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Archive for the ‘bailout’ Category

The Butcher of Lansing has been having car troubles.  He sent me this tidbit today – it’s coming up on a week.

The car is a 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXL. I took it in last Wednesday, 3-30.
The issue is that the lights on the console next to the shifter, P R N D, won’t light, both power ports are dead and it won’t go into manual shift mode.
The service guy said that after they downloaded the codes from the car and started chasing the problem down, they discovered that the drawings in GM’s national database for that car did not match the electronics actually in the car. As of today, they still have not received an answer from GM.
Well now.  That kind of makes it hard for the poor SOB’s at the dealer who have to try to figure this out, doesn’t it?
To me, that also sounds like an eclectic grouping of things but hey, who can presume to know the minds of Governmint Motors?  You’d think the company was female.
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Some say that Japan has now resorted to pouring 500,000 gallons of scrambled eggs into the reactor in their latest bid to plug the leak.
Next, it’ll be small absorbent rodents.

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Update:

Special Olympics does not accept Rahm Emmanuel’s apology for calling someone else effin’ ‘tards.  In response Special Olympics spokesman little Eric Cartman from South Park, Colorado, has a message for Rahm.

Spokesperson Eric Cartman sez "We don't f-ing accept your apology, Rahm."

Yes, I know some of you have retarded friends or family.  So do I.  Retarded folks aren’t the target here – Rahm is.  The episode in question is found here.

Even while they can’t control their own mouths they want to control everyone else’s…

The president’s advice came in answer to a question from Sen. Mike Bennet, D-CO, who is facing a difficult re-election fight back home and wanted to know what Democrats and Republicans can do “to fix this institution so that our democracy can actually withstand the test that we’re facing right now.”

“You know what I think would actually make a difference, Michael? I think if everybody here — excuse all the members of the press who are here — if everybody here turned off your CNN, your Fox, your blogs,” Obama said, before being interrupted by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, who piped up, “And MSNBC!”

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A quick update/detour…

This isn’t news.  Obama advisor Eliseo Medina:

Granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants would expand the “progressive” electorate and help ensure a “progressive” governing coalition for the long term, declared a recent adviser to President Obama whose union group is among the most frequent visitors to the White House.

Come on, WND – seems to me that this is pretty obvious stuff.
Let’s take a poll.

Note: Aggie Sith is right… this is a conflicted poll. I’m not experienced at it yet. Answer whichever one most feels like “you”. If you answer “dead patriotic” it means that yes you saw it coming and you aren’t happy – not happy at all.

****NOW ON TO THE ORIGINAL POST FOR TODAY****
On Drudge…

CBSNEWS anchorwoman and 60 MINUTES contributor Katie Couric faces a dramatic pay cut at the network...[snip]

Couric, the highest paid TV news personality in history, commands over $14 million a year...[snip]...a populist backlash against Couric's cash is said to be forming inside the newsroom.

"She makes enough to pay 200 news reporters $75,000 a year!" demands a veteran producer. [snip] The angry source continues: "We report with great enthusiasm how much bankers are making, how it is out of step with reality during a recession. Well, look at Katie!"

Just last night I was watching South Park’s More Crap episode.  Every 2-1/2 of crap in one “load” is one unit in the measurement scale for such things.  Guess what the measurement unit is?  Not pounds, kilos, or anything like that.

1 Katie Couric = 2.5 lbs of crap

Yes, a 10lb pile of crap is 4 Katie Courics.

Later in that piece…  Surely Godfather, you will help us in our time of need after all these years we have been loyal to you…


EDITOR'S NOTE: Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called on President Barack Obama to form a White House commission to help save the press. Tears welled in the lifelong reporter’s eyes as he discussed the dwindling number of war correspondents.

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Nope, not the economy.  Bees.  (yes, the economy does sting however, like nettles)

Man Survives ‘Killer Bee’ Attack, Stung Couple Thousand Times

Monday, March 23, 2009

LAS VEGAS —  A 53-year-old man remained hospitalized Monday, two days after being stung “a couple thousand times” …

… the man accidentally disturbed a nest of Africanized honey bees, also known as “killer bees,” when he overturned a boulder while operating a backhoe Saturday.

The man was listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena campus.

I’ve been stung 24 times at one time.  That.  Sucked.  Ass.

This poor bastard… several thousand times.  Benadryl.  Morphine.  Ice.   Whatever, just do it fast, eh?  Perhaps all of it?  He certainly doesn’t need meat tenderizer.

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Worldnet Daily:  Suggesting eligibility proof gets congressman scorned

A new congressman [U.S. Rep. Bill Posey] has proposed a bill that would require future presidential candidates to document their eligibility. That has earned him scorn and ridicule, including this gem from MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann: “What you should do is stop embarrassing yourself and take the Reynolds Wrap off your head.”

How ’bout that?  If you do something as silly as suggest that presidential candidates be constitutionally eligible then it means you are into autoerotic asphyxiation.  Makes me wonder what Olbermann does in his spare time that this imagery should occur to him.

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When is stimulus just porkulus and not stimulus?  When Walter Williams puts it far better than I could, that’s when.

Could it be that the US isn’t as culpable as the world would like to believe?  I’m guessing that the truth lies between the extremes.  Question is, how much?

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The buck stops here and once you break it you own it.  Strong words to have to live by, Obama.

There’s no doubt, if you review the period since his election last November, his moves since becoming president, his most recent book advance and his future earnings as a celebrity, Obama certainly has a talent for getting and using other people’s money. That’s a fist bump for him. But what will it be for us?

I heard on NPR this morning (know thine enemy, I say), specifically the Diane Rhem show, a caller ask about how if gov’t floats all this money to various entities and a profit is actually realized on a rebound economy, how does the money get back to us?

The “expert” they had on… I had a belly laugh and nearly drove off the road.  His reply was that if a profit is realized and it goes back to the federal coffers…

Are you ready for this?

If it goes back to the Fed then next year we get lower taxes.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON I HAVE RELATED TO THAT (1) LAUGHED, AND (2) CALLED IMMEDIATE BULLSHIT.

Surely he was either a comedian or the most ignorant libtard ever to walk the face of the earth.

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document.write(‘<script language=”JavaScript” src=”http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/nyp.news/columnists;comp=&#8217; + adid + ‘;pos=storylb;sz=728×90;dcove=d;tile=2;ord=’ + ord + ‘?” type=”text/javascript”><\/script>’);

GOV PLOTS SECRET TAX HIKE ON RICH

Wow.  That’s news.

Tomorrow will be a shocking expose telling all about how Bill Clinton has an ego and is a womanizer.  I know.  I know.  Shocking.

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While I completely support the desire to remain kosher, I am a bit confused… just what is the penalty if you are jewish and eat non-kosher food unwittingly?

Understandable that they were angry, but was this warranted?  If someone out there is jewish and can fill me in on this I’m curious.  Yes, I could read wikipedia, but that is not the same as hearing it from a real live person.

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Wall Street Journal on Obama’s policies:

New and expanded refundable tax credits would raise the fraction of taxpayers paying no income taxes to almost 50% from 38%. This is potentially the most pernicious feature of the president’s budget, because it would cement a permanent voting majority with no stake in controlling the cost of general government.

This is important, so I’ll post this again:

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Got that?

A VOTING MAJORITY WITH NO STAKE IN CONTROLLING THE COST OF GENERAL GOVERNMENT.

This should make you feel queasy.  Essentially we’ll be turning an additional 12% of us into members of congress, or something close in terms of ideology, which is to hell with those paying the taxes, we are getting ours.

Moving on.  I would highlight certain parts of the next quote but there’s no one part more important than another… it is all terribly vital.

Unfortunately, our history suggests new government programs, however noble the intent, more often wind up delivering less, more slowly, at far higher cost than projected, with potentially damaging unintended consequences. The most recent case, of course, was the government’s meddling in the housing market to bring home ownership to low-income families, which became a prime cause of the current economic and financial disaster.

But, since the aura around Obama is still rainbows, unicorns, and puppies, the law of unintended consequences will be ignored yet again.  Delivering less, more slowly, and with more indirect damage than ever before, into the breach we will ride.

HTOVWOFY?

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How is your free speech these days?

According to Martin, an unidentified “senior White House aide” has been given the responsibility of “helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy,” a very scary thing indeed.

A political operative, based inside the White House, employed by the president of the United States and receiving a salary from the American taxpayer, goes to work every day to help direct a strategy against a broadcaster whose opinions are supposed to be covered by every protection the First Amendment can provide. To quote Shakespeare, “Something is rotten.”

Again, HTOVWOFY?

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Obama is hurting the DOW?  Whoa.

How about those policies?  RealClearPolitics:

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What’s going on? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets’ recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions — the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic — for enacting his “Big Bang” agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Yet again, HTOVWOFY?

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In keeping with unicorns, puppies, and rainbows, why choose substance over style?  Godhood must look good, after all.

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UPDATE:

GODDAMNIT, THIS IS WHAT GOT US INTO TROUBLE IN THE FIRST ****ING PLACE!!  If you don’t have or can’t afford a house the odds are astronomically high that THERE IS A GOOD REASON.  Stop giving people stuff they cannot handle!

Houston taxpayers could start footing the bill to help first-time homebuyers pay off debts and improve their credit scores, under a proposal before City Council this week.

The “Credit Score Enhancement Program” will give up to $3,000 in grants to individuals who are trying to qualify for mortgages through the city’s homebuyers assistance program. City officials say some applicants fall short of eligibility by only 10 or 20 points on their credit scores, and paying off some debt balances can quickly improve their numbers.

Oh, and STOP DOING IT ON MY DIME!  I know I don’t live in Texas.  But if Texas takes even one penny because it can’t afford something and the State of Texas gives Houston even one penny, then it means essentially I’m helping to foot the bill for these people.

Can’t afford a home?  Tough shit.

Gloves off, let’s not pussyfoot around the issue.  Tough shit.

Life isn’t fair.  You’ll survive w/o buying a home.  Rent.  Stop expecting the world to solve your problems.  I don’t care if you think the credit score requirement is arbitrary or you’re off by even 1%, a line has to be drawn somewhere.

If I want to give money to someone or a charity, let me do it and let me decide who it goes to – DON’T expect the gov’t to take it from me so they can give it to you.

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Pssst.  Don’t look now, but you’re helping terrorists with your taxes, too.  To the tune of $900 million.

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This kind of a career-shredder.  Deserting, that is.  The rest is just kinky.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

He was ticketed for allegedly resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and taken to Boulder County Jail. Jail staff found three pairs of panties in Mauger’s shirt pocket and said he was wearing a woman’s thong underneath his boxers. He refused to tell jail staff where the undergarments had come from and why he had them, police said.

I will say this… it’s none of the police’s business what he wears under his boxers – as far as I know, it is completely legal to be creepy and they overstepped their bounds.

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Because principles have consequences the president needs to better explain why his various bailouts punish the prudent, reward the reckless, and flagrantly violate the principle that people must live with the consequences of their personal decisions.  –Jon Kraushar

He also adds…

In the bailouts so far, the thrifty have been tapped to bail out the thriftless. This is not only financial engineering; it is social engineering. It suggests turning America into “old Europe” where the welfare state reigns, there is widespread nationalization—from health care to major industries—taxes are high, growth is almost non-existent and innovation, creativity, enterprise and anyone with brains and guts is emigrating. Does America really want to catch “Eurosclerosis”?

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Say what you will about disgraced-Senator Craig, but at least he was embarrassing in semi-privacy.  This guy is embarrassing all-around.  Sen. Bunning in a stunning display of no class.  So, thinking about democrat congress-critters got me thinking about the garden-variety flavor of the species, the liberal.

Steamboat McGoo posted a pic that he obtained through some means and I’m displaying it here until such time as somebody says “Hey, please don’t” and then I will gladly remove it.  It says it all.

clapOk sue me.  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.  I never claimed to have class, either.  I make no excuse for myself for I have embraced my strengths…

assholeAnd now I can proudly say…

asshole-essenceThank you, McGoo, thank you.  I owe you for letting me brazenly borrow these words images of wisdom.

Note:  While I don’t apologize for being an asshole (actually being one) I have to say that I am sorry if you were offended.  Not sorry I posted, just sorry you chose to be offended.

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update – Microsoft caved, thinking that the $100K or so wasn’t so big next to their $40B income…

Ah, Microsoft has decided that the people it laid off got too much severance pay. So it wants it back.

Microsoft says some of the 1,400 employees it laid off last month accidentally got too much in their severance packages — and now it wants the money back.

“This letter is to inform you that an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft,” reads a letter sent to an unnamed employee and posted on the TechCrunch blog. “We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any overpayment to you.”

Blacked out are the employee’s name and address and how much Microsoft says he owes. The letter bears a Microsoft letterhead and a date of Feb. 18.

Later in the article an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson hinted that some people were underpaid.

Oh yeah, right.  Well, we should cut some slack to the company from whom so much milk-of-human-kindness has flowed in the past, shouldn’t we?

C’mon, you sever ties with them, give them an envelope and a pat on the ass as they go out the door and you expect to keep calling the shots?  Tough stuff, MS.

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Sadly, this doesn’t even begin to make up for what part the pigs played in victimizing her.

Child Pornographer Must Pay $200G to Woman Photographed as Molested Child

Not even close, and nothing ever will, but it is a start to hurting him and his ilk right back (if we don’t get the option to use a wood-chipper).

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Update:  The Dude sent me the link to this.  If I posted it before, deal with it.  The Redneck Life board game.  Go buy six or seven just because it’s a great idea.  No, the seller/inventor is no one in my family either by blood or marriage.  We don’t have the same style of mullet.  Don’t even know the person.  Don’t own stock.  My dog doesn’t even go to the same pet salon.

redlife

(sigh) I miss Redneck Rampage™.

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For now, a thing about the US postal service… and later, a commentary on this travesty of an institution.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/23/congress-will-investigate-postmasters-pay/

Congress will hold a hearing next month into why Postmaster General John E. Potter has gotten a nearly 40 percent pay raise since 2006 and was awarded a six-figure incentive bonus last year, even as the U.S. Postal Service faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall that threatens a day of mail delivery.

Got that?  The man gets a six-figure incentive bonus.  BONUS.  Not bad for a gov’t enforced monopoly.  Their mission statement is about customer service.  Oh, someone got serviced all right.

Now, I have no reason to believe (this time) that the Wikipedia entry for USPS is wrong:

The United States Postal Service is currently the third-largest[8] employer in the United States, after the United States Department of Defense[9] and Wal-Mart.[10] The USPS operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world, with an estimated 260,000 vehicles, the majority of which are the easily identified Chevrolet/Grumman LLV (Long-Life Vehicle), and the newer Ford/Utilimaster FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle), originally also referred to as the “CRV” (Carrier Route Vehicle), as shown in the pictures below. In an interview on NPR, a USPS official stated that for every penny increase in the national average price of gasoline, the USPS spends an extra $8 million to fuel its fleet.[citation needed] This implies that the fleet requires some 800 million gallons (3.03 billion liters) of fuel per year, and consumes an estimated fuel budget of $3.2 billion, were the national gasoline price to average $4.00. Some rural mail carriers use personal vehicles. Standard postal-owned vehicles do not have license plates. These vehicles are identified by a seven digit number displayed on the front and rear.

And I can’t prove it yet, but a huge huge huge percentage of that volume is utter crap – junk/bulk mail.

I’m looking to see which subsidizes which – bulk subs first class or first class subs bulk.  Weigh in if you have an opinion.

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Disclaimer:  I am railing at our collective victimhood, not the very real pain-response that comes from being out of a job, losing your home, or hardships from the current recession.

Americans used to be known for toughness, stick-toit-edness, strength of character… what are we now?

I’m not saying it isn’t devastating to have lost your job – because it is.  Very much so.  You get by and eventually you will find a job.  It is understandable and quite normal to be dealt a blow by it.  I was.

What is NOT understandable is how everybody else, the media foremost, who is acting like they have lost their jobs and the country is on the skids headed for a cliff, never to return.

As Americans we have historically ridden stuff out and we’ll do so again.  We have been tough ****ers and pulled together.

flagraise

What is irritating the hell out of me is this tendency for everything in the media to be presented having gone through a gauntlet for the most depressing, demoralizing, negative bunch of bullshit ever spewed.   And for people to lap it up without a trace of discernment, without a trace of desire to verify the facts, and without a single bit of backbone that says “Panic won’t fix it, hand-wringing won’t fix it, and we just go one day at a time.  Together.”

People deserve to see how some people are rolling with the punches.  They need to see inspirational people around them.  They deserve to hear someone who has an opposing viewpoint, who just might be able to say “I think things will turn around and here’s why.”  They deserve leaders who by God, act like leaders instead of trying to scare people into accepting spending bills that no one in their right mind would countenance any other time.

The media doesn’t seem to realize or care – and no one calls them on it – that if you say something enough times… it starts to stick.  And they have been doing such a good job of crying doom that they are helping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve been thinking this for a while now and Bill O’Reilly, who I do not agree with even half the time (because he’s pushy and at times abusive to his guests), had something to say that rang loud and clear.  Note that it starts on a bad note, but then take notice of the point that he leaves on after having made it well:

And many of us are victims of the brutal recession in America. Again, we did nothing to deserve this. Most Americans are hard-working honest people who pay their mortgages and don’t steal money in rigged business deals.

But the government let us down and allowed business gangsters to run wild. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

That’s frustrating, and it makes people angry. Why should we suffer when we did nothing wrong and the government we hire by our votes to represent us was too lazy or dumb to protect us? Both parties are to blame.

But if we dwell on stuff like this, we become cynical and unhappy. So the best thing to do is to ride it out.

Thursday on “The Radio Factor,” I got a call from a young guy in Utah. He lost his job, he has three small children and no money. So what did he do? Well, he joined the National Guard. Now the government will pay for much of his college, and he’ll be able to feed his kids.

That’s an example of an American rolling with it, making the best out of a bad situation and even contributing to society after fate whacked him. That’s how we all have to think. We can turn a bad situation into something positive.

Life is tough. It isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. All of those cliches. But if we survive fate, it tends to make us stronger if we are smart about it.

Bill O’Reilly – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,493765,00.html

(emphasis mine)

What happened to us?

I fear all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve. – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor

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Update: Time to play “Where’s My Porkulus Money?

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While the Porkulus Package being shoved by Obama and congress-critters is predicated on fear, loathing, and hysteria, let’s try to get some perspective.

No one is denying that the financial situation is not bad or that the job situation is not a rather harsh toke.

But to go and do everything, even anything, based on emotional assumptions not rooted in fact is kind of dangerous.

Look at the Unemployment Rate:

unemployment-vs-year-1948-2008

click to embiggen

It is safe to say that 4% unemployment is always there.  These are people who are laid off through normal influences, fired, had to leave for reasons out of their control, and those who just couldn’t be employed if you threw jobs at them.

Unemployment is now at 7.6%.  In the 70’s and 80’s it was at 9% and almost 11% respectively.  It’s been over 7% six times since 1948.  Go to the source on the graph and look at the key historical events they’ve noted and look at the relationships.

Inflation rates:

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

We’re actually seeing it go down.  Which (1) has it’s own problems, and (2) means that our gov’t just might be stupid enough to print vast scads of money to offset it and to get more money “out there”.  This would be bad.  Very very bad.

Far better to treat this as a market adjustment and stop trying to fix everything by using methods that might make it worse by driving inflation up very rapidly.

Just trying to put this all in perspective.  Just like antivirus companies have it in their best interest to make you concerned about the horrible dangers around every corner, so too do economists and reporters have a built-in bias to add to any assessment of the economy.  Here’s a great example of fearmongering that actually acts as a sh*t-multiplier:

Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. may slump into a “mini depression” unless policy makers spend trillions of dollars to spur growth.  – Bloomberg.com

Yeah, that’s real helpful guys, and you could do it all in the name of “public service” and feel good about yourselves.  I’m not saying suppress the news, just make sure people realize that this is a guy’s opinion not fact.  The key word there was “may“, and you also need to understand why he said that, what his motivation is – of course he wants more money freed up… for him and his ilk.  But by scaring people you will cause them to be even more cautious and thus locking up more money.  We’ve already seen how “helping the credit markets” has done precious damn little down here on earth – it has allowed the companies themselves to pad themselves, not really free up money to be loaned.

Here’s another example of why I believe panic is… bad.

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing. – WA Times

For more fun, find Dick Morris and read his piece on why throwing money out there just isn’t going to work – it’s too simplistic.  Keynsian  Fallacy.

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Poor Obama.  He’s found out that when you’re not being worshipped continually doing work worthy of being commended for is… work… and it ain’t easy.  Notice how the media isn’t throwing softballs nearly as much?

Obama bemoans: Everyone’s an economist
Feb 6 12:22 PM US/Eastern

Comments (23)
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says in Washington these days, everyone’s an economist—or thinks they are.

Obama introduced a team of outside economic advisers Friday at a White House ceremony in which he also renewed his demand that Congress act quickly on his economic recovery package.

As the country struggles with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama said there has been no shortage of advice on how to solve the nation’s woes.

“You’ve got some economists and some folks who think they’re economists. By the way, these days everybody thinks they’re economists,” he joked.

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For a bit of comic relief, go check out a blog devoted to… Cake Wrecks.

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