Monosyllabic Pedantry

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CIA Awkwardly Debriefs Obama On Creation Of Crack Cocaine

WASHINGTON—In his first meeting with President Barack Obama, CIA crime and counternarcotics analyst Timothy R. McIntire haltingly explained to the nation's first African-American commander in chief the highly classified origin of crack cocaine and the resultant epidemic that swept across U.S. inner cities. "Well, you see, sir...thing is, we needed money to help those Contras back in '85, and we never really we distributed it, and...shortsighted...and, ha, well, Christ—is it hot in here?" McIntire said between exaggerated coughs. "Yikes, okay. See, it was a very tense time—not that that makes it right—and, uh, bottom line is, we're a different agency now."
McIntire went on to disclose several other secret CIA operations, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the recruitment, four years earlier, of a Kenyan grad student for a clandestine program at the University of Hawaii.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Extreme Sheep Herding


Friday, March 27, 2009

Chicago Politics gone Federal

Man, the hits just keep a comin'. Every day, there's new stories highlighting what a bunch of crooks have been elected into the white house. Thanks a pantload, liberals.

The White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.

One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago's Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.

He was named to the Freddie Mac board in February 2000 by Clinton. The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board's working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.
On Emanuel's watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.

The accounting scandal wasn't the only one that brewed during Emanuel's tenure.

During his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.

The board was throttled for its acquiescence to the accounting manipulation in a 2003 report by Armando Falcon Jr., head of a federal oversight agency for Freddie Mac. The scandal forced Freddie Mac to restate $5 billion in earnings and pay $585 million in fines and legal settlements. It also foreshadowed even harder times at the firm.
Many of those same risky investment practices tied to the accounting scandal eventually brought the firm to the brink of insolvency and led to its seizure last year by the Bush administration, which pledged to inject up to $100 billion in new capital to keep the firm afloat. The Obama administration has doubled that commitment.
By the time Emanuel joined Freddie Mac, the company had begun to loosen lending standards and buy riskier sub-prime loans. It was a practice that later blew up and contributed to the current foreclosure crisis.

In his investigation, Falcon concluded that the board of directors on which Emanuel sat was so pliant that Freddie Mac's managers easily were able to massage company ledgers. They manipulated bookkeeping to smooth out volatility, perpetuating Freddie Mac's industry reputation as "Steady Freddie," a reliable producer of earnings growth. Wall Street liked what it saw, Freddie Mac's stock value soared and top executives collected their bonuses.

Another focus of Freddie during Emanuel's day—and one that played to his skill set—was a stepped-up effort to combat congressional demands for more regulation.

During a September 2000 board meeting—midway through Emanuel's 14-month term—Freddie Mac lobbyist R. Mitchell Delk laid out a strategy titled "Political Risk Management" aimed at influencing lawmakers and blunting pressure in Congress for more regulation. Through Delk's initiative, Freddie Mac sponsored more than 80 fundraisers that raised at least $1.7 million for congressional candidates despite a federal law that bans corporations from direct political activity.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paying Protection Money

It'd be shame if anything was to happen to you or your family.

An email from the head of a controversial unit at AIG suggests employees who gave up their bonuses did not do so voluntarily, but feared their names would be released if they did not.

The email, obtained by CNBC, states the following: “Please be aware that we have received assurances from Attorney General Cuomo that no names will be released by his office before he completes a security review which is expected to take at least a week. To the extent that we meet certain participation targets, it is not expected that the names would be released, at all.”

(See the email here).

The email, dated Friday March 20th, is from Gerard Pasciucco, the individual hired by AIG CEO Edward Liddy to wind down the controversial Financial Products division — the division which caused the near collapse of the global financial system — and was sent to employees of that division.

In a Monday night news conference with reporters New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that releasing the names would be in the interest of explaining to taxpayers how their money was used—and that if the money were returned, it would severely diminish if not extinguish the need to release the names.

When asked by the reporters if there was any implied threat in Cuomo's request the employees return the money he said, "I do not threaten, nor do I use strong language."

Let's not forget that this is happening alongside bus loads of angry mobs activists showing up at the homes of these same AIG employees.


AIG Employees getting letters threatening harm to them and their kids.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Prison Workout

I have a gym membership at the local college, which is about 4 miles from my work. In the past (I've gotten pretty lazy lately) I'd run over at lunch, changing clothes as I drive, do a quick 20 minute workout, then drive back to work, changing clothes on the way, and throw down whatever food I had for lunch.
I'd have to rush the whole time. It wasn't very much fun, but I got my workout in.

I recently picked up a yoga mat at walmart. I've been doing some stretching and yoga over lunch.

Now, I'm expanding it to a yoga/stretch/workout.

If you google prison workout, you'll see there are tons of exercises you can do within the confines of your office.

I just got a pretty good overall workout, along with some stretching.

Pullups (Lie under your desk and pull yourself up, keeping your torso straight.)
Squat thrusts

Plus there are a ton of toning yoga poses.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The New Diet Isn't Going Well

Ugh. Yesterday, Mrs Schwartz made the spiedies, which have been marinating for four days. She added a little garlic to the marinade this time. It was Deeeelicious. I ate Way more than I should have, with beer, lots and lots of beer. We both laid (lied?) on the couch like ticks last night.
I vowed this morning to go on a pseudo fast to help make up for it.
Then, I discover that we are having a cookout barbeque here at work, just cause it's nice out. (I love working here)
I ate two burgers and a hotdog. I need to take a nap.

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Friday, March 20, 2009


U.S. House OKs 90% tax on bailout firms' bonuses

12:00 AM CDT on Friday, March 20, 2009

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers, spurred by rising public anger, voted Thursday to impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to high-income employees by companies getting big government bailouts.

The action in the House was the first move toward reclaiming taxpayer dollars going into such bonuses.

The House bill would impose the 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money. It would apply to any such bonuses issued since Dec. 31.

The House vote was 328-93 to impose the tax. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate late Thursday.

Some members of both parties raised doubt about whether the legislation could survive a court challenge, saying it was tantamount to a retroactive "bill of attainder," which is banned by the Constitution. Even backers of the bill acknowledged it amounted to an extraordinary use of tax law.


From the US Constitution:

Article 1 Section 9

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Article 1 Section 10

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

It Takes a Democrat

to be this stupid.

During this whole banking fiasco, have you heard anything about credit unions?
Niether has anybody else, because credit unions are doing pretty well.

The reason WHY credit unions are doing well is because they were exempt from that abomination, The Community Reinvestment Act, which is the root cause of the current credit market meltdown.

So of course the dumb-ass democrats want to expand the CRA to include credit unions.

If you have a credit union account (like I do) you might want to start writing your congressmen.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama is Brilliantly Destroying the Economy

Ya gotta hand it to him; he's hitting every aspect of the economy that could possibly help us out of this recession.

Raising taxes on business.
Forcing Unions into Business.
Raising the cost of energy.
Nationalizing Healthcare.
Raising Environmental Restrictions.

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This should scare the hell out of you


Take That, Darwin!

U.S. capital struggles to contain HIV epidemic

The District of Columbia has struggled with HIV for decades. Its report on Monday showed the number of people with HIV infections rose 22 percent from 2006 to 2007.
"I think the true prevalence rate could be 30 to 50 percent higher," Dr. Shannon Hader, the city's HIV/AIDS Administration director, said in a telephone interview. Many people are likely infected without knowing it.

The report showed that 6.5 percent of the city's black men were infected. Overall, there were 15,120 HIV-infected people. Blacks make up 53 percent of the population of just over half a million people, but account for 76 percent of infections.

Come on, DC. This is not a difficult disease to prevent. It's not like it's being spread through the air. If you're still engaging in, shall we say, high-risk activities, then I've got little pity for you.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Mick Day

Hey, keep it down over there!

If you're out getting drunk and getting into a fight, you might be Irish. Then again, odds are you're not. You're a goof ball.

St Pats has gone the way of New Year's Eve. It's amateur night, where you can pay twice as much for food and drink that's half as good as it was in the same bar last week, then play roadblock-dodge with your local PD.

I may stop on the way home and pick up a six-pack of Harp. I've got to work tomorrow.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Pootie Obama


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thanks, BibleThumpers

RNC Chairman Michael Steele had the audacity to tell an interviewer he supports "individual choice" and state-level decisions on abortion.
Right on cue, the "Pro-Life" crowd came out and damned him to hell until, having his dick slapped, Steele cleared things up by saying that, when he said pro-choice, he meant choosing life.

Once again guaranteeing the republicans continue to lose elections.



The damn roof is still leaking.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

George Orwell

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

George Orwell

Obviously, Orwell was brilliant. This quote of his summarizes, for me, the difference between liberals and everyone else. The idea that liberals don't seem to appreciate the realities of the world.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Look For that Union Label

Vice President Joe Biden was there, in Miami, to tell his keepers that they WILL get their "card check" law this year. President Obama video conferenced into the event to add his support.

Updated to Add:

Employee Free Choice Act Will Cost US Economy 600,000 Jobs in 2010

Organized Labor's effort to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) comes with a terrible cost to jobs and the economy, according to a detailed study released today by noted economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar.

Every 3 percentage points gained in union membership through card checks and mandatory arbitration will result in a 1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate the following year.

About the Author:
A highly regarded economist from the non-partisan firm LECG Consulting, with more than a decade of experience Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar received her BA in economics with honors, summa cum laude, from Indiana University (Bloomington), her master's and her PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. She has published articles in Antitrust, Global Competition Review, and Regulation Magazine and has numerous publications in academic journals, including Antitrust Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and Journal of Competition Law and Economics.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

At work

I found a box of 9mm shells on one of my coworker's desk. I work in an environment where this is not a bad thing.

Exador: Why do you have a box of Core Bonds on your desk?
Worker1: I've been all over town, trying to buy shells. The stores are all empty.
(Just then, worker number 2 walks in)
Worker2: It's true! You can't buy ammo anywhere. Everybody's stocking up.
Worker1: It's only a matter of time before enough people finally get fed up with having all their money taken from them.
Worker2: It's time for another revolution. It's coming!

These two aren't Hillbillies. Worker1 is an ISO9000 and QC guy. Worker2 is a hardware engineer.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Home Ownership Can Suck

It's been pissing rain for three days now. I have just discovered that my roof has a leak around the furnace exhaust pipe. The shingles are only a few years old, but the exhaust pipe is original; about 35 years old. I just got back from the roof (in the rain) and the shingling around the pipe looks good. I'm guessing that one of the seams of the pipe has rusted through.


Updated 3/9: Yesterday I checked out the roof. The tar that is supposed to seal the nailholes in the pipeflange is all old and cracked. It is 35 years old. So, I chipped off what was left of it and re-tarred all the nails for all the pipes.
I also noticed that the fly-by-night roofers I had hired a few years ago did a piss-poor job on sealing the nailholes in the peak vent that they installed. Since I was already up there, I covered all of them as well. Hopefully, that will do it.


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