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Maggie Walker: First Woman to Charter A U.S. Bank – Done Before Women Achieved Suffrage

Maggie Walker, the first woman to charter a bank in the United States:

In 1903 she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. Mrs. Walker served as the bank’s first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first woman to charter a bank in the United States. Later she agreed to serve as chairman of the board of directors when the bank merged with two other Richmond banks to become The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. The bank thrives today as the oldest continually African American-operated bank in the United States. Its headquarters are currently located across the street from its original site at the corner of First and Marshall streets in Richmond. [source: National Park Service]


For more from this document go here, to the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

From now through the end of March, which is Women’s History Month, I will be featuring women of interest. The body of the information from these posts will be coming from Heidi Li on Equality, the founder’s blog at 51 Percent. I decided to post this entry here now in honor of the very special View from Under the Bus broadcast earlier this evening. For every Sojourner Truth and Hillary Clinton, there are at least two more women we should all know about, because they have made our country great and because we need to know what women have done to point the way to what women can do.

Reading about Maggie Walker was a tonic for me as I fought off that feeling so many of us men and women are undergoing now: we fear economic hard times,  some of us are skeptical of this administration’s ability to grapple with them, others are skeptical of anybody’s ability to deal them. But brave people who we know little about are all around us, past and present, famous or not-so-famous – some are even radio hosts of our own. Learning about and reflecting upon the bravery of others helps me maintain my own courage and hope. And this is how I am going to make it through the dark days our country faces, one day at a time, examining the landscape past and present for people who pushed through, over, and around obstacles to improve their communities, their country, and themselves.

An open thread…but if I may ask your indulgence, please consider checking out what’s up at 51 Percent.

A Generated Crisis

84660752WM031_PRESIDENT_OBA“Gird your loins,” Biden told the crowd. “We’re gonna win with your help, God willing, we’re gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It’s like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy.” – Joe Biden, October 20, 2008

When now vice-president, then Senator Jo(k)e Biden (D-Mastercard) made his less than cryptic remarks about the possible scenarios facing his running mate should he be elected, his comments were largely passed off as yetjoe_biden1 another, “Oh, Uncle Joe’s found the brandy, again” moment and not really given the scrutiny they deserved.  However, in light of ensuing developments, perhaps we should take a closer look at Jo(k)e’s “off-the-cuff” campaign rhetoric.

The first part of Biden’s “mark my words” statement was generally seen to be in reference to foreign policy:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

However, everything after “gird your loins” was clearly economic in nature.  Could a “generated economic crisis” have been what he was talking about all along?  The events I explored in an earlier post, “Inside The Wall Street Whisper Campaign” could certainly add kerosene-type fuel to the bottled acetylene torch Molotov cocktail of that kind of speculation.  The possibility that Obama’s scripted response to the global economic crisis we now face represents the validity of Biden’s now-prescient warning, and indicates that the first few weeks of their joint administration are rather smoothly proceeding according to plan, somehow doesn’t seem as far-fetched to me as one might reasonably expect.

Watching and reading the initially gushing, yet, now more tempered, media reviews of President Black Obama’s not really a State of the Union speech that they keep calling a State of the Union speech even though it was really just a Getting to Know You speech to the joint Congress that he’s supposedly been working with since he’s been president to pass the historic legislation he read to them about from a TelePrompTer, I get the feeling the rest of the country and I, or, in ObaSpeak, me and everybody else, are living in parallel universes.

It was a speech.


Not even a particularly well delivered one, either, and I don’t care how many people try to tell me otherwise.  Barack Obama is just not a dazzlingly brilliant speaker.  In fact, as I’ve said before, he’s not even that good.  His head-swiveling, squinty-eyed, nose-in-the-air, stumbling, boy-stood-on-the-burning-deck delivery is not only annoying, if it passes for anything more than mediocre, that only shows just how far we, as a nation have lowered our intellectual standards and expectations.  Frankly, the man sucks.

That’s why listening to “bubble-headed bleach blondes” and their multi-hued comrades in arms on what passes for “news” wax idiotic through endless cycles about not only the new President’s oratorical skill, but his verbal healing powers, is in itself, a Herculean exercise in restraint.  To listen to them tell it, merely forming words aloud imbues him with abilities, strengths and unlimited gifts not just far beyond those of mortal men, but those of a leader begotten of a beneficent God.

Forget “laying hands,” “open mouth” cure cancer.  “Clear debt.”  Debt, be gone.  It is spoken, so it is done. Whooosh!  I know I feel better.


If I remember correctly, on Monday, the world sucked.  Our banks were broke and only going through the motions of normal functioning.  They were on life support, even though they had already been pronounced dead.  Their rotting corpses were infecting global markets, and we were facing the end of the world as we know it.  Then, yesterday, Obie made a speech.  Now, all is right with the world, the sun has come out, the sky has opened up, a light is shining…you get the idea.  No wonder Oblahblah has such reverence for “just words.”

After forcing myself to read the transcript of this miraculous speech that I couldn’t sit through to its conclusion, due to the fact that, between the constant  jumping up and down of the elderly in the audience, cruelly insisted upon by the ObaTurfers insistent upon making “good TV,” and the excruciating drone of the vapid Spokesmodel-in-Chief, I was not only having trouble keeping my dinner down, I was getting dizzy and genuinely afraid for my mental health when I realized something.  This “outside looking in” feeling I have, while at the same time being “in it, but not of it,” is akin to being the only one at a Creeple People on Mars Meet the Three Stooges cartoon movie marathon who was sitting outside on the porch when the bong went around.  Under those circumstances, folks get pissed off at people who point out how stupid the whole situation, including the movie, is, too.  And, they tend to get downright nasty if you refuse the bong that would bring you their level of “clarity” and “enjoyment” the next time around.  They never even seem to appreciate it when you point out that your leaving the room doesn’t make the movie any better.

I’m sorry, but there’s not enough KoolAid flavored Boone’s Farm and hopium smoking in the world to make me believe that “just words” can solve a “generated crisis” of “cleaning the Augean stables” proportions overnight.  Unless the “generated crisis” itself was only “just words” from the beginning, the Creeple People are still on Mars this morning, and we all need a deep bong hit to make it funny.

Fraudulently generated cheerleading of an inartfully articulated bogus rah-rah response to a possibly “generated crisis” so at odds with reality, is what we’ve been trained by the media and the Obama administration to expect and accept as sufficient.

And that’s a truly frightening wonder to behold.

We may not “be quitters,” but Obama and Co. should really cut it out.

*NOTE: I got the Biden (D-Mastercard) idea thing from Chicago Tribune’s John Kass.  He does that kinda thing alla time.

Afternoon Open Thread


What drives you crazy?

Midday Open Thread


WordPress has gone bonkers, let’s try a new thread

What’s on your mind?

ZOMG! POTUS is a Racist!

The Greatest Speech on Race EVAH!

The Greatest Speech on Race EVAH!

From last night’s Sad State of the Union address:

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.  A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.  Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.  People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway.  And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.  (emphasis added)

As we learned last year from certain people who shall remain nameless, blaming the financial crisis on bad loans is racist.  So how is what Barack Obama said in his Sad State of the Union address materially different from this?:

Loose standards were set up to expand home ownership to folks who couldn’t pay home loans back and to improve the odds of high compensation for its CEOs. 

I believe the technical term used in the accusation against us was “racist, ratfucking bullshit of the Right.”



Former PUMA and No Quarter contributor Chuckie Lemos gets called out by Michael Graham of Boston radio station WTKK for his racist rants against “white ethnics” at MyDD

Wednesday: What did I miss?

I confess:  I didn’t watch “PBO’s Greatest State of the Union Speech Ever (New and improved! Now with more optimism!)”  When the  former president who you detest has to tell you to “lighten up, you’re scaring folks”, well, how good could it get?  Let’s recap: The economic situation is grim, the Treasury Secretary you’ve hired is making it grimmer and somehow, you’ve got to start moving people towards accepting cuts to the only social safety net that’s left, Social Security:

To preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the growing costs in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come. And we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans.

I’m sorry I missed it but can anyone tell me *why* we have to have a conversation about Social Security?  As for tax free universal savings accounts, fine, make my (severely depleted) 401k tax free.  Or any savings vehicle.  There’s no reason to get rid of social security to get that.

I’m very leary of any promises of future deferrment because, after all, it’s in the future.  It is the ultimate promise that is not meant to be fulfilled.  If he said, “I’m going to relieve you of your tax obligations due to early withdrawal from your 401k starting tomorrow”, I’d be totally onboard with that.  My bank just called the other night with an offer of a nice CD.  At this rate, the money would be better off there and with no tax penalty, I’m there!  But to defer tax free savings until I retire?  Well, let’s just call me a skeptic.  I saw what happened to the retired UAW workers and promises about their healthcare.  We have to ask for the benefits up front from now on, like more vacation time and higher wages.

So, that’s the extent of what I know about his best speech that Jon “The Groper” Favreau wrote.  It’s a little hard for me to take anything he writes seriously or with any sincerity.  “My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”  Or maybe I’ll read the rest of the transcript later so I won’t get dizzy watching his head flip between teleprompters.  Or I could maybe catch up on the Secretary of State’s visit to Asia.  I see that she’s back and the NYTimes just had to catch her doing a Unity Kiss with Obama to show that she is still onboard while she outshines him in her job.  Yeah, yeah.  The propaganda is too obvious now.  Whatever happened to subtlety and nuance?  Today’s psychological warfare is so crass and uncouth.

I like this picture better for some reason I cant quite put my finger on...

I like this picture better for some reason I can't quite put my finger on...

OR, I could dream of upcoming spring and unattainable vacation houses in Barbados.  Or maybe I could just dream of the end of winter.

Mysterious Economics


Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman:

I’m trying to be sympathetic to the various plans, or rumors of plans, for bank aid; but I keep not being able to understand either what the plans are, or why they’re supposed to work. And I don’t think it’s me.

So the latest is that we’re going to convert preferred stock held by the government to common stock, maybe. James Kwak has a good explanation of what that’s all about. And it’s not at all clear what is accomplished thereby.


What we want to do is clean up the bank’s balance sheet, so that it no longer has to be a ward of the state. When the FDIC confronts a bank like this, it seizes the thing, cleans out the stockholders, pays off some of the debt, and reprivatizes.


I just don’t get it. And my sinking feeling that the administration plan is to rearrange the deck chairs and hope the iceberg melts just keeps getting stronger.

What would a number-crunching bean counter like Krugman know anyway?  He’s just bitter because his son worked for Hillary.

Krugman only writes a newspaper column, while Obama’s economic advisors havereal worldexperience.  Not only that, Obama is “Lincolnesque” and “Reaganesque” and he promised me a pony!