October 8, 2009 archive

Spotlight on Prisons; special Les Miserables edition

I found out from new pioneer this evening that there are all these great YouTube videos out (and have been for some time) of the Les Miserables Broadway play.

We’ll start out with “Work Song” and go from there. You can easily find more of these YouTubes by searching for “Les Miserables” on YouTube.  

Breaking: Doolittle Paid Tom Delay’s Legal Fees out of State Acct,Roseville CM Implicated

(Of all the things I never expected to see today, this has me absolutely gobsmacked. If you are an Abramoff Scandal Junkie, Read On ! )

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the ex Rep. John Doolittle (CA-04) and his wife, Julie’s, fallout from his involvement with Jack Abramoff, Kevin RIng, a lobbyist associate at Greenberg Traurig with Jack Abramoff, has finally gone to Federal trial on conspiracy charges to bribe a public official this past September.  Ring was also a lobbyist for the local City of Lincoln in CA-04, in Placer County, Doolittle’s district.  Ring did not testify in his own defense, and several of the witnesses refused to also, pleading the 5th against self incrimination because the Feds wouldn’t grant them immunity.  The trial has gone to jury this week, and the jury has been deliberating for 3 days with no verdict yet.  

This, in local parlance, is waiting for the Other Shoe To Drop for our ex Republican Abramoff Scandal Encrusted Congressman, Doolittle, and his wife, Julie, who had been taking 15% of all of his campaign contributions as a “fundraiser’s fee.”   Julie had a one woman “business” she called “Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions,” which is where that 15% cut went into.

Tonight, while checking the local Sacramento Bee, I noticed this little story:

10/7/09 Roseville city manager placed on paid leave

Roseville City Manager W. Craig Robinson has been placed on paid leave Wednesday.  “We are not discussing any details of it. They met in closed session,” MacPherson said.

Robinson accepted the city manager’s job in February 2003. He’s been with the city since 1989.

Robinson will continue to receive his $273,000 annual salary.  http://www.sacbee.com/topstori…

Oh, local intrigue with another player in the Doolittle saga of shakedowns of local developers. Roseville is just to the south of Lincoln. Must check the donations.  Wait until you see this one.

Retroactive Propaganda courtesy of the Banksters


Gee, it’s a good thing the governments rode to the rescue with billions of dollars in Corporate Welfare for the lying cheating fucktards who screwed everything up, no?

Otherwise, gosh, we would have had people not being able to buy bread, power shut off to everyone, riots in the streets …

No, we would have had the banks nationalized.  Which is what should have happened in the first place.

But here with the 1-year anniversary of the collapse, we are having a ridiculous level of retroactive propagandizing BY the criminals who fucked everything up in the first place.  The same people who STILL haven’t had any new regulations to control their activities, the same people who STILL haven’t faced any repercussions for nearly destroying the economy of the western world, are now expecting us to BELIEVE their bullshit about how they managed to dodge the bullet and keep us all from anarchy and starvation …

U.K. Faced ‘Bank Runs, Riots’ as RBS and HBOS Neared Collapse

This begs the question for me — why haven’t we had a run on the banks? Who in their right mind would continue keeping their money in banks?  How stupid are people?  Wait, I already know the answer to that.

“Hey, I know we almost destroyed the world economy, and took every dollar you owned with it, but hey, it’s all good now!  Trust us!”

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) — A year ago today, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and HBOS Plc were close to collapse, causing a chain reaction that could have ended with riots in U.K. cities, security analysts and economists said.

Bank failures would have forced the government to cancel police leave and deploy troops as the breakdown of the financial payments system threatened the ability of utilities to provide essential services, said David Livingstone, a fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London, a former adviser to the government’s Cobra crisis response committee.

“You are talking about a situation with mass disorder and panic,” the former Royal Navy officer said in an interview. There would be “riots, pandemonium, everyone fending for themselves.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner met at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, 2008, and readied a 250 billion-pound ($398 billion) rescue for the banks in the 16 hours before they opened for business the following day. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Bloomberg News one year on, the Treasury declined to say if it had a contingency plan for the two banks, then or now.

Releasing such information would probably “have a destabilizing effect on financial markets,” damage the government decision-making process and cause commercial harm to the banks involved, the Treasury said in a letter.

“In the current economic climate, economic perception, even if totally misconceived, is important and has the capacity to alter market behavior,” the government said. “To confirm or deny whether or not the information is held, either in relation to the banks mentioned in your request or more generally” would hurt the banks and the U.K.’s economic interests.

‘Catastrophic’ Costs

The crisis last year was the worst Britain had faced in peacetime, Darling told the British Broadcasting Corp. last month. The two banks were not “confident they could get to the end of the day,” on Oct. 7, King told the same program.

“You would have had unmitigated panic and a bank run,” said Tom Kirchmaier, a fellow at the London School of Economics. “People would not have been able to buy bread. The cost to the economy would have been catastrophic.”

RBS and HBOS, then in talks to be taken over by Lloyds TSB Group Plc, had more than 35 million business and individual customers with 475 billion pounds of deposits, 22 percent of the U.K. total, held at about 3,250 branches.

‘Contagious Effects’

“If RBS hadn’t been propped up as it was, in practice it would have been nationalized the following week,” former Bank of England deputy governor John Gieve said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “If RBS, HBOS, Lloyds had gone down, that would have had huge contagious effects throughout the rest of the world.”

The failure of Edinburgh-based RBS and HBOS would have had a domino-effect with customers seeking to take out their deposits from other lenders and causing a wider run on U.K. banks, said Vicky Redwood, an economist at Capital Economics Ltd.

“Trust in the banking system would have completely collapsed” and would have generated civil unrest, said Redwood. “People would have been rushing to take their money out of the other banks and you would have been heading back to the depression era.”

Lewis Black: Two-party system ‘a bowl of shit looking in the mirror’

Okay, this isn’t much of an essay, but I just had to share this:

God knows most of us here have realized that the two party system is a misnomer, that what we have is really a one-party system with a synthetic division, the corporatists playing “shirts vs skins” against the American people.

And we now live in a time when only comedians, it seems, tell the truth.  

Add Lewis Black to the list:

Lewis Black: Two-party system ‘a bowl of sh*t looking in the mirror’

Comedian Lewis Black’s first concert film, set to open this week, is unsparing in its criticism of both political parties.

In a clip played by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Black says, “Our two-party system is a bowl of shit looking in the mirror at itself. … Basically, the last eight years, I feel, the Republicans stood around farting and the Democrats went, ‘Ooh, let me smell it.'”

“It’s a pungent truth,” Olbermann commented to Black. “I think it probably has never been more obvious than currently during this health care debate.”

“It’s just unbelievable,” Black agreed. “How did we end up in a position with people defending health insurance companies?”

“What I’ve always wanted to do with these protesters,” Olbermann suggested, “is go, ‘What’s your personal medical history?’ and I would bet you that you’d get 75% of them going, ‘Never been sick a day in my life!’ That’s the only way you could be satisfied.”

I love that.   I don’t know how you could top that as an accurate description of the two party system, especially the turd-blossom Democrats.

Has a nice ring to it.   The Turd Blossom Democrats.   Sounds like a bluegrass group.

Right to Left: Two Paths You Can Go by

Yes, there are two paths you can go by

But in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

And it makes me wonder.

It is conventional to express the political spectrum in a linear fashion, running from “far left” to “far right”.  This conventional view thus requires that if you are trying to “reach out” to people on the other side of the median, to try to bring them over to your side, one must necessarily do so by building a path through that middle ground.  Thus the Democratic political establishment spends a great deal of time shushing the liberals and the left for fear that we might scare off center-rightists being gently escorted through that moderate minefield.

But reality is that the political spectrum isn’t so one-dimensional.  It is more a circle, or even a sphere, and as an online column published today by a former Reagan Administration official illuminates, there is another path you can go by, a back way, a hidden portal, when you decide to change the road you’re on.  It’s the path that takes you from far right to far left, and it’s a path I know well, the one I myself traveled to become a leftist.  Come on over, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

h/t to rjones2818 for the link that inspired this piece.

Overnight Caption Contest

My Own `Special Comment` on Health Care Reform

I turned 42 years-old this year.  I was in Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield in 1990 and inside of Iraq in 1991.  After I left the military in 1996, I spent six years in law enforcement.  Like other military members, and other law enforcement officers, I did a dangerous job fraught with personal health perils in order to serve other Americans.

As many who know me, or, who remember my DK diaries, you know that my health hasn’t been the best these past few years, and, because of it, neither has our financial situation been the best.  

So, for my essay tonight, I’m going to follow Keith Olbermann’s special comment with one of my own…



One of Ronnie’s economic henchmen singing the praises of Marx and Lenin?

Will wonders never cease?

Pony Party!

Beisbol Fever!

The Phillies lead the National League, and today they opened the post-season against the Rockies (#2 in the league) in Phila.

Well, my friend Rich (owner of my favorite pub), his mother, and several other customers are all Phillies fans, so I watched the game with them.  A brief recap:

Very windy today in this part of the country.  Especially in the early innings, the outfielders couldn’t tell exactly where the pop flies would land…but they ended up getting most of them.

The game started about 2:45, and by 3:45 the first four innings were over, with no scores by either team.  “At this point, it’s a pitcher’s battle,” Rich said.

Bottom of the 5th, Phils score two runs.  Bottom of the 6th, they get another three.  Then, nothing, until the Rockies score one run in the top of the ninth.  Much cheering by fans (the sold-out stadium crowd went wild).

Pony Party is an Open Thread.  Please do not rec the party.

Now, on to some entertainment:

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