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Archive for February 23rd, 2009

‘Milk’ Wins 2

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:43 am by HL

‘Milk’ Wins 2

Dustin Lance Black

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony was a mostly politics-free affair, except for a predictably superficial nod at the economic collapse and two acceptance speeches for ‘Milk’ from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Actor (with capital ‘A’) Sean Penn.

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Citigroup Wants a Bigger Bailout

Uncle Sam already gave Citigroup $45 billion and promised to limit the bank’s losses on $300 billion in troubled loans, but executives at the ailing bank are now reportedly asking the federal government to sweeten the deal. One scheme has Washington exchanging preferred stock for common stock. That might help the bank attract more investors and reduce the taxpayers’ chances of ever getting their money back.

Washington Post:

Citigroup executives have approached federal regulators to discuss steps the government could take to strengthen the troubled company, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The giant New York bank is under mounting pressure to convince investors that it can survive its financial problems. The government already has invested $45 billion in Citigroup and promised to limit its losses on a portfolio of more than $300 billion of loans and other troubled assets. But investors remain nonplussed, and the company’s stock price has dropped 71 percent this year.

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GOP Senator Jim Bunning: Justice Ginsburg Will Be Dead In Nine Months

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:42 am by HL

GOP Senator Jim Bunning: Justice Ginsburg Will Be Dead In Nine Months
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), already in political trouble for 2010, didn’t help matters any over the weekend. At a Lincoln Day Dinner speech over the…

Trita Parsi: Why an Afghanistan-first approach to Iran won’t work
There has been much talk and speculation about bringing in Iran into consultations on Afghanistan. President Obama has appropriately turned focus back to Afghanistan, and…

Luis Carlos Montalván: Book Review: The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle against America’s Veterans
The effects on America’s sons and daughters, their families and our society at large are meticulously detailed through Aaron Glantz’s powerfully compelling yet simply rendered factual accounting.


Obama’s Dogma?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Obama’s Dogma?
The lack of debate over and the speedy passage of the Obama stimulus package have put clashing political dogmas at the forefront of the American conversation. Central to that conversation is which party has the better solution for the economy. Clearly, the president considers this a crisis. You need look no further than his speech last Wednesday, in which he used the word “crisis” more than 25 times — sometimes three times in one sentence. Had you been playing a “crisis” word-drinking game, you would have temporarily lost all brain function by the end of the 18-or-so-minute speech.


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:40 am by HL

The Daily Muck
A report by the Associated Press reveals that jobless workers have to pay fees on the benefits they collect. 30 states have made deals with large banks, many of which are taking bailout funds, like Bank of America, JP Morgan…

The Daily Stanford
The developments in the Allen Stanford case are coming thick and fast. Let’s get up to speed: – ABC News reported that the FBI has been investigating whether Stanford laundered money for a Mexican drug cartel. – Bloomberg reported…

Stanford Found In U.S.
Reuters is reporting that Allen Stanford has been found in Virginia and served by the FBI with court papers. MSNBC just confirmed that report moments ago. Stanford has been accused by the SEC of orchestrating an $8 billion fraud, but…


House Democrats Target 12 Republicans on Stimulus Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:35 am by HL

House Democrats Target 12 Republicans on Stimulus Vote
A dozen House Republicans are targeted in a new House Democratic political campaign that criticizes the GOP lawmakers for opposing President Obama’s economic stimulus package, CNN reports.


Forget Marriage — Civil Unions For All

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Forget Marriage — Civil Unions For All
Any two people should be able to form legal couples that enjoy the rights, benefits and responsibilities now assigned to marriage.

Ratings for Reality Are Down — Love and Sex Storm Back on TV
In these tough times, people are choosing fantasy, love and sex over reality.

Bristol Palin’s Truth Telling on Teen Pregnancy Sets Right-Wingers Sputtering
If the Christian Right really wants to confront teen pregnancy, they’d be smart to listen to Bristol Palin and absorb her real-life wisdom.

America’s Municipal Meltdown: It’s Tough Times for Troubled Towns
Small towns are feeling the pain far worse than the rest of us, and no one knows how to stop the bleeding.

Ratings for Reality Are Down — Love and Sex Storm Back on TV
In these tough times, people are choosing fantasy, love and sex over reality.


Fiscal Responsibility: The Peter G. Peterson Intergenerational Fairness Tax Credit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Fiscal Responsibility: The Peter G. Peterson Intergenerational Fairness Tax Credit
Peter Peterson is out to get your Social Security and Medicare. For those who don’t know him, Peterson has long been in the public limelight. He was the Commerce Secretary in the Nixon administration. He then went on to make…

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Louisiana Lt. Gov. Landrieu: Jindal Wrong To Reject Recovery Funds For Unemployment Insurance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Landrieu: Jindal Wrong To Reject Recovery Funds For Unemployment Insurance
On Friday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) announced that he would reject nearly $100 million in unemployment insurance funding from the federal government. In doing so, Jindal ensured that at least 25,000 unemployed Lousiana residents would not be eligible for unemployment insurance. In response, Louisiana’s Lt. Gov., Mitch Landrieu (D), said that “Jindal needs to […]

mitchlandrieu.jpgOn Friday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) announced that he would reject nearly $100 million in unemployment insurance funding from the federal government. In doing so, Jindal ensured that at least 25,000 unemployed Lousiana residents would not be eligible for unemployment insurance. In response, Louisiana’s Lt. Gov., Mitch Landrieu (D), said that “Jindal needs to choose whether to represent the state of Louisiana or be the spokesman for the national Republican Party“:

Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said in a telephone conference call that Jindal needs to choose whether to represent the state of Louisiana or be the spokesman for the national Republican Party. … “Those interests don’t always line up,” Landrieu said. “It puts the governor at risk of sending mixed messages. … Louisiana should be very aggressive in going to get this money.” […]

Jindal on Friday refused to accept $98.4 million, calling the money an incentive to expand the numbers of unemployed people who could receive benefits in way that eventually would require the state to raise taxes for businesses and employers.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) responded to new of Jindal’s decision by quipping, “You just tell them that anyone that doesn’t want to take the money: I’m ready to take their money and rebuild California.” Gov. Jennifer Ganholm (D-MI) made similar remarks in reference to the possibility of Govs. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) following Jindal’s lead.

As New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin (D) observed last week, Jindal’s decision appears to be little more than a thinly veiled attempt to burnish his conservative credentials for a possible presidential campaign in 2012. Matthew Yglesias, however, suggests that Jindal’s maneuver may also be premised on a “‘begger thy neighbor’ strategy” to artificially reduce his state’s unemployment figures:

If Louisiana makes its unemployment benefits less generous than what’s available in other states, then maybe unemployed citizens will leave Louisiana for Texas and other neighboring states, thus creating an artificial appearance of an improved economic situation. It would be the equivalent of Mike Bloomberg fighting poverty by demolishing all the low-income housing in New York and hoping the poor people all move elsewhere.


Governors Hope to Guide Spending of Stimulus Funds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Governors Hope to Guide Spending of Stimulus Funds
After poring over the historic $787 billion economic stimulus act, the nation’s governors will meet with President Obama this morning, and they said they will plead for flexibility as they lay out plans to spend the federal money to jolt their teetering state economies.


Iraq’s Resurgent Nationalism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 23rd, 2009 5:29 am by HL

Iraq’s Resurgent Nationalism
Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation

Beware ‘Dialogue’ on Race
Kevin Ferris, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Reeducation of Larry Summers
M. Hirsh & E. Thomas, Newsweek