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Archive for August 15th, 2009

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Return of Big Government?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Return of Big Government?
President Obama is gambling on America’s readiness to embrace a larger, more comprehensive form of government, but will it take? “Recovering Republican” Arianna Huffington argues that the system Obama favors is currently working best for oligarchs, not those losing their homes or worried about their health care, while Tony Blankley thinks Big Pharma is pitching camp in the White House. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Left, Right & Center

President Obama is gambling on America’s readiness to embrace a larger, more comprehensive form of government, but will it take? “Recovering Republican” Arianna Huffington argues that the system Obama favors is currently working best for oligarchs, not those losing their homes or worried about their health care, while Tony Blankley thinks Big Pharma is pitching camp in the White House.

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Vick Signs With the Eagles
Disgraced quarterback Michael Vick, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, has found a new job with the Philadelphia Eagles. It seems that the once-superstar athlete, jailed for two years for his involvement in a dog-fighting circuit, will be back in the NFL, much to the dismay of animal rights activists. ESPN: Michael Vick is back in the NFL. When he finally gets in a game, it might be at a new position. Looking to add a new dimension to their offense, the Philadelphia Eagles gave the disgraced quarterback a one-year deal with an option for a second year. Vick wasn’t brought in to compete with five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb for a starting job, but the two could end up on the field together. The first year of the deal is for $1.6 million with the second-year option worth $5.2 million, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Vick can also earn an additional $3 million in incentives over the two years of the contract, sources told ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli. Vick arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning and remained there Wednesday evening. The Eagles will hold a news conference on Friday morning to announce his signing. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Michael Vick

Disgraced quarterback Michael Vick, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, has found a new job with the Philadelphia Eagles. It seems that the once-superstar athlete, jailed for two years for his involvement in a dog-fighting circuit, will be back in the NFL, much to the dismay of animal rights activists.

ESPN:

Michael Vick is back in the NFL. When he finally gets in a game, it might be at a new position.

Looking to add a new dimension to their offense, the Philadelphia Eagles gave the disgraced quarterback a one-year deal with an option for a second year. Vick wasn’t brought in to compete with five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb for a starting job, but the two could end up on the field together.

The first year of the deal is for $1.6 million with the second-year option worth $5.2 million, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Vick can also earn an additional $3 million in incentives over the two years of the contract, sources told ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli.

Vick arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning and remained there Wednesday evening. The Eagles will hold a news conference on Friday morning to announce his signing.

Read more

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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [89] — Fighting Crazy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [89] — Fighting Crazy
The healthcare reform fracas has gotten so bad, it has forced some in the media to actually do their jobs. This statement will come as…

Friendly Town Halls Put Obama In A Bind
BELGRADE, Mont., Aug. 14 — President Obama on Friday promised a new era of protections against insurance companies that drop customers when medical crises hit…

Aaron Schock: Michelle Obama And I Praised Each Other’s Physiques
Back in February, the world took notice of 27-year-old Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL.) when Huffington Post readers voted him the hottest freshman in Congress. (The…


Cavuto ignores reality in claiming “not a one” economist “credits that stimulus”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Cavuto ignores reality in claiming “not a one” economist “credits that stimulus”

Neil Cavuto falsely claimed that “not a one, not a one” economist in the Bloomberg survey of economists “credits that stimulus” with helping the economy begin to recover. But in presenting the survey findings, Bloomberg in fact reported that Kenneth Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board in New York, stated, “We’ve averted the worst, and there are clear signs the stimulus is working.” Additionally, several independent economists have concluded that the stimulus has already played a significant role in helping the economy begin to recover.

From the August 13 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto:

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D-PA): If you look at the Bloomberg survey of economists, right? You see that there’s a general consensus now that we’re headed in the right direction.

CAVUTO: Right.

FATTAH: We are not going to pull back. We’re going to go forward, and we’ll be held accountable.

CAVUTO: And you also know — no wait —

FATTAH: And let the Democratic Party be held accountable —

CAVUTO: — you also know from that survey, not — not a one, not a one credits that stimulus. Right?

Bloomberg quoted economist’s assessment: “We’ve averted the worst, and there are clear signs the stimulus is working”

Economist Kenneth Goldstein: “We’ve averted the worst, and there are clear signs the stimulus is working.” In presenting its survey of economists, Bloomberg reported in an article headlined, “U.S. Enters Recovery as Stimulus Refutes Skeptics“: “Recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s has begun as President Barack Obama’s fiscal stimulus — derided as insufficient and budget-busting months ago — takes effect, a survey of economists indicated.” Bloomberg further reported, ” ‘We’ve averted the worst, and there are clear signs the stimulus is working,’ said Kenneth Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board in New York.” [Bloomberg News, 8/12/09]

Independent economists say stimulus has helped economy begin to recover

Independent economists say the stimulus bill has helped the economy begin to recover. In addition to saying that it is too early for the stimulus package to have fully taken effect, many economists have also concluded that the stimulus has already played a significant role in helping the economy begin to recover:

  • Dean Baker: “The stimulus worked and we need much more.” Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Dean Baker stated, “The stimulus worked and we need much more. … The second quarter GDP data showed clear evidence of the impact of the stimulus.” [Politico, 8/2/09]
  • Robert Greenstein: Without the stimulus, “the economy and the job prospects for millions of Americans would be worse.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities executive director Robert Greenstein wrote that “the stimulus is working pretty much as policymakers intended. Without it, the economy and the job prospects for millions of Americans would be worse.” [The Washington Times, 7/28/09]
  • Mark Zandi: No accident “that the recession’s coming to an end now, because this is when the current stimulus package is providing its maximum benefit to the economy.” During an interview with Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo asked Zandi, “Is the stimulus working, and do we need a second one?” Zandi replied: “You know, Maria, I think it’s premature to know. I mean, I’m very encouraged by what the stimulus has done so far. I mean, I really don’t think it’s any accident that the recession’s coming to an end now, because this is when the current stimulus package is providing its maximum benefit to the economy. But we’ll have to wait until the end of the year, I think, to gauge whether it’s enough, whether the economy is on sound ground, whether the recovery is gaining traction.” [CNBC’s The Wall Street Journal Report, 7/31/09]

From the August 13 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: But you know things go in cycles, right? The average recession in this country lasts 18 months; this one a little more than 20 months. So maybe we are just cycling out of this, and — no offense to the president or anyone else — this is just, you know, a cycle event. It has nothing to do with your stimulus or the money it’s going toward unemployment compensation, none of that.

FATTAH: Hey, look, all I can tell you is that, if you were listening to business shows like your own five months ago, or in September, when this thing — the bottom fell out, the world was coming to an end, you saw what was going on in our markets, right? You saw the banking collapse.

This was — these were needed help, and we are going to follow through on this program.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, Congressman —

FATTAH: And Democrats will be glad —

CAVUTO: — I’ll tell you what — I will tell you what, my friend.

FATTAH: Democrats will be glad —

CAVUTO: I’ll tell you what. If you are — you know what?

FATTAH: — to take all the credit or all the blame at the end of the day.

CAVUTO: You are a very — Congressman, you are a very smart, patriotic American, so I take it at your word that if you were watching this show five or six months ago, you would hear that we were saying then that very little of this stimulus would get out, and that we would probably cycle out of this recession.

And if you were listening to this show six months prior to that, at the start of the financial crisis, when we had a different president in office, and he was bailing out and rescuing banks and later auto companies, we said then, as we later said under this president, that it would be a mistake.

So, if you had been listening then and even before then, you would have realized that we would have trusted the markets and the economic cycle to get out of this mess, and not the government, right?

FATTAH: Well, look. If you look at the Bloomberg survey of economists, right? You see that there’s a general consensus now that we’re headed in the right direction.

CAVUTO: Right.

FATTAH: We are not going to pull back. We’re going to go forward, and we’ll be held accountable.

CAVUTO: And you also know — no wait —

FATTAH: And let the Democratic Party be held accountable —

CAVUTO: — you also know from that survey, not — not a one — not a one credits that stimulus. Right?

FATTAH: — for our stewardship of the economy.

CAVUTO: OK.

FATTAH: Look at — let —

CAVUTO: All right.

FATTAH: Let the Republicans be held accountable for the Bush economy.

CAVUTO: You are right.

FATTAH: We will be glad to be held accountable —

CAVUTO: You are right, Congressman.

FATTAH: — as we recover and move forward —

CAVUTO: A blame on both sides.

FATTAH: — under the Obama administration.

CAVUTO: All right.


E-Mails: On Election Eve, Miers Tried To Intervene With DOJ About Sensitive Renzi Case

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

E-Mails: On Election Eve, Miers Tried To Intervene With DOJ About Sensitive Renzi Case
It’s just days before the mid-term elections, and you’re sitting in the White House watching a close Congressional race when it bubbles up that the the Republican incumbent, long dogged by corruption rumors, is under federal investigation. That’s the situation…





In Testimony, Rove Hedged On Role In Siegelman Prosecution
Hat tip to Roger Shuler at the Legal Schnauzer blog for this one… It didn’t get much attention, but the testimony from Karl Rove that was released this week concerned not just the U.S. attorney firings, but also another alleged…


LAST WORDS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

LAST WORDS


Put Down That Coors: Why We Should Be Boycoting Big Beer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Put Down That Coors: Why We Should Be Boycoting Big Beer

One reason to boycott large breweries is the union busting, right wing culture that dominates some of the biggest breweries in America.

The Sky Isn’t Falling: It Turns Out Gay Marriage Has Not Destroyed the Institution for Heteros

A new book shreds the conservative talking points.

Lou Dobbs Tours Single-Payer Systems Abroad and Realizes, Holy Crap They’re Good

Has CNN's government-out-of-my-face bloviator actually had a change of heart when it comes to Obama's health plan?

The Sky Isn’t Falling: It Turns Out Gay Marriage Has Not Destroyed the Institution for Heteros

A new book shreds the conservative talking points.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Presented By:

Format change
I have changed the format of the Bronte Capital blog.  The reason was that the columns were too narrow and I could not get the tables in the last post to display correctly.  If people are used to the old…


Sponsored Topics: Bronte CapitalBusinessJohnUnited StatesFinancial services

Modelling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – Part III
In the previous post I showed you what had caused the big losses at Fannie and Freddie to date.  In short it was mark-to-market securities (on private label securities and the like) and interest rate hedging instruments that collapsed in…


Sponsored Topics: Fannie MaeFreddie MacBusinessMark-to-market accountingFinancial Services


The Week In Blog: Netroots Nation Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

The Week In Blog: Netroots Nation Edition

The latest edition of The Week In Blog is up at Bloggingheads.tv with me reporting from Pittsburgh, PA and the annual Netroots Nation blogger conference. Watch it below.


At Netroots Nation, Blogger Challenges Bill Clinton On Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

At Netroots Nation, Blogger Challenges Bill Clinton On Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell
At the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh yesterday, former President Bill Clinton delivered the opening day’s keynote address. In his speech, Clinton declared that it is “imperative for the Democrats to pass a health care bill now,” telling the bloggers and activists that “the president needs your help and the cause needs your help.” About 20 […]

At the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh yesterday, former President Bill Clinton delivered the opening day’s keynote address. In his speech, Clinton declared that it is “imperative for the Democrats to pass a health care bill now,” telling the bloggers and activists that “the president needs your help and the cause needs your help.”

About 20 minutes into his speech, however, Clinton was interrupted by blogger Lane Hudson, who asked about the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that Clinton implemented. “Hey, you ought to go to one of those congressional health care meetings,” Clinton joked before defending his actions as president and claiming that “nobody regrets how this was implemented anymore than I do”:

CLINTON: I hated what happened. I regret it but I didn’t have, I didn’t think at the time, any choice if I wanted any progress to be made at all. Look, I think it’s ridiculous. Can you believe they spent, whatever they spent, $150,000 to get rid of a valued Arabic speaker recently? You know, the thing that changed me forever on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was when I learned that 130 gay service people were allowed to serve and risk their lives in the first Gulf War and all their commanders knew they were gay, but they let them go out there and risk their lives because they needed them. Then as soon as the first Gulf War was over, they kicked them out. That’s all I needed to know. That’s all anybody needs to know that this policy should be changed.

Watch it:

At the Huffington Post, Hudson wrote that he interrupted the speech because “it became clear there would be no questions,” so when President Clinton said that “We need an honest, principled debate,” he stood and asked his question. Hudson said he was satisfied with Clinton’s answer on DADT, writing that “he made the strongest objection to DADT he has ever made to the best of my knowledge.”

The Obama White House has committed to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but is waiting to see “congressional action” first. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Sen. Kristian Gillibrand (D-NY) are taking the lead on repealing the provision in Congress.

Rove Claims ?A Lot Of Economists? Think The Stimulus Package Is ?Retarding The Day Of Growth?
Ever since the latest jobs report showed that fewer jobs were lost in July than expected, conservatives have been scrambling to claim that the slowing economic freefall has nothing to do with the economic stimulus package. Today, Karl Rove appeared on Fox News and claimed that “a lot of economists” think that the stimulus is […]

Ever since the latest jobs report showed that fewer jobs were lost in July than expected, conservatives have been scrambling to claim that the slowing economic freefall has nothing to do with the economic stimulus package. Today, Karl Rove appeared on Fox News and claimed that “a lot of economists” think that the stimulus is actually “retarding” economic growth:

[T]hat’s what a lot of economists are saying. Our stimulus package is retarding the day of growth not accelerating the day of growth.

Watch it:

Actually, economists participating in the latest monthly Bloomberg News survey said that “recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s has begun as President Barack Obama’s fiscal stimulus — derided as insufficient and budget-busting months ago — takes effect“:

The economy will expand 2 percent or more in four straight quarters through June, the first such streak in more than four years, according to the median of 53 forecasts in the monthly Bloomberg News survey. Analysts lifted their estimate for the third quarter by 1.2 percentage points compared with July, the biggest such boost in surveys dating from May 2003.

Analysts say that the stimulus added at least 1 percentage point to economic growth in the second quarter of this year (though the economy still contracted). “The signs of the stimulus are there,” said Allen L. Sinai, chief economist at Decision Economics. “Government — federal, state and local — is helping take the economy from recession to recovery. I think it’s the primary contributor.”

Transcript:

ROVE: Well, I think economists are saying that the recession appears to be on the edge of being over, but we’re gonna have shaky retail sales and we’re gonna have unemployment persist into next year, we’re gonna have unemployment continue to go up. So it’s not going to feel like good economic times — and we aren’t. It just simply means that we’ve stopped declining. We’re plateuing, we may be able to start growing a little bit.

I thought it was interesting, though, notice that the headline in the Wall Street Journal this morning is about growth in Europe, and Germany, and France. Remember when president Obama went to the G8 and said ‘you oughta try you oughta pass a stimulus package like we did?’ And both of them said forget it. Well, their economies are recovering faster than our economy is. And that’s what a lot of economists are saying. Our stimulus package is retarding the day of growth not accelerating the day of growth.


GAO: Missile Site Costs Likely to Rise

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

GAO: Missile Site Costs Likely to Rise
The cost of building and operating the controversial U.S. ballistic missile sites in Europe could substantially exceed the original estimate of more than $4 billion, the Government Accountability Office has told Congress.

Mims: Technology Secretary Can’t Be VITA Chief
RICHMOND, Va. — A state attorney general’s opinion says Virginia’s technology secretary, Leonard Pomata, can’t double as the chief of the state’s troubled information technology superagency.

Bill Cahir, 40, Dies; Journalist Moved to Join the Marines After 9/11 Attacks
Marine Sgt. Bill Cahir, 40, a former Washington-based journalist and congressional staffer who joined the Marines after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 13, his unit and friends reported. He was an Alexandria resident.