I am really upset and angry about the proposed Wall Street buyout and you should be too. It's time to take action! Scroll down to find out who your Congressmen/women are, how to reach them and what to say.
While thousands of people are foreclosing on their homes, and bankruptcy laws stricter than they've ever been, the Bush administration and Sec of the Treasury Henry Paulson are asking us to pay 700 BILLION dollars to bail out their Wall Street friends, with no real responsibility for its success or failure. This is outrageous.
"A $700 billion expenditure on distressed mortgage-related assets would roughly be what the country has spent so far in direct costs on the Iraq war and would amount to more than $2,000 for every American citizen."
"The rescue is being sold as a must-have emergency measure by an administration with a controversial record when it comes to asking Congress for special authority in time of duress." Think: Patriot Act and the War in Iraq.
Here's what the bailout proposal says:
Necessary Actions. The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation: (2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;
Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
This means NO LIMITATIONS, NO REVIEW, and ultimately NO RESPONSIBILITY on the part of the Bush Administration, Paulson, and their eight-figure-salary friends. This OUR money, folks. Our taxes will go to over-paid, over-zealous Wall Street-ers who got us into this mess in the first place with their cavalier attitude towards financial responsibility. Nothing will change, and we will continue to spiral into the worst financial crisis since the depresssion.
"My name is ___ and I am calling on behalf of my family and friends in STATE X. We want Congressman ____ to know that we do not support the Wall Street buyout as it is written. We cannot allow this administration to use 700 billion dollars in taxpayer's money, OUR money, to bail out Wall Street without limitations, without review, and ultimately, without responsibility. If Congressmen ___ votes for this bill, I will NOT vote for him when he is up for re-election. We are angry about this!"
If you are in NYC, you should go. It's your last chance before they turn it into Disney World. From a statement made by Carol Hill Albert, Astroland co-owner:
I am making this statement today to set the record straight. I have not "given up on Coney Island" as Thor Equities has stated. I have given up on trying to get Thor to negotiate which I have attempted to do every month since June, and numerous times in August. Each time their response was, "We have no answer." The safety of our customers and our commitment to employees means our time has run out. Ride parts must be ordered a minimum of eight to 10 months in advance. My employees cannot live in a state of limbo any longer. It takes six months to pack up a three-acre amusement park that has been in operation for 46 years, so a January 31st deadline means start packing yesterday. We are out of time.
Many expected Astroland to return in 2009 since the city is at least a year away from implementing an area rezoning plan that, in part, would replace the park and other attractions with new amusements.
Astroland's potential closing comes while many other boardwalk business owners who rent from Sitt are also sweating it out over whether they'll be back next summer. Like Astroland, they had to wait out a lease extension a year ago also.
"I don't know why they wouldn't bring us back – especially when they don't have anything to replace us with?" said a concerned Dianna Carlin, owner of the Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique. ...
It was unclear just how far apart both sides are in dollars, but Albert's lawyer told Sitt's lawyer in a letter dated Friday that the park has seen expenses increase since last year, particularly a $700,000 surge in insurance costs.
Astroland was seeking a multiple year lease, in part, to give its workers some stability.
The Albert family sold the 3.1-acre Astroland property to Sitt's firm Thor Equities in 2006 for $30 million, but negotiated last year's deal to squeeze in at least one final go-round for Astroland and its employees, many of whom are neighborhood residents with years of service.
This is the end of Old New York in my opinion. It's a sad day.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.
After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.
According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."
She's anti-choice, she's against sex education that isn't abstinence-only, and she is taking away resources for poor unwed mothers. If you notice, she also slashed funding for the Fairbanks Community Food Bank.
John McCain and Sarah Palin are simply a disgrace to this country. They think Americans are stupid and do not deserve to be treated with the least bit of respect. All he cares about is getting elected - he just doesn't give a damn about anyone else but himself and his cronies.
OK, here we go:
1) This is FAUX FEMINISM AT ITS WORST. McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP because he thinks we will vote for her simply because she has a VAGINA and BREASTS. And though I think both are wonderful things to have and enjoy, we need just a LITTLE bit more from someone to be qualified to be VP. McCain thinks that Hillary supporters simply were supporting a vagina/breasts instead of the fact that she's smart, tough, and would have made a just as good a president as Obama. We are smarter than that, thank you very much!
2) Palin has no respect for women, the environment, reason, or humanity, just like McCain - she's a Republican extremist's dream. Take a look:
Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest(1)
She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000(2)
Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools(3)
She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change(4)
She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.(5, 6, 7)
3) Sarah Palin is a HOCKEY MOM, people. A HOCKEY MOM! How DARE McCain criticize Obama in the least for being inexperienced when up until a year and half ago, his VP pick was the mayor of Wasilla, AK - a town of 9,000 people. 9,000 people! Foreign policy experience anyone?(8)
4) Before McCain chose Palin to potentially be second in command, he met her ONCE and spoke on the phone with her ONE other time.(9)
5) According to the sister of a fellow Long Islander who is a longtime resident of Wasilla, Alaska:
"Sarah Palin is a nice lady but you might just as well go out and offer the job to any soccer mom on the street. She is constantly being rescued from hot water because she goofs things up. Right now she is under investigation for firing the chief of the state police because he wouldn't fire her brother-in-law who is in a nasty divorce battle with her sister. She has the state attorney general suing the federal government for listing polar bears as endangered, even though every one knows they are, because she doesn't want it to interfere with off shore drilling. She opposed an initiative to stop hunters from shooting wolves and polar bears from airplanes and another initiative that said big mines can't dump toxins in salmon streams. She is very bad news."
6) Palin, a former Miss Alaska, has made choices as a woman to have a large family - she has FIVE kids. Her husband is an oil production operator for BP and a champion long-distance snowmobiler. Dare I ask who is going to take care of children?
- Son Track is 19 and is being deployed to Iraq in September
- Son Trig Paxon Van Palin is 4 months old, born with Down syndrome, and named as an homage to Van Halen
- Daughter Bristol is 17, pregnant and marrying the father
- Daughters Willow, 14, and Piper, 7
I'm sorry but if I had such a large family with children who clearly need the support of their parents at the moment, I would be quitting politics completely and maybe not doing photo shoots for Vogue. How selfish of her to pursue her career over her family. What kind of role model is she?(10, 11, 12)
We, as Americans, need to get very angry about this. McCain is taking us for fools.
My old colleague Harry McCracken brings to light an application called "I Am Rich," that will make you wonder whether developer Armin Heinrich is referring to you or himself -- after he suckers enough tool bags into purchasing this useless piece of software. The app does nothing but display a red ruby; tapping a miniature i in the corner will load a secret mantra enabling you to "stay rich, healthy, and successful."
Reminds me of VC Wear which sells t-shirts (supposedly, originally) for $100 and only to bona find venture capitalists. This is the shirt that Guy Kawasaki was wearing when I met him at SXSW this year.
It feels inevitable. It seems all of New York that was once old, sturdy, beautiful, full of history and a different
better way of life will yield to looming towers, greed, and
disconnection from the neighborhood. What seems so obviously
destructive to our culture and how we live amongst each other has
become the norm.
It's especially interesting when this push for new buildings becomes
very literally destructive - in this case the crane that ripped through
the apartments and lives of a few East Side tenants. The New York
Times published a follow-up story today illustrating what's wrong with the New York real estate situation:
'Given the perverse logic of Manhattan real estate, the crane accident,
a symbol of runaway development in New York, may end up paving the way
for even more of it. “The landlord has no motivation to do repairs when
he could tear a building down and build a highly profitable office
tower instead,” says Adam Leitman Bailey, the lawyer for Crave Ceviche
so it goes. Property owners are extremely influential and hold much
power over the future and culture of a city. And with money it seems
as their sole motivator, our neighborhoods and our values do not stand
Chairman of the FCCKevin J. Martin, has proposed major changes to the current media ownership rules essentially opening up the floodgates for the likes of Rupert Murdoch to own pretty much all the media outlets in a given city. Right now, you cannot own a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same city. Probably a good thing considering the state of mainstream media at the moment.
One of the things that really piss me off about this is the timetable: he's looking to have the change go into as early as December; not nearly enough time to get a real sense of whether or not this is the right thing to do. I just feel this is so obviously about greed and money and power, that it can't possibly be for the greater good of society. But who cares about society these days anyway?
If you are as nervous about these proposed changes as I am, you can send an email to your congressman asking him/her to hold hearings on the subject. And for your entertainment, play Whack-a-Murdoch here.