Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turkey Time Mental Break

I'm in need of a mental break. No more posts from now through Thanksgiving weekend.

Whoops. I meant YE '09. Bought a new house. Selling the old one. Busy, Busy, Busy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You support Burr? Then you love bankers, right?


Ask Senator Richard Burr where he stands on the debate about banking in our country.

That small handful of massive banks that took our world economy to the brink of disaster, do they need to be broken up? Burr doesn't think so. He thinks government needs to keep its hands off our nation's corporations.

Those bankers who make egregious salaries on the backs of customers who pay egregious interest rates and an endless string of fees, do those bankers deserve a mandate to drastically cut their compensation? Burr doesn't think so. He isn't lifting a finger to rein in bankers' pay.

Those banking CEOs who walked on the wild side of risk taking and almost burned our world economy to the ground, should they be punished? I don't see Burr leading a charge to bring bankers to account for the Trillions in wealth they destroyed.

The bottom line is that Richard Burr isn't doing one damn thing to punish a single banker in this nation.

I grew up in North Carolina. My parents grew up on a North Carolina farm. They were rural folk. And North Carolina rural folk have a common attitude about wrong doing and punishment. When you do something wrong, you get punished. That's all there is to it.

Apparently, Senator Richard Burr doesn't share those rural North Carolina values with his constituents. We have a very large number of bankers in this country who nearly destroyed our entire nation, and they're going unpunished. In fact, just the opposite, they are in line to collect record bonus payouts this year, billions, a mere year after they destroyed our homes, caused millions of our neighbors to stand the unemployment lines, and sent our investments into a tailspin. They collect massive bonus money after our federal government had to borrow Trillions and spend to prop up the economy our bankers broke. Bankers win. Taxpayers lose. Burr doesn't care.

Is this the man you really want to support in the next election? If so, you aren't from North Carolina. Not the North Carolina I know. The North Carolina I know believes when you do something really wrong, you need to be punished. And our nation's bankers need to be punished, severely. And not just with a switch from a weeping willow tree. We need to take one hell of a big pecan tree branch to their sorry banker butts.

The North Carolina I know deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Amen

Amen

I'm a Republican, and I can't wait to kick all the sorry assed Republicans out of Washington DC. We need to clean house of all the wing nuts, and every Republican who served during the Bush Administration. The sooner, the better.

So, how's it going?

I'd love nothing more than Richard Burr to be unpacking his boxes in Winston-Salem one year from now. We need that idiot gone from Washington DC. We need a moderate Republican in his place, or a Democrat. Anyone but wing nut Burr. So how's my contribution to this effort going so far?

GREAT.

My hit count grows significantly each and every week. More importantly, a greater proportion of the hits come from key word searches. My goal has always been to get a ton of content sitting out there addressing a myriad of the key issues voters care about, teamed with the tag "Burr". The more negative, searchable stuff on Burr I have sitting out there in cyberspace, the more likely my posts get read by North Carolina voters. And as we get closer to election time, more and more searches on the keyword Burr will find a screen full of my posts. And not only is my hit count growing daily, but the map of hits from around North Carolina is simply amazing. Good North Carolina folk from the Mountains to the Coast are stopping in for a visit and quick read.

My email is hopping too. I'm getting a ton of emails from people all over North Carolina. And I'm having some interesting exchanges of thought and ideas centered around how we can get our idiot Senator kicked to the curb. Bottom line, my efforts go forward. One more year. One solid year of just one man's effort to get a Republican wing nut removed from Washington DC.

North Carolina simply deserves better than Richard Burr.

Are you a Republican wing nut?


The Republican Party is a bifurcated party. We are a party of moderates and a party of wing nuts. The wing nuts are led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Larry Kudlow. The wing nuts now control our Party. They are sick people. They are going off the reservation and dragging our country down into an abyss. That faction of the party is ultra conservative. Laissez-Faire is their battle cry. A country with no government and each man for himself is right up their ally. And if we must have government, then it needs to be comprised only of a military which we use to brow beat the world into our way of thinking. Wing nuts are socially intolerant. If you aren't a right-to-life, bible toting, gay hating person, then you aren't American and need to be banned from our country. They run around whining and crying, pointing fingers, and bitching and complaining about anything and everything to do with President Obama and the Democratic Party. They impede progress and have zero solutions. Wing nuts exist only to make trouble. These folks are just plain NUTS.

The reasonable faction of the Republican Party are moderate. Moderates are more sensible. They identify the problems and seek out solutions. They compromise when and where needed. When it comes to fiscal issues, they lean conservative and want our nation to balance our budget. They want less government and not more. But unlike the wing nuts, they're decidedly more moderate when it comes to social issues. Moderates are more tolerant of issues surrounding abortion, gay rights, health care, and of having a more inclusive nation. Unfortunately though, moderates in our party have no one to carry the banner in the press or on TV. They've been shoved aside. And, as a result, they tend either not to vote, or will often cross party lines to vote for the other guys. Why? Because they are simply sick of listening to the wing nuts.

Which are you? Moderate, or wing nut? Our Republican Senator Richard Burr is a wing nut. And as a moderate Republican, I'm tired of listening to wing nuts. I'm tired of wing nuts controlling the voice of our Republican Party. I'm simply tired enough that when I step into the voting booth, I have but one mission in life - vote for anyone other than the wing nut. I'm ready to toss our Wing Nut Republican Senator Richard Burr to the curb. North Carolina simply deserves better than Richard Burr.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Sky is falling, really


Every Republican I hear on TV is a Chicken Little wannabe. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. We're in real trouble. Our nation is going to hell. Our deficits are out of control. Our taxes are too high. This new health care plan takes away our freedom. Our weak dollar is a real crises. Terrorists are going to blow up our nation.

My gosh, where were these people in 2000-2008 when our country was set on its current path by the Republican Party leadership that controlled Washington DC?

Don't you just hate hypocrites? I've come to realize that my Republican Party is the party of hypocrites. To be a Republican is to be Chicken Little. We must go around clucking about pending doom and gloom.

ENOUGH. We need to rid ourselves of those who whine and complain. We need people in our party who have positive attitudes and put forth solutions, not point fingers and complain about our current state of affairs, which were largely of Republican making. We need to boot people like Republican Senator Richard Burr right out the door, and find someone who doesn't cluck. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Richard Burr.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Obama slams Burr and Republicans


I'm just sick and tired of listening to all the wing-nut Republicans bash Congressional efforts to pass health care legislation. Time and again, nut jobs like Larry Kudlow hammer on Democrats about health care. You know something, I'm a Republican. But I want something done about health care in this nation. Far too many people go without. Far too many people live in fear of having to go to the doctor or hospital. We're the richest nation in the world, yet we can't get affordable medical care. And to listen to Republicans, it's too damn costly, too much trouble, too much of an effort.

President Obama just stepped to the podium to announce that both the AMA and AARP are now behind the health care legislation in the House. Slam-bam. Republicans now look the fools that they are. Larry Kudlow looks an idiot who can't do anything but complain. Shut the hell up. Just shut the hell up Republican political leaders and Republican nut jobs in the press and on TV and Radio. We're sick of you. We're behind anyone who wants to get something accomplished on the health care front. And right now that does not appear to be anyone in the Republican party. So, take a hike Republicans in Washington DC. We've had enough of your crap.

Senator Richard Burr? This man has gotten NOTHING accomplished on the health care front. NOTHING. He's a disgrace to North Carolina. The man needs to go. Kick his sorry butt to the curb in the next election. North Carolina deserves better.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Burr did nothing about insider trading


The FBI arrested 14 more people today for trading on insider information. That makes me pleased, very pleased. You only need to sit behind a trading screen for a couple months to learn what every trader on Wall Street knows - insider trading is rampant. It's been rampant for years. And absolutely nothing was done about it during the 8 years Republicans controlled Washington DC. And that makes me madder than hell.

Senator Richard Burr did nothing about insider trading, not one damn thing. And for that alone, I can not forgive this man. Our nation's securities markets are our single biggest advantage in worldwide commerce. Companies around the world come here to raise money and list their stocks for trading. If we can't instill a sense of fairness and confidence in our securities markets, we'll lose this advantage. And it has gotten so bad in recent years that the average American simply came to believe that our markets were rigged. They were. And Republicans sat on their lazy tails and did absolutely nothing to correct the situation.

North Carolina Republican Richard Burr is a disgrace. This man needs his butt shoved out the door as soon as possible. While Burr and our Republican party were in power, they destroyed our economy and allowed the crooks and thieves on Wall Street to reign supreme. North Carolina simply deserves better than Richard Burr.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Burr Must Go: Republicans brought us this economic mess

Was reading some old posts on my trading centric blog from back in early June '09. This post reminds me of why I have this burning desire to throw out of office every Republican who served during the Bush Administration:

  1. Republican Phil Gramm deregulated the CDS market.
  2. Republican George Bush pushed home ownership on anyone with a pulse.
  3. Republican Alan Greenspan sat on his tail and did nothing about easy sub-prime money.
  4. Republican Chris Cox turned a blind eye to dangerous and rampant securitization.
  5. Republican controlled and laissez-faire preaching Congress did nothing about any of these things.
  6. Republicans threw all this crap in a big economic bowl and cooked up a mess that destroyed $50 Trillion in worldwide wealth.
  7. Americans say to hell with Republicans, and vote for Democrat Barack Obama for President.
  8. Americans put Democrats in power in Congress.
  9. Republican whine.
  10. Republicans cry.
  11. Republicans say that the economy is going to fall from the sky.
  12. Republicans object to saving the banks.
  13. Republicans object to saving the auto companies.
  14. Republican object to spending any money to clean up the massive mess they cook up.
  15. Wouldn't it be funnier than hell if:
  16. We make massive returns on the investments to save the banks?
  17. We make massive returns on the investments to save the auto companies?
  18. We make massive returns on the FED's monetizing of the Treasury's debt issuance?
  19. The economy turns on a dime in a massive way?
  20. The deficits turn into surpluses?
  21. Stranger things have happened.
  22. Republican politicians need to take note, and just shut the hell up.
It's just simply time to send a message to all the Republicans who brought us this economic mess. It's time to give Republican Senator Richard Burr his walking papers. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Burr Must Go: Only gets 19% support?

Apparently there are a good number of citizens of North Carolina thinking along the same lines that I think when it comes to our ineffective Republican Senator. In a recent poll, Republican Senator Richard Burr is only getting support from 19% of the respondents.

19%? Pathetic. We really must throw this man to the curb. North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Burr Must Go: He hides behind "small business"


Our Republican political leaders constantly hide behind the term "small business". Who in the world do they think they are kidding?

We can't do anything to improve our nation's trade balance, it'll harm small business. We can't do anything to reduce higher education costs, it'll harm small business. We can't do anything to make changes to our health care system, it'll harm small business. We can't do anything to improve the environment, it'll harm small business. We can't craft a sensible energy policy, it'll harm small business. We can't do anything about anything, it'll harm small business.

Bullshit.

What do Republican political leaders really mean when they use the term small business? They really mean it'll harm the 1% of small business owners who make piles and piles of money. It'll harm the super wealthy of our country. It'll harm our nation's rich citizens. It'll harm the people who have greatly grown their wealth over the last decade at the expense of the vast middle class and the less fortunate Americans, whose incomes have been stagnate. Our Republican political leaders are simply liars when they throw around the term small business. It's their way of protecting the wealthy.

Listen up Republican Politicians. I'm 'effing sick of listening to you jerks cloaking yourselves behind the real small businesses in our nation. Stop it. Stop with the senseless attempts to hide behind small business in order to impede the need to make some serious changes to address serious issues in our country. We know what you really mean. And when you continue to lie about your real intentions, we'll walk into the voting booth and throw your sorry butts to the curb.

Today's classic example of these lies? Republican Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan is out there telling the world that we can't tax the very wealthy in our country because it'll hurt small businesses. Right. Got it. 'effing liar. Tell it like it is Congressman. You object to it because it'll hurt the top 1% of taxpayers. The same top 1% who benefited vastly by the Bush Administration tax cuts that went overwhelmingly to the super wealthy and drove our nation's budget deficits to record levels. It's time to reverse that stupidity. And lying by hiding behind the flag of small business isn't going to win any friends and influence any voters.

Our Republican Senator Richard Burr? He's all about hiding behind small businesses in order to reward and protect the super wealthy. He's one of those typical Republican Politicians who lie when they try to tell us it's not good for "small businesses". I've had enough of his bullshit. Republican Senator Richard Burr needs to be thrown to the curb. North Carolina simply deserves better.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Burr Must Go: Obama attacks capitalism?


According to Jeb Bush, President Obama attacks capitalism. That's the headline in a news piece I'm reading this afternoon. Well Jeb, no. But I think that the Republican Party did more than enough to stand around with their heads up their tails and allow capitalism to implode. Thanks of course, Jeb, to your idiot brother.

You know something, I am simply sick and tired of all the damn finger pointing from the Republican party. I want to hear a Republican stand up and say "Republicans are to blame for this mess we're in. We screwed up. We took our eye off the ball and allowed our banks and bankers to run wild. We're to blame. We've learned our lesson and we're going to clean up our own mess. And here's how we're going to do it ..... "

That's the Republican I will vote for in the next election, if one even exists. We deserve Republican political leaders who accept responsibility and admit when they're wrong. And I've yet to hear or see a Republican in Washington DC who fits that mold.

But I can tell you it won't be North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr who gets my vote in the upcoming election. Senator Burr continues to point fingers. Senator Burr impedes the progress we need to clean up this Republican mess. So Senator Burr needs his sorry Republican butt kicked to the curb. North Carolina simply deserves better than Richard Burr.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Burr Must Go: Republicans, the party of fear?


Sting is making big headlines this morning. I like Sting, but I'm not a big fan of celebrities expressing their opinions about serious economic and political issues. These folks are overwhelmingly clueless. Most of them just need to stick to what makes them famous and quit trying to mold the impressions of others.

There were a couple comments that Sting made though that really hit home with me. Especially in referring to the Republican Party:

"It's aggressive and violent and full of fear," he said of the backlash against Obama. "They don't want change, they want things to feel the same because they feel safe there."

Yep, that pretty much sums up Fox News, the vast majority of my party, and most of the Republican politicians in Washington DC. These are all old, white, conservative people who remain firmly planted in the past. Most can't text. Few use facebook. Fewer still own an iPhone. Most do their income taxes with pencil and paper. And they all scream and shout, point fingers, and "no" is the only word with which they have comfort. Republican's are the party of the past. We fear change. And we're trying to yell our way to keeping the status quo in tact. Like the dinosaurs, we're staring down the barrel of extinction.

Richard Burr is a Republican dinosaur. This man is firmly planted in the past. He's an old, white, conservative man who loves the word "no". It's time for a new, younger, more progressive person in this role. It time to throw our dinosaur to the curb and find ourselves someone who will breathe new life into our party. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Burr loves rewarding the super wealthy


I ran across this post a few minutes ago. It was a post that I made to another blog back in January of this year. I'm really tired of Republicans in Washington DC bitching and moaning about our federal budget deficits. Yes, our deficit situation is dire. But who's to blame? Republicans. They handed out tax cuts like they were candy. Look where it got us. Here's a post that helps explain why we are where we are in terms of debt in this country:

A very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how much George Bush's income tax cuts have benefited our nation's wealthiest. In 2006, the top 400 taxpayers in our nation made an average of $263 Million each. Yep, $263 Million, in a year. That's $105 Billion for 400 people. Their average federal tax rate was 17.2%. That's down from 29.5% in 1995. So they paid an average of $45.2 Million in federal income taxes. Sounds like a lot. But thanks to George Bush, they paid $33.4 M a piece less than under Bill Clinton's tax structure. George gave $33.4 Million in walking around money to each of for our richest Americans. $13.3 Billion in tax savings for these fortunate 400.

Is it any wonder that wealthy Americans love George Bush? And is it any wonder that an Administrative Assistant and Fire Fighter married couple paying an average blended 25% federal income tax rate feel slighted and can't understand why they can't get ahead? 17.2% for the super-wealthy and 25% for middle class Americans. Very unfair.

Hey, I like paying less income taxes, just like the next guy, but our system simply isn't fair. It's way out of whack, massively favoring the very wealthy. And all this talk about the need for lower capital gains taxes, capital gains tax holidays, corporate income tax rate cuts, making the tax cuts permanent and even lower dividend tax rates, will do absolutely nothing but make it even less fair.

I'm deeply ashamed at what my Republican party has done to the United State Income Tax Code. Deeply ashamed. Ashamed enough that I want to punish Republicans who acted irresponsibly, cut income taxes deeply, and put us into this mess we're in. Republican Senator Richard Burr needs to go. This man is a disgrace to our state. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Burr destroyed our home values


I've been writing some stories about my efforts to shop for real estate, step into a larger, Republican home - a good deal brought to us by my Republican Party destroying our economy. As I have been looking for a good deal, I find myself also looking for articles that could give me some guidance as to where real estate prices are headed in 2010. I've run across a few good articles:

10/27 Bloomberg: Goldman says home prices to fall 5 to 10% in '10
10/27 WSJ: Mark Zandi, home prices to fall another 10%

9/28 Barron's: Overhang of future foreclosures clouds prospects
9/22 Harris RE Blog: Triple Whammy Coming?
9/14 WashingtonExaminer.com: Deutsche Bank, home prices to fall 10.5%
9/14 Inside Housing: E&Y predicts further pricing weakness in '10
9/10 Harris RE Blog: Fannie Mae CEO Speaks, more weakness ahead
9/10 Harris RE Blog: Meredith Whitney 25% decline in housing prices

9/15 Wells Fargo: Housing prices not to trough until '10, pg 11
8/20 Calculated Risk blog: Foreclosures to peak at end of 2010

If the articles above are not enough to make you sick, I don't know what will. Our Republican Party was in power for 8 years. They set the conditions that destroyed our Real Estate Market. Republicans are to blame, period. And that's enough for me to want give our Republican Senator Richard Burr a swift kick to the curb. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Burr Must Go: Looking in the mirror - Have I become a Democrat?


Lately, I've really been pleased with action coming out of Washington DC. We're getting movement on all the stuff that I really care about:

Health Care. Good debate is happening on the Health Care front. Meaningful legislation is moving forward. I'm not entirely pleased with where it's going, but finally, something's going to happen. This issue has been ignored for far too long. Its wrecking our pocketbooks, making our companies uncompetitive in a world market, and leaving a very large swath of our country out on the streets in terms of care.

Executive Pay.
We're still not doing near enough to clamp down on executive pay. It's been another issue that we've simply ignored for far too long. But we're making some progress to give shareholders a say in executive pay. We're putting pressure on executives in government supported companies to clamp down on pay. At least now its under the microscope. It just feels like some attention is being directed to rein in egregious executive pay in this country.

Income Tax Cheating. We finally have an IRS getting aggressive with high income taxpayers who hide their assets offshore. We're throwing the book at governments, lawyers, accountants, and bankers who aide in this criminal activity. Congress is bringing stricter legislation to the table. The justice department is getting engaged.

Securities Markets. Our SEC is awake again. We're getting more adult oversight in our financial markets. We're addressing the "too big to fail issue". We're clamping down on insider trading and other unfair issues that made for an uneven playing field between professional and retail investors. We're putting more power in the hands of shareholders. We're taking back our nation's corporations from the entrenched CEO's and Board of Directors who had hi-jacked and fleeced our companies for their own personal gain.

Banking. We're taking power away from the bankers. We're dialing down those egregious fees and strict terms that made no sense what so ever. We're giving the consumer a fair shake against the meaningfully more powerful bankers who fleeced consumers for far too long.

Education. We've taken a bazooka to the for-profit student loan lenders. These people were making egregious amounts of money off our children and off the parents struggling to pay for run away education costs. We've put them out of business.

I'm pleased with all these things. I'm very pleased. And that has me tremendously worried. These things are happening while a Democrat controls the White House and Democrats control Congress. I'm taking a very hard look in the mirror these days and asking myself if I've become a Democrat.

No. Absolutely not. I am not a socialist. I am a capitalist. I believe in the free markets. I firmly believe in the concept of individual responsibility as the driving force in our nation. I don't care for big brother government. But, I also recognize the critical need for referees in our system. We must have adult, responsible oversight, and rules, under which our markets operate and our citizens act. We didn't get these things in the Bush Administration. And the values of our homes went to hell, our neighbors lost their jobs, our retirement plan balances plummeted, our education, energy and medical costs went through the roof, and our paychecks stayed stagnate.

My Republican Party lost its rudder. For far too long, we simply operated under the concept of each man for himself. We allowed this country, its markets, its people, to run wild, out of control, do whatever they wanted to do in order to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. We allowed our government and our society to spin out of control. We drank the kool-aide of laissez-faire capitalism, instead of the concept of free markets with rules and adult oversight.

I'm still a Republican. But I'm simply madder than hell at all my fellow Republicans who acted irresponsibly in Washington DC. I'm furious with all the wing nut Republicans who only point fingers and scream at the top of their lungs. I'm tremendously upset with Republicans who think that no government is a good government. These people are clueless dolts. They dominate our party. They sit in Washington DC and impede progress. And our Republican Senator Richard Burr is among this group. He's a ring leader. He needs to go. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Burr is like a Realtor


Posts here are lite because I'm still spending an inordinate amount of time shopping for a Republican home - a good deal brought to us by Republican mismanagement of our economy. Our local real estate market is really screwed up. There are a record number of homes for sale, and homes are sitting on the market for a record period of time. Foreclosure and short sale lists are expanding. It's a sick market and you'd think that I could find something readily in a market like this. But it's taking a long time to reach a deal. Why? Because Realtors have royally screwed up the economics of Real Estate. Realtors are to blame for this market not clearing transactions in a normal manner. Realtors are preventing home sales from happening.

On January 1, 2008, our local county reassessed our property values to the then current market value. That value is stuck in the minds of sellers when they go to put their home up for sale. But I track sales very closely, getting email alerts daily for all home sales > $700 K in our county. Homes in that price range are usually around 3800 sq feet or more in size and considered the upper-end for our market. The home sales that are happening are closing in the range of 85 - 90% of property tax value, consistently. That means we've had an average of about a 10 -15% decline in values in our area over the last 2 years.

Some sales are going off at even lower values. There are a number of distressed sales happening in the range of 65 - 70% of tax value. These don't happen often, but they're happening, and the number of these transactions are growing. Therefore, buyers who know the market won't pay more than 85 - 90% of tax value for a home they really want. And many of the buyers who really understand the market are looking for that deal in the 65 - 70% of tax value range. A number of buyers are splitting the different and bidding 75 - 80% of tax value as an opening offer.

There are two problems that prevent our market from operating in a normal manner. The first is that sellers are oblivious to the current economics of the real estate market. They're just clueless as to what's happening in the market. They don't track sales. The only number they might be familiar with is the tax value of their home. And since that tax value was determined almost two years ago, they want more than tax value for their property.

The second problem though is the primary problem right now. It's competitive to get a real estate listing. So Realtors don't want to be honest with potential clients. They want to tell the client what the client wants to hear. Realtors want that listing. So Realtors walk in the door and side with the warped perception in the clients' minds that they can get something over tax value for their homes. They promise the clients it can happen. They really want that listing!

The result is that homes go on the market for tax value and higher. Buyers are only willing to pay 85 - 90% of tax value, and less. By historical standards, that's a huge gap in expectations between seller and buyer. On an $800 K house, that gap can be $100 - $150 K. In more recent years, you'd offend a seller if your offer was less than $20 to $30 K off asking. Today, you need to offer $150 K less than asking right off the bat. So you can see now why houses sit unsold.

Sellers want far too much. Realtors lie to sellers. Buyers are realistic and offer the current market. The gaps between ask and offer are historically massive and offended sellers won't bend to the extent necessary. Houses sit unsold. The only way we're going to get back to a normal level of home sales is for Realtors to start telling sellers the truth.

A special message to Realtors in Raleigh, North Carolina - stop lying.

Our Republican Senator Richard Burr reminds me of Raleigh, North Carolina Realtors. He's an impediment to progress. It's time for him to go. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Burr Must Go: On the WRONG side of key financial markets legislation


Derivatives NOT traded on exchanges.

There. There it is. That one sentence provides a crystal clear explanation as to why your house isn't worth spit. That one sentence explains why your street is littered with "For Sale" signs. That one sentence explains why your 401 K is now a 101 K. That one sentence explains why your unemployed neighbors don't have jobs and have zero hope of finding a decent job soon.

We can thank our Republican Party.

Derivatives not traded on exchanges brought down AIG and our nations Banks. They allowed $30, $40, $50 Trillion in bets to be placed against a mere $2 to $3 Trillion in sub-prime mortgage loans. They allowed our nation's President, Treasury Secretary, and Chairman of our Federal Reserve Board to be clueless about the extent of the risks to our nation's financial markets when this crises started to unfold. Derivatives not traded on exchanges made our economy go to hell, and allowed us to come pretty damn close to a total meltdown of the entire world.

The amazing thing? It's largely the Republican Party fighting AGAINST regulation of derivatives. My god, are these people really that insane?

Enough. I've simply had ENOUGH of the Republican idiots in Congress who refuse to bring sensible regulation and oversight over Wall Street and our financial markets. I've had ENOUGH of our Republican Senator Richard Burr. It isn't good enough for this man that our homes are worthless, our neighbors unemployed, and our retirement accounts shot to hell. Our Republican Party and our Senator want to destroy our lives.

YEP, I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF OUR IDIOT REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD BURR. This man needs to go. North Carolina deserves better.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Burr and Greenspan: Drinking buddies who drove our economy into the ground


A headline passed by my trading screen this morning:

08:14 Ex-Fed Greenspan say US cos cut too many workers, likely need to add workers - DJ

I laughed. Who cares? No one. No one cares what Alan Greenspan says or thinks. This man was wrong. It cost our nation dearly.

That would be Alan Greenspan, the former head of our Federal Reserve Board. He's the Laissez-Faire Republican who thought it best to allow our banking industry to police itself. That would be the guy who felt that there was no need to step in and enforce our nation's lending laws and put a stop to all the reckless lending that eventually took down our housing market. That would be the philosophical, identical twin to Republican Senator Richard Burr. These are the idiots who brought us this economic mess. These are the people who killed our retirement savings and destroyed the value of our homes.

It's time to tune these people out. It's time to punish those who put this economic mess on our doorstep. It's past time to kick Republican Senator Richard Burr to the curb. North Carolina deserves a US Senator better than our dolt Richard Burr.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Burr Must Go: Maddoff investors sue the SEC, Burr should pay


News is just crossing my trading screens about a lawsuit filed against the SEC. As a taxpayer, I really don't want this lawsuit to succeed. But from a practical standpoint, I hope the Lawyers filing this suit literally stomp the living daylights out of the SEC in court. And if there was justice in this world, every Bush Administration, Laissez-Faire preaching politician in our country would be held responsible for paying the bill. These politicians, Republican Senator Richard Burr included, tied the hands of our SEC. They cajoled and criticized our SEC for trying to doing its job. They put the SEC in a corner and didn't allow them to do squat. These Laissez-Faire Republican politicians are at fault for our economic mess, and for all the Wall Street crap that went on. They took the referees off the playing field. But the American people paid the price via an economic mess, and scandals like Bernie Madoff.

Now, the US taxpayers are getting sued.

Republican Senator Richard Burr is a worthless idiot of a representative for the people of North Carolina. We simply deserve better than Mr. Burr. It's time to give him his walking papers. It's time to vote Senator Richard Burr out of office.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Burr Must Go: We've had enough of laissez-faire capitalism


This book: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy, by Peter S. Goodman, is getting a good review this morning. I'm looking forward to picking it up on my next trip to the bookstore. What's the book about? Its about how laissez-faire capitalism screwed America.

Our Republican Senator Richard Burr is ALL about laissez-faire capitalism. He drank the Kool-Aide. He and his merry band of neo-cons screwed our country and made a royal mess of our economy. It's time to dish out punishment. It's simply time to run our idiot Republican Senator Richard Burr out of office.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Burr Must Go: Anti-incumbant movement on the march

There's an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today: Rage at Government for Doing Too Much and Not Enough. It's about public anger directed at Washington, and big business. I smiled after reading the article. It does a decent job of summing up my feelings about my Republican Party, my Republican Senator Richard Burr, and Wall Street.

Our economy is a mess. And our politicians are using our money to clean up the mess. But instead of punishing those who brought this mess to our doorsteps, we're winding up rewarding them in such a manner that they continue on down the path of massive bonuses and massive compensation. But that's a laissez-faire approach to business as subscribed to by neo-con and ultra conservative Republicans. That's exactly what Republican Senator Richard Burr subscribes to - Washington needs to keep their hands off Wall Street and the business community. Bullshit.

It's simply time to dole out punishment. We first need to throw out of office anyone who served during the Bush administration. These people were asleep at the wheel. They put this mess on our doorsteps. We need to kick their sorry tails to the curb. And that includes Republican Senator Richard Burr. Then we need to go after the key players on Wall Street who ran these companies and made massive compensation off the backs of taxpayers. A large number of them need to be put away and their riches stripped. And finally we need sensible regulation and adult oversight of Wall Street and big business.

Republican Senator Richard Burr isn't getting the job done. He hides in his office. He espouses an approach to business and regulation that lacks common sense. Our Senator is a dolt and needs to be replaced. It's time to throw this bum out of office. The sooner, the better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Republicans going nuts over falling dollar


This article in the Financial Times this evening paints a picture of the Republican Party going absolutely nuts over the falling dollar. It's all President Obama's fault. The Democrats are to blame. Sarah Palin is leading the charge by pointing fingers at President Obama. In her facebook page this evening she's blaming Obama for the falling dollar, rising gold, and a dependence on foreign oil. Sarah thinks these 9 months of Obama's Presidency are sure to lead our nation down the drain.

Really? I simply can't help but laugh my ass off after reading the article. This evening, as I was headed out the door, I caught some of Larry Kudlow's show - you know, the CNBC Right Wing Republican Business Hour. Kudlow was droning on and on about how the US Federal Government was trashing our dollar. He put up a series of graphs showing how, over the last 8 years, the dollar has declined by 67%! And over the last eight years, gold has risen by 300%! Over the last eight years .....

Who was in charge of Washington DC over the last eight years?

Gee, it was the Republican Party, eh? I rest my case. The dollar is crashing. Gold is going nuts. And if there's anyone to blame, it's the Republican Party. Those are the clowns who controlled our nation OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS.

It's time to place the blame for our economic mess squarely on the shoulders of the party most responsible. The Republican Party. Every Republican politician who served in THE LAST EIGHT YEARS needs their sorry tails kicked out of office. And that includes Republican Senator Richard Burr. This man is a disgrace. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Richard Burr.

Burr Must Go: Without the Capital, you're not going to have the jobs.

"Without the capital, you're not going to have the job growth"
"We need tax cuts in order to create jobs in this country"
"Unless we give tax credits to small businesses, we'll never be able to employ more people"

Oh please. I am simply tired of hearing the ignorant bullshit that spills out of the mouths of our Republican political leaders. Just stop it. Now. Stop and think before you talk. Republicans are mouthing those sentences left and right on Capital Hill these days. And when they say these things, they do nothing but demonstrate their complete and utter ignorance of basic economics.

Capital formation is NOT our problem right now in this country. We've got a tremendous amount of liquidity in our markets. My gosh, there's over $3 Trillion sitting in money market funds right now, earning next to nothing in the way of a return on capital. If there were decent investment opportunities, there would be more than enough in the way of capital available. And for all the cries about all the debt our nation has to finance, each and every week, week after week, the demand at auction for our nation's debt consistently exceeds supply by over 2x. So, capital formation is NOT the problem. And when you hear a Republican mouth off about the need to "free up" or "create" pools of capital for investment, just tell them to shut the hell up. They know not of what they speak.

And cutting taxes, or handing out tax credits to create jobs - what a damn waste of our money. Companies don't hire people as a result of a tax cut. No way, no how. That just is NOT the case. Companies hire people when they need additional labor in order to meet the demand for their products or services. Encouraging hiring with tax cuts or credits only sets a company up for failure. It leads to hiring more people than needed to operate efficiently. It leads to temporary hiring and eventual layoffs.

This brings us to the only need we have in our economy right now. We need to create demand. That's the only reason we are currently suffering economically. There is simply not enough demand for products and services to create sufficient jobs. The focus of our country and it's leaders should be in making policy that creates demand for products and services. When you hear a political leader talk about programs and legislation that stimulate demand, you're hearing a leader who understands economics.

Republicans politicians, they are mostly idiots. They're running around right now pushing tax cuts and capital formation. Why? Because that's their answer to everything. The Republican mantra is to throw a tax cut and capital formulation program at every problem ever suffered in our world. Wrong. Simply flat assed wrong. Tax cuts and capital formation are concerns when our economies are firing on all cylinders, interest rates are high, and budgets are in surplus. But at the very bottom of an economic cycle, the focus must be on supporting and encouraging DEMAND.

Republicans who talk up tax cuts at this stage of our economic cycle are complete and utter idiots. Vote them out of office. They don't understand even the most basic of economic principles. And Senator Richard Burr? I'm simply past being fed up with hearing him talk about the need for tax cuts. The man is an idiot and a giant embarrassment to the state of North Carolina. We deserve better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. Give this pitiful man the boot, before he throws another irresponsible tax cut in our direction.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Burr Must Go: He screwed our US Dollar


I'm scared. Honestly. I traded through the Asian currency crises. I traded through the dot.bomb crash. I traded through the oil bubble. I traded through this last economic collapse. Each and every time I came out the other side with more capital than going in. But I read an article tonight that scared the crap out of me. This article represents probably the biggest challenge ever. And if it unfolds, I'm just not sure I'm going to make it through that crises with any capital left.

Read the article. This is the result of 8 years of Republican mismanagement of our economy. And don't bother asking our Republican US Senator about the implications of every nation in the world running away from the US Dollar. Our Senator is an economic idiot. Our Senator allowed our economy to crash and burn. Our Senator acted like an 'effing idiot and stood by and allowed this mess to unfold.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. And when our nation goes absolutely broke, and is ravaged by inflation from a worthless currency, you're going to wish we had done better than send an economic idiot to Washington DC. Give Richard Burr his walking papers, before it's too late.

Burr Must Go: Welcome to Republican, buy-out America


Read this article in the New York Times business section. It tells the story of Simmons Mattress Company. It tells the story of a company that was bought out by Private Equity investors from Boston. This story is reminiscent of the myriad of private equity deals that were done during the Republican Bush Administration. These deals could be thought of as Republican Private Equity. And when you get right down to the basics, there were just a handful of winners, and a very large number of average Americans who simply got taken to the cleaners. These deals looked very much like the sub-prime debacle that ravaged the value of our homes. These scams happened because our Republican political leaders didn't do a damn thing to bring common sense into this equation. And our country is paying one hell of a steep price as a result.

What happened? Thomas Lee Partners, a private buyout firm from Boston bought Simmons Mattress Company. They put very little of their own money into the buyout. They leveraged up the company with massive amounts of debt. They collected massive fees, absolutely massive. The article indicates over $750 Million went into the pockets of Thomas Lee and its partners and investors. And millions in fees went to Wall Street Bankers.

Who lost? Workers. Over 1,000 were laid off last year. And the bond holders too. They lost huge when the value of their debt went down the tubes. Over $575 Million up in smoke.

Wall Street wins. A very few people make hundreds of millions. A massive number of blue collar workers lose their jobs, their pensions, their health care. Investors who bought bonds lose massively too. And not a single politician in Washington DC felt that this entire process lacked a lick of common sense. They turned a blind eye. They allowed a small number of Wall Street Bankers to screw a massive number of Americans. And those Republicans who controlled Washington DC for 8 years while this private equity boom hit peaks, they screwed America in their blindness to this absolute travesty.

Welcome to Republican America, where the rich screw America, and the ones who got the shaft are, more likely than not, now sitting in front of Fox TV News and cussing the opposition party. Not me. I've had my fill of the idiotic right wing Republicans who don't apply adult oversight and common sense to our business world. I've had enough of the likes of Senator Richard Burr. He thinks its OK for Wall Street to buy companies with no money down, suck out millions in fees, fire workers, screw bond holders, and walk away from the mess they left without any ramifications. This man is a disgrace. He needs to go. North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Blogger Disclosure: Senator Richard Burr, kick this sorry bum out of office

There was some other interesting news that crossed my trading screens today:

Bloggers Must Disclose Product Ties

WASHINGTON -- Bloggers, Tweeters and online marketers will have to tell consumers when they are paid or given freebies to write positive reviews or postings, federal regulators said Monday.

The Federal Trade Commission released updated guidelines Monday designed to provide clarity for bloggers and other online writers about their responsibility to provide consumer disclosure as well as liability issues they face for making false or deceptive claims about products and services.

Allow me to just go ahead and nip this one in the bud. I blog for myself. I am paid by no one. I spend nothing, but my own personal time. And my desire is clear and simple. My Republican Party so 'effed up our economy that I want every single Republican who served during the Bush Administration to be run out of office, out of Washington DC, and if I had my way, run out of our country. These people were derelict in their responsibilities. They failed us. Now they need to be punished. And North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is among the sorry POS Republican politicians who need their walking papers. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Glad I cleared the air on that one. Now, hopefully, Senator Burr won't sic the FTC on my little blog.

Read this, then kick Senator Richard Burr's sorry tail out of office


This news piece crossed my trading screens today. It really warmed my heart:

Ex-Boeing manager pleads guilty in UBS tax case

WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - A retired sales manager for Boeing pleaded guilty on Monday to hiding almost $2 million in Swiss bank accounts and failing to report income from the accounts on his U.S. tax returns, the Justice Department said.

Roberto Cittadini, a UBS client, made the plea in a Seattle court and faces up to three years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine as well as a civil penalty, the department said.

This would not have been possible if Republicans still controlled Washington DC. Our Republican party bowed down and kissed the tails of every filthy rich American. Our Republican Party looked the other way while the wealthy of our country stampeded across the oceans to hide their wealth from the IRS. Our Republican party did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about this UBS income tax mess. Nothing. And our Republican Party, who turned a blind eye to this crap, now needs to be punished.

Not once did I hear or read of North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr coming out and speaking aggressively against Foreign Banks that help Americans hide their wealth from the IRS. Not once. And America had to borrow even more to make up for the lack of tax collections on the uber wealthy in our country stashing their riches in Swiss Banks. Now it's time for Republican Senator Richard Burr to pay a price for turning that blind eye. We need to run this sorry man out of office. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Burr Must Go: Is not landing the Olympics really the end of the world?


I honestly believe the ultra right wing of the Republican Party has gone absolutely and certifiably NUTS. Why? Because they are going berserk over President Obama's unsuccessful attempt to land the 2016 Olympics for America. Every right wing leader of the party is acting and talking like this is the end of the world. Opinion pieces in major newspapers are calling it a disaster. On CNBC last right, Larry Kudlow wouldn't shut up about it and had a string of guests on who painted this issue like it was Armageddon. The Drudge report is leading off with headline after headline making this appear like its the start of World War III. And my hard core Republican neighbors are making fun of President Obama over this issue and calling him an idiot.

Is that it? Is that all the Neo-Cons have? Our President is a failure because he didn't land the Olympics for Chicago and America?

Allow me to define failure. Failure is starting two wars, while not asking our country's citizens to sacrifice and pay for the wars. Failure is doubling our budget deficit. Failure is handing out tax cuts to the uber wealthy in this country like they were candy. Failure is allowing the number of Americans on food stamps and in poverty to hit record highs. Failure is taking adult oversight away from our nations lenders and allowing that fatal error to destroy our housing market. Failure is ignoring the middle class while they are ravaged by higher health care, energy and education costs. Failure is passing a massive drug plan for senior citizens while tying the hands of the Federal Government from negotiating the best prices for the taxpayers. Failure is such gross incompetence and negligence in managing the affairs our of economy that over $50 Trillion in worldwide wealth is wiped off the map and unemployment skyrockets to record levels. These things represent true failure. These were the failures of 8 years of Republican leadership of our country.

Our Republican political leaders were abysmal failures. My suggestion? The Neo-Cons and Republican Party need to take one hell of a hard look in the mirror. Until they own up to their failures, they don't have a leg to stand on to be critical of our current President. They just need to keep their mouths shut. They failed our country abysmally and we're all going to be paying the price for decades into the future.

And not landing the Olympics? I deem that one heck of a success. President Obama played his dutiful role of trying to sell America to the world. Thank god the world said no to sending us the Olympics. Our taxpayers are thankful for not having to shell out yet more money at a time we're breaking the bank trying to clean up the mess left by the Republican Party.

But one thing's for damn sure. I won't forgive the failure of my Republican Party. I won't forgive the failures of every Republican who served during the Bush Administration. These people need to be punished. And North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr failed us. He needs to go. North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Senator Richard Burr - Administrative Assistant, or US Senator?


Senator Richard Burr and his staff pride themselves in going overboard in helping their constituents. They help the people of North Carolina navigate through all the paperwork and requirements of the various agencies of the Federal Government. Well, that's surely an important issue, but is that really why we elect a person to represent us in Washington DC?

Every Senator's office should bend over backwards to help its constituents. It's a minimum requirement. And there are a number of excellent, experienced people who can staff the offices and make this high level of service a reality. But isn't it important that our US Senators spend their time on the more critical issues? From reading all the literature, press, information that comes out of our Senator's office, maybe Richard Burr spends too much time giving hands on service to the people of North Carolina, and too little time helping shape the legislation that really impacts our lives? That's the impression I get. And I suspect that it's reality.

We elected a US Senator, not an Administrative Assistant. And more often than not, I'm left with this impression that North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is nothing more than a glorified Administrative Assistant. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. It's simply past the time where we need to give this man his walking papers, and find ourselves a real Senator.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Senator Richard Burr and the Neo-Cons are so wrong


This afternoon I had a trip down memory lane. Prior to the 2004 election I simply couldn't stomach the thought of voting for George Bush again. Simply put, I thought the man an idiot. He was, without a doubt. And we have the economy and budget deficit to prove it. On this board though a very large group of Republicans were debating each other prior to the 2004 election, over whether to support George and his Neo-Cons. There was one post I made there that summed up why I found the right wing nut jobs of my party so repulsive. And the thoughts I had back then still hold true today:

"Our common ground is probably vast. We’re probably both Republicans. You’re neo-con, right wing. I’m moderate. We both believe in free markets, democracy, capitalism. Utopia is a world where every nation is a democracy. Every person participates in frequent, free elections of its leaders. Governments work for the people, not people for the governments. There is world-wide freedom of thought, speech, religion. We’re all free to do whatever the hell we want, as long as exercising our freedom does not harm others.

We differ greatly in how to get there. You build a vast, expensive military complex and use it to force change where you think change needs to occur. You project power world-wide. You go on the offensive and want to harm others before they can potentially harm us.

Maybe your method works. If it does work, it might happen in our lifetime. But the probability of success is small, nil to nothing. You’ll alienate others before they’ll accept our world view. More likely, you’ll bankrupt our country before we have a chance to achieve world-wide Utopia.

If your method doesn’t work, the consequences will be dire. It could easily lead to incrementally more violence, death, conflict, world wars, clashes of cultures and countries, death and destruction.

My method won’t bring Utopia in our lifetime. But it’s chances of succeeding are appreciably higher. My method relies of slow, methodical, economic persuasion. Not force. It depends on economic power, not military power.

A military should only exist for defensive purposes. A military exists to enable an unimpeded process of building economic might, increasing our standard of living, allowing all our people to live a comfortable life. And as our economic power grows, we prosper. The world eventually WANTS to emulate our way of living. Change will be slow. It will take generations, but eventually everyone will adopt the American way.

We’re seeing my way play out right now in China. We’ve done everything possible to avoid conflict with China, and they’re coming our direction – rapidly. We may see free elections in that country before we go to our graves. And if we’d chill, and focus our efforts on ensuring our world leadership through continued economic strength, the entire world will eventually morph into one big democracy.

You want the quick fix and tolerate a high risk of failure. I want the long-term profits with minimal risks. Our end goal is the same. But you’re like xxxxx. Those corn heads are squeezing your brain. You’re trying to compensate by thinking with your penis."

There it is. That's why I can't stand my Republican Senator. He supported George Bush. He supported the projection of power through our military. He invaded other countries and spent vast amounts of our money in the process, while our own people went without education, healthcare, and decent jobs. America simply deserved better than George Bush, the Neo-Cons and Republican Senator Richard Burr. North Carolina deserved better too. And if you're a peace loving individual, you've got to hand this man his walking papers. Republican Senator Richard Burr needs to go.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Burr, Gregg and Republican rhetoric make me ill


Senator Judd Gregg is guest hosting on CNBC this morning. Of all the Republican Senators, Judd is one of my favorites. He's a solid citizen. But even I'm getting more than damn tired of all the rhetoric Senator Gregg spews about our current debt problems. He tries to paint President Obama as a liberal, allowing spending and debt to get out of control. Who the fork is Senator Gregg trying to fool?

Our out of control spending is a direct result of the irresponsibility of our Republican Party. Republicans controlled Washington DC for the last 8 years. They spent like drunken sailors, on all the WRONG things. They waged wars and sent all our money overseas. They ignored the middle class. They handed out tax cuts to the rich and wealthy in our country like it was candy. They doubled our nation's debt. And most critical of all, they so mismanaged our economy that it simply crashed and burned. This spending now, it's a direct result of the need to clean up the forking mess left by my Republican Party.

Here's an important message to Senator Judd Greg, Senator Richard Burr and all other Republicans out there who want to whine, moan and groan about all the deficit spending we're doing .... shut the hell up. Just stop talking about it. Propose higher taxes on the wealthy in this country. Take back all those irresponsible tax cuts you dished out. You caused this mess. You don't have a leg to stand on to be whining and crying about it now.

I'm just tired of Republican rhetoric. I'm tired of listening to Senator Gregg, Senator Burr and other Republican Senators whining about the mess they created. Throw these bums out of office. They screwed up our country. Now they need to be punished. America deserves better than the current Republicans who were in office during the Bush Administration. North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Back to a normal pace next week

I received several emails in the last week asking where I've been, and why my posts tailed off. I'll probably be back to a normal pace of posting late next week. In early August I went on a hunt for a new house. After my Republican Party destroyed our economy and caused a massive crash in housing prices, it just seemed right to be out there looking to buy a new home. But that really sucked up all my time for almost a month. And the last couple of days, I've been getting my '08 tax returns done. I paid significantly more than I owed earlier in the year and just extended my final filing until 10/15. The housing hunt is slowing, but I'll still be looking on and off, and the tax returns are almost done. So next week I'll be back at my securities trading turret full time. And unfortunately, I'll be reading about what my ignorant Republican Senator is doing to waste our time and money in Washington DC. I'll get steamed. And I'll be writing about it here once again, frequently.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Senator Richard Burr rewards bankers' failures


There's a major rift brewing, worldwide, over the pay of our bankers. The Brits, French and Germans want a pay cap placed on bankers. They're listening to the taxpayers of their countries who had to foot the massive bills to save our world's banks. Taxpayers are madder than a disturbed hornet. They want fairness in our systems. They believe what most common sense people around the world should believe. If you fail in our world, you need to pay a price, you need to be punished. And that's not happening with our world's bankers.

I sit behind a myriad of computer screens and trade my own capital in a number of different markets. When I succeed, I am handsomely rewarded, making more money than I ever dreamed I could make in a single year. But when I fail, I'm punished. And there have been times where I've not only gone without pay, I've had negative pay, a draw-down of trading capital, simply lost money. When I do well, I'm rewarded. When I don't do well, I pay a price. That's how the world should operate. That's capitalism.

We're allowing our world's bankers to operate in some fantasy land. When our world's economies are firing on all cylinders, bankers make egregious amounts of money. When our world's economies are sucking wind and our banks are losing money, our bankers are making egregious amounts of money. When our world's economies are really sick and our banks are near collapse, our banker's are still making egregious amounts of money. And when it's so bad that our taxpayers have to step in and save our banks, our bankers are STILL making egregious amounts of money. Now, how in the hell is that fair? It's not. And it must come to stop. Now.

Republicans think otherwise. Republicans think we need to operate with a hands off approach to regulation. Republicans think that Boards of Directors are best able to make these pay adjustments. Where's the evidence of our free markets making these adjustments? Where's the evidence of Boards of Directors doing their jobs? There is no evidence. Just like a hands off approach to regulation brought us this economic disaster, a hands off approach to regulating bankers pay brings us an unfair system where bankers win under every scenario.

I've had enough. I am simply sick and tired of my Republican Party sitting back and supporting the absolutely dreadful systems we have in place in this country where Corporate Executives win under every possible scenario. We have rich bankers in this country running around buying horse farms in Northern Virginia, after the taxpayers had to pay up the nose for their failures. We have egregious bonus monies continuing to be paid to bankers working for banks on a taxpayer lifeline. We have ZERO efforts happening in the way of claw backs to get our money back from the Billions in bonus money paid out to the bankers who brought us this mess.

ENOUGH. Senator Richard Burr wants to reward failure. Senator Richard Burr won't stand up for the taxpayers of this nation and demand that those who failed should be punished. Senator Richard Burr won't lift a finger to go after the fat bonuses paid for failure. Senator Richard Burr won't move to put the proper oversight in place to rein in egregious banker pay. Senator Richard Burr fails the taxpayers of North Carolina and America. And Senator Richard Burr simply needs his sorry ass kicked out of office. North Carolina deserves better than our sorry Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Senator Burr did one heck of a lousy job


The FED released the “Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States” report today. In a post in another blog, I outlined an abbreviated version of our nation’s net worth. It’s in balance sheet form, showing assets, liabilities, and net worth.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the balance sheet of Americans at three points in time:

  1. When George Bush came into office, Q1 2000.
  2. When our Nation’s Net Worth last peaked, YE 2007
  3. Present, Q2 2009

Assets - $ Trillions
Q1 00 Q4 07 Q2 09
Real Estate $11.3 $ 22.8 $ 20.0
Pension Funds 9.9 13.3 10.6
Ownership in businesses 4.7 8.7 7.0
Stocks 8.8 9.5 6.2
Bank and S&L deposits 4.4 7.3 7.7
Mutual funds 3.3 4.8 3.7
Durables (cars, washers, TVs, etc) 2.7 4.4 4.6
Corporate bonds .6 2.0 2.4
Money market funds .9 1.3 1.5
Life insurance reserves .8 1.2 1.2
Municipal securities .5 .9 1.0
Government securities & other 2.3 2.0 1.3




Total Assets 50.2 78.2 67.2




Liabilities


Home mortgages 4.7 10.5 10.4
Consumer credit 1.4 2.5 2.5
Other .9 1.3 1.1




Total Liabilities 7.0 14.3 14.0




Net Worth 43.2 63.9 53.2








US Population (millions) 278 297 305




Per person avg net worth $155 K $215 K $174 K

One key observation:

I’m a Republican, but I can’t help but be madder than hell at what a miserable job George Bush and Senator Richard Burr did in managing our economy. George came into office with the net worth of the average American being $155 K. The cost of living index from 2000 to 2009 was 23%. If we had simply kept pace with inflation, our net worth when Bush left office should have been $155 x 1.23 = $190 K. Republicans did such a miserable job managing our economy that we lost massive ground in our financial health. MASSIVE.

Although I'm a Republican, I've simply had enough of the ignorance of my state's Republican US Senator. This man needs to go. His leadership was absolutely miserable. We've made ZERO economic progress in this country while he served in Washington DC. ZERO. ZIPPO. NADA. NOTHING. North Carolina and our nation deserves better than our ignorant Republican Senator Richard Burr.

    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Where are the executive clawbacks Senator Burr?

    The Wall Street Journal has an article this evening that's causing my blood pressure to boil. It's an article about the joys of owning farmland. It is highlighting the recent purchase of a 20 acre farm in Northern Virgina by a former VP of Risk Management of Fannie Mae. This man, Tom Lawler, paid $1.6 Million in cash for the farm. Then he spent another couple hundred thousand building a high-end horse barn.

    Fannie Mae. That's where Tom earned this money. Tom Lawler was responsible for keeping the risk profile of Fannie Mae under control. He failed. Shareholders lost everything. The Government took over FMNA. The taxpayers got stuck with the bill, billions of dollars. And now Tom is running around Northern Virginia with money from his executive pay and stock options at Fannie Mae and he's buying farms and horse barns. My god. What in the world are our politicians doing in Washington DC that they allow this kind of CRAP to happen?

    Where are the executive clawbacks Senator Richard Burr? Why is our government sitting on its lazy butt and allowing every executive who profited handsomely from these failed financial institutions to keep their riches? Why do they win, big, while taxpayers lose? Why in the world are you not going after these people?

    It should be simple. If someone worked for a failed financial institution, every damn dime they earned above the annual pay of a Congressman (about $200 K a year, which is still too much) should now be paid back to the federal government. They ran the companies into the ground, they need to pay. Get off your butt Senator Burr and go after these people. Claw this money back. NOW.

    I am just sick and tired and fed up with the lack of action by our Federal Government. People like Senator Richard Burr are allowing the thieves and crooks to run rampant. Do something for god's sake. Make this system fair. And it's not fair when executives of failed financial institutions are running around with millions in their pockets and buying up farms and building hi-tech horse barns.

    Enough. We've had enough of our do nothing Republican Senator Richard Burr. It's time to send this man packing. He's not getting anything accomplished for North Carolina. And North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Thoughts on Obama

    I'm a Republican. But given that I was so fed up with my Party's management of our economy, in the last election I voted against the Republican Party. And, I'll likely do it again in the upcoming election. But, I can tell you, I am not comfortable with President Obama's recent actions:

    Health Care - He's not on his game. There's zero leadership coming from the White House. And his presentations on the subject leave me wondering if he truly understands the issues. We need to reduce labor costs, eliminate advertising, hack out sales costs, and take a knife to the costs of drugs.

    CIA interrogations - WTF? Has our President lost his mind? We can't treat terrorists with a velvet glove. And we can't look back to events from the past and make criminals out of our CIA. His stance here really angers me.

    Wall Street - Although our SEC is showing vast improvement, and there are so many other areas where we're finally getting adult oversight in place, we're simply not moving fast enough and aggressively enough. We absolutely must go after the executives who brought us this mess. We must throw a rope over the tree in the town square and make these people swing. And we must crack down hard on executive pay, really hard. It isn't happening. Why?

    Energy - My gosh, what are Democrats thinking? Our country is awash in natural gas. We have so much of it that it's dirt cheap. Yet, nothing is happening on the front of moving our transportation infrastructure to natgas. Why not? Why are we sitting on our tails? And the number of Americans without jobs is egregious. Yet, we sit on our tails and do nothing about drilling offshore? My gosh, our President is clueless when it comes to using energy to solve our jobs dilemma.

    Education costs - The crisis in North Carolina's university system spells out what's wrong in education. It had been so easy to pass through higher costs in the form of higher tuition that our universities got fat and lazy. They allowed administrative costs to run wild. We're not focusing on this problem. We're not challenging our universities to take a hard look at their cost structures and chop, chop, chop. Why?

    So, my anger over the egregiously terrible job that Republicans did in managing our economy, Wall Street and the business world is simply far too deep to allow me to support the Republican Party right now. I want every Republican bum, who served while George was President, to be thrown out the door. These people screwed our country. They need to be punished. And that includes Republican Senator Richard Burr.

    But, right now, I can't say I'm pleased with the alternative either. But, given a choice of only these two, our priority should be directed now at getting rid of the bums. And Republican Senator Richard Burr is a bum. North Carolina deserves better than Richard Burr.