Archive for June, 2010

Double Dip?

The Dow is down 275 points this morning, below 9900 and falling like a safe dropped from a helicopter. It just touched beneath the absolute low hit in the “flash crash” of May 6th. Consumer confidence plunged from 62.7 to 52.9 in one month. Recent polling shows that over 62% of Americans think the nation is on “the wrong track.” Exactly what is this market, supposedly a leading indicator of economic activity, trying to tell us?

The market is telegraphing that there is no confidence in the present government trajectory toward tax increases, more borrowing, and higher deficits. It also dislikes the dead hand of government in the management of financial institutions, automakers, and health care. It deplores the idea of saddling the economy with cap & trade costs, and realizes that “stimulus” spending largely directed toward the public sector is totally non-productive. Investors and businesses have seen this movie before – when the very similar activist policies of FDR failed to cure the Great Depression which lasted well into his 3rd term.

Vice president Joe Biden has said that we “need to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.” Nancy Pelosi has stated about the Health Care Bill that “we have to pass the bill so we can see what’s in it.” Christopher Dodd comments on his financial reform legislation: “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works”. Of course no one can forget candidate Obama’s comments on cap & trade: “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket,” and on taxes: “it is better for everyone when we spread the wealth around.”

Peter Orszag, the OMB director responsible for planning budget deficits beyond contemplation and cooking the books to make Health Care appear feasible is bailing out. President Obama just got slapped around by the leaders of the G-20 when he floated a trial balloon involving more massive “stimulus” spending. These heads of state are belatedly awakening to the fact that Keynesian economic theories eventually crash, but Obama, Summers, Geithner, and Biden have yet to catch on. Unfortunately, they never will because they are so completely wed to big government along with massive spending, taxing and regulation schemes. Of course, buying votes from SEIU and UAW members is the prime benefit to the administration of the mix.

This administration is stealing from our grandchildren and spending our national future down the drain. The red ink must be staunched, entitlement spending reformed, Health Care repealed, and government cut back. Obama will never consider it, so the only way to begin a reversal is to elect a Congress that will refuse to fund these massive programs.

The next time you see a baby, stop and wonder how he or she will think of our generation in about 50 years. Then promise that baby that you will vote now to stop this insanity before it is too late. No American has the right to live in the present off the future earnings of another.

Twelve Provocations

He is bigger than me, nasty, and cruel – the bully, assigned the seat behind me in 4th grade. Every few minutes, he reaches forward and tweaks my ear. I quietly seethe in growing anger, but continue to hope his harassment will cease. It is not to be. In an instant reaction of boiling rage, I rise, whirl, and attack. After getting in a few good hits and some choice words, I am sent to the principal’s office feeling relieved and rather proud.

The Bully

The Bully

The Obama Administration has been tweaking the American people’s ears for 17 months. Each time a new story breaks, it is another drip in the water torture of those who value their country and way of life and wish to preserve it. The retaliation will begin in November. Let’s look at a few of the reasons.

Stimulus Bill: Well north of $800 Billion is committed to this blatant purchase of public employee and union loyalty. The vast bulk of this pork barrel is targeted at maintaining employment in the public sector – not at energizing private, wealth producing industry.

TARP Automaker Bailout: Diverting money from a financial bailout fund, GM and Chrysler were forced into a perverted form of “bankruptcy” directed by the Obama Administration. Bond holders were ripped off and the UAW paid off. Instead of allowing the courts to settle the issues, the Administration propped up zombie companies solely to preserve union pensions, dues, and votes at taxpayer expense.

Blame America First: The President never misses an opportunity either at home or overseas to criticize America for deeds of the past and lecture citizens on the unfairness of our free economy and lifestyles. Americans want a President to lead and support them – not continuously degrade the nation’s accomplishments and the efforts of its entrepreneurs.

Close Guantanamo Bay: This idea was inept foolishness, and has not been accomplished. Americans do not want terrorists on US soil and feel they should be dealt with fairly, by the military, in a far away place.

Terror Trials in NYC: Based on PC instead of common sense, the Administration’s promise to hold the trials of the 9/11 defendants in New York in a civilian court instead of relying on a Military Tribunal has enraged millions. There is no cogent excuse for this decision and the pushback has been massive and widespread.

Health Care Bill: Against the will of the majority of the American people, this monstrous 2700 page bill was passed into law before anyone could read and understand its unintended consequences. Sold partly as a way to “bend the cost curve down”, recent developments have pointed to the exact opposite. Doctors are trying to sell their practices to escape the business. Major firms are charging huge amounts against future earnings, and it is estimated that half of those presently insured will lose the coverage they have within 3 years.

Border Security: The Administration has avoided securing the border apparently for political reasons, the security of the American people and the rule of law be damned. Out of desperation Arizona passed a law to enable local authorities to participate in the apprehension of illegal immigrants and turn them over to ICE. Instead of enforcing Federal law, the Administration is suing Arizona!

Cap & Trade legislation: In the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s, and after candidate Obama’s admission that “energy costs will necessarily skyrocket”, the Administration plans to push for passage of “Cap & Trade”. This will create a huge market in carbon credits ripe for manipulation and punish job creating businesses with crushing increases in costs. It will kill yet more jobs when we least need such results.

Oil Spill response: Two months of uncontrolled oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has fouled beaches, smothered fish, drowned wildlife, and tossed thousands out of their life’s work. Foreign countries’ offers of aid are spurned by the Administration out of hubris and refusal to suspend the Jones Act. Instead of gathering experts and planning a response, a “commission” consisting of anti-oil zealots is appointed and deep oil drilling is prohibited for 6 months throwing thousands more out of work. There is no direction and no clear lines of authority. Operations and plans by states and municipalities to protect themselves are quashed by federal bureaucracies. Throughout this time, the President plays golf, throws parties, and attends private concerts. The Nero Administration is totally dysfunctional while the greatest environmental catastrophe in America’s history runs amok with no coordinated reaction.

Spending: No Administration in history has spent more money, most of borrowed from China and future generations, than this one. The Federal Budget Deficit has quadrupled on an annual basis and these tankers full of red ink are projected as far as the eye can see. This has to be reversed immediately by stopping the Administration in its tracks before the plunge toward national bankruptcy and the destruction of our children’s’ future is irrevocable.

Tax Increases: The Administration is rubbing its hands together awaiting an expected increase in revenue from the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts. Unfortunately the consequence is that businesses are allocating as much revenue as possible into 2010, and hoarding cash. This is a recipe for compounding and prolonging the recession since money on the sidelines cannot create jobs through purchasing and expansion.

McChrystal Article: The Afghan people live in and prefer the 7th century. Attempting to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st goes against their grain. They have proudly defeated outside invaders for a thousand years and see no reason to quit now. Presidential preferences (Bush and Obama) to eliminate opium cultivation, turn Islam from a lifestyle into a religion, stand up a secular democracy, and eliminate the Taliban may be a bridge too far. Obama already canned one general, and now fires McChrystal over an article in which the general and his staff let their guards down badly. This is not the President’s fault directly, but the overlapping and confused lines of authority between the military and various civilian officials are similar to the oil spill debacle. The apparent lack of direct leadership and control from the Oval Office cannot help but add to the impression that the Administration is in way over its head.

Foreign Relations: The act of sending the Churchill bust back to England and presenting schlocky DVDs to the British Prime Minister was crass. The ill treatment of the Israeli Prime Minister was inexcusable. Pulling the plug on missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic was pathetic, and expecting the Iranian Mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions by smiling at them is naive at best. Dissing Honduras after the court legally deposed a President and leaving Columbia twisting in the wind on trade are alerting our historical allies that the US is not a dependable partner. Bowing to foreign heads of state is unacceptable conduct by an American President. Jimmy Carter may yet live to see himself elevated in history by the abject performance of this President.

The Obama Administration is the bully, the American people; its victims. Our ears are stinging from this continued abuse. As Americans it is our duty to the nation and its future to whirl and fight back. Your opportunity to vote this November must not be missed.

You Choose

Look what Patty Murray and the Democrats think is good for America – deficits that plunge us towards bankruptcy!

Whose children and grandchildren will end up paying for this catastrophe?

Unsustainable Federal Budget Deficits

Murray rose from a faculty position, fully baked in the hothouse of liberal PC groupthink, to US Senator in a few short years; swept into the office in “the year of the woman,” 1992. She means well, but her voting record is does not help America’s future.

The Democratic Party’s belief in big government solutions to every problem has created legislation that has proven counterproductive, expensive, harmful, and unsustainable for 77 years. Patty Murray has been a myopic cheerleader for such buffoonery all her adult life. During the 110th Congress, her voting record was 97.5% along party lines; a tie for the very top spot with Richard Durban of Illinois. That is not legislating – it is rubber stamping anything the party tells her to vote for.

Of course, Murray voted for Obamacare and the unintended consequences are now emerging from the closet like Willard’s rats. Contrary to the President’s solemn promise, more than half of the presently insured will lose the coverage they prefer within 3 years. Now she is tuning up to vote for Cap & Trade which will burden job creating businesses with punitive energy costs during the depths of a severe recession.

Murray is blind to the fact that as the future unfolds, far too many have claims upon the earnings of far too few. The massive entitlement programs we already have are nearly bankrupt. Her knee jerk support for yet more government control and spending can only be explained by her typical liberal preoccupation with the present time. She knows not about history, cares not about reality, and sees not the future. Her only vision is limited to her slavish devotion to yet more big government solutions she mistakenly “feels” would make things better. “Reasoning” out the costs and unintended consequences is obviously beyond her capacity.

The future of our nation depends on whether the march of the nanny state and its exploding debt can be arrested and rolled back. If not, it will destroy liberty as we have known it and condemn our children to serfdom. Murray is a major enabler of our potential future under Big Brother. Leaving her in office for 6 more years only exacerbates the possibility of the day when it will be too late to stop it. We in Washington have to elect a different Senator.

Murray went to the Senate as “The Mom in Tennis Shoes” but quickly turned them into a rubber stamp. Her hardwired base will back her forever since they pay no more attention to history and future consequences than she does. It is up to those of us who can see the long term damage of liberal policies, spending, entitlements, and social engineering to send Murray back to a college classroom. There she can damage only a few young minds at a time instead of continuing to help push America off the precipice of dependency, indebtedness and international impotence. She must be fired in November!

Here is a cute description of Murray’s propensity for earmarks, followed by links to two great candidates who should be seriously considered to replace her:

click here for Paul Akers’ Website

click here for Clint Didier’s Website

What If?

What if someone of Paul Akers’ experience was in the Oval Office the day the drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico?

Paul Akers is an experienced executive – not a lawyer, politician, or ivory tower academic. Once the rig burned and sank, it became obvious that a disastrous leak was occurring. All effective executives have a crisis management playbook. First: discover the scope of the problem. Second: Gather your team of experts. Third: Determine a plan of action. Fourth: Implement the plan and focus, focus, focus on the highest priorities. Realizing that the situation was out of control, an executive would have immediately begun plans to solve the problem and minimize the damage to the delicate ecosystems and vulnerable businesses along the Gulf Coast. Here are the ten steps that would have been taken during the first several days of the crisis:

1. Contact every major firm in the exploration, extraction, and support portions of the petroleum industry and request their two most experienced individuals. Problems are best solved at the shop floor level by those with hands on experience – not in some office thousands of miles away full of Harvard MBAs.
2. Travel to the site with these experts and interview all personal involved in the situation from tool pushers to superintendants to gather all facts and ideas on the original cause along with any suggestions on how to staunch the flow.
3. Convene a series of meetings to get as many and the best ideas on the
table to address the situation.
4. Institute planning and design for any and all equipment needed and/or source for
same. Prioritize proposed solutions and assign an order of application so that if one fails, the next is ready to deploy immediately
5. Appeal to any foreign nation with additional equipment and expertise emphasizing that this could be a world problem instead of a localized one.
6. Sign executive orders clearing the way for any direct foreign assistance so as not to delay deployment (Suspend the Jones Act).
7. Meet with executives of BP to hear their proposed solutions and make it clear
they will be directly involved in planning response efforts, but that if a more
promising solution seems to be emerging, that the US will by executive order,
or force if necessary, cause BP to change approaches or stand aside.
8. Suspend EPA authority to allow burning at sea, sand berm construction, and
dispersant usage immediately when such measures become necessary.
9. Assign direct responsibility to one cabinet department head and direct all
inquiries, response plans, etc., to flow through that one center of responsibility
and control.
10. Address the American people and directly confront the problem instead of trying
to assign blame at this early juncture.

This entire process would have been completed and in place within one week after the disaster if a true executive had been in direct charge in the White House. Unfortunately the lack of experience and leadership of the President and among his close advisors allowed the situation to spiral out of control. Only now, two months into the catastrophe are any direct actions being taken.

Paul Akers has the experience, and can turn his business, executive, and interpersonal skills into good legislation in the Senate. The “more big government” experiment has failed and another 6 years of Patty Murray will only prolong it. It is high time we elect a Senator with skills and goals far superior to just rubber stamping party positions and trying to hang onto office. Here are some personal testimonials about Akers. He is definitely a man to consider seriously for the Senate this year.

The Intro

When I started this web log with a tremendous amount of assistance from a loyal and very smart attorney friend, I resisted anonymity. My principles tugged at me to proudly sign anything and everything I wrote. I was convinced to remain behind the curtain for the time being, but still had a very hard time accepting that status. All my work that is submitted to various news publications is always accompanied by my name and city. It made little sense to me to stay under the covers – especially since one of the worst features of internet publishing is the ability of cowardly types to viciously attack without identifying themselves. Click on the link to expose the past status as “humbug”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE]

The truth finally came out when my attorney editor admitted that she was concerned at first about the tenor and content of what might come off my keyboard. What if my posts sounded like some Lyndon LaRouche stuff, was rude, disrespectful, or full of various inflammatory comments? She was attempting to protect myself from myself in case myself would manage to shoot myself in the foot – or worse.

My main purpose in engaging in this endeavor is to gently persuade a few members of the voting public to see the situations facing our nation, state, and local governments, and the impacts on future generations if these things are not addressed soon. I hope to help them be prepared and motivated to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections knowing the issues and candidates. Observing the direction our governments at all levels are moving in at this time, it is my belief that the fall election – an off year one at that – may well be the most important of our lifetimes.

My background includes combat commands at the NCO level, management positions over the years, line haul tanker truck operation, real estate brokerage, and political involvement as a Precinct Committee Officer, newly appointed. My interests lie in history, politics and economics. I was born without the “sports gene”, so must spend my time watching national & world news, perusing editorial pages, and reading books on the above subjects.

You may go to the “About” section for a little more information if you wish. I sincerely hope you enjoy some of the posts whether you agree or disagree. Please feel free to comment on any and you will see a reply in a reasonable time.

Jeffrey S. Howard
Redmond, Washington
oldironjarhead@live.com

It Ain’t Over

Washington had a fabulous US Senate primary race until Dino Rossi tossed a big wrench into the works. A number of inspirational candidates were pounding the pavement and getting known by the voters. A long shadow hung over the entire affair because Dino dithered about jumping into the race.

The other candidates pledged their support to the one among them who won the primary. The campaign was gaining momentum, and voters were excited about having a chance to elect a fresh Senator with new and better ideas. All were prepared to step away from their jobs and businesses to serve their nation in a time of dire need.

Rossi entered the race at the last moment by releasing a long, dull video. He appeared to fear the questions he would face if he made his announcement in front of the press. What’s that all about? The Republican establishment is convinced that an “establishment Republican” can win in November. They’re wrong. Rossi’s entrance immediately killed 90% of the excitement and enthusiasm of tea partiers and others disgusted with politics as usual.

Rossi does not demonstrate the necessary “fire in the belly” to win the race. His performance so far, complete with a few squirmy statements and evasive answers, has been lackluster. Regardless of what Michael Steele and the Republican establishment think, Rossi is about to become a 3-time loser.

The Murray team, with help from friendly local media, is ready to rip Rossi. The man is a creature of the Bush years. Bush-like Republicans are not surviving the summer primaries. Why in the wide world of sports would Washington Republicans, and especially independents, get spooled up about Rossi? He energizes Democrats more than Republicans! Dems will flock to the polls with glee, just for the satisfaction of driving the final nail in his political career. Rossi on the ballot most likely means another 6 years of Patty Murray.

But – “Nothing is over until we decide it is.” Any fresh candidate has a better chance of beating Murray than Rossi has. Remember Bluto from Animal House? He motivated dispirited folks to get back in the fight. It is up to us to do the same!

Warning – some strong language follows.

Two terrific candidates vow to stay in the race. Both have extensive experience in the private sector, honorable reputations, and great accomplishments.

Think real hard about supporting one of these two strong contenders instead of Rossi. Neither have the establishment baggage that Rossi bears, and the Democrats do not have two campaigns worth of research against them. Bush-era Republicans’ irresponsible spending got them tossed from power in ’06 & ’08. Running one of them against Murray is a roadmap to failure.

Rasmussen has one of these men only 10 points behind Murray right now and neither is yet a household name. Give them a little more time and money and they will soon surge in the polls. Put one or both on the stage with Rossi, and he will turn to toast while his name recognition and establishment support will quickly melt into a big pool of tiger butter.

click here for Paul Akers’ Website

click here for Clint Didier’s Website

Pick one, send him a check, and make plans to attend the next event he holds nearby. You will not be disappointed. LET’S GET GOING!

The Gift

In late 1941, WW II had been raging for over two years.  Britain was holding out alone in Europe and Hitler’s Panzers were within sight of Moscow.  With the horrors of WW I fresh, the United States wanted no more foreign entanglements.

FDR knew the US would have to enter the war on the side of the Allies.  Allowing the Axis Powers to absorb huge populations and untold natural resources would eventually create powers too big to defeat.  Every farm, oil well, rubber tree, factory, and military age man absorbed by the Axis meant another increment of strength to our enemies.  What – if anything – could awaken the American people to the growing and imminent threat to our very existence as a free republic?

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto stepped up with a perverse and tragic gift on December 7th.  The horrific news of the attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized the American people as nothing else could.  The intense anger following that sneak attack combined with the sober realization that half the world’s modern military strength was arrayed against us stoked the determination to destroy our enemies.  The acute realization that our nation was in mortal danger of becoming an Axis conquest awoke the instinct of self preservation.  From that moment on, America was at war to win.

The Obama Administration is our generation’s domestic Pearl Harbor.  We must take advantage of it to preserve our country for future generations.  Barack Obama has given us a priceless gift if we are strong, smart, and organized enough to use it to our advantage. It is an attack on our freedom, liberties, way of life, and our children’s future, from within. It is an assault on America’s greatness, the destruction of her exceptionalism, and the squandering of her prosperity.  It is up to us and like minded people throughout the land to seize on this gift and turn it to our advantage.

In my adult lifetime, America’s population has increased about 40%.  In that same time, the proportion of people dependent on, or working for government has increased by over 270%.  A whopping 30% of all Americans are currently either working for government or receiving some sort of assistance, transfer payment, or entitlement.

The currently employed labor force is about 45% of our total population.  Almost half of them pay no taxes whatsoever, so that further dilutes the number supporting the 30% to around 22.5%.  If you pay taxes, you are not only supporting yourself, but also more than one person on government programs or employment.  The imbalance of these numbers gets worse by the year.  It is the slow bleeding of our fiscal stability on the path to inevitable to economic suicide.

Obama and his cadre of hacks, elitists, sycophants, czars, camp followers, and assorted & sundry buffoons are ratcheting up every handout, entitlement, and subsidy they can to increase dependency on government.  These burgeoning government giveaways are no different than the farms, oil wells, factories, mills, and young men that were being swept into the maw of the Axis war machine. Each new handout buys strength for the Obama welfare state juggernaut.  Senator Jim DeMint stated that “A dependent voter is a dependable vote.” Obama is buying as many as he can with money as yet unearned by those yet unborn.

This is the path so disastrously trod before us by Greece, and being quickly followed by Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Hungary.  Our future is unfolding before us in Europe this very minute.  The only preventative measure that will save us from a similar fate is to emasculate the Obama Administration in November with our votes. While we are at it, let’s broom out a few dozen Bush-era RINOs who don’t concern themselves with our future any more than the current regime.

Here is deficit spending compared to a cross country road trip.  It will give some perspective:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!

Just for clarification; that line did not come from the mouth of some famous leader back in history.  It originated as a typing class drill by a teacher named Charles E. Weller in about 1867.