Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Obama Recovery Continues

Source: Dallas Fed
Meanwhile huge deficits continue to build up the national debt, unfunded liabilities continue to grow (compare the 1983 social security reform that plugged trillions of dollars of unfunded liability in the social security funding hole, without which today baby boomers would be seeing massive cuts in social security benefits) and un-/under-/non- employment aggregate running at levels not seen in decades.   

It's Bush's fault, no Reagan's, no Sarah Palin's, no Paul Ryan's. No it is the rich people. You the people, the real people should have an opportunity to get what you what when you want it without work, foresight, saving and provisioning, making hard choices, financial responsibility and sacrifice. It's working. No need to change course. There. I got it. Go.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Remembering the First Celebration of Thanksgiving

As we rejoice in life's bounty, joining together with friends and families on this day of thanks, let us recall and respect the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indian tribe, whose feast gave rise to the tradition, almost 300 years ago. The pilgrims braved the Atlantic Ocean, crossing aboard the Mayflower from England in search of religious freedom and economic opportunity.
The group that set out from Plymouth, in southwestern England, in September 1620 included 35 members of a radical Puritan faction known as the English Separatist Church. In 1607, after illegally breaking from the Church of England, the Separatists settled in the Netherlands, first in Amsterdam and later in the town of Leiden, where they remained for the next decade under the relatively lenient Dutch laws. Due to economic difficulties, as well as fears that they would lose their English language and heritage, they began to make plans to settle in the New World. Their intended destination was a region near the Hudson River, which at the time was thought to be part of the already established colony of Virginia.
They made it to the New World but missed their mark.
Pilgrims Landing at Plymouth Mass
Rough seas and storms prevented the Mayflower from reaching their initial destination, and after a voyage of 65 days the ship reached the shores of Cape Cod, anchoring on the site of Provincetown Harbor in mid-November. After sending an exploring party ashore, the Mayflower landed at what they would call Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay, in mid-December. During the next several months, the settlers lived mostly on the Mayflower and ferried back and forth from shore to build their new storage and living quarters. The settlement's first fort and watchtower was built on what is now known as Burial Hill (the area contains the graves of Bradford and other original settlers).
More than half of the English settlers died during that first winter, as a result of poor nutrition and housing that proved inadequate in the harsh weather.

Celebrating the first Thanksgiving
Come spring things took a turn for the better thanks to the help of Indians.
The remaining settlers – now referred to as pilgrims – set foot on land in March 1621, when they were approached by an English-speaking Abenaki Indian. This Indian introduced the pilgrims to a man essential to their survival that winter, a Pawtuxet Indian named Squanto.

Squanto taught the malnourished and weak pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers, and avoid the poisonous plants. He also helped them form an alliance with the nearby Wampanoag Indian tribe.
After the pilgrims' first successful corn harvest later that year, Governor William Bradford organized a three-day celebratory feast, and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indian tribe. Records show that 53 colonists and 90 Wampanoag attended the first Thanksgiving.
We, now 317 million strong across America today, give thanks to our fore-bearers in blood and tradition. Thanks to DNA testing I now know my family has 2 percent Native American blood, so us are we more than ever.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2013 we would like to give special thanks to friends and family who graced us with their company this past year as we settled into our new Montana outpost. Thank you brother-in-law Jack, cousin Jim and his lovely wife Mary Joan, thank you the Laumanns (George, Mindy, Nikota and Retta), Teresa's college friend Ron and childhood friend Laura, and to my sister Joanne. A special thanks as well to Jack and Tina, and grandparents Doc and Mam for hosting the big kids in the Lone Star state this summer. To all, there is always room at the inn tucked here between the Bridger and Gallitan ranges. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!

National Menorah 2011 and Washington Monument in background, President's Park, The Ellipse, Washington DC.

To all our Jewish friends.
According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the re-dedication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah.
Stretching of oil, now that is an ecumenical enterprise we can all enjoy. Mazel tov!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make Mommy, Daddy, Gramps and Grammy Oh So Proud!

That's the message from AARP.  The Obamacare loving propagandists who were instrumental in forcing confiscatory health insurance rates on young adults are now launching a fresh misinformation campaign.  AARP is following through to make sure you don't miss a chance to ensure sticking it to your children, your grandchildren and your nieces and nephews. 

AARP says,


Send an e-card today.

En espaƱol

Starting Oct. 1, your big kid(s) will have new health insurance options. Remind them to check out their choices. And they’ll make Mom, Dad, even Grammy oh so proud!

Ready to nudge? Please select an e-card below

Oh so kind!  AARP offers oh so many options.

Meism runs rampant through the AARP membership. Join now so you can officially shrug off responsibility, get behind passing on prodigious debt and support adding tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded retirement liabilities to the next generation's burden -- you too can be part of the munificent crowd.

The Obama Recovery Continues

In the financial news, Tiffany & Co. reported its third quarter earnings today,

In the three months ("third quarter") ended October 31, 2013:
  • Worldwide net sales increased 7% to $911 million. On a constant-exchange-rate basis that excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars (see "Non-GAAP Measures"), worldwide net sales rose 11%, and comparable store sales rose 7% due to growth in all regions.
  • Net earnings rose 50% to $95 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, compared with $63 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, a year ago.
Meanwhile, over Bentonville, Arkansas Walmart reported,
  • Consolidated net sales reached $114.9 billion, an increase of $1.8 billion, or 1.6 percent, led by Walmart U.S. with $67.7 billion in net sales. On a constant currency basis, consolidated net sales would have been $116.2 billion.
  • Consolidated operating income was $6.3 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent. Walmart U.S. grew operating income by 5.8 percent. Sam's Clubgrew operating income, without fuel, by 9.4 percent. On a constant currency basis,1 International increased operating income by 8.0 percent.
  • Walmart U.S. comp sales declined 0.3 percent in the 13-week period ended Oct. 25, 2013. Comp sales for the Neighborhood Market format rose approximately 3.4 percent. Walmart U.S. again gained market share in the measured category of "food, consumables and health & wellness/OTC.
And the Dow Jones Industrial Average opens today from a record high of 16,072. This regime has the interests of the ordinary citizen at heart. Carry on fawning supporters, carry on.
Tiffany's pummels Walmart

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Slow Down on the Bricks

The Washington Post headline reads,

Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal

The Post breathlessly reports on "the first such pause in more than a decade" in Iran's nuclear program. Of course, the halt isn't a halt any more than Obamacare is affordable, universal and cost saving, and allows you to retain your insurance and keep your doctor. The nuclear deal doesn't require Iran to retrench or dismantle any of the advances it has made towards producing nuclear weapons. In return for window dressing the U.S. concedes economic sanctions. The deal repeats the mistakes made leading up to the nuclear arming of North Korea.

Ronald Reagan in his actually historic 1987 Brandenburg Gate speech demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall." Imagine how much more successful he would have been if had adopted the Obama strategy. The Gipper would have said "Mr. Gorbachev, be careful about how many bricks you are adding to this wall; in return we will help you out of your economic troubles." The Soviet Union would have remained intact to this day. Obama would be pleased.

President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin Germany, June 12, 1987.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Routes to Survival and Death in the Philippines

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the thousands of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims who lost their lives in the Philippines. The most recent accounting of confirmed dead and estimates of the missing push up against 7,000 lost souls, a horrific tragedy of epic proportions. We feel sorrow and we mourn.  At the same time, we look back at what happened and realize there is much to learn from the tragedy.  

Typhoon Yolanda was the most intense of storms, on the same order as category 5 hurricanes in the Western hemisphere, similar in strength to extreme storms that have struck the U.S. mainland, including Donna in 1960, Camille in 1969, Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005. The center of typhoon Yolanda swept the central part of the island chain, concentrating its fury on Tacloban City in the island province of Leyte where a third of the confirmed deaths occurred. But some 40 miles west of Tacloban on the tiny island of Tulang Divot, none of the homes are left standing, yet every one of its thousand residents survived

An after action report explains why.
The report attributed the absence of casualties to the evacuation of around 1,000 people from the island under San Francisco town Mayor Alfredo Arquillano’s orders. “When it was clear how bad the typhoon would be, we decided to evacuate all 1,000 people,” the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction quoted the mayor as saying. Arquillano, who UNISDR recognized as a champion of for its Making Cities Resilient Campaign, said his constituents also “understood the need to move to safety.” “My goodness, it was a good decision; it’s fair to say it saved everyone’s life. There is not one house left standing on the island, everything was wiped out,” Arquillano said.
The town mayor explained why the evacuation was successful and urges more dramatic strategy going forward.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Preparations

Thanksgiving prep ....

Purchase 28 pound, free range Hutterite commune raised, all natural turkey for the crowd. Checked box symbol

Purchase "Ticket for a Turkey" at Heebs for Gallitan County Food Bank. Checked box symbol.

50 Years Ago Today

I had a friend who refused to date anyone who wasn't old enough to remember when John F Kennedy was shot. If shared experience is the glue that binds relationships, his reasoning was sound. Moments from November 22, 1963 are as clear in my mind as if they occurred yesterday. The President of the United States was assassinated. The world changed, no exaggeration, none.

My route home from school, November 22, 1963
I was a 5th grader at Park View Elementary School in Morton Grove, Illinois. It was an unexpectedly pleasant late November day, not requiring a coat, or even a light jacket as the day wore on. The high in Chicago was 63 degrees with a pleasant southerly breeze
It promised to become a day of fun and freedom for a fidgety adolescent who hated being trapped indoors, because teacher training was scheduled. To accommodate, school let out two and one half hours early at 1:00 pm. I looked forward to picking up my basketball and going over to Mansfield Park to shoot some hoops.

On the way home a classmate called across the street. "The President was shot." she said. "Ha, ha!" I said, "Sure." not believing her, then continued on my way.  I went left down "Muddy" Moody and then right up Davis Street next to the Forest Preserve, bypassing the straight, conventional patrol boy and crossing guard staffed, walk-to-school route that went down Lake Street.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Doc Wagamon Letters: Chapter 1, Half Baked

We blogged about Doc Wagamon, who served in the WW II European theater, this last Veterans Day, including several of his letters to the Editor of his hometown Huntsville Item.  We plan to share more of his missives to the Huntsville Item. The first such share, pithy compositions from the November 3 and 13 editions, characterize Dear President's communication style and integrity vis a vis his signature legislative accomplishment. On November 3,
HUNTSVILLE — Obama ‘overdrawn’
Dear Editor:
When President Obama looks his teleprompter in the eye and says to all Americans, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it--PERIOD."
Again when into the same teleprompter he says, "If you like your doctor you can keep him--PERIOD." 
When a president makes those kind of statements, Americans are convinced you can go to the bank on those promises. Apparently Mr. Obama's truth account at the bank is overdrawn.

Charles Wagamon
Followed up on November 13,
US needs more than ‘half-baked denial’
Dear Editor:
Our present Democratic administration consistently uses half truths, half denials, half-baked excuses, and half-hearted explanations to inform us of the goings on in our IRS, Department of Justice, and State Department. This is a situation we have begun to expect. 
However, when the President tells not a half lie but a whole lie with a period at the end of it, we should expect a whole up front apology. What kind of an apology did we get? That's right citizens —a half-baked denial, along with a half baked excuse, delivered In a half hearted manor. 
This tepid presentation was delivered by a president who has no qualms about making changes to what is supposed to be the law of the land that more than half of the people in the country oppose.
Charles Wagamon
And now the President has the approval of way less than half of the American people too.  

Just 37 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared with 57 percent who disapprove in a CBS News poll out Wednesday. The sub-40 percent figure is the lowest approval rating Obama has seen during his presidency in CBS’s polling and is a 9 point drop from October.The president’s signature health care law is also at a new low. Approval of Obamacare stands at 31 percent with disapproval at 61 percent, the worst figures for the law in CBS’s polling.Only one in three survey respondents said they believe the government will be able to fix the health care exchange website by the White House’s end-of-the-month deadline, and just 7 percent said the Affordable Care Act should be left in place without any changes. Forty-eight percent said it needs some changes, and 43 percent want it repealed entirely.

Read more:

Thanks for the letters Doc!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm Not Invested In Spaghetti

Dear President can't help himself. Yesterday he blamed his political foes, who gave it not a single vote, whose proposed amendments, one after another, were voted down or squelched by arcane rules of the Senate and the House, for the Democratic contrived spaghetti mess otherwise known as Obamacare.
Obama said that fixes to the Web portal are underway and that the exchange will function for a majority of people by the end of November. But the president said staunch opposition from congressional Republicans is inhibiting the law’s implementation. 
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. “We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment.” 
The president also voiced frustration with the toxic political atmosphere endangering his signature legislative achievement. He said Washington needs to “break through the stubborn cycle of crisis politics and start working together.” 
“You know, people call me a socialist sometimes,” Obama said. “But no, you’ve got to meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is.”

Remarket and rebrand? This guy is an effing nut. Mr. President you don't fix a spaghetti mess by intertwining new strands. You don't correct incompetence by repackaging it. And you don't cure fraud by advertising it.

Mr. President, many of us who who opposed your promised to be all things to all people "transformative" health care legislation, while supposedly (if YOU were to be believed) not upsetting current beneficial relationships, just happen to know that is impossible.  We aren't dense. We don't fall for lies, deceptions and half truths. Your contradictory claims and representations never had a a chance of being true. You have been purveying a fraud since day 1 of the horribly misnamed Affordable Care Act.

Though I now am very happily on the outside, I spent 34 years inside the Beltway observing the operation and failure of these spaghetti mess contraptions, which became all too common as the years passed on. The schemes depend on the impossibility of executing mutually exclusive promises. The schemes are creatures of the Democratic Party or Democrats collaborating with RINO's. I've seen entangled legislative and regulatory spaghetti strands strangle the host, again and again.

At the same time, in the earlier years, I observed the extraordinary impacts of smart de-regulation, effective anti-monopoly policy and reforms that untangled government messes. Paul Volcker and Ronald Reagan put an end to monetary system induced hyper inflation. Real competition and real choice were introduced to interstate trucking, rail transport, air transport, telecommunications, computer and software development and (until the repeal of Glass Steagal in 1999) financial services. The linguine infused tax code was cleared out in the 1986 tax reform. Health care costs actually declined for a couple years in the aftermath of the Hillarycare debacle. All the affected sectors of the economy thrived as a result. At the same time, over the years the so-called rust-belt industries have been regulated to near death; in recent years broad swaths of the economy are being re-politicized, re-regulated, re-controlled and re-monopolized half to death.

I have seen simple and straightforward government initiatives succeed when the providers and sponsors have been held to account, and we've seen complex and confusing initiatives fail with lousy leadership, lousy management and fragmented to non-existent accountability. Economic soundness succeeds; economic ineptitude fails.        

It will not be forgotten that during your budget non-negotiations the Republican led House of Representatives voted to do exactly what needed to be done if your law is to be given a chance to proceed -- that is delay its implementation for a year. Go stick it Mr. President, stick it where the sun don't shine.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Common Core Has Got to Go

I have serious, indeed enormous concerns about the consultant industry driven Common Core curriculum that has been imposed top down from the know-it-alls in Washington DC on my three kids here in Bozeman, Montana.  

Common core was implemented this year. To this point my kids' teachers are obediently taking the edict seriously. It is not going well. Common core specifies in gratuitous detail what kids should learn, the linear order in which they need to learn it and when that all must occur. It is teach to the test on steroids. My kids are excellent students but this is not how they learn and operate. As probably comes to no surprise to readers of this blog, they know how to think for themselves. They thrive on exploration, discovery and opportunities for creativity. My kids, like most, progress on different dimensions at different times in different ways.

Common core is cook book, educational sausage stuffing in its design and execution, and most assuredly does not accommodate, allow for or respect the outside in, right brain learning style that is prevalent in my household. Nor, ultimately, does common core promote and encourage higher levels of learning. Us right brained get it, but we don't get it in the same way or the same step-by-step measured linear pace as our much more numerous left brained brethren. I like to think that when us right brained break through we are all the more better off because we see not only the individual pieces but also understand how they knit together.  

Common core is so enveloping and controlling that it is causing daily strife and anxiety for our kids in the Bozeman schools. I totally support and believe in public schools. But the impacts of this tyrannical policy are leaking back into our household to the point where, if the insanity continues, we will yank our kids out of the system.

I never thought I would have to make myself clear on this. But I am neither suburban nor am I a mom, though in Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan's mind, I fit the bill. 

Arnee Duncan boxes out President Barack Obama
during scrimmage on White House basketball court.
Duncan was previously best known for being a basketball playing Chicago chum of Dear President and falsely claiming, when the sequester went into effect earlier this year, that a hundred West Virginia teachers in a single school district had already received pink slips as a consequence and that 40,000 teachers nationwide would lose jobs as a result. Duncan was a loyal soldier in the Obama sequestration lie and deception machine. Now he mocks and stereotypes critics of his Common Core contraption.
"It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary."
Read More At Investor's Business Daily:  
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook 
Arnee Duncan is one more Obama enabling hypocritical jerk (like so many he has a Harvard pedigree) who works like hell to deny others what he grabs and gobbles up for himself and his family. Take school choice for example. He toes the teacher union line in adopting anti-choice education policies for the masses but then sends his own kids to a choice school. In Duncan's case the choice for his kids was Arlington Science Focus School. Arlington Science Focus is on the north side of town where the limousine liberals live. When we lived in Arlington we resided and sent our kids to school on the south side of town among the Hispanics, immigrants, racial minorities and English as a second language crowd. In the phony liberal world of embracing diversity and harmonious equality, the science focus school (and curriculum) is open exclusively to the dominant rich white government executive, lawyers, lobbyists and contractor population in the north.

Barack Obama and his appointed minions are the most arrogant, hypocritical, dismissive and insulting louts I experienced in my 34 years working inside the Beltway. Thank you and good luck to all!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pragmatic Conservatism

If what Jonathan Mosely is writing over at American Thinker is what conservatism is fundamentally about, then I may be willing to be labeled a conservative after all.
Liberals spin grandiose schemes of utopias based on their belief that government can work miracles, that government can spin straw into gold.  Conservatives oppose those flim-flam scams partly because government cannot actually accomplish what liberals hope. From the Federal Reserve creating economic growth out of thin air, to inventing green energy jobs, to controlling global climate, to changing human nature, to wishing away problems, liberalism depends fundamentally on a belief in the god-like omnipotence of government. 
Portrayed as heartless and uncaring, conservatives would love to see the benefits that liberals day dream about.  But conservatives live in the real world, where facts govern.   Conservatives are not fooled when liberals put on their Professor Harold Hill routine, trying to sell air to the voters.  The limitations of government must be clearly confronted.  Liberals assume that government, being their god, can do anything.  Conservatives have their doubts.
Which also explains why I support actual religions and freedom of religion, every single one of them. Matters of faith and mystical beliefs are best left to voluntary associations competing for attention, membership and support, rather than imbued in crass power mongering political handlers who enforce acceptance using the police power of the state. Amen.

Read more:
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Eighty Percent Is Success

It was leaked to the Washington Post that Dear President and his minions lowered the bar. 
The Obama administration will consider the new federal insurance marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health-care plans online, according to government and industry officials familiar with the project. 
The goal for how many people should be able to make it through the insurance exchange is an internal target that administration officials have not made public. It acknowledges that as many as one in five Americans who try to use the Web site to buy insurance will be unable to do so.

The measure is the first concrete performance standard in the 31/2 years since the government began to design the health exchange, and was defined by a group of federal officials and technical experts in late October. It is now guiding the work of hundreds of government employees and contractors racing to try to repair the balky Web site by the administration’s Nov. 30 deadline.
A concrete performance standard. So sweet. If 80 percent is the gold standard for this administration, forgive me but, isn't only logical to ask why the f**k they had to mess with 85 percent of the population who buy health insurance to address health care for a fraction of the 15 percent who do not? Just asking.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Caring About Culverts

I admit it. I can't drive, walk or ride by a culvert without swiveling my neck, inspecting and visually evaluating the structure, judging condition, materials and construction and looking at the drainage to see how well, or if, it is performing its intended function.  

I am particularly happy that for the first time in my lifetime I live on a lot that has a driveway culvert. It's a small pipe, a twelve incher, but plenty big enough to do the trick because the configuration of the land here in our little section of the foothills is such that the high side entry point will flow only in the event of biblical downpours (like Boulder, Colorado experienced last summer) because it drains no more than a 100 feet of frontage. The pipe ends have been damaged by lawn mower assaults, but the pipe remains clear, as we can ascertain when a neighborhood cat (or a skunk) passes straight through during its regular rodent stalking rounds.

My fascination with culverts comes from experience. We built culverts (no, somebody else didn't do it for us Dear President, we did it ourselves).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

GolfaCare Insurance Program Launched

Impressed with the subsidized insurance model used in the rollout of President Obama’s signature health care legislation, the Golf Tournament Association of America (GTAA) announced a new event insurance program for the links, named GolfaCare.  GTAA President Phil Immordino reached  out to the tournament community during the program pre-launch session held at El Dorado CountryClub in McKinney, Texas.  Mr. Immordino said, 
Whether we are talking about charity events, stroke or match play amateur tournaments, nonprofit fundraisers, celebrity scrambles, pro-ams, corporate outings or fraternal and benevolent association matches, there is a pressing need for standards and security across the sponsors, vendors and participants in these various events. 
GTAA -- sponsor and administrator of golf insurance reform.
Henceforth, all golf events will be required to buy hole in one insurance or pay a fine to the Association. Hole in one insurance will be available on equal terms without discrimination to everyone in the golfing industry.  Currently, 43 percent or more of golf events are put on without the benefit of hole-in-one insurance. 
We need to address pressing inequities in the golfing industry.  The Obamacare rollout confirms that insurance reform is the optimal vehicle for raising revenue, promoting golf security and achieving fairness.  
The National Hole In One Association website defines hole in one insurance as follows, 
National Hole in One Association’s insurance coverage packages function like a prize and event safety net to protect your initial investment of the event you are planning. With our Prize Insurance packages, we secure your contest prize with prize indemnity insurance. By doing so we take on the financial risks associated with offering a highly valuable grand prize. Under this policy, when an event goer makes a hole in one, we pay the cost of the prize. 
In an exclusive interview, Mr. Immordino said impetus for the hole in one insurance reform plan was precipitated by recent news reports of uninsured sponsors and golfers left uncompensated by underfunded, fly-by-night insurance operators. Golfers everywhere will benefit from broadening the insurance pools and raising standards, he said. He insists required insurance drives the cost of hole-in-one insurance down, whether you need it or not.

Recent published reports refer to a Missoula, Montana golfer who was denied for his ace. 
Man unpaid after acing hole-in-one 
Updated: May 15, 2012, 6:29 PM ET
Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. -- Troy Peissig's surprise at acing an $18,000 hole-in-one contest at a charity tournament has been replaced by bitter disappointment now that he hasn't been paid a dime nearly two years after making the 170-yard shot.
Now state authorities are intervening, and issued an arrest warrant last week against the operator of an insurance company they say failed to pay up on a policy purchased by the Missoula tournament.Peissig, a scratch golfer, said it is a case of "how a good situation can go bad quickly."
In a letter [insurance operator] Kolenda sent to the tournament sponsor denying the claim, he claimed the hole was too short and violated the 165-yard minimum in the policy contract. Kolenda referenced the 130-yard length noted on the Missoula Country Club's standard score card.
Missoula Country Club, site
of the uncompensated hole in one.
But state investigators and local police determined the Missoula Country Club had indeed lengthened the hole for the tournament. Investigators said Kolenda ignored the witness statements and evidence provided by the tournament host.
Peissig previously had hit three hole-in-ones prior to stepping to the tee box on the 12th hole at the Missoula Country Club in August 2010. He had even nailed one on that exact hole. The 30-year-old former golf teacher said there were "some ace rumblings" in his group before he hit the 7-iron shot -- which landed a couple feet in front of the hole, checked up and rolled in. "When I made that ace, I was stoked. I was pumped. That was really cool to have that happen," Peissig said. "Then it all went south."
The company failed to call the impartial judges to the shot for months, and then misrepresented their statements, Peissig said.
The new father said the company even called him in early 2011 to say the money was on the way, only to send a rejection letter several months later. "The money would be fantastic. My wife and I, we are a young family," said Peissig, who isn't counting on getting the money at this point. "At the same time, if there was a way for this hole-in-one company to not do this again to someone else, that would be just awesome."
Three years after the ace, Kolenda pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and only partially compensated the successful golfer.

GTAA's Immordino says the hole in one insurance industry is too fragmented, too confusing and too inconsistent in its application of standards. Some states press claims; others do not. He highlighted Fox5's report on an Atlanta golfer who was denied by insurance contract fine print and has received no satisfaction.
ATLANTA - You don't have to know a lot about golf to know that hitting a hole in one is a big deal. It's every weekend hacker's dream. Top that off with a big prize like a luxury car, and you are having one heck of a great day. The I-Team's Dana Fowle says a local man had that kind of day, but it was day two when the hangover set it.
Jesse Speltz was playing in the TMA Turnaround Golf Tournament. It was a networking opportunity to make some business contacts. During the tournament, Speltz hit a hole in one. And by doing that, he won a fancy car.  However, claiming that prize seems to be harder than hitting the hole in one. Speltz beat the 1 in 12,000 odds of making a hole in one. 
Turnaround Management Association, a collection of bankers, accountants and lawyers who sponsored the tournament, congratulated him. Magnolia Golf Group, who managed the outing, posted this on Twitter: "Congratulations to Jesse Speltz for the #HoleInOne at the @TMA Turnaround Golf Tournament 2012."
Event sponsor
But if getting a hole in one wasn't great enough, the prize was fantastic. It was a luxury car worth more than $42,000, and it couldn't come at a better time for Speltz.
"Two weeks before, yeah, my car died a slow death," said Speltz.
Twenty-four hours later, Speltz's hole in one turned into a bogey.
It was bad news. Tournament management had purchased an insurance policy to cover the rare chance of a hole in one. The insurance company denied the hole in one claim.  There would be no new luxury car sitting in Speltz's driveway. 
"I was very surprised. They said they required two witnesses on the hole versus one that they had on the course that day," said Speltz.
In Albuquerque New Mexico distance was the problem and a bar to insurance recovery.
Santa Fe New Mexican reports on a guy who hit a hole-in-one to win an SUV. But not so fast:
… After Robert Gabaldon of Albuquerque sunk his ball with a single stroke, Hole in One International denied the claim because it measured the distance from the tee to the No. 8 hole at 179 yards — while tournament officials had insured it at more than 190 yards.
These sorts of contests (half-court shots for $1 million, kick a field goal for a trip around the world, etc.) are often insured. It’s fairly simple. The insurer underwrites a bunch of these contests and absorbs the risk of the exceptional event.
Now insurance is a contract, not a feel-good proposition. Claims that don’t fall under the contract should be denied. But we’re talking about 30 feet here. I don’t think the shorter distance made the hole that much easier. It’s not like going from Pebble Beach to Putt-Putt.
Insurance operators reportedly have canceled policies after prizes were awarded in consecutive years, or an insurer discovered that a par-3 prize hole has grading that funnels balls into the hole. Under the GTAA plan, hole difficulty and prior performance will no longer be a factor in deciding whether to offer insurance. Sub-par policies will be eliminated after a one-year phase in period.

Uniform affordable hole-in-one insurance will permit muncipal courses with short and simple par three holes to participate in the hole-in-one award market on the same terms as high brow country club courses that have long and difficult par three holes. In actuarial speak, a community hole rating system will be employed. Distance minimums will be eliminated, distant-graduated premiums will be prohibited and discriminatory surcharges for events allowing participants to purchase mulligans will be forbidden.

A key feature of the program is a ratable percentage fee will be assessed on top of all equipment and supply sales in golf course pro shops, as well as for club house meals, food and beverages service, and special event rental income (e.g., Kiwana Club luncheons and wedding receptions). Fee proceeds, along with hole in one insurance fines, will feed into the Golf Course Community Support Action Fund, for distribution to golfers in need who will apply the subsidy to dues and assessments at failing country clubs that participate in the hole in one insurance program. Golfers and challenged country clubs will compete for funding on the GolfaCare website under construction by contract awarded to CGI Federal in Herndon, Viriginia.

In an Along the Gradyent exclusive, sources inside the White House have revealed the President is seriously considering post-presidency employment options GTAA. Individuals close to the President say working for GTAA would allow President Obama to combine the two loves of his life -- golf and imposing an incomprehensible, expensive and capricious insurance plan on an unsuspecting population.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recycled Lies Courtesy Hillary Clinton

Hillary wrote the script and Barack adopted it -- like your doctor keep your doctor, like your insurance, keep your insurance.  This is NOT government run health care.

It is so sweet watching birds of feather flocking together.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

QE Trashed By An Insider

The first rat leaves the ship in the form of Andrew Huszar. Mr. Huszar was hired back to the Fed from Wall Street. He purchased the first $1.25 trillion dollar tranche of mortgage bonds, an amount that has been repeatedly added onto, into the trillions in the program colloquially referred to as Quantitative Easing or QE, the Federal Reserve's most aggressive money printing program. We've referenced QE as an element of Obama's print borrow and spend strategy, which has succeeded in driving income and wealth inequalities to unheard of heights. Huszar starts with an obligatory apology.
I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
QE tosses money in the air, lands in pockets of rich & bankers.
Ring, thwack, bulls-eye, ka-ching. 

What printing money does is help the people who have money. As for the peons (i.e., most of the rest of you), well, running the QE digital currency creation machine drives up prices, reduces real wages and eats away at the purchasing power of savings. QE distorts economic trade-offs as well, favoring the financial sector and its scions, while disfavoring people who have or want real jobs producing real things, impeding growth in the real economy. And oh ya, I almost forget to mention -- QE is also the monetary vehicle for driving the huge debt bomb down the road.

People, like Huszar, who do the work understand it best.  
In its almost 100-year history, the Fed had never bought one mortgage bond. Now my program was buying so many each day through active, unscripted trading that we constantly risked driving bond prices too high and crashing global confidence in key financial markets. We were working feverishly to preserve the impression that the Fed knew what it was doing. 
It wasn't long before my old doubts resurfaced. Despite the Fed's rhetoric, my program wasn't helping to make credit any more accessible for the average American. The banks were only issuing fewer and fewer loans. More insidiously, whatever credit they were extending wasn't getting much cheaper. QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash.
Three trillion dollars of QE
Whoa baby, He got it again. Mr. Huszar concludes in his Wall Street Journal oped,
QE isn't really working. 
Unless you're Wall Street. Having racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in opaque Fed subsidies, U.S. banks have seen their collective stock price triple since March 2009. The biggest ones have only become more of a cartel: 0.2% of them now control more than 70% of the U.S. bank assets. 
As for the rest of America, good luck. Because QE was relentlessly pumping money into the financial markets during the past five years, it killed the urgency for Washington to confront a real crisis: that of a structurally unsound U.S. economy. Yes, those financial markets have rallied spectacularly, breathing much-needed life back into 401(k)s, but for how long? Experts like Larry Fink at the BlackRock investment firm are suggesting that conditions are again "bubble-like." Meanwhile, the country remains overly dependent on Wall Street to drive economic growth.
We said it this way last April.

The money changer in chief doesn't understand or promote a value driven economy. Real exchanges of actual goods and genuine services drive value and build a strong, broad based and resilient economy and sustainable economic growth. The demand and production led economy that we should be building has attributes that reach into every household.
Party on people while you can, because this will not have a pretty ending.