Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will a COL increase Prevent Clinton from becoming Sec. of State?

A Republican story line that is getting noise is the notion that Hillary Clinton is Constitutionally ineligible to be Secretary of State because the position received a cost of living salary increase during her term in the Senate.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; ~ U.S. Constitution - Article I, Section 6, Clause 2
A cursory review found six prior Secretary of States who fell into Clinton's situation. In descending order they were Edmund Muskie, Philander Knox, James G. Blaine, Daniel Webster (twice), James Buchanan, and Martin Van Buren. I am sure there are several additional examples with other cabinet posts.

Both Webster and Van Buren resigned from the Senate several weeks before being nominated for the cabinet position. I'm no Constitutional law professor and I have no intention of doing the historical digging necessary to confirm this, but I suspect way back in the early 19th century, when the Constitution was still new, resigning from the Senate prior to being nominated was sufficient to meet this clause's requirement.

World's Largest Prison

Walled in by the Israelis, held captive by Hamas, the people of the Gaza Strip live in the world's largest prison. For most it is a life sentence with no chance of parole. For most, their only crime was being born on the wrong patch of land.
Gaza has rightly been called a concentration camp. The Israeli blockade keeps the occupants impoverished. The Hamas jailers keep the occupants terrorized. Photo is of Hamas militia beating Palestinians in Gaza City in 2007 (source).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Never Steal Anything Small

Let's say you are CEO of a mid-sized community bank with $3 or $4 billion in assets. You have always been a prudent manager yet your bank is suffering. Hell, everyone is. To survive you have eliminated the year-end bonuses, including your own, and are going to cut the dividend. It is the frugal thing to do.

Now, let's imagine you are Charles Prince, the former CEO of Citigroup. You have been running Citigroup for four years and, frankly, you have run it into the ground. Your principle contribution to management has been to tell those whiny little twerps at Risk Management to shut the fuck up and let you party in peace. In four years you snatched over $50 million in salary (not counting all of the unbooked freebees) and you generated uncountable billions of dollars in losses. In leaving you took an additional $22 million severance, the Golden Parachute. You get a free office, secretary, and car with driver for the next five years because, Lord knows, you can't afford that shit now that you're unemployed. You're bank is getting a second $20 billion gift (bailout) from the Feds because the first one, for $25 billion, disappeared into the fetid swamp that is the Citigroup accounts.

In a just world, Charles Prince and a lot of other CEOs would be wearing prison denim and turning big rocks into small rocks for the rest of their lives. But the world is not just. If you steal a donut and you go to jail. If you steal millions they will pay you millions more just to leave.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Things Are Just Too Good to Be True

Anne Coulter's mouth is wired shut.

Things I'm Thankful For

In no particular order
  • George Bush seems to have decided to waste away the final two months of his presidency in a stupor rather than going out in a thermonuclear bang. From him, nothing is better than anything.
  • The American people put aside their accumulated prejudices to elect someone with dark skin and a Muslim name because he was the best man for the job.
  • CBC's Hockey Night in Canada is available on the NHL Network because Canadians know how to do hockey right.
  • Tina Fey and Sandra Bullock because both are very talented and cute as buttons.
  • Lucy Lawless - just because.
  • Groovelily for making their own kind of music.
  • Joan Baez - after all these years she still sings like a lark and means what she sings.
  • John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Peter Sagel, and Sandi Toksvig for bringing a needed perspective to the news. Without them the past eight years would have been completely unbearable.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss - their music never gets old.
  • The next generation of my family which has turned out to be very sweet and intelligent and, frankly, better people than I am.
  • Yoga - without which I don't think I'd be thankful for much of anything else.

Monday, November 24, 2008

$7.4 Trillion

A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money. ~ Everett Dirksen (adjusted for inflation)
The Bush/Paulson bailout package is now estimated to be $7.4 trillion. That is a lot of money.
  • 7.4 trillion seconds is 233,440 years
  • 7.4 trillion days is longer than the universe has existed (14 billion years)
  • a stack of 7.4 trillion one dollar bills would reach from the Earth to the moon, and back
  • $7.4 trillion would pay for two Iraq Wars and a border skirmish somewhere
  • It is more than half of the Gross Domestic Product of the United States ($14 trillion in 2007)
  • Over $1100 for every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth (Earth's population 6.7 billion)
  • $25,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States (US population 300 million)
  • $7.4 trillion is more than the current market capitalization of the entire S&P 500
  • And, as long as we are being silly, a stack of pennies worth $7.4 trillion would reach from the Sun to Jupiter and half way to Saturn
Bush trillion dollar bill

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life Lessons from San Diego Sports

There are certain truisms about life you can discover by being a San Diego sports fan.

There is so an 'I' in 'Team'
At the start of the season the San Diego Chargers football team was one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl. They are currently more pathetic than their 4-6 record shows all because they lost just two players.
Linebacker Shawne Merriman is out for the season with knee injury. With him the Chargers had the most fearsome pass rush in football. Without him the Chargers have gone entire games without laying a finger on the opposing quarterback. Literally. No sacks, no hits, no hurries. Forget intimidating a quarterback, defenders aren't getting close enough to muss his hair. Also, when Merriman played opposing tight ends had to stay on the line and try to help block him. Without Merriman tight ends are roaming freely in the Charger secondary. Even no-talent bums are looking like Kellen Winslow (senior, the good one).
Lorenzo Neal (#41 at left) is a fullback. He seldom touches a football. His job is to block. Throughout LaDainian Tomlinson's incredible career Neal has been in front of him making holes. Until this year. The Chargers let Neal get away and replaced him with a rookie who is more often getting in the way than getting the block. As a result, Tomlinson is having his worst year of his career.

The Sanctity of Marriage is Important
No, not that one-man, one-woman silliness. I'm talking about the "what God has joined together let no man put asunder" part. The owner of the San Diego Padres, John Moores, is getting a messy divorce and the only child to be tormented by it is the baseball team. You see, Moores is trying to depress the value of the team before the divorce property settlement.
In the 40-year history of the San Diego Padres Trevor Hoffman is second only to the great Tony Gwynn in both longevity and the love of the fans. While he is past his prime the love has not diminished. This post season the Padres have cut Trevor loose for, well, nothing at all. And they did it with a rude slap to his face.

To make matters worse, the Padres are trying to trade another fan favorite, Khalil Greene, and their only legitimate star, Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. The Padres aren't asking for much, just a few cheap rookies. The fly in this ointment is that Peavy has a guaranteed contract with a no-trade clause and he kind of likes living in San Diego.

A Quality Education is Only Important for the Sports
San Diego State has a rotten football team. They have for years. They are 2-10 this season and were lucky to be that good. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is horrible the San Diego State Aztecs are somewhere in negative numbers. SDSU President Stephen Weber is proposing to hike student fees to $350 annually to fund the athletic program. To put this in perspective, the student fee in 2004 was $30, that is a 1167% increase in just four years.

It is not like the college is begging for this. In 2004 Weber had to overturn a student body referendum that had rejected a fee increase from $30 to $190. This year he isn't bothering with a vote and will impose another fee increase with token consultation. In addition, Weber has thrown millions of dollars in discretionary funds at the sports program. Money that could have been spent on, gee I don't know, like education.

As an academic institution San Diego State is stagnant in large part because the football program is a financial Black Hole. If you don't know what a Black Hole is maybe its because you got a degree in physics at San Diego State.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Killed Capitalism

Republicans are using words like Communism and Socialism to denounce the Obama Administration even before it takes office and that his election will lead to the Death of Capitalism. Capitalism has already died. It was killed the casino mentality that has infected the nation's economy.

Buying shares in a business and being rewarded with periodic dividends from the profits is such as 19th Century notion. Today its all about capital gains - stock is bought to be sold for a profit (or sold to be bought later for a profit if you are a short-seller). It doesn't matter if the stock market goes up or down, gamblers can make money in both directions. What the business does, or whether it does any business at all, is a meaningless distraction.

Back when capitalism was alive the leaders of businesses were visionaries. Creative men who made things. Today most businesses are run by accountants. Creativity is reserved for ever more exotic debt instruments and derivatives. For every Bill Gates and Steve Jobs there are a thousand G. Richard Wagoners.

The Chairman and CEO of General Motors is the quintessential bean counter. A bookkeeper who reached the top. In his entire life he has never built anything, designed anything, thought of anything. He achieved his status by being a loyal company man and playing the politics of advancement well. Having no history in his life of creating anything of value his effect on GM was predictable.

Wagoner took his post at the head of GM in 2000. That year GM's market cap reached $50 billion. In the eight years of his tenure GM has lost 95% of its value and is now worth $1.7 billion. During that time Wagoner has made multiple millions of dollars. He is not unique. Look at the leadership of most American corporations and you find Richard Wagoners, men of no imagination but who have a penchant for gambling.

Capitalism is dead. It was killed by oligarchical corporatism. A handful of CEOs gambled with the world's economy for their private gain. They served on each others boards and always their first priority was grow each others wealth. Whether the businesses thrived or collapsed was meaningless so long as their bonuses and golden parachutes grew. And while the world has lost, those CEOs are still extremely wealthy. They won.

Sarah Palin's Media Savvy

Any Republicans who cling to the belief that Sarah Palin's problems during the campaign (see the famous Katie Couric interview) were the fault of mishandling by McCain staffers should watch this clip picked up by HuffPost.

Palin is doing a meaningless interview following a routine Thanksgiving photo op where she pardoned a turkey. She still has her Gomer-Pylesque speaking style, I had mercifully forgotten how painful it was to listen to her stumble through an unscripted sentence. But the interesting part of the interview is happening behind her. A man is hauling live turkeys up to a blood covered table and slaughtering them in full view of the camera. Poor Sarah is clueless.

I've worked with politicians way below the level of Veep candidate. They all are aware of their surroundings. I don't know anyone who wouldn't have walked the interviewer a little left or right to insure a decent background. Afterwards they all would have fired their media aide for having positioned the camera badly to begin with. It isn't even Media Management 101, high schoolers know better than this.

I've never seen the likes of Sarah. She has less media savvy than a rotten turnip. I've never met a politician at any level so incognizant. And to think she came within nine million votes and a wayward blood clot of becoming President.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Three Troubles - a Petite History

Back in the heyday of General Motors the life expectancy of a new car was about 100,000 miles. It was a big deal when the first 5 year-50,000 mile warranty was announced. Today, 10 year-100,000 mile warranties are not uncommon and cars survive a half-million miles of use. It is is curse of Japanese (and to a lesser extent German) engineering.

When GM was king, planned obsolescence was a profitable business model. The customer could be counted on to return every couple of years for a new car because the old one kept breaking down. Auto dealers actually counted of repeat business. Then the Japanese began flooding the market with cars that routinely ran well for decades. To compete, American automakers had to manufacture cars that didn't break down after a handful of summers. The reason truck sales became a large and large percentage of American automakers books is because people who bought pickup trucks and SUVs were the last of a dying breed. They still needed to have the best and newest each year regardless of the need, regardless of the price. Call is psychological obsolescence.

With this epic economic downturn people are not only deciding they are going to have to keep their current car for a decade or longer, they have realized that they can. The cars are built to last that long. So people have stopped buying new cars and will probably not buy another car until the economy recovers sometime in the 2020's.

The resulting inventory glut is massive. Every manufacturing plant producing cars for the American market could shut its doors tomorrow and keep them closed until 2010 and it would still not be enough time to completely draw down the inventory backlog. There are big SUVs sitting on lots today that will probably never sell at any price. Some automakers will certainly survive but I can't see any of the American Big Three being among the survivors.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So, Senate Democrats have seen fit to forgive Joe Lieberman his many trespasses. So be it. Skilled back-stabber that he is I'm sure they will regret that decision.

Joe Lieberman is a treasonous little weasel. He will repay the magnanimity he has received with betrayal. He always has.

Bailing Out the Buggy Whip Makers

The Big Three automakers have been bleeding cash for years now. The chart below shows the stock action for General Motors over the past 15 years. The current stock price is $2.90, a level not seen since WWII.
The current economic collapse has exacerbated their troubles but it didn't cause them. The economy could turn rosy tomorrow and the automakers would still be in a peck of trouble.
At one time there must've been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. ~ Danny DeVito, Other People's Money
Take the new Ford F-150 pickup truck. They advertise it has a computerized entertainment system that would be the envy of many homes. It comes with "black sports-leather captain's chairs," wi-fi connectivity, and a rear-view camera for those people who never mastered using a mirror. Ford hasn't been able to sell enough of the previous versions of this truck to make a profit so they have made a truck with so many bells and whistles it is hard to find the truck. But, it's a hell of a good buggy whip.

I understand why politicians want to bail out the American auto industry. When it goes belly up it will take a million-plus jobs with it. But the American auto industry has been a dying industry for over a decade. They have been behind the Asian automakers on every practical innovation. Their refusal to retool for hybrid technology until very recently has left them hopelessly trailing. They have fought CAFE standards at every turn. They have been devoid of ideas. Even bad ideas would have been better than their total lack of ideas. They business models have been, "don't mess with failure."

It will probably be necessary, this year, to bailout American automakers. Their failure just now will ripple through the economy at a time when it cannot stand another major shock. But don't be deluded, it is simply throwing money down a rat hole. There is not enough value left in those companies for Toyota, Honda, or Amalgamated Buggy Whip to want to buy them out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving Both Ways on Christmas

More than ever before, this year I am going to stretch my Christmas giving by buying gifts from people who deserve my patronage. I'm going to look to artisans and craftsmen, non-profits, and deserving small businesses as the sources for most of my gift buying. That way my gift buying won't funnel profits into some corporate balance sheet. Rather, I will be helping the people I am buying from more than those I am giving to.

I won't be perfect. I'm sure a book or two from Barnes & Noble and a DVD from Best Buy will find their way under the tree. But as far as I can within the scope of my imagination I shall ignore the corporate giants and buy from people my own size.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beyond Panic

When in danger,
When in doubt,

Run in circles,

Scream and shout.
— Old Sailor's Proverb
I've been scanning my thesaurus looking for a word to describe Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson during the current economic disaster. Panic no longer suffices, he passed that emotion a month ago. Hysteria is closer to the mark but is still lacking. We may have to invent a new word, "Hank has gotten throughly paulsony."
Paulsony (adj) - characterized by wild gyrations during a difficult circumstance. Being decisively indecisive. Moving helter-skelter from one radical position to another, the positions often being wildly inconstant with each other.
While George Bush continues the blithe detachment that has been his principle character trait since sobering up, Paulson has been anything but blithe. Tune into MSNBC and look into his eyes. He looks like someone who has been run over by a stampeding herd of elephants.

The original Paulson bailout, the one sold to Congress, was intended to buy illiquid securities from banks. That never got off the ground. The next plan was to give money to banks (for preferred stock) on the understanding the banks would in turn loan the money to the public. The banks took the money with no strings attached and used it to gobble up smaller companies and pay their executives hefty bonuses. The current Paulson plan junks the original purpose entirely. He now proposed to fritter the money away on an indistinct, disjointed hodge-podge of programs. I'm not too interested in the details because I'm sure there will be another policy shift next week.

We are aboard a ship at sea on a moonless night. The captain is running around the ship, naked, screaming about icebergs and goblins. But, that's okay because the ship is steaming confidently at flank speed in a tight circle. We may not get out of this alive but at least we'll die dizzy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts on Veteran's Day

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Long time ago

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Gone to graveyards every one

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?
~ Where Have All the Flowers Gone by Pete Seeger
War is sometimes a necessary evil. Soldiers deserve our sympathy. We, as a nation-state, have demanded so much of them. Amidst the bravery and sacrifice they are compelled by us to commit acts of evil and depravity. For what else is the deliberate killing of another human being than evil and depraved?

Remember this always and never forget - whatever else war is, war is always evil.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank You, Howard

Howard Dean is stepping down as DNC chair. He deserves our thanks. It was Dean's 50-state strategy and it was Dean's energy that made the Democratic Party victory this year possible. Without him we might have fought, and lost, another close election.

Before Howard Dean, the Democratic Party believed in a 50 percent plus one strategy. There were states, like North Carolina and Indiana, where it was thought impossible for Democrats to win and we should abandon them to their fate. By shrinking the campaigns down to a handful of "battleground" states the Democratic Party played to Republican Party strengths. The Republican's top down campaign structure needs a small, narrowly focused campaign battle front. In essence, since 1992 national elections were a coin flip. We win half, they win half.

Dean's 50-state strategy was taken and perfected by David Axlerod and Barack Obama into their "Broad Battlefield" concept. Republicans were confronted with a truly national campaign that their tactics of microtargeting was wholly incapable of fighting.

Oddly, those with a knowledge of military history will recognize this. The German strategy of Blitzkrieg was microtargeting, concentrating overwhelming force on a few weak points. It was trumped by Eisenhower's "broad front" strategy that didn't allowed the Germans to focus on a counterattack.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Coleman (R)-MN - Don't Count the Votes!

Things have not changed one iota from 2000, Republicans still hate counting the votes. Norm Coleman has gone to court (and lost) to stop the state of Minnesota from counting the remaining votes in the senatorial campaign.
Lest we forget, the photo is of the Florida "Stop the Count" riot in 2000.

Friday, November 07, 2008

There Will Be No Economic Miracle

There are many more leaden shoes left to fall on this economy.
President Obama will not be able to wave a magic wand and repair in a few weeks the damage George Bush took eight years to generate. It will take time.
Don't ask what your country can do for you. Ask how you can help your neighbor. There is little the government can do to help quickly although we will do everything we can and probably a little more. In this year of crisis we Americans have to work together. We have to help each other. Let us show ourselves and the world, let us show the doubters and the cynics, that it is now that the best of America comes out. We can rise out of this morass by helping each other. We can do that and we will do that.
If I were a speechwriter for President Obama this is what I would have him say.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Whither Joe the Lieberman?
In the last row, in the last seat

You've made your bed, now lie in it. ~ my mother
Sign the petition.
  • Joe Lieberman wants to be forgiven for supporting and actively campaigning for the Republican candidate for president. He wants to be forgiven for attacking the Democratic candidate for president. He wants to be forgiven for openly campaigning against Democratic senatorial candidates. Okay, I can be magnanimous.
  • Joe Lieberman wants to caucus with the majority party in the incoming Senate. Fine, I understand he doesn't want to be in an insignificant minority.
  • Joe Lieberman wants to keep the chairmanship of an important Senate committee. No way in Hell.
There will be at least 55 Democratic Senators, plus independent Bernie Sanders, who did none of the above during the past campaign. Each and every one of them has a better case for the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

Joe Lieberman made his bed, he chose to lie down with the Republicans during the past election. His pride or greed or envy, I'm not quite sure which of the Deadly Sins motivates Lieberman, has him begging to be allowed to caucus with the majority he abandoned during the campaign. He doesn't want to pay a price for his disloyalty.

If Joe Lieberman sits with the Democratic caucus it should be in the very last row in the very last seat. Give him the sub-committee on Taxation and IRS Oversight or something of similar station. Tell him honestly that he has to re-earn the respect of his colleagues.

And if he chooses to caucus with the Republicans give Joe a fruit basket and a firm handshake goodbye.

(a note: I think I know why Lieberman is so dismayed at the prospect of caucusing with the Republicans he supported in the campaign. The Republicans who like Jews only like them as cannon fodder for the coming Tribulation. Every day the majority of his Republican colleagues would look at him thinking that he is going to Hell for refusing to accept Jesus as his lord and savior. Joe would not be very comfortable.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Deferred No Longer

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

Now What?

Some general advice for our new president and congress from someone who has seen several come and go.
  1. Don't sweat the small stuff. Work on the big issues that matter - improving the economy, ending the occupation of Iraq. The easiest way to squander the election is to get bogged down in trivialities.
  2. Be open and communicate often. People don't like secretive government. FDRs Fireside Chats calmed a nation nervous about its future. Ronald Reagan was not popular because of his policies (which always polled poorly), he was popular and mostly successful because he was a highly skilled pitchman.
  3. It's all about others. Barack, don't build a cult of personality around the President. Richard Nixon did it, Ronald Reagan did it, Bill Clinton did it, George Bush fils did it. This is where each failed. Be the community organizer. You will help yourself most by helping others succeed.
  4. Focus on 2010. This election is not the end but the beginning. The biggest possible success is to grow the Democratic Party for the next election cycle. That all means...
  5. Keep your field organization. The biggest mistake political parties make is they disband the army after the war. Keep in touch with your supporters. Maintain a standing corps of field offices to mobilize the infantry (phonebankers and the like) should it be necessary to suppress Republican opposition to an important program. Don't overuse it but don't let it go moribund.
  6. Be positive, be upbeat, be hopeful. Don't pretend the nation's problems don't exist. Face them with certainty. Together we can climb any mountain. Together we are better. Together we will succeed. Together we will make this a better nation and a better world. Keep hope alive!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dixville Notch

Barack Obama - 15
John McCain --- 6

Since I was a child (1960) the tiny hamlet of Dixville Notch, NH has gathered at midnight to vote for president. They invariably vote Republican, often overwhelmingly. This result is an encouraging note to go to sleep on. (The one exception was 1968 when they preferred Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon, which is scary and I won't sleep well.)

Why I'm Nervous

By this point in a campaign I am usually calm. There is little more than can happen. Maybe we will win, maybe we'll lose, maybe it will be a long night of vote counting. I'm not calm this year. I fear the criminal conspiracy that is the modern Republican Party.

Since the year 2000 I have believed that for a progressive to win a bare majority of the vote count he needs to have a five percent lead in the votes cast (Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004). Five percent is the practical limit of vote count fraud beyond which the fraud becomes so apparent as to be unbelievable. Barack Obama far exceeds that threshold. I should be able to relax but I can't.

For John McCain to win will require a level of election fraud so blatant, so outrageous, that the entire nation, the entire world will notice. Yet, I can't help believing Republicans will try. I can't help fearing they will openly steal the election. The world's hand will be stayed by McCain's finger on the nuclear button and the real risk he will use it. American street protests will be ended by gunfire from Palinite skinheads.

I fervently pray my vision is paranoid fantasy.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Better Comic Than a Politician

Poor John McCain. As a politician he is stiff and erratic. He overplays bad hands and repeatedly injures himself with overreaching attacks. His debate skills are nonexistent.

McCain's SNL skits prove he does, however, have pretty fair comic timing. From a political point of view it was a waste of time. The SNL audience consists of stoned out kids and unreconstructed liberal hippies. There is nary a vote to be had there for an elderly Republican. I can think of a couple hundred better ways to spend a Saturday night three and half days before the election than hanging out in Manhatten. Sleep comes to mind.

Mostly the appearance proves that McCain missed his calling. With just a little work McCain could be a successful comedian, the new George Burns. Instead he has chosen to be a politican, a joke of a different kind.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rumor Ambitions

I'd like to start a political rumor, see it go viral, and see it change the election. It would be fun in a psychopathically insane kind of way. I like weird rumors. I even fell for the Sarah Palin's child is really her grandchild rumor. The problem is that I just don't have the wild imagination necessary for rumormongering.

Yes, I've written some fiction. Yes, I written grant applications for new projects and had to imagineer budgets for them. But these things have to be rooted is reality. Really good rumormongers are not governed by the rules of time, physics, or common sense.

Take Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs. She has created a fantastic rumor that Barack Obama is really the lovechild of Malcom X. It's a tour de'force of rumor creation. In her barely lucid screed Pam uses the rumor to tie Obama to both 60's radicals and Black Muslims. She even uses a photo showing the physical similarities between Obama and actor Denzel Washington (who played Malcom X in a movie) to prove paternity.

I am in awe. Acknowledgements to Never Yet Melted and Sadly No! for their initial discovery.