The Biggest Story Nobody is Talking About....Yet

Turbulence in the municipal bond market-- which is a fancy term for the banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions that lend money to cities-- has already delayed government initiatives across the country. According to the New York Times, the bond crisis has halted projects in Washington DC, Montana, and Alabama.

Philadelphia could easily be next. Nutter's Five-Year Plan calls for spending $120 million in FY09 on capital investments. Most of that money is supposed to be raised through issuing bonds, which may be financially impossible due to market conditions. What's more, the lack of credit could threaten day to day operations because Philadelphia borrows against future tax returns to finance payroll for city employees.

My name was Trowel Ogre Palin!

Hey all you folks out there all excited about the Brett Myers-Sarah Palin debate tonight... I am already a step ahead of you laughing at it! (The debate, not the game. The game will be like butter.)

Game tickets to the playoffs: now $300 and up
Projected cost of mythical debate drinking game ("one shot every time you hear the word moose"): $30
Watching Joe Biden try to keep a straight face for two hours: PRICELESS

AND while you're reading, check out the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator!

Go watch the Tina Fey skit if you haven't seen it: here.

And thank heavens we have such a great and outrageous target this year.

John McCain is Nuts

Seriously, watch this:

Joyce Eubanks and Angeles Roca Appointed to Court of Common Pleas

Great news. Joyce Eubanks and Angeles Roca, both of whom were endorsed by YPP and a number of other groups last election, have been appointed to Municipal Court the Court of Common Pleas by Gov. Rendell.

Opportunity to Kick Sarah Palin's Ass

I thougt this was a joke but according to the papers caribou barbie will be watching the debate tonight at the irish pub on 20th and walnut! apparently with people dressed as rosie the riveter. no I kid you not.

Philly experts weigh in on financial crisis

"It's Our Money" asked several of Philadelphia's financial experts about the current crisis and the implications for Philadelphia. Check out their responses by visiting our site.

Most importantly, we want to hear from you. How bad do you think the economic crisis can get? Are you already feeling the pinch in your pocketbook? Use the comment section to sound off!

Brian Hickey, the veryseriousjournalist attacks transgendered people.

Brian Hickey, the guy who used to be a journalist, till he quit to spin BS for Johnny Doc has decided to continue his honorable ways by going after Philly transgendered people. Nice.

(Via Philly Will Do.)

Philly ADA Takes a Look at the "Where's Waldo" of Financial Ruin

From the post:

Sooner or later, we figured the news cycle would catch up to the fact that John McCain has been at the center of every major financial crisis of the last quarter century. It's fair to say, McCain's the "Where's Waldo" of financial ruin.

The remainder of the post which appeared on the site yesterday goes on to discuss McCain's support of the law that repeal financial regulations that led to the current economic crisis.

Always listen to the little bearded man

If only they had listened:

The capital unscrupulously pumped from poor neighborhoods by way of predatory loans whizzes along a high-speed financial pipeline to Wall Street to be used for investment. "It's about creating debt that can be turned into bonds that can be sold to customers on Wall Street," explains Irv Ackelsberg, an attorney with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia who has been defending clients against foreclosure and working to restructure onerous loans for twenty-five years.

Household-name companies like Lehman Brothers, Prudential and First Union are involved in managing the process of bundling loans--including subprime and predatory--into mortgage-backed securities. They often provide the initial cash to make the loans, find banks to act as trustees, pull together the layers of financial and insurance institutions, and create the "special vehicles"--shades of Enron--that shield investors from risk.

Oh by the way, that is from 2002.

City Council reacts to budget bonanza

It's Our Money: Behind the budget meltdown

It's Our Money: City faces $450 million shortfall

"Bad News for the Budget"

Ruh Roh:

Mayor Nutter plans to to deliver some bad news to City Council this week: there are serious problems with the city budget. The worsening national economy means the city will have a lot less money than initially expected over the next year.

.....

With less money available, the city appears to be facing a stark choice: increase taxes or cut programs. Nutter continues to be a fierce advocate for tax cuts, so it's unlikely any major increases are in the near future. That means cuts for some city departments.

Chris Rabb on Community Organizers

Great post on community organizers at Afro-Netzien.

If you think we make bad policy decisions in Philadelphia....

Was anyone aware that Chicago used to have wooden streets? And that those wooden streets were treated with flammable materials? 57 Miles of Flammable Wood Streets!, which all contributed to that fire way back when. (I am reading about dumb urban policies of the past for a class.)

That seems like an SNL skit gone awry.