Archive for May, 2009

Capitalism, gangster-style

May 5, 2009

Have you followed the Chrysler bankruptcy issue at all?  In a nutshell, the White House has come up with a reorganization for Chrysler that gives the UAW and the federal government a far more favorable outcome than a number of bond holders.  The bond holders have the right to accept or reject the deal.  They felt that the pennies on the dollar being offered were far less than they’d likely get in a bankruptcy court managed reorganization, so they turned down the deal, performing their fiduciary duty to the private investors who are their clients.

In return, the White House threatened to use “the full force of the White House press corps to disparage and malign the companies who refused, and Obama himself has publicly repudiated them for not “agreeing to share the burden”.

Keep in mind, these are not TARP recipients.  These are private companies who made good faith investments in Chrysler and would be stealing from their clients if they agreed to a deal they consider not in their clients’ best interests.  Some of the hedge fund managers and lawyers who are making the accusations are prominent Democratic donors.  One of them risked retribution to write about it here:

There’s also more background on it here from my favorite blog:

Some of those who like Obama presumably also believe in capitalism and the rule of law.  This Chrysler case, even more so than some of the shenanigans with the government refusing to allow banks to pay back their TARP loans — is an affront to the rule of law.


BO – Stand-up comic genius!!

May 5, 2009

I hate to think that the treasure trove of humor which is Obama (and especially Biden) would be lost on half of America. For example, did you see the joke O played on the media yesterday with his announcement yesterday about closing tax loopholes?  It was Geithner.  Get it? HILARIOUS!!  I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff, but BO should totally do stand-up.  Wait, no, those guys actually have to memorize their lines. Nevermind.  😉

Isn't the simplest explanation that he's just not that smart?

May 4, 2009

Another repurposed email 😉

. . . So it turns out that Obama relied on an angry left blogger for his assertion that Churchill eschewed torture, a claim which anyone with a passing knowledge of history would have recognized as false, and which the White House has now confirmed came from Andrew Sullivan:

More interesting in the post is that it asserts — correctly I believe — that Obama displays an astonishing lack of understanding of history.  It makes reference to his earlier use of the Kennedy-Kruschev meeting as an example of why we should talk to our enemies when, in fact, anyone familiar with the meetings, even Kennedy accolytes, would agree that the meeting was a disastrous embarrassment for the United States and showed Kennedy as weak and inexperienced.  It invited the Cuban Missile Crisis which brought the world to the brink of destruction.

This is actually the same point that a really smart guy I know made as recently as 10 months ago:

Undecided as in Obama versus McCain.  Obama‘s comments on a single,
contiguous Palestinian State demonstrates a real lack of understanding
of the complexity for Middle Eastern politics.

I don’t care about misstatements — Bush made them all the time and if anything it only made him seem like more of a real person.  It also gave him the chance to demonstrate a humility and self-effacing style that I think we’d both agree is not exactly one of Obama’s most notable characteristics.  But the things I’m talking about, and the things which worry me, are not misstatements.  They’re increasingly obvious examples of the fact that Obama simply knows very little about history or the world around him.  You or I wouldn’t have quoted Sullivan’s anecdote on Churchill — not because we don’t trust Sullivan (though I don’t of course) but because we both know enough about history to know that there’s no reason to remotely suspect that a tough-as-nails bad-ass like Winston Churchill would ever have said something as stupid and painty-waisted as “We don’t torture” or that “The reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts and, over time, that corrodes what’s best in people. It corrodes the best of the country.”  We’d have questioned the story cause it doesn’t fit into any intelligent historical context that we’ve ever read.

The left talks about how Obama is the most intellectual President we’ve ever had, but it’s noteworthy that he’s released nothing of his academic record, he wrote no articles for the Law Review, he wouldn’t release grades, scores, theses, etc.  The only thing we know is that he graduated without honors from Columbia.  He produced no meaningful legislation either in the Illinois State Senate or in the US Senate, so the basis for people’s assertion that he is intellectual is that he delivers beautiful speeches.

As someone who delivers speeches for a living I know that if there’s an indication of a speaker’s intelligence it’s not his ability to read beautiful words that someone else writes.  Plenty of people with high double-digit IQs could read my written speech off a state of the art teleprompter and sound as intelligent as I do when I deliver it.  The difference is that I know my material.  I learn it frontwards and backwards, and if the power goes out in the middle of a presentation (as it did once thanks to California’s rolling blackouts 😉 I can continue to teach without the computer or the slides, describing the data and the graphics which my audience would otherwise be viewing.  Contrast this with Obama’s repeated inability to operate for even moments without the crutch of his teleprompter, and it becomes much less clear to me why his skill in reading is mistaken by some for intelligence.

Think about the times when he’s spoken without a teleprompter — the “lipstick on a pig” gaffe (which is when they started putting him on an all-teleprompter diet by the way), the “Special Olympics” gaffe on the Tonight Show, the Churchill misquote, and my personal favorite this one where he got ahead of his teleprompter, this one where he suggests giving Breathalyzer’s to kids with asthma and then goes off on a nearly Biden-esque ramble.  And then there’s the video from Europe where he thinks that they speak Austrian in Austria.

I understand the evidence that proves his naiivete to me is not compelling to my Obamacon friends, but they’re not seeing any of this in the mainstream press.  They’re seeing it (presumably) only from me.  If (and I don’t think this is the case, but if) it turned out that there were 2 events like this every day, or 10, or 100, would they at some point start to think they’d been lied to about O being the smartest and dreamiest guy ever to occupy the Oval?

And continuing my long tirade over the fawning media coverage which prevents any real scrutiny of the damage Obama is doing, it’s worth noting that even the liberal Pew Center has now documented, based on quantitative measures and actual data, that Obama received twice as much positive coverage in his first 100 days than Bush, and 50% more than Clinton.

In the end, people will hopefully be swayed more by results than they will by the increasingly obvious cheerleading by the press.  We haven’t talked much about the trillion dollar deficits or the coming inflation and taxation, but that’s a worthwhile discussion as well, and one that’ll be much harder for the media to hide.  At the rate Obama is borrowing, there is, historically, a near-zero chance of avoiding high levels of inflation similar to or greater than what we saw under Carter.  Telling people how dreamy the President is while they’re facing constantly rising prices and higher tax bills gets to be a big task even for Chris Matthews.

But seriously, these quantitative studies of media fawning, hopefully make it easier to understand why I absolutely positively celebrate every time another major newspaper goes under.  I think it’s an event worth celebrating as a free market for information — something we absolutely lack in the country right now — is critical to the success of the democracy.