Powder Blue Report

News, finance, politics, sports, and fun from the west coast

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

That Was A Fun Earthquake

So I'm sitting in my office pondering my trades and typing out an email to someone and BAM...ohhh that's an earthquake. A 5.8 centered in Chino Hills according to preliminary reports. No damage here in Newport to my office building...just some frayed nerves for some. We now return you to you to your regularly scheduled program.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ramos & Compean Convictions Upheld By Fifth Circuit

This is very disappointing news today. It seems that the Fifth District Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of Border Patrol Agents Ramos & Compean. This goes to show that you never know how a court will rule. I was on record that I thought the oral arguments went very well back in December and that a reversal was near certain. Boy was I wrong. Here's the decision

On a releated note, on Saturday the CRA had a chance to get together for a BBQ and Congressman Rohrabacher gave a stirring speech about what has been happening in DC. He cracked back big time on John McCain, calling him "a political whore". He said he will not endorse the GOP nominee unless he promises to give Ramos & Compean clemency.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

John Campbell Votes To Bailout Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

I got a press release from Congressman Darrell Issa explaining why he voted against bailing out Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Here it is in whole:
For Immediate Release Contact: Frederick Hill 202-225-3906 (office)

July 23, 2008 202-225-6473 (cell)

Issa Votes ‘No’ on $25 Billion Taxpayer Bailout of Mortgage Lenders

Washington, DC – Rep. Darrell Issa, today, made the following statement about his vote against H.R. 3221, legislation bailing out mortgage lenders:

“I strongly oppose this taxpayer-funded bailout of the mortgage industry. This bill rewards Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other firms that played key roles in the housing crisis. It will be paid for on the backs of millions of American taxpayers who pay their mortgages on-time, rent their residences, and played no role in creating this financial boondoggle.

“In our free market system, when companies make risky business decisions they keep the profits when their judgment is right and they are expected to accept responsibility when they make poor business decisions. I voted no, today, because it’s wrong to have a massive taxpayer funded bailout of the lending industry that leaves stockholders fully intact and taxpayers empty-handed.

“I recognize that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have become cornerstones of our housing market and also see a legitimate need to help Americans, who have played by the rules and find themselves in need of temporary assistance, keep their home. My first and foremost concern in this housing crisis is protecting a system that provides the long-term availability and affordability of mortgage loans to Americans. By bailing out lenders who made bad business decisions, we’re setting a very bad and expensive precedent that will encourage future risky lending schemes, undermine confidence in future home loans, and make credit less affordable. We can use market forces and give regulators better tools to regulate the mortgage industry without writing such a massive check.”

Nice job Con. Issa. This led me to check how our other OC reps voted. Let's see Ed Royce & Dana Rohrabacher both voted NO, Loretta voted Yes...no surprise there. John Campbell...YES. What? After all the press releases and public statements about how we must end pork and start to live within our means, he goes and votes YES on a $25 billion bailout of Fannie & Freddie? As former Cong. Jim Traficant used to say...Beam me up! This $25 billion is just jacks for openers. Some say this is going to end up costing the taxpayers over a trillion dollars! This is a major disappointment Congressman. I'd love to hear his explanation. Oh yeah and Ken Calvert also voted this ridiculous bailout.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quote Of The Day

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value 100% of the time....at zero

Allan Bartlett

Friday, July 18, 2008

Required Viewing....Jim Rogers Putting the Smack Down on CNBC

Please watch this CNBC interview of Jim Rogers. Mr Rogers is one of the very few persons who has been right about which investments to hold over the last ten years. He puts the smack down on show host Bertha at around the 3:50 mark, it's hilarious. I quote...
If you're blaming all of this on short sellers, then you should have another job!
Watch the whole segment below

Ron Paul: No More Bailouts Please

I'm Back

I took a well needed vacation this past week up to the Eastern Sierra. Despite dire weather up there(more an that later), we went up there anyways. I had permits to climb Mt Whitney. We had an awesome time. I got to see some amazing scenery and watch some daredevil feats. The highlight of the trip had to be watching some hang gliders launch from Walt's Point at 9000 feet on the road up to Horseshoe Meadow. These guys were nuts. They were running off a perfectly good cliff. It's just not a natural act, but it was absolutely amazing to watch. Apparently, Walt's Point is the best spot in the world to hang glide for distance. When I asked one of the guys chasing the hang gliders where they were going to land...he deadpanned.."Austin, Nevada". I go..."how far is that"?...."oh about 200 miles from here" he says. Okay. Later on when we were back at the Whitney Campgrounds, I was talking to some hikers that had just came down off the trail. I told them about watching the hang gliders launching off at Walt's Point. They said they saw some hang gliders cruising over Mt Whitney. Simply amazing. Here's a You Tube of a launch at Walt's Point...

Their object after launching is to catch the world famous Owens Valley Thermals and attain an altitude of 12 to 18,000 feet.

As far as the hike...how can I explain it...it was the hardest physical thing I've ever done in my life and I didn't even make it to the top. It was awesome. Bad weather up at the top of the mountain kept us from summiting. I plan to do this hike next year as a day hike when the monsoon season is over. It's just to unpredictable up there in July from all the longtime Whitney people that I spoke with.

In addition to all that, we were up there when the running of the Badwater Ultra Marathon was happening. These guys are wired differently that do this race. They start the race down at Badwater in Death Valley and finish the race up at Whitney Portal. The course is over 135 miles long! I don't know how it is possible for the human body to do something like this, but people do it. I've heard & read about this race over the years, but to actually be up there when it was happening...well, I'll just chalk it up to good ole fashioned luck. I can safely say that I will never attempt doing this in my life, LOL.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

You Better Keep Your Mouth Shut About Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac or else.....

the feds will really, really, really be angry with you! Here is their press release from the SEC stating as much. You can't say things things like they are insolvent or they will have to get bailed out because that would be rumor mongering and just wrong. God forbid someone tell the truth about our imploding real estate and mortgage market & the economy in general. The Asian markets will be opening up here in a few hours. It should be an interesting next couple of days & weeks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Indy Mac Bank Is Done

They got taken over today by the FDIC. I like how they saved this news until after the stock market closed. Boy they really pulled a fast one on us there. Wouldn't want to release market crashing news while trading is still happening. Good luck to all you Indy Mac customers out there. I guess you'll find out firsthand if FDIC insurance is what its cracked up to be. Hell if they don't have the money they'll just print it for you and screw over all the people like they have been since the Fed was created. Treasury Sec. Paulson has also been out there saying there is no solvency problem with Fannie and Freddie. If he has to say there is no solvency problem for these two...well let me translate that for you, run for the hills! Bear Stearns said they were fine a few days before they were no more. My advice, don't believe anything the government says going forward about this crisis.

I really just don't care anymore. This story has put me over the top. This is probably the start of the dominoes all collapsing on our monetary/financial system. I have a feeling in my gut that Monday is not going to be pretty for the financial stocks and the DOW/S&P in general. It's ruining my vacation plans to. I'll probably end up canceling it to make sure I'm in the office next week. I'm really in a foul mood at the moment.

I'm sure there will be strategy sessions all weekend for Federal Reserve & Treasury people. It will be funny to see how they rationalize all the new "term lending facilities" and any other trick they may have up their sleeze. I'm out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Blogger In Town

I'd like to welcome my good friend Jim Righeimer to the local blogosphere. The name of his blog is called Rigonomics. Jim is a long time GOP activist. He ran for the State Assembly back in 2000 and barely lost to current State Senator Tom Harman. Riggy actually received more GOP votes than Sen. Harman, but at the time, California was operating under an open primary. Currently he resides in Costa Mesa and serves on the Planning Commission there. Welcome to the electronic Town Square Jim.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!... Patrick Henry" … March 23, 1775

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Beware Of The Ides Of March....Or Campaign Planes If You're Barack Obama

The democratic presidential nominee and his press gaggle had "a little incident" with their campaign plane yesterday while en route from Chicago. They had to make an unscheduled landing in St Louis because the escape ramp inflated in the back of the plane making it very unstable. They almost got "Ron Browned". This is eerie because remember a few months ago when Hillary said she was still in the race because anything could happen to Barack Obama a la Bobby Kennedy. I'd be watching my back if I were Obama. People associated with the Clintons have a nasty habit of having mysterious accidents.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Checkout The Campaign For Liberty

If you get a chance, checkout Ron Paul's new grassroots organization to help elect more liberty minded Republicans. It's called The Campaign For Liberty. When you click over to it right now, you'll also see a picture of me and few friends with Kent Snyder at the USC campus last year. As some know, Kent recently passed away from a battle with pneumonia.

Friday, July 04, 2008

RIP Jesse Helms

Former US Senator Jesse Helms died today on the Fourth of July. I will dedicate the quote of the day to him. It's very appropriate given the day today.
Compromise, hell! ... If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"
Yes I understand this man was not perfect. I believe his racism against black people will forever taint his record.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth Of July

I dedicate this July 4th holiday to all the immigrants who came to America to seek out a better life. We are truly a melting pot of all different races & cultures. At the end of the day, we are all Americans without a hyphen. The video below is Bruce Springsteen's video "American Land". I think it captures the spirit of the holiday quite nicely.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Steve Schmidt Hired To Run McCain Campaign

I really am trying to find any reason to get excited about the upcoming election. Unfortunately, Sen McCain's hiring today of CA Victory 2006 statewide campaign chairman Steve Schmidt is not a reason to get pumped up about. In fact it's another slap in the face to the base of the party. If you speak with people who were intimately involved in the Victory 06 California operation, you will get near universal agreement that practically the whole op was a disaster for Republicans who were not at the top of the ticket(read that as Arnold Schwarzenneger). Team Arnold was all about Team Arnold and didn't lift a finger to help out the down ticket races. If you couple this with a nominee like McCain, who fits quite nicely into the Arnold Schwarzenneger political philosophy of screwing over the party any chance he gets, you will get Arnold Schwarzenegger version 2.0 in the White House. Maybe Steve Schmidt will actually give a damn this year about getting some more Republicans elected in the Congress to go with a possible McCain Presidency. If we go by past track records, he will only be watching out for his boss, Sen McCain.

Are Politicians Failing Our Lobbyists?

Election 2008.....What's The Most Important Issue?

This is a great parody by The Onion Network. Watch it and laugh(or cry because of it's biting commentary on what's important to most voters)

Poll: Bulls**t Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Mike Carona....The Gift That Keeps On Giving

More Mike Carona transcripts were released yesterday. The ex-sheriff has a way with the English language. His lawyers filed a motion to suppress this evidence, asserting that the ex-sheriff's comments
"are irrelevant … and are likely to offend and anger the jury, resulting in unfair prejudice to Carona". Admission of the racially offensive language as evidence, Rawitz wrote, "will serve only to inflame the jurors' passions, distract them from the charges at issue, and provoke an instinct to punish."
The comments in question are Mr Carona dropping some racially insensitive N bombs and bragging about all his sexual conquests while he was Sheriff. You can't make this stuff up. The only thing unfair about this case Mike, is if you cop a plea. We need the lively entertainment that a circus like Carona Trial will give everyone. We are entitled to it after watching you make a mockery of the Sheriff Department and the OC Republican Party's endorsement of you.