Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ATF's Melson is no longer ATF

Ken Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was reassigned to a new job in the Justice Department today.

The Washington Post is among those reporting the move comes amid a federal gunrunning probe where ATF agents allowed guns to walk into the hands of Mexican cartels. The U.S. attorney in Phoenix is also out of a job.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was one of the early advocates of pushing the probe. In an emailed statement, Grassley has this response to today's move:

“Today’s announcement is an admission by the Obama administration that serious mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, and is a step in the right direction that they are continuing to limit any further damage that people involved in this disastrous strategy can do.
 “There’s a lot of blame to go around. As our investigation moves forward, and we get to the bottom of this policy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more fall out beyond the resignations and new assignments announced today.
 “The Justice Department and the ATF have yet to answer a majority of the questions and still must produce many of the documents Congressman Issa and I have asked for.  We’re looking for a full accounting from the Justice Department as to who knew what and when, so we can be sure that this ill-advised strategy never happens again.”

CBS News also has a detailed account of today's Melson resignation including the text of a Melson memo announcing his job change.

The Fast and Furious scandal, aka Gunwalker, first came to national attention through the work bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh. They persisted in advancing the story when the mainstream media wouldn't touch it. We blogged about Codrea and Vanderbeogh's role in breaking the scandal back in February.

How serious is the left about disrupting America?

Some left-leaning video makers apparently have high hopes for massive demonstrations beginning next month.

September 17th on Wall Street. And beginning October 6th in DC.

As of today, I don't sense mass numbers of Americans getting off their sofas, and turning their backs on a new TV season, to join in.

That's not to say protest organizers won't draw a mob or two. Here are a few videos making the rounds in apparent attempts to recruit participants:


Here's a link to one entitled Piss on Washington (I yanked the embed after second thoughts due to the nature of the images).

Are these examples of  hype and overreach? Or do promoters of these events really have the means to deliver what they promise?

Revised 8/30/2011 8:48 am EDT

Monday, August 29, 2011

Obama and the Irene response

The president wanted to be seen as being on top of things. Over the weekend, a photo op was arranged showing Mr. Obama and FEMA bosses monitoring Hurricane Irene, and preparing to rush a response.

White House photo

Perhaps the response was a little too aggressive in some areas.

There's a video going viral that shows a New Jersey National Guard relief column getting in a little over its head.

Those in the convoy were eventually rescued with the help of a ladder from the local fire department. The local newspaper got pictures. Here's another shot of a rescuer waiting to be rescued.

We don't know if the unit was following specific orders, and if it was, who gave those orders.

But images of submerged trucks rolling down a street, along with all the storm hype of the weekend, leads me to wonder. Is there any chance political concerns and other hype got ahead of reasonable logistics in responding to Irene?

updated and revised 8/29/2011 7:50pm EDT

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is government a family?

The Obama administration seems to think so.

Fox (and former CNN) correspondent Ed Henry just made the following observations on Twitter:
edhenryTV Ed Henry
@edatpost notes that federal agencies, esp @FEMA, started branding of "Federal Family" and now WH is picking up on it
1 minute ago

edhenryTV Ed Henry
WH press office just sent 14-pager on what they call "Federal Family's Preparations & Response" to #Irene. People dislike gov't, drop name
2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

edhenryTV Ed Henry
Branding alert: Interesting how WH dropped word "government" out of talk of fed government's response to #Irene. Calling it "federal family"

Alas, it appears the public's perception of government has fallen so low under this administration that the administration now avoids even using the word.

But it's more than that. Does anyone beside me find it kind of creepy the Obama team is trying to sell us on its style of Big Brother federal government as "family"?

Quick thought on cartel violence in Mexico

Drug violence grows in Mexico as Mexican cartels become more entrenched and control more of the illegal drug trade in US cities. 

It seems that when more money is at stake, the cartels fight harder among themselves for market share. 

If the US really clamped down on the border, and cut the flow of northbound drugs and southbound cash, might Mexico settle down?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gibson responds to federal raids

Gibson has issued a statement regarding the most recent raids guitar factory raids by federal agents:

Gov’t says wood is illegal if U.S. workers produce it 
Thursday, August 25, 2011 
The Justice department bullies Gibson without filing charges 
The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India. 
On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants. 
Raid shut down Gibson factories and cost company moneyThis is the second time that federal agents have raided Gibson facilities and disrupted production – this time causing lost productivity and sales. 
Wood seized was Forest Stewardship Council ControlledThe wood the Government seized on August 24 is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and is FSC Controlled, meaning that the wood complies with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an industry-recognized and independent, not-for-profit organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC Controlled Wood standards require, among other things, that the wood not be illegally harvested and not be harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. See www.fsc.org for more information. Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards. 
Nearly two years later, no charges have been filedIn 2009, more than a dozen agents with automatic weapons invaded the Gibson factory in Nashville. The Government seized guitars and a substantial amount of ebony fingerboard blanks from Madagascar. To date, 1 year and 9 months later, criminal charges have NOT been filed, yet the Government still holds Gibson’s property. Gibson has obtained sworn statements and documents from the Madagascar government and these materials, which have been filed in federal court, show that the wood seized in 2009 was legally exported under Madagascar law and that no law has been violated. Gibson is attempting to have its property returned in a civil proceeding that is pending in federal court.
The Justice Department has asked the judge to stop the court case indefinitely 
Information sought in raid was already made availableSince 2009, Gibson has fully cooperated with the Government’s investigation of wood and has provided substantial documentation regarding Gibson’s wood-buying activities over the years. Yet, the Federal Government raided Gibson’s facilities on August 24, 2011, without warning or communication of any kind. Had the Government simply communicated with Gibson, Gibson would have cooperated without having to stop its production and send workers home.
Not about illegal logging, not about conservation, not about the environmentThe U.S. Lacey Act does not directly address conservation issues but is about obeying all laws of the countries from which wood products are procured. This law reads that you are guilty if you did not observe a law even though you had no knowledge of that law in a foreign country. The U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated.
Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rightsGibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of ANY wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.

If Guitars are outlawed, only outlaws will have guitars

If you think the government is heavy handed with gun control, you haven't seen anything.

The federal government now targets guitars, even antique ones, as enemies of the environment.

The Wall Street Journal reports federal agents raided Gibson Guitar facilities on Wednesday:  
"It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next. 
"If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood. Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution."
According to the Journal, possessing old pianos can also make you a criminal in they eyes of the federal government:
"There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling. 
"Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation."
Government is out of control. If it's coming for our guitars and pianos, what will government come for next?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another gimmick to gloss over housing woes

The Obama administration apparently releases yet another trial balloon to get America's mind off the worsening housing slump.

According to the New York Times, someone inside the administration (probably more than one of 'em) still seems to think pumping lots of loose cash into the re-fi market is the way to go.

What's the goal here? Giving consumers another turn at the free money trough prior to voting in November 2012?

Easy money got us into this mess. Spreading around more will only dig us deeper.

Why not let real estate set its own price?

Rather than move to artificially stimulate things and make them look better than they are, why not let housing fall to a level where people will buy? For many, it could be the chance of a lifetime.

Houses in many communities can now be had for under 10-grand. Sometimes under five grand.

Why not encourage people of modest means to buy at these levels?

Savvy do-it-yourselfers could renovate many of these homes into nice, livable abodes for just a few thousand more. Maybe private charties along the line Habitat for Humanity could assist families with renovation know-how.

Think about it. For about what most people pay in rent for a year, a family could buy a house that's theirs to keep free and clear.

I know of an immigrant family who came to the U.S. just a decade or two ago. They saved. Bought a foreclosure. Renovated. They own the American dream. No mortgage.

Why can't lifelong Americans catch the same vision?

Many simply don't see the possibility. We've been conditioned to be in debt. Mortgages are an assumed necessity. But are they really?

Nothing would create stability in our communities more than growing numbers of people who own their own homes free and clear. Think of the disposable income that people would have if they didn't have to pay rent or a mortgage.

Government hasn't caught the vision yet. Based on the latest reported proposal, government's still trying to reinvent the house as an ATM model.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some wild rhetoric over Georgia redistricting

Black Democrat lawmakers toss allegations as a state legislature dominated by Republicans draws new maps for House and Senate districts and Georgia's Congressional seats.

State Senator Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) accuses Republicans of apartheid in the process. Fort says Republicans are trying to colonize Fulton County.

Uh huh. I'm not making this up.

Thursday night, Don and Doug will talk about this and other rhetoric Democrats have used in recent weeks.

Join Don and Doug for live political talk at 8:00pm EDT Thursday night on TalkSouthRadio.com.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Is this a campaign commercial?

Is Sarah Palin in the presidential race? This certainly looks like a campaign commercial:

If she's gonna get in, she should get in. There's a point where all the teasing becomes a distraction. Perpetual teasing becomes annoying. And annoyance alienates voters.

Georgia Democrats rally at the capitol

Participant sign at the Democrat rally
Georgia Democrats turned out this morning for their highly touted "Hope and Unity Rally" on the steps of the Georgia Capitol this morning.

You had to know Tea Party mockery would be part of the agenda. One sign especially seemed to capture a sense of Democrat delusion:

Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends 

Are Dems still in denial that real Tea Party voters turned out in November 2010? 

Do they doubt the same Tea Partiers and their real friends will return to cast ballots in 2012?

FBI team targets Georgia corruption

The Associated Press broke a story this morning that the FBI has created a special squad to investigate corruption among Georgia's legislators and judges.

No hint in the story what corruption is alleged, or who the targets may be.

But it is an interesting development in our era of hyper-partisan politics.

The FBI falls under the domain of the Democrat-controlled Department of Justice in Washington.

Georgia's state government is overwhelmingly in the hands of elected Republicans.

Who knows, maybe the FBI is going after corrupt Democrats. Years ago, a Republican appointed U.S. Attorney named Bob Barr targeted public corruption by going after Democrats and Republicans alike. Republican Congressman Pat Swindall was the biggest to fall as the result of those corruption probes.

But, in this hyper-partisan climate, there's a part of me suspicious of a Democrat-controlled federal government that now sees fit to target a state where all state-wide elected officials, and a majority of the legislature, are Republican. Especially when it goes about it in a very public way.

The public push comes with a major election just over a year away. That's plenty of time to bring indictments. But would it give enough time to allow the accused to have resolution in court prior to the big vote?

No word if similar FBI squads are being formed in other states.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The president looks serious

Has the White House done a poll to tell them the latest Obama vacation isn't going over so well?

Official White House photo
For whatever reason, we're not seeing golf shots or bike ride photos on this outing (at least not yet). Instead the White House has released a shot of what appears to be a very serious president.

The photo, posted at the Flickr.com, is accompanied by this caption:

"President Barack Obama receives a national security briefing from John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism, in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Aug. 19, 2011."

Have you seen the Obama postcards?

The Republican National Committee is having a little fun - and fundraising - with an Obama vacation theme. 

The RNC has put out a series of online Obama vacation postcards. Here are a few examples: 

From: RNC
From: RNC
From: RNC

As of 10:00am EDT on Friday, the RNC postcard site says over 43,000 have been sent.

Fuel efficiency standards have costs

The Obama administration recently announced ever more stringent fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. In doing so, it touts the fuel to be saved as a result of requiring cars, trucks and buses to go farther on a gallon of gas.

But the administration doesn't tell you about the trade-off: That the entry price to get into one of those new vehicles may skyrocket.

CNS News delves into the cost issue:
The Obama Administration’s new fuel economy standards will cause the retail price of average motor vehicles to increase over $11,000, according to a study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research.
The CNS article is available in full here.

Mandating higher vehicle prices in good times is a trade-off. In bad economic times, it's madness. We're being steered in a direction where new vehicles may go farther on a gallon, but be less efficient in performing their basic functions. 

Buses will run slower. Trucks carry less freight. Cars will be smaller.

Vehicle makers may begin to downplay the U.S. market by offering only a portion of their product lines to American buyers. Or offer us special under-powered models, while offering full-power vehicles to other nations.

And additional costs at point-of-purchase will likely mean businesses and individuals will defer vehicle replacement whenever possible. 

Worn and dirty vehicles will stay on the road longer.

We may be on the road to becoming another Cuba where families pass their aging road relics down from generation to generation.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My cat and cancer story

Did you see this story from Reuters?

Study finds that sniffer dogs can smell out lung cancer 

I don't doubt it one bit.

Nearly four years ago, a tiny bump appeared on my neck. I dismissed it as a lymph node allergic reaction. My cat didn't.

Thumper, my cat with attitude and a gift

Darn cat began to harass the lump and me. He'd swat it, or gently touch it with his paw when within reach.

If I was sleeping, he would give me kittycat body slams to the neck. Literally throw himself at the lump.

Okay, cat. If it bugs you so much, I'll get it checked.

Turns out it was cancer. Started in a tonsil. Spread to the lymph node.

But we caught it in time. No sign of recurrence since my treatment, using both radiation and chemo, wrapped up three years ago last May.

The cat's obsession stopped shortly after treatment began.

So, I'm a big believer that some animals can, at times, detect cancer.

And yes, I dearly love my cat.

Tonight's short show pitch

Tonight (August 18th) with Don and Doug:

When a farmer expressed concern about new farming regulation under consideration in Washington, the president told him not to worry.

"If you hear something's happening but it hasn't happened, don't always believe what you hear."

Fact is, federal rules and regulations have mushroomed under Obama.

Businesses ranging from gun dealers to power plants to home improvement contractors to coal miners have been socked with extra regulatory requirements. We'll go into detail tonight. And give you an idea what it is costing all of us.

We'll also talk about Obama's big black bus tour... The surprising Congressional Black Caucus road show in Detroit... and anything else that comes to mind.

Join us tonight at 8:00pm EDT for Don and Doug on TalkSouthRadio.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One of Obama's scarier comments

Did you hear what Obama said to the farmer?

The farmer expressed concern about talk of new farming regulation coming out of DC.

The president's response?

"If you hear something's happening but it hasn't happened, don't always believe what you hear."

From: Fox Nation

The core of the exchange hits about 54 seconds into the video.

How many new rules and regs have come out of his administration? How many industries have been impacted by changing rules since he came into office?

Yet this president tells Americans to stick their heads in the sand. He tells us to ignore what we see happening.

Mr. Obama appears to prefer a sleeping American population. Or at least a very inattentive one.

The president who promised change now wants us to believe it's not happening.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Obama rides in a big black bus

I've seen hearses with more color.

Here's a photo of the bus at the Seattle Times website.

This is supposed to energize the nation and create jobs?

You can't have a peppy campaign bus tour (you know that's what this was meant to be irregardless of what they call it) without a bright peppy campaign bus. No one at the White House thought of that?

So what we get is a presidential bus tour in a bus that would make Darth Vader feel at home.

Welcome to the dark side, people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Obama lecture

Barack Obama's at it again. Lecturing automakers about low mileage vehicles, imploring them to give up their profitable focus on small trucks and sport utility vehicles.

“You can’t just make money on SUVs and trucks,” says Obama, quoted in a story at TheHill.com. “There is a place for SUVs and trucks, but as gas prices keep on going up, you have got to understand the market. People are going to try to save money.”


These are the words of a president who's launching a bus tour using what's probably among the poorest performing miles-per-gallon vehicles on the road - an armor plated bus.

Why a bus tour Mr. President? Seems a Chevy Volt tour would be more in-line with your preaching.

I've rebranded the blog

Many of the posts here feature comments or thoughts previously discussed on Don and Doug shows. Other posts are about topics to be featured on an upcoming one.

I've rebranded my blog with the easier to remember RadioShowNotes and am using a new URL of  www.radioshownotes.com.

If you live what you read here, or hear on the show, I'd appreciate your telling a friend about both of  'em.

Preparing for an American apocalypse?

RT, a Moscow-based network targeting a U.S. audience had a segment about Americans who are prepping for what the network described as the end of the world.

Oh my.

Source: YouTube.com   (Hat Tip: NoisyRoom.net)

I suspect the report takes things to the extreme for a bit of implied mockery. You don’t need 10-grand to get ahead of the curve.

Put in more simple terms, think about what you may need two weeks, a month, six months or a year in advance. It’s okay, probably advisable, to start small. Work your way up as your comfort level grows.

Ask yourself: What can I acquire today that I may need tomorrow, but that might not be available then?

You don’t have to be a “prepper” to think ahead. Many of our grandparents stored enough food and other necessities to last a season. And their norm has been the norm for most of civilized history.

Yes, even the U.S. government advises some degree of prepping. I saw this PSA on TV last night:

It’s only been in the past generation or two that most people have come to expect instant availability of necessities. Few people today take the time to ponder how a slight “burp” in the supply chain, for many different reasons, can disrupt that new expectation.

Many in Atlanta were shocked last winter when a snow storm emptied grocery shelves and trucks couldn’t get out to make resupply.

Having “just a little extra” at home can help avoid panic, and help you and your family weather all kinds of storms.

Think food and toilet paper before stuff like guns. But as recent riots in England (and the way the British scrambled to buy baseball bats and shovels) showed, planning for self defense is not an unreasonable precaution.

Growing the deficit

Found these tid-bits in today's newsletter at MoneyandMarkets.com:
In 2007, Washington spent $1.06 for every one dollar in revenue it took in. 
In 2008, that ratio climbed to $1.18 for every $1.

In 2009, The U.S. government spent $1.67 for every dollar in revenues.

In 2010, it spent $1.60 for every $1 it had.
 And this year, the Congressional Budget Office says we're on track to spend $1.63 for every $1 of revenue.
Source: http://www.moneyandmarkets.com

No way taxes could be raised to match the growth in spending. The key to our fiscal salvation is to drastically cut government outlays. But the politicians in office won't allow cuts it in any meaningful way. Too much of their power and popularity is now purchased with deficit dollars.

Even with the recent debt deal, spending versus revenues this year will be higher than last. And we never get surpluses that would allow us to pay down the debt that was previously accumulated.

The system and its direction are not sustainable. How much longer can the facade last that it is?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rick Perry's in

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his weekend. He's in the Republican race for the presidential nomination.

His first ad showed up online in conjunction with the announcement.

It's a rock solid campaign pitch:

                                                                                                                                                     From: YouTube.com 

Performer mocks Republicans. Does she see the empty seats?

We went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter at Atlanta's Chastain Ampitheater last night.

Good show. But I'm a little disappointed the performer used her stage as a political soapbox to take some quickie shots at a few Republicans:

"This next song is so old... so old that Newt Gingrich was still married to his first wife."

"I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said Palin-Bachmann - No Brainer..."

I've seen Carpenter's act at Chastain before. She used to draw a packed house.

Last night? Glancing around the venue, it appeared to me that as many as two-thirds of the seats were empty.

I don't blame the performer for the empty seats. She's always been a Chastain favorite. And she still puts on a solid show.

But she's gotta look out into those empty seats and see the economy has only got worse since Democrats crammed through their hope and change stimulus-driven agenda in 2009 and 2010.

Now, people must be more careful with their money. They don't blow as much on concert tickets. And companies that once bought season tickets to a concert series - to be handed out as employee perks or client favors - just can't do that in times like these.

Snarky comments about Republicans won't fill empty seats again.

A revived private sector under policies championed by conservatives like those mocked by the performer just might.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Amid strike, Verizon reports acts of sabotage

Excerpts from a Verizon press release:

Since Aug. 6, Verizon crews have encountered more than 90 acts of sabotage against network facilities.  These acts temporarily affected service to thousands of customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including police stations and other emergency responders.  In most of these cases, crews restored service within 24 hours...

The company is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the local New Jersey field office, to investigate these acts of sabotage.  The company also is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals who intentionally damage Verizon cables or facilities or cause or attempt to cause physical injury to any Verizon employee or contractor.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh great. Another real estate glut

Home sales are in the crapper. Have been for years now, and there's no sign of improvement coming any time soon.

So what's government's grand strategy?

Apparently, the federal government's looking at the idea of converting large numbers of the foreclosed houses it now owns into rentals rather than attempt a resale in flooded market.

Look out for unintended consequences.

If government goes into the rental business, or starts passing off bargain lots of houses to its friends, look for a  a new wave of foreclosures to happen.


Because landlords who've been struggling to stay afloat over the past few years may finally be pushed into default by a glut of new government-backed competitors.

Buying scrap gold

The price of gold is at an all time high.

And I just got another solicitation from a coin dealer seeking to buy scrap gold.

This tells me those in the biz think gold's got a lot more room to run.

By the way, in my book, there is no such thing as scrap gold. Especially in these times.

Looking for the fire escape

I'm hearing it more and more often.

People who've been self-employed, or who ran micro to small size businesses are calling it quits, looking for a way out.

Two years ago, when things were bad, I'd see home improvement contractors camped out in parking lots trying to drum up business when they had no jobs that day. Now, I'm seeing fewer professional vans and trucks in Home Depot and Lowe's parking lots. I suspect the vans are parked at home. Many have likely quit the biz.

Construction trades and real estate agents have been especially hard hit. But they're not the only ones. Consider how many indy shops have vanished from local shopping centers.

I've recently talked to folks in accounting and tax law professions. I ask 'em where the bright spots are, they say they don't have any. They say people are coming to them for exit strategies.

It looks like those who thought they could ride out the hard times are coming to the realization that there's nothing on the horizon to signal a lift. But there are plenty of signs more downside is in store.

For a growing number of once-prosperous people, the mindset today seems to be get out, and do what you can to preserve what you have left.

How's the blame game going? Don and Doug will update

Democrats continue to blame all that's wrong on the Tea Party. They blame the Tea Party for the nation's credit downgrade. Sounds increasingly hollow, doesn't it?

If it's not the Tea Party's fault, then blame it on the rich. In England, rioters have said the rich are the reason they've lashed out. Meanwhile, regular non-rioting Brits are scrambling for all kinds of improvised self-defense weapons. Guns are outlawed. So there's been a run on baseball bats and shovels.

Western Civilization has hit a rough patch. Is it too late to turn things around?

We'll also preview some of the political rallies planned outside the Georgia capitol in the coming weeks. One group says bring pitchforks. Another says bring guns. And a group of Democrats apparently plans to rally around a hope and unity theme that includes a call to get into trouble.

These and plenty of other topics are on tap for tonight's Don and Doug on TalkSouthRadio.com.

Join us at 8:00pm EDT for live conversation. The call-in number is 678-344-9926.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bats are big sellers in England right now

Improvised weapons are hot! Tech Chronicles is among blogs and news sites now touting England's new love for stuff like American baseball bats:    
Baseball bat sales soared in the last 24 hours on Amazon.co.uk, as the London riots stretched into a third day and spilled outside the city. 
The movers and shakers list for the "sports and leisure" category notes that sales of the "Rucanor Aluminium Baseball Bat" climbed 6,541 percent from yesterday.

Other improvised weapons also making the U.K. Amazon Movers and Shakers list include military style entrenching tools and hefty Maglite four-cell flashlights.

As of this morning, it appears Amazon in England has sold-out its inventory of purpose-specific crowd control batons. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ron Paul on the S&P downgrade

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) issued a statement early Saturday. In part, it says:   

“We have just learned that for the first time in our history, the United States’ top credit rating has been downgraded by credit rating agency S&P.
“We were told by proponents of increasing the debt ceiling that a credit downgrade would come if we didn’t raise the limit, but the opposite was true.
“The ratings agencies had been warning us for some time that it is imperative upon the U.S. government to get its fiscal house in order and tackle its debt and deficit problem by taking serious steps.
“Unfortunately, the game in Washington has been one of partisan blaming and bipartisan out-of-control spending.
“America has been dealing with this severe economic crisis for years because the Washington establishment failed to focus on the true issues at hand: a declining dollar and out-of-control spending.
Paul's statement can be read here in its entirety.

Ron Paul saw back in April that a credit downgrade was on the way. He went on the record with his assessment. At the same time, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was saying it wouldn't happen.

Which of the two now has more credibility?

Meanwhile, S&P signals another downgrade is possible in the next two years. 

Hang on folks. We're in uncharted waters. And the waves are kickin' up. The storm we saw from afar is no longer on the horizon. It's overtaking us.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The end may be beginning

Some ominous economic headlines today following last night's U.S. downgrade by S&P.

Here's just a couple:

It seems China grows impatient with mounting U.S. debt.

Harry Reid wants to exploit the crisis of the U.S. credit downgrade as an excuse to raise taxes.

And here's a flashback from April:

Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner promised in April there was no chance of a U.S. credit downgrade.

We've moved into uncharted territory. And promises from Washington sound increasingly hollow.

Real cuts to federal spending in the recent Congressional debt deal could have averted the downgrade and the fallout we're about to see.

Instead, it looks like the politicians deliberately delivered another calculated crisis to exploit.

Fast and Furious was a team effort

DEA coughs up regarding its involvement. The LA Times has a letter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Business now suffers in silence

I had a bit of a revelation during last night's show. 

When I covered local city governments as a reporter in Florida in the 1980s, the audience at most city council meetings always had a large contingent of the city's local business leaders. Even if there wasn't something specific on the agenda they were tracking, many of the towns "movers and shakers" faithfully attended sessions, spoke out offering advice both solicited and unsolicited. 

Today? Based on media reports and accounts of friends active in local politics, I suspect audiences in most local government are more likely to be comprised of self-professed activists, watchdogs and community organizers. The political power-base in the country has shifted from the productive segments to the entitlement-seeking segments. Even on the most local scale. 

It recently dawned on me that no media accounts spoke of business people attending recent public hearings over a local property tax hike. While their businesses may be hurt by a large spike in the tax rate, speaking publicly now carries too much risk of being labeled "greedy rich" if business airs its concerns in a public forum. Too many community organizers are too eager to pick targets to vilify, to protest, to boycott. So, even on the local levels, most business today remain mum on public issues, and attempts to carry on in silence. 

Silence only works for so long. Eventually, rising tax rates and policies skewed against business take their toll. And business either moves elsewhere or closes its doors altogether.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hope dashed. What's next?

We hate to say we told you so. But we probably will.

Tonight's Don and Doug looks back at the dastardly debt deal passed by Congress.

Our hopes had been raised by the Republicans. But in the end, it was all high theater. What we got in the end  was the kind of surrender they would never have dared pitched had the debt issue not been manipulated into a short-term crisis.

But the deal's devils go beyond money. There's this thing in the bill called a Super Congress. It looks like  Congress gave itself an excuse to take us even father in the wrong direction. And what little representation you had left in DC just got shredded.

At least more Americans now have some idea how poorly the country's being run. The question is how much time do we have left? Ratings agencies and others are unhappy with the way the nation's finances continue to deteriorate. But on the other hand, more borrowing may mean we see another year masquerading as normal. And Obama's now got the cash to resume funding his efforts to fundamentally transform America.

These topics - and more - are on tap for tonight's (August 4) Don and Doug at 8:00pm EDT.

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