Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

Uncle Jay Explains: Year-end!

Maybe this year will be better. What do you think?

Happy 2009!

Soldiers Need Arrest Warrant to Fight War

Where is the Republi-con outrage? Beginning tomorrow, American soldiers will be required to secure arrest warrants in order to detain Iraqi citizens. That's right, soldier will need arrest warrants. Read The New York Times, New Rules in Iraq Add Police Work to Troops’ Jobs.

We are long past time to turn over day-to-day security to the Iraqis. Bush is just kicking the can down the road til he is out of office.

What do you think, should soldier to required to get arrest warrant?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Robin Williams on Politics After the 2008 Election

He spares no one:

What part did you like best?

Who is Responsible for the Economic Mess, Part Deux

As the economic mess drags on, the blame games continue as the political parties spin. And there is plenty of blame to go around. Read these two series:

I say impeach or fire them all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Lights

Happy Holidays!

Amazing Grace Techno.

Music Box Dancer 2008.

Double click to see the video in full screen mode. Watch other videos at Holdman Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Class Schedule at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday (12/19/08), and Tuesday (12/23/08) from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Friday's topic: The bailouts, with guest Dr. Dennis F. Paulaha, Ph.D., to discuss his suggestion to remortgage America. See my previous post.

Tuesday's topics: Local, state, national and international events TBD.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Truth and BS

As you know, a favorite article of mine is The New York Times, Between Truth and Lies, An Unprintable Ubiquity.

Here is another interesting article on truth, The New York Times, A Highly Evolved Propensity for Deceit.

Santa Claus Bailout Hearings

A little holiday humor:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Downsize Congress

The government is running huge deficits so it is time to cut government spending. Here is a plan someone suggested in an email:

"When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen are they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus. I feel our government should not be immune from similar risks. I therefore am recommending the following cuts to be implemented by the next president elect.

Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50. Also reduce remaining staff by 25%. Accomplish this over the next 8 years. (two steps / two elections)

Some yearly monetary gains include:

$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

$97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Mil in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Mil in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$24,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

$7,500,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members who's jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr)

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing. Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Note: Congress did not hesitate to jump on a train for home this week when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress. Summary of opportunity:

$44,108,400 reduction of congress members

$282,100,000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings.

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

IF you are happy with how our government is right now, just delete this message. IF you are not happy, I assume you know what to do"

I've suggested cutting all government payments and benefits, including social security and retirement payments. But Congress would be a good place to start.

Friday, December 19, 2008

WEBY is Crushing the Competition

If you haven't heard, the other local talk radio stations are giving up afternoon call-in shows. WEBY is crushing the competition.

So let's have a little competition at WEBY and see who you would choose as the last host talking. I challenge the other afternoon hosts to a host-off. Who do you like best:

Renee Giacino
Mike Bates (the owner/manager of WEBY)
Terry Gross
Ken Lamb
Your truly, No Bull Bert

Take the preliminary poll as I work with the others to develop the judging criteria.

Then, get ready for the Host-Off.

Told Ya So

It seems that the government will adopt my idea to preemptively reorganize the auto industry. An Washington Post has reported:

The troubled U.S. auto industry will receive emergency loans of up to $17.4 billion from the federal government in return for an extensive restructuring of its outstanding debt and labor costs over the coming year, President Bush said today.

I first proposed the idea on November 12.

I should be paid for this, gold preferred until further notice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Palin, Now Kennedy, Who Next Mickey!

I was critical of the Republi-cons for nominating Palin. (See previous posts, including those under the label 2008 Election.) Caroline Kennedy has not proven she is, you know, qualified to be a U.S. Senator. She should not, you know, be appointed to replace Hillary Clinton.

Politics has become a popularity contest, you know. No wonder the country is having problems.

UPDATE: Read this great article, Washington Post, The U.S. House Of Lords, that discusses some of the problems with nepotism in U.S. politics today.

See also, Washington Post, Caroline Kennedy Is No Sarah Palin, where Kathleen Parker (you remember her don't ya) says that the "real rub is that she hasn't earned it. The sense of entitlement implicit in Kennedy's plea for appointment mocks our national narrative."

Was Wall Street Just a Ponzi Scheme?

Bernard Madoff has admitted that his so-called hedge fund was just a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. But was what occurred on Wall Street over the last decade or two any different? One influential columnist, Thomas Friedman, thinks not and wrote:

"I have no sympathy for Madoff. But the fact is, his alleged Ponzi scheme was only slightly more outrageous than the “legal” scheme that Wall Street was running, fueled by cheap credit, low standards and high greed. What do you call giving a worker who makes only $14,000 a year a nothing-down and nothing-to-pay-for-two-years mortgage to buy a $750,000 home, and then bundling that mortgage with 100 others into bonds — which Moody’s or Standard & Poors rate AAA — and then selling them to banks and pension funds the world over? That is what our financial industry was doing. If that isn’t a pyramid scheme, what is?

Far from being built on best practices, this legal Ponzi scheme was built on the mortgage brokers, bond bundlers, rating agencies, bond sellers and homeowners all working on the I.B.G. principle: “I’ll be gone” when the payments come due or the mortgage has to be renegotiated."

Read The New York Times, The Great Unraveling. (If you want details, read The New York Times series titled The Reckoning.)

You might remember that I said more than a week before the Madoff scandal was made public that financial institutions might have been an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

So why does the government keep trying to prop up the scheme?

UPDATE: Another New York Times columnist, and the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, compares Wall Street and the financial services industry to Madoff and Ponzi schemes, and calls it "America’s Ponzi era." Read The New York Times, The Madoff Economy.

Icing on the cake for Bush's legacy.

The Bush Dodge

The Best of Late Nite Jokes Edited by

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Looks like we’ve finally found something President Bush is good at — dodge ball.

As you know, yesterday in Iraq, President Bush was attacked by a shoe-icide bomber.

President Bush was speaking at a news conference in Iraq when a journalist threw two shoes at him. Here’s what he did to keep from being hit — something he’s never done before — he leaned to the left.

Even Bill Clinton was impressed. He is an expert at ducking shoes . . . and ashtrays . . . and lamps . . .

Late Show with David Letterman

Bush was in Baghdad at a press conference, and a reporter jumped up and started heaving shoes at him. He was screaming, “Here’s your farewell kiss, you dog.” That’s the same goodbye I got from NBC.

They arrested the guy — they’re trying to find out if he is shoenni or shoe’itte.

The guy bought the shoes at a Payless, and they didn’t even do a background check. . .

You've got to give Bush credit. I mean, the guy moved pretty quickly. ... Too bad he didn't react that way with bin Laden or Katrina, bin Laden or the mortgage crisis, bin Laden or Afghanistan, bin Laden or the Lehman Brothers.

I don't think Bush really has dodged anything like that, well, since the Vietnam War.
[From another website.]

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Yesterday at a press conference in Baghdad, an angry Iraqi threw his shoes at President Bush’s head. When he saw the shoes, President Bush said, “See? I knew you guys had weapons of mass destruction.”

The man who threw his shoes at President Bush is being hailed as a hero in Iraq. In fact, when he dies, he’ll be greeted in heaven by 72 podiatrists.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Bush has been accused of dodging issues in the past, but who knew he could actually dodge shoes?

He’s 62 years old, but he still has the reflexes of a cat. Mind you, I think his head has been on a swivel ever since Cheney shot his lawyer.

The irony of this shoe-throwing incident is, it’s as close as we’ll ever get to finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Should We All Send Bush a Shoe?

Why are we in Iraq - cherry-picked intelligence, allegations, rumors, exaggerations, fear-mongering, worst-case scenarios, propaganda. What has been the cost after five years - 4,200+ dead American servicemen and women, 10,000+ wounded, $1 trillion spent, an unknown number (100,000+) of Iraqis dead or wounded, 4 million Iraqis displaced, shattered U.S. prestige, a weaken military - to name a few.

Fed-up with Bush's continued denial of the nightmare that he created in Iraq, during a press conference an Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at Bush.

Maybe we should all send Bush an old shoe.

The address is:

President George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Given the state of the economy, you might want to save the postage. In that case, the email address is:

Here are some shoes:

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Would You Spend $500 Billion?

Dennis F. Paulaha, Ph.D., suggests remortgaging America. The plan: "The US government offers every US citizen a 30-year mortgage at a 1½% fixed rate of interest."

Simple and fair. But his best argument: "It is better than what Washington politicians are doing now."

Can't argue with that.

Why Do Christian Conservatives Support Bush?

Chuck Baldwin asks why Christian conservatives support Bush:

"Where Are Dobson And PCC Now?
By Chuck Baldwin
December 12, 2008

I ask my non-Christian friends to bear with me on this column. As one will quickly see, this column is addressed to my fellow Christian conservatives.

Regular readers of this column know that one of my chief frustrations is the way Christian conservatives (otherwise known as the "Religious Right") are so easily deceived by Republican politicians. The all-time classic illustration of this foible is the way the Religious Right was (and is) so enamored with President George W. Bush. No matter what Bush did: no matter how egregiously unconstitutional, no matter how utterly stupid, no matter how blatantly evil his actions were, Christian conservatives (almost universally) either robotically accepted and approved what he did, or blindly looked the other way. It was maddening!

It was as if Christian conservatives lost all ability to reason; it was as if they lost all discernment and discretion. Because George W. Bush claimed to be a Christian, and because he was a Republican, he could do no wrong. To this very day, the only group of people who yet approves of Bush's Presidency is the Religious Right. Everyone else on the planet realizes that George W. Bush's Presidency will go down in history has one of the all-time worst.

George Bush took a prosperous and robust economy, and led America to the verge of a second Great Depression. He has taken a (relatively) free and independent republic to the brink of becoming a globalist Police State. He has pushed the envelope of executive power; he has trampled individual liberty; he has made a mockery of justice; and he has made America the laughingstock of the world. In addition, Bush has misused and abused our nation's bravest and finest by his illegal and inexcusable invasion of Iraq. No matter. The Religious Right still loves him. Why? Because he is a "Christian" Republican.

Since 2000, James Dobson, Pensacola Christian College (PCC), and their peers around the country have had an eight-year lovefest with George W. Bush. Life-size cardboard posters of Bush have stood in their bookstores for eight long, laborious years. Grade school children in their Christian schools have been subjected to Bush propaganda for eight tedious, tiresome years. To them, G.W. Bush ranks somewhere between Moses and the Almighty. And nothing Bush said or did seemed to matter.

I said all of that to call attention to a recent interview Cynthia McFadden had with President Bush on ABC's Nightline this past Monday. During the interview, McFadden asked Bush if the Bible was literally true.

Now, acceptance of the Bible's literalness is one of conservative Christianity's most sacred doctrines. There is not a professor at PCC (or any other conservative Christian college or university) that would keep his or her job for a nano-second, if he or she even questioned the veracity of the Scriptures. Right? You know it's true! Most conservative Christians would even go so far as to say that one cannot be a born-again Christian who does not believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.

Well, what was George Bush's response to McFadden's question? He said, "You know. Probably not. . . . No, I'm not a literalist." Notice, Bush twice denied the veracity of the Scriptures.

Now, Bush has no reason to "fudge" his answers, right? He has no more elections to face. No more, "He's got to say this to get elected," which was the flippant explanation given by the Religious Right to excuse Bush's numerous apostate positions during the past eight years.

So, George W. Bush clearly stated that he does not believe the Bible is God's Holy, inspired Word. Will Dobson and PCC still say that Bush is "one of us"?

Then, as Bush attempted to give a Christian testimony, he told McFadden, "It is hard for me to justify or prove the mystery of the Almighty in my life. All I can just tell you is that I got back into religion and I quit drinking shortly thereafter . . . ."

What kind of Christian testimony is this: "I got back into religion"? I doubt that this kind of testimony would grant membership in the Campus Church (which is not even a genuine New Testament church, you understand) at PCC or in virtually any conservative Christian church.

I am confident, however, that Bush's statements will do nothing to diminish his god-like status with James Dobson and the rest of the Religious Right in America. For eight long and bloody years, Christian conservatives have been selling their convictions, doctrines, and even their consciences to George W. Bush. I will even go so far as to say that, in many respects, millions of Christians have turned President Bush into an idol. Many of them would forsake their pastor, their friends, and even their own family before they would forsake George W. Bush and the Republican Party.

Of course, none of this would have happened had Christians--and especially Christian pastors--not lost touch with their American heritage. Had they maintained a studied understanding of constitutional government, and of the principles of Natural Law upon which it rests, they would not have become dupes for Bush and his fellow neocons.

I doubt very much whether Thomas Jefferson was a born-again Christian (after all, he, like Bush, expressed doubt regarding the Bible's literalness), but he fully understood--and embraced--the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and was more than willing to inculcate those principles into our country's most sacred document: our Declaration of Independence. As such, Jefferson will be forever regarded as one of America's greatest Founding Fathers and Presidents. Believe me, America was far better off with Thomas Jefferson than with George W. Bush!

So, where are Dobson and PCC now? Will any of them utter a word of rebuke to their "Christian" President for his apostasy? No, they won't. (As a comparison, contemporary pastors most certainly did rebuke Jefferson for his public statements questioning Christ's divinity, even though he was a Founding Father and author of the Declaration of Independence.) Of course, Barack Obama will not escape the public repudiation of Dobson and Company. Why? He is a Democrat. You see, it's not principle; it's partisan politics that matters, after all.

While we are asking questions, when will our fellow Christians and pastors finally open their history books? When will they read the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence? And when will they open their minds and hearts--even a crack--to the possibility that they might have been duped, and that there is more to being elected to the office of President besides being a "Christian" Republican? Probably never.

In four more years, there will doubtless be another "Christian" Republican for the Religious Right to fawn over. Where he or she stands on the Constitution won't matter; neither will it matter whether this newest "Christian" Republican has any commitment to national sovereignty, the Bill of Rights, or to fundamental freedoms. All that will matter is that he or she professes to be a Christian, and has an "R" behind their name. And, quite frankly, this last election proved that even a Christian profession is not necessary. All that is required is the "R" behind the name.

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:

(c) Chuck Baldwin"

Worth repeating:

"Everyone else on the planet realizes that George W. Bush's Presidency will go down in history has one of the all-time worst.

George Bush took a prosperous and robust economy, and led America to the verge of a second Great Depression. He has taken a (relatively) free and independent republic to the brink of becoming a globalist Police State. He has pushed the envelope of executive power; he has trampled individual liberty; he has made a mockery of justice; and he has made America the laughingstock of the world. In addition, Bush has misused and abused our nation's bravest and finest by his illegal and inexcusable invasion of Iraq. . .

For eight long and bloody years, Christian conservatives have been selling their convictions, doctrines, and even their consciences to George W. Bush. I will even go so far as to say that, in many respects, millions of Christians have turned President Bush into an idol. Many of them would forsake their pastor, their friends, and even their own family before they would forsake George W. Bush and the Republican Party. . .

You see, it's not principle; it's partisan politics that matters, after all."

Me thinks Rev. Baldwin would give Bush a W for Worst.

Take the poll, and tell me: how will history judge Bush's presidency.

No Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Usually on Fridays you can listen to me, the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

But I can't make it today so Mike will substitute. Until the next show, post a comment or two, and enjoy some holiday humor and this light show.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How Does This Market Compare?

There have been four major bear markets in the past century: today’s S&P 500, the Dow post 1929, the Nikkei post 1989, and the NASDAQ after the tech bubble. How do they compare? If you are curious, see this chart.

What Has the Bailout Cost?

According to The New York Times, government commitments as of November 26, 2008, were $7.4 trillion.

For more interesting facts, read The Big Picture, More Bailout Comparisons.

What is the Current the Unemployment Rate?

What is the current unemployment rate? The government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate in November was 6.7%.

But could the rate be much higher, perhaps even 12.5%. Read The Big Picture, NFP: Even Worse Than Reported.

Looks like the Republi-cons are winning the war on the middle class.

How to Fund Future Government Programs

The government has spent so much money bailing out fat cats that it may not be able to fund future operations. So if you have a favorite project, such as military defense, health care, education, global warming, or even a mission to Mars, read this suggestion on how to get government funding, The Big Picture, How to Pay for National Health Insurance By Barry Ritholtz

"Since the government has spent such an inordinate amount of taxpayer money cleaning up after the Wall Street ne’er-do-wells and the giant mess they made, there is not a whole lot of money left over for other projects.

Once such legislative work was National Health Insurance. Surveys have shown that a significant majority of Americans support this. It was one of the key planks that President-elect Barack Obama ran on.

Well, no worries over the lack of funding for health care. I have figured out a simple way to insure that every man woman and child int he US is covered by health care insurance. I took a page from the cleverest of the financial engineers on Wall Street, and all it took was a little of that street magic and derivative-based hocus pocus.

It goes something like this:

1. Set up a large, well capitalized hedge fund. About $5B should do it.

2. The prospectus of the fund should note its purpose is to “Seek out profit opportunities via arbitraging inefficiencies in the markets and health care system of the United States.” Include standard “Socially Conscious” fund language in clauses such as Do well by doing good.

3. Launch the fund — and promptly max out your leverage. Today’s environment makes it difficult to go 50 to 1, but getting 10 or 20 to 1 should not be much problem.

4. Use the money to write Credit Default Swaps with a notational value of $3 trillion dollars. The premia on these CDS should be about 10-15% or so.

5. Rollover the cash premiums — about $350 billion dollars worth — into a national fund. Use it to buy health care insurance for all US citizens.

6. Declare that due to current credit conditions, your unfortunately must announce to your counter-parties that you will be defaulting on these CDS. Note that significant amounts of this paper are held by JP Morgan and Citi. Another trillion is held by China and Japan, with Sovereign Wealth Funds owning the rest.

7. Send out a press release announcing “systemic risk.” Tell the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve Chief that your imminent collapse will wreak global havoc. Apply for bailout.

Congratulations! You have National Health Care!

Repeat for any major government program: Alternative energy, School Vouchers, Mars Mission, Global warming, Missile Defense Shild, etc.

Note: This is how all government spending programs will be funded in the future."

This might be funny if it wasn't true.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to Panic??

Dow 4,000, food shortages, a bubble in Treasury notes. Fortune spoke to eight of the market's sharpest thinkers and what they had to say about the future is frightening. Read Fortune, 8 really, really scary predictions.

Of course, gloom begets gloom.

What do you think, is it the end of the world?

Some People Just Never Give Up

Read The New York Times, A 73-Year-Old Gives Basketball a Second Shot.

Enough said.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Modern Parable About the Auto Industry

An email from a friend:

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.
Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-o ff one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages. As a matter of fact, they recently opened the most automated and sophisticated assembly plant in the Ford Motor Corporation in Brazil!

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US . The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion n in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Class Today (and Monday) at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air today, Friday, and Monday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Topics: Local, state, national and international events.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Old is Your Brain?

The test program is written in Japanese so review these instruction first:

1. Touch 'start'
2. Wait for 3, 2, 1.
3. Memorize the number's position on the screen, and then click the circle from the smallest number to the biggest number.
4. At the end of the game, the computer will tell you the age of your brain.

Good luck! Take the test.

Tell us, how old is your brain?

Mine was 33. I'm not sure if that is good or bad since I am not 33 years old.

Tell your friends to take the test.

UWF Football

For years there has been talk of starting a football program at the University of West Florida. Someone should just start a club football team like a student did at the University of Vermont. See The New York Times, A Year of Toil and Sweat, Then They Played a Game.

It would be relatively easy, quick, and cheap. And if it proves popular, it would justify a varsity program.

Go Argonauts!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Civics Quiz

Here is the civics quiz that Renee and Mike discussed on Monday's show.

(NBB editorial comment - a few of the questions seem unrelated to civics and/or ask for an answer closer to opinion than fact.)

Mike got 33 of 33 correct, I got only 32 of 33 correct.

What was your score?

UPDATE: Read this editorial about the quiz by Walter Williams,, Ignorance Reigns Supreme.

Do You Like Jokes?

A friend sends me jokes all the time and sent me this:

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs.

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads: Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.' So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking. 'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads: Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework. 'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads: Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.


PLEASE NOTE: To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The First Floor has wives that Love Sex.

The Second Floor has wives that Love Sex and Have Money and Like to Drink.

The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth floors have never been visited.

Should I post things like this?

PR Strategy or Just Clueless

Just read the article and watch the video, New York Magazine, Sarah Palin’s PR Strategy Gets Weirder.

Is Palin a PR genius, or just clueless?

If Palin keeps this up, as the article said it should be an entertaining few years.

The Bailout Bull, Cont.

Why all the effort to prop up failed financial institutions? The whole sector might have been an elaborate Ponzi scheme. There seems to be a lively debate about letting the auto industry work its problems out in bankruptcy. Why not the same for the financial sector?

Will Wilkinson, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, thinks that the government should stop "trying to prop up already failed financial giants. We'll best ensure continued investment in our still-vital economy if we let new financial players rise from Wall Street's ruins." Read or listen to his opinion.

Should He Change His Name to George Herbert Hoover Bush

First there was George Herbert Walker Bush, and he beget George Walker Bush. But given the son's response to the economic mess, should he now change his name? Read Washington Post, Bush's Final Fiasco.

And tell me, should the 43rd President of the United States change his name from George W. (The Worst) Bush to George Herbert Hoover Bush?

Harry Reid Should Resign

Behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, the new Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington, D.C. opened just in time. Thanks goodness it was before another summer. Senate majority leader Harry Reid was tired of smelling the tourist. No kidding, he said:

"In the summertime, because the high humidity and how hot it gets here, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol."

Someone should tell Reid that most of those smelly tourists are U.S. citizens, the people that he works FOR. This is just one example of the contempt that politicians have for the people they represent.

I'm sure his opponents are preparing the 2010 campaign ads already.

Reid should do us all a favor and resign now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Did You Hear About the White House Christmas Tree Ornament

If not you might want to read Washington Post, Christmas Colors for the White House: Red, White and Impeach.

An appropriate farewell to George W. (The Worst) Bush, don't you think.

UPDATE: After asking members of Congress to pick artists from their districts to decorate ornaments, Laura Bush has decided that the ornament made by Deborah Lawrence, who created a red and white ornament that salutes Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and his support for a resolution to impeach the president, was “inappropriate and it's not being hung.”

The ornament embedded a "subversive" message, the text from a resolution to impeach Bush.

No word on whether copies of the ornament will be offered for sale to the public at the White House Gift Shop.

Our New Pompous-Elect

Is it just me, or is he overdoing it, with the faux office, staged announcements nearly everyday, too many press conferences and interviews, simulated blue-collar connectedness (thinking the comment about the hypoallergenic mutt here).

I don't know if I can take 4 (or even 8) years of this.

What do you think?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Bailout Bull

First AIG, now Citigroup. The common thread, both companies had close ties with a current or former Treasury Secretary. It is all about who you know, but is that capitalism or communism? Read:

And why is the government trying to save the financial sector when much of it might be a fraud. Michael Lewis sounded the warning nearly 20 years ago when he wrote the book, Liar's Poker, in which he portrayed "the 1980s as an era where government deregulation allowed less-than-scrupulous people on Wall Street to take advantage of others' ignorance, and thus grow extremely wealthy." Now read his latest article at, The End, in which he writes:

In the two decades since then, I had been waiting for the end of Wall Street. The outrageous bonuses, the slender returns to shareholders, the never-ending scandals, the bursting of the internet bubble, the crisis following the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management: Over and over again, the big Wall Street investment banks would be, in some narrow way, discredited. Yet they just kept on growing, along with the sums of money that they doled out to 26-year-olds to perform tasks of no obvious social utility.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No Class at NoBullU on WEBY Until December

Usually on Fridays you can listen to me, the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

But the next show will not be until Friday, December 5, 2008. Until then, read my wit and wisdom here, and continue the discussion and debate by posting a comment or two.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Republi-cons Lose Hope of Comeback in 2012

Are you a Republi-cons that had hoped Obama would turn out to be some radical leftist, terrorist loving, Muslim secret agent. If so, bad news, Obama is surrounding himself with people that are open-minded individuals who are persuadable by evidence, admired professionals, not excessively partisan, not ideological, with practical creativity. Read The New York Times, The Insider’s Crusade.

He'll need them to clean up the mess the Republi-cons have created.

Leveraged Beyond Imagination

What's going on in the economy? It is deleveraging. We were living in a house made of credit cards and it was not very structurally sound.

Here is a fuller explanation. I am not sure of the original source, but you might find it informative.

"Former FED chief Paul Volcker hits the nail on the head when he says “There has been leveraging in the economy beyond imagination, and nobody was saying we need to do something.

When he says “leveraging beyond imagination” he means it. In fact, there is really no way to adequately describe it, since the investment vehicles designed to conceal the extent of the leveraging are so complex. Even trying to describe it simplistically can be a chore, but I’ll try:

The bankers, who make loans to people by issuing them “credit” are allowed to count the debt they hold as assets on their balance sheets. Then they are allowed to use those “assets” (i.e., the money owed to them) to make even more loans.

This would be the equivalent of you lending someone $1,000. So you put that thousand dollars on your balance sheets as an asset, and you give someone else a loan of $800 from the $1,000 you are owed, by issuing them a spendable credit.

Then you put that $800 on your balance sheets as an asset, since it is owed to you, and lend someone else $600 on the $800 you are owned, by issuing them a spendable credit.

Then you put that $600 on your balance sheets as an asset, since it is owed to you, and lend someone else $400 on the $600 you are owed, by issuing them a spendable credit.

Then you put that $400 on your balance sheets as an asset, since it is owed to you, and lend someone $300 on the $400 you are owned, by issuing them a spendable credit.

That’s called leveraging debt. (I know that’s a simplistic example, but it will do for the sake of this commentary.)

Now, you only started out with a single $1,000 loan. That’s all of the money you had. But suddenly you have $3,100 in “assets” on your balance sheets even though in reality there is only the original $1,000 you lent out. The rest is simply credits you’ve issued to others, that are “owed” to you.

That’s what former FED chairman Paul Volcker refers to in the below article as “credit alchemy” – the art of making money out of thin air by granting loans based on previous loans, based on previous loans, based on previous loans, ad infinitum.

In reality there is nothing backing up those loans but the “promises to pay” of each of the previous debtors. Of course, to keep the debt pyramid going, you have to make more and more loans, which by definition means you have to make riskier and riskier loans.

But wait. There’s more. If you were a bank, people probably invested in your stock. After all, you were a genius. You were able to turn $1,000 into $3,100 – at least on your balance sheet. And as investors saw what a great businessman you were and how you were able to operate so “profitably,” they invested more and more money in your bank by purchasing its stock. This gave you even more money to loan out, on the same leveraged basis you used in the first place. So your balance sheet continued to swell. Now, instead of $3,000 it’s $30,000. Or $300,000. Or $300 million. Or $300 billion. You get the idea. It continues to grow as you continue to use the money coming in from the purchase of your stock to make even more new loans and then to leverage that debt by using it to make even more new loans. Thus, the “assets” on your balance sheet continue to grow. Everyone begins to believe it can never end. You have figured out the key to infinite wealth. But those assets are not real. They are bloated figures based upon the fact that you have leveraged $1,000 into tens of thousands of dollars, then hundreds of thousands of dollars, then millions of dollars, then tens of millions of dollars and finally billions of dollars. Every cent on your now bloated balance sheet was predicated upon your amazing ability to leverage that original debt into more and more debt, then convince investors to throw more money at you, all of which you are able to leverage and then show on your balance sheet as “assets.”

Then you come up with a great idea: You’ll take advantage of some new laws that have been passed, and begin packaging up all of those loans you’ve issued into “securities” (now there’s an oxymoron for you) and sell them to investors around the world, promising “safe” returns on their investments. After all, if you’re making 6% on the loans you made, you can now promise investors a nice safe” 3% or even 4% on their investment and still rake in 2% or 3% at no risk to yourself. In short, you’ve sold your risk off to others. And as the schmucks (er…ah…I mean investors) buy more and more of your packaged “securities,” believing them to be a safe, easy way to make 3% or 4% on their money, you rake in even moremoney with which to leverage even more loans, with each leveraged loan adding even more phantom “value” to your balance sheet.

But as you make loan upon loan upon loan, you have to reach further into the bottom of the barrel for people to lend to. In other words, you have to relax your lending standards in order to bring in new herds of people wanting to borrow money from you. Then you repeat the process: You package those loans up as “securities” and sell them off to investors through the large investment funds that average people like you and me buy into with our 401k and IRA monies.

This is what essentially happened. The money-changers said packaging and selling the highly leveraged loans – now numbering in the trillions of dollars -- as “securities” would further “spread the risk” and make the investments even safer. Large mutual funds and other types of investment funds began purchasing these “securities” on behalf of investors, as average men and women poured money into these funds through their 401ks and IRAs. But in reality it merely concealed the risk, skillfully transferring it from the Wall Street bankers to the average “Joe” investor. Most investors never realized the “securities” they had invested in through their 401ks, IRAs, or in their mutual fund investment programs, were in reality a pyramid of largely unrepayable debt.

But then a curious thing happened: Some of the riskier debtors began defaulting on their loans. And when the risky debtors started defaulting on their loans, a series of ominous events began to transpire:

- As the defaults began to grow, investors got nervous and gradually stopped investing in the bank’s stock, as the true value of bank’s balance sheet slowly began to drop with each new defaulted loan. This gradually began to dry up the new supply of money needed by the banks to continue making loans and leveraging them.

- The large funds and their investors stopped purchasing the packaged debt-based “securities” being offered by the banks. After all, as more people defaulted on their loans, the value of these “securities” began to drop. Th e large Wall Street funds that had purchased these “securities” began to lose money for their investors. And as their investors reacted by beginning to pull out of the funds, the funds simply stopped buying up the bad debt disguised as “securities.” This further dried up the new supply of money needed by the banks to continue making loans.

- Even relatively good debtors, now unable to extend or refinance their loans because the banks no longer had such huge pools of money to lend, began defaulting on their loans. So good loans as well as risky loans began to go bad. And since these loans were interconnected to all of the other loans through the process of leverage, the whole system began to “unwind” or “deleverage.”

- The bank’s bloated balance sheet suddenly began to deflate like an Aero Bed with a bad leak. Seemingly overnight, our hypothetical bank loses two-thirds of its supposed “value.” In reality, what happened is that the true value of the bank is suddenly exposed. People begin to see that the “emperor has no clothes.” Everything that had appeared to be “assets” on the bank’s balance sheet was in reality unrepayable debt.

- The average “Joe” begins to see the value of his 401k or IRA plunge, losing as much as half, or two-thirds, or even three-fourths of its value, depending largely upon the extent of its involvement in the debt-based “securities” packaged by the banks and sold to the bi g funds on Wall Street, or in investments leveraged off of those debt-based securities by the funds themselves.

Hence, we have witnessed not only banks going under as their bloated balance sheets crashed back to earth due to the loan defaults, but also the stock market plummeting and taking everyone’s 401ks and IRAs and mutual fund investments down with it.

The problem is this: Once this process starts it is hard to stop. After all, at this point literally trillions of dollars are involved in this unwinding debt pyramid. And because investors from around the world purchased those debt-based “securities” (chiefly the large investment funds that average workers invest their retirement funds through), the entire global financial system is being affected.

And the untold story is that many of these large global investment funds used their investments in those debt-based securities as “assets” with which to leverage even more investments. So you have highly leveraged investments that were based upon other investments made up of highly leveraged debt. Oy, vey!

Finally, you can top off this unholy witches brew of leverage with the use of the futures markets which allowed banks and investment funds to leverage their “assets” even further by betting on the future value of investments. With all of that, and more, you have “leverage beyond imagination” as former Fed chairman Volcker puts it.

That’s why many analysts now say the “unwinding” of these investments is unstoppable, no matter how much money the governments of the world throw at the problem. After all, they are simply adding to the problem by using brand new debt-based “promises to pay” (ultimately backed by the already beleaguered taxpayer) to stop the unwinding of older debt-based “promises to pay.” It’s kind of like throwing buckets of water on a drowning man, hoping it will somehow help keep him afloat.

How will it all end? Badly I’m afraid. While everything is de-leveraging now, causing a deflation in the prices of oil, stocks, commodities, real estate, and the value of what were once trillions of dollars worth of assets, we know from Amos chapter 8 that it is all going to end in inflation. In other words, higher and higher prices for smaller and smaller portions, with the poor going into economic bondage to the system. But out of it all, we will most certainly see a new global economic system emerge. And Biblically, that means we are now very close to the events that kick off the end of this old flesh earth age."

Kinda scary isn't it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Taxpayers are Chumps Cont.

Told ya so, in October, I said taxpayers were chumps for bailing out corporate America, especially AIG. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland agrees, watch him on YouTube question Neel Kashkari, the interim assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability and read Washington Post, Treasury's Bailouts Are Getting Us Chumped.

We bailout corporate America and they use the money to pay for private jets, swanky retreats, dividends, and bonuses. The latest, AIG will pay employees $503 million in deferred compensation. We are a nation of chumps thanks to the Republi-cons.

If you ask me, it is just icing on the cake of the Republi-con legacy as another chapter of the unholy alliance ends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Should the Republi-cons Give Up on God?

Remember Kathleen Parker, the heretic who wrote the article in the National Review asking The Great Palin to bow out of the election. Now she suggests that the Republi-cons give up on God! Read Washington Post, Giving Up on God.

But she does not understand that without God there would be no unholy alliance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pardon the Mess

I discussed the pardon issue recently. Now there is speculation that Bush could issue preemptive pardons in the final days of his administration. Read Daily Telegraph, George W Bush could pardon spies involved in torture, ABCNews, Record Numbers Seeking Bush Pardons, and Newsweek, Pardon Me? Don’t Bet On It.

Would blanket amnesty for those who carried out Bush's policy of torture be seen as a tacit admission of guilt?

Let Them Go Bankrupt, Cont.

Should the the future of the American economy depend on politically powerful capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state or a process of creative destruction with safety nets so workers can survive the dynamic changes? Read The New York Times, Bailout to Nowhere.

Economics Professor at Harvard University Endorses My Idea of Preemptive Reorganization

An economics professor at Harvard University endorses my idea of preemptive reorganization. Read Washington Post, A Chapter For Detroit To Open.

I should get paid for this, gold preferred until further notice.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gross Abuse of Power and Lies

Was the corruption prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat, in 2006, politically motivated by Bush-appointed officials at the Justice Department who had close ties to Karl Rove? And did the Department of Justice lie about it? Read Time, More Allegations of Misconduct in Alabama Governor Case.

Reminds me of communism, where state officials abused government power for political purposes.

Perhaps that is why the color red symbolizes the Republi-con Party.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Slump Worse Than the Depression?

Former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead foresees a slump deeper than the Great Depression and a growing deficit threatens the credit of the United States itself. Read Reuters, Whitehead sees slump worse than Depression. His solution, higher taxes to pay for the "trillion dollar problems" facing the United States, including social security, expanding health insurance, rebuilding infrastructure and increased spending on green energy.

Otherwise the nation's credit rating could be downgraded, which could lead to inflation, or even hyperinflation. (Think Zimbabwe.)

No one wants to admit "the painful truth that their country is hurtling toward a debt-induced economic disaster."

Just Angry Old White Men For the GOP

As the GOP ponders its future, whether to focus on angry old white men or form a new winning coalition, parties leader might consider An English Lesson, from The New York Times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Like Your Planet Hot or Cold

Is humanity sitting on a ticking time bomb? Is global warming a crisis?

Or will greenhouse gases stave off a long, big chill? Read The New York Times, Dot Earth: Will the Next Ice Age Be Permanent?

Confused yet?

UPDATE: Read The New York Times, Dot Earth: More On Whether a Big Chill Is Nigh.

No More Bailouts Until . . .

Now everyone wants a generous bailout. Companies are being chartered as banks. When will it end.

Before anymore government money is handed out, establish a clear and transparent process -- call it preemptive reorganization. And make it tough to discourage future thoughts of government bailouts.

Any company that wants a government bailout should be forced to reorganize like a company in bankruptcy and all executives and directors should be fired.

There should be no auto industry bailout until Congress reads this article, The New York Times, How to Fix a Flat. And if the U.S. auto industry wants a bailout, the Michigan governor and congressional delegation should also be forced to resign.

Any other ideas?

Dems Thank FOXNews

Did Obama win because FOXNews and talk radio, a constant source of right-wing fantasies, promote obsessions that are not the issues that are important to American voters? Read Washington Post, You Report, We Marginalize. The column, written as a letter to Roger Ailes, President, Fox News, states in part:

"The election has left the Republican Party reeling, its base shrunk to those Southern, Plains and Mountain West states where rural cultures still predominate. The party's smarter strategists are arguing that the worldviews of the social conservatives and free-market extremists who dominate the GOP are either irrelevant or ridiculous to voters in the middle of the political spectrum. "We can't be obsessed with issues that are not the issues that are important to American voters," Jim Greer, chairman of the Florida GOP, told the New York Times.

But Fox has won its viewership precisely by promoting such obsessions.

During the campaign just completed, you guys focused on Barack Obama's allegedly Muslim and alien roots and socialist ideology; meanwhile, in the real world, unemployment rose, foreclosures soared and Wall Street went flooey. Over the past eight years, you beat drums for such causes as state intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. You demonized undocumented immigrants (okay, CNN's Lou Dobbs gave you a run for your money on that one). You fed the Republican base with a steady diet of bile -- and now that bilious base is the biggest impediment to the Republicans' repositioning themselves so that they can win elections again. . .

You're not alone in reinforcing those beliefs that marginalize the Republican right, of course. You've got plenty of help from Rush and all the little Limbaughs who dominate talk radio. But together with your allies, you haul truckloads of troglodyte garbage to your flock. . .

And rather than present these voters with a picture of a complex, changing world, you guys at Fox serve chiefly to reinforce their fears, to paint people who hold different viewpoints as alien and threatening.

In that sense, your work remains dangerous and disintegrative to the nation. But it is also, more narrowly, tactically, for now, a great gift to liberals and Democrats. You ensure the ongoing Palinization and marginalization -- electorally, the terms are synonymous -- of the Republican Party.

And to think that you're doing all this not on the Democratic National Committee's dime but on Rupert Murdoch's."

It is an interesting theory, and if true, the Dems don't need the fairness doctrine.

What do you think?

The Future of the Republi-con Party

Is it a battle between 'Traditionalists' (who rally behind Rusty, Sheeeephish and Diva and say that they will cut government, cut taxes, and restrict immigration) and 'Reformers' (who "propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety")? Read what one conservative thinks, The New York Times, Darkness at Dusk.

In the short term it doesn't look very promising for the GOP.

Barack's House

Barack's House, a parody of Brick House by The Commodores.

I thought it was cute. I hope nobody thinks otherwise.

Run Baby Run

Who should be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012?

One polls says Republicans want Palin in 2012.

Vote in the NoBullU poll.

Let Them Go Bankrupt

The bailout is running out of money. I explained over a month ago why the bailout won't work and suggested a solution that would be less expensive for taxpayers. Here is an update.

It is time to let these companies go bankrupt. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows companies to continue to operate while they reorganize, and it cost taxpayers nothing. Of course, Goldman Sachs, Treasury Secretary's former company and the source of his wealth, might lose $20-40 billion when AIG goes bankrupt. This explains why the government continues to prop up AIG. Japan tried to prop up sliding stock and real estate prices at the end of the "Japanese asset price bubble" of the late 1980s, and the effort resulted in a decade of stagnant economic growth. Bankruptcy is much quicker and cheaper for the taxpayers.

(The bailout was also used to make a tax change favorable to Fat Cat banks and the A.I.G.’s of the world, but that is a story for another post.)

Bankruptcy laws also should be amended to temporarily allow bankruptcy courts to reform the terms of loans secured by primary residences. This would reduce the number of foreclosures, again at no cost to the taxcpayers.

Let them go bankrupt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spend Baby Spend

According to the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the government should throw caution to the wind and spend a lot of money. Read The New York Times, Franklin Delano Obama?

This is the second time that Paul Krugman has recommended a major fiscal stimulus in the form of actual government spending.

Will the Dems be able overcome their reluctance (NOT) to spend government money?

Festivus for the Rest of Us

Remember the Seinfeld episode which reintroduced America to the Festivus 'holiday.' I'm reminded of the so-called holiday by a recent article in The New York Times, From Tiny Sect, a Weighty Issue for the Justices.

It seems that adherents of a 'religion' called Summum are demanding a Utah city, that displays a donated Ten Commandments monument, accept and display a monument, similar in size and nature to the one devoted to the Ten Commandments, inscribed with the sect's Seven Aphorisms.

What next, a Festivus pole next to the Christmas nativity scene.

Another Sweetheart Deal for Paulson's Former Company

A deal is a deal, except when your former boss happens to be the Secretary of Treasury, in which case normal rules that apply to you and me, such as repaying loans even if you regret the terms of the original agreement are waived for another sweetheart deal. Read Washington Post, Government Again Expands AIG Rescue Plan and The New York Times, A.I.G. Secures $150 Billion Assistance Package and U.S. Provides More Aid to Big Insurer.

You might remember that over a month ago I recognized the apparent conflict of interest in allowing Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. to bailout his former firm Goldman Sachs. Paulson 'earned' over $650 million as CEO of Goldman Sachs, including stock options and the special treatment of AIG is designed to save Goldman Sachs 10s of billions of dollars. From an article in September:

"Although it was not widely known, Goldman, a Wall Street stalwart that had seemed immune to its rivals’ woes, was A.I.G.’s largest trading partner, according to six people close to the insurer who requested anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. A collapse of the insurer threatened to leave a hole of as much as $20 billion in Goldman’s side, several of these people said.

Days later, federal officials, who had let Lehman die and initially balked at tossing a lifeline to A.I.G., ended up bailing out the insurer for $85 billion."

Can you say conflict of interest. Don't forget that in the first draft Paulson demanded that Congress forbid judicial review of his decisions on use of the money in the bailout. Not only would his decisions have been beyond review but so would the actions of his pals in the banking world.

Good money is being wasted to save Paulson's former company.

This is nothing less than corrupt, but some people get special treatment. (Just ask former University of Alabama and famous NFL quarterback Kenny Stabler, who was acquited of DUI after an Alabama judge ruled that evidence that the former football star refused to take a breath test was inadmissible.)

Paulson should be removed from office, the money he 'earned' as CEO should be forfeited, and AIG should be forced into bankruptcy to save taxpayers further expense.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Class Today at No Bull U on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air today, Friday, from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Today's topic: Election results and whatever else you want to discuss.

Tune in, call in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vote Again, This Time for 2012 GOP Candidate

Who should be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012?

Vote in the NoBullU poll.

No Future in Fear Anger and Hatred

The lesson for the GOP in this election should be that there is no future in fear, anger, and hatred. It proved an effective election strategy for a short time, but fear, anger, and hatred made a poor governing philosophy. If you want confirmation from a Republican, read Boot's Blasts, Why the GOP Lost, where he writes:

"What President Bush represented to a majority of people is a sneering, arrogant, chip-on-his-shoulder, my-way-or-the-highway face of this era’s conservatism; in fact, that also became the face of the United States around the world. And it was that face that voters rejected on Tuesday.

President Reagan was just the opposite: a cheery disposition, a funny laugh and chuckle - and a pleasant demeanor all while trying to convince - not browbeat or threaten - others to change their minds.

If we, as conservatives, are to come back to power we will have to project a totally different face and persona.

The Republican Party will have to become a party of “smart” people who can reach out to the suburbs (where we were completely wiped out) and to educated people. And at the same time we need to keep our base of committed conservatives, too.

In fact, we have to get rid of this exuberant disdain for well-educated people and for education itself. G.W. Bush and Sarah Palin have reveled in their dislike for education, for well-educated people and for reading and for acquiring knowledge.

It used to be in this country that everyone worshiped education and wished to have a great education but somewhere along the way many on the Right have transposed their hatred (well-deserved, by the way) for the Leftism taught in our colleges and universities into hatred of the actual education itself. And that is a tragic mistake. Because only reading the Bible and nothing else isn’t enough to solve this nation’s multitude of problems. In fact, we need to ask God to help us all learn more and know how to learn more in order to keep up with the ongoing and exponentially expanding base of knowledge on all topics.

So we are going to need to change the face of the conservatism; less anger, more brains.

And we need to move on from the Bush Era. Please, no talk of Jebbie in 2012!

Let us first settle on the direction we need to move - and then find new candidates who can sell that message.

For those of you who think the country is doomed, you are wrong. Any time you believe that a majority of your fellow citizens are idiots, you don’t get the majesty of our nation. Obama’s election means something to these people. It is good that they have their chance to run our country. If they do well, we all do well. And if they can’t get a handle on our problems - and if we re-make ourselves into a smart party - then we can and will come back to power.

But first we have to earn our way back."

We will see if the GOP learns anything from this election.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tidbits About the 2008 Election

The election is over, and interesting tidbits of the campaigns are being published. From Newsweek, Hackers and Spending Sprees:

"The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns were victims of a sophisticated cyberattack by an unknown "foreign entity," prompting a federal investigation . . .

Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported . . .

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied . . .

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain's core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had "a pulse."

The Obama campaign's New Media experts created a computer program that would allow a "flusher"—the term for a volunteer who rounds up nonvoters on Election Day—to know exactly who had, and had not, voted in real time. They dubbed it Project Houdini, because of the way names disappear off the list instantly once people are identified as they wait in line at their local polling station . . .

McCain also was reluctant to use Obama's incendiary pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a campaign issue. The Republican had set firm boundaries: no Jeremiah Wright; no attacking Michelle Obama; no attacking Obama for not serving in the military. McCain balked at an ad using images of children that suggested that Obama might not protect them from terrorism. Schmidt vetoed ads suggesting thatObama was soft on crime (no Willie Hortons). And before word even got to McCain, Schmidt and Salter scuttled a "celebrity" ad of Obama dancing with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres (the sight of a black man dancing with a lesbian was deemed too provocative).

Obama was never inclined to choose Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate, not so much because she had been his sometime bitter rival on the campaign trail, but because of her husband. Still, as Hillary's name came up in veep discussions, and Obama's advisers gave all the reasons why she should be kept off the ticket, Obama would stop and ask, "Are we sure?" He needed to be convinced one more time that the Clintons would do more harm than good. McCain, on the other hand, was relieved to face Sen. Joe Biden as the veep choice, and not Hillary Clinton, whom the McCain camp had truly feared.

On the night she officially lost the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton enjoyed a long and friendly phone conversation with McCain. Clinton was actually on better terms with McCain than she was with Obama. Clinton and McCain had downed shots together on Senate junkets; they regarded each other as grizzled veterans of the political wars and shared a certain disdain for Obama as flashy and callow.

At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. "I'll be just a minute," she said."

Post Election Emotions

An interesting Press Release from Brandtrust, Inc.:


Chicago—Oct. 29, 2008—Voters envision an apocalyptic America filled with chaos, corruption and despair if the candidate whom they oppose is elected on Nov. 4. A study conducted in September by Brandtrust, a strategic research firm specializing in methodology designed to uncover emotional and psychological insights, revealed that committed party voters become highly emotionally charged, and they begin to speak of their survival in a very tribal and primal manner when asked to visualize what life would be like with the opposing party in office.

In the study—which was designed to better understand the underlying emotional drivers of party loyalty—voters commented that, “It’s more like a war,” “As soon as the energy leaves, there is a feeling of doomsday,” and “If you don’t win, hopefully you will survive. Hopefully you will move forward and make the best of it and that’s all you can do.”

Regardless of the issues raised or political arguments presented, voters—both republicans and democrats—are looking to the comfort and protection of their own party. In fact, when the scenario of the opposing party in power is presented to them, the sense of comfort and protection afforded by their group is erased, and they are left with a dire view of America.

“When the election is over and the proverbial day-after depression sets in for those who lost, it’s not merely a case of sour grapes. There are real underlying emotional and psychological dynamics at work,” said Daryl Travis, CEO and founder of Brandtrust. “For many party loyalists, their greatest fear has come to pass, and life will remain in a precarious state of limbo for four years.”

What does this mean for voters, political campaigns and even marketing and PR executives? The research conducted by Brandtrust presents a side of voters that is often overlooked in communication platforms. Even voters with the greatest awareness of the issues are responding to deep, non-conscious mental models of themselves, their party and their candidate.

As Travis explains, “The ‘issues,’ in many cases, don’t help voters make their decisions; they help them rationalize the decision they’ve already made on an emotional level.” While shouting platform policies is a requirement for any election, the little things, like relating to and understanding the voter on a more psychological level, may really help win elections.

Helps explain the emotional reaction of some.

Analyze the Election

For those of you who like to analyze the election, here is a good start:

The New York Times, Exit Polls, where you can compare voter demographics back to 1980, and
The New York Times, How the Map Changed From 2004, where you can see how voting at the county level changing between the 2004 and 2008 elections.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know.

Only 6%?

Think about it, Obama had nearly every advantage -- including youth, charisma, money, an economic meltdown, gobs of money, Iraq-mire, dissatisfaction with the incumbent, a confused opponent (someone please tell me, what was McCain's campaign theme), and did I say lots and lots of money -- yet he won only 52% of the national vote, defeating McCain by just 6%. The margin of victory in other recent elections:

  • 2004 - Bush 50.81 vs. Kerry 48.71
  • 2000 - Bush 49.97 vs. Gore 46.46
  • 1996 - Clinton 47.38 vs. Dole 41.02
  • 1992 - Clinton 40.18 vs. Bush 38.35

All things considered, it could/should have been much worse for the Republi-cons.

What do you think?

What Next for the Rogue Diva

What next for the rogue Diva. Read:

CNN, Analysis: Palin rocked campaign, for good and bad
Dallas Morning News, Palin faces questions, different landscape when she returns to Alaska
National Review Online, The Palin Effect

Should Palin run in 2012? Vote in the NoBullU poll.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Liberals or Conservatives, Who Has the Sense of Humor

Do conservatives have more fun? Should liberals start describing themselves as humor-challenged? The answer(s) might surprise you. Read The New York Times, Basics | Obama and McCain Walk Into a Bar ... and Psychology Today, Who Enjoys Humor More: Conservatives or Liberals?

A Maverick Suggestion

For whomever wins the election, the first order of business should be to unite the country. The best way to do that would be to offer the office of the Vice President to the person who places second. Under the original terms of the Constitution, which did not foresee political parties, this was how the Vice President was selected. The members of the U.S. Electoral College voted only for office of president rather than for both president and vice president and each elector was allowed to vote for two people for the top office. The person receiving the greatest number of votes (provided that such a number was a majority of electors) would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president.

We could use a little less party and a little more country if you asked me. Besides, will anyone really miss Biden or Palin.

Alright, fans of SNL will miss Palin, but I think we will see her again. Hopefully after she starts reading a few newspapers and has studied up on current events.

What do you think?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Final Polls and Predictions

The last polls and predictions:

Polly Vote: Obama by 6.0% with 353.72 electoral votes.
FiveThirtyEight: Obama by 6.1% with 348.6 electoral votes.
Princeton Election Consortium: Obama by 6.28% with 353 electoral votes.

Real Clear Politics: Obama by 7.6% with 338 electoral votes.

Obama 278, McCain 132, Toss Ups 128
No Toss Ups: Obama 338, McCain 200

Solid Obama Leaning Obama Solid McCain Leaning McCain Toss Up
StateObama (D)McCain (R)RCP AverageRCP Status20042000
Florida (27)49.047.2Obama +1.8 Toss UpBush +5.0Bush +0.1
North Carolina (15)48.048.4McCain +0.4 Toss UpBush +12.4Bush +12.8
Missouri (11)47.848.5McCain +0.7 Toss UpBush +7.2Bush +3.3
Indiana (11)46.447.8McCain +1.4 Toss UpBush +20.7Bush +15.7
Georgia (15)45.849.8McCain +4.0 Toss UpBush +16.6Bush +11.7
Montana (3)45.048.8McCain +3.8 Toss UpBush +20.5Bush +25.0
Arizona (10)45.849.3McCain +3.5 Toss UpBush +10.5Bush +6.3
Virginia (13)50.245.8Obama +4.4 Toss UpBush +8.2Bush +8.1
Ohio (20)48.846.3Obama +2.5 Toss UpBush +2.1Bush +3.5
Colorado (9)50.845.3Obama +5.5 LeaningBush +4.7Bush +8.4
Nevada (5)50.043.2Obama +6.8 LeaningBush +2.6Bush +3.5
Pennsylvania (21)51.043.7Obama +7.3 LeaningKerry +2.5Gore +4.2
New Mexico (5)50.343.0Obama +7.3 LeaningBush +0.7Gore +0.1
South Dakota (3)42.050.3McCain +8.3 LeaningBush +21.5Bush +22.7
West Virginia (5)42.451.4McCain +9.0 LeaningBush +12.9Bush +6.3
Arkansas (6)43.052.3McCain +9.3 LeaningBush +9.7Bush +5.4
Minnesota (10)51.641.8Obama +9.8 LeaningKerry +3.5Gore +2.4
New Hampshire (4)52.842.2Obama +10.6 SolidKerry +1.3Bush +1.3
South Carolina (8)43.053.0McCain +10.0 SolidBush +17.1Bush +15.9
Wisconsin (10)52.841.8Obama +11.0 SolidKerry +0.4Gore +0.2
Mississippi (6)39.350.7McCain +11.4 SolidBush +19.6Bush +16.9
Iowa (7)54.038.7Obama +15.3 SolidBush +0.7Gore +0.3
New Jersey (15)54.539.0Obama +15.5 SolidKerry +6.7Gore +15.8
Oregon (7)55.339.7Obama +15.6 SolidKerry +4.2Gore +0.5
Washington (11)53.740.7Obama +13.0 SolidKerry +8.2Gore +5.5
Michigan (17)52.539.5Obama +13.0 SolidKerry +3.4Gore +5.2
Maine (4)54.438.8Obama +15.6 SolidKerry +9.0Gore +5.1
Texas (34)40.553.5McCain +13.0 SolidBush +22.9Bush +21.3
California (55)58.734.3Obama +24.4 SolidKerry +9.9Gore +11.8
Massachusetts (12)57.035.7Obama +21.3 SolidKerry +25.1Gore +27.3
Kentucky (8)41.054.5McCain +13.5 SolidBush +19.9Bush +15.1
Alaska (3)40.756.0McCain +15.3 SolidBush +25.6Bush +30.9
Connecticut (7)55.336.0Obama +19.3 SolidKerry +10.3Gore +17.5
New York (31)62.032.3Obama +29.7 SolidKerry +18.3Gore +25.0
Tennessee (11)38.852.8McCain +14.0 SolidBush +14.3Bush +3.9
Alabama (9)33.556.8McCain +23.3 SolidBush +25.7Bush +14.9
Illinois (21)59.034.3Obama +24.7 SolidKerry +10.4Gore +12.0

Rasmussen Report: Obama by 6.0% with at least 313 electoral votes.

Key Swing States in the 2008 Elections

Colorado: Obama by 5.5%
Florida: Obama by 1.8%
Indiana: McCain by 1.4%
Missouri: McCain by 0.7%
Nevada: Obama by 6.8%
New Hampshire: Obama by 12.5%
North Carolina: Obama by 0.4%
Ohio: Obama by 2.5%
Pennsylvania: Obama by 7.3%
Virginia.: Obama by 4.4%

UPDATED November 4, 2008