19 December, 2008
17 December, 2008
That is the best I can do right now to summarize my thoughts a few hours after watching an astonishing episode of ABC's World News Tonight (12/16/08). The lead report, of course, begins with coverage of the Federal Reserve's historic interest rate action. The opinion-as-fact comes when the report segues to consumer credit:
"But, the economy won't improve until interest rates fall for consumers as well."
But, this is an opinion, not an established fact. Evidence here, here, here and heck, even here.
03 December, 2008
15 October, 2008
03 October, 2008
If we are to believe the timbre of the informational ether, we are at a crook in the mixed shit creek economy. There is, we are lectured, finally and unfortunately, no choice remaining. We must bail out...Congress. Also the Bush administration, the red and blue Presidential hopefuls, and the respectable media. The epochal legislation under consideration has simply been made to seem too important not to pass. Credit is obviously frozen because members of Congress and the mainstream Presidential candidates are getting nary a trickle. Furthermore, talking news heads and experts (and ex-experts) went balls out for the Wall Street welfare tsunami and, after being flabbergasted by popular opposition (which temporarily increased liquidity in some commentators' collective pants), find themselves in need of a rescue plan. Clearly, this cannot stand. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is impolite to point out that when the wisdom of the entire governing industry and its 24-hour PR wing proves to be of the sub-prime variety, the public personas of the pro-bailout, bi-partisan, bi-cameral Centristocracy must receive from their subjects the approbatory absolution that only a geyser of U.S. Mint ink can deliver. They are, you must understand, too big to fail.
29 September, 2008
"Banks throughout the United States carried on with the business of making loans yesterday even as federal officials warned again that their industry is on the verge of collapse, suggesting that the overheated language on Capitol Hill may not reflect the reality on many Main Streets."
28 September, 2008
If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.Some even
VOCABULARY UPDATE: "...we do not want to live in a world that will exist without this rescue plan." -Art Hogan , Chief Investment Officer, Jefferies & Co., interviewed on ABC World News With Charles Gibson, 9/29/08
24 September, 2008
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, told some U.S. franchisees to seek other ways to finance store improvements after Bank of America Corp. declined to increase lending.
Store owners have exhausted financing used to pay for upgrades and equipment to make lattes and espressos, and Bank of America won't provide more money as it works on the planned purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co., McDonald's said in a memo that was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The boys on MSNBC/CNBC are using it as I type to impress upon the naughty populous that it had better get in line behind the Big Bailout or else!
Now the clarifications appear to be flying:
McDonald's said franchisees still have access to more than 50 national, regional and local lenders to provide financing."There are no credit issues at McDonald's," spokesman Walt Riker said in an email. "There continues to be more than sufficient liquidity available to our franchisees to fund capital improvements in their restaurants."
But the biggest financing problem financing dealers face right now is one brought on by auto dealers and auto financing companies themselves, said Tawny Arnaud, vice president of sales for Galpin Motors, a chain of nine dealerships in the Los Angeles area.
Many customers who want to trade in vehicles today are still paying off extra-long loans they arranged on their last car purchase, he said. Loans of long as or six years have become commonplace in the industry.
23 September, 2008
This seems odd as Baldwin seems to endorse allowing terrorist bombings of abortion clinics, prohibition of drugs (abortion pills), using police powers of the state to violently force rape victims to bear rapists' children, etc.:
"I affirm the God-given legal person hood of all unborn human beings, without exception...Under my administration, we could end legal abortion in a matter of days, not decades. And if Congress refuses to pass Dr. Paul's bill, I will use the constitutional power of the Presidency to deny funds to protect abortion clinics. Either way, legalized abortion ends when I take office." (emphasis added)
18 September, 2008
"Wachovia Corp. soared 59 percent, Citigroup Inc. added 19 percent and Bank of America Corp. jumped 12 percent, sending the KBW Bank Index to its biggest gain since July. Morgan Stanley erased a 46 percent tumble and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recovered most of a 25 percent slide as Senator Charles Schumer proposed a new agency to pump capital into financial companies..."
16 September, 2008
Think I'm kidding? Okay, I am, but don't be a jerk and claim this is as outlandish as it was, oh, two weeks ago. Maybe it would be good if the Feds did nationalize Apple. Maybe more people would pay attention to the consequences of real concentrations of real power (as opposed to the highly contingent power of, say, a Merrill Lynch). And, hey, we'd have a Secretary of Mac. I nominate this guy.
04 September, 2008
28 August, 2008
"I don't know anyone who benefits when...an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers."Three suggestions:
1. the illegal workers: go from zero income to non-zero income
2. the employer: saves money on wages
3. consumers: pay lower prices
(For outsourcing, replace "illegal workers" with "foreign workers.")
(For automation, replace "hiring illegal workers" with "installing robots" and omit #1 since robots don't care about wages.)
25 August, 2008
"Pickens is in the planning stages of a $1.5 billion initiative to pump billions of gallons of water from an ancient aquifer beneath the Texas Panhandle and build pipelines to ship them to thirsty cities such as Dallas...a continuation of the drought impacting large portions of the United States could turn Pickens into something of a water baron. His yet-to-be-built pipeline would follow the same 250-mile corridor as electric lines carrying power from his wind farms."An important detail here: "Specifically, Pickens asked Congress to extend a 2005 law intended to speed up the creation of energy corridors, and to give him control over any transmission lines he builds for wind-generated power."
I have some things I'd like Congress to give me control over, too. I promise something good for the general public would come out of it. That's not a legally binding promise, of course.
Update (10/7): Pickens's new commercial encourages viewers to ask of political candidates: "What's their plan for cutting foreign oil imports?" and "How soon can we get started?" Let's see, a political plan to cut imports--what does that usually look like? Pickens says he is dead serious about this. Good choice of words.
11 June, 2008
27 March, 2008
10 March, 2008
Governor Eliot Spitzer is in some trouble for, apparently, hiring a prostitute. Does he (and his supporters) think prison is the right societal response to prostitution? Or does he (and his supporters) now think selling sex should be legal? Or, a third option: does he (and his supporters) think the law is right except that it should not apply to certain special individuals? To summarize, which of the following does Gov. Spitzer (and you-know-who) favor?:
a. legalization for all [here's video of George Carlin's take--with two cuss words in first 12 seconds]
b. exemptions for some [insert Spitzer's legal defense team's statements here]
c. imprisonment for Eliot [seems unlikely, but then again...]
27 February, 2008
21 February, 2008
In her opening statement at tonight's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton stated:
I want to stop the health insurance companies from discriminating against people because they're sick. You know, it's unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race or gender or ethnic origin or religion, but it's okay to discriminate against sick people and we're gonna end that, because it's time we said, "no more."So, is it reasonable to ask which part of the Constitution forbids private parties, like insurance companies, from discriminating "on the basis of race or gender or ethnic origin or religion?" And, if that section doesn not turn up, is it reasonable to question whether Hillary Clinton has a firm command of the basics of our founding document? Or maybe it was a simple slip-up. Maybe Hillary Clinton does not equate laws with the Constitution. Perhaps there is some other explanation. It would be nice to know the answer. [Disclaimer: if the U.S. Constitution is merely an antiquated document preserving historically interesting but outdated ideas, please disregard these questions.]
19 February, 2008
Much is made of McCain's vast experience, Clinton's modest or non-traditional experience, and Obama's comparatively thin experience. But quality, in the case of choosing a president (which, today, has so much more power than quaint American presidents of the past), looms large. If it's bad experience, it wouldn't seem to be very beneficial to a candidate's resume. Quite the opposite.
Put defending preemptive war, promoting unconstitutional legislation, and pursuing seemingly endless increases in the scope and scale of government in the "bad experience" column.
03 February, 2008
He was tried by a sharia court (which oversees Islamic religious law) and was not allowed legal representation, according to news reports. The Afghan Senate passed a motion this week supporting the sentence, according to the British newspaper The Independent.More...
01 February, 2008
Yes, just a few trivial errors in today's New York Times Politics Blog entry about Ron Paul's new adviser.
#1: The first time he is mentioned (on the fourth line of the entry), he is given the wrong first name. The name is Peter, not Paul, Schiff. Oops.
#2: Grammatically, the third paragraph states that Peter Schiff is the author of "The Federal Mafia" and other books. He's not. His father, Irwin, is. Whoops.
#3: The author states that Ron Paul "wants to eliminate income and estate taxes and taxes on tips, imposing instead a consumption tax," when, in fact, Paul has repeatedly explained (on television and elsewhere) that he does not want to replace the income tax with a consumption tax nor any other new tax. Umm...
Just nitpicks really. I'm sure the rest is fine.
30 January, 2008
"Texas Rep. Ron Paul has made no move to withdraw even though he scores in single digits in voting." - Associated Press, 1/30/08
"Nevada - 1797 of 1797 Precincts Reporting...Paul , Ron...14%" - Associated Press, undated article
"Iowa results...Ron Paul 10 percent" - Associated Press, 1/4/08
28 January, 2008
Are we really going to add to our $9,200,000,000,000 national debt to send checks to every couple earning less than $174,000, etc.!? It's looking that way, sadly. What's next, self-esteem classes for supermodels? More cold water here.
26 January, 2008
"Sure, 'men must govern men'--FDR, Nixon, Clinton, Ted Stevens...the lot of them! The trillion-dollar question is: govern how much? Excessive governing, often sanctified by moral authorities of the day, has proven to be far more noxious than run-of-the-mill weak virtue. Better a hungover neoliberal than a lucid authoritarian."
I couldn't have said it better myself! ;)
22 January, 2008
10. Tommy Thompson
12. Keyes (?)
* as judged by VoxPolitico.com--based on votes and sticktoitiveness
21 January, 2008
08 January, 2008
04 January, 2008
...itas. 'Tardette, who "don’t care about [Ron Paul] one way or the other," have gotten their keyboards damp with bile and copy/paste residue over Ron Paul's showing in Iowa. Because, you know, Paul did so terribly. For one thing, he got barely more than twice the votes of recent national leader Rudy Giuliani. Worse, he only got 37% more votes than polls predicted, merely almost tying two "top tier" candidates. How can Paul and his supporters ever hope to affect American politics if they merely break fundraising records, reintroduce unfashionable ideas to millions, repeatedly put libertarianism in the mainstream spotlight, ignite a new movement on college campuses, dominate online political activism, outperform seven (of eleven) opponents thus far, and so on? Don't they have to rank higher in Iowa to move the country toward accursed individual freedom? It's enough to make a 'Tardette care!
10. Tommy Thompson
* as judged by VoxPolitico.com--based on votes then sticktoitiveness