EnduringSense

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

Archive for January, 2012

ABC’s Jake Tapper Takes Obama to the Woodshed

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 31, 2012

While most in the mainstream media continue giving President Obama a pass on failed policies, some are starting to squirm.  Shortly after Obama’s State of the Union speech, ABC’s Jack Tapper who was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos, sounded more like a Republican operative that a member of the press when he said that Obama cannot run on his achievements because they are not popular, full text and video below.

Tapper’s comments, while obvious, are refreshingly honest for a press corps that has often made honesty and integrity subservient to own partisan beliefs.

The President understands how unpopular his programs are, but this is not tempered his policies.  He remains the most liberal and partisan president of modern times.  Look for Obama to run a downright nasty campaign for a second term, both against his political opponents and those in society he demonizes.  It’s going to get ugly this fall!

Jake Tapper  —  “What’s interesting, George, is the conundrum in which President Obama finds himself.  He really can’t run on so many of his major legislative accomplishments – regardless of the merits of health care reform, financial reform, the stimulus– they’re not popular.  So what you see is President Obama putting out other issues to discuss: raising taxes on the wealthy, raising taxes on corporations so as to bring jobs back to the United States.  These are the issues he wants to talk about, because it’s going to be difficult for him to talk about his record when it comes to his big achievements.”

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Obama’s State of the Union Speech – 2012

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 31, 2012

The State of the Union speech delivered by the President last week was pure Obama; nicely delivered, great sound bites, little substance.  Fortunately, there are clear thinking Americans who appropriately critiqued the lack of substance in the President’s words.  Think tank, The Cato Institute, had its scholars respond to the President’s talking points in the video below.  It is a worthy piece for those interested in a reality check on Obama policies.

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Brian Williams Shows Media’s Leftist Bias

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 30, 2012

NewsBusters.org published a story showing the ongoing Leftist bias of the mainstream media.  NBC’s Brian Williams followed the rest of the lamestream media in criticizing Arizona’s Republican governor Jan Brewer for supposedly lecturing President Obama.  During his recent visit to Arizona, the Governor greeted the President with a pointing finger-pointing gesture that Williams took offense to stating: “Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this?”  Well Mr. Williams, the answer is you yourself.

During an interview a few years ago with then President George W. Bush Williams used precisely the same pointing finger jester to the President that he now takes Brewer to task for.  Posted below are the still photographs of both jesters, as well as a video of Williams lecturing President Bush.

Brian Williams’ schizophrenic behavior is typical of the mainstream media.  To these Leftist reporters, the news is no longer based on facts, but on political philosophy.  Just as bad, they treat the current president as if he was royalty instead of an employee of the People.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keystone Pipeline Decision has Upset Canadian Allies

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 30, 2012

Earlier this month President Obama used his executive powers to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  This pipeline, which was to run from Canada to Texas oil refineries, would have brought significant quantities of Canadian oil to the US, reducing our dependence on oil from unfriendly countries.

In announcing the decision, Obama he blamed the Republicans in Congress for demanding action too quickly.  As he so often did when an Illinois State Senator, Obama believes that voting “present” is analogous to decision-making.  How juvenile!

Blog reader John forwarded the video posted below by Canadian talk show host, Ezra Levant.  As Levant explains, Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone pipeline was purely political, designed to assuage radical environmentalists and other Leftist supporters.

Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone pipeline has significant negative implications for the United States.  First, it tells our Canadian allies that we are not a dependable buyer for their oil.  This will force the Canadians to find other buyers, mainly in Asia.  Further, it forces America to continue buying oil from unreliable suppliers who do not particularly like us, including Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela as well as Saudi Arabia.  This is yet another example of Obama rewarding America’s adversaries at the expense of our allies.  How bizarre!

As shown towards the end of the video, during his campaign for the presidency Obama promised to end America’s dependence on oil from Venezuela in the Middle East.  This broken promise is so brazen that it must be considered a “lie”, as Ezra Levant so correctly concludes.

 

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Ener1, Another Government-Backed Green Company, Files for Bankruptcy

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 29, 2012

ABC News has reported that on last Thursday, yet another green energy company backed by US taxpayers declared bankruptcy.  This time it was lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1’s turn to bite the dust.  Ener1 produced batteries for electric cars, a market that does not exist yet.  In announcing the decision, Ener1’s CEO Alex Sorokin said:

“This was a difficult, but necessary, decision for our company.  We moved aggressively to reduce costs and shift focus when the marketplace did not evolve as quickly as anticipated.  Our business plan was impacted when demand for lithium-ion batteries slowed due to lower-than-expected adoption for electric passenger vehicles.”

This remarkable statement shows the illogic and downright idiotic business decisions taken by the Obama administration.  It once again proves that just because a government official believes the green energy is good does not make it a viable business.

In 2009, the US Department of Energy awarded Ener1 a $118 million grant as part of Obama’s Stimulus Package.  As part of the Administration’s promotion of this expenditure, Vice President Joe Biden visited Ener1’s Indiana plant a bit over a year ago for a photo-op.  This publicity stunt for another governmental boondoggle in the green energy field matches the May 2010 photo-op of President Obama visiting the Solyndra plant in California.  Solyndra, who is now the target of a federal criminal investigation, received over $530 million in loans from the Stimulus Package before going belly up.  It seems that receiving a hundred million dollars of taxpayer funds will only get you a visit from VP Biden.  To get the big guy, a company needs to take hundreds of millions of taxpayer cash.

A third green energy company, Beacon Power of Massachusetts, got a mere $43 million in Stimulus funds before filing bankruptcy protection.   Starting to see a trend?

President Obama’s green energy program is a failure on many levels.  First, green energy is not ready for prime time.  It can either produce large quantities of power, nor can it produce it economically.  The funds that this Administration dumped into green energy companies has merely enriched a few Americans at the expense of the many.  Ultimately, the markets decide what energy to use, not some government politician or bureaucrat.

What is remarkable about this President is that he is so unapologetic.  In fact, instead of apologizing to the taxpayers that funded the boondoggles, Obama has indicated that he will do more of the same.  This points to perhaps the greatest problem of Progressive governments; lack of accountability.  Everyone in the Administration from the president on down, as well of the Congress, who supported these green energy boondoggles should be fired and joined the list of the too many unemployed Americans with their programs continue to hurt.

Posted in Energy, Government Waste | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Talks Green, Spews Carbon

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 28, 2012

Two days ago President Obama was on a campaign stump in Las Vegas, Nevada.  During the trip he counted the green energy spending that came as a result of Stimulus subsidies.  While the President preaches green energy, he travels in motorcades that spew carbon to the atmosphere.  Similarly, when the President took his Christmas holiday, he flew Air Force One to Hawaii, the furthest United States destination he could be choose.  Come on Mr. President, if you really believe in this global warming thing, start walking the talk.

Posted in Global Warming | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Must Have Skipped Econ 101

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 27, 2012

President Obama’s State of the Union speech given this week was pure politics.  It promised easy solutions and handouts for many with little substance or solutions to the major problems facing the United States.

This week in a campaign speech in Nevada, the President embellished on his voodoo economics with the following statements:

“On Tuesday at the State of the Union, I laid out my vision for how we move forward.  I laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last, that has a firm foundation.  Where we’re making stuff and selling stuff and moving it around and UPS drivers are dropping things off everywhere. ……  That’s the economy we want.  An economy built on American manufacturing, with more good jobs and more products made here in the United States of America.”

The President’s gibberish is pure nonsense.  It has nothing to do with economic reality or the ability of the government to improve the economy.  As any small business owner knows, the government is the problem, not the solution.  The President’s hollow words indicates that he understands little about how the economy works.

It seems evident that the President skipped the basic economics courses while attending Harvard.

Posted in economics, President Obama | Leave a Comment »

Egyptian – American Relations Deteriorating

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 27, 2012

TheNew York Times reported on the deteriorating relationship between the United States and its former ally, Egypt.  This week Egyptian government prevented six Americans from leaving the country.  They are members of nongovernmental organizations including Sam LaHood, director of the International Republican Institute.  The action against the Americans was in response to President Obama’s warning that the United States might halt its annual $1 billion military aid unless Egypt took more democratic steps.

It was slightly less than a year ago that the Obama Administration backed the demonstrators in Cairo that were calling for the ouster of longtime American ally, Hosni Mubarak.  It is evident that the results of the so-called “Arab Spring” in Egypt were not as Obama and the State Department desired.  Now, a former ally has become an adversary.

When Barack Obama was running for the presidency he promised to improve America’s stature throughout the world.  One of his first actions as president was a speech in Cairo to the Muslim world.  He also went on a worldwide tour apologizing for past American actions.  These rather bizarre actions could be justified if the world became a safer or America was more respected.  With the opposite happening, the failures of Obama’s foreign policy are quickly approaching those of his economic mismanagement.

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Spain Misses Deficit Number

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 27, 2012

Earlier this month it was reported that Spain will overshoot its targeted budget deficit by nearly $20 billion.  Spain’s deficit target of 6% of GDP was a commitment it made to the European Union.  Instead, their deficit will be 8% for 2011.  Missing the target in theory requires Spain to take austerity measures that include budget cuts and tax increases.

Spain is not the only European country to miss the prescribe targets.  Previously, Greece, Portugal and Italy missed their deficit targets.  It is this lack of fiscal responsibility that the has created to the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis.  For too long member countries made fiscal promises that they had no intention to keep.  However, the piper must be paid and this has worldwide economic consequences.

The conundrum for Europe is that even if the affected countries install the required austerity measures necessary to bring them into compliance with Europe’s regulations, it will be an additional drag on their economies.  Cutting government spending and raising taxes are contractive forces.  However, not meeting the debt to GDP ratio will cause the bond markets to increase the cost of borrowing for the affected countries, increasing their debt ratios even further.

In Europe, there are no good solutions, only some less painful than others.  The choices are difficult, especially in democracies that have created so many dependent citizens.  This reality has led to significant economic news during the first month of 2012 including:

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that even though Spain has a huge housing glut, some of its banks are investing in building still more houses in order to avoid writing off bad loans.  This is an example of unintended consequences of government interventions and bailouts that will ultimately result in still larger financial problems down the road.
  • France and eight European countries suffered ratings downgrades.
  • Earlier this month Germany sold €3.9 billion (Euros) six-month bonds with a negative yield of 0.0122%.  In other words people paid German to take their money.  This bit of illogic shows the depth of the growing fears in Europe for sovereign and commercial banks debt.
  • The price of gold increasing by over 7% in January.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated her country’s unwillingness to spend more to bail out weaker European countries.  The end-game for Europe’s turmoil can only be temporary help up by German money.  Without it, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe will come to a head in a matter of months, if not weeks.
  • The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that they will keep short-term interest rates close to zero “at least through late 2014,” longer than previously indicated.  With this announcement Fed is stating its concern for the economy into the future.

As this Blog has proffered previously, the economic problems facing many countries today is not liquidity; the problem all of the bailouts and governmental interventions attempt to address.  The real problem is one of excess debt, both in the private and public sectors.  This debt must be paid back, often referred to as deleveraging.  It will be a lengthy and painful process.  Unfortunately none of the politicians running for the White House, or the man currently occupying it, is honest enough to share this reality with the electorate.  To them the prize of the Office is just too alluring.

Posted in Debt, Deficits | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Islamic Militants Stop Food Shipments to Starving Somalians

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 26, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab stopped shipments of food to about a quarter of a million hungry people in Somalia.  One convoy with 3,500 tons of perishable food has been held up for over a month.

While man’s inhumanity to fellow men has been carried out in the name of all religions throughout history, modern Islamists with causes are matriculating to the use of violence against fellow men in ever-growing numbers.  Yet the Progressives of the world refuse to ask why.

Posted in Radical Islam | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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