TCA (my initials)

September 24, 2008

Al Franken’s bailout plan

Filed under: politics — TCA @ 6:54 pm

Posted to his website yesterday.

1. No blank check. “Not one dime should go to this bailout without independent oversight, real accountability, and complete transparency.”

2. Taxpayers get a stake. “If we’re footing the bill for keeping these companies afloat, taxpayers should get an equity stake so that we can share in the benefits when and if they get back on their feet.”

3. No golden parachutes. “In the public sector, there’s no such thing as a golden parachute. And if we’re going to sacrifice $2,000 for every […] taxpayer to bail out these companies, these executives are going to learn about sacrifice, too. So, all excessive compensation, bonuses, and severance agreements are hereby cancelled.”

4. Bring back oversight. “We need to restore the regulatory framework dismantled with George W. Bush in the White House […] so that this doesn’t happen again.”

5. Help homeowners. “The foreclosure crisis caused this problem, and we still haven’t taken the steps I’ve been proposing for months to address it. We have to freeze foreclosures and allow bankruptcy judges to re-set mortgages on primary residences.”

6. Protect consumers. “I’m calling for a new Financial Products Safety Commission with similar duties and powers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

The former Saturday Night Live gagwriter and funnyman is the Democratic Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Minnesota. Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura was governor there not too long ago. Unconventional candidates are possibly mass self-medication of Minnesotans for SAD, winter depression caused by sunlight deprivation. Just a theory of mine.

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September 23, 2008

the hammer

Filed under: politics — TCA @ 10:56 pm

That was Henry Paulson’s nickname when he was at Goldman Sachs.

Here are some corrections to my previous post in this blog.

I referred to “Treasury Secretary Paulson’s demand of zero accountability to the U.S. Congress.” According to the New York Times, Paulson’s draft bailout plan required that he report to Congress within the first “three months […] and semiannually thereafter.” That’s right, once every other year.

I described a trillion dollar scheme. Truth be told, “The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.” Not a trillion dollars all at once.

However, I was correct about Paulson wanting to place himself on a pedestal above the courts. “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

That said, my previous blog post was old news and irrelevant by the time that I published it.

U.S. Senators attacked Paulson’s draft bailout plan earlier today like a pack of stray dogs on a front lawn tearing a Sunday newspaper to shreds.

the trillion dollar hustle

Filed under: politics — TCA @ 3:28 pm

Synonyms for hustle include: Bunko, con, flimflam, and sting.

Definitions of hustle include:
1. To make someone act quickly.
2. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings.
3. To swindle.

Synonyms for hustler include: Operator, opportunist, self-seeker, and wire-puller.

Definitions of hustler include:
1. A shrewd or unscrupulous person who knows how to circumvent difficulties.
2. A person who places expediency above principle.
3. One who uses secret influence for his own ends.

“We have to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! RIGHT NOW! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Because NO ONE SAW IT COMING!”

This is the biggest con since the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Cheney told Dick Armey that Saddam was going to give terrorists miniature atomic bombs that could be hidden in luggage. Armey said in an interview that he “deserves better than to be bullshitted by the Vice President.”

Is bullshitted a synonym for hustled? You might call Cheney’s bogus case for invading Iraq the Vice Precedent of the United States.

Some expert recently said that the U.S. government may actually turn a profit on the bailout eventually. It’s a talking point. It’s a keeper.

Iraq paid for the U.S. occupation of their country. With their oil revenues. Sure they did.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill blew the whistle on neocons who openly planned to invade Iraq months before 9/11. Has anyone bothered to ask O’Neill what he thinks of the bailout proposal?

Why put so much money and power in the paws of a Bush cabinet member? Treasury Secretary Paulson’s demand of zero accountability to the U.S. Congress showed chutzpah that would have made Rumsfeld blush. Was Paulson intentionally making an impossible demand so that Bush could blame the Democrats for inaction? Or what?

Paulson’s insistence on being above judicial oversight defied the U.S. Constitution so dizzyingly that the architects of GITMO must have swooned. He clearly craves power. He’s acting like the corporate executive character that Ronny Cox played in Robocop.

Checks and balances? The checks are bouncing and the balances are all overdrawn. Congress and the courts are lame if they give dictatorial powers to a lame duck.

Bottom line: Is the USA a subprime loan? Foreign banks funding the National Debt want to know.

September 11, 2008

Ground Zero

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 6:16 pm

If I were President of the United States, I would declare eminent domain on Ground Zero. By executive order if necessary. Ground Zero would be declared a National Monument.

I’d cancel the Freedom Tower project. The World Trade Center’s foundation would be the site of a memorial with a museum and small park nearby. Nothing else.

I’d make the two lights pointed skyward a permanent feature of the memorial. They’d be lit every night.

Freedom Tower is a symbol of opportunism and profiteering. Bumper crops of heroin in Afghanistan and record profits for Exxon Mobil. Halliburton and planeloads of cash.

It dawned on me that Freedom Tower might be sold to financiers in Saudi Arabia someday.

The young mother serving in the National Guard doing a tour of duty in Iraq deserves a better memorial than that.

August 25, 2008

veepstakes

Filed under: politics — TCA @ 12:24 am

I would have chosen Rep. Loretta Sanchez instead of Joe Biden. She combines Hillary Clinton’s appeal to women and Latinos with Obama’s appeal to young voters. And, like Biden, she’s Catholic.

The recent Christian forum attended by McCain and Obama was held in her Congressional district. She won that district by beating longtime incumbent Robert “B-1 Bob” Dornan. I wouldn’t have dreamed it possible. Dornan fights so dirty that he makes Fox News look like a bunch of latte sipping wusses.

Her sister Rep. Linda Sanchez is a tough cookie, too. Linda Sanchez will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday. She chairs a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee that’s currently going toe-to-toe with Karl Rove.

August 23, 2008

Harry’s right (of course)

Filed under: Links — TCA @ 7:10 pm

“For the foreseeable future, New Orleans will be protected by levees unable to protect against another storm like Katrina.”

“When and if the Army Corps of Engineers finishes $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work, the city will have limited protection…”

New Orleans repeating deadly levee mistakes is the result of “a yearlong review” by The Associated Press.

These sad facts will come as no surprise if you’ve been following Harry Shearer’s HuffPo blog.

August 16, 2008

detach

Filed under: IF — TCA @ 8:30 pm

This week’s theme at Illustration Friday is “detach.” I’m having a lot of fun with this word. Googling it was inevitable.

The “Solutions for Animal Care Automation” website at Detach.com is vaguely troubling. Phrases like “bedding system” make me wonder if “robot handling” will someday be used to care for humans. In nursing homes? Prisons?

On a cheerier note, Detach Records is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Similarly, there’s a “powernoise industrial” band called Pneumatic Detach.

Coping.org asks an intriguing question. “What irrational thinking leads to an inability to detach?”

Moving from psychological jargon to warfare… There’s much info on the web about Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry detachment at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Also known as Custer’s Last Stand.

Fast forward from 1876 to the Iraq War… Rumsfeld’s phrase “message force multipliers” has been on my mind lately. I’ll work this phrase into my IF entry somehow. I’m working on it now.

August 8, 2008

sail

Filed under: IF — TCA @ 11:46 pm

“Sail” is this week’s theme at Illustration Friday.

Sail away and do some snorkeling. You never know what you’ll find in the ocean.

This is my entry. It’s part of the ongoing collaborative SITO Panic project. Elements have been taken from Second Life. Artist unknown. Photo borrowed from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website. Used without permission.

More about this piece is here.

August 4, 2008

poof

Filed under: IF — TCA @ 6:19 pm

“Poof!” is this week’s theme at Illustration Friday.

Here is an IF entry of mine from February.
Here is an IF entry of mine from March.

Both of these went “poof!” because I didn’t get around to submitting them. I made no mention of them before now.

The “poetry” is cut-and-pasted from transcripts of Thursday Nite Chat sessions.

July 29, 2008

did you feel it?

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 11:17 pm

I did.

Also the 1994 Northridge and 1971 Sylmar earthquakes, and numerous aftershocks and lesser known quakes in Southern California.

Experienced one in the San Francisco Bay Area back in 1980. Missed the cruelest quake there, which hit just hours before a 1989 World Series game between the Giants and Oakland Athletics was to be played. Talk about a party pooper.

None of these can compare with the great Alaska earthquake of 1964. I’m glad I missed that. It was a Big One.

“The strong ground motion reported in the Anchorage area lasted about 4-5 minutes which triggered many avalanches and landslides […]. Ground deformations were extensive with some areas east of Kodiak being raised by 30 feet and areas about Portage being dropped by 8 feet […].”

“The 1964 earthquake caused 115 deaths in Alaska alone, with 106 of these due to tsunamis which were generated by tectonic uplift of the sea floor […].”

If the population density had been greater, casualties would have been much higher.

Dare to prepare.

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