Friday, November 28, 2008

"Prophetic Test"

"Mark my words…It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

Could the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India be prophetic to Joe Biden’s pre-election statement that as soon as Barack Obama was elected President he would be tested by terrorist groups? If so, why haven’t the loud mouths of the media egomaniac-Keith Olbermann, the frisky talking-Chris Matthews and media seeker Lawrence O’Donnell taken him and his words to task or at least thrown them up in his face? This oppose to why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be Secretary of State would be more of a news story. Certainly they could get a great deal of miles out of Biden’s statement being somewhat prophetic. Let’s face it, Hillary made a statement this summer of Bobby Kennedy’s death and Olbermann went to town on it. Why not go to town on this? I suppose this doesn’t fit up there with the topics these three self-righteous propaganda talking heads disguised as journalists like to pontificate on.

Well Biden just might be right, if in fact the attack in India, which has claimed approximately 125 lives and injured dozens of others, was timed to coincide with the new administration taking office. If that is to be believed, however, one could say Biden has the gift of insight. And accordingly we must as Biden has said in the past, "Gird your loins…We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride.”

“and we are not saved…”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Only One Top Dog"

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States..."

Until these words are spoken and the entire oath of the presidency is taken on January 20th 2009, Barack Hussien Obama, Jr. is only President-elect.

Obama has absolutely zero power over the executive branch of the federal government; his role to enforce national law as given in the Constitution and written by Congress does not exist yet. Likewise, if war broke out President-elect Obama could not assume the role of commander-in-chief of the armed forces nor could he sign into law or veto bills passed by both houses of Congress. Until the President-elect is sworn into office he can only sit, watch and wait to take office next year as clearly outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America.

While many media talking heads are urging Obama to take the lead by asserting himself on the Presidential stage in hopes of settling down a tailspin economy, this is nothing more than the media once again trying to enact their own over eager agenda. Of all people they should know he hasn't any power yet. He can only talk and give speeches to assure the country that things will get better. For better or worse there is already a president at the helm, George W. Bush. He will remain their until Jan. 20th of 2009. This president and this president alone as clearly stated in the Constitution will carry out the duties of the executive office. When he is no longer able to fulfill those duties the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney will step in.

Furthermore, even if President-elect Obama were to step in what would or could he do? The economy wouldn't change overnight. Perhaps it would give people hope, but that hope is right around the corner on the inauguration day.

There can be no two heads at the top!

Why the need of urgency to rush Obama in before his time? He would do well to stay on the sidelines even if the urge is great to jump in head first. Doing so could be a recipe for disaster. Republicans are licking their chops wanting and waiting for a seemingly over ego Obama to fall for this trap.

Taking ownership of a sick economy he didn't create is not good judgement. There will be plenty of time to work through this mess once handed the reigns. Acting too soon will not lend itself to a knight in shiny armor riding in to slay the evil dragon. Instead, such an act could saddle an Obama administration with ownership of an economy he didn't create but will be burden and blamed for fthrough out his Presidency.

Heed these words of advice Mr. President elect: continue putting together your "stellar dream team" and don't own this economy.

There will be plenty of time to tackle what ails America. The US didn't get to this point in a day and certainly it won't be cured overnight.

"and we are not saved..."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid..."

How can we believe in change when the mastermind of Citigroup’s downfall was caused partly by former Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin who is now one of President-elect Barack Obama’s chief advisors on the economy?

This should give all reason to pause, especially considering the government has decided to back about $306 million in loans and securities and directly invest $25 billion dollars into Citigroup, the world’s largest financial institution, of which Bob Rubin is a top executive. How can Rubin advise Obama on economics when he was unable to steer his own company from hitting rock bottom?

Last week, Citi’s shares closed at nearly $3.71 and the company was valued at $20 billion compared to $250 billion in 2006. The financial behemoth has lost nearly half if not more of its value over the last two years and under the watchful eye of Bob Rubin and Vikram Pandit, the current CEO.

This past fall Citi took part in a 700 billion welfare package doled out by the FEDs and shared amongst banks in an attempt to free up credit markets. Of that amount, Citi received approximately $20 billion. It didn’t stop there. After receiving the money, the hawkish heads at Citi devised a plan to takeover the ailing Wachovia Bank, also hit hard by its risky investments, in an attempt to get more welfare money from the government to make the purchase. But Citi was out smarted by Wells Fargo and its deep pockets. Wells didn’t need help from the FEDs to make the Wachovia acquisition nor did they participate in the $700 billion welfare package. Citi cried foul and sued but the case was dropped.

What kind of management is at Citi, and what did the financial institute hope to gain by saddling itself with even more debt? Whose idea was it to create such a huge financial institution with no direction: Sanford (Sandy) Weill a billionaire who isn’t suffering like the employees at that bank who are living in fear that at any moment they could loose their job.

As early as 2007, Meredith Whitney an Oppenheimer bank analyst warned that Citi was in bad shape, however, no one wanted to listen or wasn’t interested in sounding the alarms? Why? Because CDO’s were the flavor of the month bringing in lots of money, and it has been reported Rubin was pushing the heads of the Citi to take risk and invest. Word has it he even convinced former CEO, Chuck Prince, who lost his job a year ago due to the slumping stock, to go full speed ahead and invest in the risky derivatives.

Look at where Rubin’s advice has gotten the company? Again, this is the same man who is helping Obama put together a financial plan to get the economy moving. What advice can he possibly give that he couldn’t give to Citi?

If the government is going to help Citi why not help the other failing companies like GM, Chrysler and Ford? Or even simple people who like these companies took risk and invested money they didn’t have?

"and we are not saved..."

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Madame Secretary Of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton"

Why not Hillary Clinton for Secretary Of State? She is more than accomplished. Why even question the judgment of the President-elect on this appointment if it is to be?

Does anyone actually think she will run amuck (other than the media and its pinheads)? What proof is there that she will not march in order and carry out the wishes of a President Barack Obama? Is she really that untrustworthy or stupid? Before these questions are answered I submit the following facts:

1) She weathered the worst of storms during the primary convention gracefully.

2) Many thought her staying in the primary and not conceding to Obama after Iowa would destroy the Democratic Party. It didn't

3) It was said she wouldn't win any races after her defeat in Iowa. She went on and won New Hampshire and all of the big states.

4) She was labeled a racist, but she overwhelmingly won the Hispanics vote (the largest minority group in the US).

5) Some reported her remaining in the race after Super Tuesday would allow John McCain to galvanize his party and beat Obama in November, this never happened.

5) When she finally suspended her campaign in June it was reported she was going to take her fight to the Democratic Convention.

6) She did not take her fight to the convention instead she enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama setting the stage for the convention.

7) She did not try and take center stage after the convention, instead she went away quietly.

8) She campaigned for Barack Obama vigorously and he won the election.

9) Bill Clinton is agreeing to submit his financials.

10) Bill Clinton rallied the cause of Barack Obama during and after the Democratic Convention.

Now at this critical moment in our history the naysayers are looking for even more to bring down Hillary, and questioning Obama's decision in possibly naming her as Secretary Of State. Can we not believe he has already thought long and hard about this nomination along with his wife, Michelle? He knows the pro's and con's. Not only that, she herself, Hillary Clinton, is politically savvy and is not about to go against the grain and become some wild card and risk her career going up in flames.

There has never been a shred of evidence that Hillary has or will at anytime go against those in charge. How and why is it is that she is the pariah for so many and without facts or evidence to support? Sure she wanted to be President and so did Joe Biden, who when referring to Obama during one of the primary debates said being at the top was not a time for on the job training. Perhaps he is the one all should be concerned with, for he could have aspirations of running for the top spot (as most VP's have except for Dick Cheney) if Obama serves two terms. It is Joe who is now the president in waiting, and he has been waiting since 1988. So the fear of Hillary is unfounded and unproven. Why is she a greater threat than loose lips Joe?

"and we are not saved..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Blood Bath At Citigroup"

In an effort to reduce cost and weather previous losses 50,000 more people will be added to the unemployment lines in the coming days thanks to Citigroup.

In announcing the impending workforce reduction Citi CEO Vikram Pandit in a memo to the company’s employees asked that they continue their commitment to clients and customers. He said, “Citi needs you to maintain your focus on helping them succeed because now is the time when lasting loyalty is earned.” Easy for him to say, he won’t be in the unemployment line before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Nor will he be one of the many breadwinners having to go home and tell his/her family that the Thanksgiving Turkey and Santa won’t be coming this holiday.

Once upon a time Citigroup (C ) was the company to beat. Though it never really turned a profit following the merger of Travelers and Citicorp, many thought this brain child created by its former CEO Sandy Weill in the late 1990’s was the epitome of Wall Street making money. However, after awhile many on Wall Street grew weary as the behemoth financial institution never realized a profit and was constantly plagued with NASD violations and law suits. And then there were the musical chairs of mid-level directors over alleged sex scandals, closings of banking operations in Japan and more banking fines. The company has had three CEO’s since its historic merger with Pandit being the third, and counting. What is the problem with Citi? Is the company too big? Lack of corporate governance? Was Weill’s brilliant idea of one stop shopping not so brilliant afterall?

Citi was one of the first financial institutions hit hard by the mortgage crisis. According to reports on CNN, in the last two weeks alone, shares of the bank have lost about a third of their value and are down about 68%.

Citi has posted almost $18 billion in losses over the past three quarters and $53 billion in write downs since last year. In September, with the company being in dire straits they made an attempt to purchase Wachovia Bank on the cheap (with the help of the Federal Government) for $2.2 billion and assume about $53 billion in Wachovia’s debt. Citi would have also taken hold of the same loan portfolio that tanked the North Carolina based bank and is dragging Citi down. What kind of business sense was that? Oops…the big money giant created by Weill in 1998 was trying to play “catch up” with banking giant retail banking giant Bank Of America, who had recently acquired Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual. Retail banking so it seems all at once became popular again.

Enter Wachovia and all its little branches.

But while Citi the bank that never sleeps slept, Wachovia decided to sell its assets for a higher amount to money honey Wells Fargo, the financial institution that didn’t need assistance from the Feds to close the deal. Needless to say, Citi executives were put in a quandary for they were loosing their grip on the Fed money they wanted and branches needed to make them profitable again. As a result, Citi filed suit against Wachovia, wanting the courts to force the bank to sell its assets on the cheap. Long story short Wells prevailed in the end and will acquire Wachovia.

Hey Vikram the money you were going to use to buy Wachovia why don’t you use that and keep the 50,000 or so people employed? Better yet forgo your bonus and keep them working.

Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

"and we are not saved..."

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Sarah Palin: Why Are Men Afraid?"

Contrary to what the polls say Sarah Palin isn't stupid, dumb or incompetent. After all she is governor of Alaska and was a former mayor.

Many didn't see the real Palin during the campaign, due to party handlers shielding her and not allowing her to speak with her own voice.

But make no mistake she is not a one hit wonder who galvanized the party and is now being blamed for its loss on Election Day two weeks ago.

Had John McCain won the election, Palin would have been heralded as the next coming, but of course we know this didn't happen. So now we have all playing Monday morning quarterback and trashing Palin (typical female bashing by the media and men who only see men at the top).

This begs the question: Why are men so afraid of women in power?

Why do men turn up their noses, go below the belt with commentary when talking about women in politics or any leadership position where men will have to follow? Are men so afraid that a woman so close to power will render them useless? Could that much power being given to a woman challenge a man's manhood?

History records women in power going back for centuries. Look at England, Russia, Egypt and Spain? Even in modern times there are women in power in Europe. Every advanced country and some underdeveloped countries either have or have had women at the helm.

Is this exclusive only to the US, where men are seen in roles of power and accepted?

When men are at the top look what happens: Iraq, Afghanistan, Wall Street the economy.

One day there will be a female president. I wonder what this country will be like. How will that woman at the top govern?

"and we are not saved..."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Recipe: "The Deconstruction Of A Woman"

6 cups of Alpha Male journalists
2 ½ cups of Mediocre Female journalists
8 cups of Spoon fed general public
1 spoon of a Female Politician seeking a male dominated office
Teaspoon of the truth
10 cups of lies, gossip and innuendo
Media Bowl (pyrex)
Micro Scope

Pour all of the ingredients into the media bowl except for the
spoon of Female Politician. Mix the ingredients together and then
coat the lining of the bowl with the mixture. Let it sit until dry.

Carefully plant the Female Politician in the middle of the media
bowl. Pour in the 5 cups of lies, gossip and innuendo. Dash a little
of the truth on top and then add the remaining 5 cups of lies, gossip
and innuendo. You will then use the micro scope to find the female
politician in the middle of all this, just to make certain she didn’t
get lost. If she did, not to worry all of the other ingredients
poured in will have a better chance of sticking to her now.

The surrounding mixture of Alpha Male, Mediocre Female and spoon fed
general public will serve as a coating to make it all gel perfectly.
Place this in a preheated stove set at 450 degrees and let it bake
for as long as you like, but no more than an hour. You will know that
it is ready to be served when you are no longer able to see the
female politician in the middle and the dash of truth which was added
early on has melted and now look likes the 10 cups of lies, gossip
and innuendo.

Serve hot and with a glass of vinegar.

"and we are not saved..."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Change You Can Believe In"

One-hundred-forty years after slavery and 40 plus years after the Civil Rights Act was passed Barack Obama fulfilled the dream of our forefathers to become the first African American to win the Presidency of the United States of America.

Not only did the President-elect make history with a triumphant victory, that had for years seemed impossible, but America, the land of the free, made history turning out in historic numbers around the states to vote. By the end of the night and as polls closed the once thought impossible become the inevitable. He became the 44th President.

Jubilant crowds all over could be seen in the streets shedding tears of joy that their vote had fulfilled a dream that many thought they would never live to see. A dream that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about and many others gave their life for. A dream that was declared in the Declaration of Independence declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."

A day after this historic event, somewhere across America children of all races, creeds and genders are in classrooms thinking of the possibilities that they too can dream a dream and make it their reality.

Finally, America is living up to the potential of a country where there are not limits. Anything can happen when you dream and work to make it a reality.


"and we are not saved..."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"May I Have The Last Dance? Dancing With The Candidates"

Finally the day has come and the candidates are taking center stage for the last dance. It is the final dance before this election season closes.

All eyes are focused on the dazzlingly Barack Obama and the styled Sarah Palin two contestants who after tonight are destined to waltz their way individually into history. One could possibly become the first African American President and the other the first female Vice President. Who will it be?

The pseudo judges for the event critiquing every move in the polls: Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann as the irascible Simon Cowell, Eugene Robinson or Juan Williams as Randy Jackson and Mika Brzezniski or Rachel Maddow as Paula Abdul. Whesh! It’s a good thing this cast of judges will not have the final say in the competition for things could get messy.

With each hour passing, every minute being counted right down to the last second, fingers are crossed and prayers are said. The tension in the air, while unbelievable is understandable. There’s a lot weighing on this contest, and the out come is any ones guess. The contestants and their supporters have hopefully made their case. The competition has been fierce and sometimes brutal. Now all that is left is for the voters to decide.

Who will it be? Who will claim the White House for the next four years and inherit a deficit like no other?

"and we are not saved..."

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Vultures circling! Day of Reckoning For Republicans"

How can it be the once great party of Abraham Lincoln is allowing a young upstart to take the White House? Barack Obama, a junior senator from Chicago, running against John McCain, a seasoned politician who so valiantly served his country. Yet the latter is behind in the polls and the junior almost destined to take the White House. If this happens, the Republican Party should be rebuked for they have no one to blame but themselves.

Through out this election season Republicans and conservatives have behaved like a bunch of undecided independent voters sitting on the sidelines. The moment John McCain seized the title to lead the party Republicans should have put aside their difference and completely embraced him. If not after the primaries, then certainly they should have after the Republican Convention. The addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket, a popular female governor, should have been another reason to embrace the maverick senator. Instead, Republicans decided to act like vultures circling their prey in joining the nonsensical lamentation that Palin wasn't qualified and McCain's judgment should be questioned. What? Not qualified and judgment questioned?

Every Republican and conservative who joined the outcry over Palin's qualifications should be censured and women who took jabs at her should be ashamed. This whole notation that she would be a heartbeat from the presidency is hogwash! Now Obama will be the heart beat of the presidency.

Palin may not be from Washington, but she has balanced budgets and worked to improve the conditions of people on local and state levels. Sure she doesn't have the pedigree of the Harvard Law School Obama, but that doesn't make her any less qualified. Look at the goons on Wall Street and their pedigree and where did it get the country? Answer: in the poor house on the verge of a depression.

Barack has never balanced a budget, passed a bill or felt the pressure of his constituents breathing down his neck. What he has done is written a couple of good books and received the admiration of an enthralled media. Because of these things he should be the president?

Alas! The lack of party unity by the GOP is both shocking and disturbing. McCain may not be the candidate of choice, but he is the candidate selected to lead the party. Likewise Palin is his running mate. Had he selected Joe Lieberman then perhaps Republicans would have been justified in sitting on the sidelines, but even then you support your own! What is so difficult to understand? In the beginning, not all Democrats were sold on Obama, but in the end the Democrats unified for a common cause. Why didn't the Republicans do the same?

Could it be they want to loose? Have George Bush and Dick Cheney messed things up so bad that the GOP is willing to wait four years before seizing the White House (as if they could)? Or could it be the party is fresh out of new blood and experience people to stand out front?

Perhaps, it is time for a change.

"and we are not saved..."