Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Big Short

I just finished reading the The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. Basically it details how a few really bright men figured out that the sub-prime mortgage market was going to implode causing the worst financial crisis since the great depression.  These few people shorted the market (made a bet against it) and made billions while all the major banks and brokerage houses went belly up.  What disturbs me about this whole story is where were the really smart guys in the government to see the same data and therefore head off the whole crisis.  They were either a sleep at the switch or they just don't exist.  Why were the regulators allow to classify these really worthless bonds as AAA?  Why didn't government just freeze the teaser rates?  Why were people with no income told how to lie to get a ridiculously high loan when they had no means to repay them?

 What insentive do the banks have to make good loans when they can make billions by making bad loans.  If all hell breaks loose, the government just bails them out.  When I am King, a lot of these assholes are headed to prison.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Unlikely Final Four

Do you think there is anyone in the country with a NCAA bracket that has a Final 4 of Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler, and VCU?  I don't think so and I am glad.  I am tired of basketball snobs, such as Jay Bilas (CBS) raining on everyone's parade.  If you don't come form ACC or Big East, you really don't have a chance, or so goes his conventional wisdom.  This is only the third time that a number one team has failed to make in to the semi-finals.

Personally I am pulling for the winner between Butler and VCU - since conventional wisdom says they don't belong.  When I am King, I'll let everyone into the tournament. How you like that Jay?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Save The Economy, Starve a Teacher

Now that we know  the economy can be saved by paying teachers less money everyone should feel at ease.  But first, maybe a closer examination is in order.  In Florida, the Governor wants every school district to get by on 10% less money (loss jobs and larger class size will do the trick) as well as have the teachers pay a higher percentage into their pension  and health care plans(can you say "cut in pay").  Since the Governor wants to eliminate all collective bargaining contracts, he offered to raise the pay of all teachers who excel in having their classes do well on standardise tests.  Of course the governor doesn't worry about having to pay too many bonuses, because he basically thinks most teachers are lazy, good for nothing union slackers.

Here's my question.  What if -- what if all the teachers take him up on this challenge and suddenly all of Florida's school children start passing those standardize test like there's no tomorrow.  Where will all the money come from to pay the promised raises?  Surely not form his rich buddies who have every tax benefit imaginable. No he'll just come up with another bull shit idea.  Maybe -- re-instate slavery.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness

One of my favorite times of the year is March Madness -- since I coached basketball for 26 years.  I am sure lots of you are filling out brackets right now.  Hurry up, the main draw of 64 start Thursday.  As your potential King, I though I would share some of my expertise with you.  I should warn you, I don't always do that well, because I tend to pick teams who have coaches I like.  With that in mind, my long shot pick to win it all is ------- San Diego State (32-2).
I use to coach high school basketball against their coach Steve Fisher.  He's a class guy who won a national championship at Michigan.  You might know him as the coach of the Fab 5.  Because of outside trouble makers he lost his job at Michigan, but eventually landed on his feet at SDS.  He probably got a raw deal at Michigan and I am glad he's getting another shot.  If you take Duke to win it all, and they lay an egg, remember I told you so.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Witch Hunts

In the 1950's Senator Joe McCarthy led a witch hunt to find communist sympathizers in America.  He destroyed countless reputations but  found no national security threats.  Basically Joe was a drunk who found a neat idea to help him get re-elected.

Enter New York Representative Peter King.  As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee he has decided to start his own political show trial by investigating radical Islam in the United States.  This would be the same Peter King that supported the Irish Republican Army during the 80's & 90's.  Of course IRA bombers didn't blow up anything in the U.S., so all is forgiven.

Where were the investigations of Christian terrorists after Timothy McVeigh decided to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building back in 1995? Or why do we have a national holiday for the greatest Christian  terrorist to ever reach the western world -- Christopher Columbus? What we need is a Congress that can work together to solve our problems and not waste our time with witch hunts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wisconsin Education

For years people have pondered how to get the best and brightest of our college graduates to go into teaching.  Not an easy task since most males scoff at the profession because of the low pay.  But, there are some benefits that have helped attracted some good minds, such as a pension plans and health benefits. Just when things were looking up, a group of Republican bankers decided to destroy the economy. Instead of sending these crooks to prison, the Congress decides to bail them out and let them try again.  Just to make sure things get done right, we elect some half wits to positions of authority and let them come up with solutions.  But, first we make sure we give another tax break to the richest one percent (also know as the assholes who created the whole deficit problem in the first place). 

In Wisconsin you have one of the half wits trying to bring down the teachers and all collective bargaining.  His name is Scott Walker and you are bound to hear more about him in the near future.  It's his goal to balance the budget on the backs of working people, while giving a free pass to the rich and famous.  Oh, remember, the ones who are going to create all the jobs.  Well, where are all the jobs????  Rest assured, Walker and his ilk won't be happy until they bring back slavery.  And before we get too down on Scotty boy, there's another Presidential hopeful in Indiana trying to do the same damn thing.
When I am King, I'll start cutting from the top not the bottom.