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Twisted Steel

About Rick Santelli…

Yesterday’s rant has made him the household name du jour.

I have a secret for you: he’s right. I’ve made money on investments. I’ve lost money on investments — big investments, too.  Some of my losses weren’t because I made uninformed decisions. Chance played a big role in it. But I played, and I knew the rules of the game, and I took on the risk I was comfortable with. Maybe the floor of CME group’s Board of Trade isn’t a statistical cross-section of America, but Santelli’s correct. Let bad mortgages go into foreclosure, or let the banks broker their own deals with their borrowers, but let them figure it out for themselves. If the asset is truly worthless, it’ll go to zero in value. Problem is, somebody will take a flyer on just about anything so long as they feel it’s at the right price. The market is simply nature.  Government can try to play God, but not even God attempts to do the things government troes to do. We cried for the government to do something about oil and gas prices. Get those fat cat speculators and Big Oil execs bringing in big bucks last summer when oil was $145/barrel.  We did nothing. What did it give us? $33/barrel oil and $1.80/gallon gas. Now we’re supposed to do something so we don’t grow more dependent on oil. (I don’t know; I think doing nothing did a good job of weaning us off gas guzzlers, and it also helped bring oil down.) The left hasn’t hesitated to skewer Rick. I could bore you with links to Democratic Underground, or Huffington Post or Wonkette, but if you want to go there, do it on your own time.  The White House is on board. Robert Gibbs even got personal with Santelli. How dare a derivatives trader (cue evil music) question the benign law professor? It is fun when the official spokesman of the President takes aim at a private citizen for daring express his opinion.

(By the way, nice softball from that reporter: “Calm the unwashed masses. Let them know how our Lord and Savior President is going to deliver us all from evil.” Santelli responds quite simply: Contract law must be sacred. Chris “I want to run as a Democrat from Pennsylvania, but I HAVE CREDIBILITY DAMMIT AS A JOURNALIST IGNORE THE FACT I WAS ON TIP O’NEIL’S PAYROLL AND JIMMY CARTER’S PAYROLL BUT SCREW RICK SANTELLI WHOSE CREDIBILITY IS IMPEACHED BY A VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN IN NOVEMBER” Matthews equates Rick Santelli to Ebeneezer Scrooge.

One point the Leftist blogs have made is that Santelli is a hack. He cheerleaded for TARP and bank bailouts last year, and now he’s bitching about the homeowner’s bailout. Very good point. Santelli’s sarcasm is obviously very subtle.

Now if only we can get him to run for the U.S. Senate, the Governor’s office, or Mark Kirk’s seat.

Travelers Insurance is on My List

This car was as good as new when I dropped it off at Bredemann Ford.OK, so you might have read about the accident my car dealer’s service department had while road-testing my Explorer following routine service.

At any rate, these are pictures of my 2004 Explorer hours after the Friday afternoon collision. As I said, my dealer-issued loaner was a 2007 Ford Edge, metallic orange (or copper, as they officially call it). I made fun of the color, but the car itself was terrific. Rode like a dream, handled great, seemed to give aOuch! vibe of “I’ll save Detroit by myself if I have to.” It didn’t hurt that it was loaded: satellite radio, GPS navigation system, etc. It was a fun car to play with, even if my insistence on playing with all the toys drove my wife crazy.

At any rate, the facts of the crash came in, and they were as follows: Ford Explorer was traveling south on Waukegan Road in the left lane. The right lane was backed up at the stoplight at Chestnut. One car left space at a driveway for cars to turn in This is why 21-year-old women shouldn’t pull out onto Waukegan Road.and turn out. That same driver waved a 1997 Toyota Camry, driven by a 21-year-old woman from Highland Park, to turn left onto northbound Waukegan Road. The driver of the Toyota didn’t think about the left lane not being backed up and pulled out in front of my Ford Explorer.

The Toyota driver’s insurance is Travelers. Travelers agreed that they should accept 100 percent liability, so I had the car towed to  the Maaco in Wheeling on Milwaukee and Hintz.Yes, the front door won’t open! The frame better not be bent!

That’s when I had to bring back the service loaner and go to Enterprise Rent-a-Car where the car Travelers has rented for me awaited. I will be without my Explorer for three weeks. During this time, I plan to:

  • Take a trip to New Buffalo, MI
  • Pick up some lumber and other odds and ends up at Lowe’s or Home Depot with my father in law
  • Pick up a heavy and large piece of furniture in Downers Grove.
  • Take that heavy and large piece of furniture elsewhere.
  • Possibly go up to Beloit and take delivery of surplus bus parts.

All the above would work well in an Explorer or similar vehicle. Many of the above will be impossible with my rental, a Ford Focus. My desk chair with wheels might have more pickup than my Focus.

I called Travelers and suggested that they could do better than this. They suggested I upgrade with Enterprise and pay out-of-pocket for any cost of an upgrade. That’s all fine and dandy except:

I paid out of pocket for my Explorer when I bought it!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Illinois law states the insurance company should only pay for basic transportation. But if I wanted basic transportation, maybe I would have bought a basic car. I can’t even get a medium-sized sedan for the two-to-three weeks my car is out of commission.

And let’s remember the key point:

Their client hit MY car.

According to the Travelers’ adjuster, it was my fault that I gave Bredemann permission to road test my vehicle. God, do they suck.