October 23, 2010

From the GOP's lips to Obama's deaf, or egotistical, ears

Hey, Preznit Kumbaya? What you told Peter Baker in the NYT Mag interview about how the GOP would have to cooperate after the midterms?

Here's the GOP's answer: Fuhgeddaboutit.

If you want it spelled out, Preznit Numbnuts, your melliflurous voice and self-legendary charm will be of ZERO avail:
"Look, the time to go along and get along is over," said Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference. "House Republicans know that. We’ve taken firm and principled stands against their big government plans throughout this Congress, and we’ve got, if the American people will send them, we’ve got a cavalry of men and women headed to Washington, D.C. that are going to stand with us."

Pence said his party wouldn't compromise on issues like spending or healthcare reform, two of the weightiest items on Congress's agenda next year, when the Republicans could control one or both chambers.

"Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes," Pence told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday evening. "And if I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise."

So, doorknob help me, if I hear one more Kumbaya chorus out of your ass ...

Peggy Nooners lies through her TP teeth

Peggy Noonan lying through her teeth? Nothing new there. Lying through her teeth on behalf of the tea party types? Not a lot new there.

The twist? Given her relation ship with Poppy Bush, she uses this op-ed as a vehicle to kick Bush pere in the nuts too.

Lie No 1 (or more than that, if disaggrataged):
In a practical sense, the tea party saved the Republican Party in this cycle by not going third-party. It could have. The broadly based, locally autonomous movement seems to have made a rolling decision, group by group, to take part in Republican primaries and back Republican hopefuls.

"Broadly based" and "locally autonomous"? Let me call Dick Armey and the Koch brothers on that one.

Related:
Part of the social and cultural reality behind the tea party-GOP establishment split has been the sheer fact that tea partiers live in non-D.C. America.


Lie 2, indirectly:
I know and respect some of the establishmentarians, but after dinner, on the third glass of wine, when they get misty-eyed about Reagan and the old days, they are not, I think, weeping for him and what he did but for themselves and who they were.

The lie here? Nooners pretending she's not part of that establishment herself.

Kicking Bush Jr in the nuts?
The tea party did something the Republican establishment was incapable of doing: It got the party out from under George W. Bush.

I'm sure she loved that.

And, actual bit of truth:
The tea party, with its energy and earnestness, restored the GOP to itself.

Yep, restored it to its self.

Oh, and as for the claim that neither the tea party or the GOP is actually racist, let's talk to some Washington state Supreme Court justices.
Again, Dick Armey ... lives where, Nooners?

Race and goofy headlines

The Seattle Times heads a story with: "Two state Supreme Court justices stun some listeners with race comments."

What, did they not stun ALL listeners? Were some OK with this?

Maybe so, in today's tea party era. And, more seriously, this is disgusting.

October 22, 2010

Schadenfreude for Southwestern global warming wingnuts

And, I do loves me some schadenfreude on stuff like this.

Anway, what's the reason for my schadenglee?

Water and hydroelectric power supply concerns is likely to affect ratings on related future bonds. MAY, though. Currently - shock me - Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings don't do that. And they are huffy over the suggestion they should.

I'd love to see Orange County, or Riverside County, in California, or Maricopa County (Phoenix) in Arizona, or municipalities therein, pay an extra, ohhh, 200 basis points for some future bond issue.

Britain 1931, Krugman-style

No, isn't it Britain 2010 right now?

Paul Krugman, in dissecting the British coalition goverment's likely-to-fail austerity fad, says, it may be 2010 now, but the clock could move backward soon enough.

He starts with what brought Britain to this pass:
Over-reliance on the financial industry largely explains why Britain, which came into the crisis with relatively low public debt, has seen its budget deficit soar to 11 percent of G.D.P. — slightly worse than the U.S. deficit.

And, what's behind this all:
Why is the British government doing this? The real reason has a lot to do with ideology: the Tories are using the deficit as an excuse to downsize the welfare state. But the official rationale is that there is no alternative.

Indeed, there has been a noticeable change in the rhetoric of the government of Prime Minister David Cameron over the past few weeks — a shift from hope to fear. In his speech announcing the budget plan, George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, seemed to have given up on the confidence fairy — that is, on claims that the plan would have positive effects on employment and growth.

And, what's likely to result:
What happens now? Maybe Britain will get lucky, and something will come along to rescue the economy. But the best guess is that Britain in 2011 will look like Britain in 1931, or the United States in 1937, or Japan in 1997. That is, premature fiscal austerity will lead to a renewed economic slump. As always, those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

If Britain 2012 looks even close to Britain 1931, the Liberal Democratic party faithful are going to demand Nick Clegg's head for bringing them into coalition with the Conservatives.

Lib Dems, be careful what you wish for

Oops, TOO LATE!

OK, the Conservatives have posted their austerity budget, as they promised before even finalizing a coalition with Liberal Democrats in Britain. Where's the electoral reform bill that was supposed to be a main part of the deal for Lib Dems? I give the coalition about six months to deliver before Nick Clegg loses his head as Lib Dem leader.

More on the likely-to-fail austerity fad from Krugman, along with what brought Britain to this pass:
Over-reliance on the financial industry largely explains why Britain, which came into the crisis with relatively low public debt, has seen its budget deficit soar to 11 percent of G.D.P. — slightly worse than the U.S. deficit.

And, what's behind this all:
Why is the British government doing this? The real reason has a lot to do with ideology: the Tories are using the deficit as an excuse to downsize the welfare state. But the official rationale is that there is no alternative.

Indeed, there has been a noticeable change in the rhetoric of the government of Prime Minister David Cameron over the past few weeks — a shift from hope to fear. In his speech announcing the budget plan, George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, seemed to have given up on the confidence fairy — that is, on claims that the plan would have positive effects on employment and growth.

And, what's likely to result:
What happens now? Maybe Britain will get lucky, and something will come along to rescue the economy. But the best guess is that Britain in 2011 will look like Britain in 1931, or the United States in 1937, or Japan in 1997. That is, premature fiscal austerity will lead to a renewed economic slump. As always, those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

If Britain 2012 looks even close to Britain 1931, even if Clegg has his electoral reform agreement, he'll be out on his ass, in all likelihood.

Hey Brazil, blame China on the currency crisis

Don't blame us. This is NOT an issue of U.S. economic imperialism.

Criticize China for not upvaluing the yuan; don't criticize the U.S. for depreciating the dollar. That said, here's where U.S. diplomacy needs to separate China from the other BRIC nations (and yet others, like Thailand, mentioned in the article).

Meanwhile, good luck to the G-20 in resolving this. Oh, and way to show "leadership," Brazil, by refusing to participate in key talks this weekend.

That said, the U.S. is still trying to peel Brazil away from China:
An anonymous U.S. official avoided criticizing Brazil, noting that Brazil had resisted political pressure to keep its currency, the real, from rising. “The Brazilians have really framed the debate that we need to have at the G-20,” the official said. Brazil and India, the official said, are “among these countries that have the greatest to gain” from the G-20 process because a surge of foreign capital has threatened the stability of their fast-growing economies.

The real issue is that the G-20 is even more toothless than the G-8. It's like the U.N. General Assembly vs. the U.N. Security Council.

Foreclosures show the problem with universities as "businesses"

The latest dispatch from the foreclosure fraud front shows the problem with making universities more businesslike, especially with things like endowed professorial chairs.

Here's how to buy off a professor, if you're the banksters:
Joseph R. Mason, a finance professor who holds the Louisiana Bankers Association chair at Louisiana State University, said that concerns about proper foreclosure documentation were overblown. At the end of the day, he said, even if the banks botched the paperwork, homeowners who didn’t make their mortgage payments still needed to be held accountable.

“You borrowed money,” he said. “You are obligated to repay it.”

Uhh, if the paperwork is fraudulent, we don't know who owes money, Profy-Woffy. We don't know if anybody owes. We do know that people have been evicted from homes on which their mortgages were up to date, or even paid off!

That's the problem with corporately-endowed university chairs, universities being run more like businesses, the chancellors and presidents who want to do that, etc.

Foreclosures, financiers and judges

The latest dispatch shows just how bad the banksters' tentacles are, but what judges are willing to do, too.

As we wonder just how tough states will get with mortgage brokers and investment banks, vs. how non-tough the Obama Administration (or Congressional Republicans) will get, here's food for thought, of how we still have right-thinking judges, vs. how even a professor of finance can be a sellout financier.

First, the "good" professor:
Joseph R. Mason, a finance professor who holds the Louisiana Bankers Association chair at Louisiana State University, said that concerns about proper foreclosure documentation were overblown. At the end of the day, he said, even if the banks botched the paperwork, homeowners who didn’t make their mortgage payments still needed to be held accountable.

“You borrowed money,” he said. “You are obligated to repay it.”

Uhh, if the paperwork is fraudulent, we don't know who owes money, Profy-Woffy. We don't know if anybody owes. We do know that people have been evicted from homes on which their mortgages were up to date, or even paid off!


Meanwhile, some judges, at both state and federal level, get it:

A decision in October 2007 by Judge Christopher A. Boyko of the Federal District Court in northern Ohio to toss out 14 foreclosure cases put lenders on notice. Judge Boyko ruled that the entities trying to seize properties had not proved that they actually owned the notes, and he blasted the banks for worrying “less about jurisdictional requirements and more about maximizing returns.”

And
Frederick B. Tygart, a circuit court judge overseeing a foreclosure case in Duval County, Fla., recently ruled that agents representing Deutsche Bank relied on documents that “must have been counterfeited.” He stopped the foreclosure. Deutsche Bank had no comment on Wednesday.

And, that's why 23 states, thank doorknob, still require judicial procedures on foreclosures.

Beyond that, that's the problem with corporately-endowed university chairs, universities being run more like businesses, the chancellors and presidents who want to do that, etc.

October 21, 2010

Sarah Palin, flag desecrator

It's as clear as day. She's busted signing her Quitter with a Twitter to a U.S. flag, a violation of the Flag Code. (More video here. Pity the poor Guardian reporter who drew the short straw for that assignment.)

I'm waiting for tea party drinking, patriot patronizing, flag waving wingnut Americans to stand up and denounce her.

More realistically, I'm waiting for how those types of folks are going to try to spin, spin, spin on this issue.

That's just one slice of tea party hypocrisy.

Here's more:

Spending $100K for six staffers to take multiple cruises around Alaska, on the claim that was the easy way to meet Joe Miller supporters. What is it about Alaska in particular? Oh, yeah ... probably, just like Wilsonians claim about developing nations relying heavily on natural resources, it must be Alaskans corrupted by oil.

And, here's an answer for another tea partier - three things to say if Mrs. Clarence Thomas ever calls YOU late at night.

October 20, 2010

China plays economic hardball with U.S., not just Japan

Well, we in the United States are now also, apparently, getting a rare earths cutoff from Beijing. So is Western Europe.

Considering that China has raised interest rates at the same time, which will counteract any rise in the yuan it may grant, and may have further interest hikes up its sleeve, it seems clear this is part of an overall broad economic warfare strategy.

Let's see how the GOP's business wing, Obama and neolibs in the White House, and panda huggers like Teapot Tommy Friedman try to explain away this. Or, assuming the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is getting any of its foreign money from China, let's see it explain this away.

As for any panda huggers who say China's worries about inflation are legit, it could address them, at least in part, by other means. And, most those other ways might make its domestic populace happier, too.

That said, since the U.S. was already looking at alternative sources of rare earths, including here in the U.S., it will spur development. And, maybe even Preznit Kumbaya will get enough balls to officially declare China a currency manipulator. Even if he doesn't, the Eurozone, if it can similarly coordinate policy, may.

In other worse, Beijing may just have shot itself in the foot.

Clarence Thomas not the only family hypocrite

Now his wife, Virginia, wants an apology from Anita Hill:
"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago," Virginia Thomas said through a spokesman. Mrs. Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, has lately taken a more visible role by founding a tea-party group called Liberty Central.

Hell, your husband should apologize for being a black Republican, because he'd never be within sniffing distance of the Supreme Court otherwise.

Hill, meanwhile, mixed "taking the high road" just right with "talk to the hand":
Ms. Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said she didn't take Mrs. Thomas's Oct. 9 voicemail as conciliatory. "I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Ms. Hill said through a Brandeis spokesman. "I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony."

But, I won't let it lie there.

With Virginia Thomas' far-right connections, the push of some far-righters trying to get blacks to believe that abortion is deliberate, planned genocide, and more, I can't believe that, just weeks before midterm elections, there's nothing political behind this.

Robert Wright jumps the shark again

Wright can be very insightful at times. And, at other times, as in his book "The Evolution of God," he can be stubbornly obtuse.

He's not being quite that bad now, but, his column welcoming the greater invasion of online privacy that HTML5 supposedly will offer is close. Why does he want this? He says greater knowledge of consumers will help newspapers.

Boy, if you think that's all that's needed, you're fucking clueless.

That greater knowledge, except in certain high-rent areas of a small number of newspapers, won't drive up the value of online ads.

Wright halfway admits that himself:
Besides, the idea of a coherent demographic has broken down. Most people who read Slate’s content aren’t regular readers in the sense of going to its home page every day and perusing its table of contents. Lots of them are just link followers; they’re referred to specific Slate articles from, well, God knows where.

Links, RSS, etc.

The only possible way around all this would be if the AP formed its own search engine or something. And, no, the AP ain't that smart.

Google does halfway good

It's ending its Street View drive-bys. And, if you're on a Google-driven mobile device, you can opt out of its location tracking, though that may cause a few difficulties:

Clarece Thomas not the only family hypocrite

Now his wife, Virginia, wants an apology from Anita Hill:
"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago," Virginia Thomas said through a spokesman. Mrs. Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, has lately taken a more visible role by founding a tea-party group called Liberty Central.

Hell, your husband should apologize for being a black Republican, because he'd never be within sniffing distance of the Supreme Court otherwise.

Hill, meanwhile, mixed "taking the high road" just right with "talk to the hand":
Ms. Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said she didn't take Mrs. Thomas's Oct. 9 voicemail as conciliatory. "I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Ms. Hill said through a Brandeis spokesman. "I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony."

But, I won't let it lie there.

With Virginia Thomas' far-right connections, the push of some far-righters trying to get blacks to believe that abortion is deliberate, planned genocide, and more, I can't believe that, just weeks before midterm elections, there's nothing political behind this.

October 19, 2010

Time to negotiate with the Taliban?

Richard Barrett from the UN says yes, and that now is indeed the time. An uptick in drone strikes has killed more top leaders, while more boots on the ground has restricted travel, thereby fragmenting the Taliban. He adds that the Taliban recognizes a U.S. pullback next year will be just that - pullback, not pullout.

At the same time, he says now is the time, before the Taliban gets too fragmented, and senior members who are still alive are unable to get regional leaders to impose terms of any deal with the Karzai government.

Kudos to Roger Cohen on Chilean reality vs. "miracle"

Boy, it's nice to see a mainstream op-ed columnist get this right.

Latest George Barack Obama news

Once again, Obama is acting Bush-like, or worse, even, on civil liberties issues. The latest? Making it easier for the government to snoop on telecommunications.

Theoretically, this would still only be after obtaining a warrant.

Right.

October 17, 2010

Tommy Teapot Friedman gets stupid on China

So what if he and others don't like the name. It's clear, from this column, that he's a panda-hugger who thinks China has to offer social liberty at some point for its economy to truly grow in the 21st century.

Says who, Mr. My Head is Flat? The same type of people like you who, two years ago, believed in the rationality of Homo economicus?

Here's an example of his latest bloviating:
But what would happen if China had 600 million villagers on Twitter? In a country that already has thousands of protests every week over land seizures and corruption, its system probably could not handle that much unrestricted bottom-up energy.
Really? Iran did quite well handling its Twittering, even getting people like you to believe all these Engligh-language Tweets were the sign of revolution nigh at hand.

What a fucking doofus.

China is the world's No. 1 country at cyberespionage, and it would be brought to its knees by more people Tweeting?