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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 04/18/2010 - 04/25/2010
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pardon me if I really can't muster much in the way of credibility for Goldman's defense

Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein is
to testify before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday.

(Daniel Acker/bloomberg)

i don't believe 'em... i don't trust 'em... basically, i don't give a shit what they have to say... yeah, i know, it's unamerican to call somebody guilty until proven innocent but goldman has one HELL of a long way to go to earn any kind of trust from me... so far, in fact, that it won't happen in my lifetime...
Goldman Sachs is preparing its most detailed defense yet to allegations that it misled clients in its mortgage securities business, arguing that the firm was unsure whether housing prices would rise or fall and did not take any action at odds with the interests of its clients.

An internal Goldman document, prepared for senior executives and obtained by The Washington Post, addresses the criticism that the bank invested its own money betting against the housing market while simultaneously urging its clients to invest in securities that would increase in value only if the housing market did.


Goldman prepared the 11-page document to serve as the basis for testimony that chief executive Lloyd Blankfein is scheduled to deliver Tuesday before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

The Goldman paper describes debates among top executives in 2006 and 2007 over whether the firm should make investment decisions based on the belief that the mortgage market would continue to prosper. The document details meetings and e-mails that ultimately resulted in a decision to reduce the company's exposure to the mortgage market, especially subprime loans, by making new investments that would pay off if housing prices fell.

goldman is exclusively the preserve of the super-rich elites who do only what serves their interests and has absolutely no connection with anything that faintly resembles what you or i would call the common good...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pismo Beach photo and videoblogging

hundreds of plovers feeding on the beach at the wave line, thursday, 22 april 2010...


a video clip of the same...

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Chris Hedges

no commentary necessary...

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As Atrios would put it, Lloyd Blankfein is a WATB* [UPDATE: Blankfein visits Obama]

i posted on mr. blankfein back in december, calling him the "face of wall street greed"...

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO, Goldman Sachs
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

so, given that mr. blankfein and his firm, goldman sachs, have been one of the prime beneficiaries for the biggest financial heist in history, nothing less than a coup d'etat, where does he get off whining...?

from the ft (subscription required)...

One person who received a call from the Goldman chief said he was told the regulator’s case against the bank was politically motivated and would ultimately “hurt America”. […]

“He was very aggressive,” said one person called by Mr Blankfein on Wednesday. “He feels that the government is out to kill them, that they are under attack and the whole thing is totally political.”

Mr Blankfein said the SEC action “hurts America”, this person said.


(* Whiny-Ass Titty Baby)


this doesn't look so good...
While Goldman Sachs' lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman's chief executive visited the White House at least four times.

White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman's political action committee, its employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers.

nothing like massive amounts of money and the power that comes with it to gain access to the president... can you imagine you or me meeting with the president or his aides four times in just a few weeks...? me neither...

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Joe Bageant: "Americans are screwed, blued and tattooed" and it's Anderson Cooper's fault

the more i read joe bageant, the more i like him...

via alternet...

Class solidarity was such a good idea. It really was. Obviously, most of the people who need solidarity are in the world's laboring classes. After all, the rich have more than enough solidarity already, as was recently demonstrated by their successful execution of the greatest global financial heist in history. Oh sure, we'll see some state sponsored mock show trials of a few of them -- they always throw a few of their own out of the sleigh to the wolves during their escapes. The big heist was big news. Working Americans will be applying Preparation H to their keisters for a long time to come.


And for that I blame Anderson Cooper. That's right, CNN's boyishly good looking, sincere faced, Emmy Award winning Anderson Cooper. Let me explain.

Between the corporate and financial elites and the slobbering masses stands the American Information Class -- the reporters, talking heads, news anchors and pundits. In short, the entire gaggle of meat puppets and journalism hacks who have been cultivated and bred to be clueless by the university industry and others serving our corporate empire. In other words, serving global capitalism, and the national fictions it maintains, including that sizable piece of corporate feudal turf known as America. And that fiction is maintained through la danse des marionnettes de viande.


There is no way out of our culture manufacturing machinery. We're not in charge. It would be bigger than any one of us because it consists of all of us. It tells us all we are individuals supremely worthy of our silliest notions and desires, thereby making us soft and lazy, infantilized an incapable of truly effective solidarity as a people. Instead, we are fed Tea Party drivel. Even if CNN decided to send Coop to Guiyu to cover the blood poisoned worker women with the deformed children, the result would be the same. The guy in Cedar Rapids would see further proof that "Me live in best place in world. Got Cheetos." Or perhaps a nice Cotes du Rhône if you are a member of the commodity drugged educated faux middle class.

And I wanna say to them: "Not for much longer, buddy. Not much longer. And you can thank Anderson Cooper and a helluva lot of other people like him who do not have a clue, but nevertheless inhabit your very mind, for that."

enjoy it while it lasts...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Goldman news story that makes the fraud charge look like an empty gesture

$3.46 BILLION in ONE QUARTER...? oh, gag me with a spoon...
Goldman Tops Forecast, With $3.46 Billion in Earnings

Earnings for the Wall Street giant rose 91 percent in the first quarter of 2010, to $3.46 billion or $5.59 a share, up from $1.81 billion or $3.39 a share in the same period last year. Revenues increased 36 percent to $12.78 billion, up from $9.42 billion in the quarter a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected revenue of $11.05 billion and earnings of $4.14 a share.

never mind those with mortgage foreclosures... never mind those with no jobs... our super-rich, elite masters continue to rake it in and justify it with b.s. like this...
Dushyant Shahrawat, a senior research director for TowerGroup, said the results reflected the depths to which Goldman had fallen during the financial crisis. “Things had fallen off the cliff so badly that frankly the only way from there was up,” he said.

oh, and fair warning to anyone who stands in the way...
Going forward, Goldman should profit from fast-paced growth in overseas markets, Mr. Shahrawat said, but it also may face new pressures like financial regulation and questions about its reputation.

and, just in case you still think $3.46 BILLION is a lot of money, think again...
“Unless the Dow goes to 14,000 anytime soon, the revenues are not going to blow the barn doors off,” Mr. Shahrawat said.

what a load of bollocks...

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Iceland volcano at night

amazingly cool...
Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano had been dormant for nearly two centuries before Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, 51, flew to the scene on March 21 to photograph its first stirrings. Mr. Sigurdsson returned to the scene and made these dramatic photographs Saturday night and Sunday morning.


mr. sigurdsson...
This is not my first volcano, I’ve been shooting them for 30 years. We have an average of one eruption every five years but these eruptions are different from the rest. The first one in March, which stopped a few days ago, had very beautiful lava fountains and I could go very close and take beautiful pictures. It was what we call here a tourist eruption.

This one, last week, was different. It started underneath a glacier nearby the first eruption. It melted down a lot of ice and we had huge floods. When the lava hits the water you have a huge explosion and it explodes into thin dust . You cannot go close to this eruption because it’s on top of a mountain and the explosions are huge. The hole is about 5,000 meters wide and 2 kilometers long.

Standing in front of it at night is magnificent because you can really see the lightning that is at the center of the eruption. It’s incredibly exciting. The adrenaline flows and I was shouting ‘wow look at that’ over and over. I’ve never seen something like this before.

I just love volcanoes and the Northern Lights. I’m very happy to live here in Iceland even though we’re broke. We’re poor, with beauty.

ya gotta love that last quote...

(thanks to bro in mpls...)

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In today's editorial on the internet, the NYT actually makes sense

all i can say to this is "amen"...
With the Internet fast becoming the most important communications channel, it is untenable for the United States not to have a regulator to ensure nondiscriminatory access, guarantee interconnectivity among rival networks and protect consumers from potential abuse.

Yet that’s exactly where the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit left us all when it said this month that the Federal Communications Commission didn’t have the authority to regulate the Internet — and specifically, could not force the cable giant Comcast to stop blocking peer-to-peer sites.

The decision, in the words of the F.C.C.’s general counsel, Austin Schlick, undermines the agency’s ability to serve as “the cop on the beat for 21st-century communications networks.” It also puts at risk big chunks of the F.C.C.’s strategy for increasing the reach of broadband Internet to all corners of the country and fostering more competition among providers.

Chairman Julius Genachowski said the commission is not planning to appeal the decision, and is studying its options. The F.C.C. could try to forge ahead with its broadband plan despite the court’s decision. Or Congress could give the F.C.C. specific authority to regulate broadband access.

But the court tightly circumscribed the F.C.C.’s actions. And with Republicans determined to oppose pretty much anything the administration wants, the odds of a rational debate on the issues are slim.

Fortunately, the commission has the tools to fix this problem. It can reverse the Bush administration’s predictably antiregulatory decision to define broadband Internet access as an information service, like Google or Amazon, over which it has little regulatory power. Instead, it can define broadband as a communications service, like a phone company, over which the commission has indisputable authority.

the nyt correctly argues that, since everything is moving into a single pipe, it requires robust regulation... there's no question that the internet is way more than just an information resource... it's my primary communication medium, a medium without which i simply couldn't live my life the way i do now and i know lots of folks who would say the very same thing...

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