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Sunday reading: 07 December 2008

7 December 2008

Where to go?

Jessica Terrell of the Orange County (CA) Register writes on the challenges of the well-educated and undocumented …

Carried into the United States in her mother’s arms, Maria became a [sic] criminal when she was just over 2-weeks-old.

Of course, she did not know that at the time. Maria found out that she was an illegal immigrant when she began applying to colleges at 17, and told herself that if she was unable to gain U.S. citizenship by the time she was 30, she would leave the country forever.

Now 22-years-old and a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton, Maria, who is still undocumented, said that she tries not to think about her lack of citizenship and the obstacles it could create for her future…

Going to Washington

“Chilangabacha” (Chilango + Gabacho: “One of the biggest challenges of speaking Spanish in Mexico is not being able to express yourself as clearly as you would in English. You might be a regular Dave Barry spouting off one liners and clever anecdotes in your native tongue, but when it comes to Spanish, by the time you think of some hilarious pithy remark and remember what the past perfect form of “chinga” is, the conversation train has already left the station.”), with tongue firmly in cheek, profiles Secretary of Commerce designate “Guillermo Hijo de Ricardo”:

Bill Richardson may have been born in Pasadena and gone to school on the East Coast, but the fact he went to public school in Mexico City until he was 13 years old qualifies him as straight up Chilangabacho, güey.

Going to (the) Mass(es):

>Inca Kola News, the essential capitalist tool for Latin American investors, explains the difference between the mindset of running a state-owned business and a private one:

… Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, will match 2008 capex next year to the tune of U$2Bn. In the words of big cheese José Pablo Arellano;

“The investment plan is comparable to the one last year…..We expect to go ahead with a vigorous investment plan next year in spite of this difficult situation”

Or in other words, while the rest of the sector tucks, trims, cuts and slashes spending, Codelco rolls on as usual. Y’see, the whole mindset of a country-controlled company is different. Bottom line profits come down the list of priorities (as long as the company adds to GDP and pays its tax and royalty bills the State won’t moan so very much).

Ian Welsh (Firedoglake.com) wonders about the economic sense in keeping some U.S. industries private, when public ownership would be cheaper… and a financially sounder investment:

… in exchange for 7 billion and some warrants that may never pay back, the government put itself on the hook for 250 billion dollars. For 20 billion dollars or maybe a bit more, the government could have simply bought out Citigroup.

Now, it would make no sense for a private investor to buy Citi, but if the government has decided that it will never let Citi fail, and it’s hard to read the Citi bailout any other way, then it’s already on the hook for all of Citi’s debts anyway. And if it is, then there is no downside to owning Citi: it gets all the upside if it turns Citigroup around, after all—not just a few warrants, but the ability to issue stock and pay dividends when it chooses, to itself. There’s no taxpayer protection like that.

Add that to the fact that the current management of Citigroup is clearly incompetent, and there’s no reason not to take over Citi. And with Citi under control, one of the world’s largest banks, the government could have used it as a policy instrument, having it lend in the overnight market at the rates the government determines, having it give out credit directly to consumers and businesses at government rates and so on.

Going, going… gone

Canada… CANADA!!!… apparently had a coup d’etat (or, as they call it in Quebec, a “coup d’etat“), with the ROYAL GOVERNOR seizing power. Or something strange like that. Wonkette can make about as much sense of it as anyone outside a monarchy can:

… well-to-do white nerd countries had supposedly given up on such uncouth measures as overthrowing the state. Slate’s posted a thorough summary of the whole thing; and if you’d like an “authentic” Canadian newspaper article about it… well crap, what’s the name of any Canadian newspaper… Toronto must have one…

Not going for the gold

Bananama Republic writes on the phony press releases being put out by the non-existent gold mining operation, Petaquilla:

Richard Fifer’s mining scheme in Panama, published a press release recently saying that they now had ANAM approval and would go in production in December. Then Don Winner of the Panama Guide, a relentless pumper of Petaquilla stock who at least on one occasion indicated he was a shareholder himself, declared that the Petaquilla share might very well make a comeback. It didn’t, the price tanked even after the optimistic press release and not even Fifer’s insider trades are keeping it afloat. Undaunted, Winner continued later that those who declared Petaquilla “dead in the water” were “morons“.

Inca Kola News has more on Petequilla and Richard Fifer:

Fifer is under charges of embezzlement in Panama. Y´know, minor details like that. Fifer is also pally pals with Panama’s President Torrijos, whose mandate finishes once the March 2009 elections are done. A surefire issue in this election campaign will be environmental issues, and Petaquilla is certain to be held up as an example of how not to build a mine. Any new admin is likely to ride the overwhelming local opposition to the PTQ operation in order to get into office. Politically, time is running out for the scam artist Fifer.How bad is the PTQ enviro record? Very bad. Just last month the same ANAM environment office that partially approved the PTQ impact study slapped a fine on the company to the tune of U$1,934,694…….. and thirty-four cents. The reasons for this fine include the non-submission of an EIA before starting site construction, damage to the ecosystem, soil erosion , loss of biodiversity and contamination of local water supply.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 8 December 2008 9:08 am

    I enjoy that the Canadians are also going to toss the liberal leadership at the same time because Dion’s video released in response to the Governor General was not professional looking enough. I’m trying to imagine members of the PRD telling AMLO, “Look, dude, your YouTube account is just not popping so we need new leadership.” White nerdy countries indeed. jajajajaajaj

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