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A Tribute To War

From one of my favorite radio artists, Joe Frank:

Here’s To War (5MB MP3 File)

[WARNING: Dark satire — not for the seriously-depressed or humor-impaired.]

If you like this piece, I encourage you to check out Joe’s website for more of his radio shows:

Hilarious screenshots of McCain golf gear “reviews”

You’ve probably heard that McCain is selling golf gear on his website.  Well, some zany crazy kids went into the “reviews” section and posted a bunch of “reviews”.  The webmaster deleted them in short order — but not before I got these hilarious screenshots:

click images to see full screen views


With the exception of a $20 bill I once dropped in a hat at a Nader rally, I’ve never once given money to a politician.  Today, I sent five fat Benjamins to Barack Obama.

To those of you who disagree with his “bring America together” message because Republicans cannot, will not, or should not be bargained with:  You’re absolutely right.  But I don’t think Obama is really that naive.  He simply knows how to put forth a winning message.  That kind of political strength and savvy will put him in a far stronger position to take on the Republicans when it counts.

This man is a progressive at heart, and I think he will be our ally once in office.  Look at what he accomplished in the Illinois legislature.  A politician who will stand up for the rights of criminal defendants is a rare and courageous leader.  And to do it successfully — that’s practically unheard of.  It’s a sign of a profound persuasive ability.

But Obama is way too smart to lead with that kind of agenda.  Nobody could win the primary (much less the general election) on an Edwards platform right now, and Obama would be foolish to try it.  That isn’t to say he’s disingenuous;  but he knows how to frame the fight, and that is something Democrats haven’t been able to do well since JFK.

Make no mistake, this guy is very, very good, and his people clearly know what they’re doing.  

Now, to be quite honest, I’m willing to vote for damned near anybody who can knock out Clinton.  But for the first time in my life, I actually feel good about supporting a major presidential candidate.  

Obama’s the real deal, folks.  Let’s give the man a chance.  

Some thoughts on the new AG nominee, Michael Mukasey

First, I’ll confess a minor bias in favor of federal judges.  I’ve clerked for federal judges, and I’ve had personal interactions with quite a few of them.  By no means are they all perfect, but compared to the politicians from the other two branches of government, I think they deserve a much higher degree of regard.

That said, I think liberals could do much, much worse than Michael Mukasey as AG.  He’s not an idiot like Gonzo, and he’s not a partisan hack like Ted Olson or Lawrence Silberman.

Want to see something scary?

Check out this very major piece of banking news that is currently flying under the radar, for the most part:

Fed Bends Rules to Help Two Big Banks


NEW YORK (Fortune) — In a clear sign that the credit crunch is still affecting the nation’s largest financial institutions, the Federal Reserve agreed this week to bend key banking regulations to help out Citigroup (Charts, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (Charts, Fortune 500), according to documents posted Friday on the Fed’s web site.

The Aug. 20 letters from the Fed to Citigroup and Bank of America state that the Fed, which regulates large parts of the U.S. financial system, has agreed to exempt both banks from rules that effectively limit the amount of lending that their federally-insured banks can do with their brokerage affiliates. The exemption, which is temporary, means, for example, that Citigroup’s Citibank entity can substantially increase funding to Citigroup Global Markets, its brokerage subsidiary. Citigroup and Bank of America requested the exemptions, according to the letters, to provide liquidity to those holding mortgage loans, mortgage-backed securities, and other securities.

Summary: In contravention of the current rules, the Fed is letting two ginormous banks lend a total of up to $50 billion to their brokerage subsidiaries.

For some analysis on what this might mean, see this thread:

Ticker Forum – Oh oh – Banks in MAJOR trouble

Or from the left, if you prefer:

Democratic Underground – Fed Bends Rules

Serious talk of major panic and financial disruptions… Bank runs and government seizures even… Or at the least, dozens of billions of dollars in handouts to some of the ultra-rich  investors who might otherwise become just a little less rich over the next few months.

Personally, I don’t know enough about banking and finance to say whether this is basically a nonevent economically, or the beginning of the next depression.

But one thing this tells us for sure: The Fed is absolutely, 100% in the pockets of the richest folks in the world — all at the expense of the taxpayers.  Maybe that’s not huge news, exactly, but at this particular juncture in our economy, it is quite disturbing.

Probably worth contacting your congressperson about, at the very least.