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Showing posts from May, 2009

Financial Lesbians are HOT!

Check out these two hotties....

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

Sotomayor sides with douche bags against free speech

NBC Connecticut:
President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy has yet another tie to Connecticut. She sided against a student in the infamous “douche bag” case, and that has upset some free-speech advocates.

In August 2007, Judge Sonia Sotomayor sat on a panel that ruled against an appeal in Doninger v. Niehoff.

Avery Doninger was disqualified from running for school government at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington after she posted something on her blog, referring to the superintendent and other officials as "douche bags" because they canceled a battle of the bands she had helped to organize.

The case went to court and in March 2008, Sotomayor was on a panel that heard Doninger’s mother’s appeal alleging her daughter’s free speech and other rights were violated. Her mother wanted to prevent the school from barring her daughter from running.

Sotomayor joined two other judges from the 2nd Circuit in ruling that the student’s off-campus blog remarks create…

Public hints at zero readership for Time Warner publications

Time Warner CEO hints at online fees for magazines.
One of the world's largest magazine publishers appears to be having second thoughts about giving away most of its articles on the Internet.

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes told an investor conference Friday that he doesn't think it makes much sense for publishers to provide their content without a way to recover the production costs.

But Bewkes didn't say whether Time Warner's magazine group, which includes Time, People and Sports Illustrated, is considering charging fees for access to its Web sites.
Hey, it worked great for the New York Times, right? You all are still paying for TimesSelect, right?

Who in their right minds would pay for garbage like People online when much better content like WWTDD is free? And Time? It's a worthless roundup of news stories, the same thing you can get on the front page of Yahoo News or Google News. It's not as interesting or timely as Drudge.

The Economist successfully charges …

Logos with unfortunate associations

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Rainbow fist.

Inflation or taxes?

Stanford professor of economics John Taylor, writing in the Financial Times: Exploding debt threatens America.
Under President Barack Obama’s budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising – and will continue to rise – much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America’s ability to service it. The federal debt was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008; the Congressional Budget Office projects it will increase to 82 per cent of GDP in 10 years. With no change in policy, it could hit 100 per cent of GDP in just another five years.

“A government debt burden of that [100 per cent] level, if sustained, would in Standard & Poor’s view be incompatible with a triple A rating,” as the risk rating agency stated last week.

I believe the risk posed by this debt is systemic and could do more damage to the economy than the recent financial crisis. To understand the size of the risk, take a look at the numbers that Standard and Poor’s considers. Th…

Donna Marie Gold resurfaces as Donna Gold-Bentzel

Last summer, we followed the strange saga of Las Vegas real estate speculator Donna Marie Gold, who gave an interview to Bloomberg News about her real estate empire, then seemingly disappeared.

Prospective clients will be glad to know that Donna has resurfaced as Donna Gold-Bentzel at donnagold-realtor.com, and she still has those lovely properties for rent. And she has even taken our advice: that 2-bedroom condo we said was overpriced at $5100 per month? She's dropped it to just $3800 per month! Too bad there are still 2-bedroom condos in the same building for $1800, $1850, $1900, and $1950!

"I feel that I have a unique understanding of the Real Estate market and hope that you will call me for any of your Real Estate needs."

Unique indeed!

VAT Tax Fever

Thanks to Angie for sending me this:
With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.

Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax -- called a value-added tax, or VAT -- has not been seriously considered in the United States. But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.

At a White House conference earlier this year on the government's budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama's policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee decl…

Censorship at NPR

Charlie was listening to NPR's Talk of the World today, and heard a really interesting caller. He suggested I listen to the call on the NPR archives (call starts at 26:50).

Imagine my disappointment when the best part of the call was deleted from the audio.

Here's what they cut out:
“Ja! The vibrating strength on these new phones is sooo amazing! Ja, I mean, when you’re driving, you can stick one right in your scheisse-hole and stimulate the prostate very nicely.”

The weird thing is this isn't just censorship of a prankster; it's journalistic fraud. By leaving the rest of the call there and presenting it seriously, they are deceiving their listeners into believing the story about how a German contractor's business has been transformed by cell phone technology.

Daniel from Hamburg, I know you recorded the call. Please e-mail me the audio file!

The year of living freely

Bloomberg:
The U.S. delinquency rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted 9.12 percent and the share of loans entering foreclosure rose to 1.37 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today. Both figures are the highest in records going back to 1972.
Free rent for deadbeat homeowners. If the banks are going to delay foreclosure for at least a year due to political pressure, operational capacity, or a desire to delay loss recognition, you might as well take advantage of it, stop paying your mortgage, and live free for a year. And that's exactly what homedebtors are doing. Incentives, people. Incentives.

Bonus question: how much of a stimulative effect is there on the economy when 9% of mortgage debtors suddenly save the $1000 - $2000 per month they used to be wasting on a mortgage? Honey, I stopped paying the mortgage! Let's go to Disney World!

Full transcript of Celine Dion's "Take a Kayak" on CNN with Larry King

One of the greatest moments in television history, indeed the greatest moment in the history of YouTube, is Celine Dion's "Take a Kayak."

YouTube, in some sort of Canadian-whackjob-protection strategy, keeps taking down the "Take a Kayak" video. You can watch it here, for now, until Dion's goons take down that site. Watch it while you can, and record it for posterity.

In the interest of preserving the historical record in the face of the forces of darkness who would destroy it, following is a full transcript of Celine Dion's "Take a Kayak," with my favorite lines in bold:
I'm waking up in the morning, I'm having a coffee, I barely can swallow it. I come here, at Caesar's Palace every night, to perform. I barely can sing. But for respect, for the people who come, I am still singing.

When I come home at night, my son is waiting for me. I watch television. Yes, we gave a million dollar. But what we expect, what I want to look, like the …

Obama Nation

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Obama's giving a self-congratulatory speech on the economy now.



Meanwhile, back in reality,



... the bond market is doing its best impression of Kim Jong-Il.

NL Thought of the Day

What would the reaction be from the members of Obama nation if GW were still in office and he was doing the EXACT same thing that Obama is doing? My guess is there would be a ton of outraged Black Eyed Peas and hotty Hollywood actresses named Scarlet screaming bloody, unconstitutional murder.

But since it is their guy in office, the laws of the land don't matter. The Constitution doesn't matter. The GM bond holders don't matter.

Who knew that Yes We Can:
ignore the Constitution
violate individual rightsdestroy a representative democracy
put the USA on a path of destructionThe population needs to think critically of their leaders, not deify them. GW was horrible but the change should have been change for the better, not change for more of the same.

Tim Geithner Tax Cheat stamps

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I just got my Timmy the Tax Cheat stamp in the mail.



It's a high-quality, professional, self-inking stamp. The idea is to stamp "TAX CHEAT!" in red ink over Timmy the Tax Cheat's signature on dollar bills (which doesn't appear to violate the defacement law). I highly recommend it. Buy them now for 4th of July gifts. Only problem is I don't have any Geithner bills in my wallet yet. I don't even have any evil Hank Paulsons, just a bunch of John Snows.

The maker of the stamps received an IRS audit shortly after launching the web site. Coincidence? I think not. So to make it easier on you Sheithner minions, "W.C. Varones" is a pseudonym. My real name is Anthony Adams, and I am a freshman state Assemblyman from Southern California. Look at me. Do you think anyone could get this fat eating on an honest Assemblyman's salary?

Your War on Drugs at work

Your mainstream media at work

Tax Cheat Puke

If you need to purge then please watch this video that was linked through Mish: Scumfuckinglyingcommunistdbag.

Timmy is a lying scumbag and truly exemplifies the coup that has taken place. We are no longer a democracy; we are an oligarchy and the politburo is the Fed. Party members in good standing will profit while party members in poor standing will pay. George Orwell would be proud.

Despite all their rage, they are still just commies in a cage

Beijing is caught in 'trap' over dollar

They have so much friggin' money that they can only invest in things that have almost infinite supply. At the top of that list would be U.S. debt.

Seems to me only a matter of time before they go on a real estate binge. Africa has resources and can be picked up on the cheap. Why not snap up some Indonesian islands, too? And California has hundreds of miles of coastline that would make a nice vacation spot for party leaders. If you wanted to snap up California, though, you'd crash the dollar first to make it even cheaper. And who holds enough U.S. currency and debt to crash the dollar?

Bad Libertarian -- Cap and Trade

Try as I might, I just can't get worked up about the Cap and Trade bill.

Yes, it's a massive tax on the poor. But, like Barack Obama, I share the Roman Senate's attitude toward the poor:



Yes, global warming is a hoax. But reducing energy consumption has other benefits, including protecting the environment and slowing the flow of dollars to terrorist nations.

Yes, it's a huge new tax. But I'd rather discourage consumption with consumption taxes than income or investment with income or investment taxes.

Yes, cap and trade is bad policy. But after trillion dollar Wall Street bailouts, perpetual trillion-dollar deficits, and the nationalization of the financial, auto, and soon health-care industries, cap and trade is having a hard time finding room in my outrage budget.

UPDATE: I could be wrong. Another libertarian's view. While politicians worry about voters' "bailout fatigue," I'm suffering a related but somewhat opposite syndrome: I've see…
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Alpo Nation

Early retirement claims increase dramatically:
Instead of seeing older workers staying on the job longer as the economy has worsened, the Social Security system is reporting a major surge in early retirement claims that could have implications for the financial security of millions of baby boomers.

Since the current federal fiscal year began Oct. 1, claims have been running 25% ahead of last year, compared with the 15% increase that had been projected as the post-World War II generation reaches eligibility for early retirement, according to Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration.

Many of the additional retirements are probably laid-off workers who are claiming Social Security early, despite reduced benefits, because they are under immediate financial pressure, Goss and other analysts believe.

[...]

The ramifications of the trend are profound for the new retirees, their families, the government and other social institutions that may be called upon to help supp…

Viva Las Vegas!

YouTube is a treasure chest

How about this line-up: Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Hank III, and Ryan Adams (all of whom I've been fortunate enough to see live), doing one of my all-time favorite songs.

The General Theory of Liberalism

If foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, libertarians are small-minded indeed. We believe that people should be free both in their personal lives and in their economic interactions. Any government beyond the minimum necessary to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is probably detrimental to those goals.

Modern-day liberalism has not been thought to have such a consistent theme. It appears to be a mishmash of grievance, entitlement, guilt, envy, group identification, deification of elected leaders, and love of big government.

Until now. I believe the unifying theme of modern-day liberal positions is the inability to recognize the incentive effect.

The media and liberals (but I repeat myself) have a myopia where they obsess on first-order effects and do not recognize second-order effects. Incentive effects are a complete mystery to them. A famous example is the do-gooder group that wanted to mandate that parents purchase airline seats for infants. …

Hot for teacher

Mary K. Letourneau hosting 'Hot for Teacher' night
Mary K. Letourneau, a former teacher who pled guilty to raping then-elementary student Vili Fualaau, is hosting the event Saturday at the Fuel Sports Bar in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Fualaau, now Letourneau's husband, will be DJ that night.

HT: Blinko

Bank Failure Friday! Strategic Capital Bank, Champaign, IL

Another one bites the dust

Strategic Cap Bank's
Strategerie failed badly
Sheila pops Champaign


The remains were bought by Midland States Bank of Effingham. Effingham. How would you like to be from Effing Effingham?

UPDATE:Citizens National Bank of Macomb, IL, too!

Illinois burning
Strategic and Citizens
Bair and Suze move fast

Obama Motors

Mickey Kaus has a round-up of the farce that is Obama's plan for Chrysler, ending with this conclusion:
Final obvious point: I don't want to sound like Veronique de Rugy here, but who will pay the price if when this half-baked "restructuring" fails? In normal "capitalism at work," those who would pay the price will be those who made the deal and put up their money--the capitalists. (Query: Would [Obama Motors cheerleader] Scott Sperling invest his firm's money in this dubious proposition?) If When Obama's plan fails, the monetary loss will fall not on Obama, but on the taxpayers. It will likely be made up somehow by the taxpayers (via higher tax assessments or inflation). That's not "capitalism at work." It's something else at work. But I'd be all for it, if I thought it really would work. It won't, and it will be Obama's fault. (He'd certainly get credit if it succeeded.)

BKUNA matata - what a wonderful phrase!

Bank Failure Thursday? BFT? WTF? BankUnited, Coral Gables, Florida.

This one's been in the works for months -- the Feds have been leaning on BankUnited (BKUNA to stock jockeys) to find a buyer. And the buyers are a bunch of private equity guys, who are getting the taxpayer to take on almost all the risk:
The government will take 80 per cent of the first $4bn in losses and 95 per cent of any remaining losses, people familiar with the transaction said.
Why they did it on a Thursday instead of the usual Friday, I don't know. Maybe Sheila and Suze want to make it a four-day romantic holiday weekend in Florida.

Thanks to Negocios Loucos for the heads up.

CNBC's Jeff Macke still out of his mind on drugs

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Yesterday, NL posted a link to the Tuesday CNBC video of "Fast Money" host Jeff Macke's on-air paranoid gibberish rant.

Last night, a tired and still obviously delusional Macke wandered onto the scene of a terrorist plot bust in Riverdale:



Macke was last seen late last night near Broadway, accosting a theater-goer and screaming, "Where's the ibogaine, Kenneth?" Anyone with information on Macke's whereabouts is asked to call Dr. Raoul Duke at (212) 562-1000.

Racism is Cool!

If you are a white owner of a broadcast station and you are in financial trouble because of the economic downturn, then the government is here to help. Congressmen and women are asking the Treasury to help out those white broadcasters because they deserve the help. But if you are black, hispanic, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian (non-white), South African (non-white) or Saudi, because of your race, you deserve nothing.

Oh wait I got that totally wrong, my bad! See here:High-ranking House Democrats are urging the Treasury Department to prop up minority-owned broadcasters suffering from a lack of capital and lost advertising revenue amid the economic slump.
Sorry, so if you are any of those races listed above then you deserve money from the government. If you are white than screw you because some animals are more equal than others.

NL Disclaimer: I believe in total equality - no bailouts for anyone.

Drug Use at CNBC?

That's the only thing I can think of to explain this from Jeff Macke.

How sweet it is

Tonight, we repudiated Schwarzenegger. Now on to the bigger challenge: stopping Obama's Bailout Nation.

V-Day!

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It's finally here. May 19, the day we crush the liar Schwarzenegger at the polls.



Don't forget to vote, and if you're free this evening, there's a victory party at Seau's in Mission Valley.

Take off, eh!

T-Dub forwards this investment newsletter, which applauds Canada's right-wing fiscal policies. Canada? Right-wing? Yep. While Obama is passing out the union pickets, our neighbors in the Great White North have gone positively Maggie Thatcher.

The Washington Post elaborates:
Long derided by American conservatives as "socialist" and praised by the left for its generous government spending, Canada is casting off those stereotypes. Over the past few years, while U.S. politicians presided over huge increases in spending and debt, the Canadian government tightened its belt, slashed tax rates and balanced budgets.
Click on over to the WaPo and click through the charts. Bottom line? Canada is resource-rich, fiscally prudent, and has actual assets in its pension funds. The U.S. depends on other countries for natural resources, is a fiscal disaster, exports mainly debt and derivatives, and has a Social Security Ponzi scheme for a pension plan. And while Obama throws future ge…

Ban Ki-moon, you are a cruel man

What kind of sick bastard would send Bill Clinton to the land of HIV-positive prostitutes?

Did Hillary put Banky up to this?

NY Times' Maureen Dowd plagiarizes blogger

It's too late for a bailout. Dead Tree Media is dead.
Maureen Dowd, Pulitizer [sic] Prize winner. Today. New York Times:More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. Josh Marshall. [Left-wing (but you knew that if the NYT is reading him)] Blogger. Last Thursday. Talking Points Memo:More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Xerox Mo Dowd came up with a silly story about how, while she hadn't read the left-wing blog post, a friend of hers had, and, in the course of casual political discussions, suggested that Dowd explore the idea in her column. Not expla…

Pics from Prop 1A Tax Protest - Tom's Farms, Corona, May 16

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It was a blazing hot sunny afternoon at Tom's Farms. The crowd was definitely in the thousands, but I doubt it got to 10,000. I could be wrong. Traffic was backed up on I-15 with people trying to get in. Let's start with a video of KFI's John and Ken getting to the heart of the matter (toward the end of the rally):



Now in more or less chronological order. The "doors opened at 3pm" with the official start at 4pm. I arrived at 3:00 and we were already into the overflow parking lots. On the way in:





While the vast majority of the signs were anti-1A, anti-Schwarzenegger, anti-tax, and anti-spending, there were a few folks supporting related issues such as stopping illegal immigration and legalizing marijuana. This guy and his buddies were partying it up in a prime parking spot at the entrance to the event.



Before the storm:





The good folks at Recall Anthony Adams were set up early:



And in front of the next booth, someone with a creative "Arnold is 1A-hole"…

Mmmmm.... protectionism

Trade Wars Brewing In Economic Malaise:
Ordered by Congress to "buy American" when spending money from the $787 billion stimulus package, the town of Peru, Ind., stunned its Canadian supplier by rejecting sewage pumps made outside of Toronto. After a Navy official spotted Canadian pipe fittings in a construction project at Camp Pendleton, Calif., they were hauled out of the ground and replaced with American versions. In recent weeks, other Canadian manufacturers doing business with U.S. state and local governments say they have been besieged with requests to sign affidavits pledging that they will only supply materials made in the USA.

Outrage spread in Canada, with the Toronto Star last week bemoaning "a plague of protectionist measures in the U.S." and Canadian companies openly fretting about having to shift jobs to the United States to meet made-in-the-USA requirements. This week, the Canadians fired back. A number of Ontario towns, with a collective population of…

Where in the world is W.C. Varones?

At Tom's Farms, of course! Hope to see you there.

For those of you who couldn't make it, the live KFI broadcast from 4pm - 7pm is online here.

Pics to follow.

Obama health care cost containment solution: Kill the old people!

Kevin Williamson at National Review:
[Obama health care policy adviser Dr. Ezekiel] Emanuel has embraced a technique for simplifying some of the tough calls: age discrimination. He wrote in The Lancet in 2008: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination.” We all were young once, the argument goes, so denying the elderly and weak in order to care for the young and fit is just.
Soylent Green is people!!!

Greenspan's Body Count: Dwight Deely and Linda Patrick of Fairbanks, Alaska

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Today's episode of Greenspan's Body Count is a bit unusual. Business partners Dwight Deely and Linda Patrick apparently killed themselves separately and possibly without the knowledge of each other's plans. Their mortgage business had hit hard times in the aftermath of Greenspan's bubble:
The owners of a local mortgage company were found dead of apparent suicides within hours of each other Thursday night, leaving those who knew them wondering if a bad economy and hard hit mortgage industry were too much for them to take.

[...]

Lee Stamper, whose daughter works at the company, said he was aware of employees being owed back pay, but they were unwilling to report the issue because they needed the job. He also claimed that Deely and Patrick recently had a falling out and Patrick hinted about possibly killing herself earlier this week.

“It looks like a money flow problem,” he said.
Greenspan's Body Count now stands at ninety-five:

Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Chr…

Obama: Stop me before I spend again!

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Obama Says U.S. Long-Term Debt Load ‘Unsustainable’:
President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”
Meanwhile, back in Washington:

Question for George Skelton

If it's impossible for California to default on its bonds, why does Karen Bass have to go begging for federal loan guarantees from Barney Frank?

Bonus Skelton today: he's becoming really unhinged that his beloved Prop 1A is losing.

What went wrong with Schwarzenegger and California

ReasonTV has a concise, entertaining, and informative video that says what we've been saying here for years.

#2 on the Worst Places in America: Inland Empire

Business Insider just named America's Most Depressing Places, and Southern California's Inland Empire is #2.

We are going into the mouth of Hell for Saturday's No on 1A rally, to the city of Corona in the Inland Empire.

Different parts of the Inland Empire have different detractions: San Bernardino's is urban decay, crime, vandalism, and abandonment; Riverside's is smog and parking-lot freeways. Corona's curse is that the whole town smells like cow manure -- always, and strongly so.

It speaks volumes about our determination to crush the Taxinator that we would go so far as to spend a few hours in Corona.

Federal Reserve Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman has no idea what's going on

Rep. Alan Grayson asks some obvious questions, and gets Meaghan Cheung-esque answers from the Inspector General.



Who watches the watchmen?

HT: Sheff

Foreshadowing

Schwarzenegger one year ago:
"Let's [Republicans] invade and let's cross over that (political) center," he said. "The issues that they're [Democrats] talking about? Let them be our issues, and let the party be known for that."
Mission accomplished, Governor.

Poll-rolling Prop 1A - SurveyUSA

The polls keep coming. SurveyUSA confirms last week's Public Policy Institute findings: Prop 1A losing 51-38, and losing among men, women, all age groups, whites, hispanics, Asians, moderates, conservatives, independents, etc.

Blacks, liberals, Democrats, and Bay Area voters support it.

All the other measures are failing, too, except 1F which would stop pay raises for legislators in deficit years. Details here.

The Empire reels

It's the Rebel Alliance vs. the Empire, David vs. Goliath. Yet the underdog is about to strike a mortal blow against Schwarzenegger and his unholy conspiracy of politicians, unions, and big business.

Despite being outspent roughly 8-to-1, the rebels are getting the truth out about the Prop 1A fraud. The polls are strongly against 1A, and getting stronger.

Here's the first No on 1A television ad:

Thank goodness we passed Obama's near-trillion-dollar pork bill

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Without it, unemployment would be 8% and rising!



From Obama's January pork marketing piece, via Innocent Bystanders.