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Archive for January 19th, 2009

Bailout a Boon for Bankers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Bailout a Boon for Bankers

money bags

So, the government forks over a ton of money to flailing banks and, naturally, their customers (i.e., taxpayers) might expect to gain something from this helpful transaction as well, right? Guess again, customers.


The New York Times:

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

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Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

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Keith Thomson: Surge In Wagering in Favor of a Libby Pardon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Keith Thomson: Surge In Wagering in Favor of a Libby Pardon
At the moment it’s even-money that George Bush will pardon Scooter Libby — or about 6 to 5, to be precise, based on wagers placed on internet bookmaking sites like Intrade.

The People’s Inaugural Ball: Earl Stafford Invites The Disadvantaged
They are victims of hurricanes and women who suffered in abusive relationships; they are disabled adults and children scarred by poverty. Some suffer from terminal…

Stimulus Plan Could Give Obama Down Payment On Big Campaign Promises
WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama is well on his way to finding the silver lining in the economic storm he is inheriting. The two-year, $825…

Christina Bellantoni: Hillary Clinton signs off
Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton signaled this weekend she’s done raising money for her campaign debt, even though it’s still legal for her to do…


Election Review, Part 3: The West

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Election Review, Part 3: The West
Today we continue our analysis of the 2008 election with a review of the Western Region. This Census Bureau region consists of two divisions: the Pacific West and the Mountain West.

Pacific West
The Pacific West is unique if for no other reason than two of its five states were the home states of Presidential candidates. Because of this, it is difficult to analyze these states’ voting patterns. Given the state of McCain’s Alaska polling before the Republican convention, it seems unlikely that he would have won the state by twenty points without Palin on the ticket. Similarly, Obama’s ties to Hawaii probably added to his 40-point victory there. In other words, because of the personal nature of the vote in these small states, we just can’t glean too much useful information from them.


UPDATED: Court: Bush Can Eavesdrop Without Warrant

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

UPDATED: Court: Bush Can Eavesdrop Without Warrant
In its waning days, the Bush administration has suffered a few adverse rulings from the courts on the broad issue of executive power. But it looks like it’s about to get a major one in its favor on the issue…

Holder: “I Will Review That Determination” Not To Prosecute Schlozman
Not that it’s likely, but Brad Schlozman may want to hope that Eric Holder’s confirmation somehow gets derailed. That’s because Holder just told the Senate Judiciary committee that he wants to reconsider the Bush Justice Department’s curious decision not to…


Will the Obama Generation Merge With the Protest Culture of MLK or Strike Its Own Path?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Will the Obama Generation Merge With the Protest Culture of MLK or Strike Its Own Path?
There is a complicated tension between civil rights leaders from MLK’s era and President-elect Obama about how change can be made.

The Bushies Stole Us Blind … So, How’d You Like Your Beer?
The insane adventure in national suicide known as the Bush administration is at last coming to an end.

Forgive and Forget the Crimes of the Bushies? I Don’t Think So
So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime.

Can Labor Revive the American Dream?
The financial markets are in tatters, but corporate America is keeping its eyes on the prize: crushing organized labor.


The Stupidty of the Right: Coulter Refers To Teddy Roosevelt’s Attempted Assassination For Serving Three Terms

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

The Stupidty of the Right: Coulter Refers To Teddy Roosevelt’s Attempted Assassination For Serving Three Terms
I needed to get out of the cold so I stopped in a Border’s. There was Ann Coulter’s new book and I randomly opened a page. It was full of outrage about the heightened secret service protection for Barack Obama….

The Googlization of Obama
Today over at the Mothership (that’s the TPM Front Page) we see one of the “wire” stories that the General Services Administration is negotiating with YouTube (a Google service) to post federal hearings, etc. Given the uncomfortably close relationship…

Anti-Defamation League Calls Bill Moyers Racist for Criticizing Gaza War
You have to read this exchange between Bill Moyers and Abe Foxman. It leaves even me (almost) speechless. Foxman says that by criticizing the war, Moyers demonstrates “moral equivalency, racism, historical revisionism, and indifference to terrorism….” Bill Moyers, a southern…


Bush?s library legacy most likely to resemble Hoover, Nixon.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Bush?s library legacy most likely to resemble Hoover, Nixon.
On Tuesday, President Bush will return to Texas to begin rebuilding his legacy, in the form of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the accompanying “Freedom Institute” think tank. While Bush 41 has a library and museum at Texas A&M University, presidential historians believe Bush 43’s legacy plans actually most resemble those of […]

On Tuesday, President Bush will return to Texas to begin rebuilding his legacy, in the form of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the accompanying “Freedom Institute” think tank. While Bush 41 has a library and museum at Texas A&M University, presidential historians believe Bush 43’s legacy plans actually most resemble those of Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon:

[T]he closest historical analogy to Bush’s post-presidential plans may be unfortunate, given the current economic climate: Herbert Hoover founded a war library at Stanford University before he became president that eventually became the Hoover Institution, a major center for conservative and libertarian thinking.

David Greenberg, a presidential historian at Rutgers University, says a better comparison may be Nixon, who spent many of his post-White House years attempting to rehabilitate his image and reputation as a statesman after the shame of the Watergate scandal. He also founded the Nixon Center think tank several months before his death in 1994.

(ThinkProgress has been keeping a close eye on developments with the Bush library, and we will continue to do so. Read our related posts here.)


White House Directive Guides Policy on Arctic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

White House Directive Guides Policy on Arctic
The White House last week issued a new policy directive to guide government decisions involving the Arctic, a document that outlines an array of challenges the incoming administration will face as rising temperatures spark a surge in economic and military activity there — along with new…

In Ailing Delta, High Hopes Add to Burden For Obama
HOLLANDALE, Miss. — Helen Perkins can feel the worries of her neighbors — and their expectations. “The things that some of our people hope from Obama — more help, better homes in a hurry — sound like they’re hoping for a miracle from God,” she says.

All That Experience and No Place to Go
The ranks of the nation’s unemployed are swelling this week.