Donald sees a silver lining!

30 09 2008

I don’t know if it’s over. I would think that something would have to be done. I hope we haven’t missed the one best opportunity to do something, for like Neil Cavuto said yesterday, the next bill to come along will probably cost us more. There will probably be, knowing the way congress works, something in it for everybody. Vote getting carrots.

Yesterdays defeated bill went down for one reason – the people don’t trust that congress is doing the right thing. Was that the right thing to do? Are will we let it all crash? The ramifications are chilling, to say the least.

NEWT GINGRICH: “I’m not sure if I were in the congress I could vote against it. I think — I mean, if I was the deciding vote, I think a lot of people will vote against it, but I have been talking to people who I respect in the business community who genuinely believe we’re on the edge of a meltdown of just historic proportions comparable to the 1920s.”

“…Let me be clear. I’m about as unhappy as anybody you know. I think that Secretary Paulson ought to be fired. I think this bill has been improved significantly by McCain and by the House Republicans but it is still a bad bill. But I also believe if you have a Democratic congress that the odds are pretty good that none of the things you really need to get done are going to get done. What we ought to be doing is repealing Sarbanes-Oxley which has become a huge mess, we ought to be going to zero capital gains tax. We ought to be reducing the American corporate tax to match Irelands 12%. There are a lot of things we could be doing. We should be controlling spending. We should have an energy bill that is decisive in bringing home most of the $700 billion a year we’re sending to foreign countries.”

The Dow ended the day 778 points down. What that means is that a lot of people were wiped out. People. Mom’s and Pop’s and Grannies down in Florida waiting out their final years…wiped out. Many not completely, but enough.

People that were planning on retiring after many years of working and saving, investing for their future, may not no be able to. All those years of scrimping and saving…gone.

It could get worse, or it could get better. At this point nobody really knows… but it doesn’t look good.

Many, if not most people didn’t, or don’t know what the problem really is. They don’t understand the ramifications of all of it. Many think it’s some guy’s on Wall Street, or a few greedy corporations that are to blame and are the ones that will suffer the consequences. Many don’t understand that the money those people were risking was our money. The money that the “rescue” was rescuing was ours.

The vast majority of people out there in the market weren’t playing the game on there own. And there is a whole lot of people that didn’t understand that they even had money in the market. If they had a 401K, or about any kind of retirement plan for that matter, they were players in this game.

The vast majority can’t play this game on their own. They depend on brokers and whole armies of people to manage their money. And much of their money ended up tied to some bad investments. The rest of it was tied to the other things that fell right along with the rest. 778 points on day one. 778 is a long way down, and that may just be the beginning.

My great hope is that it doesn’t go down further, or if it does, not much. The market doesn’t have to drop thousands of points to wipe out swaths of investors.

Thomas Sowell: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not deserve to be bailed out, but neither do workers, families and businesses deserve to be put through the economic wringer by a collapse of credit markets, such as occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

One thing that I hadn’t thought about in this is a point Donald Trump came up with yesterday. Now mind you I’m not the biggest Donald trump fan in the world, I think he’s a goofball. But even I can’t argue the fact the man must be on the ball when it comes to making money, for he’s made piles of it.

Much of what “the Donald” had to say was with the market self correcting and such, but through it all he had a silver lining that he saw through all these clouds… Oil prices.

“The Donald” believe oil is on the way down… big time.

Mr. Trump predicts that oil will follow the market down and that that is a good thing (indeed it is). He said that oil could go as low as, believe it or not, twenty bucks a barrel.

Twenty dollar a barrel oil would do more to stimulate the economy than all the rescue plans congress could come up with. It’s effects would be a boost for ever segment of the market, even every segment of society. It would be HUGE!

It’s a scary world that we look out on today. We sure could use a silver lining in all this gloom. Donald sees one. I hope he’s right. He’s been right a lot before…

-Al
 
 

 





It is finished… maybe

28 09 2008

Well, it looks like the deal has been done. Thankfully, it also looks like some of the House Republicans stood up when it counted and wouldn’t allow stupid to rule the day. For a time it looked like the democrats were going to succeed in their attempt to turn a package meant to restore confidence into Wall Street and the Banking Industry into a political patronage program. And they came close to succeeding.

 

First, we would be well served to remember how this all started in the first place. Sure, it started with honorable intentions – helping the lower income levels in our country get a chance at moving from the trap of having to put money down the drain of rental housing and actually allow them to invest in their own future through home ownership. Noble enough. And, had that been all, that would have truly been a wonderful thing. It didn’t quite work that way.

 

The government went too far in promoting this housing dream, all the way to pushing those that shouldn’t, or couldn’t, into purchasing housing they could not afford. The democrats, in their infinite wisdom, came up with a feelie good plan to allow even more ‘availability’ to that end of the market, mandating banks and institutions make loans that were inherently very high risk.

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in fact designed with the intent of facilitating this type of lending. A whole scheme was devised to pump money into the weakest segment of the market. They even bragged that that was what they were doing.

  

Seventeen times over the past many years President Bush pointed out the fallacy involved with doing so and tried to get the legislature to give more oversight and create more legislation to control this. In hindsight and on face value it was a program destined to fall, and we should have seen this coming.

 

Some did. John McCain back in 2005 wrote a letter urging something be done. Barney Frank, and others, however, stood up and said that there was no problem, even bragged about the success of the program. Problems did exist however. Problems they all knew about, but chose to ignore.

 

The “We are family” attitude that the leadership of Freddie and Fannie had with the congressional democrats, and especially with the Black Caucus (of whom Barack Obama was a member, and I do believe present when that “We are family” speech was made) was that the program was catering to their constituency for the most part, so it was natural that those two groups would give it mostly unquestioning support. The thought was that the housing boom would continue and that these loans were self rectifying. If an individual couldn’t pay their mortgage, oh well, they could sell their house and pay the loan and maybe even come out with a bit of money themselves.

 

All it took for that house of cards to fall was a downturn in housing prices. Downturns are always inevitable. Just like with the stock market itself there are always “corrections”. Maybe with this “correction”, some fundamental flaws will actually get corrected.

 

As I said in the beginning the republicans seemed to have risen to the challenge and prevented many of our tax dollars going to some of the very groups that caused some of this problem in the first place. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, had qued up to the head of the line with its hand out for part of the money that congress was  debating putting out to stabilize things. They shot that down, thankfully.

 

ACORN is a group that promotes much of the liberal agenda that flows out of Washington. Make no mistake, they aren’t pleased about not getting there hands on some of this money. But ACORN, I’m told, is a part of the problem in the first place.

 

ACORN’s National President Maude Hurd released this statement:  

“Members of Congress worked tirelessly over the weekend to rid Wall Street of its toxic assets, which are responsible for the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.  Unfortunately, families who fell victim to Wall’s Street’s toxic lending practices and now risk losing their homes were largely left out.

ACORN members are extremely disappointed that the bailout package does little to assist these homeowners, such as providing them relief through the bankruptcy courts. Although weak, there is language in the bailout package authorizing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to facilitate more loan modifications. ACORN members plan to hold Secretary Paulson accountable and ensure he uses this authority to make streamlined loan modifications a priority for struggling American families.”

Even though much of those “toxic” lending practices were mandated by congress, and had ACORN’s full blessings (after all, if I’m not mistaken they were a facilitator of these loans), ACORN points toward Wall Street as if IT were the main culprit. Don’t expect them to go quietly over this business of being cut out of the expected gravytrain. They are right about one thing however, many people were suckered into taking these mortgages and they still come out losers in this mess.

 

Wall Street IS however where a good bit of this blame lies. The people that inhabit the hollowed grounds of Wall Street are some of the smartest people in this country, and it is ludicrous that they ignored the fact that this was inevitable. They chose to gamble that the market would continue its climb and that they could get out before the bubble burst. The money was too intoxicating however. Many stayed in the game far too long.

 

Many didn’t. They were mandated to make the loans and make the loans they did, but they sold that paper and didn’t hold it. Others bought it thinking the gain outweighed the risk. Those came up short, and now WE have to come to there rescue. Why, because it was OUR money they used, and it’s OUR money they stand to lose.

 

The funny thing about all of this is that the ones that are usually against regulating things were FOR regulation of this, and the ones that usually want to regulate everything wanted those regulations relaxed. See, it’s all in who your friends are…

 

-Al





Watching the game…

27 09 2008

Anybody watch the game? No, I’m not talking about Old Miss embarrassing Florida, Oregon beating up USC, or LSU vs State… the game I’m referring to is “the debate”. McCain vs Obama.

 

I watched it. I came oh so close not to. I knew going in how it was gonna go, and how it was going to be spun afterward…and I was right.

 

First let me say that I think McCain did very much the right thing by putting emphasis on the negotiations in Washington over a political show. That’s what a debate is, a “show”. And whatever McCain’s motives, be it really doing the work of his elected office or just showing that he cares, he scored big in my book. Obama came off as caring more about Obama than the country. It was “me” over “we”, so it seemed. “Call me.”

 

After it was over I started checking the polls, and they were telling in their own right. CNN (who the Obama camp had instructed it’s supporters to watch the debate on) had Obama up, somewhere around 70 – 30… I would have expected CNN’s audience to be more of an Obama crowd anyway. FOX, of course, is supposedly more conservative so their poll went in the opposite direction. Greta Van Susteren’s ‘GretaWire’ poll seemed to be breaking big for McCain, too. Drudge poll (which I think is a pretty good cross-section of the people – my opinion) had McCain 68% to Obama’s 30% with 3% couldn’t tell. And this is out of over four hundred thousand votes. Main Stream Pundits had it all Obama however… I had it McCain.

 

On the economy there was the expected blame to be tossed around. Wall Street caught the brunt of it. Was that fair? One thing that should be noted however is that those bad loans were REQUIRED to be made by our fine friends in Washington. Most knew it was a bad deal going in, but when that opinion was voiced it was answered with cries of racism and not looking out for the little guy. Many democrats openly bragged about this program of giving loans to people who could not afford them. The only thing that kept this scheme going for as long as it did was that home values were going up, and when they couldn’t make the payments ready buyers (other suckers) were found. Once that turned around down it all came.

 

What separated the good from the bad as far as the banks go is with the fact that many of the banks that made these bad loans didn’t hold the paper but sold them off to other banks and holding companies that sought to profit on the turnover. No turnover, no profit. No profit, no bank.

 

The heartbreak of today is with the people that trusted their money out there in the marketplace that had no control over where it was actually invested. They were blindsided, and they stand to lose their retirement or other future income due to others having their money invested in this pyramid.

 

On the honesty and integrity factor in the debate I though McCain scored big there too. Other’s seem to agree. McCain called Obama’s hand on several things then more or less KOed him with the Kissinger thing. From Gateway Pundit:

McCain Stuns Obama– Catches Him Lying About Kissinger (Video) …Update: Kissinger Slams Obama!

**McCAIN STUNS OBAMA AT OLE MISS**Obama was caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie about Henry Kissinger. 

 

 

 

Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

 

And on the issues (this debate was supposed to be mainly on foreign affairs) we find from the Atlas shrugs website: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/

‘He utterlly destroyed  Obama over the “let’s talk to Iran” issue, and when he rattled off the names of the Georgian and Ukranian leaders (who are McCain’s personal friends), Obama had nothing to say. And why hasn’t Obama gone to Afghanistan?

My problem with McCain is he never goes for jugular. He could have wiped the floor with Obama on the surge and he didn’t.

The Democrats caused the financial crisis and McCain warned about it. Obama took big money, dirty money from Fannie Mae. Why didn’t he bring up the massive vote fraud at ACORN who is part of Obama’s dirty coterie. Or that ACORN is slated to get 20% of the financial bailout? If McCain doesn’t bring it up and explain that, the folks ain’t never going to know.’

From the Breath of the Beast website on an article by Judith Apter Klinghoffe:

http://breathofthebeast.blogspot.com/2008/09/hidden-radical-shows-himself.html

‘Obama is obviously not secure enough to do that and it is, arguably, a mistake in the debate format. The unforgivable debating mistake is to try to convince yourself and everyone else that the punch did not land by continuing to parry it over and over again. Your supporters will take your first explanation and everyone else will see that you are hurt and flailing take the advice of the lunatic fringe group that you said the stupid thing for in the first place and Move On- it happened, get over it and keep punching.

 

Klinghoffer admits freely that she wrote nothing about the substance of Obama’s performance and neither will I- because there wasn’t any that you could depend on. He leaves us trying to read the vapors of his style.’

 

All in all I saw it as a very good night for McCain… but it probably won’t play that way.

 

On the economy and the economic crises in general I came across a very interesting perspective from a one time Washington insider (sort of). It makes a bit of sense to me. See, we’ve got people in Washington right now that are looking, not at how to “fix” the problems we’ve got, but how to turn those problems to their advantage. The democrats in the the House and Senate, both past and present, got us into this mess. Now they want to see how they can reward their friends (and other mess makers) with a bailout plan that will make them look good and push the blame off on the Bush administration. Trouble is, Bush has been the voice in the wilderness, crying out that something needed to be done, since the year 2001. Barney Frank, who’s leading the effort to get us out of all this, kept telling us that there was no problem… everything was just hunky dory. McCain, at least, did take notice and did what he could do against the mountain of legislators that saw this as some never ending gravytrain. Here’s a part of that article:

 

From the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/clowns_in_the_cockpit.html

 

We need to re-think the role of Congress, and fast.  Given the inherent complexity of our country, and the world’s political turbulence, we’ve got to start electing a different kind of person to the House and Senate.  Whether we prefer candidates who are Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, independents, libertarians, or who subscribe to any other party or philosophy, we’ve got to be sure that these individuals have the competence to cope with the issues that confront us, and the willingness to concentrate their total attention on doing the job.  And if this leaves them with insufficient time for enriching themselves, or for raising a re-election war chest, or planning campaigns for higher office — so be it.  Candidates who don’t want the job under these conditions shouldn’t be running for them.  And those who already have these jobs and don’t like the new criteria should get out of the way — or he shoved out of the way by us — to make room for better men and women.  Our lives and our fortunes — literally, in both cases — depend on getting this right.

 

I used to be in the intelligence business, and when we sent our projections to the President we always told him whether we were “uncertain” or “reasonably certain” or “highly confident” that whatever we were projecting actually would happen.  For the first time in my life, I’m going to make a political projection in which I have total, 100-percent confidence:

 

If we keep putting clowns in the cockpit, at some time down the road — two years from now, or five years, or in a decade — there’s going to be a third “unimaginable” event.

Herbert E. Meyer, Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council-  Reagan Administration  

Government got us into this mess. Government is going to have to get us out. Sad but true.

-Al

 

 





A comic’s view…

22 09 2008

You know, I’ve always been jaundiced against most comedians when it comes to elections and candidate support. We’ve seen our political process turned into a popularity contest far too often. Craig Ferguson is funny, but never in a million years would I have expected something so important, and at that, right on the money to come out of his mouth. Craig Ferguson really does get it. Voting in America – listen to this. Not just a bit of it, the whole thing. It’s important, what he has to say. It’s from the Back Home Again web-blog:

 

 





More important than lipstick on a pig…

17 09 2008

Both side seem to be going at it tooth and nail, and each comment and commercial is picked over and through for the odd miscue. Then with each come the accusations and innuendos, attacking and tearing down the other side. Even what should be a prestigious and unbiased website, FactChech.org, seems to have jumped onto the “yes, but” bandwagon. What is so upsetting to me in all the “attacks” and attempts at “destruction” it all boils down to huff and puff over fluff and stuff… no real issues, No REAL arguments are made. No…substance to any of it.

There are REAL and SERIOUS issues out there and the press is ignoring them, concentrating on parsing generalities. Take a look at the following video. This is serious stuff…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIlIpOkRh2A

What you are seeing is a serious candidate for President of the United States of America campaigning for a Communist. Well, they call themselves “Socialists”, but that’s just so it sounds better. SOCIALIST is Political Correct speak for “COMMUNIST”. Same thing, no difference.

The candidate which Barack Obama is campaigning for is Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and, believe it or not, a Senator from that state.

Sanders, who won his seat in 2006, called Obama “one of the great leaders of the United States Senate,” … imagine that, a “socialist”, against whom we spent years and years and BILLIONS of our tax dollars trying to defeat in far away places around the world… well, what can you say. We don’t hear much about this stuff in the press, so… nobody knows, nobody cares. Accident?

According to the website Atlas Shrugs, Obama has other controversial socialist connections. He is, in fact, an associate of a Chicago-based Marxist group.

He received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. DSA describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. The Socialist International (SI) has what is called “consultative status” with the United Nations. In other words, it works hand-in-glove with the world body.

The United Nations connection is important and significant because an Obama bill, “The Global Poverty Act,” has just been rushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with the assistance of Democratic Senator Joe Biden, the chairman, and Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The legislation (S.2433) commits the U.S. to spending hundreds of billions of dollars more in foreign aid on the rest of the world, in order to comply with the “Millennium Goals” established by the United Nations.

Another group associated with the SI is the Party of European Socialists (PES), PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen reported that European socialists held a meeting “in the Democrats HQ in Washington,” met with officials of the party and Democratic members of Congress, and agreed that “PES activist groups” in various U.S. cities would start working together. “Democrats”, Howard Dean said, want to be “good citizens of the world community.”

This stuff is significant, yet you hear little to nothing about it on the news. Why? Certainly this is more important to America than some bridge to nowhere….

 –Al





We are America

11 09 2008

September 11. As December 7th is a day which shall live in infamy, so shall this day.

Father, we hold up those that were so terribly affected by those evil acts wrought on this day, seven years ago. We pray for the families and the friends and the loved ones left behind and we pray for rest for the souls taken that fateful day.

As always Father, we pray for the innocent and the weak and the weary and those of misfortune. We pray for the sick and the infirm. We ask pardon of our trespasses and humbly ask for wisdom and insight in our dealings with those around us. And so too do we pray for our enemies, that their eyes may be opened along with ours to seek, see, and do Your will.

Father hold us true to Your Word as we seek to right the wrongs presented to us by an evil and uncaring world. Keep our hearts pure and lend to us a guiding hand as we seek to do your will and perform good works for you.

Father guide, too, as we seek to establish new leadership and guidance through the coming months of campaign and election. Help us to see through the wrong and find the right, overcome the evil and the temptation to do that evil.

Father, we humbly ask that you guide our leaders as they perform the duties and the burdens that we place upon them, and protect them from harm as they seek to do our business here and around the world. Keep safe those that seek to keep us safe, and take to Your heart those that fall in service to their country and their fellow man.

Watch over Your shepherds as they in turn watch over Your flock, and give strength to those that go into dark and dangerous places to do your Will.

In Jesus, Your most holy Son’s name,

Amen

9-11-2001 Evil bared its fangs here in America. No, not for the first time, but in such a dramatic way that we could no longer ignore the evil that confronted us. And this time we stood up.

Thankfully, our leaders have done the hard work and made the decisions necessary to keep us safe from harm here in our homeland since that dark day. We may not all agree with those choices and decisions, but I thank God that they were willing to stand up and not just choose to ignore, but confront the evil forces that had rallied against us. They chose to make a stand and say “No more. Not again.” And so far they have lived up to those words.

The evil that showed its ugly head that day, by performing those horrific acts, weren’t directed only at us here in America. No, other acts of violence and hate were also done to others elsewhere around the globe time and time again. This fight truly is a world wide battle against the evil of terror and those that would use it to their own ends. Those acts of that day right here in America didn’t only take the lives of Americans, but many citizens of the world as well. We must always make our fight against this evil a fight against the evil that confronts the entire world. This is not our fight alone, but we should, can, and will lead it, because this country understands that the job of freedom is the job to make man free. ALL man. And we know that freedom isn’t cheap, and freedom isn’t easy.

America has always risen to the challenge. Here too we shall. Even though it’s been seven years and memories are short with some, I have faith that there is no more caring, no more enthusiastic, no more robust, no more ingenuitive, and no more charitable people in the world than Americans. We have always seen to it that a hand was given to the weak and stood firm when innocence was threatened. We’ve been at the forefront in the fight against oppression. We’ve taken on the challenge of rescuing the helpless. We stand up now against extremism and hate. So shall we stand up in the future.

We are America, and still to this day that means so very much.

-Al
 
 
 

 





Ordinary extrordinary

11 09 2008

In my humble opinion what this country needs is more Sarah Palin’s to step up to the plate and offer themselves for public service. For to long we’ve depended on ‘professional’ politicians and for a good part they have failed to do the will and the work of our people, looking out more for pet causes and such. In Palin you have a very real person that saw a need for change that wasn’t just so many words or some abstract difference is style, but real change in priority and substance. She offered herself to her town as mayor and did an exceedingly good job there. Good enough that people were compelled to send her to the Statehouse of Alaska, where again she has done a tremendous job.

We need her, and more like her, to do the same in Washington. This country is full of people like Sarah Palin, who could do so much better of a job at guiding this country. I hope her campaign will propel more everyday people to seek some office of service to our country. The country is full of people doing everyday jobs, running ordinary businesses, building, teaching, doing the work that actually makes this country the strongest and most extordinary place in the entire world; and these people, both men and women, are more than capable of running and guiding this great counrty, for its those very types of people that have made this country great in the first place.