Friday, January 30, 2009

Show Link(s)

As discussed on today's show:

The study by the Government Accountability Office regarding the tax burden of of U.S. corporations.

Don't believe the Republi-con myths!

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


The U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, local Republi-con (temporarily) bites the dust, more problems for the park, can you be arrested for disciplining your kid, and change in Pensacola; and

The economic mess left by the Republi-cons and the proposed stimulus plan, foobish taxpayers and banker girlfriends, Superbowl cookouts, and should a woman with six children take fertility medication.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

To Support the Stimulus Plan or Not?

To support the stimulus plan or not, that this the question. In deciding whether to support the stimulus plan, it is worth remembering what Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, once said:

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."from The Fatal Conceit

Adam Smith also said something worth considering:

"The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder." from The Theory of Moral Sentiments

But under the circumstances, the question should not be support the plan or not, something must be done. The question should be: Got any better ideas?

And of course, in deciding the solution, it helps to understand the problem. Read The New York Times, Six Errors on the Path to the Financial Crisis. According the writer, the six error, in chronologically order, omitting mistakes that became clear only in hindsight, and limiting to those where prominent voices advocated a different course at the time, were:

"WILD DERIVATIVES In 1998, when Brooksley E. Born, then chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, sought to extend its regulatory reach into the derivatives world, top officials of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission squelched the idea. While her specific plan may not have been ideal, does anyone doubt that the financial turmoil would have been less severe if derivatives trading had acquired a zookeeper a decade ago?

SKY-HIGH LEVERAGE The second error came in 2004, when the S.E.C. let securities firms raise their leverage sharply. Before then, leverage of 12 to 1 was typical; afterward, it shot up to more like 33 to 1. What were the S.E.C. and the heads of the firms thinking? Remember, under 33-to-1 leverage, a mere 3 percent decline in asset values wipes out a company. Had leverage stayed at 12 to 1, these firms wouldn’t have grown as big or been as fragile.

A SUBPRIME SURGE The next error came in stages, from 2004 to 2007, as subprime lending grew from a small corner of the mortgage market into a large, dangerous one. Lending standards fell disgracefully, and dubious transactions became common. Why wasn’t this insanity stopped? There are two answers, and each holds a lesson. One is that bank regulators were asleep at the switch. Entranced by laissez faire-y tales, they ignored warnings from those like Edward M. Gramlich, then a Fed governor, who saw the problem brewing years before the fall. The other answer is that many of the worst subprime mortgages originated outside the banking system, beyond the reach of any federal regulator. That regulatory hole needs to be plugged.

FIDDLING ON FORECLOSURES The government’s continuing failure to do anything large and serious to limit foreclosures is tragic. The broad contours of the foreclosure tsunami were clear more than a year ago — and people like Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Sheila C. Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, were sounding alarms. Yet the Treasury and Congress fiddled while homes burned. Why? Free-market ideology, denial and an unwillingness to commit taxpayer funds all played roles. Sadly, the problem should now be much smaller than it is.

LETTING LEHMAN GO The next whopper came in September, when Lehman Brothers, unlike Bear Stearns before it, was allowed to fail. Perhaps it was a case of misjudgment by officials who deemed Lehman neither too big nor too entangled — with other financial institutions — to fail. Or perhaps they wanted to make an offering to the moral-hazard gods. Regardless, everything fell apart after Lehman. People in the market often say they can make money under any set of rules, as long as they know what they are. Coming just six months after Bear’s rescue, the Lehman decision tossed the presumed rule book out the window. If Bear was too big to fail, how could Lehman, at twice its size, not be? If Bear was too entangled to fail, why was Lehman not? After Lehman went over the cliff, no financial institution seemed safe. So lending froze, and the economy sank like a stone. It was a colossal error, and many people said so at the time.

TARP’S DETOUR The final major error is mismanagement of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bailout fund. As I wrote here last month, decisions of Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Treasury secretary, about using the TARP’s first $350 billion were an inconsistent mess. Instead of pursuing the TARP’s intended purposes, he used most of the funds to inject capital into banks — which he did poorly."

Note that with the exception of the first error, they all occurred under Bush. Senior "Clinton administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, joined by the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, and Arthur Levitt Jr., the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, issued a report that instead recommended legislation exempting many kinds of derivatives from federal oversight." Republi-con Senator Phil Gramm was only too happy to help pass, in the Republi-con-controlled Senate and House, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated credit default swaps, the real cause of this economic collapse.

And a historical not-so footnote, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act included the so-called "Enron loophole," which exempts most over-the-counter energy trades and trading on electronic energy commodity markets. The "loophole" was drafted by lobbyists for Enron working with Gramm to create a deregulated atmosphere for their new experiment, "Enron On-line." You might also recall that Gramm's wife, Wendy Lee Gramm, was on the board of directors of Enron when it collapsed.

So remember this as you listen to the newly self-righteous Republi-cons praise the false gods of less taxes and less government, they are largely responsible for the mess, they have no, zero, zilch, nadda credibility with me, and I haven't heard a better idea from them yet. Have you?

UPDATE: Here's a hint for the clueless Republi-cons, how about a stimulus plan that is timely, targeted, and temporary. Read The New York Times, Cleaner and Faster. The writer makes a good argument that the Naive-crats have created a stimulus package that is a sprawling, undisciplined smorgasbord. (What else would you expect from Naive-ocrats?) By trying to do everything all it once, the bill does nothing well. "This recession is scary and complicated. It’s insane to try to tackle it and dozens of other complicated problems, all in one piece of legislation. Leadership involves prioritizing. Those who try to do everything at once will end up with a sprawling, lobbyist-driven mess that does nothing well."

Bravo, bravo, if this man paid his taxes correctly, make him co-Treasury Secretary.

So repeat after me:

The stimulus package should be timely, targeted, and temporary. Instead, it is a sprawling, undisciplined smorgasbord of pent-up partisan fantasies, therefore I will not support it.

Simple, not too many words for the Republi-con faithful. It would be a winner in today's attention challenged world don't ya think.

P.S. Somebody should pay me for this, I prefer gold until further notice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taxpayers are Foobs

Citiboobs, formerly known as Citigroup, loses $28.5 billion in the past 15 months.

Citiboobs receives $345 billion in government investments and guarantees.

Citiboobs buys a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X.

Who's the foob now?

Read all about it at The New York Times, Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters.

Of course, $50 million for a plane is nothing compared to the $18.4 billion in bonuses paid to employees at financial companies in New York.

Taxpayer are chumps yet again.

UPDATE: Now the banker girlfriends want pity. It seems that the collapse of the Ponzi scheme that was Wall Street is a "big blow to their egos and to their self-esteem" (the egos and self-esteem of the banker boyfriends that is). All the result of 'hormonally caused irrational exuberance' no doubt.

One financial manager running a Ponzi scheme even got so stressed out that he jumped out of a plane instead of a building like any honorable Depression-era banker would.

No more flashy lifestyle or home in an affluent suburb, no fancy clothes, expensive car or extravagant parties, complete with brilliant fireworks. Think what it does to the banker and his girl, the 'performance' issues.

Maybe Congress should add a little money in the stimulus bill for some personal stimulus, if ya know what I mean. Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clip Art

It would be cheaper though to just fess up that it was all a fraud, and learn to live like the rest of us.

Maybe a little jail time for the bankers too. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

What do you think?

NoBullU Lesson: How Do We Get Out of the Economic Mess

Read The New York Times, The Big Fix.

Read and listen to the interactive attachment, How the Government Dealt With Past Recessions.

Tune in Friday to NoBullU from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers, to discuss.

NoBullU, just teachin ya to think for yourself.

WARNING: Republi-con may need remedial deprogramming, available at NoBullKinderCare, to begin to think for themselves again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Rest of the Story?

UPDATE: Read the New York Daily News, Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, posed as golfer to trap mistress Rachel Uchitel on phone.

So again I ask, why has Ms. Woods not been arrested?

If she did, it would be a serious case of domestic violence -- much worse than the typical case -- and she should be prosecuted for felony battery.

Washington Doesn't Understand the Problem

As I've said not once, but twice before, the bailout doesn't seem to be working. The problem isn’t just $1 trillion in subprime loans, the problem is $62trillion in credit default swap (CDS) liability for collateral debt obligations (CDOs) that no one can unravel or value (or even understand).

But read this proposed solution, The New York Times, Time to Unravel the Knot of Credit-Default Swaps, that recognizes that credit-default swaps clearly played a role in this financial debacle, and it is crucial that they are part of the solution.

This would even benefit Goldman Sacks, a zombie bank. Goldman Sacks, you might recall, is the former firm of Treasury Secretary Paulson, the focus of an initial bailout proposal that never made sense, beneficiary of over a hundred billion bailout dollars, and then a hundred billion more.

These effort to reanimate Goldman Sacks have been insanely costly and fruitless, all because as I said in early October, the problem is $62trillion in credit default swap (CDS) liability for collateral debt obligations (CDOs) that no one can unravel or value (or even understand).

Someone in Washington should explain why the proposals in The New York Times article should not be implemented, or offer a better solution, or resign. I prefer the latter.

The money spent on the executive and legislative branches of government is, like the money spent so far on the bailout, wasted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Usually on Fridays you can listen to me, the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

But I can't make it today so Ken will substitute. Until the next show, post a comment or two.

WIll Wonder Boy Crash Sooner Rather Than Later?

Less than a week and already Obama is proving to be just another politician.

Tim Geithner should not have been nominated or confirmed as Treasury Secretary.

And the stimulus bill emerging in the House of Representatives should not be signed.

Unlike his predecessor, Obama should know better.

Taxpayers Continue to Be Treated as Chumps

Unbelievable, firms that received billions in taxpayer bailouts continue to pay dividends to shareholders and bonuses to employees.

This has been reported not once, but twice.

If you are tired of being treated as a chump, contact your Congressman or Senator.

More proof that the bailout was a con job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Waskly Republi-cons

Why did US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts give Obama the wrong oath of office?

Was it all part of conspiracy to invalidate Obama's presidency:

First the faux birth certificate issue, now this. Ya gotta watch those waskly Republi-cons.

Another possible reason might be that Justice Roberts was reading from Bush's copy of the Constitution:

Of course, those who know Justice Roberts know that he has a fetish against 'split verbs' and "his inner copy editor overrode any instincts toward strict constructionism and unilaterally amended the Constitution by moving the adverb “faithfully” away from the verb."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Monica

Last night in the White House:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So Long, Farewell

So long, farewell Mr Bush:

And watch the farewell tribute to "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" from David Letterman.

Time to Kill the Zombies

Two writers for The New York Times suggest solutions for the economic mess left behind by Bush and the Republi-cons:

In an article titled Time for (Self) Shock Therapy, Thomas Friedman, a two time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, suggests that for his first meeting as president, Obama and his economic team should convene the 300 leading bank presidents and deliver a come-to-Jesus message something like this:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this crisis started with you, the bankers, engaging in reckless practices, and it will only end when we clean up your mess and start afresh. . .

“So here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to unclog the arteries. My banking experts have analyzed each of your balance sheets. You will tell us if we’re right. Those of you who are insolvent, we will nationalize and shut down. We will auction off your viable assets and will hold the toxic ones in a government reconstruction fund and sell them later when the market rebounds. Those of you who are weak will be merged. And those of you who are strong will receive added capital for your balance sheets, after you write down all your remaining toxic waste. I am not going to continue rewarding the losers and dimwits amongst you with handouts.”

I like the part about not giving losers and dimwits handouts.

In an article titled Wall Street Voodoo Paul Krugman, the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, writes that many influential people in Washington blink reality if they believe that by performing elaborate financial rituals we can keep a dead bank, which he calls a zombie bank, walking. He gives a fictitious zombie bank named Gotham as an example:

"To explain the issue, let me describe the position of a hypothetical bank that I’ll call Gothamgroup, or Gotham for short.

On paper, Gotham has $2 trillion in assets and $1.9 trillion in liabilities, so that it has a net worth of $100 billion. But a substantial fraction of its assets — say, $400 billion worth — are mortgage-backed securities and other toxic waste. If the bank tried to sell these assets, it would get no more than $200 billion.

So Gotham is a zombie bank: it’s still operating, but the reality is that it has already gone bust. Its stock isn’t totally worthless — it still has a market capitalization of $20 billion — but that value is entirely based on the hope that shareholders will be rescued by a government bailout.

Why would the government bail Gotham out? Because it plays a central role in the financial system. When Lehman was allowed to fail, financial markets froze, and for a few weeks the world economy teetered on the edge of collapse. Since we don’t want a repeat performance, Gotham has to be kept functioning. But how can that be done?

Well, the government could simply give Gotham a couple of hundred billion dollars, enough to make it solvent again. But this would, of course, be a huge gift to Gotham’s current shareholders — and it would also encourage excessive risk-taking in the future. Still, the possibility of such a gift is what’s now supporting Gotham’s stock price.

A better approach would be to do what the government did with zombie savings and loans at the end of the 1980s: it seized the defunct banks, cleaning out the shareholders. Then it transferred their bad assets to a special institution, the Resolution Trust Corporation; paid off enough of the banks’ debts to make them solvent; and sold the fixed-up banks to new owners.

The current buzz suggests, however, that policy makers aren’t willing to take either of these approaches. Instead, they’re reportedly gravitating toward a compromise approach: moving toxic waste from private banks’ balance sheets to a publicly owned “bad bank” or “aggregator bank” that would resemble the Resolution Trust Corporation, but without seizing the banks first.

Sheila Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, recently tried to describe how this would work: “The aggregator bank would buy the assets at fair value.” But what does “fair value” mean?

In my example, Gothamgroup is insolvent because the alleged $400 billion of toxic waste on its books is actually worth only $200 billion. The only way a government purchase of that toxic waste can make Gotham solvent again is if the government pays much more than private buyers are willing to offer.

Now, maybe private buyers aren’t willing to pay what toxic waste is really worth: “We don’t have really any rational pricing right now for some of these asset categories,” Ms. Bair says. But should the government be in the business of declaring that it knows better than the market what assets are worth? And is it really likely that paying “fair value,” whatever that means, would be enough to make Gotham solvent again?

What I suspect is that policy makers — possibly without realizing it — are gearing up to attempt a bait-and-switch: a policy that looks like the cleanup of the savings and loans, but in practice amounts to making huge gifts to bank shareholders at taxpayer expense, disguised as “fair value” purchases of toxic assets.

Why go through these contortions? The answer seems to be that Washington remains deathly afraid of the N-word — nationalization. The truth is that Gothamgroup and its sister institutions are already wards of the state, utterly dependent on taxpayer support; but nobody wants to recognize that fact and implement the obvious solution: an explicit, though temporary, government takeover. Hence the popularity of the new voodoo, which claims, as I said, that elaborate financial rituals can reanimate dead banks.

Unfortunately, the price of this retreat into superstition may be high. I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect that taxpayers are about to get another raw deal — and that we’re about to get another financial rescue plan that fails to do the job."

As sci-fi movie fans know, a zombie is a reanimated human corpse. So the term zombie bank is appropriate.

And was Gothamgroup a paragram for Goldman Sacks, the former firm of Treasury Secretary Paulson, the focus of an initial bailout proposal that never made sense, beneficiary of over a hundred billion bailout dollars, and then a hundred billion more?

Let the zombie banks and other dead financial institutions go bankrupt.

The bailout leads nowwhere.

The only way to kill a zombie is with a head shot, preferably followed by a corpse burning.

Don't fall for the a bait-and-switch and don't take the raw deal, zombie meat is deadly.

Call your Congressman or Senator and tell them that it is time to kill the zombie financial institutions.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wrongdoing Not Judicial Tyranny

A writer wrote a viewpoint today in our local mullet wrapper regarding the ACLU lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School Board. The viewpoint, titled Santa Rosa prayer ruling wrong, states:

"anger does not even begin to describe what I feel over a federal judge's decision to halt promotion of prayer and religious influence in Santa Rosa schools ("Schools ordered to stop prayer," Jan. 13). Fury is perhaps a more accurate description. . .

This is judicial tyranny, plain and simple, and it must be opposed not just where religious issues are concerned, but everywhere."

Problem is, the writer doesn't know what he is taking about. There was no decision by the judge, just an admission of wrongdoing by the school board.

The decision was made by the school board to admit the constitutional violations. The order states that the school board "admitted liability on plaintiffs’ claims, as set out in their complaint filed August 27, 2008."

I have posted some of the court documents.

The writer, who claims judicial tyranny, listens to too much rabid Republi-con talk radio. If you know him, tell him to tune in today to NoBullU from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY before he writes his next viewpoint.

NoBullU, just teachin ya to think for yourself.

UPDATE: If you like the legal nitty-gritty of the issue, here is a table of important Establishment Clause cases dealing with religion and education. FYI, there are three pages of cases.

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


The ACLU lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School Board (the court documents and Pastor Poppins and his sugar); and

Bush and his Bushie's so long, farewell (how will history judge his presidency, don't forget to vote in the poll).

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

BDS Bull

Joe Scarborough writes a weekly column that is published in the local mullet wrapper. Yesterday's column was titled "History will treat Bush kindly." Morning Joe writes:

"This past week proves once and for all that some of America's most elite journalists are infected with the dreaded disease "Bush Derangement Syndrome."

Sadly, BDS has swept through the Washington press corps and caused even the most elite reporters' minds to melt into a boiling stew of bile, intent on beating the president's legacy to a pulp.

Their over-the-top arguments only make me want to defend him that much more.

So today I will write about the single issue on which liberals have claimed George W. Bush's presidency will be judged: Iraq.

Twenty years from now, historians will not rate the president for the mistakes made in 2003. They will place him in the history books based on how Iraq and the Middle East play out.

While we can't predict the future in that chaotic region, we can look at the last two years as a guide.

After Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, George Bush took a tragic situation in Iraq and turned it around. . .

Foreign policy experts tell me daily that Iraq is not Barack Obama's greatest challenge anymore. It is Afghanistan.

And liberals? They just try to change the subject.

We shouldn't let them.

Instead, we should focus on what George W. Bush did right as a lesson to future presidents.

Mr. Bush's greatest insight was understanding Americans should not settle for ties in wars. Our failures in Korea and Vietnam haunted U.S. policy makers for years. And allowing terrorists to run American troops out of Iraq would have empowered al-Qaida and brought about horrific consequences.

So while his generals were begging him to retreat, Bush fought back.

Bob Woodward's latest work on the Iraq War unwittingly paints the president as a courageous leader who stood alone and saved Iraq from failure."

My reply:

"$10+ T national debt, $1.2 T deficit this year, 2.6 M jobs lost in the last year swelling the ranks of the unemployed to more than 11 million people, failing economy, mortgage crisis, incompetent leadership, overstretched military, an unnecessary and disastrous war, politicized government, torture as government policy, Chinese ascension, Russian resurgence, oil addiction (did I miss anything) - it’s not reality, it’s all my imagination, here called the Bush Derangement Syndrome.

It is true that Bush saved Iraq from ‘failure,’ but he was responsible for that ‘failure.’ Would a man who set a house on fire be praised for putting the fire out? I think not.

Bush's record as a student, a military man, a businessman and the so-called ‘leader’ (I thought he was the Decider) of the free world is one of constant failure."

I wonder how Joe might vote in the poll. Email and ask him.

Bush's Place in History - an Example of What Not to Do

After spending hundreds of hours with key Bushies, reviewing thousands of pages of documents and notes, interviewing Bush for nearly 11 hours, writing four books totaling 1,727 pages, all amounting to a very long case study in presidential decision-making, Bob Woodward describes "10 lessons that Obama and his team should take away from the Bush experience." Read Washington Post, 10 Take Aways From the Bush Years.

In other words, Woodward has concluded that Bush is unintelligent (#3) and incurious (#4), doesn't think long term (#9), is passive (#1), thinks he is always right (#5) so he doesn't broker decent (#6) and doesn't want to hear bad news (#2), hides things (#10) and lies to the public (#7), and is delusional (#8). Pretty much sums up the man and his presidency don't you think.

How will history judge George W. Bush's presidency? I think I know how Woodward might vote in the poll. Did you vote yet?

Again I Say, The Bailout is Not Working

Let me say again what I said in early October:

The bailout doesn't seem to be working. The problem isn’t just $1 trillion in subprime loans, the problem is $62trillion in credit default swap (CDS) liability for collateral debt obligations (CDOs) that no one can unravel or value (or even understand).

What is a CDO or CDS? Imagine taking paper debt like mortgages, subprime mortgages, car loans, credit cards loans, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Now combine and mix the paper in a blender, spiking it with worthless rhetorical hyperbole that derivatives are the new paradigm of investments. Then pour the mixture in a pyramid of champagne glasses, to represent the varying levels of return (and risk), with the higher the glass, the lower the return and risk. That represents the CDOs. Now as you sell the mess, insure against the risk of the CDOs decreasing in value with CDSs. Presto, $1 trillion of bad loans is transmuted into $62 trillion in faux wealth. An alchemist would be proud.

That I think is a fair metaphor for the problem, and because of the scope of the problem the Feds don't know what to do. The 1929 depression offers a valuable lesson. A recent article in Time, Are Paulson and Bernanke Running Out of Options? states that:

"After the 1929 collapse, which at its worst left a quarter of the workforce jobless, the U.S. instituted safeguards to ensure liquidity, confidence and trust in the U.S. financial system. There were four pillars: insuring the bank deposits of everyday Americans, allowing access to government funds in case of a panic, providing a regime for the orderly failure of badly run companies and limiting how much credit could be leveraged off a particular asset."

The government should do the same now, defend depository institutions and provide a regime for the orderly failure of badly run non-depository financial institutions and insurance companies. In the process the government and the public will have to make some tough choices and learn to live within a budget.

What do you think?

P.S. Somebody should pay me for this, I prefer gold until further notice.

Palin the Whiner

Apparently Republi-cons are still trying to figure out how Barack Obama got elected, and still whining about it.

Will interviews like this help Palin in the 2012 campaign?

BTW, Obama got elected because he got more popular (and electoral) votes than the other candidates, unlike Bush in 2000, which may explain the confusion. Republi-cons are waiting for the Supreme Court to invalid the election. Maybe they should hold their breath and wait.

Bush Should Just Leave Quietly

Ever wondered why Bush took 77 vacations but held only 47 press conferences. After watching this, with commentary by Jon Stewart, you'll know why.

Maybe he should have just skipped this last press conference and left quietly.

UPDATE: He refuses to leave quietly. Apparently tonight, in prime time, he'll bid us adieu.

But will anybody watch?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Republi-con Navel Gazing

Did you realize that Republi-cons have lost 54 House seats, 13 (or 14) Senate seats and the presidency over the past four years? Read Washington Post, Republicans' Navel Gazing and Why It Matters. The article says:

"As expected, the collapse of the Republican brand in the 2006 and 2008 elections has brought out any number of theorists from the woodwork -- offering their take on the proper prescription to heal what ails the GOP.

For the most part, we tend to ignore these amateur (and even some professional) analysts as they usually are pushing either a decidedly transparent personal or ideological agenda.

Not so, Tom Davis who left his northern Virginia seat in 2008 after weighing and ultimately deciding against a run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner (R).

Davis is, without question, a fiscal conservative and socially moderate, but he is, also, one of the brightest strategic minds in the GOP. Need proof? When Davis chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2000 and 2002, House Republicans netted six seats.

Given Davis's reputation -- and the current morass in which the GOP finds itself -- we were intrigued to come across an essay penned by the former Virginia member titled "The Way Back."

In it, Davis convincingly make the case that the alleged takeover of the party by social conservatives has worked to its electoral detriment."

Do Republi-cons have a way back or is it 40 years in the wilderness?

Bailout Bull, Cont.

The fat cats want more money. Read The New York Times, Banks in Need of Even More Bailout Money.

Bull@#$%! It was all just a Ponzi scheme. Don't throw bad money after worse. The government should just get it over with and manage an orderly failure of the banks, many of which have close ties to current or former government officials.

New government motto - take from the poor to prop up the Ponzi scheme(s).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Show Link

As discussed on the show with Mike, the video of Marcus Schrenker flying under the bridge:

Say good bye FAA pilot's license. Of course this video is the least of his problems now.

Maybe he suffers from 'hormonally caused irrational exuberance.' (Actually it might be his only defense.)

Try the Newest Shoe-ter Game

I'm told that the game, G. W. Bush Ego Shoe-Ter, is all the rage.

What was your score?

And don't forget to vote in the poll.

Was Wall Street Just a Ponzi Scheme, Part II

Another article comparing Wall Street to a Ponzi scheme. See Washington Post, Meet Lady Subprime. I am sure that stories like this are more common than acknowledged.

You might remember I first made the comparison in early December.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Male Hormones Destroyed the Economy

What are we in this economic mess? Male hormones, of course. See Washington Post, Study: Testosterone Correlated to Successful Financial Trading.

According to the article, "[t]he bubble preceding the current crash may have been due to euphoria related to high levels of testosterone, or high sensitivity to it." It seems that "[t]estosterone is the hormone of irrational exuberance."

Any woman could have told you that.

Tickle Me Elmo Joke

From an email:

There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am.

The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee..

He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.

The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up. At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's.

She has a roll of plush red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.

The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.

The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena .

"I'm sorry," he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, "but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday..."

[Don't scroll down until ready for the punchline.] .













"Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles."

Now didn't that make you smile.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

UPDATE: nothing tentative about it now, it is a go for launch at 4:05 PM CST. Barring any unexpected last minute developments, you can:

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will be on air Friday from 4:05 to 6 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.

Topics: Mostly local (the PD office melodrama, media intimidation or cowardice, snotty breezers (or not if you are a breezer fan of mine), is it bad, just count the restaurant closings, will Milton arise from the ashes like a phoenix, and does it add up: 28 year old female + 16 year old male = 366 days in jail) and state (Republi-con corruption (<- a tautology?) and those insufferable Gator fans), but I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Are Republi-cons Just Racist Whiners?

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Sciences is widely regarded as the most prestigious award one can receive in the field of economics. The prize is often awarded to a person who has analyzed data and identified previously unrecognized patterns.

So it is worth noting that the newest winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences thinks that Republi-cons are just a bunch of racist whiner who can't acknowledge that they got what they wanted and can't accept responsibility for what they have done. Read The New York Times, Bigger Than Bush.

Who can argue with a man of his credentials? Especially after Chip Saltsman, currently a candidate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, sent committee members a CD including a song titled 'Barack the Magic Negro,' which Rusty Limpballs has promoted on his radio show.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

If you like to reminisce, read Time, The Top 10 Everything of 2008.