Oct 23 2009

Polls, Phonies and Politics

Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.   At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.  Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.” – from CNSNews

Interesting.  Liberals (the 21%), of course, would have us believe that they are mainstream and that conservatives should be marginalized.  This, of course, smacks of facism (I have been laughed at by liberals at this, but that’s only because it’s true).

My thoughts on the change in poll numbers is that it is a reaction to the current version of liberal extremism running rampant in Washington D.C.  People are beginning to see the logical result of liberalism and realize that they want nothing to do with it.  Note the poll says nothing about party affiliation, just whether people see themselves as liberal, moderate or conservative.

Global Warming

Along similar lines, the Pew Research Center has conducted a poll indicating that

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.

Interesting, isn’t it?  Why would this be so, when we’ve been told again and again that anthropogenic global warming is killing us all?  We are inundated with “facts” and figures about melting glaciers, etc., etc.  Just think of all the doom and gloom rhetoric from Obama and Co.   Why are people believing it less?  If you listen to Rahm Emanuel, he’ll tell you it’s because of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, who are spreading lie after lie.  But, I doubt either can boast of a 40% market share.  The majority of people still get their news from the rest of the media (which aren’t being picked on because they are carrying out their information disseminating services quite well).

No, I suspect it’s because more and more people are realizing that the facts aren’t adding up.  Global Warming is cooling, there are data gaps and conflicts everywhere, and the Administration is running around yelling, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”   Don’t get me wrong, I am concerned about the environment and saving energy.  I like renewable, green energy.  I like clean air (one of the reasons I left SoCal) and potable water.  I just think the AGW scare is an attempt to create fear, so those in control can grab even more power.  But, people aren’t buying it.

Phonies

The whole Afghanistan thing is quite revealing.  We’ve heard O. and Co. laying blame on the prior administration, claiming that with Afghanistan, they were left with nothing, and literally had to start at square one.  In reality, there was an unprecedented amount of cooperation by the Bush team, who provided more assistance, information and advice than any prior administration.  Furthermore, they provided specific analysis of the situation in Afghanistan, but as we’ve now heard from Dick Cheney, Obama requested that they not tell anyone!  Why would they make such a request?  The only reason I can think of is so they could take credit for the plan themselves (which they did back in March).

Yesterday, of course, the White House responded with all kinds of nonsense.  The truth is, Obama is “dithering.”  He either doesn’t know what to do or he doesn’t have the guts to do what he knows he should do.  Certainly he shouldn’t act rashly… but yes, he’s dithering.  He ran off to claim the Olympics, he plans to sign away our national sovereignty in Copenhagen, and he’s obsessed with his healthcare plan (which, by the way, isn’t his, either). Personally, I think Obama is a phony.  He doesn’t have what it takes to be President or Commander in Chief.  I realize it’s a tough job – I certainly couldn’t do it, and wouldn’t want to.  But, he claimed he had what it took to do the job, and he fooled enough people to vote for him.  Now, we’re reaping the results.

Politics

It’s time that Obama – the chief servant of the people (not the dictator) – starts listening to the people.  Less than 1/4 of Americans are liberal.  Most people don’t like his healthcare ideas. They don’t like his approach to economics, and they don’t like his foreign policy.  They don’t want him signing the Copenhagen treaty.  Wake up, Mr. Obama.

He must know by now that chances are, he’s losing his majority on the hill.  And, he’s got to realize that he’s as good as gone in 2012 (well, I hear we all might be, but that’s another matter).

So what does he think he’s doing?

I don’t think he knows.


Oct 15 2009

Chase Bank apparently wants customers to leave

I had the funniest conversation this afternoon with a Customer Service Representative (defining the title broadly) of Chase concerning the newly increase interest rates on our Chase Mastercard.

I should back up a bit.  A few years ago we opened an account at Washington Mutual.  It was a nice little bank, conveniently located, and the employees were all very nice and helpful.  We were quite sad when they were gobbled up by JP Morgan Chase, an opinion that is shared universally among people with whom we have spoken.  In fact, I’ve not heard one nice thing about Chase, by anyone.  But, the bank was still local.

The first clue that we needed to leave was when my son, who also has an account there, went into the bank to inquire about something.  He was told, for some strange reason, not to come into the bank to ask questions again.  So much for nice and helpful.

Then, I read that while banks like Bank of America had decided not to increase their interest rates on credit cards, Chase was going ahead with their interest rate hikes before a new consumer protection bill takes effect in a few months.   Then, yesterday I read that JP Morgan Chase’s profits had exceeded expectations, almost six times its profits a year ago.  Six times!

So, I checked my most recent statement and sure enough, the rate had indeed increased… to 29.99%!  An increase to 19% I would not have been shocked at, but 30%?   When we took the card out about 4 years ago, the rate was under 10% – which was why we used it rather than our BofA card, which is still under 12%.  Fortunately, we keep our card paid down, so it’s not that big of a deal to us.  But, I decided to call Chase to discuss this out of principle (actually, out of interest, but you know what I mean).  I had already decided to bail on Chase, but I just wanted to hear what they had to say.

The phone call went something very similar to this (I actually wished I had recorded it, but it’s as verbatim as I can recall):

Me:  I would like to confirm the interest rate on my Mastercard.  Can it be true that it has been rased to 29.99%?

Chase (a male with an Indian-sounding accent):  Thank you for calling about Chase’s interest rates.  Let me check your account …   Yes, that is the new rate.

Me:  How can this be?  Isn’t this kind of insane?

Chase:  Thank you for calling about interest rates.  Chase made the decision in May to increase credit rates, and this is now in effect.

Me:  Don’t thank me – I haven’t raised the interest rates.  How do you expect people to continue with Chase when it is almost three times other rates?

Chase:  You are free to make whatever decisions you want concerning using the credit card.  I cannot make any adjustments to rates.

Me:  Do you realize that when I cancel this card, I am also closing out my other Chase accounts?

Chase:  You are certainly free to make whatever decisions you think are appropriate.

Me:  You no longer want me as a customer?  Let me ask you this:  Is there any reason you can think of for me to remain a Chase customer?

Chase:  unintelligible mumbling

Me:  You can’t think of a reason, can you?

Chase (female voice, obviously a recording):  If you feel you have been disconnected by accident, please call again …

Amazing.  I still can’t believe the twerp hung up on me.  I wonder how many of these calls they get a day?  I probably don’t have to tell you that I’m shutting down Chase tomorrow. But, I’m going down to the local branch to do it.  Someone there needs to know why customers are leaving like rats from a sinking ship.

I am, however, honestly perplexed.  In this delicate economic climate, and with Chase making money hand over fist, don’t you think they would be somewhat customer-focused?  Do they think people are so trapped that they don’t have any other options?  Perhaps some people are…  and that’s scary.

It’s also wrong … very wrong.   Chase will find out that stuff like this will come back to bite them.

The bigger they are…