Saturday, November 29, 2008

TODAY'S Monster story . . .

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, D.C. Saturday, November 29, 2008 – SO . . . what’s the ‘monster’ story today?

Potential atomic war between India and Pakistan?

The death toll from terrorist attacks in Mumbai?

Continuing violence in Iraq?

The economic future of the world?

World poverty?


The end of the Bush/Cheney reign of error?


We’re talking about Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize winning author, graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, and Harvard professor; an accomplished American, bright, astute, who’s made a series of outstanding contributions to humanity.

Are we talking about Samantha Power because of her accomplishments?


We talking about Samantha Power because the Washington Post wanted to remind us that last March she called Hillary Clinton (let’s be brave and drop the ‘Rodham’ . . . okay?) a ‘monster’.

Why on earth would Samantha Power say such a nasty thing about the Senator from New York, the wife of the 42nd President of the United States of America, the woman with ’35 years of experience’ who broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first serious female presidential candidate in the history of the nation?

It is reasonable to presume that Samantha simply expressed her considered opinion about a public figure.

If so, why would this story matter now . . . nearly nine months after the fact?

Let me refresh your memory on Samantha’s ‘monster’ comment.

It was the spring of 2008; the Democratic primaries were smoking with vitriol (arguably more from Hillary’s side than Obama’s).

As February became March, the Clinton’s were losing – big time - and they didn’t like it!

So, instead of giving Americans good reasons to vote for Hillary, the campaign and the candidate decided to come up with anything and everything negative – real or imagined – to knock down Senator Barack Obama as a man and as a candidate.

Remember when Hillary threw Barack under the bus by saying said she and John McCain had plans to lead America while Obama only had ‘a speech’?

Recall the insane insinuations Hillary Clinton made about Reverend Wright’s supposed influence over Barack Obama?

Do you remember the prime-time news spots featuring Hillary making fun of Barack’s campaign of ‘hope’?

Haven’t forgotten about Hillary’s allegations that Barack Obama simply was not qualified to lead on ‘day one’, have you?

Let’s put ourselves in Samantha Power’s shoes last Spring; she’s one of Obama’s foreign policy advisers and she’s sick and tired of listening to Clinton’s load of bull, so she refers to Hillary Clinton as a ‘monster’ in an off-the-record interview with a Scottish newspaper.

Samantha’s exact quote was, “She is a monster, too . . . that’s off the record . . . she is stooping to anything.”

Off the record or on, is it true that Hillary is, or was, a monster?

Who cares?

It was an opinion . . . not an edict, not an order, not a sentence.

So, when did people living in a democracy become obligated to hide their opinions about people who would dare to lead the nation?

The when in this case was March 7, 2008 . . . the day Samantha Power had to resign her position as an unpaid advisor to Barack Obama and apologize to Hillary Clinton.

I don’t like that Samantha Power had to resign, I don’t like that she had to apologize, but I understand that it’s over.

If the President-elect wants a bright, eminently qualified person like Samantha Power to advise him on ‘transition matters relating to the State Department’, why doesn’t the Washington Post get out of the guy’s way and let him do what he needs to do.

Maybe the Washington Post thinks the back story here is that Power and Clinton will run into each other at 2201 C Street NW and get into a cat fight.

If that happens, Washington Post, publish the story!

We’ll read it; more than once if you get pictures.

In the meantime, give us ‘monster’ stories that actually mean something.


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

MAYBE I'm amazed . . .

By l.t. Dravis

CHICAGO, IL – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 – Ain’t it nice to finally have a smart guy in (coming in) to the White House?

Think about it . . . compare the way President-elect Obama handled himself in today’s press conference to the way George W. Bush muddled his way through eight years.

You remember, don’t you?

George W. Bush, the genius, was actually reelected after he said, "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire."

And, despite the fact that there was no doubt about George W. Bush’s intelligence or lack thereof, voters sent him back to Washington for a second four year term after he said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

It is eminently refreshing that President-elect Barack Obama is more than able to string an entire series of sentences together to create cohesive paragraphs to convey a logical series of meaningful thoughts and ideas . . . a skill that is critically essential to anyone who aspires to the highest office in the country.

His ‘Help is on the way’ press conference today reassured the American people and financial markets around the world that a thoughtful, intelligent, resourceful, committed, dedicated man has arrived to lead the nation out of the morass created by eight years of the meanderings of a failed frat boy who couldn’t convey a meaningful idea on his best day.

President-elect Obama said, “I was elected with the charge of getting this economy back in shape. We are going to implement starting day one when I come into office.”

Nice political statement . . . but he then went on to support that statement by conveying the following meaningful thoughts and ideas:

He announced the creation of the ‘President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board’ (not made up of old friends from college or campaign contributors or incompetent political hacks) headed by 81 year old Paul Volker, an epitome of Washington experience whose leadership will be augmented and balanced by top staffer, 39 year old Austin Goolsbee, a well-respected, visionary, economist from the University of Chicago.

In Monday’s news conference, the President-elect announced that he would nominate 41 year old Tim Geithner, current New York Federal Reserve President, to be Treasury Secretary and on Tuesday, Obama announced he would nominate Peter Orszag to manage the Office of Management and Budget with the immediate responsibility of evaluating the federal budget, ‘page-by-page, line-by-line’, to eliminate wasteful spending and realign how taxpayer dollars are spent.

In the coming week, President-elect Obama is expected to move on from putting together his economic team to naming his national security and foreign policy team, including the vaunted, but not yet confirmed nomination of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He is also expected to confirm publicly that current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates will stay on for the first year of his administration.

In response to a tough question from CNN’s Ed Henry about ‘playing musical chairs’ by recruiting people who worked in the Clinton Administration, Obama said, “The American people would be troubled if I selected a treasury secretary or a chairman of the National Economic Council at one of the most critical economic times in our history who had no experience in government whatsoever.”

“What we are going to do,” Obama went on to say, “is combine experience with fresh thinking. But understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That’s my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”

Lest we forget how George W. Bush handled a similarly tough question in a press conference, permit me to take you back to April 3, 2004, when the 43rd President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world, George W. Bush answered a question about whether he’d ever made a mistake in his presidency by saying, “I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet . . . I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t . . . you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”


President-elect Barack Obama, unlike his soon-to-be predecessor, has demonstrated that he is a man of action . . . holding three press conferences in as many days to send a clear message to not only millions of shaky Americans worried about their economic futures but to the world in general.

Be advised, America and the world, there is a new man taking the helm of democracy in America, an intelligent man, a man unafraid to work at being President, a man willing to reach out to the best and the brightest the nation has to offer to build not only a better nation but a better world as well.

Maybe I’m amazed, but I’m also relieved.

Aren’t you?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WE'RE Screwed!

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, DC - Monday, September 24, 2008 – Why are we spending hundreds of billions of our dollars to save Citigroup?

We’re taxpayers and the Bush Administration and Congress have put us in debt more than $10 trillion, we’re losing our businesses and jobs at the fastest rate in decades, our retirement accounts are going bust, and trillions of dollars we invested in the stock market, are gone . . . perhaps forever.

Tragically, our children and grandchildren will pay for the sins we committed by electing and re-electing the wrong people.

That fact was underscored this weekend when Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, abetted by George W. Bush, negotiated a secret deal to put us another $325 billion or so in debt.

Why does Citigroup need a bailout?

Because its management got greedy and funded thousands upon thousands of subprime (translation: potentially high profit) mortgages for people who couldn’t afford them.

And, because it got greedy and mismanaged its business, Citigroup lost money every quarter for the past four quarters.

The consequence of that greed and mismanagement was revealed yesterday when we learned that Bush, Bernanke, and Paulson agreed to give Citigroup a $20 billion cash bonus plus in excess of $300 billion in deferred bonuses.

Citigroup agreed to not pay more than a penny a share in the form of dividends for three years without approval from the federal government.

But why limit dividends? Why not require Citigroup to pay 75% of dividends to the taxpayers who made it possible for the company to be around to ever pay any dividends?

And why not require Citigroup to pay those dividends to taxpayers until it repays our investment?

Citigroup also agreed to limit compensation and bonuses for executives.

Limit bonuses?

What bonuses?

Why would any of the grossly incompetent Citigroup executives who created this mess or stood by and watched their colleagues create this mess, still have jobs, much less be eligible for a bonus of any kind?

The agreement ‘asks’, but does not require Citigroup to ‘take steps to help’ homeowners facing foreclosure.

Why not require Citigroup to use taxpayer money to help taxpayers save their homes?

Why can’t any portion of those hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars we are giving Citigroup go to revamp, revise, and refinance mortgages that have been foreclosed or will be foreclosed?

By the way, where’s the money coming from?

If any of the original $700 billion bailout ‘budget’ approved by Congress is still available, the Treasury Department will borrow and/or print the cash required to make this deal happen while the FED will ‘loan’ Citigroup enough cash to finance the remaining balance of its losses.

And where the FED will get the actual currency to ‘loan’ Citigroup?

Where else but to the same foreign banks and/or domestic printing presses?

And, what do we taxpayers give and get?

We give Citigroup approximately $325 billion in cash and loans and we get $7 billion in ‘preferred shares’ of Citigroup stock.

$325 billion for $7 billion?


Some deal.

By the way, what did George W. Bush, the obviously detached outgoing President, have to say about the Citigroup deal?

If anyone actually cares, the lame duck President threatened to reward other financial institutions for their greed and incompetence by saying, “If need be, we will make these kinds of decisions to safeguard our financial system in the future.”

So, where does this leave us?

Decorum prevents me from getting too graphic here, so permit me to simply say, “We’re screwed!”

What do you think?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

JOE Wollaceski's worst nightmare finally came true . . .

By l.t. Dravis

SMALL TOWN OHIO, Monday, September 24, 2008 – When 44 year old Doug Jones (not his real name) got his check last Friday, it was three times the normal amount.

You know how it is when you get your paycheck; even though you know it’ll be the same old amount, you kind of hope there’ll be more there just this once . . . and if there was more, you’d be happy . . . real happy!

But not Doug.

Not at all.

His check included two weeks’ severance pay.

After nineteen years as an equipment operator for Wollaceski Underground Contractors, Inc. (not the real company name), Doug ran a Wollaceski CAT 375 track-type excavator for the last time Friday morning, backfilling a repaired water line for the county.

Joe Wollaceski, founder of the company that bears his name, is a bear of a man. Six feet four, two hundred and fifty pounds, he resembles former Vice-President Al Gore. He’s a 57 year old who succeeded where so many fail by out-working and out-smarting his competition in the rough and tumble construction business. “I don’t see how we get out of this mess,” Joe says with a shake of his head. “Nobody has cash, nobody can borrow, and nobody knows what to do about it. We give Bush and Paulson $700 billion, they give half of it away, yet banks are still failing and nobody’s lending. So, where did all that money go? My guy who sweeps the shop coulda handled it better than those boneheads!”

Wollaceski knows exactly where he is and why. “We’re shutting down after 32 years mainly because of the car business,” he says. “GM, Ford, and Chrysler lay off workers, those folks stop spending, and we lose sales tax revenues, plus income tax. And then, the businesses that rely on car worker wages have to lay off and those folks stop spending and we lose more sales tax revenues and income tax and, pretty soon, the city, county, and state cut back on construction projects. Since banks aren’t lending, there are no more commercial and residential developments to bid on, so guys like me get forced out of business.

“It’s going to be tough for my people to find good jobs. They’re used to making fifteen-twenty bucks an hour and more and they been getting good benefits; there aren’t many businesses left in Ohio that can afford to pay a living wage and give good benefits.”

The Wollaceski Underground Contractors shutdown kills 34 jobs, takes a $1,700,000.00 annual payroll out of the local economy, cancels the lease on a ten thousand square foot building on a half acre, and dooms the CAT 375 and 11 other backhoes, tractors, and compactors, plus 4 Kenworth T810 dump trucks, 6 Ford F250 jobsite pick-ups, batches of tools, barricades, safety equipment, a complete lubrication system, several compressors, storage racks, office furniture, computers, monitors, and a GMC tractor/low boy trailer to be liquidated at auction.

Doug and his wife, Elizabeth (not her real name), have three children under the age of 17, and are worried about when, if ever, he’ll find another job that pays as well and provides the benefits they got from WUC. “There’s nothing here in Ohio,” Doug says with a defeated tone. “Me and Liz talked about moving to California or Texas where I might find work, but we’re upside down on our house and we can’t sell right now. So, we’re stuck. Can’t live on unemployment so if I don’t find work soon, we’ll have to rent out the house and move in with Liz’s folks up in Cleveland.”

The manager of ‘Sandi’s’, a popular family restaurant a block from Wollaceski’s yard, says, “We’re not seeing regulars like we used to. Friday and Saturday nights are about half of what they were even six months ago. I know Doug and Elizabeth Jones and their three kids. Used to see them here probably three Friday nights and maybe two Saturday nights a month and we’d see them just about every Sunday after church . . . but not now. Not since we heard Joe Wollaceski was shutting down.”

“What kills me,” Wollaceski says, “is that, after all the money and power we gave Bush and Cheney over eight years, they’re leaving us with the largest deficit ever, the biggest national debt in history, a failed banking system, an economy in the worst shape since the depression, and two wars that are bleeding us dry.

“Those two geniuses screwed up the economy so bad that millions of skilled workers who’ve been making forty, fifty thousand a year will be forced to take minimum wage jobs at fast-food joints and places like Wal-Mart and give up their homes, cars, and their futures.

“So, besides making my worst nightmare come true, what have Dick Cheney and George W. Bush ever done for me or my people?

“Nothing,” he says, answering his own question with a sardonic smile, “absolutely nothing.”

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

PAUL's Gotta close his business . . . so what?

By l.t. Dravis

SMALL TOWN, OHIO – Sunday, November 23, 2008 – Even a casual encounter with any of the 27 men and women who work for Moreau’s Machine Works (not the company’s actual name) in Ohio today would tell you that something is seriously wrong. These are good, hardworking Americans, salt of the earth folks who love their country, who love their husbands and wives, who love their children, and who take pride in the quality of the products they produce.

But they don’t smile much these days; that Midwest heart-of-the-country sparkle is gone from their eyes; they don’t stand quite as tall as they used to; and they walk and move not with the innate confidence of people born and raised in America’s heartland, but with the uncertainty of people who are lost.

One month from today, two days before Christmas, Paul Moreau (not his real name) will close the business founded by his father in 1948, a business that in better times not only supported the lives and families of 202 machinists, tool makers, estimators, quality control inspectors, warehousemen, secretaries, and managers but also supported the stores, gas stations, real estate agents, professionals, and the tax base in and around the little Ohio town they call home.

Moreau Machine Works will close its doors forever after it ships the last batch of parts due on the last purchase order from the last of the Big Three suppliers on the third Tuesday in December.

And 27 families will celebrate Christmas this year against the backdrop of economic uncertainty that promises not only to dampen their holiday spirit but will also dampen their hopes and plans for a happy, prosperous New Year.

Paul has run Moreau Machine Works since his father’s death in the early seventies and, like his father, he’s made it a point to work harder and longer than anyone else, creating a sense of family that contributed to pride of workmanship, maximum productivity, and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude on the part of everyone in the Moreau Machine Works family.

But as the car business goes, so goes Moreau Machine Works and things are not going well.

“At 67, I’m already past retirement age, but I’ve put everything back into the business, so me and my wife, only got Social Security to live on,” says Paul Moreau, Jr., a big man who resembles Harrison Ford, the actor. “We also got a ton of debt to pay and how we’re gonna make it, I don’t know.

“I mean, I never thought American car companies would ever be almost bankrupt. I can’t believe that here, in the greatest country in the world, good people who want to work can’t find good jobs. I mean, who’d have thought this would happen?

“But I’m more worried about the rest of the folks working here because most of ‘em are younger. They’ve got houses to pay for; they got car payments, and kids to raise. They’ve got college tuition to worry about . . . “ Standing in the small parking lot in front of the well maintained, immaculate, twelve thousand square foot single story brick building his family has owned since 1959, Paul sighed, blinked several times, held back an emotional moment, and then continued with, “. . . I, I worry about how they’re gonna make it. There aren’t any other jobs for them to get . . . not here, not in Ohio. They’re gonna have to go on unemployment and they won’t be able to afford the COBRA health deal. I don’t know what they’re gonna do.”

Paul is in personal and corporate debt up to his ears. In the years leading up to the current crash, when SUVs and pickup trucks were selling like hotcakes, when Ford could generate an $18,000.00 profit on a single Excursion, the Big Three and their top tier suppliers pressed Paul to upgrade his equipment to improve quality, to reduce lead times, and to reduce costs. In fact, his contracts to supply machined parts called for price reductions of as much as ten percent a year, every year, for at least three years.

It wasn’t like he had a choice . . . purchasing agents were quite clear about it: Either agree to drop your price by ten percent a year or we’ll deduct the difference from outstanding invoices and cancel our purchase orders . . . in other words, do it our way or go away.

So, Paul did what he had to do. He used up his savings, refinanced his house, and took on thousands of dollars of debt to buy and lease the newest, high-tech computerized control machine tools, expanded his facilities, and upgraded to an electronic energy management system to accommodate the new equipment.

Paul’s wife, Loretta (not her real name), a pretty 65 year old petite lady with big blue eyes and a ready smile, Moreau Machine’s receptionist, payroll maker, and mother figure to just about everyone, held Paul’s hand and said, “It’s like this . . . Paul and I’ve worked hard all our lives so we could hand over a better world not only to our children and grandchildren, but also to our employees and their families. And now, because we’ve elected and re-elected politicians who don’t care, we’re going to hand them a world in much worse shape than when we arrived.

“And, for that, we should all be ashamed.”

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Friday, November 21, 2008

JANICE Lost her job . . . so what?

By l.t. Dravis

SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA – Friday, November 21, 2008 – Janice’s life as she’d known it for more than twenty years ended last Friday.

The end came as a total surprise on what she expected would be another challenging but rewarding day at the job she loved almost as much as she loved her husband and their daughter.

Forty-six year old Janice had been an account executive since the summer of 1986 for a small but successful ad agency. She was responsible for managing print advertising for a regional association of car dealers. She considered her customers to be family and thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity to help them sell as many cars and trucks as their markets could absorb.

Janice had been at her desk for about an hour, working on her schedule for the following week, when the owner of the agency, Marilee Banacek (not her real name), came in and asked a rhetorical question, “Got a minute?”

“Sure do,” Janice said, waving Marilee in with a smile. “What’s up?”

Marilee bit her bottom lip, looked away for a long moment, then sat in a chair in front of Janice’s desk and said, “There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to tell you, straight out: I’m shutting down the business.”

“What? Shutting down the business? I know things are tough, but . . . ”

“The factory just announced it’s cutting off funding for co-op advertising.”

“Is this temporary or . . . “

Marilee sighed, “I got an Email early this morning announcing that, effective immediately, the factory has terminated all projects and canceled all progress payments.”

“All projects, all progress payments?” Janice asked.

“Yup,” Marilee said. “All projects and all progress payments, including last month’s check and the check we were supposed to receive next week. I’m maxed out on my credit cards, American Express has been calling, and I’m upside down on my house. With this credit crunch, I can’t borrow any more to keep things going. So, after thirty-two years of working six and seven day weeks to build this business, I’m 64 and broke.”

A couple hours later, after a series of tearful hugs and promises to keep in touch with 11 other good people who’d also lost their jobs through no fault of their own, with a small box of personal items in the back seat of her year-old Ford Fusion, Janice pulled away for the last time from the building she’d come to consider a second home.

As she headed out in traffic, all she could think of was how her husband, Tim, would react when she gave him the news.

Tim owned a small head-hunting company and business had been lousy for the last several months. He hadn’t billed a placement since August and still hadn’t collected that fee. With no money coming in, he’d been forced to lay off three assistants, and, for the first time in the twenty-six years he’d owned his own business, he was seriously thinking about closing down the office and looking for a job – any job – just to bring in some money to augment Janice’s paycheck.

For the first time in their twenty-three year marriage, Janice and Tim were forced to tap into savings to pay the monthly bills . . . Visa and MasterCard, mortgage payments, and loans on Janice’s Fusion and Tim’s two year old F150.

After deductions for taxes and health insurance, Janice’s $50,000.00 annual salary barely paid for essentials like food, clothing, utilities, and university tuition for their nineteen year old freshman daughter, Kimberly.

As Janice drove home, she realized that even though Tim had always provided primary support for the family, the simple fact that she could count on a paycheck every other Friday, provided a level of security she wasn’t sure she could live without. She also realized that not only had she lost a job, she’d also lost a group of friends she’d known and worked with for two decades; good people who provided a level of emotional support she certainly didn’t want to give up.

She walked into her house and realized that everything, while actually the same, looked different . . . she’d never seen the familiar through the eyes of someone who was completely useless, someone who was unable to contribute to anyone or anything.

Janice realized that her only challenge now was to get her emotions in check. She didn’t want Tim to see her like this. He had enough problems; he didn’t need to watch his wife come unglued.

Thank goodness, Janice thought as she cried herself to sleep on the living room sofa last Friday afternoon, Kimberly’s not home to see me like this.

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HEY, Congress . . . stop the posturing!

Auto Execs ask US for $25 billion or so

Photo Credit: Herbert Gerard/AP

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, November 19, 2008 – HEY, CONGRESS . . . STOP THE POSTURING!

If you don’t want to bail out Detroit, don’t!

If you do, do.

But whatever you do, stop the public posturing!

You’ve only been grilling Detroit bigwigs for one day but we’re already sick of your ‘sound-bite’ complaints . . . Okay?

Besides, though you may not believe it, we don’t need you to tell us what’s wrong with Detroit.

We know what’s wrong with Detroit; they’re not selling enough cars.

And, because they’re not selling enough cars, General Motors is burning through cash at the rate of $2 billion a month.

We understand that at that rate, GM will soon run out of money . . . who wouldn’t?

We’ve also figured out that Chrysler is on its last legs.

And, we know that although Ford may not be in as bad shape as its ‘brothers-in-arms’, that big blue ain’t exactly sittin’ in high cotton.

We know that bankruptcy filings are possible, but we wonder, why would you push the Big Three that far?

What’s the gain?

Sure, you get to make political points and let us know how tough you are, but though the posturing is important to you, it isn’t to us.

We don’t care about how tough you are, we care about 3 million Americans who will lose their jobs; we care about thousands of Big Three vendors that will fail; we care about thousands of Chrysler, Ford, and GM dealerships that will lose even more customers if one or more of the Big Three file for bankruptcy protection; and we care about the ‘rumble’ effect that will take away tax revenues from entire states, counties, cities, and towns if the Big Three go down.

You want guarantees that the Big Three will become more efficient to be more competitive?

Okay . . . spell out those guarantees . . . chapter and verse!

You want the Big Three to build more fuel efficient cars and trucks?

Okay . . . tell them what you want and when you want it!

You want the Big Three to renegotiate union contracts?

Okay . . . tell them how much you think the unions should give up and when.

Just lay it out . . . tell them . . . and us . . . the truth about what you want.

Detroit will either do what you want or it won’t.

Don’t forget that the current crisis isn’t entirely the fault of the Big Three; after all, for the past eight years you and the Bush Administration overspent the nation into virtual bankruptcy, diluting capital available for consumer lending; causing unprecedented small business failures; helping to cause the Wall Street Meltdown and subsequent credit crunch and huge job losses.

So, what do you plan to do now about easing credit and what do you plan to do now about creating more jobs so more Americans can buy more of those more efficient cars Detroit will produce after your new rules and regulations kick in?


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Want to go to a Blog that listens to you and speaks for you as well?



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You want a bailout plan? Here's a BAILOUT plan!

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monday, November 17, 2008 –
We can’t afford to waste another minute watching the Bush Administration, the House of Representatives, and the United States Senate waste their time and our money with the absurd, nonsensical political gamesmanship that has defined the state of this government’s so-called efforts to ‘fix’ the economy.

Isn’t it time we told those geniuses what to do, how to do it, and when to do it?

Where do we start?

We’d be wasting our time trying to tell George Bush or Dick Cheney to get to work, so we have to get after Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

We have to tell them to get to work and stay at work until the economy is headed in the right direction . . . if that means no more recesses or holidays for the House and the Senate . . . so what?

Hey, Harry and Nancy . . . if you want to take off Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day . . . okay, but that’s it!

You and all your colleagues have been paid big bucks by taxpayers for years; we’ve paid your office expenses; we’ve paid for your health insurance; we’ve paid for your security; we’ve supported your staff; we’ve supported your cushy lifestyle for too long and, now, it’s time for you to earn your keep.

It’s time for you to fix the economy.


You do two simple things.

1. You stop handing out billions of taxpayer dollars to financial institutions . . . it ain’t working.

2. You create jobs . . . because if you want people to spend, they need to work.

And, to make sure people work, you gotta create jobs.

By the way, if you want to keep your paychecks from bouncing, you need to create some tax revenue.

To generate tax revenue, you gotta create . . . yep, you got it . . . jobs!

Okay . . . now that the concept is clear, where do you start?

Simple . . . convene a joint session of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate to write legislation necessary to:

1. Implement Job Retention and Job Creation Strategy – Short-Term – 30 to 60 days from start to job creation

a. Convene a Small Business conference in each Congressional District to determine how best to use private and public funds to prevent layoffs and create new jobs

b. Provide private and public funding, technologies, and information to assist Small businesses to generate sales revenues, cash flow, and profitability required to retain employees and create new jobs as they develop, build, and rebuild community assets and infrastructure utilizing Green technologies and products

c. Provide fast-track contract bid processes for qualified Small Businesses to win contracts and retain employees and create new jobs as they build, rebuild, and repair infrastructure assets

2. Implement a Job Retention and Job Creation Strategy – Long-Term – 61 to 180 days from start to job creation

a. Convene General Business regional conferences in ten standard Federal Regions to determine how best to invest institutional, private, and public resources to increase Medium and Large business participation in product and service job-intensive, inclusive, and innovative markets

b. Assess occupational mobility to help Medium and Large businesses retain employees and create new employment opportunities as they develop, build, and rebuild community assets and infrastructure utilizing Green technologies and products

c. Provide contract bid opportunities for Medium and Large businesses to retain employees and create new jobs by rebuilding, repairing, and building infrastructure assets

3. Keys to Ensure Success

a. Create jobs that not only produce products and deliver services, but also provide pathways to meaningful, secure, upwardly mobile, long-term employment

b. Build-in the training necessary to prepare workers to perform job functions as required

c. Provide flexible, efficient, and proactive public service support for each Private and/or Public project

LIKE IT OR NOT, FOLKS, we’re in uncharted economic waters these days. The old saw about how government should allow markets to seek their own levels is as obsolete today as white wall tires.

The only entity that can solve the massive economic mess the Bush Administration left us is the Federal Government.

Who else has the resources?

Who else can borrow or print the trillions of dollars it’s going to take to get us back on our economic feet?

It ain’t Chrysler, GM, or Ford; it ain’t Bank of America, Citigroup, or Wells Fargo; it ain’t even Microsoft or Oprah!

It’s the government.

Don’t like it?

I don’t.

But what choice do we have?

As he said so often in the campaign, President-elect Obama understands that the only way to move consumers back into malls, restaurants, car dealerships, RV dealers, and realtors’ offices, is to put them back to work.

American workers need to keep the jobs they have or replace the jobs they’ve lost . . . NOW!

We have to create a new economy that continually expands its capacity to absorb more and more jobs; an economy that continues to create jobs as we shift from the initial, ‘rebuild-the-long-neglected-infrastructure’ phase to the production of high value products, services, and technologies.

I’m not talking about ‘make-work’ jobs . . . I’m talking about creating jobs that challenge workers to learn new capabilities and skills; I’m talking about jobs that provide a living wage; jobs that give workers and their families the security of knowing they’re covered by adequate health insurance; jobs that provide meaningful retirement benefits; jobs that generate significant local, state, and federal tax revenues.

I’m also talking about productive jobs that make businesses healthy by generating consistent revenues, cash flow, and profits.

Additional points to ponder include:

· Offer tax credits of up to $5,000.00 for each new job created . . . provided the employee is retained for two years

· Offer additional financial and contractual incentives for businesses that create products and technologies to reduce energy consumption and offer contract extensions for companies that cut costs, improve quality, and reduce delivery times

· Create mutually profitable training partnerships between private enterprise and public education to train workers to produce and deliver Green products and technologies (design, development, and production of high-efficiency wind generators, etc.)

· Create joint Public/Private partnerships to leverage investment in core business enterprises (infrastructure and transportation innovations)

· Establish electronically connected local Public/Private service centers to coordinate, manage, and monitor individual and joint projects

· Coordinate, manage, and monitor the delivery of funding for each project to maximize local economic development

· Invite union participation in training and job placement wherever and whenever possible

EPILOGUE: Come on, folks . . . we need to take a stand here! We can’t let Washington throw away the future of the nation because our Representatives and Senators are too busy with petty self-interest, obsolete ideologies, and foolish power plays to take care of the people’s business.

It’s time for Congress to look at this crisis for what it is, not for how each party can twist it to gain some stupid political advantage.

They can’t work their usual 3-day weeks any more.

They can’t take all their little ‘recesses’ and holidays.

It is time for each of the 535 Representatives and Senators to finally stand up and do their jobs by creating jobs.

It’s time for them to work as hard as we do!

Anything less – at this critical moment in time – would be shameful.

Isn’t it time to contact your Representative and your Senator and tell them what you want them to do?

If not now, when . . . ?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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