Friday, March 21, 2008

A Little Obama-Bashing

Uncle Jim called me when I was at work yesterday. Usually I'm too busy to pick up the phone, but I had a minute so I took the call. He started to tell me about the latest Obama outrage of the day, but I had no idea what he was talking about. Since I've been listening to Mastodon on CD, I missed all the talk radio chatter. (I alway miss radio bores me. I'd much rather listen to heavy guitar riffs and some guy screaming himself hoarse about dinosaurs.)

Me and Uncle Jim didn't get very far in our conversation, though, and I hung up still kind of wondering what he did that was so bad. I couldn't find any controversy brewing on the major news sites, save for the passport thing that broke kind of late last night, but this morning, I think I might have found Obama's latest unforgivable sin.

He called his grandmother a "typical white person."

That gaffe was ridden so hard yesterday as proof that Obama isn't fit to be commander-in-chief that even some of the guys at Fox News noticed it. Brian Kilmeade walked off the set in a huff and even Chris Wallace said something about it. Obama-bashing, he called it.

His word, not mine. Check the vids in the link.

Then, as icing on the cake, I got this picture in an e-mail from Uncle Jim.


I replied back to the whole distro, which includes some folks receptive to this kind of clever photoshop satire, "Since when did you start working for Hillary Clinton's campaign, Jimmy?"

Which is pretty much the biggest insult you can give to a George Bush loving Republican.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adventures In Bicycling

I'm a killer...a bike pump killer. Last week, I broke my fancy-smancy frame-mounted bike pump the first time I attempted to use it. Of course, I blame the cheap plastic construction, not the fact that I didn't read the directions.

I mean, it's a bike pump. How hard can it be?

So I bought a new one and today, the first time I tried to use it, I broke that one, too.

Oh, it was funny, gentle readers. You should have been there.

My tire wasn't even flat. Instead of "experimenting" with the thing (and breaking it) at home, I rode to the Beeler Street Community Garden (my destination for the day), scoped out the grounds, and then decided...ah, now would be a good time to fuck with the pump.

And within a minute...the pump was broken and futzing with it had drained my tire. So I walked it a few blocks to a gas station, pumped it up, and rode home, mucho chagrinned.


This is, I think, the ugliest person I have ever seen.

If I saw that coming after me, I'd RUN.

Big Money, Little Responsibility

I knew it! When I heard about the Bear Stearns debacle from earlier this week, my first question was "How much did the execs get paid?" Turns out they were paid a lot:
Their paper wealth may have disintegrated but for years leading up to Bear's collapse they had been the beneficiaries of one of the most generous compensation packages in the industry. Over five years, from 2002 through 2006, {Bear Stearns Chairman Jimmy} Cayne took home total compensation — salary, bonus, restricted stock, and stock options — worth a combined $156 million. Current CEO Schwartz made $141 million. Former Co-President Warren Spector, deposed after the hedge fund debacle, did the best of them all, reaping $168 million.
Hell, with that kind of dough they could have bought the firm themselves for $2 a share.

Of course, with their careful stewardship of the company, I suppose they earned it...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snark of the Day

Courtesy of John Cole, regarding the Bear Stearns buy-out:
You have to wonder why there have been no counter-top investigations. When Graeme Frost made the profound mistake of telling America that he had benefitted from a government program in the debate over the SCHIP expansion which would cost the taxpayers a similar amount, he got the full-on Beauchamp.
"The full-on Beauchamp." Ha!

Slow on the Uptake

This post from Andrew Sullivan strikes me as...strange. I have to wonder what rock he's been living under when he writes:
Not that I have stopped believing in limited government, individual freedom, personal responsibility, pragmatic change. But I have come to believe that large swathes of today's conservative movement truly are hateful.
This from a gay man who has just now figured out that the "conservative"(*) movement is hateful?

And I thought he's been paying attention...

* A more proper term would be "right wing," because conservative they ain't.

Some Friendly Advice

My advice to the 700 or so employees offered buy-outs by Qwest?

TAKE IT. Do yourself a favor and get a new job.

They Don't Know......Who We Be

I can't believe DMX really is this ignorant, but apparently it's true:

Q: Are you following the presidential race?
A: Not at all.

Q: You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
A: His name is Barack?!

Q: Barack Obama, yeah.
A: Barack?!

Q: Barack.
A: What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Q: Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
A: Barack Obama?

Q: Yeah.
A: What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

Q: You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
A: I ain’t really paying much attention.

Q: I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
A: Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to Turn $3.5 Billion into Less than $300 Million in 4 Days

Via Sadly No:
It cost JP Morgan less money to purchase Bear Stearns than it would have cost them to purchase Alex Rodriguez’s contract from the New York Yankees. And between you and me, I think A-Rod would have been a far better investment.

Actually, I'm shocked...shocked, I tell you...that JP Morgan Chase was able to pick up Bear Stearns for $2 a share...$2 a share?!

According to the Wall Street Journal, they were worth $3.5 billion on Friday. Four days later, they're worth less than A-Rod's contract?

The Wall Street Journal explains:
Bear Stearns's fortunes started to take a dramatic turn for the worse on Thursday as its trading partners started making margin calls. By Thursday night, Bear had told government officials that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection.

On Friday, after the Fed and J.P. Morgan agreed to provide emergency funding to the firm, its stock went into a free fall. Late Friday, credit-ratings firms downgraded Bear Stearns to two or three levels above junk status. The downgrades also had a big impact on Bear Stearns's viability, as they severely crimped the firm's number of potential trading partners.

By Friday evening, the walls were closing in around Bear. Banks and other counterparties were refusing to do any business with it at all. They stopped taking collateral on short-term lines of credit, even those backed by the highest-quality mortgage bonds backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Prime-brokerage clients were also fleeing. So much was moving out of Bear accounts, that a final accounting was still going on through the weekend.
Hmmm...something's kind of fishy about this whole thing.

I wonder if bankruptcy might have been better...

But alas:
Bankruptcy experts said filing for bankruptcy protection wouldn't have been an attractive option for Bear Stearns, partly due to recent changes in the federal Bankruptcy Code.

I'll be watching this one.

Another Blow-Out

Damn...the Nuggets beat the Supersonics big time. The final score: 168-116. I wish I could have been at that game!

This is the part I like best:
The Nuggets had eight players score in double figures, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 26 and Allen Iverson’s 24. Martin had 23 points and Marcus Camby had a triple-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists.
That kind of team effort might come in handy if we make the play-offs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

God Damn The Preachers

I've been doing my best to avoid campaign news these last few days. The truth is that it just pisses me off. The latest outrage of du jour: Obama's crazy pastor and spiritual adviser.

I ignored this story for a number of reasons. After the stuff about his funny name, his presumed muslimness, the flag pin, and the Kenyan clothes, I was hoping (and secretly fearing) that his opponents would come out with something valid, something that sticks. You know, something that reflects more on Obama the man rather than reflecting his "stubbornly uninformed" detractors. (Bill Maher's description.)

I'm sure there are quite of a few of those critics who, upon hearing about the very Christian Reverend Wright's controversial statements, are scratching their heads, saying to themselves, "But I thought he was a Muslim..."

Well, that's what you get for listening to Rush Limbaugh, dummy.

For my part, I'm not surprised that Obama's preacher says crazy things on the pulpit. Maybe it's just the atheist in me, but I thought that's what preachers do.

Some day's they might be talking miracles and magic, and some day's they might be talking about "God damn America." In another church, it might be "God damn the homosexuals." In yet another, it might be "God damn the abortionists."

Ezra Klein has it right on this one:
It's fine to be a Christian extremist in America. It's fine to believe, and say publicly, that everyone who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ into their heart will roast in eternal hellfire, fine to believe that the homosexuals caused Hurricane Katrina and the feminists contributed to 9/11, fine to believe we must support Israel so the Jews can be largely annihilated in a war that will trigger the End Times, fine to believe we're in a holy battle with the barbaric hordes of Islam, fine to believe that we went to the Middle East to prove "our God is bigger than your God." What you can't believe is that blacks have suffered a long history of oppression in this country, that they're still face deep institutional discrimination, and that a country where 100 percent of the presidents have been rich white guys is actually run by rich white guys. More to the point, even if you do believe those things, you certainly can't be angry about it!
On any given Sunday, weird, offensive things come spewing out of pulpits in every town in the country, coast to coast and border to border. I don't see what makes Reverend Wright's sermons more weird and more offensive than any other.