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Friday, December 26, 2008

I am always amazed when I learn that Christmas specials on T.V. are taped in June or July. So, I am prepared to mentally deal with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers belting out an Xmas duet under some Hollywood snowflakes.

But I still find it a stretch that I am sitting here during the coldest, most devastating global cooling pattern in 15 years, watching a Discovery Channel episode about Global Warming, complete with a moron’s laundry list of things we can do to make the planet colder.

Guess those squiggly bulbs, auto emission standards have done their job.

Yeah like this 4.5 billion year old planet which has transformed itself from a molten ball to a frozen sphere, several times over, is going to kneel to the likes of man, in determining what the weather is going to be. But all you Gore, Greenie sycophants can just keep hopin’ and changin’.

As Your Stomach Turns

My what a difference a month makes in politics. Seems like it was just yesterday that we were losing in Iraq, gas prices were off the charts, both Hillary and Barack were raking in millions in illegal campaign contributions and ACORN was working out of Obama’s back pocket to fix an election, by paying for votes from people that didn’t know the difference between Justice Ginsberg and Judge Judy…..And didn’t care. Hey, even ignorant, drunk, worthless scumbags deserve the right to vote Left.

Well, here we are a little over a month later and Iraq has fallen off the PMS/NBC radar screen,. And thanks to that “thoughtful and courageous” Democrat controlled Congress we have brought gas AND the entire world economy down to about two steps above the basement door. And strangely, we haven’t heard a peep about tens or hundreds of millions in illegal contributions nor so much as a grunt about ACORN and their antics. Looks like those felonies just evaporate with victory… the campaign promises.

And in the shadow of the Inauguration, the “Hope and Change” guru has packed his house with Clintonistas, Chicago mob lackeys and a couple of Bush holdovers to keep the home fires burning. So much for the Change.

Meanwhile all the Usual Suspects, that set the stage for the biggest financial meltdown in history, are busy in their cushy little congressional offices trying to figure out a way to hang this entire fiasco on Bush and Co. even though the video tape says differently. So much for Hope.

There is more than a good chance that there will be far more effort in finding ways to screw the American Taxpayer out of some more of his jingle than any reasonable investigation as to why all the safeguards against fundraising fraud were REMOVED from Barack’s campaign website. One way to guarantee that was to make Herr Clinton’s asst. Attorney General the new AG and to make Frau Clinton, Secty of State. If this guy can take the stink off Whitewater and the Marc Rich pardon, he can surely bury the stench of this scandal.

Ode to Xmas ‘08

This December ‘08 could be a milestone for me. After 22 years providing plumbing and electric services for those in and around the Fall River Valley, I may have well disappointed more people in the past four days than the previous 10 to 20 years. But I comfort myself by knowing that I will never reach the level of disappointment soon to be realized by our next president.

You see, I have come down with what I originally thought was garden variety, common cold, but has turned into a low grade infection of my sinuses, ears and respiratory system. And unlike a similar infection, which hit me last year, that blossomed into a bleeding ulcer, that nearly put me in the ground instead of a flooded basement, I have every intention of heading this one off at the pass, with rest and care.

Unfortunately, this particular virus had to pick the coldest day in over 15 years to raise its ugly head. Ergo, the disappointed masses.

My messages last Thursday were coming in so fast, I couldn’t put down the phone to leave the shop, that the next call was coming in. And it was the same complaint from everyone….I have no water! Well, duh. It’s 10 below and you didn’t prepare. Your pipes are frozen. Apply heat and call me later.
And the nasty thing about frozen pipes. Once you thaw them, some leak. But I digress.

So on Thursday and Friday, I did what I could to get water back on. Heat lamps, heaters and in some cases just shutting the pump house door and leaving the cute little heater on that didn’t have a chance against the direct forces of Mother Nature. But by Saturday morning, all the signs were there, stuffy nose, scratchy throat and hacking cough. Yep, Christmas shopping was gonna be a hoot.

I had left the phone turned off in the house, the night before, and when I checked the message machine before I left, there were 46 messages, none of which I could resolve with a return call. It’s cold people, suck it up. But the masses would not be discouraged by a full message machine, nor a disconnected ringer in the house. They continued to call well after Saturday afternoon, while I was confined to bed with strict instructions from wifey to stay there until healed. But she underestimated the persistence of people without water.

The calls probably continued well after we turned off the message machine on Saturday afternoon. Messages that I may well never be able to return. And if I do, they will be moot conversations followed by dozens of apologies. And most will be perfunctory mea culpas for my inability to be in twelve places at one time. I will however, make no excuses for those that only call me when they can’t get their neighbor, cousin, contractor son or pastor to do it for free.

On the other hand, I reserve my most sincere regrets to those who have depended upon me for all their services, for many years. I refer to those that usually just pick up the phone and say, “get it done, send me the bill“. Meanwhile, wifey fields the random calls that sneak in while she is talking to her family or retrieving her own messages. She tells them that I am sick in bed and they response, oh, but I have no water. What part of “sick in bed” do they not understand?

But go through the messages I will. Mostly to reconnect with clients who have not been just an income stream, but those that have become friends, confidants and quasi relatives. My hardest job will be to seek out my LOL’s (little old ladies) and make any amends if they are due. In ill health, I may have let them down, a flaw that I may spend many months living down.

However, if there is to be a silver lining, it will be that I should come out of this bout much sooner than if I had made attempts to make other’s lives a little better during extreme circumstances. Circumstances that, if there is a God, should prepare these victims to face similar weather in the future, notwithstanding Global Warming.

And if there is any comfort for those that are holding contempt for my selfish efforts to get well, my own pump house froze a pipe and broke, flooding collector books, bulk foods and about a thousand pieces of cloth wifey was saving for quilts. That little event will definitely cost me, if not a continual reminder of lost treasures, but a lingering reminder that I usually reserve for college elites…..hey dummy, water freezes at 32 degrees.

Merry Christmas to all. The Dumbplumber

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

“The One’s” Exercise in Futility

Taking from the rich and giving to the poor has always been a noble, however illegal endeavor. And it remains so, even to this day. On the other hand, taking from the many to give to the few seems to be the new cause
de jour. Or in this case, “duh” -jour, by our U.S. Congress.

So today, Congress (still hung over from the Mortgage Meltdown Pirates Ball) has decided to tax the living bee-Jesus out of what’s left of working America and give it to 12% that happens to already have generous health benefits, hundreds of billions in retirement funds and, oh yeah, Union cards.

Seems that Congress--a Democrat led Congress in fact-- is all atwitter about those poor Union people that are about to feel the pain the rest of us have been feeling for decades, without free healthcare and no retirement funds. Well, we can’t have that. Time for Democrats to act and ACT NOW.

Time to create a few million jobs--and strangely enough, Union jobs-- to rebuild highways, bridges and schools, at the expense of ALL of America, over 80% of which are non-Union. Nevermind that the last passing lane project in California took over seven years before dirt was moved. I can just imagine the time it will take to engineer, design, receive environmental impact approval and resolved Native American issues in 12 thousand infrastructure projects across our great land.

You see, America is about to pay, and pay dearly, for all the obstacles, roadblocks, hurdles and outrages it has allowed to obstruct, not just public works project, but any project that requires moving more than a shovel of dirt. These obstructions are home grown and have spawned a cottage industry, mostly inhabited by lawyers, environmentalists and other assorted paper pushers hell bent on impeding anything in the best interest of society.

So it will be interesting to see just how “The One” will stimulate the economy, when he has 2.5 million, newly minted, Union folks in hard hats, leaning on their shovels until the ink is dry on all the obstructionist’s agreements needed to actually DO something.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rezko Storm

With all the recent bruhaha over Tony Rezko, Gov. Blagojevich and a scrum of Clinton-istas being appointed to fill Cabinet positions, Obama’s transition is looking more like a hockey game than anything resembling a seamless Presidential handoff. So, except for a couple of guys, appointed for Defense and a National Security Advisor, that will keep his butt from being blown off by some very pissed off terrorists, Barack is surrounding himself with the most influential, turncoats left over from the Clinton era and a handful of “Chicago Machine” lackeys, who know where most of the bodies are buried back home.

Tony Rezko’s recent conviction and pending sentencing is looking more like the third leg of a perfect storm, and does not bode well for the “Exalted One”, since Herr Rezko is looking to trade an 8 X 12 cell for a single wide in Iowa, under a different name. Remember, Rahm Immanuel traded places with U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald, as the “man in the middle“, once Rahm spent about 45 minutes, he would rather forget, on a “bugged” phone with Hot Rod Blagojevich, who was looking to trade up from the Governor’s Office.

Now, the only one talking is the Messiah. He is all busy making like he is going to save the world with some hold-over-has-beens and a handful of pay-to-play mob jockeys from the Windy City. In the meantime, his “plumbers” and damage control people are in the background teeth gnashing, finger pointing and leak plugging, as to make Richard Nixon roll over in his grave. And hey, the guy isn’t even President yet !!!

And in the sweetest of ironies, those who are asking the most questions, NOT being answered by the “Openness” and “Transparency” President-elect, are the Liberal Media. It just makes the warm and tinglys run up and down your leg to witness Liberals eat one of their own…..whole.

Right about now “The One” probably isn’t looking to be “one” on a cross, but a cave with a large boulder, for a door, is looking pretty damn good.

Creative Financing

With all of that questionable cash languishing in bank accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and every other politician in America. I think it is time to do some “mining”

For instance, it is commonly known that both Barack and Hillary had millions, even tens of millions in “questionable” donations. They came from overseas, from dishwashers, from hairdressers, and from people with names made completely from vowels. And most did not have real return addresses. But one thing they did have was the ability to get around the non-existent safeguards, defenses and shields to insure no such donations could be submitted. Well, time to turn that green into gold.

I say we hire a few hardworking middle management types with at least an eighth grade education and basic knowledge of a $10 Radio Shack solar calculator to track down those bogus bucks and drag them back into the system.

I would start with all those checks that Barack and Hillary said they “returned”. If I don’t see the cancelled check, well we get another one made out to our new agency. Then we go to work on all that nasty old dodgy and lingering paperwork that shows many donations came from foreigners, repeat donors or donors exceeding one time donations. Cha…ching.

Then we go after all names that lack consonants, resemble Disney characters, approximate the front line of the Dallas Cowboys, sound like the first four words of any Rolling Stones song or coincide with the last ten Playmates of the Month. We will focus on addresses that start with 1234, 007, xxxx or 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Cut another check. Cha…ching. I think you get the picture.

However, I don’t see this little project going forward, because A) It will put quite a dent in the reputation of the politician, not to mention their bank balance and, B) This law will have to be approved by the very souls that will be writing the checks. Well, this isn’t gonna happen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Under the Radar

Within the cacophony of what is the Auto Bailout, the Banking Bailout, the Blagojevich Blowup and the Obama Blowout, there may be some quiet scandals bubbling below the surface. Scandals that could easily make today’s headlines pale in comparison.

It is quite amusing to watch the UAW, in righteous indignation, proclaim that they have NEVER defaulted on an agreement with U.S. automakers. Of course they haven’t. The agreements they made were all in favor of the workers, at the threat of strike. Their breaking an agreement would be akin to pirates returning some of the booty they stole, at dagger point. What’s the point?

I think what we are really overlooking are the pension and healthcare funds that the UAW controls. GM alone has committed over $50 billion to a healthcare fund overseen by the UAW, while UAW pension accounts hold over $105 billion in “managed” pension funds, supposedly for the benefit of retirees and spouses. But wait, there’s more. With the historic fraud, mismanagement and corruption, by notorious union pirates, don’t these funds resemble a big juicy piñata than any retirement plan for workers?

With all the noise about the potty mouthed Governor Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s senate seat, we have not heard a peep about what he knows about Obama’s meteoric rise to the presidency. No doubt the Gov. holds some aces up his sleeve about the Pres elect, that will ease his fall from grace. I’m guessing on mattress filled with hundred dollar bills.

And try as they might, Wall Street bankers will not be able to contain What, Why and Where their $700 billion went. I know, I know really $350 billion, but there’s more to come, with a stroke of a pen.

And last but not least, once the pixie dust has blown off Herr Obama’s Teflon suit, with the winds of discontent, from the discovery that his promises were just puffs of smoke up their skirts, the legions that ignored his flaws to blindly anoint him the world’s most powerful man, will turn on him with a vengeance.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama and Re-construction

Well, another cat is out of the bag. Obama is going to go on ANOTHER spending spree, rebuilding America. Yes folks, we are going to build or rebuild, schools, bridges, roads and any other thing some politician says needs building. And he is going to do it on top of all those other things he is going to do--at taxpayer expense--like healthcare for all, free college education and welfare for anyone who doesn’t want to work. What a guy.

But before the ink is dry on the runaway reconstruction, Mr. Obama needs a wake-up call.

Mr. Obama, this isn’t 1931. Then when government wanted to build something then, they just built it. But today, we have Environmental Impact Reports, Feasibility Studies, Native American sensitivity issues and Seismic Retrofit considerations. In fact, Mr. Obama, while you’re all busy envisioning armies of little people with hardhats leaning on shovels and taking coffee breaks, killing the clock till payday, you won’t see the go-ahead on any project during your first term.

In fact, the engineers, architects, environmental activists and union negotiators will have you tied up for years, in red tape that didn’t exist seventy years ago. That is if you ever get past the legions of lobbyists, who want you to start in their neck-of-the-woods first. Because any time you want to throw billions in taxpayer money at any project, you need to pay the “vig” first. Lawyers, union bosses and mid level bureaucrats all need to get greased before the first shovel of dirt is moved.

Mr. Obama, unless you plan on rewriting all those oppressive regulations, permits, directives and laws the governments have spent years imposing on the rest of us, I suspect your dreams of a massive public works program will remain a dream for both your terms. You will soon discover that unraveling bureaucratic boondoggles takes a lot longer than making them.

So, you are about to discover what the rest of us have known since we were old enough to understand what a politician was.

Car Czar

So now, the Big 3 are going to get another $15 billion as an emergency bridge loan. I say another because they were already promised $12 billion to retool to build “Green” cars that nobody will buy and now another $15 billion to keep them afloat until they accomplish that. HOOOKKAAYYY!!

And to keep a watchful eye on the greenbacks, which will disappear like Rosie O’Donnell on Primetime, will be a new Car Czar.

Well, I take exception to that position. Czar’s usually are quite effective. You know, they murder, maim and plunder to get whatever they want done. And historically, they have been very effective….until they are undone.

Political Czars, on the other hand….not so much.

Let’s review. In the 70’s, we created, a Czar of sorts, the Secretary of Energy. That’s because we were threatened by a Saudi oil embargo that brought us to our knees. We suddenly realized that our security was jeopardized by control of foreign oil. Voila, the Dept. of Energy, complete with a Secretary--aka Czar--to secure our energy independence.

Well, that was over 30 years and hundreds of billions ago, when we imported 25 percent of our oil. Today we import almost 70% and Energy has an annual budget of $60 billion per year. Great jobs require great budgets.

So what of our Drug Czar. He was mandated with stopping the flow of drugs into the U.S. from abroad and the south. And by 2003 the budget was over $20 billion a year, while more drugs than ever were flowing at ever increasing cost, due to the inconvenience of interdiction. Again, being a Czar is a learning curve.

So now, we are going to have a Car Czar shoved down our wallet pocket, like having the Environmentalists, Unions and Dept. of Transportation wasn’t enough of an impediment to running a successful auto company.

Well people, buckle up. You are about to take a ride like you have never been on before. Get ready for the resurrection of the Pinto, Yugo, and every other car you NEVER wanted to own.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Writing for the Choir

Friends and Net acquaintances often ask me why I don’t write more. I tell them that I am overwhelmed with so much material, I don’t know where to start. I only write when I am inspired, when I am most offended, when someone--usually a Liberal-- picks my scab. And since November 4, my scab gets picked a lot. I am starting to look more like a pomegranate pizza than a pissed off Conservative.

For instance, when I select what I think is the most outlandish event of the day, by mid-day it is not just old news, but dwarfed by 5 other events ready for the book of Idiot’s World Records. You get that when Congress and the pres-Elect are Liberals and the Lame Duck Republican leader is spending his last days pardoning career criminals and others NOT his friends or relatives.

I am most astounded when answers to today’s most pressing problems are coming fourth like water off Niagara Falls from Senator Obama, while the brain trust, that is our present Administration, remains apoplectic in the face of the Liberal tsunami to come. Of course, all of “The One’s” profound and prophetic answers involve cash….lots of cash. Nevermind that he will steamroll America with an avalanche of new taxes, fees, duties, tariffs and enhancements to pay for it. Damn It, it will be done.

For starters, he WON’T raise taxes on the wealthy or the oil companies like he promised, to get elected. That promise alone made the Left, far Left and the Left so far left they had swam out beyond the buoys, so warm and fuzzy that they were wetting down their legs. The slackers, entitlement gamers, deadbeats and professionally unemployed just shivered in anticipation of their “cost of living” increases that would provide the extra cash for a couple of new flat screens and a better quality of Pot. For them, on Nov. 5 the party was on.

For the rest of us, it appears to be more a peek at Armageddon than anything resembling a way out of the fire. There are things you can change and many you can’t, but changing a Liberal is like pulling your own teeth without Novocain.

So, for the time being, I will just scribe about the things that amuse me. That way I won’t spend too much time cleaning and reloading.
The Dumbplumber

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Three Sided Firing Squad

Now let me get this straight. Congress has been imposing CAFÉ Standards(fuel economy mandates) since the 70’s. In part because of the energy/ security issues which resulted in long gas lines during short supplies. Later, the UAW got those standards modified to secure jobs within the US, by having Congress impose limits on imports that would meet the new standards. So, in essence, US automakers were handicapped immediately, where foreign manufacturers were not.

Meanwhile the UAW has been slowly ratcheting up the economic pressure, by not just demanding outrageous healthcare and pension benefits, but extorting them under threat of strike, while insisting that the UAW manage those funds. Pension and medical benefit trusts are currently under-funded to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, all on the table in the current Beg-o-rama on Capitol Hill.

Add to that the dream job of having NOT to work to get paid. Yeah, you got it. When the Big 3 shuts down a plant, they still have to pay about 80% of the wages, plus benefits. My kind of job.

But the $34 billion dollar gorilla in the room is the incessant raising of the bar, for fuel economy, by Congress, egged on by Environmentalists. The silence on this issue, in the hearing room, is deafening.

Way back when, it was 25 mpg, then it was raised to 28, then 30, now the bastards want 35 to 40, with no end in sight. Of course, every time they do this it causes the auto makers to retool, costing billions. And adding insult to injury, the Congressional fat cats tool around in gas guzzling SUV’s, when they aren’t burning jet fuel by the truckload.

And who will be the ultimate loser, when the last Congressional gavel drops?……anyone? OOOH, oooh, oooh, me, me, me. The taxpayers you ass, that’s who. We have 535 bribe taking, earmark grabbing, vote buying, office holding, self-indulgent A-holes all fighting for the tiller on a sinking ship while any consideration for the crew was thrown overboard on Nov. 5th.

Good luck suckers. The Dumbplumber

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bad Loan Circle Jerk

Time for some basic math. We have about 300 million people in this country. There are 535 members of Congress, plus the President and a few hundred highly educated bank and insurance company CEO’s, who are supposed to know what they are doing. But strangely over the past few months, we have dove another $7 trillion in debt, because these folks were incompetent, unconscious or complicit in the biggest heist in history.

Today, the Media is thrashing about for a way to blame Bush for the debacle, but that dog won’t hunt. Yes, he was President for the past 8 years, but the problems really started back in the Carter years, with the Community Reinvestment Act. Well, that notion went over so well that, in time, it morphed into a policy to grant loans to everyone everywhere, as long as the questionable paper would not exceed an acceptable ratio within a bundle of other loans.

Eventually, with the expansion of the real estate boom, throughout the U.S., commissions and fees “trumped” amortized interest, as a revenue stream. Fees and commissions became King when borrowers were returning to the trough over and over to refinance into ballooning equity positions, even though their ability to meet the higher payments did not grow along with the obligations.

The feeding frenzy of borrow, spend, refinance, spend some more, then refinance again never seemed to meet the challenge of the ability to repay. The first bar to hurdle when qualifying for a loan. Loans of $300k and $400k went to borrowers with fixed incomes of less than $2000 per month, which should have been the first litmus test of excessive lending. But NO, the taxpayer was somehow never considered when the ink on loan fraud and bank fraud was being delivered in supertankers. Fannie and Freddie grew into the festering boil, that when burst, would make the DOT.COM bubble look like a fart in your hot tub. Spending and lending went as nuts as the inmates in the Cuckoos Nest.

So, here we are now, swallowing the excesses of a few million irresponsible debtors, and the greed of thousands of mortgage representatives and brokers, who chose to look the other way in qualifying borrowers, not to mention the wholesale negligence of a bureaucracy mandated to oversee such excesses and abuses.

But somehow, the over 290 plus million of us that played by the rules will be shackled with “righting a ship” that less than 10% of us tried to sink.

The silence of the outrage is deafening in our Halls of Justice, Halls of Congress and the Main Stream Media. Instead, the selling of the remedy looks more like a game of Three Card Monte than any retribution against those that got us here. In the pandemonium to make heroes of the upper echelon of government and finance, we have neglected to hold any responsible party’s feet to the fire, insomuch as it would be but a token moral installment to those of us that will ultimately pay for the gross mismanagement and incompetence…. we SO did not deserve.

You see, it was those that got us into this Paul Bunyon Boondoggle that are now crowing that it is THEY who will get us out…..for a few trillion dollars, plus interest. WE HAVE BEEN SO SCREWED.