Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bankruptcy is Path to the Good Life

Note to self: You should have been a bankruptcy lawyer. What seemed a dull profession to many law students just a few years ago may have developed a golden sheen. With so many companies gasping for air, their CEOs are scouring the country with fistfuls of money to hand over. You’re not talking chump change, either. It’s like star pro basketball or football money. They’re getting swept off the streets and paid millions….

Pelosi: Jill-in-the-box or Obama Lictor?

I’d lately given up on Fox News in the morning because, though I like Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson, they seemed to have been given their marching orders to compete with the fluff stuff on the 3 Big Networks. I’m not all that cheery at 6:00 in the a.m. and I’m usually watching one of the adult business networks like CNBC or Fox Business News. I always tuned in to Fox and Friends for a little while though, and this morning was a delightful exception. They were really funny as they chided Pelosi and poked that smarmy Keith Olbermann. Thank Obama for providing the occasion.

Prominently featured was Political Calisthenics with Nancy Pelosi. Seated behind Obama during the joint session of Congress, Pelosi needed the exercise and popped up like a jack-in-the box at the end of Obama’s every sentence. She reminded me of one of Julius Caesar’s lictors—Axelrod should have equipped her with one of those things with the axe and rods (accidental quip) as she stood behind Imperator.

Murder Victim Lured to Death by Sex Tryst - Associated Content

Police Blotter for Pocono Mountains: Murder Victim Lured to Death by Sex Tryst - Associated ContentPosting this story, written by myself for another Web site, to show the changine face of rural America....

Book Review: Guns, Freedom, and Terrorism - Associated Content

Book Review: Guns, Freedom, and Terrorism - Associated Content

Friday, February 20, 2009

CNBC's Rick Santelli Wires the Revolution

Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are the self-annointed geniuses of the economy, but no one out there in the hinterland believes it. The S&P index is about to hit a double bottom. The DOW Jones Industrials is at half of its value, which explains why, as a very small investor of $17,000, I have lost $10,000 on the S&P index. I promise you I won't cry but the people down in Washington are deaf to the poor struggling schmucks like us. I could tell you tales of youthful poverty that would break your heart (if you had one), tales that could match any of the horror stories of poverty I've seen when I've lived in and visited the "ghettoe." (I volunteer with mostly minority youth in boxing gyms) I've been busting my ass since I was 12 just to make it to some pale version of the middle class. Like many other working schmucks right now, I feel like I'm starting over. The only problem is that you can't give me back my youth.

It was popular campaign fodder for Obama to beat up on Wall Street but at least they do honest arithmetic. The honest arithmetic, applied to the Obama econoomic plan, is enough to foment a revolution. Anyway, here's the hot video where Rick Santelli pops a cork while doing work on the floor of the stock exchange in New York.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

(Hispanic) Day Laborers Are Easy Prey (for Blacks) in New Orleans

(Hispanic) Day Laborers Are Easy Prey (for Blacks) in New OrleansKumbaya moments from the New York Times.... I wonder why Eric Holder isn't talking about this?....

Stinging Remarks on Race From Attorney General (Eric Holder)

Stinging Remarks on Race From Attorney General (Eric Holder)So go ahead, Eric Holder.... We're waiting to hear what you have to say on the subject--probably not too much. I'm for removing all barriers to race but that doesn't mean I have to like you, does it? I wonder how things are going with race in Barbados, Sudan, or one of those European countries you admire so much. C'mon--talk about it, Eric. Don't be bashful...

Shocked! Shocked!: Hamas Hides in Civilian Houses?

20-year-old Mohammed Amazi was captured by Israeli soldiers when he ran out of hiding from a civilian house. Only 20 when he was captured, Amazi was 12 when he was recruited by older Hamas child abusers. Like many of his peers, Amazi was trained in a suicide bombing unit and brainwashed.

In his interrogation by IDF soldiers, Amazi described how he and his group were given Israli Army uniforms so that they could mingle in the civilian populations to detonate their bombs. Kidnapping was also a priority. Amazi was captured by the Israeli forces while hiding in a second civilian household, pretending to be engaged the frightened civilian's daughter. It's hard to argue with terrorists with guns and bombs. Unfortunately, the IDF soldiers weren't as stupid as all that. Now he's singing his guts out and this could point to more terrorist arrest.

Obama Posts Recovery Act Web Site

So I'm in one of those ridiculous forum arguments at the local newspaper with Obamaniac "willoughby2". Willoghby2 (the cad from Jane Austen?) tells me that all the information we need to know is in the Obama site which everyone already knows about. Hell, why should I keep talking. I'll just copy our latest bout of jousting:

Willoughby2My Comments
Member Since: 11/24/2008
Total posts: 246
On Feb 17, 2009 at 08:20 PM, Willoughby2 said:

This will tell you were the spending is going so you can stop with rumors.

Yeah, I looked at that site yesterday.... parts of it are informative but the site is something of a magical mystery tour mixed with agitprop. So you're saying also that it's a "rumor" about Harry Reid's insertion into the bill of a train from Los Angeles to Vegas?

Like most people, I would support provisions of a true stimulus bill but Obama's plan was a runaway train filled with pork in the hands of Pelosi and Reid et al. The President should have spanked them hard but he's too unsure of himself and his leadership. In short, it's amateur hour at the White House and I wish things would improve. There's already a credibility problem with the "stimulus" bill- - big mistake. Obama said he would "create jobs" but now he's switched his language to "create or save 3 or 4 million jobs."

GM and Chrysler are back again for more billions and the UAW-KGB won't yet reveal the terms of its so-called agreement with GM.

The housing and mortgage debt crises should have been a priority in the bill, not millions for the National Endownment of the Arts. I'm not against NEA even though it withholds money from conservatives and passes out money to its left-liberal toadies but that's not "stimulus". How does that create jobs that help the economy?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - Beheading in New York Appears to Be Honor Killing, Experts Say - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - Beheading in New York Appears to Be Honor Killing, Experts Say - Local News | News Articles | National News | US NewsHard at work in changing the image of Muslims in America was Muzzammil Hassan, a man who decapitated his wife in what the District Attorney believes is an honor killing.

Michael Moore: Bowling for Columbine Mentality Afflicts Colorado Schools

Once again the gun control idiocy inspired by brain-fat movie guy Michael Moore has infected the classroom. This time it was Marie Morrow, honors student and a drill-team commander in the Young Marines, who was expelled from school. Marie's crime? Well, when you rehearse for drill team, you need these props, and it helps if the props resemble a rifle since that's what you're going to be twirling about.

The dangerous honors student, Marie Morrow, left the rifle shaped props in the back of her car at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado, where they were spotted by sharp-eyed anti-military PC proponents with axes to grind. The "props", made of wood and plastic and festooned with decoration, could only be mistaken for rifles by an half-educated buffoon like Michael Moore or his self-aggrandizing cohorts.

Nonetheless, the kid had to lose precious days at school while preparing for a competition at the Air Force Academy in April. She planned to attend practice for this right after school.

What's next? I wonder what would happen if she were to twirl one of those 3 ft American Flags. Would that also be counter to Colorado Law, and resemble a rifle in someone's eyes?

Should the young student sue the school for deprivation of education? I would only laugh if she did.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Burris Defends Himself Amid Calls for His Resignation -

Burris Defends Himself Amid Calls for His Resignation - WSJ.comThe Witches Cauldron is still boiling over in Chicago. The sad thing is that the Democrats put this guy on board to vote for anything the Porkulus Plan can dish out....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chuck Schumer Thinks You Don't Miind "tiny little porky amendments"

Yes, those tiny millions and billions of dollars don't matter to petulant and outre taxpayers like yourself, according to the NY Senator Schumer.

There's that tiny little porky $8 billion for Harry Reid's Railroad from LA to Vegas. How could anyone find fault with a "stimulus" like that one?

Then there's the tiny little porky 1 billion for Prevention & Wellness Programs, including STD education. And blah, blah, blah...and more blah, blah, blah... C'mon, it's only a billion.

And of course, we've got to pay back those people who beat the streets for Barack Obama so there are more billions for "neighborhood organization" groups. Get that "street money" out there right away, just like the old time Boss Tweed Tammany Hall Operators.

The list goes on and on but the most abhorrent thing about it is that the Democratic Congress, plus Specter, Collins, and Snow will try this stuff now with the economy reeling. How can they expect us to swallow this kind of offal? The Stimulus Bill has the kind of bloat one sees from a corpse rotting in the sun on a 100 degree day. It's shameful, especially at a time when we needed a clean stimulus bill.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg Withdraws Nomination for Commerce Secretary

This is strike two for Department of Commerce. Bill Richardson, Obama's first choice, had to withdraw due to a scandal investigation. Gregg's press release indicates there were some issues and conflicts with the administration's Stimulus Plan. Translate that to mean things that Gregg couldn't support. The news is still forthcoming but I bet you'll find treachery also behind the NH Governor's promise to fill the vacant seat with a Republican. I give my props to Gregg for thinking of his principles first. Commerce Secretary would have been a nice career move for him. It's good to know they're not all glory and power loving bastards down there in Congress.

Will Obama Announce "End Times?"

"Catastrophe" seems to be one of Barack Obama's favorite words lately. But I figure that it's a short hop from "catastrophe" to "end times" and I expect Barack Obama will soon make that leap. His job is to convince Americans that his billion dollar Porkulus program, combined with a smaller billion dollar Stimulus Plan, is absolutely necessary to kick the economy into gear. You don't believe in the Obama administration fix for the economy? You'd better. Here we are at the "end times." Proof of it is what already didn't work.

The 2008 Stimulus Plan in which people received amounts ranging from zero to 1200 bucks didn't work. Thank you, George Bush and Senate Democrats. We enjoyed our $1200 bucks and did what we were supposed to do as patriotic Americans. We spent some of the windfall on a $700 flat screen TV. I have no clue what we did with the seems to have evaporated somehow into our negatively inclined balance sheet.

$350 billion spent by Hank Paulsen to shore up the credit markets didn't work either. Not only that, but no one has any clue as to where those billions went. If they did, there would have been no need to call Bank Executives onto the carpet at a Senate Hearing yesterday. The Senate Banking Committee hearings provided an opportunity for a public flogging and a great opportunity for stagecraft for Barney Franks and Chris Dodd, among others. I don't how it is in your family, but in our family, we do enjoy a public flogging on occasion except in those cases where the floggers should have been the floggees. WTF was the "Banking Committee" when we needed it most? Pushing sub-prime loans at Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac or getting special loans from Friends of Angelo Mozilo at the bankrupt Countrywide Bank?

Tim Geithner announced a new flim-flam plan(rhymes)on Tuesday for the spending of the second tranche(French, for "slice.") of the 750 billion already apportioned for freeing up the credit markets. The stock market responded to Geithner's "reassurances" with a nearly 400 point drop, after a previous week of decline. This new "tranche" money will disappear like the first shot of monetary policy adrenaline as banks engage in that favorite buzzword of euphemistically inclined economists: "de-leveraging." "Deleveraging" means holding on to the money you got from the government with your hot little hands and using it to prop up your balance sheet.

"De-leveraging" is not a French word like "tranche" but the French probably have a name for it that doesn't bear repeating. Perhaps the famous French proverb will do: "Plus ca change, plus ce le meme chose!" No need to translate this--you already know even if you don't speak a word of French.

Yesterday, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the tune of close to a trillion conveniently not counting interest to be paid by future generations. There's lots of what NJ Governor Corzine called "good stuff" (CNBC's Squawk Box) in the bill but so little of it qualifies as "stimulus." Most economists define "stimulus" as money which flows into the economy in the current year, not years into the future. I like the name of Obama's stimulus plan, though: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Not only does it sound hopeful, but it has none of the cynicism of the poisonous card check bill being prepared like a punji pit in the House. The card check legislation goes by the hearty euphemism "Employee Free Choice Act," an appellation which implies the Bill is exactly what it is not. You have to have done a stretch on a truck loading dock in below zero weather,with both Teamster Union and operations management goons prowling the dock trying to influence your vote, to truly appreciate the "Employee Free Choice Act." That was "back in the day," though, and I'm sure that modern union-management adversaries no longer carry guns as insurance of their own safety. Just drive by any blue-collar pier, oil rig, or truck loading dock or similar environment these days and you'll surely see Union and Management officials sitting around cheerfully holding hands and singing "Kumbaya."

But hey, I am no Cassandra and can't see any farther into the future than anyone else. I think a little common sense will go a long way here, though,and I'd like to close my rant on an optimistic note. There's no way that these times, in spite of the massive and heartbreaking job losses, can compare to the sufferings of the Great Depression. I expect that America will be going back to the seventies, though, when the economy was stagnant and contracting: there were gasoline lines and sky-high interest rates. In the 70s, the unemployment rate was higher than it is now and there were thousands upon thousands of unemployed Vietnam war veterans looking for jobs.

A "bright note of our "progressive" era is that returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans may face financial and social hardships but not the shameless treatment to which Vietnam veterans were subjected. The economy is cyclical and dynamic as people are free, in this country, to devote themselves to the pursuits of life, liberty and happiness. That means bank and automotive executives as much as it means those of us who will benefit from extended benefits on the unemployment line. The worst damage sustained by the credit crisis originated within an inflated housing "bubble" and we are still waiting to hear the Geithner remedy for that.

The Obama administration has been criticized recently by left, center, and right for having feet of clay in response to the economic crisis. America being what it is, the economy will most certainly rebound. The trick, for the Obama administration, is not to get too much in the way or too heavily mortgage the future by creating false bottoms which undermine the confidence people need to feel about the future. That way, Obama can claim his stimulus package caused the rebound which is certain to occur within the four years of his first term.

The question people will be asking themselves then will be familiar: "Was doing something at the risk of doing harm to the future economy better than doing nothing now?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please, President Obama, Don't Halp Us!

I'm reminded of those photos of American troops in Iraq who took offense at John Kerry's elitist remarks to the effect that only dumb people went into the military. Everybody else went to college, according to Kerry. The statement was accompanied by a hilarius photo showing troops holding up a white bed-sheet upon which the following words were emblazoned:

"Please John Kerry, Halp us!"

I get somewhat the same feeling from the Obama administration attempts to "halP" the economy, with the latest implosion coming from Tim Geithner's opening statement about his rescue plan. If that's rescue, let us drown, so the stock market seemed to say. The S & P was hammered and the Dow dropped close to 400 points, following major losses during the previous week.

Meanwhile, Obama seems to be reincarnating Jimmy Carter's "malaise" diagnosis. For weeks, we've been terrorized into buying into a Porkulus Plan which devotes only 12 cents on the dollar into true stimulus and offers a menu of political paybacks and pet Democratic projects. Obama used the word "catastrophe" several times during the past week. This is like telling "folks" the sky is falling after it's already fallen.

I kind of feel sorry for tax-cheat Geithner who received a thumbs down from the Street. The reason? Most pundits says it's because the plan was not a plan at all, and that it offered no specifics. I listened to Geithner's talk--I didn't think it was totally bad. I thought it was rather like one of those summaries you put at the end of your term paper: dry, academic, designed to impress without admitting you have not the slightest idea what you're writing about.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Obama Speak: Stimulate Means Spend

At some point, people will realize that Obama is a great speaker only to his fan base in the media. The president was on the telly trying very hard to be entertaining in that imitable sing-song way of speaking that he has.

"Some folks have criticized my Stimulus Plan by saying it is too heavy on spending. Spending? Isn't that what a Stimulus Plan is.... Spending?" ....and har-har-de-har, guffawed the Prez.

Wow! SAT word match! We stand corrected. I thought "stimulate" meant to excite something or get something moving again. Spending may be a stimulant for pork-seeking Democrats but there are other ways of stimulating the economy. It is the economy they're talking about, isn't it?

But Barack has been advised he needs to take that whole bunch of taxpayer money, all that private capital, launder it through the sacred halls of government, and pour it into the public sector.

Talk about scare tactics! There are so many parts of the package that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy, and won't created jobs, and won't loosen credit, and won't do anything about the collapsed housing market.

It won't work, I'm telling you now. The economy has a mind of its own and will re-bound in good time. Meanwhile, be sure to teach your children how to build tee-pees because that's all they'll be able to afford when the Treasury has to print all that money, interest rates go through the roof, and it costs 30 bucks to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. If there is a Starbucks....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leon Panetta, Maximum Bureaucrat

I'm watching the Panetta CIA confirmation hearings. Instead of qustioning, Democratic representatives have taken their turns at the mike to provide extensive and long-winded character references. Barabara Mikulski has just relinquished the floor and Leon Panetta is grinning on cue.

"That's an excellent answer," says Mikulski to a slogan uttered by the former Clinton chief of staff.

The boredom is taking its toll as Mikulski launches into a phrase heard ad nauseum from the speeches of other Democrats: "Speaking Truth to Power."

Democrats always take on the look of puff adders whenver the phrase is uttered, and Mikulski uses it several times, as does Ron Wyden. Meanwhile, Panett'a every answer is thoughtful, reasoned, measured, bureacratic and empty. Panetta searches his mind for the right thing, the right phrase, the right tone. His every answer is squared and boxed. There are no loose ends, not a hair out of place, and nothing original. Panetta avoids excitable thoughts, and issues his familiar catch-phrases in press-ready form. He edits himself as he speaks. He blinks his eyes, often. There is no way of telling what the man is thinking. He is a seamless, robotic, hypnotic bureaucratic manager. His bureaucratic thought process is convertible to usage in a university, a bank, a law firm, a meat-packing plant.

"We will work as a team," Panetta says.

Go team. Say yes. Be quiet. Smile.

Leon Panetta Will Spay the CIA

I don't know about you but I've never been impressed with Leon Panetta, nor his cultivated avuncular mien. It's not fair to say he reminds me a great deal of Bill Richardson, but he does. While the Panetta appointment doesn't violate Obama's dictate about not hiring registered lobbyists, Leon has done a lot of unregistered lobbying for groups doing business with the government. Since serving as Bill Clinton's chief of staff, Leon has spent his time spinning in the revolving door between government and private industry. The purpose of all that, of course, is to make money, be a success, use his connections in government to do so.

The Wall Street Journal reports that he earned more than $700,000 since the beginning of 2008. The money has come from making speeches for troubled banks and investment corporations like Merill-Lynch. He's also consulted for companies that invest in defense contracting. There's a whole lot more but you need to read Glenn R. Simpson to get full facts and details. Isn't that all a bit sticky? Are we going to re-install the entire Bill Clinton apparatus of government? About the only Bill Clinton era appointee that makes sense is Hillary and that is only because she earned it. I worry less about what Hillary will do as Secretary of State than I do about what Panetta will do at CIA.

Panetta is not that exciting a speaker that anyone would pay him thousands of dollars just to talk. They pay him because he's a prototypical bureaucrat, steeped in the ways of Washington, and willing to sell access. He's not much different from Blagojevich except that Blago is blunt whereas Panetta quietly gathers in the chips.

The worst part of a Pinhedda appointment is what he believes about terrorism and the right of nations to defend against it. He's formed himself into a sort of a plastic amorphous image of a blind monkey. Joe scarbough described the choice of Panetta as one of the "most baffling appointments" of the Obama administration. He's for closing Gitmo, throwing out the interrogations as well as the interrogators, and for granting rights of habeus corpus to people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

Panetta is sort of an hyper-broadcast announcement of American weakness and vulnerability at a time when foreign terrorists are most likely to succeed. A eunuch-inspired CIA is not what we need right now.

How To Feel Good About the TARP

Many people are queestioning Barack Obama's sincerity in putting a $500,000 limit on executive pay for companies receiving "extraordinary assistance" from the Taxpayers. The New York Post, for example, ventured that the timing of the message was designed to re-focus the media away from the Tom Daschle debacle. Whatever the motivation, you could say that a bit of bully pulpit sermonizing wouldn't hurt. It plays to the worst part of us, our petty resentments. If I haven't been clever enough to ever make over $75,000 a year, then why should anyone else, especially now that the national economy is slouching toward zero. So now that all of us low earners have nourished ourselves on the pablum of empty slogans, let's list a few of the problems associated with the Obama dictum:

* Lots of banks and institutions are exempt and have already been paid out, so they're already laughing at the windfall afforded them.

* Top executives will be looking for jobs as execs in foreign companies with subsidiaries in the U.S.

* Enforcement is impossible for a government that found it so difficult to monitor reckless, government sponsored institutions like Fanny and Freddie.

* Clever CFO's get to become CFO's by having the expertise to outwit the lead-footed spawn of administration public relations hacks newly lured away from the mass media.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

That's Right, Barack Obama--You Did Screw Up

Even though it was obvious to everyone, even the New York Times, that President Obama screwed up in some of his cabinet picks, it sure was nice to hear him say it in his interview with CNN. I've begun to think the guy has potential. Now if only he could whip his Party into coming up with a stimulus plan that didn't resemble an old-style Communist Party Cultural Purge, we could get something truly stimulative done.

With regard to Obama's announcement today about the cap on executive salaries at corporations taking bailout funds, I find that a double-edged sword. I'm okay with XO's who make a lot of money--that's none of my business so long as you're not taking our tax dollars.

But I don't see how the government, which found it so hard to police the wild activities in Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, could effectively monitor salaries and compensation in corporate America. It would be more believable if the president called for hearings on Countrywide Bank connections with Chris Dodd and with Fanny Mae while top Democrats ran the housing agencies.

'Splain yourself, dude...

Senator Inhofe & Me: Keep Guantanamo Prison Open for Business

Senator James Inhofe (R –OK) is out in front of the hunt for something dear to my heart—the announced closing of the Gitmo facility by the Obama administration. Inhofe is calling for the President to keep it open. There are 110 dangerous killers in there. The Bush administration already released hundreds of the less dangerous ones. The remaining terrorists are unwanted in all countries.

Obama succumbed to the lamenting of Democratic Party loony left wing of the party in making the announcement they would close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo, Cuba. Obama should think a little more about his Terrorist Catch and Release Program. Does he want it on his conscience if one of the hard-cores gets off the reservation and goes back to killing some mother’s son or daughter? I wouldn’t. But that’s what’s happened already, and more than once.

I’m sure there are lots of people in the U.S and the whole world., particularly among the aged poor population, who wouldn’t mind being interned at Gitmo. I don’t expect I’d get better treatment anywhere after Alzheimer’s set’s in (if it hasn’t already) than in Gitmo.

• The Red Cross notes plenty of recreation in beautiful recreation areas.

• Great medical treatment for free—much better than Medicaid or Medicare.

• A varied menu in keeping with personal and religious preferences.

Please, Barack, Mr. President….Isn’t there something you could do to get me interned there when I’m 94 and alone?