Thursday, February 28, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/28/2013

To begin, although I’ve been involved in equipment financing for most of my career and certainly steeped in most aspects of business accounting and money-management practices, I have very limited hands-on knowledge of securities markets. So, my thought’s for today are personal conclusions, reached from absorbing public information and since they’re my own, not to be relied upon as proven in any way, shape or form.
For quite some time now, it’s seemed to me that individuals owning securities have lost all touch with their investment’s routine performance whereas share prices rise and fall mercurially due to block traders moving billions of dollars in and out of markets continually. And as a result, as reflected by the major indexes, hundred point market swings in the Dow average are frequent occurrences.
Furthermore, the slightest input, positive or negative, will almost immediately touch off significant market swings, many times being disastrous for small-time players.
Consequently, just like precious metals, and gold in particular, it seems to me that securities markets have to some extent become places for some to simply park masses of funds until better alternatives become available. And therefore, they’re no longer true indications of the economy’s performance, nor do they accurately reflect business conditions, which I feel are far worse than market averages suggest.
I mention this today because of an article in Newsmax Wires, Money News, headlined, “Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why.”
The opening line is, “Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast."
Then it goes on, "Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.

With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.”
The article continues with, “Unfortunately Buffett isn’t alone. Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee."
Finally, "Billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.”
Now, the article goes on to provide reasons for the massive sell-off by these three world-renown investors, including theories of Robert Wiedemer, an “esteemed economist and author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock” who thinks “It’s very likely that these professional investors are aware of specific research that points toward a massive market correction, as much as 90%.”
But, that’s not my point.
I think there’s a far simpler explanation, which is that there’s no real basis for expectations of true economic growth because the current administration's dedicatedly anti-business, which is something I’ve been writing about for almost three years now. And although the likes of Buffet was bought with a sweetheart deal in Citicorp stock, he certainly knows better than most when his tea leaves tell him to get out of the market.
So, although it took me quite a few words to get to the bottom line today, that’s really what this is all about. And I think the bottom line’s future isn’t looking so hot and evidently, I've got some pretty smart financial guys agreeing with me. 
That’s it for today folks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/27/2013

Yesterday, citing several examples of the administration’s fiscal mismanagement, poor judgment and complete ignorance regarding effective governance in general costing taxpayers countless billions of dollars,  my final question was, “what is our recourse and exactly how do we get out from under the malfeasance?" 
I asked because we’re all paying dearly, while the incumbent and his cohorts continually seek more. And the problem created is that, bit by bit, the nation’s deteriorating as a result of absolute leadership incompetence and absence of economic knowledge.
However, while our population suffers here at home due to the preceding problems, it seems that we’re doing just as poorly, if not worse, elsewhere.
According to Brett LoGiurato, of Business Insider on-line via Drudge, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward wrote that “The Defense Department said in early February that it would not deploy the U.S.S. Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf, citing budget concerns relating to the looming cuts known as the sequester.
Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. 'I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country."
That, Woodward said, "is a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time."
So, what it looks to me like what we have here is politics once again taking precedence over the nation’s welfare and protection of its citizenry. And it goes one huge step further to prove that it isn’t simply lack of knowledge, unwillingness to learn, or making no attempt to grow into the POTUS job that’s taking place. 
What’s really going on is the incumbent’s apparent belief that the presidency is a political plum and competent management of the nation is immaterial, because all that really counts is all the hype and smoke in a daily speech. 
That's it for today folks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/26/2012

With all the sequester talk, which I’ve tried to avoid because it’s 110% political hype, smoke, mirrors and boring noise, I found several items on Drudge just now that made me stop to think about how truly despicable the flat-out liars holding office really are.  
A link buried among a list of others regards National Review on-line‘s, Andrew Stiles, who reports that “Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today”.
Alabama republican, Senator Jeff Sessions, requested the report and revealed the findings this morning at a Senate Budget Committee, saying it “confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill, and dramatically proves that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit were false.” 
And although In September 2009 Obama told a joint-session of Congress ,“I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period,” the GAO report concluded that even under “more optimistic assumptions,” Obamacare’s cost-control provisions “were not sufficient to prevent an unsustainable increase in debt held by the public.”
Next came a small item from’s Penny Starr who wrote that “President Barack Obama won’t have to worry about his paycheck if the spending sequestration included in the Budget Control Act that he signed into law in 2011 begins taking effect this Friday. Because section 255 of the Budget Control Act “includes compensation for the President as one of those exemptions.”
Then there was an article from Investors Chronicle on-line by Ajay Makan in London noting that, “While domestic production increased the most in 150 years last year, Washington will confirm later this week that oil imports from the Gulf region continued to rise.”
Statistics included the following: “By the end of November the US had already imported more than 450m barrels of crude from Saudi Arabia, more than it imported from Riyadh in the whole of 2009, 2010 or 2011, according to figures from the US energy department. For the first time since 2003, Saudi imports accounted for more than 15 per cent of total US oil imports. The Gulf as a whole accounted for more than 25 per cent, a nine-year high.”
And lastly there was this one, which I find simply incredible.
According to Diana Furchtgott-Roth of Real Clear Markets on-line: “In a new report issued earlier this month, the Office of Personnel Management announced that the federal government paid over $156 million in 2011 for some of its employees to work as representatives for government unions, up from $139 million in 2010 and $129 million in 2009.”
She went on to state that “In government language that would make George Orwell smile, the time that federal workers spend working for their unions and not working for taxpayers is termed "official time." According to the report, "Official time, broadly defined, is paid time off from assigned Government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees." 
And here’s what I thought was the best part of what Ms. Furchtgott-Roth wrote. “In most workplaces, employees who don't work for the hours they are paid are called "loafers," "slackers," or worse. In the federal government, such workers are on "official time." Shirking never looked so good, because, “Government workers on "official time" have office space in a particular agency to which they are assigned, and are paid for full-time work by the taxpayers, including fringe benefits such as pension plans and medical insurance that many private-sector workers no longer receive.
So, while the incumbent incessantly babbles and contorts himself, playing a role like some ham actor on steroids, just about everything he utters is the reverse of the truth. But, that’s been his stock in trade for his entire political life and I really don’t care very much about it all. I have no real interest in him whatsoever. 
However, whereas he evidently was elected based on false statements, compounded by policies breaking taxpayer’s wallets, budgets and backs, what is our recourse and exactly how do we get out from under his malfeasance? As for me, I certainly don’t have the answer, but just thought I’d ask.
That’s it for today folks.

Monday, February 25, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/25/2013

An article from yesterday’s New York Post on-line, by Brad Hamilton and Susan Edelman, via Drudge, is along the lines of gun control legislation. It regards, NYC “Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.”
I believe it’s in the same vein as gun control because this is another case where sugary drinks don’t harm people, people do the harm to themselves. And if the mayor, or anyone else, thinks this legislation is going to have any effect on folks calories intake via this kind of ban, he’s babbling to himself.
It also hits drinkers right in the pocketbook for no reason at all, while helping those selling the stuff significantly, as evidenced by the following example from the article: “Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda.”
And it was after reading the preceding that a light went on and I realized the gun control  parallel to this case, whereas it’s simply ridiculous ineffective legislation, and also came up with another question about politicians in general.
What I began to wonder about was, if politicians are born with a need to meddle in other’s lives despite lacking the capability or rationality called for, or is overbearing arrogance combined with shortsightedness and ineptitude something that develops once in office?
As a practical matter, I guess it really doesn’t matter which of the preceding cases is true, because the result’s the same either way. If you want to find the best examples of how not to do almost anything you can think of, ask any politician what they’d do.
That’s it for today folks.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/24/2013

An associate of mine long ago when confronting problems used to say, “nothing difficult is ever easy.” And I now know that trying to find something of interest in the news lately certainly fits that description.
I did, however, catch a guy on Fox News yesterday morning who impressed me enough to look up his exact words just now on the subject of gun control, whereas I think his thoughts hit right on the mark correctly, precisely and succinctly.
Ex Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino said : “There is no such thing as gun control, there is only people control.
In over 15 years in law enforcement, I never arrested or investigated anyone for a gun crime who owned his gun legally.
We live in a society of wolves.  You do not fight back by creating more sheep.”
So, here’s someone who knows far more about the subject than most people do who after all his years of hands-on experience reaches the same conclusion that anyone would who had an iota of common sense.
Guns aren’t the problem and never were. It’s the people that own them that do the harm. And, as I’ve written before, if you take the guns away, those who wish to do destroy will simply find some other weapon instead.
But, worst of all, since the bad guys won’t be affected at all, the only ones being made more vulnerable are those who can no longer protect themselves at all.
Nonetheless, though, if gun control is to really happen, I think there should be a simultaneous action.  And at the exact same moment that the public gives up it’s right to arm themselves, those in office of any kind, from top to bottom, surrender their weaponry as well, give up their body guards and any other kind of protection possessed.
Because office-holders are not only no better than anyone else in our nation, they’re far, far worse and worth far, far less.
That’s it for today folks.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/23/2013

Still pretty slow in the news, but I came across an article on Drudge by Edward McClelland of Channel 5 Chicago, NBC News that got me to thinking.
According to Mr. McClelland, “Well, now there is recent credible polling on (Rahm) Emanuel, and it’s not good for the mayor. A Crain’s/Ipsos poll out Thursday finds that the mayor’s popularity has fallen sharply since voters were last surveyed in September.
Just 2 percent of Chicagoans surveyed said they strongly approve of the mayor's job performance, with 12 percent somewhat approving and 5 percent leaning that way. At the opposite end, 13 percent strongly disapprove, 9 percent somewhat disapprove and 13 percent lean toward disapproval.
In Chicago, that gives Mr. Emanuel a net minus 16 rating, down from the plus 4 he had in September, when 37 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved.”
The reason I found this data so interesting is that it’s another confirmation that Democrats in general, and those in or from the current administration in particuar, haven’t a clue as to how to govern. 
While it’s obvious that all of them, from a backroom clerk like Emanuel right up to the incumbent himself, could talk you senseless, deaf, dumb and blind, as a practical matter jobwise they can’t even tie their own shoes. And once winding up with real authority, they simply unravel right before everyone’s eyes, whereas they’re totally incompetent by themselves or in groups.
So, I guess you can add this Emanuel guy to the list of the hapless, blustering political hacks that make up their party. Like Nancy Pelosi who fiercely pushes for legislation she’s never bothered to look at. However, in her case there’s a good chance she can’t even read. Or Hillary who hit her head causing her to forget where Benghazi is, while doing absolutely nothing but travel at taxpayer's expense for the pat four years. 
Then, of course there’s the VP who likely has trouble eating because he always has both feet in his mouth. But, who knows, maybe his wife will mistake him for an intruder and blow him away with his own shotgun.
And let’s not forget the guy at the top of the heap who loudly complains about the wealthy, screams about the woes of the poor and then spends almost a million dollars of taxpayer’s money to go play golf with Tiger at one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.
I could go on with more examples for pages, but for today just wanted to make one simple point, which is, that I doubt you could find emptier suits anywhere on the planet then politicians in general. However, it seems they’ve reduced job performance standards so low that even Democrats can perform them. And while I really don’t care an iota about what any of those parasites do, I still think it’s extremely shameful that the rest of us have to pay for their ineptitude.
That’s it for today folks.

Friday, February 22, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/22/2013

Nothing much going on in the news at all. And since that’s the case, I’ve been really scouring media websites, but haven’t found much of interest that I haven’t mentioned before.
I did, however, come across a link on Drudge to a NY Times story headlined: “Cuomo machine goes after state worker for talking.”
I read the story out of curiosity, found it boring and in my opinion, not worth any time at all. It’s just some typical political finger-pointing and some writer’s effort to fill newspaper space.
I bring it up, though, because seeing Cuomo’s name in ink made me realize that I forgot who our governor here in New York is. And that struck me as odd whereas I spend considerable time day in and day out reading about current events and happenings that affect all our lives.
So, my question for today is: What does this guy Cuomo do, and where does he do it and why?
Now, as an author, I was very aware of his father who was a major league empty suit with a bigger than average vocabulary. But other than his using ten words where one or two would do, I can’t remember very much else about him either.
So, I guess it must be a family trait to get elected and fold into the woodwork for however long voters permit it. And who knows, one of these days the current NY governor might even do something folks actually care about, but honestly, I really doubt it.
That's it for today folks.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/21/2013

On a slow news day, a Drudge link to the Chicago Tribune caught my eye regarding an article headlined, “Dental health on decline for Chicago's needy.” 
Writer, Patrick Svitek, addresses a report by the Chicago Dental Society released Thursday saying: “From 2006 to 2011, more than a quarter of the region's low-cost dental clinics were shut.”
The report “details how the local availability of dental treatment has declined for the neediest patients, leading to what one dentist calls a "perfect storm of an oral health crisis." Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow, secretary of the dental society, says they have "almost nowhere to go at this point. The path for them is already irreversible."
Dr. Doroshow continued that, "The economy has hit our area hard. When people are strapped financially, they take away the things from their budget they think are the easiest to postpone."
Mr. Svitek points out that, “In 2011, more than half of Chicago-area residents surveyed by the dental society said they put off dental treatment in the past year because they couldn't afford it.” 
He then goes on to state that “Most factors cited in the report could apply to any municipality — strained budgets, fundamental misconceptions about oral care and shrinking income thanks to stubborn unemployment. But the dental safety net in Cook County and Chicago is especially vulnerable, according to oral health advocates.”
I mention this today because Chicago’s the incumbent’s backyard and believe his own policies and legislation are likely the major factors underlying the damage being done to his former neighbors and core supporters. 
For example, how much more could folks in Chicago afford -or anywhere else across the U.S. for that matter- if they didn’t have to pay three times as much for fuel as they do now? And how many more jobs would there be if Obamacare wasn’t causing layoffs and reductions in hiring? How much more money would flow through our economy if trillions in offshore funds weren’t parked there due to fears of over-taxation? And what if oil came from our neighboring Canada instead of the volatile and price-abusive Middle East by simply okaying the Keystone pipeline?
So, while the suffering folks in Chicago aren’t likely to see much change in their unfortunate position regarding dental care, I hope they at least take the time to consider that a significant cause of their problem is one of their own. And maybe next time he comes to visit they can ask him why he decided to keep on harming so many of them now.
That’s it for today folks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/20/2013

I’ve already mentioned the incumbent’s golfing trip to Florida, however more information appeared on Drudge this morning which lists an article by Meghan Keneally and Louise Boyle of Britain’s Mail Online. 
According to them, “The trip was far from a little getaway, as he made his way to the golf course by way of Chicago on Friday and that is when the costs started piling up.“ And, “ABC News reported that in 2012, it cost $179,750 per flight hour to run Air Force One.”

Which means that, “Going off that rate- even though it is likely higher now since gas prices have risen- the cost of the flights to Florida and back to Washington on Monday totaled $943,687.50.”

In the same vein, additional input showed up in he New York Post’s, Page 6 on-line, which says that “First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters skied at a posh resort in Aspen, Colo., with the help of numerous instructors on private ski runs during Presidents Day weekend.” And that, “While President Obama was golfing with Tiger Woods in Florida, Michelle — who brought along a few friends and daughters Sasha and Malia — headed to the slopes."
Furthermore, the Post reports that “We’re told some wealthy Aspen visitors were annoyed when “air space was blocked because of [the Obamas’] plane, so others couldn’t get their private jets in. Many people nearly didn’t land or had to be diverted.” Additionally, “The Obama family stayed at the home of Aspen Ski Company owners Jim and Paula Crown, who are big Democratic donors. Their security team occupied another entire house next door.”

So, here we have compounding confirmation that these supposed fierce enemies of the so-called “rich” not only enjoy a similar lifestyle, but obviously spend considerably more than  very few but the super-wealthy can afford. Which I guess would be fine if either one of them earned it themselves. But, that’s certainly not the case because its taxpayers that foot the bills, while this pair of abusers simply rip them off time and again without an iota of compunction or guilt.

At the same time another major league hypocrite made the news again today. The smooth-talking, champion of flawless articulation, Joe Biden, was quoted by Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard on-line regarding gun control. 
Apparently the VP said, “If there's ever a problem," Biden said he told his wife Jill, "just walk out on the balcony here--walk out, put that double barrel shot gun and fire two blasts outside the house -- I promise you whoever is coming in ... You don't need an AR-15, it's harder to aim, it's harder to use...Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!"

In the meantime, though, I guess he forgot that he and his family have Secret Service protection 24/7/365. So, if his wife actually followed his advice and grabbed a shotgun, she'd likely waste an agent, or several, because it's highly unlikely anyone else would have gotten anywhere near her at all.

And that's why as I continue to read this stuff I have to sit back and scratch my head in wonder. Because, considering the hypocrisy, incredible double-standard and almost total disregard these folks have for other’s intelligence, I can’t believe anyone in the press would still be in the least supportive while being so intellectually insulted day in and out. 
However, I may have part of the answer because it occurred to me this morning that our educational system has deteriorated to the extent that those now in the press likely have little capability to comprehend very much at all. Consequently, they probably don’t even realize how duped they really are. So what we have here are arrogant elitists leading the dense and clueless which results in massive distortion of underlying facts and truths for everyone who bothers to read their dribble at all.

That’s it for today folks.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/19/2013

Not much happening in today’s news. So, I’ll just quickly follow up on two of my ongoing topics.
While I was blowing off steam yesterday regarding the incumbent’s imperial-level golf trip while the bulk of his constituency grovels unable to afford basic amenities, I forgot to mention that, at the same time, the first lady and daughters were skiing out in Aspen likely doubling the hit taken by taxpayers who cover costs of the family's travel.
So, I guess it’s a good thing when a political hack from Chicago backs into a job facilitated by George Soros’ But, nonetheless, I’m not so sure flaunting power and acting like royalty sits well with many observers. And that may be just the kind of thing that backfires because, this is still the U.S. and we just don’t have kings and queens anymore.
In the meantime, one day last week I noted that the State Department quietly mentioned that it was going to be a while before they could fit proper review and analysis of the Keystone Pipeline into their busy schedules. Which means more delays in our obtaining oil from Canada next door and likely lowering our fuel cists significantly.
At the same time, rises in international demand and Middle-Eastern unrest are presently driving fuel prices toward all-time highs, even though our own usage of oil is declining.
So, what this says to me is, we’ve got a guy in the White House who’s proving in two clear examples that he cares nothing at all about anyone else. And that’s okay with me, because the feeling’s mutual. But as each day goes by, and after the last four years especially, exactly how dumb to folks have to be to let this hypocrisy and blatant rip-off continue?
That's it for today folks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/18/2013

Today’s entry concerns more of the same old, same old the administration spews while describing itself champion of the less fortunate segments of U.S. society. And frankly, if that were really true, I guess it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
However, this weekend provided just one more example of hypocrisy at its peak, combined with a degree of arrogance at the highest level to boot.
President Obama played golf Sunday with Tiger Woods during the president’s long holiday weekend in Florida. Fox News on-line reports that “On Saturday, Woods' former coach, Butch Harmon, rode along with the Obama foursome for a few holes and gave the president some golf tips.
Golf Digest added that "Obama spent eight hours with Harmon, during which he played 27 holes and hit balls in Harmon's studio, and then managed to coordinate Sunday's round with Woods." 
"Woods departed after the first 18 holes, but Obama stayed on to play another nine, the report said.”
Now, as for myself, I really couldn’t care less about where the incumbent goes on weekends, or all the other days of the week either. In fact, the further he’s away from anything having to do with the nation at all, the better off everyone is. 
However, when the country’s almost seventeen trillion in debt and climbing, total unemployment’s somewhere around 12 percent, gasoline just reached its all time high for February, the Middle-East is imploding bit-by-bit, Obamacare’s costing wage-earners dearly and payroll taxes just went up for most, I think its really way over the top for the “leader” to go play some golf with a guy who’s a living legend while most regular folks can’t even get a free autograph from him. 
What’s even worse is, the majority of folks can’t get raises in pay either, because most  businesses are still struggling from overregulation, stunted growth and spiraling new costs of wrongheaded health care reform. Yet, if somehow folks do manage to become really successful in spite of rising governmental hurdles, Democrats spend 24/7/365 plotting to rip off as much of the increases as they can in higher taxes for themselves and/or redistribution of wealth further killing chances of success by everyone else.
And then, to top it all off and really rub it in, the guy who’s almost singularly responsible for ruining everyone else's chance at success, blithely picks up his clubs, flies to Florida on Air Force one and plays some golf with Tiger. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find something despicably wrong and especially repulsive with that.
That’s it for today folks.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

BloggerRhythms 2/17/2013

The technology section of BusinessWeek's, Bloomberg Businessweek on-line carried the following story. "Facebook gets multi-billion dollar tax break. "
I mention this one because its right in line with others that lately confirm that government, and the current administration in particular, are no match for those operating successfully in the business world.
According to Bloomberg, “It hasn’t drawn much attention, but Facebook’s first annual earnings report contains an accounting gem: a multibillion-dollar tax deduction for the cost of executive stock options and share awards. Even though Facebook reported $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits from U.S. operations in 2012, it will probably pay zero federal and state taxes—and even receive a federal tax refund of about $429 million—according to a Feb. 14 statement from Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).”
CTJ went on to say that the tax footnotes in Facebook’s Jan. 30 financial statement regarding the deduction are “an amazing admission.”
Now, from their choice of words and phrasing, it sounds to me like CTJ believes there’s something wrong, or perhaps even underhanded, in what Facebook did by avoiding taxes, however that’s absolutely not the case. And for CTJ’s sake, I think they should learn the distinction that tax “evasion’s” illegal but tax “avoidance” is not.
After reading CTJ’s opinion I Googled them and found out that, “Citizens for Tax Justice, founded in 1979, is a 501 (c)(4) public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ's mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws. Against the armies of special interest lobbyists for corporations and the wealthy, CTJ fights for:
Fair taxes for middle and low-income families. Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share. Closing corporate tax loopholes. Adequately funding important government services. Reducing the federal debt. And, taxation that minimizes distortion of economic markets.
However, according to Bloomberg, who did the research, “There’s nothing illegal about the breaks the company is claiming. Companies like Facebook are allowed to treat the cost of non-cash compensation, such as stock options, as an expense that reduces profits, essentially the way they treat cash compensation such as salaries.”
So, for organizations like CTJ, and government itself, the place to start looking for problems is in the laws as they are written and not the financial statements of businesses who act, file, and report properly. And a word of advice for those who either try to steal from those who rightfully earn their livings, or try to aid and abet that cause such as CTJ does, if they want to be sure of collecting some money, get off the soapboxes and go out and find real jobs.
That’s it for today folks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/16/2013

Recently, I’ve come across several issues and situations glaringly illustrating how and why socialism simply doesn’t work, never could, never will, and particularly why the incumbent especially, is not only extremely misguided politically, but also clueless regarding how the U.S. economy really functions.
Following right on the heels of the high-profile doctor who used the recent rise off-shore, sheltered bank accounts in the Caymans to point out what smart, successful, folks will do with their money when threatened with oppressive taxes, and also the exodus of top-earners from California’s overburdening wealth redistribution attempts, another example of horrendous fiscal misjudgment quietly surfaced today.
According to the Associated Press via Fox News on-line “The Obama administration is quietly winding down one of the earliest programs created by the president's health care overhaul law  It's a plan that provides stopgap coverage for uninsured people with medical problems who have been turned down by insurers.”
Gary Cohen, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said that while only about 135,000 uninsured people have gotten coverage at some point, "they are proving far more costly to insure than predicted."
The cause is many uninsured who go untreated exacerbate their medical problems and when finally getting coverage through a high-risk pool, "are in immediate need of expensive care."
However, what really galls me is this sentence from Cohen: “What we’ve learned through the course of this program is that this is really not a sensible way for the health-care system to be run.”
So, what this boils down to brings back memories of moronic Nancy Pelosi who made one of the most inane statements ever recorded from a person holding a supposedly responsible position when she glibly remarked that to find out what’s in the health care bill, we’ll have to pass it. 
Well, now we know some more of it, and as each day goes by more costs and financial misjudgments come out of the woodwork. And what we’re finding out is, that when it comes to common sense on even the simplest subjects, Democrats in general rarely seem to possess it.
On the other side of the coin, though, is an item in The New York Times via Drudge focused on newly arrived Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas.
The article notes that “In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years.”
Examples of his outspokenness include suggesting that Chuck Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies,  entanglement with the mayor of Chicago, challenging the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat on national television, voting against virtually everything before him, including John Kerry as secretary of state, and “raising the hackles of colleagues from both parties.”
I mention Mr. Cruz because it seems to me that, even though he seems perhaps a bit too aggressive, I think that’s a far better approach than doing less than nothing in office, like Hillary, Reed, Pelosi, Schumer, and slews of other political hacks. So, maybe now we have a new guy to watch who'll shake things up.
That’s it for today folks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/15/2013

Today’s subject's one I’ve mentioned several times in the past: Donald Trump.
Frankly, I can’t stand him, don’t think he’s worth typing about, but having spent almost my entire career in the commercial financing business, I simply can’t understand how this guy is worth more than a dime, if that much. So, it galls me to see him get any press at all. But he not only does, he’s treated like some kind of icon.
The reason I mention him today is a blurb I saw on Drudge, as follows from USA Today and the Associated Press: “Trump Plaza, the Boardwalk centerpiece of Donald Trump's one-time Atlantic City empire, was sold Thursday to a California company for $20 million in the cheapest of a series of bargain-basement deals for distressed gambling halls in the struggling New Jersey seaside resort. The Meruelo Group of Downey, Calif., plans to close the deal by May 31. It is the lowest price ever paid for a casino in Atlantic City.”
After reading that, I did some homework to check my facts and found that according to Wikipedia, “Donald Trump has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times, in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. All of these bankruptcies were connected to over-leveraged casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City, all of which are now operated under the banner of Trump Entertainment Resorts. He has never filed for personal bankruptcy — an important distinction when considering his ability to emerge relatively unscathed, at least financially.”
I also recall that he was forced to close the Trump Shuttle airline, while his real estate “empire,” begun by his highly successful father, crumbled as well. And, similarly, the New Jersey Generals football team he started disappeared altogether.
So, if you add up all the financial disasters, I find it very hard to believe there’s anywhere near “billions” left, provided there ever was that much to begin with.
I did, however, get some insight as to where his financial hype comes from, also in Wikipedia which says  that “in 2011, Forbes reported that its financial experts had estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion.”
Thus maybe that’s the answer. Because, likes lot's of others whose major stock in trade is self-promotion, I guess his motto is something like ”If you want to hit me with logic and facts, I don’t want to chit-chat at all.”
And I guess that’s really my point because, I just don’t get why a guy who’s tanked almost everything he touched in business retains any credibility whatsoever, and what’s more, if anyone actually went out and followed in his footsteps they’d go broke seven or eight times too. So, how come that never gets mentioned at all?
Along the same lines, speaking of failures, another high-profile made the news again: Nancy Pelosi, commenting on the looming “sequester,” which would force across-the-board cuts affecting most federal offices, including Congress.
According to The Hill, on-line, “the House Minority Leader said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers' jobs.”
"I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."
And that one almost knocked me off my chair because as well put by the huffingtonpost, on-line, “The Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling recently asked respondents to compare their favorability of lawmakers with a long list of decidedly unpopular things. According to the firm, "what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback."
So, if we took Ms. Pelosi’s advice and equated Congressional pay to job performance worth in the eyes of the public, members would earn less than do cockroaches. And as for me, I believe they’re worth even less, but that’s okay as long as they don’t caucus behind my toilet or under my kitchen sink.
That's it for today folks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/14/2013

A Reuters story in Yahoo! News Canada via Drudge reports that Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, "is undergoing 'complex' alternative treatments more than two months after having cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said on Wednesday.”
I mention this because Chavez is leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and extremely anti the U.S., especially regarding capitalism which he’s very much against.
However, just like the waves of financially successful Californians leaving the state due to excessive taxation, and the growing numbers who’re opening tax- protected Cayman Island bank accounts, this is one more example proving that, as a practical matter, socialist systems simply don’t work.
And what’s most interesting to me is that someone like Chavez who preaches, extols, rants and raves about the virtues of his perceived perfect political system, has to leave his nation for medical help because were he to stay home he’d soon be pushing up daisies.
So, this is another one of those cases where idealism works extremely well on paper, but when the theory collides with the “real world,” if you want to keep breathing or otherwise be successful, you’d better not buy your own BS.
That’s it for today folks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/13/2013

Didn’t watch the speech last night because I’m well aware of the Union’s state without anyone telling me about it, especially the incumbent. And for him, I’m sure it was just another day and another ton of BS in front of a teleprompter.

In the meantime though, this morning I found an item in a recap reporting that the incumbent said “victims of gun violence" deserve a vote on a sweeping gun control package. And I not only agree with him completely, I did some research to back up my rationale. 

According to Jeffrey Weiss, Staff Writer for The Dallas Morning News on, a Small Arms Survey estimated in 2007 that there were about 270 million to more than 314 million privately owned guns in America. And, “The largest-ever survey on gun ownership happened in 2002, by the federal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. A poll of more than 240,000 adults came up with an estimate that about a third of the households in America had at least one gun.”

However, current legal restrictions prohibit funding research with results that “advocate or promote gun control,” which in turn prevents "the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from tracing or sharing information about how often a dealer sells guns that end up seized in crimes, and stops doctors from gathering data about their patients’ gun ownership or use." Consequently, accurate up to date data is hard to come by.

Mr. Weiss though, did come up the following information, even though it’s quite outdated. “Those opposed to gun control often cite the work of Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. In 1992, he commissioned a survey of about 6,000 people, asking if they had used a gun in self-defense during the past year and five years. Kleck came up with an estimate of 2.5 million. But violent crime in America has dropped about 75 percent since that survey, leaving a question of how relevant the results are now.”

So, as I wrote at the outset, I think the incumbent’s absolutely right about getting a vote on gun possession. Because if the preceding statistics are even close to being correct, those seeking gun control would lose by about three to one. And since this is the U.S. where the majority's supposed to rule, he can then get off his soapbox and leave the folks owning guns alone like he should have done in the first place.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/12/2013

Baltimore neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, who addressed the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday, was in the news again today. According to an article from via Drudge, he told them that "Somebody Has To Stand Up To The Bullies," regarding Obamacare.
However the thing that really stands out to me is, not only the fact that there we have a renown practitioner pointing out the horrendous flaws in the program, but also making some very valid points about how poor the administration's present attitude is overall.   
Here’s the paragraph that got my attention: “One of the things I also said during the speech is there will be some people who will say, 'but you’re a doctor and you’re a surgeon, you should be sticking to that.' And I mentioned the fact that five physicians signed the Declaration of Independence and were involved in the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and several other things.”
With his commentary I believe the doctor hit the nail on the head regarding not only health care, but just about every aspect of governance the administration goes near. Because decision-making’s presently being done almost solely by politicians, and not even good one’s at that, who know virtually nothing about the things they make decisions about. And that starts straight right from the top whereas the incumbent himself’s nothing more than a political hack with a teleprompter crutch. And I have no idea who authors what scrolls down his screen, but from what I hear every day, the writer doesn’t know too much either.
So, I think if you take a moment and sit back and let the various currently problematic issues scroll through your mind, I believe you’ll concur with the doctor’s health care premise about all of them. Because whether it’s the economy, immigration, energy, foreign affairs, education, national security, welfare reform and on and on, every one of them’s being influenced by politics first. And what’s even worse is, not only doesn’t this administration understand how most things in the nation function, the vast majority of those in its party and employ know even less.
That’s it for today folks.

Monday, February 11, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/11/2013

Thinking back about many of my postings regarding current Democrat trends, either at the national level or amongst the states, I realize that a continual theme is their bent toward socialism and constant attempts to redistribute “wealth.”
However, regardless of how much they try to achieve their goal of asset redistribution, as a practical matter they fail more often than not. Most recent examples include the exodus of high-earners from overtaxing states and the growing balances in massive offshore bank accounts. And although these are only two very visible routes taken by those who feel financially threatened by government, I’m positive there are many more clandestine solutions kept hidden by those employing them. 
And, for government, that’s the rub.
I think that's so because, to my knowledge -and I’m certainly no expert on political theory or practice- the places where communism or socialism were most successful were populated by masses of undereducated, unconnected, disparate folks relatively easy to control by a powerful, menacing, well-armed, self-serving group having some intellect at the top. Therefore, conquest of the greater population was relatively easy.
But the problem government faces here and now is, especially for those in the White House, those they’re trying to steal from are far smarter than all the government leaders are. And quite different from other societies where the proletariat was not only relatively easy to control, but had few resources to draw on, in this case the government's broke and the productive half of the population’s not. Which is probably why the incumbent wants to grab all the public’s guns.
So, in a nutshell, from a political perspective it seems to me that the picture’s upside down for those with socialistic hopes in the U.S. Because although there may be masses who truly believe capitalism’s wrong, it’s worked far to well, for far too long, for far too many to willingly change even an iota now. And what’s even worse for those who want to redistribute other’s wealth, the ones with all the bucks have all the brains as well, so their cause is really hopeless in the end.
That’s it for today folks.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/10/2013

For me, one of the most enjoyable happenings is when the most pompous, faux-intelligentsia, arrogant and loud among us are proven wrong by nothing more than plain old simple common sense. And today, there are not one, but two glaring examples of that premise.
According to Fox, shale oil deposits in California are among the largest in the nation and it’s potential benefits were put succinctly by Geoffrey Styles, energy consultant, who recently wrote in an online forum, The Energy Collective, “that drilling the formation could slash California's imports while adding billions of dollars a year to the local economy and to the shaky state budget, along with lots of good jobs.”
However, as usual, environmental lobbyists and Governor Jerry Brown are opposed to the idea, claiming that this type of drilling is too dangerous to pursue at this time.
So, in keeping with my ongoing belief that California’s a harbinger of things to come for all those who ignore financial reality, living in a utopia that exists only in their limited minds, I'm now even more certain that the state will soon be populated by the brokest, most dependent, conglomeration of misguided zealots ever seen.
Item number two is a follow-on to yesterday’s entry, regarding the prominent doctor who spoke at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast and mentioned that “intentionally hurting” high earning individuals leads to their creating off-shore bank accounts in the Cayman’s. 
In that regard, an article today by Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times via Drudge says that, “As recently as 2010, Jack Lew, President Obama's nominee to be the next secretary of the Treasury, had $56,000 invested in a Citi Group venture capital fund based in the Cayman Islands’ notorious Ugland House, a building whose mailboxes are home to nearly 19,000 corporate entities, many of them tax shelters.”
Upon the disclosure, the Finance Committee’s ranking Republican, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, accused the president of hypocrisy and said, “President Obama has been almost obsessively critical of offshore investments. He called Ugland House ‘either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.’ That makes this Cayman Islands investment of his top official and now Treasury secretary nominee worthy of attention. The irony is thick. Members of the Finance Committee will question Mr. Lew about his foreign investments at the hearing.”
So, as far as common sense is concerned, the beat goes on and in case after case proves my basic point that anyone possessing more than an iota of intellect isn’t going to permit brain-dead politicians to pick their pockets continually. And since this is especially so when the cause for governmental financial need is misguided philosophy, intellectual density, plain old, every day, flat-out  incompetence, coupled with an inability to absorb basic facts, I'm certain that some day soon these backward politico’s are going to wind up all alone.
That's it for today folks.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

BloggeRhythms 2/09/2013

According to Real Clear Politics website via Drudge, “Famed Baltimore neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning on healthcare.”
The doctor “often criticized Obamacare and government intrusion in healthcare while President Obama sat in the audience.”
I mention it because, aside from suggesting what might be a viable concept for improving health care provision altogether, the doctor addressed the fact that this kind of legislation not only doesn't work specifically, but weakens the overall economy to boot. 
It also reinforces my recurring theme that  the “wealthy” don’t sit still and roll over when they’re threatened financially or otherwise, they do something about it. And it’s a very safe bet that in this kind of contest, the government generally loses because its not only slow-thinking, ponderous and unwieldy…legislators themselves as a group aren’t really very bright.
As a solution to healthcare provision the doctor suggested that, “When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed -- pretax -- from the time you're born 'til the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you're 85 years old and you got six diseases, you're not trying to spend up everything. You're happy to pass it on and there's nobody talking about death panels.”
After that, he got into the part that I found to make the most sense when he referred to the approach to tithing taken by the Lord in the Bible, by saying, “We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.”
And that’s where the doctor reinforced my recurring point. Because although the rest of what he said is also valid, I’ve been suggesting for months that, just like the exodus from California, high-earners are going to revolt when over-burdened and the expatriated funds now residing in the Cayman's are but one example of how. Which says to me that although the government's war against high-earners is just beginning, its eventual losses are going to be huge, hurtful and a monstrously embarrassing comeuppance to all of socialist persuasion in office now.
That’s it for today folks.