Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Financial Crisis in Layperson's Terms

The title for this post pretty much says it.

Thanks to my friend, Alicia, for pointing this one out to me.

Get your vote on

Voting today. It feels pretty good. Wish I could vote on more than the top of the ticket, but since I checked the "living abroad indefinitely" box on my voter reg, I was disqualified from voting on ballot measures. The price you pay for honesty.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Special Irish Edition



Just got back from the emerald isl. Brilliant stuff.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Five easy steps to bailout

Here's an excellent plan to improve the bailout for American taxpayers


Ryan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday sing-a-long

I know you know this one.

Palin the inscrupulous

I'm pretty much done giving too much thought to this woman, unless she actually does become VP, at which time I'll be desperately trying to resist the urge to throw my passport into the nearest incinerator. In the meantime, I just thought I'd say, "Wow, I can't believe she's juicing the system," in my snarky voice.

I'd also like to know what's up with Capt. Jaundice, but not enough to actually, you know, research it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small victories

Well, it's nice to know there's still some common sense out there.

I guess it's a response

Oooh! Pelosi threatens to open a can of "oversight" on Dubya's ass.
Democrats believe a responsible solution should include independent oversight, protections for homeowners and constraints on excessive executive compensation.
...
As we proceed to deal with this crisis, this is clear recognition that the party is over for the Bush Administration's anything goes, failed economic policies that have damaged our economy, undermined the middle class and further pointed out the need for a New Direction.

I guess it's better than instantaneous deference to my least favorite chimpanzee impersonator, but I'd rather a response more like this:

After considering the proposal put forth by President Bush and Mr. Paulson, it is clear that something must be done, but not before an immediate drug test of the aforementioned parties to determine their brand of choice. My money is on Skunk Red Hair 19.

George full of appreciation

George gets a woody when congress doesn't ask for stuff and they just capitulate like good boys and girls:
It would not be understandable if members of Congress sought to use this emergency legislation to pass unrelated provisions, or to insist on provisions that would undermine the effectiveness of the plan. I appreciate members of Congress in both parties resisting the urge to do so.

Yeah, well I insist on congress doing its job and I appreciate when it questions the boy king and his cronies. Hm, seems George and I are at a bit of an impasse.

Tinfoil-hat Theater Presents:

The $700 Billion Dollar Baby: A Neo-Capitalist's Tale

(In a private meeting in an undisclosed location, which coincidentally is right next door to Cheney's undisclosed location, Secretary Paulson meets with congressional leadership of both parties to share his $700 billion plan.)

Paulson: ...a potential financial meltdown.

Pelosi: So is this a for sure thing?

Paulson: Well nothing is for sure-

Boehner: Will this fix the problem?

Paulson: Weeelll...

Reid: I think we're going to need something better than this. Who is responsible?

Boehner: Got a mirror?

Reid: I nev-

Paulson: Look. We're all in on this. We've all taken contributions and we've all looked the other way. Both parties. The blame game isn't going to get us anywhere. We're in too deep. The most important thing right now is to act quickly. Very, very quickly.

Pelosi: Well I can't back this proposal the way it now stands. My party is never going to go for this.

Boehner: You can't play politics with crisis, Nancy!

Paulson: That's a good line Jack. You should use that.

Boehner: Thanks man! I just came up with it. Right off the top of my head. Pretty good, huh?

Pelosi: Yeah. Great. Anyway, what do you suggest then? I have to go back with something. Can we take away the CEO bonuses?

Paulson: Fine, whatever. You all work out the details of the concessions, but the core deal must stand. No oversight, no lawyers, no consequences. It's in everyone's best interests.

Reid: Everyone's?

Paulson: You know what I mean.

(Much laughter and backslapping)

Paulson: (dabbing eyes) Hooboy! OK, so we have a plan then. The Dems get a few "provisions" and the Repubs act all indignant about the whole thing. We make a show of fighting about this a bit, but the deal goes through?

All: Yea.

Paulson: OK. Done! Quickly everyone! Quick like bunnies! To the chambers! Hurry goddamnit! Huuuuuurrry!


(Some years later on a morning talk show.)

Michael Moore: So that's why I decided I needed to make this documentary: Sickos Bowling Over Roger and Me. The American people deserve to know the truth about their leaders.

(American liberals are outraged.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's panic, quickly!

Hurry up and give me unfettered power! HURRY!!!

Americans as debtors

Others have already commented on this, but I'll throw in my 2 cents. The plan that the Bush administration has presented to congress to bail out the financial industry is fucked. First of all I'm not a lawyer nor am I a financial guru. In fact, I consider it a moral victory when I am able to commit just a single coherent thought to print, but even I can see that this proposal must be some particularly cruel satire. It's the only explanation.
(a) Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.

All hail the all-mighty and all-powerful Secretary of the Treasury!

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

This is crazy-making time now. Basically the Secretary will, by law, be allowed to do whatever he or she wants to do with zero oversight and zero penalty if those actions are later discovered questionable. Of course, how anyone would know that those actions were questionable is beyond me, since those actions are "non-reviewable."

Meanwhile, the Dems want to fight for the protection of the little guy in all of this, and all well and good. While they're at it though, perhaps they should fight more for some fucking congressional oversight. And burn section 8. And take a leak on the ashes. And artfully mix the ashes into a hand-blown glass middle finger that can be given to Bush as a going away present. Nothing should occur which would reasonably warrant such a provision, unless there is a willful intention to subvert the law and/or be downright negligent with taxpayer money.

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.

The Secretary's authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

So, in summary: We're being asked to grant $700 billion worth of revolving credit to whomever the Secretary deems worthy, again, with no oversight or consequence for unscrupulous behavior? Nice. You gotta hand it to Bush & Co. They sure no how to finish with a flourish.

BTW - if you haven't seen it yet, watch Bill Moyer's interview with Kevin Phillips. It's certainly eye-opening. Sweet dreams.

On Americans

I think that Americans are the most forgiving of all the world's people. Who else would be able to look at George Bush and without any trace of irony say, "Y'know, rather than start impeachment proceedings, I have a better idea. Let's give him a check for $700,000,000,000 to use at his discretion! I'm sure he'll do the right thing."

*sigh*

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crackers!

I've complained about the food situation in Norway before, but yesterday I was chowing down on Triscuits left here by my girlfriend's sister and brother in law after a visit. I never thought I would enjoy those pathetic excuse for crackers so much. They're delicious! Yeah, they still stick in the back of my throat and trigger my gag reflex if I eat them too fast. But now I find the Triscuit gag a welcome change from the gag associated with say, old cheese, or sausage made from horse meat.

This is all a part of my newly realized campaign to shame the Norwegians into changing their eating habits. I know, I know, not very culturally sensitive, but food should never be this gross. Besides, what good is being able to walk to the grocery store when all you're inspired to do when you get there is cry?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Question:

How does being from a tiny town in Alaska make you an everyman? Don't most Americans live in middle to large cities in the lower 48 where they don't get sizable oil dividends every year? I'm just curious.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain sets up the perfect Obama rebuttal?

Yesterday Greenspan was talking about how this economy is 'in a "once-in-a-century" crisis'. I confess that I don't know what Alan's street cred is like these days, but I think it's still pretty bona fide, especially when compared to some...

Only one day after Greenspan makes his statement, Johnny boy is still saying that the economy is fundamentally sound.

The (original) Mav: still outta touch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The power of the lie

Although I agree with Chris at Kos that the liar meme is powerful and that it's about time the mainstream press start calling it what it is - it looks like they're getting there. I still think that the misleads have taken hold. I keep hearing anecdotal evidence (mostly on NPR) that people won't vote for Obama because they're afraid he's just going to raise taxes (and a he's a Muslim), while the truth of the matter as we all know, is just the opposite.

Calling McCain and Palin out for being a liars is all well and good, and it's a welcome change, but how do you get through to people that it's not just a lie, it's the opposite of the truth?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My not so walkable neighborhood

This is a picture facing my apartment (yellow building on the right). ICA is a grocery store. It's about 50 paces from my front door.


This is a picture from the same spot as the first but facing the other way. Past the crowd of people is a green awning, which is another grocery store.


A picture facing out from in front of my apartment. But ho! What's this?! Apartments above retail space? Crazy!

Walkability score 46? Pbtbtbpth!

Addition:
And furthermore: There's a post office down the street. My Dr. is about .5 mile, the best park in Oslo (Vigelands park) is .5 mile. Work is about 1.4 miles. I believe my point is made.

The GOP - Party of sociopaths

Obama may have his 50-state ground game, but the GOP has now expanded its intent to cheat on election day to Michigan.

There's also a possible push-poll going on in Ohio.

Accusations Of Sex, Drugs, Graft At Interior Dept. : NPR



We are literally getting fucked by the oil companies



Huff TV: Arianna Spars With Chuck Norris On "Larry King" (VIDEO)

Chuck Norris gets Karate chopped. You can gauge how close it is to
GOP talking points by watching Ari's goofy smile.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/arianna-spars-with-chuck_b_125549.html

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What did I say?

See. Even Bill O'Reilly is smart enough to see the "lipstick in a pig" faux-troversy for what it is. I feel really dirty saying that. Damn you McCain! You stupid, stupid, stupid man!

Does the Truth Matter Anymore? - PostPartisan - Quick takes by The Post's opinion writers

G'damn, I'm sick of this a'hole McCain

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/09/does_the_truth_matter_anymore.html


Ryan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We ain't goin to the town - people!



I don't actually "get" this video. It's a favorite song though.

Suck on that, townies!

Barack on the defensive

Barack getting played. I think this is one of those times when the intelligence of the voter (or, god forbid, the media) should be allowed to factor into the equation. Responding to Republican stupidity isn't always such a good idea.

This reminds me of my favorite analysis of Palin's role in the campaign from fivethirtyeight. Obama's people would do well to read it and take it to heart.

For the record

While Atrios isn't saying it, I am - my neighborhood rulezz and and the suburbs suxxorz. This position comes from personal experience spending a great deal of time living in both environments. My lack of tact on the matter is probably due to my poor upbringing.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Walkability

Atrios points out the problem with the burbs, but this nifty compare and contrast is a nice illustration of the pitfalls of cul-de-sacs and the benefits of the grid. Unfortunately, I have plenty of personal experience living the cul-de-sac life.

Not-so-interesting note: I lived about 1-mile from Phinney Ridge in Seattle. It was a wonderful place to live.

Not-so-interesting note part 2: I would never, ever live in Bellevue. It sucks.

Not-so-interesting note part 3: Here's my hood now. It's a lot more walkable than a 46 though. That's freaking crazy talk. Off the top of my head there are 7 grocery stores, a movie theater, 3 pharmacies, at least a dozen bars and restaurants, and a US embassy that should be on that map.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Out of the mouths of Norwegians

It's a surreal time to be living abroad - you know, right before the homeland elects its commander-in-chief. I keep inadvertently finding myself in the position of trying to explain all of the inanities of the American political process and I got nothin.' Why just today I was asked by a Norwegian friend why the Republican convention was almost devoid of anything substantive when it actually comes to the topic of politics. "Well," I say flipantly, "because Republicans suck." "No seriously," my friend persists, "how can anyone vote when they don't know what they're voting about?" "I know, huh?" says I - uh - knowingly. "And if Republicans suck so much," my friend asks, "why do they keep getting elected? Doesn't it seem like Obama should just be way out in the lead?"

That's the question isn't it. I keep finding myself trying to explain away the situation as one or a combination of a shoddy media, a lazy electorate, a flaccid Democratic message machine, and an epically cynical Republican least-common-denominator hate machine. And all of those things are true.

And then, from my friend at work, comes this observation: it seems like the Democratic process is broken in the US.

Ouch!

Impeach!

Respect and deference

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Just wondering

Can the media be impeached?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Incompetency? Can't believe it!

Gonzo is such a dumb ass.  Not only can he not remember that Top Secret information is supposed to be top secret, but he also can't even remember the damn combination to his safe!



Monday, September 01, 2008

stop looking!

It is official, I have found the stupidest f-ing person on the planet. I will provide the link here- but be very, very careful. The damage from encountering this much stupidity may be permanent.

The reason why this pregnancy means something is that it is the daughter of someone who is running for the second highest office in the land. That person also happens to be someone who is very much against teaching sexual education in public schools and only supports abstinence only education. When her underage daughter ends of pregnant, it is incumbent upon us to ask how this private behavior matches up with their public rhetoric. It is a very real example of how this person's judgment is deeply flawed.

Now this doesn't mean that we should all go through their private lives, but we should seriously discuss how this pregnancy reflects on their political agenda.

Gustav and oil production

With Gustav looming and oil companies shutting down refineries and production in the Gulf, the US is certain to see a rise in gas prices. Actually, oil is already up. It might be a good idea for team Obama to get in front of this story before the GOP's predictable and incessant, "See, this is why we need to drill for more oil" rhetoric really takes off. Just a thought.