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Election ’08?

I don’t get it

I don’t think I’ve watched a complete episode of the Daily Show since Craig Kilborn was the host.  I enjoy satire, love to laugh, and enjoy the ridiculousness that’s politics.  I’ve never found Jon Stewart that funny.

For one, I do not buy for a second that he’s an equal-opportunity comic. He leans left. I don’t need my lefty politicians to attempt comedy to give me laughs. We have a few here in Illinois.  And if you can’t laugh at some of these guys’ unintentional comedy acts, you have no sense of humor.

At any rate, Stewart is not known for being “fair,” which is fair considering he’s doing satire.  However, his latest bit on how everyone on CNBC is an idiot and must be wrong (unless said person is on the side of President Obama) because he had five minutes of clips going back the past 12 months irritates me. And it’s not because I’m enamored with all of CNBC. Erin Burnett, Maria Bartiromo, maybe. Rick Santelli, maybe. The rest of them? Who cares!

Stewart lost a 10 minute segment when CNBC thought it best that Santelli cancel his spot on the Daily Show, show Stewart decided to lump Santelli in with Cramer because they’re on the same network. Cramer, of course, was also upset with Obama, but his disillusionment came from the “I endorsed Barack but I had no idea his policies would be this punitive to business camp.”  Santelli, in fact has sparred with Cramer before on CNBC.

Half of the clips Stewart showed were fair. They messed up. Smart people make bad recommendations.  Dumb people (such as Cramer, whom someone aptly described as the Steve Phillips of CNBC) often make bad recommendations.  The rest of the clips Stewart showed was garbage.  One had David Faber reporting that Merrill Lynch “says that they need no capital.”  That was true. Merrill said they were healthy. What Merrill said might not have been true, but again, Stewart maybe isn’t big on subtlety.

At any rate, let’s go after Jim Cramer. I don’t care for him, but it’s disingenuous to spend your time railing on him, when there are plenty of other people to go after.

Maybe Stewart should be disgusted about other news. Today, word comes out of Washington that Obama is considering taxing employers’ health benefits.

I think such a plan might work if you want to give the exemption directly to the employee so that he or she can purchase their own portable health insurance. Of course, there was somebody running in November who agreed with me.

What did Obama say then? He said the plan was “so radical, so out of touch with what you’re facing, and so out of line with our basic values.”

Obama of course doesn’t find the humor in the three Illinois politicians I mentioned. In fact, if he were under oath, he’d have to admit that he’s voted for all three of them every time he’s had the opportunity to vote for them in general elections. So why do I need Stewart? I have four cutups from Illinois who’ve been nothing but cynical jokes that I need after a long day of working to pay all of their taxes.


 (aside: the President couldn’t answer under oath that he voted against any of those guys I mentioned).

Who would have predicted?


Apology accepted? Aw, Hell, why not?

Apology accepted? Aw, Hell, why not?

Just four months ago, Christopher Buckley paused from writing brilliant novels to endorse Barack Obama, an interesting stunt since he told conservatives to shut up and be happy with John McCain (Buckley’s favorite) just eight months prior in a New York Times Op-Ed piece.

The humiliation of the son of the father of modern conservatism endorsing Obama was to be a death knell to conservatism itself. The flagship National Review, of which Christopher Buckley owns shares inherited from William F. Buckley himself, “fired” him (although the magazine insists nothing of the sort happened).

I can tell you conservatism is alive and well. With every billion forked over to “save” AIG (so far the cash is saving AIG the same way Neifi Perez “saved” the 2005 and 2006 Cubs’ seasons), you’ll see conservatives enjoy a resurgence. It’s sad that it’s taken this for Congressional Republicans to find religion and for Americans to figure out that Keynesian (and neosocialist) policies are exacerbating the problems.

At any rate, back in October, a prescient if not persistent blogger wrote:

Buckley is convinced that  Obama will quickly learn that his desire to raise taxes on the five percent of Americans who tend to employ other Americans and to raise capital gains taxes and to strip down NAFTA and every other free trade agreement would be disastrous. That’s too big a gamble to make.

 Buckley indeed thought Obama was going to just come to his senses.

But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.

The prayers, both secular and sacred have gone unanswered.  Spending bills are measured in the Billions. Good firms like Northern Trust are shamed into booking Earth, Wind and Fire for their clients (because the government insisted on giving them capital) when the taxpayers directly paid for Earth, Wind and Fire to play in front of Obama’s clients at the White House. (I’m not saying Obama shouldn’t have entertainment there; I’m just wondering when Barney Frank and John Kerry decry such behavior as inappropriate.)

AIG received anothe $30 Billion today. The details of Obama’s budget are trickling out.  Christopher Buckley, maybe having an epiphany on the anniversary of his great father’s death, has awakened!

I don’t want to say that I told you so, but…

About Rick Santelli…

Yesterday’s rant has made him the household name du jour.

I have a secret for you: he’s right. I’ve made money on investments. I’ve lost money on investments — big investments, too.  Some of my losses weren’t because I made uninformed decisions. Chance played a big role in it. But I played, and I knew the rules of the game, and I took on the risk I was comfortable with. Maybe the floor of CME group’s Board of Trade isn’t a statistical cross-section of America, but Santelli’s correct. Let bad mortgages go into foreclosure, or let the banks broker their own deals with their borrowers, but let them figure it out for themselves. If the asset is truly worthless, it’ll go to zero in value. Problem is, somebody will take a flyer on just about anything so long as they feel it’s at the right price. The market is simply nature.  Government can try to play God, but not even God attempts to do the things government troes to do. We cried for the government to do something about oil and gas prices. Get those fat cat speculators and Big Oil execs bringing in big bucks last summer when oil was $145/barrel.  We did nothing. What did it give us? $33/barrel oil and $1.80/gallon gas. Now we’re supposed to do something so we don’t grow more dependent on oil. (I don’t know; I think doing nothing did a good job of weaning us off gas guzzlers, and it also helped bring oil down.) The left hasn’t hesitated to skewer Rick. I could bore you with links to Democratic Underground, or Huffington Post or Wonkette, but if you want to go there, do it on your own time.  The White House is on board. Robert Gibbs even got personal with Santelli. How dare a derivatives trader (cue evil music) question the benign law professor? It is fun when the official spokesman of the President takes aim at a private citizen for daring express his opinion.

(By the way, nice softball from that reporter: “Calm the unwashed masses. Let them know how our Lord and Savior President is going to deliver us all from evil.” Santelli responds quite simply: Contract law must be sacred. Chris “I want to run as a Democrat from Pennsylvania, but I HAVE CREDIBILITY DAMMIT AS A JOURNALIST IGNORE THE FACT I WAS ON TIP O’NEIL’S PAYROLL AND JIMMY CARTER’S PAYROLL BUT SCREW RICK SANTELLI WHOSE CREDIBILITY IS IMPEACHED BY A VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN IN NOVEMBER” Matthews equates Rick Santelli to Ebeneezer Scrooge.

One point the Leftist blogs have made is that Santelli is a hack. He cheerleaded for TARP and bank bailouts last year, and now he’s bitching about the homeowner’s bailout. Very good point. Santelli’s sarcasm is obviously very subtle.

Now if only we can get him to run for the U.S. Senate, the Governor’s office, or Mark Kirk’s seat.

Permanent Campaign Mode?

It’s good to know that the guy who promised “change” in the way politics is done has amped up his campaign operation before he’s been sworn in for his first term.

NEWS FLASH: The Dems are RIGHT!!!

I have seen this ad multiple times the last few days:

OK, so Marty Ozinga’s concrete company apparently donated about $25,000 to Rod Blagojevich’s campaign the last eight years. That’s bad. Of course, we could question whether Ozinga was simply a victim of Blago’s pay-to-play shakedown.

Still, I have to agree that I agree with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. All politicians that had a hand in getting Rod Blagojevich elected should not be in public office.

Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama, for example. Emanuel, who is one of the DCCC’s leaders and possibly the biggest partisan in Congress, isn’t shy about sharing the credit on Blagojevich’s road to the Governor’s Mansion (well, at least the theoretical trip to the theoretical Governor’s Mansion; Blago lives in Lincoln Square, and flies himself flies on the taxpayer dime back and forth to Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago and a friend of Obama’s, told me that he, Obama, David Wilhelm, who was Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, and another Blagojevich aide were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s victory. He and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said. “We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.” A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account, although David Wilhelm, who now works for Obama, said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role. “There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,” Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was “an architect or one of the principal strategists.”

So, yes, I implore you to follow the Dems’ advice. If the candidate supported Rod Blagojevich, do not vote for him or her.