As a political, economical junkies I consume many cups of coffee and I thought I had found the best cup of Joe…..Damn! was I wrong!
Cup size has more than one meaning at a new central Maine coffeehouse.
Servers are topless at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, which opened its doors Monday on a busy road in Vassalboro. A sign outside says, “Over 18 only.” Another says, “No cameras, no touching, cash only.”
On Tuesday, two men sipped coffee at a booth while three topless waitresses and a bare-chested waiter stood nearby. Topless waitress Susie Wiley said men, women and couples have stopped by.
The coffee shop raised the ire of dozens of residents when it went before the town planning board last month. Town officials said the coffee shop met the letter of the law.
Ain’t being law abiding great!
Now that is how you improve a good cup of Joe!
The total absurdity of this story just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
When I first heard this story I thought of the words of my 6 year grand daughter, “Eeeeeewwwwwwwwwww”!
Porn company Vivid Entertainment is offering “financially strapped” Nadya Suleman—who just gave birth to octuplets and is now the mother of 14—“a $1 million payout as well as health and dental care for all of her kids in exchange for a starring role in a porno.”
Look, said Gina Serpe in E! Online, “Octomom needs money,” and “the world needs porn.” Sure, the offer is “clearly not in the best of taste,” but it “couldn’t have come at a better time”: Apparently, the hospital won’t release Suleman’s octuplets “until she has proven she can provide them with adequate care and living arrangements,” and she’s at risk of being evicted from her home for falling behind on her mortgage payments.
Nadya Suleman certainly is “pregnant with possibility,” said Michael Musto in The Village Voice. But she hasn’t even responded to Vivid’s offer yet, and there’s a good chance she won’t do it: Let’s not forget that Suleman “popped out eight implanted embryos”—having sex doesn’t seem to be high up on her list of priorities.
President Obama will release a proposed budget today that sets aside up to $250 billion dollars to add to the existing bank bailout, which would bring the 2009 budget deficit to $1.75 trillion dollars, White House officials said. Overall, the massive spending plan is built on the assumption that lawmakers can resolve some hugely contentious issues — and it relies on a few well-worn budget tricks.
The request Obama will deliver to Congress today proposes to provide what administration officials are calling a “down payment” on a major expansion of health care coverage for the uninsured. It identifies $634 billion in tax increases and spending cuts to cover the cost of part of the program, but does not say how the administration hopes to raise the rest of the money — hundreds of billions of dollars more. “TBD” has been penciled into categories for cost savings and benefit reductions.
White House officials said the addition of another $250 billion in the budget to shore up banks is considered a “placeholder,” which the administration hopes not to have to spend, at least not in its entirety. But Obama made clear in his nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night that at least some additional funds will be necessary. Aides say the government money would leverage additional funds in private investment.
Obama’s budget is a pretty ambitious attempt on the admins part, but as usuaul the big winner will be the banking industry….when is enough, enough?
I have been posting on the possibility of the banking system being nationalized to save it from itself. The following is from an article written by Peter Coy.
The key to understanding the nationalization debate is to focus on who will bear the pain of bank restructuring: Will it be mostly taxpayers and common shareholders, as it has been so far? Or will the pain be shared by preferred shareholders and even some classes of creditors, ranging from foreign bondholders to other banks to the counterparties of exotic derivative contracts?
Other nationalization issues generate heat but are distractions. You can safely ignore the controversy over whether the government will spend a lot of money to support nationalized banks; taxpayers are already spending billions, with or without nationalization. Likewise, while the risk that the government could interfere in lending decisions is valid, it’s avoidable, especially if the bank is quickly reprivatized. Besides, regulators and Congress are already micromanaging their wards. Just ask Citigroup CEO Vikram S. Pandit or Bank of America CEO Kenneth D. Lewis.
So how should the burdens be shifted in the U.S., if at all? Well, creditors of weak banks have been largely spared to date. The political question—and let’s face it, nationalization is a political issue as much as an economic one—is whether that favored treatment can or should continue. Big bondholders are getting nervous that the tide of opinion is turning against them. Kathleen C. Gaffney, who is co-manager of the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBDX), says it’s fair enough for stockholders to lose in a bank rescue because “stockholders know the risk.” In contrast, she argues, “bondholders expect to at least get a return of their principal.” Likewise, Joshua S. Siegel, managing principal of New York-based StoneCastle Partners, a private equity firm that invests in banks, says forcing bank creditors to take a haircut “would be rewriting the laws of commerce. The capital markets would collapse, because who would ever again buy debt in any company that’s regulated?”
What nationalization-hating bondholders hope for is the same thing that Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are counting on: That the big banks can be cured with a smallish, temporary injection of public capital, coupled with the new Treasury initiative to get weak assets off their balance sheets. In the ideal scenario, the taxpayers come out ahead in the long run when banks’ net worth recovers and the government’s stake becomes highly valuable. (On Feb. 25, Treasury said that by the end of April it will finish stress tests to determine whether the 19 biggest banks need more capital.)
Yet there are equally strong voices arguing that taxpayers are being played for suckers and that creditors should absorb some of the bailout cost, now. The airwaves are alive with taxpayers complaining about having to bail out unnamed “fat cat” investors. Some finance experts share their view. “The bond and equity holders should lose first before the taxpayers do. They made the choice to invest without adequate due diligence,” says Donn Vickrey, co-founder of Gradient Analytics, a research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Of course, even if the government wants to make creditors pay a price, it’s not clear how it could do so. It’s easy enough when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. takes over a deposit-taking bank: If the assets are worth less than the liabilities, the FDIC is authorized to force unsecured creditors to share the loss. But the FDIC has no such authority over bank holding companies—the umbrella organizations that control sister subsidiaries such as Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch. Technically, the only way to impose a loss on creditors would be to push the bank holding company into bankruptcy court. But no one wants to go through another bankruptcy like that of Lehman Brothers last fall, which helped cause the global financial system to seize up.
Nevertheless, many analysts say that if push comes to shove, the government will somehow find a way to make creditors absorb some pain. R. Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics says he thinks Citigroup is the only banking company so weak it will have to be nationalized. If it is, he predicts, bondholders will take at least a 70% loss, if they are not wiped out entirely. They won’t suffer it lightly, either, Whalen predicts: “Bondholders are probably the best-organized investor class that there is. You’re talking about little old ladies, pension funds, and foreign governments.”