Who does a better spoof of Palin?

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the September 30th, 2008

This is Palin doing Palin

This is Tina Fey doing Palin

Who does a better spoof?

This week’s McCain/Palin jokes

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the September 28th, 2008

The latest McCain/Palin jokes.

    “John McCain showed up without running mate Sarah Palin, which is a shame because she actually has a lot of experience with financial matters. You know, she lives right next to a bank.” –Jimmy Kimmel, on Obama and McCain’s meeting with President Bush at the White House
    “John McCain wants to suspend his debate with Barack Obama until the economic crisis is over. And Sarah Palin wants to suspend her debate with Joe Biden until she can find Europe on a map.” –Jay Leno
    “Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is in town. John McCain took her over to the U.N. to introduce her to all the world leaders. It looked like Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” –David Letterman
    “Sarah Palin, you know, was at the U.N. yesterday, and she was a big hit. She’s over there meeting all of the world leaders. She’s still learning who the world leaders are. Right now, she thinks that Warren Buffett is the head of Margaritaville.” –David Letterman
    “By the way, as the campaign goes on, we’re learning more and more about Senator John McCain, who apparently has 13 cars. But he can’t remember where he parked any of them.” –David Letterman
    “This doesn’t smell right. This is not the way a tested hero behaves. Somebody’s putting something in his Metamucil.” –David Letterman

How to fight graft

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 26th, 2008

Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranked the Philippines 141 out of the 180 nations included in the survey. Last year the Philippines was ranked 131.

Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) chair Constancia de Guzman pooh-poohed TI’s survey.

She said,

    “The report of Berlin-based Transparency International was based solely on a survey of public perception, and not on a factual assessment of the actual situation. As such, it does not reflect the realities on the ground.”

She added,

    “perception is based on what one hears on the radio, reads in the newspapers, and sees on television and the Internet. And since the practice of press freedom in the Philippines tends to give greater prominence to negative news because these attract greater public attention and conform to the media’s role as the people’s watchdog, naturally the basis of perception is leaned on the negative.

    But it doesn’t mean that there is no corruption in the countries that have scored high in the CPI. One factor may be their press is more contained, especially in less democratic countries.”

Oh, I see the problem now…. Let’s kill all the reporters, right?

A couple of Gloria jokes

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the September 26th, 2008

Holdaper to the Arroyo couple: ‘Give me all your money!!’
Gloria and Mike:’We are the First Couple! Better behave yourself’
Holdaper:’ In that case … return all my money’

Gloria’s helicopter crashed on her way to a village.
A farmer saw what happened.
He rushed to the scene and buried all the passengers.
A couple of days later, the PSG came and asked the farmer if there were any survivors.
Farmer: ‘Hmmm, Gloria was screaming that she is still alive when I buried her ….’
PSG: ‘And you buried her anyway, why?
Farmer ‘Because Gloria never tells the truth’

The $700 B bailout vs. Buffet’s $5B rescue package

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the September 24th, 2008

Last night, US treasury secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernanke explained the $700B rescue package to the Senate committee chaired by Chris Dodd.

Here’s what I gathered: There is no plan. Paulson does not even know how much money he needs. No one knows exactly how deep in shit the CDS (credit default swap) market is because it is unregulated and no one was keeping track of the deals. No one knows the value of toxic papers but the Fed will not buy them at “firesale” prices because… well… Wall Street has to eat too.

Bernanke wants to buy toxic papers at close to “hold to maturity price” because there will be “substantial benefits” when due dates come. So Paulson and Bernanke want the $700B because if they don’t get it then everybody is up shit creek but if they get it then some people may manage to stay afloat…but they will be floating on shit creek anyway…until hopefully, by a miracle akin to turning water into wine,, $700B turns shit creek into a river of gold.

Meanwhile, smart investors are taking advantage of the situation. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway invested $5B into troubled Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that Treasury secretary Paulson used to run.

Here’s what Buffet hopes to get for his $5B:

    • Goldman Sachs pays a fat dividend to Berkshire Hathaway of 10% on $5 Billion dollars — that’s $500 million per year. And, since this is a preferred, it gets paid out of net income in after tax dollars dollars. Ouch.

    • Goldman gets the right to call the preferred at any time at a 10 percent premium. Ouch again.

    • Buffett gets $5 billion worth of warrants with a strike price of $115, or about 43.47 million shares. The warrants are good for only 5 years.

Paulson and Bernanke, on the other hand, don’t get anything out of their bet because they’re just cleaning up toxic papers and the taxpayer is not getting anything in return for the clean-up.

There’s no guarantee Buffet will make money out of the deal, just like there’s no guarantee that the $700B bailout will succeed but at least Buffet will get a handsome payback for his bet if he wins. Buffet, the second richest man in the world, is no fool. I’ll bet $700B that Buffet got a guarantee from Paulson and Bernanke that that Goldman will be first in line if the need arises.

The Paulson/Bernanke bailout is going to cost every man, woman, and child in America a little more than $3000 each in exchange for keeping their jobs and going into deeper debt. Buffet’s stockholders will be shelling out $5B and will get some juicy returns over 5 years without having to get out of bed everyday to go to work.

Deal or no deal?

MEANWHILE the little queen is attending to the national interest…


My Business Mirror column today is Woe is me

Why does she want to meet with those people?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 22nd, 2008

Regarding Gloria Arroyo’s trip to New York

Press secretary Dureza said,

    “There is going to be a dialogue or briefing from high level banking and financial officials. We all know that financial markets in the US are going down and whether we like it or not, we are affected although how severe it would be is not yet known.”

Arroyo is expected to meet with officials of the New York Federal Reserve, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, Citibank chairman William Rhodes, and Citibank senior counselor Robert Rubin.

Go back to what Dureza said about the government not knowing how severely the US financial meltdown affects us.

Is Gloria’s trip to New York really about delivering a speech to the UN or did it become urgent because of the collapse of Lehman Bros. and AIG?

Won’t Arroyo only be gossiping and wasting the time of those people if the government did not lose a lot of money from investments in sub-prime papers and she was not actually trying recover some of those investments?

Our private commercial banks have come clean and told us exactly how much money they lost and how they are going to cover those losses but I think Arroyo is not telling the country what losses where incurred by government financial institutions.

Here’s what Malaya has to say:


The stranglehold

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the September 22nd, 2008

Joseph Cole read Politics and Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and did postgraduate management studies at the London School of Economics. Now based in Manila, he spent a year volunteering in microfinance in the Philippines. This article was published in the Business world on September 22, 2008, pages S1/4 to S1/5.

    Separation of Church and State
    by Joseph Cole
    Monday, 22 September 2008

    Religion has always fascinated me. I grew up in a small town with lots of old churches, old priests, and to a certain extent old people (who tend to be religious). I thought I came from a fairly religious place…and then I came to the Philippines and I realized I was completely wrong.

    People sometimes forget that there is more than one religion and no one knows for certain which one is right. If you disagree with the latter statement then you cannot be faithful to your own religion (if you have one); nothing is certain about god(s) so you’ve got to have faith. Religion is a profession of faith, not fact; it is effectively a hope. I hope that X will happen to me when I pass away, assuming I have been doing Y in accordance with the teachings of X. If it was fact then you wouldn’t have to believe in it the same way you don’t believe in a table; it’s just there. (Or is it? Let’s not get metaphysical.) This is why religious people are “people of faith.”

    There is a problem with the Philippines being a Catholic country: it isn’t. There are lots of thriving religious minorities here. In religious usage of a political term, the Philippines suffers from the tyranny of the majority – a dangerous thing, especially if you are a religious minority.

    Maintaining this prejudice of religion in public life undoubtedly has a negative economic impact not least because government policy often seems based on this faith alone. Take the lack of family planning, which leads to overpopulation, over-subscription (of services), un- and under-employment, cheap labor, etc. Simple birth control measures would lower population and create employment; if parents were allowed to bring up just three children, or even two, they would have substantially more free time to spend inventing, buying, and due to the lower population, working.

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Super Powman!

Posted in Brownman's Posts,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the September 18th, 2008

McCain’s top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin tries to top Al Gore with a fantastic claim.


And from Talking Points Memo

    Let me get this straight. John McCain’s top economic advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, is the guy who authored the deregulation law that most agree is the ultimate cause of today’s financial meltdown. Tomorrow’s and probably next week’s too. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, which swirled into brokerage oblivion today, is one of McCain’s top economic advisors too. And now McCain says he’s going to clean up the mess by putting in tighter regulations and oversight even though he’s always supported lax oversight and his top economics guy is the one who loosened the rules in the first place. –Josh Marshall

Poor Cindy McCain. John calls her a trollop and a cunt and now this: (more…)

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 17th, 2008

My column in Business Mirror for today.

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen

    “With noon day clarity,” ZTE whistleblower Jun Lozada was not kidnapped, so ruled three Court of Appeals justices.

    “At twelve noon the natives swoon, and no further work is done—But Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” so sang the English composer and playwright Noel Coward.

    The Appeals Court justices found it “too much too accept” that a member of Gloria Arroyo’s cabinet would abduct a ranking government official to prevent him from testifying against her.

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(UPDATED)Lies that reveal uncomfortable truths

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 16th, 2008

At the 15th anniversary celebration of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), newly appointed peace adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. told reporters that Gloria Arroyo was on top of the cancelled GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain

    “Any product of negotiation is always submitted to the President for further executive action or for further guidance to the negotiating panel,” Esperon said,

He reiterated that statement when a reporter asked if Gloria had seen the MoA before sending an official delegation to Kuala Lumpur for the signing.

    “Yes, of course, the President knows what the panel has been going through,” he said.

Esperon didn’t know what Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera told the Supreme Court.?

    “The panel conveyed to me that the MOA was not submitted to the Office of the President. She never saw it, she was never shown a copy,” she said. “The process was the GRP will be submitting the MOA to the President after the signing,” she explained.


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