by Lee, 08/29/2007, 9:04 PM

Daniel K suggested that I do the EffU thing on the President’s Bellevue speech. Here it is.

45 Responses to “Open Thread”

1. Daniel K spews:

Excellent!

2. me spews:

What a Crock!

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 Who? You or Bush?

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

The seriousness of the subprime mortgage fiasco — and its potential consequences — has yet to sink in for most Americans. The Bush economy is a fraud, and the house of cards is collapsing.

The crucial feature of today’s U.S. economy is its multi-layered leveraging. When a private equity firm buys a company, it typically pays only 30% or 40% down, and borrows the rest. Those loans are then repackaged on Wall Street and resold to buyers who borrow money to buy them. These buyers slice and dice the loans and resell them again, once again to buyers who borrow much of the money used to make these purchases. By the time you reach the end of the food chain, there may be little or no actual equity backing up the loan instruments.

And, with each repackaging and reselling, the underlying assets become less definable and less quantifiable, and each succeeding layer of purchasers has to take more risk and take more of the purported value on faith instead of hard collateral …

Now, suddenly, the holders of these instruments are finding they can’t sell them at any price. It’s a game of musical chairs, and the music just stopped. The only question now is, who got stuck holding the bag?

You can bet it isn’t Wall Street. Or the big banks. The losers will be little folks on Main Street. Folks who didn’t even know they were investing in debt derivatives. Because they didn’t make the decisions to invest in them. That was done for them — by bankers, mutual fund managers, pension fund administrators. And now, ordinary Americans are going to pay the price. The price will come in the form of:

Falling home and stock prices
Rising interest rates
Dollar devaluation = higher prices
Monetary inflation
Weaker sales and factory orders = higher unemployment
Financially weakened pension funds
Higher insurance premiums*

How big is the problem? The mortgage problem, alone, amounts to $1.6 trillion. The overall debt problem is much larger. The chickens of the Busheviks’ easy-credit economic policies are coming home to roost. It’s going to be ugly.

* Insurance companies have only two places to get money from, investment returns and premiums. When insurance companies earn less from investing premium dollars, they raise policyholder rates to make up the difference. Otherwise, they can’t stay in business.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

By the time a pension fund or other large investor buys a bundle of securitized mortgage obligations on the tertiary market, the debt paper is so heavily leveraged that it may have no intrinsic value whatsoever.

6. Goldy spews:

Lee is the hardest working man in blogging? Why can’t the rest of my co-bloggers be more like Lee?

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

Imagine if people could buy stocks by borrowing 100% of the purchase price and then walk away without paying anything if the stocks go down. That’s essentially what the combination of easy credit and the “securitization” of debt have done to the U.S. economy. The apparent prosperity of the last few years is nothing but a Ponzi scheme, and it’s now unraveling. This is far, far bigger than poor quality mortgage loans or rising home foreclosures. Trillions of dollars of financial securities are at risk, and have nothing to back them up except the willingness and ability of borrowers to repay, some of whom are now going under.

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the legal margin requirement was only 5%, and many investors were heavily leveraged. The crash was triggered by margin calls, and the inability of investors to meet them as market value of stocks evaporated. In the aftermath, one of the steps Congress took to depression-proof the economy in the future was to enact laws raising the margin requirement on securities to 50%.

Those laws are still on the books, but ingenious financial wizards have figured out ways to get around them. Through multi-layered “securitization” of “debt obligations,” they have effectively reduced the margin requirement on much of America’s corporate and personal debt to pre-Depression levels, or even less. In some cases, there is no equity at all behind the debt obligations sold as “securities” over the last few years.

In 1929, running the financial system this way led to a collapse of stock prices and, ultimately, the worst depression in our nation’s history. Today’s economy resembles that of pre-crash 1929 — everything is leveraged to the hilt.

It’s gonna be ugly.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 How about giving me credit for being the hardest-working spewer in the comment threads?

10. Mark1 spews:

@9 Rodent:

More like the most pathetic with no life. Me, going to bed now, as I have to go to work tomorrow which is something you sure cannot understand. Have fun with your next 100 posts tonight talking to yourself. BTW, you never said whether Darcy accepted your food stamp contribution or not. Later wabbit.

11. FricknFrack, Seattle spews:

@9, Yeah Rabbit

You have such a way with words, I’m handing you the virtual bouquet of carrots!
You always keep me coming back for more. Seriously.

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

@10 I worked 40 years, plus fought in a war. Whatsamatter — that not long enough for you? Got a problem with the fact I eventually saved enough that I don’t have to work anymore and get to goof off now? Fuck yourself and pet your armadillo. I earned it.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

Admitting to a reporter that you always intended to move your NBA team ($250,000 fine) is 100 times more serious an offense than drunk driving ($2,500 fine).

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

Put another way, you can get caught driving drunk 100 times for the same money it costs to tell a newspaper once that you bought an NBA team for the purpose of moving it.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@10 Nothing is more pathetic than being a Republican.

16. Broadway Joe spews:

You’re my hero, Roger. When the missus and I come up in late October, you’ll have to come out of your burrow up in Greenlake so I can buy you a beer at DL.

17. klake spews:

Dear GOLDY,

You said it better.

Last week, we asked for your help choosing the DSCC’s nationwide slogan. Your ideas were witty, creative and fun – everything you would expect from fellow Democrats.

We loved your ideas, so we tossed out the four bumper sticker slogans we suggested and picked out four of yours.

Was your slogan one of the top four?

Click below to see the new choices for the DSCC slogan and vote for the winner. http://www.democratsenators.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=sOREC2iTkhzcGHTIPaziX9FNrItwEh5h

More than 10,000 of you sent us your ideas. Now it’s time for the final vote.

The stakes are high. The winning catchphrase will be the DSCC’s nationwide slogan for our 2008 campaign to expand the majority. Send us your votes by Friday at midnight.

Sincerely,

J.B. Poersch

18. Marvin Stamn spews:

Gotta love the new york times. Misinformation for the clueless-
   
But that’s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/opinion/30thu3.html?ex=1346212800&en=5771d1b2efbc93eb&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink
  
Any bets the person that wrote that leans left?

19. Lee spews:

@18
Let me get this straight. Wanting to lower the rate of suicides among U.S. troops is “left”?

Are you seriously telling us that you’re happy about how many U.S. soldiers are killing themselves right now?

20. Mark1 spews:

@12 Roger Rodent:

Hit a nerve did I? Good. One, what you say you’ve done in your past is completely subjective and most likely exaggerated, and two: You love to hear yourself talk and think that your’re an expert in everything and have all the answers; but in the end all you can do is lower yourself to sling profanity like using the word ‘fuck’, GOP bash, etc. without providing any alternatives or solutions of your own; so truly you have shown that your’re none of the above. Just a poor lost soul with nothing to do all day-every day. Honestly Rodent, I do feel a slight bit of pity for you.

21. Marvin Stamn spews:

19 Lee says:

@18 But that’s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Let me get this straight. Wanting to lower the rate of suicides among U.S. troops is “left”?
Are you seriously telling us that you’re happy about how many U.S. soldiers are killing themselves right now?

  
Suicide is sad.
  
Isn’t it misinformation to claim it’s a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That’s the “left” I was talking about.
  
Suicide is sad, although it is the ultimate pro-choice. Unlike abortion when the unborn isn’t given a choice, the person committing suicide is making their own decision, no matter how flawed the decision might be. Unfortunately, it’s not just soldiers that commit suicide, not just publicans or democrats.

22. Marvin Stamn spews:

#12 Roger Rabbit says:

I worked 40 years, plus fought in a war. Whatsamatter — that not long enough for you? Got a problem with the fact I eventually saved enough that I don’t have to work anymore and get to goof off now? Fuck yourself and pet your armadillo. I earned it.

   
Damn!! I hate it when I have to admit I agree with you. Your posting is nothing but goofing off.

23. Lee spews:

@21
Isn’t it misinformation to claim it’s a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That’s the “left” I was talking about.

It’s certainly misinformation, but what makes it “left”? It’s a key phrase from the Declaration of Independence. That’s not inherently “left” or “right” in any grand sense. I think liberals and conservatives both highly regard that document and what it means to this country.

That article was written from the perspective of someone trying to do something about the high rate of suicides among U.S. troops. Why is that “left”? Are you saying that people on the right don’t care about this problem? That really appears to be the only conclusion I can draw from your assertion.

Suicide is sad, although it is the ultimate pro-choice.

Absolutely.

Unlike abortion when the unborn isn’t given a choice, the person committing suicide is making their own decision, no matter how flawed the decision might be.

That’s actually quite similar to abortion. A woman with an unwanted pregnancy must be given the right to make that decision. Consider the child of a person who commits suicide. What if the suicide leaves the child orphaned? Is that something that gives you the right to revoke that choice? Abortion and suicide are very complicated moral quandaries, but this nation is founded upon the principle that the government does not have the right to override our moral choices.

Unfortunately, it’s not just soldiers that commit suicide, not just publicans or democrats.

True. Even famous celebrities who appear to be living incredible lives do, as we found out just this week.

24. Marvin Stamn spews:

Finding the WMDs of iraq’ program at the UN in new york.

ABCNews has learned that United Nations weapons inspectors discovered six to eight vials of a dangerous nerve gas, phosgene, as they were cleaning out offices at a U.N. building in New York Thursday morning.
Officials say the vials were probably taken from Iraq’s main chemical weapons facility…

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=5619175
  
From 1996, makes you wonder, doesn’t it. Since the report by the (liberal) media didn’t mention the office it came from we can only imagine why.
  
But the good news is, the UN weapons inspectors are in charge of keeping tracks of these things and Iranian uranium enrichment. Makes me feel safe. Maybe if the UN raped a few less people they would have more time to do their job.
  
  
Damn, does finding WMDs give bush a reason to invade the UN?

25. Marvin Stamn spews:

#23 Lee says:

@21 Isn’t it misinformation to claim it’s a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That’s the “left” I was talking about.
It’s certainly misinformation, but what makes it “left”? It’s a key phrase from the Declaration of Independence. That’s not inherently “left” or “right” in any grand sense. I think liberals and conservatives both highly regard that document and what it means to this country.

  
Well, it’s a liberal paper. Thus, it’s a left/liberal/democrat writing the misinformation.
  

Unlike abortion when the unborn isn’t given a choice, the person committing suicide is making their own decision, no matter how flawed the decision might be.
That’s actually quite similar to abortion. A woman with an unwanted pregnancy must be given the right to make that decision. Abortion and suicide are very complicated moral quandaries, but this nation is founded upon the principle that the government does not have the right to override our moral choices.

  
Big difference… Taxpayer dollars pay for abortion. Where are the suicide clinics? Why is the government making this moral choice for we the people.
Hhmm, maybe it’s a tax thing, the little babies killed in abortions aren’t paying taxes while suicidal people usually are.

26. Lee spews:

@24
From 1996, makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Not really.

Since the report by the (liberal) media didn’t mention the office it came from we can only imagine why.

I’ve already found two different news articles that mentioned it was from the UNMOVIC offices – you know, the place where records of the inspections are kept. I’m guessing the ones that didn’t mention this were assuming that their readers were smart enough to figure that out on their own.

But the good news is, the UN weapons inspectors are in charge of keeping tracks of these things and Iranian uranium enrichment.

Actually, the IAEA is in charge of the latter, but that’s OK, we stopped expecting accurate information from you a long time ago.

Makes me feel safe. Maybe if the UN raped a few less people they would have more time to do their job.

Maybe if you knew what the hell you were talking about, we wouldn’t be laughing at you.

Damn, does finding WMDs give bush a reason to invade the UN?

No, he only invades places that don’t have WMDs.

27. Lee spews:

@24
From 1996, makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Not really.

Since the report by the (liberal) media didn’t mention the office it came from we can only imagine why.

I’ve already found two different news articles that mentioned it was from the UNMOVIC offices – you know, the place where records of the inspections are kept. I’m guessing the ones that didn’t mention this were assuming that their readers were smart enough to figure that out on their own.

28. Lee spews:

@25
Well, it’s a liberal paper. Thus, it’s a left/liberal/democrat writing the misinformation.

Um, no. The New York Times is not a “liberal paper”. Believing that is groupthink, you clown. We’ve explained this to you several times. If the New York Times is such a liberal paper, then how come they continually wrote inaccurate stories in the run-up to the Iraq War that benefitted Bush in his attempts to launch the war?

Big difference… Taxpayer dollars pay for abortion.

Different issue. One can certainly be pro-choice, but be opposed to taxpayer dollars being used for abortion. C’mon Stamn, I know you’re not that stupid. Try a little harder.

29. Lee spews:

@24
From 1996, makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Not really.

30. Lee spews:

@24
Continued…

Since the report by the (liberal) media didn’t mention the office it came from we can only imagine why.

I’ve already found two different news articles that mentioned it was from the UNMOVIC offices – you know, the place where records of the inspections are kept. I’m guessing the ones that didn’t mention this were assuming that their readers were smart enough to figure that out on their own.

But the good news is, the UN weapons inspectors are in charge of keeping tracks of these things and Iranian uranium enrichment.

Actually, the IAEA is in charge of the latter, but that’s OK, we stopped expecting accurate information from you a long time ago.

31. Lee spews:

@24
Continued…

Makes me feel safe. Maybe if the UN raped a few less people they would have more time to do their job.

Maybe if you knew what the hell you were talking about, we wouldn’t be laughing at you.

Damn, does finding WMDs give bush a reason to invade the UN?

No, he only invades places that don’t have WMDs.

32. Marvin Stamn spews:

While NASA faces questions about how it assesses the health of astronauts, former astronaut Lisa Nowak is invoking her right to an insanity defense against attempted kidnapping charges partly because of biological and personality disorders.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5089435.html
  
Marv’s commentary – Gotta love those government employees. I’d vote for the first politician that says they are going to remove the lazy, crazy and corrupt employees from the taxpayer dime.

33. Lee spews:

@30
Ah yes, in my 15 years working in the private sector, I’ve NEVER had a co-worker with mental health issues.

Marvin, do you ever tire of your own retardation?

34. Marvin Stamn spews:

Shortly before Clinton’s camp announced it would divest itself of Hsu’s donations, political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said the issue could become a tar pit for her.

Sheinkopf, who helped construct President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, said questions surrounding Hsu’s donations threatened to resurrect images of past controversies involving the Clinton family and campaign contributions.
“They’ve taken money from criminals in the past; now we learn that Sen. Clinton took money from people when they don’t know where their money came from — bundled money from a convicted felon,” he said. “That ain’t good.”

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-ushsu0830,0,6601009.story
  
Marv’s commentary – Damn. Clinton has taken money from criminals in the past. You know when the clinton people say it “ain’t good” you know it’s bad. Lucky for hillary, it won’t get much time on abc, cbs, nbc, cnn, etc. They are more concerned about a bathroom sex scandal than democrat corruption.

35. Marvin Stamn spews:

#31 Lee says:

@30 Ah yes, in my 15 years working in the private sector, I’ve NEVER had a co-worker with mental health issues.
Marvin, do you ever tire of your own retardation?

  
In your 15 years of private sector work you’ve had people with mental health issues working on multi-million dollar pieces of equipment? Would YOU hire someone with mental health issues work on multi-million dollar equipment that YOU owned?

36. Lee spews:

@32
They are more concerned about a bathroom sex scandal than democrat corruption.

As I said before, if the parties were reversed (a Democrat caught in a gay sex scandal and a Republican caught receiving donations from a convicted felon), the sex scandal would be the top story. You know this. You’re being stupid on purpose.

37. Lee spews:

In your 15 years of private sector work you’ve had people with mental health issues working on multi-million dollar pieces of equipment?

Yes, I used to work at Boeing, dumbass.

Would YOU hire someone with mental health issues work on multi-million dollar equipment that YOU owned?

No, but people who have mental health issues don’t walk around with a big sign taped to their forehead that says “I have mental health issues”.

38. Marvin Stamn spews:

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she did everything she could to sound the alarm as Hurricane Katrina bore down on southeast Louisiana two years ago today, but that the government must ultimately rely on the “individual responsibility” of its residents to heed those warnings.
http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/08/blanco_testifying_in_st_ritas.html
  
Marvs words – Interesting, bush is incompetent for letting katrina happen but governor kathleen blanco (political party not reported in story so we can assume she’s a democrat) was relying on the “individual responsibility” of the citizens. Interesting concept, individual responsibility. She did admit to learning not to trust people to take care of themselves when asked about why every nursing home and hospital was evacuated in Rita’s path.
“We learned our lessons from Katrina and didn’t want to find ourselves in the same situation,” said Blanco, who referred to the hurricanes as the “twisting sisters.”

39. Marvin Stamn spews:

#35 Lee says:

In your 15 years of private sector work you’ve had people with mental health issues working on multi-million dollar pieces of equipment?
Yes, I used to work at Boeing, dumbass.

  
Government contracts?
  

No, but people who have mental health issues don’t walk around with a big sign taped to their forehead that says “I have mental health issues”.

  
I agree for a bunch of jobs that mental health screening might not be a big concern (blogging, music, etc.), but with astronauts and all the health, stress and psychological exams they go through someone dropped the ball. Someone meaning a government employee, he should be outed and transferred to a different position.

40. Marvin Stamn spews:

#34 Lee says:

@32
They are more concerned about a bathroom sex scandal than democrat corruption.
As I said before, if the parties were reversed (a Democrat caught in a gay sex scandal and a Republican caught receiving donations from a convicted felon), the sex scandal would be the top story. You know this. You’re being stupid on purpose.

  
Not a chance, the anti-republican story would get top billing. Consider it is day 3 of larry craig, no sex, no indecent exposure, a misdemeanor distubing the peace charge he pled guilty to. Compare that to hillary taking illegal contributions along with other democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California and Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry of Massachusetts; Reps. Michael M. Honda of San Jose, Doris Matsui of Sacramento and Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania; and Al Franken, a Senate candidate in Minnesota
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-hsu30aug30,1,7717173.story
  
Face it, as far as scandals go when caught, publicans resign, democrats re-elect them.

41. Lee spews:

@40
Face it, as far as scandals go when caught, publicans resign, democrats re-elect them.

Tom DeLay said this exact phrase on Fox News yesterday. Groupthink much?

42. Lee spews:

@39
Government contracts?

Nope, commercial.

I agree for a bunch of jobs that mental health screening might not be a big concern (blogging, music, etc.), but with astronauts and all the health, stress and psychological exams they go through someone dropped the ball. Someone meaning a government employee, he should be outed and transferred to a different position.

I agree, but those things happen just as frequently in the private sector for jobs that entail as much risk and affect as many people.

43. Lee spews:

@40
Not a chance, the anti-republican story would get top billing. Consider it is day 3 of larry craig, no sex, no indecent exposure, a misdemeanor distubing the peace charge he pled guilty to.

So, when Jim McGreevey stepped down, that got no media attention over things that looked bad for Republicans?

Give me a break.

44. Marvin Stamn spews:

#41 Lee says:

@40Face it, as far as scandals go when caught, publicans resign, democrats re-elect them.
Tom DeLay said this exact phrase on Fox News yesterday. Groupthink much?

  
If you didn’t notice, I fixed his quote for him. I added “when caught.” We all know they don’t resign after committing the infraction, they resign after they are shamed into it.

45. Lee spews:

@44
Oh, that totally changes the meaning!