Friday, March 13, 2009


I thought Bojangles (Jim Graham) being Chairman of the WMATA board was going to be a good thing for everyone.

Nope - turns out he is out to screw us over again.  That's right -- Bojangles is at it again.

This lovely article (here) quotes him as being vehmently against fare increases, he doesn't even want them discussed.

If you weren't aware Metro still has a $29m shortfall for their upcoming fiscal budget.  The news this week is that they want to use Federal Stimulus money to operate (exactly what it shouldn't be used for).  Which is unreal.  Bojangles would rather cut service than raise fares -- which is ridiculous.

You can not be cutting service.  No way.  No how.  No Graham.

Do what is right ... raise fares.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HELP & The Serve America Act

Just a quick note...

Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the 'Next Generation of National Service". While the committee Chairman, Senator Sir Edward Kennedy, KBE, was unable to attend, it was still a very productive and informative hearing, and also a chance to see which members (if any) opposed the Serve America Act, the main national service bill being championed in Congress.

I've written on the issue before, but as a recap: The Serve America Act (SAA) is a bill introduced by Sir Edward Kennedy and Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch that seeks to reinvigorate national service in a variety of ways. Specifically, it would provide $5 billion over five years to fund 250,000 volunteers in energy, the environment, healthcare, and education. The bill also seek to encourage and empower social entrepreneurs by creating 'Community Solution Funds' to serve as a type of venture capital for innovative approaches to civic issues. The SAA would also support various means of measuring the impact of these social investments. Specifically, by adding America's Civic Health Index, currently produced by NCoC, as part of the census.

The bill was mentioned specifically by President Obama in his appearance before a joint session of Congress in February, and has a prominent list of coponsors. At yesterday's hearing the Senators present all spoke in favor of the bill (Hatch, Mikulski, Murray, McCain, Enzi, Dodd). Additionally, testimony was heard from a variety of leaders, including the head of City Year, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and others.

Senator Mikulski said she hoped to pass the Serve America Act before the April Easter/passover recess. To help urge the Senate on, please go to ServiceNation's website and become a “citizen co-sponsor” of the Serve America Act.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good news

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Stock Tip: GE

General Electric.  America.  GE is one of the world's largest companies - it was in the top ten as of this past summer, but due to the nose dive of its stock I doubt that is the case anymore.

GE's stock has been in that nosedive for good reason, they have really leveraged themselves over the past few decades as a financial firm.  Something that really helped them when things were going well, but is now really coming back to haunt them.

What does GE do?  Well ... they don't just make light bulbs anymore.  They are involved in almost everything imaginable - making tons of different consumer goods, and they also have a large financial/credit business.

Is GE going to go bankrupt?  No.  Now I could be completely wrong in saying that, but I just don't see it happening.  The financial sector will return, as will GE's business in finance - and hopefully GE decides to devote a little less of their company towards those markets in the future.

So what is GE doing that makes it a buy ... Well in my opinion it is trading lower than it should be (as is everything these days), but GE is really a great company.  Though it has been called into question recently whether or not GE is truly still a Blue Chip (a blue chip is generally a well established company with stable earnings and no large liabilities).  While GE clearly has more liabilities than it should (and more than most investors would like), I believe the company is inherently stable.

Additionally I like their strong movement into the renewable energy market.  Along with BP and XOM, GE really stands out as a company that doesn't need to be investing so heavily in renewable energy - but realizes that it is where the future lies.  Additionally, GE and Google have been partnering on green initiatives around the world, which you can read about here.

All in all ... I am not sure what else to tell you, except that I think GE is a good buy.  I mean afterall, Warren Buffet invested ... and he is never wrong!

Disclosure: GWSkank owns some GE, but he had no influence on me writing this.  And I used to own GE, but that was quite a few years ago.