Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailouts and Bullets

The minute pathetic Pelosi perched on her pulpit to pummel Republicans for the mess, I knew the so-called "partisan" deal was heading to "heck" in a hand basket.

Here's a chilling thought to ponder.

As Speaker of the House, Pelosi ranks second in the line of presidential succession, following the Vice President. So that makes her "two heartbeats away" from the presidency of the USA.

And let's not forget that bigoted buffoon, bombastic Barney Frank, blustering party bashing rhetoric to the cameras -- even cracking jokes to much laughter among the dems standing beside him -- blaming while trying to remain blameless as 12 of his very own committee members voted NAY against the bailout of the century.

Both of them must think the American population is deaf, dumb and blind.

Here's a few bullets:

1977 - the CRA is enacted into law by President Jimmy Carter (Democrat) Thus, Freddie and Fannie came to be. The FDIC was chosen as the regulatory body responsible for ensuring Fannie, Freddie and other banks complied with CRA.

Sidenote: The Federal National Mortgage Association is Fannie Mae // The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is Freddie Mac

1993 - the CRA is revised by President Bill Clinton (Democrat)

Major changes included:
- Reduced leverage requirements for Fannie and Freddie, allowing them to hold just 2.5% capital to back their investments (versus 10% capital requirements required by banks)
- Required non CRA banks to qualify under CRA regs by forcing them to have a certain percentage of their business in "risky" loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers if they wanted to merge and/or change their business in any way to better compete in global financial markets
- Allowed marketing of such "risky" mortgages by established and new community groups (such as ACORN)

2002 - An interagency review is launched at the request of the Republicans to review effectiveness of the 195 regulatory changes to the CRA that were done in 1993.

2003 - Bush Administration (Republican) recommended that a new Dept of Treasury step in to oversee Fannie/Freddie... Democrats state based on their review it was certainly not necessary and that Republicans were wasting taxpayer dollars investigating a problem that does not exist.

McCain (Republican) also pushed for change of regulations. His statements regarding the impending disaster are well-commented on by some of the media out there so no need to repeat it here.

2005 - Democrats opposed new CRA regs put into effect in July of 2005, which included clearer definitions for what actually counted as a "small" and "intermediate small" bank which were subject to less restrictions than formerly

FACT: Between 1993 and 1998 the number of CRA mortgage loans increased by 39% while other loans increased by only 17%

FACT: By 2007, largely owing to their reduced capital requirements, Fannie and Freddie owned or guaranteed nearly 1/2 of the $12 Trillion US mortgage market.

FACT: As a result of the CRA, the community groups as of 2000 received an estimated $9.5 Billion in services and salaries. They also received multi-year commitments from banks adding up to tens of billions (eg. ACORN to the tune of $760 million, NACA to the tune of $3 Billion, New Jersey Citizen Action-lead Coalition to the tune of $13 Billion, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance to the tune of $220 million, etc.)

FACT: The housing "bubble" was inflated in large part owing to the CRA and the requirements that Act forced on banks in order for them to compete in a global economy.

FACT: The way I see it, reduction in leverage capital requirements through the CRA set banks up to fail if/when home market values started falling owing to the mark to market general accounting principals chosen to value mortgages -- in turn, creating a credit crunch with little to no room for any bank holding large amounts of mortgages (toxic or otherwise) on their books.

FACT: You can't lay the entire blame for the collapse entirely on the doorstep of the financial institutions and/or banks when Government (mostly DEMOCRAT), through short-sighted regulations and poor economic impact studies (if any) were a major influence in their demise.

And don't even get me started on the short-selling market tampering that's been going on, forcing once great USA companies to crash and burn. That was a Bush (REPUBLICAN) mistake by wiping out the up-tick clause.

Personally, I think short-selling should be abolished entirely. It turns the entire market system IMHO into a lottery system for big players only -- small investors like you and I need not apply.

Frankly, every time Government seems to stick their fingers in the cookie jar, it seems a mess is inevitable -- particularly when they tamper with the so-called "free" market system.

Don't get me wrong... I'm most certainly not anti-gov or whatever. In fact, there are some super hard working, honest representatives seriously trying to resolve the "crisis" we all face, through no fault of our own. God Bless them, for they surely have a lot of political posturing and BS to swim through to accomplish anything while at the same time protect all of us here on "Main Street."

I'm a little sick and tired of everyone running around crying "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

They say it's about us being able to get more loans. Honest to Betsy, who in their fool mind would want to get a loan at the rediculously high rates being charged today? Why in the world would they think we can't live unless we keep adding more and more debt in our lives?

And further, as a small business owner, I KNOW exactly how hard it is to get a small business loan... way, way, waaaaaaaay before this whole thing erupted on the scene.

My father always used to say, if you can't afford it, don't buy it.

He was a small business owner that grew his business from a back yard garage into a small empire in his area. He knew how to hold the reigns tight, watch his cash flow, avoid heavy debt and hang onto capital... because in those days, there was no such thing as a bank loan being available to help you meet your payroll.

Bottom line is, you should always have more coming in than you have going out. You should have solid products and services because one angry customer will tell ten more and hurt your business exponentially.

Bad news always spreads faster than good news.

Now... that said... they can slap a bandage on the gaping wound and postpone the inevitable... truth is, things are already tight down here on "Main Street" -- they always have been. Thing is, we're innovative and flexible enough to think on our feet and stay afloat during hard times. We prepare for contingencies, and most of us have more than a Plan B... we usually have a Plan C, a Plan D and more. We know how to eat hot dogs and skip the steak when we can't afford it. And it will be small businesses like ours that help rebuild the economy when the time comes -- that is, if you don't tax us into extinction and regulate us out of the country.

To both parties I say:

Don't spread your fear by telling me I won't be able to get a loan -- because you know what? I'm not asking for one, thank you very much. And when I really needed one, you wouldn't give it to me. I either wasn't rich enough, or wasn't poor enough by your standards.

For the record, I'm one of the 1/3 out here who DOESN'T own stock in the markets, DOESN'T have a 401K to lose, is saving CASH for my son's college education (he's only 8 right now) and will have plenty for him when he's ready.

Okay. Stepping down from my soap box now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig

I'm sitting here wondering, "Did Obama's writer/handler give him the saying as part of his town hall type speech yesterday? Or did he come up with it all by himself?"

To me, it was reminiscent of the time he brushed off a female reporter calling her "sweetie" -- he never did answer her question as I recall.

In case you're one of the very few who didn't hear the pig speech, this is a short excerpt of the quote as reported by Reuters:
“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig,” he said as the crowd cheered and yelled and eventually got to their feet.

Now, he could have said: "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... then it must be a duck." --- but NOOOO --- in his infinite wisdom he chose the lipstick comment.

Lipstick on a pig -- ***** -- it's a saying that isn't even on the list of over 500 colloquialisms and phrases that I save in my resources for writing projects.

I won't be adding it to the list.


Well... quite simply, because it is sexist.


For supposedly such a sharp man (I'm having serious doubts) he sure knows how to tick off a demographic quickly.

Here's another sexist saying:
"You can slap aftershave on a donkey, but in the end, it's still an ass."

Maybe he can use that one in his next town hall meeting.


Speaking of pigs, here's a newsflash from the Political front lines closer to home:
The Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition (INPAC), the voluntary membership arm of Indiana Pork, announces its endorsement of Mitch Daniels in his bid for a second term of Governor of Indiana. This is the first official political endorsement that the organization has provided in its history.

It figures. If you've been following my blog at all, you know how I feel about Daniels' pro-cafo stance, giving millions to millionaires.

So if you're wondering if I'm voting for him, I'll answer with another colloquialism: "When pigs fly."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Election Speech Analysis

Did you watch the speeches delivered from BOTH large party conventions on each side of the presidential election fence?

I did.

Not just from a voter's point of view (pov)... but also from a writer's pov.

By now you know I'm a copywriter. Some of you might be wondering, "What is that, exactly?"

Briefly, I write the words that help my clients make their fortunes. I'm the ghost writer behind the scenes, talking to you through them. I've written:
- large product/service presentation websites
- lead generation sites
- scripts for online video presentations
- SEO copy for online website traffic generation
- press releases and content articles
- classified ads, google ads, banner ads, ezine ads, solo ads, and more ads
- scripts for radio ads, tv ads, and more...

Yes, I've even written a few "jingles" during the course of my career.

But I digress.

I point out the above because when watching any "scripted" presentations, such as the bulk of the speeches that were dilivered during both major 2008 Presidential Election Party conventions, I like to take them apart from a writer's pov -- paying careful attention to what the writers have each done to "frame" and present their speakers.

As usual, there are a LOT of subliminals built in (A LOT!!) to both Presidential Candidates' speeches.

But, I was curious if I had caught the main themes.

After the campaigns were over, I searched and searched online for "analysis" of the speeches but kept tripping across propaganda and hate articles on both sides of the election fence instead.

Finally, I found this article:
"Super Bowl of Spin Heating Up …
Who Do You Think Will Win?"

It was written by a Canadian copywriter who has been observing events (at a comfortable distance) from his home in Toronto, Ontario. This distance gives him a bit of a clearer "perspective" since he's not an active participant in what is happening here on our side of the border.

After reading Daniel's article, I have to admit, he really "nailed it" from a writer's pov. It's well worth your time to read. It will reveal with startling clarity how words from both speeches were used to "brainwash" voters.

Well, maybe "brainwash" is too harsh a word... but needless to say, the subliminal "positioning" deployed through the speeches were without a single doubt, brilliant -- on BOTH sides.

Click to read the article and see what you think.

More on this soon. See you then!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Knee Jerks

Dumbing down a population starts in 2 main areas:

1) at the school level

2) at the mass media level

Mind control of a population requires 2 things:

1) constant exposure to the "message" (subliminal or otherwise)

2) an eloquent speaker to "lead" the sheep

Having watched a lot of the mass media spin on the presidential election circuit, I have to wonder -- are the media trying to "dumb down" the USA population? -- or are they being "used" by other outside entities to accomplish the same?

It boils down to who is using whom...

For example, take a look at the flagrantly obvious subliminal "dumb down" tactics employed by US WEEKLY today. Side by side covers, one showing Obama in the most delightful light and the other an outright attack on Palin:

Shame on you, US WEEKLY.

If you're a reader (or, God forbid, a subscriber) of US WEEKLY reading this, I say this: "Don't let them contaminate your brain cells with their contrived neuro linquistic programming trash. Don't let them do that to you."

Who owns US WEEKLY?

The obvious front owner is none other than Jann Wenner, also the proprietor of Rolling Stone and Men's Journal.

But, just a minute here... I found this link to CJR which reveals (as of 2006) 50% of US Weekly was owned by -- get this -- The Walt Disney Company!?!

Gag me with a spoon! Say it isn't sooooooo....

All those supposed "family oriented" films and toons my eight year old son LOVES to watch -- run by the same company that has a 50% stake in one of the most outrageous mind-control tabloids (in my humble opinion) that consistently dumbs down our population (or at least, anyone vulnerable enough to their tactics)... be it in your face or subliminally... plastering their hidden messages throughout supermarkets and newstands across the nation.

Makes you kinda wonder what's hidden in those Disney movies, doesn't it?

Sadly, the dumb-down tactics being deployed by many mass media outlets appear to be working based on the huge numbers of "blind" followers stepping up to drink the kool-aide being offered in most mainstream media spins. I wonder what the flavor-of-the-week will be next week?

To the people, I cry, "Wake up!"

Before it's too late.

Next, from the US WEEKLY site, one commenter provided this list of advertisers for the US WEEKLY tabloid. Here you go...

***Us Weekly Advertisers AND THEIR PARENT COMPANIES***
Cover Girl...Procter & Gamble - PG dot com 800-568-4035
Neutrogena....Johnson & Johnson - JNJ dot com 800-582-4048
Coca Cola/Powerade....thecoca-colacompany dot com 404-676-5009
Pepperidge Farm....Campbell's Soup - campbellsoupcompany dot com
Lady Foot Locker....footlocker-inc dot com Lady Foot Locker Marketing Director, Doug Smith - 212-720-3700
CW....CBS & Warner Bros - cwtv dot com
TRESemme....Alberto-Culver - alberto dot com
M&Ms....Mars - mars dot com
Olay...Procter & Gamble - PG dot com 800-568-4035
ABC...abc dot com
Jack in the Box....jackinthebox dot com
Glaxo Smith Klein...gsk dot com 888-825-5249
food network... E. W. Scripps Company - scripps dot com
Target....target dot com 800.440.0680
Wrigley's...wrigley dot com
Special K....Kellogg's - kelloggcompany dot com
McDonalds....mcdonalds dot com
NutriSystem....nutrisystem dot com
WalGreen's...walgreens dot com
Walmart Media Relations - 1-800-331-0085
Figi Water....?
and Sony...sony dot com
Toyota -
State Farm -
Proctor and Gamble -
LG -
Boost mobile -
Campbell's Soup -
Rhapsody -
Schick -
Converse -

So, the above support the dumb-down operation by their ad dollars, and we can choose to vote against them all with our pocket-books.

Next, what to do about Disney...???

I guess the first step is to find out if it's true. *sigh*