Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Fight

Give me a break, please. I'm getting tired of this. I can't believe people are buying this. I'd rather buy a Snuggie than buy any of this. I know the patterns. When people go through economic downturns, they fill up the churches. We want to believe -- especially when the things we've believed in the past seem to crumble before our eyes. But whoever took this picture of Obama with the halo -- fittingly the outline of a federal governmental seal meant to symbolize a cherubic glow from God -- should have their poetic license revoked.

The information coming out is staggeringly complex. Honestly, I have no idea what is going on specifically, other than we are taking this one in the neck and worshipping the people doing it to us. I read that Obama's presidential address met with a 92% positive feedback rating. Whatever that means, I'm not sure, but it is warm and fuzzy. I certainly didn't watch it. I've realized within the past couple years that there is no benefit to listening to politicians speak, at least not the kind of politicians we insist on electing. I did come across about 5 minutes of Bobby Jindal's retort before turning it off. Bobby Jindal is the Great Red Hope of the GOP, which has been reduced to its dysfunctional skeleton. Mr. Jindal is a smart man from all reports, but he is clearly not a good speaker. His speech was almost impossible to watch.

That being said, he made some good points criticising, on principle, this huge governmental approach to our crisis. The backlash was immediate and incredibly childish. The media is so mentally challenged in our country and is so focused on the cult of personality, that it argues on what I would consider a playground level. Read the criticism posted of Jindal. It's absurd, comparing his demeanor (which, as was pointed out, wasn't great - but that's not a substantial criticism) to Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock. Funny, yes. Legitimate reporting from the "fourth branch" of government during the toughest economic times of our lives, no.

The article is so wacky, it makes a big "oh no he di-in't" playground point out of the fact some Republicans are criticising Jindal (who was right-on to criticize Republicans in the first place). They site David Brooks as a "conservative". David Brooks a conservative! That's like calling Hillary Clinton a conservative. Brooks is heavily invested in the status quo and the current neocon elite, Rockefeller Republicans, as is the Clinton family and a bunch of other politicians who flip coins to find out what they believe by what is popular. David Brooks a conservative! They then roll through some comments from FOX News, the most status-quo, GOP supporting mainstream group of all, with not a conservative among them. Being blindly pro-war in order to "spread Democracy" throughout the world at gunpoint because you are afraid of being called non-patriotic is the opposite of being a conservative.

Then they quote some lady named Penni Pier, a communications specialist who is not an economist saying, "It sounded like the same old rhetoric — we had tax cuts the last eight years, and look where it got us." Hmmm, really Penni? We're here because of tax cuts? But this isn't about Ms. Pier, this statement is about how our media is functioning at a playground, gossip level and our public is eating it up. Spoonfeed us more! As a wise man noted, "Our nation is in love with words." And President Obama and the "transparent" media are delivering lots of words.

Here are some examples. Peter Orszag, the head of the White House budget office, said we must spend all this money "quickly and wisely." I guess these days, when you contradict yourself in the same phrase, let alone the same article, people don't even notice.

Here are some other contradictions. Based on a speech by an ivy league clone of Alan Greenspan, the most powerful man in the unelected universe not named Geithner, Ben Bernanke assured us that he has no idea what is going on. What should we expect? Unlike many people's opinion that we are here becase of the Bush tax cuts, it is true we are here in a large part because of Greenspan's rate cuts. I do not blame Greenspan, afterall, there is a limit to one man's prescience. He would have avoided this mess if he could have possibly seen it coming. But he couldn't and didn't. And we still hand over all this power to the same people. Guess what, they can't see what's coming either, thus all the contradictions.

Here is how the press interpreted Bernanke's remarks. One article says that Bernanke says the recovery could begin this year. Another article, motivated by the exact same remarks had a quite different headline.

I don't blame the media for not having a clue about macroeconomics -- these guys obviously don't have a clue either, and it's their job. For those who are protecting their own money rather than playing around with the taxpayers', they are saying something different. "The underlying fundamentals just aren't there to support anything that's sustainable right now," Hughes said. "We haven't seen the capitulation that you'd want to see before you'd get thoroughly enthused." Hughes is Rick Hughes, a finance guy who was quoted at the bottom of the same article advertising Bernanke's remarks. More reports keep coming out that house sales are dropping at incredible rates now that this decline is hitting parts of the country that were slow to be hit. The DJIA is getting dangerously close to 7000.

Here's an example of how the Stimulus Package is not just an inefficient way to get us back on track, but that it is actually getting in the way of recovery. “Given so much stimulus package discussion in January, some would-be buyers simply sat out for clarity and certainty on the nature of housing stimulus,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement. Hmmmmm.

Here's an example of why it's more important to shrink the government than to spend a bunch of money on "investments" that federal bureaucrats think are important. Talk about a bridge to nowhere. But if it involves combating climate change or terrorism, it is worth raising taxes and increasing deficits over.

The only clear thing is that the answer that President Obama and other Democrats (as well as the Repulican clique who got us here) have is to borrow money from our children to continue to give more to the people who recklessly got us here in the first place, giving us record (as in, not-even-close, Barry Bonds records) deficits in nominal terms, and not since WWII records in percentage of GDP terms. Fighting a world war would make sense as a reason to have large deficits. Today, we're chasing goat herders and ghosts around Afghanistan (which Obama sees as a good thing, and wants to increase), arguing over war with Iran and Pakistan, and still trying to prove that we made the right decision in Iraq by making them do what we say.

Maybe Bobby Jindal had a point. Maybe Republicans really don't have a leg to stand on, and the only way they can survive is to be less Republican and more conservative. I'll believe that when I see it, when guys like McCain aren't around anymore, and guys like David Brooks aren't confused as "conservatives". Maybe the government really is not what made our country great, maybe it truly is the people. And maybe that's why our greatness is slipping as the government grows to mammoth, empire proportions, both here and abroad.

[Disclaimer: The above cartoon is not in any way intended to be racist against any gray people, people who think they might be gray, people who believe in gray marriage or people who have at any point in history been compared to elephants. We apologize anyway.]

2 comments:

Marty said...

http://www.snuggiepubcrawl.com

apparently there's like 5,000 people signed up already....oh yeah, all that Obama stuff was good too...

Anonymous said...

McCaber… Finally I got to it.



Yes, the Demmys, including Obama thinks he’s some kind of Messiah. Pretty gross. I caught the Obama speech, and he’s back to the same old campaign rhetoric. Got a picture text from Chris, flippin the bird to his big screen tv, transposed against Obama’s face. Agreed. Apparently the country needed to hear some optimism on the economy and not just “crisis and catastrophe” from him. He did spend a fair amount of time emphasizing that he inherited this mess from the Bush Administration, nevermind that Carter was the one who got the ball rolling to make sure everyone could get into a house, and Clinton was the one who really made it happen. What about that lisping jerk Barney Frank and his buddy? I believe he was hopping around during the Bush Administration.



I couldn’t stand to watch Bobbi Jindhal. Disappointing.



The media is delusional. Larry King last night was beyond excited that Ted Kennedy became an honorary Knight. Somehow, even the “legit” journalists have been unable to hide their politics, look at Dan Rather, he fell flat on his face just in time to distort decades of substantial accomplishments. All because he hated Bush. Of course they are gonna divert criticism of the One and shift it to Jindal. Penni Pier, never heard of her. Sounds like an idiot. Barbara Walters, Katie Couric. Charles Gibson, need I say more?



I’d like to know (of the educated people that voted for Obama) … “who is having second thoughts”? We won’t get that info from the media. Will anyone admit to it? All the Liberals who complained about spending on the war… which will look like a drop in the bucket compared to Obama’s first 6 weeks. Is there no logic? I consistently look to my liberal friends for legitimate explanations behind the Democratic party agenda, and I continue to shoot em down. Their politics are all about feeling fuzzy and warm, totally ruled by emotion, that’s how businesses fail.



Contraction # 4,120,395… why don’t they pay their taxes anymore? The head of our Treasury Department can’t even use Turbo Tax. Are you kidding me????



I can only hope that in 4 years the country will wake the fo up and realize that we’re gonna be taxed to the max, regardless of what the stimulus package says. They have to get the money back somehow, so let’s be real.



Tell everyone you know, to thank Preston for ponying up the bailout money. And my future adopted Hispanic child. Jajajaj!!!!!



Your blogs are wonderful, keep em comin. J



Chi-ca