My Thoughts on GOP Presidential Debate # 1

My thoughts?  I did not watch it.

Yep, that’s right.  I decided just like the Blog Father that no one up on that stage is able to beat Trump.  DeSantis likely could have had a chance but for some reason he went cuckoo.  If I were him, not knowing if Florida has term limits, do another term as governor and run again in 4 years.  I say 4 years because it will likely be an open seat for President, either Biden or Trump will be terming out.  Run again and keep governing Florida as a conservative.  The only real thing that’s an issue in Florida right now is the insurance business and Johnnie Does can blog that one.

Reality is DeSantis is trying to “out Trump” Trump and that will never work.  Trump is a candidate who brands himself as being the “common man” and in more cases than not, he speaks directly for the folks who hate the PC/cancel culture we have today.  DeSantis while he tries his best, comes off as a cheap knock off.  Why drink a Miller Light when you can have a Miller Genuine Draft? 

The others?  Well, I will run through them quickly.

Nikki Haley, she is a former governor, but she worked for Trump as UN Ambassador for 2 years, that makes it hard for her to attack him.  Good story, but it won’t pop.

Tim Scott, I wish he would lean into him being a black Republican. Its odd but I have rarely seen any black Republican do this.  Toast.

Asa Hutchinson and Doug Burgram?  Governors of Ar-Kansas and North Dakota.  No one cares about either of you since quite literally no one lives there.  Weird point of note, the owner of the Oakland Athletics Baseball Team is a mega donor to the North Dakota guy.  Odd because North Dakota is the exact opposite of Oakland, but I digress.

Chris Christie?  I heard they had to roll him onto the stage and roll him off afterwards.  He should be next on my 400 lb. life.  Dude needs help, and he attacks Trump ruthlessly.  He went after Trump so hard he is likely running in the wrong primary.  He should be angling to be a VP with Gavin.

Vivek Ramaswamy, he is an interesting dude.  A millennial, and basically a libertarian.  He has some whacky beliefs (wanting to legalize psychedelics being one, he also wants to unseal the 9/11 docs about who the hijackers really were).  But more strangely he has taken Soros money (Soros kid political money) he went to private school and to Harvard.  I just don’t know where to place him, but he is an interesting guy.  He might make a good VP; he seems to have some attack dog in him from what I read.

Who cares about anyone else running.

I do care about Trump.  I think he made a slight mistake going on Tucker Carlson for an interview posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).  12.8 million watched the GOP debate,228 million watched the Tucker/Trump interview.  For Tucker many of those may not have been live, they watched later.

He made a mistake for this reason, the debate was televised on Fox News only, I think Trump missed a gigantic opportunity to draw even more viewers.  I would have held a rally, maybe in Iowa, or some other fly over state.  I would have done this as the media would have gone bonkers.  The viewership would have dwarfed 228 million, trust me.  Trump is a bakery; he puts buns all over the place.  I would have invited all interested media; Fox would have shown up too and aired it later.  A chance missed.

Oh well.

To those in the GOP debates, good luck when the donor money dries up; you will die on the vine.

The Chief

Credit Cards and Dave Ramsey Way

Credit cards, they are a polarizing thing.  Some will tell you never to obtain one, others will declare you need one, or you won’t be able to rent a car/house/apartment, buy a house or car, or what if some emergency comes up.  I will examine both ways in this blog. 

Personally I have 3 credit cards.  I use all 3 for different things, one is all my auto-payment bills (utilities, internet) one for work expenses (reimbursement), and another for literally emergency/pleasure use (think going out etc.)  I track all purchases when statements come in monthly.  I receive a paper bill each month… never auto pay with a credit card.  I do not open or use a card simply for earning “points” or “miles” as I think and believe both are a scam.  I cash in my “earnings” each year and do something with them, usually buying items off Amazon as that tends to be the best use.  I tried to use it for airfare, and quickly found out the price of a ticket in points was unreal compared to just booking as usual.  With my method I am able to track my expenses by category and find out exactly where I spend too much, and adjust as necessary.  I always pay the bill in full, and have never paid a fee or interest.  Don’t feel good for me as the credit card company still makes money off me, as the swipe and usage fees charged to the merchant on each swipe are not avoidable. 

I bought my house in large part due to my 820 credit score and got a lower interest rate to boot.  I was also able to lease a brand new Toyota Tacoma after my old vehicle finally kicked out again due to said credit score.  (I have since paid it in full, and owe nothing on it.)

This isn’t to say you should go get a credit card, many get by without, quite a few by choice, and you can still buy houses/cars and rent houses/cars without a credit card.  It’s just a longer, tougher, nerve wracking process.  The point of this blog isn’t to whack anyone without a card, it’s a choice, I live my way, you are free to live yours.

Now for the folks who need/needed or understand Dave Ramsey’s advice. 

Some do not need a credit card, nor should they own one.  Credit cards create a false euphoria when used, you simply swipe it, and are worry and carefree until the bill is due.  Even then they offer a convenient “minimum payment option” of a nominal amount say $40.  In addition each time you log into the website to view/pay bill you get a prompt saying sign up for paperless billing, quite literally every time, there is no way to opt out.  Mess up and click on the link, well good luck getting taken off paperless billing.  They bill it as a “green initiative….you are doing right by the environment.”  Give me a break; a paper statement of roughly 3 pages, and a mailed envelope?  That isn’t causing the ice caps to melt Al Gore.  These are corporations and while they make money each time you swipe the plastic they make even more when you opt out of a monthly paper statement.  But wait there is more…

You forgot to pay the bill this month…. just by a day darn it!  Well, you get hit with a late fee, your interest rate goes from probably 17% or so to about 38% which, oh by the way, they can do since that is the agreement you agreed to when you applied.  Of course, you didn’t read the fine print, you needed the card to earn miles or points.  Oh, they also report that missed payment to the 3 credit bureaus, watch what happens to the interest rate on your other cards, suddenly that 17% turns into about 30%  But that’s ok, you only missed one payment and you will make it up next month.

It not just fees and extra interest, it’s your entire buying pattern that changes.  Suddenly you find yourself going down each aisle at the grocery store, you only went there for 8 things, but your basket turned into a cart full, which turned a $25 total into about $175.  But you had to get 3 more bags of chips because they are on sale, and you earned “points.”  Ditto for those spices in the spice aisle that will migrate to the back of the pantry, but hey you earned a few points, and they were on sale… the cool red tag said so.  Now you are swiping so freely you lose track and forget how much you spent… hello, surprise bill.  You make the minimum payment but keep spending, you do so because, well you always get a bonus in December, so you will pay it off then.  You don’t get the bonus, or even if you do the interest compounds daily, and is on your bill monthly.  All of a sudden that 1-3% cash back doesn’t look so great on 19% interest charges now does it?

The last and most worrisome is deferred interest charges.  And yours truly almost got caught in this.  I had just bought a house, and my down payment took every dollar that was not in my retirement account.  I know cry me a river!  At my house I had no washer, dryer or fridge.  The dishwasher was quite literally on its last leg, and the oven/stove and microwave had been through a lot.  In fairness the family I bought it from had moved out 3 years prior and let their grandson live there rent free.  Everything else was fine, but I needed appliances, using my parent’s wasn’t going to cut it.  Enter Pacific Sales, conveniently located inside the local Best Buy.  They had a big sale going as it was a three day weekend, and to be fair I shopped around and for all seven appliances I needed it was the best deal by far.  The total came to about $3,500 I reckon, then after the installation and “other” parts required for said appliances we were at about $4,000.  Obviously I didn’t have the kind of coin, and right on cue they had a financing offer.  No interest for 1 year!  Just get the store branded credit card.  Even better I was told 3 months of no payments applies as well…. how great 1 year and 3 months of zero interest!  There’s a catch, I will get to it later.  2 months later, the tires needed to be replaced on my Explorer, about $1,100 worth.  Of course, they have you by the proverbial balls, since they can pull the “your car isn’t road worthy so we cannot let it leave card.”  Again, they pulled a great offer, 1 year no interest, and $200 off.  I didn’t want to do it, but hey… why not right? If you are keeping score at home, I now have 2 store cards, and about $4,800 in monies owed.  I was making minimum payments on the balances each month, $100 on the appliances, $50 in the tires… because…. Well, time value of money, right?  I was going to pay them off later, but had other things to worry about. 

Well at the bottom corner of the statement, there is/was a box, it stated deferred interest.  This box was the way the store makes money.  You see the store likely is losing on the deal offered up front, but they stand to gain a large amount from these deferred charges.  Luckily for me, in both cases I caught this before it became a problem at all.  To give you an idea, had I been a month late on the tires, the interest would have been $350, on top of the $900 I would have paid.  Had I had just paid in full that day, $1,100 would have been the damage, instead I would have paid about $1,250.  The appliances would have been far worse, deferred interest would have been about $1,500.  Again, look at the deal upfront, and the deal had I not paid in full in the “promo-time.”

Don’t believe me?  Check out these quotes from the earnings reports of Macy’s and Nordstrom

Macy’s executives disclosed on Tuesday that rising delinquencies cut credit card revenues to $120 million in the second quarter, down $84 million from the previous quarter. While Nordstrom’s credit card revenues rose 10% in the first half of this year, company executives said Tuesday that delinquencies are now above pre-pandemic levels and could “result in higher credit losses in the second half and into 2024.”

US department stores see higher credit delinquencies amid strained spending

Credit cards are big $$$ for these corporations, and a large part of the earnings numbers.  Keep in mind interest earned is basically “free money” to these groups.  They only have to mail out a statement each month.

The last item I wish to address is when you pay with plastic it truly is “buy now, pay later.”  Items purchased may or may not show up on the next bill.  Take this for example, I paid for a tank of gas Tuesday this week, in the amount of $80, I used my trusted cash back card.  Well, my statement closed Monday night, so the gas I bought will not be on Septembers bill, it will be on Octobers.  Let’s just say in September I owe my house insurance, in addition to my other utility/recurring expenses, well my October bill will be higher thea I likely budgeted.  This is another trick the credit card companies do not want you to know.

In closing I do not hate credit card companies, nor do I completely agree with Dave Ramsey that you should not have one.  I will agree with him on the fact it creates bad buying habits, and unsafe financial practices. 

Use my example, if you are not careful, those appliances, or tires quickly become very expensive.  Dave doesn’t need me shilling for him, he offers and does good things, especially for folks who find themselves not realizing the pitfalls of “2% cash back.”  If you don’t carry a card… more power to you. I don’t judge, if you messed up previously… I don’t care, just don’t do it again.

As far as renting a car goes, yes, if you have no credit card it may be tougher, may even need to check a couple of companies to rent you one, but you will find one.  As for buying a house/car, sure there will be more hoops to jump through and you may need to shop around for a bank who will “manually underwrite you” but if you qualify for the loan, you get it.  Federal law. 

Johnnie Does

PS check out the value of those “points” I think is a good site, it will show you the best/worst uses for them, and you can see firsthand how some banks…cough…Citi… cough, devalue points if you use them certain ways.

Thoughts on President Newsom and the Undermining of Conservatives by Fox News

I still think Gavin finds his way onto the 2024 ballot, but maybe not in the way people normally do it. I had thought that he would run against Joe Biden and force him out of the race in much the same way as Jerry Brown did to Newsom during his aborted first run for California Governor. However, I am rethinking that idea.

I think Gavin will wait until the Democrat Convention to get on the ticket. Will he be the new choice for Vice President, or will he be drafted to replace “the Big Guy”? This gambit is likely already in the works amongst the Elites. Democrats leave nothing up to the electorate except the symbolism of casting a predetermined vote. Having Nancy Pelosi as your Auntie helps a lot in that Party. I fully expect to see Gavin in the White House if the Democrats win in 2024.

In a separate but related prediction, if the race is Biden v Trump, the 2024 winner will resign shortly after the 2026 midterm elections. Both will be “lame ducks” and be pretty long in the tooth. Resigning just after the two-year mark will allow their respective Vice Presidents to be in office for up to ten years—if they play their cards right.

Folks the upcoming 2024 Presidential election will be a big deal: especially, for the Republicans. If they don’t fix the election laws, they will find themselves in demographic oblivion even without further Democrat election night shenanigans.

Fox News Betrayal

Oh, and speaking of shenanigans, is there any doubt that Fox News has pledged their allegiance to Ron DeSantis? Trump is persona non grata on the network unless they can amplify the phony lawsuits or hit him with January 6th and accuse him of lying about the 2020 election being stolen. Trump has been cancelled by this so-called bastion of Conservatism.

Fox holds a debate for the second-tier candidates and then declares DeSantis the winner, how shocking. Next, they will claim Trump’s numbers are going down and Ron has a real shot. Look for George W Bush or Mitt Romney (or some other RINO) to start shilling for DeSantis in the name of Party unity. Once DeSantis has the “Never Trumpers” in his corner, then they will talk about his inevitability—long before any votes are cast. Meanwhile, wanna bet Sean Hannity boards the DeSantis Express after the next debate in September?

Fox News doesn’t give a crap about Conservatives except to the extent that they can make money off of them. Fox is for sale to the highest bidder. When they think nobody notices they push the false Covid narrative of the Establishment—in exchange for money from the government, they promote transgenderism, and other BS. Heck, the other day they were even running ads for Joe Biden because he will reinstate Roe—i.e. abortion for all nine months of the pregnancy. Here’s a screen grab of the ad.

The text reads, ” Get real, Jack. I’m bringing Roe back.”

So Joe thinks he’s Homelander? Scary.

Joe Biden doing his best Homelander impression.
Homelander from Amazon’s “The Boys”

Others on our editorial staff had the same ad on their cell phones too.

I have said before that given enough time, Fox News will end up being like CNN. Its happening before your eyes. Wake up people.

Democrat’s Plan to Reclaim Idaho

Yep, it’s that blatant and that bad. If you took the worst election ideas from California—i.e., the jungle primary—and added the worst election idea from Alaska—ranked voting—and some outside money and boost the whole thing on steroids then you’d end up with the smelly mess of dog poop being put forward by a Democrat shell group called “Reclaim Idaho”.  

Reclaim Idaho is actively collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that they wish to qualify. In neighboring Bonner County, the group is calling themselves, “Idaho Coalition for Open Primaries”.

Here is the first bullet point from the Reclaim Idaho website.

The initiative will end Idaho’s closed Republican primary and create a non-partisan primary system, open to all voters regardless of party affiliation. The top four candidates will advance to the general election.

Reclaim Idaho

The problem is that the Republicans in Idaho are too conservative, and the Dems don’t have the numbers to win in November so the only way they have a chance is to get a different outcome in the election. What is the purpose of the top four going to November except to divide the Republican voters and let more Democrats win. It’s simple math. In a top four, if two or three Republicans are on the ballot in November and only one Democrat then the likely winner in almost all cases will be the Democrat.

Jungle Primaries nullify a two-party system. If you want to know what killed California politics, it was the adoption of the top two vote getters go to the General Election. Republican candidates only appear on ballots in a handful of districts anywhere in the state. They have less than 1/3 of the Legislative seats and zero of the statewide offices. Having a top four system in Idaho will result in the same thing, one party rule and not by the GOP. Oh, California’s top two was funded by two billionaires: a RINO Republican and a Democrat.

Just to seal the deal, the top four will then be subjected to a ranked voting system. Ask Joe Miller how well ranked voting has worked in Alaska.

“Ranked-choice voting was sold as the way to make elections better reflect the will of the people,” Palin said in a statement. “As Alaska — and America — now sees, the exact opposite is true.”

Sarah Palin

Palin argues the voting system effectively disenfranchised 60% of Alaska voters

Sarah Palin condemns ranked choice voting system following election

Compare Alaska’s system to the one proposed for Idaho.

Bullet Points two and three from Reclaim Idaho

In the general election, voters will have the freedom to pick their top candidate and also to rank additional candidates in order of preference.

To make sure the winner enjoys support from a broad coalition of voters and not just a narrow faction, there will be Instant Runoff Voting in the general election (also called “ranked choice voting”). Here’s how it works: The last-place candidate will be eliminated and each vote for that candidate will be transferred to the voter’s second choice. This process repeats until only two candidates remain, and the candidate with the most votes is declared the winner.

Reclaim Idaho

Oh, this idea was on the ballot in Nevada and adopted in 2022

Set to appear on the ballot for the upcoming midterm elections, the initiative — if successfully passed — would amend the constitution of Nevada by implementing a ranked-choice voting system for both state and federal primary and general elections, in which primaries “would be opened up to all voters regardless of political party.” Under such a system, voters would rank their top five preferred primary candidates, with the top five overall vote-getters advancing to the general contest.

In the general election, if a candidate fails to garner “an outright majority (more than 50 percent),” the candidate who has the “fewest first-preference votes would be eliminated, with their ‘votes’ redistributed based on the second preference of those individual ballots.” Such a process “would continue until the final two candidates, or when one candidate reached a majority.”

Ranked Choice voting is a nightmare and its on the ballot in Nevada

Ranked Choice is so bad even some Democrats have rejected it.

According to The Washington Informer, party leaders expressed concern that the implementation of RCV would kneecap voters’ ability to choose their preferred nominee in any given election and result in potential voter disenfranchisement. “We firmly believe that every voter, regardless of party affiliation or independent status, should have the right to freely choose their preferred candidate,” the party’s statement continues.

Ranked Choice voting is so bad for elections even DC Democrats are rejecting it

So there you have it, Democrats are on the record that Ranked Choice Voting—a.k.a rigged choice voting—results in disenfranchisement and kneecapping voters.

Please note that Ranked Choice Voting doesn’t appear in Democrat states, only those that the Democrats wish to flip to their column.

NATO Chief of Staff says the Quiet Part Out Loud

The Ukraine-Russia war/conflict/invasion/special operation, choose your description, it sucks.  Innocent folks are being killed, towns being leveled, young people being conscripted/sent forcibly into battle.  It’s not a fun thing to write about.  We here at the blog have an opinion of this war that will anger most who support Ukraine, specifically NATO and the EU continuing to send out supplies, equipment and cash.

Check out this dudelet (RIP Rush Limbaugh…. this was his term to describe news) from the NATO chief of Staff

“I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory and get NATO membership in return”

The above statement was made by Stian Jenssen.  He almost immediately was rebuked by Ukraine leadership and walked back his statement.  The reality is he was telling the truth about the war, and neither Ukraine, nor pro-Ukraine people worldwide wanted to hear that.

He said the quiet part out loud.  The Chief of Staff, just like most high level NATO employees and outside influencers, know this to be true.  Ukraine cannot win this war.  Russia has millions of bodies to throw into the fire, they can afford to lose many more troops than Ukraine can.  They are emptying jails, likely rounding up homeless, and drafting young men in the rural areas to fight this war.  Ukraine doesn’t have that ability.  Ukraine is 100% reliant on NATO weaponry, problem is as advanced as our weapons are, they need bodies to operate them, bodies that are piling up daily.

The reality is even if Ukraine came to the table to discuss this with Russia it will not work.  Russia views Ukraine as territory stolen from them when the USSR was broken up.  Russia really doesn’t have much room for expansion, sure they could take Georgia (the country not the state) they took some territory already, they also occupy an area “Transnistria” that is between Ukraine and Moldova.  However, neither of those countries are large enough.  Ukraine is the prize.

The meat grinder in this war is rough, Russia is quite literally throwing bodies at Ukraine front lines to expose positions.  As Ukrainians cheer the dead Russians, they got killed by rocket/missile launches later.  It’s a war of attrition and Russia has far more bodies.  Think of it like a real-life game of Risk: The Game of World Domination.  I have one country; you have the neighboring one.  While you may win a round or two, in the end I win as I have more armies, and more chances to weaken your force.  The only reason this thing is not a total blowout in Russia’s favor is NATO is gifting Ukraine all of our outdated equipment.  Even with that support, Ukraine is hardly moving the needle in their so called offensive.

This war is lost, it’s a black hole and we are throwing endless gobs of money and equipment at it.  Hey, isn’t that the USA doctrine lately?  Throw lots of money at something… have the elected’s/powerful/influencers cash in on the grift, double and in some cases triple down and eventually pull out?

The Chief of Staff of NATO said the part we didn’t want to hear or believe, now we know it’s a matter of time before the rank-and-file NATO countries stop giving equipment and money. 

That being said, I see a “stale mate” similar to the Korean War happening here.  No side declares victory, but we have in essence disputed territory, a large, demilitarized zone, and warning from governments to avoid/don’t travel to the area.

Sorry if I didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear regarding Ukraine, but I think it’s over.

The Chief

Hurricane Hilary Increases GOP Membership

Yep. There may be such a thing as coincidence but … whether related to the afore mentioned storm, I will let you decide.

Yesterday, I took the wife to the County Clerk’s Office, and we registered to vote. A recent law went into effect in Idaho that prohibits anyone from registering to vote unless the registration address matches a person’s address on their driver’s license. Apparently, this verification must be done by the Clerk. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans were accepting voter registration cards at the County Fair that we attended about a week ago.

Also, we learned that Republicans in Idaho have abolished their Presidential Primary.

Last, I had heard, Republicans were floating the idea that nobody registered as a Republican less than two years could vote in the upcoming Primary. Apparently, that idea was scrapped in favor of an in-person Caucus on March 2, 2024.

If you recall, in 2020, Democrats ripped a page from the Rush Limbaugh playbook and ran their own “Operation Chaos” in the Republican Primaries of several states. They elected Trump supporting candidates that were never supported in the General Election by either Trump or the GOP. In essence, these guys were abandoned, and the seats ceded to the Democrats. Virtually all lost in the November Election. In my opinion, it was shameful that they were sacrificed without any support. In a rational world, this failure should be grounds for not supporting Trump—as would the Covid disaster—but the Democrats have made Trump the GOP frontrunner for 2024; something they will rue if he prevails.

Anyway, Idaho Republicans seemed fearful of Democrats changing registration to select their primary candidates and then reregistering as Dems for the General Election. This was their motivation to push for the two years in the GOP or you can’t vote rule. The Caucus idea was likely a compromise solution. I get a sense that this was one of those divide the conservatives and then get snookered by the RINOs.

Anyway, the wife and I are newly minted members of the GOP for the first time in many years and now look forward to our first caucus.

As for our former state, the so called “republicans” are dumping Life and traditional marriage from their platform.

This is just more proof that people in places like California that think they are conservatives are really Liberals and part of the problem. These are the guys that move to other states and try to make them into California and think they are “Good Republicans” while undermining traditional values. Idaho is free because it rejects California—or more correctly San Francisco—values. Oh, my sister in Texas says the same thing; namely, if you want to turn our state into California go home ‘cause we don’t need you here Quit ruining our state.

Elk Grove City Council Enters the Business of Lending to Business

You may be confused by the title of this blog, and you should be.  William pointed out in his most recent writing that most in CA love big government; specifically, being told what to do by government.  However, what if they knew the government was guaranteeing loans to business owners who are already successful?

Enter the City of Elk Grove.  The City Fathers have decided to pick losers and winners in the local economy using your tax dollars for the wager. The remainder of this blog documents this very socialist behavior in our once very Republican community.

Old Town Elk Grove’s future barbecue restaurant and bar took a large step closer to its completion thanks to the Elk Grove City Council’s recent approval of a $500,000 loan deal.

LowBrau’s Slow and Low Smokehouse, a project of restauranteur Michael Hargis’ Slow and Low, LLC, is currently slated to open at 9700 Railroad St. in the next one and a half to two months, Hargis told the Citizen on June 29.He also owns Sacramento dining establishments such a Beast + Bounty, a Michelin-rated restaurant; and the LowBrau Bierhall.

During their June 28 regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved an agreement for that loan, which is a commitment from River City Bank to Slow and Low, LLC to fund the costs of final tenant improvements, opening and initial operations of the new restaurant and bar.  The vote was unanimous.

Because the loan was contingent upon a third party agreeing to provide a repayment guarantee as security, if Slow and Low, LLC defaults on its loan, the business’s owner, Michael Hargis, asked the city if it would serve as that third party.

Yes, folks, a Michelin Star restaurant is a big deal. Think Gordon Ramsey or Wolfgang Puck… It is one of those places where frog legs cost $125 a plate, and you get 1 leg …I though frogs had 2 legs, but I digress.  Low Brau I have been to before, it’s a German sausage/food themed place where you guessed it, the beer flows freely.  It is a cool place; I do not have a gripe with either restaurant.  Where I have a gripe is why are we, the taxpayers, guaranteeing a loan to a guy who runs not 1 but 2 very successful places to eat?  Can’t someone else lend him the cash?  Specifically, the Small Business Administration (SBA) or Chamber of Commerce or maybe a bank?  I thought when you wanted a business loan that you had to have a business plan, profit/loss projections, costs, and a plan to pay it back?  Maybe times have changed?

Slow and Low, LLC is responsible for the loan that must be paid in full within five years.

As a guarantee that the bank would be reimbursed if the business defaulted on its agreement to pay off the loan, the city has pledged a collateral cash deposit in funds that were already deposited by the city at that bank.

Another element of this contract includes the use of a security agreement, in which the city will place a lien on the business’s restaurant equipment, if the loan is not paid in full prior to the deadline to do so.

In a worse-case scenario, a defaulted loan would result in the city losing some or all of its pledged deposit with River City Bank.

However, the city’s potential loss of $500,000 would be less impactful, considering that the restaurant equipment and Hargis’ 7001 Garden Highway, Sacramento property is relatively equal in value, noted Darrell Doan, the city’s economic development director.

“We have that first deed of trust in Mr. Hargis’ personal property (on the Garden Highway), and we also have the lien on the restaurant equipment (for the Railroad Street restaurant project),” he said. “We could foreclose both of those interests – in theory take title to his personal property, take title to the restaurant equipment.”

Although Doan mentioned that he does not foresee the worse-case scenario occurring, he presented that possibility for the purpose of providing full disclosure.

Doan noted that if Hargis is able to pay off the loan, the city will “experience no loss.”

“During that time, (those funds) would have earned the same interest on that deposit as we would have had we not created this security arrangement,” he said.

This Doan fella seems like a real piece of work, but his actions are on point for a government official.  Let me make a bet with taxpayer money and if it goes wrong, we will seize the man’s house and the equipment in the bar.  If it goes well, I can parade around calling myself an economic growth genius and apply for a job in a bigger City.  It’s literally heads I win, tails you lose.

Just to make things clear here, I do not know this Hargis guy who owns the restaurants, nor do I know his finances, or business acumen.  But I will make an assumption, he is quite good at his craft, a Michelin Star is not given out like candy on Halloween, they are quite rare.  Keeping it is even harder.  I have never had a bad meal at Low Brau. 

But why is he privatizing the profit, while socializing the loss?

Opinion of blogger:

This deal reeks.  Sorry I’ll say it.  The idea that the City will have a lien on his house tells me he may be mortgaged to the hilt.  His agreement should be between the bank, the landlord of the building he will occupy, and himself.  Why is the City involved at all?  This smells like Darrell Doan wanted to see a BBQ joint in Elk Grove and talked this guy into starting one and guaranteed his loan. In addition, I think the bank didn’t like his business plan or profit/loss estimates moving forward so they balked at the loan. 

Also pay attention to this statement:

Hargis, who has already spent about $750,000 on this restaurant and bar project, told the Citizen that he feels confident that his barbecue business will open on Railroad Street and the loan will be paid in full.

Why is the tenant making all the improvements to the building?  Typically, the landlord does this in exchange for higher rent/increases in rent annually.  I have not seen many of these arrangements lately.  It gives me pause.  Especially since the Dust Bowl Brewery that went in directly next to this proposed site made a lot of improvements, then ripped them out and put other ones in.  (Note, the buildings are old brick train station type buildings that got a ton of updating). 

Continuing my concerns, the location is in Old Town. It’s far away from the city center and is not easy to get to.  Think of one lane in each direction street, stop lights/neighborhood homes/very scarce parking.  Simply put, not many work in the area, and most who live there work far away so locals likely will not be partaking.  The BBQ business is also very fickle, either folks like it or not, and usually the owner finds out his BBQ is not as great as he thinks it is.  I watched as “The Rib Shack” near my office bit the dust in a bout a year’s time.  The location is also very set back from the road, and visibility will be little as it will be behind the Dust Bowl Brewery and a couple of housing units being built.  I would be remiss not to add that the neighborhood directly to the east of this is known for its meth heads and crack cocaine deals.  Just ask a local, one told me any Amazon package left on the porch longer than about 30 minutes is stolen.

In closing I will say this is the new America.  It used to be you took a chance, and if you hit it, you could hit it big, or even hit it to where you made a good living working in your own business.  Now the profit is enjoyed by the owner, and the loss is shared by the citizens.  It is sad, but it’s what it has come to.  Frankly you would be foolish not to get into it if you can.  This town is playing with house money quite literally as we built a casino.  One has to wonder if it will decide to have a BBQ joint inside or nearby their casino?  The plans are to build a hotel and amphitheater.  Most in central or west Elk Grove likely have never heard of Old Town Elk Grove or really care.  Quite frankly, if you live in either area its likely quicker and easier to go downtown than to travel to East Elk Grove and deal with the aforementioned parking and logistics issues getting to the area.

We are spending 1.25 million on something that is so far from a sure thing the owner (of 2 restaurants) has to personally put up his house and kitchen equipment as collateral?  Huh?  Also, the kitchen equipment, may seem like it’s worth a lot, no one buys that stuff second hand.  It’s likely useless, and only has scrap value.  Also, they say this guy’s house is worth 500k?  How can that be possible?  They claim he lives on Garden highway, for those of you not familiar Garden Highway (essentially the levee road in most of Sacramento County) which means he has a view/close proximity to water, so his home value is bunk.  My small 1700 square foot house in aforementioned East Elk Grove in a tract home neighborhood is worth north of $650k according to Zillow.  A lot is not adding up here.  I think he does not own his house free and clear; he likely has a large note payable on it via a bank, backed by the house as collateral.  No bank is letting the City of Elk Grove foreclose on it if they are owed money.

Again, folks here we are privatizing the profit, socializing the loss.

The Chief

Really Right Now in North Idaho

Photo above is Rusty Rex and our storage shed.

Yep, the wife and I have been busy finishing our house in North Idaho. (Don’t say “Northern” just “North”.) Right now, it’s mostly livable, except the stove is not operational yet. The glass for the shower will be here in early September. The cabinet guys will be here whenever they feel like it. So, yes, there are a few loose ends out of my control but mostly the downstairs is about done. Upstairs is functional … to a point. We still need to install flooring and cover the ceiling joists.

The California house is now sold. We have cut ties to the once “Golden State”. Sadly, Johnnie Does and the rest of the gang are still in Elk Grove. I do miss them and a few of the local restaurants. Gone are the editorial board lunch meetings at the local salsa bars. However, I have gained much by leaving. I have my Second Amendment rights restored. I can now open carry a sidearm with no permit. I can cast a line into the local river without leaving my property. I plan to register as a Republican again as the Party here actually stands for something other than “democrat lite”. Oh, I have found that the John Birch Society is alive and well here too. Deer are abundant on our property. We enjoy watching three young bucks as their antlers continue to grow. They come daily to eat apples from the lone apple tree on the property.

It seems like half the folks in our county are formerly from the Left Coast state that is rarely named here. Many have been here for decades and are not necessarily refugees of the horrible governance of Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown. All these folks have one thing in common and that is that they will not allow Idaho to become like the place that they left. It is my observation that most folks in California claiming to be conservative are really liberals and they don’t fit in with folks that are actually conservative. Most California “conservatives” love big government and can’t comprehend a world where “The State” doesn’t dictate their every move.

For example, my dad is totally appalled at the lack of permits and government oversight that we are under while building our home here. We didn’t need an architect or engineer to stamp drawings to get a building permit. We didn’t need T-24 calculations. We don’t need a Certificate of Occupancy to move into our house. I can go on, but I think you get the point. Also, we didn’t have to pay north of $100,000 in taxes and fees to get a building permit like you must do in Elk Grove. Our building permit was less than $1,600. I hand drew several pages of the permit package and used a computer for the rest. Any additional questions were answered verbally over the cell phone. There were fees to connect to the power grid and city sewer but compared to where we came from, the cost was minimal. Had we lived outside the city limits, these costs would be even less. The only big expense was putting in a well since city water was not readily available.

The thing I do miss the most is that my son is not here to share the wonder of Idaho with us. He is attending college in Arizona. Nothing against Arizona but his poor life choices are proof to me that he is ungrateful and immature. I am praying that God will kick him in the butt and get him back on the straight and narrow. Sadly, all my wife’s offspring are insistent on doing things the hard way.

The people here are nice but not in much of a hurry. This is frustrating for many, and I just have to roll with it. There is more work here than workers. Working with contractors on our house has been a juggling act. Two contractors really have been a joy to work with and a third has been a good one overall.

The church we are attending is small (less than 100 people). The pastor went to college with our dear friend George Fincke. George ended up in the Reformed Episcopal Church while Leonard (the pastor here) stayed in the Bible Presbyterian Church. Bob Jones produced a couple of great pastors in these men. George died almost 8 years ago. Leonard is very involved in the community here.

I will start blogging more frequently in the weeks to come. I still have to get a few projects done before I can devote more time to writing.

Why the GOP Contenders Can’t Beat Trump

How is it Donald J Trump is at almost 50% in the polling for the GOP primary?  He has been indicted at least 3 times, and it sounds like more are coming.  He “led” the January 6th revolt.  In additional to many other things folks should find repulsive….so how is he winning by such a large margin?

Disclosure: This blogger supported DeSantis, but he has turned into the incredible shrinking candidate.

Honestly, we believe it is several things that are the reason Donald Trump appears inevitable.

He ran on a platform as being an outsider…. honestly, he still is.  His party rank and file hate him.  Most donors despise him.  Even being a former president, he still feels like an outsider who is not part of the problem in Washington.

His “It’s not fair” platform resonates still.  He was indicted multiple times, impeached multiple times as well.  Not Joe Biden, and he has done far worse… but both parties are covering for him.  Biden/other GOP folks can go on any network and answer softball questions… not so Donald, he isn’t welcome on any platform but Fox and then just barely.

The indictments help him.  Ever notice, with each indictment comes a 3-4% jump in the polls.  It galvanizes more GOP support for him, as others see a double tiered justice system.

A large field benefits Trump.  Folks, be honest with yourselves, Donald is getting 38% as a floor in basically every state in the primary, it’s just a matter of how the 62% breaks between the rest of the field.  A large group of candidates makes it so no one can catch him… looks like the 2020 primary, doesn’t it?

The other candidates are not exciting at all.  Mike Pence? Blah.  Chris Christie? Dude hugged Obama…he’s done.  DeSantis really looks out of his league.  Tim Scott, Nicki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy could be something and I predict one of these will “pop” after the first debate but will not get within striking distance of Donald. Heck, will Trump even show up to the debate? If he doesn’t, who will watch?

How to beat Trump

Knock off trying to “out Trump him.” Donald speaks to people in a way like no other, he makes himself seem like one of them, I would turn him into the person he really is.  Focus on his Covid response.  Lockdowns were essentially signed off on by him.  Fauci told him what to do and he bought it all.  We added trillions in debt by having the “extra $600 a week in unemployment added to folk’s paychecks.  Essentially making a class of people who didn’t want to return to work.

Focus on his “PPP forgivable loan to trucking company Yellow.”  They went bankrupt, the loan will not be paid back.  I don’t care so much about the loan, as the amount of covid fraud will never be known…did you know the government made this loan in return for a 30% stake in the company?

Yellow executives said they intend to fully repay a $700 million loan former President Donald Trump’s administration issued to bail out the firm in 2020 under a pandemic relief program. Their success will depend on proceeds from selling Yellow’s properties and roughly 12,000 trucks, according to bankruptcy experts.

Government officials earlier this summer warned that U.S. investments could face losses. In particular, the Treasury Department has a nearly 31% stake in Yellow after accepting 15.9 million company shares as additional security for the loan, according to audit reports and bankruptcy documents. Shareholders are often last to recover their investments.

US trucking firm Yellow files for bankruptcy, blasts Teamsters
Monty Hall — Let’s Make a Deal from 1975

Yup we were playing Shark Tank and Let’s Make a Deal with the taxpayer’s cash.  Most would call that nationalization; I call it dumb.

Dr. Oz proves Trump is no Political Wizard

Hammer him for the candidates he supported who lost.  I am tying Dr. Mehmet Oz around his neck like the anvil it should be.  I want Donald to explain his support for Oz, especially over a challenger who had actual conservative credentials.  Ditto with Kari Lake.  Sorry but his job should be to grow the party, not advance unelectable folks with very little conservative credentials.  Keep in mind Dr. Oz was a puberty blocker for kids guy before it was cool, he also is a citizen of Turkey.  Better candidates and we likely have a 58-vote senate majority, and a huge house majority.  Also, we likely have Trump for a second term currently, instead we have a senate minority, and slim house majority.

Leave Trump alone.  This is the hard part, when you are behind in the polls you feel you have to attack.  Don’t.  Trump says enough dumb things, like attacking DeSantis for his state leading the nation in covid deaths.  Rather than trying to hit Donald back on policy, destroy him, say “how come you moved to Florida? Go back to New York.”  Trump has no comeback to that.  The indictments from the democrat party help him as well, as I mentioned above his numbers go up with each indictment.  He is skipping the debate because he wants attention, he doesn’t want to face questions about his term, he wants to be the outsider he ran on prior.

Contrarian view: If I’m advising Trump.

Don’t debate: There is no point, you are far ahead in the polls, hold a rally instead.  There will be a ton of cameras, have it the same day and time as the debate, you will get more viewers.  You cannot afford to fall below 45% otherwise you will have what is perceived as weakness.  Run against Joe starting now, don’t wait for the general, draw a stark contrast.

The Chief

Newsom Smokes DeSantis

I have to admit I’m stunned, I liked Ron (DeSantis) a lot.  I thought he would run away with the nomination.  He is a popular Florida Governor, swing state, speaks both English and Spanish.  He is now the incredible shrinking candidate.  Similar to Scott Walker 8 years ago he will go from favorite to also ran.  SAD!

This past week has not been great for Ron.  His campaign has laid off staff, this is usually a sign of running out of cash.  His largest donor has demanded that DeSantis go far to the left or be cut off financially. He offered to debate Kamala Harris…she turned it down.  My question is why would you want to debate her?  You are running for President, not VP.  Harris knew she would lose so she smartly turned it down.  Then he agreed to debate Gavin Newsom.

Big mistake.

First there is nothing for DeSantis to gain from this.  Gavin is not a candidate (yet).  Furthermore, the debate would be on Fox and moderated by Sean Hannity. It seems odd that Gavin wants the debates to be held in either: North Carolina, Georgia or Nevada…oh wait they are swing states.  Still Think Gavin isn’t running?

 Better yet, Gavin has a built-in excuse if things to awry…. he is on a “far right network” with a “far right debate moderator.”  Essentially, he can play the “its unfair 2 vs 1 card.” 

Secondly, look at the rules DeSantis proposed:

  • DeSantis suggested four dates from between Sept. 19 to Nov. 8, while Newsom proposed two dates in November.
  • DeSantis wanted a live audience with a 50-50 split, while Newsom said, “no live audience.”
  • DeSantis does not want opening remarks, while Newsom would like both participants to get four minutes.
  • DeSantis proposed that they each submit a two-minute-long video that must be approved by Fox News before it is played at the top of the debate.

I will address these one at a time. 

I have zero issue with timing of debates, I prefer DeSantis timeframe but if you’re going to debate both sides need to agree to a mutual date.

The live audience thing is wild… I mean is this like Cheers in disguise?  Filmed before a live studio audience?  I agree with Gavin, I would do no audience, I think the cheering and jeering takes away from a policy debate.

The opening video is also strange, it speaks to wanting a hype video that’s pre-recorded, I prefer Gavin’s idea of a four-minute opening statement.  Also, this should set DeSantis up better as it helps frame a Florida vs California policy debate.  It would be easy to show a stark contrast.

Again, this just seems bizarre, Ron should be chomping at the bit to face off with Gavin, assuming Gavin is a candidate (more on this later).  But the terms are wild.

Gavin as the Blog Father pointed out is a skilled debater; in a sense he doesn’t need facts, he just makes things up as he goes.  Worst yet he still believes it to be true.  This is what makes Gavin a skilled politician, and again, if Hannity tries to call him out, he can play the “2 vs 1 card.” 

In short, DeSantis has no chance of looking good.  He can either stumble badly (and sadly his demands paint a picture of him not being a good debater) or he looks good, and Gavin/democrats/state run media play the “right wing network, right wing moderator, of course DeSantis looked good.  It’s a lose, lose I would never agree to.

As for Gavin, folks I’ve said it before in this space, he is up to something, either Joe is going to whack Kamala off the ticket (possibly) or the democrat party is going to whack Joe from the ticket entirely.  Interestingly enough, the democrats are all in on Feinstein being too old to serve, everyone except Pelosi wants her gone so Gavin can appoint someone to fill the seat.  I know he has said it will be a black woman, this is his way to brandish his “woke credentials.”  Gavin in our opinion is not electable nationwide without widespread voter fraud on levels even the democrats know they cannot pull off.  So, the easiest way is to use Joe again as a conduit.  Joe is a likeable guy…I do not like his politics, but he is uncontroversial…the opposite of Trump some may say.  Get Joe re-elected, have him have a “health episode” and viola VP Gavin will take over as president going forward.  Democrats keep the Senate, re-claim the house and next thing you know the Supreme court has 25 judges, and boom, liberal utopia here we come.

The Chief

PS and yes, I think DeSantis is cooked, Trump is too far ahead in the polls and appears inevitable.