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Archive for December, 2008

President Bush Avoids Attack with Shoe

December 16th, 2008 No comments

President Bush over the weekend made a marathon trip around the world.  When giving a press conference in Iraq Bush barely avoided an attack from flying shoes.  In an apparent attempt on embarrassing George W. Bush an Iraqi Journalist threw two shoes at the president.  Throwing shoes is meant as a disgrace by Islamic culture signifying below the shoes.

[sniplet Bush-Shoe-Throwing]

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Buy American Buy Alabama

December 11th, 2008 No comments

Made in AmericaBirmingham SEO an Alabama Based Search Engine Company and ask me to put this on my blog.  So certainly I am happy to oblige as I feel this is an atrocity. Below is copied and pasted from a blog post at BHM SEO announcing their support of Buy Alabama.

On Wednesday night Birmingham News Source CBS 42 the 10:00 broadcast announced that a boycott of Alabama had been started. The boycott is calling to boycott Alabama made goods and not patron Alabama’s tourism. The website was basing this off the fact that Senator Richard Shelby has made comments that aren’t pro bailout. While we are unsure at this time of these statements we do know that this is an attack on the good hard working people of Alabama.

In response to this atrocious action from a group in Michigan we have launched a response ourselves that is currently in development to help promote the business of Alabama. We started the site Buy Alabama. This site will be used to develop a place where Alabama Business can feature their products. We also plan to in the future open up a store showcasing some of the products to be bought and sold direct from the site. The store is just an idea and no plans are being made. Birmingham SEO will be providing the Search Engine Marketing and Optimization plan for the website for free as a duty to promoting our state.

We also believe as a duty that we help promote the whole of the US and buy American Made. You can find out more on American Made products from Made In The USA. We do not wish to boycott any state and only encourage buying American but Buying Alabama is Buying American.

I am not going to give a link to the group that is calling for the boycott but lets just say it is one crazy nut that doesn’t like Senator Shelby.  Though I know Joe Babisiaz is trying to earn support for bailing out the Big Three.  Which as you know I am fan of.

Message to Joe:

Calling for a ban on Alabama is down right un-American and wrong.  You state on your website “this is not an attack on the hard working people of Alabama”. Then what do you call it an attack on our Senator? The Senator is a hard working Alabamian and the same as attacking the car maker in Alabama. That’s right you may envy we are making good cars in Alabama that aren’t going through Financial Trouble.  But here in Alabama we buy American Made cars. We even buy Detroit made cars.  I can proudly say that most people I know in Alabama want to see the jobs of millions of American’s secure.  We all want secure jobs.  So don’t boycott Alabama buy American and build something Americans can be proud of.

I know you are just a front line worker that is afraid you may loose your job.  Senator Shelby doesn’t want you to loose your job.  He wants to ensure things are in order and bad business mistakes are not rewarded.  The cars you make are of top quality in your job.  But the problem is the decision makers – the management.  If it were up to you – you would build the best and only car on the road I get that.  But build something every kid wants, every grandmother is safe driving in and, something that gets good fuel economy and lowers emissions. Something where the bumper doesn’t fall off.  That is all Senator Shelby is saying.  He isn’t trying to punish you he is trying to right the company.

Senator Shelby is trying to protect Alabama.  He doesn’t want the citizens of Alabama to have to pay for the mistakes of a few greedy managment level automakers.  If true measures are in place that will benefit the overall life of Alabama voters Senator Shelby will support it.  But if measures in place are not there to safeguard us he will not.

There is no reason to call for a boycott of Alabama.  I kindly ask that you end the boycott and your fellow Americans for help in supporting your effort instead of dividing the country.  Because like you said we are all American’s and plenty of Alabamians support the Bailout with oversight.  Without oversight it is just like giving a college kid money  experiments or lab time or Beer and food?  So if there is some oversight we might be able to get something from it.  Like a stable auto market full of good paying jobs.

What I am telling you is your strategy is wrong.  You should be trying to unite everyone to get behind you instead of isolating and picking fights.  We are your brothers and sisters.  Embrace us and we can help.

$1 Gallon Gas by 2009

December 6th, 2008 No comments

Oil Executive Joe Petrowski, CEO of Gulf Oil is predicting $1 a gallon gas in early 2009.  In an article at TheBostonChannel.com shares a perspective on the oil & gas industry.  Petrowski stated that the industry often overreacts. Read more about the Gulf Oil wholesaler’s statements.

Though my pocket will certainly enjoy the break in fuel prices, but gas prices this low will effect American Crude oil prices.  Oil and Gas producers likely can’t afford to produce at rates that low long-term.  I don’t want to give out any ideas – some company’s may not be able to weather the cost of production – thus creating another gap.  With prices so low the “Drill-Baby-Drill” days of Sarah Palin wont be feasible.

I’m not saying raise prices of fuel – I am pointing out the cost of inflation.  Also I would like to point out the obvious that when Wall-Street and the Auto Industry get bailed out the Oil and Gas industry will be next.  Just when hope is insight the real work has just begun.  I am no economist but throwing money at Wall-Street and the Auto Industry is only part of the solution – some fundamental change has to be made. When in times of peril we turn to the Government to solve the problem – to paraphrase Sharat (@ravehead) – “recovery will not come from expensive/shiny titles, but from the ranks”.

Big 3 Likely to Get bailout

December 6th, 2008 2 comments

It seems that bailout money is a allocated over the weekend without the watchful eyes of most elected officials.  I figure that much of history has been created in the backroom like the pending Automaker Bailout.  Sure I agree that some form of bailout is needed and we shouldn’t be borrowing funds from any account that will improve environmental impact or stands to be defaulted on in repayment like in the CNN.com article below.

Deadlock over Detroit bailout may soon end

  • Story Highlights
  • Pelosi open to idea of tapping advanced technology fund for bailout
  • November job loss news led to change in thinking, official says
  • Talks on potential help for auto industry to continue through weekend
  • Many options remain on the table, officials caution

From Dana Bash – CNN Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Help may soon be on the way to the struggling U.S. auto industry after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed off her opposition to using funds from a fuel-efficiency research program for a bailout, two congressional officials said Friday.

News of November job losses "changed everything" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an official said.News of November job losses “changed everything” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an official said.

The significant move from Pelosi signals that the deadlock over rescuing Detroit may be over.

Congressional Republicans and President Bush support the idea of tapping the $25 billion advanced technology fund. Two officials familiar with compromise talks told CNN that the working target is $15 billion to $17 billion in bridge loans, intended to fund the struggling Big Three automakers through March.

However, one senior Democratic congressional source told CNN that House and Senate committee staff will meet over the weekend to write a bill to provide $20 billion to $25 billion in assistance to the U.S. auto companies.

This aide said the “mathematicians were working” at how to reprogram the money by reducing a subsidy to come up with a figure that would be available for loans, despite an earlier report that only $7.5 billion was available from the fund passed last year for fuel efficiency research.

This aide said the bill could be on the House floor as early as Tuesday, but thought it was more likely that the Senate would vote on the bill first.

“They need to get Republicans on board and send an important signal for House members to vote for this,” the aide said.

The officials cautioned that talks are still very fluid and that there are still other options on the table and many details to discuss.

Pelosi released a statement saying that Congress was “considering various short-term funding options” but added that no funds would be released from the research program “unless there is a guarantee that those funds will be replenished in a matter of weeks.”

Pelosi reversed herself because November’s devastating jobs report — more than a half-million jobs lost — “changed everything,” one official said.

The California Democrat spoke by phone with White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten on Friday afternoon to tell him of her change of heart, hours after Bush issued a fresh warning that without help, the automakers may not survive the economic crisis.

A senior administration official had no comment on Pelosi’s move.

A House Democratic leadership aide also said Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was on Capitol Hill Friday, speaking with House and Senate Democratic leaders. He discussed the automaker bailout among other things, the aide said.

Both Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued statements Friday saying they hope to have legislation ready by next week to pass and send to the White House for the president’s signature, another sign of sudden determination to bridge the deep divide over bailing out Detroit.

“It should never have come to this. The auto companies dug themselves into this hole and for years did nothing to climb out of it,” Reid said in a statement. “But we are not acting for executives’ sake; we are acting on behalf of the workers and their families. This week’s hearings have made clear that we cannot let these companies fail.”

Talks on all sides will continue throughout the weekend.

News of the jobs loss broke just before auto executives testified once again on Capitol Hill to plead for $34 billion from taxpayers.

At the start of the hearing, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank called the unemployment report evidence that Washington can’t let Detroit collapse.

“In the midst of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, it would be an unmitigated disaster,” Frank said.

General Motors has warned that it will run out of money needed to stay in business this month without federal help. It says it needs at least $4 billion by the end of the month and another $6 billion in the first quarter as part of up to $16 billion of help it says it will need to survive until 2010.

Chrysler says it is also on the verge of running out of money and needs $4 billion by the end of March, part of $7 billion it is requesting in total.

Ford, which has more cash on hand, said it hopes to avoid borrowing money but wants access to up to $9 billion in loans as a backstop in case problems get worse than expected.

The auto industry CEOs ran into harsh criticism the last time they appeared before the House Committee in November, as lawmakers hammered them on their lack of details on how they would spend the $25 billion then being requested and their decision to each fly to Washington on their own private jets.

This time, the auto industry leaders came with detailed plans submitted this week on how they would return to profitability if they get the federal loans. They also drove hybrid vehicles to Washington and promised to work for $1 a year.

The hearing started an hour after the Labor Department reported the loss of 533,000 jobs in November, the biggest loss in nearly 34 years.

By the end of more than six hours of testimony, it was clear that the panel was far more open to the idea of a bailout than it had been just two weeks ago, even if a solution still seemed elusive.

“I think it’s fair to say the disastrous job report today has heightened the interest in doing something,” Frank said at the conclusion of the hearing. “If we are lucky, we’ll come out with a bill next week that nobody likes. Because any bill that any individual might like won’t pass. But there is a sufficient consensus that we need to so something acceptable to enough members of both houses so that we avert disaster.”

The CEOs’ appearance followed testimony they gave before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Despite the apparent breakthrough, several House Republicans said they remained reluctant to sign on to any bailout. Some suggested that a bankruptcy filing would be a better way for the companies to become competitive, and others said they were concerned about other industries and businesses that might seek help if the automakers get aid.