Archives for March 2009

The War on Domestic Prosperity II

I don’t mean to be an “I told you so” but I wrote this last week:

If you just watched the same Presidential news conference that I watched then you should have heard President Obama announce a “War on Domestic Prosperity.”

Citing a new “Doctrine of Preemptive Corporate Takeover,” the Obama Administration will now begin looking to head off any possibility of failure by seizing and taking control of companies which may pose any possibility of failure.

Standby for more takeovers. Stand by for government-run industry. Standby for a socialized economy. Say goodbye to freedom and an America we all love.

Of course, one of you thought I was being a little conspiratorial and lacked credibility.

Today, instead of a Board of Directors firing a CEO, the President of the United States made a corporate CEO of one of the big three automakers resign. WOW!

This is what you get when you take government money. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

TARP Over Joe Public’s Eyes While Money Flows

by Gayle Plato, M. Ed

I don’t usually post others stuff more than a quote, but this information is too valuable to miss.  There is a fake profitability question of how is it that AIG,  huge insurance company, ‘losing’ money, and financial giants Citibank and Bank of America made profits?  Those two banks may have been hyped for those pseudo-two month profit that rallied the Dow for a few weeks.  Is it real?  Is it just  Area 51 of the Groom Lake trader shell game?  What IS going in?   Power up my black helicopter, cuz Soccer Mom is coming in for a landing.

Well some traders and brokerages make really big commissions off of these games people play.

There is talk amongst trader and Wall Street pop-talk blogs of AIG selling complicated portfolios-a strategy of options, bond, and stocks all packages that only have relationships to each other.  So when they want to get out of this–when they hedge- they sell the packages cheaper than should be, letting the banks stick it to AIG.  Then the banks turned around doing similar transactions.  With that, there are LARGE commissions coming and going and it makes no sense.  Profits tick up on the formal balance sheets for the banks, AIG pays bonuses to shift attention over here, and nobody knows nothing as the laundry comes in and goes out. Throw a TARP over it all?  Hmm.

Now I might just be some lil ol’ goof out here in blogosphere, but I can read. These tea leaves are making me green with ill, and some shifty money lifters green with the looting of the big business.  Our Congressmen don’t have time to read the stuff they sign.

This PLAN by the Treasury is NOT being cobbled together late at night, and Timmy Geithner is NOT just some poor guy workn’ hard.  He knows exactly what he is doing and when I saw him on Meet the Press, I started really worrying.

So what happened today? The president of GM left and the board of directors is going to resign.  Looks like this biggie is going into bankruptcy; so let the head guys out and let it go under.  Now we are merging Chrysler with Fiat. Good God.  Did you read THIS one: the government is honoring warranties for GM?  Is this insane?  Or is this a template of government  regulation like we’ll have with universal health care?

Simply put if you pay someone else’s bills, they have no incentive to keep the costs down.  Get ready for regulated auto industry. If you cannot see this process of power grab, you are not looking. Go sing Kumbaya and look at Mrs. Obama’s guns.  The government is not on autopilot though, and neither the leaders nor any of us are victims.

Read this:
From the blog- Zero Hedge (

“For those to whom this is merely a lot of mumbo-jumbo, let me explain in layman’s terms:

AIG, knowing it would need to ask for much more capital from the Treasury imminently, decided to throw in the towel, and gifted major bank counter-parties with trades which were egregiously profitable to the banks, and even more egregiously money losing to the U.S. taxpayers, who had to dump more and more cash into AIG, without having the U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner disclose the real extent of this, for lack of a better word, fraudulent scam.

In simple terms think of it as an auto dealer, which knows that U.S. taxpayers will provide for an infinite amount of money to fund its ongoing sales of horrendous vehicles (think Pontiac Azteks): the company decides to sell all the cars currently in contract, to lessors at far below the amortized market value, thereby generating huge profits for these lessors, as these turn around and sell the cars at a major profit, funded exclusively by U.S. taxpayers (readers should feel free to provide more gripping allegories).

What this all means is that the statements by major banks, i.e. JPM, Citi, and BofA, regarding abnormal profitability in January and February were true, however these profits were a) one-time in nature due to wholesale unwinds of AIG portfolios, b) entirely at the expense of AIG, and thus taxpayers, c) executed with Tim Geithner’s (and thus the administration’s) full knowledge and intent, d) were basically a transfer of money from taxpayers to banks (in yet another form) using AIG as an intermediary.”

WTF? Fed, Fiscal, Funding, All the Fs of a Politcal Petaflop

by Gayle Plato

Grabbing your attention through implied vulgarity is albeit a cheap shot.  But then again, I ask you, are you getting angrier everyday?  Meet the Press, still airing here in AZ as I am writing and I am sick of this.

Secretary Tim Geithner just said that Americans will benefit from this critical time because we’ll care less about how much we make and care more about what we do.  Umm, WHAT?!
Timothy Geithner is not out speaking much, aside from a committee hearing in Washington, or slip shot statements in a G20 meeting, but today on NBC he just blew me away.  Geithner is an amazing politician.  He is on this and going forward double guns.
I am gravely concerned as the leading elected officials in DC are BUYING IN!  No one had more hope for our Sentator John McCain than me, and here I sit fuming.  Get McCain OFF of the national scene.  He is on air saying, once again, that he is no economics expert, and he is believing the overall process.  He may target a few issues and keep saying generational theft; now he is singing the budgetary problems.  McCain is boring to death the few republicans left listening.
We are NOT noticing the biggest problem.  Since economic transfers and wealth holdings started moving on waves of digital light, the United States financial system became vulnerable.  Global economy is a real concern as there are no borders.  The quintessential One World Order IS real and not looming in the distance.  It happened while we were all refinancing out houses and flipping properties.   Your loans are held by God knows who at this point.  No one even knows who holds the notes.
The REAL THREAT is that as more international fund management and regulation happens, the less value we have as citizens of a country.  We are losing American standards and dreams as fiscal power goes from a trickle under a bridge to nowhere, to a flash flood on out the cracked borders.
Simply put, once the money is regulated by an international agency, an agency like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a World Bank United Nations entity, the political power structure becomes  a global cookie.  Cookie Monsters grab and gobble them all up. We lose the uniquely American factor of the fiscal control.  We are transferring power right out the digital door.
It is not over yet. We still have the right to vote. We can vote in and vote out the leaders and all of the appointed Geithners.  Get this Congress out.  If we have a bunch of  weak leaders who get on television saying they are not experts, sounding like door mats, we are going to lose the unique dream and American political structure.
We are seeing a politcal petaflop with digital grab of the money, the structure, the power, and then the people’s will to stay unique, indivualized and intrinsically free:

“A petaflop is the ability of a computer to do one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS.)  Additionally, a petaflop can be measured as “one thousand teraflops”. A petaflop computer would require a massive number of computers working in parallel on the same problem. Applications might include real-time nuclear magnetic resonance imaging during surgery or even astrophysical simulation.

Today’s fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds. The world’s fastest supercomputer today, the climate-modeling Earth, has a top speed of 40 trillion operations a second. Scientists predict we will see a petaflop computer by the year 2010…”

Watch how politcal power is being hijacked in unions. Notice how businesses, small and large, are being cornered into new guidelines and regulations.  Realize that this is a trial balloon for bigger control.
Glenn Beck did a great bit playing economic Jenga last week, and I like the imagery.  We are facing a politcal Jenga jerry rigging of the power, with one right at a time being pulled away from the United States. We must rally NOW and get the power back.

Response to Chuck Coughlin

First, “Chewie” would like to clarify a couple of things.

1) This site is for anonymous contributors. There is no one “Chewie” but rather it permits various people protection to provide information they might not normally be able to provide without retaliation. The liberal-leaning newspapers won’t print this kind of information.  So attacking “Chewie” doesn’t really make any sense, since it’s really attacking multiple contributors.

2) We strongly suspect that certain people written about in the posts or their close associates are the ones writing many of the most critical comments about Chewie and Sonoran Alliance. Which is fine, you are entitled to your anonymity just as much as we are, but attacking us personally instead of substantively (“Chewie is dragging down the reputation of this site”) shows you’ve lost the argument.

It is incredibly hypocritical for Coughlin to call for party unity and try to hide under the mantra of “we’re all Republicans, let’s play nice.” No one will forget the incredible smear ad Coughlin ran in the Attorney General race several years ago. With no real backing Coughlin ran an ad showing the other Republican candidate Tom McGovern behind bars. His basis? McGovern was arrested once briefly as a juvenile for allegedly smoking marijuana but nothing ever came of it, charges were never pressed. It backfired badly as Coughlin’s poorly served client John Kaites was crushed. And let’s not forget that a weakened McGovern lost narrowly to Janet Napolitano in the general election race for AG, and after that she became Governor, and…well, you know the rest of the story.

Anyone who led Governor Napolitano’s tax hike initiative is NOT much of a Republican anymore. Sorry. It’s one thing to be a squishy or moderate Republican. But if you’re a Sen Carolyn Allen kind of Republican and your views are just as liberal as the average Democrat, you should be called out. Coughlin’s response sounds more like a Democrat plan to “save” bloated government programs than a Republican plan.

Coughlin claims he’s not working for the governor in a “government” capacity but admits he works for her in a campaign capacity.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference here with Coughlin directing the governor to push for a sales tax on the ballot. This is why we’re concerned. A political lobbyist should not be running the governor’s office. Much less a liberal-leaning political lobbyist when a Republican governor is the one who’s been elected.

Coughlin touting party unity? Give us a break!

KOYAANISQATSI: A Nation Out of Balance Needs a New Contract With America

by Gayle Plato

When working in a team effort, a training of trainers in resiliency therapy, I was asked to analyze language and determine how some public statement was either resilient or otherwise. I went to work digging through a bunch of material from fields I knew- counseling, educational, and even local news bulletins hoping something would hit me.

Then I heard the House Speaker Newt Gingrich being interviewed; he had been part of the great Republican revolution during the 1994 elections of Congress. I was impressed, and then I decided to read the Contract With America that was the political push. ( see The Contract:

” Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.”

I was amazed. My love of writing goes back to preteen days, editor of the high school paper,  and onto college.  I took a lot of college classes from professors very impressed with themselves and the boring books they created. All the Poly Sci. and Econ. classes nearly made me urp up legal babble with chunks of  lousy text book leftist propaganda all over the student union.  Walk in The Contract With America: Here was a campaign document,that in and of itself a rarity, putting promises in writing. It was also written unlike any political document of the day. The Contract reminded me of the Gettysburg Address in it’s style of direct, concise, simplicity, yet heavy in meaning. This was the perfect example of a country’s resiliency in action and the document was a great tool for me to rework the training material. I used it in my presentation, and took the students there in a direction they had not been. I also convinced a few very liberal Seattle-based educators to look at the new Congress with fresh eyes.

Jumping ahead now 15 years and we are drowning in political double speak, liberal smear campaigns against the people they represent, and layers of lies so offensive, blatant; we are being conned.

We need a New Contract with America before we lose the America we love. Maybe the Hopi had it right with the concept of KOYAANISQATSI or ‘Life out of Balance’. We are in this state now. We are a nation out of balance and we need that straightforward language, and fundamental respect for us as citizens of a free society.

(please read my accompanying piece on balance and politics:


Chuck Coughlin Responds

Editors Note: Sometimes I wake up and find myself caught between opposing conservative views with this blog and ask myself “why?”

In response to an earlier piece, entitled, “OUTRAGE! Reason for Governor Brewer’s tax increase is to reward lobbyist/employee Chuck Coughlin I thought it was necessary, appropriate and equitable to allow Chuck Coughlin to respond to the charge that he or his consulting firm, HighGround, would benefit in any way from an effort to pass a tax hike here in the State of Arizona. Chuck was more than willing to respond and attempt to set the record straight.

Those who read the posts on Sonoran Alliance should know that there are several writers who frequently and infrequently post their opinions on the blog. With the exception of myself, these writers do not know the identity of each other. That means that we don’t always agree with what is written. Yes, we are not all in lock-step with one another on every issue. In essence, there is diversity amongst our writers and that means we should respect each other’s right to express our own opinions.

With that said, here is Mr. Coughlin’s response:

I’m very flattered that Mr. Shofir would consider me such an influential person.  The truth of the matter, as is always the case, is a bit more complicated, particularly to people who see the world in absolutes. 

For the record I do not nor have I ever worked in a government role for Governor or Secretary Brewer.  I have managed all of her campaigns since she left the Legislature. I admire her greatly, her honesty, integrity and most of all her heart.  She is as real a regular down to earth person as Governor Napolitano was aloof, unattached and career minded.  

To be abundantly clear the proposals the Governor has articulated are hers.  So let’s set the record straight:

  • Governor Napolitano and her supporters at the Legislature grew government to clearly unsustainable levels (45%) over the past three years. There is no question that the Legislature and the Governor must cut over a billion dollars in state spending between this years and next year’s State budget. If that is done, Governor Brewer will have cut more State government spending than any Governor in the history of Arizona.
  • The current rate of growth for State Government is not sustainable. We, yes I consider myself a conservative Republican, must be focused on developing tools to slow the overall rate of government growth. Constitutionally reforming the rainy day fund to require up to 20% of funds be put aside annually coupled with reforms to limit access to these funds could serve as a significant braking mechanism on future government spending. County and municipal governments have spending control mechanisms, it is time we placed a spending control mechanism on future state spending growth.

  • Some Republican’s fascination with a temporary tax reminds me of the public fascination with the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey. They still haven’t caught the killer but we still talk about the case. Rather than focus on the temporary tax increase (death to hard core Republicans), folks should be concerned with controlling the rate of growth in government spending. That is the real killer. So in short, just don’t read the headline, focus on the real story.
  • Arizona’s tax structure is obsolete and outdated. The business property taxes and corporate income taxes in Arizona are an impediment to capital formation. We should be focused on plans to bring those rates down over the long term and to begin to recruit California companies that will be fleeing a high tax state.
  • Republicans now control all the branches of State Government. We must demonstrate an ability to govern. In a recent survey done by Phd. Margret Kenski (clients incl: Kyl, McCain, Hayworth, Bee, Shadegg, Symington etc…) cuts to kindergarten through 12th grade education programs were unacceptable to 75% of the electorate, including 64% of the Republican’s. Over 41% of the State Budget supports K-12 education. The Same survey found that cuts to the colleges and University Systems were unacceptable to 50% of the overall electorate, including 35% of the Republicans, and cuts to public health care programs serving the poor were unacceptable to 54% of the electorate (40% unacceptable to Republicans). These program alone account for over 60% of the state budget available to be cut, the other 40% is voter protected by Prop 105. All of these programs will have to be cut or reformed in some manner – see point number one.

  • If Republicans intend to stay in the majority at the Arizona Legislature, we must not cut programs to the point where voters will no longer have confidence in our ability to lead. Until the economy recovers we must find temporary ways to bridge the gap so that Arizona can continue to offer the essential public services that its citizens rely upon.
  • After cutting a billion dollars, creating a braking mechanism on future state government spending and thoughtfully applying all of the Federal stimulus dollars. If there remains a budget deficit of a $500 million or more in 2010, 11 and or 12, I believe Arizona voters would support a constitutionally limited 2-3 year, dedicated 1% increase in State Sales tax to support core government services (K-12, Higher Ed, Health Care for the poor and public safety).

For the record, my firm resigned from the Time Coalition prior to the signature gathering phase because I did not have confidence in the overall program being proposed by Governor Napolitano.

I entered the public affairs business over 25 years ago, not to make money but to pursue good ideas, support good government, and to be vigilant about the abuse of government power and authority.  I have worked for then Congressman John McCain, Attorney General Grant Woods,  Governor Fife Symington, State Senator’s Bob Burns, Russell Pearce and John Nelson to name a few.   I consider all of them to be my dear friends today. And no, we don’t always agree.

God has been very good to me, my family and to the many people who work with me here at Highground.  I trust if I keep trying to follow the path and values outlined above I will continue to be fine.

Again, thanks for the flattery, but seriously if Mr. Shofir or anyone else wants to talk I’m available.  Call me anytime at the office, it’s always good to have a reasonable, thoughtful discussion.  Come visit us at the Highground any time you would like. But let’s try to knock off the personal attacks, and let’s talk about ideas.

All the best, Vote Republican!



OUTRAGE! Reason for Governor Brewer’s tax increase is to reward lobbyist/employee Chuck Coughlin

We have received inside information that lobbyist Chuck Coughlin, who founded High Ground and now works for Governor Brewer, is behind Brewer’s insistence on a tax increase. Coughlin originally led Governor Napolitano’s TIME initiative which would have increased sales taxes in order to generate more road construction and light rail construction jobs for Coughlin’s client, the Association of General Contractors. Fortunately, the initiative failed to get on the ballot. Now, Coughlin is hoping to get voters to approve a tax increase that would permit the state to use the money however it likes – sneak the TIME initiative back through that way.

Brewer keeps claiming that the need for a tax increase is about the children, and that she doesn’t want to cut programs like subsidized daycare. But this isn’t accurate. Brewer has agreed to accept ALL of the federal bailout money (except for a program lengthening unemployment pay, because that would require additional state spending and bureacracy). There is now more than enough money to pay for subsidized daycare. Brewer also has a reserve left that she can spend in any way she’d like – if she can’t agree with the legislature on something as crucial to her as subsidized daycare, she can fund it without the legislature’s approval.

Coughlin is trying to bully the legislature into having it his own way. But the state legislature is not a subsidiary of Chuck Coughlin. Coughlin’s bullying style has made Brewer many needless enemies at the legislature. The legislature sees through his threats and is not going to cave in and raise taxes to subsidize his businesses.

There are some ridiculous programs in the budget that should be cut and this economic downturn presents an opportunity to get rid of them. One of these useless programs involves sending people to the homes of developmentally disabled children to play guitar music for them. This is absurd, if the children need therapeutic music, why aren’t their parents turning on the stereo to play music for them?

Coughlin needs to go back to High Ground and it should be renamed to Low Ground, before he can  do anymore damage to Brewer.

What is the Arizona Economic Council?

You can add The Ahwatukee Foothill News to the list of organizations that have been duped by this shadowy group named the Arizona Economic Council. In running commentary authored by the Arizona Economic Council critical of Jan Brewer and the Republican Legislature (“Budget Cuts Hinder Tax Collections, 3/23/09), the Foothill News described the Arizona Economic Council as “an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization aimed [sic] to promote ideas to create jobs, strengthen our economy and educate Arizonans about the economic issues facing our state.”

The Yellow Sheet has also reprinted a couple of news releases from this group attacking Republicans, and also referred to it as “independent” and “nonpartisan.”

This is a joke. The Arizona Economic Council is led by Seth Scott, who actually authored the piece in the Foothill News. A quick Google search reveals that Scott is former spokesman for liberal Congressman Harry Mitchell.

George Cunningham, who is also quoted in the article and identified as a member of the group, was a top staffer for liberal former Governor Janet Napolitano. Democrat Cunningham also amassed a far left-wing voting record as an extremist legislator from Pima County. Cunningham voted against a bill requiring people to show identification in order to register to vote, and even voted against a ban on partial birth abortion.

And the other member of the group mentioned in their propaganda piece, Enrique Lopezlira? Their propaganda merely calls him a “Valley economist.” But a look at FEC and state campaign finance records reveals he has donated thousands of dollars to candidates and causes over the last couple years. And every penny has gone to left-wing candidates and causes.

You can call this sloppy journalism, but had a group of conservatives formed a similar group that tried to phony itself up as nonpartisan and independent, I doubt this would have escaped the media’s attention. And it is shameful that such a nakedly partisan, leftist group would try to paint itself as nonpartisan.

The Arizona Economic Council, nonpartisan and independent? Not hardly.`

Don’t buy Light Rail propaganda

Anyone who reads The Arizona Republic knows that they are unapologetic cheerleader for light rail.  And it’s impossible to miss the fact that they are constantly writing articles about how ridership has exceeded “predictions.”

If it seems to you like every light rail system opened recently exceeds “predictions,” there is a good reason for it.  They have.  Which begs the question of whether the predictions are really predictions or simply propaganda tools that allow advocates for light rail to declare light rail a success because it is performing beyond expectations?

Clearly it is the latter.  Of the six new light rail systems in cities west of the Mississippi, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, Portland and Salt Lake City, guess how many failed to exceed ridership expectations?  NONE. There was one light rail system in New Jersey that failed to meet expectations, but also one in Charlotte that, once again, exceeded expectations.

So the next time you hear someone from the Republic pretending to be a journalist and trumpeting the claim that light rail exceeded predictions, you will know exactly what they mean by “predictions”–it’s the level at which light rail propagandists must set expected ridership in order to ensure that it will be exceeded no matter how poorly the system is utilized by the public.  It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book-set expectations low so you can declare victory later no matter what.  It may not be clever, but it is enough to fool light rail fawning journos.

Yellow Sheet reports on another botched illegal immigration prosecution by Goddard

In a post titled “Goddard Loses Another Big One,” the Yellow Sheet Report (paid-subscription only) relays how a judge dismissed Goddard’s civil racketeering case against an operation that was flying illegal immigrants around the country out of Las Vegas.  The company, Iberoamericana Travel, had 47 local affiliates in Arizona and Nevada. The company’s attorney said the case was dismissed for lack of evidence, saying that the local affiliates Goddard went after had no idea of plots in California to move illegal immigrants. This is a terrible record and goes to show Goddard is not really making much of an effort to fight illegal immigration, he’s only putting up a weak effort to pretend he is, which in the end is doing more harm than good since taxpayers have to foot the bill. Wonder how much it cost taxpayers to bring this failed lawsuit? This incompentent attorney general wants to run for governor? <shudder>