Friday, October 29, 2010

U.S. GDP grows 2% in 3rd quarter--WOW!

From the L.A. Times:

The U.S. economy continued to plod along at a sluggish pace in the third quarter, not enough to generate momentum or bring down the nation's high jobless rate.

The nation's gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced inside U.S. borders, grew at an annualized rate of 2% in the July-to-September quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.

That was a tad higher than the 1.7% GDP growth in the second quarter, but overall still paints a picture of a lackluster economy that expanded at a 3.25% annual rate in the second half of last year coming out of the recession, only to see a slowing since spring...

Uncertainties about the expiring Bush administration's tax cuts loom as a potential negative, but analysts say even that could provide a lift in the next two months as people move some of their planned spending for 2011 to this year because of the risks of higher taxes.

Wowza! The stimulus, the threat of higher taxes, and more regulation for everything that moves is really working!


The above is only one reason why Democrats are going to have their butts handed to them this coming Tuesday. Hang in there, America.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The secret of American prosperity

This cartoon from 1948, encapsulates the reason why the American system is so prosperous. Most importantly, it tells us to beware of a smooth talker trying to sell a fantasy that is really a nightmare.

HT: Cafe Hayek

With 6 days till mid-term elections...

The latest odds from Intrade, the prediction market:

Control of the House of Representatives after 2010 midterms:

Democrats 11.1% (no change from yesterday)
Republicans 88.9% (+0.7 from yesterday)

Number of seats in the House gained by Republicans in 2010 midterms:

50 or more House seats gained 79.9% (+8.0 from yesterday)

Control of the Senate after 2010 midterms:

Democrats 55.0% (-2.7 from yesterday)
Republicans 12.5% (-3.5 from yesterday)

Number of Senate seats held by Republicans after 2010 midterms:

45 or more Senate seats held 97.5% (+2.5 from yesterday)
46 or more Senate seats held 96.9% (+8.8 change from yesterday)
47 or more Senate seats held 89.0% (+3.9 from yesterday)
48 or more Senate seats held 78.9% (+3.8 from yesterday)
49 or more Senate seats held 48.5% (-0.5 from yesterday)
50 or more Senate seats held 30.0% (+2.5 from yesterday)

Sharon Angle currently has a 67.5% chance of bumping off Harry "the war is lost" Reid in Nevada.

The power of language

HT: LibertyPen

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's OK when our guy does it--Part one

1) The Left keeps blaring that conservative groups are heavily funded by rich billionaires like the Koch brothers. Yet, there is plenty of evidence of left-wing groups and their agenda being funded by liberal rich people too. George Soros quickly comes to mind as a major contributor to left-wing causes; Mr. Soros has even contributed heavily to causes that may influence judicial selection in states like Nevada. Strangely, there are no loud and large headlines about this on the Huffington Post.

2) From the WSJ:
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.

The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats' hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.

"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."


Friday, October 22, 2010

Anybody wanna free lunch?

When corporations are taxed, who really pays?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thank you, Greenpeace!!

This nasty Greenpeace video demonstrates the fear-mongering that pervades the environmental movement.

The chinese rare earth embargo?

I've been commenting on this likely episode for several months on liberal and "green" blogs but most Progressives are either dismissive or simply look for any excuse to avoid the harsh reality of this issue: the environmental movement is essentially trading one precious commodity (petroleum) for another precious one (Rare earth elements) that our economic competitors have a near monopoly on. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

With 15 days to go...

...the odds of Republicans taking the House remain strong.

Economies of scale don't apply

Experts predict that any substantial economies of scale will elude battery powered cars. Does anyone believe that this will stop politicians from continuing federal subsidies to battery makers? Nah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

With 21 days to go...

...till mid-term elections, Intrade has Republicans getting 40 or more seats to control the House at 80%.

A waste of taxpayer funds

Harrison Price captures the "rent-seeking" of large automotive firms and their government enablers perfectly:

Chevrolet received about $52 billion from the U.S. taxpayer and another $9.5 billion from the Canadian taxpayer. The company is still a mess and its newest product – touted by Liberals everywhere and driven for ten feet by President Obama – is the Volt… an electric car. The car will be sold (at huge losses) for about $41,000.00. each.

During the height of the bailout, President Obama touted the Volt as a symbol of how Chevy was going to “make it” thanks to the help of great products like it and the wallets of the American taxpayer. The Volt’s batteries are made by a South Korean company (which received $150 million in U.S. taxpayer monies).

Now, it turns out, the Volt isn’t even an electric car… it’s a fancy hybrid like the Civic or Prius.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TARP Lives!

I've been seeing a lot of cheer leading on liberal blogs lately claiming that TARP is a great big success story. Ha! Here is a revealing video on TARP by Larry Kudlow:

1) $460 billion of commitments were doled out.
2) $386 billion were paid out to banks.
3) $200 billion has been re-paid.
4) $70 billion is still owed by GM and Chrysler.
5) $100 billion was lent to AIG of which $50 billion is TARP funds.

Was TARP really necessary? Kudlow suggests that 1) FDIC loan guarantees for all bank debt--short, medium, long--calmed markets even before TARP and also 2)The Feds money market guarantee eased market fears.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beyond the pale

Another gem from Jeff Perren at Pajamas Media:
To win against mainstream environmentalists and their political enablers requires essentially the same approach as in the purely economic realm. What’s needed is, to paraphrase the crusading attorney in Terence Rattigan’s play The Winslow Boy: “Cold, clear logic. Buckets of it.”

How to balance the budget