Monday, March 02, 2009

Slumdog America

I was taken by a short piece written by Jim Cramer and posted today on, his financial website portal. Jim, for those who don't know about him, is the notoriously manic host of "Mad Money" on CNBC, a show where he puts both his entertainment skills and his not inconsiderable skills as a former hedge fund manager to use in order to teach investors about what's going on in this confusing stock market environment. That he also uses the show to shamelessly pitch his books and products doesn't bother me because he provides a lot of useful information, contrary to his detractors.

The piece I cite is an interesting, short retrospective on the serious second thoughts the New York cognoscenti are having about "their" new President, Barack Obama--a phenomenon echoed in a Wall Street Journal op ed this past weekend. (Subscription content, can't provide a link.) Let Jim tell it in this excerpt:
I felt it when someone whispered in my ear before the Van Morrison concert that I was right and we elected a Leninist. I felt it at brunch on Sunday, and I felt it as I watched Slumdog Millionaire Sunday afternoon. I felt it when I tried to go to sleep on Sunday night.

I felt the prices, the screen, the action, the sense of a vortex down that can't be stopped, of stocks going worthless, of savings being tattered, of equities without bottom, but this time in slow motion, not like 1987, when Karen Cramer [Cramer's wife] predicted a crash and we were all in cash at my hedge fund.

No, I felt the total lack of control that we are all feeling now, the "It is out of my hands," the "Where is the authority?" the "Wow, it is amateur hour at our darkest moment."

Cramer (who almost certainly voted for Obama, BTW), almost inadvertently touches on a couple of major points here, even though he's actually focused on the fear factor. It's this secondary info that caught my eye.

First of all, the observation that "we" elected a "Leninist." First of all, "we" did not. At least I didn't. I knew Obama was a Leninist at heart, or at least a Gramscian because of the company he kept. Like patrons Bill "The Patriot" Ayers and his spouse, Bernadine "Let's Blow Up the US Capitol" Dohrn. And because of his main line of work prior to getting into politics--he was a "community activist." Which is Marxist slight-of-hand for "communist organizer." Anyone who read what little unbiased biographical material there was on Obama could have known this.

But the folks in New York City and Cal-ee-for-ni-a were to focused on "making history" to notice this. A little dumpster-diving, a la Sarah Palin would have helped bring this to light. But that would have impaired the feelgood drive to "make history" so the NYCentric media never bothered to bring it to light.

Second observation: "It is amateur hour at our darkest moment." Once again, well, YEAH. All we heard during the 2008 campaign was how utterly inexperienced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was, and how dangerous it would be to have such an amateur playing backup to the obviously aging John McCain were we to elect him as president. I pointed out to anyone who would listen that Obama had LESS experience, and zero executive experience--unlike Governor Palin--and yet they were comfortable having him in the TOP SLOT. All I got was blank stares. (Logic has never been the strong suit of folks who vote for Democrats.)

The new President is now making my point for me.

Don't get me wrong. We are currently in such economic trouble that I actually wish Obama every success. Somebody needs to get serious and take decisive action here. Unfortunately, thus far, the amateur who actually became president is not showing signs of promise. First of all, as I genuinely feared, he hasn't been in DC long enough to have the political clout to control the clowns that now run the House and Senate, particularly Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the wealthy San Francisco Dem with a chip on her shoulder who wants to tax America to death and redistribute everyone's income except hers.

But making matters worse, Obama, in spite of exuding the charm and charisma which has the Ivy League types swooning in the aisles a la Adlai Stevenson, has just put out a budget that places socialism front and center even as the economy is failing. Yep, loads of new taxes, punishment for energy companies, utilities, pharmaceutical companies, and indeed, anyone who makes money, or at least used to. And oh, yeah, "cap and trade," guaranteed to put us all in the poor house and already repudiated in Europe as too expensive although the press never reports this either.

And more global warming crap, even as DC digs out of an early March blizzard, generated by a much colder than usual winter pattern here. This is the equivalent of the Republicans laying the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill on an already staggering post-1929 American economy, effectively finishing it off. But the Dems are clueless. Nothing, including a crashing economy, is going to prevent them from taxing and spending and subordinating all of us to their socialist ideology.

Of course, all these idiots could care less, as their disastrous steps will, predictably, increase clamoring for MORE government control of everything which is precisely what these leftists want anyway. It's a sad state of affairs.

But like I said at the beginning, I didn't vote for Obama. So I'm going to sit back and watch the fun for now--fun at least except for my fast-fading retirement portfolio which the Dems are happily trashing along with everyone else's.

At any rate, none of this stuff is my fault because I wasn't ever persuaded by the anti-Bush propaganda to switch sides. I knew the dangerous game the Dems were playing--discredit the sitting president by slandering him at every opportunity the better to make their own guy look like the Messiah.

But the Messiah has thus far flopped rather spectacularly. The market averages are now down to mid 1990s levels and falling fast. It's not an exaggeration to say that all the Boomer retirement money made since then has, in the last few months and particularly in February, been completely vaporized.

And so NOW the cognoscenti in New York are wringing their hands about Obama and the Dems. Well, this is what they SAID they wanted--to make history. And now they are. The guy they donated a ton of money to so he'd win the election is now going to tax the rest of their money away and ruin the financial institutions to boot by pushing the confiscatory policies of Nancy Pelosi. And THEY were the ones who elected Obamanation. Not me.

Who the hell did they think they were electing, Ronald Reagan? They voted for a guy who chums around with the Weathermen, America's original terrorists, and the corrupt machine politicians of Chicago. Why are the cognoscenti now wide-eyed with wonder at what they got for their "history making" votes?

The schadenfreude I'm indulging in here would be far more delicious, alas, were my life savings not going up in almost literal smoke even as I type this entry. It's a fine mess we've got ourselves in now.

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