Posts tagged ‘Wall Street’

January 12, 2014

The DC Folly Trolley – 01/12/14

So We Didn’t Know It Before???

Okay, so maybe some people ignored it, turned a blind, cut the guy some slack. But now it’s official. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a bullshitter. Not an ordinary bullshitter, mind you. But a monumental bullshitter.

The NJ gov., as you may have heard by now, blamed the traffic jams that occurred on the George Washington Bridge shortly before Election Day on staffers who orchestrated the backup with the connivance Christie supporters at the Port Authority.

Well, the gov took the blame, said he was the honcho in charge of stuff in the Garden State and looked for all the world his meek and humble self.   But then did a turnabout, said he was lied to by staff members who hatched the diabolical plot and then fired those responsible for the dirty deed.

That’s the bullshit part.

It now appears that Christie’s Chief Legal Council and longtime associate Charles McKenna not only knew about the traffic jam conspiracy but actually congratulated conspirators on their successful efforts. “Charlie said you did GREAT” reads a smoking email.

Here’s yet another twist unraveling. Christie said he appointed McKenna to investigate the matter and report back to him with the names of the evildoers.

We shouldn’t jump to conclusions of course. But, what the hell, let’s jump. It’s believable that McKenna could have reported all the names of those invovled in the caper save one – his own. But it’s more likely that Christie knew what was going down in the first place and the whole investigation thing is a cover up.

The Mother Jones take on the most recent revelations is, well, revealing:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/chris-christie-fort-lee-charlie-mckenna-text-message

christe lasagne

Christie, G. W. Bush and a guy with a real job, Medal of Honer winner Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry.  (Orig: The U.S. Army).

Here’s the real story – as told by a disenchanted Christie staffer to Unreliable Press Worldwide’s Super Senior New Jersey Public Affairs Correspondent Marcy Popindick. And don’t repeat this to a soul ’cause it’s a secret.

It seems the portly governor enjoyed taking casual strolls on the George Washington Bridge, long about rush hour. And while doing so, he managed to block two lanes of traffic – for days.

So far, very believable.

It wasn’t a revenge thing, mind you, implemented just because some Democratic mayor from the town of Fort Lee, which just happens to merge into the GWB, refused to give his support to a Repub governor during the recent election cycle.

No, the governor just like to skip along the bridge during the busiest hour of the day.

And the massive traffic tie ups caused by the gov’s hippity hoppiting down the lanes were merely a by-product of the strolls he took such a liking to.

Now for the rest of the story. Also a by-product of the gov’s fancy was the observation by numerous commuters that the bridge seemed slightly bent out of shape.

When engineers were alerted to a potentially dangerous condition, they immediately began inspecting the bridge for structural damage. They became gravely concerned when they discovered a distinct rightward tilt of the upper tier of the two level span.

It seems the NJ honcho liked to hippity hop in only one direction and that habit caused the bridge to lean to the right.

Engineers were reportedly busy developing a plan to correct the pronounced rightward shift.

Now that’s a story you can believe. Certainly better than the bullshit Christie was throwing around at his news conference.

Here’s the one thing you can count on about the gov’s jam: You’ll never hear the truth from him.

chris gwb

New Yorker’s Chris Christie Cover Is Perfect

***

Eliminate Crime Forever.

One way to eliminate criminal behavior on the part of bankers is deregulate the banks. Now that we’ve deregulated the banks we can all see the benefits, no laws, no crimes.

Now why didn’t we think of that before. It’s an idea that opens whole vistas of possibilities.

Why, we can return to the days of old, to very beginnings of civilization and learn how crime can be reduced and even eliminated entirely simply by doing away with a few laws.

But let’s not go back that far. Let’s start with the pirates. No, not the Wall Street bankers. I mean the Blackbeard kind.

pirate

(Credit: mwanasimba from La Réunion).

Society passed all kinds of laws trying to prevent those guys with the serious dental problems from robbing and killing on the high seas.

Why?

Nobody really cared except a few rich people who needed laws to make the oceans safe for commerce. And with the laws came the need to track down and jail the one eyed miscreants.

Now look at what happens next. If you gotta track ’em down, you gotta have a navy. And that’s means spending billions of dollars. And recruiting men who don’t want to be sailors to become sailors. That means something called impressment – on land and on the seas. And that’s really bad ’cause it can get folks riled up and lead to war and just one of those wing dings causes more destruction and killing than the pirates ever did since the invention of boats.

So if the laws against piracy were eliminated there would be no pirates and while there still would be recruiting, there would be no impressment and folks wouldn’t get riled up and there would be no destruction and killing caused by massive uniformed gangs blowing each other up on a battlefield.

At least piracy wouldn’t be the cause.

Anyways, laws can be a very bad thing. Which is what the Wall Street bankers discovered when they paid government officials in Congress and the White House to deregulate banks, i.e., kill the laws.

Unfortunately for the pirates there was no Bill Clinton back in the day to sign off on piracy deregulation like he did for the banks.

And, unlike bankers, pirates were not politically savvy. They didn’t realize they could turn stolen booty into campaign payola. Like the bankers did.

So just because they couldn’t get government to overturn a few laws, pirates who were captured were summarily hanged.  (See photo above to understand the fate of pirates who were too honest to corrupt government officials).

Ironically, these bandits of the high seas had far greater entrepreneurial skills than any Wall Street CEO ever dreamed of. Let’s face it, it takes a lot more business acumen to be a pirate; not so much to be a banker.

.

There once was a pirate named Jamie.
Who practiced an art quite gamey.
He would rob and pillage
From city to village
And claim, “There’s no law so don’t blame me.”

***

God Screws Up.

If you think God is perfect and can’t make mistakes think again.

Well, He sent Louie Gohmert to Congress, didn’t he. And if that isn’t bad enough, He can’t remember why in God’s name he ever did that.

Not to worry, though God. Louie knows why.

You see, God, you inspired your loyal servant and with that solemn inspiration reverberating in his brain, Louie ran for office and won a seat in the House of Representatives where he intends to fulfill the promise of your Son to keep a bunch of damn single moms from getting any more welfare checks.

You don’t remember that? How could you forget?

You sent Louie to that God forsaken place to be the perfect example of “compassionate conservatism.” And he just gave what amounts to an historic Sermon on the Hill. No, not the mount. The Hill, Capitol Hill.

louie

Heeeeeeere’s Louie. 

Your servant – that’s Louie – was inspired by You to get into politics and he got elected, and on his first try no less. So You must have greased the way for him and now he’s ever so grateful and giving thanks by demeaning what former President Lyndon Johnson did 50 years ago when he declared a War on Poverty.

The former president’s program lifted millions of people out of poverty through education, job training and living assistance. The War was a great success as far as it went. If it failed it was because later presidents failed the program and reduced the Great Society experiment to a state of stagnant “benign neglect.” Nevertheless, millions benefited from the effort and went on to enjoy successful middle class living standards.

But Your faithful servant believes that single moms and their kids would benefit more from inadequate housing, deficient education and going hungry than from a sustained government effort of assistance to uplift poor people.

Well, that’s Louie for ya.

***

Your Are About To Be TPP’d.

The magnificent Follyland Smoke Machine was at his best once again.

You perhaps heard about or maybe even read the transcript of the president’s speech on economic mobility and income inequality. No need to say he did a great job because he always does.

Of blowing smoke, that is. Just in case you were wondering where he stands here’s the scoop: He supports the former and decries the latter.

Yes, the president proclaimed in stentorian tones that Teddy Roosevelt fought for the eight hour workday and got. FDR fought for Social Security and got it. LBJ fought for Medicare and he got it.

So what is Barack Obama fighting for. Income inequality, what else!

two face

The two faces of Barack Obama.

The speech was typical Obama smoke and mirrors as in say one thing and do exactly the opposite.

For the president is fighting for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a so called “free trade” deal that has little to do with trade and a whole lot to do with corporate domination of the economies and legal structures of every nation that signs on to this perverted pact.

Remember NAFTA, the Clinton administration fiasco that cost the American middle class more than a million jobs and three million Mexican farmers and small businessmen their livelihoods while fattening the portfolios of the richest of the rich?

Well, Obama’s TPP promises to do even more for the fat cats who paid for his passage into the Oval Office. This trade deal that isn’t a trade deal will drive the final nail into the middle class coffin.

Let’s give just one ugly detail about this nefarious package. If a corporation believes that a law of any nation inhibits its ability to maximize profits, it can bring suit before a tribunal and challenge the law. If it wins the suit, a likely foregone conclusion, the law is overturned.

Well, guess what. Corporations in the United States are required by law to contribute to Social Security and unemployment compensation funds.

Talk about a sneak attack on the social safety net.

But it gets worse. Employee benefits, what remains of them, could easily vanish along with the minimum wage laws, many of which have yet to be adopted, and of course all hourly pay would be under attack as well. And this march back to the 19th century is being brought to you by none other than Barack Obama himself, the ultimate smoke blowing machine.

And it only gets worse. You see, the entire sordid affair is supposed to be a secret. You are not supposed to know about the back stabbing terms of the evil pact. The plan calls for the terms to be sprung upon you after the fact, a virtual fait accompli.  Save for a handful of leaks, the negotiations would be shrouded in an impenetrable cloud of secrecy.

Think it can’t get any worse?  Well, it just did.  The corporate communications giants will be permitted to take control of the Internet and monitor content in much the same way the NSA scans conversations and email traffic across the entire planet.  You won’t be able to voice a protest without your message being scanned.  And Facebook, Google, etc. will be tasked with the obligation to scour the web for undesirable content.

internet

The Internet, a thorn in the side of the 1%.

Obama has been sneaking around behind the backs of the American people in this manner for his entire term in office. (His voltefaccia on the public option is just one other example). I smell another sneak attack.

So much for the transparency president.

See below:  Bill Moyers, Yves Smith and Dean Baker on the TPP threat to democracy; Youtube short on Internet control; and the transcript of the presidents speech on inequality.

Bill Moyers: Trans-Pacific trade pact is death for democracy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3KlrfjcjV4

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/12/04/remarks-president-economic-mobility

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And here’s the latest news for this bummer of a deal for working people in the Western nations whose leaders are behind the plot to finally kill off the middle class.

Enemy of the people Thomas Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said: “We are within striking distance of concluding an agreement….”

The rest of his statement is pure corporate bullshit. See the link for the bullshit.

TPP deal in ‘striking distance’: Donohue | The Japan Times

***

Wonders Never Cease.

Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Obama cheerleader and House Minority Honcho Nancy Pelosi said: “We want transparency.”

The representative who should have left her heart high on a hill in San Francisco, was referring to President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership.

The Bogus Trade Agreement is a secret and the entire Congress and you and me and just about everybody else who isn’t a corporate flack have been kept in the dark about the terms.  Whatever has been revealed about the shrouded deal squeezed through the barriers on the lips of a leaker.  (Thanks yet again Wikileaks).

So Nancy’s upset ’cause Obama is keeping secrets from her.  She warned the president that her caucus will not support his TPP and is prepared to slap Obama with a huge political embarrassment if he doesn’t start whispering in her ear.

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), echoing Pelosi’s words, remarked: “There is inadequate engagement on the substance” of the bogus pact.

Well, here’s the real story. The Dems aren’t angered by the prospect that the TPP will cause further rot to the working class of developed countries.

Nope. They’re pissed off because el presidente snubbed them and they’re embarrassed by his actions.

nancy2

Nancy Pelosi, after plastic surgery.

The president, of course, doesn’t need his hypocritical Dems anyways. With the exception of the votes of a handful of Senate comrades who he already has in his back pocket, he can muster enough Republican support to get the TPP fast tracked and then passed into law.

So to avoid an embarrassing situation all around, look for a White House staffer to sneak into the Capitol late one night and clue in the Democratic leadership about the evil agreement. Once Obama makes nice nice with his party’s Congressional honchos he will be able to count on their full support.

Did you ever doubt the outcome?

Why House Democrats Might Kill Obama’s Big Trade Deal

(Fat chance).

***

More Limerick Lunacy.

A fellow was warned in advance
But decided to still take a chance
He hit on a gal
In a seedy locale.
Sister Agnes looked at him askance.
.
A woman refused an advance
From a guy at a neighborhood dance.
That’d be the day
I ever will pay
Attention to a suave fancy pants.”
.
A gal got a tiny advance
From a boss who then took a chance.
If to my place you will come
I will pay a fine sum.
For a night of thrilling romance.”
.
The gal with the tiny advance.
Told her boss to shove his romance
The money is spent
So you can get bent.
And I have a new job in finance.”

Originally posted to:

http://www.madkane.com/humor_blog/

2014/01/05/limerick-outing-limerick-off-monday/

 

August 26, 2012

Jack and Jill Charged With Theft

Children Injured in Fall While Stealing Water.

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is Marcy Popindick reporting from Hades Hill which you see behind me and where two children named Jack and Jill allegedly went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. According to eyewitnesses, Jack fell down and broke his crown. Again according witnesses, Jill, attempting to help Jack, came tumbling after.

Both children have been seriously injured although their condition is not immediately available. We do know that they have been rushed by emergency responders to Lucifer Memorial Hospital.

Hades Hill and the water well atop it are owned by WACD – the Water Allotment Control Division of Wall Street investment firm Drain Capital.

Our sources are telling us that the voucher provided by the government program, which gives assistance to all citizens who cannot afford to pay for water, was insufficient and the kids could not cover the additional cost of the precious liquid they needed. The children then proceeded up the hill to fetch the pail of water.

According to a company official we spoke with, stealing water from WACD (pronounced WHACKED) is a felony offense and the children will be charged.

File:Allenwood River Bridge.jpg

Before too long the water rights to rivers across the country may belong to investment firms such as Drain Capital.

It is unclear at this time whether the children slipped and fell accidently while attempting to steal the water or if armed guards employed by WACD threw them down the hill.

Our correspondent Chalkalatta Chippie is now on the scene at Lucifer Memorial. Chalkalatta are any details available on the condition of the two children?

Good evening. This is Chalkalatta Chippie reporting from Lucifer Memorial Hospital. We have just learned that both children who we know only as Jack and Jill have been admitted to Lucifer for evaluation. The condition of both has been listed as critical and surgeons are reportedly rushing to the hospital in an attempt to save the lives of both kids.

Police are withholding the last names of the children until parents are notified.

We have an update. A spokesman for Lucifer Memorial has just informed us that the hosipital is withholding treatment from the children because they do not qualify for Medicaid assistance under the newly enacted rules for the program. The children, who received government vouchers under the new law now called VoucherCare, could not afford to pay the difference between the voucher and the cost of profitized health insurance. The kids have no other means to pay for the cost of medical care that the hospital is now denying them.

We have also learned that police are charging the two juveniles with felony criminal trespass and felony theft of water. According to witnesses this isn’t the first time Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. The kids have apparently done so on numerous occasions, usually late at night.

The wells on the top of the hill as you know are owned and operated by a corporation that owns leases to the regions underground water supplies. The leases granted by the Federal Government to the corporation also cover such above ground sources as rivers and streams. Several corporations are now owners of the water supply across the entire country.

In addition to the government vouchers all residents residents must purchase coupons from the profitized companies who own the leases. Jack and Jill to anyone’s knowledge did not have coupons and are now suspected by police of felony water theft.

Spokesmen for WACD declined to comment on the charges being brought against Jack and Jill.

We have just received word from an unreliable source that Chief of Police Buford Barford Bifford has arrived on the scene riding on a pony.

Police chief arrives riding on a pony.

The chief has issued a warrant for the arrest of the kids and charged the two juveniles with water theft. He will read them their rights as soon as they are removed from Lucifer Memorial which we expect will happen momentarily. That is if they survive their ordeal at all. According to the chief he has eyewitness evidence that the two little thieves have been stealing water from WACD for weeks and that the system will not tolerate such criminal behavior. The kids will be dealt with to the full extent of the law. 

Meanwhile, we have just learned that a girl named Mary, had a little lamb, who just moments ago died of thirst. Mary’s government voucher didn’t cover enough of the cost of water and the girl could not afford to buy a company coupon to pay the difference and her little lamb has just died.

We are now reporting from a large empy parking lot at Lucifer Memorial where a group of Christian pastors has assembled to make an announcement. The pastors fully supported the right of the hospital to deny treatment to the children declaring in a previously released statement that not having a profit health insurance plan was irresponsible and the community of churches would not condone such negligent behavior.

However, the pastors vowed to hold barbecue chicken dinners to raise funds to help defray the cost of treatment for the kids.

A spokesman for Lucifer said that if the hospital received the proceeds of 10,000 barbecue chicken dinners within six months, the institution would treat the clildren and not charge any interest on the debt.

After voting all of their lives to deny health care to both adults and children the Christian congregations were joyful at the prospect of selling and buying poultry platters to contribute to the cost of medical care for the two little kids. Oh, how joyful they all were.

Here is another update. We just learned moments ago that Jack has died. According to unreliable sources, Jack was pronounced dead shortly after hosipital officials denied treatment to the child because he did not have health insurance to pay for the costs.

This is Chalkalatta Chippie reporting from Lucifer Memorial Hospital.

Privatizing the water supply:  Did you know it’s already happening.  Would you trust Goldman-Sachs, Citicorp or Bain Capital to provide a secure, safe and inexpensive source of water?  Either would I.

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Top10-ReasonsToOpposeWaterPrivatization.pdf

http://www.statesman.com/news/statesman-investigates/growth-of-large-private-water-companies-brings-higher-2038684.html

July 15, 2012

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/15/12

If the fish rots from the head, Romney’s political carcass lies wasting in Massachusetts.

File:DEAD FISH WASHED ASHORE AT SANDY POINT STATE PARK - NARA - 546842.jpg

In due time, the entire body rots to the very core.

Romney is a dead fish reborn – of cynicism, hypocrisy and unprincipled opportunism

It is only by virtue of one of the most shocking flip-flops in recent history that he was able to seize the nomination from a gaggle of GOP candidates as effete as any put forth by a political party in decades.

Can he win the presidency? It is astonishing that such an eventuality is even a possibility.

Only in America.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

***

Student debt is approaching one trillion dollars and may have already exceeded that amount. Many kids won’t be able to repay their loans because there are too few good jobs available and too many receive educations that are inadequate. Some profit mongering schools, in fact, are little more than government loan depositories.

File:EastJerseyStatePrisonNew.jpg

Time to invest in profit making prisons. Wall Street will soon demand that deadbeat college grads land behind bars – at taxpayer expense of course and profits for the Street. (Photo Jackie Finn-Irwin from Elizabeth, NJ, USA).

So what can we do about this intolerable situation. Simple. Throw the kids in jail. That’s right – debtors prison. Now that we’ve profitized the prison system students who default on government loans represent a limitless jailbird population for Wall Street investment firms who support and cash in on profit prisons. The situation is tailor made for the big banks. Incarcerate the students who can’t pay and charge the taxpayer for the incarceration. Why we could even make parents pay support toward their jailbird college kids.

So I’m appealing to McConnell, Boehner and the skinny guy with the glasses to get the ball rolling. Wall Street is salivating for enabling legislation. Investors could earn billions off this scam. You call yourselves Republicans??? You ought to be ashamed. Let’s get these damn deadbeats where they belong: In the profit making prison system at taxpayer expense.

File:Eric Cantor headshot.JPG

Skinny guy with glasses. Also known as Rep. Eric Cantor.

***

The so-called Red States lead the nation in food stamp subsidies. Guess their sick and tired of people not starving – and that includes themselves and their children. Just hard to figure some people out.

What’s the matter with people in the Red States? Far too many are hopeless victims of latent racism. Yes, many are good Christians who attend church regularly. However, this group votes endlessly against its own economic interests because they believe they are being victimized by black people who want a free ride.  (Read the article linked below about Mighty Mitt’s “free stuff” comment).

Mitt Romney Says He Got Booed Because Black People Just Want Free Stuff | The New Civil Rights Movement

The racism rises to the surface only among their trusted brethren. But it can be detected in circumspect statements as they try to feel you out to determine if you are among them; or in conversations overheard during a careless moment; or, most notable, in “joking” around. One revealing remark is the resentment and anger that so many black people who never voted before went to the polls in 2008 to cast their ballots for Obama.

File:Red state, blue state.svg

I sometimes think that the racism of slavery has come full circle. For it now enslaves too many racists to a life of abject poverty – a life they vote to sustain time and time again.  

We should add of course that racism isn’t the exclusive domain of the Red States..

***

Mitt Romney has more foreign bank accounts than John McCain has houses. And neither knows how many or where they are.

That’s what it means to be rich in America.

***

Condoleeza Rice said President Obama’s foreign policy is lacking. Guess he hasn’t started enough wars to suit her taste. Ah, for the good old days, right Condi.  

Rice is reportedly in the running for the vice presidential slot on the Romney ticket despite her firm denials of interest.

File:Condoleezza Rice.jpg

And the next vice president of the United States is…. May I have the envelope please.

It seems to me she opens up too many festering wounds.  But who knows?

Only in America..

***

Iran and Iraq are becoming strong allies. And Iran is now in a position to transfer knowledge of weapons of mass destruction to Iraq.

How’s that for being ungrateful. We started a war to set them free; killed hundreds of thousands; deracinated millions and they go and join our enemy. Sometimes it’s just hard to understand people.

Not a problem, though. We can always invade again.

***

We built numerous military bases in Iraq with huge landing strips and impregnable fortifications at a cost of billions of dollars. Looks like we’ll have to abandon them. But not a word about all those McDonald’s restaurants spread among the forts. Where else can you get a Big Mac in Iraq? C’mon folks. Doesn’t anybody think of these things?

***

Mitt Romney got booed when he gave a speech before the NAACP for saying he would repeal Robamneycare if elected president.

Then at a fund raiser Mighty Mitt told reporters he was booed because black people just wanted free stuff.

Well, I for one had no idea black people had or wanted tax free bank accounts in the Caymans, Bermuda and Switzerland.

The Mittster also said that nothing is really free except his tax free bank accounts in the Caymans, Bermuda and Switzerland.

Uh, except for one minor detail the above statement is true. That detail: Romney omitted any reference to tax free offshore accounts.

***

Gee, who would have thought banksters would cheat people on interest rates? And not just some people. But quite possibly everyone on the planet whoever borrowed a dime from them.

LIBOR sounds like an X-Box video game replete with evil monsters who lie, cheat and steal. So evil, in fact, that the harm these creatures inflict belabors the imagination.

As you probably know by now, LIBOR isn’t an X-Box video game. It is the London Interbank Offered Rate – so who knew – a figure that dominates the rates charged by banks across the breadth of the entire planet and it can impact rates on mortgages, car loans, credit cards, loans to businesses and just about every other type of loan imaginable. So you think you got scammed by the S&L flim-flam and the dot.com and housing bubbles? Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The amounts skimmed off the top by the banksters in this latest act of deception could rise into the gazillions.

Under the circumstances, LIBOR should give some enterprising soul an idea for a video game filled with evil monsters of every description – wearing handmade Italian suits and Ferragamo shoes and silk undies to show off to their thousand dollar a night ladies in waiting .

In order to be true to life, however, in this game the evil monsters win.

***

Oberstandartenfuhrer, I mean governor, Paul LePage of Maine went Nazi once again as so many Republicans are wont to do. It’s hard to know, however, whether his rant calling the IRS the Gestapo was a stupid remark by a Republican or a remark by a stupid Republican. Although the two do seem to go hand and hand.

You may recall another of LePage’s many blunders. Below is a youtube video about the governor’s removal from the Maine Department of Labor of a mural honoring American working men and women. 

LePage critic creates video sendup of mural decision | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

***

According to Senior National Affairs Correspondent Marcy Popindick of UPW News, the Republican party is implementing a new plan they call Conservatives Helping Older People. The idea is to bring families together by eliminating Social Security and Medicare so children can bring parents and grandparents into their homes and furnish the loving care that seniors long for. As part of the plan, Republicans will implement Paul Ryan’s program to once and for all destroy Medicare and profitize health insurance for the elderly.

A second goal of the Republican CHOP program will be the profitization of Social Security.

Once these CHOP ideas are implemented seniors will be gratified at the prospect of moving into the homes of their children and will be able to enjoy family life with their grandkids, recently graduated from college, who have also moved in with their parents.

The benefits of CHOP, everyone will soon realize, are boundless.

November 25, 2011

Poor Caused Meltdown???

Every flimflam needs a mark. For the subprime mortgage scam there were millions of suckers. You’ve heard of them, the ones that are born every minute.

You know the kind, the ill-informed poor people and the uninitiated who reside closer to the middle.

Right wing extremists – a term that now encompasses the vast majority of people who used to call themselves conservatives – blamed first Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the meltdown.

And why shouldn’t they blame Fannie and Freddie.. After all the government forced these institutions to back mortgages to poor people who they knew couldn’t repay them. Yes, the big money boys of Fannie and Freddie were threatened with torture if they didn’t obey. Some CEOs were even sent to Gitmo and waterboarded because they didn’t submit. And since nobody likes having toothpicks stuck under their fingernails, the CEOs finally surrendered and, even though they resisted furiously, they were compelled by government to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses.  Can you believe that!  

Actually I just made that stuff up.  But the rest is true.

So when that rubbish didn’t seem to stick, well, there was always the Community Reinvestment Act. Blaming the CRA was sheer balderdash, but hey, any port in a storm, right.

Unfortunately, that excuse didn’t gain traction either so let’s see, there’s gotta be something else we can dump this mess on, right, righties. Think hard now. Oh yeah, that’s right. Poor people. Let’s blame poor people.

So desperate were the righties to blame anyone or anything for the economic meltdown that they even blamed poor people. Anyone would do. Anything to avoid blaming their cocktail party buddies – those who are really at fault, the Wall Street jailbirds (also known as CEOs, bankers and mortgage originators).

So they blame Fannie and Freddie who never issued a mortgage, subprime or otherwise. Both of which, in case you didn’t know, were privately operated, profit making institutions whose CEOs scarfed up untold millions in salaries and bonuses.

Then there was the Community Reinvestment Act. Passed during the Carter administration, it sought to eliminate the racist bank practice of redlining. A common exercise, redlining drew boundaries around poorer neighborhoods, mostly populated by African Americans, and placed a lending stranglehold on there areas. It mattered little that someone who qualified for a loan was denied. They were routinely blackballed simply because they happened to live a a poor neighborhood.

Funny thing. Fannie, Freddie and the CMA worked beautifully for decades.

So the righties continues their search. They had to find some excuse to absolve their Wall Street buddies from committing the crime of the ages. (I refer to these Wall Street hoods who scammed the nation and most of the industrialized world as jailbirds not because they ever served even a nanosecond behind bars where they truly belong. But because they escaped jail time only due to the vast amounts of protection money they lavish upon Congress and the White House. And of course that scratch buys them legislation that not only keeps them out of jail. It gets them bailed out with taxpayer money. That “get out of jail card free” card serves both purposes and they carry it in their wallets for future use).

Here’s what really happened. Mortgage originators issued paper to anyone and everyone. Didn’t matter. All they wanted was to collect the fees and commissions. They then sold off the mortgages, which collectively, amounted to many millions of pieces of paper and trillions of dollars in borrowed money.

Now the mortgages that were sold were low interest, short term agreements known as Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Typically, rates and therefore payments balloon in a few years.

Not to worry though. And this is the beauty of the scam When the ARM matures, the mark returns to the issuer to refinance the mortgage. Same low ARM and payment. But this time the house has appreciated in value, as we know all property does, so the mark is now richer and the refi is a breeze. The issuer collects more fees and commissions and sells the junk once again to an investor.

The statement “here’s your check. Go pick out a house and call me in the morning” wasn’t too far from the reality.

The Wall Street jailbirds then packaged the mortgages into securitized bundles (secured by the houses the money bought), sold the bundles and called them Collateralized Debt Obligations.

American International Group

The huge insurance company must share the blame for the meltdown. Image via Wikipedia

However, the jailbirds, also known as investment bankers, went one step further. They insured all the junk mortgages they did not sell and called the insurance policies Credit Default Swaps. Goldman Sachs insured its CDOs with AIG, a huge CDS policy issuer.

AIG quickly went bankrupt when this bank created housing bubble burst and couldn’t payoff on the insurance policies it issued. Not to worry boys and girls. The government, courtesy of the taxpayer, shoveled some more cash, this time in AIG’s direction and soon the insurance company was able to make good on its debts and paid up what it owed Goldman Sachs (and many other companies). In effect the government rescued Goldman a second time from even greater losses.

The AIG default was partly due to inadequate reserves it was no longer required tokeep on hand because the deregulated market place allowed all rules to lapse.

Here’s some of the trash that the Wall Street jailbirds left behind for the taxpayer to clean up after. Gone are Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Sterns, Washington Mutual, Countrywide Financial and a whole host of other less notables. And let’s not forget the toxic assets gobbled up by the trillions by the Federal Reserve Bank, the layoffs, the destroyed pensions, the unemployment crisis and the entire world deficit problem.

Oh, just one more thing, the huge executive bonuses the Wall Street jailbirds continue to pay themselves are nicely kept in tact.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the righties still blame the victim for the crime.

http://goanimate.com/player/embed/03IWj3SNhdtg

November 13, 2011

Committee Announces MVP Award

Pasta Fagiola, Italy

The Nobella Prize Committee announced the latest winners of its MVP award.

Glossy color postcard of Wall Street, New York...

Nice old timey picture of the Street where crime is rampant. But not street crime. White collar crime. Image via Wikipedia

The Committee gave its Most Valuable Putz prize to honor Wall Street bankers and investors who scammed millions of Americans by scarfing up untold numbers of subprime mortgages and then bundling them in to bonds called Collateralized Debt Obligations. In a twist of pure financial genius these bankers then sold the worthless bonds to unsuspecting investors many of whom were local school boards and county and state governments who bought into the scam.

The investors lost billions of dollars, destroying numerous pension funds in the process. However, the banking firms earned record profits while managing to wrest trillions of dollars in welfare payments from the taxpayer and the Fed.

The bankers of course contributed millions of dollars in protection money to the DC government and sure got their money’s worth in the deal.

A slight hitch occurred when the real estate bubble caused by these unsavory practices burst. Nevertheless the bankers made out like bandits. And nobody cares about pensions for a bunch of working slobs anymore anyway.

Congrats Wall Street bankers. You have earned your Putzie.

Winners of the MVP award receive a statuette named the PUBAR engraved with the words “Putzed up beyond all reason.” Known as the Putzie the statuette is made of rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard. The Putzie is given while supplies last and unfortunately for the current winners supplies just ran out.

November 6, 2011

Globalization – A Horror Story

The minimum wage in Indonesia is one dollar a day, about one half of what is estimated to be a living wage.

In some areas of China and in other Asian countries the wage is even less.

The program linked below is about an hour long and you don’t have time for it. And either does anyone else. But – is it even remotely possible that children in the United States, perhaps your own or your grandchildren, will live like those depicted in the documentary?  It’s not a pretty picture or a comforting thought.  Don’t be too sure it won’t happen here.  Wall Street investors would love it.

Picture showing dramatic improvement in living conditions in China.

A committee of Wall Street executives traveling in China today praised the improvements in wages and living conditions for the teenage labor force in Asia.

Asian wage slaves typically are young teens who can labor for long hours and receive wages of as much as twenty-five cents an hour.  Considering that these teens often work twelve hours a day the salary they receive often reaches three dollars daily and by working seven days they earn as much as twenty-one dollars a week.  These circumstances are rare but not unknown.  The usual wage is about a dollar a day in most countries.

During the Christmas rush when orders are at their height the teens are permitted to work two to three hours extra per day thereby increasing their daily wage by fifty to seventy five cents.

The Wall Street executives predicted a bright future for these hard working young men and women.

The teens live in company barracks that are protected by ten-foot chain link fences topped with strands of barbed wire.  The gates are always locked and guarded to add further protection for the young workers. Because of the vital role these teens play in the global economy, illness is not permitted.  The Wall Street visitors were impressed by the responsibility the young work force showed for its duties exhibited by the fact that no one ever gets sick.

The company charges a modest rental fee of fourteen dollars a week to live in the barracks.  The wage slaves however live in relative comfort in a friendly atmosphere with twelve teens to a room.  The company provides at no extra charge a mat for the teens to sleep on, a well pump in the rear of the barracks to provide water for all to share and has added several additional outhouses to care for personal needs.

The teens are fed two bowls of rice a day.  The amount of rice was recently increased from four to five ounces per bowl.  On Sundays the rice is now cooked in chicken broth to add extra nourishment and working hours have been strictly limited to twelve even during the busy Christmas season.  The teens are also given two cups of tea per day.

The cost for each bowl of rice is twenty five cents.  The company now provides the tea free of charge as a benefit which it is able to deduct from its taxes.  At the end of an eighty four hour week each teen receives a net pay of three dollars.

The company generously offers a savings plan to the teens also without charge.  Teens are required to participate in the plan.  The minimum deposit is three dollars or the entire amount of the weekly pay which ever is greater.

Wall Street executives praised the living conditions under which the young teens lived and are eager to remind Americans who buy products made in Asia that they are helping to support millions of hardworking young men and women throughout that rapidly developing region.

File:Dharavi slum, Mumbai, India - 20081220.jpg

Committee of executives impressed by improvements in living conditions throughout Asia.

(Photos by Patrickshichuan and erin from Evanston).

November 2, 2011

Nobella Committee Awards Putz Prize

Committee Gives Award in Obfuscation to Rick Perry.

Perry hits a ten on the Rickster Scale.

Perry hits a ten on the Rickster Scale.

The Nobella Prize Committee announced a few moments ago that Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has won the Putz Prize in Obfuscation.

The governor won for his impression of Archie Bunker during a statement he made on Beat the Press regarding Social Security.

The governor has referred to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme and recommended the fund be profitized and the payroll tax turned over to Wall Street con men.

On Beat the Press however, Perry gave his clearest explanation thus far regarding his plans for Social Security which loosely translated into Italian means “private accounts or whatever.”

The Committee interviewed citizens of the US randomly and asked them to give their opinion of Perry’s most recent idea.. A resident of Queens, Mrs. Edith Bunker, commented that “whatever” has been her husband’s plan for just about everything ever since she married him.

Oh, wait til I tell Archie that Rick Perry is using his idea for Social Security.”

When hearing of the award, Perry is reported to have said: “I never obfuscated in my life. I’m a happily married man.

Social Security Poster: old man

Wait til Rick Perry gets hold of your SS money. He'll give it to Wall Street and you are gonna get rich - after fees of course. Image via Wikipedia

The Putz Prize consists of a statuette sculpted from rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard. The statuette, known the world over as the Putzie, is given to winners while supplies last. Unfortunately for Governor Perry supplies just ran out.

October 30, 2011

Nobella Committee Awards Prize

The Nobella Prize Committee Announces Winner in Duplicity Category.  Recipient Said to be Elated.

The Nobella Prize Committee today awarded the Schmuckup Prize in Duplicity to former US Speaker of the House and current GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  According to the committee, the former speaker has not only shown an extraordinary capacity for fornication; he also excels at prevarication.

Gingrich's official portrait as Speaker

Latest winner of the Schmuckup Prize, Newton Leroy Gingrich. Image via Wikipedia

Yes, indeed he’s an expert. One momentous example should suffice to expose Newton Leroy’s expertise in the Duplicity category. As a representative from Georgia, the Newtster voted numerous times for huge defense outlays that expanded the Federal deficit while presently decrying the deficit to which he and his Republican party cohorts were humongous contributors.

The committee decided to point out a second reason for awarding Newton Leroy the prize for Duplicity. It was just too juicy a tale to pass up.

File:Schweif eines Friesen.JPG.

Newt Gingrich is considered a “dark horse” candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. The photo is of an actual dark horse not to be confused with the former Speaker. (Photo courtesy of 4028mdk09).*


As Speaker of the House the portly pol giddily supported the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for his indiscretions while as speaker he remained quietly in the background during the proceedings. Largely due to his own blazing marital offenses and after his transgression were exposed, his in flagrante delicto behavior became scandal sheet headlines.  Being caught with his own pants down forced the Newster to keep his mighty mouth shut, a painful condition for this tongued gusher.  Under the circumstances the spicy speaker had little choice but to curl up in a corner with a blanket over his head during the entire impeachment debacle. He nevertheless secretly cheered his holier than thou GOP prosecutors on and on.  That kind on behavior, the committed noted, is Duplicity beyond the pale and another excellent reason for Newton Leroy being awarded the prize.


The Schmuckup Prize consists of a statuette called the Little Schmuckie. It is made of rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard and is awarded while supplies last. Unfortunately for Newt Gingrich supplies just ran out.

Don Alfredo Vito Nobella established the Schmuckup Prize to recognize the achievements of liars, cheaters, crooks and thieves in the fields of finance, insurance and government. Over the years hundreds of thousands of members in these fields have been presented as nominees. The committee noted that tens of thousands in Washington, DC and on Wall Street qualified in 2010 alone.

Don Nobella wished to share with miscreants throughout the world some of the notoriety he earned in his insurance business. The Don still holds the record as the world’s best insurance salesmen. It was said of the Don he could close a sale with a simple knock on the door. The Don’s motto became famous across the length and breadth of Sicily: “You buy or you’re never heard from again.”

*As always, click the photo for link.

October 28, 2011

Libertarian Ideas: The Phony Philosophy

The 1% would never permit truly limited government or a free market to exist.  It would mean the elimination of NAFTA, CAFTA and all the other trade agreements as well as the downsizing of the War Entitlement Complex.  Wall Street would have a collective fainting spell.

Carlos Salinas (left), George H.W. Bush and Br...

Prusumably under a Libertarian system trade agreements such as NAFTA would not exist. A so called "free" trade agreement is signed into law. Image via Wikipedia

Because there would be far fewer laws, such as those that offer patent and copyright protection, judicial protection would be minimized.  The judiciary itself would shrink.

 Transportation would suffer as rail and air facilities became “free market enterprises.”

Police and fire protection would be profitized and would be available only to those who could afford to pay for it.  Education would be profitized and “free market” corporations would be free to educate their own workforces.

Oh, wait.  You mean libertarians would retain all of the above government benefits –those  that protect the !% and permit the !% to achieve that status in the first place?

Could it be that the only government regulations libertarians would eliminate are those that protect the 99%?

Perhaps we could summarize the regulations libertarians would apply to the 99% in a very short statement:  “Shut up and keep working, fella.”  Now wouldn’t that make Wall Street happy.  Think the powers that be would never let it come to that?  Think Asia.

Outcome of union elections based on threats to...

A lot of the factories moved anyway and more are going. Image via Wikipedia

October 26, 2011

Are You Rich Yet?

Ronald Reagan brought you supply side economics.  Are you rich yet?

Bill Clinton reformed welfare.  Are you rich yet?

George Bush gave you two tax cuts.  Are you rich yet?

Alan Greenspan lowered the prime interest rate to near zero.  Are you rich yet?

Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Gr...

After committing one of the most monumental screwups in world history, the Maestro is awarded a thingy by George Bush who hasn't yet received his thingy for all of his screwups. Image via Wikipedia*

Barack Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.  Are you rich yet?

Ben Bernanke purchased trillions of dollars of worthless CDOs from Wall Street banks.  Are you rich yet?

Official portrait of Federal Reserve Chairman ...

Nice beard. Oh, yeah right. He's that Fed Chairman guy.

Obama gave you a payroll tax cut.  Are you rich yet?

Obama saved Wall Street for the sake of Main Street.  Are you rich yet?

All of the above actions enriched the richest 1% and saved them trillions of dollars in bank assets.  Are you rich yet?

Wall Street outlaws pay millions of dollars in protection money to the mobsters in DC we euphemistically refer to as Congress. And there’s a lot more scratch where that came from so long as the mobsters continue to play ball. There’s no indication the crooked game will ever end.

Alan Greenspan – Ayn Rand cultist, compulsive deregulationist and everybody’s favorite candidate for the mangled English prize –  committed a spectacularly monumental blunder by failing to recognize a housing bubble almost as big as his nose, until the damn thing burst in his face.  President Bush is seen awarding Alan the Baronial Medal of Stupidity, I mean the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  You actually get an award for being one of the central characters that caused the collapse of the global economy.*

*(Alan Greenspan was also honored with the Schmuckup Prize in Economics awarded by the Nobella Prize Committee in September 2009.

The Committee, whose hideout is located in Pasta Fagioli, a village nestled deep in the Italian Alps, grants awards from time to time to deserving individuals in the arts, sciences and government or just about anything else whenever it feels like it.

The Schmuckup Prize consists of a statuette known as the Little Schmuckie and is made of rusted metal stolen from an auto junk yard.  The Little Schmuckie is given to winners of the award while supplies last.  Unfortunately for Alan supplies ran out the day he was awarded the prize.

Alan has also been nominated for Shit Eatingest Grin of the Decade.  We stand breathless awaiting the committees decision on the winner).

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