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


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.

    Out to buy a Republican Home

    Forgive me. Posts will be thin here for a little while. The Republicans destroyed our economy. They destroyed our housing market and drove just about every home builder in my area into the bankruptcy courts. Builders are declaring bankruptcy left and right in Raleigh. Banks are stuffed to the gills with repossessed homes. God bless those idiot Republican Politicians in Washington DC. God Bless them because they have given me the opportunity to execute on my favorite investment strategy. When everyone around me is heading for the exits, I like to rush the entrance. And its time to take advantage of this Republican economy and go shopping for real estate.

    I'm going to be out of pocket for awhile. I'm busy looking for a bigger home to buy. I'm busy backing bankers into a corner and stealing their lunch money. I'm busy keeping our nation's banking crisis going strong by causing banks to write off even more losses on their real estate holdings. Why? Because I'm shopping for a bigger home, a Republican home, a Republican home made significantly less expensive by the sorry assed economy brought to us by the Republican Party.

    Thank you Senator Richard Burr. Thank you for being such an idiot in managing our economy that you've enabled me to buy a significantly cheaper home. But my cheaper home is exactly why you need your sorry tail kicked out of office.

    Vote our sorry Senator out of office. North Carolina simply deserves better than Senator Richard Burr.