Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Will Death Of Kim Jong Il Affect Presidential Race – Time For Grown Ups

Kim Jong Il
Photo from
Kim Jong Il the longtime leader of North Korea had died at the age of 69. One issue is how will this event affect the Presidential race for 2012? Who stands to come out of this with a stronger or weaker hand?

One school of thought is this will act as a cold reality check and bring people back to a reality of a world full of potential dangers and uncertainty. Serious candidates should benefit with a sudden shift of focus to how complex the world we live is and what it takes to navigate global political waters.

Those prone to casually throw around threats of invading and bombing other nations may find themselves walking very lightly in the short term. Until a sense of stability returns to North Korea it would be wise for tough talking politicians to practice some restraint. This could be the opening that serious individuals need to break through the noise.

President Barack Obama has shown his foreign policy credentials with decisive actions that are hard to deny and Republicans now have to show some weight in that even now more critical arena.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Herman Cain Pulled On Superman’s Cape

Herman Cain

The sad lesson of Herman Cain’s run for President is that it shows what happens when the wrong person gains traction and threatens to rewrite the desired script. When Cain polled at 2%, he was entertaining and no one cared. When Cain vaulted to first place in the polls, speculation about his bubble bursting abounded; it didn’t, so it was punctured.

Herman Cain was not a member of the club, but he was like a Ferrari on the same track with mini vans during the Republican debates and voters were drawn to his direct style and strong personality. It didn’t seem to matter if his proposal made sense, but many of the proposals being presented by other candidates didn’t make sense either.

Herman Cain was not really prepared to be President, but who is. If we needed to be saved from Herman Cain when he was leading in the Presidential polls, then we needed to be saved from Herman Cain when he was at 2%. Cain had issues in his past that came out, but none of it was proven, but it was enough to send him packing.

The timing of the string of allegations becoming public was no coincidence, it was meant to eliminate a wild-card interloper before anything that counted took place. If Cain wants to find the source of the exhumation of the skeletons in his closet then he needs to check the fingerprints from the knife in his back against those of his Republican debate opponents.

I’m no supporter of Cain or his policies, but what happened to him will further insure that many qualified individuals outside of the current political system will shun seeking the Presidency of the United States. The next Republican debate will show that things have returned to normal as the stage will be filled with the usual cast of characters spewing sound bites, applause lines and anything else they think their desired audience wants to hear. Everyone on stage will be someone that either currently or has drawn a government paycheck as they proclaim to want to cut everyone's dependence on big government except their own.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street (Disgruntled) Versus Tea Party (Company Men)

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movement is the age old struggle between company men and the disgruntled playing out on a grand stage? In both cases we find ourselves locked in a place of strife, class-warfare and exasperation caused by frustration at what appears to be a manifestation of stolen opportunity.

We have civil protests on both sides of the ledger. Occupy Wall Street seems to be an expression of frustration that encompasses an entire group of people from the long term unemployed to students that find themselves laden with student loan debt with few job prospects. Tea Party protests began as an expression of outrage against big government, budget deficits, taxation and encouraged strict adherence to the Constitution. The bottom line is that both are expressions of fears that access to the American dream is being restricted.

How can these two groups be concerned about the same issues when they seem to be composed of completely different types of individuals with opposite points of view. The Tea Party came with clearer messages and political agendas. There is even an element of sponsorship from conservative causes behind some Tea Party groups. The bottom line is they saw their way of life in the United States coming under threat. Occupy Wall Street grew out of a growing frustration of the huge income disparity between the top 1% and the other 99%.

You may ask why some in the Tea Party support protecting the 1% from any type of tax increase when most of them are in the 99%. The dynamic is not unlike working in a company undergoing employee layoffs where some don’t want to talk ill of the boss least they get released form their jobs. In other words, those sympathizing with the 1% fear making waves and those in the Occupy Wall Street group are making waves. These are not new dynamics and they often manifest in dysfunctional work environments. Now we see this type of company men versus the disgruntled on a national basis in a dysfunctional nation.

Those buying into the trickle down and don’t tax the job creators angle fear even more job losses and outsourcing if the wealthy are taxed at higher rates. Those without jobs and bleak future prospects have little evidence of the job creators actually creating jobs in the United States with their extra tax breaks and have had enough.

Can it really be that simple as a battle between company men and the disgruntled that is playing out on a grand stage as we all jockey for our space in this word with a degree of fairness in access to what was described as the American dream? I propose that it is that simple and as opportunities for individuals to advance in their lives dwindle, the friction between these groups and their supporters will continue to increase.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Herman Cain Train Derails – Sharon Bialek & Gloria Allred

Republican Herman Cain was a man on a glorified book tour pretending to be a Presidential candidate when something unexpected happened, voters liked him. Without any preparation, Cain found himself in first place in the national polls and that’s when trouble showed up. Cain’s latest troubles came in the form of Sharon Bialek.

Sharon Bialek stepped up in front of a bank of microphones and a hoard of television cameras. Bialek told a sordid tale of a long ago encounter with Herman Cain that she said went in a very sexually inappropriate direction. This was not the first charge of sexual harassment against Herman Cain as there were two other cases that involved actual financial settlements with women that were employees of the National Restaurant Association when Cain headed the group. The women involved in the settlements decided not to go public and that left a cloud over the actual details of the incidents involved in the cases with these individuals.

Herman Cain is the case that illustrates what can happen when the dog that chases the car accidentally grabs onto the bumper and discovers that he is in for the ride of his life. This is a lesson for those toying with the idea of doing something like running for President of the United States as a mere exercise. Even though the person running may be doing it for exposure there is always the outside chance that the public might like what you are saying, take you seriously and put you out front. Skeletons love to pop out of closets when popularity suddenly lands on your doorstep.

The simplicity of Cain’s 999 tax plan combined with the implosion of Texas Governor Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann’s campaign left Mr. Cain as the hope for conservative Republican voters. Will conservative Republican’s abandon Herman Cain or rally around him since an actual person has stepped forward with details of an alleged encounter.

This accusation against Herman Cain is the purest of he said, she said. Bialek said she told her boyfriend and mentor years ago, but shared no details. The Cain campaign has denied the accusations and so it goes. These are the things that nightmares are made of with the prospect that a man seeking to be the leader of the free world is embroiled in such a sordid scandal, but wait; we have been down this road before.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mugged American Style – Bank of America Debit Card Fees

The latest outrage to be thrust upon an economically beaten down American populace was the announcement that the nation’s largest bank, Bank of America, will begin charging customers $5 per month to use debit cards to make purchases. Excuse me, if you let me hold your money, I will charge you when you spend it. Do we have a deal?

Now some of the same institutions involved in taking down the economy are now involved in a near literal shakedown of the very citizens that bailed them out with taxpayer funds. The economic collapse that burst forth during the last few months of 2008 has been long lasting and deep. Millions of Americans were flushed out of the workforce and over 14 million still find themselves unemployed and seemingly unemployable. In many ways this was a double crime with hardworking citizens in the United States being initially mugged by those manipulating our financial system and then taken hostage by politicians corrupting our political process. As this socioeconomic terrorism was taking place, the wealth of those caught in the crossfire was melting away as they strove to survive by burning through personal savings, retirement funds and other assets of value. While millions were free falling from their former positions on the economic ladder, the wealthy were becoming wealthier. The future of the United States will be decided by a struggle between new age robber barons aided by their political enablers versus sane, rational Americans seeking to return this nation to its full former glory. A fee to use your money is one more insult on top of injury.

What are besieged consumers to do? A system has been set up that runs on electronic transactions from using debit cards, online bill payment and electronic funds transfer. Sure banks have invested in worldwide automated teller systems but that saved manpower costs and allowed them to operate with fewer physical branch offices. ATMs don’t take weekly salaries, health insurance or vacations. This is strictly about taking money out of the hide of customers since new regulations limit how much banks could charge merchants to process transactions so it went to its own account holders. This $5 fee does not hit everyone. Account holders with larger average balances can avoid the fee so it really only hits those that can least afford it, is this the new American way.

D T - Books by D T Pollard

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Michele Bachmann Said She Lost Her Faith In America

 Michele Bachmann

After her Iowa straw poll victory Michele Bachmann told her audience, “You have restored in me my faith in America.” When did Bachmann lose her faith in America? Why was Bachmann’s statement not seized upon by the media like Michelle Obama’s, “…for the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country…” statement?

Michele Obama was the wife of a candidate for President while Michele Bachmann is an actual candidate for President which is much more troubling. Exactly when did Michele Bachmann lose her faith in America and was winning a straw poll the only thing that would restore it. That seems to be a huge alarm bell for someone wanting to be President of the United States. If Bachmann losses her faith whenever things are going bad and it is restored only when she wins, that seems to be a poor quality for someone wanting to be President during hard times.

The real issue is why was Michele Bachmann given a free pass by the press on her statement while Michelle Obama was demonized for hers? Is Michele Obama not allowed to say out loud that there have been times when circumstances had tested her pride in the United States from the lens she views the world through? Michele Bachmann must have had something terrible happen to her that caused her to lose faith in America. Please enlighten us Michele as to what caused you to lose faith in America and what caused you to rediscover it in Iowa.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Republican Future- Willful Default, Lead Poisoning, Polluted Water And Sweatshops

Rick Perry - Governor Of Texas - Presidential Candidate

If you have been paying attention to what Republicans are passionate about, it all boils down to stripping away mechanisms that protect individuals. Hold on, I forgot that Mitt Romney said that corporations are people. Michele Bachmann said she would not have increased the debt ceiling under any circumstance, the EPA is targeted for extinction, unions are under attack and some want to eliminate the minimum wage.

Welcome to the early days of industry where workers and citizens were at the total mercy of industry. Pollution and labor abuses were the order of the day. This is the future Republicans want to take us back to. This is how Republicans will get jobs back to American by turning it into a third world environment where companies can exploit workers and the environment without those pesky regulations the keep us safe. In order to pull this off they must roll back the national health care law because the rash of illnesses such as cancer, lead poisoning and lung diseases would overwhelm and bankrupt the nation.

Don't fall for the "we love America so much" lines or the "get government off our backs slogans." There is ugly business taking place in broad daylight. Social Security and Medicare are being eyed like they are the lost treasure that can finally be fully exploited for profit instead of being used to simply support those that paid into those programs all of their lives.

We stand at a crossroads in the history of this country. Corporation are being looked upon as having the same standing as people. We know what people this crop of Republican candidate represents. You need to be sure someone is protecting your interests beyond a "get government off out backs slogan" because the government may all that stands between you getting a decent paycheck instead of a bag of groceries for a week's work.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tea Party Congress – Time To Take The Keys

 Rep. Michele Bachmann - Leader of Tea Party Caucus

The Tea Party members of Congress have shown that they are not fit to lead and govern. These folks don’t understand the consequences of their actions and behavior. The very people that put them in office will suffer from the effects of the United States credit downgrade through possibly higher interest rates for everything.

Clearly the political dysfunction that Standard and Poors cited in their downgrade decision referenced how the once routine increase of the debt ceiling was held hostage for other purposes. Now that process may be par for every debt ceiling increase. Okay guys, learn to yield when the road gets to a suitable exit or hand over the keys before you drive all of us over a cliff.

Just like when families need to have conversations with a elderly relatives about giving up their car keys because they are no longer safe drivers, someone needs to have that discussion with the Tea Party Congress members. The Tea Party members flunked their governing test and drove the country into a tree and dented it badly. The United States is still functional, but we can’t risk having these guys continually grabbing the steering wheel when we are trying to drive through dangerous terrain.

Who can talk to this group? Speaker of the House John Boehner has shown that they don’t listen to him as he was rebuffed at every turn. Boehner finally had to enlist the help of Democrats in order to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations as the Teas Party members still voted no. Don’t count on Michele Bachmann to speak reasonably because scoring political points is more important than the country’s future. Mitt Romney will only speak after the dust settles so that he knows what plays best. It’s really like parents laughing at the bad behavior of children a calling it cute as they vandalize the neighbor’s property.

The reasonable Republicans are staying out of it and will allow the extreme element to implode from their own intransigence. Hopefully the United States can survive this experiment in roadblock and hostage taking politics ushered in during the 2010 elections.

S&P U S Credit Downgrade – Warning On Investigation?

Should the world trust a downgrade of the credit rating of the United States from a credit rating agency that helped put America into its current financial condition by giving prime credit ratings to bundles of subprime debt trading instruments? The implosion of the mortgage backed security trading business wrecked the economy.

Now one of the credit rating agencies downgrades the AAA rating of the United States citing the political climate as one of the reasons. Excuse me, aren’t you the same guys that stamped your seal of approval on what turned out to be a near pyramid level debt instrument called Collateralized Debt Obligations consisting of bundled home loans both prime and sub-prime? When the dominoes fell, credit froze and jobs along with retirement accounts values melted away like butter. Some asked how these risky instruments earned the highest rating from agencies like Standard & Poors.

The United States Department of Justice is curious as well and so is the SEC. Now this credit rating agency seems to be acting out by not only downgrading the credit raring of the United States but also telegraphing other dire things that may come. Is this the big showdown? I will not just hold your credit rating hostage, but I will hurt you badly if you mess with me.

An article titled SEC investigates role of ratings agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's aheadof the financial crisis  August 7 by Richard Blackden details how the SEC is looking into the role of credit rating agencies in the mortgage backed security collapse.

Maybe the real question is, given the mortgage backed security credit rating debacle, when will the credibility and power given to the credit rating agencies be downgraded?  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hostage Taking Politics Have To End

What we have seen is the exercise of hostage taking politics by the Republican minority since President Obama took office. The Tea Party and Republicans are perfectly willing to repeatedly kidnap any segment of the American economy and hold it with threats of destruction unless they get their way.

The latest hostage was the hard earned credit rating and global economic standing of the United States unless they got what they wanted. This type of politics is no way to run a country and hopefully voters will realize who was willing to take the United States into default to get their way and take away Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Education programs are seen as wasteful spending by this all or nothing group. Bridges falling, roads crumbling and transportation projects stalling may be in our future.

You see, small or no government spending may sound ideal until you need something you once took for granted and it is no longer there. One city got a fast lesson in how things work when they voted down a tax increase and were later informed that there were not enough funds to provide school bus service and it would cost $400 per child. That is how things work. Smooth public roads, the military and national parks all come from government spending.

Most people are too young to remember almost guaranteed poverty and suffering during old age before Social Security and Medicare came into being. Do we really want to go back to that old life? Why don’t you ask your parents or grandparents if that is how they want to live?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Land Of The Free And Home Of The Deadbeat?

Land Of The Free And Home Of The Deadbeat? Is this the new world wide label that the Tea Party wants Americans to be known by if a default takes place. "Mama, look it's one of those deadbeat Americans" the child told his mother as he pointed to an American tourist after the United States defaulted on it debts. Wake up, get the debt ceiling raised and argue about everything else later.

This is what takes place when a group of people are elected to Congress who don't know the difference between talking points, campaign slogans and doing what is in the best interest of the United States. When a group of politicians that represent a small percentage hold the hard won sterling credit standing of the United States hostage over ideology and pledges, we have truly entered the twilight zone of political insanity.

 Some of those that would be hurt the most are the very citizens encouraging their Tea Party Representatives in the House to not vote to raise the debt ceiling. If a default occurs, interest rates on loans and credit cards will increase and a tax increase on everyone will take place in the worst way.

Wake up! We don't have to be known as "deadbeat Americans" so why would we choose to be so.   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Be Good And Broke Or Bad And Rich

Casey Anthony
Remember when scandal meant someone faced with a long road back to regaining a good reputation in order to prosper in society. Now Casey Anthony is poised to make millions after being found not guilty of the murder of her daughter Caylee. Things have changed.

Casey Anthony is an extreme example of how the public lust for real-life salacious tales has surpassed the public disdain for those participating in the scandal. Some of our most famous celebrities have no other claim to fame other than being famous. Often the root of the fame of these personalities can be traced back to some scandal ridden episode such as a “leaked sex tape” or other act of questionable moral judgment.

There is even a class of celebrity strictly manufactured to showcase outlandish partying, fighting and promiscuity on the shores of New Jersey and world wide. We have been presented with Mob Wives and Housewives of wherever shows that thrive on conflict or be canceled or dropped from the cast. Gold diggers and womanizers are in our face on a daily basis and some may think that is the formula for success.

What about the good guys? The good guys and girls are still around, but they actually may be portrayed as weak and not grabbing for the brass ring. We now live in a world where taking shortcuts, risks and even back stabbing may be viewed as showing you are willing to do what it takes to get ahead. That is a sad world to live in, but it has crept into the workplace and if you play by the rules you may be setting yourself up to be taken advantage of. It is not a good situation when you have to work with one eye on your task and another on your coworker. The reality is we live in an ends justifies the means world in many cases. If your coworker has to reach his goals by using you as a step stool don’t wait for any admonishments, but look for the accolades to flow their way for a job well done.

It is said that a fish rots from the head down and that is what has occurred in our society. Years of witnessing bad deeds getting good rewards has worn down the resolve of many who would do things differently if they saw proper feedback. Casey Anthony is the latest example of this reverse reward situation and it is one more brick removed from the wall of work hard, be honest and get ahead school of thought. It is often said that riches here on earth are temporary, but that is all many can see paraded before their eyes on a daily basis and they way some obtained them was not pretty.

Monday, July 11, 2011

President Obama Sucker Punches Republicans In Debt Ceiling Debate

President Barack Obama employed a masterful use of political rope-a-dope to lure the Republicans into a no-win position in the debt ceiling negotiations. President Obama seemed to be losing the debt ceiling battle. Republicans lunged forward demanding huge cuts to the budget. Obama suddenly peeked from behind his gloves and said I agree, just raise taxes on the wealthy.

Speaker of the House John Boehner knew he had been sucker punched and had to go to his members in the House of Representative and tell them that they got what they have been seeking. Social Security and Medicare were on the table, but there was one small hitch, they had to raise taxes on the rich.

Boehner already knew that the cause was lost. There was nothing that could be given to convince his Tea Party captors to increase taxes on the wealthy. So looking like a man given his marching orders he gave up the holy grail of reforming Social Security and Medicare in order to not raise taxes on the wealthy. John Boehner had to speak into a microphone that his party would pass up deep budget cuts in favor of smaller cuts in order to keep tax breaks in place for millionaires and billionaires.

Somewhere George Foreman and Ali are smiling and shaking their heads while asking, “Didn’t the Republicans see that coming?”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Demand, Old Workforce, Not Enough Jobs Ever Again

There is an ugly truth about the job market that economists and politicians will not speak. The United States and the world will never need as many workers as it has in the past to supply more than we could ever buy or consume and with almost everyone in the modern workforce, this is a huge problem. The solution is a global lower standard of living.

Automation has enabled a far smaller workforce to produce huge quantities of goods and services that called for multiples more workers in the past. Everything from automatic teller machines, automatic car washes to personal computers remove job positions from the workforce. One example is a sales division of a company that 15 years ago had an administrative assistant for each sales team that would prepare proposals, presentation materials and take messages. Now sales people use software tools like Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and connect their laptop to a projector to do a presentation. An automated voice response answering system takes messages and the need for the administrative assistant is gone.

Many offices now have an empty desk in their lobby where a receptionist once sat. Often a sign with a list of extensions to call if you need assistance sits alongside a telephone. The combination of personal computer software and automated answering technology has eliminated a huge number of jobs forever. The same thing can be said of factory automation where robots do almost everything with humans often connecting subassemblies built by machines and performing final quality inspections. Millions of jobs have been permanently eliminated by industrial automation.

The other issue is the size of our workforce. Almost everyone is seeking employment. Most suburban neighborhoods are ghost towns during the day because everyone leaves to go to work. There was a time when a married couple would have a stay at home parent if one of them earned enough to support the family and provide a comfortable lifestyle. There have always been situations where both the husband and wife worked out of economic necessity and that was the norm. Something changed and the workforce ballooned when the norm became that the earning capability of a husband or wife was not the determinate of whether both worked. The expectation was for both members of a marriage to get jobs and work.

Social factors like a low rate of marriage and huge divorce rates create social insecurities that drives everyone to work because the thought of being suddenly alone without marketable job skills is too big of a risk.

The expectations of career goals, earning’s growth and enhanced lifestyle changed the definition of what a comfortable lifestyle entailed. Increased consumption from dual high income households combined with the use of credit by everyone fueled an outsized demand for everything from electronics to homes. This inflated demand masked the fact that normal demand could not support our work force.

The financial crisis ripped the scab off the real issue of the workforce and demand imbalance. Many consumers retreated back to an earlier model regarding buying goods and services. We had been on a “just get it if you want it” economic model and suddenly switched to a get it if you absolutely need it mentality. The days of replace it if it’s broken have replaced getting the hot new feature such as a 3D television when your current television will still last for years.

At the same time demand crashed, people ready to exit the workforce through retirement came back in because many had their retirement savings gutted by the stock market crash during the last part of 2008. The combination of low demand and swollen workforce creates a nightmare scenario that unfortunately may be solved by a painful descent into a generally lower standard of living for millions of Americans. We are now dealing with something closer to the real economy, but it happened so suddenly that there was no adjustment period, just pain for many.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dancing On Caylee Anthony’s Grave

Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her young daughter Caylee. Now everyone including her mother, jurors and television show hosts are dancing on her grave with eyes toward making money.

There has been a change in attitude since O J Simpson was acquitted of murder. O J was a pariah and no one wanted to touch him from a commercial standpoint, but Casey Anthony is a different story. Due to the absolute media lust for ratings and tabloid sales, nothing is off limits. O J Simpson was on trial for the death of two adults possible at his hands. Adults have a chance, they can fight back. Caylee Anthony was 2 years old when she disappeared and was later found dead.

Why will Casey Anthony profit from the death of her daughter? Some reports estimate that Casey could earn $1 million for her initial interview and a possible book deal is reportedly already in the works. O J was famous and then became infamous. Casey Anthony was unknown and became infamous. Casey Anthony is young, petite and appears nonthreatening while O J Simpson was a Hall of Fame professional football player.

At least one Casey Anthony juror was seeking money for an interview. Some television hosts used the trial to build up their ratings. Somewhere in this orgy of excess a little girl was lost in the mix. The tragedy of this case was that it was all inside one family. Parents of the accused were also the grandparents of the dead little girl and their daughter could receive the death penalty if she was found guilty.

The public believed that emotion would convict Casey Anthony, but a lack of any firm connection to her causing Caylee’s death generated a not guilty verdict from a jury. This is a new world compared to the time of O J Simpson. Now the famous and infamous walk down the same road and both are rewarded financially.

A little 2-year old girl died and now the vultures feast off her bones in the graveyard.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is Michele Bachmann A Welfare Queen?

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

It seems that a lot of government funds that have flowed into the coffers of Michele Bachmann and her husband over the years. While she rails against big government she has taken in large sums of government money. While not officially on the welfare rolls, could Bachmann be considered a government welfare queen?

I know that the classic image of the welfare queen is someone down on their luck, living in government provided housing and considered to be gaming the system, of course that is far from the truth. What do you call a member of Congress that is running for President that has taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government?

An article titled “ConservativeCash CropJuly 1, 2011 by Timothy Egan and printed in the New York Times July 1, 2011 states how a farm, in which Bachmann is a partner, received $251,000 in federal farm subsidies from 1995-2009. The same article indicated Marcus Bachman, Michele Bachmann’s husband, collected Medicaid payments of $137,000 for his mental health clinic since 2005 and $24,000 for staff training from the state of Minnesota. If you are keeping track, that is $412,000 since 1995. Remember Michele Bachmann is a lawyer that represented the IRS and should know all of the angles on government tax subsidies and loopholes.

Michele Bachmann seems to be another in a long line of opportunistic political figures who has constructed a mythology of words that does not come close to matching reality. It also now seems that her often mentioned claim of raising 23 foster children is being questioned. An article titled “Michele Bachmann's History As A Foster Parent Remains Murky” by Jason Cerkis July 1, 2011 in the Huffington Post indicates that Michele Bachmann did indeed keep foster children, but it seems for short periods at a time from 1992 through 1998. According to the article, Bachmann primarily kept teenage girls and sought out unwed mothers according to an official from the company that licensed her as a foster parent and he said one foster child stayed with her for almost one year. It seems the definition of the word “raised” is at issue.

Michele Bachmann will go the way of Sarah Palin over time as the facts catch up with her self-created superwoman mythology. It is laudable that Michele Bachmann became a foster parent, but if she is stretching the truth of that issue for political gain she will pay the price for doing so. The charges of an unfair media bias will be coming as she will be confronted with her real history, but by that time she will be positioned to profit from speeches, books and television appearances.

Running for President is an opportunity for Michele Bachmann to position herself to cash in like her contemporary, Sarah Palin. Bachmann has learned well by watching Palin. Sarah Palin rode her failed Vice Presidential bid to fame and fortune and Bachmann will do the same with her run for the Presidency of the United Sates of America.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Republicans Will Crash America Before Raising Taxes On Rich

Republican John Boehner - Speaker of the House

Let me get this right, the Republican leadership seems ready to see the United States default on its debt obligations before they would raise taxes on the rich to help bring the deficit down. If you listen to the Republican leadership carefully, they are saying that they can't get a tax increase on the rich passed because they don't have the votes.

This means that the pledge signers and tea party faction has the ability to ruin the economy even more because of their loyalty to a position over what seems to be logical, increasing revenues. I think their stance is starting to really sound odd to the public at large. The response that come from Republican House of Representatives and Senate leaders to any suggestion of raising taxes on the wealthiest among us makes it seem like the suggestion of such a thing is a mortal sin.

Has there been an explosion in the number of millionaires and billionaires in the middle of this economic downturn? That must be the situation. If the wealthy are suddenly the majority voting block then maybe the way Republicans are throwing their bodies in front any effort to increase taxes on the rich could be rationalized, but that is not the case. The bold and brazen calls by elected Republicans to make cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and increase the Social Security eligibility age while refusing to even consider tax increased on the wealthy are shameless. What is really going on here?

It seems that even many of the people that voted the Republicans into office are starting to question a group that came up with a plan to end Medicare as we know it while also saying that higher taxes on the wealthy is unthinkable.

As the clock ticks it seems that special interests have won a crucial victory. The new GOP battle cry is not keep you government hands off of my Medicare, but keep your government tax increases away from my rich friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unemployed But Not Destroyed & 911 Country Down

I went to work today for the first time in over one year. That statement illustrates the depth of the nation’s problems. Educated, experienced and willing workers can’t get jobs in the United States and some can’t even get a face-to-face interview.

In light of going through this journey across the desert, I have written my 13th and 14th written works. Unemployed But Not Destroyed is for everyone out there who is absolutely confused, disgusted and perplexed at the state of the economy and job market. Companies seem to be sitting on mounds of cash and are hiring more workers abroad than in the United States.

How do you maintain your dignity during long periods of unemployment? How do you react to those accusing the jobless of being lazy, unmotivated or even needing drug testing? How should the unemployed feel about those who accuse them of riding on the public dole by accepting unemployment benefits? There are ways to respond to all of those attempts to pile guilt onto those unexpectedly thrown into this extremely harsh job market. Ironically many of those hurling insults helped cause the problem in the first place.

911 Country Down is a quick examination of the current state of the United States of America. We have companies with massive cash reserves that won’t hire. We have politicians that are more concerned about the needs of special interests than of citizens that voted them into office. Elected officials and special interests that fund their campaigns have turned politics into a two party reality show complete with point scoring. Many of us participate in our own misery by continually falling for the pick pocket and distraction games. Distractions such as hot button social issues, crazy Presidential birth certificate theories and double-secret hidden religious agenda nonsense allow the collective American pocket to be picked and send upward to the richest among us.

Government is being demonized all across the country as being something undesirable and many are buying into the narrative. Stop. This is just a preparation to transform everything from our public schools, roads and Social Security system from service based to profit making concerns. In other words the carving knife is out to slice up the spoils and pass them out to business interests as rewards for filling campaign coffers with cushy positions waiting for them in the newly privatized former government run systems.

911 Country Down – How to Fix America is value priced at $.99.

Some are fixated on assigning blame. I only have one thought for you to consider. If your car is in the ditch do you blame the tow truck driver trying to pull you out or the person that ran you off of the road?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wage Gap - Rich Men, Poor Men

There is an increasing wage gap between the top executives of companies and other workers. Top executives in some large companies live a life of luxury with private jets at their disposal. What caused this view that only those at the top really matter?

An article titled “Executive pay drives increasing wage gap by Peter Whoriskey June 20, 2011 and published in the Seattle Times looks into the pay gap using one company as an example. The pay and perks of the CEO of this company have increased exponentially since 1970 while in real terms the pay of rank and file workers have decreased.

There may be one factor helping to drive the view of increasing value of executives versus less value of other workers, automation. The increased use of automated systems in everything from manufacturing to sales helps create a view that workers are simply attached or enable the automation. The workers monitor the automated systems or fill in gaps of processes that the technology can’t perform. Customer relationship management systems in sales capture vital customer data and give alerts on follow up dates that sales representatives carries out. Although the system does a lot, it can’t actually make the calls. The automated manufacturing systems need skilled individuals to keep them operating at top levels. Simply put, the skill, concern and dedication of individual employees determine the quality of the final product and services a company delivers.

We have entered the era of no-lose situations for many CEOs. Golden parachutes contain payouts so large that they are disconnected to the success or failure of the firm or performance of the executives. Some of those same executives have instituted policies during this recession that restrict hiring permanent employees in favor of bringing on contract workers. Many firms are creating jobs in foreign markets instead of the United States.

The bottom line is the excessive levels of pay and perks for top executives totally disconnect them from other workers in their companies. This situation creates an environment of class warfare instead of unity.

Friday, June 3, 2011

9.1% Unemployment, Disposable Workers And Where Are Job Creators

One Year Unemployed Anniversary Let Them Eat Cake

Well the jobless numbers are in for May 2011 and the rate increased to 9.1% . When will the job creators use their continued tax breaks to hire permanent employees because there is a growing trend afoot in the United States and it is the age of disposable workers. Disposable contract workers do little to get the economy back on a solid footing.

There is a constant refrain of it is not good to raise taxes on those that would be creating jobs. We are waiting for the trickle down; the Bush tax cuts for the top income levels have been in place for years and should have trickled down in the form of permanent jobs by now. There is a new and not often talked about trend out there in the job market, disposable workers. This group of disposable workers is not the gathered on the roadside ready to do a short term construction job, but are computer programmers, project managers and recruiters. Just about every career disciple you can think of from engineers to architects is often hired on a contract basis.

Some contract workers find themselves working on 3, 6, 12 or 18 month contracts and often without medical benefits. Some job seeking network groups will see the same people cycle through 3 or 4 times after their contracts end or even before the terms are up. The reason companies are doing this is because they don’t have to count these people as part of their workforce, provide medical benefits or contribute to retirement plans. Often contract workers actually work for another firm and their paycheck comes from someone other than their work location company.  

The catch 22 for a contract worker is they answer to the powers that be of the contracting firm and the feedback from that company can get them dismissed for almost any reason. Since the company that pays the contracted employee is basically just supplying labor there is very little push back when someone is said not to be suitable for a particular task.

Can someone with a 3, 6, 12 or 18 month job outlook purchase a new car or home that has a 5   to 30-year loan commitment? It is not likely that a contract worker will be able to or want to enter into a long term financial commitment. The continued uncertainty caused by high unemployment, temporary employment and underemployment will continue until job creators start hiring permanent workers.

People with permanent jobs think, act and spent on a long term basis. An article by Gallup places the combined underemployment and unemployed rate at 19.2%. That means that almost 20% of the workforce is not participating in the economy on a normal basis. A video produced by CNN titled Barely Getting By On ‘underemployment’ shows the effects of the issue.  

So exactly what is going on here? The recession allow companies to clear the decks and now many bring in professionals to work on a project basis just like a fast food joints brings in extra help for the lunch rush and then sends them home. The extra profit from this type of labor management goes to bonuses, acquisitions or international expansion. From a long term standpoint this is a worst case scenario because it creates an environment of zero loyalty and is a race to the bottom because the employer and employed are engaged in short term behavior. The employer is planning for profit and the employee is planning for survival.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The January 2010 Day That Osama bin Laden Watched Television

 Video of President Obama That Was On bin Laden's TV
Enlarged Image

Osama bin Laden watched television during one day in January 2010 and decided to record himself watching old footage of his prior adventures. There was one quick image that flashed across his television screen that gave away the exact date the video was made.

As Osama bin Laden went from one recording of himself to another there was a slight glimpse of an image that flashed across the screen. That image was of United States president Barack Obama stepping up to a podium to make an announcement. If that brief image is frozen it becomes fairly clear.

By freezing that image and searching through video images of events at the White House on the White House website, the date that Osama bin Laden made that video became clear. The lineup of people to the right side of President Obama matches that of when he announced the Volker Rule for financial institutions which was on January 21, 2010. The link to the video that shows the image and date is located here

So Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, casually channel surfed by President Obama who would issue an order less than one year and a half later to remove him from his hideout in Pakistan.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Misplaced Anger Over President Obama Getting Osama bin Laden

President Barack Obama

There are posts all over internet forums bordering on defending Osama bin Laden in zeal to make what President Obama ordered to be seen in the least favorable light. Some are asking if bin Laden's killing was legal, was a defenseless man shot etc, stop it.

The goal was to get this man that killed thousands of Americans and it was done. Just because some don't like the President that ordered it should not matter. It seems that the prospect of Osama bin Laden being alive and free is preferable for some of the Obama detractors, if that is the case, it is pathetic.

The latest talking point is the say that President Obama was just following the lead and used information from President Bush. It is obvious that this was a blow to the gut to some of those opposing President Obama that bin Laden was taken out in such a bold way and our Special Forces did it without any loss of American lives.

Osama bin Laden was an enigma sitting out there that seemed to be untouchable. He was behind the death of thousands of all faiths, races and political affiliations. Our way of life was affected due to the actions of bin Laden. The terror alert system and the way we travel were touched by his actions. Even our current financial situation was in part caused by bin Laden. The expensive ten-year war in Afghanistan was a direct result of the attack on the twin towers on 9/11.

Osama bin Laden is gone and we should all be together as Americans as one that caused so much pain is no more.