Credit Suisse is paying its top executives in illiquid mortgage-backed securities. I've no doubt that someone, somewhere, will find a way to complain that it's not fair, but it strikes me as a very good idea. If the things really are any good, they make money; if not, they take a bath along with the rest of us.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Let's face it, we have reached that point in time where the people no longer run the governments of this nation, the governments (federal, state, local, etc - there seem to be SO many) run us. And we asked for it.... just look at the last Presidential campaign.
We are still celebrating the fact that we have elected the Man who is now going to take care of us; and we should be prepared to give everything we have to make sure that the powers that be have whatever resources they say they need to make sure that we never hit a bump in the road again. We should welcome the taxing of our music, our phones, our soda, our income, and eventually our thoughts (don't laugh, they surely will try it eventually) if necessary in order to keep in place the structures and the institutions that have consistently failed to do exactly what they have promised - not once or twice, but ALWAYS.
Failure is their only option; but, like lemmings, we have soaked-up the bullshit promises (oh, the audacity of hope) and followed the same path over and over. 2 + 2= 5: we believe it again and again.
"And thanks to a tax break proposed by President Bill Clinton and approved by Congress in 1997, he did not have to pay tax on most of that profit. It was a break that had not been available to generations of Americans before him. The benefits also did not apply to other investments, be they stocks, bonds or stakes in a small business. Those gains were all taxed at rates of up to 20 percent."
Perfect - now we can find ways to NEVER let people keep their own money. Just what the NY Times loves to do....
"A Postal Service official in Washington, after an initial, limited acknowledgment of a “privacy breach,” said that at one of the programs, not New York’s, a man whom a letter carrier recognized as a registered sex offender had “adopted” a letter. When postal officials confronted the man, the official said, he said he was sincerely trying to do a good deed, but postal inspectors nonetheless retrieved the letter and notified the family of the child.
The Postal Service, indicating that the closing down of all of Operation Santa might be temporary, said that it felt it was wise to take the precaution."
"Talk about a setup man: someone named Putz in one of the most visible, all-or-nothing roles in New York sports. His new opponents may not include just National League sluggers, but the tabloid headline writers and New York fans with a history of unforgiving expectations, and little history of letting something like proper pronunciation get in the way of a good insult or cheap laugh."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
"Consider this - on issues such as FISA surveillance or the Bush tax cuts for the rich Obama has already back-pedaled. He is likely further to outrage a contingent of his supporters by declining to declare defeat in Iraq, blame Bush, and leave. There even seems to be a movement towards creating a bit of wiggle room on enhanced interrogation. One might have thought, that given these setbacks on substance, Obama would be generous in handing his leftmost admirers some symbolic victories (an indictment of Dick Cheney, for example) but with the Warren selection they are getting shut out there as well. Interesting. Of course, chuckling righties might wonder whether Obama is holding up on symbolic victories for the left because he knows they have some huge substantive wins coming..."
"The problem of illegitimacy and broken families had seemed intractable for decades, but the Census Bureau has been able to make a significant dent in it, at virtually no cost to the taxpayer, merely by redefining the word parents.
And why stop there? Suppose the Census Bureau were to redefine two as meaning 'one.' Voilà, any child who now lives with 'one' parent would have an intact family. Instantly the rate would go from 40% to nearly 100%. Wait, make that nearly 200%.
Some may object that the middle of a financial panic is not the best time to start redefining numbers, a practice that could have unintended and undesired consequences for interest rates, currency exchange rates, asset values and so forth.
So here's a more modest idea: Why not redefine together to mean 'on the same planet'? So long as at least one man and one woman live on Earth, whether or not they are married or the child's biological parents, every child is being raised by two (or more) parents, and this will remain true at least until we begin colonizing space. Hey, it takes a village!"
UPDATE (via Instapundit): “Obama just keeps disappointing supporters. Odd, but refreshing.” Particularly as the ones he’s disappointing are the ones who cast their disagreement with Bush on those same issues as a matter of ultimate good vs. evil.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"I think the most outrageous thing about Caroline Kennedy’s bid to become Senator of New York is that, as the New York Times recently explained:
She has not held a full-time job in years, has not run for even the lowliest office . . . Already, some columnists, bloggers and even potential colleagues in Congress have begun asking if she would be taken seriously if not for her surname.
How can someone like that possibly succeed . . . Hillary Clinton?"
But Michael Moore? Come on. He's railing against millionaires, when he's a multi-millionaire, himself. He rails against Wall Street, when he's a huge investor, not to mention, just plain huge.
It's nothing new that Michael Moore is a gi-normous hypocrite, literally and figuratively--in this case, the literal is his figure, or lack thereof. I've written about it numerous times over the last decade, including here and here.
The Express-Times of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley reports on a kerfuffle in nearby Holland Township, N.J.:
Adolf Hitler Campbell--it's indeed the name on his birth certificate--turns 3 today, and the Campbell family believes the boy has been mistreated. A local supermarket refused to make a birthday cake with "Adolf Hitler" on it.
The ShopRite in Greenwich Township has also refused to make a cake bearing the name of Campbell's daughter, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in February.
Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, a girl named for Schutzstaffel head Heinrich Himmler, turns 1 in April.
"ShopRite can't even make a cake for a 3-year-old," said Deborah Campbell, 25, who is Heath's wife of three years and the mother of the children. "That's sad."
A director for the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia applauded the supermarket's decision. An Allentown psychologist said the names would cause problems for the children later in life.
Boy, you don't say! What if the Campbell boy grows up and wants to be president one day? He'll never get elected once people realize his middle name was also the name of a brutal dictator!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
MICHAEL SILENCE: The Nothing But Caroline Network: “Clearly, NBC Nightly News is running the U.S. Senate campaign of Caroline Kennedy. In a jaw-dropping move, her run for the office was the network’s lead story Monday evening. The American auto industry is on the verge of bankruptcy, President-elect Obama makes key cabinet appointments, Illinois is impeaching its governor and some fatcat bilks more than $50 billion from the rich and not so famous, and NBC chooses to launch Kennedy’s campaign?”UPDATE: Claudia Rosett on Caroline Kennedy and the Banana Republic of New York:
Evidence that an asteroid may not have doomed the dinosaurs after all is accumulating in first real challenge the extinction theory has met in three decades.
The combination of studies on dinosaur fossils, magnetic signatures in rocks and the timing of the disappearance of different species suggest it was massive volcanic eruptions in India that belched sulfur into the air for around 10,000 years that did the beasts in.
Don't you love "science"? But the reality here is "So what?" (to quote Miles Davis).....
Monday, December 15, 2008
"Mr. Obama and his team may find ways to give more Americans access to the waiting room, but what if there’s no doctor on the other side of the door? The crisis in primary care must be addressed before any real change can occur; otherwise, the flood of new patients may instead turn out to be a final strike for our ailing health care system.
And at that point for all of us, doctors and patients, the game would be over."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"From a communications perspective, this has been done about as wrong as is possible. There have been no credible spokespeople, the messages about the plan have been wrong or incomplete, the plan's supporters failed to understand the different audiences that had to be reached, and few people validated the claim that the plan was needed."
"In the midst of a steep global downturn, Fiat ekes out a profit while Chrysler and GM may soon run out of cash. For that alone, they should be shunned. Fiat's and Detroit's troubles started with the 1973 Arab oil embargo. That's 35 years of hand-wringing and warnings.
Congress worked in its aerie on Capitol Hill on an expensive temporary rescue of the American auto industry. The proposals, arguments and rhetoric over what to do for Detroit sounded as if they'd been imported from cuckoo land."