Daily Archives: November 2, 2008


Were you wondering where your favorite Savings and Loan officer got to?

The New York Time’s Gretchen Morganson writes today on mortgage fraud at Washington Mutual. The only surprising thing here, if it’s any surprise at all, is that this is exactly the same behavior that was going on at the S&Ls in the ’80s. Weren’t there supposed to have been regulations passed to curtail this? They didn’t work.

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Pixie Dust and propeller Beanies – that’ll be a change!

Obama vows to bankrupt coal industry. So that’s no nukes, no coal, but how much light do we really need to join hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya?

Update: a reader says that, according to candidate Jim Himes, we’ll do everything with windmills, which is certainly reassuring. This article by British historian Paul Johnson, however, is less sanguine. The author concludes with this vignette

I don’t know whether this year’s financial catastrophe will shock the politicians and people of the West into a new seriousness. There’s certainly no sign of it yet. I had to laugh when a Chinese visitor recently said to me: “I see you’re going back to the windmill in Britain. We Chinese cannot afford that.”

Still more good news: In the same interview, The Messiah vows to “make energy costs skyrocket.”

You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

Oh, we’re in for a good time!

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A spiritual awakening in Greenwich?
Not in Greenwich, not yet. I included a chapter in my first book, The New Millionaire’s Handbook entitled “Spirituality”. The text simply read, “just kidding”. Nothing much has changed in 10 years, apparently.

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Abortion politics

The lady pictured above is a Chester, Connecticut real estate agent named Leslie Strauss who wants customers to know that she supports abortion. I personally find this an odd position to take by someone who is a self-confessed mother and grandmother but whatever. I obviously don’t hide my own politics from potential customers so more power to Ms. Strauss. But abortion, an issue that so many people are at best ambivalent about, strikes me as something best left outside of business. Just my opinion, and perhaps Strauss will attract the huge amount of our populace that suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome (recovery classes are scheduled to begin this next Wednesday at the YWCA). She’d better hope, however, that not too many of her customers practice what she preaches or who will be around to buy her houses?

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The trouble with politicians

They think that driving around town in silly cars “builds excitement” and encourages people to vote. My solution for voters swayed by a wave from a fat politician in the rumble seat of an old car is the same as for those who are persuaded by a dozen candidate signs littering the grounds of our railroad stations: disenfranchise the idiots.

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Selling it
In this otherwise banal press release I noticed that current real estate conditions are referred to as “choppy”. This is the new preferred term for a market in the tank, as evidenced by a quick Google search. “Real estate Choppy” turns up 241,000 entries.

I don’t know who dreams these things up but I do sympathize – it’s got to be a tough job putting the best face on things day after day as things fall apart. My personal opinion is that the PR flack’s job will be considerably eased come Wednesday morning, when the media will stop reporting bad economic news and will turn instead to trumpeting the arrival of the Jubilee. Happy days are almost here again – we just have to get through three more days of choppy weather.

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Global warming should fix this

Britain labels Iceland a terrorist haven. Once those icebergs melt and wash these Eskimo bankers out to sea, peace will reign, eh?

The trouble with enacting broad, overreaching laws is that governments will be tempted to interpret them broadly and overreach. Support your local anarchist.

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We were allies once, and strong

So U.S. commandos storm a terrorist hangout, kill at least seven and kill or capture the leader, one Abu Ghadiya, described as the “most prominent” weapons smuggler for Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

How does the Times of London see it? A “botched raid” that “seems to have gone spectacularly wrong.”

The Times does concede that
“Despite the furore over the raid, there can be little doubt that the Americans will celebrate the death of Abu Ghadiya, whom they described as the “most prominent” smuggler for Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He allegedly ran guns, money and foreign fighters along the “rat lines” that lead across the desert into northern Iraq and sometimes led raids himself.”

The Times reporter isn’t mollified by such success and demands contrition: “American officials refused to apologise for the botched raid on Syria, ” he notes disapprovingly. “They said the administration was determined to operate under a definition of self-defence that provided for strikes on terrorist targets in any sovereign state.”

After castigating the wicked forces of the U.S., the article concludes with a reluctant admission: “For Al-Qaeda militants, the safe haven of Syria will be looking decidedly cooler as winter sets in.”

A few more botched raids like this and we’ll have to pack our bags and go home, heads bowed in shame.

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