Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BBC Silly Syllogisms

This morning the Beeb carried a story about American's perceptions of the French.  I know the BBC has impeccable Liberal credentials, but they used to have at least some standards that governed their rhetoric.

I guess strictly speaking it was an 'infotorial' even though it was embedded between news items. I think the piece stemmed from the web and video pamphlet work being done in South Carolina on Newt Romney. The silly syllogism used against Romney was: John Kerry speaks French (because he is an educated and therefore liberal man); John Kerry was an electoral disaster; Mitt Romney speaks French; and therefore Romney could not be be elected either.  The first three premises are fine, but the final one does not follow.

The BBC BS endeavored to go them one better:  Most Americans speak only English (punctuated with the old saw about "what do you call a man who speaks only one language"); Obama is apologizing for America and Americans don't like it; Obama is only apologetic for Americans who speak only English (which is silly on its face); and therefore criticism of Obama comes from uneducated people. The first premise is okay (but after all, all that melting pot stuff is so passe' in this enlightened and post constitutional Obama era) but Obama apologized for a lot more than that, and in fact seems to believe that America is the major force for evil in the world.  This silly syllogism is analogous to very successful one that concludes that any criticism of Obama stems from racism and racism only.

Kerry is only relevant in reminding us why most Senators would make terrible Presidents. Both Kerry and Al Gore should be grateful to Al Franken for taking away the title of biggest stuffed shirt fool in the Senate. Okay I guess all three are relevant in that way.

A new old saw: What do you call a man that speaks only Spanish? An unregistered democrat voter.

Eurobond Haircut brought home

We learned in Finance 101 that US Treasury bonds were not risk free, but were the lowest risk available and thus the standard of comparison.

To put the Euro mess in perspective, the original deal offered bond holders who were expecting to receive 100 euros at maturity were offered 79 or a "21% haircut". The when that deal flopped, 50.  The latest offer is 22.  It is not surprising that the bond holders that sold their bonds early for 50 are pleased.  It is also not surprising that many who did not sell are refusing to accept the latest deal just on the principle (pun eschewed) that it is not a haircut, but a fatal scalping.

When Obama forced the GM rescue deal, the bondholders took a big haircut, and lost their usual position in front of unsecured creditors. In effect, the money the bondholders lost went to union pension funds.  So the original deal that the bond owners thought they had was 'strong armed' by government to be something else. This has permanently increased the 'perceived risk' of buying bonds, raising the cost of corporate finance money in a capital intensive global economy.

The "Greek Effect" will do the same thing for government borrowing.

The not yet widely reported proposal by the Obama administration to refinance a large number of mortgages at the expense of the lenders to win votes before the November elections would permanently increase the cost of mortgages down the road and will create a whole new 'layer' of people who will never again qualify for a mortgage.

Unexpected consequences are one thing, but the Obama administration was warned of all these things (mostly by people who resigned when their warnings were ignored) and went ahead anyway, since the payoff was at the next election and the negative long term consequences were at least another election away.

The PT Barnum theory of American politics is thus reinforced.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Obama Streamling

Why the sudden concern with making fedgov more efficient, after three years of growing the bureaucracy at a record pace? Obama asks for power to combine agencies

It's called 'get your people in the right spots'. All the consolidation will be under folks who are on board with doing what the party wants: more union workers, more government workers voting and volunteering for and contributing to the democrat party, and more programs for 'professional voters' to achieve that magic 55% that vote democrat to keep the 'benefits' flowing.

Is this the beginning of a journey from the United States of America the land of opportunity to the Republic of Haven and the 'basic living stipend'?

It is up to the voters!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rick Perry just lost me

Perry's "vulture capitalist" Romney rhetoric tells me its politics as usual rather than being true to conservative principles.

Either Governor Perry doesn't understand how financial markets and private property works (which I doubt) or he is willing to lie to folks who do lack that understanding to get their votes.

Adios, Mofo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Does it disturb anyone else that Obama is pushing the envelope on recess appointments just after gaining the power to use the military to detain US citizens indefinitely without a hearing? Or after gaining the power to 'pull the switch' on the internet when it is 'in the national interest'?