Thursday, October 23, 2008

While Wall Street Crashes Sarah Palin Goes On a $150,000 Shopping Spree & Richie Rich & Other CEOs Say " So Long Suckers"

Update: 2:18 pm Oct. 23, 2008

Anyway the news of the day is that Sarah Palin spent a 150,000 on clothes for her and her family. So is this fact important. Well it just adds to a number of questionable actions on the part of Palin and the McCain campaign. The thing of it is is that Palin presents herself as an ordinary Hockey Mom as one on the Folk , as a representative of Joe-Six-pack so what's with the movie star outfits as she competes with people such as Paris Hilton . Is she just another greedy politician taking advantage of their party's donors. In the end she has shown herself to be more concerned with helping the rich and then pandering to the Folk only to get elected.Or should we compare her to those Evangelical leaders who preach the word of God and Jesus while living the life of Royalty. While they tell the poor they are poor because they are not favored by God as the super-rich are. Oh Yeah I forgot that Golden rule stuff and that other stuff such as the meek shall inherit the earth or that a rich man will get into Heaven as easily as a camel can pass through the eye of a needle ; that stuff is not that important and comes from the less authoritative parts of the Pentecostal Evangelical Fundamentalist Bible . Their Bible teaches about Prosperity and that Greed and Avarice are Good .

Also see below : " No Golden Parachutes For The Working Poor " and " No Cuts on Wall-street " and a millionaire retiring at 37 says " So Long Suckers " cause we are all the suckers it appears. And we Canadians have voted our Neocon Prime Minister Stephen Harper back into power.

Sarah Palin dressing for success at the RNC's expense so much for being just one of the Folk & average Hockey Mom
The Young Turks: Sarah Palin's 150K Wardrobe
Oct. 22,2008
Watch more clips at

and Rachel Maddow's take on Palin's Expensive taste in clothing.

Rachel Maddow on Palin's Lavish Shopping Spree Costs GOP $ 150,0000

Meanwhile Sarah Palin goes on a shopping Spree:

Republicans Disgusted: Palin's $150,000 Shopping Spree
Posted by Steve Benen, Washington Monthly at 7:54 AM on October 22, 2008.

Consider all the McCain campaign messages this steps on: "elitist," "small-town values," "big spender," "relating to 'real' America," etc.

As Hilzoy noted last night, Sarah Palin has a new and unexpected problem -- the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 on clothes and accessories for Palin and her family in just seven weeks. The figure includes more than $75,000 at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, and nearly $5,000 on hair and makeup. The funds were not just directed at the governor -- about $5,000 was also spent at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.

The political implications are more than a little humiliating. Consider all the McCain campaign messages a story like this steps on -- "elitist," "small-town values," "big spender," "relating to 'real' America," etc.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American households spend an average of $1,874 a year on clothing. The RNC spent $150,000 on one family in seven weeks. Frankly, I'm not even sure how one family can spend that much so quickly. We're talking about an average of more than $2,000 a day, every day, since late August. (Yglesias noted, "The total bill is well over double the median household income in the United States.")

Marc Ambinder reports that Republicans are pissed that Palin and the RNC could have let this happen

Palin's Shopping Spree Palin Clothes Spending Has Dems Salivating, Republicans Disgusted Huffington Post Sam Stein oct. 22, 2008

Mainly, however, Democrats (in this scenario) are not prone to forgiveness. After all, it was during this same campaign cycle that Republicans belittled the $400 haircut that former Sen. John Edwards had paid for with his own campaign money (the funds were later reimbursed). And yet, the comparison to that once-dominant news story is hardly close: if Edwards had gotten one of his legendary haircuts every singe week, it would still take him 7.2 years to spend what Palin has spent. Palin has received the equivalent of $2,500 in clothes per day from places such as Saks Fifth Avenue (where RNC expenditures totaled nearly $50,000) and Neiman Marcus (where the governor had a $75,000 spree

And the deputy editor of U.S. News and World Report writes about Sarah Palin's Rise and Fall:

Sarah Palin's Flameout: $150,000, the Vice Presidency, Sinking Poll Numbers, and MoreOctober 22, 2008 | Robert Schlesinger

(Robert Schlesinger is a deputy editor at U.S. News and World Report and oversees all opinion editorial content. He is the author of White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters.)

Years from now, Sarah Palin may be the perfect case study for a political shooting star.

First she was a rock star, someone happily capable of bringing life to a moribund McCain campaign—someone who could rev up the base and maybe pick off a few Hillary Clinton voters.

Then came the dark times—the Gibson interview, the Couric interview, Troopergate, the debate in which she breezily refused to actually answer the questions. The "Hockey Mom" charm wore off quickly as she grasped the vice presidential pit-bull role, bringing it to new levels of divisiveness with comments about "real America" that even she acknowledged were, ahem, unhelpful.

But the dark times are over. That brilliant flash you see? Sarah Palin flaming out. Or exploding. Or crashing and burning. It's been that kind of week for the Alaska governor.

Let's count the hits she's taken in the past 24 hours:

There's her $150,000 wardrobe. It's hard to run as Joan of Six Pack when your wardrobe alone almost qualifies for an Obama tax increase. (Even when you're a millionaire, anyway.)

Sarah Palin, constitutional scholar, resurfaced this week when she was asked about what her job would be as vice president. The veep, she said, is "in charge of" the U.S. Senate and "can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." Umm. Shouldn't someone have explained to her by now what the vice president does? The vice breaks ties in the Senate. That's it. Being a Washington outsider is fine, but being a constitutional ignoramus is another matter entirely.
The AP reports today that Palin charged Alaska for her kids to travel with her, even when they weren't conducting official state business. Palin might have bilked the state? I'm shocked. (Hey—speaking of state rules, her new wardrobe qualifies as a gift, right? She'll have to declare it in her next ethics report per Alaska law, right?)

Then there's yesterday's Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, which showed that Palin's lack of qualifications to be president is voters' No. 1 concern regarding John McCain. She's an even bigger drag than is George W. Bush. Wow.
What will be Sarah Palin's next act? Does she have a future beyond darling of the base, assuming she and McCain lose? She can still salvage a level of plausibility, but the window is closing fast.

Even Australia's The Canberra Times picked up on this absurd yet true story about Sarah Palin's clothes:

War chest spent on Palin wardrobe WASHINGTON 23/10/2008
after repeating the details of the Shopping Spree story the article goes on to point out her questionable ethics as governor of Alaska:
Mrs Palin, already found by one investigation to have abused her power as Alaska's governor, will take time out from her campaign for vice-president tomorrow to give a deposition in a second inquiry into her firing of the state's top public safety official.
It will be the first deposition in the affair by the Republican vice-presidential candidate. She wasn't subpoenaed to answer questions in an earlier investigation by the state legislature, though her husband, Todd, gave an affidavit in that probe.
The legislature's investigator, former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower, found that Mrs Palin violated ethics laws in attempts to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired

and from The Independent points out it is easy to have great fashion sense when you can spend 150,000 on clothes but it goes against her Hockey Mom One of the Folks image :
Republican Party spent $150,000 on Palin's wardrobe McCain's running mate – now hit by revelations of a lavish shopping spree – is starting to hurt his poll ratings. David Usborne reports Thursday, 23 October 2008

Ms Palin, of course, has attracted a lot of favourable comment for her dress sense. It has certainly helped her get into the pages of magazines such as People. But questions may be asked whether, in purchasing so many fancy outfits for her – for husband Todd and possibly even for Trig the baby – the campaign may have violated federal election laws governing the use of campaign cash for gifts. Her surprise arrival on the Republican ticket at the end of August initially electrified the Republican base and gave what might have been a dour party convention in Minneapolis-St Paul a shot of adrenalin. That was a good thing, but the question was always this: would she tear independents and former Hillary Clinton supporters away from Barack Obama

and from ABC Palin's Spending Spree Sheds Light on Campaign's Priorities RNC Puts $150k of Lipstick on Pitbull Palin. What Will It Mean for Campaign?By RUSSELL GOLDMAN October 22, 2008

and as for the plane she said she sold well it appears she just used a different plane owned by the State of Alaska and she used it more frequently than she has claimed as Aram Roston details in his article:

Gov. Palin sold one state plane, used another Wednesday, October 22, 2008 MSNBC by Aram Roston
and from The Times 23, 2008 Hockey mom? Palin's dream ticket is one that bears the names Louis and Vuitton by Tim Reid

For Sarah Palin, becoming John McCain’s running mate has certainly had its perks. There is the campaign jet, the national celebrity and, it emerged yesterday, the £90,000 wardrobe, hair-dos and make-up about which most hockey moms could only dream.

For anyone wondering if Mrs Palin’s trademark red jackets, the $2,500 (£1,530) Valentino outfit worn for her Republican convention acceptance speech, or even the $3,000 Louis Vuitton handbag that her six-year-old daughter, Piper, was holding on September 11, came from the wardrobe at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, they did not.
The array of couture was provided courtesy of the Republican National Committee’s bank account.

And from Scotland The newspaper online: Sarah Palin back in spotlight as figures show how Republicans spent a small fortune on new clothes for her: 23 October 2008 By Chris Stephen

And now a few asides as it were on the Economic Meltdown & millions losing their life-savings and their jobs and homes and other unimportant matters according to the Super-Rich and the Republican party . They see nothing wrong with CEOs of failed businesses and financial institutions giving themselves 5 million to 20 million bonuses or retirement packages while average people get a few weeks severance pay or are given directions to the Unemployment offices or the Welfare offices or the nearest Soup Kitchen.But we all know it is only the Rich who are America's substitute for Royalty that matters.

Is this what the rich think about the rest of us that we are " idiots" and "suckers " for allowing them to fleece us are we mere "rubes " in their little game of Wallstreet Gambling - the stock exchange not much different than betting at roulette table.

So Long, Suckers.Millionaire hedge fund boss thanks 'idiot' traders and retires at 37 By Andrew Clark in New York

October 20, 2008 " The Guardian" -- October 18, 2008 -- The boss of a successful US hedge fund has quit the industry with an extraordinary farewell letter dismissing his rivals as over-privileged "idiots" and thanking "stupid" traders for making him rich.

Andrew Lahde's $80m Los Angeles-based firm Lahde Capital Management in Los Angeles made a huge return last year by betting against subprime mortgages.

Yesterday the 37-year-old told his clients that he had hated the business and had only been in it for the money. And after declaring he would no longer manage money for other people, because he had enough of his own, Lahde said that instead he intended to repair his stress-damaged health; he made it clear he would not miss the financial world.

"The low-hanging fruit, ie idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking," he wrote. "These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government," he said.

"All of this behaviour supporting the aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."

Lahde became one of the biggest names in the investment industry when one of his funds produced a return of 866% last year, largely by forecasting the US home loans industry would collapse.

In his farewell letter, which concluded with an appeal for the legalisation of marijuana, Lahde said he was happy with his rewards and did not envy those who had made even more money.

"I will let others try to amass nine, 10 or 11 figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck," he wrote, citing a life of back-to-back business appointments relieved only by a two-week annual holiday in which financiers are still "glued to their Blackberries".

-Any Pay Cuts on Wall Street Yet?
Tuesday 21 October 2008 by: Dean Baker, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Congress assured us that there would be no more big paychecks for incompetent Wall Street bankers when they passed their bailout bill. They told us that the tough pay provisions would put an end to the multimillion-dollar payouts to these folks.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson mailed $150 billion in checks to the big banks. From that point forward, the CEOs and all the other top executives of these banks are now our dependents. They are living off the tax dollars of schoolteachers in Iowa, truck drivers in Montana and even Joe the Plumber.

It is difficult to understand why we should be taxing people who make $40,000 a year to boost the paychecks of bankers who make more than $1 million a year and in many cases more than $10 million a year. Senator McCain has called Senator Obama a socialist because Obama believes that it is O.K. to impose higher tax rates on rich people than poor people. Senator McCain considers this sort of redistribution unacceptable.

But, if redistribution from the rich to the rest of the country is socialist, what do you call the upward redistribution that Congress approved in the bailout package? It's hard to justify taxing people who make $40,000 a year to benefit bankers who make more than 100 times as much.

The Wall Street bailout was a classic, if totally foreseeable, bait and switch. The public has a real interest in ensuring the continued operation of the financial system. This was threatened by the credit crunch last month. This was the legitimate goal of the bailout.

However, if Congress only wanted to preserve the financial system and not reward the people responsible for the financial crisis, it would have been a simple matter to impose safeguards to ensure that the bank executives were forced to take large pay cuts. While many members of Congress implied that the bill would rein in executive pay, almost all the experts who have examined the provisions on executive pay have concluded that they are largely toothless.

and from

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 by Inter Press Service No Golden Parachutes for the Working Poor
by Adrianne Appel

BOSTON - High-rolling Wall Street executives have won pay bonanzas in recent years while the lives of millions of working poor families have gotten worse, a new study shows.

"The stark reality is too many working American families have been in crisis for many years," Brandon Roberts, director of the Working Poor Families Project, told reporters.

About 42 million working adults and their children are too poor to meet their basic needs of food and shelter, according to Roberts. Put another way, 70 percent of poor families work, and half are two-parent families, the study says.

"This comprises far more working families than is acknowledged by the government," said Roberts, a co-author of the report. The working poor often hold jobs like cashiers, cleaners, janitors, nursing home staff and restaurant workers.
The study defined a poor family as a family of four that earns less than 42,400 dollars per year in all states but Alaska and Hawaii, where wages and expenses are higher.

The federal government defines poverty as a family of four earning 21,000 dollars or less. The study used the higher level because at this income, families often struggle to keep food on the table and to pay rent. Health insurance is out of reach.
Nationally, more than one in five full-time jobs pays less than 21,000 dollars, Roberts said.

and so it goes,

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