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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

You Knew This Was Coming

Obama's stimulus plan worked! The economy is rebounding!

So sayeth the economics professors at the Roanoke Times!
The stimulus has worked
editorial

Six months after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package, the economy is heading in a better direction, though the labor market continues to show distressing, if not unexpected, weakness.

In a speech last week, Vice President Joe Biden said the better outlook for the economy is no coincidence:

"The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy and changing the conversation about the economy in this country," Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession."

It is, of course, impossible to conduct a controlled experiment on anything as massive as the U.S. economy. No one will ever know if recovery would have come without the stimulus, or whether we'd now be staring a prolonged depression in the face if it hadn't passed. [link]
Ya gotta love the reasoning. There's no way to measure it or to know for sure, therefore The Stimulus Has Worked!

Good grief.

Let me make a few points.

First, we all knew these jokers would be touting the fact that the economy has come out of recession and that Obama's efforts had everything to do with it once signs emerged pointing to the fact that a recovery was on the horizon. With scant evidence to support the group hug.

The same rationale could be employed to argue that the sunrise is attributable to the Obama stimulus plan. Money was spent. The sun came up. The Stimulus Has Worked!

It's like our fearless leader vowing to create ... or save ... 4 million jobs in the next few years. Any bets on whether he'll determine, in the end, the level of success of his little escapade to have been a breathtaking achievement? Regardless of the employment statistics that come out?

Don't be surprised if he claims, come election season, that he "saved" 45 million jobs. 110 million! Who can deny it?

Second, all recessions are cyclical. Including this one. If Obama's stimulus plan had worked, shouldn't it have shortened the downturn we're experiencing? Well, let's look. Here's some prognosticating about the current recession, written before Obama dreamt up his $780 billion payoff to his favorite constituents, just as the recession had begun:
US recession could last for 3-4 quarters
By Shravan Sreenivasula, CNBC-TV18

US markets have been seeing a correction since the last four months. So, what does historical recession data indicate? What sense does one get from US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments last night?

If one looks at historical numbers of the past US recessions, the country faced a recession anywhere between 8-16 months. In 2000-01, it faced 8 months of recession, in 1990-91 about 8 months, and 1981-82 about 16 months. Historically, that is how long recession has lasted. [link]
Recessions here in the U.S. generally last for 8 to 16 months.

So how long has the current recession been playing out?

21 months.

Just how much did Obama's stimulus plan (passed nearly eight months ago) shorten it, fellas?

Third, if Obama's plan is working, how do you explain these headlines, all published in recent days?

Unemployment Jumps to 9.7 Percent, as Economy Loses Another 216,000 Jobs

U.S. Economy: Companies Cut More Jobs Than Forecast

US economy has lost almost 7m jobs since recession began, fresh figures show

Teen unemployment at record level

Couldn't you make a pretty strong case, after reviewing the data contained in these articles, that Obama's stimulus has actually had an adverse effect on the economy? Perhaps not. But you certainly can't be serious if you believe his spending program has had a positive effect on the economy either.

Bu then, this is the Roanoke Times. So "serious" is not a consideration.

It Was Supposed To Be So Different

This should make your day. The color of your skin is to going to become more and more of an issue as that yacht named Hope & Change sinks beneath the waves:
Obama is fast losing white voters' support
By Peter Wallsten, Los Angeles Times

After a summer of healthcare battles and sliding approval ratings for President Obama, the White House is facing a troubling new trend: The voters losing faith in the president are the ones he had worked hardest to attract.

New surveys show steep declines in Obama's approval ratings among whites -- including Democrats and independents -- who were crucial elements of the diverse coalition that helped elect the country's first black president.

Among white Democrats, Obama’s job approval rating has dropped 11 points since his 100-days mark in April, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It has dropped by 9 points among white independents and whites over 50, and by 12 points among white women -- all groups that will be targeted by both parties in next year's midterm elections.

"While Obama has a lock on African Americans, his support among white voters seems to be almost in a free fall," said veteran Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. [link]
Again, the decline in support is mostly among Democrats. The people who bought into the silliness about hope and change and got the dude elected.

But that was then. This is now. Anyone who doesn't support Obama is a racist.

Welcome to the real world.

Strange Bedfellows. And Yet ...

There was a lot of buzz here locally in recent weeks about the big Labor Day shindig that was to take place yesterday over near Logan, West Virginia. The purpose of the gathering was to celebrate the contribution made by America's coal miners to the nation's prosperity and security. In other words, it was a celebration of the United Mine Workers membership.

So who was the keynote speaker? One of those evil mine executives.

Say what?

And how many UMW members (and family) attended the event?

75,000.

In rural southern West Virginia.

75,000 workers (and want-to-again-be workers) came out to hear this:
Massey Energy CEO blasts climate bill at WVa rally
By Tim Huber, Associated Press

Holden, W.Va. — Massey Energy chief executive Don Blankenship blasted supporters of climate-change legislation and other environmental issues affecting the coal industry at a corporate-sponsored Labor Day concert and rally in southern West Virginia.

Monday's event is designed to highlight attacks on American workers, Blankenship said in prepared remarks.

"Our government, environmental extremists, American corporations, and politicians on the right and the left are all endangering American labor," he said. "Let's send the message to Washington that the politicians have to stop giving our jobs away. If they don't, it's the politicians that need to retrain and relocate."

"We don't need a government that wants to shut down our coal mines. We don't want a government that wants to increase our power bills," Blankenship said. "We don't want a government that is run by people who believe they can change the earth's temperature when they can't balance a budget." [link]

Everyone connected with the mining industry (except Congressman Rick Boucher) knows that his back is up against the wall. If Obama and his environmentalist friends get their way, the economy of West Virginia - and Southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky - will finally crumble.

Thus you have the odd spectacle of adversaries - labor and management - assembling in massive numbers in common cause. The cause: To save the coalfields.

"We don't want a government that is run by people who believe they can change the earth's temperature when they can't balance a budget." Think about it.

- - -

Oh, there was another reason the turnout was huge. On stage together in tiny Holden, West Virginia (population 1,105) were the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, Hank "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" Williams, Jr., the Rich part of Big & Rich, and conservative flamethrower Sean Hannity.

Reuters:

Labor Day Rally for American Workers Draws 75,000 Supporters

A crowd of more than 75,000 gathered in Holden, West Virginia today to celebrate Labor Day and show their support for American workers. The rally, hosted by Friends of America and sponsored by roughly 100 businesses and organizations, was emceed by Ted Nugent and featured live performances by country music stars Hank Williams Jr., John Rich and Fox News personality, Sean Hannity among others. The focus of today's rally was the threat overreaching government, environmental extremists and corrupt corporate interest pose to American labor.

Thousands of cars began lining up outside the Harless Industrial Park before dawn and attendees traveled from as far away as Alaska to attend. Today's rally also included live performances by Blackwater Outlaws, Taylor Made and Halfway to Hazard. International Coal Group President, Ben Hatfield, climate change expert, Lord Monckton and Massey CEO Don Blankenship also addressed the crowd.

A petition in opposition to "Cap and Trade" legislation pending in the U.S. Congress circulated during today's event was signed by more 25,000 Friends of America supporters. [link]'
25,000 signatories in one day. Rock on, guys. Keep pounding home the message. This is a fight to the death.

'On The Edge Of a Black Hole'

Am I the only person who wonders why Obama doesn't concentrate on fixing that which he's currently responsible for, as opposed to restructuring a massive (health care) system that he's not?

This is a wake-up call, but is anyone there willing to receive it?
Adam Smith would not be optimistic in today's economic world
By Charles K. Rowley, London Telegraph

The US economy suffers from a growing culture of indebtedness that has increasingly contaminated the federal government since 2001 and has spilled over dramatically into private household behaviour. The combination of the ill-conceived fiscal-furnace fired by President Bush and the US Congress and the reckless monetary-furnace fired by Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke throughout the period 2001-2007, created unsustainable housing market and stock market bubbles whose collapse brought on the financial crisis and economic contraction of 2008-2009.

The policy responses to the debt bubble demonstrate crude political consideration rather than economic understanding. If excessive government indebtedness is a major source of the problem, why increase the government debt? Why encourage households to go yet further into debt?

The prognosis is catastrophic if projected government policies are not cut back. According to the White House's own estimates, the federal budget deficit in 2009 will be $1.6 trillion, approximately 11.2pc of the overall economy, the highest on record since the end of the Second World War. In 2019, the national debt will represent 76.5pc of the US national economy, the highest proportion since just after the Second World War. In such circumstances, the international reserve status of the US dollar will not survive. As it fades, so interest rates on government securities will rise and the real burden of servicing the debt will increase. In such circumstances, the US economy will teeter on the edge of a black hole. [link]
"The prognosis is catastrophic if projected government policies are not cut back." Yet no one in Washington is talking seriously about cutting back.

May God have mercy on us.

When Is Tweetie Bird's Life Valueless?

When he's sliced up by by the environmentalists' favorite energy generator, a windmill.

And when is his life of tremendous value?

When he's killed by ExxonMobil.

Somebody needs to help me with this:
Windmills Are Killing Our Birds
By Robert Bryce, writing in the Wall Street Journal

On Aug. 13, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court to killing 85 birds that had come into contact with crude oil or other pollutants in uncovered tanks or waste-water facilities on its properties. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which dates back to 1918. The company agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.

ExxonMobil is hardly alone in running afoul of this law. Over the past two decades, federal officials have brought hundreds of similar cases against energy companies. In July, for example, the Oregon-based electric utility PacifiCorp paid $1.4 million in fines and restitution for killing 232 eagles in Wyoming over the past two years. The birds were electrocuted by poorly-designed power lines.

Yet there is one group of energy producers that are not being prosecuted for killing birds: wind-power companies. And wind-powered turbines are killing a vast number of birds every year.

Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy estimates that U.S. wind turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds per year. Yet the Justice Department is not bringing cases against wind companies. [link]

I'll bet there's a logical explanation for this.

Or not.