Friday, September 26, 2008
The End of the Mother of all Ponzi Schemes
Much bigger than the South Sea Bubble and the dot.com bubble (also known as the I.T. Bubble) the sub-prime mortgage financing ponzi game blew up and the watchdogs (Congress, White House, SEC and the Fed) were asleep at the wheel or looked the other way while the rapacious financial entities did their thing -- repackaged mortgage securities to the sky until even they did not know what they were worth. But the executives responsible made money...and were going to make more under Secretary Paulson's plan, the original 3-page plan, asking for $700 billion without any oversight and restrictions!
Fox News reported comments by Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas:
"Huckabee also was critical of President Bush’s handling of the crisis.
He said to lay the $700 billion obligation on the nation “in 24 hours” amounts to “holding the country hostage.”
“I just think the American people ought to be screaming their lungs out, saying to Congress, not so fast. That’s our money you’re giving away,” Huckabee said.
He said the burden of the $700 billion relief package will fall on the next generation and those in their teens and 20s.
The president, in his speech to the nation on September 24th, didn't mention a word about those responsible for the debacle. How could he? He was one of them.
John McCain seeking brownie points
James Surowiecki in The New Yorker
- Before the government stepped in last week, the bodies of financial institutions—Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and A.I.G., with Washington Mutual and even Morgan Stanley threatening to be next—were piling up so fast it seemed possible that Wall Street might simply cease to exist. The list of blunders that led to the carnage is by now familiar: firms succumbed to the frenzy of the housing bubble; relied on dubious mathematical models to manage risk; and leveraged bad bets with suicidal amounts of borrowed money. But the impact of these mistakes was made worse by a seemingly harmless decision that these companies made many years ago: the decision to go public. Doing so put the firms at the mercy of the stock market, and last week that mercy evaporated.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sarah Palin and the Witch Doctor
Weirder and Weirder - "Walla walla, bing bang"
(09-25) 12:28 PDT Anchorage, Alaska (AP) --
A video on her hometown church Web site shows Sarah Palin being blessed three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for her protection from "witchcraft" as she prepared to seek higher office.
The video, which made the rounds Wednesday on the Internet, shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from "every form of witchcraft."
"Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan," Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin's shoulders. "Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. ... Use her to turn this nation the other way around."
"My friend the witch doctor
He taught me what to say
My friend the witch doctor
He taught me what to do
I know that you'll be mine
When i say this to you
Ooo eee,ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla bing bang...
Ooo eee ,ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla ,bing bang
Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla bing bang"
© International Lyrics Playground
(Ross Bagdaserian Jr.)
David Seville - 1958
Also recorded by:
AC Rock; Joanie Bartels; Cartoons DK; The Chipmunks;
Devo; Hit Crew; Don Lang; Sha Na Na; Tombstones.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Campaign button reportedly seen at the Republican National Convention: "Hoosiers for the Hot Chick"! Suggestions: Pennsylvanians for the Lipsticked Pit Bull, Montanans for the Moose Hunter. The permutations can keep a campaign button maker busy. In the meantime, the "Hot Chick" is being kept under wraps, protected from the media in case she slips up during questions and her shallowness is revealed.
- “This administration is asking for a $700 billion blank check to be put in the hands of Henry Paulson, a guy who totally missed this, and has been wrong about almost everything,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “It’s almost amazing they can do this with a straight face. There is clearly skepticism and anger at the idea that we’d give this money to these guys, no questions asked.”
Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain so yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a young and a callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow--follow, oh-oh
- Try to Remember, Lyrics by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Sunday, September 21, 2008
News from Fouke, Arkansas
- Federal and state police raided an evangelist's compound in Arkansas late Saturday to investigate whether any children have been physically or sexually abused, officials said.
- Arkansas State Police troopers monitor the situation at Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Fouke, Arkansas.
- The raid is part of a two-year investigation into a compound near Texarkana, Arkansas, owned by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, said Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police. About 100 agents were on the 10- to 15-acre site late Saturday and met with no resistance, he said.
- Alamo, reached by phone in Los Angeles, California, denied any wrongdoing.
Who are the members of Reverend Alamo's church ? One gets the impression that they are:
Pro gun rights
Against Women's Rights
Believers in creationism
Rabidly anti gay
Likely to be Republican
In other words, supporters of McCain-Palin presidency.
See Tony Alamo News - Humor
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Dark Clouds on the Horizon
Listening to: Goldberg Variations, Johann Sebastian Bach BWV988
Glenn Gould, Piano - 1955 recording
CBS News Voters and Bigotry
- How America votes could come down to the economy, and that could be especially true in many of the so-called battleground states where voters have been hit hard economically.
- But a new AP-Yahoo News poll shows that race could also play a big role in how some voters make their choice - and this may not bode well for Barack Obama.
- According to the poll released Saturday, a little over one-third of white Democrats and independents agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, and they are less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't hold such views.
- "There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots," said Stanford University political scientist Paul Sniderman, who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.
End of Summer
by James Richardson (The New Yorker Sept.3,2007)
so you hear some guy in an apron, sleeves rolled up,
with his brusque sweep brusque sweep of the sidewalk,
and the slap shut of a too thin rental van,
and I told him no a gust has snatched from a conversation
and brought to you, loud.
you always have on the first day of autumn,
no, the first day you think of autumn, when somehow
the sun singling out high windows,
a waiter settling a billow of white cloth
with glasses and silver, and the sparrows
shattering to nowhere are the Summer
waving that here is where it turns
and will no longer be walking with you,
traveller, who now leave all of this behind,
carrying only what it has made of you.
Already the crowds seem darker and more hurried
and the slang grows stranger and stranger,
and you do not understand what you love,
yet here, rounding a corner in mild sunset,
is the world again, wide-eyed as a child
holding up a toy even you can fix.
October, small November, barely legible December.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Unblinking and Clueless
The excerpt below from Maureen Dowd's Sept.13 column "Bering Straight Talk" in The NY Times made me wonder once again about Palin supporters. There are many, including droves of women who were previously for Hillary Clinton! Amazing. How can women who supported Hillary Clinton turn around and become Palin groupies? Republicans or Democrats, no doubt they are the same women who emptied optical stores of Kawasaki rimless frames after watching Sarah Palin at the convention. Ya Habibi. Sarah Palin stands for nothing that Clinton represents; she lacks Clinton's depth of knowledge, her vision, her position on women's right to choose, and her world view. Yes, Hillary Clinton supported the Iraq War resolution but she never claimed that we were fighting God's war in Iraq.
- “We must not, Charlie, blink, Charlie, because, Charlie, as I’ve said, Charlie, before, John McCain has said, Charlie, that — and remember here, Charlie, we’re talking about John McCain, Charlie, who, Charlie, is John McCain and I won’t be blinking, Charlie.”
But she has assured America that she "won't be blinking". Is that all that we expect from the vice-presidential candidate?
And then there is the color of Obama's skin.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Election 2008 and American Voters
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
Yet, support for McCain has gained momentum after the Republican Convention. His gains are partly due to his vice presidential pick. It is becoming clear that the red state/blue state divide, which was a major factor in Bush's victory in 2004, not only exists it is perhaps more stark because this time the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, is a black man. Whether they admit it or not, come November 4th many Americans in the so called "red" states, and even some in "blue" states, will not vote for a black presidential candidate. Real issues confronting us and our country have receded into the background. Republicans, adept in creating smoke and mirrors, have succeeded in implanting fear.
Then there is the God vote. The war and God; energy crisis and God. According to Sarah Palin all problems facing our country can be solved by prayer. It is obvious that many voters believe that. At the convention she spoke about hockey moms being like pit bulls with lipstick. They lapped it up. I read a comment that she would be like Cheney with lipstick.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."
In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."
Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.
"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."
A video of the speech was posted at the Wasilla Assembly of God's Web site before finding its way on to other sites on the Internet.
Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.
"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Gott Mit Uns and John McCain's VP Pick
Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.
Her speech in June provides as much insight into her policy leanings as anything uncovered since she was asked to be John McCain's running mate.
Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
Condoms Are Satanic Devices ?
"All I Wanna Do"
"Dennis: Look, even if you did get pregnant, I'd marry you.
Odette: Do you believe in centralized government or states' rights ?
Odette: I just want to know the kind of guy I'm marrying.
Dennis: I'm starting to get the distinct impression you don't want to do this anymore."
From Sarah Kernochan's 1998 film "Strike"(also released as "All I Wanna Do")
"Palin, with her meat loaf and rifles, reminds us that there are two hopelessly incompatible Americas"
McCain and Lieberman
If reports that Senator Lieberman was his first choice but John McCain backed off because of fear of backlash from conservatives are true what does that say about the Republican nominee?