Michael Griffin is Pathetic

The wife of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin is trying to lobby the President-elect to keep her husband from being fired.

And he has real reason to be concerned. Mouthing off to and insulting the transition team is not smart politics, no matter how many degrees you have.

Right now NASA is spending billions in U.S. taxpayer money and really resents having to account for it. Let alone actually having to produce something.

The time for actual results is coming, and Michael Griffin is terrified. Maybe it would be better if he resigned.


Sunglasses That Can Save Your Life !!

Sunglass with solar panels on the lenses! Totally geek - which is to say totally cool.

So what if you are stuck on a remote mountain pass and freezing? You can use the extra solar-generated electricity to recharge your cell phone.

I am tickled pink at the idea we can generate energy just by walking around.

Sullivan's Toy Store in Washington, DC - Be the Greatest Aunt or Uncle Ever !!

Let's start a campaign to Keep DC Different. Support local stores and merchants. We can create an atmosphere that can only be found in Washington, DC by supporting shops that are locally-owned and operated by sticking together during this economic crisis and patronizing local stores that are DC institutions. One of these stores is Sullivan's Toy Store.

Put another way - do you want big box, bland toy stores to be the only ones standing two years from now? What makes a location unique are the local stores. Every patch of land in the United States looks like the next because all the same stores are there, and the stores are identical to each other. Each town is just like the next one.

Sullivan's Toy Store has the most creative and innovative toys I've ever seen. You will stand out in gift giving to the kids in your life if you shop here because Sullivan's Toy Store has items that chain stores don't carry. They also carry toys you enjoyed as a kid but can't find anymore, or the updated version.

Sullivans Toy Store

3412 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

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Russia Today - Fabulous PR Gimmick

Russia Today is a publication borne of necessity. The public image of Russia has been getting rightfully hammered what with the assassinated journalists (Anna Politkovskaya), murdered Russians living in the UK (watch out for that sushi) who were asking questions about assassinated Russian journalists, threatening to cut off heating oil to Eastern Europe in winter, and invading a neighboring country when they don't like their internal policies.

What better than a fake news source to pretend there's anything like real news coming out of Russia?

I'm waiting for the story on the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya. Or the story on Russia's use of torture in Chechnya. Or the murder of the the Fortune magazine editor in Moscow.

It'll be a long wait, I know.


Fat, Carbohydrates and Booze

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, a paleo-Conservative magazine (essentially Klansmen with Bachelors degrees), has an article this week about the obese. After the usual statistics about obesity in America, the article goes on to attack health insurance as we know it.

Their big complaint is that health insurance subscribers are not given higher premiums based on lifestyle decisions. You know - fat, carbohydrates and booze.

Now that we are breathing on the possibility of universal health insurance, would it be so awful to charge more to the people who will cost the system more by virtue of their choices? No.

This article attacks the political correctness of not penalizing people for being fat, lazy alcoholics. I guess the readership of Chronicles is all fit and non-smoking in their moral superiority.

But - they have a point. The health-conscious among us should not pay higher premiums than others who eat like there's no tomorrow. It is actually basic common sense. The worst drivers pay higher insurance premiums than good drivers. Bad eaters should pay higher health insurance premiums than good eaters. It just makes sense.


Angel Caught on Camera at a Hospital? You Decide

A video in a hospital captures a bright light that some people thought was an angel. Thought it would be a good little Christmas story.

Some medical miracles happened at the same time.

The question is: why would we need to see anything for angels to be at work?

Perhaps it is to inspire faith and hope, which are very powerful and the lack of which can kill you.

I'll bet if there are angels they are doing stuff all the time and don't need for us to see them.

I know the claims in this video will be dismissed as magical thinking. And maybe the mind does create associations to help its host cope, function and move on. But does that mean the angel doesn't exist?

I maintain that angels exist at least as much as phobias do. If a person has a phobia it is real to that person. The existence of the phobia will alter their actions and reactions and could possibly greatly influence their life. Why would that be less true for an angel?

So for a certainty, we can say angels exist, if only in the minds of those who perceive them. But that doesn't make them any less real.

Further, I maintain that things exist even though we may not see them. Obvious examples are gravity and time.

So why wouldn't angels exist? Because we can't dissect them?

Proving a negative is not possible. So why would you try? Uncertainty is not that painful.

Going Green=Going Broke... by drinkingwithbob

I don't agree with him, but damn, he's interesting to listen to. And he raises good points about bottled water and the role of media in consumerism.


Mika Brzezinski Gets Mugged in the Right Neighborhood

Great commentary by the Young Turks about the absurdity of the outrage by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.


Obama Throws Gays Under the Bus

"Thanks for the lift, guys!" shouts President-elect Obama as he pulls away in his Presidential limousine, waiving to his gay supporters.

President-elect Barak Obama is not yet President Obama, so it is too soon to start screaming bloody murder. After all, his public and official embrace of known gay-hater Rev. Rick Warren may be part of an "Only Nixon could go to China" strategy fully unveiled after January 20, 2009.

Much as President-elect Obama wants to distinguish himself from Clinton, his centrist ways are strikingly similar. Will the leftists be shafted once again? Or is this a little sugar to make the rest go down easier? We'll see....

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Fox News Sues Treasury Department! Good!

Fox Business News has filed two Freedom of Information requests for the Treasury Department asking for information on how the financial bailout money will be spent with regards to Citigroup and AIG.

Since they received no response, Fox Business News is now suing the Treasury Department. Hooray!

The Treasury Department has no idea how the money is being allocated to the bailout recipients. They either can't answer the question or the answer is so embarrassing they are hoping that Fox Business News will go away if they are ignored.

As an aside to Secretary Paulson of the Treasury Department, when you go to the U.S. Congress and ask for billions to bail out your former colleagues and let former competitors - Lehman Brothers - go down the drain, people are going to want to know how that money is spent.

I'll bet if Secretary Paulson had a teenage girl who wanted $500, he would want to know what she was going to spend it on before giving her the money. And if he forgot to ask, he would want to know later.

You can't just show up like an irresponsible child, say you've gotten into trouble and need a bailout, and then expect no one will want to know what you've done with the money.

Or maybe you would try. But that makes you more like a teenage girl than Secretary of the Treasury.

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Why Health Insurance Cost So Much!

Some blather in the beginning. Skip to minute four to get to the meat of it: if health care costs go down, then premiums would go down. So health insurance companies make more money from disease management than keeping people healthy.

Ottis Toole, Adam Walsh, and America's Most Wanted

Constructive action that alleviates grief. That's how I would describe Adam Walsh's work to protect children and to highlight the issue of missing children and crime victims. Back then, for those of you who don't remember, the idea of support for crime victims was unheard of. And crimes against children was not given the attention it is given today.

The idea that there were scores of children that disappeared every year was just not thought of. At that time, there were District Attorneys that just refused to prosecute rape cases. All rape cases. Imagine being a woman in a jurisdiction like that. Ted Bundy was still alive and well then, as well as other serial killers and rapists.

As you can tell, America has changed a lot. The feminist movement has had a lot to do with that, too. Women, as they gained political power, began to insist that sex crimes and crimes against children were taken seriously. Before then, they were the backwater where the losers of the office were sent to work.

Adam Walsh's work on behalf of his son John Walsh's memory has done untold good for thousands of people in providing relief for the victims of crimes. He has highlighted people sought by the police in a way that has led to the capture of dozens of people.

This is in sharp contrast with crime vampires like Nancy Grace who deal in abusive exploitation and missing white girls.

Brittany Zimmerman

The vampire jaws of Nancy Grace have found another white woman to feed on: Brittany Zimmerman.

You really can't blame Nancy Grace. She has stumbled on a winning formula: white girl in peril, white girl dead, and someone could help her if only we make them talk. Hey! You can be a part of the interrogation! Watch!

The Nancy Grace formula has the benefit of making the viewers exact revenge from the evildoers, or scapegoats, of the show. The audience becomes part of the investigating squad, with Nancy Grace at the lead investigator and the viewer as the silent cop who is loyal and ready to spring into action when called upon.

It is an empowering experience to humiliate people on t.v., even if your job is just to watch and judge. Maybe it is nice to imagine that the criminals you are afraid of can still be punished even if they escape arrest.

And if one or two of them commit suicide, they must have been guilty anyway. So no moral culpability there.

Maybe once in a while we could be concerned that a black girl is missing or dead. Just once. We have a black President, don't we? It is time to integrate our true crime genre as well.

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Suicidal Skateboarders

Who was that suicidal skateboarder that I saw on 11th & H Streets Saturday around 3:30 p.m.? He was skating on the street, going through red lights, and without a helmet. He skittered all over the streets for blocks.

Why pick on him? I see the same thing over and over again. What is wrong with people? Have they been raised on a farm and have no idea how dangerous traffic in DC can be?

When a GW student was killed by a cab driver, the entire city went into an uproar. A murder conviction was stopped by one juror who stated that he told his kids not to skate in the streets for that very reason: you could get killed. Why should he convict someone of murder when the dead skater was so oblivious to the consequences of his actions?

Good point.


Does Blagojevich Have a Brain Injury?

I honestly can't think of anything else that would explain it.

He's under investigation for corruption, and knowing this, he decides to sell a U.S. Senate appointment. Oh, on the phone. Let's not forget that one.

But how would a brain injury explain his wife? And his aides?

I am having a hard time imagining how any one person could be so reckless. Or arrogant. Or crazy. But all of them? Together?

You mean that none of them said "Wait a minute. Aren't we under investigation right now? Maybe this isn't a great idea." But none of them did. So they are all going to prison.

I've heard the Nazi movement in Germany described as mass mental illness. This might be another example of it.


Hate Crimes in Columbia Heights

It happened again. A group of black teenagers knifed two Hispanics behind the Giant on Park road. A few months ago, a similar attack happened at 11th and Otis streets.

It's too soon to tell if there was a fatality. The Otis street incident did result in a death.

14th street was closed by the police, as were all the streets going west and east towards 14th street.

Is this a trend across the city, or just in Columbia Heights? What on G-d's Earth is prompting it?

The Inauguration: DUIs and Revelry

What are you doing for the Inauguration? The greedy little Washingtonian in me wanted to rent sleeping space at $150 a night. We have a big house and would do quite well by that.

But really, I don't want strangers all over the house. In fact, I didn't even want to leave the house for the festivities because of the mobs of people who will be coming to town. Just getting a pizza will be a struggle with those kinds of numbers.

And then, my little chickadees, the DC Government announced that bars will stay open Inaugural week until 5 a.m. That's when I decided not to leave my house for a week.

Now maybe I don't want to be an active part of the wild partying. Personally, I consider myself well past such things for many years now. I might even consider such a policy move as 24 hour drinking to be less than wise. However, when I heard members of Congress paternalistically yammering on about the evils of 24 hour drinking, I got annoyed. Who are those losers to tell the residents of the District of Columbia ANYTHING?

Maybe I don't want to party. Maybe I never do. Maybe a good time for my husband and I is discussing children's books from 1925. But, by God, don't let those interfering smarty pants in Congress tell me what's wise or not. Let's see Congress intervening on decisions in their local districts and watch how much they would scream and holler.

We don't care what you think, you stupid idiots. Shut up! Meanwhile, I'll be doing the funky chicken in the comfort of my living room.

Auto Bailout News and Opportunity

The latest seems to be that the bailout of the auto industry is not going to happen after all. Some of what they were talking about yesterday really sounded good to this blogger, though.

Like getting money towards a deposit for trading in your old, gas-inefficient car.

And if they did go bust, what are they going to do with all those cars? Bankrupt or not - I'd take my chances with a new Ford Explorer hybrid over the rattle trap I've got now. I might be alone on that one. But that's fine. There'd be more for me to choose from.

And let's think a moment about the whole car selling setup. I mean, don't dealerships lose money on selling cars? And they make that money up through repairs and parts. The whole system as it exists now would collapse if cars were made that lasted longer and were built better. Maybe ripping down the whole system isn't such a bad idea.

But then there would be the political fallout of all those dealers and service people who would be out of jobs. And that's where you get into the problem of Congress and politicians making decisions for the industry. I hear Senators talking about those dealership jobs and protecting them which may not be the best idea. If the long term success of the industry means that the whole "I make money on your car breaking" paradigm has to go, then preserving those dealer jobs in the short term would be bad for the auto industry and America.

So now we are going to see how well the marketplace really works to solve its own problems. The hard way.

Travelzoo is the Best Travel Bargain Site

Through Travelzoo, we got a round-trip ticket to South Africa for $500 through Iberia airlines. By the way, the food on Iberia Airlines is great.

What Travelzoo does is poll all the travel web sites on the web for you and collects the best deals and presents them to you in a weekly e-mail. Travelzoo itself does not offer any travel deals. I guess they just get a cut of whatever they advertise.

I used to spend hours trolling travel web pages and just did not find anything that beat what Travelzoo found.

The next big vacation is going to be to Costa Rica, I think. My husband has been bugging me to go there for two years now.


Holland House Candles Remind Me of Aunt Annie

This Christmas I am getting my Aunt Janice a Holland House Candle because her house is so classic in its decoration. I just love the way they look like a sculpture and are a great centerpiece for a formal dining room table.

I associate candles like that with Great Aunt Annie, who passed away many years ago, but used to keep me as child for the weekends sometimes. Her house was neat as a pin and she tried to keep explaining to me why I couldn't use the guest towels in the bathroom. She took such pride in her clean house and nice belongings, some of which are in my living room now.

She used Oil of Olay and to this day I love that smell.

I wonder if part of what we love about our holiday traditions has to do with our loved ones as a child. Would I still appreciate the same things if they didn't remind me of Aunt Annie? There's no way to tell.

What I can take away from this pondering is to practice putting love and fun into the lives of the children in my life now. That's what I can give for Christmas.

Caylee Anthony's Body Found

It is so sad to realize that Nancy Grace had it right with her drooling anticipation of bloodshed. We all wanted it to be wrong, and that somehow little Caylee was about five miles away and perfectly fine. Anger at Caylee Anthony's mother for her neglect of her child and her partying after her child's disappearance is very valid.

Of course, innocent before proven guilty. Let's all remind ourselves, while we're sharpening our spears, that anything could have happened and we have no idea if it is even Caylee Anthony's remains that were in that plastic bag.

I feel sorry for the utility meter reader who had the head of a small child fall out of a bag he picked up. How could you go back to work after that?

Murder: WWL and Vince Marinello

It doesn't always pay to be organized. That's what Vince Marinello found out when the police found his "to do" list for the murder of his estranged wife.

Does that mean he wanted to get caught? No. That means he wanted to make sure he got it right. It also means planning and intent to kill, versus intent to scare or self-defense.

Don't people realize that the best revenge is living well? She will never be alive to look at you and grind her teeth in frustration and anger. She will never see you happily moving on. She will never feel the pain of your indifference.

By killing her, Vince Marinello made her into a dead albatross to carry around his neck forever. I wonder if he planned on that.

Botulism and Heroin in Dublin - What you dealer doesn't want you to know

There's a health concern in Dublin these days: an outbreak of botulism among heroin users.

There's another unspoken health problem associated with heroin: heroin causes diarrhea. For the life of me, I can't figure out why nobody mentions this when warning kids against drugs. All those movie scenes with heroin addicts on the floor next to the toilet are no coincidence, I suppose. You would have to be an addict if you are willing to get diarrhea to get high. Bleh! What could be a better buzz kill for "heroin chic" than a shot of someone having diarrhea at the same time. The cool would be gone instantly.

And suppose - just suppose - you live long enough to kick heroin. Then you are stuck with a lifetime of constipation! It's true! Who would want to be a heroin addict knowing that? I'm sure they're out there, of course. Hopefully you can smell them coming.

What's surprising about this botulism problem is how infrequently it occurs. Not even accounting for the dirty needles, heroin is a risk because people selling it to you will make their batch bigger by adding sugar or salt to it. Then they will sell it to you.

And why not? It's not like you're going to sue them.

CONFESSION: No, I am not a drug addict, nor have I ever been one. Maybe that's why I don't understand this.

Jennifer Aniston Nude on 2009 GQ Cover

So Jennifer Aniston is showing her stuff. Good. I hope she gets great movie deals and forgets that stupid ex of hers- what's his name. But is she REALLY nude? Completely? There might be some pasties there.

I for one would be really happy for Jen if she was starting a new life, going in a new direction and throwing some of the over-wholesomeness aside.

She looks good, anyway. I just wish she'd stop talking about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Honestly, I think Brad Pitt is doing this whole "I am not getting married until gays have the right to marry" thing because he doesn't want to marry Jolie. Can't blame him. She seems a little spooky to me with her sphinx-like smile that never looks sincere.

Nightmare at Miss Porter's School

For a long time, I have heard horrible stories about how girls are treated at these elite schools and how the school will look the other way. I've lived in Washington, DC a long time and there are more elite schools here than fire hydrants.

"Mean Girls" was based on the National Cathedral School, for instance.

I heard a mother complaining once about how vicious and brutal the girls at the National Cathedral School were to her daughter when she transferred from the International School. And when she complained to the school, it brushed off as just "they way girls are."

I guess people aren't willing to take it anymore. Nor should they, with that kind of tuition.

And girls are only that way because they can get away with it. A teen hasn't reached moral or emotional maturity and still needs limits and social skills. No society has ever let teens stomp around and do whatever they feel like doing to one another. Limits have always been in place. The 21st century is no exception. A school needs to take responsibility for what its students do to one another.

All the girl did was suggest holding their prom with some other schools.


Washington Gas Outsourced All Customer Service to the Phillipines!

Are you kidding me? Now it is impossible to get an answer about your Washington Gas bill without going into their offices.

Just when Americans need jobs the most. And we're in the middle of winter when people need to talk to someone about their bill or risk freezing.

Who made this decision, anyway? What on Earth were they thinking? They should be tracked down and made to account for it publicly.

This is outrageous. How about hiring some DC residents? After all, it's our money you are collecting. How about cycling it back into the community.


The Trash Guys in Columbia Heights Strike Again!

Once upon a time, little Econo-Girl would stand on her back porch, coffee mug in hand, and wait for the DC Department of Sanitation trucks to arrive. No matter the weather, no matter the chill, she would wait patiently.

As the garbage truck inevitably rolled through the alley, past her house, she would give a shout. "Hey! What about my trash?" With reluctance, the garbage men would stop the truck and pick up her garbage.

If, perchance, little Econo-Girl was not there to remind the garbage men of their duty, her trash simply would not be picked up.

This past Friday, in the alley behind the 3500 block of Tenth St NW, little Econo-Girl got to her back porch just after the garbage trucks had passed. So she ran down the alley and asked why they had left her trash untouched. Her tone of voice was, perhaps, a little less than refined. This sad fact was brought to her attention. Little Econo-Girl then mentioned, in a less-than-cheerful melody, that for six years she has had her garbage ignored. The attendant claimed to only be responsible for one year's neglect, not six.

Little Econo-Girl then observed that today, if she were not present, her trash would not have been picked up, and what was the excuse for that? The response was "We're backing up the truck now." Not a direct answer, to be sure.

But the trash truck was backed up and the trash picked up, after some hectoring by little Econo-Girl.

The question one is left with is: how is it that the garbage men in DC only pick up your trash if they feel like it, and only if you are out there to watch them and remind them to do it? This would be a great question for the Mayor.


Big Three Bailout: Making Them Beg

We all know the big three American automakers are going to get financial relief in one form or another. Until then, Congress is having fun making them beg.

For decades, the U.S. Automotive industry has been the big gorilla in the room. They crushed the electric car. They opposed environmental standards. They opposed fuel efficiency requirements.

Now the rest of the country has the chance to harass them, and is having a ball.

"Sir, I don't see a plan for the money you want. I need to see a plan for how this money is going to be spent."

And then, "This plan doesn't go far enough."

Or the spectacle of corporate jets. "Did you fly here in a corporate jet? Let's take a poll." Imagine, being forced to drive those cars you want the U.S. taxpayer to rescue. Well, they did, with a smile.

Congress is enjoying this, and America is too.


Keep the Clothes

OK, so Sarah Palin was caught wearing some of those expensive clothes she said she would give back. So what.

I hear the screams of corruption allegations - and couldn't care less. If given the chance to update the old wardrobe with designer clothes that made me look GREAT, I'd keep the clothes too. And frankly, so would you.

Sarah Palin was ridiculed, mocked, shamed, and humiliated in her run for office this year. Yes, that's because she was unprepared to be Vice President. She represented a side of the United States that frankly embarrasses the rest of us. And she is nakedly ambitious in a way that is still seen as unseemly for a woman in America.

Still - keep the clothes. Consider them war trophies. It's got to be tough to run for Vice President and if all she's got to show for it is great clothes, keep the clothes.

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Walmart Death

What is wrong with people? First of all, Walmart should have called the police when they saw how big the crowds were getting. Crowd control is what the police do. Not Walmart.

Has our avarice gotten so awful that we kill for a bargain? Actually stomp someone to death?

That poor man was just trying to earn some money before the holiday. It's the quintessential American tragedy. Dying so someone can get a bargain.


Jerry Troop's Bailout Plan - Best One Yet

*actual cost to taxpayers, $60,000,000,000, sixty billion, (cost of Iraq war for X days)

The basic Idea is simple, make Fed Guaranteed short-term loans of $10,000 available to individuals. (about a hundred million of them)

> The rate is 10% per annum and the first year's interest is waived on any money repaid within 1 year.
> Ideally, these loans are intended to be repaid within 1 year and the money used to increase income, decrease expenses, energy usage, or other waste so that there is a lasting net gain after loan is repaid.
>Loans are written with repayment plan of $1000/month beginning payments 1 year from initiation of loan. 2 years interest are included as payments. Payment schedule will be rewritten for new balance on money not repaid after 1 year.

>>>>>>>>>>>Loans will be issued in stages over a 4 year period.<<<<<<<<

STAGE ONE, taxpayers with excellant credit.
This amounts to a gift to America's most solid citizens.
People with AAA credit, whose taxes are paid will be offered, without having to ask , a sort of a "Revolving charge card". The understanding being that the first year's interest on all charges is gratis, IF the bal. is paid in one year. These people could easily get loans at moderate rates, but are smart enough not to. They will spend the money wisely and pay it back before interest begins. I want to see these loans out by Xmas.

Their applications will include the questions "What do you want to do with the money?" and "How will you repay it?"
Loans will be granted based on Quality of application. Applicants denied will be referred to stage 3.


SBA and such offer business and personal financial mgt. courses.
Graduation is a prerequisate for approval for this level of participant.

STAGE FOUR----- Applicants who don't qualify for stage 3
These are the habitual poor.
To lend them $10k would likely do them more harm than good.
They would qualify for $1000 initial loans, knowing full well they are likely to need "second chance" loans as soon as the first loan payments become due. Those payments would be due beginning in one month."Third chance" and "fourth chance" loans would also be available. If they prove themselves responsible by making their payments on time, completing required courses, and submitting an acceptable financial plan, they may qualify for full $10,000 loan.


The loan principle ($250,000,000,000. Each dollar will be lent 4 times over 4 years), will be raised by selling T-bills paying 6%+-.
The interest will be paid out of the taxpayers general fund. Please note that this will NOT raise your taxes, other than the usual result of increased income. Yet treasury will increase because of a higher GNP.

Like a student loan, this loan will not be eradicated by bankruptcy. They continue to accumulate interest until the borrower dies. Delinquent borrowers will be contacted by people very experienced in helping people help themselves. And those same people want that money back in the program to help other people. The interest paid will more than cover the debt written off.


No, I Did Not Go To Yale

It's just a sweatshirt! It's not a resume!

Somehow, throughout Washington, DC, I am constantly getting comments on the Yale Bulldogs just because I wear this sweatshirt. It's warm! It cost a dollar! Leave me alone!

Especially in AU Park. People will call across the street to me. Others poke their children and point at me and shout, "Look! There's a Yalie!"

Others just ask me if I went to Yale.

"No, I just buy the sweatshirts at thrift shops."

Today someone asked me about my Yale sweatshirt on the way to my legal temp assignment and actually seemed annoyed that I was wearing the shirt without having gone there.

It's just a sweatshirt. You know, like Yale is just a school. Because it is.

People should be more concerned about something else. Maybe they could ask, instead, "Are you related to George Bush?"


"Are you getting foreclosed on?"


"Does your father own an oil company?"


"Is anyone in your family fighting in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan?"


National Security and the Auto Industry

The United States needs the auto industry because we need the factories in case we need to produce weapons in them.

The United States needs to support the rail system because it is the fastest way to move thousands of troops from one side of the country to the other.

The United States needs to maintain its highways and bridges also to facilitate the movement of troops from one side of the country to the other.

People whose insight includes only profit take a lot for granted.

Fucked Over By Wall Street Once Again

The U.S. automakers have had their request for a bailout denied. Why? Because when the U.S. Congress gave bailout money to the bankers of Wall Street, it was misused by giving dividends and bonuses out instead of preventing foreclosures.

So now a real industry, one that actually produces something, has to come up with a plan that Congress approves prior to getting any money.

And I assure you that far more people will be hurt by the U.S. auto industry failing than any other industry in America.


Cheney, Gonzales Indicted

Ahh - it has already begun. The Bush Administration isn't even out the door yet and the recriminations for their illegal behaviour has begun.

I guess the only question was: when? When were people going to start taking pot shots at the Bush Administration? When would they feel safe enough from their vindictive wrath to start shooting holes in the absurd legal theories that are about to expose the Bush Administration to shame?

Rather quickly, it seems. Like, before George Bush is out the door.

That's when you know the game is over. Bye-Bye!



Everything we have worried about is happening. As much as every Federal Reserve chief and Treasury Secretary has wanted to avoid inflation, deflation was a much greater fear.

Well, here we are! Prices are going down and consumers are soon going to get the idea that all they have to do is wait to get a better price. And that will propel a further contraction in the economy. It's a self-perpetuating cycle.

The exception will be food. There's an anticipated reduction in the volume of food available in stores for the Spring.


You Know the Ku Klux Klan is in Decline When...

They are so paranoid and stupid that they kill their own initiates. That's what happened to a woman who wanted to be taken to a nearby town after they shaved her head.

Who ever came up with the shaved head thing anyway?

The KKK is in its last gasps of life. Good thing, too.

Sarah Palin (Thong Song) by Crisco

Interesting cultural phenomenon: sexy songs about a Vice Presidential candidate. It's satire, of course. But you know that a large part of America is hot for her.

I think that Sarah Palin is getting a bad rap. People are attacking her because she played a role in the McCain campaign, and yes, was ill-prepared for a national competition.

What's she's proven, though, is she's tough and smart. She's not going away. Welcome, Sarah.


America Returns

And none too soon. In the end, the right-wing nut jobs who tried to reverse the New Deal, have failed.

I can't wait for the new President to set the Wall Street recipients of the bailout right. You can't take billions of our money and then decide your going to use it to buy other banks instead of making loans. Oh, and give yourselves economic bonuses. That, too.

Or at least I hope he does.

The America of my youth has returned. And I can't wait.


Drug War in Bolivia

The United States is accusing Bolivia of not doing enough to stop the flow of drugs out of that country.

How about the demand for drugs in this one?

We really can't control the flow of drugs as long as there is so much demand here in the United States. In fact, the only thing that the United States can really affect is the demand for illegal drugs by making it harder and riskier to purchase them.

Let's take all the DEA agents and all the money we are using to fight drug trafficking abroad and use it here in the States to attack demand. It would boost the economy by keeping those dollars at home. And we could stop blaming other countries for our own vicious appetites.


The Red Menace

Let's make a new rule: All states have to be self-supporting in terms of Federal tax revenue. That means that states like Alaska, who comfort themselves with a "suspicion" of Washington, would no longer get all that extra Federal money. Neither would Wyoming or any of the other red states.

Because the debtor states are the red states. These people who want Washington out of their lives could start by giving back the excess Federal money they get over and above the amount of taxes they pay.

But isn't it all about the purity? The "we are better than you because we pretend not to have sex until marriage or gay sex" thing?

Yeah, right. Give us back our money and you can be as pure as you want. Then you really don't have to worry about Washington interfering with your life.

So Alaska Is Suspicious of Washington?

Then give back all the money we keep handing you. Don't trust Washington? Thinking of sending a convicted Senator Stevens back to the Senate? That'll show them - but perhaps not what you imagined.


Kill Moodys! Kill Standard & Poors

So these dorks still want to rate bonds? After the shit they pulled? In capitalism, you have the freedom to fail. Congrats!


F*ck You, MSNBC Execs! Go Hardball !!!!

What kind of boneheaded dipshits run MSNBC? The best political program on the air, Hardball, is only finally available in video and then it is hidden and hard-to-find on their web page.

Chris Matthews is the best political reporter in the United States. His interview of that erratic Congresswoman likely changed the outcome of her re-election. He knows his history and has a great understanding of American politics.

Besides, how can you not love the feeling of being a part of an insider conversation about politics? It is the rolling style of an ongoing conversation that is so appealing.

Chris Matthews and Hardball have been sidelined and under-promoted by the MSNBC execs for years, and I'm really mad about it.

I Grew Up in Small Town America, I Lived in Small Town America, I Know Small Town America

Sarah Palin is trying to align herself with small town Americans. The problem is that they aren't all as stupid as she is.

Being from a small town doesn't mean you can't read the Constitution. It doesn't mean that no one knows you are being mean because you are smiling. It doesn't mean they can't remember the McCarthy era hyperbole and its ramifications.

The McCain campaign is reaching for a voting public that hasn't existed for over 50 years. Let's see if they come up out of their graves to vote.


Let's Blame Black People!!

"Weapons of Mass Deception" are the lies about how the housing crisis is the fault the poor minorities who got loans they couldn't afford. But let's be real: the mortgage companies didn't want to give up their racist practices and are trying to punish the regulators with shifting the blame now, when the real blame lies with them.

I got my first mortgage through the ACORN program. I am white, educated, and got no family help for my first home purchase. The ACORN program helped me get that condo and I paid that mortgage in full when I sold it four years later. Let's not blame ACORN.

When I refinanced my house six years later, the interest-only loan was practically shoved down my throat. I still said 'No'. I'm not Econo-Girl for nothing. The mortgage broker assured me "they" won't let the interest rates get too high. In the end, I got a fixed rate thirty year mortgage. But if someone wasn't as informed as me, they would have taken it, thinking it was a no-brainer.

What the free-marketers, bankers, and mortgage lenders hate to admit: they live or die based on the will of the voters. So if we say so, that's it. Jump, boy, jump. Higher.

Don't Sell Stocks!!

You only lose money if you sell stocks. You haven't really lost money unless you sell your stocks. So if you can, don't sell your stocks. Hang in there as long as you can. I know it's scary, but the people who make money, serious money, are not selling or are even buying stocks.


Sarah Palin On Rape and Abortion - She Favors Birth Control

Here is a hidden story. Sarah Palin favors birth control. Not the morning after pill, but she is in favor of contraception.

Would that make her a rational pro-life candidate? She also favors support for mothers choosing to have a baby by making adoption easier.

But here's something I want to know: would Sarah Palin be in favor of forcing a woman to bear a child? That the essential issue in the abortion debate. No matter how much you hate abortion, will you try to force women to bear children they don't want to bear?

I say "try" to force because we all know that women, as they have from the beginning of time, will find ways to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The abortion debate is a power struggle over the power of women to choose to bring a new life into the world.

Abortion will not be stopped with a law.

Worst Week Ever From the Worst President Ever

President Bush, who inherited a balanced budget, spent like a drunken sailor for eight years, and here we are. The amount of American debt that the international community has bought is directly related to the amount we had to borrow to pay for President Bush's profligate spending. Now our entire country is indebted to, and dependent on, foreign money to stay afloat. Since when is that conservative?

George Bush's breed of Republican is interested in power for power's sake. The ideology they chant is only meant to gather support for what they want to do.

Certainly no one can say that President Bush's philosophy of less government, and getting government out of the lives of people, has any relationship to his actions.

George Bush likes to blame other people for his problems. Who is getting the blame this time? Is it going to be another "Clinton recession"? That is what President Bush called the recession of 2001. I'm just waiting for the conservative media machine to revisit the phrase.

NASA, Grow Up!

NASA is continuing to embrace triviality to the exclusion of practical, effective projects. In deciding to "launch a super-size rover" to Mars in 2009, once again NASA is choosing a really expensive hobby over any action that could produce practical and tangible results.

Of course, if one tried to actually do something, like create solar-based energy on the Moon, one might fail. You can never fail at cute little adventures. The expectations are very low.

So rather than be held to account for producing something, the coneheads at NASA are diddling around with landing on Mars while projecting that it will take a century before the United States will have a base on the Moon.

But I know a secret. Guess what? It won't take China that long.


What the Stock Market Rally Means

That Americans have more faith in Gordon Brown than Secretary Paulson and George W. Bush.

NPR: DON'T "Tell Me More" !!!

Lynching was the topic today. Are you kidding me? Like we're all not depressed enough? People are already suicidal, and you want to dwell on horrific events in American history?

How is this a help to anyone, exactly? Pull your head out of your butt and talk about something useful in this crisis, or at least something calming. Suggestions:

Living cheap
Eating cheap
Cheap fun
Ha, Ha, the rich people lost money
Avoiding the repo man
Discerning an investment banker and them throwing dog poop on him
Starting a small business

There's a myriad of interesting and relevant topics to chose from.

The thing about the Tell Me More show is it really is slanted towards African-Americans in terms of its choice of topics and speakers.


John McCain is a Man of Honor

John McCain is a man of honor. You may not agree with all of his choices. You many not like the guy. But he is a man of honor underneath it all.

He is unwilling to endorse the extreme, and dangerous, rhetoric of the racist right wing of American politics. Given the American history of assassination surrounding the issues of race and integration, he putting a lid on any implied tacit approval of violent measures to stop Barak Obama. His followers needed to hear that.

"Off with his head" is an implied threat of death. We don't usually have that with American politics. I know that people didn't mean "kill Obama" when they said it. But there is an element of violence in that particular expression of opposition.

People have claimed that John McCain has succumbed to the evil methodologies of Rove in an attempt to win this election. And I would have to agree. However, his action in pulling back the rhetoric demonstrates that he still is decent underneath being a candidate.


Capitalism Has Failed

Our capitalist economic system has failed. Recognizing this, and not willing to be the unthinking arm of tragedy, Cook County sheriff Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is no longer evicting people in foreclosed properties in Chicago.

I would like to meet anyone who says our financial system is working. But in a sense, it is. It's just that the outcome of our current capitalist system is politically unpalatable.

Sheriff Thomas J. Dart's refusal to throw people on the street acknowledges a breakdown of our system of economics and its political implications for the banks. The rhythmic chanting about the marketplace that we've been subjected to for years depends on the enforcement of those mores by society at large.

We, as a society, are no longer willing to adhere to the pure marketplace ideology. The inherent unfairness of allowing bankers and others to make up financial instruments and letting others suffer the consequences is not being tolerated.

This being America, the fancy financial whiz kids can expect to be indicted soon. That will be fun to watch.

So now, following Great Britain's lead, the United States is considering an ownership stake in these wayward banks. NOTE: We are officially Socialists when that happens.

Not that I'm against it. Obviously, we can't let these money guys stray too far from the barn. They can't keep out of trouble. For a group of people who pride themselves on thinking, the financial geniuses need a tutorial on how the world works. They'll find out. All is fine in America until you screw up. And you took capitalism with you this time.


Safe Haven Laws NOW

Other nations accuse the United States of not being a nation of thinkers. The United States tends to think of everyone else as lazy, navel-gazing fools.

But I disagree with those who say Americans are not a thinking people. We are. We embrace an idea to the death - usually someone else's though.

How many times have you heard someone chant "I believe in the free market" or "I believe in a muscular Presidency"? The beliefs are put before the consequences of them.

The rampant idea is that people should take care of themselves and that parents should take care of their children. Even when it is not possible anymore, or the strain leads to death.

People who are cracking under the strain of raising children need an out. Safe haven laws allow kids to be dropped off at a hospital without criminal penalties attaching to the parents.

Isn't it better to acknowledge that occasionally someone is not up to the task of caring for children and give them an option for the care and safety of the child?

Or is it an improvement to watch one tragedy after another flash across our television screens while we shake our heads and lament what should have been.

The Pope and the Bailout

"Repent!" says the Pope - more or less. Pope Benedict XVI has chastised Western culture for being too oriented towards money and material wealth. He's right, of course.

In the United States, people worship the free market. As if throngs of self-seeking, short-sighted people have the divine in their brokerage accounts and wallets.

Our tendency is to worship the Invisible Hand of the marketplace. Whose hand, by the way? G-d's, of course. And G-d's Invisible Hand is guiding America's success in the world and our natural dominance over others, right?. So if they resist, they are resisting the work of G-d. This logic plays into our Puritan ethos.

There's always been this theme running throughout American discourse on free markets: that G-d works in free market forces. These would be the same free market forces that brought us slavery and prostitution, by the way.

Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that the marketplace is a man-made creation, and is no more superior to man than our SUVs are. Let's try to live that way for a while. It would make universal health care and free higher education more of a right and less of a privilege. Hey, we're Socialists now, why not?


Fannie Mae Forgives Loan of Woman Who Shot Herself

The woman was ninety years old. Now you know what's going to happen. People all over America are going to shoot themselves when the sheriff comes to evict them.

What is not being taken into account is the human toll of misery resulting from the credit crisis.

And the American people were lulled into the credit lifestyle to support, falsely, the economy.

Imagine - A Note to Bailout Bimbos

Imagine a radical shift in the U.S. economy such that everything is paid for up front. That businesses have cash on hand for payroll, people have the money before they buy a car, and no one uses credit.

I understand the wails of the financial industry: our economy does run on credit. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe we need to shift our mind sets to saving first.

Something I've noticed about saving for something before you buy it: you don't want to pay as much. Even if you have the full amount that you might have borrowed.

We are in for a tough transition, folks.

And the Bailout Bimbos are Paulson and Bernanke for thinking the United States Congress would just hand them $700 billion dollars without accountability.

AOL Time Warner and What's Wrong With America

Yes, I'm still going on about this. AOL Shopping had a pictorial warning older women not to dress too sexily. Cougar, indeed. My initial anger has given way to deeper thoughts 'on this crisis.' (Don't you love that phrase? Will anybody give me $700 billion dollars now?)

Patriotic American electrons are being manipulated, in the form of the Internet, to tell women that they have to buy certain clothes. It's all part of the media machine telling the public to consume, consume, consume.

Remember after September 11? We were not advised to enlist, nor to become a paramedic, but to buy, buy, buy. We have built a culture and an economy based on relentless consumerism. What a surprise it didn't last.

I will be denounced as naive for observing that content is being skewed to sell things. It began so long ago.

But after the financial collapse on Wall Street, hasn't the message filtered down to AOL Time Warner web site staff? Americans can no longer buy-buy-buy. In fact, we will have to stop buying whether we want to or not.

Dress Like A Cougar!! - AOL Shopping Bad Advice

AOL Shopping has a whole pictorial dedicated to How Not To Dress for older women, accusing older women of being "cougars" for sexy dressing. Its admonitions failed - I want to be a cougar. I now want a velour track suit. I never wanted one before. I want to wear excessive gold jewelry and have big hair - all cougar-like signs, apparently.

Oh, and by the way, what's wrong with being a cougar? I'm supposed to hide my sexuality now? To sell clothes?

This is all power-based. As the ultimate glass ceiling is being battered during our Presidential election season, the media machine AOL/Time Warner backlash is against older women expressing self-confidence and power. It's a shame-based strategy. The message is "you will be held up to ridicule if you express your sensuality, even if you do reach the impossible size six. So nothing you do is good enough. Here, buy this."

What a pleasant way to control older women! Like the age-old technique of telling women how fat they are unless they buy your clothes/shampoo/cigarettes, AOL Shopping has a list of items older women shouldn't wear. And how convenient! There are links to things you can buy to wear instead.

This AOL pictorial has made me turn a corner - watch out Juicy! And you, too, Miss Twenty-Something.


Weirdly Cheerful Anchors at CNN Money dot com

Christine Roman smiles and smiles as she chats about the meltdown of my retirement savings. The other one, whatever her name is, does the same thing.

I recognize this trend of having attractive young women reading the news. It's the same sexist thinking that led to the choosing of Sarah Palin. It's the "hey let's get a good-looking chick in there and tell her what to say" idea. "She won't have any ideas of her own. She doesn't need qualifications." And the chirpy Christine Roman is the result.

They can't stop smiling, or in the case of Christine Roman, they can't quite eliminate the laughter in their voice. Not that she's laughing at America. No. She's not up to the task of delivering economic news. Nor understanding it, it seems.

When are we going to get some real reporters on television that aren't misplaced models? Are they really just news readers? They certainly aren't financial reporters.


DC Needs a Safe Haven Law

How many of our children are going to die before some measure is put in place to allow overstressed parents some relief? The hideous economic crisis we are in now means that awful situations like those four dead little girls will be a regular occurrence.

DC needs a safe haven law now. A safe haven law allows a parent to deposit a child, of any age, at a hospital without being arrested for child abandonment.

Financial stress is going to make rough going on most families in the coming months and years. And frankly, DC's track record on protecting children is really bad enough.

The safe haven law needs to have provisions for all ages up to 18. We have seen how that broad scope is needed in the recent deaths of older children.

I am not saying a safe haven law would have prevented the deaths we have all read about, which are too upsetting to relate. I am just saying we need a safety net in place to protect kids and to give parents an option before doing anything drastic.

Pakistani Prez Admires Palin, i.e. The Role of Flirting in Diplomacy

A recent widower, his wife assassinated, the new President of Pakistan apparantly is an admirer of Gov. Palin.

"You are more gorgeous than you are on [television]," he told Palin after she declared that she was honored to meet him. "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you," Zardari added, flashing his trademark teeth-baring smile. (From TIME magazine. Click on title of post to see full article.)

It seems Pakistani feminists are outraged. But really, is it so bad? He was flirting with a potential U.S. leader. So what? As women enter the field of world leadership, isn't flirtation part of the communication repertoire? I think it should be.

I can see my husband saying something like this. He says things like this to every woman that moves, especially the old ones. And they love it. "O-o-ohh!" they squeal with delight, clap their hands, and even jump up and down. When we shop in upper northwest DC, he goes up to obvious 40-something women with babies and says, "the au pairs are getting younger and younger every year" and - without fail - they giggle and say "I'm the mother!"

So a little flirting to grease the wheels of international relationships isn't a bad thing at all. Didn't Thatcher and Pinochet have a little thing going on like that? Maybe not the best example, but you get the point.


Let's Play WALL STREET BAILOUT !! - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Interesting perspective on how the leadership of both parties tried to railroad the bailout through Congress.

"Real reform now, or nothing."

Wall Street Wants Mama To Make It All Better! - Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)

Good background on escalation of financial bailouts and crisis.

"The American people are truly getting bilked. They didn't get any of the up side and they are getting all of the down side -"

There are 38,000 are losing their homes in Ohio. "38,000 perched at the edge. Our state needs $20 billion dollars just to do work outs in our state. Where's the Federal Reserve? Where's the Treasury Department? Why did they only help the rich people? What about the rest of the people who have to work for a living -"

Sounds Like Insider Trading To Me! - Rep Kaptur

Rep. Kaptur really lays it down. She expresses the popular sentiment that the bailout bill is being railroaded through for the benefit of Wall Street elites.

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.

A Message adapted and updated from Mr. John Cleese:

To the Citizens of the United States of America:

In light of the strong possibility you are about to elect an elderly gentleman with a bad temper and a lady who thinks she can run foreign policy because she can see Russia from her house, as President and President-In-Waiting of the USA and thus to risk Life As We Know It for everyone else on the Planet, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy). She won't actually be in charge, but she'll greet foreign leaders as necessary and not put her foot in it or vomit on anyone at dinner.

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. He will choose someone who does not have his or her hand in the till and has significant experience in running Big Things. You have not had one of them for almost a decade and trust me, it is a big plus.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. They have given away too much of your money already to rescue incompetent business executives and soon your American Dollars will resemble Zimbabwean Dollars in total worthlessness. There is no free lunch you know. Although we originally let you get away with secession because King George was robbing you blind, recent events demonstrate that your present leaders are doing much worse things and unfortunately you have not noticed.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether more than half of you still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11. Information to the contrary will again be provided by the rest of the world and we request you read it this time and refrain from invading the wrong country ever again if you possibly can.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. But we have a lot of Bank Holidays you will enjoy instead.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent.

Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.
Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $9/US gallon. Get used to it. Your driving armoured cars to buy groceries is unnecessary, boorish and killing the planet.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. We will require that people running things, like your government, are at least moderately competent and not related by blood or bribes to those who benefit from their decisions. We know it makes you more cozy when your leaders know as little as you do, but, honestly, it is short sighted: you need doctors who know more about medicine, pilots who know more about flying and leaders who know more about leading.
12. We respectfully request you give up this notion that Politics is Entertainment, and that very complicated things can only be explained to you in less than fifteen seconds. If you wanted to have a democracy, honestly, you'd really need to have taken the time to understand things a bit more before you voted. And may I suggest the startling notion that politicians don't need to look good to do a good job? And it really is acceptable if they are a bit boring, so long as they do their homework. It's especially important if evidently you have not done yours. Poor old Al Gore. Poor old John Kerry. And by the way, are you happy now you chose a Governor for California based on his teeth?

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.
South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first in their country. The six out of ten of you who don't own a passport will need to get one first.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776). Although this will raise your taxes, remember that the Neoconservatives will no longer be robbing you blind and so your Dollars will stop shrinking. Didn't you know that inflation and government bailouts of huge companies were really paid for by you? We must do something about your educational system. What on earth is going on over there? Are you oblivious to the crushing debt you are leaving your children? You might as well throttle them now.
17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

God Save the Queen. But at least God won't instruct your President to invade any more wrong countries.

Adapted from John Cleese.

Executive Compensation Under the Bailout Bill

Reclaiming Executive Bonuses

If the executive of a failed financial institution received a bonus based on information later proven to be MATERIALLY INACCURATE, the U.S. Government could go after the bonus money. But not the base salary.

Put another way, if upon valuing a firm's statement of earnings, the federal government decides it is materially inaccurate for 2005 because the value of the mortgage-backed securities was wrong, then the executive bonuses, based on the statement of earnings, can be "recovered."

This bill allows the U.S. Government to go after executive bonus or incentive pay that was based on "materially inaccurate" information. There is no limit on who that applies to. So the executives from two or four years ago who made "materially inaccurate" statements can have their big bonuses taken from them, too, as long as their firm later requires federal rescuing.

So, to get the bonus money back (and not the salary), there would need to be MATERIALLY INACCURATE information from the company, which could be made in a number of ways that Congress has not decided to fully list. And it would not need to be materially inaccurate at the time. It could be "LATER PROVEN TO BE MATERIALLY INACCURATE." The information could be statements of earning, gains, or OTHER CRITERIA. The last item is capitalized because it leaves an open door for interpretation. It could be taken to mean, conceivably, anything a bonus is based on, including media interviews that caused the stock price to move. Yes, it is rather a stretch. But still a possibility.

In short, it is more than I expected in terms of socking it to Wall Street fat cats.

Golden Parachutes

All financial firms that need U.S. Government bailout will not have "golden parachute payments to their executives while the U.S. Government stills holds stock in your firm. The least they could do, I'd say.

See the exact language below.

(B) a provision for the recovery by the financial institution of any bonus or incentive compensation paid to a senior executive officer based on statements of earnings, gains, or other criteria that are later proven to be materially
inaccurate; and
(C) a prohibition on the financial institution making any golden parachute payment to its senior executive officer during the period that the Secretary holds an equity or debt position in the financial institution.


And This Is The System We're Saving! Dennis Kucinich

Expressing anti-bailout sentiments, calling our new economic system a "socialist casino." Except at a casino, you lose. The players in this casino aren't losing. The voters of the United States are.

Implications of Bailout

How are the Republicans going to advocate less regulations from now on?

Never again will the cry of "free, unimpeded markets" be the answer to the lack of health care. The teeth of the Republican "no government" stance have been pulled out and tossed away. Liars. Hypocrites. They never meant it to begin with, and the Wall Street gamble paid off.

We have learned through experience that greed is not good for everyone. And the greedy will not take the hit on the chin when they lose because, well, they're greedy cowards.

Now that America KNOWS that they own Wall Street, it's time to start making demands.

A cap on executive salaries with NO golden parachutes.
Compensation tied to performance.
Hiring graduates from state schools.
All investment bankers must run up and down Wall Street once a year in their underwear while people throw eggs at them.

Hey, I bet we could make them do it, they'd sell their own mothers for money, why not volunteer to get eggs thrown at themselves?

Now That We're a Socialist Country ...

Hooray! We're Socialists now! All this "free market" pretense can be dropped forever. Never will I have to listen to drivel about how the marketplace rules. Never will the argument be made about survival of the fittest, sink or swim.

At least for the next week or two.

So, as Socialists, we should expect certain things:

Free basic health care
Very cheap college
Rich get taxed a lot more than the poor.

"1984" by the Catalyst Theatre Company -Be an Intellectual for $10

Wow! What a great, intense experience.

Thumbnail review: good cheap fun on the H street corridor, albeit intense and somewhat disturbing. Don't go to see if you are feeling hopeless. Do go to see if you are trying to score with that brainy chick. My roommate said, "I read 1984 in high school, but I remember it was all about getting it on." Interesting high school experience there, Kimberly.

Things to discuss with brainy chick:

The use of the slogan "Support the Troops"
Parallels to the War on Terror
Use of torture
"Hey, that character reminds me of **** in the office. Do you think **** is a member of the Thought Police?"
The possible foreshadowing of the last scene ... need to see it to know what I mean.

For general observation, the set, sound and lights were a multi-media extravaganza that played in perfectly with the action on stage.

The acting was wonderful by Scott Fortier as Winston and Laura Harris as Julia. Ian LeValley's portrayal of O'Brien was so real and nuanced as to be completely compelling, and almost recognizable in the people among us here in DC. I don't know if this production is in the running for the Helen Hayes competition, but it damn well should be.

"1984" deals with a totalitarian regime. The Catalyst Theatre Company hit on political hot buttons for us today in its portrayal of torture, giving a realistic demonstration of the mental breaking down used in torturing people. Like I said, it was intense.

Go see it! Or pretend you did!

Tickets are only $10. Go to www.catalysttheater.org.


Join the Bailout Protest on Saturday!!


FedUpUSA and tickerforum.org members are organizing a protest of the No Banker Left Behind legislation being rammed through Congress.

When: Saturday, Sept. 27 - 9am til 6pm Where: Washington, DC at or near the Capitol steps Who: Everyone who can get there, PLEASE HELP!

More Sex Tips for the Young Woman

Friends with benefits = Used like toilet paper

This whole "hooking up" thing is really bad for you. What are you, a blow-up love doll? With no feelings?

You need to spend quality time alone with a guy or gal before deciding that you want to be intimate with them. That way you don't find out what an asshole they are after the fact. (Yes, most of my post refers to heterosexual pairings, it's all I know. But the principles apply to all young women.)

Your potential mate needs to show he's a good catch by:
Calling when he says he's going to call.
Showing up when he says he's going to show up.
Doing what he says he's going to do.
Taking care of you when you are sick.
Caressing and adoring you.
Singling you out to spend time alone with you, not with you and Spanky and the Gang, but alone with you.
Bragging about you and your accomplishments to his friends.

The marketplace rules on this one. You are the supply and he is the demand. Don't just hand out your goodies. Make him work for it.

Think of it this way:

One egg a month - millions of sperm a month.

Those damn sperm are competing and competing for that egg of yours. Even if conception is not the goal, it is the driving force behind the desire for sex. You look at a potential partner and think: "he make good baby." He thinks the same about you.

Relevant old wives tales:
Look at his shoes, if they are not nice and clean it shows that he is not a person of substance but only puts his efforts into appearances.
How he treats the waitress is how he's going to treat you in ten years.
Stingy with the wallet means stingy in bed. Generosity is not about money. It's about time and consideration.
Masturbate before a date if you really think you might jump in the sack too soon.
Don't commit for a few months.
Try to wait six months before intercourse. That's a tough one. You probably won't get there, but try.
Men aren't the only ones who think between their legs. You do, too.


Fight the Downturn Yourself

Buy American. Buy local. Cut up credit cards. Plant a garden to grow some of your own food.

If everyone in America decided to only buy American, it would be a large, focused economic power that we really need right now.

FIGHT for energy independence.

Throw eggs at investment bankers. I've been promising a lot lately to my readers, but this last one I think is the kicker. We need to find those greedy bastards and ATTACK!! No deadly force, just a few ruined suits and the sounds of breaking egg shells. If I think for a moment, I could come up with some way the egg throwing could be deeply symbolic. Ah, well.

Alternative to Killing Your Kids

Another man has left children at a hospital under Nebraska's expanded Safe Haven law. Not infants. Children. Now the Nebraska legislature is thinking of changing the law.

Bad idea.

People can feel very overwhelmed and on the verge of drastic and violent actions. Let the stopgap in place now allow them to get a solution other than killing the whole family.

At least the kids will be safe while a solution is found. The expanded safe haven law is a good idea and should be implemented everywhere.


Palin Campaign's Not Answering That Question Anymore

Sorry cheesecake. Here in America, that won't stop us from asking about Troopergate. And we can make you answer the questions.

Imagine the audacity of announcing that from now on, you aren't going to address questions you don't like. Recently, I've read a book on the history of U.S. elections and nowhere does any candidate tell the press that they aren't answering any more questions on a particular scandal.

Now, I have no surprise that Gov. Palin asked that books be banned from her local library and then fired the librarian when she refused.

What does this announcement on acceptable questions say about Sarah Palin's commitment to democracy, as opposed to order? She seems to feel that she can dictate the line of discourse. I have never actually heard that before.

Imagine Ronald Reagan telling the press corps, "No more of this arms-for-hostages stuff. I won't answer your questions." Or if Nixon said, "No more wiretap questions."

Governor Palin, running for office must be difficult for you outside of the cocoon you have always known. The presumptions you must have to really believe you can tell the U.S. media what questions will be allowed and which won't - wow. It doesn't say good things about freedom of press in Alaska. And it doesn't say good things about you.

Ron Paul on $700B Bailout - Why Does This Guy Make So Much Sense

Really, a great commentary on what is wrong with the financial system and what is wrong with the $700 billion bailout.

Reform the system, balance our budget, change our foreign policy, take care of our people at home, and lower taxes instead, says Ron Paul.

"The worst thing we could do is perpetuate the bad policies that gave us this trouble in the first place. We no longer believe in free market capitalism. Capital is supposed to come from savings."

Ron Paul calls for living within your means, for Americans to stop borrowing money to pay for our consumption.

McCain calls for another government agency. Obama is good at attacking McCain.

Ron Paul says the bailout sticks it to Main Street, and that Wall Street is pulling in Main Street to get rescued.

"You can't solve the problem of inflation - which is money and credit out of thin air - by creating more money and credit out of thin air."


Poor Paulson - He Lacks Credibility

And it is well deserved. After all, he was on Wall Street when this nightmare was being created.

Why would we trust him with all that money at one time? So he can bail out his buddies?

Glenn Beck Needs to be Fired

My previous post didn't go far enough. It's time to stop pampering these disconnected, right-wing nut jobs on television.

Glenn Beck needs to be fired. He calls for cutting money for the poor, elderly and the disabled during this financial crisis to get a hold on U.S. Government debts. When he calls for reduced government spending, it's the elderly and disabled that need to be cut. Yes, indeed. Let's throw our elderly and disabled citizens into the jaws of the marketplace. Click on the title to this post for the video footage.

He's lost all credibility. He is nakedly supporting the right-wing crazies whose incompetence got us in this living nightmare. And he is opposing the social safety net for everyone in America, including him.

I'm going to come up with a plan and get back to you on it.

Stay tuned.

Glenn Beck and the Right-Wing Idea Machine Respond to Financial Crisis Blame

You're not going to believe this. This one will go down in history.

Glenn Beck calls for cutting money for the poor, elderly and the disabled, during this financial crisis, to get a hold on U.S. Government debts. When he calls for reduced government spending, it's the elderly and disabled that need to be cut. Yes, indeed. Let's throw our elderly and disabled citizens into the jaws of the marketplace. How clever! Maybe we can roast them and feed them to each other as well. Think of the cost efficiency! Great timing.

Not the thieves of Wall Street. Not the Republican "the marketplace can do it better" types. Not the lying mortgage holders. Not the "get rid of regulation" fiends. He blames the elderly, poor and disabled for our government debt.

Underlying these distinctly Republican arguments is the belief that none of these guys will ever need help one day themselves.

Hey! I've got an even better idea! Let's make it so. Let's not cap the income of incompetent CEOs to that of the U.S. President. Let's take everything they own. And let's include every talking head jerk who has called for reduced government regulations, too. And let's go back in history to include previous CEOs and Board members.

Or maybe we should just shoot them.


NO! To Money To Rebuild Galveston

$2.3 billion dollars to restore Galveston? Are you kidding? How about acknowledging that building there is a terrible idea, instead?

Another example of a bailout of the foolish and greedy.

Palin Hostility to Rape Victims Is Not Conservative

It's psycho.

While mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin knew that the sheriff of her town opposed city funding of rape test kits for rape victims. She took no stand on the issue. This in the state known for its very high incidence of rape and murder of women.

This issue should prompt at least some kind of question for the Governor at the Vice Presidential debates.

And all of the whoopla surrounding Palin as McCain's VP running mate will not drown out her actions on this issue. It has the potential to really hurt the Republicans in November.

Click on the title to this post to see the CNN story.

"The Nation" of Lies

"The Nation," a liberal magazine around since the 1860's, has an article accusing John McCain of covering up the truth about American POWs being left behind in Vietnam.

I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. How could any person believe such tripe? Whatever your opinion may be about John McCain's fitness to lead our nation, he has demonstrated a resolve and loyalty towards his fellow prisoners of war that those yapping writers would never be able to do.

John McCain refused opportunities to leave ahead of others who had been captured before him. That's character. He has a history of standing up for causes he believes in. There is no reasonable person on Earth who could believe that he suddenly would abandon his fellow servicemen in the prisons of Vietnam. And shame on "The Nation" for saying so.

Click on the title to be linked to the article in question. Judge for yourself.


Sarah Palin Is Not Stupid

Newsflash: John McCain is running for President. Not Sarah Palin. The more Democrats give her their attention, the more their resources will be diverted from actually winning the election.

Sarah Palin's job is as decoy, and she is doing it well. She is attracting the liberal rage at her seeming lack of qualifications or knowledge.

As long as the rage is focused on her, it won't be spent debunking John McCain's claims or qualifications. Palin knows this. John McCain knows this. I'll bet that everyone jumping up and down for the pistol-packing, moose-killing mama knows it, too.

So once again, the United States is going to be "Reaganed." The Democrats are going to divert their attention to the wrong person, seriously underestimating him/her, while looking like snotty elitist bastards. Put another way, if you insult Palin for being stupid, you also insult the people who like her. And that is no way to convince anybody to change their vote.

Sarah Palin will never be discredited in the eyes of her followers. It is pointless to try. OK, it might make you feel better. Even superior. But it won't get you into the White House.


Rep. Cantor on Hardball

Hey Congressman! When you're describing the pain and fears of Americans in this financial crisis, don't smile. It kind of takes away from your practiced visage of conern.

Rep. Cantor couldn't hold his glee back. He grinned throughout his conversation with Chris Matthews.

Further, he wouldn't admit to supporting the Republican President nor allow any responsibility to rest with President Bush or the Republican Congress.

Click on the title to this post to see the video yourself.


The Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough

The Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough Press Conference was fascinating, not so much for the technology breakthrough but that in this time of global energy crisis, this time where hurricanes driven by global warming have claimed another American city, that only the Discovery Channel is doing something about the situation.

Where is the leadership of the U.S. Government?

NASA hasn't been interested in space-based solar power for a decade. The only United States government agency which has done anything to further the development of this unlimited clean power is the Nation Security Space Office at the Department of Defense over a year a ago.

Discovery Channel paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to demonstrate a solar-powered wireless power transmission using a solid-state phased array transmitter between Maui and Hawaii and Airborne, a distance of 148 kilometers. That's almost 100times further than a major 1970's power transmission performed by NASA.

In this time where billions of dollars are made by oil companies and billions of US taxpayer dollars are used to bail out greedy speculative brokerage firms, why is a media company the only one funding environmentally friendly energy production research?

Thank you, Discovery Channel for having the vision to fund this important research.

Thank you, John C. Mankins, the Chief operating Officer of Managed Energy Technologies, LLC and President of the Space Power Association for performing this important research. John Mankins has always been a shining star of Inspiration, Integrity and Vision in the space development field.

Space Solar Power Press Conference - September 12, 2008 - (71 minutes - http://www.nss.org/news/releases/pc20080912.html

Audio, photos, and summary from press conference October 10, 2007 - http://www.nss.org/news/releases/pc20071010.html

National Security Space Office Space-Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security

Space Based Solar Power - Alternative Energy Solution -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiU9MibyBJ0

Our Katrina Leadership

Our President has finally come out and addressed the nation with a few, vague words intended to comfort a shell-shocked nation. Nothing specific, of course. No acknowledgement of the pain and fear the nation is experiencing.

In fact, it took the howling of the press to even get the President to admit that he needed to say anything at all about the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

What it shows is the Bush Presidency is just as disconnected and dysfunctional as it was during Katrina. And just as unable to act in times of crisis, let alone think, communicate and articulate a plan.

And let's not forget the ringing endorsement of the SEC chair, similar to his support for Brownie of FEMA during Katrina.

This entire episode demonstrates the Bush Presidency's inability to lead or think. Does anyone else remember how dazed and confused Bush was in the immediate aftermath of September 11th? Or am I the only one in America?

International Financial Meltdown

Are you depressed yet? Do you somehow think that these stopgap measures are going to solve the essential problem facing international markets? It won't.

The essential problem is a lack of trust in the value of securities. That failure of trust is based on the perception of corruption in those markets. It is also based on the perception that securities markets have been flying too high with these weird new financial instruments that no one can understand.

All of Wall Street has been on a money drunk. Now comes the hangover.

Dow Jumps Over 400 Points - - and ?

All the immediate rise in the markets means is that the people on Wall Street are a bunch of short-sighted crackheads. The problem in the markets has not been solved. The latest bailout is only an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of a sick market.

Eating Cheap - The Essentials

Stocking up on the essentials is important right now.


Dried beans
Several gallons of safe drinking water
Dry soup
High fiber cereal
Dry milk
Canned foods - fruit and vegetable

Eating Cheap - Dandelion Greens

Just a note, don't pick your dandelion greens in the dog park. Seriously, I saw some woman doing just that.

But dandelion greens are fine to eat, as long as the greens are young. Older greens are too tough.

So pick the young dandelion greens, heat oil in a frying pan, and throw in the washed greens.

It is worth noting that a human can survive on weeds and oil. Not weeds alone, the oil is essential.

Let's Hunt Them Down ...

Who are these losers who are handing the United States and its allies these financial disasters? Who invented these new types of securities?

Let's hunt them down and take every penny they have. And all their houses, even if they don't know how many of them there are.

With the rescue of our allies in this affair, the political cover enjoyed by these nameless financial elites will be ripped apart. Europe and Japan will want blood.

And they will get it.

This is what Inflation is Made Of

I understand that there needs to be a coordinated effort across many central banks to steady this credit crisis. The move they have made to work together is great. Really.

But the side effect will be serious inflation. That's a whole lot of cash to be pumping into the world economy. The entire world is going to feel it.

The fallout from the world inflation is developing nations are not going to buy into the idea of globalization in the future. Nations are going to insist on their own food supplies being grown in their own countryside.

Further, we as a nation should be embarrassed that these socialist countries that we mock all the time are having to bail us out of our own foolishness and greed.


Rise of the Know-Nothings

Have you noticed young women starting to wear their hair in Sarah Palinesque hair buns? I have.

Fashion is a language. Women are speaking with their hair. But what are they saying? "I can see Russia from my back yard"?

A national leader should be aware of a few things. Just a few. Among them are the current foreign policy they are supporting. Even if they are not supporting it, they should at least know what it is. Or that when Russia sent troops into Georgia, it was in response to something Georgia did. And that would be called "provoked" rather than "unprovoked." After all, she can see Russia from her back yard. Didn't she notice something amiss?

It is the rise of the Know-Nothings all over again.

The American electorate has chosen the deliberately and delightfully ignorant to lead our nation in the past. Why not again? What is the appeal of a person who doesn't know and doesn't care that she doesn't know?

The President doesn't know all the answers. People don't expect him to. In fact, they don't expect any knowledge at all.

Maybe because most Americans don't know these answers, they don't expect our Vice President to know them. Or maybe a candidate that is too well informed makes them feel stupid.

It could be the appeal of the "just nuke 'em" camp of political beliefs, which spares us all the grief of looking at America's role in some of these world conflicts. Remember when the only criteria for U.S. support was anti-Communism? The United States was one of the last countries on Earth to support apartheid South Africa. Even the Queen of England tossed South Africa out of the Commonwealth of Nations decades before the United States reluctantly acceded that apartheid was wrong.

So what does the bun mean? Possibly - "We voted a Know-Nothing into office twice before, let's do it again!"

Bailout As the American Way of Life

It's not just Wall Street. Morons in Texas also want to be bailed out. Let's review the logic here:

Hmmm, "certain death" if I remain, according to the National Weather Service. Oh, heck, I can go buy a generator after the storm. And I'll get gas and food then, too. No need to think ahead of time, especially with all the warnings and stuff.

Let's not forget the one thing all these non-thinking bailout candidates have in common: they are conservatives.

Yes, those conservatives that want less government also want a bailout.

Remember all those rants about how government regulation of Wall Street weren't needed anymore? Remember Katrina, when the Federal government let local and state governments take the lead?

So it seems there is a role for Federal regulation after all. It's to prevent these kind of bailouts.

It's Time for Yet Another Bailout In Near Future

Mine. Where's my billions of dollars to adjust for my ill-timed home improvements?

Seriously, let's go after all the money these corporate thieves have taken, and then all the rest of their money, too. It can go to the people whose 401K money is gone.


The Politics of Ronald McDonald Land - by Justin Benedict

I have been having trouble getting to sleep thinking of the world of McDonaldland. Do you ever think that the Hamburglar may have begun his crime spree because of his apparent cleft palate, or whatever it is that causes him to babble unintelligbly as he runs about in that freaky Spy Vs. Spy knockoff with the bumblebee shirt?

My vague memory of the Hamburglar was that he was unstoppable from stealing hamburgers because the head cop in town was this freak-show with a Big Mac for a head and a constable's outfit. The constable got his job, apparently through a relative, the burger-headed Mayor McCheese which, though giving great credit for employment for the obviously disabled, creates great questions about gubernatorial corruption in McDonaldland.

Why wasn't RONALD elected mayor of McDonaldland? Perhaps he was like the, um, ruling feudal lord or something. Or, maybe it's because he liked spending so much time singing and dancing.

It was distressing in McDonaldland that although hamburgers were bought and sold (and stolen by the Hamburglar) they were initially grown in fields, and were actually alive little burgers, that perhaps screamed "Don't pick me! Don't slaughter me! I want to grow up to get a nepotism job in government!"

The Grimace's role in McDonaldland was also confusing, though I imagine he was what the Elephant Man would have been like on speed.

And what about those little dancing mop head things?

I don't understand the horror of children's television. It is just too much for me. Little dancing mop heads, screaming little fields of hamburgers, and these were just the commercials.

McDonaldland was debatably some sort of nuclear reactor thingie gone bad, but what about wherever it was that H.R. Pufinstuf lived? Do you remember the horrible ordeal that the English kid that played the Artful Dodger on "Oliver" went through, dude?

He wound up on the Island with a talking flute in his pocket...(Though I can imagine the flute being helpful when he was on a date "Kiss her now, Jimmy")

Witchie-Poo was always chasing Jimmy and the talking Flute and then Jimmy was assisted by good old H.R., who had a big yellow head that made one think of a Six Million Dollar Lemon.

Then of course, there was Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and the teenage airheaded version of Jody Davis from "Family Affair." Guess his living situation with Uncle Bill and his jocker Mister French just wasn't gory enough...remember, Buffy O.D'd and Cissie ended up making horrible furniture commercials!

During periods of unemployment, I occasionally check out kids TV today...so much of it is milder, and there's always a message of some sort. I was watching "SpongeBob Squarepants" and he had a paper due, perhaps from Davy Jones's Locker University, and of course, Spongebob was stalling.

Do I know why an underwater cleaning utensil was taking academic courses? No, and it didn't matter. There was a wonderful message about getting your homework done on time. "Dexter's Laboratory" for some reason makes me wonder about the childhood of Karl Rove, and "Bob the Builder" builds on, with or without funding from Fannie Mae.

"My Little Pony" has NOTHING to do with gay S&M rituals, and yeah, modern TV's great.

But did our generation ever outgrow the horrible schlock handed to us from Seals & Crofts & Hanna-Barbera? The prehistoric suburbia of "The Flintstones",for instance, ruined me for any interest in natural history.

Even now, I wonder sometimes if there was a sympathetic (or nearsighted) mouse doing a quick sketch inside of a camera as it was in Fred's shooter, perhaps I wouldn't look as fat as I do when I'm photographed with one of those little disposable jobs from CVS.

"The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" are hard evidence that our generation just couldn't make the healthy transition to adult shows like "Inside Washington." Yes, a mumbling Charles Krauthammer just isn't any competition for Peter whatshisname's talking dog.