Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Democrat Platform


With the Democrat Party convention looming ahead, let's have some fun and speculate on what might not be said....

  • Iraq - although we strongly supported going into the war, we were misled because of the dozen plus violations of UN sanctions and restrictions and the faulty intelligence information that the Bush administration stubbornly continued to use from a previous administration we believed in. We strongly opposed the "Surge," but we are responsible for the possibility of pulling out troops earlier than anticipated regardless of the Surge success since we recommended pulling our troops out before the Surge.
    A vote for us is a vote for our troops.
  • Energy - although oil and gasoline prices were relatively low until we took control of Congress and pledged to resist any increases in domestic oil exploration and output, we know that we represent the hearts and minds of the working class despite any hardships they face. We will continue to oppose any energy policy based on oil because we want to save the planet and we see hope in the sun and change in the wind, in both of which we have personally invested and for which we will guarantee government subsidies, as the only viable means. We will mandate electric plug-in automobiles, but prohibit additional coal or nuclear power plants to provide the needed electricity... except for California which can import electricity produced from any type of power plant because California is a "clean" state that does not actually produce the electricity it needs.
    A vote for us is a vote for our planet.
  • Taxes - we will raise your taxes, but show you that relative to business and higher income taxpayers that your taxes will be lower. Then we will mandate that those businesses and higher income taxpayers create more jobs for lower income taxpayers who will then be able to afford the taxes.
    A vote for us is a vote for more fairness.
  • Health care - you'll all be covered and doctors will be required to accept our lower payments if they want you as patients.
    A vote for us is a vote for a healthy tomorrow.
  • Illegal immigrants - unjust laws must be changed and those who have been harmed by unjust laws that make them criminals must be "fast tracked" into citizenship where they will vote for those who support them.
    A vote for us is a vote for fewer criminals and more voters.
  • Unions - you are not required to join unions except if you wish to work, but we all know that working is strictly optional.
    A vote for us is a vote for more benefits.
  • Equal pay and discrimination - you will be protected against hiring discrimination if you are a woman or minority and you will be paid whatever anyone else is paid for your job regardless of your abilities or performance. You will have the right to sue if you do not get a job or get paid less than someone who is purported to be more qualified, and those who have oppressed you will have to prove their innocence which, de facto, cannot be done.
    A vote for us is a vote for getting even... eh, getting equality.
  • Military - we support our military except those who engage in corrupt wars against the oppressed started by Republicans.
    A vote for us is a vote for world peace.
  • Marriage and children - We believe in the sanctity of life and marriage as an institution of the family except where it interferes with those who do not.
    A vote for us is a vote for more marriages and greater employment for lawyers.
There may be some more... okay, there are a lot more. But do you really need to read them? These are quite clear enough.


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CO2 Cap and Trade

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)