December 15, 2011

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121511)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.


At NewsBusters yesterday“Matthews Apologizes for MSNBC’s KKK Smear of Romney: ‘Appalling Lack of Judgment.’” Matthews had compared “a Mitt Romney campaign slogan to the Ku Klux Klan. The Hardball host conceded, “It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this, and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize, we really do, to the Romney campaign.”

Matthews was so full of remorse that “About thirty minutes after host Chris Matthews apologized for his network’s pathetic Ku Klux Klan smear of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he disgustingly attacked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich saying, ‘You don’t give WMD to someone known even by his old former allies to be in a crunch, or even whenever things get edgy, to be himself a weapon of mass destruction.”

The good news is that twice as many total viewers watch Fox News during his time slots (example here).


Spengler explains a lot about Team Obama and its regime of uncertainty: “Severing reward from accomplishment is just as important to autocrats as separating punishment from crime. To wield arbitrary power, the king/dictator/CEO must wield power arbitrarily.”


Mood-altering narrative“This slump won’t end until 2031.” If we let authoritarians and statists instead of free markets rule, that’s not impossible.


At the College Conservative (HT Instapundit) — “My Time at Walmart: Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform.” I’ll bet there are thousands of stories just like it around the country. Make that “I’m certain.”


Economic Bellwethers? — First, Best Buy:

Best Buy 3rd-quarter profit falls, shares skid

Electronics retailer Best Buy said Tuesday that its third-quarter net income fell 29 percent as it cut prices in popular categories such as tablets and TVs to drive sales and traffic during the busy holiday season.

Its adjusted earnings missed analysts’ expectations, and its shares sank more than 15 percent.

You would think that Best Buy, which basically owns the brick-and-mortar portion of the electronics and appliance markets and is aggressively building its online presence, could do well no matter what.

Well, maybe it’s because its Internet competitors, principally Amazon, are eating into its business in a profitable way.

Nope: Inc shares dropped to levels not seen since March Wednesday on concern that big spending and aggressive pricing by the No. 1 Internet retailer will hit profit during the crucial holiday season and well into next year.

My take is that both outfits are deeply discounting because the goods won’t move if they don’t. That runs against the robust holiday spending meme the establishment press is attempting to build and doesn’t bode well for the post-Christmas letdown/employment shakeout in retail.

Finally, there’s this at the AP from Christopher Rugaber, who just a day earlier was trying to put smiley-faces on retail numbers with which almost everyone else was disappointed:

CEOs of big companies foresee no pickup in hiring

Two-thirds of chief executives of the largest U.S. companies say they don’t plan to increase hiring or will cut staff in the next six months, mainly because of sluggish growth in the United States and financial turmoil in Europe.

Okay, large companies usually don’t drive employment during recoveries, but not at all? It’s still not looking good out there.



  1. A most interesting article, the source of the AGW scam, the property & casualty insurance industry!

    Lawrence Solomon: Insured disaster
    (November 21, 2011) The insurance industry has been behind the global-warming fraud since the 1970s.

    …The insurance industry earned every dollar that it makes from global warming — its sharp-eyed marketers spotted the potential before anyone else. In 1973, Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurers, warned that rising temperatures could result in receding glaciers and polar caps, shrinking lakes, and rising ocean temperatures, with carbon dioxide as the culprit

    …Last year, the American Meteorological Society published a peer-reviewed study that investigated insurance claims from extreme weather events. The study’s author, Laurens M. Bouwer of the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands, examined 22 previous disaster loss studies involving extreme-weather-related natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, as well as small-scale weather events such as wildfires and hailstorms.

    The conclusion: “The studies show no trends in losses … that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters.”…

    For anyone who owns property in Florida you know how absurdly high property insurance is even when you haven’t filed a claim in 10 or 20 years. Property insurance ($1600/yr on a modest home of 1400 sqft) rivals property tax in cost which is unheard of to most people in the Northeast. It’s a financial scam that continues to pay the insurance companies huge rewards and we shouldn’t wonder why the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to pile on the money making scam.

    It is vitally important that Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae be dissolved since Franklin Raines (Obama’s friend and former CEO) planned to force every home owner via Fannie Mae’s lending rules to undergo a carbon footprint audit and either pay $10s of thousands to bring the property up to “current standard” of energy efficiency OR pay a carbon credit fee. The whole point of the carbon credit fee was a shake down of home owners and now you understand why lending rules were made so ridiculously lax since this extra expense would be financed by the home owner as a part of the sale. Meaning the FMs would not only skim an extra fee of pure profit from the Carbon credit but also INTEREST on the extra amount borrowed for either the carbon credit or the required upgrades. The timely debacle of the housing market unraveled the plans and also of the Chicago Carbon Credit exchange (which coindentally was also owned by Obama’s friends).

    Note the link where Munich Re is boasting about it’s being the FIRST to alert the industry in green thinking…–%202008.pdf

    Comment by dscott — December 15, 2011 @ 9:55 am



    Why was Minister Hadi Farhan al-Amiri not arrested as soon as he set foot on US soil????? Another example of the gross incompetence of the Obama regime.

    Comment by dscott — December 15, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  3. Iran didn’t shoot down the drone over their air space, they STOLE IT!

    Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer

    The GPS navigation is the weakest point,” the Iranian engineer told the Monitor, giving the most detailed description yet published of Iran’s “electronic ambush” of the highly classified US drone. “By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.”

    The “spoofing” technique that the Iranians used – which took into account precise landing altitudes, as well as latitudinal and longitudinal data – made the drone “land on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications” from the US control center, says the engineer.

    And Ahmadinejad had the nerve to demand an apology. The Iranians committed an act of war and what does Obama do? Nothing? Not even destroy the drone?…because he feared it might start hostilities? Obama is now officially a paper tiger and the most feckless leader in the world. This failure to act now brings the US even closer to a military confrontation with Iran since Ahmadinejad calculates Obama doesn’t have the stones to face down any of his aggressive actions. What’s truly dangerous is that Iran no longer knows where the line in the sand is believing Obama is too afraid or feckless to act. This invites aggression and miscalculation.

    Either Obama is truly incompetent in not destroying the drone OR he is baiting Iran to step over the line to justify a war to re-elect himself. Look for more incidents like this and IF Obama is a cold calculating person either September or October of 2012 just before the elections, a war will start.

    Comment by dscott — December 15, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

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