Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth

For those of you who thought I would be a train wreck this morning…HA! It’s 5:15 am and I’m all over NASCAR Teddy’s butt. Inman has an interesting story on the whole mess. I think Old Repulsive bailed out because they figured out what a bad idea it was. They’re doing just fine chugging along with that Title Insurance of Minnesota shit. Why mess it up with corporate raiding? Your business plan is obviously hunker down and wait this out while retaining your core. I like that business plan and I know y’all are so tight that you squeak when you walk. Seems to be working in this market, don’t mess it up with a big acquisition like Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. Or Lawyers. Or one nobody’s every heard of…And if you get Commonwealth…do you get NASCAR Teddy too? Afterall, lest we forget…

Mr. Theodore L. Chandler Jr., 55
Chairman, Chief Exec. Officer, Chairman of Exec. Committee, Chairman of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Chairman of Transnation Title Insurance Company, Chairman of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Chief Exec. Officer of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Chief Exec. Officer of Transnation Title Insurance Company, Chief Exec. Officer of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Pres of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Pres of Lawyers Title Insurance Company

What happened to Transnation? And isn’t United Capital the old Northwestern/SomenameinthemiddleIforgot/New Century?

And I might as well get in a swipe at the Bloodless Empire while I’m at it. Remember the lawsuit for the misclassified Escrow and Title Officers? $26.1 million is going to leave a mark in this economy. According to my math, after you pay the attorneys the average pay out to the employees is around $18k. While it’s a large settlement (nice job Steve) I guarantee you it did not offset the benefit the Bloodless Empire received by having folks work all that extra time with no compensation. Somebody tell the Amateur Now Demoted Manager, just because it’s corporate policy doesn’t mean it’s right. How’s that corporate Kool-aid now?

Along the Wine Trail

It took longer than I thought to get out to yesterday’s site with the fog and all so we got a late start. Trentadue will have to wait for another day. So we started at Keenan, one of my favorites. It was a Thursday so nothing was going on which made the visit more old school than normal. I was picking up a shipment and my futures. I bought the futures two years ago. They were selling a Davis clone and a Bordeaux clone. I got one of each. We were lucky enough to have Michael Keenan walk through the tasting room and stop to talk to us about the wine. Score! I can’t wait to get into those futures, but they’re only 2006 Cabs and I really should let them lay down for a few years. Keenan has been on fire. They’ve got a recent 92 and a 93 from Parker. Not an easy fete. More importantly they did it without making one of those big jammy bullshit wines a lot of other folks are making. If you see them on a wine list, get it. It will be worth your while. Four bottles in the trunk. Our next stop was going to be Freemark Abbey but we got side tracked to Revana. They’re on the menu at The Sommelier’s restaurant and she wanted to stop in. They were appointment only, but were gracious enough to set a 2pm appointment for us. So we busted up to Clos Pegase for that hour and picked up my shipment there…and a little something for the clientele. Eight more bottles in the trunk. Their Cab Franc this time around was excellent. Not your normal Cab Franc. Plums and cherries, with a full feel to it. A really nice wine. Their Pinot was like drinking a cherry coke Pinot. I really like those guys. I like the wine, I like the art in the tasting room and they have the best parties. It was almost 2pm so we busted back down to Revana. I understand why a small boutique-y winery like these guys insist on appointments. In our case it was doubly worth the wait. Not only did we get to hear about the history and philosophy, we were lucky enough to meet our second winemaker of the day, Heidi Barrett, the rock star. (hint: Screaming Eagle) The Revana Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and lush, full of black cherry and cocoa. Beautiful mouthfeel. It was hard to walk away from. But our excellent luck did not stop there. Heidi had a 2pm appointment where she was pouring some of her La Sirena line. She stopped by us and told us they were open anyway, have a taste. The most amazing wine we tasted was her Moscato Azul. That’s not to say we didn’t have some amazing wines yesterday, but the Moscato Azul was amazing in that it wasn’t like anything we’d ever had before. It’s bottled in a blue bottle. It starts off sweetish like a Moscato Cannelli but then it’s not sweet. It would be perfect with Hawaiian or any other Island food. The bouquet is bursting with floral scents. Then it starts off sweet and fruity in the mouth but settles into a clean finish. I’ve never had anything like it. It’s essentially a dry Moscato. Don’t pass it up if you see it on a wine list. There’s a reason she’s such a rock star. I wouldn’t pass up any project she was involved in. Next stop Freemark Abbey. This was just a quick pick up. They’ve remodeled the tasting room. This sort of stuff is unsettling for those of us that have been around for years and years. The bar is now on the left and the piano is gone. We only had a couple of wines, since I’d been here fairly recently. We had the Bootleg Cab, the Bosche and something the Sommelier picked that I can’t remember what it was. Freemark Abbey is old school style. They never bought into the big buttery oak thing or the bursting with fruit shit. That’s why I love them. Five more bottles in the trunk. Next stop Darioush. There are more and more of these places up in the valley. Opus is kind of like this, so is Clos Pegase. Over the top architecture with huge opulent tasting rooms. Darioush is up there with the best of them. I’m more of a Keenan come by our old barn sort. The big places make me twitch. Thankfully, Darioush makes some amazing wine. The most interesting to me was their Shiraz. They did a side by side for us of the 2005 and 2002. The 2005 had chocolate notes where the 2002 had coffee. They were both rich, beautiful wines with plenty of layers that would stand up to the food of the owner’s homeland. Orange peel and pepper sneaking around the mid palette with a silky finish. Really a great wine. I might even had $64 worth of love for it. All and all, an amazing day in the wine country. Every time I go with the Sommelier something very special occurs. Yesterday was no exception. We have one more adventure, the day before Christmas Eve, Santa hats, Christmas cookies.

My memory has just been sold

I’m running out the door, but I couldn’t leave y’all without a little something this morning…sooo.

Ok, today I’m taking it off, mostly, but not right now, I’m pulling comps for a new listing we are getting. In a minute I’ll ask the nice people to pack their shit and get the Hell out. But right now I’m waiting for the MLS to freaking move a little quicker.

Today actually involves an adventure to the wine country to pick up I believe two cases of wine that I’ve been so busy that it’s accumulated. I know there are 10 or 12 bottles at Trentadue, at least four at Freemark Abbey, at least two at Clos Pegase, at least four at Keenan and I think the Sommelier got us a sitting at Darioosh. Wheeee!

Not so fast there Wine Dog…did you have something to say? Yup. Asking Escrow Officers to work for commission only is illegal. It’s not a commission only position. Just sayin’.

And furthermore, in retrospect, you cannot close a deal without escrow instructions and I don’t give a crap what your corporate attorneys winged monkeys say. You can’t. All EO’s are welcome to weigh in on this one. Suffice it to say they closed off of the HUD. We have no idea if they honored our commission demand, if they’re paying the taxes properly (rumor has it they’re not so good at this) or anything else. Bad plan. I’m sure you’re using the old Parker Kennedy stunt where the fines and losses don’t equal the profit you’ll make with these bad business practices.

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Dog new tricks

Now that the election is over with, politics is back to business as usual. For Governor Rod Blagojevich this apparently includes auctioning off Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder. This guy’s a Democrat so he won’t get a Presidential pardon like all of the other crooks who are currently in government. I’m sure Rod will have a splendid time in the Big House. I can think of quite a few other politicians that should be sitting there next to him but will probably get pardons. Rod, you’re a moron and an embarrassment. Have fun in the Big House.

More Politics…sort of

Dallas Dirt, who I follow is reporting that this will be the soon to be former President’s post Presidential home. Following her logic and knowing what we know about this sort of thing, I think she nailed it. You see, in 1980 the Wine Dog was toiling away in Santa Barbara. How is this important? A certain now deceased former President owned a ranch down there. Upon his election we were pummeled with customer service requests for the deed on a piece of property up on Refugio Road. I used to tell the agents that Reagan’s ranch wasn’t in his name, did they still want the deed? The owner of record was William F. Smith, trustee of a blind trust. Yeah, I think Dallas Dirt nailed it.

Which takes me to another rambling subject this morning. Back in 1983 or 1984 I was working for a little company called Fidelity Title of Santa Barbara. The owner’s name was Bob something or another. He had restored all the cars for the film The Great Gatsby and had made a ton of money doing it. He was investing that into the Santa Barbara real estate market. He owned the land that Raytheon sat on. And a ton of other marquee commercial properties. He got disgusted with of all things title fees so he bought a title company. I can’t remember exactly how everything went down but I remember The Burgermeister coming in there when they took the whole thing over. This was before he bought Western Title. (There I dared utter the word again) That acquisition was in 1988 if I recall correctly, and for my money, it was the beginning of the end. (I’d love for anyone who can fill in the blanks in my wine addled brain to email me or comment in the comment section on the actual dateline.) I was back in Northern California by 1988 working for Founders in Alameda County. And now for today’s segue, Old Repulsive was finally….Finally…FINALLY downgraded yesterday from an A+ to an A. They held out longer than anyone on that, which in my mind, makes them pretty good looking. Oh yeah, and that’s several points higher than some of their competitors. Something is going right in Minnesota.

Hellhoundz

Rita finished her Novice 1 class yesterday. She didn’t pass but she finished. Her sits are now rock solid. I can tell her to sit and stay and open the back door with squirrels present and she will sit and wait to be released. She will not do that in a down at all. She’ll down around the house but she won’t do it at the dog club. The instructor thinks something bad happened to her in that position which is why she’s so resistant. How resistant you ask? I have to stand on the leash to keep her choked up to the ground for her to do a down…all the while telling her “good down”. That resistant. The next sessions starts in January and that’ll be Bubba’s turn. Can’t wait to see which quirks he exhibits for the class.

Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.

Is NASCAR Teddy Simon Elder to Bill’s Tripp Darling?  That’s the feel I get from this article.

I realize you have to watch the show to know what I’m talking about, but if you do…doncha just love it?

And Oh Teddy, this can’t end well.  I know people who lost money with the LandAm 1031 collapse have come to PBE.  They’ve probably left disgusted, but if you’re here now, try this google group:

landam1031exchangers@googlegroups.com

File this under Must Be Nice.

OK, I have to go sell a house or two today.  I’m doing my part to get the title folk back to work…alright one last comment…How many times has the Evil Empire laid people off from their good jobs and then brought them back as temps?  Assholes.

Let me tell you about hard work

It’s been a while since we’ve had The Google keywords of the week weak:

  1. patty hauptman divorcing (It’s not a Moose Chili cook-off in DeMoines?)
  2. pink bunny bankruptcy (no worries, PBE is solvent)
  3. fatcola (Oh, how I love this)
  4. his stomach ate too much sick -baby -kid -child -son -boy (this is probably the wrong stop for that problem. I’d just chew some Gaviscon and go for a walk)
  5. title companies being sued in california by former employees within the last year (answer: all of them…btw what’s going on with the FATCO suit?)
  6. jerrold g. hauptman
  7. chemindefer jeans (can you believe I’m the #2 hit of this and I don’t know what they are?)
  8. max crisp cfo

I had a very interesting conversation with the EVP of the Evil Empire division that’s making me want to chew my arm off. Essentially, she agreed with every complaint I had. (Good start because you know I was right) Then she went on to explain that the downward pressure on the rates was causing them to automate more which resulted in the things that I was seeing and objecting to. At that point I came sort of clean and told her that I’d been a Title Operations Manager, CTO and Commercial Title Officer and as far as the downward pressure on the rates, she was preaching to the choir. I let her know that I opposed everything that Jackie Speiers and her ilk were trying to do to the business and that the CLTA and ALTA should have done a better job of defending the original rates, which were fair. If you want to keep the refi rates low and write those crap pres, I can understand that, but do the work on an owner’s policy. Her problem was that they were taking a lender division and essentially transforming into an REO division, which of course issues a different type of product. She was so helpful that I kept my Home Depot line to myself. Two hours later I had nearly everything I needed.

Unfortunately for the buying public, very few realtors would be able to see what was wrong with the prelim in the first place and advocate for their client like I did. Not a great place for the business to be going. If you consider all of the disclosures we have to give the buyer as agents, the fact that a title company can cut corners on their product is nearly criminal. Seriously, I have to point out every crack and nail hole in a wall but the Title Company doesn’t have to describe the easements they’re showing? That’s not right. And I don’t mean spelling out exactly where it is, simply the “westerly 20 feet” or “traversing the northerly portion of the land” will do. Jacksonville and Santa Ana need to look within and readjust their thinking. They’ve lost touch with the customer and they’re just beating the foot soldiers to death right now. They’re putting a crap product on the street and their staff is too overworked and underpaid to give a damn. It’s time to bring the title production back to US soil. It’s time to go to Sacramento and straighten out that rate schedule. And it’s time to put some of those out of work title and escrow people back to work.

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Flashing lights as people race to find shelter from the pour

OMG I have so much to rant about and I can’t right now. Suffice it to say a division of the Evil Empire is making want to tear the skin from my body in a fit of total aggravation. Their corporate motto should be “We don’t give a crap, because we don’t have to.” Just awful. And sad, considering all the qualified title and escrow staff that is out of work while these asshats actually have jobs. God only knows what their actual qualifications to do the job are because we can’t figure it out. I do believe these guys have cornered the market on stupid. And sadly, I’m hearing that the FNF people are checking out the Commonwealth title operations to see what they can pluck salvage utilize pilfer. I don’t know why they bother. Just go down to Home Depot and get some of those guys at $10 an hour. That’s all you want to pay anyway.

Speaking of out of work, 530,000 laid off employees for the month of November. How’s that free market working out for ya? Back in the day, when I was young, I decided that I was sick of bouncing around. I was going to pick a company and stick with them. It was 1984 and it was kind of Orwellian thinking. At the time, the choices were (in my mind) Chicago Title in Alameda County, Founders Title in Alameda County or Western Title. (There. I said the word out loud) When I called Chicago, I found out that their Title Operations Manager was an old friend of mine. When I called Founders Title, I found out that another old friend ran that operation. The Founders guy called me back first and in October 1984 I started at Founder’s Title. (He actually hired me on my birthday…I’ve also closed a contingent escrow on my birthday, but I digress) The point is, Founders had a rule. If you had a job on Halloween, you had a job on New Year’s Eve. You might be screwed by what is now Martin Luther King Day, but you had a job through NYE. That changed probably ten years ago over there, when the local President changed which, for my money, is unfortunate. I miss those ethics. And I imagine 530,000 other people do too.

I was watching an interview with John Burns this morning. He’s a really smart guy with a really great education, an authority on the housing market. He said the American economy was in a death spiral. I think I called it a death spin about a week ago, but I’m a dumbass that barely got out of high school. He said that until the Government steps in and creates jobs through the infrastructure we will continue to spiral downward. I think we’ll just ride that death spin out to sea where the Coasties’ll pick us up. Or the Somali pirates. Actually, for a guy who isn’t necessarily a fan of Government intervention, I think he nailed it.

I can’t figure out what this is about, but I’ll throw it out there anyway.

But you ain’t lived til you’ve had your tires rotated by a red headed woman

Sometimes, someone else says something better than I ever could. This might leave a mark. I don’t know enough about 1031’s but I can’t imagine getting whacked by the IRS because the 1031 company failed. Mr. President-Elect, your economic dream team might want to take a look at this one. It’s a simple fix, but Number 43 has one foot out the door already, and this is another fine mess he’s dumping in your lap.

On to happier things

Those of you who have been following PBE for any period of time know that I haven’t received a paycheck since the Amateur now demoted Manager shitcanned me and the Dearly Departed Escrow Officer last July…21st to be exact…not that I’m bitter. Well, today is a red letter day. At 8:30a.m. a package will be presented to the Alameda County Recorder, which only has one document so they should be able to record it without too much crying or gnashing of teeth. Proper documentary transfer tax has been affixed. And the Wine Dog will finally get a paycheck. I’m particularly lucky in that my first close was with an investor who is a wickedly intelligent, kind and gentle soul. I know my whole career won’t go like this, Dear Old Dad was a real estate broker, I know how this goes, but right now I’m feeling particularly lucky and blessed.

Holding back the Hellhounds

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned Bubba’s tummy issues or not. I think I’ve skipped over it. He had a reaction to the EVO. He was having “wet burps”, way too regularly for my new carpet. He had started massaging his entire midsection with his mouth and crying.

A friend of mine discovered that if you massage his belly he would relax and it made him feel better. X-rays showed originally that he was constipated and his stomach was irritated. I moved him over to Solid Gold Flock-n-Hund and added kefir and yogurt to his food. Not much improvement. So I took him down to Encina Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek. I had been avoiding them because I knew how much they cost. Well, they were worth it. The previous vet wanted to feed him Pepcid AC and give him a stool softener, and I’m not the “just take a pill” sort. So he got yogurt to move things along and settle his stomach, which it did. But the Solid Gold didn’t settle him enough for my taste, so off he went to Encina. They gave him a few tests to assure that he wasn’t way out of whack and then suggested moving his food to a duck and sweet potato, low ingredient feed. It should be called Solid Platinum it’s so freaking expensive. But he’s starting to settle down and his hair coat, which was concerning the Encina vets is starting to improve so we’ll see how this goes.

Rita completed her 5th week of Novice 1 training down at the Mt. Diablo Dog Training Club last night. She’s really done well considering her background. When I first got that dog she would pee if I looked at her crosseyed. The first night I took her down there back in January they told me to take her back home she wasn’t ready. She did ultimately very well in that class. This class has been a little bit more work. It has a long down, and long sit and a stand for examination. It has the beginnings of figure eights, 360 degree turns, about faces and all sorts of disciplines. She’s come along nicely but she’s got a ways to go. Her sits have become rock solid. Her recall is better than Beauregard’s ever was. And like her late brother, she can get distracted. The gal that helped me get Bubba is in the class after me. She brings her big black and tan bitch in for the Novice 3 class. Last night a woman dropped in with a big black and tan dog. I wasn’t watching him, I was watching Rita for her recall, but he yipped and she was totally distracted. I believe he said “I dig redheads”. And I believe she looked at him and said “What a handsome young stud”. The instructor laughed and said “At least you know she knows her own kind, and is distracted by that.” And I think the dog’s owner found out that he digs Hot Rod Rita the Redheaded Doberman.

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Change the lines that were said before, We’re all dreamers – we’re all whores

There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Here I am reading all this crap and forgetting to comment on it. First, It Takes a Thief. Why run a scam when you can just take the money and go? Why didn’t I think of that?

LandAmerica in their first big move cuts life and health insurance to the retirees. Ted, you’re an asshole. Some of those people that I know personally were with that company going all the way back to Transamerica Title. They took your golden parachute and now you’re giving it to them in the poop chute. When is the board going to fire this guy and his massive ego? Yeah, I know it’s a popular move for corporations in trouble to dump benefits for former employees, but you know what? Those people did their jobs for that company for years and years and years. That company needs to hold up their end of the bargain. And that goes especially for GM, Ford and Chrysler. The cost of one trip in each of those private jets is a year’s worth of benefits to a retiree.

Lots of prattle out there about LandAmerica prelims and commitments. It just shows me how little the people who use title companies know about who they do business with. LandAmerica doesn’t issue prelims. Commonwealth does. Lawyers Title does. Transnation does (did?) So while a prelim might (and I say might because I haven’t seen a LandAm pre in a couple of years) say LandAm on the front somewhere, the truth of the matter is that the policy that they’re going to issue is through Commonwealth, Lawyers etc. LandAm is not an insurance company, it’s a holding company. I haven’t heard for sure, but I would assume that Fidelity will reissue the prelims on their system and just keep going forward. Every time this happens a bunch of banks, mortgage people and realtors get up in arms about their deals. Very rarely is there even a hiccup in the transaction…with the noted exception of the mess that the Hauptmans leave in their trail, but that’s more of an ethics issue.

We all know I’m all about local. I had proof positive last week as to why I’m right. I have a deal with an escrow company that is located approximately 120 miles from the property, me and my buyer. Nice ladies and that prelim was kind of close to right the first time around, (although finding a Title Officer that could plot out the legal description was quite an exercise.) The Company, in all their wisdom failed to let us know that their good funds policy extended beyond get a “cashier’s check” and went on to be specific as to the type of cashier’s check. It’s mentioned nowhere in their paperwork. Apparently they won’t take a cashier’s check issued by a credit union. If it had been a local company, I could have spun by there, picked up the check and taken it to my client to replace for a wire. But they were 120 miles east of here, by the time I found out there was no time to drive 120 miles east of here to pick up the check and then drive 120 miles back to get it replaced with a wire. That’s what’s wrong with having this REO business done in these remote locations. It’s not customer centric.

Not so fast Billy. Looks like Fitch has you on a negative watch. Ouch. Conversely, my friend over at Old Repulsive had been downgraded a couple of months ago, just not as badly. FAF is wallowing around in the BBB+ area. Not pretty. I just can’t believe all these CEO’s failed to save up for a rainy day. Did they not know that business was cyclical? As far as I’m concerned it’s irresponsible on all of their parts. Oh yeah, and I blame Reagan for that stinkin’ thinkin’.

And here’s a little something to help OTG with his Christmas holiday shopping.

Three scientists who are engaged in diabolical, avant-garde experiments previously performed only on insects and other small, meaningless creatures.

Where to start this morning?  Let’s start with the fun stuff.  Sonofabun wanted to be mentioned on PBE, he was feeling a little lonely I guess, so he did what any interloper would do.  He opened a spectacular bottle of wine.  It was a double mag of Marcelina 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was an excellent offering.  Marcelina is a product of the third generation of Gallo’s.  The grandkids make better wine than any of their forefathers.  I’ve had numerous fine offerings from their projects.  The same can be said for the Mondavi family.  This wine was smoky, with subtle fruit.  The tannins had mellowed properly with the time in the bottle and it was the perfect wine for a monstrous turkey dinner.  Sonofabun is also an amazing cook.  Almost as good as the Wine Dog.  One day we will play Iron Chef and he will have to fall on his knives in defeat!  OK, I might not have been able to brine a turkey like he did.  It came out perfectly.  He does Southern style sweet potatoes, which would be a preference of mine.  And we all ate too much to get to his desserts, with the noted exception of the maple frosted pecan something or anothers, of which I had 40 or so.  I do love me some maple.

Wednesday was the Wine Dog Family Massacree.  This occurs in Davis, California.  This was the first gathering since my Uncle’s passing several years ago.  There had been rumblings for the last few years and this year my cousin pulled the trigger.  All the Usual Suspects made the pilgrimage.  Cousin from Another Time Zone played chauffeur to the Old Folks, freeing up The Brother and I to hang out with the cousins like we did in our misspent youth.  Personally, I have never attended the Attack on Sac.  That occurs the night before Thanksgiving and hasn’t occurred in recent times, but it is the stuff that family lore is made of.  The Brother baked the pies.  Drambouie in a pumpkin pie, who’d a thunk it?  The Brother, that’s who.  He can put booze in just about anything and make it work.  He also did a sweet potato cheesecake.  A nice twist on the pumpkin cheesecake thing.  Cousin from Another Time Zone was assigned a fruited dessert.  We felt The Brother was expecting a cobbler, though he denies it.  We got all mavericky and baked a Maple Cranberry Pudding Cake.  It rocked.  I was in charge of salads so we had a Spinach, Hazelnut dried cranberry salad, an updated Waldorf and a Caesar.  Much debate was had over the anchovies, but in the end the voice said “No Anchovies Please”.   The Sailor prepared the perfect turkey.  I cracked a Chappallet Los Piedros, a 2002 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2004 Gunlach Bundchu Pinot Noir.

I am actually getting bored picking on LandAmerica.  (I’m sure that’s music to Richmond’s ears)  I will say I got a lot of stuff from the State of Nebraska and it took a day or two for my mind to remember that Commonwealth and Lawyers are domiciled in Nebraska.  I always thought that was kind of weird.  I still do.  Commonwealth was always a PA company to me.  I’ve worked for them several times over the years.  My last stint was when it was moved to Nebraska and I just completely spaced that out.  Lawyers Title has never mattered in Northern California.  They’ve been real players in other parts of the country, even somewhat in Southern California, just never much up here.  They do get big chunks of really big commercial stuff, I think just because the word “Lawyer” is in their name.

I’m really amazed that no one is taking the current administration to task on this bail out.  For the guys that have been talking “free market” and all that bullshit for eight years, they’re sure spending a lot of government tax dollars bailing out their cronies.  Yeah, it needs to happen or the whole thing is going to, well there’s going to be a huge sucking sound.  But really, according to your “economics” the government shouldn’t be bailing these guys out.  Who knows better than New Yorkers?  We might be heading to a tea party.  Anybody heard a word about privatization of Social Security recently?  OK, GW couldn’t fly a plane, find oil in Texas, run the Texas Rangers and I think we can put another feather in his cap full of incompetency.  He couldn’t run the country either.  Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter can relax.  The worst President ever is number 43.

Now after two days of eating, I’m off to the gym, for about three hours.  Maybe four.  Where’s Jillian Michaels when you need her?