One of my friends and I were talking about this the other day, and he said he thought Brett Favre was a moron. “He doesn’t know by now that women don’t have the same biological response to naked pictures as men?” he said. “That’s just plain stupid. And besides, he thinks some hottie half his age wants to look at his gray-assed dick-fro?”
When I got done laughing, I agreed that in general, he was right. “If it was someone you were already having a hot and heavy relationship with and you had to be apart, it would be appropriate,” I said. “But just some random picture? No way. Plus, he’s quite, um, average.”
Then he complained about that, because “now you’re making me go look at pictures of Brett Favre’s junk to see what you think is ‘average.’”
I told him the only thing making him look was the male-competition DNA — an ongoing theme. (He often theorizes that the way to boost male performance in the sack is to have a group of the man’s friends surround the bed, rating his performance. He might be on to something! It brings a whole new meaning to “third-base coach”.) I can just picture that cheering section – and the color commentary: “Brad’s been batting an astounding .675 at home, and looks like he’s going for a new record!”
“Way to swing the bat, Mike!” (Accompanied by a butt slap.)
New reality show?
I’m listening to right-wing talk radio, and a 22-year-old self-described Christian woman who describes herself as “extremely confused until I started listening to you,” calls in to ask the host for help in arguing with her left-leaning boyfriend about his voting for Jerry Brown.
The host asks why her boyfriend’s avoiding talking about the election.
“Oh, that’s not him, that’s me,” she said. “I asked to delay talking about it until I knew more about the issues.”
In other words: She only wants to hear something that confirms what she instinctively “knows.” And she only wants to know how to argue that pre-determined position — even though she doesn’t really know why she’s chosen it.
Is she any different from any other cult member?
As we continue to ignore the root cause of our terrorism problem, life and death in Gaza go on:
GAZA CITY, Oct 13, 2010 (IPS) – Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do.
The health ministry now lists 375 deaths due to shortage of life-saving medicines. The medicines sit just outside the borders of the territory until most pass their expiry dates. But there are no expiry dates on about 10,000 coffins that have been donated for Gaza. The coffins do make it to those that eventually need them.
By the end of last month more than 70 percent of medicines donated for Gaza had been dumped because they were past their expiry date, the health ministry says. They were worth many millions of dollars. And they were worth many lives.
“Much of the donated medicines came from Arab states,” Dr Mounir Al- Boursh, director of the pharmaceutical department at the health ministry tells IPS. This added up to 10,300 tonnes of medicines worth 25 million dollars, he said.
Only about 30 percent of this could be used, he said; the rest either expired, or was inaccessible because of restricted distribution by the Israelis, who control what gets into Gaza.
It’s not easy to dump medicines safely either. Much of unused supply mixes with domestic waste, creating health hazards far from bringing relief. The World Health Organisation has had to “raise concern about the unsafe disposal of expired medication and other medical disposable material,” WHO spokesperson told IPS.
But the Gaza ministry has received 10,000 coffins, about 1,000 of them for children, Dr Boursh said. Such help, he said, “does not meet with the needs of the Gaza Strip.”
No wonder the banksters are so jumpy. Felix Salmon:
This is where things get positively evil. The investment banks didn’t mind buying up loans they knew were bad, because they considered themselves to be in the moving business rather than the storage business. They weren’t going to hold on to the loans: they were just going to package them up and sell them on to some buy-side sucker.
In fact, the banks had an incentive to buy loans they knew were bad. Because when the loans proved to be bad, the banks could go back to the originator and get a discount on the amount of money they were paying for the pool. And the less money they paid for the pool, the more profit they could make when they turned it into mortgage bonds and sold it off to investors.
Now here’s the scandal: the investors were never informed of the results of Clayton’s test. The investment banks were perfectly happy to ask for a discount on the loans when they found out how badly-underwritten the loan pool was. But they didn’t pass that discount on to investors, who were kept in the dark about that fact.
I talked to one underwriting bank — not Citi — which claimed that investors were told that the due diligence had been done: on page 48 of the prospectus, there’s language about how the underwriter had done an “underwriting guideline review”, although there’s nothing specifically about hiring a company to re-underwrite a large chunk of the loans in the pool, and report back on whether they met the originator’s standards.
In any case, it’s clear that the banks had price-sensitive information on the quality of the loan pool which they failed to pass on to investors in that pool. That’s a lie of omission, and if I was one of the investors in one of these pools, I’d be inclined to sue for my money back. Prosecutors, too, are reportedly looking at these deals, and I can’t imagine they’ll like what they find.
The bank I talked to didn’t even attempt to excuse its behavior. It just said that Clayton’s taste-testing was being done by the bank — the buyer of the loan portfolio — rather than being done on behalf of bond investors. Well, yes. That’s the whole problem. The bank was essentially trading on inside information about the loan pool: buying it low (negotiating for a discount from the originator) and then selling it high to people who didn’t have that crucial information.
This whole scandal has nothing to do with the foreclosure mess, but it certainly complicates matters. It’s going to be a very long time, I think, before the banking system is going to be free and clear of the nightmare it created during the boom.
Update: KidDynamite asks a good question in the comments: were the bond investors able to do their own due diligence on the loan pool? The answer is no, they weren’t — the prospectus did not include the kind of loan-level information which would enable them to do that.
If pregnant woman are “noble” enough to sacrifice cancer treatment.