Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Citi Group says Play Ball

All the talk on the street this week has been about the bail out of Citi and the big three auto makers. The big boys in Detroit are putting together plans on how to make like Lazarus and come back to life. Meanwhile, Citi is moving ahead with the naming rights to the new New York Mets baseball field in Queens. It will be called simply Citi Field. It will be the largest price paid for naming rights in the history of such things. Citi will pay $20 million a year for 20 years. My trusty pencil and paper tells me that is $400 million. According to Time magazine, this is what Citi is getting from us, the taxpayers:

"Specifically, the government will back a $306 billion pool of troubled loans and securities largely related to the foundering residential and commercial real estate markets. After Citi absorbs the first $29 billion in losses on these securities, the government — first the Treasury Department and then the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) — will step in and bear 90% of any further losses. In return, the government gets up to $7 billion in preferred Citi stock and the right to buy more shares at $10.61 — not a bargain these days, with Citi trading in the single digits, but perhaps worth more down the road. On top of that, $20 billion from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will be injected into the company in exchange for preferred shares that come with an 8% dividend."

Are you tired of grabbing your ankles yet?

Rangel gets Tangled in a Tax Web

Who would have thought that Charles Rangel, the raspy voiced chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, would have tax troubles? This is the same committee that is responsible for writing tax bills into existence. Now, Rangel has been true to the platform of his party by attacking corporations that drill for oil offshore for not paying taxes in the U.S. But, the tune changes when a lobbyists is playing the flute. Rangel dropped plans to tax the drillers when a lobbyist came a calling and throwing dollars around. Seems Eugene Isenberg, chairman of Nabors Industries, an oil-drilling company that does some work way out in the water, has made a donation in the amount of $1 million to the "Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service" at the City College of New York. Hmmmmm. Charles Rangel met with Mr. Isenberg and the lobbyist for Nabors Industries and discussed the legislation on the same morning that the congressman and Mr. Isenberg met to talk about the chief executive's potential support for the Rangel center. And, just for dramatic effect, that meeting also took place on the very day that the offshore-taxation issue came up before his committee.

What a tangled web you weave, Mr. Rangels

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Russian Analyst Sees Decline of America

The following is from Drudge Report. Take note on how well our adversaries know us. They know our financial mess as well as our cultural divides. As you read this, realize that this is the sentiment of the entire world. This is what we have become...

RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USATue Nov 25 2008 09:04:22 ETA leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts. Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse." The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events. When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator." When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia." Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles." He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions." He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong. He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare. Developing...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where is the Change that was Promised?

Barack Obama is still two months from taking office, but he is already going back on a campaign promise....Change. "Change We Can Believe In" has given way to the same ole Washington insiders. First to get the nod was fellow Illinois hack Rahm Emanuel, a veteran of the Clinton administration. Next up is Eric Holder, who was the Justice Department's No. 2 man when Sen. Clinton's husband was president. Holder, as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno during the Clinton Administration, said that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to bear arms, but instead protects the right to have a firearm when serving with a militia. After leaving office, Holder signed Janet Reno's brief to the Supreme Court in the Heller case, which stated, "The Second Amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia." So much for Obama being a supporter of the Second Amendment. Holder is also linked to the Mark Rich pardon at the end of the Clinton years. But, keep in mind that Denise Rich raised and donated more than $1 million to the Democratic Party and also provided the Clintons directly with a $10,000 contribution to their legal defense fund and $7,300 worth of furniture. All is forgiven.

Now move to Hillary herself, who sources say will accept the Secretary of State post. Do you see any change yet? Let's not forget about Tom Daschle. He has been tapped for the Department of Health and Human Services to spot. That chair controls almost a quarter of all federal spending. After his defeat in the Senate, Tom stayed in D.C. to "advise" public policy on health care with the firm of Alston and Bird. Daschle's wife was acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the Clinton administration and is one of Washington's top lobbyists. Change? Anyone see change in these positions?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ROCK puts the pressure on Clarksville

Press Release from ROCK

"A private investigator has uncovered illegal activities including and far worse than prostitution being offered by Theatair X itself. The Indiana Attorney General and the Federal Prosecutor for this district are ready to act, but the Clarksville Town Council is refusing to simply enforce existing laws by not allowing the local police to bust the facility. The council has been approached in private with the results of this 24 month investigation by a professional former FBI agent who calls Theatair X violations of sex laws "the worst I've seen in my 26 year career," but the council says it will not act because it has not heard any complaints from the citizens of this area about Theatair X. "

Commentary from me:

Maybe there haven't been any complaints because the ones that would be complaining do not go to this establishment and the ones that do are not complaining. It is time for Clarksville to clean up their town. Many don't know, but Veteran's Parkway was slated to go right through the Theatair X property, but with some fancy legal work and route changes, we now have our children asking what all the X's are for when we simply want to go to Lowe's.

The press conference to unveil to the news media the illegal activities taking place at Theatair X will occur Tuesday beginning promptly at 5:30 PM and ending promptly at 6:15 PM at Kye's I in Jeffersonville. A link to ROCK's site is at the right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Notable Quote for Today

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Mother Teresa

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Floyd County Tables Tax, Then Flip Flops Again

The new Floyd County income tax was shelved briefly by Larry McAllister and then put back in rotation. Seems Larry Mac wanted to wait until after the first of the year to get a glimpse of what the state had in store for counties. The pressure from citizens helped him make that decision. Then the faithful democrats went to work, doing what they the lawyers. Terese Plaiss, the county auditor, took it upon herself to call Ice Miller in Indianapolis. After learning that the council would have to wait until April 1, 2009 to act if it didn't pass the tax before the end of 2008, the measure once again found favor with Big Mac. Grab your ankles Floyd County. In an attempt to show that there is plenty of room for more taxes, I will list some that we already pay. I am sure I will leave some out, so jump right in with the sneaky little one I forget.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax (together with cigarettes is the sin tax)
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
County Excise Tax
And the new Floyd County TAX....

Did I leave any out?

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago.

"Born Free and Taxed to Death" Anonymous - I bet that person was from Floyd County

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If You Like Taxes, You Will Love Floyd County

The Floyd County Council voted 4 to 3 right along party lines last night for a 1.25% income tax on the good people. Four democrats aye, three republicans nay. Teresa Plaiss, the county auditor, said the money would go to property tax relief. Is it really relief if you just shift the tax from your house to your income? The quarter percent will go to public safety and will generate an estimated $4 million per year. The kicker yet again is that the money will be divided equally between the city and county police and fire. According to the CJ, "Those speaking in favor of the tax included Carl Malysz, New Albany's deputy mayor; Paul Haub, president of the New Albany police union; Jeff Firkins, president of the county police union; city Police Chief Greg Crabtree; county Sheriff Darrell Mills; and city fire Chief Matt Juliot." Imagine....people spending the money asking for more. Those opposed to the measure were, drum roll please, the citizens of Floyd County. I know I will have plenty of comments on here about the safety departments being stretched too thin and frankly I have heard all that jazz before. What we need is a comprehensive overhaul of city and county government. We need to prioritize the needs and wants. Taxation is not the answer. I thought liberals were supposed to be the creative types. All I am hearing is the same old tax and spend mantra. Maybe that is why the democrats control the council. They love taxes and right now, Floyd county is the place to be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Forget Gay Marriage, California Says No to Bake Sales

Is California the strangest state in America? Yes, by far. CBS news has reported that baked goods are still allowed to be sold at bakeries, but not at school fundraisers. The reason behind this ridiculous law...childhood obesity. "Food sales are a big part of our community," said Wendy Morrison, the mother of a fifth-grader at Montclair Elementary. "They're more than just the selling of food. It's community coming together."Morrison mourns the loss."It was actually a beloved tradition at the school."California's effort to get fat and sugar out of school foods goes far beyond the disappearing bake sale tables. School lunches no longer consist of hot dogs, french fries and nachos. Choices now include spinach salad, healthy burritos and grilled chicken."

Also in the new "alternative school" being set up in Chicago for gay, lesbian and trans-whatever teens, PETA is pushing for an all vegetarian menu. Come on in big brother and tell me what I can eat today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Product Available January 20, 2009

Thanks Dave for sending this one along. I think Whole Foods will be stocking this.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is This the Dawning of a One World System?

I don't want to be an alarmist, but there is a lot of talk coming from all corners of the earth to create a truly global financial system. Great Britain's Prime Minister has used the economic crisis to call for just that. Gordon Brown is set to speak tonight on foreign policy, but the policy sounds more like a bad sci-fi flick from the 1970's. "My message is that we must be: internationalist not protectionist; interventionist not neutral; progressive not reactive; and forward looking not frozen by events. We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society." Just how do we build that truly global society? The first step is to convince America to give up her sovereign right to her own currency. The argument will be made that the dollar is weak, hard to regulate and has pictures of those guys that don't look like our president elect. The Euro will be the preferred currency of the world. Of course, it will have to be renamed to appease Americans who are more concerned about the name than they are the consequences. Perhaps the new note should be called the "Worldo" or the "Globalo." Oh, how the far left would love that. We will be told that all money is fiat money anyway, so why does it matter what you carry in your wallet. Besides, you won't have to worry about exchange rates on your next trip to Belgium. Heck, why even carry paper money at all. We all have plastic now and cash is so senior citizen like. You think it can't happen here? Take a look at those governments across the pond about ten years back. Look familiar? "...And if we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society." Mr. Brown will champion it tonight. He has gone as far as to advocate global tax guidelines, with Americans picking up most of the tab, I am sure. Even former USSR head Mikhail Gorbachev has said "being a liberal himself, he thinks that the world will take a left turn," and that "a global perestroika would be a logical response to the global crisis." "The paradigm of global development is about to change. The era inaugurated by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago is over." Oh my!

I can hear the chants now....Obama for president of the world.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Local Tax Payers Get Sold Down the River or EDIT in a Dingy

New Albany has a new boat and you can't play the slots on it. According to the CJ, the New Albany Fire Department has purchased an aluminum fire boat for the river. Cost to you? A measly $100,00. In a time when the budget is tight and communication between the mayor and council is loose, was this a wise purchase? To add a little excitement to the argument, the money was pulled from the FDNA pension fund. It was dollars set aside to encourage members to retire from the department. Now what? A majority of council members have said they would have not voted for this "capital project."

The chief said the current boat is not suitable for the river because it was designed for lake use. They plan to sell that craft to offset the 100K bill on the new one. If your town is on a major river, why would you ever buy a boat for a lake? An even better question - if you are a citizen of New Albany, why would you expect any different?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Question of the Day...

According to the Jerusalem Post, 78% of Jews voted for Barack Obama in this election. The question is why would Jews vote for someone so closely affiliated with Islamic states?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hamas to Send Congratulatory Letter to Obama - What Did You Expect?

Ahmed Yousef, the political advisor of the terrorist group Hamas, said today that Barack Obama's victory was historic and he is drafting a letter praising Obama. He said the letter will be sent directly to him, presumably as all the letters from past months have been. In case you are not familiar with Hamas, they are the group responsible for scores of suicide bombings, rocket attacks, shootings and cross-border raids. Its official charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. Hamas' maps do not even show Israel on them. Just today, Hamas members took responsibility for launching dozens of rockets from Gaza aimed at Jewish civilian population centers. Several Israelis were injured in the attacks.

We want to be one of the first to congratulate him," Yousef said.
"This is an historic day, a turning point. I think this is the very first time in history that one country's election concerned everyone everywhere all over [the] world," said Yousef. "Everybody is looking forward to Obama's change, for a change in the U.S. policy, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian equation, which is the mother of all conflicts."

No word yet on when Mr. Obama plans to sit down unconditionally with Hamas.

Where Do We Go From Here?

It was a thorough defeat, and we deserved it. We drifted so far from what this movement was founded on. We had our chance and we blew it. I fear now we will spend years in the wilderness, wandering aimlessly and waiting for someone to show us the way. Who will lead the Republican party forward? Will the party return to its roots or move to the center? How long will it take to get us there? These are the questions I pondered as I drifted off to sleep while Barack Obama spoke to thousands in Grant Park and millions around the world.

Who will lead us? The obvious names pop into my mind. Mitch McConnell escaped to remain minority leader in the senate. Sarah Palin surely has loftier goals ahead. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee could take the lead. Or we can look to someone younger, more dynamic. Someone like Bobby Jindal or Michael Steele. Or maybe it will be someone we haven't heard of yet. Someone like the man Obama was just a few short years ago as a state senator.

Will the party return to its roots or move to the center? There was a lot of talk in this cycle when John McCain grabbed the nomination of the party splitting and a new "conservative" party being formed. Let me strongly state that I believe this would be devastating. This party is still the big tent party. There is plenty of room for everyone here. I believe movement to the right on the size and scope of government is the key. George W. did a lousy job in this area. He presided over the growth of government, not the reduction. I believe abortion is still a valid argument for conservatives. It is likely now to never be overturned because of the Supreme Court Justices that will be appointed by Obama. That doesn't mean we forget the issue. We need to educate people on the trauma that is inflicted on the unborn as well as the mother and the father. We need to focus on helping those facing this decision and reduce abortions from the grassroots level instead of the executive level. It is time to cut loose the Bush presidency and return to fiscal responsibility. The budget deficit is a disgrace and spending is out of control. Republicans had nothing to say to the American people. They had nothing new under the sun to run on. We have many good ideas in this party. We need to articulate them and help the public to understand them.

How long will it take? That is up to us. Will we mope and complain about this administration or will we get off our cans and fight for it. If the tax increases go into effect sooner rather than later, we could gain seats in the house in two years. Or we could be out for ten. It is our choice. We need to rally around new leadership, embrace the values and positions that swept the Republicans into power in 1994 in the House of Representatives and we need to do it soon. Ronald Reagan is still the model we strive to emulate.

I want to congratulate Mitch Daniels, Tony Bennett and especially Ed Clere for their victories. Ed, you have ousted one of the strongholds of the Democratic Party in this state. You did it in short order and with positions that were clear and understandable. We need more of that in Southern Indiana. I look forward to speaking with you soon. As for now, we have a lot of work to do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Creed.....No Matter Who Wins

I do not choose to be a common man.

It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.

I seek opportunity, not security.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen,

humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk;

to dream and to build,

to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.

I prefer the challenges of life

to the guaranteed existence;

the thrill of fulfillment

to the still calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence

nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master

nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid;

to think and act for myself,

enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly

and say, this I have done.

My Creed by Dean Alfange

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of ’22. Hamilton offers the “Dean Alfange Essay Prizes” established by Dean Alfange and awarded to the students who write the best and second-best essays on a feature or an issue of American constitutional government.

Alfange was the American Labor candidate for governor of New York and a founder of the Liberal Party of New York.

Monday, November 3, 2008

According to One "Economist," the Threshold Will be Much Lower

I want to thank Dave for sending along an opinion piece from the WSJ by an economics professor named Adam Lerrick. In the article, Mr. Lerrick explains how the tax burden for the socialist programs (my phrase) will be shifted to those in the $75,000 range. The number of those paying no tax at all will increase by 9%. You can have all the endorsements you want from a publication called "The Economist," but the numbers don't add up. Educated, small business might want to check your earnings in November to see if you need to take the month of December off. We wouldn't want to be productive, now would we?

Check out the article :

Obama Promises to Bankrupt Coal Industry

A report released just this weekend of a January, 2008 interview with the San Fransisco Chronicle quotes Senator Obama on his plans for the coal industry. “… if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” Obama told the Chronicle in January. “It's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." For those that are not aware, coal is the most abundant natural resource in the United States. America's coal has been compared to Saudi Arabia's oil. We will have to wait and see how this affects some major swing states in this election. West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado and especially Pennsylvania are the states in play that have thousands of jobs in the coal industry. Obama also explained his energy policy as being no "booster" of coal and that he will use "price signals" to control America's energy use. Read that as you paying a lot more for the energy you use. Senator McCain tried to capitalize on the remarks yesterday, but many republican strategists feel that it came to light too late in the campaign to make much of a difference.