Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bowel Movements(BMs) of the Month: So many BMs in January for Nashville and Tennessee

No. 1: State Rep. Brian Kelsey, Republican, Germantown, TN -- this guy tried to extort a committee chairmansip from puppet House Speaker Kent Williams. He brought an ethics complaint against the Speaker for sexual harassment. The allegation from Rep. Susan Lynn has merit to be further investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

But Kelsey used his appeal to the committee to try and get a chairmanship with text messaging. He should resign his seat immediately. House Republican leadership should disown him and force him out. If it doesn't, then it is no better than the corrupt Democrats.

No. 2: Outgoing Now Staying House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, Democrat, Convington -- he engineered a way to keep power by getting Republican unknown Kent Williams to be his puppet. Williams voted with 49 Democrats to become speaker. Democrats were ready the following day to introduce a resolution making Naifeh "Speaker Emeritus" with unquantified powers. It has been delayed. But watch out.

No. 3: Puppet Speaker Kent Williams, Republican -- hours before the vote on the speaker's job, the unknown from east Tennessee looked his fellow Republicans in the eye and said he would vote for Rep. Jason Mumpower as speaker. Then he became Naifeh's stooge. Williams also had earlier signed a pledge to vote for Mumpower.

No. 4: Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall -- his racism was confirmed with the revelation that he was the guest speaker for a local White supremacist group. Hall is the only politician stupid and racist enough to speak to the group. The sheriff is the architect of the heinous 287g deportation program that was sold to the public based on lies of only going after undocumented human beings with criminal records. Hall still has the support of Mayor Karl Dean and Congressman Jim Cooper, also Democrats as the sheriff.

No. 5: Councilman Eric Crafton -- public records showed that his anti-immigrant EnglishOnly referendum was almost totally financed by a Virginia anti-immigrant group. Home-grown hate is one thing. Transporting it into Nashville is reprehensible and disgusting.

No. 6: Auto dealer Lee Beaman -- Nashville's most prominent seller of new autos was the major local contributor in support of the EnglishOnly referendum, but cheaply at less than $10,000. I wonder how many people speaking Spanish he refuses to sell cars to? His dealerships should be boycotted by people who favor a more tolerant Nashville.

Poor Maureen Dowd: With no more Bush to hate, the Left's Ann Coulter has nothing to write

When she was savaging President GW Bush for eight years, NYT's columnist Maureen Dowd would often have the most read columns on the newspaper's web site.

Now with Bush gone and Obama on the scene, Dowd's popularity is falling, as with her last column that could only make it to No. 8 on the top 10 most read list. Then it quickly disappeared. It rattled on about Wall Street.

Dowd for the Left is Ann Coulter to the Right. They both throw a lot of heat with little substance in their writing. Both deserve to be forgotten.

NYT reports Daschle knew of tax problems last June but didn't tell Obama team of faulty memory

The New York Times reports tonight that Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle knew as long ago as June that he had tax problems with a driver he hired and car provided to drive him around.

This service -- for which he owed $128,000 in taxes -- was provided by a private equity firm. Translated, that means a Wall Street fatcat -- part of an industry that already has received $350 billion in taxpayer money thanks to Democratic leaders including then Sen. Barack Obama.

“It’s totally shocking,” an aide to a Democratic senator said Saturday to The Times. “Why do we have to continue to have the same story over and over again with these nominees?”

Daschle, a nice guy, should be rejected by the Senate as HHS secretary. Americans are required to pay taxes by law. Those who forget about the law should not be put in charge of it.

The Times said the Obama campaign was not informed last June of the problem.

Democrats know that they approve this nomination at great political risk. The American people are not fooled.

Say It Ain't So Joe: If Democratic Party leaders want to tax and spend, they first should learn to pay taxes, not forget; why are they so unpatriotic?

An increasing embarrassment to the Democratic Party and rallying point for Republicans have been back-to-back problems with President Obama's Cabinet nominees who somehow forgot to pay more than $100,000 in taxes.

The new Treasury Secretary and the incoming head of HHS failed to pay $168,000 in taxes they somehow simply forgot about. I'm sure you wished you could use that excuse each April 15, or, of course, that the dog ate your tax return.

Yet former Sen. Tom Daschle overlooked a driver and car provided to take him around Washington, D.C. and other cities to support Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

I still drive for myself in a car I paid for myself, not provided me. I'm so backwards politcally. So are average Americans and Tennesseans who pay their taxes on time.

During the presidential campaign, VP Joe Biden said that it was very patriotic to pay taxes.

So are we now to assume that Democratic leaders are not patriotic? That is a claim they refute with ferocity and indignity. But they should put their money where their mouths are.

With these two prominent cases of prominent Democrats failing to do their patriotic duty, perhaps the IRS should conduct an audit of every party leader and official to make sure they love their country according to Biden's lofty standards.

Every dollar is going to count with the almost $1 trillion the party wants to use with a stimulus plan short on stimulus and big on spend.

Nashville sheriff reveals racism with speech to White Supremacist group; time to get candidates together to run against re-election of the racist

Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall was the featured speaker at a gathering of a White supremacist group, confirming the racism behind his motivations to bring the heinous 287g deportation program to Music City, reports The Tennessean.

Hall sold the 287 program in Nashville -- which is supported by his fellow Democrats in Mayor Karl Dean and Congressman Jim Cooper -- with lies that it was meant only to round up undocumented immigrants with a criminal record.

Instead, more than 3,500 people have been deported after being arrested for things like fishing without a license. These human beings have jobs and families. And one of the criminal cases Hall cited to sell the program politically was the murder of two white residents. But the undocumented immigrant was easily exonerated by a Nashville jury. Still, 287g remains.

Hall, in the newspaper article, reverted to more lies -- saying he did not know he was speaking before a White supremacist group and blaming his appearance there as the fault of his scheduler.

Yet the group says Hall is the only politician to appear before the body in its history.

Hall's racism should be an embarrassment to a civil rights city as Nashville, and so should the support of 287g by other Nashville Democrats.

Taxpayers also are being cheated. All the resources going to arrest, process and incarcerate people who are no threat to this nation steers law enforcement away from needing crime prevention. And any law enforced by the color of one's skin and the accent of one's voice is simply racist.

Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility. Would we bring the administration of Social Security to counties simply because the federal government cannot properly manage it? Of course not. So why are undocumented immigrants so targeted? We know why.

SSA is so broken in its administration that I had to wait 18 months to get disability payments for my leukemia. I earned those benefits from working and contributing to the trust fund since I was 13. Some disabled people die before they get benefits. Others give up and don't even challenge the first two denials of benefit appeals. That should be a more pressing need to correct.

With the declining economy, undocumented immigrants are returning home on their own.

It's the racists such as Sheriff Hall who have turned the issue of immigration into one of inhumanity. If Nashvillians choose to leave Hall in office, then they should go down to Alabama and see if the late Bull Connor had any grandchildren.

Then bring them up here to help to make the racism in the sheriff's department complete.

Dems prepare to get veto-proof Senate with Obama to appoint GOP senator at Commerce

In a brilliant political move, President Obama is prepared to nominate Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire as the new secretary of commerce, FOXNEWS reports.

Judd's replacement would be appointed by a Democratic governor.

That would give Senate Democrats a 60-vote, veto-proof majority.

Krugman misses critical point in latest column

In trying to address the need for guaranteed health care in this nation, Nobel Prize winning columnist Paul Krugman misses a crucial point.

President Obama never campaigned for health care for all. Such a proposition is called universal health care, which his primary opponent backed.

Statistics from the Heritage Foundation point out of the 46 million figure regularly cited in the news media of uninsured Americans, only 30 million actually want the health care and cannot get it. The other 16,000 have health care available to them, and either do not know so, or are not willing to take the time to apply for it.

I realize the Heritage Foundation is a conservative group, but I have seen no one dispute its analysis of the 46 million figure.

Now back to Obama. He proposed making health care more affordable and insuring sll children. There was no universal health care and his chief primary opponent regularly chastised him for it.

So Krugman in trying to make a case for health care now for all the people has shown himself uninformed about the man he is criticizing. And that fact reduces the credibility of his argument.

Turning off the name callers and haters

I was watching Sean Hannity's program last night, which is not something common for me since the two of us do not see eye to eye on many issues.

But I noticed he uses quite a bit of time of his show to run some really hateful calls from people who do not like his politics. I really think he is taking time away from viewers who would prefer more from him, and less from these angry people.

I follow that rule on my blog. I do not provide the time and space for the name callers and haters, which mostly turn out to be liberals and Democrats. Their call for tolerance does not include people they disagree with.

So if you are taking time to send me a name-calling response to what I write, you are wasting yout time.

It will never be published. And I love to push the "reject" button. It is like hitting the lever on the toilet to flush.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A comment provides chance for enlightenment

A reader sent in a comment of the following concerning my post about the election of the first black head of the RNC:

I wasn't aware that any of the Republicans have an issue with Hispanics. I think perhaps you are confusing the problem of illegals (from everywhere) with legal immigrants? Just a thought.

The reader is unaware, and it is that lack of awareness that cost Republicans so dearly in the general election.

Americans of Hispanic descent -- not Cuban-Americans -- have known hatred for generations from Republicans and conservatives. We know the the onslaught against undocumented human beings is just one step removed from those of us who are citizens.

The GOP's ultimate objection is clear, as intoned by Mr. Conservative and Republican Pat Buchanan. His objection is to the depurifying of the American blood from what he claims is its blue-eyed European roots. He objects to the browning of America, which since 2000 has not come from immigration but births in this nation.

Hatred disguised is still hatred. And the Republican Party will never win the Hispanic vote outside of Cubanos as long as Republicans fail to grasp the hatred in their message.

Ecnomist who predicted economic downturn now projects a near Depression for our country

NYU economist Nouriel Roubini was ridiculed at last year's World Economic Summit for predicting economic disaster in America and the world, reports Bloomberg News.

Now, no one challenged his contentions at this year's gathering just completed. And what he has to say for America is shocking. If you think what has been experienced so far has been bad, he sees the worst to come with no ability as of yet to predict a recovery.

More economists are coming to his contention. A revered figured on CNBC today predicted a return to the Paul Volcker days with interest rates near 20 percent.

Here is what Roubini said today:

While the U.S. government is resisting nationalizing its biggest banks, Roubini says it will have no choice because they are now “effectively insolvent.”

And the outcome may be even worse than even he anticipates if governments fail to take aggressive steps to recapitalize banks and revive their economies, he says: “The risk of a near-depression shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Roubini, who’s now working on a book about the crisis, says he takes no particular pleasure in his role as Dr. Doom or the attention it brings him.

“I’m not a permanent bear,” he says. “I’ll be the first to call a recovery, but I just don’t see it yet, and it’s getting uglier.”

Replublicans elect first black national party chairman; Chip Saltsman not even mentioned

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was elected the first black national chairman for the Republican Party.

His ascension signals a real effort by the GOP to promote diversity in its ranks, particularly after the silly racist stunt by Tennessee's Chip Saltsman who also wanted the job.

The New York Times quoted the following remark by Steele:

"It’s time for something completely different and we’re going to bring it to them," Mr. Steele said. "We’re going to bring this party to every corner, to every boardroom, to every neighborhood, to every community.

And we’re going to say to friend and foe alike, ‘we want you to be a part of us, we want you to be with us and for those of you who are going to obstruct, get ready to be knocked over.’ "

The GOP faces a tough job, particularly with Hispanics for which GOP House members still have much hatred for when it comes to immigrants.

Gannett, Tennessean continue to sink into sunset; if not for employees, this would cause for glee

Gannett Co., Inc., owner of The Tennessean, continued its swift financial decline as it announced shocking results today on the rapid fall in value of corporate newspaper chains.

The company that no longer is the corporate giant it once was reported $5.9 billion in writedowns for the fourth quarter due to decline in the value of its poor in quality newspapers. I did not believe contentions before by its critics, but I now believe Gannett's days are numbered.

Here is how reported the news:

Headline: Gannett writes off up to $5.9 billion in assets as quarterly revenue misses, net income dives 36%

Gannett reported lower preliminary fourth-quarter earnings today, but even those profits will be wiped out once the company takes pretax writedowns of as much as $5.9 billion to reflect the declining value of its newspapers.

The nation's top newspaper publisher said preliminary net income fell to $158 million, or 69 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, down 36% from a year ago, as advertising revenue continues to take a beating because of the recession, the Associated Press said.

Operating revenue plunged 8.5%, to $1.74 billion, on a 23% drop in newspaper advertising sales. Wall Street media stock analysts had forecast $1.79 billion.

Despite knowledge of these coming numbers, one of top corporate Gannett executives recently charged the company $15,000 for his fee to play in pro-am golf tournament. After information of this immorality hit Gannettblogspot, the executive was forced to pay the company back for his fee. Meanwhile, employees are being forced to take one-week furloughs this quarter -- without pay. They can expect the same for each of the other three quarters.

If you still subscribe to The Tennessean or advertise in it, you are propping up an entrenched, uncaring institution that deserves to fail. At the very least, Gannett should let its employees onto a life boat by selling The Tennessean to community investors who care about this region and its people.

Credit card companies are watching you and making sure you don't default on your debts

The New York Times has a frightening story this afternoon about credit card companies -- most prominently American Express -- that are cracking down on consumers without them even doing anything wrong.

American Express has reduced credit card limits on cardholders who frequent establishments for which they have been burned by previous consumers who defaulted on their credit card debt.

You're not told which establishments these are.

The reason: the coming financial ruin of some credit card companies. During good times, this nation's credit card debt was estimated to be $4.4 trillion. Who knows how much higher it has gone.

The next shoe to drop in the financial markets will be the ruin of a lot of credit card companies. They will apply for federal aid and say it is to preserve jobs. Hopefully, Washington will not fall for this appeal.

So American Express is foretelling the future all cardholders will have to endure. So reduce your debt now or beware.

Who knows how low these card companies will go?

Obama's outrage over Wall Street bonsues doesn't fool me; he and Democrats have been largest beneficiaries of largess of financial fatcats

If you can still remember the movie classic "Casablanca", a favorite scene involves the French police chief who has Rick's place raided for gambling -- while a dealer brings him his winnings for the night.

It's the same with President Obama's outrage over Wall Steet bonuses to executives and employees.

No party has been more of a beneficiary from the largess of Wall Street than Democrats. The Clinton administration allowed for the deregulation of the industry that unleashed the damning derivatives tied to bad home loans.

Obama was the top recipient of campaign donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both institutions have been bailed out by taxpayers.

Obama also supported the failed TARP plan that has gone to the same bonus baby executives and their companies. The president is now preparing to spend another $350 billion on these financial fools.

If Obama really objected to the bonuses, then he would not spend a cent more of TARP. He'd return the money to the federal coffers to pay for the massive stimulus plan.

He won't. And his objections to the bonuses ring false and hypocritical. Change still has not come to Washington. And Obama is making Rush Limbaugh credible again.

Joining directors of Mending Hearts a high honor; answering the critical call of Les Miserables

I was pleased this week to accept a position on the board of directors for Mending Hearts, an incredible program of action and compassion in Nashville aimed at young women needing help to overcome addiction and other abuses from their childhoods.

The name of the non-profit organization is purposeful. The more than 50 women who come to the program on a regular basis for on-site support are broken, deserted by families and other loved ones. The have reached the end of the road. One woman was sent to the program by a drug court in Williamson County.

Some have children, but have lost custody. Most have no one, except some extraordinary staff members led by Katrina Frierson, the executive director of this five-year effort in West Nashville off Charlotte Ave. The program is housed in three structures -- one used to be a crack house.

Now neighbors are happy to have these woman and this non-profit to clean up the neighborhood on Albion and resurrect lives into working people with a new chance.

Many regain their children ... and sense of hope and direction. One is deputy director Charlotte Grant, who was raised amid drug addiction as a child. She says her father would blow marijuania smoke into her face as a baby. When she was 7, she had her first joint. She finally self-destructed on crack cocaine and had a baby daughter to care for.

Now she is recovered, resurrected and has regained custody of her 15-year-old daughter, who is as tough as any counselor in monitoring mom's conduct. Grant is a working professional with a career.

A new wing needs to be built for more women with children, and with the inclusion of an on-site daycare. I believe that is possible this year, with part of my fortune and the contributions of others with means wanting to make a difference that lasts for more than a moment.

Mending Hearts is one the recipients of proceeds from the Music City Presidential Charity Ball on Jan. 20. While the contribution of $1,500 will be appreciated, much more is needed.

I'll inform you of coming fundraisers in February, which include a bowling event and a silent auction with tea.

I am committed to this marvelous cause. Three years ago, 70 percent of the women in the program were black. Now 70 percent are white. And they are coming in from the suburban counties as the destruction of the American family with prescription drugs and other difficulties spreads.

Mending Hearts represents a line in the sand, by which this destruction must not be allowed to cross and permanently destroy these lives. As asked in the sensational musical Les Miserables, "would you join in our crusade, would you be strong and stand with me?"


An encouragement to seek the light of Christ

A reader sent this message concerning my post about the killings from one California hospital and the birth of eight children at another.

I endorse his sentiments:

When times grow darkest, we must look to the Light.

I too have financial challenges and young children but I don't lose hope because my trust is in Jesus Christ--that TODAY, He will give me my daily bread and that ONE DAY He will come back for me.

To my fellow Christians, this dark hour is when we should shine brightest--be intentional about embracing the hope of Christ and sharing it with others.

To my brothers and sisters in the human race, consider that if this life is all we have, we are to be pitied. This life is full of trouble and difficulty.

Sure, there are immense joys but they only last for a moment. I encourage you to put your trust in Jesus Christ for TODAY and for ETERNITY.

Roland Hairston.

A message from my friend battling the economic hard times; he is surviving thanks to grit and God

I have written for a couple of months about a friend of mine from Williamson County who has had to survive the current economic downturn while maintaining his faith in God and sustaining his family.

He is a hero. And I am proud to know him. I offer his continuing comments as a public service to help others. God is most proud of him. He is of you, too, for fighting the good fight. Keep hoping.

I just wanted to check in and say hello.

I just commented on your blog about the Governor's cuts to higher education.

I am sick over this.

Thanks for your work for the students with the computers. That is great news about the increased traffic on the blog! I truly believe your blog is going to turn into a very powerful tool (voice) soon.

I spent the night at my church a couple of weeks ago with the homeless as part of Room at the Inn by our Sunday School class. I know how you feel about this part of God's flock and just wanted to let you know.

We are still hanging in there. Thanks again.

P.S. Please note the email change. AT&T has bludgeoned my Bellsouth account into submission. I have heard many horror stories from people who have had difficult dealings with AT&T since they took over Bellsouth. I am no exception. There is nothing like being kicked when you're down.

NYT now says economic downturn not as bad

The New York Times reports this morning that the economic downturn for the fourth quarter is not as severe as feared but still with a 3.8 percent decline in the GDP.

The Commerce Department released results this morning.

Choice Act increasingly is doomed and rightly so

Opposition continues to grow at what is called the Choice Act, legislation that proponents say will help workers to organize into unions but what opponents including former Sen. George McGovern calls the worst legislation he has ever seen.

The legislation is very partisan and designed to reward labor unions that supported President Obama's election and even former President Jimmy Carter has spoken negatively about the measure.

The legislation takes away from the very American concept of the secret ballot in elections. McGovern has become a very vocal opponent of the legislation, much to the chagrin of liberals.

Obama has promised to sign the legislation. But with the problems he has already had with his stimulus plan and the united GOP vote against it in the House, Obama politically will not want the legislation to move forward. It will make the Republicans even more stronger as a unified force.

The Choice Act does even deserve to be brought up before Congress. If it is, then the Democrats risk being outed as being servants of the special interests that Obama claimed he was elected to fight.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Latest stats: 50 subscribers and 25 hits an hour

This political and social blog site now has 50 subscribers and more than 600 hits per day, according to the latest stats from Feedburner.

A lot of credit goes to publisher Derby Jones and his Williamson Herald newspaper which invited me back to write a political newspaper column when no print outlet in Nashville wanted me. It seems print journalism there is of too high quality and standards too lofty for someone such as me.

And now my newspaper column has spread to Gallatin-Hendersonville where I have many friends, particularly military families.

Yesterday, I was featured with state Sen. Diane Black and children and teachers from Bethpage Elementary School in The Observer in Westmoreland, TN. Bethpage is a good news story about public education that works, Black is a fine lawmaker and I was happy to contribute computers to the school.

Smart boards and two laptops are coming in two weeks.

I am humbled by Derby's confidence in me when no one else would give me a chance --after The Tennessean took my job away after I applied to return during my continuing fight with leukemia. And Derby has helped me expand my reach now to north of Nashville.

You really don't know who you friends are until you are down. I now know. And I appreciate all of you out there who have taken this blog to its first, important reader milestone after its debut last May.

This blog is meant to give you a different, more timely and thoughtful look at the news, one centered on your needs and not the bias out of Nashville's print outlets. They don't give a damn about what you want to read or what is important in your lives -- particularly your values. They only want to push their agenda, which rightly and increasingly is pushing them into oblivion.

This blog is very healthy. I bought its registration and write it out of love for my craft and the people of Tennessee -- who deserve so much more than they are getting from the print media of Nashville.

So I'll be increasingly working and writing in the loop counties where I have a lot of friends and where the growth is. But I'll be keeping my eyes on Naifeh and his puppet Speaker in Nashville and a governor who is so out of touch with real Tennesseans and any clear sense of humanity.

Thank you for helping this daily blog to this first milestone of many to come in serving you.

Baby finds a piece of dirt on the floor ... but don't worry; experts say that immune system helped

LEBANON -- I was watching a beautiful young lady -- 11 months of age -- crawl today on the floor and suddenly put something in her mouth.

Her "Mammy" and "Pappy" were quick on the scene but whatever was on the just-swept floor made it into baby's mouth.

While parents and grandparents might consider this moment as a failure, The New York Times tells everyone to calm down. Dirt is good for children. Yes, you read right.

Consider this excerpt:

Ask mothers why babies are constantly picking things up from the floor or ground and putting them in their mouths, and chances are they’ll say that it’s instinctive — that that’s how babies explore the world. But why the mouth, when sight, hearing, touch and even scent are far better at identifying things?

When my young sons were exploring the streets of Brooklyn, I couldn’t help but wonder how good crushed rock or dried dog droppings could taste when delicious mashed potatoes were routinely rejected.

Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.

In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma.

These studies, along with epidemiological observations, seem to explain why immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the United States and other developed countries.

Now experts aren't saying "go out to the flower bed and scoop up several portions in a bowl for baby at lunch." They're just saying that kids may be doing something that is good for them -- directed naturally from what the Almighty built.

Now we should keep the floor swept and the carpet vacuumed. But a piece of dirt is not going to kill a young one. And if research is right, it may help baby.

That sinking feeling; new numbers will show that U.S. economy is shrinking at shocking pace

The New York Times reports tonight that the U.S. economy shrank at a shocking rate of 5.4 percent in the last three months of 2008 and probably now is shrinking at a whopping 4%.

So the ill feeling you have about the future is sound. And the months ahead are just going to keep us nauseated.

The Times reports:

The Commerce Department is set to release a report Friday expected to show the economy shrank at a pace of 5.4 percent in the October-December period, a much faster descent than the 0.5 percent decline logged in the prior quarter.

If economists' forecasts are correct, it would mark the weakest quarterly showing since an annualized drop of 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 1982, when the country was suffering through a severe recession.

''It was a bloodbath,'' said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research, referring to the economy's fourth-quarter performance.

A massive pullback by consumers is expected to play a prominent role in the economy's worsening backslide. They are cutting back on spending as jobs disappear and major investments -- homes, stocks, retirement accounts -- tank in value.

Businesses are retrenching, too, as profits shrivel and demand wanes from customers in the U.S. and overseas.

''Households and businesses were bombarded by all the fallout,'' Yamarone said.

Many economists think the fourth quarter will turn out to be the worst quarter for the recession, which is now in its second year. But the economy will stay very weak in the months ahead. Analysts believe the economy is contracting in the current quarter at a pace of 4 percent or more.

Pepto-Bismol, anyone?

U.S. capitalism takes beating at world summit and rightly so; European model extolled for its virtues

The American model of capitalism has taken a rightful beating at this week's World Economic Forum for its unbridled greed that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

And The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating piece about all the criticism. And the reporting is most timely, particularly here in Tennessee where the governor wants to cut higher education funding by 20 percent.

Will our stupid politicians never learn what makes a better society for all?

It reports this excerpt:

DAVOS, Switzerland -- A day after Chinese and Russian leaders blamed a free-wheeling U.S. financial system as the source of the global economic crisis, Europeans here are taking comfort in what they see as their kinder, gentler version of capitalism.

José Manuel Barroso, opening European markets remotely on Thursday from Davos, said the U.S. is looking to the European model of capitalism.

"In Europe, we have a social-market economy," said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in an interview. "We have universal health care, a more generous system of social security, a general principle of almost free university education. And we want to keep that."

For years, Europe's more-regulated model of capitalism has been maligned by many economists as a study in second-rate market economics. Now, as world leaders seek a way out of the crisis -- and aim to avoid repeating it -- U.S.-style capitalism is under siege and the European model is getting another look.

Great joke! Leno comments on Obama and Rush

The ongoing verbal combat between President Obama and radio entertainer Rush Limbaugh has flared up over the proposed economic stimulus plan passed yesterday by the House.

Limbaugh has even introduced what he calls his own "bipartisan" stimulus plan.

Jay Leno tonight had a precious comment. Limbaugh said he was not going to bend over and grab his ankles just because Obama is black.

Leno remarked that regardless of color, "does anyone really think that Limbaugh can bend over and grab his ankles?"


But The Wall Street Journal provided space today for Limbaugh to sell his plan. You can read the piece at:

Asian markets plummet; Dow takes back all gains

Asian markets led by Japan's Nikkei Index plunged Friday after a record drop in Japanese industrial production, bad corporate earnings and worries about Wall Street.

And the Dow today took back all its gains from the previous day and more. With the Asian markets down, the market floor of 8000 may finally be pierced for good tomorrow.

All the bad economic news and layoffs must finally weigh down the market and force it down for a long period of time -- a year or more. If you're still in the market, you risk much. But you've been warned repeatedly.

The short rally in financials is over.

Governor's proposed 20% cuts to TN higher education funding would devastate state's future

Despite his lecture of Tennessee higher ed officials, Gov. Phil Bredesen today was way off the mark if he means to push the state beyond just creating new auto industry workers and phone center clerks.

Proposed cuts of 20% are ridiculous and unacceptable. If a state is to move forward, you don't devastate higher education. These colleges and universities often are the ones that have to provide remedial education to Tennessee's children who are not properly educated in K-12 and not ready for higher learning.

Yet Bredesen doesn't want to cut his pre-K program either. So the focus is on higher ed with cuts and raising tuition on Tennessee families. That is reckless and derelict. Tennessee's economic future depends on the molding of its brain power on these campuses.

The governor, however, has no problem in giving away more than $600 million in taxpayer freebies to Volkswagen to build a new car plant in Chattanooga. And the jobs are not restricted to Tennesseans. People from Alabama and Georgia can also get the jobs. Big oversight, eh, Guv?

Unfortunately for Tennessee, new car buying in this nation has disappeared and will not reappear for two or more years. Layoffs already are mounting in this industry across the country and in Tennessee.

Bredesen gambled and lost. Now he would risk Tennessee's economic long-term future by cheating the state's colleges and universities of needed funding.

For a man educated at Harvard, he sure is not very smart.

Peanut butter product recall expanding; be careful in which products you choose with the creamy stuff in them; 8 people now dead

The recall of peanut butter-based products expanded today, and shoppers should be questioning all grocers about the safety of what they're selling outside of jars of the stuff.

I write this because the Kroger's where I shop still continues to sell peanut butter products as a special of 10 for $10. With the growing recalls, how do grocers know which products are safe?

So ask.

Here is what The New York Times reports tonight:

WASHINGTON — One of the largest food contamination scares in the nation’s history grew far larger on Wednesday as a Georgia peanut plant that federal regulators said knowingly shipped contaminated food recalled even more products.

Already, more than 400 consumer products, including Jenny Craig nutritional bars and Keebler Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, have been recalled after eight people died and more than 500 people in 43 states, half of them children, were sickened by salmonella poisoning.

On Wednesday, the Peanut Corporation of America, whose plant in Blakely, Ga., is the source of the contamination, expanded its recall from all products made since July to all those made since Jan. 1, 2007. The company supplied some of the largest food makers in the nation.

“We don’t have a good idea of how much of that product is still out there,” said Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s food center.

Damn Fool: Kelsey tries to extort puppet Speaker; Republican should resign his seat immediately

When you make House Democrats look like they have integrity, then one has stooped lower than a snake's belly or Jimmy Naifeh laying out for a tan.

And reports from WSMV Channel 4 today confirm that Rep. Brian Kelsey, who brought a noisy complaint about sexual harassment allegations against puppet Speaker Kent Williams before the House Ethics Committee, tried to extort a chairmanship to tone down his complaint.

Damn fool. He should resign immediately and never return to the Statehouse. If not, then the Republican leadership should bring ethics charges against him for his removal.

Here's is the tragedy of what he did:

First, he made the reprehensible Democratic leadership in the House seem like victims. It is not. It is corrupt.

Second, he made Rep. Susan Lynn into even more of a victim in this case.

Kelsey should resign. Fellow Republicans should force him to do so, or the Democratic leadership will use this reprehensible incident to solidify their power.

The Republican leadership must show it is different from the Democratic one. If it doesn't, then Tennesseans would be better to stay with the evil they know than another evil to come.

Renderings of new Nashville Convention Center show Karl Dean as heartless as his mentor; credit markets will require too much cost for bonds

Nashville government officials released renderings today of the proposed $600 million convention center amid a deep recession and severe budget deficits -- making the drawings about as possible as anything drawn for the Star Wars movie series or Jabba the Hut fitting into a thong.

And with city public schools a few months away from state control due to failure to meet No Child Left Behind Act standards after five years, the drawings represent an incredible immorality on the part of Mayor Karl Dean -- who learned his people skills and sense of humanity from his mentor Phil Bredesen.

That money, even if can bonds can be sold in the current frigid credit markets, should go to schools, teacher salaries and classroom resources. For God's sake, these are our children. Or do you need Whitney Houston to sing another verse?

The mayor proposes to pay for the 30-year bonds to finance the monstrosity with fees and a tourist tax. Sorry, Karl. But with Nashville's fiscal condition, the credit markets are going to demand very high interest rates for any bonds here.

And a city council member very informed on Muni and general obligation bonds and the credit market wrote me to say the following in disagreeing with my optimism(yes, me optimistic, the irony):

Enjoyed your post on problems facing Nashville and I found it interesting. Since you seem interested in the capital markets, I thought I might share with you some thoughts that may be helpful in your analysis going forward.

The municipal bond market is not going to collapse because it already has.

Beginning with the downgrades of the bond insurers, the market has faced unprecedented challenges. After the exit from the market of bond insurers we had a collapse of the auction rate debt, the banking crisis meant a loss of letter of credit providers and huge problems for variable rate debt issuers.

The rise in short term interest rates forced sell-offs in something called the TOB's programs of the major retail shops like Merrill Lynch so the secondary market was flooded with product. The typical buyers - insurance companies, mutual funds - could not absorb the supply and that forced rates up even more which in turn created more sell-offs.

Those challenges have essentially re-wound the clock to about 1985. We had a pretty healthy and operating market then and returning to it will be painful but not catastrophic. Some would actually argue that it is a good thing.

As in 1985, we are looking at a period without third party credit enhancement - bond insurers, letters of credits, etc. We are are also looking at an era where the buying universe is constrained to a few institutional issuers and the retail market. Because of these two significant shifts in the market we can expect a couple of things: higher interest rates (not just in nominal terms but as a spread to taxable and treasury debt) and higher costs of issuance.

On the bright side, municipal bond issuers enjoyed an unprecedented 20 year run with low interest rates and low costs of issuance. They also had access to tax exempt financing for projects whose economic viability was marginal. Some think we shall quickly return to that period and are trying to wait it out by holding off on any new issuance. I disagree and think we shall be years getting back to the market of 2005 - if ever.

The bottom line is that Metro will not be able to afford the cost of issuing and paying bonding debt on a $600 million project. If it can issue the bonds at all.

That makes the renderings more valuable than the project will ever be. There will be no new convention center. The economic and credit market times will not allow it.

Perhaps Mayor Dean can ask the mega-millionaire Gov. Bredesen for a loan.

Stimulus plan shows fault, folly in both parties

I am politically independent because both major political parties in this nation are so screwed up. The economic stimulus plan is a prime example.

In voting against the plan, House Republicans went paranoid and claimed the plan was a backdoor way to get universal health care in this nation. I wish.

President Obama did not support universal care in his presidential campaign. He doesn't now. But the $127 billion set aside to address health care needs in the states is the best money spent in the plan.

And we need universal health, economically, if hospitals are to survive. We need preventative care. Health care costs still are rising at runaway proportions. And more employees in more companies are even losing basic care because of that.

Then there are the Democrats. They've stuffed the plan with so many pet projects that have no record of working. And they set aside $200 million to grow grass on the National Mall.

This is reckless spending. And the Democrats' record with their TARP plan is a failure.

Trusting them with the stimulus plan is foolish.

President Obama continues with his bipartisan line, and has been joined by Rush Limbaugh who is offering his own plan. I don't find much hope there either.

Goodness, this nation is a political basket case. The nation does not want a new plan as much as some sensibility and principle upon what to do -- or do nothing at all.

If you want to see the craziest in politics, switch over to cable news stations and watch Gov. B

To affirm that mental illness is rampant in American politics, Illinois' governor is now addressing an impeachment committee about how unfairly he has been treated.

This guy has previously described himself as Ghandi. I loved a Tonight Show spoof last night of a Ghandi figure physically beating a Gov. B figure.

Turn over to his address to the committee. It is outrageous and great political TV.

Ford Motor chief says you should pay more in gas taxes like Europeans; gallon of gas should be $4

Ford Motor Co.'s chief said today that taxes should be raised at the pump on you so that all gas costs at least $4 per barrel.

He cites the European model, where gas costs $7 a gallon to discourage driving and pay for technological improvements from car manufacturers.

What do you thing? I think he is full of ... .

Rick Santelli is the person to listen to on CNBC

If you want financial advice, listen to Rick Santelli on CNBC.

The guy at the futures and commodities markets in Chicago is the fella I depended on to get out of the stock market above 13,000.

Today, he said we are headed to 11 percent unemployment. If that happens, the stock market is no place to be for the next year at least.

Santelli is the man to listen to if you want to know what to do with your money. For now, simply keep it safe in cash.

The market now is a very short term place to make any profit. That means you have to be an expert. You're not. I'm not.

So stay safe and keep listening to Santelli.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Postal Service should be made to work more, not less; removing one day of delivery is outrageous

Of all the insults to the American taxpayer the past several months, nothing has topped yesterday's testimony before Congress by the Postmaster General.

He said the poor Postal Service will have to eliminate a day of mail delivery to close a $3 billion deficit. Possibly Tuesday.

Of all the institutions in this nation, the Postal Service is the most unaccountable. All of you have a horror story of poor service.

I have an inside source on the workings of the U.S. Postal Service. It is a place where who people performing poorly and with no regard for you cannot be fired. They are making $25 an hour.

There are weekend trip giveways and TV giveaways for performance.

And the Postal Service simply raises the cost of stamps at will.

The Postmaster should scale back salaries. He should eliminate the giveaways. He should fire poor performers.

Taking from the taxpayers and people in need of regular home delivery is not the answer. It is part of the Postal Service's problems of serving self before us.

Chamber Report Card comes out tomorrow

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce releases its report card on Metro Nashville Public Schools tomorrow that are months away from state control due to failure to meet No Child Left Behind Act standards.

The chamber has control of the schools now through school board membership. But it really does not have any idea how to improve schools, only ensure that businesses do not get taxed more to be part of the solution. Its difference-making support of the resegregation of Metro Schools was wrong.

The report card does not carry much weight with me. The chamber has been part of the problem for decades and its support of politicians such as Phil Bredesen and Karl Dean have only made things worse.

But the chamber will get publicity as really caring, which is the mirage it wants to maintain to the general public. Meanwhile, children in need continue to suffer.

Rep. Mike Turner is disgustingly representative of the corruption infesting the People's House

WKRN Channel 2 this afternoon showed the most disgusting video I have seen for quite a while from what should by The People's House ... Legislative Plaza.

Rep. Mike Turner placed the blame on the hospitalization of Rep. Susan Lynn this morning on the man taking up her cause and honor today before the House Ethics Committee -- which is a gross contradiction in terms.

Rep. Brian Kelsey tried to bring the alleged sexual harassment of Lynn by the current House Speaker before the committee. But it rejected the matter, saying the complaint was not the proper venue.

That's simply a dodge. It indeed is matter for the committee. But ethics don't matter in The People's House.

Lynn did not want her complaint against Kent Williams made public. It was two years ago. And witnesses say he apologized for his lack of class. But now the man made Speaker by Jimmy Naifeh denies the allegation. It is sickening.

Stress forced Lynn's hospitalization, and she underwent medical tests. Women can have heart attacks and die. It is a higher cause of death for them than breast cancer.

Turner, however, showed his extreme lack of class and entrenchment in the corrupt nature of the Naifeh Machine by claiming Kelsey was the cause of her hospitalization.

Turner -- who also is an anti-immigrant legislation sponsor -- is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party ... and what should be The People's House.

NYT provides needed history lesson about FDR and the New Deal -- what he did, what he did not and how the New Deal did not really bring recovery

The New York Times today provides a needed history lesson about FDR and the Great Depression he could not really impact until World War II forced massive defense spending and full employment.

FDR and the New Deal have become more the stuff of mythology and romance than reality. So it is important that Americans revisit their history and finally learn it -- warts, wonder and all.

The Times piece is a must read, before this nation spends one dollar on an economic stimulus plan.

Here is a large excerpt:

Roosevelt had his triumphs. He stemmed panic and stabilized the banking system with a combination of deposit insurance, government investment in banks, restrictions on banking practices and his “fireside chat” radio addresses, which repeatedly steadied the national mood and bought Roosevelt time to make changes.

Still, even after the government assistance, the surviving banks were shaken and lending remained anemic — much as the nation’s banks today are reluctant to make loans again, despite receiving more than $300 billion of taxpayers’ money in Round 1 of the federal banking bailout.

So, throughout the 1930s, economic recovery remained frustratingly elusive and arrived only with the buildup for World War II in the 1940s.

The shorthand verdict on Roosevelt, economists and historians say, is that he was an eloquent and skillful politician, and an innovator in jobs programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and in regulatory steps like the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission to police Wall Street. But Roosevelt, they say, while brilliant in many ways, did not have a sure grasp of how to guide the economy as a whole.

“Roosevelt had some successes, but we hope that Obama is going to do better,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard. “Otherwise, we’re in trouble.”

Roosevelt’s New Deal is often portrayed as an embrace of Keynesian economics, which advocates increased government spending to combat economic downturns and generate jobs.

Yet despite New Deal programs and some aid to the states, total government spending — federal, state and local — as a share of the economy throughout the 1930s remained at just under 20 percent. (Today, total government spending is more than 35 percent, a larger buffer against weakness in the private sector.)

During the 1930s, the unemployment rate fell somewhat under Roosevelt, but remained stubbornly high, averaging more than 17 percent for the decade.

In 1934, the British economist John Maynard Keynes visited Roosevelt in the White House to make his case for more deficit spending. But Roosevelt, it seems, was either unimpressed or uncomprehending. “He left a whole rigmarole of figures,” Roosevelt complained to his labor secretary, Frances Perkins, according to her memoir. “He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist.”

Keynes left equally disenchanted, telling Ms. Perkins that he had “supposed the president was more literate, economically speaking.”

It would not be until the early 1940s, with the beginning of World War II, that a strong dose of Keynesian medicine was administered to the American economy. By 1942, total government spending as a share of the economy rose to 52 percent, and peaked at nearly 70 percent in 1944, when unemployment fell to 1 percent.

One lesson from the 1930s, economists say, is how difficult it is to engineer a recovery when an economy has spiraled down as far as it had by 1933. Swift and effective steps early in a downturn, they say, can enable an economy to avoid further slippage and joblessness. And Mr. Obama has the advantage of taking over far earlier in an economic descent than Roosevelt did.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Listen up conservatives: free market is dealing with immigration; punitive actions are not needed

Conservatives who believe in the power of free market capitalism should extend their faith in the system when it comes to immigration.

The Wall Street Journal reports tonight that money remmittances to Mexico continue to decline. The Journal has previously reported that the number of immigrants returning to Latin America due to the declining economy continues to rise.

Punitive local and national actions like 287g and ICE raids are not needed. And they cost a lot of taxpayer money when there is none to waste.

Here is what The Journal reports tonight:

The amount of money that Mexicans working in the U.S. sent back home dropped 3.6% in 2008, as the rising U.S. jobless rate took a toll on immigrants. It was the first decline in remittances recorded since Mexico began tracking money flows from abroad 13 years ago.

The drop to $25 billion from $26 billion in 2007, reported Tuesday by Mexico's Central Bank, is nearly twice what the government forecast. It could foreshadow a bad year ahead for Mexico. After oil, remittances are Mexico's second-biggest source of hard currency, ahead of tourism and manufactured goods, two other suffering sectors.

Indeed, on Tuesday, Mexican Central Bank chief Guillermo Ortiz predicted Mexico's annual economic output will shrink this year between 0.8% and 1.8%, after growing a moderate 1.5% in 2008.

Mexico's remittance woes aren't unique. Hunter College researcher Margaret M. Chin, who surveys immigrants in New York, reports Lunar New Year remittances to China are showing an average decline of 20% this year. She says many restaurant workers, livery drivers and others in the service economy have had to cut back on the number of hours they work each week.

That shift has led to a broad contraction of employment opportunities for immigrants across the U.S. economy. In December, the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center reported 239,000 immigrant Hispanics joined the ranks of the U.S. unemployed during the year ending with the third quarter of 2008. Almost 100,000 jobs were in construction alone, the Pew report estimated.

Tennessee approaches execution next Wednesday

NewsChannel 4 reports that a federal judge has rejected attempts by lawyers for killer Steve Henley to delay his execution slated for a week from tomorrow.

Henley killed an elderly couple 20 years ago.

This decade, Tennessee has executed two people -- the first since 1960.

The good in the stimulus plan: more health care

The New York Times reports tonight on something not mentioned before in media coverage that makes the economic stimulus plan more of a positive for all the hurting across the nation.

More health care.

The Times reports:

With little notice and no public hearings, House Democrats would create a temporary new entitlement allowing workers getting unemployment checks to qualify for Medicaid, the health program for low-income people. Spouses and children could also receive benefits, no matter how much money the family had.

In addition, the stimulus package would offer a hefty subsidy to help laid-off workers retain the same health plans they had from their former employers.

Altogether, the economic recovery bill would speed $127 billion over the next two and a half years to individuals and states for health care alone, a fact that has Republicans fuming that the stimulus package is a back door to universal health coverage.

I hope it is. Universal health care coverage is a must or our hospitals are going to go out of business. Preventative care is the only thing to keep down insurance premiums for the rest of us. The moral argument has not seemed to convince America, or even President Obama. His campaign plan did not provide universal care.

Ultimately, the bill to be voted on tomorrow in the House will have to go to conference committee. There, added health care should be preserved above all other else.

No fried food in Williamson Schools? Is this the South or not? Good health changes culture

Fried foods and the South go together like a trace of snow and mass hysteria.

But while I was driving Monday to Bethpage in Sumner County, the radio talent told me that Williamson County Schools do not allow any fried food for children. French fries and chicken nuggets are baked.

The epidemic-like rise in childhood obesity and diabetes makes this change a good one, along with removing soft drink and snack machines from schools.

Yet further departure from fried food from the Southern culture seems a stretch, particularly with corn bread, fried chicken and an assortment of other treats that only grandmother can make the best.

But for our own good, the oil might need to be put away more often. What we teach our children in schools should also be modeled at home.

Second report on Metro Police malfeasance is a shocker; NewsChannel 5 provides public service; demand creation of civilian police review board

NewsChannel 5 Investigates journalist Ben Hall's report tonight on the homicide of a Tennessee veteran provides conclusive evidence of Metro Police's incompetency and possible complicity in excusing a security guard in the killing.

A married couple, whose truck was next to the murder scene, witnessed the incident two years ago and called 911.

They told Hall: The guy(veteran Tim Alambaugh) was on the ground and had a gun to the back of his head. A security car was yelling at him. He was yelling at him and telling him that he was going to kill him. The guy was complying. His hands were behind his head.

Police spokesman Don Aaron sadly tried to defend the indefensible in comments to Hall.

Hindsight being 20/20, their truck should have been knocked on. The couple should have come forward, Aaron said..

Sorry, Don, you are defending the indefensible. And you know it.

The couple did come forward. They called 911. Isn't that enough, Don?

They were not even asked by the police to comment even though an officer came by and knocked on the window of their truck, the couple said.

The security guard, Robert Mangrum, had just put in his application to be a police officer, Hall reported. The first call he put in was to cell phone of a police officer, not to 911 after shooting Alambaugh to save his life.

Metro Police did not interview the Johnsons. They claimed self defense by Mangrum. The Johnsons' truck was next to the victim's car and had yellow police department tape on it.

"My son was murdered," Alambaugh's mother said. "I want a jury to decide."

Damn right. The police are completing a second investigation because of Hall and NewsChannel 5. The DA should not wait and have Mangrum arrested and charged. The DA also should issue obstruction of justice charges against the police officers involved in what should have been an investigation.

Chief Serpas, who likes to yell at the school board, should be summoned before the full Metro Council to answer for this travesty of justice. Someone should yell at him.

This outrage is far from the first one. Ask the Rev. Enoch Fuzz who was has lobbied Serpas and the DA for change, with little luck.

And the rest of us should demand a civilian police review board to prevent this and other injustices by the people -- who are supposed to preserve the law -- from betraying our city again.

When you see the mayor at a public event, tell him to do the right and courageous thing, or contact your council member. Next time, it could be your son, no matter if he served his country in uniform or not.

Buy according to your values: Dealer Lee Beaman was big contributor to EnglishOnly referendum

People who voted against the silly EnglishOnly referendum last week and defeated the nonsense should now spend according to their values.

Auto dealer Lee Beaman, reports NewsChannel 5, was the major local provider of financial support for referendum backers pushing this intolerance. So let Beaman know your feelings by boycotting his dealerships.

Yet nearly all the money for the referendum came from an anti-immigrant Virginia group to spread their sickness into our community. Councilman Eric Crafton should truly be ashamed of himself.

We don't need other people's hate in our city, which I now call home. We have enough of our home-bred kind. Crafton and Beaman owe this city an apology for the evil they wanted to sow.

Until then, don't spend a dollar on a Beaman car. Let him pay for his intolerance in his pocketbook.

Life and death from California hospitals; these times can be cruel and unfathomable; God help us

While a southern California Kaiser Permanente hospital delivered eight children from the same mother to massive news media celebration, another one in Los Angeles fired two technicians.

And the husband of the fired couple killed his wife and five children.

In this cruel form of human mathematics, the hospitals are one single life ahead after today.

The New York Times reports:

LOS ANGELES — A man shot and killed his wife and five young children before taking his own life Tuesday, apparently out of despair after the couple lost their jobs at a hospital, the police and city officials said.

Officers responding to 911 calls placed by the man, Ervin A. Lupoe, and by a television station to which Mr. Lupoe had sent a fax around 8:30 a.m., found seven bodies in a house in Wilmington, a working-class neighborhood near the Port of Los Angeles.

A police spokesman said the bodies were identified as Mr. Lupoe; his wife, Ana; their 8-year-old daughter and two sets of twins (5-year-old girls and 2-year-old boys).

Mr. Lupoe had telephoned and sent a fax to KABC-TV that indicated “he was despondent over a job situation and he saw no reasonable way out,” said Lt. John Romero, a police spokesman.

The two-page, typewritten letter made clear he was going to kill his family and himself. The station quickly called 911 to report the letter and then posted it on the station Web site after the bodies were discovered.

The letter said Mr. Lupoe and his wife had worked as medical technicians at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in West Los Angeles, but recently lost their jobs after a dispute with an administrator.

The administrator, it said, had asked them on an unspecified day why they had come to work, and then added, “You should have blown your brains out.”

Super Bowl players are gladiators -- to the death

The New York Times reports medical findings released today showing boxer-type brain injury to the sixth deceased NFL player 50 or younger autopsied specifically for such findings.

That means the players you'll be watching in Sunday's Super Bowl truly are gladiators -- entertaining us to their eventual early deaths. The NFL would not comment today on the findings.

It has been quite slow in recognizing the early deaths and permanent, debilitating disabilities to its players. The late Gene Upshaw with the players association also participated in the denial.

Here is what The Times reports:

TAMPA, Fla. — Brain damage commonly associated with boxers has been found in a sixth deceased former N.F.L. player age 50 or younger, further stoking the debate between many doctors and the league over the significance of such findings.

Doctors at Boston University’s School of Medicine found a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brain of Tom McHale, an N.F.L. lineman from 1987 to 1995 who died in May at age 45. Known as C.T.E., the progressive condition results from repetitive head trauma and can bring on dementia in someone in their 40s or 50s.

Using techniques that can be administered only after a patient has died, doctors have now identified C.T.E. in all six N.F.L. veterans between the ages of 36 and 50 who have been tested for the condition, further evidencing the dangers of improperly treated brain trauma in football.

“It’s scary — it’s horribly frightening,” said Randy Grimes, who played center next to McHale on the Buccaneers for several years. “I’ve had my share of concussions, too. More than my share. My wife says I have short-term memory loss. It’s really scary to think of what might be going on up there.”

The McHale case was announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference in Tampa — where McHale had lived and where the Super Bowl will take place on Sunday — held by Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

“This is a medically significant finding,” said Dr. Daniel P. Perl, the director of neuropathology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who is not affiliated with the Boston University group. “I think with a sixth case identified, out of six, for a condition that is incredibly rare in the general population, there is more than enough evidence that football is clearly strongly related to the presence of this pathology.”

Same verse, same song: Don't be lured back into the stock market despite the CNBC guest analysts

I heard it again today -- another CNBC guest analyst telling investors that it's time to get back into individual stocks that are at such a bargain -- even though you may still lose some money at the beginning.


Please. Wait. Show some discipline and patience. These stocks are going to be at even more of a bargain later this year and even early into next year. High dividends do not make up for lower share prices.

Here are my credentials once more. I got out of the stock market above 12,000. I chastised self-proclaimed financial guru Dave Ramsey for telling NewsChannel 5 viewers in Nashville that it was all right to get into growth mutual funds last September when the market was at 10,600. I also was an economics writer for 10 years.

Now, Tennesseans who listened to him have lost 25% of their money. And since they've been convinced to stay in the market for its turnaround by financial advisers, they'll lose another 20% of their money in another year.

Individual stocks -- while you may hit a short-term gain -- are not the place to be in now. No one is smart enough to make these kind of picks or discover the next Apple. And if they are, they're only available to people who have mega-millions of dollars -- and who will pay richly for this kind of information.

For regular folks, you won't ever know until after the big profits have been made.

The markets will continue to trade in a frustratingly narrow range, then take the plunge to 6,300 or lower to reflect the economic times and low consumer confidence and spending.

For instance, last August, my subsequently fired financial adviser got me into five stocks of our choosing. Three weeks later, I cut my losses from my $40,000 investment after $2,500 in decline. Now the stocks such as Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Pfizer and Union Pacific are much lower.

It will be the same with stocks that seem a bargain now.

These guest analysts only want you back in the market to make fees that pay their salaries. Your losses are not their losses. So be patient, and wait for better bargains to come.

A must read: David Brooks defines what's wrong with America in thought-provoking column about higher call to institutional thinking, standards

NYT columnist David Brooks has hit the problem with America in a thought-provoking column entitled, "What Life Asks of Us".

Brooks calls on us to be dedicated to institutional standards, not individualism. Despite the betrayal by many institutions, the most solid ones still call us to higher standards than what are being portrayed in society through greed and excess.

Journalism actually calls many of we who are writers to a higher standard of commitment to the readers and holding government accountable. The most heroic journalists I worked with were at The Tennessean, who still did their best work for the people while the newsroom management demanded service to a much lower rule geared to profits, personalities and perversion.

Brooks cites the Hall of Fame speech by the great Cubbie Ryne Sandberg. Please read these words and repeat them to your children or students:

“I was in awe every time I walked onto the field. That’s respect. I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponents or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform. You make a great play, act like you’ve done it before; get a big hit, look for the third base coach and get ready to run the bases.”

Sandberg motioned to those inducted before him, “These guys sitting up here did not pave the way for the rest of us so that players could swing for the fences every time up and forget how to move a runner over to third. It’s disrespectful to them, to you and to the game of baseball that we all played growing up.

“Respect. A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn’t work hard for validation. I didn’t play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that’s what you’re supposed to do, play it right and with respect ... . If this validates anything, it’s that guys who taught me the game ... did what they were supposed to do, and I did what I was supposed to do.”


When I think of the institutional thinking and dedication Brooks writes of, my focus goes to teachers. Particularly those at Bethpage Elementary School where I visited Monday with state Sen. Diane Black.

With limited resources at a rural school in Sumner County, they continually turn out students with high TCAP test scores. And one third grade teacher is a former student, now returned as a teacher with her own children in the school population. Many teachers have their kids in the school.

My focus also goes to our men and women in uniform and their families left at home. They are dedicated to the most precious institution in this nation: the Constitution. God bless them all.

Please, take the time to read Brooks' column and mold your conduct to it to survive these difficult times, and make your friends those who think and act the same.

A different and needed perspective on FDR's good

A father figure of mine delivers a kind rebuke to my lessening of FDR's role during the Great Depression.

As any father, he is most kind in his rebuke. But he nonetheless is direct. And I appreciate his perspective, along with his incredibly positive impact in my life and professional career:

The country was on the verge of collapse when he became president, banks were closing and people were making a run on them, hungry people were living in the "Hoovervills," and some desperate people were seeing communism as a solution.

While the unemployment rate didn't decline drastically until World War II approached, much was done to offer relief from the suffering. Banks were saved through the firmer foundations, the FDIC and other measures. People were put to work on countless projects, many of which we still enjoy today. Social Security was enacted, a measure of great worth. School lunches were started.

FDR, through these and other means, restored hope where there had been none. We have no way of knowing how much worse conditions would have been had it not been for FDR.

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court delivers victory to women; Metro Nashville now faces possibility of costly judgment in harassment case

The U.S. Supreme Court today delivered victory to women sexually harassed in the workplace with a decision regarding the ability of a fired Nashville school district employee to pursue damages and veracity of her claims against government here.

The employee was fired after she cooperated in a city investigation led by Karl Dean's legal department of sexual harassment allegations against a school district executive earlier this decade. The woman did not file the complaint and did not want to participate in the investigation for fear of retribution.

She was promised by Dean's legal department, according to her attorneys, that she would be protected. Dean now is mayor of Nashville.

She participated and was fired later for reasons of poor performance. Two other female employees who cooperated with the investigation also were fired despite legal department assurances.

She sued. The trial court in this process ruled she could not pursue her claims, without even ruling on their veracity. An appeals court reversed the decision. The Supreme Court sided with the appeals level, along with intervention by the University of Washington Law School and the Bush administration.

The case, called Crawford vs Metro, now returns to the trial court for the determination of facts and possible award of damages. I hope the award is significant and in the millions of dollars. This woman has waited almost all decade for justice. I do not know if she has been able to get another job with a firing on her resume. I do not know what happened to the other women.

But the good ol' boy network appears to have prevailed initially here. It now should be smashed, no matter the ultimate facts in this case.

Here is a very well-reasoned explanation of the ruling -- free of opinion -- from a good friend and attorney Bryan Pieper of Drescher & Sharp Attorneys in Nashville. He is an expert on employment law and a very good family man. If you've been wronged in the workplace, give him a call (615) 425-7111:

This does not mean that Ms. Crawford is right or that the facts she alleges are true. Rather, what this means is that the Supreme Court said that there should be a trial to determine whether the facts she alleges are true. The trial court had held that even if we assume that Ms. Crawford’s allegations are factually true, the way the statute is written, those facts would not constitute a violation of the statute. Therefore, her lawsuit was dismissed without a trial in a procedure called “summary judgment.” It may seem unfair that not everybody’s claim gets to be heard at trial, but summary judgment is an important tool for screening out those cases that can be decided on legal issues alone, rather than needing factual determinations.

So the question for the Supreme Court was what exactly the statutory language means. The Supreme Court disagreed with the trial court, holding that if it turns out that Ms. Crawford can prove her allegations, then it actually would violate the statute. For that reason, there needs to be a trial to determine what really did or did not happen. In other words, the Supreme Court did not determine whether or not Ms. Crawford’s factual allegations (about the harassment and the retaliation) are true, and did not determine whether or not Metro’s defense (that Ms. Crawford was fired for misconduct, not retaliation) is true, but instead determined that this case should go back to the trial court for further proceedings.

I have had cases in which we argued about the same issue and the same statutory language. A reasonable interpretation of the statutory language can be made either way, as it is not as clear as it could be. At least now the Supreme Court has settled the legal question of what that statutory language means. That’s what the Supreme Court is for.

Why is Obama after GOP votes if Dems are in the strong majority in Congress and he has mandate?

House Republicans had a cordial, substantive and direct dialogue with President Barack Obama on his stimulus plan today on Capitol Hill.

While they expressed appreciation, they also noted to him that the economic stimulus plan to be considered this week before the House has no GOP input and is filled with Dem pet projects.

It is becoming apparent that Obama's largest problem is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his own party steering very sharply to the Left.

But with Dem majorities in both houses of Congress, why is the president seeking GOP input?

Because of the political consequences.

The plan is not going to work. And the Dems will be left holding the bag in the 2010 congressional election, costing a lot of seats. Obama needs political cover of Republicans also voting for his plan. Without that, he has to assume all the blame.

The GOP should stand strong and vote against the stimulus plan as it is.

Give your input on new schools chief in Williamson County, two sessions slated for tonight

Williamson County residents can have input into the choice for the district's next school chief with sessions tonight at Independence High School at 5:30 and 7:30 at Fairview High School.

Becky Schwab was forced from the position after what some consider a small wrong. She mostly led the district effectively.

Make your voice heard tonight.

New rural education initiative unveiled; Bethpage Elementary first to receive technology edge

The soon-to-created Vita Hernandez Chavez/Our Lady of Guadalupe Charitable Trust made its first mark in Middle Tennessee with the contribution of new computers and line printers yesterday to third grade classrooms at Bethpage Elementary School in Sumner County.

The trust has initiated a rural education initiative this year for schools in Nashville's loop counties to bring the latest technology to classrooms.

Bethpage's three third grade classes will be receiving three Smart boards and projectors, along with laptop computers for the teachers to program the teaching tool from their desks.

State Sen. Diane Black was on hand yesterday for the unveiling of the initiative in her district that was purposely made as a surprise to the three classrooms and their teachers.

Black, one of the best lawmakers I've covered in my career, spoke to the students about public education and how there is not enough money from government to meet all the needs. That is why private efforts such as the trust initiative are so important, she told the students.

Dell Computer will become the vendor of choice for the initiative.

Rural schools are invited to apply for consideration of what hopefully will become a private investment of more than $50,000 in rural classrooms.

Often, rural schools are overlooked in news media coverage in favor of urban schools and their problems.

Bethpage, however, is a top performer in TCAP testing despite limited resources but with tremendous community suppport. The good news from this school will be reported in future blogs in this column as the relationship between the trust and the school grows.

The trust, directed by me, is dedicated to my late mother who gave me life and direction into political writing and Our Lady of Guadalupe who intervened with God to save my life when I hovered near death from leukemia in Vanderbilt Medical Center.

All inquires from schools should be sent to

My mistake: Critical TennCare gathering is tonight

Getting involved in the TennCare fight is critical now.

For Middle Tennessee, volunteers and advocates can come together tonight to do so.

I wrongly cited the gathering for Saturday, which sure doesn't help the organizer.

The gathering begins at 6. Light refreshments will be offered. I hope to be there to offer encouragement and provide coverage.

The gathering will be at the Tennessee Disability Coalition, 955 Woodland St., Nashville. It is a one story, brown brick building.

RSVP and/ or questions should go to: Christina Kretchik, Middle Tennessee Regional Organizer -- 615-227-7500 office, 615-829-4880 cell, e-mail

Monday, January 26, 2009

Krugman offers defense of public spending in Obama plan despite his continuing criticism of it

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman takes a break from picking apart the Obama economic stimulus plan to pursue his utmost passion: bad-mouthing conservatives.

He criticizes them for criticizing run-away public spending that has not worked with the nation's financial institutions and will not work with the economy. While he maintains the American public favors Obama, I do not believe the American public favor any plan that does not promise immediate and broad results.

The Obama plan does not. Neither does spending another $350 billion on financial institutions still taking receipt of corporate jets such as Citigroup or remodeling offices at $1 million apiece such as the former new head of Merrill Lynch.

History tells us that FDR's New Deal did not work. The Second World War finally rescued the economy after more than eight years of misery. Krugman denies that truth in favor of bashing conservatives. That's good work if you can get it, and you can on the editorial page of The New York Times, but it does not represent much honesty.

Krugman should stick to economic and not politics. The argument between spending and tax cuts is a legitimate one. And conservatives are speaking for me in questioning Obama's plan.

How about no more spending or tax breaks? The companies already are laying off incredile numbers. Let the chips fall where they may and then let's rebuild.

Start by guaranteeing health insurance for every American so they don't die and emergency rooms don't overfill and hospitals go bankrupt. We must have a basic safety net.

Now is time for complete honesty with the American people. And the Democrats have been going out of their way to try and refute a preliminary analysis of the Obama plan by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

It says the plan is a real loser for an economy needing immediate action. Krugman neglects to mention the CBO report. Spending for spending's sake is reckless and allows the Chinese to do with capitalism what they couldn't do with Communism ... vanquish us, hold us hostage.

But here is what Krugman has to write:

First, there’s the bogus talking point that the Obama plan will cost $275,000 per job created. Why is it bogus? Because it involves taking the cost of a plan that will extend over several years, creating millions of jobs each year, and dividing it by the jobs created in just one of those years.

It’s as if an opponent of the school lunch program were to take an estimate of the cost of that program over the next five years, then divide it by the number of lunches provided in just one of those years, and assert that the program was hugely wasteful, because it cost $13 per lunch. (The actual cost of a free school lunch, by the way, is $2.57.)

The true cost per job of the Obama plan will probably be closer to $100,000 than $275,000 — and the net cost will be as little as $60,000 once you take into account the fact that a stronger economy means higher tax receipts.

Next, write off anyone who asserts that it’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.

Here’s how to think about this argument: it implies that we should shut down the air traffic control system. After all, that system is paid for with fees on air tickets — and surely it would be better to let the flying public keep its money rather than hand it over to government bureaucrats. If that would mean lots of midair collisions, hey, stuff happens.

The point is that nobody really believes that a dollar of tax cuts is always better than a dollar of public spending. Meanwhile, it’s clear that when it comes to economic stimulus, public spending provides much more bang for the buck than tax cuts — and therefore costs less per job created (see the previous fraudulent argument) — because a large fraction of any tax cut will simply be saved.

This suggests that public spending rather than tax cuts should be the core of any stimulus plan. But rather than accept that implication, conservatives take refuge in a nonsensical argument against public spending in general.

Ben Hall, NewsChannel 5 Investigates force re-opening of homicide that left veteran dead

Kudos to journalist Ben Hall and NewsChannel 5 for tonight's investigative report on Metro Police's botching of an investigation in the death of a veteran shot to death by a security guard in a Trinity Lane truck stop parking lot.

Metro closed the case and excused the security guard who said he fired a single shot into Tim Alumbaugh(correction made thanks to reader) in a scuffle. The guard said the vet was on top of him, yet the guard had no blood on him.

Truck drivers witnessed the shooting, yet the police never interviewed the truckers.

Now Hall and NewsChannel 5, after listening to the beleaguered mother, have forced Metro to reopen the case and talk to the drivers. Tomorrow night, Hall's second report provides what the drivers say, which is opposite to what the security guard and Metro Police claim.

Again, NewsChannel 5 proved itself to be the top provider of information in the Midstate and its sole watchdog of government. This is public service journalism at its best, and why the station swept the local Emmys on Saturday.

And the police prove themselves in need of a civilian review board. This kind of wrong is not new. The Rev. Enoch Fuzz has repeatedly complained of the same for north Nashville residents.

That doesn't mean most police do a good job. But when homicides are excused as apparently in this case, then justice is denied, and that affects us all. One day, we may in the same situation with a loved one or ourselves.

When will a Nashville leader, such as the mayor, take the obvious step and bring a police civilian review board to a supposed progressive city? That would take courage and integrity. I'm not sure the mayor possesses either.

An American Nightmare: Economy sheds more than 60,000 jobs on Monday in Biblical proportions

NBC News quoted an economist tonight saying that the U.S. economy is going to experience jobs cuts as of the "fury of the Old Testament" before this recession is over.

And today was just part of the beginning -- with more than 60,000 layoffs announced by corporate giants such as Caterpillar, Nextel, Sprint and Home Depot nationwide. The impact in Tennessee is uncertain.

The unemployment rate could rise to 10 percent by the end of the year. At its height, the Great Depression left a 25 percent unemployment rate. But that represented much fewer people than now.

With the President's economic stimulus plan expected to deliver most of its punch more than two years from now, the extent of the suffering is going to grow to Biblical proportions.

That will require we as citizens and neighbors to be also be Biblical, as in the story of The Good Samaritan.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In the People's House: Women are objectified, treated as second class citizens at Legislative Plaza; beware in allowing your daughters there

For the Williamson Herald
All Media must credit the Herald in using any information

A longtime female lawmaker tells me that during an elevator ride, she had to stick out here elbows to make an East Tennessee representative feel discomfort instead of what he was after.

He purposely was backing up into her body. And this was not the first time the pervert had done something like this.

When she complained to a party leader, she was told: "Get used to it; you're in a man's world."

She replied that she had been in the male business world, and that these kind of assaults were not allowed. Her protestations did not matter.

So in the wake last week of the re-publicizing of sexual harassment allegations against House Speaker Kent Williams, the news is simply a reminder to women who seek the life of public service at the Statehouse.

The People's House at Legislative Plaza does not follow your values when it comes to the respectful treatment of women -- be they are daughters, wives, sisters and mothers. And that cannot stand. It is your house, not theirs.

A female advocate I met today remarked that she felt like taking a bath after she visited and exited Legislative Plaza.

Truly, the sexual offenses there that reinforce a good ol' boy system have made the People's House into a place in which women must be on the defense. The leadership of both parties looks the other way.

Legislative sources say, however, that Williams was forced to apologize before witnesses in Rep. Jason Mumpower's office -- to Rep. Susan Lynn. Williams allegedly told her that he would give a week's pay to see her naked.

The most sad thing about this publicizing of this event -- at Lynn's objections -- is that no news reports list her entire, impressive credentials from six years of serving the people. In that way, the harasser at Legislative Plaza always wins.

Lynn is chairman of the House Government Operations Committee. She loves the detail of government. She specializes in business and commerce bills. She is a national officer with the American Legislation Exchange Council. Lynn is happily married, with two children -- one in the service of this nation and the other just married.

"She is a very bright gal; she studies her bills," a lawmaker said.

Lynn is not the villain here. As to her allegations, Williams has denied them. But there are three witnesses that say he apologized for his conduct.

The larger question is who will apologize to the people of Tennessee for the unacceptable debauchery inside the house taxpayers pay for? And who will enforce change and exact new penalties up to removal from office to clean out all the sleaze?

Alcatraz is place for terrorists for several reasons

I was speaking with my cousin who lives in Topeka and she is dreading the possibility of all the Gitmo prisoners being moved to Leavenworth, less than an hour from her home.

It seems that President Obama is intent on moving these prisoners to places where voters rejected his candidacy and his plans to close Gitmo.

But there are places and states that voted for him -- and were vehemently against the Bush administration's running of the detention facility -- that would perfect for the terrorists.

Alcatraz, located just outside San Francisco, would be great. However, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, once mayor of the city, says Alcatraz would not be good because it now is a national treasure under the Parks Service.

That can easily be overcome. In these urgent times, all national assets should be utilized to their fullest. The American people would not mind Alcatraz being used again for these terrorists, who would be isolated by water.

Neither should Obama, if he means to correct a mess he made.

Investigation into Speaker's conduct now moving to Florida and report of two harassment lawsuits

Special to the Williamson Herald
All Media must credit the Herald for this reporting

The investigation into sexual harassment allegations against House Speaker Kent Williams has now shifted to Florida and his employment as a restaurant manager, two highly placed legislative sources tell the Herald.

One media and one non-media organization are pursuing information concerning the Speaker's conduct there, including two legal actions purportedly filed against him by employees.

Williams has denied allegations made privately but publicized by the news media about improper conduct by him toward Rep. Susan Lynn, also a Republican.

But sources tell the Herald that Williams apologized to Lynn in a meeting with Republican leadership two years ago in Rep. Jason Mumpower's office. He promised to correct his conduct, which was all that Lynn wanted.

The allegations were first publicized two years ago when Williams was a little noted representative from east Tennessee. Now, the matter was re-reported by the media last week after Williams ascendancy to House Speaker under a plan pushed by outgoing Democratic Speaker Jimmy Naifeh to retain his power.

Yes, anyone can file a lawsuit or make an allegation. But a pattern of complaints may reveal a pattern of conduct that is undeniable.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A big point: Rep. Lynn did not seek publicity for sexual harrassment complaint against Speaker

In their rush to take sides, some Tennesseans are forgetting to take note of a very important fact in the case of the sexual harassment complaint filed against the representative who became a puppet House Speaker earlier this month.

Rep. Susan Lynn filed the complaint almost two years ago after she says that Williams told her that he would give a week's pay to see her naked and made her feel uncomfortable in another situation. And she only filed it with her party's leadership to maintain discipline and respect in its ranks -- without publicity.

That was how far as it was supposed to go. Still, some bloggers reported on the complaint back then.

It was only after the media inquired that the complaint was released this week and re-reported. And now that Williams is puppet speaker at the service of outgoing Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, the complaint became more newsworthy.

As one legislative source told me tonight: "When the media asks for an open record, you have to turn it over."

I'll have more on this case tomorrow morning and new areas where the media investigation is headed concerning Williams and his alleged kind of conduct.

The puppet speaker has denied these allegations.

Franklin mayor wants to ban sign-flippers

NewsChannel 5 reports tonight that the mayor of Franklin, TN., wants to ban sign-flippers as a nusiance and eyesore.

The council will meet Tuesday night to discuss the matter but not vote on it.

OMIGOSH! HOORAY! Tennessee Democratic Party rises again with the selection of chairman Bredesen, Cooper and Ford did not endorse

Tired of leadership without principle and competency, Tennessee Democrats today elected a chairman that the state governor, Nashville congressman and Harold Ford Jr. did not want.

The endorsement of this terrible trio was rejected, and Chip Forrester of Watertown was elected chairman.

Thank goodness. Tennessee voters need choices and parties with different visions of what constitutes progress.

Forrester inherits a party that Phil Bredesen, Jim Cooper and Ford have led into popular oblivion and far from the principles of national Democrats. Bredesen actually told Barack Obama not to campaign in the state.

And former Chairman Gray Sasser was more concerned with the wave of his hair than the principles of his party. Sasser only got the job because of his last name. The Sasser name, however, does not carry that much clout anymore.

Best of luck to the new chairman. Tennessee desperately needs a distinctive, strong, two-party system.

Suze Orman reads the riot act to caller who is keeping all her money in stock market; she doesn't want to hurt her financial adviser's feelings

Financial advice guru Suze Orman provides very spirited financial advice, but seldom have I watched her get disgusted as she did with a 63-year-old woman tonight.

And every one of you out there should take a lesson if you still have a lot of money in the stock market.

The woman told Orman that she has not shifted nearly all of her household's IRA income out of the market because her financial adviser is against it. The woman and her husband want to shift their money to safe harbor, so she called to ask Orman how.

And that set Suze off.

She chastised the woman for not firing her financial adviser, or ordering him to shift the IRA money to cash.

"It's your money!" she shouted.

Orman then acknowledged that a lot of consumers, however, let financial advisers and brokerage people bully them into staying in the market. The woman has lost 40% of her holdings.

From what financial analysts I trust tell me, it will take 10 years or more for investors to make up their losses. If you still stay in the market now, add a couple of more years to that term.

Why do financial advisers want you to stay in the market? Because they make money off you doing so. They don't make anything from you being in cash ... money market accounts.

I fired my financial adviser in Franklin, TN., last October. Why would I keep my money with someone who admits to losing more than 20% of his money? I make my own decisions and finished up for 2008 and so far in 2009.

Learn about investing. Study it. Absorb it. And protect your money now. It's yours!

Right, Suze?

NYTIMES has great profile of the coach who is producing so many coaches: UT's Pat Summit

The Tennessee Lady Vols play unbeaten Auburn tomorrow as legendary head coach Pat Summitt plays for victory No. 999.

But as The Times points out, she wins without even her team playing. A third of her former players have become coaches themselves.

Here's why, according to The Times:

To play for Summitt is to feel her glare everywhere. She has certain nonnegotiable rules, like requiring her players to sit in the first three rows at class. When they are broken, she has a way of finding out. Even after her players leave, Summitt keeps an eye on them. When Caldwell’s Bruins lost at home to Oregon, 73-56, Summitt called afterward to offer encouragement.

Some coaches come into their athletes’ lives for a few seasons, but when the wind blows, they fall away like leaves. Caldwell said she hoped to emulate Summitt, who lodges into her players’ lives like a root, providing steady nourishment.
“Pat just has a balance,” Caldwell said. “She makes time for people. She treats her players like family. It’s really admirable.”

In December, after several weeks of tending to her dying father, Barbre Singleton consented to taking him off a ventilator. Ten minutes later, she was outside her father’s room, gathering her emotions, when her cellphone rang. It was Summitt, whom she had not spoken to in a while.

“I just want you to know I’m thinking about you,” said Summitt, whose team was preparing for a game later in the day. Recalling the conversation, Barbre Singleton said, “You don’t know what that meant to me.”

Pat Summitt is a national treasure, and obviously a winner off the court. We are very blessed to have her in Tennessee and for our children to learn from her example of discipline and love.

In her own words: Rep. Lynn writes on her blog

Here is a statement by Rep. Susan Lynn concerning the events of this week that led to the publicizing of her sexual harrassment statement concerning activities by then Rep. Kent Williams before he became Puppet of the House:

What follows is a timeline for the recent events of this week and before.

Nearly two years ago, an incident occurred which was witnessed by a few. It has been well documented so I will not go into further detail except to say that I sought assistance from my leadership because I did not feel that I was being taken seriously in my request to be treated with professional courtesy.

At that time, a group of Nashville bloggers found out about the incident; they recounted the events on their blogs. The Nashville media observed the discourse and contacted me for comment. I declined to comment on the incident and so did my leadership.

After the election last week, I was contacted by a Nashville blogger that had knowledge of the incident two years earlier. He asked me if I would like to comment on his blog. I declined once more and immediately called my caucus leader to inform him that I was contacted by the blogger. We agreed to remain firm in our position not to comment on the incident.

On Sunday night the press started calling me. I refused to comment. Their phone calls persisted all day on Monday at which time I still refused to comment. In addition, they repeatedly contacted my leadership. In the early evening on Monday some media informed our press secretary that they intended to issue a public records request to our leadership for any information pertaining to the incident. When leadership arrived at the office on Tuesday morning members of the media were waiting with their requests for public information.

Until this time I was unaware that a file existed. However, in retrospect, it does make sense that the leader would document a serious incident even if only to safeguard his own actions. Although he has received much criticism, I can only imagine the critique if he had refused to hand over the file. Considering all that the leader has been through, I think that he has been very professional about everything.

I hope you will understand if I do not wish to comment any further on the incident. I believe that the information that has already been made public speaks for itself.

Thank you for the many kind words of support. I know that I have done nothing wrong. It is a difficult situation that one cannot ever win. That is why I sought to handle it privately.