Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goldman Suchs, Ahmadinejad Is Coming To Dinner, Palin Hearts Arizona

Maureen Dowd
Dana Milbank

"The whole building is about to collapse anytime now. Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab . . . standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstruosities!!!" - Maurice Tourre
"I don't have regrets about doing things that I think were improper," - Daniel Sparks
"During the economic meltdown, employees at the SEC were using government computers to watch pornography. Ironically, while they were watching porn, the other employees were watching Goldman Sachs screw the entire country." – Jay Leno
"Last week, President Obama gave a speech in New York City about his plan to reform these rules on Wall Street, you know? And one embarrassing moment. When the head of Goldman Sachs was going through security, he was asked to empty his pockets and five Republican senators fell out." – Jay Leno

While Greece had its bond rating reduced to junk level, and the European Union decides if a country is too big to fail, dropping like a domino and taking Spain and Portugal along with it, we had the Goldman Sachs show on CSPAN. The parts that were shown on the news were pretty audacious. The sad part that makes folks angry, is how none of the Sachs employees would admit to doing anything wrong by withholding information designed so that the client buying their security would lose money. We call it fraud, and we would go to jail if we got caught. They call it business as usual, and nobody in the financial industry blinks an eye or sees anything really wrong, because the first rule of investing is buyer beware.

Really, who is surprised that we honor dishonesty and corruption in our culture, make it part and parcel of a free market system. Couple it with natural human greed, and we have a financial engine that will regularly run out of steam on a cyclical basis. So, you can dream about the marvel of compound interest all you want, but the Masters of the Universe will rig it so that you lose it and it gets deposited in their accounts as bonuses. Lloyd Blankfein made over $ 9 million last year during the meltdown. Goldman stock took a rise at the end of the day yesterday, I guess in solidarity to it's officers...
"You know you’re ethically compromised when Senator John Ensign scolds you about ethics."   - Maureen Dowd
Like all bills brought before Congress, the financial reform bill will not solve all of the problems, it will be compromised and amendments will be added. Already the auto industry is asking that their car financing programs be exempted, and the banking industry wants to make sure that if the consumer protection agency becomes part of the bill, it has no powers of enforcement.

So, our political system is corrupt, our financial industry is morally bankrupt, and yet we hold it all up to the world as something positive and to be desired. Enough that we will invade other countries to give them a chance at actually trying to make it work. Except that it doesn't seem to be taking any place else, scratch Iraq, forget it happening in Afghanistan. Ironically, in the Middle East the most progressive societies are the ones with secular monarchies... Except for Saudi Arabia, and it is slowly trying to bring itself into the modern world, only after King Abdullah passes away, it will probably dive back into the Middle Ages thanks to the repressive right wing members of the rest of the royal family...

guess who's coming to dinner?..
The big sideshow will take place in New York next week, as the UN hosts the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty conference. Visas have already been issued for the delegation from Iran, and it will include Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who never misses a chance to visit the Big Apple. He is slated to speak after Hillary Clinton. We will see if he will use the time here to try and bait us, make a big stink, or if actual behind the scenes negotiations happen that will give us ambassadors to each other's countries.

The agenda, of course, is all about sanctions: "Ahmadinejad's presence could prove an unwelcome distraction - and provide the Iranian leader with a high-profile platform as sanctions talks continue on the sidelines.

Analysts say the NPT has been battered by North Korea's withdrawal, Iran's insistence on pursing nuclear technology that could help it make bombs and developing nations' charges that big nuclear powers are ignoring disarmament commitments. Western powers would like the NPT review to agree on a plan of action for beefing up the treaty to make it harder for states like Iran and North Korea to acquire sensitive technology and the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Egypt and other Arab states are demanding that any final declaration that might come out of the conference include a renewed call for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East - meaning that Israel, which is assumed to have nuclear weapons - would have to disarm."

It's a badly hidden secret that Israel has their own nuclear arsenal, and they are a leading maker of drones. What is not so well known, is that saudi Arabia probably has some, too, and if the Middle East is o be a nuclear free zone, then all God's children must come clean... If nothing else, a fun time will be had by all. At least no-one is wanting to set up a tent in Donald Trump's backyard...

"Arizona is the meth lab of democracy." – Jon Stewart
We have seen all of the uproar over the new Arizona immigration law, every pundit in the country has talked and written about it to death, and yet we still don't know how it is to be enforced. As it stands right now, unless you have some special papers including your birth certificate on you at all times, anyone can be put in jail for violating the law.
"It's an unbelievable law. And it's already starting to backfire. Today, a group of Native Americans pulled over a bunch of white guys and said, 'Let's see your papers.'" –Jay Leno
Ironically, even Tom Tancredo said that it might be going too far. And the new Republican wonderdog in Florida, Mario Rubio, said that it should be something taken up as federal policy and not the states, taking several GOP'ers by surprise.

Even Sarah Palin has put her two cents worth in, naturally, she twists it to attack Obama, accusing him of pushing the racial myth on the Sean Hannity show: “There is no ability or opportunity in there for the racial profiling,” she said. “Shame on the lame stream media again for turning this into something that it is not.”

Palin then blamed the president for allowing the “myth” that the law allows racial profiling to take hold.

“It's shameful, too, that the Obama administration has allowed...this to become more of a racial issue by perpetuating this myth that racial profiling is a part of this law,” she said.

“I think that President Obama is playing to his base on this one. And I think that's quite unfortunate because this isn't fair to the legal immigrants. It's not fair to illegal immigrants either…many of them want to come here and find that pathway to citizenship.”

Of course, as a Black man, Barack Obama will be more sensitized to things that hint at racist overtones. I learned a long time ago that no matter how hip you think you are, you will always fall prey to racist thoughts. When a friend tells me that what I've said is racist, I don't get defensive, I apologize, because it wasn't my intent to offend. They have had  more experience of that crap on a daily basis and knowing when something has a racist intention. It's just the nature of having differences, and we all do it. The sin is when we do it to be malicious or as an evil act, and this law has the capacity for these behaviors.

Sarah just proves how whitebread she really is, and it seems to be her nature to turn anything into an attack. We all know that Texas, Arizona, and California are bearing the brunt of illegals crossing the border, and something should have been done about it 50 years ago. But we need to have a national debate on this, and come up with some better thought out solutions than Arizona's. Now, I understand that the Mexican government has asked all of the drug cartels to funnel their shipments through Arizona; maybe we will have to cede the state soon to Mexico...

Some reader reaction to Sarah: I am always amused at the fear this woman brings to obamaland and its natives. It seems they are put off by her faith, family, principles and smile... How did she fit that whole statement on the palm of her hand?.. s this the same nitwit that pushed death panels......... I don't know why the lame stream media continues to push this woman. She is a private citizen and grifter, let it go...
"The famous scientist Stephen Hawking says in a new documentary not only does he believe aliens exist, he believes we should not make contact with aliens because they could be very angry beings, especially aliens from Arizona." –Jay Leno

"As you know, Arizona recently passed the toughest anti-immigration bill in American history. The idea behind this bill is to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and back to their homeland of Los Angeles." –Jay Leno

And now, for something completely different:

David Letterman's Top Ten Thoughts That Went Through George W. Bush's Mind As He Wrote His Memoirs

10. 'What's a memoir?'
9. 'Is 36 pages enough?'
8. 'You know who was a great band? Foghat!'
7. 'Taco break!'
6. 'How cool is it that I was president? Come on, up high!'
5. 'Jerky break!'
4. 'Chapter Eight: The day I went 5-for-5 in White House T-ball. And no gimmies. All ropes!'
3. 'What? Ricky Martin's gay?'
2. 'Do you spell nucular with 2 'o's or an 'ew'?'
1. 'Shouldn't Cheney be the one writing this?'

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