Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unemployment Numbers That Don't Match Up

This Friday, the unemployment data will be released for the month of January.

Last month, 43 states saw their unemployment rates rise (Click to See Full Story from ABC News: Unemployment Rose in 43 States Last Month).

Yet -- unbelievably -- the national unemployment rate remained steadfastly at 10%. Since when is a whole number less than the sum of all of its parts? I guess when all the bean counters report to the President and the President is down in the polls!

That is why I didn't and the stock market didn't get too excited about that supposed better-than-expected GDP claim of last Friday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Comment About The Party Of No

Since the Massachusetts election of the Republican Scott Brown there has been a lot of commentary by the Democrats that the Republicans are seen as the "Party of No".

Oh, really?

The voter's of Massachusetts embraced the "Party of No". Scott Brown loudly ran as the 41st vote that would defeat the rampant spending, irrational legislation, and dirty-dealing of the Democrats. Massachusetts -- a bluer than blue state -- voted for "no" as a rejection of all the radical liberal (blue) policies of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

If they had wanted another "Party of Yes" representative in Congress, they would have voted for Martha Coakley -- the Democrat.

This "Party of No" labeling is just another attempt by the Obama P.R. people to try and make lemonade out all the lemons they've been rightly handed!

Please Note: While I had said that I wouldn't blog anymore, I have decided to make brief comments in this blog from time to time. No lengthy dissertations.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Workers Puttering Around....AGAIN!

It seems as if we never learn from the past. During the Great Depression, FDR, his economic team, and the then-Congress thought that "road building" and "public works projects" would get the economy back on its feet. So, they implemented the WPA (Work Progress Administration) to employ the unemployed in things like building roads and bridges and other public works activities. But, after years of failing to provide tangible economic recovery, the term WPA, instead, became jokingly known as Workers (just) Puttering Around.

When Obama and his Democratic majority pushed through the Stimulus Package, they, too, advertised that "shovel-ready" road-building and other public works activities would bring America back to it's feet with jobs-a-plenty. Now, a year later, we have an unemployment rate in double digits at 25 percent higher than what Obama had promised; and, that rate could possibly increase further. Also, there is no significant indication that any"shovel-ready" public works activities have made a single dent in the continued loss of jobs (Click to See the Full AP/CNBC Story: "What Stimulus? Road Projects Aren't Boosting Jobs Much").

The stupidity of the so called "shovel-ready" stimulus plan was that it ignored all that had been written about how ineffective the WPA was during the Great Depression. Almost every job created by the WPA turned out to be short-lived, temporary employment. As a result, there was no ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy.

To revisit the WPA again, during this recession, shows how absolutely ignorant Obama and his economic team are of history. Even this lone blogger predicted failure when I wrote the entry "The Lessons of the WPA and the Great Depression" in October of 2008 -- three months before Obama got into office and four months before the Stimulus Plan was enacted. I will say it once again: The only purpose of the Stimulus Package was to pay back the labor unions (teachers, police, fire fighters, SEIU, AFL-CIO, etc) for supporting an Obama run for the White House and to gain a Democratic control of Congress in the last election. Getting the economy back to work was the last thing on Obama's mind when he signed the Stimulus Plan into law. And, every day that goes by just proves me right!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Black Leadership's Blind Eye

The political left (including the President), black leadership figures such as Al Sharpton, and left wing organizations like the NAACP have come to the defense of Harry Reid after it was revealed that in 2008 he made the comment that Barack Obama will be President because he doesn't have a "Negro dialect."

Over the last five decades, African Americans in this county have worked to divorce themselves from the word "Negro" because of the fact that the word "nigger" was a slang that was derived from it. Blacks, themselves, use the word Negro typically as a derogatory term implying that someone is an Uncle Tom. Recently, there was a minor uproar when it was found that the new census forms contain a reference to that word as seen in this news story: (Click to See Full Story).

To me, the only people that are being hurt by this defense of Harry Reid are the Blacks themselves. They are weakening their defense against racial epithets by condoning this form of negative labeling from any white person -- especially one who is supposedly in the political leadership. More than anything, the defense of Reid clearly shows the hypocrisy of the left and the political polarity of Black Americans. They can argue all day that there isn't a double standard but this proves that there is. It proves it because they are willing to sacrifice the hard-fought battle against racial slurs in order to protect any Democrat. I think most Americans can see what is going on. For sure, the Blacks and political left have completely weakened their case against "racial bigotry" going forward by not taking Reid to task. In the future, screams of racism are probably going to fall on more deaf ears than there had been before the Reid flap. And, the Black leadership and the political left have only themselves to blame for it.

Lastly, if Harry Reid was so sensitive to Black causes -- as Obama and other Black leaders have implied -- he would have never even said the word "Negro" either publicly or privately. The fact that he did say it implies that it must be part of his vocabulary or, possibly, a Freudian slip that reveals only a pseudo-sympathy for Black civil rights. A pseudo-sympathy that is driven merely by politics of using Blacks to get the their vote. I believe that attitude is prevalent throughout the Democratic party.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama's Weak Green Jobs Plan!

Jobs are being lost in this country by the "shovelful" and, our completely out of touch President thinks he can correct it by using a "teaspoon".

Once again, Obama has focused in on "green jobs" to save the dying economy. On Friday, he said he would push for $2 billion dollars in tax credits to create 17,000 green jobs (Click to See Full Story: "Obama pushes for cash for green jobs") Then, to top off that disingenuous plan, the President's Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, makes the statement that there is "no greater priority" than getting Americans back to work.

Who are these people kidding!

Anyone with even half a brain, even completely filled with Jello, would know that "no greater priority" isn't addressed by creating a handful of green jobs. This just proves that our President and his Treasury Secretary aren't truly interested in making America strong again. In fact, it lends credence to all those who believe that Obama wishes to implode America as a capitalist society so that he and all his leftist friends can rebuild it as a completely socialistic entity.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lending Credence To An Old Saying

I suspect by now that you know that the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, pleaded "not guilty" in court Friday. This certainly lends credence to that old saying: "Liar, Liar..pants on fire!"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Unemployment Report With A Lot Of Year-End Noise

I think there was too much anticipation built into yesterday's unemployment report. I, like a lot of people, thought that the report might be better than what was finally reported. I based this on the fact that companies try to avoid layoffs during the holidays and because there is a logical limit to the number of employees they can let go and still remain operational.

As it was, the report stunned many. There was a high expectation that December might actually add jobs. But, as we know now, the economy dropped another 85,000 workers. Even the government shed 21,000.

The only thing that the Democrats and Obama can cheer about is the fact that November's jobs report was revised to show that 4,000 jobs were added; rather than a loss of 11,000. But, in an estimated workforce of 140 million, 4 thousand jobs is nothing.

I think the jobs reports going forward are now more important than ever. Having spent years in the business arena, I know that January through March are important months. It is a time when companies assess their business activity over the last 12 months and make decisions on their operations going forward. If they had a good year, they probably won't make any cuts in either operations or people. However, I believe many will have seen the last year as a negative and will, then, decide to make changes that could result in more lost jobs for the months of February, March, and April. By the way, part of the decision to keep or let people go could be based on any increases in the tax burden that companies see coming out of Washington and state governments for this year and beyond.

At the very least, next month's jobs report should show more losses than the 85,000 that we saw this month. That's because a number of seasonally added jobs will be shed as the retail Holiday sales activity shuts down. Additionally, I would think that companies who postponed layoffs because of the Holidays will finally be letting some people go.

All of this means that we will have high unemployment rates for a very long time. Don't forget that our economy already has an unemployed and under-employed level of about 23 million workers. Under normal conditions that number should be at about 10 million. This means that 13 million valid jobs must be created to come back to normal. If that is to happen in 3 years, the economy would have to add more than 275,000 jobs per month. Losing any jobs is just going to sustain the currently high unemployment level.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How Real Science Is Supposed To Work

This morning, a research group released data that may actually show that EMF radiation from cellphones could possibly impede and reverse the development of Alzheimers disease (Click to See Full Story: "Cell Phone Radiation Cuts Alzheimer's... in Mice).

Aside from the amazing conclusions of this research, there is a more important lesson to be learned here.

The group doing the research initially set out to prove that Alzheimers patients would suffer additional deteriorating effects if they were exposed to cellphone radiation. But, the results showing an improvement in those patients was a complete surprise. They now have pressed forward in seeing if there is actually a cure that could come out of their research.

This is so contrary to the research being done by the AGW Climate Change scientific community. In the case of global warming research, if the data contradicted the results they were looking for, they changed the data and not their opinions. As the President always likes to say, the Alzheimer scientists have truly provided a "teaching moment". Of course, the Global Warming scientists and Obama probably aren't listening.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And, So, The Rats Start Jumping Ship

Politicians have big egos. An electoral loss would be a wrenching blow. To avoid that possibility, we now have a bunch of Democrats who clearly see the writing on the wall and have decided to jump ship and retire.

In just the last 36 hours, 2 Democratic Senators have announced that they will not run again. The first-term Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, is quitting because he can't raise money. Most notably, Chris Dodd -- in serious trouble in Connecticut -- is the biggest loss for the Democrats to date. Besides the Senate losses, the Dems have also had four Congressmen decide to retire in 2010, and one Congressman, Parker Griffith of Alabama, is switching parties.

It seems that last year's legislative agenda and those to come in 2010 are clearly intended to be kamakaze in nature. The Democrats, primarily Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, have apparently decided to sacrifice the weakest of the party for their highly liberal, socialist, and so-called progressive agendas. They know that they will never have another chance like this. The fact that they have a majority in both Houses -- with an agenda ramming 60-vote majority in the Senate -- and a far left President at the helm puts them in what can only be described as a political perfect storm enabling them to maximize the destruction of our Democratic and capitalistic society. They also are aware that the chances are extremely slim that the Republicans will ever gain the majority they would need in order to correct any damage that has already been done.

In conclusion, I would expect more to make the decision to retire. However, if enough decide to call it quits, others who may want to stick around, just might start to vote against the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agendas in order to save their jobs. If so, this could be a God send.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The 2008 Wins Weren't What The Democrats Thought They Were

If you listened to almost any Democrat over the last year, you would have heard an echo in their words that said America voted for "change" and that was the mandate that they were handed. However, today's polling is really telling us that Americans were primarily upset about the economy under Bush and the Republicans. They were not wishing for a massive accumulation of debt and the promotion of a huge left-wing social agenda.

In retrospect, I think almost any Democrat could have won against any Republican in 2008. That's because the conditions on the ground -- from the collapse of the housing bubble to the economic meltdown of a recession -- sealed the fate of the Republicans and left the door wide open for the Democrats to win control of both Houses of Congress.

What the Democrats sensed as a "mandate" was actually a rebellion. America wasn't voting for the Democrats in 2008. They were voting against the Republicans. That subtle nuance is why the Democrats are so wrong in what they are doing today. That is why Obama is seeing the worst ever December polling numbers of any President in history. Now, we are seeing a Democratic party that may lose heavily in this Fall's mid-term election because they don't truly understand why they now have control; and, because of this, they have clearly overstepped their boundaries.

There are those on the left -- including the national media -- that seem to believe that Democrats will simply win or lose this Fall's election on the basis of the jobs picture. I don't think so. I think that there are a number of elements that will result in big losses for them in November; and, the blame for those losses must be shouldered by the bad management at the top by Obama and the current Democratic majority in Congress.

Surely, the economy will be a big issue. But, the Democrats and Obama actually lost the "blame Bush" excuse when they passed the massive Stimulus Plan and, then, America found out that it didn't work. So, in essence, they became owners of this economy and, I think, short of anything less than 8 percent unemployment in the Fall, they will be held accountable.

I think, too, that America is disappointed in the "bait and switch" tactics that they have been getting from Obama. He preached fiscal control and yet blew that out of the water in January with the Stimulus Package and the final 2009 Omnibus bill. There was supposed to be transparency; but, the public saw none. And in complete contrast to reaching across the aisle, he has shut out the Republicans completely.

Lastly, Obama's national security positions are a joke. He has embarked on prosecuting CIA personnel for enhanced interrogation techniques and, by doing so, has probably emasculated that critical agency. He's decided to close Gitmo as if this facility is the only reason that radical Islamic terrorism is growing. He will prosecute KSM and other terrorists as if they were a bunch of ordinary criminals. He and his Administration have stopped referring to the "war on terror" and are determined to Mirandize terrorists as if they robbed a liquor store. That very thing happened when they took the Christmas Day bomber into custody. Now, he's lawyered up and not talking. Worse yet, we will be offering him "plea bargain" deals like less time in jail if he coughs up any credible information about how the plot was developed; who his contacts were; and where he received the bomb materials and training.

I think the latest attempted bombing incident -- more than anything -- has shown how weak a leader Obama is. For that reason, the Democrats will probably lose more than people think in the Fall elections.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When One Left Agenda Meets Another Left Agenda

Back in August of 2008, I wrote the following:
There are always the environmental and conservationist elitists who are ready to block anything that hasn't been put on earth by God. They will be blocking wind farms because of the impact on wildlife. They will argue that these structures will have detrimental impact on bird migration and their foraging and nesting habits and habitats. Wind farms will pose a threat to wildlife and insects because of the noise and ground vibration they create. For sure, the great "vistas" of this country will need to be protected from these gigantic monstrosities of mankind.

Well, the truth of that statement has truly come home to roost.

At the time I wrote that, I was talking about how the Kennedy's (Ted and R.F.K., Jr.) were blocking an offshore wind farm in Nantucket. Now, today, in a desert area of Mojave, the Sierra Club is blocking the installation of acres of solar mirrors to deliver green energy to 142,000 homes in Southern California (Click to See Full Story: "Clash: Green energy vs. turtle")..

As predicted, the left is its own worst enemy when it comes to its environmental agenda. On the one hand, they want green energy such as solar, geothermal, and wind. But, on the other hand, the don't want the land and the animals to be hurt or even disturbed. All too often, the only places you can put green energy systems such as wind turbines are in remote areas that just happen to be occupied by some endangered species. Or, as in the case of Nantucket, these "green" power producers are just plain ugly and they will destroy the pristine environment with horrid reminders that mankind is on this earth.

When Obama talks about green energy, he's talking to the political left who wants to save the planet from the ravages of CO2. At the same time, he's forgetting the political left who wants to save every critter on earth; even if there is only one of their kind left on the planet. So, as I predicted, groups like the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, and Greenpeace will spend billions of dollars in court fights to block the erection of green wind and solar farms. For that reason, Obama's dream of green energy is just that -- a dream. And, its a dream because Obama can't please the many factions of his own political party.

Monday, January 4, 2010

And, So, Another World Crisis Passes

I find it interesting that, once again, we have another world crisis that has completely fallen on its face with "Chicken Little" accuracy.

That crisis? H1N1 -- aka the swine flu.

Like a Nuclear World War, the Destruction of the Ozone Layer, Y2k, the Avian Virus, and so many other impending disasters, we wind up finding out that H1N1 is another non starter of a catastrophe. In fact, H1N1 is about 8 times less likely to spread than the normal flu and is 9 times less likely to kill; although children were 20 times more likely to die from this strain than the normal seasonal flu.

Certainly, the world's leadership is caught between "crying wolf", having nothing happen, and having people get complacent about any future grim predictions; or, saying nothing and winding up with a massive and horrific disaster on their hands. That's a big problem. The worst thing that can happen is to have people ignore warnings because they have been conditioned by so many false alarms in the past.

I really think that it is important for the same world leadership that declared H1N1 a pandemic and potential disaster, to get out the word that they had to take a "better safe than sorry" posture to make sure that the worst possible outcome could be avoided. They need to make everyone aware that they were unsure of what H1N1 could morph into. To simply let this non-disaster pass and, then, say nothing will only coarsen peoples attitudes towards ignoring future warnings.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Should Banks Lend If They're Getting Free Money

Probably one of the dumbest things going is this country's current monetary policy. Unfortunately, Barack Obama's economic advisers don't seem to understand what is happening when they complain that banks aren't lending.

Under the current policy, any bank can borrow money from the Federal Reserve at an interest rate from zero to one-quarter percent. At the same time, banks can use that borrowed money to buy 10-year U.S. Notes from the Treasury Department and earn 3.84% in annual interest. The net gain is anywhere from 3.84 to 3.59 percent without spending a dime of their own money. Why should any bank risk giving out loans when they can easily earn no-risk money by working two separate agencies of the United States government?

If you want to force banks to start lending again, raise the Federal Reserve rate closer to the 10-year Treasury Note rate. And, keep the Treasury rate low by stopping the wasteful practice of deficit spending. It's as simple as that!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Murphy's Law Of Counter Terrorism

The longer I live, the more I believe in old sayings and adages like Murphy's first law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". In fact, when it came to the Christmas Day Crotch Bomber, even the bomb itself went wrong.

When it comes to the United States security side of that bombing incident, Murphy may have been better off writing the words "Everything that can go wrong will go wrong" because, truly, everything did go wrong from our government's standpoint. Short of wearing a sign on his body, every possible warning sign about the Crotch Bomber was ignored by the Feds:

  • His father -- a high level Nigerian Banker -- warned the U.S. government about his son; going all the way back to November of 2007. He didn't just warn us once, we now know he warned us three times.
  • The CIA had this guy under surveillance since August.
  • He met with and communicated with the same Imam that had been in contact with the Fort Hood shooter.
  • The British government denied him a student visa because of his radical beliefs.
  • He purchased a one-way ticket using cash.
  • He had no luggage.
  • He carried no passport and had no authorizing visa to enter the United States.
It is amazing to me that we now hear calls for full, naked body scanners at our airports as if a scanner was needed to catch this guy. All that was needed was for our government to pay attention to just "one" of the above warning signals and, then, there wouldn't have even been an attempted Christmas bombing.

Quite frankly, body scanners might be a great technology but, they're extremely expensive. A well-trained bomb sniffing dog could achieve the same result and for a lot less money. And the dog can do it a lot faster than having a human try to interpret what they are seeing on an imaging screen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Have A Happy New Year!

Always remember... If you tell someone your New Year's resolution, you might actually have to keep it!