President Obama on $20 billion in Wall Street Bonuses
One point I want to make is that all of us are going to have responsibilities to get this economy moving again. And when I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses – the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004 – at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that if they don’t provide help that the entire system could come down on top of our heads – that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.
And part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility. The American people understand that we’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to dig ourselves out of – but they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up.
And so we’re going to be having conversations as this process moves forward directly with these folks on Wall Street to underscore that they have to start acting in a more responsible fashion if we are to together get this economy rolling again. There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses – now is not that time. And that’s a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them – and Secretary Geithner already had to pull back one institution that had gone forward with a multimillion dollar jet plane purchase at the same time as they’re receiving TARP money. We shouldn’t have to do that because they should know better. And we will continue to send that message loud and clear.
Wall Street and the Super Bowl Theory [LINK]football.about.com
The Super Bowl Theory holds that a victory by an NFC team or an original (pre-1970 merger) NFL team –the Browns, Colts, or Steelers– point to a bullish market the following year. An AFC victory signals a bearish drop in the market. The Super Bowl Theory has accurately forecasted the stock market 31 times.
If you enjoy/suffer from football apathy you might want to consider cheering for the Steelers. A Pittsburgh win could be good for your wallet. I have mostly forgiven the Steelers for their 2006 steal (pun intended) over Seattle. By Sunday I should be ready to cheer for them as whole-heartly as someone who only watches two games (the superbowl and the apple cup) a year possibly can. Go Steelers, I guess.
(excerpt from an e-mail I sent to the project manager this morning)
Tim and I have decided that if you need to set up a field office in Kauai to get all of this work done, that is not a problem for us. We are happy to get down in the sunny, sandy trenches with them for as long as it takes.
We get that times are tough and we want to do our part. Tim and I are also considering offering to sleep in tents on the beach at least part of the time to cut costs.
House Passes Obama’s Stimulus Package [LINK]nytimes.com
Without a single Republican vote, President Obama won House approval on Wednesday for an $819 billion economic recovery plan as Congressional Democrats sought to hold down their own difference over the enormous package of tax cuts and spending.
The “fair and balanced” Fox article on the plan titled, “Obama Stimulus Package Really Socialism?” can be found here.
“But what they’re doing now — using fear to promote long-term changes to the country — is exactly the kind of thing that has led to the biggest deficit of all: The deficit of trust we now have in our leaders.”
If we are talking fear tactics, something about glass houses comes to mind. The socialism threat level presented by the package is probably blue. To put that in perspective, national security wise, we have pretty much been at threat level orange for years. Come on, Fox, it’s not socialism, it’s called spending.
“Second, [Obama]’s setting up the Republicans to overtly and obviously look like obstructionist douchebags. They screamed about the family planning portion, so he took it out. If they keep screaming, they look like petulant babies and don’t give a shit about Americans. The truth will set us free.
Thirdly, Obama can say, “Look, I was willing to work with the Republicans in this matter, but they showed me and showed America that they are more concerned with partisan politics than fixing our country’s problems. Next time, if they want a seat at my table, they need to show us all that they are willing to compromise. The times of Bush’s dictatorship are over, but so are the times of being bullied by a vocal segment of hyperpartisan politicians.””—
While I appreciate your enthusiasm there is no need to wear both the Obama/Biden pin and the tree-huggers for Obama pin. You are wearing office clothes with white “just for the commute” sneakers, a sage green North Face jacket and you have foregone the matching purse for a practical and seemingly rugged backpack. While I suppose possible though unlikely that you vote republican, the tree-hugger proclamation is assumed.
Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk [LINK]nytimes.com
Drinking coffee may do more than just keep you awake. A new study suggests an intriguing potential link to mental health later in life, as well. A team of Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. During that time, 61 participants developed dementia, 48 with Alzheimer’s disease.
The United States of America, your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located. Replacement components were ordered Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, and have begun arriving. Early test of the new equipment indicate that it is functioning correctly and we expect it to be fully operational by mid-January. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage and we look forward to resuming full service and hopefully even improving it in years to come.
Thank you for your patience and understanding,
“Service Outage (a note from the USA)” : Rolling Stone : National Affairs Daily (via codery)
Of course the United States has never been the exclusive service provider of liberty and democracy, but I very much enjoyed the above Rolling Stone exerpt.
President Barack Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. Liberal groups welcomed the decision, while abortion rights foes criticized the president.
Known as the “Mexico City policy,” the ban has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.
[read the complete article]
[read President Obama’s official remarks on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade]
Dear President Obama,
Thank you very much for reversing this absurd policy.
“Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them…”—President Barack Obama
“The unique thing about these last performances, and every celebration or performance throughout the weekend for that matter, was within a nation’s most progressive moment, the state of hip hop has moved beyond the streets, the blocks, and the clubs. By inviting artists such as Jay-Z and Common to perform at official Inaugural events, President Obama, whether intentional or not, showed American music isn’t necessarily Rock and Roll, Jazz, or even Country. It is now a music Chuck D once called the black CNN – a music once thought to be a fad and is now the soundtrack for a nation, performed by people who prefer to go by aliases rather than their government names. American music is hip hop and you better get used to it, because the President is black. And he likes himself some hip hop.”—Vibe: The Hip Hop Inauguration (via apsies)
Help Our Wedding Make Cents [LINK]helpmakecents.blogspot.com
Meredith and Matt, some friends of my friends Matt and Eva, are getting married! Usually this wouldn’t merit further attention, but in this case their creativity deserves a shout out.
Meredith and Matt are pulic school teachers and thus they need help making their wedding happen. If you donate through pay pal to their wedding adventure you get an ad on the blog. Pretty neat idea. Any proceeds over their 10,000 goal will be given to the American Cancer Society.
Anyway, go forth and give them a couple bucks and follow up on the progress. Seriously, their adorable!
“The future is now, but, like the elusive Blue Monkey from the Merrie Melody cartoons, the future is wily, hard to find and impossible to control. Which is why it is necessary every once in a while to take stock, to blow out the mucus of your decision-making paradigms out into the soft 2-ply Kleenex of the past, to snort hard the nasal spray of introspection, and to take the Nyquil of the Promise of Tomorrow. Which is why tomorrow I’ll be taking a sick day.”—my dear friend, Matt Smith, who I think is terrific
An excerpt from a note someone posted on my building’s bulletin board, hand-lettered in bright red pen: “Please refrain from flushing your toilet, using your shower, or using your sink after 11:00 PM - I go to bed at 11:00 and get up at 7:00, and the sound of water running can wake me up. This is very stressful.”
This is when you say “Fuck the planet” and run the taps all night long.
This, I’m sure, is a person who was raised by parents who gave in to their every whim, never letting their feet touch the ground or their hands get dirty. You’ve seen those kids, the one’s whose parents kneel down in front of them and ask them what they want for dinner. I long for the days when kids were reprimanded for even coughing out loud in public. Now, these kids grow up and put fucking notes all over society asking others to revolve around them.
Run the taps, if only for the rest of us.
I live with a girl like this which is why I am moving in a couple of weeks. I get “noted” all the time. Please curb the habit and leave to faucet running in honor of all of the victims of tedious noting.
The hundred years' war in Palestine - The Economisteconomist.com
… a conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to the “terrorism” of one side or the “colonialism” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land. It is not the sort of dispute in which enemies push back and forth over a line until they grow tired. It is much less tractable than that, because it is also about the periodic claim of each side that the other is not a people at all—at least not a people deserving sovereign statehood in the Middle East.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.
Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.
Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.
I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you.
Maya Angelou, Letter To My Daughter
This is part of the introduction. It’s what made me immediately want to read it.
“When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.”—
Barack Obama, A Letter to my Daughters (via apsies)
I’m counting down the days until i see him at a great distance. Less than ONE WEEK!