March 6, 2009

Column of the Day: Krauthammer — ‘Most Radical Agenda in Our Lifetime’

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:27 am

At Townhall, another well-known commentator calls out the nature of Obama’s agenda, and explains the markets’ decline:

But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What’s going on? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets’ recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions — the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic — for enacting his “Big Bang” agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy — worthy and weighty as they may be — are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

Some of us warned that this is what was really going on.

Nobody with a brain can make a case that this is what America consciously and deliberately voted for in November.

The February Employment Situation Report: The POR Economy Pours It On

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:53 am

Earlier this week, ADP said that private employers shed 697,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in February, the first full month since Barack Obama’s inauguration, just short of four months after his election, and roughly nine months into The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.

Today, Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics chimed in similarly about all employers:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to fall sharply in February (-651,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 7.6 to 8.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Payroll employment has declined by 2.6 million in the past 4 months. In February, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major industry sectors.

An update to the post-election job loss totals, as well as those since the POR Economy began, is on the way.

UPDATE: Revisions to prior months show that an additional 161,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were lost in December and January compared to what was reported last month.

Over 3.6 million seasonally adjusted jobs have been lost since the POR Economy’s impact on employment can fairly be said to have begun (the POR Economy began sometime in June,

BLSseasAdj0209

In the months since Obama’s election, the current period has underperformed the prior period in regards to actual, on the ground, not seasonally adjusted employment changes by almost 3.0 million — and the previous comparables were not that impressive in the first place:

BLSnotSeasAdj0209

UPDATE 2: From Bloomberg

President Barack Obama now has the distinction of presiding over his own bear market.

Well, that’s a start to admitting to the full course of events. As noted yesterday, as of Thursday’s close, the markets were down an average of close to 50% since the POR Economy kicked in, if June 1, 2008 is defensibly used as the best approximate benchmark for when it began.

Please, Cut the Crap About ‘Bush’s Deficits’ …..

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:42 am

….. right now:

The (Obama) budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.

Lucid Links (030609)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:19 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

ObamaGlassNotes0309Detroit Free Press — “Visteon shares at 2 cents; bankruptcy feared.” Visteon is/was Ford’s attempt to do what on-the-brink General Motors did with Delphi.

At Politico — “Obama’s safety net: the TelePrompter” (HT Warner Todd Huston at NewsBusters). This is beyond pathetic. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that we have a president who would have a hard time getting through a high school speech class. Especially note how the press works hard to cover for his extemporaneous speech-making impediment.

Can’t let this one get away  — “The Obama administration has directed defense officials to sign a pledge stating they will not share 2010 budget data with individuals outside the federal government.” Now imagine if Bush had done this.

No, it’s not the Onion, it’s the Obama Administration — “US Treasury secretary (Tax Cheat Tim Geithner) attacks oil, gas tax breaks.”

No, it’s not the Onion, it’s the Obama Administration (from the same link) — Tax Cheat Tim is a climatologist on the side, telling Congress that “U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming.” I would say “Stick to your day job,” Tim, but …. well, maybe Jim Hanson is hiring.

Totally unrelated” to the previous item (not) — “Treasury Secretary Geithner’s choice for deputy withdraws; department still lacks senior staff.” Also in the article “Geithner’s choice for undersecretary of international affairs, Caroline Atkinson, also withdrew from consideration, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.” And this: “Five weeks into his tenure, he (Geithner) has yet to name a single top deputy or assistant secretary.” My theory: Those turning the jobs down know a train wreck when they see it, and are not interested in jumping on board. Update: Michelle Malkin — “Wow. The rats keep jumping off the sinking S.S. Treasury Department.”

Jim Cramer on Obama, the NewsBusters collection:
- Feb. 2 — “We Heard Lenin”
- Feb. 13 — “Who Edits This (NYT) B.S.?”
- March 3 — “It’s Amateur Hour at Our Darkest Moment”
- March 3 — “This Is the Greatest Wealth Destruction by a President”
- March 3 — “Robert Gibbs Does It Again”

Cramer’s last word, at his place — “My Response to the White House” –
- Money sentence at his response (Page 2) — “The market’s the effect; much of what the president is fighting for is the cause.”
- The “I was fooled” admission (Page 5) — “I favored Obama over McCain because I thought Obama to be a middle-of-the-road Democrat.”
- Cramer still has the blame allocation for why we are where we are wrong. Some things take time.

After all the talk of deep, dark White House conspiracies during the Bush Administration, we have proof of a deep, dark conspiracy emanating from within the Obama campaign, and then the White House, just 6-1/2 weeks into the administration: “Rush Job: Inside Dems’ Limbaugh plan.”

Positivity: Family Gives Life After 5-Month-Old’s Death

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Oklahoma (video is at link):

Posted (3/5/09) 5:00pm

A tragic situation creates new hope in the lives of others. 5-month-old Natalie Emami died last month from head injuries after possibly being shaken by her father. Now, the family is giving the gift of life. Little Natalie was able to donate many of her organs to help others. Today, they presented a piece that they hope will help others make this life-saving choice.

Natalie Emami’s mother, Ramona read a letter which said, “For all the love and care given to our baby girl, Natalie Michelle Emami.”

One month to the day after she passed away, 5-month-old Natalie’s family donates glass artwork to Lifeshare of Oklahoma for their help in finding a ray of hope in a tragic situation.

“To let her give something that she could possibly give,” says Natalie’s mother, Ramona Emami.

After doctors told the family that their baby girl would not make it, Ramona initially said she didn’t want to donate Natalie’s organs. But the more she thought about it, the more she wanted to do it.

“It doesn’t take away the grief, but it does help the grieving process just a little bit to know that your baby was able to help another baby,” Ramona explained.

The 5-month-old’s heart, liver, and lungs were able to be saved.

Kimmie Wilson, a Lifeshare Organ Procurement Coordinator said, “Natalie’s heart went to a 14 month-old baby boy in Arkansas who’s alive and doing well. The small intestines went to a 14 month-old baby girl in New York City who’s also alive, doing well, and playing.”

Robert Turner. the Exec. Director of Lifeshare of Oklahoma said, “Families at their moment of greatest personal grief can make a decision and by doing that spare another family from having that same kind of loss.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.