Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cap and Trade SCAM coming soon.

The Democrats are working out the details of a massive wealth redistribution bill, all in the name of climate change. This is the liberal nirvana. You take a naturally recurring climatological phenomena and use scare tactics to stampede the great unwashed into supporting your tax and spend schemes. The looter's plan to limit greenhouse gases are not in the name of sound environmental science but in the name of more government. The Democrats want to use something known as "cap-and-trade" to lower naturally occurring emissions by 17% by 2020 and 83% by 2050.

The looters know that this is going to be expensive. So in order to offset the soaring energy costs associated with this plan ... which we will get to in a minute ... they want to create a system where the government would issue pollution allowances. These permits would then be traded in a government-designed marketplace.

Besides this artificial market, created entirely by government for government, cap-and-trade promises to cripple our economy. The Heritage Foundation has done an analysis of how this Waxman-Markey bill would affect our economy by 2035. Now 2035 might sound like a long way off .. but a child you have today will only be around 26 years ago and just starting to raise a family when that time comes. Here are their findings. Waxman's "environmental" bill would:

* Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.6 trillion
* Destroy 1,105,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs
* Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation
* Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 74 percent
* Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent
* Raise an average family's annual energy bill by $1,500
* Increase inflation-adjusted federal debt by 26 percent, or $29,150 additional federal debt per person, again after adjusting for inflation.

I will guarantee you, folks, that the government already has plans to make sure that low-income Americans will not pay a dime in increased energy costs. This will be just another notch on the entitlement belt.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

She is there.

Best friends. I hear that a lot, but what is a “best” friend? Usually when someone talks about their best friend it is a buddy or girl friend that they run around with, can confide in and have good times together. I’ve got that right at home. I am a very lucky man, indeed.

I’m not sure when the Betty became my “best” friend. Maybe it was when we worked together, and both of us were married to others. Occasionally at work when I could see that work was stressful I would talk with her to see if there was anything that my sales team could do to make her job easier. You know how most sales people are always in a rush and expecting so much from the administration’s staff to process their orders – as if that is all they had to do all day. Nothing is more important to a sales rep than getting paid. Don’t mess with their money, they say. Forget how about five other people in the office must touch their order to make it happen; from inputting the order in the system, getting equipment set up and ready, shipping it and installing it –all on a strict schedule. In my office, nothing got done without the Betty doing it right and rarely with a smile, I might add. She “hated” sales people. “Lazy, boorish, overbearing, rude and demanding” would be her description if she ever said it out loud.

She wouldn’t even give a new hire a pen, much less a stapler until they could sell something. That is where she rightly earned her name, “Betty Bitch” or BB as we all called her – many still do today. It is hard getting on her good side. I can’t really say she has a soft side, but I do see it occasionally.

So you see, making her happy sure helped me in those days to get things done. Just like now. Betty was in charge of the office secretaries, and the dispatch system. You wanted a demo, well God help you if your paperwork was incomplete. Same thing if you turned in an incomplete order. You would find that paperwork right back in your inbox that afternoon with a not-so-nice note about what you were to do. So, I trained my reps on how to meet her expectations early on in their careers. She appreciated it then, and I’m sure still does when I meet her “expectations” today. I was the young gun in the office – starched button-down type she couldn’t stand with a quick mouth, too. But, together over those first few months we learned about each other’s way of getting the job done- selling on my part and getting the orders billed on hers. We made a great team and our business grew during that time. We learned to trust each other. We became friends.

Her husband at the time wasn’t a very nice man. I am sure that her strong personality was quite the challenge to him with his military background of “following orders” and not questioning his thoughts on life. During my first years after meeting Betty we could talk after work for hours over a few cold ones about both her marriage and mine. Kind of bouncing ideas off each other about what is wrong and what each other could do about it. It is true that in most office environments like ours that you spend a lot more time at work that you do at home. You go to work all showered, clean and put on a nice work suit or dress everyday. At home, sometimes people get lazy and don’t look so nice and get way too comfortable and take each other for granted. I admit it – me to. I loved my job, was good at it; and a great deal of my success was because of the way that BB took care of my work and my sales teams. She cared. It showed and the sales grew.

By now most people know the story about how the B and me got married. We moved in together-B with her dog and one cat, and me with a cat and two more dogs. Quite the challenge to make everyone get along, indeed; but we made it work. We lived on a great street back then and our house had the perfect driveway that curved into the garage to the west so we could set chairs out front in the shade and solve the world’s problems together over cocktails, and a dog or two on a tie-out also. We did this nearly every night for most of the 15 years we lived there – true story! Neighbors would come over, and many nights we would not eat dinner until way past most folk’s bedtime. Not having kids really gave us the time together-real time with just each other to share our day, talk about tonight and plan on our future lives. We became “best friends” on that driveway I truly believe. Of course, one of us would occasionally say or do something not so nice to the other. But, one of us would always say that he is sorry, and Betty would say that’s ok.

It was during these driveway years that I began to travel so much for work. It was very hard on the Betty at first. We were never apart for more than a rare night or two for the first seven years of marriage. She told me that she was OK with me taking that new job with all the expected travel – after all it was a “field” manager position with all that implies. My new office was in Stamford, north east of New York, for God’s sake! Good thing I never had to go there much. That first week out I was gone Sunday night and came back Friday, riding with the guy who’s territory I was assigned. Sure, I was busy – but my best friend was at home, hurting like a puppy missing his litter-mates one by one. I would call home every night before her bed time to talk about our day and tell her I love her. Just like I will tonight.

She was the first person I called when I hung up the phone when I made that big sale one time in the early 90’s. I cleared $50,000.00 on that deal-and I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! I figured out that I had made more money than Emmit Smith did that month during his 2nd year with the Cowboys-that’s how I looked at it. A month later I bought my best friend a convertible Corvette for our 2nd anniversary. She was used to her Geo Storm and I drove her over to look at this beautiful car and couldn’t wait for her excitement to show, too! Well, the B isn’t really into cars much but she did let me trade in the old Geo for the ‘vette. Problem was it had a white convertible top on it and to me, it just looked wrong. So, I had asked if they would replace it with a black one. Well, being the last day of the month turned out to be a good thing as we agreed to split the cost on a new convertible top, but it would take about a week to get it done. They gave her a Chevrolet Lumina as a loaner; a nice one with a big V-8 in it, too. After about two days, the Betty tells me that she wants to keep the loaner! I almost dropped a load right there! Here I am-giving her a RED CONVERTIBLE CORVETTE, and she wants to keep the loan car! Well, that is what she needed a best friend for, was to talk some sense into her and quick! Once the dealer had her new car back with the new black top on it and she took it down Highway 114 for a spin, I think it kind of grew on her some. She took it home that night. Her boss at the time just about pulled his hair out when his office manager pulled in next to him that next morning in the parking lot, too. I wasn’t there, but I know that she enjoyed that moment, because she still likes to tell that story.

She was there when my 95 year old grandmother died and she was there when my father’s only brother died, and she was there when a dear friend of mine killed himself one day. Best friends go to the funeral with you. Best friends let you cry and will cry with you, too.

The great thing about a best friend is that you know that they will always be there to answer the phone. A voice you can count on. That’s what my best friend is, and I’m missing her right now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The White House has decided that private companies deemed "too big to fail" need to be policed by a supercop, and the White House is recommending the Federal Reserve play the role.

Last week, Obama's economic advisors had a meeting with representatives from banks, hedge funds and financial groups. These groups had suggested to the president that if the government insisted on regulating industries, that the task should be divided among various regulators. But that doesn't seem to be what the White House is going for. It wants a single independent regulator to monitor system-wide risk, and that one regulator "should be given better visibility into all institutions that pose a risk to the financial system, regardless of what business they are in."

So we aren't just talking the financial industry here. We are talking about any company that the government feels is too big to fail and would pose a risk to the financial system. Who in Congress has been chosen to lead the task for drafting legislation for such a supercop?? None other than slobbering Barney Frank.

This legislation, according to tax cheat Tim Geithner will include an "aggressive" package of reforms for the financial industry. That includes a fundamental overhaul of how the industry pays its senior executives. In other words, those evil bonuses will be a thing of the past.

This is a massive proposed increase in the control privately-owned businesses by government. But I don't have to tell you that, do I? What you may not know, however, is what you call this type of economic system --- a system where business is owned privately but owned by the government. The word would be Fascism.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's wrong with this culture?

I was walking through the mall earlier this week when I noticed a black dude walking the other way. His t-shirt had the old Warner Brothers logo on it .. but the lettering was interesting. "If you see the police, Warn-a-Brother." How cute.

Let's not get into a whole rant here about what this t-shirt says about the culture this character lives in. I'm just wondering what happens if I go to a mall in a predominately black community wearing a t-shirt with the words "If you see a brother, warn-a-cop."

My guess is that I'm not going to fare too well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eight Days

I was a single man in 1990 for eight whole days.

Yep, the first wife’s bad decision making led to our divorce on Thursday, October 18th. Not that I place all the blame on her for our divorce – I generally give me all the credit on the perfect escape. The Betty decided that she wanted to be Mrs. Watson earlier that summer so my plan was to make that happen as quickly as possible. Since I fell in love with her one day watching her push a shopping cart; that was that – she was going to marry me as soon as I could pull it off.

I was driving down McArthur Boulevard in Irving Texas when wife number one calls me with the news that the judge had signed off on our final papers and that I was a free man. What a weird feeling that was. So, after thinking about that for a couple minutes at the next red light I called Betty and told her the news. She said we should get married right away and so I told her, “let’s go tomorrow and get our marriage license.”

I guess my Betty called in sick or something since we both could take off Friday afternoon and go hunting for a marriage license. Now rocking on nearly 24 hours as a single man, I figured that the best way to go hunting is with a cooler full of 12 Natural light beers. So, I took about 1/5th of the finest discount beers I had out of the fridge and loaded up the car with the Betty and the Beer. So, the B & B and me headed to the nearest county office (outside of Tarrant county where my divorce was just finalized, or Dallas county where we both lived) to get our marriage license, and that was in Denton, Texas.

I think it was only about a two beer trip to downtown Denton and we arrived in style wearing our best blue jeans to go visit with the licensing department. I had called ahead and knew exactly where we were going and found out that no appointment was necessary. We showed up and were given the form to fill out about names, addresses, whether or not you were a felon and questions like that. But, one question asked if either of you were married or had been married within the last 30 days….uh, oh. Well, shoot - here we both were all dressed in our nice jeans and all so I put down “no.” Then came time for the interview. The nice lady went through all our answers and everything was going fine until that question came up and then I guess one of us kind of laughed or something. Well, it was kind of funny since I hadn’t been single yet for one whole day at that point! Denton County’s finest government help didn’t think that was funny at all. I told her to “ask us again.” Then, she went on and on about how this was all official business and that we would just have to come back in 29 days. Aw, man – BUSTED!

Hell, here we were 35 miles from home and nothing to show for it but a bladder full of beer. We needed a plan. So, I went to the closest 7-11 and asked to borrow a Texas map to see where the next closest county seat was. Good news! Wise County courthouse in Decatur, Texas was only 28 miles away and we still had eight beers left in the playmate.

Now, Decatur has more than one stop light in town but this isn’t exactly the kind of place strangers just drive by the courthouse and decide to get married like on the strip in Las Vegas. “Yep (spit) we wuz driving along US-380 and done decided to git hitched rat now.) So, after learning our lesson in Denton we did some planning and both agreed to not laugh if this lady asked about that 30 day thing! So, we pop in the door and THE lady in the office asked if she could be of some help. I explained that we wanted to get married and needed a license. I even explained that it was a great day for a drive and that we picked Decatur to get our license - and she was real pleased to oblige us. This time we passed all the questions, paid our $22.00 cash for the license and went on out to celebrate with another a couple more cold beers and head on back to Irving.

Texas law requires a 72 hour waiting period after you get a license to actually get married. We talked about it and decided, “who wants to get married on a Monday?” So we picked the next Friday. We didn’t tell anybody we were getting married, and neither of us wanted a fancy wedding so we picked Judge Ovard in Irving, TX – the county Justice of the Peace, to marry us. Betty called and made us an appointment during lunch as we both went to work that morning.

Betty wore a real pretty cream color dress to work that day, but with her office job I’m sure no one said anything about it. Back then, I wore a business suit every day so we were all set and ready to go. I pick her up at home with the cooler full of beers and off we go!

You have to have a witness to get married so we picked Judge Ovard’s secretary, who said she “does it all the time.” You know that part in the wedding when they ask, “does anyone know of any reason why these two people can’t be married?” Well, right about then, Judge Ovard’s door opens! We all started laughing, and then I quickly thought about that 30 day thing, oh, no – busted again! But, it was just some one needing the Judge to sign something and he told them he was “kind of busy” and they shut the door. So, we said our “I do’s” and the Betty was officially, Mrs. Mark Watson!

Needing somewhere to go celebrate our big day, we knew of no better place to go in Dallas other than “the Cowboy Saloon” off of Northwest Highway and loop 12. So, we hop in the car and pop the top of a cool Natural Light and head over to the beer joint. This is the kind of place that smoke POURS out from under the door and the whole place reeks of alcohol – I mean THE perfect place to spend your wedding day! So, we drink some beers, play some pool and reflect on what a great life we have planned ahead of us.

The Betty and me have had a lot of road trips since then - and I am still in love with my best friend. I’ll always remember those first eight days that started a great life together.