Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for December, 2008

Two Video Humor

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 31, 2008

I categorized both of these videos under Humor. You may not see the first one as funny but I laughed when I saw it. It certainly wasn’t for the participants but years later it may. Wedding Disaster

The second one reviews the year 2008 about as well as could be done in song. Uncle Jay Explains: Year End! 12-22-08

Enjoy and Happy New Year.

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Gov. Gregoire Moves Right?

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 31, 2008

Governor “Dino” Gregoire – there may be hope for us yet. The bloom is hardly off her re-election and Chris is showing a hint of conservative realism. First there was her proposed no tax increase budget despite a forecasted deficit in the $6 billion range. Then she announced a stunner. Following the lead of Arizona and New York, she proposed deporting illegal aliens held in state prisons saving about $9 million over two years.

Of course, state employee unions filed suit against her budget because it would delay planned pay raises. And one key Democrat, budget-writing chair of the Ways and Means Committee, State Senator Margarita Prentice, announced opposition to the deportation measure. But still, it is significant that both of these actions are Democrats targeting one of their own. It could all be a ploy to neuter Republican opposition to the Democrat’s liberal agenda. Or could it be Gregoire does not intend to run for a third term and has decided to steer her own course over the next four years? Perhaps she really is more conservative than her party.

Hey, the tooth fairy never disappointed me.

sound Politics

Posted in State & Local | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Navy – This Will Stir Your Heart.

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 29, 2008

This great bit of hoo rah Navy propaganda is a must see especially if you have ever served in the military. It is apparently from a web site called Great Dane Pro Military which I Googled but found no information as to the individual or group that produces the site. Nevertheless, it’s worth a few minutes to watch with pride. Click on the blue Navy Video and enjoy.

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

Bail Out Trailer Trash

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 23, 2008

James Carville, former Clinton campaign advisor, once said about Paula Jones who accused President Clinton of sexual harassment “If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” Just think what trailer trash might (will) turn up if you drag a trillion dollars through the American economy? Let’s hope the government hires a better audit firm to track the bail out money than Bernie Madoff did for his investment company. Then again, the government has several Ponzi schemes of its own going, like Social Security, and its audit firm, “The House and Senate”, doesn’t seem too concerned.

Posted in National Politics, Other | Leave a Comment »

Obama – What Matters?

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 18, 2008

I received an e-mail from a friend touting a NewsMax article on irregularities in Obama’s record-breaking campaign fundraising. He asked recipients to comment. Well here’s mine.

If Obama’s campaign accepted contributions from Daffy Duck, foreign nationals, amounts over the $4,600 legal limit or tainted money of any kind, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama was born in Nigeria, Indonesia or Mars, forget the Constitution, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama got a sweetheart deal on the purchase of his million dollars plus house from convicted felon Tony Rezco, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama is a friend of unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayres, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama was a twenty-year member of Reverend Wright’s church, was married by Wright and Wright baptized him as well as his two daughters, yet he had no idea of the radical anti-American views of Wright, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama’s political education came from “The Chicago Way” where the dead vote, pay to play is the norm and corruption is expected, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama or his lieutenants are up to their necks in the scandal surrounding the Illinois Democrat governor’s alleged attempt to sell Obama’s Senate seat, it doesn’t matter.

If Obama is the least experienced President Elect in U.S. history, it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is Obama won in a landslide of electoral votes and a comfortable majority of the popular vote in a very high turn out election.

What does matter is the number of true believers in “Hope and Change” seems to exceed those who place their faith in the real Messiah.

What does matter is talk radio and even the fawning mainstream media revealed most of the “doesn’t matter” but none of it opened the eyes of made up minds.

Now we find ourselves in a financial crisis that threatens the very foundations of the nation if not the world. Terrorism still lurks and wars against same promise to be decades long. Trust in government, regardless of political party, is low and falling. Yet government is assuming frightening control of the economy and many other aspects of freedom. One more crisis could well push us over the brink. Consider the consequences if Obama was snared in a scandal that caused him to be denied the high office to which he was elected. The shock would exceed Watergate or the assassination in Dallas.

So while the sky high expectations for Obama, which he has done little to discourage, are clearly unattainable and his baseline leftist views are a real concern, Obama will be our Preseident and he should be given a chance. He will be challenged, not just from Al Qaeda or out numbered Republicans but also the Pelosi/Reed led liberals in Congress. There are two choices. He is successful and leads the nation out of chaos or the Democrats fail and set the stage for a 1980, 1994 style Republican resurgence. For the sake of the nation, I hope for the former, Obama takes a practical course and succeeds. For the sake of the nation I could, support the latter if the Republicans actually offered a principled conservative alternative.

Posted in National Politics | 1 Comment »

Fred Thompson On the Bailout

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 16, 2008

Former U. S. Senator and briefly presidential candidate Fred Thompson has a patriotic holiday greeting for you – spend!

click here

Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

“Cool” Military Photos

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 12, 2008

Thanks to loyal reader FC for the following web sites showing a collection of “cool” military photos:

http://www.tom-phillips.info/images/cool.pics.military.htm

http://www.tom-phillips.info/images/cool.pics.military.2.htm

http://www.tom-phillips.info/images/cool.pics.military.3.htm

Go Navy! (And those other services too.)

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

Economic Recovery, Part III – The Debt Bubble

Posted by Warren Peterson on December 1, 2008

You’ve heard of the tulip bubble, the dot com bubble and the housing bubble but not much about the debt bubble. And it may be the worst of all.

The U.S. Federal debt stands at approximately 6 trillion dollars give or take a few billion. It can be argued that as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the current debt, while high, is manageable. Compared to the 120 percent carried at the peak of WWII, our current debt at 65% seems low. But even that level is more than double the ratio in 1980. The projected increase in the national debt of over a trillion dollars is considered a temporary investment for economic recovery. The government should recoup most of that money once recovery takes hold or so goes the rosy theory. (See Economic Recovery, Part II)

But the amount of money borrowed by the Feds is only a small part of the story. Add state and local government, corporate and consumer debt and the number becomes a little scary. Reach for the panic button when unfunded liability for items like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, retiree health care and pensions is included.

Total Debt (Dollars in Trillions)

$ 6.3 Federal Debt (a)

52.8 Unfunded liability for Social Security, Medicare and other benefits (a)

2.2 State and Local government (may or may not include unfunded liabilities) (b)

10.7 Mortgage Debt (2007) (c)

2.6 Consumer Debt (d)

2.8 Corporate Debt (large loans only) (e)
______

$144.1 Grand Total

That’s about $472,000 for every man, woman and child, legal or illegal, in the nation.

There are ways to reduce this massive debt or even make it go away.

1. Print money. Sure it would cause high inflation but the debt could be paid down in cheaper dollars. This is not so good if you happen to be invested in debt like mortgages or bonds or expected your pension to buy something near the same level of goods and services every year of retirement.

2. Spend less at all levels. Don’t buy a house unless you can afford a sizable down payment and have a steady job. No more HDTV sets on credit. Governments balance their budgets including liabilities. Unfortunately, we are a consumer credit driven economy with politically motivated budgets.

3. Default. Just declare, “We can’t pay.” The economy absorbed the default of $2.5 billion of Washington (State) Public Power Supply System bonds in 1983. We have weathered corporate collapses (Enron). Personal bankruptcies occur every day. Default is hard on the investor but tolerated by the economic system. Large defaults by government, however, would destroy confidence and drive the United States and the world into a long and deep depression.

4. Grow out of it. This theory says as we grow the economy, our debt becomes relatively less. For this to work, acquisition of new debt has to stop and the debt “due date” has to be long term. Most of the unfunded liabilities don’t fall into the latter category and the political will to do the former is not yet there.

5. Assume the unknown breakthrough. Genetic research discovers the keystone for curing cancer, diabetes and a host of other diseases resulting in dramatically lower health care costs and a much later retirement age saving pension expense. Development of an inexpensive solar powered fuel cell capable of powering homes, factories and all modes of transportation virtually eliminating energy costs unleashes a new era of prosperity.

6. Place head firmly in sand. Watch what you leave exposed though.

One thing for sure, the markets will correct for the debt bubble just as they did for every economic tsunami in the past. The day of reckoning is coming. The question is how soon?

What are your thoughts and ideas? Click the “Comment” button below.

Sources:

(a) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt
(b) http://www.realclearmarkets.com/charts/soaring_state_and_local_debt-46.html
(c) http://mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat-a.htm
(d) http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/default.htm
(e) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/opinion/19sun1.html

Posted in Other | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

 
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