"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Voters are going to have a choice there..."

Yes, Sarah, they are. Since you so aptly described your debate adversary as "experienced", and yourself as "new", they certainly are going to have a choice in November. And thank goodness for choice.

What I love most is how she tries to make Biden seem old since he's been in the Senate since the early 1970s. But she seems to forget that her running mate is 10 years older than that!!!.

URGENT: Terrorist Attack on US Soil!

That should have been the headline, but when the attackers are white christian men and the victims are Muslim women or children, the press doesn't spin it that way.

DAYTON — A 10-year-old girl sprayed in the face with a chemical Friday, Sept. 26, while at a local Islamic mosque was not the victim of a hate crime, police Chief Richard Biehl said.

The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.

One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl's face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt "sick to her stomach," the report stated.

Not a hate crime. Not a terrorist act. I guarantee you if a Muslim man had sprayed a 10 year old Christian girl in Sunday School with an unidentified chemical, it would be blasted across the headlines as a terrorist attack.

Mosque board member Tarek Sabagh said many people within the mosque speculated that the incident was the result of a DVD about Islamic radicalism titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" that was mailed to area homes by its producers and circulated as a paid advertisement with more than 70 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News.

"We are not linking the two at all," Sabagh said.

The message? Don't be a Muslim in Dayton, Ohio.

Good uses for your Bush tax-cut!

How about a second personalized space flight? Yes, that's right. A second flight to the International Space Station as a tourist.
American billionaire Charles Simonyi, a computer software executive who paid more than $20 million to fly to the International Space Station aboard a Russian-built Soyuz capsule in spring 2007, will train for a second Soyuz trip to the space station in spring 2009.
I'm so glad that Mr. Simonyi found something more extravagant than another yacht or another mansion to splurge on. Meanwhile, back here on Earth, people are dealing with real problems.

Enjoy your flight, Mr. Simonyi! We'll be right here when you get back. You can read more about this narcissistic tool on his own little website, charlesinspace.com.

Just in time for the debates!

The Sarah Palin Quote Generator! Woo hoo!

A few samples for your enjoyment...
It is for no more politics as usual and about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions, we are getting into crisis mode here.

and this one

It's Alaska the pragmatism proving that he can work both sides of the aisle.

I can't resist, one more

But no, the Pakistani people obsessive partisanship of the evil in the world.

The only thing better than a Sarah Palin interview?

Is a Sarah Palin / John McCain interview! Watch them tapdance around the issue of attacking across the Pakistan boarder (Palin: For - McCain: Against) and try to come to some kind of agreement that ultimately degrades into a tirade about "gotcha" journalism. Of course the question that started all this originally came from a voter and not a journalist, but McCain / Palin never let facts get in the way of a good story. Watch it.

When the GOP looses the WSJ editorial page

I believe the appropriate term is "lights out."
[The House GOP leadership's] immediate response was to say that many of their Members turned against the bill at the last minute because Ms. Pelosi gave her nasty speech. So they are saying that Republicans chose to oppose something they think is in the national interest merely because of a partisan slight. Thank heaven these guys weren't at Valley Forge.
Whoa... Now to be fair, they also criticize Pelosi for not delivering sufficient Democratic votes, but the harshest words were clearly reserved for the GOP.

Matt Taibbi nails it

Matt Taibbi is one of my favorite reporters. His appearances on Real Time (example here, here and here) are always a treat. But he's also a hell of a writer. And he has put together one of the most ripping pieces about the GOP and Sarah Palin I've ever read. It's worth a full read, but here's a couple of exerpts:
In that moment, the rank cynicism of the whole sorry deal was laid bare. Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.
And this
Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV -and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.
Take the time to read the whole piece. You won't regret it.

My new favorite webcomic!

Welcome to the world of Garfield Without Garfield, a comic strip that explores the existential state of man, loneliness, depression and other weighty issues, but without a cat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Is that the economy dying in a blaze of glory?

No, it's just an ESA spaceship breaking up (on purpose) in the atmosphere. But I can see how you might be confused about that considering the Dow Jones Industrials closed 777 points down on the failure of the bailout.

The theme for today

"I'm a PC" apparently done on a Mac

In the "too funny to make up," it turns out that the very lame Microsoft I'm a PC campaign was created on... get this... a Macintosh using Adobe software! Too funny...

For the political junky in all of us

Cool new figures designed by the artist who drew Ren & Stimpy ("Steeeempy, you EEEDIOT!!!") comes a set of campaign figures fit for any cube or office. (h/t 42!)

You can get 'em from Amazon right here.

John McCain on The Metric System

I don't usually go for stuff like this, but this is ROTFL funny.

The real Bush legacy

The real legacy of the Bush administration will be a stronger Russia and a stronger China. The rise of these two competing hegemonic powers will be felt for generations of Americans to come. And the policies of Bush and GOP and the demise of American financial power contributed directly to this situation.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Rules - Don't Judge the Candidates by Their Skin Color

In what is one of the funniest, laugh-out-loud "New Rules" segments in a long time, Bill Maher goes after the race card, but not in the way you might expect.


CC Sabathia carries the Milwaukee Brewers to the NLDS!!!! First time in 26 years, there's October baseball in Milwaukee! Contratulations, guys!


Chilling video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Google recognizes fundamental human rights

Google has come out in opposition to California's hateful Proposition 8 which seeks to eliminate equal rights for LGBT citizens. The forces of oppression are seeking to introduce a law which would discriminate against citizens of California and remove the equal rights affirmed by the California Supreme Court. I urge everyone reading this to visit the No on Proposition 8 website and contribute what they can.

Whether you're gay or straight, a citizen of California or not, equal rights for everyone is the responsibility of all Americans. Like the civil rights movement of the early 1960s, the fight for LGBT rights seeks to ensure equality for all citizens.

The party of fiscal responsibility (hint: NOT the GOP!)

Debate Summary

I've been reading the post-game analysis on the debate and this video clip about sums it up. It captures both the truth of Obama's words and the arrogant disdain with which McCain received them. McCain's smug, smirky arrogant countenance is revealed for all to see. Enjoy!

Report on "grim" Afghanistan to remain classified

The Bush administration has no plans to declassify an unsettling NIE report on the situation in Afghanistan according to ABC news.
According to people who have been briefed, the NIE will paint a "grim" picture of the situation in Afghanistan, seven years after the US invaded in an effort to dismantle the al Qaeda network and its Taliban protectors.
It's clear that this report would again call into question the McCain record and the ongoing futility of staying in Iraq while Afghanistan falls apart on our watch.

Friday, September 26, 2008

60 is a magic number

In the Senate, at least, 60 is the number needed for a filibuster-proof majority in the upper house. Could the Democrats do it? Could they get a filibuster-proof Senate in 2009? Anyone remember when the last filibuster-proof majority was? Even Google doesn't know.

Polling currently shows a 57/43 split in the Senate. If the dems can flip 3 more (along with an Obama/Biden victory) they would be able to run their agenda without opposition. Charlie Cook at The National Journal writes:

It seems farfetched that Republicans would lose Stevens, Sununu, Dole, Coleman, Smith, and Wicker, in addition to relinquishing the even more endangered open seats in Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado, but a net loss of nine seats -- or eight if they topple Landrieu and keep Collins and McConnell in office -- is no longer implausible. In 2006, the odds against a six-seat Republican loss were equally strong, but it happened.

History shows, moreover, that close Senate races tend to break in the same direction, as they did two years ago.

The bottom line is that things have gotten worse for Senate Republicans over the past few weeks, so much worse that a magnitude of losses that seemed impossible just a few months ago now seems entirely possible.

It might, just might, prompt the needed soul-searching at the GOP to flush the wingnuts and intolerant bigots from their midst and reconstitute a party based on sane, rational approaches to government. But I'm not going to bet on either one: a filibuster-proof majority or a less insane Republican party.

Smart People for Obama!

61 Nobel Laureates endorse Obama.

The letter cites the following as key reasons to endorse Obama:

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

We have watched Senator Obama’s approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation’s and the world’s most urgent needs.

Let's see John McCain top that endorsement.

For Amy: Ryan Braun disrobes...

I apologize for this piece of soft-core pornography, but this is for Amy who has a crush on "RyRy." Ryan Braun hit a walk-off grand slam home run to beat the Pirates and keep the Brewers even with the Mets in the NL wild-card race.

Wingnut Cause & Effect

I feel dirty just writing about this, but the vile Mike Kirkorian over at the National Review Online posted one of the last WaMu memos describing their diversity programs under the headline "Cause & Effect?"

WaMu has a long history of diverse hiring, especially among hispanics. Is Kirkorian suggesting that WaMu's hiring practices (which also included recognition and support of LGBT employees) somehow related to their failure?

What a sucmbag...

Hoisted on their own reactionary petard!

As the deal to rescue the markets unraveled, Paulson made a desperate appeal to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (on bended knee no less!)

In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

The Republicans broke the economy and now they don't want to fix it? We have to endure their insufferable internal squabbling over the ideology of regulation versus no regulation? I can only hope that these bums all get what's coming to them.

Let churches pay for the baliout!

Looks like the wingnut religious wacko nutjobs are out to test the mettle of the IRS. Let's let them pay for the bailout with fines and charges of violating their non-profit status!
Christian ministers from 22 states plan to use their pulpits Sunday to deliver political sermons or endorse presidential candidates, defying a federal ban on campaigning by nonprofit groups.
It's high time to tax religion in this country.

A rubber chicken in every pot?

Listening to Bill Press this morning, he vaguely recalled an event where one candidate didn't show up for a debate and the other one (who did) waved a rubber chicken every time he referred to his opponent. Chickens do come home to roost sometimes. Identified by a New York Times OpEd pice by Gail Collins, the candidate who was represented by that rubber chicken was... Rudy Guliani!
Once in New York, when Rudy Giuliani boycotted a mayoral debate, one of his opponents spent the night twirling around a rubber chicken and the citizenry enjoyed it quite a lot. This isn’t the kind of thing you could imagine Obama doing, but I’d keep my eye on Barr.
So may I politely suggest that the Obama campaign procure one rubber chicken, just in case they find the need for one?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain Venn Diagram!

From Indexed

Bill Donahue is nucking futs!

The mouthpiece for the Catholic League had this to say about Sarah Palin's encounter with the witch-hating Kenyan pastor:
Witchcraft is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades.
Of course there's no evidence of this "sad reality" or of the "scores of deaths" that result from this witchcraft. But leave it to Donahue to come out on the wrong side of the issue. The truth about witchcraft in Africa is much more sinister than Donahue's straw-woman beliefs.

Accusations of witchcraft result in scores of deaths and the displacements of hundreds or even thousands of people. From Wikipedia:
As of 2006, between 25,000 and 50,000 children in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, had been accused of witchcraft and thrown out of their homes. On April, 2008, Kinshasa, the police arrested 14 suspected victims (of penis snatching) and sorcerers accused of using black magic or witchcraft to steal (make disappear) or shrink men's penises to extort cash for cure, amid a wave of panic. Arrests were made in an effort to avoid bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 alleged penis snatchers were beaten to death by mobs. It was reported on May 21, 2008 that in Kenya a mob had burnt to death at least 11 people accused of witchcraft. In Tanzania in 2008, President Kikwete publicly condemned witchdoctors for killing albinos for their body parts which are thought to bring good luck. 25 albinos have been murdered since March 2007.
It is the accusation rather than the practice of witchcraft that is the source of the evil here. It is people like Bill Donahue who seek to persecute and harm people who believe differently than he does that do the most harm in the world.

IDIOCRACY ALERT: New Law in California!

Apparently we have become so stupid as a nation (or at least as the most populous state in the Union) that we need to be told by Government that it's a bad idea to send text messages while driving. Uhhh, what? We need a freakin' law for this? Well, apparently so.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Wednesday that will prohibit California drivers from text messaging beginning Jan. 1. He signed Senate Bill 28, authored by Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, that bans the use of an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving a motor vehicle. There will be a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.
Frankly, in this writer's humble opinion, the penalty should be immediate execution by the officer who pulled the moron over. "Sorry, sir. You're done. ."

Ideology vs Facts: Ideology Often Wins

Remember this chart?

It shows how mis-informed people are who watch the most ideologically driven news outlet are. What's scarier, scientific studies are exposing more examples of ideology trumping fact.

Saying that correcting misinformation does little more than reinforce a false believe is a pretty controversial proposal, but the claim is based on a number of studies that examine the effect of political or ideological bias on fact correction. In the studies, volunteers were shown news items or political adverts that contained misinformation, followed by a correction.
So even if you deny something, it can simply reinforce the opposite of the truth. America, the land of Sheeple.

Ireland is the next economic domino to fall

In this ongoing economic slide, Ireland reports this morning that their economy has officially tipped over into recession. From the BBC:

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 0.5% in the three months to the end of June.

The economy had shrunk by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year. Technically, a recession is defined as two or more successive quarters of negative growth.

It is the first time Ireland has experienced a recession since 1983.
Who's next?

"...a really large number."

That's the thinking that went into determining the $700 Billion bailout number. Seriously. I'm not kidding. That's what aTreasury official told Forbes.
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
We're officially living in the world of Idiocracy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

21st Century Eugenics!

Rather than provide appropriate services and education to the poor, let's just pay poor women $1000 to have their tubes tied. That way, they won't breed anymore. That's the idea of one Louisiana Republican. I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth...

Hockey Mom or Witch-Hunter?

Sarah Palin was ministered to by a pastor named Murthy who was responsible for a real witch hunt in Kenya which resulted in the persecution and injury of an innocent woman he accused of being a witch. Apparently, Palin is OK with this since she willingly submitted herself to his ministrations in this appalling video.

Can this election get any more bizarre?

Another view of the competing tax proposal

What if...

What if this whole McCain "suspending my campaign" nonsense is really a lead-in to him withdrawing from the race???

UPDATED: What if we were attacked today?

So let me get this straight. McCain wants to postpone (cancel?) the debate on Friday with Obama because of the financial crisis? So does that mean that, were he President during this crisis, he couldn't deal with foreign policy issues at all? He couldn't respond if we were attacked by our enemies (of which the GOP constantly remind us want to "destroy our way of life")? He would be incapable of responding to a natural disaster like Ike? He would be too consumed by the financial issue to address other pressing issues of State?

Or is it that there is no upside in appearing on stage with a dynamic, well-spoken, fully-prepared opponent? An opponent whose command of the issues is so much broader and deeper that McCain's that he realizes there is nothing to be gained by even showing up to the event?

It's the job of the President to manage simultaneous, seemingly intractable issues without breaking a sweat. It's a core part of the job of Commander-in-Chief! If McCain isn't up to that job, perhaps he should withdraw from the race for real instead of just acting a part for the cameras.

Incompetence or fear? Pick one, America.

Jack Cafferty agrees with me. He says "Have the debate!"

Paul Krugman is my hero!

Best quote today:

I’ve been pointing out that the dictatorial powers Paulson has sought would accrue to the next Treasury secretary, who might well be Phil Gramm. I’ve been trying to come up with a liberal-leaning name who might seem equally horrifying to Republicans, and the only one I’ve come up with is … me.

What's one more lie between friends?

John "Pinocchio" McCain added another 5 inches to his nose (and another little leafy branch, too!) with his assertion that his campaign manager had disassociated himself from Freddie Mac. The NY Times writes:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Can this level of deceit and dishonesty really be sustained through November? Is it possible that the American people are really too stupid to see through the charade that is the McPalin "ticket"?

Life Is Better in Democrat Land

I know it will come as a shock to you, my gentle readers, so please be sure to either sit down or grab ahold of a sturdy object before proceeding further, but when it comes to the key Republican "value" of fiscal responsibility and growth-oriented policies, Democrats are better Republicans than Republicans. Feast your eyes on this...

So by all means, vote for McCain if you would like to continue the slow pace of economic growth imposed by 8 years of Chimpy McPresident.

McCain Yard Signs

I'm wondering what other people think here. I need opinions.

As I wander around my neighborhood (dragged around the neighborhood by my dog would be technically more accurate), I'm seeing more and more "McCain/Palin", "Families for McCain" and the excruciatingly inexplicable "Women for McCain" yard signs appear in the lawns of ostensibly working-class families. There are a few "Obama" and "Obama/Biden" signs around as well, but not nearly as many as the collective McCain ones.

I know I live in a red city (Waukesha) in a red county (Waukesha), in a mercifully blue state (Wisconsin) but really. WTF???? Women for McCain? Seriously? Women? For McCain? I want to knock on their doors, shake them (vigorously) and ask
"What the hell is wrong with you? McCain? The serial liar? The guy who never met a deregulation bill he didn't love? The guy who votes against equal pay, increases in minimum wage and wants your kids to die for a useless war in Iraq? He's really got your back? John McCain?"
I think I know the answer before I even try this tactic. These are the so-called "values voters." The voters I lovingly refer to as the "counter-interest voters". The ones who are blinded by a smoke screen of conservative religious propaganda and consistenly vote against their (and their family's) interests.

So my question to you all is, is it worth trying to engage these folks in polite dialogue? Should I ask them the simple "McCain? Really? Why McCain? What does he bring to your table?" You know, polite political discourse. Has anyone done this in their neighborhoods? Any Obama converts?

"You asked for a miracle? I give you the F...B...I"

Look who's starting to excavate through the ruins of Wall Street trying to determine any criminal culpability for the collapse. Our good friends in the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the FBI!

NOTE: Bonus points for identifying the source of the title!

Good News?

Warren Buffett invests $5 Billion in Goldman Sachs. This is viewed as a positive sign that the smartest man on Wall Street sees a future in investment banking.

I, For One, Welcome Our New Fiscal Overloards!

In Parachutes We Trust!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Dear Mr. American,

Good day and compliments.

I am HENRI PAULSON, the Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America, and the personal financial adviser to GEORGE W. BUSH (the eldest son of the former dictator of America, GENERAL GEORGE HUSSEIN WALKER BUSH).

This letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine the future and continued existence of the entire members of my country.

It is with deep sense of purpose and utmost sincerity that I have the privilege to write you this letter knowing full well how you will feel as regards to receiving a mail from somebody you have not met or seen before. There is no need to fear, I got your address from a Wall Street business directory which lends credence to my humble belief. I also assure you of my honesty and trustworthiness. I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

During the last Military Regime here in America, the Government officials set up companies and awarded themselves contracts which were grossly over-invoiced in various ministries. My country has had great crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of US$800,000,000,000.00 (eight hundred billion US dollars) in cash for safe-keeping. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be of most profitable for you.

I am working with the honourable MR. PHIL GRAMM, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As Senator, you may know him as leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s.

This is a matter of great urgence. We need a immediate blank cheque. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because as civil servants we are constantly under surveillance by Democratic members of Congress, the media, and the American public. My family lawyer, MR. RICK DAVIS, advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please note that this transaction is 100% safe and we hope to commence the transfer latest seven (7) banking days from the date of the receipt of the following information: all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. This way we will use your country's name to apply for payment in your name. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds. That's all. Let me know what you think about this.

We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit your confidentiality in this transaction.

May Allah show you mercy as you do so?

Your faithfully,

Dr. Minister of Treasury Paulson

Hat Tip to John Aravosis (DC)

Rush Limbaugh on Obama's Ethnicity (hint: He's an ARAB!)

You really have to wonder about the sanity of Rush these days. He's really gone off the deepest of the deep ends.

Groking Capitalism and the need for a Bailout

Many of my more progressive / Liberal / left-wing friends and family are up-in-arms over this bailout plan by Treasury Secretary Paulson. $700BN of unrestricted spending (no congressional or judicial oversight) is a huge leap of faith for a nation to take when they have an executive in power with a 19% approval rating and a record of profligate spending. Call your Congressperson and senators and demand accountability for this money.

Some Background...
What I think a lot of folks don't understand is that we're all in this together. From the loftiest Wall Street mogul to the farmers and laborers, we all share the risk of the market in one way or another. Systemic failures in the financial markets don't do anyone any good. Failure for one means failure for all.

Let's take that farmer, for instance. Chances are he has liens against various pieces of equipment that help him participate in the most productive farming system ever created. Tractors, combines, even the grain he buys to plant every year, much of it is leveraged in one way or another. But what if that leverage goes away? Let's say the credit markets fail, or severely contract, and he can't buy grain the next year? When he can't plant, he can't harvest. What happens when his equipment is repossessed? Now you've reduced the productivity of the American farmer 100 fold. He'll become a subsistence farmer until the bank kicks him off his land for failure to pay his mortgage.

The laborer is equally engaged with the capitalist. Her job works on the same supply and demand curve that anyone engaged in the most basic way should understand. If the economy falters, demand for goods and services will drop leading to a drop in the need for labor. She too will loose her job and become, in one way or another, a ward of the state. A state with no money and massive debts.

Clearly reform is needed in the sector. Greed has overwhelmed the system to the point that it's become pathological.

Yes, the fictional Gordon Gecko had that right, to a point. Greed is good in that it drives individuals to excel. But when that greed begins to eat at the foundation of the very system which rewards that greed, greed becomes a cancer. And that kind of greed, the kind of greed we have now on Wall Street, needs to be exterminated. And the way you exterminate it is through increased regulation and oversight. The kind that, hopefully, will have Ronald Reagan spinning in his grave.

Unrestrained capitalism leads to unrestrained corruption as the rich get richer and the poor go nowhere. Regulation is needed to ensure that with the reward, comes the risk. No one engaged in high finance should be allowed to risk the taxpayers money just because they're able to leverage billions of dollars to gamble. That is what these investment banks did. They gambled with money they didn't have, they speculated on an ever-increasing housing bubble with no end and when it all came tumbling down, they came to us, the taxpayers, for relief.

Well, as I said earlier, we're all in this together. But now is the time to strike our Faustian bargain with the capitalists. Now is the time to get the regulations in place so that this never happens again. So I say NO to the unrestricted bailout. Take the actions necessary to secure our future.

Monday, September 22, 2008

WorldNetDaily = Weekly World News!

When I was in college, my roommate and I shared a subscription to the Weekly World News. You know, the black & white supermarket tabloid featuring alien babies, bible prophecies and the vampire boy? It was a constant source of amusement (and door-art!).

Now we have the WorldNetDaily (aka the WorldNutDaily). It features all kinds of amusing stories of biblical prophecy, the dangers of science and Alan Keyes! I look over there from time to time to see what they're cooking up, but this week there was an especially juicy article on the return of biblical Giants (The Nephilim).

They profile the views of an author of a book called Nephilim Stargates (you can't make this stuff up, folks!) who claims that genetic engineering is going to result in the recreation of biblican giants and usher in the end of the world. Enjoy!

Remind me again, please.


No bailouts without reform! The Treasury wants unfettered access to $700BN+ of our tax dollars to save the economy, we should demand a few things in return:
  1. Cap on CEO compensation at financial firms at $1MM TOTAL COMPENSATION
  2. Cap on credit card interest at prime+3%
  3. Open refinancing of mortgages
  4. No more foreclosures on distressed property
  5. Elimination of derivatives based on mortgage-backed security
  6. Regulation of the CDS system
There are surely more things we should ask for, but this is what I came up with this morning. Paul Krugman also agrees. NO DEAL he says.

Melancholy end...

It's with a wimper and not with a bang that the final weekend of baseball at the old Yankee Stadium will be played. The Yankees are on the brink of elimination from post-season play yet again so, barring a miracle, this is the last weekend for Ruth's House.