April 18, 2010

Sarah Palin’s Real Alaska


SEC files lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for financial fraud

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 1:28 am

On Friday, almost two years after the financial meltdown that began on Wall Street and reverberated throughout the U.S. economy, a lawsuit has been filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Goldman Sachs, alleging that the behemoth financial institution engaged in financial fraud.

According to the AP, the charges against Goldman relate to a complex investment tied to the performance of pools of risky mortgages known as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).

In a complaint filed Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Goldman marketed the package to investors without disclosing a major conflict of interest: The pools were picked by another client, a prominent hedge fund that was betting the housing bubble would burst.

Goldman then sold the package to investors like foreign banks, pension funds and insurance companies, which would profit only if the bonds gained value.

The SEC said Goldman failed to tell investors that Paulson & Co, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, paid Goldman Sachs to structure a transaction in which it could take speculative positions against mortgage securities chosen by the fund, the commission said in a statement.

The focus of the SEC case, an investment vehicle called Abacus 2007-AC1, was one of 25 such vehicles that Goldman created so the bank and some of its clients could bet against the housing market. The deal, which took place during a massive mortgage meltdown in 2007 and as the country was about to fall into a brutal recession, was said to have cost investors around $1 billion. Paulson in turn bought insurance against the deal and when the securities later tanked, losing almost all of their value, Paulson has acknowledged reaping a $3.7 billion profit by betting against the housing market as it nose dived in 2006 and 2007.

The charges may unleash a torrent of lawsuits, and signal that the government is prepared to file more lawsuits related to the overheated market that preceded the financial crisis, experts said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said James Hackney, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law. “There are a lot of folks out there in different deals who played similar roles, and once it starts building steam, plaintiffs’ lawyers will figure out this is where the money is and there should be a lot of action.”

Part of the action in the coming months may come in the form of a financial reform bill that President Obama and congress is preparing to push through the House and Senate in what looks to become a heated battle on the scale of health care insurance reform.

Read more here:

April 17, 2010

Sarah Palin in ‘Curse of the Snake Woman’


April 16, 2010

Osama, where are you?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 2:03 pm

As President Obama escalates the war in Afghanistan, and anywhere between 24 and 53 percent of your federal tax $’s are spent on defense, let’s not forgot about one of the boogeymen that got us in this mess in the first place. Where’s Osama Bin Laden?

Besides a tape that Bin Laden supposedly made a few months ago that was so poorly produced that even the corporate media gave it little attention, we have not heard much from the arch-nemesis of western capitalism. Thus far in 2010, a nuclear arsenal, 11 aircraft carrier strike groups, 14 Trident-class nuclear submarines, 21 B-2 stealth bombers, a $75+ billion intelligence network and about 100,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan have failed to flush Bin Laden and his dialysis machine out of a cave.

Last November, staff members for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Democratic majority prepared a report at the request of the chairman, Sen. John Kerry. According to MSNBC, the report states categorically that bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops.

The report, however, seems to overlook the fact that bin Laden was suffering from diabetes, Hepatitis C, and an “untreated lung complication” and would have had to have “walked unmolested” out of the rugged mountains of Afghanistan under the surveillance of “thousands” of special operations troops with at least one kidney dialysis machine in tow. The report also does not mention that electricity to power a dialysis machine may be difficult to generate on the move through the mountains of Afghanistan.

The latest report also ignores numerous reports in both mainstream U.S. media and international media that bin Laden is probably dead. In Jan. 2002, Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Mushharraf said in an interview with CNN, “I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a … kidney patient.” The BBC reported on July 18, 2002 that the FBI’s counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, says he thinks Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead. Afghan president Harmad Karzai concurred when he said on CNN’s Late Edition on Oct. 8, 2002, “I would come to believe that [bin Laden] probably is dead.” Before Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, she also said bin Laden is dead. Janes reported in Dec. 2002 that “bin Laden was never on the annual list of Islamist extremists issued by the espionage and security services” of Israel.

With our economy in shambles, our deficit and national debt skyrocketing, our infrastructure crumbling and our military stretched to the limits, Americans must ask themselves: Is this one man really worth it, especially considering the real possibility that he may already be dead? Why is our military really in Afghanistan? Is it because of “terrorists” like Bin Laden or because of an oil and natural gas pipeline that was being planned when Harmed Karzai was a Unocal consultant? Is it possible that the U.S. government, with the help of the mainstream media, is scaring the American people into prolonging a war that can only have one outcome – exiting Afghanistan?

One thing is certain, if Osama bin Laden’s intent was to destroy this nation, he did a nice job of it – thanks to shortsighted leaders in this country that failed, and continue to fail to see the long term implications of a perpetual war for private energy company profits, or chasing what may amount to be nothing more than a long-dead boogeyman.

Read more here:

Palin and the Pope Circling the Drain


April 15, 2010

Making Sure the Last Perv Priest to Leave the Room Turns Off the Lights

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 11:48 am

“‘Jesus loved the little children.’ But not THAT way.”


“The last man to the door is a rotten pope!”

The Tattlesnake – Word on the Street Edition

In the spirit of the late Mike Royko’s Slats Grobnik, here are comments from the unFoxed Vox Populi:

– L.A. Mike, who was born and lived in Los Angeles for most of his life, on the Republicans paying $2K for simulated lesbian bondage at the Voyeur Club:

“What wrong with those dudes? It’s really stupid. For half that price in L.A. you could rent a motel room, hire a couple of hookers, see the same show up close and join in if you felt like it. You’d even have enough left for a bottle of some primo liquor. That’s really a stupid waste of money.”

– V.J., a small business owner for over 20 years, on Obama’s tax plan:

“I’m a middle-class small business owner and everybody was telling me, ‘watch out, Obama’s gonna raise your taxes!’ I just got my tax forms back from my accountant and I’m paying $800 less this year than last, and he specifically said it was thanks to two deductions Obama put through. If this is Obama’s big tax increase for the middle-class, keep it coming!”

– Anna, who worked in state government for 20 years, on Sarah Palin:

“I don’t get it – how do you quit as governor and then pass yourself off as a winner? How do you tell other families to practice abstinence when your own kid gets pregnant when she’s underage? Why does anybody take her seriously?”

– Al, who worked at a mail order firm, on the ruthless corporate culture:

“Worked at the same job for 12 years. We heard the rumor that company was being sold, but my boss, the owner of the company, looked me straight in the eye and told me he’d never sell and I’d always have a job there. Six months later we’re all fired and the owner makes off with a fortune from selling the company. I asked one of the ladies in accounting what happened – the S.O.B. was in the process of selling the company the very day he told me that B.S. that he’d never sell! The lady said he lied because he didn’t want people quitting to take other jobs before the new owner took over – wanted to squeeze every dime out of the place, even if it left us flat. He lied to my face and I thought this man was my friend!”

– Vernon, who managed an office for 10 years, talks about Michael Steele’s RNC spending:

“I’ll tell you this: If I had been charging anything from Tiffany’s or the liquor store to ‘office supplies,’ and I had approved an expenditure of a couple grand to a strip club, there would have been about two minutes before I was fired and out on the street. I don’t know how he gets away with it.”

– Lily, a waitress at an upscale restaurant, on GOP tax cuts:

“Why doesn’t the media ever call these guys out? They get up there, these Republicans, always talking about tax cuts and they’re rich as fuck! Sure, they want tax cuts – for themselves! Yeah, I got my little piddley-ass tax cut from Bush, and the price of everything went up, including my state taxes, so I went way further in the hole. They really treat us like we’re too dumb to know what they’re doing. Fuckers!”

– Rory, who once worked at a mental health facility, on the Teabaggers:

“These people must all have Alzheimer’s like Reagan. They don’t remember we had big deficits and big government under Republicans since Reagan? They don’t remember Reagan bailed out the savings and loans in the 1980s? I didn’t see them out there screaming and yelling then. They think the shitty economy started under Obama? Give me a break. They just hate him cause he’s black. These tea party people should go to their doctors and be tested for Alzheimer’s – they’ve definitely lost it. I mean if they can afford a head doctor on their fixed incomes — oh, wait a sec, Medicare will pay for that, so they’re covered!”

April 14, 2010

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 4:13 pm

“Nothing is more enjoyable, Sam I am, than a great order of green eggs and SPAM.”

Sent to Scribe’s E-box by Mrs. Scribe…


You don’t have to own a cat to appreciate this one! You don’t even have to like ‘em!

We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. The cat we put out in the back yard, scoots back into the front door.

We didn’t want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird. My wife goes out to the taxi, while I went inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot pursuit.

Waiting in the cab, my wife doesn’t want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night. So, she explains to the taxi driver that I will be out soon, “He’s just going upstairs to say Goodbye to my mother.”

A few minutes later, I get into the cab. “Sorry I took so long,” I said, as we drove away. “That stupid witch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her fat a– downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!”

The cab driver hit a parked car.

April 13, 2010

Tax Day 2010: Most of every dollar you pay in federal taxes is spent on…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 6:11 am

Hint: This won’t come as a surprise to most bartcop readers.

Health care? Social Security? An economic stimulus bill? Wars? Bailing out Wall Street banks? Education? Our nation’s infrastructure? Each may be a good guess based on the issues that get attention in the mainstream media.

The correct answer may be that 53% of the federal tax being collected in 2010 has already been allocated for defense spending.

According to Philadelphia investigative journalist Dave Lindorff, writing for OpEdNews:

The 2011 military budget, by the way, is the largest in history, not just in actual dollars, but in inflation adjusted dollars, exceeding even the spending in World War II, when the nation was on an all-out military footing. Military spending in all its myriad forms works out to represent 53.3% of total US federal spending.

That would mean the military’s share of the approximately $3 trillion 2010 budget is about $1.6 trillion.

On the other hand, anyone can find a handy fact sheet posted on the white house’s web site that puts the department of defense’s share of the budget at a “mere” $708 billion, seemingly bringing the cost down to about 24 cents on the tax dollar.

So, who’s telling the truth? The answer is that both are, depending on how one looks at federal budget allocations.

Just like banks, airlines or a sleazy car dealer, the pentagon and white house’s invoice does not include hidden costs and amenities, but the final bill does. One of those is called supplemental spending.

A closer look reveals that the 2010 defense budget also does not include: spending on veterans affairs – that means VA hospitals, benefits, etc., for any ex-military personnel that are no longer on active or reserve status. The bill for that is $60 billion. That $60 billion does not include any public funds spent on veterans or immediate family that collect public benefits, such as social security.

Homeland security, judging by the title, can be added to the defense part of the check for approximately another $4.3 billion, bringing the bill to approximately $878.3 billion. So can NASA, for another $19 billion, since their primary function is deploying military satellites. And the National Intelligence Program for another (classified) amount, estimated at about $75 billion. Even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gets billed separately at about $5 billion.

Without even considering the costs of foreign military aid to nations such as Israel, Pakistan, Egypt and Columbia, or the costs of purchasing services from private contractors such as Xe (formerly Blackwater) to provide security in occupied countries, or Halliburton to rebuild them, defense spending is already well over $900 billion.

Like all government spending, of course, the defense portion has to be financed, so when money is borrowed from whomever or wherever to pay for the $900+ billion check, add more interest to the approximately $250-400 billion in interest already owed through debt created by defense spending. The huge sum will be borrowed, mostly from China and Japan, to which the U.S. already owes $1.5 trillion.

Having trouble keeping up with your bill yet? That’s because it is designed that way. It gets even more complicated when you have to consider that Social Security expenditures are included in the overall budget, even though it is a trust that is raised and spent seperately from income taxes. What you pay by April 15, 2010 goes to the federal funds portion of the budget. That makes military spending seem smaller in comparison to overall government spending. That also easily puts the figure at about 53 percent.

No matter which figure you want to believe – the $1.6 trillion or the $708 billion, it may be enlightening to put that in two other perspectives.

Read more here:

The Catholic Church’s Divine Right?


April 12, 2010

The America of Profits Over People Equals Death


April 11, 2010

Would Palin Really Like to Compare Her Experience on Nukes with Obama’s?


“Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.”
– Sarah Palin at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, April 9, 2010, as quoted by Media Matters.

In fact, as Media Matters points out, as a US senator, Obama traveled overseas to investigate nuclear stockpiles in other nations, co-sponsored a nuclear non-proliferation bill with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in 2005, introduced another bill, the Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act (S.1977) in 2007, and did his college thesis on Soviet nuclear disarmament long before entering politics. Actually, the Nobel committee cited Obama’s lengthy record of trying to limit nuclear weapons as one of the reasons he received the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

What experience does Sarah Palin have in this area? Zip, zilch and zero.

If I were an inexperienced beauty pageant contestant like Palin I wouldn’t get snarky about anyone else’s lack of experience in anything – it only tends to remind the public – that large majority who aren’t part of your personality cult – of how vacuous and ignorant you really are.

BTW, Bush, Cheney and the GOP had eight years to ‘accomplish’ something in regards to Iran and North Korea. What did they have to show for it? Increased atomic and missile warhead testing by the N.K. and an accelerated nuclear program by Iran, in response to Republican threats of invasion. Obama’s been in office for a year; let’s see what he accomplishes in eight.

April 10, 2010

Obama’s Guantanamo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 8:17 am


Over a year ago the Obama administration made headlines by announcing that the prison for detainees in Guantanamo Bay would be closed. Many organizations thought that signaled a reversal of the human rights and legal policies of the Bush administration.

In Sept., 2009, a NYC human rights attorney, Tina Foster, warned “the Obama administration has completely failed in delivering the change that was promised.”

Today, Guantanamo remains open and there is a new and improved version of a world where legal and human rights do not exist. It is known as Bagram air base in Afghanistan and President Obama received a warm welcome when he “rallied the troops” there last month.

With the recent expansion of the war in Afghanistan, Bagram will get busier, but not all will receive as warm of a welcome as the President did.

One of the detainees that died at Bagram after being tortured by U.S. interrogators was strung up by his wrists, and then beaten until his legs were “pulpified,” according to the military’s own autopsy reports obtained by the ACLU.

Opinion polls show support for Obama in waning, even in the wake of the passage of a compromised health care reform bill. The corporate media spins those poll results as a reaction from the right to Obama’s “far left” agenda. The truth is that most conservatives or Republicans never have, and never will, support anything that Obama does or does not do.

Obama’s dip in support more likely comes from the Democrats and progressives that voted for him, but are now disillusioned with the reality that the “change we can believe in” is really more of the same Washington politics. People like Tina Foster, who said last fall:

I voted and campaigned for Obama, like all the other folks here in the US who wanted to see this country recover from the illegal and unjust policies of the Bush administration. When I heard Obama’s announcement to close Guantanamo, I breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps this extremely ugly chapter of American history was finally being put to an end. Unfortunately, since then, the Obama administration has completely failed in delivering the change that was promised. For a time, we believed that perhaps it would just take the new administration time to shift its policies. The reality is that the Bush and the Obama administrations have the same position on the rights of detainees in Bagram.

The detention facility at Bagram is a clear example that little has changed in terms of human and legal rights since the Obama administration was elected. “The American way” once was that the guilt or innocence of any detainee can only be determined with a fair trial. It seems that no longer is and may never be the case again…with either political party in power.

Read more here:

Obama’s Radical Liberal Socialist Agenda Revealed

Is this his horrible liberal socialist agenda laid bare?

“The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought NOT to interfere.”

“In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”

“The purpose … is to establish and maintain a peaceful world and build at home a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares. We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.”

“We believe that basic to governmental integrity are unimpeachable ethical standards and irreproachable personal conduct by all people in government. We shall continue our insistence on honesty as an indispensable requirement of public service. We shall continue to root out corruption whenever and wherever it appears.”

“We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.”

To find out what left-wing radical wrote this socialist manifesto, read below.


YOS Productions Presents: Pop Quiz

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 3:04 am

“If you flunk this one, go back to nursery school.”

Barack Obama is about to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Extreme Right-tards, like Beckus Schmeckus, Handjob Hannity, the mentally deficient Michelle twins Muckup Malkin or BLEECH Bachmann will declare him/her to be…

1. A socialist, commie or Nazi
2. Extreme left wing
3. Will destroy the nation
4. Immoral
5. A respectable choice, though they still oppose them on principle
6. All of the above except #5

Barack Obama will appoint…

1. A moderate, at best
2. Someone more like a liberal Republican than a Democrat
3. Someone who he thinks will satisfy the Right, but won’t
4. Someone who he thinks should offend no one
5. A fire breathing lefty
6. All of the above, except #5

Note: if you answered #5 to any of the above, get a brain, Scarecrow. If you passed, then Pop says, “Go ahead and dance!”

Ye Olde Scribe’s Incredible, Inedible Quote Machine

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 2:45 am

“Almost as powerful as the war machine. ALMOST.”

“Why is it the last words in a war movie are ‘The End,” but actual war it has to be to cries of ‘End the?’ Is the public dyslexic, or is it just that politicians usually have it all backwards to begin with?”


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