Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stimulate This!

After the latest spend-fest was rammed through the House on a party-line vote (There's that hopeful bipartisan change we were promised!), some details finally emerged.

  • $600 million to buy new cars for federal workers. Naturally, only UAW-dominated factories will be in the running for that pork.

  • $300 million for education on sexually-transmitted diseases. Is the House afraid things will get too stimulating in the near future?

  • $50 million in additional funds for the National Endowment of the Arts. Because, after all, what says Hope and Change better than a crucifix dipped in urine, funded by the taxpayers?
We also belatedly learned that only about 10% of the massive spending bill will fund anything resembling "infrastructure" repair and replacement. Apparently our "crumbling infrastructure" just needed some spackling and paint. After the claims of impending doom of the last couple of years, who knew?
Perhaps most outrageous of all, a majority of the funds budgeted won't be spent until after the first half of 2010. Just to make sure I have this straight, Obama, Pelosi and Reid said it was "critical" that their massive, crushing debt load on the taxpayers get passed as soon as possible. This is a "crisis," you know, and we can't wait. Well, apparently it's the kind of crisis that needs real attention in 2010. You know; an election year. What an interesting time to throw around billions of dollars to favorite constituencies, as well as your favorite voter-fraud enablers, ACORN. It is to laugh.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to desecrate some religious items and apply for a grant. With any luck, Clueless Nancy and Dirty Harry will come through, and I'll get stimulated right into a new Maserati.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Only Approved Information Shall Be Allowed

In a White House meeting this Friday, Barack Obama told Republican members of Congress they are no longer allowed to listen to Rush Limbaugh. "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," said the bringer of Hope, Change, and Transparency. An unnamed White House staffer said "We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done."

Is that why Pelosi's 110th Congress was ever-helpful in its efforts to assist the Bush administration? A desire to avoid "partisan politics?" Or does the unnamed staffer (There's some of that Obama administration transparency already) take "partisan politics" to mean anyone who disagrees with his views and aims?

It sounds much like a school bully who wants another student reported for fighting, and when reminded that he hit the other student first, the bully replies "Well, it wasn't a fight until he hit back."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nancy wants taxes!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., FantasyLand) opines that Obama's first "Stimulus Package" has no chance on the Hill unless he backs off his promise of $300 billion of tax cuts. Aside from the fact that the figure $300 billion is a mixture of voodoo economics and pure fantasy, it's a telling look at your modern Democrat Party at work. There is one form of stimulus that can actually halt the economic contraction and promote long-term growth and investment. Naturally, that is the one form of stimulus Nancy finds unacceptable.

You see, a tax cut would allow Americans to keep more of their own money, and spend and invest it as they see fit. Want to buy a bigger house, expand your business, buy a competing business, or invest and save more for the future? With more money in your pocket, you'd have those options and more. But Nancy and her band of idiots can't abide the thought of you making decisions about the money you keep now, let alone any additional portion of your own earnings that you may be allowed to keep.

No, dear, taxpayers, we'll take that money and more and invest it in "infrastructure." What, you ask, is infrastructure? It can be most accurately defined in this context as "A major capital expenditure, financed with borrowed and taxed funds, directed to firms most closely connected with the power structure of the majority political party currently holding the purse-strings, for the purpose of providing photo opportunities for politicians and a financial windfall for political friends."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fox, Meet Henhouse

It's been a busy few weeks, so posting hasn't kept up with the furious pace of world and national developments. I'll ease back into the fold with a note that Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton stated in Senate testimony that foreign donations to her husband's foundations would be vetted to insure there was no conflict of interest with the current administration or State. Who will do the vetting? The State Department.

I don't know how Senators do it, maintaining composure after a howler like that. I'd be slapping the table, yelling "Stop! No more! You're killing me! I can't stop laughing!"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's a New Year

And that's kind of exciting. Kind of. There is endless hope and optimism over the fact that the first trading day of 2009 showed fairly strong gains for U.S. stock indices. We'll see. Best Buy (The big electronics retailer that has not filed for bankruptcy protection) releases its 4th-quarter and Christmas sales figures on Friday, January 9. A few other major retailers will be releasing their most recent numbers in the first half of this month. Stock up on Kleenex; there will be tears.

While the Dollar has given back some of its recent gains, oil for February delivery remains below $45 a barrel. This is not only a boon to the American economy and those of our allies, but a hard blow to Putin, Chavez, and the rest of the idiot-savant petro-dollar potentates. They began spending thinking of triple-digit oil prices, and figured they could maintain that spending level even if oil fell all the way to $60. Forty five dollars? Look for spending cuts, tax increases...well, that's about it for options. More debt is out of the question. What sane person would buy Russian or Venezuelan government bonds? Like a Ponzi-scheme organizer whose deals start to unravel, they're reaching ever more desperately for temporary fixes, but the ultimate result is hardly in question. OPEC and Russia will be forced into drastic, long-term retrenchments.

One small corner of the Middle East is aflame, and the U.N. is preparing to leap into action with a sternly-worded statement. It makes you wonder at the U.N.'s silence for 900 days and nights of rocket attacks on Israeli neighborhoods. But after you wonder for a few seconds, you say "Oh, right; it's the U.N." Business as usual. Barack Obama, having learned from his buffoonish statements on the Russian/Georgian mess of a few months back, is keeping quiet. Someone reminded him American has "only one president at a time," and he repeated that to reporters, who then wrote about how wise and noble is The One.

There will be plenty more to excite is in the days and weeks to come. In the mean time, watch your portfolio, and try to dine out occasionally in a favorite restaurant. That sector is facing tough times, as such discretionary spending is on the wane, so a good restaurant deserves our support. As for the not-so-good--maybe someone better will rent the space. It's just creative destruction at work.