It’s a “I can’t believe another one is on Tee Vee” open thread

That’s right. It is another Republican debate.

They say, debate is what catches de-fish, and what a stinkin’ mess we have here.

So go grab some tartar sauce if you prefer, or a bag of Cheetos and play along.

The live stream can be found on CNN or here.

5:15: The topic has been on illegal immigration. Romney parses classes of illegals and who he is concerned about and who not.

5:16: Newt says he doesn’t want to grab a grandmother in a church. He goes for young women now. (Older women while in high school).

5:17: Mitt yells at Romney about calling him “anti-immigrant”. Apparent “anti-immigrant” is a “highly charge epithet”. I can think of worse.

5:21: The debate has turned in to a bickering match between Mitt and Newt.

5:24: Paul is pro-Cuba. Santorum is TOTALLY OUTRAGED by Obama’s policy in Central and South America. Nothing he says connects with anyone.

5:25: Santorum again sounds the alarm bells about Iran and al Qaeda in Cuba.

5:29: Mitt was saying something about unemployment and housing, but I was fading out….

5:31: It back to Mitt and Newt are airing dirty laundry. It is very personal and awkward!

5:33: Newt seems to be losing this Fannie-Freddie argument, but it is hard to tell. Ron Paul: the topic doesn’t interest me at all.

5:36: Santorum wants to shrink Fannie and Freddie until it can be drowned in a bathtub.

5:37: Santorum: “If these guys (Mitt, Newt) don’t quit bickering, I’m going to sent them to their rooms without dinner.”

5:42: Mitt: “Having a Swiss Bank account is no big deal.”

5:43: Newt offers a truce. I think Mitt said, “maybe.”

5:47: Ron Paul comes out as an Occupy Movement supporter!

5:49: Newt gives Ron Paul a big sloppy kiss over his health. Angling for his supporters?

5:56: The discussion is lunar. Newt dreams about the moon. Mitt says, “you’re fired!”

5:58: Mitt launches a very powerful attack against Newt, saying he has been going state to state promising grandiose local government handouts. He’s right! That one will hurt Newt.

5:59: Santorum is on fire tonight. Man…does that stink!

6:02: Paul gets into babbling mode over health care costs. Wow…that was bad.

6:04: Newt: “We need to get back to the point where she is not dependent on Barack Obama for insurance.” In other words, throw ‘em out on the street uninsured.

6:08: Newt: “Particularly for wealthy people who are free-riding on local hospitals.” Do go on….

6:10: Romney: “Obamacare TAKES OVER 100% of the health care in the U.S.” Santorum: “So does the MA plan!” Ron Paul: “Let people decide.” That a simpleton’s answer…

6:15: I wish the Hispanic woman had asked her question in Spanish…just to make Newt’s ears smoke.

6:16: Nobody mentions Alberto Gonzales.

6:18: CNN continues the fluff, “Coming up…why would your wife make the best first lady.” I want to hear Newt: “Which one?” Ron Paul: “I think Rick Santorum’s wife would be the best first lady.” Santorum: “My wife did not live in sin with an abortion doctor!!!!” Mitt: “Mine is certainly the richest…can’t beat that.”

6:24: Newt: “All three of the wives of these gentleman would make terrific first ladies” or future wives for me!

6:26: Santorum gets way carried away talking about his wife. Wolf, “um…let’s get back to the debate now.” Don’t ask to non-debate bullshit questions, Wolf! That’ll solve the problem.

6:28: My laptop is running on fumes! It’s been a busy day for this little guy.

6:29: It’s the Reagan cuddle session part of the debate. Newt: I am vastly more cuddly with Reagan then my opponents.

6:31: Santorum on Cuba: “despots and their reign of terror in Cuba…like a cancer that keeps growing. Reward those who bring in Jihadists, and setting up terror camps…” What the fuck has he been snorting tonight?

6:34: Ron Paul…”They’re not going to invade us. People don’t see a Jihadist under the bed.”

6:36: Fidel is going to “leave this planet”…not “meet his maker,” this debate.

6:37: Mitt tells the Palestinian–American Republican: “Palestinians don’t believe in the right of Israel to exist.” I think Obama just won a vote in Florida.

6:39: Newt: “Technically, there was an invention of the Palestinian people in the 1970s”

6:41: Puerto Rican woman speaks Spanish to the candidates!! Then asks about statehood for Puerto Rico. Santorum dodges the question…twice.

6:45: Mitt: The constitution describes the relationship between God and man. Oh??

6:46: Newt: “I’d ask God on the tough questions…and offer him my help if he has any tough decisions”

6:48: Santorum has some pretty fucked up ideas about where rights come from–from God Apparently, Americans are the ONLY people whose rights are endowed by God. He is one fucked up puppy!

6:57: How long will this drivel go on for? My laptop is sputtering on an empty battery.


Gosh…I cannot say who won. Newt and Mitt were bludgeoning each other so much—it just didn’t look good. I don’t see either of them coming out ahead from this. But Santorum was smokin’ (Perhaps not enough lube?) tonight. It won’t do him much good in Florida, where he trails badly. Besides, as Mitt alluded to, when Santorum is smokin’, he comes off a very angry and preachy. Not good. Santorum is eerily vexed about Jihad training camps in Cuba.

Ron Paul was…just like Ron Paul.


  1. 1

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Fundamentally America’s issue with immigration revolves around Grandmothers and Grandfathers in the USA without appropriate status.

    If only they’d be willing to colonize the Moon.

  2. 2

    Michael spews:

    “we should teach kids in english” and “kids should learn english” are two different things. It’s easier to teach ESL kids to read and do math in their 1st language and then swap that over to english, then it is to teach ESL kids math and reading in english.

    Newt and Mitt should leave teaching to teachers.

  3. 3

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Question: Will King County Republicans caucusing on March 3rd support presumptive nominee Willard M. Romney’s proposal for a biometric National ID Card?

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wow! Ricky S. says radical Islam is taking over Cuba! … That is what he said, isn’t it? Wow!

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey, Newt uppercuts Mittster! Newt sez Mittster made a million bucks by flipping Fannie and Freddie stock!

    But Mittster says, “that was bonds, not stock!”

  6. 9

    Dot spews:

    I’m a center-right Republican. After watching this shit for the last few months, I’m convinced of one thing: unless we Rs have a deus ex machina, I’m voting for Obama and he’s going to win in a Reagan-like landslide.

    But, I do think Rob has a good shot here in WA.

  7. 10

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Amazingly rich Republican leading candidates for president all have been making money by investing in vehicles which foreclose on American home owners.

    Disclosure: I have too.

  8. 11

    Dot spews:

    Oh, and Darryl – you get big props for being willing to blog this crapola. On behalf of my party, I apologize. We will do better in 2016. I hope.

  9. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Ricky sez Mittens is a wealthy guy because “he went out and worked hard.” Does that mean everyone who goes out and “works hard” gets to be wealthy? It doesn’t seem to work that way. (I’m thinking of a single mom who works two or three jobs.) So, if hard work doesn’t make you wealthy, what did make Mittsy wealthy? Um, maybe, the fact his family was wealthy to begin with helped?

  10. 16

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Question: On the $40 million Willard made in the past 2 years and paid a substantially lower rate than those Americans who had to work for a living, how many JOBS did Romney, the Job Creator, create?

  11. 17

    Michael spews:

    Zero. And he made most of that cash by not paying people that work at places like Staples and Dominoes what their worth.

  12. 19

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Lunatic: The word derives from lunaticus meaning “of the moon” or “moonstruck”.

    So, is it wrong to call Gnoot a Lunatic?

  13. 20

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @17, I’d like to here the man who is running on his record of creating jobs tell us how many jobs he created with his lower rate.

  14. 21

    Michael spews:


    ‎1 oz brandy
    1 oz whiskey
    ½ oz triple sec
    4 oz apple juice
    sprinkle a little cinnamon on top

  15. 23

    Michael spews:

    Dear Mitt, individuals can buy their own insurance and deduct the cost (and just about every other medical expense) from their income tax.

  16. 26

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Let the record show that on Thursday January 26, 2012 Willard hammered the nail in to the coffin of the GOP nomination.

  17. 30

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Gnoot’s got another GRANDIOSE idea! And it is fresh! Gnoot wants a policy of favoring freedoms and democracy in Cuba.

    F**k! Why hasn’t anyone else thought of that?

  18. 32

    kyler spews:

    17. Michael spews:
    Zero. And he made most of that cash by not paying people that work at places like Staples and Dominoes what their worth.

    not trying to pick a fight, but just how much is a job that can be performed by a high school dropout or 17 year old kid worth?

    probably not much….

  19. 33

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @32 kyler,

    Let’s give the Republicans their due. If Willard created 100 high school dropout jobs with the $40+ Million he earned without working and paying a lower tax rate than most of the American people who work, then that’s something.

    I want to know how many jobs the JOB CREATOR, Willard M. Romney, created with his less than 15% effective tax rate on $40+ million unearned income over 2010 & 2011 when our nation has suffered high unemployment and growing deficits; when the growing deficits are due in large part to tax breaks given to JOB CREATORS like Romney.

    Surely he’s created some jobs, HOW MANY?

  20. 35

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Let me put it another way.
    An E-4 over 6 years of service, serving in any of our military branches earns $28,356 a year.

    If we had taxed Willard at a 50% tax rate on his $20 Mil annual unearned income that tax revenue would have paid for 352 military workers each year, or 700 over 2 years.

    Given that Willard supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, did the Bush tax rate enable him to CREATE 700 JOBS?

    Because if it did not, I don’t see how giving Willard and his carried interest, non-working ilk huge tax breaks helps anybody but him.

    So, how many JOBS has the JOB CREATOR, Willard M. Romney, created over the past 2 years?

  21. 36

    Michael spews:

    Fair question.

    You’d have to look at how much skill (probably not much) the job takes, how much value that job creates for the company (gonna vary), and how much it costs to live in a given area (again gonna vary).

    I tend to believe that most minimum wage type employees are under paid as they create far more wealth for a company then they’re paid. But, to pay them more you’d have to pay shareholders less and right now shareholders are driving the bus and don’t give a shit about workers.

    There’s also the question of socialization of costs. I don’t think it’s such a great and noble thing to create a bunch of jobs where the employees are so lowly paid that they have to turn around and use basic health, food stamps, and public housing to get by. Yet, Mitt and those like him can do just that, make a ton of money off their stocks, and call themselves “job creators.”

  22. 37

    Michael spews:

    #36 Continued…

    We used to have all sorts of industries in America, making clothes, making furniture, making refrigerators, and so on that the average high school grad, with a little bit of training, could work in. That worker could afford to by a low miles used car, an 800 Sq Ft bungalow, they could marry their high school sweetie and raise up a couple of kids on that semi-skilled job.

    At the same time as the above was going on we had factory owners and share holders that made a shit load of money.

    Now we have factory owners and share holders that make a shit load of money and that differential in cost between what they were paying out in America and what they’re now paying out in places like China goes straight into their pockets.

    I say fuck that. Bring the jobs back over here and pay those who are here what they’re worth. The ownership class will still get rich. I’ve got nothing against people getting rich.

  23. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Gosh…I cannot say who won.”

    Obama won BIG tonight. A new NBC/WSJ poll shows Obama has expanded his lead over Mittster to 49% vs. 43%. And there’s this:

    “‘Gingrich is Goldwater,’ said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. ‘In the general election, Gingrich not only takes down his ship, he takes down the whole flotilla.'”

    Yeah! In this poll, Obama pounds Gingrich into the dirt, 55% to 37%.

    “Gingrich particularly struggles with women and independents. Women say they would vote for Obama over Gingrich by a wide 69-21 percent gap ….”

    Yet, the stoopid Republican voters think Gnoot is the “most electable” — wishful thinking on their part!

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I think the election’s over, folks! Even Wall Street pundits who HATE Obama are betting he’ll be re-elected. Lessons learned: In 2016, don’t let Republican candidates debate each other, because that just puts their stoopidity on display! Lock them away in motel rooms and don’t let them come out until the polls close.

  24. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There’s an even more remarkable poll today. It shows a majority of Americans feel every single member of Congress should be replace. They want to fire the whole Congress — even the pols from their own party! Even more amazing, the results were identical among Democrats, Republicans, and independents — about 55% of each of these three groups want to fire every single member of Congress. I’ve got a feeling this isn’t going to be a strong year for incumbents.

  25. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 I’ll show you how sophomoric your question is by asking you this question:

    How much is a job that can be performed by a college dropout worth?

    If the college dropout happens to be Bill Gates Jr., the market’s answer is roughly $60 billion.

    What a 17-year-old high school dropout is worth depends on what he can do, how much he knows, how hard he works, etc. Yes, I get your point that such workers typically fill entry-level jobs. But I would argue that a big, strong, 17-year-old dropout who pulls his weight on a roofing company crew is worth as much as the other workers on the crew.

    What I’m getting at is that education is nominally important, but don’t take credentialing too far. There are ways to get an education and acquire skills besides formal classroom schooling. Individual attributes, abilities, motivation, etc. have a lot more to do with what a person is “worth” on a job than what diplomas or degrees they have.

    You’re stereotyping. And we all know that’s intellectually dishonest.

  26. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Why Obama Will Be Re-Elected

    Just about everyone on Wall Street, in journalism, and in the top ranks of the Republican Party believe Obama will be re-elected. Why? Because only one party will show up for this election.

    The Economist is famous for its pithy (and dead-accurate) journalism. Here’s how they call it:

    “Republicans’ disenchantment with their current presidential candidates is not an incidental characteristic of this crop of candidates. It’s a structural feature of a contemporary Republican Party whose pieces don’t hang together. Pro-Iraq-war neoconservative Republicans cannot actually live with Ron Paul Republicans. Wall Street-hating anti-bail-out Republicans cannot actually live with Wall Street-working bail-out-receiving Republicans. Evangelical-conservative Republicans cannot actually live with libertarian, socially liberal Republicans. Deficit-slashing Republicans cannot live with tax-slashing Republicans. Medicare-cutting Republicans cannot live with Medicare-defending Republicans. These factions have been glued together over the past three years by the intensity of their partisan hatred for Barack Obama, and all of the underlying resentments that antipathy masks. Republicans have buried their differences by assaulting everything Mr Obama supports, and because Mr Obama is a pretty middle-of-the-road politician, that includes a whole lot of things that many Republicans used to support. They are disenchanted with their candidates because their candidates are incoherent, but their candidates are incoherent because the base is incoherent.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: In short, the GOP has a Humpty Dumpty problem they can’t solve.

  27. 45

    proud leftist spews:

    Rabbit @ 44,
    Will you cry when the door slams the ass of the Republican Party on its way out? I don’t think I will. That party brought its woes upon itself.

  28. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @45 I hear ya, and I won’t miss the GOP, but I strongly believe we need a two-party system and the Democratic Party is healthier when it has to face competition. We’re not self-destructive in the way Republicans are, but it’s not good for us to vegetate. I wish we had an intellectual conservative movement in our nation and state. I could live with having William Buckley as a roommate in the Next World. I’d much rather have some form of intelligent life to argue with than do solitary time. Especially if it’s for eternity. I’ll even settle for a human roomie if there’s no intelligent rabbit life available.

  29. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit’s Stock Market Ruminations

    Although I prefer the old system of employers providing defined-benefit pensions to take care of us in our old age, the cheap labor conservatives have trashed that system and thrown workers under the bus, so we all have to manage our own retirement finances now. And that’s no easy task, given the zero-interest policies of the world’s central banks, prompted by the right wing’s irresponsible and destructive economic policies of the last 30 years. All we can do is do the best we can.

    I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating: Get out of debt and stay out of debt; live below your means; own your job so you don’t have to rely on a boss, because employers aren’t reliable or trustworthy anymore.

    Also, status symbols are your bank account’s worst enemy. So get rid of your ego, fire it, tell it to take a hike. Remember the adage, “Most Americans work at jobs they hate to earn money they don’t need to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” That strikes me as foolishness, and my mama (RIP, sniffle) didn’t raise a fool. Don’t you be one of those fools, either. I mean, seriously, which would you rather have — a million-dollar mansion, or a million-dollar stock portfolio? As I see it, the latter requires less dusting and vacuuming, and the property taxes are less, too.

    I know investing is challenging in a zero-interest financial environment. I’ve been doing this for about 30 years now, and I love being handed FREE MONEY by Wall Street. Don’t let anyone tell you the small investor doesn’t have a chance against the big traders. It isn’t true. They’re hamstrung. A guy who runs a billion-dollar mutual fund MUST sell stocks when his customers pull money out of his fund, even if he knows he should be buying instead of selling. As a small investor, you can do something no large institutional investor can do — you can buy or sell stocks solely for the purpose of making money. They buy and sell stocks for lots of reasons, none of which have anything to do with making money. Believe me, the Wall Street professionals ENVY the freedom and flexibility you have to make investment decisions based on the merits.

    Okay, let’s say you have a pot of retirement money somewhere between $50k and $150k, but the principles of what I’m going to say are the same even if you have 10 times that much.

    Here’s what you should be doing. First, here’s what you should NOT be doing. You should not own ANY bonds unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Bonds did outperform stocks last year. But remember, bonds aren’t money, they’re IOUs — scraps of paper, promises to pay — and with the whole fucking world broke and teetering on bankruptcy, owning other people’s debt doesn’t strike me as a real sound idea. If you can’t keep yourself from fucking around with bonds or any other type of debt security, then buy this book and read it as many times as you have to, to make sure you understand it — it’s the best book on bond investing out there:

    But I’m gonna tell you straight, I’ve never owned bonds, and have no intention of ever owning bonds in the future, no matter what financial planners tell you.

    Financial planners will tell you that if you’re over 50, your portfolio should be 60% stocks and 40% bonds. They’ll tell you bonds are safer than stocks. All of this is bullshit, and they know it, but they have to tell you this so they don’t get sued for malpractice.

    It’s hard for me to imagine anything more dangerous than bonds right now. The reason is bond prices move inversely to interest rates, and when the interest rate is zero, there’s only one direction interest rates can go — up — and therefore there’s only one direction bond prices can go — down. Why would you invest in an asset you KNOW is going to go down in price?

    But even if you didn’t face that problem, it’s a fact that for the last 200 years, stocks have paid better returns than any other investment. Stocks, over the long haul, consistently outperform bonds, real estate, gold, art, collectibles, model trains, you name it. Knowing that, why would you put ANY of your savings or retirement money in ANYTHING except stocks?

    Of course, there are stocks, and then there are stocks. It’s like wives or cars or anything else, you’ve gotta know how to pick ‘em or you’re gonna get burned because there’s always plenty of people out there who are eager to sell you their junk. If a woman has been married six times by age thirty, she might not be a good bet for matrimony, know what I mean? That applies to stocks, too. Some are better than others.

    For the last three years or so, ever since the shit hit the fan, I’ve been partial to large-cap blue-chip dividend-paying stocks. You’re not gonna go wrong with those. Also, for the last 10 years, I’ve been overweighted in oil, oilfield services, and energy. A caveat here, though, stay away from refiners like Valero or Tesoro (unless you know exactly what you’re doing) because refining is a low-margin business, and for now, stay away from natural gas exploration companies, because nat gas prices have collapsed. Chevron is the best big-oil stock out there, I own it, and if you’re gonna own only one energy stock own that one.

    Pssst — coal stocks are dirt cheap right now. I mean dirt cheap. Wanna flip a couple of stocks and double your money in 6 to 12 months? Then buy Peabody for under $35 or Arch Coal for under $15. Then be patient and wait. Trust me on this one. I bought both of those stocks within the last 4 weeks, and they haven’t gone up yet.

    But flipping aside, right now I’m sitting on about $150,000 of cash that’s earning zero interest which I have to feed into the stock market. Let’s say you have 5 grand, or 25 grand, or 50 grand, or 500 grand, reposing in what is referred to as “idle cash.” What should you do with it?

    For now — nothing. The stock market has gone up about 20% since last fall. I’m pretty sure this is the peak and we’re heading into a 5% to 7% correction, subject to revision to 10% to 12% if things blow up in Europe or the Middle East. Something big is gonna go wrong this year, I can feel it in my rabbit bones, so just sit and wait and don’t spend your money yet. I wouldn’t say stocks are expensive right now, but why not wait until they get cheaper? They will, trust me. This world is really fucked up, and somebody’s gonna do something really stupid, and then stocks will tank. This probably will happen by June or July, and maybe a lot sooner. An excellent candidate is the expiration of the the unemployment benefits and payroll tax holiday extensions, followed by refusal of the Tea Party to allow anything whatsoever to pass Congress unless President Obama agrees in writing to douse himself with gasoline and light a match. That’s how stupid the Republican faction in Congress is — they’d rather burn the country down than do anything for the good of the economy. The last thing they want is for the economy to get better before the election. You can take that to the bank. And you can rest assured I’m planning to take that to MY bank.

    So, I’m sitting on my cash and waiting for the markets to panic when things go to shit in D.C., Athens, or Tehran. (It’s just a matter of time before the Israelis get antsy and bomb Qom. Trust me on this, nobody who ever had a gun didn’t get an urge to shoot it, sooner or later.) It’s not time to buy stocks yet, because stocks are going to get cheaper, not more expensive.

    What should you buy? Oh, names like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, 3M, Siemens, Nestle, Heinz, Waste Management, Walgreen, Lorillard — do you see where I’m going here? Companies that make stuff people will keep buying even after the next Big Bang.

    Which brings me to a joke I read in a scientific magazine a few months ago:

    Question: What caused the Big Bang?
    Answer: Scientists in the universe before this one decided to test their Big Bang theory.

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. That’s funny — for a nerd joke.

    Okay, back to serious business. You can double your money every five to seven years if you buy stocks — when their prices are knocked down by external events or market forces — that have a good track record of steadily growing their sales, earnings, and regularly raise their dividends. Make sure you reinvest the dividends. Stop spending on petty luxuries and put that money in your investment kitty. If you’ve been spending $3 at Starbucks every day, that’s $1,000 a year. If you’re 25 years old, here’s what doubling one year’s worth of lattes every 5 years will do for you:

    Age 30: $2,000
    Age 35: $4,000
    Age 40: $8,000
    Age 45: $16,000
    Age 50: $32,000
    Age 55: $64,000
    Age 60: $128,000
    Age 65: $256,000

    If some guy walked up to you in Starbucks and promised to pay you $256,000 if you made your own coffee at home in your own kitchen for 10 cents instead of buying it at Starbucks for 3 bucks from now until you retire at age 65, would you take that deal?

    Here’s a couple of little stock market tricks. Right now, I know what the U.S. stock market is going to do before it opens. All I have to do is go to CNBC and look at what the Asian and European stock markets, which open before ours, did overnight. Tomorrow morning, Friday, the Dow is going to be down about 30 points. Trust me on this.

    U.S. stock indexes have gone up about 20% since early October. They’re stalling. Stock prices go down from here. The stocks I want to buy are about to get less expensive. So I’m not spending my money yet, I’m waiting.

    Cash is king. That’s what everyone on Wall Street says. Sit on your cash. That’s what everyone else is doing. U.S. stock indexes have gone up about 5% this month, but that’s in very light trading, and it’s all computerized program trading, and it’s stalling, so don’t buy stocks now. Just wait. Everyone is sitting on their cash. But don’t wait too long because there’s about $7 trillion of cash waiting to rush into the world’s stock markets. All of the world’s stocks are worth about $45 to $50 trillion, to give you an idea of relative proportions. Stocks are going to go down in the near term, but they’ve gotta go up later on. If you do this right — if you wait for the correction to appear, then buy ahead of all that idle cash out there — you can’t not make money. Will you take FREE MONEY if someone gives it to you?

    When employers tell you, “Sorry, we’re outta here, no jobs and no pensions no more,” you have to take care of yourself. You have no choice. YOU are now in charge of your financial future. You don’t have to listen to me. Just because I don’t have to work, have no bills to pay, and am increasing my net worth in my retirement instead of spending down my assets like most other retirees are doing, doesn’t mean I’m worth listening to. You’re more than welcome to form your own udgment about that.

  30. 48

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 32 (another point):

    My wife does a lot of business with the print department at, shall we say, a large office supplier with ties to Mitt Romney.

    But she only gives her print work to one branch, and only with specific people working there. Those two or three people know what they are doing, and can produce quality products (booklets, etc.) which can be re-sold. With my wife’s eye for detail, it takes someone with a lot of experience to meet her expectations.

    Heck, she gives them so much business that corporate noticed and gave the store manager a pat on the back. When she walks into the store everyone smiles and calls her by name. My son joked that she must have her own coffe mug in the break room, and then was floored when the manager came up to her and gave her a coffee mug as a gift.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate much in benefits to the workers at the store. The manager has a range of pay for the positions in the print shop, and the top scale is not that much above minimum wage. In addition, corporate keeps pressure on all the stores to reduce the employee count and hours, meaning that everyone there (except the managers) is part-time, no benefits. The hours they work can vary on a regular basis, so they can’t work an additional job in addition to the one they already have. Corporate wants to have the print shop run by anyone in the store who happens to be available – the cashier, the computer guy, the guy sweeping the floor. The goal is to have all the work in the store performed at near minimum wage. But this particular store manager has the good sense to work around these corporate directives, so far.

    That’s not to say it’s been easy. Corporate recently put in a requirement that any jobs over a certain number of pieces had to be sent out to a central print shop, which they did on one of my wife’s jobs. But when it came back it was unusable, the edges of the booklet had been cut far too close to the margin. The whole job had to be scrapped and re-done. That’s what happens when you try to turn what should be a full-time job paying $20+ an hour into a part-time minimum wage job for those with little experience.

    Which is part of the problem with American businesses which are managed in the way that Baine Capital and it’s colleagues want them to be managed. They should be paying a few people well, with benefits, to create customer loyalty. Instead, they pay a lot of part-time minimum wage workers, most of whom won’t stay more than six months, and create products of inferior quality.

  31. 49


    It shows a majority of Americans feel every single member of Congress should be replaced.

    I want my current congress critters if my choice was replacing them with a republican. However I would LOVE to have some strong primary competition. But I agree, i want everyone else’s replaced.

  32. 50


    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice

    There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.

    The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found.

    People with lower cognitive abilities also had less contact with people of other races.
    People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays.

    It has only generated 23,252 comments as of this morning.

    I would to see if ANYONE can find a study showing the opposite. That low IQ is linked to progressive ideals and tolerance and inclusiveness?

  33. 51

    Michael spews:


    We used to have all sorts of printshops in America and they did fairly skilled labor and paid their workers well. Now we have few printshops and we’ve done away with that skilled labor and the pay that went with it. So, now you get shitty printing done and the pay differential between what labor used to get paid and what it now gets paid goes into the pockets of shareholders who do no work.

    Simply upping the pay for the workers isn’t the answer. We need higher skills and better quality work to go justify raising the pay scale.

  34. 52


    #48. We used to have all sorts of printshops in America and they did fairly skilled labor and paid their workers well. Now we have few printshops and we’ve done away with that skilled labor and the pay that went with it.
    Why is that? I get that the corporate print shops push the bottom, but why are there not mom and pop print shops left that produce a quality print job? Seems there is “quality” niche waiting to be filled then.

    In the old days, were mom and pop quality but expensive shops the only choice, so everyone paid more?
    Have the corp shops driven all the mom and pop quality but expensive shops out of business?

    Is the price that most people are willing to pay, just too low for the quality shops to stay in business?

  35. 53


    There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb,

    Heh.. Yeah I’ve seen a troll or two in these threads who fit that scenario.

  36. 54

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Good advice, but I’m not sure I woud agree with all of you stock picks. Microsoft’s stock price isn’t going to move any time soon and the whole place is going to get blindsided by shifts in technology. Apple, EMC, Amazon, or Google are better bets if you want to be in tech.

    As for AT&T or Verizon I’d be convened about the health of their land-line business, debt load, massive investments needed for 4G and lack of pricing power.

  37. 56

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 54: I don’t know about nationally, but here Verizon sold their residential land-line business to Frontier. I’m surprised anybody was willing to pay much money for that declining industry.

    Verizon kept the cell phone business and, I think, the commercial side of the land line business. But I could be wrong about the commercial business.

  38. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @54 No company is perfect, or if it is, its stock is priced accordingly and therefore is too expensive. Amazon is a good example. AMZN is a retailer that earns about 11% return on shareholder equity. So how do you justify paying 100 times earnings for its stock? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to pay $195 for $1.20 of trailing earnings or $2.15 of forward earnings. (Data from Value Line.)

    Apple is a more reasonable proposition; for about twice the price, you get over $30 of earnings. But even if somebody doesn’t come along with a better gadget, in which case Apple would suffer RIM’s fate, at some point the market for iPads and iPhones will be saturated, and then where will growth come from? People who sunk all their retirement money into Apple when it was $10 and held onto their shares don’t go to work anymore, but to buy Apple today and make out like they did, the stock would have to reach $20,000 a share, which implies earnings of $1,500 a share. It’ll never get there unless the human population on this planet reaches 200 billion. I’m not arguing against Apple, I happen not to own it, but I think you can buy it — as long as you’re investing for incremental gains and not expecting to make a killing. I think you can buy Apple and get a total return of 15% a year, which is decent in this market.

    Verizon owns 55% of Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone owns the other 45%. Next month, Verizon Wireless is going to pay a $4 billion dividend to those two companies. That income is in addition to what those companies earn from their own operations. As rhp points out, Verizon is selling off its wireline businesses and is becoming a pure wireless play. Unlike Frontier, a shabby company whose stock is nearly worthless that bought Verizon’s local landline business, Verizon has a solid financial condition, a vibrant market, and a growing bottom line. It pays a cash dividend yield above 5%. I’ve owned Verizon and AT&T for some time now, so I got those stocks well below their current prices, but I’d be perfectly willing to buy them at today’s prices if I didn’t already own them.

    Telecom companies tend to be more leveraged, on average, than typical blue-chip companies; but leverage, intelligently used by a smart management that knows what it’s doing, can be a tool to boost return on shareholder equity, and that’s how these companies are using it. The higher debt ratios (and higher dividend payout ratios) are justified by the fact telecom companies tend to have a more reliable revenue base. They’re not regulated monopolies like landline companies; they have to compete for subscribers; and they’re not immune from economic cycles. And I wouldn’t argue these stocks are risk-free. But some telecoms are better than others, and after culling the herd, I’ve concluded these three are the world’s best telecom stocks, and I want to own all three of them. Vodafone and Verizon should be seen as sister stocks, and you should own both of them, because Vodafone + Verizon = all of Verizon Wireless.

    Microsoft isn’t my favorite tech stock, and I don’t currently own it, but it has gone up 21% since last summer and plenty of pundits believe MSFT is coming out of its doldrums. Its operating system and office applications business is still a lucrative cash cow, but Microsoft probably has a better portfolio of cutting-edge businesses than the general public gives it credit for, and it’s wrong to think Microsoft only services the mature PC market. I agree the stock won’t move until the investing public changes its perception of MSFT as a “dead” stock, but you make money in this game by getting in ahead of the herd, and that perception will change when the herd sees Microsoft’s revenues and earnings expand from the contributions of its non-PC businesses. Meanwhile, you’re collecting a 3% dividend, and you couldn’t ask for a more financially solid company.

    In the tech area, though, I currently own IBM and Intel (which people think of as a PC-chip company, but in fact is selling a large and growing number of chips for mobile devices), and I also like (but don’t own) Oracle.

  39. 58

    Michael spews:

    Dear Rep. DeBolt, Andy Billig, the sponsor of this bill, is from Spokane. The bill it’s self arrises from a situation in in Spokane. If anything the Democrats are pushing a Spokane solution on you.

    House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, accused Billig and other Democrats of proposing a “cookie cutter solution” — and even worse a Seattle solution.

    “We have Seattle pushing its rules on the rest of Washington,” DeBolt complained. Seattle can limit their contributions and “gum up their works.”