My Watch (Nov. – Dec. 2011)

So now we can call him Letchoff instead just bastard?

It’s hard to keep it straight without a scorecard, but a decision this week by a bankruptcy judge allows Bernie Madoff’s scam victims to attempt “clawback” of higher sums of money from Madoff’s family. At issue is almost $200 million smackers nobody thinks the Madoffs deserve to keep.

From CBS' '60 Minutes'

Blanque 'widow': Mrs. Madoff

Yeah. That family. …The son and mother who won’t profit from a lipstick-on-pig book attempting to restore whatever good name they’ll ever again have. (Madoff’s wife has a convenient, Watergate-style answer to all questions about her life with Bernie during the long con job: She can’t remember nuttin’) …The book that will pay royalties to daughter-in-law (or is it still just fiancee), Catherine Hooper. …The once-prominent crew who got an early Christmas gift from New York judge Jake Rakoff to the tune of almost $85 million. That’s how much they’ll save by rolling back liability window from six years to two. Gee… thanks, judge. (Madoff, Rakoff… Someone channel Kurt Vonnegut).

Now that fat little nest egg is again in jeopardy.

Everybody is getting a piece of the action. Victims already have been paid back a pittance of the $50-$60 billion Bernie looted. But expenses are going to take a toll, surely.

In the three years since his appointment, Picard has raised about $8.7 billion to pay claims, mostly through settlements with investors whom he sued, accusing them of participating in the fraud. About $6 billion of that amount is tied up in court challenges, including $5 billion from Jeffry Picower’s estate and $1 billion from Tremont Group Holdings Inc., according to the website.

Picard spent $434 million liquidating the estate through September, including fees for himself and his law firm of more than $200 million.

Speaking of Miss Hooper, about whom Madoff reportedly despaired a deficient bust-line, she evidently thought the old con-man quite the pouncer.

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was “inappropriately letchy,” according to his son Andrew’s fiancee, Catherine Hooper. “He came up behind me at Christmas and grabbed my butt,” she said Wednesday at a Marie Claire-hosted book event, where she discussed Laurie Sandell’s tome, “Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family.” “When I told Andrew about it, he said, ‘That’s so weird, that’s so creepy. Let’s never talk about it again,’ ” Hooper related, adding, “With the women at the firm, friends of the family, yeah, he [Bernie] was inappropriately letchy.”

OK. That happened. Let’s never speak of it again. Sounds like standard operating procedure in the Madoff household. Leave it to the New York Post to favor us with those details…

- Dec. 30, 2011

Seems jackass moves aren’t exclusive province of the Right…

One million will be in attendance at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. 50 million will be watching throughout the USA with another 200 million watching globally via live TV circuits and thousands of on-site reporters & cameras.

Why Occupy the Rose Parade? The answer is simple.

The Rose Parade is an ideal messaging vehicle. Not only has it become far too militarized (see, for example, the choice of this year’s 2012 Grand Marshall, J.R. Martinez– an Iraq war soldier) and far too corporatized with major banks & financial institutions increasingly undwriting (sic) many of the floats.

In the beginning, I was sympathetic to the cause of the Occupy Wall Street movement. At least bankers know someone is pissed, I thought. But then, as energy flagged, the hardcore hung on and its directionless soul began to sour, I realized OWS was more joke than phenomenon. It represented weakness of any opposition to egregious American finance, its lack of organization, its impotence. That was the last thing we needed to hand bankers – a punchline in the boardroom.

With this utterly stupid idea to “occupy” the Rose Parade, it’s clear the stillborn movement has suffered its worst blow: It’s come under control of our retarded-dinosaur Left. Now the war isn’t on Big Finance; it’s on American culture at large. This kind of stupidity sank the Left of the ’60s and although it’s lionized by our media today, we must remember it accomplished little of note. Thirty years after Vietnam, we invaded and occupied another country that had done us no harm. Defense spending still is astronomical. And besides, nobody gives a shit what’s precious to our lick-spittle media.

You actively insult and alienate what your dumb-ass forebears called “whitebread” America and you disappear without a peep, just like they did. Most of the country is still “whitebread American”, stupid. That’s a majority you should be courting instead of ridiculing and demonizing.

Here’s some advice, dipshits: Don’t become a dark cloud. Don’t turn something that’s a holiday favorite into a degraded sounding board for your lame political vision. Why make yourselves more irrelevant than you already are?

And, please… You failed. You’re morons. Go away.

- Dec. 28, 2011

Key move. Now oppose global warming to cool us off…

Regardless  what voters think of President Obama, I think takeaway from GOP self-combustion this week is that they’re just not ready for primetime. As passion fades, the angry election of 2010 recedes, and Tea Party candidates who actually won are either marginalized or turning “professional”. Than means they have as much regard for their constituency as the safe-seat hacks in Congress. It’s not so precious to “just say no” to President Obama, and the tax-cut extension proved that once and for all.

How they couldn’t see the bull charging at them from down the road is baffling at first, then appalling, then dismissively disgusting. All that hara-kiri just to reflexively spit in the Democrats’ eye.

Stupid, stupid, stupid… And Boehner’s boner may be his last.

 - Dec. 23, 2011

  BULLETIN: A spoiler in the works

Man… The GOP must be getting really scared about Ron Paul. Now the candidate about whom media has made “maverick” the cliche term of the year is leading Iowa polls by a wide margin – and the national Republican Party is crapping its pants. An antiwar candidate who’ll actually use the terms “neoconservative”, “Israel” and “war on terror” in the same sentence? HORRORS!

Get on the lily-liver hotline and dial up a vote spoiler:

Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned. The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire, will make the announcement at a press conference in Santa Fe on Dec. 28. Johnson state directors will be informed of his plans on a campaign conference call Tuesday night, a Johnson campaign source told POLITICO.

Since Paul gets most of his support from Libertarians and that wing of the GOP, it’s hoped this late entry will split the vote away from the only candidate who’s promised to end our fake war on terror and call the troops home – Israel Lobby be damned.

Sizing up the scheme, here’s the key problem: Who the FUCK is Gary Johnson?

- Dec. 21, 2011

If it’s broken, it can’t fix anything…

Everyone has packed up and gone home for the holidays. If sagebrush removal could be squeezed for lobbyist cash by our acquisitive lawmakers, then surely the prickly bush would be allowed to roll down Pennsylvania Avenue until voters demand something be done.

Only a small House negotiating team remains in place, in case Senate Democrats fold and return to re-negogiate, yet again, their two-month extension of the middle-class tax cut. House Republicans shocked everyone by shit-canning the Senate plan several days ago, setting up possibility taxes would shoot up after Jan. 1 for an already put-upon Main Street America.

The Koch Brothers and other wealthy shamans counsel a boost in middle-class taxes – to pay for extension of reductions on taxes the wealthy mostly don’t pay, anyway. Crimping spending of everyone making less that a quarter-mill a year would lengthen the recession, to be sure. But also it would cap inflation – that beastie beast of our elites. High inflation diminishes value of their dollar-fortunes. They don’t like that.

It’s my suspicion that both Republicans and Democrats want this standoff to end by proxy these Bush-era tax reductions. Like “automatic trigger” cuts in spending they’ve installed in budget negotiations, they can wash their hands of blame and pin the debacle on their political opponents, who’ll be doing the same.

But I wonder if the GOP thinks they can win elections merely by playing to this “base”? I wonder if Democrats see threat to their own incumbency should these cuts not be affirmed. Voters aren’t so stupid they’ll let this not-so-sleight of hand go unnoticed – and unpunished.

Even normally sanguine Bob Schieffer popped a cork castigating Congress for this ugly Mexican standoff. On his CBS Radio broadcast yesterday, he roared:

“This is fitting way to end a year in which Congress has accomplished exactly nothing,” and noted scoring political points now accounts more than operating valves and pistons of our national machine.

You go, Bob. And Congress, you’re gone…

- Dec. 21, 2011  

One more Honky Chirster Rampage and I’m moving to Ramalla…

Our information and entertainment industries are primed – all set and aching in anticipation – for the next pogrom/lynch orgy to begin. It’s well-known whitey goys are out there in America’s cities and corn-cob podunks, plotting evil and revenge against noble, put-upon minorities of every stripe. We’re… hateful. Or we’re endlessly envious of their unique ability to wear loud clothing, or elegance of their nosejobs. Something. Maybe we’re just unnerved by their bottomless capacity to obssess about and condemn every element of pale Gentile life.

Anyway, evidently we’re looking for every excuse to cry “hammock” and loose the dogs of patio ware.

All it takes is one scary development to set the warning bells banging. This week it’s Tim Tebow’s prayerful kneels after unlikely yardage for his Denver Bronco team. Tebow supposedly is an overrated loser who isn’t NFL material, and I think fans are spooked his success may be evidence of otherworldly intervention. Or maybe they’re just fuckin’ wrong and he’s a good player. Too much Miller Lite can and does warp judgement, as we know.

But this?

It’s not just players who are fed up with Tebow talk. A New York City rabbi wrote a column on the website of The Jewish Week warning that Tebow success could “emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.”

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman issued an apology and the column was pulled Friday.

A kosher Tylenol and nap may help. And don’t watch so much TV, listen to radio, go to movies or read anything in American print. It’s unhealthy for rational perspective.

- Dec. 17, 2011

They’ll put it in that trusty ‘single payer’ file

WASHINGTON (Reuters)President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats are considering dropping a surtax on millionaires to pay for a payroll tax cut for U.S. workers, a move that would remove a major stumbling block to a compromise deal with Republicans.

Obama discussed the possibility of abandoning the millionaire tax, which Republicans strongly oppose, at a White House meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and fellow Democrats, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Reuters.

- Dec. 14, 2011

We’ve got them where we want them…

…So now we cuff ourselves and hand them the key…

For awhile there, it looked like the White House and Capitol Hill Democrats had the perfect detonator button set to wire on Republicans: The Right’s insistance that middle-class tax cuts, as opposed to those of the wealthy, should only be extended if spending cuts are made elsewhere to afford them.

Nothing more carves the gap between haves and have-nots than indulging one and stiffing the other. If they’d derailed the package, Republicans would be smoke in November. Democrats were practically measuring Inaugural bunting for January 2013.

Now Republicans have handily turned the tables, jamming the tax cut in a measure that also express-trains the Keystone Pipeline to Canada’s “oil sands”. The White House, answering thunder of a few nitpicky Greenpeace hippies, tree sitters and NIMBY loudmouths, has opposed such linkage. Nobody else gives a damn about “green” concerns- especially since the project means loads of blue-collar jobs. But to keep this lame “base” happy, the President must tap dance.

President Obama wants the Keystone delayed until after the election, and then, fast-track it himself. So now Democrats are in danger of voting against the middle-class tax cut.

Sic semper gloria…

- Dec. 14, 2011

When nobody yelled ‘cut’, they ducked…

A lunatic with a handgun walked up and down Sunset Boulevard in the center of Hollywood this morning, taking potshots at parked cars and then shooting a guy who had the bad luck to leave a Bank of America at exactly the wrong time, walk to his car, and face a hail of bullets.

Thankfully, police were able to smoke the murderous jackass before he did too much damage.

“When I heard it, I didn’t react to it being real,” said Greg Watkins, a student at the nearby Los Angeles Recording School who was walking on the street and had just taken off his headphones to take a call from his girlfriend when the shooting began.

“This is Hollywood, and they do film stuff all the time,” he said, standing near the ArcLight Cinemas. “I honestly thought they were filming something.”

Actually, someone was, and like so much of modern life, the rampage was caught on video.  News reports are filled with droll descriptions by Angelenos who evidently took only mildest interest in this real-life drama.

The bank customer “didn’t know what was going on,” (witness Trey) Beffa said. “The guy walked up to him when he was in his car and started yelling at him and fired point blank range. He shot at the window and then he walked around and shot him right through the driver’s side window.”

…“He wanted to die a loud death,” he said. “(Police) shot him, and hit him once. He kept yelling and running. He still had the gun in his hand. You could see the blood on his white shirt. He was still running around.

“At that point,” he said, “they finished him off.”

…Right in the middle of a perfect day.

- Dec. 9, 2011

Best-laid plans go oft all jihad and shit…

To everyone’s very little surprise, Egypt’s vote results have been delayed again. These are first Parliamentary elections since the revolution this spring toppled the vitrified Hosni Mubarak regime, and likely will be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Such victory probably would move Egypt to a more theocratic – and hostile – state. Could be they’re having problems retrieving all those ballot boxes in from the rural Nile Delta, or maybe we’re helping tamp results so Egypt doesn’t go all holy war on us.

This was no shock to those paid to watch the region for ups and downs. The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly has evolved more to political party than congregation of true believers, and as such is best-organized in the country.

This could have ramifications written all over it…

- Dec. 1, 2011

Dollars to a dough nut…

I like money. I make a lot of noise about filthy-rich elites skinning us alive, but I’m not sure I could resist becoming a greedy fucking monster in their shoes, either. The lasting temptation of ‘crisp’.

Trouble is, I never had a business head on my shoulders, so my debt/income ratio always is giving me the business.

Today, the Fed eased dollar liquidity on international currency swaps; this allows better access to dollars by foreign banks wanting a trusty currency in wake of Europe’s financial agonies.

It’s impossible to overlook how this “eased” liquidity affected value of the dollar, since gold prices zoomed to the exosphere on news of that move, dropping greenback value correspondingly. Assent wasn’t unanimous to Ben Bernanke’s tweaking of the world economy to help out our sometime allies across the pond.

A senior Federal Reserve official said on Wednesday he dissented against the Fed’s move to boost dollar liquidity for banks because it amounted to fiscal policy and would effectively loan money to European institutions at cheaper rates than to banks at home.

Bernanke made it all nice by saying he’d ease rates rates on these currency “swap lines” for our own banks if they got too sweaty over cash shortages. The naysayer, Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, also noted that such fiscal policy is usually purview of the Treasury Department, not our nation’s… what is the Fed anyway. Bank God?

But the Fed never dithers over its authority, anyway. It seems to be THE authority over everything now.

Some accuse Bernanke of ginning inflation to pay our way out of debt with devalued dollars. That wouldn’t make China happy. But our big credit union seems to be going along with this. It increased its liquidity today, as well.

 - Nov. 30, 2011

Sinking the basket… and just about sinking the pro game

If it was a single game, you could say National Basketball Association management won this season’s lockout in a runaway. With a tentative deal reached that would kick off an abbreviated season Christmas Day, we almost can wonder why players even bothered:

The players made significant concessions, including a reduction of up to $300 million year in salaries, $3 billion over the life of the agreement… It includes a significant pay cut for players, along with shorter contracts, smaller raises and a more punitive tax system to rein in the top-spending teams.

Fans can grumble all they want about greedy owners, but sad fact is, NBA is the most over-valued pro sport. At some point, even for pampered, be-blinged court stars, reality must set in.

Games have been Nielsen stinkers since the last, longer strike 13 years ago.  They rarely air on traditional networks, anymore, and lurk in safe schedules of ESPN and deep cable. I mean… why else would anyone watch TNT? Arena attendance runs a sad fourth behind football, baseball and… soccer?! (Newly arriving immigrants don’t come here to pay homage to Lebron and Kobe.)

And this must be said: To get fans back, the league must end its unfortunate flirtation with hip-hop “culture”. Gang-bangas have zip appeal in affluent households, and those are the audiences advertisers want to attract. Some teams are figuring this out – the Sixers have dumped its Allen Iverson-era mascot, Hip-Hop.

As musical genre, hip-hop suffers similar decline. Sorry, Kanye. Your label forced you to apologize after that 2010 MTV awards stunt for a simple reason: Taylor Swift outsells you.

Everything changes, bub. Adapt… or fade.

 - Nov. 26, 2011

 Justice long-delayed catches up with another monster

Ieng Thirith

Trial of surviving leaders of Cambodia’s god-awful Khmer Rouge regime, which killed two million during that country’s 1975-’79 ordeal, will beginthis week in Phnom Penh.

More than three decades after the country’s “Killing Fields” era, a UN-backed war crimes court is set to hear opening statements in the case against “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, ex-head of state Khieu Samphan and former foreign minister Ieng Sary.

Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the communist Khmer Rouge wiped out nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population through starvation, overwork and executions in a bid to create an agrarian utopia.

Missing will be the regime’s “first lady”, Ieng Thirith, declared by the court to be unfit for trial because of dementia. That’s testament to the delay of justice on this bloody matter: One of the centerpiece villains is now too old and senile to face the music.

Always wondered what American protestors hauling the Khmer Rouge flag on marches back then think about the whole thing now. Sometimes… it’s enough to oppose your country’s actions without adopting its enemies as history’s good guys. Some were too stupid to understand that then. Wonder if they do now.

Why do I doubt that?

- Nov. 20, 2011

Key? Why… there IS no key…

,,,And, by the way, that’s boiling oil. We only pull out fingernails of jaywalkers.”

I’m not sure if our ever-diligent political leaders consider themselves our guardians – or our jailers. There’s such narrow margin between the two.

A highly charged political dispute over the handling of terrorism detainees is taking a turn… Among the changes (approved late Tuesday in a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee):  A section affirming that the United States government can hold terrorism suspects without trial… would be silent on whether or not (accused) Americans can be held without trial. [New York Times]

This isn’t really wartime. We’ve occupied large swatches of the Mideast and South Asia to surround Iran and haul strategic freight for Israel. But it’s not like we have an ongoing crisis that would call for throwing away whatever scraps remain of our Constitution. Like the phony Hate Crime Wave, the “war on terror” is fabricated pretext for slow-motion crackdown. We’ll never remember what were simple freedoms by the time they get through.

…All the same as what Rahm Emmanuel called wars: opportunity!

- Nov. 18, 2011

Spit on us, we support you more avidly?… Guess again!

“Occupy L.A.” protestors are making their point by shutting down traffic.

Protesters are planning to meet at Bank of America Plaza at 333 S Hope St. and march to the corner of Figueroa Street and 4th Street., where they expect to “shut down the intersection,” according to a news release from demonstration organizers.

This is the same kind of sanctimonious arrogance that killed ’60s “movements”. By incoveniencing mostly working-class joes and joans, it turns them against protestors – not protestors’ targets.

I hate to break it to these half-wits, but the balance of America is not their enemy. Just because we live here doesn’t mean we design unjust and inequitable financial practice. Yes, we may help maintain it, but so do you valiant revolutionaries. You can’t escape that background culpability just because you shout slogans while wrapped in International Resistance Bandanas and wearing socks on your heads. You flip electric switches for the same juice the rest of us do; you travel the same pothole roads journeyed by us backward cattle.

Come down from your places on high and join the rest of us down here in common milieu. I support you. At least Wall Street knows someone’s unhappy. But here’s the deal: In worst-case scenarios – which happen with unnerving frequency – this high-handed treatment often defaults to terrorism. As strategy, terror is applied upon populations perceived as of diminished value. It’s ultimate dismissal of what sanctified visionaries deem peasantry.

We’re not interested in replacing detached, arrogant brutes with more of the same.

 - Nov. 17, 2011

Dat’s right, boss, you da tops. Ennyboddy sez diff’rnt…

…We shoot ‘em in da face…

I’m so glad Rahm Emmanuel is mayor of Chicago. Because as long as he is, he’s not a political powerhouse anywhere west of the Mississippi. Oh… he’s got those White House connections. He was President Obama’s chief of staff or whatever for first two years of the administration, and practically sank it with his “neo-liberal” hardnose politics, Chicago style. Emmanuel managed to slough off White House commitment to genuine healthcare reform - ‘what single-payer whoozitz?‘. And he  helped alienate Obama from his working-class base, turning “hope and change” into “dopes and chumps”. He’s even deeply connected to the Solyndra debacle, in which the White House helped pump federal start-up funds into a solar-power company that’s gone belly-up under mysterious circumstances.

So, we’re glad to hear he’s doing such a good job as mayor Chicago aldermen are praising his savvy budget, replete with city fee increases and municipal layoffs. …Although that’s a little like Frank Nitti giving thumbs-up to Al Capone’s management style.

- Nov. 16, 2011

  ’Conspiracy? No… we’re lamenting Kim’s divorce’

Eyebrows have been raised over a conference call made by 11 mayors whose cities “host” Occupy encampments – followed days later by almost simultaneous raids on local manifestations of this  ”99 percenter” uprising.

Surely, the anti-Wall Street, anti-bankster movement has raised ire and sniffy disdain - not just from establishment financiers, but mainstream media, as well.

The movement began as a protest of major economic and political issues, but lately the most divisive issue has become the protests themselves. The Occupy Wall Street encampments that formed across the country to spotlight crimes committed on Wall Street have become rife with problems of their own. There are sanitation hazards and drug overdoses, even occasional deaths and sexual assaults. [Washington Post]

Shucks! Why hold back? Some neconservative rags even accused Occupy Wall Street of harboring Nazi sentiment. Somehow, though, stormtroopers don’t seem so sinister in those knit feedbags sincere millennials wear as headgear.

But that land-line get-together last week sure looks suspicious… Almost like the mayors all got together, decided communally (so to speak) that they’d had enough, and called in the riot squads. Of course, they deny it. But…

On Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s acknowledgement of talks brought charges of anti-Occupy collusion among mayors from a variety of watchdogs, including broadcaster RT and progressive blog Firedoglake.

“If you thought the recent crackdowns of Occupy encampments across the country was more than a coincidence, there is a good chance you were right,” an article on RT.com said, citing the interview with Quan.

Or we could just be getting cynical in our new age…

- Nov. 15, 2011

Propofol on aisle 7, Dr. Murray.

So the biggest of the big-box stores is getting into the medical business.

Walmart, already the country’s largest private employer and purveyor of all things cheaply made and imported from overseas sweatshops… well… plans to stock its shelves with medical care. Actually, company directors backed off their initial statement to say they’ll expand clinics already operating in some store – offering pregnancy tests and the like.

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is exploring ways to expand the kinds of healthcare services it offers at dozens of stores across the country, potentially setting the stage to turn the nation’s largest retailer into a major primary care service provider and drive down costs for millions of Americans. [LA Times]

I’m thinking of some paper-thin shirts I’ve bought from the giant… giant. When I first heard this news driving up the 101 through the Cahuenga Pass yesterday, I started looking for rain of blood and locusts the size of New York phone books. I knew this had to be a sign of the EndTimes. Where’s that jack-leg preacher always fucking up his Doomsday computation? Get back on the air, man.

But in a twist that says a lot about the world – and nation – we live in today, the retail giant will begin phasing out healthcare benefits for its own part-time workers. Sweet. And, of course, there’s this,

Wal-Mart Heiress Opens Lavish Art Museum As Company Cuts Worker Health Care

Oh, well. It’s not like we folk who can still access American healthcare are celebrating:

Chronically and seriously ill American adults have the highest rate of difficulties in paying their medical bills and doing without medical care because of cost, compared to their counterparts in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. [Medical News Today]

The same study also found,

We not only pay a lot more for health care in the U.S. than in other countries, but a new study suggests the care we get is often slower and more poorly coordinated. That’s because other industrialized countries do a better job of giving patients easy access to primary care and to “medical homes” responsible for guiding care and complex treatment, according to a study published today by the Commonwealth Fund. [WebMD]

Healthy, wealthy and wise. …Only wise doesn’t pay the hospital bill.

Nov. 10, 2011

Tell us how you really feel, Sarko

In one of those diplomatic blunders that means more to media than anyone else, French President Nicholas Sarkozy confided to President Obama that he personally can’t stomach Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adding, “He’s a liar.”

“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!” President Obama responded, reflecting more honesty than he’d ever show on “Israeli-occupied” Capitol Hill. I guess he feels pretty safe, since he’s in France this week, talking a bunch of global issues as well as scorching jackass heads of state. (Netanyahu is one of this country’s major pains in the ass.)

Beeb, face it, you're not well-liked.

But… Sarkozy and President Obama didn’t realize their microphones were hooked up and broadcasting this high-level badmouth all over the world. I shudder to think what the international Israel Lobby will think of this, and how it will punish these two. Perhaps Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman will demand apologies – and then have both men fired.

But… even he doesn’t have heft to do that. It’s nice to know what our leaders really think, though – the unvarnished bits, if you get my drift.

- Nov. 8, 2011

Longterm shortchange…

They’ve found ancient teeth of some of the earliest Europeans, so go reports. In a few years, all that’s left of modern-day Europe may be a molar or two of present-day inhabitants. …Minus fillings, of course. Seems everything of value in the Mighty Continent must be earmarked to prop up Euro’s mini-states, where successions of Lefty governments have operated vast Ponzi schemes to supply demanding populations with free medical care, early retirement and annual vacation days for which to accrue a typical American must work about 150 years.

These particular chain letters were underwritten with loan after loan from flush countries like Germany. Now, to outfit beggar states like Greece from defaulting on all that largesse – and keep global economy from the shithouse – these countries are being placed of severe diets by the rest of Europe.

  • UPDATE: After Europe Union threatened to put the bailout “on ice”, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has scrapped referendum on it announced earlier this week. Didn’t take long.

Greece has decided to put its austerity plan to the people (it is the birthplace of democracy and Western Civilization, after all). We can guess how that will go. Greeks have been rioting for months at mere suggestion their early retirement age of 57 might be rolled back. Since American taxpayers could well fund this bail-out, maybe we should be the ones barricading streets. Oops! We are!

Only good news for Wall Street – and countering uncertainty of world’s finicky markets - we have Fed chair Ben Bernanke talking more stimulus from his end of the economic table. In the long-run, though, would he be calling for this if he weren’t nervous the economy is on the verge of another tanking?

- Nov. 3, 2011

WATCH LIST, Aug. – Oct. 2011