Still Puttin Out

It’s Okay, we are all different … Remember that.

Today is my second day of being a “Media Whore” and I seem to be fine with it.  I do note this morning that an Australian tourist board is searching for someone to blog about living on an island in the Great Barrier Reef.  Applicants must be willing to live in an oceanfront villa, swim in the pool, snorkel the reef, and lie on the beach.  How much does it pay you ask?  The six month position pays $100,000.00 u.s.  Sign me up!  It sounds like a tough job, but someone is going to do it, might as well be me.

You Have To Be Kidding Me.

So here I sit, reading USA Today, page 2B, Thursday January 23rd, and there it is.  “HOW TO MAKE MILLIONS BUYING BAD LOANS” from your kitchen table (of all places) and now here comes the really good part … without spending a penny of your own money! And I am sorry, but I had to think to myself … Isn’t that how we got into the mess to begin with? The ad goes on to tell you about some kind of financial superman who made billions “after going broke” during the financial mess, and he can show you how to do the same. Pass.

Oh that?  You found about that did you?

You might find this amusing and you might not.  Treasury Secretary designate Timothy Geithner’s confirmation hit a snag this week, when they announced he was some $34K short in paying his income taxes plus interest.  Now let’s see, “you can not operate Turbo Tax and you are going to be put in charge of the U.S. Treasury.”  What is wrong with this picture?

Friday in the Big City.

Nothing out of the ordinary coming my way that I know of, and I seem to be holding up rather well.  The government is reporting that they have found “bird parts” on the USA flight that went down in the Hudson River, and divers have located the missing engine.  I don’t know a whole lot about most of this, but I know that if I am ever on a plane that goes down, I want Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger to be the pilot.

Man!  What a take charge guy that pilot seemed to be.  And low and behold, I have heard it for years, and it turns out to be true.  “In case of a water landing your seat will serve as a floatation device.”  In this case, it was the entire airplane.  Homeland Security has solved the crash and has released pictures of the culprits and you can view them here.

To be or not to be … that is the question — Opps, sorry about that.

A loaded gun was accidentally used during a rehearsal of a Florida play at a Senior Citizen Center and the bullet grazed the ear of another actor.  He was reportedly doing fine after being checked at a local hospital.

Give it back!  Dog-gone it Martha, give it back!

A New York man is suing his ex-wife for a kidney.  In 2001 when she was desperate for a kidney, he donated one of his to her, and now that they are divorcing he is demanding it back or she can buy it from him for a palsy $1.5 million dollars.  Good luck on that one.

Here is another victim of the bad economy for you.  It is now being reported that “lawyers” are having a tough go of it, as more and more Americans decide to stick together and ride it out. When you are fighting a case and have the facts on your side, hammer away at the facts.  If you have the law on your side, hammer away with the law.  If you live in Oklahoma and you are representing yourself, take the Okie defense — hammer away on the table.  No good huh?

Okay, wait, wait.

What if you are a lawyer and you go to the restaurant and you don’t like what they offer — Do you ask for a change of menu?

Yeah, I know, move on.

Things are getting pretty bad, Burger King offered a free Whopper to anyone who would un-friend 10 people from their Facebook accounts.  Some 200,000 people suddenly found themselves friendless in America.  And I stood there dumbfounded wondering why the line was so long.

Spit it out Pedro.

Zapatos after Mexico City launched a campaign urging citizens to swallow their gum rather than spit it on the street.  Officials there say the average square yard of sidewalk in the city has 70 globs of discarded gum.

Slow and steady … Slow and steady.

A friend of mine handed me a Rubik’s cube one night and showed me how it worked.  He then mixed it all up and said, “See if you can figure that one out?” and left me with it.  As I am a pilgrim of very little patience, about 72 hours later, I dropped it in the trash compactor and hit the button.  One very dead Rubik’s cube, much to the dismay of my friend.

A British man has finally solved the Rubik’s Cube after 26 years of trying.

Construction worker Graham Parker, now 45, first picked up the puzzle in 1983 at the peak of its global popularity, and though it stymied him, he kept at it obsessively after the world moved on.  “I have had wrist and back problems form spending hours on it” said Parker, “but it was all worth it.  When I clicked the last bit into place and each face was a solid color, I wept.”

You think that is bad, you ought to be a Media Whore in America and cannot locate your pimp.  Now that is rough.

What am I supposed to do for the rest of the day?

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Care For Another? Loose Change.

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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