Friday, July 30, 2010

Let Them Eat Nothing!

Acting en masse in a genuine Marie Antoinette moment, the US Senate has once again set a new low point for partisan politics trumping the needs of the people. And this time both sides seem to have gone out of their way to be particularly dishonest about it.

Yesterday, the Senate - along mostly party lines (duh) - failed to vote cloture and allow a real vote on a bill to give small businesses a large tax break and access to an additional $30 billion in SBA loans. This is a bill that, until yesterday, had pretty solid bipartisan support. In fact, the bill itself reads like a Republican concept, based on their accurate position that small business needs more attention from the Obama administration.

Republicans have been correctly hammering Obama and the hopeless Dems in Congress since day one about the need to give small business a break and let them create jobs. So what happened? Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. Partisan election year politics happened.

Look at the reason given by Senate Minority Leader McConnell. He complained that Republicans could not get enough amendments added to the bill. Let me say that again - Republican Senators blocked an opportunity to help small business because they could not add enough amendments to a bill they had already said they liked.

To be fair, Senate Majority Leader Reid did limit them to 3 amendments, which is silly to start with. However, many of the ideas that Republicans wanted were already in the bill itself. Democrats are easily guilty of overplaying the power hand on this and not working more to resolve what is - at the end of the day - a stupid procedural dispute. And the Dems are wrong for once again fearing that Republicans might try to add an amendment that they don't like.

However, Senate Republicans should be ashamed for once again putting election year politics ahead of the needs of the people. This was not about the bill itself. Or paying for it. Or if it is needed. Both sides agree that the bill is needed. This is about the ongoing GOP strategy of not allowing any progress on the economy so that they have a campaign issue.

Democrats are doing the same thing. Would a tax break really be on their agenda in a non-election year? The folks that brought you mandatory health care? Of course not.

Once again, the Senate proves to be an almost pointless body that has degenerated into nothing more than an endless campaign stop for a very spoiled and uncaring 100 plutocrats who put themselves and their corrupt political parties above the people that elect and pay them.

So, small business, no soup for you! McConnell and Reid are too busy making sure the soup is all theirs. The only small businesses these guys care about are the ones that they use to hide their own money. Next time a smarmy Democrat talks about job growth, remind them that they killed job growth over petty partisan nonsense. And the next time some self-righteous Republican blabbers about how small business creats most of the new jobs, remind them that they killed that job machine to further their pathetic ambitions.

Better yet, come November, vote the entire stinking lot of them out. If they were employees, they would have been fired already. The United States will be a much better place without this collection of tired corrupt career party hacks. On November 2, vote for anyone but the incumbent. Your nation will thank you.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the Surface..

Sometime early next week, BP will begin pumping mud down into the well in the Gulf of Mexico. This is supposedly intended to help plug the hole once and for all in conjunction wit the relief wells being drilled. This operation is dubiously named "static kill." I suspect the intent is to kill any potential of getting an accurate measurement of the oil that has already flowed into the gulf and thus mitigating the fine.

As a quick aside, for some inexplicable reason the relief wells were renamed relief tunnels last week. This makes little or no sense. They are mot tunnels. They are wells. I guess to some PR flack working for BP or Thad Allen, tunnels sounded cooler.

While the preparations for "static kill" are ongoing, retired admiral Thad Allen proudly declared that there is little oil on the surface as if that was the end of the problem. Of course, he fails to mention that he authorized the use of epic amounts of toxic chemicals to keep the oil from rising to the surface in the first place. Just like his new pals at BP, he was all about the imagery and not the reality.

In case anyone has forgotten, the stated reason for the use of over 2 million gallons of dispersant underwater was to keep the oil from the surface. And the only reason to do that was to prevent the images of millions of gallons of oil hitting every beach in the Gulf region. It was never about keeping the oil out of the ecosystem.

Last week, when Tropical Storm Bonnie was approaching, the ever inaccurate Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel came up with the analogy that the wave action created by the storm would have the same effect on the oil as shaking a bottle of vinaigrette. The oil emulsifies with the rest of the ingredients. Up to that point, Cantore was actually right. However, he then implied, as does Thad Allen, that the oil then magically disappears. It does not. Taking Cantore's bottle of salad dressing analogy, the oil is still there. It ends up on your salad.

The same applies to the Gulf. The oil is still there, no matter how badly Thad Allen and his real masters at BP want us to think otherwise. No matter how much the administration wishes, the oil will not simply go away just because we cannot see it. In fact, it is a bigger problem because we cannot see it and cannot collect it like we can surface oil.

That was BP's plan all along. Hide the oil. Hide the true depth of this disaster. Avoid the ugly photos and avoid paying for the damage they have really done. By keeping the oil hidden, they can create the illusion that the crisis is over once they plug the well. And the Obama team of failed bureaucrats led by Thad Allen can declare victory and run home.

Ask any Gulf fisherman. He will tell you that the problem is in the water and on the bottom. Yes, some of the toxic compounds in the oil dissipate and yes, some biological entities eat some of the oil. But none of that accounts for the level of toxic dispersant or the sheer volume of oil present in the water column. That same fisherman will tell you that he is concerned about next year's catch, if there is to be any. He is worried about the edibility of that catch, given the chemistry experiment that BP conducted in the Gulf with Obama's permission.

Plugging the hole is not the beginning of the end as so many media types are fond of saying. It is barely the end of the beginning. It will be years before the mess is cleared. Years for the Gulf to recover form the reckless and unchecked chemical pollution intentionally added. Years for the mess that the administration authorized to be cleaned up. EPA allowed the dispersant at Allen's insistence. NOAA continues to hedge on the amount or concentration of oil and dispersant. Obama's team continues to go with quick visuals during overflights of the are and BP is happy to go with all of that.

Here is an easy way to know it is bad - if BP and Thad Allen like it, it is probably bad for everyone else. This has been the way through this entire disaster. BP acts in its own interests and Thad Allen, on behalf of Obama, endorses it. Every time.

Once that well is plugged, they are all going home. Allen, BP, the media. All of them. And those who depend on the Gulf for a living will just have to figure it out. Because destroyed lives don't make good video and ruined family businesses don't make for dramatic headlines.

This will be Obama's "Mission Accomplished" moment. He will declare victory while the enemy - in this case the oil - remains out there. His administration and the rest of our government will walk away feeling good. Sadly, the folks that live there will still be fighting and pushing. They will know that the mission is barely started.

Get that "Mission Accomplished" banner ready now. It will make a much better visual than the truth.

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spenders, Tax Cutters and Liars. Oh My!

According to the US Constitution, Congress has the power to tax and spend. And they do know how to exercise those powers. It is a bipartisan activity, although the 2 parties will both happily lie to you about which they are doing more of. And both parties do plenty of both...and plenty of lying about it.

Now that it is time for this joke of a Congress to actually deal with the soon to expire Bush tax cuts, the flow of dishonesty and misdirection from all sides is just blinding. Start with the basic positions. Democrats want to pretend to end tax cuts for the "wealthiest Americans," so they can spend more and Republicans want to cut more taxes so they can pretend to spend less.

Let's start with the party in power. Seems fair - they are currently in charge of the Congressional honeypot. And the Democrats are in trouble on the tax issue. Seems that the recently former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee that actually has to initiate all tax laws (Article 1, Section 7) was himself apparently evading taxes like a Wall Street pro. Charlie Rangel is currently waiting for the full House to hear what amounts to a trial for the ethics violations he committed with his multiple residences, unpaid taxes on revenues and money he just "forgot" he had. In other words, false queen Nancy's hand chosen tax writer was actually a tax cheat. Oh, and a big fat liar.

This tosses a wrench into Pelosi's plan to raise taxes on high income folks and also raise taxes more deviously on everyone else. And that makes it almost impossible for her to keep handing out billion dollar gifts to get legislation passed. The House has gotten into the habit of simply waiving their own rules regarding spending. According to the rules, expenditures or tax cuts (they are actually the same thing) have to be paid for with an offsetting reduction in spending elsewhere. Incovenient.

Now that Rangel is no longer in charge of Ways and Means, false queen Nancy has to find another way to fund her corrupt empire of greed and nonsense. Seems that Rangel was willing to do whatever she wanted as long as he didn't have to own up to his own crimes. Remember, Pelosi kept him in that position for 2 years before finally moving him out.

This would normally be good news for Republicans, who believe that cutting taxes is the magic answer to everything. The GOP position on taxes versus spending was summed up best most recently by Mike Pence. When asked by legacy qualified interviewer Chris Wallace why the unemployment benefit extension was stalled, Pence said it had to be paid for with an offset in spending. That made sense, but Pence's next answer totally negated any logic momentarily present. Wallace asked the redoubtable Pence how extending the tax cuts would be paid for. This sent pence off into a long explanation of economics that I suspect Pence did not fully understand. When brought back down to Earth and pressed for a real answer, Pence said tax cuts pay for themselves in stimulus and job growth. And that is perhaps the lie of the millennium.

See, tax cuts are spending. the same Republicans who decried Obama's stimulus plan as unpaid for spending want to spend almost a trillion dollars on more tax cuts for high income folks. Now I have no problem with cutting taxes. None at all. However, I do have a problem with the false belief that tax cuts somehow stimulate anything and are not really spending. I have an even bigger problem with all of this targeted tax cut garbage.

Tax cuts are spending. I am saying this again because liars like Pence and Cantor can't seem to grasp this. A tax cut removes money from the government just like spending does. It costs someone. Just like spending. But the Republicans never seem to want to admit that. Just like Democrats never seem to want to admit that spending endlessly does not solve anything.

While Pence and company push to cut taxes to somehow magically increase revenue, Democrats are pushing to spend money to somehow magically save money. Only in Congress does this make any sense.

What those 535 boneheads should do is level the taxes to a single rate flat tax. No deductions, credits, exemptions or other trickery. Then they should simply only spend what they have. No deficit spending. If they need more, then let them raise taxes and justify it to the people. Same with the endless tax cuts. Tell us what programs and spending are getting cut to cover those tax breaks.

I am all for lower taxes and less spending. I think the estate tax is an obscenity and the capital gains tax is a deterrent to investing. I think the current multi-tiered tax structure with the bazillion deductions, credits and exemptions is stupid and ineffective. I fully support a one line flat tax with no breaks. Same rate for everyone. Imagine how easy it would be for business if they knew in advance exactly how much of each dollar was tax. Imagine the real dollar savings in paperwork alone.

Here in Florida, we know all about unwise tax cuts. Ask Marco Rubio - the current darling of the reduce taxes and not spending movement. As Florida Speaker, he pushed tax cuts through the legislature with no matching spending cuts. His attitude was to let the counties figure it out since he was leaving the Florida House anyway to run for US Senate. He knew he wouldn't have to deal with the fallout of his irresponsible and unpaid for tax cuts.

And that is exactly what spenders and tax cutters in Congress are doing now. Democrats keep spending in the belief that somehow all of it magically comes back. Republicans keep yelling for tax cuts in the belief that cutting revenue will somehow magically increase revenue. Do any of these morons have a working checkbook?

I think they all need to go. If they worked in private industry, they would have been fired long ago for incompetence and lying. Well, come November, we can do just that. Fire the whole stinking lot of them.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Avoiding the Fine

So now BP has a scheme to pump mud into the new cap to stop the oil flow. This after repeated delays in collecting oil via the new cap, which was the original plan. In case everyone - especially administration point man and chief BP toady - Thad Allen forgot, the idea was to get to tighter seal to stop the leakage, but never to stop the oil from being collected. At least that was the fiction BP kept putting out there.

The original plan called for 48 hours of leak testing and then a resumption of bringing the oil to the surface via a maze of new pipes and hoses. That was the plan. Well, we are now almost 7 days into that 48 hours and BP keeps convincing Allen that this was their plan all along. Sadly, Allen keeps going along with whatever lies they tell him. Seems the former admiral is just like his boss in the White House - lacking in any kind of spine to stand up to anyone about anything.

While Allen keeps extending the time they can pretend the well is sealed, BP is quietly moving in ships to collect 80,000 barrels per day if they have to. That is 20,000 more per day than the highest bogus estimate. And estimates are all we have since BP - with Allen's tacit endorsement - continues to refuse to allow any type of empirical measurement of the oil flow. Thus the plan to pump mud into the new cap.

Before I get into the why, let me say that this cap does not seal the well. There are leaks. Allen describes them as drips. He calls them insignificant. Well, they are significant enough to warrant dispersant. Thad Allen simply reads whatever BP hands him. The oil coming from the floor of the Gulf? Not this well, according to Allen. Actually according to BP as relayed by Thad Allen.

So why is BP so determined to prevent any measurement of the oil flow? Because any fine or penalty will be based on how much oil was spilled. The maximum fine is $4,300 per barrel if gross negligence is proven, and it does look like BP was amazingly negligent. As long as there are just estimates based on video and partial collection, then BP can fight any fine in court until the dinosaurs return. Without an empirical measurement, the fine is negotiable and subject to challenge.

It is not like the government has not ordered BP repeatedly to put instruments down there to measure the spill. They have. Multiple times. But Thad Allen has repeatedly let them off the hook. He has claimed that there is too much submersible traffic around the well, that it would slow the work of closing the well and so on. All of which are pure nonsense. BP knows exactly how much oil is coming out of that well. They knew on day one and they know today. The new cap actually has measurements for that. But Thad Allen is not interested in enforcing the orders of the government he pretends to work for.

In fact he has allowed BP to dictate this process all the way. Remember his promise of transparency? Never happened. Remember how he promised to get the flow rate measured. Never happened. And on and on. It was Thad Allen that green lighted the dispersant despite the EPA's order banning it. And it has been Thad Allen that has extended the "testing period" for the new cap repeatedly. In 24 hour increments.

If Allen had stuck to his word and forced BP to start collecting the oil, we would now know exactly how much oil was running hourly or daily. But BP does not want that to ever be known. To them that is the big secret and the big cover up. That flow rate number is their worst fear since it will determine the multi-billion dollar fine.

I thought Thad Allen was supposed to work for us. Obama put him there to represent the government. He is supposed to make sure that BP is following the rules. Instead, Obama and Allen allow BP to make the rules. And break them when it is convenient. Allen refers to him and BP as "us" and "we" but never them. He does not have our best interests at heart any more than any of BP's executives do.

In this regard, Thad Allen has failed. Just like the blowout preventer failed on the well itself. The very thing meant to protect us has turned out to be the very thing that is doing the damage. Another in a growing line of failed Obama appointees allowed to keep failing. And another that seems to think transparency is synonymous with secrecy.

When history writes this sad chapter, it will be called, "When government fails and people suffer."

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Racism Race

The last week or two have been nothing if not filled with crossing charges of racism. Oddly, none are correct and all are politically motivated and hurled by lazy politicians and pundits looking for a quick sound byte or ratings boost.

I will spare all of us (especially me) a recitation of the growing misuse of the accusations of racism that started over the 2008 election. We all watched and saw and know better. In a nutshell, supporters of Obama label everyone opposed to them as racists and opponents of Obama seize on every minor opportunity to point out racism among Obama's supporters. In other words, racism is the new corruption or sex scandal.

Recently, however, the charges have gotten way out of control and even further out of proportion to the reality.

The first salvo in this new standoff came from the NAACP. At their annual convention, they passed a resolution calling on the Tea Party to end racism in their ranks. OK. Except the Tea Party movement is not racist. At all. What the NAACP was overreacting to was the presence at some Tea Party rallies of a very few individuals who took the opportunity to put their racist message on a poster and join the rally. These were not actual Tea Party signs and not at all part of the Tea Party agenda.

To be fair, you can find racist messages at the NAACP convention, the Democratic and Republican conventions, probably even the Jewish Federation. None of these organizations - including the Tea Party - is racist. None. Yet somehow, the media decided to focus on those one or two at Tea Party rallies, thus branding lots of good folks unfairly. And the Tea Party organizers were already doing everything they could under law to remove those signs and messages.

The NAACP was asking them to do what they were already doing. An unnecessary action by an organization desperate for relevance. Most serious Tea Party folks just waved it off. Like them or not, the Tea Party movement is not about race. It is about the Constitution and smaller government.

Sadly, one responded. Tea Party Express founder and leader Mark Williams issued a nauseating racist screed on his blog (later removed) that among other things accused the NAACP of being racist for having the word "Colored" in its name. Williams later called it parody and sarcasm. It wasn't. Rightfully, the rest of the Tea Party leaders told Mr. Williams to go away. As they have told other race baiters to go away.

Not content with this, some on the far right started looking for a black person being racist to somehow embarrass the administration. And they thought they had one. An old tape of USDA official Shirley Sherrod (a black woman - sadly it matters in this context) speaking many years ago was edited to sound like she was denying white farmers full services. This was not the case, but too late for that.

The pundocracy swung into motion without any fact checking, which caused the Obama administration to panic before checking all the facts and they forced this woman to quit her job. Because they were afraid of the publicity. Even though there were no official complaints and in fact many good reviews of her work. The NAACP, still trying to recover from the Tea Party embarrassment jumped in and - with no fact checking again - condemned this woman as a racist.

As it turns out, she was not and her remarks, when viewed in totality are obviously not even vaguely racist. Too late, though. She had already been forced to resign while driving home. Seriously. And thus, the damage was already done. To make it worse, the NAACP - again looking rather bad - blamed conservative pundits and bloggers for their error. No mention that they never looked into the matter themselves or even bothered to call this woman. They didn't. They - just like the Obama White House - jumped to head off some bad PR and to look proactive.

Well, they just look stupid. All of them the NAACP, Williams, The White House, the pundits - all of them. None of them researched anything and none of them was honest about it. And why is this now the new battleground? Because Congress is moribund and intellectually bankrupt. How can I pin Congress for this? Easy.

If members of Congress would actually take on real issues and have real debates with real substance, then that would be what we all talked about. That would drive the pundits and press. Those would be the headlines. Since Congress has locked itself into this eternal partisan p***ing contest pointed solely at the next election, not much of substance happens and certainly nothing surprising.

Every debate is predictable, every vote countable days in advance along hard party lines. Every utterance of the self proclaimed leaders is a rerun of the day before and nothing ever really gets done. Both sides have conspired to derail public policy in favor of political gamesmanship. Since Congress has become a permanent campaign festival, the rest of the body politic follows suit. And as the extremes in Congress go further out on the ledge, so does the rest of the gang.

Thus, the American discourse has devolved - pretty much by an act of Congress - to a name calling spat not worthy of an elementary school playground. Until those 535 clowns are replaced by serious people, this idiocy and this "gotcha" strategy will rule the roost. I actually don't care about party or liberal/conservative. The only difference between Democrats and Republicans these days is whose picnics they attend.

I care about issues and those serious about actual governance. Those willing to set aside the permanent campaign and actually do the job they were elected to.

We can send a lot of them home for food on November 2. Come election day, do something really good for America and vote to fire your Congress Critter. The nation and world will be a better place for it.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Party Line Moronics

Yesterday, almost at the same time that BP announced that oil had stopped pouring into the Gulf for the first time in 3 months, a Congressional committee announced that the partisan trash would keep pouring into the nation unabated. The trash flow in question has to do with legislation revamping the horribly failed MMS. Something that literally every Congress Critter except Joe Barton agrees on publicly. But when it is time to actually go on the record with a vote, same old party line nonsense.

The bill in question is HR 3534, intended to divide MMS into three agencies with distinct responsibilities and reporting, prevent the corruption that was found to exist in the last administration and endorsed when Obama rehired the same corrupt failed team and to try to stem the flow (pun very much intended) between regulator and regulated by enacting a 2 year ban on going from regulator to oil company executive.

This is one of those pieces of legislation that should move right through without the partisan rancor. It is something that almost every member of Congress that has been interviewed for the last 90 days has called for. Not one member of Congress actually has a reason to oppose this.

It is something the American people want done rapidly. It is something overdue and overlooked by an administration that seems to rehire failures (see Obama economic team) and a dysfunctional Congress that only looks to the next election cycle.

Remember the hearings? With the exception of BP property Joe Barton, every member of that committee had sharp words for BP and even harsher words for the MMS. All except BP Joe pledged to reform the agency and made marvelous statements to that effect. But once the hearings were over and the cameras off, the partisan idiocy was firmly put back in place.

The legislation passed the committee on mostly straight party line, by a 27 to 21 vote. Yep, 21 members of this committee voted to reject cleaning up MMS. All Republicans, all automatically opposing any Democratic legislation. This bill could have been to rename an office building after Ronald Reagan and Republicans would oppose it as long as a Democrat is Speaker.

Democrats should not be giggling right now. They are just as bad if not worse, having spent years opposing all things when they were the minority in the House. This is not new at all. It is just worse than ever. And it is never about the actual legislation. This vote was not about MMS.

It was not about correcting one of the worst agencies our government has ever had. It was not about trying to actually regulate the drilling industry in a fair and effective way. It was not even about trying to prevent the next disaster. It sure as heck was not about you and me or the folks who live on the Gulf coast. Not even close.

The only thing those bought and paid for talking puppets in Congress care about is themselves and their precious 2 party system. The only thing these charlatans are focused on is the next election. And that pathetic blind ideology says to vote party line regardless of the issue. The goal is not to govern, but to ruin.

In this case, the minority, led by "Mr. Repeal" Boehner is going to vote no on everything that comes along on the simpleton's theory that they can then say they opposed the false queen Pelosi's majority. Boehner and his masters at the Republican Party seem to think that 'NO' is a good answer to everything Democrats propose. Even common sense stuff like fixing the failed regulatory agency that allowed BP to drill an unsafe well and pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

On the flip side, the majority led by the false queen seems to think that being the majority gives them the right and privilege to steam roll the minority and ignore their input. False queen Nancy's masters at the Democratic Party seem to think that passing legislation willy nilly because they can without regard for the public or the rest of Congress is a great idea.

Therein lies the problem. The tired, corrupt 2 party system is struggling to keep itself in command of all that happens. The differences between them are barely noticeable except at election time. All they care about, think about, worry about and work on is their own power base. All either party wants is to win the next election, and they will sell every one of us down the river to do so.

For them it is a grand game with the laws of this nation as their playing cards and us as chips to be tossed on the table. For them it is not about governing or the good of the people. It is not about the right thing, the wrong thing or the true thing. It is only about the winning thing.

Boehner and Pelosi are the same. 2 tired, corrupt politicians who have sold so much of themselves that they no longer have any actual persona. They have sold us out to their party leaders without a flinch. They have sold this nation out for the chance to win an election.

Well, come November, we can sell them out by voting them out. All of them Every last one of the House and those Senators that are up for election. Because that is the one thing these miserable excuses for leaders cannot sell out from under us. Our right to vote them away.

On November 2, let Pelosi, Boehner and the rest knows their services are no longer desired.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Settled But Not Resolved

Back on April 16th, before BP became the most hated corporation in America, the then most hated - Goldman Sachs - was sued by the SEC for fraud. I said then that Goldman would settle for very little money and not admit any wrongdoing.

Well guess what happened today? Financial Reform passed. And Goldman settled for $550 million and no admission of wrongdoing. They did admit to some errors in marketing, but no actual wrongdoing.

In other words, the administration's crack economic team accepted a fine that, in Goldman money, is the same as a traffic ticket and let them totally off the hook for any actual violations. In fact, Mary Schapiro's improved and more efficiently corrupt SEC pretty much acknowledged that Goldman played within the rules when they withheld important information from clients.

I knew it. I knew this administration wouldn't see it through. I knew Goldman would buy their way out of this. I knew the already failed economic team would let them off the hook.

This is why the Financial Reform bill is a waste of time and not needed. Because there is still zero appetite for actually enforcing the existing laws. Because all that will happen is Obama's pre-failed economic team will have more laws and regulations to not enforce and whole new agencies will be formed - probably headed by previously failed administrators - and they will also not enforce anything.

The settlement was predictable. It is how the SEC has operated for years and years. It is how almost all government regulation of large entities works. File some charges, hold a great press conference, wait 90 days and the quietly settle for a small fine and no actual wrongdoing.

And this administration obviously wants to follow in that tradition. Sure, we can send a CEO to prison for an umbrella stand, but prosecute a firm that was at the heart of the meltdown? Prosecute a firm that somehow profited from the meltdown? Nope. Not in the Hope and Change playbook.

See, it still comes back to the same song. Bernanke, Geithner, Schapiro and the rest are the same folks that brought you this meltdown recession. Why would they want to actually go to court where it might be revealed that their incompetence and laziness was a prime contributor to this mess. It was, after all, Geithner who saw to it that Goldman got paid every dime AIG owed when everyone else got bupkes. And it was Bernanke who granted a commercial bank charter on a Sunday with no waiting period to get Goldman their chunk of free TARP money. And Schapiro? She watched all of this unfold.

The last thing Obama's failed team wants is for this to be heard in a court of law. They cannot afford any sworn testimony as to their complicity in this mess. And who pays? Well, we do, of course. That $550 million is nothing when stacked next to the $13 billion Little Timmy Geithner and Benny Bernanke took from taxpayers to give to AIG to pay Goldman 100 cents on the dollar. Our money is paying the fine. And Schapiro endorses this - is even proud of it.

So the new financial reform bill? Pointless before it is law. The idea that new laws unenforced are any better than old laws unenforced is either a definition of insanity or a very well thought out scam. Either way, not good for us. Some promise repeal. Nonsense. Repeal just does not happen.

In 1994, Republicans took control of Congress on a promise to repeal the Brady Gun Control Act. Well, every word of Brady is still in place. Not even a change. Repeal is a lot harder to accomplish and is empty a promise as is Change. It sounds great to rally the troops, but it is not realistic.

Where is the Congress? They are pretending this is not even happening. Democrats are happily pointing to their shiny new law and declaring all problems magically solved. Republicans are pointing to the new law and raising money from Wall Street on the false promise of repealing it. In other words, same stuff, different day on the Hill.

We can change things a little by simply standing up on November 2 and voting the Congress out of office. One last great layoff of 470 or so corrupt Democrat-Republicans who have totally games the system to benefit themselves. On November 2, fire the stinking lot of them and let's get a real new team in place.

I am selling shirts with this campaign slogan to make my point and hopefully move some votes back to the reality side of the ledger.
As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Praeter Nos, Nimirum

That should be the official motto of the entire Congress. "Except For Us, Of Course," in Latin. Perhaps it would look best engraved into a 24 carat gold seal and then reproduced as diamond studded platinum lapel pins for each member of Congress. As a show of their serious concern over spending of course.

I wax sarcastic because I just spent more than a little time trying to find Congress' own budget online somewhere. I couldn't find it, which is not all that surprising, given their commitment to transparency and all, but I did find some intriguing numbers.

Let's start with how much these clowns earn annually. The base salary for a freshly purchased Member of Congress is $174,000. For which they work an average of 3.5 (three and one-half!) days a week for about 6 hours a day with a minimum of 12 weeks paid vacation and unlimited sick time. That does not include almost unlimited expenses and benefits that most of us will never see or imagine. Like free postage. The "leadership" does even better for themselves, adding anywhere between $20K and $50K to that base. Committee chairs get a little boost in the paycheck, too.

So, figuring 535 members at base salary plus the add ons for the various leaders and chairs gives us a total cost for these fairly poor employees to We the People of around $94 million. Figure the same or a little more in expenses and let's call it $200 million.

Congressional staff is not cheap. And the largesse there is truly bipartisan. Here is what some of them spent on staff in 2009. Most of this info is from LegiStorm.

The false queen, Nancy Pelosi spent $1.13 million on her staff. This does not include some of the permanent Speaker's staff.

Famed budget and tax cutter Eric Cantor spent $1.12 million. Yep, within a rounding error of Pelosi.

House Minority Leader John Boehner spent just under an even $1 million. By Congressional standards, this is cheap.

Renowned and unrepentant tax and spend maestro Henry Waxman spent $1.3 million topping even Pelosi.

On the Senate side, where everything costs more, just like at the Neiman end of the mall, Majority Leader Harry Reid spent $2.27 million.

Minority Leader and self proclaimed budget balancing spending cutter Mitch McConnell spent $2.5 million.

Just for fun, I looked up Obama's 2007 (has last full year in the Senate) staff expenditure and he spent a whopping $3 million. No surprise there. I think we all know about the president and spending other people's money.

So, 435 House staffs at around $800K per (average) and 100 Senate at $2 million per (average) gives us about $550 million.

We are already at three-fourths of a billion dollars and we have not even counted standing staff, maintenance on the Capitol and office buildings, printing (2,000 page bills cost real money to reproduce in accordance with the Rules), Capitol Hill Police, office space (district offices cost rent), furniture and supplies and the rest. It would not surprise me to learn that it costs us over $3 billion per year for Congress. And that is a huge waste.

$3 billion so that they have a sandbox in which to have their petty partisan squabbles. $3 billion per year so they have back rooms in which to make the dead of night deals that end up costing us in money, freedoms or both.

The Democrat-Republican partisan chokehold on the Congress has rendered it useless and ineffective. It does not matter which party is in charge. In 2006 (the last year Republicans had control) Cantor spent a million dollars on staff. To add insult to the injury of a useless Congress is that they are deficit spending not only on stuff that we know about, but a lot of it on themselves.

The tired, corrupt 2 party system that controls the Congress makes sure that members of Congress are well taken care of. In fact, they have it set up so that they get an annual pay raise unless they vote not to. Yep, you read it right. The pay raise is automatic for Congress (and therefore staff) unless they actively vote no. To get the raise all they need to do is nothing.

Of course, nothing is what they do best. Come November, we can cut the cost of this huge waste of our resources by voting the whole lot of them out. They are not looking out for us, not interested in us and sure as heck not listening to us. So let's do the only thing we can - vote them away. They will have to hear that.

Praeter Nos, Nimirum indeed.

As a capitalist and a free thinking person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Issues? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Issues.

As the mid-term campaign drones on and candidates of all stripe begin to actively advertise, it is apparent that none of them has any desire to actually run on issues and ideas. In fact, I am fairly comfortable saying that they are going to avoid any and all issues. They being both parties and their anointed candidates.

The Democrats recently unveiled an ad that uses Joe Barton's apology to BP and John Boeher's analogy of the recession to an ant as proof that the Republicans are out of touch. In this ad, there is not one idea, issue or thought that might tell us what Democrats think. Just smacking around the fools. We already know that Barton and Boehner are as useless as the rest of the Congress and exist only to obstruct. So?

Democrats fail to understand that people want to hear solutions not problems.

Republicans are just as bad. Palin recently unveiled an ad for her PAC that basically says a lot of Republican women are running for office. I believe she calls them "pink elephants." Whatever. What she does not do in this ad is mention where any of them (or her for that matter) stand on actual issues. Apparently, to the GOP, just running women for office is adequate. But we already know that there are many campaigns that feature female candidates. So?

Republicans, just like their donkey logoed counterparts, fail to understand that people want solutions, not symbolism.

To be fair, Obama started the symbolic train really rolling in 2008. And McCain jumped right on the empty symbol bus with him. Both ran campaigns almost devoid of actual ideas and solutions. Obama talked Health Care and such, but in vague generalities. McCain just talked.

Well, it is now 2 years later and both parties are even further along in their obvious quest to be as non-specific as possible.

Let me get very local as an example. Here in Broward County, Florida we have a county commission race between 2 well known corrupt career politicians - incumbent Sue Gunzberger and former State Senator Steve Geller. Both are spending huge sums of money to accuse the other of corruption and to defend themselves against those same accusations.

Geller charges that Gunzberger steered millions in county business to her late husband's company. This is actually accurate. In fact, there is an investigation underway into her actions as a commissioner. The investigation is based on 17 years of complaints from competitors that were denied any business. Gunzberger's defense? She claims they are using her late husband to attack her. Novel, but untrue.

Gunzberger charged that Geller was a lobbyist during his tenure as a State Senator and made over a million dollars as a lobbyist during that time. This is also true. Geller did actively lobby many cities in Florida on behalf of private companies while a senator. No revolving door for Geller. No door at all. One big cash collecting office. His financial statements bear out the money. His pathetic defense? Gunzberger is attacking him for making a living in the private sector.

Well, both are corrupt and both belong in a jail cell somewhere. Both openly profited from public service and both claim they were right and the other wrong. But neither has advanced one single idea for this county. Nothing about budget issues or crime or anything other than the pointless attacks and lying defenses.

When I said corrupt career politicians, I meant it. Neither has even lifted a finger for anyone except themselves. Geller wouldn't know an honest day's work if it bit him in his leg and Gunzberger has apparently never heard the phrase "conflict of interest." Yet, these are the only choices we get for that seat. Why?

Because nobody wanted to take on the lobbyists' choice of candidates. Nobody wanted to try to run against the millions these 2 corrupt-o-crats will spend to shame each other. As if they could be shamed. Seriously. One is hiding behind her dead husband doing the grieving widow act and the other calls being a lobbyist while an elected official the private sector.

And this is what we see across the country. Boxer-Fiorina: Failing US Senator versus failed former CEO. McCollum-Sink: failed Attorney General versus failed state CFO. Reid-Angle: Failed Senate Leader versus failed repeat candidate. And so on.

None of them can run on actual issues because none of them has the courage to stand for anything. None of them is adequately independent of the tired, corrupt 2 party system to even try. they are all just thralls waiting to be told what to say and what to think. Republicans are swaying back and forth between moderate conservative to far right and Democrats between moderate liberal to far left.

Both parties care nothing about issues or the people. In fact, they would prefer to avoid all issues all the time. It would be so much easier for them to just run on blind symbolic ideology. Of course, that is how we got this non-functioning Congress in the first place. And that is how we will continue to have a non-functional Congress. Because the courage of one's convictions is also the last thing that is tolerated by the parties.

Unless we vote the party hacks out of office and start picking candidates based on their issues and not their party, we are doomed to continue this endless cycle of waste and corruption. the 2 parties have become too comfortable and too lazy. They are identical in almost every way. Look just below the rhetoric and you will find very few differences or distinctions. It is as if they are putting on a show for our benefit and then running backstage to count the proceeds.

We have the power to end their little game. On November 2, vote out all incumbents. All of them. Replace the entire stinking lot. It cannot be worse than it is now.

As a capitalist and a free thinking person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oil By Any Other Name

This weekend brought reports that "tarballs" had shown up on Texas beaches. Tarballs. In other words, oil from the BP spill reached all the way to Texas. But the government and the media won't call it oil.

They use softer words: sheen, mousse, tarballs, patches, residue. All instead of the ominous and accurate "oil slick." Why would they do that? Well, the media generally takes its cues from the government and in this case, the government takes it cues from BP.

Look at the Texas case. As soon as reports of oil in Galveston had been made, the National Incident Commander, retired Coast Guard Commander Thad Allen, had his people issue a statement that the oil could not possible have reached Texas beaches via actual water currents. They claimed that it had to have been carried there by boats. Sure. Right. Boats picked up the oil and moved it to Texas. Not the Gulf currents. Not the still unmeasured oil gushing into the Gulf. Boats.

What does that statement tell us? It tells us that Thad Allen still takes his daily instructions from BP.

See, the last thing BP wants is another state to deal with. They (and Thad Allen) don't want the mess to get worse. The government is committed to putting a happy face on it. So not only won't they call it oil, but they also come up with these tortured theories to deny that the oil is spreading quickly and - thanks to the government's inability to stop the dispersant - invisibly underwater.

So they cal it all kinds of names. In Pensacola, the slick just offshore is called a "sheen." Really? In Alabama, it is called "patches of residue." Really? Off the Mississippi coast, it is called "mousse," and "emulsified oil." Seriously?

All of those are softer terms, dreamed up by some PR staff. It is more of the linguistic torment we face daily as our government continues to try to deceive us. The same government/Congress that calls pork barrel spending "an investment."

All of this is born and nurtured in the depths of the entrenched bureaucracy. The same bureaucracy that has existed for multiple administrations. The same folks that can't seem to process a simple claim in a timely manner and require a pile of forms just to get the form needed.

Want more examples of how the bureaucracy has made the oil spill worse than it needed to be?

Right off the top, there is that new oil collecting ship, the "A Whale," in the Gulf. It is a retrofitted tanker designed to collect upwards of 250,000 barrels of oil off the water per day. But it is not collecting anything. Seems that, even though it is fully tested and certified, Coast Guard and EPA are requiring more testing. Testing that requires smooth seas. And smooth seas have not been seen on over a week. So the ship sites relatively idle while petty bureaucrats generate paperwork and otherwise waste time and resources.


Three weeks ago, several oil collecting barges that had been Coast Guard approved were pulled out of service by the Coast Guard so that they could count life vests. You read that right. Oil was not collected so some pathetic bureaucrat could check a box on a from. And when then Admiral Allen was asked, he said he was looking into it.

Looking into it? As I recall, Allen was an admiral. He had the power to put those barges back on the water. Did he? Nope. He deferred to the bureaucracy. As he did with the barrier island project and the oil vacuums and every other item that has come along. It all goes to the bureaucracy. And the bureaucracy has zero interest in moving quickly or efficiently.

Why don't we yet have an accurate measure of the oil flow? Allen has asked BP to put measuring devices down there. Asked - not ordered. Obama formed a group of scientists to estimate the flow rate and they are begging for these instruments to be in place. BP cannot or will not put them there. And Allen says we cannot just do it ourselves. Apparently, in his and Obama's minds, "Commander," actually means requester.

Obviously BP does not want an accurate measure. They will have to pay a fine based on that number. Thus the endless delay of collecting any oil except by BP and their leaky system. And the bureaucracy loves delay.

NOAA spent weeks denying the existence of underwater oil. In fact, it was only a week ago that they admitted it. Why? Because the scientists that kept finding it were not approved to do that research. Then they set the insane standard of "collectible oil." Huh? Is that like collectible mercury? Just how much is collectible? Enough to kill fish or enough to fill a barrel? Well, the bureaucracy at NOAA was not interested in an actual standard.

EPA still has not enforced any standard on dispersant. Even though they ordered it stopped and then limited. Now they say the dispersant dissolves in water. Well, duh! That is on the manufacturer's data sheet. The same data sheet that says this stuff is poison. EPA is testing. Translation - the EPA bureaucrats are avoiding the matter, but spending a lot of time and money doing so.

Volunteers for beach clean up are being turned away by the bureaucrats because they are not certified. Apparently it is OK for them to live with the oil and breathe the fumes without any certifications, but they cannot clean their own beaches without government approval. OSHA bureaucrats are demanding masks and suits for clean up workers, but no such protection for residents who live with it all day every day.

Similarly volunteers for animal rescue are turned away. Again, the bureaucracy wins over expediency. And again, the National Incident Commander defers to the paperwork.

I thought Obama put Allen there to cut through the red tape. Seems not. And why should he? Obama consistently defers to the bureaucracy. Procedure over substance. Perhaps that should be the slogan of this administration. It seems that every single action needed is submitted to the bureaucracy. If you ask me, this president doesn't seem to understand that he can eliminate all of that with a phone call. And he obviously has not given Thad Allen any real authority. Just a cool title and a paycheck. Oh, and of course a bureaucracy of his own.

The endless creaton of newer, softer words for "oil slick," is just another function of Thad Allen and Obama's bureaucracy. An attempt to lessen the need to act quickly and the severity of the problem. It is the application of politically correct linguistics to a disaster that will affect generations. And it is wrong.

This administration should be ashamed of itself. Setting aside all of the other problems and issues, the Gulf Oil Disaster is the measure by which they will be judged. It is this president's major crisis and this president's major failure.

When the final chapters of this disaster are written, the report should be entitled, "Red Tape You Can Believe In."

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dividers Divided

As if the seemingly unbridgeable gap between Democrats and Republicans on every issue was not bad enough, the last couple of days have brought us infighting within the 2 tired and corrupt parties. Since they seem so determined to turn every single issue into a wedge issue for the November election, it seems somehow sadly fitting that they should now be fighting among themselves. After all there is no honor among thieves and apparently no loyalty among politicians.

I suppose since they are in power, we should look first at the messy little fight at the very top of the Democratic Party power players. This week saw the false queen of America, Nancy Pelosi, announce that she would support an amendment challenging Obama's strategy for Afghanistan. She wants to bring the troops home now. Today. Regardless of consequence or cost. Why?

Because the false queen has problems at home. It seems that her constituents are no longer happy that she lied to them about her knowledge of waterboarding or military action. It appears that her commitment to country and party only extends as far as the next opinion poll. So, in a rare act, the Speaker of the House announced that she would vote for his amendment despite the damage it might cause to Obama's efforts in Afghanistan. Nancy first, party second, country last.

Now that Obama and Pelosi have managed to turn the already poisonous atmosphere in Washington into an all out war for dominance, the false queen decides she is going to add some more divisiveness for her own benefit. Not that this was not a predictable act. It is not like Nancy was ever anyone's actual friend or actually loyal to anything other than her own ambitions. It is however a cowardly action, since she did it right before leaving town for a week. Now she can go home to her district and proclaim her opposition to a war she has supported for 9 years.

The Democrats have been a divided party forever. Samuel Clemens expressed it best when he said, "I am not a member of any organized party. I am a Democrat." Democrats are not known for orderly process or the lockstep that is (or was) the trademark of the Republican party. For good or bad, the Democrats cannot help but quibble among themselves. The false queen does not help matters nor does Obama himself. they perpetuate the fiction of bipartisanship while secretly doing everything they can to prevent it. And then they happily alienate the more moderate members of the party.

Think about it. A Democrat in the White House and a Dem controlled Congress and they still argue about everything. The House Dems want to go to the hard left extreme while the Senate Dems just want to protect their phony-baloney jobs. And Nancy, the false queen, foments this chaos to keep her power intact.

The GOP should be dancing in the streets over this except their own house is now even more divided than it already was. It has been very obvious that the last year has really divided the GOP. The hard conservatives of the party have taken to ousting anyone who is even vaguely moderate. They have been all about the extreme. And they have been a large contributor to the bitter partisan atmosphere in Washington that has pretty much stopped any kind of progress or recovery. The label, "Party of No," has been an accurate one.

But just this week, GOP Chairman Michael Steele, in his haste to score points against Democrats at any cost, called the war in Afghanistan "a war of Obama's choosing," and not one the US wanted or needs. This despite the fact that we have been there for 9 years and the fact that most Republicans think we need to send more troops there. Steele, who has been committing gaffes at the Biden level, has actually outdone himself. In his desire to smear Obama with anything and everything, he actually agreed with the false queen.

Most senior GOP types want him to resign. Not Karl Rove, but then again, Rove will say almost anything to preserve the facade of a united Republican party. I am sure Steele will step forward and say he misspoke. Sure. That is always a good one. Misspoke. The same way he misspoke when he called government a game in the title of his column on the GOP website. Steele's statement and the reaction from the GOP tells the story of the Party of No. They are so anxious to reject everything and anything this president proposes, they are actually on the verge of rejecting their own war.

The GOP is already a party divided. Between the Tea Party folks, the Palin folks and the mainstream Republicans, they are in the midst of an identity crisis. The phrase "Republican in Name Only" should tell that story. Apparently some Republicans want to tell other Republicans what they should think and say. Otherwise, they are tossed out of the club. As far as I can tell, any Republican that dares agree with Obama on anything, including the day of the week, is simply out. It does not mater what the issue is. Even on those issues where they agree, they oppose anyway.

And what does all of this mean to us, the long suffering and ignored people of America? Well, it means we are the pawns in their pathetic chess game. We are the people they all claim to represent, while ignoring us totally. What is means is that until one of both parties are gone and replaced, we will continue to have a dysfunctional government. We will continue to have a Congress that exists solely to get itself reelected. We will continue to be the victims of their little game.

Well, we don't have to be. In November, we can send them all home. Permanently. Democrats and Republicans need to be tossed out of office and replaced with pretty much anyone. Seriously. We could not do a lot worse. They may be playing the game, but we can end it on November 2.

As a capitalist and a free thinking person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Premature Regulation

Yesterday, the House of Non-Representatives passed the Financial Reform bill and sent it along to the Senate. The good news is that the Senate will not violate their vacation and laziness schedule to vote on this before the holiday weekend. And they should not vote on it at all. In fact, it should be "laid upon the table," to use Congress-speak.

This bill is too far out in front of the investigation of exactly what happened to cause the financial meltdown, or whatever we are calling it today. In fact, the actual investigation is just getting started. So the idea of new regulations and agencies is insane without any knowledge of what happened and, more importantly, what didn't happen.

Because what we already know did not happen was any kind of meaningful enforcement of existing regulation and law. We already know that Wall Street knew this. What we don't know is whether regulation already exists to deal with some of this. What we don't know is what existing agencies already had the authority and were too lazy or corrupt or both to use it.

As an example, I just heard Goldman Executives tell the investigating commission that they do not keep separate track of derivatives as compared to cash. Now I am not an expert on financial regulation, but it would seem to me that a publicly traded company would have to keep some kind of track of cash versus derivatives. It would also seem logical that they would want to internally track this stuff.

But there they sit, telling this commission that they don't know. For the last 6 months they have refused to provide answers to these questions. And therein lies the problem with the financial regulation bill.

The Congress has no idea what is needed. They can't, since the investigation is incomplete. For all those fools know, the bill is not needed. The new agencies are not needed and the new regulations are not needed. In fact, it is entirely possible that all that is needed is a kick in the pants of existing regulators.

And that is a problem that will haunt us regardless of this bill or any other new law. The same folks that brought you the meltdown/crisis/whatever are the same folks bringing you the solution in the form of this bill. And it is a bipartisan band of hacks and politicians. Since the existing regulations and laws were not enforced, why would these new ones be any better?

Well, look at who is pushing this farce.

Obama's economic team. Looks almost exactly like Bush's. The Senate approved all of those appointees even though they had obviously failed in their jobs. Why would they do that? To keep any real enforcement from happening. To avoid the existing laws. To prevent their friends from facing the consequences of their actions.

At the top we have little Timmy Geithner. The former New York Fed president and now Treasury Secretary who boldly ignored the excesses at the banks he was supposed to regulate and then led the charge to use tax dollars via AIG to cover them. He was a leading hand in the demise of Lehman, the gifting of Bear and the rest of the bad Sunday deals.

Next is Bernanke. The Fed Chairman. Recently reappointed. A man who is so totally out of touch with the actual world that he considers total secrecy to be transparency. The ultimate bank regulator that thinks his job is to protect the banks from us - the customers. He was the one that came up with the Maiden Lane vehicles that allowed the Fed to buy all of those toxic assets (mostly at an inflated par value) from the banks he failed to regulate.

For those that remember, this was what Helpless Hank Paulson's TARP was supposed to do. That is how the great and powerful Hank proposed it to Congress in 2008. Troubled Asset Relief Program. But once he had the money, he got together with his pals Geithner and Bernanke and simply handed it out. No strings, no questions. In fact, that trio chartered banks on Sundays just to be able to give them our billions.

And not one of them ever asked how it happened. Nor did the leadership on either side of the aisle in Congress. While the Republicans were griping about bailouts and such, they were also fastidiously avoiding any real investigation into what happened. The Democrats were even more anxious to avoid an investigation.

In Congress we had Frank and Dodd and Shelby and Cantor. Pelosi, Boehner, Reiid and McConnell. All proclaiming to have an answer and a way forward. But all actually doing everything they could to ignore their failures and their own culpability. Every one of them busy raking in the campaign dollars at the back door while shoving out tax dollars out the front door. All very interested in hiding the mess and covering up the failure.

Why? Because both sides had a hand in this mess. Because both parties ignored it so they could keep sucking in the campaign cash. Because, at the end of the day, both parties are wildly corrupt and wildly out of touch. They talk about "Main Street" but wouldn't know Main Street if they passed out drunk on it. The preferred tactic was to blame each other while avoiding any enforcement or investigation.

See, Congress is way more concerned about Citi and Goldman then about you or me. They barely know we exist. After all, we don't have lobbyist armies and millions to hand out. We can't buy them fancy dinners and cool gifts. We are only the voters who they like to try to fool every so often.

Those laws do exist. Goldman already faces civil prosecution under the existing law. Most of the chicanery was illegal then and still is without this new financial reform bill. The bill before the Senate is simply not needed. What is needed is a thorough investigation of not only Wall Street, but Washington. Both the regulated and the regulators.

Much like the oil spill, the agencies charged with preventing this stuff simply failed. They got too cozy with the companies they were supposed to be regulating. They ignored obvious violations. And the Congress ignored that to pass a series of bailouts and giveaways designed to cover up this monumental failure of government.

So table this stupid bill. Wait for the results of the commissions and investigators. Don't create new agencies that may not be needed. Enforce the existing laws. Push the lazy bureaucracy to actually do something.

To the president, fire those losers you stupidly rehired. They have already failed at least twice each. Try new people. People not part of the gamed system. At least try honest people.

And, most of all, to the Congress, please, please just stay on vacation. Permanently. You are not helping and you are not solving. And come November, we will do what we can to make those vacations lifelong.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us over and over, well......

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here: