Penis, Palin, and Policy

UPDATE: Near the end of the video I mention the Republican 2012 Presidential campaign strategy (alleged).  It seems to be working…

Unless shares rally, they are on track for a sixth straight weekly loss — longest losing streak since the fall of 2002. The market’s last seven-week stretch of losses began in May 2001, as the dot-com bubble deflated.

Stocks have suffered this month after a raft of weak economic news dampened hopes for a speedy recovery. Traders fear that weaker hiring, industrial output, and a moribund housing market are reversing a bull market that lifted the Dow Jones industrial average 20% the past year.

The Dow is down 5% since June began.

Shares bounced back Thursday after a report that U.S. exports unexpectedly hit a record in April.

[full story]

It’s almost like there’s some underlying “uncertainty” in the market about whether or not the U.S. will default on its loans that is causing everyone do do weird things just in case.   For example…

Treasuries are considered the safest and most liquid, investments in the world. The U.S. is the world’s biggest debt issuer. It has $14.2 trillion of debt outstanding, while marketable Treasuries total $9.7 trillion. Central banks and other overseas investors own $4.48 trillion, or 46 percent of marketable debt.

The negative position reflected trades that would profit from a decline in Treasuries. Cash and equivalents, the largest component of the Total Return Fund, rose to 37 percent from 35 percent in April, under the revised categories.

Gross has been betting against U.S. debt through short sales, in which the Total Return Fund would borrow and then sell government bonds, hoping to profit by repurchasing the securities at a lower price in the future. The fund’s annual report showed that, as of March 31, it had sold short about $2.2 billion of Treasuries that mature in about 10 years and $5.8 billion of agency debt that comes due in 2041.

[full story]

That’s a whole lot of technical finance talk, but what it amounts to is this…

While the swaps are costly for the fund, given that it must pay out more than it takes in under the contracts, Gross would reap profits from the trades should long-term rates rise, causing Treasuries to tumble. Conversely, a decline in long-term rates would punish the fund’s returns.

The bet here is that there is very little chance long term rates will fall.  An unattractive dollar has to have higher rates to be more attractive…this is especially true when there is an open question about default (and a goodly portion of the people tasked with answering that question don’t  seem to understand  it).   These kinds of bets, and positions, are how a small crack in a dam becomes a total failure.   They are essentially acting as a lever, just watching for an opening to stick  in, and break the whole thing wide open.

Of course, simple and responsible lawmaking would make bets like this complete folly…but if you haven’t noticed lately, simple and responsible lawmaking is not very high on certain folks agendas.

UPDATE2: Quick reminder of what happened…

And what happened the next day...

Imagine the firestorm that would be raging on Republican propaganda outlets right now if the stock market had dropped 2.2 percent within 24 hours after Democrats had voted unanimously not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

The entire right-wing noise machine — from Fox & Friends to Limbaugh, from Hannity to O’Reilly — would be singing the same refrain: The stock market has sent a clear message of disapproval over the Democrats’ irresponsible vote. Whether that assertion was true would not matter. They would make it true simply by unanimously agreeing that it was.

But because it was Republicans who voted irresponsibly, right-wing media sees no relationship between the vote and market drop.

Advertisements

RNC Video : Iran Attacked Us on 9/11

I watch this last night and was blown away by the…sliminess…of it.  The lack of knowledge of history.  The selective memory and the out-and-out insanity of this.  Not to mention, as you’ll see, the utter lack of judgement with showing hundreds of people getting killed instantly.

This is disgusting.  This is the RNC.

Now…something VERY important to note here…listen as the video begins…

The first attack occurred in Iran, 444 days American held hostage.  Again and again.

“They” grew…

And kill us “they” did. The date was September 11th, 9/11.

I’m sorry, but the selective memory, and total lack of historical perspective or accuracy is amazing.  Gone is any mention of Reagan pulling out of Lebanon during the Israeli occupation. Gone is any mention of funding “Them” against their fight with the Evil Empire for the entirety of Reagan’s terms.   Gone is any mention of Iraq and Iran fighting a horrid war in the 80’s, both with our help.  Gone is any mention of Bush, or invading Iraq, or Afghainstan or Weapons of Mass Destruction.   Gone is any sense of history or context. 

Let’s recall, if we can, what this same group of people said in 2004.

Note the familiar face in the cavalcade of fear.

So is this the “Change” they are talking about?  Instead of going after terrorists we are going after Islam?  Instead of going after Iraq we are going after Iran (since they, it seems, started it)?  Instead of focusing on our problems, we are focusing on how “they” want to kill us?

Have we always been at war with Eastasia?  Or is it Middleeastasia?

Sorry, but this video illustrates exactly how much change, peace, and rational argument you can expect from the RNC and the McCain/Palin ticket.

Previous coverage “live-writing” of the RNC coverage is here (yea, I talk about the thing and the people watching the thing).

Some possible campaign slogans, courtesy of “dahmer’s love zombie” of Fark.

McCain/Palin: Because your preacher said so.

McCain/Palin: You don’t need to see her position on the issues. She can go about her business. Vote along.

McCain/Palin: Because the other guy is a ni(BONGGGGGGGGG)

–my own–

McCain/Palin: POW + PTA = Pota-wow!

McCain/Palin: Change You Can Believe In (if you believe all the other crap we spew).

McCain/Palin: Kill ‘Em All and Let Baby Jesus Sort ‘Em Out

Feel free to be creative…

A Letter From Wasilla

This one has been making the rounds. It’s from someone who has known Sarah Palin since 1992. If you are still on the fence on this one, please read on and inform yourself. You have to love the Internet for bringing us stuff like this.

Read on for more…and there’s a lot more…

UDPATE: This has been confirmed by Snopes. Read on…

Continue reading

When It Rain It Pours – Empirical Evidence

Extra water, wind strain Northwest power grid – OregonLive.com

This is a nice example of the adage, which I’ve found repeatedly to be true, when it rains it pours.

The Northwest is awash in electric power this spring.

Rivers are swollen. Columbia River dams are running full bore. Wind farm blades are spinning.

That should be good news for the Northwest, where hydropower is cheap and wind is a leader in renewable energy. And it should be good news for California, a huge electricity consumer that often sucks up Oregon’s springtime surplus.

This is also the result of all those “tree-huggers” setting up a system to utilize natural resources in an efficient  manner.

Oregon and Washington can’t use all the electricity that’s available. And southbound transmission lines that are at capacity can’t take the extra power California consumers otherwise would eagerly devour.

In some cases, power producers are paying customers to take electricity off their hands.

Operators of the Columbia-Snake River dams say there’s enough give-and-take in the system to handle large fluctuations in water flow and wind generation. But pressures have steadily increased, and they’ll intensify as more and more wind power comes into play

So now the next step is to increase our internal capacity and infrastructure.  It is in these areas that the U.S. is most in need of maintenance and expansion.  Instead of blowing things up, we should be building to help achieve the next level of national independence, that of energy.