Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama Drama or Blame Game McSame Update 1

photo courtesy:

Digging around a bit more today after shedding the late night tired associated with incomplete blog posts, we discovered that our fine, Charleston City Paper, kindly took on the topic of write-in voting in the State of South Carolina back in March. Turns out South Carolina is one of only a few states in the union that have outlawed write-in voting. We are flat not allowed to do it. But just when we thought we were all nice and smartened up, one of our more astute readers posted the following.

Sadly, the State of South Carolina eliminated the ability of voters to write in a candidate. If a candidate desires to be written in, s/he must submit notification to the State Election Board of that intent, long prior to the election date, so that the Board can approve that candidate and include that name on the electronic ballot - or disapprove that candidate and leave no room on the ballot for her/him. Just another way SC has denied its own history, never mind the rights of the citizenry.
Thank you, thank you, Wiley for your input.

Personally, we think it might just be about time to resurect the spirit of ole Strom Thurmond and his flexible, quick-witted legal mind. We may not agree with many of his causes and find ourselves heavily objectionable to the more unpallitable shenanigans woven through the framework of this infamous South Carolinian's life, yet we ponder the mind and motiviations of one of the only write-in vote winners in history (who ran as a democrat when he won that vote, mind you).

Perhaps if Strom were with us still today, and we asked him what to do in this situation, he would simply laugh and say, "overturn it."

Additional research produced a few other tidbits, namely some info from the Statehouse, and contact info to a fellow on Folly Beach who appears to be already working to change the law. More comments are welcome if you can add to the fare here. Thanks, ya'll.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama Drama or Blame Game McSame? A Lesson in South Carolina's History

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name.

The 1954 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1954 to select the next U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Senator Burnet R. Maybank did not face a primary challenge in the summer and was therefore renominated as the Democratic Party's nominee for the election in the fall. However, his death on September 1 left the Democratic Party without a nominee and the executive committee decided to nominate state Senator Edgar A. Brown as their candidate for the election. Many South Carolinians were outraged by the party's decision to forego a primary election and former Governor Strom Thurmond entered the race as a write-in candidate. He easily won the election and to this date, has been the only U.S. Senator elected by a write-in vote.

The News and Courier devoted its front page on November 2 to show voters a sample ballot and it also provided detailed instructions on how to cast a write-in vote. Not only that, but the newspaper also printed an editorial on the front page giving precise reasons why voters should vote for Thurmond instead of Brown.

So, South Carolina, it could be that you may not have to vote for "the lesser of two evils," after all in the next election. We admit, it's really been impossible to understand the two evils explanation, anyway, since you voted for evil twice (because like it's ever ok to vote for evil?).

Regardless of what Strom stood for in South Carolina's colorful history - right or wrong, good or bad, racist or rational - the fact that the man organized a write-in vote reveals a glimpse of true democracy. It's a flash of what this country could be should we endeavor to celebrate the tidbits, the tiny parcels that were, and still are, of an honest democratic fabric. Now, let us run along and see what else we can dig up.

In the meantime, if you'd like a break from the current spectacle that is called an election process, you can ponder voting for Mickey Mouse in 2008, here:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics Over? In the Housing Race, Keep Your Eye On China

This has got to be one of the most under-reported, yet significant stories related to the housing debacle so far. See, America, the Olympics may be officially over, but China is still commanding some attention, this time where the U.S. credit markets are concerned.

Yu Yongding, a former Chinese Central Bank advisor, (who occasionally still advises the Chinese government) made a key statement on Bloomberg via e-mail. He said, "If the U.S. government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic."

Knowing that Mr. Yongding's prophetic viewpoint remains under-reported is the good news in this post, at least for Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who would like us to believe that he's got a good grip on dealing with this credit crisis. The bad news is that the Chinese are most likely going to be quite serious about their stake in the $376 billion of agency debt they carry (much of it in Fannie and Freddie assets).

Keep your eye on China....this may end up being a race of wit and tenacity. China v. U.S. in Let's Make a Deal. Now, who deals quickest? The Treasury will have no choice but to appease the Chinese, and the manner in which Paulson deals with Fannie and Freddie will have an effect on mortgage markets, the dollar and the federal deficit. How Paulson plans to compensate the shareholders of the two giant, privately owned, government backed hybrid entities will in no uncertain terms effect the global credibility of the United States financial system and most likely trigger a more brutal leg down in the global credit crunch.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rags Reporting It's Biden!

Although we wish the roles were reversed, Obama's first big decision is a good one. Biden was on our top watch list - but for President. Now this election is gonna get interesting!

Joe Biden is a foreign policy expert. Obama is clearly showing that he understands the world is in a shaky situation. Our transition away from oil dependency will be dangerous and the conflict in Georgia sits as testimony that the reckless strategies of George W. Bush have plunged the U.S. into a perilously vulnerable position. That, on top of essentially shredding the credibility of the U.S. around the world. It will take a Joe Biden to repair some of this mess.

Wisdom and Intelligence vs. Windshield Cowboy Cronyism. We too still have the audacity of hope.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


IOUSA is a recently released documentary revealing the precarious state of the United States' national financial health. Yes, we'll be watching this one.

The actors play themselves, and the movie stars the deficit of the United States. Joining David M. Walker of the GAO is Warren Buffett (everybody knows who he is) and Peter G. Peterson of Blackrock Group. The truthy-tongued trio predicts the collapse of the enormous national and personal debts that has contributed to a situation here in the homeland, that by 2040 will, "make the Great Depression look like a market correction" for the US. Well, that sounds, uh, difficult. In fact, the predictions in this documentary are far worse than what we've predicted on this site. The LA Times features a full story here.

"I.O.U.S.A." offers up as its action hero David M. Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office. With movie-star looks that scream "accountant" rather than "Terminator," Walker has been the Cassandra -- or Chicken Little -- of America's growing deficit for some time. Last August, he compared the U.S. to the final days of ancient Rome, which he said was militarily overextended and fiscally irresponsible.
With this flick, we'll take a side of Freddie Mac, thankyouverymuch. Happy viewing, America. This is what happens after thirty years of financial ignornace. Illusion is amazingly persuasive.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

...always liked Ross Perot

In perfect contrarian, cosmopolitan form, at times it may appear those of us composing the content here at The Cosmopolitan Charlestonian are bleeding-heart, American Liberals (sigh)...but alas, we try to remain neutral and beg to differ amid the occasional accusation of Clintonite-style loyalties.

Back in the day, when Bill was busy winning America over with a hip jazz sax number, certain folks here were being swayed in another direction. Perot was labeled the "ultimate outsider" long before Obama made being Washington's new guy look cool. Suffice it to say, sixteen years ago nearly 19% of Americans voted for Perot, a fearless business man from Texas who, way back then, talked about balancing the U.S. deficit and rebuilding America's infrastructure. In his campaign he openly discussed real-time solutions to the souring economy of the early 90s; and like a sage, Perot advised us that a volatile financial structure was going to rob future generations of their wealth. Yet, Perot was marginalized like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and our favorite rabble-rouser, and green party candidate, Cynthia McKinney. Anyway, if you haven't gotten the jist of this story yet, back in '92 we were a part of that eighteen-some percent who voted for Ross Perot. What could have been has been left to the nostalgia of history and is best left alone.

Anyway, there is no sense crying over spilled milk. We can only move forward, and it looks like Perot is still kicking. Since he's an old fave, we want to turn you on to his more recent venture at, which provides an excellent resource for analyzing the potential denouement of continuous federal deficit spending here in the U.S.

Perot has the same solid message, but with a decade passed he's using the web rather than those old, blown-up Excel charts he was famous for toting around. His web charts are certainly worth a looksie in the event you'd like to mix your summer Mint Julep with economic statistics. Besides, there's no time like the present to reacquaint ourselves with our nations' fiscal fitness as we move into the coming election season!

Then again, if you really want to freak yourself out, go ahead and watch Perot essentially forecast the future so many years ago when he took on tax reform, eyed over-extended entitlement programs and planned for raising gas taxes to foster infrastructure improvement. Guess it is true that problems don't go away even when we do our darnedest to ignore them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Superfund Called IRS to save U.S. Economy - Funding from Nigeria!?!

Over at The Big Picture, we discovered the latest scheme hatched around the United States' need to raise capital in an attempt to fight its insurmountable debts while dealing with its current stagflationary economy. Apparently, Dr. Bernanke (Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve) has given up on Super SIVs, TAFs, Hope Now [Lost] and the inner-workings of the 697 page document that is HR 3221, the Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008. All ideas from former Goldman Sachs gurus (including Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson) are now off the table as Fed Chairman, Bernanke, has turned to prey on the elderly and any other misinformed internet users residing in Nigeria. The latest acronym is now labeled IRS (Internet Reserve-building Solicitation) and is sure to provide the U.S. a decent sense of relief being that the US Central Bank has finally reached out to the Nigerians for assistance.

From the U.S. Central Bank:

"Your assistance is requested as a non-USA citizen to assist the Federal Reserve of the USA, and also the investment bank community of Wall Street USA, in moving these funds out of USA. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your Nigerian account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Federal Reserve of USA. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Federal Reserve of USA would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or Nigerian $4 million of this amount."

Literally, hundreds of e-mails have gone out to those in Nigeria with an internet connection. And not one moment too late! Within a few short weeks the U.S. will no longer have to worry about FDIC funding or fractional reserve systems. Surely, the Nigerians will be attuned to offering their assistance to right the ship of the U.S. Especially now, as they must be aware of the dollar's recent gains (get in on Forex before it's too late)!

C'mon, Nigeria - make some haste here (you know we're good for it)! Also to those of you in the U.S. who may find the Fed's e-mail campaign unpalatable, think of it this way - this might not be quite the same as sovereign investing, but, hey....any outside funding will do.

For the full story, check out, again, The Big Picture. And, to any of you who have received solicitations from Nigerians in the past (when this role was reversed)- you must feel some sense of resolve for your previous troubles.

As always...happy investing!

Map compliments:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Resource War - Russia vs. Georgia

For a grasp on the situation in Russia, we decided to turn to an actual Russian. Dimitri Orlov spends time here in Charleston seasonally since leaving Russia after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. In, The Trouble with Georgia, he does a great job of outlining some of the history behind the turmoil over on the other side of the world. The press seems to keep the mention of the giant oil pipeline to a minimum in this insane bizarro-world where smart thinking people still cling to the hope that oil will fall miraculously back down to sixty bucks a barrel.

It turns out, as usual where oil is concerned, there will be long term ramifications outside of our general scope in this moment. But we'll be watching this one. What we do know is that Russia is securing its resources now. The Georgian's and Russians have a long, long history and the U.S. has been meddling by getting really friendly with Medvedev and the Georgians. Looking at a map of the pipelines through Afghanistan, Georgia and the rest is eye-opening. Russia has already admitted their vast oil resources are peaking as well, yet the U.S. continues to befriend every nation surrounding Russia, as well as moving forward with building missile silos in Poland. anyone out there (other than us) wondering why???

At any rate, today Bush offered up our Navy to offer aide to Georgia, and the has some interesting perspectives as well (with maps for South Carolinians and other U.S. Americans who cannot afford them).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer vacation almost over. Coming back on-line soon. How you like the new digs (meaning the new header)?