Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Go All Swedish on Their As$es

The bankers own the place.”
-Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Dancing Queens of Wall Street, the Beltway and the Boardroom: AH..AHHHH..

Give Barry Ritholtz Larry Summers' job!

In light of Larry Summers' resignation, Barry Ritholtz asks “what were the alternatives to the bailouts?” He explains why we should have gone Swedish instead, citing this NY Times article Stopping a Financial Crisis, the Swedish Way published exactly 2 years ago today which he then discussed in at least two of his own blog posts shortly afterwards. What did Sweden do during their 1992 banking meltdown? BR explains:
Sweden did not just bail out its financial institutions by having the government take over the bad debts. It extracted pounds of flesh from bank shareholders before writing checks. Banks had to write down losses and issue warrants to the government.”

A summary below from one commenter offers a five step plan to claw back the pirated public trust loot:

See the current TARP report (download on the left)
The Congressional Oversight Panel has released good reports, comprehensive and exhaustive review of the TARP and many programs under and associated with TARP.
For the question of We Should Have Gone Swedish . . . Yes, or at least a modified Swedish plan to first focus on goals of stabilization, short term remedy and resolution, analysis, adjust and refine for long term sustainability. Non-goals – saving anyone.
1. kick out exec management and root out bad actors throughout the organization
2. recover ill gotten gains, compensation and bonus claw back on illusory gains
3. restructure ownership based on new cash and guarantees – haircuts or total loss across the capital structure.
4. viable business plan for sustainable recovery or resolution/wind down
5. priority on compensating gov’t (taxpayer) for guarantees and cash infusion
The stigma of nationalism or socialism needs to be eliminated, such that if the gov’t has to step in to bailout a firm (industry) that the investor structure (ownership) has changed to an entity with the number one priority as stewardship and best interest of taxpayer funds. If the goal is to return the firm to a private sector entity then it is not nationalism or socialism. Any reference to being similar to Hugo Chavez or other dictator lead regime is ludicrous.

From Wall St. to the Beltway to the board room, extracting pounds of flesh from the exclusionary, incestuous, towel-snapping boys club is something that the R-Teabagger Party and its counterpart, the D-Fleabagger Party could come together and focus on real economic issues instead of wedgies. But that unlikely pairing is as unlikely as team divide and conquer clowns Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart co-authoring a come together, kumbaya tell-all called The Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants or something. Who would have possibly thought that Comedy Central would be any different than Fox? When the ruling class war is on America's middle class who are being looted of their jobs, homes and healthcare, who better than to lead the divide and conquer parade of “rallies” than the  elitist ruling class's bi-hucksterism court jesters! The high-school minded, sports enthusiast plodding plebery serve their mobby pitchforked purpose, and the puppet master handlers laugh all the way to the bank. American tea and flea baggers, they loves them some wedgies! AH..AHHHHH..

Party on, plebes!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

John Legend Kicks off Tour with Spike Lee Webcast: Turn Up the Volume

If you don't like this song you're a monster”
-YouTube commenter

Everybody Knows: John Legend to Kick Off Spike Lee Directed Webcast

Breaking SoundSpike News

New York – Circle your calendars for this Thursday, September 23, when soulful, Grammy winning R&B crooner John Legend will promote “Wake Up!”, his forthcoming collaboration with The Roots that will be filmed by the fabulous Spike Lee.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Ohio's Anti-Offshoring Royal Silver Bullet

( Credits Patrick Thibodeau/Computerworld)
Outsourcing doesn't reflect Ohio's values”
-Ohio Governor Ted Strickland

Anti-Offshoring Ohio Lures Indian Offshoring Giant on U.S. Taxpayer Dime

Patrick Thibodeau's headline today at Computerworld entitled Ohio takes the lead in offshoring fight revisits LWOH's probe into the rising “backshoring” trend where incumbent Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland woos TCS, presses India for jobs and is now campaigning on the “anti-outsourcing” brand. If Strickland says outsourcing doesn't reflect Ohio values, what about insourcing?

As we reported in this article entitled NCR, GE and Dow "Backshoring" as Boeing Profits, Plans 10,000 Layoffs, the growing trend of “backshoring” as we reported in Corporate Welfare Roulette  for U.S. corporations to move their operations back home to states that lure foreign outsourcing companies on the U.S. taxpayer dime raises the question: Why are American taxpayers subsidizing foreign outsourcing corporations whose businesses are in the cheap labor/labor arbitrage racket in the first place when millions of unemployed Americans (and businesses) can do those jobs?

Thibodeau's article prompted an interesting discussion in the comments section, as one Ohio citizen notes below:

...practically from the beginning, Ohio had among the best law schools, excellent medical schools, and soon developed the best K-12 text books. We've got plenty of bright, knowledgeable, industrious and creative people in Ohio. We don't need to be importing guest-workers for work Buckeyes can do quite well, while making and leaving our capable people unemployed and under-employed. Off-shore out-sourcing should be rare. Guest-workers should be geniuses at the very least (since we have many gifted people who are unemployed).”

The article also notes that Strickland has "blasted" offshore firms, saying their use has "unacceptable business consequences," most important being data security and privacy risks. Hear, hear, Governor Strickland! But Thibodeau points out that despite his tough stance on outsourcing, Strickland has curiously “given about $19 million in tax breaks in 2007 to Indian giant Tata Consultancy Services to build a development center in the state. Tata has already established 400 jobs at the center and is supposed to have 1,000 there by the end of 2011.” So will American citizens get those jobs with good wages? With India's concern over Ohio's anti-offshoring efforts, President Obama will visit India in November “to take our relationship to the next level," as SOS Hillary Clinton put it in a speech earlier this month. What “next level” might that be? Thibodeau's article may suggest that the whole H-1b visa program that provided U.S. corporations massive flows of cheap labor from India might be abolished. After all, the state of Ohio is home to Dennis Kucinich who wants to scrap the whole H-1b visa program. What would it be replaced with? Some unlimited, global open borders/green card program and massive L-1 student visas? Thibodeau slips in news about a massive Ohio “Supercomputer Center Blue Collar Computing program”:

The decline of manufacturing in Ohio and elsewhere affects more than jobs; it affects IT as well. "Manufacturing is extremely important because that is where the bulk of the research and development is," said Harold 'Hal' Williams, an economics professor emeritus at Kent State. Manufacturers are increasingly relying on high-performance computing systems to develop products. These systems can simulate how products might perform as conditions change, and they eliminate the need for continuous prototype-building, thus speeding time to market and product development. The Ohio Supercomputer Center's Blue Collar Computing program in Columbus has been on the leading edge in the U.S. to provide high-performance computing resources to manufacturers. "If we are going to maintain a strong competitive position internationally, we've got to have firms that are doing a lot of research and development," said Williams.”

Would this mean an unlimited number of L-1 visas? Hmm...that way, wouldn't TCS (and other foreign outsourcers in other states) have all the unlimited, cheap imported student labor they could get their hands on to further drive down wages for educated American citizens (young and old) who need jobs? Slick. They could just skip the whole outmoded adult H-1b slave labor visa entirely and go down to the L-1 slave youth labor model? We don't know!

Will Strickland's anti-outsourcing brand (sans anti-insourcing) seduce Ohio's voters? Never mind  that third-party groups are targeting Ohio Democrats with ads or that FiveThirtyEight's prediction about the gubernatorial race has John Kasich bagging it:

Silver gives The Wizard of Westerville a 90.1 percent chance of beating Ted Strickland, the incumbent governor from southeast Ohio, whose campaign strategy has been to paint Kasich green, colored by the greed and money that go hand in hand with working on Wall Street.”

We applaud Governor Strickland's executive order prohibiting use of public funds for outsourcing, as the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to ship American customer support and technical design projects offshore harms American workers. But why turn around and then “lure” Indian outsourcing companies to states where millions of educated Americans and businesses can take those jobs? Does one hand know not what the other is doing? 

"Outsourcing jobs does not reflect Ohio values," Strickland said. "Ohioans have been among the hardest hit by more than a decade of unfair trade agreements and the trickle-down economic policies that promoted offshoring jobs at the expense of Ohioans who work for a living. We must do everything within our power to prevent outsourcing jobs because it undermines our economic development objectives, slows our recovery and deprives Ohioans and other Americans of employment opportunities."
"Ohio's policy has been--and must continue to be--that public funds should not be spent on services provided offshore," Strickland says in the order. "Throughout my Administration, procurement procedures have been in place that restrict the purchase of offshore services. Despite these requirements, federal stimulus funds were recently used to purchase services from a domestic company which ultimately provided some of those services offshore. This incident was unacceptable and has caused me to redouble my commitment to ensure that public funds are not expended for offshore services."

Governor Strickland may be “redoubling” his commitments, alright – by luring Indian outsourcing giants to Ohio with public funds that were once expended for offshore services? This would be fine, if foreign outsourcing companies  like TCS hired only Americans at high compensation levels. How likely is that?

Of course, if Governor Strickland really wanted to turn Silver's predictions upside down, he would include a sign that reads WELCOME TO OHIO, THE ANTI-INSHORING STATE.

Party on, plebes!


Friday, September 17, 2010

India's Credibility Gap

Time for the U.S. to “Not Back Down”

India Cries Wolf: New U.S. Visa Fees are Consistent with International Obligations
-Daniel Costa

“India has a credibility gap vis-à-vis the United States”, writes Immigration expert Daniel Costa for the Economic Policy Institute who has written an excellent article entitled India cries wolf: New U.S. visa fees are consistent with international obligations that implores the State Department and all U.S. policy makers to essentially GROW A PAIR and finally stand up for American citizens who need jobs. In lieu of the recent bill that increases application fees on H-1B/L-1 temporary non-immigrant work visas, the author writes India has threated that they and China “could join forces in lodging a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

A formal complaint! Let's see, what would that look like: “Dear WTO, Just for the record, we find it reprehensible that greedy U.S. politicians let our country, India, get away for years stealing jobs from educated Americans and now they want to look good to voters by sticking us with this goofy temporary guest worker application fee? Who are they kidding? Who cares if the IMF fears a 'social explosion' from America's jobs going to us?”

As supply and demand would dictate, there are not enough jobs for educated Americans and temporary guest worker visa and related migration programs have consequently long outlived their course. As a result, Costa urges the U.S. to not “back down, or even flinch” to India's threats and that Congress rightfully pass legislation proposed by Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley to significantly limit the maximum share of H-1B and L-1 visa workers in companies operating in the United States when American workers need those those jobs. He explains that it is essential for U.S. citizens seeking employment and our economy to once and for all “fix the legal framework for the H-1B and L-1 visa programs” by creating an effective system of oversight and enforcement “to penalize those who game the system to the detriment of U.S. workers.”

The sense of Indian entitlement to take jobs that Americans need and can do is incredulous, as Costa clarifies  that WTO rules do not  dictate how its members can or should set immigration policies or fees. In addition, the WTO in fact allows the U.S. to impose new fees and requirements, so long as they do not nullify or impair the benefits countries get from the U.S.’s commitments. Nothing prevents a country from “applying measures to regulate” people entering and staying in the country, “including those measures necessary to protect the integrity of…its borders.” Costa recognizes the need to support the interests of U.S. workers here: 

Although a healthy Indo-U.S. relationship is of vital importance, over this issue the U.S. should not back down, or even flinch, in order to satisfy a few companies that do not have in mind the interests of U.S. workers, jobs or the economy. In fact, last year Indian direct foreign investment (FDI) in the U.S. totaled $4.4 billion– which constitutes only 0.19 percent of total FDI in the country – evidence that Indian businesses are not investing much capital here nor creating many jobs.”

In another article addressing the “US' anti-outsourcing “tirade”, Indian outsourcing company Infosys proposes a mind boggling “services pact with the U.S. which allows both nations to set aside specified number of visas (say 20,000 visas) for professionals from the other side.” With a population in excess of one billion, why would India need U.S. citizens to do the work that their infamous best and brightest could do? If the goal is to turn the United States into a third world hellhole, so goes the logic - why not treat Americans just like any other third world hellhole dwellers? The brilliant scheme goes like this:

Building a case for India, in turn, to keep aside 20,000 work permits for US citizens to come and work in the country every year, we need American talent to come to India in sectors such as airline, IT, hospitality and construction industry. So no one (neither side) is losing jobs.”

Wrongo! Enough with the legalized visa slave trade, already. Human beings are not commodities, they are not goods to be traded by neo-frat boys of the corporate state. It is time to restore civility to the people of the U.S. and India. It is time to return sustainability to the people of our local communities. Within the next two months, President Obama and SOS Hillary Clinton have a tremendous opportunity to finally stand up for U.S. workers and stop the Cash Cow of Indian Outsourcing with its disastrous practice of outsourcing  and insourcing jobs to Indian workers that educated Americans can do.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Obama Speaks at Philly School While Hope Pisses Away for US Law Students

Nothing's going to have as great an impact on your success in life as your education.”

-President Obama

We're Giving Jobs to India But Go to School Anyway, Suckas!

Home of the Liberty Bell, PA – President Obama delivered a speech to an estimated 600 students at Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia where he urged students to dream big, work hard, and focus on getting a good education. He rallied the youths with this time-honored, encouraging plea:

"Nothing's going to have as great an impact on your success in life as your education," Obama told the crowd of fifth through 12th-graders packing the auditorium, dozens of whom held cell phones, cameras and other PDAs aloft to record his remarks throughout the 17-minute speech. "More and more, the kinds of opportunities that are open to you are gonna be determined by how far you go in school. The farther you go in school, the farther you're gonna go in life."

What's this? Does Obama think these kids are a bunch of ding dongs? The rallying behind Obama's “My Future, My Education” branding message is short on facts and long on disingenuous, empty inspiration. His message does not explain why parents with college degrees from our nation's finest universities and their older brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles are facing the poor house as they watch the bleeding of U.S. white collar jobs needlessly go to Indian replacements both here and abroad. What kind of job “opportunities” will the Philly youths have? Janitor? Pimp? Ditch Digger? Bed pan wiper? (If nothing more, American schools will at least keep the young rabble off the streets.)

Maybe Jim Hightower can address the entire nation's students next year on the selling out of American legal profession jobs to India. In his article, Hightower explains that the greedy, looting corporate elite is moving to separate their “expanding fortunes” from the well-being of their educated middle class American neighbors and “from the well being of America itself” below:

Even though U.S. corporations have amassed record levels of profits and cash reserves, they are offshoring their legal work simply because it puts even more money in their pockets. They can pay Indian lawyers as little as a tenth of what they'd pay young American attorneys – and the 90-percent wage difference goes to the corporation, rather than being spread through our economy as family incomes.”

Remember, “offshoring” is the practice of shipping U.S. jobs overseas to cheap laborers and onshoring is the practice of shipping cheap laborers here under the temporary H-1b and L-1 student visa and green card programs. Both cause American worker displacement, labor arbitrage, and economic depression.

Aside from the  lack of quality concern, competence, cultural assimilation and shared community values associated with selling out U.S. white collar jobs, the practice of offshoring and onshoring is locally unsustainable and it is time to put the brakes on the neo-frat boy corporate state. Oh – and that security, privacy, and safety issues matter with U.S. legal work landing in the laps of those content with stealing jobs from American citizens? Stop clinging to your eroding civil rights or your dire need to have a job after you graduate. Soon, your parents and grandparents won't have social security or their pensions to fall back on, either. 

Obama is right to urge the Philly students to cherish their education and work hard, but his message is conflicting with his administration's policies that support an influx of guest workers when there are not enough jobs to employ our own. Wouldn't NOW be an excellent time for him to launch the Department of Homeland Jobs for Americans? 

So get over yourselves, aspiring American law students! Join the ethnically cleansed class of permanently unemployed/underemployed educated Americans like computer scientists, nurses, marketers and accountants - hey, that's just about everyone excluding hedge fund managers. As Hightower notes, these brilliant “legal beagles” of India basically want to piss on the fire hydrant that is your hijacked legal professional job. You are indebted to America's sociopathic “corporate elite” for their ethnic cleansing of America's educated middle class, so be sure to send them and their go-to congress people a warm and sincere thank-you note.

Party on, plebes!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Fire Up the Fury: Wrapping Up Flag Burning and Holy Book Burning

(Very Special Thanks to Our Beloved Jerry Garcia)

You know this Space is Getting Hot”

Firing Up the Fury

Grrr...We hate book burning... Gin up the zero tolerance! The creepy Florida Pastor's religious book burning described as a  cheap stunt  by President Obama has visibly (as in smack onto your roof, down the chimney, onto your plasma screen and straight into your lap) ignited a horrific fireball of hot, calculated and predictable media outrage.  Even the omniscient, pre-IPO all things global media queen Arianna Huffington had to be summoned to pipe up with expert, scholarly analysis. The Diva of Diversion hosed down the fiery hype as another mere “Balloon Boy” episode. Whew. What would we do without The Voice of Gravitas? Even in our worst nightmares, we'll always have the Balloon Boy...

The world needs people with integrity, not those willing to trade their lifetime's reputation for 15 minutes of fame. Imagine this guy's tombstone: 

Here lies the man of religion who once threatened to burn the Koran.

It should be crystal clear that anyone who condones book burning (of any kind) is an intolerant, illiterate Neanderthal slob and/or just plain scary nuts.  Flag burning  has been a symbol of protest since way before the Romans conquered Gaul, but book burning? Who was it that burned down the library at Alexandria around 400 A.D. and plunged the Western world into the Dark Ages for the following 1000 years?  

There is a lot of steep, moral high ground to climb in order to put out this fire on America's  middle class. And fanning the fundamentalist flames of race and religion are the media's match to corporate America's gasoline tank.

You know this space is getting hot.

Party on, plebes!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel's Address to the Nation

A Message from Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel

Hey, Mother Fu#^ers,

Everyone and their retarded uncles have probably heard by now that I, Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff (on my way out the fu#^ing door) am supposed to run for Mayor of my home town, Chicago after Daley's sudden announcement that he's stepping down. Why is that? It really doesn't matter why his approval ratings are in the shitter or that the city is broke, or how any of that happened. So, for now, you can call me 'Hizzoner' until I decide whether I want the job or not.

What matters now is that the people of Chicago will need a strong leader to fill Daley's shoes and collect the dues. (I'm good at collecting dues, and don't DON'T even start talking sh*t about my height because I KNOW PEOPLE.) While that gravedigger buster Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's name is making the rounds, believe me, I'm the guy around Chicago who knows where the bodies are buried. These other pansies in this poll called We Ask America haven't read We Ask Fu#^ing Rham, have they.

I'm not saying yet if I will or I won't run for Mayor, especially not to you fu#^ing babies at the Washington Post who make sh*t up as you go along, anyway. So, while you pussies are wondering why I might – might want to run for Mayor, don't forget that my man on the street (code for 'the smooth talking orator guy I walked into the White House') is also having his sorry ass handed to him in the Swamp for colossally blowing it on a long, long chain of undelivered, promised goods filed under the “hope and change” tab (haha) which will probably cost him 2012. It seems that the Inauguration was only yesterday.

Looking back, I think it was those disrespectful Scandinavian mother fu#^ers who pissed me off the most for refusing to cut the Chicago Olympics deal under Barry's watch - that's when the whole tuna can lid of this administration began to peel back. The rest is history.

Don't even get me started on peeking into Nate Silver's fu#^ing candy ass crystal ball for “predications”. F^CK YOU, Silver!

Did any of you people even consider that maybe I'm sick of being a political big, swinging, public servant dick and might want to switch hit over to the private sector? (No, you didn't, and don't try to tell me you assh*les did.) I know, the broke city of Chicago needs me to get back home and start kicking ass, even if I'm Mayor or not. And if nobody votes for me, boo-hoo, too fu#^ing bad because maybe I've got other, bigger, waaay bigger fu#^ing fish to fry. Like firing up the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) to name one not entirely half-backed scheme. I could even keep a seat warm for Barry by the time he gets back in 2013. Good times, all over again.

We'll make a new start trading carbon futures and bring a whole new meaning to the “Hookers and Blow School of Economics” where derivatives beasts rule and greenbacks are old school. Frame THAT, you fu#^ing babies without an inside clue. Talk about future book deals, baby... “Barry and Me: Building a Bridge Out of Fu#^ing Thin Air to the Hog Butcher of the World” is one title I'm already floating.

Maybe I'll even drive to DC to pick up Barry in my new Fisker, only I'll have to get the thick smell of bacon and grain spirits out of the backseat upholstery first. By all means, the prospects are so mother fu#^ing exciting, I've got to go take a cold shower.

Here's the important thing. If you forget all about how Chicago's public schools are one big, fu#^ing mess or that whole Renaissance 2010 stinker Barry cooked up with Arne Duncan is another frothy house of cards that needs filthy lucre that doesn't exist to run on, or that the fu#^ing teachers union contract is rolling around and they're in no mood for any more cutbacks and Charter Sch$ol sh*t, the city of Chicago is gonna need an Enforcer the size of Goliath. That would be me.

IF...if I run.

Later, maybe,

Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Harvey Keitel Eyed to Clean Up the "Office"

(Victor the Cleaner in Point of No Return)

Office” Producer Wants Harvey Keitel for New Boss to Replace Steve Carell

Breaking News

Los Angeles – Producer Paul Lieberstein of the Office “insists he's serious” about having Harvey Keitel (a.k.a. "Victor the Cleaner” in Point of No Return) replace Steve Carell as the boss. We have no doubts that Harvey is THE MAN to get the job done cleaning up around the “Office”.

Should this excellent casting pick get the green light, you won't want to miss an episode. For readers who missed PONR, below is a precise review of Keitel in his finest role:

"A cameo by Harvey Keitel -- as a murderous trouble-shooter called Victor who cleans up botched murders and other sticky problems -- is almost worth the price of admission. In fact, he should star in a spinoff movie called "Victor the Cleaner." It would be exactly the kind of cult hit Warner Bros. is trying to crib. Perhaps they'd better wait for it to come out in France first. But until that time, give yourself a treat and rent the video of "La Femme Nikita."


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2Truthy's Lunchbreak with Rootstock

 (Very Special Thanks to Kurt. T. Kopf)

The Jersey Shore -- Rootstock is billed as a festival for all ages.

From The Aquarian Weekly Shoreworld: The Paramount Sessions & Rootstock 2010:

"Ever since Walter Reade inaugurated the Paramount Theatre with a showing of the film Wings on New Year’s Day, 1930, it has been synonymous with presentations of unique entertainment. Hosting everyone from The Marx Brothers to The Who, The Paramount Theatre is a top surviving historical venue in New Jersey. Continuing under that statement, local musicians have banded together with town developer Madison Marquette to bring the boardwalk pounding public another original and no strings production. It’s called The Paramount Sessions and it will feature several of our regional and national Jersey shore acts on the big stage."