March 31, 2009
because while you may get halfway across the stream, the crocodile will eventually stop and eat you. It's in its nature.
Kinda like asking The Man for help. Eventually, The Man will eat you too. And this looks like Phase I.
The purpose of the legislation is to "prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards," according to the bill's language. That includes regular pay, bonuses -- everything -- paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.
In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is "unreasonable" or "excessive." And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate "the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates."
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)
The legislation is expected to come before the full House for a vote this week, and, just like the AIG bill, its scope and retroactivity trouble a number of Republicans. "It's just a bad reaction to what has been going on with AIG," Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, a committee member, told me. Garrett is particularly concerned with the new powers that would be given to the Treasury Secretary, who just last week proposed giving the government extensive new regulatory authority. "This is a growing concern, that the powers of the Treasury in this area, along with what Geithner was looking for last week, are mind boggling," Garrett said.
March 29, 2009
This gives me back mindthoughts and disturbs my soulpatterns.
Why? They feel too many people could show-up.
Lynn Rosko planned to hold a tax payer tea party at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral on April 1st. The idea was announced at a Cape Coral City Council meeting, then an e-mail blast by the Republican Party and it was mentioned in the local media.
With all of that attention, the City of Cape Coral felt there could be more than 500 people attending the tea party.
Therefore Rosko needed to get a permit and insurance for the event. Rosko says she's not willing to get insurance and accept liability for something that a stranger could do. Rosko told WINK News, "I have rescinded any organizing or supervision or what ever you want to call it over this tea party on April 1st."
March 28, 2009
March 27, 2009
Instead, they are proposing a "gentler" system*.
Just what is unreasonable or excessive would be determined by financial regulators and the Treasury Department, where Secretary Timothy Geithner set off a public furor by not blocking $165 million in AIG payments to its financial products executives and traders on March 15.
The Senate, meanwhile, has put on hold a bill that Democrats unsuccessfully tried to advance last week. It would tax away about 70 percent of the employee bonuses at AIG and other companies getting more than $100 million in bailout money.
Since last fall, AIG has received or been promised more than $182 billion of government money, much of it funneled to investors and foreign banks who held high-odds bets with the company on the U.S. housing market collapsing.
The about-face came as it become clear that financial institutions would not partner with the government on new efforts to restore vital credit flows to businesses and consumers if it meant later being demonized for its use of taxpayer dollars.
Geithner proposed on Monday a new government program that would rely on the help of private investors to buy up to a $1 trillion of bad debt, or "toxic assets," sitting on the books of major banks, giving them more ability and incentive to lend.
"I don't want people to think that businesses and people who have worked hard, performed well and received bonuses are going to be painted with the AIG brush," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday.
The gentler approach is in stark contrast to the anti-Wall Street rhetoric that consumed Congress and the White House last week after the bonus payments by AIG, the prime example of a company deemed "too big to fail" because its collapse could create a worldwide run on banks and other financial institutions.
The bonus payouts ignited populist anger that four days later prompted the House to vote 328-93 to tax them away and Obama to declare on Jay Leno's late-night talk show the same day that he was "stunned" and would "do everything we can to get those bonuses back"
By the next day, the Senate's bonus tax plan had stalled.
*Insert your own crude and sexual reference about the Government being "gentler".
March 26, 2009
George Soros, who predicted the global financial crisis twice before, was one of the few people to anticipate and prepare for the current economic collapse.
Mr Soros said his prediction meant he was better able to brace his Quantum investment fund against the gloabal storm.But other investors failed to take notice of his prediction and his decision to come out of retirement in 2007 to manage the fund made him $US2.9 billion. And while the financial crisis continued to deepen across the globe, the 78-year-old still managed to make $1.1 billion last year.
'It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work,' he told national newspaper The Australian.
Soros is one of 25, top hedge fund managers from across Wall Street who have defied the credit crunch crisis to reap a total of $11.6billion (£7.9bn) last year.
The managers made their profit by trading above the pain in the markets, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha Magazine.Former maths professor James H. Simons, who has made billions in hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, earned $2.5 billion running computer-driven trading strategies. [/blocqkuote]
March 25, 2009
The price tag: nearly $15,000 for a 60-foot strip of asphalt.
Seattle officials admit Barajas is an unintended target of a year-old city ordinance meant to force developers to provide infrastructure improvements in the city's 22 designated urban villages. Although the ordinance was directed at developers and not a private homeowner tearing down an existing house to build anew — and the sidewalk likely will be the only one on Barajas' street for years, if not decades — they say there's nothing they can do to waive the requirement.
"This is sort of a rare instance," said Bryan Stevens, a spokesman for the city's Department of Planning and Development. "... It may feel like a sidewalk to nowhere, but others will come."
That may be so, but spending thousands of dollars on a sidewalk — one unlikely to have much impact on pedestrian safety — is "like throwing away money," Barajas said.
Given the slow pace of development in his neighborhood, Barajas' sidewalk may have to be replaced by the time others come to the block.
Barajas, a janitor for King County Metro since 1990, and his wife, Maria, a housekeeper at a downtown hotel, have saved for 12 years to afford the down payment on their $250,000 construction loan.
"I just want something to live comfortable after I retire," said Barajas, 61, adding that the new house will be his teenage daughter's inheritance.
The financial sting of building a sidewalk is all the more painful because Barajas wouldn't need one if he lived on the west side of 32nd Avenue South, instead of the east side. That's because the western boundary of the MLK at Holly Street urban village is the center line of Barajas' narrow residential street.
March 24, 2009
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.
"He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the U.S. influence in the region.
Chavez said Obama's comments had made him change his mind about sending a new ambassador to Washington, after he withdrew the previous envoy in a dispute last year with the Bush administration in which he also expelled the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela.
"When I saw Obama saying what he said, I put the decision back in the drawer; let's wait and see," Chavez said on his weekly television show, adding he had wanted to send a new ambassador to improve relations with the United States after the departure of George W. Bush as president.
March 22, 2009
A bus tour to the Connecticut homes of AIG executives organized by a small party of activists angered by bonuses paid to staff of the bailed-out insurer drew more reporters than protesters on Saturday.
In the tour, dubbed "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous," protesters took a bus that picked up passengers in Hartford and Bridgeport for a 2-1/2 hour trip to see the swanky homes of American International Group executives in exclusive Fairfield County and to AIG's Wilton offices.
The event was organized by Connecticut Working Families, a small liberal political party.
And had this been, say, a group of conservatives brownshirt thugs on a bus tour of the homes of Hollywood leftists who didn't like [insert policy decision here]? FASCISM!!!1!one!!eleventy1!!1!
Oh, and this is rich...
"It seemed like a fun thing to do," said Brian Mills, a 23-year-old student, before an organizer shooed away reporters, telling them to speak with "designated speakers."
Whatever happened to freedom of the press? If Helen Thomas gets moved back a couple of rows, we're living in Nazi Germany all over again, but reporters aren't supposed to speak to anybody but the official Party Line spokespropagandists? Not a problem.
It's gonna be a fun four years. I say that because I plan on drinking a lot and pointing out this hypocrisy. The other shit will probably be scary as hell. Thus, the drinking.
March 21, 2009
March 19, 2009
Remember when Rush said that the Green movement was the home of displaced Communists? Well, it appears as though we may have found one more, and it is none other than that guy from NASA.
James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said.
Speaking on the eve of joining a protest against the headquarters of power firm E.ON in Coventry, Hansen said: "The first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash.
"The democratic process is supposed to be one person one vote, but it turns out that money is talking louder than the votes. So, I'm not surprised that people are getting frustrated. I think that peaceful demonstration is not out of order, because we're running out of time."
March 18, 2009
This bill is going to cover nearly everything, and would probably put a lot of family farms and small businesses under. This would leave most of the food production in the hands of a few major corporations...which are of course fairly easy for the government to take over. Thought the state taking over the financial system and housing market was scary? Just wait till they move to take over food and medicine.
March 16, 2009
(Yeah, I know, both are rhetorical questions. Also, RAAAAAACISSSST!!!)
March 15, 2009
The “8:45 A.M. call,” as it’s referred to by members, began three weeks ago, and it marks a new level in coordination by the White House’s allies at a time when the conservative opposition is struggling for a toe-hold and major agenda items like health care reform appear closer than ever to passage.
The call has helped attempts to link the Republican Party to radio host Rush Limbaugh, and has served as the launching ground for attacks on critics of Obama’s policy proposals. It springs from a recognition of what was lacking in the Clinton years, said Jennifer Palmieri, the senior vice president for communications at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, one of the groups hosting the call.
“[CAP President John] Podesta’s and my experience was in the White House during the Clinton years, and we didn’t have a coordinated echo chamber on the outside backing us up,” she said. “There’s a real interest on the progressive side for groups to want to coordinate with each other and leverage each other’s work in a way I haven’t ever seen before.”
The call is hosted by Progressive Media, a project of the CAP Action Fund and the Media Matters Action Fund. The project began last year as a launching pad for attacks on John McCain, but failed to raise money for television advertisements, and served in the later days of the presidential campaign as a platform for disseminating opposition research critical of his policy plans. White House officials do not take part in the calls.
The calls are led by its top staffer, Tara McGuinness, who will also head Progressive Media's "communications research and analysis war room" to wage spin and policy wars throughout the day, Palmieri said.
The call has proved particularly effective at coordinating attacks on critics, said Jacki Schechner, the national communications director for Health Care for America Now, a labor-backed alliance of groups that support Democratic efforts to expand health care.
Shocka! Media Matters is in the middle of this?!??!111eleventy!!! I mean, the fact that they attack Limbaugh the same day the the White House, Olbermann, and others do must have been a mere coincidence.
I could insert some snark about how Allah and his defenders acted during this, but they are not going to budge, and seem to just get more defensive when called out. So I won't.*
*And yeah, I'm being a bit passive-aggressive, but so what?
March 12, 2009
But, when lefties steal Hinderaker's credit card number and post it on that wikileaks site simply because he gave money to Norm Coleman is bullshit.
Quoth John H:
It's impossible to say whether Wikileaks hacked Coleman's site and is now making the information public out of frustration at lack of publicity, or whether a different Democratic Party group did the hacking and passed the information off to Wikileaks to be illegally disseminated. I replied to Wikileaks' email asking for a name and telephone number and saying that I would like to interview them; needless to say, I didn't get a response. Like so many leftists, they prefer to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.
A week or two after the liberal hacking of Coleman's site took place, I got a notice from my bank that my credit card numbers had been stolen and patently improper charges were being rung up. As a result I had to cancel that credit card and get a new one. I didn't know it at the time, but it appears that in all probability, I was one of the victims of the Democrats' hacking of Coleman's web site.
Just another day in contemporary American politics. Liberals break the law, violate their opponents' privacy, either commit or facilitate theft, and meanwhile assure the rest of us that they did all of this because of their moral superiority.
Again, I will not retract anything I have said/written during the Rush Limbaugh fiasco, but while we have been tearing at each other, assholes like wikileaks have been getting away with criminal behavior.
Maybe some perspective is in order.
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