Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whatever Happened To Acid Rain And Why Didn't It Have Any Staying Power

I saw some dead trees on the edge of a swamp the other day and recalled the iconic "acid rain" forest pictures in the 1980's. Back then, anywhere there was a patch of dead trees, people automatically thought...hmmm acid rain is killing the earth...making us sick.

Looking back, acid rain hysteria ended up as a footnote sandwiched between global cooling and the ozone hole. A lousy place historically if your job required research money. (Side note: An interesting bit of research would be finding out what those acid rain PhD's are publishing today...any guesses?)

I'll admit, I'm a child of the 80's. So looking back at that era can be tough sometimes. The clothes were awful. And now I have to admit that our attempts to terrorize the public through research were just as bad as the hair.

It started well enough with articles such as Likens (1984), "Acid rain: the smokestack is the smoking gun." That's good stuff on the face of it, Al Gore used the same imagery to great effect.

We had people out there chasing acid rain snowstorms and acid rain thunderstorms. We had tipping points, mass extinction predictions. Everything was in place. My generation was about to do something that would be remembered forever. Then...

The 1990's.

That first big Nirvana CD should have been a clue. The public was craving something more serious. We offered them the death of a salamander and the 1990's gave the public the whole damn world in peril.

I can't blame the public for taking to global warming the way they did. You are not going to make movies with acid rain showers chasing frogs. But ice hurricanes chasing actors! Whew. That's good stuff.

I guess acid rain never really stood a chance. Sure, the data never matched the claims. And the earth has natural balancing systems we didn't know about when we chose acid rain in the first place, but that has never stopped global warming. I'm not bitter (OK, a little). I just have to admit that global warming is a better product and we had a nice little run back in the day.

Just don't expect me to be sorry when you fail global warming.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Trouble With Rubles

The big bluff is almost over. For the last several years Russian leader Putin (I'm not sure what he is calling himself these days) has put on a show of force - promising a return to Russian greatness. From warships in the Panama Canal Zone to attacks in Georgia, the Russians have been everywhere trying to reassert their old influence. And there have been the assassinations to intimidate and punish political rivals and enemies.

The growing problem for Putin is that his economy is a one trick petro pony (they have lots of other mineral resourced too, but that didn't work well with pony). All of it: minerals, crude oil have sharply declined in value and while the Russians are putting up a bold face, the economic reality will have them mothballing those ships and watching their currency devalue further.

To illustrate, the following graph shows how many rubles a dollar would buy. It's a 180 day graph and it shows the accelerating problem since August. Built at

In some cases, workers are not getting paid and the protest in Vladivostok is an ominous sign for the Kremlin...especially since starting in that area is always a good strategy in Risk.

Putin will continue to crush dissent because he probably believes this downturn in commodity prices is short-term. Like Washington, Moscow is pumping cash into selected companies to try and buy their way out of this downturn. And also like Washington, these guys don't seem to understand that if you are willing to give your money away for nothing, it will have no value and the impact of all of this "stimulus" is deficits and a longer recession.

These troubles in Russia signal even bigger trouble for smaller countries built on the same strongman/petro economy. Venezuela has something like $65 barrel oil built into their budget. PDVSA (PetrĂ³leos de Venezuela, S.A.), Venezuela’s state-owned petroleum company does not have the resources to develop their oil fields. Hugo has directed much of the PDVSA revenue to support his expanded social programs. Hugo will accelerate the problem if crude prices stay in the $30's for an extended period of time.

With a little perspective, one might see the positives of this global recession. Just one year ago, Putin and Hugo were looking to become regional, if not global, forces based solely on $140 oil. A 75% hair cut has funny way of curbing ambitions.

Oil prices will rebound. The global economy will recover and futures will turn up as soon as demand starts to rise - literally within days. The problem for Russia is the long-term impact to the structure of their economy. With each of these downturns, Russia is losing the social and industrial infrastructure that is not being replaced during good times because they do not have a dynamic or inventive system.

The best analogy of the economic situation in Russia is a real estate flipper being upside down on all of his mortgages. Even if, over time, the value of the homes come up to the prices you paid, the costs of holding the homes in the mean-time probably means you are bankrupt. So too with Russia. The fixed costs of the economy are established and Russia will print the Rubles it needs to run the government-owned economy. The result is further currency deflation and of course the inflation of real goods. A double whammy for an economy based on government spending.

There is probably something of a warning in there for the US as well, but why worry about Rubles? They don't hurt anybody.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hugo: Drive By Dictator

Hollywood's 2nd favorite beloved leader was riding in his limo and spotted a nearly complete shopping mall in Caracas and said:

"They had already built a monster there," Chavez said. "I passed by there just recently and said, 'What is this? My God!"'

Which, of course, is Blago speak for "I don't remember getting any kickbacks on this project?"

Best quote from the AP writer (Via FoxNews), "[This] illustrates Chavez's tendency to govern from his gut, and to leap in when he thinks other government agencies — in this case city planners — aren't doing their job.

Of course with the ever expanding number of "Czars" we should expect similar "rule from the gut" kind of governance. Did I really see a middle class czar position named by Obama? Ugh.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shrek Found Dead In New Jersey

Fox News has this one here.

A deer hunter discovered the man wrapped in the rug in a wooded area off the Atlantic City Expressway in New Jersey on Dec. 8, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Authorities have no idea who he is or who might have executed him.

"This was a very large man with very small, round, distinctive ears," said Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel during a press conference. "Somewhere, someone is missing this person."

Large man with very small round distinctive ears....

And some guy who looks like a real world Shrek.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Wrestler...The Reviewers Are Blown Away

Mickey Rourke playing a washed up 80's wrestler with Marissa Tomei as his stripper girlfriend. I'm soooo there. Bill Simmons at ESPN got an advance copy and With all of the crazy plastic surgery, Mickey looks like he has gone through 20 years of WWF abuse. Scripted or not, many of the old WWF guys are dead from the hell they put their bodies through.

More on Marissa. I really don't think she gets the credit she deserves. Is it the nude scenes? I don't know. But her performances in In The Bedroom, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and Welcome to Sarajevo proves she is getting better with age. Fox News had their 40 Hottest Women Over 40 list last week and she wasn't on it. Kelly Rippa was. Sarah Jessica Parker too.

Recent pic of Marissa.


Global Warming Is A Ticking Time Bomb Waiting To Go Off and Obama Has Like Minutes To Stop It

Well, that's the claim of the AP's Seth Borenstein. In his less than reasoned piece he makes the case that the Earth cooling back to 1992 levels is proof for how fast we are actually warming.

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.

Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.

Scientists are increasingly anxious, talking more often and more urgently about exceeding "tipping points."

"We're out of time," Stanford University biologist Terry Root said. "Things are going extinct."

U.S. emissions have increased by 20 percent since 1992. China has more than doubled its carbon dioxide pollution in that time. World carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than scientists' worst-case scenarios. Methane, the next most potent greenhouse gas, suddenly is on the rise again and scientists fear that vast amounts of the trapped gas will escape from thawing Arctic permafrost.

The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has already pushed past what some scientists say is the safe level.


Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government's machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.

Of course, real scientists are objecting to this kind of shark jumping histrionics.

Scientists skeptical of the assertion that climate change is the result of man's activities are criticizing a recent Associated Press report on global warming, calling it "irrational hysteria," "horrifically bad" and "incredibly biased."

They say the report, which was published on Monday, contained sweeping scientific errors and was a one-sided portrayal of a complicated issue.

"If the issues weren't so serious and the ramifications so profound, I would have to laugh at it," said David Deming, a geology professor at the University of Oklahoma who has been critical of media reporting on the climate change issue.

In the article, Obama Left with Little Time to Curb Global Warming, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein wrote that global warming is "a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid," and that "global warming is accelerating."

Deming, in an interview, took issue with Borenstein's characterization of a problem he says doesn't exist.

"He says global warming is accelerating. Not only is it continuing, it's accelerating, and whether it's continuing that was completely beyond the evidence," Deming told

"The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980."

Deming said the article is further evidence of the media's decision to talk about global warming as fact, despite what he says is a lack of evidence.

"Reporters, as I understand reporters, are supposed to report facts,"Deming said. "What he's doing here is he's writing a polemic and reporting it as fact, and that's not right. It's not reporting. It's propaganda.

"This reads like a press release for an environmental advocacy group like Greenpeace. It's not fair and balanced."

I would love to hear Seth Borenstein order lunch, it would probably go something like, "look man, I'm hungry, the blue plate was supposed to be here in like 5 minutes. I don't have 20 minutes to eat. My stomach is already touching my SPINE! My god hurry that food!"

Hey Seth, are you saying that It Could Happen Tomorrow? At least their hurricane ice storms were interesting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Lie Too Big To Fail

How rich is this? Nancy Pelosi is offended by the leadership of the Big 3 because they are begging for money with no coherent plan to stay viable for the long term. Plus they had the audacity to ride around in private jets. She thinks their leadership should be removed before we give them another penny.

I agree with that sentiment.

And that goes all the way around, only it's a lot more serious than the rank hypocrisy of our Speaker of the House.

In fact, the Big 3 management teams and congress have made almost identical mistakes in the last 50 years. Philosophically, both have lived on short business/political cycles that promote short term fudges rather than long term solutions; all while executing long term plans that always outspent revenues. Gamblers suffer from the same eternal optimism even in the face of economic reality: the difference being the inveterate gambler has a day of reckoning that may involve a kneecapping instead of a bail-out check. Pain and the threat of death: the self-checking mechanism that prevents gamblers from running up trillions in debt.

I can see the wisdom in that system.

The thing that has surprised me is the absolute silence on social security solvency, even as we have just watched the perfect model for how big programs collapse. Will a future congress and president fain surprise when the first whispers emerge that social security checks will start getting smaller?

The government has been lying about social security for years, so that much is not new. What is new is the perspective provided by the financial collapse of the government-private mortgage industry. If this isn't THE needed wake up call to take a longer view then we surely won't hear another.

The big lie is exposed in this Government Accounting Office.

Social Security’s benefit costs will soon start to grow rapidly. In 2017,
Social Security is projected to pay out more cash in benefits than it receives
in revenues.1 As figure 6 shows, after that time, the gap between costs and
income grows continuously, and, unless action is taken to close this gap, the
trust funds will eventually be depleted in 2041.

Right now, the surplus is used to fund other parts of the government, so 2017 is a much scarier date than it would appear on the face of it.

Here's the money shot.

Starting in 2017, the Treasury Department will begin to redeem
trust fund securities in order to continue to pay full promised benefits.
Specifically, in order to convert the Trust Fund securities into cash, the
government will require increased government revenue, increased borrowing
from the public, or reduced spending in the rest of the government.

When the Treasury has to redeem securities some very tough things will happen. The GAO's projections are that everything (value of securities and willing buyers) will continue as normal for 40 years. That is the same kind of thinking that backed the sales of mortgage backed securities...i.e. that the value of homes would never go down for any length of time. We just saw what happened to those kind of eternally optimistic projections.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vaclav Klaus: Czech Republic President To Take Turn At EU President

This is rich. Vaclav is a free market guy and strong skeptic of the frothy global warming scare tactics. He has famously called Al Gore the “apostle of arrogance.”

The New York Times article is here.

PRAGUE — In the 1980s, a Communist secret police agent infiltrated clandestine economics seminars hosted by Vaclav Klaus, a fiery future leader of the Czech Republic, who had come under suspicion for extolling free market virtues. Rather than reporting on Marxist heresy, the agent was most struck by Mr. Klaus’s now famous arrogance.

“His behavior and attitudes reveal that he feels like a rejected genius,” the agent noted in his report, which has since been made public. “He shows that whoever does not agree with his views is stupid and incompetent.”

My favorite quote: “Klaus is a provocateur who will twist his arguments to get attention,” said Jiri Pehe, a former adviser to Vaclav Havel, Mr. Klaus’s rival and predecessor as president." Hmmm, pot meet kettle.

Like many people who grew up in a communist country, the cool factor of Marxist ideas and enforcers like Che and Uncle Joe is quite low.

Those who know Mr. Klaus say his economic liberalism is an outgrowth of his upbringing. Born in 1941, he obtained an economics degree in 1963 and was deeply influenced by free market economists like Milton Friedman.

Mr. Klaus’s son and namesake, Vaclav, recalled in an interview that when he was 13, his father told him to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to better understand Communism’s oppressiveness.

“If you lived under communism, then you are very sensitive to forces that try to control or limit human liberty,” he said in an interview.

After Vaclav, I'll wager the EU will find a way to end the rotating presidency thing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

David Mamet's Inspiring Speech In Protection Of Free Speech and Condemnation of the 'Fairness Doctrine'

This should be required listening for conservatives, as many of Mamet's points are understood at the gut level but here are drawn out in precise and engaging language.

Click on the BBC link here.

On political Correctness:

"It goes against the American grain. It just will not wash, for we know that it means ‘totalitarian’. How can any politics or speech be correct? A person’s politics may be acceptable or unacceptable...but to deem it (speech or politics) correct implies it adheres to the one true form which can only take place in a dictatorship."

Monday, November 17, 2008

UPDATED: How Can Hillary Even Be Considered For SecState?

Update from the NYT Clinton Vetting Includes Look at Mr. Clinton

A team of lawyers trying to facilitate the potential nomination spent the weekend looking into Mr. Clinton’s philanthropic organization, interactions with foreign governments and ties to pharmaceutical companies, a Democrat close to both camps said. While Mr. Clinton has used his foundation to champion efforts to fight AIDS, poverty and climate change around the world, he has also taken millions in speaking fees and contributions from foreign officials and businesses with interests in American governmental policies.

Obama advisers are discussing what Mr. Clinton would need to do to avoid a conflict of interest with the duties of his wife, who is said to be interested in the post. “That’s the first and most important hurdle,” said a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. “He does good work. No one wants it to stop, but a structure to avoid conflicts must be thought of.”

They have done good things with that money...therefore it's OK? That's the sniff test here? I guess if I give 25% of the money to ACORN, it would be OK to rob a bank as well. UGH.


I thought "we" already discussed this? Bill and Hillary have magically made tens of millions since he left office and most of it came from foreign governments. The library cash from the Saudis. The special consulting deals in Dubai and other middle eastern nations. The Clinton's bank accounts are just brimming with foreign dough and the media has pulled another convenient Mel Haney memory trick to pretend that the conflict of interest issues here are "nothing to notice."

Maybe this is a "helping Hillary pay off her campaign debt" thing? If it is, I would rather Obama just cut the check from his campaign account than put Billary back in a position of power while they pile up money from foreign governments.

How much money did Bill get from the Chinese Internet company? How much illegal cash did Hillary get from Chinese nationals? Who could forget their phony bundling efforts in NYC's China Town where buss boys were cutting $2000 checks like extra heapings of fried rice? Who could forget the phony addresses near the LA Airport where bags of cash were magically appearing and Chinese nationals (again) were found responsible? Who could forget all of that? The big bad main stream media...that's who.

On the other hand, if you need details about Joe the Plumbers taxes from 14 years ago, the MSM has it on the tips of their forked tongues. That kind of opposition research seems to reside in the hard-wired RAM of the MSM, while the massive conflict of interests created by Bill Clinton have never been explored.

For that matter Sean Hannity, who's dreams must consist of sweat-filled del Toro-esque vignettes of William Ayers and crazy preachers, and much of his fellow "alternative media" seemed to miss this point as well.

And the point is this: In most of the developed countries in the world, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton would never be able to serve in government again after taking these consulting fees and direct donations in grotesque amounts from foreign interests. After they left the White House, these two acted like game show contestants in one of those cash grab money boxes and now, forgetting the damn shame of this behavior, we are supposed to accept Hillary as a high federal official again.

The media will continue their search for a human interest story and ignore the political one right in front of their noses. Forget about the Fairness Doctrine, this country needs a Competence Doctrine.

Over the next week the media will ask "will she or won't she," when the better question is "how dare she..."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Two Point Plan Alternative To The Pelosi Three Point Plan For The Auto Maker Bailout

Here's the Pelosi Three Point Plan(from Detroit News).

The auto industry's survival plan must meet several conditions, Pelosi said:

• Restructure the automobile companies to ensure their long-term economic viability;

• Meet standards for fuel efficiency that ensure the competitiveness of U.S. autos, including new fuel-efficiency standards; and,

• Deploy advanced vehicle technologies required to compete in the domestic and global market."

Here is my Two Point Plan.

• Buy Toyota and Honda with this bailout (TARP) cash and let congress run them for a few years.

• Remove all congressional restrictions on the Big Three.

GM, Ford and Chrysler won't have any more trouble selling cars in this country or any other.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Short History Lesson For Congress As They Get Ready To Buy Into The Car Business

I can hear Barney Frank asking me if I would like an undercoat with that new Buick.

From an AP article via Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

I guess this is a natural fit since the only people more detested than the cheesy used car dealer is the Dem controlled congress. But before we throw the rice on this new marriage, it might be helpful to review the history of government operated car businesses. It's a beaut!

Renault (French)
After WWII the company was confiscated and nationalized. By 1981 saw Renault became the largest car maker in Europe, with a production rate of 2 million cars annually. Perhaps the road was too straight, it sought expansion towards America as well as Scandinavia. Firstly, it took major shareholding in AMC (American Motor Corporation) in 1980, which led to the production of Alliance (Renault 9) and Encore (Renault 11) in the United States. Secondly, it took full control of US truck maker Mack. The American adventure turned out to be a disaster as sales in Europe was also declining. Heavy loss led to the sold out of AMC to Chrysler in 1987, since then Renault did not return to America again.

So we have French government engineers to thank for the

and the AMC Pacer

Of course, the whole mess was bailed out by Nissan.

How could anyone forget the car that would fall apart as you drove it off the lot...the YUGO! It was so incredible that the factories were deliberately bombed by NATO forces during the Kosovo War.

I don't want to imply that all government owned car companies make shit cars, but I don't have to...their success at the landfills and recycled pot metal dealers speak volumes.

I would be remiss to ignore the great cars that came out of the Soviet Union.

I think they called them Mosckvithe's or something like that.

After these words (and pictures) of caution, I'm sure I'm worrying about nothing. As long as the new GM design team has Nancy Pelosi signing off on their designs and Ford engineers run new safety features past Harry Reid, this whole thing will come off smashingly well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Commies Hate 007 Too

Poor Olga Kurylenko, she thought she was playing a movie character in a farsical movie about spy games.


The Ukrainian actress, who plays a Bolivian secret agent opposite Daniel Craig's 007 in "Quantum Of Solace", has also gained ire of the Communist Party of St. Petersburg, which in an open letter on its website condemned her for aiding "the killer of hundreds of Soviet people and their allies." The group's statement describes 007 as "a man who worked for decades under the orders of Thatcher and Reagan to destroy the USSR."

Now, I am not sure which Bond they are talking about, but I would guess it's the Sean Connery.

"The Soviet Union educated you, cared for you and brought you up for free but no one suspected that you would commit this act of intellectual and moral betrayal."

Now for the real reason I linked this article.

Balkanization, Should We Really Be Worried?

For the last six years, we have heard that phrase about the "rule of law" so much that maybe Valerie Jarrett tripped over herself when she said "Obama needs to be ready to rule from day one," on Meet The Press.

Maybe. But the attitude that would lead one to use the word "rule" has been popping up frequently enough to convince me that this is more than a slip of the tongue.

Soon after the polls opened up in his favor, Obama began talking about compulsory national service and a "civilian national security force" that is just as strong and well funded as the military. I wonder what such a force would do on days when they don't have to attack the bad guys? They would probably do what other national police forces do in other parts of the world...enforce the rulers' wishes on walking around everyday people. For the United States, such a force would probably end up being the official enforcer of all things "PC." Given the selective enforcement of rules or wishes that would surely ensue, such a force would probably be seen as an occupation army in a certain southern segment of this country.

I strongly disagree with Rep. Paul Broun that these things along with Obama's "spread the wealth" comments represent a new Marxism or Nazism. Quite the opposite.

Instead of a strong sense of nationalism and the creation of a renewed world power, Obama is proposing a pull-back, a blaming of his own nation for the ills at home and abroad. No, the Obama movement lacks both the outward focus and hyper-nationalism found in both the Marxist and Nazi movements.

Instead we have a fracturing country never able to unite behind any single leader as the political poles seem to drift further apart. The renewed push for the fairness doctrine (or variants thereof) will be more about punishing the other side. More of the spite-filled politics intended to infuriate and divide.

I'm reminded of Joe Biden's instincts when it came to Iraq. He proposed splitting Iraq into three pieces in a plan that was the only thing that Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders agreed on in 2006. They hated the idea because they understood what a permanently fractured country looks like. It looks like the Balkans - divided in pieces and permanently hostile.

It is exactly this prospect of Balkanization in the United States that has the rest of the world so happy with this election. Most of the world believes that an outward focused, or interventionist, United States is a major problem. In many places the US is seen as a bigger problem than terrorism. Most public polling around the world confirms that unless you have recently been ruled by a communist dictator, you probably dislike the a wide margin. The polling consistently indicates that the world roots for the underdog, even the underdog that brutally represses it's people. It is probably the same psychology that makes me hate the NY Yankees, even when they play the Kansas City Royals.

That Obama has not directly addressed the heightened concerns raised by the promises of our spiteful congressional leadership is a good reason to be worried. Obama does not need the powers of "the one" to unite the country, he only has to stop politics of division and the rest will take care of themselves.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So This Is Why Obama Will Need A Civilian Police Force...To Be His Bodyguard When He Bankrupts Your Local Energy Companies

Obama's Civilian Federal Police Force (Read KGB) That Is "As Well Funded And Powerful As The Military"

Obama must believe he has this won. Why else would you roll out your "police state" proposal in front of a bunch of clapping idiots. He might as well have been talking about killing children and those fuckheads would still be clapping.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wachovia Posts $23.9B Loss...Now Looking Ready To Make Cars

I thought losses like that were reserved for US auto manufacturers.

Although my analogy works better the other way around. GM is looking for a bailout as well.

A top General Motors executive said Thursday that automakers were “deserving” of as much as $50 billion in government-backed loans so that they can build more fuel-efficient cars.

And since that went so well, GM went hunting for cash the old fashioned way. Begging.
Cash hungry GM may go to Congress for some extra needed cash to move towards a possible acquisition of Chrysler LLC. According to a person familiar with the financial side of the deal, said that GM is looking to go as the government to help it purchase Chrysler although he is not sure if the General had approached the government as of yet.

And finally, we can't forget about threatening from a position of weakness. GM has said it will dump all of it's retirees on the US taxpayer, should it run out of cash.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Tentacles Of ACORN

ACORN is mad and they are fighting back. In fact they are down right pissed that anyone has noticed the fraudulent voting and they are not going to take this without lying about the whole thing.

"We appreciate Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate."

Here's a the state by state graphic.

But ACORN is much more than a vote-fruad organization. Here are the statements from their "campaigns." Seems like every one of their campaigns ends up with ACORN getting a lot of public funding.
In Chicago, ACORN fought to get certified teachers in every classroom. In order to curb youth related crime, our members organized an anti-violence rally in which more than 100 members participated. As a result, city officials awarded $12 million to ACORN to put toward new after-school and weekend programs.

ACORN has facilitated statewide education reform in Illinois, working with a coalition of community organizations, to create the Grow Your Own Teacher program. The program recruits teacher candidates from among paraprofessionals and active parents in hard-to-staff schools, and involves 587 teacher candidates, more than 50 percent of whom are African American and 25 percent Latino. GYOT ACORN has been approved for a third year of funding by the state legislature at $3 million.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has established a housing fund with an initial deposit of $2 million to which additional monies will be generated through bonds and resource campaigns.

ACORN doesn't stop there. They are helping to negotiate blackmail utilities into sub market rates for energy.
In Delaware, ACORN pushed off-shore wind farm Blue Water to agree to set the price of wind power, distributed through Delmarva Power, at an affordable rate of $6.76-$8.92 for 25 years. ACORN has been concerned that expensive wind power could add $11.71-$55 per month to energy bills.

ACORN Fair Housing is a federally funded program through the Office of Housing and Urban Development’s(HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program ( FHIP) grant. It is our mission to prevent and eliminate discriminatory housing practices. ACORN Fair Housing Organization works to ensure equal housing opportunity by providing a variety of services through outreach, education and enforcement.

Not only that. ACORN proudly boasts about their role in getting the housing crash started. What they don't mention is the lawsuit they filed with Obama to force lenders to give money to people without a reasonable expectation of getting repaid.
No other organization has fought harder to increase access to credit for low-income and minority families than ACORN, but predatory lending is threatening to reverse the progress we have made. Beginning in the 1980s, ACORN fought against redlining and discrimination and for greater community investment. ACORN Housing was founded to provide free education and counseling to help low-income people become homeowners.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Real Goal Of Environmentalism - De-Industrialization

It doesn't take a PhD from an Ivy League school to get that the main idea of the political arm of environmental movement is to reduce the standard of living of western nations. Kyoto was only aimed at the first worlders in the west. Carbon taxes are going to diminish the manufacturing sectors of the EU and the US while making us work harder just to get the basics.

Then there is this report from the EU Parliament meeting on energy and environment policy.
Power generation, construction, coal and aluminum are the biggest losers after a day of votes by the European Parliament's environment committee yesterday. The winners on "Super Tuesday", as it was dubbed, will be investors in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and Russia.

The committee was staking out a position on the next phase of the EU's carbon emissions trading scheme, which began in 2003. ETS involves sucking some €30bn out of industry by mandating that manufacturing and power generators must bid for permits. Most permits are now free, but the committee voted to force power plants into full auctioning from 2013. The goal is to enforce full auctioning across all parts of the economy (or what's left of it) by 2020. The committee's votes inform the EU's negotiating position in global climate negotiations.

So much for energy independence since Poland generates most of its power from home-mined coal, but will be dependent on Russian gas in the next decade.

The money quote is:
"Europe will export jobs and import energy-intensive products, with no environmental gain," said Patrick de Schrynmakers, secretary general of the European Aluminium Association (EAA). The EU will be able to fine member states which fail to meet their national targets, at the rate of €100 for every extra tonne of CO2 emitted.

If this was a straight up and down desire to help the environment, there would be a scientific list of what we should do to make the most difference for our envirnment. Instead, we see every effort loaded with political goals that have nothing to do with potential climate change.

Piggy-backing unpalatable ideas onto a concern that nobody could reasonably argue with has been done many times. Examples include the War on Poverty and the massive expansion of federal money in education. As in previous cases, the anti-capitalists will do little for the environment while they implement their plan for de-industrialization.

Vast 'City of the Dead' Found Underneath Rome And Somewhere Near Orlando...ACORN Looks At A Treasure Trove Of New Voters

Workers renovating a rugby stadium have uncovered a vast complex of tombs beneath Rome that mimic the houses, blocks and streets of a real city, officials said Thursday as they unveiled a series of new finds here.

Culture Ministry officials said that medieval pottery shards in the city of the dead, or necropolis, show the area may have been inhabited by the living during the Dark Ages after being used for centuries for burials during the Roman period.

It is not yet clear who was buried in the ancient cemetery, but archaeologists at the still partially excavated site believe at least some of the dead were freed slaves of Greek origin.

Writings at the site led experts to identify the tomb as belonging to Marcus Nonius Macrinus, one of the closest aides and generals of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius during his campaigns against Germanic tribes in Northern Europe. And more importantly, the inspiration for Russell Crow's Gladiator character.

Meanwhile funeral directors are having their conference in Orlando this week. And baby they are rubbing their pallid hands together.

Funeral Industry Prepares for Potential Historic Windfall: Death of the Baby Boomers. Experts say the mortality rate is the greatest single predictor of the industry's business, estimated at about $11 billion annually at funeral homes alone. So bottom lines are likely to bulge.

"It sounds kind of morbid, but they are looking at boom times," said Tara Olson, the owner of AllPoints Research, a marketing research firm that has worked with funeral homes to develop business plans. "They're just sort of waiting for the baby boomers to start dying off."

So how do you livin' up a funeral convention?

For now, funeral directors milled the floors of the convention center here, in a surreal world where people in Snow White and Tinkerbell costumes hand out flyers for a funeral webcasting company and a marching band performs near a display of tiny caskets for children.

Chocolates come in the shape of coffins, boxer shorts have jokes about cremation, and giveaway calendars devote months to products such as JaundiBalm ("Toughest against jaundice!")

Excitement builds.

Some convention-goers tested out a device used to lift corpses by being lowered into a coffin, then back unto a table. "Best thing ever invented," one exclaimed.

And they are feeling good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama Explains Marxism To The Plumber And The Plumber Says You Are Full Of Shit

Heh, if you didn't make as much as you do it (my tax plan) would be better for you. That is, if you could time travel and make what you did 10 years ago, this tax plan would be good for long as you were not as successful. Joe's grin says, "I wouldn't buy gas from this asshole."

The plumber isn't buying it.

Wow. Obama is the biggest bullshit artist I have ever seen. If socialism and communism worked like he thinks it does, France would have the biggest fucking economy in the world.

Waitin' For The End Of The World

ACORN In Philly

There is no bottom to this story.

ACORN And Google Earth

The Google Earth product has an embedded layer that shows "places of interest." Usually they are the usual tourist spots, but leave it to our friends at Google to turn even this into a political statement. A places of interest flag near New Orleans looks like this:

The little flag reads, "Every Human Has Right."

When selected, the unsuspecting google user get hit with the following Marxist rhetoric.

Freedom from Want
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family.” Article 22 guarantees the right to social security. Article 23 affirms the right to work, as well as to “equal pay for equal work” and “just and favourable remuneration.
Sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Stephen Bradberry
Living Wage Advocate and Director of New Orleans ACORN — United States
Stephen Bradberry is the head organizer of Louisiana ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN has been active in communities of color for more than 30 years. Bradberry has served in low and moderate-income neighborhoods in Louisiana for more than a decade. His chapter of the national community group, ACORN, has more than 10,000 member families and works specifically in the area of Living Wages, Environmental Justice and Voting rights.

At ACORN, Bradberry has worked extensively on issues of environmental and financial justice. He directs a staff of community organizers who go door to door throughout the state of Louisiana to mobilize residents to work for social change. Under his direction, the organization ran an 18 month campaign to turn the City of New Orleans planning process 180 degrees from turning the lower ninth ward into wetlands to being a pilot neighborhood for the rebuilding process.

Google has two other "Human Rights" special interest flags in North America. One for Lucas Benitez.

Labor Rights Activist for Farmers — Mexico
By educating and organizing fellow migrant farmworkers, Lucas Benitez helped secure the first wage increase for tomato pickers in 20 years, exposed and stopped two slavery rings, and launched a Labor Action Rights program that collected nearly $100,000 in back wages. He organized a successful boycott of the fast-food chain Taco Bell, called off in 2005 when the company agreed to address the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry.

"Human rights are universal, and if we as farmworkers are to one day indeed enjoy equal rights, the same rights all other workers in this country are guaranteed, this agreement must only be a beginning," Benitez said when announcing the end of the boycott. "To make those rights truly universal, other leaders of the fast-food industry and the supermarket industry must join us on this path toward social responsibility."

The other is for Craig Kielburger in Toronto, who says "We've globalized technology; we've globalized commerce, we've globalized culture," says Kielburger. "We haven't globalized compassion; it's the one that's left."

There are no Human Rights flags in Cuba, Venezuela, or North Korea. But there are two for Israel.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lake County Indiana

They decided to check out the ACORN registrations a little closer. 2,100 of the first 2,100 were total frauds.

Liberal Hatred On Display

Where is your concern John Lewis?

McCain Polls Follow the S&P 500

Source: State Of The Union

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Matt Drudge Getting Ready For New Administration

Drudge has taken a noticable turn in his selection of the news. He has stopped reporting on ACORN and his Republican "raaaacism" and "hatred" headlines outnumber even the market crash.

Not that this isn't what the left is pushing these days, but the tone is definately not the usual Drudge. The grinning Tim Robbins seems to be something of a message to frequent readers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Al Capone Was A Community Organizer: A Short List Of ACORN Voting Fraud That Begs For A RICO Act Prosecution

From a list compiled by Hillary supporters.

AR 1998
A contractor with ACORN-affiliated Project Vote was arrested for falsifying about 400voter registration cards.

CO 2004
An ACORN employee admitted to forging signatures and registering three of her friends to vote 40 times.
2005 Two ex-ACORN employees were convicted in Denver of perjury for submitting false voter registrations.

FL 2004
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman said ACORN was “singled out” among suspected voter registration groups for a 2004 wage initiative because it was “the common thread” in the agency’s fraud investigations.

MI 2004
The Detroit Free Press reported that “overzealous or unscrupulous campaign workers in several Michigan counties are under investigation for voter-registration fraud, suspected of attempting to register nonexistent people or forging applications for already-registered voters.” ACORN-affiliate Project Vote was one of two groups suspected of turning in the documents.

MO 2007
Four ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City for charges including identity theft and filing false registrations during the 2006 election.
2006 Eight ACORN employees in St. Louis were indicted on federal election fraud charges. Each of the eight faces up to five years in prison for forging signatures and submitting false information.
2003 Of 5,379 voter registration cards ACORN submitted in St. Louis, only 2,013 of those appeared to be valid. At least 1,000 are believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.

NC 2004
North Carolina officials investigated ACORN for submitting fake voter registration cards.

NM 2005
Four ACORN employees submitted as many as 3,000 potentially fraudulent signatures on the group’s Albuquerque ballot initiative. A local sheriff added: “It’s safe to say the forgery was widespread.”
2004 An ACORN employee registered a 13-year-old boy to vote. Citing this and other examples, New Mexico State Representative Joe Thompson stated that ACORN was “manufacturing voters” throughout New Mexico.

OH 2007
A man in Reynoldsburg was indicted on two felony counts of illegal voting and false registration, after being registered by ACORN to vote in two separate counties.
2004 A grand jury indicted a Columbus ACORN worker for submitting a false signature and false voter registration form. In Franklin County, two ACORN workers submitted what the director of the board of election supervisors called “blatantly false” forms. In Cuyahoga County, ACORN and its affiliate Project Vote submitted registration cards that had the highest rate of errors for any voter registration group.

MN 2004
During a traffic stop, police found more than 300 voter registration cards in the trunk of a former ACORN employee, who had violated a legal requirements that registration cards be submitted to the Secretary of State within 10 days of being filled out and signed.

PA 2008
An ACORN employee in West Reading, PA, was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison for identity theft and tampering with records. A second ACORN worker pleaded not guilty to the same charges and is free on $10,000 bail.

2004 Reading’s Director of Elections received calls from numerous individuals complaining that ACORN employees deliberately put inaccurate information on their voter registration forms. The Berks County director of elections said voter fraud was “absolutely out of hand,” and added: “Not only do we have unintentional duplication of voter registration but we have blatant duplicate voter registrations.” The Berks County deputy director of elections added that ACORN was under investigation by the Department of Justice.

TX 2004
ACORN turned in the voter registration form of David Young, who told reporters “The signature is not my signature. It’s not even close.” His social security number and date of birth were also incorrect.

VA 2005
In 2005, the Virginia State Board of Elections admonished Project Vote and ACORN for turning in a significant number of faulty voter registrations. An audit revealed that 83% of sampled registrations that were rejected for carrying false or questionable information were submitted by Project Vote. Many of these registrations carried social security numbers that exist for other people, listed non-existent or commercial addresses, or were for convicted felons in violation of state and federal election law.

In a letter to ACORN, the State Board of Elections reported that 56% of the voter registration applications ACORN turned in were ineligible. Further, a full 35% were not submitted in a timely manner, as required by law. The State Board of Elections also commented on what appeared to be evidence of intentional voter fraud. “Additionally,” they wrote, “information appears to have been altered on some applications where information given by the applicant in one color ink has been scratched through and re-entered in another color ink. Any alteration of a voter registration application is a Class 5 Felony in accordance with § 24.2-1009 of the Code of Virginia.”

WA 2007
Three ACORN employees pleaded guilty, and four more were charged, in the worst case of voter registration fraud in Washington state history. More than 2,000 fraudulent voter registration cards were submitted by the group during a voter registration drive.

WI 2004
The district attorney’s office investigated seven voter registration applications Project Vote employees filed in the names of people who said the group never contacted them. Former Project Vote employee Robert Marquise Blakely told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had not met with any of the people whose voter registration applications he signed, “an apparent violation of state law,” according to the paper.

Welcome To Our 3rd World Election System

Paid for with smokes and cash.
A man at the center of a voter-registration scandal told The Post yesterday he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times, in apparent violation of Ohio laws.

"Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they'll give me a dollar to sign up," said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, 'You are?' I say, 'Yup,' and then they say, 'Can you just sign up again?' " he said.

Johnson, who works at a cellphone kiosk in downtown Cleveland, said he was a sitting duck for the signature hunters, but was always happy to help them out in exchange for a smoke or a little scratch. He'd collected 10 to 20 cigarettes and anywhere from $10 to $15, he said.

Guess who ACORN is trying to get elected. The Obama camp paid an ACORN shadow organization, Citizen Service Inc., $832,598 for various political services, according to Federal Elections Commission filings. Citizens Service and ACORN share the same board of directors.

ACORN is working to steal the election for Democrats. So should we be surprised that Senate Democrats tried to sneak in $100 million dollars for ACORN in the Bailout Package? Here is a copy of Democrat Senator Dodd's proposal to do just that.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fail: Next Vice President...John McCain?

Why So Serious?

Is this market crash only about the financial crisis or are there some new factors in the equation?

Wall Street is watching the polling data as closely as any political junkie and they see the 8 point lead as a serious break in the race. This means that it is time to evaluate the impact of Obama's policies as they relate to money flow and future investment strategies to avoid the higher capital gains tax and doubled capital gains tax that will start early next year. That plus the fevered anti-capitalist zeal in Washington these days are going to mean that investors will be forced into other investments if they want returns on their investments. This set up has always led to lower markets and I think the market is taking this into account right now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This Is Karma You Yuppie Bastards

Overnight. You took a pass on fixing social security. Bad move.

HSI (Hong Kong) 15431.73 -1372.03 -8.17%
NIKKEI (Japan) 9203.32 -952.58 -9.38%
China 2092.224 -65.615 -3.04%

On the good side.

OIL 87.02 -3.04 -3.38%
GAS 1.9878 -0.075 -3.64%

Of course Gen X and Gen Y are doing sooo much better.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The 700 Billion Dollar Bailout As A Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud Email










Morning Wood: Ooooo Ooooo, That Water Is Cold

Morning palate cleanser with our favorite conservative cutie.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Because Of Obama, I'm Inspired To Become A Subterranean Nuclear Mutant Weapon Of Peace

Updated since they keep deleting the video.

These are NOT inner city youtes. No way. They are a bunch of fat suburban kids that are pissed off about not getting a fucking Wii yet. And what the fuck is the arm thing.

This craziness makes me asks who are you people? WHO ARE YOU! DAMN your hypocrisy.

UPDATED: Police hunt for ARREST robbers wearing thongs as masks


Nineteen-year-old Joaquin Rico and his 24-year-old alleged accomplice, Joseph R Espinoza, both turned themselves in.

Police in Arvada say the men stole cash and cigarettes from a shop in May.

The two were unarmed but reportedly hit a shop assistant and injured her.

One man wore a green thong and the other wore blue. The garments barely covered the men's features, leaving most of their faces exposed.

Both will be tried as adults...only because of their ages. I'll check back to see how much time Rico and Espinoza get.

Nineteen-year-old Joaquin Rico and his 24-year-old alleged accomplice, Joseph R Espinoza, both turned themselves in.

Police in Arvada say the men stole cash and cigarettes from a shop in May.

The two were unarmed but reportedly hit a shop assistant and injured her.

One man wore a green thong and the other wore blue. The garments barely covered the men's features, leaving most of their faces exposed.

ARVADA, Colo. - Police in a Colorado town are searching for two robbers whose masks showed plenty of fashion sense but little modesty: women's thong underwear.
OK, so here is how I see this going down.

They are in the parking lot and ready to go when tattoo looks at Bright Boy and says, "Dude we don't have anything to cover our faces!"

They discuss going to Wal Mart, but it's GO TIME BABY, so Bright Boy comes up with the idea that as long as no one can see their noses they should be good.

This is the first of a long and successful career I'm sure. I'll post their names when these idiots get caught. Probably later tonight when their girlfriends turn them in.
LINK to story

Congress' 700 Billion Dollar Advance Fee Fraud

The Advance Fee Scam is a variant of the Spanish Prisoner - one of the oldest cons (confidence scams) known to man. It plays on several natural instincts: greed, trust, and fear. It's old but it still works. Congress' bailout may be the biggest Advance Fee scam of all time and it relied on the same fundamentals.

The advance fee fraud scam involves ransoming cash or valuable items before the some option expires or thieves recognize its value. If this sounds like an email you received from is.

In our version, congress told us that for an investment of 700 billion we could release assets in excess of 2 trillion dollars from the "locked up" credit market. We were told of billions of profits for projects like universal health care. Like any good confidence scam, the details were hard to grasp and very non-specific. And the trust part? Everywhere we looked, we had other members of the scam telling us how important it was to do this thing. People like James Johnson, Herb Allison, Henry Paulson, President Bush, Barney Frank and Barack Obama all helped create this mess...and we took their advice.

After the Big Push to get this funding through congress, the lonely American Taxpayer showed up in Nigeria to get his money back today, and look what we found. The DOW has dropped like a rock since congress finally authorized the money.

In the very near future this scam will evolve into a Spanish Prisoner when these same bright boys tell us that the 700 billion just was not enough. It will now take 1.5 trillion. They will tell us that since we have already invested 700 billion, it would be foolish to waste the money already spent. And that this time, THIS TIME, it will really work.

FYI dear taxpayer. The Spanish Prisoner scam usually ends when the mark (us) is broke.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Sterve In Wanhope And Distress

Watching the media's reaction to Sarah Palin reminds me of one of the main themes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, that is: Women are the root cause of evil in mankind, either by directly plotting misdeeds or by innocently bringing out men's inherently evil sides.

Whether it's Elenor Clift blaming Palin's scheming for a reignited culture war or the folks at Salon who find her so utterly stupid that she couldn't possibly be qualified as a VEEP. Bob Beckel said she couldn't win a high school debate and the NYT editorialized that she is plotting to be more powerful than Darth Chaney.

The common theme since Gov. Palin was chosen for the VEEP slot is that a conservative woman must be flawed. Liberals just can not imagine the existence of an emotionally balanced conservative woman. The mere thought of it drives them mad and is usually followed by fits of misogynistic outbursts.

I think Gov. Palin has been surprised by the depth of the knee jerk hatred liberals harbor for a conservative woman. She looked a little wide-eyed with Charlie and Katie, but emerged much more prepared to deal with an adversarial media. If she spends the rest of the campaign performing like she did on Thursday, she will put herself in the drivers seat for 2012. I say 2012, because I watch McCain campaign with wanhope and distress.

Thumb Wars

My kids love this show.

Where Is Charlie Now OJ?

OJ goes down on the same day he was acquitted 13 years ago. Delicious.

"Charlie" is a character from "If I Did It"

Friday, October 3, 2008

McCain Drops Below 30% At InTrade

I don't know if 30% is some kind of Mendoza line or not, but I do know that Bush in 2004 never went below 47% - even at the height of the Abu Grahib.

alt="Price for 2008 Presidential Election Winner (Individual) at"
title="Price for 2008 Presidential Election Winner (Individual) at" border="0">

I went back to look at which candidates' money line was most similar to McCain. And in early October, 2000 then Gov. Bush was down to about 30%.

So as dark as things look right now, I still don't think we are "playing for next year," if, as shown above, things start moving McCain's way very soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Albert Brainfart Biden Says Global Warming Is 100% Man Made

And he knows that because other people like him don't challenge him when he says that...therefore it must be true. Carbon cap and trade. Carbon taxes. What a tool. Why not look at a chart of Pacfic Decadal Oscillation (PDO), combined with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thomas Sowell: Clear Thinking Post Mortem

Bailout Politics
By Thomas Sowell

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more"
to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously.

But the magic words "affordable housing" and the ugly word "redlining" led to politicians directing where loans and investments should go, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and various other coercions and threats.

The roots of this problem go back many years, but since the crisis to which all this led happened on George W. Bush's watch, that is enough for those who think in terms of talking points, without wanting to be confused by the facts.

In reality, President Bush tried unsuccessfully, years ago, to get Congress to create some regulatory agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

N. Gregory Mankiw, his Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, warned in February 2004 that expecting a government bailout if things go wrong "creates an incentive for a company to take on risk and enjoy the associated increase in return."

Since risky investments usually pay more than safer investments, the incentive is for a government-supported enterprise to take bigger risks, since they get more profit if the risks pay off and the taxpayers get stuck with the losses if not.

The government does not guarantee Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but the widespread assumption has been that the government would step in with a bailout to prevent chaos in financial markets.

Alan Greenspan, then head of the Federal Reserve System, made the same point in testifying before Congress in February 2004. He said: "The Federal Reserve is concerned" that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were using this implicit reliance on a government bailout in a crisis to take more risks, in order to "multiply the profitability of subsidized debt."

Chairman Greenspan added his voice to those urging Congress to create a "regulator with authority on a par with that of banking regulators" to reduce the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a riskiness ultimately borne by the taxpayers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not deserve to be bailed out, but neither do workers, families and businesses deserve to be put through the economic wringer by a collapse of credit markets, such as occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Neither do the voters deserve to be deceived on the eve of an election by the notion that this is a failure of free markets that should be replaced by political micro-managing.

If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out.

It would be better if no such government-supported enterprises had been created in the first place and mortgages were in fact left to the free market. This bailout creates the expectation of future bailouts.

Phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would make much more sense than letting politicians play politics with them again, with the risk and expense being again loaded onto the taxpayers.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New (Old) Kind Of Capitalism...Updated

The bail-out deal finally got done got killed. The bailout was ushering in a new era of government-private enterprise matched only by our friends in China. The lessons of how this crisis was created will be forgotten before the votes are counted on Monday. The first new lesson will be that Chinese style capitalism can be very profitable for our government and nothing excites congress like new money to project in out years. Our government has discovered the benefits of "buying low" and the promise of "selling high."

How high?
The proposed legislation also calls for the financial sector to help make up the difference if the government does not recoup its investment in five years, the official said, but details were unclear.Also, the government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share in financial companies' future profits.

The Chinese have figured out that government operated capitalist enterprises are more efficient. You get to provide your own oversight, and you can change the rules as necessary. Other considerations such as worker rights and environmental protections are preserved by bureaucratic whimsy and not by rule of law.

And that's why this bailout scares me far more than a precipitous drop in the S&P 500. Our government is now acting without boundaries. The federal government created conditions that would forseeably cause this crisis, then they sifted the ashes to find the valuables left behind.

I understand that as these institutions fail, their assets are sold in bulk leading to distressed prices approaching zero. And that in turn brings the barely solvent banks assets down to the new market prices, prompting cash calls they simply don't have. And yes, for a time there will be reductions of already-scarce equity for everyone. I agree that the government needs to help establish a market for the debt, so these banks can re-establish credit with each other, but invovling the Federal government in stock warrants and other instruments will only encourage more nanny-state experimentations like those that got us here in the first place.

The second lesson our government has learned is that Roman fire sales work. Instead of throwing fire bombs, the government created a phony market of loans (sub-prime) that would never have existed if the lending institutions were left alone to make decisions of credit-worthiness based on a persons ability to pay it back. Instead, the Feds demanded socially conscience loan making. The ability to pay the loan back was secondary. And from this small fire, created with the 1995 changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, a bonfire was created that ONLY the Feds could put out. Like the old Roman trick of having the fire-fighters "standing-by" until a deal for the contents is agreed to, the Feds watched this problem burn until this become profitable for them to fix.

The only lesson NOT learned is that this new style of capitalism comes with some really unintended consequences. The rule of law will now be whatever congress says it means. Liberty will mean freedom from and not freedom to as we live through a never-ending cycle of these manufactured crises.

Updated: Melamine: It's What's For Breakfast AND Dessert AND Just About Any Other Damn Thing Remotely Associated With China

Melamine is a compound that when combined with formaldehyde produces a very durable plastic so you know it is probably not a healthy food additive. Leave it to those inventive Chinese to use Melamine to boost the "protein" values for watered down food products. That lead to the pet food crisis of 2007 and helped reduce the carbon footprint of the western hemisphere. For reals.

Reports coming out of China indicate that they figured out a backup plan for all of that melamine they can no longer ship to us in dog food: baby formula. Once ingested by infants, melamine can cause kidney stones and chronic or frequent ingestion leads to kidney failure and death. Don't let it be said the Chinese don't take global warming seriously.

With 53,000 reported cases of poisoning and the likely total much, much higher; the Chinese have shown the rest of the world that poison and kill is MUCH more effective than cap and trade.

Singapore said Sunday (AP) that it had found traces of melamine in another Chinese-made dairy product, milk-based White Rabbit brand candy.

I didn't know that the Chinese had such a taste for irony. Well played.


Update: Kraft, Mars Investigating Claims of Tainted (with Melamine) Oreos, M&Ms...mostly in Asia. But still...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crimson Tide Make Big Move In Poll:

The AP Top 25 released tody has the Tide rising from #8 to #2 after they pounded the Bulldogs on Saturday.

1. Oklahoma (43) 4-0 1,599
2. Alabama (21) 5-0 1,565
3. LSU 4-0 1,466
4. Missouri (1) 4-0 1,453
5. Texas 4-0 1,362
6. Penn State 5-0 1,252
7. Texas Tech 4-0 1,105
8. Brigham Young 4-0 1,098
9. USC 2-1 1,087
10. South Florida 5-0 1,035
11. Georgia 4-1 1,018
12. Florida 3-1 914
13. Auburn 4-1 860
14. Ohio State 4-1 829
15. Utah 5-0 713
16. Kansas 3-1 650
17. Boise State 3-0 549
18. Wisconsin 3-1 520
19. Vanderbilt 4-0 459
20. Virginia Tech 4-1 290
21. Oklahoma State 4-0 277
22. Fresno State 3-1 232
23. Oregon 4-1 199
24. Connecticut 5-0 126
25. Wake Forest 3-1 107

Updated: Truth Squads: We Don't Want You To Get Distracted By Words That Would Diminish Your Love For The One

The Governor of Missouri blasts the truth squads:
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”


The truth squad is a group of law enforcement officials form Missouri (prosecutors, sheriffs) who will be on the lookout for negative comments during the rest of the campaign.

Here's the vid.

Truth squads. They have the same type of groups in Muslim countries. They are on the lookout for things like guys walking dogs and women without the required amount of head cover.

Why not pass out canes so we can whip the shit out of anyone not using the proper deference when speaking of our "beloved leader."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let's Kill Your Mom, I Need New Tits

The following story highlights the problem of the desperately small breasted uninsured. There are thousands if not millions of women in the same condition and all we can talk about is the stupid bail out plan for Wall Street.

A Colorado teenager hired men to kill his mother so he could use her money to get breast implants for his girlfriend, police said.

Nikita Weis, 18, offered to pay two men a total of $7,000 to break into his home, kill his mother and dispose of her body, said Fountain Deputy Police Chief Mike Barnett.

Weis planned to sell her car and drain her bank accounts, using some of the money to buy breast implants for his girlfriend, 21-year-old Sophia Alsept, Barnett said.

The plan unraveled during a botched home invasion about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Weis' mother, Hyun Weis, 42, was cooking dinner for her son when a man dressed in black barged into her home in the 7100 block of Yampa River Heights and assaulted her with a miniature baseball bat, Barnett said.

"I'd describe it as a souvenir baseball bat, but certainly capable of causing serious bodily injury or death," he said.

The woman used the "panic button" on her car keys to set off her alarm, spooking the intruder. She ran next door and alerted a neighbor, who phoned police.

At the time of the assault, Nikita Weis was at home and his girlfriend was waiting outside, Barnett said.

Hyun Weis, who was struck in the head, was being kept Friday for observation at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, but she was expected to be OK, police said.

After eight years of Bush, it's clear we've been neglecting the boobs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cheerleaders Ditch Skimpy Uniforms After Complaints...Yeah Right

AP headline - Cheerleaders Ditch Skimpy Uniforms After Complaints From Fans.

The headline seemed like bullshit because there were no references to "Christians" or conservative parent groups. AP just doesn't publish a story like this unless they can do a little conservative bashing along the way. You know, the payoff.
Less than a month into the football season, the Idaho Vandals are undergoing another makeover after spectators complained that cheerleaders' uniforms were flashing a little more than school spirit.

After the football team dumped the school logo from the buttocks of their new pants, the university in Moscow got complaints that new two-piece cheerleader uniforms were too skimpy.

When reading this a little closer, I think we see what happened.
The previous uniforms didn't flatter every member of the team, and some girls said their outfits were uncomfortable, Robson said.

"Girls are just bigger these days, not everybody's a size zero," Robson said. "We're not being a bunch of prudes."

So it was the "bigger girls" on the squad who complained. Of course you know when someone starts talking about big girls, I'm going to break off into a Jame Gumb riff.

And this is what everyone was complaining about? I guess it sort of warms the heart that we can get a cheerleading uni story without any references to church-goers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Really Appreciated It When Abe Lincoln Went On TV And Explained The Missouri Compromise

YES, Marines in Iraq Issued Laser Weapons

I'll admit when I saw the headline I was expecting something more like this.

NO, they call this thing the "dazzler"...because it bedazzles the eyes...temporarily.

"Dazzlers," as they're called, shoot green beams designed to "warn or temporarily incapacitate individuals," according to a Defense Science Board report extensively quoted in the Post's story.

The Geneva Conventions ban weapons meant to cause permanent blindness, but a Pentagon spokesman explained two years ago that "Dazzlers" didn't fall into that category.