Drain Clogs – 03-30-2011

So much for Hollywood

Last year, the CFTC decided to allow trading in movie futures, enabling people to bet on how much major films will earn at the box office (either up or down) before they’ve been finished or even started for that matter.

Businessweek, May 5, 2010:

Even as lawmakers rail against impossible-to-understand toxic securities and Wall Street vows to clean up its act, the investing public continues to be inundated with new, exotic, and complex financial products.


Among the proposed offerings are plans to allow traders to bet on the success of blockbuster movies, an idea that has prompted opposition from some in Hollywood and the U.S. Congress. The exchange-traded fund industry is creating new ETFs at a rate of more than 100 per year, tracking everything from financial stocks to natural gas prices, many unsuitable for all but the savviest traders.

The plan was approved the next month and the consequences are being noticed now.  The Financial Times reports that the stock of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s company, is shooting up whenever Anne Hathaway’s name is mentioned in the press.  How is that possible?  70 percent of stock trades are now performed by computer algorithms–a practice known as high-frequency trading–that perform trades based on, among other things, searches for online news trends.

Wingnut Web – A Resistnet by any other name…

Grassfire.org’s “cash in on the conservatives” site Resistnet changed their name to Patriot Action Network aka PANetwork to avoid the bad publicity from all the racist members out spreading their poison, and then began attempting a fund drive among their members. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of looking to find the same old crap at PANetwork/Resistnet. In fact, almost all of these posts are from the same article, a blog entry by Lloyd Marcus, Tea Party favorite because he’s someone they can wave around to prove they aren’t racist. But they can’t help themselves and the responses are filled with racism and calls for violent government overthrow. Oh, Grassfire.org…will you ever be sane? (No.)

Most Rev. Archbishop Military Dictatorship

Let’s fantasize about killing cops!

Obama: Earthquake Jihadist!
Continue reading

Worst Week Ever

Hope next week is better.

Michigan Republican Governor Snyder pressing to become a dictator

It’s all about small government…

In an outrageous power grab, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-dominated state Senate passed, and sent back to the House, legislation today that allows Snyder to declare a local city to be in a financial emergency and appoint an emergency manager. That manager can, without anyone else’s approval, cancel contracts, including collective bargaining agreements, force consolidation of schools, townships, cities and counties and, unbelievably, unilaterally remove local elected officials.

Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO, said the bill allows the financial manager to abrogate collective bargaining contracts for five years. “It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid. In schools, the manager would decide academics or if you have athletics,” Gaffney said.

This is a takeover by the right wing and it’s an assault on democracy like I’ve never seen.

Unbelievably, the bill even allows Snyder to appoint a corporation as the emergency manager. On her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow made clear what is happening:

This is not about a budget. This is about using or fabricating a crisis to push for an agenda that you would never be able to sell under normal circumstances.

Even more outrageous is the fact that Snyder’s budget creates the crisis by eliminating most of the state financial aid from local schools and local governments that many of them will be in dire straits. So, then, as Maddow points out, the governor who created the crisis can declare an emergency and decide what’s best for an entire town. No one can question it because the emergency manager can suspend the elected officials and even remove the town’s incorporation all together.

The state Senate passed the bill by a 26-12 margin today. The legislation now returns to the House, which already had passed it, to approve minor changes made by the Senate.

Obama’s Space Robots

I was just surfing on PatriotActionNetwork aka PANetwork aka Resistnet grabbing images for a new Wingnut Web, and ran across John W. McSherry’s weird rant about space robots. Apparently, Obama has an army of space robots with lasers that will soon accidentally crash into the Earth and kill us all, or something. In any event, this is a magical posting that everyone must see!


And, yes, the new Wingnut Web is armed and will be fired off later in the week!