Archive for September, 2008

Think They Were Adequately Compensated?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

(Washington DC, 4:15 a.m.)

Ring-ring!!  Ring-ring!!

“Cookie the Bookie, what’s your horse?”

“Cookie? It’s ‘Deep Pockets’.

“Yes suh, Mr. Ro.. -I mean Deep Pockets’ -what can I do ya for?”

“Oh, it’s Stanley and his boy J.C. at ‘the Bear’ – I think they went too far this time- anyway, listen…remember that bimbo we set up with Eliot the Spitball? With the pierced tongue, belly-button and you said could suck a cinderbrick through a 20′ garden hose? We still got that film?”

“Yessir Karl- I mean…”

“Shutthehekkup and listen, french-fry brain! I need that shit to come out in the news, and I need it to come out, like, yesterday- so call Rupert and tell him, well, just call Rupert, and he’ll know what to do, Kabish?”

“Yessir, Mr.-“

“Pssshhhtt!”

*click*

Bloomberg

Wall Street Executives Made $3 Billion Before Crisis (Update1)

By Tom Randall and Jamie McGee

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — Wall Street’s five biggest firms paid more than $3 billion in the last five years to their top executives, while they presided over the packaging and sale of loans that helped bring down the investment-banking system.

Merrill Lynch & Co. paid its chief executives the most, with Stanley O’Neal taking in $172 million from 2003 to 2007 and John Thain getting $86 million, including a signing bonus, after beginning work in December. The company agreed to be acquired by Bank of America Corp. for about $50 billion on Sept. 15. Bear Stearns Cos.’s James “Jimmy” Cayne made $161 million before the company collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June.

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Democrats and Republicans in Congress are demanding that limits be placed on executive pay as part of the $700 billion financial rescue plan proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO, who received about $111 million between 2003 and 2006, said in testimony to Congress on Sept. 24 that he would accept such limits as part of the plan, after initially opposing them.

“Shareholders and boards should have done something about this a long time ago,” said Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware in Newark. “They justified these levels of pay on the idea that they’re all geniuses. I think that balloon has burst.”

Wall Street firms have shared profits liberally with employees. The five biggest — Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Merrill, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns — paid their 185,687 employees $66 billion in 2007, as problems with subprime mortgages mounted, including about $39 billion in bonuses. That amounts to average pay of $353,089 per employee, including an average bonus of $211,849. The five firms had combined net income of $93 billion during the five years through 2007.

CEO Pay Doubled

The $3.1 billion paid to the top five executives at the firms between 2003 and 2007 was about three times what JPMorgan spent to buy Bear Stearns. Goldman Sachs had the highest total, with $859 million, followed by Bear Stearns at $609 million. CEO pay at the five firms increased each year, doubling to $253 million in 2007, according to data compiled from company filings.

Executive-compensat ion figures include salary, bonuses, stock and stock options, some awarded for past performance. The options were valued at a third of the fair-market price of the stock at the time the options were granted, a method recommended by Graef Crystal, a compensation specialist and author of the Crystal Report on Executive Compensation, an online newsletter. The companies value the options using different methods.

`Make It Rain’

Wall Street firms have paid employees a greater share of revenue than any other industry, about 50 percent, Crystal said. That tradition at investment banks comes from their history as closely held partnerships of investors who put their own capital at risk, he said.

“In Wall Street and Hollywood, the profits tend to come in great big packets, and everyone wants a piece,” said Crystal, a former Bloomberg columnist. “Whether it’s the movie `Dark Knight’ or a huge merger deal, he who can make it rain, he who can bring everyone to the theater, can earn whatever he wants.”

Until the rain stops.

Lehman Brothers filed for the biggest bankruptcy in history on Sept. 15, with more than $613 billion in debt. The same day, Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America for $29 a share, about 70 percent below the stock’s high of $97.53 on Jan. 24, 2007.

Goldman and Morgan Stanley, the two biggest independent U.S. investment banks, were forced to convert to bank holding companies, giving them more access to Federal Reserve funds and buying time to acquire deposits. Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein made $57.6 million in 2007 in salary and bonus, which includes stock and options granted at the beginning of the fiscal year to reward performance the previous year. Co- presidents Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelried each got $56 million.

`Tied to Performance’

Morgan Stanley’s current and former chief executives, John Mack and Philip Purcell, were paid about $194 million over the last five years.

Mark Lake, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, pointed to Mack’s decision not to take a bonus for 2007 and said the $1.6 million in salary and other compensation he was awarded last year isn’t “a lot” compared with other Wall Street CEOs.

“He has taken everything he had since rejoining the firm in equity, other than salary,” Lake said. “There’s a difference in taking stock in the firm as a bonus and taking cash. Stock in the firm, obviously you are tied to performance of the firm.”

Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael Duvally declined to comment. Merrill Lynch spokeswoman Jessica Oppenheim, JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony and Lehman spokeswoman Monique Wise didn’t return calls for comment.

Paulson, Bush

“The American people are angry about executive compensation, and rightfully so,” Paulson told a House panel on Sept. 24, departing from his prepared remarks. “We must find a way to address this in the legislation, but without undermining the effectiveness of this program.”

President George W. Bush said that night in a televised address to the nation that the plan would provide “urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse” and “should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars.”

Congressional Republicans splintered late yesterday over the proposed $700 billion rescue plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning at a news conference that Democrats are circulating a draft of legislation that contains limits on executive compensation and ensures that Congress has oversight over the bailout. Lawmakers from both parties are meeting again today in Washington.

Weak Record

The U.S. government has a weak record when it comes to regulating compensation, said Kevin Murphy, a professor of finance at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“Every government attempt that has existed to limit or regulate CEO pay has backfired,” Murphy said. “I’m fairly confident this one will backfire too. There are always loopholes.”

Regulation of golden parachutes, or protection for executives in the case of an acquisition, were circumvented in the 1980s with severance agreements, and Nixon’s wage-and-price- control experiment in the 1970s ultimately failed, Murphy said.

“It’s either the compensation committee or the general counsel or the head of human resources who are trying to negotiate a pay package with someone who will be their boss in a week,” he said. “These are things that can be done a lot better.”

Corporate Governance

Rather than government regulation, the solution is in better corporate governance, Elson said. Companies should negotiate more aggressively with executives and should establish rules that encourage shareholders to protest excessive pay. The rescue package is not the place to have that debate, he said.

“This will get in the way” of passing the $700 billion financial rescue legislation, Elson said. “We are in a crisis. The patient is dying. Let’s work on the details as soon as we get the patient out of the emergency room when we can do it in a thoughtful or deliberate manner.”

Not all Wall Street CEOs have escaped unscathed. Cayne sold a Bear Stearns holding once worth $1 billion for $61 million in March. Lehman’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, who made $165 million between 2003 and 2007, sold 2.88 million of his firm’s shares for 16 cents to 30 cents apiece, or less than $500,000, according to a regulatory filing.

Fuld owned 10.9 million shares and restricted stock units as of Jan. 31, valued at $931 million at their peak. He also had in- the-money options and other stock worth almost $300 million, according to Crystal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Randall in New York at trandall6@bloomberg .net; Jamie McGee in New York at jmcgee8@bloomberg. net.
Last Updated: September 26, 2008 13:56 EDT

Editorial on the First Presidential Debate

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

images3.jpg Two men stepped to the podium tonight in Mississippi, one youthful, one more elderly, one black, one white, one a war hero, one barely old enough to remember the horrors of Viet Nam. But the seamy side of the American political system shone through, like a slip underneath a formal gown. Both spoke of the Bush administrations Iraq ‘surge’ as though they had forgotten the war itself was begun on lies of weapons of mass destruction. Both ignored ‘minor details’ like how the Bush Administration fought to smother information that was at odds with the run up to war.

Both ignored the fact that the Bush administration revealed the identity of a CIA agent working covertly for America against nuclear proliferation in Iran.

Both spoke in favor of oil drilling, though McCain more fervently so, despite new evidence showing that greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere rose some 3% between 2006-2007, eclipsing even the worst-case scenario painted by the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) report last year which itself predicted massive sea level and temperature rise as a direct result of such emissions.

And while McCain showed himself to be a cold-blooded, war-mongering madman, it was Obama who used the words “capture and kill” speaking about his intentions for Osama Bin Laden. The call for war came from both candidates and parties, aimed at Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and whomever else dares stand in the way of the manifest destiny of the United States of America.

Both supported the highway robbery of the next several generations of American taxpayers proposed by the George W. Bush administration to ‘bail out’ an economy ready to have itself unplugged from life support and the 2.5 Billion Dollars we now spend each week on war.

The non-progressive policies put forth by these two frightening products of the American Theocracy/La Cosa Nostra-gone-wild presented the strongest and most clear case that could ever be made for the need to build third, fourth, perhaps fifth and independent parties in American politics. It is the opinion of ESM that the way to build these alternative parties is giving them your vote come November.

Joey Racano

ESM
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Predatory Lenders!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

~It has been said that it doesn’t matter what bad press or scandal you get yourself into, because the public’s memory only goes back 6 months. Well, public, about six months ago, you may remember the sad news conferences showing the once-proud Eliot Spitzer with his family stoicly by his side, conceding to the world he had done wrong.

But, in light of the financial meltdown, EarthSourceMedia thought it to be vitally important to rehash the reason the entire sordid call-girl information was released to the public by an angry Bush administration. It was an attempt to destroy this man of integrity (with a weakness for a tan, shapely young dancer) for having the audacity to call a spade a spade; the Bush cabal and it’s beloved housing sector was engaged in preditory lending. A nation-wide economy of organized crime that would lead to the most severe economic meltdown in the history of the modern world.

Here is the story, written by Spitzer, that might have sounded the alarm to save us, but instead brought a good man’s world -and eventually an entire nation- crashing down:

Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime

How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers

news1.jpgBy Eliot Spitzer

Thursday, February 14, 2008; Page A25

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser” rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

The writer is governor of New York.

For whom the Toll Roads – part 2

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

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 Youthful activists Lauren Brooks and Danielle Regimbal support the California Coastal Commission’s decision not to allow the Transportation Corridor Agency to build a toll road through San Onofre State Park.

See the whole slideshow HERE 

Del Mar, California

On the morning of September 22nd, silence lay draped across our camp like a hand-knitted Afghan. Across the salty canal, approaching dog-walkers sent large squawking birds airborne before them.

“Look!” I said, pointing a finger at the southern horizon, where three colorful hot-air balloons took flight one-by-one. The sun shone early-morning bright on them as they rose impossibly high.

But just as I poured strong coffee into a ‘French Press’, an ominous sound of hollow metal ground away the silence behind us. It was the sound of large metal doors being forced open, skreeching for want of oil. I stepped into a cold shower and thought no more of it.

Through a din of cascading water, I heard the sound of barking- not of the few dogs whose company we enjoy, but of many barking dogs, raising a canine cacaphony before the strike of 7:00a.m. I stepped from the shower to see some ten canine units and 30 other sheriffs squad cars being barkingly hustled into the Del Mar Fairgrounds ‘Exhibition Building’, where, mercifully, most were to remain. 

Covering the Toll Road meeting with an ESM press pass, it was a photo of these units I wanted most, but in the end, was afraid to take. And there they stayed until it was all over, hiding in a secret building such a vulgar display of resistance from the sandy-haired children here to defend San Onofre State Park and, suprisingly, the California Coastal Commission.  

Obrien Hall

I must have been a sight, hobbling in on a cane due to a torn something-or-other in my knee. Too many trips up and down the hill to fill my Finch feeder back in Morro Bay and a few too many pounds. And though I had worn a dark suit with a conservative red tie, I had traded in the flag lapel pin for a State Flag of California, for this was truly a fight between the Federales and the Republic.

After paving and filling everything they could on the first pass through, the developers -with balls of steel- were here to take our State Park! 

“…And so I ask you today”, jerk after orange-shirted jerk would say, ..”to overrule the California Coastal Commission and let us build this (privately owned toll) road through San Onofre State Park”.

“Boooo!” came the response from a thousand green-shirts across the aisle, thumbs pointed down at the thought of it.

The Villians

As the speakers droned on plagued (on purpose, I am certain) with horrible acoustics reminiscent of a night spent in jail, three cold clay figurines sat at a table up front, horrified themselves, I’m also certain, at the Kangaroo Court over which they had been fated to preside.

Like a juggernaut, throngs of heavily muscled orange-shirted construction contractors bellowed pro-development slogans in scary unison. I was sure it was 1939 Germany. They raised their hands in perfect synchronicity, hoping to rape the natural world with brute force to make a payment on a second car.

Perhaps the only thing more revolting were their many heavily made-up young girls smarming around at the beck and call of the Transportation Corridor Agency. They represented the very worst of a ‘me’ generation whose time, hopefully, will be short-lived. 

I walked up to one and said, “So beautiful…and yet so deadly!”

“What do you mean?”, she asked.

“Such a pretty little girl”, I said- “why do you want to kill the world?”

She was whisked quickly away by an older woman who had long ago sold her soul.

Not far away, the opposite extreme; several gorgeous models from ‘Reef’ Clothing were making their own appearance to save the park, and their beauty shone from within.

I went forward to photograph the man from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). NOAA was in charge of the meeting because they serve under the auspices of the Department of Commerce.

“No!” he cried aloud. “I don’t want any pictures!” he said, running out of the frame.

‘CLICK!’

The Heroes

Suit, tie, glasses, briefcase, yellow media pass, a camera and a cane, I hobbled up to the second row to get off my knee and onto a chair, and there sat a sight for sore eyes.

Sitting side-by-side were the heroes and heroines the kids were looking for- Susan Jordan, who was instrumental in stopping the dangerous LNG terminal in Long Beach, Treasurer and former Attorney General of California Bill Lockyer who had authored a bill to stop such a Toll Road, and Senator Christine Keyhoe, whose environmental ethic and integrity are so important to San Diego.

As they arose, one after another to address the panel, their words were partly drowned out by the thunderous roar from a large adoring crowd; a thousand emerald shirts swaying, the cavernous room called O’brien Hall shaking and the bad guys quaking!

The Scene Outside

Under brightly hued tents outside the hall, free shirts, buttons and lunch were available if you signed petitions to stop the Toll Road. I signed as many as I could, blabbed leftist propaganda into about 20 microphones and finally caught up with Friends of the Foothills organizer Robin Everett sitting on the ground chomping an apple. I thanked her for her fantastic work and hobbled back to the Skacciabong.

Toll Roads, epilogue…

This is a story whose ending is yet to be written, but it is not a new story by any means. It is a classic battle between good and evil, dark and light, greed and simplicity. Thanks to the amount of young, fresh creative caring people, the dragon may not in the end be slain; but rather, nurtured, rehabilitated, and released into its natural environment.

For EarthSourceMedia

joey racano

For more in-depth articles on the environmental news from the Land, the Sea and the Air go to EarthSourceMedia.org

For Whom the Toll Roads

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

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An ESM Special Report on the Proposed San Onofre Toll Road

~For Whom the Toll Roads~  by joey racano

Captains Log, High Noon

The Skacciabong ( ‘Ska-Shuh-Bong’, official RV flagship of the Ocean Outfall Group) was moored at KOA campground in Chula Vista, dug in for the battle to stop sewage dumping in San Diego, but it was time to untie the lines and head out early for the Del Mar Fairgrounds where another battle was about to unfold.

We wound the hoses and electric cords, raised the stabilizers, checked solar power instrument panels, retracted slides, topped off some of the tanks and emptied others.

Then I yelled to the first mate:

“Batton hatches above.”

“Aye” came the reply.

“Ice chest full of foods and beer?”

“Aye!”

“Head count of doggies?”

“Aye!”

“Biodiesel full?”

“Aye!”

“We’re underway!”

The Cummins Diesel sang a gritty song as we headed north on the 5 Interstate for what promised to be a contentious meeting between developers who want a toll road built through the State Park at San Onofre, and a crew of altruistic electeds, like Pedro Nava and Christine Keyhoe, ready to go to the mat for the California way of life.

The evil Transportation Corridor Agency had hired a professional biostitute from Scripps Marine Institute to play pretend with science and the health of our children and precious coastal resources, but no one was fooled.

To paraphrase the ol’ ‘Gipper’, “You seen one toll road through a State Park ya seen ’em all.”

Captains Log, 1:17 PM

Have you ever heard the story about Arithmetical Progression? It’s like Geometric Progression, only worse- you get more houses. Case in point; when the kids were finally unchained from the bulldozers and the San Juaquin Toll Road was allowed to be built, it almost immediately resulted in row upon row of cookie-cutter homes along its length, along with Flour Corporation HQ, UPS and a few other corporate HQ’s.

That’s what happens when you build a road through the wild. You lose the wild. And so it will be if the Foothill South Toll Road Extension is allowed to be built. Truth be known, that ‘Arithmetical Progression’ is the only reason this Toll Road is proposed at all- development.  Just like Desalination, it’s only for development.

Bigger scale- the World Bank, and US ‘Aid’- development.

This battle has been a long and interesting one. It has come to a point where the Federal Government, in the form of NOAA, wants to over rule the California Coastal Commission, who recently and courageously voted a resounding ‘NO’ to this desecration of Native land and the dangerous precedent a Toll Road through a State Park would set.

Predictably, the Federal Government (ie: developers) are playing the ‘NS’ card- National Security. They are saying the Toll Road should be allowed to go forward because it would ease mobility for Marines, etc.

The Ocean Outfall Group feels the Marines have jets, tanks, trucks, planes and missiles.  It’s the mobility of the Steelhead in San Mateo Creek we’re worried about, the mobility of a hard-working inland father who needs a healthy, clean and quiet park where he can bring his kids. This is sacred land to Native Americans of the area and certainly sacred ground for the surf culture of California- a place worth saving!

Captains Log, 2:30 PM

We pulled into Del Mar at high noon with 24 hours to spare, the Skacciabong prowling through the back lots like a Jaguar seeking fresh Tapir. We piloted into the rear-most lot behind the O’brien Center and set up shop. In minutes we were indistinguishable from the landscape and our dogs were fighting swift estuarine currents. A train powered across a trestle nearby our salty oasis, and our transition was complete. From San Diego sewage fighters to Toll-Road Terminators!

Time: 10:30am

Place: Obrien Building, Del Mar Fairgrounds

What: NOAA meeting on the proposed Foothill South Toll Road Extension

Why: Because a California State Park is no place for a private Toll Road!

~For Whom, epilogue~

Now it was time to wait and see- to see For Whom the Toll Roads.

joey racano ESM

September 20th News

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Sacramento, California

A long overdue budget will finally go before Governor Schwarzenegger today after wrangling and bickering between Democrats and Republicans for some 81 days, a record amount of time without a budget in the State of California. This latest incarnation will allow for some ‘tweaks’ by Arnold.

Democratic Senate leader Don Perata, commenting on the possible agreement, said the plan passed by the Legislature is “not a good budget”.

Washington

In response to the biggest financial meltdown in U.S. history, an emergency rescue team made up of members of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have come up with a $700 Billion-dollar rescue plan to bring America and her financial institutions back from the brink.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy (‘Impeachment is off the table’) Pelosi insisted such a plan must “insulate Main Street from Wall Street”. The Democrats also want the plan to include another economic stimulus measure to bolster Medicaid, Highways and Public Work Projects.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned Democrats not to use this emergency to extract political gains. “Loading it up to score political points or fit a partisan agenda will only delay the economic stability that families, seniors and small businesses deserve” he said.

“Will not”, answered the Democrats.

“Will too” answered the Republicans.

“Will not”

“Will so”.

“Will not”.

“Will so”.

And then, in a display of their ability to work together, they said, “WILLNOTWILLTOOWILLNOTWILLTOOWILLNOTWILLTOO”. -ESM  

 EarthSourceMedia ‘Quote of the Day’:

“We were just robbed at gunpoint by O.J. Simpson”. -Memorabilia dealer on tape played for jury.

Florida

No charges will be filed against ex-Representative Mark Foley for allegedly sending lewd messages to underage male pages while a member of Congress. In an ESM exclusive, here are some of the messages:

1.  ‘Hey Skinnyboy, want to touch my monkey?’

2. ‘If I said you had a cute tushie would you hold it against me?’

3. ‘If you like flowers and birds, put your tulips here and swallow’

After reviewing the tapes and security camera footage over and over and over again, the EarthSourceMedia editorial staff finds all the fuss to be ‘overblown’. -ESM

 Ottawa, Canada

‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job’

A recent health crisis that killed 18 people in Canada took another tragic turn when Prime Minister Stephen Harper waxed comedic about the deaths. During a conference call that included some 30 bureaucrats, scientists and political officials, Mr. Harper was heard to say, ” This is death by a thousand cuts- or shall I say, Cold Cuts”.

Political opponents and relatives of the dead are calling for his resignation, but we here at EarthSourceMedia think it’s all a lot of balony. -ESM

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‘That’s our news for September 20th, so from the sewage floating in San Diego Harbor at Point Loma, to the bank account where Mayor Jerry Sanders keeps the money that should have been spent on sewage treatment, I’m joey racano for EarthSourceMedia saying, Goodnight, and go with grace’.

September 19th News

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Gravina Island, Alaska

Wolf Hunter Evangelical-turned-U.S. Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin’s fickle support for the now infamous Alaskan ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ took yet another turn this week as it was reported she had yanked her support for the bridge but insisted money allocated to build a road to the bridge continue to fund its construction. This has resulted in a wide, semi-paved ‘road-to-nowhere’ leading through the woods to a small ‘airport-to-nowhere’ with a ‘runway-to-nowhere’.

As scrutiny tightens, more questions are being raised not only about the viability of her candidacy, but also about some of her lesser-known pork-projects. ESM will continue our investigative reporting into her proposed ‘walkway-to-nowhere’, ‘wooded-trail-to-nowhere’, ‘Canal-to-nowhere’ and the rumored ‘Yellow brick Road to Nowhere’, as we follow Sarah on her apparent ‘Career-to-Nowhere’. -ESM

 Washington

In other Sarah Palin news, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska bristled in a story told by the Omaha World-Herald, scoffing at the McCain campaigns assertion that Sarah Palin is qualified to be the next President of the United States.

“She doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials. I mean- you get your passport last year for the first time in your life? I don’t know what you can say- you can’t say anything” said Senator Hagel, who, apparently did manage to say something.

Especially troubling was that Sarah, in answering questions from ABC about her knowledge of Russia, told them her knowledge all stems from ‘being able to see’ Russia from Alaska.

Said Sarah, “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from Land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska”.

Hagel called it insulting to the American people and scoffed at the notion that just because you can see Russia you could know something about it. EarthSourceMedia agrees with the Senator from Nebraska and hopes Sarah doesn’t look at the stars and claim to be an Astronomer. -ESM 

 Merill Lynch is Bullshit on America

Wall Street

After plummeting for a week, the DOW rose 400 points yesterday on news of an American rescue plan. The U.S. plan involves the purchase of mortgages from banks for hundreds of billions. ESM finds it incredible that developers will be bailed out by American taxpayers, -at great cost- simply so they can go out and do the whole sub-prime slime, again.

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Apparently, George Bush and Condoleeza Rice will join Vice President Dick Cheney at his bat-cave, load up the minting machines, and begin printing some hundreds of billions in U.S. currency in hopes someone somewhere will see some value in any of it. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has refused to accept American currency as payment for oil, calling it a ‘worthless piece of paper’, and an EarthSourceMedia exclusive has begun uncovering lemonade stands around the American heartland where children prefer EUROS. 

 Washington

A privacy group filed a class action lawsuit against the Bush administration and the NSA over what they say is illegal spying on Americans. The Bush folks defended such activities, and explained how a terrorist was recently found guilty of a crime committed by someone who was right-handed. The defendant had claimed to be left-handed but the prosecution presented NSA footage showing the man at home in his bathroom wiping his ass with his right hand and the case was solved!  -ESM

 From the proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain Nevada, to the hair dryers of America the nuclear energy is needed for, I’m joey racano for EarthSourceMedia- goodnight, and go with grace.  ESM 

September 17th News

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Washington

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Associated Press today carried a story of a study by the US Geological Survey, which ‘showed’ there are plenty of Grizzy Bears in the great State of Montana. In a wild twist, it turns out this will allow for expanded logging and more drilling for petroleum!

In a carefully worded rebuttle, the Bears released a study of their own, showing no shortage of rocks, suggesting there should be plenty to keep the USGS busy in their own chosen field.  -ESM

Again, Washington

President Bush went under the knife yesterday to remove what doctors called a ‘benign lesion’ on his forehead. The operation left a ‘noticeable scab’ visible as he went about his days work (having people killed, logging, drilling, invoking the name of jesus, and just basically overseeing the demise of society). No word on rumors the ‘lesion’ actually said, “666”.  -ESM

Yet again, Washington

Despite melting glaciers, the House voted yesterday to open up both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to new offshore oil drilling, hoping to gain political favor with energy-shocked Americans in an election year.

Boulder, Colorado

 In a contrasting story, satellite data released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder show Arctic sea ice, which retreats each March-September,  has retreated to the 2nd smallest size in recorded history. “We haven’t seen conditions like this for hundreds of years”, said Walt Meier, a scientist at NSIDC who blames the retreat largely on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. 

Such a retreat of ice hits creatures like the Polar Bear hard, who depend on sea ice for hunting. Although strong swimmers, many have recently been observed swimming in open ocean with little chance of survival. The Polar Bear was recently listed as ‘Threatened’ by the US Interior Department, a listing which has been challenged by the State of Alaska under Governor (and now Republican Vice Presidential candidate) Sarah Palin.    -ESM

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Galveston, Texas

President Bush arrived in storm-pummeled Galveston yesterday, getting a first-hand look at the destruction left behind by Hurricane Ike and his own energy policies. It was not clear if this was the first time in US history that one disaster has visited another. -ESM

California

US Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to re-expand critical habitat designation for the Endangered Red-Legged Frog in areas where it was ‘mistakenly’ removed by Julie MacDonald, a former Bush official who apparently ran roughshod over environmental regulation before being unceremoniously removed. EarthSourceMedia has composed a little ditty to explain the whole thing:

Ms MacDonald had a farm, ee-ii-ee-ii-oh!

And on that farm she had some frogs, ee-ii-ee-ii-oh!

With a croak-croak here

and a croak-croak there!

Here a croak, there a croak

With her in charge, well, everything would croak, croak

Ms MacDonald had a farm, ee-ii-ee-ii-oh!

“For EarthSourceMedia, I’m joey racano..good Night, and go with grace” 

September 15th News

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

From Carpenters Union Halls where Democratic Party Central Committees hold  meetings for their labor-controlled politics, to the clearcuts that results in,

I’m joey racano, here now the news:

Stocks tumbled once again on Wall Street, as US Markets continued to shake like a slow motion sequence on Baywatch. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got bailed out, while Lehman Bros. got bailed on, Merryl Lynch got lynched, and taxpayers got pinched.

We now take you LIVE to a window ledge 68 stories above Lehman Brothers, where an interview with a distraught CEO is already in progress:

ESM: “Is this where it all ends for the American dream, or do you believe we should ‘stay the course’?”

Lehman Exec:  “Goddam Pigeons. I hate Pigeons! Shit everywhere, my car, my porch at the house in Connecticut, everywhere!”

ESM:  “President Bush today claimed the economy is strong enough to withstand and recover; your comments?”

Lehman Exec:  “Do you know these little fuckers can see in ultra violet and fly using the Earths magnetic field, so long as there are no cell phone towers around? Because then, they get hypnotized by the light at the top and fly ’round and ’round ’till they crash to the ground far below and land in a pile with the rest of the song-birds and such”. 

ESM:  “So you’re still holding out hope for our economy? You don’t agree with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that the dollar crashing equates to the USA crashing?”

Lehman Exec:  “Here little fella- c’mon, c’mon- papa won’t hurt you, no no. Come on, come to daddy now, here ya go…”

ESM: “Any words of advice to would-be entrepanuers about warning signs or tell-tale signs forcasting trouble?”

Lehman Exec: “I always loved you, Miss Applebee…

                A-l

                       -l-

                            w-

                                a-

                                   y-

                                     s-

                                       !

                                         !”

                                           *

                               s-p-l-u-c-k!

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(Switch, switch!)

Meanwhile, in greater Los Angeles, where two trains collided resulting in some 24 dead, the text messages between engineers were released today. Here is an ESM exclusive!

(Theme from EarhSourceMedia, echo box repeats ‘exclusive, exclusive, exclusive, exclusive!…)

“Hi, I’m Tammy tattle, reporting from LA on the tragic train crash. Here are the texts recovered from the cell phones of the engineers so far”:

Yo, G  OMFG, U R 2 Close U AHOLE WCHOUT

TLL MS APL B  I LVE HER

“That’s all 4 now, back to U joey!”

“Thank you TT, and that’s it for us as well. You all take good care and until tomorrow this is joey racano $ ESM saying, goodnight and go with grace!”

(Theme, lights and fade, fade, fade…CUT!

Good. That’s a wrap.  *

Flying Bat Shit

Monday, September 15th, 2008

See amazing footage of a completely modern fully-equipped childrens hospital flying through the air- caught on camera- Incredible!