How Chimpy Makes Money

"Mine's smaller!"

“Mine’s smaller!”

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) breathlessly tells us:

On talk circuit, George W. Bush makes millions but few waves

Just the other day, weren’t they inferring something unsavory if not criminal about how Billary was doing something illicit by making money giving speeches?

“As critics over the years have chided Bill Clinton and also his wife for the industriousness with which they have pursued opportunities to get paid a lot of money in this manner, Bush, too, has been doing exactly what he said he would be doing.

“Since 2009, POLITICO has found, Bush has given at least 200 paid speeches and probably many more, typically pocketing $100,000 to $175,000 per appearance. The part-time work, which rarely requires more than an hour on stage, has earned him tens of millions of dollars.”

In all fairness, I would pay to see this war criminal stand on his hind legs and try to make a coherent sound come out of his booze hole—preferably just before sentencing him to life in the Hague—but then again I like to go see the weird stuff in the midways, too.

The Evening Quote

NotChimpy and Chimpy

NotChimpy and Chimpy

“This is hard for me to be honest with you. I have to do the Heisman on my brother that I love, you know? This is not something I’m comfortable doing. But I’m my own person. I have my own life experience, and I will be successful if I’m a candidate when I share my heart and I talk about what I’ve done as governor of the state, where I cut taxes, reduced the state government workforce by 11 percent, moved the state to a AAA bond rating.”

NotChimpy, the Smart Bush®

Oh. Doing the Heisman. I mean, as far as I can tell.

Home Is Where Their Hearts Aren’t

It's a fixer-upper with potential.

It’s a fixer-upper with potential.

Hey guys, remember that time during the Miracle of Chimpy’s Economy when the mostly un-regulated banks decided to abscond with most of the world’s money by creating exotic derivatives based on mortgages, and no one went to jail for it?

They’re doing it again, but instead of packaging up mortgages, they are buying the houses themselves and are creating derivatives based upon rent checks.

No company has bought more houses than the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. (Its many investments include Hilton Hotels, the Weather Channel, and SeaWorld. Among its institutional investors are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.) Through its subsidiary, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has picked up houses through local brokers, at foreclosure auctions, and in bulk purchases. Last April, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. In Phoenix, some neighborhoods have a Blackstone-owned home on just about every block. As of November, Blackstone had acquired 40,000 houses, most of them foreclosures, worth $7.5 billion. Today, it is the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation.”

“…Invitation Homes has described its strategy as “a bet on America.” Rather than pricing buyers out of the market, [Andrew Gallina, Invitation Homes’ vice president for marketing] says, the company is helping families who can’t get mortgages.”

So let me get this right: after destroying the housing market in the early 2000s, the Hedge Funders have bought up the houses themselves and in the process of buying up all these low-priced houses, they are forcing people into renting their properties, of which rent checks are then bundled into exotic derivatives, i.e., making bets that everyone will pay their rent on time.

What could possibly go wrong?

“But what if the security blows up? Investors could demand their collateral back, forcing renters out of their homes, even if they never missed a payment. “We could well end up in that situation where you get a lot of people getting evicted—not because the tenants have fallen behind, but because the landlords have fallen behind,” says [Dean Baker, an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research].”

Jebbie Claps His Hands For Tinkerbell

That sound you hear is every accounting teacher throughout history hitting the floor, stone cold dead when The Smart Bush® endorsed Pixie Dust Accounting.

That is how you end up with a war off the books, and no domestic spending.

What They Said

torture-1

NYTimes Editorial: “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses”

The two greatest disappointments I have had with the Obama Administration have been that they never investigated/prosecuted The Bush Administration for war crimes that Chimpy and Blam-blam have all admitted—if not bragged about—committing; and that not a single bankster has had to suffer a moment in court for wrecking the economy.

One of the snarkier, on-going criticisms on this blog has been to urge the administration to hold a mirror under the nose of AG Holder to find out if he is still breathing. It sounds like the NYTimes is joining us.

2016: Saddle-Up Another Goat!

choo-choo train

Rob Portman’s Iowa tour

*Giggle*

Asked about his own prospects for a presidential bid in 2016, Portman said: “I’m totally focused on 2014 now.”

“As you can tell,” he said, eating a blueberry croissant at Caribou Coffee on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, “I’ve been in I think eight states already and I’ll probably be in another five or six before the end of this month. That’s my focus. Getting this majority is, I think, the first important step toward turning this country around, and frankly, winning in 2016. But after the election I’ll take a look at it. I am worried about the direction of our country. And that’s my passion. But I’m going to wait until after the election.”

Bawh-ha-ha! Rob Portman was Chimpy McStagger’s Budget Director. Let’s watch him try to dodge that ball, so to speak.

Blogger Going Down!

From time to time we’ve tried to give our pal Jurassic Pork, proprietor of the venerable blog Welcome Back To Pottersville a boost when the wolf is at his door, huffing and puffing.

The wolf is back, and his lungs are in fine form.

If anyone can throw some love his way (or some money) it will be received with gratitude and will be well-used. The recession has hit a lot of us really hard, but those on the northside of 50 also face age discrimination and through no fault of their own have had a harder time crawling out of the 2008 hole than other demographics.

UPDATE – I’ve said it before: Scissorheads rule. Keep the luv going for JP, if you can.

Goodbye, Eric Holder UPDATED

We learned today of the resignation of US AG Eric Holder:

Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

Holder’s work on Civil Rights was outstanding, but he was also beholden to the status quo when it came to people with power: Holder never found a single person to prosecute for Wall Street’s criminal looting of the global economy, and never brought charges against the admitted war criminals of the Bush Administration.

I’m not sure we would notice the difference if he left today, which is probably a good thing: it is unlikely that the Republicans would approve a replacement, especially if they gain control of the Senate in 2014 as many pundits are predicting.

Paul Constant at the SLOG says it so much better than I ever could.

I didn’t have one single reaction upon reading this morning that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning… Holder has a spotty record on civil liberties—he’s taken heat from both the left and the far right as an enemy of freedom of the press and a fearsome enforcer when it comes to whistleblowers. He let Wall Street and the big banks trample the middle class. He deserves all that criticism—Holder has done a lot to keep George W. Bush’s paranoid, power-obsessed America alive for another eight years—but he’s taken a lot of criticism that he doesn’t deserve, too. The New York Times, for instance, describes Holder as a “lightning rod” for “partisan venom,” which is a decidedly mixed metaphor that somehow works perfectly.

He’s also been a force for good. Holder has been a strong supporter of civil rights, gay marriage, and reduced prison time for nonviolent drug offenders. He’s been permissive of Washington and Colorado’s experiments with legalized marijuana. We just got an e-mail from Christian ninnies Morality in Media saying Holder’s resignation “can only give hope to those suffering the ravages of the pornography pandemic in America.” Anyone painting him as a faux-liberal is intentionally obscuring half the man’s record. Anyone trying to paint him as a strictly liberal politician is missing the point, too.

So Bill Gates walks into a bar…

…and the average income rises.

choo-choo train

However, median income is in some ways a better measure?

The census numbers on what American families made last year are as mediocre as they are predictable. We now know that if your household brought in $51,939 in income last year, you were right at the 50th percentile, with half of households doing better and half doing worse. In inflation-adjusted terms, that is up a mere 0.3 percent from 2012. If you’re counting, that’s an extra $180 in annual real income for a middle-income American family. Don’t spend your extra $3.46 a week all in one place.

There’s a chart in the NYTimes article that shows more clearly than anything how far we’ve fallen with The Miracle Of The Bush Economy began. The GDP has grown by leaps and bounds as America’s multination corporations have benefitted greatly from killing off the working class and moving operations off-shore.

I know technically we left the Great Recession years and years ago, and outside of the rarified air of Silicon Valley (the board rooms and suites, not so much in the cubicle farms and veal-fattening pens) and Wall Street, I really don’t know of anyone who is doing better; I do know some people who are holding steady, but most people in my circle are doing considerably worse. So while the technical definition is that the US is in good times, to most of us we are well on the way to a lost decade, if not a lost generation.

WSJ: Portman in the 2016 Goat Rodeo?

Portman

HAHAHAHAHAHA! *Gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Chimpy McStagger’s Budget Director? That Rob Portman?

HAHAHAHAHAHA! *gasp* HAHAHAHAHA!

Killer material, dude!