Sunday, November 1, 2009

Seasonal Changes

The fall is seasonal change time in my business. During this time I have a lot of design drawings to get out the door, proposals to write and submit. After that materials must be scheduled and managed for delivery, and then after all of this -you have to execute.

In the business environment that we have these days, a small business has to be as close to perfect as is humanly possible as the customers that hire small companies like mine have lots of options. They can take what your offering or leave it. Now that my seasonal change work has died down, I can take a fresh look at how the Obama Administration is moving along on their agenda to change world, or at least America.

It looks like the Obama Administration has a good chance at Health care getting passed. I see that Senator Harry Reid has put the Public Option in the final bill going to the floor for debate. I don't think it is going to make it into the final bill the President signs, but it does appease the liberal factions of the party and helps in Reid's re-election bid.

Personally, I don't really know what to think about this health care thing. It doesn't look like a lot of people are going to be able to sign up for any Government health care. A study just released said maybe 2 million people will qualify for any Public Option health care-if it were to pass. Along with that, you always have to be wary of any new entitlements being handed out by the Government. Not that I'm one of those people who feels that the Government does nothing right - I feel if you have intelligent people running the Government, you'll have smart Government.

Going forward President Obama has got to focus on job creation (he doesn't at his own peril). The American people have shockingly short memories and it's now cool to be a seen as a conservative. I'm interested to see if this trend picks up steam. The 2010 elections will be here before we know it. Already the pundits are saying that this election will be a referendum on Obama's Presidency, which is maybe half true. What happened to the old saying "all politics are local?" Now every city council election is about if you agree with Obama or not.

Due to the News Media's insatiable need to 'create' news and entice higher ratings, they will be stirring this "referendum" pot more and more as we get closer to November 2010. I think Obama's popularity will help some and hurt some. I think Obama will pass Health care. I think that it would probably be good if Obama lost the House of Representatives to the Republicans. Let the Republicans come up with some fresh ideas for a change. Let's see if we can re-create the Clinton Era.

Garden tip: It's a great time in most parts of the country to fertilize for the fall and winter. It's also a great time to move plants that you've been wanting to relocate to different spot in your landscape. It's also a great time to over seed your yard.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Rope a Dope...

I've been observing the direction the Obama Administration is taking in accomplishing their goals concerning; health care, Afghanistan, Cap and trade etc etc... It seems they are employing the old Muhammad Ali strategy of the old ''rope a dope'.

If your not familiar with the 'rope a dope', back in 1974 Muhammad Ali was scheduled to fight the 'now' grill king George Foreman in Zaire, Africa. Back in 74' Foremen was a big muscle bound brute, who was knocking out every opponent he faced. Foremen was the champ at the time, Ali was the challenger.

In 1974' Ali was thought to already be past his prime. Ali was smart though, his strategy in the fight was to let Foremen throw punches until his arms would be so tired that he could barely hold them up and defend himself, at that time- Ali, still basically fresh (because he had laid against the ropes and let Foremen punch himself out), would knock Foremen out with his quickness and power.

This is what I see the Obama team doing against the Republicans. The Rethugs have been screaming, lying and obstructing since Obama first day on the job, the Obama Administration have been laying on the ropes taking the punches, taking the lies, taking the obstruction of their policies, and now it seems like the Rethugs are all lied out, no more bullets in their rhetorical weapons. Right now Republicans are primed for the big knockout, the key punch that will start them towards the canvas will be the passage of a health care bill. Next will be a decision on Afghanistan, most likely Obama will send more troops, he almost has to. Cap and Trade will come easier with the political capital built up from passing historic health care reform. Along the way I believe Obama's going to have reallocate some of the stimulus money to go directly to job creation. All of this needs to be in place by the 2010 elections or all bets are off.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What if MaCain and Palin had won ?

If your paying attention and have a job, things are jugging along to recovery just like the President said it would. The economy is picking up slowly but surely, companies are beginning to hire, health care in-the-end, will be reformed and someone is actually thinking hard about weather to send more troops into the war zone in Afghanistan.

The grown ups are back in office. Over the last 8 months the sore loser have been doing what sore loser do, whining, second guessing and being obstructionist, what else is new. President Obama on the other hand has been a busy man, at home and abroad. Right now -'I' know he's laying the ground work for partnerships with our foes and allies, this is good, in my opinion. I know - just like kids, our foes just want to be included in the process... made to feel big.

I was thinking this morning- what if John McCain and Sarah Palin had been elected into office, what kind of mess would this country.... heck the world be in ? I personally think McCain /Palin would have listened to those saying let the banks fail. I think they would have tried first.

From what we know now, this would have led to a global run on the banks. If like a lot of Republicans that are protesting had their way- Citi Bank, Bank of America, and probably Chase would have went out of business. Believe me there would have been long long lines outside of banks. The FDIC would have been insolvent quickly, the govt. would have had to print money (we would not have been able to borrow the money from China because there would have been no confidence in our system). Plus they would have had their own problems. Unemployment would have shot to like thirty or forty percent and the Great Depression II would have been in full effect.

Lets say McCain/Palin did do a stimulus, I would bet that their stimulus would have been 70% tax cuts to large businesses and the rich. Very little infrastructure very little help for the people, noo employment extentions, no help for home buyers, just tax cuts. McCain/Palin would still have a raging war going on in Iraq and a building raging war in Afghanistan. Just with those two decisions this country and world would be in a whole different boat.

Garden Tip: Unless a shrub has a specific pruning needs, prune some of the oldest wood each year. This opens the plant's center to more air and light and encourages new growth.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cool as a Fan...

I couldn't be President, there are too many fools and clowns to deal with. President Obama's speech last night was my personal favorite. Any person with half a brain and who actually cares about America would see the logic of his arguments. What has happened in America especially with Republicans is that they have become 'so' partisan that reason and good, heck even great ideas, can't get a fair review or hearing.

Who elects these people ? That's what I wonder. The state of South Carolina needs to make better choices about who they elect. It really shows that their majority electorate aren't too bright. First Governor Stanford gallivanting around South America with his "soul mate". Now Congressman Wilson not being able to control himself in a joint session speech in Congress by yelling "you lie!"on the floor of the House of Representatives when the President of the United States was speaking about some of the gravest concerns of our nation. Are you kidding me? The President was "cool as a fan", hardly missing a beat, probably expecting nonsense like this at this point.

Personally, if I were Barack, I would be thinking about not running for re-election. It comes to a point were you can't save people who don't want to be saved. If the Democrats can't get health care with fillabuster proof majorities in both houses, then that's sad.

There were a few brilliant turns in the President's speech but I like the way he wrapped it up. He seemed to be asking the lawmakers if they were men or boys, if they came to work or bullshit. I like that. The more the Republicans keep up this nonsense the more they are being looked upon as just inconsequential, or as an after thought. Other than the 10 to 15% far right Republicans, I wonder sometimes how mainstream Republicans feel about their party. The Republicans used to have ideas, what happened ?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Reagan and Obama

At one point in his first term Ronald Reagan's disapproval ratings in Gallup polls were at
35 %, along with that -unemployment was over 10%. Just wanted to get that tidbit out there. President Obama's poll numbers are on the slide as of recently, they're still over 50 % but as the healthcare battle rolls on I expect them to continue heading south. This is what always happens when Presidents tackle tough issues and try to change the established ways.

During Reagan's presidency think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institute were laying the groundwork for a economic shift away from the people and towards business, what we now call Reaganomics, programs and practices that haunt America to this day. Obama was elected as the person that would once and for all, dismantle Reaganomics and lead America into a new more "equal" and "granola-ish" America -where there's a chicken in every pot, a Prius in every driveway and the Government will take up the slack if things don't go ....just right.

The reality of the situation is a little different, Obama may not have the stomach required for surviving this fight. I honestly think he worries about his family. Who could blame him? There's a very negative energy in Politics these days. It doesn't suit his style, there's a reason why they call him "No-Drama Obama." His first seven months have been pure drama, it seems like he got "shook".

Reagan had the bad economy when he came into office like Obama. It was close to the third year of his presidency before the economy started turning around, Obama has the economy turning in 7 months. Granted Obama's polls are no where near 35%, but as he enacts more "change" in the country, those on the other side are going to become more and more entrenched in their position. Only time will be able to show us if they are able to change their previous "beliefs" and learn to embrace or at lease accept the kind of reforms that the actual people of this country, really need.

Garden Tip: Something you might want to try. Ammonia the harsh smelling cleaning product, is almost 60% Nitrogen and 40% water. Why this matters is that nitrogen is what makes plants deep green, it's what makes grass green. If you have a sprayer that hooks to your hose, fill your sprayer about half full of Ammonia and give your plants and grass a spray, you'll be surprised by the outcome.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

60 years and counting...

President Obama didn't take his opponent seriously enough in the health care reform debate. This health care debate has been roaring for 60 years now, ever since President Truman was first called a socialist for suggesting national health care for all. In looking at the history of this debate, the Republicans have used the exact same scare tactics and lies they used sixty years ago, and it still works!

For people who don't know, the Republicans are the party of business, as simple as that, they advocate for business interest, not the people. Democrats are the party that watch out for the people. What is interesting and to a lesser degree- genius about what the Republicans have been able to accomplish is that they get people, regular Americans to demonstrate and act a fool at these town hall meetings to help a interest that has no love for them. These business lobbyist donate money to these republicans to make sure the America people have no National healthcare. These interests and the Republican lawmakers will fool, trick or lie to these people them to work against their own interests. Until this does not work, they see no reason in changing their playbook.

What this says to me is that we as Americans aren't getting any brighter, and that the Democrats and President Obama aren't getting 'it'. How can someone do the exact same thing, use the exact same tricks and lies and get away with it without (the Democrats) trying to adjust. At this point and as I marinate on this health care battle, I get more and more disappointed with the way Obama and his lieutenants, got blindsided by their critics and are ineffective in neutralizing their attacks.

I know the Obama camp knows what I'm saying, going into September I'm interested in seeing if they have any answers for the American people, because as of now, it'll be 75 years before a Democrat gets a crack at health care reform again. I think that's why Dem's do the health care reform dance as soon as they get in office- they can lose the debate and still, if lucky get re-elected by the short term memories of voters.

Garden Tip: When you have a plant in a landscape that keeps dying after replacing two or three times, try another plant. Some plants just won't live in certain spots, simple as that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In a Perfect World we'd all be Republicans

In a perfect world everyone would be Republican, this a strange statement coming from someone like myself. I try to beat up on Rethuglicans every chance I get. I like their rhetoric, but in practice, they always always always get side tracked by crooks. Not all, but a good portion of Republican politicians just want to be re-elected just like Democrats, and to get re-elected you have to get in bed with unsavory characters, this is the game and they all play it.

I like the Republican mantra of small Government, I like their talk about reducing the deficit, I like their dogma about people being responsible for their own health care and there talk about giving the power to govern back to states. But if you think about it -Clinton was the only President in the last 50 years to lower the deficit or shrink government. President's Reagan, Bush and Bush II all ran massive deficits, and never really tried to fix the problem (when the first Bush tried to raise taxes to fix the problem, he got ran out of office on a rail). Both Reagan and Dick Cheney have said "deficits don't matter", look at them now though. Bush II grew the size of government at a unprecedented rate, first with two wars and then with the unfunded liability of Medicare-Part D. At least Obama is trying to pay for the health reform he's proposing.

Another Republican rallying point- personal responsibility is only applicable when times are good, look how all of these so-called free market capitalist companies are lining up for Government bailouts and handouts, whats that all about ? Another rallying cry is- the monopoly on Christian values, which is only convenient when they're not 'bearing false witness' concerning different aspects of President Obama agenda. But when they do get what they want, the values will return. This is the biggest problem most Democrat I talk to, have with Republicans, their supposed Christian values, that they cast a side when it's convenient.

There is one bright spot in this continued 'bearing of false witness'. The Fox News crowd-advertisers are starting to leave the channel and programs like Glenn Beck that tell lies about serious problems this country faces. No one is opposed to a opposing opinion, but this country cannot continue to be viable if 39% of the population is basing their opinions off of false information. People need to understand that 25 to 30% of the population get all of their news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, it should scare people. These are good American people who in a lot of cases have no idea their being manipulated by people ruled by money and the bottom line concerns.

Garden Tip: here's a simple way to find out if your plants need water, take a handful of soil and squeeze it, if no water comes out of your hand the plant needs water.