Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

American Evita

sarah-palin-legs-photoIs Sarah Palin the friendly and ever so lovely face of a new American Peronism? Is her resignation from office as Governor of Alaska the first step and necessary precondition of her coronation as titular head and leader of a new political party? Does it signal her desire to lead a movement that embraces the growing number of disaffected middle class Americans perplexed about their plunging standard of living and growing obsessively angered with insolvent and impotent government institutions inability to arrest the decline?

Everyday the institutions of government and constitutional law are being delegitimized by raucous Tea Partyers, abortion doctor assassins, family focus fanatics and political miscreants waving birth certificates screaming that they want their country back. We wrote about this back in October.  Please allow me to quote from our McCain’s Know Nothings post of 10/11/08.

“Sarah Palin’s masterful use of the rhetoric of division and suspicion “who is Barack Obama?” has stoked the ugly side of America’s political angst. The lipstick wearing attack dog has done her job well. She has skillfully tapped into voter sentiment that is frightened about their economic security, fed up with the self serving lies of our political leaders and furious about their powerlessness to exercise control to stop the radical changes occurring in their lives. The stasis of Bush Republicanism is being washed away in a tsunami of world events that is accelerating the pace of change and cultural transformation. Palin promises to change our inability to arrest the changes that are overwhelming Americans. Sarah’s minions just want it to stop. They want it to go away. They want it to stay the way things always were. America is on top. God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. They will accept nothing less then our full entitlement to the birthright of our American Exceptionalism; and unlike Easu we will not sell it or be tricked out of it by a fast talking Jacob that goes by the name of Barack.”

Sarah, “the barracuda” has a whole mythology springing up about her even as her pronouncements concerning vigilant hockey momdom (daughters teen pregnancy), pit bull fighter to the end (resignation as governor), irascible maverick (support of bridge to nowhere), impeccable governance ethics (improper use of state government funds) all paint a very different portrait of the super girl from Alaska. Her identity as the all American girl, who worked, rose and battled an establishment with nothing more then moxie and good old values has captured the hearts, support and imaginations of “real American’s” willing to fight against those seeking to undermine the values and ideals of our uniquely God blessed land.

Palin’s timely resignation stole the limelight from the Michael Jackson funereal spectacle; a nonstop orgy of media affectation that refused to let MJ’s troubled soul depart in peace.  Sarah’s announcement was a perfect foil and counterpoint to the ghoulish parade. Sarah’s photo op complete with overall fishing waders offered conclusive proof of how the still Governor of Alaska was working hard serving the needs of her constituents as her abandoned term of office was coming to a close. Sarah’s image of pulling in the nets bursting with sockeye could not have provided a more dramatic contrast to seeing MJ’s body bag being offloaded from a helicopter and placed into a ambulance for a trip to the Los Angeles morgue. It confirmed for her followers that Sarah’s way is filled with truth, light and a great catch as she stood beaming at the center of attention of a country obsessed with celebrity and a media that affirms their personal ethos du jour.

One of the reasons cited by Sarah for her resignation was that she was constantly under attack by the establishment. Sarah’s victimhood elicits empathy and a deep sense of identification from her countrymen. Middle America’s sense of victimization is quickly becoming its defining pathos.  Home foreclosures, job losses, bankruptcies, community instability and spiraling taxes are combustible issues ripping apart the social fabric of America’s middle class. The crushing pain is being expressed in a growing chorus of cries that Sarah’s political antenna is accurately attuned to. In turn, Sarah’s minions understand and validate her victimization that they believe she will overcome and triumph if she remains true to real American values. Persecuted Christians exhausted from the prolonged war on Christmas feel her pain. Family value proponents that yearn for a constitutional amendment to define marriage so as to exclude civil rights for the LGBT community are down with Sarah. Uber patriots who are convinced that terrorist lurk in the quiet shadows just off Main Street remain willing to cede their civil rights.  They also express a solid conviction to prosecute endless global wars as the only means to eradicate the terror threat  staunchly stand with  Sarah. Real American’s who live in a geography of anywhere USA that is not urban; or resides in an existential state of multicultural exclusion support Sarah. Those who are terrified by the hard edges of modernity and the difficult manageability of our complex society are arming themselves to the teeth to protect themselves from its ghostly specter take a cue from gun toting Sarah. And as Sarah’s supporters scream “drill baby drill” as a rallying cry to defend an expiring mode of life based upon the insatiable and unsustainable consumption of natural resources requiring the imperial projection of power and environmental degradation mindlessly shout “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah”.

Sarah, our self styled, self proclaimed maverick.  American’s steep themselves in the mythology of the outside gunslinger taking on established power elites to effect change. But I sense an alarming correlation that is closer to Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” then Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”. Individualism counts and boldness wins out in the end in Sarah’s political morality fairy tale. But I see little in the actual trajectory of her career or her political pronouncements that suggest that she is an unconventional politician willing to lay it on the line to take principled stand against the power elite. Sarah’s principled stances are driven by political opportunism rather then courage.

Yes, Sarah is a perfect victim. White, hockey mom from the rural region. Liberal elite city slickers hate her for who she is. But as Sean Hannity is fond of saying, “let you hearts not be troubled” because as the world continues to hate America for it’s values Sarah remains on watch.  She is a sentinel of our arsenal of democracy protecting the common folk, Joe six packers and wannabe plumbers. This woman who rose to heights in this male dominated world got great legs, sports a nice dew and is quick with a wink and a smile.  She has seduced America and as national dissatisfaction grows with governmental institutions unable to address economic malaise and cultural deterioration, nationalistic sentiment and Sarah’s popularity will rise.  Unlike our current President, Sarah is American to the bone. Palin’s physical place of birth may have been Idaho; but her resignation as governor may have born her again as a new political force to be reckoned with.

You Tube Music Video: Madonna, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina

Risk: politics, Peronism

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July 23, 2009 Posted by | Obama, Palin, politics, recession, republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Wasilla Hillbillies

It is said that success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan. So its not surprising that as the McCain campaign came to its blessed end no one wanted to be blamed for the train wreck. Indeed the professional class of campaign elites that handled the failed republican bid for the presidency was looking to pin the progeny of McCain’s homely orphan on someone. Sarah Palin was again called to the service of her good party to take one for the team.

Much is being said about the Wasilla Hillbillies plundering Neiman Marcus from coast to coast. Much is being said about Palin’s confusion about weather Africa is a country or continent, what North American countries are NAFTA signatories and her refusal to prep for TV interviews and the resulting gaffs due to the lack of preparation. Fair enough. However I believe that most American’s couldn’t answer those “tough” questions by the liberal gotcha media and given the chance at a free coast to coast shopping spree would act in a similar if not more covetous fashion.

What really must be asked is who is responsible for anointing Sarah Palin to assume the office of VP? McCain’s Country Firsters, whose unfathomable depth of love for country is understandable only by God, insisted that Ms. Palin was the best person to sit in the office one heart beat away from the presidency. The Country Firsters erected the cult of Palin to solidify its right wing base and appeal to a broader populist mass of hockey moms, Joe Six Packers and Joe the wanna be plumber. The Republican Party does this every four years. At election time, the party of power and privileged elites comes before the electorate like a wolf in sheep clothing. They play on populist sentiments and fears. They viciously attack democrats as lesser American, non Christian, unpatriotic liberal elites whose sole purpose is to excessively tax the salt of the earth working people to send welfare checks and social assistance to the slackers of society.

Now that the election is over the republicans have no need to curry favor with the lower class rabble whose votes they need to remain in office. The deification of Palin is a cold slap in the face of an electoral sector that allows itself to be beguiled by a political machine to support a program that is painfully at odds with its own self interest.

Palin’s deification also signals a badly split republican party. Mitt Romney for example, has the social conservative credentials to appeal to Palin’s peeps with the glaring exception of his Mormon faith. The rejection of Romney as a suitable candidate speaks volumes about the religious bigotry rampant within the Republican Party. The Christian Rightists will righteously eat their party’s own out of bigoted zeal while rejecting apostates communion wafers offered at the Lord’s Table by mainstream Christian denominations. This party needs a reformation. Perhaps a Martin Luther will surface and nail a new 95 Thesis on the door of the RNC.

You Tube Video: Granny Sings “She Wants to Go Home”

You Tube Video: The Beverly Hillbillies Original Trailer

You Tube Video: The Beverley Hillbillies Theme Song

You Tube Video: Weird Al Yankovic, Money For Nothing

Risk: social class, party politics

November 8, 2008 Posted by | class, culture, McCain, Palin, politics, pop, republicans, TV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Joe the Plumber

The GOP has injected another populist caricature into the election campaign. Joe the Plumber joins Hockey Moms and Joe Six Pack as the holy trinity on whose rocks the Republican Party will make its stand.

Joe the Plumber from the swing state Ohio sounds like he could be from Jersey. Joe the Plumber said he wants to buy his bosses plumbing business. But Joe the Plumber doesn’t like Obama’s tax plan because he thinks it will force him to pay higher taxes on a $250,000 salary he hopes to earn someday. I don’t know of many plumbers that are making $250K a year. Many small business owners don’t have to take a salary or pay themselves a distribution from the profits of the business if it pushes them into a higher tax bracket. Joe the Plumber should see an accountant.

But that is not the point. Joe the Plumber wants to start a business and hire Joe Six Pack. Joe Six Pack needs a job so he can make car payments on the Chrysler minivan that his Hockey Mom wife drives to get the kids to practice.

Every four years The GOP seems to rediscover the common folk with a slew of populist rhetoric to run cover for their trickle down economics. The trickle down economics that have been practiced for the past 8 years have led to the abysmal economic mess we are now fighting to overcome.

McCain’s disingenuous socialist insinuation of wealth redistribution belies the fact that generous unfunded tax cuts, entitlement giveaways and unbridled corporate welfare have all been hallmarks of the recent GOP legacy. A kind of socialism for the rich.

This legacy has contributed to the broken down minivan in Ms. Hockey Mom’s driveway and the inability to afford the kids participation in the way too expensive hockey league. All this has left Joe Six Pack crying in his beer over his lost job and his resetting mortgage rate that he won’t be able to make payments on.

Obama’s tax plan will not discourage small business capital formation. On the contrary, Obama’s plan will reduce the tax burden on the middle class so they can hire Joe the Plumber to replace the old hot water heater and repair the leaky pipes under the kitchen sink. Duct tape just ain’t doing it anymore.

So with all the extra income in the hands of Joe Six Pack and Ms. Hockey Mom they will have the money to spend with Joe the Plumber and he will finally be able to buy that business from his boss.

Joe the Plumber should really be in the tank for Obama. Another GOP administration may forever flush away the possibility of Joe the Plumber’s dream of owning his own business.

Music Video: Plumbing Song, Weird Al Yankovich

Risk: small business taxation, capital formation, tax policy

October 16, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Obama, Palin, politics, pop, republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

McCain’s Know Nothings

Citizen Know Nothing

It was painful to watch Mr. McCain’s last town meeting. An older women took the microphone to speak about her fear of an Obama Presidency. She said that she read that Mr. Obama was an Arab. Mr. McCain took the microphone back from the woman before she could complete her thought. I guess she feared that Michelle Obama would change the Lincoln Room wallpaper to Arabesque patterns to match the architecture of the Grand Mosque of Cordoba and that the Whirling Dervishes would perform at all future White House events.

McCain was forced to give a Marc Anthony soliloquy. “My friends, I must say that my opponent is an honorable man. And he really is an American, Sean Hannity checked his papers. Twice.” McCain’s supporters were miffed and looked on with unbelief as their candidate went on to explain that Obama was actually a family man with two kids and a wife. His supporters shouted “say it ain’t so John. Don’t believe the lies of the liberal media that paint Obama like a regular American. We know the real truth. He doesn’t even like hockey!”

All week we have seen McCain’s supporters express their exasperation because “That One” has a lead in the polls which many fear their candidate may not be able to surmount. With incredulous unbelief they can’t understand how the America of their understanding might elect a terrorist loving closeted Muslim whose deep hatred of America will compel him to quickly raise the White Flag of surrender and preside over the destruction of the Union. Low information voters rely on demagogues to confirm their prejudices and fears with a few well placed words. Cultivating low information voters by speaking down to them with hate speech will yield low returns. So as our country struggles to confront drastic challenges and problems McCain’s Know Nothings implore him to show more courage of his convictions and go negative in his next debate to save America from an Arab President.

Sarah Palin’s masterful use of the rhetoric of division and suspicion “who is Barack Obama?” has stoked the ugly side of America’s political angst. The lipstick wearing attack dog has done her job well. She has skillfully tapped into voter sentiment that is frightened about their economic security, fed up with the self serving lies of our political leaders and furious about their powerlessness to exercise control and stop the radical changes occurring in their lives. The stasis of Bush Republicanism is being washed away in a Tsunami of world events that is accelerating the pace of change and cultural transformation. Palin promises to change our inability to arrest the changes that are overwhelming Americans. Sarah’s minions just want it to stop. They want it to go away. They want it to stay the way things always were. America is on top. God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. They will accept nothing less then our full entitlement to the birthright of our American Exceptionalism. And unlike Easu we will not sell it or be tricked out of it by a fast talking Jacob that goes by the name of Barack.

There are parallels to this story in our short and modest history as a democratic republic. The Know Nothings were a pre-republican party political movement borne in the civic turmoil of New York City. They were Nativists that distrusted the ruling democrats and hated the swelling population of Irish immigrants that was flooding America just prior to and during the Civil War. They felt “the purity of their America” was being lost and diluted by the foreign influence of its new citizens. Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” character Butcher Bill Cutting yearns to protect an idea of America that shares many of the same concerns that Barracuda Sarah incants with her divisive rhetoric.

The release of the movie American Carol will certainly add to the informed dialog about the pressing issues of the day. To me it looks like a heap of pedestrian clichéd camp. Its purpose will serve to reinforce low information voters political prejudices and misconceptions. The few clips I have seen are anything but funny and its natural audience will liken it more to a chilling documentary then comedy. It will also provide comedic cover to derail attempts for a serious examination of issues which can now be disposed of with a dismissive can’t take a joke tagline.

One reaps what one sows. Spread seeds of obfuscation and one gets confusion. Spread seeds of distrust you’ll get suspicion and division. Spread anger you will reap conflict. Pander to ignorance and you shall cull stupidity.

American politics on the down low this October 11, 2008.

You Tube Video: Shift Happens

Music Video: The Charlatans – The Only One I Know

Risk: democracy, elections, civic participation, enlightenment, civil unrest

October 11, 2008 Posted by | culture, elections, McCain, Obama, Palin, politics, rock, soundtrack | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

"That One"

Last night as McCain wheezed his way through America’s virtual town hall meeting an uglier side of his character emerged. McCain’s use of the pejorative term “That One” shows a willingness to till soil that sow seeds of division and encourages partisan factionalism. This is no surprise. Sarah Palin, his lipstick wearing pit bull has incited partisan crowds with rhetorical speeches about Obama’s cavorting with terrorists. Cries of treason and kill him have been shouted by some of the gathered low information voting yahoos who are fully invested in the emotion of attack politics. We pray that one of these self deluded uber-patriots don’t act on their fantasy and plunge this country into a national nightmare.

Luxuriating in the language of division may become and titillate the Ann Coulters of the world; but it does nothing constructive to strengthen our beloved and much endangered republic. Consensus is the cornerstone of a representative democracy. Consensus is built on dialog and compromise that brings together and synthesizes opposing views. Trust and respect for institutions and process is key to building a national consensus. Consensus also presupposes that you recognize the humanity, equality and rights of your countrymen to hold and express views that you may not share.

The political rhetoric coming from our Country Firsters is anything but. Like Lady Hamlet, “the lady doth protest too much”, our Country Firsters insistence that their deep abiding love of country places them above partisanship. Unfortunately this claim is belied by their reliance on attack politics, division, dehumanization of their opponent and insinuations of sedition threatens the foundations of our democratic republic.

The United States is in peril. We are engaged in two wars. Our economic distress is deepening, our institutional trust has been grievously violated, leaders have failed us and anger, resentment and suspicion grows among the populous. This is the type of climate that calls for bridge builders not demolition crews sowing division with incendiary rhetoric.

America is the global standard bearer of the democratic ideal. Yet we hear media reports that voter rights are being challenged with increased regularity. Reports that the participation in the electoral process is being made increasingly difficult and is discouraged and challenged in some swing states is most disturbing. America is best served by protecting and promoting full participation of its people in the right to decide who governs them. Any party or practice that runs contrary to this necessity has clearly put their party’s interest above America’s.

As our country’s most storied POW knows, when in a war the first thing you do is to dehumanize your opponent. Our Country Firsters should consider their tactics and demagogic pronouncements they engage to win this election. Is sacrificing the democratic principles of our republic the price of victory Mr. McCain is willing to pay? What price victory Mr. McCain? If you win with an exceedingly ugly damn the torpedoes campaign do you think that you’ll be able to effectively reach across the the gapping divide your campaign tactics created on Main Street? Do you think that your hollow pronouncements about Maverickism and bipartisan fealty will be able to apply a tourniquet to the gaping wound you are willing to inflict on the American body politic? Methinks you think too much of yourself.

Today is Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement.” I believe McCain and Palin should recite the Al-Chet. It would also be a particularly fitting day and most instructive for Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin to consult the pages of Martin Buber’s “I and Thou” that stresses the necessity to recognize humanity of all beings without objectification or the prejudicial otherness. We have seen the horrific manifestations of objectification and otherness in the Jewish Holocaust. Never again Mr. McCain.

Lets take the Day of Atonement for some circumspection and a recommitment to recognizing our shared humanity and putting our country first.

Shalom.

Music Video: Three Dog Night “One”

Risk: factionalism, social unrest, institutional breakdown

October 9, 2008 Posted by | elections, holiday, McCain, Obama, pop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wiley Maverick Draws First Blood

From the first opening statements to the last closing remarks John McCain beat Barack Obama to the draw took the initiative and landed many blows to come out on top in this first of three debates.

McCain channeled his bipartisanship credentials right off as he announced his sympathy and best wishes for Ted Kennedy’s “The Lion of the Senate” hospitalization. It didn’t come off as a cheap parlor trick either as McCain repeatedly reinforced his “reputation for reaching across the isle to build consensus and do what is right for the country.” Point for bipartisan lip service.

Close on the heals of his opening, McCain spoke about Obama’s earmarks and how he brought home the pork to Illinois during his first three years in the Senate. McCain grabbed the initiative and tempo of the debate and he never let it go. Point for earmarks.

McCain made numerous references and shared anecdotal examples of how his many years of experience brought him into contact with numerous world leaders. He spoke with first hand knowledge about his travels abroad. Time and experience does count and it showed in McCain’s command of world events. Point for experience.

McCain landed many blows on Obama and showed a touch of contempt. He repeatedly said how Obama does not understand. Point for McCain on toughness, rudeness and a mastery of Rovian approach to political discourse.

McCain demonstrated his points and reinforced what he wanted to convey through his words, actions, talking points and body language.

Obama was professorial and gentlemanly. Obama repeatedly said he agreed with McCain. This examplfies Obama’s quest to build a consensus. Consensus requires a true bipartisan approach to problem solving. Unfortunately for Obama his agreement with McCain’s positions appears to reaffirm McCain’s correctness and ability to lead with sound judgment and experience.

Obama looked the cool and collected CEO wishing to delegate and optimize the strengths of his staffs abilities and ideas. He is perfectly capable of taking charge and managing the complexities of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Unfortunately for Obama, CEO’s are not the current flavor of the month.

Obama failed to draw significant differentiation between his positions and McCain’s. He failed to effectively tie McCain to the failed policies of the Bush Administration because he was too busy defending himself from McCain’s offensive initiatives. Americans like aggressiveness. Republican’s have taught Americans to be suspicious of elitist egghead professors who sip Chardonnay and eat arugula sandwiches.

Obama failed to effectively link the devastating economic meltdown with Republican tax cuts, failed oversight and our country’s singular focus on the war on terror. In foreign policy Obama failed to address how this administrations failure to engage has led to our isolation and escalation of world problems and challenges to America.

In Obama I see some similarities with Adlai Stevenson. I hope I am wrong. America’s love for warriors and maverick action figures is evident. All one has to do is to walk down the toy aisle of any big box retailer to see the extent of our ravenous consumption of hero totems and the deep need to venerate them as objects of worship.

In substance there is not much difference between the two candidates and their parties position. Thats a big problem for the democrats if they hope to overcome the headwinds blowing against Obama’s candidacy. Those being Obama’s race, the democrats identification with bailing out the fat cats on Wall Street and the republican continual appeal to nationalist sentiment and expressing that sentiment with militarism and jingoism.

Song: Beach Boy’s Barbara Ann

Risk: The Presidency of the United States

September 27, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Obama, pop, republicans | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Economy Starts to Freeze Up

They say if they don’t get this TARP deal done the credit markets will freeze. Heck they were saying that all this afternoon on CNBC. Its amazing how tempers are flaring even on CNBC about this bailout. They are trying their best to sell it, but Americans don’t like to be told what they must do. God bless em. Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi have been trashing McCain all day. They think a deal will be struck by this weekend. The markets are hopeful this will be the case.

Today US equity markets were mixed with the S&P 500 up and the Dow is holding tough at 11,000 plus. Incredibly the DOW was up by 121 points after the FDIC seizure of WAMU and sale of assets to JP Morgan. Next up for seizure is Wachcovia and National City. Fortis the large Belgian Bank said today that it is sufficiently capitalized to remain solvent. As the banks continue to fall like so many cascading dominoes pretty soon the severity of the economic crisis will be more apparent. Make no mistake we are in a rough spot. The US dollar remained stable and US Treasuries yields are falling as money seeks a safe haven.

The Labor Department expects employment to fall by 90,000 jobs in its September Employment Report. Today the Commerce Department revised down second quarter GDP by .5% to annual growth of 2.8%.

This debate looms large and Obama and McCain have lots to talk about. Good thing McCain put country first and decided to show up. His countrymen want to hear what he has to say and don’t deserve a cold shoulder from this old warrior.

Heres a great song by Ray Charles and Betty Carter Baby its Cold Outside.

Risk: political apathy

September 26, 2008 Posted by | banking, credit crisis, EESA, jazz, McCain, Obama, politics, TARP | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foggy Mountian Breakdown

It was all going along as planned. Paulson’s 3 page USS TARP was carefully constructed and sitting in dry dock. His exemplary stewardship and all out PR campaign had all oars in the water and the crew rowed with great athletic precision. America’s Chief Fear monger “W” was recruited to address the nation to explain the complicated nuances of mortgage backed securities and issue a stern warning about the cataclysmic consequences if we failed to act positively on TARPs adoption.

The free marketeers of Wall Street had skillfully wheeled their Trojan Horse into the heart of the capitol city of the free world. Disguised as a kind of Noah’s Ark to float the ship of state through the pending economic tsunami; the ships Captain Henry Paulson, tour director W and the able crew of yeoman Democrats implored their countrymen to quickly board the Ark to avoid the pending economic apocalypse. The cost of steerage passage, a cool $700 BN. A small price to pay for a tiny slice of economic subsistence pie.

The deal that was done became undone as the Maverick from Arizona boldly sailed into town on an apolitical hydrofoil boasting a “Nation First” bumper sticker and presumingly powered only by fuel efficient populist sentiment. He sat at the feet of his party leader the BIG W, smiled for the camera, fingered his pen, said little and did much less. He took great risk to accomplish this feat. He sat on the right side of the table, exposing the left side of his melanoma scarred face to the frenzied cameras of the political paparazzi. McCain did not care that his least flattering side was exposed. It was truly a moment of profiles in courage.

This morning WHOO HOO WAMU was seized by the FDIC and sold to JP Morgan. TPG a very clever private equity firm lost a big chunk of its investors capital (see Risk Rap post 4/9/08). Even the fat cats are taking a haircut on this one. Yes the banking crisis is real and the rising tide of economic duress needs drastic and immediate attention.

There is a great reluctance by my countrymen to sheepishly accept this deal. I think they believe in the principles of free market capitalism that has been religiously preached to them by the very same leaders who are now resorting to the impressment of their tax dollars to force them aboard this life raft. I hope we understand the price we may pay for the courage of our convictions.

For now the TARP deal, like the stasis in our government and the frozen debt markets are broke and lost in a foggy mountain breakdown. Watch this space for periodic progress reports as we chart the fantastic odyssey of our rudderless ship of state.

Music: Earl Scruggs and Friends, Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Risk: depression, recession

September 26, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Paulson, politics, TARP | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghost in the McCain Machine

McCain must think he is suffering from déjà vu. Or maybe he thinks he is caught in a 1980’s time warp. Or maybe divine justice is righting the cosmic scales for transgressions from a time long past. The reappearance of a Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC) type agency to deal with the current banking crisis must have McCain cursing the God’s of Commerce for resurrecting this ghostly specter to haunt his presidential electoral campaign.

Flashback to Its Morning in America during the Reagan Administration. The Savings and Loan industry was riding the high economic tide brought on by favorable interest rates and an accommodating regulatory regime. Such ideal conditions incubated a culture of excess, corruption and fraudulent lending. Lincoln Savings and its Chairman Charles Keating conducted illegal business practices. Keating actively courted politicians to run cover and deflect regulatory examinations into its business practices. John McCain was one of five US Senators who received substantial campaign contributions from Keating. The Keating 5 as they became known, tried to deflect regulatory examinations of Lincoln Savings. Keating did the perp walk and became the villainous poster child of the S&L Crisis. The RTC was an agency created by the Federal Government to seize assets of insolvent S&Ls; package and sell those assets to avoid catastrophic economic consequences.

The S&L crisis and the RTC cost the US taxpayer $100B. John McCain will forever be linked to this black stain on the history of capitalism. Its also a strange and ironic Karma as the ghostly apparition of a resurrected RTC rises from the grave to slowly stalk McCain as he reaches for his long sought presidential prize.

Music: The Police, Spirits in a Material World

Risk: Karma, electoral

September 19, 2008 Posted by | banking, credit crisis, McCain, politics, pop | , , , , | Leave a comment

National Small Business Summit and the Credit Crisis

Sum2 will be participating in this year National Small Business Summit in Washington DC.

The summit sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, calls together NFIB members and friends to examine and discuss pressing issues and concerns that affect small businesses.

Sum2 will voice a shared concern of many of its clients about the necessity of small businesses to be assured that access to capital during this credit crisis not be threatened. Community banks have an important role to play and government representatives need to be aware of their significance as a primary credit channel for small and mid-size businesses.

Leaders from the world of business and government will be brought together so that a concerted voice that represents the interests of small business can be heard by our elected representatives in the congress and senate.

This years conference will feature key note addresses by, Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerrey, former Press Secretary Tony Snow, former ebay CEO Meg Whitman and Hall of Fame Quarterback and business person Rodger Staubach.

The full summit’s agenda can be viewed here.

Sum2 is a recognized leader in providing risk management innovative solutions to small and mid-size businesses. We are very pleased to be participating in this event and look forward to voicing the concerns of our clients, partners and friends to the elected officials of our representative democracy.

If you have any ideas or suggestions that you would like us to raise please send us a note.

We look forward to hearing from you.

And we’ll keep working for you and our shared interests.

You Tube Video: Vanessa Williams, Work To Do

Risk: small business, political, credit, community banking, representation

June 5, 2008 Posted by | commerce, credit crisis, risk management, SME, Sum2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment