Saturday, May 29, 2010
First, Obama didn't even know what 'top kill' was before Thursday.
Second, BP had stopped pumping sludge hours before Obama's newsconference, in order to see if it was having any effect.
Third, as of Saturday, 'top kill' failed.
So, Mr. Obama. If you were responsible for 'top kill' implementation, you are responsible for its failure, right?
Friday, May 28, 2010
Please try to remember the reason for the holiday. Those of you who believe might want to say a prayer or two for those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
God Bless America!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
A couple of days ago, I saw him in the Post Office early in the morning. He was quiet, and his normal cheer was missing. Since no one else was in line, I started talking to him. Here is his story ...
About a year ago, he started having financial difficulties. He didn't elaborate on the causes. Bills were stacking up, and he was having a hard time making his mortgage. He went to a White House web site that he heard advertised, looking for help with his situation. He clicked on the link on the web site.
(Those of you who have been with me for a while will remember that I called out this White House web site - it was a scam. The links provided gave the impression that it was a government program to assist folks who had problems with their mortgages - what it actually was was a rotating link connecting to a series of private 'credit counseling' services.)
The folks he was connected to was a private 'not for profit' credit counseling service located in California. They didn't tell him exactly what they were up front - during this whole process, he was under the impression he was talking to part of the government - courtesy of Obama's web site.
They took an initial sign up fee, and talked him into giving them access to his bank account electronically. They have been siphoning off several hundred dollars a month ever since, for their 'services'.
His mortgage company is Bank of America, who inherited it from Countrywide. BofA refused to work with him to modify his mortgage payments. The credit counselors said they would take care of it - leave it, and all of his bill worries, to them.
The credit counselors had him sending piles of money all over the place. He had to raid his retirement plan, eventually withdrawing half of it to meet their demands. He had to take out payday loans to pay other bills - a terrible mistake, for he now pays over $500 a month just in interest on those payday loans.
He was led to belive that his mortage had been reworked. He even received a new contract and payment book from Fannie Mae, and was about to make his first payment to them, since they indicated they had assumed his mortgage.He finally thought he was getting caught up, until two days ago, when the credit counselors called him and told him to prepare to leave his house - it was being foreclosed on. He was given a total of 4 days notice to vacate his house. Prior to that, all contact with the counselors indicated everything was fine, BofA was happy with the payments, and not to worry about anything. He called Fannie Mae to inquire about what he had received from them - and was told that his case had actually been denied, and that the materials he had received had been sent to him by mistake.
The credit counselor demanded that all of his communication with them be via fax or writing. All of their communication to him was via phone. Done on purpose, so he does not have a paper trail of what they told him.
A useful lesson to all of us. A Post Office window clerk with 22 years in makes pretty good money. He had a very good retirement set up, by the government. Now, through some misteps of his own coupled with deceit by the US government, hardasses at the mortgage company, and thieves at a US government approved credit counseling service, he is bankrupt. He lost a house he's been in for 20 years - and for which he's paid 20 years worth of mortgage payments. Heck, he even had to sell his car to meet one of the counselor's bill demands.
Now, Obama isn't the only bad guy in this. Yes, I blame him for purposely misleading folks through the White House web site - hooking people up with these thieves. However, listening to all his rhetoric, wasn't he going to prevent this sort of thing from happening? Wasn't he going to punish the mortgage companies and the banks, so that they couldn't do this to anyone? Weren't Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going to come to the rescue of people in this exact predicament?
I wish I could do somehting for this man, but he's so far in the hole that the only thing that is of any use is just to listen.
Sorry for the long read ... this just really pisses me off.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Rick Barber, Republican, running for Alabama's Second Congressional District (http://www.rickbarberforcongress.com/) ...
Dale Peterson, Republican, running for Alabama's Agricultural Commisioner ... (man, I wish this guy was running for National office).
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Jerry Jones' Cowboys are one of the most successful, and most valuable, sports franchises in the world. The opening of Jerry World before last season has returned the 'Boys to the top of the heap in sports glamour - just where Jerry wants them. Like him or not, Jones is good for the Cowboys, and good for the NFL. Jerry bought the Cowboys and Texas Stadium leases in 1989 for $140 million. Today, the franchise is valued at $1.65 BILLION!
Mark Cuban's Mavericks are one of the most successful NBA franchises, since he took control of ownership. 10 50 win seasons in a row, something done by only 3 other teams in NBA history. Regular season success has not turned into a champiionship - yet. Cuban is a multi-billionaire, opinionated owner who regularly gets in trouble with David Stern and the league office. The NBA's little secret is they love Cuban - the excitement and controversy he brings to the table are good for the sport. Mark bought the Mavs in 2000 from Ross Perot Jr's group for $280 million. The franshise is valued today at $446 Million. It should be noted that previous owner Ross Perot Jr. retained a small (5%) ownership in the team, and has recently filed suit against Cuban, aledging that his mis-management of the team's finances have made the club insolvent. Cuban vehemently denies this.
Tom Hicks owns the Rangers and the Stars.
The Dallas Stars are the most successful of the NHL's 'sunbelt' teams. Although they have stumbled a bit in the past couple of years, they are the most recent 'world championship' team fielded from Dallas - the 1999 Stanley Cup. The team's success and popularity have been the biggest reason that hockey has taken off here in Texas. Multiple minor league teams all over the state owe their existence to the Stars' success. Hicks bought the team from Norm Green for $84 Million, just after the franshise moved to Dallas from Minnesota. Today, the Stars are valued at $246 Million.
The Rangers have been around for quite a while, and have had very few trips to the post season, and absolutely no success in the playoffs. They are usually fun to watch, have a beautiful stadium, and are an integral part of the local sports scene. Hicks purchased the team from an ownership group led by George W. Bush in 1998 for $250 Million. The team is valued at $451 Million today.
Hick's Sports Group, the legal entity that owns the Stars and Rangers, is in deep financial doodoo. The down turn in the financial markets hit the group hard. In addition to the Stars and Rangers, HSG is 50% owner of Liverpool FC, one of the world's most valued soccer franchises. HSG has been forced to sell the Rangers, and offers to sell both the Stars and Liverpool.
The Ranger's sale has been held up by HSG's creditors, who object to the purchase price that the new ownership group (including Nolan Ryan) would pay. MLB has stepped in and is forcing action. The Rangers have stated they will declare voluntary bankrupcy, which will clear the way for the sale to be finalized. The sale price is supposedly in the $545 Million range.
The Stars are being shopped around. A new ownership group is forming, including Stars' player Mike Modano in a minority ownership role.
Liverpool FC is being shopped around for $1 Billion.
With all of this money, why is HSG in trouble? It borrowed the money necessary to buy the franchises to begin with, in complex financial deals that crashed down along with the economy. All three franshises have suffered, with the teams handcuffed by low budgets and no money to go after marquee free agent players.
Sports is big business ... in Texas it is VERY BIG business.
Update - The Rangers did indeed file for voluntary Chapter 11 today.
A list of unsecured creditors was published in the local paper, listing several former players whose contracts say they still are due money. The largest debt owner? Alex Rodriquez (ARod), the self centered egotist who currently plays for the Yankees. One of the dumbest things Hicks ever did was to sign ARod to a $250 million contract way back when. When Hicks was able to unload ARod to the Yankees, much of that money was still due in future payments. In addition to the Rangers picking up half of ARod's salary during his time with the Yankees, HSG still owes him approximately $25 Million. Bet that makes Yankees fans happy ... they got their criminal, cheating hero, and only had to pay half price for him!
Update II - In a Dallas Morning News article today (5/26), HIcks was quoted as saying he will lose approximately $200 Million when the sales of the Rangers and Stars are finalized. He is confident he will recoup that amount on the Liverpool FC sale. Says a lot about the cost of professional sports, the impact of the economic downturn, and some poor financial investments (player contracts) when the owner of two US professional league teams and half owner of one of the biggest soccer franchises in the world hopes to walk away even.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
It is worth noting that Tony, Angele, and Antron all drove for Don Schumacher Racing (Tony's father). The Army dropped sponsorships of the bikes a couple of years ago, Tony's dragster is the only currently running Army car.
My daughter unit and I were right behind a highway collision between two vehicles recently. On a freewway, one vehicle stopped in the right lane, and started backing up because it had missed an exit. A vehicle following behind didn't recognize what was going on until it was too late - it swerved to the left, but hit the left rear corner of the backing vehicle. One vehicle was doing at least 65 - the other a negative 5 or so (relative to the other vehicle). The collision was pretty violent, sending the following vehicle spinning a hunred yards or so across two lanes of traffic.
We stopped and rendered aid to the 'backing up' vehicle. By the grace of God, no one in either vehicle was injurred, though they were badly shaken. Lady driving 'backing up' was shaking, and entering shock. We calmed her, kept her still (in case she was injurred), and kept her talking and alert until the police/fire showed up (about 15 minutes). After they arrived, they extracted lady from her car, police officer took a short statement, and we were dismissed. The officer did thank us for renderring aid - nice of him.
We did not approach the other vehicle - another motorist had stopped and rendered the same type of aid to them as we did.
OK, so we did our good deed. No big deal, no one got hurt.
Fast forward two days.
I get calls from two different insurance companies, telling me I need to give them a recorded statement. Not asking, TELLING. I go ahead and comply - though they were, in my opinioin, rude, I thought it was a civic duty. In both cases, the insurance companies refused to identify which party they were representing.
I then get messages from two lawyers offices, stating that I need to call them immediately to give recorded statements. OK, that's enough of this bullshit. Both of the drivers did stupid things that caused the accident, and they are both lucky to be alive. I am damned sure not going to help either one of them sue the other. BTW, neither lawyer's office would identify which one was their client.
The moral to this story ... a couple actually.
First - anytime you give your contact info to the police, you are guaranteed it will become public record when the police report is filed. Lawyers, insurance companies, people involved - they all get your information to do with as they please.
Second - even though it is the right thing to do, don't expect anyojne you help to actually thank you. No one involved with these calls ever said thank you, or that their client wanted to express their thanks for risking ourselves, our vehicle, and taking our time to lend assistance to them.
In any case, I hope lady of Indian descent (backing up) finally learns how to drive in this country. It ain't safe out there with idiots like that on the loose ...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
These attacks started even before the law was passed.
The law is only 10 pages long. As far as laws go, it is pretty concise and actually very limited in what it does. Compared to anything coming out of Washington, it is astonishing in its brevity and simplicity.
However, apparently it is too long and too cumbersome for Democrats to understand. The evidence ...
The people yelling the loudest about it haven't even read it.
In the past week, the following people have admitted that they have not read the law, and don't know what it says:
Obama (His Highness Himself)
Robert Gibbs (Obama's Press Secretary)
Janet Napolitano (DHS Secretary)
Rahm Emanual (Obama's Chief of Staff)
Eric Holder (US Attorney General)
PJ Crowley (US State Dept. Spokesman)
All of these folks, and many, many more have made very public statements condeming Arizona, threatening Arizona, and inflaming tensions for political gain.
Know what's funny? It doesn't matter what's in the law. If it didn't come from Obama, they are going to savage it, no matter what. They see it as an opportunity to make political gain - and they jumped all over it.
The Federal Government is totally inept when it comes to border control and immigration enforcement. The fact that they attack, out of ignorance, anyone who actually tries to remedy the situation is disgusting.
Update - if you're interested, here is the entire text of the bill:
Monday, May 17, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In any case, the first time I saw a photo of this person, I thought it was a joke. It looked like political commentator Dick Morris in drag. Or maybe some left wing website's photoshop job. I really had to read the story underneath to realize it really was her. I hate to be shallow and just comment on looks, but damn ... she'll fit right in with Sotomayor and Ginsburg. Get used to her ... at age 50, she'll be sitting on the court for the next 3 decades.
Update - The White House has made Kagan 'unavailable' for any interviews with the press. Instead, they produced their own 'interview' and posted it on the web - she answers Obama administration questions, and reads an Obama administration script. White House reporters are furious over this, complaining that Obama is once again using their medium to send out his message, unfiltered, unvetted, and completely partisan. You know it's bad when the head of CBS news complains about it - they're so in the tank for Obama it is pathetic.
I believe the reason for this is obvious. The White House has not completed their indoctrination of Kagan. There are a lot of issues with her that reporters and Senators are going to want to explore, many of them will be uncomfortable - not the least of which are persistent 'rumors' that she is gay. Obama's cronies aren't going to let her talk until they've crafted a response to every angle of questioning that will be posed to her.
Update II - Senate Republicans have indicated they will not block Kagan's confirmation, though they promised thorough questioning during the hearings. Fair enough. Obama won, he gets to pick his Justices. However, I am reminded of when President Bush nominated Harriet Myers, and the firestorm that set off about her not being qualified - eventually ending up in the withdrawl of her nomination. Harriet Myers was more qualified than Kagan ....
Here you have someone who has never sat on a bench. Her claim to law fame is in academia only - the perfect definition of an Ivy League law school egghead. Her lack of a history has everyone, Democrat and Republican alike, wondering who she is, what she believes. Democrats will take a positive spin on whatever she says during confirmation - since 'The One' selected her, she must be a far left wing kook.
For all the Democrats' high minded commitment to diversity, Kagan's ascension will mean that every single Justice on the Supreme Court has graduated from either Yale or Harvard Law School. Obama has contributed two of those persons. So much for diversity ...
Holder wants more latitude in getting info from our enemies. On Meet the Press this past Sunday, he stated "We are now dealing with international terrorists, and I think we have to think about modifying the rules that interrogators have and somehow coming up with something that is more consistent with the threat that we face now".
Earth to Dumb Ass ...
Where have you been for the past decade?
Why were you and your far left kook friends savaging President Bush when he tried to do this in the aftermath of 9/11?
This is a prime example of the arrogance of the left. Almost 9 years after 9/11, it has taken their superior brain power to declare that we are actually dealing with terrorists.
On the surface, Holder's request seems to be a step in the right direction. Obama was stung by the backlash he faced when the Christmas bomber was Mirandized, and after the Times Square bomber was Mirandized. It's a political tack back to the center a bit, in order to squash the criticism. The optimist in me hopes that maybe they are waking up and will actually try to protect us. The realist in me looks at their track record so far, and shouts 'PROVE IT'.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Please God ... just a week of peace and quiet?
This ... is definintely not one of those ...
And we have many 'remixes ...
And a whole lot more of them ... this goes to prove a couple of things. First, people really shouldn't be allowed to have camera phones, especially in the bathroom. Second, more proof that white people can't rap.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Balance that with the complete pass Obama is getting in the Federal response to the current oil spill catastrophe.
Bush was on the ground in New Orleans far quicker after the levies broke than Obama has gotten there after the oil rig sank.
My point is not that Obama and his administration have not responded correctly. My point is that their performance is far below the level of Bush's - Bush got slammed, and is still being slammed. Obama gets a complete pass.
Update - Obama asked Ahmadinajad to send over one of his submarines (yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran's navy has subs) to the Gulf and torpedo the oil rig. He did this so he could score points with the eco-nazis, scuttle further oil exploration needed by this country, and give him a reason to attack big oil (BP).
No crazier than Bush ordering the Corps of Engineers to dynamite levies to kill black people ....
Update II - I recently spent several days in the Crescent City on business. I was struck by two things. First, the oil spill is a very real emergency to people along the coast. Folks from Texas to Louisiana and on around to Florida are deathly afraid for their way of life. Second, the incredible number of ambulance chasing lawyers who are advertising on local TV for 'oil spill victims'. "Call us and we'll help you get what you deserve from the oil companies." One one local 1/2 hour newscast, I saw 4 different lawyers advertising specifically for oil victims. One man's emergency is a lawyer's windfall ....