News of the Ugly for this lovely Saturday...
1.) I have heard rumors that Washington Mutual might be acquired by Citibank. These rumors haven't been confirmed at this point, and since the rumor-monger was a salesperson for Wells Fargo Bank who was pimping the bank's checking and savings accounts and their credit cards at Woodbury I suppose I should consider the source. The only outside source for this rumor I found was someone's blog entry from 2003. Not bloody likely.
However...WaMu hasn't been out of the m&a game. In a move that was surprisingly stealthy and didn't get much media play, WaMu bought Providian Financial back in June. OK, who's Providian Financial? They are a company that has made their fortune on issuing credit cards to "sub-prime" customers. As such, they are pretty much second cousin to the corner loan shark. They charge usurious rates on their cards, and even when I was looking at "first credit" card offers back when I had a job I ignored Providian because their terms were so bad.
This is actually pretty bad news. WaMu makes a big deal about being consumer friendly. However, buying Providian suggests that they have decided to go bottom fishing in this new environment created by the Bankruptcy Bill of 2005. Suddenly WaMu doesn't look like such a friendly and open place to bank. The way WaMu snuck the news out about this acquisition also smells.
When I heard about the possibility of a WaMu/Citibank merger, I thought, "OK, that's it, I'm going to take my money and go to a credit union." Now that I know about the Providian acquisition, I'm starting to consider such a move anyway.
2.) Time to mouth off about Herr Gropenfuhrer. He did as he said he would and vetoed the attempt at overturning the ugly California "Defense of Marriage" Act. However, a blogger has suggested that as well as being hateful and hurtful and throwing red meat at the GOP base, that he's being awfully hypocritical.
According to this blogger, when Ah-nold was a hungry young bodybuilder, he was "Gay for Pay." He had to do something to afford those steroids, right? No less an authority than Joe Gold, the founder of Gold's Gym, stated this before he died. It is hearsay and gossip and could never be admitted as evidence in a court of law. But if it's true, it puts him in a Grand Old Tradition of self-hating Gay men with reaction formation complexes. And it makes him one hell of a hypocrite too.
I hope this rumor is true. It would certainly turn off the GOP base, which seems to be his only constituency left here in California. If Ah-nold loses his base, then the only people left to vote for him would be Jay Leno and Richard Riordan. From my mouth to Goddess' ears.