time in the future. As usual the Brits nailed this whole thing perfectly.

Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.

In a stunning turn of events he was also awarded the NBA Finals MVP for potentially playing for the NBA at such a high level that his team was undefeated through the regular season. He was also awarded the Cy Young award for next year for potentially pitching 20 strait Perfect Games for his beloved White Sox. I also hear he won the Heisman Trophy as well.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The White House Media War

I think the White House needs to seriously consider the actual war in Afghanistan instead of insisting on some phony "war against the press."

The general in this war is Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May. She has been a force in Democratic campaigns since the late 1980s and helmed Obama's rapid-response operation during his run. At the White House, she has become a devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration's effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network. "It's opinion journalism masquerading as news," Dunn says. "They are boosting their audience. But that doesn't mean we are going to sit back." Fox News's head of news, Michael Clemente, counters that the White House criticism unfairly conflates the network's reporters and its pundits, like Glenn Beck, whom he likens to "the op-ed page of a newspaper."

I think it might be time for Ms. Dunn to turn off the damn TV and consider actual threats to this country. If we are hit by another terrorist attack or we have a double dip recession then all this crap about a "war on Fox News" is going to sound like fraud, waste and abuse.

Forget Fox News! Ms. Dunn you have all the levers of power for the next 2 years. Obama is no longer the junior Senator from Illinois but the President of ALL the Americans! Go after Ahamdinijoke or Putin with your rhetoric Ms. Dunn and forget Shepard Smith and Glenn Beck. Those first two guys might actually draw us into wars involving something other than words.

Bipartisan Support Growing for a New Jobs Tax Credit

I'm still baffled why this wasn't put into the stimulus bill. It might have actually kept unemployment at the level that Obama actually promised instead of at 9.8%.

One version of the approach, to be unveiled next week by the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization, would give employers a two-year tax credit if they increased the size of their work force or added significant hours of work (for example, making a part-time worker full time). Employers would receive a credit worth twice the first-year payroll tax for each new hire, amounting to several thousand dollars, depending on the new worker’s salary.

There are some unfounded fears in that article like some companies will wait to hire people until after the bill passes and other nonsense. So it should be fast-tracked in a bipartisan fashion and signed into law. Some economists think that it might create 700,000 to 2.1 million jobs right off the bat.

If the failed stimulus was just this new jobs tax credit and some infrastructure spending then there would be no talk of a double dip recession or a jobless recovery. Hell, if they can think of a way to make this thing deficit neutral they can keep it going indefinitely.

Walt Mossberg's Review of Windows 7: If You Have XP You Will Be Forced to Wipe Your Hard Drive to Use It

I guess I will be forced to buy a new PC in order to try out Windows 7 because the XP Upgrade path is an absolute joke.

Unfortunately, XP owners, the biggest body of Windows users, won't be able to do that. They'll have to wipe out their hard disks after backing up their files elsewhere, then install Windows 7, then restore their personal files, then re-install all their programs from the original CDs or downloaded installer files. Then, they have to install all the patches and upgrades to those programs from over the years.

Microsoft includes an Easy Transfer wizard to help with this, but it moves only personal files, not programs. This painful XP upgrade process is one of the worst things about Windows 7 and will likely drive many XP owners to either stick with what they've got or wait and buy a new one.

The idea of having to wipe out my drive just to install Windows 7 makes me not want to buy Windows 7. I understand that XP is 8 years old but MSFT knows that many people dodged Vista because they thought it sucked. They should have known that these people were waiting for a new OS and wanted an easy upgrade path from their current system with XP to Windows 7.

Now the idea of wiping out every users hard drive just to install Windows 7 sounds like an idiotic waste of time. I guess this will lead to a lot of companies simply buying scads of new machines instead of trying to keep the old machines and upgrade them. Perhaps some of those companies might even think about buying Macs instead of new PCs costing MSFT some sales.

So in other words it is about time to go long Dell, HP, and other computer hardware makers because companies now have no choice other then buying new hardware. I still foresee some companies sticking with Windows XP until they are forced to change due to an end to XP support. They might even continue using XP after support ends rather then be forced to wipe out every hard drive in their company.

Now I understand why Lenovo and Samsung decided to push back the release of their Nvidia Ion Netbooks (the S12 and the N510 respectively) rather then release them in August. Imagine telling their early adopters that they had to wipe out their hard drives in order to buy the latest OS that came out in October. I would have been fit to be tied if that happened. In any case Microsoft screwed up again and it will cost them sales in the long run.

Who Attacked the U.S. Dollar?

It seems there might have been some kind of chicanery going on when some journalist named Robert Fisk dropped this bombshell:

It began with a thinly sourced but highly explosive report Monday in a British newspaper: Arab oil sheiks are conspiring with the Russians and Chinese to quit using the dollar to set the value of oil trades — a direct threat to the global supremacy of the greenback.

James Gustave Speth Contributed to Climate Change by Killing Breeder Reactors

Now this is the exact reason why environmentalists cannot be trusted to actually help us combat climate change.

So here's the aggravating aspect of Speth's preening self-congratulation about being part of the effort to stop the commercialization of breeder reactors: in an alternative universe in which 200 reactors come online, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would be about 35 percent lower than they currently are. In other words, the reactors that Speth opposed could have been a huge part of the solution to what Speth claims is humanity's "biggest threat." Like I said, really annoying.

Yup, due to this fool getting breeder reactors judged as non commercial in the 1970s we have 35% more greenhouse gas emissions then we could have had. In other words this Speth character actually indirectly contributed to the amount of greenhouse gases in the environment right now.

You add to this the fact that these breeder reactors can be configured to be powered with nuclear waste then this so-called environmentalist contributed to that problem as well. So now we need Yucca Mountain and have tons of dangerous waste sitting around because an "environmentalist" killed the project. Then he goes and brags about it. The fact that guys like Speth are leading the charge in fighting "the biggest threat" to humanity is laughable.

Pelosi Out of Her Mind on "Windfall" Profits Tax on Insurers

I think she is just so spaced out with CIA agents lying to her and San Fransisco Democratic councilmen coming to kill her friends that she doesn't know what she is saying half the time. This has to be the most laughable thing I have read in a long time.

Pelosi told reporters the idea of a new tax on insurers was “very preliminary” and that she asked Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel to determine if “that is something we can put in the mix” of revenue-raising ideas.

Insurance companies and other health-care industries such as drugmakers have “much more they can put on the table to bring down the cost,” said Pelosi, of California.

This guy is 100% right when it comes to "windfall profits."

“What windfall profits? The insurance industry profits are in line or less than almost any other industry,” Robert Zirkelbach of the Washington-based trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans said in an telephone interview. “There is a lot of misinformation out there about” profits of health plans. “Historically, health-plan profits have been 3 percent, much less than other industries.”

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest insurer by sales, had a 3.8 percent profit margin last year. For WellPoint, it was 4.1 percent and Aetna Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, the third- largest insurer, 4.5 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

Compare that to the 30% or more margins that software companies make and you can see which companies are getting "windfall profits." Plus UNH paid $1.6 billion in taxes last year. How much more should they be paying above and beyond other US companies solely because they sell health insurance? Also how much should a non profit health insurance company like Blue Cross and Blue Shield have to pay? I mean they dominate the market in many states.

The funniest part about this whole thing is that UNH will not be paying any "windfall profit tax" out of their pretty scant profit margin. They will simply raise their premiums citing Congressional pressure. Nancy Pelosi does not understand that taxing companies for "windfall profits" just make them pass on those taxes to consumers. That would be the exact opposite of the House goal of reducing premiums for all Americans. I think she just might be the worst Speaker of the House in modern history.

Obama Leaning Toward Half-Assing it in Afghanistan

I would hate to be an Afghan leader right now because Obama might be throwing you under the bus.

Bowing to the reality that the Taliban is too ingrained in Afghanistan's culture to be entirely defeated, the administration is prepared, as it has been for some time, to accept some Taliban role in parts of Afghanistan, the official said. That could mean paving the way for Taliban members willing to renounce violence to participate in a central government — though there has been little receptiveness to this among the Taliban. It might even mean ceding some regions of the country to the Taliban.

Did Obama not read about what happened when Pakistan tried to "cede parts of the country" to the Taliban in the Swat Valley? The Pakistanis were forced to go back in and clean the Taliban out when they tried to move on Islamabad.

This is exactly what will happen if they did something as stupid as "cede parts of the country" to a group that will stop at nothing to regain power. Mark my words we will have to go and retake heavily defended areas after the Taliban threatens to move on the capital. Those areas will be suicide bomber staging areas forever.

This is the exact same thing that Clinton did when the Taliban came to power under his watch. He looked the other way and the central government fell to religious extremists from Pakistan. It goes to show you that the way to win any war against Americans is to wait until a Democrat is elected.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Senate HealthCare Costs are In; $829 billion Over 10 Years

As long as it doesn't contain the Post Office Insurance Company of America then I can live with that cost.

Health care legislation drafted by a key Senate committee would expand coverage to 94 percent of all eligible Americans at a 10-year cost of $829 billion, congressional budget experts said Wednesday, a preliminary estimate trumpeted by the White House and likely to power the measure past a major hurdle within days.

The Congressional Budget Office added that the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $81 billion over a decade and probably lead to "continued reductions in federal" red ink in the years beyond.

That $81 billion savings sounds pretty small but hopefully Medicare and Medicaid fraud can be worked out of the system and provide even more savings. In any case in 2013 there will be a scramble for private insurance as everyone will either be covered or have to pay fines.

Code Pink Flip-flops on Afghanistan Pull Out

It seems that Code Pink finally understands that our troops are actually keeping the Afghan people safe while they build up their military.

Though Afghans have their grievances against the international troops' presence, chief among them civilian casualties, many fear an abrupt departure would create a dangerous security vacuum to be filled by predatory and rapacious militias. Many women, primary victims of such groups in the past, are adamant that international troops stay until a sufficient number of local forces are trained and the rule of law established. (Read more about Afghan women's concerns here.)

Yup, those Code Pinkos living in their nice suburban homes have nothing to fear from Taliban rape gangs when they go back home. The Afghan women on the other hand will be the ones receiving the full consequences of American liberals call to "get out at all costs."

You would figure that the "party of compassion" would do anything they can to help impoverished people that have been fighting various wars for 30 years. If we leave Afghanistan early and the Taliban takes over and rapes and murders 1000 of people then groups like Code Pink and MoveOn will be directly responsible.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

New Thinking in Health Care Reform: State Run Cooperatives?

Hmm this seems like an idea that may get some Republicans to jump on board.

A new proposal by Sen. Tom Carper would spell out how to boost competition in the private market by enacting government-run plans at the state level. States could act alone or in concert with others to gain more leverage in the marketplace, and would be bound by the same rules established for private companies using the national insurance exchange envisioned by the Senate Finance bill. Another option would entail states opening their workers' employee-benefit plans to the general public.

The Governator seems to be behind the plan. I would think he would be all for trying to reduce the rates for California. As long as these co-ops allow every insurance company in the country to compete equally then it should be looked at. I like the idea of being part of a West Coast Insurance Co-op that included Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and California would all work together to reduce costs for its members.

Rush Looking to Buy the Rams?

Now this is interesting news. I wonder if he is going to call them the St. Louis Reagan's or maybe the St. Louis Gippers would be pretty good choice as well. Their helmet sticker could be an elephant tackling a balding, pony-tailed liberal. It is interesting to see how sports franchises have dropped in price due to the recession:

Sports financiers said that when the Rams first began fielding offers from potential buyers the asking price was $900 million. Now, they said, the asking price has dropped to a range of $750 million to $800 million. That is due in part to the recent restructuring of the ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which placed the value of the team at about $750 million.

Wow, even the Steelers with their insane fan-base, 6 Super Bowls, and a fairly new Stadium is worth far less than the $1.024 billion in inflation adjusted dollars that Dan Snyder paid for the Redskins in 1999.

Yet Another Gold Bubble Warning from Fortune Magazine

It is good to see another article about a gold bubble after gold shot up $27 today.

But amid the buying frenzy and after a decade-long run-up that has seen the price quadruple, is gold still a smart investment? The simple answer: Wherever the price of gold is headed in the long term, several market watchers say the fundamentals indicate that gold is poised to fall.

And even if you fret that the government's pullout- all-stops effort to rescue the financial system and revive the economy will lead to inflation, there are better hedges than the yellow metal.

This has the be the most wild boosterism of gold I have ever read.

Hathaway, who manages $1 billion at the Tocqueville fund, sees gold soaring for several reasons, including rising inflation and the rather curious fact that in two previous instances the price of an ounce of gold and the level of the Dow Jones industrial average have come close to converging.

In 1933, when gold traded at $32 an ounce, the Dow bottomed out at 50 in February. In 1980 gold climbed to its high of $850 on Jan. 21, when the Dow closed at 873. Today Tocqueville sees something similar happening, with gold rocketing to $5,000 or $10,000 an ounce (the Dow is now at about 9700).

I'm sure Mr. Hathaway knows that you can't take two data points in 76 years and interpret them to be the future price of gold. It is almost the exact same thing as saying "even a broken watch is right two times a day." You would think that a massive gold booster like this should know that something that occurs twice in 76 years (one time is the highest price that gold ever reached) does not make a trend.

In any case this article lays out a supply and demand argument on the price of gold similar to what went on during the Oil bubble last year. There is just so much more gold on the market from increasing mine yields ($40 billion in new projects since 2001) and the booming scrap gold market that demand can not hope keep up. You add to this the fact that industrial and jewelry demand is down 20%.

I also have to agree wholeheartedly with this guy:

Kitco analyst Jon Nadler says gold is setting record prices amid "some of the poorest fundamentals I've seen in the market for a long time." He suspects the recent rise has been driven by large hedge funds and institutional investors making momentum-driven trades. As for fears of financial collapse, "The sky did actually fall last year -- and it was good for $1,035 gold," says Nadler. "But that's about where the worst ends."

I think a great argument for $5000+ gold would be the imminent demise of the financial system that we saw last year. When Lehman died there could have easily been a world wide chain reaction that could have killed just about every bank and broker in the US and maybe even worldwide.

I mean only now are we seeing credit markets functioning okay and money market funds starting to feel confident again. In fact this guy says that gold is a crappy investment long term and he recommends other assets. He figures that they would be a better bet to hedge against the Obama induced inflation that we will see in 3 -5 years.

Like Rogers, Arnott thinks common commodities are a smarter choice. He suggests iShares GSCI (GSG), an ETF that tracks the broad S&P commodities index. Arnott also likes using Treasury Inflation- Protected Securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and emerging-market bonds, which you can buy through the PowerShares Emerging Market Sovereign Debt ETF (PCY). Many developing countries are commodities producers, so if U.S. inflation kicks in, their currencies will gain strength and their debt will rise in value.