Magic, or Sleight of Hand?

All throughout today, and likely through the weekend, we’re going to hear from the left-leaning mainstream press that it’s working, that the actions taken by Barack Obama and the Democrats have finally made a dent in this bad economy.

Citigroup has recorded a profit and according to its chairman will not likely need further taxpayer money, Bank of America expects a profit, retail sales are not as poor as expected, and Barney Frank found a shiny nickel stuffed in his soft cushions alongside crumpled mortgage industry campaign donation receipts and empty bottles of lube.

All is well in Obamaland today. Our Dear Leader has a spring in his strut and, somewhere on Capitol Hill, Nancy Pelosi is smiling. (We think.)

Honestly, if this truly is the beginning of the recovery, if what appeared to be fiscally irresponsible policies advanced first by George W. Bush and the Republicans and subsequently taken up by Barack H. Obama and the Democrats truly are working as designed, I will be the first to happily say that I was dead wrong. I’ll even congratulate both Bush and Obama on being so steadfast in the face of opposition from both nincompoops like me and other nincompoops much louder, much smarter, and much more important than I.

I hope I’ve been wrong. I hope that Bush and Obama have been right all along, that we truly could spend our way out of debt. Most importantly, me being wrong would be excellent for America, not to mention for Jeff Schreiber — after all, in a little more than a year from now, I need to sell my house. My goodness, I’d LOVE to be wrong.

But I’m not. Two days does not a recovery make, and with the amount of capital which has been infused into Bank of America and Citigroup, they had better be close to a quarterly profit. What we’re seeing now, what we’ll be seeing all throughout the day and probably throughout the weekend, is a knee-jerk reaction by a mainstream press that, though they’ve been a little uppity recently, never quite lost that wonderful flutter in the chest and thrill running up the leg.

Every day, people on both sides of the aisle have been watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average like a schoolkid watching the clock during detention. Every day, we look at what’s happening on the “big board” when so-and-so is talking; I’ve even caught myself looking at the numbers before and after an Obama news conference, a Bernanke hearing, a Geithner screwup, just to see if there was any notable change. The Dow, in essence, has become Wall Street’s own feedback dial, like those used by pollster Frank Luntz during the election.

Is it any wonder that a media so obsessed with President Obama, so full of journalists like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who feel as though it is their job not to report the news but to make the Obama presidency a success, would take a few honest-to-goodness good days and run with them as though it were the great turnaround? I don’t think that’s too much to ask from the mainstream press.

Another possibility besides the overreaction of the biased mainstream press is a concerted effort by Obama and the Democrats to enter into an era of optimism because, well, they’ve made the most of their opportunities from doom and gloom and crisis, and need to work on the next part of their agenda, for which such a glum outlook simply will not do. “The worst economy since the Great Depression,” after all, gave the Democrats a $787 billion so-called “stimulus” bill, a $275 billion housing plan, and a $410 billion, pork-filled omnibus spending bill. Now, as they push for major–and majorly expensive–reforms of healthcare and education and major increases in the tax and regulatory burden on businesses and those who drive the American economy, it has become apparent that such projects simply cannot thrive in economic crisis and therefore require a fair share of optimism.

Nobody in their right mind, for example, would willingly push for industry-killing cap-and-trade legislation while the economy is perceived to be in a continued downward spiral . . . so the president added a little wink and a smile.

Maybe I’m being overly cynical. I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I would absolutely love for this president and his predecessor to have been right. On this, however, they were not. For lasting change and true recovery, we need a sea change as to our approach to taxes, spending and scope of our federal government. Instead, we’ve seen more of the same tendencies which put us in this situation in the first place.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    For the past two days, experienced market analysts have been saying this is a bear market rally that will eventually end in an abrupt decline.

    On the Obama front, WND had an interesting article about Orly Taitz’s questioning of a Supreme Court Justice who stated that four justices are needed to vote for a hearing on Obama’s alleged ineligibility. I think many of the liberals in the Democratic party are not interested in Obama’s JustBeALeftist game. Some of them are expressing concern and should all unite in a pow wow with their favorite liberal justice, the Left’s house of cards could fall.

    I think the media blitz is to prevent that from happening, and if the rally isn’t successful, Obama will be ousted.

  2. Greg Goss says:

    I don’t think you can be cynical enough.

    Besides wall street, and I understand why the market had tanked, but yes the economy is not as bad as it was made out to be. And yes I am speaking in past tense. I travel for work, I had exactly 100 segments with just one airline last year. So I see a lot of this country. I eat out two meals a day on days that restaurants should not be that busy. My wife and I like to eat out on a Saturday night and Sunday morning. The restaurants are packed or near full all over this country. We have to wait on the weekends to get a seat. There are a lot of people that choose not to participate in this recession.

    This maybe anecdotal but the planes have remained full and the businesses I visit are doing ok. They have pulled back on the money spending somewhat but that is because of the perception of what the economy is is and not what it is in actuality.

    The problem as you may have touched on is that if he can talk this economy back into shape to justify more spending then we could see another downturn.

  3. Laurie says:

    Jeff, I could not agree with your assessment more. As a matter of fact, if this is a true “turn around” of the market, I would begin to speculate as to who/what started the downturn and now the upward trend….call me cynical but I would have to question it.

  4. bigal says:

    Me thinks I smell a rat. Was this whole economic “crisis” created. Was the Sept 15 run on the banks, which caused the calamity, created by a group determined to get Obama elected? Was all the doom and gloom predictions of another great depression a con to get a socialist agenda in motion under the cover of an emergency “stimulus” bill?

    All of a sudden Obama says it’s not as bad as we thought. Out of no where banks that were on the verge of being nationalized are turning a profit, and are suddenly slovent. I feel like we are the victims of a great con, manipulated by the likes of a George Soros.

    One thing we can be sure of. There will be no Congressional investigations into any of it. And with the President no having the ability to quash any investigations by Inspectors Generals in the various departments of Government, thatks to the “stimulus” bill, the fix is in.

    I too hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    I think you are absolutely correct. This stock market rally is an illusion designed to make the American public feel better and continue to persuade them that Obama knows what he is doing. America and her people will begin to feel more confident, but the rug will be pulled out again in the market and this time it may very well crash. Spending and taxing during a recession/depression does not make any sense.

    The fact is many companies will leave the United States for foreign shores offering better tax incentives such as the Swiss. I do not see the auto or banking industry recovering even if we continue to throw money at them. People have to want your services to make you profitable. Right now many cannot afford them. I would urge people to exercise caution and be vigilant in this economy. Prepare for the worst and you cannot fail even if the government does.

  6. Rix says:

    I wonder, could this rally be “inspired” by cooking the balance, Enron-style? The administration now has quite a hefty leverage over the said institutions…

  7. Ian Thorpe says:

    The markets over reacted to bad news as they always do. Now there has not been ant bad news for a few days there is a recovery.

    What usually happens in these circumstances is the dealers buy back their holdings that they sold a few daus ago for a lower price than those stocks were sold for.

    That’s how people who work the markets make their money. Sidi Obama does not understand that and although MSM are well aware of it they seem to wish to forget.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but there never was any real accountability of just how much and just how and where the enormous funds were used. It would appear that more “credit” is due to the actions of individuals working to get themselves out of this bad situation rather than to the government panicky moves. The market does not appear to have been in such immediate dire conditions as outlined by the “fearless” leader. This is obvious for such an unexpected and quick “recovery”. Soooo, rather than applauding the panic reactions of the leader, it would appear more that such huge plans for placing the grandchildren in huge debt was not necessary and, in fact, now to be considered wasteful … as usual… and as a kneejerk reaction.

    And it will continue to take individuals (with experience) to work on their own – without government “advice” – in order to even begin to responsibly turn this mess around. The debt is still enormous and there are no reasonable plans being formulated by this gov. to help individually responsible citizens to create more jobs and pay off their debts and take care of their families.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not to change the subject too much: What’s up with Michael Steele? Is he a Republican or a Democrat? Sounds like he is a plant to sabotage our party with his liberal comments!

    I am so angry with him right now!

    Someone needs to confront him and replace him!

    I am a True Conservative from Texas!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Technically speaking, the market never rallies from one low. A rebound is just a rebound unless the floor is tested at a later date, a confirmation that the sentiment has changed. On Monday I was suspicious that the first “good” news came from TARP supported Citibank’s Pandit, and then suddenly GM doesn’t need another bail out? Could the Bama’s sliding popularity have signaled that maybe he’s pushed his luck and that he should get some upbeat news out? His critics were pointing to the stock market as his poll (Obama unwisely made the parallel when he awkwardly minimized the sinking market and characterized it a fluctuations, like polls).
    Call me paranoid, but after seeing how the Bama’s minions have manipulated public sentiment, I believe in maintaining a skeptical outlook on the market.
    For full disclosure, I am short on half my portfolio.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Talk about magic. I can see this guy going for a fifth term – one better than FDR – on the basis of such performance. (I happen to be reading about FDR and the “New Deal” and I see great narcissitic similarities between the two.)

    Let’s see. A couple of weeks ago the Great One (not Mark Levin, the other one) telling us that if we didn’t act immediately, we would transition from a “crisis” to a “catastrophe” before the sun rose. Didn’t even have time to read the stimulus bill.

    So the social engineering bill (oops, I forgot. It was an “economic” stimulus bill) passed and presto, the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the little children are playing in the park. The Great One has proclaimed that the economic situation “isn’t as bad as we think” and all is well in Obamaland.

    Strange. The funding for the “stimulus” bill hasn’t even been printed yet, to say nothing of having reached the designated recipients, and the situation that panicked everyone into allowing themselves to be herded like cats over the clif “isn’t as bad as we think”?

    Who are these people behind the curtain who have the ability to pull such strings and send out a new daily script to the actors on the stage?

    Old Bob

    P.S. And Jeff, I wouldn’t be too concerned about being wrong. I think that those who work in the brokerage business call this stock market uptick a “dead cat bounce”.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately for America Jeff, you are not wrong. The decline downward is still happening an will continue to happen. Like all young kids Mr. Obama that wants his candy bar at any cost is spending and spending with no restraints. Someone will have to made good the treasury bonds to the Chinese or give up parts of America. No President would ever under any circumstances put America at risk – but Mr. Obama has and is continuing to do so daily. Wal-mart is building Hispanic Wal-mart stores now in Texas and Arizona; and it will not be long before Chinese Wal-marts are every where in America, thanks to the inability of BIG government to properly take care of its citizens. We stopped protecting our country when Mr. Obama was elected. Everyday he is in office more disastrous occurrences are happening and the America that we all loved is going, going, going. Just days ago Mr. Obama announced to the world that we were in a catastrophic way and there was NO TIME for anyone to review the pork laden stimulus bill. Today just a few days later he is quoted as saying things are not so bad. Everything that comes out of his mouth changes like the weather. He is dangerous and we live in dangerous times and we need an experienced leader, not some kid learning as he goes. I say take away his teleprompter and his writers and backers and let the man just talk then everyone will realize that it is not the words of Mr. Obama that we are hearing!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh, this clown is a freak!

    “The sky is falling…the sky is falling…the whole thing is gonna crash right now…quick, hand over all your money…oh, by the way…it’s not as bad as we thought, but I’ll be keeping that illegal tax stash…thanks, Americans, and have a great life under my communist regime.”

    FREAK!!!!!

  14. suek says:

    Doesn’t matter anyway. If he isn’t out of office pretty quickly, he’ll just redistribute it. The question is how to stop him. 2010 is our only hope.

    Link 1 is pretty clear about what Obama is, with a link to an interview where he declares it. The second link is to the “2nd Bill of Rights” postulated by FDR and to which Obama refers. You can draw your own conclusions.

    http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2009/03/obama-says-constitution-allows-for.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

  15. suek says:

    Anonymous at 10:52…

    RHINOs rule. Look what they have tried to do to Rush. Anyone who stands up for real Republican conservative principles will be in for the same treatment.

    They want Steele, just like they wanted McCain. They’ll be just critical enough to make it look like “oooohhh…he’s such a tough guy”, but it’s all fake – they’re not really against him. Nice accommodating Republicans is what those in power want. We need some real fighters, but you can expect them to get harassed to the point of “Who wants this – it isn’t worth it!”

    We’re really in a bind.

  16. suek says:

    >>there never was any real accountability of just how much and just how and where the enormous funds were used>>

    Heh. The have one now. It's called:

    R ecovery
    A ccountability
    and
    T ransparency
    Board.

    No joke. And you'll never guess who gets to head it up….

    Joe Biden.

    King Rat

    You can't make this stuff up!

    Michelle Malkin has an article up – the comments are priceless! as you can imagine with fodder like that!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Classic TV poignant current application

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

    Friedman on Donahue re: capitalism.

  18. dc says:

    “Sabotaging Rats” who have no regard for real Truth and Justice, much less gauge their actions accordingly.

    Their ravenous appetites of anti-God thoughts and behaviors are focused on their own gain and selfish fulfillments.

    It’s like ‘believing a liar’ why do it. “

    This would all be much easier if America fulfilled the first Royal Commandment: Love the LORD God… then all the rest would fall into place.

    Instead these leaders gravitate to darkness as their source of empowerment: Tuesday, January 20. 2009 WITCHES PERFORM PAGAN RITUAL TO CLEAN WASHINGTON FOR OBAMA INAUGURATION

    http://justgetthere.us/blog/archives/Witches-Perform-Pagan-Ritual-To-Clean-Washington-For-Obama-Inauguration.html

    The “cup of his indignation” Rev 14:10

    Go figure …

  19. Mick says:

    How does Citi make an $8B profit when they just took a large chunk of money from the government? Is the bailout part of the equation? What about those Large one time charges that they don’t have to account for now? Just like the government controles what the bank executives make since they took the bailouts, I wonder if they are also determining how the books are accounted, so as to help the “team”.

  20. tm says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and give my 2 cents.

    1) This is a bear market rally, and will collapse into a deeper, darker recession / depression within the next two weeks. This would enable further Bush-bashing and allow Dear Chairman BO more use of “a good crisis which should not go to waste.”

    2) The original ‘TARP’ funds are taking hold and causing correction, thawing of the credit markets that has fixed some of the banks financials – some positive news on citi’s earnings that caused the markets to soar which means in essence that Bush at the end of his term kind of patched the economy. BUT look out if the One thinks this will reverse what is all ready in motion. This man is an absolute joke.

  21. tm says:

    PS:
    Didn’t know if you saw this article today :
    Birther bill hits Congress

    Rep. Bill Posey, a freshman Republican from Florida, introduced a bill yesterday mirroring proposed state legislation in Missouri and elsewhere that stems from fringe doubts about Obama’s eligibility for office.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Birther_bill_hits_Congress.html

  22. toto says:

    I liken Obama as a surfer, he’s just riding the wave. The MSM has put such a spin on the hatred of Bush, that it put Obama in a no lose situation. Lets not forget that everyone who had a voice was blaming Bush for our economic mess, and now Obama gets to take all the credit. Now, if things didn’t turn around, its still Bushes fault, how can he lose?? The real issue isn’t what happens today or tomorrow, but in the future when its payback time, thats the time to watch out, and it won’t happen until after the elections in 2 years. The democrats aren’t stupid enough to raise our taxes to cover all this before then.

  23. Anonymous says:

    O.K. how much more does the public need to witness to accept the manipulation of the markets, as a political tool to further the ambitions of the financial oligarchy?

  24. tm says:

    T G I F
    You all will Love this.

    Reagan v. Obama

    http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DFR5MweSZjbc

  25. Anonymous says:

    If people think this little uptick in the market is a result of the Stim bill then they are more ignorant than I thought. The real story will continue to unfold and I don’t think it will be pretty. In any case, most of the stim money hasn’t even been distributed yet.

  26. Gail B says:

    The Republican Party called me today (and asked for me by name). They wanted a contribution of $200 and asked me to officially join the Party. That was the wrong thing to say to me! I think she was sorry she dialed my number after I gave her my answer!

    Thanks to Jeff’s link to “his” Excel sheet of pork distribution, I could read her Georgia’s Senators and figures of pork from the printed sheets. In comparison, I pointed out that Jim DeMint of South Carolina did not have one red cent of pork, nor was he in support of anyone else’s pork projects. Furthermore, SC Gov. Mark Sanford refused any stimulus money for his state. “Now, THAT’S CONSERVATISM!”

    I also told the lady that I wasn’t supporting anybody or any organization that didn’t stand for conservative principles. “Michael Steele needs to be in the Republicans’ faces about their support of spending, instead of putting his foot in his mouth!”

    She was agreeing with me on everything, by the way. We need to stick to conservatism, all of the Republicans. I told her I had voted the Democratic ticket for 50 years up until this last election, when I voted for every Republican I could find because of their conservatism.

    “The Republican Party is falling apart because of lack of leadership. Steele needs to crack down on most of them and get them back on track!”

    I think I got my point across because we then were disconnected: the point being that she was not getting cash out of me until the RNC got its act together.

    When I hung the phone up, I could hear our friend, Jeff, saying that I’d paid close attention to his messages! Well, I try!

  27. Anonymous says:

    You will love this song:
    IT AIN’T YOUR MONEY TO SPEND
    http://www.kathleensings.com

  28. Dee says:

    I agree with Bigal. I wonder how much of this has been planned. Like the other comments, it is hard to believe that just last week BO was telling us that if we don’t pass his bill right now, right away, we are all doomed. Today, his other schizoid self tells us that he is very optimistic and things aren’t that bad. This is a very scary administration. If they didn’t have so much power it would be very funny.
    Thank you, Jeff, and to all those who comment.

  29. Gail B says:

    Dee said
    “I agree with Bigal. I wonder how much of this has been planned.”

    Dee, you surely don’t believe that the Obama Mafia came up with this in less time than it took for them in Congress to READ it, do you? They (the liberal) Democrats (and some Republicans) have been planning ALL of this FOR YEARS!

  30. Kahleeka says:

    I hope to God I am wrong as well. Let me grovel in the dirt and wear sackcloth and put ashes on my head because I was WRONG! I was WRONG! I was WRONG! We CAN tax and spend out of this recession!!

    I’ll even spring for making all of us sackcloth outfits so we can all grovel and beg for forgiveness for being so pompous as to doubt the Obamessiah!!

    That’s a promise!

  31. CAL says:

    As Rush says, Obama is too big to fail. The market can go up, it can go down. No matter what happens, Obama will be portrayed as a winner. The press will shield Obama from any negative publicity and overstate any positive. I think Americans will see through it eventually now that their pocketbooks are affected.

  32. FLAT IS WHERE IT IS AT says:

    Hers’a a thought. Crunch the numbers and find the dollar amount this country needs. Take the population number and compute the FLAT PERCENTAGE across the ENTIRE population to get that dollar amount needed. EVERYBODY should pay to enjoy the privilege of being in America. EVERYBODY. NOTHING MORE FAIR THAN A FAIR TAX. QUIT PUNISHING SUCCESS AND YOU WILL PROBABLY SEE A LOT MORE OF IT.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with the posters who say ‘Obama is too big to fail’ and that this whole scenario has been carefully planned, down to the last detail, and will diligently be hyped by the MSM.

    Only have time time for a quick post, but please be sure to read the following to see where some of your hard-earned money has gone–Overseas?

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20039.html

    Let’s see, AIG has had what, three bailouts so far? And they have sent money to several foreign banks? Are we now bailing out European banks, too???

    More Americans are starting to wake up, and O’s ratings are now lower than Bush’s at the same period of his presidency.

    Messiah to Zero in fifty days – yeah, it’s time to try to make things look more upbeat.

  34. TELEPROMPTER BOBBLEHEAD says:

    tm,

    THANK YOU for that youtube post. I sooooo miss having a public speaker as President. Barack is nothing but ‘ROBAMA’ on his teleprompter addresses. REALLY SAD Barry.

  35. Dr. Ruth says:

    Don’t ya just HATE when you are soooo ready for a big ‘O’ and you wind up with a little ‘o’ ??
    Ha Ha Ha now that’s some audacity of hope.

  36. BARACK and JOE visit the hospital says:

    An old priest who for years had faithfully served the people of the nation’s capital, lay dying in the hospital. He motioned for his nurse to come near.

    “Yes, Father?” said the nurse.

    “I would really like to see Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden before I die,” he whispered.

    “I’ll see what I can do, Father,” replied the nurse, and she respectfully forwarded the request to the DNC and waited for a response.

    Surprisingly, word soon arrived… Obama and Biden would be delighted to visit the priest.

    As they made their way to the hospital, Obama commented to Biden, “I don’t know why the old priest wants to see us, but the media coverage will certainly help our images.”

    Biden couldn’t help but agree.

    When they arrived at the priest’s room, the priest took Biden’s hand in his right hand and Obama’s hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the ancient cleric’s face.

    Finally Biden spoke, “Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?”

    Taking a deep breath, the old priest painfully replied, “I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Savior.”

    “Amen,” said Obama.

    “Amen,” said Biden.

    The old priest continued, “He died between two lying thieves and I would like to do the same.”

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