A Modestly Nutty Suggestion…

Did you know that in addition to instructing employees to ship his bacteria tainted products to some fifty manufacturers of cookies, crackers and ice cream across America, Stewart Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Corp. of America, also tried offloading some of his company’s lethal foodstuffs to Canada? It’s true! Last year, vigilant CFIA inspectors refused the import of a shipment from his Georgia plant at the border that was later found to contain metal fragments.

So here’s a modest idea… Once convicted, let’s bury Parnell waist-deep in a hole, plaster him in a mountain of his own company’s tainted, deadly metal shard-laced peanut sludge and then unleash a few billion ants at a nearby location and see what happens next… on “live” web TV. Imagine the fun! Why, it would make that slowly aging wheel of cheese look like… okay, never mind that — this would be a MUCH faster deal. But if the company had to pay one dollar for every hit the site received (with all money going to the victims), that would be a reasonably equitable resolution, don’t you think?

“Real Numbers”

Yes, we shake our head when hearing this sort of thing:

“If we went the whole way to offset the collapse of the housing sector and the collapse of consumption, we’d have a hole in the budget that we’d also have to take a decade to repair. That’s the problem. We’re going to have a budget deficit this year of probably $1.4 trillion, with this stimulus and with what was probably already there before… that’s starting to get up to real numbers…

Maybe I’m somewhat old fashioned in still persistently thinking of “billions” as being quite “real” in this regard…

Certainly they must be “real” enough to the recipients of U.S. foreign aid in Africa who received the equivalent of the bonuses taken in by the executives of Merrill Lynch as a reward for their criminal malfeasance, shameless greed and/or reckless incompetence.


Earth to Janke: It’s Ukraine… not “the Ukraine” you maroon.

Right there, in just one little word, you’ve demonstrated that your credibility on this issue is precisely ZERO.

PM Celebrates Year of the Bull Ox

In this morning’s Toronto Star, Chantal Hébert acidly described the “leadership gap” (my term, not hers) that seems to be emerging as people draw the obvious contrast between the public face of Stephen Harper promoting his “economic recovery plan” with the aggressive effort currently being waged by the new U.S. president to sell his own “stimulus” plan (now re-branded quite cynically and/or wishfully as a “jobs bill”) to a shell-shocked American public:

Since the reopening of the House of Commons last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not delivered a single comprehensive speech on the economy, on or off Parliament Hill.

The last speech currently listed on his website is titled: The Prime Minister celebrates the Year of the Ox. It was delivered at a Toronto Chinese New Year dinner on the weekend.

The week before that, Harper attended the opening of the Quebec Carnival. In between the two, he attended a New Brunswick hockey tournament.

[snip]… even as the president is sending the message that he is too hard at work on the economy to waste time on social calls, Harper can’t seem to get his fill of carnivals, hockey tournaments and holiday dinners. The contrast could not be more striking, but it is not necessarily the one that Conservative image-makers were striving to establish.

Herewith, the video in question from the PM’s YouTube channel (on which, true to form, the ratings and comments have been DISABLED):

Of course, Hébert’s parallels between the two leaders aren’t fair (or even accurate for that matter), but given that Stephen Harper spent much of the first three years at the helm of Canada’s parliament stressing the critical importance of “leadership” and touting himself as a powerful and decisive LEADER, then perhaps it’s not altogether unwarranted to demand that his value to the Canadian public now be measured accordingly. What goes around, comes around, etc.

Delusional Idiot Gets 15 Minutes Fame!

Keith Olbermann talked yesterday with Julio Osegueda, the young man who enthusiastically grabbed the attention of President Barack Obama during yesterday’s town hall in Florida to ask what the government was going to do to improve his benefits as a 4-year McDonald’s employee.

A few casual observations here…

1) “God” had nothing to do with Osegueda being called on (how many times did this goofball claim that he’d been “blessed”?); 2) Obama didn’t really answer the man’s ridiculous question, but instead neatly stickhandled around it, doling out instead vague platitudes about tax credits and educational incentives; 3) the White House staff then fibbed about the exchange on their “live blog” of the Town Hall, thereby misrepresenting the issues “discussed” (undermining their credibility in the process); and 4) the media was utterly hopeless in its reporting.

The Ackerman Show

Another thrilling installment from the Bank CEO Hearing featuring Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) of the House Financial Services Committee that’s been mercilessly grilling nine “titans of finance” in Washington today.

WP columnist Stephen Pearlstein nicely captures the mood of fury in the land…

By now, I hope you’ve learned enough not to be taken in by the self-serving floor patter. These guys won’t be happy until the government agrees to relieve them of every last one of their lousy loans and investments at inflated prices, recapitalize every major bank and brokerage and insurance company on sweetheart terms and restore them to the glory days, so they can once again earn inflated profits and obscene pay packages by screwing over their customers and their shareholders.

For the Wall Street wise guys, bailout politics is just another game to be played, another market to be manipulated, another set of risks to be arbitraged.

Heh. No kidding. I watched Geithner’s announcement yesterday and was actually quite impressed by his sober and reasoned analysis of the situation and the way he articulated the challenges facing the Obama administration. Within a matter of minutes however (actually, before he’d even wrapped up his presentation) the Dow was tanking and all the pundits and so-called “experts” were contemptuously moaning about the lack of a specific plan that would deliver a sure-fire guarantee of salvation.

We live in crazy times…

Update: Politics in Action!