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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 41,772

Journal Archives

Bernie Sanders is wrong about breaking up the "big banks"

Madoff Investment Securities put a $64.8 billion ding in the economy, and it had five employees including Bernie Madoff.

Enron also cost the taxpayers billions, and they weren't a bank at all.

Senator Sanders' plan to break up the "big banks" SOUNDS good, but it won't fix the root problem: that banks have become one-stop shopping centers for financial evil. If the government breaks up the ten biggest banks, the people who are doing all this evil will simply move over to smaller banks that haven't been broken up and go right back to business.

Also...since a big bank and a small bank have the same intrinsic capabilities, and therefore the same potential to destroy the economy, the worst lawyer in America could get this declared unconstitutional in about two seconds.

The reason Glass-Steagall was so successful at stopping the banks from destroying the earth is it looked at the functions of banks rather than their size. Glass and Steagall realized the big problem in the banking sector was banks being allowed to sell securities, and their law was written to stop banks from doing that.

If you REALLY want to fix the problem, this is how: There are six branches of the financial-services business: insurance; commercial banking (checking accounts, savings accounts, personal and business loans); investment banking (stocks and bonds); credit cards; mortgage banking; and derivatives trading. Allow a financial-services firm, like Wells Fargo, to operate in one of those six branches and require it to divest itself of the other five. If we go with Sanders' plan, there will still be another collapse but this time, it'll be at little firms like the Idaho Independent Bank.

Oh, and we also need a 2 cent per share transaction tax on all stock trading, which is small enough to not be harmful to legitimate traders and large enough to stop high-frequency trading.

Perfect gift for Florida Men and Nevada Squatters

Tell me something about this Trumperlin Wall

Anyone familiar with the GOP field in the 2016 presidential race knows Donald Trump is planning to build a wall all the way across the Mexican-US border, and to have the Mexican government pay for it.

Ignore the biggest problems with this wall (namely, he doesn't have the terrain on his side, the world can't make that much portland cement, and as long as the Donald Trumps of the world insist on hiring illegals to work for cheap people WILL figure out how to get through it) and concentrate on the financial part.

Delirium Tremens over there claims he's going to force the Mexican government to pay the yooge bill for putting up the wall. What will DT do when the Mexican president tells him to go fuck himself?

Isn't the Malheur NWR headquarters closed in the winter?

Back in "the day" when the government actually had money to do things like build wildlife refuge headquarters and remote ranger stations, places like the Malheur headquarters would only be open from early spring to late fall. Since usage of the area was expected to be very light during the winter, they designed the roofs of these places to withstand snow weight, took all the paperwork and office equipment out of them on Closing Day, left the headquarters building unlocked in case snowshoers might want to use it, and had one Forest Service employee go up there on a snowcat every couple of weeks just to be sure the place hadn't fallen in.

Moral of this story: If Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is like Idaho's Red Ives Ranger Station was before Ronald Reagan took office, Bundy's "patriots" are occupying an abandoned building.

Disaster Status Report 1

As you may remember, on Thursday afternoon my car burned up in the middle of the street with half my wardrobe in the back seat. Fortunately, Thursday was also payday and this month features three paychecks, so I have one to spend on whatever I need.

On Friday I went to Spokane and bought five shirts, three pair of pants and some socks. After I get a new laundry basket or something similar, that part will be rectified.

Strange thing: my house key got distorted enough it was almost impossible to use, so I replaced my lockset with a nicer one. I was gonna anyway, but decided now was the time.

I also went car shopping. My original intent was to stash $1100 and buy an old shitbox off Craigslist, but I went around and looked at the shitboxes and...well, the name is pretty fucking accurate. Fortunately, my parents are old enough that they have to take distributions from all the IRAs they have scattered around, and they are able to loan me enough money to buy a decent car. So, on Tuesday night I'm going to take off early from work, jump on a bus for Seattle with my F4 and bank account number in hand, and buy a nicer car.

Infinite America, Part 7: A fiery end to a fantastic journey

The Story So Far
Part 1: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018825480
Part 2: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018825709
Part 3: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018825986
Part 4: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018826315
Part 5: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018826928
Part 6: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018827194

Let's see...we've braved the fog-shrouded wastelands of America's northern tier...

scaled the heights of the Windy City...

risked life and limb in [strike]Mos Eisley[/strike] Washington, DC...

absorbed our seditious heritage in Boston...

and been Bewitched in Salem!

Then we noshed on a truly excellent pastrami Reuben in New York...

before stopping to check our watches in Chicago...

and taking a very quick pass through Denver...

before leaving our hearts in San Francisco.

Now we're heading home...

The name of this train is slightly false advertising: the only "coast" you're going to see is in the Los Angeles area, which of course I didn't go to. On my trip you go through Oregon cropland during the daylight hours. In October it's not wonderful; in the summertime it should be superb.

Now I'm in Seattle. I've been here two other times for a full week both times, so I had quite a few pictures. I decided to visit Bainbridge Island by ferry - which I hadn't been to before. When I got to the ferry terminal, that ship had left but the Bremerton ferry was still there. Hmm...wait an hour for the Bainbridge ferry to make another run, or go back to Bremerton...Bremerton, please.

Returning from Bremerton, I walked up to Third Avenue and caught a bus to Fremont, where I visited the Troll...

and made sure Lenin would be warm this winter...

before firing off my very last frame.

So...what have we learned?

Traveling by train is great. Everyone should do it.
Spending two days in one town would be better than spending one day in each of two.
Larger backpacks! They're critical!

I had to call the cops on myself today. They were very nice.

After writing today's installment in my Infinite America series (tomorrow's the last day!) I got dressed, put my laundry in the back seat of my car, and drove off to the laundromat. I never made it. Smoke started coming out from under the back seat. Okay, no problem: I'll just put this thing in neutral, turn off the engine and coast home. (I wasn't far and it was downhill.) Then a LOT of smoke, then flames...I found the nearest place to pull over, did so, pulled the handbrake and got the fuck out of the car. Dude, there ain't NOTHING left. Flames thirty feet in the air. It looked like something out of a movie. The fire was so bad the windows melted. (I will, however, attest to the high quality of Saab gas tanks: The car was burning so fiercely I thought it would explode, but it didn't.)

I called 911 right after I got out of the car. A fire engine showed up and put the fire out. Two cops also arrived to direct traffic and take a statement, which didn't take long..."1987 Saab? Electrical fire? Yeah, that happens...no problem, we'll call a rollback to get it out of here."

I didn't get hurt, no other cars were around so no one else got damaged, and I didn't have anyone else in the car. Tomorrow I'll get new clothes to replace the ones that got burned up. At the end of the month I'll have a different car.
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