Oops!

Feb. 6th, 2014 10:20 am
shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New estimates that President Barack Obama's health care law will encourage millions of Americans to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours have touched off an I-told-you-so chorus from Republicans, who've claimed all along that the law will kill jobs. But some aren't telling it straight.[...]

The study estimates that the workforce will be reduced by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers by 2021 as people choose to leave it. More would take early retirement, work fewer hours or otherwise rearrange their work-home balance to take advantage of new subsidies for health insurance and new markets for individual policies that don't depend on having a job.

In a key point overlooked in the GOP response, the report says: "The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor."

In other words, workers aren't being laid off. They are taking themselves out of the workforce, in many cases opening job opportunities for others.

shipperx: (BtVS: S8)
From kos:

Since May, every effort of Democrats to appoint budget conferees has been blocked by Republicans. All 18 times the Senate Democrats moved to go to conference with the House on a budget, Republicans objected.



For Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, the move is ironic. She has been trying for more than a half-year to go to a conference to work out dramatic differences between the Senate budget and the House version. Senate and House Republicans have objected, repeatedly. [...]

"We know going to a conference means that we have to compromise -- that's what a conference is," Murray said just before midnight. "But we're not going to do it with a gun to our head that says we're shutting government down and we're going to conference over a short little six-week C.R. We have to deal with the longer-term budget. We have asked many times to go to conference on that."

Indeed, Murray and her colleagues asked 18 times. They have been blocked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a group of tea party Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).




The House Republicans, it should be noted, have refused to even appoint budget conferees until this last-ditch demand Monday night. Back in June, after three months of inaction from Republicans, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi unilaterally appointed Democratic conferees, to little effect. Republicans still ignored calls for a budget conference.

So all the theatrics you're about to see from Republicans on 'their simple desire just to have a conference' is just that: a big show.

shipperx: (Fringe: Crazy)
So on top of all the other stuff going on in my subdivision:

the litigious threat problem
someone died this weekend (she'd had a hospice nurse for the last five months, so this wasn't anything shocking or suspicious, just sad).
the widening of the highway that borders the subdivision (and whether ALDOT will condemn our buffer zone.  They say not, but they're also being clear as mud about it.)

There have been opportunistic break-ins of cars in driveways (discussed with the sheriff at the same time as discussing 'the crank'.  Sheriff office says it's been happening all over the county, so it's not our area specific.)  Anyway, turns out that one of the cars that was broken into had two guns stolen out of it.

Bet the guy had guns in there for teh freedomz protection.

Wonder how 'protected' he feels now, knowing that criminals had them in his front yard.*  (For all I know, he's one of the ones who fantasizes that he's Bruce Willis and he'd be the 'good guy' with a gun against the bad guy with a gun... except of course the bad guy just took two of his guns...)



* This irritated thought brought to you after having read the idiotic comments left in an article about Starbucks requesting that people please, please not bring guns into their business.  Please...

People's gun fetishes love totally baffle me because more and more people seem to be irrational about them.  (I read another article this morning about a legislator in Oklahoma wanting to launch a state investigation re: public ammunition shortages [insert his Obama conspiracy theory here] because, apparently he was told by a Walmart employee that they were in such short supply that they were only allowed to sell  100 rounds per person per day.

Per day, mind you.  Per. effing. day.

This constitutes a 'shortage'.

Seriously, people, WTF.

Jeez

May. 2nd, 2013 09:10 am
shipperx: (Spike - blimey sodding bollocks)
Seriously, dudes, what in the hell does it take to convince certain people that this has become insane and ENTIRELY out of hand?

From the LA Times:

A 2-year-old Kentucky girl was accidentally killed by her 5-year-old brother who fired a rifle he had been given as a gift, officials said Wednesday. Cumberland County Coroner Gary L. White said an autopsy of Caroline Starks showed the toddler had died from a single shot from the .22-caliber rifle. The death has been ruled accidental and no charges will be filed, he said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“Most everybody in town is pretty devastated by this,” White said. “Nobody wants to take anyone’s guns away, but you’ve got to keep them out of harm’s way for the kids. It’s a safety issue.”



Five-years-old, people.

FIVE!

I know that there are people who have taken to using 'guns' as both their woobie and their mou-mou, but I think it's now officially in the provence of pathologically motivated criminal negligence. Some 'freedumbz-loving' idiot gave a loaded gun to a five year old! The damn thing is even marketed by its manufacturer as "my first gun" (and I am so totally not kidding).
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)
Honestly, why is it so damn difficult for Romney to say "I support equal pay for equal work"?

Maybe the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tea Party don't?  Or maybe because he still lives in 1962?  

For six months his campaign has evaded the simple question of whether he supports the  Fair Pay Act.  Instead of supporting equal pay for the same work, he said this:

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men." They said, "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well, gosh, can't we — can't we find some — some women that are also qualified?"  And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.

I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women.



Binders full of women.

That was his pitch to the 'lady voters.'  He once looked at some binders with women in them. 




Just one problem.  David S. Bernstein explains:
What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I've checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I've just presented it is correct -- and that Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.


So Mitt Romney didn't look for women. He didn't ask.  He didn't do anything. 

The women came to him. They told him that he needed to hire more women.

And you know what he did?

None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women. 

And...

A UMass-Boston study found that the percentage positions held by women actually declined during the Romney administration.

Then again this is also the guy claiming that he had a good jobs record in Massachusetts (it was 47th in the nation in job creation... back when the economy was good) .

And while we're at it, there was also this exchange:

ROMNEY: I’d just note that I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not.


I see what you did there Romney. 

See, Romney supported the Blundt Amendment (cosponsored by Ryan).  

 That's what the Blundt amendment did!    It gives employers have the right to decide whether their employees have access to contraceptives covered in their insurance.

Now one might say that Romney is bald-faced lying or one may be generous and say that he's splitting hairs (the question was on insurance not legality, but he doesn't have to answer the question if he doesn't want to) to make his position sound more moderate than it is, because it is true that his position doesn't make it illegal to buy contraceptives.  It just allows your boss to decide whether or not it's covered by your health insurance. 

The same health insurance that covers Viagra.  Bosses don't get to decide about that, but they do get to decide whether your lady bits are covered... regardless of whether it's for contraception, your endometriosis, or ovarian cysts.  (Sometimes they aren't so sure how the female reproduction system works

'Cause your employer says so, that's why.  

And because some in Washington had a hissy-fit that it was covered and wrote up legislation to give the boss the right to make that decision for you.  Because it's any of your boss' damn business...  
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)
Honestly, why is it so damn difficult for Romney to say "I support equal pay for equal work"?

Maybe the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tea Party don't?  Or maybe because he still lives in 1962?  

For six months his campaign has evaded the simple question of whether he supports the  Fair Pay Act.  Instead of supporting equal pay for the same work, he said this:

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men." They said, "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well, gosh, can't we — can't we find some — some women that are also qualified?"  And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.

I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women.



Binders full of women.

That was his pitch to the 'lady voters.'  He once looked at some binders with women in them. 




Just one problem.  David S. Bernstein explains:
What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I've checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I've just presented it is correct -- and that Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.


So Mitt Romney didn't look for women. He didn't ask.  He didn't do anything. 

The women came to him. They told him that he needed to hire more women.

And you know what he did?

None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women. 

And...

A UMass-Boston study found that the percentage positions held by women actually declined during the Romney administration.

Then again this is also the guy claiming that he had a good jobs record in Massachusetts (it was 47th in the nation in job creation... back when the economy was good) .

And while we're at it, there was also this exchange:

ROMNEY: I’d just note that I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not.


I see what you did there Romney. 

See, Romney supported the Blundt Amendment (cosponsored by Ryan).  

 That's what the Blundt amendment did!    It gives employers have the right to decide whether their employees have access to contraceptives covered in their insurance.

Now one might say that Romney is bald-faced lying or one may be generous and say that he's splitting hairs (the question was on insurance not legality, but he doesn't have to answer the question if he doesn't want to) to make his position sound more moderate than it is, because it is true that his position doesn't make it illegal to buy contraceptives.  It just allows your boss to decide whether or not it's covered by your health insurance. 

The same health insurance that covers Viagra.  Bosses don't get to decide about that, but they do get to decide whether your lady bits are covered... regardless of whether it's for contraception, your endometriosis, or ovarian cysts.  (Sometimes they aren't so sure how the female reproduction system works

'Cause your employer says so, that's why.  

And because some in Washington had a hissy-fit that it was covered and wrote up legislation to give the boss the right to make that decision for you.  Because it's any of your boss' damn business...  
shipperx: (TB-Lafayette-ARKM?)
I've got to stop making these posts, because, quite frankly, there's just wayyyyy too much fodder for them.

Anyway, after yesterday's post about Missouri Senate candidate Akin's severe ignorance about reproduction and biology (with a huge helping of misogyny) another sitting U.S. Representative (this one from Iowa) chose to chime in defending Akin while adding his own severe stupidity:

Rep. Steve King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.


This would be the same congressman who came up with THIS jaw-dropper a few weeks ago:

"What I've said is that we need to respect humans more than we do animals. Whenever we start elevating animals up to, to above that of humans, we've crossed a moral line. For example, if there's a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl, say a 13 year old girl, and it happens in America more times than you and I like to think, that sexual predator can pick that girl off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to eradicate the evidence of his crime, and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set, and that's not against the law in the United States of America..."

BTW - that's all against the law.
shipperx: (TB-Lafayette-ARKM?)
I've got to stop making these posts, because, quite frankly, there's just wayyyyy too much fodder for them.

Anyway, after yesterday's post about Missouri Senate candidate Akin's severe ignorance about reproduction and biology (with a huge helping of misogyny) another sitting U.S. Representative (this one from Iowa) chose to chime in defending Akin while adding his own severe stupidity:

Rep. Steve King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.


This would be the same congressman who came up with THIS jaw-dropper a few weeks ago:

"What I've said is that we need to respect humans more than we do animals. Whenever we start elevating animals up to, to above that of humans, we've crossed a moral line. For example, if there's a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl, say a 13 year old girl, and it happens in America more times than you and I like to think, that sexual predator can pick that girl off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to eradicate the evidence of his crime, and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set, and that's not against the law in the United States of America..."

BTW - that's all against the law.
shipperx: (GOT: Bitchslap)
So, Missouri's Republican Senate candidate:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”


So many levels of wrong in that statement. So many.  But what I really want to know is...

What in the hell is a 'legitimate' rape, asshole? 



ETA: BTW - This asshole is already in the House of Representatives where he's written EIGHT  Personhood (life begins as insemination)  bills that attempted to redefine what lawfully constitutes rape along with co-writer... PAUL RYAN.

Read more... )

ETAII:  The asshat responds:

GOP congressman Todd Akin says he won't end his campaign as Missouri's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. "I don't know that I'm the only person in public office who has suffered from foot-in-mouth disease," said Akin, who appeared on Mike Huckabee's radio show.  (...) Akin also told Huckabee he meant to say "forcible rape" instead of "legitimate rape."

'Cause, it might be one of those consensual rapes. [/snark]
shipperx: (GOT: Bitchslap)
So, Missouri's Republican Senate candidate:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”


So many levels of wrong in that statement. So many.  But what I really want to know is...

What in the hell is a 'legitimate' rape, asshole? 



ETA: BTW - This asshole is already in the House of Representatives where he's written EIGHT  Personhood (life begins as insemination)  bills that attempted to redefine what lawfully constitutes rape along with co-writer... PAUL RYAN.

Read more... )

ETAII:  The asshat responds:

GOP congressman Todd Akin says he won't end his campaign as Missouri's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. "I don't know that I'm the only person in public office who has suffered from foot-in-mouth disease," said Akin, who appeared on Mike Huckabee's radio show.  (...) Akin also told Huckabee he meant to say "forcible rape" instead of "legitimate rape."

'Cause, it might be one of those consensual rapes. [/snark]
shipperx: (crichton - uh what?)
From a piece written in 2009:  This Makes No Sense

Excerpt/Explanation:

LIBOR is a incredibly widely used set of short term interest rates LIBOR is set daily by asking 16 banks how much it would cost them to borrow from each other that day, for various periods, if they had to. That part is simple.

It gets more complex when you realize that LIBOR is used as a benchmark for so many products, rates, ... you name it. It is like a base ingredient to the financial system. A change in LIBOR causes ripple effects around the world every day. So if that rate is being rigged, then every other rate that derives from it is also being impacted. So in a simple example if your mortgage is LIBOR + 1%, if LIBOR goes up so does your mortgage rate. Or it can impact the rate your pension fund earns on its money ... or ... the list is endless.



So, yeah... it's being manipulated.   Fact.  We know that now.  Barclays Bank has had to admit it.

That's what Barclay's Bank was called to the floor on in the U.K.  a couple of weeks ago (not that you hear a damn thing about it in the U.S.... despite it being an international problem that involves (yet again) the 'Too Big To Fail' U.S. Banks.)



From Reuters: Twelve Banks Have Been Implicated in the Rate Fixing

One dozen U.S., European and Japanese banks, accused of conspiring to manipulate Libor, a benchmark used to set interest rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars of securities. {...}  The defendant banks include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Norinchukin Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, UBS AG and WestLB AG.

About $350 trillion of derivatives and other financial products are based on Libor. Small changes in the rate can have large impacts on the amounts of interest that can be charged.  
FTC said the 12 banks colluded to suppress Libor to make them appear healthier than they were, and take advantage of trading opportunities not available to outside investors.



As the Governor of the Bank of England put it:
"...It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal."


From Rolling Stone: Why is No One (in the U.S.) Freaking Out About the LIBOR scandal?
If Bob Diamond and Paul Tucker were having these talks about LIBOR, is it fair to wonder what else Hank Paulson and Lloyd Blankfein were talking about in the 24 discussions they had in the six days following the AIG disaster? When Paulson had a secret meeting with the entire board of Goldman Sachs in, of all places, his hotel suite in Moscow, in June of 2008? Or what other material nonpublic information was exchanged when Paulson met with a gang of hedge fund chiefs at the offices of Eton Park management in July 2008, and laid out for them a possible scenario for putting Fannie and Freddie into receivership?

(...)the LIBOR story is leading the front pages of most of Britain’s dailies, it’s on TV, and it’s producing blistering editorials and howls of outrage amongst politicians and activists. But as compadre Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism put it, where’s the outrage here in America?




... Yeah.  You'd think.   Except no, that might provoke screams of being anti-capitalism rather than, you know, being anti-fraud and being taken for a ride by the billionaires running the banks and the 'corporations' that 'are people, my friend'.

Can we remember the "hearings" on Capital Hill with the bankers and how many of the senators salivated over these assholes?




How about this gem coming from Diamond in 2009:
"There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over."



And when Blankfein said they were 'Doing God's work

You know, like when Jesus multiplied the poor's loaves and fishes and said "So long and thanks for all the fish" before jaunting off on his yacht to vacation on the Mediterranean with all the loaves and fishes.  

 Funny how the time for 'remorse' is over while they're still doing all the same old shit.  I guess it's okay to still do the same shit and just not be 'sorry' for it. 

Wonder whether we're allowed to remember that (though the media is never, ever allowed to mention that) when noting that Rmoney's platform is to REPEAL Wall Street regulation and reform passed in 2009 (we need more regulation not less!) so as to "make the country more friendly to business." 

Because, clearly, like Diamond there was a time for an apology from the banks but it's 'over' and we can't be mean and hurt their feelings or regulate their market even though they are continuing to manipulate and defraud their customers and tax payers. We should just trust them.  They can be trusted with the markets they manipulate. 

But, hey, as long as they're pouring shitloads of cash into SuperPacs and Mitt Romney's campaign, it's all good, right?  He just wants to make the U.S. "more friendly" to the banks which... I guess means just allowing them to have no regulation or oversight whatsoever because clearly they're already getting away 'losing' billions upon billions  (oops!) while still pocketing their own excessive pay packages.

Then again... that's the same way Rmoney got rich, so he understands their pain.

Although, what else can one expect from the guy using privileged stock market loopholes to have $101 million dollars in his Caymen Island IRA?  

(Buh-whu? You wonder.  How is that possible when contributions to your IRA are limited to $30,000 a year.  Ah well, you see, as a partner in Bain Capital, he can (legally) de-value the stock contribution (at times down to 0!) when contributing to his IRA, and once IN the IRA it can "expand" to the market value of his stock.  So, basically his IRA is has had a 30% return in the last 15 years. And now in the IRA (in the Cayman Islands!) it's tax exempt as well! 

Don't know about anyone else, but my IRA hasn't had a 30% return (especially during the tech bubble bust in the 90s and in the stock crash of 2008. The IRA that I rolled over from my last job's 401K has now, ALMOST reached a point to where it's EQUAL to what it was when I rolled it over... more than six years ago.   How about yours?)

So, remember, when Rmoney says he wants 'less regulation' and a 'more business friendly environment' it's code for not only allowing but expanding the 'legality' of all the blatantly unfair bull listed above.
shipperx: (crichton - uh what?)
From a piece written in 2009:  This Makes No Sense

Excerpt/Explanation:

LIBOR is a incredibly widely used set of short term interest rates LIBOR is set daily by asking 16 banks how much it would cost them to borrow from each other that day, for various periods, if they had to. That part is simple.

It gets more complex when you realize that LIBOR is used as a benchmark for so many products, rates, ... you name it. It is like a base ingredient to the financial system. A change in LIBOR causes ripple effects around the world every day. So if that rate is being rigged, then every other rate that derives from it is also being impacted. So in a simple example if your mortgage is LIBOR + 1%, if LIBOR goes up so does your mortgage rate. Or it can impact the rate your pension fund earns on its money ... or ... the list is endless.



So, yeah... it's being manipulated.   Fact.  We know that now.  Barclays Bank has had to admit it.

That's what Barclay's Bank was called to the floor on in the U.K.  a couple of weeks ago (not that you hear a damn thing about it in the U.S.... despite it being an international problem that involves (yet again) the 'Too Big To Fail' U.S. Banks.)



From Reuters: Twelve Banks Have Been Implicated in the Rate Fixing

One dozen U.S., European and Japanese banks, accused of conspiring to manipulate Libor, a benchmark used to set interest rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars of securities. {...}  The defendant banks include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Norinchukin Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, UBS AG and WestLB AG.

About $350 trillion of derivatives and other financial products are based on Libor. Small changes in the rate can have large impacts on the amounts of interest that can be charged.  
FTC said the 12 banks colluded to suppress Libor to make them appear healthier than they were, and take advantage of trading opportunities not available to outside investors.



As the Governor of the Bank of England put it:
"...It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal."


From Rolling Stone: Why is No One (in the U.S.) Freaking Out About the LIBOR scandal?
If Bob Diamond and Paul Tucker were having these talks about LIBOR, is it fair to wonder what else Hank Paulson and Lloyd Blankfein were talking about in the 24 discussions they had in the six days following the AIG disaster? When Paulson had a secret meeting with the entire board of Goldman Sachs in, of all places, his hotel suite in Moscow, in June of 2008? Or what other material nonpublic information was exchanged when Paulson met with a gang of hedge fund chiefs at the offices of Eton Park management in July 2008, and laid out for them a possible scenario for putting Fannie and Freddie into receivership?

(...)the LIBOR story is leading the front pages of most of Britain’s dailies, it’s on TV, and it’s producing blistering editorials and howls of outrage amongst politicians and activists. But as compadre Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism put it, where’s the outrage here in America?




... Yeah.  You'd think.   Except no, that might provoke screams of being anti-capitalism rather than, you know, being anti-fraud and being taken for a ride by the billionaires running the banks and the 'corporations' that 'are people, my friend'.

Can we remember the "hearings" on Capital Hill with the bankers and how many of the senators salivated over these assholes?




How about this gem coming from Diamond in 2009:
"There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over."



And when Blankfein said they were 'Doing God's work

You know, like when Jesus multiplied the poor's loaves and fishes and said "So long and thanks for all the fish" before jaunting off on his yacht to vacation on the Mediterranean with all the loaves and fishes.  

 Funny how the time for 'remorse' is over while they're still doing all the same old shit.  I guess it's okay to still do the same shit and just not be 'sorry' for it. 

Wonder whether we're allowed to remember that (though the media is never, ever allowed to mention that) when noting that Rmoney's platform is to REPEAL Wall Street regulation and reform passed in 2009 (we need more regulation not less!) so as to "make the country more friendly to business." 

Because, clearly, like Diamond there was a time for an apology from the banks but it's 'over' and we can't be mean and hurt their feelings or regulate their market even though they are continuing to manipulate and defraud their customers and tax payers. We should just trust them.  They can be trusted with the markets they manipulate. 

But, hey, as long as they're pouring shitloads of cash into SuperPacs and Mitt Romney's campaign, it's all good, right?  He just wants to make the U.S. "more friendly" to the banks which... I guess means just allowing them to have no regulation or oversight whatsoever because clearly they're already getting away 'losing' billions upon billions  (oops!) while still pocketing their own excessive pay packages.

Then again... that's the same way Rmoney got rich, so he understands their pain.

Although, what else can one expect from the guy using privileged stock market loopholes to have $101 million dollars in his Caymen Island IRA?  

(Buh-whu? You wonder.  How is that possible when contributions to your IRA are limited to $30,000 a year.  Ah well, you see, as a partner in Bain Capital, he can (legally) de-value the stock contribution (at times down to 0!) when contributing to his IRA, and once IN the IRA it can "expand" to the market value of his stock.  So, basically his IRA is has had a 30% return in the last 15 years. And now in the IRA (in the Cayman Islands!) it's tax exempt as well! 

Don't know about anyone else, but my IRA hasn't had a 30% return (especially during the tech bubble bust in the 90s and in the stock crash of 2008. The IRA that I rolled over from my last job's 401K has now, ALMOST reached a point to where it's EQUAL to what it was when I rolled it over... more than six years ago.   How about yours?)

So, remember, when Rmoney says he wants 'less regulation' and a 'more business friendly environment' it's code for not only allowing but expanding the 'legality' of all the blatantly unfair bull listed above.
shipperx: (30 Rock - Blerg)
:
:
William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation:

While most Americans struggle to make ends meet, the CEOs of major U.S. business corporations are pulling eight-figure, and sometimes even nine-figure, compensation packages. We rely on these executives to allocate corporate resources to investments in new products and processes that, in a world of global competition, can provide us with good jobs. Yet the ways in which we permit top corporate executives to be paid actually gives them a strong disincentive to invest in innovation and expansion{...}

In 1991 Graef Crystal, a prominent executive pay consultant, published a best-selling book, In Search of Excess: The Overcompensation of American Executives, in which he calculated that over the course of the 1970s and '80s, the real after-tax earnings of the average manufacturing worker had declined by 13 percent. During the same period, that of the average CEO of a major US corporation had quadrupled Bill Clinton took up the issue in his 1992 presidential campaign, and immediately upon taking office had Congress pass a law that forbade companies from recording as tax-deductible expenses executive salaries plus bonuses in excess of $1 million.

Unfortunately Clinton chose the wrong pay target. {...} The largest single component of executive compensation was from exercising stock options, representing 59 percent of the total. {...} Perversely, one reaction of corporate boards to the Clinton legislation was to take $1 million in salary plus bonus as the “government-approved minimum wage” for top executives {...} The number of named executives with salaries plus bonuses that totaled $1 million or more increased from 529 in 1992 to 922 in 1994.

The other reaction of corporate boards was to lavish more stock options on their top executives. {...} The average annual compensation of the top 500 named executives reached $21 million in 1999 with gains from exercising stock options, representing 71 percent of the total (stock options are now 80 percent of the total.) {me: which is why the 'income tax' quotes folks like Fox Business News come out with is a canard. "Regular folk" have a salaries. For execs, the majority of their salary is in the form of capital gains... which is taxed at a substantially lower rate (and which Romney wants to virtually eliminate!}

{...}The speculation-fueled “irrational exuberance” of the late 1990s brought unprecedented pay bonanzas to top executives, thus establishing a “new normal” for corporate greed. When boom turned to bust in the early 2000s, money-hungry executives had to look for another way to get stock prices up and make their millions. Their favorite weapon: "value extraction” [Top executives allocate massive sums of corporate cash to repurchase their company’s own stock with the purpose of boosting their company’s stock price.] {...}

Let’s take a look at how it works: The board of directors of Acme Corporation authorizes the CEO to repurchase the company’s own outstanding shares up to a specified value (say $5 billion) (...)by the laws of supply and demand, when the corporation spends cash on buybacks, it “manufactures” an increase in its stock price. Then, with the stock price up, the CEO, CFO and other insiders may choose to cash in their stock options. Presto! They make tons of money for themselves. {...}Some companies actually fund their buybacks by laying off workers and taking on debt. The top executives’ weapon of "value extraction" becomes a weapon of value destruction.



They are rewarded handsomely for not doing their jobs.

In 1981, 292 major corporations spent less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks{...}by 2007 the very same 292 corporations now spend over 82 percent of their net income repurchasing their own stock. {...} Executive pay is a prime reason why in 2005-2008 the top .001 captured a record 11.4% of all household income (link: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/) [and] total corporate compensation of the named executives does not include income from securities, property, fees for sitting on corporate boards, etc. that would be included in their IRS tax returns. {...}

The “Say-on-Pay” provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act sounds good, but it just reinforces a system of incentives the does not work. {...} Through a combination of stock options and stock buybacks, Say-on-Pay provisions reinforce an alignment between the incentives of top executives and the interests of shareholders that has been undermining investment in America’s future.

It is about time that we took control of exploding executive pay. It is not just that the sums involved are unfair, and as history has shown, will only become more obscene. {...} the ways in which they bank their booty is doing severe damage to the U.S. economy.


Full Article Here:
http://www.alternet.org/economy/154789/whose_corporations_our_corporations%21/
shipperx: (30 Rock - Blerg)
:
:
William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation:

While most Americans struggle to make ends meet, the CEOs of major U.S. business corporations are pulling eight-figure, and sometimes even nine-figure, compensation packages. We rely on these executives to allocate corporate resources to investments in new products and processes that, in a world of global competition, can provide us with good jobs. Yet the ways in which we permit top corporate executives to be paid actually gives them a strong disincentive to invest in innovation and expansion{...}

In 1991 Graef Crystal, a prominent executive pay consultant, published a best-selling book, In Search of Excess: The Overcompensation of American Executives, in which he calculated that over the course of the 1970s and '80s, the real after-tax earnings of the average manufacturing worker had declined by 13 percent. During the same period, that of the average CEO of a major US corporation had quadrupled Bill Clinton took up the issue in his 1992 presidential campaign, and immediately upon taking office had Congress pass a law that forbade companies from recording as tax-deductible expenses executive salaries plus bonuses in excess of $1 million.

Unfortunately Clinton chose the wrong pay target. {...} The largest single component of executive compensation was from exercising stock options, representing 59 percent of the total. {...} Perversely, one reaction of corporate boards to the Clinton legislation was to take $1 million in salary plus bonus as the “government-approved minimum wage” for top executives {...} The number of named executives with salaries plus bonuses that totaled $1 million or more increased from 529 in 1992 to 922 in 1994.

The other reaction of corporate boards was to lavish more stock options on their top executives. {...} The average annual compensation of the top 500 named executives reached $21 million in 1999 with gains from exercising stock options, representing 71 percent of the total (stock options are now 80 percent of the total.) {me: which is why the 'income tax' quotes folks like Fox Business News come out with is a canard. "Regular folk" have a salaries. For execs, the majority of their salary is in the form of capital gains... which is taxed at a substantially lower rate (and which Romney wants to virtually eliminate!}

{...}The speculation-fueled “irrational exuberance” of the late 1990s brought unprecedented pay bonanzas to top executives, thus establishing a “new normal” for corporate greed. When boom turned to bust in the early 2000s, money-hungry executives had to look for another way to get stock prices up and make their millions. Their favorite weapon: "value extraction” [Top executives allocate massive sums of corporate cash to repurchase their company’s own stock with the purpose of boosting their company’s stock price.] {...}

Let’s take a look at how it works: The board of directors of Acme Corporation authorizes the CEO to repurchase the company’s own outstanding shares up to a specified value (say $5 billion) (...)by the laws of supply and demand, when the corporation spends cash on buybacks, it “manufactures” an increase in its stock price. Then, with the stock price up, the CEO, CFO and other insiders may choose to cash in their stock options. Presto! They make tons of money for themselves. {...}Some companies actually fund their buybacks by laying off workers and taking on debt. The top executives’ weapon of "value extraction" becomes a weapon of value destruction.



They are rewarded handsomely for not doing their jobs.

In 1981, 292 major corporations spent less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks{...}by 2007 the very same 292 corporations now spend over 82 percent of their net income repurchasing their own stock. {...} Executive pay is a prime reason why in 2005-2008 the top .001 captured a record 11.4% of all household income (link: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/) [and] total corporate compensation of the named executives does not include income from securities, property, fees for sitting on corporate boards, etc. that would be included in their IRS tax returns. {...}

The “Say-on-Pay” provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act sounds good, but it just reinforces a system of incentives the does not work. {...} Through a combination of stock options and stock buybacks, Say-on-Pay provisions reinforce an alignment between the incentives of top executives and the interests of shareholders that has been undermining investment in America’s future.

It is about time that we took control of exploding executive pay. It is not just that the sums involved are unfair, and as history has shown, will only become more obscene. {...} the ways in which they bank their booty is doing severe damage to the U.S. economy.


Full Article Here:
http://www.alternet.org/economy/154789/whose_corporations_our_corporations%21/
shipperx: (30 Rock - Blerg)
:
:
William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation:

While most Americans struggle to make ends meet, the CEOs of major U.S. business corporations are pulling eight-figure, and sometimes even nine-figure, compensation packages. We rely on these executives to allocate corporate resources to investments in new products and processes that, in a world of global competition, can provide us with good jobs. Yet the ways in which we permit top corporate executives to be paid actually gives them a strong disincentive to invest in innovation and expansion{...}

In 1991 Graef Crystal, a prominent executive pay consultant, published a best-selling book, In Search of Excess: The Overcompensation of American Executives, in which he calculated that over the course of the 1970s and '80s, the real after-tax earnings of the average manufacturing worker had declined by 13 percent. During the same period, that of the average CEO of a major US corporation had quadrupled Bill Clinton took up the issue in his 1992 presidential campaign, and immediately upon taking office had Congress pass a law that forbade companies from recording as tax-deductible expenses executive salaries plus bonuses in excess of $1 million.

Unfortunately Clinton chose the wrong pay target. {...} The largest single component of executive compensation was from exercising stock options, representing 59 percent of the total. {...} Perversely, one reaction of corporate boards to the Clinton legislation was to take $1 million in salary plus bonus as the “government-approved minimum wage” for top executives {...} The number of named executives with salaries plus bonuses that totaled $1 million or more increased from 529 in 1992 to 922 in 1994.

The other reaction of corporate boards was to lavish more stock options on their top executives. {...} The average annual compensation of the top 500 named executives reached $21 million in 1999 with gains from exercising stock options, representing 71 percent of the total (stock options are now 80 percent of the total.) {me: which is why the 'income tax' quotes folks like Fox Business News come out with is a canard. "Regular folk" have a salaries. For execs, the majority of their salary is in the form of capital gains... which is taxed at a substantially lower rate (and which Romney wants to virtually eliminate!}

{...}The speculation-fueled “irrational exuberance” of the late 1990s brought unprecedented pay bonanzas to top executives, thus establishing a “new normal” for corporate greed. When boom turned to bust in the early 2000s, money-hungry executives had to look for another way to get stock prices up and make their millions. Their favorite weapon: "value extraction” [Top executives allocate massive sums of corporate cash to repurchase their company’s own stock with the purpose of boosting their company’s stock price.] {...}

Let’s take a look at how it works: The board of directors of Acme Corporation authorizes the CEO to repurchase the company’s own outstanding shares up to a specified value (say $5 billion) (...)by the laws of supply and demand, when the corporation spends cash on buybacks, it “manufactures” an increase in its stock price. Then, with the stock price up, the CEO, CFO and other insiders may choose to cash in their stock options. Presto! They make tons of money for themselves. {...}Some companies actually fund their buybacks by laying off workers and taking on debt. The top executives’ weapon of "value extraction" becomes a weapon of value destruction.



They are rewarded handsomely for not doing their jobs.

In 1981, 292 major corporations spent less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks{...}by 2007 the very same 292 corporations now spend over 82 percent of their net income repurchasing their own stock. {...} Executive pay is a prime reason why in 2005-2008 the top .001 captured a record 11.4% of all household income (link: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/) [and] total corporate compensation of the named executives does not include income from securities, property, fees for sitting on corporate boards, etc. that would be included in their IRS tax returns. {...}

The “Say-on-Pay” provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act sounds good, but it just reinforces a system of incentives the does not work. {...} Through a combination of stock options and stock buybacks, Say-on-Pay provisions reinforce an alignment between the incentives of top executives and the interests of shareholders that has been undermining investment in America’s future.

It is about time that we took control of exploding executive pay. It is not just that the sums involved are unfair, and as history has shown, will only become more obscene. {...} the ways in which they bank their booty is doing severe damage to the U.S. economy.


Full Article Here:
http://www.alternet.org/economy/154789/whose_corporations_our_corporations%21/
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)

A couple of things.


 This has already been covered a few places under Lawmaker Compares Pregnant Women to Livestock  If you've missed it, see this article

Suggesting that if a cow or pig can give birth to a dead baby, then a woman should too was not enough for Rep. England. He then delivered an anecdote to the chamber in which a young man who was apparently opposed to legislation outlawing chicken fighting but who tjat said he would give up cockfighting if the legislature simply took away women’s right to an abortion.

There's video of some of this!

See:

The Georgia legislature is currently debating a bill that would ban abortions after twenty weeks. The written legislation,  applies not only to viable fetuses but also to ones that are already dead. This means that women would have to carry around their dead babies until their bodies chose to expel them naturally, putting their health at an incredibly high risk – both physically and mentally...

Why does Representative England think this is acceptable? (Cockfighting chickens.  Who can make this shit up?)  After all,
Rep England said, "Life gives us many experiences...I've had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts," 

Oh!  Guess that makes it okay then! (BTW, who the hell is your vet?!  I can't imagine a vet not inducing labor when they KNOW that the fetus is dead.  This happens to be dangerous for cows too!) 

*head desk*

In other WTF. Rape?  Incest?  Pshaw! Perhaps it's just a 'misunderstanding':

The sponsor of an Idaho mandatory ultrasound bill, state Sen. Chuck Winder, made some highly controversial comments Monday during his closing arguments, suggesting women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion.

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand if they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will  ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”



Rape? Incest? Marriage? How is a poor girl to know the difference?!
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)

A couple of things.


 This has already been covered a few places under Lawmaker Compares Pregnant Women to Livestock  If you've missed it, see this article

Suggesting that if a cow or pig can give birth to a dead baby, then a woman should too was not enough for Rep. England. He then delivered an anecdote to the chamber in which a young man who was apparently opposed to legislation outlawing chicken fighting but who tjat said he would give up cockfighting if the legislature simply took away women’s right to an abortion.

There's video of some of this!

See:

The Georgia legislature is currently debating a bill that would ban abortions after twenty weeks. The written legislation,  applies not only to viable fetuses but also to ones that are already dead. This means that women would have to carry around their dead babies until their bodies chose to expel them naturally, putting their health at an incredibly high risk – both physically and mentally...

Why does Representative England think this is acceptable? (Cockfighting chickens.  Who can make this shit up?)  After all,
Rep England said, "Life gives us many experiences...I've had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts," 

Oh!  Guess that makes it okay then! (BTW, who the hell is your vet?!  I can't imagine a vet not inducing labor when they KNOW that the fetus is dead.  This happens to be dangerous for cows too!) 

*head desk*

In other WTF. Rape?  Incest?  Pshaw! Perhaps it's just a 'misunderstanding':

The sponsor of an Idaho mandatory ultrasound bill, state Sen. Chuck Winder, made some highly controversial comments Monday during his closing arguments, suggesting women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion.

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand if they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will  ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”



Rape? Incest? Marriage? How is a poor girl to know the difference?!
shipperx: (Aeryn - woman in a hostile world)

A couple of things.


 This has already been covered a few places under Lawmaker Compares Pregnant Women to Livestock  If you've missed it, see this article

Suggesting that if a cow or pig can give birth to a dead baby, then a woman should too was not enough for Rep. England. He then delivered an anecdote to the chamber in which a young man who was apparently opposed to legislation outlawing chicken fighting but who tjat said he would give up cockfighting if the legislature simply took away women’s right to an abortion.

There's video of some of this!

See:

The Georgia legislature is currently debating a bill that would ban abortions after twenty weeks. The written legislation,  applies not only to viable fetuses but also to ones that are already dead. This means that women would have to carry around their dead babies until their bodies chose to expel them naturally, putting their health at an incredibly high risk – both physically and mentally...

Why does Representative England think this is acceptable? (Cockfighting chickens.  Who can make this shit up?)  After all,
Rep England said, "Life gives us many experiences...I've had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts," 

Oh!  Guess that makes it okay then! (BTW, who the hell is your vet?!  I can't imagine a vet not inducing labor when they KNOW that the fetus is dead.  This happens to be dangerous for cows too!) 

*head desk*

In other WTF. Rape?  Incest?  Pshaw! Perhaps it's just a 'misunderstanding':

The sponsor of an Idaho mandatory ultrasound bill, state Sen. Chuck Winder, made some highly controversial comments Monday during his closing arguments, suggesting women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion.

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand if they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will  ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”



Rape? Incest? Marriage? How is a poor girl to know the difference?!
shipperx: (Spike - blimey sodding bollocks)
They did the same poll in my state the week of our primary as well.  And the results were even worse. I just can't help but wonder what it says that, despite all evidence to the contrary, people stubbornly and vehemently cling to such disproved myths.  The only way to still believe this crap is to want to believe it.  And that leads me to thinking...  



Well, here is the result for Illinois  (it was far worse than that in Alabama.  Which--- ughhh!)
Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim: 39
Not sure: 37
Christian: 24

Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28

My home's state's depressing result was:

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim: 45
Not sure: 41
Christian: 14

shipperx: (Spike - blimey sodding bollocks)
They did the same poll in my state the week of our primary as well.  And the results were even worse. I just can't help but wonder what it says that, despite all evidence to the contrary, people stubbornly and vehemently cling to such disproved myths.  The only way to still believe this crap is to want to believe it.  And that leads me to thinking...  



Well, here is the result for Illinois  (it was far worse than that in Alabama.  Which--- ughhh!)
Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim: 39
Not sure: 37
Christian: 24

Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28

My home's state's depressing result was:

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim: 45
Not sure: 41
Christian: 14

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