Thursday, January 29, 2009

150% investment return still isn't good enough for Congressional Replublicans--I'll take it!

I have a thought experiment for you. Better yet, let's call it an investment game.

I offer you a chance to make an investment. Say I provide you good, strong figures from a reputable expert on the investment that says for every $1 you invest, you will get $2.50 in return.

Simply put: If I offered you an investment opportunity where you could make 150% return and you trusted a third-party expert who said as much, would you take the bet?

Would you?

I know I would.

If you make 10% return on a typical investment that's pretty good in this climate, but 150%?

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?

Well, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that for every $1 invested in stimulating the economy, the return will be $2.50 to the economy as a whole.

What I don't get is this: The CBO is non-partisan and has the resources to make this determination. In fact, they are legally obligated to tell the truth based on their best evidence.

With that being said, why is it that Republicans ignore such good investment advice by voting against the economic stimulus?

Maybe they're stuck in the same stupidity loop that got us into this mess in the first place. There's medication for those who continue to believe things contrary to reality; it's called Thorizine. A good dose of therapy couldn't hurt either--let's call it minority status.

If the economy doesn't improve in the next two years, I'll eat my words. I'll own up to being wrong, but until then, more of the same won't get us out of this mess.

Bank of America truly out of touch. Unwilling to share America's economic pain.

What a stunning display of "being out of touch".

Bank of America is worried that its failure to pay out about $50 billion in bonuses to top employees will cause many of them to leave the company.

Reportedly, the Bank worries that executives have "built a lifestyle" around the expected bonus and failing to deliver will cause dramatic harm to their lives.

Remember, that Bank of America received TARP money that the U.S. taxpayer must underwrite thanks to the Bush administration.

This should piss everyone off.

Here's my solution: Let the executives get mad and leave. Let's see them find other jobs in this economy. They'll feel the pains of fewer prospects that many others now feel.

Also, if these executives are so profligate in their spending that they cannot make it without excessive bonuses, then maybe they're living beyond their means. Not really a good sign for bankers.

Banks need to share some of the pain.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Congressional Republicans are fighting against job creation! Are you kidding me?!

Everyone has first hand experience with the economic downturn. Either by losing a job or knowing someone who has.

I bring this up to draw attention to the Congressional Republicans. These bozos are doing everything to stop a stimulus package (that contains no earmarks mind you) that directly affects an industry employing over 5 million people. This is 5 million jobs!

This particular industry is unduly sensitive to downturns in the economy because people stop buying this industry's products when money is tight.

The stimulus package has allocated $50 million for this industry. The industry has an efficient and well-designed system for moving that money into the hands of its primary producers.

The problem: The Republicans are calling it pork and want to stop it. In it's place they want more tax cuts--that haven't worked thus far--but that disproportionately benefit those with jobs and money, viz., the wealthy.

What industry am I speaking of? The Arts.

$50 million would directly impact an industry in a transparent way (the NEA is open and public with its grant awards, unlike private corporations...) creating jobs that would that redound to the benefit of society, while creating even more jobs.

Fund the Arts and create jobs--it's simple.

GOP still using the tax cut snake oil.

This op-ed sums up my general feeling about the GOP.

John Boehner, in a stunning display of switcheroo, came on television and said the bailout is borrowing from our children and grandchildren.


This is the same thing Democrats have said about Bush's policies for years--policies Boehner happily supported when it helped his wealthy constituents.

The GOP touts tax cuts as the solution to everything. In days of yore, Snake Oil salesmen claimed their remedies would take care of everything too.

The problem with tax cuts is that people actually need taxable income in order to benefit from tax cuts.

The U.S. is shedding jobs so fast that the revenue stream from taxes is drying up faster than any tax cut would offset as a benefit.

The GOP needs to new religion other than tax cuts. It hasn't worked and it won't work while Americans have no jobs to make income.

Tax cuts haven't spurred economic growth. So where does that leave us?

Stimulus. But this time, the stimulus should be spent at the lower end of the economic spectrum rather than at the top where the wealthy get their share first.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Racist groups make racism more palatable by using innocuous names. Trouble.

I came across this hate group website and thought it important to point out one simple thing common to bigots and morons.

They engage in conflation so as to gain the benefits of ticking people off while denying what they're doing. Bunch of pussies if you ask me.

Specifically, this group calls itself the innocuous sounding Council of Conservative Citizens. The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps tabs on them, especially since Obama was elected.

Sounds benign until you read their racist bullshit. They're entitled to their opinion, but there's no escaping the racist aspects of their views. It's even worse if you go to their state Chapters, viz., Alabama.

Their view is that all problems stem from Marxists, Left-wing, elitist (read: educated) whites and the non-whites who support them.

Despite the obvious conflation of Communism with Liberalism (They're not the same unless you're trying to deceive people..), these bozos, do everything but wear white robes and salute Hitler.

Everything but open association with traditional racist groups is what distinguishes these groups. By a process of gradual habituation, they make racism more palatable.

If that weren't the case, then they'd have the balls to be honest with their name and their agenda.

Haggard's Church is part of the problem.

When stories like this occur, I scratch my head at the utter hypocrisy of those who preach morality while wearing the cloth of religious faith.

I have no truck with relations between consenting adults.

When one of those adults profits, both financially and in public esteem, by pointing fingers at the failings of others--failings he suffers from himself, then I draw the line.

It's fine to speak of forgiveness. It takes a big person to ask for it. It takes a truly contrite person to deserve it. It takes an even bigger person to give forgiveness. But only a fool forgives when contrition is only a means to an end.

Mr. Haggard's church bought into the whole forgiveness doctrine with him. They crossed the line of integrity when they paid hush money to a young man exploited through Haggard's authority.

This situation speaks volumes about how far off the path of righteousness some travel--in the name of maintaining a religious organization.

I don't go to church because of this sort of garbage. Many people avoid church for similar reasons--they can't get passed to elevation of the organization over the faith itself. Churches historically place institutional survival over individuals; they also subordinate the doctrine they peddle to the immediate needs of the institution.

New Hope is no different. It's the perennial failing of churches.

Now I ask you: Does it serve the faith when, through hypocrisy and condonation of it, a church maintains itself at the expense of driving so many others away from faith?

Uh, oh! Dirty magazines culpable in prostate cancer.

I read this study and the only thing I could say to myself was:

"Oh crap!"

There isn't a guy out there who can ignore the findings of this study.