Anothere take on ‘Outsourcing’…heh…

October 30, 2008

Yep, I was on the phone to India while getting ‘support’ for my installation of MS Small Business 2007 and you will never, never, believe how I finally got it ‘installed’.

Don’t forget to vote and don’t forget to stay tuned afterwards to track what is being done…

In your name.

The translation of this song, interestingly it’s about separation, is here.

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From The Huffington Post….by way of Charlie Peters…

October 27, 2008

An Abdication in Detroit

Carl Pope, Huffington Post, July 6, 2006

San Francisco — Last week, the Ford Motor Company joined the parade of stunningly hypocritical auto manufacturers by announcing that it was abandoning its goal of selling 250,000 hybrid vehicles per year by the end of the decade. Instead, Ford joined other automakers in promising to make 2 million flexible fuel vehicles. “In a joint letter sent Wednesday to members of Congress, General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG announced a new promise to double annual production of vehicles that run on alternative fuels, to 2 million per year.” Congress promptly responded to the announcement by refusing, once again, to increase fuel economy standards.

But the auto industry knows that making two million “flexible-fuelled vehicles” won’t dent our dependence on oil. First, the “alternative fuel” they are touting is a mix of gasoline and ethanol called E85, because it is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Regular cars can, and often do, burn ethanol-gasoline mixes that are up to 10 percent ethanol already — so the real difference with E85 sounds like it might be an impressive 75 percent.

But the reality is far different. First, it takes a fair amount of fossil fuels to make ethanol — diesel fuel for tractors to grow the corn and transport it, natural gas to make fertilizer for it, and gas or (worse) coal to distill it. But this doesn’t matter so much, because 99 percent of these flexible fuel vehicles never see a drop of E85 but run on gas instead. That’s according to a March 2002 study by the Bush Administration.

Since there are fewer than 700 gas stations selling E85, out of 176,000 stations in the U.S., these flexible fuel vehicles will mainly burn the same gasoline that the rest of the fleet does. For example, within 25 miles of my home there are NO gas stations selling E85 to the public! So, the actual savings from this big new auto industry commitment will certainly be trivial at best. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

The auto industry gets bogus fuel economy “credits” for selling flexible fuel vehicles, as if these vehicles were actually all burning ethanol-based fuel. As a result, U.S. gas consumption is actually going to go UP as a result of the auto industry’s latest maneuver. The Bush Administration’s study estimated that the combination of the fuel economy loophole and failure of 99 percent of the flexible fuel vehicles to use E85 would result in an increase in U.S. oil dependence of 17 billion gallons by 2008. On the other hand, we could easily reduce consumption by 50 percent by using more-efficient vehicle technology, the solution that Congress — and the auto industry — just rejected. ed. note: Did you notice the recent spike in food prices? These are connected folks.

Again, William Clay Ford and the rest of the auto know these numbers. This is not something someone just dug out. They don’t care.

If we really want to kick our oil addiction, we’re going to have to do it from the grass-roots up. That’s why the Sierra Club has just launched “Smart Energy Summer” — a campaign to connect Americans with the real solutions to our energy and global warming problems — ones that our leaders know about, but just won’t embrace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-pope/an-abdication-in-detroit_b_24523.html


Progressives in Congress show the right way to ‘right the market’.

October 1, 2008

Dear Democratic Colleague:

The House of Representatives rejected the $700 bailout yesterday. Distinguished economists across the world have stated it would not have solved the problem at hand. However, we can potentially solve this liquidity problem at little cost to the taxpayer. I am proposing that Congress drop the Paulson Plan, and instead pass the No BAILOUTS Act. The No BAILOUTS Act provides an alternative to the Paulson Proposal to address the current credit crunch. Once Congress addresses the liquidity shortfalls in our financial markets, a Democratic Congress can turn to Democratic solutions to address the broader economic crises we face today. Specifically, Congress can work to resolve the housing crisis across the country and pass effective job stimulus, which is the response Main Street America expects and deserves.

While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the underlying solutions to solve the economic crises we face, the No BAILOUTS Act – a regulatory based proposal – has the potential for significant bipartisan support.

The Paulson Premise Flawed

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist as the International Monetary Fund, stated today in the New York Times of Paulson’s plan, “It’s our view that this package, in a fundamental sense, will not solve the problem.” Other economic analysts noted yesterday that the credit markets around the world were almost entirely dysfunctional even when political leaders and investors assumed that Congress had reached a deal and would easily approve the bailout. There is no reason to believe Paulson’s plan will work.

Alternatives

We have credible alternatives to the Paulson/Bush $700 billion gamble. William Isaac, the chairman of the FDIC during the previous worst financial crisis in the United States during the 1980s, believes Congress can address the current crisis with simple changes to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. Mr. Isaac points out that while we face serious financial challenges today, many banks are still in good shape. This allows Congress to take swift, uncomplicated steps to ensure the financial markets return to working order. After that, we can work to resolve the housing crisis and pass effective job stimulus.

Today I am offering an alternative to the Wall Street bailout that will correct the capital shortfalls experienced by many financial institutions and help protect the integrity and quality of the securities market. My plan could be implemented promptly meeting the demands of the Bush Administration to act immediately without putting the American taxpayer on the hook for billions of dollars.

No BAILOUTS Act

Bringing Accounting, Increased Liquidity, Oversight and Upholding Taxpayer Security

1) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require an economic value standard to measure the capital of financial institutions.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule to suspend the application of fair value accounting standards to financial institutions, which marks assets to the market value, no matter the conditions of the market. When no meaningful market exists, as is the current market for mortgage backed securities, this standard requires institutions to value assets at fire-sale prices. This creates a capital shortfall on paper. Using the economic value standard as bank examines have traditionally done will immediately correct the capital shortfalls experienced by many institutions.

2) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restricting naked short sells permanently

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks naked selling, selling a stock short without first borrowing the shares or ensuring the shares can be borrowed. Such practices many times harm the companies represented in the sales and hurt their efforts to raise capital. There is no economic value produced by naked short sales, but significant negative effects.

3) Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to restore the up-tick rule permanently.

This bill will require SEC to implement a rule that blocks short sales without an up-tick in the market. On September 19, 2008, the SEC approved a temporary pause of short selling in financial companies “to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence.” This rule prevents market crashes brought on by irrational short term market behavior.

4) “Net Worth Certificate Program”

This bill will require FDIC to implement a net worth certificate program. The FDIC would determine banks with short-term capital needs and the ability to financially recover in the foreseeable future. For those entities that qualify, the FDIC should purchase net worth certificates in these institutions. In exchange, these institutions issue promissory notes to repay the FDIC, counting the amount “borrowed” as capital on their balance sheets. This exchange provides short term capital, with not cash outlay. Interest rates on the certificates and the FDIC notes should be identical so no subsidy is necessary.

Participating banks must be subject to strict oversight by the FDIC including oversight of top executive compensation and if necessary the removal of poor management. Financial records and business plans should be subject to scrutiny while participating in the program.

In 1982, Congress approved a program, known as the Net Worth Certificate Program, that allowed banks and thrifts to apply for immediate capital assistance. From 1982 to 1993, banks with total assets of $40 billion participated in the program. The majority of these banks, 75%, required no further assistance beyond the certificate program.

5) Increase the FDIC Insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000.

The bill will require the FDIC raise its limit to provide depositors confidence that their money is safe and help eliminate runs on banks which are destabilizing to the industry.

Sincerely

Peter DeFazio

Member of Congress

Call your congress person and demand they support this instead of George The Robber and Nancy the Fluffer’s giveaway to the rich. It’s your’s and your grandchildren’s money they want.

Tell them NO!


Do You Ever Wonder Why the Roads in Your Town are Turning into Gravel?

August 17, 2008

Wonder no more. It’s because ‘some people’ are not paying their fair share of the cost of government. Otherwise known as taxes. I know this story has been in the corporatist press but I thought this post:

Based on IRS records, a recent GAO report indicates that many corporations claimed to owe $0 in U.S. taxes from 1998 – 2005: roughly 28%-53% of large foreign-controlled and 23%-38% of large U.S.-controlled corporations. [The GAO considers a "large" corporation one with at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in gross receipts.

From NoQuarter had a lot more detail and so link to it.

There is a growing opportunity for those of us who are economically literate, a tiny minority, to take back the high ground in the never ending debate about taxes, government and what should be done by same. The ‘conservative’ shills who’ve been preaching the Friedman Lunacy for decades are gob-smacked that the ‘trickle down’ theory has at last been proved to be the utter bullshit that it is. There is a desperate air of ‘now what do we do…’  as the third artificial bubble of ‘asset building’, housing, pops following  the dot.com bubble and ‘financialization’ coming from the morons such as Greenspan who’ve been ‘supervising ‘ our economy. As Ol’ Shakespeare opined, ‘The truth will out…’ and now folks are waking up to the realization that while their real income has declined every year since Nixon under the Republican fantasy machine corporations and very wealthy individuals merely extract whatever amounts of cash they need from the U.S. Treasury, that’s us Homer, in the form of  taxes not paid.

This report points a finger at why you, yeah you Homer, ‘can’t’ have healthcare, good schools, well-maintained roads, safe food and on and on…. The next time some low-info fool tells you, ‘Oh, we can’t afford that…’ about some needed social program tell them the following:

‘Of course we can afford that. If corporations and the uber-rich would pay their fair share of taxes instead of bribing Congress to give them a free pass we’d’ have plenty of money to take care of the real, immediate needs of our society.’

And if they start bloviating tell them this:

‘Surely you are not advocating that some, particularly those best able to pay, should be excused from their social obligation to pay their fair share of the costs they helped create are you?’

More on how your are being screwed solely because you are NOT rich in future posts.


Essential Reading for all Democrats….

August 10, 2008

Is this site operated by The Denver Group. You will be hearing about them once the convention starts. Probably you will be hearing a lot.

Just keep in mind that according to it’s rules the Democratic Party despite what Obama and the corporatist press who so love him are acting like has not, in fact, elected a nominee. No voter by the delegates has been taken. None.

Latest reports have a haggard Howard Dean not looking very well and seeming to have lost quite a bit of weight. Obama was feeling good enough to play golf today as Russia invaded Georgia and McSame and The Hill were on the campaign trail. The HIll campaigning for Obama.

My personal opinion rendered without any satisfaction is that the wheels are going to come off the Convention ‘Unity Train’. There tension and actual hysteria are building. I’m not even going to report what some are saying the Obama campaign or it’s workers are doing. Not unless arrests are made…which is a possibility.

Old fashioned smash-mouth politics more akin to the 30s that ‘Yes we can!’ so hang on to yer TeeBee remote and stay tuned here also.

Flash Update: Here’s a little something I just tripped over…. So the next time I start ranting about what a lousy campaigner Barky is just think back to this little episode. Or you might find Tweety playing the tape and chortling about what a frikin’ Clown the Barkster is but that will not happen until he does become the nominee. If he does.


JUst Keep in Mind that the Law is not for you ‘Little People’….

August 7, 2008

Don’t look very happy does he? Well he should he just won one of the ‘spurious lawsuits….’ he and his cabal of jackals are allus goin’ on about. I let Majikthise fill you in:

Bork settles lawsuit over fall at Yale Club

Yep, nice to have the law there to help ain’t it? Mr. Robert ‘Original Conservative’ Bork. Damn shame you did not break your scrawny neck.


How’s Yer Pocketbook like that ‘Diversity’ We got…

June 7, 2008

Way back when Edwards was still in the running I used to try and talk about this issue. Nobody cared. It was all about ID politics and the wonderfulness of a woman and a black man running for President. Well, we got that out of the way. Now what?

Are we gonna keep on with our ‘national dialogue about race..’ maybe tack on the word ‘gender’ to that? Before you all start clapping and cheering check this out:

But only 7% of US households earn more than $150,000; only 18% earn more than $100,000; more than 50% earn under $50,000 (7). Once you have Democrats who consider people on $200,000 as middle class and in need of tax relief, you don’t need Republicans any more. Clinton and Obama are the emblems of a liberalism which has made its peace with a political ethics that will combat racist and sexist inequalities, while almost ignoring inequalities that stem not from discrimination but from exploitation. The candidates’ death match prominently features charges of racism and sexism.’


That’s from an article by
Walter Benn Michaels is professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago you can read here……..

Next time we will be talking about GINI, that’s not a person and ‘she’s’ not gonna be Obama’s Veep, what it is and why you aren’t happy with the way things feel.