http://freebeacon.com/jarrett-towers/Senior White House adviser and long-time Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett’s role in a number of Chicago housing developments has garnered her investments worth millions of dollars...* WELL... I'M A CAPITALIST... AS LONG AS THE INVESTMENT RETURN IS ON THE UP AND UP...(*SHRUG*)Before joining the Obama administration in 2009, Jarrett was president and chief executive officer of the Habitat Company, a real estate development firm founded by major Democratic donor Daniel Levin.* OK... (*ANOTHER SHRUG*)Before that, she served three years as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development under Mayor Richard Daley.* AH... INTERESTING... (READ ON!)Jarrett currently owns an 11% equity interest in Kingsbury Plaza, a 46-story luxury apartment complex developed by Habitat between 2005 and 2007 at a cost of more than $100 million.* SO... DID SHE ORIGINALLY KICK IN $11 MILLION? (ASSUMING NOT, WHAT WAS HER PERSONAL INVESTMENT AND HOW WAS IT LEVERAGED?)She valued the investment at between $1 million and $5 million on her 2011 financial disclosure form, up from $250,001 in 2010. A Jarrett spokesman told the Washington Times that the investment was “a direct result of her 13 years working for Habitat.”* SO... (*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)... HOW MUCH WAS THE BUILDING (WHICH COST $100 TO BUILD WITH HER OWNING AN 11% STAKE) ASSESSED FOR IN 2010...?!?! $250,000 IS WHAT... .025% OF $100 MILLION... RIGHT? (BUT... SHE HAD AN 11% STAKE...?!)* EVEN AT THE NEW, HIGHER VALUE OF $1 MILLION TO $5 MILLION WE'RE TALKING AN ASSESSED VALUE OF ONLY BETWEEN $10 MILLION AND $50 MILLION FOR A BUILDING THAT COST $100 MILLION TO BUILD...(*HEADACHE*)Cook County records show the Kingsbury property is worth around $27.2 million...* OK... SO MY MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS IS FINE... (*GRIN*)...but thanks to a series of legal appeals beginning in 2003, the land and building are assessed at a much lower value for tax purposes. Since 2008, the property has been designated a “special commercial structure” and is taxed at a value of just $6.8 million, or 25%of the actual value.* OK...! NOW I'M DEFINITELY SMELLING SOMETHING ROTTEN IN CHICAGO!Asked how such a property could enjoy such a low taxable value, an official with the Cook County Assessor’s Office told the Free Beacon that the property’s owners “must have good attorneys.”(*SMIRK*)In addition to Jarrett’s investment through her former employer, she received deferred compensation of more than $556,000 in January 2009, on top of her $302,000 salary the previous year.* BUT... BUT... BUT... THAT'S AFTER THE HOUSING MARKET HAD CRASHED! MAYBE I'M WRONG, BUT MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT - AS WITH THIS LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDING BUILT AT A COST OF $100 MILLION UPON WHICH JARRETT VALUED HER 11% SHARE AT ONLY $250,000 IN 2010 - THIS HABITAT COMPANY MUST HAVE BEEN REELING FINANCIALLY! AND YET...(*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)* LISTEN... FOLKS... READ THIS ONE FOR YOURSELVES. ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT I'D HAVE THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS/REACTION IF WE WERE TALKING ABOUT KARL ROVE.(*SHRUG*)
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120821/DA0PUG0O1.htmlAfghanistan was once President Barack Obama's "war of necessity."* I WOULD HAVE PULLED OUT AFTER THE KARZAI GOVERNMENT WAS INSTALLED. Now, it's America's forgotten war.IT'S NOT FORGOTTEN BY ME. IT'S NOT FORGOTTEN BY THE TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS.The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the U.S. presidential campaign trail.* THAT'S BECAUSE OUR POLITICIANS ARE SCUM... OUR MEDIA ARE SCUM... AND THE AVERAGE AMERICAN DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS BECAUSE HE/SHE DOESN'T HAVE "SKIN IN THE GAME."It's not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress - even though more than 80,000 American troops are still fighting here and dying at a rate of one a day.* YEP. AMERICA 2012 - THE AGE OF OBAMA. EVERYWHERE I TURN I'M DISGUSTED.Americans show more interest in the economy and taxes than the latest suicide bombings in a different, distant land. They're more tuned in to the political ad war playing out on television than the deadly fight still raging against the Taliban. Earlier this month, protesters at the Iowa State Fair chanted "Stop the war!" They were referring to one purportedly being waged against the middle class.(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)* FOLKS... IF THE REACTION OF THE LEFT TO "OBAMA'S WARS" vs. THEIR PAST REACTION TO "BUSH'S WARS" DOESN'T TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HYPOCRISY OF THOSE ON THE LEFT...(*SHRUG*)By the time voters go to the polls Nov. 6 to choose between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the war will be in its 12th year.* AND GOD HELP US ALL... IF ROMNEY IS ELECTED WE'LL PROBABLY REMAIN IN AFGHANISTAN IN LARGER NUMBERS THAN WE WOULD IF OBAMA IS RE-ELECTED. (*TEARING UP*)* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)"[They're] bored with it," said Matthew Farwell, who served in the U.S. Army for five years including 16 months in eastern Afghanistan, where he sometimes received letters from grade school students addressed to the brave Marines in Iraq - the wrong war. "We all laugh about how no one really cares," he said. "All the 'support the troops' stuff is bumper sticker deep."(*SAD NOD*)Farwell, 29, who is now studying at the University of Virginia, said the war is rarely a topic of conversation on campus...* AGAIN... NO SKIN IN THE GAME... PLUS... PROTESTING THE WAR WOULD MEAN PROTESTING OBAMA...(*SHRUG*)"No one understands how to extricate ourselves from the mess we have made there," he said. "So from a purely political point of view, I wouldn't be talking about it if I were Barack Obama or Mitt Romney either."* YA KNOW WHAT? SOMETIMES YOU DO WHAT YOU'VE GOTTA DO. THIS SILENCE BY BOTH CANDIDATES - WITH NO PRESSURE EXERTED UPON THEM BY THE MEDIA - MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH AND ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN.Ignoring the Afghan war, though, doesn't make it go away.* NOPE!More than 1,950 Americans have died in Afghanistan and thousands more have been wounded...* AND THE CARNAGE GOES ON...In July, 40 U.S. service members died in Afghanistan in the deadliest month for American troops so far this year. At least 31 have been killed this month...* TEN OF THOSE MURDERED BY OUR AFGHANI "ALLIES."Military analysts say the U.S. envisions a post-2014 force of perhaps 20,000 to hunt terrorists, train the Afghan forces and keep an eye on neighboring Iran and other regional powerhouse nations.* AND THAT'S IF OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION! JEEZUS...Political satirist Garry Trudeau captured the apathy about the war in a comic strip this year showing a U.S. servicewoman stationed in Afghanistan calling her brother back home.After he complains that his children have the flu and how he's struggling to keep up with their hectic hockey schedule, he asks her where she's calling from. She tells him she's in Afghanistan."Oh, right, right ..." her brother replies. "Wait, we're still there?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/us/war-in-afghanistan-claims-2000th-american-life.html?_r=2&hp* THE USUAL SOFT-PEDDLING OF THE REASONING AND RESULTS OF OBAMA POLICIES ALONG WITH SOME SNIPING AT BUSH... BUT WORTH READING JUST THE SAME.* THEN THERE'S THIS:http://news.investors.com/article/623066/201208220818/afghan-war-debate-absent-in-presidential-campaigns.htm?p=full* THE TONE OF THIS ONE? OBAMA BAD... (*PAUSE*)... ROMNEY... er... BAD BUT NOT AS BAD.(*SNORT*)* READING BOTH PIECES - ONE AFTER THE OTHER - PRETTY MUCH TELLS THE TALE.
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/aug/22/8/group-commits-assault-violent-robbery-vcus-main-ca-ar-2147611/Police were searching today for a group of about 15 young men and women believed to have committed an assault and a violent robbery in rapid succession on Virginia Commonwealth University's main academic campus in downtown Richmond.* I BELIEVE THE TERM IS "WILDING."VCU and Richmond police described the assailants as a group of 15 black males between the ages of 17 and 22.* FIRST PARAGRAPH SAYS "MEN AND WOMEN;" NOW IT'S "15 BLACK MALES." The first victim, who is not a VCU student, reported being punched without provocation by a member of the group while getting out of a vehicle at Shafer and West Grace streets.Moments later, the group encountered the second victim, a VCU student, at Shafer and West Franklin streets. The student told police one member of the group made a comment about his boots before the victim was punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground.Once on the ground, the victim was told by one of the assailants, "Give me everything you've got." The victim was punched again in the neck and a pack of cigarettes was stolen from his pants pocket, police said.The assailants were last seen heading south through Shafer Court.* IT'S GETTING CLOSER, FOLKS... CLOSER TO HOME... ANYONE HAVE A KID IN COLLEGE OR SOON TO GO TO COLLEGE? IT'S NOT JUST THE ANIMALS KILLING EACH OTHER ANYMORE; THEY'RE NOW THREATENING CIVILIZATION.(*SHRUG*)* OH... AND IF ANYONE IS EVEN THINKING OF CALLING ME A RACIST... "FUCK YOU!" WHAT ALL THESE INCIDENTS I'VE POINTED TO TIME AND TIME AGAIN HAVE IN COMMON IS GROUPS OF BLACKS AND SOMETIMES HISPANICS. ARE THERE WHITE CRIMINALS? SURE. WHITE ANIMALS? DAMN STRAIGHT! BUT THIS "WILDING" ACTIVITY... WITH FEW (IF ANY) EXCEPTIONS IT'S COMING FROM BLACKS AND HISPANICS AND IT OFTEN TARGETS WHITES WHO ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME AND HARD-WORKING IMMIGRANTS WHO OWN OR WORK AT SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE TARGETED.* BUT, HEY... NOT JUST RANDOM VICTIMS... NOT JUST SMALL BUSINESSES... IT'S HAPPENED AT STATE FAIRS AND AT WALMART!
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/21/stimulus-funds-spent-obama-ads-olbermann-maddow/The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of [taxpayer] dollars in federal "stimulus" funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two MSNBC cable shows, records show.David Williams, president of the non-profit watchdog Taxpayers Protection Alliance, called the contract “questionable” because it created no jobs and because of the placement of the ads on shows viewed as friendly to the administration’s policies.“Hiring a PR firm does not create jobs, and this was obviously meant for selling a particular political agenda,” Mr. Williams said. “The placement really reeks of a political ad rather than a job ad, and taxpayers see through this. “Taxpayers would be a lot happier at the end of the day to see a completed road rather than a bunch of ads on cable television,” he said.The use of tax dollars to promote administration programs and policies is hardly new. The practice came under scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers who were upset about advertising during the George W. Bush administration.In 2006, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study requested by Democrats found more than $1.6 billion in public relations and media spending by the Bush administration during a two-year span.* I'M POSTING IT... ($1.6 BILLION FIGURE)... BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IT. IT'S GOTTA BE A TYPO. $1.6 MILLION, PERHAPS. $16 MILLION... MAYBE. $160 MILLION DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE... BUT $1.6 BILLION OVER TWO YEARS? (*SNORT*) (*SMIRK*)A search of GAO reports in recent years doesn’t reveal any comparable studies reviewing public relations and media expenditures during the Obama administration. But federal purchasing records available online show thousands of contract actions since the change in administrations under specific purchasing codes both for advertising and public relations services.* YA KNOW WHAT? I DON'T CARE. I DON'T WANNA PLAY "GOTCHYA." I JUST WANT IT TO STOP! IF THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO "ADVERTISE" AT ALL, LET ALL SUCH ACTIVITY BE DELINKED FROM SPECIFIC POLITICIANS AND PARTIES. PERIOD. END OF STORY!
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577605451567479764.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStoriesThe Federal Reserve sent its strongest signal yet that it is preparing to take new steps to bolster the recovery...* NOT BOLSTER THE ECONOMY, BUT ENRICH BANKERS, CORPORATE INSIDERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE OLIGARCHY AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.The statement was included in minutes released Wednesday from the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 policy meeting. The minutes also indicated that a new round of bond buying, known as quantitative easing, was high on its list of options.* INSANITY. "Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," according to the minutes, released after the customary three-week lag.* FOLKS... THESE ARE THE SAME CLOWNS WHO HAVE BEEN RUNNING THE FED ALL ALONG! HOW'S THAT BEEN WORKING OUT...?!The dollar lost ground against the yen and euro.* OF COURSE THE DOLLAR LOST GROUND! THESE BASTARDS ARE DELIBERATELY SEEKING TO FURTHER DEVALUE OUR CURRENCY! THEY ARE DELIBERATELY SEEKING TO CREATE A STOCK BUBBLE! IF THEY SUCCEED... THE NEXT CRASH IS GONNA MAKE THE 2008 CRASH LOOK LIKE A WALK IN THE PARK.Officials had extensive discussions about launching a new bond-buying program at the meeting. "Many participants expected that such a program could provide additional support for the economic recovery both by putting downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and by contributing to easier financial conditions more broadly," the minutes stated. Some Fed officials also thought another bond-buying program might boost business and consumer confidence by showing the public that the Fed was committed to making progress on reducing unemployment.* FOLKS... THESE FED GOVERNORS ARE DRUG ADDICTS! "STIMULUS" IS THEIR DRUG OF CHOICE! DEBT IS THEIR "HIGH!" THIS IS INSANE! FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY WE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE SOMEHOW REMOVED FROM THEIR POSITIONS.The Fed has already run through two bond-buying programs, in which it accumulated more than $2 trillion worth of mortgage and Treasury securities.* DEBT! WE'RE TALKING DEBT! THEY'RE BUYING FRIGGIN' BAD DEBT...!!!There are deep fissures at the Fed on the costs and benefits of further action. A resistant wing of Fed officials, known as policy "hawks," questioned at the meeting the effectiveness of another bond-buying program and said whatever benefits emerged would be transitory. They also argued, as they have for several years, that expanding its holdings of securities would make it more difficult for the central bank to tighten credit down the road when the economy gets back on its feet.* THESE ARE THE SANE FED GOVERNORS! UNFORTUNATELY... THEY'RE OUTNUMBERED BY THE QUACKS... THE KIND OF "DOCTORS" WHO IN AN EARLIER AGE BLEED THEIR PATIENTS AS TREATMENT! The Fed has said since January that it plans to keep short-term rates at "exceptionally low levels" at least through late 2014.* INSANITY! THE RATES HAVE BEEN ARTIFICIALLY LOW FOR YEARS NOW! THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM! THIS IS RETARDING RATHER THAN SPURRING ECONOMIC RECOVERY! JEEZUS... THE FRIGGIN' PROOF IS IN THE DISMAL RESULTS OF THESE POLICIES!They discussed extending that guidance beyond 2014 and adding a caveat that rates could stay low "even as the recovery progressed."* OH... MY... GOD...!Other options discussed at the last meeting included lowering the interest the Fed pays banks on the required and excess reserves they keep parked at the central bank. "A couple" of Fed officials favored such a move but "several others" expressed reservations.* NOW THAT PROPOSAL MAKES SENSE!
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444082904577605253441257604.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThirdOn Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission tentatively is set to decide whether to propose rule changes for money-market mutual funds, the $1-a-share funds that currently hold $2.6 trillion from individuals and institutions.SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, backed by the Treasury secretary...* ...TIM "THE TAX CHEAT" GEITHNER......and Federal Reserve chairman...* ...BEN "LET'S DESTROY THE DOLLAR" BERNANKE......says changes are needed to rule out a repeat of the destabilizing September 2008 run on the funds. The industry is resisting strenuously, arguing the changes would render the funds less desirable, if not unusable.* OK. BEFORE ANYONE MAKES A KNEE-JERK DECISION TO SIMPLY BACK EITHER "THE REGULATOR" OR "INDUSTRY," KEEP READING AND FEEL FREE TO TELL ME IF YOU THINK I'M WRONG AS WE GO ALONG!Money-market funds, invented in 1971, pool investors' money and put it in short-term government and corporate debt. * "INVESTORS' MONEY." GOT IT?They generally offer investors (here's the rub) $1 back for every $1 they invest, a feature unique among mutual funds. Customers often view them like banks and can write checks on their accounts — but, unlike banks, the funds aren't backed by government deposit insurance and don't have cushions to cover any losses on their holdings.* SO...??? THESE ARE I*N*V*E*S*T*M*E*N*T*S... RIGHT...?!?!In September 2008, the original money fund, Reserve Primary Fund, had so much of its money — 1.2% of its $63 billion — in Lehman Brothers...* I*N*V*E*S*T*E*D IN LEHMAN BROTHERS... RIGHT...?!?!...that when Lehman went down it "broke the buck." After institutional investors pulled out billions quickly, Reserve ultimately had only 97 cents for every $1 its remaining customers had invested.* SO...?!?! WHAT'S THE PROBLEM...?!?! THE I*N*V*E*S*T*O*R*S LOST THREE CENTS ON THE DOLLAR! BOO-HOO-FRIGGIN'-HOO!That contributed to a run on prime money-market funds, the ones that invest in securities other than super-safe U.S. Treasurys. In one week, $310 billion, or 15%, fled. That endangered the big companies hooked on borrowing from the funds, and led the Treasury to extend an extraordinary taxpayer guarantee to those with money in the funds.* SO... BOTTOM LINE... THE OLIGARCHS USED MY MONEY - WHICH WASN'T INVESTED IN MONEY MARKETS - TO BAIL OUT THOSE WHO WERE. THAT DOESN'T SOUND FAIR TO ME. THAT DOESN'T SOUND REASONABLE TO ME. LET THE I*N*V*E*S*T*O*R*S SWALLOW THEIR LOSSES! * TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)No one wants to go through that again. * WEREN'T WE TOLD DODD-FRANK WOULD END BAILOUTS FOR ALL TIME...? HMM...??? * OF COURSE THAT WAS A LIE... ANOTHER LIE OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS SOLD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON THEN... BUT I FEEL THE NEED TO REMIND READERS OF WHO THEY'RE DEALING WITH.So in 2010, the SEC, with industry backing, required funds to have more ready cash (essentially, securities that are about to mature or are issued by the government) in case a lot of investors suddenly want to pull money out.* WOULDN'T IT JUST BE EASIER TO REQUIRE I*N*V*E*S*T*O*R*S TO EITHER PUT THEIR MONEY IN BANK ACCOUNTS... FDIC INSURED BANK ACCOUNTS... OR ELSE FACE THE POSSIBLE DOWNSIDE OF I*N*V*E*S*T*I*N*G...?The SEC offers two alternatives. One, forbid money-market funds from fixing share prices at $1 and, instead, let them fluctuate with the market value of their holdings. The industry hates this, and so do many of those who put money in the funds. Or, two, require the funds to set aside some capital to absorb losses. The industry doesn't much like this either, because it's expensive.* FOR THE RECORD... I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH FORBIDDING MONEY-MARKET FUNDS FROM FIXING SHARE PRICES AT $1 AND, INSTEAD, LETTING THEM FLUCTUATE WITH THE MARKET VALUE OF THEIR HOLDINGS!* SEE! PROBLEM SOLVED!Either option will make money-market mutual funds less appealing to investors. * SO...?!?!But one reason they're so attractive is that investors either don't understand the risk they're shouldering or are implicitly expecting the government to step in again.* FUCK BOTH "CLASSES" OF INVESTORS!
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