Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been one of those fifty-fifty weekends, with half the weather being nice and the other half not so nice.

We're not complaining.

While the not-so-nice weather can sometimes complicate BeezleBub's job on the farm, it gives Deb and I some respite and allows us to take care of things inside The Manse.


The fallout from the debt ceiling and credit rating debacle is increasing. With Standard & Poor's dropping the US rating from AAA to AA+ and Moody's giving a warning to Washington about its spendthrift ways and failure to deal with overspending problem (though maintaining the AAA rating...for now), what does the White House do? It blames S&P for using poor math.

From what I can see it isn't S&P with the math problem, but the White House and Congressional 'Spend-Every-Dime-We-Have-And-Then-Some' representatives and senators who believe that tripling and quadrupling down on already unsustainable deficits would somehow solve the overspending problem. (Standard & Poor's does not consider Washington's problem to be a revenue problem, but purely a spending problem.)

We've been given the warning. Now it's time to see if our leadership will take the warning to heart and actually stop spending money we don't have and start paying back what money we've already borrowed.

Even more poignant – the Chinese are telling us we've got to cut back on our deficit spending.


Shifting gears, a conversation I had yesterday reminded me of the one seemingly overriding belief that drives far too many of our left-leaning politicians, their supporters, and their actions: feelings.

Never mind that how someone feels about a particular issue is less important that what someone thinks about it. Basing political decisions upon one's feelings is almost always a disaster as far too often the Law of Unintended Consequences takes over and creates far bigger problems than the ones supposedly being fixed by 'feel-good' legislation.

I don't know how many times I've had to tell someone with whom I've been having a (heated) political discussion “I don't care how you feel about XYZ. I want to what you think about it!” On too many occasions their retort was “What's the difference? They're the same thing.”

No, they're not.


Another great Dennis Miller rant.


In line with Dennis Miller's rant, sometimes technology triumphs touchie-feelie environmentalism, in this case with a new process that increases the yield from Canada's oil sands while reducing the pollution generated by 85%.

Of course we can expect the enviro-cultists to decry this advance as yet another way to kill the planet.


Though I've seen this one before, Bogie relates an updated version of the Ant and Grasshopper fable.


I can't seem to get away from this topic today, but I thought it was interesting that David Axelrod laid all the blame for S&P's downgrade of America's credit solely at the feet of the Tea Party. But what do you expect from a Democrat spin doctor? Instead, the downgrade proves the Tea Party was right.


As Cap'n Teach tells us, the “Washington Post is writing about the GOP anti-tax orthodoxy as if it's a bad thing.

If the problem is out of control spending, then raising taxes won't solve the problem. All it will do is delay the inevitable. Maybe.


I wish I could remember where I saw the news report, but one thing a number of stock market traders and brokers said that stood out about the drop in the stock market last week had nothing to do with the debt ceiling crisis and its resolution. What spooked the market was Washington's refusal to deal with the problems facing the economy, such as the huge (and climbing) deficit, the lack of an actual federal budget (over 830 days and counting), and the President's unwillingness to bite the bullet and actually lead. Talking about the problem is not the same as actually doing something about it, something the President has failed to realize.

When asked about the possibility of a double-dip recession, one insightful trader said something along the lines of “We never got out of the last one. This is just the next chapter of the same one.”


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where gas prices are edging up, consumer spending is edging down, and where we're buying next winter's fire wood right now.