Archive for September 6th, 2009

Random B&W La Jolla Photoblogging

More photos from La Jolla:
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A very random chair.

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The tree looks kinda like it’s greeting its own shadow.

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My uncle is also a photographer…

Actually, a sizable chunk of my La Jolla photos this year are from one morning photo walk. Between that and the Torrey Pines Nature Reserve, that’s probably 70-80% of my shots right there.

September 6th, 2009 at 10:32pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,People,Photoblogging

Keeping Your Powder’s Seat At The Table Dry

Jane is not impressed with the vast wasteland of feckless “progressive” organizations which have become totally captive to the not-remotely-progressive Obama administration:

Soon after the election, the Administration began corralling the big liberal DC interest groups into a variety of organizations and communication networks through which they telegraphed their wishes — into a virtual veal pen.  The 8:45 am morning call co-hosted by the “liberal” Center for American Progress, Unity 09, and Common Purpose are just a few of the overt ways that the White House controls its left flank and maintains discipline.


These organizations may kid themselves that they’re doing no harm, but that’s not true.  They are the institutional liberal validators who telegraph to liberals that there are problems, that things are happening that are not good for them.  They are trusted to decode the byzantine rituals of government and let the public know when their interests are not being served, that it’s time to pay attention and start making a racket.  When they fail to perform that task, the public is left with a vague feeling of anxiety, intuitively understanding that something is wrong but not knowing who or what to blame.


I heard it over and over again — if you wanted to criticize the White House on financial issues, your institutional funding would dry up instantly.  The Obama campaign successfully telegraphed to donors that they should cut off Fund for America, which famously led to its demise.   It wasn’t the last time something like that happened — just ask those who were receiving  institutional money who criticized the White House and saw their funding cut, at the specific request of liberal institutional leaders who now principally occupy their time by brown nosing friends and former co-workers in the White House.

And so the groups in the DC veal pen stay silent.  Their leadership gets gets bought off by cocktail parties at the White House while the interests of their members get sold out.  How many have openly pushed back against the Administration on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or DOMA? Well, not many.  Most tried to satisfy their LGBT members by outsourcing activism to other organizations, or proving their bona fides by getting involved in the Prop 8 battle that is not directly toxic to the White House.  It’s a chickenshit sidestep that betrays their members in the interest of personal gain, which they justify with feeble self-serving palliatives about the importance of “maintaining a seat at the table.”

How, exactly, does “a seat at the table” benefit your members if you never use it for anything but swallowing whatever Obama feeds you?  This is all too sadly reminiscent of the Democratic caucus’s refusal to stand up to the Bush administration (most notably on judicial nominees) because they wanted to keep their powder dry.

If you want to hold your fire to maintain a dryly-powdered seat at the table, then at some point you had damn well better use it for something significant.  Otherwise it becomes painfully clear that the seat and the powder were all you ever wanted.

September 6th, 2009 at 04:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Wait… What?

Surely this can’t be right…

With all the turmoil of the financial crisis, you may have forgotten about the book-cooking that went on at Fannie Mae. Government inquiries found that between 1998 and 2004, senior executives at Fannie manipulated its results to hit earnings targets and generate $115 million in bonus compensation. Fannie had to restate its financial results by $6.3 billion.

Almost two years later, in 2006, Fannie’s regulator concluded an investigation of the accounting with a scathing report. “The conduct of Mr. Raines, chief financial officer J. Timothy Howard, and other members of the inner circle of senior executives at Fannie Mae was inconsistent with the values of responsibility, accountability, and integrity,” it said.

That year, the government sued Mr. Raines, Mr. Howard and Leanne Spencer, Fannie’s former controller, seeking $100 million in fines and $115 million in restitution from bonuses the government contended were not earned. Without admitting wrongdoing, Mr. Raines, Mr. Howard and Ms. Spencer paid $31.4 million in 2008 to settle the litigation.

When these top executives left Fannie, the company was obligated to cover the legal costs associated with shareholder suits brought against them in the wake of the accounting scandal.

Now those costs are ours. Between Sept. 6, 2008, and July 21, we taxpayers spent $2.43 million to defend Mr. Raines, $1.35 million for Mr. Howard, and $2.52 million to defend Ms. Spencer.

“I cannot see the justification of people who led these organizations into insolvency getting a free ride,” [Rep. Alan] Grayson [D-FL] said. “It goes right to the heart of what people find most disturbing in this situation — the absolute lack of justice.”

So, in other words, we’re paying for these corrupt wankers’ prosecution and defense.

September 6th, 2009 at 12:33pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Obama,Wankers

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