bomb mean that the song is political. star means that it totally rocks. heart is where we get all emo.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
These bonuses, Dubya’s speaking fees, Paris Hilton’s diamond-encrusted dashboard are rounding errors on the $10+ trillion economic clusterfuck, and poor Paris really didn’t help cause it. The Point is that these situations exemplify, for a great many regular people, a fundamental unfairness in American life, which is that the rich get over on everybody else. When times are good, the rich benefit disproportionally. When times are bad, and it’s entirely their fault, they get bailed out by the rest of us. So it goes.
I’m a liberal. I don’t believe in Fairness. Some people are luckier than others, the powerful will get what they want (that’s a fair definition of “power”), none of these asymmetries ever seem to work out in my favor, and I’m pretty sure I’m getting a cold sore. That said, there are degrees of economic inequality, and the last ten years has seen this inequality deliberately exacerbated. It is past time for a pushback. If the AIG outrage is where it starts, then I guess it can start there. I’m not getting bogged down in the details.
Also, fuck them:
But it’s not clear to me why a couple, both of whom work in the financial services industry [for a company which the taxpayers are bailing out -ed.], and make $150,000 each should essentially have their entire bonuses taken back in taxes.
Are you on acid?
Because they didn’t earn it, maybe? Because if they were working for any other industry where they’d fucked the collective dog to the extent the financial services industry has, they wouldn’t even have a job? Because while 40-odd million Americans have no health care, these folks get $300,000/year plus bennies plus a bonus? Because fuck them?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Jane Hamsher has written the definitive post narrating and indisputably documenting what actually took place. The attempt to blame Dodd is based on a patently false claim that was first fed to The New York Times on Saturday by an "administration official" granted anonymity by Times reporters Edmund Andrew and Peter Baker (in violation, as usual, of the NYT anonymity policy, since all the official was doing was disseminating pro-administration spin). The accusation against Dodd is that there is nothing the Obama administration can do about the AIG bonus payments because Dodd inserted a clause into the stimulus bill which exempted executive compensation agreements entered into before February, 2009 from the compensation limits imposed on firms receiving bailout funds. Thus, this accusation asserts, it was Dodd's amendment which explicitly allowed firms like AIG to make bonus payments that were promised before the stimulus bill was enacted.
That is simply not what happened. What actually happened is the opposite. It was Dodd who did everything possible -- including writing and advocating for an amendment -- which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd's proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements -- the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments -- was inserted at the White House's insistence and over Dodd's objections. But now that a political scandal has erupted over these payments, the White House is trying to deflect blame from itself and heap it all on Chris Dodd by claiming that it was Dodd who was responsible for that exemption.
Douchebags, all of them.
I'm going to build myself a bunker/music studio under the ocean and wait for everyone on the surface to kill each other for food.
I'll throw the coolest parties!
You know what's the really ugly part about all this? It's not who they are trying to use as a scapegoat. It's that they're trying to do it at all. When can we run Summers and TIMMEH out of town on a rail?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Eddie and I had a retarded good time playing the Variety show we were invited to by Ms. Brittain Ashford. Fantastic performers all around, and it was really just a great venue.
Allow me to be my whimsical and cheesy self (if you're still reading my blog chances are you've gotten used to this): it was just so nuts to be singing on the stage to all these people and look over their heads out the window at the city proper's skyline in the distance.
Rock and roll Art Deco fuck yes. Everybody was really great, and we got a really enthusiastic response from the crowd. There were lots of smiles while we performed, but even Matt (of the OAOTs) and Gönül said they couldn't tell while we were playing if the crowd was into it until we'd finish a song and then they'd bust out the applause en masse.
Thanks for the photo, whoever you are, random person on facebook!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The weirdest thing about it is that I didn't have to do anything, someone just approached me about it. That happens?
This is my favorite part:
While their music is innovative and dancey enough to make them worth a listen, the quality of their recordings is, dare I say, pretty awful.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Flight of the Franklin, don't miss it.
In other news, we will be playing WE Fest, in Wilmington, NC this May, and we'll be going into Daniel Schlett's Hypersnakes studio at the beginning of May with Sarah to drop a new record.
Okay back to work now.
(The Metric record kicks my ass all over the place)
Monday, March 09, 2009
I was shocked to find this thing on the passenger seat when I got in the car!!, originally uploaded by an-to-the-drew.
Administration officials said Ms. Nazareth, a former top official at the Securities and Exchange Commission, did not have tax problems. Rather, administration officials were worried that political opponents would seize on her years as an S.E.C. commissioner and, before that, the agency official in charge of overseeing the markets. The S.E.C. has been harshly criticized for its lax enforcement.
Someone PLEASE explain to me why Obama is hiring the assholes who caused this mess to fix it. Because they have no intention of actually fixing it and if they had a shred of integrity they wouldn't have stood by or worse participated in this fiasco.
What should have been done?
Simple: When we nationalized AIG, we should have immediately spun out the good, solvent life insurance company. It is a highly viable standalone entity.
The hedge fund should have been wound down in an orderly fashion. Match up the offsetting trades, the rest go to zero. End of story.
You as a credit default swap gamblor have no reasonable expectation that anyone other than the incompetent firm you placed your bet with is going to make good. You had as your xounter party another hedge fund. Tahatwas the risk YOU — not the yaxpayer — assumed. That is was under the roof of a legitimate insurance company is irrelevant.
Right now, we are into this clusterfuck for $166 billion — every last penny of which is a needless waste.
Taxpayers should not be bailing out hedge fund trades. This insanity must cease immediately .
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I did manage to actually finish the lyrics to a song today, with some decent hooks I think. It's called The Face of Proposition 8. Been working on it for a while now, finally wrote some Not Crap lyrics, I think. It's named after a certain video that my friend Mer took of a Prop 8 protest in which she is assaulted by the protesters who jab her with their signs until she starts crying. Sweet people doing the Lord's work.
I don't plan on demo-ing that here, will have to wait until Ben Franklin gets in the studio. But the girth of this song is based on this bass riff over here, plus a new lift and chorus.
Fairly productive today. The girl suggested that I try to do the bulk of my writing on the weekend since I always seem to too tired and a bit frizzle fried after work. So far, so good, although I am trying to at least sit down with the guitar a bit every day after work, can't help myself.
Eddie and I also had a really productive session the other night, putting two new ones together.
Tomorrow we're meeting up with Mr. Daniel Schlett to discuss a hard-core Minutemen style session for the BF at Hypersnakes in a couple of months.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Let's hear it for Jersey artists. We have a real thing for rocking out in our basements, and few towns and cities in Jersey these days sport any DIY music scenes that actually perform outside of DIY spaces (Jersey City being an exception, with a couple DIY and commercial spaces now that the Monkey has opened up Automata Chino). A couple of the best shows I've ever played were in New Brunswick basements.
I really love the video above because I think it's a testament to how great it can be to make a good film of the band actually performing the song in question. Here's a somewhat creepier, if oddly compelling, example from Ladytron.
I know we put our records up on CD Baby to do just that.
But something in me makes me just want to pull them from the store, if I even can at this point. I'd have to check. Not that it's 1) entirely my decision or 2) advisable. Maybe it's the FUCK THE MAN impulse, my loathing of middlemen and credit card companies, or Zed's recent panning of the situation. It's a gut reaction, I haven't thought it out, and I'm not going to attempt to pull them, but the impulse is there.
For an administration flamboyantly vowing new levels of transparency, the Obama White House continuously relies upon one of the most un-transparent political weapons: namely, disseminating to the public -- typically through sympathetic journalists -- purely pro-administration assertions while hiding behind a journalistically baseless grant of anonymity. There are numerous manipulative and distorting effects from having government officials make pronouncements while remaining anonymous, one of the most significant of which is that there is no accountability whatsoever when they make false or misleading statements.