Mann to Man

The American Condition Politically, Culturally, Economically

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Location: Williamsburg, VA, United States

Raised in rural Greenbrier Co. WV, BS Chemistry WVU, PhD Chemistry, GA Tech,Chemistry Faculty, GA Tech, 1965-1969, Dir R&D BASF Fibers 1969-1982,Sr.Exec. R&D, Burlington Industries, 1982-1986,Owner/CEO Mann Industries (formerly BASF fibers)1988-1995, CEO/Owner The Mann Group Consultants, 1987-2009, wife Carol, daughters Leigh, Susan

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SOLYNDRA PIECE PUBLISHED TODAY

Click here: The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg Virginia > News > ESSAY: Is Solyndra deal a fraud?

No news for some of you. Thanks to those who helped. Since we wrote this, there has been some information creeping out re "going concern opinion." Randy McC provided information to support my position. There will now be a different focus on this case, I believe.....hope. However, it won't take with many who don't want to be informed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IMMIGRATION, WAR ON THE BORDER -- CALLED IT WAR 1 YEAR AGO

I wrote this piece more than a year ago in response to a writer who trivialized the immigration problem. Today, people are finally talking about "war on the border."

Immigration has become one of the major problems facing America. And, no longer can it be divorced from terrorism. Immigration is no longer a matter of the innocent Hispanic coming across the border for a job and a better life. It is much more complex than that. The political left wants amnesty and the voter bloc, the right focuses on walls and deportation. Both are wrong!

Illegal immigration, statutorily a misdemeanor, has become a major criminal issue because of drug and human trafficking and must be dealt with as such. Now there is a terrorist component that elevates it to a national security problem. Gangs are trivialized by a writer to whom I am responding! Has he no knowledge of the El Salvadoran Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) or the Mexican Mafia (“M”)? 
 
TERRORISM? Yes! Middle Easterners pay huge amounts of money to Mexican groups to make them over into “Mexicans,” teach them Spanish, acquire US visas for them and they pass through the border gates unmolested. I learned this while stranded in Mexico during the 9/11 tragedy. Other Latin American friends confirmed it later. I reported it to government agencies in 2001. It is now published information, but does anyone care? Apparently not the government! I also learned that HEZBOLLAH had a base in the South American “Triple Frontier,” the tri-border intersection of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.. This was finally reported by Telemundo and their parent, NBC News, in May 2007. Hezbollah states openly that their strategy is to attack the USA from this base if “anything happens to Iran.” But, they are not waiting. They are proactive. It's now reported that radicals from this base flow freely through Brazil into Mexico and illegally cross the border into the United States. Their identifying materials are found abandoned at the border. What responsible person can downplay this? Who can doubt their intent?

Over a few years, I researched the immigration issue and in 2008 published a treatise entitled “Immigration and Terrorism Beyond Walls.” It included a 24-point proposal for reform and was presented to President Bush. It included proposals to deal with the 12 to 20 million illegals already here.

Six million of those are reported to be here on expired visas! Names are on record, but who, in fact, are they? Where are they, what are their intentions? How many came here disguised as Hispanics, how many have found their way from the South American Triple Frontier to cross the borders of Arizona and other states? Surely, there must be sufficient numbers to infiltrate significant population areas of the USA. What happens next? When?

Irrespective of what the President, Secretary of Homeland Security and others declare, we are at war with terrorists. It's not too much of a stretch to think we will be at war, on the borders at least, with drug cartels that are rapidly taking over Mexico. I'll go so far as to say that any person in position of authority who abdicates his or her responsibility to deal with this issue is participating in the endangerment of every, American and is threatening national security and even sovereignty.

Finally, for anyone, including the president, to brand those who recognize the seriousness of the
immigration/terrorism issue as racists and those who deal with the problems forthrightly with the political straw man, “racial profiling,” is wrong and utterly irresponsible. Moreover, it is equally wrong to compare the current immigration issue to immigrants of the past. Some immigrants are similar, especially the Hispanic coming for a job, or the honest and good Middle Easterner looking for a better life, but many are not. Many undoubtedly are here to do harm. They actually tell us as much.

The fact is, we are in a fight for the heart and soul of the America that we have known and loved, the America that became the greatest nation on earth. Will she maintain her greatness? Not without major changes in policy and a purge of irresponsible policy makers. Radical? Think about it....objectively.

STATESMANSHIP -- WHERE HAS IT GONE?

While being awake much of the night, I couldn't relieve my mind of the image of President Obama's speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. Then it was replayed 1st thing this morning. It even eclipsed others such as his speech to students and his "If you love me...... plea. We, as mature and fair adults, can disagree with the philosophies and policies of Presidents and other government officials, but it is the American way to respect leaders. Key word is "leaders." But, we expect STATESMANSHIP even in disagreement. I asked a friend of the liberal persuasion a few days ago, "where have all the statesmen gone?" "Leaders?" We agreed there are few, perhaps none today.
I've traveled the globe and can assure you that people in foreign lands do not understand, nor do they respect, such a spectacle as the "Leader of the Free World" conducting himself as the president did with the CBC. Believe me, they see it immediately. If you doubt me, go into Latin America or Europe and see for yourselves. I won't even say here how friends in Latin America view our president.
Can you imagine how they characterize him when they expect statesman-like performance and they see such behavior as railing to a voter bloc. How would you (we) feel if we saw a foreign head of state doing the same? Of course, we do see them. But, who are they? You can name them same as I can.
Can anyone believe that FDR, Truman, IKE, Reagan or, as I think of it, any other president speaking so? Sadly, it is likely that some voters will like it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

RACISM, MORGAN FREEMAN AND MITCH MCCONNELL

Morgan Freeman is a fool for thinking objections to Obama's policies are racism-derived. We've discussed the idiocy of this assertion in earlier blogs.
However, Freeman gave a quote from Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, that I have railed about since I first heard it.  You'll remember his foolish (in fact, dumber than dirt!) comment that "Our goal is to make Obama a one-term president." Those who know me know that I have been on a rampage over how our people present themselves, the language they use and more. NO, I'm not justifying Freeman's idiocy, but I am also critical of the lack of wisdom of McConnell and those who spout off accordingly.
This one sounds innocuous to those who ignore the media and do not understand the arts and science (I mean the disingenuous nature) of politics these days. But, such sound bites always have a life of their own......long lives normally. The media make it so.

SOLYNDRA'S AUDITOR'S "GOING CONCERN" LETTER

Finally, it is being reported that Solyndra had a an auditor's negative "going concern" at least two weeks before Obama made his speech at the company headquarters. Still nobody is focusing on all of those who should be investigated. Why weren't reporters seeking this information day one??
Megan Kelly on Fox News just asked a financial consultant, who blew the whistle on "going concern" if he was and "anti-Obama person." How incredibly stupid and leading can a question be? Misleading! And, she is normally one of the better ones. Dumb today.
It is still likely that this issue will just go away and the "green folly" will go on,

SOME TRUTHS -- THE PRESIDENT, UNIONS, EDUCATORS, A DUNCE

NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin 2009 - It's Money & Power, Not 
As I listen to "President" OBAMA'S speeches to the Congressional Black Caucus demanding they get behind him, or his telling young people that "if they love him, support him," or his speech in front of the bridge that will fall if not given stimulus funds now ....... and more carnival barker type speeches, I am appalled, even though I expected little positive from him when I came out of retirement to go against him in 2008. And, I realize he will spend whatever amount of taxpayer money he wants to campaign for the next 14 months appealing to his base. I can understand the dependent class that doesn't work and never will, but there are some voter blocks that should be concerned about the decline of America that Obama is now accelerating rapidly, yet they are more committed to the "D," to their prejudices, and their power than to the nation. I think of colleges that have become havens for leftist political activism rather than places for educational freedom, creative thinking and learning. I think of the NEA and state teacher's unions. Do all of these "educators" really believe that they are educating our children and young adults? They are willing to ignore all data to the contrary to hold that opinion. SEE THE LINK ABOVE FOR SOME TRUTH. It's all about money and control re Bob Chanin or NEA. Appalling!
Then, I think of Richard Trumpka and his calling Tea Party people (really anyone who opposes his thuggery) "SOBS" and getting away with little to no criticism. Or, Maxine Waters telling all Tea Partiers to "go to hell." Real class? No. Intellectual bankruptcy and vacuous character.
Then, DNC Chair Wasserman-Shultz repeats for uncountable times how Obama saved the auto industry. He didn't, as written here earlier. He saved a good portion of the UAW while abrogating established bankruptcy law......yes, a lawyer-president! Said to be a constitutional lawyer. Sure!
I can understand some people, but others confound me.
A bit off course but apropos is a discussion I had with a neighbor who is a hard-line "D" but rails about no compromise from "Rs." He approached me recently and asserted, "We're fortunate to have a "brilliant" man like Bernanke at The Fed." That word "brilliant" again! I disagreed. He was incredulous.....how could I be so blind. He was really confused when I told him I was critical of Greenspan also and it upset my bankers substantially. He said, "but he was a Republican." I said, "Jack, do you know that The Fed is supposed to be non-political?"  But, he put me in perspective, my place, very quickly. He said he'd accept the opinion of his young daughter-in-law who has a recently minted PhD in public policy ------ from Ha'va'd. That explained it all. I agreed with him and he looked puzzled. Then I said, "Jack, a PhD from Harvard today surely trumps one from GA Tech, or even two, and 40 years of experience in the arena." He agreed by remaining silent....until he offered that the housing and financial meltdown of 2008 was all Bush's fault. AND THE CLINCHER...HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW SPEAKS FLUENT JAPANESE." Now I got it.
How does one compete with this superior logic? It's sickening, but all too real. With some apology for being so blunt, I stand by the truth.




 

SOLYNDRA -- OBAMA, ADVISERS, DOE, OTHERS SHOULD BE DEPOSED

As Solyndra's executives take the 5th and essentially transform a congressional hearing into a trial-like event, what immunizes Obama, as the chief promoter of stimulus funds to such projects, from being questioned? Surely, his advisers, VP Biden,  and DOE staff who made the decisions to grant $0.5 Billion to a failing company should be questioned.
Clearly, the Obama people did not make a decision based on sound financials. Political? Sure! Deny it if you like, but it is foolish to do so.
Also, it is ludicrous to make the argument that it all started under Bush. Is there no integrity in this administration or its acolytes? Available information says Bush administration officials recommended against granting the funds. What's new? Dishonesty abounds. It's also nothing less than repulsive to blame China, an obvious play on the weak-minded people who don't think for themselves or those who won't get real information from which to make decisions. Oh, but this is a major voter bloc for Obama.
What this crowd, and the precursor progressives from the '60s, has done for the once proud and honest Democrats of yesteryear is disgraceful. But, what is even more disgraceful is that so many people who could be expected to think and do better simply buy in because of loyalty to the "D."
Sure you can play tit-for-tat with "R,s" but it won't be productive toward solving any problem.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SOLYNDRA -- "GOING CONCERN" DOUBT WAS KNOWN

NOTE TO MY EDITOR FRIENDS IN A SISTER TRIBUNE PAPER TODAY


I've just read The DP piece on Solyndra from Tribune's Washington Bureau. With all due respect, I find it says nothing to inform readers of anything new or anything that is definitive. No analytical assessment of viability of Solyndra...... a necessary piece of information to invest money from any source. The operative issue of a "going concern" opinion from auditors is, again, ignored.

Also while the article in the link below has meaningful information re "going concern," a lawyer makes a compelling argument against viability using "burn rate" and other financials, even though he doesn't use the information very well. Using the numbers in the article suggests that Solyndra would have been declared nonviable by any objective analyst.This is a mess..............but more importantly, it may be an indicator of more boondoggles. Never did I think that, in my lifetime, I'd see people with so little talent running the nation. The politics of resolving philosophical differences must now be subordinated to trying to overcome gross incompetence. 
I offer my assessment with no apology.
Thanks to Randy M for the link


MEDIOCRITY IS BRED IN AMERICA

Today has rapidly become a day of frustration. Come to think of it, most days are now. I see and hear the president giving a rousing "campaign speech" on the jobs bill to the congressional black caucus, again saying nothing but saying it very dynamically. Many will love it and will vote for him again simply for that trait. Then I do my thing on the computer websites and each site I bring up has an ad for "The American Jobs Bill".... that isn't about jobs at all. Then I read economist Marc Gandi's projection that the "Jobs Bill" will produce 1.9 million jobs, but with absolutely no proof of how! I read that 14 million jobs are needed and am reminded that I used the exact same number in a speech a week ago and the audience looked skeptical, but didn't challenge me. Then, I read more on Zandi's "proclamation" and it says that ...... whoa, "jobs will be temporary for a year." Seems I wrote about that in this blog space and more.
Still trying to be productive, I submitted a piece to 3 friendly editors defining the real issue with Solyndra (not a "going concern" from the git-go) only to pick up a paper from The Tribune, for which they work, and read an article about Solyndra that ignores all essential analytical details -- 1/2 page of very little information. Oh, but my 3 friends do it better....they do! But, they didn't write the piece, the Washington Bureau did.
In my note to them I wrote that "where politics once dealt with resolving philosophical differences, now it's a battle to fight incompetence." And sadly, it starts with the Obama administration. And the day continued.
I saw David Plouffe being interviewed and realized "this is a major confidante and operative of Obama's. And that forces me to think more of mediocrity and Jay Carney's name is front and center of each brain lobe. Lord!!
Then Newt Gingrich is talking about the ineptitude of Chris Matthews, and he's on target, but then I think of Newt's performance on Meet the Press and I can't excuse him either. It didn't stop here!
Rick Perry is trying to defend his positions and not very articulately. Now, I'm reminded of a rant I've been on for some years about how "we express ourselves, the words and phrases we use, etc." I'm reminded of my speech last week when Perry's comment re Social Security being a Ponzi scheme was broached. I told the group that, "while there is truth to that, some truths should be expressed in more acceptable terms or left silent."  I told the audience that to scare seniors who depend on SS and then ask for their votes wasn't too different from telling a woman she's ugly then asking her for a date." Got laughs, but sadly true.
Some time ago, I contemplated writing a book entitled "Breeding Mediocrity In America," TOO LATE FOR THE TITLE. IT'S BRED!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SOLYNDRA "GOING CONCERN ISSUE"

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2010/03/29/daily85.html

This link is provided by Randy of CA, a friend from high school days, and a "thinking person." The "going concern" issue, to me, is the key to establishing the fraud in this scandal. There will, undoubtedly, be a big effort to minimize it, even cover it up, but we can only hope that the Solyndra affair is totally revealed for what it is and that it may lead to cleaning up more of the corruption that we know is in our government today.

The question, in my mind anyway, is "how many people really care?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SOLYNDRA – PROBABLE FRAUD ON MORE THAN ONE LEVEL

As promised, I will comment on the SOLYNDRA SCANDAL, yes scandal. In all likelihood, you've seen and heard the news stories, most of which are ignoring the obvious and some are simply shilling to obviate any claims of scandal to cover for the Obama administration.
Huffington Post AOL News, the MSNBC if the internet, incredibly bills the situation as “FULL OF SOUND AND FURY SIGNIFYING NOTHING.” They declare that $535 million out of a total of $39 Billion committed for so-called “green energy” is insignificant. They must be kidding! But they're not!This is a part of the media I wrote of in the analysis of Obama's reelection dynamics that will do anything to get him reelected. AOL paid $310M for this junk journalism! $535 million is a huge amount of money and only fools would minimize the magnitude and importance of it.

Chicago Tribune's John Kass says "it smells of Chicago City Hall with more zeros." He gets it right, but doesn't get the whole essence of it. The Washington Post, surprisingly, sees it as a “big deal” (at least refutes claims that it isn't) and even tries to defuse the claim that it is all China's fault. It surely isn't.

CEO Brian Harrison and others declaring they'll take the 5th makes writing this piece easier. Why? It makes more certain the assumption that they are guilty of fraud and/or would have to expose members of the Obama administration as complicit. They are, without doubt, guilty of something they don't want exposed.

The economics of the Solyndra deal are not mysterious. For a company of this size to be “burning capital” at a rate of more than $300 million per year with minimal sales and annual bottom line losses of nearly $200 million, is not the established company some touted it to be. These facts also make incredible, in fact invalid, their claims that Chinese competition caused their demise. From information now available it is almost certain they bet on the wrong technology, based on improper projections of raw material costs (silicon) as well as total costs of production. Solyndra was simply non-competitive. But, they sold a “bill of goods” to ignorant and/or dishonest government representatives from DOE, Obama's office and others. A big bill of deception! Fraud!

The claims that Chinese competitiveness cratered Solyndra just don't wash. No way. If Solyndra was non-competitive in 2011, they should have been projected as non-competitive in 2009. The only way this would not be known in 2009 would be to conceal information or give faulty projections (costs, sales). The excuse of unexpected drop in silicon prices isn't justification for the misstated economics. It is highly likely, Solyndra got favorable treatment from the Obama administration. Fraud!

Whatever the state of competitiveness, there had to be operating data, income statements, balance sheets, market analyses, sales projections and more that revealed the real financial condition of this company. And, what about audit reports?? It is highly unlikely, even impossible, that a credible audit report would have declared Solyndra a viable going concern. A negative “going concern opinion” would have negated any private equity deal.... as it should a government deal!
IGNORING such a negative "going concern opinion" strongly suggests factors other than economic analysis driving the deal. I suggest the “politics of Obama's green energy folly” at play. FRAUD! Hence, the officers taking the 5th amendment protection.

There can be little doubt of this. However, will it be exposed? Will truth be told? Will the guilty be prosecuted? Will the Obama administration be exposed? If the corrupt Holder/Obama Justice Department drives the case, NO. If Congress can get a grasp of the situation, MAYBE. This is a case for an independent council.
However, with the people running government today, INDEPENDENT COUNCIL IS AN OXYMORON. We deserve better. Hope I am wrong, but probably not.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

EUROPE -- MY CAUTION IN A PREVIOUS POST

In a previous post, I suggested that referring to the administration's Socialist policies as European Socialism should be avoided. Many people, who have not experienced the reality of today's Europe, reflexively think that anything European is romantic and superior to America. These people have no idea about ravages of socialism in Europe. Multiculturalism has contributed additional societal and economic degradation. As one who has spent much time in Europe and worked with people in most nations, I find the Europe I once admired is now tragically in an advanced stage of cultural and economic decay. A visit to Versailles or Leeds/Manchester and more will open eyes. The link below out of The WSJ today is revealing. Even non-subscribers to WSJ should be able to access it once.
Special note: In the 80s and 90s, even German companies, my competitors, sought to represent my products in Germany because they "could not run a 3rd shift" [with native workers]. Their vaunted work ethic was gone. In spite of that Germany is the most vital of European nations today. Why do so many in government  here try to emulate Europe? Start with ignorance!

2012 ELECTION -- OBAMA'S BASE (ADDED MEDIA EFFECT)

OBAMA – REELECTION DYNAMICS
While polls and commentary indicate that President Obama's reelection prospects are in jeopardy, there are factors that must be considered, but seemingly aren't, in any analysis of the reelection dynamics. In my opinion, some of his advantages are “fixed” with little probability for change. However, some of his advantages can be minimized with correct strategies. The 2012 election will be the most momentous one since 1860. The essence of “traditional America” is at stake. She is in critical condition.
  • THE GENERAL ELECTORATE: About 30-32% will vote for any candidate with a D behind his/her name. Witness Alvin Greene (D), with absolutely no qualifications, in South Carolina in the last senatorial election. Many will simply respond to talking points provided to them. I see it in spades in our area. These voters don't look for qualifications. Obama is an example. It's not too far-fetched to say this group would vote for a two-towed sloth if he were billed as T. T. Sloth (D).
  • SPECIFIC VOTER BLOCS: Some of these will overlap with the 30%, others are additive.
Blacks: 95% voted for Obama and will do so again. About 20% of these are additive.
Hispanics: 67% voted for Obama in 2008. I've expected that number to grow to 70+%,
although there are some recent polls suggesting 70% is high. I will stick to my 70%
until more evidence is available. I know Hispanics very well. This 70% could be
reversed, but ineptitude on the part of Republicans prevent it. I've published on this. It's
not about amnesty either! Additive.
-- Muslims: 98% voted for Obama in 2008 and are likely to in 2012. Additive to the 30%.
-- Independents: Many are not independent at all. Many are contrarians and vote on
single issues. I've found that many do not think of long-range consequences of electing a
candidate. Their votes are most often not strategic. Yes, I know this goes against
prevailing thinking. Most do not have a core philosophy.
-- Unions: Vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, especially their patron saint, Obama.
      • Jews: 80% normally vote Democrat. True, in spite of the NY 9th District vote and polls showing some will vote against Obama, as should be expected. Not additive. 
        Trial lawyers and their vast network: Nearly 90 % of their money goes to Democrats. So will their votes.
      • Wall Street money center and investment bankers: YES. 80% of their votes and financial contributions have gone to Democrats for years. Obama got 80% from most in 2008. Partially additive to the 30%.
      • Entertainment Industry: 80% (?). Anyone have a better number?

        Teachers at all levels. 60-70%.
Then there is the new special class the Democrats have dubbed “SURGE VOTERS.” This group, in all likelihood, elected Obama in 2008. They are described by their patron saints as voters who never voted before. They can be described more accurately as dependent class who never worked and never will. These are some of the ones Obama “organized” in his only “job”of note. I would project that close to 100% of these will vote for Obama....some may not vote. There will be loads of “walking around street money” for these voters. This group is now an important voter bloc and they could care less about America and the national condition. It's all about what they're promised.They're identified by how they wear their pants!
Yes, these are constituents of the once proud and honorable Democratic Party, the party of most of the people around me as I grew up in rural Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

FUNDING: The money flowing to Obama in 2012 will be will be enormous. Predictions of $1 Billion will probably be low.
UNIONS in total are likely to contribute up to $300 million. Yes, I know prognosticators say up to $200 million. They will be wrong. It will be twice the $160 million of 2008.
TRIAL LAWYERS AND THEIR NETWORK will contribute at least $200 million, double their nearly $100 of 2008, maybe more.
Thus, at least 50% of the projected $1 Billion will come from two sectors.
WALL STREET and others in the economy-controlling financial services industry will contribute $100+ million in spite of all the rhetoric about Obama reforming wall street. Hogwash!
THE BILLIONAIRE PROGRESSIVE “SOCIETY”(my word) will infuse whatever is necessary, as they did in 2008. Soros, Peter Lewis, Buffett and the rest who staked themselves out in 2000 saying they would spend whatever required to defeat George Bush. They now have their man and they will do all necessary to keep him. They are the Edgar Bergens to Charley McCarthy. $100-200 million is likely.
INTERNET FUNDRAISING is the forte of Obama's network. Undoubtedly they will do as well, and probably more, as in 2008.... How many 100 millions. You project it. It'll get him to $1 billion.
PERSONAL AND GROUP FUNDRAISERS (TYPICAL ONES): Anyone want to project a number. If Obama can raise $30-60 million in a single event, the sky is the limit.
I'LL INCLUDE THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN THIS GROUP, but they are special. They will raise as much money as they need to raise.
FOREIGN MONEY: The extent of this influence will not be known, but it will be large. I won't try to estimate it, but if anyone doubts it will be large, I suggest you subdue the notion.
I could go on, and may add to this, but I hope this gets attention. Critique is welcome! I'd like to be wrong.
THE MEDIA EFFECT: I neglected to add what can arguably a "fixed" parameter in electing Obama, the media and much of the print press. They will relentlessly push the positives of Obama, even making them up as they go.



Monday, September 19, 2011

THE TRIBUNE ASKS OBAMA NOT TO RUN IN 2012

I sent The Tribune papers my request for Obama to "make major changes, including not running in 2012, or resign now"! They didn't publish my letter to Obama, but they think the same way I do/did. Maybe I catalyzed their thinking. The Washington Post did that to me a couple of years, after inviting  me to write a competitive piece -- not honest brokers, these people.
However, The Tribune goes a step beyond in proposing Hillary Clinton. I've seen and heard enough of Hillary!

ANOTHER WORD GAME -- COVER-UP FOR TAX INCREASE

Regarding the post on use of words and phrases to conceal true meanings, definitions and intent, how about "THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT" that hasn't a prayer to create the jobs needed? And, the "President" knows it, but hopes the economy will grow and cover for him. No problema! If he gets congressional approval, and the economy doesn't recover, he will have gotten the tax increases he wants.
I was surprised by a statement attributed to Larry Summers saying the economic team was "home alone" with no adult supervision....[from the president.] What a dysfunctional administration, and it was all predictable in 2008.

WORDS AND PHRASES ARE IMPORTANT

As I prepare to write about Solyndra, LightSquared and other fraud, I am reminded of the ever-increasing use of words and phrases to cover true meanings. Coincidentally, as I write, a reporter is talking about the Solyndra scandal, that isn't, of course, a scandal at all. She calls it "crony capitalism." It so happens this would have been my first example. In fact, it is a scandal and fraud of enormous proportions. It's a payoff! Can any of you readers comprehend how a company can "burn" $0.5+ Billion of taxpayer money in about two years.....and get nothing for it except bankruptcy?? "Burn rate" is a term brought to prominence in the dot com boom of the 90s when billions of dollars were "burned" to yield nothing.
A few know what "crony capitalism" means, but do the masses? Call it what it is. Fraud!
Then there is the ever-increasing evidence that Obama, and those surrounding him, have a socialist orientation. I suppose I was the first here locally to refer to Obama, in the press, as being largely undefined. Identifiable traits were only his speaking ability (prompted) and his socialist bent. Now, those who dare to characterize him and his people so, modify the characterization to European Socialism. Not Marxism, not fascism, not tyrannical totalitarianism.....no. Parsing? Not at all. Many people look at anything European as being good, even superior. To those of us who have been around the world a bit, we know this is a false impression. This  may not mean to many readers what it means to me, but deception and dissembling have become the norm. It's wrong and a part of America's decline. Sad!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

COMPROMISE -- FALSE CHOICE AND FALLACY

We are being bombarded (brainwashed?) by the claim that Obama cannot get opponents to "COMPROMISE."
Think about this. With some issues compromise may be appropriate. But, with most issues, absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad should prevail. Curtailing the massive spending beyond the capability of the national economy to provide jobs and commensurate tax revenue, with life-threatening indebtedness the result, is not an issue amenable to compromise. Think of it as two people in an automobile speeding toward a cliff, the driver going ever faster and the passenger urging to STOP! Driver says, "no deal, I'm going 100." Passenger has two options. Take control of the automobile or "compromise." So, they compromise to 50 mph ----- and die but more slowly. Such is the US budget and debt situation. Compromise is a false choice at best. When will Obama and his compliant congress, voters, pundits and others learn? There's no evidence they will.

OBAMA'S PRESIDENCY-- HOW DYSFUNCTIONAL CAN IT GET?

The more I see President Obama, the narcissistic showman, the more obvious it is just how far “over his head” and how detached from reality he is – not a leader at all, rather Campaigner-in-Chief. As he campaigns under the auspices of promoting his “jobs bill” spending taxpayer money, it is reminiscent of his empty, but forceful, rhetoric of 2008 – the one trait that got him elected by a non-discerning electorate (trying to be kind here). His comment to an audience of young people recently, “if you love me ….. pass this bill” was the worst of narcissism and immaturity – totally absent presidential character, which has become the norm. Of course, the bad news is that so many non-discerning voters will admire him only for his rhetorical performance with total disregard for the emptiness of the rhetoric. That's what such a large part of our population, such a large voting bloc, has become. It's this part of the population that allows a person with nothing to define him to be elected President of the United States and to prove, by his policies, that the lack of definition was real. All of America suffers the consequences of these non-thinking voters, many of whom still love his rhetoric and many are still looking for what they think is there.They won't find what they want but will rationalize anyway.

Surely, some voters have seen the reality, but how many? Tomorrow, I will post an analysis of what will make it difficult to defeat Obama in 2012. The heart and soul of traditional America are in the balance. Mediocrity has been bred and is being nurtured. National inferiority follows as surely as winter follows autumn. Sad but true!

In the meantime, we will watch Obama “sell” his bill (that is not even filed yet to my knowledge) with the same expectations as the first failed stimulus effort. In that first stimulus, it is all but certain that Obama and most of his economic advisers anticipated an economic recovery that could be played as a success of their stimulus. They didn't understand the economy. So, they justified use of massive taxpayer funds to pay off so many of his voter base, unions of all categories, so-called “green energy” fly-by-night companies, and Obama contributors to name a few, and waited for the recovery that would “justify” their actions. It was wrong-headed and it proved a failure of huge proportions, but they know many voters will not even recognize the failure. The shills and pundits will cover for him.
SO, THEY DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME. Meanwhile the structural problems in the economy remain and no significant recovery can be expected. The nation needs about 14 million jobs to fill the unemployment void, 10 million to get to some historic level of unemployment. It is not likely to happen. Where are the jobs going to come from? Green energy? No way. If any jobs are developed by the proposed expenditures under the so-called “Jobs bill,” they will be temporary. What can be done with the structure of the economy to make the jobs permanent? FDR had WWII, Eisenhower had the after-war economic growth. What does the nation have now? Sorry for the pessimistic view, but in this case, pessimism and reality equate.

I will address Solyndra, LightSquared and more in a day or two. There is much more to these stories than we are being told.

In the meantime, think about American University's political prognosticator, Allan Lichtman, predicting on MSNBC a few days ago that Obama would be elected, in part, because he “had no scandals” to plague him. Think about it. Were we being conditioned for the downplaying that is now underway? Maybe! Even likely!
Joe Mann, September 18, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CARVILLE -- OBAMA SHOULD FIRE SOME PEOPLE

Never thought I would agree with Carville. Amazing how people can turn when they are outside the loop of power. 
Carville's suggestions are similar to mine in post of August 25 asking Obama to make changes or resign. Carville stops short, however, by not declaring that all czars and other appointed heads of agencies and special functions should be fired. This won't happen, of course, but if there was more publicity regarding the recommendations, perhaps it would get attention of some people. But, I forget again that a big percentage of his voting blocks don't give a hoot and another portion will vote for anyone with a D behind his/her name.....even a Two-Toed Sloth. I can see the billing now.....2TSloth(D). Bob Beckel, Alan Colmes, Leslie Marshall, Debbie Wassermann Shultz and other shills would explain how old 2T is not a real sloth, rather a "BRILLIANT" progressive masquerading. More and more I realize that "brilliance" for the progressives starts at whatever IQ level they need...around 70 qualifies it would seem. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

OBAMA AND THE JEWISH VOTE


 
The vote to replace Anthony Wiener with Turner in NY along with this op-ed suggests that my opinion about the Jewish vote continuing to be for Obama may be questionable. I'll have to see the results of a presidential vote to believe it. However, an interesting number in this op-ed showing 64% of typical Jewish contributors giving to Obama comports with what a Jewish friend told me was a recent poll showing 67% of Jews favoring Obama.
Senor does what all writers should do...give facts for justification of opinions. The left almost never uses real hard facts, I have learned disappointingly.
Obama is both abjectly ignorant, as his comments show, and biased against Israel in spite of his apologists downplaying it. The man is so ignorant on so many levels!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DUMB, DUMBER & DISHONEST -- OBAMA, BOEING AND NLRB

The story of Obama the NLRB and Boeing is not a new story, but each time I hear an acolyte, apologist, shill or just an ignorant person (Leslie Marshall most recently) try to defend NLRB's position in trying to deny Boeing the right too operate their manufacturing plant in South Carolina, I find it incomprehensible. That is, except for the fact that I have learned to expect the worst from this administration. The incomprehensible had now become the expected!
How can anyone be so stupid, if not stupid then dishonest, to say his major focus is to create jobs and concurrently  have a goal to increase exports by 50% by 2015 and have his shill (Craig) in the NLRB prevent operations of an airplane plant that would employ 3,800 now and more later??? Our major exports are airplanes. It's even worse when they also rant about China when China is likely to be a big competitor in building airplanes. Yes, Mr. President, it is entirely possible that you are setting up China to help them do what they already want to do. I'm again reminded that he is "brilliant" -- by proclamation but not by demonstration.
But he's in the company of many more.
How many people even think about how many jobs, and whole industries, unions have destroyed? How many care??

Monday, September 12, 2011

OBAMA'S TAX PLAN PROMOTED AS A JOBS PLAN

Can someone explain to me the logic of Republicans not calling Warren Buffett's bluff and force Obama to tailor his tax plan to satisfy the claims of Buffett and other of his shills? Of course, it may be that they think they must stonewall the whole deal with no confidence they can control the scope of the bill. May be true, but their claims of thwarting job creation by taxing Buffett-like characters is not convincing. I think the should take the issue aggressively to Obama and make him feel the tip of the spear as much as possible. 
Help me understand!

Also, is anyone else as angry as I am that no news agency is focusing on the illegitimacy and arrogance of Obama's frequent demand of Congress to "pass this bill" when there is no bill. Is it now so that healthcare, a la Pelosi, is a model for passing a bill so we can find out what is in it?
 


 

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

 REFLECTIONS OF BEING STRANDED OUT OF THE USA

It was a beautiful September morning in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, as it was in New York. I had enjoyed my favorite Mexican breakfast, machaca nortena (eggs & dried beef, jalapenos, more) and papaya. I bade adios to the smiling breakfast cook and waiter, both of whom always made me feel it was very important to serve me. I checked out of the hotel, chatted with the friendly manager, who asked me if I'd return in one week as usual. No, maybe two to three weeks. After going home, I had to go to Scotland to negotiate a contract with SGL Carbon to convert Mann Industries-Grupo Cydsa carbon fiber precursor into carbon fiber for aircraft brakes. Our recent work had been very successful, the outlook positive. The day was good! Until I entered the waiting car and my driver/engineer said a “small plane had hit a New York Trade Center tower”. Soon, as we drove the 25 minutes to our office and factory, another plane hit the building. I said to Victor, “this is no accident, it's an attack. Please hurry!”

In the office we soon watched the towers fall. It's difficult to describe my feelings. I was stunned, angry and numb. My friendly associates were incredulous. There were expressions of sorrow, many typical Mexican embraces and one not too surprising negative voice from the company Director General, who often had different opinions. He said, “This is inside Gringo job, no one outside could do it.” “This is what happens when you are biggest and most powerful.” Obviously, these two comments didn't comport. I said very forcefully, “I am in no frame of mind to accept such nonsense. You will not say it again, please!” He didn't. Later, in private, he apologized and assured me I was among friends and they would do all possible to help. He did. They did! And, so did others. I spent the rest of the day in the offices trying to get a flight and was assured no planes would fly, even for days.

Carol called immediately to assure me she was safe. But, my concern was what the follow-up would be. Carol and our niece and nephew were in Williamsburg, Virginia, surrounded by military facilities and even a CIA center. Daughter Susan and family, as well as Carol's sister, were in Northern Virginia, her mother in Maryland, within minutes of the center of government. Daughter Leigh was in Greensboro, NC near one of the largest fuel storage depots in the East. My mother was seemingly safe in West Virginia, but only minutes from The Greenbrier Resort, which had been the “secret hiding place” for government officials in time of emergency since the 60s. Was it still? Soon, I had a different challenge -- convincing Carol I could not get 1000 miles to the border and she and “the kids” must not even consider driving 1000 miles south. An assistant, Maricruz, helped me with an excuse when I asked her about a bus to the border. She vetoed it forcefully saying it was very dangerous. “You could die.” “We will not 'approve' it,” she said in excited-Latina Espanol. That worked as I pondered other alternatives.
In the third day, friends in Monterrey learned, they thought, that Continental would start flights from McAllen, Texas. There were reported problems crossing the border, but they would hire a person who knew how to get across without problems. They engaged the driver, I booked the flight out of McAllen only to be told within hours that no planes would fly. When I rescheduled McAllen, Continental canceled my priority. I was now in worse position, but for the best of intentions.

There is a story, or more than one, here. Please indulge me. Thanks.

The airport hotel filled quickly with people coming from many areas trying to get to the USA. I met many interesting people. A most interesting person was a lovely Latina, an American citizen, with her physician husband from Tampa, FL. She came from Veracruz and had been visiting her family there. We became friendly, exchanged credentials and agreed to try to stay in touch. At one point she became a bit emotional, as a Latina can be, often charmingly so. But, she was serious and so intense. She took my jacket lapels in her hands and with her face no more than inches from mine, she said, “Dr. Mann, you must believe me when I tell you something.” Of course I would. She said,“Americans do not know the 'bad things' happening.” She told me that Middle Easterners were paying large amounts of money to groups in Mexico to "make them look like Mexicans,” teach them Spanish, help them get Visas and to get across the border into the United States. I asked if she knew any of the groups. She tensed noticeably. I asked if her family was involved. Her expression said they were and her husbands slight nod confirmed it. She implored me to “tell our government.” I asked if she would do the same knowing, she wouldn't and couldn't. She said her family would be in danger. For sure! I understood and promised I would not reveal her identity but would tell our government. When I finally got home, I engaged a friend with DOD credentials and credibility I didn't have. We issued a report to agency heads whom he knew. We were told that we might never hear how they dealt with it. We didn't.

I also learned that Hezbollah had a presence in the “Tri-Border region of S. America, known as the “Triple Frontier.” They were building a “base” of some kind. Not much was known. However, a few credible people confirmed that it was discussed among certain people, but not widely reported. Not until 2007 was either of these issues reported by Pablo Gato of Telemundo and Richard Windrem of NBC News. The stated intent of Hezbollah was to “get to the USA if anything happened to Iran.” Today, there are over 12,000 Google references. In 2008, I published an article along with a proposal to deal with immigration and terrorism, “IMMIGRATION BEYOND WALLS.” I gave well-received speeches as well.
Again, in 2011, I updated the “Immigration” article and included the reference to Hezbollah. It was well-received except for one ignorant person who accused me of stretching the truth. Hezbollah couldn't possible be where I said and where reported He'd been cavorting in Argentina and didn't see anything. He didn't look at the 12,000 references. Why do I write this?
2.
I'm writing simply to indicate how foolish people can be, especially on immigration and terrorism issues But, they influence others. And, I'm reminded of the colleague who thought the towers came down under “gringo actions.” But he relented. Now I think of one of arguably the most undesirable, and in my opinion, one of the the dumbest, women in America, Rosie O'Donnell. She chooses to be ignorant and also claims the towers succumbed to an inside conspiracy. Her justification? “Never has fire melted steel!” Obviously, she is abjectly ignorant but that doesn't silence her voice. The sad fact is, foolish people like this one do influence others....and they get paid well by media to be what they are. There are many more. Can you say Bill Maher of HBO and Alan Colmes of FOX News? But, I'm digressing to make a point.

Oh yes, I also met a couple from Berkeley, CA. Both were professors, he of philosophy. He educated me in Jungian philosophy and the interest continues. He has also sent me a book. Little things can mean a lot. Something positive!

NOW ANOTHER STORY WITH A BIT OF AMUSEMENT– GETTING OUT OF GRADALAJARA:
At the airport hotel I met an American Airlines flight crew. I had dinner twice with the captain and a couple of flight attendants. I told them of my plight with Continental Airlines. The captain said they'd find a seat for me and instructed me to go to an American agent, who'd have my name, and tell the agent he had sent me. I'd “have to fly coach,” though. Big deal! If I were on Continental, I'd be in seat 11-A on an ERJ 145, the best seat in the "tin can" for leg room. I bought a ticket for a flight scheduled the next day, the 6th day of being stranded. I had breakfast with the captain and two attendants the morning of the flight and introduced them to my favorite breakfast. The restaurant was full of people, mostly ready to travel. It came time to fly.

As I entered the plane, one attendant was standing in front of the galley and the captain and co-pilot were standing in the doorway to the cockpit. The three of us spoke briefly as passengers filed into the cabin. I settled into my AISLE seat. The 2nd flight attendant came by, welcomed me and told me “we are happy to have you aboard.” They were very nice people! Soon after we were airborne, the man behind me began to talk rather loudly revealing that his IQ probably wasn't in triple digits. He was talking to the person in the middle and another across the aisle. They seemed tolerant, but didn't respond. He may have been Rosie's mentor since he spouted the nonsense that the towers came down by “explosives planted in the building by insiders.” I was in no frame of mind to listen very long. I stood up, faced him, and simply looked at him for a while. He said nothing to me and stopped talking. But, only for a few minutes. He started again by trying to explain why there had to be explosives and that burning fuel could not have “melted steel and concrete.” I suppose I was more arrogant than the others around him, but I was in no mood to hear him any longer.
I stood up, leaned over the back of my seat and said, “Sir, I've had enough of your loud nonsensical bantering. I suspect no one wants to be subjected to more of it. Folks are rather somber and relieved to be heading home. Now, be quiet!” A few in earshot applauded lightly. He shut up. I sat down to read. A flight attendant came by, ostensibly to bring me something. She knelt over and with a chuckle, said, “some passengers think you're a marshal. You're the only one on the plane wearing a coat and tie. You look official. Thank you.” I said let him think so. Maybe I'll be one for this flight. The man remained quiet for the entire flight. As we deplaned and walked up the concourse, a gentleman got my attention and said, “They told me you're posing as me.” You did a good job. I looked at him and said, “but you aren't wearing a coat and tie.” You're not official. OK, it's not an inspirational story, but it is an amusing memory from a time that was far from amusing in other ways. The attack was such an assault on all of America and a huge price was paid by so many good people. Yet, so many do not recognize the full impact of it, even today. I suppose we could start with Michael Bloomberg. It is not too difficult to make the case that America is being destroyed from within, once insidiously and now blatantly. Can the decline be halted?


TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS

I just heard Donal Trump explaining what he would do as a business expert to deal with China. He would implement a "TAX OF 41% ON ALL GOODS FROM CHINA. Sounds to me like he is still running for president. A 3rd party candidate?? A tax on China always sounds good to a certain segment of the population, BUT PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES.
ALL OF SUCH GOODS WOULD IMMEDIATELY BE PRICED UPWARD ACCORDINGLY. Suddenly Americans will pay 41% more for much of what they consume. In TRUMP's world he must not know that we no longer make these goods to substitute for imports.
Does Trump not know how painful such a move was under FDR or does he think it is, as a relative of mine does, that the thought is "conservative boiler plate." It surely isn't. It is simply a bit of truth....hard to find today.
Does Trump not know also that there are models for such tariffs and the effects on national economies.
Once again, another political statement to confuse those who apparently want to be misled. Their votes prove it.
Perhaps worse than the deliberate misleading of of people is the ABSOLUTE INCAPABILITY, OR UNWILLINGNESS, OF THOSE WITH LOUD MEGAPHONES TO ARTICULATE THE REAL REASONS FOR JOB LOSS AND LOSS OF WHOLE INDUSTRIES IN THE USA.

Friday, September 9, 2011

OBAMA'S "JOBS" PLAN , MORE ???

You may have to put this in your browser to access it.
 
It's interesting, but frustrating, to read headlines and hear assertions on radio and TV that Obama's plan "may" produce thousands of jobs by 2012. AP just reported probability of 100s of thousands of jobs being created. The link above quotes some never-heard-of economists along with Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics, always a wild card for the administration. 
While the headline of the Daily Finance article is "thumbs up," the most telling comment is found buried 1/2 in..... jobs created might be temporary. Really??? No surprise here. Could they be just long lived enough to get through 2012? Or, hyped enough to get through the election.
For those who don't know Daily Finance, it is umbillically linked to Huffington Post which is now owned by AOL. I sincerely wish I could see the Obama administration differently. Our quality of life depends on policy from the president's office and from congress. Not pretty now.
 

OBAMA'S " JOBS PLAN" -- REFLECTIONS 12 HOURS AFTER

This morning, I reflected on my thoughts posted immediately after the president's speech. I thought I had missed the essence of it, the underpinning that would make it successful. NO. While I didn't express my ideas as well as I could have, I stand by them, even after reviewing more details of the proposed spending. While there may be some short term job benefit from parts of the "plan," it's impossible to reconcile (or even rationalize) the notion that it will create lasting jobs. So, as discussed earlier, absent a strategy to solve the economy's structural problems and with no vision for restructuring and regenerating the ailing segments, what is the end game of this stimulus...yes stimulus? How does temporary stimulus lead to permanent job creation and GDP growth??? FDR had WWII, IKE had a growing after-war economy (with a little blip), but what do we have now?? TODAY'S NEWS FROM BANK OF AMERICA IS A GOOD METAPHOR. B of A plans a reduction of 40,000 more jobs added to the 6,000 already reduced. This bank just happens to be the largest bank in the FINANCIAL INDUSTRY THAT NOW CONTROLS THE ECONOMY! Where will these 40,000 be re-employed? How many others in the financial industry will follow suit? What small businesses will hire these people? What new businesses can be created to absorb this deficit plus create the millions more needed?
Oh, maybe Immelt's GE will pick up the slack). NO. GE is also paring back their GE Capital Unit (in that economy-controlling industry... and I just remembered. GE is also moving a whole division to China. But, to the unthinking, there is hope because Immelt is on Obama's job creation team!! He surely understands business and value creation! Right? But, I forget again. GE's valuation has dropped 50% in 10 years under Immelt's guidance. Obama's on-the-job CEO training just isn't working. He still doesn't know what a CEO does or how to evaluate the ones who do know. Like any CEO who selects only people like himself or people whom he can control, he will fail. So will Obama......but America will be the real loser. As a CEO and leader, Obama already is one.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OBAMA'S "JOBS" PLAN ???

Who among us can articulate the "jobs plan" step by step, point by point? I can't. I must characterize the event as a stage show, fairly well choreographed. Obama's speech was campaigning in his most blatant form. I would call it another well-delivered speech, a la 3 years ago in the first campaign. Yet, in typical Obama form, it shows no substance and no understanding of how to deal with the problem. Yes, I heard the assertions and heard the condescending demands and I saw the finger pointing and body language. But, it was absolutely not what any competent CEO would do or say without giving a specific outline of actions and projected benefits. Pure politics!
This was supposed to be a plan to "create jobs,"  which government cannot do. They can, however, do a lot of harm, which they have already done.
The focus is, as it has been, on small business. Normally this would be appropriate. BUT, THE OPERATIVE QUESTION FOR EVERYONE IS "HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR EXISTING SMALL BUSINESS TO CREATE 14,000,000 JOBS TO GET TO NORMAL. HOW MANY NEW COMPANIES WILL BE FORMED TO HELP THE EXISTING ONES CREATE THESE JOBS? I have managed large operations in big businesses, with up to 54,000 employees, and I have both owned and managed small ones with employee levels of up to 450. Obama's assertions (not a plan yet) cannot do what he tells us in his dissembling style.
But, hold on. The details will be told next week and the way to "pay for the 'plan' will be told in 2 weeks."

I must conclude the "jobs" speech had little meaning except to transfer responsibility to Republicans and I must characterize it as PATHETIC CAMPAIGNING and in Obama style said NOTHING, BUT SAID IT WELL.

OUR ASSOCIATIONS DEFINE US

Recently I wrote in another venue of the age-old axiom that many of us learned in our youth that "we are defined [characterized] by those with whom we associate. This is still true, but is being ignored by too many. I wrote (and railed, I suppose) about this as related to Obama before the 2008 election. It didn't matter with far too many people, some expected, others quite surprising. As I worked with McCain in 2008, I was dismayed that he and his campaign were loathe to deal with this. A personal conversation I had with Lindsay Graham revealed the reason. They were afraid of the race issue. So, Rev. Wright and anti-Americanism was off the table, as were others such as Ayers. As I watched Valerie Jarrett represent the administration on TV this morning re jobs and the economy, and as I still cringe at James Hoffa's presentation this week, even VP Biden's remarks, I am vividly reminded of this axiom. It is so true, yet so ignored!
Recently, to a person who refused to accept the axiom I asked, "Have you ever seen a cardinal with a flock of starlings or sparrows?" Have you ever seen a vulture soaring with eagles?" And, more apropos, "Did you ever see an eagle cavorting with a bunch of vultures?" Birds of a feather do flock together.
Think about it.............and there isn't anything racist about any of this!

THE ECONOMY AND THE FED -- OUT OF IDEAS, AMMUNITION

 
This link is The WSJ's front page lead  today. Chairman Bernanke and The Fed are out of ideas and out of ammunition. They are scrambling and will be tackled behind the line of scrimmage - again. If they understand the current economy, and they surely should, there is little evidence of it. Their adherence to Keynesian theory has failed miserably. Even if we stretch reality and give Keynesian theory a bit of credit, although little success has been had in the world, the Fed's and the Administration misapplied the theory. Stimulus funds were misspent from the git-go. Of course, if you listen only to Keynesian high priests such as Paul Krugman or Alan Blinder you will never hear this truth. In fact, TRUTH can legitimately be said to be rare today in any discourse about America's national condition. She is critically ill as I've said in other writes. It is true.
We are very likely to hear the president speak tonight about spending on infrastructure jobs now being the solution. He's also likely to invoke FDR's programs as examples of success with federal spending on jobs. There is truth to that, as I've recently agreed to in support of an editorial by a friend. FDR's CCC and WPA created some lasting benefits. But, there is a BIGGER TRUTH. Absent mobilization for WWII, the war itself and the after-war growth, how would FDR have dealt with the federal make-work employment situation? WWII created the economic success, like it or not. 
If Obama promotes a stimulus plan that involves federally funded jobs for "infrastructure" development (the new mantra), what will be the end game to convert federal spending into private enterprise? He will be waiting and hoping, as with the last stimulus program, for an economic recovery that didn't happen over the past 3 years and won't in the next few......not with the structural problems we have. Furthermore, Europe and the Euro are about to crash and we will be a part of that debacle. 
As asserted in previous articles, politicians will not solve our problems nor will The Fed, which now is political as well. With the leadership void we have and with a dearth of understanding of the fundamental problems, America's national condition will remain critical. The prognosis for her recovery is not good. Surely not soon, and not until we have the right leadership and some intellectual character absent today.
Sorry to be pessimistic, but in this case pessimism and realism are equated.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HOW LOW CAN OBAMA, BIDEN AND HOFFA GO?

At times I question myself as to why I'm, at this stage of my life, expending time and energy dealing with politics and politicians. Then, as if on cue, Obama or Biden speak or their talking heads spout the spin, the talking points, most of which are nonsensical, illogical and against all that America and Americans have been...... that created a great nation. Today, Obama's tacit approval of James Hoffa's, no class (yes he skipped right over low class) call for the SOB's who question government (Obama ) policy to be "taken out" is beyond unspeakable. His using a union backdrop for advance condemnation of Congress (read opponents here) if they don't agree with his so-called jobs plan, obviously with the narcissistic thought that it is HIS plan and must be supported, goes way beyond the pale and is utterly absent any presidential character. In my lifetime, I have seen no president, and few lesser officials, with such low class and dishonesty.
Hoffa, is at this moment, railing about jobs, jobs........and jobs, and his and other unions have destroyed more industry and jobs than can be counted....but I will count them in other writes.
Biden's comment about opposition being "Barbarians at the Gate" is, likewise, as low as it goes. With Biden, it has always been expected. His IQ is clearly limited and his character is even more diminutive than his intellect.There was a time 3 years ago that more was expected from Obama. NO MORE! I'd surely like to see what was/is hidden in his sealed records.
Thanks Obama, Biden, Hoffa and others of your ilk for reminding me why I am doing what I am doing.
My AMERICA IS IN DECLINE, she is being attacked from outside but more ferociously from the inside, not only insidiously as expected, but blatantly open. Yes, the America we have known and cherished is dying at the hands of these people. The once proud and honorable Democratic Party, the party of a majority of my family as I grew up in hardscrabble rural West Virginia, has been highjacked by the sub-cultural and counter-cultural elements. Doubt it?? Look at what's really happening and ignore prejudicial thoughts and media-driven talking points. Not pretty!

OH BUT SECOND THOUGHT BRINGS REALITY. IT IS THE ELECTORATE THAT IS RESPONSIBLE. I said in 2008 that if Obama were to become president, it could be a permanent election. It is probable that this is coming true. In medical terms, OUR NATIONAL CONDITION IS CRITICAL and on life support and prognosis is not favorable. Tragic!!

GOLDMAN SACHS,THE OBAMA BANKERS, WAKE UP

Click here: Goldman Sachs Report Warns of New Financial Crisis -- It seems even this Obamaite has found some truth confirming the adage that "even a blind pig can root out an acorn" occasionally.
Goldman Sachs is but one of the many (most) money center banks and investment bankers on Wall Street that have been very deep into Democratic politics, most recently in funding and supporting Obama. GS gave 80% of their political donations, nearly $5 million, to Obama in 2008. This company has long been very involved in the federal government, to the extent that in the industry there was a phrase, "government according to Sachs." Much of the commentary from the Obama administration about reigning in Wall Street is phoney and meant to confuse and mislead those who don't know the way Wall Street really operates. The administration's rhetoric is all a part of class warfare and subterfuge. Most people don't know that 80% of Wall Streeters have traditionally supported Democrats, irrespective of who the D is. Been there, seen it, felt it!! True. Unfortunately, too many people won't accept that and won't even make the effort to confirm it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

LABOR VS. LABOR UNIONS

On this day, called Labor Day, it is entirely appropriate to celebrate those who work -- laborers, or whatever the job description of workers may be. Unfortunately, however, the day has become celebratory of "organized labor, " the UNIONS, and not the individual workers. True! Those of us who have spent careers in the arena where unions operate know quite well that UNIONS have become big business and political machines. They use their members for funding to support politicians, almost all Democrats. While some, perhaps many, will roil when I say that trade unions have done more to destroy industries and their members' jobs than most know, it's true. It happened with coal (until it's partial rebirth), steel, Detroit autos (losing to non-UAW southern operations), textiles, shoes and more. Teachers' unions have done much to contribute to poor results in our education system. I could say much more, and will do so in a comprehensive treatise on unions in coming days. But, for now please know that when the talking heads say Obama saved the auto industry, HE DID NOT. He did save a good portion of the UAW. The Big 3 became the "Detroit" 3 and now the "Detroit" 1 (Ford) and the Government/UAW 2 (GM and part of Chrysler). As the old Big 3's UAW ran their fully loaded costs to $72/hr per worker, the Southern Auto Industry, was taking 50+% of the market with about 1/3rd of Detroit's costs as well as being free of bloated management and facilities. Southern auto workers are happy with their jobs and reject unions (thus far, but Obama and the UAW will take them on). When we hear the hype that unions made concessions with government's takeover, they did, but don't be fooled by the amount. Costs are now $54/hr. and they are starting negotiations again. They will increase! Furthermore, what you don't hear about are work rules. When the market stabilizes at some level (now down 40%), Detroit will lose more jobs.
Unions are big businesses, for their managers and for Democrat politicians. More on this later, but please think about this. As you do, look at what has happened with public service unions in the US and then look at what they have done for other countries, starting with the PIIGS of the EU.
Also, as you think about this issue, there is the "thug" factor, as a Teamster member himself reminded me of just yesterday. I/we have experienced the thug factor, including an extortion attempt and death threats.....but more later. It's not as the media and politicians hype it to be. Please look at the facts.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

NATIONAL DEBT AS %GDP -- A BIT MORE INFO

This post is prompted by Randy's comment to the original. Randy, first I want to thank you sincerely for your comments. I'm sincere when I ask for feedback and commentary. THX.

As for the Debt-to-GDP ratio, finally more people are reporting the true numbers. When I first drew attention the issue, even our governor, a friend, was quoting 64%. As I reported, the real debt:GDP when GDP was ~$14 trillion was 100%. Most recent estimate of GDP is closer $15 trillion, so the ratio is a bit less than 1:1. But, the new debt ceiling will rapidly take it to >100%....can't win!

The difference in what is quoted as 64-70% is essentially the "debt owed to ourselves" mostly IOUs in the SS trust fund. These are monies already owed by statute, and is money collected but diverted as loans (bonds on the balance sheet) into the general fund. The only way to discount this amount (~$5+ trillion) is to declare it won't be paid to current recipients or it will be monetized away....neither acceptable. It is what it is.

The additional amount of "debt" of ~$60 trillion is that projected to be owed under current laws to Medicare, Medicaid and SS recipients. So, this number is of different character, can change, and undoubtedly it will, with changes in the laws regulating these entitlements.... age requirements, means tests, max. amounts, colas, etc. Or, a tremendous growth in revenue!!! Not likely as I predict lack of growth in the economy. Of course, they can tax us more...and probably will.
So, as the statutes now set, the ratio of debt to GDP can be upped by that amount....legitimately.
I think you know this, but some will not. Thanks again for your interaction.
Undoubtedly, there will be change, but it will be very difficult. A big fight is coming.

Friday, September 2, 2011

OBAMA'S EXPECTED JOBS PROPOSAL


Advance publicity suggests President Obama will present, on September 7, a program for infrastructure improvements. At best, this will be a temporary taxpayer-funded stimulant. It may win political points but will not be a solution to economic problems and sustained job creation. Structural problems in the economy preclude growth in jobs and GDP necessary to satisfy the voracious appetite of Obama and Democrats for taxes. Republicans' calls for targeted tax reduction aren't adequate either. No one indicates an understanding of the real nature of the economy today and the collapse of 2008. They blindly use the same metrics as in past business cycles that don't apply today. Past recessions in the “old” economy, had two factors in common. Energy prices and interest rates put pressure on consumers and/or businesses. Manufacturing was a major component of GDP. Recessions were initiated either by consumers curtailing consumption or businesses reducing capital expenditures. Inventories were reduced and jobs temporarily curtailed until equilibrium was reestablished. Today is different.

The “new” economy is controlled by the financial industry, fraught with excesses like those leading to the housing collapse in 2008. Consumption is 70% of GDP, yet manufacturing is down from 30% of GDP in the 60s to 10% today. Only 9% of jobs are now in manufacturing where the middle class prospered traditionally. We produce cars, airplanes, heavy equipment, chemicals, drugs and some IT products. We no longer produce essential consumer commodities, such as textiles, shoes, durable goods, electronics, home furnishings, etc. If Americans consume, they will buy many imported goods with no benefit to US jobs. Foreigners actually view the USA as a “retail economy.” It's not likely that large purchases, such as autos, will be a part of the average consumer's purchases under their current financial conditions. While there is a lot of hype about how the auto industry is recovering, sales are still down from 17 million units in 2007 to 12 million now, still requiring a 40+% increase to get back to “normal.” Won't happen soon! Obama acolytes are now promoting a 13 million/year sales rate as a great target. Consumers won't be buying airplanes or bulldozers either. It's sad but true that the “service industry” cannot provide jobs and sustain the economy. The Obama administration and advisers apparently don't understand this. Ignorance about the structure of the economy is inexcusable. Worse!

The false claims of the 80s and 90s were that the “service industry would save the US economy,” with constancy of growth, recession resistance, jobs and more. The 90s did boom and similar is needed now, but won't happen. Why? The period was atypical. The most ludicrous claims of those who now promote increased taxes is that “Clinton's tax increase created the boom.” Robert Rubin espoused this saying that the tax increase “took the pressure off the long bond.” Robert Reich's explanation was “investments in education and healthcare made workers more productive.” Utterly preposterous!

There's a lesson in the 90s, but the president and his advisers must not think it necessary to study it analytically and objectively. Or, they want to hide the truth. They rely on advice of academic economists and theory, albeit not only unproven but failed, surely inapplicable to current problems. In 2004, I researched, and wrote about, the 90s prosperity. A summary is pertinent, even necessary to understanding today's situation and the false information we're subjected to.

Oil price played its normal roll by increasing $20/barrel during the Gulf war and reducing by $30/barrel after the war. At 20 million barrels/day usage, this turned $400 million/day flow into oil (70% out of the US) into $600 million/day kept in the US economy. Interest rates participated also as The Fed lowered the fed funds rate from 9 3/4% to 3%. With rates near zero today, The Fed is out of interest rate ammunition. The internet boom poured billions of dollars into the economy, much of it wasted by inexperienced and inept managers, many of whom who failed, but money flowed. Telecom companies spent $60-80 Billion/year, mostly on fiber optics to support the internet. Capital flowed like rushing water. The internet is established and vital today, but will not supply the jobs once found in manufacturing. Capital “burn rate” became standard terminology. The Y2K “problem” pumped $440 billion into the US economy according to Dr. Leon Kappleman of the SIM Y2K Working Group. Then came the clincher for the 90s that led to the crisis of 2008. In 1994, Clinton's executive order to stimulate “housing for everyone”, a concession to Treasury Secretary Rubin's bankers under the auspices of the 1977 CRA, set up the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, the excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the resultant fraud by Wall Street bankers. By 1995 the housing “bubble” grew to 4-fold previous sales. Then came the 2008 collapse. Much of this collapse will be long-lived, perhaps permanent. There's more, but this is enough to define the 90s and differentiate the period from today.

Obama's proposals aren't likely to solve structural problems to create growth, permanent jobs, capital formation or economic stability. If he and advisers don't understand the problems, they can't solve them. They can only do harm, and they are doing it. That's the dilemma we are in. It's a matter of inadequate leadership, lack of knowledge and just plain ineptitude. All Americans are victims.

Joe Mann, September 2,2011