Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Follow Up

I did a little bit of research and found that the State Street Corporation is the largest holder of General Motors at 95,318,342 shares. They boast of being not only "the #1 servicer of U.S. pension plans" but also "investment manager of U.S. pension assets and a leading pension manager globally".

One has to ask themselves how safe their pension is if some or all of it is invested in GM. GM was down over 5% today...ouch!

If and when GM declares bankruptcy, what do the people whose pension fund is so heavily invested in GM do as their pension withers away to nothing?

Truly a sad scenario but one that could have been avoided if these people would have diversified their wealth as they accumulated it by transferring it into solid assets such as precious metals i.e. gold.

The moral of the story is, don't gamble your future well-being on shares of companies in the US whose profits are contingent on a booming US economy simply because the new "global economy" ensures that those days are over.

Is Santorum Finished?

RealClear Politics says that Senator Rick Santorum is finished in Pennsylvania. The latest polls show him trailing his challenger, Bob Casey, by 15 to 20 points.

If this is true it's certainly too bad, but Santorum has alienated much of his Republican base, and Casey neutralizes him among a large sector of the remainder of Pennsylvania voters. Santorum could count on his strong pro-life stance to garner him a lot of votes among pro-life Pennsylvanians, but he's now facing that rarest of breeds, a pro-life Democrat whose father was a popular pro-life governor of the state. Thus, Santorum's position on this issue is not the asset it was against previous opponents. Indeed, it hurts him among pro-choice voters who resent his outspoken advocacy of Terri Schiavo's right to live.

Where he's really paying a price, in our opinion, is among conservatives in general who were dismayed that Santorum endorsed fellow Republican senator Arlen Specter two years ago in his tough primary fight against conservative congressman Pat Toomey. It was the endorsement of Santorum and President Bush that persuaded enough Republicans to vote for the much distrusted Specter in the primary, enabling him to thinly defeat Toomey.

Then Santorum failed last month to back the Coburn amendments to the transportation bill which would have sliced a lot of pork out of the bill. This was an unconscionable lapse for someone who calls himself a conservative, and it did nothing to shore up support among rank and file Pennsylvania Republicans.

Add to the erosion of enthusiasm for Santorum the fact that Casey is the son of a popular governor in a blue state and the fact that the president's numbers right now are not particularly fat and Santorum's low poll numbers are not surprising. He has twelve months to turn things around, but its hard to imagine what could happen on the state level that would give him the opportunity to do that other than conducting a very vigorous campaign.

We're still waiting for Arlen Specter's endorsement. No doubt Santorum is, too.

Senator Blabbermouth

Bill Bennett calls for Senator Rockefeller to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee for doing what he admitted doing to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Senator Rockefeller said the following:

I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq - that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.

Bennett calls for "an investigation, now, into what exactly Senator Jay Rockefeller told Syria and just what Syria might have done with the information made available to them presumably before it was made available to the U.N., the Senate, or the American people."

He goes on to write that:

Senators and congressmen don't have to agree with their president's policies, and they should make the president robustly defend his policies - but they should not be acting as if they are the president or secretary of state; they should not be tipping off sometimes friends and definitive enemies about war plans that not even the president has yet made as policy. This is the true mockery of prewar intelligence, and Senator Rockefeller should fully explain his actions.

If Syria - or elements in Saudi Arabia - began acting on this information before we even went to war in Iraq (more than a year later), then Senator Rockefeller may have seriously harmed, impeded, and hindered our war efforts, our troops, and the entire operation in the Middle East. This should be investigated immediately; and perhaps Senator Rockefeller should step down from the Intelligence Committee until an investigation is complete.

What is a guy this loose-lipped doing on the Senate Intelligence Committee in the first place, for heaven sakes? It's boneheaded blabbermouths like Rockefeller who are the reason Democrats have such difficulty convincing the American public that they can be trusted with our national defense.