Monday, December 11, 2017

I don't envy Alabama voters

They have a lesser of two evils choice ahead of them.  Vote for Republican Roy Moore, despite believable reports of dating underage or really young teen age girls while in his 30's.  The accusations are 40 years old, but there are a number of them.  Plus Moore has made some very hard right statements on the social wedge issues. 
  Or vote for Democrat Jones, who is pro abortion, and very left, especially for a conservative state like Alabama.  Doing so would  knock the Republican majority in the Senate down to just one, permitting any senator to kill anything just 'cause he feels like it.  It would seriously weaken the Trump administration.  Something that a lot of Alabama voters don't want to do. 
   There has been talk of a a write in campaign for someone I never heard of before.  I doubt that will go anywhere. 
   We will know how it turns out by Wednesday.  The polls are calling it for Moore by a razor thin margin of a couple of percent.  It will be interesting to see if the pollsters got it right this time.  They have blown predictions several times in the recent past, especially the Trump Hillary contest.

Friday, December 8, 2017

It only takes ONE scumbag

To put an organization's reputation into the toilet.  In the case of the FBI,  Comey was that one scumbag.  He tried to influence the 2016 election by first declaring that Clinton's email server scandal was a non issue, and not prosecutable.   Then a few weeks later, when Anthony Weiner's laptop, loaded with Hillary emails, turned up, he reversed himself and declared the Hillary investigation was back on.  After that, everyone knew the FBI was trying to tip the election.  And all the thousands of decent, loyal, hardworking FBI agents get tarred with the same brush.  They are all still good decent agents, but Comey has made us taxpayers suspect them all. 
   For those of you looking for reasons to trash Obama, his appointment of Comey to run the FBI is a big one.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Raytheon and Analog Devices make WSJ 250 best managed companies

Interesting and kind cool.  I worked at Raytheon, Equipment Division in Wayland in the '70s and at Analog Devices in Norwood in the '90s.  Cool to see that places I used to work are considered well managed by the Wall St Journal.  I was a little disappointed that Bernie Gordon's Analogic didn't make the list.  I worked for Bernie for quite a few years, he was a difficult and demanding boss, but he did know what he was doing. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

To Jerusalem

Looks like Trump is going to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The US Congress voted to do this some years ago.
On the Pro side, the Israelis love the idea. A lot of US citizens are in favor.
On the Con side, all the Arab countries, who have never accepted Israel, are against it.  It will surely make diplomacy with Arab regimes more difficult in the future. 
   We could punt on the idea, yet again.  The Israelis will be disappointed, but they are on our side no matter what.  On the other hand, the Arabs are difficult to deal with no matter what.  Maybe moving the embassy to Jerusalem will send them a message.
   This looks like a judgement call to me.  I don't have any experience in the Middle East, so I will defer my judgement to those who know the area better. 

Gobble-de-gook overload

According to the Wall St Journal writing about the tax bill currently in a House Senate reconciliation hassle, "It appears to prohibit  mortgage-interest deductions for all second homes."
Appears???  This is a law.  Things in law don't "appear".  They are either legal or illegal.  Sounds like the lawyers have laid on the legal gobble-de-gook so thick that nobody can understand it. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Delayed Action for Child something or other.  Bad acronym.  We are talking about people who were brought into America as children, who have grown up in America, and are still illegal immigrants pursued by Mr. Migra. 
   I have a lot of sympathy for these people.  I'm willing to cut them a lot of slack.  Those that have served in the armed forces ought to get citizenship right then and there.  Those who have graduated high school and/or college, are gainfully employed, are paying taxes and are staying out of trouble with the law, we ought to let them stay in the country, and apply for citizenship.  I'm sure plenty of other Americans agree with me. 
   It's a powerful issue.  Congress ought to deal with it by passing a law.  And, that law ought to stand on its own, for an up or down roll call vote so we voters can see where our Congress critters stand on the issue.
  Right now they are talking about hitching a DACA bill onto a "must pass" bill like extending the federal budget.  The idea being, that the must pass bill will drag the less popular DACA bill thru and offer cover to Congress critters who can say "I had to vote to pass the budget lest the government shut down" 

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Euro's are still bailing out the Greeks.

Small piece in the Wall St Journal today.  The Greeks and the Euro's have reached a "preliminary agreement" on the austerity measures the Greeks must adopt in order to qualify for E5 billion handout next month.  The Euro's keep insisting upon reduction of Greek government workers, and pension payments, and better tax collection.  At one time 25% of the population of Greece was drawing pay from the Greek government.  And humongous numbers of people were drawing pensions.  Every time the Greeks make a move, or even a whisper in the papers, about accepting Euro austerity demands, they get riots in the streets. 
   The E5 billion is down from the old days.  In past years the Greek bailouts were much higher, say E50 billion.  The Euros think the money will let the Greeks make the payments due on Euro bonds and loans.  Let's hope that works out.  The Greeks are having trouble making payroll, and so Euro bail out money might be diverted into other things. 
   We think the Euro's are doing the handouts to prevent the Greeks from defaulting on their loans, which would impose serious losses on the Euro banks stupid enough to still be holding any Greek debt.  So the idea is to dole out money to the Greeks to use to pay off their debts.
   Smarter would be to tell the Greeks to suck it up.  No more bailouts.  Go ahead and default.  You won't be able to borrow a plugged nickel anywhere in the world, and you will have to balance your budget.  
   Far as I can see, the bailouts just allow the Greeks to spend other people's money for no good reason.