Friday, March 12, 2010

Homeless Exec Living Off Reward Points

One good thing (I think) about a severe recession is that people gets really creative and entrepreneurial.

Homeless Executive Lives Off of Rewards Points
(3/12/2010 CNBC via Yahoo Finance)

"Here's proof that all those frequent-flier miles and rewards points you've racked up are good for more than a subscription to Golf Digest.

"Jim Kennedy, a 46-year-old executive in Southern California, went from six figures to homeless in less than two years after he lost his job as a corporate-development manager, had to file for bankruptcy and then lost his Newport Beach condo to foreclosure, the OC Register reports.

"Now, he's using the more than one million frequent-flier miles and rewards points he accrued in his career to survive and help stretch the few dollars he has.

"He's not your typical homeless guy: He drives around in a leased BMW, but hops from hotel to hotel, including a stay at the Motel 6, and tries to keep his food budget to $5 a day. He looks for places with free Internet to to facilitate his job search.

"He's found that mixing cash and points gives you the best value. This week, he's at a Holiday Inn in San Clemente Calif., paying $25 a night, after cashing in 5,000 United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAUA) miles. Bonus: Free breakfast!" [The article continues.]

One million frequent-flier miles should keep him on his feet and roof over his head for about 5 months, he estimates.

His Twitter shows he's now getting a lot of publicity. Hats off to him, and best of luck.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Madoff and Stanford "Victims" Want Government to "Make Them Whole"

Jewish and Christian coalition of the (once-)wealthy to make the rest of us pay, ultimately. Can you spell C-H-U-T-Z-P-A-H?

Investors Who Lost In Madoff and Stanford Schemes Want Government to "Make Them Whole" (3/10/2010 Jesse's Café Américain)

Citing the Business Week article, the post informs us that the Madoff and Stanford victims have banded together and have been lobbying Congress for a law that could require Wall Street firms to pay billions of dollars to cover some of the losses they suffered.

"Revenue neutral" solution to so that this wealthy group of investors are made "whole". RRIIGGHHTT.

But as Jesse's Cafe says, "What about the rest of us?":

What about the many who have lost, on a percentage basis, equally if not more devastating amounts of their retirement savings in the tech, housing and credit bubbles? Their only fault is that they lack the political connections and high powered lawyers to make the case for them to the Congress, and the influence to get their way from pliable Congressmen.

...To take the losses of wealthier investors from hedge funds and other high risk investments having no productive benefit or socially redeeming value, and socialize them to the many is almost unbelievable.

This holy coalition even has Federal Reserve Dallas's spokeswoman as one of the lobbyists, and influential Senators are already quite sympathetic to their "plight".

The End of the End of the End of the .....

"Endgame" or the health care "reform" itself (hopefully for the majority of Americans).

Another sarcastic entry today from Drudge Report, which was briefly banned by the Senate Sergeant at Arms for supposed "virus" attack, which coincided with the government's Cybersecurity agenda, which Obama may simply sign into law by his fiat (executive order), which is .... (you get the idea, don't you?):


TODAY: Obama pushing on health
care end game (AP)

Last year:

July 28: Healthcare endgame on
Capitol Hill (Reuters)

August 21: Analysis: Health care endgame near but
uncertain (AP)

October 14: Senate, administration begin healthcare
endgame as Dem leaders express unity (Hill)

October 25: Senators say
health care bill endgame is in sight (Politico)

October 27: End Game: So
When Will Health Care Really Happen? (TPM)

October 30: Health reform
inches closer to endgame (WaPo)

November 23: The Health Care Endgame

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OT: Pictures on Drudge Report

Drudge Report is always so good at picking the most horrendous pictures of political leaders, here and abroad. But this one is so bad I almost feel sorry for Nancy. (Did she forget her hourly botox injection?)
The link goes to a Politico story (3/9/2010) on how Nancy's grip on House is slipping

Obama May Limit Fishing Access

Isn't there anything left that he doesn't limit?

Oh I forgot. Plenty, now I think about it: The size of the federal government, the size of federal deficit, the size of his convoy, the size of bonus for Fannie, Freddie, AIG top execs, Wall Street execs, the trading practices of big financial institutions, use of OTC derivatives, power of the Federal Reserve, to name a few...

But the president, presiding over the deep recession triggered by the financial crisis, is busy limiting fishing.

Culled out: Obama administration will accept no more public input for federal fishery strategy (Robert Montgomery, 3/9/2010 ESPN)

"The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters.

"This announcement comes at the time when the situation supposedly still is "fluid" and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force still hasn't issued its final report on zoning uses of these waters.

"That's a disappointment, but not really a surprise for fishing industry insiders who have negotiated for months with officials at the Council on Environmental Quality and bureaucrats on the task force. These angling advocates have come to suspect that public input into the process was a charade from the beginning.

""When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) completed their successful campaign to convince the Ontario government to end one of the best scientifically managed big game hunts in North America (spring bear), the results of their agenda had severe economic impacts on small family businesses and the tourism economy of communities across northern and central Ontario," said Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano.

""Now we see NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the administration planning the future of recreational fishing access in America based on a similar agenda of these same groups and other Big Green anti-use organizations, through an Executive Order by the President. The current U.S. direction with fishing is a direct parallel to what happened in Canada with hunting: The negative economic impacts on hard working American families and small businesses are being ignored.

""In spite of what we hear daily in the press about the President's concern for jobs and the economy and contrary to what he stated in the June order creating this process, we have seen no evidence from NOAA or the task force that recreational fishing and related jobs are receiving any priority."

"... Perhaps not so coincidentally, the New York Times reported on Feb. 12 that "President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities."

"Morlock fears that "what we're seeing coming at us is an attempted dismantling of the science-based fish and wildlife model that has served us so well. There's no basis in science for the agendas of these groups who are trying to push the public out of being able to fish and recreate.

""Conflicts (user) are overstated and problems are manufactured. It's all just an excuse to put us off the water."" [Emphasis is mine. The article continues.]

Sounds all too familiar. Climategate, anyone?

So this president, who accused his predecessor of using the executive fiat too often, is using the same executive fiat to create this "task force", make a token gesture of "accepting public input", and will sign into a new law by the executive fiat the recommendations offered by the task force that was created by the executive fiat.

Toward the end of the article, Chris Horton, national conservation director for BASS says the following:

"With what's being created, the same principles could apply inland as apply to the oceans," he said. "Under the guise of 'marine spatial planning' entire watersheds could be shut down, even 2,000 miles up a river drainage from the ocean."

Pretty soon, no one will be able to fish, because the president will have so decreed. Commercial fishing has been already made a villain. Now recreational fishing.