Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Miscellany - The "I'm BAD" Edition

In my continuing effort to rehabilitate my sloppy blogging habits and restore this blog to a semblance of reasonable posting blogging goodness, a few items from around the sphere you might enjoy find informative:

ITEM - Blogroll Amnesty Day... celebrated tomorrow - Tuesday February 3rd. Jon Swift - the reasonable Conservative - created this joyous holiday in cooperation with Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Blue Gal. As Jon explains:
"February 3 is the day when we celebrate the blogosphere's greatest (and, so far, only) holiday, Blogroll Amnesty Day, a day when we salute all of the great smaller blogs that don't get the recognition they deserve. Blogroll Amnesty Day, or B.A.D. as it is known to the twitterati, was not always such a happy day. In fact, the first Blogroll Amnesty Day, way back in ought seven, was one of the darkest days in the blogosphere."
Jon is a blogging hero of mine, having established himself as the one and only reasonable Conservative blogging today. I aspire to emulate his efforts and am working to establish my credentials as the only reasonable Liberal in the blogosphere. While some may consider this goal to be ambitious, perhaps even arrogant, cetainly no one would argue that the position remains unfilled and has been so since the beginning of time. So - I dare to ask - Why not me? Can I do it? Let me answer clearly and decisively as only we liberals can -


Like Jon, I have adopted a Conservative Blogging Policy - to whit: "You Blogroll me. I Blogroll you." In this manner, the integrity of a fundamental law of the universe - The Conservation of Blogrolls - is maintained. As any high school science student knows, Blogrolls cannot be created or destroyed, they can only change form.

To that end, and in my continuing effort to sincerely imitate the success of my blogging role model, I am now announcing a new totally original blogging holiday of my own invention - "Blogrolling Assassination Day" (B.A.D.) which coincidentally will be celebrated on the same day as "Blogroll Amnesty Day" (B.A.D.)

I have used the Blogrolling service to maintain my blogroll since the inception of this blog. Despite my affection for the service, I have, through careful analysis, determined that it is time for me to move on to a new blogroll technology platform. While there is much to like about the Blogrolling platform, there is one aspect of the technology where it has failed to keep up with its competitors - Specifically, it stopped working sometime last October.

Normally, in the tradition of all reasonable liberals, I should continue to embrace and promote obsolete and completely failed ideas like Blogrolling, Keynesian Economics and the notion that the government knows better than you what kind of car you should drive and knows better than GM management what kind of car they should build.

Wait - that last part may actually be true. God knows GM management have no friggin' idea what kind of car people want to buy or what they should build. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can certainly do no worse than GM management.

But I digress.

We will kill two birds with one stone. Tomorrow, in observation of Blogrolling Assassination Day, the Blogrolling sidebar widget will be deleted, and replaced with the Google Blogger widget. And in the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day, we will begin to repopulate the blogroll by focusing on smaller blogs that don't get the recognition they deserve. Like um,,, moi - Divided We Stand United We Fall - The Home for Reasonable Liberals Everywhere.

ITEM - Peter Schiff is still being ignored - Thank God.
A few months ago a YouTube compilation of Peter Schiff clips from Fox and CNBC over the last three years got a great deal of play across the blogosphere. We reasonable liberals were greatly amused at how stupid the right wing talking heads on Fox and CNBC looked when they ridiculed Schiff's contention that the failed Bush administration policy of borrow and spend with huge deficits, coupled with the failed Fed policy of easy credit would lead inevitably to an asset bubble, a market crash and a financial crisis. Boy was he right. Boy were those stupid conservative pukes wrong.

Unfortunately, now Peter Schiff is completely wrong. He seems to think that the Obama administration's brilliant policy of even more spending with even more borrowing and gigantic deficits, coupled with the Fed's new policy of even easier money available at an effective interest rate of zero percent (0 %) is not the answer to our economic woes. It is kind of sad really. I just don't know how anyone who was so smart could suddenly become so stupid. Anyway, FWIW - this is from his badly flawed recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:
"As recession fears cause the nation to embrace greater state control of the economy and unimaginable federal deficits, one searches in vain for debate worthy of the moment. Where there should be an historic clash of ideas, there is only blind resignation and an amorphous queasiness that we are simply sweeping the slouching beast under the rug...

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level. I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice...

By borrowing more than it can ever pay back, the government will guarantee higher inflation for years to come, thereby diminishing the value of all that Americans have saved and acquired. For now the inflationary tide is being held back by the countervailing pressures of bursting asset bubbles in real estate and stocks, forced liquidations in commodities, and troubled retailers slashing prices to unload excess inventory. But when the dust settles, trillions of new dollars will remain, chasing a diminished supply of goods. We will be left with 1970s-style stagflation, only with a much sharper contraction and significantly higher inflation. The good news is that economics is not all that complicated. The bad news is that our economy is broken and there is nothing the government can do to fix it. However, the free market does have a cure: it's called a recession, and it's not fun, easy or quick. But if we put our faith in the power of government to make the pain go away, we will live with the consequences for generations."
This is just so sad. Peter... Peter... Peter...

Peter Schiff was a financial adviser to Ron Paul's presidential campaign, and is President of Euro-Pacific Capital. Please ignore him. Maybe he will go away.

ITEM: GM is soon going to tell us how good it is going to be.
Since I last blogged about the subject, GM and Chrysler have both accepted Federal bailout money. GM received $14 billion and Chrysler/Cerberus received $4 billion. But they are not getting this money without strict Federal oversight. No-sir-ee. Our government has extracted a commitment that GM must return to the Federal Government in March with a report and a plan for viability. That'll show 'em that Congress means business.

When I wrote that post, I suggested that our choice was to either let the insolvent GM go under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December, or first flush 17 billion dollars of taxpayer money down the toilet before dealing with the same reality in the spring. I was wrong. That was before I became a reasonable liberal. Now I understand that we should flush another $10 to $15 billion in order to get another report on their viability later. Maybe in the Fall. Yeah. That's the ticket.

The boys at Fast Money on CNBC were in rare form today. In the first segment Jeff Macke tells us what to expect with the pending GM report on viability:
Jeff Macke: "General Motors in a month and a half is going to come up with a fake balance sheet tht argues they have a positive net present value."
Dylan Ratigan: "They should call Madoff."
Jeff Macke:"They could call Madoff... they could call any number of people. Heck, I'll fake it for them, Yeah we have a positive value. Are you kidding me? They make products nobody wants and then sells them at a loss."
You have to wade through half the clip to see that bit, but it is worth it. You can watch it here.

There is some other good stuff in there - including another Mackeeism: - "The Obama administration will play God with the banks - who will live, who will die, who will get bailouts. I don't know what this is but it is not a free market." and the usual Ratigan Rant about the Credit Default Swap Insurance scam perpetrated by the banks.

Problem is, Mackee says this stuff like it is a bad thing. Don't worry Jeff. Obama knows what is best for all of us. Trust the Obama. It'll be ok.

In the meantime. Ford Motors has declared a loss, but declined to take their turn suckling on the taxpayer teat. Those arrogant bastards are apparently going to try and actually manage the business through a downturn, as if that is the responsibility of a CEO and management team:
"The company said it will burn through cash again this year, but added that it does not anticipate needing to receive federal help "barring a significantly deeper economic downturn or a significant industry event, such as the bankruptcy of a major competitor that causes disruption to the company's supply base, dealers or creditors."Instead, Ford said it will draw on its available credit lines to receive an additional $10.1 billion in cash on Feb. 3. "Ford went to the credit markets two years ago when they were functioning normally and obtained the funding necessary - including our credit lines - to support our product transformation and restructuring," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally in a statement"
I feel it is important to conclude this post by pointing out the obvious, that it would be irresponsible for any of us reasonable liberals to buy a Ford. Since they did not take Federal bailout money (yet), they do not have to accept the Federal strings that come with it (yet). As GM does. As Chrysler does. Not only does that unfairly make the GM and Chrysler management look like incompetent boobs, it also means that Ford may be designing and building cars without the beneficent guidance of the Obama administration. Moreover, they will not be able to tap the free car design consultation service offered by the Pelsoi/Reid Democratic Party leadership. Very very risky.

No - best to stay away from Ford for your next car.

Just not enough Obama in that Ford for my taste.

Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.

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