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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Frustrated Liberal New York Billionaires 

I attended a dinner last night sponsored by a law firm which invited a group of their clients, including many very successful and well known investors. This particular law firm, and many of their clients, are tenacious and dogmatic supporters of the Democratic Party. If I had to guess, I would bet 80% of this group voted for Obama and gave all their money to candidates of the Democratic Party.

Well, I was surprised and not a little amused at how unhappy they were - and stridently so - with pretty much every policy decision pursued thus far by the Obama Administration. Save for taxes, which this group had no problem seeing increase, they thought every major policy initiative of the current administration was a disaster - healthcare, energy, employment, TARP, card check - they were furious.

It gave me pause, actually, to see this group - which had so ardently opposed George W. Bush - seem similarly unhinged talking about Obama. Some of the commentary was completely loopy, akin to Tom Friedman's infatuation of being China for a day (so we can "impose" the obvious solutions to all our problems). And this from people who were actually Obama's supporters. I had to ask myself, what did they expect?

In the end it was a useful reminder that economic success alone is not much of a measure of, well, anything really, other than money. Historical knowledge was pathetic. The whining; the sense of entitlement; the absence of any genuine wisdom was really startling. The wisdom of "flyover country" trumped this "elite" group of deeply confused and flummoxed limousine liberals.

Can't wait til November.

26 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 16, 01:31:00 PM:

Never fall in love with a politician. They will break your heart every time!  

By Blogger Kurt, at Wed Jun 16, 01:58:00 PM:

The reaction of these folks--and the contrast with "flyover country"--remind me more than a little bit of the movie Lost in America where Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty play the roles of two yuppies from LA who are rather lacking in sense and who take off to travel in a Winnebago with no practical sense of where they are going or how to do much of anything. In many ways, I think, that movie nicely illustrates the paralysis and cluelessness of so many of our elites when they leave the security of their large urban enclaves.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Wed Jun 16, 02:39:00 PM:

More evidence that Obama may have just jumped the shark.

The MSNBC talking heads (Olbermann, Chris "Tingle" Matthews, Howard Fineman) ripped last night's speech. "Tingle" even compared Obama to Carter. Jon Stewart just ripped Obama on civil liberties. Maureen Dowd is now questioning Obama's personal quirks. [You'd think it was Rush Radio] Can Rachel be far behind?

As expected last night's speech was: "There will be blood ... BP blood. Pass Energy."

So Obama is now inextricably tied to the Deepwater Leak. "Day 119" ... "Day 120" ... "Day 121" ...

Before the Leak, Obama might have muscled Energy through the Senate like he did Healthcare. But Energy is now a dead loser. By August we'll know that Obama has killed our Gulf Coast oil industry ... and we'll know that windmills won't replace the Gulf's oil production -- they'll be linked in news coverage.

But Obama wants the Democrats to pass a $50 billion bailout of the states, pass the "Doc Fix" -- which is an admission that the CBO scoring of Healthcare was rigged -- and pass Energy, all before November. Not to mention dealing with the 2011 budget. How many Democrats want to commit seppuku?

Rasmussen poll is now at 44% strongly disapprove, 24% strongly approve -- for a Presidential Approval Index of -20%. Generic Congressional Ballot is +10% for Republicans. These are unusually high numbers.

Questions about the Dutch offering us skimming ships may keep coming up. The Dutch offer is documented, as was their surprise at our declining. Why we declined and on who's command hasn't been reported. Press Secretary Gibbs pointedly just said that "no request is still pending." Curious choice of words. Gibbs said this twice in less than 60 seconds. In poker, you call that a "tell."

Comparisons of Obama to Carter aren't exact. Back in the late 1970s, no one thought Carter was dissembling or conniving. Developing ....  

By Blogger Escort81, at Wed Jun 16, 02:48:00 PM:

My take on gatherings like this is that the people voicing opinions are frustrated first and foremost because they themselves are not in charge, regardless of which party holds the White House. The Freidman Attitude: "I'm smart, I'm successful, if only I could be put in charge, I'd fix things." Not likely.

The 2008 Obama campaign was a record-shattering fundraising machine. The anecdote of this NY party does not bode well for a repeat fundraising performance in 2012.  

By Blogger MTF, at Wed Jun 16, 03:09:00 PM:

I'm having lots of similar conversations with 2008 Obama supporters, so I can appreciate the points you are making. But we are a long way from having these people actually abandon their fantasy lives and actually pull a lever and vote for candidates like Chris Christie.

The Obamanation just isn't there yet, by and large, because they still think Obama is not the cause of our problems but only a bad executive. They don't think Congress is managed according to a terrible set of policy ideas, but instead only that Pelosi/Reid are themselves rotten legislators. My friends still seem to have a lingering affection for the Dem philosophy.

Only when they abandon the evil philosophy will I truly believe we finally going to make it back to national health. I hope that the lesson it takes to bring these people back to rationality is no more terrible than what we've already experienced, but I'm not confident. I think we have some bad stuff to withstand first.  

By Blogger MainStreet, at Wed Jun 16, 05:50:00 PM:

When I was growing up in Ohio, there was a saying, "there's NYC and then the rest of the country west of the Hudson". Many years have passed and the liberals have scattered somewhat throughout the country, especially the west coast, but the rest of the country is moderate to conservative. Hopefully common sense will prevail in the next elections.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Wed Jun 16, 08:49:00 PM:

MTF, I voted for Obama. I was undecided until McCain picked his VP candidate. That blew it for me. I would vote for Christie in New York minute. or a Joisey minute, for that matter.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Jun 17, 06:41:00 AM:

"I voted for Obama. I was undecided until McCain picked his VP candidate."

It's all gone downhill, since we gave women the vote.  

By Blogger narciso, at Thu Jun 17, 08:01:00 AM:

So you voted for an total incompetent with radical ties, you probably thought Tina Fey was neat
too, I bet  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Thu Jun 17, 08:46:00 AM:

Ignoramus: I enjoyed that crack.

narciso: I felt both candidates had something worthy about them. I respected McCain's record, his military service and his "maverick" nature (which he now seems to deny, oddly). Obama was harder to pin down but goofed up less on the campaign trail - which I thought could be a good sign for later governing and I appreciated his willingness to address tough subjects head on, although we are far apart on economic policy, among other things. My current and past argument is more with Congress which I view as doing a disgraceful job of governing responsibly.

Tina Fey? uh, haven't given her much thought as a candidate.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Thu Jun 17, 10:49:00 AM:

Bomber Girl:
My current and past argument is more with Congress which I view as doing a disgraceful job of governing responsibly.

Does the majority party in Congress follow the marching orders of Obama or the marching orders of "Tina Fey?" Rumor has it the POTUS belongs to the same party as the party that is a majority in Congress. If Obama wanted different from the Democratic majority Congress, Obama would get it.

Obama let Pelosi and company run wild with the Stimulus bill. He owns it as much as Pelosi does. Et al.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Thu Jun 17, 11:32:00 AM:

BT, let me correct the impression that I am defending what is currently going on from a Presidential or Congressional POV (I disagree with most of the recent legislative action and agree that the POTUS has been a driver on many of the so-called priorities). I was trying to explain why I voted the way I did. My beef with Congress beforehand (both parties) and now has to do with fiscal irresponsibility, growing entitlements and the like. I think we could use a Christie-like figure on top of that heap.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Jun 17, 03:03:00 PM:

Texas Congressman Joe Barton just called the BP spill claim fund a "$20 billion shakedown." He's right. BP agreed to this after a private audience with Obama and Attorney General Holder. I suspect it went like the scene in Godfather II where Michael Corleone teaches Senator Geary what's what ... "We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator ..."

If you're a businessman in Europe, you'd say that the US lured BP to drill in the Gulf with a statutory cap on damages over and above clean-up costs and then welched on this deal by threatening criminal charges ... and you'd be right. You can't trust the US with a contract or even a statute, or even a Constitutional ban on bills of attainder. Chavez would be proud.

Given the moratorium, drilling rigs will move to places like the coast of Africa, or off the Mexican coast in the Gulf. They'll never return.

Included in the BP fund is provision to pay the lost salaries of oil drillers idled by Obama's moratorium. Bars in Louisiana will do great business for awhile -- and then many of them will shutter.

We just killed the US Gulf oil industry. I hope AGW Brian is happy. Do you know how many windmills we'll need to replace the BTUs we just lost?

Oil companies are a necessary evil. They're actually remarkable companies given the challenges they deal with. We've had points in time over the last decade when gas at the pump has been cheaper than the bottled water sold inside. Were it not for the oil industry most Americans would still be shitting outdoors.

How f*cking dumb are we as a people? Obama means to find out.

So BomberGirl, how's that hopey changey thing working out for you?  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Jun 17, 03:04:00 PM:

Texas Congressman Joe Barton just called the BP spill claim fund a "$20 billion shakedown." He's right. BP agreed to this after a private audience with Obama and Attorney General Holder. I suspect it went like the scene in Godfather II where Michael Corleone teaches Senator Geary what's what ... "We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator ..."

If you're a businessman in Europe, you'd say that the US lured BP to drill in the Gulf with a statutory cap on damages over and above clean-up costs and then welched on this deal by threatening criminal charges ... and you'd be right. You can't trust the US with a contract or even a statute, or even a Constitutional ban on bills of attainder. Chavez would be proud.

Given the moratorium, drilling rigs will move to places like the coast of Africa, or off the Mexican coast in the Gulf. They'll never return.

Included in the BP fund is provision to pay the lost salaries of oil drillers idled by Obama's moratorium. Bars in Louisiana will do great business for awhile -- and then many of them will shutter.

We just killed the US Gulf oil industry. I hope AGW Brian is happy. Do you know how many windmills we'll need to replace the BTUs we just lost?

Oil companies are a necessary evil. They're actually remarkable companies given the challenges they deal with. We've had points in time over the last decade when gas at the pump has been cheaper than the bottled water sold inside. Were it not for the oil industry most Americans would still be shitting outdoors.

How f*cking dumb are we as a people? Obama means to find out.

So BomberGirl, how's that hopey changey thing working out for you?  

By Blogger narciso, at Thu Jun 17, 03:12:00 PM:

No they covered his errors more effortlessly, simple gaffes as well as misunderstandings of policy, the
other ticket did not owe their allegiance to corrupt companies like AIG, Goldman, Lehman, and BP, they had a track record of reform in their
respective spheres of influence  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Jun 17, 03:12:00 PM:

Texas Congressman Joe Barton just called the BP spill fund a "$20 billion shakedown." He's right. BP agreed to this after a private audience with Obama and Attorney General Holder. I suspect it went like the scene in Godfather II where Michael Corleone teaches Senator Geary what's what ... "We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator ..."

If you're a businessman in Europe, you'd say that the US lured BP to drill in the Gulf with a statutory cap on damages over and above clean-up costs and then welched on this deal by threatening criminal charges ... and you'd be right. You can't trust the US with a contract or even a statute, or even a Constitutional ban on bills of attainder. Chavez would be proud.

Given the moratorium, drilling rigs will move to places like the coast of Africa. They'll never return.

Included in the BP fund is provision to pay the lost salaries of oil drillers idled by Obama's moratorium -- for awhile. Many bars in Louisiana will do great business -- for awhile -- and then shutter.

We just killed the US Gulf oil industry. I hope AGW Brian is happy. Do you know how many windmills we'll need to replace the BTUs we just lost?

Oil companies are a necessary evil. They're actually remarkable companies given the challenges they deal with. We've had points in time over the last decade when gas at the pump has been cheaper than the bottled water sold inside. Were it not for the oil industry most Americans would still be shitting outdoors.

How f*cking dumb are we as a people? Obama means to find out.

So BomberGirl, how's that hopey-changey thing working for ya ??  

By Blogger druu222, at Thu Jun 17, 04:02:00 PM:

I'm sort of reminded of reading somewhere of a Brit or European (can't remember who or where) discussing exactly these type of yuppie jet-setters, the Euro-division, Bush-hating proto-socialists all, as we know, and their reaction to being grounded by the Iceland volcano.

Namely, they all squealed like tortured puppies, looking for someone to blame, and simply unable to process that they and their Oh-SO-important lives could be ground to a halt by something as prosiac as a grumpy mountain.

It's as if, having turned from God, they are simply unable to admit, and even furious to be forced to admit, that there ARE forces and powers in this world that are bigger than they are, and that will not bow to their utter and unassailable wonderfulness. "I depise Bush as much as anyone, how can I be made to suffer?? It must be Halliburtons (et al) fault!"

To witness such thinking is akin to viewing a Grand Canyon carved entirely out of sheer arrogance. There is a breathtaking nature to the spectacle that can leave one speechless.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Thu Jun 17, 04:28:00 PM:

Ignoramus, I am not the hopey-changey type. I also used to cover oil companies (way back in the day) so recognize their value and their periodic issues and huge challenges. I think the current business environment (not just for oil companies) is bordering on idiocy in terms of positive moves for encouraging investment, offering some degree of consistency and ability to plan. I could go on but I think you get my drift.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 18, 12:18:00 AM:

Texas Congressman Joe Barton just called the BP spill claim fund a "$20 billion shakedown." He's right.

Heh. Talk about a shakedown? Boehner and Cantor were all over that Texas congressman demanding that HE apologize --or else risk losing his seat on the House Energy seat-even before Ignoramus posted his comment the first time!! Way to go Ig.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 18, 12:33:00 AM:

"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future. "I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."

[IOW, if you want to know the definition of a shakedown, read my statement...]

Signed, Texas Congressman Joseph Barton  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Jun 18, 01:34:00 AM:

Bomber Girl, how could Palin as *vice*-president be a dealbreaker for you when you turn around and vote in a guy as *President* whose substantive accomplishments prior to November 2008 amounted to exactly zip dot squat?

Forget ideology for a moment. I hate to bring race into it but a white guy with BO's resume wouldn't have gotten past the second tier of candidates in the primaries, let alone nominated and elected. It would have been "Gee he sounds smart and eloquent but he hasn't *done* anything. He's not ready, maybe next time".  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Fri Jun 18, 06:20:00 AM:

I thought the choice of Palin by McCain showed poor executive function. It was worrisome and further moves (financial crisis reaction, for example) did not allay my concern. In a younger candidate (without a potentially fatal cancer, to boot) perhaps I would have been less concerned about his choice of next-in-line.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 18, 07:31:00 AM:

That sound you hear is Joe Barton being thrown under the bus. What do you think the chances are Rep. "I heart BP" Barton will be leading the energy committee if the republicans take the congress in Nov? Or taking a vacation in the panhandle anytime soon? Heh. Dumber than a fifth grader.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 18, 07:55:00 AM:

Ignoramus, how can it be a shakedown when BP pledged to pay for all legitimate claims? It's only a shakedown if you didn't believe that BP would keep its word to take care of the small people.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Fri Jun 18, 01:13:00 PM:

Sorry for the triple post. Twice I thought it didn't register, after a 30 minute wait. I'll be more careful.

****

"how can it be a shakedown when BP pledged to pay for all legitimate claims?"

Because Obama changed the BP liability narrative over the last few weeks for his own personal reasons. We're collectively worse off, because of it.

We adopted the Oil Pollution Act back in 1990 to deal with situations like this. Back in late May, BP said it would ignore the liability caps in that Act, pay all legitimate claims for direct damages and not seek reimbursement form the Act's Trust Fund. BP should have gotten credit for this.

Instead, Obama started vilifying BP to cover the personal criticism that he's been getting lately on the Deepwater spill. In so doing, Obama's been acting like a community agitator / plaintiffs lawyer -- but one with Presidential powers intent on kicking ass. He's gotten AG Holder to threaten criminal charges and other legal work-arounds. We had the President coerce BP dividend policy. We've had various Democrats -- and tag-along Republicans -- threaten retroactive changes to the liability caps, even on pre-existing drilling leases. We've had the concept of damages expanded to cover workers idled by Obama's policy shift on Gulf drilling.

So what's happened is that Obama will claim credit for BP's paying up, when they had already said they would. The only things extra Obama got out of BP were commitments (1) to pre-fund $20 billion out of its control ... over several years, and (2) to cover the lost wages of oil drillers idled by Obama's drilling moratorium. Obama will claim credit for the checks that get handed out -- he may even sign them!

But the way Obama went at this has set a bad precedent. We have courts and statutes and the common law of tort for a reason. Instead, the US has acted like a Banana Republic dictatorship.

The Economist, among others is now writing on this but : Obama v BP
"America’s justifiable fury with BP is degenerating into a broader attack on business"
"Vladimir Obama"
"Vilifying BP also gets in the way of identifying other culprits, one of which is the government."
The Economist actually endorsed Obama back in 2008.

I'd go further to say that the net result of what Obama has done in the last month will kill drilling by the US in the Gulf -- that Obama has already decided this for us. Oil drillers will just work elsewhere -- the risks in the US are now just too high -- and you can't rely on contract or statute for protection. It may be uninsurable. Either (1) Obama wanted this outcome, or (2) came to it because he needed someone else to blame ... either way it's not good.

Not drilling in the Gulf is a bad thing. We'll only end up more dependent on foreign oil and domestic coal -- the worst choices. Wind and solar are a pipe-dream to cover more than 10% of our needs.

****

On a happier note: There is a God!

The Vatican has just called The Blues Brothers a classic and recommends it for viewing by Catholics everywhere.

Thus, it's been added to a short list that includes The Ten Commandments and The Passion of the Christ.

If the list is "Popular Movies with Subtle Religious Meaning", Groundhog Day should also be on the list. The Shawshank Redemption too. But neither had
two clowns backed by the best R&B band ever assembled  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Jun 19, 08:00:00 AM:

Like we tell little kids, you need an Inside Voice and an Outside Voice. Politicians need a Public Voice and a Closed Door Voice.

Barton used the wrong one. He should have made some Socratic points, including to elicit detail about what BP has done and what the government failed to do. He could have set up the BP CEO to cry a little ... for the dead on the rig ... for the pelicans (that's why CEOs get paid the big bucks).

You don't open the hearing by offering an apology to BP. It was like saying "I had the bride" at a wedding.

Boehner is on the anti-BP bandwagon right now because he's a practical politician -- Public Voice.  

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