Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too Much Information ...

Using its emergency loan program and another tool, the Fed is injecting $630 billion into the financial system ...

he said tool

Existential Potato Blues

Dug the last of my potatoes.

Now I have no more to dig.

Should have planted more.

Or dug less.

I guess.

Associated Press: Fair and Balanced.

What is this shit?

Bailout bill defeat could cause painful recession
Tuesday September 30, 12:03 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Deep recession, more job losses could come from defeat of $700 billion bailout package

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fallout from the vote against a bailout package for the U.S. financial system may well be lasting pain for the economy.
The House's stunning defeat of a $700 billion package urgently championed by President Bush, sent shock waves through Capitol Hill, the trading floors on Wall Street and the Oval Office on Monday.

"An economic 9/11," warned Terry Connelly, dean of Golden Gate University's Ageno School of Business, of the potential fallout. As the package went down, panicked investors caused the Dow Jones industrials to nosedive nearly 780 points in their largest one-day point drop ever. Markets across Asia fell sharply Tuesday in the wake of the Wall Street downdraft.

Associated Press: Fair and Balanced.

What is this shit?

Bailout bill defeat could cause painful recession
Tuesday September 30, 12:03 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Deep recession, more job losses could come from defeat of $700 billion bailout package

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fallout from the vote against a bailout package for the U.S. financial system may well be lasting pain for the economy.
The House's stunning defeat of a $700 billion package urgently championed by President Bush, sent shock waves through Capitol Hill, the trading floors on Wall Street and the Oval Office on Monday.

"An economic 9/11," warned Terry Connelly, dean of Golden Gate University's Ageno School of Business, of the potential fallout. As the package went down, panicked investors caused the Dow Jones industrials to nosedive nearly 780 points in their largest one-day point drop ever. Markets across Asia fell sharply Tuesday in the wake of the Wall Street downdraft.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shorter Failed Bailout Bill

Bring those people back in here!

Turn those machines back on!

Buy! Buy!

/Vermont Trader at The Big Picture.



"Everyone on CNN is complaining that over $1 trillion in market value was lost today. I didn't realize that it was my job, as a taxpayer, to prop up the stock market."

Lynne at global economic trend analysis


Dean Baker at TPMCafe:

"This isn't about begging for a sliver of equity as a concession for a $700 billion bailout, this is about constructing a bank rescue the way that business people would do it. We have an interest in a well-operating financial system. There is zero public interest in giving away taxpayer dollars to the Wall Street banks and their executives.

"If Secretary Paulson constructed a package that was centered around buying direct equity stakes in the banks, he could quickly garner large majority support in both houses. Better yet, Congress could just construct its own package centered on buying equity stakes and send it to President Bush. If he balks, we can just threaten him with stories about the Great Depression."


My humble observations:

Many Democrats support the bailout simply because prominent Democrats say they should (ie. appeal to authority). Other folks support it because the news media and other "trusted sources" tell them that if the bailout is not passed immediately that, "society will collapse and children will starve" and that no matter how bad this bill is, "the alternative is worse." These folks, IMO, fit the profile of people who are primarily motivated by fear, and when scared enough, instinctively disconnect their own judgmental faculties and blindly follow the lead of a trusted authority figure.

Shorter Bailout Bill

"Let me see if I understand this Bush/Paulson thinking: if we allow the banks to pretend that they are solvent, they can continue to make loans to those who pretend they can pay them back - is that about right?"

-- Winston Munn, at The Big Picture

No Rescue for Hungry Kids

From Joel Berg, in the Washington Post:

Our country has been told that a gargantuan government rescue of the private sector is necessary because the collapse of major financial institutions would lead to unthinkable outcomes for society. Almost as if by magic, our nation's leaders conjure up vast sums to respond to this crisis.

Yet when advocates point out that our nation is facing an altogether different kind of crisis, one of soaring hunger and homelessness, and that a large-scale bailout is needed to prevent social service providers nationwide from buckling under the increasing load, we are told that the money these agencies need just doesn't exist.

In 2006, fully 35.5 million Americans, 4 million more than in 1999, lived in households that couldn't afford enough food, according to the Agriculture Department. Those households included more than 4 million children. ...

[New York state] slashed funding for community-based feeding agencies 16 percent in April and an additional 6 percent in August, after having ruled out a plan to avoid these and other cuts in social services by restoring previous levels of taxation on New Yorkers who earn more than $1 million per year. Other states are making similar budget choices.

We're told to simply accept these cuts because everyone is suffering. But that's just not true. According to Forbes, there are 64 billionaires in New York City with a combined net worth of $344 billion, a staggering 469 percent more than the collective worth of the city's billionaires two years ago.

Just as it is unthinkable for the country to allow financial giants to go belly up, it should be unthinkable to look the other way as tens of millions of low-income Americans (the types of people who clean the offices of AIG and Fannie Mae at night) go without food or shelter. It's time to get our priorities in order.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mavericky !!!

When asked by a reporter how he felt about the Confederate flag during a January 12 campaign event, McCain replied: "Personally, I see the flag as symbol of heritage."

The Arizona senator expressed regret for that stance on Wednesday, telling the audience of Republicans: "I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles."


Lib Bloggers Are Clueless.

Jane Hamsher declares McCain won. Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo says the same thing. But, snap polls of actual uncommitted voters prove them to be completely wrong: Here. Here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cynical Outlook of the Day

Cynical Yes writes:

Hey, Joe Sixpack, we need your nice family to pony up $10,000.00 to cover our cocaine, whores, ugly mcmansions, pied a terre (whatever the fug that is?) and our 62 trillion in Credit Default Swaps. Don't even ask how us geniuses managed to create 62 TRILLION in Credit Default Swaps, just pay us or we'll shut down the economy.

McMansionDweller Cokewhore IV
Greenwich, Manhattan

Cynical Yes | 09.26.08 - 7:04 am | #

From Calculated Risk.

Your Government At Work

Mass. seniors get eviction notices after protest
September 25, 2008

SHREWSBURY, Mass.—Two elderly women who tied themselves to a crab apple tree to protest its removal say they're being evicted from their senior housing complex.

Lee Perrone, 74, and Pat Henry, 65, were protesting the Shrewsbury Housing Authority's decision to cut down the tree to make way for a trash bin. The women say the housing authority is now retaliating against them.

Henry said she spent seven consecutive days -- about 10 hours a day -- tied to the tree.

"It's a beautiful tree. It blooms. It's a beautiful sight we can see from our porches," she said.

Henry, Perrone and Ethel Casey, 85, last week tied themselves together with rope strung through patio chairs and around the tree, taking breaks for trips to the bathroom and meals.

Henry said the eviction notice she received Tuesday says she has 30 days to leave her apartment at Francis Gardens for "obstructing members of the Shrewsbury Housing Authority from carrying out their duties."

Casey said she did not receive an eviction notice because she sat with the other women after the tree removal company left.

A Worcester attorney has filed a court action to try to stop the evictions.

The executive director of the housing authority declined comment.


Excellent ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exspect Delays ...

My white trash cooking show with bad jokes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Majorigomigosek is the stream which comes out of Three Cornered Pond, Three Mile Pond and Webber Pond in Augusta and Vassalboro, Maine and enters the Kennebec River seven miles above the head of tide at Cushnoc, at Augusta, Maine (hence the name Seven Mile Stream).

Hank wants to eat our seed corn.

mmm ... niblet

Hank Paulson wants us to give him the next 50 years of this country's seed corn so he can grind it up into pig meal so he and his buddies can eat the pig.

In exchange, a few of us will get jobs wearing white aprons serving Hank et al. while they eat the pig.

Yum Yum.

Barry Ritholtz writes:

Looks good as a headline, is godawful underneath.

That might be the epitaph of our generation (I'm 44).

I remember in 1971, as a very young kid, reading National Geographic magazines that talked about "farming the sea" and "harvesting the sea" and building "factories" in the sea to harvest the immense bounty of the ocean, which would be necessary to feed a "growing and hungry world."

During the 1970s, this "farming of the sea" began to happen with factory trawlers. It is still going on today.

What has happened, since I was 7 years old, is that the world ocean -- in 1970 thought to be untapped and inexhaustible -- has now collapsed and is sliding toward total extinction.

This was not supposed to happen on "our watch" because, supposedly, we are now equipped with knowledge, research and foresight.

But it is happening. Even worse than our fathers and mothers could have imagined in 1970.


That answer is what gets us out of this mess.


Hank Paulson: A Hose by Any Other Name ...

Our plan, called the Reallocation of Assets to Prevent the End of the United States, will have many beneficial side effects.

It will mean Billions Less for Ordinary Workers to Mindlessly Expend.

Oh ...

Couldn't Paulson and Bernanke have gotten Alberto Gonzales to add some stolidity and credibility to the Congressional proceedings on Monday?

I hear he is tanned, fit and well rested.

Hank Paulson Sells Ice Cubes to Glaciers

Bruce from Tennessee, a regular commenter at The Big Picture, writes:

"How come Hank always wants to sell me whole life when all I really need is term insurance?"


Winston Munn, another Big Picture regular, adds this gem:

Senator Shelby: And what happens in a recession?

Hank Paulson: Real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Ben Bernanke: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Hank Paulson: The dead rising from the grave!
Ben Bernanke: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria.


Wally sums it up:

OK, so here are your options: do you want be in a recession or do you want to be in a recession $700 billion poorer?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Media Calls It a "Toss-Up."

Zero percent of Americans think national economy is improving.

A new American Research Group poll shows that “No Americans say that the national economy is getting better,” while 82 percent say it is getting much worse. Only 17 percent approve of President Bush’s handling of the economy, with 78 percent disapproving. Even among Republicans, more disapprove of his economic performance than approve:

Among Republicans, 46% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 48% disapprove. Among Democrats, 97% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy and 2% approve. Among independents, 8% approve and 87% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy.

Bush’s overall approval rating fell to 19 percent, from 30 percent last month, with 76 percent disapproving.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/22/bush-approval-19/

Palin v. Palin

1. Drill Here, Drill Now !!!

2. Raped women have to pay for the rape kit.

3. Police aren't supposed to crack down on domestic violence.

Does someone have a fetish for violation by penetration?

The Shake Downer/Enabler's Dream

You should be angry about the $700 billion plan to save banks. But once the rage subsides, realize that doing nothing would be disastrous.

The entire language of the shakedown/blackmail is identical to that of an alcoholic and his or her enabling spouse/family.

Basically: even though what I want from you is unfair and unpalatable and all my fault and you have to bear the brunt of it, granting me my wishes will result in lots less pain for all of us than if you don't.

And this is how we are supposed to conduct Congressional debate and legislative analysis.

What would happen if this bailout is not approved; when will this doom happen; and what evidence supports these dire predictions?

Henry Paulson has not provided squat. Neither has Dood or Schroomer. They just imply that BIG EVIL THINGS will happen VERY SOON if ... if ... whatever ...

No specifics except DOOM !!! DOOOM !!!

It's like a venture cap sales pitch in reverse.

CEO Salary Cap

A focus on CEO salary/bonus is a cynical bread & circus move to move the proles. Do Democrats in Congress think we are that stupid?

The problem with the Wall Street Bailout is not that it lacks CEO salary caps -- the problem is the whole multi-trillion dollar Wall Street bailout itself.

I don't like Dood and Shroomer playing 3 Card Monte with their own base during the last 43 days of an election.

But I guess that's how little they care about our reaction -- and how much they value the Republican reaction.

You can't polish a turd.

No amount of sugar or salt or Ranch or Russian can make this shit salad other than what it is.

Democrats are so stupid I wonder if there is a genetic brain defect in operation here.

A significant number of people who identify as Democrats are so controversy-averse that they will do or agree to anything in order to reach an agreement. Any agreement. They have high hopes but will always settle at best for Just Enough to Save Face. They are like the enablers of alcoholics. They will do and/or give up whatever it takes to have 'peace.' And Republicans are the dangerous Daddy drunk making demands and not afraid to burn the whole house down to get it.

Yum. Yum.

Dem Capitulation Song

Wasting away again in Bob Rubin-ville.
Searching for Nancy P's low-rider tattoo.
Some people claim that it spells Hank Paulson's name.
But I know ... it spells Obama too.

Let's hope I'm proven wrong.

Lies & Filth & News Media

As Babette's father said to Jack Gladney in Don DeLillo's White Noise:

"Jack, were people this stupid before TV?"

This is from July 2, 2007.


CEOs won't take paycuts even to save the world they admit they destroyed.

Wall Street CEOs want 1-2 trillion dollars (or more) from all of us to keep the Entire World from entering a Great Depression by the end of ... ummm ... tomorrow, or something.

At least that's what U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and his Boss Chimp says.

But Paulson also says it would be unfair to place any limits on the salaries and bonuses of Wall Street CEOs whose firms receive this 1-2 trillion dollars (or more) of our money which is not theirs:

“If we design it so it’s punitive and so institutions aren’t going to participate, this won’t work the way we need it to work,” Mr. Paulson said on “Fox News Sunday.”

How Live Aid of them.


Hank Paulson as Dr. Frankenstein

August 1, 2007
BEIJING (Reuters) - "Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Wednesday the repricing of credit risk was hitting financial markets, but U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades."

May 7, 2008
"In an interview with The Associated Press, Paulson said that the turmoil that has gripped Wall Street and took a turn for the worse yet again in March has eased somewhat. 'There's progress,' he said. 'I think we're closer to the end of this than the beginning.'

July 21, 2008
'Our banking system is a safe and a sound one,' Paulson insisted on CNN's "Late Edition." He had earlier told CBS, the list of troubled banks would grow.
But 'this is a very manageable situation ... our regulators are focused on it.'

Sept 21, 2008
"Only $700B and worth every penny. Trust me."

Comedy Gold


“What this program does indirectly is that it will support home prices.”

And, “Taxpayers can make money off this program, albeit it would be a long time.”


Yum. Yum.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

$700 BILLION and no debate?

The Boston Globe (!!!) now has a comment feature. The timing is prescient:

As a newspaper reporter, I must say that a great deal of the blame for this catastrophe must be placed on the Boston Globe, New York Times, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and every other publishing enterprise which has received enormous amounts of advertising revenue from the various sectors of the real estate bubble during the past five years.

It looks awfully stupid for the Globe to be running stories now that read like "who coulda node?" when everyone knew back in 2002, when my mother's tiny house in Easton, Mass. quadrupled in value in about two years. Everyone knew back in 2002 and 2004 and 2006 but the money was so good -- to the Globe advertising dept. included -- that nobody wanted to disturb the golden goose as she laid more seemingly golden eggs.

And now the regular folks, who don't have golden parachutes, who come from places like the Shoe City of Brockton, Massachusetts, who were told over and over to "privatize and take control" of their retirements, and did so like good patriotic soldiers, are expected to bail out people who make more in one month than most Massachusetts people make in a decade.

And now Congress wants to pass this dreck before Monday. With no debate.

The more important an issue, the more it needs to be debated. That's the point of town meeting. Should Congress be held to any less of a standard?


Blethen Maine Newspapers Gots to Go

The Stupid ... It Burns.

"After all relevant concerns have been addressed, society's need for more power will still remain."



Says who?

Based on what evidence?

The linchpin of a green society is to reduce energy consumption, not to increase it. All of the windmills in the world will do no good if unchecked energy consumption outpaces their construction and causes all of the other energy sources (oil, coal, etc.) to remain on-line at full capacity.

Your closing statement is what logicians call an unproven assumption. It is assumed to be true, is never proven to be true, and your entire argument relies upon its truth.

And in this case, it is not true.

There is no reason why "society's need for more power will remain."

You submit this argument as if it were a force of nature, like "gravity will always pull objects toward the center of the Earth."

It is not. There is no reason why a society will always require more power. A smart society will strive to use less power, by using power more efficiently, and developing technologies and techniques to use every bit of power we have as effectively as possible. This eliminates waste, saves money, and allows that money to be invested in more productive avenues. This is the essence of pollution prevention. All power sources pollute. Energy efficiency is pollution prevention.

Your presumption precludes that future from happening, by automatically assuming we will "always" need more power.

You are as wrong as the people in Maine in 1991 who said compact fluorescent lightbulbs would never catch on and never be affordable to the average consumer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some Silly Verse by Allan Watts

My dad, Allan Watts, and his friend Dave Schultz, at the Kappa Kappa banquet, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1956.

Chain Reaction

A toad ate a fly
a good deed was done
then a snake ate the toad
and lay coiled in the sun.
A hawk saw the snake
from his perch in a tree
the fly, toad and snake
are now history.


The Lobster

The lobster crawls on the ocean floor
the things he eats were alive before
some rotten clams or an old dead fish
and other gross things that I'll list if you wish
I wouldn't eat what a lobster would eat
but to eat the lobster that's a treat.


The Eagle

The eagle floats high over the trees
as he sets his wings to the summer breeze.
He drifts in a circle without an end
'til he sees his prey and swiftly descends.
I wish I could fly where the eagle flies
high over the trees and across the skies.



I watched a beaver cut down a tree
I saw him, but he didn't see me.
His teeth were crooked, with several spaces.
I've called my dentist, that beaver needs braces.


The Mink

You seldom see the elusive mink.
He moves as fast as the eye can wink.
So should you see him, don't bother to stare.
For chances are, he'll no longer be there.


Ground Hogs

Do ground hogs hog ground?
I don't think that they do.
Nor do wood chucks chuck wood
Not at me or at you.
To give them such names
Seems a strange thing to do
I think we should change them
How about you?


God's Woods

Have you ever gone
for a walk in the fall
when God with bright colors
has painted all.

Have you seen the sly deer
he's as smart as can be
I never see him
before he sees me.

Have you noticed the beech tree
with trunk smooth and grey
and its coppery leaves
that don't fall but they stay.

Have you seen the geese
overhead in a V
as they call to the world
"just let us be free."

Have you sat near a meadow
in the haze damp and grey
and watched while the sun
seems to melt away.

Have you seen the chipmunk
hiding acorns in clumps
he resembles a child
with a case of the mumps.

Have you followed the squirrel
from tree to tree
and welcomed the return
of the chickadee.

Have you seen the great Oak
with leaves scarlet and gold
and the maples so varied
red, orange and bold.

Have you sat by a brook
as it babbles along
and the splash of a trout
interrupted its song.

If you've seen any of these
then you must surely know
that God only God
could put on such a show.


Snake's Rattles

They say the rattlesnake does not like to fight.
If I meet one someday, I hope they are right.
Rather than fight, he'll run away.
And hide 'neath a rock for the rest of the day.
He seems immature and childish too
And I know just why, and I'll share it with you.
You know why he tends to run from battles
He's ten years old and still has his rattles.


The Killers

When think of the hunter
do you think of the kill.
A man with a gun
and some masculine thrill.
Do you think his main aim
is to hang a buck on the rack,
then sit and drink booze
in some tarpaper shack.

You may also think
that hunters are cruel
that they laugh when they kill
like some diabolical fool
You may think that all hunters
kill all things they see
some during the day
and many at night
Well you know what I think
I think you are right.


I am from a family of parents who died very early.

My father's mother, Bernice Watts, died when my father was 24.

My mother's father, Harold Foster, died when my mother was 17.

My father's father, Edgar Watts, died when my father was 36.

My father, Allan Watts, died when I was 32.

Perhaps the reason I talk so much to myself is because I am talking to all of these people who died, most before I was born, and some, before I had anything to say.

I lost most of my family before I even knew it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Cannot Sleep

I needed to kill a frog
to keep a car running
But then the frog started moving
when I thought that it was dead
It started struggling for life
Even though I thought it was dead
All of its skin was ripped off from its head
I held it in the cloth of my shirt
I hoped it was dead but it kept struggling to come out
I put the frogs head into a tiny puddle of water in the asphalt
All of its skin had been worn off from its face and it was crying and screaming in pain. The frog's head was only the size of my thumb.
I looked for a place where there was water and it was a spot in the pavement, a tiny puddle the size of my thumb.
I took the frog from the folds of my flannel shirt and put it in the tiny puddle so it could get a drink. When the frog took a drink from the tiny puddle it spit blood from its eyes.
And then the frog cried as streams of blood shot out of its eyes. The water ran red with blood. And the frog screamed and cried. All of the frog's skin had been worn away and it had not had a drink of water for weeks. And the skinless, faceless frog cried and cried and cried to me for water. I held the frog in the water and it drank.
Then I cried.