22 August 2009

Failure to Communicate

"What we have here is...failure to communicate." - Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke. One of the greatest lines in the history of film. Spoken by the captain of a prison or which Luke, played by Paul Newman, was a resident. As the story goes, Luke tries unsuccessfully several times to escape the prison only to be returned a captured fugitive destined for time in the box. Luke didn't "get it."

Cash for Clunkers. Sounded good. A rebate program where customers get $3,500-$4,500 for trading in their less-efficient vehicles on the purchase of a new one. So let me see how this works: 1) customer goes to car dealership; 2) customer picks out a car/truck that gets better gas mileage than his/her current vehicle (not too complicated so far); 3) dealership gets reimbursed by government for that qualifying trade-in. Simple!

One would think. However, there's this illogical place in the brains and innerworkings of the government that DOES NOT ALLOW anything to be simple. The government cannot do it! No matter how hard it tries, it has to screw it up; it has to complicate it with forms, restrictions, fine print, double-speak, partial-truths, smoke screens, bait and switch. (You will notice that I quickly left the list of less serious process variation causes for the more intentional ones because that's how this phase of the Gov' rolls - deceptively).

So here we are a couple of days away from the expiration of said CFC program (there's a joke in there somewhere), and yet why isn't everyone excited about this program? Why isn't everyone ecstatic that such a program has plunged (word used intentionally for effect) billions of dollars into the economy? I'll tell you why. Because car dealers are worried about not being reimbursed by the government. That's right. Apparently the government hasn't reimbursed car dealers ANY MONEY (as of August 22, 2009) for this program. But this program's been going on for weeks (if not months). Some car dealers are stopping the program a few days early for fear that they WON'T get reimbursed.

Why is this difficult? The dealer fills out the correct form with the qualifying information (it can't be submitted without the exact information filled in); the dealer sends it to the Gov' (possibly electronically - I know, don't jinx it); and then the Gov' sends the dealer a check. Why is this hard? The dealer can't send in an incorrect form because the Gov' is the one that issued the form with strict restrictions on what qualifies for this program and what boxes to "fill in." The Gov' surely has a department for processing such forms (hopefully with no more than one person running it if you even need a person running it). IT'S TOO FRICKIN' SIMPLE TO SCREW UP!

However, this is what you get when the Gov' rolls out a program: a slick-sounding, can't miss, Poka-yoke, with no downside. Hmmm, this sounds a lot like a slick car salesman (yet another place for a joke).

What the hell, we should let the Gov' run health care. Now there's a good idea.


07 August 2009

Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining!

OK, time to wake up! There is nothing short of a communistic takeover of our government going on. Let's look at some facts:

1. We have passed a stimulus package that essentially redistributes wealth throughout society. How are we going to pay for this? Higher taxes! SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THIS PEOPLE.

2. We have passed a cap and trade bill to redistribute energy. This one appears more complicated, but has at its core the same redistribution principle at work. Unless you live accoring to long-standing priniciples, you can do nothing but delay the inevitable.

3. And lastly, most of the people appointed by Obama are or have been associated in some way with communism, the muslim nation, and/or other ANTI-AMERICAN protests at some point in their careers. Please check into this.

Now, as reported on Foxnews.com there's a fishing exedition being put on by the White House? Are you kidding me? This is such horsedookey. WAKE UP AMERICA - THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO CONTROL EVERYTHING YOU DO! My main man Glenn Beck has actively been reporting a very scary link between the so called president and this group called "Apollo", you can check it out here. -RedAnt

05 August 2009

Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Alright, alright. Haven't we all had just about enough of this beer-gate horsedookey. What a load of crap. I continue to find reasons to be scared out of my mind for Obama being my president. A relatively minor incident (we find out it's minor after we get the facts) occurs in Cambridge, MA between a local police officer and a local professor, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS HEAVILY WEIGHING IN ON IT!

Does this not scare the snot out of you? Are you not scratching your head saying WTF? You should be. You should be gravely concerned that at least 2 full weeks of our country's time and effort were taken reviewing the ins and outs, pros and cons, etc. for this minor incident. What's unemployment up to? How's the credit crisis doing? What's the latest on the changes in healthcare reform for the elderly? YOU DON'T KNOW BECAUSE WE'RE DEBATING WHETHER THIS HOPS-GATE INCIDENT IS A TEACHABLE MOMENT!

At some point long ago I began figuratively stepping back and asking the question, "Why?" I began applying this litmus-type inquisition to various scenarios throughout my life and society: "Why would people remain in NOLA when federal orders were to leave? Why would Bill Clinton intentionally bomb an aspirin factory instead of a potential terrorist site? Why won't Obama allow the press (as if) to use his middle name? Why would CNN begin holding presidential debates 18 months prior to an election (a seemingly huge time prior to one)? And now, why would Obama get involved in what appears to be either a simply civilian issue or a simple misunderstanding or a miscommunication? Was the offended person related to the President? No. Did the offended person (who happened to be a black man) invoke the President's name at the time? No. Was the offended person indirectly related (through family) to the President? No. Was a possible terrorist involved? No. Did this occur on Federal property? No. Did this occur at a secret or military facility? No. Did the incident involve a high-ranking governmental official? No. Did the incident involve a low-ranking government official? No. Did the incident in ANY way involve a threat of ANY kind to our nation on behalf of another nation? No. Hmmmmmm. That's strange...why would the President of the United States of America get involved in this incident? YOU CAN'T ANSWER IT BECAUSE YOU'RE THINKING LOGICALLY OR YOU'RE TRYING TO USE REASON! There is NO logical reason for him to get involved. It was a simply civilian incident - the type that occurs many times a day EVERY DAY in our country. So now it's time FOR YOU to start thinking of other reasons.

1. Did Obama get involved because he wanted the nation's attention directed elsewhere? Yes. His UN-stimulus package has backfired and unemployment has gone up.

2. Did Obama need to improve his poll numbers by creating a diversion that was small yet controllable? Yes. His numbers in recent weeks are finally showing what most, thinking Americans have known all along - you can dress that bum (healthcare, not Obama) up in clothes and lipstick (no pun intended), but he's still a bum. No matter how you cut it, when you don't approach problems from a strong principled standpoint, it's eventually going to fail. You can't add 45 million people to healthcare who are not currently covered and get a) better healthcare, or b) lower costs (future blog coming on the cost, quality, and time triangle).

3. Was anything else happening or going to happen over the past 2 weeks that would need more attention than beer-gate? Yes. Pick any number of events from Obama's attempt to pass healthcare reform legislation in the middle of the night to dealing with North Korea's continued threat to bomb Hawaii (while we graciously continue to say, "If you cross this line, we will respond. Now, if you cross this line, we will respond...") to multiple states in our nation GOING BANKRUPT. Stimulus? When, where, and how?

Why, why, why? You should be terrified of the reason (or lack thereof). -RedAnt

02 August 2009

Should you plan to fail, if you fail to plan? Maybe not...

I can't remember where I heard it first, but as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, if you fail to plan, you should plan to fail. However, as we continue to see through Obama's stimulus package, that may not be the case all the time.

In a recent WSJ print article (Friday, July 31, 2009) entitled Bank Bonus Tab: $33 Billion, the authors discuss several companies including banks that "...received government aid money paid out bonuses of nearly $33 billion last year...despite huge losses that plunged the U.S. into economic turmoil." The article goes on to point out with respect to employees that companies such as banks and other investment companies "...pay for performance." OF COURSE THEY DO. Companies hire "rain makers" if you will because of their talent for bringing in revenue. Many employees have contracts with their employers that outline such compensation packages, and companies are required to pay such bonuses if the employee meets certain criteria. The article goes on to point out that on Wall Street "...top employees typically make 90% or more of their compensation in year-end bonuses."

The real question is "What would happen to these companies if the gov' didn't provide such larges bailouts in the first place?" What would happen to these employees' bonuses if there was no money to be passed around (for instance, if the company had to declare bankruptcy)? As far as I can tell, those employees would be S.O.L.! So, what we have here is a great case of what happens when the gov' goes trying to do too much. But wait...we're not done yet...

In addition to pointing out something most Americans don't really want to hear (but may still agree with), the SAME article goes on to say:
The Obama administration, meanwhile, is preparing to vet [BTW I love this word] pay at firms receiving "exceptional assistance" from the government. Institutions have until August 13 to submit proposed compensation details for the 100 highest-paid employees at each. The proposals will be reviewed by the Treasury Department's pay czar {another word I love], Kenneth Feinberg.
And yet once again, the gov's response is to try to provide "more guidance" in an area in which it doesn't belong! STICK TO WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO AS OUTLINED BY THE CONSTITUTION! With all due respect Mr. Obama, you've got a long way to go simply with your use of the word "stupidly." Hmmmmm....is there a lesson to be learned here?