Monday, November 24, 2008

Next Bailout Might Be Your Local Government

By now, you're probably sick and tired of hearing about government bailouts... but a new bailout looming on the horizon doesn't appear to be getting much exposure on the tube, which strikes me as odd, since it may bankrupt more than one municipality.

Check out this November 22/2008 story in the LA Times:
"Credit market freeze may claim local governments as victims"

As the dreaded ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) start coming due in January of 2009 that many are predicting could create a new tide of foreclosures from skyrocketing interest rates, seems that few have realized there is another variable-rate financial instrument in common use by many States, cities and municipalities that could create new havoc on December 1 of this year. To give you an idea, here's a brief excerpt from the story:
The government agencies at risk issued a hybrid municipal bond known as a variable-rate demand note. The payouts on many of these issues have been driven sky-high by the credit crisis.

The situation prompted California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and 19 municipal treasurers to ask Friday for an emergency Federal Reserve program to restore liquidity to the malfunctioning market and force rates back down.

Without government intervention, there will be higher costs for taxpayers, more budget woes for localities and higher obstacles for crucial infrastructure projects...

The variable-rate notes were sold mostly to money market funds. The bonds carry maturities of up to 30 years but pay short-term interest rates that can be reset as frequently as once a day.

Until recently, the resets were not a problem for issuers. The dysfunctional credit markets, however, have exposed them to rate increases no one ever anticipated.

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for example, says the rate it is paying on $132 million in variable-rate notes has soared to as much as 12%, from as little as 1%. That's a difference of as much as $1.2 million in interest a month. The MTA says it may also have to pay $50 million to retire interest-rate swaps it purchased to hedge against interest-rate changes on the original notes.

For those who really think taxes are only going up on the wealthy per the Obamaplan, I heard there's someone looking to sell you a cool bridge.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Project Leper

If you missed the Glenn Beck Nov 6/2008 radio show, you might not know about "Operation Leper" that is now underway.

Here's a brief excerpt:
Project Leper is we intend to continue writing about the people on the McCain campaign who were sabotaging Sarah Palin and make them political lepers so when 2012 rolls around, they are not going to be able to work for their chosen 2012 candidate.
Three cheers to Erickson and his group over at for highlighting this and sticking up for the lady who had to face down so much just for doing her job for her party and her country.

And three cheers to Jasper County for such a large voter turnout. Results on the Presidential Election side tally up as follows:
--> 59.6% McCain/Palin (7,669 votes)
--> 39.2% Obama/Biden (5,044 votes)
--> 1.2% Other (149 votes)

I see P.E.B.O. picked former Freddie Mac director, Rahm Emmanuel, for White House Chief of Staff. His nicknames include "Rahmbo" and "Absolute Enforcer" ...and according to this recent Bloomberg story, "Barack Obama once joked at a charity dinner that when Rahm Emanuel severed his middle finger, it almost rendered him mute."

Emanuel, it is reported, once sent a dead fish to a pollster he didn't like. And according to Dick Morris (author of "Fleeced"), though Emanuel served in various positions in the White House with him, even President Clinton didn't fully trust that one.

So while the Republican campaign staff try to set Sarah Palin up as their scapegoat in order to secure work in the 2012 elections, I sit here shaking my head, wondering why they're going after people in their own party when there is so much fodder on the other side of the fence. When they can't be loyal to their own candidates, who in the heck would want them on their team?

Have ethics, values, morals... all gone by the wayside?

It's just one more reason why I am a registered Independent.

Still, I tip my hat to (and Glenn Beck) for stepping forward on this issue.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2008 Election Reaction

Simply this...

"In a world without truth, freedom loses its value." ~ Pope John Paul II

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama and Coal

Both Obama's and Biden's stance on coal is not new -- IMHO, they hate it.

Biden's tirade against coal when he poked his finger at a citizen in a rope line at one rally clearly revealed his distaste for coal as a source to help meet our massive energy needs. It was well publicized.

What's upsetting a great number of people is more than just the issue of coal, it's the reporting (or lack of reporting) on what Obama said on the subject back in January of this year.
Yesterday, Sarah Palin demanded to know why the San Francisco Chronicle sat on this story for so long. The Chronicle responded by noting that the video has been available on their website since January 17th of this year. However, the Chronicle never reported on these quotes from Obama, and these statements certainly seem noteworthy enough to include in any look at Obama’s policies on energy.

Even more oddly, they never provided a transcript of the interview, an almost automatic step for any meeting between national political candidates and the editors of a newspaper. Why didn’t the Chronicle transcribe their meeting in the nine months between then and now? Did they realize how damaging this could be to Obama’s hopes in the middle of the primaries and chose to quietly shelve the interview? [link]

Here is an excerpt from the interview in question:

In a later part of the interview, Obama goes on to discuss other possible repercussions from his plans to enforce far tougher legislation on coal power plants across the nation.
This still consists of Obama sending “price signals” that discourage the use of coal. He does say that getting rid of coal altogether is an illusion, but he's obviously opposed to expanding its use or even keeping it at current levels. He wants to heavily fine coal operators in order to get “billions” for R&D on alternatives, which will send the coal industry reeling and energy prices skyrocketing, as Obama himself pledges later in the same interview.

View the full video below to hear Obama state clearly how, under his plan, energy prices will "SKYROCKET" his own words:

Think about it... on the one hand, he will give 95% of working citizens a tax break -- for the 40% who don't pay taxes at all, call it what it is -- welfare. Then on the other hand, he will tax the coal power plants to the brink of bankruptcy, which will skyrocket energy prices... thereby wiping out that annual tax break in the first month your new energy bill comes in.

We all experienced the pain at the pump when oil prices rose through the roof.

Just wait 'til you see your electric bill multiply by up to 10 times or more what you are paying today. Businesses, small and large, are about to get pounded by that kind of energy policy.

Keep in mind, coal power plants feed into the grid.

It isn't just the coal states that will be heavily impacted (I'm seeing major job losses, possible/probable coal power plant shut downs, since many of them are running on shoestring budgets even now)... it will impact EVERYONE connected to the grid.

For the record, I'm against carbon capture (emission sequestration), because scientific studies have already proven how dangerous it could potentially be to our aquifers in the event of "leaks" and/or fissures... picture water turned to acid.

Here's what he has to say on that option:

How much has his "team" put into researching the energy dilemma we are facing?

To be fair, Obama and the Dems are not the only party in favor of CCS. Currently, the USA is budgeting a hefty chunk of change in that direction:
CCS is diverting funds away from renewable energy options. The US DOE’s 2009 spending on CCS is $623.5 million, a 26.4 percent increase over 2008, at the same time that it is scaling back programmes on renewable energy and efficiency by 27.1 percent to US$145.2 million. (read more here)

In my humble opinion, solutions to meet our energy needs must be safe, sustainable and preferably renewable. (And, for the record, there are several other clean coal technologies very much worth pursuing to help us keep the lights turned on.)

BUT -- I am most certainly a realist. I don't believe in wiping out one method of energy production until it can be fully replaced with another stable source of energy that is equal to and/or superior to what we have now.

It would be insane to turn off the power during these crazy economic times in which we live.

We are a nation extremely rich in coal resources.

It would be a shame and a waste, in my humble opinion, to not explore methods of being able to put it to good use in a safe, clean way to help power our nation. It can be done. I believe it. We have the technology, we have the ingenuity, and we have the determination and drive to make it happen.

But Obama, IMHO, has missed the entire point by a landslide.

If the polls are right, dig in. We're about to find ourselves in a world of hurt in the years ahead.