Wednesday, July 29, 2009

With Democrats Like These,
Who needs Republicans?

Obama's Doctor: President's Vision For Health Care Bound To Fail

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/obamas-doctor-presidents_n_246870.html

Dr. David Scheiner, a 70-year Chicago-based physician who treated Obama for more than 20 years, said he was disheartened by the health care legislation his former patient is championing, calling it piecemeal and ineffectual.

"I look at his program and I can't see how it's going to work," Scheiner told the Huffington Post. "He has no cost control. There would be no effective cost control in his program. The [Congressional Budget Office] said it's going be incredibly expensive ... and the thing that I really am worried about is, if it is the failure that I think it would be, then health reform will be set back a long, long time."
...
"It's a good question," Scheiner said, when asked if having watered-down reform become law was better than getting a single-payer system stalled in Congress. "Is something better than nothing? That is a hard one for me. That is a difficult one, because, in the end, I think [Obama's] program is going to fail."

------

It's hard to avoid the things that Obama once claimed about health care reform - like how it was going to take a Democratic congress to make the change. Well, the Dems have the "oral office," the senate and the house and they still can't get it done. Or is that they won't? That they choose not to...?

These Dems are a big fucking joke. I doubt any good will come of any of it.

How to: Street Politics

Mob beats Chinese steel factory executive to death

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-mob27-2009jul27,0,3235364.story

Chinese state media confirmed Monday that a steel factory executive was beaten to death after thousands of workers gathered to protest the takeover of their company.
...
They dispersed later only after they were assured by authorities the sale would not go through.

------

I think Americans have something to learn from the Chinese. After all, they are carrying our debt...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Craig Ferguson: Advertising deifies youth...and stupidity



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Editing...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why the Health Care Mandate Should Fail

Reason 1: It's a big fucking giveaway to a health insurance industry that not only doesn't need to be propped up, it has no legitimate reason for existing in the first place. Anything short of a single-payer plan is simply bullshit incrementalism.

Funny thing: after the bullshit bailout of Wall Street and handing over our economy to Goldman Sachs I feel considerable timidity at giving the health care insurers a blank check for reform. Call me crazy!

In tripping up health care reform the GOP, Blue Dogs, etc. supposedly hope to deliver a crushing blow to Obama for his radical "leftist" agenda.

I don't think so.

I think we may be on the verge of a true political revolution because people are sick of sending their public servants to D.C. to DO CERTAIN THINGS only to see those same politicians do SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD.

I think many supported Democrats because they were going to end the wars, regulate Wall Street, reform banking and lending practices and finally give us a federal health care plan that would put us on par with every other industrialized nation. It turns out that a lot of Democrats aren't intending to deliver on any of those things. From Obama on down, they talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk.

I "hoped" for change. Now I'm going to vote for real change by voting in third party candidates and true progressives.

Or I may vote with my feet and get the fuck off the sinking ship that is modern America.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baucus' Health Care Industry Graft

Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform
Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072003363.html?hpid=topnews

------

Yeah, that's not good. I have my suspicions too. What this guy needs is a visit from his constituents. Here's what I mean in the form of the site banner of another blogger:



I think this pitchfork things needs to catch on somehow. They really do have it too easy.

Politics and Infidelity

Have I mentioned this yet?

I could give less than a rat's ass if some politician squirts inside some tart that isn't his wife. I don't care what politicians are doing with their cocks and cunts. I certainly don't want anyone to pay too much attention to what I am doing in that area of my life.

People need to get realistic about this matter. 60% of men in the general population cheat on their spouses. I think I saw 45% claimed somewhere for women in the same category. That's a lot of fucking and sucking of strange dick and strange pussy that's going on there.

And you think it's going to be somehow magically less that way among the people that actually possess a modicum of power in the world?

Let's face it, some guy is ball deep in some bimbo's twat right now as you read this. The opening line that won her heart was: "Baby, I make the call and we are at Defcon 1..."

Health Care Reform and Politics

Republicans Will Be Toast in 2010 If the Dems Pass Health Reform, and They Know It

http://www.alternet.org/politics/141440/republicans_will_be_toast_in_2010_if_the_dems_pass_health_reform%2C_and_they_know_it/?page=entire

If President Barack Obama succeeds in signing a major health care reform bill into law -- one that provides a public plan for people currently priced out of the system -- he will achieve what at least three presidents before him had hoped for, and failed to do. And he will likely deprive the Republican minority in Congress from anything approaching a comeback in the 2010 midterm elections.

However, if health care reform does not pass early in Obama's term, the Democrats will likely face midterm elections amid rising unemployment figures with a record of having passed legislation characterized as "bailouts" for megabanks and large corporations -- bills whose benefits to the economy have little impact on the person who has already lost a job. So GOP leaders are focused like a laser beam on stopping health-care reform in its tracks.

...

...who hope to scare the American people into believing that Obama is un-American in the literal and figurative sense and that his health-care plan is just a nefarious scheme to remake America's mighty capitalist system into something foreign and evil.

...

And then Perry Logan said:

Not if it's a rotten plan

I figure it a little differently.

In case you hadn't noticed, Barack Obama is a seriously rotten President.

It stands to reason his health-care plan will be equally rotten.

If the Democrats' halfassed plan is implemented, both health care costs and taxes will rise and people won't get what they wanted. In the words of blogger Joe Cannon, the plan will become vastly unpopular.

At some point in the 2014-2020 period, a Republican congress will vote Obama's scheme out of existence. For decades afterward, conservatives will crow: "Well, we tried socialized medicine and it didn't work.'" :(

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"Foreign and evil" is what American capitalism is right now. We are basically owned by the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans on the one side and substantially controlled by the European financial elite on the other side. If people are so clueless that they don't know as much as that then what's the point of comminuicating with them at all?

So yeah, thank you Nixon, Kissinger, and the Walton family of Walmart - we are now owned by your pals in China. Mission accomplished, "morans"!

But that last comment posted to Alternet worries me a great deal. I do fear this supposed "reform" is little more than a token, trojan horse of a reform. The whole point is that it must fail so that we can become good little third world workers.

Cheap labor Republicans are licking their chops at this one. They only lose temporarily. They have placed the debacle of the Bush era aquarely on the shoulders of Democrats centrist enough to do nearly nothing about it and rhetorically willing to take the blame for it too. Obama is constantly owning the crisis in the media. What's the point of that since his policies are going to achieve only the reinflation of the next status quo Wall Street/financial sector bubble?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Max Keiser: "Goldman Sachs Are Scum"

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/max-keiser-goldman-sachs-are-scum
Submitted by Tyler Durden on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 14:41

"They are literally stealing a hundred million dollars a day. Goldman Sachs is stealing every day on the floor of the exchange. They should be in the Hague, they should be taken on financial terrorism charges. They should all be thrown in jail"

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ZeroHedge and Taibblog are must reading on this Goldman material.

Alternet Posters on the Uselessness of the Kucinich Amendment

Source: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/141404/how_dennis_kucinich_may_save_the_health_reform_battle/?comments=view&cID=1265323&pID=1265300

No Thank You
Posted by: NoPCZone on Jul 18, 2009 12:24 AM

We Need A SINGLE PAYER, COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE, UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. What a state-by-state system will condemn us to is an unequal system where the redneck states have a crappy, poorly done system laced with cronyism run by the good old boy network, while other states have better systems. Since I live in the Blue Tick state of Arkansas, where people working at Wal-Mart who live in trailers consider themselves Republicans- I think I'll pass.

...

Don't bother with another meaningless struggle
Posted by: Moonray on Jul 18, 2009 4:45 AM

Commenter NoPCZone is right in saying "no thank you." From now on all discussion on the issue is wasted anyway. In fact, our unending discussion -- our psuedo-democratic process -- ensures that the yammering continues indefinitely and nothing ever changes significantly.

You see, that's how they continue to screw us. Our government process is so completely controlled by big-money interests and corrupt politicians that attempts at reform are quickly co-opted into more opportunities for the corporations to gouge us. Entering into a long fight over whether states could create their own single-payer systems would delight the big-money interests because it would merely add to the yammering.

When Obama was elected I hoped that America was turning around, but that obviously is not the case. What little democracy we have is slipping away, down the black hole of corporate greed and growing militarism. I have been putting off getting a passport, but it's time.

...

RE: Don't bother with another meaningless struggle
Posted by: poetac on Jul 18, 2009 1:17 PM

You give up awful easy. You have no sense of the time scale of "turning around" a situation like the one we're in. And in any case, Obama's election is just a sign of underlying tectonic shifts, not in any sense the solution. The solution is US--we, the people, organized democratically and making change ourselves. There are no saviors and there never were. Good luck with your emigration plans.

------


I'd say the last poster is an optimist that hasn't already lived through decades of watching corporations utterly take control of our government. I'm not saying the situation is totally hopeless - good things may yet come if people move more to the "left" and put up a real fight against the corporatist style fascism that threatens the U.S. Most people really haven't a clue as to what will prove necessary to retake our democracy and to regain the top leadership position of the world economy. How clueless are they? Well, something approaching 50% of them are still Republicans if that tells you anything.

Nations are becoming old news and corporations are ascendant. That's bad news.

And rebellions are for the young and crazy, or possibly those with nothing left to lose.

For those of us with something we still cherish about life the time frame is off - recovery will take too long. Maybe leaving is the smart move.

For a long time people came to the U.S. for a better way of life. Now, there is no new world, no new frontier, where one can seek to build things from scratch. But there are other places. And the U.S. is not the bastion of freedom it once was either.

I'm getting my passport ready too. Call it Plan B. Everyone else can get fucked. Patriotism is for suckers. And momma didn't raise no suckers.

The only flag I wave is that belonging to the nation of Me, Myself, and I.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Semantics Play and Other BS Via Krugman

The Joy of Sachs
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/opinion/17krugman.html?ref=opinion

...it shows that by rescuing the financial system without reforming it, Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis, and, in fact, has made another crisis more likely.

Let’s start by talking about how Goldman makes money.

Over the past generation — ever since the banking deregulation of the Reagan years — the U.S. economy has been “financialized.” The business of moving money around, of slicing, dicing and repackaging financial claims, has soared in importance compared with the actual production of useful stuff...

...

I won’t try to parse the competing claims about how much direct benefit Goldman received from recent financial bailouts, especially the government’s assumption of A.I.G.’s liabilities. What’s clear is that Wall Street in general, Goldman very much included, benefited hugely from the government’s provision of a financial backstop — an assurance that it will rescue major financial players whenever things go wrong.

You can argue that such rescues are necessary if we’re to avoid a replay of the Great Depression. In fact, I agree. But the result is that the financial system’s liabilities are now backed by an implicit government guarantee.

------

That first quoted part is good stuff - it tells it like it is. Wall Street's bean counters found a way to convince other people to risk money on complex financial instruments in a way that concealed the enormous risks they were actually taking. Investors weren't blowing it Vegas-style, they were investing in something akin to blue chip investments! That's Wall Street snake-oil in a nutshell. If you aren't an insider, you are a mark ripe for the big and long con.

And then Krugman goes kinda sideways on the rest. He seems to want to avoid getting down to details about how offensive are the activities of our own government in collaboration with Goldman Sachs - and all financed on the back of the taxpayer too!

And then the word game. Is there some way in which the current crisis is so radically dissimilar to the depression that we aren't de facto in something like a depression? We have some safety nets in place and I would argue that because of that fact we can play this semantic game and call it a "recession" instead. But call it what you will, the truth of it is very much the same thing. We shall be digging our way out of it for years to come.

Another thing that disappoints is the like of criticism concerning the manner in which the Wall Street bailout was pursued. I think there was a legitimate way to handle things in which all players would have received some consideration and the overall effects of the financial downturn would have been ameliorated. What we got instead was an offensive handout to those that needed it least. Wall Street got what it wanted and Main street got the shaft.

With joblessness rising, with foreclosures at an all time high, with a near shutdown of american industry I feel I can safely assert that we are still completely fucked and that we aren't going to be made whole again for a very long time.

Why doesn't Krugman say that?

Random Posts at HuffPo

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/17/paul-krugman-slams-goldma_n_237102.html

chewmin68 said:

I think what many US citizens do not realize is that our financial institutions, corporations, etc., have no loyalty to the United States. The world is global, and with enhancements in communications and technology, they would be stupid to care about any country, except of course the latent wealth of many US citizens who are totally bushwacked in thinking the US is something other than a global marketplace. Those US citizens are still there for the fleecing, and the elite let no opportunity to fleece go untouched. We are going to 3rd world standard soon. And the billions of people on this planet that let a few steal their laobr and wealth seem to continue to live in dumb complacency. If you read human history, it has always been this way, and from what I see, always will be.

I have tried to do the right thing. Long term job with benefits and pension, savings for my future. My pension went to PBSC, soon to become bankrupt, my health insurance? . None for years. The modest home, small mortgage, big downpayment? Only owe little, but no job, old, no work for older workers. I did the right thing alright. I made it possible for the rulers, the few of the wealth base to take my dreams and my life. I bought into this joke. No party represents me. Obama is a big disappointment. I now know who the government is for, and it's not the majority of the people.

...

Then ThinkDeeper1 said:

This is one of the most insightful posts I've read concerning this article so far today. I've been proclaiming this for several years and my words have only fallen on deaf ears.

All the false patriotism, racial and gender arguments, are just a deceptive front to hide the real perilous issues facing America. In reality, corporate leaders have no loyalty to America, no loyalty to any race or gender, no concern for the success of America's future. They are only loyal to greed and money. The color of capitalism is green, not white, black, brown or yellow.

If corporate America can keep the majority (middle class) fighting about race, gender, who's a real American versus a phony, which political party should be in office, etc, within 40 years America will be following the orders of another nation while living at a third world status.

Hint: The corporate elite pay huge sums of money to political pundits on the airwaves to keep us focused on the irrelevant, divisive, and hateful elements within our society while they pilferage the nation and ensure that they have enough money to move and live luxuriously anywhere in the world. Rush Limbaugh isn't filthy rich because his listeners send him checks. Rush, Sean, O'Reilly are all rich because of corporate sponsors, etc., in exchange for the great "snowball" job their doing on the middle class.

Who cares if you're a democrat or republican. There's too much corruption in all of our political parties.

------

I think we need more progressive measures. The two party system has failed us. Capitalist ideas about "free markets" are a myth told for the benefit of those at the top. The United States is and always has been a protectionist socialism for the elites. The elites craft the laws to benefit themselves. The law is nothing more than a rhetorical device to legitimize the outrageous favoritism skewed to the top 1%. In short, we are in the control of oligarchs and we are their chattel.

The Real Golden Rule is "He who has the gold makes the rules."


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Only Plan That Makes Sense is Off the Table

H.R. 676, “The United States National Health Care Act,”
Or “Expanded & Improved Medicare For All”


http://conyers.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Issues.Home&Issue_id=063b74a4-19b9-b4b1-126b-f67f60e05f8c

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Just read the summary. That's basically what is needed and actually wanted by most people that support health care reform.

Anything less than that is some kind of giveaway.

If we can't get it done this time, we are going to have to send in people that are simply more progressive and less beholden to the status quo than the current Democratic party. That's reality.

Henry Paulson Admits to Ignorance, Criminal Acts

Hank Paulson Admits He Doesn't Understand Mortgage Securities

http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/05/newsweek_paulson_didnt_understood_mortgage_backed_securities.php

This quote, from Newsweek's piece on former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, strikes me as a bombshell:
Paulson--by his own admission--was not paying much attention to the way banks were slicing and dicing mortgages and selling them as complex securities. "I didn't understand the retail market; I just wasn't close to it," he told NEWSWEEK.

If Newsweek won't play prosecutor, I will: "Hank Paulson, you were Goldman's chief executive as mortgage securities boomed in 2004-5. Your earned an incredible severance, partly because of it. And you say you didn't understand mortgage securities? How is that remotely possible?"

I'd like to offer a bit of analysis, but all I've got is bewilderment. The reason I find the revolving door between Wall St. and Washington somewhat acceptable is that I think it's important that those who govern Wall Street understand it. But Paulson, by his own admission, didn't really. Think about this: A guy whose $46 million compensation package was made possible by leaving during Goldman's mortgage-security boom "was not paying much attention" to the mortgage-security boom! I don't know if Paulson is fibbing, or if mortgage-securities were such a specialized and esoteric money machine that basically nobody understood what was going on, but either way, this seems devastating.

------

I was going to add more here about the BofA deal Paulson brokered but I shall leave that for another time.

The fact remains that these guys all act like the masters of the universe and we are repeatedly told that they deal in financial instruments so complex that the average person can't understand them even if an explanation is attempted. And then you hear how even Paulson - the former CEO of Goldman and Secretary of the Treasury - doesn't understand them either.

So we must ignore the seemingly senseless things that the knowledgeable people at the top are doing on our dime - and worth trillions of dollars too - because they know what they are doing.

Except when they don't.

I know what they are doing: stealing from everyone else. And it's all perfectly legal when you have the power of the federal government behind you.

Seriously, what does the idea of "legal" even mean at this stage? That some bureaucrats co-signed your being robbed?

Big whoop!


P.S. Isn't it just amazing how well Goldman is doing this quarter? It's all an accident, right?

Great Quote From Unknown Speaker

I once heard a devastating, pithy quote that went something like this:

"Capitalism is legalized, economic warfare against the poor."

It was years ago when I first heard it, knowing that its full meaning had yet to reveal itself. In the intervening years I have been unable to source the quote but I can easily imagine the kind of person who would have uttered such a statement for the first time.

I heard the quote from the mouth of someone that was obviously not the original speaker of those words. The person who repeated the quote to me is someone that clearly works for the other side - the side of the greedy bastards that always want more. But hey, he's well paid to be on that side and that justifies everything in our world. And given that reality, I can't fault him.

But think about those words. Let them live in you for a few years and you shall see that these words have both a destructive but also a transformative force to them.

You shall know the truth of it in time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Robbie Conal: Big Brother


More here:
http://www.robbieconal.com/posters/bigbrother.html

The Secular Origins of Ethics

I was reading elsewhere that people presumed that agnostics and atheists derive their foundational principles of right and wrong from the world's various religions. Interestingly, nothing could be further from the truth. Ethics have their origins in secular traditions involving self-interest and self-preservation.

Do you like getting punched in the face? What might you do if someone did punch you in the face? Sure, you might hit them back because it's unfair to receive an injury and not to defend yourself from it by demanding payment in kind. Failure to retaliate might provoke another punch in the face by showing weakness in the face of a known threat. By retaliating you are sending a simple message, "If you hit me, I'll damn well hit you right back!"

That's in a nutshell what Lex Talionis is all about. The laws of retaliation formed around the notion that civilization had better remedies available to it than people just playing tit for tat over each real or imagined injury. Societies could impose a more equitable set of punishments in place of an "eye for an eye." As Mahatma Gandhi noted: "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." For more on this topic see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_for_an_eye

So, on a primitive, jungle law level of existence all you may have access to is retaliation; but one of the benefits of civilization is that we all agree to behave in accord with culturally understood replacement punishments. Those replacement punishments make it so that most of us survive the occasional injury to another and no one has to lose an eye over it when they can pay some kind of agreed upon compensation instead. Into the bargain you get the majority of people trying to minimize the number of injuries they may cause to others, even if only accidentally. What motivates this ethic? Self-interest, pure and simple. Nobody wants to get hit and nobody wants to have to compensate others for avoidable injuries. Live and let live, right?

Just compensation is very closely related to another idea common to most cultures all over the world: the "ethic of reciprocity." Some people simplify this to the word "hospitality." What do we mean here? Simply this: "Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests."

We have seen how conflicts between members of the same society have been resolved. What the "ethic of reciprocity" teaches is how to avoid conflict between the members of differing societies, or strangers. By treating each other deferentially we get better results than by doing each other injuries. You have probably heard it said that: "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Another variant of this idea is the original Golden Rule: "Do not unto others as you would have others not do unto you." In other words, if you don't want to get punched in the face, don't start relationships by punching others in the face. To act first with violence is to invite retaliation and endless feuding. For more on this topic see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity

Certainly, it is true that these same ethics are represented in the world's religions. How could ethical systems like religion fail to recapitulate foundational principles like the ones stated above? Exactly, they couldn't - so they did. Mystery solved.

But the heart of these ideas is merely self-interested self-preservation. Extending beyond that we have society stepping in to resolve disputes between individual parties. And beyond that we have rules of conduct for initial contacts with strangers and guests.

These are ethics that keep the peace and minimize individual losses.

And you don't need any gods for as little as that.

Healthcare: Grease Up, 'Cuz Here It Comes...!

Two weeks ago I said this:
"Any plan that mandates that citizens must buy insurance from private insurers is a giveaway just like mandatory auto liability insurance. And the waste and enormous expense of healthcare will continue to escalate under such a reworked version of the status quo."
http://thebloodofpatriotsandtyrants.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-single-payer-universal-healthcare.html

And now it looks like that's what we're going to get. A big fucking giveaway that keeps the death and sickness profiteers in business.

Let's be clear about one thing: doctors, nurses, technicians, etc. all have very difficult jobs requiring actual brains and unique expertise that in the U.S. is both difficult and expensive to come by. They deserve to be well paid because it's not a free ride to pursue one of those careers. They do their best and despite that fact nature often takes its own course anyway. In the end everybody dies. Health care workers are there to fix what they can, and more generally, to hand-hold and ease the pain when there is no remedy. My hat is off to them all!

By contrast, the health insurers have no legitimate work that they do whatsoever. We don't even need that industry between us and the people that truly do deserve to be well paid for their tireless hours trying to help the rest of us. The health insurers are vampires sucking the blood from our veins and the marrow from our bones.

We don't want to prolong their careers with the legal mandate that every individual must now buy health insurance from those bloated leeches!

Let's end their careers right now with single payer instead.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Health care conflict exposes our pseudo-democracy

Posted by: Moonray on Jul 8, 2009 12:29 AM
http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/141160/what's_so_scary_about_offering_people_the_option_of_a_public_health_plan_/

What makes health care reform so tricky is that it threatens to expose, once and for all, that we Americans don't have much of a democracy after all. What we have is a corporate oligarchy that pretends to be a democracy by using staged elections to rubber-stamp establishment policies.

The Obama team and Congress have no intention of really reforming health care. Their corporate masters simply won't allow them to do that. But they have to PRETEND to reform health care in a manner that will provide some kind of cover to Democrats and Republicans. Thus, they are likely to come up a complicated, costly hodgepodge of plans that will change our health care system very little except to direct lots of tax dollars to the key players.

Once this happens -- and the deception invariably will be exposed -- Americans will have to make the hard choice of either accepting our enslavement to the corporations or considering difficult alternatives.

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Based on all available evidence and as of the moment, I couldn't agree more.

Wall Street Snake Oil

Investors Find No Shelter
DALBAR Study Reveals Carnage for Equity, Bond and Asset Allocation Shareholders

http://www.dalbarinc.com/content/showpage.asp?page=2009030901&r=/pressroom/default.asp&s=Return+To+Press+Releases

Boston, MA -(March 9, 2009) By all measures, 2008 was the year that wiped out wealth-and DALBAR's Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) is no exception. In its 15th annual study of mutual fund investor behavior, DALBAR discovered that equity, fixed income and asset allocation fund investors experienced average annual losses for all time periods examined except the longest (20-year) time frame. And even those positive returns did not keep pace with the average inflation rate.

"The dramatic events that continue to plague our financial markets have provoked panic, which exacerbates the ongoing carnage," said Lou Harvey, president of DALBAR. "For 15 years, QAIB has shown that investor returns lag what performance reports and prospectuses would lead one to believe is achievable. While those returns are, in fact, theoretically achievable, the reality is that investors are not rational, and make buy and sell decisions at the worst possible moments," he said.

Among the studies findings:
  • For the 20 years ended December 31, 2008, equity, fixed income and asset allocation fund investors had average annual returns of 1.87%, 0.77% and 1.67%, respectively. The inflation rate averaged 2.89% over that same time period.

  • Equity fund investors lost 41.6% last year, compared with 37.7% for the S&P 500 Index.

  • Bond fund investors lost 11.7% last year, versus a gain of 5.2% for the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index. This disparity is largely due to the underperformance of managed bond funds caused by mortgage-backed securities.

  • With an annual loss of 30% last year, asset allocation fund investors fared better than equity fund investors.

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Rules for the owner class:
  • Risk is easy with other people's money.
  • Moral imperative: consumers are chumps who should be parted from their money.
  • Everyone else is a consumer of what you sell - whatever "fabulous" thing that is.
  • When all else fails, get the state to support your thievery with statutes and subsidies. You're not a common crook, after all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tom Tomorrow: Ongoing Content Theft



Spot on!

On California's IOUs

Wow, tempest in a teapot over all of this bullshit.

Okay, so banks will refuse IOUs after next Friday.

Here's are some funny questions:
1. What exactly are these things we call dollars?
2. What do dollars promise to pay?

The IOUs seem almost better than actual money in some ways when you think about it.

The Explanation for the Seeming Success of Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Meghan McCain

I love intelligent women. I greatly admire people like Rachel Maddow, Naomi Klein and Amy Goodman. Truly. If you don't believe me, consider how many times I have referenced them here on this blog.

But the seeming success of the various nitwits that are listed in the subject line of this post has at its base something very different than an admiration for intelligence. And that something is quite simply the overweening libido of their admirers.

I stand firmly behind the claim that the reason any of those women get any media play at all is because someone, somewhere wants a piece of that. Sorry, but it's the truth.

  • Sarah Palin is a MILF.

  • Ann Coulter is an androgynous person that some people would like to anger fuck.

  • Meghan McCain is a know-nothing GOP Lolita.

That's it and that's all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Welfare Queen of Wall Street:
Matt Taibbi on the Goldman Sachs Bubble Machine

Crappy PDF of Rolling Stone article here:
http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/06/goldman-sachs-engineering-every-major.html

From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression...

Nearly correct text OCRed here (forum "corrects" for naughty words):
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3159732&pagenumber=1

Taibbi on Goldman Sachs' Semi-Sorta Reply/Non-Reply:
http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/06/30/on-giving-goldman-a-chance/

Taibbi on Goldman Sachs front-running:
http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/07/02/is-goldman-legally-frontrunning-its-clients/

"You acknowledge that we may monitor your use of the Services for our own purposes (and not for your benefit)."

And finally, Taibbi on the Obama/Goldman Sacks Snuggling:
http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/04/09/summers-raked-in-27-million-in-speaking-fees-from-wall-street-44-washingtonpostcom/

Most importantly, I’m sensing in these economic appointments a kind of drearily cynical parsing of the approval-rating situation here — Obama knows he’s still flying high with the “Yes We Can!” t-shirt crowd, and knows that most people simply are not going to give a shit if he packs his Treasury Department with Goldman alums and lobbyists, despite the fact that he explicitly promised to do otherwise.

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Bottom line: The U.S. federal government and Goldman Sachs have a long and jaded history of revolving door appointments and obvious favoritism for GS and against other players. When you are Goldman Sachs or some other big player, what might otherwise be financial malfeasance is actually perfectly legal. When you make huge, country fucking mistakes the taxpayers will bail you out. Whatever usury you are collecting isn't probably enough. The name of the game is power through debt and it doesn't really matter how much real wealth you have (although its a lot!) as long as you can squeeze everybody else by the balls.

Power.

to.

Squeeze.

So yeah, Obama is just another corrupt asshole so far. His appointments are a fucking joke for the people of this country. Salvation will not be forthcoming. We all wasted our votes on this asshat.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Politics

Do you know how the GOP keeps promising the judgmental asshole bottom-feeders in the party that someday they really will outlaw abortion when everyone with any sense knows that they will never do that very thing because it is a) politically impossible and b) extremely useful as an issue to stir the support of their psychotically christian base?

I think healthcare reform and peace movements operate the exact same way in the Democratic party. The Democrats will never go against the monied interests of the health insurers nor big pharma. It just ain't gonna happen. And the Democrats are regularly greased by the military industrial complex too. No hope there either.

The time has come to recognize that any progressive worth his salt must vote for someone outside the two party system. The Dems and the Rethugs are all of the same kind.

A Failure to Lead

Obama Urges Groups to Stop Attacks

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/03/AR2009070302309.html

President Obama, strategizing yesterday with congressional leaders about health-care reform, complained that liberal advocacy groups ought to drop their attacks on Democratic lawmakers and devote their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation.

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Biden: 'We misread how bad the economy was'

http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/2009/07/05/D9988FKO0_us_biden/

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You shite cunts...!

Obama, you'd better get used to the notion of being attacked because you are well on your way to becoming a one term prez. And I don't think the Democrats will ever live down the failure of having both houses and the presidency in their pocket and still failing the country on war/foreign policy, the economy and healthcare. Triple fail.

And Biden, that's the job you two yokels have - to see what the situation is and call for the right moves. The job entails showing some backbone and actual leadership skills, not just doing what your false stats claim you should do. There must be vision and courage.

I want my vote back, seriously...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009