Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Republican Party has not accepted the election of President Obama. It's a disgrace!

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas wants to revert to an earlier time by repealing the 17th Amendment which allowed for 2 Senators to be elected from each State. He wants to have the States "appoint" rather than elect a Senator by its citizens. Seems like many on the far right of the Republican Party are trying to replay the Civil War. They don't want the "Union" deciding any more. They want their States to have the power again.

And with all this hate speech and slurs out there being pushed by the Republican Party and the Tea Baggers, they are trying to instigate violence by their rhetoric. Even today Sarah Palin has shown her map of the U.S. with "Cross Hair" marks on Districts where Democrats who voted for the Healthcare plan have made her "Hit List". She Tweeted a message saying, "Don't Retreat -- Reload!"

There are inferences here that these Democrats who voted for Healthcare Insurance reform should be "eliminated. This isn't Free Speech, any more than yelling Fire in a theater is. It is as dangerous and serious and needs to be condemned by reasonable people. There is no place for violence in dealing with differences of opinions. We need calm voices of reason from the leadership of the Republican party lead by Rep. John Boehner, Rep. Eric Cantor and other Republicans, with the leaders of the Democrats, speaking out together. This is important, especially when 10 members of Congress have had death threats to them and their families. It is no surprise that the leader of the lunatic fringe, Rush Limbaugh, is fueling the flames also, when he said this the other day after the passage of the Healthcare Bill, "These people need to be eliminated. Wiped out". This is insane!

It's time to stop this before someone is hurt or killed. Those who don't speak out against this share in the responsibility and consequences to our Country.

UPDATE: Thursday March 25th 6:15pm PST

The Healthcare Bill designed to reconcile the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate has just passed the House and the fixes passed in a final vote of 219 to 207 votes. Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida, was the last one to vote for the Bill. The President will now sign the fixes and make it law. Meanwhile, the inflammatory rhetoric subsided somewhat today. Let's hope going into the weekend and the Congressional recess, things will become more civil and hopefully more bipartisan.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dow trend and prediction? See 10 year chart here

I haven't posted on the stock market recently so I decided to tell you where my head is right now. Above you will see the first 10 Year Chart of the Dow, which I assembled after the close today. The second c hart is from an earlier prediction I made which showed I expect the Dow to retest the lows. You will notice that there is significant resistance at Dow 11,000 looking at the first 5 years of the first chart. It has been an impressive rise form the lows of 6,400 but it appears to me now that we are in the process of forming a Head and Shoulder pattern that will mark the top. We have already formed the Left Shoulder in the past 2 months and are now making the head. From the Head formation we will drop somewhat and possibly as low as 10,000 but then will rise again to form the Right Shoulder. When that is complete the real correction will take place. This seems to me to be setting up for the May/June timeframe which will be the kickoff season for the November political Mid term campaigns.

We can come back in a few months and see if this plays out as I anticipate. It's just a guess as the markets really are being manipulated with excess dollars provided by the Fed in the form of significant liquidity in many forms. But I am very suspicious about Wall Street and their coziness with the Republican supporters. Much debate has begun regarding Financial reforms as evident by Sen. Chris Dodd suggesting his own reforms on his committee as he broke off working with Republicans. He is also retiring in November and I have written about the inherent conflict of interest he has because he will most likely go to work for one of these financial institutions after leaving the Senate.

So if the market begins its slide, the chance for meaningful regulations will be faced with a declining market and calls not to tamper with the market, as it is too fragile. It makes good strategic sense from the Financial Institutions own interests, as well as those elected officials beholding to those Institutions, to make this point. We already have Goldman Sachs working on the in the marketplace and former officials of Goldman Sachs are also working on this inside of the government. They have their bases covered. This is not good for remedying these concerns.

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The responsibility of the media in reporting news.

The Healthcare marathon debate, which has taken place over a year to this point, has pointed out major distortions in the messaging and reporting the 24/7 media cycle has kept us misinformed. First the data reported today on the Ed Show. Here 's what he reported on the results of a new Harris Poll about Republican attitudes about President Obama:

67% Believe That Obama is a Socialist
45% Believe that Obama was "Not born in the United States"
57% Think he is a Muslim
24% say "He may be the AntiChrist"

This is a direct result of the lack of investigative reporting and fact checking by some in the media and specifically promoted through Fox News. The Republican Party is devoid of common sense Republican leaders today, because they have been demonized by the far right wing of the Party and it has moved Moderate Republicans far to the right to appeal to the base and not to be challenged by the Far right Tea Bag group, headed up by former Congressmen Dick Armey and others. There are a number of really smart Republicans who have contributed to these problems by their silence. It's hard to oppose a movement which has become a mob now which you have belonged to for many years. There were Republican statesmen who would have spoken out in their time against racist comments, slurs and fear mongering. Such Republican leaders were Sen. Bob Dole for one, Senator Howard Baker or another, and going a long way back President Ronald Reagan and President Dwight Eisenhower. It's time real Republicans gained back the Republican Party by having the courage to speak out. Where are today's voices of Sen. Richard Lugar, Mitt Romney and the old John McCain who was so proud to put Country First?! The media needs to do a lot more investigative reporting rather than just reporting on any comment, whether true of not, just to fill the 24/7 airwaves.

If this country isn't what we want it to be, no matter what side of this issue you are on, the media is front and center in the area of being responsible to the Constitution and the American people for it being a better or worse country. The Constitution guarantees a Free Press. But WeThePeople must demand that it be there to investigate newsworthy items as to the truth of the facts and then show us the positions of both sides. There have been some TV Cable programs like the The Rachel Maddow Show, which does do investigative reporting and chases down claims to bring the truth to her viewers. But she is rare.

Here's an excerpt from an article on the Newspaper business and their declining numbers of investigative reporters:

"Newspapers care about investigative stories, but they frequently don’t back that up with resources that reporters say they need to do in-depth work...."

and this:
"Most of the journalists responding to the survey said their papers are more supportive of investigative reporting now than even 10 years ago, but many said the support is superficial.

Thirty-seven percent of newspapers had no full-time investigative or projects reporter on their staffs. The majority had two or fewer, and only 10 newspapers had four or more investigative or projects reporters working for them.

In addition, 61 percent of the newspapers had no investigative or projects team. Of those, 16 percent had teams in the past, but they have been disbanded. Sixty-two percent of the newspapers surveyed did not have a single editor specifically charged with working on investigations."

I am tired of the "Marketing" and "Spin" of news. In the past 25 years Newspapers have had to lay off Investigative reporters as the age of TV and then 24/7 news has changed much. We must become more active with our voices and end this trend. You with me?

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Monday, March 22, 2010

The loss of decorum in Congress: Does it matter?

Yesterday's historic culmination of Healthcare legislation was also historic for other reasons as well. It brings all the rancor and bitterness in the House of Representatives to the forefront of the 24/7 media cycle we are becoming used to. I thought about the comment "Baby Killer" while Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak was giving his support to the Bill as the last remaining holdouts because the Hyde amendment was still going to be the law of the land. Confessing today, Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer admitted he was the one yelling that comment and apologized for the comment. Remember it was during the President's State of the Union, that another Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled, "You Lie! while the president was speaking.

So what's the point here? Well, first it violates the Rules of Congress. If you don't uphold the Rules, then you have no Rules in reality. They can't be enforced if not enforced when they are violated. But more importantly, did you ever hear on the floor of Congress the Democrats shouting down President George W. Bush while he was speaking giving his State of the Union. They had a just cause since by Bush's decision to invade Iraq many "babies" and innocents were killed in a war of choice. Did they yell, "You Lie" when he said that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. No they didn't as elected officials. The place for that kind of stuff is outside the Congress where people have feelings and have grievances. But those issues need to be settled in the Ballot box, next time you get the chance, not inside the Congress. These Republicans have shown themselves to act like spoiled children who have had their toys taken away. I give you this warning and prediction, keep up the lack of civility and you will be responsible for destroying the Republican Party as well. Democrats don't like it, Independents don't like it and many Republicans don't like it as well.

So does it matter to you whether the Congress losses its decorum? It does to me, as it shows men acting as children and that contributes to the lack of respect of all public servants. I am glad people are still willing to do this job as MOST SANE PEOPLE AVOID BEING AN ELECTED OFFICIAL AT ALL COSTS!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passing the Healthcare Insurance reform Bill and the hypocrisy of our elected officials.

On the very moment of this historic Healthcare Insurance reform vote, I thought about the hypocrisy of our so called leaders in Washington. I won't name names, or Parties as to who is to blame but here's my 2 cents worth. In the last decade we faced many challenges as Americans. The issue was for all Americans to support the Government as there were threats from abroad, specifically Al Qaeda, And to do this by allowing your government to wiretap your phones unlawfully and to give this government broad powers as we were at war. We now know they at least misled us, if not blatantly lied to us. Those who supported the government back then are the same voices telling us today NOT to trust healthcare to the government, even though this bill allows the Health Insurance companies to have major control of healthcare insurance payment management. I am glad enough of the legislature has put aside their objections to enact this Bill today. I only wish we had a yearlong debate and vote as to whether we should have invaded Iraq. Any Amen's out there are most welcome in the comment section. :) This is a historic vote. IT IS A HISTORIC VICTORY FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA

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Friday, March 19, 2010

France and Germany in a spat over Greek debt crisis

First the headlines and news and then my comments. From BLOOMBERG/COM. Sarkozy Opposes IMF Loan to Greece, Widens Rift With Germany. By Helene Fouquet

"March 19 (Bloomberg) -- President Nicolas Sarkozy opposes Germany’s call for an International Monetary Fund loan to Greece, a French government official said, pitting the euro area’s biggest members against one another over a rescue plan.

The official, who declined to be named under government ground rules, said Sarkozy favored a European solution to help Greece and said the monetary union must act to restore investor confidence and shrink Greek borrowing costs.

“I want to be very clear: if it were necessary, the states of the euro zone would fulfill their commitments,” Sarkozy said in Paris March 7 after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. “There can be no doubt in this regard.”

My Comment:

Seems to me France is correct here. The Euro agreements stated that there were certain obligations to be met when a State with the Euro zone had any financial problems. By having the IMF bail out Greece, rather than EU members, the ground rules will have been violated and that has tremendous implications for the Euro. This conflict of positions between France and Germany over how to solve the Greek crisis, is very important as it pits the 2 largest EU members against eachother. It is no secret that France and Germany have always had a difficult relationship at best since WWII and even before that. This makes this a very serious problem and will give a clue as to where the power of the EU resides. Sparks can fly here quickly and the situation can get out of control without much difficulty. Stay tuned!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Senator Dodd and the reform of Financial Institutions (UPDATE)

First the news clip from and then my special comment.

"Senator Christopher Dodd unveiled legislation that empowers regulators to break up large financial firms, ban proprietary trading, and oversee hedge funds and derivatives, aiming to enact the most sweeping rules overhaul since the 1930s.

Dodd would let the Federal Reserve force firms to divest holdings if they pose a “grave threat” to the economy, make hedge funds overseeing more than $100 million register with regulators and require central clearing for derivatives, according to a summary released today."

Special Comment:

This crafted legislation was put together by Sen. Dodd. As you may remember, Senator Dodd of Connecticut is not running for reelection, so I wonder where he will land after he leaves the Senate where he has been in government service for over 30 years. I know he deserves to make a living doing something else if he so chooses. But he would face offers of employment from both the Banking and Insurance industry he has regulated all these years. Because I have such deep cynicism and mistrust of our leaders currently, I would hope that Sen. Dodd could put forth legislation which was based on what the America needs to avert another Financial crisis, not something which gives breaks to Wall Street and the Banking and Insurance industry. There is an inherent conflict of interest brewing here. This will be very hard for this Senator or any Senator to do, acting on the Country's behalf rather than from a vested interest. I would like to see him embrace several contentious suggestions.

First, I would like to see the Volcker Rule, (after Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal reserve) included in any proposed legislation. The Volcker Rule would prohibit banks that have access to taxpayer money from engaging in speculative activities, such as hedge funds.

Secondly, I would like to see the Consumer Protection Agency NOT report into the Federal Reserve.

Thirdly, I would like to see Glass-Steagall Act reinstated. If he could get these passed, he would leave us with dignity and would cap his career in a distinguished manner and go down in history as one of the great Senators of this generation, as Sen. Ted Kennedy has on Healthcare.

UPDATE: March 16 3:00pm PST

I received this video link below from and asked to Embed it here, which adds more validation over my concerns:

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is it time to "Throw the bums out!?"

This morning news headlines read, "Senators resist Obama over projects in health bill". You see in the Senate Bill, there were deals put in like these:

1. Steer $600 million over the next decade to Vermont in added federal payments for Medicaid and nearly as much to Massachusetts.
2. Connecticut would get $100 million to build a hospital.
3. About 800,000 Florida seniors could keep certain Medicare benefits.
4. Asbestos-disease victims in tiny Libby, Mont., and some coal miners with black lung disease or their widows would get help, and there are prizes for Louisiana, the Dakotas and more states

The Senators sponsoring these "benefits" for their home States all have "justifiable reasons" they deserve these extra benefits they say, but in my view, that is what's wrong with Washington and maybe we should throw out every incumbent, Democrat, Republican and Independent. It's making made us broke! I say this as one who voted for Barack Obama for President, he is trying to do the right thing by getting the Dems to take these special deals out of the Bill, but for political reasons, as they are unpopular with voters, according to the article. Shouldn't he want these deals out of the Bill because it is this right thing to do? I'm afraid all Senators are too Political and that's one thing Tea Baggers and their anger have in common with the rest of us no matter what side of the political spectrum one finds themselves. Where's the notion of Country first?

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Executive Pay vs. Worker pay and the Tea Bagger movement

I took a look this morning at why so many Americans are mad and why this Tea Bagger's movement has gained such strong traction in light of the recent violence directed (or misdirected) at the government. In part some elected officials are responsible for where we find ourselves today, but it is simply amazing to me that the anger that is building, spawned by Republicans like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the likes of these Republican Senators, Sen. Kyle, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Mitch McConnell, former Republican Congressmen Dick Armey and Minority leader John Boehner, is not placed where it should be. It should be aimed at the Republican Party and its leaders, as is shown in the chart above! (Click on the charts to enlarge them.)

From the chart above on EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION, from the NY TImes you can see the divide between Executive pay and average worker pay since 1940. It is very clear to me that around 1985 this trend skyrocketed upward. This was when Pres. Reagan had massive tax cuts for the wealthy and trickle down economics was touted as going to be a good thing for the Middle Class and the debt began to rise. It is my opinion, and I will get the facts on this, that it was the Financial sectors Executives which were primarily responsible for this move up coincidently with the invention of Credit Default Swaps and other derivative instruments created in those years. Both charts track very well.

It was also emboldened by Sen. Phil Gramm's legislation, called the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, to deregulate the Banking and Insurance Industry by getting rid of Glass-Steagall in 1999 tied to a bill to provide the funds to keep the government running, when Newt Gingrich threatened to shut down all government. The amendment passed in the middle of the night and was signed into law by President Clinton, who in my view didn't know what he was really signing and the implications, but that's another debate for a different time. Suffice to say he signed the legislation to prevent a government shutdown. The effect of this and those new financial instruments changed most significantly Executive compensation possibilities as the stock market had soared to over 10,000 and the Nasdaq to over 5,000.

So enough of the history and now focusing on the chart, the folks to be upset with are those who passed Banking and Insurance deregulation in the first place (Mostly Republicans with the assistance of Bill Clinton and weak Democrats and also Executives in the Financial Institutions and their Boards who approve these ridiculous levels of compensation. The Democrats should be knocking the heck out of Republicans with this issue as they have stood with the workers and trying to help them with programs such as Social Security and Medicare. But instead it is the Republicans who are getting the masses all worked up to "throw the bums out."

I agree with them on that point, but it is Republicans who should be thrown out, all of them, for creating this mess and being on the side of lobbyists on the healthcare debate and backing the Insurance company Executives from For-Profit companies. The Democrats have got to start to play hardball and reverse this inequity of pay for the middle class and help the poorest amongst us. I'll bet if you if you check donations made to Haiti for the earthquake which devastated the country, most were small donations and made by people who could little afford it compared to the salaries of those Executives. It is morally wrong and inhumane. The problem is the entitlement attitude of these people. They see nothing wrong with their compensation compared to the workers. They actually believe they deserve what they are stealing, and I use the word stealing deliberately. It's a crime and they have no shame or conscience. They want to pay off TARP quickly so they can get back to wealth accumulation. What do you think?

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Is the stock market trend up this week to be believed?

This week the markets have moved up steadily each day. The guests on CNBC and other networks are declaring once again things are getting better and while the jobs picture is still not recovered, we are doing better than we were a year ago. My goodness, with all this good news and the trend now going up in the markets, I should probably become a Bull and buy here, right? Wrong!

If you look at the chart above, the Volume is less than it has been when the market was going down just a month ago. This is not convincing to me. In fact it validates my conviction that it is an old con game designed to drive the market higher by enticing others to feel safe in the market only to have them get out at the top and the average person gets shafted again. Can the market go to 11,000? Yes it can. But is the enticement of a gain to the upside of the 500 points worth the risk of the market dropping 1000 -2000 points? I say it isn't, but heck, that's just me. You do what you want.

I am planning on doing a post soon with many charts you most likely haven't seen that hopefully will be illuminating. They will deal with historical data of the Dow, Gold, the US Dollar and the Core CPI among some of the correlations. Stay tuned!

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