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This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

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This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

Jockstrap….

I just couldn’t help but notice he supports almost every Johnson. (Even ones with Swiss spellings… Johansen ….)

Lol…


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

Sorry for the headline… I wasn’t going to publish anything today but the strange juxtaposition of two national media events has pissed me off…

Of course the media can do what it wants.. But then, heh, heh, so can I… And between myself and the media, the media will get the worst of it.

The two events are the Daschle appointment tax controversy, and the Obama bashing of my idol Jessica Simpson for being fat (not phat). Their coverage pissed me off..

CNN is running with the headline: Obama Taking a Dig at Jessica Simpson! It’s lead off states: Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?

Later buried in the story we find that on Matt Lauer’s today show, that the “much ado about nothing”story was only about a transcript error which had “inexplicably” occurred.

Obama was supposed to have snidely said of Jessica Simpson:

“Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently,” “Yeah. Oh, well.”

When actually he matter of factly read the headline out loud:

““She’s in a ‘weight battle,’ apparently” — and did not say that Simpson was “losing” that fight.

After one gets to the bottom of the controversy the only news is that a transcript was doctored by NBC. The Headline should have read:

NBC Lies To Make Obama “Dis” Jessica Simpson

Why is this important? Every Philadelphia Eagles fan will tell you…. We owe Jessica Simpson, big time….” Dissing her, brings payback.

So what’s up with the Daschle story? I was reading a Liberal blogger who recently was arguing for a new candidate, and thought to myself, has that blogger lost his mind? One expected with the Obama win, that the issue of Health Care would finally be addressed. The only person capable of moving Health Care through the Senate… is Tom Daschle. If you don’t get Daschle, you don’t get single payer Health Care… I’m afraid that’s a political reality that many newbe Liberals are unaware of.

So what is headlined is $148,000 in back taxes. But as we read deeper we find that it is not over cash owed, not over a miss-filing, not over criminal wrong doing, or anything else malicious… Instead if is over a gray area of a little help from a friend… Imagine, and I think back on my younger days, of standing in the cold waiting for the bus, and someone on the job site, says “where do you live? I’ll pick you up…” and I ask…” are you sure? I don’t have any money to repay you”… and they say ” don’t worry about it… I have to spend the same money anyway”… and I say “ok” and then actually get used to it and come to depend on it… Woe and behold if I ever had to claim that cost as income on my tax forms… The thought would never occur to me, really, but if we are going to hold Daschle accountable, then what I was doing was cheating my government out of income as well..

So how do I account for it? Since we shared a ride… do I pay half? Or am I responsible only for the amount of bus fare I saved because of the free, or what I thought was a free ride given to me? Am I guilty of receiving income per mile that I traveled, and if it is per mile, do I use the mileage allowance costed out for that year of my youth, or today’s cost, because I’m paying back taxes in this year….? Am I deserving of penalties and interest because I did not even think of this favor as income? So how much do I owe?

Worried about the impropriety of all of this which transpired years ago, I asked my tax lawyer what could be done… His advice was “Forget about it”. No one cares… But when I insisted and said that my records would be scrutinized for any issue real or imagined, he shrugged his shoulders and said..” If you are that much worried about it, calculate the highest cost possible, count it as income, calculate the penalties and interest as if it were unreported income, and cut a check… But if you ask me, your wasting time and money on nothing… No one cares.”

Now the argument being made by those extremely frightened that single payer health care might go through, is that because Daschle was a former Senator, he should have known he was in violation, if not at least that he was involved in impropriety. But, as did I go around and around with my accountant, I’m sure that Daschle also had expert advice when it came time to fill out his 1040… Seriously, I would doubt that he actually stayed up all night with receipts and double stick tape, running through two rolls of calculator paper… Most likely he had an expert compile the tax for him… At his salary level, he most likely had a “top” expert compile his tax for him… That “top” expert would know exactly what was legal and what was not…

Legally Daschle is only entitled to report income… The cost of the service was free to the person giving it.. A limousine service costs the same whether a car sits idle, or it doesn’t. The chauffeur, car payments, repairs, and even the differential of gas used, cost the same whether hired out or not. Like dogs, the cars have to be run when idle to keep them in top condition.. So how much did Daschle benefit?

Although what he did was legal, and he had the best legal authorities advising him, and no doubt you yourself are guilty of getting a ride from someone and not recording it as income… in order to see that single payer Health Care sails through Congress he plunked down $148,000 dollars to put it behind him.. He also apologized.

(My guess is that Bill Richardson couldn’t come up with the cash…..)

So my squeamish Liberal friends are showing they, like they have been portrayed by Republicans these past 8 years, really do not have backbone and really do not want single payer Health Care to sail through Congress…..

If I’m wrong (you know I am), they had better get their asses in gear and get on the horn and muscle up the outrage…. Outrage that someone who tries hard to be honest, is not given his opportunity to make his case forthright.. Every American citizen is given his right to a trial where he can meet his accusers face to face and refute their accusations… Unless of course he lives in America and has to deal with our main stream media…

It matters not whether you are a Republican or Democrat… Our four networks and lead newspapers all suck… Thank heavens for the foreign press… That’s who I read and whose advertised products I buy… (Their ads are actually entertaining compared tho the tripe we are fed over here.)

( I will finish with this story… So mad was I today (yeah, Tony, Jessica affects me too), that I wasted an hour on the comment lines of each network and main newspapers with a diatribe degrading American news and promoting foreign reporting… I then left these links so viewers could see what real news looked like…) None were published (I expected that)…but the point was taken by their gate-keepers I am sure… Perhaps you could help clean up America where it needs it most and follow suit with some of these below?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/default.stm


http://www.reuters.com/finance

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business.html

http://www.smh.com.au/

And if you are bilingual…..

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/sequence/0,2-3234,1-0,0.html

Perhaps you could do the same? All I asking is that like our foreign press corps, that America’s media just stick to facts and leave their unrefuted opinions and spin to be sorted out by the experts: us.

If enough people follow suit, decrying local coverage and praising the foreign press right there on their pages, together we might give our main stream media the collective enema they have so long deserved….. At least we can all conclude that they need more fiber.