October 2, 2010
DUBLIN, Ireland — After the binge of the "Celtic Tiger" years, Ireland has been jolted awake with the mother of all hangovers, an empty wallet and a horrendous bill.
On Thursday the government shocked a bewildered nation with the disclosure that the final cost of bailing out the Irish banks could rise to 50 billion euros ($69 billion). This is much more than previously admitted, and the impact on the country and the population of nearly 5 million has quickly became apparent.
The bailout will cost every man, woman and child in the republic 10,000 euros. Ireland will have to endure savage cuts in expenditure. There will be hair-shirt budgets for at least four years. And the Emerald Isle, warned the European Union, can now no longer remain a low-tax economy.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan agreed the figures were “horrendous," but said they "can be managed over a 10-year period.”
The reaction of the media in Dublin and the world’s financial capitals was pretty uniform: Ireland’s Celtic Tiger is dead.
The Celtic Tiger Is Dead. Long Live The Hungover Pussycat.
Near us? It is us.
[...] The calamity in Ireland is the result of reckless lending by its banks during a boom that ended in 2007, and which, as property prices plunge, has become one of the biggest busts in history.
The cost of winding down Anglo Irish bank alone is estimated at 34 billion euros. Its directors lent outrageous sums to developers to buy sites and acquire properties that in many cases have become entirely worthless.
Even more shocking for a country where the banks were seen as solid pillars of the national infrastructure, one of the two biggest financial institutions, Allied Irish Banks, was practically nationalized with an injection of 3 billion euros and the brusque removal of its chairman and managing director on Thursday.
Greetings, all. Well, one of my favorite months is now in the book ... that would be September, the month when footballs start flying around, pennant races come down to the wire, and the heat around here begins to relent ... albeit, oh so slowly.
Need I say more? Hook 'em.
October 1, 2010
Bielat is 35 years old, a Marine who spent four years on active duty and is now a major in the Reserve. He's a graduate of Georgetown University with a master's from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton. He's devoted a good portion of his professional life to manufacturing the high-tech robots that defuse improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, he's a serious man.
In the spring and summer of 2009, Bielat watched in dismay as Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress pursued one big-government initiative after another. He began to think about running but didn't make a final decision until Jan. 19, when a certain Republican won election to the Senate from Massachusetts -- and did it by winning in Frank's district. "When Scott Brown won the 4th Congressional District, it became clear that not only could a Republican win here," says Bielat, "but there was a case to be made nationally to donors and supporters that this is winnable."
Sheriff Fwank stands an excellent chance of defeating this upstart in November. Fwank is heavily armed at all times with democratic largess and handily defeats any upstart with 65 to 75 per cent of the vote, if he can find a challenger that is. His draw is as deadly as his lisp.
But a recent poll shows Bielat within striking range of Fwank, trailing by only nine or ten points. This is much safer than having Fwank within striking range of you. Particularly if you are bent over tying your shoes.
Initially I wasn't going to go here, but just consider Fwank's peccadilloes:
- Here's a guy who lacks the powers of observation and common sense to know when his live-in boy toy is using his apartment as a queer whore house; and
- Fights tooth and nail to resist any oversight over the mortgage practices of government owned and operated fiduciary organizations, ie, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that subsequently fail, costing the tax payers billions; and
- Latches onto another butt buddy who is indirectly supervised by Fwank since he is Chairman of the House Banking Committee. I am referring of course to the juicy morsel being frisked at the top of this post; Herb Moses, who was Fannie Mae's Assistant Director for Product Initiatives during the time of his intimate relationship with Fwank.
Fwank is a man who is sadly influenced by his carnal appetites. Whether or not you are comfortable with the practice of homosexuality, anyone who allows themselves to succumb to these desires in the performance of their official duties is in desperate need to have to have those duties removed. Period.
And what does this say for the people who reside in the 4th Congressional District? Nothing good, unfortunately. But perhaps with a real choice at the ballot box they'll rise to the occasion.
September 30, 2010
Back to a time when things were easier to understand.
When the consequences did not seem so dire.
When the odor of disinfectant foot powder was not my constant companion.
The bottom Golden Haired Beauty is the legendary Rita Hayworth in her salad days.
Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain't ready for the altar but I do agree there's times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine
Well, I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I've been one poor correspondent, and I've been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind
And this concludes my presentation of Sister Golden Hair.
Now for the surprise...
September 28, 2010
"I've had ENOUGH!" After two years in the White House fishbowl, fed up first lady Michelle Obama sobbed those emotional words to her husband during a tense confrontation.
In a blockbuster ENQUIRER exclusive, well-placed Washington, D.C., insiders have revealed behind-the-scenes details of President Barack Obama's heated face-to- face with his 46-year-old wife - a spat that erupted over headline-making comments attributed to her in a revealing new book.
According to the book, Michelle told France's first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, 41, that she absolutely detests her role as America's first lady, blasting it as "hell," and admitting: "I can't stand it!"
During the Obama's quarrel, "Michelle collapsed in tears and even threatened to divorce Barack if he seeks a second term as president," a source in the nation's capital told The ENQUIRER.
"At one point, Michelle was heard yelling, 'I hate you for dragging me through all this…I've had enough!'"
Another D.C. insider confirmed details of the fight, telling The ENQUIRER that the screaming match occurred after the first family returned to Washington following their vacation in Martha's Vineyard with daughters Malia and Sasha.
The next day Barack was NOT wearing his wedding ring and despite official denials, there's "trouble ahead", insiders told The Enquirer.
Apparently the quarter-plus million dollar Wookie Spanish Get-Away wasn't enough.
Maybe it's just the negative exposure, but is there anything about this woman's attitude that tells us - "It's all about me." Quite frankly, we've all had enough. We have never witnessed such self-centered, childish whining since, since ... Hillary. Perhaps Michelle will now invent a Vast PMS Conspiracy to cover her relentless carping and bitching.
At great personal danger to myself (Rhod feel asleep at the wheel again) and at no small personal cost (Nickie spent our entire travel allowance on Odor Eaters™ and several dozen cases of Chips Ahoy!) I managed to drive to Washington, DC, bribe a hotel food service employee and take this close proximity surveillance shot of President Obama dancing with the New Love Of His Life in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel ballroom.
We always knew it, didn't we?
September 27, 2010
EUReferendum does a nice job of presenting the latest chapter of the ongoing farce that is Green Power.Booker, thank goodness, will get slightly more coverage with his column than I did with my post covering the same territory.
Certainly, it cannot be said often enough – especially as it is being ignored by the BBC and almost all of the media – that "the world's largest wind farm" opened off the Kent coast last week, is going to cost us £1.2 billion in subsidies over the 20-year working life of this installation. The corrected headline, by the way, reads "billions" and not "millions".
At a time, supposedly, of economic stringency, it is offensive beyond measure that this government – like its predecessor – is encouraging such huge amounts of money to be top-sliced from our electricity bills, "by far the most important and shocking aspect of this vast project" writes Booker.
But what is equally offensive is the silence of the media on this aspect. Those outlets which have reported on the installation have been completely silent on the fact that, for the subsidy we are being forced to pay, we could have a 1GW nuclear power station, which could yield a staggering 13 times more electricity, with much greater reliability.
The obscenity does not stop there, though. The Swedish owners, Vattenfall, may have commissioned 100 turbines but they are only the first stage of a project eventually designed to comprise 341 of them. When complete, this will generate subsidies of £1 billion every five years.
And even then, that is not the end of it. A final claim for the Thanet wind farm (which Mr Huhne boasts is "only the beginning") is that it will create "green jobs" – although the developers say that only 21 of these will be permanent.
Now, when you work it out, each of these are costing, in "green subsidies" alone, £3 million per job per year. That is £57 million for each job over the next 20 years. The Government gaily prattles about how it wants to create "400,000 green jobs", which on this basis would eventually cost us £22.8 trillion, or 17 times the entire annual output of the UK economy.