Saturday, August 29, 2009

Burr and Bowles - North Carolina's Education Clowns

Erskine Bowles and Richard Burr. They ran against each other in 2004 to represent North Carolina in the US Senate. Burr won. Bowles lost. But North Carolina was the biggest loser of all. Our state's university system has become a pig trough where lazy people go to get high paying, do nothing jobs. Bowles allowed it to happen. Burr has done absolutely nothing about it. They both need their sorry tails in tar and feathers. They need to be run out of our state.

Erskine Bowles is in the headlines of the Raleigh News and Observer this morning. He's written a memo to the UNC University campus Chancellors where he whines about the discovery of the outlandish growth in administrative costs in our state's universities. He's being shamed into doing something about this mess. Who's fault is it Erskine? It's yours. But we can't place blame on you. You're wealthy. You only take $1 a year in pay. You get a pass.

But, where in the world was the UNC System Finance Chancellor? This man was sitting on his overpaid, lazy ass while a reporter, making peanuts, did his job for him. This reporter, with little financial knowledge or training, managed to dig up the facts that our university system was bloated administratively. Yet our highly paid finance people were clueless? From this one example of incompetence alone, it's not a reach to assume that our university system is crammed packed with clueless, overpaid, lazy people. And Erskine Bowles and his overpaid finance man are to blame.

But where is Burr? As usual, he's nowhere to be found on this issue. He hides in his office. He says nothing about the mess we now find ourselves in with our state's university system. And Senator Richard Burr does absolutely nothing about the outlandish growth in college education costs in our country. He's not using his position to push for cost cutting. He's not making an effort to shine light on the kind of crap we now find going on in our state's university system. Republican Senator Richard Burr has failed us on the higher education front. He's a do nothing politician who deserves to get his sorry tail kicked to the curb.

Burr and Bowles. That 2004 election wouldn't have made a difference, no matter which way it came out. Both these men are losers. They've both failed our state and it's citizens. And I'm one North Carolinian who can't wait for these two clowns to fall off the map. North Carolina deserves better.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Senator Burr and Republicans screwed America through irresponsible management of our economy

I'm looking to purchase a Republican house. What's a Republican house you ask? It's a house that would have sold for a $1 - $1.1 Million about a year or more ago, and probably only fetches $500 to $700 K in today's market. It's a nice wipe-out in real estate value brought to us by the Republican Bush Administration's negligence in managing our economy. And in Raleigh, North Carolina, there are a number of Republican houses on the market, and more showing up every day. I just haven't found one that fits my taste yet, but I'm still looking.

As I've been out shopping for my Republican house, I've been thinking a lot about how we got here. In 8 years of Republican control of Washington DC, we had a party. We cut taxes on the wealthy and racked up over $5 Trillion in new debt. That money appears to have gone straight into the housing market. The wealthy in this country took their new found Republican tax money and bought houses, big houses, bigger houses. They pushed prices up way beyond reasonable value. That economic activity from all the house building, buying, fixing up and furnishing caused us to think that Republicans had given us a strong economy. Now we know better. Ask any of the 30% of Americans who are underwater in their mortgage. They know. And soon, almost 50% of Americans will be in that same situation. What a Republican mess we have on our hands. But now we know our Republican economy was all smoke and mirrors. It was a one trick housing pony that turned into a bubble, and when it popped, it caused a world of hurt for a vast swath of America.

And by the way, that $5 Trillion in Republican debt only tracks what happened to us while Bush and his merry band of idiot Republicans were in office. If you think the deficit spending we're doing today is brought to us by Democrats, then you need to stop smoking dope. We're having to spend Trillions now to clean up the crap left to us by Bush Republicans. And before it all gets cleaned up, within the next year or two, we should attribute about $8 to $10 Trillion in debt to the 8 years of Republican control of Washington DC. What a disastrous Republican mess.

So who won during this Republican bubble? Builders. They made out like bandits. That $5 Trillion in debt that Republicans racked up went into the pockets of builders and real estate agents. And actually, if you really understood what happened in this period, you'd be furious. The income tax breaks that Republicans threw to builders were simply reckless and irresponsible. Anyone who lived in a home for 2 years could sell it tax free. Builders went around building homes, living in them for 2 years and then selling them tax free. I know builders who flipped 3 to 4 properties during this period and were pocketing $200, $300 K at a pop. They didn't pay a damn dime in income taxes on those profits. What Republicans did to enrich builders during this period was simply egregious.

And irresponsible people won big. I'm seeing example after example of homes that were bought for $600, $700 K. The buyers put very little down. During these Republican years, their houses appreciated to $800, $900, $1 Million. They took the money out in equity loans and bought nice cars, boats and vacations. And now, they can't pay the debt on their homes. The banks must step in and take them back. When the homes come back onto the market, they're now selling at $500 - $600 K. But the irresponsible people got to keep their their cars and boats and all their vacation memories, yet they stick the banks with the loss. And taxpayers inject capital into the banks to keep them solvent. So the responsible among us wound up subsidizing the irresponsible. Welcome to what was our Republican economy. Idiots won, responsible people lost.

As I travel around looking at all the carnage brought to us by our Republican politicians, I grow more and more enraged. People like Senator Richard Burr are disgusting. They so mismanaged our economy that they really belong in jail. They need to be punished. Severely. There simply is no hell hot enough for Republicans who served during the Bush Administration. Republicans screwed us. We need to throw them out of office. The sooner, the better. North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr needs to go. We deserve better than this pathetic man.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

North Carolina Real Estate Tells the Story

The economic crisis is finally coming full circle to North Carolina. We had 8 years of a Republican controlled White House. In six of those 8, Republicans also controlled Congress. The policies they set during that time have given us our current day economy. Just like the policies that are being set RIGHT NOW, will determine our economic outlook in 2011 forward. The bottom line is that the current day economy was brought to us by Republican policies in the Bush Administration.

Until very recently, North Carolina was spared. Our unemployment rate had been lower than the national average. And it even stayed low until 1 year ago. Even our housing prices were hanging in there OK, while we were reading about massive price declines in other markets. I can tell you, after a day of looking at local real estate, that's no longer true in North Carolina.

Raleigh Real Estate is now a mess. Major builders have very recently declared bankruptcy. St. Lawrence Homes, Andersen Homes, Tall House builders are but a few of the local names of companies spending their time in bankruptcy court, rather than building houses.

And housing prices are falling fast. I live in a neighborhood of 70 homes. Our neighborhood is close to a major public university, our local hospital, and to a sports arena where a professional hockey team plays. We have several hockey players living in our neighborhood. It's mostly a neighborhood of working professionals, with one rogue securities trader (me). It's a very desirable area and our homes are around 10 to 12 years old. Until about a year ago, it was rare for a house to be for sale. We constantly were met with flyers in our mailbox from people looking to buy in our neighborhood. Well, those days are now gone.

What's the new Real Estate norm in this Republican, North Carolina economy? We have a number of homes for sale in our neighborhood. Some have now been on the market for almost a year. I hear stories of homes in our neighborhood who've had only 1 or 2 people walking through the home in the year it's been for sale. Prices are being slashed 3,4,5 times and coming down 10,15,20%. And they still don't get any offers. People are worried. No, they are in a panic.

My wife and I were curious about the state of the local market, so we went out looking at homes this past weekend. What an eye opening experience. We saw homes that had been priced in the $800 K to $1 M range, recently repossessed by the lenders, and thrown back on the market in the $500 - $600 K range. We were met by real estate agents almost begging us to make an offer on a home. Everywhere, we encountered talk of asking price, and whispers of, he'll accept an offer 25% lower than asking. There are homes on the market that have been for sale almost 2 years. And the most interesting observation, I don't see anything new being built right now. Nothing. Go to these new neighborhoods and you won't see a truck, or hear a nail gun. There is no construction happening in Raleigh, North Carolina right now.

People are really hurting out there. Welcome to our Republican Economy. Welcome to what happens when a political party in power so mismanages our economy that it crashes and burns.

Do you really want to send Republican Senator Richard Burr back to Washington DC, after this performance in leading us?
I don't think so. This is one Republican who knows where the blame belongs. The blame for this economy lies squarely on the shoulders of Republicans. And poor performance deserves punishment. North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr brought us this mess, now its time to kick his sorry tail to the curb.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Republicans are to blame, so boot Burr

I've been exchanging emails with an old high school friend from back in my Kansas days. Like me, he's a Republican. I lived in Kansas as a child, for about 5 years, and have great respect for the people of Kansas. They are practical, level headed people. So I went to seek their opinion about the current state of our economy and our political situation.

What ensued with this friend was a brief discussion about why our economy is suffering. Like the majority of Republicans, he immediately pointed the finger at Barney Frank as the culprit for our housing mess. And he thought the housing mess to be the main reason our economy crashed. That's the opinion of most every Republican I meet, and with whom I discuss economic and political issues. But is that really the case?

Barney Frank can't be blamed for our economic mess. Not even close. Here's why:

1. When Barney supposedly did all these bad things while sitting on the House Finance Committee, that committee was under Republican control. Bills leaving there had to be passed in a Republican controlled House, then a Republican controlled Senate, then hammered out in a committee that was under Republican control, then signed by a Republican in the White House. You really think Barney Frank got his way? If so, he had to be superman to fight through the 5 Republican layers above him. Barney Frank is no superman. Republicans were not only complicit, they led the charge in anything that Barney Frank wanted to accomplish..

2. The housing mess was a Republican mess.

3. It wasn't really housing that killed us. It was the securities markets Republicans created that allowed bets to be made against housing. We had only about $2.5 Trillion in subprime debt outstanding in our country, against a housing stock valued at over $24 Trillion. Peanuts. But, Republicans created the CDS market and allowed it to go unregulated. That market caused $10s of Trillions in bets to be made against only $2.5 Trillion in mortgages. It was those bets that took down AIG and killed our banks. It was the CDS market that destroyed our housing. That's not talked about in the public, because its far too complex. Not even the vast majority of Congress are smart enough to understand this market and how it worked.

I am a loyal Republican. I want our party to control Washington DC again at some point in the future. However, I first want to work hard to punish every #@&$ing Republican who served while George Bush was in the White House. These are the people who destroyed our country. These are the people who need to be kicked in the tail and run out of Washington.

North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is one of the Republicans to blame for this economic mess. He needs to be punished. We need to vote this man out of office. North Carolina deserves better.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Has Richard Burr done anything to bring jobs to NC ?

I'm not a fan of politicians in my Republican party who served with George W Bush. They screwed our country by mismanaging our economy. Every single one of them need to get the boot out the door. But I became a fan of Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley, for at least 5 minutes this past Tuesday.

Senator Grassley was interviewed on CNBC Tuesday afternoon. He was standing in his home state of Iowa and was surrounded by a group of business people from all over the world. In Iowa. How did that happen?

Turns out that Senator Grassley sends out a massive number of invitations to his contacts the world over. He invites them to Iowa for a big gathering. He works these people hard, busing them around the state, throwing cookouts, arranging meetings. Why? He's working his butt off to use his connections to bring business to Iowa. The man is working to create Iowa jobs and new trade between international and Iowa based companies. What the heck is Senator Burr doing to help create jobs in North Carolina? I don't know. I'm not sure what our Senator works on while he hides in his office.

Hello? Senator Burr. Hello? Are you awake? Our Senator does nothing of substance in Washington DC. He's clueless as to these issues that are so very critical to our state's economic health. He's sitting on 4th and 5th tier committee assignments that are meaningless to us. Why? He doesn't have the expertise to help our country, or our state. It's time for a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The NC RE tell

I like watching our local Real Estate market. It helps me get a sense of how our economy is performing. Up until very recently, things appeared to be hanging in there around Raleigh, North Carolina. But a couple months ago, I saw something on the Fonville Morisey website that caught my attention. Out of the blue, they started listing foreclosures and short sale properties. I think it's going to be helpful to track that information here. As we draw closer to the elections next fall, the performance of our economy will come into play in that election and its debates. Tracking the Real Estate foreclosures and short sales available for sale over time in Raleigh, North Carolina will give us a good indication as to just well our economy is performing in our state.


Total 4 Sale 17237

Short Sales 351

Foreclosures 427

Has Richard Burr done anything to rein in corporate theft ?

Stock options. Backdating. It's theft. And this recent article in the WSJ indicated that the practice was rampant and went without being caught and punished. This was the preferred method public company executives used in ripping off shareholders. Hundreds of millions went right out of shareholders' pockets and right into the pockets of grossly overpaid executives. This went on unopposed during the Republican Bush administration, and it took a major outcry from shareholders to get anyone to do anything about it.

Now, we're reading an article today indicating that only a very few of these instances of criminal activity and theft were actually caught. Reading this article simply makes me sick. It's littered with example after example of evidence of companies backdating stock options knowingly, then putting up the impression that they went back to do an investigation of the situation, but found no wrongdoing. It happens time and again. The CEOs and Directors overseeing these companies are criminals. They steal shareholder money and put it in their own pockets. And its happening all too often in our country. And it was rampant during the Republican administration of George W Bush.

The American people are just damn tired of all the theft and corruption that goes on in Corporate America. The American people are just damn tired of reading about all the grossly overpaid corporate executives pocketing multi-million dollar bonuses when shareholders are losing Billions in wealth. The American people are just damn tired of our Republican politicians standing up and indicating that we can't interfere with Corporate America because we need free markets in this country. Bullshit. We need fair markets. And clueless Republicans who allow this theft to continue unencumbered need to be thrown out of office.

Has Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr ever led the charge for fair markets in corporate America? Has Republican Senator Richard Burr ever done anything in Washington DC to put a stop to this sickening theft and injustice that continues in Corporate America? Nope.

Hello? Senator Burr. Hello? Are you awake? Our Senator does nothing of substance in Washington DC. He's clueless as to these issues that are so very critical to our nation's economic health. He's sitting on 4th and 5th tier committee assignments that are meaningless to us. Why? He doesn't have the expertise to help our country. It's time for a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Has Richard Burr done anything to stop the hidden accounts in Switzerland ?

There's yet another interesting article in the WSJ today about how rich Americans are using Hong Kong based companies to mask money they are hiding offshore. These wealthy Americans are skipping out on paying their income taxes on this money. And guess who is helping them set up these arrangements? The Swiss, again. UBS, again.

I have a couple common sense questions about this mess. What in the hell is Senator Richard Burr doing for us in Washington DC? Why isn't he on a rampage about this injustice? Why in the world is Senator Burr not leading the charge to take UBS out back and hang those crooks from the highest tree - Southern Style, swinging from the highest limb? This is just unbelievable, both the criminal activity on the part of the Swiss and UBS, and our Senator being silent on this matter.

What's even worse about this situation? The IRS is said to have gone easy on UBS. They don't want to cause another financial crises by putting UBS out of business. I can tell you what the average tax paying citizen of North Carolina thinks about this approach. Throw another rope over the limp to hang the wussies in the IRS who aren't being firm enough with UBS. We need to burn the house of UBS to the ground. Now.

Hello? Senator Burr. Hello? Are you awake? Our Senator does nothing of substance in Washington DC. He's clueless as to these issues that are so very critical to our nation's economic health. He's sitting on 4th and 5th tier committee assignments that are meaningless to us. Why? He doesn't have the expertise to help our country. It's time for a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Has Richard Burr done anything to help clean up the NC University mess ?

Education, it's not getting attention right now. Health Care is today's focus. Energy is on the back burner. But, if Senator Richard Burr wants to be re-elected, he needs to get off his tail and weigh in on education issues in our state, right now. Today. Tomorrow. All next week. Next month. For months to come. Citizens of North Carolina are like a raging wildfire burning up the phone lines to politicians in Raleigh right now. Yes, higher education is managed at the state level, but the cost of education is a national issue, and Senator Burr needs to enter the fray, with Democrats in his gun sights. And the Senator needs to come down hard on the mismanagement of our state's universities, as swift and hard as he dumps on President Obama on significantly less critical issues. He needs too. But where is our Senator? Nowhere, saying absolutely nothing about all the crap going on with our state's gross mismanagement of its universities. What a shame. What a damn shame.

If you live in North Carolina, you know what a mess we have on our hands. The Governor's wife was hired at NC State and paid handsomely to do practically nothing. Highly paid administrators lie through their teeth about it when questioned, and then are paid ungodly amounts of money to step down from their positions and return to the faculty. Professors make $170 K a year to teach a single class. Computer programmers at 3rd tier colleges in our state are making $130 K. Assistants to assistants are making almost $70 K to work 2 1/2 days a week. Administrators are given a year's leave at full pay when they step down. They need the time to prepare again to teach, yeah, right. Administrative positions grow almost 30% over the last six years, twice the rate of enrollment growth, while faculty positions are held practically flat. This is one 'effing mess.

Who's to blame? Oh, it gets even better. A Democrat oversees our university system. Erskine Bowles. I know of Erskine. But I have never met the man, and don't care to ever meet him. He's a loser. While an MBA at HBS in the early 90s, I followed his career closely. He started a successful niche investment bank in Charlotte. His family was well connected politically. His wife's family was wealthy, and successful in the textile business. Erskine leveraged these connections and his work experience on Wall Street to successfully build his firm. Then, everything went wrong for Erskine from that point forward.

Erskine went on to become Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House. He wasn't there long. Monica. Need I say more? He then ran for Senate in North Carolina and what unfolded were some the the most naive and stupid campaign commercials I have ever witnessed. While the Enron crisis was raging in our country, Erskine Bowels was running adds of himself running up and down the bowling alley with the tag line "Erskine, Bowls". North Carolinians wanted justice over Enron, Worldcom and Adelphia. Erskine wanted to bowl. Senator Burr won that election, with ease. Heck, I even voted for Richard Burr, over bowling.

So what was the consolation prize for Erskine? He was tapped to run our state's universities. He's been in charge for years now. And we have one 'effed up mess on our hands. The mess makes headlines daily. There is no evidence of drastic action being taken. Erskine is flailing around doing nothing, he's simply out of his league. He's a failure.

Oh, it gets even worse. I'd forgive Erskine for his failures in leading our universities, if not for his even more spectacular and damaging failures in our nation's board rooms. Erskine Bowles also served, for years, as a director of both General Motors and Morgan Stanley. Yep, the bankrupt General Motors that had to be rescued by our federal government. And the mess of an investment bank, Morgan Stanley, that also had to be saved by our federal government. Erskine Bowles is the poster child for everything wrong with corporate America. He's the epitome of a clueless failure of a corporate director who was asleep at the switch. Marry our state's 'effed up universities, with his tenure as a long-term director of two failed American corporations that were rescued with hundreds of billions in taxpayer money, and one should understand why I indicated no desire to ever meet the man. His failures have cost our state, and our nation, dearly.

We have a mess on our hands in our state. Our university system is being run by an inept individual. Erskine needs to resign. We need a leader in place who eats nails for breakfast and chews ass for lunch. We need someone who's not afraid to crack skulls, fire people, piss even more people off, and take a big knife to salaries in administration. We need that special SOB for just a few years, to clean up Erskine's mess.

And our US Senator needs to be very vocal about making this happen. Senator Burr needs to go to bat for North Carolina's taxpayers and demand very significant and deep cuts get made to the fat in our university system, immediately. And he needs to use this platform to demonstrate the importance of right sizing our university cost structures in an effort to make college more affordable in our nation. But, he won't. He'll hide in his office, and do nothing.

Hello? Senator Burr. Hello? Are you awake? Our Senator does nothing of substance in Washington DC. He's clueless as to these issues that are so very critical to our nation's economic health. He's sitting on 4th and 5th tier committee assignments that are meaningless to us. Why? He doesn't have the expertise to help our country. It's time for a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better. We need both Senator Burr and Chancellor Bowles thrown to the curb, the sooner, the better.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What is Richard Burr doing about the housing scams ?

Our banks are getting scammed by the ease of being able to obtain FNMA financing. I don't have a link to it, but you need to find the latest TIME magazine and read the article on Las Vegas. Buried in that article is a crystal clear indication as to why our nation's housing crises will continue. And the stunning revelation is that our government is laying the groundwork for a select group of consumers to continue to rape our nation's banks. It's shocking.

So, what's going on? Real Estate agents are making a pretty penny by going around and convincing people to buy another house, and walk away from their current homes, sticking the banks with major losses. And the amazing thing about this? It's really a very easy thing to do, thanks to our Fed Reserve Board working hard to keep an available stream of financing coming from FNMA. In an effort to keep financing flowing, we're allowing current home owners to transfer substantial losses to our banks.

The example given in the article enables you to clearly see what's going on. A real estate agent approaches a couple who paid $300 K for their home. But the home is currently only worth $150 K and their mortgage balance is substantially higher. The real estate agent helps the couple buy another home, using FMNA financing, for $150 K. The couple moves into the new home and immediately stop payment on the old home mortgage. They then try to find a renter for the old home and pocket whatever rent they can get. They wait. They wait for the bank to foreclose on the old property. That can take many months, possibly stretching out beyond a year. The bank holding the old mortgage finally forecloses and takes a massive loss. The couple, who could have afforded the old mortgage without problem, winds up pocketing the rent and passes the loss on the old home off to a bank. Sure, they now have bad credit, but they don't care. They've avoided a massive loss and are safely in a new home. They passed their loss off to our banks, and this series of events got subsidized on both ends by our government.

The fact that this is happening, in mass, is a disaster. It will continue to go on as long as it's allowed to happen. It will ensure that substantial losses continue to flow to our banking system. It will ensure the continual flow of foreclosures. And it's nothing more than our tax money going to subsidize the losses of individual citizens who are cheating the system.

Someone needs to put a stop to this crap. Now. We need to go after the people who execute on this strategy and throw the book at them. If we don't, it's going to cost us dearly.

Hello? Senator Burr. Hello? Are you awake? Our Senator does nothing of substance in Washington DC. He's clueless as to these issues that are so very critical to our nation's economic health. He's sitting on 4th and 5th tier committee assignments that are meaningless to us. Why? He doesn't have the expertise to help our country. It's time for a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When's our town hall meeting Senator Burr?

Too chicken to hold a town hall meeting on Health Care Senator Burr? Or, too busy hiding in your office? Man up Senator. We need an opportunity to voice our opinions. It's called Democracy. It's where the people talk with their elected representatives. Town hall meeting Senator, we need one.

I seriously doubt Republican Senator Richard Burr will hold a town hall meeting. He's not afraid of all the screaming and shouting that would unfold. He's accustomed to doing that on the phone with his wife in their haste to get cash out of their ATM. So, what does our Senator have to fear? Senator Richard Burr is scared to death that no one would show up. He hides in his office and gets nothing of substance accomplished in Washington DC. So no one in North Carolina knows this man is our Senator. No one would show up to a town hall meeting being called by a no name Senator. And that would be big news.

We need new representation in Washington DC. We need a new Senator. North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Conservatives > Liberals

Gallup is out with a new poll. Conservatives now outnumber liberals. And that's the case in all 50 states. This is just one huge irony.

Why you ask? Let me tell you why. Republicans screwed up our country. They so mismanaged just about every aspect of our economy that we came frighteningly close to crashing and burning as a country. The only damn thing that saved us was massive borrowing and spending by the federal government. If our government had not saved all the banks and automakers, the world economy would have crashed in a death spiral, and we'd all be broke right now.

Republicans screwed it up. Democrats spent like mad to fix the Republican mess.

America doesn't like the fix. They would have hated the alternative. The alternative would have been complete chaos and social upheaval. But they don't see that. All they see now is the massive borrowing and spending to fix the Republican mess. They see all the Wall Street crowd making out like bandits. They see all the people who borrowed and spent up to their eyeballs getting rescued. America hates it. They hate the Democratic fix for the Republican mess. They are migrating back to the party that caused the mess.

* Main Entry: iro·ny
* Pronunciation: \ˈī-rə- also ˈī(-ə)r-\
* Function: noun
* Inflected Form(s): plural iro·nies
* Etymology: Latin ironia, from Greek eirōnia, from eirōn dissembler
* Date: 1502

1 : a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning —called also Socratic irony
2 a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c : an ironic expression or utterance

Burr's big problem

I'm tired of beating around the bush. Here's the bottom line to the problem Senator Richard Burr faces. Moderate Republicans are looking around at our sorry assed economy, they're looking at their underwater 401 K accounts, they're looking at all their unemployed neighbors, and they're looking at the stale For Sale signs planted in front of the all the unsold homes in their neighborhoods. Then they're asking themselves, "Remind me again, why the hell am I a Republican"?

Moderate Republicans, like me, are turning their backs on the Republican Party. Can you blame us? Few will.

And that's why Senator Richard Burr is toast in the upcoming election. The large moderate fringe of his base has seen the enemy. The enemy is the ignorant Republican political leaders, like Richard Burr, who laid this sorry assed economic crisis on our doorsteps. And we're madder than hell about it. And we're not going to support our Republican Party in the next election. North Carolina deserves better than Republicans in political office. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

President Obama has moved into my house

Two important articles appeared in the Wall Street Journal this evening. The first one goes into detail to describe how President Obama is overseeing the team making all the important economic decisions in our country. I was fascinated with this article. It describes a President deeply engaged in economic debate and discussion. It describes a demanding President who is on top of his game, seeking internal and external opinions about economic issues. Opinions and insight come not only from the Ivy League PhDs, but also come to our President from the letters of everyday citizens facing mundane, but important, economic situations in their daily lives. This President is engaged, demanding, knowledgeable. He's moved into my house - the US financial markets. And President Obama is cleaning house. He's mopping up the mess left by laissez-faire Republicanism and putting in place responsible government oversight. He's leveling the field so that all Americans have an equal shot on the economic playing field. He's doing the job that Republicans should have done, but failed so damn miserably at during the Bush Administration. President Barack Obama is putting Republicans to shame.

The second article in the Wall Street Journal this evening outlined just one of many outcomes from our President's leadership of this economic team. The White House has put forward a proposal to regulate the derivatives market. This market went from almost nothing, to a $60 Trillion monster during the Bush Administration. It was totally unregulated. It was so out of control that when this financial crises started, there wasn't a single individual within our government who understood the systemic risks that it created. It so bound together our financial system that the failure of one major bank or insurance company could easily have brought down the entire world economy. And it was this unregulated market that necessitated that US Taxpayers fork over $180 Billion to save AIG. It was a $180 Billion Republican laissez-faire disaster. And through our current President's leadership, this mess is getting buttoned up and under control.

So, our President is deeply engaged in all the key economic issues, and he's mopping up the mess. And after reading those two articles, I felt pretty damn good about the state of our financial markets. No, I felt great. I now feel comfortable that we're going to work our way out of this crisis, sooner rather than later. Our economy is going to recover. Our financial markets will recover. Our IRAs, 401Ks, 529s will recover. Corporate America will get back on it's feet. And we'll finally have adult oversight of our financial markets again. And when it happens, we'll have President Barack Obama to thank.

I've never been so embarrassed to be a Republican. And I've never been so thankful to have a President who's so darn engaged in cleaning up everything that's wrong with our financial system. Why couldn't Republicans have accomplished this?

That got me to thinking this evening. I wonder how North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr would handle sitting in on one of President Obama's economic meetings? Nah. I don't even need to go there. Senator Richard Burr is an intellectual light weight. He couldn't hold his own as a 4th tier staff member to the people in President Obama's economic meetings. Our Senator's not qualified to even empty their waste baskets. He's a clueless dolt whose answer to our nation's economic issues is to encourage his wife to participate in runs on our banks. This man is an embarrassment to North Carolina. We deserve better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get one of these in the mail re: Senator Burr?

I couldn't get a clear scan into a smaller image. You'll have to click on the image to view it in readable form. But the message is clear. I'm not the only one who recognizes our Senator as someone who sits in Washington DC and says "NO" endlessly. We can send a Monkey up to DC to just say "NO" to everything. And a Monkey wouldn't need a staff and a big budget. I'd rather pay for bananas for the Monkey, than the Millions taxpayers have to shell out for our Senator "NO".

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. Let's find someone who can roll up their sleeves and get some work done.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Republican arrogance

The post that kicked off this blog months ago:

Yesterday was a day of working around my house. It's spring and spring always brings on chores. I enjoy it because it gets my mind off issues like the economy, the financial markets, and politics. That reduces my stress levels, which is something I need.

But then, a neighbor walked over and we talked. Mistake. He's a die-hard Republican. I am too. But lately, I straddle the fence, generally hating both parties. But he sent my stress levels to the roof with a constant pounding on Barny Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and John Kerry. It's their fault. Everything's their fault.

A typical Republican.

I have to tell you, I'm just flat tired of hearing Republicans talk about our nation's problems. The Republican Party IS OUR NATION'S PROBLEM. These people were in control of the White House for the last 8 years. They were in control of Congress for 6 of the last 8 years. It was a total break down in government oversight and regulation that brought us to this point. And that was the Republican's fault. They were in control. I have a message for all Republicans out there who want to mouth off about Democratic leaders:

Just shut up.

Republicans did nothing about energy spiraling out of control. They did nothing about education costs that bankrupted families, and piled debt onto the shoulders of our young people. They did nothing about health care costs that were the single biggest factor in personal bankruptcies in our nation. They did nothing about the 45 million Americans without health care coverage. They did nothing about our broken education system. They sat on their asses while wealth concentration hit historical proportions, while the middle class suffered. They doubled our nation's debt by piling another $5 Trillion to the shoulders of our children. They were directly responsible for putting a leash on the SEC to the point it was a broken, toothless, total waste of money.

But Republicans were an accomplished party on some fronts. They made the rich even richer. They prided themselves on increasing home ownership to record levels, and we know how that worked out. They started wars. They spent money like drunken sailors. They allowed our investment banks to leverage up to 40 to 1. They stood in the way of the Federal Reserve providing adult oversight to the mortgage lending industry. And I could go on and on.

I am a Republican. I so deplore how irresponsible my party has been that I don't have a single kind word to say about my party or any of it's leaders. And I'm not a fan either of the Democratic Party. However, I'm smart enough to know who's a fault for this mess. Republicans. And I am smart enough to know that the only answer right now is to give the other guys a chance. And that means we need to push out of office every damn Republican who served during the Bush administration. Every single one. We need to give the other guys a chance to do better. And they need at least 8 years before we start giving them grief.

It was our fault. We screwed America. The Republican Party is to blame for this mess. And Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Harry Reid and Barney Frank deserve our silence right now.

So, a message to fellow Republicans:

Just shut up.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I'm sitting here this evening watching the news. They are showing some video clips from a few of the town hall meetings held across the nation on Health Care. I'm horrified. I see white, elderly, conservative Republicans shouting, screaming, shoving, and some throwing fists. We are a political party of white trailer trash thugs. We should be deeply ashamed.

Our Republican Party political leaders have turned our country into a hot bed of senseless violence. They've encouraged this violent melee. They are to blame for this flashback to the early days of Hitler's Germany. That makes me more entrenched in my desire to see Republicans like Richard Burr tossed out of office. North Carolina deserves better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

50% of America have Senator Burr and Republicans to thank

A few days ago, Deutsche Bank, a big investment bank, published an extensive study of the US housing market. They estimate that by 2011, almost 50% of Americans will be underwater on their mortgage. That's up from 26% today. Think about that. In few years almost 50% of America will owe more against their house, than the darn thing is worth.

Who's to blame for this?

From the 2004 acceptance speech of George W. Bush at the Republican National Convention: "Thanks to our policies, home ownership in America is at an all-time high."

Wow, that sure worked out well for 50% of America. Thank you George Bush. Thank you Republican party. Thank you Republican Senator Richard Burr, who married at the hip with George Bush, did absolutely nothing to bring sanity to the reckless securitization, fraudulent appraisals, and wild west lending that brought us this crisis.

Senator Richard Burr failed us, miserably. We need a new Senator in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

If you're middle class, Senator Richard Burr hates you

Yep. You read the post header correctly. If you're middle class, then North Carolina Republican Senator Burr could care less about you. Don't believe me? You don't have to. Just look at this comprehensive website. It includes every key, middle class impacting piece of legislation the Senator has voted on since he's been in the Senate. It'll give a summary of the legislation, how the Senator voted, and whether or not his vote was to help or hurt middle class America.

The overall grade our Republican Senator was awarded as a result of his stance on helping middle class America? F. Failure. Republican Senator Richard Burr is a failure at helping middle class Americans.

If not assisting middle class Americans, who then? Surely this Republican Senator isn't chomping at the bit to help out the poor? Nope. That leaves only one other class of Americans Senator Burr goes to bat for - the wealthy. Our Republican Senator is a tool for rich people in North Carolina, all couple dozen of them.

Why are we supporting this man? Senator Richard Burr is a disgrace to our state. He's doing nothing of value in Washington DC. It's time to boot this man out of office and find ourselves a decent Republican Senator. North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Republicans - we're the party of bashers

Have you noticed all the Obama bashing that's going on within the Republican Party? I have. It's starting to really turn me off. I spend a little time each evening on facebook, catching up with friends from the past who are geographically afar. Most of my friends are conservative, and Republican. And lately, they've gone overboard in bashing President Obama. They're going to town on a myriad of silly and ridiculous personal issues. His looks. His birthday cake. The way he walks. His date nights with Michelle. It's endless Obama bashing of a personal nature.

And if it's not the personal stuff they bash, it's just generic bashes about the President's policies. But when I engage them in discussion, I come to learn that they either don't understand the President's positions, or they haven't really given their own position on the issues any thought at all. It's like they simply feel this ingrained Republican need to bash for the sake of bashing. That got me to thinking. Are we so accustomed to our Republican leaders coming on camera to bash for the sake of bashing, that we simply emulate these same leaders? It sure seems so.

Two important points come to mind as to why this bashing makes no sense at all. Face it, we had eight years of a Republican Presidency. Eight years is a long enough period to have effected the changes Republicans wanted to see in Washington DC, and also long enough to have witnessed the outcome of those changes. And in 6 of those 8 years, not only did we control the White House, we controlled Congress too. We had the unfettered ability to push through anything we wanted. And where did it get us?

After eight years of Republican control, we're left with a mess. We have a worldwide financial crisis, that at it's worst point late in 2008, destroyed $50 Trillion in worldwide wealth. When we handed over the keys to the White House, our 10 year budget projection was for an additional $9 Trillion in debt on top of the $10 Trillion we left behind. Our citizens are losing jobs at a record pace. Our nation's factories have declined to utilization rates not seen in 4 decades. We have a broken, unaffordable health care system. Higher education costs in this country are out of control. We've allowed speculators, and a lack of an effective energy policy, to drive worldwide energy costs through the roof. Our nation is at war in 2 foreign countries. Our currency is hitting new lows. And few in the world have respect for our nation's leadership. Our Republican political leaders really screwed this nation up, royally, undeniably. I thought people had to show a record of success before they earned the right to bash?

Beyond not having earned the right to bash, by continuing with all this bashing of President Obama, we really do deserve that recent label assigned to us as the party of NO. We don't discuss the issues. We don't debate the facts. We don't seek compromise. We bash. We spew negativity. Is that the direction we really need to go if we want to win back control of Washington DC? Nope.

We need to stop it. Republicans just need to stop all the Obama bashing. It's emblematic of all the problems we currently have as Republicans. And it's why we need major change in our party. We really are at risk of becoming the party of NO, and the party of endless negativity. We bash. That's about the only thing we do well these days. It's a sad situation. Besides, we had 8 years and we screwed up. Surely President Obama deserves at least four years of our silence as repentance for our Republican sins?

Next time you hear Senator Burr speak, listen to his words about President Obama. Is Senator Burr a basher? The Senator doesn't speak much. He mostly hides in his office. The few times I have heard him speak, he's been true to form for the party of bashers. The Senator rips President Obama with generic and personal criticisms. He doesn't address the facts. He doesn't present details of his own opposing views. He simply bashes. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of Senator Richard Burr. I'm tired of all the negativity and bashing that's going on in our party. We need to stop it. And we need to throw out of office all our Republican political leaders who participate in it. Senator Richard Burr needs to go. North Carolina deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CNBC is in the Senate - Where's Burr?

CNBC is hosting a one hour program this morning in the US Senate. There are six senators on the program this morning, talking about a wide range of issues. CNBC is a business news channel. Business and our economy are the glue that holds our country together. To serve our people, politicians should be able to discuss and debate business and economic issues with ease. Why is it that we never see our Senator on business and economic programs?

Oh, I forgot, our Senator Richard Burr is far too busy panicking over our nation's banking problems, and hanging on the phone with his wife to encourage her to participate in runs on our nation's banks. Manage to get enough money out of those ATM machines Senator Burr?

Senator Richard Burr lacks the knowledge and ability to represent North Carolina in the US Senate on issues that pertain to business and economics. He's of little use to us. And it's time to find someone else. North Carolina simply deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Burr can wait, I'm too busy making money

Senator Richard Burr is on hold at my keyboard right now. I'm just too darn busy making money. Anyway, this sorry Senator of mine is doing a good enough job of hanging himself. If we ignore him, and slip him a little more rope, he'll be a goner soon enough:
  • Voting against the first Hispanic nominee to our nation's Supreme Court? Smart move there Senator Burr.
  • Fear mongering and scare tactics as the most effective manner to discuss our nation's health care crisis? Yeah right, keep that up and see where it goes.
  • Warning of pending doom and gloom to our State's economy should health care reform be passed? Ok then, why not do nothing and see how that goes over in the next election?
Senator Richard Burr is a joke. The man is simply clueless. Conservative? Republican? More like ignorant, and absent ! North Carolina simply deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Would someone please get this man to shut up?

Senator Richard Burr continues the current day tradition of the Republican Party being the Party of fear mongering and scare tactics. Would someone please get this man to shut up?

More on this later.