Saturday, June 25, 2011

No Don and Doug on June 30th

After doing the show for more than six months, we're taking a week off.

Not a big deal. Just a little break from show prep and a little time for reflection. It'll also give me a chance to do some technical stuff to the studio.

The June 23 show will remain in replay.

Don and I will be back with a hard-charging, fresh show July 7th.

The Army Corps of Engineers picked a swell time to buy land

Government can't manage what it has. But it wants more. 

Now the Army Corps of Engineers seeks to acquire additional river land in the Midwest.

The move has some people fearing the worst when it comes to government intent.

The Kansas City Star notes the offer to buy had "unfortunate timing":

A copy of the letter, obtained by The Star, showed the Army Corps offering to buy private land along the Missouri River for a wildlife conservation project. The letter was dated June 6, when floodwaters were beginning to rise.

Kansas City's KMBC TV also carried a report where land owners air suspicions of the timing.

A corps spokesman told KMBC: "We clearly understand this may appear insensitive to some folks who are fighting the flood. It should not have gone out at this time, but it did."

Prior to revelations about the pitch to buy river lands, the corps' performance in regards to this year's record flooding had already been called into question.

Earlier this week, American Thinker had a piece entitled "The Purposeful Flooding of America's Heartland" which called into  question  whether the corps deliberately held off in making timely releases from upstream reservoirs that might have lessened the impact of this year's floods.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"The government doesn't create jobs. It creates debt."

Some thoughts on our economy from Senator Ron Johnson (R-PA), who says President Obama lacks the background and experience to know how the American ecomy works:


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama's gaffe at Fort Drum

No excuse. Absolutely no excuse for Thursday's gaffe by President Barack Obama at Fort Drum, New York.

Don Dickinson, a retired US Army Colonel of Infantry, says those responsible for the president's remarks should resign after the president's blunder.

Here's about five minutes of Don's rant from Thursday's Don and Doug show:

The complete show is available here:

Our segment on Fort Drum begins about 42 minutes into the program.

As for the president's comment to soldiers that "I've got your back," Don says that's something a senior would never say to a junior in the army. Completely inappropriate coming from the Commander in Chief.

Update 6/24/20011:

ABC News reports President Obama has apologized to the family of Jared Monti:

On his Facebook page this evening, Monti's father, Paul, posted: "FYI- President Barack Obama telephoned me personally this afternoon to apologize for his error in his speech to the 10th mountain division re: Jared's medal ceremony. Apology accepted."

The apology still doesn't explain the sloppiness by those at the White House who planned the President's visit to Fort Drum or prepared his remarks.

Is the EPA making a Cloward Piven play against utilities?

New EPA regulations are forcing more utilities to close of more electrical power plants. 

We've posted before about the record number of coal-fired electric plants being forced to shut down due to increasingly stringent enviromental regulations. Today, reports the cost we pay for electricity will likely skyrocket as a result of plant closures.

If the trend of plant closures continues, at some point, we'll end up with insufficient capacity to meet needs. 

The system will be overwhelmed. 

Shut out in the Congress, EPA zealots favoring Cap and Trade are using a regulatory approach to get what they want. They claim new regs are necessary for cleaner air. But what if the goal is something more? What if if a Cloward Piven game is in play to overwhelm the system? 

Perhaps EPA insiders believe sky-high electic bills, coupled with brownouts and blackouts, will eventually deliver  public demand for what is politically out of their reach right now: A government controlled system for the rationing of electrical power. 

For those not prone to conspiracy theories, consider the bottom line:

Government claims to favor a growing economy, while at the same time eliminates energy assets needed to power that growth. And with so many power assets being forced off-line, even our economic status-quo may soon be at risk.

Obama doubles down on his Libyan folly

Bad enough President Obama carried us into an unauthorized war. Now he compounds his mistake by using our strategic oil reserve to mask the damage done.

Chances are good, if left alone, the political situation in Libya would have stabilized. Gaddafi would have remained in power, but Libyan oil would have resumed its flow to Europe.

Instead of driving Gaddafi from power, NATO's bombing in Libya has resulted in significant long-term oil supply disruptions.

The International Energy Agency is stepping in to supply 60 million barrels of oil to offset lost production. Mr. Obama has pledged 30 million barrels from America's strategic reserve as part of the effort.

This is not a wise move.

With current levels of unrest and uncertainty in the Middle East, this is not a time to draw down America's reserves for anything less than a full-scale meltdown crisis.

Mr Obama's use of our strategic supply compounds his Libyan folly.

Congress must act quickly to use the War Powers Act to reign in the president's actions.

Tonight's (June 23) topics for Don and Doug

Update: The White House decision regarding the strategic oil reserve is now in tonight's mix as well.

We're on at 8:00pm EDT on Among tonight's topics:

Obama's troop draw-down:  He started with 36,000 troops in Afghanistan. Bumped levels up to 100,000. Now says he'll bring 33,000 home. That still leaves forces on the ground nearly double what Obama started with. Exit strategy or political gimmick?

Unlike the Bush surge in Iraq, the Afghanistan surge resulted in greatly higher US casualties, and the casualty numbers remain much higher today then when Obama took office.
The Obama administration's has instituted a new policy of 'prosecutorial discretion' when it comes to immigration reform. Some say it's a 'Dream Act' by executive order. Is this designed to counter state efforts to crack down on illegal immigration?
The ATF appears in disarray. Sources said the acting director would resign. But he says no. Does this suggest the administration can't figure out how to contain an ever escalating scandal? 
The darn economy won't cooperate. Bernanke admits things are beyind his grasp.

Meanwhile, Dems are calling for another stimulus! Think of it as additional props for their Potemkin recovery. Without stimulus, the illusion of recovery likely will fail to extend through the election.
And we'll update where Congress stands on enforcing the War Powers Act. Speaker Boehner tried sitting in the middle, but House members now push for limits on Libyan intervention. Don't look for GOP leadership in the senate to provide clear direction.

The live call-in line is 678-344-9926. Agree or disagree, give us a call!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Economic news bears watching

A few brief points with links:

Ben Bernanke says he can't explain the recent 'soft patch' in the economy. 

Democrats want a new stimulus. The intent seems to be to prop up the economy they own to get 'em through next year's election.

And the government appears to be looking for ways to mask how back things are about to get. A revision of the Consumer price index is being proposed. 

There's more out there. And more to come. Keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grassley blows 10 gauge size hole through ATF myth

While it's true thousands of guns recovered in Mexico have origins in the United States, it now appears trace data shows a vast majority of those guns did not pass through U.S. retailers like the Obama administration and the gun control crowd is fond of telling us.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) makes the disclosure in a news release and letter to the acting director of  the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Grassley accuses the agency of selectively cherry-picking data to misrepresent the origin of weapons recovered and traced:

"In his letter, Grassley provides a further break down of data of firearms tracing information, including a catchall category called “No Final Sale Dealer” in the ATF’s own eTrace system, which means the firearms did not trace back to a Federal Firearms Licensee. Astonishingly, nearly 78 percent of firearms traced in 2009 and 66 percent of firearms traced in 2010 were not traced to a United States licensed gun dealer. Grassley points out that these guns instead are likely sold to foreign countries or militaries requiring approval of the State Department and Homeland Security." 

Looks like Grassley is tapping into data ATF would prefer to leave undisclosed.

Grassley's full news release and his letter to Acting Director Melson is available here.

Junk yard sends a message

I recently noticed an auto salvage yard I pass frequently appears to have installed an electrified fence to prevent theft.

It's a bad sign when yesterday's scrap has become today's treasure and must be guarded as such.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Update on Gunwalker

I haven't written much on the ATF Gunwalker scandal lately.

There's been plenty to follow including hearings this week by the House Oversight Committee under the direction of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

No longer the exclusive domain of a few bloggers, Gunwalker (also known as "Fast and Furious") news can now be found in stories at the New York Times and columns at the Washington Post.

Still, there continues to be plenty of inside scoop from those who broke the story at Mike Vanderboegh's blog Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Codrea's National Gun Rights Examiner.

For those who clamor for additional documented details, a copy of a report compiled for the House Oversight Committee can be accessed here.

Stay tuned. There will be more to come.

'Unemployed' Romney rebounds after comment

Democrats attempted to seize on Mitt Romney's comment Thursday that he's unemployed.

Say what you will about the quip, Romney probably got far more attention than he would have without it.

And he was able to spin the criticism well to his advantage.

Here's Romney's response when asked about the comment at a campaign stop in Georgia:

I'm not a huge fan of Romney's run. But I think he handled himself well Thursday.

Romney's comments were featured in the second hour of June 16's Don and Doug show. The show's currently in replay at

By request, a transcript

Some have asked for transcipt of the city worker's soundbite comments in my earlier post.

I can't guarantee 100 percent accuracy. But this should be pretty close to it:

Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. 
When are you gonna say, 'add something to 'em.'

It's frustrating. It's hell in my heart at night.
I can't sleep. This is a bunch of bullshit. And y'all know it.

You need to hear how employees hurt.
I got two grandchildren that don't have a daddy (unintelligble). I got to be their daddy. 
And then, at the end of the year, I ain't got nothing to provide for 'em. 

You tell me how to provide for 'em, Adrean (Yolanda Adrean, Chair, city council finance committee).
You're living in Buckhead (an affluent northside Atlanta neighborhood), you might got a little money. 

Get us some damn money. Cuz it take money to make it. 

I'm tired of y'all playing games with my heartbeat.
Everyday. Gotta worry about a pension. We gotta be worried about going to work.
We should be worrying about working. Not (??) for a damn pension.

Y'all know it's wrong.
Do the right thing.

Get your heart right, honey.

Democrat "reforms" put the economy in lockdown

Mitt Romney made the case Thursday on a campaign visit to Smyrna, Georgia.

Give a listen:

Businesses can't function if they don't know what the rules are. Or what the rules will be six months to five years down the line.

The Reid-Pelosi Congress loved to tout its rapid fire reforms of 2009 and 2010.

Now that those bills have become law, we get to see how flawed they were.

Articulating desperation in America today

Want a taste of the desperation that's out there as a result of America's rotten economy?

Check out this employee who appeared before an Atlanta public hearing as the city considers reforming its pension plan:

(Update: Transcript now available here)

Don Dickinson and I dissected the woman's comments in last night's show.

While she expresses an Obama-like call to spread the wealth around, her desperation and frustration with life and the economy are very real.

It's obvious the Democrats' stimulus and touted economic recovery haven't reached her.

The Obama-induced hope, as expressed by Peggy Joseph at a 2008 campaign rally, is gone.

Stimulus spending didn't work. The economy appears moving into a double dip.

But this time around, patience - as well as our treasury - is exhausted.

The decline of America seems to be coming at an ever increasing pace.

Have you planned for the next leg down?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Topics for tonight (June 16) with Don and Doug

Plenty to talk about this week. Here are a few of the likely topics for tonight's show on

Obama gets some ridicule for his comment about ATMs stealing jobs. Most assume it was simply a flippant remark. But the comment may have its roots in a clearly documented Marxist philosophy. We'll explore it.

Why have members of Congress had to resort to the courts to enforce aspects of the War Powers Act? Why has House leadership failed to act with its designated authority?

We'll also have some reaction to the New Hampshire GOP debate. Was it a valuable means to inform voters? Or are debates this early a media attempt to limit the field and shape opinion? We note Democrats wasted no time taking the debate's content out of context.

And we'll have a raging soundbite from an Atlanta City Council public hearing. Lookout, Buckhead. At least one city employee wants more of your money.

Have a topic you'd like to talk about?

The call-in number for tonight's show is 678-344-9926.  Don and I will be live starting at 8:00 pm EDT.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Was Obama's quip about ATMs rooted in a classic Marxist theme?

Unemployment is up because teller machines and other automated services have replaced human workers.

That's the assessment of President Barack Obama. His comments aired on NBC's Today show.

To those who have studied Marxism, it's a common theme.

Here's a sample page from a Marxist tract published in 1960:

                                                        From Hathi Trust Digital Library

Here's another example of automation vilification  from 1965 as transcribed by the Marxists Internet Archive:

"The automated equipment of the future will, like that of the present, become instruments for the exploitation of the working class in the interest of the owning class. Automation will neither destroy capitalism nor change its nature into something beneficial to humanity."

In another archive, a Marxist article from 1992 states:

"There was a time when it was hoped that the mere development of technical and industrial progress, the increase in mechanization and automation, would contribute to the well-being of the masses. This has once again shown itself to be a hollow mockery. The truth is that the development of higher and more sophisticated technology under capitalism doesn't contribute to the welfare of the masses but on the contrary, throws them into greater misery."

Many see Mr. Obama's comment about ATMs as nothing more than a silly, flippant  remark.

But these seemingly flippant words  may provide a glimpse into the deeper mindset of our president. And a hint at the kind of philosophies he embraced as a college student who, by his own admission, sought out Marxist professors as his friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For those who think DeKalb reassessments are too low

Comparable sales and listings of real estate for sale are good indicators of a property's worth.

While sales provide the real benchmark,  listings of properties being offered can often provide a solid secondary estimate. If a house is priced too high, it won't sell.

There's a property listed for sale at 4240 Lindsey Drive, Decatur, GA 30035.  Two bedroom, one bath.  Built in 1853. The listing says it was recently renovated and "shows like new."

Asking price is $19,000. The listing says the price is reduced. They tried asking for more, but apparently couldn't get it.

DeKalb County's updated reassessment put a $33,400 price on the house. That's down from last year's assessment of $74,700.

Even with the drastic drop in its tax assessed value, this house still looks way overvalued on the county's books.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Emotions overrule logic as property values fall

More silly people beg DeKalb County to raise their property tax assessments.

Assessments are based on 'comparable sales.' 

Asking the county to artificially inflate your tax assessment won't restore lost value. It just means you'll be over-taxed on what you have left.

Obama's EPA shutting down more power plants

American Electrical Power is the latest U.S. utility to announce it will close power plants as the result of more stringent rules and requirements for costly upgrades from the Environmental Protection Agency.

AEP made this disclosure in a news release June 9:

AEP’s current plan for compliance with the rules as proposed includes permanently retiring the following coal-fueled power plants:
  • Glen Lyn Plant, Glen Lyn, Va. – 335 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
  • Kammer Plant, Moundsville, W.Va. – 630 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
  • Kanawha River Plant, Glasgow, W.Va. – 400 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014);
  • Phillip Sporn Plant, New Haven, W.Va. – 1,050 MW (450 MW expected to retire in 2011, 600 MW retired by Dec. 31, 2014); and
  • Picway Plant, Lockbourne, Ohio – 100 MW (retired by Dec. 31, 2014).

In addtion, power generation will be reduced or halted at a number of other plants while they are upgraded,  retrofitted, or see parts of their generation capacity closed for good:

AEP would retire generating units at the following locations but continue operating some generation at the sites:

  • Big Sandy Plant, Louisa, Ky. – Units 1 and 2 (1,078 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014;
  • Big Sandy Unit 1 would be rebuilt as a 640-MW natural gas plant by Dec. 31, 2015;
  • Clinch River Plant, Cleveland, Va. – Unit 3 (235 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 2 (470 MW total) would be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 422 MW by Dec. 31, 2014;
  • Conesville Plant, Conesville, Ohio – Unit 3 (165 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2012; Units 5 and 6 (800 MW total) would continue operating with retrofits;
  • Muskingum River Plant, Beverly, Ohio – Units 1-4 (840 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Muskingum River Unit 5 (600 MW) may be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 510 MW by Dec. 31, 2014, depending on regulatory treatment in Ohio;
  • Tanners Creek Plant, Lawrenceburg, Ind. – Units 1, 2 and 3 (495 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Unit 4 (500 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits; and
  • Welsh Plant, Pittsburg, Texas – Unit 2 (528 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 3 (1,056 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits.
The two coal-fueled generating units at Northeastern Plant (935 MW) in Oolagah, Okla., would be idled for a year or more while emission reduction equipment is installed. Both units would be idled beginning Jan. 1, 2016. One unit would return to service by Dec. 31, 2016. The other unit would return to service by Dec. 31, 2017.

This announcement by AEP is on top of other closures announced previously in other states.

In March, Georgia Power announced it would close two coal-fired units to comply with EPA regulations.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is also shedding capacity.  The utility said in April it will retire 18 older coal-fired generation units at three power plants to comply with EPA regulations.

And the utility serving Marietta, Ohio is closing a plant. American Municipal Power announced last year it expects to close the Gorsuch Generation Plant by December 2012.

This list is not intended to be an exhaustive tally of plant closures. Other utilities are considering similar moves.

How many brownouts and blackouts will result from these major blows to national power generation assets?

As these plants close, jobs are lost. Tax revenue from the plants and their operations also goes away.

Because it takes a time to shutter these units, we will not see the real impact of the closures until President Obama is out of office, or perhaps well into a second term.

The dismantling of our country's coal-generated electric infrastructure was promised by our president.

We will pay the price for this folly somewhere in our not too distant future.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jim Rogers: The next crisis will be worse

Jim Rogers, noted author, investor and financial commentator, makes the observation that we've blown so much on purported fixes for the 2008 crisis, there's little left to deal with the next one.

And history tells us, these things come in cycles. There will be a next crisis...

From CNBC:

When 'recession proof' business goes bust

We used to have businesses that most folks considered "recession proof." Businesses that offered goods or services that there would always be a need for.

Places like hair salons, car washes, or child care centers.

Sad to report, I'm seeing more vacant buildings where "recession proof" businesses used to be.

Allegedly, we pulled out of  recession months ago. But I go by what I see on the streets more than what I read in government stats.

The more "recession proof" businesses we see fail, the more people should question whether we're dealing with something deeper than recession.

                       The sign says this now closed child care facility is available  
                       for sublease in Snellville, Georgia 30039  

Plenty to talk about tonight

Tonight (June 9th) at 8:00 o'clock with Don and Doug:

We've been saying it months. Now others catch on:
More Americans fear a full blown economic depression.

We'll have more hyper-local real estate data that shows for some,
Depression may have already arrived.

And you'll never guess who Homeland Security now prioritizes
When looking for "homegrown" terrorists.
(Okay, so maybe you will)

Other topics as they come up.

Join the live conversation tonight at 8:00 pm EDT here on

The live call-in line: 678-344-9926.

Prior to the show, you can leave a voice mail  at 404-981-1775.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The unraveling economy featured on tonight's (June 2) show

Housing prices are bleak, and appear to be falling even more.

People who thought they escaped the downturn are seeing how much of their wealth has vanished as new property assessments arrive.

Meanwhile, job creation has stagnated.

I had a guy approach me in the parking lot of a home improvement store yesterday. He carried a small box of jewelry he pulled from a pocket. Would you buy gold from a guy in a parking lot?

These are not normal times. Let's talk about it.

Join the conversation with Don and myself tonight at 8:00 pm EDT at