Friday, February 13, 2009

More Foolishness from the GOP in the Volunteer State/Buy FRPRK/ GLEN CASADA & OBAMA/ HTGC, PVX/Ideologues Rarely See What is in Front of Them/

Being a resident of the SUV Capital of the World, my representative in the State House of Representatives is a Republican of course, in fact one of the leading lights of the GOP, Glen Casada. 

I am not going to say that Glen has never had an original thought lodge in his brain. I am just going to say that on Constitutional matters he is a dim bulb. Glen has joined several other GOP luminaries from the Volunteer State to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging whether Obama meets the constitutional criteria to be President. 

Obama's mother was a U.S. citizen and he was born in the U.S., (Hawaii is a state Glen, or maybe it is the island on Lost) so apparently Glen and some of the boys are ignorant about the constitutional requirements of citizenship contained in the Constitution and in 8 U.S.C. section 1401. Constitutional Topic: Citizenship - The U.S. Constitution Online -

The Obama campaign has posted his birth certificate on their web site. The Supreme Court has already refused to hear challenges of this sort. I can only hope that the court hits Glen and the organization behind the suit, "Defend Our Freedoms Foundations" with sanctions for filing a frivolous suit. I just get goose bumps hearing a name like that, makes me think of mom and apple pie. 

But, maybe someone needs to start a foundation to defend our freedoms from organizations like the one Glen and the boys have joined in this meritless suit. The fruitcakes who have been furthering this particular nut job conspiracy theory might want to read this note from the non-partisan FactCheck site who actually touched and looked at the original birth certificate: Born in the U.S.A.

I am not embarrassed by Glen since I have never voted for him and never will of course. He generally runs unopposed and has a safe seat just like his fellow traveler and equally dim Marsha Blackburn. 

But I would have to say that Glen and Marsha are two good reasons why this independent has so much difficulty finding a single Republican worthy of his vote in this state. Someday, I half expect one of my fellow citizens in the SUV Capital to express their appreciation of my comments about the local GOP stalwarts by hanging a noose on my front door. But I did not say anywhere in the preceding comments that Glen was brain dead and a fool. So no one can claim that I called him an idiot with an IQ of four above plant life.

I previously discussed how GOP representative Kent Williams joined with the Democrat State House members to nominate himself as the House Speaker. TO The Tennessee Legislature: Please Move to Another State Only one vote was needed to deny the chosen GOP designate that position. ( Possibly, and this is just a suggestion, the entire state House of Representatives, both the Democrats and Republicans, need a rendition to Mississippi or possibly Louisiana, and I mean no offense to the residents of those great states having lived in Louisiana for four years-and I was always fascinated by Huey Long and I even read Robert Penn Warren's book "All the King's Men" being a literate southerner) The saga, or circus as H.L. Mencken might call it, continues without even an intermission. Williams was excommunicated from the GOP for his "treachery". 

The ethics complaint filed against Williams by GOP Representative Brian Kelsey, charging that Williams had told a female GOP representative that he would like to see her naked, was quietly dismissed after allegedly causing stress to said female. .Then as it turned out Kelsey had offered to back off the ethics complaint provided Williams gave him a choice chairmanship position. And, to conclude, the DA will not charge Kelsey for extortion since all of this was viewed as mere political skulduggery. Just another day of politics as usual in the Volunteer State.

I am not discriminating against the GOP house members in favor the Democrats. As I just said, I would be just find with me if they all moved to another state. I might even chip in a few bucks for a moving van.

I did notice that Hercules Technology (HTGC) did declare that the next dividend has to be taken mostly in stock.  

Many would view this as a negative development. I do not care and just changed my distribution option for my 100 shares from cash to stock. I may add 50 shares after reviewing the transcript of the earnings call. Seeking Alpha

According to what management said in its call, this is just a one quarter deal to allow the company to pay off a loan due in April to Citibank. I would prefer seeing these business development companies pay dividends in stock as opposed to cutting the cash dividend and then sell more stock at below net asset value. Many of these companies are struggling now including firms like Apollo Investment Corporation (AINV) which just cut its dividend. 

I discussed the BDCs in a prior post. Yes, I am Chicken Now, and Proud of IT

Prospect Capital is another BDC that I am looking at now. Prospect Capital Announces Results for Quarter Ended December 31, 2008: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance I was going to wait until I know what PSEC will do with its dividend before making a commitment decision. I am not aware of any of the BDCs that is not in Wall Street's dog house.

There are increasing commentaries that Obama and the media, spreading doom and gloom, are making matters worse than they otherwise would be, with references to the 1974-1975 and 1980-1982 recessions. The quoted comments in this article are primarily ideological and divorced from a realistic assessment of our current predicament (Steve Cato is a member of the right wing Cato institute for example). 

I would just comment that the current recession is just gathering steam, not nearing its end after the typical 11 months, and its course was set in the 2004 to 2007 period, when the media was underplaying the developing dangers. I was very aware of the conditions in those prior recessions. 

I do not remember failures of major banking institutions during those prior downturns, and by major I mean Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual and the like. I would include AIG, Merrill and Wachovia in that list, all of whom would have likely failed without a rescue by another institution and major government assistance. 

I do not remember the need for a trillion dollar federal bailout to keep the banking industry from collapsing. There seems to be a total inability of some, particularly those who supported the economic policies of the last administration, to come to grips with the many failures and consequences of their policies. For those of us who just look at the facts, and try to avoid having an ideology or our ego color our views of the past or the present, it is easier to see everything more clearly.

For W's second term, I would simply ask the question of how much of the nominal growth in GDP, however small it turned out to be, was due to easy credit rather than the tax cuts advocated by the GOP, primarily for the wealthy. How many jobs were actually created, and since lost, were due solely to an economic expansion fueled by foolhardy easy credit?W's News conference: Reflective or disingenuous?/Pickens on Oil/TECH TITAN VALUATIONS/LLTC /cramer Tax Cuts for the Wealthy: A Perpetual Growth Machine?/ Job losses/commercial real estate goes begging in Middle Tennessee

I simply believe that those who distort reality based on their personal ideological point of view suffer a severe handicap as investors.

The Bank of America CFO said the bank has enough capital to finance operations for two years.
But, can the bank then raise capital in the private market without governmental assistance?

Being a top dog in the Senate has its perks. I saw where Senator Reid was able to stick 8 billion in the stimulus bill for the construction of high speed rails for trains, to bring gamblers into Nevada faster from California I understand. CNN.comWe all recognize that pork is a lubricant, a magical form of grease better than WD 40. The House did pass the stimulus bill with no republicans voting yes. Yahoo! Finance

The $15,000 tax credit for a home purchase did not survive and was scaled back to $8,000 and limited to first time home buyers. Los Angeles Times This will help nonetheless in clearing out inventory. I saw a story in the USA Today that 1 in 9 homes in the U.S. is currently unoccupied.

For anyone who still believes the SEC is a good cop on the beat, diligent in its mission, doing everything possible to protect investors, this article is worth a read:

CON ED (ED) went ex dividend today. I noticed that the TC JBI, which I recently sold at par before the ex interest date, held up well have going ex.

I have been adding some cumulative REIT preferred issues, in an extremely small dollar amounts to my traditional IRA. I am placing them in that account for several reasons. First, in the event the dividend is deferred, I will not have to pay income taxes on a dividend that is not received which would be the case in a taxable account. Second, if the security goes down more, I will just include it in my next Roth conversion. Today, I added just 30 share of the cumulative preferred K issue from First Industrial at 8.4 in my traditional IRA. The yield at that price is over 21%. FRPRK Stock Quote - First Industrial Realty Trus Stock Quote - FRPRK Quote - FRPRK Stock PricePar value is $25 and the coupon is 7.25%. This is a link to the prospectus:

I also sold 100 shares, 1/4 of my highest cost shares using FIFO (excluding dividend reinvestments) of TFI at 22.28. My last add was at 18.5. BOND ETFS BWX AND TFI This kind of transaction lowers risk with virtually no gain or loss in the transaction, while lowering my average cost in the remaining shares. The proceeds from this sale, like the almost 5 grand raised yesterday from a BAC bond sale, will be used to purchase other bond positions as the opportunities arise. The investment grade bond market has enjoyed a good rally this year and is the main reason that I am still in the black in 2009, but just by a hair.

PVX, one of my hapless Canadian energy trusts which is under water, reduced its monthly dividend again, this time to 6 cents Canadian from 9 cents. Yahoo! Finance

Postscript: After making this post, I saw that a limit order was filled for 50 HTGC at 4.98.

I finished reading the earnings transcript and placed the order ten cents below the then existing bid price late in the day.

I am not a financial advisor but an individual investor trying to navigate my way through a difficult market. I have never worked for a financial institution and never will. In these posts, I am acting as an unpaid financial journalist and an occasional political commentator. I am also aggregating financial news stories that I view as important and providing any reader of these posts, assuming there are more than a couple, with links to those articles, sort of a filtered, somewhat intelligent, free search engine. Any discussion made by me of particular securities is not a recommendation to buy or to sell. Trade at your own risk. Consult with your financial advisor prior to making any purchase or sale. I will try to identify my sales too but it may take a few minutes after I implement them to create a post explaining my reasons. The sale may before or after the post. Before buying or selling any stock, even one recommended by a trusted financial advisor, please research it and make up your own mind which is what I always try to do. Research would include reading reports, reviewing financial records, earnings estimates, sec filings and prior earnings releases and news. In this post, and all others by me, I am merely describing my reasons for purchasing or selling securities, and the potential pitfalls that I identified prior to purchase or the reasons for a sale. The securities mentioned in this and all posts written by me may not be suitable for others based on their unique financial position and risk profile. Always read the prospectus before buying a Trust Certificate, bond, preferred stock or other bond or bond like investments. Information contained in my posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. These posts by me do not constitute investment advice, nor shall they be construed as a guarantee of future results, or as an offer of any transaction in securities. All content in these posts is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only, and it is a form of entertainment for me.

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