Thursday, January 29, 2009

The true Democrat definition of rich

I just figured out a secret that I don’t think most people in America have noticed. The fact is it’s not much of a secret, it’s more like the elephant in the room. And Democrats have successfully avoided mentioning it for a while now.

Looking at the supposed “stimulus” package that is trying to be shoved through Congress before the public realizes what’s in the package I noticed something. Now we have to step into the way back machine called facts for a moment. Democrats be prepared.

“So, if you make $31,850 or more you may not feel like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett but you are going to get taxed like them.”

Remember that? It was March of 2008 when all the Democratic candidates (including then-Senator Obama) voted to increase taxes on anyone making more than $31,850. It was at that time that Democrats started to insist with high order of polispeak that only the rich would suffer under their leadership.

Of course that leadership also was asleep as the mortgage crisis grew and then spawned the credit crisis. Both of which are still evolving into bigger problems. But I digress.

As then-Senator Obama won the Primaries, he began to discuss, vaguely, his economic and tax plans. It was a central point that he envisioned the rich as the sole point of higher taxes. This of course raised the question, what is rich?

The Obama campaign started to almost answer that question with anyone making around $250,000. That later went down to $200,000. Shortly after that it became $150,000. Then the nation got distracted, as financial institutions fell left and right. The only question at that point was who else Rep. Barney Frank might blame the collapse on other than himself.

Now we can move up to the present.

The House Democrats (minus 11 bi-partisan Democrats who joined the entire Republican membership) voted to pass the bloated, non-immediate, useless, stimulus package that also seeks to fund Honey bees, fix NASA, and study ‘global warming’ among other useless actions. But in this current version of the non-‘stimulus package’ there is a provision for tax rebates.

The money is to be provided to the public, as a savings each month for 4 months of about $120. But here is the catch. It’s only good for up to the first $8150 you earn, so if you exceed that amount before the 4 months are up you lose out.

Worse yet is who will get that money. And this is the elephant. You must make less than $75,000 (or $150,000 jointly). And there is the new definition of rich. The answer that has been over 6 months in the waiting has presented itself.

So if you thought Obama would only tax the rich, hello you very likely are now part of that group. Honestly I never considered making $75,000 as rich. It isn’t poor but its just as far from Bill Gates.

Think about that. Middle class income is a cut-off point for Democrats in Congress, and President Obama who is all in favor of the stimulus package as is. Can anyone tell me this is what they expected when they voted for President Obama?

If this is the threshold for who gets help, and who pays for that help, it seems more lopsided than even during the Primaries where Democrats were leapfrogging each other to sound more moderate and friendly to the public. But Congress is not partisan, nor are the current batch of polispeak promise socialisic – according to the self-admitted major news media.

Let’s be honest. If President Obama told the American public the truth, that he considered $75,000 rich, he never would have been elected. No wonder he never gave a firm answer. And why Democrats have avoided the issue entirely, because the public backlash would sink the approval ratings faster than Nancy Pelosi can waste money. And that is very fast indeed.

Well you may not hear the truth in many other place, but you have heard it from me. If you doubt this, just look up the provisions of the stimulus plan. It’s right there for you to see.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

America is failing the children of the world

It’s a real shame that American politics is so filled with polispeak and soundbites that most don’t know how ineffective our Government can be. One of the most glaring failures of our Government can be seen in the Child Soldier Prevention Act.

This was introduced to Congress in 2006, then again in 2007, and again in 2008. It has never become law. In fact it has yet to make it out of committee. Imagine that. It has yet to make it out of committee.

In the 109th Congress, under the title H.R. 5966 this Act was meant

“To end the use of child soldiers in hostilities around the world, and for other purposes.”

In the 110th Congress under the titles of H.R. 2620, H.R. 3028, and S. 1175 (covering 2007 and 2008) this Act never made it into committee.

But at least it was in Congress. Before 2005 it wasn’t even an issue. Even though more than 30,000 children were used as soldiers in just the Congo region from 1998 – 2003. And even with this fact being known, and the Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga currently under trial at the International Criminal Court for what he has done, the current 111th Congress has failed to even do its usual half-hearted act of introducing the Act.

I’m not so foolish as to believe that if America’s Congress got off its collective fat ass and passed this Act all the slime of the world would stop using children as soldiers. But it would be a statement. It would be an action. And perhaps the fear of losing American dollars and Government support might decrease the number and desire for child soldiers. Children are the innocents of the world, and they deserve at least that much.

Yet not a single Congress has been able to do anything about this. And I have to wonder why. I would love to know what objection ANY member of Congress has to this Act. What part of ending the use of children in war makes them reluctant to have their name on this Act?

Now some might say this is not a big deal. That if this were important it would be on the news. Except the news media is not in the business of telling the public what is going on in the world. Their job is to distract and emphasize stereotypes, and they do that well. And anything that causes the death of any child that is easily and responsibly preventable should always be done.

Perhaps, just maybe, if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could stop trying to pump up her wind power stock investment, or searching for something to blame on the past Administration, she could actually lead lead Congress and pass this Act. I can’t see how this could be held up if anyone in Congress actually gave a damn and moved on it.

These aren’t American children. But does that really matter? For Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrat-led Congress it seems that it does. And I take that as an insult to America.

If you agree, get in touch with your Congressman or Congresswoman. Contact your Senators. Demand that Congress act. It’s a little thing, but it is something. And we can hardly stand in front of the world, professing our belief in freedom and democracy, while we allow the one group in society that cannot act in their own defense to be abused and killed.

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The Democratic Party: entertaining with polispeak

Democrats are really something. I don't say this because I favor Democrats. Nor because they are special in any way. And let me clarify this - I am speaking about politicians and not people.

Democrats are just as prone to polispeak. They break campaign promises just as often. They have scandals, ignore constituents, and promote special interests as much as any other political group. But the thing that really gets me is the style they have in doing all this.

Democrats don't just get caught stealing money, they have it sitting in their refrigerator. They don't just nominate (or appoint) officials that no one has heard of or lacking experience, they go out and get people that are particularly unqualified.

Just look at recent events. In New York State we had a Democratic Governor that was actively looking to appoint Caroline Kennedy. She has no experience, has no defined political positions, and her best argument for the position is her last name. Why did she not get the position as Senator? Because she has a massive number of skeletons in her closet; and even with that information Gov. Patterson was still courting her at the last minute.

Then there is Illinois. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was caught trying to sell the Senate seat. Rather than resign, he turned the tables and made an appointment to the position. Thus making the story about the lack of Black Senators, the question of the validity of the appointment, the credibility of the appointee, and the division in the Democratic Party.

In fact the Governor of Illinois is still causing an uproar. because instead of defending himself he is talking about how he wanted Oprah Winfrey for the job. Talk about unqualified.

Yes, Winfrey is intelligent, and popular. Yes she does good deeds, and has a ton of cash. In fact she is the exact equal of Caroline Kennedy. Including the fact that she has no qualification for public office. The closest she has ever come to anything political is her lavish support of President Obama during the Primaries and election. And that puts her on the list of possibles.

Democrats don't just have balls, they are crazy. They seem willing to substitute qualifications for publicity. They seem to promote opinion polls versus positions. And they do so in a hoard of media cameras as if they were entertainers or celebrities. And then they expect us to blame EVERYONE else when things go wrong - like Barney Frank insists.

Other political parties have at least an equal number of foul-ups in their ranks. They all have prima donnas and power-hungry opportunists. But in the Democratic Party it seems that this is the best features in their top ranks.

I just can't wait to see what will happen next. Las Vegas should be running betting pools over what will happen first. Barney Frank blaming the extension of bank failures on someone else (likely the Bush Administration for another 18 months), Secretary of State Clinton being questioned about receiving tens of millions from foreign Governments while in discussions with those nations on behalf of America, Vice President Biden saying something racist and/or stupid, or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid insisting the time of the Congress is best spent combing thru every document and comment ever made in the prior 8 years.

And all the while bulbs will be flashing, and news media will be gushing as President Obama tells the nation that he will change things while they stay exactly the same.

Yet its other political parties that are bad for the nation, filled with malcontents, and ineffective. Only Democrats would have the balls to look the nation in the eyes and spew that polispeak.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Who has bigger balls, Congress or Clinton? Clinton it seems.

Sometimes you almost feel like Congress can get something right. Then you realize it’s Congress – the worst Congress ever, that has accomplished the least ever – and then you know how bad you’re screwed.

Case in point. Senator Hillary Clinton is about to become the Secretary of State. Such an abomination should never happen outside of a nightmare. But the reality is that the wicked witch of pure ambition has made it virtually through the confirmation process.

Then you notice that Senator Lugar has a problem with the conflict of interest Senator Clinton has with the Clinton Foundation. Hurray someone is paying attention. Until he says he won’t hold up her approval.

Then you get another burst of intelligence out of the collectively dim, this time from Sen. John Cornyn. He too has the inspiration to notice that the Clinton Foundation is a conflict if it continues to receive tens of millions from foreign governments while Hillary is Secretary of State.

“Transparency transcends partisan politics and the American people deserve to know more."

Then he goes on to say he won’t block the confirmation either. On top of which the true genius of the Senate, Harry Reid proclaims that he will push Clinton thru either with a voice vote or a roll call vote – which Democrats know can’t be defeated.

So all we have to provide the nation with the assurance that our Secretary of State is unquestionably looking out for the nation is her unyielding ambition for power (which got her this job in the first place) and her assurance that there will be no conflict. Because we all know that the word of a Clinton is unimpeachable.

Except when it comes to commodity trades, adultery, pardons, political backstabbing, talking to the media, establishing a position on illegal immigration, actual political influence, historical fact of work done, or promises to constituents. How could anyone doubt them?

Where are all the balls in Congress? Surely there is a Congressman or woman that is willing to say that based on the past history of the Clintons, and their campaigns, and their top aides, just taking their word is not enough to become Secretary of State. You would think someone would want to hold her up, or attempt to block her. Yet none of the Representatives and Senators of Congress has a backbone it seems. And they are the people that are strong enough to help President Obama lead the nation out of this near depression?

If this is the kind of response we can expect from the 111th Congress, I might wish for the time wasting, money spending, pork barrel loving, ineffective 110th Congress. The days of Congressional hearings seeking to find out known facts and investigate legal actions for months seems like a pleasure cruise to a Congress that is unwilling to question and halt the image of corruption.

What can we expect from them if we find that there actually becomes corruption in fact? Maybe Barney Frank looking dumb in the camera as he watches video of himself spout utter nonsense some more. This time maybe Pelosi and Reid will join him. What a tea party.

The question of the honesty of the Secretary of State, the incorruptibility of the office, is at stake here. This is massively serious. And it is being handled as if this were about parking tickets from the U.N.

If this is what an Obama Administration portends, it’s a dark 4 years coming.

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you

I have been talking about the economy and what would happen if a Democrat would win since late 2007. When it became clear that President Obama was the Democratic nominee I discussed how the stock market would react to his win. And after the election I forecasted what would likely happen to the Dow Jones Index on inauguration day.

I hit the nail on the head. Well close enough to that anyway. I called for a 7600 Dow on or shortly after the inauguration. I called for a 500 point drop on inauguration day. And I detailed how the economy would continue to tailspin to levels last seen in the Carter Administration.

The Dow Jones Index closed down 332 points. The Dow currently sits at 7949. That’s down 4% from Friday and 12% since the start of the year.

Some will want to blame this all on President Bush, but the reality from Wall Street is that a Liberal Democratic President is a negative for the economy. If only ½ the economic promises made on the campaign trail come true the national debt will tower over any level seen before, and none of the plans are good for private business. And that is bad for investing.

Still crude oil is at lows, and the inflation hitting food has not increased in a while. So maybe Joe Public doesn’t realize how bad things will get, yet. But Wall Street is preparing. And they are looking at the long haul.

I still target the low of the first half at about 7600. I still believe that the money wasted on the mortgage/ credit bailouts will increase drastically. I say again that the 2nd stimulus plan will be a worse waste of money than the first under President Bush. And I insist that the Democrat-led Congress under Pelosi and Reid are the worst Congress in at least my lifetime.

I really hope to be wrong. But so far I am 4% or 349 points from being exactly on target. Any spike in oil prices, a run on gold, a blip in the value of the dollar, continued fighting in Israel, or any of a number of anti-American nations - and terrorist groups - beating their chests (as Vice President Biden promised will happen) and my targets will be exceeded. And all the feel-good talk prior to the inauguration will evaporate.

Yes the stimulus plan will be a great political boost for our new President. And public opinion will soar, until everyone realizes that the extra $60 a week (or less) will not prevent them from losing jobs. Or that at some point soon you will be paying taxes for a house you don’t own. Or paying for a healthcare system that is substandard and as convoluted as any department of the Government. Stock will lead the way down.

But there is time to avoid all this. Congress can reel back all the new additional spending. President Obama can give up on the 2nd stimulus plan. Taxes could be cut, at both the corporate and personal levels. And departments of the Government could be trimmed of wasteful spending.

In a pig’s eye.

Congress is going to spend more than what has been used to bailout the financial industry as the first shot in the bow. Additional money will soon be needed to balance the financials already continuing to flounder, not counting those that will follow like dominoes. And the auto industry that stated flatly that a penny less than $50 billion in a bailout would mean Chapter 11, will become bankrupt as they did not get their money.

Increased regulation will increase cost, and fail to increase good business decisions. And companies will fail. The stock market will lead it all down. Lines will form for Government corporate handouts. The national debt will soar.

Sounds bleak doesn’t it. It should. It is happening before your eyes. By the end of the 1st quarter Joe Public will feel it, badly. Just in time for taxes.

And if I am only as correct as I was about my prediction for the inauguration, well you can see what that will mean. I hope, honestly hope, that I will be wrong.

I really want to be wrong. But what I see in the marketplace tells me that I am right. That double digit inflation and unemployment are mere months away. And that it will last at least as long as the Obama Administration, if not longer.

So since putting your money in a bank will gain you nothing, the taxes on investments make that plan dumb for anything with a return in the next 2 years, and gold is already moving just wait. Wait and take small bites all the way down. Because America will rebound at some point. Because I hope to be wrong soon. The reward from that will be better than me eating crow, it will be a stronger economy.

I can’t wait.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Billions for foreclosure, billions wasted

So now President Obama seems to be interested in providing up to $100 billion for those in foreclosure or about to be. It's a really great gesture. It will surely help his approval rating. And it will help guarantee that he receives the full $850 billion he has wanted for the Democrat proposed stimulus plan.

But I am opposed to this. Not because I don't want people to keep their homes. But because this is a terrible idea.

First there are the homeowners who are not in foreclosure. Those of us that are doing everything we can to maintain our homes are at a disadvantage. We get nothing from the proposed stimulus except the $120 a month that has been stated. Which is little to nothing compared to the cost of a mortgage, and raising a family, while trying to save enough money to ensure that if we lose our jobs we have something as a cushion.

In fact, it seems almost beneficial to allow your home to go into foreclosure these days. The Government is so busy trying to ensure you cannot lose your home that they are basically encouraging people to do so. You can negotiate a lower interest rate, defer payments, extend the life of a mortgage, remove interest, and soon there will be payments from the Government to subsidize your home. Given all that, why the hell is it worth struggling to stay out of foreclosure?

Second, in spending money on the foreclosures it is that much less money spent on the economy. Given I think the stimulus plan is as much of a waste as the Bush stimulus plan, basically a political look good tool or polispeak for the masses. But if spending money is the plan to turn the economy around, why dilute that plan?

In effect the average American will be paying back, at some point in the future via taxes, the money they receive + the money given to homes that are not their own + money given to businesses that made bad business decisions. And that is just the looking forward money (and does not include his new spending for new Government programs). The Government has already obligated us to pay back previous money received + several bank bailouts (which did nothing to improve the stock market and retirement accounts) + auto industry money + bailing out an insurance giant. All while inflation is creeping higher.

And none of the money going to any business or institution has any guarantee of repayment. Nor if there were repayment, any way planned of how that money would be assessed. The money could be used to fund pet politician projects (like ACORN was initially set to receive) or some other Government inspired spending spree. We don't know.

Which says nothing of the fact that the Government has no idea how the money will be spent, or where it is spent. Billions are unaccounted for at this moment, and the Obama Adminsitration has stated it intends to add tens of billions more into the pot with little better knowledge than before. Unless you believe that Congress got a lot smarter since the elections in November. The majority of politicians that were there before are still there. Like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who couldn't figure out what was happening in the economy until after the problems hit the news. And they head financial oversight committees, still. Think they are any smarter or more adept than 3 months ago?

But again on the foreclosures. I have enough trouble paying my mortgage, my household expenses, taxes, and preparing for higher corporate taxes. It's hard enough to do all that in an economy that is just flat, and this is anything but. Now the Obama Administration believes I should add on someone else's house? Which I will never get a benefit from.

That's a hard sell to me. Probably why I did not vote for President Obama. These are no surprises. But they are as bad a set of decisions as I expected them to be. This is not going to help the economy, though I expect it to temporarily help the approval ratings of Congress (which needs it badly).

I don't entirely blame President Obama though. This entire stimulus plan was the idea of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has been fighting for this for months, increasing the amount each month as she went along. Pelosi has had the distinction of being the worst Speaker of the House, with a Congress of the lowest approval rating, that accomplished the least things, at a higher cost, than I believe any other Congress has done in 111 sessions. That's like betting on the horse that went lame and was pulled from the race. Obama made the bet so he gets that blame, but Pelosi made the horse lame and that's on her all the way.

Spending tens of billions on foreclosures sounds nice, but that's all it is. Polispeak. It is almost entirely probable that it will have no effect except a long-term negative. In fact it may speed up the downward trend President Obama was elected to fix. But it's going to happen, so be prepared.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Surprise! We are still in a bear market.

Let me see if I understand this correctly.

"A jump in unemployment sent stocks sharply lower Friday as investors feared that Americans won't soon deviate from their tightened budgets."

That means that someone thought consumers would go back to spending money, or realistically increasing debt, because the new year started? Or they thought that the $120 a month less in taxes (for only 4 months) President Obama has proposed was going to spur new home purchases? At the same time that nearly every industry in the nation is slashing jobs?

It must be great in the world that some of these economists live in.

We have lost the most jobs in this nation since 1945. That's at the end of WWII, when we scaled back from the massive military supply we needed for the war. And I believe more people had more savings and less debt than today - even adjusting for inflation. And the Government had none of the debt we have today, or will soon have even more of if Congress and President Obama get to spend as they plan on doing.

How could anyone look at the 2nd half of 2008 and not expect consumer spending to continue downwards. To expect the stock market to continue in the bear market that it's been in for months now. I mean what did they expect, President Obama would smile and the world would just step up and buy stocks?

President Obama is a Liberal Democrat. He has said from day one that he will increase the deficit, spending more money than ever before. He has made it explicitly clear that he intends to get even more money from fewer sources, business and the higher incomes. What exactly counts as higher income keeps changing, and getting smaller. And business really loves to have to pay more money as sales shrink.

Let's not forget that with the mismanagement of the Fed and the Treasury (neither of which is President Obama's fault - given) we have wasted billions of bailout dollars, have a line of industries waiting for their turn at the free money ATM called Government, and inflation is the one word no one wants to talk about. And inflation will be the one thing that really kicks everyone's ass.

Of course President Obama will say that the sky is falling tomorrow if he doesn't get to give away all our money. That's polispeak, meaning that he wants to look good at trying something that can't work so he has some political clout before it all falls apart. Then he can point backwards in time and blame everything that fails in his plan on President Bush. Politics as usual.

Of course these "old politics", that President Obama promised to banish, are very good at keeping political clout but horrendous for low wage earners and small business. The stock market knows this. That's why its a bear market. And as we approach the inauguration, I expect even more selling. I mean why have an investment when the taxes on it will cost more than you expect to make in the next 2 or 5 years.

As a stockbroker I learned to look for capitulation in the market. That emotional point when people just give up. That's when smart money jumps in and buys. Except that the emotional selling all happened in September and October. Since the election smart money is selling. And that means things are really going to get worse.

Until there is a reason to buy stocks, the market will continue to slowly slide down. Never in just a straight line, but trend down it will. The Democrat-led Congress will authorize spending in new programs that will not help any one get a job or start a business. The President will come up with plans on how the Government can take care of everyone, while being in every pocket deeper than before. And $1.2 trillion dollars in debt will look like a target to strive for in coming years.

I've said it before and I will again, a Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid Congress with the most Liberal Democratic President in decades equates to double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, rock bottom consumer confidence, and business bankruptcies all not seen since the Carter Adminsitration - if we are lucky to have it that good.

So who is surprised? Not me.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

New stimulus package is 60% waste

Now that we have entered 2009, the time for details has begun. President Obama has now stated that he intends to make 40% of the proposed stimulus plan, that was championed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from $50 billion to its now $800 billion level, business tax-cuts. That is the first logical and reasonable thing I've heard about this plan since its inception.

Some $300 billion dollars will target businesses by cutting taxes on new workers hired and accelerated depreciation among other thoughts. The tax break from hiring new employees is critical. Tax on employees is one factor that cannot be controlled by an owner and is devastating to the bottom line. If this proposal, which is short-term, could be made more substantial - by being proposed long-term or matched by a cut in corporate taxes - it will have a definite impact on the economy. But that is not thinking like a liberal Democrat.

If President Obama goes to his consistent style of thought, and Speaker Pelosi is able to forge ahead with her plans, we will see more of the compartmentalized thinking that dominated the election speeches. That is the thought that there is no connection of one economic plan with any other part, nor that new deficit widening spending or raising taxes might counter any other stimulus proposed. Listening to the Democratic leaders one would believe that each of these things are isolated and do not interact, but in the real world they always do.

Thus if corporate taxes are raised, any gains created from a tax break on new employees will evaporate and those new hires will quickly become unemployed again. But it will buy the politicians a few months of back-patting on the lowering of unemployment.

But the majority of the new stimulus plan is still solidly in the realm of polispeak. Only in that realm is the thought that $500 for singles and $1000 for a family able to turn around a mortgage crisis, credit crunch, and shrinking economy.

The last stimulus plan, which was completely ineffective, came about as a direct payment of money from the Government to the public - which will be repaid in taxes at a later date. That money was used by the majority of Americans to stave off mortgage default and pay down on debt. This time President Obama believes that by directly cutting payroll taxes for 4 months it will have a bigger impact. Which is perhaps even more dream-like an expectation.

That equates to around $120 per month, or $240 for families -
"The $500 tax credit would apply to the first $8,100 of wages, meaning a worker who earns $24,400 a year and is paid twice a month would get about $60 extra per paycheck for four months."
While that is not insignificant, it is not a factor either. If the average person in America has $6,000 in debt currently, and basic monthly costs of some $1500 to live the extra money is 1 night out, or 2% payment on the debt not including interest, or 1 month of cell phone service. Which seems most likely for a person to do?

From what I have heard across the nation a free month of phone service, or paying down on the auto insurance, or electric bill, or catching up with the cable bill, or having a bit of extra food, or paying on the car loan, or replacing clothing are higher priorities than going out for drinks and a dinner. Sure some may buy an new video game, but they may well be doing so because they will be losing cable and thus the game is their only entertainment.

The fact is that stimulus plans that depend on creating money to give to the public, that will need to be paid back via taxes, will never work. Unless the nation were to get $6,000 per person it will never work. The current individual debt and the interest on that debt is too high. And any amount below the current debt load is too small to invest in anything - even if consumer confidence were there.

This stimulus plan is a failure just as much as the one proposed by the Bush Administration was. There is no improvement. There is no greater gain. Money given to the public will garner no positive lasting effect in the economy any more than the last one did. The only thing that will happen is the polispeak will be positive for a time. Great for politicians, but ultimately bad for the public.

If this stimulus were to be a real fix, corporate taxes would be reduced, new employees would create a tax break, accelerated depreciation would be tied to new equipment purchases, and Government would not be directly involved in the daily actions of private business. But that too is a pipe dream. Just like watching the Dow go above 9000 any time soon.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

What the 2008 bailouts really cost

I had some extra time today so I decided to take a look at what has happened this year. I wanted to go back and take a look at the various buyouts and bailouts that the Government has backed, and the promises made so far. And the numbers are horrendous.

The main focus so far is on the $1.5 trillion that has been authorized and/or spent thus far. $700 billion for the bailout of mortgages and the credit crunch, and now another $800 billion for mortgages and consumer loans. But those numbers are not the full amount of cost this year.

The year started with the bailout of Bear Stearns. It cost $29 billion to allow JPMorgan to buy that failed brokerage house. And we were promised that would fix everything. Then there was the $150 billion stimulus package that was promised to fix the sagging economy, which failed. Then came Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which Representative Barney Frank publicly pronounced as healthy and secure, that cost $120 billion each (not including the $600 billion that is now part of the $800 billion bailout package). And the numbers are still not done.

AIG cost $120 billion by itself. That though was said to be included in the $700 billion authorized by Congress. That means of the 1/2 of the funds given to Treasury Secretary Paulson only $230 billion was available for everything else needed. Not counting the tens of billions given to banks, or the money spent to buy bad loans at unknown valuations.

Of course there was also Citigroup. This cost $20 billion plus $306 billion for guarantees of their bad loans, for a total of $326 billion. Now that is a problem because if the funds came out of the same pool as AIG, we are in a bigger negative than the spending is already creating. A double negative of sorts. And yes I know that guarantees are not the same as cash, but a guarantee must be backed by something besides words. Which means cash from somewhere.

But let us not forget the $25 billion given to the auto industry. And that has nothing to do with the additional $25 billion that is being asked for now, just roughly 5 weeks later. Which is separate money. And that precedent is going to lead to the requests of the airline, credit card, home building/construction and other industries. If the Government is handing out money to businesses, it would be folly not to get in the line.

So the total is $1.94 trillion dollars. Which does not include Citigroup or the additional amounts from the auto industry. Including that figure we get $2.27 trillion in money that never existed and must be repaid. To be exact that means that every American, each of the 300 million citizens, owes $7,567 to the Government.

It is expected that some of these loans and stock purchases will eventually break-even or turn a profit. The expectation is that will happen in 10 - 15 years. Though it is absolutely unclear how the public will be repaid, though the Government will collect all the money. Thus it is possible that the Government will receive money from the public and hold repayments from loans - effectively being paid twice. And it is very likely that any repayment will be funneled into Government agencies instead of the public, as was attempted by Democrats with the first version of the mortgage bailout bill.

But even if 40% of the loans were to make a 50% profit, the bulk of the debt incurred will still be greater. And that does not cover the direct cash infusions made without a loan or repayment provision - which is about 70% of all the funds so far as I can gather.

And the fun does not end there. Remember that President-elect Obama, pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has promised a now $700 billion second stimulus plan. The exact details of this plan are unclear, but some amount will be given to the public and some will be used to fund public works. Or so the loose plans state so far. That would mean that in 1 year the cost is $2.97 trillion.

And President-elect Obama still is pushing to add over $800 billion in new spending for new and/or expanded programs. That makes it $3.77 trillion. Or in terms of cost to you and I - $12,567. That's for every man, woman, and child alive right now - working or not.

Put in different terms, this money could have completely funded the entire NASA budget (roughly $419 billion unadjusted for inflation) since inception nearly 10 times over. We could have funded 1,000 moon landings ($36 billion unadjusted) including all the research and development.

Let me make it more personal. That amount is more than the entire net worth of Oprah Winfrey, Bob Johnson, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, George Soros, and Warren Buffett combined and multiplied by 10. It's enough money that every single American citizen, of any age, could go to the average college for 2 years. It's enough money to give every American alive today a 10% down-payment on a $120,000 house.

And there is no guarantee, in fact there is reason to highly doubt, that it will get better.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Auto bailout - a sign of bad government

I just love the way that Congress is trying to look tough these days. An auto industry bailout? Hold on, we need details. Right.

Come on, this is the same group of people that handed $700 billion to Treasury Secretary Paulson without a plan. It was the same group of people that fell asleep when Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac were in trouble (someone wake up Barney Frank). And it was these very same people that gave away $25 billion to the auto industry about a month ago.

Does anyone seriously believe that they won’t bailout the auto industry, and receive neither repayment terms, nor assurances of industry improvement. They couldn’t even create a bailout for the financial industry that could prevent Paulson from moving the money around however he chooses, and that was a concern of House Republicans from the start. With even more Democrats in Congress, and the continued misleadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi is a better outcome likely?

I’m reminded of a quote from Ben Franklin I believe.

“Doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.”

I apologize to Franklin is I got the quote wrong. But the point stands. And it will stay in place until the mid-term elections in 2010. Won’t the damage be interesting to see then.

The fact is that the U.S. automakers need to fail. Let several go bankrupt. It won’t be the end of the world. It will actually be the best thing that could happen.

When large companies fail a couple of things always happens. Several smart businessmen rummage through the wreckage and find bits that they can create new companies with. Those new companies will in part of the gap the old company had, but mismanaged. That spurs growth as a new corporation grows in that niche.

Also the old behemoth of a company slims down. Much of the old baggage is discarded, and the company refocuses on whatever they do best. Renewed energy flows and the company normally creates profits the old company could never do.

This is all good for the economy, though the jolt during the process is unpleasant. But it creates a stronger economy than the one existing before it. And more people are employed after these events than before.

The worst aspect of the auto bailout is the fact that it will be followed by an airlines bailout, and a retail bailout, and probably another financial markets bailout. The Government has made a precedent of stepping into the markets and private industry, because they are afraid of the pain. And in each case it has proven one thing. The Government has no idea what it is doing.

The more socialized things become the more the Government is compelled to step in. The more money is thrown around to avoid feeling bad, the worse everyone feels. Because the Government is incapable of fixing anything, nor can they regulate bad decisions out of business. And they shouldn’t. Bad decisions are normal business and are resolved in the marketplace over time.

Only in America is the concept of perfect markets feasible. It’s stupid and regrettable. But it also seems inevitable. Were that not so, the auto industry execs would never have taken separate corporate jets to fly to D.C. and speak with Congress. They did it because they know they will get the money.

I stated that the Dow Jones will hit 7600 in 2009. But if Congress throw more money at the problems in the markets, and involves more politicians that sleep when they should be watchful (Frank and Chris Dodd) I could be very wrong to the upside.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dow 7600? Believe it

As the 4th quarter moves steadily towards the holidays and businesses across the nation collectively hold their breath, I decided to look forward to 2009. What are some of the things that I see coming economically in the new year?

Dow Jones Index at 7600. Yep that’s a bleak statement. It’s not what anyone is asking for in their wishlist to Santa this year (except a few masochistic short-sellers). This is definitely a lump of coal.

But I will say something that you really aren’t expecting. That’s the upside in my view.

The 4th quarter of 2008 is going to be bad. Very Bad. We all know it. We knew it when before Halloween businesses were already getting their Christmas displays in order. They needed sales that bad. And still do.

Unemployment is up, financial companies are laying off people in the thousands, and the prospect of inflation looms larger by the day. Add to that recipe a Democratic President (a historically bad indicator for the economy) who’s policies – based on his voting records – are extremely left leaning, a Democrat-led Congress, the worst Speaker of the House ever, and you get a big mess.

But there is the fact that over $1.2 trillion has been spent this year to bailout the mortgage and credit crisis. The money has been the worst spent money I have seen since Waterworld was made. And the fact that no one has control over how or where this money is being spent, just means that it is being spent poorly and ineffectively.

So all that is left to look forward to is the thought that the auto makers are now first in line to ask for their own bailout, to be followed by retailers, pharmaceuticals, airlines and probably every other industry in America. And Congress will likely pony up the money for each of them.

But let us not forget that Congress has included the people in their spend at will program. So far a 2nd stimulus plan is being conceived, growing from an initial hidden $50 billion, to $150 to $300, and now is being speculated at $500 billion dollars. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t just screw up, she does it with swings to the bleachers.

Any one of these things would not hurt the stock market that much. And the by-product of severely deflated oil prices would be a boon to business in the mid-term. But it’s all happening at once. Saving on energy doesn’t matter much when you have no sales revenue.

The weakness in the stock market can bee seen in that just before the presidential election, the big institutions watched the polls and sold to get out of the way before President Obama was voted in. His promises to raise taxes, and his historic voting record were not overlooked. The only pause in selling came to allow smaller investors a chance to buy into the market and raise prices for the next wave of selling. My guess is that most of the money is sitting in cash right now, waiting for an opportunity in anything but stocks. At least in the U.S.

This means that New York City will get crushed this year. Bonuses from financials are getting scrutinized and thus being cut across the board. That means less money in the tri-state area, and thus a bad Northeast holiday season. That means the east coast will suffer and the nation as a rippling effect.

I’m sure some believe the polispeak that Wall Street and Main Street are separate – a concept only politicians could come up with. But this is how I see it all playing out.

Holiday sales will be off from last years rate, further pressuring the Dow Jones Index. Unemployment will increase going into the New Year, and inflation will start to rise.

President Obama will get inaugurated and the Dow will drop 500 points. This is not a racial reaction, but a political one. Within a week or so of that date a $300 billion 2nd stimulus plan will be passes raising the market temporarily. Several forward indicators will suggest a negative 4th quarter and 1st quarter 2009. Home sales will drop again – due to fewer loan approvals. Home prices should drop in proportion, with foreclosures increasing.

Oil prices should stabilize at around $65 - $70 per barrel to start the year as speculation and alternative investments will drive the price higher. Gold and precious metals should all increase dramatically in a similar manner to that of 2008. Growth in China will likely stall as well, especially since the boost from the Olympics will have faded.

President Obama will be forced to state that he will not raise corporate taxes, and a smaller increase in capital gains will be proposed. Taxes will increase roughly 3% on all income groups.

HD television service will cause a disruption across the nation and millions realize they need different television set, and will spike retail sales – but this is a false increase in the economy. It will be read as a positive indicator by politicians though.

Several mid-sized financials will fail, blame will go to short-sellers and corporate greed. Increased regulations will be passed that will not address the potential for bad business decisions, and the markets will sell again in fear of a more socialized America. The first rounds of nationalized healthcare will be discussed. The national debt will run higher, the deficit even more so as new spending will have no check from Congress.

Confidence in the U.S. Treasuries will weaken, and several nations will begin to sell in hopes of buying national debt of England and a few isolated nations. There will not be a run on America as this would instantly plunge the world into a depression. But the fear will accelerate pressure on the markets. The Fed will lower interest rates again to counter these fears, and to again increase loan availability. Inflation will start to gain attention in the media.

Unemployment will hit a 20 year high, again raising fears of a depression. And Iran and Russia will take aggressive stances in the world stage. Oil will run on this fear, as will gold. But direct crisis will be averted for the time being.

I expect all of this to happen in the first quarter of 2009. It is my expectation that to some degree every item I mentioned will occur. The importance and effect of each of these items will depend on timing and reaction as they all play off of each other. But the net result will be a 7600 Dow Jones Index, or lower.

I expect that this will be the bottom of the market. Smaller investors will flee the markets, and discussion of Federal intervention to save 401K’s will begin. This will also be seen as socialistic, but the need will outweigh these fears. The market will likely hover in this bottom range for the 2nd Quarter.

I’m not sure what might happen next.

I hope that I am wrong an most of these expectations. I would love to see the market gain confidence and rally in the face of these events. I hope that President Obama can rise to the occasion and lift the economic and personal spirits. But that is yet to be seen.

If I am as correct as I was in 2008, then 60 – 70% of what I have said will occur, though not exactly in my timeframe. Take that as you will.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

President Obama's first 100 days: a prediction

Ok, now that the Obama election win inspired drunkenness has passed the question for many is what is he going to do. Fantastic speeches, and pointing fingers at the past are wonderful ways to get elected, but mean nothing when you need to lead. What can we discern now?

Well we know that Obama is leaning heavily on his old Chicago political contacts. And so far they have been very non-partisan Democrats. I am speaking of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. So that means that bi-partisan policies are likely going out the window right after President Bush exits the White house door.

This bodes well for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the Democrat-led Congress. They will have a field day passing all the laws they hoped for. Whether that will be good for the Average American is highly questionable.

Speaker Pelosi is relatively giddy right now, because he 2nd stimulus plan is well on the way of being passed. After her failure to slip the plan into the $700 billion dollar bailout (then only a mere $50 billion plan) without notice – and the failure to fund ACORN and other pro-Democrat organizations with any proceeds from the bailout (instead of paying back Americans) – Pelosi didn’t give up. Her next step was to approach the Bush Administration with a $150 billion stimulus package, right after the auto industry received $25 billion for their woes. When that also failed (something Pelosi has been familiar with) she got quite and waited for after the election. And just as was expected President Obama has promised that a 2nd Stimulus Plan, for at least $300 billion will be passed.

The problem here is that it won’t work and will either increase taxes, the national debt, or both (most likely). Why won’t it work? The same reason the first was a failure. The economy sucks.

The stimulus plans are in essence the equivalent of adding more water to a leaky bathtub. It doesn’t solve the problem, it just gives you more water on the floor. The first time most took the money and paid down on their gas and oil costs. A few were able to lower their credit card debt slightly, and a small portion actually went and bought something.

That was all before several massive banks and brokerages failed, Fannie and Freddie died (to the apparent amazement of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank), several industries started to lay-off jobs or close, and the auto industry walked up to the free money line. And just as many are in danger of losing their homes, if not more.

What will a second Stimulus plan do? Well since gas and oil are cheaper, pay down mortgages, go into the bank savings incase you lose your job, buy extra food in case you lose your job, pay down on the credit card debt in case you lose your job – notice a pattern? Buying Christmas or Easter (depending on when the checks go out) gifts just doesn’t rate very high compared to losing your job, and thus will not promote the economy.

Another thing we can expect that has been stated is higher taxes. Yes the start of that plan is the $250,000 bracket. But with over $1.2 trillion spent this year, and other $837 billion proposed in new program spending, and $300 billion at least of a stimulus plan, higher taxes is not an exclusive tax the rich option. And we know President Obama favors removing the President Bush tax cuts, so that’s 3% more tax for everyone above $31,850. Expect quite a bit more very soon. My guess, a net 7% tax increase across the board.

To go with the higher taxes, expect higher unemployment and inflation. Someone has to pay for the higher cost of business, and corporations will always be the last to accept that bill. So the higher costs of everyday goods and fear of losing a job really kills the stimulus plan – which was a dumb idea in the first place.

To further ensure that the economy rattles at the bottom of the barrel capital gains taxes are going to go higher. This expectation is already hitting the stock market. As I was saying to a friend and former stockbroker

“The smart money is getting out. They started once it was likely that Obama would win the election. They cleared most of their positions before the election, waited for mom and pop to buy into the market before the election to raise prices, and the second President Obama won they started to get all the way out. My bet is that we lose 500 points on or in the week of the inauguration.”

I mean why wouldn’t you hold cash right now. Bond rates are useless, and capital gains taxes means you need a 35% profit just to break-even, which in a good market is tough to nail down.

You can also expect to see even less revenue in the media arena. Because of the Fairness Act, which requires that any talk show or political program must be followed with equal time of the same format for the opposing side. Liberals may love to say that the election was a mandate, but since liberal radio and programs lose money faster than Nancy Pelosi can increase stimulus plan budgeting it seems to be nothing but bluster. Still Air America Radio has a final chance to hit the airwaves again (they went bankrupt in 2 years because no one was listening). Until the loss gets so excessive that radio stations get rid of both liberals and conservatives.

What a great plan. If you can’t get anyone to listen to what you have to say, shut down your opponents from speaking too. Even if people are listening to what they say. Because silence is more fair than debate and criticism. It also helps to cut down on people noticing that your policies do more harm than good.

So far if the prospect of rising inflation, fewer jobs, higher debt, lower stock market, and the continued prospect of losing your home haven’t got you excited - while losing the distraction and/or conversation of talk radio – you can smile at the thought of higher wages. A minimum wage hike is very likely to come early in an Obama Presidency.

The hike must happen early in my opinion because the economy will worsen as the year progresses, and all the goodwill President Obama has will evaporate as fast as stimulus checks hitting the consumer market. But higher employee costs will mean more money the corporations have to pass off to the consumer, and more people that will need to be fired to maintain current (or even slightly reduced) profit levels.

Most of all this are items I expected and discussed prior to the election. And just as I predicted President Obama is following every step of what I mentioned. And the outcome is becoming more of what is obviously a bad plan. But there is something that most did not expect.

There will be no healthcare reform. Not in the first 100 days, not in year 2. The nation can’t afford it. The Government is too inefficient to run it. And because Biden believes that the nation will be under duress within the first 6 months of the Obama Administration, we will be too preoccupied (so much for a President doing more than one thing at a time). That campaign promise is out the window. As is stopping jobs from going overseas. In fact more companies will choose to go to cheaper markets rather than pay the rising cost of staying in America.

So in the first 100 days taxes will go up, as will inflation. The economy will get worse, and the stock market will drop to about 7600 – a true rout. National debt will increase, several more banks will fail. The auto industry will get a bailout of their own (around $100 billion at a guess), and so will AIG (again). Domestic drilling won’t happen, because that would make energy cost cheaper – which President Obama has directly stated he does not want. And we likely will have an international crisis that will bring us close to war, and cause Europe to go bi-polar again and dislike President Obama - though not as much as President Bush.

That’s my prediction of the first 100 days. I hope that I am wrong. I really want President Obama to hit the history books as a great President. I’m selfish and Black. I want to see his historical image live up to his speeches. But his policies as they stand means it won’t happen.

A real long prediction, President Obama loses in 2012 to a Republican. His legacy will be worse than President Carter. Expect inflation at about 15% and unemployment to match. And as I said Average taxes will be at least 7% higher across the board. Hope you’ve been saving money.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama - the expectations start now

President Obama has won the 2008 election. I am as elated by that news as any African American or minority in America right now. But at the same time I am looking at what the nation said last night.

At 6pm initial exit poll results started to flow and there were several important facts that were provided by the polls, granted that the information was slanted as all exit polls have been shown to be.

While 93% stated that the economy was negative right now, only 47% thought the economy would improve in 2009 and 40% supported the $700 billion bailout package that is still working it’s way into the economy. This bailout may be part of the reason that 73% disapproved of the job the Democrat-led Congress has done. And it may also be part of the reason that 70% predict that taxes will be higher under President Obama.

And that’s the important thing to note. The economy was the single most important issue among those polled. 62% felt the economy was priority #1. It was that thought and the thought that Senator McCain would continue the policies of President Bush (50%) resonated with the masses along with the feeling that President Obama was in touch with them (57%).

Honestly these are dumb reasons.

Several key Democrats presided over the downfall of the mortgage crisis, thus directly requiring a bailout, which had it’s creation in the Democratic policies of President Clinton and Democrats pushing loans to people that did not qualify to receive them. Somehow this escaped the public notice. As did the thought that there is nothing to stop a Democratic President with a liberal agenda and voting record, backed by a Democratic Congress, from creating more bad policies that even more Democrats may ignore in favor of Party unity in a time of an economic downturn.

$1.2 trillion dollars may well look cheap before the next 4 years are up. Especially since President Obama has promised to expand the Government by $837 billion and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is waiting for the inauguration to present a $300 billion stimulus plan (at least, it may be higher by then based on her comments). That means 2009 may well start with a Congress approved budget, passed without consideration in full, with a stimulus plan that doesn’t work in an economic downturn. That’s another $1.1 trillion and that does not include anything necessary yet. And all of it must be paid by the American public at some point soon.

Still 51% felt that Obama’s policies were just right (obviously they didn’t have a calculator handy), though the polls also showed that 60% felt that Senator John McCain and not President Obama has the experience to traverse things properly.

And for those like Harry Reid that want to say that President Obama was elected as a statement of the people, the polls (which skew Democratic) stated that only 30% of voters picked President Obama because he shared their views. That’s piss poor low. What is more accurate and clear is that voters made a statement about President Bush – whose disapproval was just 2 points better than Congress at 73%. Sadly he wasn’t the one that was up for election so the point is moot.

It was the economy, and the promise of President Obama to provide money to low income Americans even if they don’t file taxes that made the election – which was stated in the poll by the 51% that thought the Government should do more to solve problems. So the more that pundits and politicians alike explained why this plan to offer the equivalent of welfare at the cost of the economy, the more it guaranteed a win for President Obama. For the 81% that feared that their family finances would be hurt by the mortgage crisis/credit crunch, it was like manna.

Don’t get me wrong, millions were voting in this election (in excess of 105 million by the last count I saw). Not all of those that voted agreed with all of the above. But more than enough did to provide President Obama with the win. Also in that group are Americans that voted for Obama based on race – some 47% believing that President Obama would mean an improvement in race relations for the nation. That part I hope is true, both for selfish and national reasons.

But while the electoral vote was huge, and will be the focus of comments by Democrats in justifying their agenda and giddy news media, the popular vote was quite close. For most of the race up until the well after 11:39pm there was only a 3% difference in votes (which was the margin I had previously mentioned I thought would decide the election). This was no landslide victory.

The nation is still as center-right as it was yesterday. But it will be lead by a left of center Government in the Executive, Legislative, and potentially by the end of 4 years Judicial branches. That means higher inflation, higher taxes, Government run healthcare (equal in stature and performance to the way the VA is run), retreat from Iraq and likely Afghanistan, legal abortion at any stage (so effectively an alternative contraceptive), gay marriage, public votes for unions, higher electricity costs, and no nuclear power. Oh I forgot fewer coal plants, higher demand for electricity due to electric car mandates and less supply, more ethanol gluts, and limited if any domestic drilling.

Doubt me if you will but just keep track of these items as the next 4 years go by. In fact I expect the 111th Congress to vote on these 4 items in January or February

    2nd stimulus plan
    Tax code change for people below $200,000 - $250,000 and corporations and investments
    End of secret ballots for unions
    Passing the Fairness Doctrine – effectively either limiting free speech that does not express liberal views or glutting media with liberal speech that would not make it without Government intervention

Some may find all the above appealing. But almost half the nation did not, and with reason. Reasons we all may well learn very quickly.

Not to mention the crisis that Vice President Biden promised to occur. And that President Obama would seemingly fail at, again as VP Biden promised.

But I could be wrong. The economy could rebound without help, or inflation and slowdown. The stock market might not sell off another 1000 points by the end of the inauguration in January. Americans might just go right out and spend all the credit they can find this holiday season and Wind energy may become effective in 6 months (much to the benefit of Nancy Pelosi’s stock account). I hope I am wrong.

Because I honestly want the First Black President to be the greatest President ever. I want him to be seen as a strong leader. A world leader that will defend America with force if pushed, with wisdom to improve – or at least stabilize – the economy. A President that lifts the nation such that teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates fall lower. A President that inspires small business start-ups and job creation. And if he can convince China to join us in cleaning the earth, and ensure quality healthcare I’d love it.

Throw in reparations and an apology for slavery and I’d be tickled pink.

But we all know that isn’t going to happen. But we will get change. And I will blog about the positives, negatives, promises kept and broken. And I’m more than willing to eat crow and say I was wrong – especially if the First Black President can sustain history in the manner I described above.

We will see. It all starts in 76 days.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Nancy Pelosi wants 2nd try at stimulus plan failure

Just one month ago Nancy Pelosi was advocating a mortgage bailout bill that would give nearly $1 trillion to Treasury Secretary Paulson and use any potential profit or repayment for pro-Democratic groups including federally indicted ACORN instead of the public. Also in that initial bill was a quiet attempt to add $50 billion dollars as a stimulus plan for normally pro-Democratic segments of the nation.

Nancy Pelosi was shot down in her first attempt, but she did not give up. Though ACORN is now recognized as a bad choice for more federal funding, especially as a substitute fro repaying the public bailout of financials, Pelosi is still trying for her stimulus plan. And you have to give her credit, she has increased the amount she wants to spend to $150 billion now (or more if she can get it). And she is now getting support from Fed Chairman Bernanke and the White House it seems.

Long-time readers will be familiar with the fact that I thought the first stimulus plan was a waste of money. It was a complete failure in every objective it was hoped it would deal with. It did not stimulate anything, it did not bring stability to the housing markets, it did not prevent the failure of several banks and brokerages, and it did not alleviate the credit crunch.

Another stimulus plan will have the same effect. Nothing. Any funds being used to give to the public will be used to pay down bills and debt, again. Even moreso now with such uncertainty.

And we need to get this into perspective. Nancy Pelosi has presided over the worst Congress ever. It was her Congress that failed to see the crisis from the start. It was her Congress that as late as July denied any problems, in the words of Barney Frank. It was Paulson and Bernanke that have been playing catch-up. It is the current fiscal plans that are causing real inflation to grow, and business to slow – which is the only reason oil prices have dropped. And they want to make it worse by doubling down.

Pelosi is confident that she will get another stimulus plan, if Obama is elected. She plans to wait til then to really push for this useless plan.

“But we can get something signed — please, God — when Barack Obama wins the election.”

That is just blatant polispeak. But what it also means is this. An Obama Administration will bring in $832 billion in new spending, we are spending $700 billion on the bailout, we have spent over $200 billion on prior bailouts, and we will be spending another $150 billion or more on another stimulus plan while businesses will be saddled with 10% higher taxes, and investments will be shutdown with another 15% in capital gains taxes.

Given these facts, I cannot see how anyone will not have their taxes increased. And I don’t mean the 3% increase that Obama and Democrats have voted for and tried to pass in March of 2008. If anyone thinks that business will not slowdown further, and jobs will be lost while inflation grows under these economic plans, they have never done well in basic math – in my opinion.

Nancy Pelosi is decidedly a partisan and underhanded politician. She promotes wind energy without disclosing her substantial stock investment in wind energy companies. She has refused and block discussion on domestic drilling. She has wasted the taxpayers money on trying to point blame on Republicans, admittedly where no laws have been broken. She has had a Congress that has accomplished the least ever, while maintaining a majority in both Houses. And now she wants to make things worse.

I hope people in California wake up and vote her out of office. But the fact is she will hold power long enough to cause damage that will last years. And considering that she has enabled a Congress to willfully damage the nation via inaction and inattentiveness, I can only have nightmares about the damage she will be able to inflict on the nation with a Democratic, left-wing, President as banks and healthcare is socialized.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Keating 5, Tony Rezco, William Ayers - a lot of bluster while candidates avoid the economy

Wow, the words are flying now. The Presidential race has taken a step to overdrive as both the candidates attack each others past. And the points picked by the McCain campaign seem to have the Obama campaign flustered to say the least.

The Obama campaign has been targeting the investigation of McCain in relation to the Keating Five investigations. Senator McCain was vindicated in that investigation and found to be without blame. Yet this was a huge problem at the time, and may again be, as the economy flounders in the wake of the mortgage bailout and the credit crunch.

With all eyes on the Dow Jones Index, which had dropped as low as 781 points down in the day. Expectations that all the problems of the mortgage crisis were averted by the $700 billion bailout have been proven false, which really should be no surprise. Europe and other world markets are now facing their own problems which again rippled from the initial failure of the Fed, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd on their Congressional banking committees, and President Bush. Note that neither Senator Obama nor Senator McCain were responsible for this economic fiasco. But with the introduction of the Keating Five Obama is trying to paint McCain as fiscally irresponsible.

Of course if the record is to be looked at only McCain has tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and highlight problems while Democrats denied the existence of a problem. And only McCain actively worked on improving the bailout plan from what was essentially a blank check to an unwatched Treasury Secretary, with repayment going to Democratic pet projects of dubious nature (ACORN) instead of the public.

The McCain camp has targeted the highly questionable association of William Ayers and Senator Obama. I admit that I have trouble with the close association of the potential next President with a known, and self-admited, terrorist that actively was involved with the bombing of Government buildings on American soil and remains unrepentant. And it is accurate that Senator Obama has initially described their association as a friend, and has backed away from that since the early Primaries while the major news media has avoided all discussion of the matter.

The McCain camp has also targeted the association of Obama with Tony Rezco and Rev. Wright. I disagree with these associations being used against Obama as much as I disagree with The Keating Five tactic. Obama has never been found to have been influenced by either man in this voting record since he engaged in politics in Illinios. Without a reason to be alarmed, their less than perfect public images are just mud to be thrown at the candidate. And I have discussed my thoughts about the attacks using Rev. Wright, which I feel are a sidestep to a racial attack, in depth during the Primaries when Senator Clinton first used the tactic.

But the fact is that neither of these items being used by each camp address the fact that the economy will be weaker and troubled during at least the first year of the next President’s term. It is unrealistic that further cuts to taxes will be immediately available to stimulate the economy. It is equally unrealistic that adding 800 billion in new spending will be possible.

Right now Senator Obama is talking about taking on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dream of a second stimulus plan. Considering the over $1 trillion spent this year just on failing banks and finance companies I can’t imagine where this money would come from, or how it would be any more effective than the first stimulus plan. Infact it would be less effective considering the economic landscape.

As for McCain he continues to believe that lowering corporate taxes is the only solution, which I believe will be a hard sell.

The fact is that right now the drop in the Dow Jones Index, and the up coming horrendous 4th quarter earnings that will reflect the slowdown in the economy, are helping Senator Obama and Democrats. There is no logical reason for this, since both Parties were equally lax and culpable in the creation of this problem (though arguably Democrats are slightly more at fault especially if the past is considered). But if the economy continues to falter drastically, and the promise of a 2nd stimulus plan gains attention (as it likely will) the chance of Obama winning the election increased dramatically.

And if that is what happens, for the reason of the economy, the real pain will start. In my opinion the weakest plan, and the least fiscally flexible plan, is held by Obama. With him in office, and a Democratic Congress again, I expect new record low approval ratings, double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, and an increase in taxes of all Americans by 7 – 15% minimally. Essentially a return to the environment that President Carter created.

But we will see if I am correct and if the various mudslinging attempts of the campaigns have any backlash.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Politics today: what troubles you the most?

Considering everything that is going on in America today I’m just not sure what is the most troubling thing happening.

Of course the major media is hyping the mortgage crisis bailout, which has now become dubbed a ‘rescue plan’, and politicians are making the most of this coverage to promote their political party’s Presidential candidate while blaming all the woes of creation on the other Party. But it’s the other things the major media isn’t talking about that has me equally as distraught.

There is the fact that the Bush Administration has quietly approved a $25 billion loan to the auto industry. There is the fact that Senator Obama is feared to be incapable of winning the election in just over a month, not because of his political views or plans for the nation but because he is Black. There is Barney Frank and Chris Dodd screaming that anyone and everyone else but their banking and finance committees are to blame for the current crisis, or for not seeing the impending problems as late as this July. And there is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi is special. In a kind of special needs kind of way (and I don’t want to insult those with such needs by associating Nancy Pelosi with them).

She is the most powerful woman in politics right now, if you can believe it. She is 2nd in line for the Presidency if anything happened to President Bush before the election. Yet she has run an extraordinarily expensive budget in her position as Speaker, with a Congreess that has achieved the least in at least recent memory. She presides over a Congress that has the lowest approval rating since ratings have been kept.

But that is not enough. She has tried to block any discussion of domestic drilling, like Pharoh forbidding the name Moses from being spoken. Which is fantastic for her since she makes money on that delay because she owns stock in alternative energy companies. She also helped to write a bailout plan that allowed the Treasury Secretary to wield sole control over virtually a trillion dollars. When that failed she helped write another plan that took any repayments and gave them to a Democratic pet project, ACORN, which is under federal investigation. And now we learn that paid her husband just under $100,000 from political donations – which she voted to ban in 2007.

“Financial Leasing Services Inc. (FLS), owned by Paul F. Pelosi, has received $99,000 in rent, utilities and accounting fees from the speaker's "PAC to the Future" over the PAC's nine-year history...

FLS is on track to take in $48,000 in payments this year alone - eight times as much as it received annually from 2000 to 2005, when the committee was run by another treasurer [which is now her husband].”

So we have Democrats that won’t cross racial lines, asleep while watching the nations money, pushing to give people homes they can’t afford, spending money they don’t have without control, blocking the near-term solutions of America’s energy needs for personal profit, and violating laws they are supposedly trying to pass, while doing the least work in Congress possible. You have to admit it is an impressive cluster of failure all at once.

And Senator Obama has no intention of not spending another 800 billion dollars in new spending, nor failing to raise corporate taxes in a decidedly negative economy. But he will speak with Iran about not building nukes – pretty please. And he will tell Russia that they are being bad when they invade other nations, after he thinks about it for a while.

Honestly I don’t mind Obama’s inexperience that much. In combination with his other plans for the nation means that things will get worse though. But the supporting cast that would come with him, especially if Democrats were to win the Congress again, really spells “Danger Will Robinson, danger!” (Those older readers will get the reference).

But I wonder for those that don’t follow politics everyday, that aren’t up at 5am reading the latest political news, what bothers you most?

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The bail out deal: Polispeak and political campaigning instead of action

I love listening to Harry Reid. He is absolutely partisan and 2-faced. He is the best example of what polispeak means. Listening to hear him talk today you just can’t escape this.

He is speaking about Republicans that didn’t want to go to the meeting at the White House yesterday, but he has no comment on the fact that Senator obama wouldn’t go until the President asked him to be there.

He speaks about Senator McCain and blames him for the failure of the deal, but fails to mention that there was no deal. House Republicans, and many in the Senate never liked the Paulson bailout proposal. There was no deal, except as expressed by Democrats and the media.

He wants to blame McCain, but he forgets that he stated earlier this week that there could be no deal if McCain was not on board, which he was not. He refers to McCain as an outsider, yet McCain is an active Senator with responsibilities to those that elected him.

Democrats like Chris Dodd and Harry Reid, and Barney Frank want to make it seem like this deal is good for America, yet those that look closely at the deal think it is not. And they want to add to the bail out items that are not part of the issue. They want to include the $50 billion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advocates, that does not have to do with the bailout but is another stimulus plan that is ineffective and a waste of money.

Democrats are being very political here. They are trying everything they can do to phrase this as a Republican or Senator McCain problem. They want to rush forward and throw money at this problem. That type of plan did not work when Bear Sterns failed, or when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed, or when Lehman failed, or for AIG. They seem to think that throwing your money, my money, at this problem is more than just filling a leaking tub with more water.

Not one Democrat can state that the Paulson plan, as proposed and what they are trying to advance, will work and prevent another problem in a month. Not one can explain why a single person in the position of the Treasury Secretary, should be left with virtually sole responsibility and accountability of nearly $1 trillion dollars.

Harry Reid, and Chris Dodd are speaking about how they will be in D.C. and working on this deal all night tonight, and Saturday and Sunday if necessary. They are saying this is the most important issue before them. Yet they support that Senator Obama go off and focus on a debate, that can be postponed. This is the most important issue in America right now, that’s why all of Congress is doing their jobs – except for Democratic Presidential candidate. And the Republican Presidential candidate is the one being blamed for doing his part of the job.

Either Obama or McCain will be President in a little more than a month. One of those 2 will be faced with the resulting issues that this mortgage crisis bail out will cause. But Democrats believe that neither should be involved in the terms or process of this deal. That seems smart doesn’t it.

I find it completely partisan and polispeak when Barney Frank states that everything is fine in 2003 and July of 2008, and now is trying to blame everyone else for what he failed to stay on top of. Chris Dodd is no better. And as I mentioned above Harry Reid has flipped as well. Not to mention how Senator Obama sprinted from the meeting with the President yesterday to get out and in front of cameras, instead of going back to Congress to wotrk on the deal more as McCain did, is quite telling on who is using this as a means to win the Presidential election.

Our elected officials need to stop with the politicing and focus. This deal needs to resolve the liquidity issue, and ensure that we are prepared for the difficulties to come. It does not need to give away money to pet projects that otherwise would never pass. It is not an ad for the election campaign. It is not a gift to Wall Street, nor an open invitation for every company and industry with sagging sales to line up at the door. Neither should it be the start of the American Government as a real estate broker/business.

Anything short of that is false and stupid, and baseless polispeak meant only to prop up the political futures of selected individuals.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Senator Obama speaking at Green Bay

If you were watching cable news at about 1:25pm today you would have heard Senator Obama speaking about the economy. He mentioned how we need change, though he failed to mention what he might change.

He mentioned he wanted to reform regulations on Wall Street. That he wants to follow a different economic plan. He blames Wall Street executives for their intention to make money out of the bailout. And he tried to draw a line from Reganomics, to President Bush, to Senator McCain.

But I have to wonder where is Senator Obama’s admonishion of his fellow Democrats are. He failed to mention that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to slip in $50 billion to the bailout plan. He fails to mention that many in Congress are trying to add earmarks to the bailout. He fails to mention that 2 years ago Senator McCain tried to reform policies on Wall Street and was shot down.

He fails to mention, when he speaks about the Clinton surplus, that President Clinton created the internet bubble. That the jobs created by the bubble were lost when it burst. That the Administration redid the way the government counts the deficit – such that they came up with the following.

They figured that since stocks were up, and would continue to be up for 5 yrs, taxes on the investments would be enough to balance and exceed the deficit. And based on that surplus, from the stock market, the government could spend that surplus and still be even in 5 yrs. In other wods there was never a surplus, and if you tried to use that same math in your life or business you would be in jail for fraud.

But he also fails to mention that Reganomics saved the nation from failed Democratic economic policies of President Carter (which most of the economic proposals Senator Obama has mentioned mimics). He fails to mention that Reganomics created the environment that created the surge in the economy and stock market. He fails to mention that in the face of warnings about the internet bubble, Democrats allowed the crash to happen which costs billions and put tens of thousands out of work.

Senator Obama fails to mention that it was not the regulations, that were weakened during the Clinton Administration, that caused the current fiasco but bad decisions. Everything was done within regulations, but the bad decisions caused the bad loans. And you can’t legislate choices, in a Free nation.

Senator Obama is a great speaker. He can polispeak with the greatest orators I can recall. He can obfuscate the facts, and avoid obvious truths with ease. And he can fail to actually detail a plan yet make people believe he has one.

When you listen to Senator Obama talk about changing the economy, have you heard him give a plan on what he will do? That he will refoprm exactly which regulations? That this change will help investors how? That will benefit the economy in what manner?

Like most politicians, in DC especially, he has no plan, just polispeak. He doesn’t even have a bill in Congress with his name on anything with this. And where is the blame on say Democrat Chris Dodd, in charge of the banking committee, that failed to do anything about this mortgage crisis over the past 1 ½ years?

You know, I love to hear a great politician. But when it comes time to vote, you just have to sit back and remember that all those little questions you never got an answer for. For me, there are just too many questions without answers, to many calls for change without a detail of what kind of change.

Call me crazy, but I like to see a President that has a plan. I don’t have to love the plan, but at least then I have something to go by. But some don’t need that. Like in 2006 during the mid-term elctions when Democrats were elected to Congress on change. And since then we have gotten no change, but lots of excuses. Now we have a Presidential candidate that also rallies around change, without a single detail. And some expect things to get better. I just have to wonder why?

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Friday, September 19, 2008

What's another $50 billion in debt?

The stock market was falling, the Government spent a quarter of a billion taxpayer dollars to bailout selected financial companies, and plans were being made to spend almost $1 trillion dollars on the bad debt still floating in the market. While all this is happening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to promote increasing the debt of the nation even more. How kind.

House Speaker Pelosi, who still has not publicly acknowledged her substantial investments in alternative energy, is now pushing a $50 billion stimulus plan which is similar in some ways to they prior $168 billion stimulus plan that was enacted earlier this year. That early stimulus check failed to do anything except push-off the eventual downward trend in the economy.

I was never in favor of the stimulus check plan. It was a waste of money. With the problem of foreclosures and slower growth the initial checks were used to pay down on debt and mortgages, as opposed to the purchases of new goods that was hoped for. Which seemed obvious to me.

This time Pelosi wants to spend the money

“…that would fund road, bridge and other construction projects, help low-income families pay upcoming winter heating bills, give more food stamps to the poor and help states pay the higher costs of health care for the poor.”

This plan is a little bit smarter than the first but still does nothing to help the people that need it most. Unless you work in construction building a road or bridge will not directly affect you. So that is a waste, and money best spent at the local or state level. Giving poor people more food does not help them learn skills or get jobs that will help them not be poor anymore. Though I agree letting people starve is not nice, in the long run it only trains them to rely on the Government more, as they have been trained to do since the 1970’s.

Of course another problem about the higher costs of food is directly tied to Nancy Pelosi’s investment portfolio. As is the higher cost of heating oil. Nancy Pelosi has held off discussions of domestic drilling for nearly the whole year so far. She has supported everything that will limit this drilling. She wants to build up alternative energy exclusively.

It will take at least 10 years, if not more, to effectively create any alternative energy sources. The one source currently being pushed is corn-based ethanol. Because it’s based on corn food prices are going up. Because only 5 states in the nation have pumps with ethanol, and the fact that only 2 allow public purchases there is a glut of ethanol. And Government mandates will increase that glut by 60% next year.

So effectively, Democrats and Speaker Pelosi are hurting the poor with their plans, and this additional stimulus plan is a band-aid on the wound they inflicted.

I have to wonder how this stimulus plan will help anyone. I have to wonder how this will do anything more than just temporarily hold at bay the problems Democrats have enforced in the nation.

Will this bill pass? Of course. Politically the timing is perfect. The Government is already bailing out the financial sector for $1 trillion, what’s another $50 billion. And how bad will a Presidential candidate look if their Party refuses to pass a bill that targets the poor. The average American does not connect one dumb political idea with another, nor do they see the connection of all these things to the domino effect they create in the future. So it will happen.

Of course that means that the Government will swell further, and the economy will worsen. And the taxpayers will become poorer, at all income levels. These issues are not a rich versus poor issue. If the economy is bad, every American is affected. And the plans being put in place are just trying to push those problems off the minds of Americans till just after the election.

Speaker Pelosi is deceptive in her refusal to acknowledge her personal benefit from her politically based ideas. Senator Obama, in supporting this idea, is ignorant of the real fundamental issues causing the problems. Democrats are too absorbed in political gain to deny this act of futility.

Still never fear, this bill will pass. It will also do nothing to benefit anyone. Especially when crude oil prices increase over the winter as they always do. Especially as food prices go higher as more ethanol is created and sits unused. Especially as domestic drilling sits on the background delaying any potential help it can garner to the public because its ultimate benefit won’t happen for several years (just as alternative energy will take a decade or more to be effective).

But not to worry, bigger Government, larger wastes of tax money, increased national debt, and inept plans from Congress are ok by Democratic standards. Just elect Senator Obama and continue a Democrat-led Congress and they will ensure that the Government will take care of you more; instead of you taking care of yourself. Because they know better. Just look at their record and you can tell.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's misleading about energy

I ran across an interesting article and comment just before I decided to drop off to sleep. I will share my response with you and you can tell me what you think.

The original post is LET THE ENERGY GAMES BEGIN. The comment was:

Rick Says:
September 11th, 2008 at 2:05 am e
Please give me a reference to the statement that “George Bush’s own Energy Department has said that if we opened up new areas to drilling today, we wouldn’t see a single drop of oil for seven years…”
I want authoritative facts so I can warn others that it is not a quick fix to the high gas prices as republicans want to mislead them to believe.

My response is


    I did not write this post, but I am very aware of the issues it discusses. And I wanted to take a moment to address what has been said so you have a full understanding of what is before all Americans.

    It is a fact that crude oil prices have increased roughly 1000% since 1972. It is a fact that oil usage in the U.S. has increased dramatically over that same time period. And it is also a fact that Democrats have long sought to prevent domestic drilling.

    But to say that only Republicans are at fault for the current, and future, dependence on oil would be a lie. Inaction by both Republicans and Democrats since the 1970’s are the cause of the crisis. Neither side has effectively presented a plan of action, nor explained to the general public the cost of failing to seek a new alternative.

    Currently America will spend some $700 billion on foreign oil. Part of that reasoning is due to the idea of using up foreign sources of oil while maintaining reserves for the future – ensuring the continuation of the American quality of life. That reasoning was solidly in place 30 years ago, and far less so today.

    Another reason has to do with ethanol. The U.S. chose to use corn as the base for ethanol, whereas other nations have chosen and effectively use grass and sugar. All these bases for ethanol result in a fuel that is only 75% as useful as gasoline, thus requiring more fuel to be burned. In addition there is a debate on whether ethanol production is amplifying the dead-zones found in the Gulf of Mexico. Lastly by using corn as the base food prices have been forced higher, which is a core inflation factor.

    Oh by the way, there is currently a glut of ethanol, with a mandate from the Government to increase that glut by 60% next year. Ethanol is currently available only in 5 states, of which only 2 allow its sale to the public (those 2 being Illinois and Michigan).

    Solar energy, geothermal, wind, biomass, oil shale, and all other alternative sources at this time are either ineffective or inefficient.

    Because of these facts, the only options that will effectively provide the energy that America requires to maintain it’s current quality of life and allow for research and development of new energy sources are coal, nuclear, and oil.

    Coal is available, and starting to gain greater interest though many ecologically sensitive groups are against its use because even the latest developments create too much carbon dioxide and residue.

    Nuclear has long been an energy source that Democrats oppose. Fear, without regard for advances in science and safety, and political preferences have held back the development of any new nuclear plants since the 80’s. This is in the face of significantly greener nations like France that use this as an energy source.

    Thus we are back to oil. If we are to maintain current energy usage oil is the only logical and constant source. Since dependency on foreign oil is expensive and unreliable domestic drilling makes sense. The money saved can be used to fund alternative sources of fuel.

    But will domestic drilling tomorrow cause oil prices to drop tomorrow? Yes and no.

    Crude oil is priced like a stock or more accurately an option. Thus the price reacts in advance of actual events most of the time. When OPEC cuts production the price of oil rises long before the supply is affected. When a nation that produces or ships oil is under strife or war the price fluctuates whether production is affected or not.

    So on that basis the knowledge that domestic drilling will decrease the demand by the largest buyer, prices will drop for a period of time until other buyers step in to make up that difference. If OPEC does not just reduce production to maintain current prices.

    But more importantly if nothing is done today, as it was not in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and on then you are guaranteed to have higher prices 2 years from now as well as 10. And where will the alternatives be then? As more money, maybe $1 trillion dollars a year or more, goes to foreign nations, where will America get the extra money to fund the 2nd, or 4th, or 7th year of research?

    And lastly I want to inform you of something that many Democrats, particularly Speaker Pelosi have not made public. Nancy Pelosi makes money every time alternative energy is funded. She owns a substantial position in alternative energy stocks. It’s to her benefit to not allow domestic drilling. It fills her pockets with money every time that the debate lingers.

    How is Nancy Pelosi different than the charges made of Republicans when she is in the pocket of Big Wind?

    So to answer your question is oil going to resolve all America’s fuel needs forever? Of course not. Will domestic drilling drop the price of crude oil significantly tomorrow, or short-term? Not overly likely, though some effect will happen. Do Republicans understand this, and the alternative? More than you are giving credit to.

    But the real question should be this, what alternative is being proposed by Democrats that will ensure the energy needs of America now, and provide any hope of reduced cost and increased energy in the next 2 years? Or 4? Unless you don’t mind not heating your home during the winter, or being unable to use the internet when you wish.

    Oil is not the answer, we can all agree on that. But by using oil, particularly domestic oil, we improve our ability to create new sources of energy.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nancy Pelosi at the Democratic National Convention

I previously have highlighted how I think Nancy Pelosi is a problem for Senator Barack Obama. Last night she spoke at the Democratic National Convention. I present her speech

I’ve listened to the speech a couple of times, and I think I was right. Speaker Pelosi was a horrible speaker. Her reading from the teleprompter was horrendous. She sounds weak. And the points she tried to make were abysmal.

First I have to ask why she was singling out Maryland. I understand California, she represents that state. But why Maryland, did she forget they were in Denver in Colorado? It’s not even the states of Obama or Biden. And Democrats say McCain has a memory problem.

But Pelosi starts with the accomplishments of the Democratic Congress since 2006. Get real. How much money has been spent in hearings on subjects that have no effect on the average America? The Democrat-led Congress brought in Alberto Gonzalez on lawyers being fired – which was legal and a right of EVRY President, for any or no reason. Waste of money and time. They brought in oil company executives – and learned that the inaction of Congress since 1972 was more at fault than their ability to make profits that support the economy, stock market, retirement funds, and American jobs.

She pointed out that the Democrat-led Congress helped out Hurricane Katrina and Rita victims. As if any Congress would not. It wasn’t a choice, it was an obligation. And the help that has been given has forced thousands of Blacks to leave New Orleans, not return.

The Incentive Rebate Checks that millions received was the idea of President Bush and Republicans. Democrats did not dispute it, but they didn’t come up with the idea. And the Rebate failed to do what it was supposed to, stimulate the economy. People paid bills and spent the money on keeping their homes, the idea was dumb but if they want credit for a failed idea they can have it.

The toxic toys that reached America from China should never have reached our country in the first place. Improving the laws should never have been necessary. And it was Congress to blame because they failed to pass strong enough laws in the first place, thus endangering our children.

The minimum wage has been increased. And those at the lowest pay levels must be happy. But I want to see the data on how many small businesses this caused to close, and how many became unemployed as businesses could no longer support all the workers they had.

Fuel efficiency is up, but that should have been increased years (decades ago). Congress failed to worry about efficiency since the Oil Embargo and now wants credit after crude oil prices have increased 1000% since then.

But what about the claims of the Democrats when they entered office after the mid-term elections? The extended work hours? The multiple laws? Everything Pelosi promised. All failed.

What about supporting our troops? The Democrat-led Congress claimed to want to help our troops under fire, and help back funding and fought sending supporting troops. And then Congress claimed our soldiers were failures before they had a chance to do anything (unless Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid saying the Surge failed before the first military personnel even left to go to Iraq is considered success).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks of honoring our veterans. Yet in her home state multiple cities refuse to allow returning soldiers to walk off a plane and enter the airports. In her home state military recruiters are blockaded and military vessels refused ports. If she cannot honor our troops in active service, how are we to believe they will get better respect after they have volunteered to serve our nation?

Speaker Pelosi wants to paint experience as bad. As ‘old’ politics. But only for Republicans. Yet Senator Joe Biden is part of the old politics of Congress, just as she is. In fact Biden is more of it than her. He is part of the politicians that failed to seek new energy alternatives until it recently got popular. He is part of the Congress that allowed America to buy more foreign oil instead of domestic oil, thus increasing the cost to the average taxpayer. He is part of the Congress that allowed the loopholes in the lead laced toys from China. He is part of the Congress that voted for the Iraq war. That wasn’t just Republicans at fault in these issues, and Biden has been around long enough to share the blame she wants to exclusively project.

Speaker Pelosi loves to use the dream of a Clinton financial surplus, as most Democrats do. It’s a fiction that is always overlooked. Bill Clinton essentially cooked the books and got away with it. He became President on a strengthening economy created by Regan and Bush policies. He sat back and allowed the economy to overheat creating a bubble that took down businesses and investors alike for years. And he did all this while saying he had paid of the debt, which is a fallacy. He projected a surplus, based on the bubble, and then spent the money that would not arrive (because of the bubble burst) for another 5 years.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed nationalized healthcare. Something that doesn’t work anywhere in the world where it exists. Citizens in those nations spend huge amounts of money to travel to our country and pay for our BETTER medical services. And she, like Senator Obama, fails to mention where the money for this program will come from. Inevitably our pockets. She fails to mention that not one Department of the Government runs efficiently or on budget, or how this new division will work any better than the Post Office does.

But she calls this a right of Americans. I’m unaware of any mention of healthcare in the Constitution or the Amendments. I’m unaware of a right that any American must pay for to receive. I think children should receive healthcare, but it’s not a right or obligation of the Government – else it would have been some 200 years ago.

Perhaps one of the worst things about Speaker Nancy Pelosi speech is the fact that she continues to promote clean energy. Now does that mean the need for alternative energy or the stock position she holds, and is profiting from, in her investment portfolio. If her ideas are so good, why not mention she is making money on them? If they are so sure this technology will be the best answer why not let them compete with other options, including domestic drilling?

Speaker Pelosi speaks about Senator Obama renewing the American dream. Yet she fails to mention that the increased taxes - that Democrats have already voted to increase and will need to increase more to fund their proposals – will prevent Americans from creating or maintaining their own businesses.

Pelosi talks about a unified Democratic Party. Perhaps only by breathing the air in San Francisco is it possible to see that. Senator Clinton has continued to fuel her supporters interest in her gaining the nomination. Senator Clinton has yet to refute the comments made during the Primaries, or those made by her husband – Bill Clinton.

And Senator Biden is little better. He is well known for his racially insensitive (at best) comments. He disagrees with Senator Obama on multiple issues, including Iraq. Senator Biden has disputed the experience of Senator Obama to lead. Biden is a direct example of the ‘old’ inflexible politics that Senator Obama says he will challenge.

How can the Democratic Party be viewed as unified when the VP is at odds with the Presidential nominee, Primary losers are still campaigning, and the Speaker of a Democrat-led Congress (that has failed to live up to the campaign promises that elected it) is only willing to allow discussions on policies that promote her own personal finances (that she refuses to declare to the public). If that is unified I’m White.

No I’m sure Nancy Pelosi has no idea what she is talking about. I think her comments were weak. It was some of the worst polispeak I have heard in some time. Anyone that follows the politics as I do, and other bloggers and honest pundits, will see through her obfuscation and be disheartened for the potential of the future.

And lastly her comments on her grandson were perhaps the worst. I know (and hope deeply) that I am reading into her comment my own fears. But when she says that at a dinner in the Italian embassy a 5 year old calls Senator Obama a dream, I don’t like it.

The connotations make me wonder about how many other African Americans were in the room. I think of those saying that only a 5 year old could believe in Obama. I think it’s a badly worded, badly thought out, back-handed compliment. The result of a weak, polispeak spinning, agenda driven Speaker of the House.

Nancy Pelosi speaking at the DNC, strike one indeed.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

What the Democratic National Convention means to me

As the Democratic National Convention is about to start I want to step back and address a question I am often asked. Why am I not a supporter of Senator Obama?

I have been asked that by dozens of White Americans that presume I must be for Obama because he is Black. I have been asked that by almost as many African Americans for the same reasoning. And there are the far smaller group of Americans, of all color and ethnicity, that wonder because they presume I must agree with the Democratic Party policies.

So let me state this clearly, I do not support Senator Barrack Obama at this time. I doubt if I will ever support him. And I disagree with the Democratic policies he supports.

It’s not because I was a democrat and want to switch parties like the bitter Clinton Democrats. They are often White women, upset that a White woman was denied the chance to run for President. Their switch of support, like Debra Bartoshevich, seems like sour grapes more than anything else. And Democrats are responding in kind, splitting their party.

Which leads these Democrats to the right choice for the wrong reason.

Besides the fact that I think Democrats are a split party, created by the Clinton campaign, there are other issues.

Senator Obama has no experience. His own Vice Presidential pick has said he thinks Obama is unqualified. If Senator Biden, and Senator Clinton, agree with Senator John McCain how strong and qualified is Obama?

Senator Obama will be increasing taxes. He has already voted to do so for those making $31,850 or more. My belief he will limit himself to those making an unknown and ambiguous amount qualifying them as rich is shaky at best. His expressed view that businesses, of all sizes, need to pay more in taxes strikes me as harmful to a weak American economy.

Senator Obama has stated often that our dependence on foreign oil is bad. No surprise. Yet he still only considers the idea of domestic drilling. But how else will there be a stopgap to allow us to fund and create alternative energy sources? And his position on oil shale is directly Party line. How about cleaner coal? How about Nuclear energy?

Senator Obama is exclusive in his plans, targeting only the renewable energy plans that benefit stock positions held by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. How is that a grand benefit to America when only options that profit a few are considered? How is that different than the claims made by Democrats that Republicans are in the pocket of big oil, aren’t they in the pocket of Wind and corn ethanol (which has already increased the cost of food)?

Senator Obama has stated he would speak with any threat to America, no matter the provocation. He would speak with Iran, a nation that has sought the wholesale destruction of America and Israel for 30 years now. Like mere words would stop them from their declared God-given need to wipe us off of the earth. Obama is not God, especially to the

Senator Obama would run from Iraq as quickly as possible. There is no consideration for the outcome of such actions. There are no qualms about the probable increased threat to average Americans in their homes. Terrorism has not stopped since 9/11, it just hasn’t hit our homes stateside. But thousands of orphans given no choice and every reason to blame America will grow up looking to kill America. Just as they did at the end of the Gulf War, in 5 – 10 years they will strike American soil after a retreat that will be viewed in the Middle East as a defeat of America, and thus a vindication of Al Quida and other such groups.

Senator Obama wants to give millions the support of the Government. That in itself is not a bad thing, except that it is funded by Americans and perpetuates the ideal that America would rather feed the hungry rather than teach them to fish for themselves. It creates a culture that cannot support itself; and for those that think this means minorities remember that there are more Whites in prison, on welfare, and/or in Government care than all minority groups combined.

As I mentioned the Democratic Party is split. Not on substantive differences – as the voting records of Clinton and Obama are virtually the same. It is split on racial lines, due largely to the efforts of the Clinton campaign.

It is split with a Vice President that disagrees on key issues in a massive manner from the Democratic Presidential nominee he would work for. A VP that would not vote for a less experiences candidate, one that has done less bi-partisan work than he has in a decade. A VP that embodies the ‘old’ politics that Obama has railed against throughout the primaries.

So what makes Senator Obama the right man at this time?

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reviewing Senator Biden, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate

So the Democratic Presidential ticket has been revealed. It’s Obama – Biden for 2008. Has this pick really done anything to help Senator Obama win the Presidency and become the first Black President? Has this improved the confidence of the nation in selecting these men as our leaders?

No. At least by me.

I reviewed some of the things that Senator Joe Biden has said in the past, his record in the Primary race, and what I noted about him. The summary is as follows.

Biden was able to take 5th place in the Iowa Primary, gaining a total of 1% of the vote which is inauspicious at best. In polls before the South Carolina Primary, when Stephen Colbert was seeking to enter, the results of potential voters placed Biden a mere .4% ahead of Colbert (Stephen Colbert was projected to have 2.3%, Biden had 2.7%}. Overall his total delegate count was 0. Biden never won a single state.

In my own unofficial polls, found on Black Entertainment USA, M V Consulting, and this site, which were available from 2007 until February 2008 Senator Biden garnered 3% of votes in a competition of Republicans and Democrats. That poll also showed that Senator Obama would win the Democratic Primary with 51%, and Senator McCain would win the Republican with 16%.

Senator Biden has in fact failed to win the Democratic Presidential nomination twice. In 1988 and again in 2008.

Senator Biden is older (56) than Senator Obama, and has far more experience in Congress as he holds the 6th longest term length ever. So it can be said that when viewed by the Obama campaign motto of Change; Senator Biden is the ‘old politics’ that Senator Obama is trying to ‘replace’.

Like Senator Obama, Biden is a lawyer. He attended University of Delaware and the Syracuse University (where he was found to have plagiarized a law review article in his first year). Unlike Senator Obama he has been found to be a liar about his time in college. He has claimed in the past that he had 3 degrees; he has 1, and graduated in the top half of his class, actually place just above the bottom 10%.

His views on Iraq and Afghanistan are mixed, and oppose the declared views of Senator Obama. While Obama favors the retreat in failure policy advocated by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Code Pink, Senator Biden has offered an option that differs. He supported troops in Afghanistan. He voted for the War in Iraq – along with virtually every Democrat in elected office at the time (Senator Obama was not in elected office then). He was in favor of larger numbers of troops in Iraq, and has not quibbled about funding our troops (which Obama has). His ultimate plan for Iraq is the creation of 3 states and allowing each of those states to be semi-independent and semi-autonomous but still working as a nation together.

Also of note is the fact that in the 2004 Presidential election, Biden advised John Kerry to pick Senator John McCain as a Vice-President. If that is not a statement of how close to political center and bi-partisan Senator John McCain is I cannot imagine what is.

But of major significance to me is the comment of Senator Biden about Senator Obama. Before Obama was the Democratic nominee, back when Biden was still in the Primary race, before the media had fallen in lust with Obama, Biden said what he thought.

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man"

To which I ultimate stated

“Senator Biden needs to apologize to more than just Senator Obama. Every Black American deserves an apology. These comments are reminiscent of the mentality that necessitated the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. These comments belittle every success and successful Black American in the nation. Hiding behind one term in a statement whose total purpose is too subtly insult will not fool us. The mainstream media may not wish to address this but I will.

For me, Senator Biden will never get my vote… But the underlying thought of his statement cannot be warmed-over by platitudes or a plea of a single term misstatement. The meaning of the full comment does not change. That meaning places me and 14% of America in a second-class, less than meaningful position. I will not accept that of an American President or politician if possible.”

So I will add this to my comment.

I would not vote for Senator Biden as President when his opinion of over 14% of this nation is demeaning and a throwback to the pre-Civil Rights years. That same reasoning prevents me from voting him into the 2nd highest position in America.

Senator Obama may feel that Biden is a solid mix, but I find his thinking flawed. Biden is an example of old politics – the kind that failed to come up with any energy alternatives in 30 years (Biden was first elected to office in 1972 before the Oil Crisis). Biden is a proven liar and cheat. Biden conflicts with Obama on how to resolve Iraq, and he has a proven zero appeal among Democratic primary voters.

If there was a question about how well Senator Obama could do in the Presidential election I feel it is now answered. I cannot fathom how he can win with Senator Biden on the ticket. Prepare for a McCain Presidency.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Strike 3 for DNC - will Senator Obama be out?

And here goes Strike 3 for the Democratic National Convention. The often discussed and well-rumored submission of Senator Hillary Clinton’s name for the nomination ballot has now been confirmed. The Democratic Party looks weaker and more dysfunctional by the day.

I’ve already noted the problems that will be created once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes the stage.

“But I think that having Nancy Pelosi speak is a mistake. She is the symbol of the ineffective Democrat-led Congress. She is a reminder that Democrats would prefer to allow millions of Americans to have to choose between food and/or work or paying their energy bills. She is the voice of the Democratic Party that refused to even consider having a vote on domestic drilling - effectively saying that Democrats have no intention of being bi-partisan if Senator Obama is elected.”

“Speaker Pelosi has walled-off any discussion of domestic drilling for oil. She has refused to allow any votes on the subject. And according to her most recent comments on Larry King she will only consider possibly allowing a vote on domestic drilling IF it also includes alternative energy incentives.

Effectively that means that Speaker Pelosi wants alternative energy to get more money to earn more money for herself. The higher the cost for oil, the better her alternative energy stocks will do. And the American public be damned.”

And in the recent past I noted the danger of the Clinton’s to any hopes of Senator Obama winning the Presidency:

“And the only real outcome of these actions by the Clinton’s is weakening of Senator Obama, possibly splitting the Democratic Party and causing Obama to lose. That would open the door to Senator Clinton claiming she could have won and paving the way for her run in 2012. That is unless she can’t get the nomination at the DNC. It’s so deceptive it can only be a Clinton plan.”

But today a joint press release from Senator Obma and Senator Clinton stated that Hillary will have her name submitted for nomination consideration. Senator Clinton stated in that release

“With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again.”

Right. This is the same woman that

“It's only taken her a day to realize that 2143 is over 2118, and that she has lost. Only a day to recognize that using race and religion as negative attacks has not helped her, that every woman in America will not flock to her just because of her gender, that taking every position possible on issues (like illegal immigrants getting driver's liscences) or lying to the public (with Ireland and Bosnia to name a few) is not a means to gain votes.”

And whose husband, Former President Bill Clinton, has said on her behalf

And then there is

This all says nothing of the comments made during the actual Democratic Primaries.

So when you consider that Senator Hillary Clinton has never stopped her push to be the Democratic nominee, that former-President Bill Clinton refuses to acknowledge or support Senator Obama, that the Clintons have virtually blackmailed their ‘support’ to date to the repayment of the debt they incurred campaigning against Obama, and the fact that all of this is being used to weaken Senator Obama’s chance of winning the election the DNC looks to be a way to break Democratic unity as opposed to securing it.

All in all, between the Clinton’s and Nancy Pelosi the Democratic National Convention seems to be shaping up to be somewhat of a farce and a losing proposition for the chances of winning the election. But the Vice-Presidential candidate will be announced as well. Depending on who is picked it may be the base hit that Obama needs right now.

So is it 3 strikes and out or will the Democrats still be at bat?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nancy Pelosi at the DNC - strike 2

Recently I mentioned how I felt that having Speaker Nancy Pelosi speak on the first night of the Democratic National Convention was a mistake. I felt it was a massive strike against Senator Obama.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi may look good to the women that only care about having a woman’s face in a leadership position; but anyone that has followed what the Democrats said in the 2006 mid-term elections may have a different opinion. The 110th Congress is a complete failure. The Democrats have failed to do any of the things they promised in their 2006 campaigns. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge to stalemate.”

I continue to feel that way, and I believe that strike 2 has just been dealt.

“Which brings us to Madame Speaker’s 2007 financial disclosure form. Schedule III lists “assets and ‘unearned income’” of between $100,001-$250,000 from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. - Public Common Stock.” Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is a natural gas provider founded by T. Boone Pickens.

“She, and other investors, stand to gain a substantial return on their investment if gasoline prices stay high and municipal, state and even the Federal governments start using natural gas as their primary fuel source. If gasoline prices fall? Alternative fuels and the cost to convert fleets over to them becomes less and less attractive.”

CLNE also happens to be the sponsor of Proposition 10, a ballot initiative in Pelosi’s home state of California to dole out a combined $10 billion in state and federal funds for renewable energy incentives. Namely: Natural gas and wind.”

So effectively we see that Nancy Pelosi is in the pocket of alternative energy companies. It’s basically the same claim being made by Pelosi and other Democrats against Republicans. And it’s just as bad as what they say the result is with Republicans.

Speaker Pelosi has walled-off any discussion of domestic drilling for oil. She has refused to allow any votes on the subject. And according to her most recent comments on Larry King she will only consider possibly allowing a vote on domestic drilling IF it also includes alternative energy incentives.

Effectively that means that Speaker Pelosi wants alternative energy to get more money to earn more money for herself. The higher the cost for oil, the better her alternative energy stocks will do. And the American public be damned.

Of course many other Democrats believe in this same style of system as well. Senator Obama wants to increase electricity costs, is against domestic drilling (though he has suggested he might be open to drilling in recent speeches – campaign speeches designed to get him elected), and has stated that higher oil costs is good because it will force people to use less oil. Don’t mind the fact that higher energy costs mean more Americans will lose their homes and businesses, and will force a slow down in the economy that makes unemployment higher.

But look at it from a different point of view. Senator McCain stated at 4:33pm on Aug 13, 2008 in a news conference that creating nuclear energy plants would create 700,000 jobs. McCain is also more in favor of domestic drilling.

If there was a move in the nation to do domestic drilling, building nuclear plants, and alternative energy – and each of these ideas would employ 500,000 Americans – there would be a boost to the economy and a reduction in the cost of oil and energy. Speaker Pelosi would make money on her stocks (though not as much) and so would oil companies, utilities, 401K’s, and the average American (via energy cost savings).

But according to Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, domestic oil is a bad thing since it means oil prices would drop. Also nuclear energy is opposed as well. That’s 1,000,000 American jobs they don’t want to create, at least. That means that unemployment will go higher since businesses of all sizes will not be able to afford the higher cost.

Of course Nancy Pelosi will make more money though.

So I will return to my original thought. Is having Speaker Pelosi speak at the DNC a positive? Especially since she represents a Democrat-led Congress that not only has done nothing they promised in 2006, but is also actively looking to hurt American families. While lining her own pockets with more money.

Strike 2.

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The Democratic National Convention - strike one on the first night

On August 25th on thing will be very clear, Senator Barack Obama will be looking to shore up the women’s vote. That’s the first night of the Democratic National Convention, and all the stops are being pulled out.

Senator Obama will have his wife and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speak on this first night. If there was any question of having prominent women stand-up and support Obama this first night is meant to dispel that thought.

And as an added bonus Senator Obama will be looking to lockdown the African American vote, with prominent displays of successful African Americans in the form of his brother-in-law Craig Robinson, a coach at Oregon State, and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. And of course his wife Michelle.

It’s a good arrangement. The planned videotape message from Senator Edward Kennedy will be a nice added touch. As the first prominent Democrat to publicly announce his endorsement of Obama, stirring the longstanding ire of the Clinton machine, it seems fitting he speaks on the first night. The fact that he will be doing so via video due to his recent brain surgery is bittersweet though.

But I think that having Nancy Pelosi speak is a mistake. She is the symbol of the ineffective Democrat-led Congress. She is a reminder that Democrats would prefer to allow millions of Americans to have to choose between food and/or work or paying their energy bills. She is the voice of the Democratic Party that refused to even consider having a vote on domestic drilling – effectively saying that Democrats have no intention of being bi-partisan if Senator Obama is elected.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi may look good to the women that only care about having a woman’s face in a leadership position; but anyone that has followed what the Democrats said in the 2006 mid-term elections may have a different opinion. The 110th Congress is a complete failure. The Democrats have failed to do any of the things they promised in their 2006 campaigns. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge to stalemate.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the first woman Speaker of the House, but I believe that she is just like Senator Clinton. The wrong woman for a serious job. And having her speak on August 25th will only remind the public of that fact.

Change is Senator Obama’s motto, as it was for the 2006 mid-term elections for the Democrats. Congress failed to live up to that promise in the first week, Pelosi at the helm. Her speaking will just connect the dots that the only change the Democrats can do is who is speaking about changing things.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

110th Congress on vacation - what's the difference?

The 110th Congress is now on vacation. You might be asking yourself when they haven’t been. I know I have.

The Democrat led Congress has earned and justified the 14% approval rating it has recently received. And a big cheer should be made that they increased the rating by 3%, from the all-time lowest rating for Congress ever. That includes just before and after the Civil War.

You might ask what has this Congress done?

Well they don’t work longer than any other Congress – though it was a campaign promise. They haven’t achieved any of their major goals. They haven’t even really lived up to their rally call in the 2006 mid-term elections, which was change if you forgot. Well, if you count the numerous Congressional hearings then they did change a few things – how much money was wasted.

This Democrat led Congress boosts the achievements it made, like U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007,. Of course they leave out the fact that this emergency funding was required because their refusal to fund the military in the first place. And the funding, finally passed in May 2007, runs out in September. Also note that the only way the Democrats would allow funds to go to our troops that are actively fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was by attaching an increase to minimum wages and funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

And yes I know that an early funding was vetoed by President Bush, Again the Democrats knew what they were doing, wasting time and money. They knew that President Bush would not give the enemies of our nation (and people fighting our troops are enemies) the means to hurt our soldiers by telegraphing our moves with a timeline. He told the nation as much. But they did it anyway to try to look like I don’t know what.

And of course there was the farm subsidy act, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. A real brainstorm here. This act increased food stamp benefits which is a good thing since it also increases ethanol production – corn ethanol. Corn based ethanol increases the cost of food. Thus food stamps have to have more benefits just to stay even with the higher price of food. And higher food prices is a leading cause of inflation.

Speaking of energy and Congress, notice that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will not allow a vote about domestic drilling? So they are pushing corn ethanol, which 96% of the nation cannot buy or use, and is less efficient that gasoline, and is actively increasing the cost of food. And they are really only pushing ethanol. All other alternatives are off the table.

Does that make sense? Considering no one knows what energy source is the best for mass production shouldn’t they want to try everything? Shouldn’t we be ramping up wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, grass or sugar based ethanol, nuclear, and domestic drilling all at once? Considering none of these will be the answer for at least 5 to 10 years, imagine what the cost of oil will be if we don’t start trying everything now then.

But I detract (and yes I blame Republicans for the energy mess equally, though corn ethanol and refusing to even have a vote is purely Democrat).

The 100th Congress has been very busy though. It takes work to avoid having debates about domestic drilling, and to be in nearly non-stop meetings. There have been Congressional hearing on so many issues that Democrats make sound like absolute importance. They just use the polispeak and obfuscate the facts a bit. Like the massive hearings on the lawyers the President fired (CONTINUING INVESTIGATION INTO THE U.S. ATTORNEYS CONTROVERSY). Democrats were all revved up on this.

What was obfuscated? The fact that each of those lawyers work at the pleasure of the President. Meaning that at any time, for ANY reason the President can fire any of them. It’s not illegal, and every President has done this. But the Democrat led Congress had to find a reason why the President fired these lawyers and tried to find a law that was broken, where no law exists. There went several weeks.

A few other top hearings that resulted in nothing:








The list goes on and on.

To help out in listing a few more items I found this video

So my overall point is this, there is an election coming up. Not just for the Presidency but also for Congress. When you go to vote consider why this Democrat led Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever. Consider why President Bush, who is not brilliant and has made mistakes, is regarded better than Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Congress by 10%. Consider that every major policy issue that the Democrats promised to do in the 2006 elections still have not happened, and that they have spent more time looking for people to blame than passing laws to help the nation.

Perhaps it’s me but I expect a Congress to do something. For god sake they couldn’t even get together to pass an Act to apologize for slavery. House voted yes the Senate just let it go by.

In November you can vote to keep the Democrats leading Congress, if not the nation, or you can “vote for change”. Unless you have a perverse desire to see if Congress’ approval rating can reach single digits.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Senator McCain targets Obama weakenesses

The recent ads by Senator John McCain’s campaign really are interesting. If you haven’t seen them I present 2 that I believe are intelligent, humorous, and raise real questions about Senator Barack Obama.

In this video we are presented with the obvious nature of Senator Obama’s rockstar celebrity status. That status has been decried by the major news media in no uncertain terms. And there is no question that Senator Obama has a presence that politicians dream of having. His ability to speak to crowds in America, or overseas, is unmatched – most obviously in comparison to Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator John McCain.

But it also asks a very serious question. What is the major news media not finding out about this potential Presidential candidate?

Objectivity is the hallmark of the news media, or at least it used to be. The impartiality of the news meant that the truth would be presented, no matter what the populace was hoped to be lead to believe in a veil of polispeak. Pundits were supposed to be the informed watchdogs for the citizenry, deciphering the polispeak and ignoring the election geared parade of kissing babies and shaking hands.

If the news media is capable of being beguiled, then how is the average American with an hour of time in their busy day supposed to work through whom deserves the Presidency? What issue that may be of importance to you and I are the major news media ignoring, or worse deciding we should not know so it cannot influence out vote?

And here the question of celebrity status is again questioned. Is Senator Obama as vapid on political issues as Paris Hilton is on driving? Is Senator Obama more concerned about entertaining crowds worldwide than addressing issues domestically, like Britney Spears is apparently more concerned about a good party than her children?

While Senator Obama took a whirlwind tour of Iraq, Iran, and Europe he has avoided the problem at home of domestic oil drilling. The Democratic Party has worked hard to maintain his stance that increased domestic drilling is bad and will not be allowed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone so far as to block any kind of vote on the matter, preventing Representatives across the nation to vote as their constituents have contacted them and instructed them to do. Why? Because a celebrity Obama has enough clout and likeability to talk Iran and the Middle East into lower crude oil prices?

And recall that Senator Obama himself acknowledged that all Iran needs to do is block the Straight of Humus and oil will go to $300. Yet he also believes that he can talk to Iran, a nation that seeks the utter destruction of America for over 30 years, and prevent that. Even though the world knows that a higher oil price will harm America and benefit the Middle East. And Senator Obama does not want a back-up plan?

Actually his back-up plan is to raise taxes, which means higher prices as well. Because he believes that forcing the price higher will force Americans to use less energy. He is right but that also means that more people will lose homes, jobs, businesses because of the higher cost. You can’t use more energy is your small business is shut-down, along with all your employees. Is that a good plan?

I’m not saying that the ads of Senator McCain are correct. But I am saying that they bring up real and important questions. Do you have the answers? Are you sure?

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

President Obama: Andy Ostroy at Huffington Post must give a reason

I was looking through the net today, trying to get back on pace with the Presidential election, and I ran across an interesting post by Andy Ostroy on the Huffington Post. Its title is Why Obama Must Become President.

The post is filled with problems. Problems about America’s racial past, our economic current, and our unsure future. It highlights the failures of the President Bush Administration, and several points that I’ve heard ultra-liberals spout since Democrats started announcing their intention to run in 2007. And not once does it give a reason to vote for Senator Obama.

Mr. Ostroy correctly points out the many hurdles that were in the way of a Senator Obama nomination. He hints at the racial bias and emphasis used against Senator Obama throughout the primaries. He even quickly glanced over the fact Senator Obama has virtually no experience. But none of those are reasons to pick a President.

His main reasons why Senator Obama should win can be summed up in these 3 things:
He is Black
He is not President Bush
It’s a good thing for the Democratic powerbase

That’s it.

Now I would love to see a Black President in my lifetime. I agree that

“America needs to get over itself and finally break down these walls of racism. It's time that its citizens stop viewing each other through the prism of color, and focus instead on the person beneath the skin.”

But a President is more than just a color barrier. Racism is a major issue in America, I know because I have lived with its influence in my life. But it is not the only nor main issue in America.

“Whites would finally be presented with a black president and be forced to confront their inherent fears, while hopefully accepting the cultural reality that success or failure in the Oval Office has nothing to do with race. And for some blacks, they would no longer be able to hide behind the contention that the "system" is keeping them down, and instead assume a greater responsibility for their own successes and/or failures.”

This is all true. A Black President would be a great force in defeating stereotypes and excuses all too readily used and portrayed in the media and many people’s lives.

But how would Senator Obama’s color change the economy? How would his eternal tan prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons? How would the breakdown of stereotypes end the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, or disuade groups like Al Quida from attacking Americans?

Race is a central theme in America, but it has little power over national economics, international policy, or national defense – to name a few issues.

So I have to reject the premise made by Mr. Ostroy that

“But if Obama loses to McCain in November, that will be an even greater statement of where America is with regard to race. That a candidate from a severely weakened party, who votes in virtual lockstep with Bush, could beat Obama while voters voice that they so desperately want and need change, would signal that having a black president is, in 2008, perhaps too much change.”

The election in November is not about what race the majority of Americans want to lead the nation, but who is the best person. The best person with the best plan – that can realistically be implemented – is the person who should win. That may or may not be Senator Obama, but you would never be able to know from Mr. Ostroy’s post.

Is President Bush’s apporval rating low? Yep, and those of the 2 year Democrat-led Congress are even lower. Government as a whole has failed the American people on many levels. Each party has failed to live up to promises and expectations. President Bush has failed to recognize and react to his mistakes in a timely manner, and the Democratic Congress can’t stop trying to blame the Administration for every ill known to man and actually pass a few of the laws they polispoke their way into office for.

Yet neither potential Presidential candidates has a last name that remotely sounds like Bush or Pelosi. Thus change from the abysmal political leaders of this nation, whether Democrat or Republican, is assured. The question that remains is which is best.

The energy problem in America is the result of 30 years of both political parties failing to act. The only actual answer is to say that America will investigate all energy avenues – including domestic drilling, nuclear, new refineries, switching to sugar and grass based ethanol as well as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and so on. But neiter political party is willing to say that, and the candidates both seem unwilling to annoy some of their political followers in favor of a real solution for the nation.

Similar statements can be made about real fixes to Social Security, Education, and the Economy. But when it comes down to it, one of the biggest issues facing this election is experience, not color.

Does America want a President that has decades of experience, or a candidate that will be learning on the job. Both have their good and bad points. Neither involves race. To say that it does is to overstate an issue and bully some into acting in a manner they don’t believe in. That’s wrong.

Mr. Ostroy makes a great emotional post. It sets up a wonderful argument over the importance of how the media and politics still use race to make the playing fields uneven. If this were an election for Govenor, or Mayor, then it might make more sense; but this is about the President and in all honesty it is not a priority.

I have long said that all fanatics are wrong no matter what the cause or reason, and that any decision made based on a fanatical view is misguided in the least. I feel that is true of suicide bombers, bailouts for dumb economic decisions, and elections.

If you want to vote for Senator Obama, or McCain, have a reason. Race is not a reason but a cause if it is the only basis for the decision. It’s fanatical reasoning, and in my eyes therefore inherently wrong. There are reasons to vote for either, and your vote does count. Don’t waste it on just one issue that does not resolve any other issue America will face in the next 4 years or decades. If you do I guarantee that you won’t like the result.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Senator Obama to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan

Senator Obama has finally declared he will be going to Iraq and Afghanistan prior to November. Finally. It took long enough.

Senator Obama is known for his opposition to the Iraq war. It’s been one of the most critical points in his candidacy. The war is unpopular (now) and many seek an end at all costs. But most of those that are making such a call have never been in Iraq or Afghanistan and thus have no idea beyond those already in polls and party polispeak.

Considering that Democrats have voted overwhelmingly for the war, then jumped boat when the polls turned against the war I’m not surprised that so few have taken the time to get first-hand experience. It’s far easier to say

or even more recently to not only ignore that the surge has worked, some political stability has been established, and we have move closer to the goals we have been fighting for – but to say

But a future Commander-and-Chief must be able to go beyond petty political polispeak and posturing. Iraq is one of the key thoughts in America. How we resolve this issue will determine the safety of Americans worldwide for a decade or more.

I do not believe that as a senator opposed to fighting in Iraq, opposed to the surge, in favor of a timeline (which I think is stupid – it’s telegraphing your strategy which has never worked historically), and critical of anything that differs from this view that 2 days in Iraq back in January 2006 is enough. And if he only takes a trip of similar length it should be noted that it’s pandering to the public for votes.

But I look forward to Senator Obama going to Iraq and Afghanistan and getting more first-hand information. I really look forward to hear his comments on the obviously massive changes since his last short visit, especially when he speaks in a debate with Senator McCain on the subject.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

What has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi done for you in 2007

As the snow begins to fall here on the northeast, I happened to chance upon an item of minor interest. What that involved was the money spent by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on flowers this year. Not a big deal right? Except you have to remember that Speaker Pelosi gained her position on the basis of change (remember all the Democrats declaring that as the only platform for the 2006 elections). The change in this case was an increase in the amounts of money Speaker Pelosi spent of the taxpayers’ money.
Photo found at
Before becoming Speaker of the House, Pelosi spent $5,000 in 2006 on flowers. The mind boggles at why she would need that many. But in 2007 that number soared to $16,058 for reasons that really seem silly to me. I mean for whatever reason that Pelosi felt she had to host meetings with dignitaries that the President was already hosting, did she really need to give them all flowers too?

But the spending frenzy did not end there. Speaker Pelosi also felt the need to swell her staffing by 46% more than the previous speaker, and her travel budget was a whopping 34.3 TIMES as large as the previous. All in all

“Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent a little more than $3 million in the first nine months of 2007, records show, compared to the $1.8 million Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) spent during the same period in 2006.”

And don’t forget that 2006 was an election year, which generally increases spending. Thank you Speaker Pelosi for taking my hard earned money and frittering it away.
Photo found at
But let me be fair. What have we received for this huge increase in expenditures? Well with the help of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, America was promised that the Democrat led Congress would

“use the first 100 hours of legislative work of the new Congress to reform lobbying, push raises to the national minimum wage, implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and reduce prescription drug costs for seniors and college loan interest rates for students.”

They went on to promise

“Tighter restrictions on spending earmarks, lobbying, gifts and travel will be proposed…A $2.10 hourly increase in the minimum wage to $7.25…”

And what have we received?

Months of debate over why Alberto Gonzalez fired some lawyers (all of whom worked at the privilege of the President and can legally be fired at any time for any reason), though it was clearly known that no law was broken. As noted above restricted spending obviously does not include flowers, staffing, or travel for the Speaker of the House. And since leadership flows from the top down, is there any surprise?

More specifically, on 2 issues that I find to be important and dealing with the lives of children what has the Congress done? H.R. 180 IH, otherwise known as the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act, was introduced in January 2007. As of Dec 12, 2007 it is still not a law. It took the House virtually 8 months to finally vote on this as a good idea, and its gone no further.

What is it? What does it do?

“To require the identification of companies that conduct business operations in Sudan, to prohibit United States Government contracts with such companies, and for other purposes.”

Since most have not heard of Darfur, let me give you an idea of what is happening. Genocide. The murder of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children over the last 4 years plus. I did not call it genocide, the U.S. government has. And the Congress, under Pelosi and Reid who promised change and want to help all the kids whose parents are in this nation illegally or are poor, can’t even agree to stop giving Government money to a country killing people non-stop (possibly 100 more women and children are dead by the time you have read this far) for years.

Well maybe genocide is too political. Perhaps America is not the police force of the world. Maybe our government makes too much money from dealing with the Sudan and the economy will fail if we change. How about protecting children’s lives?

Everyone wants to protect children. Only a beast would want to put them in harm’s way. Only monsters would stand by and allow a child to be killed. At the least you would say something, right? Not if you are in Congress.

In the House there is H.R. 2620: Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 (in the Senate, where Harry Reid “leads”, there is S. 1175: Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007. They are identical.) The purpose is simple

“A bill to end the use of child soldiers in hostilities around the world, and for other purposes”

So what has been done? In the Senate it was introduced in April, in the House June. And that is it. Just as H.R. 5966 [109th]: Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2006 died with nothing done, so is this years version.

Wow, with this kind of leadership the premium that we are paying Congress and all the perks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spending our money on, really seems worth it. I mean even our own soldiers are not getting funding while Congress gets ready to relax in their large well lit, well heated homes for Christmas.

Yes, the leadership in Congress promised change and they delivered. Too bad they didn’t mention that it would be a change to waste of our money and inaction on any legislation of importance.

Still feel good about that vote in 2006? Keep it in mind as you vote in 2008.

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