frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1478 POSTS

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Saturday, 25 October 2008 at 11h 3m 1s

Looking for fault

This piece in the New York Times is an incredible work of legitimate journalism, not just because I agree with what the author says, but because the author representing all perspectives possible of the issue, and also give relevant non-mischaracterized historical knowledge to enhance the readers knowledge. If only there were more Edmund L. Andrews hired by the newspapers and dailies.

“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”

Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”

On a day that brought more bad news about rising home foreclosures and slumping employment, Mr. Greenspan refused to accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his belief in deregulation had been shaken.

He noted that the immense and largely unregulated business of spreading financial risk widely, through the use of exotic financial instruments called derivatives, had gotten out of control and had added to the havoc of today’s crisis. As far back as 1994, Mr. Greenspan staunchly and successfully opposed tougher regulation on derivatives.

But on Thursday, he agreed that the multitrillion-dollar market for credit default swaps, instruments originally created to insure bond investors against the risk of default, needed to be restrained.

“This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades,” he said. “The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.”

Mr. Waxman noted that the Fed chairman had been one of the nation’s leading voices for deregulation, displaying past statements in which Mr. Greenspan had argued that government regulators were no better than markets at imposing discipline.

“Were you wrong?” Mr. Waxman asked.

“Partially,” the former Fed chairman reluctantly answered, before trying to parse his concession as thinly as possible.


“This crisis,” he told lawmakers, “has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined. It has morphed from one gripped by liquidity restraints to one in which fears of insolvency are now paramount.”

Many Republican lawmakers on the oversight committee tried to blame the mortgage meltdown on the unchecked growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored mortgage-finance companies that were placed in a government conservatorship last month. Republicans have argued that Democratic lawmakers blocked measures to reform the companies.

But Mr. Greenspan, who was first appointed by President Ronald Reagan, placed far more blame on the Wall Street companies that bundled subprime mortgages into pools and sold them as mortgage-backed securities. Global demand for the securities was so high, he said, that Wall Street companies pressured lenders to lower their standards and produce more “paper.”

“The evidence strongly suggests that without the excess demand from securitizers, subprime mortgage originations (undeniably the original source of the crisis) would have been far smaller and defaults accordingly far lower,” he said.

[SOURCE: EDMUND L. ANDREWS | New York Times | 23 October 2008]

Notice how the Republicans immediately try to blame the other guy. This is their typical partisan tactic. Quickly frame the event in a way that enables your group of thugs to mischaracterize the event in such a way that they try to place blame on the opposition group, regardless of the truth.

Fact: Fannie and Freddie were both driven by Republican appointments from the Dubya Bush administration. The "Democrats" didn't block "measures to reform the companies", and even if they did, Freddie and Fannie only added to the crisis by becoming engineered by the Republican appointees to shield the lowering of debt standards engineered by the financiers to produce more "paper" so they could sell it.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 18h 19m 41s

$150,000 for Palin's wardrobe

That's right. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the VP candidate of the party that preaches fiscal responsibility.

campaign finance reports confirmed that the Republican National Committee spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue in September for Ms. Palin and her family.

[SOURCE:  | New York Times | 23 October 2008]

Makes the John Edwards $400 haircuts look like loose change.

Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 18h 13m 12s

Conservatives and Republicans who will vote for Obama

Sunday, 19 October 2008 at 9h 52m 17s

Retired General Colin Powell speaks

I have to say that Colin Powell has earned some respect for the way he has handled himself since his 2005 retirement. He has admitted shame for the UN moment when he lied to the world using doctored evidence he knew was "crap" (his own words).

Saturday, 18 October 2008 at 10h 14m 34s

In favor of High Speed Trains

In favor of Raising bonds for constructing 200 mph high speed rail trains up and down the state.

“Sadly, much opposition has come from people who say they like the idea of 220-mph trains zipping up and down the state, but don't think we can afford it right now, in a time of budget disaster and economic crisis.

“That sounds prudent, even reasonable, but it ignores an important fact of American history: Many of our most important public works projects have come in times of deep economic distress -- and they have been crucial elements in our recovery in those times.

“Recall the Great Depression, when voters in the Bay Area passed bonds to build the Golden Gate and Bay bridges -- projects that lightened the impact of the Depression on that region and were critical to the postwar economic boom. Shasta Dam was built during the Depression, and remains a linchpin of the state's water system.”

The closing paragraph of the editorial is a powerful, stirring statement that deserves to be quoted in full:

“The high-speed rail project is immense, and that can be daunting. The current economic situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. In the past, Californians have risen to such challenges with vision and determination. Voting "yes" on Proposition 1A is a declaration that we still possess those qualities, and have not surrendered them to a timid faith in a status quo that is no longer sustainable.”

[SOURCE:  | Fresno Bee editorial | 18 October 2008]

Wow, imagine being in Los Angeles by taking a 4 hour train, or up to Crescent City or Eureka or Lake Tahoo. San Franciscan's would load up their bicycles and make the trip Friday evening at 4pm and be there by 8pm. Rental car services would easily increase. Places connected to the various trains would see an influx of tourist visitation, and people who can ride the train will be able to move quickly across the state, reducing the traffic on the highways and interstates.

I can see this train easily reducing interstate traffic by 10%, but urban traffic probably won't be reduced unless inter-city urban public transit gets a boost. Most people who live in suburbia or in any sprawled out urban area would use an efficient, rapid, inexpensive transit system. The only way to do that is to make the transit lines separated from automobile traffic. That's why the various subways and metro lines in the world work. You can't have a transit system that relies upon buses on the streets.

This should be a Federal project. There are many cities across the United States that would benefit from having rapid transit. Houston and Miami and Memphis and Raleigh and Cleveland and Milwaukee and upstate New York, and so on. Interconnecting the various cities into a central complex could rival the interstate railroad system that was built in the 1860's. Road congestion everywhere would be reduced and local economies would be enhanced because promoting trains promotes foot traffic which enables people to be closer to their surroundings than they would be when surrounded by their metal comfort zones driving to a destination. Such transportation also reduces the transportation load costs of various small businesses and economic enterprises.

The purpose of government is to do for the nation what no one individual or group of individuals will not, or cannot do. We can't expect the private sector to suddenly have keen insight and raise the enormous amount of sums necessary to create this huge infrastructure. The slim profit margins and the scale of the investment proscribes the limitations of private capital. Private firms can't raise 800 billion to 2 trillion dollars for a project that has a 20 year horizon and a zero profit for the first 10 years. Who is going to pay the insurance premiums and the interest costs for rolling over (refinancing) that amount of money for the time that the construction takes. We are talking 40 billion dollars with a 5% yearly interest rate. Even if the system manages 100 million riders by the 5th year of operation, dividing 40 billion by 100 million is $400 per rider, without including the expenses that have to be covered as well like salaries for the employees, the electric creation costs, and the other expenses. At $400 per rider, the competition with airplanes is too real for private capital to make this investment without larger interest rate assurrance, which adds further costs to the interest load on the system.

This is why public investment by the government is the only way this project can be created. Only government can use the nation's currency as collateral for the funds that will get invested while the project is in the start up phase. The costs of financing the enormous sums of investment money do not have to get passed on to the riders of the system, thus enabling more ridership to occur because the cost of admission can be maintained cheaply.

All you have to do is look at Iraq if you want to see the proof. Outsourcing to the private sector the enormous investments in pursuit of government policy cannot coordinate anything but self-serving drives to make money. Which is fine for small scale, localized, specialized projects, but on anything that requires large coordination across time and space, by using different industries and resources, only the government can be effective, because a private firm will always have to be concerned with earning profits for the investors in the firm, and will thus be confronted with making decisions that are not in the best interest of the overall project. The need to make profits to incentivize investors is inseparable from the operations of any private capital venture.

With a government investment program however, taxes are used to pay the interest on the bonds that are owned by investors. Taxes are not coming from a revenue stream by a private firm who is trying to price its commodity in order to pay financing costs and yield profits to investors. This would be like giving ATT the right to assess a 1% tax on all citizens in say Los Angeles in order to offer you a monthly wireless phone service that they are going to also charge you $30 a month to use. Private firms don't have taxing authority, and so their revenue stream is more fragile than a public bond. For this reason, Bonds are considered very safe investments, and investors world-wide buy them because they are guaranteed a return on their investment.

Saturday, 18 October 2008 at 9h 8m 50s

Peggy Noonan eviscerates Palin

Peggy Noonan is Ronald Reagan's ex-speech writer. She has since that time become a "political consultant" for big East Coast Newspapers : like the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Mind you that I am no fan of Peggy Noonan. She is a snake with a forked tongue, but like every snake, she will occasionally use a little truth to sweeten the other 60% of the time she slants it.

The myth that is Sarah Palin in the minds of the true believers will come crashing down because actual conservatives are stepping away from the pack of mindless wolves that have stolen the Republican party.

...we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite—a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—"palling around with terrorists." If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don't, when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.

I gather this week from conservative publications that those whose thoughts lead them to criticism in this area are to be shunned, and accused of the lowest motives. In one now-famous case, Christopher Buckley was shooed from the great magazine his father invented. In all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand against the Bush administration. This was destructive. If they had stood for conservative principle and the full expression of views, instead of attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their movement, and the party, would be in a better, and healthier, position

[SOURCE: Peggy Noonan | Wall Street Journal | 17 October 2008]

Friday, 17 October 2008 at 19h 37m 2s

OMG, this is hilarious

Another hat tip to Barry Ritholtz

Friday, 17 October 2008 at 19h 0m 36s

The Bears are back in town ...

Mucho gracias to barry ritholtz.

Friday, 17 October 2008 at 18h 34m 23s

Politically driven Justice Investigations

David Iglesias says he's shocked by the news, leaked today to the Associated Press, that the FBI is pursuing a voter-fraud investigation into ACORN just weeks before the election.

"I'm astounded that this issue is being trotted out again," Iglesias told TPMmuckraker. "Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it's a scare tactic." In 2006, Iglesias was fired as U.S. attorney thanks partly to his reluctance to pursue voter-fraud cases as aggressively as DOJ wanted -- one of several U.S. attorneys fired for inappropriate political reasons, according to a recently released report by DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

Iglesias, who has been the most outspoken of the fired U.S. attorneys, went on to say that the FBI's investigation seemed designed to inappropriately create a "boogeyman" out of voter fraud.

And he added that it "stands to reason" that the investigation was launched in response to GOP complaints. In recent weeks, national Republican figures -- including John McCain at last night's debate -- have sought to make an issue out of ACORN's voter-registration activities.

[SOURCE: Zachary Roth | TalkingPointsMemo | 16 October]

This is from Republican David Iglesias, because some persons know the difference between their country and a political party.

This is what the Attorney General firings 2 years ago was really all about. All of the Federal district attorneys were expected to comply with Karl Rove's desire to use politically motivated Department of Justice Investigations in order to take down the opposition. Two years ago, Rove fired 7 Federal attorneys because they refused to proceed with the politically motivated elections.

The entire history of what Rove was doing between 2004 and 2007 has yet to be dismantled and written, but history will eventually expose the plethora of illegal abuses in the DOJ. A number of old employees were resigning, or were reassigned, or chose early retirement, because rather than pursuing criminals and nefarious individuals the Department was being transformed into pursuit of politically driven investigations -- some of which have no merit or legal basis other than partisan prejudice.

Any honest discussion of voter fraud will say that there are maybe 6 to 20 cases in the entire USA AT MOST in any given year, because it is extremely difficult to actually pull-off. Registering false voters will not result in a person who fraudulently voted. A person named "Popeye The Sailor" can only vote if he proves himself at some point during the first vote. If he shows up to the polling booth, the poll worker will be astounded that the name "Popeye the Sailor" is on the registration list. Do you really think that poll worker isn't going to ask for identification? States have laws that require some form of identification for first-time registrations. If Sam Davis living at 304 Sycamore St. Apt. 8 shows up with a utility bill in that name, or a state I.D. with that name and address, Sam Davis living at 304 Sycamore St. Apt. 8 gets to sign his name in the registration book and vote.

Absentee Ballots work the same way. Civil servants do make mistakes, like even some human being will do 3 or 4 times out of 100,000 repetitions, but states that have absentee ballots also have drivers license data linked to the voter registration data. Do you really think a registration from a duplicate drivers' license (or state I.D.) will exist in a state computer system? Young pre-21 year olds might have "fake ID's" but these are only cosmetic -- a look alike older sister or brother, or black market issue. They only see bar door bouncers, and are never in the state driver's license computer.

Anyone who actually votes -- like myself -- will know this. I vote every single election. There is no excuse for anyone to be denied the vote. There is also no excuse for anyone not to vote.

How can anyone really be free who does not at least momentarily partake in the decision making of the nation by pulling a lever for one public policy, official, or another?

If you resign your small slice of the heritage that is a government of, by, and for the people, you allow the government to be occupied by public relations managed hyenas who are really only after the power and financial gain.

Thursday, 16 October 2008 at 18h 24m 8s

My precious, my precious

It wants-eth to be da big leedah, mon. It stands-eth before the people and looks foolish.

Him's a real leader, him that points the finger and tellsith not the truth. He haseth principolls and really, really cares.

True believers everywhere unite behind the reincarnation of Jim Jones, and drink the Kool-aid.

Here's the caption Reuters provided to accompany the above picture.

US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008

[SOURCE: Reuters's news service | Yahoo news | 16 October 2008]