Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nobody's there and the MSM yawns

We keep hearing over and over that the president has many vacancies in the Treasury Dept. under Tim Geitner. But according to this report, on a blog no less, Obama has appointed just 73 people to 1,200 jobs that require Senate confirmation. But the president seems to find the time to have parties several nights per week and pose for magazine covers.

Question -- Why is it that the mainstream press is not making the connection between the president's extracurricular activities and the empty job posts? Why does it take a blog of all things to make this connection?

And last -- would the mainstream media have failed to make this connection if the president were, oh, I don't know, a Republican Texan?

And people are surprised that major news outlets are going the way of the 8-track?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wow I sure feel better now.

It turns out that President Obama didn't have something up his sleeve when he was a bit rude to the British prime minister last week. No, he's just overwhelmed. Swell.

I guess the whiz kids from the Windy City don't have all the answers for the economy.

I think they have a big thing to learn yet -- the United States economy isn't run like a Chicago ward from the precinct HQ.

Obama's "Mission Accomplished" Moment?

Yesterday the president traveled to Columbus, OH to tout his stimulus package. Apparently some of the funds from the $800 billion were used to save the jobs of 25 Columbus policemen/women.

This event was heralded on a day when it was announced by the Commerce Dept. that the unemployment rate spiked to 8.1% and another 700,000 or so jobs were lost in Feb.

Towards the bottom of the story, one discovers that these 25 officers may end up losing their jobs next January. The stimulus money is going to run out by then.

So I ask two questions - are the creation of temporary government jobs -- even police officer jobs -- really what is going to get the economy rolling again? Is that result really worth the massive debt we are taking on?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just because I like the graphic so much

The beginning

It's starting - the beginning of the broad public perception that the president is not helping the economic situation. The polls are generally not showing this yet, which causes some consternation in conservative circles.

I think there is a rational explanation for it. People rally around the president in times of trouble. Many forget that President Bush's approval rating topped over 90% after 9/11. It continued over 60% through 2003.

It is going to take time for all of the terrible economic news, and Obama's often puzzling responses to it, to filter down to public opinion polls.

But there is no doubt that plunging economic numbers are beginning to raise doubts.

The first time I heard it

It was March 5, around 6:25 pm EST. That's when I finally heard a pundit from the media say she wondered if Obama is taking on too much too early.

Nah, you think?

Right now, my take on our national priorities are - reforming the entire health care system, reforming Social Security and Medicare, reforming/transforming our energy policy, fighting global warming.

And oh yeah - combating the worst economic crisis in most of our lifetimes. Did I miss something there?

The great conservative economist Thomas Sowell once said that there is a reason why radical socialists can so often be found on college campuses -- there their ideas can always stay theoretical and don't have to prove themselves in the marketplace.

Well, we now have a radical college professor without any real experience outside of "community organizing" rabble rousing who has the authority and power to enact radical ideas thought up at the coffee house on the college green in 1974.

Obama's style so far has the feel of an arrogant college kid with 'big ideas' who has never had to deal with the real world of markets and economic realities.

Obama seeks economic advice from someone with no economic experience

Yet another summit has been convened at the WH today. This time it's one featuring young 'business leaders' to solicit their ideas for the economic crisis. One of them is CEO Ev Williams, the founder of Twitter.

Note that Twitter is handy and popular, with 6 million members.

One small problem.

It doesn't make any money.

So a 'community organizer' with no economic experience is asking a CEO with no economic experience how to save the economy in the worst recession in 70 years.

What I am not purchasing in the Obama Bear Market

I'm a bit of an astronomy buff. With some of the success I've had in my online business, I've been debating buying this -- the Celestron CGEM 1100 - 11” Schmidt Cassegrain on CGEM Equatorial Mount. It's $3,000.00.

Now if I bought that, I'd also need a 12 v battery pack to run it. $100. And 3-4 1.25" eyepieces. Call it $100 each.

So in normal times I would have sent Celestron around $3500, or $4,000 if they collect sales tax.

This is one of the purchases I am putting off indefinitely. Obama has scared me with his radicalism. With his endless babbling about health care and cap and trade schemes in the midst of a terrible recession.

A big reason why things are getting markedly worse is that people are not spending money. Obama is contributing to fear and panic by not focusing like a laser on the banking and financial crisis.

And guys like me with money in the bank are delaying major purchases. I have seen the future by watching Obama in action and it ain't looking bright any time soon.

It's Official - "The Obama Bear Market"

Bloomberg is now calling it the Obama bear market. “It’s the Obama bear market,” said Dan Veru, who helps oversee $2.8 billion at Palisade Capital Management in Fort Lee, New Jersey. “We don’t know what the rules are in so many different areas the government is touching.”

The markets have so far given Obama a clear thumbs down. Interestingly, the public still largely approves of the president's performance. A full 63% approve of the way the president is handling his job.

I think this can largely be explained by two factors. First as Neil Cavuto pointed out on Fox News yesterday, the market always leads public opinion. He also noted that Jimmy Carter's approval was 70% at this time in his presidency, which didn't work out so hot.

Also, I think there is a clear 'rallying around the president' effect we are seeing in a crisis. Just as occurred after 9/11. People forget that Bush's approval rating was around 90% in the months after the attacks.

I expect the current poll numbers to drop as the markets continue to drop. They simply have no confidence in what Obama is doing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can't say it any better. Courtesy of Michelle Malkin.

Obama - the biggest threat to the economy

Obama says health care costs are the largest danger to the economy. This sole proprietor begs to differ - the biggest threat is Obama himself. His plans to spike tax rates and cut deductions for producers are scaring the bejesus out of anyone with cash. Later I'll provide a list of major purchases I am putting on hold because of this administration spreading fear and panic.

Obama backer says - back off the radicalism

Jim Cramer, the money whiz at CNBC, backs Obama's policies. But even he sees now is not the time for radicalism from the White House. We need a steady hand. Not radical plans with big tax hike plans that spook markets.

Hunkering down

I am a successful sole proprietor of an online business that I bought in 2008. Revenues exceeded $350,000 last year. I was featured at and on MSN's homepage. Last year I spent $62,435 on my business - cash that was injected into the economy and created jobs.

Last year I spent $47,550 on extras for my family because of my success - a car, 2 TVs, jewelry for my wife, finishing the basement (employed 3 contractors), a gun, a pressure washer. You get the idea. Bottom line - I purchased goods and services that contributed to our economy.

But according to some politicians, I am not to be admired or modeled. No. I am to be attacked. My taxes should be hiked. My charitable deductions should be reduced. I am told this by politicians in the midst of a terrible recession.

So now I am hunkering down. My business is down, but I am still doing well. However, I am hunkering down. I am holding onto my money. I am not buying anything extra - that $3,000 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope I was going to buy from Celestron? On hold. That $2500 I was going to spend on online advertising? On hold. That $3,000 necklace for my wife? She'll have to wait.

I am freezing my spending beyond essentials and debt payments. I have gotten a glimpse of what the future will bring from the current crew in Washington DC -- higher taxes, cap and trade carbon schemes, endless bailouts. I'm spooked and I'm holding onto my money tight.

I'm hunkering down. Because even though I am doing okay, politicians have convinced me they want to confiscate my wealth. They are spooking the markets and investors. So I worry that my customers will start hunkering down just as I am.