Saturday, January 30, 2010


Like the article, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, but something is not right about this behind-the-scenes bailout of AIG.

The New York Fed is in the hot seat for its decision in November 2008 to buy out, for about $30 billion, insurance contracts AIG sold on toxic debt securities to banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank AG, among others. That decision, critics say, amounted to a back-door bailout for the banks, which received 100 cents on the dollar for contracts that would have been worth far less had AIG been allowed to fail.

It goes on to describe how Geithner and the New York Fed basically operated outside of any oversight or controls in its efforts to help AIG.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Ten good ones. Of those I have seen, I think the Pianist affected me the most.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


An interesting interview with an author I need to check out.

Those lucky few who are fortunate enough to be able to live their political lives free of the fear of violence are largely concentrated in the capitals of contemporary Western Europe and along the east and west coasts of the United States, who not coincidentally happen to make up the primary audience I was writing for, so I wanted to explain that the inhabitants of the Arabic-speaking Middle East are not as fortunate as we are. To say that Lebanon is held at gunpoint by an armed gang, or that Lebanese journalists are assassinated for their work, Syrian intellectuals and Egyptian rights activists are typically thrown in prison and tortured, and regional minorities like the Shia, Druze, Alawi, Christians, Kurds and Jews have often been the target of purges and political violence all in the name of Arab nationalism, a corporatist ideology that seeks to erase communal as well as individual difference, is not to say that Arabs only understand force, but that violence is a central factor in Arab political life and it is impossible to understand the region without taking this into account.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This essay expresses my thinking of Democrats in power. Lord Acton's comments on power are often over used, but power is a hard think to handle when one achieves it.

The love of power got to the Democrats: the love of big-shotting it before the cameras, as if senators were resident royalty rather than servants. Come to think of it, Scott Brown put the matter with great precision in his now-famous answer to David Gergen's question about responsibility for the maintenance of "Ted Kennedy's seat." Not Kennedy's seat, "the people's seat," Brown replied in setting Gergen straight.


Love this quote for its historical allusion: "Obama has appointed more Czars in one year than the Romanov dynasty did in three centuries."


A summary highlighting the major developments in the climategate controversy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I can't remember how many take-offs I have seen on these clips from an old Hitler movie.


This summarizes how the Democrats are going to handle strategy going into the November 2010 elections. I guess I don't see a difference between Republican Wall Street "fatcats" and Democrat Wall Street "fatcats." And at some time blaming Bush is just not going to sell.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


The statistics used by the Obama administration that indicate the US is 37th in the world in overall performance of medical care are based on subjective WHO reports. It did not include patients who receive indigent care, for example. And the US is #1 in terms of medical responsiveness.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Interesting. Texas is doing a better job of educating students than California in spite of spending less money!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


More people are now working for the government than for wealth-producing enterprises.


Paul Volcker was interviewed by Charlie Rose in Business Week. Volcker, a Democrat noted for a crusty personality, said some very uncomplimentary things about the Obama administration.

The American political process is about as broken as the financial system. Therefore, one has to be a bit skeptical. Just to give you one little example, one unrelated to the financial crisis. Here we are on Dec. 29, almost a year after the Inauguration, and there is no Under Secretary of the Treasury. That should be an important position. How can we run a government in the middle of a financial crisis without doing the ordinary, garden-variety administrative work of filling the relevant agencies? The Treasury is an outstanding example of a broken system, but it's not the only one.

Slow is too fast a word to describe what's going on. The Administration is one quarter over, and it hasn't manned the ramparts of government yet.

I wish the Administration would pay more attention to what's needed to improve the ordinary functioning of government. We can't even fight a war with our own people any more. We've got to hire Blackwater. I think people have lost confidence in government, they've lost trust in government, and it shows. This isn't a question just of this Administration. It's been kind of a steady, downhill path.

Charlie Rose: . . .but this Administration came in and said it would change. That was the mantra of the campaign. So what happened? Volcker: It shows you it's not that easy to change [emphasis added].

Friday, January 01, 2010


Dave Berry --great political satire. He has so many good ones, it is hard to pick just one or two--so I picked three.

Despite this heroic effort, the economy continues to stumble. General Motors, which has sold only one car in the past year -- a Buick LaCrosse mistakenly purchased by an 87-year-old man who thought he was buying a power scooter -- announces a new four-part business plan, consisting of (1) dealership closings; (2) factory shutdowns;(3) worker layoffs; and (4) traveling backward through time to 1955.

. . . an angry nation learns that the giant insurance company AIG, which received $170 billion in taxpayer bailouts and posted a $61 billion loss, is paying executive bonuses totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. This news shocks and outrages President Obama and members of Congress, who happen to be the very people who passed the legislation that authorized both the bailouts and the bonuses, but of course they did that during a crisis and thus had no time to find out what the hell they were voting for.

California, in a move apparently intended to evade creditors, has its name legally changed to ``South Oregon.''