Sep 30, 2008
Betty Bowers new video below is a must-see. If you watch any television, surely you have seen the commercials from the American Petroleum Institute. (I won't link to the bastards, so the link goes to Wiki.) A nice looking blonde tells us how much oil and natural gas we got under our feet here in the US and then tells you to go check it out...fuck that shit. That site under a different name is here.
Offshore drilling will be happening again...until there is a major oil spill off our coast, then once again people will become horrified by the death and destruction..and outlaw it again. Assholes..friggin assholes...thanks Democrats, you fucktards.
Graphic filched from Ms. Bowers website.
Sep 29, 2008
Frankly, I don't care why anyone voted no, I am just glad it didn't pass. A pox on Wall Street. And its great that Weathervane McCain stuck his foot in his mouth...up to his knee evidently when he said he had brokered a deal and would be supporting the bill..
lol... love the irony. Love it! From the NYT:
The vote against the measure was 228 to 205, with 133 Republicans joining 95 Democrats in opposition. The bill was backed by 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans.Looking for a list of who voted how...will post it when I get it. The Dow plunged 700 points as soon as the vote was announced..oh fucking well.
Update: I am pretty sure this is the bill. The vote tally is the same as the bailout bill. You can drill down from that page to find out who voted and how...only one guy didn't vote..a Rethug..
Party Yes No Not Voting
Dem 140 95 0
Repub 65 133 1
Total 205 228 1
Yesterday, the Bush administration and congressional leaders "said they had struck an accord," agreeing to spend "up to $700 billion to relieve Wall Street of troubled assets backed by faltering home mortgages." The bailout legislation, titled the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, was discussed by both congressional chambers throughout the weekend, and is expected to come to the House floor for a vote today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the Senate will vote on the bill by Oct. 1. The final legislation, which President Bush praised as a "very good bill," is necessary to prevent a wider financial meltdown that would cause more job losses. Also, the bill charges the Treasury Department with attempting "to prevent avoidable foreclosures." That said, the legislation still falls short, and does not give adequate coverage to taxpayers and homeowners struggling to stay in their homes.
BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVES: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes today, "The bailout plan released yesterday is a lot better than the proposal Henry Paulson first put out -- sufficiently so to be worth passing. But it's not what you'd actually call a good plan, and it won't end the crisis." Indeed, the bill does provide some important improvements over prior proposals. Instead of giving $700 billion to the Treasury all at once, the money will be doled out in three installments: an initial $250 billion, another $100 billion "upon a Presidential certification of need," and the final $350 billion if the President submits a written request to Congress, which Congress can deny within 15 days. The bill also establishes a Financial Stability Oversight Board "to review and make recommendations regarding the exercise of authority" and "ensure that the policies implemented by the [Treasury] Secretary protect taxpayers." By contrast, the initial Bush administration proposal included no oversight mechanism. The bill also includes provisions limiting compensation for senior executives, "with especially severe limits on 'golden parachutes' at failing firms." It allows the Treasury to conduct reverse auctions of securities, which means "firms that can afford to will dump their toxic waste at low prices, the way some already have on the private market, and taxpayers may end up making money in the end." The proposal does not include some of the more radical ideas put forward by the Republican Study Committee -- and backed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich -- like removing the capital gains tax, which favors wealthy investors while doing nothing to correct the financial crisis.
PROBLEMS REMAIN: However, the bill does have serious flaws. One facet of the bill by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) that remains in the final product requires the Treasury "to establish a new federal insurance program, funded by the banks, that would protect firms against loss from troubled assets." As Time reported, the only way for this plan to work is "for every last one of those $6 trillion in mortgage securities to be insured. Otherwise you'd just get the financial institutions with the [worst] loans on their books choosing to participate--which would amount to a giant bailout of the bad guys by taxpayers." Furthermore, the bill gives the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission ability to suspend mark-to-market accounting, which could remove market transparency and allow financial institutions to continue "pretending bad assets are good and in the process dra[g] down our economy." Also, the legislation gives the Treasury the ability to buy assets beyond mortgages -- like student loan debt or credit card debt -- which is "a very bad idea," according to Center for American Progress Vice President Ed Paisley. "The current financial crisis did not arise because of souring commercial real estate debt, or credit card debt, or auto loan debt, or student debt. ... That kind of debt has traded in the markets for many years now, and continues to trade today even as the value of these securities falls amid the current economic downturn." The origin of the crisis lies with home mortgages, but the legislation merely says that the Treasury Secretary "must implement a plan to mitigate foreclosures and to encourage servicers of mortgages to modify loans through Hope for Homeowners and other programs." There is no explicit directive to the Treasury to actively restructure mortgages, and it is far from certain that servicers would feel they had the legal authority to make substantive loan modifications under their contracts, even at the Treasury's behest. The Center for American Progress's SAFE loan program would have made the necessary adjustments to tax and accounting regulations to obtain servicer participation. Finally, the bill does not allow bankruptcy judges to restructure troubled mortgages, as Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-CT) would have.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE: For the bailout to be successful, it needs to be coupled with further support for taxpayers. First, a second stimulus package must be passed, to give help to those squeezed by the current crisis. Next, a serious investment must be made in infrastructure. An analysis by the Center for American Progress shows that a $100 billion investment over two years in a Green Recovery program will jumpstart the economy and create 2 million new jobs. Finally, something still needs to be done to help keep taxpayers in their homes. Without provisions "expressly aimed at helping these borrowers restructure their mortgages...this grand plan to buy 'toxic' assets from the financial institutions that engineered this market meltdown will not help the U.S. housing market recover." While the bill does say that the Treasury Secretary Paulson "shall implement a plan that seeks to maximize assistance for homeowners," there is still not a proper mechanism in place to prevent foreclosures actively. Also, if Paulson uses the bailout money to purchase mortgage securities, instead of mortgages, he'll be unable to affect restructuring without first gaining ownership of most of the securities from a single investment trust. So while the tools to protect homeowners do exist in the bill, progressives will have to hold Paulson's feet to the fire to ensure that these tools are used.
So, yes, we are still getting the shaft. The Wall Streeters got the gold mine
Sep 28, 2008
Sep 27, 2008
MCCAIN CLAIM: "American business pays the second-highest business taxes in the world..."
FACT: Page 42 of this Bush Treasury Department report found that America has the second lowest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, as a percentage of our GDP (ie. the real way to measure this). Last month, Congressional Quarterly reported: "Most corporations, including the vast majority of foreign companies doing business in the United States, pay no income taxes, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday."
MCCAIN CLAIM: "We've got to start also holding people accountable."
FACT: What about the lobbyists in McCain's own campaign? What about Phil Gramm, the guy who passed all this deregulation?
MCCAIN CLAIM: "We have to do is get spending under control in Washington...How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs"
MCCAIN CLAIM: "We need very badly to understand that defense spending is very important and vital, particularly in the new challenges we face in the world, but we have to get a lot of the cost overruns under control."
FACT: Minutes later he said we need "a spending freeze on EVERYTHING BUT DEFENSE, veteran affairs and entitlement programs."
MCCAIN CLAIM: "I have opposed the president on torture of prisoner - Guantanemo Bay..."
FACT: The Los Angeles Times reported in February that "McCain squandered some of his moral authority by supporting the Bush administration's position that the CIA should have more leeway than military interrogators" in torturing prisoners. The Boston Globe reported that McCain "had a choice between his principles and propping up a failed president. He chose the latter...McCain, a Vietnam prisoner of war, has long condemned waterboarding as torture, making him more sensitive than President Bush on an issue that stained America's image. But the Arizona senator and virtual Republican nominee to replace Bush voted against the bill."
MCCAIN CLAIM: "If we drill off-shore and exploit a lot of these reserves, it will help, at temporarily, relieve our energy requirements. And it will have, I think, an important effect on the price of a barrel of oil."
FACT: The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency has stated that the benefits from such drilling would be too small to have any significant effect on oil prices.
MCCAIN CLAIM: "America is safer today than it was on 9/11."
FACT: The New York Times reported in 2007: "On Tuesday, in a dark and strikingly candid two pages, the nation's intelligence agencies offered an implicit answer, and it was not encouraging. In many respects, the National Intelligence Estimate suggests, the threat of terrorist violence against the United States is growing worse, fueled by the Iraq war and spreading Islamic extremism."
I can't believe how low McSame and his handlers will stoop to lie to the American voters. Its criminal, but all's fair in love and politics if your a Rethug.
Ok, perhaps not a god, but he is a manly man among men. His recent Alternet article on Sarah Palin is a wonderful thing to behold..his adjectives, nouns and verbs bitchslapping her and her 'base' like no tomorrow. Just the opening two paragraphs for your enjoyment:
I'm standing outside the XCEL ENERGY CENTER in St. Paul Minnesota Sarah Palin has just finished her speech to the Republican National Convention, accepting the party's nomination for vice president. If I hadn't quit my two-packs-a-day habit earlier this year, I'd be chain-smoking now. So the only thing left is to stand mute against the fit-for-a-cheap-dog-kennel crowd-control fencing you see everywhere at these idiotic conventions and gnaw on weird new feelings of shock and anarchist rage as one would a rawhide chew toy.
All around me, a million cops in their absurd post-9/11 space-combat get-ups stand guard as assholes in papier-mache puppet heads scramble around for one last moment of network face time before the coverage goes dark. Four-chinned delegates from places like Arkansas and Georgia are pouring joyously out the gates in search of bars where they can load up on Zombies and Scorpion Bowls and other "wild" drinks and extramaritally grope their turkey-necked female companions in bathroom stalls as part of the "unbelievable time" they will inevitably report to their pals back home. Only 21st-century Americans can pass through a metal detector six times in an hour and still think they're at a party.
Taibbi is an avowed hater of all things political, but it's his beat. That makes him a great choice as a reporter for this silly season. He goes after the Dems with just as much zeal as he does the Rethugs. He skewers them all with his biting prose. His paragraph on the American Dream and it's inhabitants is spot-fucking-on:
I stared at her open-mouthed. In that moment, the rank cynicism of the whole sorry deal was laid bare. Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.Speak it Brotha! Go read it now, its long but its friggin worth it people. ;) H/T to Betmo for emailing me the linkage to Taibbi's article. Thanks sweetie!
Now, the neoconservative base is turning on Caribou Barbie, with Kathleen Parker ripping her a new one in her recent column. I howled with delight whilst reading it. Some money quotes:
Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.Woot! Don't cha just love it when they eat their own?
It was fun while it lasted.
Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”
Tags: Matt Taibbi, Sarah Palin, Kathleen Parker
I loved him, he was an activist and philanthropic man that could act his ass off. His "Newman's Own" line of foods was founded in order for him to funnel large amounts of money to his favorite charities and causes.
His role in Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was probably my favorite among many of the wonderful films of his career. Playing what many saw as a in-denial homosexual alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Burl Ives, I was highly pissed that he didn't win an Oscar for that role.
He was married to the same woman for over 50 years, Joanne Woodward, herself a fine actor. His family was stuck by tragedy when his only son Scott died of a drug overdose. He created the Scott Newman Foundation in his son's memory.
His philanthropic work is legendary, with his brands under the umbrella, Newmans Own, giving over $200 Million to his various causes. He recently turned his share of the corporation over to the charities he loved, knowing his end was near.
He loved auto racing, as I do, only he actually drove race cars and fielded several teams. At the age of 70 he was part of the team that won the 24 Hours of Daytona.
And finally Paul Newman was left of center, which did much to endear him to me. He gave money to Chris Dodd's recent presidential campaign, Ned Lamont and went as far back as supporting Eugene McCarthy...which put him on Nixon's Enemies List. That alone was something to make me smile.
He had been a chain-smoker most of his adult life and cancer claimed this wonderful man with the beautiful blue eyes...damn it all.
Sep 26, 2008
My take is that McCain studied the economy more and came out looking better than most expected him to. He derailed the discussion by talking about pork and cutting the fat from the budget, instead of staying on the financial meltdown and subsequent bailout.
Obama won the foreign policy portion hands down I think. He evidently did his damnedest to win over those who think he is weak on FP. I think he scored a lot of points there tonight...
CNN has the entire transcript here.
CBS and CNN polled some swing voters..CBS's poll shows Obama won the night, but not by much:
CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened.
Thirty-nine percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. Twenty-four percent thought John McCain won. Thirty-seven percent saw it as a draw.
Forty-six percent of uncommitted voters said their opinion of Obama got better tonight. Thirty-two percent said their opinion of McCain got better.
Sixty-six percent of uncommitted voters think Obama would make the right decisions about the economy. Forty-two percent think McCain would.
Forty-eight percent of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. Fifty-six percent think McCain would.
Oh well, what do they know? ;) From another writeup that scans various insta-polls from the networks:
CNN ran an unscientific online poll that drew more than 80,500 votes, 67 percent of which went to Obama compared to 28 percent for McCain.
A similar NBC survey drew more than 291,000 clicks and gave Obama the win with 51 percent compared to 35 percent for McCain, while 7.8 percent said they weren't sure and 6.3 percent called it a draw.
That figure represents the number of Americans that watched Fucknut's address Wednesday night.
Both parties deserve credit for hosing up the banking, credit and financial markets. Mother Jones has a very nice timeline that shows all the changes made to our laws and regulations, starting with of course the 1913 Federal Reserve Act which created our national banking system. The timeline points fingers at the executive branch and the congress critter that wrote the bills and/or regulations that slowly put us into this very large shithole we find our nation in now.
Nomi Prins, a former Wall Streeter who worked for Bear Stearns, has her take on wtf went down here. Ms. Prins lays the blame at many feet, among them:
Newt Gingrich. The 1994 Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act was the birth of the sub-prime lending. I have never liked Newt, and in many ways he reminds me of Weathervane McCain.
Phil the fuckwit Gramm and his infamous Enron Loophole within the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 . Need I say more?
The failure of Congress to pass the Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act of 2001.
Pointing fingers now will only serve to show us where not to go from here on out. I am not a financial guru and have never claimed to be, but it isn’t rocket science to say what and who screwed the pooch.
MoJo has a piece up by James Ridgeway entitled; How to fix it, take the Fed Public. In it he says the following, which some might construe as gasp…socialism!!! :
What form could a Fed overhaul take-if Congress and the next president had the guts to do it? One option would be to make the bank part of the Treasury Department, a scheme that has been floated by various economists. Under such a plan, the Fed would be subject to congressional oversight and the heads of the regional Federal Reserve banks-who wield considerable power through the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets key interest rates-would become government appointees as well.
A move to Treasury, points out William Greider, author of Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, would place the body that functions as the fulcrum of the national economy firmly within the constitutional system of checks and balances. “The grand bargain that ought to be pursued is more leverage for more accountability,” says Financial Markets Center founder Tom Schlesinger.
As a socialist-minded progressive, I don’t mind this idea one damn bit. Ridgeways piece is short but chock full of interesting information. I still say its quite simple….if you socialize the losses, so too should the profits go back into the Federal ‘kitty’. Fuck those free market sons of bitches.
As mine did Thursday. Washington Mutual, or WaMu as they liked to be known, finally took a shit and was basically sold for nothing to JP Morgan-Chase.
I hate Chase. With a passion usually reserved for child molesters and rapists. Lets just say they screwed me and didn't kiss me first ok?
So, instead of just leaving my money where it was, which was my plan all along, I now have to pick a new bank to put my meager checking account.
Fuck that sucks..
And now, the financial meltdown hits home for me...and I really don't like it one damn bit.
Sep 25, 2008
Next Jeremy Scahill has the photos below up on Alternet of todays protest held on Wall Street.
CNN has the following article up about todays protests:
The public backlash against the Bush administration’s proposal to use tax dollars to bailout Wall Street spilled into the streets Thursday.
“People all over the country are up in arms about this,” said David Elliot, a spokesman for grassroots advocacy group UsAction. “Our members are livid, and they’re hitting the streets.”
TrueMajority.com, an online forum for activists, said its members had organized 251 events in more than 41 states to protest the bailout.
Several other grassroots organizations were involved in the protests, including Democracy for America, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn) and labor unions.
A rally organized by the New York Central Labor Council took place this afternoon on Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange. That was followed by a more informal protest that began to take shape on Wall Street shortly after the financial markets closed.
I love a good protest. Hat tip to Betmo for the 411 on the Wall Street rally/protest.
She took all of Five questions..CNN also has another writeup about the cough..Q&A here. From the very short transcript, here are the questions:
CNN: On the topic of never letting this happen again, do you agree with the way the Bush administration has handled the war on terrorism, is there anything you would do differently?
POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and afghan and our continued presence there is inflaming islamic extremists?
POLITICO: Do you support the reelection bids of embattled Alaska Republicans, Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens?
POLITICO: Are you gong to vote for them?
JERSEY JOURNAL: What do you think of bailout package before congress?
The answers were worthless so why waste space printing them here? The phrase…trained seal…comes to my mind.
It will save our state $510 billion...but what it will cost the poor, disabled and elderly is immeasurable. Both the CA Progress Report and the San Fran Chron report on this horseshit move by the Governator. Here are some of the biggies, from the Progress Report:
A wide range of senior programs - including the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), Alzhiemers Resource Centers, were especially hard hit with additional cuts by the Governor.
Also hit hard was the CalWORKS program - California's "welfare to work" program that serves thousands of low income children and families - many of them with special needs and disabilities, was hardest hit by the line item veto, with an additional $70 million reduction on top of what the Legislature approved in the budget bill passed last week.
Two programs overseen by the Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services and Deaf Access Program were also hit with additional reductions.
...the largest line-item veto was Schwarzenegger's elimination of a $150 million tax rebate program for the low-income elderly who rent and a similar $41 million rebate program for low-income seniors who own their homes.
The governor also found savings by cutting funds for a program to help reduce prescription drug prices for low-income Californians.
The folks who need it the most got hosed the worst by Ahnold.. What.A.Piece.Of.Shit.He.Is.
Tags: Line Item Veto, Schwarzenegger, Schwarzenegger line item veto, CA budget cuts
They won't tell us what the agreement is of course, which is total and complete bullshit. Jon Tester, a blue dog btw, had some choice words during one of the hearings this week, and I agree with him. From the NYT:
“I’m a dirt farmer,” said Senator Jon Tester, the Montana Democrat who still lives on his family homestead. “Why do we have one week to determine that $700 billion has to be appropriated or this country’s financial system goes down the pipes?”
My question is why are the Dems rushing to judgment? Why can't they ask some hard questions and demand answers before they sign on the dotted line? Again, from Tim Egan's blog on the NYT:
There is certainly a food chain of greed, from the lowliest house-flipper in the Southern California exurbs to the Hamptons hedge fund manager. We all put reason in a box and buried it for a time. But before $700 billion is committed to a secretary whose decisions “may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency,” as the original draft of the bailout states, it’s worth remembering where the biggest heist took place, and how Wall Street dragged down the rest of the country once before. You could hear the echoes of history in Tester’s question, riding the fierce urgency of now at a time when the Great Depression and all its gloomy atmospherics are in the air again.
Five bucks says the folks losing their homes, or those little stockholders or mom and pop investors won't get any protection in this 'bailout package', just the greedy bastards that caused it. Jon Tester and I probably agree on very little, but I trust him on this issue. From The Great Falls Tribune:
Tester said he's worried about the nation's financial health and stays awake at nights thinking about it.
"A lot of people's investments in the future are tied up in the financial markets, and we've got to try to make sure that the folks who invested honestly are secure," he said. "The way we originally got here is because of greed and speculation, and we need to make sure that the people who pay the price are the greedy buggers and the speculators."
We need to protect the honest folks and fuck those greedy bastards like they have been fucking us. And rushing to judgment will only mean this isn't the final word on bailing out these assholes, Tester again:
"I fully feel the urgency. Every time we've made a spur-of-the-moment decision that we didn't do our due diligence on, it has been a wreck, but the truth is, we have to be given the time to do this right, or you'll be up here in a year or two asking for another $700 billion or more,"
Amen brotha, a-fucking-men.
Sep 24, 2008
All I can say is...fuck the old man...the show must go on! MSNBC is reporting he is using the excuse that he wants to craft and work on...wait for it...
A bailout plan!
Yeah..right. His numbers are dropping like a rock..that has no bearing on his decision right?
Tags: McCain suspends campaign
The Shrub will be addressing the Nation tonight..jesus, I can't wait...I gotta go get a bottle of fine chardonnay for the 'event'. ;)
Sep 23, 2008
Recently as in up until LAST MONTH. From the NYT:
One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager from the end of 2005 through last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure contradicts a statement Sunday night by Mr. McCain that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had no involvement with the company for the last several years. Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.
This bag of batshit has been lying his ass off about Obama and his campaign personnel being tied to Freddie or Frannie. The deal here is this:
Either McCain’s people are lying to him, or the old man just hasn’t got a fucking clue and doesn’t ask the right questions of his managers. Either way, it looks really bad for Johnny. And nothing makes me happier at this point.
McCain and his minions are back-peddaling furiously but the fact remains…Ricky has been collecting money from Freddie Mac to lobby on their behalf. As the NYT states: Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the duration of the campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to share in its profits. (emphasis mine)
Update: Newsweek has hit a nerve with this story. McCain is going apeshit over it and keeps saying Davis never lobbied for Freddie Mac. From Newsweek:
But neither the Times story—nor the McCain campaign—revealed that Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the Homeownership Alliance had been terminated. The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls].
The firm has Ricky's name on the masthead...Ricky himself hit up Freddie Mac exec's for the most recent lobbying contract..he is guilty as charged in the court of public opinion.
According to AP and Fox Noise:
Two law enforcement officials said the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and insurer American International Group Inc.
A senior law enforcement official says the inquiries, still in preliminary stages, will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them.
Officials say the new inquiries brings the number of corporate lenders under investigation over the last year to 26.(emphasis mine)
Woo Hoo! Bring those bastards down!!! Perp walk em!!!!!
Tags: AIG, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FBI investigating AIG
Talk about speaking truth to power!!! I love these men AND women. From the LAT:
At 7:30 a.m. this morning, they climbed a nine-foot fence to occupy a 35-foot-high ledge at the National Archives.
And five members of the Veterans for Peace organization have been there ever since. They say they're veterans of Vietnam and Iraq, anti-war activists, and soldiers for a cause who plan to fast for 24 hours in protest of the Bush administration.
Seeking the criminal prosecution of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the organization distributed "Citizens' Arrest Warrants" to tourists waiting in line to enter the archives, which houses the key documents of U.S. history: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In a press release, the group described the reasons for its protest:
Bush and Cheney’s serial abuse of the law of the land clearly marks them as domestic enemies of the Constitution. They have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, deliberately destroyed civilian infrastructure, authorized torture, and unlawfully detained prisoners. These actions clearly mark them as war criminals. Accountability extends beyond impeachment to prosecution for war crimes even after their terms of office expire....
We are not conducting ourselves in a disorderly manner; our action is well-ordered and well-considered. We are not trespassing; we have come to the home of our Constitution to honor our oath to defend it.
So far, authorities have not interfered with the peaceful protest or the sign.
Yes, there's a sign. A 22-foot-by-x8-foot banner draped across the Constitution Avenue side of the archives says, “DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!”
God love em!!! They can use donations if your so inclined here. Those participating are Board President Elliott Adams, Board Member Ellen Barfield, staff member Doug Zachary, Kim Carlyle, Diane Wilson, and Tarak Kauff.
Sep 22, 2008
They have begun by lying their collective asses off about his second amendment position. The graphic below, courtesy of Politico, is the back of a wallet-sized card the NRA is handing out, evidently so their neanderthal supporters can rip it out and start ticking off all the falsehoods about Obama at a moments notice. Notice number 10- Wouldn't one think Weathervane McCain would do the same? Of course its position on the card is tantamount to push-polling tactics.
Factcheck.org has the bald-faced lies up on their site and debunks the blatant lies and half-truths. Check it out.
The NRA has gone so far as to actually print up a flier using Obama's logo and color scheme, as well as his font. That gem is below:
click graphic for larger version.
Next up, we have the ads they are going to run nation-wide using two assholes named Kurt and Karl Rusch. Krazy Karl claims to be a veteran and a staunch knuckle-dragging, card-carrying NRA member. They are short ads thank god, so check them out below.
Kurt is a real gem isn't he?
Ah yes, veterans, patriotism and a scary black man who wants to take all the guns away from white folks....all in one sixty second commercial.
Obama has his policies and plans for guns and the second amendment here and here. The NRA isn't even fucking close m'dear reader.
Swiftboating works for the reichwingers....it's a shame that a cross-section of the American voting public buys into them. I was a card-carrying member of the NRA until they got all political and full of bullshit and bravado.
I own a handgun and have my entire adult life, I was taught to shoot and handle them as a young adult by my father who had what some might consider a damn arsenal. I believe in our second amendment right to own guns.
But I swear to Buddha, I am so sick of this type of campaigning...I could go postal on the asshole that thought this friggin crap up and I wouldn't even blink a brown eye as I squeezed the trigger. Yes, I am that pissed..
Tags: Swiftboating Obama, NRA, NRA Swiftboats Obama
And you just know that jerked his ever-lovin chain, which of course makes me smile my leftwing ass off. From WaPo:
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction yesterday ordering Vice President Cheney and the National Archives to preserve all of his official records.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's order came in response to a lawsuit filed this month by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group, joined by several historians and open-government advocates, warned that Cheney might destroy or withhold important documents as the Bush administration winds down if he interprets the Presidential Records Act of 1978 as applying to only some of his official papers.
Of course the track record of this administration tells us he probably won't do it anyway...
Who the fuck does that bitch think she is anyway?
graphic by the wonderful PrincessSparklePony
Oil jumped up to $120/barrel and the Euro surged ahead of the almighty dollah. All because the Congress Critters(tm) refuse to just rubber stamp Paulson and Bernake's flawed plan to save the collective ass of all the Wall Streeters.
Stocks took a big shit too...down over 300 points and still sliding according to the NYT link above.
Jeez..not this shit again..holding us hostage until the taxpayer gives in. Bastards!
Tags: Dollar down, Oil up, Bailout Plan
Even House conservatives are bitching about it. From The Hill:
The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) called an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to finalize an alternative proposal to the administration’s plan to bail out struggling financial institutions, according to several congressional sources.
It is unclear what changes the RSC will seek, but the conservative group’s concerns about the $700 billion package are another indication that the administration’s proposal will not sail through Congress.
Chris Dodd, who heads the Senate Banking Committee isn't thrilled by a long shot. Indiana's Republican rep, Mike Pence had this to say about the White House Bailout Plan:
“Congress must not hastily embrace a cure that may do more harm to our economy than the disease of bad debt.”
I hope they all, every single elected member of Congress, tells Paulson and Bernake to take their plan and shove it.
Sep 21, 2008
From the NYT we learn the rules have changed again:
Announced without fanfare on Sunday night, the move signals the final end to the Glass-Steagall Act, the epochal legislation of 1933 that signaled a split between investment banks and retail banks. A law passed in 1999 repealed the earlier regulation, though Goldman and Morgan remained independent investment banks.
Morgan Stanley had sought other ways to bolster its capital, and had been in advanced talks with China’s sovereign wealth fund and others about raising as much as $30 billion, people briefed on the matter said Sunday night.
By becoming bank holding companies, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley gained some breathing room in the immediate term. But it likely lays the groundwork for additional deal making. Given the expected bank failures this year, it is possible Goldman and Morgan Stanley could seek to buy them cheaply in a “roll-up” strategy.
Prior to the move, federal regulations prohibited the two investment banks from pursuing such deals. Indeed, Morgan Stanley’s recent talks with Wachovia revolved around Wachovia buying Morgan Stanley.
Being a bank holding company would also give the two access to the discount window of the Federal Reserve. While they have had access to Fed lending facilities in recent months, regulators had planned to take away discount window access in January.
The regulation by the Federal Reserve brings a host of accounting rule changes that should benefit the two banks in the current environment.
In return, they will submit themselves to greater regulation, including limits on the amount of debt they can take on. When it collapsed, Lehman had about a 30:1 debt-to-equity ratio, meaning it had borrowed $30 for every dollar in capital it held. Morgan Stanley currently has a debt-to-equity ratio of 30:1, while Goldman Sachs has one of about 22:1.
Bank of America, on the other hand, currently has about an 11:1 leverage ratio, while JPMorgan has about 13:1 and Citigroup about 15:1. Because they can borrow less, bank holding companies typically have lower earnings multiples.
More regulation is good, just depends on who the hell is doing it. The EPA in it's present form sucks ass, as an example of a worthless governmental agency that was designed to watchdog our air, water and natural resources.
The next President is saddled with a real friggin mess..new regulations will have to be crafted and you know the lobbyists will be there every inch of the way. Bush has already seen to it the next President can't change any of the current bailouts. Bailouts rumored to be up to a Trillion large...
I got a headache from this horseshit.
I know that some folks who read Morse's blog also read this one but, that said, this issue needs to be kept in the front of hearts and minds. Because this bastard wants to be President, thats why! Sidney Schanberg tells us about McCain, the media and the POW cover up over at The Nation Institute:
John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.
Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain's role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain's military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn't talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.
The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that "men were left behind." This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the US prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.
What is really pathetic and incredibly ironic is McCain has made a living off his POW status and his patriotism. Yet this bag of batshit displays no patriotism whatsoever when it comes to the families of these missing soldiers. FOIA requests to shed sunlight on these missing men does no good as all the information is still classified top secret.
Top Secret after 35 fucking years? Why would that be?
McCain, still to this day, verbally attacks anyone that tries to reopen this investigation. He attacks them with the zeal and zest of someone that has something to hide. He insults and verbally beats them to a pulp as witnessed by this video up at Morse's blog:
Delores Alfond wants at the truth, that's all. She has repeatedly exercised her rights to get at that truth for over 30 years. She has every reason to want the truth to come out whereas McCain evidently has every reason to keep it hidden. If you watched McCain bully and berate her in the video above then you understand why this man can not be elected to lead our nation. The National Alliance of Families among others, is still seeking the truth and have felt McCains wrath for doing so. Another blog devoted solely to McCain and his violent bullshittery has extensive information on this topic. From the blog entitled McCain's Insults:
Members of the two major POW/MIA family organizations know the “real” John McCain and they despise him. They have experienced firsthand his cruel, angry temperament.This bag of batshit can not be elected to the highest office in our country. By any and all means necessary, we must wage a fierce battle to keep this fucktard out of that office.
In 1996, McCain encountered a group of POW/MIA family members outside a Senate hearing room. The family members were some of the same who worked tirelessly during the Vietnam War to make sure Hanoi released all U.S. POWs - including POW McCain.
McCain immediately began quarreling with the POW/MIA family members, who were eager to question him on the issue of what happened to their loved ones.
Instead showing courtesy and appropriate compassion by answering their questions, the Arizona senator pushed through the group, shoving them out of his way, nearly toppling the wheelchair of POW/MIA mother Jane Duke Gaylor. Her son, Charles Duke, a civilian worker in Vietnam, is among 2,300 American POWs and MIAs still unaccounted for by the communists.
The POW/MIA families, shocked at McCain’s overly aggressive behavior toward Mrs. Gaylor, registered complaints with senate officials.
In an earlier incident involving families of servicemen still MIA, McCain got so angry that he went ballistic.
McCain was advised (Nov. 11, 1992) that Dolores Apodaca Alfond, chairwoman of the National Alliance of POW/MIA Families (her pilot brother Capt. Victor J. Apodaca is missing in action in North Vietnam), was offering testimony critical of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. He rushed into the hearing room to confront her.
Tags: John McCain, Delores Alfond, National Alliance of POW Families, Senate Select Committee
Sep 20, 2008
Sep 19, 2008
From the Wildlife Defense Fund Action Committee. Pass it around.
This isn't hunting, its the inhumane killing of wildlife. My republican father, who is a lifelong member of the NRA, agrees with me.
From an email from the folks at Democracy Now:
The St. Paul City Attorney's office announced Friday it will not prosecute Democracy Now! journalists Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also issued a statement Friday that “the city will decline to prosecute misdemeanor charges for presence at an unlawful assembly for journalists arrested during the Republican National Convention.”
Both announcements come two weeks after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention where over 40 journalists were arrested while reporting on protests taking place outside the convention center.
Fuckers...they brutalize and obstruct the press...just another day at the office for law enforcement.
Amy Goodman interviews investment banker turned journalist, Nomi Prins, and Michael Hudson, president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends in the video. The transcript of the interview can be read here. Some of the choice quotes from the interview below:
NOMI PRINS: It’s insane, actually. It’s bad math, and it’s a bad precedent, because they’re not simply bailing it out with putting taxpayers’ money through the Fed into taking on the risks of these companies; they’re taking on risks. They’re not bailing out and selling debt; they are taking on the risk. They’re becoming-the Fed is continuing to become a larger and larger hedge fund. And it’s doing it with taxpayer money, and it’s doing it with the future debt of the United States.
So, for the one thing, they’re not attaching any rules to these bailouts. You know, you bail out Bear Stearns, effectively you’re putting up $30 billion to take Bear Stearns’s junk and say, “Alright, we’ll back the junk. JPMorgan Chase, you take Bear Stearns. We’ll back whatever junk is there.” But there’s no decision to say, “But, you know, you’ve got to tell us what’s there. And JPMorgan, by the way, as you’re taking on this bank, you have to explain to us what you really have. And Bank of America, you have to explain to us what your risks are.”
I know that at Bank of America they were struggling with their own risks and trying to figure out what was going on in their own company, and now they have assumed Merrill Lynch. That creates a tremendous institution, where the Fed is now obligated, when that starts to have more and more trouble, which it will.
Our government is nationalizing private debt. Too many people, progressives included, are saying these moves by the Fed are needed to keep our economy stable. Yet our government refuses to take care of, or bail out, the Social Security system. A system which takes care of the elderly and disabled. Our government will NOT be bailing out the pension funds, the labor funds or the small investors who are being bankrupted by the current financial meltdown.
So, how is giving billions to these private entities going to help the average joe and jill?
It won’t. Simply put…it will take years if not decades for pension funds and individual investors to recoup their losses, if they can at all.
And thats wrong on every damn level to me. This article in The Nation tells us who is taking the hard hit in this horseshit, and its not the banks, its people like you and me. Its people like Mildred:
She is not a rich woman and her retirement investments have been decimated by the perpendicular drop in the stock market. Despite a lifetime of working and saving, like a thrifty squirrel burying acorns in the backyard, she’s now broke.
One of the places she buried her acorns was AIG, thinking it would be hard to find a more conservative, rock-solid place to put her retirement money. She bought AIG preferred shares, that is, shares that are guaranteed to pay dividends and are thus ideal for retirement.
What none of the experts let the investors know was that somewhere along the path, AIG had stopped being rock-solid. Before Mildred knew it, the government had bought AIG and wiped out the stockholders. She, along with others, read in the papers that AIG’s new owners will not be paying preferred stockholders their promised dividends.(emphasis mine)Where is Mildred’s parachute? It doesn’t have to be golden like the CEO’s get, just enough so she doesn’t have to work until the day she dies. Naomi Klein ties all this bullshittery to BushCo in the video below.
Profits are a private matter but losses are a public responsibility? Since when? Since our government bailed out the airline and insurance industries after 9/11. Where is the end of this process? The American automakers are now looking to the Federal Government now for their handout after years of getting their financial asses kicked by Japanese automakers. Will our federal government once again reward incompetence?
My guess is yes…they will. The only question remaining is:
Will regulation of these industries and financial systems be part of the bail out package? Will the Glass-Steagall act be resurrected?
Not if Phil Gramm has any say in the matter…
These bastards want to socialize something..socialize healthcare you scum-sucking bags of batshit! They sure hate socialism until they need it to cover their own greedy asses, don't they? Friggin amazing.
A Progressive Solution to this friggin mess:
Bring financial markets under control. Government must ensure that financial transactions are transparent and fundamentally fair. If a bank is too big to fail, then it must face public scrutiny and federal regulation. No private financial institution should be allowed to pocket its winnings and make the taxpayers responsible for its losses.
Keep the secondary mortgage market under control. There is no reason to re-privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae was a federal agency for thirty years. If it had remained a public body instead of a private one, the mortgage crisis would likely have been much less severe.
Focus on the economic wellbeing of Americans instead of the profits of rich corporations. It is irrational to bail out giant corporations that willfully took imprudent risks, while refusing to help average Americans who are feeling their economic pain. We must jump-start the economy by investing in clean energy; better schools; and safer bridges, highways and levees, simultaneously creating millions of new jobs.
Sep 18, 2008
McCain town hall style meetings are generally open to the public where anyone may wait in line on the day of the event and come in without an advanced invitation.
However, at tonight’s 3,500 person townhall in Grand Rapids, Michigan–the first time Palin is taking questions from the public– only ticketholders are allowed in.
The McCain campaign confirms that tonight’s event was advertised on the McCain/Palin Web site and local newspapers. People had to pick up their tickets at local GOP offices after RSVPing for the event.
The Kent County GOP headquarters gave out about two thousand tickets.
The rest came from GOP offices in Ottowa and Kalamazoo.
UPDATE–McCain campaign officials insist that none of the questions are being pre-screened.
Thats a Bushian trick is it not? Or is it just a Republican move in general....
Ms. Greenberg also asked to take some photos for her personal use. McSame’s handlers agreed…
Evidently his handlers aren’t astute enough to realize that these types of shots are not…well…appealing nor do they put your boy in a good light..Below is what Ms. Greenberg did with her personal shots of McSame:
Alternet has these up on their site with a question:
Was it immoral and unprofessional for her to make unflattering pictures? Or was it her right to create images as political commentary about a man who has no qualms broadcasting mendacious advertisements and then defending them as truth?
What do you think, readers?
I think they are just fine…but thats just me. Ms. Greenberg however is getting major shit over her images which are obviously photoshopped. Her response: “Some of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.”
If you are someone that saw NO problem with the Obama New Yorker cover, then you can not have a problem with these images in my humble yet vocal opinion. That would be hypocritical at best. And for th record…I had NO problem with the New Yorker cover.
BTW, I left the most heinous one out..check out the Alternet article to see that one.
Crossposted at Bring it On!
Sep 17, 2008
I love it! From Obama, courtesy of First Read:
“Yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he’s president he’ll take on, and I quote, ‘the old boys’ network in Washington.’ I’m not making this up. This is somebody been in Congress for 26 years, who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign. And now he tells us that he’s the one who’s gonna take on the old boys’ network. In the McCain campaign that’s called a staff meeting.”
The Big O needs to keep hitting the old coot hard with both the left and right hook. McCain’s bounce is gone and he is showing desperation at every turn by lying his ever-lovin ass off.