Maiello: Defeat the Press
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
...raymond always said my game is persistence...i'm still here....more persistent...i've got barack obama's number...raymond is dead now...sorry, old boss I took your job but you said everyone would underestimate my persistence...you were my best boss...it's the presidential bearing, and dress well and its human nature they will drop the ball right in front of you....a career, you said, a career is putting the right spin on the ball so it keeps dropping in front of you ....performance art, stupid pundits...how many plumbers in Ohio know what the hell art is....farce, it's a [Read more]
I spent the last two days away from home on a job site in Tulsa. One of my clients was considering switching to a competitor. I have a "resource recovery" company---or, put another way, we scrounge the back lots of industrial plants looking for commodities which can be recycled and re-used. Our employees are well trained and long term and they do well on earnings. They drive our trucks and equipment to remote locations. and my insurance company requires drug testing. Because we control costs and like to make a bit of a profit there is a limit on how much we'll spend for a motel. When I'm on the road, which I don't enjoy, I stay where my workers stay.
Heartbreak Motel sits on the intersection of two truck routes. The four corners are a stark melding of the food chain and the employment ladder. On one corner is a convenience store and cash-only gas station---the bottom rung of life in a gritty America. Outside, behind the store, four homeless people stand around a compressor smoking and making ready for the night with pieces of card board to sleep on. A police car idles two hundred feet away, pointed in their direction. I say to hell with it and walk over to the store. A small bottle of milk and some cookies might come in handy if I wake up at the motel in the middle of the night and have the creeps. As I try to go into the store a guy forces me off the sidewalk. I ignore him. Coming back out a woman blocks my path, "Are you stayin' over there for the night?" [Read more]
According to yesterday's GDP numbers the engine of American Consumption is back on the tracks and rolling along at a surprising clip. The odd thing is that Consumer Confidence still remains at a near historic low. Typically an increase in consumption is preceded by a rise in confidence. So why is the spending train rolling along while confidence is like a caboose sidetracked in the train yard?
A Sept. 15th report by Ross DeVol at the Milkin Institute not only predicted good GDP and consumption numbers for the 3rd Quarter but explained the root cause of the precipitous drop in consumer confidence over the Summer and its disconnect from actual consumer behavior which kept chugging along underneath.
If you're thinking that the decline in confidence had some connection to our national politics you'd be right. DeVol correlates the decline in confidence to a decline in the approval ratings of -- the Congress! [Read more]
The fire bloggers are already on "Obama's Plan" like flies on Schweddy Balls ice cream. There's so much chatter and misinformation about this plan that I hesitate to write this post and add to the problem. But certain facts seem to be clear and I'm advising an underwater guy in Vermont, so here's a quick take.
HARP is an Obama Administration plan, adopted and implemented by FHFA in 2009. It has produced about 900,000 re-finances, far less than projected. The Administration's potential influence over the FHFA is by appointment of the Director, with approval by Congress. Through a series of half steps, Ed DeMarco, appointed originally by Bush has risen to the top and appears irreplaceable. DeMarco would rival Peterson and Norquist as having the most power in Washington outside any given elected official.
The FHFA website gives the specifics of the revised rules regarding HARP. By the way, you can look up your loan there to determine if it is in fact guaranteed by one of the GSEs and if it was purchased prior to 2009 - two of the entrance requirements in qualifying for HARP - and a source of the smell sensed by fire bloggers. The program excludes a lot or worthy would-be refinancers. One of the headlines of this refi makeover is that there is now no limit on "how far underwater" one can be to still participate. Previously, the Loan-To-Value (LTV) had already been raised to 125% - but there were only 72,000 refinanced loans with LTVs over 105%. (A property appraised at $100K with a $105K loan has an LTV of 105%) [Read more]
Here is a quick take on a 99% Preamble.
We the 99% have re-awakened in this fourth century of our American Democracy to find certain grievances in sore need of redress. Grievances in the main result from the drift of our democracy toward financial oligarchy and control of our politics and government by money-centric special interests. We hold certain over reaching truths at the heart of our grievances to be self evident: [Read more]
OWS is getting traction in the aftermath of Steve Jobs' death and I began to ponder a connection between the two events. Was the end of the Steve Jobs/Apple "story", meaning its mystique, also the lifting of a veil of complacency and gullibility about what's going on in plain sight around us? What if the Apple story needed to be debunked, stood on its head in the same way that much of our politics and economic struggles need to be? [Read more]
When I purchased country property in Texas a few years back I didn't realize one of its assets was the burn pile. A neighbor helped me clear some dead tree limbs and I asked him to take it all to the dump. He had a good laugh and said, "I was going to haul it over to your burn pile" I asked him where that was. "Over behind the old barn, been there for years."
We rode four wheelers over to the other end of the pasture. And there it was--kind of a sacred site--a large mound of black rubble, with bits of twisted metal poking out to catch glints of sunlight. "That burn pile has been there for as long as I can remember". My neighbor said. "Even longer than that bodark wood post them surveyors found on the corner of your property. Dates back to the 1800's". [Read more]
Rick Perry has just unveiled his "drill baby drill" plan, a plan to bring dirty oil to ourselves and perhaps have enough left over to sell to the the rest of the world. Perry wants to "Make what we make" , "Buy what we make" and "Sell what we make" to the rest of the world. Perhaps instead of "drill baby drill" Perry's plan could be described as the "Make, Make, Make" plan. or "Make, Buy and Sell" plan. In any event Perry's makeover has him positioned aside a simplistic plan well suited to his experience running an energy state and his inexperience in just about everything else. And Perry's plan is positioned just opposite Cain's 999 plan. Of course, neither of their plans is ever going to be implemented. The plans are a ruse for getting one or the other of these candidates through the primaries. [Read more]
In last night's Republican debate Romney was the clear leader. The great hope of the Southern religious whites and Republican values voters in general, Rick Perry, was ineffectual, if not pitiful. Cain, the replacement Savior for Perry, has staked so much on the 999 plan, and the plan is so conceptually weak that I think he will fade.  [Read more]
I thought Bruce Bartlett on Bloomberg Radio earlier today gave a proper account of the lineup of candidates who will be "debating" tonight in Hanover, New Hampshire.
"The Republican candidates are all just pandering to the Tea Party".  [Read more]