Archive for September, 2008

Hundreds of Billions – Again

President George W. Bush, flanked by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, acknowledged that the [bail-out] program will put a “significant amount of taxpayers’ money on the line.”

[Treasury Secretary] Paulson was asked the approximate dollar size of the government intervention. “We’re talking hundreds of billions,” he said.

Oh – but we already spent hundreds of billions rebuilding Iraq.  All the while Bush’s Republicans were nation-building – America’s economy was heading into the crapper.  

So who will be paying interest on this loan to?  Communist China again…  We already buy everything from China and we finance everything through China.  Does the Bush Administration want us to be Communist?  To destroy America like this, Bush must really hate us.  Who the hell votes for more Republican leadership?  Everything (everything) is such a mess.  Unless you make 1/4 million per year and you’re afraid you’ll go hungry after a tax hike, I just don’t see how informed, intelligent people could support this leadership. 

On the SEC Chairman:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/26787948#26782378

 

 

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September 19, 2008 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

What’s Not to Love

What’s not to love? 

 

·         The Economy is a total mess

·         The Fed bailout of Freddie/Fannie helps Communist China but doubles the US debt and leaves taxpayers on the hook. 

·         The war is sucking up billions of dollars of real money (the people involved in this are cashing ‘real’ checks for ‘real’ money) and costing thousands their livelihoods and their lives (Over 4,000 since “Mission Accomplished” day).  Honor the troops

·         Global warming is getting worse and the USA is the only modernized country not participating in the Kyoto protocols.

·         The Taliban (the ones who were really involved with 09/11 by protecting Al-Qaeda) are back in power and Bin Laden hasn’t been a priority since Bill Clinton tried to kill him.

·         The quagmire has left us unable to fight effectively in Afghanistan or to posture against Iran or Russia (or anyone else)

·         According to actuary tables there’s a chance McCain dies in the next 4 years and the proposed VP – 1 ½ year leader of the 47th most populous state is completely unprepared to manage the entire country and face global leaders and international threats.  The hockey-mom who became president is good in a Disney movie but terrifying in the real world.

·         Palin believes global warming is a joke, believes rape victims should be charged for their own medical exam,  believes that parents and churches don’t teach religion well enough and the already burdened school teachers should teach religion (regardless of your family’s religious beliefs).  Palin’s husband is a secessionist who was a member of an anti-American party of nearly a decade.  Palin participated in the party’s 2008 convention. 

·         The national debt has reached record highs and just jumped 5 trillion to bail out Fannie/Freddie (who paid their CEO’s millions over the past 2 years).

·         The federal government is running record deficits.

·         Health care is increasing at 10 times over income

·         College tuition is increasing at double the rate of inflation

·         Highest food inflation and lowest Consumer Confidence Index since George H Bush was president.

·         Unemployment is rising

·         The dollar is weakening

·         …All while big businesses are setting record profits

·         Federal laws (FISA), Constitutional protection (Habeas Corpus (Article 1)) and Global treaties (Geneva Conventions) are being broken with the authorization and support of the highest levels of government

·         We have admitted to and defended the use of torture

·         Undercover CIA agents have been exposed (for showing the White House deceit regarding WMD)

·         Bush flew to Arizona to eat birthday cake with McCain while on TV we watched a city drown

September 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Some Election Videos

“Still”
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/realchange_ad/  

Damon on Palin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anxkrm9uEJk 

McCain slams Palin:”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmRkTJRfwqA  

Is McCain Dumb?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdW5IWVDMic 

“Change”
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/realchange_ad/ 

 

 

 

September 12, 2008 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment

On Charging Rape Victims for Their Exam

Here’s a story involving Palin and Biden:

In 2000, then-Governor Tony Knowles signed a bill in Alaska that ensured law enforcement around the state would pay for the processing of “Rape Kits” – forensics evidence collected in rape cases. Seemed common sense enough. Knowles noted, correctly, that we don’t charge robbery victims the cost of dusting for prints, so why would be charge rape victims the cost of gathering evidence to apprehend their assailant?

Except one little town objected, and had previously refused to foot the bill to solve rape cases – Wasilla, under Mayor Sarah Palin.
 – Huffington Post 09/12/08

Palin approved charging rape victims for their own exam.
Biden passed legislation requiring cities to remove this (idiotic) law.
What’s even more shocking…is that someone voted against Biden’s legislation as recently as 2007 as well as initially in 1994.  Who was it?  Watch to find out or click the links below on Biden’s legislation below. 

Biden brings legislation providing free rape kits for evidence collection: 
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/11/165456/985/717/595263
http://www.jedreport.com/2008/09/mccain-voted-against-biden-law.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/11/post_156_n_125711.html


Palin
charges rape victims for their own medical exams and evidence collection:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nmk6BSUwEA&feature=user
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-schmeltzer/palins-wasilla-to-rape-vi_b_125047.html
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/8/20552/56258/308/591588 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-10-rape-exams_N.htm

September 12, 2008 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

Fiscally Unsound, Part III

Hey, as long as our government is taking care of the communist countries, right?  This economy is not fine, it’s not “fundamentally sound” as McCain says…it needs change (badly!) As I’ve said before (Part I, Part II), the Democrats are now the Fiscally Responsible Party. 

The Republicans are more concerned with Big Business than Americans; more concerned with Communist and Persian Gulf countries than America. 

From Jim Jubiak:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/JubaksJournal/feds-bailed-out-china-not-the-us.aspx  

Feds bailed out China, not the US

 

How is the deal cobbled together by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs (GS, news, msgs) CEO, bad for U.S. stocks and bonds and for the U.S. economy? Let me count the ways:

 

  • The deal adds $5 trillion in debt to an already stressed national balance sheet. That basically doubles the U.S. national debt and can’t help but push the U.S. dollar lower and U.S. interest rates higher in the long term. The U.S. government is going to have to sell more Treasury bonds to cover its new debt.
  • Taxpayers are on the hook for somewhere between $25 billion and $200 billion. That’s money that will have to come from higher taxes or from more government debt.
  • The need to sell more debt to fund this takeover will lead to higher interest rates in the Treasury market. (This is besides the rising tide of the annual federal debt. The Congressional Budget Office puts the deficit at $407 billion for fiscal 2008 and a record $438 billion for fiscal 2009.) Treasury yields are the benchmark for everything from mortgages to credit cards to corporate loans. Higher interest rates on Treasurys will push up mortgage and other interest rates.
  • The combination of faster growth in the money supply — as the government sells more bonds — and a weaker dollar will add to forces pushing inflation higher in the United States.
  • The decay in the financial fundamentals of the U.S. government could finally lead to the United States’ loss of its triple-A debt rating. A downgrade would force the U.S. to pay higher interest on its debt.
  • Higher interest rates will lead to lower economic growth. The Federal Reserve calculates the U.S. economy can grow at 2.5% or so before it risks setting off inflation. The extra debt burden from this takeover will make it hard for U.S. growth to hit even that relatively modest target.
  • And, yes, after being asleep for years as the problem grew and grew, the Treasury may not have had any alternative if it wanted to prevent an immediate meltdown in the U.S. mortgage market and in the U.S. financial system in general. But if the Treasury is serious about starting to shrink the mortgage obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac starting in 2010, the price of an immediate fix could be a double-dip slowdown in the housing industry in 2010. Less mortgage money available from Fannie and Freddie in 2010 sure isn’t going to help the housing industry sell houses.

Good for them

For China, on the other hand, the results of the takeover are almost uniformly positive:

  • The rescue bails out the banks and central banks that had put too much money into mortgage paper backed by Fannie and Freddie. At the end of 2007, Chinese banks held $376 billion in what the financial markets call agency debt.
  • Now the commercial banks in China — and the Chinese government — don’t have to worry about problems at Fannie and Freddie turning into problems on their balance sheets. Chinese banks are now free, therefore, to make more risky, ill-considered loans to domestic companies.
  • The People’s Bank of China can forget about the yuan appreciating too quickly, which would increase the cost of Chinese goods and cut into Chinese exports. Now the Chinese government can manage its exchange rate without worrying that buying more dollars to depress the price of the yuan would increase its exposure to something like a meltdown at Fannie or Freddie.
  • The U.S. intervention into its financial markets clears the way for the Chinese to intervene as deeply as they want without any foreign criticism. Who can say the Beijing government shouldn’t intervene to prop up Chinese real-estate prices after what the U.S. government just did? Chinese real estate has suffered an even worse drop than U.S. housing prices, with some cities showing a 70% drop from their peaks.
  • Pro-growth advocates in China just got another boost. China’s advocates of fiscal discipline and the need to fight inflation were probably fighting a losing battle anyway, since politicians everywhere are reluctant to risk the wrath of the unemployed just to cut a percentage point out of inflation. Recent actions and speeches out of Beijing indicate the government is gradually revving up the growth engine again. More-radical pro-growth officials have also advocated new policies that would prop up the prices of stocks and real estate. The huge U.S. intervention to prop up real-estate, bond and stock prices helps make their case.

September 12, 2008 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

The Walking Bus – Recess Before School

 

Until last spring, Nia Parker and the other kids in her neighborhood who attend West Boulevard Elementary in Columbia, Mo., commuted to school on Bus 59. But as fuel costs have risen (diesel is up 34% in the past 2 years), the Columbia school district has needed to find a way to cut its transportation costs. So the school’s busing company redrew its route map, eliminating Nia’s bus altogether. Instead, Nia and her neighbors travel the half mile to school via a “walking school bus”—a group of kids, supervised by an adult or two, who make the trek together. “It’s healthier for them to walk,” says Melissa Clark, Nia’s mom, who approves of the change.

Many parents are delighted to see their kids walking to school, partly because many did so themselves: in 1969, according to the National Household Travel Survey, nearly half of schoolkids walked or biked to school, compared with only 16 percent in 2001. Modern parents have been leery of letting kids walk to school for fear of traffic, crime or simple bullying, but with organized adult supervision, those concerns have diminished. “Parents are buying into it more and more,” says Susan Haynes, principal at Van Derveer Elementary in Somerville, N.J., which cut all its home-to-school transportation. Some kids like this change, too. “It’s like recess before school,” says Price Phillips, 9, who walks to school in Columbia, Mo., this year.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/157579?gt1=43002

September 12, 2008 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Whitlock is awesome

It’s not a coincidence that McNabb comes from a supportive, two-parent household.

I raise the issue to point out that in modern professional sports — with the astronomical players’ salaries — ownership and management examine the upbringing of the athletes and factor that into their decision-making.

It’s not about color. It’s about fitting the profile of someone who can handle all that goes along with being an NFL quarterback. If I’m an owner, I spend my quarterback dollars on young men who were raised by strong fathers. It wouldn’t be an infallible system, but on average I bet I’d hit more winners than if I turned over the leadership of my team to a kid who isn’t used to having a strong male authority figure.

September 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

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