Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Staggering Thought

If all the bank loans were paid up, no one would have a bank depo­sit, and there would not be a dol­lar of cur­rency or coin in cir­cu­la­tion. This is a stag­ger­ing thought. We are com­pletely depen­dent on the com­mer­cial banks for our money. Someone has to bor­row every dol­lar we have in cir­cu­la­tion, cash or cre­dit. If the banks create ample syn­the­tic money, we are pro­s­per­ous; if not, we starve. We are abso­lutely with­out a per­manent mone­tary sys­tem.When one gets a com­plete grasp upon the pic­ture, the tra­gic absur­dity of our hope­less posi­tion is almost in­cred­ible - but there it is. It (the bank­ing prob­lem) is the most im­por­tant sub­ject in­tel­li­gent per­sons can in­ves­ti­gate and reflect upon. It is so im­por­tant that our pre­sent civi­li­za­tion may col­lapse un­less it is widely under­stood and the defects reme­died very soon.”

- Robert H. Hem­phill, Cre­dit Mana­ger of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Monday, September 29, 2008

We Are So Screwed

Welcome to the next Earth Extinction Period...

In 2007, carbon released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement increased 2.9 percent over that released in 2006, to a total of 8.47 gigatons....This output is at the very high end of scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and could translate into a global temperature rise of more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, according to the panel's estimates.

At least in The Day After Tomorrow, people realize in the end that humans have created an environmental catastrophe, and there is hope that the world can try to fix things. Reality is, we're all going to be like frogs sitting in the warming pot, not realizing that were about to be boiled alive.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reinstate Glass-Steagall NOW!

Any member of congress with a shred of integrity must vote an emphatic NO on any goverment bailout of Wall Street. Any so called rescue MUST come in the form of new regulations and oversight. Any Wall Street entity must sign on to extensive regulatory reform BEFORE recieving a dime of goverment assistance. If it means reinstating and modernizing Glass-Steagall and any other oversight measures, so be it.

Congress must offer the choice to Wall Street:

Want our help? Accept reregulation/oversight/compliance with STRICT oversight.

Don't like the terms? Fine....sink or swim on your own.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Market Gamblers Get Taxpayer Bailout

So much for that "Free Market" crap:

After shooting up more than 400 points at the opening bell, The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 370 points, a 3.4 percent gain, by 2:30 p.m. That is on top of a 400-point gain late yesterday after news of a government program began to emerge and could bring the market to break-even for the week. The technology-heavy Nasdaq was up 2.5 percent and Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 3.7 percent.

Basically, Wall Street is celebrating because Uncle Sam has taken our money and used it to buy all the dogshit that investors thought was full of diamonds.

They get to keep buying more dogshit, we get to eat it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is Palin Really All That Popular In Alaska?

Via Mudflats:
I’ve been asked a couple times for comparative images of the Pro-Palin rally and the Anti-Palin rallies. So, here they are.
Here’s the pro-Palin rally in a room with a capacity of 5000 people. If you don’t count security, secret service, staffers, and media, I’m guessing a maximum of about 800-900 people. Boots on the ground from the Ed Schultz Show that was in town, counted the crowd at about 500.

[Looks pretty empty for a "popular" VP candidate visiting her home state]

Next, we have pictures of the Anti-Palin rally that was held across the street...

There were between 1400 and 1500 rally-goers, and about 90 at the counter rally according to an observer who went through the crowd with a counter. Anchorage police estimated “more than 1500″.
The Anti-Palin rally, by the way, was the largest rally in the history of the state of Alaska.
Maybe Palin is "popular" down here, where her politics and persona are relatively unknown (and can therefore be easily airbrushed by the McCain Campaign and the conservative media).
People in her home state are not fooled by her facade, neither should we.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Das Kapitalism

Bear Sterns: Govt. loans millions (billions?) in a non-recourse loan to keep company propped up.....Bear Sterns then is sold for $10/share - over 90$/share loss in a year.

Freddie/Fannie: Govt. takes over and is left holding as much as $100 billion of junk stock (currently selling at $0.25/share - $60/share loss in a year).

Lehman Bros: Govt. lets Lehman sink....Stock value ~$0.30/share - over $60/share loss in a year.

AIG: Currently hanging onto the hope that the fed will loan enough money to help cover ~$80 billion of red on the balance sheet, or they will go bust in 1-2 days. Currently holding at ~$3/share, - over $60/share loss over a year.

Glass-Stengall, and several other laws that were made for the express purpose to prevent Wall Street from turning into Casino Royale (using other peoples money to place their bets), were all repealed bit by bit in order to "free up the markets". Next time someone says that regulation and oversight hinder and hurt the American economy, ask them if they think that having the American taxpayer shelling out billions to well-heeled bankers to save them from their impractical idiocy is helping our economy at all.

UPDATE: US Treasury loanes AIG $85 Billion for 80% of the company????? WTF??? Who is next...Ford, GM, Goldman Sachs? Might as well just start handing out welfare checks to all the companies. Sorry no new oversight or regulations please, just give us the money.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin: Alaskan Bush Clone?

Their style of governance seens errily similar:

When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects. ...

...While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.” ...

Democrats and Republicans alike describe her as often missing in action. Since taking office in 2007, Ms. Palin has spent 312 nights at her Wasilla home, some 600 miles to the north of the governor’s mansion in Juneau, records show.
During the last legislative session, some lawmakers became so frustrated with her absences that they took to wearing “Where’s Sarah?” pins.
Many politicians say they typically learn of her initiatives — and vetoes — from news releases. ...

This is who we want a heartbeat from the presidency?

Didn't we just endure the last 8 years with a president thant was so uninterested in his country that he couldn't be bothered to lift his oun ass out of his comfy home chair at his Crawford mansion and DO SOMETHING when he was told that enemies of America were going to attack his beloved country? A person who spends more time enjoying playing "Look at ME!! I'm Presnit!! I RUULZ U!!! 1!11!!" than actually giving a royal fuck about making sure the machinations of goverment are actually working?

Do we really want more of this?? Huh?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Historical Facts Regarding The War on Terror

Number of Iraqis that hijacked the airliners on Sept. 11, 2001: 0

Number of proven links between Iraq and the Sept 11 attacks: 0

Number of proven links between Al-Qaida and Iraq relating to the Sept. 11 attacks: 0

Number of proven links showing direct Iraqi support of Al-Qaida: 0

Number of proven intelligence links showing Iraqi development and deployment of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons: 0

Number of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons used by Iraq against the Coalition invasion force in March, 2003: 0

Number of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and or laboratories discovered by Coalition forces since the invasion: 0

White house estimates of the maximum cost of the Iraqi invasion before March, 2003: $60 billion.

As of 2008, current cost of Iraqi war: $600 billion.

Current projected final cost estimate of the Iraq war: $2 trillion

Current total US casualties from the Iraq war: 4,155 killed, 30,324 wounded

Number of civilian Iraqis killed: 150,000 to over 1 million

Amount of profit to US defense contractors: over $5 billion in sales of US advanced weaponry to Iraqi security forces.

"These are the facts of the case, and they are not in dispute."

- Captain Jack Ross: "A Few Good Men"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years Ago Today

One month after being briefed by an intelligence agent that possible terrorist attacks were imminent, one month after telling said agent "ok, you've covered your ass now", we all learned how the Bush presidency was going to keep us safe.....

..........with vacant, empty stares.