We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, March 15. 2008
Lying Hillary: Sullivan calls her a sociopath. Bill's ex-counsel calls her "misleading." No compunctions when it comes to getting cash. Her total BS about Northern Ireland. It's no wonder even her supporters question her integrity.
What is Bobby Jindal up to in NO? Good stuff. If this lad keeps his nose clean, he will go places.
Insty's new office. Nice. I guess he really does have a day job.
"Stupid Black Men - How to Play the Race Card, and Lose" a book by Larry Elders
The Dem current Social Security plan, and why Bill Clinton opposed it
We caught another bad guy. Where should these guys be stored, if not at the Guantanamo Resort? Is Australia still a penal colony?
Rescuing Bear Stearns. Looks like Morgan could end up owning them. With a little more consolidation of financial services, these guys will have no-one to trade with. After all, your Credit Desk makes nothing selling stuff to your own Distressed Desk - and that is the direction in which things are going. I am considering creating my own Distressed Credits Fund. Who is on board with me? Raise 300 million, buy up credits now, and sell it all off in about two years - then retire to full-time blogging and pursuing social justice - plus huntin and fishin. But I somehow doubt I could get the banks to extend me credit for the 30:1 leverage I want to do this right.
Rev. Wright: "The government lied about the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." Sheesh, what an idiot: Everybody knows that Cheney created AIDS to kill the gays, and that Cheney made Katrina to kill the blacks. (Got to keep your facts straight.) More Wright quotes etc at Gateway, including a UCC defense of the fellow.
More at Theo's place.
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OBAMA'S MINISTER OF HATE
March 14, 2008 -- Which of these outrageous positions of his pastor and longtime spiritual advisor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, does Barack Obama endorse?
That African-Americans should not say "God Bless America," but rather "God damn America" for "killing innocent people"?
That 9/11 was a case of "America's chickens coming home to roost"?
That Zionism has an element of "white racism"?
The one implied by his decision to make a pilgrimage to Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy with Louis Farrakhan - a man Wright's church has hailed for having "truly epitomized greatness"?
These are not idle questions. And certainly not unfair ones
This guy is no christian. Sounds like a Muslim to me, where are all those disgruntled postal workers when you need them.
Young, liberal, secular, mixed race kid raised by white folks graduates from Ivy League school and settles into the south side of Chicago as a community "activist". In order to enhance street cred as a "real" black, he joins a Afro-centric church pastored by a Farrakhan wannabe. No problem here because it serves the young "black" man's ambitions. It still serves him when he runs for the state senate out of a predominately black district. Only now, when the the young liberal's long time association with a black extremist is exposed to the country at large does he place a small amount of distance between him and his spiritual advisor. Now he denounces the "completely unacceptable and inexcusable" remarks. Well I got news for the young savior, he can now write off the support of most traditional Reagan Democrats. We've had the views of Jesse, Al et al. thrown in our faces for God knows how long, and this kind of crap handed out by the Rev. Jeremiah isn't going to cut it with the union crowd. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to the wine and cheese folks however.
Obama Describes Developer Deal as a Mistake
By JEFF ZELENY
WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama said Friday that he had made repeated lapses of judgment in dealing with an indicted Chicago real estate developer, Antoin Rezko, and acknowledged that Mr. Rezko had raised more money for his political campaigns than he had previously disclosed.
The First Rule of Obama
"If it offends you, I condemn it
"All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn." --Barack Obama
This seems to be the General Rule of Obama --if it's going to damage him, he condemns it! And rejects and denounces. Vehemently! The Rule would seem to apply to all past and future controversial statements-- his campaign could get that sentence printed up on little laminated cards and hand them out to reporters, or include them after the statements of all Obama surrogates, like those fine-print 'void where prohibited waivers . "Condemned if controversial."
And they would have been had the sequencing of today not begun with a poem but with an area to discuss the events of the nation and world.
With no indication as to when that venue might appear, one is left with doing nothing or contribute. Given that I chose to contribute and it it was the only place to do so.
I assure you had the sequence been reversed I would have not commented under the TS.
One goes to battle with the army they have. One contributes in the available area. I did comment each time on the poem, doesn't that count?
RE:"One goes to battle with the army they have. One contributes in the available area. I did comment each time on the poem, doesn't that count?"
Imo, it does not count for much. Habu, I do have a small criticism. Hope you do not mind. MF is not the enemy. MF is our host. One should not eat and drink their fill at anothers table and then pee on their carpet just because it does not exactly suit ones style.
Duly noted and immediately discarded. I contribute ten times the information you impart, most of it valuable as opposed to trivial badinage so often seen so I suggest you simply NOT READ my postings and go forth to those you like.
"Hope you do not mind. MF is not the enemy. MF is our host. One should not eat and drink their fill at anothers table and then pee on their carpet just because it does not exactly suit ones style."
"Hope you do not mind" .......... Patina , how could one possible take any offense at a characterization of their behavior when put in such warm terms such as "peeing on the floor"
I believe my response to BD was perfectly in order. You post a poem to languish uncommented on for God knows how long and then it may draw 3 responses all day ...sorry but he has his timetable and I have mine.
At any time if they want me off this site all they have to do is say the word. Then they can rely on your dazzling input to power the engine.
One final thought.."MF is not the enemy. MF is our host."
First when did I ever characterize MF as my enemy and more importantly where I come from when you are the host you go out of your way to provide your guests with the best you can provide. You seem to believe that being a guest places one in a subservient attitude. That might be true where you come from but it seems most strange to have a vendor open their doors and then whip the customers.
man, you really scorched her
yeah, cherchez la femme
Whoa. Scuse my clumsy metaphor. Not challenging your status as a big dog here Habu. Thought you were really asking a question. I like Saturdays verse and am ticked you brought Obamas preacher to the poetry thread.
One must learn certain things the hard way. I have been a wee bit slow on the Maggies Farm uptake. I have ventured into a venue that was more than likely a tranquil setting where light comments were exchanged and the MF staff could do their wonderful jobs of eclectic posts.
Then something ominous happened. A Habu showed up, roiling the tranquility, despoiling the harmony and in general creating a heretofore alien atmosphere. I should have been a bit keener on picking up on that. Sometimes we're all a bit slow.
Maggies Farm is a unique place, but I've noticed a marked muting of the crowd. I need to evaluate my input time, because I am getting the distinct feeling that I am not adding any oxygen to the atmosphere but rather sucking it all up. Truly not my intention. Not to mention peeing on the floor.
Please forgive pee on the carpet metaphor Habu. It was crass. Hope you do not hold a grudge. Eclectically speaking, was inspired some by Retriever and MF, and have been spending spare time taking pictures. Mostly ducks and geese.) Have uploaded a few. Have a look here.
I think I remember a different characterization of 'bully' applied a few days ago... how fitting it was.
Luther, good to see you using on of Teddy Roosevelt's favorite sayings...bully.
And by gosh bully good I say and I thank you for your endorsement.
Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt
Author: Jean Fritz
Jean Fritz's sophisticated style of communicating allows readers to capture the energy, drive, and achievements of our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. The award-winning author conveys biographical information with inspiring detail, humor and historical accuracy.
The first chapter ends with the death of Roosevelt's father while Roosevelt was attending Harvard, and Fritz writes, "In his distress, Teddy may have felt that . . . his boyhood was gone. And . . . his father would always be looking over his shoulder." Fritz also reveals Roosevelt as a staunch reformer and an environmentalist, who had an innate love for natural history. Readers even see the young Teddy diligently recording animals' measurements, and follow him as he learns taxidermy just a few years later. A vibrant man with an incredible work ethic, Roosevelt's conservation work, hunting expeditions, family life, and political career are all well chronicled in this book.
About the Author
Award-winning Jean Fritz is undeniably a master of her craft. She brings to life historical figures and makes their biographies entertaining, informative, and filled with natural child appeal.
Race and the Democrats ....Victor Davis Hanson
The problems with Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama are fivefold. They won’t go away, but they will raise dilemmas for him that have no analogy, no parallel with other religious leaders of dubious past declamations who have supported the other candidates:
1) The Obamas were not merely endorsed by, or attended the church of, Rev. Wright, but subsidized his hatred with generous donations, were married by him, and had their children baptized by this venomous preacher; there is nothing quite comparable in the case of Sens. Clinton and McCain.
2) Rev. Wright’s invective is not insensitive or hyperbolic alone, but in the end disgusting. And when listened to rather than read, the level of emotion and fury only compound the racism and hatred, whether in its attack on the Clintons, or profanity-laced slander of the United States and its history, or in gratuitous references to other races. Its reactionary Afrocentrism, conspiracy-theory, and illiberal racial separatism take us back to the 1970s, and compare with the worst of the fossilized Farrakhan—and have no remote parallel in the present campaign.
3) Sen. Obama has proclaimed a new politics of hope and change that were supposedly to transcend such venom and character assassination of the past. Thus besides being politically dense, he suffers—unless he preempts and explains in detail his Byzantine relationship with the Reverend—the additional charge of hypocrisy in courting such a merchant of hate. And then he compounds the disaster by the old-fashion politics of contortion and excuse by suggesting the Rev. Wright is not that controversial, or is analogous to the occasional embarrassing outburst of an uncle—some uncle.
4) There is a growing sense of betrayal among some of his supporters. Sen. Obama promised to transcend race; millions of sincere people of both parties took him at his word and invested psychologically and materially in his candidacy. Part of his message was that collectively America had made great progress, and their Ivy League and subsequent careers, in addition to his rhetoric of inclusiveness and tolerance, bore witness to that progress in racial equality. Now we learn, that for much of his career, he was not only attending hate-filled sermons against “rich white people” and the “g-d d——d America” (in hopes of solidifying his racial fides in regional Chicago politics?), but subsidized that ministry of intolerance. So while he promised an evolution beyond the race-identity politics of Jesse Jackson or the Rev. Sharpton, his own minister trumped anything that either one of those preachers might have sermonized. All in all—a betrayal.
5) The timing is especially troubling. In delegate mathematics, Obama seems to have the nomination; but this scandal—and it is a scandal despite the best efforts of sympathetic journalists to downplay it—will only cause worry for the super delegates, who now must either nominate a candidate (no doubt the vast right-wing conspiracy is examining the multivolume DVDs of Rev. Wright’s collective corpus of hatred) who will bleed all spring and summer, or “steal” the nomination from the “people” and “hand it over” to Hillary.
So now in place of a critical discussion of issues from taxes to the war, welcome to the Politics of Change.
There is one phrase that's beginning to play very thin with me.
It usually follows some wayward comment that Obamas side immediately picks up on and runs around the pool yelling, "They're injecting racism into the campaign".
Lets get something abundantly clear. Obama sought out his blackness from the mulatto he is. He turned his back on the white family that gave him every break in favor of becoming more "Black" This is all by his own admission.
So the truth of the matter is, is that when he put his black ass into the running for president he immediately injected race into the contest. Then he tried to play the innocent politician , above the slime pit of politics only to be uncovered by the Rezko connection and far worse the "Affirmation of a Dope" in the person of the totally racist Jeremiah Wright, his spiritual leader, his joiner of souls, his hater of America.
This association is an affirmation of what Wright spews forth from his political pulpit ... hate WHITE AMERICA, hate WHITE AMERICA....
Well I'm more than a bit tired of the past fifty years of giving the niggers of the world every right of way from hiring preferences , to educational deferrals, to the constant money pit of welfare without an ounce of productivity in return.
Thomas Sowell points out in his book, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" that slavery has been a fixture in world history since the beginning of time. It is not even arguable that every race at one time or another has been enslaved by another. It was, after all, African tribesmen who sold their brothers and sister blacks into slavery. There's not a N-person in this country today who is the property of another person, black or white. Like I said it's getting thin.
So now we're learning about the unctuous Obama, slicker than Slick Willie. We're learning from his wife the hatred she harbors, THE HATRED, for this country, and ..unless they have a less dysfunctional a marriage than the Clintons then she and Jeremiah Wright MUST have some influence over boy Barack.
Barack, just get out of town. Go to Liberian and help them out cause the WHITE in me is not tolerant enough to be lectured by the likes of you or your coterie of sycophants. From what I have seen from the beginning you can teach me nothing of coming together, and now my doubts are being confirmed. Just go away.
Why your food is costing more money
Wheat, corn, and soybean prices are surging; is ethanol to blame ?
At the Annual Meat Conference this week, a gathering of retail meat industry, economist Tom Elam reported his estimate that the ethanol mandate would result this year in each chicken raised by an American farmer costing 53 cents more to raise than it would have cost without the mandate. As for turkeys, well, it'll cost the farmer $3.40 more to raise each one.
As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explained to the Senate Banking Committee last month, “a significant portion of the corn crop is being diverted to ethanol, which raises corn prices.”
I must admit to my surprise that Rufus didn't jump on the Meat Industries obvious collusion with big oil to spoil his ethanol crusade. It must have slipped by him.
Rufus if you're not careful you'll lose in the first round of the Baghdad Bob competition for propagandist nonpareil.
March 8, 2008
Meltdown Looms Larger as Credit Markets Freeze
By MIKE WHITNEY
"It's another round of the credit crisis. Some markets are getting worse than January this time. There is fear that something dramatic will happen and that fear is feeding itself," Jesper Fischer-Nielsen, interest rate strategist at Danske Bank, Copenhagen; Reuters
Yesterday's action by the Federal Reserve proves that the banking system is insolvent (March 8, 2008, it's only gotten worse since). It also shows that the Fed is willing to intervene directly in the stock market if it keeps equities propped up. This is clearly a violation of its mandate and runs contrary to the basic tenets of a free market. Investors who shorted the market yesterday, got clobbered by the not so invisible hand of the Fed chief.
Senator Obama has stated on FOX news that he was not present during the hateful speech given by his preacher. Don't they make the weekly sermons available on DVD for sale to the public? I am not a betting man, but I would think that this is not the first time that hate speech has spewed from that pulpit. We should be able to see the senator walking out on a regular basis.
It is inconceivable to me and many many other that Obama was unaware of the vitriolic speeches being spewed forth by his personal mentor. It is, as you know, not necessary to attend an even t to learn of it's essential nature. A man as smart as Obama knew what was going on. His sub rosa campaign is now over and he'll be in the spotlight from now on. Every day of his life will be examined, and with cause.
What we have uncovered recently is just the beginning. He's not the "healer" he's a heel.
I sure hope everything comes out. I am middle aged and during my life there have been elections where people I did not agree with were elected, but this man honestly scares me. How could we elect someone with so much contempt for his own country.
I wish I had an answer for how Obama got this far without anyone vetting him more closely.
I do believe this exposure will take the smirk off his face and jolt enough of the eyes glazed over population to see him for what he is..If that happens he's a cooked goose, Hillary will win the nomination and MCCain the general election. If it turns out differently we're in for an interesting ride.
Additionally we got a powerful indication that my prediction of the US bombing Iranian's nuclear facilities after the elections going to fruition. Adm Fallon was in essence fired for undermining the Presidents stated policy of having all options on the table. But W will not rely on another President to destroy the centrifuges that are working toward producing nuclear weapons grade material right now. He'll bomb.
So it looks like we have a pretty full plate for the next year or at least until January 20th 2009.
Believe me I'm not looking forward to hard times but they do show up and there's little we can do but prepare as best we can for them.
Best of luck.
Financial Times of London
IMF tells states to plan for the worst
By Krishna Guha in Washington
Published: March 13 2008 02:00
Governments might have to intervene with taxpayers' money to shore up the financial system and prevent a "downward credit spiral" from taking hold, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.
John Lipsky, the IMF's first deputy managing director, said: "We must keep all options on the table, including the potential use of public funds to safeguard the financial system."
The statement by the senior IMF official marks the second radical policy intervention from the IMF this year. It had previously called on governments to consider using fiscal policy to offset the impact of the credit crisis on growth.
Mr Lipsky said: "I fully recognise an appropriate role for public sector intervention after market solutions have been exhausted."
He urged policymakers to "think the unthinkable" and prepare now for what they would do if the worst case scenarios materialised and "low probability but high impact events" threatened to jeopardise global financial stability
Paul Brodsky & Lee Quaintance, who run a hedge fund called QB Partners, are astute investors (aka fully conscious of risk without being paralyzed by it). A recent dispatch from them is titled "It's a dollar bubble -- not a commodity bubble."
Paul and Lee's firm belief is that commodity prices, despite their recent sprints, still have a long way to run. To wit: Thanks to the determined debasement of our currency "it will take many more dollars and credit than it does today to purchase a real asset because the global purchasing power of each U.S. dollar is declining at a rapid rate and will continue to do so."
They do not, lest you're ready to leap to the logical conclusion, assume a sharp and quick increase in demand. Rather, they anticipate that "global demand for wheat, energy and base metals will remain relatively constant, even if prolonged recession hits the developed economies." And, they confidently predict that "We're going to see numbers (commodity prices in U.S. dollars) that the world hasn't seen before."
As a nation, Lee and Paul reflect, the U.S. is burdened by a monstrous mountain of "paper claims priced from extraordinary high rates of past consumption." To pay off those claims, we're counting on future wage and asset gains and the Fed, almost reflexively, is doing its part by steadily providing us with fresh infusions of money and credit.
As it happens, the money and credit the Fed is destined to continue to create is "the currency with which commodities are traded globally." So, the QB duo contends, "the nominal prices of those commodities must continue rising" because the currency will continue to be diluted.
The bet on crude at $105 (or $85 or $125) or gold at $1,000 (or $850 or $1,500), they aver, is "a bet on a relatively stable supply/demand equilibrium and an inflated (and inflating) money supply. No more, no less."
The risk to their analysis, as they see it, is twofold: a severe drop in global demand big enough to overwhelm "a 15%-plus rise in annual global fiat currency creation" or destruction of global money and credit at a faster rate than central banks can create it.
*They plainly like the odds against either eventuality*. And not the least of the reasons they do is the incredible vigor with which "Ben Bernanke and his foreign central bank colleagues are dropping currencies from a fleet of helicopters 24/7."
It sounds like they recommend being long commodities. The question is how does one play this from an investment perspective if one agrees with the view (obviously, based upon one's own diligence). Any ideas?
Barrett, it's tough to recommend gold @ 1K or oil @ 110 but that's where the logic of the article leads. The big ETFs are a great way to play 'em from a variety of angles. This coming week is going to be whitwater rapids in a spring melt, tho -- for example, depending on the mood, the financials are so beat down we may a bottom -- in which case something like XLF which looks like dirt today might melt up while all those hot commod ETFs if you buy Monday may end up having been the top.
It's really, really hard to predict -- i can't even begin to do it. For example, there's a chance the Europeans will cut interest rates in order to hold the Dollar while Fed cuts rates deeply. In that case, the hot commods could whoosh down 5% in a heartbeat.
A pore old meat puppet trying to get ahead of the quant programs is useless, so you really have to be in position before these big turns. A big turn is likely upon us -- but which direction?
Best advice--get into the weak-dollar play (commodities), but slow and easy and on weakness if you can. And be ready to execute quickly on a little of that XLF if the coming rate cut has any more than one-day legs. sorry so much mush but it reflects my best thinking--
As you can see from this mornings output I have a keen interest in what may occur worldwide financially in the very near future.
Right now the "brightest minds" are meeting in various independent , uncoordinated groups, and coordinated groups in an attempt to come up with an answer for the very large avalanche about to engulf the village below. But having followed the derivatives situation for years, now compounded by a mortgage debacle of never before seen proportions I do not see a solution coming.
Someone , somewhere will say "let's try this" and so they will. It might fix that wee hole in the dike but the foundation also has large cracks in it. What to do?
The best advice I can give you is two fold+ an (a)
1. drop and roll
2. get under your desk until the "all clear" siren sounds
2(a) don't look directly into the eyes of any politicians or bankers
Now these aren't what you might call optimum solutions but let me see what the big brains who got us into this come up with that's better.
Does anyone know where I can get a t-shirt that reads
"DEFENESTRATE YOUR BROKER"
will trade lawn clippings for info.
Peering out to the turtle pond a few minutes ago the wife lat out an uncharacteristic OMG !!
"we've now got five turtles"
Sure enough there on the in water sunny deck I built for them were five cooter turtles. Now Wiki tells me that cooter is an Africa derivative of kunta. So much for Kunta Kintay in "Roots"..all this time thinking it meant something like "fierce warrior"...wow reality..
Cooters were also known as "Hoover chickens" by the Florida crackers during the depression. Apparently they are very good eat'n.
Wiki also gives me dimensions of the Pseudemys, a genus of pond turtles also known as Cooter Turtles, especially in the state of Florida. Wiki says The river cooter is a fairly large turtle (up to 12 inches) ...well Wiki needs to come to my pond cause that's the small one. I put the glasses on the bigg'un and he must be 18 inches long and 12" across..he's, yes huge!
Being omnivores I now know where to recycle the refrigerator"experiments" provide they haven't fuzzed completely over.
We've also renamed the homesite..."Cooter Cove"
I'm waiting for the gators to discover the pond and it's bounty.....kricky mate.
Also a new, larger landing is in the works ..shuffleboard, beer on tap and maybe throw in a feral cat ev'r so often.
Your cooters are already out, and I am skiing tomorrow. How about putting $5-10 million into my new fund?
Yes indeed a wonderful country when a man can enjoy cooter and skiing on the same day.
I can't quite get the money into your fund 'cause I haven't got near that amount, plus I wouldn't touch WS with a ten foot pole (lame but known expression). I've been diversifying into loose gem quality diamonds and buying a few Euros on the dips (there are too few of those).
Sotheby's in their April auction are handling a few of my best baseball items. I have no idea what to expect but I'm hoping for six figures. It just depends on who shows up as Sothebys said. Say why don't you bid on a few items of real value. This stuff is old and almost impossible to get.
But NJ if I had 5-10 million I wouldn't be on this computer, I'd be flying a Super Cub or Great Lakes or driving an Ariel Atom or Stalker V6.
Ariel Atom ... NJ....don't miss this, it's very good
Not that anyone cares, but in case someone has read this far I copy my post from Theo's site. It's an old joke (to me anyway) but as something resembling an engineer, I love it. Plus, it is sorely needed here...
A priest and doctor and an engineer are stuck behind a foursome that is playing slow. They ask the course commando what the hold up is. He tells them that the foursome are former firemen who lost their eyesight saving the historic clubhouse from a fire that would have destroyed the place if not for their heroic efforts. The country club allowed them to play for free and no one was to interfere with their game. Upon hearing this, the priest said "I will pray for them", the doctor said "I will contact a colleague and perhaps we can help them", the engineer said "Why can't they play at night?"