Resist Temptation

I cannot for the life of me figure out this banking quagmire we seem to be mired in deeply.  Is this Ponzi scheme any different if it is being run by the government or the guy in New York that bilked everyone of his clients out of $50 billion and some change.

Here is a novel concept, “Try borrowing money, a large sum of money from a bank, but don’t tell them what it is that you want the money for.  Or let them know in which manner you are going to spend it.”

Think that will work?

Well apparently, that is how the banks in this country think about it, when it comes to telling us where it is that they have spent all the taxpayers dollars.  They don’t feel the same need to say how the money is spent when it comes to them.  After receiving billions in aid from U.S. Taxpayers the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending it and some won’t even talk about it.

When asked the reply is “We are choosing not to disclose that” a spokesman for the New York Mellon bank which received some $3 billion was quoted recently.  JP Morgan Chase which received $25 billion said that while some of the money was lent, some was not and the bank has not given an accounting of exactly how the money is being used.

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked them four simple questions:

  1. How much has been spent?
  2. What was it spent on?
  3. How much is being held in savings?
  4. And what is the plan for the rest of the money left over?

None of the banks contacted bothered to respond with an answer, looks like the Fox is watching the Chicken Coop and guess who the eventual losers will be …… Look in the mirror.  One ray of sunshine in all this, what goes round comes round, it is called in some circles, Karma.  They might be cutting a fat hog right now, but they will pay in the end.

Margaret & Helen do not have the market cornered on “groovy or cool grandma’s.”  Consider, if you will, Billie Watts, 75 years old of Tennessee.

If the titans of Wall Street need a role model (and there is surely no argument that they certainly need something), they might try grandmother Billie Watts, 75, of Murfreesboro, Tenn. She discovered a fortune – $97,000 in crisp, thousand-dollar bills – stuffed into a tapestry purse hanging on a hook in a bathroom stall at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Watts could have made good use of that money. She lives off Social Security and can’t scrape together the money for needed dental work. (Most of us didn’t even know that there was a thing such as a “thousand dollar bill” to begin with).

So what did she do?

Just what came naturally to her. She devised a plan to return the money to the rightful owner. From her home, she phoned the store, said she had found “something” in the bathroom and left her number.

Before long, after making sure she had the right claimant, she was able to return the money. It belonged to a woman who had just sold her house and was on the way to Florida to start a new life with her son.  Watts refused a $1,000 reward because the woman “told me she needed every penny she could to start over.”

Watts also didn’t want publicity. One of her 12 grandchildren persuaded her to tell her story. It’s an uplifting reminder that some people do live by the definition of character – it’s how you behave when no one else is looking.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like someone I would like to spend a day with, take to lunch, get to know, she sure sounds special to me.

If, like me, you still find yourself perplexed and confused about this banking scheme and cannot make up your mind.  Read this well written piece from Sandee, it is another perspective, and it hits fairly close to the house.  Here is the link.

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Also Related:

Credit Crunch

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Have noticed more people paying with cash for their purchases here lately, could it be the American Love Affair with the Credit Card is over?  Aggressive rate increases on credit cards are threatening to pushing struggling consumers into financial ruin, accelerating home foreclosures and the nations’ decent into recession.

Keeping up with the Jones’es isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Routinely I see people open up their wallets and there will be anywhere from 4 to 8 credit cards clearly visible and I just cannot for the life of me see how they can justify that.  With interest rates where they are and payments on just the minimum balance regularly exceeding a thousand dollars a month, how does one do it?

Let’s run this one up the flagpole and see if we can find someone to salute it.  Where else could you enter into a business agreement with someone and then as you get into it, the rules are suddenly tossed out the window, and you are operating in a system that is vastly different from the system you started out with.

Credit Card issuers do it all the time.

It is done everyday in this country, the credit card folks just take and they take and it appears there is nothing the consumer can do but pay.  Now it has reached a point where if you owe too much money they raise your rate, if you don’t owe a lot of money, then they lower your credit score, there is no way you can win, it all goes to them.

Stopping excess spending and borrowing, and then standing in the middle of the road will not work either.  You are going to get run over by either one or both sides on this issue.  The credit card people and the government are putting the screws to you simultaneously.

They beat you down.  And the government helps them do it, the people you elected to protect you, are now giving the banks/credit card issuers over a year and one-half to clean up their act.  Seeing absolutely no way to hide it any more, they have been forced to do something about it, simply because of its egregious nature.  The politicians cannot sweep it under the rug anymore.  So they issue new standards for these robbing thieves, and give them a couple of years to keep on robbing you.

It is tantamount to a license to steal, and it was issued on you, by YOUR government.  Think about that one the next time you decide to sit it out and not vote.  Maybe we will all get lucky and they will decide, one by one, to take a long walk in the snow and do the rest of us a favor.

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The bankers took our money and then refused to tell us what they did with it, and now they want us to believe they are our new friends.  America’s banks have a totally new image.  Now you have “a friend in the banking industry.”  If the banks are so friendly, how come they still chain down the pens?

Why is it that all of this happens?

Simple.

We have a lot of friends in low places that’s why.

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“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

A.I.G.

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Remembering a time when life wasn’t all that good for me, and I found myself staring into the mirror, and the guy on the other side said to me, “Baby, you aint much, but you are all I got.”

Kind of stayed with me a long time, that thought or that moment.  If all of this comes crashing down on America, all we are going to have left is each other, that is a sobering thought.

Where are we going to meet, what is going to happen to the majority of folks left over in the ruble of what was once a mighty industrial power?

Where do we meet to discuss things, all of the Starbucks and the local coffee shops, donut shops, all of them are struggling to keep the doors open, what happens when they like the rest of it, fail?  We need some place, those of us in the larger community of citizens with who we actually do share a common fate to meet and discuss issues.

I always believed that Federal Intervention in the marketplace should be essential, that there should be a series of checks and balances in place, to make it all flow, to allow it to work.  The first priorities of any intervention should be to preserve jobs and protect American taxpayers.  That is how, I believed it should work.  But it didn’t, not this time.

Under the deal that government gave A.I.G. which was buckling under by demands for cash from its trading partners, A.I.G was supposed to fare well.  It didn’t.  The government gave them $85 billion dollars on a line of credit.  Which at that time, I thought was a staggering amount of money, but it turns out, this was just pocket change.

So we “bailed out A.I.G.” which was supposed to work.

At the same time however, the government also saddled this outfit with a high excessive interest rate of more than 14%.  Now I know, a lot of you are smiling right now and saying to yourself, “Aw, that aint nothing, you ought to see what I have to pay MasterCard.”  But 14% for a business, is high, it is not astronomical in number, but yet, it is still high.

This is where the government, our government, blew it.

The high rate the government said “was to insure that A.I.G. would pay back the loan quickly” by selling off some business units.  But all it really did was protect A.I.G.’s business and/or trading partners.  It did this at the expense of A.I.G. employee’s and at the expense of taxpayers.

Now A.I.G. so burdened by interest payments will more than likely have to liquidate itself making jobs impossible to keep and decreasing any real likelihood that tax payers will ever be repaid this enormous sum of money owed them.

The insurance giant now in Federal receivership, this week sold A.I.G. Private Bank, which caters to wealthy individuals around the world.  Dubai-based Aabar Investments paid $254 million for the bank.  Investors were not impressed, with A.I.G. shares falling some 7.5% to just $1.86 a share.

A.I.G. has kept taxpayers and shareholders “largely in the dark” since receiving a $152 billion federal lifeline, and its promise to repay the government seems to be losing credibility.”

The company itself was more useful as an employer and a tax payer than it is as a failed business venture.  Its attempted rescue, this hastily thrown together bad deal should have reflected this truth.  Looks like we got the short-end of the stick again.

So it appears the party is over, and it is time to pay for the band.  Bailout recipients are not new to this idea or practice; they do it all of the time.  Struggling companies that have sought bailout money from the federal government this fall were among some of the biggest sponsors of the Democratic and Republican political conventions held in late August and early September.

Politics as usual, when companies such as A.I.G. and CitiGroup helped underwrite the conventions.  In total, private interests donated $118 million for the conventions, more than three times the amount that was used in public money (some $16 million) that was received.

These are the same wonderful people who are now calling for the dismantling of the UAW and demanding the head of the union’s president.  Republicans.  Who have a tried and proven track record of business practice in place for all of America.  Slave wages, total domination of your day to day life and their hand in your pocket each and every time you look the other way.  The band played, the crowd locked arms and swayed, all the time chanting USA! USA! USA! …

Conventions are events where people of the same interests or from the same corporation or political party, get together to exchange pertinent information.  Discuss past activities, evaluate performances, formulate new and improved policies, set short and long range goals, meet important people, and appoint committee members who will be effective in carrying out directives.

That is why they all bring their golf clubs, why they always have plenty of pencils and paper, but are constantly out of swizzle sticks.  But all good things eventually have to wind down and it comes time to settle up.  You can bet your last dollar it won’t be coming out of their pocket.  I mean hell … Someone has to pay for it all … Why not you?

For the better part of the year, this year, I have had very little money in my pocket.  Next year isn’t really looking all that good either, about the only good thing I can find in all of this, is I have the wallet paid for.

See you at the Do-nut shop, providing they can find a way to come out the other side and walk out into the sunshine of what some are referring to as Mr. Obama’s New Deal.

But … Before you decide to leave the house to head out on this new journey in January … I would grab a light jacket just in case.

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You Get What You Pay For

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Man, the news was so bad tonight, that I just turned it off and went outside in the backyard to scream!  Which really doesn’t do me a whole lot of good, but I just love watching the neighbor’s dog run to the end of his chain and then pow!

This evening I am thinking about that old gag, where the Senator is filibustering and he says to the body, “My esteemed colleague from Alabama wants $22 million for a road, and this Senator wants $65 million for a wind tunnel project, and my brother from Utah, is asking for $85 million to build a dam in his home state.  The first thing y’know, we are going to be talking about some REAL money here.”

The time is right for a set of federal policies designed to provide stabilization, stimulus, recovery, and growth. Without action, there is too great a risk of further collapse and an ever-worsening spiral of job loss and economic decline. In addition to action aimed at stabilizing the extremely shaky auto industry and financial and housing markets, Congress should act quickly to pass measures to stimulate the broad economy and commence the road to recovery.

Which is what they did with quickly moving with Secretary of the Treasury Paulson, and he has changed the playbook three times that I know of, and seems to be flying the Treasury by the seat of his pants.  Meanwhile, Congress sits back and in their usual fashion, does nothing about it.

In broad categories, the $350 billion package outlined here includes approximately:

■$55 billion to spur demand and assist those most in need.
■$70 billion in aid for states and localities.
■$50 billion for tax cut stimulus.
■$175 billion for infrastructure investments in stimulus and recovery, including $100 billion in green job creation.

And that is the “good news” what we are not seeing or being told, is what is going to happen in the future.  When all of these federally slopped hogs come back to the trough next year for even more money.

Today, after investing almost half of the $700 billion appropriated by Congress to buttress the capital reserves of the banking system, the evidence suggests that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have not achieved their goal of easing the cost or availability of capital. Instead, the major banks are cutting back credit, increasing fees and looking for ways to further solidify their balance sheets. In other words, “the people who promised to have your best interests at heart, have already reneged on the deal.”

The lesson for the major commercial banks in the wake of AIG’s collapse was simple: Do everything in your power to rebuild your financial strength and stabilize your credit ratings. Cut back lending, reduce outstanding credit facilities, increase fees, conserve capital, and rebuild your balance sheets. In sum, the lesson for the commercial banks is that if you want to survive — if you don’t want to be the next AIG — you should not do any of the things — such as increase lending — that the Treasury is trying to get you to do.  Now you might think that all of this is new thinking, but it isn’t.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

Thomas Jefferson

Does President-Elect Obama represent the change we need? His mainstream appointments — largely veterans of the Clinton administration — have sparked a clamor from worried supporters. A full 31 of his 42 picks so far, are Ex-Clinton pro’s or in other words, it’s the same old circus.  But in one of the critical challenges facing the country — how to get the country out of what will be the worst downturn since the Great Depression — Obama is calling for dramatic and long overdue change.

While President Bush continues to oppose any major plan for Main Street, Obama has been calling for a substantial recovery program, focused on public investments rather than tax cuts.

And Congress must do all this by NOT giving GM, Ford and Chrysler the $34 billion they are asking for in “loans” (a few days ago they only wanted $25 billion; that’s how stupid they are — they don’t even know how much they really need to make this month’s payroll. If you or I tried to get a loan from the bank this way, not only would we be thrown out on our ear, the bank would place us on some sort of credit rating blacklist).  Like a freshly pulled bathroom drain plug, our way of life seems to be shooting down the pipe, and no one appears to be listening.  What was our sturdiest generation seasoned by World War II, is gradually fading and now that we are in charge, we are failing miserably.  They left us in fairly good shape, and now that we are running the ship of state, everything seems to be out of control.

Let’s call a spade a spade here.

GM’s outstanding stock is worth about $3 billion on the current market, why doesn’t the government just outright purchase the company, throw the current managers out, and hire new people to run the company (that would be change).  This is a bargain, considering the $18 billion they want now, and who knows what they will want in the future?  They are going to default on the note in the end, and we are going to own it outright anyway.  Why not get it for the bargain price, instead of the inflated bloated overpriced pig they are offering for market share now.  I change the channel … no help there either.

Then the media moved onto Foreign Policy.

It’s too early to tell what changes Hillary Clinton will bring to Barack Obama’s foreign policy, but she’s already had an enormous effect on his brand. Her addition to his team has turned “No Drama Obama” into “Mo’ Drama Obama.” Hillary’s appointment isn’t even official, but the Obama/Clinton narrative has already left the realm of politics. Its twists, turns, shadings, and complex emotions are the stuff of literature (When Hillary Met Barack. Sleepless in Chappaqua. You’ve Got Fundraising Email).

Late into the day and I find myself in an old familiar surrounding, the backyard, staring up at the sky and there are never any answers in the sky.  Some of us seek anesthesia of escape in strange forms, some of us seek the validation of everyone-thinks-alike media tailored to one ideological or political mindset.  We separate into our niches, shredding the fabric of our common future.

You get what you pay for … At least “you used to get what you paid for.”

Nowadays, I don’t know what it is we are getting, and it is hard to see the results, when you find yourself “constantly bending over and taking it in the shorts.”  I hope Mr. Obama understands that “if you are not the lead horse, then the view is always going to be the same.”

I am driving a 12 year old truck, that passes every thing but a gas station, and on most days, the best of days, “it might start on a cold Oklahoma morning.”

I sure wish someone would be kind enough to bail me out of it.

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Bail Out Blues

letfeat04Talk about hacking you off.  I understand that there is this bank down in Louisiana that is receiving $90 million in bailout money from the Fed’s.  Only one drawback. 

The bank, New Iberia, is in the black, has been all year, posting record profits and is fit and healthy as a horse.

So why are we giving them $90 million?  Glad you asked.  “They say it is so New Iberia can go out and buy up less profitable banks or banks that are in trouble.

This is what we signed up for?

We the taxpayers are paying for all the bailouts. So what happens to us? Who bails us out? Shouldn’t we get a piece of the pie that we paid for? What about the Americans, who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Who will bail them out?

Did we the taxpayers approve these handouts to corporations that are in the situation they are in because of greed?  Now we are flat out, openly, subsidizing them to get even more prosperous when they are not even in trouble.

The American people should get to vote on who should be bailed out. Should it be greedy corporate giants or taxpayers?   If the people were to be bailed out, then the banks would get their money and the economy would be strong. Bailing out banks isn’t going to do it.

It is time … High time to … Reward responsibility

What do the single people get out of this?  A single homeowner who purchased his/her home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Who works full-time and is solely responsible for paying bills. Who doesn’t overspend on credit cards and has excellent credit.  A person with no children, who doesn’t qualify for tax breaks for dependents, but still pays taxes for public schools.

What is in this for them?

The value of my home continues to decrease, yet my property taxes and expenses continue to rise.  I am paying for mistakes people have made to achieve their “dream.”  Paulson is not even close to staying within the parameters of the “original agreement now” and has consistently changed the course of events over and over, it is clear, early on, this is going to be one monumental abysmal failure.

Once again, government run amuck.

Like they say …. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  In the end, you have to ask yourself … Is there really going to be anything left by the time Mr.Obama gets sworn in next month?

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The Long View

OPEN ROUNDLauderhill Florida – Four years and more than 700,000 rubber bands since he began, Joel Waul has clinched the Guinness World Record for the largest rubber band ball. The ball, which sits under a tarp in Waul’s driveway, weighs 9,032 pounds and is more than 6 feet tall. The old record was 4,594 pounds.

Waul, 27, estimates he spent $10,000 on the project.  We did something like that up in Kansas once, drove 45 miles to the the Worlds Biggest Ball of String!  And of course the Worlds Biggest Prairie Dog … Which was constructed of Solid concrete.

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Albany New Yawk – Two major pharmacy chains agreed to translate prescription drug instructions into customers’ primary languages in more than 2,000 stores statewide by March 31, 2010. CVS and Rite Aid will counsel and provide written translations in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, French and Polish.  Now you do understand that when you travel abroad to these countries, they are going to extend to you the very same privileges.

And they wonder why no one can speak English in this country.  (What a bunch of prunes!  Inside joke, you have to read the comments section)

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Medford Oregon – A woman pleaded guilty to theft charges and was sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and pay back more than $3,000 to residents. Carley Torres, 35, and her husband had their children go door to door, asking for donations to send their oldest daughter to a volleyball camp. But the couple spent the money at malls and monster truck rallies, authorities said.

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Caldwell Idaho – Michael Hart, 29, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for an attack on his wife that included dousing her with lighter fluid and setting their bed on fire. Hart of Nampa pleaded guilty to attempted strangulation and arson for the May 6 attack on Jessica Holmes. Holmes survived and escaped with her two children.

Something for the girls …. Ladies if you want a good read, stumbled across one the other day, you might want to check her out.  The Resaurant Gal (this is not a typo, she is spelling it that way).

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President Bush hosted the world conference on money matters this week.  The agenda for the meeting of 20 top economies in the world was one of the most important money conferences since World War II.  Items discussed were how to impose more government control over lending and create more transparency within money markets.  Bush holding an economic conference is something to the Wylie Coyote holding his annual “teach chickens how to fly” summit outside of Waco, Texas.

They want more transparency?  Most of these bankers have their head so far up their A** they need a plexi-glass stomach just to see where they are going.

One thing about Mr. Obama, he is a class act, he opted out of the meetings allowing the Lame Duck president to go through the motions and enjoy his waning moments in his quickly fading Washington sunset.  Face it, no lame-duck president can do anything meaningful after the successor is elected.  The time in-between election and installation is too long, it gives them too much time to issue pardons to convicted political pals.

Bill Clinton issued more than 200 pardons between November and January before leaving office.  Mr. Obama said he was going to do his best to wrestle the problems of the economy on 60 Minutes.  Let’s hope so, it is so dog-gone bad that when we called a plumber the other day, that sucker actually showed up on time!

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Sarah Palin is in the news, discussing her future in the G.O.P ……….. haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- haha-haha-hahaha- Oh excuse me, I believe I just hurt myself.  Can Sarah Palin actually be harmful to good health?  Read it here.

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A.I.G. (American Insurance Group) those wonderful parasites that are currently enjoying a nice high ride on taxpayer money, said that they are not going to apologize for their last exorbitant party and binge.  The CEO of that company which has taken a financial lifeline from the taxpayers (largest in history) said he isn’t sure if that will be sufficient.  Reporting a $24.47 billion loss this week, sure sounds like “party time to me.”

Just like I said, “Feed ’em once, and they will be back.”  Kind of like petting a dog.  You pet a dog and you have a job for life.  Personally I would rather have the dog, you can trust a dog, and of course, a lot cheaper to feed.

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Nothing is sacred anymore, in Seattle this past week they announced the cancellation of the annual Nude Bicycle Ride in city parks.  Citing 23 people for indecent exposure and arrests of obscene exposure.  Which reminds me of the young couple who were on vacation with their two small children.  They were driving down the road and they saw a sign that read …. “Nature Park.”  So they decided to turn off the main highway and go see this park, not knowing that it was in fact, a nudist colony.

As they drove down this secluded road, coming around the curve, they spied a group of totally nude adults on bicycles approaching them with no way to stop and turn around.  As they slowly drove by all the naked people, who smiled and waved, the youngest child, a precocious 4 year old in the backseat exclaimed … “Did You see that!” and the mother said, “Yes we did.

Where he replied, “Not one of those guys had a helmet on!

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Highlighting History

Here lately, a great many of our political hopefuls, presidential wanna-be’s and vice presidential what-evers have been running fast and loose with not only the facts, but our recent and past history. So I figured, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander and I have taken time today to correlate some history for all our readers.

The staff of Creative Endeavors and I got together over a period of several minutes, perhaps twenty-five or thirty, and came up with some interesting facts and history about our country for you in the spirit of the 2008 electorate.

On August 3rd,l 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present day America’s. Sailing on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Juilo Englasis, he arrived just before noon on a Friday. America at this time was basically a developing nation, a few Burger Kings, one or two Wal-Marts, but they were not Super Centers. There was visible evidence of many brush fires and incredible amounts of devastation everywhere. There was plenty of oil because cars had not been invented and we had no Congress.

In 1914, Germany declared war on France. France in retaliation, sent to Germany Rene Monette Anton Bush to convince local German governments to build replica’s of the Eiffel Tower and to give up this insane idea of war instead. To not service their women, tear down the French language, and to encourage them to drink more wine. This was quickly brushed aside for obvious reasons. She was promptly deported back to France as an illegal alien, and a undocumented speaker. Germany at that time, appropriated funds to build a fence to keep Frenchmen from entering their country.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States, following the defeat of Warren G. Harding. On this day Billy Raye Bushwhacker Sr. was defeated in the World College Bowl when he selected “History” for $100 and incorrectly answered the question …. “What Was WWII?” … with the answer …… some fish? NBC ran a story on if you yelled for 8 years and 7 months, some six days, you would produce enough energy to heat one cup of coffee. General Motors announced a new model of Chevy that got zero miles per gallon … but had lot’s of chrome.

In 1936, the State Department urged Americans in Spain to leave because of that country’s civil war. Oklahoma City started abandoning buildings in what is now called Brick Town because of rapid expansion to the suburbs. An Oklahoma court, on a suggestion of a local celebrity, granted custody of a ten year old Boy Scout to a 14 year old girl. This was promptly overturned by the local chapter of the ACLU.

In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed despite the protests of the not yet formed NFL. The Oklahoma Representative in Congress announced that “for twenty five thousand dollars each, any lobbyist in the building (excluding Petroleum related industries) would be allowed to kiss him fully on the lips.” The University of Oklahoma announces that if you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, you would produce enough gas to create the energy of an atomic bomb. Which was quickly debunked by the Department of Defense. 1949 was a slow year, America did not attack anyone in the name of Democracy.

In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. A non candidate for any office, Billy Raye Bushwhacker Sr., meets with the heads of the state of England, France, Norway, Sweden and Germany at a family picnic in his backyard in Pecos Texas. He refuses to run on the “conservative” ticket, claiming that a race for Governor would negate his chances of being King or even God, someday in the near future.

Dick Clark turns sixteen years old …. Again.

In 1980, closing ceremonies were held in Moscow for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, which had been boycotted by dozens of countries, including the United States. Ronald Reagan cannot remember if he approved the sale of arms to that place east of New Jersey. In a historic decision the Republican packed U.S. Supreme court rules that six apples in one sack is to be considered one item, this was a five to three vote. A new Republican protege comes on the scene, Billy Raye Bushwhacker Jr. enters Yale for his first year of c- studies.

In 1981, U.S. Air Traffic controller go on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan they would be fired. President Reagan then announces that at that time, the price of his souvenir beer mug has been reduced to on $3.99 and one building in Brick Town is being given consideration as a possible comedy club. No building permits or business licenses are issued after the Governor intervenes and declares “Living in Oklahoma is not funny.” Oklahoma University announces that a cat’s urine glows under a black light.  The practice of bathing in Swan Fat and Donkey Milk is declared illegal in 62 counties in Oklahoma and one U.S. protectorate south of Guam.

In 1988, the Soviet Union released Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who had landed a light plane in Moscow’s Red Square in May 1987. Billy Raye Bushwhacker Jr. announces that for $500 a month, he will have breakfast with any registered Republican in the North Eastern Corridor of the United States. IBM announces that they have purchased space on the side of the Russian Station Miers for advertising and at a bargain price of only $18 million dollars. General Motors re-introduces the zero mileage car with lot’s of chrome.

In 1993, the Senate voted 96-3 to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The national basketball association announces a new team in Florida to be known as the Incredibly Huge Bloodsucking Insects and will be home courted in Orlando. Bill Gates buys Guatemala and most of Honduras in a sweeping takeover bid. Judge Bork receives the “worst looking beard in the world award” by cast members of The View in 4 to 4 decision. He is subsequently is rejected from the court for oblivious reasons and in a related decision it is announced that it is no longer illegal to pray at Cock Fights, but you can still “make a wish, as long as you do not offend anyone else.”

In 1994, one day after Iraq invaded Kuwait, thousands of Iraqi soldiers pushed to within a few miles of the border with Saudi Arabia, heightening world concerns that the invasion could spread. A place called Chad dukes it out with some place called Libya and the arms race in America escalates. Stock in gunpowder and small arms increases exponentially and business is good on the NASDAC. People living north of the United States in Canada, tiring of their tree’s humming and glowing in the dark, demand that we do something about our acid rain. 1,200 dead people were discovered at a Neil Diamond concert in Michigan over the weekend.

Five years ago: OJ Simpson is hot on the trail of his wife killers, searching out every golf course in America. A 19 year old kid flies a Cessna airplane into Red Square and the Soviets are livid, Dick Cheney orders 6,000 Cessna airplanes for the U.S. Air Force. The Senate Transportation Committee recommends that all speed limits be increased nationwide to 80 MPH to help out the Saudi’s and it is increased, everywhere, except Oklahoma where all the roads are in disrepair or being patched. Judge Judy makes a definitive socially defining historic ruling on wrinkle creams being sold across the counter, that do not go deep enough to control crows feet in middle aged women.

One year ago: Congressional Republicans, shrugging off a presidential veto threat, nailed down the details of an agreement for a 10-year, $792 billion tax cut. Arbitrators ruled the government had to pay the heirs of Dallas dress maker Abraham Zapruder $16 million for his movie film that captured the assassination of President Kennedy. The first issue of Talk Magazine hit the newsstands and to celebrate this Congress passed a whopping pay raise (unanimously) in both houses.

Dick Clark turns …. Sixteen …. Again.

Which brings us to today: The Republican National Committee announces that so far, things have been pretty dull, so the handlers of Sara Palin have decided to allow her to speak. DVD sales in the United States reach record numbers. Joe the Plumber announces that he is depressed and constipated in Cleveland. Dick Cheney was to speak, but at his last public appearance he was interrupted 32 times by applause and two times by mild heart attacks. The Democrats have been declared legally brain dead in all but the swing states where the majority of the voters are still “not sure” and Joe Biden is strangely quiet.  Our second term soon to be gone President comes on television to announce that “the sap of a tree is a good conductor of rain and that is how you get electrocuted” while giving a press conference in the rose-garden in the rain.

And finally …. In an effort to clarify the new bailout proposal to the American people the political hopefuls came on PBS last night and laid out the proposal in a manner that was understandable by most of the population. In the spirit of Hillary and Good Time Bill it was patiently explained:

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. The villagers renewed their efforts and started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people went back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf.

During the man’s absence, the assistant told the villagers “Look at all the monkeys in this big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 850 billion dollars. They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys. Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK!

History in a nutshell ……When Columbus started out for the New World, he didn’t know where he was going; when he would get there, when he got there, he didn’t know where it was he was; and when got back he didn’t know where had been.

Kind of points out what we all knew to begin with ….. History has an awful bad habit of repeating itself.

000

Thanx Jim in WA.