Wednesday, December 31, 2008
"Earlier, I posted about how executive pay can drain companies and destroy jobs. Today, I cannot help thinking about how our politicians have committed to funneling billions of tax dollars to some of the same executives who managed to personally enrich themselves while driving their companies (and our economy) into a ditch.
Naturally, this led me to think about one of the big “mistakes” that government officials made when crafting the Wall Street bailout plan: the failure (or refusal) to insist on accountability..."
Gort, where are you? We need you.
Update: Logistics Monster has a the first of a multiple-part series up on our economic mess. You really should go by and check out this post. It has one of the most comprehensive assessments of the Federal Reserve I've ever read. (I claim no expertise on the Fed, btw.)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"WASHINGTON — A Washington lobbyist sued The New York Times and several of its reporters and editors Tuesday, charging that the newspaper had falsely created an impression that she had engaged in an improper romantic relationship with Senator John McCain..."
Monday, December 29, 2008
"ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Caroline Kennedy's latest trip under the spotlight as a Senate hopeful didn't get much better reviews from New York news media than her first. A New York Daily News columnist said "the wheels of the bandwagon are coming off." New York Post state editor Fred Dicker already put her on his list of 2008 losers. And The New York Times said "she seemed less like a candidate than an idea of one: eloquent but vague, largely undefined and seemingly determined to remain that way..."
Sunday, December 28, 2008
"...Other people have gone farther. Paul Mulshine of the New Jersey Star Ledger wrote a column entitled “The Ponzi scheme that Baby Boomers are waiting to cash in on.” And Jim Cramer has called Social Security the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Superficially, these critics have a point, and there is a parallel between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme. But on a fundamental level, they are very wrong, and it’s worth explaining why..."
Get the poop at the link.
A National Conference party member flashes a victory sign Sunday in Srinagar.
A National Conference party member flashes a victory sign Sunday in Srinagar.
The National Conference party and the Congress party together won 45 seats, one more than is needed for a simple majority in the 87-seat state assembly.
The two parties have started negotiations for an alliance so they can take power. The National Conference party won 28 seats, and Congress won 17..."
Saturday, December 27, 2008
In the same way, if someone publicly charges that 'Mormonism is a cult,' it is impossible to say that the claim by itself is mistaken or untrue. However, if the speaker says that heaven is a real place but that you will not get there if you are Jewish, or that Mormonism is a cult and a false religion but that other churches and faiths are the genuine article, then you know that the bigot has spoken. That's all in a day's work for the wonderful world of the American evangelical community, and one wishes them all the best of luck in their energetic fund-raising and their happy-clappy Sunday 'Churchianity' mega-feel-good fiestas. However, do we want these weirdos and creeps officiating in any capacity at the inauguration of the next president of the United States?..."
RNC chairman condemns controversial Obama song - CNN.com: "(CNN) -- The chairman of the Republican National Committee said he was 'appalled' by a song called 'Barack the Magic Negro' on a CD distributed by one of his political rivals.
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan is first party member to criticize 'Barack the Magic Negro.'
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan is first party member to criticize 'Barack the Magic Negro.'
'The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party,' RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement reported Saturday afternoon by Politico..."
Friday, December 26, 2008
"... But put her aside for a moment. I, for one, will be very happy to see Laura Bush leave the White House. Mr. Varadarajan refers to her as a certain American type. Indeed, Edith Wharton referred to Laura’s type when she wrote The Age of innocence. Laura is very much in the model of the May Archer type. She is a woman of no great curiousity and who lives a very constrained existence in the narrow field of vision granted to her by her tribe. In her case, the tribe is wealthy and cloistered. Her behavior and actions are dictated by those around her. As long as she sticks to the convention and expectations of those who govern her actions, she will live in comfort and security. Wharton called it a “hard bright blindness” that May Archer lived in. She was not unaware of unpleasantness beyond her sphere. She just chose to not acknowledge it..."
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
And what was that outcome? It all came down to Florida, where these were the numbers:
Number of people who voted for Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000: 97,421
Official difference between the Bush vote and the Gore vote in 2000: 537.
537 is roughly one-two hundredth of 97,421. I believe that at least 1/200th of the Florida Nader vote was swayable. If leading progressives such as Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Tom Tomorrow had not spread lies about Al Gore, Bush and Cheney would never have had the chance to destroy the United States.
Yes, I really do believe that Sparky could have made a difference. I think that Maher, Moore, Tom and all the other 'progressive' Gore/Clinton haters are personally responsible for everything that has happened over the past eight years. They are every bit as responsible as Bush and Cheney are.
(And perhaps we should consult the shade of Boss Tweed on the question of whether cartoons can affect the way people vote.)
So much for Sparky the Penguin's record as a political consultant.."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Associated Press: Gay-rights leaders' enthusiasm for Obama subsides: "NEW YORK (AP) — Gay-rights activists remain hopeful about the Obama presidency but are now more wary after what one called a 'double punch to the gut' — the choice of a pastor they consider hostile for a prime inauguration role and dashed hopes for the first openly gay Cabinet member.
Enthusiasm among gays over Barack Obama's election has deflated rapidly in the days since his inaugural organizers announced that the invocation would be delivered by the Rev. Rick Warren, a prominent pastor who backed a recent ballot measure banning same-sex marriage in his home state of California..."
Bloomberg.com: Worldwide"...Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A New York-based money manager who may have lost $1.4 billion of client funds invested with Bernard Madoff apparently killed himself in his Madison Avenue office, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said..."
Monday, December 22, 2008
"...If I was a Republican senator or congressman, I would be jumping on this issue like a rabid pitbull with lockjaw. Hint..hint…(Getting re-elected is easy for a Champion Of The People).
We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,’” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to...”
Click on the link and read the entire post. It will cause heartburn and other stress related ailments to appear. The only cure is the consumption of Congresscritters.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Is Caroline Kennedy like Sarah Palin? -- newsday.com: "WASHINGTON - A Democratic congressman compared Caroline Kennedy to Sarah Palin, saying the would-be senator hasn't proved she has the 'guts and the gumption' to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton..."
Just off the top of my head, here's something important ways they are not alike: Palin has real experiences in real jobs; Palin is not a product of the Ivy League; Palin gets no respect but deserves respect; Palin has had to work to make her way through life. Well, the list is long. I'm sure Ms. Kennedy is a nice, competent person, but she is not Sarah Palin.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Telltale signs of buyer’s remorse « The Confluence: "...The thing that has *finally* gotten the stupid Obot attention is the invitation of Rick Warren to speak at the inaugural, though many of us are already incensed that the sexist frat boy pig, Jon Favreau, will be writing the inspirational speech of Hope and Change! Obama is deliberately provoking you, you stupid Obamaphiles. He is giving you your Sistah Souljah moment. He is telling The Villagers that he doesn’t take orders from the lefties that supported him and that they can be comfortable that he is not going to disrupt their status quo. Because it is The Villagers, who represent the well-connected, who could make his life a living Hell if he rocks their boat, raises their taxes, implements real change or otherwise attempts to make their lives even a smidgeon uncomfortable. That’s what’s going on here ..."
Friday, December 19, 2008
"...So here is my definition of Willful Ignorance: the determined denial of facts and well-founded arguments enabled by bias and justified by fear, in an effort to confer non responsibility.
Think about all that we face with 2 wars, a financial crisis and global climate change. Think about our jobs, our schools, our personal finances, our relationships. What aspect of our lives today would not have been the better for having included more facts, more open and honest discussions, and more responsibility? We are facing so much on so many fronts. And there is so much we are going to have to learn and do differently. Isn’t it time we stopped hiding behind willful ignorance? Isn’t it time we called a lie, a lie – no matter who the liar is. Isn’t it time we called a fact, a fact and a truth, a truth – no matter how painful.Winning at all cost is not a win.
The ends do not justify the means.
Life is real and pretend is a game..."
Being willfully ignorant is also the lazy man's way of life. Making decisions, especially those involving moral choices, is extraordinarily hard work. It is much, much easier just to have someone tell you what the correct choice is.
Well, at least it seems to be a good choice. If he keeps it up, O might actually make it up near zero on my thermometer.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I emailed Mr. Linder and asked if he did indeed write that email and if he was serious about holding Obama to task on something as serious as this.
A few moments ago I received a phone call from Congressman Linder's office confirming that he intends to do exactly that and he is just as intent as us on verifying Obama's eligibility.
I told his staffer (very nice lady) that I was proud of him and that I appreciated his bravery as I know he is going against the tide with this..."
Remember, I'm not in charge of your research. I just post 'em and if I check 'em, I'll post how and why and whatever. Anyhoooo--
Objections are all fine and dandy but shoes seem to get more attention.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
But the motivation for buying guns locally is not following the national reasoning.
In Macon, it's the economy, stupid.
For weeks the national media has reported gun sales on the rise due to fears that, once President-elect Barack Obama takes office, guns will be harder to get - even impossible, though Obama has repeatedly said in press conferences and interviews that he is a supporter of the Second Amendment.
Diana Asbury, owner of High Country Arms says she and her husband William have seen their sales rise dramatically, but the main reason people are arming themselves is fear of increased crime due to a national economy in the dumps.
'They're worried about the crime rate rising, home invasions and personal safety,' said William.
The couple said a few weeks ago, a woman in her sixties came into the store and purchased a handgun.
'People are really scared,' Diana said.
According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, applications for gun permits and concealed carry permits have skyrocketed..."
I guess we just cling closer to guns when the economy hits the dumper and more marginal jobs are downsized into criminal opportunities.
Newsweek: "Remember when you had to be home at 8 p.m. to watch a favorite TV show? Devices like TiVo and your cable company's digital video recorder changed all that. Then along came the Slingbox, a device that lets you watch your home DVR or cable box from anywhere in the world using your laptop and an Internet connection. More than 500,000 Slingboxes have been sold since they were introduced in 2005. But like many disruptive technologies, the device is being used in creative ways that its manufacturer, Sling Media, never imagined..."
Since the FCC is not the FTC, look out Slingers (of Slingboxes, not shoes).
The Slinger is now an Iraqi folk-hero; poems will be written; songs will be sung, and we should thank him, too-- for giving George Bush a forum to demonstrate his skills at dodging things, arguably the best dodge since his draft days, and perhaps, the high-point of his Administration. (I fully expect Obama to demonstrate even higher level dodging skills.) However, I am not all that impressed with the Slinger, even though he commented to a colleague that he expected to be jihaded into the next life, he knew it was highly unlikely that the current Iraqi government would run him through a wood chipper.
I would have beeen much more impressed if he had tossed his shoes at Saddam Hussein.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the agency that oversees the Medicare health program for the elderly take a closer look at the unexpected costs faced by people enrolled in these fee-for-service plans. It also suggested that potential enrollees be informed of the drop-out rates for the plans.
Lucrative fee-for-service plans are the fastest-growing segment for private companies contracting with Medicare..."
I don't know much about this, but my Scamdar (insert copyright and patent and trademark notice) has just pinged. (The last time I jokingly inserted a copyright symbol into a post I got mightily flogged via email by an irate person. Please, if you're still out there, spare me.)
Will he go to the movies? Or just hit the nearest gym and bike a while, dreaming of boy speech writers...
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"....Obama is clearly losing goodwill points every day that Blago-gate drags on. Now it appears that indeed Rahm Emanuel was in touch with Blago and aide Harris about the senate seat though no evidence yet of malfeasance on Emanuel’s part.
The stench of Chicago machine politics now clings to Obama like a cheap cologne..."Obama and Blago: I fought the machine and the machine won…. : NO QUARTER
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reportedly apologized for possibility that fire was related to her nomination.
Officials are considering arson in fire that broke out Friday at the Wasilla Bible Church in Wasilla, Alaska.
'We have no idea what caused it,' the Rev. Larry Kroon of the Wasilla Bible Church said Saturday, adding that investigators were considering arson and other possible causes..."
The most prominent name on that list of contenders, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is literally facing howls of protests from some of his constituents. About a dozen protestors stood outside his Chicago office Saturday shouting, 'Ho ho ho, Jesse Jr. gotta go...'"
There can be no doubt that he is aware of this, the controversy over Gov. Blagojevich notwithstanding. It's been on CNN. Dee Dee Meyers has condemned it. It's been all over the blogosphere.
So he knows. And once he knows, there can be only one appropriate reaction -- moral outrage. And there can be only one action that demonstrates leadership -- firing Favreau, accompanied by a public statement that his behavior does not represent the beliefs and values of the American government or American society or the Obama Administration..."
Friday, December 12, 2008
"Powell Blasts Palin for Polarizing, Endangering Republican Party (Video)
Sarah Palin helped push the Republican Party farther to the right this election – a polarization which could lead to the downfall of the party, insists Colin Powell.
Oh, and he also says Republicans should stop listening to conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and we need to rethink the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy..."
That's almost funny. Isn't this the guy selling the Iraq War and sabotaging Bill Clinton's attempt to let gays out of the military closet? CF&C makes the point that any strong woman, like Clinton or Palin, is automatically labelled "polarizing," which the politically correct way of "she's a woman, yikes!"
"...In his Times column, Ayers's chronology focuses on 1970, the year he co-founded the Weather Underground "after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village." But this wasn't some especially radicalizing furnace mishap. On March 6, 1970, three members of a Weatherman cell died when a bomb they were making blew up in their faces. Packed with nails for maximum lethality, it had been intended for a noncommissioned officers' dance at Fort Dix, N.J..."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"We All Failed Gary Webb
By Robert Parry
December 10, 2008 (A Special Report)
Since Gary Webb’s suicide four years ago, I have written annual retrospectives about the late journalist’s important contribution to the historical record -- he forced devastating admissions from the CIA about drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan contra rebels under the protection of the Reagan administration in the 1980s..."Consortiumnews.com.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Grain of salt: are we comparing apples and oranges? Or at we comparing the best 1/100 of 1% of one country vs. 100% of the U.S.? Sometimes it is very difficult to accurately decipher the methodology in these studies.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Why were Wall Street workers not asked for concessions? - Los Angeles Times: "...Say what you will about the role of the union in exacerbating Detroit's financial troubles, one thing stands out: Blue-collar workers are taking it in the shorts as part of their employers' efforts to secure some bailout bucks from Uncle Sam.
I don't recall white-collar workers on Wall Street stepping up with similar concessions in return for their companies' receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer cash.
'There is absolutely no excuse for a bailout without significant sacrifices by all stakeholders,' said Robert Reich, who served as Labor secretary under President Clinton and is now a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley.
'We should be making everyone on Wall Street jump through hoops, not just the automakers...'"
A bit of poetry strikes me:
It's the green that matters,
Not the red,
Not the blue.
Even after the state of Hawaii vouched for the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, the unusual fight is thriving outside the so-called mainstream media, in an environment increasingly influenced by the Internet..."
Someone commented the other day that it apparently requires more proof to get a driver's license than to become President, an interesting if somewhat controversial observation. Might gripe is-- what's the problem? McCain ponied up a real birth certificate. Let O appear with his and say this is mine. Don't send a flunky.
And while some expressed alarm over the trend, others embraced the idea, provided the drugs are proven safe..."
Increasing alertness is one thing; increasing IQ is quite another. I want the other.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
E. J. Dionne Jr. - Crunch Time for the Big 3 - washingtonpost.com: "There is a paradox at the heart of the proposed bailout of the auto industry. The rescue would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three's unionized workforce. Yet you can't turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living...
...The auto companies are having trouble securing help precisely because members of Congress are overwhelmed, even appalled, by the hundreds of billions of dollars they have already shoved out the door on behalf of the finance industry. One of Pelosi's top lieutenants referred to the phenomenon as "bailout fatigue."
Yet the auto industry will almost certainly be tided over precisely because the economy is in such turmoil. The dominant view in Congress is that the country can't afford to risk the financial and human calamities that bankruptcy by the Big Three would inevitably trigger...
...The failure of the Big Three is regularly attributed to the high wages and benefits earned by members of the United Auto Workers union, and it's true that the Detroit-based auto companies operate under heavy "legacy costs" for retirees' pensions and health coverage negotiated during the industry's fat times.
But the blame-the-workers-first cant ignores the fact that if the Big Three had designed better cars, they would not have lost as much market share to Toyota, Nissan and other competitors. The unions did not prevent management from producing a better product -- and I say that as someone who has enjoyed driving Saturns for the past 15 years..."
Mr. Obama plans to formally announce his selection of retired Army General Eric Shinseki at a news conference in Chicago today Sunday..."
Thousands of protestors battled police in central Athens Sunday, smashing the windows of shops and banks with molotov cocktails, and sending three officers to hospital, said police, who used tear gas to disperse the rioters.
And in the western city of Patras, a police officer was in hospital after being beaten up by a group of youths..."
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
I make this point as preface to my directing your attention to this McClatchy article on the undying issue of Barack Obama's allegedly fake birth certificate and his alleged Kenyan birth. Why would Stanley Ann Dunham have flown from Hawaii to Kenya to give birth? Hell if I know..."
Interesting comment thread over at Cannonfire on this subject, too.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
In the chaos, rows of markers and crosses designating the graves of fallen Marines were moved aside and were eventually forgotten.
At the end of World War II, when the Army returned to recover the bodies of American dead on the island, it would find fewer than half of those records claimed were buried there..."
Some day someone may eventually uncover what happened to the missing 800 Confederate prisoners who were whisked away from Georgia, never to be seen or heard of again.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Subsequently, his white grandmother who raised him and put him through private school only got a rather negative mention in his ‘monumentally important’ speech on race, and he soon after referred to her in a very insulting, limiting and quite frankly, inaccurate fashion as ‘a typical white person.’ So much for post-racial..."
"...My attitude toward the Kos Krowd is simple:
Never forget. Never forgive. Never. Though the world shatter, though the heavens weep: Never forgive; never forget. Never."
Not my bold. The best way to avoid being offended by liars is to not read what they write or listen to what they say. That does limit your sources of information, however, since about 80% of all information is either an outright lie or a distortion of the truth, either through fuzzy logic or omission.