March 21, 2009 archive

Why I’m not buying this whole “fire Geithner” thing from the GOP

Has Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, done a good job so far?  Kinda, I wouldn’t give him a gold star or anything.  In fact, I’d say he’s done a mediocre job.  Did he know about the whole bonus thing at AIG?  And what about how the situation that went down with Lehman Brothers?  Bottom line, is the GOP push to have Geithner removed legit?  I say no.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Activists protest bonuses at AIG executives’ homes

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer

23 mins ago

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A busload of activists – outnumbered 2-to-1 by reporters and photographers – are paying visits to the homes of American International Group Inc. executives in Connecticut to protest tens of millions in bonuses awarded by the company.

About 40 protesters parked at a cul-de-sac Saturday afternoon and walked to the Fairfield home of Douglas Polling. They were met on the curb by two security guards, and one activist read a letter detailing the financial struggles that many Connecticut residents have faced. The group then left the note in Polling’s mailbox.

Polling already agreed to forfeit his bonus, but the protesters want AIG executives to do more to help working families.

This Is Your Community Too!!

Is Anybody Listening?

Many have already heard about the kids from Pomona California Village Academy High School, many have probably caught their little eight minute video that has launched them into the National Spotlight and Political Debate on what this Country is now going through. But this isn’t new it’s just affecting many more kids and families now, with more added each day. Kids can’t learn and achieve any dreams they might have if their families are struggling and their living those struggles daily.

Docudharma Times Saturday March 21

You will be shocked to know, Keith,

that Franklin Delano Roosevelt appeared on radio.


Saturay’s Headlines:

Bonus backlash hits Wall Street

In Darfur, fault lines intersect and inflame

The DJ who has become Africa’s youngest president

‘I took a picture to show my dentist’ – the first package tourists arrive in Iraq

Iran plays it cool as Obama offers a ‘new beginning’

Met: G20 protesters will stretch us to our limit

EU, Ukraine Set to Overhaul Gas Network as New Gas Row Looms

British forces train Pakistan’s Frontier Corps to fight al-Qaeda

Chinese soldier shot dead outside camp in Chongqing

Toxic Asset Plan Foresees Big Subsidies for Investors

This article is by Edmund L. Andrews, Eric Dash and Graham Bowley.

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department is expected to unveil early next week its long-delayed plan to buy as much as $1 trillion in troubled mortgages and related assets from financial institutions, according to people close to the talks.

The plan is likely to offer generous subsidies, in the form of low-interest loans, to coax investors to form partnerships with the government to buy toxic assets from banks.

To help protect taxpayers, who would pay for the bulk of the purchases, the plan calls for auctioning assets to the highest bidders.

The Calais ‘Guantanamo’

French and British ministers in talks to open dockside holding centre for illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers

By John Lichfield in Paris and Ben Russell

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The British and French governments are discussing the creation of a new immigrant holding centre within the Calais docks which would be “inside Britain” under immigration law and allow cross-Channel asylum-seekers to be shipped back to their home countries easily.

Although no details have yet been agreed, the idea is to exploit the ambiguous legal status of a British “control zone” of the Calais port, created in 2003, to cut through the mesh of legal difficulties which prevent asylum-seekers from being expelled to their countries of origin.

The idea – discussed by the British and French immigration ministers last month – seeks to turn the tables on the asylum-seekers and the gangs who smuggle them into northern France. At present, the immigrants gathered in Calais, mostly from Afghanistan, Kurdistan and the Horn of Africa, can exploit contradictions and grey areas in European and international law on immigration and asylum to evade expulsion from France. They can be arrested repeatedly only to be freed to try to enter Britain illegally again.


Minn. Senate Race Is In Judges’ Hands Now

Decision Could Come Within Days

By Peter Slevin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, March 21, 2009; Page A03

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Nearly five months after 2.9 million voters cast ballots, the Senate race between Al Franken (D) and  Norm Coleman (R) is in the hands of a three-judge panel here after first one candidate and then the other declared victory.

Until the judges rule, perhaps within days, Franken officially has a 225-vote lead, the U.S. Senate has 99 members and Minnesota has a reality show that feels as though it’s already in reruns.

“It’s way too drawn out,” property appraiser Kurt Ophus, 48, said this week. “The people of Minnesota are just really tired of listening to it.”


Tonight my distractions are about movement. Hopefully these images of motion, will move you to set your cares & worries aside, if but for a few minutes. Have a nice tomorrow & take your time when going through the motions.


Late Night Karaoke

The Remix  

Random Japan


An empty cop car in Akita crossed a six-lane road and crashed into a house after a policewoman leaned in to the vehicle and started the engine.

A 39-year-old man in Miyagi Prefecture was arrested after some racy photos he’d saved on his computer ended up on the internet, along with his name and photos of his family. The snafu, which occurred through the Winny file-sharing network, involved some pics the man had taken up the skirt of a 16-year-old schoolgirl at a Sendai supermarket.

A Ginza optical clinic suffered a black eye when it was revealed that 67 of its Lasik surgery patients developed inflammations and other infections because its instruments were not properly sterilized.

Comings and goings

For lack of a better term, call it Capitalism

Burning the Midnight Oil for the Beauty Platform

Johnny Venom, in an extended comment on a Robert Oak post at The Economic Populist, says (note … much good stuff snipped, so click through):

My take on all this madness

What’s happening here is the collision of several realities:

1. You had institutions, who years if not decades, believing the hype they built themselves to sell to their clients.  …

2. That you can’t simply create your own damn financial instrument to meet a client’s needs. …

3. Derivatives products work when they are designed well and implemented on a regulated environment. …

4. Many of these items will never be liquid.  This brings us to today.  The reality of the situation is that we now have to be discriminating between those derivatives that are somewhat liquid and those that aren’t.  The former can have mark to market, but there needs to be a proper exchange for these things.  Both the CME and ICE are going to have such a thing, and these banks should be made to trade them on it to get these things off their books.  As for the iliquid ones, well unless our goal is to bankrupt these banks in some attempt to punish them, we will have to facilitate either a suspension of FASB 157 for these or some hybrid.

5. Banks holding on to these illiquid derivative step children, that must be re-engineered, will have to realize they won’t get all their money back. …

6. Lastly, new accounting rules and financial regulations must be in place to keep in check the establishment of new positions. …

My response and thoughts after the fold.

Friday Melancholy Blues

Sweet Baby James

Happy Spring

If you’re a regular person, Happy Spring. If you’re a starwatcher, Happy

Vernal Equinox. If you’re a pagan type, happy Ostara. And if you’re

going through a little Celtic phase like me, then it’s  Latha na

, the day when Brighid finally defeats the Cailleach (the

“Crone” or “Hag”, bringer of Winter) and begins her reign over the

warm half of the year.  Give credit where it’s due, the Hag held on

till the bitter end this year. I’m still not 100% convinced she’s done

toying  with us.

It’s a good time of year to smile and take comfort from the fate of

John Barleycorn, a very old symbol of the eternal recurrence of life.

Way back in November at Samhain they:

“… took a plough and plough’d him down,

Put clods upon his head,

And they have sworn a solemn oath

John Barleycorn was dead!”

Ah, but was old John really dead? Of course not. Everything always

comes back, nothing dies forever:

“But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,

And showers began to fall;

John Barleycorn sprang up again,

And sure surpris’d them all!”

Happy Spring, y’all. Give a wave and a howdy to Mister Barleycorn when

he comes striding through your fields.  He has important work to do,

but he’s always willing to stop in for a cup or a pint of any

fermented barley-based beverages you might happen to have lying about.

Spring Pony Party


via Cute Overload


Friday Night at 8: Danger and the Unknown

We’re lawless now.  The only citizens of the United States who are subject to the law are those with no power … so it’s not really being subject to the law.  It’s being subject to power.

That’s dangerous.

We see the anger forming among the citizenry and we don’t yet know where that anger is going to ultimately land.  Right now the anger is directed towards the bankers.  But that could change rapidly given the big events we are confronting, from tent cities to climate change.  Round and round it goes and where it stops no one knows.  Unknown.  Danger and the unknown.

(Video courtesy of YouTuber UnivoxSuperfuzz – and sorry for abrupt cutoff at the end)

The danger, oh we are dangerous right now, all of us, we are dangerous and who knows what we will do when confronted by the unknown adventures ahead?

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