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May 20, 2009

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Rick Ballard

Good morning, Jane.

What do you think should be the first plank in the National Tea Party Platform? I've been wondering if formalizing the approach to rejection of the DC Thieves Club through a promise of denial of support might provide a vertebrae or two to some Washington annelids.

The Contract With America (LUN if Typhuspad remains dysfunctional) provides some ideas regarding form - possibly some content as well.

narciso

They're bringing Ghilani here, that the definition of 'stuck on stupid' than again sometimes people, not our fair bunch' have to relearn from their mistakes. I swear they are testing the proposition that you can't recreate the events from '24,
particularly season 4 & 6.

Rick Ballard

Good morning, Jane.

What do you think should be the first plank in the National Tea Party Platform? I've been wondering if formalizing the approach to rejection of the DC Thieves Club through a promise of denial of support might provide a vertebrae or two to some Washington annelids.

The Contract With America (LUN if Typhuspad remains dysfunctional) provides some ideas regarding form - possibly some content as well.

NOTE: Typhuspad et the whole comment when HTML was used. SixApart sucks like an industrial vacuum.

Alessandro Machi

Please don't defend the credit card companies. One of the most idiotic credit card press releases / news reports that I have read talks about an increase in credit card defaults without linking it to the increase in credit card interest rates.

It is most likely that for every percentage point the credit card companies increase interest rates, there is a corresponding rise of at least one percentage point in the number of credit card defaults.

To simply report the default rate without mentioning the higher interest rates as being a cause is simply bad bad reporting by our bought out media.

http://www.daily-protest.com

narciso

Meanwhile, Pepe Escobar, the Columbian Sy Hersh, take that as you will, entails future
operations in Helmand province, out of Dasht
e Margo, into Balochistan. He focuses on General MacChrystal, who's my new hero in the fight, in part because Hersh has tagged him, like Arkin did General Boykin.


Escobar is still fuming over pipelines like Ted Rall, and the 'installation' of Kharzai,
tied to Khalilzhad and that mythical gas pipeline dude, we don't bother to build pipelines in this country. We're letting the Canadian Imperial Oil siphon our oil in the Beaufort Sea. We won;t dare put an oil derrick on the Gulf Coast, but we're willing
to risk Somali pirates hijacking tankers on the way to Suez. "We really dodged a bullet
there"

Captain Hate

What's the complaint about credit cards? If you pay things off promptly you don't pay any fees. Plus I got into a dustup with Hertz for adding a charge that I didn't need and, after becoming frustrated dealing with their "customer service" robotic drones, sicced Visa on their worthless asses: End of problem.

bad

ha ha ha ha ha ha

There is a book coming out about Biden's Blunders.

I'll bet it's a big one.

pagar

There's fraud written all over this deal.

IMO, when America finds out the truth, they are going to find out there is fraud in every thing connected with Obama starting with the birth certificate and touching every thing he has been involved in since. I believe that the biggest fraud occurred in the caucus in Iowa and it snowballed throughout the rest of the campaign, especially in the financial end.


fdcol63

The biggest fraud has been the bias of the MSM.

Hdd they done they're jobs instead of being biased cheerleaders for Obama, this Marxist Weather Underground Manchurian Candidate would never have gotten elected.

pagar

"saying lenders may be unwilling to back unionized companies with underfunded pension and medical obligation"

"McMahon went on to say that YRC Trucking is seeking $1 billion in bailout funds from the federal government, because "about half of YRC's payments to the fund cover employees who never worked for the company."

LUN

bad

FED Reserve is reluctant to guarentee California's bonds.

Fox News

Jane

* FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
* SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
* THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
* FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
* FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
* SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
* SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
* EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

Rick,

I actually think we would go a long way to fixing our problems if #1 were implemented. I swear all of this mess starts with political cronyism. The problem is, who would every vote for that?

I think we need to find people willing to run to buck the system - who of course will be systematically destroyed by all the ins who have all the money.

pagar

Jane, that is an excellent list. I'd like to suggest one more.

Every member of Congress has to sign off that they have read and understand each bill they vote on.

It would not need to be a burdensome procedure, just look at how one has to click that one has read info that web sites require you read when you sign up.

Rick Ballard

Jane,

I begin with the premise that there is not one of our 535 elected representatives whose immediate departure from this vale of tears would have any measurable impact on the republic. I have a very real doubt that the immediate departure of all 535 would be a net negative as well.

If I were design that first plank for a National Tea Party, I believe that I would clearly state that no incumbent who has served more than eight years would receive any support from the party. That would be a first step towards limiting the cronyism to which you refer.

The second plank would be that any candidate seeking the support of the National Tea Party must maintain a searchable database of all contributions. The database must be open to the public and the datafiles easy to download.

Then we could move on to the First, Seventh and Eighth planks listed.

Jane

If I were design that first plank for a National Tea Party, I believe that I would clearly state that no incumbent who has served more than eight years would receive any support from the party.

I love it Rick. I think the entire thrust should be limiting government in every way possible.

And I think we should really think about making government a part time, unpaid endeavor.

clarice

Jane, if you do that you'd put the bureaucracy in charge because it often takes years for Congressmen to learn the ropes.

I think not only committee staff should be cut but so should personal staff and budgets--way overdone and creating nothing but trouble.

Ignatz

With an appropriately sized and circumscribed federal government, Arnold and the CA Dems would now have two choices;
1. Spread the pain as far and wide as possible by cutting everyone's salary, especially harming fire and police, in a vain bid to make the taxpayers say uncle and which would instead result in their all being tossed from office which result would solve the problem by causing number 2 below or,
2. Do number 2 first by acting responsibly and cut out all the fat and stupidity that has been tacked onto our already bloated budget the last twenty years.(Had spending just been kept at the already astronomical levels of 1990, adjusted for population growth and inflation, CA would be running a $15 Billion SURPLUS!)

Instead, as Rick says, we'll get a modified form of #1, wherein our pols hold the state ransom to justify the Feds bailing us out rather than holding it ransom to force taxpayers to capitulate and which will keep the creeps in office because they won't have to make any tough choices.

All I can say is the anger toward the government in its entirety expressed by everyone I know here in CA (including moderates and the apolitical) is boiling over at the surface but also runs very deep. Barry might be able to clamp it down for a time with a bailout but when the whole country is in the same boat thanks to his idiocies something big is going to happen.

cathyf

Ok, I know this is kind of off-topic but I'm kind of slow... I understand why the minority of creditors who objected to the Chrysler fiasco were too small a minority to have standing. What I don't understand is how the creditors who rolled over (the majority) have avoided legal action from *their* clients. This looks like a classic failure of fiduciary duty -- it's one thing for Obama to bully the creditors into giving up the money in their house accounts, but most of the money that they manage isn't theirs.

So the secured creditors got, what was it, 29 cents on the dollar? Seems to me that the lawsuit for breech of fiduciary duty starts with taking the bank house account 29 cents and splitting it up among that bank's customers who were Chrysler bondholders.

Jane

Clarice,

My guess is with the brilliance we have here we could come up with a concrete platform and also probably work out the minutia. So let's give it a whirl. I nominate Rick to be in charge. And if we end up moving we also have a blueprint for our own government.

Cathy,

My guess is that teh legal action is coming.

bad

Ignatz, my college kid thinks there is going to be a huge swing to the right regarding fiscal responsibility.

Rick Ballard

Cathy,

I don't believe that the suits re fiduciary responsibility have been avoided. They may not have been filed as yet but that doesn't mean that they won't be.

I'm looking forward to the big public pension funds, CalPERS in particular, to begin trying to claw back money lost from following the "advice and guidance" offered by some of their money runners. The stench from the self dealing of some big Wall Street players is just too rank to not wind up in court.

Old Lurker

Nobody is defending the credit card companies here at JOM. They certainly are guilty of abusing some of their customers and should be held accountable for that. Probably some basic consumer protection rules of the road are in order.

I think what we object to is having the government interfere in business decision making with a political objective in mind. In this case the goal appears to be enabling a deadbeat class of borrower to obtain credit for less than it should cost by shifting costs to the non-deadbeat class.

To me, there are two "businesses" for credit cards: a)those with lesser credit and who use the cards for longer term loans. This class has a higher default rate, lender chargeoffs and those claims are low on the bankruptcy totem pole and thus are often worthless. And b)those with better credit, low default rates, who use the cards mostly in lieu of cash, who usually pay in full or very quickly, but who do want the vendor leverage when needed and the convenience.

In both cases, the issuer of the card deserves to make a profit for providing a service customers want. The math is simple. Issuer income comes from Vendor Fees, Annual Card Fees, and Interest & other Late Fees on carried balances. In additon to overhead, their costs are the cost of the funds loaned and required to fund the pipeline, teaser and giveaway perks, collection costs, and bad debt writeoffs. In both cases the wildcard is our old friend, the bundling and securitizing of the receivables, often at a high profit to the issuer.

All I'm saying is that each "business" should be subject to market forces so that participants in each market can select the best card for their purposes. The less cross pollution there is between the two businesses, the more accurately will the basket of market terms offered by each issuer relect the cost of serving that market.

As always, when politicians try to help a market, more damage almost always results.

So it will be in this case.

Old Lurker

The first plank needs to echo RR. Let's affirm that the contractural terms of our voluntary association are laid out in the founding documents, that all rights are vested by our creator in the individual, except for those voluntarily assigned by individuals to the 50 States, and except for those limited rights assigned to the Federal government, either by the individual or by the states.

Then we can get into the nitty gritty.

Danube of Thought

NINTH Abolish the congressional parking spaces at Dulles International.

I have zero sympathy--absolutely zero--for anyone who has a problem with the interest rates on credit card debt. Incurring such debt by a failure to pay each month's bill timely is so stupid as to warrant confiscation of the card altogether; those dopes should count themselves fortunate they're allowed to keep the card at all. Pay the interest and shut up. And from now on, pay the bill every month or don't use the card.

Old Lurker

Cathy, one problem is that some of the holders are entities for which "fiduciary duty" applies directly and clearly (pension funds, trusts, etc.), and others are institutions more generally accountable to shareholders only (banks and insurance companies). For the latter, they can hide behind this (caving on the bond security) being only one decision among many, and that in their wisdom the collection of decisions taken as a group are in the best interests of their shareholders. Thus a banker might get away with agreeing to accept TARP cash even if an offsetting cost of that is to reduce the value of some other asset.

As to thew first group, Rick is right the lawyers are sharpening their knives.

Danube of Thought

Maybe the Chrysler creditors still have a pulse after all (I had thought it was a done deal). LUN

clarice

We should also do what we can to re-enforce federalism. As I understand it the ability to force the entire nation to follow Calif emission rules is a direct outcropping of a decision to allow Cal to enforce more stringent requirements than applied elsewhere. If the Commerce clause means anything it means that states should not be permitted to set their own emission policies--the Calif market is so huge than in effect whatever the turkeys there wanted was thru market forces--and now by law--expensively imposed on us all.

In almost every other circumstance the left has used the commerce clause to exercise federal sway over what really should be local decisions.

Go figure.

clarice

How long before the teachers' unions catch on that their pension losses are due to the destruction of those corporations they've been railing against for decades?

Jane

I'm in on just about everything.

How about this for a goal. We develop an outline, contact our local tea party coodinators, send it to PJTV, aim for it to be adopted at the Sept 12th Tea party in DC.

We continue to fill in the blanks as we go along.

Dave in OC

Clarice,

I always enjoy reading your opinions here and at AT. Regarding the California emissions standards we here had established the California Air Resources Board (CARB) prior to the act that created the EPA. There had been Federal clean air acts before that but CA was the only state to have established a bureaucracy (and boy is it ever!) specifically for clean air.

As such the CARB was given the authority to petition the EPA for CA specific emissions standards. At certain times CARB was allowed to write standards that permitted more CO but reduced HC and NOx. Also in the 90s I think some Northeast states were allowed to model CA emissions but denied the ability to write their own.

BTW CARB has had some spectacular failures and had to walk back ZLEV and other (notably ELECTRIC!) mandates as they were clearly unachievable.

You of course may know all this as an attorney but I believe that the EPA has granted CA the ability to have different standards for limited periods only. We also have had labels such as LEV (Low emissions vehicle) ULEV (ultra low) and of course the much ballyhooed ZEV. Of course nothing is zero emitting but hey, it sounds good.

In my note yesterday I think I got the dates a little wrong. CARB was established i the late 60s, 67 I think (hope Wiki's right) and Nixon of course established the EPA in 1970.

I think the real travesty in this is two fold.

1. We don't reasonably have the technology to mandate 35.5 fleet average by the original date of 2020, let alone 2016.

2. The elephant in the room is the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Maria -oops I mean Arnie- wanted. However since the EPA has the proposed regs in public comment at the present time it really shows they had no intention of LISTENING to public comment.

Sorry if I screwed any of this up but most of from my recollections of working for various import car companies over the last 30+ years. And yes, all of my friends and compatriots think they will be really BK again in a few years and keep doing it until they shed the UAW contracts.

PS - A friend of mine was a senior executive at a Detroit based firm and in a local radio interview in the past years or so said "I can tell you the problem with domestic automakers in 3 letters: UAW." He was of course given an armed guard escort to his car in the station's parking structure...

clarice

Thanks, Dave. My point is you cannot expect the car companies to make cars to different standards de-ending on what states they are owned in--and since Ca is such a large market the minute the EPA granted CA that right they gutted the very purpose of the commerce clause.

My 50th high school reunion is goming up. Many of the boys were engineers and many went to nearby Detroit to work for the auto companies. They are retired now and probably worried about their pensions.Rifling thru the yearbook bios puts a face on all this for me.

A darling young cousin (girl) also is an auto engineer as was her husband. He saw the writing on the wall and switched professions a few years ago. AFAIK she works for Ford and probably still is employed there.

I know the people who negotiated this latest emissions deal.I understand that the companies they represent felt it was their best choice under the circumstances in large part because they cannot make it without sales to Calif and cannot afford to produce two different kinds of cars--one for Calif and one for the rest of us.

cathyf

But a big part of the "too big to fail" problem is that these are frequently not separate institutions. Old Lurker is absolutely right in that it's probably better for the bank stockholders to take the TARP money in trade for the Chrysler bonds, but not so for the bank's clients. So the UBS Wealth Management clients and the UBS Paine Webber clients get together and sue the UBS stockholders. Seems to me that you can make a pretty damn good argument that they deserve access to all of the capital of the bank until they are made whole, not just the bank's share of the Chrysler stock. That would mean the bailout funds that UBS got from the Swiss government. The payoffs they got from AIG's CDS's. The mortgage income from the family in Basel...

As OL says, in those cases where the bonds were held by the house account of a bank -- owned by the bank's stockholders -- the stockholder's overarching best interest probably was to sacrifice the bonds in exchange for avoiding the Obama Administration's threats to destroy the bank and destroy all of the stockholder's property. In other words, the stockholders took their bonds, and their clients' bonds, and used them to pay the blackmail to protect the stockholder's assets. By that logic, the clients should be able to go after all of the stockholders' investment to get their fraction of the blackmail money back.

Where are the sleazeball lawyers when we really need them?

clarice

"Where are the sleazeball lawyers when we really need them'
well.when you put it like that!

Dave in OC

Clarice,

I understand and really agree with you. Back in the 60s when I was a wee lad we had lots of days in middle and high school (oops, gave my age away) when the ozone was so bad our chests hurt and we had "PT" indoors. The late Tom Bradley I think noted when he was a beat cop in the 50s (LA confidential anybody?) he would have to stop the car because his eyes were running so much from the ozone.

As is often the case the CARB had a good reason to exist then and has outlived its usefulness. We DON'T need special emissions standards when we have removed something like 97% of real pollution from the fleet. Greenhouse Gases of course are ridiculous made up "pollutants."

Old Lurker

Further to your point in general, Cathy, is that I deal with banks which in addition to their own "book", manage trusts for me where they have investment discretion, and in another case they manage an endowment of a nonprofit I am involved in. So they can do as they like with their own bonds, but they damn well will answer to me for those accounts on which they are my fiduciary. Sorry for them they have a split duty, but that was the bed they made for themselves.

I was thinking of using the old quote yesterday in the thread about Armold and the Kennedys, but it works here as well in accepting help from the Feds: "lie down with dogs. get up with fleas."

Dave in OC

PS - There is NO WAY we are going to be able to meet the 35.5MPG fleet average. Europe with its death trap micro minis and lots of diesels is perhaps at 35, and they don't have pick-em-ups I'm told (never been there but the far east, yeah. You want vehicular death rates like South Korea?). The new blue-tech diesels are promising but very expensive and after the horrible GM diesels of the late 70s and early 80s they will be a tough sell.

Fresh Air

Jane--

I think the NTP idea has legs. The problem is avoiding being "Alinkskyized" for as long as possible. In other words, because the Mediacrat left has absolutely no answer to the right's ideas, it seeks to personalize everything and attack individuals directly. The more organized and hierarchical the NTP is, the more certain individuals become targeted. It's a bit of a Catch-22. Anyone have ideas for working around this problem?

Rick Ballard

Dave,

Thanks for the informed commentary. They do have some pick-em-ups in Europe but nothing like the numbers that you see in the West here. Italians tell me that it's weather and petty theft that make vans more popular (as well as the fact that the Federal Finance Police have the power to stop and search all vehicles in Italy). That last part might be the most important. In Italy, if you are hauling even something as simple as a new TV, say from your house to your kids house, you'd better have the invoice with you or be able to produce it rather quickly. La Guardia di Finanza will be happy to hold your goods until proof of purchase is produced.

clarice

We could always return to the canvas sided deux chaveaux..HEH

Jane

Fresh:

Well let's talk about how we expect it to play out, and then we can think about how to defend. One thing I would do is keep politicians out of it. Have it just be citizens. We should network on the internet and maybe not talk to the press until we are ready altho that could backfire.

We need a place to work on it. This topic is going to be hard to find soon.

Fresh Air

Rove: “Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.”

How long will it take for Karl to understand that everything Zero said during the campaign was purely for expediency? Alinksy said consistency was for the birds. Rove fails to understand, even today, what a consummate liar Zero is. The man has NO principles at all, save expedient collection of power. Rove was a genius at one time, but sad to say, I think he lost his vision in early 2005 or so.

Fresh Air

Jane--

This topic is going to be hard to find soon.

What does this mean?

Fresh Air

TM--

What is wrong with this stupid Typepad? You can't use italics tags any more? PLEASE switch. You can take up a collection or something. Set up an auto-refer from the current URL for $5 a year. It's not hard to do. This site is too good to be bogged down with such cheeseball blogging software.

sbw

[[[the canvas sided deux chaveaux]]]


My fave!! Best car EVAH! (He says, trusting that 'EVAH' is not copyrighted.)

Jane

Fresh,

I mean it will be off the roster - which is how I go to old topics.

"How long will it take for Karl to understand that everything Zero said during the campaign was purely for expediency?"

I'm pretty sure there was a bit of Maybee style mockery going on.

Rick Ballard

FA,

I believe Jane means that we won't be able to find this thread. I've posted the pertinent comments at Flares (LUN). The blog has been mortuary quiet for a while so the post should stay on top.

If any of the regulars would like to write additional posts on the matter, let me know and I'll extend an invitation to contribute at Flares.

Fresh Air

Rick--

I think Flares would be a better host. Also, I don't know much about chat technology, like Cover It Live, but I would think a moderated discussion forum at a specific time for JoM types would be a good starting point. I watched Jeff Goldstein flounder around with his "OUTLAW" stuff, getting lots of feedback and ultimately doing nothing with it. We are more linear in our thinking here.

One other idea is that the Freepers are the largest collective on the net in this type of dialogue. They could be brought in at some point.

Rick Ballard

FA,

I was just thinking of Flares as a parking place for the moment. I'd really like to see OL flesh out his comment about establishing a short statement of principle[s] prior to heading off into the weeds of the actual planks.

As I said - I'll extend posting privileges to any JOM regular. I'm also ruthless wrt trolls - if any show up it will be for a very brief period.

Jane

Great Rick - I'm really quite hopeful as a result of this conversation.

Rick Ballard

LUN to site rather than post - I just noticed that the previous link doesn't give access to comments.

clarice

That duex chaveux was a marvelous means of navigating thru all those narrow stone walled roads in Europe..Probably the only way I could drive them without scraping off the sides of a car,sbw.

clarice

**Deux chevaux**

hit and run

Don't forget the old google group JOM Cabal, from Plame days, should it be something to consider...

clarice

I didn't foget but I think it's more awkward to use than Flares..If I foget to go there and you need me, email..

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