May 29, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment (052908, Morning)

The faux recession tidbits from this morning’s earlier post reminded me to get to thisPer the Associated Press via USA Today, “Buffett sees USA in recession”:

Asked by Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly whether he thinks the U.S. could still avoid a recession, he said that as far as the average person is concerned, it’s already here.

“I believe that we are already in a recession,” Buffett was quoted by Spiegel as saying. “Perhaps not in the sense as defined by economists. … But people are already feeling the effects of a recession.”

“It will be deeper and longer than what many think,” he added.

Warren, what is “it”? Would that be the recession as economists define it, or as people feel it?

Gosh, I hate to be so cynical, but the report’s last paragraph struck me:

Omaha-based Berkshire has about $35 billion in cash and is looking to invest. Berkshire’s subsidiaries include insurance, clothing, furniture, natural gas, corporate jet and candy companies. Berkshire also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Anheuser-Busch Cos.

It seems to me that Buffett would benefit greatly if there is a recession, or at least if people think there’s one, even when there’s not. The two companies cited are old reliables that investors gravitate to for safety when times are tough. Additionally, that $35 billion will buy a lot more in acquisitions if people think the economy is bad and asset prices go down.

Update: Buffett told CNBC in early March that “I would say, by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession.” This is the same Buffett, with tons of money to invest, who famously said that he wants to invest in times of pessimism.

The Oracle has no clothes — He clearly stands to benefit from feeding the pessimism, and appears to be on a campaign to feed it.

These items are also discussed at this NewsBusters.org post.

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Here’s one of the latest “gaffes” (as of about 12 hours ago, so I may be behind by two or three at this point) by the presidential candidate I irreverently refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas HusseinObambi“ Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters). He said that he isn’t interested in going to Iraq with John McCain to see what conditions are like on the ground, or in meeting with General Petraeus.

He apparently revised that later by saying he’s “considering” visiting Iraq himself (HT Ben Keeler at The Point). But we know from previous statements that Obama will meet with Iran’s Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

Why the visceral initial negative reaction to Iraq and Petraeus? I’ll tell you why: It’s the same reflexive dislike and distrust of the military Bill Clinton and his wife, the presidential candidate I refer to as “HR4C” (Hillary Rodham Cackling Crying Complaining Clinton), brought to the White House in 1993.

Does anyone doubt that Obama and a Democratic majority would further gut the military, as Clinton did, if they get the chance?

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Another reason why Obama might not want to go to Iraq, or anywhere else outside the cozy confines of the US, from IBDeditorials.com (bolds are mine):

They said the surge would fail. They claimed we had no allies. They called Iraq a quagmire. They sought to cut and run. Now, our victories over terror are accelerating across the world.

Take a look at what happened in the global war on terror just over the Memorial Day weekend:

Iraqi forces ran al-Qaida terrorists out of Mosul, the terror organization’s final urban stronghold.

….. Iraqi troops also cleaned out Basra and Sadr City, reducing any prospect for domestic insurgents to take power by force. Along with al-Qaida, these terrorists may try to continue, but the will is fading as the pressure is ratcheted up.

In Colombia ….. three of FARC’s seven top leaders have been killed since March, and the rest are headed “for the grave …..

Hundreds of FARC foot soldiers are now furtively phoning the government to beg for a deal.

….. British forces for the first time drove the Taliban from a southern stronghold in a 96-hour battle this month.

….. In the south Philippines, Marxist and Muslim terrorists are desperate.

….. In Egypt’s al-Qaida inner circle, a leading jihad ideologue, using the nom de guerre Dr. Fadl, has now openly questioned terrorism as a tactic, given al-Qaida’s mounting losses. He threatened to renounce violence — a new blow to the jihadists.

Has there ever been such an epidemic of terrorist surrender? And the trend is growing. For the first time, the possibility of a world without major terror organizations is real. The world has shrunk for them, while the nations that fight back are getting stronger.

Significantly, those doing much of the winning are U.S. allies — the ones we supposedly don’t have.

The British have sprung to life after years of ineffectiveness. They now show their old mettle as they break the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi, Colombian and Philippine militaries have become effective anti-terrorist fighters after U.S. training. Those countries’ forces were directly responsible for victory in Mosul, and big reversals in the jungles of Colombia and Philippines.

As victories crescendo, it should be trumpeted loudly: The surge is working.

This is all happening in a month where US military deaths in Iraq will (praying) be the lowest in over four years.

Obviously, at least to me, it’s more than “the surge.” And though I’m hesitant to go as far as IBD did, given the nature of the enemy, it seems clear that an Obama trip outside the US would do nothing more than show how wrong he and his party have been all these years.

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1 Comment

  1. Very noble he would consider going.

    Comment by Ben Keeler — May 29, 2008 @ 2:51 pm

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