Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 21, 2010


The line to apologize for praising Castro and Communism in Cuba starts here

It’s a pretty long line. Or at least it ought to be. Given that even the Castro brothers have come clean about what a hellhole Cuba is, it is to be hoped that silly celebrity and religious types that served as Castro’s useful idiots will recognize their foolishness and apologize for it.

To help prod them along, I’ve developed a little standardized form we can use.

***********************************************************

You are hereby invited to apologize for your unsupported and ill considered remarks about Cuba in ______, which were that:

Cuba is great because it has free health care

Cuba is great because it has free housing

Cuba is great because jobs are guaranteed

Castro is a genius

Castro is the kind of leader you wish you had in the US

Cuba shows that socialism works

Cuba’s economic problems all stem from the US trade blockade

It’s too bad that the brilliant, dynamic Che Guevara died young

Other _____________________________________________________

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We know how much you value honest, open discourse in the political sphere, and how eager you must be to set the record straight on your own misapprehensions.

Sincerely,

************************************************************

Any enthusiastic volunteers are encouraged to complete the invitation and send it to appropriate recipients. Any list of invitees should at a minimum include:

Danny Glover
Steven Spielberg
Jack Nicholson
Harry Belafonte
Chevy Chase
Robert Redford
Ed Asner
Woody Harrelson
Shirley MacLaine
Kevin Costner
Tim Robbins
Sean Penn
Oliver Stone
Leaders of the Methodist Church, headed by Rev. Larry Pickens
Naomi Campbell
Spike Lee
Sidney Pollack (deceased)
Dan Rather
Pastors for Peace

Additions suggested by commenters:
Michael Moore (how could I have forgotten him!)
Carlos Santana
Leonardo DiCaprio
Alanis Morissette
Ted Turner
Jane Fonda
Jesse Jackson
Al Sharpton
Louis Farrakhan
The Congressional Black Caucus, highlighted by Diane Watson

Commenters are welcome to add to the list of invitees, and to suggest additional items for the checklist of things to apologize for.

(For those who are about to comment that these fools will never apologize, I know that. The left didn’t apologize for their useful idiocy to the Soviet Union, and Cuba is small potatoes next to that.)

**** Update 1:00 PM CST ****

In re-reading this, I just remembered that Sidney Pollack is dead. I guess he’s off the hook for any apologies.


NBER – Recession ended in June of 2009

That’s what the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), our official arbiter of when we’re in a recession and when we aren’t, says the recession ended.

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

So all those who essentially said leave it alone and the economy will pull itself out of the recession were correct.  Remember, June of 2009 was approximately 6 months after the administration took office and 5 months after the stimulus package had been approved by Congress.  Or said another way, well before any of the money it has squandered had yet been dumped into the economy.

Also note the beginning date.  The recession began in December of 2007.  By the time the Obama administration got to it, it had pretty much bottomed out and was beginning to recover.  The stimulus plan was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  The recession officially ended in June of 2009 per NBER.  That’s not to say, however, that “things are better” necessarily:

In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.

Or, an easier way to say it is that we experienced and are experiencing now what is normal to experience in a recession, but, as usual, the business cycle turns and we begin an expansion.  Note the last line – “Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.”

So again, I stress, any claim that the “stimulus” was the reason for our beginning to recover has a bunch of inconvenient determinations by NBER to overcome.  And anyone who thinks the government can get out of its way in approximately 4 months time to have any real effect (mid Feb to June) on the economy – regardless of the size of the spending it has planned to inject – simply doesn’t have a clear understanding of how this government operates.

That said, I hope NBER is correct and that we are indeed expanding.  As it stands now, though, most of the unemployed out there looking for scarce jobs most likely don’t give a rip what NBER says.  Until they’re again employed, they’re still suffering from a recession.  And that doesn’t bode well for Democrats at all in November.

~McQ


Quote of the Day – I’m exhausted defending you edition

She was probably not what the President wanted at one of his staged “town hall” meetings – but apparently they had to recruit people to fill the audience and this was one of the recruits:

"I’m one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I’m exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for," a woman told President Obama at a town hall.

"My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives, but, quite frankly, it’s starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we’re headed again, and, quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly. Is this my new reality?," she added.

This is probably one of the most obvious of the problems Obama and the Democrats face.  Note there’s not a word of “blame Bush” in this Obama supporters words – those quoted or unquoted.  She essentially says, “hey, you’ve sold me a bill of goods, or so it seems after 2 years”.  In fact, she also said she was “deeply disappointed with where we are right now”.

This disappointment is likely to translate into non-votes for Democrats.  Not necessarily votes for the GOP, but lack of votes for Democrats as the “deeply disappointed” and “exhausted” supporters (or former supporters) stay home.

The problem – as we’ve noted many times – is enthusiasm.  Relative to the right, there is none on the left, or certainly not as much or enough to get people to the polls.  In two short years, Obama and the Democrats have gone from owning significant and filibuster proof margins that seemed safe for quite some time to a vulnerable status that may see them in the minority in at least one chamber of Congress and with enough gains in the other to stall the president’s agenda.

Many of us, of course, see that as a feature, not a bug.

But again, I think this woman very articulately and succinctly puts the frustrations of not only the average American, but the average Obama supporter in focus.  She is the face of defeat and she tells them precisely why that’s so.

Very interesting.  The answer Obama gives is just as telling.  Make sure you listen to it as well.

~McQ