Saturday, 21 February 2009

COUSIN AUDREY SPEAKS

Ken Berwitz

I'm not at my desk right now.  My wife and I are at a family event out of town and I'm suddenly able to get to a computer and blog.

But since my cousin Audrey is sitting right next to me as I type this, I will give her the opportunity to pick a topic - other than President Obama, whom I talk about a lot without her input.

(she's thinking.......)

Ok, the topic is Sarah Palin.  Audrey feels that she is bashed mercilessly - more because she is a Republican than for her actual positions on issues.  Audrey also feels that if Palin were a Democrat she would be esteemed by many of the same people who bash her.

I agree with Audrey on this.  Ms. Palin scares a lot of liberal Democrats because she is what they claim a liberated woman should be....and the truth is that many of them are threatened by her because of it -- because they don't want to deal with a truly liberated woman, only an image.

Compare her to Hillary Clinton and see what I mean. 

To many people, Hillary is the epitome of the liberated woman.  But the truth is that she grew up in very substantial means, has a Yale education, and pretty much everything she has gotten in her professional life is the result of the position attained by hubby Bill. 

-She became a partner in the Rose Law firm when he became Arkansas' Attorney General. 

-She became a senior partner when he became Governor. 

-She became the health care czar when he became President and appointed her to that position. 

-And she became senator with massive help from hubby Bill, which propelled her to where she is now.

By contrast, Sarah Palin grew up in modest means.  Her college degree is certainly not from an Ivy League school.  But she became a small-town council member and then two-time mayor without anyone's influence helping her along.  Ditto for her election as Governor of Alaska. 

When Palin's husband went into the commercial fishing business, she didn't spend her days diddling around in the office, she was on the boats with him, handling the fish.  And how many other women do you know who can field dress a moose?

THAT'S what I call self-made.

Audrey feels Mr. McCain did Palin a disservice by making her his VP candidate because she was not ready for the position (though she was at least as prepared to be VP as Obama was to become President, which is pretty scary if you think about it).  This opened her up to a lot of bashing by the elites. 

But that doesn't change the fact that her background as a self-made woman is stellar, and leaves privileged folks like Hillary Clinton in the dust.

Thanks, Audrey.  Now I'll go back to ranting on my own.


CHRIS DUDD'S BIG MOUTH

Ken Berwitz

I call him Chris Dudd for good reasons.  I wish they didn't exist, but they do.  And here is another one of them, courtesy of the New York Daily News:

Dodd's big mouth: Connecticut senator should do the stock market a favor and keep his trap shut

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 4:00 AM

Dodd flapped his gums in a television interview yesterday and promptly sent the stock markets into a tailspin, further battering America's bruised investors. Thanks, pal.

It was downright dumb for the powerful chairman of the Senate Banking Committee to loosely throw around the concept of nationalizing U.S. banks, even for a brief period of time.

Said Dodd in a Bloomberg TV appearance: "I don't welcome that at all, but I could see how it's possible it may happen. I'm concerned that we may end up having to do that, at least for a short time."

And there went the Dow and the S&P, as spooked shareholders stampeded to unload Citigroup and Bank of America, the shakiest of the big financial houses. The selloff led a nosedive to an 11-year market low.

Only after White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told the world that the Obama administration was committed to keeping the banking system in private hands did stocks rebound - just some.

The senator needs lessons in discretion at a time when markets have a severe case of the nerves.

He needs to leave policy proposals to President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who will be saying more about a financial system rescue plan next week, in part to calm nationalization fears.

Dodd, you may recall, put the hurt on Wall Street recently by inserting onerous restrictions on the compensation that banks can pay top execs after collecting federal bailout funds.

His move backfired by all but ensuring that the best and the brightest financial talent would leave struggling banks for greener pastures.

Yesterday, in the same TV interview, he said Geithner "has leeway" in administering the pay limits. He also said he was "stunned" by the reaction to his damaging populism.

So, Dodd should give Geithner the ultimate leeway by asking Congress to repeal his amendment.

Isn't it bad enough that Dudd was neck-deep in the Enron Scandal?  Isn't it bad enough that he's neck deep in the sub-prime mortgage mess?  Isn't it bad enough that he was getting those sweetheart mortgage deals from Countrywide?

Does he also have to scare the excrement out of Wall Street with his big mouth and send the already-reeling stock market into another tailspin?

How I wish Chris Dudd, and his pal Barney Fudd, would just disappear.  Maybe they could go off together on a 10 year expedition to the Arctic Circle. 

Would you miss either of them?


OBAMA'S RATINGS

Ken Berwitz

It's been one month now.  And, however belatedly, some folks are suddenly appearing to be a bit less mesmerized by Mr. Obama.

Here's the story, from Rasmussen Reports:

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
 
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 38% of the nations voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Twenty-eight percent (28%) Strongly Disapprove to give Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +10 (see trends).

Fifty percent (50%) of voters give President Obama positive grades for handling the economy, but just 38% favor providing mortgage subsidies to financially troubled homeowners. See Obama By the Numbers for more ratings.

A fair argument can be made that, to some extent, this would have happened no matter what Mr. Obama did in his first month.  After all, his approval ratings were so high they were bound to drop down.  But this is starting to look pretty precipitous as drops go.  Remember, just a few weeks ago he was at 44% strong approval and just 16% strong disapproval.  That's a spread of 28%.  Now it's just 10%.

See me in another month.......


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