Monday edition - March 16, 2009



From Outrage to the Future: Learning From the AIG Bonuses
ABC News - 3-16-09
While there's seemingly no shortage of outrage aimed at beleaguered insurance giant AIG's plan to pay out $165 million in executive retention bonuses, it may turn out that the best the country can hope for in response ...


Obama to Test Fundraising Skills Amid ‘Donor Fatigue,’ Crisis
Bloomberg - 3-16-09
March 16 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will headline the first fundraiser of his presidency this month, appealing to donors large and small even as the economy struggles through the worst recession in

Obama braces for a backlash
International Herald Tribune - ‎3-16-09
The administration of President Barack Obama is increasingly concerned that a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street could end up being directed at Congress and the White House and complicate the president's agenda


The journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush was convicted on Thursday in an Iraqi court. He was sentenced to three years of non-stop high-fives. - Jimmy Fallon




The-World-Will-Be-A-Safer-Place-Without Saddam


Family unearths clues to missing Texas soldier's fate in Cambodia


McKinley Nolan's letters from South Vietnam to his wife in Texas hinted at his anguish. He wrote of playing dead to survive on the battlefield and the suffering of Vietnamese civilians.

"He was just telling me how bad it was over there, all the fighting, all the killing," said Mary Nolan.

There was no clue of what was to come





Disturbing News

Cheney Speaks


A debate between President Barack Obama and Rush Limbaugh? If it ever happens, Dick Cheney will be in line for a ticket.

"I'd pay to see that," the former vice president said Sunday.



"Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson have broken up. That's right. That's right. And apparently it was not that big a surprise. Even the Russians saw it coming." -- David Letterman


Republican-Shenanigans News


"President Bush's first speech on the lecture circuit is June 17 in Pennsylvania. President Bush will discuss his eight years in office and the challenges facing us in the 21st century. Of course, the biggest challenge, getting over his eight years in office." -- Jay Leno

He Was For It Before He Was Against It


A day after a magazine quoted him as saying abortion was "an individual choice," GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday he opposes abortion and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Steele, who was adopted, told GQ magazine that his mother had the option of getting an abortion or giving birth to him.





I’ll Get You My Pretty…and That Little Wolf Too! Palin’s War on Wildlife Continues…

The Mudflats
Tiptoeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics


We Just Don't Understand Them Rich CEOs!



In a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, JP Morgan Chase CEO James L. “Jamie” Dimon said the banking system can recover by year end if US officials stop the “constant vilification of corporate America” and work with the financial sector to end the crisis.

He doesn’t understand what all the criticism of Wall Street is about, he says, adding, “I would ask a lot of our folks in government to stop doing it because I think it’s hurting our country.”



The Dow is up for 4 straight days. The recession is over! - Grant "Bud" Gerver


Rock-The-Voter News


Lest we forget …

the moronic behavior of the past President who so seriously harmed our nation, All Hat No Cattle now offers a different notable quotation from George W. Bush each week.

“The senator has got to understand if he’s going to have – he can’t have it both ways. He can’t take the high horse and then claim the low road.” – Feb. 17, 2000

Ads by Google



Biz-Tech News

Some Good News


America's recession "probably" will end this year if the government succeeds in bolstering the banking system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Sunday in a rare television interview.




Madoff’s victims thought they were making nice, safe investments. Now I’m certainly not blaming them, but maybe they should’ve been tipped off by the guy’s name. “Made-off.” That’s like giving your money to a guy called “Steve Criminal.”- Craig Ferguson


Bush-Prison-Torture News

The Bush CIA


The International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a secret report that the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda captives "constituted torture," a finding that strongly implied that CIA interrogation methods violated international law, according to newly published excerpts from the long-concealed 2007 document.




Today's Highlight in History:


In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504. The same day, in Washington, D.C., Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.


In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Mass.


In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles by ordering the rearming of Germany.

Ten years ago: The Dow Jones industrial average briefly topped the 10,000 level, reaching a high of 10,001.78 before retreating.


Go-F**k-Yourself News

Two Words: Model Fight


Supermodel and television host Tyra Banks said Sunday she's "concerned" about Saturday's melee at an "America's Next Top Model" audition at a New York hotel but said she didn't know what caused the disturbance.


In case you missed it …

In its tireless effort to provide news and giggles for its readers, All Hat No Cattle offers this Monday glimpse back at the previous week with an emphasis on the weekend dump. (We mean the time preferred by government officials, politicians and titans of industry to release unsavory news in the hope it receives less media coverage – not the bathroom activity.)

Sun., 3/15/2009

Taxpayers bend over again for corporate executive bonuses
WASHINGTON (AP) – American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has asked that the company scale back future bonus payments where legally possible, an administration official said Saturday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that Geithner had called AIG Chairman Edward Liddy on Wednesday to demand that Liddy renegotiate AIG's current bonus structure.


Sat., 3/14/2009

Just what U.S. needs: more PAC donors
WASHINGTON (AP) – More groups than ever are contributing money to presidential and congressional candidates as their strongest growth in a generation reflects the fervor over last year's White House election and a desire for access and clout on Capitol Hill.

The Federal Election Commission says that on Jan. 1 there were 4,611 political action committees, which are formed by companies, unions or other groups to raise and spend money to help presidential and congressional candidates. That was 9 percent more than the 4,234 PACs a year earlier.

Many of the ones created last year reflect the types of issues that President Barack Obama and Congress, now largely controlled by Democrats, hope to tackle this year.

Among those forming new committees were the National Asphalt Pavement Association and several local branches of the International Union of Operating Engineers, whose members could benefit from paving new roads; the Patriot Coal Corp. of St. Louis, a large coal producer concerned about energy issues; and Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, Calif., a producer of medical devices for treating cancer, which could be affected by Obama's health care plans.


Fri., 3/13/2009

Madoff clan lived like royalty on others’ money
NEW YORK (AP) – Bernard Madoff and his wife had $823 million in assets at the end of last year, including $22 million in properties stretching from New York to the French Riviera, a $7 million yacht and a $2.2 million boat named "Bull," according to a document his lawyers filed Friday.

The document, prepared for the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of last year, was contained in papers filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to get Madoff freed on bail.

Among the couple's assets: a $12 million half share in a plane, $65,000 in silverware and a $39,000 piano. It values their four properties — in Manhattan, Montauk, Palm Beach, Fla., and Cap d'Antibes, France — at $22 million, and the furniture, fine art and household goods in the homes at $8.7 million.

But the bulk of Madoff's assets, according to the document, consists of an estimated $700 million value put on his investment business. Madoff said during his plea that the market making and proprietary trading side of his business were "legitimate, profitable and successful in all respects."


California might take high road to budget relief

(TIME) – Could marijuana be the answer to the economic misery facing California? Democratic State Assembly member Tom Ammiano thinks so. Ammiano introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale – a move that could mean billions for the cash-strapped state. Pot is, after all, California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion in annual sales, dwarfing the state's second largest agricultural commodity - milk and cream - which brings in $7.3 billion annually, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state's tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion in much-needed revenue a year, offsetting some of the billions in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget.

"The state of California is in a very, very precipitous economic plight. It's in the toilet," says Ammiano. "It looks very, very bleak, with layoffs and foreclosures and schools closing or trying to operate four days a week. We have one of the highest rates of unemployment we've ever had. With any revenue ideas people say you have to think outside of the box, you have to be creative, and I feel that the issue of the decriminalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana fits that bill. It's not new, the idea has been around, and the political will may in fact be there to make something happen."


Thurs., 3/12/2009

Texas governor to state’s unemployed: Screw you
HOUSTON (AP) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money that would expand state unemployment benefits, saying the money would have required the state to keep funding the expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out.

Perry, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill, did accept most of the roughly $17 billion slated for Texas in the plan.

But he said the requirements attached to the federal stimulus money would require a change in the state's definition of unemployment, expanding coverage to more people and placing more of the state's tax burden on employers.

"During these tough times, Texas employers are working harder than ever to move products to market, make payroll and create jobs," Perry said at a news conference. "The last thing they need is government burdening them with higher taxes and expanded obligations."

Perry said such an expansion would counteract the package's objective of job creation by leading companies to limit hiring and raise prices.


Wed., 3/11/2009

Poster couple for teen sex abstinence split up despite love child

WASILLA, Alaska (AP) – Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin, the teenage daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, have broken off their engagement, he said Wednesday, about 2 1/2 months after the couple had a baby.
Johnston, 19, told The Associated Press that he and 18-year-old Bristol Palin mutually decided "a while ago" to end their relationship. He declined to elaborate as he stood outside his family's home in Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.
He also said some details of the breakup, rumors of which had been swirling on the Internet, were inaccurate.
Bristol Palin said in a statement that she was devastated about a report on Star magazine's Web site that quoted Levi's sister, Mercede, as saying Bristol "makes it nearly impossible" to visit the teenagers' infant son, Tripp. The baby was born Dec. 27.
"Unfortunately, my family has seen many people say and do many things to `cash in' on the Palin name," said the statement, which was issued through the governor's political action committee. "Sometimes that greed clouds good judgment and the truth."


Tues., 3/10/2009

And from the Great State of Texas that gave us “no child left behind” …

DALLAS (AP) – Larry Canady took his family to a homeless shelter three weeks ago, no longer able to make ends meet after he and his wife were laid off from their jobs.

The family of five was already living from paycheck-to paycheck. They went from renting a four-bedroom brick home in a south Dallas suburb to sharing one room in a dormitory-like shelter.

"No one knew the economy was going to crash so hard like it did," said Larry Canady, 38, now at the nonprofit Family Gateway facility in Dallas. "It caught us off guard."

The Canady family's story is a familiar one and in no place more so than Texas. A study by the National Center on Family Homelessness released Tuesday placed Texas 50th — last of all states — in how homeless children fare.


Real-life Cheers bartender laid off

BOSTON (AP) – Eddie Doyle was the guy who really did know everybody's name.

But after tending bar for 35 years at the Boston tavern that inspired the television show "Cheers," Doyle has been laid off.

The bar's owner says the economy is to blame.

Doyle was a fixture at the pub known as the Bull & Finch long before his TV counterpart, Sam Malone, entered the mainstream.

After the NBC show hit the airwaves in 1982, he started serving 5,000 people a day.

Doyle used the bar's fame to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.

Friend Tommy Leonard tells the Boston Herald Doyle is "the most giving person" he's met.

The 66-year-old Doyle tells The Boston Globe he's not bitter and may write a book about his experiences.


Mon., 3/9/2009
Economy falls off cliff after taking bridge to nowhere
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Billionaire Warren Buffett said unemployment will likely climb a lot higher depending upon how effective the nation's policies are, but he remains optimistic over the long term.

Buffett said the nation's leaders need to support President Barack Obama's efforts to repair the economy because fear is dominating Americans' behavior and the economy has basically followed the worst-case scenario he envisioned.

"It's fallen off a cliff," Buffett said Monday during a live appearance on cable network CNBC. "Not only has the economy slowed down a lot, but people have really changed their habits like I haven't seen."

Buffett said the changes are reflected in the results of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s subsidiaries. He said Berkshire's jewelry companies have suffered, but more people have been willing to switch to Geico to save money on car insurance. The three-hour-long interview aired from another Berkshire subsidiary that has been hampered by the economy, the Nebraska Furniture Mart store in Omaha.



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Odd News


To Help You Deflate Photo




A 'cybernetic human' HRP-4C, designed to look like an average Japanese woman, walks in front of journalists during a demonstration in Tsukuba, near Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2009. The humanoid robot having a female face and black hair trimmed down to 43 kilograms (95 pounds) to make a debut at a fashion show later in the month.
Photo/Koji Sasahara






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