Saturday, January 23, 2010
This reminded me of a humorous incident at Theo's Pizza last week. A table of eight well-dressed businessmen were having lunch. On their table were two of those mini-stands with celebrity photos on them that Theo's uses to match orders to tables-- one pictured Drew Brees, the other Lil Wayne. During a short lull in the conversation, one of the white collars wonders aloud whether Brees could "take" Lil Wayne in a fight. To my amazement, a vigorous ten minute debate ensues, with the whole table involved and equally divided over the matter. "Brees is bigger and he's an underrated athlete" "Don't you underestimate Weezy! He's small but he's tough."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Brown was elected Tuesday evening, and the markets responded...
Needless to say, conservatives apologized for linking Scott Brown to stock market performance, and admitted that if Coakley had won and stocks then tanked, they would've blamed it on her and everyone would've bought the story. But they resolved to stop playing the political games (even though the Dems let them get away with it) and cautioned investors against listening to any partisan talking head who uses some simplistic single-factorial political correlation to predict market moves.
Yeah, that happened and then monkeys flew out of my butt.*
But how is this possible? Conservative pundits stayed vewwy quiet about the markets during a 4000 point move in the Dow, and then 8 months into it they all of a sudden say "Y'all ain't seen nuthin' yet. Hold on to your hats, shareholders, we're in for a Scott Brown rally!"... then the market unceremoniously drops 500 points in the days after his election.
Surely the simplistic "reasoning" of conservative pundits couldn't be wrong-- that's impossible. There must be another reason the markets have sputtered since Wednesday, and spoiled the Scott Brown bull run. What could it be, what could it be? Obama taking banking reform advice from that radical marxist named Paul Volcker? Nah. Bad earnings reports or Congressional "skittishness" over confirming Ben Bernanke for another term at the Fed? Nah.
OMG! I can't believe I forgot it-- the answer is so obvious, right in front of my face. I even blogged about it last month, anticipating the tremendous effect it would have on our nation.
Let history show that on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, "the greatest confrontation in the modern history of America" occurred. That day the Tea Party movement organized its "National Day of Strike" and began the process of boycotting companies that "fund socialism"-- (i.e., businesses who donate to Democrats, or who employ Democrats who make donations to their candidates).
Talk about Shock and Awe! Teabaggers launched their activist campaign (also known as TEA 2.0) to take our country back from the socialists. While liberal media coverage of the event was scant, someone by the name of "Mr. Market" certainly took notice. And not even the ballyhooed Scott Brown rally could overcome the Tea Partiers "NATIONAL DAY OF STRIKE"! They took direct aim at the liberal campaign funding apparatus, and began the process of dismantling it. The resultant market correction might be worrisome to some, but far-sighted tea partiers understand it as part of the cleansing process-- as companies who support liberals are forced to reorganize their priorities, or go out of business.
Job well done, pea tardiers. The National Day of Strike has shown impressive early results, and it's only a matter of time before everyone notices, and we take our country back.
* Just to be clear, I'm being sarcastic. No monkeys flew out of my butt. They're too shy.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
So, after seeing him use the lower 9th ward as a campaign photo op, should we question Edwards' motives for his latest humanitarian mission to Haiti? Could there be any other reasons for the trip?
News item from ABC:
Former presidential candidate John Edwards abandoned his long denial that he had fathered a child during an affair with a campaign aide and admitted today that he is the father of the almost 2-year-old girl.
"I am Quinn's father," Edwards said in the bombshell statement this morning. "I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves."
The former senator and presidential hopeful had an affair with campaign cinematographer Rielle Hunter, 45, and she later give birth to Frances Quinn.
Edwards' admission comes a week before the man who had claimed he was the baby's father, former aide Andrew Young, was scheduled to appear in an exclusive interview on "20/20".
In an excerpt from his upcoming interview with ABC News's Bob Woodruff, Young alleges that Edwards asked him to arrange a fake a paternity test.
"Get a doctor to fake the DNA results," Young said Edwards told him. "And he asked me ... to steal a diaper from the baby so he could secretly do a DNA test to find out if this [was] indeed his child."
Edwards was in Haiti today working on earthquake relief and said only, "I've said what I have to say for now and I'm here to help people."
What a freakish soulless skeazy douchebag this guy turned out to be.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010DiggIt! Del.icio.us
Actually, despite what Fox News and Norquist the Grotesque believe, stock returns are demonstrably superior during Democratic administrations. But Dems don't ever make political hay over this amazing fact because that would be impolite, or politically shrewd, or something. Dems would rather cower in the corner and leave the storytelling to the Republicans (and their news organs)... who are happy to oblige.
In 2004, Fox was warning us about how Presidential candidate John Kerry was going to deliver a "gut punch" to "your stocks". During the "Bush Boom" bull rally* within the ongoing secular bear market, Fox News dutifully linked the "surging" market to Bush's War on Terror in Iraq. When the market cratered during the final years of the Bush presidency (here's a graphic of those years), new explanations were required:
See that steep drop off at the end of 2008? Well, during one of those awful autumn days there was a $1 trillion drop in market value. David Callaway of CBS Marketwatch put the numbers into perspective as follows (9/29/08):
While groups of politicians bickered like schoolchildren over the failure of the House of Representatives to pass Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan, the S&P 500 Index plunged to its worst day since the week of the 1987 stock-market crash, wiping out more than $700 billion in the index's market value.
In other words, we all just spent that $700 billion today -- and still didn't get a rescue plan.
In total, more than $1 trillion was wiped off the value of the entire U.S. stock market Monday, as measured by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Index.
House Republicans blamed the failure to pass the bailout that day on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who made a partisan speech that hurt their delicate feelings. You can bet that many of these same Republicans will later point to this NAY vote as evidence of their courageous resistance to socialism in order to court teabagger support when they run for re-election. But the main point here is that a trillion dollars of value was lost in one day during 2008, when Congress failed to pass a $700 billion dollar bill. When the market moves hundreds or thousands of points, trillions of dollars of value are gained or lost. When you see that the Dow had a net loss of over 20% over EIGHT YEARS during Bush's term... that is an immense amount of wealth destruction for the ballyhooed "investor class".
As stocks continued their swoon during the last months of the Bush administration, perspicacious Fox News pundits again knew who was to blame: President-elect Barack Obama.
Gretchen Carlson: “There’s a lot of feeling in the market not reacting very well to the election of Barack Obama.”So Obama takes office during a wicked Recession, and stocks continue to go down for about two months and the squeals from conservative pundits were intense. In March, I called in to local conservative pundit Jeff Crouere's radio show. He and a guest were directly correlating the slide in stocks to Obama's policies. CNBC showman Jim Cramer even beat the drum a bit that month:
– Fred Barnes: “We have seen the stock market go down over 800 points the last two days. There is great uncertainty out there about [Obama's] policies.”
– Dick Morris: “Now the other thing that I predicted... is that the stock market would go crazy after [Obama] was elected. Not just because he’s a radical, not just because he’s a Democrat, but because he’s going to raise the capital gains tax. [...] Its going to continue to tank.”
Cramer called President Obama's budget a "radical agenda," adding, "This is the greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a President."
Kevin Hassett, economic advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign and co-author of the 1999 masterpiece Dow 36,000, had this to say in a 3.09.09 column titled ‘Manchurian Candidate’ Starts War on Business:
Now that we have seen President Barack Obama’s first-year legislative agenda, we know what kind of a war he intends to wage.
It is no wonder that markets are imploding around us. Obama is giving us the War on Business.
Let's review what that radical socialist Obamajokerhitler was saying about equities back in March:
In March, as share prices plumbed new lows and the economic malaise seemed impossible to shake, Mr. Obama was one of the few to call the bottom for the stock markets. At those levels, with U.S. stocks down by half from their 2007 peak, he said that “buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you've got a long-term perspective on it.”
But Joe Sixpack and Mary Teabagger wouldn't be baited into putting money into the market during Obama's radical socialist agenda-- hell no. They listened to FOX, and Rush and Hannity... etc. They wouldn't be fooled. They wouldn't risk their precious (negative) gains from the Bush years while the Islamic Manchurian Candidate was in charge. So let's inspect the carnage that became of the markets in the past ten months, as Obamajokerhitler's radical socialist agenda was presented and implemented, and Wall Street had time to react to it and digest its implications with all due horror:
The above chart shows gains of around Eighty Percent since the March low, when conservatives were happily attributing stock losses to Obama's socialist "war on business". Yet, when stocks climbed upwards, conservatives didn't say much about why such a rally could occur during radical socialist Obama's reign of terror. Nor were they asked to explain themselves. Dems could've asked simple questions like: if the losses were Obama's fault, shouldn't he get credit for the gains? Why does Wall Street love Obama's socialism? If Obama wishes to radically transform this nation for the worse, why is the market reacting so favorably? Why were your earlier analyses and predictions so incredibly off-base, and do you feel like you were wrong when you forecasted utter disaster in the markets and they proceeded to move inexorably higher over the past ten months, to the tune of eighty percent? Do you believe that eighty percent over ten months constitutes a superior return than a loss of twenty percent over eight years? Why do stocks perform so much better during Democratic administrations versus Republican administrations?
These questions, of course, would be politically winning for Dems, thus they refuse to ask them.
Let's return to Obama's sober observation in March that it might be a good time for a long-term investment in stocks...
About the only thing (Obama) the forecaster-in-chief got wrong was the time frame. Nine months later, stocks have staged a recovery that is nothing short of incredible. Around the world almost every major market finished the year up about 20 per cent or more – much more in the case of Brazil, at 83 per cent.
In fact, the gains in stocks in almost any one of the months since March would qualify as a good annual performance for shares most years.
Contrary to the hysterical conservatives squealing like stuck pigs back in March-- Obama perfectly called the market bottom, and those (few) who listened to him made upwards of 80 percent on their money. Nearly everyone who stayed in the market during 2009 netted 20 percent or more, which offset some of the losses from the Bush years. Now, I'm aware that severe corrections could be around the corner, and I'm holding to all my earlier long term predictions made five and a half years ago, that '99 to 12 will mirror '68 to 82. (I hope I'm wrong, btw.) But last year is in the books, and performance is performance. Since those who made catastrophic (and catastrophically wrong) predictions about how the market would perform during Obama aren't held to account, and since Dems are determined not to take advantage of a favorable political issue... we're left with this sort of idiocy: Fox News openly campaigning for Senator-elect Scott Brown and saying his election could "boost" your portfolio. Wow. What an amazing belief system these people have. So I guess this continuing rally that began in March will be the "Brown effect"...that is, until there's a 19 percent correction and then Obama will be once again responsible, and Dems will say nothing all the while, as the foolishness cycles through, again and again.
Update: The Hayride dutifully chimes in, with its quote of the day post:
“A Republican win (in Massachusetts) would be a positive for the markets since it would mean increased potential for gridlock in Washington.”
- Carmine Grigoli, chief U.S. strategist at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.
Of course, the markets have ALREADY been suffused with "positives" for the past ten months. There's been an incredible rally, yet Dems have ignored it and now Republicans want to credit the implications of Scott Brown's victory for any gains.
We'll note that the markets dropped like a stone this morning when they had a chance to "react" to the election results. However, Republicans can safely ignore this inconvenient result because they're never called on their silly games. When the market goes down, Dems get the blame and when it goes up Goops get the credit-- no other possibilities exist! Yet, a century's worth of data shows that on average the market performs significantly better during Democratic presidencies, but hardly anyone knows this. If you're gonna play these silly games, why wouldn't you force your opponent to eat that fact?
Imagine, if you will, that Coakley won last night and then stocks dropped 2 percent like they did this morning. It would become an iron law of the universe that the declines were a reaction to her victory and Obama's socialist agenda ... etc. The reverse occurs, and ...silence.
* which admittedly lasted a year longer than I thought possible