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Archive for February 16th, 2009

Roid Rage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:42 am by HL

Roid Rage

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Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Obama Drops Idea Of ‘Car Czar’; Geithner And Summers Will Oversee New Task Force

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Obama Drops Idea Of ‘Car Czar’; Geithner And Summers Will Oversee New Task Force
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will not name a “car czar” to help oversee the auto industry’s restructuring and will instead create an inter-agency task…

Obama Faces Tough Decision On Pricey Presidential Helicopters
WASHINGTON – President Obama has slammed high-flying executives traveling in cushy jets at a time of economic turmoil. But soon he will have to decide…

Randall Amster: Obama’s Economic Paradox: Can You Have “Bailout” and “Stimulus” at the Same Time?
Perhaps the centerpiece of the current bill (at least for people’s pockets in the short-term) is an actual weekly paycheck bump to the tune of about eight bucks.

Roland Burris Under Ethical Cloud Which Could Cost Him Support In 2010
A month to the day after he was sworn into office by Dick Cheney, Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is under an ethical cloud that threatens…


Reality Intrudes on the Drug War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Reality Intrudes on the Drug War
In the story of the emperor with no clothes, it took someone whose observations are rarely heeded — a child — to point out the obvious fact that no one else could acknowledge. In the case of drug policy, it takes people who are usually ignored by Washington policymakers — Latin Americans — to perform the same invaluable service. Last week, a commission made up of 17 members, from Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa to Sonia Picado, the Costa Rican who heads the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights, did nothing but admit the truth: The war on drugs is a failure.

Break Up the Banking Supermarkets
LONDON — Bannered across the front page of the Daily Telegraph Thursday was the grim headline: “Slump is worst since the war.” The story quoted Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, warning that Britain was in a “deep recession.” The Telegraph described his comments as “the most pessimistic assessment of Britain’s prospects in the modern era.” If it’s any consolation for Americans, the financial crisis here is as severe as in the United States. Economists and traders describe a global economic pandemic, with the countries most open to free flows of trade and capital the ones that are hardest hit.


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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

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Lobbying Firm In Gear To Help Clients Get A Piece Of The Stimulus Action
One sector that looks set to be stimulated by the $789 billion bill Congress has in the works: the lobbying industry. Foley Hoag, the K-Street- and Boston-based law and lobbying firm, announced today that it has put together a “new…


Firestorms and Deep Freeze: Climate Change May Bring Both

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Firestorms and Deep Freeze: Climate Change May Bring Both
Global warming deniers keep pointing to snowstorms as proof that climatologists are wrong. But both extreme heat and cold are on tap.

We Are a Nation of Junkies Hooked on Media-Fabricated Outrage
As the Phelps ‘scandal’ proves yet again, our narcotic of choice — creating controversy where none exists — packs a punch.

Firestorms and Deep Freeze: Climate Change May Bring Both
Global warming deniers keep pointing to snowstorms as proof that climatologists are wrong. But both extreme heat and cold are on tap.

That Was in Fact a Huge Win for Obama Last Week
Obama mowed down the GOP with a stimulus bill victory last week. The biggest mistake he can make now is to be too timid.


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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

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“They said there would be no math . . . ”
I feel obliged to address the mostly number-free comment thread to Dr. Baker’s timely post. The most recent report on Social Security says the gap between cash income (mainly payroll taxes) and scheduled benefits rises to as much as 1.44…


Historians rank Bush in the top 10 of America?s worst presidents.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Historians rank Bush in the top 10 of America?s worst presidents.
Today, C-SPAN released its second Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, in which “65 presidential historians ranked the 42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership.” Coming in first was Abraham Lincoln, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Finishing last was James Buchanan. George W. Bush […]

Today, C-SPAN released its second Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, in which “65 presidential historians ranked the 42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership.” Coming in first was Abraham Lincoln, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Finishing last was James Buchanan. George W. Bush came in 36th, just beating out Millard Fillmore, who ranked 37th. A look at how historians judged Bush on measures such as his “economic management” and “moral authority”:

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Looks like Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) was wrong when, in 2007, he predicted that Bush’s “ratings among the historians will be greater than his ratings in the polls today.”

Gingrich?s obstructionism becomes role model for House GOP.
In 1993, former Speaker Newt Gingrich notoriously whipped the House GOP into opposing President Clinton’s major initiatives, ranging from the budget to health care reform. The New York Times reports that Gingrich has been advising the GOP leadership to follow the same path with President Obama’s agenda: [Rep. Eric] Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s […]

In 1993, former Speaker Newt Gingrich notoriously whipped the House GOP into opposing President Clinton’s major initiatives, ranging from the budget to health care reform. The New York Times reports that Gingrich has been advising the GOP leadership to follow the same path with President Obama’s agenda:

images.jpg[Rep. Eric] Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message. Indeed, one of Mr. Gingrich’s leading victories in unifying his caucus against Mr. Clinton’s package of tax increases to balance the budget in 1993 has been echoed in the events of the last few weeks. “I talk to Newt on a regular basis because he was in the position that we are in: in the extreme minority,” he said.

As ThinkProgress has noted, despite being out of office, Gingrich still has found a key role in current legislative debates. In September, he “was whipping against” the first TARP package “up until the last minute” and was said to have been largely responsible for the GOP voting against it.


Two Moderate GOP Senators Give Big Voice To Little Maine

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 16th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Two Moderate GOP Senators Give Big Voice To Little Maine
The road to Caribou points north, deep into the cellphone-challenged northeast corner of Maine.

Obama Advisers Axelrod and Gibbs Defend Stimulus Bill as a Bipartisan Effort
CHICAGO, Feb. 15 — Senior advisers to President Obama on Sunday defended passage of the economic stimulus bill in Congress as a bipartisan effort, even though it received only three Republican votes in the Senate and none in the House.

Sen. Burris Denies Intent to Mislead; GOP Seeks Probe
CHICAGO. Feb. 15 — Illinois Republicans called Sunday for a perjury investigation of Sen. Roland W. Burris (D), who declared that he did not try to mislead state lawmakers about his contacts with associates of former governor Rod Blagojevich.

Democrats and Republicans Line Up to Do Battle Over Results of Stimulus Package
Thanks to the party-line nature of Congress’s votes on the economic stimulus package, the plan to turn around the worst financial crisis facing the country in more than 50 years now carries not only enormous fiscal stakes but also political stakes that are nearly as large.

CIA Helped India, Pakistan Share Secrets in Probe of Mumbai Siege
In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the CIA orchestrated back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan, allowing the two former enemies to quietly share highly sensitive evidence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters, according to U.S. and foreign government…