Category Archives: Politics

Obama, The Nuclear Illusionist

Great editorial on Obama’s foolish goal of disarming while the world’s rogue nations arm up. How in the world can anybody believe that North Korea and Iran are going to be impressed by us disarming? They will be shouting for joy at our stupidity:

“And I had an excellent meeting with President Medvedev of Russia to get started that process of reducing our nuclear stockpiles, which will then give us a greater moral authority to say to Iran, don’t develop a nuclear weapon; to say to North Korea, don’t proliferate nuclear weapons,” Mr. Obama said, implying that previous American Presidents had lacked such “authority.

..Mr. Obama is offering pleasant illusions, while mullahs and other rogues plot explosive reality.

And Obama proves once again he’s dangrously naive in thinking Russia is going to disarm.

Why Being Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal is a Farce

Great Article from Mark Steyn on Arnold Schwarzenegger called Governor Gravid in the March 9 issue of National Review. He shows how one can’t be fiscally conservative and socially liberal (I myself never understood how these two worked together given the fiscal pulls of one on the other):

The problem with being socially liberal, fiscally conservative is that most of the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag just have a ten-minute riffle through the non-stimulus bill. We all want to move beyond the standard left/right paradigm, as Arianna liked to say in that gubernatorial
race. If I had a pair o dime for every time a politician has said we need to move beyond the old paradigm, I could afford to live in Arnolds California. But the reality is that almost every socially liberal, fiscally conservative politician turns out to be fiscally liberal in the same way that, if you mix half a pint of vanilla ice cream with half a pint of horse manure, its not hard to figure which taste will predominate.

To be fair to Ahnuld, a lot of voters want it both ways, too. Which is why fiscal is not a useful word in this context. Big Government is not primarily a fiscal issue: These programs are not wrong because they’re unaffordable; they’re unaffordable because they’re wrong they’re not the proper role of government, and if you pretend they are, then, as in California, you unbalance the relationship between the citizen and the state. But its not a green-eyeshade thing: They would be just as wrong, as I said a month or two back, if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover them every month. So when a politician tells you hes fiscally conservative, its like Conan the Barbarian announcing hell bring his abacus to a sword fight.

AIG Bonuses – Give Back the Money and Run

I’m not a big fan of the various bailouts but I think the initial ones put in place by Bush may have had some merit; at least they were directed at keeping the financial sector stable. The outrage against AIG bonuses and Congress’s attempt to “get them back” will only expedite the exodus of human capital out of the financial firms. The micromanaging of the firms for political points is going to do extreme harm to the financial system.

Excerpt from WSJ’s “Wall Street Shudders as Lawmakers Take AIm at the Industry Pay System”

“This is about vengeance, not about saving money,” said Alan Johnson, a New York compensation consultant. “The American people are furious, and Congress is terrified they won’t get re-elected. But it’s a shame. The best people will leave and the American taxpayer will pay” because the bill would make the firms more “unstable.”

Banks have thousands of employees who make more than $250,000 per household, the level at which the tax would take effect, pay experts say. Most major U.S. investment banks accepted federal bailout funds last fall.

If the bill becomes law, the flow of bankers and traders from U.S. banks to foreign firms, hedge funds and smaller boutique companies could accelerate, said people in the industry. The bill “creates an unfair advantage for any major player who is not subject” to the restrictions imposed on companies receiving federal funds, said Alan Guarino, a managing director at recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International.

A quote from a separate article:

But privately, there’s concern within the Obama administration that the angry political atmosphere now surrounding the federal bailout program will scare away private participants the government needs to help bolster the financial system.

…The administration worries that the appearance of unpredictability by Congress will give potential investors the view that the government program is too risky. Already, many banks are wary of participating in the government’s voluntary $250 billion capital-injection program. More than 200 banks have withdrawn their applications to receive government cash.

..George Pataki, the former New York governor, warned that New York could lose ground as a financial center if the bill passed. “It’s very disappointing that it passed the House, and I hope it doesn’t pass the Senate,” he said.

As Rush said today on his show: “If we’re going to tax 90% of the bonuses, why don’t we just tax 90% of all bailout money and just get it back? Why don’t we tax AIG 90% in general? Why don’t we tax Goldman Sachs 90% in general? ”

This is what politicization of this whole thing has done – and it’s been fueled by Obama’s rhetoric from day one.