Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Day After

Wall Street is rebounding from yesterday's precipitous drop of 777 points. An terms of market capitalization As of this moment the Dow Jones Industrial Average is back up 342 points.

The plan that was turned down by Congress would have authorized the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to start buying up some the subprime securities and bad loans that are gumming up the books of financial institutions.

The House of Representatives failed the measure by a vote of 205-228 that would have authorized $700 billion to start buying back some of the bad loans and securities. Is this a Wall Street bailout or a Main Street? People on Wall St have been saying this is to save Main Street, and the people on Main Street just see where the money is going. The money is going to Wall Street firms and banks. The minority blamed the majority for being partisan when the bill did not pass.

And the market is up 376. Could Paulson and Bernanke being playing up the risks of inaction to cause panic? A day in the life of a stock trader must be very long indeed.

There is no doubt that having some benevolent entity take the bad loans off the books would help someone. Isn't that why pencils have erasers?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taking it in the shorts

It's about time that this whole economic mess just played itself out. Another billion dollar bailout for irresponsible business practices. A loan, but still a bailout.

Just how big is too big to fail? How many companies are that crucial to our economy? How much money do we have to keep doing this?

There is a now a ban on the short selling of several financial stocks. For those unfamiliar with the concept of short selling it involves borrowing money on the margin and selling stocks with the anticipation that the price will drop. If executed properly the trader will buy the stock back after the price has dropped.

There is nothing particularly wrong with this. It is speculative, but then again it's the stock market. The problem arises when if the price of stock is manipulated by said regulation. Whenever a price is artificially high or low it will inevitably create problems and will eventually seek a new equilibrium.

We have essentially socialized the stock market. The largest capitalist institution in the world is now passing its risk on to the American taxpayer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Poll Poll Poll

So there has been a shift recently, Rossi and McCain are both leading in the polls. Still within the margin of error but there has been a trend. McCain is getting a lot of attention for picking Palin and she does seem to be helping bolster his maverick reputation. She is already helping out in Michigan and other battlegrounds.

My feeling on Palin is that she won't last in the spotlight, she is a religious conservative and her stances on issues are not in touch with what most Americans believe. She is a pit bull with lipstick with a few good zingers. But her record is like an anchor. She has been repeating her "thanks-but-no-thanks" stance on the "bridge to nowhere" been taking travel per diem when she was not traveling and there are reports of her spending $10,000 of Alaska tax dollars to transport her family.

Rossi doesn't seem to have done anything to really deserve the lead, just more of the same coming out his campaign. Gregoire on the other hand can't seem to catch a break. The Huskies and Cougars are losing, supervision of dangerous criminals is lacking and they keep killing people. The budget shortfall must be hurting her too, especially with Rossi highlighting how much spending has increased under her term.

One more mess up by the state bureaucracy and she might as well start writing her concession speech. These races are going to be incredibly close. Get your popcorn ready.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Million Person March

Senator Barack Obama understands the dynamic of innocuously operating as a black man in the mainstream-majority liberal-institution called the Media. The perceived lovefest between Obama and the media is largely a fact. Journalism's high core had made up its mind.

This appeal is, in part, perhaps borne from the legacy of the minority experience in a Pax Americana. Of finding place and character within seemingly hostile environs and pulling up fallen boot straps. The opportunity to spend formative years in the prestigious Punahou private school, Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard is notable indeed and not afforded by all; but the notion of maintaining assimilation is the dark shadow that is casted behind all persons of color. T.S Elliot couldn't have said it better: "Between the emotion and the response falls the shadow." (T.S. Elliot in The Hollow Men.)

Trying to win the alter of the President of the United States, or POTUS, as White House civil servants refer to the position, has never been like this before. Revolutionary situations are not suppose to make it this far. The gripping reality of true, fundamental, change makes people nervous...including the other POTUS contender.

Last Thursday night, Obama gave the speech of a lifetime. We heard a little bit of Iowa, a bit of 2004 DNC Covention Speech, and a little Chicago. The best part of the night was, of course, the Brooks and Dunn tune at high decibels as he exited the stage with a huge smile and a generous wave. Thats right...Brooks and Dunn.

Obama is a politician and inevitably, pragmatic tendencies can't help themselves. He's placated on a variety of deliberations concerning energy, economy, religion and war since the beginning of his campaign. He is able, though, to at least listen to other arguments and be willing to alter his instincts after an idea is learnt. That is, after all, at the core of politics itself. The only difference between this and flip-flopping is integrity. He has carefully proven the soundness of his bipartisan underpinnings. Part of this is a play for the independent-middle; part of this is legacy; but the majority of it, is him as he has always been. See here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The 2008 Republican National Convention Pt. I

They looked like a collective mass of drooling banshees as they danced to Earth Wind & Fire. It was sad; it was a horrid scene of melting faces and bad dancers. This was the Republican National Convention. A party that dare not echo "4 more years" as they did in the serious summer of 2004. A scene that drew national anarchists and pseudo-military retaliation. A convention that was interrupted by the glaring reality that faces us: our warm earth.

I don’t make these judgment calls on the art of dance because of my clear partisanship, but because I can’t stand the Country First stiffness. As I looked at virtually every cable outlet and saw the beam of confusing rhetoric called the Republican National Convention coming from my TV, I got scared. I got scared because after all these mad years, this party has not taken steps to appear inclusive or unifying--especially against the backdrop of the first woman Republican VP candidate.

Say I was a swing-vote, unsure of where the winds would take me. Say I was an apolitical person and this was my first election I were to cast my power. Say I was a woman and a Clinton supporter who cared deeply about econo-security measures and the historical moment rife with gender identity. Would I want to hear the ever ironic "experience to hold the Oval Office" debate? (Most people running for the job for the first time don't have previous job experience doing the job.) Would I want to hear the insane argument that the Alaska energy paradigm equates to unilateral diplomacy with Russia? Would I be insulted that choosing an unknown woman would automatically garner my vote? If I was someone riding the fence, I would certainly hope the Palin move wasn't merely political.

Governor Sarah Palin is unequivocally impressive. Most were curious; others confused. “Who was she?” They thought. John McCain picked a nobody/somebody. In blackjack parlance, this was a necessary double down that needed to happen with stakes so high. But, oh..this convention is so confusing. We move from the red meat fodder from Fred Thompson (non-unifying) to Joe "Switchback" Lieberman and his mono-insistence that those slightly left of center should be--you guessed it--country first. And we end Wednesday with Gov. Palin serving attack after Republican attack on character and public service credentials of her opponents. I scratch my head and my ass, and I wonder, just who is this Convention is for?

Which Americans does she speak of?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Getting excited about Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol is 5 months pregnant, aged 17 years and unmarried. A wedding is in the works. This makes me think that the Christian-right is going to have a difficult time getting excited about Sarah Palin. On the other hand, these kind of things do tend to happen and they are doing the "right" thing and getting married and keeping the baby.

There are rumors that it is not Bristol's first baby. Bristol was out of school for several months at the time of the birth of Trig, the infant son of Governor Palin. She was out of school for several months with mononucleosis, usually an ailment that only requires a week or two. A lot of the pictures of Governor Palin that don't show much of a baby bump. In other words, they are just rumors.

Hopefully this is the last nail in the coffin on the abstinence debate. Bristol is a good example of why abstinence is impractical and bad for kids. She is probably a wonderful young woman but she needs birth control and it's irresponsible of her parents to simply tell her that abstinence is all that you need. The question is, if she can't get the abstinence message through to her daughter how is it going to get through to the youth of the United States?

Sex (not gender) has been introduced to this campaign and the ironic thing is that Sarah Palin is an abstinence advocate. Sex. Sarah Palin. Abstinence? Seriously? The very idea of Sarah Palin advocating abstinence to in person to teenagers just makes me want to giggle. That would definitely a "Hot for Teacher" moment. And let's face it, if Sarah Palin is a superficial candidate. Her resume is so thin that it basically forces McCain to stop attacking Obama's experience, which is fine it doesn't seem to work anyway.

If McCain wasn't going to be the oldest President in history. She is a heart beat away, and the 72 years of beats on McCain's ticker really makes his VP candidate more important. We need a real leader not someone who was picked because she's the "hottest governor" and can fire up a little anti-abortion sentiment. Palin is going to be under a lot of scrutiny for the next two months, it will be interesting to see if anything turns up.