Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Offered without comment...

because I'm so offended that visions of the Jacquerie arise...

(Context: This is the corporation that we, the taxpayers, bailed out by buying a just under 80% share of...)

As reported by ABC:

After Bailout, AIG Execs Head to California Resort
Rescued by Taxpayers, $440,000 for Retreat Including "Pedicures, Manicures"


October 7, 2008—

Less than a week after the federal government committed $85 billion to bail out AIG, executives of the giant AIG insurance company headed for a week-long retreat at a luxury resort and spa, the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California, Congressional investigators revealed today.

"Rooms at this resort can cost over $1,000 a night," Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) said this morning as his committee continued its investigation of Wall Street and its CEOs.

AIG documents obtained by Waxman's investigators show the company paid more than $440,000 for the retreat, including nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Stream of consciousness--BBC-triggered

Filed under "Sad, even pitiable, but somehow amusing":

Pope laments decline of scripture


The Pope lamented what he called the harmful and destructive influence of some forms of modern culture.

This, he said, had decided that God was dead, and man was the sole architect of his destiny and master of creation.


Um, no. Architect? Now, perhaps unlicensed general contractor... that looks likely.

Filed under "Headlines one never wants to see" (bad echo!):

Germany seeks to reassure savers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has moved to reassure savers in German financial institutions that their deposits are safe.

I'm afraid to even look at the editorial cartoons that might conjure up. Perhaps fortuitously, the cartoonist I know who'd have gone straight for that cheap, creepy image is having surgery.

File this one under "Pot calls kettle black":

Palin makes Obama terrorist claim

(For anyone unfamiliar with Gov. Palin, her husband was a member of an Alaskan secessionist party--whose founder died in an illegal attempt to buy explosives gone bad--until she began running for major public office, and she's been on friendly terms with that party even after her election. Obama knows a '60s era radical--whose acts of violence occured when Obama was 8 years old--and has become a minor Chicago area philanthropist since.)

Filed under "More of the same":

Afghan victory hopes played down

The UK's commander in Helmand has said Britain should not expect a "decisive military victory" in Afghanistan.
But he stated: "We're not going to win this war.

Sort of like in Iraq, or just like in Iraq? Britain's played this game in Afghanistan before...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

William Butler Yeats, Crisis Economics Poet

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Just swap "Washington" for "Bethlehem."

Bring on the Swedish Plan. Among other things, it worked pretty well for Sweden's crisis. Of course, it's Swedish and therefore suspect on the right--anything borne in on the shoulders of tall blond(e) Scandinavian socialists must be riddled with libertine values... like insisting on value for tax payer funds.

Or something that's vaguely responsible, please.

What it sounds like Congress is doing is pouring more oil into the engine that's belching white smoke as the old Buick careens down the road. More than oil's necessary. Oh, oil is too--but only as a stop gap, so that there's enough lubrication to get the heap into the mechanic's without having the engine seize up.

Fun and... educational

h/t to Chalicechick