Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Palin, Now Kennedy, Who Next Mickey!

I was critical of the Republi-cons for nominating Palin. (See previous posts, including those under the label 2008 Election.) Caroline Kennedy has not proven she is, you know, qualified to be a U.S. Senator. She should not, you know, be appointed to replace Hillary Clinton.

Politics has become a popularity contest, you know. No wonder the country is having problems.

UPDATE: Read this great article, Washington Post, The U.S. House Of Lords, that discusses some of the problems with nepotism in U.S. politics today.

See also, Washington Post, Caroline Kennedy Is No Sarah Palin, where Kathleen Parker (you remember her don't ya) says that the "real rub is that she hasn't earned it. The sense of entitlement implicit in Kennedy's plea for appointment mocks our national narrative."

Was Wall Street Just a Ponzi Scheme?

Bernard Madoff has admitted that his so-called hedge fund was just a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. But was what occurred on Wall Street over the last decade or two any different? One influential columnist, Thomas Friedman, thinks not and wrote:

"I have no sympathy for Madoff. But the fact is, his alleged Ponzi scheme was only slightly more outrageous than the “legal” scheme that Wall Street was running, fueled by cheap credit, low standards and high greed. What do you call giving a worker who makes only $14,000 a year a nothing-down and nothing-to-pay-for-two-years mortgage to buy a $750,000 home, and then bundling that mortgage with 100 others into bonds — which Moody’s or Standard & Poors rate AAA — and then selling them to banks and pension funds the world over? That is what our financial industry was doing. If that isn’t a pyramid scheme, what is?

Far from being built on best practices, this legal Ponzi scheme was built on the mortgage brokers, bond bundlers, rating agencies, bond sellers and homeowners all working on the I.B.G. principle: “I’ll be gone” when the payments come due or the mortgage has to be renegotiated."

Read The New York Times, The Great Unraveling. (If you want details, read The New York Times series titled The Reckoning.)

You might remember that I said more than a week before the Madoff scandal was made public that financial institutions might have been an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

So why does the government keep trying to prop up the scheme?

UPDATE: Another New York Times columnist, and the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, compares Wall Street and the financial services industry to Madoff and Ponzi schemes, and calls it "America’s Ponzi era." Read The New York Times, The Madoff Economy.

Icing on the cake for Bush's legacy.

The Bush Dodge

The Best of Late Nite Jokes Edited by

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Looks like we’ve finally found something President Bush is good at — dodge ball.

As you know, yesterday in Iraq, President Bush was attacked by a shoe-icide bomber.

President Bush was speaking at a news conference in Iraq when a journalist threw two shoes at him. Here’s what he did to keep from being hit — something he’s never done before — he leaned to the left.

Even Bill Clinton was impressed. He is an expert at ducking shoes . . . and ashtrays . . . and lamps . . .

Late Show with David Letterman

Bush was in Baghdad at a press conference, and a reporter jumped up and started heaving shoes at him. He was screaming, “Here’s your farewell kiss, you dog.” That’s the same goodbye I got from NBC.

They arrested the guy — they’re trying to find out if he is shoenni or shoe’itte.

The guy bought the shoes at a Payless, and they didn’t even do a background check. . .

You've got to give Bush credit. I mean, the guy moved pretty quickly. ... Too bad he didn't react that way with bin Laden or Katrina, bin Laden or the mortgage crisis, bin Laden or Afghanistan, bin Laden or the Lehman Brothers.

I don't think Bush really has dodged anything like that, well, since the Vietnam War.
[From another website.]

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Yesterday at a press conference in Baghdad, an angry Iraqi threw his shoes at President Bush’s head. When he saw the shoes, President Bush said, “See? I knew you guys had weapons of mass destruction.”

The man who threw his shoes at President Bush is being hailed as a hero in Iraq. In fact, when he dies, he’ll be greeted in heaven by 72 podiatrists.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Bush has been accused of dodging issues in the past, but who knew he could actually dodge shoes?

He’s 62 years old, but he still has the reflexes of a cat. Mind you, I think his head has been on a swivel ever since Cheney shot his lawyer.

The irony of this shoe-throwing incident is, it’s as close as we’ll ever get to finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.