Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2008

The Latest Candidate for a Bailout

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 7:00 pm

Sometimes it seems like everyone is lining up for a bailout. iowahawk tells us about the latest money-grubber: Santa.

His case is running into resistance:

“Almost every business in my district has had to adjust to the new economic climate, but SantaCorp seems to believe it can continue with the same old profligate giveaway business-as-usual,” said Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). “I’m sorry for your situation, but it is difficult to justify giving trillions of US taxpayer dollars to a private company that is outmoded, headquartered offshore, and, frankly, imaginary.”

But Santa claims he’s doing what he can:

Kringle defended the company’s business practices and his reported 4 billion cookie annual salary, saying that the company was “doing the best we can under trying circumstances.” He also blamed the company’s struggles in part on federal environmental and safety regulations.

“Frankly the amount of paperwork you require is astronomical,” said Kringle. “OSHA inspections and reporting requirements have doubled our factory production cycle, and every time I tramp a little fireplace soot into a living room I have to fill out three separate EPA environmental impact reports.”

Read it all.

Chuck Philips Earns “Error of the Year” Award

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:27 pm

Regret the Error, a web site that monitors interesting or unusual corrections, awards its “Error of the Year” award to Chuck Philips for his story on the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur:

Roughly a week after the story was published, The Smoking Gun tore it to shreds. The site reported that, among other deficiencies in the story, the “FBI documents” obtained by the Times via Sabatino were forged. The accusations leveled in the story against Combs and his associates were false, not to mention defamatory.

On March 27, the day after the Smoking Gun published its report, the Times apologized for its reporting.

Even Mary Mapes made fun of Philips.

Congratulations to Philips for this dubious distinction, which is only slightly less prestigious than his Pulitzer.

Thanks to PatHMV.

VDH on California’s Past, Present and Future

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 12:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Victor Davis Hanson says California has “the largest annual deficit with one of the highest sales tax and income tax rates in the country.” However, because of its past policies, he suggests California has little hope of solving its current economic problems and he paints a bleak future in his California version of The Christmas Carol:

“It is not as if California decided about 10 years ago to invest to ensure we had state of the art freeways, university campuses, ports, airports, dams, canals, and power infrastructure. Instead, it was too often redistribution rather than investment. It is not like we can get out of the mess by simply stopping all construction when a vast public work force with pension and salary claims, along with entitlements and welfare, take the lion’s share of the budget.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands whom we used to count on to pay our nearly 10% state income rates continue to flee the state. All the past sleight-of-hand borrowing, reliance on inflated real estate, lotteries, bonds, etc. have already been tried. Now we hit the wall of reality, whose iron-clad law — when you have no money, you really have no money — cannot be so easily demagogued away.”

The rest of us may be joining you soon. Good luck, Californians.

– DRJ

Challenge to Obama’s Citizenship Denied by Anthony Kennedy

Filed under: General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Anthony Kennedy yesterday denied the appeal of Truther Philip J. Berg claiming Obama is a citizen of Kenya or Indonesia and therefore ineligible to be President.

There’s a sense of anticlimax, since everyone apparently assumed that the denial of another lawsuit ten days ago took care of all the lawsuits. But it’s just as well, since this lawsuit was no more meritorious than any of the others.

SEC Was Warned About Madoff

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

The Wall Street Journal writes:

In 1999, trader Harry Markopolos wrote that “Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme,” in a letter to the SEC. More recently, multiple SEC inquiries and exams in 2005 and 2007 found only minor infractions.

I listened last night to a radio interview with Markopolos (Marko! Polos!), who said that he had sat down with Madoff as part of his research for a newsletter recommending opportunities to investors. Markopolos said that there were so many red flags raised by Madoff’s presentation that he can’t imagine anyone giving his fund a clean bill of health — if they had actually done their job.

These people missed so many warning signs, they might as well have been L.A. Times editors reviewing a Chuck Philips story.

The Wall Street Journal says “the SEC’s failure is business as usual. The real news would be a case when the SEC did prevent a fraud.”

I’m not necessarily saying the President should fire the SEC Chair (although he could — he could remove him as chair, and fire him entirely if there is cause). But balls were dropped. Tom Blumer has more, and reminds investors not to trust the chuckleheads at the SEC.


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