Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A Turducken is a semi-boneless turkey that is stuffed with a deboned duck that is stuffed with a deboned chicken. A layer of Cajun dressing is placed in between each bird to create six flavorful layers of stuffing and poultry. This Cajun delicacy is definitely a crowd pleaser for a large group because it serves about 20 to 30 people.
I can hardly wait to try this bad boy!
Jobs are scarce, I see gas creeping back up, and I can't stand seeing Obama's face in the news -- constantly -- OMG at minimum for 4 years.
Two out of my six kids working and only one of them is financially stable.
Funny to watch Obama already backing down on all of his promises. Why, the man said anything he could to get elected. And his tongue was slick and it worked. But great speakers do not mean great leaders.
OK. Get off the obsession with the man.
Christmas, just eight days away. I still don't have my mom's gift sent. But I've got everything in a box.
Don't think I'm baking much in cookies. But I am making coconut cream pie, cheese cake, and pumpkin pie. One for me and one for YOU!
Let's get down on our knees and pray. Pray. Pray. God in His almighty wisdom has picked good and bad leaders for His reason.
GOD BLESS THE USA!!!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear
arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
My personal favorite
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.'
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
First campaign promise broken -- and Obama isn't even officially the president yet.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama may consider delaying a campaign promise - to roll back tax cuts on high-income Americans - as part of his economic recovery strategy, two aides said on Sunday.
David Axelrod, the Obama campaign strategist who was chosen to be a senior White House adviser, was asked if the tax cuts could be allowed to expire on schedule after tax year 2010 rather than being rolled back by legislation earlier. "Those considerations will be made," he said on "Fox News Sunday."
Bill Daley, an adviser to Obama and commerce secretary under former President Bill Clinton, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the 2010 scenario "looks more likely than not."
President George W. Bush's tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2010. After that they would revert to 2001 levels, when the top individual tax rate was 39.6 percent.
Obama has called for reducing taxes for the middle class, but requiring the wealthiest Americans to pay more than the current top rate of 35 percent.
His aides' comments suggest Obama may be wary of imposing any additional tax burden at a time of deep crisis, despite the outlook for record budget deficits and mounting national debt. He may also be seeking to bolster Republican support for his recovery measures.
"The main thing right now is to get this economic recovery package on the road, to get money in the pockets of the middle class, to get these projects going, to get America working again, and that's where we're going to be focused in January," Axelrod said.
Obama said on Saturday he was crafting an aggressive two-year stimulus plan to revive the economy, aiming to save 2.5 million jobs by January 2011 through projects including transportation infrastructure, school modernization and alternative energy.
Obama called in October for a $175 billion stimulus measure, but he suggested he was ready to push for a much larger package.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat who is part of the majority leadership team in the Senate, told ABC's "This Week" that an economic recovery package between $500 billion and $700 billion is needed and could be ready by the time Obama takes office on January 20.
"I think it has to be deep. In my view it has to be between five and seven hundred billion dollars," Schumer said.
(Additional reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I woke up with a deep fear in my heart related to the results of this election and his words gave me peace in my heart again.
Thank you bunches Therodman!
Love and peace,
Blogger therodman said...
We as God's people have no reason to fear. As someone already said, God is in control, and He is the one sitting on the throne of glory. We as kingdom citizens should have no fear, but faith and trust in God no matter who is the president. Obama winning does not mean God lost.
The Most High is the true ruler of all nations and He is the one who sets up rulers and takes down rulers according to Daniel 2:21--"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:" And also according to Romans 13:1--"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
Let us not be divided now, but come together as one people, especially the household of faith. Let us remember said that any nation divided against itself cannot stand. As far as Obama as president, let us remember the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-3
9--And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."
We as God's people must realize our citizenship is in the kingdom of God, but we live and operate in this present world. We have the name of Jesus and power of prayer to make change happen.
No president, whether it had been McCain or Obama can do nothing except the Lord allow them or give them the power as Jesus said to Pilate. John 19:11--" Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" So Obama can do nothing except the Lord allow him or gives him the power.
We as believers should have no fear, but true faith and love that casts out fear.
We now have to come to understand that God has a specific reason or reasons as to why He has set up Obama to be President of the United States of America. It is part of His overall plan and He foreknew this and now He will work it for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose--Romans 8:28-- "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
Obama's heart is in the hand of the Lord and according to Proverbs 21:1--The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will. We should pray and take great comfort in this scripture that God is going to take Obama's presidency and work it for the good of His people, the Church.
America is not cursed, we are blessed.
Could it possibly be unknown to us that the election of Obama is according to God's will for the purposes He has for this nation? I know for many this would be absurd and ridiculous. But let us ultimately remember we are not God, and He knows more than we and what He intends to do to accomplish His will in the earth. Let us remember what the Lord said in Isaiah 55:8,9--"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Lastly lets us remember our man is the man Christ Jesus and no matter what as he said in Matthew 28:20--"And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
Tami, thank you for your convictions, faith and beliefs. It is now time for you and the other ladies to pray more, but not in fear, but in faith in our Lord Jesus and His plans for this nation. We are admonished to pray for our leaders and Obama will need the prayers of the citizens of God's kingdom. Not prayers against him, but for him to be what the Lord desires. Let us remember what God has done for all us who are called Christians. He saved us and gave us a new heart, mind and spirit. Nothing is impossible with God and again America is blessed!
November 5, 2008 9:52 AM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Yeah, I guess I'll just chip in and help her pay for that mortgage and fill her gas tank -- mandatory by 'change' via payroll deduction if NObama gets elected!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Moi!!! At Tammy's baby shower I had snapped a picture of the two of us together and thought to myself, self, she's as big as you! So when the game started, and we all know the game I'm talking about. You know, where you guess how big the baby's momma is by cutting off a piece of string and wrapping it around the momma's belly. The one that's closest to the correct size wins the prize?!!? Well, when it came time for me guessing the size I just stood my big butt up, wrapped the string around my belly, and VOILA!!! I was off by about 2 inches. And I was the winner of the prize!
And by the look on Tammy's face she thought, self, am I really as big as she is? Ha ha ha ...
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The lucky stone is in El Pinon (a squiggly is over the n). You climb it and you have good luck. There are almost 700 steps to get to the top. I chose to languish at the bottom. Teehee. With a snake.
Oh, and there is a restaurant at the bottom of the stone where I had the best fish I've ever had in my life. Ever. Anywhere. It was cooked to perfection.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
October 14, 2008 - 13:08 ET
Senator John McCain
GLENN: We have Senator John McCain on with us now. Welcome, Senator, welcome to the program. How are you, sir?
SENATOR McCAIN: I'm just fine, Glenn. How are you?
GLENN: I'm very good. I noticed today, breaking news, that in Florida ACORN has registered Mickey Mouse. I'm wondering if you are going to go for the mouse vote.
SENATOR McCAIN: Well, frankly some people, having worked in congress for some period of time, I prefer Goofy. But the fact is this ACORN thing is something that's been done before in the 2004 elections and 2006 elections and other elections, and it needs a full and complete investigation, and Senator Obama's ties to ACORN need to be known to everybody as well.
GLENN: In the House and the Senate, the President signed it, a bill over the summer actually gives now 4% of our mortgages. If you sign a new mortgage, 4% goes to fund ACORN. How did this happen?
SENATOR McCAIN: The way these things happen, I don't know if you recall but when this first rescue plan or bailout bill, whichever one you call it, was first developed before I came back from Washington, ACORN was going to get something like 20% of the additional funds that would eventually be raised thanks to Chris Dodd and the Democrats who had protected Fannie and Freddie and have been advocates of this forcing banks to extend home loan mortgage money to people that couldn't afford to pay it back. That's one of the major, the major factors in this housing crisis which then, of course, led to this meltdown. People, the pressures, enormous pressure from congress, the Community Reinvestment Act which basically set corridors for lending money to people that couldn't afford to pay it back and mortgages which were sooner or later going to go under. Meanwhile their executives, as you know, took 10, 20, 30, $50 million in compensation. It's one of the great scandals in American history.
GLENN: I will tell you, Senator, I thank you for being on the right side of this issue in the past with Community Reinvestment Act. You have been fighting against Freddie and Fannie. You did have it right, and I look at some of the stuff that has gone on. It's absolutely criminal some of the stuff that has happened. You know, I look at Barney Frank. How is it that the people that were responsible for this are now leading the charge along with Barack Obama to say we're going to reshape America and we're going to provide the oversight for it?
SENATOR McCAIN: You know, I don't know how it happens. I don't know why because as you go back -- and actually the Wall Street Journal and a couple of others have carried their quotes about when there was a movement to try to rein in and reform Fannie and Freddie. "You can't do that, this is scandalous to try to..." amazing greed, political contributions. It's amazing. And some of us did stand up and propose legislation to fix this problem and it's a fact two years ago Senator Obama didn't lift a finger and he got the second most amount of money from Fannie and Freddie in campaign contributions than any senator in history outside of Senator Dodd who, as you know also had a very interesting mortgage. So the point is that Americans are angry, have every right to be angry, they are not able to stay in their homes and it's -- and meanwhile they believe that all we're doing is bailing out the institutions that were co-conspirators in this and that's why I've focused so hard and so much effort to try to get people to be allowed to renegotiate their mortgage so that they can stay in their homes because it was a housing crisis that started this issue as you know, Glenn, and it's going to be fixing the housing by finding a floor on the declining home prices and have them start up again is when our economy's going to start up again.
GLENN: But how is it -- you know, I saw a guy who I thought was right on the money on a lot, the way a lot of people feel that was at your rally, stood up and said, "I want you guys to stop the socialist."
SENATOR McCAIN: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Our country has been hijacked by socialists. So how are we ever going to find the floor on housing prices if the government, as you suggested, bail out the mortgages and buy up all of the bad mortgages? How do you find a floor when the floor's been artificially created by the government?
SENATOR McCAIN: Well, Glenn, the same way that they did in the Depression. There was a thing called a Home Ownership Loan Corporation. They went in, they said, okay, what's the value of your home, what's their mortgage payment you can make, people stayed in their homes, started making their mortgage payments and because there was interest rates associated with it, over a long period of time actually the government made a tiny bit of money. But the point is when someone is sure the value of their home, they are sure they can stay in their home, then they are going to start making those payments, et cetera. It's got to go along with economic recovery, creation of jobs and all those things. But if the value of homes keeps plummeting -- and one of the things you are going to bring up very legitimately, suppose the guy next door struggled, made his home mortgage payments at the level they are, paid his or her taxes and sees this good deal for the neighbor next door. Well, what happens to your home if the neighbor, the house next door is empty and vacant and deteriorating? Then the value of your home continues to decline.
Look, I admit this is radical treatment, but it seems to me that's better to go in and try and help the innocent bystander in this crisis than the institutions that caused the problem to start with. We bought up Fannie and Freddie, as you know. We're now going to pump $300 billion into these banks and other people who were co-conspirators in this, either knowingly or unknowingly. See my point? No?
GLENN: No, I see your point, and actually I was for the bailout at the beginning when it was three pages because I think you needed to do something but then I was with -- I was actually with you when you said it would be obscene for anybody to put pork in there and then we had --
SENATOR McCAIN: And they did.
GLENN: -- $150 billion in pork. But why did you sign it? Why didn't you stand up and say, no, it's obscene; the bailout is important but it's obscene?
SENATOR McCAIN: I came back and we got several solutions to put in to protect the taxpayer to give more options including insurance, to rein -- to put some restraints on CEO pay, to make several improvements in the bill. The stock market had just wiped out $1.2 trillion in American savings and pensions, et cetera. Hopefully this volatility will level off, and yesterday's incredible rebound in the market will stabilize the market. But to do nothing at that particular point, everybody I know told me was not the right thing to do, and I agree with them.
GLENN: I agree with you that we're facing something that we've never faced before. Are you concerned at all with the amount of money that's being pumped in? Are you concerned --
SENATOR McCAIN: I'm very concerned. I keep hearing --
GLENN: Are you concerned about a Weimar Republic situation in time if we don't stop this?
SENATOR McCAIN: I know this, that if something doesn't turn around, and again I go back to a whole lot of aspects of our financial system but what was the fact that lit the fire was home values and home loan mortgages and that has in my view. I think it depends on what we do, Glenn. If we do the right things for the American people, we don't continue this spending as Ronald Reagan used to say, like a drunken sailor, although that's an insult to drunken sailors, then remember part of the crisis that we were facing here is the out-of-control spending, the $10 trillion debt we're laying on future generations of Americans, the trillion dollars that we owe China. Look, it wasn't just the housing crisis at fault. It's the spending, out-of-control, unfunded debt that we're laying on future generations of Americans. So if we keep taxes low, we get the economy to grow, we stop the spending spree and not more and more just pouring money into the problem and writing everybody checks, the last package went into people's gas tank, right?
SENATOR McCAIN: So the point is if we get our fiscal house in order, emergency measures but then get back to good government the same way every family and every state government in America is supposed to do and that's live within our means, then I'm confident that the American worker, the American innovative system, Silicon Valleys all over this country, productivity, all of those things can lead us to a bright future. But it depends on what we do and do the right thing.
GLENN: Senator, we haven't spoken since you named Sarah Palin. We were on the Sarah Palin bandwagon, you know, months and months and months ago. I think she's fantastic. But I will tell you that I don't know if you've seen these. There are shirts now being sold that -- and excuse this -- but that say Sarah Palin is a C word, and I saw that. I was so outraged. I see that Larry Flynt is making an X-rated movie with a look-alike. Some of the bumper stickers that are out about her and yet nobody says anything about this, nobody seems to say anything about Florida Representative Hastings that says anybody toting and stripping moose don't care much about what they do with Jews and blacks, and we keep getting hammered, the conservatives keep getting hammered for being racist and sexist and everything else. It is an absolute outrage on what has been happening and how race is being used in this election. How does America survive when you try to have a decent dialogue with somebody and because you question their connections to Marxists, terrorists, or question even their policies, you're called a racist for it and yet they can get away with saying some of the most outrageous things ever?
SENATOR McCAIN: I'll leave that analysis to you but I would like to add one other point that is the most astounding that frankly I've seen in my political life and that was Congressman John Lewis who I admire, who I've written about. Yes.
SENATOR McCAIN: Who is an American hero, said that Sarah Palin and I were connected to segregation, to George Wallace and even mentioned the bombing of a church in Birmingham, you know, of a bombing in Birmingham where children were killed. That's the most outrageous and unacceptable statement I have ever heard in my life. Senator Obama has yet to repudiate that statement.
GLENN: Nor is he going to.
SENATOR McCAIN: John Lewis, I can't imagine why and how outrageous the statement was. But as importantly, every time there's been some comment or statement made by some idiot about Senator Obama questioning his patriotism or those kinds of things, we've directly repudiated it. Senator Obama has not repudiated John Lewis' remarks which are the most outrageous that I have ever seen in politics connecting Sarah Palin and me to the racist and segregationist policies of the 1960s, and I am astonished, I'm astonished that there's not been more of a reaction to it.
GLENN: Will you confront him with this tomorrow in the debate?
SENATOR McCAIN: If the opportunity comes up. But I made it very clear, I expect a repudiation and so do the American people.
GLENN: Okay. Senator, we look forward to your economic policy being released today and thank you very much for being on the program, sir.
SENATOR McCAIN: Thank you, Glenn. I always appreciate your great work. Talk to you soon. Bye.
GLENN: Thank you. Bye-bye.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I saw a quote earlier to the Hollywood's with their opinions and I loved it. They are clowns, and the clowns are likened to the court jesters of yesteryear, and are for entertainment purposes only. Ha ha ha ...
Check out this blog and look at the hate that is spewing out there for Sarah Palin. Seems to me when feelings get this stirred up there is jealousy in the works. I feel compelled to write her a letter of apology -- for how obscene people can be. What is the matter with people? Come on women! We've gone through too much to resort to and tolerate such tactics! And men! Do you call your wife or/and mother those kinds of names?
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Jerry works with me at the hospital and he had the remarkable chance to bring one of the best bands in the area to Sarah Palin's rally. What an opportunity! The band was able to play on a national stage. And boy did they save the day when Sarah was late. They kept the crowd fired up. Good job!
Monday, October 06, 2008
... was huge. My friend from the hospital, Carol, and I met at the rally at 10am. Sarah Palin wasn't scheduled to arrive until 3pm. The line was nuts. And there were over a 1000 people that couldn't go inside. Germain arena had reached capacity.
But on the other hand, I chatted and met a lot of people while waiting in line. Lots of like minded people, which was a lot of fun.
I met these women today while in line to get into the Germain Arena to see Sarah Palin, SW Florida. These women are from Cuba, currently living in the Miami area, and told me they knew very well what it was like to have a wolf in sheep's clothing making false promises. The following article explains more, much more.
Oh, and they're quite vocal about it. They have a site at www.moms4sarahpalin.blogspot.com
Propaganda Cuban Style
Before Fidel Castro was elected Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba. Things were bad under Batista and change was needed, but only the right change could produce peace, wealth and prosperity for Cuba.
Castro dismissed such assertions as nonsense. Instead of answering the questions surrounding his bad associations and past acts, Castro attacked the smears themselves with indignation and misinformation.
Obama's fight the smears campaign employs the same strategy Castro used to convince Cubans to elect him. Cuba has been paying the price of falling for Castro for over four decades. Turned out the "smears" about Castro were true. He is a communist.
Like Castro, Obama is mixing umbrage, half-truths and outright lies to weave a net of misinformation about his past deeds, projects and associations. He's hoping with the convenience of a web address we'll just "take his word for it" and not vet him.
* British View on Sarah Palin
London Daily Mail
A pistol-packin' Looby Loo: the Left's worst nightmare
Frank Sinatra would have got the joke. In the words of the great political philosopher, they all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round.
They're all laughing, too, at John McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. The usual suspects took one look at this pistol-packin' momma and reacted like John McEnroe to a disputed line call: you cannot be serious!
Certainly, the pick came, as the Americans say, out of left field. But Sarah Palin is centre stage now, and suddenly it's game on.
Stern, God-fearin', gun-totin' Sarah Palin. Will she get the last laugh?
At the very least, McCain has got a wonderful sense of mischief - a quality sadly lacking in most politicians.
The way the L eft, both here and in America , are contorting themselves is a joy to behold. Sarah Palin is every Guardianista's worst nightmare.
It's reminiscent of how they used to patronise Mrs Thatcher 30 years ago. What did this small-town girl know aboutanything?
How could any woman expect to run a country and raise a family? What does she know about foreign affairs?
Of course, they weren't saying that a woman couldn't be Prime Minister, you understand. Just not this woman.
Shirley Williams would have been fine, but this ghastly, lower middle- class Snobby Roberts woman from Grantham, of all places - AAARGH!
It's been hilarious watching the sisterhood tie themselves in knots over Sarah Palin.
They've been in full Glenda Slagg mode - dontcha just hate her, dontcha just love her?
On the one hand she's a feisty, capable woman shaking up the political establishment, while juggling a family and career. I don't know how she does it.
But on the other, she's a Godfearing, gun-totin', good ol' girl. She hunts, she fishes - she's a Republican, for goodness' sake.
Sarah Palin is every red-blooded redneck's fantasy figure, every randy schoolboy's Mrs Robinson. She could have stepped straight out of one of long-lost cousin Michael's Ripping Yarns.
Cheerleader, beauty queen, dominatrix of the Harper Valley PTA, mother of five, mayor, governor and now a heartbeat away from the Vice-Presidency.
You couldn't make her up. Law And Order's Fred Thompson, once a presidential candidate himself, hit the baby seal on the head when he said the Left were in a blind panic over what to do about Palin.
Joke's on you: John McCain, displaying a sense of mischief rare in politics, with his choice of Sarah Palin, surrounded by her family, as his running-mate
What they are doing is what they usually do when confronted with something which offends their world view - character assassination. Every 'liberal' newspaper and TV network has sent hatchet men north to Alaska to dig for the dirt beneath the tundra.
What they discovered is that 80 per cent of Alaskans think she's doing a great job.
A supermarket tabloid is claiming she had an affair, which she denies. Apart from that, the worst the scandal-hounds have come up with is that Palin, as governor, put pressure on a police chief to fire her former brother-in-law.
Gi ven that said brother-in-law had beaten up her sister and threatened to kill her father, I'd say that far from abusing her office, she showed considerable restraint. I'm surprised she didn't put a bullet in his head.
The big talking point is the pregnancy of Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol , who is soon to marry her boyfriend. That's what I call a shotgun wedding!
Still, it kills the wild rumour that Bristol is really the mother of Palin's Down's syndrome baby, Trig.
You've just got to like a woman who calls her son after a character in Only Fools And Horses. Although it's probably fair to assume she doesn't have a working knowledge of Cockney rhyming slang, otherwise her daughter would never have been christened Bristol .
When Palin talks about shattering the glass ceiling, the sisters are supposed to chee r - except most of them suspect her idea of shattering a glass ceiling would be with a both barrels blast from a 12-bore.
She epitomises the 'God and guns' mentality at which Barack Obama and his supporters sneer. They use 'small town' as a pejorative term. That's not how Middle America sees it.
John Mellencamp wrote his hit song Small Town as an ironic take on Hicksville , USA . He even performed it at an Obama rally earlier this year.
Back at you: Democrats say Sarah lacks the experience for the top job - but neither do Obama or Biden
But that hasn't stopped Middle Americans adopting it as an anthem. Mellencamp must be just as horrified as Springsteen was when Ronald Reagan purloined his anti-war Born In The USA as a campaign song.
It's not that the Americans don't do irony, as European 'sophisticates' always maintain.
It's just that sometimes, my dear, they don't give a damn. A good song is a good song - and to hell with the message.
Most Americans were born and raised in a small town. Her values are their values.
The mantra from the Obama camp is that she lacks the experience to be VP. In truth, she has more executive experience than either Obama or his Neil Kinnock-impersonator sidekick mate Joe Biden, neither of whom has ever run anything.
But, wail the sceptics, what about foreign affairs? Admittedly, Palin has never slagged off her country at a mass rally inBerlin. But Alaska 's next door to Russia . She's got more experience of dealing with Russians than anyone outside of corporate hospitality at Stamford Bridge .
Who is Putin more likely to be wary of - Barack 'we must negotiate with dictators' Obama, or Looby Loo packing heat?
To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington, I don't know what she does to the enemy, but she scares the life out of me.
Palin reminds me of the old joke about what's the difference between the IRA and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with the IRA.
What she does have in spades is experience of the energy industry - the number one concern right now. Palin would drill, drill and drill some more - polar bears or no polar bears. And when the oil companies got greedy, she imposed a windfall tax. Unlike Gordon Brown, who'd keep it, she gave every Alaskan a $1,200 rebate.
With all the hoop-la, it's easy to forget that she's running for Vice-President, not President. Not yet.
Sarah Palin: The next Margaret Thatcher? Time will tell...
That's what really frightens her condescending opponents. Not that we've a leg to stand on in Britain . We've got Harriet Harman a chewed fingernail away from the top job - and she 's never shot a moose in her life.
Remember, they all laughed at Margaret Thatcher.
But ho, ho, ho, who had the last laugh?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
U.S. Financial Crisis Enters New Phase
Government focused on stemming turmoil
By Dirk Hofschire, CFA
September 15, 2008
The U.S. financial crisis has entered a new, but perhaps necessary phase with the government balking at a Lehman Brothers bailout and focused on stemming turmoil. Here is a summary of recent market events (as of the morning of September 15, 2008) and what it means for investors.
Rapid share price declines for some major financial institutions made new actions necessary:
- Merrill Lynch agreed to be acquired by Bank of America
- Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer
- AIG and others scrambled to sell assets and shore-up balance sheets
- The federal government did not participate in a bail-out of Lehman Brothers
- The Fed expanded its emergency lending facilities
- Ten large banks created a $70 billion pool loan program to protect firms against near-term liquidity issues
Lessons from the past
Throughout the current credit crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have followed a blueprint that draws from many lessons learned during previous crises, including Japan's banking crisis in the 1990s and the Great Depression. Japan and the Great Depression -- both traumatizing economic catastrophes that lasted more than a decade -- provide plenty of examples of what policymakers should not do. For instance, in the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash, the Fed was slow to lower interest rates and the federal government slow to provide economic stimulus to prop up flagging demand. Bank failures proliferated, the financial system teetered near collapse and the U.S. economy experienced its worst economic downturn of the past century.
The lessons of what a government should do during a financial crisis can be grouped into three general categories of activities.
- The financial crisis must be prevented from spreading in a way that threatens the entire system with collapse.
- Aggregate demand should be bolstered to mitigate the negative impact of tighter credit and de-leveraging on the rest of the economy.
- Bad assets must be disposed of quickly, so that surviving financial institutions can recapitalize and be unencumbered in future lending, which is necessary for both the economy and the financial system to get back on their feet.
Government response so far: focused on crisis and demand
The government response to the 2007 credit crisis (including the Federal Reserve) has focused heavily on emergency measures to avert a systemic meltdown, as well as actions to prop up demand in the housing and consumer markets (see Exhibit 1, below). They include aggressive interest rate cuts and several hundred billions of dollars of credit facilities offered by the Federal Reserve, direct federal government management and support of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the stimulus package approved by Congress.
Source: FMRCo. (MARE)
All of these measures are therefore designed primarily to fulfill the first two items on the government response agenda -- avoiding systemic collapse and propping-up aggregate demand. They provide only indirect support, however, for recapitalizing the financial system. (See the chart How Write-Downs at a Financial Firm Can Influence Its Capital Base, below.)
Understanding the capital positions of U.S. financial firms
Massive write-downs of assets (such as securities with uncertain market value) can reduce the capital that allows financial institutions to provide credit to customers and businesses.
If the capital positions of a financial firm become negative, then the firm is technically insolvent. Capital is simply the difference between a firm's assets and liabilities, and the more capital a firm has the more credit it can provide to consumers and businesses, or use for other activities. With the massive asset write-downs of mortgages and other securities, capital has shrunk considerably for many U.S. financial firms making recent headlines. The Federal Reserve has taken many steps in an effort to inject liquidity into struggling financial institutions, including the emergency expansion of lending facilities on September 14, 2008. However, neither the Fed's nor the Treasury Department's actions, in and of themselves, directly recapitalize the financial system. Recapitalization occurs through retaining profits, issuing new shares or potentially through a direct capital infusion from the U.S. government (similar to the savings and loan bailout in 1989).
Moving to the next phase: need pain for gain
The third action step in the financial crisis playbook -- disposing of bad assets -- is somewhat at odds with the first two and is thus the most difficult balance to achieve. While preventing systemic collapse and boosting aggregate demand are positive actions by the government, the third involves writing off bad assets and allowing insolvent financial institutions to either be acquired or to fail.
If a government goes too far in protecting the system through "bail-outs" of financial companies, it can actually prolong the time it takes the system to recover. In Japan during the early 1990s, for example, officials did lower interest rates and moved to avoid a systemic collapse, but they allowed insolvent banks to survive and maintain large amounts of impaired assets on their balance sheets. As a result, the banking system only got worse, as lenders were saddled with massive amounts of bad loans, and their inability to make new loans had a severe impact on the economy. The Japanese financial system did not begin to recover until actions to remove bad loans began in the mid-to-late 1990s, with the system really not stabilizing for more than a decade after the onset of the crisis.
No "bear" rescue for Lehman; limits to government involvement
When the federal government decided not to provide rescue financing for an acquisition of Lehman Brothers, as it did with Bear Stearns in March, it entered a new phase of the credit crisis that is marked by more discriminate use of government support. Lehman was different than Bear for two main reasons. First, unlike Bear, Lehman's demise has been a possibility for months, which made a Lehman collapse much less of a threat to the overall financial system because other financial entities had time to plan for such an eventuality.* Second, if the systemic threat can indeed be contained, it was time to move to the phase of the clean-up marked by more asset write-downs and institutional failures -- a painful but necessary stage to ensure the government does not prop-up insolvent institutions in a manner that prolongs the crisis and impedes recovery (i.e. Japan).
The rationale for this latter phase of the crisis is that if the system itself is secure, healthy financial institutions will gobble up distressed firms and assets at attractive prices, allowing them to improve their own profitability. Bad assets that no one wants will be removed completely from the balance sheets of financial entities. Through this admittedly painful process, the healing will begin as financials regain their footing, investor confidence, and are able to recapitalize themselves through greater profitability and/or new share offerings.
Will it be enough?
Disposing of bad assets and allowing financial firm failures are a necessary part of restoring order to a financial system after a crisis. Whether they are sufficient depends on the speed and ability with which the surviving firms are able to recapitalize their balance sheets. Financial firms are struggling to recapitalize themselves because the two primary methods of building capital are severely challenged in the current environment. First, shrinking profits are constraining efforts to increase capital positions. Second, declining share prices are making it increasingly difficult to raise equity capital by issuing new shares to private investors.
The one thing the federal government has yet to do is use public funds to directly recapitalize the financial system. Much public assistance has been pledged, but things such as Federal Reserve rate cuts and lower mortgage lending rates from Fannie and Freddie take time to work through the system.
Directly injecting taxpayer money into the financial system has been done on previous occasions, most recently in 1989 during the savings and loan crisis. Back then, the Resolution Trust Corporation was created basically to put insolvent banks out of business, sell off their assets, and recapitalize (with taxpayer money) the healthier banks and lenders that remained solvent. The cost was significant (about 3% of GDP), but the program was generally successful in getting the banking system back on its feet. Today, understandably, the government has been reluctant to pledge public money to directly recapitalize the financial system. Whether it will be able to maintain that luxury will depend largely on how well financial institutions cope with the latest bout of turmoil.
The credit crisis is not over. The most recent unsettling events, including the disappearance of two of Wall Street's oldest and largest independent institutions, are part of a painful yet necessary process of healing. The government, through both the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, continues to be extremely active in providing liquidity to the financial markets, acting to boost housing demand, and committed to averting a financial system collapse. It is too fluid a situation to know how these latest developments will affect the trajectory of the economy and financial markets, and as a result it remains to be seen whether a larger taxpayer-funded effort will be necessary. However, as bad as the current headlines appear, the silver lining is that the government is acting to avoid the worst mistakes of the past, when policymakers prolonged credit crises into decade-long catastrophes.
(The Market Analysis, Research and Education (MARE) group, a unit of Fidelity Management & Research Co. (FMRCo.), provides timely analysis on developments in the financial markets.)
Read more analysis on the financial markets from MARE.
(Please e-mail any comments to Investor's Weekly at Investors.Weekly@fmr.com.)
Investment decisions should be based on an individual's own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.
* Perhaps the largest risk to the broader financial system posed by both Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers was based in their role as counterparties to various financial contracts, such as credit default swaps and other derivative transactions. If a counterparty is not able to meet its end of an agreement, the value of the contract becomes zero for both parties. Some others voiced concerns over the impact a Lehman bankruptcy would have on trading, since Lehman acted as a specialist (or market maker) in large parts of the securities markets. In order to prevent such circumstances, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, federal officials, and agents of various Wall Street financial institutions convened a special trading session on Sunday, September 14, 2008 for several hours to assuage these fears. During this window, financial institutions began transferring trades in which Lehman was involved to other parties, contingent on a bankruptcy filing by the end of the day. According to the ISDA, "This exercise is designed to mitigate counterparty credit risk through the establishment of offsetting positions with other market participants."
Monday, September 29, 2008
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Friday, September 26, 2008
A 16-acre corn maze near the town of Whitehouse, Ohio has been carved in Palin's likeness, complete with her familiar updo hairstyle and eyeglasses."