Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let's Talk Business

Over the past few weeks, I have heard politicians, press people, and one particular talking head, whom I consider an overweight jackass, so he will go unnamed, say some pretty nasty things about insurance companies. Very little of this derision is actually deserved. So let's look at it a little more logically.

Most insurance companies have stockholders or they are mutual companies, partially owned by their customers. They have a fiduciary obligation to run their companies in a manner most beneficial to the owners. 

They are not like the government that can pass out other peoples money with nary a thought. In fact we would all be better off if the people in government realized that they also have a fiduciary responsibility.

So insurance companies are required to try to be profitable, but they are highly regulated by the individual states in which they operate. They can only charge the rates that the state insurance administration allows. They are also controlled as to their plans and how they operate. If you took the time to check the profit levels of your average insurance company, you would find they they are within the norms of most reasonable businesses.

While the government can and does offer flood insurance to areas where they know will occur, a private insurance company cannot offer to cover preexisting conditions at a normal rate. Remember that fiduciary responsibility. The government could force them to. That is what is happening now with Obamacare. 

But the government cannot force a business to be suicidal. That is why the costs of everyone's insurance must go up and cheap policies must go away. All of the extra services being mandated  must be covered by everyone taking a hit. This is business 101. They knew what would happen from the beginning. I just don't understand how they thought they could sneak it by the American people. Did the think we wouldn't care. Did they think it would be just another footnote in the scandal of the week club. 

In my life I have had experience with both the government and insurance companies. Overall considering service and cooperation, I'll take the insurance companies.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Once Again, Our Lyin' Eyes

I spent a little bit of time this morning watching and listening to the hearing on Obamacare. Along with this I have listened to news where actual users of health insurance told their stories. There is a divide. There is a huge divide. Listening to Kathleen Sibelius and, the ever unctuous, Henry Waxman one would be lead to believe that Obamacare is mere seconds away from perfection and at that point everyone in America will have Edenic, Utopian, inexpensive, cradle to grave health care where so little as a hangnail will get immediate treatment by superbly trained specialists.

Get over it folks. At best, everything the administration has claimed for this very faulty product is exaggerated. At worst it is a stack of lies. Having lived a long and fruitful life, I tend to believe the lies theory.  It is now reported that NBC reporter, Lisa Myers, has found regulation documents going back to 2010 that state that forty to sixty-seven percent of the population would lose their health care. So at least since 2010 on, the phrase, "If you like your policy, you can keep your policy", has been an out and out lie.

Also this morning, Ms Sibelius threw herself under the bus. She took full responsibility for any and all problems. But she assured the American public that she is working night and day to fix those problems. First I have to wonder how President Obama generates this kind of suicidal loyalty in some people. When ever there is a crisis, which is often, someone goes off the cliff, often voluntarily, but Obama walks away smiling. But the point is, Ms. Sibelius is a career politician. I doubt that she has the skill set or the temperament to dig in to a complex situation involving multiple companies, multiple apps, and a total system integration with a software hub and resolve the problems. If the problems are bad enough, every line of program and every piece of documentation will have to be reexamined. That is no small job, and certainly, no job for amateurs.

So once again, the people of America are stuck with an ugly, expensive, and complex problem handed to them by their elected representatives that we have foolishly trusted to care for our country. But, as much as I blame the politicians, I blame the press even more. It is their mandate to watch the politicians and report to us. They have failed in recent years because they pick sides. They pick not based on who will serve us best, but by who is coolest, who is glibbest, who is most charming. These are poor parameters on which to choose a leader. Maybe from here on we should start believing our lyin' eyes.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Audacity Of Arrogance

For anyone that makes even half an effort to be an informed citizen in these times, it is depressing. Back in February I wrote an article about how the Obama Presidency was fraying at the edges. Now it is crumbling like a poorly built wall in a hurricane. It is not George Bush's fault. It is not the Republican's fault. It is, most certainly, not the fault of the Tea Party. No, the fault lies right in the lap of Barack Obama.

He has been an arrogant, disengaged, and unskilled leader. For all of the high praise that was bestowed on him by Valarie Jarrett, the country has seen little proof of her opinion. He does not seem to understand the need to prioritize. The economy was on it's heels when he moved into the White House and people were out of work. He did give lip service to the need for economic growth and job creation, but took no true positive steps to accomplish the task. He had the presidency and both houses of Congress. He had the power to get things done. But he surrounded himself with liberal academics, fund raisers, and political operators. He left the task to them and went off to continue campaigning and making speeches. Five years with no progress proves the fruitlessness of that plan.

If you will recall, during the Clinton administration, Hillarycare was born. It was so over reaching it died on the vine. Mr. Obama, not seeming to be the most altruistic of people, somehow decided that a national healthcare system would be his crowning glory. Perhaps I shouldn't use his name and crown in the same sentence. Might give him ideas. But in his usual management manner, he turned the project over to an assortment of people little skilled in the health care industry, software, or systems integration and, without a strong single leader, turned them loose. He went off to continue campaigning and making speeches. Five years later we have a debacle that may or may not be repairable.

If those are sins, they are sins of omission. They are just a sad record of a man who's political agenda out weighed a very light folio of management skills. Those are things he never learned because he never had to learn them. But he also committed sins of commission, and those are far worse. You see he lied. Not once. Many times. Not little fibs. Lies, out and out lies. "You can keep your doctor. You can keep your insurance plan. I will close Guantanamo Bay." He also claimed not to know about the IRS or "Fast and Furious" or Benghazi or the NSA spying and on and on.

It is a crime punishable by imprisonment to lie to a government official. Is it not a crime of even greater stature for a government official to lie to the American citizenry? If it is not, it should be. That is the one thing that Barack Obama wears around his shoulders like a royal cape. The audacity of arrogance.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Doing The Best You Can

There are times when I tire of ragging on politicians or discussing economics issues. These are important, and I do devote most of the time I spend writing in that arena. Besides, ragging on politicians suits my temperament. But let's go on to another area for a change.

I have titled this little essay, "Doing The Best You Can". Back, through the early part of my life, that was the way most Americans lived. People did the best they could. It was a far more Spartan time. At least it was in the northeast where we lived. You see, like most of the young people I knew, I never left New England until I was in college. Most people did not own their own homes. They mostly lived in"flats" in two and three decker houses and paid rent to the landlord. In poorer areas some of these houses were four or even five floors. No elevators and possibly no hot water.

Since most families had only one car, if they had any at all, people crowded into the cities where they had access to public transportation. The cars were a true joy in those days. You had to change the oil every thousand miles or the engine wouldn't last. The cars required new plugs and points about every five thousand miles. At about forty thousand there would be rust showing through the paint. The heaters wouldn't keep you warm if the outside temperature got down to fifty and there was no such thing as air conditioning.

World War Two came along and all the young men went to Europe or the Pacific to fight for freedom. The women went to work in the factories because somebody had to. There were food shortages. But we survived. You couldn't buy tires or gasoline. But there was no place to go anyway. The movies were not only the best source of entertainment but also the best source of news. Most people don't know but the old Movietone Company, the people that made Movietone News, was the pioneer company that brought sound to movies with the audio track on the film. Their Movietone news was how the people in the US saw the war. To civilians who had never seen war, the images were frightening and compelling. It wasn't until the fifties that Timex brought John Cameron Swayze into the country's living rooms nightly to show and explain the Korean War on that little ten inch black and white TV.

When WWII was over the returning GIs wanted to own their own homes and live a life that their parents couldn't conceive. The plat was born. Rows of small houses on equally small lots. Hock your future to the bank and you could be a property owner. They did. By the thousands. And they discovered what a smart move they had made. The value of those little houses went up faster than anyone could have foreseen. That gave these families a leg up on a better future. My wife and I brought up three daughters in one of these houses. Fourteen hundred square feet, one bathroom, three bedrooms. Small, crowded, but ours and we were happy to have it.

You see, back in those days, you didn't have MacMansions. People mostly bought used cars. A trip to a restaurant was a rarity for a special occasion. Only the rich and business people flew in airplanes. Common folk took the train or drove. And there was no Disneyland. But we did well doing good. We coped because we were doing the best we could.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


From time to time I have had problems to solve where I didn't have as much information as I really needed to come up with a solution. So I would go with what information I could glean, along with whatever similar experiences I had been exposed to, and applying whatever brain power I could summon, to arrive at an answer. In the day, those that I worked with and I, would refer to these a SWAG solutions. Translation; Scientific Wild Ass Guess. Sometimes we got lucky and these solutions actually worked.

At this point in time, I am ready to coin a new term. A UWAG. An Uninformed Wild Ass Guess. It is necessary to coin this term because, by what I read, it is the approach to governing applied by Barack Obama. He knew nothing about the problems with the roll out of his signature legislative program. I know that doesn't make sense, but it is just the latest in a long list of denials that an effective President would have known about and been all over, getting the problems solved. "Fast and Furious", the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal, the NSA scandal, the breaching of the First Amendment, the list goes on.

There are three possible ways for the American people to look at this since they are the Presidents bosses. First, he could be lying to us. He may be completely involved and aware but, since the results have been mostly bad, he does not care to be seen as the responsible party.

Secondly, it is possible that this is happening because there has been no chain of responsibility put in place. That would be an example of just terribly bad and unskilled management. In the business world, the word of bad things travels up the chain of command because no one wants their boss to be surprised. Allowing that to happen would be a shortcut to the unemployment line. So corrective measures are taken at the appropriate level but the word moves up.

One last possibility, one I would not be shocked to find is the correct answer, is that someone other than Barack Obama is running the day to day operations of the Presidents office. And that person is shielding the President from the hard facts. 

The reason that I find this last solution possible is that Mr. Obama is seldom seen as a denizen of the Oval Office with his sleeves rolled up and burning up the phone lines. By  all reports he doesn't take time to schmooze and cajole congress persons to take his side. He takes no time to work the opposition, whom he considers mortal enemies. He travels, he makes speeches, he talks to fund raisers. Those are the tasks he enjoys. He does not enjoy listening to others and making decisions. The "dirty work" of management. But then as a neighborhood organizer, he never learned those management skills. Perhaps he found he was not ready to start learning when we actually needed him to have and apply such skills. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Joy Of Being Satisfied

Sometimes it is just good to leave things alone and be happy with what you have. Certainly, not always. If that were so we would all still be driving Model Ts. But when something as complicated as health care is working well enough that a huge majority are well cared for and satisfied by the system that has evolved slowly in baby steps, it is best to leave well enough alone.

Was the pre-Obamacare system perfect? No. It was just about the best system in the world. Was everyone covered by health insurance? No. About ten percent of the population wasn't covered. Some of those couldn't afford insurance. Some didn't want it. Was anyone refused medical care because they lacked insurance? Very rarely. There are laws in place that require a hospital to provide care to the indigent.

So why are we going through this, out of control, exercise in futility?  Because one man, Barack Obama, felt he could cure what wasn't really sick, by the laying-on of his hands. He saw health care as too expensive and to disorderly. Also it was not one hundred percent universal. So from his position of great wisdom, he proceeded to toss the baby out with the bath water.

Let's look at disorderly first, because that is the key. The health care insurance industry was and is, made up of hundreds of providers across the country with thousands of plans, all administered by the individual states. It has evolved that way through the years primarily because it is illegal to sell health insurance across state lines. So if  you stand on the mountain top and look down on the health insurance landscape it appears to be chaos. Chaos to a big government politician spells opportunity. Take control of the chaos and your wonderful big government gets even bigger. 

A simpler solution would have been to allow the sale of healthcare insurance across state lines. Given some time, the economies generated would have let the most effective providers cover the national marketplace and the least effective would have gone away without the need for government involvement.

Healthcare was too expensive. One large force in the rise in medical prices is the cost of malpractice insurance. That particular problem is often mentioned by seldom attacked. You see, a lot of politicians are lawyers and lawyers and legal organizations are very generous in supporting political campaigns. Don't forget, most of those thousands of lobbyists that haunt the corridors of power are lawyers too. There are other causes also. Medical professionals generally make good salaries because they are highly trained and bear a lot of responsibility. So healthcare will never be cheap, but there are places where savings could be made. These areas should be encouraged by the government not controlled by it.

As far as those not covered by insurance, it would have been easier and cheaper to deal with them as a group, providing them with emergency coverage through the government, than upsetting the apple cart and throwing everything out to start from scratch.

So why would the President do that? Power. Period. He wants a one payer system, owned and operated by the government. When you have that you have taken sixteen percent of the economy away from free enterprise and presented it whole and intact to the politicians who would be our masters. Enough, enough, enough. We must go back to the joy of being satisfied because the new way is a complete disaster that may be beyond fixing.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Warning - Warning

I was tempted to add a third warning to the title, but thought that might be over doing it. But a strong warning is necessary. It is a warning that I have given before. Today I am ramping up the defcon level to 5. This warning, of course, is about your money and the danger that it is being subjected to by the Fed and the present administration.

I have recently read where the Fed feels fully justified in increasing the production of new dollars up to one trillion dollars a month for "quantitative easing". In other words they are turning the dollar into Monopoly money to support the administrations surreal penchant for spending money  that they don't have.

To make matters worse, the Fed is dedicated to maintain QE spending until unemployment goes under seven percent. Why they believe that printing new money and buying back bonds will increase employment is beyond my ken. As far as I can see the only increase in employment will be among those that make replacement parts for printing presses and ink. And I do not believe they will stop if the unemployment rate drops below seven percent if it is before the next election. All is politics.

What this policy will do is expand the Bernanke Bubble even more. The explosion caused when the Bernanke Bubble blows up will most likely be the worst financial catastrophe in my lifetime. I have been writing about this for quite a while now. I see lately that some in the financial media are coming on board with this idea.

The Bernanke QE policy particularly hurts those that are retired and those that are out of work. Because interest rates are held artificially low, those without a solid income stream are forced to dip into their savings rather than relying on interest payments. At the same time, it benefits the wealthiest of the population because it inflates the value of the stock market.

I am hardly an investment expert, but it seems to me that investing, right now, is fraught with peril. Be exceedingly careful with your money. I do have some ideas about investing today, but I will keep them to myself for fear of being wrong. At any rate, I would not accept the advice of any one person. Read, discuss, but, most of all, think and plan where you put your money. These are dangerous times and the government that should be protecting you seem more intent on protecting their own agenda. Good luck and don't say I haven't given you a warning. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trickle Down Brings The Bottom Up

Last week I wrote a couple of articles about Keynesian economics. I promised that in the near future I would take a shot at simplifying "Trickle Down" economics. Today is that day. But first, new unemployment numbers came out this morning and they are not pretty. Government economists expected over 180,000 jobs to be created, there were only 148,000. There was no announcement about how many of those jobs were part time. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7.2%. You can chalk that up as another failed month for the, much touted, Obama recovery. For perspective, previous to our present President, any unemployment rate over 5.5% was considered unacceptable.

Economics, many times, works opposite of quick and easy logic. That is because there is an interaction between public policy and private decisions. When these private decisions involve money, those decision makers usually apply extra care. Most often, the more money these decision makers have, the more experienced and knowledgeable they are regarding finances. 

One basic tenet of both conservatism and "trickle down" is that the money belongs to the people that earn it. They are willing to give a reasonable amount to the government for support because they realize that a governmental structure is needed for the general good. Unfortunately, many in government consider all money to belong to the government and that they should decide how much to allow the producers to keep. That is just bad policy. It stifles creativity and energy in the workplace. 

Most job creation in the United States is by small business. Many of these small businesses are called "S Corporations". These are businesses that are owned by an individual. They could be a corner garage with an owner and a couple of mechanics. It could be a neighborhood bodega where everyone that works there is family and working 20 hours a day so that the next generation doesn't have to. It could be a factory with over a thousand employees making custom parts for the automotive industry. 

These businesses have one thing in common, the owners salary and the net profit for the business are the same. When the owner files an income tax form it is for both the owner and the business. So when the government increases taxes on those evil rich business owners they are taking money out of the business. Money that could be used to hire more people or purchase new equipment, or even expand the product line.

But if the government lowers taxes these businesses gain confidence. They hire. They expand. Other people see the success and they become entrepreneurs. Surprisingly enough, even with a lower tax rate, income to the government grows because profits grow. I know it has been a while, so you may not remember, that is called success. 

It is no secret to either side of the aisle. It has been seen in various business cycles through the years. Raise taxes , recession. Lower taxes, expansion. And as Ronald Reagan said,"A rising tide floats all boats". For the past five years, the rich have been getting richer while the poor and middle class have been losing ground. If you think this is not purposeful, you may want to re-examine the situation. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Einstein? Not!!!

When Barack Obama was running for President, we were told by a tame and fawning press that he was the smartest man ever to aspire to our nations highest office. He might even be the smartest man ever to live. That might have been true by the standards of his ever subservient following of flacks. Unfortunately, as often happens, the product doesn't live up to the advertising. The Edsel comes to mind.

I have been blessed to know a few really smart people in my lifetime. With all of the blather and miscues that are surrounding Obamacare, I was reminded of an engineer I knew in years past. He had just taken on a new job at a large chemical company. He was to supervise the change over of an important production line. The task entailed removing old equipment, bringing in and assembling new equipment, re-plumbing it all in stainless steel, and connecting everything with explosion proof wiring. Those of you with engineering experience will understand the scope and difficulty of such a job. To make matters worse, while he had sufficient time to plan, once the job started he was up against the clock.

To his credit, this man was one of the most competent and painstaking engineers I have ever known. He laid everything out on paper. He double-checked his measurements in the field. Then he had his crew cut, bend, and thread all of the pipe ahead of time. That is a gutsy move that would have scared many. The usual course of action would be to place the major pieces, then cut and fit the piping one piece at a time.

Well, finally the day came. From the time they started ripping out until they turned on the power, my friend was on site every minute there was work being done. Long story, short, because of his care and planning, the job was successfully completed a day early and everything worked as planned.

Now I compare that with Obamacare. There was no plan just a concept and some rhetoric. There was no supervision. Just a bunch of politicians rounding up lobbyists to do the work with no single point of oversight. While we have companies in this country like Google, EBay, and Amazon, not to mention many more, that handle huge amounts of computer traffic every day, I heard nothing of the Obama administration asking for advice to construct a front end in software and hardware. Instead a Canadian company was given a no bid contract for software. Apparently this software was put in place with insufficient testing and has fallen flat on it's face. So I guess we are going to be looking at another bailout. Maybe this one will work. I won't hold my breath. I have some small experience with software design. I learned that if the original designer starts out working from a bad premise or doesn't thoroughly understand the required logical processes, the software might not be repairable. A start from scratch may be needed. Won't that be a mess?

Now Obama may be a very smart man. But I like to judge by results not words. If you judge his results as a President doing good for the American people, Einstein he is not.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Benghazi - Reminder Number Ten

I said I would keep re-posting my original Benghazi blog until we started getting answers. In my total naivete, I stopped for a while because I thought the process was under way. I was wrong. As the politocrats wanted, the Benghazi scandal was being lost in the fog of new scandals that hit closer to home. When Jay Carney, the presidential press secretary, was asked about Benghazi recently, he claimed it was over. All the questions have been answered. It was just Fox News trying to stir up trouble. He was wrong on all counts.

Make no mistake, the Benghazi scandal is the one this administration fears most. They can label it "phony" all they want. It is real. The Benghazi scandal taints two people primarily. That is the President and the woman that would be his replacement. It is their lack of pride and lack of decisiveness along with a fear of political fallout that caused, directly or indirectly, the debacle in Benghazi. I may not be the loudest voice to express deep concern about the failure of our government to protect Americans on American soil. But I am a voice. If all that are like minded keep up the struggle for honesty and justice we will ultimately prevail. So my re-posts start again and will continue. My original article follows. It was written over a year ago and we are still waiting for the answers we deserve.

Remember Benghazi

The holidays are here and everyone is busy with their preparations. The newspaper, if they report at all, are reporting the crisis of the day. The president is heading to Hawaii in a week. Most politicians have lost interest in anything that matters. There are distractions galore. But through all this, we must remember Benghazi.

The administration, every person in it, hopes that the American people will just move on and call it done. Over. Old history. We must not do that. Benghazi is a big deal. Benghazi is not just one scandal. It is four separate scandals. Every one of them deserves our close attention.

The first scandal is that Ambassador Stevens called for more security and it was denied him. That is unheard of. An ambassador is the highest ranking American in any foreign country. He is the direct representative of the President. Normally when an ambassador makes a request it is granted without question. There are only two people in government with the power to deny an ambassador. That would be the Secretary of State and the President. So who made that decision and why? Was it made on political grounds? Was it made to appease someone in the Libyan government? After all this consulate had been attacked before. Weren't there enough warning flags up? Why was the Ambassador even there? Was he sent there secretly for a meeting? Why was he sent with insufficient personal security?

The second scandal is the attack on the consulate itself. This was an attack on sovereign American soil. When the consulate came under fire they called out for help. None was forthcoming. The people calling for help were experienced military. They had a drone overhead monitoring the situation. The battle lasted over seven hours. Help was available. Even a single AC-130 sent from Italy could have been there in an hour. Four honorable Americans lost their lives while serving their country. Why? Was this also a political decision? Do we now sacrifice our people for political reasons? Who was monitoring the feed from the drone? Who did they report to? We need answers. We deserve answers. Whatever was or was not done occurred in our name.

The third scandal, of course, is the pack of lies that the administration put out to cover this debacle. The stories had not even a bit of truth to them. It was not about some movie upsetting a flash mob. Any person with more than two active brain cells knew they were lies. But for weeks after, coincidentally right through the presidential debates, the administration stuck with the story. Week after week, on the Sunday talk shows and in the news papers the media allowed this story when they must have known it was a fabrication. A man in California was jailed for his part in inciting a riot that never happened. In America? Please. That is just wrong. When did our country come to this?

The fourth scandal is a little more difficult for me.  I have a tendency to accept the military as straight forward and honorable under any and all pressure. As back in Caesar's day, they would fall on their sword rather than dishonor their uniform. General Petraeus initially mouthed the party line as to the cause of the attack on Benghazi. He reiterated the obvious lies that were played to protect the administration. It is my opinion, and mine alone, that he wanted to tell the truth. Again, my opinion, he was told that if he went public, his private misfeasance would be made public. Being an honorable man who made a mistake, he did the right thing and resigned. We, as American citizens, need his testimony as to what transpired throughout this whole mess.

I am adding this on 10/19/ 2013. There were aircraft capable of dispersing the Benghazi attack available in Italy. There were F-16s that could have been overhead in 2 hours or less and there were AC-130 in one of their meaner variants like Spectre or Stinger that were around 4 hours out. They sacrificed these good men.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random Thoughts - Twenty-Seven

I just read where a jobless woman was arrested and charged with stealing $2.87 in change from a fountain to get something to eat. The same day the United States Congress stole our grandchildren's future and congratulated themselves for their political skill.

All those people out there that love Obama phones and all the free stuff. If your happy about taxing the rich. If you think the government should be your nanny. Stand by. The supply is not endless. If you have doubts, look at Greece. The United States, the greatest country in the world is being Europeanized by liberal policy. If we don't get control we'll be looking at third world status one day.

America is roundly castigated because the country has had slavery in the past. It ended, at great cost, in the Civil War, 150 years ago. Today 30 million people still live in slavery. That is rarely talked about. Most of them live in India, the mid-east, and Africa.

For those of you that think the country is going in the wrong direction, the majority I believe, your Congress just pushed the accelerator to the floorboards. It's going to be a rocky road.

I do not see how Obamacare cannot blow up. Nothing seems to be working. None of the promises are coming true. But the administration says; "It is the law of the land. Live with it."

The Washington creeps just can't resist. Put money in front of them and they act like divas on Rodeo Drive. They tell us we must give them the money to save the country. First thing they do is add pork barrel projects and a death benefit to Frank Lautenbergs widow of $174 thousand. The man left his wife over fifty million dollars when he passed away. And there are people out here that can't find work. Pathetic.

Just in case you have lost track of where Obama has placed us in the world. China has just downgraded our credit. China, for heavens sake. Where did we go so wrong. By the way, for those that aren't counting, this is the second credit downgrade under Obama. Under previous Presidents, never. I'll bet you don't read this in the main scream media.

I know I promised a hiatus on Obama. But the news makes me do what I do. I cannot remain silent in the face of the insanity of it all.

For those that are starting to  stack up a few years and are concerned about how aging effects ones thinking and memory, I suggest they try crossword puzzles. They exercise both memory and logic. Besides that, they are fun. I have been doing one every morning before breakfast for years. I like the ones that are in the L.A. Times. They start on Monday with an easy one and by Saturday they are very tough. Try them in "master" mode until you are completely stuck then shift to regular where you will be shown your mistakes. Try it. It is addicting.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

John Maynard Revisited

A few days ago, I wrote an article called "Yellen For Help - Forget It". In that article I tried to explain Keynesian economics. I attempted to do this in, what I hope, was a humorous way. What I never did explain is why it doesn't work. Let me try.

The idea is that the government takes control of the money supply and spends large amounts in hopes that it will boost the economy. So how have they done this. First, huge amounts were fed into the big banks to keep them from failing. The politicians told us that these banks were too big to allow them to fail. I translate that as "Our friends and campaign contributors run these banks". But now the banks are sitting on all this money. They aren't loaning. They aren't investing. It is just sitting in their vaults. Now, granted, this puts these banks in a great cash position, make their stock look good, but it does nothing for the economy.

Then there was the great automotive bailout. They are touting GM as a success in that high stakes gamble. But that game is not over yet. They may be punching out cars, but I don't see lots of them on the road. So, if they are sitting on dealers lots, they may be off GM's books, but they are not sold. Their venture into the electric car business has gone nowhere in spite of huge government subsidies. Chrysler was sold to Fiat. Which will leave Chrysler as a bit player in the American market. Fiat may make a nice little Euro-car, but this is not Europe. I think it will take a while for Americans to come to love those little tin cans. Maybe about when they take soccer over the real football. And I doubt Fiat executives really understand Americans and their cars. Besides all that, people are not buying many cars. A lot are out of work and those that are working are either fearful about their jobs or are getting pushed into part time positions. So, little gain for the economy there.

Millions of dollars were pumped into the green economy. But many of those companies went the way of Solyndra. They got to the bankruptcy courts before their products got to market. With a certain amount of money disappearing into private accounts, and,I understand, some into political contributions. Surprising. Once again there is no help there to the economy.

So then let us think about the hope of all good liberals for the expansion of the economy. That is what used to be called the dole. Yes, that is a pejorative term. People used to dread having to go on the dole. Now, it is a life choice. But those getting a handout, or a hand up if you prefer, pay their rent and buy food. They have little left. What little they do have left does not go into buying new refrigerators, cars, or building a businesses. So the basic structure of the economy remains unenhanced.

In a Keynesian world, factories are not built and people are not taken off the unemployment line. As thing don't improve, the true believers feel that they just haven't spent enough of other peoples money, so they keep going back to the proverbial well. If you stay very quiet and listen intently, you can hear the bucket they toss into that well hitting bottom because that well is near empty.

Coming soon, a look at "Trickle Down".

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is There Anybody Out There?

I don't buy into conspiracy theories. Most conspiracies defy logic and common sense. Some of the ideas that conspiracy theorists come up with are downright dumb. I once heard Rosie O'Donnell, while explaining that 9/11 was an inside job, ask "whoever heard of fire melting steel?. How about every time a blacksmith made a horseshoe, Rosie. 

That I don't get excited over conspiracies doesn't preclude their being such things. In fact, in one case, I almost hope that there are unseen people out there plotting a conspiracy. The thing is that there is hardly any difference between a circus clown show and the happenings in our nations capitol. Our political clowns are all running around trying to whack each other with verbal slapsticks while mugging for the camera. At the same time they are puffing out their own chests running to microphones trying to get people to believe they are the heroes of the occasion while they are just trying to cover their own sorry butts so they will stay in office.

But I just have this feeling that there are some actual smart people out there working for the country. People whose names are never mentioned because few know who they are. These people would be working in locations where politicians are never invited. The politicians are probably unaware that these places and these people even exist. It would be kind of like "The Wizard of Oz". But nobody gets to see what is behind the curtain or even where the curtain is located unless they are known and thoroughly vetted.

When you see the President of the United States closing off monuments to veterans and refusing payment to the families of fallen heroes. When you have an Attorney General that views everything through a prism of race. When you have congressional leadership the cannot talk across the aisle and negotiate for the good of the country. That cannot be our best and our brightest. We have come to have a government by smug, self-satisfied, ego trippers.

So I hope that there are people out there doing the right thing. They would be almost invisible. Working in nameless buildings away from the hoopla of D.C. They would be people skilled in science, finance, military science, and many other rigors. They would have security clearances unavailable to even the President. But they would be out there protecting this country from it's own foolishness. Protecting our country from the small mindedness of our elected officials. This is my conspiracy theory. And I hope it is not just a fantasy because right now it is needed. Hello, is there anybody out there? 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yellen For Help - Forget It

Let's pretend that I am a financial consultant. Let's say that you have fallen on hard times. All you have is a part time job and you can't pay your rent and feed your family. So you call me in to advise you. After I listen to your sad tale, I ponder on it for a time. Suddenly my face lights up with a big smile and I tell you that I have the perfect solution. So I give you a shiny new credit card. I explain to you that this card has no limits. So pay your rent. Buy some food. Buy a new car. Take a vacation. Do whatever you want. The more you spend the more financially sound you will be. And, by the way, you can do this as long as you want.

So you listen to my spiel and contemplate the concept. You think, "gee, that would make my life so much easier". Then you turn to me and ask, "What happens when the bill comes due?" My answer, of course, is to pay the bill with the credit card. Don't worry. Eventually you will come up with a solution. Maybe.

If you understood all of that, you grasp the basics of Keynesian economics. The economic theory much loved by liberal politicians the world over. Why do liberal politicians love it so much? you ask. Because they can fund anything and everything they like without worrying about results. Then they can pay the tab with other peoples money. 

John Maynard Keynes was a major force in English economics early in the twentieth century. His economic theories took hold and he became the economic darling of the British ruling class. I have often tried to understand why the English took to his ideas so readily. The only reason that I can come up with is that the English don't get a joke.

But, as I said, his ideas took root in the British upper classes and soon spread to liberals all across Europe. Virtually every country in Europe adopted Keynesian theory as the base for their economic system. High taxes and lots of welfare. A liberal Utopia. Look how this has really worked out so well for them. France, Spain, Greece, Portugal. If you like high taxes, low growth, and your country's treasury going broke, Europe is the place to be.

The problem is that since Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty", our government, slowly but surely, has moved ever closer to that European model. The past five or so years should prove to anyone how insidious it is. Ben Bernanke, the friend of big banks and Wall Street, has been the Fed chairman for sometime now. He created the Bernanke Bubble with his Keynesian monetary policies and has continued to inflate this bubble every year. Relentlessly. So now he is retiring. Presumably to get out of town before his bubble bursts. In his place we will, undoubtedly, see the administrations nominee, Janet Yellen.  Now, I have heard that someplace she has a bronze bust of old John Maynard Keynes, before which she burns votive candles. She is a true believer. So don't go yelling for help as things get worse because all you'll have is Yellen for help.  And that will be no help at all.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Personal

First, the personal. I've been a little busy over the past few days so it has been hard to find time to write. But there are still things that need to be said. One thing is that I am tired of writing about how this administration is messing up the country. The ineptness and lack of skill are epic. But how many times, and in how many ways, can it be said without becoming boorish and boring. So I am declaring a short hiatus after today about the President personally. The acts of this modern messiah and his apostles will still be fair game.

Second, the good. I'll confess, part of the reason that I have been busy is the Red Sox and the Patriots. When they're on TV, I'm watching. So congratulations to both teams. Yesterday was a great day for New England sports. Both teams proved that old adage that "winners never quit". Both teams took it right down to the wire and pulled off a last minute win. I will say once again that I am picking the Sox in the World Series, in six games. Again, I will also say again, that if I am wrong I hope everyone will forget my prediction.

Finally, the bad. Be fair, the Republicans have made an effort. They have presented three different offerings. Any one of them could have been a start to negotiations. but the Democrats rejected them out of hand. The Democrats think they are winning with their intransigence. Even though most of the press is still carrying the Democrat's water, people are starting to understand that it is all about power with them and to hell with the country. Mr. Obama's honeyed word and soaring rhetoric will buy him little if the cost to the country goes up much higher. He is the President. It is his job to make it work. Blaming everyone else while mugging for the camera won't take him a lot farther.

I read an article in the Washington Times this morning called "Poor President For Seniors", by Jim Martin and Pat Boone. They talked about how seniors have done poorly during this administration. This is a subject I have written on from time to time. One fact that most people have forgotten by now is that shortly after he took office, before economists had even compiled numbers, Mr. Obama announced that there would be no cost of living increase for seniors in the first two years of his term. He was true to his word. There were none. In the two years since and as promised for the upcoming year the increases have been and will be very small. If Mr. Obama feels that seniors are not paying attention, he is wrong. We are. If he thinks that most seniors are doddering fools that can barely feed ourselves, he is wrong there too. But my final question is to the AARP that is supposed to be looking out for seniors. Why aren't you folks kicking up a ruckus? Might it be that since you climbed into bed with Obamacare you don't care to rattle the cage? Have you become the American Association for Obamacare? Is it all about selling insurance and not about lobbying for the benefit of seniors?

Friday, October 11, 2013

President Janus

Janus was a Roman God. He was the god of beginnings and endings. Hence the name January for our first month. He had a face on both the front and back of his head so that he could see in both directions at once. One could say he was two faced.

Well, it must be Janus living in the White House because he is certainly two faced. Everything that our President says, he does the opposite. Mr. Obama claims that he has "bent over backward to work with Republicans". Really? Let us think back to when Mr. Obama was a shiny new President and the bloom was still on the rose. He started on the long and pothole filled road to Obamacare.

At the time, still hopeful Republicans got their thoughts and wishes together prepared to sit down and be part of building this new healthcare plan. That was certainly a wasted effort. Mr. Obama gathered up Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and a group of Democrat stalwarts brought them into a room in the White House, closed and locked the door, and posted guards outside. No Republicans allowed.

At this point, Mr. Obama headed for the golf course or vacation or someplace other than working on health care. Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, various Democrat insiders, and a cast of thousands of lobbyists actually put this jigsaw puzzle together. They tacked together a raft of ill coordinated ideas and it became Obamacare. They rammed it through the House and Senate with no debate because they had the power. Now we own Obamacare and they own us.

That management style became the standard operating procedure for the Obama  presidency. He berated spending under Bush but more than doubled down when he came to power. He promised to bring the races together. In my lifetime I have never seen such friction and racial enmity. Closing Gitmo? A long vanished dream. 

Mr. Obama claims that he has created jobs. There's a man that has two of them. He works about twenty-eight hours a week at each one. And he makes almost as much as he did in his forty hour job that disappeared.

We have been hearing how Obama's actions are bringing about an economic recovery. The stock market has been doing pretty well. At least for now. But that is not the economy. The Gross Domestic Product is lagging. It is way below what we need to support a growing population.

There are just so many things, that a book could be written. And one probably will be at some point. But watch and listen. Hear what is said and compare it with what is done. You cannot help but see that we have President Janus.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Random Thoughts - Twenty-Six

Can we please have just one week go by where President Obama isn't out there laying off the blame for the latest crisis on someone else.

Another despicable act by the administration. They are denying death benefits to the families of those killed in the service to their country just to make a political point. That is just evil.

So the administration won't allow Catholic priests to minister to active duty military, even as volunteers, while this phony shutdown goes on. He loves to see average Americans suffer. It must be great to be King.

Janet Yellen is the Presidents pick to replace Ben Bernanke at the Fed. He likes her because he knows that she will continue Bernanke's policies. In other words, she will continue to pump air into the Bernanke Bubble. The problem is that with the insane level of spending and the equally insane level of "quantitative easing", the economy keeps sinking deeper into the quagmire.

By the time the country has to face the music for all the bad decisions being made now, Obama will either be out of office or appoint himself President for Life, a la Hugo Chavez, and he won't care.

Note to that school system on Long Island where kids cant play any more. You might want to ban tiddly winks too. I understand that some time in the early part of the twentieth century a child got hit in the eye with one of those little discs. There was some bruising.

Just a reminder. With this scandal a week club that is running our nations capitol, we can't afford to forget Benghazi. The administration wants us to. Hillary wants us to. But it needs to stay in our focus. They didn't go into Libya and catch the doers because they do not want us to hear their testimony. It may take a whole new administration to get the facts out.

Congratulations to the BoSox. It has been a great year for Boston baseball and I have been a fan for over seventy years. Good luck to them on Saturday in the ALCS. Go Sox!!!!!

Now, if it were just a great year for American freedom, we would be all set.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On Negotiation

In my working life I have held executive sales positions dealing with high tech products. In these positions I was a part of many negotiating sessions. I have even had occasions where my customers have asked me to handle negotiations with their customers for them. I never was of the opinion that my negotiating skills were anything exceptional but they seemed to be at least adequate to the need of the day. Over the years I have learned a few thing about this, less than arcane, art.

If you are looking for results it is best not to run around shouting "I will not negotiate". You look foolish when it finally dawns on you that you may have to come to the table. It is best to not publicly insult and excoriate your opposition. Talks go much more easily if you can walk into the room with a smile on your face reaching out to shake hands. That tells the other side that although you want as much as you can get, in the end, you are a gentleman.

In negotiations there are no winners. If you are looking for a win, go play tennis or something. If negotiations are successful, both sides walk away from the table feeling that the other side won, but at least you got enough so that you can hold your head high and give the opposition a final handshake.

In government, when you try to rule like a Saudi king, you are wrong. There are two sides and a middle in the American citizenry. They all have valid views. Those view may not be your's but they are still valid. They deserve a hearing. The loyal opposition in government is actually more important than the majority. That is because they have the difficult and endless job of restraining the leadership from excess. But whether the President likes it or not, that is their job.

What makes that job even harder is that today's opposition is over run with appeasers. The loyal opposition must stand strong and unified. That is something Republicans seem incapable of understanding. Maybe the leadership is not strong enough or ruthless enough to get the kind of singularity of action that is second nature to Democrats. They get their daily talking points and that is the gospel of that day.

I just finished reading a book about Owain Glndwr. He was the last Welch born Prince of Wales. He lived around the start of the fifteenth century. He wished nothing more in life than a free, peaceful, and independent Wales. Three English kings, a Richard and two Henrys,  took exception to his desires. While Owain offered to negotiate, the Kings would not. They would accept only total capitulation. Owain knew he was right to stand firm for Wales. He never did get his free Wales. The odds were too much against him. The strife that was caused, cost thousands of lives on both sides. The financial cost was devastating. But because he took a solid stand and stood by it in deep adversity, he is remembered as Wales greatest Prince.  And those are my thoughts on negotiations.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Hypocritical Oath

New Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. The first sentence is "First do no harm." Those that feel they rule us today seem to have taken the Hypocritical Oath. That , obviously, starts saying, do all the harm that you can. The President is not getting his own way. He doesn't like that. He wont negotiate. But he claims that he wants to cooperate. In his mind, cooperation is him stating what he wants and everybody falling into line for him.

When he doesn't get his way he gets angry and petulant. Like a child in a grown mans body, he will go for retribution. The target of his retribution is the American citizen. Not the rich or the famous. He basks in their adoration. They exist for his use. For donations. For gala shows at the White House. For the use of a home for a fancy vacation. No, they are immune from abuse. They wouldn't put up with it anyway. They have means.

It is easier and safer to pick on those the are least able to defend themselves. Close off walk in memorials dedicated to those that have given their lives to protect our country. Put up gates. Wire them together. Post park rangers to enforce those bullying rules. Then pass the word down to those rangers to make things as difficult as possible. Even to the point of threatening people with arrest. That will show those old codgers whose boss. Except those old codgers have been to war and they know who is boss. They went to their memorial in spite of you.

Next shut down the national parks. Give some pain to those families that enjoy a weekend of camping because it is a cheap vacation for families that are in fear of losing their jobs in the Obama economy and are having their cost of medical insurance doubled. So block off those parks. And make sure that you prevent those who live on government land from occupying their homes. That'll show them a thing or two. By the way, we do know that all of this retribution costs the taxpayers more than just letting everything run.

Moses parted the Red Sea so Obama blocks use of the ocean. There are no park rangers out there. The Coast Guard comes only when called. So you've blocked people from both their boats and their livelihood. As Teddy Roosevelt would have said, "That's a bully idea." But I think he would have had a different meaning.

But now you have taken this whole retribution thing one step to far. You have shut down the "Amber Alert" network. The children? To get your pitiful way, you would put children that are in danger in even more danger? What kind of man are you. Have you no shame. I'm going to stop now because if I say more, I will reduce myself to your level.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What? I Don't Get It

This is going to be a short article today. I normally don't blog on Sundays. But this mornings news just astounded me. We, apparently, sent a group of SEALs along with FBI and CIA operatives into Libya and captured Abu Anas al Liby, an Al Qaeda leader that they have been seeking for years. He had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack, according to reports.

Here is what I don't understand. Today, we can go into Libya and take this man prisoner, take him out of the country, and jail him. Then why could we not take those responsible for the Benghazi attack the same way a year ago? The doers were identified and were walking around Tripoli free as birds. We got a bunch of excuses that Libya wouldn't allow it. We couldn't find them. Gee, a newspaper reporter found them and got an interview. So now some people in Libya have their knickers in a twist. I doubt that there is an American that cares. So I ask again, what about the perpetrators of Benghazi?

Look, we got the ones we got and that is good. But we need to get the Benghazi crowd the same way. And soon. I think we have waited too long. I cannot help but feel that this was a grandstand play by the administration. They are looking weak, arrogant, and confused both nationally and internationally. They badly needed a win. Credit where due, they got one here.

Correction: The original report that I read said that the SEALs did the deed. It is now being reported that it was Delta Force. One, the other, or both, they are heroes!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A City Out Of Control

I have come to the decision that everyone in Washington D.C. has lost their mind. If you observe what has gone on in recent months, that is the only reasonable conclusion.

We have a President that will only negotiate with Muslim terrorists. We have a Senate Majority leader that only speaks to his muses, whomever they may be. We have Senators that publicly castigate their colleagues in the most vile and reprehensible terms. 

Twice in the past month we have had people with severe mental problems attack in public. The young woman that tried to get on to White House grounds came up against the Capitol Police who were armed and capable. The attacker in the navy yard came up against no one with the means to stop him. Twelve people paid the ultimate price for that lack of foresight.

To put the cherry on top of this weeks sundae, we have a government shut down. It is not the first and it will not be the last. But our President is treating it like it is a game. He is of the opinion that he will win this game. While it is most decidedly not a game, the President immediately drops into Chicago thug mode. The immediate closing of public memorials, most notably the WWII Memorial was totally unnecessary. In fact more rangers were needed to shut it down than are needed to keep it open. This was done just to cause public pain, just as shutting down the White House was. In fact the park rangers were given instructions to make it as difficult as possible for the public. Now isn't that Presidential?

My hero is Rep. Louie Gohmert (Rep. Texas) . This 90 year old veteran showed up at the WWII Memorial this morning with a pair of wire cutters in his hand, prepared to open the monument himself if need be. There are still some good and decent people in government. We need more like him.

Now our saintly President, still playing the Chicago thug, has ordered the employees of the Social Security Department to tell the elderly that if the government doesn't get an extension on the debt ceiling, their checks may not arrive. Good call Barack, threaten the most vulnerable in the community. Spread fear then get on television and explain how it is not your fault. Nothing is ever your fault. The country is going broke. Not your fault. There are no jobs. Not your fault. There is no economic growth. Not your fault. Countries around the world either despise us or laugh at us. Not you fault. The military has become a social experiment lab. Not your fault. So if all of these things are happening and none of them are your fault, It seems to me that you are doing a pretty pitiful job as President. You think you are winning the "game". Trust me, you are not. And history will lay this all at your feet.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


One problem that I have with those running the country today is they seem not to know history nor to care about it. Everything is about them and today. It is, I believe, an arrogance of youth combined with an arrogance of power. They have no respect for those that sacrificed so that those that are in power could be there.

It has been reported that the President was told that four busloads of World War Two veterans were on their way to Washington to visit the World War Two Memorial. As the youngest of these men had to be in their mid eighties and many were in wheelchairs, this had to be a difficult trek. When Mr. Obama was asked for permission to open the memorial for them in spite of the government shutdown, he refused. 

The heroic men in women that would not be stopped by the Germans in Europe nor the Japanese in the Pacific and were not to be stopped by the foolishness of petty politicians. They pushed the barriers aside and they went to their monument without interference. And that is as it should have been. They have more than earned the right.

Meanwhile, an Honor Flight group of veterans in Ohio were threatened with arrest by the National Park Service. They were told by a female park service employee that if they show up at the memorial and try to go around the barriers they would be arrested. These honor flights are booked long in advance and are expensive. They sacrificed in war and further sacrificed to make this flight. They do not deserve to be treated with the lack of honor and lack of respect that is being shown. These are the people that have proven that they were the greatest generation.

There is one question that troubles me through this whole thing. If the park service had enough people working to threaten arrest, put up barricades, and watch these barricades, why did they have to try to force these veterans to give up on visiting a place that is sacred to them and those that have been lost. That is not only disrespectful, it is heartless. The park service people could have just quietly moved a few barriers and let them pass unmolested.

Once again the administration picks on what they consider easy targets just to show who's the big dog in Washington. During the sequester it was and, I believe, still is, preventing school children from touring the White House. Today they tried blocking elderly veterans from their hard earned memorial. 

Those that have the power may think that it proves to those of us out in the hinterlands who the big dog is, but this time that big dog come off looking like a nasty, mean alley cur.

I had just finished writing this when  the news came that the government had backed down and labeled this a First Amendment exercise, tucked their tails between their legs and ran like a big dog will do when faced with a bigger dog. A heartfelt thanks to the pols that showed up at the memorial to support the vets and protect their interest. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Run In Circles, Scream and Shout

Another rhyme that I remember from my misspent youth is:

When in trouble,
When in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

I suggest this as the new motto of the United States Congress. If there has ever been a more inept, confused, and uncentered group with so much responsibility I do not know who they might be or where you would find them.

Ladies and gentlemen of the United States of America, you are not getting your money's worth. We could do so much better. I realize that I have a tendency to go back to the "good old days". But at times, there are reasons. In those times to which I refer, candidates for office had to  present themselves to the voters, openly and in public. They had to speak without teleprompters and many times without notes. Presidential candidates used to do "whistle stop tours" where they would travel by train making brief stops along the way and speaking to the crowds from the train's rear platform. Harry Truman was the last candidate that I remember doing this.

In the 70s when I ran for office on the city level, candidates walked door to door, shaking hands and getting up close and personal. A hundred dollar donation at a fund raiser was a big deal in those days. For most, politics was more of an obligation to serve than a chosen career. Today it seems to be the hope of many to get elected to a public office and turn it into a lifetime sinecure convinced of their own importance.

At a time when our country is beset by problems brought about by the bad decisions of our elected officials, it would seem appropriate that they should slow the rapid down hill run that they have put the country into and work together for the nations good. Today, politicians are products of advertising agencies, consultants, the media, and the money. If one should take the time to listen to many of the ideas and thoughts that come from our nations capital, it is no wonder that the country is in a state of confusion. 

Shutting down the government is not exactly an American tragedy. There are heart rending words about public employees being furloughed for the duration. How about the same concern for those that government policies have put on the unemployment line or forced into part time work. Some of the older workers will never have a real job again.

We need change. We need leaders that are qualified, not leaders with the nicest smiles or best personality. Or the most persuasive line of bull. We need thoughtful intelligence not strict unyielding ideology. Until we get that the denizens of Washington will continue to run in circles scream and shout.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On Leadership

I do not care how good his football season is. I do not care how many new records he may set. Peyton Manning will never have one tenth of the class that Tom Brady has. But apart from that, Brady is a leader. Right there in the thick of things. Both on and off the field. Brady understands the responsibility of leadership. If he were in a different position, like maybe President of the United States, he would know that;

A leader does not lead from behind.

A leader does not lead from the golf course.

A leader does not lead from Air Force One.

A leader does not lead from Martha's Vineyard.

A President leads from the Oval Office.

And he doesn't desecrate history by putting his shoe up on the Resolute Desk.

A leader talks with the opposition.

And he does it with a degree of humility.

A leader brings parties together.

A leader doesn't try to publicly humiliate and insult those he wishes to persuade. 

A leader understands that not everyone thinks that he is right.

A leader realizes that being opposed to his ideas does not make people enemies.

A leader realizes that seeking harsh retribution will turn people into enemies.

A leader realizes that he must take public responsibility when things go wrong.

A leader realizes that to do otherwise is unsightly and arrogant.

Maybe there is a leader out there that should ask Tom Brady for lessons in leadership.