Thursday, February 26, 2009

Read the Speech

After getting a chance to sit and read the text of "The Chosen One's" speech of Tuesday night I tried to find some analogous framework in my life that was relevant to the content of "His" speech. I found that I could only relate to when I was in my teens and 20's.

Way back in the 1950's and 1960's, one of the easiest ways to get a woman out of her party dress was to use the apocalypse as your wing man. The old line, "Honey, what if the world were to end tomorrow," was designed to narrow prospects for her future, in the hopes that she would spread her legs. And of course, the next morning (if the tryst lasted that long), the sense of terror and urgency would disappear - along with the young man, the lady's honor and probably a thing or two from the fridge and/or her purse.

So it's no wonder that after President Obama's speech, I felt a little like the suckered chick. See, up until last Tuesday night, we were all in a state of panic, thanks to Obama – but now, judging by Tuesday night's tone - it turns out, maybe things aren't so bad after all. "We will recover," he now says. And to me, it feels like the morning after - and he`s saying, "Anyway babe, that was great - I'll call you."

I hope he`s right. I still have a little confidence in the guy, and I want to be wrong about the expanding role of government. But the problem with exaggerating fear is that it obscures legitimate fear. When referring to Iraq, he talks of "ending" the war, instead of "winning." That the concept of victory is unseemly to him – well, that kinda scares me. And tucked away near the end of his address, he manages only a few words about the war on terror, giving it less weight than his obsession for windmills. The scary fact is, if a terror attack were to happen tonight here in the US - our economic troubles would be wiped off the front pages.

Then you'd be truly scared – which probably means we should hook up later.

I mean, seriously –life is short, and why die with regret?

I have a sleeping bag in my truck and I wrote you a poem. Let me get my guitar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Speech last night

It seemed that the focus of Obama speech last night was to convey the message that all of the economic problems faced by this country were created by evil banks and criminal CEOs "disappearing on private jets." This was classic leftist populism. Us vs. them. The ordinary people engaged in mortal combat with the monsters of capitalism --- and government is here to save you.

This was an "America is great because of government" speech ... and the message was that more government we have the greater America will be. Obama has his finger on the pulse of the people. People want more government. They want the government to provide them with the basic necessities of life. The age of self-reliance is waning - the age of government dependency is on the rise.

When this country first began to flourish historians and social scientists took note. They traveled from Europe to the United States to witness this miracle first hand. They studied what was working and what was not .. and they put their thoughts on paper. Its really too bad some of those writings aren't explored in today's government schools - but I can understand why that is so. There seemed to be one universal warning that was sounded by many of these scholars: Once the American people figure out they can use the ballot box to reach into someone else's pocket .. we're screwed. Well, the American people have figured that out ... and Obama is their champion. The question now is how do you manage to take a population that is dependent on their ability to use the government as an instrument of plunder to want to once again stand on their own two feet?

Monday, February 23, 2009

You Have To Be Kidding...

Here’s the headline:

Obama to Stress Fiscal Responsibility

Here’s the only possible response:

Alcoholics Urge Sobriety


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pampered litle shits....

So there`s some kind of student protest going on at New York University, and it serves one important purpose: to show you how many tools actually attend New York University.

According to the New York Times, these students are vowing to continue occupying the school cafeteria until their important demands are met. Sadly, none of these demands include a better quality of vegetarian corn dog - instead what`s listed is "a thorough annual reporting" of the college`s budget, a freeze on tuition, and get this: 13 scholarships given every year for students from the Gaza Strip (which I believe is an Arabic Gentleman`s Club on the Jersey Turnpike).

Okay, I know that these students probably think they`re speaking truth to power – but in reality, they`re nothing more than pampered poodles who need a good a spanking, preferably by me while wearing my patented spiky spanking glove (with spikes). Look, if you have a problem with the tuition – go to another school. That`s how it works. I mean, seriously, I can`t afford to fly first class – but that doesn`t mean I protest United Airlines. I just fly coach.

Well, actually, I go Greyhound.

More important, these scholarships for Gaza Strip students are little more than a calculated effort by self-centered spoiled brats to make themselves appear thoughtful and sympathetic to their progressive professors and the scruffy scribes at the Village Voice. Somehow we`re all supposed to think they`re heroically selfless - when they`re just being what they accuse evil rich Republicans of being: greedy, soulless bastards.

If Ronald Reagan was alive, and Governor of New York – he turn on the hoses. And I`d bring the soap.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Change you can believe in..

  • The Dow at a 10-year low.
  • A tax cheat running the IRS
  • Another tax cheat as the Chief of Staff
  • A trillion-dollar plus federal deficit
  • Over one-half of voters relieved of any federal tax liability
  • Government mandated limits on executive compensation
  • Three failed attempts and still no Commerce Secretary
  • Tom Daschle rides his free limo into the sunset - after paying taxes he evaded.
  • The White House performance czar turns out to be a tax cheat also
  • Lobbyists hired to work for the Obama Administration
  • The census gets politicized
  • Double government spending in one year
  • The word "freedom" fades into obscurity
  • Increasing home loan mortgage rates across the board
  • Millions of Americans made dependent on government
  • Moving unionization-by-intimidation forward
  • Welfare checks become "tax cuts."
  • Illegal aliens free to work on taxpayer-funded "stimulus" projects
  • Welfare reform reversed, states ordered to increase welfare roles
  • Move to silence critical talk radio shows
  • Selling Senate seats
  • Obama books in religious sections of book stores
  • More government workers, not private sector jobs
  • A government bureaucracy to intrude on doctor/patient relationships
  • Stage set for medical services rationing
  • Annual welfare checks for middle income families

Illinois and Democrats just keep giving and gining

I'll just make this simple. If Roland Burris, the new Democrat Senator from Illinois, were a Republican ... he would be burnt toast. As it is you have to work to find the media even referring to this character as a Democrat.

You do know the story, don't you? After Blago appointed him to fill Obama's Senate seat Burris was called back to Illinois to testify before a state Senate committee looking into Blago's corruption. While under oath Burris said that he had not had discussed making any payments to Blago with any of Blago's staff, including his brother. Then Burris discovers that the feds have a tape of him discussing a campaign donation with Blago's brother. Don't you just hate it when that happens? So ... time for a little CYA. Burris suddenly wants to submit an affidavit to the Illinois senate expanding his testimony. Since they have him on tape he had better fess up and tell them that he talked to Blago's bro about some money.

This is called perjury. We learned while Bill Clinton was president that only Republicans like Scooter Libby are punished for perjury. Democrats get a pass. Let's see if it works this way for Burris.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Prince Charley is an ugly misinformed Toad...

Surprise: a rich environmentalist is a stupid hypocrite.

It`s true, Prince Charles is traveling to South America for an environmental tour of the place, in order to preach the crisis that is climate change.

(Notice how "climate change" has now replaced "global warming" as the panic button - since more scientists now predict a new era of global cooling, as people in general are wising up to Al Gore`s lies).

The problem here of course, is that the Prince is using an A1319 Airbus – which normally seats 140 passengers, but in this case it will fit just 14 staffers, and the Prince`s two monstrous ears. Camilla won`t be traveling with him - she`ll be towed along in a blacked-out horse trailer because she`s easily spooked.

According to experts in this field, this 16,000 mile trip will cost over a half million dollars, and create a 322 ton carbon footprint (equal to five Joy Behars or twelve farting cows). Now, this would usually make Prince Charles – the ultimate self-righteous greenie - a hypocrite. But only if the climate change science he speaks of is correct. Which it isn`t. Skeptics of CO2 theology are winning the battle, finally – Prince Charles could fly around the world a thousand times and it wouldn`t make a bit if difference.

But sadly, his global jetting does far less harm to the planet than his spreading of poisonous ideas that discourage development and destroy economies. Mark Steyn said America is rich enough to survive stupid ideas – to which I must add South America isn`t.

But what can you expect from royalty? They embrace climate change, because it discourages human creativity – something royalty can understand. They do nothing but produces likenesses for commemorative plates – and, unless it`s ear wax, they cannot understand how real things are made.

To them it`s easier to put trees before humans – mainly because they`re closer genetically to the former than the latter.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Have to have it pass RIGHT NOW-

First .. remember this. This whole so-called "stimulus" bill is the largest government spending bill in the history of the U.S. Government. Would you have expected anything less from a Democrat-controlled Washington DC?

The Democrats just had to have this stimulus bill passed by Friday. I still think it is because Nancy Pelosi had to make sure it was passed before she jetted off to Italy .. but the Democrat House broke a promise by voting on the bill without giving the public and the media 48 hour to review the darn thing. We were told that they just couldn't wait another minute. Had to do it NOW! They had to have it NOW, my friends, so that it could be signed into law before the people really started to figure out what this was all about - the growing of government - and that our economy may well be improving without this hideous bill.

Now another broken campaign promise. During the "Change You Can Believe In" campaign Obama told us that he would never sign a critical piece of legislation until the American people have had five days to read it, ask questions about it and understand it. That promise is no longer operative. He said that to get elected --- but he certainly never met it. Obama will sign this disaster tomorrow in Denver.

Denver? Yeah ... Denver. He sure is enjoying that Air Force One bit, isn't he?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Religion of Peace---or is it Piece?

New York man Muzzammil Hassan founded pro-Islam station Bridges TV five years ago to combat the negative public image of Muslims. He is currently under arrest for beheading his wife.

The couple in happier times, before Hassan removed his wife’s head

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our Hustler in Cheif

I have been watching parts of PrezBo back out on the campaign trail waxing eloquent about selling the stimulus plan that he's already managed to put into that enima space we guard so carefully. So I sat and listened to him and tried to understand what exactly he was saying other than don't live in a cardboard box and if you do it's Bush's fault. Instead, I sensed that I`d just been sold something that even the seller couldn`t entirely comprehend.

See, while I can`t expect a vacuum salesman to tell me exactly how the vacuum picks up dirt, at the very least he should know where the power button is. I need to know our President has a fundamental understanding of economics, rather than say, the ins and outs of weatherizing homes. That`s for some other wonk to deal with – not the dude-in-chief.

No – his job is to tell us how this stimulus plan works. Meaning, he needs to answer one question: how do massive government programs jump start an economy? Because, I don`t know. And I don`t think he does either.

At first, even he said that only the private sector can fix an economy - and you can't rely on the government for solutions. But then he added: in this's more government we need pronto. That makes perfect sense, if you've just ingested a bottle of cough syrup. Which, thankfully, I have.

Worse, he also spoke about the importance of bipartisanship – while blaming everything on Bush – as if Barney Frank never existed. Claiming you`re bipartisan doesn`t mean you can have it both ways.

Even more, at some point we all have to realize that going after rich folks does nothing to help the poor. It may feel good, but it doesn`t do any good. President Obama maintains that tax cuts for the wealthy are what have caused this crumbling economy. But he`s wrong. Fact is, while he elaborates on the difference between Wall Street and Main Street – we`ve just realized: THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. When Wall Street suffers, so do we. When the rich become poor, the rest of us become poorer.

In the end, what we`re seeing is an opportunity for people who never liked economics to run, and possibly ruin, economy. It`s like letting a ten year old take the controls of a plane.

In both cases, it probably pays to be highly medicated.

Some CEOs loot their companies, Most Congress-critters loot the Country

So, according the Congressional Budget Office, this year's deficit may be a record $1.2 trillion. And while this number includes the financial bailouts, it doesn`t include the humongous stimulus proposal that`s before us now. Once you add outstanding deficits from prior years, say the number crunchers, every single one of us would have to pay $37,000 apiece to cover the cost.

Which, in simple terms, makes me want to puke. But I wouldn`t be so disgusted by all of this, if we were just honest about what`s really going on. This isn`t a stimulus plan – it`s looting.

Our government is looking at this financial crisis the same way looters looked at the Rodney King verdict - a momentary excuse for seemingly inexcusable behavior - a chance to smash and grab, knowing you may never get that chance for a free set of tires again (at least until the Lakers win another championship).

At least that`s how the Democrats are looking at it. They see this financial catastrophe as an opportunity to check off every program on their wish list – knowing that the consequences from such behavior will prevent them from ever having that opportunity again.

So they`re getting it all in now.

Even worse, the media is treating the bill the same way they treat normal looting – it`s just a natural reaction to the injustices of the world, meaning the last eight years of Bush-Hitler.

So I say - let`s stop calling it a stimulus bill and call it what it really is: the looting of America – a free-for all against free markets. Sure, Nancy Pelosi may not be running down the street with a case of toilet paper under her arm.

But she might as well be.

$13.00 per week for a lifetime of debt.

My real approach to the government growth bill this morning is "What the hell, they're going to do what they want to do, and we have no power to stop them." Yeah ... a big shout-out and thank you to our ignoranus voters who thought it would be a good idea to put the big-government, Social-Democrat Party in complete control in Washington DC. Way to go. Thanks a pant-load.

Somehow Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats in Congress have managed to make this government growth package go from bad to worse. It seems as though their main goal was not in the details, but in making sure that they got the total number under $800 billion ... they assume that $789 billion is an easier number for the public to stomach. Yeah, right. It sure feels a lot better to me. Trouble is, with debt service this is still well over one trillion dollars. That's alottazeros.

What we got in the end was a bill that is two-thirds spending and the rest are "tax cuts". The "tax cuts," of course, are government handout checks. Welfare. For the most part, these spending projects are funding the Democrat platform: green energy, universal healthcare, "tax cuts" for the middle class and poor. Obama's signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit is going to provide an extra $13 a week in take-home pay. $13 whole dollars! What are you going to buy with that?? That's $1.86 a day! Now you get out there and spend that extra two bucks (almost) a day to get our economy moving again, you hear?

Meanwhile, tax credits for new home purchases and cars has been wiped off the map. But don't worry, those people who aren't paying income taxes are going to have an extra $13 in their pockets!

The Stim-u-anus Plan

Well .. it really never was an economic stimulus plan. It is now and always has been a government growth and Democrat job insurance plan. But now the Democrats have come up with a new name. Democrats love coming up with new names. Welfare checks are now "handouts." Government spending is now "investing." And that brings us to the new name for this government growth project. The bill is now the "Recovery and Reinvestment Plan."

Just so you know. You do want to keep up with Democrat newspeak, don't you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where's The Beef?

Yesterday we were supposed to get the grand financial plan from Obama's tax-cheating whiz-kid Tim Geithner. And what we got was a bunch of grandstanding, but not a lot of details. Here's one good line: "We're will have to try things we've never tried before." Wait! Isn't that what brung us to this hideous dance with all these ugly partners in the first place?

So now our tax-cheat Treasury secretary wants to try some more things we haven't tried before? Well, you may think that this message brings great hope, but it would seem that the stock market didn't like that one bit.

If you want to see just how this gang of leftist statists want to change this country some new details can be found here.

The reason we don't have more details has to be because they really don't know how the hell they're going to pull this off. It's just going to be stuff we haven't tried before. No chance for letting people work, thrive and then spend their own money.

Schumer speaks for the " Left Elite' to the rest of us.

Yesterday on the floor of the Senate, Chuckie Schumer said something that I'm afraid may be true. In debating the economic stimulus bill (which passed the Senate yesterday) he said, "To all the chattering class, that so much focuses on those little tiny, yes, porky amendments .. the American people really don't care." At first when I heard this windbag say that Americans really don't care about these "porky" amendments, I was irate. And for anyone who is reading this right now, or a regular talk radio listener, you are probably irate as well.

Then I stop to think for a bit. After all, Schumer is talking about the masses of government-educated people? Haven't I been saying some of the same things about these dumb masses for years? If you think that government is your savior, why worry about pork? Maybe the biggest thing the American people are worried about is that the pork will be spent somewhere else. Nobody seems to oppose a government spending program that puts someone else's money into their pocket.

So, I'm afraid that Chuckie is right .. the average American doesn't care about the billions and billions of dollars are government is getting ready to spend, thanks to the future taxpayers of this country. They are either waiting for Obama to give them a house or find them a better job ... or they're fretting over last night's episode of American Idol and checking the mailbox for their latest issue of People Magazine .. or stealing their neighbor's. Some are also worried about whether or not Angelina is pregnant again .. and we know it's not my child, so I could really care less.

Schumer's quite a piece of work, isn't he? Oh and don't you just love the fact that he refers to the billions of dollars in pork barrel projects .. that won't stimulate the economy .. as "little tiny porky amendments"? Just again, here's a reminder of the little tiny tax dollars that will be spent on lead paint hazard reduction and watershed rehabilitation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do you get it yet?

Let me try and dumb this down so even Lore can understand what is going on.

It's really pretty easy. Let's go through the process step-by-step:

  1. Obama, the first YouTube, People Magazine, American Idol, Entertainment Tonight president is elected by a celebrity-worshiping mob.
  2. Rahm Emanuel tells the PEBO that there's an economic crisis and reminds him that it is a political crime to let a good crisis go to waste. Let's get busy and take advantage of this mess.
  3. Obama wants to get off on the right foot with Congress, so he makes a call to Nancy Pelosi and tells her to come up with an economic stimulus bill and to let it all out because this is the era of anything goes. There's a crisis to be taken advantage of here.
  4. Pelosi spreads the word to the House Democrat Caucus: "The new president has given us a green light. Get me a list of all of the spending dreams and schemes you've had over the last decade by noon Thursday. You snooze, you lose.
  5. A Texas Congressman comes up with a true economic stimulus plan; a tax holiday. Just suspend the collection of all personal federal income taxes and payroll taxes for five months. Let the people who earned the money spend it. Democrats aren't interested in this plan because it does not enhance their power, and they don't particularly like the idea of people knowing how much they actually make.
  6. Pelosi and her flying monkeys assemble the Democrat spending dreams into one 700+ page $800 billion monstrosity that not one member of the congress will ever read and presents it to the nation as an "economic stimulus bill."
  7. Obama tells the nation that we face economic catastrophe and the possible destruction of our country if Pelosi's government-expansion bill isn't passed. The sky is falling. We're doomed!
  8. People show up at Obama rallies in Elkhart, Indiana and Ft. Myers, Florida thinking that Obama is going to be handing out checks and jobs.
  9. Three Republican Senators, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter surprise not one single person in the free world by climbing all over each other to sign on with the Democrats ... again ... in support of the bill.
  10. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issues a report which essentially says that the so-called "stimulus plan" is a fraud and will not work. Nobody listens.
  11. The mainstream media generally ignores the CBO report because their investment in Obama is so overwhelming that they simply cannot allow him to fail. Their credibility is at stake.
  12. Our children and grandchildren are saddled with a debt and future inflation that will insure a standard of living for them that will never match the standard their parents enjoyed.
  13. So many people are removed from the federal tax roles by Obama's phony "tax cuts," (which are really government handouts) that Democrats are confident that they'll remain in power for ever more.
  14. The enemies of America throw a party.
  15. Those who love America hold a wake.

PrezBo Pressor--The Savior is Government.

I could swear I heard President Obama say that "only government is big enough to solve this problem." Only government, huh?

What did I tell you? What was I saying throughout the entire presidential campaign? Barack Obama is absolutely in love with government. He eats, sleeps and breathes government. When he dreams, he dreams of government. When he fantasizes, he fantasizes of a relationship with government. He has blown-up copies of the Federal Register glued to the ceiling over his bed so that he can go to sleep with visions of government in his mind. To Obama there is no problem that can't be solved by more government. In fact, there is no problem that shouldn't be solved by more government. Health care? Government. Who makes how much money? Government. The heartbreak of Psoriasis? Government. Acne? Government. America is great because of government. More government will make America greater. Anyone who thinks that America accomplished greatness through the dynamic of a free people working together under the rule of law in a system of economic liberty is pure nuts. It was government. Always government.

And now we have an economic crisis ... caused by government ... and only government is big enough to solve the problem.

It looks like the press conference last night was just exactly what we expected it to be. If we don't turn to government for a solution ...if we don't massively expand the reach of government ... if we don't double the cost of government ... if we don't bow down at the altar of government ... we're doomed.

The President is a Hustler.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Does anybody understand what is going on?

778 Pages

$827 Billion in Spending


Bend over America. You are about to get some real Barney Frank Loving!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

This Stimulus package would make things worse

That's not my opinion ... that comes directly from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO says that Obama's economic stimulus package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if we did absolutely nothing. Again .. this is from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The bill would help create small economic stimulation in the short term, but our government will be up to its eyeballs in debt that within a few years it would crowd out private investment. What happens when this occurs? Well, this will lead to a lower GDP over the next 10 years. We are talking between a 0.1 and 0.3 reduction in GDP.

But the immediate satisfaction of building butterfly gardens, frisbee golf courses and eco-friendly dog parks is mostly what the Democrats are concerned about.

Remember ... this bill is not about bringing our economy back, it is about growing government. Democrats have been dreaming of this chance to grow government and increase government dependency since Clinton lost his mojo in 1993.

- "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

The Time For Talking Is Over

That is according to our President Barack Obama (PBUH). When it comes to this stimulus legislation .. he has had enough "debate" and he has decided that the "time for talk is over." Tell that to our children and grand children who will be paying for this legislations for generations.

Odd, isn't it? This is the president who wanted to engage in unconditional talks with the Islamic goons who want us dead, but doesn't want to talk with the American people about this government expansion bill.

Let me tell you what's going on here - though you probably already realize it. This president is on the verge of losing his first great legislative push. This could set the tone for his presidency for quite a while. Passing this bill is essential to the status of his presidency, not so much to the future of our country.

Yesterday Obama actually said that if we don't pass his huge government growth and citizen dependency bill right now our country might never recover from this economic crisis. Just wondering, but did FDR ever even suggest that World War II could mean the end of our Republic? I don't think so. Well ... different strokes, I guess.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

As an aside

So Google is releasing free software that helps people keep track of each other via their cell phones. The devices use GPS systems along with something called "cell tower triangulation," to help find out where your friend or family member is. It`s going to be marketed as a way for parents to keep track of their stupid kids, but it can also be used to see if your husband is really at work, or if your girlfriend isn`t banging that young waiter that served your dinner at the Palm last night.

This idea that everyone needs to know at any given time where someone else is, makes me want to throw up through my eyeballs. I`ve seen this happen in restaurants, where a person walks in - on the phone - saying, "where are you, where are you.... oh there you are," as though he might take a wrong turn somewhere between the door and the bar. He would have made a great pioneer.

Now I will admit all of this new technology is pretty awesome - but it makes me long for the days when you could disappear, and no one could find you. I once drove across country in a piss-poor car, (1956 VW Beetle) with nothing but a few hundred bucks, and three pairs of clean underwear. I made it in one piece, without ever having to call anyone to tell them where I was. Even better, because there were no cell phones back then in the 1960's – no one seemed to miss the folks I picked up.

Those were the good old days.

Paying taxes is voluntary

Ya just can't make this shit up!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Can you say "Learning Curve"?

Unfortunately, it could have been foreseen that Obama would have a long and out of round learning curve to be placed in such a responsible position. Amateur mistakes:

--Providing no guidelines to Congressional Dems about writing a stimulus bill. It is a goofy and porky mess. For examples see
--Poor vetting and staying with bad, bad choices. In addition to the crooks who some of our fellow voters insist on returning to Congress, Obama is setting a new pace in placing crooks in his administration. Dumb...unless he wants advice on how to get crooked. Is there really no one qualified for HHS in the country except Daschle? Ditto Geithner at Treasury?
--Trying to appease Iran. They turned around and bit Obama's hand for petting them. What a disgrace for us.
--Implying that business profits are evil. Is he for real?
--Talking tough about Afghanistan in the campaign and starting to go wobbly now.
--Being just plain stubborn about denying his own fallibility.
--Picking Biden for VP.
--Allowing Michelle to wander around the Administration facilities asserting she is part of the Administration.

How many more major blunders can we expect from this unworldly philosopher now caught in the real world headlights? I wish him luck in quickly learning how to operate on planet Earth. It is too bad he had so much charm he landed himself in office unprepared.

I just love it when a politician thinks that he knows what is best for a company that isn't his and isn't controlled by the government. Yet, he insists on getting involved anyway. In this case, I am talking about Republican Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. Grassley is upset that Microsoft is going to lay off employees, but some of the employees keeping their jobs will be foreigners. The horror! Grassley says that it is "imperative" that Microsoft give job priority to US citizens over foreigners with H-1B visas. He goes on to say, "Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect ... American workers by putting them first during these difficult economic times."

Nope ... Microsoft has an obligation to protect the interests of its shareholders by retaining the best workers and letting the marginal ones go. Microsoft has a moral obligation to obey the laws of the United States. Microsoft has no moral obligation whatsoever that would require it to sack a good worker and keep a marginal employee just because he's an American citizen.

Are we seeing another hint at how government might want to control business in the American "free market" here? This guy is a Republican?

And just so you know--We should all be in favor of the bonuses paid on Wall Street whether they are $18 Billion or $818 Billion. Changing the rules after the game has been played is just not fair. And we all want to be fair now don't we?


One of Barack Obama's first acts as president was to close down Guantanamo Bay within one year. Now just two weeks later, we get this from Obama: he is worried that the detainees freed from Gitmo are going to return to a life of terrorism and attack the United States.

Oh, so now you tell us! What was your first clue, Mr. President? Funny how the responsibilities of the actual office will override campaign rhetoric, isn't it?

And yet Obama says that he closed the prison because it was a matter of upholding US values and law.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Five Truths about the Financial Crisis

The first truth to understand about the banking crisis is that people don’t want you to understand it. You are supposed to trust in the judgments of the experts and give them whatever they are asking for, no matter what the cost or consequences. Just ignore the fact that many of these people are the same experts that failed to foresee or to prevent the problem in the first place.

[1] Henry Paulson, the former treasury secretary, is one such expert. Throughout 2007 and most of 2008, he assured the public that the economy was strong, any subprime mortgage fallout was contained, the banking system was safe, and that there were no plans to recapitalize or rescue Fannie and Freddie.

Then, last September when multiple financial institutions were on the brink of collapse, he naturally took responsibility for his errors in judgment and inaction and resigned, right? Well, no. Actually he requested $700B more with virtually unlimited authority.

Of course it wasn’t exactly a request. Give me $700B right now or you get a massive financial collapse and the Second Great Depression. It almost sounds like a scheme cooked up by Dr. Evil. Did Paulson have some kind of doomsday device that he was ready to activate? Was the country really facing a financial meltdown?

We will answer that shortly and the answer may surprise you. Lets move on to Truth #2. This entire crisis was caused by widespread mismanagement throughout the financial industry.

Banks that loan money to borrowers who can’t repay don’t stay in business for very long — or at least they’re not supposed to. The same is true for investment managers that exchange good money for bad paper.

This may seem obvious, but there are still far too many weakly written articles that blame the financial failures on the bad economy or the weak housing market — as if banks couldn’t possible imagine that the economy might slow at some point.

Similarly, pointing the finger at credit rating firms or government regulators or auditors also misses the mark. Yes, all of these parties should have acted earlier to help prevent the crisis. But the situation wouldn’t even exist if not for the widespread irresponsibility of the people we trust to manage the world’s money.

Once the blame is assigned correctly, the ethics of the situation become very clear. Management needs to go, and the institutions they ran into the ground deserve to fail. But we can’t have hundreds of banks and financial institutions fail, right? Wouldn’t the economy drown in a sea of bankruptcies?

Truth #3: Banks can fail without endangering the economy. In fact, over 700 lending institutions failed during the Savings & Loan crisis in the early 1990s, and the damage was minimal.

Credit the Bush administration — not W. but his father. In 1989, he signed legislation creating a framework in which S&Ls could fail quickly, be removed from the marketplace, and then be replaced with healthy institutions.

The process was simple. If a financial institution couldn’t meet its capital requirements, the regulator declared it insolvent and shut it down immediately. At that point a government custodian (the Resolution Trust Company) took over the firm’s assets, inventoried and packaged them for sale, and auctioned them off to the highest bidder, usually another healthier financial institution.

If the RTC had difficulty unloading some assets (what we would now call toxic assets), it created innovative public-private sector partnerships to manage the risks and share the future profits.

When institutions were seized quickly, many still had significant assets that could be used to cover the losses and debts. But in the end it was a bailout, and the taxpayer was responsible for the final cost.

Which brings us to Truth #4: This current crisis almost certainly isn’t a trillion dollar problem, but we can certainly make it into one.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. If one year ago, someone had told us that the U.S. taxpayer would have to ultimately spend $500B to clean up the banking system and prevent a total collapse, we would have been outraged.

At this point we would consider ourselves lucky to get by so cheaply. Only $500 billion? And no depression? What a relief! The high price tags of TARP, the economic stimulus, and the dire economic projections have conditioned us to expect a final cost in the trillions.

The S&L crisis cost taxpayers $124B, and that was primarily the difference between what it took to pay insured depositors back and what was recovered from the failed institutions by the RTC. The cost may sound reasonable by today’s standards but was actually far higher than it should have been.

What happened was that in the early stages of the crisis, the scope of the problem was not well understood by the regulators and many insolvent institutions were allowed to continue operating. Often these institutions offered high-yield accounts to attract insured deposits and then proceeded to make more bad loans and investments.

The lesson is that the more quickly regulators act, the lower the losses are. Declare a bank insolvent the day that it first fails to meet capital requirements and the cost of the failure will be minimal. Keep it operating and give it more government guaranteed money to make more bad loans, and the final cost of the cleanup will skyrocket.

Now armed with our four truths, let’s go back to Paulson and his ultimatum. Was the financial system really facing a meltdown? Yes, and it still is, but only because of his willingness to continue to provide taxpayer money and guarantees to banks and investment firms that created the current mess we’re now in.

The banking crisis could be solved today for the lowest possible cost if the Treasury would simply shut down insolvent financial institutions, auction off their assets, and repay depositors in full. There would be no damage to the economy aside from losses to investors in the financial institutions. In fact, the economy would be healthier and recover far more quickly if the banking and credit system were sound.

And there is no need for a full bailout. When AIG was taken over, its creditors received a nice Christmas present — its once precarious debt was now backed by the U.S. Treasury.

This prevented the chaos of the Lehman bankruptcy, a severe system shock followed by a legal mess that will take years to sort out, but there’s no reason that creditors in failed financial firms must receive 100 cents on the dollar for their claims. Only federally insured depositors should have that right.

Did Paulson know these four truths? Does Geithner? Perhaps they’re surrounded by too many Wall Street executives who are pleading for just a little more time and money to fix the mess that they created. Or perhaps they know that a financial crisis is the ideal environment for a dramatic expansion of the role of government in the economy.

One person who does know these truths is William Seidman. He was the chairman of the FDIC and RTC during the Savings & Loan crisis. At the age of 87 he is appearing in television interviews and writing editorials telling everyone that will listen that insolvent banks need to fail so that the system will survive.

My guess is that Seidman also understands Truth #5: Not all financial crises are created equal. When borrowers can’t pay their debts, you get a banking crisis, and as we’ve seen those are painful. But when governments can’t pay their debts you get a currency crisis, which is far worse. During Argentina’s recent currency crisis, the GDP fell by 10% in a single year, the unemployment rate jumped to 25%, and inflation hit 10% a month at one point.

We are nowhere near a currency crisis now. But the quickest way to get there is to borrow trillions of dollars and spend it on dubious financial rescue programs and stimulus packages that are unlikely to either rescue the financial sector or stimulate the overall economy.

Any stinulas package that is voted out of Congress is a sham and a fraud done by know-nothings. You need to get involved and in the words of Nancy Reagan--"Just Say No"