Monday, 24 August 2009

Cash Spiral, of Sorts

So the smoke has cleared....and we now know that there will be a likely $300 million cash-for-clunkers federal program to boost....washing machines and dishwashers.

Yes, as if we really needed it...but apparently the big boys got enough money in to make the President and the Democrats happy.

The deal? There will be rebates this fall...of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. Yep...you can finally trade in your old appliance and do this cash-for deal.

Where does the madness end?

I was thinking several more possible cash-for ideas.

First, cash-for-hoes...where the two remaining hoe companies in western Iowa got a chance to recover...as you guys swapped in your old hoes.

Second, cash-for-baseball gloves....to help the glove manufacturing companies. If you have a old mitt from 1977 or prior...you can get a $12 rebate on a trade-in.

Third, cash-for-mule collars....where you can bring in a old mule collar and get $50 rebate on the purchase of a brand-new one....made in China.

Fourth, cash-for-septic tanks....where you dig up your old tank...present it to some guy at the Home Depot backdoor...and he gives you a $1000 card that you can use for a new purchase. Hopefully, you have your cousin Carl lined up for the digging work.

Fifth, cash-for-Playboy magazines....where you turn in your 88 copies of Playboy and you get a new subscription for one year with Playboy. The 88 copies get shipped off to Mexico for those poor guys down there who haven't gotten any Playboy copies.

Sixth, cash-for-fishing lull's....where you turn in ten old lulls and get eight brand new one's in exchange. So far, no one has figured out who manufactures these in the US and most folks think it's a Chinese trick of sorts.

Seventh and final...cash-for-slinkies...where you take your old slinky sitting in the basement...get $3...and a coupon for a special new slinky for $9.99. This is special order, and it may take three years to get the new slinky.

The cash-for-clunkers program was a big positive for sales...but dealers are standing there now....with a bunch of folks worried about when their dealership will be paid for the action taken. Now? The same guys who ran the clunkers program....think this will work?

What I Hate About Republicans

It is my independent voter nature.....that I'm really not a huge fan of the Republican party. To be honest...half of their message does sell.....the other half? It's got various issues and I tend to either be amused by it or simply pretend they didn't say something that stupid.

First, there is this uneasy relationship with the Christian right-wing types. No, this doesn't include the Catholics, the Jews, or the Mormons. The party extends out as far as it can....to cover these guys and their three or four special interest issues. For every one of these Christian right-wing types that they bring in....they more or less exclude another guy who might vote for them (the independent type).

Up until recently, the Christian right-wing types were always one-hundred percent in the corner of the Republicans....then this global warming crowd got smart and began to court the Bible-thumpers. So today, there's around twenty-five percent of the crowd who are falling into the Democratic message.....and lessening their vote potential for the Republicans. Yet to make up for this....the party would never lessen their approval of the Christian group or court the Catholics or Jews heavily....and they'd never say welcome to the Latter-Day Saints crowd.

Second, as much as the Democrats court the bankers....the Republicans court the oil and natural gas crowd. If they could write a totally open and blank check for the crowd....they would. As much as we all have some reasons to give a pass to the natural gas and oil crowd....it's not a totally free pass that we seek for them. There ought to be limits.....but the Republican leadership tends to avoid that discussion.

Third, about every three months.....there is this great and wonderful relationship with some foreign special interest group that falls into our laps (normally the Saudis occur once or twice a year). The party tries to look the other way, but frankly, there are millions that pour in for representatives or senators. Everyone of these guys grins when caught....and then you just see some idiot standing there with no idea of the mess they are in.

Fourth, this wonderous morale argument that they make 365 days out of the year....tends to fall apart about every fifteen days or so. Some guy gets arrested. Some guy gets outed by a bunch of gays. Some guy is getting a divorce for having four girlfriends. Some guy is caught accepting money for doing mostly nothing. After a while, you get tired of the morale argument.

Fifth, as much as I like to say it....but Rush is about thirty percent of the pulling power of the Republican party. He can charge up a bunch of dimwits and actually get them to show up and vote....when the enthusiasm really isn't there. I'd like to look around and find a "Rush-Lite" but frankly, there is no such human being. The 2008 election? Rush was never much of a McCain-supporter...and you knew it by the early March primary season. Rush truly didn't charge up his crowd....because he just never bought into McCain's message. It's easy to be against Obama....but you need a guy to be for.....and that didn't exist in the message.

So there is this love-hate thing I have about the Republicans. It's easy to be for them in some ways and it's easy to be against them....in some ways.

The VA

Ever wondered why old ex-GI's hate the VA?

Today, the dimwits came out and admitted that at least 1,200 Gulf War veterans across the US....mostly in Bama, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming....were mistakenly notified by the Veterans Administration that they suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease.

You can imagine 1,200 guys....going to the mailbox....and getting this stupid letter.

Hours were spent as they sat there in silence...contemplating their life and what was left of it...thanks to the VA.

So far, the VA says it was a coding error. They can't say much of an apology or how sorry they are. For 1,200 guys....it's a lousy moment...being told something like this.

For most guys....they'd really prefer to give up the VA situation and just get full-up paid health care with a real hospital. If you examined the cost involved....it probably would be about the same amount of money. At least it would be first class care....compared to what vet's get today.

The CIA

Apparently...from what ABC news says....a "profanity-laced screaming match" at the White House occurred. It involved CIA Director Leon Panetta. It appears that Leon has now threatened to quit just seven months after taking the job. The suggestion that the Attorney General is about to take the CIA investigation to a new level....has apparently shaken the foundations of the CIA.

Consider this...Panetta was not the first, second or third choices for the CIA job. It took them a long while because people found problems with candidate one...and I think both the second and third came to a point of just saying "no". So Panetta was asked to just fill in. I don't think the White House or Panetta aimed for this to be more than twelve to eighteen months.

Lets admit this....Panetta has zero talent or skill at this entire business. It probably took alot of discussions and agreements to get him to sign on and agree to this job that he doesn't really want. He probably discussed the chances of this investigation business and was probably assured that the president would not allow it to go to this degree. Obviously, this gentleman's understanding didn't hold up.

What happens now? Panetta now has no reason to stay on and I would imagine that he will announce his "retirement" to occur this next week...after the President returns from the vacation.

So lets go to what happens within the CIA. Almost every single employee will take this as a threat to themselves. The management will tell them all that they are safe, and to just shut up.

So the AG and his investigators arrive....to find CIA guys smiling. No one cooperates with them and claims whatever they know....is classified and the AG doesn't have a need to know (this drilled into every military and CIA analyst from day one).

As days go by....CIA operations overseas start to deteriorate and operatives now start to question everything of their bosses. Who authorized this mission? What director approved it? What was the original intent? Who is paying for what? CIA management starts to meet and discuss the mess. The KGB monitoring them...starts to laugh and report this mess daily back to Moscow.

So the spring of 2011 comes...the Republicans have taken back the house (but not the Senate). They start requesting the AG to meet with them. They start to get confrontational over the mess. No individual from the CIA is ever brought into court because the AG eventually offers his resignation.

You also have to consider this. Eric Holder may very well be the Democratic nominee for senator in Illinois. So this entire mess could be dropped by February as he runs out of steam and decides to move on.