Saturday, January 24, 2009

Did I Forget To Mention Obamalinsky?

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1. "Power is not only what you have,
but what the enemy thinks you have

2. "Never go outside the expertise of
your people

3. "Whenever possible, go outside
the expertise of the enemy.
Look for ways to increase insecurity,
anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many
organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant
arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. "Make the enemy live up to its
own book of rules.
You can kill them with this, for they can no more
obey their own rules than t he Christian church can live up to

5. "Ridicule is man's most potent
It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it
infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

10. "The major premise for tactics is
the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure
upon the opposition.
13. Pick the target, freeze it,
personalize it, and polarize it.


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"Obama learned his lesson well.
I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday."
Barack Obama is also
an Alinskyite.... Obama spent years teaching workshops on the Alinsky method.
In 1985 he began a four-year stint as a community organizer in Chicago, working
for an Alinskyite group called the Developing Communities Project....
Camouflage is key to Alinsky-style organizing. While trying
to build coalitions of black churches in Chicago, Obama
caught flak for not attending church himself. He became an
instant churchgoer.
His name was Saul Alinsky, the mentor of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the
concierge emeritus of modern liberalism.... Alinsky was also the subject
of the previously suppressed 1969 Wellesley Thesis by one Hillary Rodham....

OHopenchangen $2T Deficits

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According to The Washington Post, of the $30 billion devoted to highway spending, only $4 billion will be spent in the next two years. Less than $3 billion of the $18.5 billion for renewable energy and less than half the financing for school construction will be spent by 2011.

The Appropriations Committee chairman, David Obey, fulminated against the C.B.O. Wednesday, and the uselessness of economists in general, but he had no answer to these findings.

Third, the spending measures in this bill have no sunset. In the middle of the Appropriations markup, the ranking member, Jerry Lewis from California, asked his chairman the crucial question: What happens when the economy recovers? Does this new spending disappear?

Chairman Obey refused to answer, but he didn’t have to.

The commitments in this bill will constitute the new budget base line. They will contribute to the coming $2 trillion deficits.


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Nazi articles of faith amounted to grotesque fantasies about how the New Order would function, and they couldn’t possibly survive prolonged, or even relatively short, clashes with reality. Leaving morality aside, the Holocaust made no economic sense at a time when Germany was desperately short of workers. When Victor Brack, one of the officials charged with carrying out the Final Solution, suggested that between 2 and 3 million Jews could be sterilized and put to work rather than killed, Hitler wasn’t interested.
The book is apparently a story of ideology gone amuck. The Bush administration has been taken to task for the supposed folly of trying to “bring freedom to the middle east”. And maybe it was a foolish endeavor. But it’s fair to observe that many of the current proponents of Hope and Change hope to embark on even more far-ranging changes: to the economy, the environment, the way the world is governed, to the way we think. We’re only at the beginning of the process.

Rules For Radicals Update

If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of the trillion dollar debacle.

One more thing, Byron. Your publication and website have documented Obama's ties to the teachings of Saul Alinksy while he was community organizing in Chicago. Here is Rule 13 of Alinksy's Rules for Radicals:

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."


COTD: It Used To Be

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EricR (08:38:12) :

It used to be, back in Einstein’s day, that when someone proposed a theory, every scientist out there who had specialty in that theory tried to disprove it. It wasn’t mean-spirited, it was science. Any theories that survived 30 or so reviews and verifications were found to be “valid”. So, when a “new” theory of climate change occurs (such as those mentioned above), yes, I would expect the scientific community to try and disprove it. That’s science.

However, when it comes to the theory of CO2-induced climate change, no such attempts to disprove the theory are made. Where are the high numbers of government grants being distributed to scientists who have alternate theories that would contradict the CO2 theory, or those that would try to disprove it directly? As far as I can seen, few, if any exist. And if someone tries to challenge this theory in any way, they are a “denier”.

Friday, January 23, 2009

On Morale Building

Hillary Clinton arrived at the State Department yesterday and promised to boost morale as the new Secretary of State. Hillary will bring her extensive people skills with her into this "new era" of foreign policy.
Here are a few examples of where Hillary used her diplomatic skills to promote change:

"Where is the G-damn f**king flag? I want the G-damn f**king flag up every f**king morning at f**king sunrise."
(From the book "Inside The White House" by Ronald Kessler, p. 244 - Hillary to the staff at the Arkansas Governor's mansion on Labor Day, 1991)
"Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those sunglasses. We need to go back!"
"Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can't f**k her here!!"

Man OMannababwe

Fixing "our crumbling infrastructure" has become a new plan for creating jobs. But, before the government can spend $1 billion hiring road builders and purchasing asphalt, it must first tax or borrow $1 billion from other sectors of the economy, which then lose a similar number of jobs.

In other words, highway spending merely transfers jobs and income from one part of the economy to another. As economist Ronald Utt has explained, "The only way that $1 billion of new highway spending can create 47,576 new jobs is if the $1 billion appears out of nowhere as if it were manna from heaven."

Actually, you can have $1B appear as manna from nowhere if the Fed "prints" it.

Quickly followed by hyper-inflationary collapse...

Vote Rosa!

Ola, this is Rosa. I am blog you again today because I am look for the job. Because the pinche puta gabacha Senora Kennedy she fire me.

Forgive me Guadalupe for to talk like this but I am very very angry. When I blog last time it is because Senora Kennedy, she say "Rosa! Make the blog for my Senator campaign, I have the gown fitting." I say, "but Senora, I no know how to do this blog and have many towels to fold." And then she is angry and say, "I no care, just do this. I am late for appointment at Sachs."

Okay so I write the blog because I no want to make her angry.

When I wake up the next morning I am getting the e-mails from the other blogs they say, "Rosa! You are the very bad racist!" and calling me all the names. It make me sad, but I have vaccuums to do and vomits to clean up in the banos because of the cousin Joe is guest.

I no get my job back but I feel very much better.

Gracias, and remember to vote Rosa for Senate in 2012.

Signing Up For Ownership?

There is a strong case to be made for a short, sharp stimulus package to restrain the collapse of the American economy. This would involve big, simple programs with immediate impact — a temporary cut in the payroll tax, big aid to the states, expanded unemployment insurance and food stamps.
There’s also a very strong case to be made for long-term government reform.
But the stimulus bill emerging in the House of Representatives does neither of these things. The bill marked up Wednesday in the Appropriations Committee is a muddled mixture of short-term stimulus haste and long-term spending commitments. It is an unholy marriage that manages to combine the worst of each approach — rushed short-term planning with expensive long-term fiscal impact.

Now the process may have annoyed Republicans, but the content has appalled them. They are now on firm ideological grounds to oppose it en masse.

If the economy doesn’t perk up, the Democrats will be alone in shouldering the blame.
The R's are venal and introverted. The D's are corrupt and dumb as stumps.

The New Mayor (Daley With Lipstick And A Che T-Shirt)

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“The Washington Times notes today that many of the recipients of federal bailout funds are also major political donors.”

This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

COTD: The ORacket

1. The reason why ACORN wanted to pressure the banks to alter the criteria for approving loans was in order to make money.

Banks changed from financial consideration, such as Down Payment percentage, Monthly payment in relation to Income, Credit History, to whether applicant was attending a Credit Counseling Program.

So, even with no money down, bad credit history, and not enough income, if the applicant was attending one of these Credit Counseling Program, the application was approved.

Guess who offered and ran these Credit Counseling Programs?
ACORN, of course, for a fee. What a racket.

Let’s see what else is ACORN known for? Oh, yes, organizing blacks to vote. Just imagine for a moment. Democratic party primary is where Democrats vote. If all blacks go to poll and vote, they can easily determine whether a candidate will win or lose the primary.
Are you willing to bet your house that they didn’t threaten the Congressional Democrats, who have to run for their seats every 2 years

Listen Carefully

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Why Isn't He In Jail Again?

Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn't look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department's bank bailout fund last fall.

The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use.

Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. One apparent factor: the intercession of Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee.


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It has taken this Labour government longer to wreck the economy than previous ones, but they have done so comprehensively.

- Fraser Nelson, The Spectator.

Our Plastic Dashboard Jesus

Do not despair! For look before you,
The noble army who brought you here:
Thespians and hiphop moguls,
Graphic artists, hipster twats,
The academic scribes of Athens,
basic cable sycophants.

These are the arrows in your quiver,
for the coming epic tests;
Use them well, but first remember:
They’re waiting on those magic tricks.

Good luck with that, well-spoken hero,
I think I’ll grab a snack and watch.”

Obamacles look out onto his drooling throngs, and wept;
for then he realized then may be things even gods can’t do.

Is this man hewn from Olympus,
Sent by Zeus to save our souls?
Or a plastic dashboard Jesus
In a car he can’t control?

Will this Adonis save the planet?
Or is he fleecing golden sheep?
Ask another Muse tomorrow,
Hell if I know, it’s all Greek to me.

Burma Shave


QUESTION: Just so the American people have an understanding, if, for example, U.S. forces were to capture Osama bin Laden or someone less well known, but of operational significance, are they to understand, the American people, that only the Field Manual and the Field Manual only will be the interrogation method used to interrogate a target as valuable potentially as Osama bin Laden or someone of that operational significance?

GIBBS: Well, as it relates to your first question, let me get some guidance from -- from Greg and members of the NSC.

Today's executive order can charitably be described as meaningless, but it illuminates the least attractive side of Barack Obama: his tendency to combine self-righteousness with lack of seriousness.


JOHN adds: I find it remarkable that the Senate is willing to overlook the fact that Geithner failed to pay his self-employment taxes for four years, even though 1) he was specifically told by the IMF that he needed to pay these taxes, 2) the IMF gave him additional compensation specifically earmarked for paying his self-employment taxes, 3) Geithner signed a form stating that he would use this additional compensation to pay his self-employment taxes, and 4) when he was audited by the IRS and his failure to pay self-employment taxes was discovered, he belatedly paid those taxes for 2003 and 2004, but not for 2001 and 2002 because the statute of limitations had run on those years and he couldn't be prosecuted for his failure to pay the taxes he owed.
But I will say this: if Geithner were a Republican with the same tax-scofflaw record, there is not the chance of a snowball in Hell that he would be confirmed.
 blog it

Oxybarama's Extras

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United States President Barack Obama "signaled a commitment to pragmatism not
just as a governing strategy but as a basic value", according to
unintentionally hilarious inauguration dispatch by the New York Times'
bureau chief David Sanger. Pragmatism, of course, is not a value,
but rather the triumph of expediency over values. To call pragmatism a "basic
value" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, like "studied ignorance", or
"impassioned apathy". Obama had plenty of that today, too.
His melanin carried the meaning, which is
to say that he was judged by the color of his skin rather than the content of
his character, in a precise reversal of Martin Luther King Jr's famous phrase.
The son of a
Kenyan economist and an American anthropologist walked off with the
blood-stained mantle of seven decades of civil rights struggle. If the black
poets and clergy offered a counterfeit of real emotion, it is hard to blame
them. They were just the extras on Obama's stage set.


An article on Saturday about the Pentagon's search for military bases in the United States that could replace the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, misstated the size of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., one base under consideration. It is 8.8 square miles -- not eight miles by eight miles, or 64 square miles.

These are, to be blunt, pathetically stupid mistakes. A reasonably bright junior high school student would know that Bulgaria is in the Balkans and an eight square mile area is not eight miles by eight miles. But these errors were made by a New York Times reporter and approved by at least one New York Times editor.

No one with this basic lack of arithmetic and geographic knowledge would last for a week in the business world, yet such ignorance flourishes in the world of journalism.

And that is, in my opinion, the most fundamental problem with American journalism.

Flavor-aide Update

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Well, yes. If a lot of your loans go bad, it's a sign that you need to exercise more care. That's especially true during a recession, which can wipe out companies that once were profitable. Any bankers who want to keep lending at the rate they did before are asking to become insolvent, and more insolvent banks would drag down the economy.
The economy foundered partly because we were too dependent on debt to finance current consumption, and that was unsustainable. But burning some $825 billion on fiscal stimulus, as President Obama proposes, means more of the same. We will be borrowing money to prevent a decline in our current standard of living. That money will eventually have to be paid back, which will require a decline in our future standard of living.
And even if the old-fashioned Keynesian approach is sound in theory, it is probably useless in practice. The Congressional Budget Office says only 7 percent of the infrastructure money requested by Obama will be spent by September.
And while we're at it how many of you know that it was Flavor-aide and not Kool-aide. And that Jim Jones was actually a communist?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Science Moron

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The position of science adviser requires Senate confirmation. Holdren's nomination is likely to sail through, but conscientious senators might wish to ask him some questions. Here are eight:

1. You were long associated with population alarmist Paul Ehrlich, and joined him in predicting disasters that never came to pass. For example, you and Ehrlich wrote in 1969: "If . . . population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come." In 1971, the two of you were adamant that "some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century." In the 1980s, Ehrlich quoted your expectation that "carbon dioxide-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020." What have you learned from the failure of these prophecies to come true?

Goodfellas II: The Problem: Crappy Loans; The Solution: Even More Crappy Loans!

Standard & Poor's equity analyst Erik Oja raised his rating on shares of BancorpSouth (BXS) in part because the regional bank hasn't needed to take TARP funds. Banks don't know all the disadvantages of taking the TARP bailout, Oja says, because "the government does reserve the right to tweak some of the rules going forward."

For example, analysts warn banks may be forced by the government to loan out money. That may help the U.S. economy recover more quickly, but it could hurt bank balance sheets if they're forced to lend to people and businesses just as their finances are being hurt by a serious recession.

In some cases, banks could be forced to eliminate dividends to common shareholders, Oja warns. While others could be forced to boost lending, even though it's difficult to find creditworthy borrowers in a recession. "Taking that money and putting it to work right now is tough," Oja says.

We're from the government and we're here to help!


The basic pattern of the Stimulus Depression continues: the more the government tries to stimulate it, the more depressed the economy gets.

According to the latest report in the New York Times, after hundreds of billions of dollars in spending, the stimulus is not working. The banks who were supposed to be saved by the first round of bailouts are actually in worse shape and need more federal cash.

The Times notes that the source of the problem is that "Private investors are scarce. For all but a small group of healthy banks, bankers and analysts say, the government may be the only investor left."

But the obvious question is: why are private investors scarce? Maybe it has something to do with the terms of the "stimulus" aimed at them.

Much more of this mob-style "stimulus," and private shareholders will have been driven completely out of the financial industry—which will then be taken over by the goodfellas at the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

42 Million Auditors

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked, "Did the software prompt you to pay those taxes?"

"Not to my recollection," Geithner answered.

Do any TurboTax users know otherwise from experience?

UPDATE: A reader responds, "I assure you that Turbotax asks very specifically if you got a 1099 or a W2 from your employer. I know it, you know it, the American people know it!"

Hmmm: "About 42 million taxpayers file their taxes digitally with TurboTax software maker Intuit Inc., the clear market leader." About 42 million Americans are going to hear Geithner's answer and say, "that doesn't match up with my experience."

I suspect Geithner did not help himself with that answer.

Chinese Cheese

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Iran Can't Wait

They can't wait for talks with Obama.

And, Umm, Government Doesn't Actually Create Any Jobs -- It Only Redirects Them At Best

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How about creating jobs? Isn’t that a great way to serve our country? How about the government letting me keep my profits so I can reinvest them in my company and hire more people? Why is it that job creation is only good when the government does it?

Less Than Nothing

Robert Shiller, he of the Case-Shiller Index (and therefore a reasonable symbolic candidate for 2008 Man of the Year, were it not for a certain presidential election), has an op-ed in The New York Times advocating a government program to subsidize financial advice for anyone, particularly low-income people. There is a lot to like about this idea. In Shiller’s proposal, the subsidy would only apply to advisors who charge by the hour and do not take commissions or fund management fees, so they would have no incentive to steer clients into particular investments or into unnecessary transactions. It seems reasonable that, if they had access to impartial advice, some people might not have taken on mortgages they had no hope of paying back or, more prosaically, some people might do a better job of budgeting and take on less credit card debt.

But I have one major reservation,
In my opinion, most financial advice floating around is worth less than nothing.

The Case?

Chari, Chirstiano and Kehoe argue that these three facts suggest that the crisis in the financial markets isn’t quite the problem many are making it out to be for non-financial firms. They argue that firms can finance investment via retained earnings and that if firms can lend directly to each other or pursue joint ventures. Thus the claims that disruptions in the banking/finance system pose a problem for non-financial firms is likely over-stated.

In conclusion the authors do not claim that there is no recession or that it isn’t possibly going to be a deep recession. They merely point out that many of the claims have yet to be seen in the aggregate data. They also argue that without these claims being true the case for massive government intervention has not been made

Massive Distortion

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The focus on consumption complements the proportionate tax. The current stress on taxing income creates a massive distortion against private savings, which are always subject to a second round of taxes. Right now, people tend either to consume wealth or to invest it in art and similar assets whose appreciation falls outside the tax system until the time of sale. The flat consumption tax removes the incentive for excessive consumption by assuring individuals that their savings will not be taxed. People are thus better able to smooth their income over time, so that a constant number of dollars generates higher levels of personal utility.

By this standard, estate tax counts as the worst form of tax on savings. The wealth in question has already been taxed as income on receipt. The incidence of this tax on capital is wholly haphazard. People with long lives are twice-blessed because they can beat the tax in multiple ways.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let Them Eat Coldcuts

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A government ban on charcoal in the Chadian capital N’djamena has created what one observer called “explosive” conditions as families desperately seek the means to cook.

“As we speak women and children are on the outskirts of N’djamena scavenging for dead branches, cow dung or the occasional scrap of charcoal,” Merlin Totinon Nguébétan of the UN Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT) in Chad, told IRIN from the capital. “People cannot cook.”

“Women giving birth cannot even find a bit of charcoal to heat water for washing,” Céline Narmadji, with the Association of Women for Development in Chad, told IRIN.

Unions and other civil society groups say the government failed to prepare the population or make alternative household fuels available when it halted all transport of charcoal and cooking wood into the capital in December in a move, officials said, to protect the environment.

Charcoal is the sole source of household fuel for about 99 percent of Chadians,

The Bush "Boom"

Not that much of a "Bush boom" in other words. Now, to be fair, it would be wrong to blame Bush for the dismal performance during his presidency. He inherited an economy that was falling into a recession because of the tech stock bubble, and while the housing bubble in 2001-2006 did provide a limited boost, it also dragged down the economy in 2007 and 2008. By contrast, Clinton was really lucky to inherit an economy that was just recovering from recession and then enjoyed the pleasant phase of the tech stock bubble while leaving office just before the bust was apparent in growth statistics.

The main blunder of Bush was to reappoint the man guilty for the current problems, Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman, but then again that was a mistake also made by Reagan, papa Bush and Clinton. He also increased spending far too much (more on that below) and implemented policies that in the name of his "ownership society" vision aggravated the housing bubble.


Arnold Kling comments on the discussion among various Keynesians like Paul Krugman, Cristina Romer and Greg Mankiw on the "multipliers" of various forms of "stimulus":

"It is amazing what happens when you assume that you live in a linear world. You say that the multiplier for government spending is 1.57.

Really? Over what range? Think of it this way: at which level of additional government spending would the path of U.S. real GDP be the highest?

(a) $100 billion in spending above the baseline
(b) $1 trillion in spending above the baseline
(c) $100 trillion in spending above the baseline

If you use a constant multiplier of 1.57, the right answer is (c). Yet we know that this is not the right answer. At $100 trillion in additional government spending, the United States would be operating like Zimbabwe, with similar results."

Indeed, why not go for a quadrillion dollars? That would make all Americans multi-millionaires!


Zombies. Seen one lately? If not, you may soon, because they are about to menace the U.S. economy. In financial lingo, zombies are debtors that have little hope of recovery but manage to avoid being wiped out thanks to support from their lenders or the government. Zombies suck life out of an economy by consuming tax money, capital, and labor that would be better deployed in growing companies and sectors. Meanwhile, by slashing prices to generate sales, zombie companies can drag healthier rivals into insolvency.

As the economy goes into what may become the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the Obama Administration will come under even more pressure to prop up sick financial and nonfinancial companies to save jobs. The debate will center on wounded giants such as Citigroup (C), General Motors (GM), and insurer American International Group (AIG). Other sectors with their hands out include steel, airlines, retail—and homeowners, who may be the scariest zombies of all

The Quiet

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all escaped together to tell the tale.

And what a tale it is! One cannot help but be impressed not only by the mere logistics of their survival as well as its improbability, but by the near-unanimity of the passengers’ stories of calm and mutual assistance.

For a typical example, here’s a portion of the transcript of a Bill O’Reilly interview with survivor Fred Beretta:

REILLY: Now, at this point was the plane still quiet as you were descending down or were people getting a little scared?

BERETTA: It was still really quiet. I think everyone was just stunned. Sort of the reality of it was — people were just assimilating that.

O’REILLY: Do you remember what you were thinking?

BERETTA: I thought — I looked out the window and I thought there’s a good chance we’re going to die. And I did think about my family and started praying.