Monthly Archives: September 2008

Jim Newcomer

What can I say about one of my favorite teachers of all time? Mr. Newcomer taught drama classes and filled us all with character, belief in ourselves, and imagination. We had fun, we worked hard, and we put on one helluva show every time we performed…

I love this man… link is to video at the dedication of the Eugene L. Hanson Auditorium, one of the other great mean to whom I owe so much for making me who I am today. Thanks so much to them and to all the other wonderful teachers I had at Coronado High School…



Bailout – $700 billion.

Seeing an Internet meme come to life in front of the Senate Banking Committee – priceless.

Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and FAIL. (My friend Jess has a sign like this, but I know she is out of DC on business right now.) Found on NPR’s Planet Money.

Money for nothin'


With apologies to Dire Straits, which we are indeed about to be in….

Money for nothin

Now look at them yo-yos — that’s the way you do it
You play the market on the ltv..
That ain’t workin — that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin and checks for free
Now that ain’t workin — that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour tvs

See the little faggot with the earnings and the markup —
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour tvs

I shoulda learned to play the market
I shoulda learned to play the Fed
Look at that mama, she got it stickin in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he’s up there, whats that? hawaiian noises?
Bangin on the Treasury like a chimpanzee…
That ain’t workin — thats the way you do it
Get your money for nothin get your checks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour tvs, lord

Now that ain’t workin that’s the way you do it
You play up Paulson and the Treasury
That ain’t workin that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin and your checks for free
Money for nothin and checks for free

I want my..
I want my..
I want my bailout free!

I want my…
I want my…
I want my bailout free!

naked capitalism: Why You Should Hate the Treasury Bailout Proposal


urge everyone to call your congress creatures and let them know this bailout plan is absolutely unacceptable. Paulson is nuts if he thinks anyone with a brain is going to agree to this. We need reasoned, rational, LEGAL control over this banking crisis, not a Treasury Secretary who thinks he is above the law. This entire Bush administration seems to be guilty of this, and I for one am damned sick of it. PLease go to the link and read the entire post — well worth it.

naked capitalism: Why You Should Hate the Treasury Bailout Proposal

A mere two weeks ago, the Fannie/Freddie rescue was called the mother of all bailouts by some commentators. If the plans of the Administration come to fruition, it will shortly be surpassed by the $700 billion mortgage rescue plan proposed by Hank Paulson late last week.

The increase of the request from the initial $500 billion and the release of the shockingly short, sweeping text of the proposed legislation has lead to reactions of consternation among the knowledgeable, but whether this translates into enough popular ire fast enough to restrain this freight train remains to be seen.

First, let s focus on the aspect that should get the proposal dinged or renegotiated regardless of any possible merit, namely, that it gives the Treasury imperial power with respect to a simply huge amount of funds. $700 billion is comparable to the hard cost of the Iraq war, bigger than the annual Pentagon budget. And mind you, $700 billion is not the maximum that the Treasury may spend, it s the ceiling on the outstandings at any one time. It s a balance sheet number, not an expenditure limit.

But here is the truly offensive section of an overreaching piece of legislation:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

This puts the Treasury’s actions beyond the rule of law. This is a financial coup d etat, with the only limitation the $700 billion balance sheet figure. The measure already gives the Treasury the authority not simply to buy dud mortgage paper but other assets as it deems fit. There is no accountability beyond a report contents undefined to Congress three months into the program and semiannually thereafter. The Treasury could via incompetence or venality grossly overpay for assets and advisory services, and fail to exclude consultants with conflicts of interest, and there would be no recourse. Given the truly appalling track record of this Administration in its outsourcing, this is not an idle worry.

But far worse is the precedent it sets. This Administration has worked hard to escape any constraints on its actions, not to pursue noble causes, but to curtail civil liberties: Guantanamo, rendition, torture, warrantless wiretaps. It has used the threat of unseen terrorists and a seemingly perpetual war on radical Muslim to justify gutting the Constitution. The Supreme Court, which has been supine on many fronts, has finally started to push back, but would it challenge a bill that sweeps aside judicial review? Informed readers are encouraged to speak up.

Letter to the editor too long for the paper to print

And they wonder why we don’t bother reading them anymore. We can’t even express our own opinions if they’re longer than two hundred words.

No wonder people are so misinformed these days.

Thanks goodness I have a blog where I can be as verbose as I damn well please!


The Bush McCain economy

Watching the financial meltdown this week is an excellent preview of the economic disasters waiting for us if John McCain, Phil Gramm and company take charge of the White House and the financial world. Gramm’s policies have been one of the key drivers in setting this entire financial disaster into motion.

Barack Obama has a good plan to deal with the current situation, the best financial advisers and a good handle on what is happening in our economy, while McCain continues to claim as recently as yesterday that “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

My family’s income level puts us in the top five percent of American families, and I’m worried. Not only for our investments, which we see declining by the day, not only for our technical jobs, which are endangered by McCain’s lack of understand of technical innovation, but by the lack of concern for education, which has already forced us to move one child out of state, since California universities are too impacted to have a place for him thanks to Arnie’s cuts. The second child will most likely end up out of state as well.

But even when they graduate college, as so few are able to afford to do right now, what jobs will be waiting for them? Obama has a STEM plan — for science, technology, engineering and math education — that McCain couldn’t even envision putting into place. If we don’t regain our technology advantage and provide jobs for skilled workers, there is little hope for the rest of the economy, either.

Enough with obsessing over moose hunting and lipstick. Report on the issues that matter — economics, and how we can get our country moving forwards again after the backwards policies of the Bush administration that McCain will undoubtedly continue.

He and his friends making “over $5 million” — the rich, as he calls them — may be fine, but the rest of us are very, very worried right now. Even those of us next in line on the income ladder. And, by the way, I checked — Obama will not raise even OUR taxes, like I said, in the top five per cent of income. So stop spreading the lies of the McCain campaign.

Donna Woodka



Please read Barack Obama’s excellent speech on the economy today…. click on the link for full text.

Over the last few days, we have seen clearly what’s at stake in this election. The news from Wall Street has shaken the American people’s faith in our economy. The situation with Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions is the latest in a wave of crises that have generated tremendous uncertainty about the future of our financial markets. This is a major threat to our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills, save for their future, and make their mortgage payments.

Since this turmoil began over a year ago, the housing market has collapsed. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had to be effectively taken over by the government. Three of America’s five largest investment banks failed or have been sold off in distress. Yesterday, Wall Street suffered its worst losses since just after 9/11. We are in the most serious financial crisis in generations. Yet Senator McCain stood up yesterday and said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

…So let’s be clear: what we’ve seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed. And I am running for President of the United States because the dreams of the American people must not be endangered any more. It’s time to put an end to a broken system in Washington that is breaking the American economy. It’s time for change that makes a real difference in your lives.

…Make no mistake: my opponent is running for four more years of policies that will throw the economy further out of balance. His outrage at Wall Street would be more convincing if he wasn’t offering them more tax cuts. His call for fiscal responsibility would be believable if he wasn’t for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and more of a trillion dollar war in Iraq paid for with deficit spending and borrowing from foreign creditors like China. His newfound support for regulation bears no resemblance to his scornful attitude towards oversight and enforcement. John McCain cannot be trusted to reestablish proper oversight of our financial markets for one simple reason: he has shown time and again that he does not believe in it.

What has happened these last eight years is not some historical anomaly, so we know what to expect if we try these policies for another four. When lobbyists run your campaign, the special interests end up gaming the system. When the White House is hostile to any kind of oversight, corporations cut corners and consumers pay the price. When regulators are chosen for their disdain for regulation and we gut their ability to enforce the law, then the interests of the American people are not protected. It’s an ideology that intentionally breeds incompetence in Washington and irresponsibility on Wall Street, and it’s time to turn the page….