Archive for money

Bridge-it Loves Christie


Pulaski Skyway Bridge Pulaski Skyway Bridge

What is it with boys and their toys? They just won't leave them alone sometimes. They have a fascination that they can't give up -- until they break them.

And NJ Governor Chris Christie may just have crossed that bridge too far.

Now comes another bridge scandal. No, really. Another bridge scandal. You just gotta love this guy, Christie. He doubles down when he thinks he can get away with something. He's determined to leave no bridge unturned.

Here's the latest from the Daily Beast:

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Manhattan district attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Christie's office for lobbying the Port Authority to divert $1.8 billion away from a canceled rail-tunnel project and towards repairing the Pulaski Skyway bridge. Pulaski is a state bridge, outside of the Port Authority's purview. The Christie administration recast the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel (they're not connected) in order to justify using Port Authority funds. The move is under scrutiny for potentially defrauding bond holders. Under the Martin Act, prosecutors could bring felony charges without proving intent to defraud. The SEC could also take civil action.

What's it all mean? Fraud.

Christie, who boasted he could balance the state's budget in his reelection stump speeches, couldn't. So he diverted funds from a public source, the billion dollar rail-tunnel project. Christie cancelled the project which was already underway then took the unspent funds and used them for repairs that were not authorized. He did it by claiming the bridge was an access road.

A bridge became an access road? Okay, that's stretching it, but we'll move on.

He then claimed this "access road" connected to the Lincoln Tunnel. It does NOT  lead or connect in any way, shape or form to the Lincoln Tunnel. That's like saying the Bridge over the River Kwai connected Burma with London.

So, just when you thought it was safe to return to New Jersey, think again. You may be following road signs from Trenton to New York City and end up in Pennsylvania thanks to Gov. Christie and his new road connection designations.

But if you want to speak to him, you better do it quickly. He may be moving his office to the New Jersey State Department of Corrections.

Looks like he's gonna have a bit more 'splainin' to do, Lucy.


Mary Barra-ly Telling The Truth About GM Related Deaths




Sometimes people just aren't the right people to ask when something goes wrong. But in the case of GM and the multiple deaths attributed to a faulty ignition switch design, you'd think the government had found the right person to quiz.

There was an apparent `cover-up and to get to the bottom of this, General Motors tabbed the CEO of the company to come in and answer official inquiries by both the House and Senate committees into what happened, how it happened, when the company knew about it and what steps did they take to correct the situation?

Simple enough questions. And Mary Barra, the GM CEO, should be ideally suited to answer these questions. That is, if GM had nothing to hide. Sadly, they do and she did. She showed up to the Senate hearings and played the typical ignorance game -- she defended her lack of knowledge in this deadly issue by playing dumb. Truth is, she's anything but. She claimed that she is new to her job and she needs time to look for the answers. Currently she just doesn't know enough to comment on her company's potential criminality nor their alleged cover-up.

That wasn't good enough for committee chairperson, Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-Missouri). She got right to the point to tear apart Barra's 'neophyte status' defense. Checking out Barra's resume, which McCaskill does so deftly, you can see why her "I wasn't aware of a problem" defense" was shred into itty-bitty pieces.

It's time for GM to stop lying to buy time and confess to their liability. Thirteen families have been devastated by their actions. We Americans have put a lot of money into big corporations to save them. Maybe they should start coming clean with us on their actions.

If the American public is going to subsidize you, (hear that big oil), you better come honest and prepared to our elected officials when summoned or face the consequences next time you look for us to give you any help.


Bitcoin, anyone? No, I'll pass, thanks...I like a little more substance to my currency.



Bitcoin? No thanks...

I haven't gotten into arguments with right-wingers for a long time and I don't miss them.  I got tired of them because they never seemed to use a single brain cell to back up their points.

Libertarians are the worst of the lot because they live in a pure fantasy world where Ayn Rand's fiction is, to them, serious economic theory.  They never appreciated my telling them that Howard Roark is just as real as Harry Potter.  In essence, they all saw 'the emperor's clothes' although he was butt naked.  They had no connection with reality and still do not.

That's what I feel about Bitcoin.

I found a great explanation of Bitcoin in this article by Kevin Roose on the New York Magazine site:  The Doomsday Cult of Bitcoin.

From the excellent article:

Today, another nail hit the coffin courtesy of Flexcoin, a so-called "Bitcoin bank" that announced that all its users' accounts had simply vanished.

For months now, Bitcoin soothsayers have proclaimed that the virtual currency is going to Change Everything. The mass adoption of Bitcoin, they told us, would utterly transform the way the world stores and exchanges value. Government-backed currency would become obsolete.

In other words, there's no there there!  Bitcoin is virtual slight-of-hand, legerdemain. 

These may seem like isolated incidents, but together, they add up to a massive, damning breach of trust. I don't doubt, as Nobel laureate Robert Shiller put it last week, that "something good can arise from [Bitcoin's] innovations." But Bitcoin itself will never recover from these initial pratfalls.

The nature of a speculative commodity like Bitcoin is that it essentially runs on hope – the more people who buy the hype, the higher the value goes, and the more firms like Andreessen Horowitz are willing to pump money into strengthening the Bitcoin ecosystem. Wish for the UFO hard enough, and it might actually arrive.

But the Bitcoin dream is all but dead. Now the true believers are trying to cope with their setbacks by increasing their numbers. And if history is any guide, they’ll keep telling you the bright future of Bitcoin is just ahead, long after they've ceased to believe it themselves.

Someone finally pointed out that the emperor is naked.

Oh, by the way, don't take any wooden nickels.


Power Of Hate With Duck Dynasty


Duck Dynasty quartet

Ah, the power of hate speech and the people who bring it to us. Does it matter who the source is? You bet.

You may be dismissive of this as a good ol' boy just speaking his mind, maybe even on some hootch or moonshine. But consider this... Phil Robertson has a huge following and he's got political clout.

Back in November, I wrote a post called: Tea Party, Jindal, Cantor Get Slapdown From Duck Dynasty And Voters. It told about how Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame came to the support of a Louisiana congressional runoff contest between favored Neil Riser and newcomer Vance McAllister. McAllister was trailing badly until he got the Duck Dynasty fellows to come visit and support his campaign. Well, damned if things didn't turn on a dime and Vince pulled off a huge comeback win. And he knew how it happened. It was the huge popularity of the Phil Robertson and his clan.

So when these guys and their wives speak, millions listen. When the speech is hateful, evil and vile, sadly it brings out the nutcases. Among the quick to speak out for their defense:

Sarah Palin immediately jumped onto her Facebook account with this:

Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty guys

And she's not alone in defending the indefensible, offensive and reprehensible. HuffPo:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday became the latest politician to defend Phil Robertson, a cast member of the reality show "Duck Dynasty" who was suspended from the television network A&E after making graphic anti-gay comments and saying African-Americans were "singing and happy" before civil rights in the South. "Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana," Jindal said in a statement. "The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with."

And no indefensible stand would be complete without wackadoo-in-chief, Ted Cruz. From Talking Points Memo moments ago:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday defended 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson after he wassuspended from the television show for making controversial anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ magazine.

"If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job," Cruz wrote on his Facebook page. "In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him--but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree."

Time will tell who else will join the whackadoo bandwagon but this should be a warning sign. The Tea Party is on the march, armed with rifles and duck whistles -- coming soon to a hunting blind near you.