Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Because it can't be all gimmicks all the time.
The republicans got their asses handed to them. They are blaming it on three ugly black dudes standing outside a Philadelphia polling place intimidiationg old white ladies but, in actuality, that had little if anything to do with their resounding FAIL.
Thank you, Sarah Palin.
Thank you, Joe the Plumber.
Thank you, George W. Bush
Thank you, Fox News.
People are so sick and tired of the same divisive horse manure, lack of substance and vicious lies.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
(Image from the wonderful nerve.com. I've been on there all morning because they effing rock)
My stomach is in knots. I am so excited and unless they cheat AGAIN, this is for history.
Today is a momentous day anyway because of some weird Saturn Uranus opposition. Saturn (the old) fights Uranus (the new, the avant garde, the Change) above and below.
This just in...
Historically, exit polls have been used as a gauge of the validity of an election. In 2004, for the first time in history, exit polling was invalidated as an institution because they failed to support the Bush "victory".
I went to Drudgereport.com to see what's up with those freaks and found this:
McCAIN CAMPAIGN MEMO: READING THE EXIT POLLS
BILL McINTURFF, INTERNAL POLLSTER
Mon Nov 03 2008 16:53:14 ET
As we have seen in previous election cycles, the exit poll results do leak early and that ends up influencing the coverage of the race before even the first state polls close at 6:00 PM Eastern.
However, we want to remind the campaign that the media’s own post-election study of the exit polls in 2004 showed that the exit polls overstate the Democratic candidate’s support. Therefore, we would discourage a rush to judgment based on the exit polls and wait until there has been a representative sampling of actual tabulated results from a variety of counties and precincts in a state.
Here are the key points to keep in mind when the exit poll data starts being leaked:
1. Historically, exit polls have tended to overstate the Democratic vote.
2. The exit polls are likely to overstate the Obama vote because Obama voters are more likely to participate in the exit poll.
3. The exit polls have tended to skew most Democratic in years where there is high turnout and high vote interest like in 1992 and 2004.
4. It is not just the national exit poll that skews Democratic, but each of the state exit polls also suffers from the same Democratic leanings.
5. The results of the exit polls are also influenced by the demographics of the voters who conduct the exit polls.
After the 2004 election, the National Election Pool completed a study investigating why the exit polls that year showed John Kerry over performing 5.5 net points better than the actual results showed him to have done. Their conclusion was that the primary reason the exit polls was that Kerry voters and Democrats were more likely to participate in the exit polls.
“Our investigation of the differences between the exit poll estimates and the actual vote count point to one primary reason: in a number of precincts a higher than average Within Precinct Error most likely due to Kerry voters participating in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters. There has been partisan overstatements in previous elections, more often overstating the Democrat, but occasionally overstating the Republican.
I am really wary of these kind of things because its like they are setting up to steal it again.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Pluto travels into Capricorn November 28, 2008 and stays there for 16 years. I have been reading alot about this transition and while I agree with some of the basic ideas:
* "Pluto's reach will extend beyond governments, however. Capricorn also rules the elderly and end of life issues, and Pluto's passage through Capricorn could transform the way we view the entire process of death and dying, including the disposal of the body after death."
* "The recession, the major shifts in corporate power, modern slavery - all coming as the inevitable result of Pluto entering Capricorn."
* "The exporting of jobs overseas in the Pluto in Sagittarius era has empowered Asia, and there may be little the outdated institutions of Europe and America can do about this. Pluto in Capricorn will initiate a painful transformation of Western business structures. Business will move east, and power concentrated in an international elite who owe allegiance to no one nation."
I think the fundamental failure to truly understand "Capricorn" energy in turn skews the understanding what is about to happen. I'm a Capricorn, a New Year's Baby, and I gravitate towards other Caps. I worked as a registrar in an emergency room and always made it a point to talk to other Capricorns as I registered them. None of them EVER fit the mold. None of them were ever the stuffy, rigid, gloomy, "conservative" types you read about. Capricorns are as individual as their circumstances. What I do find though is we tend to dress well, protect our loved ones, find misery in poverty and have a raunchy sense of humor.
But that's about it.
Sagittarian (sp?) Pluto bought alot of hot air posing as depth (the punditry), overlooking the minute but essential details for a "big" picture (the Patriot Act destroying the fundamentals of American freedom as a blanket tool for combating domestic terrorism) and sexual experimentation as normative (all the "gone wilds", stimulating lesbianism and "hot girl on girl action" became the norm for every buddy pic, where french kissing was once a biggie "first base", teens are now having group and anal sex as a matter of course) and globalization. We were transformed by this and no longer the same. But Capricorn learns from Sag's failings and there is a rebirth.
I think we are going to see an end to all the political BS in this era. Capricorns do so good in politics because we owe no allegiance to the prevailing way of doing things and we're above all, innovators. Barry Goldwater, Karl Rove, Nixon, Rush Limbaugh are all Capricorns who innovated the way their party does business. Those men are Right Wing Republicans but the determination to exersize their free will showed the Capricorn spirit more than the repressive hypocritical nonsense they preach. Rush Limbaugh blathers on for hours everyday about the Democrats' lack of integrity and family values- while high on Oxycontin. Karl Rove helped institute the biggest invasions of privacy and the destruction of the concept of anonymity through his work in the Bush Administration but lived himself as a regular person, in an unremarkable house in the cut somewhere. When he was targeted by some kind of crazy immigration group, they went right to his house and banged on his windows. One of the most hated people in America and he had no gates, no security around his property, probably because he didn't want those people in his business. I would be very surprised if Karl Rove walks around with a security team, even now.
We're going to see the death of many religions and philosophies too, as they don't produce results and call for a blind faith that Capricorn energy doesn't support. The Laws of Attraction and the Secret and all of that nonsense will go the way of the mood ring as hard work and practical efforts in search of tangible results make a return. Capricorns are superstitious and spiritual in our own way but we find that way looking at what works for us. Religions and philosophies that don't work won't survive this era.
We're going to see the end of the police state too, as Capricorn is very private and will not stand for the intrusion. Some disagree with me on this. They cite the relation between Pluto (investigative and probing) and Saturn (government and institutions) and say that will foster the gov't doing more probing and investigation. However, when I look at how during George Bush's time in office, we weren't even able to ascertain if he'd served during Vietnam for all the spin, all the secrecy surrounding election fraud in both elections; the gov't using private industry to compile citizens' information while sealing public records and declaring state property their own, a la Guiliani; media complicity in intrusion after violation after assault after assault on the Constitution, I can't help but contrast it to now and the dissection of the candidates lives and corporate & governmental scandals in the New Media. People are in a different place now.
We're going to see a return of Mom and Pop and other "family" businesses. The coming finacial contraction will impact BIG business hard because there will be a return to cash (for privacy and frugality - you don't spend cash the way you charge and Saturn will put an end to Jupiter's sprees) and people will make smaller purchases and expect them to last. Cheap, flashy things and the people who supply them are going to lose and lose big.
Speaking of family, we are going to see a return to the Father as the head of household. That's controversial, I know. We're going to see the return of clans and nepotism as the way of doing business. And the resurgence of dynasties.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Disappointed that her party was unable to whip up an October Surprise while Obama was off the campaign trail visiting his sick grandma, College Republican Ashley Todd decided to take matters into her own hands. She made up a story, sensationalized by Matt Drudge, about being attacked by a huge black man who punched her in the face, took the $60 bucks she had in her hand and then followed her back to her car where, upon seeing her "I Heart John McCain" (and Crack Cocaine!) bumper sticker, said black beast pulled his dick out and beat her unconscious with it and then carved a B for "Black Power", "Barack Obama", "by any means necessary", "Booyah!", or possibly "Bitch, if you tell on me...", on her face.
The jokes write themselves.
Here's the fatty being hauled off to jail:
But - before it was "exposed" as a hoax, the story on Drudgereport had both McCain and Palin calling this chick to tell her to stand strong, they were One (in their hatred of the poor, women and paying taxes back into the society that enriched them) with her and they'd make sure that Black Bastard didn't have the last laugh by using her story to rally their base by stoking racial hatred until election day. Or something to that effect.
The real question here though is what is it about being a College Republican that makes a motherfucker so evil and filled with hate?
It's getting ugly out there
A McCain staffer was assaulted last night in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Police are investigating a report by a campaign staffer for John McCain that she was mugged and the letter B was cut into her face following a robbery in Bloomfield last night.
Police say the 20-year-old woman, who is from Texas, reported that the attack occurred after she withdrew money from an ATM at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street.
She said a man armed with a knife demanded her money. She gave it to him and began walking toward her car, which has McCain stickers.
Although the robber had moved away from her, he became agitated when he saw her car, punched her in the back of the head, pushed her to the ground and carved a B into her face, she reported.
Police said the woman declined medical treatment at the scene.
UPDATE: A McCain aide says that both the McCain and Palin have called the family of the victim.
As an aside, Scott McClellan, aka "Evil George Costanza" came out and backed Obama. I don't know if he did it for laughs or to try and take a jab at Bush or if he was hoping to discredit Obama with his endorsement but WTF?
McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of "Carved B" Story Before Facts Were Known
John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.
John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."
Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.
The KDKA reporter had called McCain's campaign office for details after seeing the story -- sans details -- teased on Drudge.
The McCain spokesperson's claims -- which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world -- is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.
The claims to KDKA from the McCain campaign were included in an early story that ran late yesterday on KDKA's Web site. The paragraphs containing these assertions were quickly removed from the story after the Obama campaign privately complained that KDKA was letting the McCain campaign spin a racially-charged version of the story before the facts had been established, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
The story with the removed grafs is still right here. We preserved the three missing grafs from yesterday:
A source familiar with what happened yesterday confirmed that the unnamed spokesperson was communications director Peter Feldman. Feldman was also quoted yesterday making virtually identical assertions on the Web site of another local TV station, WPXI. But those quotes, which we also preserved here, are also no longer available on WPXI's site, for reasons that are unclear.
This is problematic because the McCain campaign doesn't want to have been perceived as pushing an incendiary story that not only turned out to be a hoax but which police officials said today risked blowing up into a "national incident" and has local police preparing to file charges against the hoaxster.
There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this.
After the story appeared on KDKA's site and this and other pieces in the local press started flying around the political world, an Obama spokesperson in the state angrily insisted to KDKA that it was irresponsible for the station to air the McCain spokesperson's incendiary version of events before the facts were fully known, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
After that, KDKA went back to McCain's Pennsylvania spokesperson, Feldman, and asked if he stood by the story as he'd earlier told it, but he started backing off the story, a source familiar with the talks says. That prompted KDKA to remove the grafs.Feldman couldn't immediately be reached, and a McCain HQ spokesperson declined to comment.
Moral of this story: Where in bleeping hell is Karl Rove when ya' need him the most?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
's practice of traveling with her daughters. It's a great way to let them see the world, to familiarize them with their government and to bond. I also love traveling and being with my daughters and if I were in her position, I would have done the same.
Not to mention, who is cuter than Piper Palin? I absolutely looove that little girl. She's such a little lady and the hairlick at the convention was the sweetest thing ever. If she grows up and is a smart, accomplished woman with a solid platform, I'll vote for her for President in a heartbeat.
So Sarah and I have (conditionally) reached a truce.
She gets to endear herself to me by genuinely being close to her daughters and allegedly having her Moon in Capricorn (like my sun) and I get to write something very nice about her for having something truly in common with me. We're both winners!
Now, she needs to not try to justify charging the state for her kids to accompany her, cut the state a check, and never do anything like that again.
Update: The RNC gave Sarah Palin $150,000 to get jiggy for the White House run and people feel like that's inappropriate in some way. I have to ask those nitpicking assholes: What was she supposed to do, wear her own clothes?
AP: Palin Children Traveled On State Funds
Governor Charged Alaska $21,012 For Kids' Travel
In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls. Several other organizers said the children merely accompanied their mother and did not participate. The trips enabled Palin, whose main state office is in the capital of Juneau, to spend more time with her children. Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business. As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters - Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 -- by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor's schedule.
But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend. "She said any event she can take her kids to is an event she tries to attend," said Jennifer McCarthy, who helped organize the June 2007 Family Day Celebration picnic in Ketchikan that Piper attended with her parents. State Finance Director Kim Garnero told The Associated Press she has not reviewed the Palins' travel expense forms, so she could not say whether the daughters' travel with their mother would meet the definition of official business. On Aug. 6, three weeks before Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate, and after Alaska reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters' travel. In the amended reports, Palin added phrases such as "First Family attending" and "First Family invited" to explain the girls' attendance.
"The governor said, 'I want the purpose and the reason for this travel to be clear,"' said Linda Perez, state director of administrative services. When Palin released her family's tax records as part of her vice presidential campaign, some tax experts questioned why she did not report the children's state travel reimbursements as income. The Palins released a review by a Washington attorney who said state law allows the children's travel expenses to be reimbursed and not taxed when they conduct official state business.
Taylor Griffin, a McCain-Palin campaign spokesman, said Palin followed state policy allowing governors to charge for their children's travel. He said the governor's office has invitations requesting the family to attend some events, but he said he did not have them to provide. In October 2007, Palin brought daughter Bristol along on a trip to New York for a women's leadership conference. Plane tickets from Anchorage to La Guardia Airport for $1,385.11 were billed to the state, records show, and mother and daughter shared a room for four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House hotel, which overlooks Central Park. The event's organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. Alexis Gelber, who organized Newsweek's Third Annual Women & Leadership Conference, said she does not know how Bristol ended up attending. Gelber said invitees usually attend alone, but some ask if they can bring a relative or friend.
Griffin, the campaign spokesman, said he believes someone with the event personally sent an e-mail to Bristol inviting her, but he did not have it to provide. Records show Palin also met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs representatives and visited the New York Stock Exchange. In January, the governor, Willow and Piper showed up at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood Buffet, an Anchorage gala to announce winners of an earlier seafood competition. "She was just there," said James Browning, executive director of Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which runs the event. Griffin said the governor's office received an invitation that was not specifically addressed to anyone. When Palin amended her children's expense reports, she listed a role for the two girls at the function -- "to draw two separate raffle tickets." In the original travel form, Palin listed a number of events that her children attended and said they were there "in official capacity helping." She did not identify any specific roles for the girls.
In July, the governor charged the state $2,741.26 to take Bristol and Piper to Philadelphia for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The girls had their own room for five nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for $215.46 a night, expense records show. Expense forms describe the girls' official purpose as "NGA Governor's Youth Programs and family activities." But those programs were activities designed to keep children busy, a service provided by the NGA to accommodate governors and their families, NGA spokeswoman Jodi Omear said. In addition to the commercial flights, the children have traveled dozens of times with Palin on a state plane. For these flights, the total cost of operating the plane, at $971 an hour, was about $55,000, according to state flight logs. The cost of operating the state plane does not increase when the children join their mother.
The organizer of an American Heart Association luncheon on Feb. 15 in Fairbanks said Palin asked to bring daughter Piper to the event, and the organizer said she was surprised when Palin showed up with daughters Willow and Bristol as well. The three Palin daughters shared a room separate from their mother at the Princess Lodge in Fairbanks for two nights, at a cost to the state of $129 per night. The luncheon took place before Palin's husband, Todd, finished fourth in the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race, also in Fairbanks. The family greeted him at the finish line. When Palin showed up at the luncheon with not just Piper but also Willow and Bristol, organizers had to scramble to make room at the main table, said Janet Bartels, who set up the event. "When it's the governor, you just make it happen," she said. The state is already reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for more than 300 nights she slept at her own home, 40 miles from her satellite office in Anchorage.
Tony Knowles, a Democratic former governor of Alaska who lost to Palin in a 2006 bid to reclaim the job, said he never charged the state for his three children's commercial flights or claimed their travel as official state business. Knowles, who was governor from 1994 to 2002, is the only other recent Alaska governor who had school-age children while in office. "There was no valid reason for the children to be along on state business," said Knowles, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. "I cannot recall any instance during my eight years as governor where it would have been appropriate to claim they performed state business."
Knowles said he brought his children to one NGA event while in office but didn't charge the state for their trip. In February 2007, the three girls flew from Juneau to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines. Palin charged the state for the $519.30 round-trip ticket for each girl, and noted on the expense form that the daughters accompanied her to "open the start of the Iron Dog race." The children and their mother then watched as Todd Palin and other racers started the competition, which Todd won that year. Palin later had the relevant expense forms changed to describe the girls' business as "First Family official starter for the start of the Iron Dog race." The Palins began charging the state for commercial flights after the governor kept a 2006 campaign promise to sell a jet bought by her predecessor. Palin put the jet up for sale on eBay, a move she later trumpeted in her star-making speech at the Republican National Convention, and it was ultimately sold by the state at a loss. That left only one high-performance aircraft deemed safe enough for her to use -- a 1980 twin-engine King Air assigned to the public safety agency but, according to flight logs, out of service for maintenance and repairs about a third of the time Palin has been governor.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Obama's a Hypnotist, John McCain Did Very Well in the Debate, Sarah Palin Inspires People and Other Things You MUST Believe
But alas! Not so fast.
The bailout was signed into law a week later. Sucks to be us because we're each on the hook, every man, woman and American child for about $8,000 now, with no guarantees of ever seeing that money again.
Moving on, McCain and Obama debated two more times. Actually, debate is not really the word. Obama was tasked with presenting: presenting his tax plan, presenting explanations for his relationships with various people, presenting his credentials for having the audacity to be running for president. McCain was there for a performance:
"Ultimately, it seems unlikely that McCain cut into Obama's lead through this performance. And Obama may have taken another small step towards making Americans comfortable with the prospect of his presidency."
Charlie Black on McCain's Performance
Global Media: McCain Put On His Best Performance, But Obama Still Wins The Debate
McCain's performance mixed in crucial debate
I don't know why it was a performance for McCain or why the bar has been set at that point but Obama won the debates- all of them.
Probably because he's a hypnotist. Dead serious. I'm linking the article because I got it from rense.com which is a weird 9/11 truth, Bush conspiracy theories, but still republican website. with a big following. I read the article and all I could think was "not so much". The reason people are voting for Obama is because he's a fresh face and comes across as a thinker as a opposed to a brash, warmongering idiot like Bush- Bush the republican from McCain's party who he's side by side with on 90% of the issues and who electing McCain president would be like giving a third term.
People are voting for Obama because McCain does not look healthy and Palin as president would be like not having a president. At all. Speaking of her, the hype has died down a little bit and the media even is recognizing that they really wigged the fuck out trying to pretend she won the debate with Biden. Her core constituency, fat white women who wished they looked like her, are still firmly in her corner but after bombing every speaking engagement and the fake folksy "you betcha doggonit" crock o' doodoo, and inciting rednecks and racists at her rallies to where people were like they are endangering Obama's life, she's done. She is going to appear on SNL tonight- as herself.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Good things have happened!
The Bailout is dead. Ding, dong the bailout is dead!
And the only reason is because I started blogging again. In 2003, 2004,5,6 and 7, not only would that shit have passed, the Republicans would have torn to shreds any Democrat trying to oppose this thievery and Sean Hannity and Bill and Rush would have danced on their graves for eighteen hours everyday talking shit about them to prove that Bush could do whatever he likes, as he's been doing. Which is why Bush put in one his standard The Hell With the Rule of Law Provisions:
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.Something like a pimp!
Mess around 2002-2007, he'da signed this into law overnight, released a one paragraph blurb to the media the next day and kept it moving. But its a new day. I'm on the case and they are afraid, very afraid. Too bad I didn't start blogging in time to help Ron Paul win.
WOLF BLITZER ("Late Edition" host): What do you say to the president who wants you and your fellow Republicans and Democrats to quickly pass this $700 billion bailout package?
PAUL: Well, I think that's a mistake because we don't have the money. But that doesn't mean you have to do nothing. I mean, we could reform the system. We could return to sound money. We could balance our budget. We could change our foreign policy. We could take care of our people at home. We could lower taxes.
There's a lot of things that we can do. But the worst thing that we can do is perpetuate the bad policies that gave us this trouble in the first place, and that is that we no longer, over the last quite a few decades, believed in free-market capitalism. Capital is supposed to come from savings. We're supposed to work hard and save.
As a matter of fact, the Chinese work hard, right now, and they save, and they're buying up the world. But we borrow and spend and consume, and now it's caught up to us and it's undermining our whole system. ... So this $700 billion is not going to do it.
Paul also argued that ...
... contrary to the White House's contention, this plan does not help Main Street.
"This is Wall Street in big trouble and sucking in Main Street, now, and dumping all the bills on Main Street. ... And you can't solve the problem of inflation, which is the creation of money and credit out of thin air, by more money and credit out of thin air, and not changing policy. We have to change basic policy.
"Yes, it would be painful, but it wouldn't last so long. What they're doing now, they're propping up a failed system so the agony lasts longer. They're doing exactly what we did in the Depression."
"So, yes, there are going to be losses, but everybody lived beyond their means when the prices of houses were going up. Nobody cared about it. They kept borrowing against it. Oh, yes, that was fine and dandy. Everybody was making money, and the owner of the home kept borrowing and living beyond their means. Now they have to live beneath their means.
"What the government is doing now -- and this new program is trying to prop up prices. You want the price structure to adjust. You want the price of houses to go down. You don't want to fix the price of housing. You can't price-fix. We've had too much of that.
"We need a market economy. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to believe and understand how the economy got us -- how the government got us into this mess. And believe me, it wouldn't be that tough. It would be a bad year. But, this way, it's going to be a bad decade."
Paul had nothing but disdain for Republican presidential nominee John McCain's suggestion to create a new government entity to deal with the crisis, calling it "just more of the same, more government, more programs, more spending, more regulations, trying to prop up a system that has been undermined."
He did say that Democratic candidate Barack Obama "has a pretty good grasp on how to attack this politically and go after McCain, but he doesn't have any answer. He's not talking about the Federal Reserve system. He's not talking about balanced budgets. He's not talking about bringing troops home from Afghanistan."
And, as Paul has said before, his choice for president will be "neither one of those two. They don't offer any alternatives."
Monday, September 22, 2008
(Just a quick post because I have work tomorrow but this must be chronicled before it is Whirled Dervishly.)
The Trillion Dollar Wall Street Bailout Bummer of '08 is 100% George Bush's. He started early with that "bipartisan" shit so he could pin it on the Democrats ultimately but rest assured, this was his idea to fix the mess caused by his party's irresponsible, trifling and unrealistic financial model.
Bush pushes quick bailout bill passage
Doubts grow over US bank rescue plan
September 23, 2008 07:39am
The plan would allow the US Treasury to sell new debt to purchase the vast amounts of mortgage securities and other "toxic'' assets that have caused a freezeup of the financia
Markets welcomed the announcement of the plan last week, but analysts say the sobering reality may make it highly complex to implement. Some critics say it gives unparalleled authority to the government in the finance system.
The plan is "three pages long'' and "asks for a staggering sum of money with wide-ranging powers to buy the broadest amount of mortgage-related securities with a minimal of oversight,'' said Andrew Busch at BMO Capital Markets.
"This is a huge leap of faith and I suspect that leaders of Congress and the presidential candidates will urge caution or act cautiously.''
One key question is how the government will value the dodgy mortgage-backed paper that the banking
system refuses to buy.
"The Treasury did not provide much detail on how the assets will be priced, other than through market mechanisms where possible,'' said economist Brian Bethune at Global Insight.
"We expect discounts on asset transactions will be anywhere from 20 per cent to 80 per cent, depending on the quality of the assets or the asset package involved.''
Some analysts point out that if The Treasury pays fair value -- Merrill Lynch, for example, sold some of its distressed securities for 22 cents on the dollar -- it could create fresh losses for banks and lead to more failures.
Mark Zandi at Economy.com said the idea was positive but may be hard to implement.
"In practice, a reverse auction for mortgage assets may be tricky to pull off,'' he said. "Auctioning mortgage-backed securities could prove especially problematic, since each security is so idiosyncratic.''
Beyond the technical questions, the plan dubbed by some as "the mother of all bailouts'' has raised hackles among some who fear it gives too much power to the government in the financial markets, especially with a clause providing immunity from lawsuits.
Robert Brusca at FAO Economics said the bailout plan "really isn't a plan and may not bail anything out ... The crux of it seems to be to dump the losses on taxpayers.'
"It gives the Treasury imperial power with respect to a simply huge amount of funds,'' said Yves Smith, a financial analyst with the website Naked Capitalism. "Thi
s is a financial coup d'etat, with the only limitation the 700-billion-dollar balance sheet figure.''
Some lawmakers also were sceptical about the carte blanche authority the proposal would give the government.
Texas Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling said lawmakers should carefully study options before approving the plan.
"Congress is being asked to support an uncertain entity, costing an uncertain amount of dollars, for an uncertain duration,'' he said.
"My fear is that taxpayers will be left with the mother of all debts, the federal government becomes the lender and guarantor of last resort, and our nation finds itself on the slippery slope to socialism.''
Despite the protests, many expect the plan to be approved to help stave off a further meltdown of the financial system with dire economic consequences.
"We were on the edge of the abyss last week,'' said Ed Yardeni at Yardeni Research."The question is whether so much government intervention will avert the most dreaded consequences of Wall Street's excesses, namely a financial meltdown and an economic depression .... The answer, I think is that it will work, and that the economy should grow next year.''
Oil price jumps $25 in a day
By Javier Blas and Chris Flood in London
Published: September 22 2008 21:15 | Last updated: September 22 2008 23:05
Crude oil prices jumped $25 a barrel on Monday – the largest one-day rise – as financial investors betting on falling oil prices were forced to cover their positions ahead of the expi
ry of the current benchmark futures contract.
eaker supplies from Mexico, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks and surging imports by China.
But don't worry, there's still cookies and punch for all in the waiting room. And eye makeup. Lots of eye makeup...
And cake...of course!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
that the Republican economic platform (no taxes, no regulations, corporate welfare, no safety nets for real Americans while lavishly splurging on endless wars) simply cannot work, the right wing spin machine found itself whirling dervishly while the stock market crashed and major Wall Street players, such as Lehman Brothers went belly-up.
I realized in about 2003 that the housing sector was the only thing holding up the Bush economy. We were spending billions a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were no real jobs, all of the manufacturing and entry level jobs had been outsourced to China and India and all of the spending was fueled by credit and home equity lines.
The housing "boom" saw house prices skyrocket from the $100k-$300k range in most neighborhoods in New York City to $400k-infinity, almost overnight. "New Construction" (while lacking insulation and adding to the stress on the supposedly overburdened power grid) sprang up like weeds, overnight on every block in the city. All of a sudden rehabbed crackhouses in East New York, Bushwick, East Flatbush and Jamaica were being sold for $500,000 and $600,000.
And how to afford these overpriced, uninsulated and shoddily built "cribs"?
Why- with no credit check, no money down, no income verification, and no collateral based loans of course!
No more of the whole messy process: verifying you work, pay your bills and can afford to be on the hook for half to three quarters of a million dollars, for what?!!! And actually appraising this house to make sure its worth half to three quarters of a million dollars? Thanks to de-regulation, no need, for the market has taken care of that! If someone is willing to pay half to three quarters of a million dollars in the "free market", then obviously that means the house is worth half to three quarters of a million dollars! Duh!!!
Throughout all of the years proceeding the housing bubble bust, all of the talking heads went to extraordinary lengths to convince the America people this could and would last forever:
No housing bubble trouble
Despite relentless growth in home prices and housing demand, economists still don't see a bubble.
February 19, 2003: 4:39 PM EST
By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money Staff Writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The American appetite for habitation grew even stronger -- impossible as that seems -- in January, the government said Wednesday, renewing concerns that the U.S. housing market is in a dangerous bubble, like stocks in the 1990s.
Don't bet on it, economists say.
New home construction starts rose in January to an annual pace of 1.85 million units, the fastest pace in 16 years, according to a Commerce Department report, confounding economists' expectations for a decline.
Though the number of construction permits issued for new housing -- a leading indicator for the market -- fell, all of that weakness was in multi-family housing. Permits for single-family units, which make up about 80 percent of the housing construction market, rose 0.3 percent.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors said the median home price jumped 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the biggest gain in more than 20 years.
While the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said its index of builder optimism dipped a bit in early February, it still is at historically high levels, despite the kind of frigid weather in the eastern United States that ordinarily dampens construction activity.
"It would be tough to maintain the super-strong building pace recorded for the past several months," said NAHB President Kent Conine, a Dallas homebuilder. "But the market fundamentals remain solid, and the current level of builder optimism regarding the single-family segment reflects that."
The biggest "market fundamental" in housing is mortgage rates at or near record lows. For several months, low rates have encouraged more home-buying, driving up demand for homes and pushing prices ever higher.
The housing market has, in fact, been one of the lone bright spots of an otherwise dreary economy. Higher home values have made homeowners feel wealthier, encouraging consumer spending, which makes up more than two-thirds of the total U.S. economy.
Low rates also have encouraged a frenzy of refinancing, which has allowed homeowners to lower their monthly payments and tap into their swelling home equity.
Meanwhile, corporate scandals and an agonizingly long bear market in stock prices have made home ownership even more attractive -- a house can't lie about quarterly earnings, and even if its value falls, at least you can live in it.
"As the equity market melted down, interest rates came down, and the housing sector has continued to thrive while the business sector has gone through hell -- and homes have to be filled up with goods, once they're bought," said Rory Robertson, interest rate strategist at Macquarie Equities USA.
Housing has been so relentlessly strong for so long that some observers occasionally fret that the market is artificially strong, that prices are due to suddenly collapse, crushing consumer confidence.
But people have been wondering about a "housing bubble" since early 2001, and it hasn't popped yet.
For one thing, housing, like politics, is always local. There are some parts of the country -- Sacramento, we're looking at you -- where bubbles seem to have formed, with prices rising higher than the market apparently can support.
But on a national level, economists believe the supply of available housing is low enough to keep demand strong and keep prices from falling suddenly.
"1.85 million new homes being built per year in a population of 290 million and growing doesn't seem to be outrageous," Robertson said.
Economists warn that the housing market should slow down when interest rates start to rise, but that's not expected to happen for quite some time -- not until the situation in Iraq is cleared up, at the very earliest.
And the only thing that's going to bring interest rates up significantly in the short term is stronger economic activity, anyway, which will offset a good bit of the damage to the housing sector.
"If we're in a situation where rates are higher because the economy's great, the housing market is going to be last thing I'll be worried about," said Brown Brothers Harriman economist Lara Rhame, a former Fed economist.
For the most part, economists expect a gradual slowdown in the housing market through 2003 -- the National Association of Realtors, for example, thinks home-price growth will slow to 3.0 percent by the fourth quarter.
But one thing's for certain: the housing sector can't be the horse that pulls the world's biggest economy forever, especially if labor market weakness continues -- people have a hard time making mortgage payments when they don't have jobs.
And there's more, this time quoting Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan:
Media Myths: The Housing Bubble Is Bursting
A Bubble?: Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has denied the existence of a national housing bubble for several years, but the media have used the term repeatedly.
Media claims about a “housing bubble” are nothing new. Since before the 9/11 terror attacks, the media have been calling the housing market a “bubble” while predicting an imminent, devastating decline. Not only have they been wrong in forecasting such a top, they have thoroughly mischaracterized what an investment bubble is. Now that the market for homes has finally slowed a bit, the media are declaring the bubble has burst.
Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan even was asked about this subject during his July 17 testimony before Congress. “We’ve looked at the bubble question, and we’ve concluded that it is most unlikely, mainly because, one, we have a very diverse real estate market throughout the country,” Greenspan said.
But then just when it was all starting to make sense,
In the wake of the subprime mortgage and credit crisis in 2007, Greenspan admitted that there was a bubble in the US housing market, warning in 2007 of "large double digit declines" in home values "larger than most people expect." However, Greenspan also noted, “I really didn't get it until very late in 2005 and 2006.”Greenspan admitted that the housing bubble was “fundamentally engendered by the decline in real long-term interest rates”, though he also claims that long-term interest rates are beyond the control of central banks because "the market value of global long-term securities is approaching $100 trillion" and thus these and other asset markets are large enough that they "now swamp the resources of central banks."[31
Naturally, the bubble burst and people started going into foreclosure in record numbers.
Mortgage delinquency, foreclosure rates soar
Mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates soared nationally in the first quarter from the comparable 2007 period, with 89 percent of the increase coming in already hard-hit California, Florida and Nevada.
The Mortgage Bankers Association Delinquency Survey, which covers 45.2 million first-lien mortgages on one- to four-unit residential properties, showed that the delinquency rate rose to 6.35 percent of all loans in the 2008 quarter, from 4.84 percent of all loans in the first quarter of 2007.
What this means in numbers is that of the nation's 45.2 million mortgages, 287,172 were at least one payment behind. A year ago, when there were 43.9 million loans, the comparable number was 212,476 loans.
The 30-year delinquency rate is still below levels seen as recently as 2002, the association said.
The percent of mortgages in foreclosure nationally almost doubled, to 2.47 percent from 1.28 percent, while the number of foreclosures started in the quarter was 0.99 percent of those 45.2 million mortgages, compared with 0.58 percent in the 2007 first quarter.
The rates of both were the highest since 1979, the association reported.
"The magnitude of the national increases is clearly driven by certain loan types and certain states," said Jay Brinkmann, the association's vice president for research and economics.The banks that made these shitty loans and the greedy de-regulated sons of bitches on Wall Street that backed them soon found themselves hit hard by the "Subprime Crisis":
Washington - The embattled investment bank Lehman Brothers was expected to file for bankruptcy before
the start of trading later Monday, hours after financial services firm Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America.
Negotiations throughout the weekend failed to produce a buyer for the venerable Lehman Brothers, leading to the bankruptcy plans, the Washington Post reported early Monday on its website.
In a deal announced late Sunday, Merrill Lynch & Co, a stock brokerage and investment bank, agreed to be bought out by Bank of America Corp for 50 billion dollars in stock. The takeover comes as the Lehman's troubles dragged most other financial services stocks down, too.
The Lehman collapse follows more than a year of turmoil arising from the collapse of the US housing
bubble and a high rate of mortgage defaults, which undermined Wall Street's market for mortgage-backed securities. The action was seen as a step to help calm financial markets heading into an uncertain start of trading on Monday morning in New York. Markets in Asia were already plummeting in early trading amid the worries from Wall Street. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve helped engineer the sale of another troubled investment banking firm, Bear Stearns. More recently, the federal government acted to take over the government- chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which undergird the US mortgage lending markets.
The action was seen as a step to help calm financial markets heading into an uncertain start of trading on Monday morning in New York. Markets in Asia were already plummeting in early trading amid the worries from Wall Street.
Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve helped engineer the sale of another troubled investment banking firm, Bear Stearns. More recently, the federal government acted to take over the government- chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which undergird the US mortgage lending markets.
And now, although the entire crisis happened on Bush's watch and was fueled by his economic policies... John "The Reformer" McCain has come out swinging. In addressing the chaos on Wall Street, he "laid into Obama, accusing him of taking campaign cash and counsel from some of the big-business architects of the crisis.
“Senator Obama may be taking their advice and he may be taking their money, but in a McCain-Palin administration, there will be no seat for these people at the policy-making table,” McCain said of his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
“This is the problem with Washington, people like Senator Obama have been too busy gaming the system and haven’t ever done a thing to actually challenge the system,” he said i
n the battleground state of Wisconsin.
“Maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems."
When Obama recovered from the stupor induced by that absolutely crazy ass statement, he responded: "“his big solution to this worldwide economic crisis was to blame me for it.”
“This is a guy who’s spent nearly three decades in Washington. After spending the entire campaign saying I haven’t been in Washington long enough, he apparently now is willing to assign me responsibility for all of Washington’s failings,” he said.
“I think it’s pretty clear that Senator McCain is a little panicked right now. At this point he seems to be willing to say anything, or do anything, or change any position, or violate any principle to try and win this election.”
The right wing has been blaming all of this the whole time on the greedy home buyers who
wanted more house than they deserved:
Subprime Borrowers: Not Innocents
Consumers who took out adjustable-rate home loans they now can’t repay are primarily to blame for the subprime mortgage crisisby Eli Lehrer, Competitive Enterprise Institute
A simple look at the blunt reality reveals that borrowers themselves should assume primary responsibility for the current subprime crisis. Millions of borrowers, all over the country, knowingly signed mortgage
contracts they cannot now afford to honor.
Provided that lenders did not engage in force or fraud—and there’s no particular evidence they did so on a large scale—borrowers should do whatever they can to live up to the contracts they signed. The policies of lenders and government certainly helped the current crisis develop—but ultimately, do not absolve borrowers of responsibility for their debts.
And in most cases, the mortgage lenders not only are innocent of the predatory practices borrowers complain about but also are feeling the pain right along with them. These lenders do not revel in the current circumstances. A lender typically loses about a third of its loan value through foreclosure; thus, no lender (or mortgage-backed securities marketer) has an incentive to make or purchase a loan
it genuinely believes a borrower cannot pay.
With a very few exceptions, lenders have no desire to serve as landlords or take away people’s homes: A foreclosure causes almost as many problems for the lender as it does for the borrower. True predatory
lenders, who engage in fraud or make loans they know borrowers cannot pay, inevitably end up in either jails or unemployment lines.
The government played some role in the crisis as well. Its tax system encouraged Americans to take out very large mortgages to get out of paying federal income tax. And the government’s 2005 bankruptcy reforms meant that rather than having their debts wiped clean, most middle-class Americans who file for bankruptcy have to set up five-year payment plans with creditors.
Not one of these factors, of course, mitigates the facts of the situation. Mortgage borrowers who signed legally binding contracts should have to honor those contracts, or at minimum, renegotiate terms with their lenders. Any suggestion that borrowers should avoid responsibility would undermine the fundamental principles of contract law that lie at the base of any modern capitalist economy.Had they been responsible, after being approved for the loans, the greedy homeowners would have doubled back and re-reviewed all of their financials, gone over their application again with a fine tooth comb and then made a responsible decision as to whether or not they deserved this loan. Accordingly therefore, Bush's solution to the whole fiasco is to pump $700 billion into bailing out the financial institutions and banks. He will give them almost a trillion dollars to preserve profits and operations and guarantee all those shitty loans they should have never made in the first place while leaving the irresponsible and greedy scheming home buyers to fend for themselves and pay those same companies their tax dollars are bailing out.
President Bush acknowledged that the program will put a "significant amount of taxpayers' money on
the line," but said that not acting would be riskier.
The Bush proposal that would dole out huge sums of money to Wall Street firms and bankers is a mere three pages in length and fails to specify which institutions would qualify or say what — if anything — taxpayers would get in return.
"It's a rather brief bill with a lot of money," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the Banking Comm
ittee chairman. "We understand the importance of the anticipation in the markets, but we also know that what we're doing is going to have consequences for decades to come. There's not a second act to this — we've got to get this right."And the same people who can't understand why the liberals just can't let the market work, well , they've put a freeze on selling at a loss to prevent people from taking their bleeping money and running.
By THOMAS LEE, Star Tribune
September 19, 2008
In a dramatic move to protect the beleaguered financial services industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday that it is temporarily banning short sales of nearly 800 stocks, including Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, Ameriprise Financial Inc. and Piper Jaffray Companies.
Short-selling -- in which traders profit when a stock price goes down -- has long had a legitimate place in the stock market. But critics accuse short-sellers of hastening the recent failures of investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.
"Unbridled short-selling is contributing to the recent, sudden price declines in the securities of financial institutions unrelated to true price valuations," according to an SEC statement. "Financial institutions are particularly vulnerable to the crisis of confidence and panic selling."
Financial firms have been particularly vulnerable, because they constantly need to replenish their pools of capital, experts say.
Widespread short-selling might push down a bank stock to the point where it can't raise money to stay afloat.
"The SEC wanted to put in some circuit breakers and give the industry some time and breathing space," said Felix Meschke, a professor of finance at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.Unless it is extended, the SEC ban will run through Oct. 2.
This is far from over. The corporate media has the story ending at the bailout. There will be no connection made to the economic connections of the next years and this massive p umping of taxpayer money into private industry. There is no question of where this money is coming from while we are in a recession and battling massive deficits. And actually, none of that really matters. As long as we can eat cake...