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Archive for June, 2010

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What a maroon as Bugs Bunny used to say. It is  a sign of the times when a person like this becomes a role model and leader to millions of people. But blame John McCain if you must find blame. He let this Pandora out of the box just as George Bush let evil out of the box when he made Dick Cheney his Vice President.

Some have greatness thrust upon them. Some seek greatness. Palin is neither. She seeks several things. Money and notoriety which also means more money.  I am not against her making as much money as she can. At least she is finally doing it ethically (even if I think her politics suck). She is running around the country going from conservative hots pot to conservative hot spot creating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). And people are paying good money to listen to her spout her hate and narrow views. But don’t mistake her for a leader because she doesn’t stay anywhere long enough to actually lead. That is her MO.

If she ever stands still long enough to win another public office, she will be the leader we deserve rather than the leader we need.

Have you ever seem her down in Gulf scooping oil or helping save wild life?  The Gulf is a hot bed of conservatives. She has the time, but God forbid she gets her Gucci’s  dirty or misses a $peech.

Goofs mar Palin’s Reagan college tribute, legal fund appeal

1 hr 33 mins ago

Following in others’ grand tradition of demonstrating gaps in knowledge while addressing a university, Sarah Palin told a crowd at a fundraiser at California State University in Stanislaus last weekend that Ronald Reagan, personal hero and inspiration, was a California college graduate. She told the cheering crowd: “This is Reagan country, and perhaps it was destiny that the man who went to California’s Eureka College would become so woven within and interlinked to the Golden State.”

There’s just one problem here: Reagan went to Eureka College in Illinois from 1928 to 1932, the Alaska Dispatch reports. He didn’t move to California until five years after his graduation. There’s no Eureka College in California (though there’s a town of Eureka that has a College of the Redwoods nearby).

Immediately after her speech, a live microphone caught voices in the press area trashing the former Alaska governor, Mediate reported. “The dumbness doesn’t just come from soundbites,” one complained. The Fox affiliate owned the microphone but says their reporters did not make the comments.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports on a more serious recent mistake of Palin’s political organization. Administrators for her legal defense fund accidentally sent out a rough draft of an email to thousands of supporters that falsely claimed she faced “millions of dollars” in legal fees because of “frivolous” ethics suits against her. The corrected version of the email said the fees numbered in the hundreds of thousands, not millions.

Critics say several more claims in the email were not true. The email said 26 of 27 ethics violations against Palin were dismissed outright, which is false: Three moved into the investigative phase. One inquiry resulted in a cash settlement; another found that ethics had been abridged but declined to recommend legal proceedings because the charge involved the dismissal of the head of the Alaska state trooper force, who was an at-will employee of the governor.

The email also alleged that the Democratic National Committee created a website whose goal is to keep Palin out of public office — a charge that the organization says is untrue.

Last week, the earlier incarnation of Palin’s defense fund was ruled illegal because it used the word “official.” The decision forced the fund’s administrators to pay back the $400,000 in donations they raised, and to launch the newer version of the fund.

— Liz Goodwin is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News.

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It is silly to think that Tony Hayward won’t resign or be pushed out of BP. In the present model of corporate leadership, the corporation doesn’t care! With costs of Gulf Coast disaster heading toward 3 billion, someone has to take the fall for the very stupid decision not to stop the rig and repair the blowout preventer. He may not have made the decision but the part he didn’t get was that it happened on his watch. As they say in Silicon Valley, that’s why they pay us the big bucks.

Lessons

If they pay you the big bucks, you are responsible

If you have the title of CEO, you are responsible

If you company is in trouble, you are responsible.

Not every CEO is designed to handle a crisis. In fact it seems most are not. That person is usually the next guy. The one they hire after they fire the original CEO.

It might have been simple.

If Hayward had moved his offices to the gulf, showed great and continuing concern, lived  and fought alongside the residents who are having their lives turned upside down by his corporation’s mistake, he might have cleared this issue and been seen as something of a hero. He might still have had to resign but there would have been the image of him caring (and he might have cared had he lived and fought alongside of the Billy Nungessor’s and Bobby Jindal’s of the world).

Tony! Say these words.

I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I am not leaving here until this thing is under control.

But he chose to go the other way. The yachting, I want my life, cover-up way. Now it is too late. he is a very rich, dead man walking (in the sense that he will be fired or forced to resign).

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I stumbled on these two quotes today. They belong to singer songwriter Tom Waits. The first one is for General McChrystal.

On talking to the press: “To me it’s a bit like talking to a cop.”

In this case the cop ended up being Obama. And no this isn’t like MacArthur and Truman. MacArthur didn’t resign. Truman fired him. Did Obama do the right thing? Well he’s the boss and he can do whatever the hell he pleases. To me he just moved deckchairs around on the Titanic.

This second one resonates.

On career and family: “It’s like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night.”

This has been my life for the past 30 years. Now I have only one dog and that dog sort of hates me but I still have to walk it every night.

Remember when you were a kid and you thought there was a monster under the bed and our parents would rush in and tell us that there was nothing there and it was all okay. Remember that?

Well, Guess what? There is a monster under the bed but thanks to alcohol, drugs and a dash of glorified self importance, we can handle it.

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Even though we may believe in free markets I believe the USA has seen a version of what happened to Rome in the 4th and 5th century AD. This is a paradigm so stick with me. Rome let various barbarian tribes settle peacefully within the boundaries of the empire. But non peaceful barbarians came too. The Huns and Vandals. Their goal was to rape and pillage. So while many of our fiscal institutions have been responsible organizations, there are some very big ones who were (and even today) are not. So you get the government you deserve and those institutions say we need more regulations and oversight.

We’ll have to earn our way back to the world we thought we had (and didn’t).

Canada’s economy is suddenly the envy of the world

No financial meltdowns here, Canada boasts, and world leaders want in on the secret

ap

Rob Gillies, Associated Press Writer, On Sunday June 20, 2010, 4:51 pm EDT

TORONTO (AP) — Canada thinks it can teach the world a thing or two about dodging financial meltdowns.

The 20 world leaders at an economic summit in Toronto next weekend will find themselves in a country that has avoided a banking crisis where others have floundered, and whose economy grew at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year. The housing market is hot and three-quarters of the 400,000 jobs lost during the recession have been recovered.

World leaders have noticed: President Barack Obama says the U.S. should take note of Canada’s banking system, and Britain’s Treasury chief is looking to emulate the Ottawa way on cutting deficits.

The land of a thousand stereotypes — from Mounties and ice hockey to language wars and lousy weather — is feeling entitled to do a bit of crowing as it hosts the G-20 summit of wealthy and developing nations.

“We should be proud of the performance of our financial system during the crisis,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in an interview with The Associated Press.

He recalled visiting China in 2007 and hearing suggestions “that the Canadian banks were perhaps boring and too risk-adverse. And when I was there two weeks ago some of my same counterparts were saying to me, ‘You have a very solid, stable banking system in Canada,’ and emphasizing that. There wasn’t anything about being sufficiently risk-oriented.”

The banks are stable because, in part, they’re more regulated. As the U.S. and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries over the last 15 years, Canada refused to do so. The banks also aren’t as leveraged as their U.S. or European peers.

There was no mortgage meltdown or subprime crisis in Canada. Banks don’t package mortgages and sell them to the private market, so they need to be sure their borrowers can pay back the loans.

In Canada’s concentrated banking system, five major banks dominate the market and regulators know each of the top bank executives personally.

“Our banks were just better managed and we had better regulation,” says former Prime Minister Paul Martin, the man credited with killing off a massive government deficit in the 1990s when he was finance minister, leading to 12 straight years of budget surpluses.

“I was absolutely amazed at senior bankers in the United States and Europe who didn’t know the extent of the problem or they didn’t know that people in some far-flung division were doing these kinds of things. It’s just beyond belief,” he told the AP.

The Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper that took over from Martin’s Liberals in 2006 broadly stuck to his predecessor’s approach, though he cut taxes and, when recession struck, pumped stimulus money into the economy, with the result that Canada again has a large deficit.

But it is recovering from the recession faster than others, and although its deficit is currently at a record high, the International Monetary Fund expects Canada to be the only one of the seven major industrialized democracies to return to surplus by 2015.

This month Canada became the first among them to raise interest rates since the global financial crisis began.

George Osborne, Britain’s Treasury chief, has vowed to follow Canada’s example on deficit reduction.

“They brought together the best brains both inside and outside government to carry out a fundamental reassessment of the role of the state,” Osborne said in a speech.

It’s a remarkable turnaround from 1993, when the Liberals took office facing a $30 billion deficit. Moody’s downgraded Canada’s credit rating twice. About 36 percent of the government’s revenue went toward servicing debt.

“Our situation was dire. Canada was in a lot of trouble at that point,” Martin said. “If we were going to preserve our health care and our education system we had to do it.”

As finance minister, he slashed spending. A weak currency and a booming U.S. economy also helped Martin balance the books. In the 1998 budget the government estimated that about 55 percent of the deficit reduction came from economic growth and 35 percent from spending cuts.

“The rest of the world certainly thinks we’re the model to follow,” said Martin, who was prime minister from 2003 to 2006. “I’ve been asked by a lot of countries as to how to go about it.”

Don Drummond, Martin’s budget chief at the time, says the U.S. and Europe won’t have it that easy, because the economic climate was better in the late 1990s than it is now, with large trade gains and falling interest rates.

“There’s a lot to learn from Canada but their starting conditions are worse,” he said. “Even though we were on the precipice of a crisis we weren’t in as bad a shape as many of them are.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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I was thinking about woman’s rights the other day. I have always been a supporter of equality regardless of sex (and not based on whether I was getting some which is very big of me).

But if I look at how much political correctness has strangled the workplace, because almost everything is now potentially politically incorrect, then I realize that if I were young (I was once) and first starting out on my so-called career path, I would not have had the succession of work related, fun affairs I was allowed to have back in the 1960’s and 70’s. And if I look at so many of my married friends, why do their “happy” relationships so resemble the above graphic. Some men need masters or mistresses and so they will find one wherever they reside. At home or work.

The problem is that being someone’s bear rug or good dog (which many of us equate to intimacy) breeds contempt and not the healthy independence and uniqueness that we all believe we possess.

I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK!

Women define themselves through men. Having men want them (sexually) and need them (sexually) and not needing them (sexually). But then that is Gay which means doesn’t need men (except to procreate).

Men want sex and so they will do almost anything to get it including giving up their freedom. Men don’t define themselves through women. They simply want sex. And the hope of it makes them do almost anything including lying on the floor and doing a great imitation of a bear rug.

And, oh yeah, we seem to have this need to procreate but for men that is sex (again) and for women that is the need to build their nest. Women need our sperm and we (men) want to give it to them but for very different reasons. For women sperm is a means to an end. For men, the giving of sperm is the end.

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Even BP could see that this wasn’t going to end up in a good place.

Smart move getting him out of the line of fire.

Embattled BP CEO removed from spill oversight

By RAY HENRY, Associated Press Writers Ray Henry, Associated Press Writers 26 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS – BP removed Chief Executive Tony Hayward from day-to-day oversight of the Gulf oil spill crisis a day after he was pummeled by lawmakers in an appearance on Capitol Hill, the company’s chairman said Friday.

Carl-Henric Svanberg told Britain’s Sky News television that Hayward “is now handing over the operations, the daily operations to (BP Managing Director) Bob Dudley,” overshadowing news that after many setbacks BP was finally making real progress in siphoning and burning off oil from the underwater gusher.

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The CEO of BP continues to follow the Bhopal, Union Carbide model of passing off blame, not taking any responsibility for the disaster and now and then saying he is very sorry. If he survives long-term I will be surprised.  It will tell me a great deal about BP (more than I already care to know). It is a simple case of following the Johnson and Johnson Tylenol model of taking responsibility (even though they weren’t the ones putting poison in their product) and openly communicating versus the Union Carbide 1984 model of covering things up.

But today The U.S. Congress and Tony Hayward, the BP CEO both embarrassed themselves. I am not a big fan of Fox News but Neil Cavuto hit the mark today. Cavuto is a conservative but he is way more moderate and actually uses reason in comparison to the “hate” banshee’s that fly around in the head of Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage.

The idiot of the week award has to go to Texas congressman Joe Barton. It was a close race between Barton, the rest of congress and Hayward but Barton won. He actually apologized to the BP CEO during the hearings.

I wonder what these guys (below) would say if they understood what we had just done to them in the name of profit. Especially when there was a warning afoot.

I love technology and innovation but not so much that I want to see a whole ecosystem destroyed in the name of profits.

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