Monthly Archives: May 2010

The U.S. Economic News You May Not Have Seen

Much of the last few weeks has concentrated on the difficulties that the over-entitled European economies are now facing.  News reports, like this one at TheHill.com have been careful to also point to Tim Geithner’s comments that, “The U.S. will not be harmed economically by the debt crisis in Europe”.  Mr. Geithner also repeated the Administration mantra that our economy, “is getting stronger. We’re seeing a lot of strength, improvement and confidence.”  But how true is that?

Bloomberg.com and Yahoo.com reported that consumers are returning to Galt-like spending habits.  The Bloomberg article demonstrates the change in American fiscal discipline by examining the change in the ratio of income to spending:

Incomes rose 0.4 percent in April for a second month, matching the survey median. Wages and salaries rose 0.4 percent last month after climbing 0.3 percent in March.

The savings rate climbed to 3.6 percent last month, the highest level since January, from 3.1 percent in March as incomes increased and purchases cooled.

That means while incomes increased by .4%, none of it went back into the economy – in fact, an extra .1% came out and went into savings.  The Yahoo post just puts it plainly by saying, “Consumers don’t appear confident enough in the economy to open their wallets more freely.”  This is particularly troubling in a fractional reserve system such as that in the U.S.  If no one is borrowing or buying, no additional liquidity can be created.  Proof that these are tied lies in the fact that the M3 money supply, the broadest metric of the amount of money in the economy, is at it’s lowest since the great depression.

It’s not just consumer confidence that’s heading south.  The head of one of Scotland’s biggest fund companies puts the risk of a global bear market at 40%, up from 30% last month.  Markets also demonstrated their lack of confidence as American stocks, Oil, the Euro and the Dow had the worst may since 1940.

There has been trillions in stimulus spending in many forms.  Bail-outs have been given to anyone the government thought needed it.  Every manner of federal intervention in the economy has occurred – so why is this bad news showing up?  “It’s the economy stupid.”

Corporations sold the smallest amount of bonds in ten years in May due to increasing yields (the interest rate on the bonds).  Investors are seeking safety in government bonds which is making credit harder for companies to secure.  This is the credit crunch that Mr. Geithner has been throwing printed money at for more than a year.  It’s still here, is stifling investment and risk-taking – both of which are necessary for job growth (really, it’s not the government that does it).

Politico.com’s Michael Steele sums the problem up for us in this article:

Americans deserve leaders who understand what makes the economy tick. America has always been the place of big dreams and bold moves, where the risk-taking at the root of entrepreneurial growth stands the best possible chance.

That requires an environment where the stock and commodities markets are stable; where the financial sector is strong, allowing for the free flow of affordable credit; where taxes are low and structured to encourage profit and investment, and where regulation is predictable, minimally intrusive and easy to understand.

In other words, the conditions required to grow jobs are exactly the opposite of what entrepreneurs face today under Obama’s radical, anti-growth agenda.

The government cannot impose its will on a free-market economy.  Doing so simply pushes a large bubble into another part of the economy where it is fed by printed money, built even higher so that it can assert it’s now even more negative burst on a larger segment of the economy.  Let the bubble burst, let the crashes happen, let the bad banks and companies fail.  It will hurt, but it will establish equilibrium in the economy for another cycle.  Without letting it happen, we are simply building the mess up to a point that will not just be painful, but may be highly destructive.

Incompetent or Uncaring: President Absent From Leadership Position

I normally do my best to keep me out of my stories, but this one has me so discombobulated that I chose a first-person perspective.  Why not?  I’m pissed-off!

While watching the news, it’s obvious that the few and short appearances that Obama is making in Louisiana in response to the oil spill are contrived, symbolic and entirely disrespectful of the office and the situation.  I am not sure whether it is because he is clueless, stressed-out, or incompetent.

Obama Admiring ... himselfMany position government Centrists as elitist, self-important ideologues, but to have the leader of the free world prove their point is beyond embarrassing.  While five-hour golf outings are frequent for President Obama, an overly-choreographed three hour visit to the Louisiana coast is all he could manage before jetting off to his Memorial Day weekend vacation.  How many of us could foresee our three-day weekend being cancelled by a crisis at work?  How many get to play 5 hour rounds of golf while things are turning upside-down at the office?  How many of us would still have a job if we acted that way?

Even the media representatives that have protected the administration’s image are starting to turn on him.  James Carville, a noted Democratic commentator and strategist said the Obama administration’s, “political stupidity is unbelievable ..  have no idea why they didn’t seize this thing. I have no idea why their attitude was so hands-off here”.

While the President and his admiring media (mainstream and new) defend his actions by stating simpleton crap like, “Obama can’t just go plug the hole himself”, as if anyone expected that he would (other than his daughter).  Comparing his actions to Bush is as unintelligent and populist as it gets.  While many of us say he should have been on the ground in Louisiana, popping a tent (or command center as the case may be) and working the situation as a leader, others are protecting his actions.

Numerous sound bites in the media talk about how Obama was gathering his team on “day one”.  A team of whom?  The leader of MMS who he put in-place and just recently forced out of office?  His know-nothing EPA lead? The rest of his over-educated and inexperienced leadership team?   No wonder this thing was a mess for over a month.  Obama has a “team” of progressive nation-“transformers” that have no idea how to actually govern, regulate or lead.  I imagine that “day one” meeting was that whole bunch of elitist, blathering morons staring at each other, shrugging their shoulders and then heading off to the opera.

I won’t defend past handling of disasters by the federal government, that’s not the point.  So hold the firestorm of saying that Bush couldn’t do it either.  I agree.. whole-heartedly.  The government can’t do this, not in any wayObama getting on to Air Force One shape or form, but it must show much better leadership.   Our leaders have to be there, on the ground, making decisions, communicating.  Two cameo appearances in the disaster area over the course of over a month isn’t getting it done.

Taking a long weekend with the family and getting a jersey from the Duke basketball team while the mess continues are elitist statements of the highest order.  It’s like Obama’s telling the fisherman and tourism industry of Louisiana that he realizes that they are in trouble, but he’s got other things to do.  Even if just for moral support, the President should have been much closer to this, he should be closer to this – but he won’t be.  It’s beneath him.

BP Spill Proves Conservatives Had Correct View on Regulation

I spend a fair amount of time reading liberal blogs and news sites to understand how others think.  I didn’t take the President’s advice, I have been doing this for years.  In fact, I even turned my wife on to the idea of reading two newspapers daily, one from each side of the spectrum more than 15 years ago (WSJ and a then local paper that was beyond left-leaning).

Reading the left-leaning stuff could certainly get someone upset, but realize that they are just .. different.

While reading  the Huffington Post today, I found an oldie but goody from the left that states that Conservatives continue to prove that more regulation is better.  In Robert Reich’s commentary (different than a factual article), he asserts that Conservatives have now made the case for increased regulation.

Since Ronald Reagan first opined that government was the problem rather than the solution, right-wing Republicans have blasted all forms of regulation. Now we see the consequences of years of regulatory neglect.

Mr. Reich, this latest disaster doesn’t prove why regulation is good, it proves why it doesn’t always work.  Regulations were in place to require that blowout preventer at the “hole in the bottom of the sea”.  An entire regulatory body, overseen by Congress was in place to make sure they followed the rules.  A permit process was in-place to make sure that BP didn’t drill in a manner they should not.  Missing regulation was not the issue – it was just as ineffective as usual, just as costly as usual,  just as politically-motivated as usual.

What leftists fail to realize is that Conservatives do not think that an absence of regulation is good.  We just want to make sure that regulation is effective and that it is exercised upon those things on which the government has authority.

Then Senator Obama was the greatest recipient of PAC funds from BP.  The MMS (government office responsible for regulating these kinds of things) had a head appointed by him.  Yeah, more of this style of regulation is good for our country.

Obama is off enjoying a Memorial Day weekend vacation while thousands of folks do there best to deal with the mess that was caused by one of his most gracious contributors.  Sure, he can’t plug the hole, but neither could anyone in the government have foreseen or prevented it.  Regulation cannot prevent any and all disasters.  The government cannot fix everything.  To President Reagan’s point, the government is not always the answer.

May 30th – Special Memorial Day Show

Show Description: CDN Staff are compiling a tribute to America and the men and women in our armed services that defend her.

Show Time: Monday May 30th 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific

To Listen to the show click this link:  Plain, Hard Truth Tribute to America and Our Troops

To Call in to the show: (424) 220-1807

Reference Links from the Show (work-in-progress)

“If I Die Before You Wake” – Dustin Evans
Dustin got involved in music at a very young age, influenced mainly by his father. Dustin learned most of his dad’s songs and was singing them with true pitch at the age of three. As a teen, Dustin taught himself to play guitar, drums, bass, and piano, and began writing his own songs.
John Wayne’s collection of patriotic messages are still valid today. We’ll be listening to “Face the Flag Son”.

Please click on the CD image to purchase the entire CD if you find The Duke’s true American messages as inspiring as we do.
The CD contains these tracks:

1 Why I Love Her 2:58
2 The Hyphen 2:30
3 Mis Raices Estan Aqui (My Roots Are Buried Here) 2:42
4 The People 3:46
5 An American Boy Grows Up 4:31
6 Face the Flag 3:55
7 The Good Things 2:43
8 The Pledge of Allegiance 4:21
9 Why Are You Marching, Son? 3:44
10 Taps 3:05

Californians Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits

A co-worker brought up an interesting point when we were discussing the Greek crisis.  He said, “California isn’t really in all that different shape”.  That sparked an idea,  I decided to take the very next EU citizens mad about losing entitlements article and put California everywhere the disgruntled Europeans were represented.  The article that showed up is from the New York Times and was published on May 22, 2010.  Steven Erlanger’s original article can be found here.  I am not claiming to have written the original article nor would I say that Mr. Erlanger approved the wording changes.  This is a fictional work for the purpose of demonstrating how close we are to experiencing the E.U. nightmare.

Sacramento — Across California, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the state budget has also undermined the sustainability of the Californian standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.

Californians have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its health plans and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.

But all over California with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, California can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The state is trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits, pensions and welfare.

“We’re now in rescue mode,” said a state official, “But we need to transition to the reform mode very soon. The ‘reform deficit’ is the real problem,” he said, pointing to the need for structural change.

The reaction so far to government efforts to cut spending has been pessimism and anger, with an understanding that the current system is unsustainable.

In Los Angeles, Aldo Cimgin is 52 and teaches photography, and he is deeply pessimistic about his pension. “It’s going to go belly-up because no one will be around to fill the pension coffers,” he said. “It’s not just me; this state has no future.”

Changes have now become urgent. California’s population is aging quickly as birthrates decline. Unemployment has risen as traditional industries have shifted to Asia. And the region lacks competitiveness in world markets.

According to the California government, by 2050 the percentage of Californians older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in California will drop to 1.3 to 1.

“The easy days are over for states like California, but for us, too,” said John Z. Smith, a New York lawyer who did a study of California in the global economy. “A lot of Californians would not like the issue cast in these terms, but that is the storm we’re facing. We can no longer afford the old social model, and there is a real need for structural reform.”

Social Media Prevents Drawings, but not Terrorist Recruitment

Numerous videos on youtube recruit new terrorists to the Jihad.  At the same time, Facebook is busy censoring its members from drawing pictures of a Muslim religious figure.  How do they compare?

Youtube.com has numerous videos that aide the Jihadi’s effort to recruit, plan, and attack.

Hakeemullah Mehsud is Alive and Healthy and Delivering news about Attacks on USA

Operation Rah-e-Nijat and the Actual Facts by Hakeemullah Mehsud (Ameer Taliban Pakistan) Part-1 3/3

Sure, that’s fine, but drawing Mohammed?  Yeah, that’s offensive.


As Promised, Health Reform's Effects Already Being Felt

During all the informing, educating and persuading that Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and Harry Reid did to get health care reform passed, they made some key assurances.  Two of those promises have certainly come true.  First, Speaker Pelosi said that citizens would have to pass the bill to learn what’s in it.  While the citizens would have preferred to change what was in it, it’s apparent that instead the voting population will rely on post-decision discovery.  Secondly, the President himself confidently shared with Americans that they would feel the effects from this legislation as early as this year – and he was very right.

A Houston Chronicle article informed that the Medicare cuts required to make the health care reform budget-neutral are driving doctors away from Medicare patients and reducing staff wages and benefits.  That means many current patients of doctors that are forced out of Medicare participation will be forced to try and find a new doctor.  So either Obama lied when he told us that, “If you like your doctor, you can keep them..”, or he lied when he said the health care reform would actually reduce the deficit as it would cost $297 Billion extra if the Medicare cuts are removed from the law.

A secondary problem caused by a lack of planning in the health care bill is that the majority of physicians deciding not to participate in Medicare are primary care physicians. As Jay Heflin, of The Hill.com, quotes a health care facilty designer, “We don’t have the primary care infrastructure in place in America to cover the need. Our clients are looking at and preparing for more emergency department volume, not less..”, it’s obvious that the unintended consequences of the reform are not positive.  People will increasingly use E.R.s as primary care centers which cost many times what it costs to see a doctor.  Of course, it’s still free, so why would the pattern change?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Country

Scott Redler penned an article on Forbes.com that discusses how all the bailouts and rescue plans are setting the global economy up for a terrible fall.

Well, I’ve got news for you: Spoiled children always grow up dysfunctional.  Rewarding nations for overspending and under-delivering sets a dangerous precedent. “Le Tarp” gives money to countries that have disregarded basic economic principles. It rewards bad behavior.

Similar to the warnings many were issuing for the bailouts the U.S. government has been handing out, Scott hammers home the point that rescuing the irresponsible simply rewards the wrong groups.

The ones that played by the rules will find loans more expensive, capital for growth harder to come by, and taxes higher. Greece’s long-term borrowing costs plunged to 6.5% from 12.4% and Germany, which provided the bulk of the bailout funding, saw its rates rise.

If we look inward, we can see where we will soon be faced with similar choices to Germany.

California, the eighth-largest economy in the world, faces a grave budget crisis that will likely need to be addressed by the federal government sooner or later.

greek protestNot only will this likely be handled with Federal assistance, it will be done without forcing California to make any cuts whatsoever.  At least the German assistance came to Greece at a price.

People in Greece are upset that they now have to give up their Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses, also known as 13th and 14th salaries.

Just last week, California’s Governor Schwarzeneggar proposed serious cuts in State entitlement programs because California was simply broke.  The protests and popular uproar was huge.  If the California legislators are forced to make those severe cuts, why would we expect to see anything but riots similar to those in Greece?

If we are to get things right in our own house, it will take serious cuts in government programs – health care reform, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and defense.  It may require a restructuring of our tax code so that everyone puts something into the kitty and perhaps a bit more than most already do.  It will certainly cost many politicians their seats, but that is the most pleasant of what must come.

Census Workers Point Out Deficiencies in Current Operation

The Census director, Dr. Robert Groves, posted a kickoff letter for the Census workers as they head out to count those that did not return their census forms.  The letter is the stuff a cheer leading boss of 50,000+ new hires might give and didn’t immediately strike me as newsworthy, then I started reading the comments from the census workers (called “enumerators”).  Two comments really struck me as relevant to current events and reflected the attitude of the current administration.

First, “scott” points out that they are having trouble finding people to do this job because even with ~10% unemployment, people might not need the work:

They are still having problems with finding people who will do the enumerator job, and training is still going on. I am still in training, and usually it is during the day, and anyone with a full-time job is not going to take a week off to train for part-time. Also, people on unemployment (I am one)sometimes feel they make more money on unemployment (I would) than working for the census..

Shock..  With unemployment benefits being extended into eternity, those less-motivated would rather the handout than real work.  What about the entry on your resume?  The possibility to network and find job opportunities – perhaps even in … meh .. the government.   There have been numerous studies that show the longer and higher quality that unemployment benefits are, the longer that people go unemployed – here’s some reality-based statistical proof to those studies.

Further down, I found that turnover may be higher-than-expected as “arlene” points out a strange re-hiring practice:

Having trouble finding people….my daughter was hired and did the part where they went out in the middle of the night looking for homeless people, going to soup kitchens and shelters, etc… Although her supervisor highly recommended her to continue with the door to door part, NONE of the enumerators were kept on. They hired all new people..

Already trained, with some experience, enumerators were left hanging for .. new hires?  Why the turnover?  Does it improve how many enumerators they hired?  Does it reflect positively in the May/June employment figures?  Only time will tell and just trying to answer those questions off of a single blog post is something I’ll leave for the folks at NBC.

Times Square Bomber Motivated By Obama?

Faisal Shahzad was reported by the media to be, “mad at Bush” or doing this for revenge for “drone attacks in Pakistan”.  Pundits have gone back and forth over whether this is or is not true, but the real question is why is did he finally decide to take action?

President Obama has spent time in several of his most public speeches to remind us all that what we say may energize fringe elements into violent action.  Well, Mr. President, mission accomplished.  If Shahzad is mad at Bush, perhaps the President’s constant blame of the entire Earth’s ills on Bush energized him.  Drone attacks?  Well, Obama hasn’t done anything to curb those (he just doesn’t talk about them so much).

Certainly we have to be aware of the Michigan militia members that are being tried for having discussed taking their country back and even talking about how they might take matters into their own hands.  Then again, where is their Nissan Pathfinder full of explosives?   Where is the action that they took?  If they had yelled their intentions in the public square, the panic alone would have been cause for arrest.  Getting upset and dreaming up actions they never intend to take is another.

Hypocrisy in the White House isn’t new, but this, added to the lunacy in California as liberal protesters lit torches and busted up shops to voice the anger against the Arizona immigration law, show that it is not the right we should be worrying about energizing into violent action.

Universal Health Care in UK and Debt to GDP Ratio Worse than Greece

The Obama administration and liberal Congress have been telling us that health care reform is absolutely necessary to reduce national deficits.  In a Guardian article, Katie Allen reports that although Britain has the National Health Service (full universal health care), it’s deficits are climbing to rates that make Greece look fiscally-responsible.

European commission’s spring forecasts put UK budget deficit this year at 12% of GDP – the highest in the European Union and worse than Treasury estimates .. The country’s budget shortfall was the third largest in the EU last year but will overtake both Greece and Ireland this year, according to the forecasts. Greece’s measures to tackle its public finances problems are projected to cut its deficit to 9.3% of GDP.

From Wikipedia

The article doesn’t go into the major causes of the excessive spending, but in looking up UK budget spending, it appears that 28% is on our equivalent to Social Security and the second biggest expense is the National Health Service (national health care).  But, we were told that nationalizing health care would curb deficits?

CBO: Global Warming Policies Will Affect [Un]Employment

Reading through the CBO Brief intended to address how anti-global warming policies will negatively impact employment, I couldn’t help asking myself, “was it ‘bring your kid to work day'” at the CBO.  I was considering whether I had been spoofed into some kids blog or otherwise tricked into reading some overly-zealous conservative’s facebook page.  Nope, it’s authentic, but it reads like a high school book report.  I’ll summarize the major points:

  • “Coal mining will probably see the largest percentage decline in employment..”    Well, no duh.  The only thing this assessment is missing is the word ‘unexpectedly’ at the beginning of the quote.
  • “Employment in oil and gas extraction and natural gas utilities would also be expected to decline..”  Can’t put unexpectedly… they say it’s expected in the quote.. but great work feds… no one would have seen this coming without you
  • “..construction, and the industries that produce metals, nonmetallic mineral products (such as glass), chemicals, and transportation services..”  Interesting , but not totally new information
  • “Over time, employment would increase in industries and sectors (such as services) whose products are less emission-intensive to produce and result in fewer emissions when used.” – of course we have to protect the President… in other words, at some point, eventually, maybe, in the future.. we will benefit from this horror show policy

High school term paper made into a government brief – who woulda thunk?

Left Wants Gun Rights Taken Away on Suspicion, Conviction Too Late

Perusing the liberal blogosphere, I came across some interesting reactions on the Huffington Post (hey I read all sides) to N.Y. Governor Bloomberg’s ‘Terror Gap’ plea.  Michael Bloomberg is pointing out that suspected terrorists are able to buy guns.  The liberals are going nuts because someone suspected of something is allowed to keep their rights as afforded by the constitution.  Where is the ACLU outrage?  Why aren’t the right-protecting leftits running around in the streets screaming, “Innocent until proven guilty” or “protect our rights” or whatever else they need to yell before busting up a window or lighting a torch?

The article quotes the Governor:

“Shouldn’t FBI agents have the authority to block sales of guns and explosives to those on the terror watchlists — and deemed too dangerous to fly? I actually believe that they should..”

Well governor, flying on an airplane is not a constitutionally protected right, owning a gun is.  Can you imagine the outrage is a conservative leader announced that we should not allow a person to protest because he/she is on the watch list?  Wouldn’t everyone be concerned over the process by which someone gets on the list?  Why isn’t the left questioning that now?  What if I yell an obscenity at some anti-taxation rally and someone decides I’m a threat.  What if the next action is to limit my right to free speech, or speedy trial or due process for that point?  Does double-jeopardy get suspended because some Federal official found one of my actions “suspicious”?

It’s a slippery slope, but one the left is happy to grab the slick cardboard of big government and slide down laughing.  Due process, innocent until proven guilty – learn it – live it – someone’s coming after it.

White House Blog: Watch Out for Loopholes in Financial Reform Bill

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House Communications Director, posted on the White House Blog, “The 10 Most Wanted Lobbyist Loopholes”. Mr. Pfeiffer is basically telling us that lobbyists are working to weaken Obama’s “Wall Street Reform” by limiting provisions in the bill.  Some of his concerns are things that we should genuinely look into, but others are just fear-mongering 101.

First, he says that the lobbyists will ask that only the Federal government be involved in enforcing the reforms.  Pfeiffer writes that, “..the Bureau would only supervise larger market participants.  Without state AG enforcement authority, the citizens of their states will have much less protection against illegal conduct. If you want to weaken consumer protections, that’s one way to do it.”.  But wait, I thought this was Wall Street Reform, to prevent the “too big to fail” problem from re-occurring.  Why does this bill need to choke small or medium lenders (your hometown bank or auto dealer) if those had nothing to do with the catastrophic failures Obama says this bill will prevent?

Next, Dan argues that the lobbyists will push to let non-banks have different regulations than banks by pointing out that, “..if a car dealer makes loans, or if a big department store sets up a financial services center, it’s doing what banks and credit unions do, and it should play by the same rules.”.  This point is poorly made.  He’s saying a department store and a bank are the same, but neither one of these institutions is supposed to be the major focus of the reform, remember.. too big to fail.

The post also talks about only letting firms make loans where they have “skin in the game”.  These provisions would be pointed at banks that make loans to folks that do not have the ability to pay.  Hopefully this would also prevent the government from forcing banks to make such loans that they would immediately want to sell off on to someone like, I don’t know.. Fannie Mae?  The author says that lobbyists would try to remove these provisions so that they could make these loans.  Banks don’t want these things and I can’t imagine them lobbying for them.  If any lobbyists were going to be pressing for these changes it will be whatever corrupted Phoenix arises out of the ashes of ACORN.

Some points in Mr. Pfeiffer’s post are things to watch for, but some wreak of an over-reaching central government.  He’s trashing the financial industry lobbyists but where is the discussion on special interest groups and key political power-mongers that will be pressing to make sure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowed to continue operating as they did in the crisis?  Where is the outcry on the Congressionally-backed groups that also caused the meltdown?  This is an intellectually dishonest attempt to embarrass opponents of the legislation into giving in to the desires of the administration.  This is a poor attempt to create populist support for a massive government over-reach into the bowels of banking in America, and not just the big banks.

Oil leak, rioting masses, terrorists in NY. Is the White House Getting Anything Done?

When you focus too much on politics, often reality beats you into the ground. Our current President is about to realize that he didn’t do enough, said too much and failed to empower so many others that the Gulf disaster is worse than it should have been.  On top of that, President Obama has led liberal dissenters to become more violent than the right-wingers he warned us about, and his anti-government rhetoric is focusing more on his hypocrisy than anyone else’s.

In fire-brandishing gatherings reminiscent of the L.A. riots from the O.J. trial, liberals broke windows and vandalized property while carrying lit torches. I thought Obama was concerned about political rhetoric energizing far-right groups to the point of violence. In fact, all the arrests are from liberal protests. Why is that? Ah, because Obama’s misunderstanding of the Arizona law, his own health care reform, or the financial reform is better understood by the majority of Americans than his own political base.

Obama and his cabinet members point at the Arizona anti-immigration law as unconstitutional and clear racial profiling. Actually, the law, and the following clarification both say it is illegal for law enforcement to search, approach, or arrest anyone simply on the basis of race, ethnicity or anything other than criminal activity.

We could also look at Obama’s performance in the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1994, a plan has existed to fight an offshore well oil leak.  It requires the use of “fire-booms” to ignite the slick.

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.

“They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand,” Bohleber said. “If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose.”

The question remains, if the department of Homeland Security, the EPA, or Obama were aware of this valuable tool, why do we only have one of them?  An Associated Press piece even questioned the Administration’s assertion that they have been involved with the spill since day one.  Day nine… maybe, day one they still did not understand how serious the accident was.

Politico’s Jeanne Cummings digs into the issue of Obama failing to accomplish key progressive policy changes and how the left is reacting.  Jeanne quotes David Gergen on Obama’s leadership style (or lack thereof):

“Most presidents like to lead from upfront. When you lead from behind, as [Obama] frequently does on domestic issues, many people are unhappy because they don’t know where things are going. There is constant jockeying that takes place,” said David Gergen, an adviser to four White Houses.

Our President seems more concerned about being perceived poorly than performing poorly, and he may accomplish both.  Viva November.