Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New York wants to ban homeowners from renting their home for less than a month

New York State senators are about to vote on a bill that would ban homeowners or renters from renting out their places for periods of less than a month.

The new law, should it pass (it's being fast-tracked, so opposition is finding it difficult to catch up), is a blow for the budget traveler and a boon for the high-priced hotel-and-convention industry, which will of course be eager to host the refugees from the short-term apartment rental business.

The new law, says, would be a blanket ban on the estimated 3,000 transient units available right now. It would no longer matter whether the rental went through a vacation-focused broker such as City Sonnet or NY Habitat, or through casual channels such as an ad on Craigslist

Stephen Freidman's lies on his purchase of Goldman Sachs stock

A couple of weeks ago, we had this story:

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) -- Senior Federal Reserve officials had "misgivings" about granting former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS: 131.7001, -2.2599, -1.69%) executive Stephen Friedman a waiver to own company stock while serving as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to a pair of lawmakers following a review of internal central bank documents.

Reps. Edolphus Towns (D., N.Y.) and Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) issued a joint statement Saturday that they plan to hold a hearing featuring Friedman and Fed officials regarding "how he was permitted to make windfall profits by trading stock in a company he had a role in regulating."

Towns, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Lynch said the decision was made after a review of documents turned over by the Fed following a request from lawmakers last month.

"Mr. Friedman's purchase of Goldman stock a month after the New York Fed directed AIG to pay its counterparties, including Goldman, at par, and three months before AIG's $13 billion payment to Goldman was officially announced to the public also raises conflict of interest questions," the joint statement said.
'Here are the documents regarding AIG, the bailout, Geithner, Freidman etc, and check out the emails about Freidman, Goldman Sachs buddie, who bought shares in Goldman through a waiver loophole that wasn't a loophole.

Go through pages 18-26
(page 23)
On the notion of owning shares as both a Goldman director and a NY Fed board chairman:
"I see no conflict whatsoevcr in owning shares... I followed the rules at the Fed ... I followed the rules at Goldman Sachs ... I don't personally observe any conflict." (We also may want to say in a paraphrased way that Friedman checked with lawyers at Goldman Sachs about his desire to buy shares late last year - and in January - and that they gave him the green light, but that he did not directly check with the NY Fed, leaving that to Goldman's lawyers if it seemed appropriate.)

And then, we had this story about the so-called "waiver."

‘Perfectly Legal’

The New York Fed sought a waiver from the Federal Reserve Board in September 2008 so that Friedman could keep his position there. Michele Davis, a spokeswoman for Friedman, says New York Fed general counsel Tom Baxter told Friedman that the rules were in abeyance while the waiver was pending.

“Therefore, Mr. Friedman’s purchases of Goldman Sachs stock were perfectly legal,” she says. The waiver was granted in January 2009.

Jerry Jordan, a former president of the Cleveland Fed, says the section of the Federal Reserve Act barring Friedman from owning bank stock or buying new shares could not be waived. “It was not allowed,” he says. “You can’t get permission to violate the law.”

Keeping Mum

Goldman Sachs’s ties to the New York Fed pose another potential conflict for Friedman, says James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law. Goldman was a prime beneficiary of the New York Fed-engineered bailout of American International Group Inc.’s bank counterparties, receiving, by its own count, $12.9 billion for the credit protection it held on mortgage- related securities. That figure was not publicly disclosed by AIG until March 2009 -- after Friedman had bought his shares.

“It raises at the least an eyebrow in terms of what he knew about those payments,” Cox says.

New York Fed spokesman Jack Gutt responds: “Friedman had no involvement in nor was he provided with confidential information related to the New York Fed’s negotiation with any AIG counterparties.”


Friday, June 25, 2010


NEW REGULATORY AUTHORITY: Gives federal regulators new authority to seize and break up large troubled financial firms without taxpayer bailouts in cases where the firm's collapse could destabilize the financial system. Sets up a liquidation procedure run by the FDIC. Treasury would supply funds to cover the up-front costs of winding down the failed firm, but the government would have to put a "repayment plan" in place. Regulators would recoup any losses incurred from the wind-down afterwards by assessing fees on financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets.

FINANCIAL STABILITY COUNCIL: Would establish a new, 10-member Financial Stability Oversight Council, comprising existing regulators charged with monitoring and addressing system-wide risks to the nation's financial stability. Among its duties, the council would recommend to the Fed stricter capital, leverage and other rules for large, complex financial firms that are judged to threaten the financial system. In extreme cases, it would have the power to break up financial firms.

VOLCKER RULE: Would curb propriety trading by the largest financial firms, though banks could make de minimus investments in hedge and private-equity funds. Those investments would be limited to 3% or less of a bank's Tier 1 capital. Banks would be prohibited from bailing out a fund in which they are invested.

DERIVATIVES: Would for the first time extend comprehensive regulation to the over-the-counter derivatives market, including the trading of the products and the companies that sell them. Would require many routine derivatives to be traded on exchanges and routed through clearinghouses. Customized swaps could still be traded over-the-counter, but they would have to be reported to central repositories so regulators could get a broader picture of what's going on in the market. Would impose new capital, margin, reporting, record-keeping and business conduct rules on firms that deal in derivatives.

SWAPS SPIN-OFF: Would require banks to spin off only their riskiest derivatives trading operations into affiliates, in a late-night compromise struck to scale back a controversial provision championed by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark.). Banks would be able to retain operations for interest-rate swaps, foreign-exchange swaps, and gold and silver swaps among others. Firms would be required to push trading in agriculture, uncleared commodities, most metals, and energy swaps to their affiliates.

CONSUMER AGENCY: Would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Federal Reserve, with rulemaking and some enforcement power over banks and non-banks that offer consumer financial products or services such as credit cards, mortgages and other loans. The new watchdog would have authority to examine and enforce regulations for all mortgage-related businesses; banks and credit unions with assets of more than $10 billion in assets; pay day lenders, check cashers and certain other non-bank financial firms. Auto dealers won a hard-fought exemption from the Bureau's reach.

PRE-EMPTION: Would allow states to impose their own stricter consumer protection laws on national banks. National banks could seek exemption from state laws on a case-by-case, state-by-state basis if a state law "prevents or significantly interferes" with the bank's ability to do business - a higher bar than federal regulators currently must meet to pre-empt state rules. State attorneys-general would have power to enforce certain rules issued by the new consumer financial protection bureau.

FEDERAL RESERVE OVERSIGHT: Would mandate a one-time audit of all of the Fed's emergency lending programs from the financial crisis. The Fed also would disclose, with a two-year lag, details of loans it makes to banks through its discount window as well as open market transactions - activity the Fed currently doesn't disclose. Would eliminate the role of bankers in picking presidents at the Fed's 12 regional banks. Would also limit the Fed's 13(3) emergency lending authority by barring the central bank from using it to aid an individual firm, requiring the Treasury Secretary to approve any lending program and prohibiting the participation of insolvent firms.

OVERSIGHT CHANGES: Would eliminate the Office of Thrift Supervision, but after a fight, the Fed retained oversight of thousands of community banks. Would empower the Fed to supervise the largest, most complex financial companies to ensure that the government understands the risks and complexities of firms that could pose a risk to the broader economy.

BANK CAPITAL STANDARDS: Would set new size- and risk-based capital standards, including a prohibition on large bank holding companies treating trust-preferred securities as Tier 1 capital, a key measure of a bank's strength. Would grandfather trust-preferred securities for banks with less than $15 billion in assets, enabling them to continue treating the securities as Tier 1 capital. Larger banks would have five years to phase-out trust-preferred securities as Tier 1 capital.

BANK FEE: Would mandate the Oversight Council to impose a special assessment on the nation's largest financial firms to raise up to $19 billion to offset the cost of the bill. The fee would apply to financial institutions with more than $50 billion in assets and hedge funds with more than $10 billion in assets, with entities deemed high risk paying more than safer ones. The fee would be collected by the FDIC over five years, with the funds placed in separate fund in the Treasury and would not be usable for any other purpose for 25 years, after which any left-over funds would go to pay down the national debt.

DEPOSIT INSURANCE: Would permanently increase the level of federal deposit insurance for banks, thrifts and credit unions to $250,000, retroactive to January 1, 2008.

MORTGAGES: Would establish new national minimum underwriting standards for home mortgages. Lenders would be required for the first time to ensure that a borrower is able to repay a home loan by verifying the borrower's income, credit history and job status. Would ban payments to brokers for steering borrowers to high-priced loans.

SECURITIZATION: Banks that package loans would, broadly, be required to keep 5% of the credit risk on their balance sheets. Would direct bank regulators to exempt from the rules a class of low-risk mortgages that meet certain minimum standards. Regulators could permit alternative risk-retention arrangements for the commercial mortgage-backed securities market.

CREDIT RATING AGENCIES: Would revamp the credit-rating industry, establishing a new quasi-government entity designed to address conflicts of interest inherent in the credit-rating business after the SEC studies the matter. Would also allow investors to sue credit-rating firms for a "knowing or reckless" failure to conduct a reasonable investigation, a lower liability standard than the firms were lobbying to get. Would establish a new oversight office within the SEC with the ability to fine ratings agencies and empowers the SEC to deregister a firm that gives too many bad ratings over time.

INVESTMENT ADVICE: Would give the SEC the authority to raise standards for broker dealers who give investment advice after the agency studies the issue. Would permit, but not require, the SEC to hold broker dealers to a fiduciary duty similar to the standard to which investment advisers are held.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: Would give shareholders of public corporations a non-binding vote on executive pay and "golden parachutes," and would give the SEC the authority to grant shareholders proxy access to nominate directors.

HEDGE FUNDS: Would require hedge funds and private equity funds to register with the SEC as investment advisers and to provide information on trades to help regulators monitor systemic risk.

INSURANCE: Would create a new Federal Insurance Office within the Treasury Department to monitor the insurance industry, recommending to the systemic risk council insurers that should be treated as systemically important. Would require the new office to report to Congress on ways to modernize insurance regulation.

Bernanke to embark on QE 2?

Ben Bernanke needs fresh monetary blitz as US recovery falters ... Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is waging an epochal battle behind the scenes for control of US monetary policy, struggling to overcome resistance from regional Fed hawks for further possible stimulus to prevent a deflationary spiral. ... Fed watchers say Mr. Bernanke and his close allies at the Board in Washington are worried by signs that the US recovery is running out of steam. The ECRI leading indicator published by the Economic Cycle Research Institute has collapsed to a 45-week low of -5.7 in the most precipitous slide for half a century. Such a reading typically portends contraction within three months or so. Key members of the five-man Board are quietly mulling a fresh burst of asset purchases, if necessary by pushing the Fed's balance sheet from $2.4 trillion (£1.6 trillion) to uncharted levels of $5 trillion. But they are certain to face intense scepticism from regional hardliners. The dispute has echoes of the early 1930s when the Chicago Fed stymied rescue efforts. – UK Telegraph

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Steve Jobs response to the antenna issue of the iPhone 4

BP is burning the sea turtles alive

VENICE, La. - A boat captain working to rescue sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico says he has seen BP ships burning sea turtles and other wildlife alive.

Captain Mike Ellis said in an interview posted on You Tube that the boats are conducting controlled burns to get rid of the oil.

"They drag a boom between two shrimp boats and whatever gets caught between the two boats, they circle it up and catch it on fire. Once the turtles are in there, they can’t get out," Ellis said.

Ellis said he had to cut short his three-week trip rescuing the turtles because BP quit allowing him access to rescue turtles before the burns.

"They're pretty much keeping us from doing what we need to do out there," Ellis said.

Other reports corroborate Captain Ellis' claims. A report in the Los Angeles Times describes "burn fields" of 500 square miles in which 16 controlled burns will take place in one day.

"When the weather is calm and the sea is placid, ships trailing fireproof booms corral the black oil, the coated seaweed and whatever may be caught in it, and torch it into hundred-foot flames, sending plumes of smoke skyward in ebony mushrooms," the article says.

Ellis said most of the turtles he has seen are Kemps Ridley turtles, a critically endangered species. Harming or killing one would bring stiff civil and criminal penalties and fines of up to $50,000 against BP.

Corporate America comes to the Family

The co-founder of AAPL who sold his 10% share of the company for $800

Pahrump, Nevada (CNN) -- Ron Wayne is usually just another gambler at the Nugget Hotel & Casino in Nevada. He comes here a couple of days a week to try his luck on the video poker machine. But on this trip, he drew some curious onlookers, as he was escorted by a CNN camera crew. A gift-shop worker asked him if he's famous.

"Well, I'm one of the founders of Apple Computer," Wayne responded.

Wayne, 76, is used to the puzzled looks. He said people assume that he must be living in a mansion.

"I'm living off my Social Security and I do a modest trade in collectors' stamps and coins," he said.

The irony of being inside a casino is not lost on Wayne. After all, if his short-lived career at Apple had gone differently, he would be holding a different kind of winnings: 10 percent of Apple's stock.

Today, that stock would be worth $22 billion.

Wayne left Apple for only $800.

"What can I say? You make a decision based on your understanding of the circumstances, and you live with it," he said.


How about the doom and gloomer bears, who can't see anything good about the stock market, their life, or the economy? We've had ten years of no returns in the stock market, and now these savants think we'll have another 10.

And when they are 76, you'll see them in the casino. But unlike Ron Wayne, who doesn't begrudge his sale of AAPL, they'll blame someone else for their misfortune!!

Default probabilities

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Apple's new iPhone 4 has antenna issues

If you touch the outside antenna bars with your hands you lose reception.

Al Gore has his own "blue dress" problem

In a bombshell new development in the AL GORE sex scandal -- broken EXCLUSIVELY earlier today by The ENQUIRER -- the Oregon
District Attorney says there's "the possibility of a criminal prosecution."

In a statement just released by Multnomah County (OR.) D.A. Michael D. Schrunk, the official reveals that "our office was notified by the Portland Police Bureau that further investigation of this matter had been conducted by it in 2009 and we were provided with the reports from that further investigation."

Schrunk goes on to add: "If the complainant and the Portland Police Bureau wish to pursue the possibility of a criminal prosecution, additional investigation by the Bureau will be necessary and will be discussed with the Portland Police Bureau."

Our investigative team uncovered the amazing story just weeks after the former Vice President announced that he and wife TIPPER were ending their 40-year marriage - amidst reports she suspected her husband was involved with "a gorgeous massage therapist."

We have verified the 62-year-old former VP was in Portland at the time of the alleged incident - Oct. 24, 2006 - and we saw the $540 massage bill.

No criminal charges were brought against Gore, but the Portland police prepared a document marked "Confidential Special Report" - which records the explosive allegations of "unwanted sexual contact" by Al Gore "at a local upscale hotel."

The ENQUIRER is withholding the name of the 54-year-old woman making the stunning accusations because she is potentially a sex-crime victim.

The swatted fly revisits Obama!!

Remember when Obama showed off his skilz by swatting a fly? He said, "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I got the sucker."

It looks like the fly's kin revisted him yesterday, paying him some lip service!!

Prince Albert to marry Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock

Doesn't he look a little like NBC's Jeffery Zucker?

The difference is, Zucker completely destroyed interest in NBC while paying himself a king's ransom while Prince Albert will revitalize interest in Monaco!

Buy the builders!!

All of these names have already corrected, and with only 300,000 new homes reported today--how tough will comps be next year?

All the bad news should already be priced into these names.

And you know the stocks are buys. You had this article out telling you that housing was going to hell, when they already had lunch with Satan!

Meanwhile, vacant land is being gobbled up by those with deep pockets:


Some of the savviest investors on Wall Street, including some who made billions on the housing bust, now are snapping up barren plots of land in places like Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Hedge fund Paulson & Co., which made a fortune wagering that the housing market was overvalued three years ago, is now making a bet that land is undervalued and that it can profit from reselling lots to home builders. The firm is bidding on some 8,000 residential lots in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada owned by home builder Tousa Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Tousa has been operating under bankruptcy protection.

In the rocky suburbs of Las Vegas, meanwhile, Angelo, Gordon & Co. recently paid $35 million for land parcels zoned for about 2,500 residential lots. That is roughly half the amount the former owner sank into the property for roads, sewers and other infrastructure alone. At the same time, land investor SunCal Cos. is working with firms like D.E. Shaw & Co. to close a dozen land deals in Arizona and California.

Bears time to get bounced

No fishing license--no million dollars!

If a person gets caught fishing without a license, in most cases, it results in a fine of perhaps a few hundred dollars.

For those aboard Citation, however, the infraction represents a setback of nearly $1 million.

The vessel's anglers had been participating in the 52nd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, June 11-19 off North Carolina. Andy Thomossan landed what was by far the biggest fish: an 883-pound marlin, a tournament record.

The team on Saturday was declared winner of the prestigious competition, and there was plenty of celebration.

However, there also was a post-event lie-detector test, after which it was revealed that one of the hired crew did not possess a valid fishing license, available in North Carolina for only $15, or $30 for non-residents.

That was a violation of tournament rules and after lengthy deliberation, according to Evans Kistler of the Carteret County News-Times, tournament officials late Tuesday disqualified the catch and and denied the Citation team the winning purse.

End of celebration.

"No record. No money. No fish. No nothing. Yep, it's a nice ending to the story isn't it?" Thomossan told the Jacksonville Daily News. "He failed to get a fishing license, but we didn't know it. He told us he had it. He didn't. So you take a man at his word, you know?"

That man is Peter Wann. According to the state's fisheries division, he went out and bought a license after the catch of the monster marlin, bringing more shame to his team. He'll be fined $35 and ordered to pay court costs totaling $125.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sears has a new safe---Dirty Drawers!!!

For just $12.99, you can get the dirty underwear safe at Sears!!

The "Brief Safe" is an innovative diversion safe that can secure your cash, documents, and other small valuables from inquisitive eyes and thieving hands, both at home and when you're traveling. Items can be hidden right under their noses with these specially-designed briefs which contain a fly-accessed 4" x 10" secret compartment with Velcro closure and "special markings" on the lower rear portion. Leave the "Brief Safe" in plain view in your laundry basket or washing machine at home, or in your suitcase in a hotel room - even the most hardened burgler or most curious snoop will "skid" to a screeching halt as soon as they see them. (Wouldn't you?) Made in USA. One size. Color: white (and brown).

Goldman: "Slow grind higher in crude"

But their mid 90s target of a barrel of crude is over

GS main 0622

Law School grade inflation

One day next month every student at Loyola Law School Los Angeles will awake to a higher grade point average.

But it’s not because they are all working harder.

The school is retroactively inflating its grades, tacking on 0.333 to every grade recorded in the last few years. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.

In the last two years, at least 10 law schools have deliberately changed their grading systems to make them more lenient. These include law schools like New York University and Georgetown, as well as Golden Gate University and Tulane University, which just announced the change this month. Some recruiters at law firms keep track of these changes and consider them when interviewing, and some do not.

Law schools seem to view higher grades as one way to rescue their students from the tough economic climate — and perhaps more to the point, to protect their own reputations and rankings. Once able to practically guarantee gainful employment to thousands of students every year, the schools are now fielding complaints from more and more unemployed graduates, frequently drowning in student debt.

"The wimps in the White House"

According to General McChrystal, who was called back from Afghanistan to get fired by Obama after the leaking of his interview in Rolling Stone, he succeeded (besides bribing warlords)

"by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."

Watan Risk Management officials told House investigators the company pays between $1,000 and $10,000 a month to nearly every Afghan governor, police chief and local military commander whose territory the company traverses.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Buy BUCY!!!!!

The stock pulled in to 50.39.

Take it now!!!!!

"They" are just trying to make a sell candle on the stock!

Oh My!!!

Blow it back at them and buy the stock!!

Visa and Mastercard Rumble!!!!!!

Oh My!!!!!

What happened here????

V spikes almost to 84;

Mastercard spikes to 230!!!

Wait---wasn't that advertised here???

When Wall Street pikers were puking up these names!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

V and MA--Ready to Rumble!!!

So much for FinReg. Check out these numbers!!!

Oh My!! Why didn't I buy!!!

As Advertised!!!!!!

Oh My!!! Why didn't I buy??????


Meredith Whitney blabs the same old story

Double dip in housing and state and local governments are the next shoe to drop.

Wait--I thought the next shoe to drop was FinReg---and now today JPMorgan is buying a Brazilian hedge fund?

Financial reform is over; the audit of the Fed is over.

So what happened to that story by Meredith?

That shoe just went into the closet, with the rest of her stopped clock predictions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BP oil spill

Letter to President Obama gets woman's husband arrested and on the deportation line


The letter appealing to President Obama was written in frustration in January, by a woman who saw her family reflected in his. She was a white United States citizen married to an African man, and the couple — college-educated professionals in Manhattan — were stymied in their long legal battle to keep him in the country.

Could the president help, asked the woman, Caroline Jamieson, a marketing executive. She described the impasse that confronted her husband, Hervé Fonkou Takoulo, a citizen of Cameroon with an outstanding deportation order from a failed bid for asylum.

The response came on June 3, when two immigration agents stopped Mr. Takoulo, 34, in front of the couple’s East Village apartment building. He says one agent asked him, “Did you write a letter to President Obama?”

When he acknowledged that his wife had, he was handcuffed and sent to an immigration jail in New Jersey for deportation.

But on Thursday night, Mr. Takoulo was just as suddenly released, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had been questioned about the case by The New York Times. Officials said they were investigating how the letter — one of thousands routinely referred to the agency by the White House to gather information for a reply — had been improperly used by the agency’s “fugitive operations” unit to find and arrest Mr. Takoulo, who has an engineering degree and no criminal record.

While Mr. Takoulo is still subject to the deportation order, immigration officials acknowledged that their actions in the case seemed to violate their standard practice of not using letters seeking help from elected officials as investigative leads. The handling of the case also conflicted with the Obama administration’s stated policy of arresting deportable immigrants only if they have criminal records...

Ms. Jamieson recalled that she cried when Mr. Obama said during a 2008 campaign speech, “With a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya — ”

“I said, ‘Oh, HervĂ©, even the alliteration is right — with a mother from California and a father from Cameroon, our child could do the same!’ ”

But they have postponed having the baby they both want, she said, because of his precarious immigration status. One step forward: officials told him he will be granted a work permit after he reports to immigration headquarters on July 1.

“I won’t stop fighting,” Ms. Jamieson said. “He’s the love of my life.”

Who is spending

Barron's touts the steel names

WORRIES ABOUT AN ECONOMIC slowdown in China , debt problems in Europe and the potential for a double-dip recession in the U.S. have pounded steel stocks in recent months. But the correction appears to have run its course, leaving the shares of U.S. Steel, Nucor, Steel Dynamics and AK Steel at depressed—and attractive—levels.

"Within the next 12 months, we'll see a new high" in steel prices, contends Michelle Applebaum, an independent analyst based near Chicago. "I don't think China is going to slow below a 5% GDP growth rate, and the commodity hunger that China has isn't going to go away."

...China consumes about 35% of the world's steel and has 60% of the world's steel-producing capacity, so analysts watch it closely. Chinese production rose 20% in April. If April's production numbers are annualized, global steel output could hit 1.5 billion metric tons this year, exceeding expected consumption of 1.3 billion metric tons, according to the World Steel Association...

But if Beijing can successfully slow its economy, then it's also capable of accelerating the growth rate if the slowdown seems too drastic. It's also quite possible that steel prices will continue to fall, but demand—and thus volume—will keep rising, pushing up profits. Indeed that's what happened in the second half of 2009, notes Brian Yu, Citigroup's metals and mining analyst.

Capacity utilization in the U.S. steel industry has bounced back nicely from the depressed levels seen in the recession. It now stands at roughly 74% and has dipped only slightly in recent weeks, even as prices have slipped. That's far from 2008's horrible 33%, which sent most of the industry skidding into the red.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pain ray being tested in Afghanistan--Or is it?

The "Active Denial System" yesterday was reportedly being used on Afghanistan.

Today--maybe not:

The U.S. mission in Afghanistan centers around swaying locals to its side. And there’s no better persuasion tool than an invisible pain ray that makes people feel like they’re on fire.

OK, OK. Maybe that isn’t precisely the logic being employed those segments of the American military who would like to deploy the Active Denial System to Afghanistan. I’m sure they’re telling themselves that the generally non-lethal microwave weapon is a better, safer crowd control alternative than an M-16. But those ray-gun advocates better think long and hard about the Taliban’s propaganda bonanza when news leaks of the Americans zapping Afghans until they feel roasted alive.

Because, apparently, the Active Denial System is “in Afghanistan for testing.”

An Air Force military officer and a civilian employee at the Air Force Research Laboratory are just two of the people telling our pal Sharon Weinberger that the vehicle-mounted “block 2″ version of the pain ray is in the warzone, but hasn’t been used in combat.

Update: “We are currently not testing the Active Denial System in Afghanistan,” Kelley Hughes, spokesperson for the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, tells Danger Room.

So I ask her: Has it been tested previously? She hems and haws. “I’m not gonna get into operational,” Hughes answers.

Hughes also disputes the assertion that Active Denial creates a burning feeling. “It’s an intolerable heating sensation,” she says.

Bless Bo

Lord have Mercy!! Don't read Israel Today--because then you are a racist bigot!


Obama's approval rating with Muslims just hit an all time low--so maybe the Muslims aren't reading the Israeli papers!!!

But what the heck--I thought the coming Messiah was Jewish!!

Maybe I missed something!!

Oh My!!! S&P hits 1120!!!

Wait ----Wasn't the move to 1120 advertised?

And wasn't it advertised quickly???

How quickly the bears forget!!!!

The market needs to go higher.

Uncle Sam needs his capital gain taxes!!

Squirrel Season is over!!

Plaintiff attorney Mark Robinson, won a court case when a 1978 Oldsmobile Omega crumpled in an accident, and he noticed it had less welds than other cars. He asked around, and the reason was simple--welders took off for deer hunting season.

So what's the reason why all the bears hate the stock market?

Maybe it's squirrel season.

Once upon a time, a squirrel went to relieve himself next to a trail in the woods. Whilst squatting and grunting, a huge bear strode up next to him and started doing the same.

Very much afraid, the squirrel said nothing, but the bear looked down and said, "Hey, you ever have any trouble with the poop sticking to your fur?"

"No," said the squirrel, still afraid he may become the bear's next pile.

"That's good," said the bear. Then he picked up the squirrel, wiped his butt with him and walked off into the woods.

And that's this market. The big bad bears wanted to make everyone believe that the market was nuts, but they were the ones "making" the tape tell a story that the fundamentals didn't reflect.

So now they are getting wiped by the bulls, because the bears are the ones that have gotten squirrelly, while the bulls get emboldened!

It's bear hunting season!

Nvidia can be bought

Beaten down name that could be a takeover target.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Medtronic buys human heads from company with a revoked license

View more news videos at:

40--60 human heads were sent by Southwest Airlines, from JLS consulting to Medtronic.

JLS's business license was revoked in December.

Union boss embezzles $300K to spend on hookers

A married, obese former president of a Port Authority union admitted yesterday in court to embezzling nearly $300,000 in member dues and using the cash for tawdry hook-ups with prostitutes, casino trips and lavish meals, sources told The Post.

Daniel Hughes, 49, who resigned in disgrace from the local Field Supervisor Association, admitted to Judge Eric Vitaliano in Brooklyn federal court that he stole the cash from January 2005 to last December -- bankrupting the account for his 250 members.

"This PA employee took advantage of his position as a president of a union and abused it in a calculated and egregious manner," said PA Inspector General Robert Van Etten.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Citi suspends mortgage foreclosures for those in the Gulf Oil spill area

Citi suspended all mortgage foreclosures for the next three months for those living within 25 miles of the oil spill:

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Citigroup Inc. (C) is halting certain foreclosures in the areas affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The bank announced a three-month suspension, effective Thursday through Sept. 17, of foreclosure sales and notifications, and evictions on possessed properties for qualifying borrowers in the Gulf region with first mortgages held by CitiMortgage.

And Fannie Mae announced relief for homeowners also:

WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) today announced that servicers may immediately suspend or reduce mortgage payments for borrowers whose properties or income are negatively impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

"We want to give homeowners every opportunity to weather this unprecedented disaster, including relief from their mortgage payment if that will help them get back on their feet and stay in their homes," said Michael J. Williams, President and CEO. "Our policy is in place to support those who are experiencing a disaster-related hardship through no fault of their own and are acting in good faith to meet their mortgage obligation."

Uncle Sam wants an "Internet kill" bill

The federal government would have “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative “kill switch” to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.

Lieberman has been pushing for government regulation of the Internet for years under the guise of cybersecurity, but this new bill goes even further in handing emergency powers over to the feds which could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency.

“The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined,” reports ZDNet’s Declan McCullagh.

The 197-page bill (PDF) is entitled Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA.

Charle Christ walks in Obama's footsteps

Charlie is out checking for tarballs on the Florida beaches. (Who is he kidding???)

Maybe he watched Obama.

Oh -whoops---Wrong picture!!!

Which makes you wonder why the White House was reading MTO!