Sunday, November 13, 2011

  • Penn State, Paterno and cover-up. As with the Catholic Church scandal, protecting the institution came before protecting the rights of individuals. In this case, it was apparently protecting a football program and a coach's legacy that became priority #1. Beyond shameful. And my understanding is we've only heard about the tip of the iceberg, with much more to be divulged and surface....

  • With Rick Perry paying Fox $1 million for ads, one has to wonder to what extent this is a gift to Fox. Perry's campaign is flush with cash and yet he's been plummeting in the polls and for all intensive purposes is out of the race. So why the big cash outlay? Is it to perhaps insure favorable coverage in the future (as if there was any doubt)? Is it to perhaps convince Fox to offer him a job at some point down the road, if his popularity in Texas dries up?? Very odd.

  • Don't look now but the whack-a-mole game that is the GOP presidential race now has Gingrich rising in the polls. Yes, it's now Newt's turn to get a closer media look, which has not fared well for Bachmann, Perry and Cain and in the past has not been a good thing for Newt. But for now, he's failing upward and winning by attrition.

  • Don't we get a fair amount of food from China? This bit of news ain't good.

  • Many are beginning to wonder if natural gas fracking is causing earthquakes.

  • As for the Herman Cain escapades, I wish more serious-minded political commentators would stop discussing and even following this guy's campaign as it's a waste of time. Cain has no shot of becoming the GOP contender. As Rachel Maddow has been stating, he's been running a faux or fake campaign. Heck, they've all learned from Newt Gingrich, who figured it out long ago that running for president is a terrific business move. Newt does it every four years as it helps to boost his speaking fees, it keeps him "relevant" and in the public eye, it gives him supposed credibility, it boosts book sales, it channels much traffic to his web site (where he has stuff for sale). The bottom line is he very likely makes much more in return for what he puts into his "campaign." I believe Michele Bachmann learned to do this, and Rick Santorum has been doing this, and Sarah Palin sort of did it with her fake dance maybe/maybe not going to run -- and now we have Herman Cain. But alas, many Republican voters are clueless about it, believing many of these clowns are earnestly running for president. Both hilarious and sad.
  • Monday, November 07, 2011

    I've posted this graphic in the past, but I believe it's worth updating and re-posting. Keep this chart in mind the next time someone says "Obamacare" is going to destroy our private healthcare system. If that were true, these managed care stocks would not have crushed the market since the end of last October. Bottom line is investors as a group are typically not stupid and such massive stock outperformance indicates these companies will likely do better than ever (i.e. "Obamacare" didn't go far enough).

    Click on to enlarge

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    Glenn Beck, Goldline and charges of fraud. Does this shock anyone?

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011

    As you may have noticed with the frequency of my updates, I'm not a professional blogger. My other life too often gets in the way. I do collect many news items, jotted-down thoughts, etc., meant to be posted up here fairly expeditiously but unfortunately instead they become quite past due. Rather than just tossing in garbage, I hope you don't mind when I post them anyway....

  • One of my favorite political writers ever, Jonathan Alter, recently wrote about the possibility of Obama switching Biden for Hillary for this upcoming election. Could this actually happen? Alter writes, "I’d say the odds are long -- but it’s definitely not impossible." Then almost as if on cue, Time releases a poll showing Hillary would trounce the Republican contenders if she were running for president, by margins larger than Obama. Admittedly such a poll can be a bit dubious given Obama has been in the #1 spot for 2+ years, receiving all the shrapnel and wounds in this difficult period, and it's always appealing to think "What if she had won her way into the White House, would things have been different...?" However, as the polls tighten up between Obama and Romney, I would assume Obama would do everything necessary to secure a victory. Biden has more or less been invisible in this term, esp. compared to VPs Cheney and Gore. Meanwhile, Clinton has been very high profile and I would say has received very positive reviews from both parties. With the GOP likely to use everything at their disposal to defeat Obama, trotting out all the usual beyond-the-pale campaign methods, there will be a need for an attack dog in the race, one who can land blows and yet do so tactfully, avoiding embarrassment. Hillary can do this better than Biden, who as we know often puts foot in mouth. In addition, it would be great to get Bill Clinton more overtly involved in working his magic to get Obama another four years -- he still remains one of the most amazing and gifted political minds and strategists that I've ever seen. And I would also mention, do not discount that woulda/shoulda mentality, "if only it were a Hillary/Obama ticket to win in 2008, would things be different...." It may be folly, but there's enough people (like myself) who originally wanted Hillary to go all the way and just the thought of her becoming #2 in charge and having more explicit influence over decisions and day-to-day operations could be enough to tip the scales in what is shaping up to be a close election.

  • Apparently the governor of California, Jerry Brown, is shocked at just how pigheaded and untrustworthy his Republican cohorts are -- where the hell has this guy been?! In the article we learn a few things about Republicans in California that hold true for the party on a national scale (proving that Republicans are a-holes no matter where they hold office). They refuse to accept facts, they believe that a 50/50 compromise is unfair and unacceptable, and they lie and don't honor their word. And yet reasonable people are expected to work with such clowns and actually attempt to get something accomplished for the sake of the people. It defines insanity, as per Einstein: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

  • Nearly 200 companies/special interests/lobbyists have registered to "influence" the 12-member congressional "Super Committee" which is expected to find many billions in spending cuts. So let me understand, after all the Tea Party-inspired BS we had to endure concerning the debt ceiling, this is what we get? Instead of the entire Congress getting "influenced" by lobbyists, now it will be fine-tuned to just 12, simply making the job easier for the lobbyists. Way to go Tea Party idiots! We're roundabout back to the original problem: $$$ in politics. Which is what the antithesis Tea Party -- OWS -- is highlighting, the root cause of the rot, not the symptoms.

  • I highly recommend reading this interview with economist Richard Koo. Many fear we're headed down the road of Japan, doomed to experience a "lost decade" of malaise and muddle-through. Koo has extensively studied the problems in Japan, becoming the go-to expert on it's "Great Recession." Along with several excellent suggestions and prescriptions, Koo concludes, "The Japanese government didn't do enough spending in the early 1990s and added another 10 years to the problem. If the U.S. avoids that mistake, maybe in a couple of years you will be out of this mess." And note, with regards to the recent impressive U.S. stock market rally, Japan has enjoyed more than a few 35+% rallies during its 20-year protracted bear market.

  • The John Podhoretz column in the NY Post is hilarious. It's as if one were to bake a cake, ice it with dog feces and then complain about the taste. John, your party has spent years carefully crafting a "master recipe" of what they like and dislike, ultimately producing this cast of nincomepoops. It's what the GOP deserves.

    More items to come....