Posts Tagged Sarah Palin

11/25/16 TRUMPED! The GOP

‘The Donald’ has ‘trumped’ the GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party), and the man who let it all happen was…drumroll please…REINES PRIEBUS. But what the hey, he got his reward.

Anyone recall him saying on MTP when he was challenged for letting Trump, a former Democrat, friend of the Clinton’s, and never a ‘Reagan Republican’ or even conservative (his demeanor alone tell you that!), run ‘because we are a big tent’. Ain’t that the truth and you, Reines, let the camel put his nose under it.

Me a GOP hater? No, a life-long Republican, as were my parents and the rest of my family. Until…John McCain, went against all advisors and chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. That did it for me, and I voted for Barrack Obama…twice. This time, I held my nose and voted for Hillary, because I thought of Reagan’s deep respect for the office and Trump’s total contempt for it and for trodding on common decency AND the U.S. Constitution: the ultimate ‘Flim-Flam Man’.

Does anyone recall the Robert Redford, Paul Newman movie, The Sting? At one point, newbie Redford asks Newman why he is a con man…for the money? To which, Newman responds, “it’s to see the look on the face of the mark, when he realizes he has been had.”

You..some of you…certainly not me or the 2 million that cast their votes for ‘crooked Hillary’, as the ‘devil you know’, while polls showed many preferred ‘the devil THEY don’t know. Now that he has won, or has he…won’t know for sure until Dec. 19th…he is showing his largesse (large ass?), by saying he won’t prosecute her. Once again, he didn’t bother with the details like not being the one who can appoint a special prosecutor, OR tell the FBI and Justice to drop the charges. Furthermore, as will undoubtedly happen with all, he is breaking his campaign promises (panders!), he made to the voters, his constituents, the party, and our country. Good luck, America…you elected a liar, thief, tax dodger as ‘your’ (not my) president. As George H.W. Bush once put, “this will not stand!”

Since penning the above, in an unprecedented move, Jill Stein, a physician and the Green Party candidate, has raise funds for a recount in those three three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida). So while the odds of 21 ‘renegade’ electors is slim, the odds are diminished by a possible change in the electoral vote.

Recall Trump being gracious in victory…always easy even for him, although he still was unconvincing when Leslie Stahl asked him to tell his supporters to stop with the racist and ethnic violence. Instead, he said he was ‘unaware’ of that even though he is a junkie on social media. So what did he say? Nothing of note ending with “stop it”. Stop it? Not Stop It! or the more appropriate, STOP IT…IMMEDIATELY!!! That is what parents tell their kids, right?

Thus there are two possibilities, one of which would result in Clinton being named President, and one in which the GOP House would select the President…hopefully not Trump but a more responsible, realistic individual…or even Pence. Time will tell, but remember, you heard it first hear IF it does happen.

Hopefully, based on his telling the UK who their ambassador to the U.S. should be which is totally unacceptable for a sitting President, let alone a President-elect. The furor it started in the House of Commons was not a pretty sight, especially their statements about the man’s racism. There seems to be a common thread on racism, doesn’t there?

Meanwhile the stock market is at record highs, but after the first surge not convincing and certainly not all sectors…especially bonds, the largest market in the world!

Hope you and your family were able to have a political free zone for Thanksgiving and that it was a good one for all.

Trader Bill

 

 

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7/31/14…losing Iraq and losing your mind…

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “You go to the ballet and you see girls dancing on their tiptoes. Why don’t they just get taller girls?” – Greg Ray

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

Bloomberg Top Stories:
*Stocks Tumble on Earnings, Argentina as Oil Falls While Dollar Strengthens – speaks volumes!
*Argentine Bonds Halt Two-Day Rally Amid Conflicting Reports on Debt Deal
*Banco Espirito Santo Plunges as Bank Ordered to Raise Capital After Loss
*Investment Banking Job Cuts Seen With Revenue Falling Faster Than Expenses
*Jobless Claims in U.S. Over Past Month Retreat to Lowest Level Since 2006 – but jobs???
*ISDA Asked to Determine if Argentina’s Credit-Default Swaps Will Pay Out
*T-Mobile Adds More Subscribers Than Estimated as Consumer Forecast Raised
*Broadbent Says ‘Edge’ Coming Off U.K. Housing Market as BOE Debates Rates
*Rental Car Companies Pressed GM Over Air-Bag Failures Before Switch Lawsuit
*Ukraine Crisis Spurs Volatility Hedging as Europe Stocks Near Record Value – same as U.S.!
*Coca-Cola Faces Up to Obesity Concerns in Campaign to Make Soda Fun Again
*Netanyahu Says Gaza Tunnels Must Be Destroyed Even Under Truce Agreement – yawn
*Sierra Leone Declares Ebola State of Emergency as Liberia Sets Quarantines
*Forty bullets in the Head Sends Honduran Family Fleeing to Safety of U.S. – kind of like “bang bang you’re dead, fifty bullets in your head”?
*Kerry in India Pushes to Salvage WTO Agreement as Midnight Deadline Nears
*Obama Said to Require Companies Seeking U.S. Deals to List Labor Breaches
You have to love this: Court Protects Gun Owners in Florida From Common Sense

Wednesday’s Market Summary:

The market open higher following Tuesday’s weak session…that lasted for all of five minutes then it declined until the Fed statement and stock came off their lows but never made it back to the morning highs, let alone to green. Then they retreated again, came back a bit and the S&P closed unchanged. Dow Utilities were weak all session, also hiccupped at the Fed, then closed down losing 1.7%. Best performer was Dow Transports which rose 0.7% but that was following -1.4% and -1.1%! The Dow closed -0.2% while the rest were up 0.4-0.5%. Volume rose again to an average 3.44B shares – a rarity these days. Real trades on the NYSE floor also rose to a still below average 680M shares. A/D’s and Breadth were mixed with NYSE modestly negative and Nasdaq modestly positive??? New 52 week highs slipped to 149 vs 181 while new lows were steady at 115. VIX rose slightly to 13.33 but is now in bear territory with a session high of 14.07!

Total NYSE Volume rose to an average 3.44B shares (rare) vs 3.14B vs 2.77B vs 2.63B vs 3.09B. Recent high volume was 4.25B (end of quarter). Real NYSE Volume also rose but just to a still below average 680M shares vs 628M vs 589M vs 570M vs 631M vs 581m – 7 days after plunging to 541M, the third lowest of 2014 (531M was the low) – with 236M at the bell!!! 537M on 7/3 was second weakest since April 30th. There have been just two sessions above 800M since 4/28! The 12-month average remains at a very weak 703M. Since 4/30 the average volume has been just 667M shares ranging from 531M to 1.72B.

A/D’s were mixed again with NYSE negative: NYSE -1.6x vs -1.5x vs -1.3x vs -1.9x vs -1.1x; Nasdaq +1.4x vs +1.03x vs -1.7x vs -2.1x vs -1.2x. Breadth was similar: NYSE –1.2x vs -1.8x vs -1.4x vs -2x vs +1.2x; Nasdaq +1.7x vs +1.2x vs -1.5x vs -1.7x vs +1.2x. New 52 Week Highs dipped to 149 vs 181 vs 152 vs 150 vs 280 – recent range is 71-580!!! New Lows were steady at 115 vs 118 vs 141 vs 55 vs 70 – recent range is 24-214. S&P VIX closed at 13.33 +.05 but with a range of 12.53-14.07…now in bear territory!

Bonds traded even in the Asian session but then opened weak with just a blip higher as the Fed statement was released then it was down and downer, a day after setting new 12-month highs: 10 yr closed at 2.56% vs 2.46% -13/16. 30 yr closed 3.31% vs 3.23% -1-5/8! The long TIP closed at 0.94% vs 0.87% -2-1/8!!! Overnight tanking again: 10’s 2.60% -5/16; 30’s 3.35% -3/4; and long TIP 0.99% -1-1/8! Cycle highs: 30 yr high was 3.97% on 12/31; the 10 yr recent high 3.03%! Long TIP was 1.64%. The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5/13.
Libor update: 0.237% 3 mos.; 0.330% 6 mos., both remain near their record lows, set recently: 0.222% and 0.320% respectively! NOTE the Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% since 5/22/13 and are currently 0.06-0.8% – 2 basis points below where they have been for weeks! Foreign bond yields higher across the board, they too had risen late yesterday so it is worse than it looks: Germany 1.19% +2; UK 2.64% +4; France 1.56% +1; Italy 2.70% +1; Spain 2.51% –; Portugal 3.61% +5; Greece 5.93% +12! The recent high on selloff was 6.75%. Highly volatile!!! Recently 5.42% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.53% +1.

Gold traded down to $1291 before closing at $1296.90 -$3.60, first close below the psychological $1300 a day after a negative key reversal (higher high, lower low and close below prior days low!) Sitting on psychological support level of $1300! Now 4 closes below $1300 in 26 sessions since plunging on 4/14! 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! 6/9’s $1240.20 was lowest since 1/31/14!!! It remains below all three moving averages which remain near locked and CRITICAL…40 day $1300, the 50 day $1294 with final support still at the 200 day $1287. Note the recent high of $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13, then ended the session with a negative key reversal sparking the downturn! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight it is weaker again at $1290.50 -$6.40 with a low of $1285.90, lowest since 6/19.

Crude traded down to $99.42, lowest since 7/15 before settling at $100.27 -.70! Last 7/22’s high was $105.20, still highest since 7/2. 7/15’s session low was $90.01 – lowest since 3/21 – SIX handles since 6/30! 6/20’s run to $107.73 – highest since 9/19/13, a huge down session – put it in freefall and now just above critical support at $99.90 – the 200 day! 3/2’s session low was $97.37, lowest since 2/4! 1/14’s low was worst since 5/2/13: $91.24! The record high of $114.83 was on 5/2/11, the low since on 10/4/11 is $74.95: $93.60 is the midpoint!!! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. RES at the 50 day ($103.79), then the 40 day ($103.92), and barely above critical support at the 200 day $99.89!!! The range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it plunged to $99.09 just .08 above 7/15’s low and is now $99.61 -.66…ouch!
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European equity markets slammed, Asia mixed: UK -0.3% vs -0.1% vs +0.6% vs -0.2% vs -0.2%; France -1.1%! vs +0.1% vs +0.9% vs – vs -0.8%; Germany -1.2%! vs +0.1% vs +0.8% vs -0.8% vs -0.5%; Japan -0.2% vs +0.2% vs +0.6% vs +0.5% vs +1.1%; Hang Seng +0.1% vs +0.4% vs +0.9% vs +0.9% vs +0.3%; Korea -0.3% vs +1% vs +0.6% vs 0.7% vs +0.4%; India -0.7% vs +0.4% vs closed vs -0.5% vs -0.6%. U.S. equity futures TANKING and at session lows!!! Dow -123; SPX -15.30; NDQ -34…is this the beginning of the big correction?

Some random thoughts

…TB watched the Frontline episode last night, Losing Iraq on PBS. Frontline is one of TB’s favorite sources and this one is well done as it shows just how badly we planned and executed the war. If there was one criticism it would be that Paul Bremer was let off the hook. It was he, who when sent by Bush (he was a close friend of Cheney), declared himself ‘Viceroy’ (bet you thought that was a cigarette?), which Bush tried to stop him from using…after all it translates to: assistant king. But the worst thing was his first order over the objection of the generals and senior staff that all Baathists were to be expelled from the government (many were teachers who joined the party because they had to), and worse when the Red Guard came and offered to serve he sent them home…with their weapons and many of this elite corps are haunting us in the conflict today. Nice job, Paul!

Still, overall it is a very good summary with commentary by Gen. Patraeus, Colin Powell, and others…we clearly screwed up big time. You have to love Rumsfeld’s comments, reminiscent of the old Kremlin in creating disinformation.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, an editor at the Washington Post is interviewed too. They would have done well to spend more time with him as his book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City is a much a ‘bible’ as Thomas Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem, published just before the invasion of Kuwait. TB’s favorite line is when Rajiv called Henry Kissinger, who Bremer served under, to ask what the man was like. Kissinger replied, “he’s a control freak.” – quite a strong statement from one control freak about another.

If you missed it, here is the link: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365297690/

Ending on a humorous note (unless you are or admire Sarah Palin), courtesy of the Huffington Post:

Sarah Palin just learned a valuable lesson about starting your own web channel: make sure to buy up any similar domain names, such as, say, one that simply puts “The” in front of your URL.
On Tuesday, after taking a look at Palin’s new project, SarahPalinChannel.com, “a safe space where like-minded folks can hear things they already agree with from someone whose opinion they already know,” Colbert gleefully announced that he had purchased TheSarahPalinChannel.com earlier that day.
So far, the channel is sparse on content, featuring only a photo of the former half-term Alaska governor-turned-grifter and a description: “The only Sarah Palin Channel on the internet with a definite article in the address!”

The page also links to an older segment of “The Report” in which Colbert roundly mocked Palin’s “ringin’ those bells” description of Paul Revere’s famous ride.
Perhaps most importantly, TheSarahPalinChannel.com is free, whereas SarahPalinChannel.com costs a whopping $9.95 a month. But, as Colbert explained, Palin’s channel is worth every penny: “Sure, that’s more than Netflix, but it’s just as good as ‘House Of Cards,’ with even more threatening monologues into camera.”

Have a great day!

TB

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5/23/14…a Memorial Day to Reflect…Please do!

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.” – Fred Allen…a dry, very funny ‘50’s comedian

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “If life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo…WS already did: it’s called ‘sucker the investor.’

Bloomberg Top Stories:
*German Business Confidence Drops More Than Forecast as Economy Seen Slower
*Barclay’s $44 Million U.K. Gold Fixing Fine Hurts Rehabilitation Efforts – good, not enough!
*Euro Weakens as German Confidence Falls; Spanish, Italian Bonds Advance – Achtung!
*Spain Reaps the Reward of Economic Growth While Italy’s Yield Gap Widens
*Hacking Indictment Hints at Chinese Companies That Benefited From Attacks – good luck!
*BNP Paribas Rebound Wagers Surge as Clarity Emerges on Size of U.S. Fines
*Reynolds Is Said to Weigh Lorillard Purchase Amid Months of Negotiations
*Morgan Stanley’s London Equities Team of Four Led by Mackay Said to Leave
*Noble Returns to London Liquified Gas Trading as U.S. Shale Adds Volume – flare it!
*Ukraine, EU Elections, U.S. GDP, Pfizer Deadline – all to look forward to next week
*Golf Industry Stuck in Sand Trap as Thousands of Americans Leave the Sport- ever been to Myrtle Beach, S.C.? 21 championship courses BUT FORTY-NINE miniature golf locations! Fact!
*Putin’s Black Sea Singapore Dream Leaves Crimeans Without Banks or Burgers – cringing?
*Putin Says Russia Will Work With Elected President of Ukraine After Vote
*Thai Coup Risks Deadly Clashes as Thaksin Camp Is Seen as Better Organized
*Obama to Unveil San Antonio Mayor Castro as Choice for Housing Secretary
*Russia Threatens to Counter NATO Buildup on Its Borders as Rivalry Continues – not good!
*Congress Spurns Pentagon Cost Reductions Cuts From A-a0 to Base Closures – this is sick! The GOP can find NO cuts in defense…it’s a sieve for money run by more oligarchs!
*Scottish Nuclear Subs Show Independence Risks More Than Just U.K. Economy – in kilts?

Thursday’s Market Summary:

First off, today will be an early close for bonds (we always get the breaks, right?), which means it will be probably closed by the time you read this…so you can devote the rest of your day to stocks….you know…the things that really matter (joke!).
Ah a nice rally…didn’t you think? Oops, that was Wednesday…yesterday all indices ere up but the winner was the Russell 2000 +0.9%, followed by DOW UTILITIES!!! +0.8%, the rest were up from 0.2% (S&P 500) to 0.6% (Nasdaq Composite) followed by Dow Transports +0.5%. Let’s see what did we forget? Oh, yeah,,,the Dow which was up 1% Wednesday followed up with a puny 0.1% gain! Does anything have traction here?…besides Utilities and other income producing stocks, REITS, and ETF’s? Lemme know if you find the answer.

Total NYSE Volume sure didn’t look like excited (but we are ahead of a long weekend with most not trading tomorrow) declining a bit more to an even weaker 2.74B shares vs 2.77B vs 2.97B vs 2.64B!!! …that’s from 3.18B last Friday (remember it was an options expiration!) from an average 3.53B – on a ‘down’ day! Real trades on the floor of the NYSE stunk slipping further to 577M shares from a very weak 587M and now 147M BELOW the 12-month average! Yesterday;s achieved notoriety by replacing Tuesday’s 584M share day as the second lowest of 2014…1/3’s 544M is the low…note 12/31’s was 568M shares. Worse: since 4/30 the average has been just 663M shares with just two 700M days – one barely! The high this month is 775M while the low is 584M just below yesterday’s! Nice rally, eh???
A/D’s were positive again but meaningless: NYSE +2x vs +2.6x vs -2.4x vs +1.8x vs +2.1x vs -2.3x vs -2.1x; Nasdaq +2.1x vs +1.5x! vs -3.1x vs +2.2x vs +1.5x vs -2.1x vs -2.8x. Breadth was similar: NYSE +1.8x vs +2.6x vs -4.1x! vs +1.6x vs +1.5x vs -4x!!! vs -2.1x; Nasdaq +2.6x vs +2.7x vs -3.1x! vs +3x! vs +1.5x vs -2.5x vs -3.3x. But who cares when the volume is so low? New 52 Week Highs rose but about average at 187 vs 132 vs 111 vs 143 vs 71!!! vs 107 vs 208 vs 233 vs 93!!! New Lows dropped sharply to a weak 62 (never short a thin market) vs 95 vs 118 vs 72 vs 180 vs 102 vs 62 vs 65 vs 214!!!
Lastly volatility…S&P VIX remains bullish…up just .10 to 12.01 with a range of 11.68-12.09 – narrower than Wednesday’s and inside it.

Overnight markets as of 2pm EDT (late!,:

Bonds closed slightly lower for a second day after the nice rally last Monday. Not surprising given the early close ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The 10 yr closed at 2.55% -3/16 vs 2.53% vs 2.54% vs 2.52%; 30’s 3.42% -1/4 vs 3.41% vs 3.38% vs 3.39% vs 3.35%. The long TIP, as low as 1.00% a week ago, closed 1.09 UP 3/16 vs 1.10% vs 1.08% vs 1.08% vs 1.02%. Overnight and this afternoon weaker again: 10’s 2.56% -1/4; 30’s 3.43% -3/8; and long TIP 1.10% –. Cycle highs: 30 yr high was 3.97% on 12/31; the 10 yr recent high 3.03%! Long TIP was 1.64%. The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5/13.
Libor update: 0.229% 3 mos.; 0.324% 6 mos., both just off their record lows, set recently: 0.227% and 0.32% respectively! NOTE the Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.08% since 5/22/13 and is 0.07% -0.09%. Foreign bond market mixed with Italy, Spain and Portugal sharply lower: Germany 1.41% +1; UK 2.65% –; France 1.81 –; Italy 3.16% -8!!!; Spain 2.98%! -6!; Portugal 3.74% -6!; Greece which bottomed at 5.83% on 2/24 still struggling but closed strong yesterday and is now 6.38% -1 vs 6.39% – high was 6.75%. Highly volatile!!! Range is 5.77% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.58% -1.

Gold closed slightly higher at a meaningless $1295.40 +6.90 with just a blip to $1304.10 in a very narrow range session. This after hitting $1309.20 a week ago. It remains below the 40/50/200 days and the psych support level of $1300 with first res at the 40 day $1297, then the 200 day $1299, and the 50 day $1306. Following the ‘key reversal’ on 3/17 after printing new recent high of $1392.60, highest high since 9/4/13 – which ended in an outside day and nearly a negative key reversal! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight slightly weaker in a narrow range, now $1291.60 -$3.60 – session low $1289.80.

Crude closed slightly lower at $103.74 -.33 in a very narrow inside session. Weds. high was $104.29 – highest since being slammed on 4/22! 3/2’s session low was $97.37, lowest since 2/4! 1/14’s low was worst since 5/2/13: $91.24! The record high of $114.83 was on 5/2/11, the low since on 10/4/11 is $74.95: $93.60 is the midpoint!!! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. It remains well above all three moving averages with support at the 40 day ($101.69) then the 50 day ($101.21), and 200 day $100.34. The recent range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight, modestly higher at $104.05 +.31, high $104.08.

Global equity markets little changed; India and Japan higher: UK -0.2% vs +0.1% vs -0.5% vs -0.3% vs -0.1%; France +0.1% vs +0.2% vs -0.2% vs +0.1% vs +0.1%; Germany +0.2% -despite weaker economic confidence??? vs +0.5% vs -0.2% vs -0.1% vs -0.3%; Japan +0.9% vs -0.2% vs +0.5% vs -0.6% vs -1.4%! Hang Seng +0.1% vs – vs +0.6% vs – vs -0.1%; Korea +0.1% vs +0.1% vs -0.1% vs +0.1% vs +0.2%; India +1.3%! vs -0.3% vs +0.1% vs +1%! vs +0.9%. U.S. Stock Index Futures boring: DOW +7 (range 23); SPX +1.30 (3!); NDQ +4.25 (7!).
Some random thoughts:

…as a Viet Nam vet TB asks that you think of those who gave their lives…and limbs…and much more for this country that has become so undeserving. TB felt this especially after visiting our nations capitol and noting that the ‘me’ generation is very much alive and well.

Two years ago, TB voted a second time for Barrack Obama, the first because John McCain has even less clout in the GOP than John Boehner does at controlling the dysfunctional House – all his party! Big John sealed the deal with his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate plus there was a promise of ‘changing how government operates from Obama. Nevermind that they didn’t have a clue how they were going to change it (per Lawrence Lessig), nor did they attempt to do so. The last time as there was NO choice…not when Mitt Romney proposed ‘changes’ to make the country even more ‘oligarchial’ – a concern of some of his fellow Mormons who feared a backlash if he didn’t do a good job of running the country.

George W. Bush…and the ‘acting’ president, Dick Cheney, along with Donald Rumsfeld did more to deprive Americans of their rights than any other president in our history. Watch Frontline’s two-part series The United States of Secrets, part two is the most important as it opens with a summary of the first part. The point is the Snowden is no more a traitor than Daniel Ellsberg was (although TB thought he was at the time), in releasing the Pentagon Papers which shed light on the government’s lies about the Viet Nam war (note Ellsberg said that Snowden was right to flee the country – as opposed to the joint leaders of the Intelligence (sic) Committee, Rep. Rogers (R) and Sen. Feinstein (D), who believed everything that Gen. Clapper (watch the movements of him in his testimony and you decide if he was lying – a fact he later said in a memo to the committee! Of course, no perjury charges for him).

Obama not only failed to change government but he changed the level of the cabinet with people second-guessing those in charge and influencing Obama. He promised to end the spying, and to shutdown Guantanamo…instead he bolstered both.

He speaks passionately about everything but we have come to know that it goes no further than that. He drew a line in the sand on Syria…then what? Iran? He was right in his handling of Libya and is being crucified in yet another politically-motivated ‘investigation’ of Benghazi. The truth? They don’t want the truth…just to humiliate…just as the House has voted over 50 times to end Obamacare. A wasted of time, resources, and creating even more angst among both parties and the public. Stuff happens! Also, the Ambassador was warned not to go to Benghazi and there were ten CIA operatives with him…of which two were casualties. Let’s be honest!

We hear a lot about what his legacy will be. To be sure, the ACA is a step in the right direction but the wrong step…it does nothing to control costs of care or drugs…especially drugs which he sold out to the Pharma lobby on. But so far that is the only legacy TB see…a ‘half-vast’ one (some might say half-assed). How sad that the misguided Occupy Wall Street movement (sic) was the only attempt by anyone at Wall Street accountability (the name itself is a negative…TB proposed Reform Corporate America (RCA) – and Congress. Too bad all those people who have written excellent books on the crisis can’t band together and strike boldly at Congress in unison. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, so…individually, it is divide and conquer…and it is working!

It is time for us to demand Congress represent WE, the people and not the oligarchs of Wall Street, the defense industry and over the well-being of Main Street. Our ‘free’ government has become a sham…a mockery and one which lowers us in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Will change come? Of course it will…but will it be too late for the government and country as we know it. If that comes to pass it will be a very sad Memorial Day for us all…especially the future generations.

Disagree? That is your right…and TB does not expect or wish you to simply agree with him. But he does hope you will think and act responsibly and do the right thing. Nothing is not an option.

Have a wonderful but reflective Memorial Day weekend,

TB

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3/22/11…perception

TB’s Quote of the Day: “I never got anything through that wasn’t accomplished with the help of the other party. – Sam Nunn…he worked hard with Sen. Lugar, and others. We need elected officials like these…not the ones we currently have for the most part.

News Quote of the Day: “The Federal Reserve forgot that it is a central bank for the people of the United States and not a private academy where decisions of great importance may be withheld from public scrutiny. As only Congress has the constitutional power to coin money, Congress delegates that power to the Fed and the Fed must be accountable to Congress, especially in deciding what it does with that money.” Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg News Editor in Chief on the U.S. Supreme Court in their first sensible decision of the last three (corporations can make unlimited campaign contributions, and freedom of speech near military funerals. Hear! Hear! TB

Monday’s stock rally may have caused you to believe…you have to believe…that all crises are past. This is simply untrue and serves as further proof of the markets lack of ability to focus on more than one event at a time…all else gets swept under the rug. The Dow gained 1.5% on volume of just 1B shares…892 million at the 4pm close. Furthermore, after the initial surge it had a series of four lower highs with the 178 point gain being 36 points off the session high…indicating an absence of buyers and only a few sellers. Only 3 of the Dow stocks were down: PFE, KFT, and JPM. Advance/declines and breadth ran between 3-4 times positive, while new 52 week highs ran 224:43. The VIX gapped down for a second straight session, plunged thru the 200 day (21.62) and closed at 20.61 with support again at the 40/50 day 19.17/18.73…complacent again. Little change in the markets overnight.

…is everything says Andre Agassi, while TB prefers “assume makes an ASS out of U and ME.” TB believes however there are many misperceptions about this column, so here is an attempt to clarify them as some questions from readers have come up that require it.

  1. TB is not a perma-bear – he has never, nor will he ever, tell you to sell all your stocks OR when to buy. He will however point out event’s, like yesterday’s reminder on ‘T+3’ or on options expiry of things you need to keep in mind IF you are thinking about buying or selling. On the other hand he will recommend ‘trailing protective stops’ as he did last week and continues to believe are necessary. Sure, he got stopped out on some but locked in profits. The downside to this is the 30-day rule which is moot IF you are trading in a tax-exempt or deferred account. The rebound suggests that these stops should be continued and as the market goes up so should the stops…with LIMITS!
  2. TB is not a guru…far from it. He only makes comments and observations based on events and how they relate to his forty years of experience. Experience is great but it still cannot predict a particular outcome…in fact it can send bad signals, but hubris is much worse which is why TB took John Mauldin to task. Still, TB will read Mauldin…for his Outside the Box articles like yesterday’s must read by James Montier. Like John Ralfe or Jeremy Grantham, when something seems overvalued it probably is. TB will not use Warren Buffett here because his company has grown so large that he has to make less and less value-oriented decisions…IMHO!
  3. TB treats his readers as knowledgeable and capable of making their own investment decisions. This is unlike the Jim Cramer’s and others who have to scream at you to get you do what they want you to do, which may be detrimental to your own gut feeling and philosophy. Simply don’t do it!
  4. TB does not HATE Wall Street or all WS firms. One of the good things is that many previously boutique firms have increased in stature since the crisis. This is no different than TB’s distaste for CEO compensation… it is not directed at other than perhaps the top 100 CEO’s. The rest are NOT overpaid, are hardworking and understand their businesses…they have to. They do not rely on a cadre of yes men, or those with a vested interest in getting the outcome to produce the results they want for their own short-term benefit. TB loathes Goldman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, the former Lehman and Bear Stearns. In the ‘true’ banks, the arrogance of JPMorganChase (and its CEO Jamie Dimon who has told us that FNMA and FHLMC were responsible for the crisis…he had to look no deeper than himself), and of course Citi who is attempting to deceive investors thru a 1:10 reverse split to make the stock look more attractive to institutions by being safely above $10. Look at the dividends on these stocks and how quickly they began to pay out their absurd bonuses again when but by the grace of God and the taxpayers they would have ceased to exist!

There TB hopes that helps!

Now to the James Montier piece that Mauldin published. In a variation of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” TB believes that those whose opinions he admires most (himself included), can be wrong…dreadfully wrong as the only thing we all do consistently is have 20/20 hindsight. Sadly, we seldom learn from it however. It probably took 30 years for TB to learn from it while chasing the latest hot tip…usually with bad results or minimal gain. So TB takes a little from those he doesn’t admire at times, Jim Cramer, even Mauldin, however he has found very little use for Larry Kudlow.

The complete article titled The Seven Immutable Laws of Investing can be found at Millennium Wave .  The philosophy in those seven laws follows closely to what TB believes. However TB would argue that if you follow them, especially in this era of zero short term interest rates you will, using his inflation forecast, be losing 2.5% a year. So you, and he had better be right. Also, TB doesn’t believe leverage is necessarily evil, but he wants to control it (which is precisely, along with fees that are excessive that he shuns hedge funds and most mutual funds – especially bond funds!)…thus it is important when investing in ANY leveraged asset that you maintain trailing stops…bulls get rich, bears get rich, pigs get…well, you know.

One of the compelling things in this piece his the use of graphs to tell the story, although some were difficult to understand. About 40% of the article is composed of graphs and tables which is very effective. So the ten pages is not an all day read. It is the crux of value investing. Here are the seven points with TB’s comments:

  1. Always insist on a margin of safety – avoid buying at the top
  2. This time is never different – well, yes it can be…in the short run
  3. Be patient and wait for the fat pitch – but keep the bat off your shoulder!
  4. Be contrarian – don’t be afraid to not follow the herd, you know what you get!
  5. Risk is the permanent loss of capital, never a number – quants, pay attention!
  6. Be leery of leverage – but don’t fear it…just understand it and protect against it
  7. Never invest in something you don’t understand – this applies to ‘hot tips’

That should give you enough to dwell on for today…you decide!

. . .  – – –  . . .  . . .  – – –  . . .

The decision quoted above on the Fed’s lame excuse that divulging who got the TARP and TALF funds could cause a run on the banks is pompous, arrogant, and absurd. TB has no problem with keeping it secret at the time but there is no excuse for not divulging it two years or more after the crisis has abated. How else are we to know the risks that were taken in the banking system that created the crisis in the first place. TB believes it was more to protect the all-powerful financial sector and those who control it, who in turn control Congress.

TB finds it amusing that Goldamn wants Warren Buffett to surrender his $5 billion 10% preferred shares and convert them to common stock.  Over the weekend he joked to CNBC:  “I’m going to be the Osama bin Laden of capitalism. I’m on my way to an unknown destination in Asia where I’m going to look for a cave. If the U.S. Armed Forces can’t find Osama bin Laden for 10 years, let Goldman Sachs try to find me.” You go Warren, but Goldamn is more powerful than the armed forces!

 

Paul Krugman wrote the other day how he was amazed at how quickly Wall Street regrouped and smothered Congress with lobbyists, thus taking the guts out of all legislation and regulation. TB has commented before on Simon Johnson’s statement that in every situation where the World Bank had to bail out a country it was because the financial sector got to close to the government. If we can’t see that in our own country then there is no hope for us but to repeat the crisis again and again. Greed is what it is!

Going back to the crisis, there is one key person who could have and would have prevented it: Brooksley Born, who as head of the CFTC pleaded for regulation of derivatives…even after she left it she continued to argue and didn’t care who regulated it but someone had to and the derivatives had to be uniform and exchange traded…can you see why Wall Street fought this…with the able help of Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers? That was woman number one.

Woman number two is Elizabeth Warren who Wall Street has unleashed its fury on for trying to make regulation relevant…the fired their guns and lobbyists at her and convinced key Congressmen to attack her shamelessly and wrongfully. Note that it is only the big banks (the ones we just bailed out) who are fighting her and she is starting to gain support from community bankers who were left out in the cold by the big ‘too big to fail’ boys.

Now there is criticism of Hillary Clinton on the Libya matter. Whether you agree or not, it was an opinion…as were those of Gates and Admiral Mullen…yet she was singled out. Still a right wing article the other day questioned whether she or Obama would have been better as president.

Sarah Palin, who TB has no love or use for, is now trying to look political by traveling around the middle-east making statements so foolish that it is the right that is telling her to zip it. Then of course there is presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman from TB’s new home state of Minnesota. She too lacks an understanding of history.

TB believes that the answer to guiding this country might just be a woman. Hopefully of the caliber of the first three, not the latter two who are doing damage to women in power. Is this the glass ceiling at work? It sure appears so.

TB could argue the same happened to Nancy Pelosi but she is a liberal from arguably the most liberal district in the nation and they consider her too far to the right! Still, it was Obama who let her along with Harry Reid dictate the legislation of the first two years of his administration and who is now turning out to be a better orator than leader. This is sad as TB believed he was the last hope for change. Consider a McCain/Palin administration. Would things be better? Highly doubtful.

Have a terrific day!

TB

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1/13/10…are the times they are a’changin’?

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose…so true, Aaron, so true. TB

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

– Bob Dylan…and hopefully he is right again…Burl Ives made a a great recording of this!

…at least one can hope. As for the winds driving the equity markets….more like doldrums of late…they are picking up again and it could turn into a ‘noreaster’ – heed!

The S&P winning streak of six sessions which added about 2.9% or less than 0.5% a day, ended abruptly with all but ONE of those gains obliterated – in a single session! So the S&P is now up just 1.9% year to date….same as the Dow which had a ‘choppier’ pattern. But the three indices of concern are the two Nasdaq indices and the Russell 2000, all of which fell 1.3% yesterday: the Composite fell 1.3% yesterday after ‘gapping down’ on the open from 2302-2298 – its third straight loss and is now up just 0.6% from yearend. Meanwhile its big brother the 100 which has been even more squirrelly than the Dow, had it’s third straight loss and is up just 0.1%! The Russell 2000 small cap index is now up just 1.6%…not much for seven sessions in what is billed as a bull market.

Volume thus far in 2010 has averaged just 1.08 billion shares or 300 million below normal making the market impossible to short. The highest volume this month has been 1.19 billion shares and both Friday and Monday were less than 1 billion shares…some bull market. So yesterday’s 1.1 billion shares is not good on a down day.

On 12/31 there were 292 new 52 week highs which surged to 871 on Monday before plunging back to 329 yesterday…while little can be gleaned from this figure, a plunge is indicative of a change in trend. Meanwhile new lows which were a weak (strong?) 21 on 12/31 have been hovering at single digits and yesterday had just 10…such is a rally following a huge selloff! The ratio is volatile and more telling. It surged to 124:1 on Monday then plunged to 33:1 yesterday…that is the number to watch.

Advance/Declines and Breadth never confirmed the rally this year as they were never more than slightly positive, and sometimes mixed, except on January 4th – typical for the first trading day of the year. Yesterday, both were negative, especially Breadth. Throughout the long climb from the March lows this has been the case – a wall of worry?

But what is most disturbing to TB is volatility which was at the lowest levels since May 2007 on BOTH the VIX (S&P 500 options) and VXN (NDQ 100), indicative of a lack of fear…i.e. complacency which is always a bad thing! Both indices, while still low rose 6.9% yesterday…and remember that Friday is options expiration…typically we have a rally at the beginning of the week of expiration – not a selloff! Have we flown too close to the sun?

Now consider this: on Monday every index had a new high from the March lows…every one! Even Energy which had been lagging. But both Nasdaq indices and the Russell 2000 closed DOWN on the session! Thus a rejection of the levels! Yesterday every index was down…especially then NYSE Energy Index which had just FIVE issues advancing and 145 declining…that’s 29:1 down (Monday was up yet 100:44 were down – a warning?). The Philly Semiconductor Index (SOX) was the big loser -3.8% with all 21 stocks declining. The SOX not only declined but it took out the 12/31 close and plunged to the lowest close since December 18, and is now off 2.7% for the month….contrast to a 72.5% gain (w/dividends reinvested) for all of 2009..that’s 93% from the March low!

Can you believe that on Monday all they could talk about was Alcoa’s (AA) earnings which were expected to surprise to the upside and pulled the entire market up with them? AA added 3 points to the Dow Monday but subtracted 15 the most, yesterday. Is Alcoa a market indicator? Heck no…but it was! But the big gainer Monday on the China story was Caterpillar (CAT), the most shorted stock in the Dow. It added a huge 29 points to the Dow only to give back 14 yesterday…second only to AA! This is another problem since September – only a few stocks have been the ones moving the indices and they are just as likely to go in the opposite direction the next day. Exxon Mobil (XOM) gapped down on the open on December 14 after spending four days trying to hold at the 50 day moving average…which was below the 40 day…right thru the 200 day (which should serve as good support…and on January 6th tried to cross the 200 day and failed. Also, look at the recent weakness in Apple, Google (-5% since the ¼ high and off another 1.5% overnight on the China hacking and pullout), Amazon (-8.7% since 12/29), Microsoft. If it walks like a chicken, sounds like a chicken…it must be a…  

Is the rally coming to an end? You decide…

——————————————————————————————————–

Are the times really a’changin’? In California, former Representative, and Dean of the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley, Republican moderate Tom Campbell, withdrew from the governor’s race and is going to run against Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat. Just yesterday, Boxer had the unmitigated gall to send out an email on how her campaign had raised funds ‘beyond her wildest dreams’ – which did not deter Campbell, fortunately! We need change, and he is a moderate and progressive!

Yesterday, apparently not having watched 60 Minutes Sunday, FOX announced they had hired Sarah Palin as a commentator! She was on with Billow Reilly last night and TB had to watch. When O’Reilly…she likes to put ‘O’s in front of peoples names…like O’Biden, asked her if she thought House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was too liberal she said, “I don’t know about that but I don’t think she is representing the people of her district.” Another gaff…Pelosi comes from the most liberal (radical?) district in the country that tried to oust her in 2008 for being too conservative! Back to your homework, Sarah!

If the times aren’t a’changin’ we are in serious trouble. Last night he also listened to GOP Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee…a doctor, who is mad as hell over the health care bill. Obama said that he would talk with any legislator over the bill and yet not only has he not met with Roe who took him up on his offer…he has not even had a response from the White House despite numerous emails, letters, and calls. Roe is just as critical of the GOP for doing nothing, but his main concern is that there are nine doctors in Congress, none of whom were consulted on the bill…none! Also, there has been nothing but hyperbole so that the people are not getting the facts…it has turned into a political circus of disinformation, with no concern for the needs of the people or impact on business. Now what do we do? Everyone admits the status quo cannot be maintained yet no one wants to face up to the reality of how we must change it…before it destroys us. How sad…

Have a great day!  

TB

Trader Bill thinks it is clear to anyone reading these missives that they are merely commentaries…as he sees it…and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone other than his own. Information is gathered from sources he has found reliable, but no guarantees of accuracy are implied. These are merely observations of events in the marketplace offering in an attempt to offer a non-mainstream viewpoint. Hope you find it useful. Copyright TBD Capital LLC, © January 13, 2010.

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9/3/08…reality bites

TB’s quote of the day (reprise): “We have met the enemy and they are us.” Walt Kelly again (Pogo) 
 
…yesterday was a nightmare: stocks opened more than 200 points higher and bonds were weak but we hit up 318 on the Dow and it was Sayonara Takahashi…and quickly. TB had to go out about 11:30am EDT and heard the market report on the radio…Dow was still up over 100 and the 10 year treasury was up 3/4…no you fool, he thought…you mean DOWN 3/4??? But the commentator was correct. By the end of the session we had squandered the gains and closed down slightly. There were key reversals (higher high, lower low, and close below Friday’s low) in every major index. Energy was trashed (-5%) and only 2 stocks in the NYSE Energy Index were up…and just barely!
 
After last week’s oscillations on low volume, including the 111 point rally Thursday and the 171 point decline Friday, the open seemed too good to be true…and it was. The result is the worst thing that can happen…a faux selling climax becoming a suckers rally. But the amazing thing was that the selloff was sans one sector: financials! That is amazing…even though the ‘eggspurts’ continue to say avoid it? Not that that advice is not without wisdom as we are far from solving the credit problems which have morphed from subprime to prime to credit cards and auto loans…yet some still think we are in a ‘muddle-through’ economy…that, to TB, does not compute. Credit is the thing from which all good things flow…until they don’t!…and that is where we are now…a nation of debtors in withdrawal…forced to go to AA!
 
Commodities are not only falling rapidly they are being crushed…see the summary from yesterday. Gold and Crude have definitely imploded and had the CFTC done their job we not only would not have seen a run-up of the magnitude we did this year as crude broke above $100, but we wouldn’t be suffering again to the downside…by the way…gas prices aren’t falling anymore despite crude…go figure!
 
Likewise, the SEC didn’t do their job and let speculators destroy the financial sector. But now they are feeling some pain too. Overnight we learned that Ospraie, a New York based fund that was once the largest is shutting down due to heavy losses in energy, resources, etc. Down 38% ytd and nearly 27% in August alone! What an insult to have to pay 2% fees…to a management that will now likely attempt to start a new fund since the ‘high water mark’ is unattainable…hopefully you can see the folly of hedge funds…it was all done with big bets…leverage…and it was the leverage and sheer brute strength that made them successful…this will be written up in many books and we will all have a good laugh…except those who lost their shirts. Still think commodities are going to rebound sharply? Not likely!
 
TB is going to stop here and watch how this thing plays out…what a rude awakening upon returning from a two week vacation in which a lot happened on a daily basis but in the end little changed.
If you read yesterday’s column and thought TB was biased against the GOP you are wrong…he is biased about both parties and what they have allowed to happen. Therefore he is leaning towards Obama just because it will at the least shake up Washington and might even do as Kennedy, Reagan, and even Clinton did…not that any of those effects more then sedated the beltway money machine.TB watched to the GOP convention last and it merely reaffirmed to him how asinine these things are. Fred Thompson got up and fired up the crowd with political rhetoric after a great tribute to McCain that was powerful, but then dug into the dirt, slamming the Dems for their leadership (or lack thereof) in Congress…ignoring the fact that they have been in control (barely) for less than two year…what about the other six, Fred? He cut into Obama as doing nothing and essentially not qualified for office. Then, he went on about the lack of cooperation in Congress…as well as everyone being on the take…again…look at the scandals and who were the offenders? His own party! He praised Sarah Palin…who he knows nothing about…for taking on the corrupt political power in Alaska…not mentioning that it was the GOP. Thompson also criticized those who think we are in a depression…certainly the wealty Thompson isn’t feeling it as are most of the wealthy…this comes awfully close to Phil Gramm’s ‘nation of whiners’ speech. I’m sorry Fred but you are a pretty good actor…but really…

Then, along came Joe Lieberman…his endorsement of McCain who he has known and trusted for years did not come as a shock but to say that Obama ‘has promise’ but is not ready to become President is amazing and then to shift to Palin as having the experience to do the job just didn’t fly, and he doesn’t even know her. He said the two of them will clean house inside the beltway…how many times have we heard that in the past?…including the Gipper! Note that although he talked of McCain’s independence, the voting record shows he went with Bush over 90% of the time versus about 15% for Obama. Seems like a huge tactical error to TB.

TB has been trying to find out more about Sarah Palin…try Wikipedia! She has ties to the Alaska Independence Party and as late as March of this year sent a sympathetic message to them…interesting qualification for a VP, no? She also advocated abstinence only for teens…that logic loses to hormones every time…and now she knows that first hand. Overall, the bio there reads pretty good but is sure makes one wonder when the corruption was in her own party…and Ted Stevens was one of her supporters. This isn’t just the GOP…this is politics: absolute power corrupts, absolutely…and always! 

This has to be the wackiest election in US history. It is amazing to watch delegates at either convention get fired up…who do they think is paying for this stuff? Lobbyists of course…what a sham conventions are…

What TB is trying to decipher is the truth and who he should vote for. Lieberman said vote for the person, not the party…but who is then behind the person: the party. Take a look at the GOP platform and see if it sounds like McCain…even vaguely!

Hope you all have a good day and that the markets behave better than yesterday…fat chance!

TB 

 

 

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9/2/08…back in the saddle again

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.” – Walt Kelly
 
Advantage: TB
 
…yep, Gene Autrey and that’s how it looks as TB comes back from a great two week vacation in Minnesota visiting his kids and 2-1/2 year old grandson. Look at Friday’s closing summary which is a comparison to the Friday, August 15, the day before TB left. The percentage changes were about the same as most days with the swings we have been making so the point is: this is a lifeless market and the same stocks drive the market up 200 one day and down 200 the next…much ado about nothing. The same goes for bonds which had some great moves but netted out to minimally changed…despite a 2 and 5 year note auction and a roaring dollar!
 
Commodities were a different story. What is amazing is that as of this morning, crude is under $108 despite Gustav and the rapidly approaching Hanna…true they have now been downgraded to Class 1 but even as Gustav made landfall yesterday crude only went up a couple of bucks and then closed down on the day. Over the past two weeks both commodities indices are up only about 2%…again this is a typical move. TB has heard more wackiness on Gold than anything and this morning it is off $25 again. So much for the dead cat bounce (not even) there!
 
The upshot is that the financials remain a mess…the government is shirking its regulatory responsibilities or doing too little too late and the markets are being held hostage to speculators…sure makes that “over any twenty year period” quote that Peter Lynch was so fond of repeating…well…uh…meaningless! 
Well, one convention down and one derailed by the hurricane season…which may be the best that can be said for it! Protesters all gathered but nobody there to make them instant celebs…abbreviated sessions that focus on helping hurricane victims…due to the failures of this administration with Katrina and Iraq this seems pretty lame. Of course our hearts go out to the hurricane victims…over and over…for how long? Hey…hurricanes are not unexpected events they are ongoing events…a cost of doing business or living where you like. Aren’t you glad they are rebuilding New Orleans?…for how long?…then they can do it all over again. At least FEMA had its act together this time…heck after that dress rehearsal in 2005 why not?

Back to the GOP convention: TB heard from friends…GOP friends that is…while TB is not a Dem he thinks the entire two party system has become one bad joke…as is the Congress and most definitely this administration. Lobbyists run the country as do the top 1% of wage earners…it is a system that is broke!

What were we saying…oh yes…the convention…McCain insists Obama is not ready to be president then selects as a running mate someone with no military, no international and little other experience from a state that cannot help him win! Wonder how the other “contenda’s” feel about now? Perhaps nobody wanted the job? Why does McCain want to be president…or Obama…or anyone? We are in the greatest mess since the Great Depression and it has been self-inflicted by the very government that was supposed to preserve the sanctity of our financial system…what a failure that is…but that is how money talks. Sandy Weill was the driving force to purge Glass-Steagall…and he did it with the able help of then Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin…who in turn became Vice Chairman of Citi and the guy who used to say “in my 20 years in which I made $100 million trading,” suddenly knew “nussing” about derivatives!

 To be sure Glass-Steagall was obsolete but it needed to be modified not tossed out…and with the blueprint of what happens when government blindly neglects the financial system we had the savings and loan crisis of the 80’s which we obviously learned nothing from…or the subsequent banking problems. What this administration has done for the financial system over the past eight years is a disgrace…and don’t get TB started on Iraq…total victory has become total failure…and all in the name of protecting us from terrorism. Why are we so much more afraid than the founding fathers were? They trusted the system…of course lobbyists hadn’t been invented then…at least not the kind with pockets full of money. 

So here we are…McCain chose his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin because she was a woman in a last ditch effort to siphon off the Hillary supporters. Already there are two scandals…the first, on her daughter is personal except from a party that is constantly talking about morals. The second is more serious if proven: that she got her ex-brother in law fired. Never mind…the point is: should she be qualified to be the vice president if something happens to McCain (on the other hand Dick Cheney has shown what experience can do!)? He will be the oldest president when he takes office…and has had cancer…oh well…you decide! Wonder if Larry Craig is attending…he is quite familiar with the area…you know, the one with the wide stance…returning ot the scene of the crime? TB keeps thinking back to Geraldine Ferraro and on the other hand….Kathrine Harris…

The point is that the GOP is focusing on everything that appeals to special interest groups…Christian Right, women voters, etc. What they are ignoring (perhaps because they are due to their own making), are the economic issues which plague us…perhaps the governor from the great state of Alaska has the answers…doubtful, but perhaps… Perhaps Phil Gramm is right and we are a “nation of whiners”, and perhaps we rightfully should be!

Hope you all had a good two weeks…now get back to work…here’s hoping you don’t get burned!

TB 

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