Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Details of the Geithner bank stability plan came out today, and Wall Street for one loved it. And why not, for the plan basically allows financial institutions to take the worse of the toxic assets rotting away on their balance sheets and pawn off the vast majority of the risks of nonpayment onto the U.S. government (and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer). [Read more]
I strongly encourage everyone to watch this video as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer gives thoughtful, reasoned insights into a whole host of recent topics related to our financial crisis, including AIG bonuses, Obama's performance, the media's impact, regulation, etc.
I recommend the 20-minute Fareed Zakaria CNN interview in its entirety, but if you only have limited time, Spitzer offers a concise explanation into the cause of our current economic situation for a few minutes starting at about the 10:45 mark. [Read more]
Oh goody. Looks like we're about to hear the details of Geithner's long-awaited financial stability plan, which has as one of its key components a public-private investment pool designed to help rid our system of the toxic assets rotting away on bank balance sheets.
Apparently, the Treasury will hire four or five private investment managers to run a fund that will purchase the assets. The government will then match whatever monies the private firms manage to raise and invest.
Sounds simple enough on the surface, but is it just me, or do bad things generally happen when government and the private sector get into bed together? [Read more]
Great. Now there's a backlash to the backlash to the AIG bonuses, and everyone is scolding Congress for acting so rashly in crafting a bill designed to recover 90% of the bonuses in taxes.
Conservatives are complaining the bill is unconstitutional and unproductive. In his Obama interview, Jay Leno said he's frightened about its implications, and our own Genghis is mocking the effort.
Gimme a break.
Don't get me wrong. I have plenty of problems with this bill.
I question the constitutionality of the law. [Read more]
Congratulations to the august members of the House of Representatives. You just saved America $148.5M. Of course, after countless hours of wrangling with the Senate, that will surely be reduced by half. And then, there will be the lawsuits challenging the bill-of-attainder tax on a particular company--a really, really, really bad company which deserves to be disemboweled and which we would definitely do if that pesky economic depression weren't in the way. But as I was saying, after the lawsuits and the bureaucratic overhead costs for collecting the cash, the DBO (Dagblog Budget Office) estimates the net savings for the American taxpayers to be somewhere between 0 and -$148.5M. [Read more]
After much speculation on the matter, Diebold has issued its mea culpa:
Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) admitted in a state hearing Tuesday that the audit logs produced by its tabulation software miss significant events, including the act of someone deleting votes on election day.
The company acknowledged that the problem exists with every version of its tabulation software. [Read more]
As the U.S. sinks deeper into recession and China gorges itself on ever greater quantities of American debt, you will start to hear about the "Chinese model" and the end of American hegemony. Yet China remains tethered by a stiff leash which will ultimately choke the charging tiger once it runs out slack: its government. [Read more]
Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley yesterday went on the radio and suggested AIG executives do what their Japanese peers often do when the proverbial shit hits the fan and either "resign or go commit suicide."
Easy to dismiss the senator's remark as loony-toony and disturbing, but hell, we're basically following the Japanese blueprint to dealing ineffectively with economic crises anyway. I obviously don't think suggesting suicide is a helpful plan, but wouldn't it be nice for once to see American executives demonstrate a little bit of shame and take some personal responsibility for the destruction they've wrought? [Read more]
Apparently, $175 billion doesn't buy what it used to.
AIG has decided that it has no choice but to pay out $165 million in bonuses to employees due to contractual obligations. And the government has decided it has no legal recourse to stop the payments.
To make matters even worse, AIG CEO Edward Liddy has the gall to ask the government to reconsider limitations on executive compensation, saying that such limits curtail the company's ability to "attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses."
Are you kidding me? [Read more]
So some jackass reporter decided to ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to grade President Obama's performance after a whoppin' 50 days in office. Seriously? You could pass the question off as harmless, silly journalistic tripe, but I think it's symptomatic of a rush to judge and criticize anything and everything Obama is trying to accomplish. It's unhealthy, unproductive and unfair. The time to hand out grades will eventually come, but for now, how about giving the president a break and let him do his job. [Read more]
Seeking qualified candidates for leadership role with a top American political party who will: [Read more]
step aside sarah and bobby. i present to you the true new thought leader of the conservative movement.my apologies if this is old news. it is from TPM so i'm assuming most of the refugees have seen this make the rounds.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
I don't know many very happy people. I know people who are content enough, I suppose. I know plenty of people who do a decent job at hiding their discontent. (As for myself, I'm probably somewhere in between those two categories, leaning toward the former).
But in terms of truly happy people I see in my life, I'd put the figure at no more than probably 30 percent. [Read more]
I've been sitting on this one for a bit now, but I feel it's time to break the silence. For those that don't read him, Glenn Greenwald has been quite persistent in covering this story. For my money, he's the best read on the topic.
Here's what I'd like to add: I think that we have to remember that in politics things are not always what they seem. In principle, Greenwald is right on and he's taking the exact same issue with an Obama administration that he did with a Bush administration. I appreciate this consistency of principle and I agree with him on the issue.
Having that said, I think there's something being left out here. From Greenwald: [Read more]
Today, I discuss codependent, abusive relationships, and our general resistance to change. Deadman understands the deal. He, too, just wants to relive the good old days and focus on things that will always stay the same, like the Middle East conflict. [Read more]
Been away all week on business, listening to my colleagues and the talking heads on CNBC bitch and moan about Obama's budget and economic policies. They believe he's declaring war on the wealthy and is going to destroy the economy with his increased tax hikes.
Are you fucking kidding me?!?
Oh yeah, I feel a rant coming on ... [Read more]
I didn't really believe the headline when I read it, but here's the deal:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that President Obama - who as a candidate said states should be allowed to make their own rules on medical marijuana - will end raids on pot dispensaries in California.
Asked at a Washington news conference Wednesday about Drug Enforcement Administration raids in California since Obama took office last month, Holder said the administration has changed its policy. [Read more]
So, I've gotten kind of impatient with waiting for Geithner or Bernanke or someone to explain exactly what they're going to do with the banking system. I know that nationalization is way too scary to contemplate, despite the fact that the process the word actually refers to in this context has been ongoing with smaller banks and doesn't represent anything even remotely approaching permanent government ownership of these institutions, but what is the "public-private partnership" of which they speak? [Read more]