Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Party of No Harm

Instapundit links to a David Harsanyi suggestion: " You know what Americans could really use these days? A high-quality, five-tiered, color-coded warning system to caution us about the threat level coming out of Washington."

The Democrats have tried to label Republicans as the party of No. With the current health care debate raging, the GOP should embrace the label as the party of No Harm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Lack of Trust in Obamacare, Not Logic

Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic: "I think strategically it's important that the Obama administration and advocates of a health care plan really pay attention to how people feel and the symbolism they are seeing, and not just the nuts and bolts of the policy," Perrin said. "People don't reason with pure facts and logic alone."

Many reasonable people do not trust the President or Congress. Obamacare advocates can suggest they are fighting misinformation all they want but the fact remains that people do not trust our current government. Based on past performance, such distrust is a logical conclusion to make.

Monday, August 24, 2009




1. Open a new file in your computer.
2. Name it "Barack Obama."

3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.

4. Empty the Recycle Bin.

5. Your PC will ask you: "Do you really want to get rid of "Barack Obama?"

6. Firmly Click "Yes."

7. Feel better?

GOOD! - Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi.


Sunday, August 16, 2009


Oh, the Feminism Topic

Young Romanian gets a lot of it right.

Young Brit attacks her sources, points out assertions then uses her own, and accuses of using standard "misogynistic, men's" arguments but refusing to address those arguments like the possibility that men are paid more because they are more productive.

It is so nice to be old enough to know foolishness when you see it.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Confessions of an online poker player

...and no, it is no one you know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The Comprehensive Problem

The problem with 'comprehensive reform', of health care, immigration, or any other issue is that is provides far too great an opportunity for political shenanigans. I've debated this before with a friend who is big on comprehensive immigration reform and was convinced that he had simply found his method of getting unpopular (and against U.S. interests) legislation passed by bundling it in a massive bill and giving it a nice label.

Fortunately is seems that the voters are on to this in our current debate about health care reform. At Red State the question is asked: "Will one of the parties wise up, and sell its approach as nothing more than incremental reform, designed not to be overly-ambitious?"

I hope that all this pressure currently on the Democrats results in preventing either party from again considering rushing forward with massive 1000+ page legislation. If they would like to legislate in such mass quantities they can start by repealing some of the volumes that are already on the books.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Is Obama playing for two?

I don't think Obama's political team are a bunch of dummies but the way they are playing health care certainly looks dumb. Do you really want to be seen encouraging a bunch of thugs to use "the persuasion of force" against your political opponents? Even if you believe that the protesters are astroturf, union thug certainly trumps Brooks Brothers wearing faux concerned citizen. You would think this is a good time for the President to get in front of the issue and appeal for calm. That is what he does best- manufacturing moral equivalence.

The only thing that makes sense is the Obama administration knows it will not be able to persuade most voters who are happy with the current health care system so they're trying to get health care reform passed by tarnashing the reputations of the protesters in the eyes of congress. He is hoping the congressmen will ignore them because the Democratic base has demonized them. Of course if he is wrong and those people protesting are real voters with very strong feelings about attempts to create a single payer system then those congressmen who support Obamacare will be toast in 2010. But that won't matter if a public option is passed.

Obama has about nine more months and he just has to keep the Blue Dog's more afraid of his administration than their constituents.

Diego adds: I think Obama believes he is above all this. He says one thing and does another which has worked quite well for him so far. I don't know how this will all work out but I would not be surprised if Obama, despite the 'get in their faces' campaign rhetoric and current town hall clashes, ultimately speaks of civilized debate and appears to be the calming factor. You might think that ridiculous but he does still have the media on his side.

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Friday, August 07, 2009


The Obama Summer--Bumped

The Keynsian approach to economics changed the way that economists look at the world. Keynes had a mathematical approach which suited the Progressive era. A time in which it was thought that the natural world was more clockwork than chaotic, that there really was a way to fine tune the economy with fiscal policy aimed at stimulating demand at the right time. Though it was known that the effects of such stimulus would not always be so effective over time hence Keynes' famous quote, " the long run, we're all dead."

Keynes was concerned about the short term and the policy of stimulating aggregate demand through government spending programs does work in the short run. I think what we are seeing in the rising stock market and slightly less than disastrous housing numbers is the market getting ahead of the news- the news being that there is a lot of fiscal, and monetary stimulus, coming over the next year and a half. I think what we are going to experience is a mitigation of the deflation over the next year. At least a short spell in which utter gloom is replaced by the green shoots of liberal/media driven optimism.

The Obama administration must realize that fear of huge spending programs and stagnant growth will hamper their agenda so they have an incentive to highlight any good economic news. They will get some because the flood of money will spur some consumer spending and bottom fishing for distressed assets. The only problem for their rosy scenario will be unemployment which will continue to tick higher. (Watch for reports like this: "Hey, unemployment only went up 0.1% last month. The recession is over!")

Obama is already spreading the meme that we averted disaster by passing the stimulus. I think we only have drawn out to the inevitable conclusion. But that won't matter. He only needs to convince enough nervous Blue Dogs that they can stick with his program for a short while longer. He only needs 6 more months to remake the American economy. After that we will need 60+ seats in the Senate plus control of the White House and House of Representatives to undo the Obama agenda and history shows us that those conditions are so rare as to be almost impossible. On a more positive note, we only need to hold him until next spring and then he will be done. The tide has turned and the people have awakened to Obama's far leftist proclivities. The possibility of a short term economic resurgence, an Obama summer, is the one thing I fear.


The unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point. The Obama summer is officially here. (Now if we can only get some summer temperatures around here.) After today's data I am going to be watching the 10 year treasury rate like a hawk, it is approx. 3.87% as I type this. It's most recent high was slightly over 4%. Higher rates will signal that the fear of deflation is over and inflation is back in the picture; if the cost of borrowing rises too much it could end this nascent recovery quickly and that will show up in stock prices. In summary, watch for higher interest rates then falling stock prices. Otherwise, Obama has dodge the deflation bullet.

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This is going to be a bloody mess

I was just talking today with Bill O and John O about the rhetoric the White House is using and how we thought there was a potential for violence. Then boom, it hits like a ton of bricks. This is not funny, this is not something we should be happy about in any way. When you demonize your opponents you dehumanize them and you make it easier to hurt them. What I am afraid of is where this violence will lead. I am afraid that a lot of people will get hurt.

This is beyond pointing fingers. Both sides need to calm down and we need soothing calm rhetoric from our leaders. Unity, respect for our differences, etc. No more stoking the partisan fires. Otherwise someone is going to get killed.

Please just stop.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Buy foreclosures now - before it's too late

You've heard of speed dating? It's got nothin' on foreclosure buying these days. In many places, anyone who wants to buy a foreclosure better act fast, or they're going to come away with bupkus.

REOs, the industry term for homes repossessed by lenders and put back on the market, are often selling in a day -- sometimes in less.

"We're seeing REOs go very quickly. Offers come in immediately after the listing comes on the market, within 24 hours," said Brad Geisen, founder of Some homes have been put into contract in less than 90 minutes.

This was our experience with the real estate market in Lake County, Illinois. There are a lot of foreclosed homes on the market in our area because our subdivision was only built within the past 5 years. Many of these homes were purchased with interest only and other funny types of mortgages. Also, we found out from our neighbors that a speculator had bought 10 houses in the neighborhood and had defaulted leaving the homes with Fannie Mae who is slowly putting them back on the market. When they do come on the market they are at great prices and they get snapped up pretty quick. There are a lot of new subdivisions out here and that is where the foreclosure action is.

I think the foreclosure situation caused by the crazy financing schemes of the bubble years will correct itself. Then we can deal with the fallout from the tanking economy. The latter will hit the bubble neighborhoods of Chicago which remain relatively unscathed so far.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009



On Thursday morning my wife will become a U.S. citizen and then vote for who I tell her to vote for.* That's right. In effect, I will have two votes. Bwahahahahahahahaha.

It is nice to know after all the crap we have gone through that she will legally be a U.S. citizen with all the rights and responsibilities. It wasn't easy or fast but now it is over and we begin another adventure, getting our son's Russian grandmother a green card.

*Anybody who knows my wife is laughing at this.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Clash on Healthcare Highlights Two Conflicts

One is obvious, the other is gaining in public awareness.

While the current attempt at government run health care is becoming more and more unpopular, it is only one issue. Another issue that I am glad to see people becoming more aware of is the way in which Congress conducts it's business. I don't think members of Congress understand this yet.

The recent 'no time to read the bill' arguments made by John Conyers and Arlen Specter (via Ace) suggest to me that they think the only problem is that people don't understand how the legislative process works. They might be right to think that voters don't know how Congress goes about it's business but they are wrong if they think that voters will approve of passing 1,000+ page legislation without having read and taken time to consider all that is involved.

This conflict is more important than just health care.

John O adds: The above argument made by Conyers and others is reflective of the fact many Congressmen believe their job is to rule their constituents rather than to represent them. Consider:
Doug Thornell, a spokesman for Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), said House leaders are urging their members to continue holding public sessions, even if it means they’ll be shouted down and have it all replayed on YouTube.

“We have encouraged our members to use everything in their arsenal to communicate with their constituents,” said Thornell. “They know what works best in their districts. More than anything, they have to stay on the offense and not get distracted by stupid Republican gimmicks.”
In other words, the people's representatives are supposed to lecture their constituents rather than listen to them.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Where is Simon Jester?

Is Simon Jester in Los Angeles?

Saturday, August 01, 2009


White Sox a/o 8/01/09

If someone told me nine days ago that the Sox would lose 3 of 4 to the Twins and all 3 to Detroit and only be 1.5 games out of first in the division I would have thought they were crazy. We have been very lucky to date. Consider runs scored/runs allowed versus our Al Central rivals:

Detroit +30
Minneapolis +14
White Sox +5.

This is after last nights win over the Yankees 10-5.

That says to me that we had better shore up our pitching because their bats don't seem to be the problem. With a healthy Quentin and if Jenks would stop losing games in the ninth and we have a contender.

After we get past the Dodgers we will have Cleveland, Seattle, Oakland, and K.C. all of whom are at or next to the bottom of their divisions. Next week the Tigers and Twins will be beating up on each other then Detroit goes to Boston for 4 games. A good time to pull decisively ahead of one or both teams.


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