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Many Sunny Days Ahead

Occasionally something comes by that is too good to be trapped in email.

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’s been sitting on a park bench. He speaks to the U.S. Marine standing guard: “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine looks at the man: “Sir, Mr. Bush no longer is president, and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The following day, the same man approaches the White House, says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and, again, just walks away.

The third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U. S. Marine saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine, somewhat irritated at this point, looks hard at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve already told you that Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looks at the Marine: “Oh, I understand, all right. I just love hearing you say it.”

The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, sir.”

Mortgage Madness and banking bullshit

The madness surrounding bad mortgages continues. Banks are finally offering to rewrite bad mortgages, which on the surface sounds good, but upon a closer look is bullshit.
Citygroup is the latest bank to announce a rewriting package. Read the fine print. Citi’s press release says:

“Citi will systematically implement its practice of not initiating a foreclosure or completing a foreclosure sale on any eligible borrower where Citi owns the mortgage, the borrower is seeking to stay in the home which is his/her principal residence, is working in good faith with Citi, and has sufficient income for affordable mortgage payments.

Paul Jackson over at Housingwire.com has a good overview of this.
Paul writes:

First of all, Citi must have the mortgage held in portfolio and not have securitized it; that rules out most subprime and Alt-A mortgages, right off the bat.
Source: HousingWire.com

So kind, so bold, so much bullshit.

Fear of Queers 2 The Hate Crime Scenario

Every Constitution in the United States including the mother of them all, the US Constitution, Requires Equal Treatment for its citizens. This only requires a heartbeat. We have had to over time, enumerate what that means, blacks having heartbeats, women having heartbeats, and so on. The only place where bigotry and special treatment gets a leg up, is religion. Freedom Therof You can hang out with your friends and rub blue mud in your navel to the greater glory of your deity, making you different, but not less.

Marriage is a legal framework for the pooling of assets, a public territorial claim of partnership and sex between consenting adults.
Fear of Queers 2 The Hate Crime Scenario
In Arizona they passed Prop 201, in California they passed Prop 8. Both of these voter initiatives rewrite their states Constitution’ s to define marriage as being between only a man and woman. These are hate crimes.

Hate crimes (also known as bias motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.

Both of these propositions qualify. Legislating Morality never works.

The authors of these propositions should be dragged into a court of law and prosecuted under Hate Crime Statues. However if that can’t be done, I have a few suggestions for the sexual repressed bigots and religious zealots.

One of the more ironic things about the whole religious homosexual hysteria, is the production of gays and lesbians start in heterosexual homes. (Yes my friends, it is a religious thing. Rational people do not shun people about preferences in sexual activities or debates about whose God has the biggest dick. Fucking on the Bible does not guarantee heterosexual offspring.)

The simple solution is to stop producing children. This will eliminate the possibility of creating homosexual offspring. The downside to this is it sort of tosses the whole ‘family’ defense in the toilet. It also has the added benefit of slowing strangling organized religions, as they base their revenues on the congregations going forth and multiplying. But hey, that’s me.

Bonus Link!

You Can Forget My Taxes by Melissa Etheridge

Rummage

There seems to be no credit crisis on the taxpayer dollar.

More of your tax dollars at work. A  local TV station reports that AIG blew into town for another ‘conference’ at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort this week. According to the KNXV story:

AIG made significant efforts to disguise the conference, making sure there were no AIG logos or signs anywhere on the property.

An AIG spokesperson said there were no AIG markers in order to minimize signage costs and to lower the company’s profile.
Source: AIG execs at posh Phoenix resort after $85 billion bailout

They did save around 40,000 bucks by canceling Terry Bradshaw, a retired football player booked as a motivational speaker. Using sport metaphors to motivate financial engineers is probably a really dumb idea.

Meanwhile on the ‘retail’ front, meaning folks like you and I, we seem to be deleveraging, or paying off and canceling credit cards, and paying cash for things. Over at the Monitor website is this story on how living within ones means is a bad idea. The ‘Catch 22′ of consumer credit

It is interesting to note that the article continues to beat the drum of using plastic, so as not to harm your FICO score, which is a record of whether or not you have credit cards, and how much you are using them.

Living withing a budget and paying for things as you can afford them is obviously bad for credit card companies, and Fair Issac, the company who computes credit scores. Here is an interesting bit of Financial Profiling:

“Credit adjustments are being based on a broader risk-management model,” says Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com. “Even if an individual consumer has had no problems of credit-payment deficiencies, if they shop where others who have had a history of default shop, then their credit lines will be reduced.”
Source CS Monitor

So kids, Remember Don’t Shop Where Deadbeats Shop!

Fear of Queers

Not all of the election news is good. Arizona remains a RED state, mostly because McCain is a homeboy. Ignorance is curable, stupidity is not.

Fear of Queers is alive and well here in the Grand Canyon State, and may very well become part of the Arizona Constitution. Proposition 102 passed amending the constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. With divorce rates at or above 50% we know how well that is working.

However, in a spirit of unity and lunacy, lets go with this for a moment. Since same sex marriage is illegal already in Arizona, and the man woman thing is so important, let us come together and strengthen this.

No sense polluting the sacred marriage  with acts that can be construed as anti family. Since this is billed as a family initiative, by all means let us require procreation as a part of the marriage contract. Prop 102 was sold as a Family initiative, and there is no more positive proof than having children.  To insure that this takes place, let us outlaw all sexual positions but the missionary with the man superior. This is so our little sperm buddies do not leak out.

In the case of infertility, we can have the state drop off a kid every so often, so we can keep the perfect family train running. It will be a while before we can get the age of consent down to puberty, so we have to do something with these accidents. Think of the money we can save by not housing and feeding all those unwanted children. Besides we can use the beds for those people who have come out of the closet, we can set up reeducation camps and use electro convulsive therapy (shock treatments) because nothing says love like 10,000 volts in your brain.

Let us also make cunnilingus, fellatio and sodomy crimes as they do not  promote the meeting of the sperm and egg. Besides it is how those people scratch their twisted sexual desires. To be sure that we can keep the sacred marriage contract on track, we can educate our children how to spot these behaviors and give them a hotline to turn in mommy and daddy. You know, clubs like Sperm Saviours and Egg Keepers. We can award prizes like Disney Movies, burgers and candy bars.

We will also have take back the rainbow as a happy symbol of heterosexual life and not as a secret badge for those people who think that they are okay having sex with the same sex. Fashion and interior design will take a hit in the short term, but we don’t have money to spend on that sort of frivolity anyway.

We have just has a historic election where we have elected a black man who less than 150 years ago was owned by someone, and less than 60 years ago could not be an equal member of our society.

So now we want to deny liberty and equality to people whose sexual orientation is different?

Like I said earlier,

Ignorance is curable, stupidity is not.

Does Papa have a brand new bag?

President Bush can leave town anytime now. Start packing!  Really, get the fuck out the White House now so that we can fumigate, and begin to repair the damage that you have caused. Even Nixon got a clue. We will need someone to count the silverware however. And I hope the door hits you in the ass hard enough to render you mute for the  rest of your miserable life.

My luck is changing, as normally when I vote, the other guy wins. It may be because how I spent the day of the election.

After voting as the sun was rising, I puttered around the house for a little bit, and then sat down and watched  Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Complete First Season on DVD.

There is a certain emotional elegance to this. No commercial interruptions, and not watching talking assholes on TV explaining vote counting, with no doubt pithy analysis (as they always do). People who read shit off  teleprompters are not at the top of my list as folks I regard as credible, especially in an arena where addition can be done by me. When I did check the results I used the web. Much better and a lot quieter.

Electing Barack Obama president was a watershed event in American culture. Not because he is black, articulate, or has dumbo ears, but because he has vision and no political contributor remoras sucking at his neck, unlike the other guy. The only folks he owes is us, and I think he will honor that. Saying Politics and Honor in the same paragraph is its own event.

Papa does have a brand new bag.

Voting for Obama

My vote is for Obama.

That’s one.

Your vote will make two.

And so on.

This is the first Presidential Election where I am actually voting for a candidate rather than against a politician. Having voted  for 36 years, because it is really the one true right left, it is important. Besides, even with McCain having a home state advantage, if he wins here it will be paper thin.

My fantasy is Obama crushes McCain so we can call the election around an hour after the polls close. McCain retires from public life forever, Sarah Palin gets a job as a spokes model for the NRA, and I win the lottery.

Here in Arizona I will be voting against every Republican Incumbent.  Also in Arizona we have the Proposition Follies.

Proposition 102 wants to keep the gays in the closet by amending the State Constitution making marriage the union of one man and one woman. That’s a No.

Proposition 200 says it wants to reform Payday Loans, but being written by the Payday Loan Support Group, it is a No.

Proposition 201 will open the door for anybody to sue any home seller for alleged ‘defects’ regardless of not being the buyer. Ambulance chasers rejoice! This is another one of those full employment for attorneys deals. Another No.

Proposition 202 is relates to closing the loopholes on businesses who hire illegal aliens. Yes here. There are enough loopholes in the original legislation to drive semi loads of illegal aliens through.

Prop 300 is a salary bump for state legislators. Hell No! There are few reasons.

A lot of what passes for law and legislation in Arizona gets lifted from Federal Law and gets the serial numbers filed off.  A moron with search and replace can do that. One might point out that there is little discernible difference between morons and legislators, but that would petty and do a great disservice to morons.  The current crop of legislators are firmly jammed up the assholes of Developers and Builders. They are ignoring solar energy, health care and education. Proposition 202 is a shining example of why they don’t deserve a pay raise.

So much for me. Get your own ass out and vote.

Federal Bailout and Foreclosure Relief

Well the federal bailout is not working as intended, as banks are keeping all those billions under their own mattresses or buying smaller banks instead of starting up the loan express to keep the economy running.

Since the Fed thinks this is okay, I have a box full of losing lottery tickets I would like to redeem. Should I send them to the Fed or Congress?

Meanwhile on main street companies are cutting back, folks are not spending like drunken sailors, and housing values continue to fall. Mortgages are a large part of the income picture across the economy, and producing payments is what keeps values up and lending continuing.

Foreclosures are up and will continue as the CDO/CDS market refuses to understand that exotic mortgage products may have looked good in the short term, the party is over, and the value of housing is cratering. Short term thinking about  long term investments. Tracking down these folks who created this monster and issuing them a shopping cart and a cardboard sign is a first step toward making amends, but is only a first step. RICO indictments would be good too.

Toilet paper has more value and utility than the CDO/CDS market paper.

There have been reports that have put the blame on the crisis on outmoded computer modeling software. This is truer than most folks know. Companies resist change especially in the IT department. Building a house of cards on a house of cards always ends badly.

Foreclosure Relief

I guess that not every banker in the universe is as dumb as a box of rocks. JP Morgan has decided to stop foreclosures and rewrite loans to get them producing income. Gee why didn’t they think about this on Capitol Hill?  Too fucking busy trying to distance themselves from their campaign contributors, and trying to get reelected.

There is good news here. Rewriting these mortgages will create a much stronger economy, and change the way that credit is rated as folks will make their payments. The house flippers will get strangled, and home ownership will stablize. Someday my house may be worth more than I paid for it.