Friday, April 24, 2009

Huffington Post reused edited image as a different city to dig Tea-Parties

As you would expect the Huffington Post has a bit of an issue covering these tea-parties but this was priceless coverage.

I found this picture with the heading "Barack Hussein Obama The New face Of Hitler"-- T. Romao, Chicago."

And then further down the page in another section I found this with the heading "Obama pictured as Hitler in Philadelphia, PA--photo by Toni Romao"
Man that guy gets around, fast!

Now I could try to give them the benefit of the doubt on a typo. But they changed the image, as well as, the caption. Now they could have done a better job. In an AMAZING coincidence that is the same guy CNN interviewed!!! Trying to portray more of the attendees as nut-jobs? Couldn't even find enough signs so they had to repeat.

If they really wanted to get their combined act together, this is what they might have said...Sorry for the delayed intro...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama Administration: These things that are now "torture"

With the discloser of the memos it has become very obvious that our definition of torture has softened a bit. I read through the events and lunched at times. I know it was not nice... but a caterpillar.. come on. I was thinking that would terrorize my daughter (she too thinks insects are out to get her). Then I thought, don't psychologists recommend things like this to help you overcome your fears (heights, crowds, elevators)?

I looked through the list and wondered how all of this was so bad. These are people that blew up buildings, cut of the heads of people and have no respect for any American life. And we have to talk nice to them for "shouting" is not in the handbook. Then it clicked... it all makes sense now. If you remove thought and logic and go back to base emotions of a 5 year old. If the left has softened us so much that all of this is torture, then so are all the rest of these items the left is trying to stop!

9. Getting up for work is torture [welfare].
8. Getting yelled at or fired for bad performance is torture [unions].
7. Having to study for a test is torture [social promotion].
6. Living in a rundown apartment is torture [community reinvestment act].
5. Having to spend within my means is torture [Congress, Obama's budget]
4. Knowing what people will want to buy is torture [auto bailouts].
3. Listening to conservatives is torture [fairness doctrine].
2. Basic training is torture [cut the military].
The number one liberal torture policy
1. Having to be a responsible adult is torture [et al].

It works great is you have a whiny child read these to you...Dennis Kucinich comes to mind.

Friday, April 17, 2009

CNN gets what they deserve

You have probaly seen the CNN "reporter" confronting Tea Party attendees in Chicago. You probably saw the attck on the dad with teh two year old but have you seen the whoel thing? You may have missed here intro and lies about the organizers. You may not have seen the first guy she picked out... wow...obviously she picked him to set her agenda. Then notice how she moves past a bunch of people to select another mark. Then after asking him a question she cuts him off and barates him with "stimulus facts". He takes it in stride and then finishes his cogent thought... damn that set her back. She continues to set her agenda and then stops the interview, slams the protestors, Fox News and signs off... or did she. Look what someone else has posted.

Getting paid to cover the protest, $5,000
Professional Camera and Microphone, $100,000
Getting out reported by a Chicago mom, PRICELESS.

"Torture" edited for bias style

Here are the headlines...

Washington Post: Interrogation Details Emerge
CNN: Bush-era interrogation memo: No torture without 'severe pain' intent
New York Times: Interrogation Memos Detail Harsh Tactics by the C.I.A.
LA Times: Memos reveal CIA interrogation methods
Wall Street Journal: CIA Memos Released; Immunity for Harsh Tactics
[note headline on home page differs No Prosecution for Waterboarding ]
Fox News: Administration: No Charges Against Waterboarders

Scoring on the bias scale; I would commend the Washington Post and LA Times headliners. New York Times [shock] is the most liberally biased headline. CNN is not bad but adds a bit of detail to the headline. WSJ is interesting... the front page is taking a completely different angle then the headline of the article itself... [different folks with different philosophies?]. Fox loses on the the conservative end of the scale for missing the whole release of the documents and jumping to the end story.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party Atlanta Biggest and Best

I was there, I was proud and I was surprised. I had hoped for 5,000 people and a ratio 9 to 1 (90% normal people and 10% nut jobs). I was surprised on both counts.

The counts coming in are north of 10,000 and may be as high as 20,000 people. I could not tell because I was up close and surrounded on all sides by 1000s. The fact is that it was filling the street sidewalk to sidewalk for at least four city blocks. How many people is that? Do we allow 4 sq feet per person? Personal space be damned... Putting this to the reasonably test [2 lane road (20ft wide), side walk and curb (5 ft: assuming only one side), four city blocks (.4 miles or 2112 ft) = 52800 sq.ft. / 4sq.ft. per person == 13200 people]. Sounds reasonable on the low side. Add in the grass area, wider streets or longer blocks or less personal space and north of 15,000 is likely. In any case, a mass of humanity that far exceeded our expectations.

As far as the ratio goes, might be about right on the high side, from my point of view. This counts FairTax folks, smaller government, Bush bashers in the normal Obama bashers in the extremist. I counted 12 signs (and people) that I felt were over the top and 100s that I would like to drink a beer with and talk again. To give you a flavor of the crowd there was a group (of two) people behind us that tried to start an "Impeach Obama" chant (maybe 7-10 times). Each time is was them and them alone. The fist couple were immediately drowned out by "USA USA" or "FAIR TAX NOW". After that they were met with shaking heads and laughter. One guy (in the AJC video [:35] front of me... oh yes EFB got air time...and on FOX [2:00]) had his sign taken away. This caused a few around me to get a bit upset about free speech and a few chants of "Give it back." But the dominant conversation around me was about not letting that ruin the night or become the news item. In the end, cooler heads prevailed [on both sides] and they did give him his sign back; with an apology from the local police. They told him they were only doing as they were told before and they were now told to give it back. Much friendly conversations after that. All in all a decent time and Ms. Napolitano now knows where I am.

I will say that the AJC article was pretty well done and the photos there are a better representation then the video.

Most of the people I talked to were participating in their first political rally (as was I). I would like to thank Sean Hannity for organizing this event... oh wait that was Neal Boortz for.. Dick Army... no .. Newt Gingrich. Well, whoever it was on the vast right-wing for flying around the country and training all these organizers in local towns these past 6 weeks. I think they all earned their union wages this week. [tongue firmly implanted in cheek] I know the local folks here personally and I know that they like many of us that attended are doing this for the first time. The volume of people and the expansion of events pooping up these past few weeks has been nothing but astounding.

There are a few signs I felt were worth mentioning:
What's in your wallet? HEY that's MY wallet!
To my God and my guns I cling, I will never bow to a Saudi King.
Spread my work ethic, not my wealth.
Big [GOP logo] BIGGER [DNC logo] BIGGEST [Obama]
Oh and one more... That would be mine signed by John Rich.

Monday, April 13, 2009

TeaParty Attendees: beware of wolves in conservative clothing

If you attending your local teaparty event Watch out for random Liberal bloggers trying to play this as far right anti-government folks. Don't let them. This government is too big and we are taxed enough to support a proper government. This is not "no tax, anarchy". This is slimmer more efficient and more fair representation. We have to try and force the media to cover the truth. We can only do that if they have a tough time finding the "wild" quotations.

Be diligent, do not allow them to pull you (or anyone around) you into an anti-Obama, anti-government chant. The fact that they will be there is proof of the power this is having and proof that they are scared. It is time to unite the Libertarians and the Conservatives from all stripes to wrestle control back from Washington and back to the people.

Update: 4/14:
Hot air has done a good job of wrapping a lot of this together and linking out to other articles. Read this...

Update: 4/14: Michelle Malkin has confirmed the DHS report targetting the "right-wing". The left will continue to try and link any opposition to Obama and his agenda as racists and anarcists.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lying through statistics.. Mexican gun trade

USA today: "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records show 90% of the weapons recovered and traced originate from a growing number of sources spanning from the Northwest to New England." and this "2,000 weapons a day"

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "It is unacceptable to have 90 percent of the guns that are picked up in Mexico...come from the United States"

Diane Sawyer: "95 percent of the guns used were out of the United States. What is the U.S. going to do to stop the guns from getting there"

William Hoover, ATF: "there is more than enough evidence to indicate that over 90 percent of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States."

Lies Lies and more Lies...

The source of this is supposed to be...
The (ATF) reports that more than 90 percent of guns recovered in Mexico are traced back to the US.

Here is the full text from the report. You will also see the "2,000 a month" statistic in context.
From FY2005 through FY2007, ATF traced just over
11,700 firearms recovered by Mexican authorities, and approximately 90% of those
firearms were traced back to the United States. In January 2008, ATF announced
that e-Trace technology would be deployed to an additional nine U.S. consulates in
Mexico (Mérida, Juarez, Monterrey, Nogales, Hermosillo, Guadalajara, Tijuana,
Matamoros, and Nueva Laredo). The number of traces performed by ATF for
Mexican authorities this fiscal year, FY2008, has increased markedly. For example,
from March 10 to April 9, 2008, ATF has traced nearly 2,000 firearms recovered by
Mexican authorities, as compared with the 11,700 firearms traced over a three-year
period, FY2005-FY2007.

This is what it should have said.
The (ATF) reports that more than 90 percent of the traceable guns returned to the US have been verified as originating from the US. Due to new offices and advancements in technology, we were able to trace 2,000 guns last month.

See the difference? "of the traceable guns returned" You see not all of the guns recovered in Mexico are returned to the US. Why would they be, if you see Russian, Korean or Chinese markings on them? And not all guns returned are traceable, many would have been sold on the black market or without serial numbers.

Special note: Notice that the 90% reference does not overlap 2008 and therefore does not include the new volume. It is pure supposition to assume that the new offices and new technology will result in the same statistic. An interesting exclusion from the report?

So all this statistic tells us is that the Mexican authorities are right 90% of the time when we can trace it back. So what percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico are sent to the US for tracing? Based on overall numbers complied by FoxNews : 32%. And what percentage of guns sent to the US for tracing can actually be traced to legitimate sources? Less than 50%.

So the real number of guns recovered in Mexico that can be traced to US sources is 5,114 of 28,000 or ... 17%. But it gets better. Some of those sources identified were the US government. We supply weapons to the Mexican government, some of which were illegally resold in Mexico. We also supplied Central American countries with arms during the 1980s. How many times have you heard than mentioned?

The actual percentage of guns making it into Drug lords hands from US suppliers is actually unknown, but seems to be less then 17%. Nowhere near the 90% being pushed by the Administration. The RPGs, grenades, AK-47s and other weapons are not coming from US gun shops either. So why blame the US for the problem? Well, "blame America first" is the normal stance of the American Left. Especially, when they are so much smarter than and disagree with those right-wing radicals that wrote that damn second amendment.

Pure and simple this is a convenient excuse to tighten the gun laws in the United States and the media is simply parroting a misleading statistic to push the President's agenda. They are either biased or stupid... you decide.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Political correctness gone amuck

Chia Pet Creator 'Shocked' After Walgreens Pulls Obama Model From Shelves

Come on. I would expect this to be a hot seller to his supporters. Is an Obama bobble head racist? What about the new Pepsi can? Should those be banned? I know this is "decisions made by a public company" not the government. But the decision was made because "it might offend people." Sucking up to liberls offends me, so lose-lose. I like Walgreens but I think I will take my business elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Government's reponse to job losses... give me more!

The economy continues to contract and people continue to lose their jobs. It is also important to remember that companies are reporting losses and people that work on commission, though employed are suffering huge losses in income. All of this means less taxable income to all levels of government. So that would mean less revenue and deep cuts in government programs.

Well not so fast. That is unless you raise sales taxes on everything! You see government is not allowed to do with less. They just have to find another place to take it. So if you aren't making any money, you still have to buy food. I am sure they will also raise taxes on those that have the fortune to be employed and on any company that dares have any success during the recession.

I appreciate the catch 22, they have services they have guaranteed to people and projects that they "need" to do. And we are just not giving them as much money. How dare we! But just like I have done, projects need to be put on hold, spending needs to be taken way back. So just like the rest of us 8.5% of all government spending should be dropped immediately.

The government cannot grow when the economy is shrinking, it is simple unsustainable. And the economy will adjust to compensate for the higher burden by shrinking once more. Lessons on how to turn a recession into a depression. The only way out is to shrink government spending until the economy recovers and to stimulate the economy to recover faster.

That does not mean giving money to failing companies or paying workers to do nothing or to make up new projects to fund just to keep people busy. To me stimulus means accelerating the natural recovery and failures in the current economy. The only way to do that is to take less money from the people and corporations so that they can help themselves and their corporations effect change. It is basic economics and more and more of us are working through it each day.

We will get there, I am sure; maybe not until after the new depression. It may take that much to get people to remember; government does not create, its abilities to distribute are governed by us, doing works in our best interests to move this country forward. There will be many dark days ahead but the American people, the individual, will once again have our day in the sun.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...

I think we were all coming to grips with the "Socialist" Obama. Washington is now running the banks, running the auto companies, dictating salaries and planning to move into other sectors should the need arise. Some were convinced that these actions were necessary to stabilize the economy. Others believe that the economy is a convenience to enact these policies planned from the outset. Whichever, the cause and whichever the effect, we have adjusted to the current realities and Republicans and much of the public are gearing up for a fight.

Well, it just got worse. A whole lot worse at the G20 summit. I am digging for the expect text ... which of source the media can't seem to find time to publish. But I have found this from Bloomberg.

The leaders agreed on principles for financial market regulation, including expanded controls on hedge funds and derivatives trading, and tax havens, as well as rules on compensation and bonuses. They also pledged additional financing for the International Monetary Fund and other institutions.

Didi that just say we agreed to take our draconian actions, our socializing of the US economy and blend it with the G20 and the world. Are those "on world currency" folks actually not wackos? We now have the G20; of which we were 50%+ of the GDP and 1/20 of the votes; in charge of our economic policies and executive compensation?

So the big question is what does "on principles" mean? Is it that generally we agree to work together (as we have been) to solve these issues? Well, if it said that then why say anything? We have been doing that! So saying something would seem to indicate a shift. No? A shift to a more Socialist agreement on principals (dare I say controls), is most likely the case.

It could be far worse with a G20 panel appointed to set forth controls, restrictions and fines for non-compliance to the new world order. A board consisting of predominately or completely non-US members, that combined control less then half the world's money supply, now given the reigns to manipulate our markets to their advantage.

So what does "on principles" mean? Does anyone in the media do any investigation anymore or just regurgitate talking points? YO MEDIA...A LITTLE HELP! The text would be of huge value here. I will find it an update accordingly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Left almost gets it on CFLs

Well the tide is sort of changing. The New York times has started to question CFLs (Compact Florescent Bulbs).

They cover the basics and the facts are pretty valid. A HUGE step for the New York Times. The speed at which they gloss over things is amazing. A few interesting pacts from the article and the video that parallels.

1. CFLS are not for all locations. They take 15-20 minutes to reach full light and if shut off before then it will drastically shorten their life span. Locations such as stairwells, hallways and outdoor sensored areas are not recommended. They are also not recommended for enclosed locations [because they do not tolerate heat well]. They are also not good for dimming (editor edition...though there are some rated for that use, at a higher price) OK good information. Never hear that much from the advocates and does not appear on the labels.

2. They cover the mercury risk and clean up of these bulbs. You can read more detail on this at the EPA web site. Also rarely mentioned by the advocates. They right is off as only 3-5 mg of mercury. If you check the numbers for fish you will find that 4 parts per million in food leads to the recommendation "Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury." Seems a bit incongruent that 4 parts per million in fish leads to "DO NOT EAT IT" and 5 milligrams in dozens of bulbs through the house comes with no warning what so ever from the same advocates.

3. Let's continue to the last line of the video. Consumers may have to adjust to these limitations because the government has moved to outlaw incandescent lights by 2012. Huh? So they should not be used in certain locations yet you will have to. So though you may not be saving money you will be using less energy. And that is all that matters. Again proof that liberals will seek activism by law when they cannot create a better product that people would actually want.

4. This leads to my final point. The prices on these have come down from the $30 each range to a more acceptable $1-$2 range. This helps mitigate one of the concerns above. But let's find this little nugget nestled in the article...Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components. and followed by this...Much of the credit for that sharp cost decline goes to the Energy Department. The agency asked manufacturers in 1998 to create cheaper models and then helped find large-volume buyers, like universities and utilities, to buy them.

Yep and there the truth shines through. Government jumped on board with a potentially better product, picked a winner and drove quality standards down to make it affordable. Thus ruining the potential of a more efficient bulb actually being a better product and a better financial decision as well. So wehn do not all run out an buy it, they require that we use it. So now we await their "help" in new cars and health care. History would teach us to expect the same result. A higher priced , less appealing model being forced upon the American public by legal fiat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Appetite for our debt is waning.

The small stock market rally was stopped cold today due to a upward movement in the sale of five year notes. For those that have been warning us about these days, this article is the beginning of the proof points on deficit spending. The market saw this news and dropped almost 250 points from 1:00pm until 3:00pm.

Here are the basics as I understand them. The increase in the interest rate on the 5-year notes sold by the US means that we had to raise the rate of return to attract buyers to our debt. Nested in this article is the fact that the UK has had issues that did not even sell out. So we raised the rate and sold the notes, why did the market react to this? Having to increase the rates means that there are less buyers for our debt. The rates can continue to climb to attract buyers but that interest expands the cost of all of the deficit spending programs. Should we hit the point as the UK has that sometimes there just are not enough buyers, what then?

Then we have three options.

Don't spend (ha ha ha ha ... sorry that was President Obama butting in) as much money. Which would limit the government's ability to fulfill all of the promises to the banks and in the stimulus package. Many will say this is good, but for those dependant on every word and action from Washington this is not good news.

So another option is to tax and tax heavily to get the money from the US economy instead of elsewhere. This is not good and will likely lengthen and deepen the recession. This would counter all of the good news this week that the economy may be stabilizing.

Or we can simply print money that does not exist and pretend. But that devalues all of the outstanding notes and is likely to make the current problem worse, causing us to raise the rates anyway to attract buyers.

So this action in the 5-years notes is bad news... very bad news. The end of our deficit spending may be at hand or at least far more limited. And we have not even approached the 2009 budget and the 10Trillion in debt it demands.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death on the slopes! But something is missed.

I have heard all the tragic stories surrounding Natasha Richardson's death but one thing is missing from every story I found.

As would be expected, the left is all about taking away freedom, demanding helmet laws and ignoring personal responsibility and risk. They will compare this freak accident to other head traumas and add it to the statistics of 50,000 deaths. But most of those are car accidents or blunt trauma to the head. If you look at skiing accidents and death, you drop to 50 or 60 a year (out of 8million+ skiers). Of those most are risk takers on black diamond runs or collisions [and they will equate this to those]. Most [I dare say no others] are a simple fall on a beginner slope. It is like comparing jumping off a swingset to jumping out of an airplane. Where are the calls for helmets and parachutes on playgrounds? Helmets and five point harnesses for all passengers in cars? There are degrees of risk and adults accept those risks when the undertake actions. It is called personal responsibility [dare I use the word Freedom or Liberty] and this country was founded on it. I hope the her family can come to grips with this freak accident and find peace in their lives without joining the media in trying to take freedom from others.

But what part of the story is missing? Let's take a look at the timeline. Richardson had a skiing accident at a resort 80 miles outside of Montreal, Canada. Thinking nothing was wrong she was accompanied to her hotel by the instructor and a member of the ski patrol. An hour later she said she didn't feel well. She had a headache, so we sent her to the hospital. An ambulance was called and Richardson eventually was transferred to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal. Richardson was then flown to New York.

This is what I noticed. She was in Canada where heath care is the envy of the American left and she flew to New York. She did not stay in Montreal where her husband was filming. She did not fly to England, the country of her birth. She flew to New York. The capitalist home of expensive health care [Not to mention the best heath care with the best facilities and most researched doctors in the world].

This accident is truly a time to reflect and learn. Not about helmet laws but about the quality of health care in the world and the choices people make in a time of need.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What could you do with $9,000 dollars a year for three years?

+$1.15T being injected into the Financial market. Washington has now put in $9T to "fix" the economy. This is 89,000+ per household in the US. I am trying to find the statistics but I would think we could have just paid up the mortgages on everyone at risk for far less. But like many of these plans that too would have been rewarding failure by taking from the shrinking majority that pay taxes. So what to do.

I would expect that most people do not have a mortgage over $1500 a month. I looked it up. Based on all homes the number is $927. Yeah... always forget when you live in a big city or suburb. This number is also lowered by folks that have $0 cost for housing (paid off home mortgage). There is a number for homes less than four years old ($1,371). If you remove the 112,000 of these folks that have no mortgage the average rises to $1,392. These numbers are from 2007. So a gut check of $1500 a month works.

So for a cost of 9,000 a household the US government could have covered 6 months of payments on the average house for every person in the country. For nearly 44% of homeowners this would cover 100% of their housing costs. [Because of this cost discrepancy this would actually cost less than the price tag]. Allow this exemption for 5 years at a total of 45,000 per family. That would be about $4.5T.

Wouldn't this have stopped the rash of foreclosures? That would have stabilized the securities market at created a floor on the price of securities. This would have, in turn, stabilized the banks. It would have also [not sure I like this] allowed people to buy houses off of the open market knowing that the first 5 years of mortgage was covered. This would have stabalized housing prices. With a bit of diligence to manage the out years, this could be constrained so that it does not simply defer the problems. For those without a "mortgage crisis" [93% of all homeowners] this would have created spendable income that would likely be used to pay off debt and/or buy things [stimulus].

In summary, for half of the current cost this could have been solved. I would have been content with 3 years (or 1/3 the cost). If some are worried about non-homeowners being left out, don't fret. I set you up. These numbers include housing costs by households, which includes renters. I checked and there are actually less households (105mill) then homeowners (123mill - owners of multiple homes). Since we don't want to reward on both homes, we can assume it will cost even less. So for three years every household would get $9,000.... Question..wouldn't this in effect be an "across-the-board tax cut" [ewwww... I know those are evil]. And this one would be far bigger then the Bush tax cuts. It is important to note that some suggested this (and for only 2009) and were lambasted for not having a Government-centric solution.
..and so we spend.

The economy continues to worsen and the costs to taxpayers keeps rising. Once again proof that "government experts" spend more time reading books and talking to each other about how much smarter they are then the rest of us; no time living life like the rest of us. They look at macro-economic issues and forget that those numbers are driven by the hard work of every American, every day. They all need a new line of work. One that actually produces something for the country. I believe that will help the economy. We have a chance in 2010 to help that along.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Madoff for Senate

I know that Bernie Madoff is a thief. He is a scammer, a schemer and deserves to go to jail. He has stolen 38+ billion dollars in a ponzi-scheme. But you have to look at the big picture. In the end this is pocket change to a Senator in Washington.

They just passed a pork filled Omni-bus bill costing us 400 billion with 10+ billion in pork barrel spending. Before this, they spent 700 billion + interest to "stimulate" the economy. Before this 700 billion to bail out the banks. In this spending was 20+ billion for foreign banks and billions more to buy toxic assets at prices over their planned maturity (expected cost 78 billion). A large quantity of wasted cash to be sure.

Maybe Madoff is too clean. Madoff took money from adults that consented to put their money at risk. Again, he is a criminal and gets what he deserves. The government takes this money by force; from us, our children and their children and then throws it away. This too should be criminal.

But that is not even close to the real cost of the ponzi-scheme. A scheme where money is invested in fake funds and trusts and then they produce false holding statements and fallacious returns. We have all seen this kind of documentation firsthand. We get them in our mailboxes directly from the Social Security Office. An account statement with "your balance"; when the money was spent years ago. Ten Trillion+ dollars, money taken from us and every employer we every worked for, has been wasted. All the while, money was spent on Congressional pay raises, pet projects, State dinners, working vacations. Sound familiar? These pages are worth the same as those accounts from Bernie Madoff.

The "outrage" that these professionals throw at a rookie like Madoff is laughable. He is getting exactly what he deserves for defrauding clients and working his schemes to his own benefit. I only wish we had the same outrage and legal outcomes when it comes to elected officials as we do with private citizens. Since Bernie's career in the private sector is over, I nominate him as the Junior senator from New York where he can learn from the best crooks in the country.

So as you listen to the members of our illustrious congress fain outrage at Madoff and corporate excess, remember this. We have a way to prosecute these crimes in the private sector. The people will go to prison for their crimes and restitution, in whatever form possible, will be granted to their victims. In public office we, at best, can remove them from office. Only to see them resurface in cabinet appointments or as lobbyists; making millions. I think it best to keep these crimes in the private sector were we have some recourse. Then we can all sit back and watch them rot in jail.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Barack Obama is the smartest President"?

Have you heard it before? We have all heard how "dumb" George Bush is/was. I think it is about time to reveal that there is a big difference between book-smart and street-smart; Obama being the former and in no way the latter. The media being much of the former as well, has little to no respect for the latter. I guess, for the sake of honesty, I would be the reverse. I respect more what people have done and how the interact with people then I do what their grades were and where they went to school.

Obama can't find the door.
1. Might have seen this one. Yes that is a window. Dear Sir, Please note that there are no hinges or a handle. I am sure you have seen this one (again and again). But note it has handles and hinges and is simply locked. Even when it is covered, Bush must be mentioned and bashed. Mr. Obama simply "hasn't gotten acquainted" with his surroundings. That was not an excuse for Mr. Bush who was in CHINA. The Bush gaff was often labelled "Bush has no Exit Strategy"; including by the network news (see below). Is also became a top ten list on Letterman.

In the opening tease at 7:00am, co-host Charlie Gibson announced over video of Bush trying to open the locked doors: "No way out. President Bush tries the wrong door on his trip to Asia and has fun for the cameras. But the big question now: Does he have an exit strategy for Iraq?"

Not the same "oops, ha ha" coverage Obama got is it?

Gifts for our UK "friends".
2. Anyone can make a silly honest mistake...but it take a special person to insult a respected ally. Have you heard about the gift exchange between President Obama and Gordon Brown (UK Prime Minister)? Probably not. This article covered it but missed one of the gifts given to our President; The framed commission from the ship that was used to make his desk. How thoughtful and personal. And from the US 25 pack of DVDs. I hope they were not Region 1 (US) encoded. I am sure their were personalized by making sure they were Region 2. Like school on the weekend... no class.

Obama the stock advisor.
3. The confidence his policies give the stock market has been pretty obvious. Maybe one of those books he reads should have include the definition of P/E Ratio (Price to Earnings). Of course, his definition may explain a lot of his policies. I am so glad we have someone so smart now running our economy. No sense in leaving it in the hands of those Bankers and Finance folks. By the way Price to Earnings only matters when there are Earnings! Otherwise, it is called speculation .. a practice that helped us all so much in the Internet boom.

More brilliance to come, I am sure.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bad Bank.. What happened to it?

I continue to be amazed that the "Bad Bank" concept that was the impetus for the 700billion dollar bailout has yet to be used. I looked for Pros and Cons of this concept. The dominant con seems to be paying too much for the assets or "nationalization". But what I found even less was a decent explanation as to the impact of getting these off the market. The conversation linked above is stunningly devoid of detail and value.

Let me explain it as I understand it (this comes from a conversation with a high level banker). This may help you translate the talking heads. The impact on the economy is elevated in the negative and the positive because of a combination of existing laws.

The first is the debt to asset ratio of a "bank". I have heard that this ratio is 10:1. In other words, if a bank holds 10billion in assets they can lend as much as 100billion. The problem came into play that these Mortgaged Backed Securities were considered assets (which seems odd since they are a rollup of lending so I must be missing some element). So when these assets began to default, their overall value was reduced. Based on the "Mark to Market" laws passed with Sarbanes-Oxley this loss of value must be accounted for on a companies balance sheet. I do not know that this is a bad idea, as some state. In the example I was given, a bank value lost because of these assets was 26billion dollars. This would mean that the bank had to reduce it outstanding debt by 260billion dollars. This number was more than there entire market capitalization. Therefore, they are bankrupt. But are they? Hence the argument against Mark to Market. The loans outside of these assets still have value and still may be repaid.

So there is argument against the practice but it exists. So the Bad Bank concept tries to reverse the problem. If the bad assets can be bought form the banks; even at a cheap price; the spiral starts to reverse. The assets that are purchased are removed from the bank's books. The impact of removing that bad asset allows for a ten-fold multiplier in lending. But the impact spreads rapidly. With a new price set on the assets banks can rebalance their books. Some may now be able to hold the assets. With the death spiral stopped the assets may being to trade. If not the government can against but some assets off the market. Again setting a new price. Once these assets being to sell again on the market the government could sell the assets into a rising market at higher prices to offset the other bailout funding.

Well that's what I think I know. And it made sense. So maybe that is why the government never did it. Instead they forced money onto the banks in exchanged for preferred stock. This devalued the shareholders and left the assets on the books. What I found interesting in the video above was the reasoning for the change in policy... World opinion. Europe was injecting money into banks for equity. It was decided that all of the major countries should follow a similar policy. Two problems. It sounds like an all eggs one basket solution. Additionally, we are listening to European Socialists on how to solve a banking issue caused by accounting practices in the U.S.

I am still hoping that government can follow a basic premise and buy low and sell high.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well played, Mr. Obama

Many is the media are "confused" by the seeming contradictions in the ever expanding spending coming from Washington and the statements about the desire to "balance the budget". Since most of them are devoid of 5th grade math skills they can't make the connections that most of the rest of us can make..."this just does not balance out". But I believe that it does balance out and very quickly. I believe the President is honest is his desires to get the budget deficit cut in half by the end of his first term and that this is in no way a conflict with the current spending or his budget.

The goal is not to try and pay for this or to worry about revenue at this point. The goal is to establish government dependence and control. I believe that President Obama is playing this perfectly. He is spending out of control because the public is demanding that they "do something". True, this spending will have little impact on stimulating the economy. It will however create entire agencies and government dependence among those that will now survive based on the bailouts. Many believe that this is overplaying their hand. I think not. This is their hand. What will happen to the public economy is obvious to almost everyone and the public outcry shows this as well. But many believe that he is misjudging the economy or the American people. I believe this is exactly the intent.

As these policies and the next budget are passed (there is little chance enough Democrats will change sides to stop it) massive spending will hit many sectors of the economy. Government funding will push out private equity. Dependence will be created. More bailouts, Healthcare takeovers, locking up the energy industry will all limit the economy and limit tax revenue. But Mr. Obama has stated he wants to balance the budget and soon. Unlike many that see this in opposition to his current spending and budget, I take him at his word. Revenues will not go up. Unemployment will not go down. But this increasing crisis is exactly what is needed for the next phase of the project.

That is the "need" to tax everyone at a very high level to balance the budget. Many look at the budget as written and say that this must occur anyway. They are correct and believe that it will therefore be stopped early on. But with a complicit media, no 5th grade math, and a struggling economy, it will pass. Once you lock out private investment, once agencies are established, once your industry, your health care and your energy are a service of the Federal Government; could you (would you) "deny" yourself those services as they are transitioned back to a free market? Not enough will, a new recession and risk will be avoided by the American voters; and under a tax load of greater than 50%; the control is established.

This level of control cannot be undertaking directly. You already see the concern building based on the individual policies today. But Obama has learned from the mistakes of socialized health care that gave us the Republican Revolution in 2000. You cannot get these changes passed in a good economy and in the light of day. He is ensuring that our dependence and need are sufficient so that we have little choice.

Well played Mr. Obama.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Obama has stated that he wants to undo much of the "era of Reagan" and he is on the way. He is tightening the noose on capaitalism taken over more industies and adding restrictions and higher taxes to others. Those with means and money in the market are reacting.

It will not be long before the market reaches the levels it was at when Regan left office. The close on January, 19th 1989; the last full day of the Reagan presidancy; was 2,239.11. At this time and not before, do I believe Obama will be complete. He will then try to remake ths country in his image.

Remember the number, buy the bumper stickers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is Obama a muppet or the puppet master?

Those that know me well, know that, during the election, I had the opinion that Obama was a muppet. May argued he was left wing, and that may be true. Other argues that he was more center-left. Though I believed that he was likely far more left then his words, what he said and what he believed was of little consequence in this election. Besides foreign affairs the President if mostly a figurehead. He has little to do with writing or enforcing law. In this case a figurehead for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

I hoped that I was wrong or even if I was right that he would have a mandate and the quest for power would allow him to manage congress. But like the old Star Trek episode, "Patterns Of Force" where they "instituted a theoretical form of Hitler's National Socialism upon the lawless Ekosians because he believed that it is the most efficient system of government ever devised", the government has taken over and supplanted the figurehead.

Obama talked about "fixing roads" and "helping the states" yet the stimulus bill is full of pork and pet projects that dwarf the valuable spending. Now we have a "funding bill" that is full over 4900+ earmarked projects. So I, I believed that I was right. That he had no power and no control over the Congressional leadership and that they he was a puppet to the puppet masters.

At least I thought I was right until Tuesday and Wednesday. He spoke the other night about restoring the upper tax brackets to those under Clinton. To cut spending in non-critical programs and cut the deficit in half in 4 years. Then the news about his plan began to release on Wednesday including 650+ Billion to begin universal healthcare. The numbers simply do not add up. Then the tax increases began to to leak; including limiting home interest deductions [that should help the housing market]. A total "estimated" budget of 3.7 trillion on tax payer funded income of 2 trillion. If the economy contracts a bit more and/or the price tag goes up (duh) then we are talking about government spending on a pace that is double revenues. This does not include the "one time" spending in the bailouts. So we are looking a deficits that would require tax revenues to double or triple in the coming years.

There is no amount of taxation on "the rich" that can cover that bill. Since over 40% of wage earners already pay zero income tax, this burden will be carried by the ever decreasing population of the employed "wealthy" [which will now be defined as anyone that makes over the median income]. The GDP of the US is estimated to be 13.75 Trillion dollars in 2008. So we are talking about taxation at 30% of all GDP (higher to cover the bailouts). To put that in perspective: taxation has never been over 20% of GDP. In fact it is well understood that tax revenue and GDP are tied tightly together at about 18.5%. [I have found reputable sources that have out tax burden at about 30% already. Based on 13.75 Trillion in GDP and 2.67 Trillion in simple math gives me 19.4%] . So we will need to get from 2.67 Trillion to well over 4 trillion [note that none of this includes growth in already expanding government programs].

Now it is possible that we will not actually pay for this. Seems that "paying for things" is simply out of vogue right now. But either we will pay for it or our children and grandchildren will pay for it with interest.

Based in these simple facts, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the puppet is part of the game (that reminds me of a Twlight Zone episode). That he is using his popularity and oratory skills to say what we want to hear and then turn around and sell us out. So it looks like, some where right, he is a left wing liberal and intent on creating a socialist republic within the United States with an overall tax burden of 40+%. Either that, or his economists have failed 5th grade math and they are completely inept (since they don't pay taxes maybe this is the lesser of two evils). 2010 is coming, I pray we will not be too late.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Still not buying the Gov. Jindal story.

I saw Governor Jindal on Meet the Press with David Gregory. Governor Jindal (of Louisiana) is being touted by many Republicans and the answer to Obama or even more crazy as the next Ronald Reagan. I do not buy it. He makes some good points about "strings attached" and long term spending impacts. But he is weak and not nearly emotionally invested in he responses, like Reagan and dare I say Obama. Listen to the interview and watch for these moments. Then think about what he could have said in reply.

He is willing to say the correct things in grand generalities (like Obama) but when asked point blank to defend tax cuts, he wavered and stammered. The facts recited were fundamentally false and Jindal did not know it! He was told that revenues dropped and median incomes did not rise. FALSE! Revenues climbed as did median incomes (in real dollars). It was even a softball. After laying out the invalid numbers he was asked "Do you think these numbers are wrong?"... Come On!

Second, he was asked if stimulus was bad. That Americans were saving and buying down bills, causing the economy to contract. We need the stimulus right? and... nothing!
Answer: Americans are among the most indebted peoples in the world. The government is drunk on deficit spending. The stock market is down 40%+ will no signs of recovery! Do you think people should be spending MORE?! People are smart, people know that in times of uncertainty you need to take a solid assessment of where the money is going and your long term debt. They actually expect their Representatives in Government to do the same. Maybe even read the bill they are signing...then something he actually did say... Throwing more debt and money at the problem only delays the problem... [but missed this]... and forces solving this problem to future generations. That is wholly UNAMERICAN and obfuscating the responsibility granted to us by our electorate!

I hear some of the right words but I do not see the energy and therefore do not believe in Jindal.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The sublety of bias... Senator Gregg edition

It is sometimes tough to recognize bias. Especially, when it is the terms of "exclusion". Simply, leaving out information that might change your view on the situation. The recent situation of Senator Gregg's removing himself from cabinet consideration is a key example.

The media is trying to spin the message as a "partisan Republican, unwilling to work with the ever-flexible and conciliatory Obama." It fits well into their overall massage that Republicans are trying to kill the "bipartisan" stimulus bill. Which is funny since they were not part of writing it in the house or part of the negotiations on the rewrite. Only in the Senate, could this bill itself even be categorized as bipartisan.

But what did they leave out of almost all of their newscasts? The 2010 US census and the shift of power from the Commerce Department to the White House. This purely political move was one of the reasons (labelled "slight catalyzing reason" by Gregg) for his withdrawal. Yet, in the LA Times/AP story, ABC, NBC and CBS the soundbite was trimmed or skipped. But the CBS Evening News story from Chip Reid did find time to give us this, "a top Democratic source on Capitol Hill was more blunt, saying Gregg actively campaigned for the job, then' erratically dropped out without warning.' CNN picked it up (yeah CNN) and had this to say, "sources close to Senator Gregg say the bigger issue for him was the White House's effort to take control of the census."

You see the politicalization of the US census doesn't fit the "Obama the bipartisan" or "Republicans are partisan" spin. If you mention that the shift of power by the President had an impact you could defeat your own argument and views on the subject. Of course, Gregg refusing to vote for the porkulus bill also had impact. I like Gregg's words as they speak volumes, "Obviously the president requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives." That does not sound bipartisan. sounds like "my way or the highway". What did the Obama team say about this, "very clear throughout the interviewing process" that Gregg could "support, embrace and move forward" with Obama's agenda [Fox reports].

Truth is that they are all partisan. Obama is building on his left wing agenda and there is no room for a fiscal conservative. Gregg was elected because of his views by the people he represents and should not change those views to get a cabinet post or pass a bad bill. [I am happy my Senators and congressmen voted against this bill. They are performing their duty as I would expect.] Just cover the facts, put out the quotes and do not tell me what to think or hide valuable details.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jobs and Industries Democrats are trying to kill

This is meant to become a running list of all of the industries specifically targeted for destruction by the Democrat party. Many of these are obvious but the goal it to look at the ripple effects of each of these decisions and understand the impact on the unemployment picture and the economy as a whole.

Target: Big Oil
Impact: Rig Workers, Parts Manufacturers, Local Service, Gas Prices (which impacts inflation)

Target: Tobacco Companies
Impact: Employees, Farmers, Tax Revenue (all those pet programs "for the kids" supported by this revenue)

Target: Banks
Impact: Employees, New York Restaurants, Las Vegas (and other conference cities), Event planners, wait staff, cooks

Target: Private Jets
Impact: Manufacturer, Small Airports, Pilots, Service Technicians, Oil Companies, Steel Manufacturing, Parts Suppliers

Hope that you do not know anyone in any of these industries or reliant on these industries. The economy is connected, pick and choose winners and losers and the ripples are long and wide. The end results is always the same, lower employment; usually in the service sectors that support these businesses and towns, lower tax revenue and more government control of free enterprise. Make no mistake. This is either the end goal or they are incompetent. I believe they know full well what they are doing and government control of private business is the end game.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daschle Out, Tax Reform In?

I think that Republicans need to take the high ground here. I know very little about Tom Daschle but he seems to be well respected, especially in Healthcare. The best course of action here is simply to express regret for the impact on a experienced public servant.

Regret that the tax code as implemented and manipulated over the years is continuing to cause President Obama issues. I believe that Republicans can begin to ask the simple questions about simplifying the tax code. Not by creating more exceptions for rich folks who get favors (like Daschle) but more to a simple tax code.

I am a recent convert from a flat tax to the Fair Tax due to an issue that is center to this argument. That issue is compliance. How difficult is it to track a foreign organizations payments to a US citizen, as in the case of Geitner? Or a gift of services as in the case of Daschle? A flat tax would likely have the same issues of compliance as the current code where that payments were simply not made. Or in the case of gifts the flat tax may simply avoid counting that as income and allow wealthy gifting to become the norm. The Fair Tax (National Consumption Tax) would tax the spending done after the income. Any services purchased even gifted have an added tax which would have been paid by the service company in either case. Income foreign of domestic is not a concern as the money spent locally is taxed. This Fair Tax also gets federal income from the wealthy as they spend their wealth.

Now is the time to take the mantel forward.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cutting grocery bills easily by 33%

I have always been frugal and specifically in regards to my grocery shopping. I was talking with a friend about it (recently unemployed friend). He found it of value and asked me to post it. I was slightly surprised because I thought more people did this. I guess not.

The steps are simple.
1. Plan you meals based on sales fliers.

We plan our meals for the week after the sales fliers come out on Thursday (also repeated in the Sunday paper here). Based on the items (especially meat) that are on sale, we match up the sale items to our known recipes.

2. Clip coupons.

It is a simple thing but works. In Georgia, both Publix and Kroger will double any coupon under 50 cents. Matched against the sales fliers we can cut prices by over 75%. It does take discipline to stay ahead of the coupon pile and use them before they expire. We have kids, they like to cut out things. If you do not get the Sunday paper, get it. This pays for itself. If not you can use on-line sites and preprinted coupons. This is less tactile and for some reason that has kept me from totally buying in. I have heard great things about but I believe they will match your grocery list to coupons for you (not sure about doubling here).

It is also important to know whether or not your store will let you buy one in a buy 1-get-1 deal. Some stores simply discount by 50% and others require that you buy two by making the second item 0.00. Store and Manufacturers coupons are different and can be used together to maximize discounts.

3. Stock Up

When you get a good price on a non-perishable item. Get enough to make it to the next sale. I have found this to be about 3 months but it varies by items.

4. Shop by Store

WARNING: Some simple match may be required.

Most neighborhoods have more than one Grocery store. Know what is on sale at each and plan accordingly. I usually do not have to jump from one to the other. If you plan you can get 3-4 meals from one and 3-4 from the other giving you the option to shop when it is convenient.

It is important to know the approximate price of items in different stores. Target and Walmart (especially the super-stores) usually beat the store prices on many of the non-perishables. These do not need to be bought each week (hence non-perishable) so plan to stock up. These stores also take coupons (but do not double).

Warehouse clubs are great for the daily items (per towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies) but perishables need to be bought with caution (unless you want to eat chicken parts for one month straight). Make sure the membership is worth it. Are you really going to save $45?

If you are still not quite sure it is worth it. I will give you our last Grocery bills. Now you have to remember that based on different purchases in other stores we manage what we actually buy from the grocery store.

69.30 savings 35.39 or 33.8%
89.25 savings 38.24 or 30.0%

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Does the media know what Bipartisan means?

It would seem from all of the press coverage of the "stimulus" bill that the term bipartisan is a bit confused. Based on a quick review on, I found that it means "representing, characterized by, or including members from two parties or factions"... odd. Based on the coverage of the vote it would seem to mean "voting for something that democrats vote for" and though that would then create a bipartisan vote it is not the definition.

There were two bipartisan votes yesterday on the "stimulus" and both are getting very little coverage. The first was a vote against the big pork barrel main bill all the Republicans and 11 democrats voted against the bill. By definition that would be bipartisan. The other vote was for the Republican alternative bill which garnered 10 Democrat votes. But I see no coverage of this fact.

I did see Howard Dean on CNBC. He expressed the overarching "new definition" for bipartisan. He words were cleaned up but the basic message was this "we won the election, vote like us or you will keep losing". No understanding for the bipartisan opposition to the pork in this bill. No value is placed on the constituents that put these Representatives in office. Simply "vote like us".

This bill is not stimulus. Even the CBO stated that only .12 of every dollar (For the Obamatons that would be "a lot less than half") will go towards stimulating the economy. So 88% of the money goes to what? Pork...the NEA, Acorn, Alternative Fuels, an ATV trail (that might count on the 12%) and adding more children (with family income over the median and up to age 30) to the government healthcare roles. In other words pet projects for Democrat constituents that got them elected. I know many will say that is why they are there and this is what their constituents expect. I tend to agree. The American people say they want change they say they want things to be different. But in the end they want something for themselves and if it means $9000 for every tax paying family to that they can get some spare change back. They continue to put these people in power.

But Taxes are not going up and the economy is in decline. So this "money" does not exist. How can a project be run on money that does not exist. How can the programs that can't be paid for now, be increased? It is called "printing money" or "deficit spending". I thought this was the reason Republicans lost power in 2006. Too much spending and yet we have turned the spicket into a fire hose and left on on full.

I blame us. We put them there. We keep them there. We are rewarding deficit spending. They overspend, we overspend, we are all in debt and the economy is collapsing. So we spend more. What sense does that make. We are the greedy &^*&(%^ that care more about soaking the other guy then preserving the economy for future generations.

Unfortunately, I do not think the spending will stop. This "porkulus" bill will fail to help the economy. It will grow government and government jobs and dependency. And we will ask for more help and another bill will be passed, spending even more money we do not have.

If it were to continue, the interest on these payments will eventually outpace revenue (that would be money taken from most of us...still most for a few more months) and out debtors will realize we are in default. The economy will go deeper into recession (probably depression at this point). But that is ok because this bill "saved jobs". They will argue that it would have been a lot worse, the media will parrot the sentiment and the spiral continues.

Some will remember the brave 188 that voted in a bipartisan vote to slow this train, they tried to take another course. I hope enough will join will them in the coming months and years to stop the train. The path out of deficit spending is hard and disciplined. It means cutting back not spending more it means putting votes at risk to do what is right. I wonder if enough of them have that much courage.