Most of the time God,Pratt & Whitney or General Electric, will give you another turn in the Barrel.

These are my opinions and my opinions only they do not reflect the opinions of any of my family members or their employer. Note we NOW have NO employers.

Back from a 5.5 Year PCS from the confines of the far Southwest corner of Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The Federal Republic of Germany and Retired.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Barack Hussein Obama has not been a BAD President!

Yes Mr. Alter, Barrack Hussein Obama has not been a BAD President, but by the same token he has not be an Outstanding President, Excellent President, or Good President.  He might be an Average President, or a Mediocre President, and maybe even a Poor President.  But is Barack Hussein Obama a Bad President? NO.
My bet at this time he is somewhere between Average and Mediocre, but he is putting up quite a fight to be Mediocre.  He is but one of the 544 that have a direct say in the path that the United States takes.  It takes at least 295 individuals to be with you to be able to make any change, and Barack Hussein Obama, does not have enough of the 544 individuals on his side, and in all probability he never will have enough.  He is getting a great deal of help from the other 543 individual in quest to be Mediocre.
No body starts out trying to be mediocre, it just happens.

Friday, August 26, 2011

For an individual who used Audacity in the Title of a Book

First a definition to refresh our memories.
Audacious: Intrepid Boldness, Bold or arrogant disregard of NORMAL restrains.
Synonyms: Brash, Brazen, Hutzpah.
With all due respect and admiration to William Shakespeare Act 3, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar, let me say that Barack Hussein Obama, is a very nice, and decent, honorable man.  I am sure that he is a pleasant conversationalist.  He is intelligent; He is caring; He has a sense of Justice; He is a man of Letters.  Not withstanding all of this his actions, or more precisely his lack of action to date concerning the United States Economic Crisis he should not be considered to be Audacious, or to have any audacity, by any rational individual.
It is said the Barack was impressed with “Team of Rivals”, and supposedly how Lincoln lead or managed from behind during the civil war.  That some how he made the group not only work together, but that every member of the group was an equal to the tasks, and all were contributors.  The book is a good read, but for many students of the civil war it did not fill in any missing blanks, and in some cases completely glossed over some of the real documented problem with cabinet.  The comment in John Hay diary in the summer of 1863 is one of the primary pieces indicating that all was not well in the team.  Hay relates that Lincoln had to resort to “tyrannous authority”, and that “most important things he decide & there is no cavil."  The two major reasons that Lincoln won the civil war were he had the logistics systems to support his troops in the field, and he finally found some General who could fight.   Jefferson Davis, never had the logistics system to support his troops, and he ran out unoccupied territory, and out of Generals who could fight.  The Civil War was a war of attrition.
If we are looking for an individual who will clearly defined Goals.  If we are looking for an individual who can clearly articulate these Goals.  If we require an individual who can formulate a strategy and effectively communicate the Strategy to achieve these stated Goals, then to date Barack Hussein Obama has not demonstrated that he is that person.
One can lead from the rear, and that is fine, but one must have a clearly defined goal, and then one must create and communicate to all what the strategy is for achieving these goals.  I have not heard Barack clearly define any goals on any subject, other than to keep on keeping on, or if we just hang on it will all get better some day.
It appears that Barack Hussein Obama has adopted a path to re-election, which will present to his opponents a record of actions that cannot be assaulted, since to date his record is quite absent of any real actions to assault.
The one true weapon in the arsenal of the President of the United States that Barrack Hussein Obama has fail to use is the “Bully Pulpit” as of 30 June 2011 the president has only had 3 News Conference, he has had numerous one on one interviews, but they are not quite the same as the man coming out and being pushed across the networks at the same time.
In 2010 in an interview with Diane Sawyer, Barack Hussein Obama made the following statement “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president”.  It appears that the other possibility have never been articulated by the president, and they are a mediocre first term president, and good second term president, or mediocre first term president and no second presidential term to judge.
From my position up till now it really looks like he trying to make this last option into reality.  The economy is in bad shape, and other than some platitudes about feeling our pain, his lack of leadership on the issue almost borders on malfeasants.  We have a sucking chest wound and rather than plug the hole and keep the lung from collapsing he would rather collapse a lung and have a really compromised economy for an extended period of time, rather than do anything to remediate the situation.  To date these are not the actions of a man with audacity.  I do not hold out much hope that the term audacious will be even with the loosest of interpolations be applied to the job plan Barack Hussein Obama is to be announce in the coming weeks.
For an individual who used audacity in a book title Barack Obama appears to be the antsiest of one who is audacious.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Barack Part Deux

After writing the first post of today I came across the following quote from David Bromwich article “George W. Obama” found here

“Indeed, Obama's understanding of international morality seems to be largely expressed by the proposition that "there's serious  evil in the world" -- a truth he confided in 2007 to the New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks, and attributed to the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr -- combined with the assertion that he is ready to "face the world as it is." The world we seek is, of course, the better world of high morality. But morality, properly understood, is nothing but a framework for ideals.  Once you have discharged your duty, by saying the right words for the right policies, you have to accommodate the world.

This has become the ethic of the Bush-Obama administration in a new phase.  It explains, as nothing else does, Obama's enormous appetite for compromise, the growing conventionality of his choices of policy and person, and the legitimacy he has conferred on many radical innovations of the early Bush years by assenting to their logic and often widening their scope. They are, after all, the world as it is.

Obama's pragmatism comes down to a series of maxims that can be relied on to ratify the existing order -- any order, however recent its advent and however repulsive its effects. You must stay in power in order to go on "seeking." Therefore, in "the world as it is," you must requite evil with lesser evil. You do so to prevent your replacement by fanatics: people, for example, like those who invented the means you began by deploring but ended up adopting. Their difference from you is that they lack the vision of the seeker. Finally, in the world as it is, to retain your hold on power you must keep in place the sort of people who are normally found in places of power.”

This is the most damming indictment of the Man who would be President.  A man who it appears feels that once he has voiced his concern about an evil he has discharged his duty to mankind.  It is the mark of a man who says he has convictions about good and evil, but at the end of the day lacks the determination or the will to change the situation.  In the minds of most people this is not a leader.  I am not sure that it makes a really good follower.  On the face of it, at best he is a mediocre President.  Barack might be a great campaigner, and he might have been a good senator, given that the Senate is purported to be a deliberative body, and it appears that he like to be deliberative.  But in the area of original thinking, and conviction, well not so much.
Senators do not make very good presidents, and I feel that unless there is some miracle this ex-senator/president is destined to join the list of the poor, undistinguished.  History will remember him, but it will not be a kindly rememberance.
The following is a list of Presidents who were Senator prior to be President and their ranking. There are 14 names on the list
James Monroe 2nd Quartile, John Quincy Adams 2nd Quartile, Andrew Jackson 1st Quartile, Martin Van Buren 3rd Quartile, William Henry Harrison 4th Quartile, John Tyler 4th Quartile, Franklin Pierce 4th Quartile, James Buchanan 4th Quartile, Andrew Johnson 4th Quartile, Benjamin Harrison 4th Quartile, Warren G. Harding 4th Quartile, Harry S. Truman 1st Quartile, John F. Kennedy 2nd Quartile, Lyndon B. Johnson 2nd Quartile and Richard M. Nixon 3rd Quartile.
63 percent of the Presidents ranked in the 4th Quartile have the dubious honor of having first served in the Senate.  50 percent of the above list presidents who were senators have the dubious honor of making the 4th Quartile.  This 4th Quartile also has it share of Generals (2), or 66 percent of Generals who were elected President without holding any prior elected office.
So what have we learned? Senator more times than not do not make good Presidents, Generals more times than not do not make good Presidents.
Back to Barack, given a choice I think that most men would rather have tried and failed, then not tried and failed.  With the first path there is a chance of success, with the second path there is the certainty of failure.
It is my opinion that Barack when given a choice,  9 time out 10 Barack will choose the option with the certainty of failure.

Dear Barack, You cannot have it both ways (SPMUYFM).

As President you have signed an executive order freezing pay of Civil Service Employees (OK); you administration has establish a policy where there are a series of sequential rolling 90-day periods of hiring freezes (OK?). You recently signed an executive order directing federal agencies to develop strategic plans to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce (WTFAH).
Let me get this straight in my mind, no pay raises, no new hires, no promotions, and now let's play office and require each organization to develop strategic plans to recruit diverse employee's if we could hire them, and retain diverse employee's if we could pay them.  I must be as dense as a stone.  Are you sure that your chief policy adviser on this subject is not a short little guy who is red, looks like a cat who wears glasses and answers to the name Catbert?
I cannot imagine how tough your job is but if you are not up to task, just raise your hand, turn in your wings, and walk away.  From my vantage it appears that you are really in deep Kim chi, and you forgot to breath through your mouth.
If you are going to stay please make up your mine, pick a path and follow it, this jumping back and forth is nuts.  PS it is also scaring the shit out of everyone.
As I see it right now you are in a knife fight to the deck to gain a position in the much vaunted 4 Quartile of Presidents of the United States.  This pantheon of politicians include William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Warren Harding, The every popular George W (Shrub) Bush. Every single one of which a mother would be proud and honored to name her first born failure after. 
The only question at this time is will you finish lower than the Shrub?  Out of the Jaws of victory defeat is snatched.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The market trend remains the same

Even with all of the wild market swings the net trend is still the same. DOWN.  All is not well in Gotham, Athens, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin.  It will take some time for all of them to get well.  Some bargains are starting to appear.  It may be best to just turn off the news and relax, because there is not much that you can do about it at this time, other than not feed into the system.

Regression to the mean is a bitch coming down, and a blessing going up.  We are at the present time going down at the present.  Regression to the mean is a fact, nature is a regression to the mean system.

Investing is a long game, trading is a short game.  So keep your powder dry, wait for your shot.   Aim small miss small.

As one very old investor said, patience, patience, and more patience.  Do not be in a hurry to buy, and do not be in a hurry to sell.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Paler Shade of Gray

Opinions are like ass holes everyone has one; so here is my opinion/ass hole.  Bond Ratings are opinions nothing more and nothing less.  Therefore one must infer that Bond ratings are like ass holes.  The bad news is all ass holes smell to some varying degree.  These ass holes stink.
If you are having some doubt on the issue I invite you to read the June 2009 Moody’s Investment Document Titled “Moody’s Rating Symbols & Definitions”, which is slick 54 page document full of horse shit which appears to have been written by their marketing department. You can find it at their web site, I would put the URL here, but it does not seem work correctly.
In particular one should be directed to a little section on page 8 titled “Long-Term Corporate Obligation Ratings” where the various rating levels for long-term corporate obligations are categorized.  There are 9 major Levels.  Appending a numerical value of 1 to 3 is used to further delineate six of these Levels.   Three of these Levels are not further delineated by a numeric value.    This allows for 21 levels of Moody’s Bond rating hell, three times as many as Dante provide in “The Inferno”.  The rating for 19 levels of Moody’s Bond rating hell use one of the following four words in their description “judged, considered, subject”.  The lowest levels of hell use the words “likely in default” or “in default”.
The words “judged, considered, subject and likely” are words that connote opinion not fact.  You can be sued and lose for knowingly or for that matter unknowing misstating fact; knowingly misstating opinion is much harder to prove in a court of law.  Additionally words and phrases like “minimal, very low, low, moderate, substantial, high, very high” are used throughout the definitions.   Again these are words that connote opinioned size or probability, and again only in the most abstract of manner.  No opinion or guidance is provided in this document as to what is the difference say between “very low” and “low”.  It is left up to the reader to infer at their own peril as to what the committee was inferring when they came up with their rating, which is nothing more than a inference.
There appears to be just too much snake oil, too much smoke and mirrors, or just too much crap in the system and the process to make it seem credible much less usable to anyone.  The system appears to have been designed to create and foster confusion.
The use credit rating agency rating of an obligations is at best a lazy man way of performing due diligence on his investment, and at worse malfeasance.  The use of a credit rating which is reality nothing more than an opinion, that is bought by the selling agent should not relieve any fiduciary entity from performing their own due diligence on the issues that they are purchasing.  The use of credit agency rating is fraught with pit falls most notable being the implicit assumption that the rating agency did their due diligence.  At the end of the day it is the investor who stands the loss, not the fiduciary agent acting for the investor, and certainly not the credit rating agency.
The rating for long-term United States obligations as opinioned by one the three major credit rating agency fell from the first level of a possible 21 levels in their rating hell to the second level of a possible 21 levels in their rating hell.  And now we all are supposed to grab the hand of the persons standing next to us and calmly walk off the cliff.  “CRAP”
Credit rating agencies are filled with humans, and as such they are subject to all the failures of humans.  They have acted in the recent past in a manner that has shown that they are not independent, unbiased, or disinterested third parties.  They have been shown not to be independent, they know who provides their bread, and who butters it, and they have been shown to be loyal to their masters.  They answer to no one outside of the system.  Their actions are for the most part legal, but not moral.
In several recent books on the financial implosion it was state and believed by various individuals that the people who ended up in the various credit rating company arrived at that position because they were not the sharpest tools in the shed, in that they could not cut it at organization further up the food chain.  I do not know if this is true, but recent actions by at least one of the parties would indicate to me that there might be at least some truth to story.
Credit rating agencies have been shown not to have performed due diligence in their rating, additionally it has been shown that the mechanism that they say exist internal to their organization to detect and control an malfeasance are at best ineffective, and at worse non existent.
In all probability they were corrupt from day one, it is just that given the stakes that were involved then it did not really matter, unfortunately it is different today.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wanker of the Year

Our nomination for Wanker of the Year goes to to Rep John Mica, 7th District Florida.  John has been a professional politician for most of his adult life.  First in the Florida State House (1976-1980) and then in the Congress of the United States(1992-Present).  When John was not in public office he was still living of the taxes we pay as an assistant to Florida US Senator. (1981-1985).  His other hobbies are real estate executive (imagine that a real estate developer in Florida).  A governmental affairs consultant (Lobbyist).  Politics have been very good to John, in 2006 his reported net wealth was in excess of 2 Million Dollars, on God knows what it is today.  From all the information that can be found on the internet, John's other hobby is wrapping the flag around himself.

So here is a picture of what a Wanker looks like.

Why is this Guy smiling?  Maybe it because the voters of the 7th district of Florida keep sending him back to Congress.

Only God know what is going through his mind, and I am not sure that even God really wants to know.   You know they should put photographs of individuals on the ballot.  Because if I saw a picture like this I would vote for the other person.