Monday, May 21, 2012

It's all about Bain

What’s New Today

Story #1 is a discussion of Bain Capital, what Obama is saying about Bain capital and the real world.  #2 is an ad from the Republicans which is a reaction to Obama’s Bain attack.  #3 is a story that shows you only need the headline.  #4 Catholics sue Obama.  #5 has Christie in what may be an audition for the VP position.  #6 asks about what is more disturbing?  A neo-nazi party getting more votes in Greece or the lost of freedom in Europe.  #7 Obama claims to be pro-growth, but what is he in favor of growing?  #8 talks about European austerity.  It appears the European version is increased taxes.  #9 shows us the difference between the real world and that of politics kind of like number 1 did. 

Today’s Thoughts

Over the weekend I did some reading of the new book “The Amatuer.”  It was a well written book with lots of stories to keep your interest.  I read the first two chapters where Bill Clinton tried to get Hillary to run against him this year and the story of Obama’s liberal doctor (for 20 years).  

With the latest leftist arrests in Chicago it becomes apparent that to leftist the freedom to assemble isn’t enough.  They aren’t happy with a demonstration that doesn’t include violence.

The study is out.  It turns out Organic food people are jerks (morally judgmental).  I always just thought they were stupid to pay more to have their food fertilized with manure.  

1. Bain Capital

Watching Obama campaign ads or MSNBC, one could easily come to the conclusion that Bain Capital makes money by destroying the companies it owns. So for voters unsure about the business that Mitt Romney founded but still reluctant to trust the financial analysis offered by community organizers, some perspective might be helpful.

The basic Obama-liberal critique goes like this: Bain buys a company, loads it with debt and then sucks out cash before foisting the wounded business upon an unsuspecting buyer or a bankruptcy court. In the risk-taking world of private equity such a scenario can certainly happen, and it's true that Bain likes management fees and dividends as much as the next partnership.

But then how to explain the history of Bain Capital? Mr. Romney started the business in 1984. The company has since bought and sold many businesses and executed thousands of financing transactions. 

If Bain's standard operating procedure were to hand the next owner of one of its companies a ticking bankruptcy package, how is Bain still finding buyers nearly three decades later? And who would agree to lend money to a company backed by Bain? Wouldn't word have gotten around by, say, 1987 that Bain's portfolio companies weren't creditworthy?..

This will be the story the Democrats will tell over and over again.  It will be like the Democrats always referring to Republicans as extremist.  No proof is necessary and no reality can be found, but they won’t stop saying it.  

2.  The Bain Backlash:  A New Republican Ad

Even Obama supporters can only go so far. 

 3.  “Is the GOP trying to sabotage the economy to hurt Obama?”

That’s the headline on yesterday’s Associated Press Story by Charles Babington. The headline appeared on the main Yahoo page, which is far more heavily trafficked than any newspaper, and was picked up, based on a Google News search, by several hundred newspapers. The article doesn’t conclude that Republicans are deliberately hurting the economy, of course. That wasn’t the idea: the idea was to attribute plausibility to what is in fact a laughable suggestion.

In order to either help or hurt the economy, Republicans would have to 1) enact policies that would do one or the other, or 2) block the Democrats from enacting policies that would do one or the other. The Republicans haven’t enacted anything since the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, so the theory has to be that the GOP has blocked something that otherwise would have helped. In fact, however, the Democrats have been able to enact the major components of their economic plan, including the stimulus–perhaps the most dismal failure of any legislative initiative in American history–and Obamacare. Democrats have caused discretionary spending to skyrocket and have run up $5 trillion in new debt since President Obama took office. So they have pretty much had their way….

This story seems actually balanced, but that isn’t the purpose of the story.  Its purpose is to get the headline out for the people who don’t actually read the story.  It fits the Democratic meme that it’s not their fault that this is the worst recovery since before the Depression. 

4.  Catholic Diocese Sue the Obama Administration

The archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special explain it lawsuit and present news and development concerning it.

"This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference," the archdiocese says on the website. "It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs."…

I don’t think Obama thought it would come to this.  Of course, I don’t think Obama is actually politically smart.  In the Showtime TV Show “Boss,” there is a character who is charismatic (Alex Zajak) who the Boss (Tom Kane) choses to challenge and incumbent Democratic Governor in the primary.  In the last episode for the first year, this Zajak’s wife, Maggie, berates him telling him he is nothing more than a prop.  He had tried to double-cross Kane and was suddenly in big trouble.  His wife told him not to think, because that wasn’t what he was good at.  This could be said about BHO.   

5.  Christie:  Obama “Posing and Preening”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Kentucky Republicans on Saturday that President Barack Obama was “posing and preening” instead of working to resolve pressing issues facing the country.
“He is the most ill-prepared person to assume the presidency in my lifetime,” Christie told some 600 Kentucky Republicans at a Lexington hotel. “This is a guy who literally is walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” 

Christie was in Kentucky to deliver a pep talk to state GOP leaders.  The state’s presidential primary is Tuesday, though it will have no significant impact. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

In his remarks, Christie focused entirely on the general election, drawing a standing ovation for his biting remarks about Obama.

“He has sat in the Oval Office and cared more about posing and preening and making partisan politics the rule of the day in Washington D.C. than he’s cared about progress,” the New Jersey Republican, now in his third year in office, said of Obama.

This speech was red meat for the Republicans and could have been an audition for Christie for the VP slot.

6. What’s more disturbing to you?

‘Disturbingly’, said the BBC reporter, the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party is on the rise in Greece. Yes, it is disturbing. But the rise of a nasty group which sounds like a brand of peanut butter and is still well under double figures in poll percentage is only one of hundreds of symptoms of rising misery in Europe. It was disturbing, last year that unelected leaders were forced by the European authorities upon Italy and Greece. It is disturbing that entire states, such as Ireland, are mortgaged to European control in order to save banks. It is disturbing that, as a result of cheap over-borrowing misleadingly guaranteed by the euro, nearly half the youth of southern Europe is now unemployed. Above all, it is disturbing that the eurozone leaders’ answer to this, the biggest disaster of the continent in my lifetime, is ‘more Europe’. I don’t want the BBC news to tell me what is disturbing, but if it must, it should broaden its definition.

The loss of freedom is the most disturbing thing you can experience.  In fact, the EU is a liberal fascist state.  So it the BBC reporter disturbed that a fascist party is gaining strength in one of the states in Fascist’s Europe?

7.  Pro-Growth Politicians

Barack Obama claims to be pro-growth. So does Greece, Spain, and almost everyone else. Why? Because admitting preference for the alternative—crushing, heavy-handed government interference that kills initiative and destroys wealth—is not attractive to any citizen of any country. 

The problem lies in the meaning of “pro-growth”. As an unabashed capitalist, and as a supporter of free markets, I believe “pro-growth” means less government interference and more individual accountability where private sector businesses create the jobs and government pretty much stays out of the equation. But it's increasingly clear that our president has a much different idea and defines “pro-growth” far differently. 

Of course, Barack Obama often says he is “pro-growth”—but the question to ask is: growth of what?
After three years in office, it seems rather clear that Obama believes in the growth of government. At the core of all of his policies is a belief that government can allocate resources more efficiently than can the private sector. 

According to Obama, only the government can make wise “investments”. According to Obama’s view, private money and private investors are simply not as capable or as wise as is government in choosing the kinds of investments that will lead to growth and job expansion… 

Obama may be pro-growth but his policies have resulted in an increase in the National Debt of over $5 trillion in a little over 3 years in office.  He also has chugged along with around 2% growth in the GDP and has moved 5 million Americans to drop out of the job pool.  His definition of growth only seems to work if you are talking about unemployment, deficits, and broken promises. 

8.  European Austerity vs Barack Obama’s Plan

In the run-up to this weekend's G-8 summit at Camp David, journalists have unfavorably compared European "austerity" with Barack Obama's economic policies.

European spending cuts, the argument goes, have hurt people and are arousing political opposition, while Obama's proposals to keep federal spending at 24 percent of gross domestic product indefinitely are likely to succeed. 

Evil Republican spending cuts, in contrast, would deny the economy needed stimulus and wreak havoc on ordinary people. 

But the facts undermine the storyline. Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University took a look at what "austerity" in Europe actually means. 

What she found is that government spending has increased or not appreciably declined in Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany. The only significant spending reductions are in Greece, where the bond market cut off funding. 

In the other countries, the big adjustment has been an increase in tax rates. European "austerity" is an attempt to reduce government budget deficits largely by increasing taxes and only to a small extent by reining in spending. 

Which, when you come to think about it, is the policy not of House Republicans -- who actually passed a budget -- but of Barack Obama. 

Over the past three years, Obama has pursued the goal of higher tax rates as relentlessly as Captain Ahab pursued the great white whale…. 

This article nails it.  Austerity while sounding like cuts in spending has really meant increases in taxes in Europe which is exactly Obama’s desire.  Republicans have made deals to cut spending but someone BHO manages to keep spending at the same rate. 

9.  The Obama Administrations Plays Let’s Pretend
Obama administration officials may have pressured government contractors to change job loss estimates associated with coal regulations, audio recordings reveal.

The tapes show that unnamed officials with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) asked government contractors to change their calculations of job losses associated with the Steam Protection Rule. 

A preliminary draft of an environmental impact statement estimated that up to 7,000 coalminers could lose their jobs under the administration’s “preferred” regulation. After a leaked copy of the report went public, officials asked the contractors to compare job estimates to a model in which another regulation was enforced, rather than the real world numbers.

“It’s not the real world, this is rulemaking,” an OSM official tells a skeptical contractor on the recording.

“If we’re to assume [the 2008 rule] is enforced in the coal-producing states, this is a very small [impact],” the contractor replies. “But that, as you said, is not the real world, that’s pretending … I thought we were looking at what’s going to change in Kentucky, what’s going to change in Pennsylvania, what’s going to change in Ohio, what’s going to change in Wyoming.”

When a second OSM official makes light of the “theoretical discussion,” the contractor shoots back that “his [the OSM official’s proposed criteria] was theoretical, mine was practical.”
The agency fired the contractors studying the rule less than one month later….

Hmmm, makes you wonder about any of the statements that comes out of this government. 

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