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Remember back when you occasionally went on a blind date?
Remember especially, right here, how Republicans dissed the Tea Party right up until they trounced them and then, inexplicably fully embraced them as the change of the future?
It’s like the republicans went out on a date with Lindsey Lohan, got a piece of her, and married her the next day….
They are waking up now.
Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…
Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..
Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….
Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.
First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
Courtesy of NYT
Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Courtesy of NYT
Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Courtesy of NYT
Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”
Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well.
“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”
De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.
Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.
The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.
So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.
You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.
Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.
An applicant “will be asked whether or not his vital organ has been enlarged,” said Papua police chief Bekto Suprapto, quoted on local website Kompas.com. “If he has, he will be considered unfit to join the police or the military.”
The ban was applied since the unnatural size causes “hindrance during training,” said police spokesman Zainuri Lubis in Jakarta, quoted by news portal Detik.com.
Indonesia’s remote easternmost province is home to Papuan tribes, many of whom wear penis gourds. To achieve enlargement, they wrap the penis in leaves from the gatal-gatal (itchy) tree so that it swells up “like it has been stung by a bee”, a local sexologist said.
Photo Courtesy of CBC
I was debating to fight the urge or not….I had just learned that the National Enquirer had leaked (yeah right) that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband’s business partner in his private car-wash deal…
She has left the mainland and is in Alaska for a week her publicist says…
I noticed that no one else had published anything on either side of the issue, and was debating titling a post beginning with the word “breaking”.
Normally I skip over those “breaking” posts, but everything about Sarah is news; (did I mention she was hot).
Whoa… This sounds like me I first thought… It certainly uses the argument I firmly fought for when Americas thought sex acts were a cause for impeachment…..
And it dawned on me… I really don’t care who Sarah went down on before she was a government official… If she can govern adequately, more power to her… If she can govern superlatively, then I would recommend even more promiscuity…. If a video turns up, and she donates the proceeds to diminish the Federal Debt, I hope it goes global… If she can spend a night with billionaires willing to fork up 100 billion towards our debt, more power to her…..
Of course…I’m exaggerating… But I can get away with it because she is so hot. Imagine it I said the same thing with McCain as the subject….(Block visual image)…
But what goes on in her husband’s friend’s car or bedroom does not help me pay for the high cost of energy; it does not help me pay for insurance’ it does not help me pay for prescriptions; it does not help me pay for food; it does not help me pay for sewage; it does not help me pay for taxes…..
So her sexual escapades, although titillating (did I mention she was hot) have no relevance on whether my life continues to get better…. or worse….
So what are her plans to lower insurance. What are her plans to lower prescription costs? What are her plans to reduce our debt payments to foreign nations? What are her plans to make us an exporter nation again? What are her plans to give me more disposable income than I have today?
“Call-it” is right… We bloggers (both sides) are the leading intellectual source of information in this state…. If we put first graders in a class about sexual promiscuity, they will learn about sexual promiscuity…Teach them about “the fun stuff”, and they will learn… It is the teachers who control the curriculum…. They have a responsibility to keep to the high road…
So, I took Call-It’s link as a omen not to publish the trash I was about to send… I hit delete…and it was gone…. Although I still secretly continued to wonder whether there is a video out there, Perhaps originally a secret forever, until the price tags crossed over several million dollars…. I kept it to myself….
Americans have sex…. That is no secret…. otherwise there would be no children….and no orgasms.
Final point…. I once argued vociferously with my Republican friends who were so incensed that oral sex went on in the White House. I told them to forget about it and enjoy the prosperity that came with a balanced budget… something I thought I would NEVER see in my lifetime…. but…there it was… Balanced.
Looking over such miracles to force a scandal out in the open, was foolish I told them… they would soon learn I was right I warned them…. Eager for power, they laughed.
Today, they worship the ground i walk on…. When they need advice, they call me….
Every Democrat running for President agrees: the war in Iraq must end.
But it matters profoundly how we end it. It matters to our soldiers. It matters to Iraqis. And it matters to America’s future security.
Joe Biden sums it up well. I want to pay particular attention to the last line:
“And it matters to America’s future security.“
In my tongue in cheek post below about shrimp, I uncovered some facts I was unaware of. Particularly impressed was I on China’s buildup.
Knowing that it was the economic might of the North, that really outspent the South in the American Civil War, and knowing it was the economic might of the US during WWII, with the ability to build a liberty ship in sixteen days, that kept up with a two wars going on in two theaters, China’s relative economic strength versus our weakness, gives me some concern.
Speaking particularly of submarines, the Heritage Foundation has this to say:
Sea-power trends in the Pacific Ocean are ominous. By 2025, China’s navy could rule the waves of the Pacific. By some estimates, Chinese attack submarines will outnumber U.S. submarines in the Pacific by five to one and Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarines will prowl America’s Western littoral, each closely tailed by two U.S. attack submarines that have better things to do. The United States, meanwhile, will likely struggle to build enough submarines to meet this challenge.
Right now, China wants to be at 85 submarines by 2010. The September 2004 promotion of Admiral Zhang Dingfa, a career submariner, to Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and a full seat on the Central Military Commission was a clear signal of the primacy of submarine warfare.
Comparatively, in the US, Electric Boat (EB), the nation’s preeminent submarine contractor, has announced plans to lay off 900 of its 1,700 designers and marine draftsmen engineers over the next three years. It will mark the first time in 50 years that the U.S. has not had a new submarine design on the drawing board. EB laid off nearly 200 submarine engineers and machinists in early February—and EB is the only shipbuilder in the nation that maintains submarine designers. The U.S. has three submarines under construction today.
Whereas China has 25 new boats under contract now; 16 are under construction today, including a new class of nuclear attack submarine designated the Type-093 and a new nuclear ballistic missile sub, the Type-094.
Our Navy’s new 30-year shipbuilding plan calls for 48 nuclear attack submarines in the fleet by 2035. If the Navy does not start launching new subs at the rate of two per year until several years after 2012, the force would dip to a low of 40 in 2028, or 17 percent below the Navy’s stated needs.
The reason for the cutback on what may be the most instrumental weaponry needed by mid century, is because of Iraq.
We simply do not have the resources to build submarines fast enough. Our money is being used elsewhere.
One needs to ask who will be the greater enemy of our future. The impoverished insurgents jumping through rings of fire in their video clips, or…..the worlds largest economic power when it finally decides to shift some of its resources away from butter, and turn them into guns……
This war in Iraq is a threat to America’s future security. We are squandering valuable resources needed elsewhere.
We need to end this war now, and start building to keep ahead of our real enemies. Otherwise, we will find ourselves soon to be out-Reagan’d by our newly capitalist friends in China………
China has a shrimp problem. Too many people; too few shrimp. With over a billion people to feed daily, shrimp is the only protein source they consider dependable. Their coastline lacks adequate length to feed their population. Since they cannot support themselves, they must rely on foreign food, to sustain themselves.
This puts them at risk. Obviously should food become unavailable to them because of diplomacy, they will need the military means to back up their demands.
This has begun already. China has declared all shrimp areas to fall within its national interest. That includes the Gulf of Mexico right here at home. They also include Ecuador, Mexico, Indonesia, and other high concentrations of shrimp production. Some of this has been recently aggravated by Chinese mismanagement of their own fish farms. Various viral infections, and the excessive use of antibiotics, have contaminated Chinese food supplies. Therefore only other outside fisheries can now support its growing population.
Chinese officials have warned the US that it will take whatever steps are needed to maintain control of its future food supply. At one point the US and China may do battle over shrimp; whenever it becomes scarce. One may think of China of old and dismiss their military threats.
Dismissing China is not a wise thing to do…….
China has exploded in its amount of submarines. In two more years they are estimated that they will have around 85 submarines capable of active patrols. In contrast, Russia, which once had 90 submarines in the Pacific, has mothballed all but 20. Japan has 16 submarines and no plans to buy more. The U.S. Pacific Fleet has 35 submarines, with many considered to be the most modern in the world.
In response, the U.S. Navy is reversing an old Soviet-era formula, where the United States had 60 percent of its submarines in the Atlantic and 40 percent in the Pacific. In addition to shifting toward keeping 60 percent in the Pacific, the United States recently set up an antisubmarine warfare center in San Diego.
Reports of a recent build up of Chinese missiles has many analysts worried. China has bought or borrowed technology creating both short and long term missiles. As China woos many Central and South American countries, many of them hostile to the United States, some if not many of these missiles could already be in place.
China’s biggest weapon is the 1.2 Trillion investment it has in the economy of the United States. Should China create a financial crises, the fact they owe 3 years of this nations budget, would wreak havoc with international markets. With the future US in economic shambles, they could force us to choose between accepting their trade agreements on shrimp, or risk all out war.
We are their match today. But as they are booming; we are shrinking. Eventually, as all the nations we consider as allies start kow-towing to China, we will find ourselves becoming isolated internationally, and surrounded by Chinese bases.
This will not be a dumb enemy, we will fight. We are told that they hacked into Secretary Gates computer as recently as last June. Already we fear that they can disrupt our defenses with cyber-technology whenever they want.
Estimates show that China can field an active army of 2.2 million. We are having trouble keeping a level of 160,000 in Iraq. Should they decide to attack the US, there is little we can do.
Imagine a standing army of 2.2 million staged in bases located in Mexico, Cuba, and Canada? Imagine if they demanded total control over our shrimp processes. Imagine if they politely allowed us thirty percent after they had paid for all their expenses……
Imagine if we refused and they invaded. I am sure we would welcome them at first, having rid us of Bush and Cheney, but soon we would come to realize that they were not here to help us economically. They came to steal our shrimp!
It wouldn’t take long for groups of Red Dawn vigilantes to start guerrilla tactics designed to wear down the enemy and induce them to leave……our Katrina survivors would scuttle their boats, rather than let the Chinese take them. The only way for China to harvest their shrimp would be to bring over shrimp boats themselves……Our militias would make sure that they only way they could gather shrimp, was to be well protected.
The Chinese would install Americans sympathetic to them in positions of power. The People’s Parliament they would call it. However these true Americans, drafted and installed by the Chinese, would realize that cooperating with the invaders would yield to the capitulation of everything America had stood for. Instead of cooperating, they would stall, argue, complain, drag their feet, and do nothing about passing the legislation desperately wanted by China, giving the Chinese no incentive to stay……..
Ultimately the logistics and cost of controlling the US, as in Red Dawn, would eventually cause the Chinese to pack up and go home. It would be a function of the strength of the Chinese will over time, to determine how long their stay would continue.
We would, no doubt, as we gained strength militarily, have to put up with surges in the number of Chinese nationals brought in to pacify our feisty country……..but in the end, Chinese public pressure pushing back against China’s government, would eventually cause the communist government’s collapse and the future withdrawal of all Chinese troops from American soil………
Our shrimp would be ours again.
Wow! In writing this exercise I think, for the first time,………I now understand how those citizens of Iraq feel……….
Saw a good friend today over Easter Break, who offered this comment.
He does submarines.
One, it brought home how dangerous our technology has evolved in order to protect us and keep us safe by mobile storage of nuclear missiles underwater.
Two it spoke volumes of a professionalism that exists, I believe in every member of our armed forces, that seems to be sorely lacking in the top circle of advisers of our government.
I mentioned before, that our military succeeds in taking complicated bits of knowledge, breaking them down into logical pieces, and feeding them piecemeal to a collective group of every race, religion, educational, and economic background known to man. This would be a good model for our education system to copy, in order to start the rectification of America’s excellence in math and engineering.
The difference between discipline and brutality, is that one is positive and the other negative. Discipline is enforced because all parties, both the instructor and instructed, understand that it saves lives. Brutality, however, is when we allow the worst part of ourselves to intimidate those who oppose us, and hope such a blatant display of force will subdue them into submission. The latter is primarily supported by the argument of “because I said so.”
I think Von Steuben, the fowl mouthed Prussian drill instructor who relentlessly drilled the Revolutionary American troops at Valley Forge, is the one who said, “it takes great discipline to overcome the natural tendency to flee the enemy, after seeing a cannonball disembowel your best friend standing next to you.
One of the best teachers I have seen was Ms Roane, a first grade teacher for my son. She understood the energy level inside of a first grader and pro actively channeled that energy into acquiring knowledge, instead of useless time-consuming ploys to keep them quiet, but do nothing to teach.
One, she was nice to look at. Every day she dressed as if she might be called on to plea for the salvation of the Newark Chrysler plant. She was methodical with her praise and always corrected and disciplined in a positive manner. Example: she would explain to the class how a persons action was preventing the entire class from doing their task, and then would address the student publicly and discipline him for his action.
After a few short weeks, she had no discipline problems. I have seen her accolades in various local publications as parents often write in to praise her for her demeanor and effectiveness.
I remember another educator, Mr Pritchett who headed one of the inner city schools I “choiced” my child into. His job was larger and tougher, he had a entire school to run, but he ran it well. (I often tease him for giving us George Bush, because Bush had lost all his primaries up until Pritchett introduced him at Riverfront Center as the “next President of the United States.” Thereafter, the curse was dropped.)
Again, he explained why an infraction was bad for everyone and then he would address the infractee and persuasively win a promise of support.
This approach to discipline is readily seen on the sideline of our schools athletic fields, and one must wonder why it fails to permeate into the classroom. It, along with ability, is what differentiates a good from a bad coach.
But we see little of this accountability in our elected officials and their appointees who oversee the process of educating our children. We used too. Tom Carper, at least did something towards improving the standards to which we hold our students accountable. The sad case is that, after he moved on, the wheels began to spin.
As we gear up to new elections, and even right here, right now, as several districts go to the polls this spring to fill replacement seats, we Delawareans need to hold them accountable on the single greatest issue that affects the future economic viability of our state.
And that is education. Or more specifically, education in science and math. Or even more specialized, engineering. What can these candidates bring to the table to improve the engineering capability of Delaware students?
Expected answer: “Gee, I haven’t really thought of that.”
Appropriate answer: The state should fund .5 mil for stipends to assist engineering classes. Those students who possess superior math skills should be challenged by an interesting and enlightening curriculum. Visiting professors could be brought in to generate interest and excite students into the possibility of pursuing a career in engineering.”
But what is most needed, is to change the image of the future engineer from being a geek, to something to be sought after. Immigrant cultures pursue this naturally when they come to this country. The problem lies not with our abilities as a culture, but with our attitudes.
There is no shortage of raw material for potential engineers. Our cities are full of them. Right now, these resources are wasted. Particularly in Delaware, the students of the city are deemed a curse imposed by an archaic judicial order upon the suburban elite. I find this demeaning attitude to be the culprit. To bypass it, Wilmington needs their own school district, hopefully headed by Mayor Baker, after his mayoral term expires, to prove there is nothing wrong with students who happen to live in the inner city.
I am sure racial skeptics will scoff at this suggestion and say privately that inner city kids can never rise above their inadequacies. What a delusional state one must be in to even suggest it………………………………
To them I answer:
Take a look who is running our submarines………………………..
No one seems to be reporting the news from yesterdays PSC hearing in Legislative Hall in Dover. How could the most important decision affecting Delawareans for the next twenty five years, be subject to a news blackout?
Searching Delawareonline, WDEL, and WHYY, yielded no mention to Delaware’s public that the meeting took place. The only news source I could find in our state that even mentioned the happenings in Legislative Hall last night, was the Delaware State News. It led with this line.
“Most of the comments Tuesday at Legislative Hall in Dover supported Blue Water Wind’s offshore Atlantic wind farm generation proposal or NRG’s proposal to expand the Indian River power plant in Millsboro to include coal gasification generators.”
There was little of no support for Connectiv’s or Delmarva Power’s proposals. Connectiv’s bid won the most points from Delmarva Power and the state’s independent consultant’s report. Read ( The public does not support our little inside plan).
NRG supporters, mostly NRG employees or retirees, read (coerced), touted the reliability a coal-generated power plant provides. “Wind is a pretty hip, sexy energy option,” Delaware resident and NRG employee Doug Netting. “‘Wind, however, is intermittent “ he said.
Jim Sadowski, NRG’s environmental manager (oxymoron) for the Indian River power plant, said it would take gale-force winds to create three megawatts of electricity. (not true: strong breeze to near gale)
Instead of choosing one of the three proposals, Delmarva Power favored ” conservation strategies, continuation of a new east-west transmission line and increasing its portfolio to more renewable energy sources from the existing power grid.” Read (if forced to, we will buy some other state’s wind power and tack on percentage and sell it to Delawareans.)
If there was any consensus, it was that something new had to be done about electricity in Delaware. “Inaction is not the answer,” said Wilmington resident Harry Gravell, who represented Delaware builders.
Apparently “the public” beat up Delmarva pretty bad last night as evidenced by the response from their spokesman. When he was questioned about whether Delmarva would be willing to change it’s position in face of overwhelming public support for Blue Water’s proposal, Delmarva Power spokesperson, Tim Brown, kept repeating the statement that “the utility stands by its recommendation,” Most of us who have been around, know this to be the common last ditch defense, always given by a spokesperson defending an indefensible position, against irrefutable evidence and facts. It smacks of admitting one knowing he is in the wrong, but who fears to lose his job should he budge one iota from his company’s position. We saw this trend all the time with Motiva, or almost any other corporate spokesperson.
Delaware’s small size is sometimes advantageous. We know our opponents personally and often conduct business in a less caustic manner than do some of our neighbors. However, our small size can be a detriment, when progress for it’s citizens comes in secondary to the profits of its movers and shakers. Sometimes personal friendships existing in the vacuum of scrutiny, bear more weight than the ultimate public good.
So why was there no news about the meeting last night, except by one newspaper. Was it truly a coincidence that led almost every of the state’s news sources, to fail to report the first of the most important meetings of this century, that will affect the future expenses of all Delawareans?
Expect a lot of coverage over Thursday’s meeting in Wilmington. Word has already gone out to Connectiv and Delmarva employees that they are required to be there to support their company (or lose all chance of future promotions) Within a packed auditorium, the appearance of support will appear more equal than it actually is, and the news coverage will be swayed accordingly. Those who speak in Blue Water Wind’s favor, can be expected to be shouted down. Those lining up to speak, will be weighted in favor of the status quo.
Sometimes coincidences occur. But other times so many coincidences happen coincidently that one wonders whether or not it is a coincidence at all. Sometimes when there is NO NEWS about a topic, it has far more significance than what news IS actually reported.
Last night the public spoke very strongly in favor of Wind Power. It spoke very strongly against Delmarva Power. It appears that great effort was made for you not to know about it.