Monday, September 29, 2008



Congress voted NO today on the bailout. A lot of the progressive blogs I follow (and respect) seem to think this was bad and are laying the fault at the feet of house repubs. Now, most house repubs are indeed concerned only about their skin and I'm not gonna argue that but.......I am not so upset about the vote, all in all. I am obviously no expert, but I want to see some accountability other than vague "compensation limits" and "this is a buy-in not a bailout" bullshit.

Of course Wall St was going to react badly. Some of it is shock that they didnt get their way. Some of it is "Let's scare the average bastard and take this baby down". Don't give me this bullshit about our losing a trillion dollars today because of 650 points on the NYSE etc. 'Cos when the street went from 10K to 14K, by their math we made six trillion or so, so this should be a normal 'correction' right? And all that money just flowed into your homes in crashing waves during those times right? So what's a little correction?

Unless........ most people didn't make out like bandits on the way up, but are being saddled with the losses on the way down. Hmmm.

I think we should call their bluff. Fuck it, don't give them a bailout unless we actually buy in---as in ownership and executive powers in the investment banks that fucked up (I know, they're not investment banks anymore), including revoking all their fucking bonuses for this ridiculously bad performance---- and see how low this will really go. I'm betting the fucking rats find a way to save their skin (and by extension don't let the economy collapse). I don't respond well to blackmail, and I don't think you should either.


Bailout? Blackmailout? Sellout?


I am not sure about the bailout proposal that is going to the floor for a vote today. Mainly because I don't trust Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi and her band of spineless fucking idiots. And then there's the fact that Dubi-ya calls it a great plan---that is reason alone to reject it.

But what really bothers me is that there is no talk of penalty/accountability for the people who brought us here. If a computer hacker, purely for fun and not for profit, fucked around with some banking software and brought even temporary chaos to one big bank, you think he/she would do some jail time? Then how do these thieves, who gambled recklessly and profited enormously, get away scot-free?

I know it is vital to have some sort of bailout---I trust that Warren Buffett knows what is good for the country's economy and he says it is imperative to have it. So I'll go along with that. But isn't "if we don't pass a $700 billion relief package NOW our entire economy will collapse" basically blackmail? And isn't it treason to put our country at such grave risk in the first place?

I propose that ALL senior-executive bonuses paid out by these troubled investment banks for the past 5 years be revoked. That should bring in about $100+ billion (I'm not kidding; I dont have the link handy but I'll try and find it). Those who cannot pay it back go to jail. And not just to Augusta National Golf Club house-arrest. I mean, send them to PMITA prison. That will be a good start.

Dammit I'm pissed.

Update: I found the link...sorta....Here's the link to a 2007 article according to which the top 5 investment banks paid out $36 billion in total bonuses in 2006 and were to pay out $38 billion in 2007. So $74 billion in two years total. So I don't think it's a stretch to guess that senior exec bonuses at these firms would have easily exceeded $100 billion over five years .


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Two of the funniest takes

on the current economic crisis/disaster. Through the tears, one needs to laugh, so here goes...

First, a really cool, funny (and entirely reasonable) idea...Since Henry Paulson wants to buy a load of garbage using taxpayer money to the tune of $700 billion,

Why can't he buy your 'toxic' assets?

Then, there's d r i f t g l a s s. Outside of humorous or hyperbolic context, I try not to throw around words like 'genius'. But I think, in all seriousness, that there is no better word to describe drifty's ability to free-associate, create, and capture, in unprecedented comprehensiveness, the soul of the times. The dude's an American treasure, and here's his latest satirical masterpiece.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Brilliant Article

by Alicia Morgan, titled "Conservatism: The Elephant in the Room".

She starts off with:

" horrific a president as George W. Bush was, he was not the cause but the ultimate expression of a systematically destructive social, economic and political ideology that was driving our country away from democracy and towards, if not fascism, certainly feudalism."

And she goes on to give as good a summary as I've ever read of the conservative mindset/problem.

Please take the time to read it, pass it along.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

NFL Week 2 Snarks and Barks


Green Bay at Detroit:

Jon Kitna will have a great game. Green Bay will cease to care after they hold the ball for 27 of the first 30 mins, run for 600 yds and go up by 42 points, and they’ll pull all their starters by the third quarter. Kitna will then throw for his usual 2-3 garbage time TDs. After the game, Matt Millen will sign a fifteen-year guaranteed contract extension as the Lions GM. Green Bay by 10.

Oakland at Kansas City:

Oakland's performance at home last week finally explained to me what Gertrude Stein meant by “There is no there there”. This week the Raiders find out that, for them, there’s no there in KC either. If DeAngelo Hall covers (well, ‘covers’ is a pretty strong word, ain’t it? I mean if he’s assigned to) Bowe or Gonzo this week he will give up 500 yds and 6 TDs. If he lucks out and draws any of the other receivers (who, according to the KC website are, Will Franklin, Devard Darling, Jeff Webb and Marques Hagans…, ummm ……yeah….) he will only give up 300 yds and three TDs. ‘Cos he’s a shut-down corner, you see.

After the game, Al Davis will fire Lane Kiffin who will continue to remain as head coach, and also pull off a blockbuster deal with Dallas wherein Oakland will give up Namdi Asomugha along with their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2009 in exchange for Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones. KC by 12.

NY Giants at St. Louis Rams:

Giants make history by becoming the first team to rush for 1000 yards in a single NFL game. Eli Manning will show improvement by throwing only 4 passes that should have been intercepted. Osi Umenyiora will be limited to only 1.5 sacks in this on account of his being on IR. Giants by 17.

Indianapolis at Minnesota:

Indy is still pretty banged up. The Vikes can run really well and should control the ball. Both teams are desperate not to start 0-2. Really tough call. I’ll say Indy wins, primarily because (as we saw last week) Minnesota is still recovering from the strain, trauma and nausea of having hosted the Republican Convention. You just can’t do that to your city and expect you football club to be healthy and energetic. But mainly, Jeff Saturday will play this week and that makes a big difference to the Colts offense. And I say Dungy figures out a way to keep AP in check. Indy by 3.

Tennessee at Cincinnati:

Battle of the repeating cconnsonnants and ssyyllaabblleess. Kerry Collins throws for 500 yds. In the first quarter. After the game, Chad Ocho Cinco claims that he can beat Tiger Woods at golf. Tennessee by 7.

New Orleans at Washington:

The Skins were strangely resilient during their beating at the hands of NYG. Even though they were being dominated, they managed to hold the Giants to just one TD. I think they are better than they look. Even though the Saints are good, and Shockey will have a big game, I think the Skins pull this one out at home. Washington by 3.

Chicago at Carolina:

I know Chicago beat Indy at Indy. But Indy was significantly banged up. Carolina beat the Chargers at SD. I just can’t see them losing to the Bears at home. Carolina rallies around the cry of "So we have a WR with anger issues but at least he aint Rae Carruth". Carolina by 7.

Buffalo at Jacksonville:

This should be a great game. Hard to pick against the Jags at home, but I just have a hunch about Buffalo this year. Plus the Jags are badly banged up on the O-line. And it is hard to win games when you cannot control the ball. Buffalo by 3.

San Francisco at Seattle:

Let’s see what I said about the Seattle game last week: “Matt Hasselbeck is an outspoken republican and a huge fan of Bush. So you know he's a fucking retard who will consistently underperform to expectations. If the Bills had a QB this would be a complete blowout. But they don’t, so it will be closer.” I checked the expiration date on that prediction and…….. it turns out that that bad boy is good through this weekend. So replace ‘Bills’ with ‘49ers’ and we’re all set! San Fran by 8.

PS: Seattle is at St. Louis next week. Let’s hope that the good people at CERN don’t run the first proton collision experiment on the LHC that day. Normally, the black holes that can be produced by the LHC should be minute, very short-lived and insignificant. But throw in the massive suckitude of the Seahawks/Rams tilt at the just the precise moment and we may end up with a cataclysmic event. Just saying.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay:

Till someone show me that they can keep Michael Turner from peeling off at least one 50+ yard run per game, I’m gonna have to pick the Falcons. OK, the real reason is that I’m hungry right now and could really go for a supreme burrito from Willy’s Mexicana Grill at the corner of Clairmont and N.Decatur. Man, I miss that place. Atlanta by 1.

And Robb, just so you’re not sore at me for picking against your beloved Bucs for the second week in a row, here’s a little Buc cheer. Just for you, buddy.

New England at NY Jets:

Per federal regulations I am required to say: Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre.

And, as of federal regulations from last week, I am required to say: Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady Tom Brady. Jets by 3. Brett Favre.

Miami at Arizona:

Who gives a crap? Oh wait, I have Fitzgerald and Boldin on my fantasy team, so I’ll say….. Arizona by 10.

San Diego at Denver:

LT hurt, Gates hurt, Cromartie hurt. Plus there’s a good chance SD will have some banged up D-linemen from the Broncos chop-blocking. I think I may, grudgingly, have to give this game to Denver. Not just because of all the injuries, but because of these four words: Head Coach Norv Turner. Denver by 3.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland:

This game will be closer than people think. But if you think I’m gonna pick against my men of steel, you’re crazy. Pittsburgh by 7.

Philly at Dallas:

I know Andy Reed has had Dallas’ number. But this year’s version of Barber+Jones is even better than last year’s. Dallas has too much going for them. And mainly, they are at home. Dallas by 4.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some NFL (snarky) thoughts and picks.....

UPDATE Sept 8, 2008: Dayy-yum. For someone who was drawing almost entirely on last year's knowledge, I made some pretty freaking awesome picks!! I'm most proud of calling Titans over Jags and Bills over Seahawks, even though I was a bit wrong on the latter---I said "If the Bills had a QB this would be a complete blowout. But they dont, so it will be closer"; well, the Bills still don't have a QB but it was a blowout nevertheless.
Also, Falcons over Lions was a pretty nice call methinks, as was the Bears over the Colts. Turned out the Bears do have an offensive player other than Hester and his name's Forte.
Totally missed how good the Panthers were gonna be; to be fair though, I also forgot that Norval Turner is coaching the Chargers.

The season starts today and that's great. If I can remember to mute the TV and radio for the next 4-5 months during the games, I'm gonna have a great time.

Tonight the Redskins visit the Giants.
Hmm. I used to really like the Giants. Good organization, always drafted well. And Wellington Mara played a huge role in making the NFL what it is today.
But then, along came Eli "I spewed forth from the nuts of Archie Manning so I get to be a free-agent from my first day in the NFL and I choose the Giants" Manning. The mediocre fuck managed to catch lightning in a bottle and raise his game from mediocre to borderline-adequate just around the time that the Giant defense went on a dominant tear a la LT and gang, Kevin Boss channeled Mark Bavaro and Ahmad Bradshaw channeled Rodney Hampton and Dave Meggett rolled into one. So Eli's now Super Bowl MVP. I tell myself I should not be upset by this as things have been worse---people have ridden their fortunate-sperm-itude to eight years at 1600 Penn. Ave. But I am upset, because I expect more from the NFL than I do from the American electorate.
So fuck it---I say Redskins by 7. I'm sure Tuck and Kiwanuka are super-great but without Umenyiora and Strahan they will have to work harder and longer and will be worn down by mid-fourth quarter. It is also beccause of this, and the fact that they play in the NFC east, that I think that the Giants may go 8 and 8 this year.

Update: 8.47 pm: I just started watching the second half---saw a play where Santana Moss gets hit while catching a ball, is juggling it, finally catches it, AFTER WHICH NO ONE TOUCHES HIM, and it is ruled a completed catch but he gets no advancement of the ball (which he was in the process of doing) before the play being whistled dead....WTF? And nobody seemed to catch it or care! It was a fucking first down if not more!
Anyway, looks like the jints are killing the skins. Kinda figured that, though I was hoping Eli would suck enough ass to negate the great Giant running game.

Other games:

Bengals at Ravens:
Who gives a shit?

Jets and Dolphins:
This is usually a "Who gives a shit?", but the game involves Brett Favre and federal regulations require that I cannot glide right over that game without mentioning Brett Favre. Hey, Brett Favre is Brett Favre, and Brett Favre will do what Brett Favre does.
Miami will be better on offense than before, but with the loss of (the admittedly aging) Jason Taylor and Zack Thomas I dont know if their D will have the same motor.
Jets by 7. Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre.

Chiefs at Patriots:
Too easy. Pats will win by 7 even if Giselle Bundchen takes the snaps.

Texans at Steelers: Fortunate son debut alert!!!
Gary Kubiak pays back Mike "The Offensive Genius" Shanahan for all those years Mike employed him as OC of the Broncos by hiring Mike's son Kyle Shanahan as his OC in Houston.
Steelers by 10. Texans turn the ball over 15 times. Troy Polamalu gets 12 picks. Rashard Mendenhall rushes for a jillion yards this season.

Jaguars at Titans:
Man, the Jags sure are the sexy pick this year huh? But they are playing a Jeff Fisher team, so the going will be tough. I say Vince Young lays off the weed this week and plays like a stud.
Titans by 4.

Lions at Falcons:
Falcons will be better than people think this year (Turner can freaking run the ball) but that aint saying much. But then again, they're playing the Lions aka The Detroit ByeWeeks. If the Falcons can keep Calvin Johnson in check they'll beat the Lions. And just because I once spent a couple of years in the ATL, I say
Atlanta by 3.

Seahawks at Bills:
Matt Hasselbeck is an outspoken republican and a huge fan of Bush. So you know he's a fucking retard who will consistently underperform to expectations. If the Bills had a QB this would be a complete blowout. But they dont, so it will be closer.
Bills by 8.

Rams at Eagles:
The window is closing for McNabb, Westbrook and Reid. Plus they are playing in the NFC East and can't afford any slip-ups. They show no mercy.
Eagles by 14.

Buccaneers at Saints:
Tough call. Saints have upgraded and should be good. But the Bucs have seriously upgraded too. They should be feeling all the relief and energetic renewal normally felt by a long-constipated person who finally drops a massive deuce as they, at long last, cut Chris Simms. Ahh, Chris Simms---There, but for the grace of Goodell, goes Eli Manning.
Saints by 4.

Panthers at Chargers:
Too easy.
Chargers by 14, even if Philip Rivers takes the snaps.

Cardinals at 49ers:
If you didn't think the 49ers could get any worse, prepare to be surprised because Mike Martz is now their OC. Disguised for a while in St. Louis by the presence (and rational thinking) of Dick Vermeil, this is the man who single-handedly reduced the greatest show on turf to the greatest blow on nerf by marginalizing Marshall Freaking Faulk. He then proceeded to take his 'genius' offense to Detroit with predictably tepid results. Dude, the run-and-shoot doesn't work in the NFL, no matter what fancy name you give it.
Expect the entire Cardinals secondary to renegotiate their contracts after the jillion picks they get in this one.
Cardinals by 14, even if Matt Leinart takes all the snaps.

Cowboys at Browns:
You know the Cowboys are going to be really tough when their most glaring weakness is Jessica Simpson. Sure TO will stop taking his medication and Pacman will get arrested again, but they still have too much going for them. I sure hope. Cos they need to bash Eli's head in twice this year. See ya gotta stay focussed. But I cannot believe I'm pulling for the freaking cowpies.
Cowboys by 10.

Bears at Colts:
I dont know whether the Colts will win 10 games this year, but I think they'll win this one. Man, I'm so tempted to call an upset here too. Peyton Manning had his sac removed (that would be bursa sac---the only kind he had) and hasn't played all pre-season; the starting center is down; Bears QB Kyle Orton is a Purdue kid who will have uuuuge (It is an NBC night game, and we must not forget our homage to Al Michaels---great play-by-play guy but republican piece of shit nevertheless) support in Indy. Man, if the Bears just had one offensive player besides Hester........
Oh, fuck it. Just to spite the yahoos who keep insisting that Peyton "I finally squeaked out one big win in my career" Manning is greater than Tom "I won 3 Superbowl titles with slug, turtle and hydra at receiver" Brady, I'm gonna call the damn upset.
Bears by 4.

Vikings at Packers:
You know how Shawn Alexander went from MVP to 'cut' in 2 years? Well, Steve Hutchinson went from the Seahawks to the Vikings. That plus the fact that the Vikes have 2 legit stud RBs in Taylor and Peterson means that they'll have to really really fuck up to lose games this year.
Vikings by 12 even if Tavaris Jackon takes the snaps and even if the Packers put 8 in the box all night.

Broncos at Raiders:
You know how Mike Shanahan went from "Offensive Genius" to just "Offensive"? Elway retired.
Just because Al Davis shows up in Members Only jackets and stale work-out clothes, and just because he once reportedly swindled Shanahan out of several hundred thousand dollars, I'm gonna call this one for the Raiders. I got the rest of the season to hate on Al.
Raiders by 5.


The tradition continues


H.L.Mencken once wrote:

"....As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." (Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920)

Of course, in November 2000 our country demonstrated exactly how astute an observation Mencken had made.

Now, is it any surprise that the Republican base loves Sarah Palin for high office?
Let's list some of her qualities:

Pathological liar/Adept at doublespeak? CHECK
Abuser of power? CHECK
Pork barrel spending hypocrite? CHECK
Family Values Hypocrite? CHECK (Despicably so---Carry a special needs child to term but get back to furthering one's own career starting 3 days later; Use said child and pregnant underage daughter as convenient props to further one's fundamentalist agenda and career, but plead privacy when convenient....)
Sense of divine entitlement? CHECK
Sense of infallibility that usually accompanies religious fundamentalism? CHECK
Will ban books she doesn't agree with? CHECK
Persecution complex? ("The media is out to get me by telling the truth about me!") CHECK
Shallow and opportunistic? CHECK
Viciously combative? CHECK
In denial about all of the above? CHECK
Likes to kill other living creatures for fun and relaxation? CHECK.

Highly educated/well traveled/erudite/well experienced/appreciation of other countries and cultures etc etc. NO. NO CHECK THERE.

So, of course republicans love her. They want to keep the highest levels of office in their own image. No change there. And no surprise either.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Every cloud has a silver lining.


Or maybe that's "every golden parachute has a silver lining". I'm never really sure.

Cynical, but true.
That would describe my views on the GOP's mileage out of hurricane Gustav. Much like post-9/11, the Republicans make most hay out of disaster or the fear thereof. Now, Gustav gave them a perfect excuse. A convention that was to be a disaster anyway--given the lack of enthusiasm from the rabid base and the obvious deficiencies in the quality of their nominees--now can be brushed off under the guise of "we were worried for the country". (Really? We wouldn't have known that from the past 8 yrs.) But this way, the worst prez and veep in American history can conveniently miss the convention and McCain and (especially) Palin can get their bring their experience and authority (including as the Mayor of Wassilla) cred to bear on a tough situation.... errr..... Or take advantage of people's misfortune and misery to get some photo-ops, sound bites and talking points. Same thing really, seeing as we're talking about the Grand Ol' Panderers.