In energy policy, ideology trumps common sense 0

 Two articles in Investor’s Business Daily show how wrong-headed the governing Democrats’ energy policy is:  

The first is about the inadequacy of wind and solar sources and their disproportionate costs:

Solar and wind together provide less than half of 1% of our electricity. Hydropower provides 7%, natural gas and nuclear about 20% each, and coal about half. Incredibly, a possible $50 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power was stripped from the stimulus in the committee conference process.

Just how renewable are renewable sources of energy? Although silicon is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen, it makes relatively inefficient cells that struggle to compete with electricity generated from fossil fuels. Silicon solar cells convert only 25% of light energy received to electricity.

More advanced solar cells that can achieve efficiencies of 40% or more use the metal iridium. But it constitutes just 0.25 parts per million of the earth’s crust, and there’s only a 10-year supply left. Alternatives may be found, but that’s not solar power’s only problem.

Two projects in development will cover 12.5 square miles of central California with solar panels. At noon on a cloudless day they are designed to produce 800 megawatts of electricity, about as much as one large coal-fired plant. But actual production will likely be one-third that, and at uncompetitive rates.

The Energy Administration reported in early 2008 that government subsidies, before the stimulus bill, amounted to $24.34 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for solar and $23.37 per MWh for wind.

Continued subsidies for inefficient energy sources at the expense of reliable and abundant sources will only drive up energy costs and the national debt, while making it harder for the energy-starved American economy to recover.

The second explains how opposition to efficient and cost-effective nuclear power is based not on science but on prejudice:

During a campaign forum in Las Vegas last year, then-candidate Obama commented as follows on the site designed to safely store spent fuel from America’s 104 operating commercial nuclear reactors: "I will end the notion of Yucca Mountain because it has not been based on the sort of sound science that can assure the people of Nevada that they’re going to be safe."

Now-President Obama has kept his promise by virtually zeroing out Yucca’s budget in 2010, leaving only enough for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to handle current licensing requests. House and Senate Democrats have already cut funding for the remainder of fiscal 2009 to a paltry $288 million, the lowest in recent years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada and is a longtime Yucca opponent, is ecstatic. The budget cut is "a critical first step toward fulfilling his promise to end the Yucca Mountain project," Reid said in a statement. "President Obama recognizes that the proposed dump threatens the health and safety of Nevadans and millions of Americans."

Yucca Mountain is not a "dump," and it is not unsafe. Situated about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, it is quite possibly the safest, most geologically stable and most studied place on the planet.

The Department of Energy has long studied the rock at the planned repository, assessing how the repository would perform over tens of thousands of years. After 20 years and $9 billion, DOE has found Yucca Mountain to be quite stable and safe.

The DOE Web site says that after two decades "of carefully planned and reviewed scientific fieldwork, the Department of Energy has found that a repository at Yucca Mountain brings together the location, natural barriers and design elements most likely to protect the health and safety of the public, including those Americans living in the immediate vicinity, now and long into the future."

Reid may not want it in his back yard, but he doesn’t mind keeping America’s nuclear waste where it is right now — in everybody else’s back yard. Vast numbers of spent nuclear fuel rods are now stored at more than 130 above-ground facilities in 39 states. About 161 million Americans live within 75 miles of these existing sites.

We need the jobs nuclear power can provide, and we need the energy. The Energy Information Agency projects that by 2030 U.S. electricity demand will increase by 45%. Since nuclear power currently supplies 20%, the U.S. will need to have 35 additional nuclear power plants just to meet future demand.

Nuclear power is "green" energy, and the jobs it creates and supports are "green" jobs. Had America’s nuclear reactors not been operating, about 48 million tons of sulfur dioxide, 19 million tons of nitrogen oxide and 8.7 trillion (with a "t") tons of carbon dioxide would have been emitted since 1995, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The opposition to nuclear power in general and Yucca Mountain in particular is more ideological than scientific. References to storing "waste" at a "dump" are totally false. As we have noted, the French long ago achieved energy independence by relying on nuclear energy for most of their power needs. But they also lead the world in processing this "waste" to create even more energy.

Jack Spencer, research fellow for nuclear energy policy at the Thomas A. Rowe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, says the "waste" to be stored at Yucca has enough energy to power every U.S. household for a dozen years. Since beginning operations, France’s La Hague plant has safely processed more than 23,000 tons of used fuel — enough to power France for 14 years.

The U.S. pioneered the technology to recapture that energy decades ago, then banned its commercial use in 1977. An energy plan that does not involve continued and even increased use of nuclear power is no plan at all.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 28, 2009

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Valley of death 1

 From Spiegel Online International:

In effect, Pakistan, a nuclear power, has relinquished its sovereignty over an important part of the country.

The once-idyllic Swat Valley has been in a state of war since 2007. The military sent a total of 12,000 troops to the region in an attempt to curb the influence of the extremists, who have beheaded 70 policemen, banned girls’ education and destroyed hundred of schools in the valley.

The clashes resulted in a great deal of bloodshed, including the deaths of at least 1,200 civilians and 180 Pakistani soldiers. But the outcome of these military operations was fatal for the government. Today, the Taliban control more than 80 percent of the Malakand region, compared with only a handful of villages a year ago.

Civilians found themselves caught between the combatants. "The army ordered us to leave the village ahead of the fighting, but the Taliban forced us to stay there," a frantic hotel owner reports by telephone from a village near Malam Jabba, once a popular ski resort…

Many even claim that the military has deliberately spared the Taliban leadership to avoid provoking further Taliban animosity against itself and the government. Others believe that the security forces were just too weak to defeat the 3,000 armed extremists. Both views are probably correct. The militants installed their regime in the mountainous tribal areas after being ousted from Afghanistan in 2001. Now their power is starting to spill over into Pakistan’s heartland, which includes the Swat Valley.

After the sun has set in the Swat Valley, small groups of men furtively enter the house of Khalil Mullah. The visitors are Taliban spies, and they have come to report to Khalil – whose name means "friend" in Arabic – about who has broken the laws of Allah in the region they control. They will report who has been seen dancing exuberantly, had his beard shaved, committed adultery or expressed sympathy for the government in Islamabad – in short, who is a traitor.

Khalil Mullah begins his daily radio show on FM 91, a Taliban radio station, at about 8 p.m. The residents of the snow-covered plateau listen to Khalil’s religious broadcast to hear the names he reads at the end. Acting as both judge and prosecutor, he announces the names of those required to appear before the Taliban’s Sharia count – and of those who have already been sentenced.

 

Map: The Swat Valley

Zoom
DER SPIEGEL

Map: The Swat Valley

The bodies of these unfortunate residents can be found the next morning on the market square in Mingora. The corpses are hanging by their legs, their heads cut off and placed onto the soles of their feet as a final form of disgrace for the dead. A note under each body reads: "The same penalty will await those who dare to remove or bury these spies and traitors."

 

The extremists are led by Maulana Fazlullah, 33, a self-proclaimed cleric who once worked as a laborer on a ski lift. The people of Malakand call him simply the "radio mullah." It was Fazlullah who first took his terrorist network to the airwaves.

In his broadcasts, he promised more efficiency and justice to citizens disappointed by the corrupt and lethargic Pakistani authorities. But the station quickly turned into a parallel government of sorts. In each day’s broadcast, Fazlullah’s holy warriors issue new rules that reflect their own interpretation of Sharia. Women are already banned from visiting markets, under penalty of death, and girls prohibited from attending school. Police officers who obey orders from Islamabad risk having their ears cut off or being killed. Some 800 policemen have already deserted their posts to join the Taliban.

The death lists draw no class distinctions and include people from all walks of life. The Taliban’s victims range from barbers and teachers to tribal elders, ministers and more liberal clerics who oppose Fazlullah.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Thursday, February 26, 2009

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Evolution 4

 We are proud and happy to tell our readers that yesterday we were cited by, and linked to, that great website LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS as a blog that consistently speaks for evolution and against the nonsense of creationism:  

Some Anti-Creationism Bloggers

BLOGOSPHERE | Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 9:35:50 pm PST

Earlier I mentioned in passing that I’d link to any bloggers who aren’t down with the “intelligent design” creationist movement — conservative/liberal/other. Here are some of the bloggers who’ve responded so far, and it’s not the usual geeks from ScienceBlogs:

Defining “Creationism” Down

Noblesse Oblige » Which Controversy? Discovery Institute vs Science

Daimnation!: Darwin’s next fight

The Atheist Conservative : If I saw an angel or if man was made of brass

Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin

Well That’s Just Dandy….: I Don’t Know Why This Is So Hard To Understand….

Kerplunk – Common sense from Down Under: The Discovery Institute’s willful destruction of Christian values

sisu: ‘Why can’t we get over our post-Marxist nostalgia?’

An old friend and philosophy geek: Blog Here Now 

Thank you, Charles Johnson!

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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USSA 0

 Phyllis Schlafly explains how the economic crisis has been used by the Democrats to advance their redistributionist agenda by means of the ‘Stimulus’ Act:

Here are some of the major "change" provisions of the 1,000-plus page act that all admit no member of Congress read before passage. This list doesn’t include any of the dozens of "porky" items that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., boasts Americans don’t care about (and usually don’t know about).

First, the stimulus bill repeals the essentials of welfare reform passed by the Republican Congress in 1996. It was reluctantly signed by President Bill Clinton after he realized the public was demanding reform, and after it proved popular, he tried to take credit for it.

LBJ’s Great Society welfare was probably the worst of all liberal policies because it was directly responsible for destroying marriage by subsidizing illegitimacy and divorce, thereby creating a matriarchy dependent on government handouts. It wasn’t poverty that destroyed marriage in the lower-income classes, it was the liberal policy of giving taxpayers’ money to women, thereby making the husband and father irrelevant and even an impediment to the flow of easy money.

By setting limits on government handouts, the 1996 welfare reform encouraged welfare recipients to get jobs or job training, to make themselves self-sufficient and to end their long-term dependency on government.

The Obama stimulus plan increases the taxpayers’ money that the federal government gives to the states for welfare, and reverses incentives by giving bonuses to states that put more people on welfare. The stimulus is even worse than the Great Society policies of the 1960s.

That is a good example of the Obama goal to spread the wealth around (regardless of the harm it does).

Second, the stimulus plan calls for nearly doubling federal spending on education, which means doubling federal control. This money gives Obama the opportunity to spread his friend William Ayers’ "social justice" teaching (i.e., that America is an oppressive and unjust society) throughout K-16 education. This goal will be facilitated by Obama’s appointment of Arne Duncan for secretary of education, who like Obama and Ayers, is an alumnus of the Chicago political machine…

Third, the stimulus plan calls for Obama "change" by giving government control over access to medical treatments plus surveillance over online medical records for every American. Giving bureaucrats the power to decide which procedures have "clinical effectiveness" and may be used means nationalizing the health care industry and rationing medical care.

Fourth, the stimulus bill greatly expands by about $23 billion nearly every element of the welfare state, including food stamps, Medicaid eligibility, the earned income tax credit, the Special Supplementary Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and child-support enforcement for single moms. The governors have just awakened to the fact that the stimulus plan will require their states to raise business taxes if they accept this new free money.

Fifth, Obama’s claim that the stimulus plan cuts taxes is a fraud. A large percentage of the alleged tax "refunds" is just another handout because it will go to people who don’t owe any income taxes.

Sixth, the announced purpose of the stimulus is to create jobs, but Obama’s photo-op to illustrate this at Caterpillar Tractor in Peoria, Ill., turned into a political donnybrook. National television showed Obama speaking to some of the 20,000 whose jobs have been outsourced by Caterpillar and implied that the plan will enable them to be rehired. Minutes later, Obama was contradicted by Caterpillar’s CEO, who warned that, on the contrary, more layoffs are coming. It looks like the stimulus will create more government jobs plus an estimated 300,000 jobs for illegal aliens, but not much for anyone else.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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World-changing events 2

 On March 29, local elections will be held in Turkey. If the current government wins these municipal races, especially in Ankara and Istanbul, the country will be encouraged to go even further down the road toward Islamic extremism. Whatever happens internally (where the nature of Turkish society forces it to go more slowly), Ankara’s foreign policy is increasingly aligned with that of the radicals in the region – not only Hamas but also Syria and Iran.


Turkey’s many friends are hoping that moderation and its traditional political virtues win out. But what’s happening there may well be the most important political event in the Middle East since the Iranian revolution 30 years ago. Think of what it means if, in whole or even in part, Turkey goes from the Western to the radical camp; clearly this is a world-changing event.

Then on June 7 come the Lebanese elections. Given the vast amounts of money they have spent, their use of violent intimidation and demoralization due to the Western abandonment of the moderates, it is likely that Iran’s Syrian clients will take over Lebanon’s government. This does not mean domination by Hizbullah but by four allied forces: pro-Syrian Sunni politicians; Michel Aoun’s Christian forces; and the two Shi’ite groups, Hizbullah and Amal.

Already, Lebanon’s president and former armed forces’ commander Michel Suleiman is very close to the Iran-Syrian orbit. This doesn’t mean that Lebanon will be annexed or militarily reoccupied by Syria, or that Lebanon will become an Islamist state internally. But it does mean that Lebanon will become a reliable ally of what Syrian President Bashar Assad calls "the resistance front."

In the region, these two developments will be perceived as two big victories for Teheran, and a sign that the Islamist-radical side is the wave of the future.

And what is the United States doing to fight, stop or manage this visible crisis?

Nothing.

Finally, on June 12, presidential elections will take place in Iran itself. The likelihood is the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, either fairly or through manipulation of the ballot. The Iranian ruling establishment, which might have been persuaded to endorse a less extreme candidate if there had been enough Western pressure to make the incumbent look bad, has backed an openly aggressive anti-Semite.

Even though Ahmadinejad is not the real ruler of Iran, he and his allies are working to make him so. And of course his reelection means not only that Iran is waging a campaign to get nuclear weapons, it will mean that it is moving at the fastest possible speed, with the least likelihood of compromising and the most probability of using such a weapon (or forcing Israel to act militarily to stop the process). By years’ end, or shortly after, Iran might have an atom bomb.

In short, 2009 is looking like a year of massive defeat for the US and its friends in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Washington is blind to this trend, pursuing a futile attempt to conciliate its enemies, losing time and not adopting the policies desperately needed.

The only point in this article by Barry Rubin – all of which is worth reading – with which we take issue is his assumption that the new US administration is merely blind or mistaken in pursuing policies that will strengthen the ‘Islamist-radical side’.

How long will it take, how much more of the same must Obama and the Democrats do, before the understanding breaks over the US electorate and the Western world in general that they mean to strengthen the (up until now) Islamic enemy, weaken the West, diminish individual freedom, and make the population dependent on government. The end of prosperity is the beginning. Next comes the end of liberty. Finally, the enemy wins.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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Short of a miracle 0

 Thomas Sowell writes about America’s moral decay, and the pessimism, approaching despair, that many feel with the political direction it has taken:

One of the many symptoms of this decay from within is that we are preoccupied with the pay of corporate executives while the leading terrorist-sponsoring nation on earth is moving steadily toward creating nuclear bombs.

Does anyone imagine that we will care what anyone’s paycheck is when we see an American city in radioactive ruins?

Yet the only serious obstacle to that happening is that the Israelis may disregard the lofty blather coming out of the White House and destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities before the Iranian fanatics can destroy Israel.

If by some miracle we manage to avoid the fatal dangers of a nuclear Iran, there will no doubt be others, including a nuclear North Korea.

Although, in some sense, the United States of America is still the militarily strongest nation on earth, that means absolutely nothing if our enemies are willing to die and we are not.

It took only two nuclear bombs to get Japan to surrender– and the Japanese of that era were far tougher than most Americans today. Just one bomb– dropped on New York, Chicago or Los Angeles– might be enough to get us to surrender.

If we are still made of sterner stuff than it looks like, then it might take two or maybe even three or four nuclear bombs, but we will surrender.

It doesn’t matter if we retaliate and kill millions of innocent Iranian civilians– at least it will not matter to the fanatics in charge of Iran or the fanatics in charge of the international terrorist organizations that Iran supplies.

Ultimately, it all comes down to who is willing to die and who is not.

How did we get to this point? It was no single thing.

The dumbing down of our education, the undermining of moral values with the fad of "non-judgmental" affectations, the denigration of our nation through poisonous propaganda from the movies to the universities. The list goes on and on.

The trajectory of our course leads to a fate that would fully justify despair. The only saving grace is that even the trajectory of a bullet can be changed by the wind.

We have been saved by miraculous good fortune before in our history. The overwhelming military and naval expedition that Britain sent to New York to annihilate George Washington’s army was totally immobilized by a vast impenetrable fog that allowed the Americans to escape. That is how they ended up in Valley Forge.

In the World War II naval battle of Midway, if things had not happened just the way they did, at just the time they did, the American naval force would not only have lost, but could have been wiped out by the far larger Japanese fleet.

Over the years, we have had our share of miraculous deliverances. But that our fate today depends on yet another miracle is what can turn pessimism to despair.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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The Hillary effect 3

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refuses to raise ‘human rights’ issues in her talks with the oppressive Communist Chinese government.  Exercising what she calls ‘smart power’, she smiles and smiles, while dissidents are confined.

There is, however, no indication that her visit to China is having the least effect on any of its foreign policies.   

From Canada Free Press:

The Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a group comprising some of China’s most determined activists, said the authorities had told dissidents that they would not be allowed to move freely during Mrs Clinton’s visit.

They were either placed under increased surveillance or locked in their homes and barred from receiving visitors.

Some activists were reported to have been detained by police at guesthouses outside Beijing.

Many of those who have been targeted by the Chinese authorities signed the Charter 08 petition in December. The petition, which was issued on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, called for political reform, freedom of expression and democracy in China.

It was signed by 303 intellectuals and activists, including Yu Jie, a blacklisted writer who was visited by plainclothes police on Friday.

"They said I was to receive heightened monitoring throughout Clinton’s visit, but it would end once she left," said Mr Yu.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, February 23, 2009

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Al-Qaeda condemned by its founder! 0

 From the Telegraph:

Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, who goes by the nom de guerre Dr Fadl, helped bin Laden create al-Qaeda and then led an Islamist insurgency in Egypt in the 1990s.

But in a book written from inside an Egyptian prison, he has launched a frontal attack on al-Qaeda’s ideology and the personal failings of bin Laden and particularly his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Twenty years ago, Dr Fadl became al-Qaeda’s intellectual figurehead with a crucial book setting out the rationale for global jihad against the West.

Today, however, he believes the murder of innocent people is both contrary to Islam and a strategic error. "Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers," writes Dr Fadl.

The terrorist attacks on September 11 were both immoral and counterproductive, he writes. "Ramming America has become the shortest road to fame and leadership among the Arabs and Muslims. But what good is it if you destroy one of your enemy’s buildings, and he destroys one of your countries? What good is it if you kill one of his people, and he kills a thousand of yours?" asks Dr Fadl. "That, in short, is my evaluation of 9/11."

He is equally unsparing about Muslims who move to the West and then take up terrorism. "If they gave you permission to enter their homes and live with them, and if they gave you security for yourself and your money, and if they gave you the opportunity to work or study, or they granted you political asylum," writes Dr Fadl, then it is "not honourable" to "betray them, through killing and destruction".

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 22, 2009

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Naivety, ideology, or rank malice? 0

 Melanie Phillips  writes in The Spectator:

Durban 2 is central to the attempt by the Arab and Muslim world to legitimise the destruction of Israel. It also seeks to criminalise all criticism of Islam and suppress free speech under the guise of combating ‘Islamophobia’ as part of its jihadi strategy of progressively crippling all the west’s defences. This is the process Obama is now validating. If anything shows beyond a doubt that America is now set on a path of both doing the Jewish people maximum harm and surrendering to the intimidation by the Muslim world, its participation in the obscenity of Durban 2 is surely it.

As Gregg Rickman [former US special envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism] writes in aghast disbelief:

In encouraging this conference to reconvene and worse, leaving it in the hands of the likes of Iran, Libya and other terrorist states, the United Nations again dishonors itself by allowing these tyrants a platform to impose their racial and religious bigotry on the world. How can the United States possibly be a part of this insanity?

The answer lies in the man whom it has elected as its 44th President.

One might think alarm bells might now be ringing in the American Jewish community. On the contrary. These are the people who voted overwhelmingly for Obama (because he was a Democrat, because he was black and because he would liberalise abortion; the psychopathology of the majority of American Jews and their actual attitude towards Israel is an issue for another time). And they are the people he has now suborned. For on his delegation at Geneva, taking part in this process of delegitimising the Jewish state while pretending to put a brake on the process, is one Felice Gaer, a senior official of the American Jewish Committee.

Yes, that American Jewish Committee – you know, the so-called ‘Jewish lobby’ which (according to Mearsheimer/ Walt and every Jew-hater from the neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites to the pages of the Guardian and Independent) manipulates America to do the bidding of Israel. Uh-huh. So let’s get this straight. Having voted this man into power, the AJC now has its head up Obama’s backside while he lends legitimacy and strength to those who wish to destroy the Jewish state and the free world – all the time pretending to themselves that they are helping to mitigate the damage.

Some lobby.

The fact is that Israel faces the nightmare scenario that it now stands alone – and against America. Whether through naivety, ideology or rank malice, there is now a fifth columnist in the White House, delivering (however unwittingly) the agenda of the enemies of the west and undermining the cause of the free world. The vast majority of Americans who staunchly support Israel’s struggle to exist in the face of genocidal attack, and understand only too well its role as the front line of defence for the free world, need to become aware of what is being done in their name.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 21, 2009

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The truest measure of public opinion 1

 From Power Line:

Bill Otis sent us this email today:

McCain’s bounce had evaporated, and Obama re-took his lead in the polls, in mid- to late-September. At that time (September 19, specifically), the Dow Jones stood at 11,388.

By the end of September, as Obama’s lead widened and solidified, the Dow had fallen to 10,325.

It continued its slide through October. The day after the election, it dropped 486 points to 9139.

By inauguration day, when reality could not be finessed any longer, it had fallen to 7949.

In the month since the inauguration, it has continued to drop, and is now at 7530 [Ed.: Now 7466.]. This is the lowest it has been in 12 years, lower by a considerable measure than it was in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 (when the denizens of Wall Street had to fear not just for their portfolios, but for their physical survival).

To sum it up, the market has lost a third of its value in a scant four months – the four months in which it became clear that Obama would become, and then did become, President.

We hear all the time that the market dive is due to factors that occurred on Bush’s watch. That sounds quite plausible; indeed, it’s partly true. But mostly it isn’t, because it misses the central fact that the direction of the market is about the future, not the past. In other words, the market is much more about expectations than about the financial report for last quarter (which has almost always been anticipated and thus discounted). So it’s not Bush’s or Paulson’s blunders that have put the market where it is today. It is the (unfortunately realized) expectations about Obama’s stewardship of the economy that are driving this train, or trainwreck.

Paul [Mirengoff] comments: Of course, Obama re-took the lead in September, I would argue, because people figured out that the economy was collapsing.

I think that’s right. There is much in the current economic crisis for which Obama can’t be blamed–the real estate bubble that led to the financial collapse, which started to come to light in the fall and assured Obama’s election. Obama is responsible for all of that only to the extent that he was one of many in Congress who did nothing to help solve the problem. And he was, of course, very much on the take from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

But granting all of that, it seems clear that investors are now voting with their wallets. In my view, just about everything the Obama administration has done (or announced its intention to do) will hurt the economy. The "stimulus" bill, to name just one example, was a joke. Obviously a great many investors agree; hence the ongoing decline in the stock market and the record prices being paid for gold–the classic hedge against bad government policies. The declining stock market and related price shifts are registering a vote of no confidence in the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 20, 2009

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