Pixie Dust Has Many, Many Uses

Tinkerbell lives:

The revival may be short-lived. Analysts who have examined the quarterly profits and government tests say that accounting rule changes and rosy assumptions are making the institutions look healthier than they are.

The government probably wants to win time for the banks, keeping them alive as they struggle to earn their way out of the mess, says economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University in New York. The danger is that weak banks will remain reluctant to lend, hobbling President Barack Obama’s efforts to pull the economy out of recession.

Citigroup’s $1.6 billion in first-quarter profit would vanish if accounting were more stringent, says Martin Weiss of Weiss Research Inc. in Jupiter, Florida. “The big banks’ profits were totally bogus,” says Weiss, whose 38-year-old firm rates financial companies. “The new accounting rules, the stress tests: They’re all part of a major effort to put lipstick on a pig.”

I don’t know what the hell this has to do with Sarah Palin, but I’m not sure I agree with the green shoots some people seem to be seeing. Personally, I’m going to stay with the skeptics like the PBS (powder blue Satan).

*** Update ***

Here is a great post at Calculated Risk comparing the current employment situation with the assumptions used during the “stress tests.” We’re doing worse, employment wise, than the assumptions in the “more adverse” scenario. But the market is up 50 points!








Direct Fail

Richard Viguerie:

“The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor unites all wings of the conservative movement–economic, foreign policy, social, traditional, neocon, and libertarian–in a way we haven’t seen since the early Clinton years.

“Judge Sotomayor frightens all conservatives. As the debate over her nomination heats up, conservatives will provide the primary opposition to Sotomayor and will quickly launch a massive educational campaign using direct mail, the Internet, talk radio, cable TV, You Tube, and other forms of new and alternative media.

That was two days ago. Pretty impressive collapse since.








Speaking in Tongues

DougJ has been doing a great job describing the post-wingnut phenomenon, in which the right becomes so compartmentalized and separated from the rest of us (and reality) that they just speak in terms and codes that make no sense to the majority of America, but which make a great deal of sense and carry great symbolic meaning to them. The classic examples are the recent flare-ups over arugula and Dijon mustard, in which right-wingers see the dread menace of elitisteuroliberalfascism and react hysterically, while the rest of us are left wondering just what the hell is wrong with mustard and tasty lettuce.

At any rate, I was driving home from Target after replacing yet another household appliance (I’m just buying Kitchen Aid everything from Amazon from now on, because every other brand name is crap that breaks in a year), and I flipped on the AM radio to hear the beginning of the Rush Limbaugh show. I figured what the hell, I haven’t listened to him for a while, I will see what he is up to and what his main concerns are these days. The show was a “best of,” taped during the Chrysler bankruptcy, and it was like a trip to another dimension.

He was repeatedly referring to President Obama as “Barack Peron,” and he wove this elaborate tale about how the Chrysler bankruptcy was actually a cunning scheme for Obama to reward the UAW, and that while the Chrysler bankruptcy was a huge failure for Obama because the bailout funds were supposed to save Chrysler, it was also a huge victory for Obama because it was exactly what he wanted to do. This went on for like fifteen minutes, and putting aside the fact that I’m pretty sure very few in his audience have any idea who Juan Peron is, it just occurred to me that the only people who could have followed what he was talking about are daily listeners who are so far into the kool-aid that they will believe everything he says, the hopelessly uninformed who won’t know what he is saying makes no sense, and the partisan hacks who don’t care, they just hope it helps Republicans. I understand there may be some overlap with those groups.

At any rate, I googled “Barack Peron,” and fortunately the entire rant is online and you can read it for yourself. Here is a snippet:

So that is what precisely has happened here. The lawful debt holders have been intimidated into surrendering their legitimate claims in a bankruptcy. The next thing you do, right out of the pages of Juan Peron, you force state-owned banks — and we have state-owned banks, don’t we, now? Notice the bankruptcy is happening after the bank takeovers, after nationalization of a certain percentage of some banks. Isn’t it interesting the timing here? So you force state-owned banks — you don’t have to force them because they’re yours anyway — and these state-owned banks, and they’re the big lenders to Chrysler over the years, you force them to give up most of their claims in a bankruptcy, ’cause you gotta save the company. I mean, that’s the bottom line, gotta save the company for America.

Then after you have forced the lawful debt holders to surrender their claims and the state-owned banks, the big lenders, to give up most of their claims in a bankruptcy, then what do you do? You hand the company to your union allies. Fifty-five percent of Chrysler today will be owned by the United Auto Workers. Now, many Americans do not recognize this pattern, because we don’t see this pattern in this country. This method of bankruptcy and of saving a company by basically turning it over to people who have hardly any investment in it, the United Auto Workers, at the result of an iron fist from the state, i.e., Barack Obama, this is so far outside the American political spectrum, business spectrum, people can’t get their arms around it because they’ve never seen it before, and they probably don’t know what Juan Peronism is, they may not even know who Juan Peron is. They know who Evita Peron is, they think it’s Madonna and they think she was great.

If you didn’t know the source, you would think this was babble I had copied down from some unwashed homeless guy with a nervous tic talking to himself while walking down the street. It makes no sense whatsoever. To follow his logic, Democrats secretly crashed the economy last summer, knowing that Barack Obama would get elected, so that the current Republican President would be forced to shower all the major banks with tons of money to keep them afloat and that would in effect nationalize them so that a year later, when an auto company goes bankrupt, President Barack Peron could then flex his muscles and give away the company to the evil autoworkers union, just as he planned to all along, just like Juan Peron. Also, Madonna.

If that “theory” (and I use the term loosely) makes sense to you, you might want to seek help. But there it is, in all its glory, from the guy who is the de facto leader of the opposition party. And it is insane. But if you look at it a again through the post-wingnut filter, it really is the political equivalent of raising a ruckus over dijon mustard. There is no coherent thought, just buzzwords that the in-group is supposed to recognize and react appropriately to:

Nationalization- BOO!
UAW- BOO!
Barack Peron- BOOO!
Madonna- DOUBLE BOO!

And reading the transcript really doesn’t give you the whole effect, because you have to hear the caustic sneers and the other tonal shifts to completely get the feel for the crazy. After listening to the entire dizzing opening monologue, I realized why some of these nutters in the birther wing of the current right feel comfortable putting up billboards asking “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” without stopping to realize most people aren’t going to have any clue what they are talking about. Or writing diaries trying to explain that Jesus would waterboard.

They’re crazy and they are increasingly isolated and insular and speaking a language that only makes sense to them. It is just that simple. I have my doubts about the Democratic party, but at least they are functioning in a reality that I can relate to and understand. When we look at the sky, we see the sun and clouds, and not a heliocentric conspiracy to deny the existence of God (and yes, I am aware that is a spoof site).








Your Sunday Morning Sermon

Courtesy of a Red State diary:

It’s likely even Jesus would have OK’d water boarding if it would have saved his Mom. He would’ve done the same to save his Dad, or any one of His disciples. For that matter, He even died to save all humans.

It’s obvious He would not be happy with those who voted for the candidate who kills because it’s above his “pay grade” to know if they’re alive. Checking the Commandments, killing innocents is against the 5th. Because pro-aborts don’t know for sure life does not exist at conception, they are still willing to risk that it’s not killing.

And there you have it- Red State has the answer to the question “WWJD.” The answer, of course, is he would waterboard.

The Onion has got nothing on these guys.

(via)








Hoyay! at the NRO

Lots and lots of silly at the NRO today, but this from Peter Kirsanow stands out:

It would be interesting to see the results of a more finely calibrated poll, one that compares how well-respected, competent, and effective the subject is perceived to be relative to similarly situated individuals. As a friend succinctly puts it, “When that big asteroid finally heads toward Earth, who’s the person you’d most want to be in charge?” I suspect Cheney would score at or near the top.

For folks who seem to gain all their national security beliefs from episodes of 24, these guys sure don’t know their Hollywood. As a matter of fact, when the big asteroid is heading towards earth, even in the movies we went with the black guy:

Sorry, Peter.








Sound Advice

That they will completely ignore:

Right now, nobody is listening to them and nobody cares what the GOP thinks. As painful as that must be for Republicans, it does provide them with an opportunity to do some thinking, so that when their time-out period is up and they rejoin the class, they will be able to come in with a new approach, some new thoughts and something of a fresh start.

While this line of thinking might sound a bit like trying to turn lemons into lemonade, that’s what life can be about; turning adversity into opportunity.

As long as Republicans were in power, while they weren’t in the mood to make changes, they also weren’t in a position to do the rebranding and retooling that parties are sometimes required to do. That can only be done when that party is out of view.

It’s easier to say that Republicans need to change than it is to say what they should change. But maybe Republicans should take a page from the Democratic playbook.

It would be unprincipled, intellectually bankrupt and pointless for the Republican Party to move from the right to the left on issues or overall positioning. But, on some issues, maybe they would be best off being silent.

I’ve pointed this out repeatedly, but the best play for Republicans is to just be quiet, let the public get tired of the Democrats, and let everyone forget why we hate and how much we hate Republicans. But they just can’t do it, and, as such, we have Dick Cheney with his 19% approval rating and the equally popular Rush Limbaugh out running their mouths 24/7.

Instead of simply sitting back and giving the Democrats enough rope, they have decided that they need to turn the volume up to eleven. The only upside to the sad state of Republican affairs is that “fascist” has replaced “defeatocrat” as the wingnut slur du jour. Variety counts, you know.



Still You Aint Ever Gonna Make Me Play the Game of…

FEAR! The House Republicans have now officially said to hell with it all and are going full metal 9/11:

Has anyone told these guys that we intend to put them in prisons, and not just release them in the wild? Love the music, too. I couldn’t figure out if it was a performance I should know or if it was from Lord of the Rings or one of the Call of Duty soundtracks.

*** Update ***

Memories:

Only the names change.