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Archive for March 9th, 2009

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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

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If Only Obama Were as Radical as They Say

While conservatives cry socialism, the president is trying to steer a moderate course. Moderation, however, may be the wrong recipe. There is something deeply disturbing about the drip, drip, drip of billions into the banking system with no apparent impact.

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Obama Auto Team Wraps Up In Detroit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Obama Auto Team Wraps Up In Detroit
President Barack Obama’s auto team will spend Monday at the Detroit home of the Big Three as the administration begins to narrow its options for…

Roger Hickey: An Election, a Budget, and Two Summits = A Bold Obama Strategy for Health Care Change.
Like most participants in President Obama’s Health Care Summit last Thursday, I was thrilled to be invited to the White House for the big public…

Sherman Yellen: “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do” Rihanna, Bush, Me and The Culture of Abuse
Like the abuser of Rihanna, there must be accountability for public as well as private crimes.


Presented By: Kingdom of the Blue Whale – Sun Mar 8 8P

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Presented By: Kingdom of the Blue Whale – Sun Mar 8 8P



Blue whales are the planet’s largest creatures, yet we hardly ever see them. Their calls travel thousands of miles, but we can barely hear them. Now, National Geographic embarks on a mission to witness what nobody ever has in these waters; blue whales eating and giving birth.
Click to Learn More
natgeotv.com/bluewhale
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Court: No Jury Misconduct In Siegelman Case
So what’s the significance of the court ruling upholding most of the bribery and corruption charges on which former Alabama governor Don Siegelman was convicted? Siegelman’s appeal wasn’t primarily focused on the allegations that his prosecution was politically motivated. (Bill…

Dem Bill Would Crack Down On Voter Caging
The 2008 election may be over, but the voter suppression wars that went along with it certainly aren’t. Eleven Democratic senators led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island today introduced a bill designed to make GOP operatives think twice about…


Round Up of the Sunday Chatter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Round Up of the Sunday Chatter
If you missed the Sunday talk shows, CQ Politics notes the debate focused on the nation’s economy, the earmark process and President Obama’s budget proposals.

Obama’s Mind Reader
The Chicago Tribune profiles White House chief speechwriter Jon Favreau “who knows the president’s ideas and rhythms so well that Obama has called him a mind-reader.”

“The White House denied a request for an interview with Favreau. But aides said Obama’s speeches often begin with the president dictating his thoughts to Favreau and the speechwriter shaping them into a draft that is then passed back and forth between the two men.”

“With access to the president among the most valued resources in the White House, the importance Obama places on his oratory is apparent from his schedule. On most days, he meets personally with Favreau or other members of his speechwriting team to go over upcoming remarks.”

Quote of the Day
“I’m very spontaneous. Be prepared; you have no idea. Just buckle up and get ready to go.”

— RNC Chairman Michael Steele, quoted by the New York Times, “comparing working with him to riding a roller coaster without knowing when the next dip or curve might come.”


$5 Billion in Lobbying for 12 Corrupt Deals Caused the Multi-Trillion Dollar Financial Meltdown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

$5 Billion in Lobbying for 12 Corrupt Deals Caused the Multi-Trillion Dollar Financial Meltdown
$5 billion in lobbying to Congress got the finance industry lucrative legislative favors that paved the way for Wall Street’s devastating collapse.

Why Did The New York Times Kill This Image of Henry Kissinger? (Not for His Naked Butt Cheeks!)
This Kissinger image by David Levine is one of 320 cartoons that the NYT commissioned and paid $1 million in "kill fees" after getting cold feet.

Are We Being Too Complacent About the Economy Crumbling Around Us?
Our readers had a lot to say about a poll that shows one-third of Americans aren’t worried about losing their jobs.


They Scream Bloody Murder on the Margin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:31 am by HL

They Scream Bloody Murder on the Margin
See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly . . . Suppose you walk into the supermarket and are confronted with a sliding scale of discounts on all your purchases. If your income is below…

An Election, a Budget, and Two Summits = A Bold Obama Strategy for Health Care Change.
Like most participants in President Obama’s Health Care Summit last Thursday, I was thrilled to be invited to the White House for the big public meeting on health care. At the Summit, the President did what the leaders and activists…





AIG and the Auto Companies
Although I generally applaud the recovery measures advanced by the Obama Administration, I think their approach to the Auto companies and AIG has been been marked by an unwillingness to face facts. Why are we bailing out AIG? Because it…


New Poll Reveals 56 Percent Of Americans Favor Bank Nationalization

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

New Poll Reveals 56 Percent Of Americans Favor Bank Nationalization
A new Newsweek poll finds that 72 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of President Obama, 58 percent approve of the job he is doing, and 65 percent are very or somewhat confident that he will be successful in turning the economy around. The poll also contains the interesting and “somewhat surprising” finding that […]

geithner.jpgA new Newsweek poll finds that 72 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of President Obama, 58 percent approve of the job he is doing, and 65 percent are very or somewhat confident that he will be successful in turning the economy around.

The poll also contains the interesting and “somewhat surprising” finding that a majority of the American public supports nationalizing the banks:

11. Temporary nationalization is another way for the federal government to deal with large banks in danger of failing. This is where the government takes over a failing bank, cleans its balance sheets, and then quickly sells it off. In general, which do YOU think is the better way to deal with failing banks…

29 Government financial aid WITHOUT any government control of the bank, OR
56 Nationalization, where the government takes temporary control?
11 Neither/Other (VOL.)
4 (DO NOT READ) Don’t know

It appears that the Obama administration has thus far resisted nationalizing the banks because it views that option as not politically viable. Obama has argued “America’s different” than other countries which have embraced nationalization.

But, in addition to the American public, the noteworthy list of those who are advocating nationalization is bipartisan and growing. It includes Paul Krugman, Alan Greenspan, Nouriel Roubini, Lindsey Graham, James Baker, and now Thomas Hoenig. Hoenig is the Kansas City Fed President, and in remarks yesterday, he criticized the Treasury Department for moving forward with nationalization in a “piecemeal” rather than a comprehensive manner.

As Pat Garofalo explains on The Wonk Room, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s “public-private investment” rescue plan appears to be operating on a faulty theory:

He seems to believe that the problem with the assets is not that they are actually relatively worthless, but that they have an “artificially depressed value” that will return as soon as a market for them is created. […]

Geithner has posited that the toxic assets have a “basic inherent economic value” that is absent because of “the absence of financing and credit.” Unfortunately, today’s market valuations may reflect actual prices, which would throw a serious wrench into everything about the administration’s plan.

Matt Yglesias warns that the Geithner plan is more likely to fail “by being too cautious rather than overreaching.”

Update In an interview with the New York Times, Obama said blogs aren’t a reliable source of information about the economic crisis:

Mr. Obama rode to the White House partly on his savvy use of new media, and he has a staff-written blog on his presidential Web site. Even so, he said he did not find blogs a reliable source of objective information, citing the economy as one example.

“Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another — well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”

Wallace Defends Limbaugh: ?He Wasn?t Saying I Want The President To Fail?
This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aired a clip of President Obama saying last month, “The only way to solve the great challenges of our time is put aside stale ideology and petty partisanship and embrace what works.” Wallace then asked DNC chair Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), “Isn’t going after Rush Limbaugh […]

This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aired a clip of President Obama saying last month, “The only way to solve the great challenges of our time is put aside stale ideology and petty partisanship and embrace what works.” Wallace then asked DNC chair Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), “Isn’t going after Rush Limbaugh a perfect example of the stale ideology and petty partisanship the president was talking about?”

Kaine noted that “we wouldn’t even be talking about Rush Limbaugh at all had he not said he wanted the president to fail,” later adding, “at a time of crisis in this nation, nobody should be rooting for this president to fail.” However, Wallace took issue with Kaine’s framing of Limbaugh’s quote, and then came to his defense:

WALLACE: I do want to point out though just as a point of information, that Rush Limbaugh says, and I think if you read what he says, he wasn’t saying I want the president to fail. He was saying I want his policies, his agenda to fail and that he disagreed with them and thought they were bad for America.

Watch it:

Apart from the fact that there is little distinction between wanting Obama to fail and wanting his policies to fail (with both ultimately meaning that the country has failed), Limbaugh himself originally said that he hopes Obama, personally, fails:

Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it. […] “I hope he fails.” And that would be the most outrageous thing anybody in this climate could say.

As Dan Gilgoff, author of U.S. News’s “God & Country” blog pointed out of the above transcript, “In some places, Limbaugh says he wants Obama’s brand of liberalism to fail. In others, though, he says he hopes that Obama fails, without distinguishing between the president and his agenda” which is something that “Limbaugh even acknowledges.”

Update Media Matters has more of Limbaugh’s repeated claims that he hopes Obama fails.


Health Sector Has Donated Millions to Lawmakers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Health Sector Has Donated Millions to Lawmakers
Health insurers and drug makers have showered members of the 111th Congress with millions in campaign contributions over the last four years, with a special focus on leaders who will play major roles in shaping health-care legislation, according to a study to be released tomorrow.

The Talk Shows
Guests to be interviewed Sunday on major television talk shows:

Official Washington Celebrates Ted Kennedy’s 77th Birthday
Washington, on certain special nights, feels like America’s living room writ large.

Money Stimulates Debate in States Over Plan’s Goals
As tens of billions of dollars in stimulus funds begin to flow across the country, states and federal agencies are gripped by disputes over whether the money is being used in ways that violate the letter or spirit of the legislation, battles that raise new questions about precisely what the intent…

High-Speed Rail Drives Obama’s Transportation Agenda
The Northern Lights Express is little more than an idea — a proposal for a 110-mph passenger train between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., that has crept along in fits and starts for years.