Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Battleground States Show Sharp Decline For Obama As Mitt Surges


AS MITT ROMNEY MOPS UP IN FLORIDA TONIGHT, many of my fellow conservative commenters diss and whine about Romney's conservative qualifications, his excessive, big spending and slim chances of beating the incumbent Democrat in November, I find myself surprisingly at peace with the apparent GOP nominee-in-wating. 

I simply can't remain on the anti-Romney  bandwagon any longer. Decades of successful experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, as well as being an admirable husband and family man, give Mitt an undeniable upper hand in qualifications and wide ranging experience that stand him in good stead if he becomes the next president of the United States.

Over the past few months I bet Mitt Romney had NO chance whatsoever of beating President Obama in 2012 and gave a litany of group-think reasons why. Today, I'm not so sure that Romney can't pull off a win. Sure it will be a tough fight. But I no longer think it's a hopeless battle that he's bound to lose.

It just may be that Mr. Obama may to defeat himself.

A piece at FoxNation---entitled Battleground State Nightmare for Obama--reports today a state-by-state Gallup poll on the president's popularity in 2011 as compared to 2009. There's a dramatic drop in his approval ratings especially in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

Missouri (-16.5%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 55.1%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 38.6%

New Hampshire (-15.9%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 54.6%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 38.7%

Nevada (-14.6%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 55.9%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 41.3%

New Mexico (-14.2%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 55.9%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 41.7%

Florida (-13.2%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 56.8%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 43.6%

Ohio (-13.2%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 55.3%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 42.1%

Pennsylvania (-12.4%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 57.4%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 45.0%

Virginia (-12.2%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 57.7%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 44.5%

Iowa (-12.1%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 57.7%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 45.6%

Michigan (-12.1%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 60.2%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 48.1%

Colorado (-11.9%)

2009 Gallup aggregate: 52.3%
2011 Gallup aggregate: 40.4%

I find these number cautiously encouraging. And unless the president can turn this around, there's a good chance he can be defeated in November. I think Mitt will be the man to do it.

Oh yes he is.

John Tamny: Two Great Pieces In Three Days



I wholeheartedly agree. The good news goes something like this:

As hopeless as Obama's presidency has been, all the talk suggesting his re-election promises irrevocable damage to the United States is as arrogant as the alleged science that says we humans are destroying the earth. The earth will thrive well after all of us, and the U.S.'s culture of success will live and thrive whether Obama is a one or two-term President....

Obama believes we’re made better off economically when the most productive around us have their wealth redistributed away from them, he believes a cheap dollar that erodes our savings/paychecks in concert with reducing company-creating investment is a positive, and perhaps scariest of all, he believes that productivity (think computers, factory automation) is the source of our nosebleed levels of unemployment. Obama is an embarrassment (as was his dollar-cheapening, bailout loving predecessor in the White House) to this great nation, and simple American pride should make us desirous of putting him on the speaker’s circuit of failed presidents beginning in 2013...

Did Obama sign with great gusto a law that turned U.S. CEOs into accountants in the form of Sarbanes-Oxley? No, that was George W. Bush. Did he set capitalism back through the bailing out of banks and car companies? To some degree he did, but the aforementioned economic horrors similarly began under Bush. What about the dollar? In that case both Bush and Obama pursued policies that succeeded in collapsing the most important price (the dollar) in the world. That Obama passed a ghastly health care bill hardly recommends him, but legal realities of the Supreme Court kind mean he may see his signal legislative “achievement” go up in smoke....

A very successful Houston entrepreneur whose businesses have grown gangbusters throughout Obama’s presidency told me over a year ago that “I’m way too smart and hardworking for Obama. Nothing he does will keep me down.” Amen to that, and if our American sense of self has declined so much that we can’t outthink Obama, maybe it’s something other than Obama that explains our depressed state at the moment. If Obama is so pathetic as so many suggest, aren’t we even more pathetic for blaming him for all of our woes?

Yes, policy is bad, and the policies foisted on us by Bush and Obama surely weigh on growth. But for Americans to believe that the moment we’re in and the election we’re about to vote in will decide the future of the United States is the height of delusion.

Read it all and take heart at Forbes.com.

SECOND, TAMNY WRITES ABOUT HOW THE 'ECONOMIC DOCTOR' BEN BERNENKE IS KILLING THE U.S. ECONOMY PATIENT with far too much of his own prescribed medicine---medicine that's digging us deeper and deeper into the pit that we're trying to get out of. To wit:

I'm telling you that the cure is the disease. The main source of illness in this world is the doctor's own illness: his compulsion to try and cure and his fraudulent belief that he can. It ain't easy to do nothing, now that society is telling everyone that the body is fundamentally flawed and about to self-destruct." The Fat Man, The House of God, by Samuel Shem, p. 215

When doctors are asked what novel best describes what it's like to work in a hospital, Samuel Shem's 1978 classic, The House of God, is frequently the answer offered up. Though television dramas of the medical variety have historically glamorized the profession, up close the picture is often a gruesome one as the novel reveals.

A regular theme in the book is one of doctors, bursting with knowledge learned at the best medical schools, killing their patients given their hubristic desire to "do something" when their patients are sick. The Fat Man in the story, who is quoted above, did no such thing.

As he explained to intern Roy Basch, "My outpatients. I do nothing medical for them, and they love me. You know how much booze, hot merchandize, and food there's gonna be in that crowd as Hannukah and Christmas presents for me? And all because I don't do a goddamn medical thing." The Fat Man understood what interns fresh out of medical school hadn't quite figured out, that the body itself is often the best healer, so better it is in many instances to do no harm by virtue of letting the illness run its course.

The members of the Federal Reserve Board led by a doctor of different stripes, Ben Bernanke, could learn more from House of God than all the economics books they devour on the way to grandiose visions of fixing what ails us economically. Overcome with similar hubris that causes arrogant medical professionals to kill patients, the Bernanke Fed is foisting myriad fixes on the economy learned in textbooks, and in the process is strangling it.

Great thinking--- well worth reading and pondering it all.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Life Of Favor And Living Out 'Christ In Us'

PASTOR MIKE ATKINS OF RIVER CROSSING IN JH WYOMING CONTINUES HIS THEME OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST LIVING IN US. It all begins with knowing, agreeing with and desiring what the Word of God says and letting its supernatural, transforming power work in us as it helps us obey His Will--even when we don't want to.

When we do this, He gets all the credit and glory, and we get all the benefit! It makes life only get better and better.

Sunday: Is your Faith in Christ Real?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW whether your faith is real? Then try it by the feelings toward Christ which it produces. Nominal faith may believe that such a person as Christ existed, and was a great benefactor to mankind. It may show Him some external respect, attend His outward ordinances, and bow the head at His name. But it will go no further.

Real faith will make a person glory in Christ, as their Redeemer, Deliverer, Priest, and Friend — without whom they would have no hope at all. It will produce confidence in Him, love towards Him, delight in Him, comfort in Him, as the mediator, the food, the light, the life, the peace of the soul.

--J.C. Ryle

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stunning High-Def Images of Blue Marble Earth From NASA

ACE: THE PROBLEM WITH HOMOSEXUALITY---IT'S UNDEREXPOSED! THANK GOODNESS MADONNA--OUR TEACHER--IS BRINGING GAY TO THE SUPERBOWL SINCE WE ALL NEED to be further familiarized with a subculture celebrated by about 40% of 1% of the population.
NASA released the spectacular view of Earth below on January 25, 2012 from its newest Earth-observing satellite - Suomi NPP. It is the first of a new generation of satellites that will observe many facets of our changing Earth.

This composite image below uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012. NASA has renamed this newest Earth-observing satellite in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi, a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin who is recognized widely as "the father of satellite meteorology."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wal-Mart's Fun Idol-Style Contest Seeking New Products To-Get-On-The-Shelf In Selected Stores

STARTING WITH UGGS FOR DOGS and going to baskets for kids car seats and iPad pillows, there are plenty of new ideas and at least one will win the prize and get on some of the behemoth retailer's shelves.

H/T Carpe Diem

Mitch Daniels: Sobering SOTU Rebuttal




RICH LOWERY: O's Proposals Evasive and Irresponsible

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You Suppose, President Obama Will Mention This Minor Little Tidbit In His SOTU Tonight?


Thanks to My Heritage for this succinct, factual video reminder.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Few Words About Mitt, Newt Verses Obama With Links


FRANKLY,  I'M LUKEWARM ON GINGRICH.  Almost as lukewarm as I am about Romney.

Nevertheless,  I'm open to supporting either candidate in this fight-to-the-death against the most destructive American president we've had in decades, if not ever, since the founding of our country.

Make no mistake,  President Obama wants us--the American taxpayer---to finance his re-election by getting us and our children to pay for even more stimulus and entitlements---he can tout as his accomplishments---to the tune of trillions of moneies we don't have.  But nevermind, he wants it anyway, will have Ben print it and take it to lure disenfranchised prospective voters.

This is no ordinary election as we all know.  I've made up my mind I can and will warm up to any candidate I think can beat this pathetic  excuse for a leader.

If Newt is the man, then so be it.  If it's Mitt, then that's fine by me. In all cases may the best man win.  And the race to the GOP is far, far from  done.

A couple of good links this morning include:

Victor Hanson at PJMedia: Welcome to the 2012 Circus: The Acts, The Players, The Hype.

The at IBD this morning we read:

Leadership: A great debater. Politically polarizing. Prone to great error, but also prone to spectacular success. Steeped in history. Politically brilliant. Unorthodox. Audacious.

All these qualities were once used to describe Winston Churchill. Today, you might use the same words to describe Newt Gingrich. Sound absurd? Not when you think about it.

Churchill, like Gingrich, was a brilliant politician with a powerful sense of the occasion.

Compelling reading though I need more convincing. Daniel Flynn isn't the man to do it, since he doesn't think Newt is morally up to being president.

Maybe, maybe not. Only the long slog ahead will tell.

Sunday, January 22, 2012



LIKE EVERYTHING which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, owever passionate.
— W. H. Auden

Without being bound to the fulfillment of our promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each person’s lonely heart, caught in its contradictions and equivocalities.

— Hannah Arendt

Some people ask who they are and expect their feelings to tell them. But feelings are flickering flames that fade after every fitful stimulus. Some people ask who they are and expect their achievements to tell them. But the things we accomplish always leave a core of character unrevealed. Some people ask who they are and expect visions of their ideal self to tell them. But our visions can only tell us what we want to be, not what we are.

— Lewis Smedes

Quote courtesy Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan

Saturday, January 21, 2012

South Carolina Gets Newtered



What happens now to Newt's campaign? Can his shoestring operation make it through Florida and on to Super Tuesday on March 6?

Only time will tell. But one of Newt's best ideas so far is his calling for a new Gold Commission and possible return to some form of the gold standard. I couldn't agree more with this idea. We'll see if this gives him more momentum in the days ahead.

Adding An Important New Link To My Sidebar


IN THE SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONGER-TERM SCHEME OF THINGS, this is one of the most important links I've ever added to my sidebar since starting Webutante in late 2006. It's the daily blog of Mark Sisson, health and wellness role model and author of--The Primal Blueprint--Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy.

First and foremost, Sisson advocates a diet, exercise and lifestyle plan described as paleo that's come into fashion in the last few years. It centers around the theory that ancient man was much healthier and more disease-free before the advent of the agricultural revolution with its mass production and consumption of modern-day sugar, grains, beans and legumes which---the theory goes---cause high levels of blood suger and insulin leading to weight gain, obesity heart disease and cancer as well as the inflammation of arteries, brain tissue, joints and other chronic degenerative maladies of our post-modern age.

The paleo lifestyle also includes the most sane workout and exercise protocols I've ever seen. It works.

Of course this theory flies in the face of modern food pyramids and drug company propaganda advocating tons of starch and carbs for a myriad of faux reasons.

Anyway, my link is to Mark's Daily Apple and it's a wonderful way to become familiar with the paleo diet and lifestyle model. I also highly recommend one of his books. If you have any health, weight or aging issues, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at this material and give it a try. Without doubt, I think it's the most important lifestyle regime I've ever seen.

I'll be linking more to the health breaththroughs seen at Mark's Daily Apple as well as similar sites in 2012 and, God willing, beyond,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stays Put: Beckham Chooses LA After All


FORGET ALL THE RUMORS that David Beckam and his family are moving to Paris. They're staying put in LA with the Galaxy team for at least two more years. Gosh I thought they had already moved to the failing Continent. Can't blame them for staying here at all. Being in Europe now is like being in Rome for The Fall.

Newt Plays To The Crowd That Pays Him Most





Politics-In-Motion. Hypocrisy-Thy-Name-Is-Newt.

Inconsistency that's indefensible. Isn't the Internet/YouTube wonderful for highlighting these things?

Newt may be an articulate attack dog, but he will never win my respect or my vote this way. He's lower the bar in a race to the bottom.

H/T Zero Hedge: Newt's Hipocrisy Full Frontal

Chickens Come Home to Roost In Nashville

NASHVILLIANS WHO HEART CHICKENS AND ORGANIC EGGS can now legally raise and keep them in backyard coops and cages---but hens only according to an ordinance passed Tuesday by the Metro Council.  But roosters will have to continue strut their stuff and crow in the countryside outside the city limits.

This is a fight that's been waged for the past two years and finally won by local chickens-in-backyards advocates.

Personally I think it's a good sign and should never have been banned in the first place.

Please note, I have been away from the computer more than usual the past several weeks because of the needs of a good friend, still recovering in a rehab center.  This schedule will continue for a while now, though I plan to be here as much as possible.

Best wishes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rendering of What First Photo of Black Hole At the Center of Our Galaxy Might Look Like

EVENT HORIZON TELESCOPE PROJECT joins astronomer and telescopes in hopes of capturing the first realitic image of the infamous black hole at the center of the galaxy.

MLK's Newly Renovated Church in Downtown Atlanta

Photos of Ebenezer Baptist Church Courtesy CNN Belief Blog

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Two Favorite Looks At Golden Globes

CAUGHT ONLY THE LAST 30 MINUTES OF THE GLOBES AT MARTHA'S after having a small dinner with friends. But it was enough to observe that white/cream was the color de jour, or should I say, le colour de nuit.

Most of the stars who wore the pale ale kept their makeup far too washed out and pasty for my taste. But these two women---Angelina in silver-white avec petite rouge with matching lipstick that looped and popped in the night and Stacey looking fit, tanned and healthy in grande rouge---were hands down my favorites. Thought Meryl looked disgraceful, and Kate, Tilda, Nicole and Charlize looked too tired, blah, anemic for words.

Sunday: Danny Wuerffel, One of Tebow's Greatest Role Models On the Field and Off

I'VE LONG BELIEVED THAT GOOD MEN BECOME BETTER AND BEST OF MEN  from relationships with other top-notch men.  

Good women can take such a man only so far. Men need other men to teach and mentor them to become good, better, the best men. And when a man falls short, it's usually because he lacks superior manly role models he has a spiritual connection to.

While I could be wrong about this, there's no doubting the fact that without superior, manly role models in a man's life---up close and personal--who model godly living, relationships and accountability in all areas of life,  a man will  frequently fall short of full maturity. Good men role model life and godly living to other men. They show them how to treat women in more and more respectful and chivalrous ways, God's way. They show men how to humble themselves before God and repent when called for.

Men teach other men about godly real leadership.

The article below is a good example of this in Tim Tebow's life.

In a recent WSJ article co-written by Michael Flaherty and Nathan Whitaker called Tim Tebow's Role Model the headline continues,

In Danny Wuerffel, the star quarterback had an example of both religious and athletic devotion. Tebow's parents sought these kinds of inspiring role models for their son growing up. It's a wonderful piece and should inspire men and women everywhere to seek out healthy, godly same-sex role models for their lives---at all ages. Good role models matter if you're a man. It's not optional, in my opinion:


Have you heard about the quarterback who won the Heisman trophy and led his University of Florida Gators to a national championship? The multisport athlete, Florida's USA Today Football Player of the Year as a high-schooler? The son of a pastor who always put his faith before football, even while playing in the National Football League?

Of course we're talking about Danny Wuerffel, who has served as a powerful role model for a certain Denver Broncos quarterback currently making news.

Mr. Wuerffel and Tim Tebow didn't know each other well growing up 13 years apart, but Mr. Tebow's parents made it a point to introduce the two more than a decade ago, while Mr. Wuerffel was still playing at Florida. Both players' families understood that football provided a platform that could be used to talk about the most important thing in their life—their faith. Their attitudes mirrored that of C.S. Lewis, who reasoned that "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

Mr. Wuerffel was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1997 and played three years for the team. One day during that tenure he took a wrong turn leaving the city's Superdome and drove near the Desire Street Housing Project in the Upper Ninth Ward. Built on a garbage dump, the area was considered one of the worst in the nation for crime, drugs and poverty.

Several days later, he heard of something that would forever change his life: A family was chased from a burning house while the fire department showed up far too late in that seemingly forgotten neighborhood. The family's youngest child eventually died from smoke inhalation. Mr. Wuerffel began volunteering with Desire Street Ministries, which tries to improve the lives of families in the area by revitalizing neighborhoods—providing assistance to residents, tutoring children, supporting parents and schools.

After his tenure with the Saints, Mr. Wuerffel played for the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. When the Redskins looked to re-sign him in 2003, he walked away. He and his wife, Jessica, found God calling them back to the Ninth Ward and into full-time ministry with Desire Street.

They say they were inspired by a passage from the book of Isaiah: "Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings." The Wuerffels felt this would be better accomplished through full-time ministry with underprivileged youth in New Orleans than by signing a million-dollar contract to play football.

But Mr. Wuerffel remained a fan, particularly of the Florida Gators and their dynamic new quarterback, Tim Tebow. He was especially taken with Mr. Tebow's work at his own father's orphanage in the Philippines and in prison ministries in the U.S. Mr. Wuerffel also held great respect for the way Mr. Tebow handled the spotlight, always crediting God with his success, and always surrendering his disappointments to Him as well.

During one game, Mr. Wuerffel found himself on the Gator sidelines at Florida Field, watching Mr. Tebow against the rival LSU Tigers. As a Florida player returned a kickoff, the stadium went silent when an LSU player made a bone-crushing tackle on the return-man. Players on the Gator sideline were shocked to see Mr. Wuerffel jumping up and down in the middle of the Florida sideline, clapping and cheering on the player from LSU.

The player was Deangelo Peterson, one of the kids to come out of the Desire Street Ministries program in the Ninth Ward. Mr. Tebow probably didn't see any divided loyalties with Mr. Wuerffel's outburst. Faith and the friendships it creates transcend even the bitterest of worldly rivalries. As Mr. Wuerffel says, "When you care about someone, you don't care what jersey they're wearing."

Such mentoring by Christian men is one of the most inspiring and least understood stories in sports. Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy has been lauded—and criticized—for his work with individuals like Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback jailed for running a dog-fighting ring. Yet Mr. Dungy, the author of a book on mentoring, realizes that he gets just as much benefit from the experience. As the Proverb says, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

This week all eyes will be on Tim Tebow in the AFC divisional playoffs. Few will be watching Danny Wuerffel, though, as he continues to fight for the disenfranchised in pockets of poverty in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. But the crowds are irrelevant: Both men have always played for an audience of One.

Mr. Flaherty is the president and cofounder of Walden Media. Mr. Whitaker, the co-founder of Impact For Living ministries, is co-author of Tim Tebow's autobiography, "Through My Eyes" (HarperCollins, 2011).

A GREAT SERMON/COMMENTARY ON GENESIS 31: Between a Rock and a Hard Place All this and much more @ One Year Bible Blog at the top of the scroll on my sidebar.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Win Or Lose, What Tebow Knows For Sure


IN THE MIDST OF TONIGHT'S NFL/TEBOW/BRADY-MANIA, it's 1,000% guaranteed Tim Tebow knows some things for certain. Don't be fooled by all the silly-puerile  'God headlines'---even on Drudge---after the game, especially if the heavily-favored Patriots win. Win or lose, Tebow knows these things without a doubt:

1. God loves Tom Brady and his teammates every bit as much as he loves Tebow and his. And miracles can happen on either side.

2. Tebow will give God  thanks and the glory whatever the outcome---before, during and after the game. He knows nothing good ever comes from his taking credit that doesn't belong to him. Staying humble and keeping his eyes on his Maker is job 1.

3. Tebow knows having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ isn't a guarantee of winning anything---except in eternity. God is not a good-luck charm-cupie doll to be manipulated or leveraged to suit his greatest wishes or anybody else's for that matter.

4. As much a he's trained,  hard as he's worked and well as he plays,  Tebow knows his strength is in God and his talent is a gift from God to be used wisely for as long as he has it.

5. Tebow knows that fame and fortune is a flash-in-the-pan and can disappear as quickly as it comes. Tebow's real claim to fame is his name is written in God's Book of Life.....oh yes it is.

6. Tebow knows that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16) but you already knew he knows that.

7. Tebow knows that God's ways are often inscrutable and mysterious beyond human reason and things sometimes happen for God's purposes which we cannot begin to fathom.

8. It really doesn't matter a bit who wins  tonight in the grand scheme of things. Either way he considers it a great privilege to be there playing his heart with the Broncos opposite Tom Brady et al.

So, as all America tunes in, all I can say is may the best man/team win.  I know it's going to be great fun watching.

Sad Image Calls Up Future EU Headlines

NOT OT MAKE LIGHT OF A TRULY TRAGIC SITUATION OFF THE COAST OF ITALY TODAY where a number of people have died and  more are missing, I find myself mulling over the symbolism of such an event and what it could portend especially for Southern Mediterranean countries.

I've never had even a scintilla of desire to take a cruise ship  ANYWHERE.  However if I ever have a momentary lapse,  it would be to take it on a very small and intimate vessel instead of the ill-fated, gargantuan one shown above--which would be my idea of paying to be luxuriously imprisoned in a small space with germs and viruses from all over the world without hope of  bail for the duration. But enough of my travel issues.

The foremost symbolic thought I have is this is the forerunner of the final sinking of the European Union (EU) and the decline and disappearance of the EURO currency.  With it will undoubtedly go the fatalities of many European countries like Greece, France, Italy which have borrowed far, far too much for present luxuries from future generations and coffers.  It is money these countries don't have, never had and never will have.  And it is a tragic failure of political chicanery and weak economic will.

Sure,  life rafts will continue to be sent to save the sinking EU ship run aground but in the end, they will only forestall the inevitable sinking in full of this European-style over-sized, over-estimated Titantic.  It's not a matter of if, but only when.

In seeing this imagine today, I like to recall when then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher  predicted to much outrage in 2002 the sinking of the EU ship almost before it set sail:

The European single currency is bound to fail, economically, politically and indeed socially, though the timing, occasion and full consequences are all necessarily still unclear.

Sure enough this savvy, principled iron lady was correct in her prescient, unpopular perceptions against all odds and the unstoppable momentum of history.

When the end of the EU comes, the photo above will be a chilling reminder of idealistic hope over humble, hardworking reality.

Kudlow: U.S. Corp Needs A Bainful Turnaround Starting With A Stealth New CEO

LARRY KUDLOWS NAILS IT when he writes the U.S. government desperately needs a financial turnaround starting with replacing its Chief Operating Officer, profligate spender Barack Obama, with a lean, mean CEO skilled at takeovers and the tough job of saving and restructuring corporations from bankruptcy and desperate decline. Larry writes at Real Clear Markets:

There's a very troubled company out there called U.S. Government, Inc. It's teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And it badly needs to be taken over and turned around. It probably even needs the services of a good private-equity firm, with plenty of experience and a reasonably good track record in downsizing, modernizing, shrinking staff, and making substantial changes in management. Yes, layoffs will be a necessary part of the restructuring.
A quick look at the income statement of this troubled firm tells the story. Just in the past year (FY 2011) the firm spent $3.7 trillion, but took in only $2.2 trillion in sales revenues. Hence its deficit came to $1.5 trillion.

Just in the first three months of the new year (FY 2012), the firm's troubles continued. Outlays for all purposes came in at $874 billion, but income was only $554 billion. So the shortfall was $320 billion. No hope of a self-imposed turnaround here. Indeed, both the senior management and the board of directors show no signs of making major changes to their business strategy.

Hope for future profits? That's out of the question. The firms only chance of survival is a takeover.

Worldwide employment for U.S. Government, Inc. is estimated to be over two million, a completely unmanageable number for a venture like this. Total compensation for this company is roughly twice the level of its private-sector counterparts. And its retirement and health-insurance benefits are so large in relation to contributions paid that its benefit plans are careening toward insolvency.

In fact, the total debt of this firm now equals its total income -- an unsustainable position that suggests to many observers that future financing needs will not be met.

The product line of this troubled firm has been rejected over and over by growing segments of its customer base. And its product pricing (taxes) is not even remotely competitive. Even worse, heavily unionized work rules and regulations are so onerous that the prospects for even reasonable productivity and efficiency are long gone.

Its credit rating? That's been marked down, with more downgrades expected in the future.

The very troubled U.S. Government, Inc. had long been either number one or in the top three worldwide in terms of economic freedom. But as a result of all these deteriorating conditions, it has fallen four years in a row in this category, slipping all the way to tenth. In fact, over the past ten years, the firm has barely grown and its share price has been flat. Without the kind of radical change that comes from a takeover and turnaround, more economic slippage is baked in the cake.

Restructuring this company seems a hopeless proposition. But wait a minute. There's a highly regarded private-equity operation located in Boston that has a good (but not perfect) track record in turning around hopeless ventures. Though there have been failures for this firm, notable successes include Staples, The Sports Authority, Domino's Pizza, and Steel Dynamics.
Anyone operating in business knows full well that even the smartest reorganizing firms are prone to failure as well as success in our free-market capitalist system. But the customer base of the troubled U.S. Government, Inc. seems like it is desperate enough to go the takeover route.

Some are concerned that private-equity specialists are too hard hearted. But in these tough times, people are willing to take a risk. That even includes the current CEO of the failed U.S. Government, Inc., one Barack Obama. He just announced plans to merge the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In other words, he's borrowing a private-equity tactic.
Alas, this move is way too small and way too late. Much more radical surgery will be necessary.

At a recent family election in New Hampshire, the former head of the Boston takeover firm, one Mitt Romney, emerged victorious with a sweep of all the key voter segments. Sounding like Ronald Reagan on the evening of his victory, the former turnaround CEO expressed confidence that the troubled U.S. Government, Inc. could be saved. He was even optimistic.

But he warned that if family members expected a bidding war for more unpaid-for benefits with excessive price tags, well, he wouldn't be the man for that job. Tough measures would be necessary instead.

So now the question is, will America, Inc. ask this former turnaround CEO to prevent the bankruptcy of U.S. Government, Inc.? Isn't a Bainful turnaround exactly what America needs?

I wholeheartely second your motion, Larry.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tamny: Romney Did A Great Job At Bain Capital



TO STATE WHAT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS to Romney's opponents, the current Republican frontrunner has handed them all the ammunition they need to derail his candidacy. Past policies, along with ones proposed for the future are his downfall. Stick to them.

Regarding Romney's work for Bain Capital, there it could and should be said that he was "doing God's work", to paraphrase Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Far from bankrupting companies, Romney and his cohorts at Bain frequently purchased poorly run companies in possession of underutilized assets, and in most instances managed them with great skill.

If this is doubted, the naysayers which sadly include Romney's opponents would have to explain the exceptional profits Bain earned for its investors during Romney's tenure that, according to the Wall Street Journal, ranged anywhere from 50 to 80% on an annual basis. To raise the money needed to purchase those companies, Romney et al obviously didn't hold guns to the heads of investors, rather the backers of Bain lined up for the opportunity to ask Bain to manage their money.

Did layoffs occur at the companies that Bain purchased? Of course they did. Businesses are not in business to create jobs; instead they exist at the pleasure of investors (including pension funds allocating the capital of the average worker) and must achieve profits in order to remain open. For Romney's opponents or voters in general to lament this reality is for both to lament progress, all the while revealing that they haven't a clue about how jobs are created.

Assuming they don't, jobs are created when profitable concepts are matched with capital. Simple as that. Of course a major reason that Bain purchased the companies it did was that existing management had failed on the profit front, thus necessitating layoffs in order to bring production costs down. Businesses are not charities.

And in reducing costs that would naturally include overhead, Bain succeeded a lot of the time in nursing the companies it purchased back to profitability. For those who care about jobs, what Bain did should excite them. Indeed, it is profits that attract the investment that is tautologically necessary for companies to expand, and through expansion, offer up employment.

With job creation in mind, Romney and his camp should regularly shine a light on his brilliant doings while at Bain. The layoffs that the corporate turnarounds necessitated set the stage for much better employment in the future for underutilized capital being freed up to fund expansion that was actually profitable. It's no doubt similarly true that the healthy companies Bain created were a magnet for further investment that fostered the creation of even more jobs.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roger Simon Continues His Political Confessional And I Like His Punditry Anyway


WHAT ROGER @ PJMEDIA SAYS TODAY GOES FOR ME TOO. Our political, starry-eyed infatuation for the next best conservative candidate has run rampant with all us righties during this latest election cycle. I, like Roger, was very smitten with Rick Perry in the beginning, but after a couple of dates, I couldn't run for the door fast enough. With Cain, it was only one lunch date before I was excusing myself from the table. Punditry.

Could it be that political maturity is on the way for many of us as realities of Romney and our long-term fiscal problems makes better voters with more realistic expectations for the long haul?

I hope so, and not that we all become cynics because it's not what our country needs right now. We need to be more discerning and realistic and less quick to pull the judgment trigger as never before. Thanks Roger for saying what needs to be said. I still like your willing-to-be flexible punditry. We don't need for our opinions to be jammed in a straight jacket because there's far too many unknown factors coming down the old proverbial pike.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lost Photos of the Mad Debtor With Friends/Family At WH Halloween Party, Circa 2009

PHOTOS WORTH A MILLION VOTES? If only pumpkins could talk. Above, the usual suspects, Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, Michelle and the President playing his spendthrift self---scary even without a costume on.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Loving Actions Lead To Loving Feelings---Excerpts From Tim Keller's New Book

LIKE LEANING AWAY FROM THE SLOPES WHEN LEARNING TO DOWNHILL SKI, many if not all of the basic premises of real, lasting love are counter-intuitive before we master the black slopes of lasting love relationships and friendship. They are certainly in direct opposition to what the world of hype and advertising bombard us with---if it feels good, then it's love, but if it doesn't feel, feel, feel good, then love has most assuredly died and it's time to move on.

I continue quoting from Tim, with wife Cathy, Keller's outstanding new book on real love and marriage: The Meaning of Marriage, Facing the Complexities of Commitment With the Wisdom of God:

(PLEASE NOTE: As fate would have it, I have a small, early morning crisis involving a lost black cat, aka Blackie, belonging to a good friend who's recovering in the hospital from a car accident this week---one of the reasons I've been away so much. So in true form of action before wanting to, I'm going to help find that little black cat, hopefully before church. It means that I'm dashing into my clothes and, God willing, have to continue this post later today!)

(ADDENDUM! Blackie--the little black farm cat spent his first night outdoors after being let out yesterday and refusing to come back last evening before dark! Therefore he was left to his own devices. I'm happy to report that this morning, I returned to find Blackie curled up on my friend's back deck under a table, contrite and more than ready to come into the house without any coaxing. He was hungry and tired. We were all relieved he was home! Needless to say, I didn't let him or his little companion Snickers the girl cat out today.)

OK, where was I? Oh, back to Tim Keller:


In one of his BBC radio talks during WWII, C.S. Lewis expounded on the basic Christian virtues, including those of forgiveness and charity (or love). For the British, the world was then unavoidably divided into allies and enemies. In that situation, Lewis said, many of his countrymen and women found the Christian doctrine of forgiving and loving all human beings to be not just impossible but repugnant. 'This sort of talk makes me sick,' many said to him. But Lewis went on to argue that, despite feelings of indifference and even contempt, you can change your heart over the long haul through your actions:

Though natural likings should normally be encouraged, it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings.....The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor, act as if you do. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking them him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less....Whenever we do good to another self, just because it is a self, made (like us) by God, and desiring its own happiness as we desire ours, we shall have learned to love it a little more or, at least, to dislike it less....The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he likes them: The Christian, trying to treat everyone kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on----including people he could not ever have imagine himself liking at the beginning.

Lewis then used an illustration that had great potency, particularly at that time:

This same spiritual law works terribly in the opposite direction. The Germans, perhaps, at first ill-treated the Jews because they hated them: afterwards they hated them much more because they had ill-treated them. The more cruel you are, the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become---and so on in a vicious circle forever.

To be continued next Sunday.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peter Schiff Interviews Anne Barnhart On The Devastating Lockout of Customers From Their Money During M F Global Collapse



Lawlessness that could lead to eventual total collapse of the financial markets. She reveals outrageous crimes committed in confiscation of customers' funds and the government's nefarious complicity in this. Jon Corzine stole customers money---period, end of conversation. Her call for investors everywhere to remove every kind of investment from the financial markets and brokerage houses before they are confiscated is a bit over-the-top at the moment, but her points are nevertheless well-taken. Very sobering interview. Good for Barnhart and Schiff.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Links

OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, I've enjoyed a daily dose of a newfound site called The Reformed Broker written by Joshua Brown of Fusion Investments in Manhattan. He's young and his taste in music and movies is a bit underwhelming to me, but some of his market/business observations are fun and interesting to say the least.

Take for instance today his post The Red Giant: Five Reasons Facebook Is Over is well worth a read. In it Josh makes a strong point that FACEBOOK has/is peaking as an retail investment for everyone except the original, early, lucky few who got in on the ground floor. There's more so get your fill by following the link.

The second link is more disturbing to me. It's about the recent news of the politically-correct Pentagon recently approving the wearing of hijabs and turbans in the military.

All I can ask in horrified response is What's wrong with this pictture? It's a rhetorical question. Oh let me count the ways!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday: Love Is---Emotions Or Actions?


THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM Timothy, with wife Kathy, Keller's much anticipated  new book The Meaning of Marriage, Facing the Complexities of Commitment With the Wisdom of God. I'm in the process of reading every word and highly recommend it for anyone interested in marriage, friendship and loving relationships of all kinds from a Biblical worldview. You will not be disappointed. The following passage concerns whether love is primarily an emotion or an action and runs counter to the culture teachings which have spawned a tsunami of divorces and broken families:
Nearly everyone thinks the Bible's directive to 'love your neighbor' is wise, right and good. But notice that it is a command, and emotions cannot be commanded. The Bible does not call us to like our neighbor, to have affection and warm feelings toward him or her. No, the call is to love your neighbor, and that must primarily mean displaying a set of behaviors.

The feeling of affection, of course is a natural part of love, and it can enable us to better perform the actions of love. We are never more satisfied and fulfilled than when affection and action are joined in us, when we are serving someone we delight in. Nevertheless, if we don't distinguish between feelings and actions, it can put huge barriers in the way of loving people.

One reason we need to make this distinction is because of the sheer inconsistency of our feelings. They are tied to complex physical, psychological and social factors. They wax and then wane, often in infuriating ways. Our emotions are not under our control but our actions are. Most of our likes and dislikes are neither sins nor virtues---no more than our tastes in food or music. What matters is what we do with them. If, as our culture encourages us, we go so far as to define love as 'liking'---if we only feel that actions of love are 'authentic' if there are strong feeling of love present---we will inevitably be bad friend and even more terrible family members and spouses.

It is a mistake to think that you must feel love to give it....

So if your definition of 'love' stresses affectionate feelings more than unselfish actions, you will cripple your ability to maintain and grow strong love relationships. On the other hand, if you stress the action of love over feeling, you enhance and establish the feeling. That is one of the secrets of living life, as well as marriage.

Plan to continue posting excerpts from Keller's book of great wisdom next Sunday. Happy New Year!