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Archive for January 17th, 2009

Citigroup Does the Splits

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Citigroup Does the Splits

Citibank

After receiving $45 billion from U.S. taxpayers just two months ago, Citibank’s much-maligned parent Citigroup will be no longer, as the financial giant announced in Solomon-style manner Friday that it will split itself into two, dividing the company’s traditional banking business— becoming Citicorp—and its riskier investment department—Citi Holdings.

The BBC:

Struggling US banking giant Citigroup has announced plans to split the firm in two, as it reported a quarterly loss of $8.29bn (£5.6bn).

It said it would realign into two new firms, Citicorp and Citi Holdings.

Citicorp will handle the company’s traditional banking work, while Citi Holdings will take on the firm’s riskiest investment assets.

Last autumn, Citigroup had to be rescued by the US government in a bail-out deal totalling $45bn.

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Tom Watson: Obama vs. Madoff: Charity, Change and Crisis at the Dawn of a New Era

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Tom Watson: Obama vs. Madoff: Charity, Change and Crisis at the Dawn of a New Era
We do not have an advance copy of President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration address just at hand, but it’s no particular leap of faith to predict…

Tiger Woods To Take Part In Obama Inauguration
Tiger Woods, who has tried to stay out of politics during his ascent to one of the world’s most famous athletes, has accepted an invitation…

John Ridley: My Obligatory Inauguration Obama-is-Great Post (And Why He is)
For all their grand rhetoric and mostly good deeds, no president was able to seal the deal on the trifecta of equality, plurality and socioeconomic ascendancy. Obama has.


Why They’re Coming to D.C.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Why They’re Coming to D.C.
WASHINGTON — Our nation’s capital will survive the financial meltdown, the deepening recession and the plethora of foreign crises from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Whether Washington will survive Tuesday’s inauguration, however, is an open question. Rarely has a city that cockily considers itself the center of the political universe been seized by such a powerful combination of giddiness and anxiety. Barack Obama will be, after all, the 44th president of the United States; it’s not as if we haven’t gone through this drill before. But this inauguration seems to have been amplified by a feedback loop of historical importance, security paranoia and sheer numerical overload — a combination that has strained Washington’s ability to cope.

The Central Front
WASHINGTON — With all the preparations for the biggest, most expensive and most restrictive inaugural celebration in history, this is probably not the time to remind our president-elect of things he said and wrote, promises he made, or commitments he pledged. Perhaps one of his new aides will clip and save this for his perusal later next week. Candidate Obama repeatedly described Afghanistan as “the central front in the war on terror.” Sometimes he included neighboring Pakistan, which he occasionally threatened to attack. After a brief visit to Afghanistan in July 2008, he said that “one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made strategically” is failing “to finish the job.” He used a sports metaphor — “we took our eye off the ball” — to accuse his predecessor of being “distracted by Iraq.” Then he pledged that if elected, he would “once and for all dismantle al-Qaida and the Taliban.” That is what we were told by once-Sen., now President-elect, soon-to-be commander in chief Barack Obama. But that’s not what he is saying today.


Hodes Blasts ‘Whitewash’ IG Report on Pentagon Pundits

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Hodes Blasts ‘Whitewash’ IG Report on Pentagon Pundits
The Defense Department inspector general has absolved the Pentagon of any guilt for its systematic farming-out of military officials to promote the Iraq war on TV. But Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) isn’t about to let the issue drop. From a…

TARP: What Did We Get For Our Money?
Remember how, back when Congress was negotiating with the Bush administration over the terms of the bailout, one of the major sticking points was Rep. Barney Frank’s insistence that taxpayers receive equity in the companies we were saving, so that…

Jury Still Out On Wiretapping Verdict’s Significance
Yesterday we noted the news that a secret court had ruled that a law passed by Congress empowering the president to eavesdrop without a warrant was constitutional. But there was debate over the broader implications of the ruling. The New…


Ray LaHood: The Obama Appointment You Should Be Really Worried About

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Ray LaHood: The Obama Appointment You Should Be Really Worried About
He’ll guide the spending of vast amounts of stimulus money, oversee the auto bailout and be responsible for a raft of critical policy.

Inaugurate This: Let’s Celebrate the Grassroots That Sent Obama to the White House
To discover who will make change once Obama takes office, supporters need to look in the mirror.

Obama on the Precipice: The Ten Worst Things He Could Do When He Takes Over
What will Obama do, and how could he screw it up, given the fact that pretty much everything is riding on him getting things right the first time?

There Are Still Many Unanswered Questions About GOP IT Guru’s Tragic Plane Crash
New information tied to the plane crash that killed GOP tech guru Michael Connell casts doubt on rumors and speculation surrounding his death.

Obama on the Precipice: The Ten Worst Things He Could Do When He Takes Over
What will Obama do, and how could he screw it up, given the fact that pretty much everything is riding on him getting things right the first time?


Is Google becoming the Internet/Is the Internet becoming Google?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Is Google becoming the Internet/Is the Internet becoming Google?
Getting beyond anti-trust and competition law questions, and beyond good and evil, I wonder how Google’s rise as a platform through which millions experience the Internet every day means that for much of the world (North America and Western…

Ha’aretz On The Children of Gaza Plus Poll (Dems Oppose This War)
This is a story you would not find in the mainstream press here. And, if it appeared, there would be a slew of protests. How dare the media imply that Gaza’s children are innocent victims? Does not the “anti-Semitic” Times,…





J Street Under Attack…Will The Other Gaza War Opponents Be Next?
I haven’t posted about this yet because I thought it not particularly significant. It is not news when, during a war, it suddenly becomes hunting season for doves. Anyway, those who are familiar with my work know that the right…


King: It?s ?bizarre? that Obama will use his middle name when being sworn in.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

King: It?s ?bizarre? that Obama will use his middle name when being sworn in.
Earlier this year, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that al Qaida would “be dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama were elected president “because of his middle name.” In an interview with Politico yesterday, King admitted that “he was wrong about the whole terrorist street dancing routine.” King continued, however, to harp on Obama’s middle […]

Earlier this year, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that al Qaida would “be dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama were elected president “because of his middle name.” In an interview with Politico yesterday, King admitted that “he was wrong about the whole terrorist street dancing routine.” King continued, however, to harp on Obama’s middle name, saying that it was “bizarre” that he would use it during the inauguration:

After telling the Associated Press last year that Obama’s middle name was among the reasons Islamic terrorists would rejoice over his election, King says he’s since been careful to avoid using it. Thus he found Obama’s decision to allow it be mentioned on the steps of the Capitol “bizarre” and “a double-standard.”

“Is that reserved just for him, not his critics?” King asked.

Last month, Obama told the Chicago Tribune that “he will follow tradition and be sworn in as US president using his full name, including his middle name Hussein.”


Paulson’s Next Stop: Johns Hopkins

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 17th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Paulson’s Next Stop: Johns Hopkins
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said yesterday that he has decided to take a position at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies after he leaves the Treasury Department.

Congress, Obama Toil to Help Jobless Get Health Care
Congress and the incoming Obama administration are contemplating profound shifts in the government’s role in health insurance to try to alleviate a significant ripple effect of the damaged economy: Americans losing health coverage as they lose jobs.

Obama’s Inauguration Planners Strive to Set the Right Tone
When a train pulls out of Philadelphia today carrying President-elect Barack Obama on a symbolic journey to Washington, it will set off a four-day inaugural celebration of unprecedented ambition that has been calibrated to strike a balance between marking a moment many thought would never come and…

Salazar Bids Farewell to Senate
KEN SALAZAR: I thank the chair and the distinguished Senator from Rhode Island. And I thank my great friend and majority leader, Senator Reid, for his inspiration and for his leadership of this body and his love for this nation. I think that our journey together here, in many ways, has been a sim…

In Final Pre-Presidential Tour, Obama Touts Stimulus
BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio, Jan. 16 — Barack Obama launched his final trip with little fanfare and no glamour Friday morning. He flew on a chartered United Airlines jet — Air Force One still belongs to President Bush — and arrived at an unheated industrial park on the outskirts of Cleveland. Obama …