Tuesday, March 31, 2009

General Disarray

In response to an inviable viability plan, Barack Obama fired General Motors' CEO Rick Wagoner. That's General Motors, not General Mortars.

National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1... go rent it.

Anyway, the shitty CEO definitely had what was coming to him. And it looks like GM will have to file for bankruptcy, eventually being divided into "Good" and "Bad" parts. The Good would be brands like Chevy and Cadillac. The Bad would be Saturn, Buick, Pontiac, and the other unsuccessful parts of the once massive corporation.

So there's the Good, and the Bad (You know what's coming). So what's the Ugly?

The Ugly is the way liberals have molested this economic crisis as well as their stranglehold on Washington into an opportunity to railroad their various agendaa through the Congress. Chrysler, for instance, is also in trouble and desperately needs a partner. Italian firm Fiat has expressed interest. But at the same time, Barack's liberal assassins in the Congress are concocting legislation to impose mileage minimums on cars made in the US. Fiat doesn't like the sound of that, and I can't blame them.

At a time when car companies are so fucked up that they need taxpayer support, the government wants to restrict their business, threatening their profitability. That does not make sense!

I'm all for mileage minimums, and legislation to reduce the amount of gasoline we consume. But not now. Two years ago, when gas was $4/gallon and the economy was still booming, definitely. Don't hamstring dying businesses that you're also supporting. That's choking the dog with one hand, and feeding him with the other.

I'm all for mileage minimums, but disguising them as economic stimulus, and essentially bribing car companies with the lure of government funding IF you play ball with the environmentalists is flat out BULLSHIT.

One question that needs to be asked, asked repeatedly, and asked until Barack gives a straight answer, none of his "Look, blah blah blah, hope, yadda yadda, the last administration, blah blah blah change" BS. The question is:

Why hadn't General Motors been put into bankruptcy yet? Why wasn't it put into bankruptcy instead of getting $13.4 billion in TARP money? George W. Bush and Barack Obama worked together on this scheme. Why? GM said it needed to survive. Unlike the banks, if GM failed, the financial system would remain intact. It's failure was also quite imminent and predictable. Car sales were rapidly decreasing. The unions had such lucrative deals that even cutting jobs would have barely affected the inevitable outcome of GM's monumental problems.

Part of it is sliding down the slippery slope of government bailouts. If you save the AIGs and Citigroups of the world, why not save the GMs and Chryslers? After all, losing GM and Chrysler would mean losing thousands of jobs, crippling the companies that suppy them with parts and equipment, and practically destroying one of America's proudest industries.

Then again, what kinds of jobs would be lost? Union jobs. Who do unions typically support?

And what states would the loss of GM jobs hurt the most? Michigan, obviously. But also Texas. Indiana. Kentucky. Ohio. Kansas. Virginia. Apart from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana would be the most adversely affected.

Hmmmmm... Ohio? Indiana? Virginia? Aren't these election battleground states? And doesn't Michigan have 8 Democratic Reps, and 7 Republicans? Texas is Bush's home state. Call me cynical, but I think Barack was terrified of losing his overwhelming union support, as well as pissing off the swing voters in states like Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. Bush also deserves the blame of complicity, and he was the President when the $13.4 billion was given to GM. He helped out his home state, as well as some Republican strongholds. He also didn't allow the Democrats to extend their leads in those swing states. He also avoided going down in history as 'the President who presided over the demise of General Motors.'

GM is dead, and we're all paying for the funeral. Ford still works, and Chrysler has an Italian lifeline dangling in front of it. But a few billion dollars have been paid by the government, in your name, and for what? So Barack can get union voters on his side, and win Ohio in 2012.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The First Daughter: Alexandra Pelosi

So it's about 3 or 4 AM some weekday morning and as usual, I either haven't gone to bed yet, or I've already woken up. On HBO, there's a documentary, so I give it a shot. I like documentaries. This one's called Friends of God. Here's a pretty good example of what the film is:

Now, I think Creationism is wrong. I think Intelligent Design - the odious disguising of Creationism as science - is horrible. But I think people have the Constitutionally declared and inalienable right to believe in stuff I think is wrong. Alexandra Pelosi - the director/producer/cinematographer/writer of Friends of God, and daughter of House Speaker/Tsar Nancy Pelosi - seems to disagree. Pelosi spends 56 minutes letting Evangelicals make fools of themselves, essentially making fun of them, even belittling and dehumanizing them, because they believe in something they cannot prove.

For the record, I am not a Christian. I'm an agnostic with pagan leanings. If I pray, it's to Mars Gradivus, or Jupiter Optimus Maximus. But in the end, I'm really praying to myself, asking myself to be stronger or better.

The First Daughter made another documentary with the snappy, roll-off-the-tongue title of Right America: Feeling Wronged - Some Voices from the Campaign Trail. Here she is discussing it on WNYC:

To summarize the clip, she talks about conservatives as if they were a strange species of animal to be studied in their natural habitat. Then she vilifies Fox News. Then attacks the McCain campaign for not giving a Pelosi much access. Then she vilifies Fox News some more, because FNC is the ONLY biased news outlet in this country. Then she describes anyone who didn't vote for Barack as believing that he is Hitler and/or The Antichrist.

Everybody knows Christopher Walken is The Antichrist:


This kind of liberal belittlement of conservatives is a very old tactic by the far left. I remember in school reading From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution 1963-1994. This book argued that conservatives are conservative, and support Republican candidates, even if Democratic candidates can help people of their economic status, because conservatives are racists.

Now the en vogue liberal strategy is to belittle conservatives, and explain their strange, inconceivable, unbelievable, inhuman conservativeness with religion. Those 58 million McCain voters didn't vote for Hope and Change because they're blinded by hokey religions and moronic superstition.

Super liberals, who love words like "tolerance," are often the most intolerant, belittling, prejudiced people. More dangerously, they're smart. Wicked smart. And they know they're smart. They hate on Evangelicals for believing in something they think is stupid, then they hate on Evangelicals for not accepting other people's beliefs. They're hypocrites who are too self-assured and smug to self-examine and realize their hypocrisies. They think their farts smell like roses.

I wonder what Pelosi's next HBO documentary will be about? How Creationism caused the Credit Crisis of 2008? Why Jesus is to blame for the massive inflation of 2011? How if the US sold "The Red States" to China, it could pay off its $10 trillion budget gap?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What do Afghanistan and the FCC Have in Common?

There's little more irritating or dangerous than cultural conservatives. Now I don't care what anyone believes in. If you think evolution is hogwash, that's fine. If you want to teach your kids that evolution is hogwash, that's fine. If you want a private school to teach that evolution is hogwash, that's fine.

It's when people's personal beliefs and morals become the basis for public policy when things go from fine to unfine. Like in Afghanistan the other day. A TV executive was arrested because his station refused to censor images of women dancing in short skirts.

Is this the kind of "Democracy" the US has installed in Afghanistan? Aren't two key ingredients to Democracy: freedom of the press and no religious involvement? Is it worth American military lives to support this pathetic, faux-Democracy? I'm not so sure.

We ousted the terrorist supporting regime, right? So why not, I don't know... leave? If the people there want Democracy, they'll fight for it, and earn it. We've given them the tools to get it. If they want their government to censor women's arms and legs, then they'll let them. Why fight to support a government that IGNORES fundamental keys to freedom?

And honestly, how fucked up is a male controlled society that hates seeing the female body? This picture is illegal for Afghani TV to broadcast:

What kind of society would have leaders that are terrified of the female form?

How eerily similar is this anti-scantily-clad-women crusade in Afghanistan to some movements by cultural conservatives and overly concerned shrill mothers to ban sexuality and violence in American media?

Democracy doesn't exist without the right to be obscene. Afghanistan doesn't realize this, and some very dangerous Americans are in the same bland, spiceless, swear-free boat.

What was that sound? It was John Ashcroft checking Priceline for one-way tickets to Kandahar.

Monday, March 23, 2009

If Barack Fucks Up and Nobody Thinks About It, Does It Make a Sound?

With all the AIG mess, you may or may not have missed Barack making fun of the Special Olympics. Rather, making fun of himself by comparing his bowling ability to a Special Olympian.

There was some media scrutiny over this, but not much. Could you imagine the firestorm if George W. Bush or Sarah Palin had said something like that?

I'm not offended by Barack's comments. I don't get offended on other people's behalf. But I'm disturbed. I'm disturbed at this iconic civil rights figure who doesn't think homosexuals have the right to get married, and thinks disabled people are a joke.

I'm even more disturbed by a public and a media that can dismiss this as just a mistake, a slip of the tongue, just a joke.

I'm not trying to make too much of it. I don't think this makes Barack a bad President. His socialism makes him that. I don't even think this makes him a bad man. It would just be nice, in this volatile period of history, to have a public that questions its leaders instead of blindly worshiping them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG Rage

We found out Monday morning that government owned former insurance giant AIG distributed $165 million in bonuses to its financial-products division. After this was released the populist anger, particularly from the Democrats, flowed like raging water through a busted dam.

How could you give bonuses to people in a division that was primarily responsible for the collapse of the company? Really, how stupid can you get?

Apparently, the bonuses were contract obligations. But they're still dumb. AIG management should have sat down with their employees in this division, explained the potential PR situation, then forcefully asked them to waive the bonuses. If they didn't, then fire them, ask the government to pay the legal fees which they'll have to do thanks to populist support, and suddenly AIG goes from Wall Street greedhouse to the Robin Hood of lower Manhattan.

So I'm mad too. This bonus BS is an indicator that the people running AIG are STILL flat out stupid.

But the fucking outrage over $165 million is even dumber. Yeah, that's a lot of money to you and me. But it's less than 1/1,000th of the total AIG received from the government ($170B). And it's 0.0047% of Barack's proposed 2010 budget ($3.5 T-bones).

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had these eloquent words of wisdom:

"From my standpoint, it’s irresponsible for corporations to give bonuses, at this time, when they are so sucking the tit of the taxpayer."

He then called on AIG executives to "resign or commit suicide."

Okie dokie....

Moving on.

Two Representatives from New York suggested 100% taxes on the bonuses. But hey, why stop there? Why not 120% taxes? Why not 200% taxes and cease their apartments and cars?

Barack and the government have issued trillions (remember, that's a million millions) in money to these banks. People don't like it. So when the banks give $165 million to employees, the politicians come in with the people, who are already so angry at Wall Street. The politicians spout slogans like 'We were on your side all along!' 'We hate these Wall Street assholes as much as you do!' 'Let's tax them until they die!'

A Representative from New York, and one from Ohio suggested 100% taxes on any $100,000+ bonus issued by a company that's received bailout money. To me, that's ridiculously anti-capitalist, anti-American, and fucking stupid. You don't retain intelligent financial minds by legislating a limit on their compensation. The smart money, so to speak, will leave those banks that need them most. If some exec at a bank is doing a fantastic job, helping his/her bank return to profitability, then they deserve compensation. That's justice.

Barack is mixed in all this too. He wants his people to find ways to retract the bonuses. Wait a minute, Mister President. If you didn't want bonuses like this to be issued, why didn't you stipulate that as a restriction when you kept sending AIG billions of dollars?

AIG is dumb. The politicians are dumber. The people about to start a class-war over $165 million when the government has spent TRILLIONS, are dumbest.

With all these stupid people lying about their income on mortgage applications, constructing deceptive CDOs, and concocting gargantuan budgets; it's a wonder we have an economy at all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Iran, Iran So Far Away

So about a month ago, an unmanned Iranian aircraft was shot down 60 miles outside Baghdad. The vehicle spent 70 minutes in Iraqi airspace before it was disabled by US fighters, then apprehended. Apparently, it was an unarmed spying vehicle.

Iran has been messing with us in Iraq for years and Barack just wants to turn the other cheek. I can't say I blame him. He's a weather vane, he points whatever way the wind is blowing. Also, what kind of war would be fought against Iran? No longer are we trying to avoid a 2nd Vietnam. We're worried about a 3rd Iraq.

Then again, Iraq's central government was displaced, disabled, and destroyed with amazing ease and speed. It was the agonizingly long time spent attempting to install democracy (odd phrase, eh?) that was the most costly and painful.

So why not remove Iran's central government with some cruise missiles, a concentrated armored thrust from Iraq to Tehran, and an amphibiously launched assault from the Gulf of Oman, slicing across the axis of the country.

You might not even need to send many ground troops in. James Bondesque assassinations might cut off the head of the snake, and with even more speed.

What happens after we leave, and some new strong-armed, likely anti-US government takes power? If they have the balls to mess with us, then they get removed.

But this will never happen. I can't imagine Americans supporting such an audacious and morally ambiguous war. I can't imagine the few allies we have in that region would be happy if we destabilized it even further. And OPEC would be pissed.

When can we invent a new kind of fuel so we don't have to care about what the people in that region think, do, or say?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

President Pelosi

Unprecedented spending. Ludicrous finger-pointing. Partisan politics. Pork. Division. Leftist social engineering. Barack Obama has the mandate and the approval rating to shove his agenda through Congress. But nobody in Massachusetts, or New York, or Pennsylvania, or Minnesota, or North Carolina, or Florida, or Ohio, or Oregon voted for Nancy Pelosi.

The US government is a system of checks and balances. Yet a Representative from San Francisco, and another from Newton, MA hold unbelievable individual power. Power given to them from their Party that controls Washington.

The Democrats, and Republicans for that matter, have been hypercritical of businesses spending money on golf tournaments, and business conventions, and corporate outings. Yet Pelosi flies around the country in a US Air Force G550, a $60 million plane that you and I paid for.

Here's the story. After 9/11, a special plane has been designated for The Speaker of the House. This makes sense. After all, the Speaker is 3rd to the President. But it seems as though Pelosi's turned a security measure into a private airline.

Here's an editorial that goes into more detail. But basically, some in the Pentagon think Pelosi overuses the aircraft. She often cancels prearranged flights, wasting the time and money it takes to prepare the jets. And she complains if her preferred jet isn't available.

In 2007, she wanted an even larger plane, a Boeing 757, which has a base cost of $80 million and can seat 50 people. It can also, unlike the G550, make it from Washington to San Francisco without stopping for fuel. Poor Pelosi has to stop in a red state to refuel her personal jet.

This is an hilarious quote that not so shockingly didn't get much publicity:

"Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs."

Firstly, there are 304 million people in America. That's it.

Secondly, let's say she made a mistake and meant to say 500 thousand. What the hell were they basing that on? And what in their economic recovery package stopped those jobs from being lost?

Barack Obama might be changeful, but his friends aren't. Pelosi and her Party have used the economic crisis as an excuse to railroad liberal legislation through the House and Senate, threatening an epic economic collapse if it didn't get passed ASAP, then justifying their decisions by labelling every item on their liberal wish-list as "stimulus."

I'm pretty liberal when it comes to birth control, family planning, STD prevention, all that stuff. I think kids should get taught sex ed. I think they should be taught how to use condoms, not instructed to be abstinent. And I have no problem with government funding these kinds of measures. SO LONG AS IT ISN'T DISGUISED AS SOMETHING ELSE.

Nothing typifies Washington better than the mislabeling of legislation. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was a tack-on of the Safe Port Act. How does stopping online poker make ports safer? And how does STD prevention programs stimulate the economy?

Building and repairing infrastructure stimulates an economy. Cutting taxes stimulates an economy. Helping people pay for college stimulates an economy. Military spending stimulates an economy. Flying in a private jet courtesy of the US Air Force doesn'st stimulate the economy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Trouble With Trillions

Yes, this post's title is the same name of The Simpsons episode when Mr. Burns and Homer flee to Cuba to protect their trillion dollar bill. And that title was a variation of the famous Star Trek episode "Trouble With Tribbles." Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

Pictures from cartoons are funny. They're even funnier when they're out of context. Like so...

Anyway, this is just a discussion of the T word. Maybe instead of saying Barack's 2010 budget is $3.5 trillion, we can say it's 3.5 T-Bones. That'd be more hopeful, and it'd be change.

How big is a trillion? It's a 1 with 12 zeros after it, or 1x10^12 or 1,000,000,000,000. It's a thousand billions. It's a million millions. It's one thousand times a thousand times a thousand times a thousand.

One trillion miles would take someone around the Earth 40 million times. One trillion miles would be the same distance as 135 round trips between Earth and Pluto. The Universe has existed for 14 billion years, or 1.4% of a trillion. 1 trillion days is about 60% the age of the Earth. The Universe is not yet 1 trillion weeks old, and won't be for another 5 billion years.

$1 trillion could pay Alex Rodriguez to play baseball for 40,000 years. With $1 trillion, you could buy EVERY seat in Gillette Stadium as season tickets for 12,000 years. That includes the 2 preseason games a year.

If you played MegaMillions a trillion times, you'd win 5,700 jackpots.

Only 14 countries have GDPs higher than $1 trillion. $1 trillion could buy Indonesia two times over, buy Venezuela 3 times over, Portugal 4 times over, the Ukraine 5 times over, Slovakia 10 times over, and Lithuania 20 times over.

With $1 trillion, you could buy every single share of ExxonMobil... three times... and have $52 billion to spare. You could have a portfolio that owned all of Wal-Mart, all of Microsoft, all of IBM, all of Google, all of Coca-Cola, all of Verizon, all of Apple, all of General Electric, all of Pepsi, and all of Intel.

Here's a trillion pennies next to a football field (not my illustration).

Resistance is futile.

1 trillion MPH is 1,490 times faster than light.

1 trillion inches is 15.8 million miles, or 33 round trips from Earth to the Moon.

1 trillion miles is about 1/6 of a light-year.

The Sun is a little more than 1 trillion millimeters around.

If you spent $100 per second, it would take you 317 years to spend $1 trillion.

It would take Major League Baseball 45.7 million seasons to reach 1 trillion innings played, and 1.4 million seasons to reach 1 trillion pitches (at 300 pitches per game).

If you played 1 trillion hands of 5 card draw, you'd get dealt a Royal Flush 1.5 million times. If you had 1 trillion Queen high straight flushes (in hold em), you'd LOSE THE HAND 120,000 times. If you had 1 trillion straight flushes of any level, you'd lose 1.2 million times.

My point is that one trillion is an extremely large number (duh). It's so large that it's an unfathomable number. And our government is going to spend 3.5 of them next year. 3.5 T-Bones. To quote Homer: "That's a spicy meatball."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Vice President

A tribute to the man (Biden) behind the man (Obama) behind the woman (Pelosi).

Here he is drunk:

And hopefully he's drunk in this one too because if he's sober... it's just sad.

Here he is saying Barack Obama is not ready to be President:

Here he is confusing the internet with telephones:

Website number?

And finally, here he is being a racist:

Could you imagine if a Republican said something of this sort? The media would be on it like flies on shit. Yet Biden says it and only YouTube blinks.

Monday, March 09, 2009

What Kind of Ally is Barack Obama?

A few days ago, Prime Minister of England Gordon Brown visited Barack Obama in the White House. As is done in these types of meetings between world leaders, there was an exchange of gifts. Gordon Brown gave the President a pen made from the wood of a British ship that patrolled the seas hunting for illegal slave ships. Barack gave Brown 25 DVDs. What? No Best Buy gift card?

But that's a small slap to the face compared to the wholesale selling out Barack attempted through secret channels.

AP Photo

In an attempt to gain Russian cooperation and support in pressuring Iran, Barack was willing to sell out our Eastern European allies by abandoning our missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

When the Russians went public with the secret communique (why would a true ally, which is what Barack wants Russia to be, publicize the proposal?), Barack did his best to dodge the issue:

"The missile defence that we have talked about deploying is directed towards not Russia, but Iran."

That's why they're in Poland and the Czech Republic? That's why they were used as bargaining chips with Russia? And how many nuclear missiles does Iran possess? Zero. How many does Russia? 5,200 warheads. It seems to me that missile defense is best employed against people who, you know, HAVE MISSILES.

Go to 1:55 for the missiles. After them, there's just fireworks

Russia doesn't like that Poland and the Czech have missile defenses. Russia doesn't like anything that gets in her way of being the dominant force in the region. They didn't like that Georgia has an oil pipeline.

And our President, instead of being tough with the Russians, was soft. He showed weakness. He showed a willingness to concede protection of our allies just to make his job easier in Iran.

If I were a country's leader, I wouldn't be thrilled about having Barack as a friend. Sure, I'd get some free DVDs, but I wouldn't get protection from geopolitical bullies like Russia.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Hillary's World Peace Tour

It's difficult to call Secretary of State Hillary Clinton soft on terror. During her campaign, she threatened to "obliterate" Iran if the shit hit the fan. But just a general question to all the sunshine and rainbow hope-o-crats out there...

How the fuck can you talk with Iran about anything sensible?

I don't think I could have a serious discussion with someone who thinks in a population of 66 million, there isn't a single gay guy, or even a girl who got some ideas at the club while listening to Katy Perry.

And I don't think I could trust someone who leads a government supported by the systematic terrorizing its own citizens.

So why the fuck even talk to these guys? Is it just a token appeasement of pussy countries like France? Or is it the same kind of anti-reality superoptimism that made Sean Penn fall in love with Iraq. You know, the type of BS overhope that flowed through the streets of Munich in 1938. And that worked out well.

Then there was her trip to China. For years, people have protested the countless injustices China perpetrates on her own people, as well as those people China CLAIMS as her own. But once again, the regime that promised "Change" has given us nothing but The Same.

Hillary went to China, even acknowledged their human rights problems, and in the same breath, dismissed them:

"[human rights issues] can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."

Could you imagine what would have happened to her in 1775 Boston if she said, "Hey guys, I know the British are infringing on our rights, but trade with them is good for our economy?"

Three words:

Tar and feather!

Imagine if Bush, or Cheney, or Rice, or McCain, or Palin said what she said. The liberals on the streets would wave their signs around, and the liberals on TV would criticize and chastise.

We're afraid of pissing off China. The United States hasn't been afraid of pissing anyone off since there's been a United States. But we owe China money. We like cheap Chinese products. We like selling cigarettes, beer, and McDonalds to 1.3 billion Chinese.

Read this.

Where's the hope? Where's the fucking change? It sure as shit isn't in China.

The New N-Word: Nationalization

Former insurance giant AIG officially reported the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history. $62 billion. That's $681 million A DAY. And you own it. 79.9% of AIG is owned by the government.

Citigroup, you own that too. General Motors owes you money. Not a bad portfolio 5 years ago, but an unbelievably shitty one in 2009.

Why do you own these? Because if they failed, the damage done to the economy would be more than the $162.5 billion it's costing you to support AIG, or all the TARP money Citigroup's assumed. But it's all a short-term fix, delaying and amplifying our economic problems.

Remember that whole cable switch? Everybody had to go from analog to digital signals on their TVs. Remember how it still hasn't happened? The people who brought you that cluster-fuck are the ones running the financial foundation of our economy.

Congressman who have NO experience in the business world standing on soap boxes and telling banks what gold tournaments they should sponsor to promote their business. Which stadiums they should pay for naming rights, and how much they should pay. Maybe sports marketing doesn't work, maybe it doesn't. But Senators have no fucking place telling businesses how to promote themselves.

The people who brought you the post office, the DMV, they run the banks now.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm scared. Barack's helped brew that fear. Apparently the world would have stopped spinning on its axis, continents would have toppled over each other, mountains would have flown into space, and the planet would have shriveled to a cinder, and crashed into the sun; had we not done EVERYTHING he said.

What is AIG going to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? What about Citi? General Motors? Barack and his cronies have no idea. Yet we're spending tons and tons of money to keep them alive. For what reason? Who in their right mind will get insurance from AIG in 10 years? Who will deposit money with Citi?

And what exactly is Nationalization? The White House proudly declared they would not nationalize Citi. Yet they own 35%. Rather, WE own 35%. How is that not nationalization? The next largest shareholders own 5%. The government controls Citi. You own it, they control it. They blow it up, you pay for it.

And I thought Democrats and liberals were against keeping dying things alive on life support.