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Roly Polies 12 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon, via Times UK

… and they’re gonna roll right over all of us.

Oh I am getting an hallucinatory message!  I can see it now (fueled by having watched Reservoir Dogs again last night)… a line up of Roly Poly Fat Cats… Mr Pink, Mr Orange, Mr White… dancing in a line and  lip synching that old Tina Sinatra song…

These boots were made for walkin’… and they’re gonna walk all over YOU!

Yes I can see it.  Practically feel it…

One of my few debates with myself is… how long to the next crash.  Or bust.  Or recession — or whatever we call our cycles of economic schizophrenia – or are we bi-polar?  2 years?  5 years?

5 years – 2014 –  is a pretty safe call, we’ d be almost due for one anyway.


Simon Johnson, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said that the seeds of another collapse had already sprouted. If major banks are allowed to keep making bets that are ultimately backed by taxpayer guarantees, they will return to the practices that led them to underwrite trillions of dollars in bad loans, Professor Johnson said.

“They will run up big risks, they will fail again, they will hit us for a big check,” he predicted.

The doomsday view is far from universal.

The CFO from Goldman Sachs is quoted as disagreeing.  I am so mollified.  Let’s call them Mr Gold (filthy lucre?).

Critics of the industry argue that the pullback in risk will be only temporary without deep regulatory changes. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a statistician, trader, and author, has argued for years that financial firms chronically underestimate their risks and must be managed much more cautiously. Universa Investments, a $5 billion fund in which he is a principal, made more than 100 percent profit last year betting on the possibility of a collapse.

Mr. Taleb warns that the system has grown riskier since last fall. The extensive government support that began after Lehman collapsed will lead investors to assume that governments will always prevent major banks from collapsing, he said.

So investors will lend money to the financial industry on easy terms. In turn, financial institutions will use that cheap money to make risky loans and trades. The banks will keep the profits when their bets pay off, while taxpayers will swallow the losses when the bets go bad and threaten the system.

Economists call the phenomenon moral hazard. Bankers have a different term: I.B.G. The phrase implies that by the time a deal goes sour, “I’ll be gone,” after having received a sizable bonus.

Having left the scene of the crime.



1. marisacat - 13 September 2009

Democracy NOW from Friday… on the first raid on the taxpayers, last fall

JAMES STEELE: You know, they’re doing this at the same time homeowners throughout the country are having their houses foreclosed, and there’s no relief for them.

DONALD BARLETT: And, you know, you could really—the average taxpayer in this country—that’s people making less than $75,000—should take a bow, because every dollar in income tax they pay for four years went to this bailout.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, you could make an argument that, given the financial crisis, they had to get some of this aid out as quickly as possible. But then, the issue then of tracing where the money went, what was—as you found out, what was the government’s fiduciary responsibility in terms of finding out where this money went?

DONALD BARLETT: Well, what they did was they gave you—for example, AIG got x billion, Goldman Sachs. They identified how much money went to those institutions, but the real brilliant stroke of genius behind this plan was it concealed forever the actual transactions which were being bailed out.

JAMES STEELE: There was not even in the Treasury, in the beginning, the normal processes of accountability. The Government Accountability Office looked at this a couple months into the bailout, and you can just feel in their report a kind of astonishment that there were no internal controls, that there was no office, no desk in there to see, once the check went out, once the money was wired to a bank, what that money did. Did that money—did that bank make credit available to its customers? Did that bank buy other banks? What did the bank do with that money? And what you see over and over again in those early months, they weren’t even asking that question. And they, in fact, refused to ask that question of almost all the banks. . . . . .

2. marisacat - 13 September 2009

Up to 22 civilians killed in Afghan attacks

(AFP) – 1 day ago

KABUL — Up to 22 civilians including children, seven Afghan policeman and 13 Taliban rebels have been killed in a wave of attacks across war-torn Afghanistan, officials and police said Saturday.

The attacks on Friday in militant strongholds in the south, north and east come as the country faces its worst violence in the eight-year war following the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime in a US-led invasion in late 2001.

In southern Uruzgan province, the interior ministry said a roadside bomb planted by “the enemy of the people of Afghanistan” — as Taliban insurgents are referred to — killed 14 civilians in Chora district.

Uruzgan police chief General Juma Gul Hemat told AFP that the blast hit a minibus packed with people. He put the death toll at 12 civilians, and said three children were among the dead and three other youngsters were hurt.

Also Friday in southern Kandahar province, a roadside bomb killed six men and wounded two children, a statement from the provincial government said.

In Khost, in the east of Afghanistan and where Al-Qaeda-linked rebels are known to be active, two young children were killed and two wounded in a roadside bomb in Nadir Shah Kot district, a local army commander said.

A separate blast in the same province left at least seven children wounded, local police and hospital officials said. . . . . . . .

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009

Lucky for Sully he’s not a American ethnic minority, or say a muslim here on a student visa:

Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore….

While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.

The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.

But what he does is VITAL, or something …

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.

At the hearing, Collings observed that Sullivan would still have to state on his application that he had been charged with a crime, and he asked both the prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney, Robert Delahunt Jr. (cousin of U. S. Rep. William D. Delahunt), for more information about why paying the $125 would have “any additional adverse effect”….

In his opinion, Collings wrote that the U.S. Attorney is “is not being faithful to a cardinal principle of our legal system, i.e., that all persons stand equal before the law and are to be treated equally in a court of justice once judicial processes are invoked. It is quite apparent that Mr. Sullivan is being treated differently from others who have been charged with the same crime in similar circumstances.”

marisacat - 13 September 2009

He had pretty high level DOJ intervention in his little “problem” over the summer. One good thing, the conservatives and libertarians resent his hypocrisy … this is just the latest. And he is maintaining radio silence (or did as of yesterday, tho as one site said, it is all over the internets).

Last I read a Federal judge has indicated his displeasure with how things came down.

marisacat - 13 September 2009

I went and looked… he has deigned to answer. Sort of. He is under legal restraints. He says.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009

like he couldn’t blog from the UK. Seriously, he’s not a brain surgeon with unique skills.

We throw people away, essentially for the rest of their lives if they’re the “wrong” race or income level in this country.

marisacat - 13 September 2009

oh the issue is the American husband. As if other people, of all sexual persuasions, don’t have the very same problem

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009
5. marisacat - 13 September 2009

While I was there, I see the top post is a decrying of blogger/operatives running the political narratives. In particular a rightie (or righties) who ran the Sotomayor slurs.

Apparently Sully considers himself something other than a blogger operative.

Perhaps he sees himself as the hand of god. Serving Obama and the US Council of Catholic Bishops. Oh, over ABORTION and not over gay issues. There he just moans.

What a shit he is.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009

bottom for god?

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

ooo that’s randy, baby. LOL.
Which in this case could be the Voice of God, America, or Austin Powers, I’m not sure which voice I’m hearing through the microwave. LOL

marisacat - 13 September 2009


6. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009
7. BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009


New poll finds Corzine closing lead on Christie in N.J. race for governor
by The Associated Press
Sunday September 13, 2009, 7:27 AM

WEST LONG BRANCH — A new poll out today finds Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine narrowing Republican Chris Christie’s lead in the gubernatorial race.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters surveyed in the Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll supported Christie, while 39 percent favored Corzine and 5 percent backed independent Chris Daggett.

Si Newhouse has his panties in quite the twist, I see…
Running this sheisse in the Star Ledger and on NJ dot shlong.
Si’s boys stole TOO MUCH, quite the F’ in feat by Jersey standards…

8. BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

Annie Leibovitz gets new terms on her loan…

And Unconscionable Lending is unconscionable lending I suppose.
But c’mon. About the best I can say from miffed experience is:
Easy on the charge cards from here on out, okay?

I liked her earlier work. Her Nixon Leaving the White House more ironic than the iconic Dick in The Door pic shot by everybody. The John and Yoko capturing the tenderness while playing on the CW of Yoko…

Yet much of her latter portfolio IMO …IMHNJ Opine –
is repetitive graphic kibbitzing, the fascination with the fascination with celebrity just old. NTIM.

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

We live in Post Fascinating Times is what I’m getting at.

9. Revisionist - 13 September 2009

from the TACKY desk…. You might recall that the oldest person died in LA a few days ago… actual AP copy

Mary Josephine Ray secured the title of the oldest person in the US after the death of Gertrude Baines on Friday in Los Angeles.

I somehow have the feeling this title gets passed around every few months.

Revisionist - 13 September 2009


i meant to add

When Ray became the world’s third-oldest person in August, she was asked by the New Hampshire Union Leader what she thought of her long life.

evidently the SECOND runner up died a couple of weeks ago.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009
BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

😆 !

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

Correction! We DO live in Fascinating Times!

11. brinn - 13 September 2009

Hey all — responded to you in the last thread…was kinda out of it yesterday!


Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009


12. marisacat - 13 September 2009

Frank won’t back Marriage Act repeal

Efforts by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act have suffered a setback with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) — the most powerful gay pol on the Hill — expressing opposition to Nadler’s tactics.

“It’s not anything that’s achievable in the near term,” Frank told the Washington Blade, echoing remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in April.

“I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress.”

Nadler plans to introduce the repeal of the 1996 law, which directs the federal government to recognize only man-woman relationships as marriages, on Tuesday. . . . . .

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009


go…..democrats…. clap….



marisacat - 13 September 2009

pretty effectively kills it for the first administration by Ob.

And second admin will be its own horrific partay. (Just a wild guess!)

Still no room for the gays. (Just a wild guess!)

To be honest, when he was running, I had thought he would toss them the bone of DADT… esp as the wars need bodies. But it tells me how fervent this crew is in not doing anything for The Gay. (scared too!)

13. BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

Why I created Black Kos, and why it’s needed.
by dopper0189

Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 02:17:23 PM PDT

? ..Should I -..nah. ….Oh what the hell~
There’s a problem with the Negroes there?
Ya mean they don’t like it?. All FIVE?
for cracker ass clarity’s sake NOT the Jackson Five) 🙄 GMAFB.

Markos as Overseer is bizarre enough. But How fucked up is it when the likes of Tim Lange and Dana Houle get the House Nigger jobs?
So go ahead. Build that “Black Kos” shack. Ya wouldn’t want to get ENTIRELY run off the Plantation, now would you?
Like OUR shacks, LOL, like the Nader shack, like Cindy Sheehan’s tent, all encamped down around the Impeachment Grove…
that got summarily plowed under.
What a fuckin JOKE.

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

The thread is fuckin hillarious.
And so Informative!

Yes, black issues are HUMAN issues (25+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Christin, SallyCat, PaintyKat, dianem, lirtydies, Urizen, kj in missouri, eru, blue jersey mom, CParis, ferallike, Naniboujou, Wary, gooderservice, blueness, Nulwee, Cassandra Waites, Blogvirgin, Deoliver47, Livvy5, smileycreek, TheWesternSun, Mistral Wind, dakinishir, RatCitySqueaker

just as civil rights are HUMAN rights! It’s my firm opinion that EVERYONE should be interested in issues of importance to the black community! When I was in high school, I used to listen to a talk show on WNJR, a black radio station out of Newark, New Jersey, in order to learn about black perspectives. Now, with the internet, there are greater opportunities for non-blacks to be exposed to black perspectives. Everyone gains from that.

Thank you for posting this diary.

by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 02:38:48 PM PDT

LMAO. I did. not. know. that.

14. marisacat - 13 September 2009

Oh god. it’s Democratic Night on 60 Minutes. Ob, Ted and Guiding Light.

Love the snippet tease on Ted. His father supposedly told thim to decide to live a positive life.

That makes me laugh!


marisacat - 13 September 2009

Let me paraphrase!

YOU bought it, other people own it. (health care)

Kinda like the bankster fraud that two administrations have run on us. We bailed them out and they still own us.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009
Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2009
marisacat - 13 September 2009

hmm I see he came out to Bolinas in ’78. Probably a good place for him, far from Lower East Side and Times Sq. AND parochial schools. AND basketball too.

In 1973 Mr. Carroll left New York to escape drugs. He settled in Bolinas, an artistic community north of San Francisco, where met and married Rosemary Klemfuss in 1978. The marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by a brother, Tom.

In ’78 it was nowhere near the version of Bolinas shown in … oh that Sharon Stone Michael Douglas movie. Part of the scenery was a lately landed overwrought house in Bolinas.

16. catnip - 13 September 2009

Stiglitz Says Banking Problems Are Now Bigger Than Pre-Lehman

Side note: We are now entering the year 1 AL (After Lehman). Ramen.

marisacat - 13 September 2009

Leader to give speech tomorrow in NYC to commemorate the wealth transfer.


17. catnip - 13 September 2009
catnip - 13 September 2009

The democracy is ASTOUNDING!

Tonight’s task is to pick a rule to collaborate on. That can be an existing rule or it can be one users wish to create. After you’ve weighed in on what you think should be the rule to write or rewrite, I will make the final choice from among those you discuss. As you can probably guess, I won’t choose the 9/11 conspiracy rule. Many users believe that rule should never have been imposed. Or they think it may have once served a purpose but now should be retired or at least edited into a relaxed version of the original. That’s not going to happen. Please don’t make this a diary for arguing the case. We’ve heard all the arguments, every single one of them, multiple times.

Pick a rule.

No. Don’t pick that rule.

I like that rule.

Pick another one.

But I warn you: I might like that one too.

Isn’t this fun?

marisacat - 13 September 2009

That’s not going to happen. Please don’t make this a diary for arguing the case. We’ve heard all the arguments, every single one of them, multiple times.

yup same thing Kos said the first night about ratings – when people questioned it…. “Don’t bother me it won’t b changing”. And it really was that blunt and abrupt.

BooHooHooMan - 13 September 2009

from his next graf…..

I will choose a rule from those discussed here based on how many people seem to want to take it on and on how complex I think it will be to write. Meaning: I’ll most likely select something relatively simple for our first outing.

LOL. How graciously ephebophilic of him. What a fuckin weirdo.
Some serious juvenile detention issues…

18. BooHooHooMan - 14 September 2009

Killer on the loose at Yale.
Pharmacology Grad student’s body found inside a ‘secure’ lab .
After 5 days…

….On Sunday, police said the 24-year-old bride-to-be, who had been missing since Tuesday and was to marry next Sunday, apparently met a violent death in a secure Yale building accessible only to students and staff….

Yale President Richard Levin offered support to Le’s family and her fiance, Columbia University graduate student Jonathan Widawsky. The couple was to marry Sunday in Syosset, N.Y., on Long Island’s north shore.

“The family and fiance and friends now must suffer the additional ordeal of waiting for the body to be positively identified,” Levin said.

Police on Sunday would not say if they have any suspects. They previously have said Widawsky is not a suspect and is assisting with the investigation. New Haven Assistant Police Chief Peter Reichard said police also recovered “a large amount” of physical evidence, but he would not discuss what that included.

Last winter, Le, a pharmacology student from Placerville, Calif., wrote a magazine article about how to stay safe around Yale’s campus.

The article, titled “Crime and Safety in New Haven,” was published in February in a magazine produced by the university’s medical school. It compares higher instances of robbery in New Haven with cities that house other Ivy League schools and includes an interview with Yale Police Chief James Perrotti, who offers advice such as “pay attention to where you are” and “avoid portraying yourself as a potential victim.”

marisacat - 14 September 2009

pouf! Gone! Next seen in between a wall space.

From what I read they cleared the professor they had looked at briefly a couple of days ago, an air tight alibi, so they said.

That leaves………………………… ?

19. marisacat - 14 September 2009

barely more than a thread……..


……….. 😎 ……………

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