Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thoughts on the Bailout

The bailout failed...couple thoughts on that...

John Boehner and Roy Blunt voted for it (I trust them), so did Frank and Pelosi (I distrust them). This presents a dilemma...it seems to me that the conservatives that voted for it felt that it was the best they could get given their minority status.

I think Boehner made an error when he blamed the failure on Pelosi's "partisan floor speech" that drove 12 conservative votes (a deciding margin) out of the "for" column. Now the media is attempting to spin this as a Republican-caused problem, not paying any attention at all to the 90 or so Dems that voted against it.

People are blaming an "election year" for the defeat...like that is a bad thing. I made the comment when I heard that the bill was defeated that "representation still exists!" Whether or not the American people are correct in their loathing of this bill, at least their representatives listened to them! This is what the House was designed to do.

I guess the idea behind blaming an election year is that our representatives can't make their decisions based upon their great wisdom if they're up for election. They're pictured as craven because they want to be re-elected. So what? That's why we have elections...if you want to be re-elected, you represent the best interests of your constituency. If you have to vote against your constituency, you better have a darn good reason! And, the fact is, they can't give a darn good reason for this bailout other than the looming depression predicted by the experts. They haven't a clue whether or not it would work...but we do know what it would do to our deficit and federal oversight.

However...why a taxpayer funded bailout? My Senator, Arlen Specter, actually said something today that made sense...he was urging patience and questioning why we were jettisoning all the normal legislative procedures in attempting to pass this bill. Why not take a deliberative approach and consider things a bit? The markets will be fine as long as they see something coming down the road.

My fear now is that the conservatives may have overplayed their hand and the socialists are going to push for federal ownership of even more private companies.

Question: Why is it a bad thing when banks fail and are bought out by other banks? Isn't that the market working?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brave New World

I am not a finance guru, or even know what I'm talking about any more than the next guy when it comes to assessing the relative value of the American dollar or the stability of the "fundamentals" of the economy.

There are two things that I do know: I don't trust Schumer, Frank, Hoyer or Dodd, and when Congress does something quickly, that's a bad thing.

Point #1: Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer and Chris Dodd, guys who love socialistic oversight, are the ones that you see talking up the whole bailout. They sternly appear before the cameras and talk about the need for regulation and the fact that we "have to protect the taxpayer." Hoyer, at least, admitted that they have no idea where this is headed.

My suggestion would be...yes, protect the taxpayer, by not using our money to bail out private companies! They are using rhetoric about the Great Depression to justify this insane takeover. Talk about fear-mongering!

It may truly be the case that, because of the sub-prime mess, we truly are in for a major correction in the markets...however, are we really going to be better off with a federal government take-over of the markets? Do we really think that the federal government does a good job of this?

Point #2 - Thankfully, according to the roadmap, there are not supposed to be amendments, which will save us from additional earmarks. Though the Dems are already trying. However, the wording that is used will greatly increase the power of the federal government to levels we have never before seen in this country.

The Founders set up our system to be intentionally deliberative, requiring lengthy debate and discussion to avoid hasty decisions that are not in line with our principles.

President George W. Bush said he called leaders in both houses of Congress and ``found a common understanding of how severe the problem is and how necessary it is to get something done quickly.'' (emphasis mine)
This is the socialists' big chance to enact their idealistic policies and manage the markets.

As an example,

Democrats are pressing to require that the plan help more strapped borrowers stay in their homes and to condition the bailout on new limits on executive compensation. (emphasis mine)
Be assured that these new limits the Dems are asking for is nothing more than arbitrary government rules about how much executives in private institutions are allowed to make, similar to the arbitrary and capricious minimum wage law. Arbitrary rules breed corruption and harm initiative much more than any free market.

They also want to expand jobless benefits, i.e. welfare, unemployment compensation, etc.

And, of course, both candidates seem to have no problem with what's happening...

I truly hope that the conservatives on the Hill keep their wits about them and make sure that they methodically review the proposed legislation and don't give in to the rush and hurry that everyone is shouting about...They must keep their wits on their own because they're not going to get any help from the White House.

John Boehner is doing his part:

"The American people are furious that we're in this situation, and so am I," the House's top Republican, Ohio Rep. John A. Boehner, said in a statement. "We need to do everything possible to protect the taxpayers from the consequences of a broken Washington."

Signaling what could erupt into a brutal fight with Democrats over add-on spending, Boehner said "efforts to exploit this crisis for political leverage or partisan quid pro quo will only delay the economic stability that families, seniors, and small businesses deserve."

Paulson is now asking for more power than ever...when people start comparing what is happening to the Reconstruction Finance Corp. under Hoover, that's not a good sign...

Here is the text of the proposed legislation...

The proposal does not require that the government receive anything from banks in return for unloading their bad assets. But it would allow Treasury to designate financial institutions as "agents of the government," and mandate that they perform any "reasonable duties" that might entail.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vision Loss Redux Part XVI - Encouraging (non) Developments

To my many legions of fans...I apologize that I have been remiss in keeping you up to speed on my very queer (I've been reading Chronicles of Narnia to my daughter, so I'm starting to say and think words and phrases such as "queer" and "I say!" and "You're being a perfect ass!") situation.

Think the narrator from "LOST"...Last time, on Vision Loss...

Kate: Will our insurance cover the IV/ig treatments you're getting...TOMORROW MORNING?
Dan (With the "I'm going to cry" look that Jack gets in every other scene): You know, you're right, the doc mentioned "pharmacy" when she said about the treatments...well, I'll just have to find out before we start tomorrow.
Kate: Did you know that I read on the internet that these treatments cost between $10 - 15 THOUSAND?
Dan (with a tear welling up in his eye and a hollow feeling in his stomach): I was not aware of that...

In the hospital the next morning, after making several phone calls, the case worker for the hospital came in and assured me that everything would be taken care of...phew! I would have had to break open the blue piggy bank I've owned since I was about 8 years old to pay for that one!

Here come the mother hens...I mean nurses! Talk about intense...this is a new procedure for all of them, so they're reading the manual (which always engenders confidence) and checking my blood pressure every 10 minutes, jamming a thermometer in my (praise God for advanced technology...if you know what I mean...) ear every 15 minutes and asking me constantly if I was alright...apparently people can stop breathing due to the certain side effects of this treatment...

No side effects...I didn't even get the predicted drowsiness...just read my books, happy as a clam, except for a needle in my hand and having to take Edgar the IV with me every time I need to visit the gentleman's room.

The next day was a bit different...see, I was still taking narcotics at this point to sleep...interestingly, the same ones Jack got a doctor friend of his to prescribe for him near the end of season 3 (in case you're wondering, when I took the "What LOST character are you?" quiz, I was...never mind...it's not Jack).

So, for some reason, I told the nurse that I didn't need my narcotics, at least when she was making her rounds. Closer to sleepy-time, I asked the nurse on duty to retrieve my sleeping pills so that I could get a good night's rest, to which she promptly replied that she would and promptly never returned.

Thankfully, I had pills with me in my bag...but I had waited too long. See, these pills don't do a good job of putting you to sleep, they just keep you asleep once you're there. Well, waiting too long to go to sleep in the hospital is bad because you get hungry, and once you get hungry, sleep is but a distant pipe dream...

After much consternation and pounding my peanut jar and another dose of narcotics...I fell into a fitful sleep...for about a half-hour...then...the most reviled of all humans enters my room...the most despised and loathed of all creatures that walk this ball of dust...the happy, chatty nighttime nurse.

In my half-drugged state, she was asking me about my family, about the picture my daughter drew for me, about who knows what...and she wouldn't let me ignore her...I couldn't have been more dismayed if she had flipped on an Olbermann rant (I exaggerate)...I was hungry again...but I was drugged up enough that I slept in a semi-comatose state for a couple more hours after the Spanish Inquisition left (if only she had used the "comfy chair") until the second round of treatments.

This day was not as merry as the first due to my lack of respite the night before.

More later...must get my respite for the new week ahead...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Job Application

When I applied for the position of Headmaster at my current school, the Board during the interview asked me, "what do you believe are your qualifications for this position?" I quickly and confidently replied, "I have been looking for a job just like this for the last 18 months, and that takes a lot of desire and organization and prepares me very well to move this school into the future!" I was hired on the spot because of my convincing argument...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why all the excitement over Palin?

Some people are stumped over the incredible enthusiasm the Sarah Palin has brought to the Republican party. They point out (rightly) that there are plenty of other people more experienced. They make the easy assumption it is because she's a woman, good looking or some other insulting, shallow reason. This is an indicator of the fact that opponents generally underestimate the arguments of the opposition.

So, why are people excited? Two reasons...the first has caused the euphoria and the second has virtually guaranteed victory in the fall, barring any unforesseen October surprise.

First, this is the result of a good result following low expectations. Conservatives did not have a lot of hope that McCain would pick a real conservative. We thought that he would pick someone like a Lieberman or Ridge...maybe Romney...but no one to get real excited about.

When he picked Palin, and we figured out who she is...well...it's like going into a movie expecting the worst and coming out pleasantly surprised. We were just shocked that he picked a "rock-ribbed conservative", like Rush says.

Second, and more importantly, conservatives like her because...(drum roll)...she's conservative! So many of our so-called conservative legislators are limp-wristed pantywaists, including McCain on certain conservative issues. They feed at the pork trough, think that being pro-life is enough and ignore everything Russel Kirk had to say on the subject. They have a very shallow understanding of the Constitution and seem to be content with that.

So, to find a running-mate that is truly conservative...that's huge for conservatives...plus, as an added bonus, we don't cringe when she's in front of a microphone.

Why is this a virtual guarantee of victory? Because conservatives are a majority in this country. Yes, I'll say it again in case you haven't been paying attention...we are in the majority! The reason repubs haven't won is because they haven't been governing like conservatives. Simple as that. This concept is mocked by NPR, but they will continue to be baffled as the conservatives win yet another election while all the economic indicators predict a dem victory.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RNC blogging - Palin's Speech

The crowd is going crazy for Palin...she has definitely energized the delegates who were warmed up well by Steele, Romney, Huck and Rudy...she's going to have a hard time getting them to sit down...finally, she starts...I am honored to accept...whole new round of cheering...didn't know John's middle initial was "S"...McCain was counted out a year ago...he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war...they overlooked the caliber of the man himself...a man with "guts"...a time for politics and a time for leadership...he's a true profile in courage..refused to break faith with the troops in Iraq who have brought victory within sight...son Track leaving next week...proud of all those serving in uniform...introducing family...talking about special needs children...got applause...first pledge...friend and advocate of special needs in the White House...husband...parents...taking this opportunity to introduce herself without the media lens...people like her parents...always proud of America...now segue to the small town...average hockey mom, PTA...difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?...lipstick...opponents look down on her experience...let me explain what the job involves...like a community organizer with actual responsibilities...not a member of the permanent political establishment...not going to Washington to serve their opinion...going to serve this great country...crowd is fired up...different from DNC because it's up close and like a real convention...will carry myself in this spirit as VP (servant leadership)...stood up to the "good ole' boys"...put the govt. of our state back on the side of the people...got rid of things in the governor's office taxpayers shouldn't pay for...put the luxury jet on e-bay...sometimes my kids miss the personal chef...McCain promises to use veto in defense of the public interest...state budget under control with a surplus...1/2 billion in vetoes...Bridge to Nowhere reference...broke oil company monopoly on energy...$40B natural gas pipeline...largest project in N. America...segue to energy independence...Russia seeking to divide and intimidate by controlling supply...ticks off the list of threats to oil supply...she knows that we've got lots of oil...drilling won't solve all of our problems...as if we don't know that already...it's no excuse to do nothing at all...will move toward energy independence on every front...our opponent...dramatic speeches...it's easy to forget that he's authored two memoires, but not a single law or reform...can talk about our wars and never use the word "victory" expect when talking about his own campaign...styrofoam greek columns hauled back to some studio lot...what exactly is his plan?...after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet...against producing more energy...wants to forfeit...meet enemies without preconditions...he's worried terrorists won't be read their rights...he wants to grow govt...wants to raise taxes...income, payroll, investment income, death, business...sister runs a small business...how will they be better off if taxes go up?...the choice Americans face...those who use change to promote their careers...those, like McCain, who use their careers to promote change...not self-designed presidential seals...our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd...not looking for a fight, but sure isn't afraid of one either...Harry Reid...do-nothing Senate..."I can't stand John McCain"...no better proof that we've chosen the right man!...American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery...there is only one man in this election who has ever really "fought" for you...in places where winning means survival and winning means death...the journey of an upright man (Hanoi Hilton to the Oval Office)...confidence of those who have seen evil and knows how evil is overcome...when McCain shuffled back from torture, he would flash a grin and a thumbs up to say that we're going to get through this...that's the type a man we need...some can inspire with flashy words...McCain with his deeds...help elect a great man the President of the United States...thank you...it's a party...people are having lots of fun...there's no weird movie track music, instead a country trio singing the national anthem...

RNC blogging - Rudy's Speech

Rudy's lighting it up! He's giving body blows to Obama...great stuff!

130 "present" votes...
No experience...
Changing his mind...
McCain got the biggest policy change right (with the Surge), Obama got it wrong...
The Georgia issue...McCain stated, "we are all Georgians"...Obama displayed moral equivalency...
changed his position three times and ended up with a statement just like McCain's 3 days later...Next time...Call John McCain...he knows something about foreign policy...Palin's already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic Party ticket combined...I'm sorry her hometown isn't flashy enough...maybe they cling to religion there...one of the most active governors in the country...how dare they question that she has enough time to spend time with their children and be VP--when have they ever asked a man that question?...we're the party of expanding freedom...Let's shake up Washington and move this country forward!