A million march to US Capitol to protest again...
Image by wstera2 via Flickr

I’m very disappointed in the disingenuous way our president continues to wage war on the nation’s banks. Yesterday, he unveiled a new tax on these institutions meant to recapture the money spent on TARP. As reported by NPR, the President lays out a compelling story:

“[These banks]…owe their continued existence to the American people, folks who have not been made whole and who continue to face real hardship in this recession. We want our money back and we’re going to get it.”

In other words, if the US government hadn’t made TARP money available to these banks, they would have gone bankrupt.

As you know by now, this is a complete and utter lie. Almost all of the TARP recipients were forced to take the money so the few banks that actually did need the funds wouldn’t be stigmatized and experience a run.

And, as I mentioned before, these same banks that were forced to take the money were also forced to pay interest on it.

But, you know what; it wouldn’t be so bad if he were merely lying. Frankly, that’s par for the Obama administration.

What gets me is the hypocrisy. Check out this quote:

“My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of [these] firms”

Which firms are those, Mr. Obama? Do they include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126161634214403629.html?mg=com-wsj (subscription required)

Fannie, Freddie Disclose Big Jump in CEOs’ Pay

“The companies on Thursday disclosed new pay packages under which Fannie CEO Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Charles (Ed) Haldeman Jr. will earn as much as $6 million a year, including bonuses, well above their current terms. The packages came with the blessing of the Treasury, which has pumped a combined total of about $112 billion of capital into the companies over the past year to keep them in operation, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, which regulates the companies.”

That’s right. We pumped $112 billion of capital into these companies and their CEOs are getting big jumps in pay. By the way, when were those approved? Oh, that’s right, Christmas Eve. Nice transparency.

Well, hey, do Freddie and Fannie have to repay the $112 billion they got?

Answer: no. Despite being the overwhelming majority underwriter of the horrible loans that started this mess. Classy move, Obama.

Oh, but Obama has some suggestions for the banks who do have to repay taxpayer money:

“What I’d say to these executives is this: Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities. And I’d urge you to cover the costs of the rescue not by sticking it to your shareholders or your customers or fellow citizens with the bill but by rolling back bonuses for top earners and executives.”

I literally swore (sorry, Love!) last night as I listened to a supposedly educated man, and leader of the free world, make this statement.

Meeting their responsibilities? What responsibilities are those? The responsibility, under your party’s Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to people who can’t afford them? The responsibility to amp up those loans when a Democrat-led Senate threatened to sue the banks for not loaning enough in the 1990’s?

And where are they going to get the money to pay these fines? From their customers and shareholders and fellow citizens. THEY HAVE NO OTHER SOURCE OF MONEY!!

Oh, except the Treasury, when it’s forced on them.

Mr. Obama, please stop your populist temper tantrum, quit speaking out of both sides of your mouth and get down to the fundamental job government should be doing: ensuring a free market and free information for all participants.

Many people have a misconception about the way computer disk space is measured.  They think:

  • 1 KB = 1,000 bytes
  • 1 MB = 1,000 KB = 1,000,000 bytes
  • 1 GB = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000,000 bytes
  • 1 TB = 1,000 GB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes
  • but most computer people understand how it really is:

    • 1 KB = 1,024 bytes
    • 1 MB = 1,024 KB = 1,048,576 bytes
    • 1 GB = 1,024 MB = 1,073,741,824 bytes
    • 1 TB = 1,024 GB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes

    Well, Apple thinks that’s stupid (I have no opinion):


    “In previous versions of Mac OS X, Apple used the 1024^3 definition of GB. Rather than keep that math and start calling it GiB, Apple has started using the 1000^3 definition.”

    Catch that?  Now, a disk drive that previously held 1 KB (1,024 bytes) now holds 1.024 KB.  In other words, you’ll see a jump in the drive space of a Mac.  Great, right?

    Wrong.  The files saved on the disk will also be bigger.  Apple gets to advertise a larger disk drive while keeping the actual size the same.

    Nice, Apple.  We know you think you’re smarter than us, but come on.  Seriously?

    You knew it would take something ridiculous to bring me back to the blog, right?  Well, here it is:

    You’ve all heard about the poor woman who died on the floor of a psychiatric emergency room in New York.  That is certainly a horrible thing that should never have been allowed to happen.

    Today, though, her six kids advised the hospital, the city of New York and the city’s Health and Hospitals corporation of their intent to file a $25 million lawsuit.  Why?

    “What I want is justice,” Tecia Harrison said…

    Wrong. What you, and your siblings want is money.

    Your mom was literally sick enough to die and you weren’t there?  There are only two options here:

    1. You knew she was sick but didn’t care enough to fly in from Jamaica to be there with her when she needed you.  It could hardly be argued that this was sudden.  This completely invalidates your claim.
    2. You didn’t know she was sick.  Which is basically the same as #1, because if you cared about your mom, you would be involved in her life, at least to the point of being aware of a life-threatening illness!

    Not only should you not get $25 million, you should be reprimanded for also doing nothing to prevent the death of your mother.

    Of course, I don’t know the whole story, so there could be a good reason for her six kids not being there.  If that’s true, I will apologize.  But something tells me I won’t be apologizing for this anytime soon.