No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for March, 2009

March 31, 2009

Have You Ever Noticed

by @ 9:11. Filed under Politics - National.

In defending his proposal for new, broader regulations that would allow the Treasury to step in and control any company that they deemed “too big to fail,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said:

the markets have become “too unstable and fragile.” He said, “To address this will require comprehensive reform. Not modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the game.”

Hmmmm, new rules…. 

Have you noticed how every time something happens that wasn’t anticipated by this administration, their response is to provide “new rules?” 

Have you noticed how the phrase “new rules” does not mean more flexibility but always means more government control and involvement with the industry or company the “new rules” are promulgated on?

Have you noticed that “new rules” by the government never make the industry or company more competitive or run more efficiently?

Has anyone noticed that the industries that led us to this economic difficulty are among those that already have the highest number of rules to follow?  Banking, Insurance, Mortgage, Securities; all industries that have government telling them more about how they must operate their businesses than nearly all other industries.

In defending his demand for the termination of GM’s CEO, President Barack Obama said he

has “no intention” of running General Motors.

hmmmm, not running the company……

Have you known anybody able to fire an employee of a company that was not running at least that part of the company?

Have you known anyone able to retroactively dress down individuals and companies for how they use the company’s assets who wasn’t “running the company?”

Have you known anyone able to determine acceptable compensation levels for employees that wasn’t “running the company?”

Have you known anyone able to make a determination to unilaterally terminate company contracts and accept the risk of that termination on behalf of the company, without being someone who runs the company?

Did you notice how just a couple of weeks ago, President Obama was too tired to meet with the Prime Minister of Britain but yesterday, he took on another full time job to run GM?

Read some blogs, drink some grogs

by @ 7:14. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

That’s right; it’s the last Tuesday of the month. Alexander has returned Blog ‘n Grog to its original home at Neighbor’s, 260 W Main in Waukesha. Grogging shall commence at 7 pm.

BE THERE!

March 30, 2009

Live-blogging “24” over at B.4B

by @ 18:56. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

I missed the last couple weeks live because of prior family-related committments, but other than next week, I’ll be around for the rest of Season 7. Naturally, the party will be at Blogs.4Bauer.

Don’t forget to get in on the B.4B Kill Counter. I’m going low-positive tonight as Jack begins the process of beating unbeatable viruses – 3.

4-Blocking U-Haul “one-way” rates

by @ 8:51. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee.

Tom McMahon does it again

Normally, I would close comments when I borrow Tom’s stuff; however, there is something to add this time. In addition to, and indeed, related to the supply-and-demand note from Eugene, there is another reason why it costs so much more money to get a U-Haul truck outbound than inbound. U-Haul sees it likely that trucks inbound to Milwaukee will return to their points of origin full and paid for by somebody using that truck, while it sees it likeky that trucks outbound from Milwaukee will need to have somebody paid by U-Haul to return that truck to Milwaukee.

I believe former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson said it best: “When the last company leaves Wisconsin, please turn off the lights.” Of course, with the Doyle/Spendocrat “energy” plan, it is likely that the lights will be off before that happens.

Revisions/extensions (12:10 pm 3/30/2009) - In the comments, HeatherRadish suggested looking up one-way rates between Milwaukee and places like Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia and LA. These are all for pickup of a 26′ U-Haul truck on 4/4/2009:

Milwaukee-to-Detroit – $542
Detroit-to-Milwaukee – $735

Milwaukee-to-Buffalo – $997
Buffalo-to-Milwaukee – $720

Milwaukee-to-Philadelphia – $956
Philadelphia-to-Milwaukee – $1,072

Milwaukee-to-Los Angeles – $1,788
Los Angeles-to-Milwaukee – $2,026

Elite Eight reasons Obama fired Rick Wagoner from GM

by @ 7:26. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

In case you’ve been under a rock, the nationalization of the auto industry continues unabated as the Obama administration forced out Rick Wagoner as CEO of General Motors. I snatched the following reasons for that ouster out of the ether:

8. Obama wanted to be the official car company of the official team of HenCAR.

7. Queen was right; he wants it all and he wants it now.

6. Maybe the Swedes will listen to the Feds better than they listened to Wagoner.

5. Not enough kickbacks to the more-liberal half of the bipartisan Party-In-Government under Wagoner.

4. The GM plan was insufficiently French.

3. Obama liked The Beast so much, he decided to buy seize the company.

2. GM refused to make the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition (© Iowahawk, and don’t forget it)

1. Only government can be allowed to not have a plan.

Big Brown Leaves a Big, Brown Streak

by @ 5:25. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Bill O’Reilly was invited to speak at a fund raiser for the It Happened to Alexa organization.  It Happened to Alexa is an organization that provides support to rape survivors.  The organization’s founder, Alexa Branchini, is herself, the survivor of a brutal rape.

Following the announcement of O’Reilly’s speaking engagement, a blogger at Think Progress, a George Soros funded organization, attacked O’Reilly and his support for Alexa’s organization saying that he believed rape victims were “to blame” for these comments on his radio show:

O’REILLY: So anyway, these two girls come in from the suburbs and they get bombed, and their car is towed because they’re moronic girls and, you know, they don’t have a car. So they’re standing there in the middle of the night with no car. And then they separate because they’re drunk. They separate, which you never do. All right.

Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She’s walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she’s out of her mind, drunk.

And the thug takes her over to New Jersey in the cab and kills her and rapes her and does all these terrible things to her. And the thug is so stupid, he uses her cell phone, and the cops trace it back to him and they — and they arrest him and charge him with murder. He had a prostitute girlfriend with him, and she’s charged as an accessory to murder. But Jennifer Moore is in the ground. She’s dead.

Before we go any further, let me be clear that I don’t believe rape victims ever “ask to be raped.”  Rape is one of the cruelest crimes known and is committed by individuals who are cowards who have no other way ability to exert “power.”  However, what O’Reilly is describing is not a woman “asking for rape” but rather an individual who made bad choices that put her in a position, not of “deserving”, “asking for” or even “inviting” rape but of creating a circumstance where the odds of an assault were greatly increased.

Think I’m trying to dance for O’Reilly?  I’m not.  I don’t see this tragic situation any differently than if Thing 1 and Thing 2 once old enough, decided to go to Mexico for spring break.  After having too much to drink they decide to wander in town in search of a new drinking establishment.  For whatever reason they separate and being inebriated, wander into seedy parts of town.  Being young, caucasian, unable to speak Spanish and there during spring break, a time when folks are known to carry lots of cash, one of them is assaulted, robbed and tragically killed.  Would I be angry, vengeful, hate filled at the person who did that?  Absolutely!  Would I also be screaming loudly in my mourning “how could you be so dumb?”  You bet!

So anyway….

O’Reilly responded by sending Jesse Watters after the blog article to find out why she had a problem with O’Reilly helping Alexa’s foundation.  You can see that exchange here.

Think Progress and the rest of the Soros funded left didn’t like O’Reilly showing Terkel how big time is played so they went after O’Reilly’s advertisers in an attempt to get them to drop the O’Reilly show.

Today, UPS announced that they were dropping their advertising on the O’Reilly show.  According to this article and others, Think Progress is claiming that they caused UPS to drop their support.  Maybe so.

In the original response to Think Progress, UPS said:

In response to our Stop Supporting The O’Reilly Harassment Machine campaign, UPS told us yesterday that it was investigating whether to continue supporting O’Reilly’s show. “We are sensitive to the type of television programming where our messages and presence are associated and continually review choices to affect future decisions,” spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg told us.

UPS subsequently sent this message:

Thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about UPS advertising during the Bill O’Reilly show on FOX News. We do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. At this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show. [emphasis in thinkprogress.org post]

Apparently UPS believes that O’Reilly is inappropriate for its advertising dollars.  The ironic part is that there was a big UPS ad blinking across the Think Progress site tonight, as I was researching this post. 

I don’t always like O’Reilly but in this case, I think he was right.  Fedex will be getting my business from now on.  The only thing I’ll be able to think about when I see another “Brown” commercial will be the similarity to the streaks I see in 10 year old boy’s underwear!

March 28, 2009

Let there be light

by @ 20:11. Filed under Envirowhackos.

In case you’re new to this place, I mock the envirowhackos on a regular basis. They have an utterly-stupid idea tonight – they want everybody to practice living like North Koreans by turning off their lights between 20:30 and 21:30 local. Naturally, I will have every last light-producing item on at the bunker during that time.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described the following picture, which the whackos want to duplicate worldwide on a nightly basis, perfectly…


Click for the full-sized image

“If you look at a picture from the sky of the Korean Peninsula at night, South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea is dark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country.”

We are not North Fucking Korea.

March 27, 2009

More Of a Guideline Really

by @ 10:00. Filed under Economy, Miscellaneous, Politics - National.

After getting a taunting from President Obama in his press conference:

“To a bunch of the critics out there, I’ve already said, show me your budget! I’m happy to have that debate.”

the Republican leadership responded with this document entitled “The Republican Road to Recovery.”  Numerous bastions of the right, including Redstate.com, have linked to this document and thrown a reply taunt along the lines of, “Ha!  You wanted a budget?  Here it is.  Let’s start the debate!  Are you chicken Mr. President?”

What?  You’re kidding me right? (Hey, those of you on the left who have accused me of inconsistency, pay attention)

How many times have we on the right, ridiculed, rightly so, President Obama or one of his minions (paging Mr. Geithner) for tossing out a list of platitudes and calling it a plan?  Geithner got hammered for twice attempting that approach.  Obama got hammered for taking that approach with his stimulus plan and his budget proposal.  After pickling the left for taking the nonsubstantive approach, the Republican leadership decides that they would take the same approach and theirs should hailed as a plan worthy of debate?

Dear Republican leadership:

Shrinking government, simplifying taxes and disposing of stupidity like global warming taxes are the equivalent of motherhood and apple pie to conservatives.  We’re with you.  However, addressing higher fixed costs of government (non discretionary spending) with statements like:

Republicans seek to ensure that the federal budget cannot grow faster than families’ ability to pay the bill.

addressing health care challenges with:

Republicans seek to provide universal access to affordable health care and to address Medicare and Medicaid’s trillion dollar unfunded liabilities with common-sense reforms that ensure our children and grandchildren can secure benefits in the future.

and laying out an energy policy with:

Instead of taxing all energy users with a new energy tax that will cost up to $3,128 per household, Republicans want energy independence with increased exploration and the development of new renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

while providing scant if any detail about how you would actually accomplish your stated goal, does not pass muster to even be called “A plan.”

Worse, the Republican “plan” has hardly a number in it anywhere.  There is no information showing what the Republican’s “plan” spending would be, no information showing what the revenue would be and no information showing how their plan would lower or eliminate the massive debt that the Obama plan has us headed toward!

Sadly, the bulk of this plan looks far too much like what we have come to expect from the current Republican leadership.  If you read the document you will see that well over half of the document is used to complain about what the Democrats are doing.  Actually, if you just count columns, I come up with something like 2/3rds of the document being anti something rather than for something.  I certainly understand the need to frame the problem.  However, people are looking for answers and solutions.  Answers and soltuions do not have sentences that start with “The Democrat’s” or “The President’s.”  To make it worse, the few scarce numbers that are provided in the document are mostly numbers pointing to the President’s plan.

This “plan” points out, in spades, the reason that the Republicans had trouble in the last election; they are not leading the parade, they are nothing but bystanders armed with rotten tomatoes, watching the parade go by.

If this is the best this group can come up with, well, I think it’s time to enroll in some French classes.

Now take him to be tortured

by @ 6:26. Filed under Sports.

Now that my bracket has been been beheaded courtesy Villanova, with a 3rd Final Four team also eliminated, I’m ready to pack my bags for the one place worse than Detroit, the Hartz Mountains of Asia.

In lieu of marinara, I ask that you send ligaments.

March 26, 2009

Buyers’ remorse – Congressional edition

by @ 15:16. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National, Taxes.

(H/T – Allahpundit’s Twitter stream)

Politico reports Paul Ryan now considers that TARP bonus tax unconstitutional. The bad news – he voted for it.

Had he applied the “duck” test, he would’ve saved himself some embarrassment.

A Banana Republic? A Developing Nation?

by @ 12:12. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

Senator Judd Gregg, says the US doesn’t have the economic where-with-all to even join the European Union:

“We won’t even be able to get into the EU if we wanted to,” Gregg said this morning on MSNBC, “because our government is so large and so huge.”

The European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) adopted in 1997 requires a budget deficit to be less than three percent, and requires a national debt beneath 60 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As Gregg further points out, we’re getting dressed down by the French:

“We’ve been lectured by France on the fact that we’re not fiscally responsible right now,” Gregg, the would-be commerce secretary, noted with incredulity.

We’ve also been lectured by the Russians and the Chinese about our excessive borrowing and spending.

With the size of the deficits and borrowing that President Obama is proposing, it’s obvious that we will no longer be an economic super power.  The EU is saying we couldn’t even join a club that includes Western versions of Socialism.  If we can’t join their club, where does it leave us?  I hear Mugabe, Chavez, Castro and Kim Jong-ll are looking for members!

Global Warming Comes Every Spring

by @ 10:21. Filed under Miscellaneous.

At least that’s what President Obama would now have you believe.  Look at Obama’s comments regarding the flooding that is occurring in the Red River Valley:

“If you look at the flooding that’s going on right now in North Dakota and you say to yourself, ‘If you see an increase of 2 degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?’ ” the president told the reporters. “That indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously.”

Obama began by saying that “the science around climate change is real; it is potentially devastating.”

I’ve been a resident of the upper Midwest my entire life.  I’m very familiar with the Red River Valley having most of my extended family still living in the Valley.  With that background, I have to admit some confusion on President Obama’s remarks.

My recollection of the Red River area is that it gets very cold and typically receives a fair amount of snow each winter.  My recollection also is that melting in the spring tends to turn snow to water.  That water needs a place to run off.  Given the scale of the Valley area, that can be a lot of snow becoming a lot of water running to basically, one spot.  When a lot of water runs to one spot, that tends to create rising water.  When the water rises too much, because too much snow turned into too much water, that creates flooding.

Maybe President Obama believes that because there is a river running through this area and it’s way up north, the river is carrying water from the melting arctic ice caps and that is causing the flooding? Nope, while most of the rivers in the US do run from north to south, the Red River is north of the Laurentian Divide. As a result, the Red River is one of the few rivers in the US that actually runs north, toward the ice caps. I’ll bet the President doesn’t know that!

OK, maybe I’m being a bit too technical for the President.  Maybe a simpler view would help.

Obviously, the flooding is driven by moisture in the area. Take a look at this chart from NDSU and you will see that the Fargo area, the heart of the Valley, has received moisture that is about equal to the most moisture ever received. A ha! Global Warming! Um, nope. You see, the record to date for the most moisture recorded in the valley is the ’96 – ’97 winter. Um, no, that’s not 1996, that’s 1896! My history tells me that there weren’t a lot of carbon belching engines at that time. In fact, there weren’t even a lot of carbon belching people in this area at that time!

In a speech that he gave on the night that he was assured the Presidential nomination by the Democrats, Barack Obama said that as a result of his nomination:

this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal

Hmmm, I guess he was being literal, he only controls the oceans and not the rivers.  I wonder who controls the rivers?  Maybe it’s one of those spots that we haven’t been able to fill in Treasury?

H/T Powerlineblog.com

Shocking, absolutely shocking

by @ 7:43. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National.

My friends at the American Issues Project unleashed a new ad hitting back at the Democrats who gave AIG billions of dollars as they knew and protected the bonuses they now want to tax out of existence…

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Blip.tv video.

What’s The Use?

by @ 5:53. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

Treasury’s Top Candidate to Run TARP Drops Out .

Damn, is there anyone who wants a Treasury job?

WASHINGTON — The leading candidate to run the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout program has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to people familiar with the matter.

Frank Brosens, a hedge-fund manager and big Democratic donor, was considered the top contender to run the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is now considering several other candidates, including Herb Allison, who currently heads mortgage titan Fannie Mae.

Oh yeah, let’s get the Fannie Mae folks, they’ll do anything!

Mr. Brosens, who campaigned for Mr. Obama, said he withdrew his name for personal reasons, including wanting to remain at his hedge fund, Taconic Capital Advisors. “I very much wanted to find a way to serve,” he said. Among the reasons he cited for withdrawing was the need to commute between Washington and New York, where his son is in school.

Uh huh.  Did he just find out that his son is in school?

Just so you know, if nominated, I will not run.  If elected, I will not serve….just if you were wondering.

What would this article be without the obligatory and obvious video?

It’s Our Fault. It’s Always Our Fault!

According to American Pravda:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that America’s “insatiable” demand for illegal drugs and its inability to stop weapons from being smuggled into Mexico are fueling an alarming spike in violence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Yes, it’s our fault:

“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” she said. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.”

Let me get this right.  According to Hillary, our inability to control our borders is causing people in Mexico to sell us drugs and allegedly (this one is open to dispute) buy nasty weapons from us.  As a result, Hillary is suggesting that we should up our contributions to the Mexican government so that they can solve their problems.  Oh yeah, that will work.  It will work because of course, there’s no corruption in the Mexican government.  There’s no corruption that might be involved in aiding and abetting the drugs and weapons.  There’s no corruption that’s taking the money we’re already sending to Mexico and using it for any personal enrichment.  No, no corruption.

I have to wonder.  I wonder if Hillary would accept her logic tossed back at her.  Based on Hillary’s logic, if we’re causing the problem in Mexico because we aren’t controlling our borders, would Hillary accept that the hoards of illegal aliens who are in this country after crossing the Mexican border are a result of Mexico not enforcing their borders?  Can we go after the Mexican government to pay for their citizens that they allowed to live in our country?

Actually, Hillary’s message to Mexico is just a Trojan horse.  Hillary has taken the role of “good soldier” and is using this opportunity to set up another opportunity for Obama to format America into the country he wants it to be.  While Hillary for now, is talking about the Mexican/American relationship, this issue will soon be used as Obama’s lynch pin for removing drug enforcement and expanding gun control regulation.  After all, we don’t want to cause anymore problems for the well run, highly ethical government of our 59th state!

Inherited What?

by @ 5:09. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

During his press conference last evening, when question about the dramatic increases in debt and deficit that his budget shows, President Obama again lashed out with, “I inherited this mess.”

The Washington Post has put together a graph showing deficits under Bush and the proposed deficits under Obama.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

wapoobamabudget1

I think it’s fair to cut Obama some slack on ’09. The deficit in this year was started by President Bush. That said, there was not one decision on the extraordinary monies spend that Obama was not involved with either through direct consultation or via his vote as a Senator. That said, there’s no question that every dollar past ’09 is all Obama, all the time. There is also not doubt that every year of Obama’s projected budget has a higher deficit than ANYTHING President Bush had.

Before you get into “this is a true comparison” or “Bush didn’t show Iraq”, go read the Heritage.org piece. As they say in the commercial, “Prego, it’s all in there!”

March 25, 2009

The Enemy of My Enemy…

by @ 10:49. Filed under Economy, Politics - National, Taxes.

Looks like not all is quiet on the Leftist front.

With President Obama umming and ahhhing his way through multiple justifications for tripling the country’s debt, his campaign homies are mobilizing to go after those who don’t support his vision of The Banana Republic of America.  The odd part is that the non believers in question do not have a R behind their name, they have a D.

From Jonathon Martin at the Politico:

Americans United for Change (AUC), the labor-backed organization that has produced a steady stream of pro-White House ads, is going up on the air Wednesday in 11 states and Washington, D.C. The goal is to push Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and members of a new group of centrist Democrats to get behind a spending blueprint that many of them have already criticized.

“This ad is designed to engage the American people in the process of bringing about the transformational change they voted for in November by contacting their elected representatives and asking for their help in putting our country on the road to prosperity,” said AUC’s acting executive director Tom McMahon.

Um no, Tom.  It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the American people did not vote for the “transformational change” that Obama is attempting to implement!

Also, MoveON.org is planning radio ads against fiscally conservative Democrats.

There’s not a lot of hope for the House to put even a bump in Obama’s budget.  Nancy Pelosi has shown a desire to out Obama, Obama when it comes to irresponsible spending.  The Senate is where we have a chance to reinstate some common sense.

If you live in Indiana, New Hampshire or Viriginia, make sure and call your Senators and give them positive reinforcement on their conservative fiscal stances.  If you live elsewhere, start providing your feedback now to your elected officials.  The budget battle will be a challenge but it is a battle we can, and must win!

We may not agree with these Democrats on every issue.  Heck, we don’t agree with Republicans on every issue.  That said, when it comes to saving the economic future of our country the old adage is best remembered:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

Tea Party Anthem

by @ 9:57. Filed under Politics - National, Taxes.

I give it an 86. It’s got a good beat and it’s easy to protest to!

You can hear more from the artist here:

Change You Can Believe In?

by @ 9:06. Filed under Miscellaneous.

From The National Republican Senatorial Committee

H/T Dan Spencer

March 24, 2009

Press Conference Recap

by @ 20:10. Filed under Politics - National.

If you weren’t able to catch President Obama’s press conference tonight or if you’d purposely avoided it so that your head wouldn’t explode, I’ve got a recap of the Q&A period.  I’m not saying that what I’ve laid out is a verbatim recitation of what was said but, it will give you the gist of both the question and answer…at least as I interpreted Obama answering it.

Q – Regarding the request for new ability to takeover financial institutions? 

 

A – Financial institutions = bad

      Government knows better than public

 

Bottom line:

More government control is always the right answer

 

 

Q – Why haven’t you asked the public to sacrifice more?

 

A – Workers unite!

       If the government spends more we’ll all be better

       Financial institutions = bad

 

Bottom line:

You’ll sacrifice a whole lot more, just give me time and pass my budget!

 

 

Q – Will you sign a budget that does not have a middle class tax cut or cap and trade?

 

A – We need to spend a lot more

      We need to raise the cost of energy dramatically

      We need government control of health care

 

Bottom line:

Don’t worry you’re sweet head.  My ego will carry this through.

 

 

Q – Aren’t you passing on problems by dramatically increasing debt?

 

A – I inherited this from Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuush!

      Growth only comes from government spending

      The CBO can’t do math

 

Bottom line:

You’re damn lucky I’m here.  This would really be a mess if Buuuuuuuuuuuush were still here!

 

 

Q – Why does you budget deficit go up dramatically in 6 of the next 8 years?

 

A – Did I call this a budget?  This is really a guideline!

      I can’t take over the entire economy in the first 2 months

 

 

Bottom line:

Quit asking me questions that I can’t answer!

 

 

Q – Do you consider the violence in Mexico a national security threat?

 

A – We’ll throw more money at the problem

      The problem is that we don’t have gun laws

      I’ll fix this next week over a tequila

 

Bottom line:

Don’t ask questions that could screw up my Mexican vacation

 

 

Q – Are you cutting defense spending?

 

A – I inherited this problem from Buuuuuuuuuuush!

      Second only to the financial industry, military contractors = bad

      Did I say we were withdrawing from Iraq?

 

Bottom Line:

I’m a Leftist.  Of course I’m cutting defense!

 

 

Q – How come you didn’t come public on what you knew of AIG?

 

A – I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak

 

Bottom Line:

This would be the first and last time that will happen

 

 

Q – Are you concerned about the rising debt?

 

A – I’ve only been here 60 days!

      We need government to control health care

 

Bottom Line:

Quit asking tough questions a second time

 

 

Q – How comfortable are you with foreign governments saying you’re spending too much?

 

A – China calling me Socialist….that’s rich!

      Europe calling me Socialist…..that’s rich!

      I’ll wow them at the G20!

 

Bottom line:

I’m planning another world tour.  They’ll love me again after that!

 

 

Q – Are you reconsidering the mortgage and charity deduction cut?

 

A – No

      Financial institutions, military contractors and rich people = bad

      Charities will have to suck it up

 

Bottom line:

Hey, Joe and I don’t give to charities so this doesn’t impact us!

 

 

Q – Do you have a message for homeless children?

 

A – Just look at the jobs we’ve saved!

       The States aren’t doing their jobs!

       Obviously, we haven’t spent enough!

 

Bottom line:

If they had been aborted they wouldn’t be homeless

 

 

Q – Did you wrestle with your change on stem cell research?

 

A – I’m a deep, deep thinker

      I said to myself, self and got no reply

      It’s no harder a decision than abortion

 

Bottom line:

I’m the most pro infanticide President ever….stupid question.  Next!

 

 

Q – Can you bring peace to the Middle East with a Neocon leading Israel?

 

A – Israel needs to give in

      If George Mitchell stays awake long enough, he’ll make a trip there.

      The Middle East is no different than the situation in Ireland

 

Bottom line:

We’re sending them an “Easy button” next week.

Pinky And The Brain

by @ 9:37. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Yesterday I wrote on Geithner’s new Public Private Partnership Investment Program.  It seemed to me that for having missed 3 self imposed deadlines and allowing the markets to roil each time he did, his final plan was woefully lacking in complexity or uniqueness so as to explain why it took Geithner so long to spit it out.  I think most able minded individuals could have come up with a version of “Just another bailout” in far shorter time.

The question I was left with after reviewing the PPPIP was “what has Geithner been doing?”  Now we know.

This morning, Geithner and President Obama have unveiled a new initiative they are taking to congress.  They now believe that a big reason why the economy is in the trouble it is is that large financial companies didn’t have anyone to tell them “no.”  They reason that if someone had been able to tell them “no,” then the companies would have been compliant and we all would be living in financial Nirvana today.

Not feeling like they’ve socialized the financial industry enough, Obama and Geithner will be asking Congress for the ability to:

initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy.

Admittedly, some additional oversight seems to be warranted after what we’ve experienced.  In my mind, a big piece of the oversight and change in regulations should be focused on the rating agencies who continually priced assets as if they were gold and diamonds when in fact they knew they were more like iron ore and copper…still valuable but at a significantly diminished value.  However, as Obama has done on nearly every change he’s implemented, he’s not satisfied with “improvement.”  Obama’s view of change is only satisfied with a complete takeover and control of whatever the issue is he’s focused on.

In defense of their request, Geithner and the administration state:

According to the administration officials, the government could have been better equipped to deal with AIG aggressively before it engaged in behavior that was so risky, its failure threatened to bring down the entire financial system with it.

“Before it engaged?”  That doesn’t sound like a company in collapse.  That sounds like further dictation of what an industry can or can’t do.  Yeah, that’s working out so well for all the GSE or GSE like enterprises.  Let’s just look at Fannie, Freddie, Amtrak, US post office etc.  Can you find one in these or others where the government is involved “before they engage in behavior that is risky,” that operates for a purpose other than lobbying Congress for it’s future life blood?

I think it’s now safe to say that Geithner did not spend the last two months putting together his PPPIP.  Rather, at the direction of Obama, he has been working on a plan and talking points that makes another industry servants to the dictates of their new government masters.  In another time, this may have passed for absurd.  Now, it’s just more of business as usual.  It looks like for the past two months, rather than finding solutions to the issues immediately in front of us, Pinky and The Brain have spent their time doing “The same thing they do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world.

March 23, 2009

A couple of lost things regarding the AIG “bonuses”

by @ 23:20. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

(H/T – Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute via Dad29)

The Washington Post did some actual journalism the other day, and took a look at AIG’s Financial Products subsidiary. Allow me to highlight a couple of key paragraphs from the story, written by Brady Dennis:

The handful of souls who championed the firm’s now-infamous credit-default swaps are, by nearly every account, long since departed. Those left behind to clean up the mess, the majority of whom never lost a dime for AIG, now feel they have been sold out by their Congress and their president….

They say what is missing from this week’s hysteria is perspective. The very handsome retention payments they received over the past week were set in motion early last year when the firm’s former president, Joe Cassano, was on his way out the door. Financial Products was already running into trouble on its risky credit bets, and the year ahead looked grim. People were weighing offers from other firms, and AIG executives feared that too many departures could lead to disaster.

So AIG stepped in with an offer to employees of Financial Products. Work through all of 2008, and you’d get a lump payment in March 2009. Stick around through 2009, and you’ll get paid through 2010. Almost all other forms of compensation — bonuses, deferred payments and the like — have vanished….

In actuality, (chief operating officer Gerry Pasciucco) said, nearly all the troublesome sectors of the business — namely, the risky credit derivatives written on mortgage-backed securities — are now out of the equation, as are the people who worked on them. That leaves a small number of employees to untangle the remaining trades in four main areas: commodities, interest rates, currency and equities — most of which were fully hedged and have caused little problem. The effort also requires a sizable number of “back office” staff, such as systems, computing, accounting, human resources and legal teams.

Of course, you won’t hear those little tidbits from the thundering herd bound and determined to use this for their own political and socioeconomic ends. For those that can comprehend what the WaPo said, you can leave now and report to the JustOneMinute thread. For those that need a shorter and far-more-vulgar explanation, please flip to page 2.

Iowahawk – Obama’s Teleprompter speaks

by @ 16:41. Filed under Politics - National.

If you’re not following Iowahawk at all his various places (this time at Big Hollywood), you’re missing a lot. This time, The Teleprompter lets loose with some new demands…

YouTube Preview Image

Go, watch.

Revisions/extensions (11:24 pm 3/23/2009) - Fixed the embed.

Not exactly satisfactory

by @ 14:21. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National.

Over the weekend, I asked Rep. Paul Ryan’s office for an expansion on his reasons to vote for the 90% TARP tax. This statement sent to me this morning isn’t exactly what I was hoping for:

Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of H.R. 1586, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 328 to 93. His statement follows:

“I share the outrage of those I serve. At a time when job losses are mounting and difficult days lie ahead for our nation’s economy, the last thing Congress should do is waste taxpayer dollars. The same individuals who drove AIG into the ground should not be rewarded with bonuses on the backs of taxpayers. Efforts to stabilize the financial system to get credit flowing again and protect jobs must not be diverted to subsidize failure. If the Janesville and Kenosha auto workers were forced to take pay and benefit cuts as a condition for TARP funding, then surely the AIG executives who helped create this crisis should not receive taxpayer financed bonuses.

This bill was rushed through the U.S. House of Representatives in order to cover up the fact that the stimulus legislation, which passed earlier this year, specifically made these bonuses possible. The truth is these bonuses would have been avoided if Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and the White House had not removed the provision blocking them. The American people have a right to know how these taxpayer-financed bonuses occurred in the first place. I voted in favor of this bill because I believe these taxpayer-financed bonuses should never have been allowed.

The critical issue of the bill’s constitutionality, however, must be fully explored. I have received contradictory opinions from legal experts on this matter, and Congress should have allowed more time to deliberate and settle this important issue. Unfortunately, this bill was rushed to the floor in the same manner that the stimulus legislation was considered which created this mess in the first place.”

Where do I begin? Let’s start at the top. While the GM and Chrysler were required to renegotiate their union contracts, those talks have not yet yielded a final agreement. I will note that one of the few concessions the UAW gave Ford, which is expected to be the general framework for the new agreements with GM and Chrysler, was the suspension of bonuses.

There were points at which the government “could” have required AIG to not pay bonuses. Rep. Ryan pointed out one of them. Another point was to make it a part of TARP back in October. A third was when the Federal Reserve first started bailing out AIG. I would still consider that odious, just as I consider the bailout of GM and Chrysler odious, with any demand from the Fed Reserve just a bit less so. It would, however, have had the advantage, at least in September and depending on how it was written, at the other points, of being something that AIG voluntarily entered. That is something that can be said for GM and Chrysler; they took their federal money knowing they had to get concessions out of the UAW.

Instead, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rammed home the bonuses when he was head of the New York Federal Reserve bank, the originator of the first of the infusions of cash into AIG. Instead, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) inserted protection of the bonuses into the last of the infusions of cash into AIG.

Yes, it is a punitive tax. It does not apply just to future bonuses, but those paid out on January 1, 2009. As James Taranto pointed out, in high-tax locales, the cumulative tax rate would be over 100%. It is so bad that even the Obama administration has misgivings about using this particular vehicle.

I can’t put it better than Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH): “People are disgusted and outraged, as they should be. But let’s not overreact in a way that basically has the Congress grabbing its pitchforks, and charging up the hill, and abusing what is a core authority of a government, which is the authority to tax its people.”

Regarding the bill’s constitutionality, or lack thereof, it is rather easy to apply the “duck” test. If it looks like an ex post facto bill of attainder, waddles like an ex post facto bill of attainder, and quacks like an ex post facto bill of attainder, I expect the courts will call it an ex post facto bill of attainder.

Will Dems Let The Sun Shine?

by @ 10:26. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National.

Missed in the AIG hullaballoo last week is this House resolution:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives directs the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption… (Introduced in House)

HRES 251 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 251

Directing the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit to the House of Representatives all information in his possession relating to specific communications with American International Group, Inc. (AIG).

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 17, 2009

Mr. LATOURETTE (for himself, Mr. BOEHNER, Mr. CANTOR, Mr. PENCE, Mr. MCCOTTER, Mr. UPTON, Mr. PETRI, Mr. TIBERI, Mr. WALDEN, Mrs. EMERSON, Mr. GERLACH, Mr. DENT, Mr. BARTLETT, Mrs. MILLER of Michigan, Mr. SIMPSON, Mr. AUSTRIA, Mr. PLATTS, Mr. KIRK, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. DREIER, Mr. REICHERT, Mr. BILBRAY, and Mr. EHLERS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


RESOLUTION

Directing the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit to the House of Representatives all information in his possession relating to specific communications with American International Group, Inc. (AIG).

   Resolved, That the House of Representatives directs the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies of any portions of all Department of the Treasury documents, records, and communications referring or relating to–

      (1) any negotiation concerning the controlled break-up of the American International Group, Inc. into at least 3 Government-controlled divisions;

      (2) any negotiation concerning any additional assistance under title I of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 U.S.C. 5201 et seq.) or other program administered by the Secretary to such corporation; or

      (3) any Government communication or authorization for payment of any pre-existing bonus contract with any executive of the American International Group, Inc.

This is House Resolution 251. The resolution is authored by Ohio’s Steven LaTourette. The resolution is cosponsored by 51 House Republicans.

Between Senator Dodd and Secretary Geithner, there are at least 3 different versions of how much was known about the AIG bonuses. Using the assumption that AIG was trying to “sneak one by,” the Democrats passed a punitive tax on those receiving bonuses. They did this in part to take the focus off of their own party’s incompetence of thinking through details, at best, or negotiating the details and not having the courage of their convictions, at worst. Given the serious questions this issue raises about Geithner’s integrity and ability, I would think “the most ethical and transparent” administration ever would support this resolution.

Cue the crickets!

BTW, I don’t see Paul Ryan’s name on the list of cosponsors. I would expect the fine Congressman to want the full details of this issue. Of course, there still remains the possibility that he just wishes no one to reraise the question of his vote on the AIG bill.

Revisions/extensions (2:37 pm 3/23/2009, steveegg) - Fixed the link and did some formatting changes. Also, I note that Wisconsin’s other two Republican Congressmen, Jim Sensenbrenner and Tom Petri, are listed as co-sponsors.

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