White House Gambling : A Terminal Legacy

– 9 April 08, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, CA; by Binx101

Averaging Down

“… limit the down-side risk, even if a security drops in value like stone…”

Anyone that has ever made a living in the equities markets understands the term – Averaging Down.  From a strictly pragmatic perspective, it makes sense on paper.  That is to say, if you have a holding in a stock, and the price goes down, your average price of ownership will be lower if you buy more at lower prices.  This may be a sound investment approach, however, it presupposes some very important details; simply stated, one must be confident that the security in long-term is in general good health, and will return to higher prices over a period of time that is suitable to the investor, fund or trust.

It gets a little more risky, when the money that one uses to ‘buy’ the security is in actuality, borrowed. However, the consummate professional will mitigate that risk by using an ‘options’ strategy (remember that word-options) as an insurance of sorts on the overall value.  That is to say, it is very possible to limit the down-side risk, even if a security drops in value like stone off a cliff.  Conversely, the upside is also limited when using these tools.   In the options markets these tools are referred to as straddles and spreads.

Brand Loyalty – Averaging Down America

“… a partnership of considerable criminal activity and fiduciary negligence…”

However, averaging-down, became a practice that assisted in the market crash of the late eighties and again in the ‘dot.com bubble bursting’ in 2000 that sired a Recession.  It was aided by an exuberant investing public; largely unsophisticated in the capital markets. and preyed upon by an industry that used Average-Down as a war cry to unload empty promises and essentially fleece the personal holdings of millions of people around the Globe.  What distinguished these times from any other times are the tremendous number of predatory investment firms that were unloading their falsely inflated holdings into the hands of individual investors.

Do you remember seeing scores of large investment firms folding during that time?   No you don’t.  But we’ll bet you remember thousands of stories of personal fortunes gone up in smoke; blamed on the ‘bubble’ – but it was not a bubble at all. It was a partnership of considerable criminal activity and fiduciary negligence by the stalwarts of the investment community, that was compounded by an ineffective Clinton Administration SEC in the late ’90’s; and, further compounded by the Bush re-fitting of the SEC by installing former industry professionals throughout American government that all had ties to the Casino.

The introduction of ‘interested’ parties has essentially circumvented the cornerstone Securities Acts following the Great Depression, that were put in place to prevent precisely what has happened in the sub-prime mortgage debacle.  The industry operatives actually created new products, not covered under the acts and placed them in Real-Estate Investment Trusts, Limited Partnerships and other Money Market transactions  are not particularly visible until there is a disaster in the market.  This is a highly abbreviated explanation but we sure you get the point.  Just think of all those ‘who-done-it’ movies’ where someone gets suspicious and checks the hospital bed only to find the patient is gone and carefully placed pillows and blankets have been fooling the guard.

The Money Machine – Transferring American Assets

” … lobbyists posing as a great deal of the Republican legislature.”

Just imagine now that the most successful harvesters of the dozen or so years preceding 2000 got together and picked our next President.  He would have to be fluent in English, but not competent in its use. He would need to be a desperate chronic failure in order that a groundswell of disgruntled Americans would see the personification of the American Dream.  That is to say, that even a sub-average guy, with bad manners and a tawdry past could be President. But … he would have to have an ostensible pedigree. Enter, Gov. George W. Bush in a cloud of dust that would soon be revealed as the power brokers of energy, banking and warfare.

Of course the great illusion, notwithstanding, our precious Nation has been in the hands of those that cut-their-teeth on fleecing the American people in the investment markets and energy markets, and now had unprecedented access to the machine that prints the money.  The only price to pay was to hoist an essentially empty suit and pose him as the American President.  Not unlike the movie ‘Dave,’ we actually have had no leadership other than a committee of investment bankers that are building a web of tunnels to the money machine before they appear to leave town, and their expanded roster of lobbyists posing as a great deal of the Republican legislature.

But maybe even worse, that have taken the hard earned money of the American taxpayer and converted it into personal wealth of no particular domain other than their own.  The converted assets have been cached in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other points that the bloodhounds would not be unable to track.

Caveat Emptor

“… as they camouflage the wreckage they will leave the next President …”

From our perspective the American public needs to be degaussed; that is to say, the polarity that was manufactured by the Casino at the White House needs to neutralized, in such a way that a dialog can actually occur and our lawmakers can once again become lawmakers instead of hawkers for the bus tours to the Casino.

The first step though is coming to a belief that we have all contributed in some way to permitting this incredible force of impostors and charlatans to fleece our Treasury, Invalidate our Military, spend and ruin American and Iraqi lives like demented Roman Gods and cause most of the world to view the US as a hegemonic and ruthless homestead of dangerous compulsive gamblers on one of the greatest losing streaks in modern history.  We must take some of the blame and petition our leaders, watch them closely, remain involved and take the reigns of a form of government in lieu of the Constitutional Principles that so many Americans have given their lives to preserve.

Americans are divided, largely because of steady diet of misdirection and misinformation.  The American Press, now a Corporate-For-Profit privatized source of information is very likely not to bite the hand that feeds it.  We consider the result that free enterprise has had on the press as tantamount to the Iron Curtain.

It will take a great amount of American spirit and personal reflection to get our friends and neighbors once again confident in our system.  The current race for the Democratic nomination and ultimately the race for president while healthy, is not always particularly helpful, inasmuch as the race has served to distract us from the current confounding acts of the Administration as they camouflage the wreckage they will leave the next President of the United States.

Next President : Holistic Leader, No Gambling the Public Trust

“… inspire repair to what has become the road lest traveled.”

We believe there is every possibility that the next American President will preside over the greatest period of reconstruction since FDR.  Our next President better very well speak of Hope and Public Service and be inspirational.  We Americans need to shed our selfishness and rampant consumerism; our insatiable appetites for ego stroking and status; and return to a time of values that are based in liberty, freedom and equality. Where we didn’t need labels and memberships designed to create a caste system of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-mores’ that have been convinced that one political party wants them to be prosperous and the other wants to take their wealth away.  That one political party has a brand on Patriotism and the other party is somehow un-American.

Let us face that the arguments between conservatives and liberals has been fabricated by third parties that are neither and have distracted the American conscience while they have looted the treasury.  At some point we accept we are in this together and the only way to avoid further disillusionment is to rise above the confines of our egos and false fact.  We have no need for idols, we need to elect a fine manager that can assemble, with particular scrutiny, a group of patriots to inspire repair to what has become the road lest traveled.

We believe that American People, need to start speaking for themselves and not be irrelevant quotes on the lips of politicians that have wrapped pork products in the dashed hopes and countless tax dollars of American patriots.  We need to see the draped coffins of our military dead so that the Americans face the full version of reality, not the edited version we’ve become accustomed.  And, we must care – care for our Nation not just the interior of our new car, or whether our neighbor is mowing his lawn at 7 AM.  We need to care about Americans health and welfare.  We need to care as much for living children as we do for unborn fetuses.  We need to focus on the many things we share – and break the habit of specious argument, exaggerated threats and unabashed lying that George W. Bush and his handlers have purposelly addicted the US electorate.

Doing good things for our neighbors, both foreign and domestic, is the balm that always healed America.

Bush: “I Don’t Agree with That!”

Say what you want about GWB, but if one can deliver that kind of believable sentiment to an inconceivable argument- he’s got choices for his next career. Among them; teaching method acting, or possibly, Professor of trickle-down economics at family friend Pat Robertson’s Regent University, as the Milton Friedman Chair.

Take the challenge – next time you have the date and time of a Presidential interview, plan on visiting your local TV retailer, and bring your Video camera. Do what it takes to insure that all the TV’s are tuned to the proper station – then aim your camera and begin filming the onlookers with the audio track of the president recording clearly. Watch the faces of the crowd react to our President as he actually makes things up. Just makes them up. There’s no need for ‘My Pet Goat’ or ‘Treasure Island.’ No need for references to actual fact. The setting is whatever comes to mind, and with an unusual halting style of speaking, our President begins to … well actually … he makes things up.

The Democrats are unmistakable. They are in their usual pose, just shaking their heads as though witnessing a small child misbehaving at the mall with his mother close-by chatting idly on her cell phone. Then of course, the middle of the roaders, you know the uncommitted, otherwise known as ‘I’ll leave it to the others and vote the way my car pool suggests’. They can be spotted with a constant flinching of the shoulders and widening of the eyes as they begin to realize that our President is apparently out of his mind. But the best is to watch our Republican friends. You know, that good friend that has always been a Republican, so about 7 years ago you decided that you just wouldn’t talk politics and harm the friendship. Remember how he started not to be so Republican after watching Sean Hannity spout disturbing commentary outside Terry Schiavo’s nursing home room – and GWB didn’t land on a FEMA aircraft carrier bringing relief and ‘Mission Accomplished’ to Katrina victims. And now, there he is, shifting uncomfortably on the balls of feet watching the television considering that Al Gore and John Kerry couldn’t be this dumb if they were in a persistent vegetative state.

The Congressional Republicans can be found, immediately thereafter, swearing to its (latest comments of the President) context or relevance. They line up in groups of four or five, looking much like little reenactments of Mt. Rushmore with podium and microphone. Often it appears they’re going to sing a barbershop number. They usually mention the White House, but rarely the President by name. Earlier today, NBC’s Ann Curry interview with Bush was aired. The President stated that he didn’t agree that the economy was adversely affected by the war in Iraq. Rather, his opinion was it was because “they” built too many houses.

Now here’s the absurdity in that Crawford switcheroo (no offense to the fine folks of Crawford except for the President) There is no war in Iraq. There never was one. There was bombing, and then their was submission to an invading force. Now there’s terrorism that was directly caused by the invasion, that was caused by a purposeful lie, that was caused by the man that was asked the question about the economy. A man who could likely face criminal charges and would easily be impeached ( if not removed from office) if it were not for the fact that many of our leaders find the cure to be more harmful than the disease. It is painful to describe the President of my country as a disease, yet cathartic.

The debt associated with the Iraq invasion is directly impacting our long bonds and the underpinning of our debt funded economy. We’ve mortgaged our Purple Mountains Majesty around the globe in order to not completely tank right now. Our President thinks we’re a corporation that can be bailed out by finding more dopes to buy our debt in a sellers market. And this is all while allegedly sober. Heaven’s knows this ole boy must have been a riot when he was ‘a usin’an abusin.’ The Larry the Cable Guy of Presidents.

Now of course the comments about the housing market – dripping with ignorance and deserving of a Three Stooges styled dope slap and kick in the seat of the pants. The reason, of course, that “they” built so many houses was because of the predatory lending practices that this Republican led Administration has championed and few Democrats and most Republicans supported. Not to mention the sucker punch with the change in the bankruptcy laws and how that affects recent property owners. But, alas, its so much easier to say – “they” built too many houses while NBC’s Ms. Curry, ‘hmmmed’ audibly pretending the President’s infuriating and disjointed assessment was an actual answer that had substance instead of symptomatic of mental illness that doesn’t even have a name.

This would be so much fun if it were fiction.

GOP Walks Out on the People’s House – That Loud Noise You Hear is the Shifting of Centrists Toward the Left

We Don’t Have to Follow the Rules

Today in the Nation’s Capitol, the Republican Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives chose to walk out on the deliberations instead of being caught by C-Span, or quoted by reporters as having argued that the rule of law does not apply to the White House. It may not sound pretty… but that’s what they did. They just weren’t going to be caught in a vote that could likely have ramifications and it was clear that the marching orders came from the top. To be clear, the vote that caused the controversial ‘Bullion Man March’ was in retribution for the Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to move forward with approving  immunity provisions for telecoms in the FISA bill, and rather permitting the current law to expire.

Of course the gamesmanship begins with a flurry since the expiration does not provide any challenges to the current procedure or National Security – but it does postpone  and remove the certainty that the President is going to be getting what he wanted and that is – immunity.    (The Almost Daily Binx apologizes for  mis-stating that the Walk-Out was regarding  contempt charges  for Harriet Meirs and Josh Bolten for disregarding Congressional Subpoenas)

Harmful to Republican Support

It is the Opinion of The Almost Daily Binx, that today’s stunt is more revealing than shocking. It is a cowardly rebuke of political responsibility and a mass refusal to act on behalf of the American people to insult us with this childish act. After more than a decade of Republican majority rule in the Congress it has become painfully obvious that the Republican Party has been taken over by a huge special interest group that does not pay homage to rule-of-law, but rather rule of roost. This is sad day for Republicans that are not part of the grab bag ‘ole boy’ network of corportists and royalists that have presided over the deconstruction of the American dream. We hope the Royalist walkers took time to pass the War Memorial, the Veteran’s Administration and maybe dropped a few coins in poor boxes at local religious haunts.

The Center – (The Less Committed)

Without question the less committed groups of voters are watching these enormous tactical errors. If the Democrats can avoid the temptation to mess things up by complicating the simplicity of the moment – this will go down in history as an utter act of cowardice among Republicans to go on the record. It is as good as telling the American public that they and theirs are above the law.

Retroactive Immunity – Job One

It is clear that the Republican leadership has been tasked by the Administration and its supporters; such as Justice Scalia (recent very public and repeated attempts to distance torture, or use thereof, from the Constitution) and Sen. John McCain -(who stated in the most simple terms last year that water-boarding is torture -yet he disgracefully nodded to the extreme ‘right’ by voting against the torture ban bill.)

This is a clear message to the non-committed voter that immunity from wrong-doing is job-one among the current Republican leadership. This the refusal to accept the end of one party dominance over our political system, even though to do so is causing the GOP to lose favor with even the most historically partisan Republicans ‘down the street.’ They have been tasked, to be sure, that there is no potential for criminality of any of the administrations actions to be established – in fact – that’s why the term retroactive immunity has been the buzz word. Any bills that have been on the drawing board by the Senate that didn’t include complete immunity have been stalled because this is the single most important political detail the GOP is focused on right now. Unfortunately they have a number of Democratic collaborators as well. Steny Hoyer comes to mind immediately. There’s a reason that he isn’t in the middle of any confrontations – nearly invisible – unless there’s a band, rubber chicken and a fund-raiser.

The Good News

Here’s one for the silver lining enthusiasts. Apparently, the Dems have largely mastered snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – but – if they are wiser (for a change) they will forgo the mandatory retaliation and strictly stay on point. That is to say – keep Ron Emmanuel from shooting off his mouth – only give pertinent and meaningful news conferences. Any sane Republicans that remain should do the same thing. This barbaric politburo style will be out of fashion the moment the Bush administration starts heading for the range – and we may even enter a new age of government that starts to trend towards ‘for, of and by the people.’

State of the Union ??

One didn’t need a SOTU message in order to understand the State of the Union. The American dollar is dramatically less valuable then when the Bush Administration moved into the White House. Additionally, the price of gasoline per gallon is approximately 2.5 times what it was before Mr. Bush took up residence. And, while the trade deficit has deepened, our reliance on foreign debt has increased; our military is dangerously short of readiness guidelines and the world is less safe because of the American invasion of the Sovereign Nation of Iraq. The ramifications of the sub-prime mortgage free-for-all will not only effect those that will be statistics of the record foreclosures, but very likely cause harmful collateral damage to those that have adjusted their personal financial habits by taking advantage of equity financing of their inflated real estate value.

However, if one did chose to listen to the SOTU last evening, one heard of a robust economy with a recent weakening of the US dollar in the passive voice. Further strengthening ‘No Child Left Behind’ requests and other such fictional depictions of failed or mismanaged programs as part of the ‘see-we-care-about-people’ barrage of talking points. But the big Kahuna that drove the Republicans to their feet in convulsive applause was when the President urged Congress to make the temporary tax cuts permanent. Then, with smirk only a mother could love – President Bush delivered an insulting quip to those fortunate enough to have substantial personal income who have taken the position that they are willing to pay more taxes. That is, the insulting wise-crack about the IRS accepting both checks and money orders. Now that wouldn’t necessarily be a knee-slapper if it weren’t for the fact that Milton Friedman’s invisible hand of the market is going to be dope slapping the stuffing out of these orthodox supply-sided Luddites through the next 10 years of economic recovery – and – this President is highly likely to reign unchallenged for centuries as the World’s worst leader since Ferdinand Marcos and the most formidable divider since Euclid.

While political parties (essentially the big two) have their own ecosystem and cannibalistic dietery habits – the subset of neocon Princes that have performed feats of incredible mass hypnosis that would have inspired the awe of Franz Mesmer. But not only did they take our gold watch and dangle it in order to get us drowsy … they kept it. In fact based on the rules of corporate citizenry and the applied economics thereof; this Administration has overseen the magic acts that have actually converted currency from average American taxpayers and consumers to the wealth of a very few Corporatists. (Not to be confused with the Democratic elective of Capitalism).

We further heard General Petreaus’ name invoked once or twice – although for the last few months its been rumored that he’ll be rewarded with the top slot at NATO for doing so well at the Iraq magic show – this mention was about how we’re still working on that ‘surge’ thing.

Last but not least, we heard the President, with inimitable speaking style, threaten Congress, defy logic, and shirk any responsibility for presiding over the death of 4000 American soldiers and an estimated 250,000 – 600,000 Iraqi deaths. (The reason it is estimated is because the US does not and will not spend any time determining the true number and rejects all estimates.

On a brighter note – Halliburton posted record profits yesterday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSN2842144120080128