October 15, 2008

Positivity: Aledo High seniors pick classmate with Down syndrome as homecoming queen

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:41 pm

From Aledo, Texas (HT Connect the Dots):

10:09 PM CDT on Saturday, October 11, 2008

Never has the selection of a homecoming queen sent so many tears falling so freely.

Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School’s homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman.

Her grandfather, Dr. David Campbell of Corsicana, escorted her onto the field and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek as Kristin joined eight other young women in the Homecoming Court to await the results of the vote, cast by the 360-plus members of Aledo High’s senior class.

“Oh my gosh! I was sitting in the student section and everyone stood up, crying and cheering for Kristin,” said longtime friend and fellow senior Meaghan Geary, 17, who first met Kristin in the third grade. “It was great!”

Carolyn Pass stood at the edge of the football field, taking pictures of her daughter and friends’ daughters in the court, when the stadium erupted.

“It’s just something you can’t even imagine,” she said. “And afterward, everyone was just running down to her, congratulating her. And the other girls in the court, they’re all just beautiful girls, inside and out.”

Ms. Pass said she spoke later with a friend. “She said the only mistake anyone made was not handing out crying towels.”

The vote may have been a surprise, but no one who knows Kristin doubts her popularity, her mother said.

“Kristin has a lot of friends – she likes everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, pretty, not pretty, smart, not smart – she likes everybody. She has great friends. And Aledo is a great community.”

“She’s just the neatest kid in the whole wide world,” added her aunt, Chari Hust of Houston, “and everybody sees that.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.

CNBC: Paulson ‘Put a Gun to All Their Heads’

CNBCpaulsonForcesBanks1008Gee, and I thought I might be pushing the envelope on September 28 when I expressed concern that the “bailout” with the made-up $700 billion price tag that turned into the pork-loaded “bailout” with the made-up $850 billion price tag “blackmail” (though “extortion” may be the more appropriate word).

It is clear that this is indeed the case, at least twice over. First, there were the threats made by the Treasury Secretary, the President, and the Fed Chairman warning of a banking Armageddon if Congress didn’t pass the bill.

Now there’s clear evidence, reported with stunning casualness by CNBC, that Paulson & Co. threatened the big banks in some way to force them to “accept” Uncle Sam’s preferred equity investments:

CNBCbanksForced1008

Even if they didn’t want it?

Watch the video; the answer is “yes” — thereby ensuring that the government has a stake in all the major banks. Here are key excerpts (all from the video’s first two minutes):

Host Dylan Ratigan: Well we all know that obscene amounts of risk (were) taken inside of the banking system, leaving some banks crippled, some banks frozen, and other banks with huge opportunities.

Uh, many of the banks didn’t want to be tainted with the government bailout funds because they didn’t want to be mistaken for a fool when they actually felt that they were the smart one that didn’t do it.

Well Hank Paulson said “The heck with that.” He stuck all of them with some of the bailout money. And he said “Listen, we’re going to reset the clock here and move forward.” Charlie, how are the banks that felt they basically didn’t commit the crime, as it were, of excess or reckless risk, uh, respond to the fact that even they will be stuck with this capital?

Charlie Gasparino: Well y’know they were all kind of stupid to some extent …..

….. the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson put all these egos in the room, and basically put guns to their heads, forcing them to take the money to bolster the banking system.

Some of the firms say they didn’t want the cash, but it’s pretty clear that all of them did need to take the cash, given the continued upheaval in the banking system that crushed shares last week of Morgan as well as Goldman Sachs and just about everybody else.

So this is essentially, uh, Dylan, a case where, y’know, you can deny you have any problems. Even the best-capitalized banks have problems. They own this stuff. And Paulson at one point said, “Listen, if you don’t want it, it doesn’t matter, gun to your head, you gotta take it.”

Ratigan: Yeah, whether you think you’re sick or not, you’re taking the medicine.

Gasparino: Because you’re sick anyway.

Ratigan: Exactly.

So what did Paulson threaten to do if they said “no”? (Yes I know he wasn’t holding real guns. Come on now.) We don’t know, but whatever it is, the opening sections of the pork-loaded “bailout” bill with the made-up $850 billion price tag probably gave him the power to make the threats credible.

It was very unsettling to see the two CNBC reporters basically smile and smirk their way through the opening segment of the clip, with what I saw as an air of insufferable “we know it all” arrogance. Further, a larger group including Ratigan and Gasparino all seemed to agree that the solution for jump-starting the economy that Paulson has embarked on is Keynesian, and not supply side oriented. One of the panelists frequently invoked the name of “Andrew” Hamilton when explaining how nationalizing the banks might actually be a good thing.

This “bailout” was originally advertised as being targeted towards troubled loan situations, principally mortgages. Instead, Paulson, Bernanke, and Bush have turned it into a de facto, no good deed goes unpunished (i.e., responsible lending) tool for partial nationalization.

How many Congresspersons, or presidential candidates, thought this was what they were voting for, or that this is what the people wanted? Two weekends ago, I wrote that the whole saga shows that the whole saga proves that Washington doesn’t really care what we think.

Where’s the proof that this was needed?

Where’s the outrage?

Finally, why is the threat element of the story only news on CNBC? The closest thing I could find came from a lightly-carried Associated Press story, which said that:

Executives of the country’s biggest banks were summoned to a remarkable meeting at the Treasury Department on Monday to be briefed on the plan. Paulson basically told the bank CEOs that they had to accept the government stock purchases for the good of the U.S. economy.

________________________ (Fill in your socialist of choice) would be proud, both of the move and the whitewashing that accompanied it.

Here’s a final irony: The page containing the CNBC story has an embedded link to a Bankrate.com column called “Five Money Mistakes Even Smart People Make.”

Mistake Number 5 is “Being out of touch.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (101508, Noontime)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 11:56 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein ObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters, Previously Unaccomplished Nonsupporter of Kin) was against a foreclosure moratorium, before he was for it.
  • From Fox News (HT Michael Savage) likely not seen elsewhere — “Almost a year after two teenage girls were found dead — allegedly executed by their father — in the back seat of a taxicab in Texas, the FBI is saying for the first time that the case may have been an ‘honor killing.’” Guess which religion? CAIR, of course, says “that calling the case an honor killing goes too far.” The father is still on the loose.
  • Never trust a liberal interviewing a conservative, or using him or her in a movie, Lesson 1,492. Specifically, from the embedded video at the link — “(Bill) Maher and (Larry) Charles admit deceiving the film’s subjects.” They clearly think it’s kind of cute. Yeah, well, secularly bleep both of you.
  • Giovanni’s World reminds us, and very effectively, that Barack Obama has embraced, and never renounced, the thinly-veiled Marxism known as Black Liberation Theology or its founder, James Cone.
  • Continuing that thought, here’s Stanley Kurtz (“Wright 101″) — “John McCain, take note. Obama’s tie to Wright is no longer a purely personal question (if it ever was one) about one man’s choice of his pastor. The fact that Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Wright’s anti-Americanism means that this is now a matter of public policy, and therefore an entirely legitimate issue in this campaign. ….. However he may seek to deny it, all evidence points to the fact that, from his position as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama knowingly and persistently funded an educational project that shared the extremist and anti-American philosophy of Jeremiah Wright. The Wright affair was no fluke. It’s time for McCain to say so.” Long past time.