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  1. vhammon commented on Ted Rall over 2 years ago

    Let’s all be CONSERVative and prudent. If there is just a 1% chance that humans are altering the climate, why not act like grown ups and reduce waste, reduce energy consumption through innovation, care for the foundations of our ecosystems (watersheds, green spaces…). These steps make good business sense as well as good stewardship of the Earth sense. I spent too many years of my career and parenting/grandparenting with prechool age children and the whining about ‘taking away the Big Toy Cars’ sounds all too familiar.

  2. vhammon commented on Nick Anderson almost 3 years ago

    70% of the people trading oil on the international markets are pure speculators who never intend to take ownership of their oil—-just take a slice of profit. Some estimate that they run the price of oil up by about 60cents.. Note that the actual cost of production, including profits is about $75 per barrel, so all the rest is gravy being creamed off by Wall Street speculators. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CXLUMWJN78 or just google ‘oil speculators.’

  3. vhammon commented on Chan Lowe almost 3 years ago

    Did I miss them? I haven’t seen any comments from those who “do not want to pay for the birth control of someone else in their insurance premiums” about not wanting to pay for Viagra for the 25 million men who the company advertises need their product.

  4. vhammon commented on Jeff Danziger almost 3 years ago

    Personally, I could never forgive Hilary for failing to read the 85-95? page Intelligence summary before voting to invade Iraq. Her claim that she had good people reading for her and could trust what they passed on to her spoke poorly of her ability to get the best from her staff, her priorities and her sense of responsibility. If she’d read it herself, she might have noticed all the caveats in the footnotes.

  5. vhammon commented on Glenn McCoy almost 3 years ago

    Thank you, Ben.

  6. vhammon commented on Jack Ohman almost 3 years ago

    More than 70% of the trading for oil is purely speculative—by people who have no intention of ever taking possession of the oil. Thirty years ago, it was 30% speculative to 70% market buyers/sellers. OF COURSE when you have 3 times the people bidding for a resource, it runs up the price. Please, everytime you hear a news source blame trouble in the Middle East, or diminshing supplies, please point out that speculators are by far and away the biggest cause of price spirals. There is less demand for oil right now than available oil. The actual costs run about $75/barrel. Any additional cost is going to gamers—-another way Wall Street sucks us dry.

  7. vhammon commented on Chan Lowe almost 3 years ago

    Makes a solid metaphor: In a free and unregulated marketplace, people bought and then let loose exotic predators that have decimated the populations of small and middle size mammals.
    A recent law restricts the importation and cross state commerce in these destructive exotic species, and some Republicans are wailing that this regulation will kill the jobs of those in the python & anaconda snake breeding business.
    Sounds like the financial markets, where no regulation and minimal oversight allowed the big predators to wipe out the middle class. Reregulating brings the same howls of “job killer!” Well, yes. Many of us would like to kill the jobs of those who prey on Main Street, extracting wealth without producing anything of value in return.

  8. vhammon commented on Matt Davies almost 3 years ago

    Well said, Motivemagus.
    The newsletter issue raises serious questions about Paul’s character and leadership. Either he supported and believes the racist rants of his newsletter and is now being 2-faced to secure public office, in blatant contradiction to his sales pitch that he is a consistent thinker/actor OR he is a very careless leader, who will abstain from directing and controlling action that is taken in his name….neither is a good reference for a potential president.

  9. vhammon commented on Chan Lowe about 3 years ago

    Really? Can you site some sources…seems to me people used to be considerably more grownup about showing respect to the position as well as the person. …especially the presidential wives…‘common courtesy’ used to be more common.

  10. vhammon commented on Mike Luckovich about 3 years ago

    OK. I found the Federal Enterprises FS Act of 1992. It required Fannie & Freddie to include a minimum of 30% of their loan portfolio in loans to moderate and low income people. I could not find anything that ordered them to buy subprime loans, loans made without proof of income, loans made for 100% of the purchase price with interest only and balloon payments. Where do you see this in the text of the Act. These were all creations of the for-profit marketplace, and Freddie and Fannie just jumped on the bandwagon to make money for their investors.


    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Housing_and_Community_Development_Act_of_1992/Title_XIII/Subtitle_A/Part_2/Subpart_B#Subpart_B


    Freddie and Fannie became the worst of the aims of both Republicans and Democrats. They began as a government guarantor to expand the mortgage market. They were privatized in 1968 so that profits could be paid out to private shareholders and they could be run ‘more like a business.’ Despite the clear denial of taxpayer responsibility in the law, the private company used the marketplaces assumption of government backing to monopolize the marketplace, assuring a steady stream of profits to private investors and some of the highest CEO salaries in the nation.

    After handing this candy jar off to the private sector, Congress demanded that the agency use 30% of its authority to serve low and moderate income people. This hardly seems like an onerous bargain.

    You’re right about Cuomo, and, “It is also worth remembering that the motive for this bipartisan ownership expansion probably had more to do with the legion of lobbyists working for lenders, brokers, and Wall Street than an effort to walk in MLK’s footsteps. Each mortgage was a commodity that could be sold again and again—from the brokers to the bankers to the securities market. If, at the bottom of this pyramid, the borrower collapsed under the weight of his mortgage’s impossible terms, the home could be repackaged a second or a third time and either refinanced or dumped on a new victim.

    Those are the interests that surrounded Cuomo, who did more to set these forces of unregulated expansion in motion than any other secretary and then boasted about it, presenting his initiatives as crusades for racial and social justice.” http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-08-05/news/how-andrew-cuomo-gave-birth-to-the-crisis-at-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac/
    Scheer’s book (above) makes it pretty clear that the responsibility lies with BOTH Republicans and Democrats who are working for Wall Street and not in the best interests of America.