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Victor Davis Hanson blames everyone:
No one dares to ask what really drove the wheeler-dealer portfolio managers… Who fostered the cash-in culture in which both Wall Street profit mongering and Washington lobbying are nourished and thrive? We citizens did — red-state conservatives and blue-state liberals… We may be victims of Wall Street greed — but not quite innocent victims.
We created the cultural climate for this shared madness. Television shows advised how to “flip” a house after putting in cosmetic improvements. Real-estate seminars and popular videos convinced us that homes were not places to live in and raise a family but rather no different from piles of chips on a Vegas table…The problem went way beyond real-estate fantasies. Five-percent interest as a return on our money was once considered pretty good…But soon retirement-account holders and institutional investors began to expect as a given 7, 10 — and even 20 — percent “return” on their portfolios.
In the middle of the bailout deadlock I searched for lines on: “What would FDR do?” And sure enough up they popped. But first, where are we now? Politically in chaos, the Republicans are split over the amazing phenomenon of an “unAmerican” state takeover of a large chunk of the US financial industry by a Republican administration. Bush sucks, Paulson kneels down before Speaker Pelosi and Pelosi replies: “I didn’t know you were a Catholic”. McCain seems to have flunked it, sitting silent at the big round table and then siding with the Republican no-dealers.
Well as the New York Times puts it:
‘Government Seizes WaMu and Sells Some Assets’
Though the headline omits to mention that the assets were what Hank ‘Call me Uncle Joe’ Paulson likes to describe as ‘Troubled Assets’.
And everybody is writing about it, which is fair enough since this is the biggest bank failure in US history; Washington Mutual had $307 billion in assets, so it’s probably the biggest bank failure in the history of the Solar system.
But nobody, so far, has asked whether John McCain’s plan to assist his own Troubled Asset, his Presidential campaign, by disrupting the bipartisan agreement that was reported to have been reached on the ‘Buddy Can You Spare a Trillion’ plan was the dagger in the back of WaMu’s share and bond holders.
As the reports started coming out of the talks ‘imploding’ whatever last hopes WaMu had of surviving disappeared, and it went under without the new CEO even knowing about it; don’t worry, he gets to keep the signing on fee.
It looks like McCain has been running an ‘off the record plan’, the political equivalent of Off Balance Sheet financing, and he appears to be perfectly willing to let anything or anyone go down if it will put him in the White House.
Which is also fair enough; that’s what politicians do. And maybe the rest of the media will notice it sometime soon…
IF girls can wear make-up to school, why not boys?
A Hamilton teenager is fighting for his right to wear makeup at school, but school leaders say it’s a distraction.
“They’re gender stereo-typing. He’s being sexually discriminated against. Nowhere in the rules does it say that males can’t wear make-up” says Mindy Ball.
The Hamilton mother says she stands 100% behind her son, 13-year-old Matt Allsup, an eighth grader at Garfield Middle School who wears black eye makeup, lipstick and fingernail polish.
But on Monday, he was told to wash the makeup off his face, with the assistant principal telling him it was distracting and against dress code.
“When I spoke to the principal,” Ball says, “She told me it was distracting because of the black makeup and I said, ‘Well, I’ll get him pink,’ and she said no, because he’s a male, he’s not allowed to wear it, the public don’t accept males wearing make-up.”
Allsup says, “None of my classmates found it distracting or anything – and it’s not extreme. I don’t see why I can’t wear it.”
Ball and her son point out that every student is required to wear a character badge – and one of the qualities it pledges is acceptance.
“It says, ‘do you value the uniqueness of all students,’ and they’re not letting me be unique,” says Allsup. “I don’t see why we have to wear them if we’re not able to express who we are.”
Says Rachel Lucas:
You know, I’ve always thought the best way to handle any public school situation like this would be to put it up to a vote by all the people who are paying for the kid’s education – the taxpayers of the district. If I’m paying for all these little turkeys to get their learnin’, I should get a say in what kind of stupid shit they’re allowed to get away with, or not.
OMAR Bakri’s legacy to the nation is not only a green Ford Galaxy and a wiry hair in the soap dish; he leaves us in the company of “busty” Yasmin Fostok, 27, his daughter who functions as a pole dancer.
“I don’t get on with my dad,” says Yasmin, who appears on the Sun’s front page dressed in a T-shirt, jeans and fur-collared jacket.
The Sun does get on with Barki. It picks up the phone and dials “1” to get Bakri’s view. Somewhere in a converted caravan in Lebanon, a red phone is ringing.
AH, the smell of David Beckham and Her Poshness:
Tomorrow. New York. At Macy’s. Posh and Becks will make an in store appearance to promote their new fragrance Beckham Signature His and Her. For Him: smells like having sex with plastic and bones. For Her: smells like concrete tits, hunger, and bunions. First 300 get to meet them, receive autographs, and watch them pose their balls off.
COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–
PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.
COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.
PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–
COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.
Nashi V Camp Okutta: Russian Scouts And Candian Moose F*ckers Prepare For War
Russia Calls Sarah Palin A ‘Shreiking Cow From Alaska’
Sarah Palin’s Proximatey To Russia And Other Foreign Policies
Sarah Palin Watch: Britain’s View Of Sarah Palin
STEVIE notices that Breakingviews.com have stolen June’s line about the ‘Consummation should have been over and done with…anyone checked the honeymooners sheets?’ …on the Morgan Stanley deal…22 hours later.
You have to take out a trial membership to see the entire article but it tells us that it – ‘raised worries it may not consumnate its mating’.
Breakingviews.com wants to charge people for its incredibly quick commentary about breaking news…
No-one pays for online news – they’re f***ed…
SWITZERLAND can soon buy its milk in bulk:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow’s milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.
“PETA’s request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow’s milk in the food he serves,” the statement says.
Look out for Milk And Cookies…
A JAPANESE company says it has made an airbag designed to stop elderly people injuring themselves by falling over.
Nasty falls, however, may be things of the past — thanks to the invention of the human airbag.
Simply strap the 2½lb (1.1kg) pouch around the waist and the wearer is armed with the cutting edge of protection. Sensors detect movement and have been programmed to know when things have gone wrong — a slip on something wet, a stumble on an uneven paving stone or a fall down stairs.
Within a tenth of a second, the airbags inflate to the size of three footballs as they are blasted into action with 15 litres of compressed gas, offering a soft slab of padding on the most vulnerable parts of the body in a fall: the back of the head and the bottom.
And it doubles as a bed for when the moment surges…
The price tag on the device — about £700 — offers a hint at just how big the “silver yen” has become as a business proposition.
US shock jock Rush Limbaugh is spreading disinformation about Barack Obama. Is it satire?
These polls on how one-third of blue-collar white Democrats won’t vote for Obama because he’s black, and — but he’s not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood? He doesn’t have any African — that’s why when they asked whether he was authentic, whether he’s down for the struggle. He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa. He’s not — his father was — he’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American.
Obama’s dad was born in Kenya…
FRANK Luntz’s hears Gordon Brown talks about Me, Myself and I, I, I, I..:
He still doesn’t get it. In his open sentence he uses ‘I’ four times. Incredible. He still doesn’t realize that it’s not about him. It’s about the British people and what they want for the future. Blair understood that the people come first. Brown still thinks he comes first.”
He is Leader Number One.
One is Hank ‘Call Me Uncle Joe’ Paulson, US Treasury Secretary, currently performing his ‘Buddy, Can You Spare a Trillion’ at the Capitol to mixed reviews.
And then on the other side of the pond there’s John Paulson, of the eponymous Hedge Fund Paulson and Co, which under new disclosure rules had to disclose it was shorting large positions in Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, and Barclays.
So far, so obvious.
The less obvious bit is that the Financial Times reports that Mr John Paulson, anticipating criticism for his moves, defended the short positions, saying his hedge fund
“empathizes with financial firms as to the difficult positions in which many find themselves.”
Yep; that’s sincerity oozing through every pore…
JUDITH Towend on how the BBC’s undercover soldier stuffed up and offers no right to reply:
It’s a story that has seen a hive of online activity: the BBC puts a new reporter in the army for six months (he’s never worked in the media before); puts out a documentary, based on mainly anecdotal evidence; the army suspends five people (not clear how many were a result, if any, of the investigation); the mainstream media reports on the whole thing (Telegraph report linked here, as an example).
A Facebook group has been created criticising the reporter for the programme – suggesting he should be tried for treason – which at the time of writing has 1,460 members.
Yet nowhere on the BBC website is there anywhere to post a comment.
Russell Sharp, are you there..?
It’s the inquest into the death of the 27-year-old. Meanwhile… and advert for the film “Righteous Kill” marks the spot…
COLLECT Daily Mail heath advice in this handy Anorak binder:
Are people around the nation carefully clipping these stories out, and pasting them in indexed box files, ready for the day when they develop the condition in question, or encounter the opportunity to modify an unusual health risk exposure? And how will they know if the data they are gathering is complete, or just an arbitrary patchwork of newsworthy and self-serving information, multiply filtered through a range of imperfect agents with diverse interests and allegiances? In fact, how does anybody know that?
They are now…
Take care when using the binder as an allergy to leatherette can kill (see Daily Mail passim)…
“Terrorism has become extremely marketable, newspapers regularly printing fear-mongering stories to encourage the public to buy them. What next, terrorist merchandise?” – David Wilson
Can you still get Omar Bakri’s glasses on the NHS?
THERE’S the surge. And then there’s the surge-charge:
Did you know there are two Iraqi surges? There’s the buildup of U.S. military personnel that has led to a reduction in crime in Basra and Baghdad this year. Then there’s the surge of dollars that has made some Iraqi kleptocrats very, very rich.
It’s the new Amerika:
Iraqi Defense Ministry officials helped set up two front companies that were to buy airplanes, armored vehicles, guns and other equipment with $1.7 billion in U.S. funds. The companies were paid, but in some cases they delivered only “a small percentage” of the equipment that had been ordered and, in one case, delivered bulletproof vests that were defective and could not be used.
The companies also overcharged for military helicopters and tried to deliver aircraft that were more than 25 years old, he said. Instead of demanding the money back, Adhoob said, the Defense Ministry renegotiated with the companies for “a series of mobile toilets and kitchens — which have never been delivered.
The Telegraph reports her claiming that:
“Children will grow up not trusting anyone in Britain’s risk-averse society”
Anyone using the term ‘risk-averse’ as Baroness Neuberger has should be hung upside down, next to David Blaine, without a catheter.
They are morons.
They are morons because they don’t even know what risk means.
They are morons because they don’t even know what ‘risk-averse’ means.
They are morons who think that the money world is sexy and if they say things like ‘risk-averse’ it will make them sexy too.
They are particularly morons when, surrounded by the catastrophic consequences of unprotected sex in the money markets, they still use ‘risk-averse’ as if being risk-averse is a bad thing!
It’s a good thing!
What’s not good is fear, or terror, or gibbering hysteria ratcheted up by politicians who like their voters frightened because that way they can shaft them better.
The way Paulson is doing…
In the course of a week, neighbours have called the police on him on three occasions. His office: Farming While Black.
The 42-year-old, thought to be one of only two black farmers in Britain, was questioned by police officers for over 30 minutes on Saturday following a call reporting a suspected theft.
“I was just picking the maize when I went to the edge of the field and saw three or four police cars and some officers walking towards me. They asked me what I was doing and I told them I was cropping my maize.”
Don’t you get smart with us, sonny…
DITA Von Teese is a stripper. She has fake breasts. She is the new chest and face of Wonderbra. Indeed:
Now I think most people can agree that for the most part, Dita cuts the crap and is pretty up front about what she does for a living. She’s a stripper, she owns it, and I respect that.
But there’s something peculiarly dishonest about a woman who loves her breast implants pushing a product that claims it would enhance even Olive Oyl’s figure.
Maybe Olive can stick a couple of Popeye’s forearms down her top?
TO Somerset, where a young family flee their home when hundreds of people, some draped in swastika flags, take over a field near their garden.
Yeah, in a field:
JOE Biden watches Roosevelt on Presdient Hoover’s TV:
“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”
As Reason’s Jesse Walker footnotes offer:
“And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'”
Joe Biden is Neil Kinnock…
SIX high school football players for the Cardinals are accused of sodomizing six younger teammates with a broomstick during training camp in La Vegas.
The incident has turned student against student in the town of 14,000, and subjected some of the school’s athletes to lewd taunts from spectators.
Yeah, the Cardinals…
WHAT free speech?
Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a government critic and founder of the Malaysia Today website, has been sent to the Kamunting detention centre in northern Perak state on the order of the home minister, his wife Marina Lee Abdullah told AFP.
His arrest earlier this month was part of a crackdown amid a political crisis in Malaysia, as Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi faces calls to quit from within his cabinet and a mounting challenge by the opposition.
The detention of Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin at the Kamunting Detention Camp, Taiping, for two years under Section 8(1) of the Internal Security Act is the biggest act of injustice and cowardice I have seen in a long time.