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Archive for July 19th, 2010

BP Hopeful Well Can Stay Closed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

BP Hopeful Well Can Stay Closed
BP hopes to leave its well in the Gulf of Mexico closed down until it is permanently plugged when relief wells are drilled. A cap successfully installed last Thursday brought an end to 86 straight days of oil spewing from the damaged well. It was initially seem as a stopgap measure, but little to no oil has leaked into the gulf since the cap was put in place.



Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Early Morning Swim


Finally, A Little Hope for the Unemployed?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Finally, A Little Hope for the Unemployed?
President Obama isn’t letting some ornery GOP types in Congress get in the way of making another push to extend unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans—or so we hope.  —KA CNN: President Obama will call on Congress to extend benefits for jobless Americans during an appearance in the Rose Garden on Monday morning, a White House official said. The president is expected to have strong words for Republicans, who he will say have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican presidents but refuse to offer relief to middle class families today, the official said. Read more

unemployment office

President Obama isn’t letting some ornery GOP types in Congress get in the way of making another push to extend unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans—or so we hope.? —KA

CNN:

President Obama will call on Congress to extend benefits for jobless Americans during an appearance in the Rose Garden on Monday morning, a White House official said.

The president is expected to have strong words for Republicans, who he will say have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican presidents but refuse to offer relief to middle class families today, the official said.

Read more

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HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin: On the Economy, Election, Palin & Polanksi

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin: On the Economy, Election, Palin & Polanksi
This week, host Mark Green seeks contrasts or consensus on several hot topics. Arianna and Mary agree on Polanski and (Jeb) Bush, but not on unemployment, Palin, a moratorium, or Michelle vs. obesity (really).

Ken Blackwell: Obama’s Double-Cross
In the dog days of summer, when most Americans are longing to escape to the mountains or the beach, the Obama administration has issued HHS regulations for Pennsylvania that will vastly expand subsidies for abortion in that state.

Robert Kuttner: The Warren Drama: Another Missed Opportunity?
The best possible antidote to the perception that the Administration has favored Wall Street over Main Street would be the appointment of Elizabeth Warren. She is the rare public official involved with financial regulation seen as a passionate fighter for regular people. The Administration desperately needs a dose of that, which is why President Obama should name Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Pearl Korn: A Progressive Candidate Ignored By The Democratic Party
Perhaps it is quixotic to pursue a seat in Congress these days if you are a progressive. I think not. Candidate Dr. David Gill has…


Easton baselessly suggests financial reform bill is going after “small community banks,” not Wall Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Easton baselessly suggests financial reform bill is going after “small community banks,” not Wall Street

Nina Easton suggested that the recently passed financial reform bill “doesn’t look like it’s going after Wall Street” and that instead it “has got small community banks, farmers concerned.” In fact, community bankers have expressed support for the bill and praised the distinction it draws between “Main Street community banks and Wall Street megabanks.”

Easton claims reform bill “doesn’t look like it’s going after Wall Street”

Easton: “You’ve got this Wall Street reform, that … doesn’t look like it’s going after Wall Street,” but rather “small community banks.” On the July 18 edition of Fox News Sunday, Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton suggested that President Obama is seeing his poll numbers drop because of policies that have created “lots of uncertainty and lots of fear.” She claimed that the financial reform bill “doesn’t look like it’s going after Wall Street,” and that instead it’s “got small community banks, farmers concerned.” From the broadcast:

EASTON: It’s fascinating, because this bill, which as you said was going to be the cracking down on fat cats of Wall Street, has got small community banks concerned, farmers concerned who deal in derivatives for their business. It’s got something like 533 rule-making proceedings are going to be going in, which creates lots of uncertainty and lots of fear. It’s interesting this week, the president in an interview said, look, I’m — when he was talking about poll numbers — look, I’m facing 9.5 percent unemployment. He’s got an unpopular economy, the same way President Bush in 2006 had an unpopular war. We grant him that. But what’s interesting is that these landmark pieces of legislation that the White House thought would help them in November are actually not — possibly not going to help him. You’ve got stimulus that most people don’t think helped. You’ve got a very divisive health care reform. And now, fascinating to us you’ve got this Wall Street reform, that doesn’t really — it’s really — it doesn’t look like it’s going after Wall Street.

Community bankers support financial reform bill

ICBA: “The Dodd/Frank Act does create an important precedent that recognizes two distinct sectors within the financial services spectrum.” The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) issued a statement on July 15 noting that “the Dodd/Frank Act does create an important precedent that recognizes two distinct sectors within the financial services spectrum — Main Street community banks and Wall Street megabanks.” The press release also highlighted the fact that “[i]mportant ICBA-advocated wins in the bill such as changes in the FDIC assessment base, stricter oversight of too-big-to-fail institutions, and the inclusion of non-bank financial firms under consumer compliance regulations will save community banks money and allow them to better compete, serve their communities and promote economic growth in their markets.”

ICBA: Provisions in the financial reform bill “will save community banks roughly $4.5 billion over the next three years.” In a June 25 press release, ICBA chairman Jim MacPhee stated that a “change in the deposit insurance assessment base, which ICBA advocated, will save community banks roughly $4.5 billion over the next three years.” Additionally, MacPhee stated that the bill’s “provisions will go a long way to help community banks continue to do what they do best — serve the needs of their local communities.”

Financial reform bill targets Wall Street “superbanks”

Senate Banking Committee: Financial reform bill imposes “greater costs and restrictions on the superbanks” while “allowing community banks to continue serving their communities.” A March 29 press release from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs highlighted the differences between Wall Street firms and community banks, noting that “[s]ome giant Wall Street firms abused their customers and took enormous risks that nearly brought down our economy while our nation’s nearly 8,000 community banks have been responsible actors who have paid dearly for big banks’ mistakes.” The release went on to state that “[t]he financial reform bill reflects those differences, imposing greater costs and restrictions on the superbanks, reining in the abuses that caused the crisis, but allowing community banks to continue serving their communities.”

Reuters: Financial reform a “rewrite of Wall Street rules” that “subject it to tougher oversight and tighter restrictions.” A June 25 Reuters article noted that the financial reform bill is “a rewrite of Wall Street rules that may crimp the industry’s profits and subject it to tougher oversight and tighter restrictions.” The report highlights a provision of the bill that “forces much of the over-the-counter derivatives market, which worsened the financial crisis and led to a $182 billion bailout of insurer AIG, onto more accountable channels like clearinghouses and exchanges.”


Tea Party’s Obama-Hitler-Lenin Billboard Taken Down In Iowa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Tea Party’s Obama-Hitler-Lenin Billboard Taken Down In Iowa
And just like that, it’s gone.


TeaIowaAdolf HitlerBarack ObamaVladimir Lenin

Feds Investigating The Source Of The Utah Immigrants List
At least one federal agency is now involved in the investigation into a mysterious list of the names of 1,300 purported illegal immigrants that was sent to state agencies and news outlets this week in Utah. But, despite the intention of the list-maker, the feds are investigating not the people on the list, but the person who generated it.



UtahImmigrationIllegal immigrationUnited StatesSocial Security


New Evidence Proves Alvin Greene’s SC Senate Nomination Was Stolen

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

New Evidence Proves Alvin Greene’s SC Senate Nomination Was Stolen
You don’t have to know much about South Carolina to know that, except for certain areas, the Republican Party owns the state, including the no-paper-trail ES&S voting machines that made Greene the winner. As Garland Favorito notes in “New Evidence That Alvin Greene’s ‘Win’ in SC Was Stolen!”: “As you may already know Alvin Greene, an […]


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“I think a lot of people are looking back with more fondness on President Bush’s administration, and I think history will treat him well.”

— Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), in an interview on C-SPAN.

Republican Outlook Improves in Senate Races
Nate Silver‘s latest forecast suggests Democrats will retain control of the Senate next year but there is an improvement in the GOP’s standing in recent weeks.

“The model gives Republicans a 15% chance of taking over the Senate if Charlie Crist caucuses with them, up significantly from 6% three weeks ago. If Crist does not caucus with them, their chances of a takeover are 11%. However, the model does not account for the contingency that someone like Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson could decide to switch parties, which makes their chances slightly better than we suggest here.”

In contrast, Democrats’ chances “of gaining a net of one or more seat and re-claiming a 60-seat majority are 7%, down from 12% three weeks ago. If they could persuade Charlie Crist to caucus with them, however, their chances would improve to 10%.”

Important note: Rasmussen now accounts for about 55% of the polls used in the model.


The Bicycle’s Big Comeback: Why Two-Wheels Are Key For Reducing Oil Dependence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

The Bicycle’s Big Comeback: Why Two-Wheels Are Key For Reducing Oil Dependence
Bikes lower air pollution, reduces obesity, do not emit climate-disrupting carbon dioxide, and is priced within the reach of the billions of people who cannot afford a car.

Bikes lower air pollution, reduces obesity, do not emit climate-disrupting carbon dioxide, and is priced within the reach of the billions of people who cannot afford a car.

Why Is the Obama Administration Parroting Monsanto Talking Points?
Something’s very wrong when the chief scientist at the USDA says we’ll have to start farming parks, forests and golf courses if we don’t switch to biotech.

Something's very wrong when the chief scientist at the USDA says we'll have to start farming parks, forests and golf courses if we don't switch to biotech.


Neocons: Dual Loyalties Or Just One

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 19th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Neocons: Dual Loyalties Or Just One
The other night, I asked my wife to take a look at the attack ad being run in Pennsylvania against Admiral Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for senate. It’s a neocon classic, all but screaming that Sestak puts America before…


Joe SestakEmergency Committee For IsraelMiddle EastPennsylvaniaDemocratic Party

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Robert Reich: The New Finance Bill: A Mountain Of Legislative Paper, A Molehill Of Reform
Thursday the President pronounced that “because of this [financial reform] bill the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.” As if to prove him wrong, Goldman Sachs simultaneously announced it had struck…



Wall StreetGoldman SachsBusinessUnited StatesMorgan Stanley