Category Archives: Economy & Finance

Hell to the Veep.

The Veep. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The Veep. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Back in the day, I had a college professor for Freshman English who’s favorite assignment was for us to “compare and contrast.” (Beowulf versus Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was his favorite smackdown.) I thought about him today when I read yet another story about  Joe Biden, our illustrious Vice President, putting his foot in his mouth yet again. (Are his shoes orthopedic or orthodontic?)  Think back several administrations ago, when Bush the First was in office. Back then, the media’s favorite sport was lying in wait for then-Vice President Dan Quayle to say something – anything – that they could pounce on. Remember the big brouhaha about “Potatoe”? How about his comment about unwed mothers? As I recall, nothing Quayle did or said even remotely approached the idiocy of what our current Veep comes out with on a more-or-less regular basis. And while we do get to hear about what Biden says (thanks to FOX News and conservative Talk Radio), nobody in the mainstream press seems to be able to muster up more than a “that’s just ol’ crazy Uncle Joe…gotta love him” kind of riff. No outrage. No “off with his head frothing at the mouth.” No “get this guy a muzzle, stat!” panic from the members of the fourth estate. No, they saved all that for Danforth “Full Dinner Jacket” Quayle. Nope. Nary a peep outta the media over Biden, even as virtually every Republican I know is suddenly praying fervently for the continued health of Obama. Continue reading Hell to the Veep.

Perception v. Reality: Guns & States Rights

As you might have already heard, several states’ legislatures have passed – or are in the process of passing – laws that (re)assert states rights for guns that are manufactured, sold, and used within their respective states. Conventional wisdom is that these laws are going through in order to provide test cases that will come before the Supreme Court in order to decide a fundamental question: does the Federal Government have the  right to pass and enforce laws, flying in the face of the 10th Amendment.

I fervently hope that these cases get to the Supremes, and that the States Rights side prevails. We could be looking at the undoing of roughly 80 years worth of progressive laws that have upset the delicate balance between the Federal government and the “Several States.”

All that notwithstanding, the states that are passing/have passed these laws made me stop and ponder for a different reason. For instance, the first state to pass such a law was…Montana. Not to take away anything from Big Sky country, but Montana isn’t exactly (forgive me) number one with a bullet on my list of states where gun manufacturers ply their trade. Matter of fact, I was under the impression that most gun manufacturers were located in Illinois. Turns out, I was wrong. Continue reading Perception v. Reality: Guns & States Rights

What…Me Worry?

Warren Buffet and Rupert Murdoch have a lot more money than I ever will. They are both billionaires, wealthy industrialists, captains of industry. They obviously know more than I do about money. And recently, both have said “the worst is behind us…the economy is getting better.”

So why don’t I feel comforted?

I’ll tell you why. Because I don’t believe a word of it. These are smart men. Knowledgeable men. Talented men. So are both of these guys wrong? Let’s pause for a nanosecond and examine the possibilities: Continue reading What…Me Worry?

Partying Like It’s 1836.

For those of you not from Texas, 1836 was the year the phrase “Remember the Alamo!” passed into our national lexicon, for it was that year, that 187 Americans told Mexican General Santa Anna and his 6,000 troops to go suck an egg. The Americans held off the Mexican Army for 13 days. They were eventually overrun and killed to a man, but they never gave up, never surrendered, and never quit.

On Wednesday, I was proud to be among what I estimate to be about 10,000 other Texans who gathered at that same, sacred spot in San Antonio, to draw a metaphorical line in the sand (the Alamo, by the way, is where that expression came from), to send a message to Washington: “You’re NOT LISTENING.”

If you watched the coverage on Fox News, you already know this. If you watched the mainstream media, you have no clue. Continue reading Partying Like It’s 1836.

Who gets Jeep?

The American Legend.
Jeep: The American Legend.

Let’s be honest. Chrysler is RIP. Today’s announcement that Chrysler has 30 days to make a deal with Fiat does nothing but forestall the inevitable. To get the Fiat deal done, creditors must allow Chrysler to default on loans. Why would they do that, if they simply force Chrysler into bankruptcy? After all, 10 cents on the dollar is better than nothing. So let’s assume that Chrysler is heading for that big Chapter 11 (or 7) in the sky. Now what?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t see anybody buy Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep lock, stock and pistons. Nope, the parts will be worth (marginally) more than the sum of the companies. Chrysler itself is worthless – the only two vehicles they have that are in anything close to what resembles demand are the Town & Country minivan and the 300 sedan. Neither is currently considered best-0f-breed. Chrysler can sink into the sunset with few tears from the great unwashed. Continue reading Who gets Jeep?

Barney (the less than) Frank.

There are a couple of things that just drive me absolutely nuts. Boredom. Laziness. Lying. And number one with a bullet on my hit list of things I hate: weaselness. I define “weaselness” as a behavior where the weasel in question acts in a way so as to make life easier for themselves at the expense of the rest of the world, usually by twisting the truth beyond recognition, ducking responsibility, and blamestorming.

Barney Frank is a weasel. Continue reading Barney (the less than) Frank.

Obama’s March Towards Socialism.

I’ve been one of the ones that back before the election was warning about the consequences of a swing to the political left. Now those warnings and predictions are coming true with a speed that nobody (including me) could have anticipated. I’m no seer, nor am I some sort of political expert. But I do know people. And human nature. And when you get past the veneer of telegenic polish that is The Teleprompter President, I see what’s really going on. If anything, I’m convinced that we’re no longer heading towards Socialism (hint: We’re already there). No, what I’m worried about now is the idea that we are careening towards a totalitarian, fascist state.

If you’re not plugged in to the political process, there’s no time like the present. Start listening. Try to get past what the commentators say. Ignore the talking heads for a bit. Instead, listen to what the pols are saying – preferably the unedited version that you hear on C-SPAN. If that doesn’t scare you – nothing will. Continue reading Obama’s March Towards Socialism.

It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green.

Big Brass Ones.
Big Brass Ones.

Pity poor Obama. When you’re trying to be the “Green President,” the “Anti-War President,” the “Anti-Gun President,” and the “Fix the Deficit/Economy President” all at once, it can be daunting job. Especially when these goals are at cr0ss-purposes from each other. Case in point: ammunition.

You see, when it comes to ammo, the U.S. Government is Customer Numero Uno. The dirty little secret of guns is that if you wanna be able to hit what you’re aiming at (my definition, by the way of gun control), you gotta practice. Practice makes perfect, my daddy is fond of sayin’ – and in this case, “practice” is the difference between being able to, say, hit the side of a barn, versus hitting an innocent bystander (what the media calls “collateral damage”) when you’re busy trying to keep the bad guys from separating you from your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Continue reading It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green.

Beck: The 21st Century Paul Revere.

Another guy who got it.
Another guy who "got it."

There’s something happening here. You can feel it in the air. You can see it on people’s faces, hear it in their voices. Change. And I don’t mean the kind of B.S. “Change” that we saw on Obama’s campaign posters. I mean the kind of change that changes the course of a nation. And the tipping point is this afternoon.

I’m a conservative. A proud conservative. And I believe this country is, frankly, going to Hell in a hand-basket. Sadly, this started long before Obama took office. While I believe that George Bush the Younger is a principled, Godly man, too many things that happened on his watch ran contrary to my conservative principles. That was bad. This is worse: since Obama took office, the country is on a toboggan ride, downhill towards Socialism. Spending like drunken sailors (no offense to our Navy, guys – it’s just an expression), Congress seems content to fiddle while the U.S.A. burns. No program is stupid enough, wacky enough, or costly enough to deny it funding, while even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warns that most of the “stimulus” they’ve passed will not only fail to stimulate the economy, but will in fact prolong the recession. Obama has acknowledged as such, even back as far as the campaign days. When asked about his plan to tax capital gains even when it’s been proven, time and time again, that this will have a detrimental effect on the economy, he replied, “But it’s the right thing to do.”

The right thing to do. Interesting turn of phrase. Continue reading Beck: The 21st Century Paul Revere.

Wither Socialism?

A not-so Cunning Plan.
A not-so Cunning Plan.

I think I finally “get” what makes Socialists, Socialists.

For as long as I can remember, I have considered myself a Capitalist, with a capital “C.” I believe in free markets, free enterprise, personal responsibility, and the idea that, if left alone – free of government meddling, the system will self-correct. I believe that entrepreneurs are what made this country great. And I believe that it’s essential for everyone to have “skin in the game” – if you get something for nothing, you’re a ‘user’ and not a ‘producer.’

My believe system is an anathema to Socialists.

I’ve long been curious – what makes Socialists tick? I mean, it’s bloody obvious to anybody that Socialism is a failure as a governmental system. You have but to look no further than Cuba, or if you’re old-school, the U.S.S.R., or today’s Europe, to see that Socialism simply doesn’t produce the results and successes that Capitalism does. Yet, every time a Socialist program fails, True Believers in Socialism have the answer: more Socialism. Continue reading Wither Socialism?