Archive for September, 2008

So, Is America And The World Marching Toward Doom Or Not?–UPDATED WITH BANK RUNS…or not

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The fact that I can’t answer the question clearly after being told by everyone that the world was imploding is irksome. Either this financial crisis bad but we’ll make it, or it’s bad and it’s going to suck the economy down the hole. And why is consumer confidence up? I have an answer: gas prices are declining. Yes, it’s that simple.

So the Senate will vote tomorrow and McCain and Obama urge the bill’s passage. Hold on professor. Why? From The Hill:

Usually, constitutional issues prevent the Senate from acting on legislation that involves tax issues — any such bill must originate in the House. However, the Senate can circumvent the the rules by taking up a pending House bill, stripping it and putting in place substitute language. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) had cast doubt on that scenario after Monday’s failed House vote, saying it would only “compound” the situation, but others, such as senior Banking Committee member Robert Bennett (R-Utah), confirmed it was a leading idea.

“Anything that’s within the realm of the rules is within the realm of possibility,” Bennett said.

Some observers said a successful Senate vote could be an important tool in persuading wavering House members who may be considering changing their vote.

So Senators think there’s a problem and it’s bad enough to skirt the constitution to address it. Will someone please explain it to me? I would like something to happen so average schmucks don’t end up homeless–but that isn’t the Paulson plan.

Michelle Malkin is in the other camp and says,”Today’s stock market drop is a record point drop, but does not even crack the top 10 single-day percentage drops in American history.
Let’s stop pounding the panic buttons.”

Time Magazine explains some of the subtleties, but after reading the article, I get the impression that banks are being more sober about their lending. That, to me, is a good thing.

Some personal anecdotes:
When we started our business, no one, not one bank, would give us money. So, we had to use credit cards and roll our build out into our lease agreement. We bartered the painting and we did some of the interior work ourselves. We didn’t qualify for credit and we were a good risk (at least to us). About a year after we had signed our lease, the building owner had worked with our agent and had never met us. We looked so young, she was shocked. She would not have leased us space had she seen us. Good thing she didn’t see us!

When we bought our home, our agent found the most generous loan officer he could find. There is no question that he finagled a deal for us. Frankly, I was shocked we were loaned any money at all–we had copious student debt and no assets besides a diploma. It was an FHA loan. Everything worked out.

When we bought a bigger home, the bank approved us for more than we could afford. I was dismayed. And, after asking a million questions, we settled on an old-fashioned loan and bought a home within our means. But the process was confusing and there were many choices. An acquaintance of mine actually was lied to by the bank officer and signed a loan that increased in payments by $200/month within a year. The loan was changed and refinanced, but this was a person who understood finances and could pay. Predatory lending is not a myth.

Still, Americans are too used to living beyond their means. Needs are confused with wants. People believe that they must have cable and iPhones and dinners out and whatever is their personal passion. And now, people can’t make their payments? What happens then? Well, unfortunately, banks gave many bad loans to people who can’t pay.

Some people just need time. A reader of mine, 81 years old, lived through the Great Depression, and remembered that his family was given a year of interest only payments so they could keep their home while their father searched for a job. But joblessness was the problem then, it isn’t now. Yet.

Some people are buried over their heads because they lived beyond their means. Some businesses are the same. They will fail. The pernicious thing is that lenders had the government tighten up requirements filing for bankruptcy while they want money loosened as they themselves fail. It is this atrocious behavior that sickens Americans.

And so, as another reader wrote, “then let’s eat beans and rice” until it gets better. If Americans are willing to endure this, then why is the Senate voting to ostensibly stop it, if it can even be stopped? And should it be stopped, even if it can be stopped?

UPDATED:

Online bank runs, if there are any, don’t make the news because there are no lines and terrified man-on-the-street interviews. And that’s a good thing.

H/T Instapundit

Cross-posted at RightWingNews



Parents Propagandizing Their Children–Updated

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Somebody taught their kid this. They wrote the lyrics, played the music, practiced and then performed this.

Barack Obama is just a man. Evidently, way too many people have a life absent of a real God.

Update:

Instapundit says: “Daddy says if we sing well enough, we might get an extra flour ration!”

More Dear Leader love from Rovian Conspiracy (more links, too):

Michelle Malkin says,”Who’s behind this? Hollyweird libs and MSM moguls, of course.”

Confederate Yankee has more about the weird and elites:

While described as a grassroots effort, Kathy Sawada, who posted the video and can been seen directing the children in the video, is a bit more than just an enthusiastic music teacher you might find in your average public school.

Sawada is a teacher at an elite and expensive Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles as part of the Piano faculty. Colburn just built a $120 million 12-story high-rise addition for their musicians.

Does a concert-quality musician in an elite school in the middle of the most ego-centric city in the United States count as a “grassroots” effort?

Here’s a partial list of those who helped produce this “grassroots” effort:
Jeff Zucker — American television executive, and President & CEO of NBC Universal.
Post-producer (former choreographer?) Holly Shiffer.
Motion picture camera operator/steadicam specialist Peter Rosenfeld (appropriately enough, worked in “Yes Man,” a movie about ” a guy challenges himself to say ‘yes’ to everything for an entire year.”
Darin Moran, another motion picture industry professional, who just finished filming — how appropriate — Land of the Lost.
Andy Blumenthal, Hollywood film editor.

Hmmmm…..NBC denies involvement. Of course they do.

Rachel Lucas, as usual, captures my queasiness, thusly:

That song reminds me of one thing and one thing only, and it ain’t hope or change. It’s church. Which I suppose is the exact idea because for today’s progressive leftist, there is no “church” anymore; there’s just Obama. He fulfills all the needs that they so derisively snark at religious people for when the religious get the same needs fulfilled by a deity.

Neither of which technique I can get behind myself, but it sure is fascinating to watch these people training their kids to worship a man while at the same time, odds are, they mock Christians for their blind faith and bible-clingin’. I guess the progressives think they’re evolved and enlightened because their clingin’ is all about a politician instead of an ancient deity, real or not.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The problem with having faith in Obama is that his substance is suspect and his evidence isn’t good either–what evidence you can find. I guess that’s why liberals keep obscuring the evidence–as long as people don’t see it, they can deify him and have faith. Once he’s know, the religion is lost.

Cross-posted at RightWingNews.com



Mommy, Mama, Ma, Ma, Ma

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008


Click here for this week’s top video clips

When you’re p.o.’d at work, remember that you receive a paycheck for being hassled by needy co-workers.

Thanks to my sister-in-law for the link.



The Problem With Senators

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I was dismayed that the voters choice was between two Senators. They are notoriously incapable of decision-making and standing alone. Their strength is negotiation and straddling fences, not taking direct choices.

Today my concerns make me believe we’re in trouble no matter who ends up as Prez. Holeee Canoli.

Senator Obama could have gotten the votes to make this happen. The question: Does he really believe America is in a monumentally huge crisis or not? If he does, then he should do what a President does and lead rhetorically and explain to the American people why the bill is good. He calms the people. He energizes them and encourages them. Instead he’s playing class warfare.

Senator McCain, when he ostensibly agreed with the House Republican’s concerns, could have came out strongly against the bill. He could explain why it’s a bad idea and articulate clearly and enthusiastically for a way out of the financial mess that wouldn’t destroy the American, and possibly, the world economy.

But no.

We have two Senators running for President. They are bumbling around. Obama refuses to take a side because he doesn’t ever want to be wrong about anything. McCain “works the aisles” because he is a legislator first and a leader second.

Help. Us.

One of these guys needs to take a clear stand and clarify the right course for America. Either they don’t know. Or, they do know and are afraid to say. Or maybe, in Obama’s case, calming the nerves of the populace doesn’t serve him politically. That craven disregard for America is an abomination, if true. Or maybe, in McCain’s case, he’s just too in the habit of having the support of a gang, to comfortably take a decisive action and live with the consequences.

What America needs is a leader. I fear that no matter how this election ends up, we won’t have one.

Patrick Ruffini has more about Senator McCain not acting Presidential.



What The Heck? The Bailout Failed?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I take a nap and this is what happens while I’m sleeping? Good. Grief.

My natural instinct is to say that it’s good when new laws don’t get passed. Gridlock is a beautiful thing because laws tend to make the average person’s life harder. So the bailout plan failed. I should be ecstatic. Certainly, the vast majority of Americans didn’t really want this bill. So are they right? Time will tell.

Right now, the stock market is tanking. It will likely tank tomorrow. Now, it’s a psychological as much as a financial thing. People get stupid when they’re scared and that’s what makes me nervous.

90 Democrats voted AGAINST the bill. So don’t listen when the Dems blame Republicans for the legislation’s failure to pass. Only 12 Democrats needed to pony up for this.

Nancy Pelosi is a knucklehead. What a vindictive woman. It is called politics–as in care for the toes you step on because they are connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow. It’s called don’t insult the people you need to help you.

David Bernstein of Volokh Conspiracy:

As I wrote in the comments, I have no idea why any particular member, or group of members, of the House, voted for or against the bill. All I’m saying is that if you are trying to rally the House to pass an emergency bill, you make it seem like there is AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY, which more or less precludes partisan attacks. To the extent any Republican voted against the bill because of Pelosi’s speech, it may not be a question of them being offended by her partisanship, but the perspective that if Pelosi thinks that the situation calls for partisanship, it must not be a serious emergency, because leaders simply don’t engage in such antics when a true emergency is at hand. For that matter, if I were a Democrat skeptical of the bill, Pelosi’s speech may have discouraged me from voting for it for the same reason.

On the other hand, maybe Nancy Pelosi isn’t stupid. Maybe she doesn’t want the crisis to go on and on, damn the American economy, damn small businesses. If you’re rich enough, low valued stocks are nice for making some money. She’s rich enough. Oh, and don’t forget that every day this crisis continues is more votes for Barack Obama. At least, Pelosi and Obama count on voters being that superficial. [Updated: Soren Dayton seems to agree with my hypothesis. Help us! I don’t know what the country will come to with politicians who filter every single defining moment through self-interest rather than what is in the best interest of the country. And Jeff Goldstein asks if Pelosi inadvertently helped America. That would be the only way it’d happen]

After sleeping tonight, Americans may face the consequences of their anger. I hope the populace is right. I fear a situation where people can’t pay their employees, who can’t pay their bills, where more homes are lost, which will exacerbate the problem. [Update: Are people already reconsidering? Or are people just confused? Are people finally understanding the implications of letting this slide could be disastrous? Or, do people, like me, hate all alternatives and figure something has to be done, just not what Paulson was proposing.]

Pain. There will be pain.

More here. And another reminder of the timeline:

Michelle Malkin has the vote tally. Want to know how your Senator and Congressman voted?

AllahPundit shares this:

You’d think The One at least could flip 12 Democrats by promising to swing by their districts while he’s on the road and turn some water into wine or whatever to help get them reelected. After all, if the polls hold, this is going to be his mess to clean up come January. Waiting only makes it worse. Grab a mop, Messiah. Click the image to listen.

And did Obama help things? No. Here’s how the Congressional Black Caucus responded:

More members of the Congressional Black Caucus, whose heavily black districts include many of Obama’s most ardent supporters, opposed the bill than supported it.

Few of these members are in, or will ever have, tough re-elections.

Obama, it seems, could have helped deliver some of these votes if he had been more invested in the bill.

Frank Luntz: “The taxpayers want someone hung and they don’t want it to be the taxpayers.”

Ace explains market to market accounting crap that might help all this.

Again, I will conclude with pain. Tomorrow, we wake up with it.

Updated:
From Ron Paul (I know, I’m quoting and linking to Ron Paul)–

Yes, we need change, but the change we need is to get rid of the perverse government incentives for banks to make those bad decisions in the first place. But all we hear about is band-aids, symptoms, and bedtime stories about how this will fix everything.

It won’t and it comes down to this: You can save the banks that are failing, or you can save the dollar. But you can’t save both.



The Housing Crisis Creates A Socialist Utopia–Just As Obama Envisioned It

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Here’s how the Democrats “solved” the housing crisis a few years back:

And then there is this video that covers visually, what I’ve written about before, about what caused the financial crisis:

Here’s an inconvenient truth: President Bush was smarter than Nancy Pelosi about this housing mess. John McCain tried to do the right thing while Obama was too busy redistributing wealth to himself.

This bailout is sticky politically for the Dems in the short term because middle-class people (yes, Barack Obama, America has a middle class that you evidently don’t think is necessary) vote. Long-term though, policies like the Dems put forward achieve all sorts of ends: the elites are enriched further empowering them to lord over the working class. Far from a society that is fairer, the Left is trying to achieve a socialist’s dream–a ruling oligarchy and the masses to serve them.

Communist regimes have a few fabulously rich who dress and talk like the common man (Castro, old what’s-his-name in China) but live like lavished princes. Obama, Pelosi, Dodd, Schumer and their ilk are no more for the common man than Castro or Chavez. They talk about being for the people when the people they really work for is themselves. It’s disgusting.

What is more disgusting is that people buy this bilge and believe it.

H/T Reader Dan and GatewayPundit who is talking about the “goon squads”, aka useful idiots. Every regime needs them. Barack Obama has plenty.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News



Feminists Who Appear Slutty But Live Traditional Values

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Robert Stacy McCain addresses a modern feminist’s journey from HIV testing to monogamous marriage. Hypocrisy? Of course not! RS McCain calls her on her, um, inconsistencies:

However, notice that the enlightened Johansson never says whether she has actually had an abortion. This would not be a fashionable admission, any more so than it would be fashionable for Johansson to go into the details of exactly why she felt so at-risk of HIV infection as to have herself tested twice a year. The personal may be political, as the feminists tell us, but one doesn’t get points for progressive enlightenment merely by protecting one’s self-interest. It is important that the bien pensant advocate progressive values in a disinterested and selfless manner.

And thus it is altogether fitting that Johansson, having publicly expressed her disdain of traditional morality, should now take the seemingly incongruous step of committing herself to that most traditional of institutions, marriage.

Go read the whole thing.



Obama Gives Biden A Gafftasmic Run For His Money

Monday, September 29th, 2008

The problem is that Obama is so worried about saying the thing that makes him look right, he can’t clearly say what’s right–if he even knows.



Imagine If John McCain Was Friends With Former Terrorist Timothy McVeigh

Monday, September 29th, 2008

That is the sort of friend Barack Obama has in Bill Ayers:

Any plausible link between a Republican presidential candidate and someone like Eric Robert Rudolph or Timothy McViegh would unleash a torrent of feverish reporting from the mainstream media, detailing every nuance and every possible shadowy link between them. The New York Times, however, stubbornly sits on a treasure trove of their original reporting that captured the facts and circumstances of the leftist bombs that exploded in a Greenwich Village bomb factory 38 years ago.

What are they sitting on?



Paul Newman Defined Real Manhood

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Rachel Lucas likes gusseted pants and Clint Eastwood, I’ll take Paul Newman with a side of Cool Hand Luke, thank you very much. When Paul Newman entered the pool hall with the much younger Tom Cruise, it was the old guy who got my attention. Newman has been the definition of icy hot for years. It is so sad that he’s gone.

Paul Newman inspired me this way: what an awesome thing to earn gobs of money and then make your life’s work to give charitably to those in need. Is there a better ideal to strive for?

He used his talents to the fullest, married well, raised a nice family, lived humbly, dreamed big, and gave generously. He was a good man and the world is lesser place for not having him in it.