Monthly Archives: January 2009

Introducing the Obameter

According to, Barack Obama made 509 promises during the 2008 presidential campaign. How can we possibly keep track of 509 promises?

Fortunately, has introduced a new feature on their website called the Obameter. The Obameter compares the president’s actions to his campaign promises by tracking all 509 promises by placing each in the following categories: Promises Kept, Compromise, Promises Broken, Stalled, In the Works, and No Action.

So how is our newly minted president doing so far?

As of this writing with just over a week in office, President Obama has made good on 5 promises, compromised on 1, broken 0, stalled 1, has 17 in the works, and has taken no action on the remaining 485.

Of course, as a Libertarian, it’s my hope that the majority of President Obama’s promises are broken as most of his promises are at odds with the individual’s rights of life, liberty, and property. I have a feeling that many of his supporters will be very disappointed with his record of keeping his word by the time the 2012 campaign rolls around.

Open Thread — Don’t Tread On Me

Gadsden Info
I’m a bit of a fan of the Gadsden flag. I’ve got a 3′ x 5′ version from here. Back in the day, this was my old office.

So when I found out that there’s a designer clothing line centered around the Don’t Tread On Me logo, I was a bit intrigued.

But I started looking at their designs. There’s something that doesn’t quite turn me on about these… It seems as if it’s far more “hip” than it is authentic.

So what do you think? Is it a shameless ploy to capitalize on a long-standing tradition by catering to the “in-crowd”? Or is it a gateway that might bring people to the actual philosophy and history behind “Don’t Tread On Me”?

Treasury Bars Lobbyists From TARP II

Not sure how they intend to accomplish this, and the WaPo story suggests they’re not sure either:

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner issued new guidelines yesterday aimed at eliminating the influence of lobbyists on the $700 billion financial bailout program by restricting their contact with officials who are reviewing applications for money and deciding how to disburse it.

Treasury officials also will seek to limit political influence over the funds, saying they will use similar restrictions that forbid such influence in tax matters as a model. The department’s Office of Financial Stability will be required to certify to Congress that each government investment is based solely on objective criteria. As part of that effort, only banks recommended by their primary regulator will be eligible for capital investments.

Great, so lobbyists won’t have any more influence over TARP II than they will over our tax code. I feel better.

UPDATE 1/28 2 PM PST: Geithner follows this up by announcing an ex-Goldman Sachs lobbyist as his chief of staff. Hat Tip – Cafe Hayek.

Quote Of The Day

From Robert Gates:

Villagers need to “see that it’s their army that we’re helping. It’s not us kicking down their door. It’s an Afghan who’s kicking down their door”

Uhh, if the United States Army [or the local SWAT team] comes kicking down my door, I’ll probably be less upset than if, say, the Chinese army does so. But I’m still going to be pissed off about the whole matter.

How Quickly It Falls Apart

Iceland, not a nation known for political instability, may be in serious trouble:

Considering the devastating effects they experienced, the people of Iceland reacted to the economic crisis with relative calm in the weeks following the collapse of the krona and the failure of the country’s three major banks. Yes, there were rushes on grocery stores, and a black market for foreign currency sprang up through classified ads. Some even participated in protests on weekends. Still, there were no reports of unrestrained chaos.

Now, over three months after the banking failure, Iceland’s government has collapsed in reaction to mounting dissent. Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister, stepped down today after his party failed to meet the demands of the Social Democratic Alliance, its coalition partner.

Mr Haarde’s resignation comes amidst significant turbulence. Last week, Iceland experienced its first violent rally in decades, with police using tear gas for the first time since 1949.

There is a pretty major difference between America and Iceland…

…our problems are far larger than theirs.

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