Poor Senator

Quick, name a poor senator!
Strategies for investing on an uneven playing field

Senator Moneybags Speaks

Ukraine Stands Up?

Russian Federation military forces have entered Ukraine in the Crimea.  What will Ukraine and The West do in response to what is being called an "uncontested arrival."  I love when lawyers get to decide how to categorize conflicts and how to respond or not respond.  This is precisely Ukraine's biggest weakness.  The West wants to fight on paper, not in actuality. 

Most likely Russia will get to keep Crimea and The West will issue threatening communiqes and maybe impose ineffective sanctions and ask the Ukrainians to swallow hard and take it.  I don't believe The West will intervene with anything more than token support.  The West and Russia have grown to used to fighting by proxy for either to ever want to risk a face to face fight.

But what if Ukraine decided to fight?  Certainly in a prolonged one-on-one fight Russia would prevail over Ukraine. But would the fight remain one-on-one?  Ukraine is strong enough to bloody the Russian nose on its own.  And if they did take up the fight it might embolden others, which surely Russia views as a risk.  The risk of a prolonged conflict where Russia is tied down and other restive regional neighbors take action on other fronts is why Russia wants any conflict in Ukraine to end quickly before anyone else joins the fight there or seizes the opportunity to strike at Russia in other regions.

What if Georgia took the opportunity of Russia being engaged in Ukraine to take back Azbakia and South Ossetia?  What if militants in Dagestan and Chechnya stepped up their actions while Russia was concentrating on a Ukraine conflict?  Russia is strong but can it fight multiple drawn out conflicts on its southern and western frontiers?  While I doubt any of this is likely, it would be an interesting test of the true strength of the Russian military.

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

I really should tell Fidelity that my address is in London.  That will put me squarely in the teeth of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulatory limbo.  As an American living abroad I need to tell Fidelity that I am residing outside of the US.  That will add to Fidelity's US regulatory filings for me and my accounts, as they need to file additional paperwork with the US regulators, which will cost them money.  No doubt what they spend on compliance for me will outweigh the few dollars a year they gain on my trading commissions.  And with this in mind I stand a good chance of Fidelity telling me I can no longer have a brokerage account with them.  Since the sale of my apartment in the US has yet to close, I will get a few more weeks to prepare for the inevitable.

Hidden Heirloom in Last Place to Look

So I hid a family heirloom in a place so obscure that even I can't find it.  I need psychic help or a hypnotist to jog my memory. Any suggestions?

QE - Tapering - When?

There is a lot of prognosticating taking place over the timing of the Fed Tapering. 

My take:

The Basel III banking reforms enacted in the wake of the financial crisis and their implementation schedule hold a clue.  Central banks have been accommodating with essentially free money for the banking industry since the crisis.  Basel III is supposed to ensure banks are liquid and solvent enough to weather future crises.  So the implementation timeline of Basel III probably holds a clue for when central banks will begin to tighten.

Basel III is being implemented in three phases. 

1. Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR): LCR measures a bank's buffer of liquid securities and cash which it can use to sustain itself during a market dislocation lasting 30 days.  Essentially it is regulators' way of knowing who are the real basket cases, for whom they need to pray there is no crisis soon.  LCR begins its observation period in 2014 with partial compliance beginning is 2015; increasing to 100% compliance in 2019. 

2. Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR): This measures a bank's ability to fund its holdings over a one year period.  Essentially this is a means to wean banks off of short-term money market funding, which dried up in the crisis.  NSFR implementation is not finalized but the observation period begins in 2015 if current guidelines hold.

3. Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR): This sets a threshold of capital that a bank has to hold against its risk weighted assets.  In 2014 banks are supposed to have a ratio of 8% and it will climb to 10.5% by 2019 with tiered ratio targets for classes of capital such as common equity / tier 1 capital.  This will be the last component of Basel III to be enacted.  And the theory is that once this is in place, with regulatory monitoring of the industry, then national governments need no longer worry about needing the bail out stricken banks.

Regulators will need to make sense of the data they will begin receiving monthly in 2014 for LCR, which is why this is an observation period with partial enforcement beginning in 2015.  So regulators will not have a clear picture of banking stability until late 2014 or early 2015.  For this reason, I would peg early 2015 as the date when central banks start being less accommodating. 

China, US, QuinetiQ and the Mysterious Lack of Consequences for Hacking

The big news on the cyber warfare front was the expose on the extensive hacking of defense contractor QuinetiQ, which compromised drone design, helicopter deployment and maintenance records, and who knows what else. 

What amazes me is that despite extensive records on what was happening over years, nothing was done about it. In fact, QuinetiQ is still profiting handsomely from continued work with the US and UK military.  Why? 

Either the military is completely inept or perhaps there was a counter-intelligence operation in place to gauge Chinese military cyber warfare capabilities and or the feeding of misinformation to the Chinese through this supposed hacking.  Thoughts?

Limit Congressional Roster Sizes

Some members of congress have far too many staff for the job they are meant to be performing.  All of them have a chief of staff, almost all have a publicist or press liaison, some have political strategists, or lobbying coordinators.  Why?  They are there to write laws not to scheme.  Can they have a chief of staff, a writer, a reader and a constitutional analyst?  Limit them to 7 staff total with two alternates.  Maybe allow a few extra in election years.

Mother Fracker

How will increased fracking activity affect the US?  I expect natural gas prices to stay low, powering American business to new heights as one of their main inputs, energy is priced domestically lower than their international competition.  Then the US can afford to import drinking water if it ruins its own supplies.  The jury is still out on that front.  Coal will eventually be strictly for export.  I believe the US should stockpile coal for the future, when supplies of oil and natural gas finally begin to run out.  By then the US should know how to burn coal cleanly and inexpensively.  And if other countries need coal the US can export at great profit. 

There is a good chance that to power the oil and natural gas boom, the US will need educated and some uneducated immigrants for engineers and workers on drilling sites.  If immigration reform passes, expect the US to win on that front too.

Isn't It Still 2013?

Why is the prognostication about 2016 beginning already?  The inauguration was only 2 months ago!  WE HAVE PLENTY OF TIME! 

In the meantime let's frack our way to energy independence.  Let's strike that illusive grand bargain to reduce the deficit and rein in entitlement spending growth.  Let's enact a sensible immigration plan that helps grow the economy by letting in skilled workers, students and entrepreneurs.  And let's stop letting politicians draw their own custom made electoral districts.  That is the height of folly.

I will now return to scouting Cyprus properties for sale.  Happy investing.

My 2012 Election Platform

A number of you would rather I get more serious with my posts and stop striving to be funny.  I will grant you that my attempts at humor are often like my golf game,
mostly incomplete but when I do manage to connect it feels great. So to please some of you at least for today here is my manifesto.

I was born in a Republican household and my voting record, counting mayoral

races, congressional races, judges and the like is probably 50/50, which in a liberal state like New York makes me their equivalent of Pat Buchanan.  All of you born after 1984 can go look him up now.  I was even one of the ten people who voted for Rick Lazio when he ran against Hillary for NY Senate.  Seeing the carpetbagger Hillary wearing that Yankee cap made me physically ill.

I am irreverent and I like to point out inconsistencies when I see them and when
it comes to politicians there is plenty of fodder. With Mitt Romney, it is a weak
argument to state the tax burden on “job creators” is too burdensome, when you
yourself are running as a “job creator” and a representative of “job creators” and you pay the lowest effective rate of all four people in the race.

And how does John Boehner the current speaker get to cast himself as the champion of fiscal rectitude, if he has been in the House since 1984 and deficits have done nothing but increase during his tenure? Doesn’t the House of Representatives ultimately control spending? Granted he had help, I’m looking at you Tip O’Neil. (RIP)  Now John Boehner claims he is looking out for all of us not just his buddies and financial backers?  In my mind, John Boehner can’t be trusted. He made his fortune as a plastics salesman.  Anybody who has seen Say Anything knows just how malevolent that makes him.

Since I don’t plan on getting sick or continuing to age, I don’t necessarily care about the money I have thrown away into supporting Medicare and Social Security. But for those of you who think America will be better if we reduce the government safety net, I say think again.  The money you stop spending on food stamps for the hungry will need to be spent on police and large gates to keep hungry jobless people from rioting.  I have seen RoboCop, I know how this story ends

When it comes to my motivation for voting, some of you are familiar with my
investment strategy.  This year I actually need a Republican win or my investments
will perform poorly.  What can I say, I am a sucker for coal stocks.  I just wish the Republicans had nominated someone who was more than paper thin, who could stand for something, who could take ownership for the things he or she had done even if they went against the conventional wisdom of their party or wealthy backers. That would have given them a better chance of winning a very winnable election, that is now a tossup.  Maybe none of that will matter.  Maybe my coal shares have some hope.  I hope so because I am not a “job creator”, I am an overburdened wage earner.

And whomever does win, should get a chance to make their appointments as they
see fit, without parliamentary shenanigans to block them.  We have elections for a
reason.  If someone makes too many spurious appointments we can vote them out.  You can’t completely wreck a country in four years. See James Buchanan and Warren Harding for proof.

Our system was built to promote compromise, which is why there are three separate branches of government. The founders never intended to form a parliamentary system, where one party has total power, however slim the majority and the other party just calls them names, until the voters change their mind.   The founders had just rebelled from a parliamentary system.  Right now Washington functions more like a parliament. where if you don’t control the Executive and the Congress, you get gridlock.  It shouldn’t work like that.  The world is moving quickly and we need to be nimble before we have to sell non-core assets to keep our economy functioning.  I’m looking at you US Virgin Islands.

RIP State College?

Plenty of towns have died throughout the years.  Many an upstate New York town, where I attended college disappeared with the construction of the Thruway and Northway.  Parts of Albany around Central Avenue clearly began their decline in the 1960s after the Thruway and Northway diverted traffic away from the malls and shops lining the avenue.  Towns in New York and many other states died for various reasons as the dynamic US kept growing and changing. 

Now I wonder if the NCAA has rung the death knell for State College Pennsylvania.  This town, in the middle of the state, hundreds of miles from the anchor cities on each end, Pittsburgh and Philly, and fifty miles from Harrisburgh the nearly bankrupt capital of the state grew because of Penn State University and Penn State grew thanks to football.  Football revenues funded the university and many a building and program owes its existence to football generated funds.  Penn State is more than football but like any good company or family, football was a vital part.  Take it away for four to five years and it is hard to see how the lack of funds does not hurt the rest of the university and by extension the town.  Even after the return of postseason football and scholarships it will take years before the football program, on which the university relied so heavily will come back to present state, which is still far removed from its heyday of the 1980s. 

Will tuition have to increase to offset the lost revenues and the tens of millions in fines?  Will Pennsylvania students of modest means still be able to afford Penn State if tuition does have to increase?  If so, will the student body as a whole decline and with it the number of professors, administrators, recreation hall workers, cafeteria staff, local supermarkets, hotels, bars etc?  Would these lost jobs lead to a decline in the population of State College?  Will we visit State College Pennsylvania in twenty years to see if resemble Schenectady New York or Amsterdam New York, towns that peaked many a decade ago?  I surely hope not.  The townspeople, professors and scholars of past and present, many of whom played football for Penn State, a school known for high standards of learning even for scholarship football players, deserve better. 

Yes heinous crimes were committed and yes cowardly and conceited men covered them up.  But wiping out a town to punish these old miscreants is not the answer.  I fear that worst outcome but am hoping for the best for this town.  Don't let N Atherton Street in State College, Pennsylvania become the next Central Avenue in Albany, New York.

McCain Needs To Retire - Can't Even Recognize Military Role in Innovations

Last week, Senator John McCain in railing against the Navy's experiment with biofuels, said that the role of the military is not to innovate and grow new technology.  I'm pretty sure this is more proof that at least one gold-digging, poseur maverick, faculties-losing senator needs to retire before he does real damage to our country.  Why not send him out with a hero worthy ticker tape parade, recognizing his years of service and sacrifice?  Maybe that is all he wants and needs at this point.

For the record the military has been central to many innovative technologies and solutions we all use today.

1. Radar - perhaps if Senator McCain had a better appreciation for this technology he could have avoided suffering at the hands of vietnamese captors for all of those years.

2. Sonar

3. Microwave technology - never really caught on in Arizona I guess

4. Nuclear weaponry and power - which has kept the US safe and strong

5. High octane jet fuel - powered the planes the  Senator loved flying

6. Synthetic rubber - for some of the more swinging DC parties

7. Pesticides - to kill the bugs around the Senator's wife's pools

8. Aerosol spray - to keep his combover in place for TV appearances

9. Night vision - used to sneak donors in and out of houses of ill repute

10. GPS - used by the Senator to locate all of his wife's homes

11. Infrared

Obama: Communist or Friend of Industry?

The latest GOP outrage is that Obama was influenced by the drug industry when pushing through the health care law.  Wait!  Really?  A politician influenced by a major industry group?  Next you will tell me that Victoria Beckham has had breast surgery. 

What I find most shocking is that it turns out that Obama is a friend of industry.  I heard from reliable sources (GOP membership) that Obama is a communist.  Why would any industry group cozy up to a communist?  And why would a communist want to help out an industry group?  Once I figure out this puzzle I will get back to you.

4% Unemployment Rate Promised By Romney

4% Unemployment sounds great!  I'll vote for Romney on that alone.  But wait.... how will a Romney administration manage to get us such a great statistic?

The unemployment rate has averaged 5.7% since, 1948.  And we haven't seen a 4% unemployment rate since November 2000.  So what will get us from 8% to 4%, when Romney takes up residence in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? 

First there are statistical tricks, which could be used.  1) The unemployment benefits timeline could be reduced to 6 months or less.  If you are unemployed longer than that, you can't apply for benefits and you will no longer be counted as unemployed.  Problem solved.  2) Incarcerated prisoners do not count toward the unemployment rate.  So if you are unemployed during a Romney administration, take care not to so much as jaywalk or litter, or you could find yourself incarcerated and out of the unemployment count. 

Secondly, Romney Energy and Foreign policy initiatives could work to reduce the unemployment ranks.  1) He could declare a full scale fracking initiative to frack anywhere and everywhere, drinking water and minor earthquake concerns be damned.  We can always invade Canada for a fresh water supply.  2) He could lift all moratoriums on offshore drilling for oil and gas.  3) He could purchase aircraft carriers, aircraft, missiles and nuclear submarines at a faster clip, to see off any perceived growing Chinese military threat.  4) Perhaps Romney could start a war with Iran.  Unemployment was low during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf I and Gulf II.  We'll need a good conflict after ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If all of that sounds as good to you as it does to me, then I know who is getting my vote in November.

Is Google More Evil Than Wall Street?

Why does Wall Street sell off shares of Google out of petulance, when Sergei and Larry exert control over their company?  Case in point, Google announces earnings of $10.80 per share on revenue of $8.1 billion.  This beat the market forecasts of earnings of $9.64 per share on revenue of $8.09 billion.  Good news right?  But the market sold off Google on the news that Google would pay a dividend to existing shareholders in non-voting shares.  This is effectively a stock split, which is normally a bullish sign for shares, which tend to rally after these sort of corporate actions.  However, since the new shares will be non-voting shares, investment banks, brokers and asset managers sold Google shares, since they dislike the idea of having less control over Google, while the founders have more control.  I personally don’t mind the founders having more control.  Who knows their business and market better that Google does?  It is a bit much for investment bankers and asset managers to assume they should be able to tell Google’s founders how to run their business.  It was investment bankers and asset managers who peddled the garbage to investors leading up to the Dot Com bust.  Some of these investment bankers and asset managers even fell for their own faulty research, believing that “this time is different.”  So now we are to somehow believe that they know better, than proven managers such as Sergei Brin and Larry Page?  All Larry and Sergei have done for the last 12 years is deliver value to customers, employees and shareholders and possibly the world at large.  Show me an investment banker who can make that claim, and I will argue for them to receive increased voting rights in Google.

Bring on 2016!

Today John Huntsman ended his 2012 campaign for President and began his 2016 campaign for President.  Yet it is not entirely clear what awaits him in 2016.  If Romney wins the nomination as seems inevitable, will he win enough in the Electoral College to unseat President Obama.  50/50 on that.  And if Romney loses what will the GOP do?  My bet is that the GOP would draw the lesson that they can't nominate a moderate candidate and that the GOP tacks further to the right in 2016.  That in itself shouldn't hurt Huntsman's 2016 chances very much.  He is a tried and true conservative.  His biggest sins being that he served as Ambassador to China in the Obama administration and that he believes in man made climate change and our ability to change behavior to arrest it. 


If Obama wins in 2012 and is leaving office in 2016 then having served in his administration should fade as a fault in the eyes of the GOP faithful.


But will the GOP come to its collective senses on climate change by 2016?  Romney has a couple of advisors who support either a carbon tax or a cap and trade approach.  Newt himself once drank the climate change Kool Aid before he realized he would have to pander to the GOP base once again.  House Speaker John Boehner has a fondness for frackers in Ohio, and the Nat Gas industry is pitching itself as a cleaner alternative to both Coal and Oil.  GOP supporters in Minnesota and Wisconsin, who still haven't bought into climate change, keep falling into thin ice in rivers and lakes, which would normally be frozen solid in Mid-January.  An entire GOP voting, American Football Watching, Beer Drinking, nation of ice fisherman is bemoaning the lack of ice this year.  If these trends persist then perhaps believing in climate change in 2016 will not be as much of an albatross around Huntsman’s neck. 


For now, we have to contend with a 2012 election to be fought over 1) a health care policy on which both contenders largely agree (or agreed until one changed their mind), 2) Dodd-Frank, much of which even many in the Finance Industry like, and 3) a "class warfare" dogfight over increasing marginal taxes on wages over $250,000 by 4%. 


On point 1) is Romney really going to run against himself on the health care issue?


On point 2) I don't see Dodd-Frank being totally rolled back, even if Romney wins in 2012.  For instance the fund management firms LOVE the trading of derivatives on exchanges.  This provision provides for more transparent pricing, which should bring down the price of hedging for interest rate uncertainty and will lower counterparty default risk significantly.


By the way if you don't make more than $250,000 per year then you don't have to worry much about the last point of contention, the 4% increase in marginal income tax on income greater than $250,000 annually.  But if you make say $500,000 per year then the increase of 4% on earnings above $250,000 adds $10,000 to your tax bill.  An additional tax hit of $10,000 for those making $500,000 annually...  Hmmm, is that what passes for class warfare these days?  I guess I can sell my barricaded farm with fully stocked arsenal. 


In the meantime, I say bring on 2016!  I think that election will be much more interesting.


Let's Talk Climate Change and All Energy Sources

Climate change.  Origins and existence debated. 


First, can there be any doubt the climate worldwide is changing?  Take a look at these dramatic photos of glacial melting documented in the last 25 years.



I'm not a scientist but it seems that the climate is indeed changing.  Many scientists credit man for the warming.  My understanding is that there are more scientists who believe in climate change and man-made origins than there are those on the other side of the argument.  Who am I to disagree?  


Countries are combating climate change.  Count among them, the EU, Australia, India and China, which is stealing the march on solar and wind manufacturing and is implementing a carbon cap and trade scheme in 2013.




US Cattle ranchers seem to be responding to the threat of climate change to their herds.




 The insurance industry is preparing for effects of climate change.





Securities exchanges are positioning themselves to benefit from a growing market in weather derivatives




So it would seem a good portion of the planet and industry is in agreement that the climate is changing and we need to adapt.  But there is one notable holdout... the US oil and coal industries.  Yet these two industries seem to hold a lot of sway over their congressional puppets.  Meanwhile big oil is quietly preparing as well, by moving more and more into natural gas.  Traditional oil giants such as Exxon Mobile and Chevron are active in Nat Gas drilling in the western states. 


Now to address Natural Gas drilling.  I for one am all for it.  I agree with the natural gas drilling proponents that it offers a way to meet more of the US energy needs.  They would argue that not only do they provide a valuable fuel, but furthermore, the poisoning of drinking water with a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) eliminates energy using Americans, which helps us reach our goal of energy independence sooner. 




Let all energy sources compete equally.  I would argue that as long as the natural gas drillers pay for the environmental alterations and their use of Federal lands and roads that fracking is a useful endeavor.  I also believe oil drillers should pay more for their leases and lose their subsidies.  They don't need a playing field tilted in their favor.  At the same time if there are a few less spotted owls, I don't mind.  No spotted owl ever agreed to pay my utility bill for me. 


What do you think?  Let me know.

Generational (Nee Class) Warfare

The contrast between the protestors from the Tea Party and #OccupyWallSt couldn't be clearer and the same goes for those who would condemn and back each respective movement. 


So far the media, which quickly took the Tea Party seriously despite their penchant for Tricorn hats and unconcealed weapons in the hot summer, has either ignored #OccupyWallSt or focused on isolated incidents of arrests such as the mass arrest of protestors for marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Disrupting traffic across the span is a right reserved only for NYPD officers themselves who did this more than once themselves when protesting benefits or wage cuts.  One suspects the media was more receptive to the Tea Party because they are populated by similar demographics.


Now the politicians from both sides are getting in on the act.  Democrats need enthusiastic young voters to turn on out 2012 so they are being supportive.  The GOP would rather all young people be locked up in time for the next election so they are using terns like "mob" and "class warfare" to describe #OccupyWallstreet.  In the support and the derision lies the true nature of the conflict, which nobody is yet discussing.  #OccupyWallSt is actually a manifestation of the latest chapter of generational warfare. 


The GOP and some Blue Dog democrats have been shamelessly allowing the current generation of retirees and the soon to retire Baby Boomers to fleece the country at the expense of the coming Gen X and Gen Y.  Sadly there will be nothing left for those under the age of 55 by the time the election of 2016 is fought.  (Yes that soon)


You see, the WWII and Baby Boomer generations lived well off of company health plans, the interstate highway system, the military industrial complex, public schools and defined benefit pension schemes.  (If you are under the age of 40 you will never have heard of these great ponzi schemes - that's right Gov Perry)  Since this demographic enjoys overwhelming numerical advantage in the voting booths they have spent the last 8 presidential cycles (3 GOP and 2 Dem presidents) with a mostly GOP congress since 1980, making sure that DC put in place policies that would help them at the expense of their kids and grandkids generations.  What policies have helped the WWII and Baby Boomers?


1. Lower tax rates for dividends and interest: retirees don't earn a significant income from wages so they let them be taxed at higher rates while they enjoy 15% on their income.

2. The Medicaid Prescription Benefit plan - Thanks W and GOP congress: This only added $1 trillion to our projected deficit with one pen stroke, when signed into law in 2006.

3. War in Iraq, they can die knowing we kicked butt in a foreign war, erasing their bad memories of Vietnam.

4. Eric Cantor's proposed fixes for Medicare and Social Security, which while necessary, do not affect those 55 or older, even though they are the ones who gamed the system in the first place.


So now #OccupyWallSt is mocked and derided, much the same way Vietnam and Civil Rights protestors were in the '60s.  At that time it was also a generational conflict that was taking place.  Those in power had a vested interest in keeping the rules in place to benefit themselves.  The WWII generation supported the war, which was killing the young being sent overseas, unless you were the son of a Senator.  The young protested.  The media focused on the riots.  Only with hindsight do we now see that the protestors’ arguments did indeed carry some merit.  Let's not dismiss the #OccupyWallSt protestors lightly.  It sometimes takes funny looking young people to point out folly of serious looking old thieves.


Breaking Unions One At A Time

The #occupywallst movement started out with the naive notion that the NYC police would sympathize with their anti-wall street greed agenda.  Now they know better.  The NYC police did not suffer from the financial crisis.  They still retire young with a fully guaranteed pension.  Police and their unions are coddled by politicians, who need to keep them happy so they can be relied upon to break protests as other unions are broken. 


Politicians started with an easy target, the teachers.  Let's face it, as much as we claim to admire teachers, we all harbor some resentment toward teachers for various reasons.  First of all they get their summers off.  Admit it, you are a little jealous of that.  And I'm sure most of us still remember a time from our youth where we were unfairly sent to the principal or spent time in detention.  Those memories kept us from marching to protect teachers rights to collective bargaining.


Next in the corsshairs will be 1199 SEIU, Locals 1, 3, 79, the teamsters, etc.  The police will be last.  Only once all other unions have been broken will politicians sell out the union members who keep them safe from the protests. 

Bring Back The Bonus Army Spirit

If unemployed and those forced into early retirement before they intended want their representatives in DC to pay attention to their plight they need to act.  They should copy the tactics of the Bonus Army of 1932.  March on DC and camp on the mall until Congress acts to extend unemployment benefits and really focuses on jobs instead of posturing as they are doing now.  If you are an unemployed veteran you should wear your uniform to emphasize your contribution to the USA


If just 25% of those out of work but wishing to work marched on Washington there would be a few million camped on the lawn in a DC version of @occupywallstreet.  That would scare the Congress into actually working on something meaningful.  They will only respond to fear of a revolution.


blogging during the jobs speech

I'm strategically seated where the camera can't see me.


You may have noticed that half of the seats are electrically charged, forcing the occupants to stand periodically and clap or be shocked.


As for the proposed bill... if there are politcal donations from a construction firm or two and an airport with my name on it in the bill then I could get behind it.  Depending on my polling of course.

Help is on the way... no really

If you are one of the nation's unemployed you have to feel good about what you saw last night in the GOP debate and encouraged by the President's speech tonight.  Apparently everybody, including Republicans love labor.

Back in DC

I am back in DC with my fellow Senators.  I've spent the morning learning my talking points.  I have a couple of studies to review.  My staff reads and annotates the sections that I need to know.

The House returns tomorrow.  However, I did see Rep Cantor in the tailor today.  He was telling the tailor that he would only agree to the tailor letting out his waist by 2 inches, if the tailor made equal and offsetting cuts elsewhere.


Are you excited about the President's job speech on Thursday?  I am.  Right after the speech I'm meeting friends from the coal lobby at The Caucus Room.  They are paying of course.  Whatever the President proposes, no matter how useful, Congress will not enact anything, since we have elections next year, and nothing ever happens in an election year.  But we will probably force the President to cut more regulations to show he is serious about working with us and then after the 2012 election we may actually take up legislation to tinker with the tax code.  We always promise big but never really make big changes.  If we did make big changes a lot of our industry friends who love our tax credits and subsidies would stop giving us money for elections and stop paying for fancy dinners at The Caucus Room.  http://www.thecaucusroom.com/

So don't worry if you are more excited about the NFL kickoff game.  While your job may be more important, the only televised event that could make you any money is the outcome of the game depending on how well you bet.

Good luck... you will need it.

Maiden Blog Post

Thanks for visiting and for waiting for my first posting.  The market is dancing to the western governments collective tune right now.  I'm buying on the big dips.  Staying true to my strategy of buying stocks in favor with those in power; CME, GOOG and CAT.  Invest well everybody!