Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What Does The President Do?

David Frum has the answer.
Among other things:

-- Presidents set goals and priorities. That's easily said, but hard to do. The natural temptation is to accumulate goals and priorities atop each other. (See Clinton, Bill, State of the Union addresses of.) But if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. (See Clinton, Bill, presidency of.) To govern is to choose. To choose requires extreme mental discipline: This I do first, this I do second if I can, this must wait for third, these next 997 things probably don't get done at all.

-- Presidents align means with ends. Congress is the place where the American people register their wishes: Generous Medicare and Social Security benefits and low taxes; global military predominance but no casualties; perfect airline security with no personal inconvenience. It's the president's job to bring the system into balance, to set budgets, to force tradeoffs.

-- Presidents are deal-makers. There's a story told about Harry Truman in the last days of his presidency, awaiting the transition to Dwight Eisenhower after the election of 1952. Truman supposedly said to an aide, "Poor Ike. He'll sit at this desk. He'll say 'do this' and 'do that.' And nothing will happen! It won't be like the Army at all." The president cannot tell Congress what to do. He can't tell a governor what to do. He can't even safely tell the CIA what to do. (If they don't like it, they'll leak against him.) And that's even before we get to foreign governments. A president doesn't get what he wants. A president gets what he negotiates.
Maybe what Americans are hearkening for is the analytic ability and negotiating prowess of the former CEO of America's most successful management consulting firm. And just possibly, Republican primary voters have the self-control not to let the controversy over Romney's health care record cloud their respect for their front-runner's genuine executive abilities.

Sarah Palin Meeting with Donald Trump

zzzzZZZZZ........zzzzZZZZZ......zzzzZZZZZ...... Now where was I? Oh:
Sarah Palin plans to meet Tuesday night with Donald Trump in New York City, according to sources close to Trump.

Palin's office reached out to meet with Trump, not the other way around, Michael Cohen, special counsel at the Trump organization told ABC News.
The two plan to meet in his 30,000-square-foot apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and later will eat dinner together.
Sources say the restaurant will be low-key, not one of New York's more upscale dining establishments. "One step above McDonald's," Cohen said.
The full story is here.

Now What could it be?

1. She wants to Co-host "The Apprentice" next season?
2. Wants Todd or herself to be invited on to the show?
3. Wanted to see if there was any progress on Obama's College Transcripts?
4. Wanted his advise on opening a chain of Moose Meat Restaurants called, "Sarah's and Bullwinkle's"?
5. Realizes there is no more BIG MONEY donors left for the 2012 Presidential election and wanted to see if he was open to endorsing her?
6. She is running out of things to do to take the focus off the upcoming GOP Primaries and the current candidates?
    I DON'T KNOW! What do you think?

    Doug Wright Show: Doug discusses Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin

    H/T Ellie

    The audio clip STARTS IMMEDIATELY. You will need to TURN DOWN the volume, so BE WARNED!

    Election 2012: Who's In? Who's Out? Who Cares???

    I'm starting to get a little nauseous every time I listen to these pundits whine about WHO'S IN! WHO'S GOING TO BE IN? Blah......Blah......Blah!

    I'd say, "I Feel Your Pain", but that wouldn't be telling the truth. I'm quite PLEASED with the current group of candidates. I'LL BE MORE PLEASE though, at approximately 1:00 PM EST on June 2. Give or take a few minutes here and there.

    Please check us out on Facebook and If you like what you see, please "Like" us. You can find us here.

    Mitt Romney: NBC's Today Show Interview (May 31, 2011 VIDEO)

    As Mitt Romney prepares to officially roll out his presidential campaign later this week, he’s giving President Barack Obama an ‘F’ for the last two years.
    “It’s failed,” the former Massachusetts governor said of the Obama presidency in an interview taped over the weekend at his New Hampshire home that aired Tuesday morning on NBC’s “Today.”
    “He’s been one of the most ineffective presidents at the job at hand that I’ve ever seen,” Romney said. “The number one issue he faced walking in the door was an economy in fast decline. He didn’t cause it, but he made things worse.”
    The full story is HERE.

    Here is Mitt Romney discussing President Obama's failures as President:

    LIVE FEED! Watch Mitt Romney formally announce his candidacy in New Hampshire for President of the United States on Thursday, June 2, 12:30 PM EST. Watch for the RIGHT SPEAK link to the LIVE EVENT. We will post the link on Thursday morning. Hope to see you There!

    Please check us out on Facebook and If you like what you see, please "Like" us. You can find us here.

    Did Michele Bachmann just blow her chances in Iowa?

    Did Michele Bachman just blow any chance of winning the Iowa Caucuses? It is said the Iowans are among the most fickled when it comes to chosing their favorite candidate.
    In what prominent Iowa Republicans are calling an “embarrassment” and a “disaster,” undeclared GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) canceled a keynote appearance at a fundraiser, appearing instead via a “fuzzy Skype-style” video link. While some attendees were understanding, the Iowa Republican was brutal in their review of Bachmann’s appearance, and her chances in Iowa.

    Bachmann missed the event in order to vote on the extension of The Patriot Act, but as the local news notes, the measure passed the House by a wide margin, so her vote was far from essential.

    The Iowa Republican put it this way:
    Bachmann will now be at a disadvantage in Polk County. She did not just skip the county fundraiser. People can forgive that, especially for an important vote. But Bachmann’s political organization stiffed the Polk GOP on $2,250 worth of tickets. She gave a horrendous presentation. She seemed oblivious to Donald Trump reneging on an important Republican fundraiser, while she was doing the same. She even played the victim card at one point, saying she was a target of death threats during her time in the Minnesota senate.

    Nothing about Michelle Bachmann seemed presidential Thursday night. Many people thought Newt Gingrich sunk his campaign in the week after his presidential announcement. Bachmann might have dealt a fatal blow to her campaign before she announces.
    The full story is here.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Senator Sarah Palin (R-AZ)*

    * Or “How Mitt Romney Played Chess to Win the GOP Nomination in 2012"

    At lot of speculation has been swirling around the news of Sarah Palin purchasing a new home is Scottsdale, Arizona. Some suggest this is a move to establish a "lower 48" base to launch a Presidential bid. Others say it's to run for Arizona's open Senate seat in 2012. And others say it is merely a chance for Palin to travel easier and be near her daughter Bristol, who also recently purchased a home.

    All reasonable and viable theories.

    Allow me to offer one, albeit more fanciful one.....

    Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on the Chris Wallace show Fox News Sunday, discussing Afghanistan and other foreign policy issues. While listening on satellite radio, I began to wonder, should Mitt Romney be fortunate and be elected President in 2012, would he select McCain as his Secretary of Defense?

    Certainly McCain, with his heroic and compelling Viet Nam POW experience, a respected career in the Senate, specializing on Defense issues, and his reputation as a fierce cost cutter (“They call me ‘The Sheriff’”) would be more than qualified for the position.

    For McCain, the SOD position would be a prestigious capstone to a long and successful political career. He would be able to step aside from the doldrums of Senate bickering and focus his energies on a segment of public policy near and dear to his heart. After some 25 years in the Senate chambers, a Pentagon office might be a refreshing change.

    For Romney, he would be selecting a man with instant credibility, enormous respect, a fountain of knowledge and a patriotic tenacity to see victory, in any endeavor, is achieved. Romney has often cited his appreciation and admiration for McCain’s personal experience, as well as his professional opinion, on defense and military issues.

    But before a President Romney can name Senator McCain as his Secretary of Defense, he has to be elected. And to be elected, he has to secure the GOP nomination. So, as in the game of chess, the political game is often played two or three moves ahead of the desired result. It takes foresight, planning and strategic thinking for both games to achieve a successful conclusion. 

    Let’s assume for a moment, Romney has discussed a role for McCain in a future Romney administration, should his efforts prove successful, in return for a hearty endorsement – at a strategic moment. The eve of the South Carolina primary, comes to mind, no? An amenable McCain agrees.

    To further strengthen his hand, Romney also suggests Sarah Palin could be named as McCain's Senate successor, by Governor Jan Brewer. McCain would be able to move on from the senate, while helping his former running mate. Palin would get the opportunity to return to political office for 3 years, before having to endure an election. The move would also avoid a harsh primary fight with GOP's Jeff Flake, who is touted to run. Palin would not face re-election until 2016 and have plenty of time to build up her resume and image. Meanwhile, Brewer would have strong political allies in and out of the White House,as well as chits to cash in, for new economic programs designed to help Arizona’s economy and her political fortunes.

    Oh yes, one final detail. When John McCain endorses Mitt Romney on the eve of the South Carolina primary, Sarah Palin would be right there at his side, doing the same.

    The benefits for Romney are obvious. he gains the backing of the titular head of the party. He gains the support of one of the most dynamic political personalities in the party. He capitalizes on his his own organization and assets, to nail down the nomination at a critical point.
    The Party is united; base is motivated, future career paths mapped out. It’s a gamble, but to unseat Obama, it may just take ideas like this to get everyone on board.

     Win – Win – Win!!!

    (I know this is the stuff of political drama and fantasy, but perhaps, just perhaps, this is the reason for Palin purchasing a new home in Scottsdale, Arizona)

    Is entering the race the best way to promote Palinism?

    First of all, I do not think that I am the best person to represent my camp, but I will take this opportunity nevertheless and I thank Mr. Bosman for giving me this opportunity.

    Perhaps even Mrs. Palin herself is not 100% sure whether or not she will run, but most signs point to a Palin run. There can only be one winner and at this stage in the game I am aware that even if she were to run, they would be less than a 50% chance that she would win. However, all candidates are in a similar boat and as long as she runs a decent campaign, the stiff competition in and of itself should not stop her from running. If she does awful and has a bad campaign, it would not have been worth it. However, if she runs a good campaign and makes a difference, it will be worth it whether or not she becomes the nominee.

    One things that most candidates should and do think about is how their candidacy will effect the race. With the dynamics of the race changing that effect will be different. Not all Palinites view the state of the race the same way and the way. Mrs. Palins may also view the race is different from the rest of us.

    Other than meeting Mrs. Palin once and giving her my best wishes, I do not know what her intentions are. I can only put together bits and pieces from what I have heard from others. I believe that Mrs. Palin wants a strong Conservative to be the nominee and I think that she wants a variety of Conservative issues to be discussed during the campaign. Simple being part of the debate will be a chance to promote Conservative values and ideas (though some argue she can do that effectively outside the race.) To be sure, there are various other candidates who will promote Conservatism in some fashion, but I for one believe that Mrs. Palin is in a unique position to promote those ideas and values.

    Assuming for a moment, that Mrs. Palin would not be in the race, Mr. Romney would be the front-runner and the other major candidates would probably be Mr. Gingrich, Mrs. Bachmann, Dr. Paul, Mr. Cain and Mr. Pawlenty among a possible few others. I suspect that Mrs. Palin would prefer Mrs. Bachman of that bunch and be least likely to favor Mr. Gingrich. The rest of the candidates, she probably feels indifferent about on balance. Of course, she could endorse Mrs. Bachman, but apart from that she has no incentive to endorse anybody. Mr. Gingrich is probably no going to gain any traction so she does not have to worry about him and she probably does not feel strongly enough to endorse on candidate over another. So she is probably asking herself ‘why don’t I consider jumping in myself.’

    While it would take a short while for the dust to begin to settle, Mrs. Palin’s entry would put her into a strong second place. At that point, there would be a few scenarios that would begin to take place. First, there could be a knock down bitter fight between Mr. Romney and Mrs. Palin or there could be a compromise candidate emerges. There are Pros and Cons to either scenario from a Palinite point of view. Under the first scenario, we would get a chance to politically wound and bloody Mr. Romney and force them to come to terms with the Conservative wing of the party (win or lose,) but in the process we would be politically bloodied as well even if we win the race. Of course if a third candidate can emerge and win, we would get part of what we want, but not all.

    Without Mrs. Palin running, would it be easier to take down Mr. Romney or not? Should she endorse somebody else or not? I realize that Palinites differ on who their second choice should be (some even have Mr. Romney himself as their second choice,) but now that we do not have to worry about Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Trump, Mr. Daniels et al. I for one believe that our only target during the primary process should be Mr. Romney. I thus hope that my fellow Palinites keep this in mind. I guess we shall see how the cookie crumbles, but my guess is that Mrs. Palin’s entrance into the race will promote Palinism.

    Is Sarah Palin on he way to hear Mitt Romney's official Announcement?

    It's all making sense to me now. She launched an east coast bus tour and is working her way north from DC. Mitt Romney is scheduled to announce his candidacy for President on Thursday in NH. She had obviously come to the same conclusion as so many Americans and wants to have a bus eye view of history in the making. I mean, can you blame her?

    Romney will be making his announcement on a 250 acre farm in Stratham NH:

    With the American flag flying, and the well-tended lilac trees at their most fragrant, Doug Scamman spent most of yesterday mowing the rolling hayfield outside of his 250-year-old farmhouse.

    In just a few days, that field will be a packed parking lot. The Civil War-era barn, where five pigs and nine hens live, could become a media staging area, Scamman said, with what looked like a twinkle in his eye.....

    .....Here, somewhere between the chicken coop, the tractors and the hay bales, Republican Mitt Romney will launch his second presidential bid.

    Being familiar with this farm myself, I am sure that Palin is aware that there is plenty of room for her to park her bus and enjoy the festivities. Great place for her and her family to stop and have themselves a picnic lunch and at the same time pay her respects to the next President of the United States. Maybe even a Romney endorsement in the works?

    Behind the Scenes of Passing Romneycare - A Balanced View

    Much has been written about Romneycare, most of which cannot be considered reliable. In many cases, it has been out-right dishonest, designed from the beginning to deceive.

    This article from the Boston Globe, certainly no cheerleader for Romney, posted this morning, is the first of a five part series looking at how it became law and its ramifications in the subsequent 5 years. Since I have no idea of what will be in the next 4 installments, I don't think I can be accused of cherry-picking an especially favorable telling of the story. From what I read of the first installment, I recommend its reading to all.

    Tim Pawlenty: Gave serial Child Molester a Clean Record

    H/T Convicts4Huck Convicts4Tim
    Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty formally announced his campaign seeking the GOP nomination for the presidency Monday morning, but by midday, his political past had already caught up to him. Reporting by Minneapolis City Pages' Nick Pinto brought to attention a pardon then-Gov. Pawlenty granted to a sex offender in October 2008, which is sure to haunt the candidate throughout his campaign: the man Pawlenty pardoned was later arrested again for molesting his daughter more than 250 times in an eight-year span, including six years prior to his pardon.
    Jeremy Giefer served 45 days in prison in 1994 after being convicted of statutory rape. However, because he married the then-14-year-old girl and stuck around to father the child they conceived together, he begged the state for an extraordinary pardon, which would no longer require Giefer to report himself as a sex offender.
    .......The damning details came in November 2010, when Giefer was again arrested on counts of sex with an underage girl — this time with the daughter he had conceived with Susan before his first rape charge. According to the complaint his daughter, identified in court documents as C.G., filed, Griefer would often make her have sex with him or perform oral sex on him as a favor before he would give her permission to do things, and that he put her on birth control when she was 15 years old so that she wouldn't get pregnant when he raped her without a condom. The abuse started when she was 9 years old.
    The full story is HERE.

    I came across this article that demonstrates a quality that I thought was lost in Presidential candidates when we all lost our Reverend Mike. Once again, there is a glitter of hope for the downtrodden like myself and my associates.

    It is clear from the enclosed article that Poor Jerry Geifer was a product of his environment and that Governor Pawlenty looked deep into his heart and saw some good. It is this forgiving nature that separates Governor Tim from the other potential candidates. I ask that those of you who can vote, look closely at Governor Tim and his forgiving heart.

    I hope you will share this piece with your intelligent clientele at Right Speak.

    Convicts4Tim (you know me Bos, I used to like the Reverend)

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Sarah Palin at the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Run (VIDEO & SlideShow)

    Reporting from Washington— Sarah Palin's much-publicized "One Nation" bus tour got off to a chaotic and rumbling start Sunday in Washington, with no bus in sight and the potential presidential candidate only occasionally popping into view.
    The former Alaska governor, who has indicated she is still contemplating a run for the White House in 2012, showed up at a motorcycle rally at the Pentagon, clad in black leather, a black helmet and sunglasses, riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by an unidentified woman.
    The full story is HERE.

    Here is a SLIDE SHOW with several photos from the day:

    Mitt Romney's Speech in Iowa (May 27, 2011- Complete Video with Q&A)

    Mitt Romney spoke at the Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on May 27. Romney discusses several topics. These topics include, Cap-n-trade, Obamacare, economy, deficit, jobs, struggling home market, President Obama doing all the wrong things, and much more:

    Tim Pawlenty: Was 'open to' mandate, a 'worthy goal' back in 2006

    Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said in a 2006 speech that mandated health insurance was a "potentially helpful" -- but incomplete -- solution to the problem of the uninsured.
    Pawlenty described a Massachusetts-style mandate in his speech as "a worthy goal and one that we're intrigued by and I think at least open to," but suggested that the central health care problem was not forcing people to buy insurance but helping them afford it.
    Here is the audio of Pawlenty's speech from 2006:

    Mike Huckabee interviews Herman Cain

    Mike Huckabee hosts presidential candidate Herman Cain on the Huckabee show.

    Rudy Giuliani: Cornell University Senior Convocation

    OK. it's a slow news day. But since Rudy Giuliani is making some noise lately about getting into the race for 2012, I thought his speech yesterday at Cornell University would be of interest to some.
    In an age when information is available in seconds from all over the world, young people must develop the ability to think for themselves and hone their leadership skills, said former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani May 28. He was speaking at Senior Convocation in Schoellkopf Stadium as part of the university's 143rd Graduation Weekend.
    The tremendous technological advances that have given rise to instant communication challenge our ability to analyze, process and think, he said, and "It's much more important than ever before to develop the principles of leadership," he added.
    The most important element of leadership, he noted, is the ability to hold strong beliefs. He cited Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as examples of the best leaders among the 20th-century American presidents, because they set goals based on their beliefs and led the country in definitive directions.
    The full story is HERE.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    What Is The Establishment?

    It is a word that is used, but means several different things.

    For example, Sarah Palin is anti-establishment, but just received praise from economist, Larry Kudlow. On the other hand, Mitt Romney will be accused of being the establishment candidate (which supposedly is a bad thing) despite the fact that he is having a hard time winning over the establishment. I used to think establishment referred to the political junkies, such as congressional aides and campaign staffers, whose jobs depend on Republicans winning. But actually, I have come to the conclusion that much of the establishment consists of talk radio hosts and pundits, whose jobs depend on Republicans not winning. The establishment indeed is a mixed bag, but the part of the establishment that carries the most punch are the talk radio and TV pundits. In this sense, Sarah Palin is partly an establishment candidate.

    The essential question is whether it is more important to win over the "organizational establishment," the community activists, like congressional aides and campaign staffers, who can be influential in local communities, or whether it is more important to win over the "media establishment," which controls the information intake of the base. Mitt Romney can win the former, but he is having difficulty winning over the latter.

    Much of the media establishment's problem with Mitt Romney is that his presence reminds everyone of their past indiscretions on health care. How can Jim DeMint (who fits more into the media establishment) blast the individual mandate when he used to think it was a conservative idea? Mitt Romney represents a very awkward scenario for the media establishment. That is why when news clips come out of other Republican candidates' support (or, "openness") to the individual mandate, it causes much of the media establishment to put their head in the sand and ignore it. They simply can't afford another individual mandate-supporting candidate. It's too embarrassing.

    The establishment used to be a respectable bunch. They were the guys who cared about winning. They were the policy experts who ignored the rantings of the circus known as the base. It used to be that while the base would demand that Obama show his birth certificate, the establishment would smile and support candidates who didn't make such demands. Now, the establishment is trying to be more responsive to the base. That means eliminating the guy they supported back in 2008 (I see you National Review).

    The bottom line is that the lines between the establishment and the base are blurred these days. There is not a lot of leadership in the conservative movement. We need leaders who will lead, not pander. We need conservative pundits who will tell the truth, not pander. We need think tanks who will be more concerned with public policy than with playing nice with the base.

    We need an establishment.


    The original post referred to Larry Kudlow as a "pseudo-economist." I wrote that because of Kudlow's support of the return of the US to the gold standard, his anti-Fed rhetoric, and his support of a completely flat tax. I even wrote about Mitt Romney, when he went on Larry Kudlow's show a while back. That post is quite illuminating when considering Kudlow's recent comments about Mitt.

    However, just because Larry will never occupy a chair in any major economic department around the world, does not mean that he is a "pseudo-economist." Kudlow's beliefs do not represent the majority view among economists, but I still shouldn't disregard what he says just because of his dissent within the field of economics.

    Quote of the Day - Larry Kudlow: “I Want Sarah Palin to Teach Mitt Romney Economics”

    H/T Barbaric Thoughts

    Have You Hugged a Muslim Today?

    Have all of you heard about this huge Pro-America Rally being set up by several large Muslim American Organizations?

    Their goal is to bring 1 million Muslims living in America together somewhere in the United states for a 2 day rally. On Day 1, They will bring in Muslim speakers that will condemn Muslim terrorism and terrorist acts throughout the world. On the second day, they will bring in speakers that condemn the persecution of Christians in Muslim dominated countries. The goal of the rally is to show the world that Islam is a peaceful religion and that anyone who uses their faith for political gain or as a basis to harm others should be condemned.

    Now there is a reason you haven't heard about this rally,................because THERE ISN'T ONE!

    On the other hand, Congressman John Conyers feels there is a Public relations need by the government to let Muslim American Communities know that America stands with them and that those communities have gotten a bad rap over the past few years. He is proposing a Resolution in Congress to make this happen.

    The following is an official statement from Congressman John Conyers website:
    Dear Colleague:
    Please join us as an original co-sponsor of the resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the federal government should take steps to counter anti-Muslim sentiment. Over the last decade, the American Muslim community has confronted a festering level of suspicion which has manifested itself in hostile government policies and bias from the general public. A CBS/ New York Times poll released in mid-September showed that as many as 20 percent of Americans said they have negative feelings toward Muslims because of the September 11th terrorist attacks. While Congress has confronted some of the more violent manifestations of this bias, the general climate faced by the community has continued to create barriers to full participation in public life that should be addressed by official government policy.
    We believe that this sense of Congress is a logical step toward sending the message that the American Muslim community should be able to enjoy the rights guaranteed under the Constitution to the same extent as all other Americans. Communities should be protected from the threat of violence and suspicion that was at the heart of last January’s thwarted attack against the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan. They should also be able to rely on law enforcement’s fundamental integrity and respect for First Amendments protected rights. Ultimately, the American Muslim community should be able to rely on the federal government to lead the effort in fostering an open climate of understanding and cooperation. Only through a balanced examination of the challenges facing the nation will we establish a strong policy framework for protecting security, while respecting the Constitution and the interests of affected communities.
    It is essential that the federal government send the message that we all must work together to guarantee the security of our country and that no community should be singled out for suspicion. We hope that you will join us in sending that message by co-sponsoring this resolution. To cosponsor or to find out more information, please call Keenan Keller of the Judiciary Committee Democratic staff at 5-6906.
    Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
    Rep. Andre Carson
    Rep. Hansen Clarke

    I guess I'm old school. I say, you reap what you sow!

    Why don't they default? The eurozone crisis explained

    If you read my last post on the eurozone crisis, then hopefully by now you understand that you should care.

    The question I'm going to handle today is; why don't they just default? These countries with extremely high debt burden, like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, why don't they just pull the plug?

    Economically speaking, the sooner you default, the sooner you can stage a comeback - sure it's a tough thing and the economy will suffer in the short term, but if there is no hope of avoiding a default in the long term, then why not just pull the plug now already?

    Some people ask me, when I explain this crisis to them, "if it's that bad, how come they haven't already defaulted?". It's as if they refuse to believe it's as bad as I say it is, because then, surely these countries would have given up already.

    I think there are a couple of different explanations for this behavior:

    1) Pride. Default is a dishonorable thing to do, a black mark on your country's record. Politicians do care about their countries reputation abroad, so that could be part of the answer.

    2) Hoping for a miracle. Many debt-burdened countries may still hope for the world economy to turn around, bringing them up in the process. This is what saved Sweden from what may very well have ended in default, after we nationalised the banks in the early 1990's. The national debt skyrocketed as we took on the banks liabilities. But, in the mid-90's, the world economy had recovered and the dotcom bubble had just started, and the booming economy brought up the value of the state-owned Swedish banks. In the end, we sold them for a profit. The problem is that these heavily indebted countries in the eurozone are the very reason (or part of it) why the world economy won't lift - investors want to be sure the euro survives before they make any long-term investments (such as hiring someone).

    3) Survival may mean very low future rates. Let's say Ireland somehow manages to stay afloat, despite a crushing debt burden of above 120 % of GDP. Let's say they manage to pay it down to reasonable levels. Then, they will be able to tell investors in the future that "Of course there is no risk our bonds won't deliver what they promise - hey, we even survived the Great Recession when our debt was at 120 % of GDP". Surviving a near-death experience may be good in the long run. Remember, one of the reasons why US bonds have such a low default risk is because the US has survived everything - the War of 1812, the Civil war, the Great Depression, World War II - the US even managed to pay back the debts it took on during WWII, and back then, the US national debt was about 120 % of GDP (compared to 70-80 % today). Investors tend to look at the historical record of a country when assessing risk, which is natural of course, but to be honest this does lead them to underrate the risk of American bonds. If Ireland, and the others, survive this crisis, they will forever be able to point to it when trying to sell bonds in the future.

    My underlying view is that the Euro must go. I have always been opposed to it and always will, for both economic and non-economic reasons. Without the euro, the problem wouldn't exist. That so many countries with so different economies try to have a common currency, and hence a common exchange rate, must be the greatest financial folly since tulipmania. Normally, during recessions, a country's currency depreciates and this will then in part make up for the lost domestic demand (because exports are boosted). With the eurozone, this doesn't happen for these struggling countries, because the strength of the euro is a function not only of their economy, but of that of the eurozone as a whole. So, the euro is heavily overvalued for them, and with central bank interest rates set to rise, it will only get worst.

    I hope you could follow what I was trying to say. There won't be any miracle I'm afraid, the eurozone will go down, but as countries are still playing for time, this could take a while (a few years).

    /John G

    Rick Perry will consider a White House Run

    Gov. Rick Perry today gave his strongest indication yet that he may run for president.

    “I’m going to think about it” after the legislative session ends Monday, Perry said. He added, “But I think about a lot of things.”

    For years, Perry has said that he would not run for president and that he had no interest in the job. He has often said that he has said no to the presidential question in as many ways as he could.

    But he and his advisers have inched closer to saying he may run all week, following the announcement that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels would not enter the GOP field. A couple of days ago, he told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that a run was tempting.

    Read the full story here.

    Lech Walesa passes on meeting with President Obama

    Lech Walesa, Poland's Solidarity-era legend, ex-president and 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner said Friday he would not accept an invitation to meet with fellow Nobel winner US President Barack Obama.
    "It's difficult to tell journalists what you'd like to say to the president of a superpower. This time I won't tell him, I won't meet him, it doesn't suit me," Walesa told Poland's public broadcaster TVP.
    Obama is due to arrive in Poland later Friday after the G8 summit in France.
    Walesa was originally scheduled to meet Obama Saturday along with other key figures in Poland's post-1989 transition from communism to democracy.

    The full story is HERE.

    Do you think this might have had something to do with Obama reneging on an agreement made with Poland over a missile defense shield that was to be placed in Poland? It seems Obama has a history of throwing it's allies under a bus.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Romney panders AGAIN...goes all in on ethanol subsidies

    Look on the bright side. At least he didn't flip-flop this time.

    From The Wall Street Journal:
    ....“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” he told an Iowa voter. “I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country.” Iowa leads the nation in the production of corn, a main source of ethanol.

    Mr. Romney and a crowd that had come to see his first Iowa speech of the year had been evacuated from the Historical Building by a fire alarm. Amid the tumult, a woman asked if he was going to take any questions. He said given the circumstances, the question and answer part of the program appeared out of the question. So she presented him a typed out note demanding his position on ethanol, one she had intended to present at the presidential forum that had just abruptly ended.

    His answer, delivered without hesitation, adhered to the orthodox position of politicians vying for Iowa votes. But it came just days after former Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty officially announced his candidacy and said the nation could no longer afford to subsidize ethanol, a position that he said backed up his claim to be the truth teller in the race....
    Read the entire article HERE

    Romney Mitt-terupted

    Mitt Romney was in Iowa today for his first campaign stop, when 27 minutes into a Q & A session, fire alarms began to sound. The unflappable former MA Governor advised the audience to clear the room after a second alrm went off.

    Here is a video from the event:

    Fox News Carl Cameron managed to get an interview with Romney outside the event in Iowa:

    Mike Huckabee interviews Michele Bachmann

    Mike Huckabee invites Michele Bachmann on his show and asks her why she wants to be President.

    PPP Polling: Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin lead in Wisconsin

    Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

    Paul Ryan 80/11/9 (+69)
    Sarah Palin 66/28/6 (+38)
    Mitt Romney 46/32/22 (+14)
    Newt Gingrich 28/49/23 (-21)

    Given the choices of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney who would you most like to see as the Republican candidate for President next year?

    Mitt Romney 17%
    Sarah Palin 16%
    Tim Pawlenty 12%
    Michele Bachmann 11%
    Herman Cain 10%
    Newt Gingrich 10%
    Ron Paul 10%
    Jon Huntsman 2%
    Someone else/Undecided 14%

    WITHOUT Sarah Palin:

    Mitt Romney 19%
    Tim Pawlenty 15%
    Newt Gingrich 14%
    Michele Bachmann 14%
    Herman Cain 11%
    Ron Paul 11%
    Jon Huntsman 3%
    Someone else/Undecided 14%
    PPP surveyed 666 usual Republican primary voters, with a +/-3.8% margin of error, from May 19th to 22nd.
    To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

    JERSEY SURE!!! Christie, Romney Close in on Obama - Poll

    NJ Governor Chris Christie and forme MA Governor Mitt Romney are within 5 and 6 points respectively, of President Obama in the Garden State, in a 2012 poll released today.

    "A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely New Jersey voters finds Obama capturing 49 percent of the vote, while Christie earns 44 percent. Five percent prefer somebody else, and 3 percent are undecided.

    Nationally among all likely voters, the president holds just a 7 point lead -- 43 percent to 35 percent -- over the first-term Republican governor.

    Christie nevertheless still insists he is not seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. But one of those who is, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, also runs a competitive race again the president, with Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 43 percent."

    Nationally, Rassmussen find Obama leads Romney by 5 percent, 45% - 40%.
    Read the story HERE

    PPP Polling: Ohio Republicans Want Mitt Romney for President

    He is not yet leading, but Herman Cain’s performance in the first and sofar only debate in the Republican presidential primary a few weeks ago has him already tying for third with Ohio’s GOP voters. In March, the last time PPP polled the contest in the Buckeye State, Mike Huckabee led with 19% over Mitt Romney’s 18%, Newt Gingrich’s 16%, and Sarah Palin’s 15%. Now, with Huckabee out of the picture, Romney tops with 21% over Palin’s 16%, Gingrich’s and Cain’s 12%, Michele Bachmann’s 10%, Ron Paul’s 9%, Tim Pawlenty’s 5%, and Jon Huntsman’s 1%.

    Like Cain, Bachmann was not included in Ohio last time, but has been rising in the
    standings in PPP polls in other states. She has twice the support of fellow Minnesotan Pawlenty, whose announcement has not resulted in more support as of yet; he also placed at 5% in March. Gingrich has slipped after the public-relations disaster that was his first week officially in the race.

    Sarah Palin: Will She or Won't She?

    There was a lot of buzz out there yesterday with the announcement of a Sarah Palin's East Coast Bus Tour and an upcoming release of a 2 hour documentary. One thing for sure is, there is NO CONSISTENCY in opinions as to WHAT IT ALL MEANS. So is Sarah Running?

    YES! Karl Rove:

    NO! Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham: (fast forward to the 3:20 minute mark)

    NO! Byron York:

    Maybe! Rush Limbaugh:

    Jon Huntsman: A non-ad any Democrat would be proud of

    I found this non-ad about Jon Huntsman on youtube today. Not exactly something that Jon Huntsman would want floating around out there as a candidate for the Republican nomination. The video was put together by folks at Verum Serum, a conservative blog. Quality wise, it is well done.

    INTRADE: 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee

    I have only included Intrade's TOP 10 Picks as of 05-27-11. I posted the Intrade Top 10 back on April 23 as well.

    To view the Intrade specifics on any particular candidate, RIGHT CLICK the photo below. Choose, "Open Link in New Window:

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Mitt Romney sends leftover Pizza to Obama Headquarters

    After spending the day in Chicago fundraising, Mitt Romney sat down with small business owners at Gino's East, a pizza joint famous for their deep-dish pizza. Not wanting any of the leftover slices to go to waste, Romney sent the remaining pies to where else but President Obama's Chicago reelection headquarters.
    Full Story HERE.

    HERE is the pizza on the way:

    Mitt Romney to Announce NEXT WEEK!

    Mitt Romney just announced on Facebook that he will officially announce his candidacy next week in New Hampshire:

    Here is Fox News confirming as Well:
    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will formally announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination June 2 in New Hampshire, Fox News has learned. 
    The announcement will occur in Stratham, N.H., at a farm owned by Doug Scamman, former state House speaker. 
    Romney, who will be in Iowa on Friday, 
    On Friday, Romney will make his first trip to Iowa this year, underscoring what aides call a more focused, disciplined approach to his second attempt at the GOP nomination.
    The full story is HERE.

    Bank shares - the new bonds?

    Thinking about the future of the economy, not just short term but long term, what is likely to be the next bubble?

    Right now, after doing some thinking, I'd say bank shares.

    Why? Because they are the new bonds.

    If the economy someone manages to get itself out of its current shape, if the US can avoid a default (oh, and if no other country default either) and maybe the growth of the deficit falls somewhat, then everything still isn't okay.

    Shares are riskier than bonds. That's why they have to give higher return than bonds. Investors demand a so called risk premium, if they don't get that, they'll just keep their money in bonds.

    The reason why bonds are riskfree is because they are guaranteed by the government, and governments in general tend to pay back their debts (with a few notable examples; such as Argentina).

    So what do I mean by saying that bank shares are the new bonds? Because, by official decree since 2008, banks are now protected by the government in the same way bonds are. They officially cannot go bankrupt anymore, and so they are just as riskfree as the government bonds (which aren't exactly riskfree, but as close as you can get).

    In 1999, a famous book was published named "Dow 36,000". It predicted that investors would soon realize that shares aren't risky at all and the whole "risk premium" thing would die. And once the risk premium was gone, shares would be worth thrice as much as they were back then, leading the Dow to rise to 36,000. This was during the height of the dotcom bubble.

    The math, in itself, was more or less correct. If there were no risk premium, shares may very well be worth three times as much as they are. And since the banks are now protected by the government, why would anyone ask for a risk premium from them?

    In effect, the bank shares have become government bonds. And therefore, once the economy actually does recover, their prices will become inflated and people will rush to buy shares in banks, treating them as a riskless asset with extraordinarily returns. Banks always go up during booms, and the government has now promised that they won't fall during recessions. So, win-win for investors.

    Of course, the next banking crisis will be too severe for the government to handle, so the banks will go bust anyway - and when supposedly riskfree assets go bust, that's not good news for the market.

    Just some thoughts. I'm sorry if this post is not as structured as most of my posts, I'm in a bit of a hurry.

    /John G

    PPP Polling: Obama looking safe in Wisconsin

    Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

    Paul Ryan 31/46/13 (-15)
    Mitt Romney 29/49/22 (-20)
    Sarah Palin 32/63/5 (-31)
    Newt Gingrich 15/67/18 (-52)

    Head-to-Head: (Obama/Candidate/Undecided)

    Paul Ryan 50/43/7 (-7)

    Mitt Romney 51/39/10 (-12)
    Newt Gingrich 53/35/12 (-18)
    Sarah Palin 55/36/9 (-19)
    PPP surveyed 1,636 Wisconsin voters from May 19th to 22nd. The margin of error for the survey is +/-2.4%
    To view the crosstabs click here.

    Palin to Embark on Nationwide Bus Tour

    From SarahPac:
    Starting this weekend, Sarah Palin will embark on a One Nation Tour of historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America. The tour will originate in Washington DC and will proceed north up the east coast. More information will follow. Please follow the tour on SarahPAC.com.
    More from Real Clear Politics:
    In a move designed to propel her closer to a presidential run, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will set out on a bus tour of the country on Sunday, making stops at symbolic sites along the way.

    "Starting this weekend, Sarah Palin will embark on a ‘One Nation' tour of historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America," SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford said in a statement to RealClearPolitics. "The tour will originate in Washington, D.C. It will proceed north up the east coast."

    Details were still being hammered out on Thursday, but sources indicated to RCP that the bus tour is expected to last several weeks and will be divided into separate geographical stretches for logistical reasons.

    Members of Palin's immediate family are expected to join her on the trip, which will eventually take her through key early-voting states.

    Photos from SarahPac:

    H/T Drudge Report for Headline Photo - Also, see Drudge for more on the developing story.

    Michele Bachmann's Money Bomb BOMBS!

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the national Tea Party star and potential presidential candidate who has mastered the art of rhetorical bomb-throwing, still hasn't quite gotten the art of the money-bomb quite right.
    On Wednesday, Bachmann launched a money-bomb fundraising event entitled, "Make Barack Obama a One-Term President," tying the event to her own potential candidacy and the hopes of her supporters that she might get in the race.
    "I need your help right now to show Barack Obama that he is no match for our conservative base," Bachmann wrote in an e-mail to her supporter list Wednesday. "We've set a goal to raise $240,000 in 24 hours, but we can only do this if you act now."
    At time of writing Thursday morning, the counter on Bachmann's campaign site indicates that she has raised...$165,151, far short of the $240,000 goal.
    The full story is HERE.

    Gallup Poll: Mitt Romney, then Sarah Palin on top of GOP

    Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 20-24, 2011, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 971 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

    For results based on the total sample of Republicans, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

    The full story is HERE.

    Dick Morris/GMRS Poll: Mitt Romney way out in front

    A survey completed on May 23rd shows Mitt Romney seizing a decisive national lead in the Republican Presidential Primary. Romney, who was getting only 22% of the vote before Trump and Huckabee pulled out, now swells to 30% of the primary vote (if Sarah Palin does not run). The survey also found that former House Speaker Newt Gringirch was neither helped nor hurt by his rocky announcement of his candidacy and has come through the firestorm triggered by his gift giving to his wife and his criticism of Paul Ryan’s Medicare cuts unscathed. The survey also shows real momentum for the bottom of the GOP field, notably for former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
    ..........With Palin in the contest, Romney still leads with 25% of the vote, followed by Palin at 16% and Gingrich at 11%. No other candidate gets more than 6%.
    Mitt Romney   30%
    Newt Gingrich   15%
    Michele Bachmann   7%
    Herman Cain   7%
    Tim Pawlenty   5%
    Rick Santorum   3%
    Jon Huntsman   1%
    The survey was conducted from May 20-23 from our phone banks in Melbourne Florida and has a 95% confidence of a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. 800 likely primary voters were interviewed.
    The full story is HERE.

    Obama dumped by Israeli-American Billionaire Donor

    Haim Saban, a billionaire Israeli-American donor to the Democrats has announced he won't be donating to President Obama's re-election effort.  Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC reports:
    The most prominent Israeli-American business leader in the United States, Haim Saban, says President Obama needs to do more to show his support of Israel in light of the President's comments last week suggesting Israel needs to return to its pre-1967 borders to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
    The full story is HERE.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    C4Palin: Home of the Insane

    Here are two stories today at C4Palin. They are separated by a matter of inches on the home page:

    I’ll close by noting that the miserable crap weasle who betrayed Mansour’s trust bears plenty of responsibility here, but the lion’s share of the blame rests with Tucker Carlson, who purportedly runs the Daily Caller.  Who among us doesn’t have our unguarded moments in private when we’re among friends, or those we think are our friends?  This is basic human nature.  I hate to think that some things I’ve uttered or written in confidence would ever be brought to the attention of the parties about whom I spoke.  By publishing private comments that obviously fall into this category, the Daily Caller has stooped lower than the aformentioned crap weasle.
    The story next to the preceding one.
    Has there ever been such a display of simultaneous cowardice and sexism than that demonstrated by “anonymous” Romney staffers who continue to trash Gov. Palin (and other female conservatives) while their boss praises Palin publicly? Certainly we at C4P pull no punches when discussing Romney’s less-than-stellar record, but all our comments and identities are a matter of record. We are a fan blog, not a campaign staff. Moreover, we’re not making junior-high-level comments to political magazines about Mitt’s IQ or mental health status then hiding out as “unnamed sources.”
    When it's Romney's staffers, then it is Romney's fault. When it is Palin's staffers, it is the media's fault. But that is what we have come to expect from Palin and her insane base. Blaming the media is Sarah Palin's politics. That's what she does. It is not surprising that the politician with the thinnest skin would have a cult following with thin skin.

    I really hope that the reports of Palin's new movie aren't true -- that it is going to continue her whining about the media. But I have a feeling that Palin won't disappoint. She simply can't rise above the fray. She has her base convinced that her self-destruction is Katie Couric's fault. By blaming all of her limitations on the media, she has a convenient excuse to only do interviews with that hard-hitting Judge Jeneane.

    While I really hope that Palin runs (she will lose badly), C4Palin is a living example of the kind of campaign we are going to see from Palin. Any attack or any criticism of her will only be because the one who levied it is a sexist, establishment RINO. She will try her best to freeze the debate.

    I feel quite confident that it won't work.

    PPP Polling: Obama over Mitt Romney by only 3 in North Carolina

    Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

    Mitt Romney 30/43/9 (-13)
    Newt Gingrich 28/54/18 (-26)
    Sarah Palin 32/59/9 (-27)

    Head-to-Head: (Obama/Candidate/Undecided)

    Mitt Romney 46/43/11 (-3)
    Newt Gingrich 50/42/8 (-8)
    Sarah Palin 52/40/8 (-12)
    PPP surveyed 835 North Carolina voters from May 12th to 15th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.4%
    To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

    President Oblunder does London

    The president and the orchestra at Buckingham Palace this evening were a bit out of synch.

    When the president toasted the Queen the orchestra misunderstood a pause and what seemed to be a cue from the president for “God Save the Queen” to begin playing.

    “Ladies and gentlemen please stand with me and raise your glasses as I propose a toast,” the president said, putting down his note cards and grabbing his glass. “To her majesty the Queen.”

    The president paused, the guests stood, and the orchestra prepared to play.

    But the president wasn’t done speaking.

    The full story is HERE.

    Now I have the perfect explanation for this time lapse. You see, while everyone there was on 2011 time, Our President was on 2008 time as seen from his signature in the official guest book: