"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Bailout Rejected & the Political Blame Game Ensues

The failed Bush/Paulson Bailout Plan defeated in Congress by a vote of 205 Yea vote to 228 Nay vote. What is amazing is the political spin and blame game of Blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for “failing” to deliver the vote. If indeed it was true how come the Democrats delivered 140 Yea votes with 95 Nay vote while Republicans had a measly 65 Yea vote with 133 Nay votes. What was that all about, was it the Democrat House Speaker’s responsibility to bring in the Republican vote under a Republican administration's plan.

What is really ridiculous is when some Republican’s were supposed to have been hurt by the so-called “partisan” speech of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the CNN Breaking News clip:
When President Bush took office, he inherited President Clinton’s surpluses 4 years in a row. Budget surpluses on a trajectory of 5.6 Trillion Dollars in surplus and with his reckless economic policies within 2 years he had turn that around. And now 8 years later the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility combined with an anything goes economic policy has turn us to where we are today.

They claimed to be free market advocates when it’s really an anything goes mentality. No regulation. No supervision. No discipline. And if you fail you will have a golden parachute and the taxpayer will bail you out. Those days are over. The party is over.
Here is Boston Heralds report on the Republican’s reaction on the Nancy Pelosi’s speech:
"We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House," House Minority Leader John Boehner said. Pelosi’s words, the Ohio Republican said, "poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get, to go south."

Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the whip, estimated that Pelosi’s speech changed the minds of a dozen Republicans who might otherwise have supported the plan.
And here is Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., take on the matter:
"Well if that stopped people from voting, then shame on them," he said. "If people’s feelings were hurt because of a speech and that led them to vote differently than what they thought the national interest (requires), then they really don’t belong here. They’re not tough enough."

More than a repudiation of Democrats, Frank said, Republicans’ refusal to vote for the bailout was a rejection of their own president.
Unless those responsible to where we are now are not taking any responsibility and accountability, politicians will resort to blame game and looking for escape goats to avoid responsibility. Clearly it is not the free enterprise system that failed us but corporate greed where there is no regulation, supervision and discipline as Speaker Pelosi pointed out. But then again will the bailout plan through legislation really stop the bleeding?

This is scary and the worrisome outcome as news of the bailout plan failure the market starts to ebb down again. Sad that partisan politics influence some lawmakers when we are faced with a financial crisis they are on a blame game instead of going back to the drawing board on how they can respond to the financial crisis.

The bailout is definitely very unpopular with the people. Investors loss their confidence in the market, in the same manner that the people are outraged why the people responsible for the financial crisis are the very same people in charge of the bailout? Meanwhile as politicians squabble and turn this into a political blame game people are at risk of losing their jobs, houses, small business going under and other consequences due to tight if not frozen credit industry.

In the meantime in order to bring back the Republicans to the floor a drastic action by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is needed........ maybe baking cupcakes for the Republicans to appease their hurt feelings will do the trick....... ayayayay.

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Bush Bailout & Iraq War Speeches

Jon Stewart's really hilarious take on the steal errr still president's Iraq War speech and the US$700B bailout plan.

More jokes:

"Our economy, right now, in a little bit of trouble. President Bush has been working hard on the economy to solve this problem. That should calm you. ... Yesterday, President Bush telephoned both John McCain and Barack Obama to discuss the current financial crisis. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, the entire conversation consisted of Bush yelling, 'Suckers! and hanging up." --Conan O'Brien

"Earlier tonight, President Bush gave a speech about the Wall Street financial crisis. The title of Bush’s speech was 'Two More Months and It Ain’t My Problem.'" --Conan O'Brien

"No, actually, the real reason he says he's postponing the debate is to concentrate on the economic crisis. In fact, President Bush spoke to the nation earlier tonight, addressing the financial crisis. He spoke live from the White House panic room." --Jay Leno

"In fact, his speech was a special episode of 'The Biggest Loser.' Yeah, it was good." --Jay Leno

"Do you even understand this Bush economic plan? Do you understand how it works? See, here's how it works. When you screw up, you pay. When they screw up, you pay! Yeah, actually very simple." --Jay Leno

"Some financial analysts are saying we're bailing out institutions with money we don't have, which makes the dollar even more worthless. In fact, today, God said, 'Could you take my name off the bill?" --Jay Leno

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Bailout 'Nigerian 419 Scam Nailout' Parody

Lack of transparency on the Bush/Paulson Bailout plan leaving the public in the dark creates panic and uncertainty. On the other hand it can also take this route similar to those pesky Nigerian 419 scam email spam now going the rounds in cyberspace. Satirical spam email at its best funny and hilarious, definitely a keeper and worth forwarding to your depressed email contacts.....

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

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Bush/Paulson Bailout Plan

Have we reached the worse or is this just the beginning of a financial meltdown? The US$700B Bush/Paulson Bailout Plan is a drop in the bucket if we look at the magnitude of the problem.

Rosa Brooks in her LA Times article “Keating 5 ring a bell?” succinctly describes the root cause of the the S&L and today’s financial crisis ….. a lethal mixture of Deregulation and Greed, to quote:
Today's meltdown began when unscrupulous mortgage lenders pushed naive borrowers to sign up for loans they couldn't afford to pay back. The original lenders didn't care: They pocketed the upfront fees and quickly sold the loans to others, who sold them to others still. With the government MIA, soon mortgage-backed securities were zipping around the globe. But by the time many ordinary people began to struggle to make their mortgage payments, the numerous "good" loans (held by borrowers able to pay) had gotten hopelessly mixed up with the bad loans. Investors and banks started to panic about being left with the hot potato -- securities backed mainly by worthless loans. And so began the downward spiral of a credit crunch, short-selling, stock sell-offs and bankruptcies.
To gain back investor confidence the Bush/Paulson Bailout Plan of which details remain unknown to the public where the Mortgage-Back Security will be dumped seems to have been approved in principle by Congress but it seems Republicans could not agree on how it is to be structured. The Democrats will not take the initiative in a Republican Bush/Paulson Bailout proposal and rightly so since this debacle is under Republican Bush tenure. This is a scary scenario and outrage from the public is starting to unravel on the bailout plan despite reassurance from the president that the aim was not to bailout Wall Street preferred corporations remains to be seen.

Karl Denninger of Fed Up USA explains why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled that the government should buy devalued assets at above-market values to make its proposed $700 billion rescue package most effective in combating the financial crisis is wrong below:
These "hold to maturity" prices are fictions. Let's take the "average" $700,000 house in California. The buyer made perhaps $100,000 a year, or $8,333 gross (before taxes.) Removing FICA and a 25% marginal tax rate from the gross leaves you with about $5,500; the payment is $4,630.11.

Can you survive with less than $900 a month for car payments, food, utilities, homeowners and car insurance and electricity? Good luck.

So instead nearly all of these people took Option ARM mortgages and in many cases they also took a "piggyback" second mortgage to get around "maximum LTV" restrictions on the Option ARM.

But the house was overvalued by 150%, selling at nine times average incomes instead of three and a half times. It has now fallen in value from $700,000 to $500,000, but has another 30-40% to go, and will eventually bottom out in the $300,000 range.

The first mortgage is in fact worth about 70 cents now, but will be worth 40-50 cents in a few years. The second is a zero, because until the first is paid off, its worth nothing, and the first has no chance of ever being paid off.

This is why the market prices are in fact not wrong.
Pointing fingers on where the blame lies is just not going to cut it among the buyers and sellers of Mortgage-Back securities using such lame excuse of non-disclosure while this is a must buyers of these papers should have done their due dilligence since it was someone else's money. The housing mortgage meltdown runs to trillion of dollars and looking at this OC Register report on the problem from a mortgage fraud expert Bob Simpson should give us a hint on how screwed the system is:
Q. Do you think the government should help people with loans they can't afford?

A. The wild card is if you paid $600,000 and your neighbor's gone into foreclosure, and it's the same house and you can buy it for $450,000. Do you get it and walk away from your current house and give yourself a $150,000 gift? Even if you can afford your current house, if your home value's down 30 percent, why not walk?

Q. How will the government figure out what to do?

A. Paulson said let's get to the homeowners later and worry about keeping the financial system greased first. Barney Frank (Chairman of the U.S. House Banking Committee) said let's not help the speculators. But be honest, who in California in the last 10 years wasn't a speculator? Now the government has to decide: Do you stay in that house? Who's Solomon among us? That's a bloody business and it should be left up to people at the kitchen table, saying, "Honey, do we own or do we go back to renting?"

Q. At what point are prices going to stop falling?

A. I'd ask what's the median income in Orange County? I'd say multiply that by three or four and that's the median home price. That's about $300,000. Right now, anyone who bought their home since 2003 has lost money. … I've been on record that the median is going to return to 1999 or 2000 or worse. That's about $300,000.
How many homeowners bought in good faith and did not succumb to speculation is the trillion dollar question and when Simpson was asked on the number of fraud, here is his take:
I asked a friend, a good guy, "Have you originated an honest loan in the last five years?" And he said: "The lenders deserve everything I gave them." I think that the majority of stated-income loans are fraud. There's a report by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute on fraud, which said 60 percent of stated-income borrowers inflated their income by more than 50 percent. So that means someone who makes $5,000 says they make $7,500 a month. That means there are people with $5,000-a-month incomes with $2,500-a-month payments. There's no way they can pay that much.
Now how about the ethically challenge and criminal minded out to game the lax lending system? I dare to say that there are a number of people out there who made a killing like the Family that flip houses together bilking Washington Mutual with millions of dollars. Below is an article from OC Register that has not been picked up by major dailies:
In July 2007, Vijay and Supriti Soni of Corona del Mar paid $440,000 for a home at 2129 W. Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana.

Five weeks later, they resold the house to Javier Hernandez – the family gardener and handyman – for $660,000. That's a 50 percent gain in 38 days – at a time when real estate prices in Santa Ana were plunging.

But the lender that financed both mortgages – Washington Mutual Bank – took a bath. In March of this year Hernandez's loan went into default and in July the bank foreclosed. On the trustee's deed, the bank listed the home's value at $377,137 – $220,000 less than the outstanding loan.

Records show that Washington Mutual, America's largest savings and loan and one of its most precariously perched lending institutions, financed at least 43 mortgages worth $24.5 million on properties bought and sold by members of the Soni family since early 2007.
Huh? A gardener and handyman buying a $660,000 home, well blow me down and slap me silly I did not realize that a gardener handyman earn six figures nowadays. Now how can the bank not have noticed such blatant fraud in the transaction is beyond belief so how many of these types are included in the bailout package? FHA prohibits flipping within 90 days but that did not stop the family that flips together from flipping properties selling within the family which is really ridiculously absurd. How they got away from their criminal activities tells you how greed took over ethically challenge people. What is really unnerving is the fact that the Sonis had already been convicted in 2003 of numerous felonies for a real estate fraud scheme and they are back in court.

As I wrote this WAMU (Washington Mutual) the ethically challenge "professionals" preferred lender went bankrupt. No surprise there when you consider how they dealt with fraud due to lax lending guidelines and even legitimate loans they held are risky due to the real estate prices taking a nosedive where no one knows for sure where it will settle.

If you are sickened and disgusted which we should be, there is a site where America Says no to Bush Bailout! You can find mass action in your area here or schedule and organize your own activities to stop the madness.

Watch the Videos...... Bailout - Con Job of the Century

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Bailout - Con Job of the Century

The Bush-Paulson-Bernanke Bailout Plan is the biggest con job of the century according to Karl Denninger of FED UP USA, watch the video and if this make sense make it a viral video.

The Solution

Fed Games Wednesday 9/24 - No Banker Left behind

Continue reading.......... Bush/Paulson Bailout Plan or other related articles:

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros and AIG Under Investigation

CNN just reported that the FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros and AIG, to quote:
WASHINGTON (CNN) —The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG as part of a broad look into possible mortgage fraud, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Tuesday.

The sources would not speak on the record because the investigation is ongoing.

FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kelko had no comment on that information, but said that 26 firms were currently under investigation as part of the bureau’s mortgage fraud inquiry.

Earlier this month, FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress that 1,400 individual real estate lenders, brokers and appraisers were now under investigation in addition to two dozen corporations.

“The FBI currently has 26 pending corporate fraud investigations involving sub prime lenders,” Kelko said. “As we have seen, this number can fluctuate over time, however we do not discuss which companies may or may not be the subject of an investigation.”

Previously, CNN has reported that Countrywide is part of the investigation.
The real estate market definitely went out of control and the predatory practice in enticing borrowers in sub-prime loans is just unbelievable. Lack of disclosure in a market that is on a frenzy to fleece the market for profits without regard on affordability or ability to pay the teaser loans they enticed to an equally giddy clients.

Now that the market collapse the government is now frantic and pressured to approve Paulson’s blank check bailout plan that are just a stop gap measure to stop the bleeding without addressing the root cause of the problem is a disaster in the making.

There has got to be accountability and responsibility and I hope everyone that brought the market to the ground should be investigated for criminal liability.

To those who question the Paulson Bailout as proposed, sign the petition by Senator Bernie Sanders.

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Marichu Baoanan & Lauro Baja’s Diplomatic Immunity

In Qatar the problems faced by domestic worker is being addressed by the National Office for Combating Human Trafficking (NOCHT). An initiative was launched to resolve the grievances of domestic helpers and their disputes with their employers, in collaboration with the embassies of the countries from where the workers are hired.

According to Mariam Al Malki, NOCHT Director, the initiative was in cooperation with government and non-governmental bodies as part of its effort to combat human trafficking. A periodic meeting with members of diplomatic missions of major domestic worker-exporting countries is conducted that includes the Philippines.

A very positive welcome development in the constant dialogue has identified some aspect of the problems below:

The employers believe educating the housemaids about local cultural values can go a long way in preventing actions that clash with Qatari social norms. The embassy officials pointed to the need for covering this segment with a law to ensure proper protection for the maids from various forms of exploitation.
There is no doubt that constant dialogue produces results in understanding the differences among people coming from different cultures, but what happens when diplomats themselves are the ones accused of abusing their own domestic helpers? If the diplomats are guilty of the same abuse that employers and human trafficker’s subject the very citizen they are supposed to protect then it defeats the purpose that reeks of hypocrisy unworthy of their post for their questionable mindset.

One prominent case of human trafficking, forced labor, peonage and slavery in the US involving a diplomat was filed by Marichu Baoanan against her employer a former UN Philippine Ambassador Lauro Baja his wife Norma Baja, their daughter Maria Elizabeth Facundo Baja, and the Baja-owned Labaire International Travel Inc.

The case since its filing on June 24th 2008 has not prospered because Lauro Baja invoked his diplomatic immunity. Baoanan’s case sadly is not an isolated case according to a report by Anthony De Stefano of Chicago Tribune in a GAO did the study after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the agency in May 2007 to look into the issue:

Federal investigators have uncovered numerous cases of foreign diplomats — mostly in New York and Washington, D.C.— who abused their domestic workers without fear of prosecution because of diplomatic immunity, according to a government report to be released Tuesday.

The level of cruelty of some of the allegations appears similar to those recently uncovered in the human-trafficking prosecution of Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani, the Long Island business couple convicted of abusing two Indonesian maids.
Page 3 of the U.S. Government’s Efforts to Address Alleged Abuse of Household Workers by Foreign Diplomats with Immunity Could Be Strengthened, states:
We identified 42 distinct A-3 and G-5 visa holders who alleged that they were abused by foreign diplomats with some level of immunity from 2000 through 2008, but the total number of alleged incidents is likely higher. The 42 alleged incidents we confirmed include those identified by federal agencies, NGOs, and legal sources, such as Westlaw. Ten of these alleged incidents resulted in federal human trafficking investigations, most of which remain open. In one instance, Justice determined through its investigation that, absent immunity, it would indict the foreign diplomat’s wife. However, the diplomat’s home government declined to waive the wife’s immunity; thus, Justice could not indict. The diplomat and his wife subsequently left the United States.
The domestic workers are most likely to be exploited by unscrupulous individuals but it gets worse and complicated if the diplomats of their own country are the ones guilty of such dastardly crimes. Not only are the culprits able to hide under diplomatic immunity the residence where the crime was committed is beyond the reach of investigators having no witnesses and the perpetrators that cannot be invited for questioning. Due to the legal technicalities on diplomatic immunity the investigators grapples with legal techniques they can apply to investigate are hampered and delayed. Top that with heightened vulnerabilities of the domestic worker due to their employers’ status seeking justice is almost impossible.

In lieu of all these what are the chances for victims of domestic abuse in their quest for justice? If Lauro Baja insist that he is innocent of the charges against him by Marichu Baoanan why invoke diplomatic immunity? Help Marichu Baoanan and others like her in the same situation by joining DAMAYAN on September 23 to October 1: 7 Days of Action to Waive the Bajas' Diplomatic Immunity, you can also download the Justice for Marichu on pdf file.

UPDATE: 6/17/09

NY Court rejects Baja's petition to dismiss the case based on his diplomatic immunity, the case will now proceed.

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Will the Bush Bailout Proposal Solve the Problem?

The Bush bailout proposal plan to the tune of US$700B submitted to the US Congress will allow the Treasury Secretary to set up government investment bank to buy up the mortgage-backed securities clogging the banking industries.

We are definitely in a dire economic situation and many economists are skeptical of the proposed bailout. Politico cites Paul Krugman a Princeton University economist and liberal columnist for The New York Times who had until now been cautiously supportive of Paulson's and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s efforts to prop up the system, wrote that the new plan would be a taxpayer rip-off:
As I posted earlier today, it seems all too likely that a “fair price” for mortgage-related assets will still leave much of the financial sector in trouble. And there’s nothing at all in the draft that says what happens next; although I do notice that there’s nothing in the plan requiring Treasury to pay a fair market price. So is the plan to pay premium prices to the most troubled institutions? Or is the hope that restoring liquidity will magically make the problem go away?

Here’s the thing: historically, financial system rescues have involved seizing the troubled institutions and guaranteeing their debts; only after that did the government try to repackage and sell their assets. The feds took over S&Ls first, protecting their depositors, then transferred their bad assets to the RTC. The Swedes took over troubled banks, again protecting their depositors, before transferring their assets to their equivalent institutions.

The Treasury plan, by contrast, looks like an attempt to restore confidence in the financial system — that is, convince creditors of troubled institutions that everything’s OK — simply by buying assets off these institutions. This will only work if the prices Treasury pays are much higher than current market prices; that, in turn, can only be true either if this is mainly a liquidity problem — which seems doubtful — or if Treasury is going to be paying a huge premium, in effect throwing taxpayers’ money at the financial world.

And there’s no quid pro quo here — nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving.

I hope I’m wrong about this. But let me say it again: Treasury needs to explain why this is supposed to work — not try to panic Congress into giving it a blank check. Otherwise, no deal.
Lack of transparency in the bailout plan concerns Adam Davidson citing the provision below:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Now, what’s up with blanket authority nowadays, here is Adam Davidson take on the provision:

So, for the next three months, and then an additional six months after that, the Treasury Secretary can do anything he deems appropriate without anybody anywhere looking it over.

That seems like an awful lot of absolute power. Am I wrong? Is this typical bureaucratic language? Or is this as strange as it seems?
Paul Abram at Huffington Post proposed additional "considerations" and "requirements" under the bailout plan that he described as Zero pain for the perpetrators and Toxic to taxpayers, states the obvious:
If this bailout is to be successful, and there are many other reasons to think it may not, it must at least have the sustained support of the American people who, after all, are paying for it not only in cash, but in lost opportunities. Old-boy networking among financial institutions, and high compensation for the perpetrators of this fiasco, will kill it before it gets off the ground.
It just may not fly especially with this report by LA Times that is hopefully just a speculation which I quote:
The language of the new plan suggests that Paulson intends to set up an investment bank inside Treasury and perhaps hire outside firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which he headed before becoming Treasury secretary.
Sounds like a cash strapped homeowner that got entangled in a predatory teaser rate mortgage that is due desperately out to refinance a home whose value just plummeted down the drain. I don’t understand why the big boys network get the bailout when they profited enormously from buying out of control mortgage-back securities when property values plummeted rendering their MBS into a worthless scrap of paper. They definitely made a killing and should they not suffer the consequence of their action and not let the taxpaying public bear the brunt of their follies? Now that they got themselves so deep it is now the very same victims of the predatory loan practices that will bail them out while losing their homes and worse there is no guarantee of profit.

What is puzzling is this, while mortgage lenders and those in the real estate industry made a killing on the sub-prime market and the financial institutions got their share of the big chunk of profit that was caused by easing of the requirements or deregulation they are being bailed out. Where is accountability? Should they just go walk out of this without repercussion and let the taxpaying public shoulder the cost of the debacle?

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Road to Nowhere is Sarah Palin’s cul-de-sac

What’s up with having a cul-de-sac? Great if you are a suburban hockey mom so used to having it in their exclusive enclaves. So leave Sarah Palin alone, after all cul-de-sacs benefits suburban busy hockey moms some privacy without buying into pricey neighborhoods especially in these uncertain real estate market bubble starting to burst and go bust. You should give Sarah Palin of the “thanks and no thanks bridge to nowhere” fame credit for making use of the earmarked funds in building a cul-de-sac to the beach as reported by LA Times:
GRAVINA ISLAND, ALASKA -- The 3.2-mile-long partially paved "road to nowhere" meanders from a small international airport on Gravina Island, home to 50 people, ending in a cul-de-sac close to a beach.

Crews are working to finish it. But no one knows when anyone will need to drive it.

That's because the $26-million road was designed to connect to the $398-million Gravina Island Bridge, more infamously known as the "bridge to nowhere." Alaskan officials thought federal money would pay for the bridge, but Gov. Sarah Palin killed the project after it was ridiculed and Congress rescinded the money. Plans for the road moved forward anyway.

Some residents of Ketchikan -- a city of 8,000 on a neighboring island where the bridge was to end -- see the road as a symbol of wasteful spending that Palin could have curtailed. Some of them even accuse her of deception.
Spin doctors are scurrying to debunk the LA Times article with some lame rationalization that the cul-de-sac errr road was needed once the ferry service was improved. Uh huh, yeah right like people will fall for that.

Had she listened to Ronald D. Utt , Ph.D. the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in this commentary Palin can become a bridge builder, maybe she would have really been a formidable opponent for the Democratic ticket, to quote:
Let's analyze what's wrong with this situation. First, Congress earmarked (and subsequently de-earmarked) federal money for the unnecessary and expensive Gravina Bridge project.

Second, even though the state Legislature canceled the bridge component of the project, the state plans to proceed with this relatively small portion, which has highly questionable need but which retains federal funding.

Third, the state will knowingly ignore the fact that, at $8 million per mile, this 3-mile gravel road will be an extremely expensive use of taxpayer money with little to no measurable benefit (except to the road contractor, of course).

There is an alternative, however: Gov. Palin could return the money for the gravel "access" road to Washington, perhaps even with a request that the money go to rebuild hurricane-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. While Alaska, or any state for that matter, naturally is reluctant to return money to the federal government, doing so is the responsible and ethical thing to do and likely would benefit Alaska in the long run. Currently, officials from other states resent Alaska because the state in recent years received the highest per capita level of federal spending. This fact, coupled with the state's "bridges to nowhere" reputation for wasteful spending, makes elected federal representatives from other states more than happy to vote to reduce Alaska's federal appropriations.

Because returning money to the federal government is so unusual, Gov. Palin and the state of Alaska inevitably would reap enormous amounts of good publicity nationally. If she returned the federal money, Palin would be signaling to the rest of the country that, under her administration, Alaska will carefully handle taxpayer dollars responsibly. There's no better way for the governor to build bridges, metaphorically speaking, with the rest of the country.
Kevin Drum posted The Decline and Fall of Sarah Palin citing Mojo Blog's Polling Tidbits showing she is now the least popular of the big four, is it the lies errrr ok the stroking of the truth into good sound bytes or was it to be expected?

This is getting to be really funny and speaking of funny, Elaine’s Place in her 2 minute laugh entry posted a hilarious Conan O’Brien video on Sarah Palin. Daily Kos says the fierce gun-toting moose woman from the Klondike cancels appearances because it might ... rain?

Sarah Palin came out with a bang like a celebrity and even celebrities can’t help speak out their minds. I don’t know why they have to do it in such manner but as always you know something’s brewing and most of the times when it comes to celebrities it almost always end up with some scandal of sorts………

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Saudi Islamic Cleric Issues Fatwa Against Mickey Mouse

What?????? Mickey Mouse……. A Saudi Islamic Cleric issues a fatwa against Mickey Mouse? An email from JMCNepomuceno of Neo-Filipino shows exactly what could have been the most unusual if not hilarious subject I have seen that makes you wonder how crazy people get in these times.
The email cited a report from Israel Today about Sheikh Mohammed Al-Munajid a prominent Saudi Islamic Cleric issuing a fatwa or religious edict against Mickey Mouse as an agent of Satan sent to corrupt young minds.

The Sheikh told Al-Majd Television his beef with Mickey Mouse is that Mickey is a rat, no not because Mickey Mouse ratted on him but it seems he has just figured that out only now. A stool pigeon errr a mouse he says is a creature that Islam sees as “repulsive and corrupting.”

Fatwa according to wikipedia:
A fatwā (Arabic: فتوى‎; plural fatāwā Arabic: فتاوى‎), in the Islamic faith is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwa is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be, depending on the status of the scholar. Western media frequently uses the term incorrectly to specifically mean an Islamic law pronouncing a death sentence upon someone who is considered an infidel or a blasphemer, whereas the term's correct definition is significantly broader.
It may have broader definition but in lieu of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Munajid’s brilliant discovery who says that Islamic law refers to the mouse as a “little corrupter” and a creature that is “steered by Satan” he subsequently grants permission to all Muslims to “kill (mice) in all cases.”

That seems broad enough starting with Mickey Mouse ending with an order to kill all rats, not that I am against the Muslims exterminating rats but what exactly will they do to Mickey Mouse is a concern as there are 72 virgin loving Mujaheedin numb nuts on the loose out there.

Little children are frantic and started to hide their Mickey Mouse in their closet, no they are not closet queens but just to make sure some 72 virgin loving Talibani do not see their collection of Mickey Mouse who might just snap and follow the brilliant Sheikh Al-Munajid’s fatwa.

The Sheikh insisted that according to Islamic law “Mickey Mouse should be killed,” and they did even before he issued the verdict when a look-a-like Mickey Mouse named Farfur on Hamas children television program was “martyred” by of all people an “Israeli.” To make matters worse as it is, how can television programmer teach children early on about hate and killing is just insane as seen here:
A child then calls the show. The host says, “You have surely seen how Farfur died as a martyr at the hands of the Jews. What would you like to say to the Jews?”

The 3-year-old girl, Shaimaa, answers, “We don’t like the Jews because they are dogs! We will fight them. They have killed Farfur!”
Now why in the name of 72 virgins will they want their children to hate and shouldn’t the Sheikh mellow down by now when they have killed errr “martyred” their own version and leave the original western Mickey Mouse alone? Seriously Mr. Shiekhy, enough of the martyrdom, killing, and hate, after all Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character in case you have not noticed. There is that pesky little gadget that always gets lost called remote control that will enable you to change the channel on your idiot box or turn it off if rats really bother you........... If the Sheikh will not call off the Fatwa I am sure Mickey Mouse knows who to turn to for help..... Elmer Fudd their worst nightmare.

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