Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Man of the year!

Right around the corner we will soon officially have Bernanke for a 2nd term.I just thought it appropriate to share what he found under his Christmas tree this year.First he got a toolbox!

Inside he found all the tools he needs to do his job!

(for re-inflating those leaking bubbles)

Merry Xmas,Ben!More to come...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

TSA should be eliminated

As a former screener,I have firsthand knowledge of the TSA policies and procedures.With the recent release of the SOP,or standard operating procedure,that was mistakenly posted online and now the terrorist attack on the Delta flight in Detroit,the time has come to end this failed experiment.

The agency was doomed from the outset.It's mission was merely an economic one,to keep people flying after 911.I and a great many other employees questioned many of the practices utilized as being sub-standard from a security standpoint.They simply don't want to make flying too intrusive.It's all for show,simply to give the appearance of safety so that John Q. Public will keep shelling out money to fly.

The attack in Detroit was absolutely a success in terms of defeating the security measures in place just as the Richard Reid shoe bomber attack was.In both cases,these terrorists had bypassed all layers of security.The only reason we didn't experience tragedies is the mere fact that they couldn't detonate the bombs.Poor planning or training or bad luck,whatever,it doesn't matter,they had successfully reached the point where they attempted detonation.

Sure,the other passengers involved can be considered heroic in their efforts to subdue these terrorists,and rightly so,but make no mistake,they could all easily be dead heroes had these bombs ignited properly.The facts remain that security absolutely failed here and I contend they never had a chance as their mandate is not real security,only the appearance of it.

I have cited examples in other posts on how security is lacking.In one case we were never able to clear a passenger whose bags set off the ETD,or electronic trace detection,bomb sniffing machine that looks for trace residue of certain chemicals.We followed all the protocols and the supervisor on duty still put him on the plane so as not to inconvenience him.In a related incident,I myself had inadvertently forgotten to remove the service manual for the operation of the ETD machine from my luggage on a flight.I passed thru screening without a problem.Wouldn't you think a passenger in possession of a detailed manual on how the TSA equipment functions would raise a red flag?We had others as well,such as a private plane taxiing right up to the main terminal by mistake.The pilot and passenger got out and entered the terminal and were never stopped.How easy to bring a bomb right into the hub that way.

The bottom line is that security can be improved substantially,but not without cost.Mainly this would be to the passengers that would have to deal with the tighter screening.What is your safety worth to you?The TSA will respond very publicly for the next few weeks to show that they are on top of this and then it will just fade away again.One of the first responses I've seen is to not let people get up from their seat during the last hour of the flight.So,apparently the telegraphed message to future terrorists is to make sure you set off your bomb earlier in the flight.What a joke!More to come...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elected lobbyists

Do people really believe that Obama isn't going to get his healthcare bill done?Lots of talk about abortion language derailing it.Or maybe the myriad of legal challenges.Or the dems squabbling amongst themselves.C'mon,haven't we been paying attention?Don't you think there are plenty of members of Congress that noticed what Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu were paid off?How many more do you think will get in line at the Pelosi/Reid powwow with their hands out saying that they can't support the committee version of the bill coming in January?

The pay-offs we've seen so far may pale in comparison to what will be doled out to ultimately pass the compromise bill that will be sent to Obama.Essentially,our elected officials have become mere lobbyists.What used to be done behind closed doors in backroom deals is not out in the open and even heralded as good.Members of Congress tout these deals as accomplishments because they are taking benefits back home to their constituents.How is this any different than the role of a lobbyist?.A lobbyist is bribing someone else to get them to vote in a way to support their position.Members of Congress are simply lobbying Pelosi and Reid to secure their vote.

A clear majority doesn't support this legislation,yet the talking heads are in the media everyday declaring the exact opposite.I believe that there is a simple litmus test for this bill or any bill for that matter.What if the language of the bill remained exactly the same,yet the bill was put forth by Bush a year ago?Would all of these people publicly declaring how good this bill is for the American people still hold the same position?Of course not.The bill would be ravaged by Pelosi and Reid and their ilk which exposes it as simply a partisan hack bill.Despite accomplishing the power grab the democrats so desire,they would be forced to take the party line and stop it.

What is clear is that a bill will be signed into law by Obama next year.Bank on it,it's a sure bet.There is no possible way we get this far in the process and allow anything to stop something from being passed.Of course,this is barring any successful legal challenge,but we all know which way the courts lean.I fully support those that will fight this to the end as they must,however,it is inevitable and it's time for people to start charting strategies to minimize and undue as much of the Obama agenda.Now,I would love to be dead wrong here,but I don't see it.More to come...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Revisionist guessing

What has happened to our 3rd quarter GDP growth?It started at 3.5%,was revised shortly after that to 2.8% and now has been dropped again to 2.2%.That's nearly a 40% drop from the original estimate.I assume these are weathermen making these assumptions because they are the only ones that could be that far off base and still keep their jobs.Normally,you would think the adminstration would run and hide behind numbers like these,but I think this will not be the case here.This will play into their sales pitch for needing a 2nd stimulus jobs bill.Just sit back and watch.Here's the link from Fox News.More to come...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Obama war on America

This story from the Philadelphia Bulletin does a nice job of laying out the Obama agenda to date.

Obama And His Appointees Dismantling US
PHILADELPHIA BULLETIN ^ | Saturday, December 19, 2009 | HERB DENENBERG

Posted on Sunday, December 20, 2009 5:24:26 PM by adanaC

President Barack Hussein Obama is proceeding to destroy America and has opened up a six-front war to do so:

1. He has a Democratic controlled Congress that is willing to rubber-stamp his wildest schemes, without even reading them…as we’ve already seen. The Democratic Party is now aiding and abetting the demeaning and destruction of America and has become the voice of leftist extremism. The moderates have disappeared or been transformed, issuing only occasional squeaking and whining before following the liberal party line drawn by Mr. Obama. Where have all the Democratic moderates gone?

2. Mr. Obama has immense executive authority, which he has already used to damage the country. One notable example is his decision to try terrorists in New York City, thereby giving the terrorists the premier platform to broadcast their propaganda and recruit Islamic radicals to their cause. Another example is cap and trade by fiat of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rather than Congressional action.

3. He is filling the White House, the executive branch and the court system with an army of radicals, socialists, Communists, Marxists, Maoists, and America-haters. The most outrageous example was Van Jones, the avowed Communist and believer that 9/11 was an American plot fashioned by President George W. Bush. Van Jones wasn’t too much of an extremist for the White House; in fact, he was loved and respected as a key White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett publicly proclaimed at the time of his appointment. But, he was too extreme even for the mainstream media to cover-up and swallow. But, don’t kid yourself – extremists like that are the rule, not the exception in Mr. Obama’s world.

4. He stands ready to commit the U.S. to radical international treaties that will bleed away American sovereignty and commit the nation to destructive policies. Watch what happens in Copenhagen, and watch the directions of Mr. Obama in matters of international laws and treaties. He has made it obvious he is more interested in pleasing the international community than in protecting the citizens of America. Couple that with his penchant for bootlicking our enemies, apologizing for America, and kicking around and betraying our allies and you have a prescription for international disaster. Note the betrayal of Poland and Czechoslovakia by his withdrawal of missile defense from those two important allies. He did so to appease Russia, again bootlicking enemies while betraying allies.

5. Mr. Obama seems ready to do anything to achieve his ends, a la the formula of Saul Alinsky and his book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky believed the ends justify the means, and that means anything goes. Mr. Obama has demonstrated he is willing to lie, use fascist-style tactics to silent critics, and do what it takes to achieve his agenda. He has even expressed his disdain for the U.S. Constitution in his now infamous quote that civil rights litigation and adjudication went off track because it did not focus on redistribution. His comments, record, and policies show he believes in redistribution of wealth, and views capitalism, free markets and profit as all part of a tainted system that is unjust. One of his major priorities is “spreading the wealth around,” as he admitted to Joe the Plumber.

6. Finally, the mainstream media is sanitizing and covering up Mr. Obama’s worst excesses, as we’ve witnessed with major stories either ignored or almost totally neglected. In recent months, the dishonest, fraudulent, and biased mainstream media virtually ignored Climategate, one of the great scientific scandals of history; the Acorn undercover scandal; and the Van Jones appointment, as well as a long list of other far-out radicals. The mainstream media has become an adjunct of the Obama plan to destroy America, as we know it.

This column will focus on the wild leftist radicals that he is packing into the federal agencies and the unconstitutional czars he is filling up the White House with. I question, when America elects a president who spends over 20 years hanging around with terrorists, racists, bigots, anti-Semites, Communists, Marxists, and socialists, what kind of appointments do you think he’ll be making? And, when he packs the White House with such crazies, what kind of policies do you expect to be forthcoming?

For openers consider his latest appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the agency that adjudicates discrimination claims. Her name is Chai Feldblum, she is a professor at Georgetown University and is a most radical homosexual activist. She has advocated polygamy and has said that “sexual liberty” trumps the Constitutional right to “religious liberty.” Of course, she underwent what is called a confirmation conversation – trying unsuccessfully to lie out of previous positions. However, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League found her newfound moderation a total “farce.”

She is the primary author of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) now before both houses of Congress. The bill has been described by J. Matt Barber on the Renew America Web site as follows: “ENDA would force – under penalty of law – Christian, Jewish or Muslim business owners to hire people who unrepentantly choose to engage in homosexual or cross-dressing behaviors, despite the fact that these volitional behaviors are in direct conflict with every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology. … It’s a direct assault on the inalienable rights of people of faith. It pits the government directly against the free exercise of religion and is, therefore, unconstitutional on its face.” Recall, this president has announced this is not a Christian nation, contrary to American history, a history he more often deplores than proclaims.

The Feldblum appointment is part of a larger effort to force the homosexual agenda on the American people, from the youngest school children on up. For the perfect example, take the safe-schools czar, Kevin Jennings. Here’s the way the Web site summarized his qualifications:

· A former schoolteacher

· A gay

· An advocate of promoting homosexuality in schools

· A former drug user

· Dislikes religion

· Failed to report an underage student who told him he had sex with an older man.

The views of Mr. Obama’s science and technology czar, Dr. John Holdren, are also bizarre. In the 1980s, in discussing population controls, he advocated compulsory abortion and sterilization as constitutional. No proposal is too extreme for the Obama team.

This radicalism pervades every corner of the White House and Mr. Obama’s appointments. Take Craig Becker, an Obama appointee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He was a union lawyer, who was associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU is the union with close connections to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the corrupt group of community organizers best known for voter fraud and extortion and intimidation of lenders. Mr. Becker helped lay the groundwork for the Employee Fair Choice Act (EFCA). That is the proposed law that would do away with the secret ballot in union elections and would permit federally designated bureaucrats to determine employment terms if a union and employer did not reach a prompt agreement. This act is so blatantly anti-democratic that it is even opposed by a far-left liberal, George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Party nominee for president.

Even if Congress won’t pass the EFCA, Mr. Becker believes he can get the wildly leftist Obama agenda established by rule making by the NLRB, thus eliminating the need for Congressional action. This is characteristic of the Obama administration – willing to implement the most radical measures without Congressional approval and rule by administrative diktat.

And Mr. Becker will have plenty of support from other top Obama appointees in the federal bureaucracy. There is Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who was first elected to Congress in 2000, as the union candidate. For about 10 years in Congress, she had a perfect record of support for union proposals. And, she is likely to coddle unions and persecute employers as Secretary of Labor.

Secretary Solis has already announced her plan to give unions more power over employers and the economy. And, she has already started taking all controls off of union abuses. For example, her predecessor, Elaine Chao, took the responsibility of policing unions seriously. During her tenure, Ms. Chao obtained 929 convictions for corrupt union practices and recovered more than $93 million on behalf of union members (as reported in The American Spectator. The U.S. Labor Department unit that polices unions is the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS). Shortly after the union lapdog, Ms. Solis, took office, the Obama administration reported it was cutting OLMS’s budget by more than 9 percent. The American Spectator writes, “As a result, corrupt union bosses will have a much freer hand with which to bilk their members.”

That’s just a taste of what Mr. Obama is doing to the Department of Labor to make it an instrument of unionization and the union agenda. Two other appointments to The Department of Labor are Patricia Smith and Lorelei Boylan. Both have close ties to unions and while working for the New York State Department of Labor, they were in charge of a program in which New York state partners with unions and other liberal groups to police workplaces. The American Spectator writes, “But in practice empowering ‘regular people’ actually means that the government is deputizing unions to help police workplaces.” This is just another example of how the Obama administration seeks to control every aspect of the American economy and do so to favor their political supporters, in this case the unions. Given their way, American business will be run by union bosses and union thugs.

Another area where Mr. Obama seeks to impose government control is talk radio. There is Mark Lloyd, who was appointed to be associate general counsel and chief diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He is on record of favoring all kinds of regulation of talk radio, which would be designed to muzzle conservative talk radio. To show how extreme these Obama appointees are, consider Mr. Lloyd’s comments about the tyrant of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Mr. Lloyd went on record in support of Mr. Chavez who, among other things, is a sworn enemy of America: “In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution.” There is a deadly Orwellian flavor to Mr. Obama and his appointees – a vicious tyrant is transformed into an instrument of “democratic revolution.”

The “Czars” are even more radical and even more out of control than members of the cabinet, who are subject to Senate confirmation. They can escape any Senate confirmation and, consequently, are viewed by some legal authorities as end-runs around the U.S. Constitution. Carol Browner, global warming (energy) czar, is typical. She is one of the leaders of the Socialist International and, as such, advocates “global governance” and maintains that developed nations must shrink their economy to help alleviate global warming. The czars and their threat to U.S. constitutional government are covered in detail in an article in Newsmax entitled “Czars: Never Elected. Never Confirmed. Too Powerful?”

Thomas Sowell, the brilliant conservative pundit, makes an important point for those who think these radical extremists somehow got into the White House because of a failure to properly vet them. Mr. Sowell writes, “Why should we assume Obama didn’t know what such people were like; he’s been associating with these kinds of people for decades. Nothing is more consistent with his pattern than putting such people in government – people who reject American values, and resent Americans and America’s influence in the world.”

Wake up America. We elected one of the most dangerous enemies of America and he now sits in the White House, filled with other enemies of America, relentlessly going about his task of destroying the country as we know it and as the Founding Fathers intended it. You better join the forces in opposition to Mr. Obama’s vision for America because if he continues unobstructed for three more years, it may then be too late to save it.

It’s later than you think. Mr. Obama can kill the economy and America with his version of ObamaCare standing by itself (See The Bulletin, “ObamaCare Spells Doom for America,” Dec. 6-12, and “Wake Up Before Obama Destroys America,” Dec. 13-19). And, he seems to be firing shots with machine-gun rapidity that have the potential to destroy our economy and our country. There’s some element of truth in talk show host Michael Savage’s assertion that we now have a dictatorship. With supermajorities in both houses of Congress and with seemingly inept Republican leadership, with free use of extra-Constitutional methods, i.e. czars, there seems to be no real checks and balances that should keep an out-of-control radical runaway president in check.

Even our Founders, political geniuses, still could not foresee and plan for the election to the White House of an America-hating radical, backed by supermajorities of the Democratic Party willing to follow him over the cliff to the destruction of America.

Herb Denenberg can be reached at

Louisiana Purchase-1803 vs. 2009 version

Interesting to compare the original Louisiana Purchase to the healthcare sellout vote from Sen. Landrieu for $300 million.

Louisiana Purchase - encyclopedia article about Louisiana Purchase.: "The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of approximately 530 million acres (800,000 sq mi or 2,100,000 km²) of French territory in 1803, at the cost of about 4¢ per acre (7¢ per ha); totaling $15 million or 80 million French francs. Including interest, America finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.[1] The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota south of Mississippi River, much of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the modern United States.[1] The purchase was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he felt that the Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American traders' access to the port of New Orleans."

Japan ‘clunkers’ angers many in U.S. -

Japan ‘clunkers’ angers many in U.S. -

Friday, December 18, 2009

Capitalism vs. Socialism

I'd like to ask all residents of this state to take a moment and ask yourself a question.Are the policies of government benefiting you?A simple question,yet not so easy to answer.However,with the debate raging about the direction our country is heading and our governments role in it,I think it boils down to it.Usually in politics,we feud over which party does a better job on the issues that are most relevant during that era.This time around,we are debating the merits of capitalism vs. socialism.I know many will say no,it's communism or marxism or fascism or progressivism.Lets keep it simple just for this letter.For those that couldn't care less or don't know the difference or don't think it matters to us here in Michigan,I say your dead wrong and you need to decide your position right away if you haven't already.

Aren't you tired of the treadmill we are stuck on here in Michigan?A pathetic economy.The rust belt.High unemployment.High foreclosure rate and devasted property values.Roads and bridges crumbling and unsafe.Some of the highest crime rate areas in the nation.School funding decreasing.People are leaving the state in droves.Our budget deficits have us conjuring up tax schemes like keeping the bars open later in a desperate move for tax revenue regardless of any benefit to us.You've heard all the promises from our governor and the legislature about a new direction,green jobs,transformation,etc.Are you buying it?Are you seeing results that show we are really going to get it right this time?The state uses the MEDC/MEGA to hand out tax credits to industries and announce thousands of new jobs coming to your neighborhood.Unfortunately,their track record produces less than 30% of the jobs they promise.And no,they don't get the other 70% in tax credits refunded.

Barack Obama makes no secret of his ideology on where he wants to take this country.He believes in social and economic justice.You can put any label on that you wish,but there are countless interviews and statements from him breaking down how he wants to achieve it and we see some of his first efforts today with healthcare reform and cap and trade.These are massive programs with huge implications for every person in the country.In some cases,around the world.But the point is they are guaranteed to affect you and future generations.Yes,even those of us in little old,rural Michigan.Every single person,whether you know it or not.And if you don't know all the facts and exactly how you'll be affected,you must get educated immediately.Once these programs get started,they are permanent.They'll always be changed over the years,but they'll never go away.

Capitalism is freedom.It's liberty.It's one of the principles this country was founded on and it gives every American the opportunity for success,whatever you decide that is.Own your own home or business.Choose your career path.You have the opportunity to go as far as your hard work and perseverance can take you.Not a guarantee of anything,but the opportunity.Michigan has a great history of innovations that have changed the world.Just think of the innovations implemented by Henry Ford that would never have happened under socialism.Look at our accomplishments in medicine.And on and on.Do you think these would have ever happened under socialism?When you strip away the opportunity for great reward for innovation,you destroy the spirit and inspiration we have as well.

The situation we face in this country is perilous.Our staggering debt is going to come to a head sooner rather than later.You simply can't make a rational case otherwise.Promoting 'green shoots' without sound economic rationale to back them up is dangerous.The toxic debt that triggered the derivatives market meltdown is still there.The TARP money that was supposed to buy it up was diverted instead.Obama blames the fat cat bankers on Wall St. for not lending.Why would they when they can borrow money at near zero interest rates from the Treasury and then simply step down to the next window and purchase 10 year T-Bills at a guaranteed 3.5% interest rate?Yes,better than a ponzi scheme.And yes,that's Time magazines man of the year Ben Bernanke's policy that encourages it.As Milton Friedman used to say,why does anyone believe that a government beauracracy has any more moral standards than the evil corporations?

We have a long record of middle of the pack to the bottom at times on tax policy.Our business model is heavily incentivized on tax credits and other temporary fixes.We have a strong union prescence demanding higher wages to the point of making us non-competitive many times.You cannot escape the reality that stable,long term growth economically is dependent on a low tax rate structure.Companies know that incentives are temporary and as soon as they evaporate,they move in another direction.Look at the track record of auto sales.Most buyers are savvy and know to wait for the rebates and other discount programs because the automakers are caught in that vicious cycle.Sales stay down without them or some other gimmick like cash for clunkers.

However,our state legislature,and usually the sitting governor as well,are simply addicted to the power attached to our tax dollars.The urge to get to decide where those dollars are spent and how many are collected is too enticing.If we continue down this road Obama is leading us,it will get far worse.Your call to action has never been greater.What used to be reserved for conspiracy theorists is now knocking at the door.The push for this extensive of a power grab has been in the works for decades and it may come to fruition if the people don't revolt drastically soon.Ask yourself how important your liberty is to you.More to come...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

American Grandstand!

Obama has set his sights on calling out the bankers as the evil wrongdoers who created this mess.Now he wants them to grab a mop and clean it up.What shocked disbelief he showed wondering why the banks won't lend.Didn't we rescue them in their hour of need?Don't they owe it to us now to help the recovery?Looks like we need a new show called American Grandstand!

A quick review reminds us that we redirected the TARP funds to the banks to provide liquidity to get the banks lending to drive the economic recovery.I think the TARP fiasco will go down in history as one of the worst programs ever created which is really saying something when you think of all the bad ones.

Remember,Congress created the TARP fund to buy up toxic assets and get them off the books of the lending institutions.Bush made a huge mistake by signing it.They simply gave Paulson a blank check to distribute to his banker buddies as he saw fit.He complied by immediately changing the focus of the program from toxic assets to liquidity.The toxic assets purchase has been relocated to the TALF program and is essentially inactive.

Hundreds of billions of borrowed money (the government is broke) was then handed out to the 19 biggest institutions including some like Goldman Sachs which had to be 'rezoned' if you will as a bank.They are an investment facility and don't have anything to do with standard commercial banking but for Paulson to reward his pals he had to cook the books and redesignate them.

Let's not forget that many institutions didn't want any TARP money but were forced to comply from the White House so that they would fall under the pay czar rules.

Now,what did the banks do with the money?They generally sat on it of course using it as a buffer and to comply with the increased reserve fund requirements.Today this is no longer necessary since the Fed is handing out free money with the zero or near zero interest rates.The TARP money is all being returned now so that the banks can get out from under the thumb of the rules set forth to the recipients.

Obama is playing dumb wondering why the evil banks won't lend and are standing in the way of our recovery.He's well aware that they can make more money borrowing at zero percent and investing in Treasury securities making 4 percent than by lending it to us schmucks on the street.More importantly,they are using it as a hedge against the unknown factors yet to play out.

They know unemployment is likely to rise or at least stay high for an extended period.They know that the commercial real estate bubble is leaking air.They know that the unsecured credit bubble has yet to burst.The FDIC chairman Sheila Barr herself has stated that we will have more bank failures in 2010 than 2009.They know that the banks are practicing forbearance in accounting for the toxic assets still on their books since the TARP money never addressed it.

With over a trillion dollars more than regulators require in their excess reserves,the liquidity issue is dead.The stability issue is the main priority.The banks are simply taking advantage of the favorable lending conditions at the Fed to cover-up their poor lending practices leading up to the recession.Now they are in the catbird seat to be the reformed responsible partner they should have been all along and they aren't making the risky loans.

This reflects the larger problem with our economy in which we have shifted from a manufacturing economy to a consumer driven consumption based economy.This is driven by borrowing and credit and when it's not easily available to you and I like it is to the banks,recovery will wither and die.Just like after 911 when Bush asked us all to spend money and show those bad terrorists that they can't affect us,we must do the same today to drive any real recovery.This is why it is imperative that the administration constantly sell us 'green shoots' so that our consumer confidence rises and we spend our money like good little soldiers.

This is impossible to achieve with the agenda Obama adheres to.With everything directed at social and economic justice,healthcare reform,cap and trade and immigration reform driving the wealth redistribution he desires,this requires anti-business and anti-capitalist policies.If businesses won't expand due to high tax policies and stability concerns,any recovery dies and consumer confidence and spending follows suit.It's a vicious circle that feeds upon itself.Action needs to be taken very soon to stop it.More to come...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do your homework

It's quite amazing the different views available to us depending on which lens you're looking thru.One could go across the internet and cherry pick enough stories to fully support whatever view they support.I was always taught this is how the human belief system works.First,we develop our beliefs based on our early influences and then spend our time finding ways to support them.

In politics,if you're a republican,you listen to Limbaugh and Hannity and watch Fox.If you're a liberal,you stick to Olberman and Matthews and their ilk.You watch,listen and read whatever is slanted toward your beliefs.Sure makes it tough to objectively weigh the opposing viewpoint.Of course,an independent will claim to take the middle road sometimes agreeing with one side or the other.Eventually,everyone usually ends up disliking you because you ride the fence.

I always wondered which was held in higher regard.The leader type with strong convictions or the open minded type willing to listen to different views.Obama attempts to portray himself as the latter.For example,he's willing to negotiate with terrorists without pre-conditions.I can't say comparing Reagan to Obama would be the best analogy,but they are the two people representing these two scenarios most recently.

If the popularity rating is the yardstick,it's quite clear.Reagan wins hands down. 100% is not possible as there will always be party line people to support one side or the other.If you wish to reject polls and use election results,obviously we can't do that until 2012,but it would be a tall order for Obama to duplicate the Reagan landslide re-election.Based on the mood of the voters and the clear lack of support for Obamas policies,it would be impossible at this point.

I bring this issue up just to ponder what it is we want from our elected officials.Clearly,if you don't agree with their policies,you won't support them.Yet,at face value,one would think you wouldn't want the leader with strong convictions if you're not a supporter.You would be more likely to support a moderate type who may sway to your view.The facts don't seem to bear this out.I'm finding Obama to be more divisive than Reagan.My Dad hated Reagan which I never understood when I was a kid.Now when I look back and realize that my Dad was dependent on the government for its social entitlement programs,I'm able to understand.

You even hear people like John Conyers being scolded by Obama for not publicy supporting him in all instances.The gays are getting impatient.The illegal immigrants are getting impatient.If cap and trade is delayed,you can add them to the list.These are just a few examples that to try to be the all everything to everybody is virtually impossible.It's hard to imagine anyone coming into office with a higher level of support than Obama and he can't pull it off.

To be fair,I blame a large portion of that on the ignorance of the voters.They jumped on the 'hope and change' bandwagon without doing their homework.As we now see with the constant exposes from people like Glenn Beck,this information has always been there if you cared to look for it.

So,as always it comes back to the voter.We really want to vote for a candidate we believe in.Yet,as I explained earlier,human nature dictates that we inherently reject challenges to our belief system.We simply don't want to challenge ourselves,perhaps because we can't deal with the disappointment so well.This leaves us open to buying into the message the candidate is selling.We don't want to spend much time verifying the validity of their claims and researching their true motives.When you do that,you'll find the vast majority of candidates will fail the test.

This is human nature,as well.Power and greed and the two main attractants in holding political office.Even those that didn't enter politics for those reasons find it hard to resist its charms.The moral of this story is you had better spend considerable time studying the character of your candidate and review their influences that shaped their beliefs.Obama is the best example of this.The bandwagon supporters bought into the packaged message for sale while ignoring the man behind it.

It seems those ringing the alarm bells about William Ayers and Rev. Wright had good reason to.We find out more all the time about the radical upbringing of Obama and it makes connecting the dots very easy with the agenda he's pushing thru.We've never had the level of capability that we do today previously in researching a candidate.I would hope that more voters will utilize it next time around so they don't make a short sighted mistake and end up disappointed.More to come...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reparations for our kids

Why not?Why not put the framework in place today to make our elected officials accountable for saddling our next generations with trillions in debt?These politicians who so effortlessly write checks for money they don't have without any accountability as they will likely be out of office when the debt comes due must be stopped.

This would take a drastic shift in policy and would only be supported by incoming legislators with no bill to pay.The focus is always on a balanced budget.While an obvious requirement,it's not the most important one.Keeping spending in check is the key.Congress can simply raise taxes to accomodate increased spending to provide a balanced budget,so this is not an effective deterrent.

If you think the Ron Paul Audit the Fed bill is making Bernanke nervous,legislation put in place to make Congress personally accountable for spending money they don't have would be earth-shattering.Their entire existence is predicated on power.Control of taxation and spending provides them with all the tools in the toolbox.Lobbyists supply them with their personal rewards.

Today we hear Obama preach that we were saved from disaster by spending and that now we must spend more to fuel the recovery.At best,he is misguided.More accurately,he is a criminal as are his cohorts in Congress.It could be the illegal distribution of TARP funds or any of a long list of spending policies that have been going on for decades.The current crop of spenders is just expanding on tradition.

I don't believe there has ever been a time in history in which the public is so informed,or capable of it if they seek it,than today.Ignorance is simply not acceptable and should things continue thru the next election cycle,than the public must accept full responsibility for these policies continuing and the fallout to follow.No excuses.More to come...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The case against Bernanke

Here is a story from IRA breaking down why Bernanke should be denied a 2nd term.

Three Strikes on Ben Bernanke: AIG, Goldman Sachs & BAC/TARP
December 7, 2009

"For a while, the subprime boom enriched investment bankers, lenders, brokers, investors, realtors and credit-rating companies. It allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to buy homes they never believed they could afford. It later became clear that these homeowners couldn't keep up with their payments… This is the story of how Wall Street transmitted the practices of southern California's go-go lending industry and the inflated U.S. real estate market to the global financial system."

Mark Pittman
"Subprime Securities Market Began as `Group of 5' Over Chinese"
Bloomberg News
December 17, 2007

"Anger is an energy"

John "Rotten" Lydon & Bill Laswell
Public Image Limited

On Saturday, joined by hundreds of friends, family and colleagues on a snowy December day in Yonkers, NY, we celebrated the life of Mark Pittman. Readers of The IRA who wish to express their thanks to Mark and show support for his family may make contributions to the Pittman Children's College Fund, c/o Dr. William Karesh, 30B Pondview Road, Rye, NY 10580.

Bob Ivry from Bloomberg News gave a remembrance of Mark, including reading the letter that his daughter Maggie Pittman posted on zerohedge to dispel rumors that her dad might have been murdered. Some members of the zerohedge family thought that Mark was killed by the banksters for his diligent pursuit of the disclosure of the Fed's many bailout loans to Wall Street firms.

Ivry also told a great story of how, when asked by a younger reporter why she should give Pittman her scoops instead of giving them to CNBC's Charlie Gasparino, Mark replied: "I'm taller than Charlie and can see above the bullshit." We miss Mark a lot.

Coming together with the friends of Mark Pittman ended a grim week. Many of us in the financial community were wading hip-deep through barnyard debris as we watched Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke dodge and weave in front of the television cameras during his Senate confirmation hearing. We have to believe that Mark would have been pleased as Senators on both sides of the aisle asked questions that came directly from some of his reporting -- and a few of our own suggestions.

To us, the confirmation hearings last week before the Senate Banking Committee only reaffirm in our minds that Benjamin Shalom Bernanke does not deserve a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Including our comments on Bank of America (BAC) featured by Alan Abelson this week in Barron's, we have three reasons for this view:

First is the law. The bailout of American International Group (AIG) was clearly a violation of the Federal Reserve Act, both in terms of the "loans" made to the insolvent insurer and the hideous process whereby the loans were approved, after the fact, by Chairman Bernanke and the Fed Board. The loans were not adequately collateralized. This is publicly evidenced by the fact that the Fed of New York (FRBNY) exchanged debt claims on AIG itself for equity stakes in two insolvent insurance underwriting units. What more need be said?

As we've noted in The IRA previously, we think the AIG insurance operations are more problematic than the infamous financial products unit where the credit default swaps pyramid scheme resided. And we doubt that any diligence was performed by Geither and/or the FRBNY staff on AIG prior to the decision taken by Tim Geithner to make the loan. We'll be talking further about AIG in a future comment.

Of interest, members of the Senate Banking Committee who want more background on the AIG fiasco, particularly who did what and when, need to read the paper by Phillip Swagel, "The Financial Crisis: An Inside View," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2009, The Brookings Institution.

We hear in the channel that Fed officials were furious when Swagel, who served at the US Treasury with former Secretary Hank Paulson, published his all-to-detailed apology. We understand that several prominent members of the trial bar also are interested in the Swagel document.

Last week the Senate Banking Committee spent a lot of time talking with Chairman Bernanke about why payouts were made to AIG counterparties like Goldman Sachs (GS) and Deutsche Bank (DB), but the real issue is why Tim Geithner and the GS-controlled board of directors of the FRBNY were permitted to make the supposed "loans" to AIG in the first place. The primary legal duty of the Fed Board is to supervise the activities of the Reserve Banks. In this case, Chairman Bernanke and the rest of the Board seemingly got rolled by Tim Geithner and GS, to the detriment of the Fed's reputation, the financial interests of all taxpayers and due process of law.

Martin Mayer reminded us last week that the Fed is meant to be "independent" from the White House, not the Congress from which its legal authority comes by way of the Constitution. Nor does Fed independence mean that the officers of the Federal Reserve Banks or the Board are allowed to make laws. None of the officials of the Fed are officers of the United States. No Fed official has any power to make commitments on behalf of the Treasury, unless and except when directed by the Secretary. Given the losses to the Treasury due to the Fed's own losses, this is an important point that members of the Senate need to investigate further.

The FRBNY not only used but abused the Fed's power's under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. In AIG, the FRBNY under Tim Geithner invoked the "unusual and exigent" clause again and again, but there is a serious legal question whether the then-FRBNY President and the FRBNY's board had the right to commit trillions without any due diligence process or deliberate, prior approval of the Fed Board in Washington, as required by law. The financial commitments to GS and other dealers regarding AIG were made always on a weekend with Geithner "negotiating" alone in New York, while Chairman Bernanke, Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and the rest of the BOG were sitting in DC without any real financial understanding of the substance of the transactions or the relationships between the people involved in the negotiations.

Was Tim Geithner technically qualified or legally empowered to "make deals' without the prior consent of the Fed Board? We don't think so. Shouldn't there have been financial fairness opinions re: the transactions? Yes.

We understand that the first order of business in any Fed audit sought by members of the Senate opposed to Chairman Bernanke's re-appointment is to review the internal Fed legal memoranda and FRBNY board minutes supporting the AIG bailout. These documents, if they exist at all, should be provided to the Senate before a vote on the Bernanke nomination. Indeed, if the panel established to review the AIG bailout and related events investigates the issue of how and when certain commitments were made by the FRBNY, we wouldn't be surprised if they find that Geithner acted illegally and that Bernanke and the Fed Board were negligent in not stopping this looting of the national patrimony by Geithjner, acting as de facto agent for the largest dealer banks in New York and London.

The second strike against Chairman Bernanke is leadership. In an exchange with SBC Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Bernanke said that he could not force the counterparties of AIG to take a haircuts on their CDS positions because he had "no leverage." Again, this goes back to the issue of why the loan to AIG was made at all.

Having made the first error, Bernanke and other Fed officials seek to use it as justification for further acts of idiocy. Chairman Dodd look incredulous and replied "you are the Chairman of the Federal Reserve," to which Bernanke replied that he did not want to abuse his "supervisory powers." Dodd replied "apparently not" in seeming disgust.

We have been privileged to know Fed chairmen going back to Arthur Burns. Regardless of their politics or views on economic policies, Fed Chairmen like Burns, Paul Volcker and even Alan Greenspan all knew that the Fed's power is as much about moral suasion as explicit legal authority. After all, the Chairman of the Fed is essentially the Treasury's investment banker. In the financial markets, there are times when Fed Chairmen have to exercise leadership and, yes, occasionally raise their voices and intimidate bank executives in the name of the greater public good. AIG was such as test and Chairman Bernanke failed, in our view.

Chairman Bernanke does not seem to understand that leadership is a basic part of the Fed Chairman's job description and the wellspring from which independence comes. The handling of AIG by Chairman Bernanke and the Fed Board seems to us proof, again, that Washington needs to stop populating the Fed's board with academic economists who have no real world leadership skills, nor operational or financial experience. Just as we need to end the de facto political control of the banksters over America's central bank, we need also to end the institutional tyranny of the academic economists at the Federal Reserve Board.

The third reason that the Senate should vote no on Chairman Bernanke's second four-year term as Fed Chairman is independence. While Bernanke publicly frets about the Fed losing its political independence as a result of greater congressional scrutiny of its operations, the central bank shows no independence or ability to supervise the largest banks for which it has legal responsibility. And Chairman Bernanke has the unmitigated gall to ask the Congress to increase the Fed's supervisory responsibilities. As we wrote in The IRA Advisory Service last week:

"Indeed, if you want a very tangible example of why the Fed should be taken out of the business of bank supervision, it is precisely the TARP repayment by Bank of America (BAC). The responsible position for the Fed and OCC to take in this transaction is to make BAC raise more capital now, when the equity markets are receptive, but wait on TARP repayment until we are through Q2 2010 and have a better idea on loss severity for on balance sheet and OBS exposures, HELOCs and second lien mortgages, to name a few issues. Apparently allowing outgoing CEO Ken Lewis to take a victory lap via TARP repayment is more important to the Fed than ensuring the safety and soundness of BAC."

One close observer of the mortgage channel, who we hope to interview soon in The IRA, says that given the recent deterioration of mortgage credit, it is impossible that BAC has not gotten its pari passu portion of the losses which are hitting the FHA. The same source says that using conservative math, FHA has another $75 billion in losses to take, with zero left in the FHA insurance fund. Worst case for FHA is double that number, we're told. How could the Fed believe that BAC, which is the biggest owner of mortgages and HELOCs, is immune from this approaching storm? Because the Fed is cooking the books of the largest banks.

The observer confirms our view that trading gains on the books of banks such as BAC are due to the Fed's open market purchases, which drove up prices for MBS and other types of toxic waste. In effect, the Fed's manipulation of the prices of various toxic securities is giving the largest US banks and their auditors a "pass" on accounting write-downs in Q4 2009 and for the full year - assuming that MBS prices do not drop sharply before the end of the month.

Question: Is not the Fed's manipulation of securities prices and the window-dressing of bank financial statements not a vioatlion of securities laws and SEC regulations?

Of note, in her column on Sunday about the widely overlooked issue of second lien mortgages, "Why Treasury Needs a Plan B for Mortgages," Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times writes that "Unfortunately, there is a $442 billion reason that wiping out second liens is not high on the government's agenda: that is the amount of second mortgages and home equity lines of credit on the balance sheets of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. These banks - the very same companies the Treasury is urging to modify loans that they service - have zero interest in writing down second liens they hold because it would mean further damage to their balance sheets."

Thus the Fed is not only allowing insolvent zombie banks to repay TARP funds before the worst of the credit crisis is past, but the "independent" central bank is engaged in a massive act of accounting fraud to prop up prices for illiquid securities and thereby help banks avoid another round of year-end write downs, the banks the Fed supposedly regulates. This act of deliberate market manipulation suggests that the Fed's bank stress tests were a complete fabrication. Only by artificially propping up prices for illiquid securities can the Fed make the banks look good enough to close their books in 2009 and, most important, attract private equity investors back to the table.

Of note, the perversion of accounting rules in the name of helping the largest global banks is also well-underway in the EU. Our friends at CFO Zone published a comment on same last week that deserves your attention: "International Accounting Standards Board has 'disgraced itself,' says critic"

What is really funny, to us at least, is that we hear in the channel that BAC is ultimately going to give the CEO slot to a BAC insider, consumer banking head Brian Moynihan, who testified before Congress on the Merrill Lynch transaction in November. Just imagine how the Fed Board, Chairman Bernanke and the Fed's Division of Supervision & Regulation are going to look when, after all the hand wringing about aiding BAC's CEO search by allowing the TARP repayment, the post is finally given to an insider!

Former colleagues describe Moynihan as a close associate of Ken Lewis. If the objective of forcing Lewis' departure was change in the culture in the CSUITE at BAC, installing one of his trusted henchmen, in this case left over from the Fleet Bank acquisition, seems a retrograde step.

All we can say about the treatment of the BAC TARP repayment issue and the Fed's handling of the supervision of large banks generally is that it is high time for the Congress to revisit the McFadden Act of 1927. In particular, we need to look again at making further changes to the Fed to ensure that it is entirely subordinate to the public interest and that never again will private financial institutions such as GS or BAC be in a position to dictate terms to the central bank. Whether you are talking about the loans to AIG or the mishandling of BAC's TARP repayments, the Fed under Chairman Bernanke seems to have acted irresponsibly and contrary to the law.

For all of the above reasons, we think that the Senate should reject the re-nomination of Ben Bernanke and ask the President to nominate a new candidate as Chairman and also nominate two additional candidates for Fed governor to fill the other two long vacant seats.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Just had to chime in quickly on Tiger Woods.As of today,he's up to 7 mistresses.I would categorize them as class action whores.It reminds me of the mailings you get from the slip and fall lawyers to get everyone and their brother on board with a class action lawsuit.So,if cheating with a married man is OK on your list of morals,then hurry up and get your name in so you'll be eligible for a chunk of the settlement to just go away.Now,of course Tiger is guilty of having an affair as he has admitted to it.He will have to deal with the fallout for the rest of his life.But I have to start questioning when this many women jump on the bandwagon as to the validity of their claims.It just seems far too many would have to be involved in the cover-up for a long period of time to be plausible.We'll see how it all plays out,but I think it's too late for a mulligan,Tiger.More to come...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Seems appropriate enough.It appears that the major media outlets still march to Rahm Emanuels orders as they won't touch the climategate scandal.Once the lid is off,they know they can't put the genie back in the bottle.So,they will continue the cover-up until Copenhagen.

I'd sure like to know their exit strategy because when the story does come to light,what plausible explanation can they conjur up to explain their ignorance of the greatest scientific cover-up in history?Have they not factored in the NASA angle which is about to get bigger as well?

Obviously,the media has no credibility left with anyone other than the ignorant who only casually glance at the evening news,so what's one more scandal.Take an outlet like CNN,however,and it seemingly makes no sense.Their ratings are plummeting.Losing Lou Dobbs only made it worse.Do they really want to go all the way to the bottom with Obama?Don't you cut your losses at some point?

This certainly has all the earmarks of a stimulus/healthcare scenario with the administration touting the urgency to pass this immediately.I think that's why Obama abruptly changed his agenda and will now be in attendance on the 18th because they know they must jam this thru immediately before the scandal gains traction globally and it's too late.Waiting for next summer at the next conference is no longer plausible.

Reports have been published stating that nothing will happen this year on climate change but I would have to think behind the scenes the dealmakers are drastically working to secure a deal at Copenhagen before that entire agenda implodes.More to come...

Friday, December 4, 2009

No jobless recovery for Michigan

I just read some comments from the Director of ThumbWorks!,a division of Michigan Works.Marv Pichla stated that Michigan won't have a jobless recovery.He based it on emerging 'green' technology and automotive battery technology jobs.Wow!That takes a minute to swallow.

So the rest of the nation will have a jobless recovery,but not here in our state?Michigan has the 'upper hand' based on our ad campaign so this must set us apart from the rest.What's the matter with these people?Do they only read the White House press releases for their news?

Today we see the national unemployment rate dip to 10.0%.We only lost 11,000 jobs in November they say.I wonder where the 98,000 people went that are no longer part of the workforce?They dropped off the planet apparently.Technically,they haven't actively sought work in the past 4 weeks is why,but this is based on the sample of the 60,000 households surveyed each month by the BLS.

Gee,the 'saved or created' jobs claim fiasco by the W.H. is similar.The number is derived from survey results collected by the administration.They recently threw the people compiling these numbers under the bus stating that reporting errors were responsible for any inconsistencies.So,in other words,take any of these numbers with a grain of salt.

Here in Michigan we have no recovery at all,so the claim is moot anyway.A rosy future?Not possible with the current administration both nationally and at state levels.Sorry,but the status quo is our future for now with flat growth and unemployment not getting worse being the best we can hope for.More to come...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Obama the warmonger!

Well,wouldn't that be the headline if Bush made the same commitment to send more troops to Afghanistan?It would be by the left certainly.No weapons of mass destruction.No threat of Afghanistan invading the United States.Al Qaeda is centered in Pakistan.And I believe we already ran the Taliban out 8 years ago only to have them return.

Obama claims he will finish the job this time.That we will train the Afghanistan military to defend itself so that we can leave.Even the left doesn't buy this as they've spent years condemning this type of strategy in Iraq.

We all know that a surge in Afghanistan will simply result in the Taliban scattering and re-organizing in a different country sympathetic to their cause.The blood of our soldiers to die in the coming years will be on Obama,yet we'll still hear the same old tired rhetoric of blame Bush.He'll claim that since Bush incorrectly started the war in Iraq instead of Afghanistan where the 'real' terrorists are located,we allowed them to grow much stronger and more difficult to defeat.Mark it down in stone.In fact,Gibbs can simply read from my blog next year or the year after when he has to explain the casualty count and why the troop withdrawl isn't going as planned.

So,hope and change crowd,how's that working out for you?No quick pullout from the unnecessary war in Iraq.No meeting the deadline for closing Gitmo.And now an expansion for the other war in Afghanistan.Iran waits in the wings.North Korea is still a player.And lets not forget he will have to deal with the coming domestic disturbances at home due to his economic policies.Violence is only a matter of time with the unemployment situation.How many time can he go to the well on the Bush excuse?The far left will buy in eternally,but he's already losing the rest.More to come...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pelosi and Reid sharing a room?

Damage control is without question the top industry to be in these days.As events continue to unfold that are unfavorable to the power grabs of our leaders,they must attempt to deflect your attention elsewhere.

As per usual,this information is available ahead of time for those that seek it.The climate change e-mail scandal?Merely a validation that junk science is behind global warming as has been exposed for years.But only if you looked for it.Darn,sure makes this story I'm reading in the National Geographic about it kind of irrelevant.

Nowadays even Obama speaks of the coming double dip recession matter of factly.The story of Dubai possibly defaulting on it's debt obligations sent a "shudder" thru the global financial markets.Why?Have they been only reading the Bernanke Green Shoots Times?Again,the info on the core issues that are unresolved,and in fact covered up,behind the global economic meltdown is out there and predicted.But only if you want it.

Why,even the the QE2 might be for sale by the Emirate to pay on it's debt.I say the U.S. should snap that baby up and let's put the 111th version of Congress on board for a holiday cruise.However,they can't return to port until they change course,politically speaking.Doesn't the thought of Pelosi and Reid sharing a stateroom curl your toes?

The FHA is now aligning itself for a bailout due to it's fiscally irresponsible lending practices.I suppose no one will have seen this coming either.And you could go on and on with these things that we can see right now today,but you'll hear different.

On a local note,people are disgusted with Comcast for raising rates to cover the cost of the digital conversion.People return equipment and blame them based on principle.However,have we forgotten that the only reason for this is Government intervention?It was the Federal Government that mandated the changeover to digital,not the cable companies.Why should Comcast eat it?As with the cost of all Government regulations,these costs are passed on to the consumer as an indirect tax.

So,it's business as usual.We must be ever vigilant in reading between the lines and filtering thru the spin generated by our politicians.Do your research.The info is available for the upcoming global meltdown.The real one this time as last years was just a warm-up.More to come...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's $98 billion?

It seems the GDP growth wasn't quite so robust as originally touted down to 2.8% from 3.5%.As I scan around the media this is mostly advertised as just a tad lower than the original estimate.

Ummmm hello,we have a $14 trillion dollar economy so a .7% decrease is nearly a $100 billion dollar shift.That is the cavalier attitude with which Washington throws around our tax dollars,however.

Very similar I'm sure to the defense the WH will use with the climate change scandal.Isolate it to just a few fringe scientists with no real impact on the bigger picture.Certainly they won't just lay down now.More to come...

Friday, November 20, 2009

U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time

Need a slap in the face wake-up call to get moving?This should do the trick!

U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time

Sunday, November 15, 2009

End of the planet rescheduled?

Did I misunderstand?Gordon Brown declared we only had 50 days to save the planet at the Copenhagen climate change conference next month.2009,2010,what's the difference?

Who would thought that political timing is what is driving global warming as opposed to actual science?So it looks like the Bonn conference next summer will become the new deadline to save the planet.The U.S. takes the blame for gumming up the works.Obviously,the Obama agenda issues here at home are not going quite as planned.I hear the talk about trading $1 trillion in military hardware to write down some of our China debt.Perhaps the China angle is the real factor here as well because they have been the real issue in getting all the major players to agree on emmissions reductions levels.More to come...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Michigan's lost decade

A very revealing chart,courtesy of the fine folks at,which shows the results of the Granholm era.Lots of grandious annoucements and job promises and awards,yet providing dismal results.More to come...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Derivatives market soaring again!

The global OTC (over the counter) derivatives market is up 10% in the last 6 months to a mind numbing $605 trillion dollars.Wow!That's a number that even the Obama wealth redistribution team would have a hard time spending.Thats's roughly $90,000 for every person on the planet just in this trading market.Of course,this is mostly funny money thanks to our fractional reserve banking friends at the B.I.S. (Bank for International Settlements which is the central bank for global central banks).

This includes some of our favorite players in the economic collapse of last year like credit default swaps and various other hedge funds.Is is any wonder where most of the mystery money the Fed has been lending out is going?The main players here are commercial banks,investment banks,hedge funds and GSE's (government sponsored enterprises i.e.-Freddie mac and Fannie Mae).

We don't know how much or to whom the money goes to when it's snuck out the back door of the Fed and I really don't see Bernanke coming clean.Barney Frank has already indicated he will water down the Ron Paul bill to audit the Fed.We'll hear tough talk from Chris Dodd and Barney Frank about moving oversight and regulatory authority away from the Fed and to a new government agency.Gee,anyone see a potential problem here?More to come...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pay $$$ or pay with hardtime

Purchase healthcare insurance or face fines and/or imprisonment up to 5 years.This is the Obama/Pelosi view of fairness.Let's take a look.If I choose to not comply,I will be punished regardless of whether or not I ever require medical care and impose a burden on the rest of society.This is fair?

Obama is making the claim that each American families insurance premiums are increased an average of $1,000 annually due to the cost of covering care for uninsured Americans.He has since modified this to state that the $1,000 includes insurance premiums,taxes and other related costs.

He is using numbers provided by Families USA which is a lobbyist group.They state the number is actually $1,017 per family,although this is highly disputed.For the sake of argument,we'll go along with this.

I did a quick check of FBI statistics and found a study from 1992.Yes,it's almost 20 years old,so it's safe to assume these numbers are quite low.They found that the unreimbursed cost of a crime to victims was an average of $524.

So,don't buy healthcare insurance and you will be fined and potentially imprisoned regardless of whether or not you ever require care.However,commit a violent crime and based on 2004 estimates,you face approx. 5 years in state prison.Based on the sentencing,we can equate the crime of not purchasing healthcare insurance to that of a violent crime.And I'll bet if you locate updated numbers on crime costs,you would find that victims of crime also face a financial hit of roughly the same cost as the Families USA report.

The point being there is no legislation in place to reimburse victims of crimes financially so why is the healthcare issue such a travesty?Isn't it the actions of the criminal that the rest of society is paying for?Look at something as simple as the ice fishermen who require rescue each spring from the thin ice.They never should have been out there,yet they get rescued free of charge.

Society must pay to maintain these rescue crews.No doubt,you could come up with many comparable scenarios where everyone pays the cost of the negligence of the few,and nothing is being done about it.Yet,Pelosi and Obama want criminal treatment without knowing if you would ever impose a burden or not.Hypocrisy 101.More to come...

Stress breakdown disclaimer

I would just like to go on record now that it's not my fault for anything bad I may do.I am a victim.I have no idea how I came to be a victim,but obviously I can't be responsible.

Not to mention,I am a really bad person in todays PC world.I am a white man.I am a veteran.I am a christian.I own guns.I used to work for the post office.I used to work for Ford.I used to work in an air traffic control tower.

Wow!If that doesn't make me a prime candidate to blow a gasket,I don't know what does.So don't do anything to push me over the edge.More to come...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanks Vets!

As a proud USAF vet,I think we need to honor the sacrifices of veterans throughout the history of our great country in 2 ways.Just say thanks to one today for one.2nd,we must take on those making policy today that would undermine our liberty that so many gave their lives for.Unthinkable that so many would throw it away so easily,but it's a sad reality.More to come...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nationwide sit down strike by taxpayers!

Sound a little radical?Perhaps,but desperate times call for desperate measures,right?It's laid out quite nicely in the Declaration of Independence that not only is it our right,but our duty to throw off such government when the abuses get out of hand.

Only a small minority would make the claim that government is not out of control.Yet,most will simply complain about it and still take it.It's different than healthcare.Everyone agrees that reform is needed and wants it to happen.Vast differences,of course,are in the details.

The tea parties were a nice starter.That may evolve into a 3rd party.We've been down this road before and I see no reason why the results would be much different.A nice twist and certainly it keeps things more interesting,but the 2 major parties will still control.At least for years to come.

We really need events of this magnitude.They needn't be violent.But they must be drastic in scale so they cannot be marginalized.Government officials have never had,in our lifetime,a cold water splash to the face to check their arrogance.

This would have effects felt globally immediately and you would see fantastically quick action.It would only need to be short-term and mostly symbolic in nature,but I guarantee you wouldn't be ignored.More to come...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A dark day for liberty

We still must wait for the formalities of the Senate version,then the compromise final bill,and finally the rubber stamp from Obama.All are guaranteed,we just don't know the specifics or dates yet.It is assured that this era will go down in history as one of the final nails in the coffin of liberty as the healthcare bill passes.

I'm in my 40's and I've always been a little detached reading the history books about epic events in the history of America.The revolution,the civil war,slavery,the industrial revolution,the great depression,the world wars.These events are compelling,fascinating reading about how we came to be where we are today.

Now,our generation will have contributed to the volume on social entitlement programs that exchange freedom for dependency on government.We already have the failures of social security and medicare/medicaid to draw upon,yet the progressives have mastered the magic formula for when to strike upon the fears and weaknessess of everyday Americans to steal away another slice of liberty.

Always under the guise of compassion and enacted in times of duress,these sinister programs are permanent now and those that are victim to them don't have an alternative any longer.Even if they realize one day what has happened to them and their freedom,it's too late in the game to change it.

It's rather ironic that we are already setting the stage for the next phase.It may be decades again,or not,but the massive costs and huge amounts of fraud and corruption are assured with healthcare and will be used as justification for some other takeover of a portion of our liberty just as we hear of medicare today.

These events were sealed in fate on election day last year.It was predicted by many just as the future power grabs will be.Human nature certainly isn't too hard to predict particularly when power and greed and the corruption of the human soul is involved.

Unfortunately,these shortcomings must be too much for us to overcome.Every great society has imploded eventually despite having history as a guide and apparently we will be no different.These societies have all had naysayers and prophets to warn of these events to no avail.Is it possible to reverse course?I certainly have no answer,only hope that real change will occur.More to come...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stop the insanity!

Where is Susan Powter when you need her?Unprecedented levels of debt.Double digit unemployment.Michigan has lost half a million citizens since Granholm took office.Those were mostly skilled and educated workers.Companies are slashing their research and development budgets.Two-thirds of Americans were either unemployed or had their wages cut in the past year.Education funding is being slashed.Manufacturing continues to move overseas.Nearly 4 million jobs lost since Obama was sworn in.

Yet where are our priorities?Global warming in which we would have to have zero fossil fuel emissions for 31 years straight to reduce the global temperature 1 degree.The agreement being considered in Copenhagen has a 2% of GDP fine for polluting nations to pay annually.A mere $280 billion for the US.GITMO.Healthcare in which we wouldn't see benefits for years as the tax money must be collected first and we would still have millions uninsured anyway.Amnesty for illegal aliens-coming next year.

Everthing isn't dire requiring a bailout and the Government to save us.Did you hear about CIT going bankrupt?Who is CIT,you may ask?Only the nations leading lender to small business.We threw $2.3 billion down the toilet in bailout funds to them and they went bankrupt anyway.Sounds like GM and Chrysler.Now CIT is simply reorganizing under bankruptcy and life goes on.

How much more before someone actually addresses the economy?Not the stimulus jobs saved garbage being spewed out,actual incentives for business.Unfortunately,business investors know there are massive tax increases coming along with high interest rates.Guaranteed to kill growth and keep unemployment high.These business people hold the key to turning around the economy and they see thru the spin that comes out of the White House.The fact is,it's been easy to fool the public.I actually heard a 'hope and change' believer on CNBC say today that he's glad we finally hit 10% unemployment just to get it over with so it would turn around.Huh?As if gravity will now kick in to bring it back down to earth.With foolish analysis such as that,it's no wonder where were headed.More to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Civic duty calls

I think the time has come to fly our flags at half staff daily until Obama has been shown the door.The assault on our liberty has never been greater for most of us.

It's really been a stretch on the jobs saved claims,even by Obama standards.There are seemingly endless accounts of ridiculous claims such as cost of living adjustments counting as jobs saved.I have to wonder if the WH was subtracting jobs saved for each American who had their hours cut or wages reduced.Somehow I doubt that.

So now we have the "consumer option" replacing the "government option".Very fitting along the lines of "climate change" replacing "global warming".I think it's time to rename "nuclear power" as "green power".Why not?If that's all it takes to pacify a liberal...

Any doubts left about AARP now that they have jumped on the Obama healthcare bandwagon?If you wondered if the seniors were main priority,now you know for sure that's just for show.

I still marvel at how many buy into the Obama job saved claims.Teachers,firefighters,policeman,etc. all have had jobs saved.All absolutely necessary jobs for sure,but why can't anyone ask where the funding comes from for their paychecks?Private citizens tax revenue maybe?Why not save these private sector jobs,Obama?

I leave you with this quote from the Declaration of Independence.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."I think it's time for the citizens of this country to realize the responsibility they carry in exchange for the freedom afforded by our Constitution.Many acknowledge it is their civic duty to vote and do so faithfully.We must also take this step to stop the despot before he destroys our liberty permanently.More to come...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Predictability 101

Just a casual evening at the White House.Obama spending some time helping the kids with their homework and then maybe relaxing with his wife watching a movie.No time whatsoever for watching election returns.Yeah,right.

Gibbs is in full damage control mode trying to downplay todays election results as just an insignificant blip.Strange that the President has made time to personally campaign for these people,particularly with so much on his plate-Nobel peace prize,cap and tax,health care,2 wars,unemployment,etc.

One would think he would at least take a casual interest in the results after having invested so much time and effort.Can't the spinmeisters come up with something a little more believable?Couldn't they have arranged a mini-crisis to explain away the Presidents availability?

Have the recount drumbeats begun yet?With the Corzine corruption crew,Obama,ACORN,SEIU and no doubt more groups involved in tilting the playing field,it would seem likely if it's close at all.Gee,I heard a rumor of a car with a trunkful of Corzine absentee ballots parked under an ACORN tree in front of the local SEIU hall.More to come...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Freddy Kruger has nothing on the Fed,it's really evil!

The U.S. dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913.Do you know what that really means?I would wager a 1913 dollar that most people don't have a clue.It means due to inflation,we've had a 2,111 percent increase in prices in 96 years.A $10 suit in 1913 costs $211 today.These are consumer price index figures tracked by our Government,so this is fact,not opinion.It translates into a 95% loss in wealth,or purchasing power.

I mention the Federal Reserve because this is the demon that is responsible for nearly all of our economic problems today.I know the argument is centered on Obama and his agenda,or Bush if you hate Republicans,but a far greater threat to our way of life is the destruction of the dollar.Do yourself a favor and read Ron Pauls 'End the Fed'.He explains it clearly and concisely.The Fed was supposed to stop this boom and bust cycle our economy goes thru.The recession that just ended was number 18 since the Fed was created.Nice track record.

The only reason we have inflation is the Fed and it's policies.Period.They artificially manipulate interest rates and the money supply to attempt to control the markets.Today we hear we need liquidity to halt the credit crisis.That we need bailout funds for companies too large to fail.Stimulus money to jumpstart the economy.To raise the funds to do these things,we can raise taxes or sell debt to foreign entities or print money.Government is doing all 3.And when none of these are equaled out,or backed up by increased goods and services,you have inflation.We have more money than the equivalent goods and services which makes the price go up to buy the same amount.The end result is the $10 suit now costing $211.Just imagine that.Without inflation all these years,that's how far your dollar would go.We are so accustomed to seeing prices rise over time,we just accept it as fact without realizing there is no reason for it other than the Fed manipulating our money.

The Fed can create money out of thin air whenever it desires.It's usually done in a computer database rather than actually printing it,but it still counts the same.Whether it's Federal or State,our politicians are budgeting the same way by spending money they don't have.Like they have a money tree.Except eventually the green money leaves turn brown and fall to the ground and get turned into mulch.Nobody knows if we will eventually default on our debt or more likely simply devalue the dollar massively.That's when you get the Zimbabwe economy where everyone is a millionaire except that their dollars are virtually worthless and can't buy much.

Our political parties in power change and we go back and forth changing social policies accordingly.The loss of our wealth from the Fed is like a cancer that keeps growing and really will eventually destroy our way of life if we don't stop it.If you don't believe it,unfortunately,when you are forced to accept it,it will be too late to stop it.It's not a Democrat or Republican issue.Everyone will lose.Do your own research and decide for yourself if you can afford to simply sit back and do nothing.More to come...

Did the stimulus stop the recession?

The POTUS sure is touchy,isn't he?Momma apparently didn't instill much of a backbone in him because he can't take a lick of criticism.He has his attack dogs going around the clock attempting to discredit anyone not supporting his policies.

Today we got a GDP rate of 3.5% for 20093Q meaning the recession has ended.Obama wants his stimulus to get the credit for this and we hear opposing arguments against it.I say chill out,my man,you can have the credit.And the blame.And that's the problem.

As time goes along,we will hear more about the GDP in greater detail and learn more specifics on what entailed it to rise.Normally,it's good news that the GDP rose 3.5%.The average increase is around 3% per quarter,so this exceeds average.However,the devil is in the details.

Cash for clunkers.1st time homebuyer credit.Refilling of inventories.These are the main reasons.The clunker program is over.The inventories have been restored to the new lower levels.The homebuyer credit will live on and be expanded to include existing homeowners.This one may last awhile because it's popular with the public.

This is why we will see the double dip next year.Band-aid approaches to economics.Just as the stock market rises on earnings reports that reflect downsized companies.There is the correction phase and then it's gone.States that are balancing budgets with federal stimulus money.Gone next year.

Unemployment extensions will end at some point.Interest rates must rise to check inflation.Prices will rise as cap and tax costs will be passed on to consumers.Prices will rise as health care costs are paid for by higher taxes.Commodities prices will continue to rise as the dollar slowly continues it's decline.Consumer buying power will continue to fall for all the above reasons as well as overall wage decreases.The VAT tax is yet to come.Unemployment will stagnate.Home prices will stay depressed.On and on and on.

So Obama can take credit today,but his bill hasn't come due yet and he won't be able to blame that on Bush once he's taken credit for saving the economy.If it dips again,and it surely will,it's all on him.More to come...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Will abortion funding kill health bill instead?

It seems somewhat ironic that abortion funding may be the pivotal issue that denies the healthcare reform bill to come to the floor of the House,but it may just do that.The bill itself is certain to be an abortion.Everyone is focused on the public option and this may be the way to bring down this mistake of unimaginable size.

I would suggest that this should be one of those times when Republicans need to reach out to their Democrat representatives and urge them to follow thru.Bart Stupak is a Democrat,however,he heads the coalition of 40 Democrats that say they will vote to kill the bill by preventing it from even coming to the floor.This will,of course,enrage Pelosi as she has already insured that each version of the bill being considered contains federal abortion funding.Here is the link to the story.

Please contact these members and relay your support.More to come...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Michigan-home of unemployed scholars

Granholm was chomping at the bit to exercise her line item veto and has been demanding the Senate send her the budget bills so she could get right to it.Her highest priority?Cutting education.Her number one criticism?Dis-investment in education.Can we put this in Wikipedia to replace the current definition of hypocrite?

She will now be speaking to anyone that will listen that we must invest in our childrens future to promote her tax increases.You know,Promise scholarships and Hope grants and all education based incentives are great things.Who can argue against them?When it comes to spending our tax dollars,education is acceptable to virtually all.The problems arise when we attempt to demand efficiency and transparency and not simply turning the checkbook over to the NEA and the long line of benefactors who suckle at the public trough.

The fact of the matter is that we must address our economy right now.With unemployment still rising and tax revenues decreasing,it takes precedence over all.If we don't what future will our children have?We'll have the most highly educated group of unemployed people on the globe!Yes,lot's of really smart unemployed people with degrees in hand.

We have a massive list of issues in this state that are very important to it's residents.Maybe it's the roads or water quality or tree disease or asian carp or crime or whatever is important to you.They are all important to someone.But we all must live with-in our means and the state budget is not exempt.

We see the same problem nationally with Obama focused on his climate tax and health care tax and more.They use times of economic distress to push thru social agenda issues as some sort of solution because they can't get the broad support they need when times are good and we have more options on how to spend tax revenue.

Jobs must be our total focus.We've been in a depression for 8 years under Granholm.The MEDC,the MEGA,the single business tax,Hollywood tax credits.The list of failures and bad policy go on and on.Michigan Republicans need to do a full court press in the next 10 days to show how Granholm is playing politics with the budget and make sure the residents fully understand why their version of the budget will work and is fiscally responsible.More to come...

Monday, October 19, 2009

15 MI banks on the FDIC watch list

The FDIC has stepped in and taken over 99 banks now this year.There were 416 banks on the FDIC risk list as of June.The majority of these have had a cease and desist order served upon them by regulators,or some type of formal warning,due to unsafe or unsound banking practices.The blog 'calculated risk' has tracked even more at 479 to date using publicly available information.There are 15 such banks in Michigan on this list.

24199 242,496 N OCC Capitol National Bank Lansing MI 1/30/2009 Formal Agreement General
30005 1,922,750 SB FDIC Citizens First Savings Bank Port Huron MI Cease & Desist
34597 233,701 NM FDIC Clarkston State Bank Clarkston MI 6/16/2008 Cease & Desist General
14370 361,511 N OCC First National Bank in Howell Howell MI 9/24/2009 Cease & Desist CRE lending
30329 13,918 SL OTS Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI 10/9/2007 Cease & Desist (Temporary) Operations Yes 3/5/2009
28136 112,779 SA OTS Mainstreet Savings Bank, FSB Hastings MI 5/29/2009 Cease & Desist General
33134 1,212,760 NM FDIC Michigan Commerce Bank Ann Arbor MI 4/20/2009 Written Agreement General
35586 123,258 NM FDIC New Liberty Bank Plymouth MI 6/17/2009 Cease & Desist CRE lending
34953 274,868 NM FDIC Northpointe Bank Grand Rapids MI 10/1/2008 Cease & Desist General
9719 366,222 NM FDIC Oxford Bank Oxford MI 5/15/2008 Cease & Desist General
34673 277,141 SM FRB Paramount Bank Farmington Hills MI 11/6/2008 Cease & Desist General
34127 121,138 NM FDIC Select Bank Grand Rapids MI 8/28/2008 Cease & Desist General
32232 750,881 SA OTS Sterling Bank and Trust, FSB Southfield MI 8/4/2009 Cease & Desist General
14587 148,701 NM FDIC University Bank Ann Arbor MI 2/12/2009 Cease & Desist General
22308 163,445 MI FDIC West Michigan Community Bank Hudsonville MI 2/19/2009 Cease & Desist General

The 5 digit number is the FDIC certification number.The 2nd number is their assets in thousands.Remember,this is an unofficial list,however,it's based on published information.More to come...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

15.3%,or is it more?

It's that time of the month again.The monthly state unemployment number has been released for September.It's 15.3%.I would imagine that Granholm will spin it as "only" rising a tenth.But did it really?

Take a look at the numbers and you'll find 740,000 unemployed in Michigan compared to 736,000 in August.Yet the labor force dropped 10,000 from 4,845,000 to 4,835,000.The number of "employed" people actually dropped by 14,000 from 4,109,000 to 4,095,000.Play with the calculator and you can see that it's only because there are less people counted in the workforce that the rate didn't rise higher.

It's the same scenario on the national level.At least they release the alternative measures tables which take into account marginally attached workers.But 4,000 more unemployed in Michigan sounds better than 14,000 less employed.These people have disappeared into thin air for one reason or another and aren't counted any longer.

I do know this.According to the DELEG numbers,we have 384,000 less people EMPLOYED from just one year ago.That's an 8.6% drop in just one year.I don't think you'll see Jenny promoting that number proudly.More to come...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama's Nobel sham exposed

The debate about the validity of Barack Obama being awarded the 2009 Nobel peace prize is centered around whether or not it was a rebuke of Bush or an endorsement of his goal of a nuclear free world.As per usual with politics,they're trying to make us look in the wrong direction.

Alfred Nobel left explicit instructions in his will written on Nov.27,1895.Here is a quote directly from his will.

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.

Notice it states the award is based on events based on the "preceding" year.The Nobel committee sends out invitations in September annually.February 1st is the deadline for submission and can only be submitted by a "qualified nominator".Here is a list of possibilities:members of national assemblies, governments, and international courts of law; university chancellors, professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology; leaders of peace research institutes and institutes of foreign affairs; previous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; board members of organizations that have received the Nobel Peace Prize; present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; and former advisers of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Barack Obama hadn't even taken office yet for this award.Therefore,he must have been nominated for his efforts as a Senator,or if you want to stretch,as the President elect.The nomination is for efforts from the "preceding" year meaning his nomination must be based on his contributions from his campaign for President.Any speeches or meetings or other accomplishments from this year would be ineligible.

It will be 50 years before any details can be released,so we won't know until then who nominated him.I think we can determine today,however,that he certainly accomplished nothing during his campaign worthy of this award.More to come...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Debt problem solved!

Here is the solution to our debt,just sell 'em to the Chinese!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Public option-good thing?

As Al Gore loves to say,the debate is over.Will the public option force people to drop their private insurance healthcare?No.Will the public option result in employers dropping their private healthcare plan in favor of the public option?Yes.

The means aren't important,it's the end result.This is similar to the "save or create" strategy of Obama to muddy the waters.Or go furthur back to "what is the meaning of is" in the Clinton era.

Simple economics,nothing complicated.If the government produces a healthcare option that has a cheaper monthly premium,of course people and companies will go to it in droves.The government has no profit motive,no stockholders to answer to,in short no reason to compete on a level playing surface.So yes,the private healthcare industry will be destroyed as is the goal.

If this public option is so good,why not expand it into other areas?How about baseball?If we had a publicly owned team,salaries,trades and seat prices could be drastically lowered.So,let's have a public option sports team in each of the major sports to artificially lower ticket prices for all.

The sky is the limit here.We could list off any number of industries where we believe prices are too high,or even salaries.In theory,having a government run option in each one would provide the checks and balances to keep everyone honest and lower prices and salaries to the minimum.Do you buy that?

You could argue that's it's unconstitutional for the government to be in business and you'd be right.

You could argue that any government run program has always resulted in higher prices,bloat,corruption,losses and wasting of taxpayer dollars and you'd be right.

You could argue that anytime the government competes with private industry that the free markets suffer and you'd be right.Critics would argue that in some industries such as the USPS is already competing with FedEx and UPS.However,this is not an apples to apples comparison.

The healthcare debate has other factors as well.Politics play a huge role in this debate so it's not just a matter of reducing costs by introducing a cheaper competitor.I suppose the core issue in this argument is the role of the profit motive.

The critics will claim the profit motive is a negative leading to the exhorbitant salaries.Proponents claim the profit motive is what leads to lower prices as companies must compete or be run out of town.Tough to argue that one.If you're priced higher than your competitors,you will fail.Value and quality and service will offset this to a degree,but not without limits.A Rolex is certainly preferred to a Timex,but only to a certain price point.

The problem is allowing an option in which the competitor has virtually unlimited resources and doesn't have to make a profit.This is the government,of course,and a normal business can't compete with that.It's like going to Vegas with the guarantee of having your losses re-imbursed no matter what.Who wouldn't spend foolishly?

So,the debate is over on the merits.The public option is purely a political issue and anti-business.Still not convinced the public option is a good thing?What if we did a similar thing with education?Aren't cost too high?Let's put out teaching positions to the lowest salaries.Wouldn't some people be willing to teach for much less than what our current teachers make?Sure,they would.But would you sacrifice your quality of education to save money?

Need more?How about your water bill?Seems awfully high for what falls from the sky for free.Why not put that out for lower bids?Would you have any concerns about safety or the quality of the water if companies were forced to lower prices to compete with a competitor that has no worries of making a profit?

The only way the free market works is if all of the competitors play on a level playing field.Take a closer look at Tort reform,restrictions on purchasing insurance across state lines and other artificial price hikes if you want to lower costs.Separate the market issues from the politics and you'll get your wish.More to come...