Political Critic Archives - February 2009

 

Archives - February 2009

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Friday, February 27, 2009 - 9:30pm

Double Digits

California's unemployment rate climbed to 10.1% in January.  It is their highest rate since June, 1983.  Their all-time record was 11.0% in 1982, which is sure to be surpassed in the next month or two.

California is the third state to reach at least 10%.  Michigan & Rhode Island are the other two.

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Friday, February 27, 2009 - 6:40pm

Three More Years

That's how much longer American troops will occupy Iraq.  The spin from President Obama is that he'll pull out "combat" forces by the end of August, 2010.  However, the reality is that he will keep up to 50,000 troops in the country until the end of 2011.

During Barack Obama's campaign, he claimed he would withdraw troops from Iraq in sixteen months.  I guess that was just to sucker in all the folks on the left into voting for him. 

Should we now believe the President when he maintains that all troops will leave before 2012?

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Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 9:25pm

Coleman the Obstructionist

Norm Coleman (R) is a loser.  He is purposely holding up the Minnesota Senate race just to deny the Democrats their 59th seat.  I suppose if he can prolong his defeat long enough, the Democrats will keep needing two Republican votes instead of just one to get their bills passed.

Unfortunately, Coleman is making a mockery of our election process and a joke out of Minnesota.  I'm no fan of Al Franken (D), but Coleman needs to concede or drop his legal challenges.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 10:30pm

Finally Some Optimism

President Obama has finally learned how to speak about the economy.  His negative tone the last thirty days had been hurting consumer confidence and subsequently, the stock market.  The President took a more positive approach in his speech before Congress tonight.

The key was the end of this segment.  It may not seem like much, but President Obama's rhetoric was quite an improvement.  His comments could make a big difference in the equity market in the days and weeks to come.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 6:49pm

Help Yourself

This is why we have a foreclosure problem in the United States.  This deadbeat is looking for government assistance, so she had her brother paint her house.

Mary Ann Herrera is seen at her home in San Antonio, Monday, ...

Here's a thought.  Don't deface your own property, you idiot.  Honor the contract you signed and pay your mortgage like the rest of us.

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Monday, February 23, 2009 - 6:31pm

AIG Wants More Government $$$

When you lose $60 Billion, you file bankruptcy!!!  You don't go back to the government for another free handout.  Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned capitalism?

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Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 10:01pm

Nationalization Begins

The U.S. government is in talks with Citigroup to acquire 40% of the company by converting their preferred shares into common stock.  This would cause a massive dilution of Citigroup's stock and effectively wipe out equity holders.

There is no exact definition for nationalization, but 40% ownership in Citi would give the government effective control of the company.

Let's hope this move is just a temporary fix.  The last thing we need is permanent government ownership of the private sector.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009 - 9:30pm

Obama's Signature Issue

A total of $8 billion from the stimulus plan will go to build high-speed rail in the United States. Even though it's a waste of money outside the normal budget process, it will be fascinating to see what can be accomplished.  It will take far more than $8 billion to build out high speed rail in this country, but the project is necessary to alleviate congestion on the roads and in the sky.

The only high-speed rail corridor currently in existence is the Boston-Washington line, but that Amtrak train is actually quite slow.  It takes a solid 6 1/2 hours to travel that route with an average speed of only 72 mph.  We have a long way to go before we catch Europe and Japan.

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Friday, February 20, 2009 - 10:59pm

The Ignorant WH Press Secretary

President Obama's new White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took a few swings at CNBC analyst Rick Santelli this afternoon.  Santelli had earlier slammed Obama's housing plan as one that promotes bad behavior and rewards people for being irresponsible.  Gibbs claimed that Santelli didn't know what he was talking about and that he should read the proposal.

 This was an extremely naive and immature attack from Gibbs.  To single out one television analyst that disagreed with the administration's bailout program was more reminiscent of the Bush administration than anything else.

The fact is that Rick Santelli is an investment and trading expert who knows exactly what he's talking about.  He has a vast amount of experience with options, futures, and other investment securities.  He's 100% correct in stating that Barack Obama's housing plan will do nothing for the responsible homebuyer who pays his mortgage on time.

Robert Gibbs, on the other hand, is a young and inexperienced Washington politico.  He has zero experience in real estate, mortgages, or investments.  In fact, he has never even had a job outside of politics.  Translation:  Gibbs has no expertise in anything other than spin.

President Obama's team needs to get their act together and fast.  Thus far, Obama has shown that he can't assemble a team of competent individuals.  Rather than patronize intelligent people like Santelli, the administration needs to listen and stop acting like politicians running for the next election.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 9:07pm

Citigroup Refuses to Sell Good Assets

The American taxpayer has already given the deadbeats at Citigroup an astounding $45 billion to dig themselves out of debt.  Why have we done this?   The truth is that Citigroup has plenty of assets they can dump and raise the cash they need.

For example, Citi owns both Golden State Bancorp, a firm they bought for $6 billion, and a Mexican bank that they purchased for $12.5 billion eight years ago.  These are valuable pieces of their business that can be sold quite easily. A wise executive would sell these parts and regroup as a smaller firm.

Unfortunately, Citigroup doesn't want to get rid of the good stuff.  Therefore, the Obama administration needs to force them (and every other insolvent U.S. bank) to sell more assets before handing over another pile of our money.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 5:15pm

Time to Boycott the N.Y. Post

This racist cartoon ran in today's New York Post and on their website.  Shockingly, the Post defended the chimp ad and it's author, Sean Delonas.

2009-02-18-cartoon.jpg

The violent and racist tone of this cartoon is abhorrent.  Of course, the Post claims it has nothing to do with Barack Obama or African-Americans.  They argue it is just a parody of the chimp that was shot by police in Connecticut.  Yeah right!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 9:45pm

GM, Chrysler Need More $$$

This is never going to stop.  We must force these badly managed companies to file bankruptcy and restructure.  Not another dime on taxpayer funds should go into these money pits.

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Monday, February 16, 2009 - 10:30pm

California Laying off 20,000

This is what happens when you hire incompetent legislators and a bad actor to be Governor of your state. California is nearly broke, their budget is in chaos, and they are now preparing to terminate 20,000 state employees. 

California is in such dire economic condition that they may have to issue IOU's for tax refunds.

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Monday, February 16, 2009 - 9:08pm

Go Away Coleman

Memo to the former Republican Senator of Minnesota, Norm Coleman:  You lost!!!  Now scram.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 3:49pm

Congress Kills Bank Compensation

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) apparently knows nothing about banking.  At the last minute, he made drastic changes to the compensation structure of U.S. financial institutions.  All 359 banks that have received government aid will be limited in how they pay their executives and top employees.  The most severe constraint is that bonuses can be no more than 1/3 of base pay and that all stock option would be restricted until the bank pays the government back.

There are so many problems with these restrictions, I almost don't know where to start.  It unfairly punishes top-performers and subsequently drains the talent pool at the firm.  Executive pay has clearly gotten out of hand, but this is not the way to fix it. 

Congress needs to separate the Board of Directors from the executives and make them as independent as possible.  In this country, the CEO can be the Chairman of the Board and other executives can also sit on the board.  The remaining seats are typically filled with cronies. These two problems translate to no oversight over salary, bonuses, and stock options.

Unfortunately, politicians are idiots.  Their only concern is how this looks to the public.  They could care less about actually correcting the problem.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 10:58pm

GOP Has No Desire for Bipartisanship

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) has withdrawn his name for consideration as Commerce Secretary.  His rationale was allegedly philosophical, opposing the stimulus and not having control over the upcoming census.  Of course, he previously supported the spending bill and already knew about the census responsibility moving out of Commerce.

Gregg and the Republican Party are severely overplaying their hand.  Most of their Congress members refused to even negotiate the spending / tax cut package with Democrats and now Gregg is rejecting an offer to serve in President Obama's administration after accepting it.

The GOP now looks like the obstructionist party, while Barack Obama appears to be reaching across the aisle.  If Republicans keep this strategy up, they will lose even more seats at the mid-term elections.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:29pm

Obama, Democrats Get Their Pork

Welcome to the new Washington, same as the old.  The Democrats have been in full power for less than a month and they have already agreed on passing the largest spending bill in history.

Other than money for the states and the extension of unemployment benefits, this entire bill is wasteful spending.  It doesn't do anything to solve the credit crunch in the financial industry and it does nothing to fix the housing crisis.

Getting out of this recession is not that complicated, no matter what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tells us.  There are only four main issues that need to be addressed:  housing, the banking system, state budgets, and unemployment.

All of these matters could've been taken care of with $790 billion.  Unfortunately, Democrats were more concerned with funding ridiculous pet projects than solving the problem.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 8:08pm

Tejada Guilty of Lying to Congress?

I don't get it.  Congress lies to the American people every day, but when MLB All-Star Miguel Tejada lies about steroids to Congressional aides, he faces up to a year in prison?!?

He wasn't even under oath.  What's up with that?

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Monday, February 9, 2009 - 9:45pm

Being Honest or Talking the Economy Down?

The first question President Obama received tonight was a point I've been making for a while now.  In being completely and brutally honest about our economic plight, the President is making the situation worse.

The former administration painted an extremely rosy picture of the economy to the point of outright lying.  Shocking, I know.  As a result, the current President is making a painstaking effort to avoid that approach.  In doing so, he is single-handedly eroding consumer confidence, the foundation of a strong economy.

 

The reality is that President Obama must choose his words very carefully.  As the leader of the free world, you cannot tell the public that the economy is headed for a catastrophe, whether you believe it or not.  You also cannot tell us that we're mirroring The Great Depression in order to get a stimulus bill through Congress.

President Obama disagreed with the premise of the question at the press conference, but it was perfectly valid and quite true.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 5:25pm

Obama Hits the Road to Push Pork

The President is going on a road-show starting Monday to promote his ridiculous spending proposal.  Rather than fix the housing and banking problems, Congress and the White House are instilling fear in order to pass an unnecessary pork-barrel package.

President Obama delivers his weekly address, 07 Feb 2009The important government spending program will be the $350 billion of TARP money that is left.  Tax-dodging Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is slated to discuss his plan for the money on Tuesday.  If he blows this half of the TARP the same way Henry Paulson did with the first half, we may never get out of this economic disaster.

President Obama claims that spending is synonymous with stimulus, but he couldn't be further from the truth.  Tax cuts are the most immediate form of stimulus. They are not as stimulative as spending in the long-run, but the effect is much quicker.

Obama simply wants to expand the size of government.  He'll tell us that the government can't solve all our problems, but then we will go ahead and try.

In the end, we know that consumers are much better with their money than the politicians.  The bums in Washington need to stop wasting it and give the money back to us.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 12:22pm

Willing to Talk to Iran

Quite a contrast from the idiots in the last administration, eh?

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Friday, February 6, 2009 - 5:33pm

Plummeting Employment

The economy is spiraling downward at an alarming rate as the non-farm payrolls employment declined by 598,000 jobs.  The stated unemployment rate climbed from 7.2% to 7.6%, the highest level in sixteen years.  However, the more accurate U-4 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, rose to 8.0%.

If you include marginally attached workers and those people who can find only part-time work, the unemployment rate jumps to an astonishing 13.9%!

The spending bill that Congress is currently debating will not fix this problem.  Most of the "stimulus" doesn't occur until 2010.  We can't wait that long.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 8:11pm

Losing Confidence in Obama

President Barack Obama continued to lobby Congress today to pass his pork-barrel spending bill.  Rather than make sensible concessions to Republicans, he ratcheted up his 'scare tactic' rhetoric, predicting a "catastrophe" if the bill isn't passed.

I'm afraid that Barack Obama just doesn't get it.  He is making a terrible economic situation much worse by using this incendiary language publicly.  Obama needs to understand that his words alone can destroy consumer confidence and drive us further into recession.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 6:00pm

Tom Daschle Withdraws

You may have heard that Tom Daschle failed to pay $140,000 in taxes for a limo service he received for free.  That makes this campaign ad from 1986 all the more ironic....and hilarious!

 

Of course, the former Senator withdrew his name from consideration to be in charge of Health and Human Services (HHS), but the damage has already been done.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 - 11:00pm

The End of a Very Long Day

This has no political relevance at all, but still.....it's a classic.

 

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Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 10:55am

Obama Playing Fear Card

Just like George W. Bush, President Barack Obama is trying to scare the American public into supporting his $819 billion pork-barrel spending bill. 

Every day, the President gets if front of the cameras to tell us how dire the economy is and that we must pass his "stimulus" plan to fix things.  This is exactly the same strategy George used when he attempted to get ridiculous bills through Congress.

Unfortunately, this president hasn't learned that the economy is built upon confidence, or lack thereof.  If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater, people will panic.  The same holds true for the economy.

It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Tell everyone the sky is falling and it will eventually fall.

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