Monday, September 29, 2008

No Socialism Today Thanks!

The American people sent congress a message this week and Congress tried something it's never tried before. They listened. A bloated $700b bailout bill was defeated this morning by the United States House of Representatives. I'm not sure of the specifics but I believe this is the first time the House has ever said no to spending of any kind.

The FED of course responded with $630b worth of it's inflated fake money to ensure 'liquidity' in this time of 'crisis'. Or so the press who apparently love Henry Paulson more than they love even Barack Obama, would have you believe.

Of course I don't think we've heard the last of this issue on the House floor. There will be another bill, and it will look a little different. It may be safe to say that come November it's not a closed ballgame anymore for House seats. This is a game changer for the Republicans at least. Some 90+ so called Blue-Dog D's have taken a step towards protecting their seats and I'll have to take some time to analyze the voting records to see who still sits on an uneven perch when the dust settles. But R's who were in vulnerable seats in this heated and very D' heavy election season have made a major sweep in their own defense and their opponents will only have their party emblem to tie them to the issue, no protest vote on record to save them.

I don't see how the D's can let Nancy Pelosi remain in her seat after the election as she has taken every hope and dream the D's ever had and flushed them down the toilet of the last two years. After all she turned a clear electoral mandate into the least popular congress ever and then couldn't even wrangle her own party to help pass what she thought was the most important legislation of our time.

Reports had Pelosi composing the actual language of the bill behind closed doors, going so far as to take blackberry's away from her staff so that the actual language and contents of the bill would remain a mystery until the very last minute. Perhaps that's not the kind of secrecy that the Unites States needs within it's lawmaking body.

On negative for the public about a failure to pass this bloated socialism in the House is that we don't get to see this morning how the two Senators in the Presidential race would vote. I think we know from the rhetoric this week that even though only 28 percent of the public wanted the bill, both candidates were emphatically in favor of it.

It's odd mojo for me to see the leader of the Democratic House jumping so wholeheartedly behind a bailout proposed and designed by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and a Bush appointed Treasury Secretary, all while trying to blame the entire financial situation on the Bush financial team... When I see a bus in flames heading for the train-tracks I don't think 'hey let's jump on board'. Unless of course the bus isn't really on fire, and there aren't really any train tracks, but if I hop on the bus with the crazy guy driving, maybe I'll get to drive a bus. I do like buses.

Friday, September 26, 2008

To Own a Home in the State of Nature

Why isn't anyone anywhere looking at the fact that housing prices were becoming irrationally, and unreasonably high in the first place?

In 1995 Bill Clinton and the 104th congress pushed through legislation altering the Community Reinvestment Act, in essence to promote more home ownership in what were considered to be overlooked, poorer and often minority neighborhoods. A1992 Federal Reserve Bank study on lending determined that a disproportionately small number of minorities were being approved for loans. The first instinct of Washington politicians was not that we as a country needed to address the potential issue that a disproportionately large number of minorities in America were needlessly poor and had bad credit; no the response was predictably that the banking industries method's for calculating lending risk were hopelessly outdated and wildly racist. The result was well over a decade of public policy aimed at forcing lending institutions to adopt low income and high risk neighborhoods. In order to maintain a favorable ranking with the Federal Government (a CRA ranking as came to be called) lenders had to comply or face fines, loan penalties and major roadblocks in deals like mergers and acquisitions. In order to assuage the risk that banks knew existed while complying with federal regulations and HUD policy, banks did two main things. The first was to offer mortgages at variable interest rates in order to ensure that if the cost of federal loans went up they wouldn't lose money. These adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) meant that they could offer reasonable rates to attract high risk borrowers, as long as the FED did the same, but then they could raise rates to cover potential losses when FED rates rose. This as a banker seems like a reasonable idea until you factor in massively inflated home prices (due to too much lending) and stagnating wages.

The second thing the banking institutions did was to package extremely risky debt with extremely safe debt and sell it to larger lending institutions under the average overall risk ratings. The problem with this is of course that risk factors on main street are easier to observe in person than they are from thousands of miles away based only on a few numbers. The Federal Government added to this lending trend with the heavy the handed promotion of HUD's government backed lending institutions like Fannie May and Freddie Mac. These government backed lenders worked hard, and were encouraged by the Federal Government to promote and purchase as many of these complicated risk balanced debt packages as they could acquire. In essence the government was creating a giant banking competitor with a virtual guarantee that drove the market to deeply invest in these debt packages with no real understanding of the street level risk. There's no way the market can, by itself, escape a predatory competitor as large and unwieldy as the Federal Government and the government systems within which banks are required to operate. The result when coupled with the low interest rates and loose lending policy in a post 9/11 panic economy, is not simply the collapse of the system we are seeing now, but the precipitation of this collapse by the drastic and unrealistic increase of home prices. Take a look at every aspect of the housing market, from sales to renovation, over the last ten years and you will see the bloody opportunistic profiteering that can only occur in unrealistically sharp market increases. Entire cable TV channels sprung up over night, devoted to flipping houses in what many believed was a magically growing housing market. Prices just couldn't seem to stop multiplying.

The problem is that more and more people, responsible workers, middle class families, and careful investors went looking for that first home and saw a market that had vastly out-priced their stagnating wages, and had inflated beyond the means of their hard earned savings. What had begun as a program to promote increased lending to high risk mortgagees became the only game in town with home prices soaring to astronomical levels.

To put it another way, bad mortgages and bad mortgagees are and have been preventing responsible savers and wage earners from paying the right price for a home. When too many people move into a market with money no one should have lent them, and when at the urging of the government they overextend their reach, they compete with people who live responsibly and who do not overextend their reach. Hard working middle class Americans have been bamboozled by the entire length of this process, not just this end of it. And when we use tax dollars that come from the middle (and yes the wealthy) classes to 'bail out' these institutions, we are in actuality punishing the same people who are already being punished by higher home prices. Whats more the punishment comes in the interest of saving a system that will continue to lend irresponsibly to the segment of the population who, for better or worse, doesn't pay much if any income taxes and who will continue to buy beyond their means.

It's time for the banking industry to take it's own knocks, to tighten it's own policy, and to make the kind of guarantees that investors need to put actual capital into shoring up these ugly debts. Loans from the government can only serve to increase liquidity in these organizations which will only allow them the time they need to sell off what good assets they have left at more appropriate prices. These loans will not make good debt out of bad, and they will not save dying institutions. Every investor knows that you don't make money buying bad debt, but you do make money buying stock in a good company in times of misfortune. Private investment and sensible lending policy is the only recipe' for success in a situation like this.

A better use of the Federal Government's time and money would be to address why we are a country that isn't friendly to the businesses that would hire the poor and less fortunate. To the market, people are not races they are resources. If we foster private business in this nation, we will encourage businesses to take advantage of every available resource. A person with a good job, in a strong community is a responsible lending choice. There is no way to turn an irresponsible lending choice into a responsible lending choice simply by making them a loan recipient. And there is no way to turn a bad lending choice into a good lending choice by shifting the cost of those choices onto the middle class which is already stretched by unrealistically high home prices. This is a time not to look to the government, or the giant government protected corporations. This is a time to look at private business, and encourage it's growth and prosperity, because in that prosperity lies the answers to our 'credit crisis'. The answer isn't more fake money from Washington, and more loose lending on 'main street'. The answer isn't more taxation on the working people of this nation. The answer isn't simply $700b in 'liquidity'. The answer is capital, and that only comes from work. Work comes from jobs, and jobs don't come from Uncle Sam.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Electoral "Math"

Thanks to Real Clear Politics for the electoral map tool. Go there and create your own map if you like.

This is where I see the race for President right now. I base this analysis on a group of polls from a number of different sources and of course a whole bunch of sciencey stuff I like to call 'wild ass guessing' (it's a technical term you might not understand).

Right now I put Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina in the Toss Up category. I still think all three of these states will end up in the McCain camp for several reasons but the numbers don't support that as of yet. I don't buy the Bradley Effect argument for most of the country but in these states I feel it may have enough of an impact to cover the margin. I also think Bradley will have an effect on Michigan but I just don't think it's enough to make a difference there. Some put Michigan still in play but in my opinion that's just blustering and this state will go D' as it usually does. With this mental math McCain has to keep all the pink states or he's lost the game. If Obama keeps the blue states and all his leaners he only has to turn one volatile state to take the ballgame. I'd keep my eyes on New Hampshire for some Obama attention in the coming weeks. If you pay attention to spending on both sides it seems like Pennsylvania is the proving ground. Traditionally a blue state McCain's numbers here have been the best an R has seen in recent memory. He's still a long shot but he's outspending Obama by a third there and has seen a slight polling lead more than once. A win in Penn and Ohio would deliver the White House for McCain barring a whole bunch of upset.

As of right now I'd say election night lawyers will be flooding into all the really close states with the above mentioned getting heavy attention as well as NV, FL, and possibly Colorado.

Remember though there's a ton of campaigning left to go, and much of the undecided vote is still up for grabs in these states. The events of this afternoon and the rest of this week, as well as the debate activities can have a tremendous effect on fence sitters as well as 'get out the vote' activities on both sides. Also lets not rule out the third party vote, as close races can be upset by the smallest margin there.

Bush on the Economy

All I'm saying is that Sarah Palin's youngest child knows more about economics than this guy.

I particularly enjoyed the part where he devoted a third of the speech to 'explaining' how we got into this 'crisis', by letting all that naughty foreign money flood our banking industry. As if he wasn't the cause of most of those Chinese loans. And he seems to have completely forgotten how the federal government made it nearly impossible for lenders to get loans without lending to insanely risky applicants (I'll use the euphemism 'poor people'). And when he talked about low interest rates contributing to the run up of housing prices, isn't it odd he didn't say "my bad" since his post 9/11 economic policy insisted on a monetary policy looser than Ashley Dupre.

And then he had the gall to suggest that we are probably going to get most of this money back... As if when that miracle occurred, the tax increases the next president will inevitably call for (to pay for this massive government buyout of private industry) would magically go away. I haven't laughed that hard in ages.

Any time the federal government tries to convince you that something is benevolent and wise, ask yourself when was the last time you used those words to describe the President or the United States Congress.

The truth is that they want to save these precious lending programs so that no on notices that it's the fault of the federal government and it's never ending desire to engineer a Utopian, Government Addicted Society, that drove us into this mess in the first place. What's more, if you are placated by thoughts of CEO's losing their enormous salaries over this bailout, remember that most will jump ship before the board of directors ever gets close to this deal. This is the most expensive cover up of government mismanagement in recent history and they are disguising it as an indictment of the free market system they abandoned in the process. The fact that the United States Congress thinks that this is the time to put our money and our faith in them and the FED, when they caused this problem is the most appalling insult we have seen from those scumbags in years. If you had an employee and he set your office building on fire while raping your daughter... Would you hire him to rebuild the place?

Just remember this nightmare in November and Vote 3rd Party, these assholes have had enough second chances, it's time for them to leave. Don't throw your vote away on these corporate whores. Don't vote for a Party, vote for your country.

PETA Whack Jobs

Maybe you are into the whole human breast milk thing, but if you are older than four... you should see a therapist, you know, just in case.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not Qualified!!!

The D's controlling congress announced this week that they are in fact completely incompetent when it comes to the economy. Announcing that they would maintain the current schedule for adjournment rather than stay and work on what looks to be the largest economic crisis in recent history politicians admit what we knew already.

"no one knows what to do" said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, "Congress... is best served by going home."

But rest assured their obvious and now admitted incompetence has nothing to do with the causes of this economic crisis.. Yeah right. And I'm sure they aren't gleefully skipping out the door because they think that rather than work to solve problems they can run campaigns blaming their opponents for the economic downturn.

Don't get me wrong, it's true that nothing that group of bumbling fucking morons could do would possibly work out well for us; it's just so weird to hear them admit it so proudly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Use of Force

Posse Comitatus tells us that the government is forbidden from turning our military against us. It's a safeguard that is more important than almost any other in defending our rights. But what's the difference if the local police and the FBI are outfitted with military hardware, military tactics, and military training. Adopton of a nationalist doctrine, anti-states rights policy, and massive federal, state and local protections of police agencies have created a socialized local military that not only blurs the line between the military and the police but flat out mixes the two. And the key has been irresponsibly violent drug policy. I promise you that police activity will not cease it's increasing invasion on individual liberties nor it's unrelenting attacks on decent and prudent applications of it's now federally protected over-application of violent force.

This Week

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm not ready to elaborate on the events both in my life and in the media of the last few days. I have experienced what I can only describe as outright bigotry from friends and co-workers of mine on the left. It's odd that while I agree on some issues with these people, when they express hatred for someone all I can feel is a sickness at the idea that countrymen, friends, colleagues of mine can be both admirable people for most purposes and so filled with hate for reasons of simply religious acclimation. Let me just give you the Palin Gibson interview with the edits replaced and I'll write more about people I know when the blood stops boiling and my view of people is less in the toilet.

Palin Gibsen

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

World News

France negotiates with Russia and as usual hands them the keys to the store.

Poll shows that the rest of the world wants the US to be run by Obama.

It seems US voters read the negotiations between France and Russia and decided to tell the World to SUCK IT!

You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Song is About You

I've read a ton of articles, blog posts, and comments in the last week or so condemning McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin for the R's VP slot. Some points are valid others are decidedly not valid. While I'm sure we'll all get to hear much more about my feelings towards the Palin Gambit in the coming months I would like, at this time to address one particularly irritating subject that wont seem to go away.

Left Wing Feminists have been coming out in droves to express their disgust at the mere idea that people think they can be bought with a little 'obvious pandering' by the R's candidate. The LWF's have been railing about the level to which they are insulted, how deeply their intelligence has been underestimated etc. etc. etc. But here's the thing that I just can't seem to wrap my brain around; does anyone really believe, or did anyone really believe that the choice of a super conservative, pro-life, anti gay marriage, religious, mother of five was designed to woo liberal democrats? Really? People think that? I don't buy it. And frankly you shouldn't either.

The truth is this choice has been an ugly look in the mirror for a great many Lib's who may suddenly have discovered that the world does not revolve around them. The fact that McCain's choice was a woman seeks only to energize and revitalize the members of his own party, members who might otherwise have stayed at home on election day. I know it's difficult for the LWF's to comprehend, having spent the better part of the last 50 years disowning 50% of the American female population, but there are actually women in the Republican party. There are in fact a great many notable and amazing women in the Republican party. Many of whom have chosen a lifestyle that is all but shat upon by the Left Wing Feminist movement. Now at a time when the R's have chosen, for better or worse, to bring the issue of Right Wing Women to the front and center, they are once again treated like lesser humans by the LWF's. Every time you read an editorial by some LWF about how insulting this choice is, remember that what they actually mean is 'any man is better than a Right Wing Woman'.

Susan Nielsen an associate editor for the Oregonian asks "how dumb does John McCain think women are?" and it makes me wonder; I don't know Susan, how dumb are you? Are you dumb enough to believe that women who happen to be pro-life aren't women any more? Are you dumb enough to believe that women who have an R on their voter registration don't have the same drive to protect and further their own rights? Neilsen says "McCain seems to believe that millions of women voters will coo indiscriminately over any female candidate who comes along. He wants disappointed Hillary supporters to stampede to his side, followed by all other women who are enthralled by Palin's life story." What exactly does she mean by "all other women"? She certainly can't be referring to the 48% of women in this country who vote for R candidates and R issues. She goes on to ask "are women -- particularly moderate pro-choice women -- really as impressionable as McCain hopes?" And I wonder again how self centered do you have to be to think that this move to the right is a move on "moderate pro-choice women". If anything McCain being on the ticket himself is more of a move on "moderate" women than Palin. Many women in the Democratic Party were already threatening to vote McCain if Hillary Clinton didn't get the nomination. Mostly blustering to be sure and certainly not the 'stampede' Neilsen eludes to, but what exactly is a stampede in a close race?

According to the Center for American Woman in Politics (citing Edison Media Research) just three percentage points separated George W. Bush and John Kerry in the last election, amongst women voters. This represents one of the smallest gender gaps in recent electoral memory and it stands to reason that McCain (as a moderately unpopular member of the Republican Party) might want to make a move to hold on to that margin, and that trend. To say nothing of the fact that he desperately needed a VP choice that helped cement both the women and the men in his party. Lest we forget that W. won with a 14% positive margin among male voters as well. Cementing the base would mean that McCain was free to pursue the moderate voters who have been his bread and butter audience all along.

Gloria Steinem argues as eloquently as ever in an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times that Palin "shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton", and that "to vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, 'Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs.'" Which is missing the point. Nobody in their right mind thinks that hordes of Left Wing Women are lustily begging their leaders to let them defect like characters in an Aristophanes play. Right Wing Women, however are lacing up their shoes like never before and are canvasing communities, spreading the word and getting out the vote, while angry Hillary Clinton supporters may choose election day to stay at home and do their proverbial hair instead. And what's more every time Steinem and her ilk voice protest they only serve to affirm for many on the Right that Palin is exactly what they were looking for; a woman who shares 'nothing but a chromosome' with Hillary Clinton.

The LWF's need to get over themselves, not every decision made involving a woman is a decision aimed at them, in fact not every decision involving a woman is aimed specifically at women. Men, I've heard, vote quite a little bit as well. A fact I'm sure they would love to downplay. Let us not forget that angry feminists couldn't even manage to take the D's nomination over a handsome under-qualified man. What makes them think that John McCain would suddenly begin shamelessly courting their massive influence when a hugely popular well known Feminist Democrat couldn't take the Democratic nomination from a first term senator? Feminism has a long long way to go and I think maybe the first steps include finding a way to treat men and women of all parties and all viewpoints with some level of respect.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The UN Finds New Way to Stay Off My Christmas Card List

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or the Dirty Pieces of Steaming Shit as their known around my house), decided it wasn't enough for them to call for an end to the transportation industry as we know it, they are now calling for an end to eating meat. Nevermind the fact that their last time they opened their filthy mouths they caused panic all over the world driving up prices on valuable commodities slowing the world economy, for a theory based on some of the worst math ever used by anyone for anything. Nevermind the fact that it was quickly shown that they were more than willing to mislead the public by inflating the number of scientists that actually agreed with their bullshit theory. Now these limp dicked hippies want to take away my dinner. That makes me angry, and it makes my grill angry, and you wouldn't like my grill when it's angry.

Their theory led to a worldwide shift in fuel research, shifting much of the worlds agricultural commitment away from the feeding of people and towards the production of fuel products. Products that have been shown to actually increase dangerous pollution I might add. They drove the price of the global food supply up 75% with no positive results and absolutely catastrophic effects on third world food supplies. Is it any wonder that they have decided to push further into the food market by attempting to drive the cattle and pork industries into the ground.

We stopped producing grains for food causing thousands of poor people to starve, now we want to decrease demand for meat products and thus increase demand for vegetables, which are already nearing impossible price levels already. Wow brilliant. This sounds like a recipe' for a global food crisis. We all know that food crises are the quickest and most effective way to destabilize governments. And if the world's governments which are already having plenty of trouble holding things together start to fall apart, I wonder who will step in to help. I wonder which large governing body will step in to fill the gap... Hmmmm which large governing body would be willing to do that. Oh could it be the very same governing body that issues psuedo-scientific reports recklessly working to destroy the world's food markets?

The Article in this weeks Guardian

I'll eat one less steak a week if every week one member of the IPCC puts a 12ga shotgun in his/her mouth and pulls the trigger. I figure that's the best way to help the environment.