Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tear Down This Wall

I was going to make this a quick one today.

Watch this video:

"Why Aren't These Guys In Handcuffs Yet?"

Since we are now fast approaching the 2 year mark of the official Nov. 2008 election results when the much-touted transition team were being fully debriefed in preparation for taking over the White House, I'm quite surprised that the super-majority (read all-powerful) Democrats have built so many walls behind which to hide the ugly truth of the financial mess they kept using as their "blame the previous administration" excuse gavel in order to "pound" their way through their first year.

It's year 2 now...

Democrats have used the "previous administration" excuse and the "financial crisis" excuse: to cram through a $410 Billion omnibus budget, to dump a MASSIVE $787 Billion dollar stimulus (read - stimulack) Bill on our backs (which has grown since then), to drive up our debt ceiling several trillion dollars, to jam thru a heavily flawed Health Care Pill... errrr, Bill... using deceptive reconciliation rules in order to avoid a true debate following the shout that came from Massachusetts voters... a Bill which, in my very humble opinion, will drive up our deficits trillions more while completely collapsing both Medicare and Social Security (regardless what they claim to the contrary)... etc., etc., etc.

...and yet... we are...

...nearly 2 years later...

And no one is behind bars yet?

Even worse -- no one knows for certain how many other banks out there were using the same deceptive -- read: illegal -- accounting practices? Well... maybe Larry Summers knows, maybe Paul Volker knows,  maybe Hank Paulson knows, maybe Gheitner knows, maybe Bernanke knows ...and just maybe even Barney Frank (among others in the current Admin) knows... ...but the taxpayers who had to foot the bill to save all their asses... what do we know?

In the very beginning... even before... this new Democrat era, I recall how quick the new Administration was to demonize Wall Street Fat Cats, Fannie/Freddie and AIG... remember? Here are a couple quotes to help refresh your memory:

"Tomorrow you can turn the page on policies that put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of men and women all across main street." (President Elect Brack Obama - Nov. 3, 2008)

"Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers." (President Elect Barack Obama Nov. 4, 2008)

Bottom line, the accounting "shell games" played by Lehman were illegal.

Plain and simple.

The individuals playing the game could have been stopped and put behind bars at any time.

Truth is, there are plenty of regulations at the SEC and Fed's disposal that could have been enforced to reign in the mess, and plenty of things that could have been done to STOP the Fannie/Freddie catastrophe for which we're still paying (and Dems are hiding, deliberately keeping $1.6 Trillion dollars OFF the books and OUT of the Budget) ...the repeated cries for clampdowns rang out (from Republicans)... but were ignored (by Democrats)... even deliberately shoved aside by House Democrats in power at the time, as this unforgettable video clearly reveals when an investigation was requested by Republicans:

Fannie/Freddie were practically the biggest crime of the whole mess IMHO, and a close look at the timeline shows the callous disregard by Barney Frank in this video.

And I quote from Barney Frank himself the part where he says with respect to Fannie and Freddie: "I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios; even if there were a problem, the Federal Government doesn't bail them out."


What about the Housing Bubble? Here's another priceless video starring Barney Frank.

And what about the $90 Million in bonus money that Franklin Raines walked away with while he practically "cooked the books" for Fannie and Freddie? He gets promoted to a position on the Obama staff instead of penalized for being a party to the entire mess??
The way I see it, Republicans have been trying for years to reign in Freddie and Fannie. Democrats have been blocking Republicans from doing anything about it for years.

Think about this...

In the Enron accounting scandals, people went to jail. Accounting firms were held accountable. Justice was served on people who broke the law.

This Admin's answer to the Lehman accounting crimes?

Let's rewrite all the laws, overhaul the regulations... we'll hog tie all those left standing so they can never do this again. Really? Really!?! Have you Dems lost your freakin' marbles? You never once stepped in to enforce the rules and regulations you already had at your disposal... ...indeed, you fought against a clampdown... rewrote laws in previous eras of Democratic power that helped enable the mess... ...your ACORN bully buddies forced things even further... ...and now you claim you want more power to control the "bad" guys in the apple barrel? Even worse, you want to grant those powers to yet another shadow body under the Federal Reserve's umbrella -- the very freakin' people who also helped put us here in the first freakin' place?

It goes to prove how far out of touch the Dems are with the people.

Let's start with Lehmans...

We don't want reforms.

We want justice served.

We want those who -- did the crime -- serve the time.

Then let's move on to Freddie and Fannie...

We want all of those who were responsible, including politicians, regulators and more... held accountable.

We are sick and tired of the innocent being hammered with the debt, financially punished for crimes they did not commit, while the guilty go free complete with the millions and billions they pocketed in the process.

DEMOCRATS!! Do they get it?!?

Here is a little something extra to get your heart racing without doing any exercise... check this out.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: The 50 Most Powerful People in U.S. Real Estate

Go through the list and find out who warned you about what was coming with respect to the housing crisis... and who didn't.

Who were the "enablers" on that list?

For the record, Barney Frank is not stupid. Far from it. The fact is, he is extremely sharp, sly, and cunning... learn more about Barnett "Barney" Frank here.

Will he be able to complete his image makeover so Massachusetts voters can forget his part in the entire financial mess? They claim voters have very short memories. We shall soon see...

Meanwhile, here's what I predict.

Dems will use all of this as an excuse to further hammer away at capitalism and further entrench the country in socialistic reforms which will NOT address the perpetrators of the crimes that occurred. They will try to harness the outrage still simmering from when the "crisis" first hit, and use it as a tool to further their own agenda while making the "stupid voters" believe they're actually punishing the guilty.

Sadly... there are plenty of voters still out there that are dumbed down enough to believe them, IMHO.

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Take Cover: Here It Comes

In the previous 48 hours I've watched more than 18 hours of CSPAN. How about you? Did you want to bear witness to what was actually taking place -- live -- while it happened -- or did you opt to get your information via sound bites, pundits and blogs?

The Dems had a few things right:

1. It was an historic vote, but not for the reasons they gave.

2. It is a bad bill, as many have admitted, which is the reason for the massive ammendments yet to be placed before the Senate.

3. It will provide access to health care insurance for some of the uninsured (not all) but at huge costs to States, businesses and individual tax payers.

You see, the Bill will not only penalize businesses who do not offer a government approved level of health care to workers, it will also penalize individuals who do not have health care... businesses are mandated to offer it, individuals are madated to purchase it... see a flaw in this? Let's see if the "experts" find it.

Here are 3 points they did NOT want to emphasize:

1. It adds 17,000 NEW IRS Agents to the Fed payroll to police the new Bill.

2. It adds 20 NEW TAXES

3. The States are now on the hook for Medicaid expansion included in the Bill... whether they can afford it or not.

One of those new taxes is a tax on investment income. I haven't had a chance to read the CBO scored Bill yet, so I'm wondering... this tax on investment income... surely wouldn't be retirement investment income... would it? Or is it merely penalizing those who have saved their money over the years by investing it, prudently preparing themselves for their childrens' future education, or their retirement, or.... fill in the blank... ?? Is ownership of property considered an investment under the definition? What is this new tax... exactly?

Hmmm... 20 new taxes... aren't you wondering what they are?

At this point, I guess it doesn't really matter. They passed the Bill. Two hundred and nineteen Democratic House Reps voted in favor... 212 House Reps voted against the Bill. A party-like atmosphere seemed to erupt for those 219 Democrats. I wonder if their constituents are partying it up with them back home?

Doesn't matter.

It passed.

We're all screwed now...

So, let's go back to what I was warning everyone about, have been warning for the past 18 months... by starting with an article published in "the Atalantic" this month.


It will take about 30 minutes to read through. And although I disagree with the author's personal unsupported contention that what is now needed is even more Government spending, which is the core cause of the crisis we now face, the remainder of the article is well researched.

Take 30 minutes to read this now: "How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America"

Go ahead... read it... I'll wait.

Now, a quote from the article: "A large and long-standing body of research shows that physical health tends to deteriorate during unemployment, most likely through a combination of fewer financial resources and a higher stress level."

Now, go back and read my blog post from yesterday.

We have work to do if we are to prepare ourselves for what is now coming from this tax and spend Administration. I want you, dear readers, to be prepared for the lost decade in which we now find ourselves. We can choose to curl up and hide under our blankets hoping our Government will save us from the tough times ahead... or we can ignore them (like they apparently ignore us), roll up our sleeves and get ready to think our way out of this box they're squishing us into.

I have some ideas...

Stay tuned.

PS: Thank you for listening, Mr. Mike Pence. And thank you for standing up and letting them know how many of us feel here in Indiana.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

He Blew It On Health Care

Don't say I didn't warn you. Way back on March 6, 2009, I told you he was going to blow it... and as we race towards the dawn of a new day, the sky is darkening with the threat of a health care Bill passage that has kept the entire nation on pins and needles...

And I can finally say... HE BLEW IT!

Every single politician that votes YES today -- shame on you. Some of you even admit it's a bad Bill, but you're voting in favor because it's a start. A start? A START?!?? Good Heavens -- EDUCATION in this country must really SUCK bigtime if these are the brightest bulbs we can find to light the way to our future.

I bet you think this post is all about the Health Care Bill about to be voted on, right?


I warned you last March.

I warned you last May.

I warned you last June.

I warned you yet again last July...

If you listened, you've stockpiled your cash.

Keep doing it.... but do MORE of it... and FASTER!!

You see, the REAL numbers are out with respect to GDP, Unemployment and more; and they're very, very ugly!

Companies are, RIGHT NOW, in a state of contraction. Real unemployment touched within a hair of the 22% mark, followed by a slight dip, and is again on the rise. Taking out the Government gimmicks, February inflation was actually estimated to be 9.4% (not the 2.1% CPI-U). Take inflation out of the mix and those small increases in Retail Sales don't look like the picture they've been trying to paint, do they? The fact is, Retail Sales have been bottom-bouncing for quite a while now. If the REAL numbers are important to you, then you will want to pay for a subscription to this newsletter. No, I don't make a cent for referring you to it.

And all of that is the BRIGHT side.

Here is the DARK side.

It's Defcon 4 for some of the largest States with respect to deficits gone wild. Liquidity is a growing problem for many banks as well... with several more banks at or near being closed in the months ahead.

Foreclosure numbers in residential Real Estate appear on the surface to be leveling off... but if you think something is out of sync since Default numbers appear to be climbing, you might be in agreement with this brave reporter. Can you even trust the foreclosure numbers?

And what is really happening in Commercial Real Estate? It was projected in May of 2009 that... "...the most dangerous time for banks will be 2010 to 2013 when $1 trillion in commercial real estate loans will mature..." What? No follow-up? Why are the media so silent on what's going on in commercial real estate this year?

Take a quick glance at the global picture for a moment if you dare. Remember that global summit where newly elected Obama made the plea for other countries to join him in pushing more money into the system? Well, the impact in the form of a credit bubble has formed in Canada... but that's the least of the problems out there. Here is a quick snapshot of the Greece, China, etc. "global recovery" at the moment. I guess that sorta proves you can't "just throw money at it." Interestingly, it seems Germany doesn't agree with the redistribution of wealth thingy.... at least, not when it comes to their country having to bail out some other country.

There's more... much darker... we're already entering the edge of that valley.

But let's go back to the Health Care Bill...

I was watching C-Span between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. with respect to process and the additional amendments that were brought forth to discuss on the floor during the big VOTE coming today, and I gotta tell 'ya, the Party of NO was all Democrats with respect to fairness in the process, transparency in the voting process itself, and common sense additions, removals, and/or repeals in the Amendments put forward.


Amendment suggested (paraphrased): "...that all revenues generated for social security via payroll tax increases be kept in Social Security and not used for other purposes." All Dems voted NO and all Republicans voted YES.

Amendment suggested (paraphrased): "...that all revenues and or savings generated with respect to Medicare be kept in the Medicare budget to offset deficits." All Dems voted NO and all Republicans voted YES.

Amendment suggested (paraphrased): "...that small businesses and minority-owned businesses generating under $500,000 per year be exempt from the employer mandated health insurance clause." All Dems voted NO and all Republicans voted YES.

And it went on and on and on...

In fact, the Democrats have been the Party of NO ever since Mr. Yes-We-Can moved into the Whitehouse. They said NO to having any Republican involvement at the beginning of drafting the Health Care Bill, they said NO to having any Republican representation in the "behind closed doors" discussions and bartering, they said NO to having C-Span cover the debates, they have been saying NO quite a bit, don't you think?

And now they're getting ready to push this country off a very steep cliff.

It's already too late to save the economy.

We're about to go through some excruciating pain in the months and years ahead.

He BLEW it!

They BLEW it!

He could have been a hero. What an incredible missed opportunity!!

The freaking nimrods wasted an entire year playing patty-cake with a piece of legislation that will be the final straw on the limping economy's back. What could have been a molehill is now a mountain, and thanks to this junk legislation, the peak of the mountain is now higher than the highest on this planet.

Think it's not going to happen?

That's fine.

You're entitled to your own opinion.... and good luck with that.

But, consider this...

If you ran an independent FULL audit of the Federal Reserve -- right now -- today -- don't you wonder how much money has been funneled into the Pump and Dump scheme in order to get enough "Stupid Money" back into Wall Street? How many key players have set themselves up to rule the world that will come out of the destruction we surely face right now?

It's beginning to look like the main reason Obama doesn't want you to go to Vegas is because, in my very humble opinion, it most likely will be the only long shot left for rags to riches stories in this country...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On Shaky Ground

The Bay Area experienced its second earthquake of the year this afternoon, a 3.4 magnitude which struck in San Jose shortly after midday. Meanwhile, scientists at NASA say the Chilean earthquake -- a magnitude 8.8 -- may have shortened the length of an Earth Day by 1.26 microseconds (1.26 millionths of a second) and might have moved Earth's figure axis by about 8 centimeters (3 inches). Not to be confused with our north-south axis, the figure axis is the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced.

I mention this for 2 reasons...

First, as many of you know, I'm a science buff. I love trying to understand how intricately interconnected everything in our universe appears to be... how simple yet totally complex life is... and the unlimited possibilities that exist because of how little we actually know -- about our planet, about life, about our universe. After all, did you even consider that a quake so far away could have an impact around the world?

Second, in a truly bizarre way, it reminds me of the health care bill being currently jammed through in Washington... a bill so unpopular that it could not be passed when the Dems had a super majority... and now being sandwiched through under the threat of "reconciliation" ...what some on the Hill call the "nuclear" option.

Polls keep swinging back and forth on the issue. The best results in favor tend to use very vague questioning... something along the lines of "should something be done to lower the costs of health care in this country -- yes -- or -- no" ....d'oh? Yes, let's clutch at that straw shall we? That seems to be the ONLY major issue everyone agrees on so it's not surprising that a large number would answer yes. No brainer, right?

The real question should be: Will the current bill being pushed through now lower costs of health care both for individuals and the industry as a whole -- yes -- or -- no?

The way I read it, the millions currently without health care are now going to be forced to buy it whether they want to (or can afford to) or not.... so I'm guessing that's one group for which it will raise costs. Not so fast. Supposedly there will be millions of people that can now get it free. Or do they? Jeepers. I'm not really sure. Are you as confused as I am on that point?

Those who are currently uninsured preferring to use "pay as you go" (meaning, pay the doctor when you see him/her for your check up, pay for tests as and when they are needed, etc. etc.) will now be forced to buy insurance. I'm assuming costs will go up for many in that group.

Our family used that method when we didn't have coverage and it was FAR LESS expensive than any family plan I've seen to date. We didn't burden the emergency room... nor did we ever get free health care... and frankly, the doctors and specialists seemed to like seeing that instant cash. Just imagine the paperwork they didn't have to file to collect from some insurance company or govt agency. I'm guessing it would be far less expensive from an administration point of view and probably increase cash flow since there would be no waiting for accounts receivables to roll in. I'm guessing when insurance is mandatory, costs both for purchasing it (where it wasn't purchased before) and administering it ...and the new cost of REGULATING it... are all going to increase... but I could be wrong?

Then there will come the day when our son reaches the age where he is forced to buy health insurance. I wonder how he (and his generation) are going to perceive this Administration? Or will the bill be repealed by then?

Canadians might complain about their health care, but I'm guessing you would be very hard pressed to find them jumping at a chance to have this mess and the related expense. I can just see my Canadian friends going to the doctor and having to fork over a cheque first to cover their deductable before the doctor will see them. Ha! They have no idea how terrible things truly are if you actually live down here.

If the Dems use the "reconciliation" option, going forward with a 51 vote in lieu of the standard 60 votes required for passing legislation of this size, I see it as Obama's first major earthquake... and the days for his party being shortened considerably.

A new gallup poll out says that just 37% want their member of Congress to vote for the bill.

But this Whitehouse doesn't listen to the polls. They keep chiming that they won the 2008 election, and therefor they have the people behind them. Have they turned around to look? I'm guessing they don't watch approval ratings either. Congress approval ratings have been in the toilet for a long time now and Obama is steadily sliding down.

If he pulls the same stunt with Cap and Trade... I see a major opening for a third party to rise up quickly.... because it will be the Dems who shove this country off a cliff into a double-dip recession... or worse, the next Great Depression. Think it can't happen? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stunning Silence on GM Recalls

The airwaves were burning up during the Toyota recalls... and yet, when "GM Recalls 1.3 Million Cars" the silence is almost deafening by comparison. Not total silence. A blurb here... another small mention (video/bloomberg -- you'll love the way Toyota was blamed for the malfunctioning part used by GM) here... so the word is out...

Quoted from Daily Finance:

According to The Washington Post, GM will recall 1.3 million compact cars to replace a motor in the power steering system. When the motor fails, the car becomes harder to steer at lower speeds, according to GM. The affected models are:

•The 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt;
•The 2007-10 Pontiac G5, which has been discontinued;
•The 2005-06 Pontiac Pursuit, which is the Canadian version of the G5; and
•The 2004-05 Pontiac G4, which is the Mexican version of the G5.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its own probe of 905,000 Cobalts after getting more than 1,100 complaints about a loss of power steering -- including 14 crashes and one injury.
The Daily Finance article goes on to note that uncontrolled acceleration is "Not Just a Toyota Problem" ...Ford is also mentioned.

Just for the heck of it, I'm going to tick Robert off by suggesting the negative publicity for GM would probably not be in the best interests of the current Administration. Could this be the reason for so little reporting on this massive recall? Just kidding... LOL!! But Rob seems to love painting me as some kind of nutjob conspiracy theorist... so I'd hate to disappoint him.

In all seriousness, vehicular safety is no laughing matter. Even though the flawed vehicles were a relatively small portion of overall sales for any of the manufacturers mentioned, Daily Finance is right to point out that "...human emotion does not care about statistics."

To be fair, Toyota is recalling 8 million vehicles, whereas this GM recall numbers only 1.3 million... there was a time when a recall number in the thousands would get attention... but I guess the times have changed.

Even soo... personally... I am rather curious to see how much longer the media hammers on Toyota... and whether or not they'll even pick up on the GM recall story to hammer it with equal passion and enthusiasm. I'm guessing it won't happen with equal vigor until some politician or other wants some face time in front of the cameras... and I'm guessing that person will not be a Democrat. (That last part was added for you, Rob.)

Want to make a small wager?