Yes, Dear Leader, More!

Month: September, 2011

Romney Pulls Up Stakes….On Not Being a Feckless Panty-Waste

No Apologies!

In the town hall of 250 people — with his oversized debt clock as a backdrop — Romney addressed perceptions and concerns that he is “a flip flopper.”

“In the private sector,” he said, “if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid. Winston Churchill said, ‘When the facts change I change too, Madam.” What do you do?”

That’s different from what he said a week ago, when he said he doesn’t change positions.

The American people “can tell when people are being phony and are pandering to an audience,” he said, “and you’ll see that in politics. You’re not going to see that in my campaign.”

Stop. Howling.

And for a moment consider the below, from Yes, Dear Leader More!-reader James Taranto’s yesterly missive:

The technocratic approach to government Orszag describes–in which panels of experts make decisions insulated from democratic politics–has been central to progressivism in its various iterations for about a century. It has a parallel in the business world in the culture of management consulting. That is the culture that produced Mitt Romney.

But the purpose of a business is to make a profit. Sometimes the best way to do this, especially when the enterprise is faltering and needs to be turned around, is to concentrate power in the hands of experts. The purpose of the government, by contrast, is to preserve freedom.

Thus in the political realm, one should always be suspicious of concentrations of power. Is Romney?

In fact, Mr. Taranto is moderating by word choice. The next president had better be hostile  to “[national] concentrations of power.”

The next president needs character and vision, balls and beliefs–a “how to win” instinct and a penchant for “getting things done” are so far down the ledger they’ve become disqualifications.

But Barry has done so much of the psephological heavy-lifting already! Our nominee has to be just-barely electable!!

–But balls and beliefs are a deal-breaker.

thanks JV/L

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Introducing RINO-Hypocrite….Marco Rubio?!

Don’t pick up, it’s coming from inside the house

In 2001, Perry signed the first state law in the country that allowed the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates. Former Florida state Rep. Juan Zapata said the Texas law was “the model” for legislation that he repeatedly—but unsuccessfully—pushed in his state. Two of his key allies then are now among the GOP’s most sought-after stars: Bush, the subject of perpetual draft movements to run for president, and his fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio, a sure bet for the GOP’s vice presidential shortlist in 2012.

An Election Unlike Any Other

Which of course makes it an election…pretty much like every other.

Rocky, predictable, mostly over-determined by un-knowledge, that which we lack epistemological instruments (sometimes called good information) on which to perform best-practices analysis and make responsible votes.

So be it–

There are two questions you ought to ask every time you choose among candidates, and because this is the Pre-Armageddon Pushback, never-gonna-get-it-back Hail Mary against dissolving the American Experiment primary vote….You’re basically going to end up asking the same two questions you always (should) have asked:

1) Given an inadequate brace of indicators, do I like and believe in my man’s character?

and, 2) (Given the same stuff) does he have a vision for the times?

Back in 2000 you voted for George W Bush, because–Well, maybe you didn’t think 2000 was the end of times.

Back in 2000 you may not even have educated yourself enough to realize “Compassionate Conservativism” was just another bit of Eisenhowerian goose-stepping toward civilizational death.

And so in 2000, to question 1) you said: “Sure, I guess!”

And on 2) you probably shrugged–“Sure, fine, hey.”

(Hey, it wasn’t end-of-times).

But now?

Given the indicators, such as Romney’s embrace of: health-care mandates, Roe vs. Wade, anthropogenic global warming, a scaled minimum wage, gun control, TARP, gay rights and more (in every case meliorated by the fact that Mr. Careful has reversed himself politically since becoming a professional candidate)–Do I believe in my man’s character?

Well, of course–NO!

Remember, supposedly, he can win.

OK, given all that, does Mr. Careful have a vision for the times?

Perhaps we can leave aside quoting certain asinine drivel that has come from our man, because it’s tiresome, because it’s so blatant, and ask: Given his depthless flunking of question 1), does Mitt Romney have any vision?

We know he has a political vision. It’s the vision where he visualizes himself president. This is one bit of projection on which Mr. Romney has never ostensibly crossed himself.

In the end, Mitt seems to have about the character and vision it takes to sleep with a lot of different women without having anybody end up hating you.

How about Perry?

Given the predominant lack of real information, does he seem to possess character?

Does he have a vision for the times?

Well, I hate to revert to Mitt, but remember in his case these two questions are mostly closed in the negative.

For now I’ll just observe that when it comes to Perry, you’d have thought there was still hope.

Perhaps if what are for convenience called conservatives can’t hold out hope till better information arrives, we deserve Mitt Romney.

Or worse.

Romney Will Feast on Your Entrails

Cont’d.

One sentence of this, and I said, ‘That’s Phil Klein.’

Never forget red-staters. Neverland makes you forget —

If Romney were to become president, the White House would arm-twist Congressional Republicans in an attempt to get them to compromise. Rank and file Republicans would be told that they have to vote for the president’s agenda, that if they don’t, it will weaken the party politically. They’ll be told if they just pass this one thing he wants, he’ll get to Obamacare and entitlement reform — eventually. They’ll be assured that soon, Romney will do something about spending. Of course, we all know that nothing would actually happen, especially with a politician like Romney.

So who wins the the not-a-Lying-Pussy lottery?

There’s a ‘who’ out there.

Eugenics, is it Dumb or Awesome?

Jonah notes a progressive godfather of the New Deal Era who just happened to be an early pro-abort hero as well as an active eugenicist who destroyed hundreds of lives.

Incidentally we get the whole historic curiosity of classic and modern Progressivism in one sentence:

“He was a hero with women’s reproductive rights. I would just be shocked if Wallace Kuralt were playing the game of ‘improve the stock,’ ” says Dr. John Johnston, a retired pediatrician and public health leader.

Kuralt retired almost 40 years ago and died in 1994. His key aides also have died, and memories have faded of the decisions that changed hundreds of lives. Some women came forward willingly. Some patients were little more than children who didn’t understand what was to take place. Today, it is impossible to tease out the exact mix of good intentions and overzealous execution, prejudice and paternalism that let such a crusade run unchecked.

No doubt.

Equity Bunnies Head for the Tall Grass

First, a splash of Dominic Rossi:

It is clear now that the Fed cannot bail equity markets out any more and any interest rate cuts by the ECB may not have much of an impact on markets. The solution on the fiscal front will be either Greek default or Germany accepting that it has to fund debt restructuring and so reduce the quantity of debt in Greece. This will be a prototype for other European countries.

[…]

Markets will have to consolidate so that oligopolies or duopolies are created and the remaining companies have strong cash flow and don’t have to rely on the debt markets. This is a carbon copy of what happened in emerging markets 15 years ago. Equity will shrink as well-financed companies grow by acquiring others and buy back their own equity. In time, this will stabilise equities.

If you don’t follow financial literature at all, you’ll be excused for not believing it, but there is a school of thought that considers it the Fed’s job to prop up equities–stocks, for instance–FOREVER. A bailout, a stimulus, a bubble (in this case the words are tautologous) that never ends.

Actually, this means a marketplace which bears hardly any relation to reality. Under this version of the Mandate, equity values merely reflect, because they are over-determined by, Policy.

Fed policy.

This works perfectly until it stops working completely. For every “wealth effect” obtained by these debt-inflated equities, the epistemology of the market deteriorates, until finally the nominal value of a given instrument unhinges entirely from its “book”; nobody knows what anything is worth because money’s ability to signal value has been destroyed. Predictably, by the time the Fed has exhausted all its tools to trick people into taking risks, the market has come to resemble a rumor-driven version of roulette, massively unstable and inefficient, highly susceptible to free-fall.

At last, the bubble has to be pumped dry, an excruciating process. The housing bubble is undergoing this and has a  long way to go (Why are there any net homestarts now? Why would there be any for years?) before the inflated value is gone, the glutted inventory of empty homes reduced, and real value can be built again.

The stock market will go through this same deflation, because it has to, once the Fed exhausts its epistemological “toolkit,” its ability to send good vibes to investors via distortions in the price of money.

Look out below.

UPDATE: Atlantic Capital Management concurs

There is something wholly unsettling about this entire affair that goes beyond simple market volatility. How can the entire stock market be reduced to the whims of central bankers and their blatant attempts at controlling expectations?

Investing was never supposed to be about gauging if, when, and how a central planning authority was going to intervene in what were once perceived of as free markets. Markets may have never been fully free, but at least they exhibited a more than passing concern about the fundamental qualities and particulars of economics and finance.

In our current case, despite trillions in monetary and fiscal interventions, the overriding economic reality has not changed since 2009, or even 2001. The recovery, such as it was, was completely dependent on the government picking up the slack in economic flow that was destroyed first by the credit collapse of the housing bubble, and then the weak dollar as it “influenced” large and liquid businesses to invest capital offshore. There has been no private or sustainable effort to close the loop of economic activity through employment.

Largely, the lack of employment reflects the actual economic potential of an economy no longer under the monetary influences of runaway credit. So much activity was built on the housing bubble (like the tech bubble before it) that nothing short of another asset bubble would do – and policymakers have tried hard to accommodate. The Fed disregarded the caution that the 2008 collapse exemplified and tried to rebuild the economy as it was in 2006.

Again, if you’re among the vast majority who doesn’t read the literature, you might be thinking, “Surely, nobody could be pro-bubble. Surely, no human being could be that cynical.”

Your mouth God’s ears….

The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

Is Rick Perry a Lying Pussy?

Because that would worry me.

This was only Perry’s third debate, but how much longer until his “inexperience” no longer cuts it as an excuse? The issue isn’t just that his performance was weak last night; it’s that he hasn’t shown improvement since his first time on stage. The Reagan debate should have been a massive wakeup call that he needed to buckle down. And after CNN/Tea Party Express, he should have dropped everything and made debate prep his #1 priority.

Either he hasn’t, which would indicate that he has some major issues with prioritizing or self-reflection. Or he has devoted the necessary time to improving, but just doesn’t have it in him. If the latter is true, it doesn’t mean he can’t still win the nomination. Being a poor debater isn’t necessarily politically lethal, as President George W. Bush proved. But if the former is true, it speaks to a deeper character flaw that isn’t surmountable.

Mitt Romney Will Devour Your Young

Don’t worry. First he’ll poll it:

Though some people have argued to me that a GOP Congress would obviously pass a repeal of Obamacare and Romney would be forced to sign it, there’s no reason to believe that Congressional leaders would pursue a sure to be acrimonious reconciliation process unless the president were willing to stake political capital on it. So a President Romney couldn’t passively sit back and wait for a repeal bill to appear on his desk, he’d have to show courageous presidential leadership, pounding the table on the issue for months. And it won’t be just any months, but he’ll have to stake the crucial early months of his presidency on it after taking office in January 2013, because the major provisions start in 2014, and it will be harder to unwind by then. So this raises the question of whether I think Romney has the resolve to see something like this through, to which I’d respond: are you kidding me? […]

Romney, in short, has displayed zero political courage during his career. He has held opposite positions on nearly every issue, with one obvious exception. He still hasn’t disavowed the health care law he designed, campaigned for, and signed with a smiling Ted Kennedy at his side. And it happens to be the forerunner to Obamacare. There’s no reason to believe as cautious and calculating of a figure as Mitt Romney would stake the crucial first months of his presidency getting into a bruising political battle to repeal a law, when he still clings to its underlying policy ideas.

And remember, New Deal era programs weren’t firmly enshrined in this country by Democrats, but because Republicans, once in power, stopped making the case against them and their leader, President Eisenhower, did nothing to unravel them. Thus, the damage that a President Romney could do to the cause of limited government simply by inaction on Obamacare is incalculable.

Hide the kids….He’s surging!!
See: previous.

One Word for “Mitt’s Gonna Make a Race Out of It” Types

“I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”

SCREWED!!

Feel-Good Site of the Week

Sorry if the previous depressed you. (It did me.)

This is nice–

You said innovation was dead….