Monday, February 9, 2009

GOP: Pete Sessions & the Taliban analogy/Hertz, LNC, Aegon Preferred Issues/

The stimulus bill narrowly had enough votes to stymie the GOP filibuster.       Yahoo! Finance
Many of the "conservatives" believe the Democrats were in control, even with a Republican president having veto power, during the last two years because the Democrats had 51 Senators when you include the two independents that caucused with them.  Ignorance can be a form of bliss.  As  one of those students who was awake during my 9th grade civics class, I knew that nothing controversial could be approved by the Senate without 60 votes and a two-thirds vote was necessary to override a veto.  Accurate Information is Not a Side to an Issue/ W & the Housing Crisis/Lying Works In Politics 
I am never surprised by people who build a belief, or even an entire system of beliefs, on a foundation of clearly erroneous information. 

A GOP representative from Texas, Pete Sessions, says that his party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the  There are many similarities between the Taliban and large segments of the GOP base.   I do not think that Congressman Sessions has identified all of the similarities yet. Conservative: Each to his Own Definition
But I do not want to go off on another tangent talking about the Americanized versions of the Taliban.   When I read Sessions' comment about the GOP adopting Taliban tactics, I did not think of military engagements.  Instead, the immediate thought that popped into my brain was that museum exhibit which has the dinosaurs walking alongside Adam and Eve.

The GOP has discovered in its opposition to the stimulus plan its purported fiscal conservatism, at least for the moment or for the remainder of this month or maybe until they regain power and the White House.  While I do not question their sincerity, at least until I finish composing this sentence,  it is just hard for me to rule out the possibility that they are merely engaged in political gamesmanship.   The GOP probably sees no political upside in supporting the plan.  If it fails, they can claim that their emphasis on tax cuts would have done the trick.  If it succeeds, their sycophants will start to appear on TV explaining how anything and everything other the spending part of the stimulus plan caused the economy to recover, and they would  claim that the recovery would have happened sooner and faster under their plan.  They do not risk anything with their base one way or the other, including the 22% who still believe W did a great job and that Sarah was qualified to be President.   The only question is whether they are further alienating now the very people that abandoned them in 2008 to vote for Democratic candidates.     

The Hertz common shares had a decent rally today, up 8.62%, after the company raised its rates at North American airports by $5 a day and $30 a week.   Yahoo! Finance   I still own 50 shares of a TC containing a senior Hertz bond, DKR, which is the only reason for monitoring the company.    I sold my higher cost shares using FIFO at 14.75 and decided to keep the lower cost shares purchased around 6.45 for a potential 100% per year annualized gain to maturity in 2012, unless I am shaken out of the position by a very adverse development at HTZ. SOLD 1/2 POSITION DKR/GE FUNK/ I DO NOT OWN ANY BANK TRUST PREFERRED issues/CURRENCY INTEREST RATE DIFFERENTIALS/FOREST CITY

Aegon declared its regular dividends on its preferred stock issues which includes AEB, the only one that I currently own, as well as AEF, AEV, AEH,  & AED .  Dividends - Markets Data Center -   Since Aegon eliminated its common stock dividend last quarter, at least for now, the preferred shareholders have an enhanced risks to their dividend payments with no cash dividend being paid on a junior security.  

From what I have read about the Treasury plan, it does appear to me to be more innovative and certainly less haphazard than anything concocted under

Lincoln National, a very small position bought at 6 and changeTime to Fire my Head Trader: He Bought LNC,  had a typically bad quarter for a life insurance company, reporting a loss  0f 506 million or  $1.98.  The operating number was a loss of  48 cents compared to the consensus estimate of 21 cents.Lincoln Financial Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Results: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance   MarketWatch  ReutersTo show you what a bad year can do to book value, LNC said that book value (including AOCI) per share fell to $31.15 per share as of 12/31/2008 compared to 44.32 a year ago.  My position is meaningless but I might as well hold for a long term capital gain now.  

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