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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Saturday
May022009

Support President Obama-- Be a Team Player

All of us have learned to be team players at some point in our lives. Some learn it sooner and better than others. Now it's time to set aside all that stubbornness and be part of the Obama team. It will take some sacrifice, but good team play always does. Let's look at the small price you will pay to be of team Obama. 

First, if you are over 60, you might have to die for the team. When you get his new health insurance, it will be rationed much like organ transplants are today. If you are old, go to the back of the line. Even if you can pay for your own treatment, it won't matter. You still go to the back of the line. Some overweight, under qualified, unconcerned bureaucrat will decide whether you, your spouse, or your siblings will live or die.  Think post office and license bureau. There will be no new supply of doctors and nurses or treatment centers to take care of the millions of new patients who will get free treatment. It will be like the gas lines we had with Jimmy Carter all over again. But, people will be dieing in these lines. Suck it up and be a team player. 

You will get to pay for a lot of lazy people to go to college. Probably, many will be unqualified and unmotivated, but what the hell, it's free. You probably paid your own way through college with summer jobs, part-time jobs, and student loans. No matter, now's your chance to pay for another dozen or so to go to college. Not your kids or grand kids, but some one else's kids and grand kids. It's a lot like one of those sponsor a wolf in the wild deals, but they at least send a picture of a wolf and give you a name for the wolf. They may send that same picture to hundreds of people, but who cares. Then they pocket the money. Same with this deal. You may pay for 50 undeserving kids to go to college.  Not a one may get past the sophomore year or graduate, but won't you feel more like a team player for doing this? And, won't you feel better knowing they didn't have to deal with a summer job, a part-time job, or take on any student loans, thanks to you?

Next you not only get to part of Team Obama, but also Team Gore. You get to add a couple of thousand to your energy bills to let some family in China drive a car for the first time, have electricity made from coal, and live in a heated and air conditioned house. You offset what they don't do. You see, for years their carbon footprint has been zero. Now it can equal yours. Yours stays the same, of course, but according to the team, someone offsets your carbon credit by growing plankton off the coast of Somalia. To get them to grow this plankton, we charge you extra for energy. That explains the carbon credits that you paid extra for at the pump and to the utility companies. Makes perfect sense now, doesn't it? The plankton in Somolia ate carbon and that was the carbon you put into the environment. Now, the Chinese family can put their's into the environment and it's a zero sum game. Don't ask how we can offset a billion Chinese and a few million Indians. That's not being a team player. It just take more plankton. And, more money from you to buy them.

You are going to have to create a bit of a problem for your kids and grand kids down the road to be on this team. We are going to spend trillions to do all these great things, and, of course, for Obama to be reelected and keep the team momentum. No problem, you will probably be gone by then waiting for heart surgery for 6 months with the new free insurance.

Or, it that doesn't get you, then you may live in a place where some terrorist will set off a nuke. I know, you think Janet Napolitano is about the dumbest choice in the world to keep us safe, but she is on the team after all, and you just need to take one for the team, even if it's a nuke.

I could point out some other little things you may have to do for the team, like pay your neighbor's mortgage, pay more income tax so another 1000 people who pay none get a nice rebate, give up your charitable deductions, your mortgage deduction, pay more death taxes, buy a crap car from the new Chrysler or GM, give some more money to the post office and Amtrak, and give up your gun if you have one. Lot's of freedoms and liberties have to go to be a part of this team.

See, there, once you put it on paper it's not so bad. Just think of all the great coaches of all time and their inspiring messages and it won't be so hard to get out there on the field and win one for the Obama.

Friday
May012009

Great New Energy News

While our government plans to spend billions of your tax dollars on futile green energy programs that will just be cabbage for lobbyists and swill for PHDs, something real happened. This event may offset further plans by your government to strap an added $900-3,000 in taxes on your energy consumption with their cap and tax plans.

The energy industry, you know those capitalistic pigs who get to go to Washington two or three times a year and take the blame for the failed government energy efforts, have been quietly at work. Spending their money, not yours, to find energy here at home.

A discovery in Louisiana called the Haynesville Shale may hold up to 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That's the equivalent of 33 billion barrels of oil. Almost 20 years of our current oil consumption. It doesn't stop there. There are also big finds in Texas, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. There may be as much as 100 years of current natural gas demand in these new fields.

Dr. Chu is less than excited about the prospects of putting all this new gas to work to make us independent and to replace gasoline and diesel for transportation. Why, there goes his $50 billion a year budget to produce jobs for fellow PHDs. There goes the incentive to try to make more good ideas work, like ethanol. There goes the need to government to bail us out of the energy mess, the free market will do that.

Here's what I predict from this. We will get Cap and Tax, just as we are getting universal health care and free education for those who prefer not to have summer jobs, part-time jobs at school, or student loans like most of us did. We get to pay so they don't have to go through all that. When Cap and Tax comes in, the smart businesses, just like those who just kept drilling for gas in the harshest and most expensive and highest risk places, will find ways to put this gas to work.

The government owned car companies, Chrysler and GM, will build the cars the government wants them to build. The other car companies will build cars that run on CNG. Compressed natural gas. Retail outlets will put in the equipment to provide the CNG. Consumers will put the CNG compressors in their garages and fill their cars at night while they sleep.Power plants will burn more natural gas and stiff the government on their Cap and Tax revenue for coal.

The government is planning for a windfall of billions from Cap and Tax. The free enterprise system will cut their take significantly. They always do outsmart the government on taxes. While the government fritters away billions in tax dollars trying fruitless ideas to create new energy, the private sector will use these great new discoveries to our advantage.

Every American will benefit from these discoveries. Every American will lose some of that benefit to the government with their energy plans and to Cap and Tax. But, the balance may be in favor of the consumer. This is much better than it would have been without this good news.

There be no credit to anyone for this news, not by Washington nor by the media. It's a quiet event that means far more than most of the highly touted events comings of Washington for years.

Thursday
Apr302009

Obama's Daily TV Show

Move over Oprah, Letterman, O'Reilly, Leno, and all you who have daily TV shows. There's a new man on the street. President Obama will be appearing daily until further notice. Yesterday it was the celebration of 100 days "Press Conference".  It's called a press conference. If always fielding 13 questions, picking who asks the questions, spending several minutes not answering the 13 questions, and having such tough questions like: "what has enchanted you about the first 100 days in office", is a press conference, then it was a press conference. By the way, the enchanted question came from none other than the soon to be defunct New York Times. 

So the slobbering media, to quote Bernie Goldberg, serves up the softballs, and the new president doesn't answer soft questions and gets a pass. New era press conference.

Today the president will address Chrysler. Guess he will explain why he didn't just take them over and show them how a real executive would run them. Or, he will tell us how he will save them. Even if they are not going to be saved, it will seem like they are. There will be a lot of "I" in his speech. I met with, I told, I outlined, I required, I decided. There will be big promises about green cars, and a rosy future for Chrysler. Nothing about the hundreds of dealerships closed, hundreds of workers laid off, or any negatives.

Friday, it will be the formerly named Swine Flu. He will tell us how he saved the world.

Saturday, it will be some show where he will be talking about the dog, Bo. 

Sunday, Meet the Press.

And, on it goes. 

Overexposure means too much. We are getting too much Obama. He is saying too much, trying to do too much, and promising too much. All of this is on camera with teleprompters. 

At some point all of this will come back to haunt the president. 

An unfortunate terrorist attack on this country, for example, and all the comments about everything the previous administration was doing to prevent this will be played back.

Failures of programs with big promises will be played back.

This is not a campaign. This is the business of running this country. One thing a business executive learns early on is to under promise and over deliver. This president has not learned this. He will and soon. It will be painful for a man who can't take criticism.

An old boss of mine taught me years ago: if you blow your own horn too much someone will turn it into a funnel. 

President Obama, when it becomes a funnel, you will wish you were only being water boarded. Old friends will be using fire hoses.

Footnote: I am running my new blog in parallel. You can check it out at : http://www.nosmokeblown.com. Take a look and give me your commets.    

Wednesday
Apr292009

Newspapers Are Committing Suicide

We all know the Internet is hurting the newspaper business. The economy is hurting ad revenue. Since all they print is left-wing liberal drivel they cut their market since some readers aren't interested in the slanted perspective.

In the 6 months through March the statistics show The USA Today is down 7.5%. I am a subscriber to USA Today. I spend part of the year in IL and part in AZ. They can't get the address change right. I go on line and use their address change tool. I set the date to stop delivery in AZ and to start delivery in IL. The start date was Monday. They don't have it right on Wednesday. On Tuesday I received a mailed Monday's paper. In both places I have always had home delivery. Every time I switch they try to use mail delivery. Every time I have to threaten to stop my subscription to get them to do it right. Now, if you were losing 7.5% of your business every six month, going broke, and worried, wouldn't you get this part of your business right?

The Wall Street Journal is up 0.6% for the same six month period. Their track record is the same as the USA Today with my deliveries. They were to begin delivery on Monday. Still no paper on Wednesday. They, at least, mail the same day's paper on the same day. But, my file, they acknowledge, says no mail, if you can't get it to my driveway in the early morning, I'm not interested. This paper critiques how business gets done. Wouldn't you think they would get their own business right?

There are many businesses in this country that have never learned how to do business in tough times.The golf industry is another.They have never gotten the customer aspect right. The PGA doesn't teach how to do business. Club pros don't do much right. For years this industry enjoyed boom times. Now, they are grossly overbuilt and demand is sinking fast. Courses across the country are closing every day. It's too late to fix it. The next generation is not playing.

Newspapers have no clue why their business is sinking.They will all go out of business before they try. Again, they are run by newspaper people, staffed almost totally by employees of the same ideology, and clueless about modern business practices. I seriously doubt they do any consumer research at all. If they did, they would not have a workforce that all thinks alike. If they did they would be trying to appeal to a broader market. If they did, they would find ways to offset the Internet. If they did, they would resolve delivery problems to the few customers they have left.

The New York time won 5 Pulitzer Prizes. Good for them. Maybe they can get the people who vote for the Pulitzer to pay a few million each for a year's subscription. Otherwise, they will be gone. Maybe as soon as year's end.

The Chicago Tribune has cheapened the paper under Sam Zell. It's closer to the National Inquirer than the old Trib, the World's Greatest newspaper. It's more left wing. They are dead and don't know they died.

Unless, of course, they get a bailout. Some in congress are already working on a bailout. Guess, those who only get favorable press can't live without press media. Seems a little incestuous, doesn't it? Support the Democrats in the paper and they get bailed out with your tax dollars.

If they get bailed out will the delivery problems get better or worse?

Tuesday
Apr282009

GM to Become UAWUSA MOTORS

GM is about to become UAWUSA Motors. The UAW will own 39% of the shares and the USA will own 50%. I'll bet you, as a taxpayer, never dreamed you would partner up with the UAW to own a big corporation.

Two organizations brimming with business acumen. Many think the UAW caused a lot of the problems for GM. And, we know how good our government does when it comes to running businesses.

This certainly begs a lot of questions. First, since the government sets mileage and emission standards will they force UAWUSA to make cars that exceed those standards? Then, who will buy those cars? Next, how does the government bargain with a union that put a lot of them of them in office? Do you trust the government to bargain in your interests or theirs?

I would never buy a car made by my government. Never. I don't know how many other Americans feel that way, but I'm sure a good many do.

How does the government, with unlimited resources, keep the marketplace level for companies that aren't owned by the government, like Ford?

Are you going to buy insurance from a company owned 60% by you, AIG? Will the government offer to provide insurance to UAWUSA car buyers at bargain prices? No, that would make too much sense. 

Will the government finance UAWUSA cars through one of the many banks the government will soon own?

Here's a positive way to look at all this. The government, through easy credit and no guidance of Freddie and Fannie, two other companies they ran, made most of your 401K's go away. Now, they are replacing those lost investments with your ownership of big chunks of corporate America. To get you back to where you were, all they have to do is to run all of these companies well and your shares of the companies represented by your tax dollars will go up. They can give you a dividend in the form of future tax breaks when they sell these shares back to you at a big profit.

Of course, the flip side of that would be if they don't run them well. Then, you will have to pony up some more taxes to make up the deficit. You, know, no risk, no reward. 

Be sure to get tickets to the 2010 Auto Show near you to see the new line of UAWUSA cars to be introduced next year.

Dealers might be hard to find and service at the dealership might be like going to the post office.

But, you will be a true a patriot and actually be helping yourself if you buy a 2010 UAWUSA. Put in an order now, they will be hard to find.