Hmmm. This May Explain Why The Stock Market Is So Crappy Right Now.

Strategies – How Political Leanings Can Affect Investing – NYTimes.com

YOU’RE likely to feel more confident about the economy when your political party is in power. That’s no surprise. But a new study has found that your feelings probably affect the way you invest your stock portfolio.

The study, which has been circulating in academic circles since December, found that when an investor’s favored political party held power in Washington, he or she generally increased holdings of risky stocks, shifted from foreign to domestic companies and traded less often. The opposite occurred when the preferred party was out of office. And the patterns held whether an investor was a Republican or a Democrat.

I guess the Democrats are confident right now that they’re going to smash the Capitalist system and institution a fairer system where rewards are based on Party Membership.

The Republicans are withholding their investments because they’re afraid that the Democrats and liberals might succeed. The Democrats are withholding their investments because they don’t want to support private enterprise.

Bottom line…little or no investment and no recovery.

As long as the economy is bad the Democrats think they can win by making things “fairer”; which means taking from those who have and doling it out to Democrat voting groups; unions; ‘non-profits’; and the ‘poor’.

America’s Softer Foreign Policy Pays Off

China’s strident tone raises concerns among Western governments, analysts – washingtonpost.com

China’s indignant reaction to the announcement of U.S. plans to sell weapons to Taiwan appears to be in keeping with a new triumphalist attitude from Beijing that is worrying governments and analysts across the globe.

China has found that there’s no down side to ignoring America.

Obama’s new, less bellicose foreign policy has let China and others know that the worst they can expect from the United States when they misbehave is a diplomatic protest backed up by…another diplomatic protest.

The world is like Kindergarten, without the teacher. The bigger kids grab what they want and if other big kids don’t stop them, they grab more.

The U.S. has announced that they will no longer try to be the biggest kid in the playpen. But there’s always got to be someone that is dominant, and the Chinese think that it should be them.

Who’s going to tell them different? Hillary?

The Things Liberals “Know” That Aren’t Necessarily So

The Blue Assumptions

Among those blue-state voters who do put some effort into their politics, I find there are four mistaken assumptions about government that guide their thinking. Government is an exercise of authority, so it’s wise to have a clear understanding of the nature of authority before voting to expand government.The first, and perhaps most dangerous, assumption is that authority confers virtue. This seems to have become rooted in the American psyche after the exhilaration of victory in World War II, and the perceived success of the New Deal. Many people automatically assume liberal politicians are selfless servants of the people, who only want what is best for everyone. The media actively cultivates this mindset through its worship of bold Big Government initiatives, and the heroic statesmen who make them possible. If solving the problems of society is a noble endeavor, and the only solutions are titanic government programs, then the proponents of such programs must be noble!

And remember tow other things as well. Just because something is desirable doesn’t meant it is possible; and because things are possible doesn’t mean they are desirable.

“Progress” may take you places you don’t want to go.

It Must Be the Air.

When David Brooks started writing in the NYT I thought he was, not a conservative, but someone slightly right of center. After reading his latest I am starting to think that there is some time of mind altering substance in the atmosphere at the newspaper.

His latest on Barack Obama;

Op-Ed Columnist – The Pragmatic Leviathan – NYTimes.com

A year ago, the country rallied behind a new president who promised to end the pendulumlike swings, who seemed likely to restore equilibrium with his moderate temper and pragmatic mind.

In many ways, Barack Obama has lived up to his promise. He has created a thoughtful, pragmatic administration marked by a culture of honest and vigorous debate. When Obama makes a decision, you can be sure that he has heard and accounted for every opposing argument.

But just a paragraph later;

Americans, with their deep, vestigial sense of proportion, have reacted. The crucial movement came between April and June, when the president’s approval rating among independents fell by 15 percentage points and the percentage of independents who regarded him as liberal or very liberal rose by 18 points. Since then, the public has rejected any effort to centralize authority or increase the role of government.

Trust in government has fallen. The share of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track has risen. The share who call themselves conservative has risen. The share who believe government is “doing too many things better left to business” has risen.

The country is now split on Obama, because he is temperate, thoughtful and pragmatic, but his policies are almost all unpopular. If you aggregate the last seven polls on health care reform, 41 percent support it and 51 percent oppose.

So, Americans are rejecting his policies because he is “temperate, thoughtful and pragmatic”? The actions of his Cabinet members and his surrogates are marked by a culture of honest and vigorous debate?

Is that why all the Republican amendments to the Healthcare bill are voted down on Party line votes if they get any vote at all? Are the backroom deals and blatant payoffs of supporters considered honest? Is his idea that “bipartisanship” means allowing your opponents to slavishly support your legislation, otherwise they are “obstructing”?

I think that Brooks would be wise to skip the luncheons with the editorial staff and other columnists. They have slipped something in his salad.

Oh, Gimme a Break – This Has To Be The Lamest Excuse To Date.

Budget director blames old computers for ineffective government – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley

A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office.This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama.

The public is getting a bad return on its tax dollars because government workers are operating with outdated technologies, Orszag said in a statement that kicked off a summit between Obama and dozens of corporate CEOs.

The CEOs would have burst out laughing but for the danger that Obama would decide that they are enemies of the state.

Outdated computers? Every time the government tries to update their computers it turns into a free-for-all of corruption and moving goalposts. It was true at the IRS, true at the FBI and it will be true of any new attempt.

First of all millions of dollars will be spent by lobbyists trying to get the contract. The choice will depend on who has the best connections, not technical expertise. Secondly the bureaucrats won’t be able to make up their minds about what they want it to do. And if they do decide one week, they will change their minds the next.

Sounds like not only a pathetic excuse, but laying to groundwork for another wasteful porker of a bill.

The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good

Justice Dept. Scuttles ‘Kindles on Campus’ Test Because Blind Students Can’t Use Them

Washington (AP) – Three universities testing Amazon’s Kindle in the classroom have agreed to shelve the electronic book readers until they are fully functional for blind students, under a deal struck Wednesday with the Justice Department.

In other news, the Obama Administration. requested that Congress send him a bill requiring citizens not to exhale to prevent CO2 from leading to more Global Warming. He requested exemptions for critical personnel including Union members, Democrat Party donors and members as well as government officials and workers. The bill is expected to create a new agency to be charged with enforcing the ban.

The Only Surprise Here Is That The AP Analyzed And Reported It.

STIMULUS WATCH: Unemployment unchanged by projects – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON – A federal spending surge of more than $20 billion for roads and bridges in President Barack Obama’s first stimulus has had no effect on local unemployment rates, raising questions about his argument for billions more to address an “urgent need to accelerate job growth.”

This Cannot Continue.

Hot Air » Chart of the Day



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If you read my posting about the relationship between the Public and Private sector you should be able to see right away why this cannot continue.In fact, if you have any Common Sense you should be able to see why this is unsustainable even if you have not read my posting.

You cannot pick a bucket up by the handle if you are standing in it, and you cannot sustain a government where there are more bureaucrats than there are producers.

We can’t keep borrowing or printing money, and with the Public sector being larger than the Private sector we cannot generate enough tax revenue to support the bureaucracy, especially if you throw in all the people who are getting subsidies from the government.

You would think this would be obvious, but I guess it’s not.

Barney Loves Bankers.

Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank: David Reilly – Bloomberg.com

Nuggets Gleaned

Here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from days spent reading Frank’s handiwork:

— For all its heft, the bill doesn’t once mention the words “too-big-to-fail,” the main issue confronting the financial system. Admitting you have a problem, as any 12- stepper knows, is the crucial first step toward recovery.

— Instead, it supports the biggest banks. It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

— Oh, hold on, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Secretary can’t authorize these funds unless “there is at least a 99 percent likelihood that all funds and interest will be paid back.” Too bad the same models used to foresee the housing meltdown probably will be used to predict this likelihood as well.

More Bailouts

— The bill also allows the government, in a crisis, to back financial firms’ debts. Bondholders can sleep easy — there are more bailouts to come.

— The legislation does create a council of regulators to spot risks to the financial system and big financial firms. Unfortunately this group is made up of folks who missed the problems that led to the current crisis.

— Don’t worry, this time regulators will have better tools. Six months after being created, the council will report to Congress on “whether setting up an electronic database” would be a help. Maybe they’ll even get to use that Internet thingy.

— This group, among its many powers, can restrict the ability of a financial firm to trade for its own account. Perhaps this section should be entitled, “Yes, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., we’re looking at you.”

This from the guy who told everyone back in 2005 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in fine shape. (Truthfully, they are in fine shape after Obama’s Christmas Eve “sky’s the limit” bailout. We’re the ones that have problems)

Oh, and one other thing,  “the bill contains a provision that, in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours.” Hopefully in the middle of the night when no one is paying attention.

We’re All “Rich” Now.

Bob Hertbert – A Less Than Honest Policy – NYTimes.com

The tax would kick in on plans exceeding $23,000 annually for family coverage and $8,500 for individuals, starting in 2013. In the first year it would affect relatively few people in the middle class. But because of the steadily rising costs of health care in the U.S., more and more plans would reach the taxation threshold each year.

Within three years of its implementation, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the tax would apply to nearly 20 percent of all workers with employer-provided health coverage in the country, affecting some 31 million people. Within six years, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the tax would reach a fifth of all households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 annually. Those families can hardly be considered very wealthy.

This is surprise. Bob Herbert has been one of the most doctrinaire liberals at the NYT. (It’s not like he doesn’t have competition for it though)

Now he’s worried that the increased taxes on medical insurance is going to hit the middle class?

Hello? Have you been so engrossed in your Obama campaign collection that you haven’t noticed what has been going on in Congress the last few months? Are you telling us that Obama’s promise that the tax burden will only fall on “the rich” might have been a little disingenuous?

It might only mean that Herbert feels comfortable enough that the ‘healthcare bill” is going to become law that he can write columns pointing out the problems. That’s insurance for down the road when he gets accused of being oblivious to the tax increases. No one is going to notice then that his column was a couple of weeks too late.